your daily crossroad

 

Love

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2-3) 

We get drawn away from the simplicity of love with today’s current culture.
 
Our lives are bombarded with competition, and works, and striving to be the best, look the best, and have it all together…
 
Culture says work harder,  try harder,  do more, be more but then God says…rest.
 
Striving leads us to pay attention to details,  but not our relationships.
 
We may give money to the poor, but what have we given of ourselves to the people in our own lives?
 
We may send money to overseas missions, but have no contact with an unsaved family member.
 
A simple way to express love is to pray for people.
 
God doesn’t call us to love people who have earned it.   He calls us to love people who need it.
 
How can I start loving people better?
 
Self-restraint is a simple way to show love.
 
Asking someone in your family what they need that day or how you can help them is a way to show love.
 
If we get quiet with the Lord,  He is faithful to speak.
 
Ask Him to increase you in your ability to love and in your capacity to be more like Him.
 
God teach me how to love in the simple ways that you loved. Teach me God how to make people feel seen and heard and valued. Give me grace to love better,  to love more,  and to love simply. Amen. 
 
I pray you are just as blessed by this devotion as I was. The beautiful thing about God is that even though we cannot fully comprehend His love, His love fully comprehends us. We love others best when we love God most.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is John 8:12


He Knows My Name

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1) 
 
I suppose one of the most mind-boggling things to me is that of the 7.63 billion people alive on the earth today, God knows my name. Me. Personally. He knows where I live, what I think, and what abilities I possess. He even knows how many hairs are on my head (Matthew 10:30). My finite mind has trouble grasping this infinite knowledge of our great God, but it is reassuring not frightening. 
 
Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee”. 

How can I have a bad day when I realize God is thinking precious thoughts about me—so many wonderful thoughts that they are as abundant as grains of sand. They are so numerous I would have trouble counting them all! But that is our loving God. He sees each of us as an individual. He knows our personality quirks. He understands our worries. He sees our heart’s desires. He created us and has known us since we were cradled in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). 
 
“I have called thee by thy name” (Isaiah 45:4). Hug that thought to yourself today. 
As I start my day, Lord, it is comforting and powerful that You know my name and You think precious thoughts about me. No matter the struggles I may face today, no matter the disappointments or hurts I may endure, You haven’t forgotten me. You know who I am, and You have good plans for me. You assure me I am Yours. Thank You for Your amazing, mind-boggling love. I love You too! 
 
What a beautiful devotion and a great reminder. He sees me. Amen! I pray today you are comforted by knowing He knows you by name.
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is John 6:35 
 
 
 
 
 
 


A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5) 

All across our nation, Thanksgiving is a day that we set aside in order to do one thing.
 
Be thankful.
 
And usually what goes along with it, is lots of food, family and friends, laughter and fun, times of giving to others in need, maybe some football, or traditions that you’ve recognized through long years.
 
And sometimes too, there is also loneliness. And struggle. Or deep loss. Feelings of hurt and painful circumstances that you’re still trying to hurdle over.
 
Whatever you’re facing this Thanksgiving Day, in the midst of all of it, may we remember again that God gives us the opportunity each and every day, to give worship and thanks to Him. Every morning He gives us breath, is His invitation to come joyfully into His Presence. He reminds us that He alone is God and we belong to Him. He assures us that His plans in our lives are for good, that his love covers us securely, and His faithfulness extends from generation to generation.
 
No matter what, He’s given us so many reasons to choose thankfulness and joy this day. Let’s do what the Psalmist of this great chapter says:
 
– Shout for joy.
 
– Worship the Lord with gladness.
 
– Come before Him with joyful songs.
 
– Know that He is God.
 
– Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
 
– Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
 
– Recognize His goodness, love, and faithfulness, through all the generations of our family.
 
Dear God,
 
Thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over our lives. Forgive us for when we don’t thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you’ve given. We’re so grateful you for your amazing love and care, for your mercy and grace, for always working on our behalf, even behind the scenes when we’re unaware. Thank you that you are always with us and will never leave us, even through loss and the most difficult of times. Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy, this Thanksgiving Day and every day. We give you thanks and praise, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
I felt this devotion was fitting for today. I pray everyone has a beautiful Thanksgiving and I wanted to leave you with this thought for today. No matter how well you get along with the people you will be spending time with and no matter how stressful or inconvenienced you may be today do your best to relax, enjoy, and banish complaining from your being.  Time goes fast.  You get but one Thanksgiving per year and the older we get the fewer we have left.  Enjoy them, breathe them in, revel in them for everything they are and everything they are not. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thank You Jesus!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 107:1
 
 
 
 


How To Grow A Vibrant Spiritual Life

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. (Proverbs 24:30-34)

I’ve always thought about today’s passage in an external sense, rather than about the spiritual life. After all, that’s how it presents itself.

