Author Topic: Daily Devotion  (Read 1082 times)

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #45 on: October 19, 2017, 10:33:29 PM »
Friday, May 05, 2017   

Choosing to Rest Is an Act of Trust
Courtney Reissig

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”  Psalm 127:2

In an increasingly connected world, few of us are ever truly “off the clock” from work anymore. Smartphones alert us to emails, task lists, and notifications of all that we are missing when we are not at work. Before the days of smartphones, work could be left behind at the office. There was a clearer distinction between home and work. Home was a place of refuge, while the office was a place of work.
But what about the work of the home that doesn’t abide by conventional work hours?

Laundry doesn’t punch a time clock. The grass grows whether you want it to or not. Children get sick and are up all night, needing to go to the doctor.  Because the work of the home is never really complete, it is easy to avoid the clear commands in Scripture to rest (Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:11). How do you rest when it’s never truly done?

But the psalmist tells us that it is useless to spend our days anxiously trying to get it all done. At the heart of this anxiety is a lack of trust that God is the one who establishes the work of our hands (Ps. 90:17). Even our best attempts at getting it all done are owing to God’s gracious provision for us. He gives us the energy. He gives us the materials and the time. But he also gives us limitations to remind us that only he is God, and only he gets his to-do list done.  When God commanded his people to rest, he pointed back to the fact that he also rested on the seventh day (Gen. 2:2). But his rest was one of completion, not out of a need for sleep. He had finished the work and it was perfect. We are just the opposite. The work is never done and rarely perfect, but we always need sleep. Failing to acknowledge that we are finite places our work above everything else.  Work is part of who we are, but it’s not all of who we are. We were made for work, but we were also made to rest. And in our rest, we are reminded again that we serve a God who always gets it all done, even when we cannot. Intentionally turning from our work toward rest is a tangible example of trusting the Lord with every part of our days. When we leave a task unfinished, we are saying, “Only you can do this, Lord.”

It’s a response of humble trust towards an all-powerful and sufficient God who never needs rest and is always working for us.

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2017, 10:40:41 PM »
Monday, May 08, 2017   

Power in Weakness
Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”  2 Corinthians 4:6–7

When we are hurting, the pain affects our view of everything including our view of God. Perhaps pain made you doubt God for the first time, or think about him for the first time.  Many of us will do almost anything to appear strong, capable, and worthy of admiration. This tendency impacts how we talk about and react to a trial. We try to avoid it. We complain about it. We’re embarrassed by it. We commiserate with others about it. We may believe that God is mad at us. We hate weakness and will do almost anything to escape it.
Yet weakness is real, and we can’t run from it. Thankfully we don’t need to. For it is through human weakness that God’s strength upholds us and is displayed to the world.  Here is the Bible’s description of a Christian: “We have this treasure in jars of clay”(2 Cor. 4:7, NIV).

What treasure?

The glorious gospel: the work of Jesus Christ to save sinners by grace through faith. And what is clay? A brittle, easily broken substance. And that’s what I am. That’s what you are.God has a purpose in placing such a treasure in such a jar. We are unfit, breakable, disposable vessels, and God has decided to use our weaknesses to display his power and love. A jar of clay might be cracked in a few places, making it unusable in the world’s eyes, but God sees these deficiencies as a means to pour out and reveal more of himself.

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2017, 10:47:57 PM »
Tuesday, May 09, 2017   

Afflicted but Not Crushed
Kristen Wetherell and Sarah Walton

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8–9

Afflicted. Perplexed. Persecuted. Struck down. My guess is that, on some level, you can relate with Paul’s expressions here. What affliction is threatening to crush you right now?

What suffering is testing your faith?

Lyme disease threatens me (Kristen). Because of Lyme and its ill effects, physical pain and weakness are my frequent visitors. There are times when, after an extended period of feeling well, stable, and hopeful, they rebound with a vengeance. I reach my limit during these regressions, as my faith feels pressed and my struggle to believe the gospel intensifies and out pour the tears.  I am tempted to believe that because I am afflicted in certain ways, I cannot get out of the downward spiral toward being crushed in spirit as well as in body. In those moments, I long to affirm this beautiful truth: I am afflicted in every way, but not crushed.  So how can we learn to say along with Paul, we are afflicted, but not crushed?

We look to the Cross. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. God has taken our gravest affliction death and has overcome it in Christ, so that we would never be overcome by it. The Father crushed his Son so that we would never be crushed by sin and death, so that we would spend an eternity of joy in his presence.

