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Feb 28, 2011

"Your Very Bright Future"

DAY #59 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:11-12 NKJV

Our future's so bright we gotta wear shades... (I was thinking of this statement before I read the devotional this morning, but it's in there too.) How bright our future is, probably differs from how bright we see our future to be. Do we walk forth in positivity and optimism, trying to think the best; or do we dread a terrible tomorrow? Concentration Camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom had this to say, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." Super true. God's got it all in His hands, and He knows all that we can and will face, but it depends on the choices we make, as to how it will all turn out. We need to truly trust Him with our futures, not worrying about the day and time Jesus is coming back, but we need to use our future telling people that He is coming back. We need to share the GOSPEL message -- which I hope that I do here on 'Fresh as a Daisy Devotionals & More...'. (Thanks Jer' for the reminder of how important it is)

GOSPEL MESSAGE simplicity - -
We are ALL sinners - Sin results in Death - God loved the world so much, He sent us His Son Jesus - Jesus came to earth to teach, train, equip, and mentor - Jesus did the work of the Father, praying, healing, performing miracles, teaching of His Father's love - Jesus died ONCE & FOR ALL for our sins, so that we didn't have to die - He rose again, to live with His Father in Heaven - Jesus intercedes for us to the Father - We are commissioned to do the work of the Father, trainging, teaching, equipping, praying, healing, performing miracles, but most importantly sharing His story, 'History' not fiction (the gospel) - Jesus will come back for believers - We as believers get to live eternally in Heaven with Him. (If we do not believe, then we will have eternal death, as we haven't accepted the FREE gift of Salvation).

**If you have never prayed the 'salvation prayer' before or experienced the peace that is spoken of above, then here's your chance today. The only thing you are giving up is things that aren't going to last long anyway -- which if you don't give up, will only make your own life not last as long as it could (which is eternally). --- You've already made the first step known - admit to God that you are a sinner, because after all - all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") After that you need to believe that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we as sinners didn't need to be condemned to death. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, bu the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.") Then do as we did above, and Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness -- and then confess aloud that JESUS IS LORD. (Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.") We need to daily ask for forgiveness, because we are human and we will always mess up in some way or another. God is willing and able to forgive us, and welcome YOU into His family. I don't like to write out a prayer anymore to say word for word, as this important step is something that you need to tell God in your own words. Just tell Him what's in your heart - you're a sinner, you want to believe in Him but it may be hard, you want Him to forgive you of what you've done, and you want to choose life with Him through His Son Jesus. It's as simple as that. **


"Yesterday is just experience, but tomorrow is glistening with purpose -- and today is the channel leading from one to the other." ~ Barbara Johnson (author)

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 27, 2011

"Faith and Wholeness"

DAY #58 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Now the just shall live by faith." Hebrews 10:38  NKJV


Just one simple act of pressing in to 'touch the hem' of Jesus' robe, was an act of faith that healed a woman of the pain and suffering that she had been struggling with for years. (See her story in Matthew 9:20-22) We can also be healed today, just by pressing in to God. With the faith and trust that God can and will do what He says He will do, and applying our faith -- living it out can change us for the good, and bring the miracle we have waited so long for. Keep praying, persevere, don't give up if you're not seeming to get an answer. Some BIG miracles take time, others can be answered right on the spot. Don't think God loves you any less if others are receiving their blessings right away. God still holds you in His hand, and Jesus is interceding for us all moment by moment. Having faith, applying it and living it out means having it all the time -- in good times and bad, in happy times and sad.

God can and will change your life for the good, but you have to give it over to Him. We need to come broken and He will miraculously transform our lives into who He has created us to be. Concentration camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom once said, 'Faith is an activity. It is something that has to be applied.' Our faith, like with the woman in Matthew 9, can make us whole. Do you want to be made whole? Step out in FAITH today. F.A.I.T.H. -- Forsaking All I Trust Him! Ask God to help you receive more faith if needed, He is here to help!

'Do you want to be made whole?' or 'Do you want to be made well?' -- "When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, 'Do you want to be made well'?" John 5:6 NIV

Remember, if you don't have this beautiful relationship with God -- Learn your A,B,C's...
ACCEPT, BELIEVE and CONFESS.

**If you have never prayed the 'salvation prayer' before or experienced the peace that is spoken of above, then here's your chance today. The only thing you are giving up is things that aren't going to last long anyway -- which if you don't give up, will only make your own life not last as long as it could (which is eternally). --- You've already made the first step known - admit to God that you are a sinner, because after all - all of us are sinners. (Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God") After that you need to believe that God is God, and that Jesus is His Son. He sent His Son to die for us, so that we as sinners didn't need to be condemned to death. (Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, bu the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus.") Then do as we did above, and Confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness -- and then confess aloud that JESUS IS LORD. (Romans 10:9-10 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.") We need to daily ask for forgiveness, because we are human and we will always mess up in some way or another. God is willing and able to forgive us, and welcome YOU into His family. I don't like to write out a prayer to say word for word, as this important step is something that you need to tell God in your own words. Just tell Him what's in your heart - you're a sinner, you want to believe in Him but it may be hard, you want Him to forgive you of what you've done, and you want to choose life with Him through His Son Jesus. It's as simple as that. **


I still think back to the quote from 'Faith Like Potatoes' too... when I think about miracles and impossibilities. "Condition for a miracle is difficulty; condition for a GREAT miracle is impossibility!" (~Faith Like Potatoes 'Angus Buchan')

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!


