your daily crossroad

 

To Serve and Not Be Served

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3) 

Selfishness focuses on my interests above the needs and interests of others.
 
When we operate out of a place of entitlement, we fail to look at other’s needs.
 
In this verse, Paul says selfishness is related to arrogance, or empty conceit.
 
When we build ourselves up by tearing another down, we fail to show the love of Christ.
 
However, God is so good.
 
He always has a remedy.
 
He tells us to be kind, compassionate, and loving to one another.
 
When we put the needs of others above ourselves, we become more like Christ.
 
Jesus came to serve and not be served. He is to be our example.
 
Lord, help me be like you. Let my heart be that of your servant. Help me to love others as you did, appreciating them, showing compassion and kindness to all! Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. I pray it opens our eyes to value others and realize that influence is providing attention and value to others.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Envy Rots the Bones

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. (Proverbs 14:30) 
 
The definition of rot is to decay or the action of decomposing.
 
Have you ever smelled spoiled milk or rotting food?
 
It is a putrid stench, and can make you sick to your stomach.
 
Proverbs tells us that envy will rot our bones.
 
Envy looks at another and desires what they have.
 
Envy is so destructive that it robs us of joy.  It steals our peace of mind and causes bitterness in our hearts.
 
When we look at another and ache for their life, we fail to appreciate our own.
 
While someone else’s life may sound great to us, we do not know the struggles they may be facing.
 
However, Proverbs gives us the solution to envy.
 
It tells us that a tranquil heart gives life.
 
Tranquility means we are calm and quiet.
 
We are not fretting over what we don’t have.
 
Lord, give me a tranquil heart, one that looks to you with gratefulness. Replace any envy I may be experiencing with an appreciation for all you have done for me! Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me so much. I felt it had to be shared. So often we are trapped in this web of lies, thinking the grass is greener on the other side but I am reminded of a saying. “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it”. So the next time you find yourself aching for someone else’s life, remember this devotion, stop and count your blessings, water your grass.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Be Kind One to Another

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32) 
 
Kindness is manifested in small, simple gestures. 
 
From a smile to a thoughtful word, a loving act can turn someone’s day around!   

Jesus tells us that we are to be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving one another. 
 
Now more than ever, we need tenderness.
 
God, in His great mercy, freely offers forgiveness to us.
 
The more our hearts draw near to Him and His ways, the more we want to be like Him.
 
Having received forgiveness, we will pass it on to others.
 
Just as children imitate their mothers and fathers, we are to be imitators of Christ.
 
How might you show sacrificial love to those in your life?
 
As I encounter difficulties and irritations, I will freely forgive, showing kindness and grace to all those I interact with and meet! Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. I felt showing forgiveness, kindness and grace is something we all need to do just a bit more these days. Many have become easily irritated with the state our world is in, being told what to do and what not to do, passing judgment on one another, speaking in anger. I pray in those moments when it would be so easy to lash out and voice your opinion that you would stop and think, how would Christ handle this, how can I imitate Christ and show forgiveness, kindness and grace? Ephesians 5:1, Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Wisdom

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. (Proverbs 8:11)

Did you know that when an oyster receives an irritant in its’ shell, it releases a fluid that coats the irritant?
 
Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited, until a lustrous pearl is formed.
 
This natural defense mechanism in the oyster creates one of the most beautiful jewels on earth.
 
Likewise, when carbon is put under extreme heat and pressure, a diamond is formed.
 
Diamonds and pearls are some of the most beautiful treasures on earth.
 
But, the Bible tells us that God’s wisdom is even more precious and more desired than these treasures.
 
Often in life, we are faced with irritating situations.
 
Like pearls, we may have a defense mechanism that we fall back on to cope.
 
Or… we may even feel like a diamond under tremendous pressure.
 
But God uses the heat of trials to refine us and help us become more like Him.
 
The more we understand His word and apply it to our lives, the more like Him we become.
 
As we strive to be like Him, we will radiate, and shine His love to others!!
 
Help me filter my flaws, pressures, and irritants through you, Jesus. Is there a flawed thought process you need to turn over to Him so that you might radiate the beauty of Christ?
 
I love this devotion. We all struggle with this very thing from time to time but I pray you are encouraged to seek His word and apply it to your life. Psalm 34:10, they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Seek Him!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Beautiful Fragrance

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) 
 
Have you ever had a friend or a person who lifts your spirits?
 
A person with a cheerful heart is kind, encouraging, and helpful.
 
They have an enthusiasm for the job at hand and zeal or zest for life.
 