The lazy person reaps ruin while the diligent can expect a healthy harvest.

Simple. Makes sense. It’s a good challenge to keep me working hard and ensure I don’t let myself slack off.

But what if we consider this sowing-and-reaping principle in terms of our spiritual life? Specifically in our relationship with God.

We might not all live in castles or own vineyards, but we do all have the most valuable possession in the world: a human heart, soul, and spiritual life that needs tending.

Which scene resembles your inner quality of life in the following ways:

1 . Your spiritual life and relationship with the Lord,

2 . and your relationship with yourself?

If you’re like me, it’s probably a mix of the two.

TENDING TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE

There are places in my relationship with the Lord I can honestly say are well-cultivated.

For me, being in the Bible and in prayer are two places I’ve experienced incredible life. I have also put myself on the line in order to be obedient to his direction—even though it’s been scary and uncomfortable.

It’s a mainstay of my personal relationship with Jesus.

I may not have a heart populated by colonnades and cascading fountains, but there is life there for both myself and for others.

But if I dig deeper:

    • What about pride and my desire for recognition and praise?
    • What about envy?
    • What about my greed?
    • What about mean-spiritedness and incessant judgment of other people based on appearances?
    • What about how I deal with anger?
    • And the list goes on…

You see, the further I look past the well-tended fixtures of my inner life, I notice neglected places and crumbling walls.

I see nettles intruding on flower beds, choking the life out of what is good.

TENDING TO YOUR PERSONAL INNER LIFE

The same goes for my relationship with myself.

    • Do I hold myself accountable for my attitudes?
    • Do I deal with anger before it blossoms into resentment?
    • Am I the same man in private as I am in public?
    • Am I cultivating habits that, while not comfortable, will produce life?
    • And again, the list goes on…

I encourage you to survey your spiritual life in the same way. Find both areas that are flourishing and those that are crumbling.

How can you be diligent to tend to both? How will you increase fruitful areas while tilling up the weed-infested ones and starting over?

For me, it all starts with a willingness to see reality. So, are you willing to see the real problems that exist in your heart? Are you willing to admit that there are cycles of trouble in your life that don’t stem from everyone else’s actions, but are caused by your own attitudes and dispositions?

Here’s the deal. Until you own the entirety your inner life—the fruit trees and the weeds—you’ll never have the power or clarity to nurture it to its full potential.

So, if you find yourself in a spiritual draught, be diligent in cultivating the places where life can be found.

We can nurture wonderful landscapes within our hearts and minds—but we must do so on purpose. The question today is, are you?

This devotion blessed me. I felt it was so powerful and something that needs to be shared time and again. After reading this devotion today I pray you stop and ask yourself, am I cultivating the places in my spiritual life where life can be found?

I pray you have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Hebrews 12:28



Purpose Through Process

Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. (2 Kings 5:12) 

Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a “mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.” Naaman wanted to be healed of his leprosy.

Through the words of an Israelite servant that was in the service of his wife, Naaman heard about the prophet Elisha and was told that Elisha would cleanse his leprosy.

With a letter from his king as well as his blessing, Naaman sets off for Israel to seek healing. The letter does not reveal that Naaman is looking for Elisha, it just states that he is seeking to be clean.

Naaman arrives in Israel and hands the king the letter. The king of Israel is greatly distressed, tearing his own clothes he says, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me”. (Verse 7)

Fortunately for the king, Elisha catches word of what has happened. Elisha instructs the king to send Naaman to the prophets house. Naaman expects to be healed by Elisha himself.

Imagine yourself in this situation. You’ve had a crippling disease for your entire life. You’ve finally arrived at the place where you know you can find healing! All you need is for the prophet to come speak it over you.

Your excitement builds as you anxiously await the prophets arrival.

There’s noise on the other side of Elisha’s door. Your moment to meet the man of God has come! Good health is about to be yours.

And what happens next? The prophet is a no-show! The person standing before you: the messenger of Elisha. He doesn’t bring word that the prophet will be arriving soon. No, he brings instructions.

“Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” (Verse 10)

Naaman is angry! The Jordan is a dirty river; the waters of his own home are much cleaner than it. If all Naaman wanted was to be clean, he could have just as easily stayed home and bathed. In a rage, Naaman starts to turn away, unwilling to heed the words of the messenger.

Fortunately, Naaman’s servants spoke boldly to their master. They encouraged him to follow the messenger’s instructions, and so he did.

“Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (Verse 14)

Naaman had certain expectations of how this story was going to begin, continue, and end. He probably thought that it would be pretty simple: head to Israel, see the prophet, get healed, return to Syria in time for dinner.

But God’s process was quite different. Instead of sending Naaman to the prophet, God sends him to the king, who sends him to Elisha, who sends the messenger in his place, who sends instructions.

And even then, the instructions weren’t what Naaman expected.

But look at how the story still ends: with Naaman being healed. I would suppose that Naaman would have died a leper had he not been obedient to wash himself in the Jordan.

God’s purpose was brought about by God’s process. Oftentimes, God’s process looks much differently than we expect.

Despite his rage at the situation, Naaman still obeyed and was cured of his leprosy. He obeyed despite his lack of understanding.

Will you obey God and seek his purpose, even when his process is beyond your understanding? Read 2 Kings 5:1-14 today.

What a powerful devotion. I felt it had to be shared today. I pray after reading this devotion you are left with this thought, don’t reject God’s purpose just because you don’t like or understand His process.

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Colossians 3:17



Judging Others

There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:12) 
 
Someone has called judging others “our favorite sin.” Some of us are experts at seeing what is wrong with someone else. We wonder why others can’t be more like us. We judge them for their shortcomings and failures, or even for the way they look or dress or talk. We judge others for their weaknesses while we ourselves are often guilty of doing the same things. The speck in someone else’s eye that Jesus talks about is often so obvious to us. 

Some parents judge their children for things they are guilty of themselves. Some teachers put down students for things the students cannot change. Some children judge their parents simply for being their parents. We judge and find fault with our coworkers, our colleagues, our neighbors, or others we encounter. 
 
James asks, “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” Jesus himself warns, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” 

No, we are not told to overlook sin in someone’s life. But before we judge, we need to take a close look at ourselves. Says Jesus, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … First take the plank out of your own eye.” And once we have done that, we may be able to see with enough love to help someone remove a speck from their eye. 

Father, please keep us from judging other people. Help us to take a close look at ourselves before we make assessments. In all things, help us to act with love. In Jesus, Amen. 

When I read this devotion it challenged me. I knew it had to be shared. We are all guilty of judging others in one form or another. I pray in those moments of judgement you feel the nudge in your heart from The Holy Spirit convicting you and you stop and put yourself in there place, but by The Grace of God there goes I. Act with love towards those you don’t understand, you never know the depth of their scar and remember when you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is 1 Corinthians 1:4-5


Discouragement

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:17-19) 
 
Ever get discouraged? 
 
I sure do. In fact I woke up this morning feeling discouraged. 

It feels like the world is against me, and I’m overcome with feelings of “nobody really likes me.” Sometimes I get discouraged because of my past regrets, and sometimes I get discouraged because God so clearly has not answered my prayers and cries for help, when and the way I want. 
 
And honestly, I get discouraged when I put too much trust in people and expect them to do or say something that I’ve been longing to hear.
 
Discouragement is a real feeling, and it’s a real tool of the enemy to come against the child of God. If you let it sink in, discouragement will press you down, and it can hinder you from doing what the Lord has called you to do.
 
What do you do?
 
Here’s what I do: Dig in to scripture that encourages you in the Lord.
 
Discover what God says about any given situation and then trust His Word. It has power to give life if you let it penetrate your heart
 
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalms 34:17-19 
 
I pray today that if you are discouraged that Jesus will lift your spirit and whisper truth in your ear. He knows your pains; He cares and he will answer!
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me and I felt it needed to be shared today. We all struggle with discouragement from time to time but as today’s devotion says, I pray you allow Christ to lift your spirit and whisper truth in your ear. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Psalm 95:1-2


God’s Perspective

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. (Psalm 33:18-19) 
 
I was in traffic at a red light and saw the woman in the car in front of me almost hit another vehicle. From my vantage point, I could see both the vehicle next to her and that she was simply looking in her rear view mirror and never once turned her head to check for another driver before merging into the left lane. At first I gaffed and couldn’t believe her near mistake, but then it dawned on me: We all live our lives like that at one point or another. 
 
If you consider today’s verse in its most basic level, you should understand two things:
  • God watches over us from his infinite perspective
  • God loves us and will provide in our time of need

Even though it’s a simplistic example of God’s perspective, it is in “large” what my driving experience is in “small.” Even though we may only look at life through a rear view mirror, God has infinite perspective on our situation and concern for us.

Though we can’t see the dangers ahead, he can. Though we can’t see the trials ahead, he can. And not only can he see them, but he also prepares us for them and walks with us through those experiences.