Feb 26, 2011

"Encouraging Words for Family & Friends"

DAY #57 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29 NIV

MSG - "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift."
AMP - "Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it."


As teammates in the 'game of life', we are meant to encourage and pat each other on the back. However, it's been said that some people are patting you on the back, looking for a place to stick the knife. Now that is not a positive approach or an optimistic view, but unfortunately it's true sometimes, and we do have to be honest with ourselves, so that we don't get hurt. Some people in our lives try to place us on a pedestal only to watch us fall. Encouragement helps even the best of us. Encouraging words to build up, not gossip or lies to make it seem good, or really to tear down.

Everyone around us is actually in need of some type of encouragement or uplifting. Uplifting meaning lifting your spirits, or lifting you to a higher level with God. Not lifting you up praising you on a pedestal. It is good to 'praise' people with a simple 'well done' or 'good job' -- but ensure that all glory goes to God. He is the giver of the gifts/talents and He deserves much more praise than you or me. It would be fun to give an encouraging word to everyone we meet, but obviously that is unrealistic, as some people would just ignore us, or discourage us in ways we all know of with cursing, etc. But some people who truly look like they need a 'lift', or Holy Spirit gives you a 'shoulder tap' letting you know which ones -- do it! Encourage a family member, a friend, an enemy, a stranger... and see how it affects your spirit too. There is a chinese proverb I've heard, "Flowers leave their fragrance in the hand that bestows them”. When we give, a piece of the gift remains with us to bring us joy as well.

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

 


Feb 25, 2011

"Finding Time for God"

DAY #56 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Every morning He wakes me. He teaches me to listen like a student. The Lord God helps me learn..." Isaiah 50:4-5 NCV

Oh the discipline needed to accomplish this task, but it is and should be a joy coming into the presence of God each morning. Seeking Him for wisdom, strength and other things needed for the day. Yet time after time, we hit the 'snooze' button a little too often, staying warm and cozy in our beds. That is what happened to me today to be honest. I hit the snooze button a little too often, and then have only a few brief moments to learn from Him. I must rush into my busy day, yet I also know that He is faithful, even when we are not. I must arm myself with His spiritual armour and tackle the day in His strength, not in my own.

...to be continued!!

"I think we as Christians have become lazy. We would rather read a book about how someone else became closer to God than spend time alone with Him ourselves." ~ Sheila Walsh

Feb 24, 2011

"When Your Courage is Tested"

DAY# 55 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "But Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord'." Exodus 14:13 NASB

The words to the song 'God on the Mountain' (as seen on the Gaither videos) are filling my mind, "For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley. When things go wrong, He'll make it right. And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God of the day is still God in the night." (Words & music by Tracy G. Dartt)

When times of testing, trial, discouragement, or disappointment come we are still to look to our God in Heaven and trust Him at all times. We may be faithful believers, or dedicated Christians but we will all face tribulations of some kind. God however promises to be with us during those times too. He IS all we need. When our courage turns into fear, weakness or discourage we need to remember that Jesus Himself has won the victory... and in the end, we are the victors too. Check the end of the Bible -- we win! So why fear the devil and his demons??  God rules both the mountain-top experiences and the ones where we are stuck in the valley, or even the wilderness. He leads us to green pastures to refresh ourselves. "The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[the valley of the shadow of death] I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23 NIV)

"As I have grown in faith and confidence, I have known more and more that my worth is based on the love of God." ~ Leslie Williams

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 23, 2011

"Celebrating His Gifts"

DAY #54 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in Heaven..." Matthew 5:12 KJV
NKJV - "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven..."
NIV - "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven..."
MSG- "You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company..."
NLT - "Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven."


The devotional message from the book starts out with the sentences, "Do you celebrate the gifts God has given you? Do you pray without ceasing? Do you rejoice in the beauty of God's glorious creation?" Three great questions, and three integral parts of blessing. Now at first thought when 'gifts' is mentioned, one immediately thinks of talents or spiritual gifts. But we must remember also that God has gifted each of us with life, salvation, unconditional agape love, protection, healing, the right to be called 'children of God', our families, our homes, our jobs & workplace... and more! We need to truly celebrate 'being alive'. I rejoice in the truth that God IS. Whatever we need Him to be, our protector, our teacher, our banner, our healer, our provider... He does that, and MORE! In all those things we need to give thanks, and we need to be in prayer. Pray without ceasing. Ceasing means;
–verb (used without object)

1. to stop; discontinue: Not all medieval beliefs have ceased to exist.
2. to come to an end: At last the war has ceased.
3. Obsolete . to pass away; die out.
–verb (used with object)
4. to put a stop or end to; discontinue: He begged them to cease their quarreling.
Therefore, we should never stop praying, nor let our praying come to an end. We should be in constant prayer, or communication with the Father. Praying is not always a loud, long extended prayer with requests, or blessing those around the world, healing our friends & family, etc. It can be a simple 'thank you Lord' throughout the day. Not just calling on Him in tough times, or hard times, but also just talking to Him as you go about your day. Thanking Him for His forgiveness, so that we in turn can forgive others. Thanking Him for His provisions, so that we in turn can give to others. But remember the old saying remains true, if you don't use it, you just may lose it. (Parable of the Talents - found in Matthew 25:14-30 {click link to read} - it says of the man who didn't invest his talent, "So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.")