They just seem to bring joy to those around them!! 
 
God’s word tells us that a joyful heart is good medicine because it heals the soul and mind. 

On the flip side, negativity and cruel words bring strife and destruction.
 
They can crush the spirit and dry up our bones.
 
And, the tribulations and trials of life can do that to us as well.
 
But, the Lord tells us that we are not meant to carry around burdens, hurts, and unforgiveness in our hearts.
 
Holding onto bitterness and anger will destroy us.
 
Did you know that to make perfume they have to crush the flowers? The process of perfume-making resembles what happens when we face hurts in our life.
 
But, God can use our pain and disappointments, trials, and suffering to create in us something beautiful! 
 
As you examine your heart, are you good medicine to those around you? Are you a beautiful fragrance to others? Can you trust God with your pain or hurt and allow His joy to heal you!? 
 
This devotion blessed me so much. I pray after reading it you are encouraged to ask yourself that very question. Are you good medicine to those around you? Are you a beautiful fragrance to others? Isaiah 61:3, …give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


There is Purpose in Your Struggle

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29) 

Are you facing struggles today that are causing you to question God?
 
Are your troubles or difficulties diminishing your faith in God? 
 
There is purpose in your struggle. 

Your problems and limitations have a purpose!!
 
First, they remind us of Christ’s suffering. He knows and understands every single thing you are feeling or have ever felt.
 
Struggles also keep us dependent on Christ.
 
When you are weak, He is strong…enabling you to do what you cannot do on your own.
 
And remember, this earth is not our home! It is temporary.
 
When we experience frailty, grief, and stress we can either draw near to Christ and His strength or falter in our own.  
 
We are not designed to handle life without God.
 
We need Him!
 
As you begin your day, ask God to help you and to strengthen your heart. He will give you His power to handle life with His help.
 
This devotion blessed me. I pray it uplifts and encourages you today to know that there is purpose in your struggle. Just today I read something that blessed me and I felt it went right along with this. “God is still in control, even when everything seems out of control. God is still God”.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Help Needed!

They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. (Isaiah 41:6) 
 
One of the great American authors, Alex Haley, had a picture on a wall in his office that attracted much attention. It always aroused the interest of his visitors because no one could understand the significance of the photograph to the writer.
 
On one occasion, a visitor with a perplexed look on his face asked, “Alex, why do you have a picture of a turtle sitting on the top of a fence post?”
 
Haley replied, “I try to remember how this turtle – me – got on the top of that post.”
 
Sometimes, perhaps most of the time for some of us, it is difficult to admit that if it were not for the help of others, we would not be where we are. From our earliest moments until this present hour, we are encouraged by nearly everyone to believe that “You can do it by yourself!”
 
Not so! We all need the help of others. Consider two words of advice from God. Speaking through the prophet Isaiah He said, “encourage one another with the words, ‘Be strong!’”
 
Each day God brings individuals into our lives who need help, encouragement, inspiration, an act of kindness, words of sympathy, or a look of empathy. He does this so we can help Him do His work in His world. It’s easy to encourage others by simply smiling and saying, “Be strong.”
 
Living life as one of Christ’s disciples, and doing the will of God, is to become a voice through which He speaks words of encouragement and a hand that He uses to help others.
 
Blessed is the Christian who enables others to “be strong!”
 
Father, may we take seriously the fact that You expect us to look to You for guidance and then reach out to others in love and mercy to show Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
When I read this devotion I was reminded of a quote I once heard that has stuck with me from a very young age and I remind myself of it often. Some people come into our lives and quickly go, some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our heart and we are never ever the same. My prayer is that we can leave footprints wherever we go and enable others to be strong. The very simple gestures are often the ones that have the biggest effect. Just your smile can change hearts and minds. Be kind.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Unusual Kindness

Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. (Acts 28:1-2) 
 
Have you ever read a story on social media about someone who did something over-the-top for a stranger? Like tipping a server not just the standard 20 percent, but maybe 500 percent? I love these stories of excessive thoughtfulness, but Facebook isn’t the only place we find them. 
 
Tucked in the pages of the New Testament is a two-word phrase that leapt off the pages of my Bible one day. It rearranged my thinking and became somewhat of a life mission. A subtle perspective shift that enables me to view each day as an adventure. It’s a straightforward concept that usually costs little but time, but still it seems mighty scarce these days. 

In Acts 28:1-2, we encounter some unnamed natives who dwelt on a remote island where a boatload of people – including the apostle Paul – suddenly found themselves shipwrecked in the middle of a storm.”Once safely on shore, wefound out that the islandwas called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness.”
 
