your daily crossroad


Through the trials – it is well with your soul

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (James 1:12) 
A few days ago I received a very detailed call from a friend dealing with trials that seem nearly impossible to bear. Often the best thing a friend can do is simply listen, and while doing just that I was reminded of Horatio Spafford. 
Horatio Gates Spafford was a 43-year-old Chicago Businessman who suffered financial disaster in the great Chicago fire of 1871. He and his wife, still grieving the death of their son who had died shortly before the fire, were in great need of a retreat, and decided to take their remaining children to England for a vacation. Their friend Dwight L. Moody would be preaching in evangelistic campaigns there that fall, and so Spafford arranged to send his wife and four daughters ahead of him on the SS Ville du Havre. He planned to follow in a few days. 
During the voyage on the Atlantic Ocean, the Ville du Havre was struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank within 12 minutes. Two hundred twenty-six lives were lost – including the Spafford’s four daughters. When the survivors were brought to shore at Cardiff, Wales, Mrs. Spafford cabled her husband two words: “Saved alone.” 
Spafford booked passage on the next ship. As they were crossing the Atlantic the captain pointed out the place where he thought the Ville du Havre had gone down. That night, Spafford penned the following words: 
When peace like a river attendeth my way 
When sorrows like sea billows roll 
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say 
It is well, it is well with my soul. 
Spafford lost his business and his children but found comfort in His savior. 
This world has been called a “veil of tears”, not without reason. The weight of anguish and sorrow is incalculable and may feel utterly unbearable at times. Who can understand how Horatio and his wife bore up under their excruciating losses? Yeshua (Jesus) can, because He himself bore far greater agony and sorrow, and because He rescued us from an eternity of it. If you truly know Him you also can sing, “It Is Well With My Soul.” 
I love this old hymn, we have sang it many times in our church over the years. What a reminder today, no matter what trial or trials you find yourself facing today, like today’s devotions says, if you truly know Him, remember this, it is well with your soul. I will be singing this to myself and encouraging myself with these words. Thank You Lord for this beautiful reminder today, it is well, it is well with my soul. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Ephesians 5:1

The Little Things

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. (Psalm 38:5) 
It was just a little thing. A small stone or piece of shell I’d stepped on at some point during my walk on the beach. I figured I didn’t need to worry about it. Eventually it would work its way out. So I ignored it and went on with life. 
But weeks later my plan wasn’t working. The little thing hadn’t gone away. It had only worked its way deeper into my foot. I was having more and more trouble walking. And my little thing had become harder to ignore. 
At my husband’s insistence, I finally visited the doctor, who told me that something that could’ve been handled easily at the beginning had now turned into a much bigger problem. What could’ve been as simple as removing a splinter now involved cutting into my foot. 
I thought of the little things in my life I’ve ignored, letting them work their way deeper instead of plucking them out while they were still easy to get to. Resentment, anger, jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and unkind thoughts can be plucked out the moment we realize they’re there. But leave them untended and they go deeper. 
What could be a matter of prayer and accountability becomes a full blown life issue that controls us and causes pain—not just for us, but for others as well. Ignore the little things and they become big problems; plucking becomes carving. Like our verse today, our sinful folly causes wounds that fester instead of heal. 
I didn’t take the time to go to the doctor. I didn’t want to mess with the inconvenience or the pain of having my little thing dealt with. I thought I could handle it on my own. But I couldn’t. I needed a physician to do what I could not. It is the same for those little things in my thought life as well. I need the Great Physician to remove what I can’t reach — and do it before it becomes so deep that it’s part of who I am. 
When I’m struggling with little things, I’ve learned to ask God to help me see what is going on through His Word and prayer. Then I listen to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and seek honesty from friends and family. 
As a friend of mine says, “The truth might hurt, but the truth also heals.” We must be intentional about being honest with ourselves and do whatever it takes to identify and remove the potentially damaging little things in our hearts and in our thought lives. 
Dear Lord, please show me those little things in my life I am ignoring — whether it’s a behavior like gossip or a thought like envy. I try to convince myself that there’s such a thing as a “little sin” but I know deep down that little things can become big problems if left unchecked. Convict me through Your Holy Spirit and let me respond as You would want. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
I must admit, when I read this devotion I cried. We are all guilty of this very thing and if you are telling yourself your not then your lying to yourself and need to check your spirit and your heart. Little things can indeed become big problems if left unchecked. Wow! What a reminder today! Let’s start our week off on the right foot. I will stand up, raise my hand and be the first to admit today, I am in need of the Great Physician to remove what I can’t reach. Amen! 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is James 3:13

Seize Your Opportunities!