I truly celebrate the spiritual gifts and talents He has given to me, as I love to work with my hands. However, I know there are spiritual gifts that remain dormant, that I have yet to open, or that I have opened but not used very often. Something to pray about, and step out in faith about. What a blessing it is to be able to use what He has given to me to bless the world. Glorifying Him in all that is done, and not looking for worldly praise. Humbly working for the Lord, and not for man gives you some of the greatest blessings here on earth, -- but importantly, 'REJOICE & BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD; FOR GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN.'

The seeds we sow, plant, water, harvest and watch multiply here on earth will allow us to receive even greater blessings in Heaven. THANK YOU LORD for your PROMISES!!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 22, 2011

"Obeying God"

DAY # 53 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." Colossians 1:10

** Editor's Note:Well, this is post #112 for this blog... perty cool! Thank you Lord for words of wisdom, correction, encouragement, strength & more! **

Obeying God is not such an easy task, as there are so many difficult decisions, and so many different types and kinds of temptations, and of course the enemy does not want us to be in praise or in obedience to God. Sin separates us from God, but He sent His Son Jesus to be a bridge, so that we may come into His presence. If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, then we will be saved. But our salvation doesn't just stop there, we must continue living the life that God has called us to. If we seek the blessings from Him, we must also be obedient to Him. He is our Heavenly Father (which is hard to understand for those of you who may not have had a father, or had a great relationship with your father here on earth) and He expects us to obey His words, same as our parents here on earth expect us to heed and obey their words.

God has given two important commandments, the greatest commandments in the Bible. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27) Love is the basis of our Heavenly Father, and we are to walk in love here, as the hands and feet of Him who sent us. But that's not the love of the world, the one you can fall in and out of -- it's AGAPE love. The truest and sincerest form of 'love'. It requires commitment and unconditional love. There are three main types of 'love'; Eros, Philia and Agape. Eros gives you the warm fuzzies, it's a frivolous form of love. Philia is a brotherly love, there is warmth and affection between friends. Those are not the forms of love that God is referring to in this passage in Luke.

There are also the Ten Commandments, which have been misused and treated very negatively in the world today. They are found in Exodus 20.

...to be continued!! :D

Feb 21, 2011

"The Lessons of Tough Times"

DAY #52 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11 NIV

"At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God." (MESSAGE Version) 


Tough times will always come, as God says that 'in this world you will have tribulation...'  (John 16:33) and we have to learn how to handle them correctly. Not many people like tough times, or like that they receive tough times sometimes due to their choice and judgement. God disciplines us like a Father, when we choose to disobey and make our own choices. We, as children of God, need to be able to receive discipline for the choices that we make that turn out wrong. Now, I like a challenge, and I was just thinking before I read the verse that tough times are great because you always learn a lesson from them that helps you in the future... but no one likes being in the midst of a tough time. Knowing in the end that God has proven faithful to you (when you are faithful to Him) is a blessing, and then you know that your faith can increase, because when the next 'tough time' comes along, God will prove faithful again. "Times of adversity can and should-- be times of intense spiritual and personal growth. But God will not force you to learn the lessons of adversity. You must learn them for yourself." ('A Woman of Faith' Devotional. Day 52. ©2007 Freeman-Smith, LLC. Nashville, TN. 37202)

So our goal is to get rid of the 'trouble' or 'tough times', but as we are doing that, we need to remember that we are probably supposed to be learning something from it too. Are you going through 'tough times' or 'times of discipline' right now? What can you be learning from it -- other than not doing it again?

"It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what ROCK is under our feet, and what is sand. It stops us from taking anything for granted." ~ Madeline L'Engle

Check out the parable of the wise & foolish men found in Matthew 7 (v. 24-27) - - "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The wise learn from their mistakes, and move on to tackle their next adventure with the same faith and determination - standing on the solid rock, because our God is faithful!

Are you standing on the ROCK, or is it just sinking sand?

Check out this song by 'Big Tent Revival' - "Two Sets of Jones'"


"...there's two sets of Jones', which ones will you be??" (Big Tent Revival)

Make the choice today to build your 'house' and your 'life' on the ROCK (JESUS CHRIST)!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 20, 2011

"Spiritual Abundance"

Day #51 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11 KJV

Cre8ted 2 Shine Photography
Really, I think Jesus meant to say 'full and overflowing', because God can give us that much abundantly & more. Notice that Jesus said 'might' or 'may' (in NIV translation) - - 'might' means;
–auxiliary verb

1. simple past tense of may .
2. (used to express possibility): They might be at the station.
3. (used to express advisability): You might at least thank me.
4. (used in polite requests for permission): Might I speak to you for a moment?
 
Wheras, 'may' means similar;
1. (used to express possibility): It may rain.
2. (used to express opportunity or permission): You may enter.
3. (used to express contingency, especially in clauses indicating condition, concession, purpose, result, etc.): I may be wrong but I think you would be wise to go. Times may change but human nature stays the same.
4. (used to express wish or prayer): May you live to an old age.
5. Archaic . (used to express ability or power.)