Unusual kindness. Their welcoming behavior toward the group of strangers was so uncommon that Scripture doesn’t just chronicle this encounter with the single word “kindness.” Instead, the adjective “unusual” was intentionally hitched to kindness to give us a glimpse of the godly and counter-culture behavior of these folks.
 
I love the reason given for this above-and-beyond behavior. It doesn’t say this unusual kindness was shown, because “Paul and his companions were important people.” Nope. It doesn’t declare that the welcome and warmth was given (literally with a freshly built fire!), because “the people from the shipwreck had the exact political and theological views as the islanders.” No again. They were treated with this unusual kindness because – wait for it ?
 
“? it was raining and cold.”
 
Today we encounter all sorts of people who are up against the elements, perhaps not physically with rain or cold, but in life somehow nonetheless. We happen upon these people, knowing nothing about their beliefs or backgrounds. And perhaps they’re already in our everyday lives, right under our noses, but we have never stopped to help.
 
So, what can mimicking the Malta natives’ conduct look like for us today? And how do our acts of kindness morph into the unusual category?
 
Kindness holds the door open for an elderly person leaving the grocery store. Unusual kindness willingly carries their groceries all the way to their car, puts them in the trunk and sends them on their way with an “It was my pleasure,” when thanked.
 
Kindness is smiling at the maxed-out mom of two young kids pitching a royal fit in the department store toy aisle, rather than staring with stone-faced silence, judging her for her apparent lack of parenting skills. Unusual kindness recognizes all children misbehave, and this stressed-out mama is woefully outnumbered. So we tell her to hang in there. That she’s doing an important job. And maybe slip her a $10 bill and tell her to buy herself a large latte. She’s gonna need something to keep up her energy.
 
Kindness whispers a prayer for the just-moved-in-from-six-states-away neighbor who’s facing life (outside of work time) all alone. Unusual kindness invites him to your house for a weekend supper, folds him in to your family’s ordinary life and asks him questions to get to know him better.
 
Scatter some unusual kindness today. When you do, you’ll make someone’s day – and yours!
 
Father, as I encounter people today, help me remember the example of the islanders of Malta and show others unusual kindness done in Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
When I went seeking a devotion for today I couldn’t shake one word, kindness. So when I came upon this devotion it resonated within my spirit and I knew it needed to be shared. Today, choose to scatter some unusual kindness.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Battle Plan

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11) 
 
The enemy is real.
 
We don’t like to think about it, but Jesus warned us that our foe is subtle and watches for opportunities to derail us. (1 Peter 5)
 
We want God to take the hard situations from us, but its’ in His great mercy that He teaches us to fight.
 
War is unseen, but we feel it…God went to great lengths to equip you!!
 
I put on Gods armor when I pray, I put on Gods armor when I worship, I put on Gods armor by walking in His ways. 
 
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13) 
 
I was so blessed by this devotion. Battle Plan: Pray, without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Fight, put on the whole armor of God – Ephesians 6:11. Trust, having done all stand – Ephesians 6:13. God went to great lengths to equip you, inform you and guide you. When you’ve done all you know to do, stand.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Perseverance

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4) 
 
Patience. If God can get that one trait in you, you WIN the battle and ultimately the war.
 
“What’s the first step to winning a war? Realizing you’re in one.” ~ Jeff Warren
 
Patience. Stay the course. Look ahead. One step at a time.
 
You may not feel like you can get through it, but you can.
 
If you aren’t strong enough, lean into others.  
 
If you can’t find others then guess who is there ready and waiting for you to sit with Him? 
 
Imploring you to get outside of your head and listen to Him and speak with Him.
 
The creator of the Universe is there to battle with you.
 
The circular thinking is tough to break out of,  but let it go, it will pass.
 
Once we stop trying to control everything we allow God to take control.
 
Don’t give up fighting. Let God wage war with you. Persevere and get ready for an epic victory!
 
When I read this devotion it reminded me that I am never fighting a battle on my own. He is the only true constant in our lives, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is always faithful, always near, waiting for us to let it all go and allow Him to wage war with us. With Christ we are victorious.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


The Bridge of Grace

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:13) 
 
There you have it, people. It is so hard, so, so hard. 
 
It is so much easier to hang onto anger. So much easier.  

A grudge is like attempting to poison someone else, but drinking the poison yourself. 
 
It rots you out, slowly and deceptively.
 