For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deuteronomy 20:4) 
An organization in Montana offered a bounty of five thousand dollars for every wolf captured alive. Two hunters decided to head for the hills and make some money capturing wolves. Day and night, they scoured the mountains and forests searching for their valuable prey. Exhausted after three days of hunting without success, they both fell asleep. 
During the night, one of the hunters suddenly woke up to find that the two were surrounded by a pack of fifty wolves, their eyes flaming and teeth bared. At once, he called to his friend, “Hey, wake up! We’re gonna be rich!” 
Sometimes we feel in over our heads in difficulties. They surround us like that pack of wolves preparing to pounce. But perhaps these difficulties are actually opportunities?? Recently, we’ve had some interesting trials. But through these tribulations, we see that God is taking each situation, one by one, and turning it for His Glory — just more opportunities for us to testify of His goodness. 
Today, we have the opportunity to learn and grow, and experience the grace and power of God through these trials which surround us. The devil is not as smart or powerful as he appears — and we have a great and All-Mighty God who has a way of using our enemy’s silly tactics for the building up of His Great Kingdom! 
I was blessed by this devotion. Seize your opportunities! I love this. When we intentionally change our thoughts, our life changes as well. May you be filled with a fresh breath of optimism today. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is 1 Peter 3:8

In The Midst Of It All . . .

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) 
When Daniel was in the midst of the lion’s den…God was with him.  When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the midst of the fiery furnace…God was with them.  It would have been perfectly easy for God to immediately transport these saints out of their difficulties, but no, He chose instead to be with them in the midst of their trials.  God chose to reveal His power through the trials instead of exercising His power to remove them. 
Trials and difficulties are simply a part of life and quite honestly, the longer I walk with the Lord the bigger these trials become.  But how do we react when our faith is challenged by these adversities? James 1:2 says to count it all joy! What could possibly be joyful about difficult situations? Painful, yes…but joy?? 
Yet, somehow, I do find joy in knowing, and even sensing that God is with me in the midst of my problems — in the midst of my trials. He did promise never to leave or forsake me; and as I look over my life, I find it to be absolutely true…no matter what crazy situation I’m in, God is with me. 
We all have this decision: either to complain because of the trials we’re enduring…or to prayerfully lift our souls before him (Psalm 25:1) …and rejoice in the midst of our troubles — knowing, believing, and even feeling, that God is with us, now…always…all the way! 
Today’s devotion blessed me and I pray it encourages you to lift your soul before Him and rejoice. Rejoice in The Lord always and again I say rejoice. Romans 12:12, Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:4 

