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Posts Tagged ‘daily devotional’

If you missed itclick here to read part one of Carrie’s moving story.  This week Carrie continues her story by sharing some of the reflections that have helped her move successfully forward in meaningful ways.

The secret recipe for a happy life is found in Scripture.  Here is a favorite passage about the potential to live life with “inexpressible and glorious joy” regardless of painful circumstances:

2 Peter 1:3-8 says this:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  

In His great mercy He has given us new birth

into a living hope

through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–

kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power

until the coming of the salvation

that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  

In this you greatly rejoice,

though now for a little while you have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  

These have come so that your faith–

of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–

may be proved genuine and may result in

praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him;

and even though you do not see Him now,

you believe in Him

and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

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My dad was out of work.  My mom was working a minimum wage job.  We were living on bread and milk and whatever fish dad could catch.  Times were tough.  We often didn’t know where the next meal would come from.

There was an unnamed woman who mentored me during those days and helped me hang on to hope.  She is known just by the location where she lives—Zarephath—the widow of Zarephath (I Kings 17:9-24).  At the point where she was fixing the last meal before believing they would starve to death–a little loaf of bread for her and her young son—she was approached by a man asking for her to share even that little she had.  He promised her that if she did share, there would be enough food to sustain her and her son, “until the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again.”

She did as he commanded and the Lord provided enough for the three of them to eat “for many days.”  In fact, Scripture tells us that “no matter how much they used there was always enough left in the containers for more, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” (v. 16).

When you get to the end of your rope, do you have the courage and strength to hang on and believe as this unnamed widow did?  When all that is left is hope do you sometimes feel as though that has dried up along with your resources for food and shelter?  I can identify with this woman.  With the fear she must have felt.  With the sorrow over the future that lay in front of her child.  With defeat.  Yet, in the midst of it, she stepped out and trusted Elijah when he offered assurance that God would provide and meet her needs.

Today, my friends, I can assure you from my own past that God does provide.  If you are feeling hopeless and don’t have the confident assurance of your own faith, find a Friend and cling to His Promises until you are stronger:  Matthew 12:28-30, Matthew 6:32-33.

Even when this unnamed woman’s child became ill to the point of death, she didn’t quit crying out, and God heard her cry.  God is still hearing the cry of our hearts today, whether for our own circumstances that may seem overwhelming or for those of a friend or loved one who is walking through a very dark valley.  We can cry out and He will answer.  His promises are certain and unchanging.  We only have to lay our needs on the altar, leave them in His hands and cling to the Mighty Power of the Cross as we learned about these past two weeks.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Your word tells me that worrying won’t add a single moment to my life, but the situation I am in seems so overwhelming, I don’t know how to stop trying to find a solution; how to stop worrying it over and over in my mind.  Help me Jesus, I need your peace.  Take this burden.  I will cling to You and believe that you will bring hope for tomorrow.  I trust You Lord with me, with my family, with this need in my life.  I know You and You alone will provide the answer; give me courage to wait until it is revealed.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Psalm 34:17; Psalm 72:12; Luke 18:7

 

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“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…” Hebrews 12:28

Our salvation. Our rescue from eternal separation from God. Our unshakable hope.

I am so thankful, Lord, for the beautiful gift of salvation that you have granted to me. Remind me of this Truth when I get distracted. Enlighten me with this Truth when I get confused. Comfort me as I cling to this Truth. Amen.

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“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1

We thank God, breathlessly, for safety on the road as our brakes screech us to a halt on 23. Under our breath we thank God we still have a job as the holidays approach and the kid’s wish list grows longer. We thank God for our friends, and sometimes we thank him for our family though the holiday reunion can sometimes make us wonder…

It isn’t difficult to find blessings from God; we really don’t have to look that far even in our most “down” moments. We just take a glance around us and we see how blessed we are.

But how often do we thank God that he is who he is? He is good! In every aspect of his deity, God is perfectly good. And his goodness most beautifully manifests itself in his enduring love for us.