Therefore His joy is possible for us to obtain, as He grants it as an opportunity, giving His permission to obtain it all to the fullest. He advises that we obtain it. He doesn't just want to give us His joy, He also gives us life. "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) See, it's still all still our choice. He freely gives it, but we have to make the choice to accept it. He advises us to, he doesn't command us to. We are only commanded to 'love'. (along with the 10 commandments of course.) God has GREAT plans for our lives, and they will be great if we choose to accept, and live according to His will. We can forfeit or give up our 'spiritual abundance' if we choose to focus on our own needs and desires of this world, instead of choosing God's perfect will.

Spiritual abundance can be with us each and every day, not just today. To continually get blessed abundantly, we must continually seek the Lord FIRST and His righteousness above all things, choose to have His joy, life & agape love, and He will grant you what you truly need.
(Thanks J.Pickel for the reminder to do it 'continually'!)

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 19, 2011

"Wisdom & Hope"

Day #50 (WOW!) - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Know that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 24:14 NIV

v.13-14 MSG "Eat honey, dear child—it's good for you— and delicacies that melt in your mouth. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul—Get that and your future's secured, your hope is on solid rock."

Wisdom and hope actually do work together -- if we walk in wisdom, we walk in the true hope that the Father will do and say what He says He will. We need to walk out our lives optimistically, with much hope and faith. We cannot judge by circumstances or appearances around us. To become truly wise, we must seek the wisdom of God. Now, we know that God's thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, but He can give us a little piece of His wisdom so that we may make clear and concise judgements and thoughts.

We must seek after wisdom, for God will gift us with that which we desire, when we trust in Him. God will guide us and direct us in the ways that He sees fit for our lives, but again it's still our choice which way we are going to follow.

There are some deep subjects that require a lot of wisdom on our parts as Christians and believers today. There are things that the world and the government/political/educational systems cannot see or perceive as being right. Such as forgiveness. God's forgiveness goes beyond our worldly view of forgiveness. Unfortunately some people in the world choose to do 'bad' things. They are not 'bad' people... they are 'good people' who choose 'bad' things. Sometimes we get involved in things that we shouldn't have, and sometimes it is before we are saved. When we pay for the 'crime', and accept Jesus, repent, and ask for forgiveness, God sends our sins and iniquities as far from Him as the east is from the west. He remembers them no more, as we have been forgiven, as Jesus paid the debt of our sins once and for ALL. We are 'new creations' (2 Corinthians 5:17). The world however has to 'protect the innocent' (which is good in itself) but then they proceed to use our past faults against us (which is not so good sometimes in the way they do it), even though we have made a fresh new start. Unfortunately, because there are those out there, who are there to manipulate, continue to sin and enjoy it -- the innocent (those who have been made innocent through the Blood) people who are striving to make a 'new beginning' cannot be a part of some of the things that they love to do, or are called to do, due to past mistakes. People making a 'new beginning' to live a CHANGED life, who have criminal records, etc... should be treated equally. If they have truly repented, and are truly changed through the blood, and received pardon from the world's view, they should be able to have a new start --- obviously under strict observation, if they are put into situations that consist of the things that got them into trouble in the first place. (This would be where applied wisdom comes in!) Remember, we ALL have sinned, and ALL fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Before we start 'bashing' someone's good name, we should take a look at the plank in our own eye. People in the media must be careful of this when they write or publicly state public matters with their own (and other's) personal opinions. "Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Don't be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don't reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you're only being cute and inviting sacrilege." (Matthew 7:1-6 MSG)

(Same verse in the NIV translation - "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.")


Wisdom and hope go together - - for we have hope that God will work everything out in His plans, for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. God does allow trials and tests to come into our lives, as it says in His word, that '...in this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.' (John 16:33 - See yesterday's 'Genuine Peace' devotional here) We also need to play the 'forgiveness' card to those that are judging us (or our friends/family) and saying these things about us. We need to be WISE in our reactions and reciprocations. We should not repay evil with evil.

I really love the way that God works... I have had this devotional since last year, but didn't read it faithfully nor meditate on it as I am doing now with these 'devotional passages' that I am writing. I know that each devotional is for me... yet it is also for you who are reading these. They however are totally matching things that are going on in the world around me... my friends, family, co-workers, etc are having struggles, and these verses remind me of how faithful God is. I can use the words from the Scriptures to help those in need. I truly am blessed with a GREAT God, a great amount of HOPE and FAITH, and even wisdom. God has made me wise in ways I could not imagine. I thank Him, as I even am getting 'choked up' a little thinking of how amazing He is! Continually thank Him for even the little things in life that He does... 'cause yes it is Him that is doing it! "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." (Albert Einstein -The World As We Know It)

So after you are blessed by these words, get out there and use the Scriptures to bless someone in return. That's what I'm gonna' do!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!