How to Love the Life You Have Even If It’s Not the Life You Wanted

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) 
There came a time when I had to accept that my life had not turned out the way I thought it would, and no amount of wishing it were different could change it. 
Sometimes we come across an unexpected bump in life, causing our plans to derail and our hopes to shatter. Or maybe we simply wake up and realize the life we’re living isn’t the one we expected, much less the one we wanted. As a result, we feel unhappy, joyless and discontent. 
Perhaps you can relate. 
Maybe you had a dream crushed after years of pursuing it. Perhaps you stayed at a job for years building your retirement fund, only for the company to go bankrupt and take your life savings with it. Perhaps you’ve experienced the heartbreak of infertility when you planned on having a full house. Maybe you had a loved one die far too soon, leaving you feeling alone and lost. Maybe you were struck with an illness that limits your abilities and independence. Or by now, you thought you’d be married but are still single, or maybe you invested years in a marriage that ended painfully in divorce. 
Or possibly, nothing earth-shattering has happened at all, and life is the same as it has always been. Same ol’ circumstances, different day. And therein lies the problem: Surely there has to be more to life than this. 
Regardless of your reason for feeling unhappy with your life, maybe you think loving the life you have is impossible unless circumstances change. 
Trust me, friend, I understand. 
The last several years have brought unexplainable sorrow, fear, disappointment and crushed dreams. There were countless days, months in fact, I thought I would never be able to feel truly happy again, much less love my life. 
Yet over time, through a lot of faith and tears, God helped me accept that although I couldn’t change the circumstances I found myself in, I could change how I reacted to them. I realized I’ve been given one life to live — this life — and I could either continue to allow adversities to have power over my happiness, or I could embrace God’s promise for abundant life and make it a reality in my own. The choice was mine. 
In John 10:10, Jesus explains there’s a thief who seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. But in John 10:10, Jesus declares He came to earth so we could not only live life but live it abundantly despite the thief’s intentions. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Here we see the contrast between the destroyer of happiness and the Giver of joy. 
Jesus was explaining He is the answer to experiencing the best life possible despite what life throws at us. He is what gives our lives meaning and joy. 
Choosing to learn to love my life, even if it wasn’t the life I had imagined, was the best choice I’ve ever made. It wasn’t always easy, but as I intentionally chose to let Jesus be the source of my joy, even in the midst of less-than-joyful circumstances, my perspectives and feelings changed for the better. 
The life you have today, and all it includes or doesn’t include, is the life God has given you. It’s the life you’re supposed to love, despite what it looks like. It’s the only life you have, and the only life you’re going to get. You can live it abundantly with joy based on Christ alone or let life pass you by as you allow problems, disappointments or drudgery to steal your zest for living. 
Sweet friend, no matter what you’re going through, loving life is a choice, not a by-product of everything going our way. Our peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment and overall happiness depend on the choice we make. 
I now realize it was not only within my reach to love my life again and live it abundantly, but 100 percent within my control, as it is for you. 
Your happiness is up to you. 
Lord, I want to enjoy my life! I commit today to begin looking at life differently and being thankful for the life You’ve given me. Change my heart and mind so I can live abundantly in Your peace and joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
I love this devotion! I was blessed when I read it. My happiness is up to me, it’s up to you. What will you choose today? Loving life is a choice, not a by-product of everything going our way. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 121:1-2

Sometimes I Talk Too Much

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21) 
I have some opinions. 
I have some thoughts. 
I have a plethora of words that beg to be spoken. 
And if I’m not careful those words can be too much. Maybe you can relate. 
Unchecked words that come too fast bring with them a rush of trouble. That’s why it’s important for us to consider three things with our words ?

1. Listening should take precedence over speaking. 

Honestly, I think a lot of relationship troubles could be solved if we made the commitment to listen more than we speak. Gosh this is hard, isn’t it? Sometimes when I’m listening to someone all I can focus on is when I’m going to be able to jump in and say what’s screaming in my brain. Later I realize all that focus on my next words prevented me from really listening to what they were trying to say. 

What if I made the commitment today to do more listening than speaking? I’m going to challenge myself to not interrupt. Wait until there is a true pause in the conversation. Truly consider what the other person has said. And then respond with care. 

“He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

2. Words should be measured. 

I need to engage my brain before I engage my mouth. Just like I consider how a purchase will affect my bank account, I have to consider how words will affect my relationship account. I can do this by thinking about how my words will come across and intentionally asking myself if there are better words that could be used in this situation? 

“A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Proverbs 18:2

3. Once words are spoken, I can’t un-speak them. 

Once words come out of my mouth I can’t gather them back in. It’s like once you squeeze too much toothpaste out, you can’t get it back into the tube. Now certainly, I can quickly say I’m sorry. I can ask for forgiveness. I can attempt to make the wrong right. But I can’t un-speak my words. 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 

If my greatest desire is to honor the Lord with every word I say and interaction I have, these three things are crucial for me to keep in mind. Instead of allowing my flesh reactions to lead me, I’ve got to boss my thoughts and opinions around using God’s Truth. 