Sweetpea

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #48 on: October 20, 2017, 05:53:04 PM »
http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-may-22-2017.html

May 22, 2017
Breakthrough: I am Unworthy
Kelly Balarie

Today’s Truth

Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

Friend to Friend

The girl looked in the mirror. She noticed her slumped shoulders, her lack of motivation and her tired eyes. Life was always letting her down. People were too.  Still, she got up and went to her closet. Before her, stood the garbs of gold, laced with jewels and vibrant colors, but as always, she was drawn to the clothes of old. She knew them well. They were comfortable.  I can never be more. I can never do more. For I see my past. I remember what I did, how I lived, and how I so horribly failed.  The girl was trapped in a way, but in another way she was free. The door was open to her, she could go wherever she pleased, and she could step into purpose, if only she’d choose. In fact, the King had invited her to the fullness of his kingdom. He wanted that for her.  Most days, she remembered her old home the little hut, far off. She focused on the mean people there and her retaliatory behavior on those bad days. She usually lived there.  With this, she knew, she didn’t deserve to be adopted nonetheless by someone so amazing, so powerful and so loving as him.  Could he really be that way, loving?

Not mad at me?

Could I really be princess, not pauper?

Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

What are you wearing?

The robes of old mistakes, problems and relational issues or Christ’s robes that wrap you in holiness, purity and purpose?

Perhaps, today is the day, you let go of the clothes of old the anger, the bitterness and the hurt to grab hold of the attitude of bold. Perhaps, today is the day you receive and believe in God’s fullness. Perhaps, today is the day, you look in the mirror, confident and sure, with the knowledge you are: accepted, valued, rejoiced over, covered, equipped, protected, instructed, called, empowered with the mind of Christ, counseled, known, loved, seen, established, anointed, sealed, blessed, holy, seated with Christ, victorious, set free, safe and redeemed.  Perhaps, today is the day you say, “I am walking out of my torture chamber, for I am His and He is mine. I am His daughter.”

Sweetpea

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #49 on: October 20, 2017, 06:21:42 PM »
http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-may-12-2017.html

May 12, 2017
The Beatitudes of a Great Mom
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change (Proverbs 22:6, NCV).

Friend to Friend

We live in a world that often denies the importance of being a mom. I am certainly not an expert. When our daughter was born, the bottom line of my heart was simply to be a successful mom. Our daughter’s teenage years were rough! I remember telling her once, “You are going down this road of destruction over my dead body!”

She almost did!  But God chose me to be her mom, so I was determined to be the best mom I could be. The good news is that God wants the same thing. Being a parent is a holy calling from God, and God never calls us to do a job without providing the power and the plan to do that job successfully. Here are some beatitudes of a great mom.  Be a mom who loves God.  We love, because God first loved us (1 John 4:19, NCV).

The truth is that we are incapable of loving our children until we first love God. Motherhood at its best demands a thriving partnership with God. We cannot give unconditional love until we have experienced the unconditional love of God. We can do everything else right as a parent, but if we don’t begin with loving God we will fail.  Be a mom who prays continually.  Never stop praying (I Thessalonians 5:17, ICB).   

It is never too late to start praying, and it is always too early to stop.  Pray for God’s plan not yours when praying for your children.  Pray that you will see your child like God sees your child.  Pray specifically for your child:  Proverbs 3:5 “Lord, I pray that Jered would trust in You with all his heart and will lean not unto his own understanding.”           

1 Peter 5:7 “Lord, I pray that Danna would cast all her care upon You, because You care for her.”

Prayer is an eternal gift we can give to our children, teaching them the importance of prayer and teaching them how to pray. We prayed with our kids at bedtime from the day they were born. When our son was four, he began to pray that his grandfather and his uncle would stop smoking. Since both had smoked for many years and neither was trying to quit, I didn’t expect much. But our son did. Within the next year, both men suddenly quit smoking. I was amazed, but Jered acted like it was no big deal. He simply said, “Mom, you told me God answers prayer.”

I am convinced that if we pray for our children and with our children, it will change their lives and ours.  Be a mom who gives time.  Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change (Proverbs 22:6, NCV).

It takes time to know and train your children. Every child comes with a set of characteristics already established by God. Our job is to identify those characteristics and then steer the child toward them. The original root word for “train” is the term for “the palate, the roof of the mouth, the gums.” In the days of Solomon, a midwife would deliver the baby, dip her finger into the juice of crushed dates, reach into the mouth of the baby, and massage the gums and palate to create a sense of taste and thirst. She would then give the child to the mother so the baby could nurse. Our job as mothers is to develop a thirst in our children for the things of God. And that takes time.  There are seasons of life to which we must yield in order to be the mother God wants us to be, but time spent with children is never wasted. Every minute invested in your child is an eternal investment. Give your children the best of your time not the leftovers of your time.  Being a mom is the hardest job on earth. It brings out the best and the worst in us. I know it requires great sacrifice and limitless energy, but to invest your time and best efforts into a child, to watch that child grow and develop, is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself.  Today, our daughter is a beautiful young woman, a great wife, an amazing mom of two remarkable boys, and one of my best friends. Sometimes we look at each other and just laugh. She often says, “Mom, can you believe it?”

Yes, I can. She is a walking trophy of grace.  No matter where you are on your journey as a mom, embrace the children God gave you, knowing God chose you and will empower you to be the mom they deserve. 

