Author Topic: Devotional  (Read 641 times)

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2017, 11:17:33 PM »
Thursday, April 13, 2017   

His Humility
April Yamasaki

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” - Philippians 2:7–8

The dictionary definition of humility includes being respectful, humble, lowly, meek, modest. The word itself appears so meek and modest that there seem to be many more definitions for what humility is not. Humility is not arrogance, pride, egotism, superiority; it’s not conceited, lofty, presumptuous, or pretentious. Humility is the opposite of all those things.  Jesus showed humility throughout his life and death. Although he was “equal with God” (Phil. 2:6), he set that aside to live in humble circumstances as a human being. A feed trough served as his first bed. Shepherds who were at the bottom end of the social ladder were among his first visitors. As a grown man, Jesus entered the building trade like his earthly father, but soon became an itinerant preacher and teacher, spending time with fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, and other ordinary folk. When he entered Jerusalem for the last time, he rode on a humble donkey. At the end of his life, he was arrested, questioned, tortured, and executed like a common criminal. Yet he did not retaliate, or demand justice, or call down legions of angels to defend himself. Jesus had set aside divinity to take on humanity, “to the point of death, even death on a cross” (v. 8).

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 10:34:23 PM »
http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-april-11-2017.html

April 11, 2017
When You’ve Failed and Bailed
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

Friend to Friend

I just love Moses. I can relate to him on so many levels.  For about forty years, he thought he was an Egyptian the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. But somehow he discovered that he was NOT an Egyptian after all. He was a Hebrew, the son of a slave woman and that changed everything.  Moses had a mid-life crisis and came up with a plan to save his true people from Egyptian slavery. God did not call him to this plan. He came up with it all on his own. (Red flag for all of us.)  One day Moses was walking among his people and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. Glancing first one way and then another to make sure no one was looking, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. One down. Several million to go. Moses was working the plan.  The next day, Moses was out walking among his people and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”

Moses realized what he had done was widely known. The Pharaoh was out to kill him, and his fellow Hebrews mocked him. So he failed and he bailed.  Moses fled to a place called Midian, married a gal named Zipporah, and joined the family business taking care of sheep. The next time we see Moses, forty years have passed; he is now 80 years old and he is stuck. Oh, sister, I’ve been there. Have you?

Moses was stuck in Midian and held hostage by his failures. He had settled for less than what he was made for. Less than what God had prepared him for. Less than what he had hoped for in himself. And there he stayed.  This is where many people drive their tent stakes in the ground and settle. They make a mistake, fall flat on their face, and run away to the far side of the wilderness, hoping no one will notice. Praying everyone will just leave him or her alone, at the same time, absolutely miserable that life has morphed into a monotonous, lackluster checklist. Like Moses, many bury their hopes and dreams to protect their hearts from further disappointment.  But that’s not where God wants you to stay. We all fail. We all make mistakes. Peter did. Moses did. Jacob did. Samson did. David did. But just because you failed does not mean you ARE a failure. You are a child of God who makes mistakes.  God wasn’t finished with Moses and He’s not finished with you or me. He has a plan a good and perfect plan.  So if you feel stuck if you’ve failed and bailed to your far side of the wilderness it’s time to get unstuck and move forward. God has burning bushes all around. This could be one right now. He’s calling you to let go of your failure, move forward in all that He has for you to do, and live bold.  Come on. Let’s do it together! He’s calling your name.

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2017, 09:42:02 PM »
Tuesday, April 18, 2017   

Faithful, Abiding Love
Liz Curtis Higgs

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. ‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ the angels asked her.  ‘Because they have taken away my Lord,’ she replied, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’”  John 20:11–13

Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene convinced Peter and the beloved disciple, John, to run with her back to the garden tomb and look for themselves. Peter and John saw the empty grave but no Jesus, the strips of linen but no Jesus. No angels, either. “Then the disciples went back to where they were staying” (John 20:10).

Mary Magdalene lingered behind, alone. She couldn’t leave. Not until she was certain what had happened to Jesus. Of Mary’s many admirable qualities her strength, her courage, her willingness to lead the one that mattered most was her faithfulness.  “Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying” (John 20:11).