Dear Lord, I always want my words to reflect the fact that You live within me. But sometimes my first reaction isn’t as God-honoring as it should be. Help me to keep these three perspectives in mind as I deny my flesh response and follow Your teaching in this. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

When I read this devotion I couldn’t help but think of one word, guilty. Sometimes we talk too much. I believe we all struggle with this very thing from time to time, but if we would make a deliberate effort to do these three things and follow after what God’s word says, we will find our words will honor The Lord. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Isaiah 46:4

God Wants Our Sadness

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. (Ecclesiastes 7:3) 
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been an outgoing, optimistic person. I am positive by nature and see the glass half full. Naturally I gravitate to Bible verses about joy. “Shout with joy to the Lord” in Psalm 100 and “Always be joyful” in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 were some of my favorites. 
But as sorrow hit my life over and over, I was at a loss for how to pray. If I’d been taught to be joyful always and never stop praying (1 Thess. 5:17), what was I supposed to do with my sadness? How would I pray as an unhappy, not-joyful, lamenting Christian? Can we still pray when life is not going our way? 
Yes, God wants our happiness, but he is also genuinely interested in our sadness. Throughout the Bible, God lets us into his grief. Jesus modeled grief, and the Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph. 4:30). If all creation is groaning (Rom. 8:22), what makes us think we humans can get away without experiencing deep sadness? 
As Ecclesiastes 7:3 tells us, sorrow has a refining influence on us. Not only that, but in sorrow we can be made glad—not a gladness due to our circumstances, but a gladness that comes from knowing we have a God who hears us. 
Read Ecclesiastes 7:3. Do you let God into every emotion inside of your heart, or do you try to suck it up or pray the pain away? How are you challenged by the idea that God wants your sadness as well as your joy? 
Try praying differently today. Rather than praising or making requests, focus specifically on expressing to God sorrow, grief, or hurts that are lingering in your heart. 
When I read this devotion it blessed me so very much! God wants all of us, our joy, our sorrow, our stress and even our grief. Today, let God into every emotion inside your heart. You don’t have to be someone else before God, He already knows you. Don’t try and “suck it up” as today’s devotion mentions. Go to God completely broken, He wants all of you. He knows just how to mend your brokenness. God wants your sadness. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Titus 2:2 

Surrender Your Stress

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. (Psalm 62:5) 


WHEN YOU ARE feeling overwhelmed and exhausted like David in the above verse, know that you do not have to face your problems alone. Take a few deep breaths and exhale your tension. Turn to God. Surrender your anxiety to Him. Pray and ask God to fill you with His perfect peace. 


Heavenly Father, my hope comes from You. Amen. 


As I was seeking out a devotion for today and I came across this one I thought to myself, wow, that’s possibly the shortest devotion to have ever been posted on here. As I started to move past it I felt a nudge in my spirit to post it. Sometimes in life we have moments just like this devotion, we don’t need something lengthy, just enough, little is much when God is in it. Don’t be discouraged today if your feeling one step behind life, just keep stepping forward one small step at a time and when you least expect it, you will be standing in victory. Remember, surrender your stress today, your hope is in Him! It’s truly that simple. 


Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 


Today’s Reading is John 14:23 

Be Happy Now

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:11-13) 
“I’m not happy with my job. I’m not happy with my body. I’m not happy with my life.” 
It seems that at some point in our lives, we each struggle with unhappiness, a spirit of discontentment, with wanting more. I remember a couple of years ago being frustrated as I sat in my comfy living room chair, Bible open, listening to the Lord. Well, maybe it was more like talking at Him, telling Him what I wanted. 
What I wanted was to be happily married and have a family of my own. At 38, my “clock” was ticking, and I was still faithfully believing God for marriage and family. 
If God would just give me the desires of my heart, I knew I could be happy. That’s when this thought came to me: Be happy now. If you don’t learn to be happy while you’re waiting for what you want, you’ll never be happy when you get what you want. 
To be clear, happiness cannot be the sole aim of our existence. Living out my purpose by serving and loving others as Christ does is my ultimate goal. When I stop focusing so much on what I want, and focus my gaze on what God wants to do in and through me, contentment follows. 
In fact, happiness is an external indication of internal contentment. 
This realization stopped me in my tracks. The list of things I felt I needed to check off my list for me to be happy was tiring. The idea that I could choose happiness was refreshing. The first step was to embrace life exactly as it was; in other words, to be content. I counted my blessings more, started traveling, and did things that being single uniquely afforded me. Most importantly, I decided to wholeheartedly trust God. 
When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, the word he used for “content” actually means to be contented with one’s lot in life. We can spend so much energy pushing against our reality when life doesn’t turn out the way we planned it. But resisting what is, and trying to control what is beyond our control, can cause anxiety. Frustration takes over. Anger prevails. 
Instead of making the most of our circumstances, it’s easy to lament the fact that things are not where we believe they should be. 
What if we stopped pushing against what is and learned to embrace our present circumstances? 
When that shift is made, it feels like a heavy burden is released from our shoulders. It can also feel scary at first. But truly accepting where we are helps us relax and see the good God has in our present circumstances. We cast our cares, content in trusting that all things indeed will work together for our good. 
When I embraced what is, I discovered happiness greater than any I’d experienced before. Just like Paul tells us to do in Philippians 4, I made intentional choices to be content with my present circumstances—and in the lot God had given me for that season. I stopped making happiness a destination and began making it my way of journeying through life. 
Lord, help me embrace what is and live each day with thankfulness for the life I’ve been given. Give me the grace to be happy while I wait for what I want, rather than insist that I cannot be happy until I attain it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
This devotion blessed me, I needed this reminder today. I pray this devotion gives you a different perspective with regards to your current circumstances and you see the importance of choosing to be happy while you wait. Don’t allow your current circumstances do dictate your happiness. Be happy now. There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. He holds your future, trust Him. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 28:19-20

Breaking Free of the Comparison Trap

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:13-14) 
Can I tell you a secret? For way too much of my life, I fell into the trap of comparing myself with others. When I did, I always came up short. I felt I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough or spiritual enough … just not enough, period. And because of that, I stayed stuck in a mediocre faith. 
Through the years I’ve learned one valuable truth: The measuring stick will get you stuck. Comparison is the devil’s tool that’s kept many of us from stepping into our God-given destinies. 
For about a year, I hung out with Moses by the burning bush. I listened to Moses argue with God about his insecurities and pondered God’s responses to all his questions and quandaries. 
When I met up with Moses in Exodus 3, he was an insecure, stuttering recluse. Yep, we were kindred spirits. He complained he was not good enough and begged God to pick someone else to address the Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Specifically, he whined he was not a good speaker, even though centuries later in the New Testament, Stephen recorded Moses was “mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22). 
So how do you think Moses came up with the idea he was not a good speaker? Here’s what I think. I think it happened because Moses compared himself to other people he thought were good speakers. 
Comparison opens the door for sabotaging lies to steal our confidence and stymie our courage. Comparison puts up roadblocks along the path to fulfilling our God-given calling by setting an undefined standard of approval and acceptance. 
We fear the REJECT stamp will come crashing down with wet ink that mars all of life. We fear that perhaps we’re fatally flawed … as confidence seeps through the holes of insecurity, punctured and punctuated by comparison. 
We compare our abilities to someone else’s and come to this conclusion: I could never do it like she does it. And you know what? We were never meant to! God doesn’t need two people just alike. He has uniquely and precisely created you and me with specific gifts and talents to do exactly what He’s called us to do. 
David wrote: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:13-14). 
David wasn’t praising God for the way He flung the stars in the night sky, set the spinning earth on its axis or stocked the oceans with sea creatures of every kind. David was marveling at the magnificent masterpiece called David. Me. You. He knew that full well. 
You are God’s workmanship. His masterpiece — His grand finale of all creation. Do you know that full well? 
God knows our inadequacies and insecurities. He knows what caused them and who caused them. He saw you and me before we even had them. Yet God chose us before we were born for a purpose — to fulfill a plan in a predetermined point in time (Acts 17:26). 
It’s time we stop comparing ourselves with others. I know it’s hard … Boy, is it hard! But the measuring stick will get you stuck. 
God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing. And so do I. 
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for comparing myself with others rather than praising You for the way You’ve knit me together and gifted me. I know I’m Your workmanship — Your handiwork. Today, I let go of the measuring stick of comparison, and take hold of the way You’ve uniquely fashioned me for Your purposes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
I love this devotion! I pray it inspires you to see yourself differently and to truly realize that you were never meant to do it like someone else. Stop comparing yourself with others and remember, as today’s devotion says, God made you to be you! He thinks you’re amazing.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is 2 Timothy 1:13-14 