God has given us all grace. That arch, that bridge is so unbelievably important, so strong.
 
Walk on it, believe in it, and hold the hand of those who hurt you and take them across with you.
 
God is love, God is in you, YOU are love.
 
Fallen, broken world? Yes.  Redeemed and forgiven souls with the ability to spread grace. Yes!
 
Don’t hesitate as night cometh… 
 
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5) 
 
“The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.”
 
Before the sun sets, choose forgiveness and grace.
 
Wow! What an image, I’ve never looked at grace as though it were a bridge but how powerful is that? I can remember so vividly, God taking my hand and walking with me across that bridge called Grace. If He can do it for me, I can in return, hold the hand of those who hurt me and take them across with me. We must be willing while it is still day to spread grace, walk on it, believe in it and let go of that grudge that  weighs us down. Forgiveness and Grace! Hallelujah!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Onward Christian Soldier!

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:12-15) 
 
The truth wins. It always will.
 
It’s like holding your hand over a flashlight in the dark.
 
You can’t really completely cover it up. The light seeps through your fingers or illuminates your hand.
 
Truth in life is the same. We live in a broken world so untruths and lies will exist. 
 
You may be on the wrong end of those at times. 

Laugh and pray in the face of rumors and gossip.
 
As an anointed child of God, your steps are ordained.
 
Power on and let God be the breastplate against flaming arrows of untruth.
 
Remember, you are the one he left the ninety nine to go find.
 
Take heart brothers and sisters; seek the truth and the truth will set you free.
 
Remember, the truth is also seeking you, accept and progress.
 
Onward Christian soldier!
 
When I read this devotion it so uplifted and encouraged me. I pray today you say out loud, Onward Christian soldier! Remember this, He didn’t need us, He wanted us! Hallelujah!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Lean into God

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9) 
 
Do you ever feel like there is so much to be done that you can’t possibly do it all?
 
The demands on your time, finances, and energy can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
 
There is work, dinner, errands, children’s activities, homework.
 
Life can be exhausting!
 
You think you have things under control, caught up and ready to go, only to see them unwind in a matter of moments.
 
But, God says, “Don’t give up. Don’t grow tired of doing good.”
 
God knew you will have hard, exhausting days when everything breaks and everyone needs you.
 
He knows you will have days that feel like they will never end—when all you want is a moment alone.
 
However, God doesn’t want you to just tread water, He wants you to successfully live each day!
 
In your own strength you will burn out.
 
Lean into God.
 
Rest, find time to read His word and be quiet. In those moments, when you are weak, He is strong. Don’t grow weary in doing good, because when you persevere you will be rewarded!
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. I feel many can relate to this. I was reminded of Exodus 15:2, The Lord is my strength and song. I pray you are encouraged to do as today’s devotion says and lean into God. Oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, amen.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Live by His Spirit, and Obey His Word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23) 
 
It can be so easy for us to see the fault in others. 
 
However, we want and sometimes expect them to only see the good in us.  

Our sinful nature easily sways us and leads us astray. 
 
We become critical and selfish when we don’t get our own way.
 
We can become belligerent or angry when things don’t go as we planned.
 
However, God tells us that type of behavior only leads to discourse and dissension within the body of Christ.
 
He desires for each of us to live by His Spirit, and obey His Word.
 
On your own you are powerless!
 
However, as you rely on Him, and become sensitive to His leading, your life will produce the fruits of His Spirit.
 
Just like a well-watered garden overflowing with beauty, your life will be a bountiful blessing to others.
 
Pray for wisdom, to respond to difficult situations with love and grace. Ask Him to help you respond in kindness with patience when you would naturally be inclined to do otherwise. Ask Jesus to guide your words and actions so that you can be a blessing to others. 

 

What a powerful devotion, full of such truth. I pray you are encouraged to be a blessing to others. 


Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!



Represent Christ Everywhere

For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. (Luke 6:32) 
 
It might be hard to admit, but we are all being tempted and tried to feel judgement towards each other right now.
 
Judgment rears its’ evil head when someone does something you would not do.
 
Jesus implores the people to love beyond what is easy.
 
He says “so what” if you can love people that you find to be lovable. 
 
The time to represent Christ everywhere we go and in every conversation is now
 
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again . . .(Luke 6:35)
 
After reading this devotion I felt it had to be shared time and again. I honestly don’t know what more I can add. I pray you are encouraged to represent Christ more today than you did yesterday. Be the change you wish to see in the world and what better way than to start by representing Christ everywhere you go and in every conversation.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!