Feb 18, 2011

"Genuine Peace"

DAY #49 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; be be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NKJV

"Peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above. Sweep over my spirit forever I pray. In fathomless billows of love..." Words of an old hymn play in my mind when I think of genuine peace. It is not peace that the world gives, as in 'peace & love man' or just not having war or troubles. Genuine peace is having a calmness and rest, and joy in your spirit in midst of a storm, troubles or war. It says above '...you WILL have tribulation.' When some people become a Christian, or want to become a Christian they think that Christian living will be all happiness and bliss; no troubles or tribulations anymore. Well, as you can read in Scripture, there will still be troubles and tribulations, but the Lord can and will deliver us from them all. He never gives us more than we can handle (with His strength, not our own). We need to remember that part, that we cannot do much in our own strength, but through God nothing is impossible to him that believes. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) We need to start declaring Scriptures like this when troubles come, say it today 'I CAN do ALL things, through CHRIST who strengthens me.' When I learned this verse, (and when I teach this verse as memory work or a song) we were asked (or I ask the children) 'how many things can you do?' and we (they) reply (replied) 'ALL things'. We do need to remind ourselves that NOTHING is too BIG for God to handle. Our problems compared to God are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Another thought when the word 'peace' is brought up is a cute little song from 'The Music Machine' (Agapeland Music) called 'Peace'. The chorus says, "...peace, peace, I think I understand. Peace, Peace is holding Jesus' hand."


From Music Machine - The Fruit of the Spirit (Available with full CD)

Peace is when the wind stops blowing
Peace is where the sun is showing
Knowing that my Daddy's home
God gives me peace

Peace, peace
I think I understand
Peace, peace
Is holding Jesus' hand

Peace is when I'm tucked in bed
When my mommy pats my head
Peace is smiling while I sleep
God gives me peace

Peace, peace
I think I understand
Peace, peace
Is holding Jesus' hand


Written by Wayne Zeitner
©Copyright 1977 Sparrow Song (a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing)
(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) Candle Company Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing)
CCLI Number: 92000

So when troubles come (which they most likely may) just reach out and 'hold Jesus' hand' and he will be with you and bring you through it and grant you the 'genuine peace' that is spoken of in the Word of God. Claim the inner peace which is yours, keep smiling amidst a storm, laugh in the face of the devil (well not literally in his face) and start claiming some (or all) of the blessings and promises found in the Bible. It is a living and active thing - it's not just a book on your shelf or in the drawer of a hotel.

In John 14:27 Jesus says, 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!



Feb 17, 2011

"God Has Work For You"

Day #48 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Ephesians 6:6-7 NLT

NIV -"Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free."

MSG -"Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don't just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ's servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you're really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free." (v. 5-8)

This was one of the memory verses we learned at our Vacation Bible School this past summer. It is truly a good reminder that the work we do is for God, not just for others or ourselves. We should always try to be a God-pleaser rather than a man-pleaser. God has work that He has for us to do, individually and corporately as the Body of Christ. We have a choice to make however, if we want to accept the challenge and work diligently, or reject the challenge and live lazily and full of sloth. Diligence is rewarded, as our verse above states, that the Master 'will get you good pay'. Sloth however, and other choices made through rejection of God's will and His ways will get us consequences instead of blessings.

Another verse in the Bible which is similar (which is actually the one we memorized for VBS) is found in Colossians 3:23-24... "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."


"Whatever you do, whatever you do
Work at it with all your heart
Whatever you do, whatever you do
Work at it with all your heart
As working for the Lord and not for men
Work at it with all your heart
As working for the Lord and not for men
Work at it with all your heart.

Hear God's call
Big or small
Give your all
Get going!
Make a start
Do your part
With all your heart
Get going!"
~GospeSonquest Rainforest VBS ~

You Tube video here...


Remember, God has BIG plans for your life -- "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

BE BLESSED and BE A BLESSING!!

Feb 16, 2011

"Seeking His Blessings"

DAY #47 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you." Psalm 37:5

The verse just before this one (v.4) is also important - "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:" (NIV) "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart... Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." (NKJV) WOW! Can you imagine the blessings that God has in store for you, if we delight ourselves in Him, commit our way to Him, and trust in Him. Sounds fun and exciting, but to seek His blessings is not what we should be doing in life... we should be seeking Him, the giver of those blessings first. Matthew 6:33 says, "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV) We need to stop ourselves from seeking revival, seeking healing, seeking blessings, seeking protection, seeking created things, etc first... we need to seek the Reviver, the Healer, the Blesser, the Protector, the Creator, etc. God desires us to seek Him above all else, and then ALL those other things shall be added unto us.

"When our dreams come true and our plans prove successful, we find it easy to thank our Creator and easy to trust His divine providence. But in times of sorrow or hardship, we may find ourselves questioning God's plans for our lives" ('A Woman of Faith' Devotional. Day #47. ©2007 Freeman-Smith, LLC. Nashville, TN. 37202)

It's not easy to trust God in good and bad times, but it sure is rewarding. God never gives us tests that we cannot pass. In our own mindset we can seem to be a failure, or we can fail by the wrong choices we make, but His plan for this world is that we all 'pass'. He has BIG plans for all of us. (See Jeremiah 29:11)

 God is still God, and always will be God. All (small 'g') 'gods' have all passed away, or will soon pass away. We need to put our hope and trust in things that last, and God is something that has been, is, and will be forever and ever. We can't just trust God on Sundays, and give Him parts of us. We need to trust God with EVERYTHING... finances, health, provision, protection/safety, workplace circumstances & co-workers, our homes & family, daily circumstances, emotional moments,  relationships & friendships... EVERY area of our daily lives (inside and out). But we cannot always expect immediate blessings for obedience and trust. Sometimes God desires us to wait on Him for the answer. If things come too quickly we will start to think we can gain in our own strength. But when we wait on the Lord, He shall renew our strength... (Isaiah 40:31) And in just a few verses after today's verse it says, "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." (Psalm 37:7) 

We need to stop any immediate thoughts of jealousy or envy - - wicked people of the world might be seeming to succeed, but the Lord will take vengeance in time. We also cannot become jealous or bitter towards fellow Christian brothers & sisters who are receiving blessings - especially blessings that we are desiring or that we think we are deserving of. We need to celebrate with them in their joy, for they have been found faithful in the eyes of the Lord. We need to step forth in love, and not judgement and bless them in return as well. God can and will do things for us, but we need to be in the right place with Him.