God Is Never in a Hurry

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4)  

Be patient with God and with yourself. One of life’s frustrations is that God’s timetable is rarely the same as ours. We are often in a hurry when God isn’t. You may feel frustrated with the seemingly slow progress you’re making in life. 

Remember that God is never in a hurry, but he is always on time. He will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for your role in eternity. 

The Bible is filled with examples of how God uses a long process to develop character, especially in leaders. He took 80 years to prepare Moses, including 40 in the wilderness. For 14,600 days Moses kept waiting and wondering, “Is it time yet?” But God kept saying, “Not yet.” 

Great souls are grown through struggles and storms and seasons of suffering. Be patient with the process. James advised, But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing(James 1:4). 

Don’t get discouraged. When Habakkuk became depressed because he didn’t think God was acting quickly enough, God had this to say: For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry(Habakkuk 2:3). 

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for “Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet.” God isn’t finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering! 

When I read this devotion it blessed me. I am not always where I want to be, but I’m also not where I used to be. Amen! I pray you are uplifted and encouraged today. He is always right on time. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, be patient and remember, delays are not defeats. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Isaiah 48:17

Life is Beautiful and Brief

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) 
Beneath my fun-loving exterior is a very analytical person. I love my life, I love spontaneity and I also happen to love trying to figure things out! 
But like all good things taken to the extreme, my analyzing can turn obsessive and my focus fixed on that which cannot be explained anyway. It’s like the quote I ran across recently from prolific author Philip Yancey: “Faith is believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” 
How true is that! Even so, I am always trying to make sense of a given situation going forward. Always. 
But in light of today’s verse, how sad is that that I am consumed with trying to know what I think I need to know when I think I need to know it. Surely I’m missing out on opportunities to serve the Lord and the rest that is only found in him. 
In a recent siutation when I was trying to “make sense” of what was going on, I also listened to a great sermon from a pastor and the best take-away nugget was this: “When you need to know, you’ll know.” 
How simple! And yet how hard. 
Here I am trying to find wisdom in what I can see and what I can figure out, when my life could be freed up by this reminder that God is sovereign and has all things under his control—no matter the circumstance. 
Whatever I am trying to figure out today may not matter tomorrow. So why am I not looking to God first and seeking his direction in what matters most in this very moment? 
“Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” the psalmist requests of God. And how do we gain a heart of wisdom? 
By knowing the mind of Christ. By acknowledging our frailty and our humanity. And by remembering that God is God and we are not. 
In Psalm 90 we read this: 
Thou turnest man to destruction/dust … For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 
And toward the end of the passage, it says: 
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. 
The psalmist reminds us that God determines our life span, and he has his own timing and plans for each of our lives. Will we serve him and seek to fear and obey him before we once again turn to dust? Or will we fix our minds on ourselves, on our current circumstances and on trying to live our lives without regard to God’s perfect purposes? 
At the end of the day, even if our lives never make sense (even in reverse!), we are called to bend the knee and praise the one who has “brought forth the earth and the world.” 
Because of God’s “unfailing love,” life indeed is beautiful. And though it may be brief and sometimes confusing, because of his son our eternity is secure … causing us to “rejoice and be glad all our days.” 
Knowing that your life is beautiful and brief, have you made yourself available to God for him to work in and through you as you walk by faith? List one reason that causes you to “be glad” today, because of the new life the Father has prepared in advance for you (Eph. 2:1-10). 
When I read this devotion it blessed me beyond measure. I needed this word today and I pray it feeds your spirit man and encourages you to rejoice, be glad and find the beauty in today because life is beautiful and brief. Amen!  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 7:1-2

