Author Topic: Daily Devotion  (Read 1747 times)

La Bamba

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2018, 10:58:19 PM »
Marvelous in My Eyes
Jan 26, 2018 | Arlene Pellicane

Today's Truth

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.  Psalm 118:22-24

Friend to Friend

When I was in elementary school, I wore thick blue eyeglasses. They weren’t very fashionable, but at least I could read the chalkboard.  Decades later, I still need glasses or contact lenses to put the world in focus. These  tools improve my vision dramatically. Yet sight is about more than being able to read letters far away. It can also be about how you perceive God and your life.  Do you see life through the lens of thanks or the lens of dissatisfaction?

The answer to this simple question dramatically changes everything.  If we train our minds to look for God at work and to give thanks, we will find many things to be “marvelous in our eyes.” If we wake up and speak out today’s truth from Psalm 118, “Let us rejoice today and be glad,” we frame the day in a perspective of praise and thanksgiving.

But if we awaken to texts on the phone, news headlines, or to do lists, we’re bound to feel quite dissatisfied before breakfast. If we focus on the problems instead of the Problem Solver, we struggle, unable to see clearly.  Maybe it’s time for a home eye exam that is connected to your heart.  The Apostle Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people” (Ephesians 1:18, NIV).

As you choose to think of the spiritual blessings that belong to you in Christ, you can’t help but be more grateful.  In 1 Peter 2:7, we read Peter quoting today’s truth in Psalm 118:22 saying the cornerstone representing Christ is precious to those who believe, but it’s a stumbling block to those who do not believe. To some, Christ represents life. But to others who don’t believe, He is a rock to trip over, a reason to fall.  Each day, you can live with thanks not because your health is perfect. Not because you have a lot of money in the bank. Not because your vacation is coming.  You can live with thanks and rejoicing because you are saved. The Lord has rescued you from sin. This is a reason to give thanks every day of the year, not just on Thanksgiving.  On darker days when you sense your spiritual eyesight is failing, you can.  Remember where you’ve come from.  Remember how God has answered your prayers.  Remember the promises of God.  Put on the “eyeglasses of thanks” and you will discover many marvels to behold even today.

La Bamba

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2018, 11:07:00 PM »
Let’s Get This Straight
Jan 29, 2018 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

Friend to Friend

“Dear Sharon,” the letter began, “I found your e-mail on your website. I was searching for some information on what the Bible says about affairs. Somehow I came upon your site. I feel like I am on the verge of  destroying my life. My life with my husband had never been good marginal at best. I find myself working hard on my appearance so other men will notice and desire me. We have four children, and I’m miserable. My husband is in the military and away at boot camp. I’m glad he’s gone.  I am on the verge of having an affair with just about anyone to escape my marriage. I don’t want to look back on my life and think I could have been happy with someone else. I feel like I am trapped in a loveless marriage. I want a divorce.”

Friend, can’t you just see the enemy rubbing his hands together like an anxious fly?

I bet he shuddered when she clicked the SEND button on her computer screen and sent this e-mail to me. “Oh no,” I imagine him saying. “This could ruin everything.”

He knew that I would help her recognize the lie.  When you consider the words in the previous letter, they really aren’t that different from the lies Eve believed in the Garden. God is holding out on me I would be happy if I’m going to take control of this situation.  Rain on the consequences. Anything is better than this.  When I hear stories of women overcome with hopelessness and despair, my heart breaks. This is not what God had in mind when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to die on Calvary’s cross, rise from the darkened tomb, and ascend to heaven from the Mount. This is not what God intended for His bride when He gave her the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit. No, Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

So what has happened to block the flow of abundant life into the hearts of men and women?

Why are we not living in victory?

Where is the living water?

I believe the flow is blocked because we believe lies rather than the truth.  Robert McGee, author of Search for Significance, wrote, “One of the biggest steps we can take toward consistently glorifying Christ and walking in peace and joy with our heavenly Father is to recognize the deceit which had held us captive. Satan’s lies distort our true perspective, warp our thoughts, and produce painful emotions. If we cannot identify those lies, then it is very likely that we will continue to be defeated by them.”

John 10:10 reveals Jesus’ intention for abundant life and the enemy’s intention to block it. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”

We have already realized who the real enemy is, and he is doing everything in his power to keep Christians from experiencing the abundant life. His ultimate goal is our utter destruction and his MO is lies.  The Bible says, “For we are not ignorant of his [Satan’s] schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11 nasb, emphasis added). “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”

(Ephesians 6:11, emphasis added). His schemes include a step-by-step progressive plan of one lie that leads to another lie that leads to another lie. He begins small and works his way up to more destructive and disastrous misbeliefs. The way we stop the progression is to do as Barney Fife suggests in The Andy Griffith Show: “Nip it in the bud.” Recognize the lie the moment it enters your mind.  But the only way to recognize a lie is to know the truth. We must know the truth so that when a counterfeit comes along we recognize right away its lack of authenticity.  When someone is training to become a bank teller, he or she is taught how to recognize counterfeit money. However, the instructors do not teach what counterfeit bills look like. Rather, they teach what genuine money looks like. They study the markings, the coloring, and the feel of real money so when the counterfeit comes along, the teller can recognize it.