Lessons learned today...
#1 SEEK GOD FIRST (& His kingdom)!
#2 DELIGHT yourself in the LORD
#3 COMMIT all that you do to Him...

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!














Feb 15, 2011

"Expecting the Best"

DAY #46 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23 NKJV

"This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) Is this how we approach each new day? Do we expect great things from the day ahead, or do we dwell on known circumstances to guide and lead our joy and faith? Each day is a new gift from God, each breath, each heartbeat reminds us that we are still alive, and that God still has a plan for our lives. He can and will be faithful to grant us all that He has promised. But it is all in His due timing. If we received all that He has, or that He promises to give us, then we may just squander it away, like the Prodigal Son. (His story is found in

Feb 14, 2011

"Using Your Talents"

DAY #45 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "God has given gifts to each of you from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God's generosity can flow through you." 1 Peter 4:10 NLT


NIV "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."
KJV "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
MSG "Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!" (v.10 & 11)
Verse #11 is important too - "Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen."


Continuing thoughts from yesterday's post (Opportunities for Service), our gifts, talents, resources, opportunities all come from God, and they are all meant to be used for the glory of God, not for our own glory. We need to act upon each opportunity with the strength, wisdom and energy that comes from God.

We are designed in the likeness and image of God, yet we are all uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made to do good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do. (Not predestination -- but God has created each of us to be used in a different way.) Some of us have the gift of speaking, yet we are not all supposed to be pastors, some of us have the gift of music, yet we are not all meant to be in a 'famous rock band'.

We are called to share our gifts, talents, resources and more with those around us. What good are our gifts to us alone? An artist would get hardly any satisfaction, if he/she was painting gorgeous masterpieces, only meant for him alone, never to be shared with the outside world. Our gifts increase in value when we share them. God will also bless us in return, when we step out and bless others.

Just as we are to be faithful stewards with our money and finances, we are to be faithful stewards with our gifts and talents. We are not to become greedy or hoard to ourselves -- nor are we to allow that gift or talent to become our god. God grants us grace and mercy, so that we may live according to His plan and desires for our lives. He has BIG plans for us, and He has instilled in us the certain characteristics, inner wisdom, talents, gifts, resources that allows us to become the M.E. that He has called us to be. If we are to be truly effective, we are to use our gifts and talents to live up to our potential. What we may see as our greatest efforts, our best, our greatest potential is not always what God has set out for us as our 'maximum effectiveness'. Being used in this way is certainly a learning process, one in which you probably will never stop learning (unless you yourself make the choice to quit). Understandably we do have to be taught certain things as well from the education system - - but Holy Spirit can also daily teach us things that we need as well. That is why God says to 'seek first His kingdom, and [then] all these things shall be added unto you'. (Matthew 6:33)

There is a parable of the talents found in the Bible... (found in Matthew 25:14-30) Talents are actually a form of money - - but these verses can also be read meaning talents/gifts. God will give each of us at least one gift to be used to equip, encourage & exhort(build up) the body. If we are found 'hiding' our gifts & talents, the God will take them from us, and give them to someone else. If we guard our gifts, use them wisely and receive an increase, He will bless us. I don't know about you, but I would much rather receive the blessing, than to have the gift taken away (not to be used again).

So get out there - - first, find out what your gifts and talents are and how you can use them to equip, encourage or exhort the body of Christ and the world around you. SEEK the Lord as to how you can, and when you can use them. Ensure that once you use them, you do not think of them as something you are 'performing' in your own strength, but in the strength of the Lord and that all you do is as working for the Lord, and not for men - - therefore, work at it with all your heart! Remember to give God the glory, and ensure those around you are giving Him the glory too. You can receive praise and thanks for a job well done (for sure), but in turn you can thank God for the ability of using those gifts to perform the task that you did.

"God has given you special talents -- now it's your turn to give them back to God." ~ Marie T. Freeman


GLORY TO GOD FOREVER... Here's a song by Fee that you might enjoy -- I do!


So get out there and serve, using your own special  gifts and talents!
(found through Google)


BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 13, 2011

"Opportunities for Service"

DAY #44 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "So let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another." Romans 14:19 NCV

God grants us the use of our talents and gifts to help those around us, not just to proudly utilize them for our own benefits. Everything we do should in the end be glorifying to God, as He is the One who gave the gifts to us to use.

We are all special and unique, some of us utilize our giftings and talents in many ways, whereas some of us may only be comfortable using one or two at a time. I thank the Lord each day for my gifts and my talents. It's really hard sometimes to remain humble when everyone is overwhelmingly praising my efforts or my creations. I try to always come back to glorifying God in one way or another, as it is just Him working through me as all my gifts and talents come from Him.