Break Out of the Mold

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5) 
They say “I want to live my life my way” or “Look at everything I’ll have to give up” or “why do I want to live for Jesus?” or “God didn’t come through for me when I needed Him.” Some feel that God is unfair or unjust. You have even heard people say they hated God. All of these things are enough to break your heart. They pierce down to the very core of your soul because you know those words are untrue. 
Why would anyone not want to live for Jesus? Of the many reasons, “Empty religion” ranks at the top. Religion talks a good game, but has no power. The Pharisees looked great on the outside, but Jesus revealed that they were whited sepulchres. But walking with Jesus is not religion. So often though, we make it that way. The reason is because we go about to perform religious things instead of walking and talking with Jesus daily. These things are taught by the world. The Lord Himself does not teach us these things. 
Paul declared to Timothy that there would be a generation in the last days would have a form of godliness. This is nothing more than an empty religious form that has no substance or reality. The first step to breaking out of this is to just be honest with God with our faults and failures. Paul continues by saying that they would deny the power thereof.This is exactly what empty religion does. It places the part, but has no power from God. If you’re walking with Jesus in truth, then the power of God will always be present to empower you to walk in victory over sin. This requires faith in Jesus to do for you what you can’t do. 
Breakout. We must break out of the religious mold. How do we do this? This is done by casting off the religious nonsense of the world and serving God in truth with our hearts. Romans 12 teaches us be ye not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed. The word conform suggests an outside pressure closing around an object to be molded. This is the way the world changes people. The word transform suggests a change that comes from the inside out. This is how Jesus changes us. How do we know whether we are being conformed or transformed? It may be simpler than you think.  Do we walk like Jesus or do we walk like Pharisees? 
When I read this devotion I couldn’t help but think this may step on some people’s toes but it’s something that needs to be said and thought about but not stop there, change needs to then happen. Today, ask yourself, do I walk like Jesus or do I walk like the Pharisees.  My prayer is that we are transformed from the inside out. Less of me and more of You Lord! 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 91:2 

Internal Strife

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18) 
David, king of ancient Israel, found himself in the midst of a confused national situation. His kingdom was torn by internal strife. Slave hated master; master hated slave. People blamed the government, and government blamed the people. David looked about him and saw that every man thought himself perfect. Each individual placed blame upon other individuals. David knew that if sinful pride continued to increase, his nation would collapse spiritually. He knew that economic depression, moral disintegration, or military defeat inevitably follow spiritual decline. So David turned to God, and it was revealed to him by the Spirit of God that the spiritual tide of his nation could rise no higher than the spiritual level of his own heart. So he fell on his knees in utter humility and prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24). 
Lord, deliver me from the sin of pride, and fill me with continuing humility as I go about the tasks before me this day. Amen. 
When I read this devotion I was reminded of how pride needs to die in us for anything of heaven to live in us. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:6). Let go of pride starting today. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is John 6:29

Step Away and Pray

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17) 
Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who you thought was going the wrong direction with their beliefs? Maybe these beliefs seemed like they were somewhat Biblical, but with a little bit of study you knew that they were wrong.These false teaching or beliefs can cause divisions in your relationship with them. All you seem to do is argue with them about what the Bible really says and how they are wrong. This can happen in the church as well when it comes to false teachings. 
What are you supposed to do then when you encounter false teachings or ideas that cause division? Paul tells the Romans to avoid them. Paul is not telling the church to accept just any doctrine, but that at times it is better to avoid those people all together than argue with them. When we start to argue with them, the worst in us can come out and it does not help our point. Many times we need to just step back, pray for them, and let the Holy Spirit deal with there heart when it comes to conviction and repentance. 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. No one person is perfect and we have all struggled with this very thing from time to time in different ways. I felt this devotion gave wise instruction, just step back, pray for them and allow the Holy Spirit to work in them. We can’t always avoid those in our lives we may struggle with but we can take a step back, pray for them and love them through it. When you do this you will see The Holy Spirit turn frustration, even anger, into peace. Don’t gossip about the situation to others or post about it on social media, turn it over to The Lord and allow The Holy Spirit to convict. Who have you been arguing with that you need to step away from and pray for? 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 26:3