L. Moody once said, “The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.”

So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to lay the straight stick of God’s Word alongside every thought that enters our minds. And then we’re going to make a decision: true or false.  That decision can determine the destiny of your day.

My_little_pony

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2018, 09:42:11 PM »
Trusting God With Tomorrow
Jan 30, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

The LORD said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”  Exodus 4:11-12

Friend to Friend

On the far side of a desert, high upon the Mountain of God, a voice called out to Moses from within a curious, fiery bush. He had been tending the sheep of his father-in-law’s flock going about his normal day  in day out tasks on the day that God spoke to him from the flames. On the day that God called Moses to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.  Once a noble prince of Egypt with the world at his feet, he had become a lowly shepherd with dust on his sandals. His crown had been traded in for a staff. The palace days were far behind Moses now. He fled them because of what he had done. Glancing to his left and right to be sure that no one would know what he was about to do, Moses took a horrible situation into his own hands and killed a man. He murdered an Egyptian and covered the death with sand.  Fear and shame bombarded his heart so he fled away from his dream filled, royal future to a desert place of humble hiding. The door to his yesterdays was closed. Moses had moved on to a new place. His past was his past and he had no intentions of returning to it. His life was different now. Normal, not noble.  Then God interrupted Moses’ new normal. His plans for Moses were different.  Bigger.  God’s intentions were for freedom the freedom of His people, the Israelites, who were captives slaves to Egypt. God called Moses to face the pains of his past so that the Israelites could face a future of freedom. His plans of emancipation required that Moses obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.  Moses quivered and doubted. He made excuses. He felt unfit and unqualified for such a task. But God met Moses at his doubts. He called him to courage and went on to use Moses as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom.  Yes Moses made mistakes along the way, but God was powerful in, through and in spite of each one. Through it all, God led as only God can. He led with power. He led with purpose. He led with love. And through Moses, God led His people to a new place of promise and freedom.

On the far side of Charlotte, North Carolina, high upon a mountain in a retreat center, a voice called out to me from within a curious and fiery story. I had been tending to my husband and children, to the laundry and the dishes writing songs and leading worship going about my normal day-in-day-out tasks on the day that God spoke to my heart from the testimony of another woman. On the day that God called me to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.  Once a sold-out, dream-filled God-girl, I had become a grace embracing, yet disqualified-for-anything-big-because-of-what-I-had-done God-girl. My use-me-in-a-big-way-Lord prayers had been traded in for average, can’t-have-a-dream-anymore faith-living. My God-dream days were far behind me. I had fled them because of what I had done in my junior year of college. Glancing to my left and right to be sure that no one would know what I was about to do, I took a stressful situation an unplanned pregnancy into my own hands and killed a baby. I robbed my baby of life when I had an abortion and covered the death of my precious child with sands of compartmentalizing and reason.  Fear and shame bombarded my heart, so I fled away from God away from my dream-filled, royal future to a desert place of heart hiding. After a season of brokenness, God brought me to a place of beauty, forgiveness and healing. I was restored and redeemed by scandalous, merciful grace. Then I closed the heart-door to my yesterdays. I moved on to a new place in Christ. My past was my past and I had no intentions of returning to it or to the God-dreams that swelled my soul as a young, sold-out Jesus lover. My life was different now. Normal, not dream-worthy.  Then God interrupted my new normal. His plans for me were different.  Bigger.  God’s intentions were for freedom the freedom of His people, the women, who were captives slaves to their life-wounds. God called me to face the pains of my past so that my Girlfriends in God might face a future of freedom when they hear my testimony. His plans of emancipation required that I obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.  I quivered and doubted. I made excuses. I felt unfit and unqualified for such a task. But God met me at my doubts. He called me to courage and is using my broken-into-beautiful story as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom.  Yes I make mistakes along the way, but God is powerful in, through, and in spite of each one. Through each surrendered day, God is leading as only He can. With power with purpose with love. And I pray right now that this story my story will bring you to a new place of promise and freedom through the grace of Jesus Christ.  What fresh and fiery mission is God calling you to trust Him with, friend?

Let me encourage you to stop with the excuses. I’m living proof that God can free anyone from her shame and use anyone for His purpose.  Step up to the burning bush into God’s presence. Listen to His voice. Obey. Follow. Take courage. Trust Him with your past and with your tomorrows. Allow God’s grace to direct what your mission should look like.  But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.  Exodus 9:16, NIV

My_little_pony

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2018, 09:50:53 PM »
He is All I Need
Jan 31, 2018 | Mary Southerland

Today's Truth

The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD’s house for days without end.  Psalm 23:1-6

Friend to Friend

Christmas is my favorite time of the year! When our children were younger, a whole set of rules surrounded buying our Christmas tree. It must be purchased on the day after Thanksgiving, and it must be purchased  from the nice man who ran a tree lot just down the street from our house because he had the best Frasier Firs in town.  We all piled into “Old Blue,” my husband’s well-worn truck, and headed for the tree lot two minutes away from our house. When we arrived, my husband and our children fanned out in search of “the tree.” As tradition demanded, my husband, Dan, immediately began muttering, “Bah, humbug” under his breath, but just loud enough for us all to hear.