I know that I do have many spiritual gifts that I haven't opened, or haven't yet used to their full potential, I've unwrapped the box maybe... and then put it somewhere on a shelf or a pile in my heart. :(

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 12, 2011

"Beyond the Comfort Zone"

DAY #43 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36 KJV

MSG - "Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, "Don't listen to them; just trust me."

"Jesus. If you are walking toward Him to the best of your ability, He will see you through life's unpredictable waters-- but you must risk launching the boat." ~ Patsy Clairmont

To be continued...

"What to Do?

DAY #42 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in Heaven, kept taut by hope." Colossians 1:5 MSG

...to be continued!

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 10, 2011

"Asking for Guidance"

DAY #41 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7-8 NASB

**Editor's Note: Wehoo! This is officially post #100 - - WOW! I hope you are enjoying these posts as much as I am. I think I will go back and read some from the past to encourage myself, and hopefully others along the way. I pray they are an encouragement to those who read them, and that they all glorify our Father who is in Heaven. BE BLESSED!**

Yesterday we learned about praise... and praise & worship does change the atmosphere. But prayer is just as much a changer of us and our world around us. Do we honestly pray and seek the Lord's guidance? Do we wait for the answer, or do we step forth in our own knowledge and strength? Do you truly believe this verse can work in your life? Now remember, we don't just ask for anything and get it. We need to be asking with the right heart and the right motives, and it all has to align with the Word and Will of God. It says 'ask and receive', meaning that if we ask with a sincere heart, God can & will provide you with something. It says 'seek and find', meaning if we truly seek God will enable us to find what we need in Him; it says 'knock and the door shall be opened to you' meaning that God will allow us to move into new things, but we have to first desire the change. We have to step our of our comfort zone sometimes to allow God to fully work in us and through us.

When we pray and ask God to guide us in ALL areas of our lives (not just giving Him some of them) - - we will see a CHANGE! We will be allowing Him to reveal Himself in new and fresh ways. He is a God who never changes, He remains the same - - yet He can reveal Himself in many ways even just personally for our own benefits. Whatever we need Him for, He is the God of that... (according to His Word and His Will). Do you need health? Wisdom in the area of healthy practices, etc? ASK! He is the Healer! Do you want to find out what God can really do with you and your life? SEEK! Do you want to step out into new areas in your workplace and in ministry? KNOCK! God may close some doors, so that He can open the ones you need to go through. Stop knocking on doors of worldly riches, worldly desires, sin and wickedness... or even some doors that seem 'comfortable'. Find the door that leads to fulfillment in Christ for your life! Step out into becoming the M.E. that He has called you to be. You cannot be fully effective in the Body, unless you are working to your M.E. (Maximum Effectiveness).

"Do you have questions about your future that you simply can't answer? [Most of us do] Ask for the guidance of your Heavenly Father. Do you sincerely seek to know God's purpose for your life? Then ask Him for direction -- and keep asking Him everyday that you live... Never lose hope. God is not just near; He is here, and He's ready to talk to you." ('A Woman of Faith' Devotional. Day 41. ©2007 Freeman-Smith, LLC. Nashville, TN. 37202)I love that last line... 'He's ready to talk to you'. There's a commercial on now informing us of a new show with Marilyn Denis (I think that's her name) - - and in it she says that she will be talking to the famous, and such and such, and then ends that she will be talking to 'you'. Well I joke with it with my husband, 'She's going to talk to me, wow!'... because obviously she is not going to talk to me, as she talks to the famous, etc., she just means that she will be sharing her conversations, etc with us as we watch her show (which we probably won't). But I know that God is always there, and He is ready to talk to ME. He can and will talk to each of us individually, but we do need to 'turn to His channel'. We do need to channel in and seek those times, so that He can talk to us. He can talk to you through His word, through the prophetic, through a still small voice audibly, or through just the words of others who may be obedient in sharing encouraging words to us. What guidance do you need to get through today? Just ASK... and see what happens! (Continue asking throughout the day too, because we all know that more and more things get added by the moment.)




BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 9, 2011

"It Pays To Praise"

DAY # 40 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "So through Jesus let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak His name." Hebrews 13:15 NCV

'Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord! Let all God's people praise the Lord. Shake off those heavy bands, lift up those holy hands. Let all God's people praise the Lord.' Those words from an old chorus still ring true today. We need to praise God every moment every day, whether it's just a simple 'thank you' or whether you can have time to 'dance & worship' to glorify Him.

God desires our praise, we were created to praise Him and give Him glory due His name. We can't just praise God in our minds, because we all know our minds can lead us astray. We need to speak it out, to scare off the devil and his wiles. The devil thinks he can get us down with symptoms, or sickness, bitterness, anger, gossip, discouragement, etc... but if we always have praise on our lips, we can overcome his evil plans for us, and receive the blessings and walk in the plans that God has for us.