Today we stop a moment and humbly give thanks to you, God, that you are good. Not because of your care, though you are continually watching over us. Not because of what you have given us, though we are surrounded by comfort and by provision. We thank you because you are who you are….you are good.

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Welcome to day five of our Daily Devotionals springing from the life of Rahab found in Scripture.  Check out this blog post to read more about her.

Rahab certainly would not have felt qualified to rescue her family or to serve the Lord.  But, God does not call the qualified.  When the prophet Samuel was sent to choose the new king, he certainly didn’t expect to find the qualified in a shepherd boy, David.  (I Sam 16:7)  God reminded Samuel he was not to judge by outward appearance or height because the Lord looks at the thoughts and intentions of a person. 

We too must not judge by outward appearance, but extend God’s love to those around us and leave it to the Lord to consider the thoughts and intentions.  When we are obedient, the Lord reminds us that His grace is sufficient—sufficient to redeem and sufficient to sustain us.  When we have His grace, we not only have all we need, but He will do more than we could ever ask or imagine. 

Lord Jesus Christ, recall frequently to my mind today that you care more about my thoughts and intentions than how I look or how busy I am.  Quiet my heart to hear your voice and to walk with You.  Your grace is sufficient to meet my needs and the needs of those I love.  But Lord, it is also sufficient to give me the courage and strength to step out of my comfort zone to offer grace to others.  When I take a step to extend grace to another, I am reminded that is where Your mercy begins.  Lord, sustain me to show the world more of You and less of me today.  Amen. 

Additional Study:  II Corinthians 12:9, Ephesians 3:20, Philippians 4:19,

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As a brand new mom I learned a valuable, but painful lesson that what I ate went straight through my body to my baby daughter’s system as she got painfully ill after I ate some very spicy food and then breast fed her.  I realize that may be graphic, but it makes the point that we are in a position to pour into the lives of others by our words, our actions and our attitudes.  What I pour in immediately becomes a part of that life. 

II Chronicle 22:3 actually provides a compelling challenge for me as a wife and mom.  “Ahaziah also followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong.  He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab did.”  WOW!  His mother poured into his life a legacy of evil. 

Yet, we can look at Ruth and Naomi, Ruth chapters 1-2, and see that Naomi must have poured positive teachings and deeds into the life of Ruth.  She was a foreigner, likely worshipping foreign gods and idols, yet because of Naomi’s influence and friendship when Ruth became a widow, she chose to stay with Naomi and even leave her homeland rather than stay in Moab with her family. 

The best way to know what to pour into the heart of another is to draw close to the One who pours grace and mercy on each of us daily.  He will provide the words, the encouragement, the attitude necessary when we seek Him fully and ask to be an effective instrument as He works to touch the life of another with His love. 

Oh, Lord, help me today.  Give me the grace to add value to the heart of another just as you consistently extend your grace to me.  Show me how to encourage, lift up and pour out my faith with your mercy and grace to meet the need of a heart that needs your love. 

(Additional study:  Psalms 119:93, Prov 4:13, II Tim 1:14)

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We are looking this week at how we “hold” the heart of another.  Protecting and strengthening the heart of another allows the opportunity to help another open their heart to all that the Lord God desires for them; it allows us to be God’s instrument to enlarge their hearts. 

We have all known people who are wounded or hurting because of past incidents in their lives.  We cannot take away those wounds, but when we begin to offer love and grace, we become an instrument the Lord can use to enlarge their heart to see truth and love. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 states that God’s word lived out in us brings health to a man’s whole body and gives life.  Through our words and actions we can either bring someone closer to accepting God’s love or we can lead them astray. 

O Lord, help me today to check myself so that my words and actions draw someone closer to Your Love rather than push them away.  Forgive me for my impatience, for my pride that led to cutting words.  Help me to fill myself with Your Word so that I open the heart of another and not close it.  Amen

 (Additional study:  Psalms 141:3, I Peter 5:10)

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