That was the cue for our daughter, Danna, to begin rolling her eyes and correcting her Scrooge father. Our son, Jered, ignored them both and carried out his steady search in quiet contemplation. He usually spotted “the tree” first. “Found it!” he shouted, which was another verbal tree-finding tradition.

We all gathered to inspect Jered’s find, immediately dismissing it as unworthy, and spreading out once again in search of our tree.  The owners of the tree lot recognized us and understood that there was a non-negotiable Southerland step-by-step process for selecting a tree. They stood back, waiting for the curtain to fall on the tree drama, content in the knowledge that we would eventually buy a tree from them. I considered and dismissed almost every tree on the lot before going back to the first tree Jered picked. Afraid of losing it to another customer, Jered diligently stood guard over his tree until we came to our senses and realized that he, once again, had found the perfect tree. After what we considered a respectable search time, we once again gathered at Jered’s tree, looking for “holes” in the branches, evaluating each side to make sure it would display well and finally, examining the top of the tree to make sure our angel tree-topper would be comfortable there.  The moment of truth arrived when Dan, Danna, and Jered all looked at me and asked, “Well, what do you think, Mom? Is this the one?”

Savoring the moment, I took my time before saying, “Let’s get it!”

I am almost certain I heard applause at this moment, from my family, from other customers, and certainly from the tree man. My husband wrote the check as Jered loaded the tree in Old Blue and we headed home where the Christmas tree stand was ready and waiting. Jered, the hulk football player, unloaded the tree, cut off an inch of the trunk, placed it in the stand, and transported the tree to its new home for the holidays.  The smell was delicious. The needles were green and fresh for about a month, and then, every year, the same sad process begins. Although I faithfully watered the tree, the needles grew more brittle with each passing day. The smell was less powerful and eventually, the limbs began to wither, dry out, and turn brown. Why?

The tree had been separated from its source. The same is true in our lives.  God is our source and there is no life if we are separated from Him. He will meet our every need. Our mate is not our source. Our job is not our source. Our children are not our source. God alone is our source.  As you celebrate the holidays, don’t allow anyone or anything divert your heart and mind from the eternal truth that no matter what you did or did not receive this year, no matter what you gave or were unable to give this year God is your source. And that truth is not seasonal it is eternal.

Shadow Rider

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Re: Daily Devotion
« Reply #64 on: April 17, 2018, 11:48:01 AM »
A Love That Stays
Jan 16, 2018 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth
I will maintain my love to Him forever, and my covenant with Him will never fail.   Psalm 89:28

Friend to Friend
I took a few pictures the other day with what I call my “big girl camera.” You know, the kind with a lens that adjusts to things near and far, making objects change from blurry to clear with a simple twist. It’s amazing to  look through a viewfinder and watch what is hazy become crisp and clear.  Lately I feel like I need this feature for my soul.  Have you ever felt that way?

My week has been a bit of a blur and this distracted heart needs a good refocusing. So I turn to the Word of God, and the adjustment begins. A man named Ethan penned psalm 89. He wrote the psalm to celebrate the throne of king David and the prophetic promises God made regarding the eternal nature of Christ’s future reign.  It’s a moving read; full of promise, praise, and wonder. A declaration of God’s holiness and steadfast love that seals the destiny of all who place their faith in Jesus.  I read it and am refocused on the hope of God’s power, righteousness, justice, faithfulness, and strength. I’m reminded that the indescribable and unsearchable Creator of the universe invites you and me, His small, but cherished creation, to walk in the light of His presence (verse 15).  I’m reminded that God is not distant, but near.  That He offers to sustain and strengthen all who are His. That God works through my weakness with power that is perfect and that He hears the cries that rise from haughty human lungs as they breathe His holy name: Father, God, Rock, and Savior.  I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness ... (Psalm 89:28-35, emphasis mine)

I read these words these promises from the heart of God and my soul is stirred deeply.  God maintains His love.  His covenant will never fail.  Even when we fail, God does not.   Even when we disobey His commands and run away from all that is good and holy, He loves us. Yes, consequences will be handed out, but His LOVE will remain. When we are faithless, God will not betray His own faithfulness to us. He will not go back on His word on His promise of salvation on His covenant of grace through Jesus.  God swears on His own holiness that the finished work of Jesus is enough. For me. For you. For the remnant of all who’ve been kissed by mercy’s hope.  With a heart that is refocused on clarifying truth and vibrant grace, I turn from my blurry heart haze toward God’s love that remains unfailing for all eternity.