We need to not only praise God for what He has done for us, but for who He is. Do you know who He is? He is the I AM! He is whoever you need right now - the First and the Last; the Alpha & Omega; the Beginning & the End; JEHOVAH--YAHWEH, a reference to God's divine salvation; JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM, "The Lord thy sanctifier", JEHOVAH-ROHI, "The Lord my shepherd"; JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH, "The Lord who is present" ; JEHOVAH-RAPHA, "The Lord our healer"; JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, "The Lord our righteousness"; JEHOVAH-JIREH, "The Lord will provide"; JEHOVAH-NISSI, "The Lord our banner" ; JEHOVAH-SHALOM, "The Lord is peace"; JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH, "The Lord of Hosts" ; JEHOVAH-GMOLAH, "The God of Recompense" ; EL-ELYON, "The most high God ; EL-ROI,  "The strong one who sees"; EL-SHADDAI, "The God of the mountains or God Almighty"; EL-OLAM, "The everlasting God". So if you need salvation, sanctifying, a shepherd, someone who is there for you, a healer, righteousness, a provider, a banner, peace, protecting angels, compensated, and MORE... then ask the one who IS all those and MORE!

Praise the Lord for He is the lifter of your heads! "But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." ~Psalm 3:3

Think your worship and praise isn't powerful... Check out 2 Chronicles 20 - - read the entire chapter! WOW! Jehoshaphat led God's people into worship (see verse 18), and then made a decision that still baffles us all - but not really because we know our God is powerful and can do anything - - He sent the worshippers our in front of this army, and their worship allowed God to smite their enemies. (verses 20-24) Now, God is the same God today as He was then, so who or what is your 'giant' or your 'enemy'? The devil is our enemy, and when we praise and worship in spirit and in truth, GOD can and will do great and mighty things! "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24 NIV)http://www.smilegodlovesyou.org/names.html



For more on the NAMES OF GOD... Google it! Check these two out...

http://www.characterbuildingforfamilies.com/names.html

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!

Feb 8, 2011

"The Path He Walked"

DAY #39 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him." Colossians 2:6 HCSB

NIV (v.6-10) "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. "

MSG (v.6-10) "My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything."

This moment begins yet another day in our journey of life... but are we living that life with Jesus? Today has as much potential as you do, there again is a choice to make how we choose to live it. Will we choose to walk in thanksgiving, forgiveness, love, mercy, joy, humbleness, peace, praise, worship, spiritual abundance, faith & with authority (as Jesus walked)? Or will we choose to conform to the world and walk in pride, bitterness, hate, greed, anger, sadness, battles raging, spiritual poverty, listening to the voices of the world, looking at circumstances around us?

Today is a FRESH, new slate... a new page in your notebook of life, or as the author in today's devotional put it, "a new canvas upon which you can compose a beautiful work of art if you choose to do so." (Day 39) Will we let the world throw it's negative graffiti all over our canvas, or will we allow the Master to 'finger-paint' and create a beautiful masterpiece. When we choose to walk how Jesus walked, we are truly representing the King as His ambassadors. We become His hands and His feet to this dark, dying world. If and when they see our thanksgiving, love, mercy, joy, humbleness, peace, praise, worship, spiritual abundance, faith, authority and more -- they will see the love of Jesus reflected through us, and want what we have. They will desire the way that we overcome our circumstances through our faith, and the joy that overflows to them will be the joy of the Lord.

But, this all may sound beautiful, walking as Jesus walked, but Jesus also received temptation, by which He used to Word of God mightily to defend against the wiles of the devil. We too need to have head and heart knowledge of God's Word, so that it may be ready on our lips. ("Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you." Proverbs 22:17-19 NIV) Jesus also denied himself, and took up the cross. "...Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it." (Mark 8:34-35 NIV)

...so the next step is yours, and yours alone (and mine too - I am speaking to myself as well) Will you walk the path that Jesus walked? Or will you take the easy, wide road? (To learn more about the 2 roads, read Matthew 7:13-14) Remember, you won't be alone on the road... and that God is always with you & His Spirit is here on the earth to help lead, guide, direct and comfort you.

"Let us never suppose that ovedience is impossible or that holiness is meant only for a select few. Our Shepherd leads us in paths of righteousness -- not for our name's sake but for His." ~Elisabeth Elliot

So as our verse in the MESSAGE translation said above, '...quit studying it, and start living it!'

BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!









Feb 7, 2011

"Who Are Our Neighbours?"

DAY #38 - 'A Woman of Faith' Devotional
Verse: "Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person." Proverbs 3:27 MSG

NIV - "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."
KJV - "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it."
NLT - "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them."
 
This title, 'Who are our Neighbours' was a question asked to Jesus in Luke 10:29, and Jesus responds with the parable of the Good Samaritan in verses 30-37.
 
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”


"This very day, you will encounter someone who needs a word of encouragement, or a pat on the back, or a helping hand or a heartfelt prayer. And, if you don't reach out to that person, who will? If you don't take the time to understand the needs of yur neighbours, who will? If you don't love your brothers and sisters, who will? So, today look for a neighbour in need... and then do something to help. Father's orders."
 
We need to show the love and mercy and grace to others, in the same way that we would want to receive it from others and from God. The ol' Golden Rule really does matter, and really does apply to our lives, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Jesus also says in the Bible, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'." (Matthew 25:40 NIV) BUT He also says, "He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’" (Matthew 25:45 NIV)
 
So get out there and show the love of God to the world... be the HANDS of God!
 
To be continued...
 
BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING!
 

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