The word maudlin comes from Magdalene the name of this dear woman who couldn’t stop weeping. Crushed in spirit, Mary Magdalene stared at the emptiness looming before her. The tomb, yes, but also her uncertain future. What if the Lord hadn’t risen after all?

Would evil prevail?

Would her demons return?

After seeing him suffer on the cross, now Mary had to face the awful possibility that, rather than a resurrection, his body had been taken.  “As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’  ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him’” (John 20:11–13).

When we’re in pain, we often reveal the deepest truths. That’s what Mary did when she said, “They have taken away my Lord’s body!” (CEV).

My Lord. So intimate, in the best sense. Jesus was not only her Savior. He was also her friend. Lord, help us think of you as Mary did as our dearest companion, our truest friend.  That’s why Mary Magdalene remained at the tomb. Not out of duty, but out of love. The same love that kept Mary of Bethany at his feet. The same love that kept Mary of Nazareth at the cross. Mary Magdalene’s deep and abiding love for him was about to be rewarded.

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2017, 09:50:07 PM »
Wednesday, April 19, 2017   

Woman, Why Are You Crying?
Liz Curtis Higgs

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“‘Dear woman, why are you crying?’ Jesus asked her. ‘Who are you looking for?’  She thought he was the gardener. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’  ‘Mary!’ Jesus said.  She turned to him and cried out, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is Hebrew for ‘Teacher’).”  John 20:15–16

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus” (John 20:14).

“Woman ...” (John 20:15).

Woman. The first word spoken by the risen Christ, meant for all his daughters throughout eternity. Woman. An assurance that we matter to him, that we count for his kingdom. Woman. A term of respect. The very word he used when addressing his beloved mother from the cross. Woman.  “... why are you crying?” (John 20:15).

I can tell you why I’m crying. Because Jesus chose a woman. He could have revealed his risen self first to any one of the Eleven, but he chose Mary Magdalene, a former demoniac, a midlife caregiver, a faithful follower. A woman.  Jesus knew why Mary was crying, just as he understands what makes us weep. Even so, he asked the same question the angels had put to her. Not to embarrass her, but to encourage her. No need for tears, Mary. Not anymore.  “Who is it you are looking for?” (John 20:15).

Jesus asked this second question on the heels of the first, helping her move past her tears so she could move past her fears. He is not dead, Mary. Look! See! In the darkness of her sorrow, Mary Magdalene needed someone to assure her that one day life would make sense again. That she would be dry eyed and in her right mind. That all was not lost. Who better to tell her than her beloved Savior?

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’” (John 20:16). He is risen! He is risen indeed! “And [she] cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’” (John 20:16). We hear your joy, Mary, resounding across the centuries. “Master!” (WE). “Teacher!” (NLV).

To have watched him die and then to see him alive. To witness his burial and then to experience his resurrection.  Jesus paused to speak to a woman. Not merely to speak to her but to send her. Weeks later Jesus would proclaim the Great Commission when he sent the Eleven into the world to preach the gospel. But first he sent Mary Magdalene to share the truth with them. Can a woman spread the good news? Oh yes she can! “Go instead to my brothers and tell them” (John 20:17).

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2017, 08:26:28 PM »
http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-may-11-2017.html

May 11, 2017
You’re Sitting on a Great Inheritance
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3 NIV).

Friend to Friend

Unless you are a baseball fan, married to one, or mom to one, you probably haven’t heard of Matthew Joseph White. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998, the Boston Red Sox in 2002, and the Colorado Rockies in 2003. But it is not his baseball career that captured my attention.  In 2003, Matt had an aunt who needed to go into a nursing home. She didn’t have the funds to make the move, but she did have a piece of land in his home state of Massachusetts. So Matt agreed to pay her $50,000 for the 45 acres of mountain real estate, which gave her enough to enter the nursing home and get the care she needed. (I love him already!)  Matt’s original intent was to build a home on the property, but found the ground too hard. When he called a surveyor to inspect the acreage, he discovered treasure lying beneath the rocky soil. The land was solid Goshen stone, a type of valuable mica. Approximately 24 million tons of mica schist rock, worth about $100 per ton, had been resting on the mountain for thousands of years. The estimated worth of Matt’s land?