Kiwi

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2017, 11:27:20 PM »
Thursday, July 20, 2017   

The Power of Song
Edie Littlefield Sundby

Today’s Verse
“I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to God as long as I live.”  Psalm 104:33 (NIV)

God created music with a soul-stirring power, and the Bible is the greatest songbook that has ever been written. The Bible is filled with songs of praise, of lamentation, of redemption. Whatever befalls us, there is a song recorded as chapter or verse to speak to our heart and bring us closer to God.  Whenever I feel alone, scared, and in need of God’s tender mercies, I go outside into the hills to walk and pray. Sometimes my focus in prayer is inward: I walk in silence, seeking God in the stillness between breaths. Other times, when my physical body is overwhelmed and drowning in chemo or healing from surgery or when difficult emotions have a chokehold on my heart, I need to focus my prayer outward, away from what is happening within. That’s when I turn to music.  For me, any God-inspired song will do. It can be a traditional hymn, like “It is Well with My Soul” a song that has transformed my hurting heart into a place of peace, acceptance, and grace. It could even be a popular favorite like “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Oscar Hammerstein’s enduring classic of inspiration and resilience. Both songs remind me to hold fast to hope and God’s peace, even in experiences of tragedy. They bring to mind God’s promise in Isaiah, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (43:2).

There is a reason many of the greatest songs ever written are inspired by the Bible, for music is a gift from God a beautiful mystery that speaks to us, reaches deep within our hardened or burdened hearts to touch us, and brings us peace. Through song, may “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2018, 02:05:09 PM »
Wednesday, August 02, 2017   

Seen and Significant
Chrystal Evans Hurst

Today’s Verse
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:2–3 (NIV)

We met for coffee at 5 a.m. Between work, kids, and life responsibilities, she and I hadn’t had time together in a while. While I sat and listened to my friend of many years, I slowly realized, as the minutes passed, that spending time with her was filling my soul.  Throughout that day, I noticed that I was smiling a little more; I felt lighter moving through my usual tasks. My early morning meeting with a friend someone who made me feel seen and significantwas a simple joy that filled me up!  Relationships exercise and feed our souls. Of course, sometimes relationships feel great and sometimes they don’t! But in either case, they are vital for our spiritual health. Maintaining relationships takes work, especially during busy seasons of life. It requires effort to make time for giving and receiving the gift of being “seen and significant.”  Sometimes relationships cause conflict and discomfort; sometimes they can seriously hurt. There’s no denying that we put ourselves at risk when we are in relationship to other humans. But Scripture clearly says that relationships marked by humility, gentleness, and patience bring unity, peace, and encouragement to our souls.

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2018, 02:16:13 PM »
Thursday, August 03, 2017   

Connected
Chrystal Evans Hurst

Today’s Verse
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 (NIV)

It was hard to decide. I stood staring at the shelves in the local Christian bookstore, trying to choose which Bible study was the right one. I wanted to dive deep into my study of God’s Word, but choosing the best Bible study seemed overwhelming.  As I stood letting my eyes run across the various topics, titles, and authors, I sensed the Spirit of God reminding me that while Bible studies are certainly valuable tools that help me understand his Word my relationship with God is what mattered most.  Staying connected to the Spirit of God is the primary source of life for our souls, just like the vine is to a branch. Rather than picking the “best” Bible study tool, the most important thing is that I live connected to the Spirit of God by staying in God’s Word, communicating with God in prayer, and living my life in obedience. The life the Lord has for us all is full of freedom and abundance! As we simply choose to walk in connection with God throughout our day in his Word, in prayer, in silence, in celebration, in feasting, in fasting this gives our souls the fullness of life that we were designed to experience.

Philippa

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2018, 02:20:01 PM »
Friday, August 04, 2017   

Hopeful Surrender
Chrystal Evans Hurst

Today’s Verse
“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.”  Psalm 31:14–15 (NIV)

Dishes, diapers, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, singing the ABCs again and again. My life as a mom of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers was wonderful and it also wore me out. I longed for the day when all of my children could clean up without my help, were potty-trained, and could read and write on their own.
That season of my life was hard at times. But I now know with certainty that the season passed quickly more quickly than I wish it had! The days were long but the years were short. I remember those years with a warm heart; I’m grateful that, while I was in that season, I gave it all I had. It wasn’t easy, but I remember other wise women in my life telling me to live well in my current season and I’m glad I did.  Your hard season may have nothing to do with motherhood. It may be a difficult season with your health, your marriage, your finances, or your career. The specifics don’t matter as much as this: choosing to live well in the season you are in.  Even when a season of life is not ideal, we will only run our souls ragged when we are discontent and focused on longing for the next season. Choosing to trust that each day has purpose even if it’s unseen revives the soul. You don’t have to feel it yet, but you can choose to tell the Lord that you trust him and fix your eyes on the glory to come. In any season, this sort of contentment and hopeful surrender is exactly what your soul needs.