Two point five billion dollars.  When my husband read me Matt’s story in a sports magazine, my mind immediately went to the truth of what we have in Christ. Most of us are sitting on a mountain of precious promises and don’t even know it. Goshen stone may be valuable, and I am tickled pink that Matt made the discovery, but followers of Christ are sitting on a treasure worth even more. Jesus is the Rock, and God has already paid the excavation costs. The title deed has your name on it, and you simply need to take hold to access your glorious inheritance.  Being in Christ comes with many benefits. You are a dearly loved, completely accepted, totally forgiven, uniquely chosen child of God. And because you have been adopted into God’s family, you are now heir to a plethora of precious promises.  For starters, when you exhale your last breath on earth, you will inhale heaven for all eternity. There is no other promise that comes close in comparison. But there’s more, so much more. That’s what we’re excavating in the pages of this book.  Paul wrote, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Cor. 2:12).

So stop and pray with me for just a moment. “Dear Lord, I pray that You will open my mind to comprehend all that you have given me. Help me to let go of preconceived notions and small-minded thinking to take hold of all that You have for me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

Did you pray?

Did you mean it?

Let’s keep going! As you read the following words, take note of the verb tense in each sentence.  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For hechose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love hepredestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that helavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which hepurposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.  In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession to the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:3-14 emphases added).  Did you see it?

Paul is describing blessings and promises you already have. Every single one of those verbs are in the past tense. You don’t need to earn them. You don’t need to wait for them. You simply need to take hold of what is already yours. You’ve already got what it takes to live bold.  God made the deposit in your safe-deposit box before the creation of the world, fashioned the key in the shape of a cross, and gave you access the moment you believed.

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2017, 08:39:49 PM »
http://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-may-10-2017.html

May 10, 2017
Building a Successful Family
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

A wise woman strengthens her family, but a foolish woman destroys hers by what she does (Proverbs 14:1, NCV).

Friend to Friend

What a crazy day it had been! It was a day probably like many of yours. I was a young mom with two small children. My husband was the youth pastor at a large church in town. I taught a weekly Bible study for senior high girls and directed a youth choir that practiced one night a week and sang for the early worship service every Sunday. We hosted a youth Bible study in our home every Monday night and, well, you get the idea. My schedule was almost to the point of ridiculous, and I was exhausted most of the time. But this particular day had been crazier than most.  Both kids had a cold and were grumpy. I was counting the minutes until my husband came walking through the front door. I needed rescuing. The phone rang. "Honey, I won't be able to make it home before church tonight," Dan said.

He sounded so tired that I could not muster up one ounce of anger. Instead, I shifted into overdrive.  I snatched both kids off the backyard swing, plopped them in the bathtub for a quick rinse and impatiently shoved little arms and legs into clean clothes while spooning food into little mouths before firmly depositing both kids in their car seats. Off we went to church for the third night in a row.  At a stop sign, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw two miserably silent children, tears streaming down their sad little faces. I heard His voice, "Mary, what are you doing and who are you doing it for?"

My heart broke. I suddenly realized that I was running the race of life for the wrong audience. Turning the car around, I headed home.  "Hey guys! Would you like to go home, put on your pajamas, make some cookies and watch a movie with me?"

Cheers and clapping erupted from the back seat as tears gave way to smiling faces, and laughter and giggles filled the car and my heart. It has been over twenty-five years and I still remember that precious night of ministry.  Women are so busy. We fill our lives with good things, but I wonder how many of us miss the hungry hearts that greet us each morning across the breakfast table or wait for us to come home each night. Do we overlook a child’s silent longing for the kind of love that is spelled “t-i-m-e?”

Do we miss the opportunity to encourage a weary husband who has returned home without a job?

When was the last time you gave your parents a hug and thanked them for everything they have done for you over the years?

Do your grandparents know how valuable their legacy of love and wisdom is to you?

We make the erroneous assumption that the people in our lives know how we feel about them. Do they?

And even if they do know, wouldn’t it be great to tell them again?   

It is so easy to lose focus and scramble priorities. Our public life is only as valid as our private life. Family is the perfect framing for God’s highest work, the litmus test for authentic service and our greatest opportunity to meet needs in His name.  When our daughter, Danna, was a little girl, one of her favorite activities was to color a page in what she called her "special" coloring book. The book had several “special” pages, one in particular being a dull, gray picture of a butterfly. Frankly, I couldn’t understand her excitement. When I asked why she liked that picture so much, Danna grinned and said, “Watch, Mommy!”

She rubbed her little hands together to create warmth; then laid them on the butterfly drawing. The touch of her hand caused the special inks in the printing to react, and the dull gray was transformed into a vivid rainbow of color.  Everyone is hungry for the warm touch of someone who cares a kind word, an act of compassion, a hug of encouragement. I believe God created the family to be the first place where that hunger is best satisfied. Yet, I am amazed that we can stand in silence, watching homes, marriages and families disintegrate before our very eyes. Silence is agreement. It is time for us, as women of God, to boldly stand against anyone and anything that undermines our marriage or threatens the solidarity of our family. It is time for us to trust God for and with our families.  Family is important to God. He created it before He created the church, and He made a plan for it to succeed. At the heart of that plan is love. To trust God with our family demands that we love and trust God, and then allow that love to spill over into our family.

Pip

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4785
    • Touched by Adoption
Re: Devotional
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2017, 08:43:31 PM »
https://www.ibelieve.com/devotionals/girlfriends-in-god/girlfriends-in-god-july-3-2017.html

July 3, 2017
Tell Me Another Story
Arlene Pellicane

Today’s Truth

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word (Psalm 119:16, NIV).

Friend to Friend

When my son Ethan was in kindergarten, I remember how much he loved reading his Bible.  He would come into my room in the morning asking, “Mommy, can you read me a story from the Bible?” 

His Bible was written like a children’s storybook with colorful illustrations and animated characters.  Whether the story was “David and Goliath” or “Jesus Feeds Thousands,” his attention was fixed sharply on each page.  After one story ended, he asked for another then another.  I sometimes wish I had this same kind of hunger and enthusiasm when I approach my Bible.  I’d like to read it with fresh eyes.  Instead of knowing how things turn out, what if I read a story about Jesus and wondered, “What is going to happen?  Is Jesus really going to walk on water?  How did He do that?”

If we’re not careful, Bible study can become a chore, something to check off a “to-do” list and nothing more.  Anyone can become numb to the miraculous stories and truths found in God’s Word.  After sharing a parable, Jesus says to his closest followers, “Are you so dull?” (Mark 7:18). 

Even the disciples who walked with Jesus experienced times of spiritual dullness.  Reading the Bible is a fundamental component to living your best life, yet it’s easy to forget the joy the life that’s found in studying God’s Word.  So how do put the fun back into the fundamentals of Bible study?

Pray First.  Before you begin reading, take a moment to pray.  Ask God to help you comprehend and apply what you read, 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).

Personalize It.  When you read an Old Testament story, put yourself in the picture.  What if you were thrown inside the lion’s den instead of Daniel? 

How would you feel when the morning came and you were still alive? 

You can also insert your name into a passage like, “[Sheila] be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Put it into practice.  If you love to play basketball, it’s enjoyable to watch a game on television but not nearly as fun as suiting up and playing yourself.  Likewise, you can sit on the sidelines, observing the truths found in the Bible.  But until you put what you read into practice, you’re not fully realizing the positive power of God’s Word in your life.  Take a passage of Scripture and ask God how to apply it to your life.  In the same way my kindergartener used to say, “Tell me another story,” you can approach the Bible with curiosity.  We are to delight in God’s decrees, so put a smile on your face.  Keep turning the pages.  There are more wondrous stories, both old and new, waiting for you inside.