He has set out his Word that we may see and worship him as the all powerful God he’s revealed himself as and avoid many hardships of sin and evil. Also, when we do encounter difficult times in life, he will deliver our souls from death and keep us alive in famine.

Remember, God’s watchful eye is on those who fear him. Trust in him and his infinite perspective today.

I pray this devotion blesses you as much as it blessed me today. Remember, He is always faithful, always.

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 1:1-2



How to be Happy

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) 

What determines your happiness everyday? 
 
True happiness isn’t found in having something, doing something or being something. Being happy is a choice. Everyday you have to choose if you’re going to let problems and the stressful situations you face get you down. If you wait until all your problems and stress go away to be happy, you’ll be waiting a long time. 

In the midst of the stresses and problems facing you, you can choose to enjoy your life. Just like you can set the alarm clock on your phone to get up in the morning, you can choose to set your attitude everyday.
 
Jesus died so we could have the good life. So why not live life happy?
 
Here are some tips to boost your happiness:
 
* Look for and expect something good to happen today. 

* Don’t allow your joy to be stolen by the negative things that happen to you everyday. 
 
* Laugh more at yourself and find something to laugh about daily. 

* Forgive yourself and others for mistakes. 
 
* Learn to enjoy God, yourself and the people around you.

Happiness is a choice. You choose everyday if you’re going to let the worries, problems and junk from your day get you down. Determine that you’re going to decide to be happy no matter what is going on around you. You’ll find that you’ll quickly start enjoying life more!
 
I pray this devotion encourage you to choose happiness today. Sometimes it’s hard to find your happy but God has given us every reason to be happy. Choose happiness today and remember, Happiness is enjoying the little things in life.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is John 17:17


But I Really Want This, God . . .

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 
 
On paper, everything seemed to make perfect sense. There was an opportunity I’d wanted for a long time. In my best estimation, this seemed to line up perfectly with my ministry, my calling and my desires.
 
The only problem was the deep-down knowing it wasn’t my assignment.
 
I’d asked God for this opportunity, but then I had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure I’d get it. This opportunity was the product of my trying really hard, not truly trusting God. And I felt the weight of all my hustle. I was anxious, exhausted and weighed down by an emotion I couldn’t quite understand — dread.
 
It felt so right. It seemed like such a good fit. It made perfect sense when I’d said yes. But the closer the due date came for this opportunity, the more regret I felt. Instead of running in the freedom of being assured God had called me to this, so He’d definitely lead me through it, I felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill.
 
There is a weight to our every want. 
 
And when God says no or not yet, it’s often because He can see what the weight of this want will do. Make no mistake, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us. 

The truth is, God has expectations for how humanity, whom He created in His image, is to live and act. Yet, sadly, humanity is prone to wander, and this is the repetitive story we see throughout Scripture. Yes, God is in control. But He doesn’t control our choices. God has given responsibility and freedom to humans to choose Him, His way and His best.
 
As I said before, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us. And that moment of realization leads us right back to what God tried to tell us before we ever made those choices. There isn’t ever a time when God has been wrong.
 
Not ever. And how gracious of God to be patient with us as we learn that lesson over and over. God is trustworthy. Our obedience to God is an indication of whether or not we trust Him.
 
We see this tension between obedience and trust played out with God’s people and the first king who ruled them — Saul. 
 
Saul certainly looked the part of a king. Scripture describes him as both taller and more handsome than any of the other Israelite men. (1 Samuel 9:2
 
The prophet Samuel tried to warn the people of Israel about what they were losing by establishing a human king instead of following God as their one true King. They were displacing God’s best for the weight of their own choice. (1 Samuel 10:17-19; 1 Samuel 12:14-19) They would be held accountable for the choice of a king they would not be able to control. When this king went astray, the people would suffer.
 
And not only would the people suffer, but God would also eventually have to tear the kingdom from Saul’s hands. This king who looked the part would end up letting fear and distrust lead him to walk in disobedience to God. (1 Samuel 15) Because of Saul’s disobedience, God would find another king who was more suited than Saul to lead His people — David. This king was a man after God’s own heart, and his throne would be established forever.
 
How much suffering would the Israelites have avoided if only they had trusted and waited on God? Where are we signing up for suffering, all because we are too often “wise in our own eyes”? (Proverbs 3:7)
 
Oh, sweet friend. I know what it’s like to want something so badly that you feel you would do just about anything to have it. But I also know that sometimes, God lets us push past His better plan to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. I have lived with the burden of extreme stress, fear, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of regret … all because I refused to trust God’s timing and His ways.
 
I don’t want that for you. 
 
Let’s trust that God’s plans truly are best. Let’s remember there is a weight to our every want. And let’s choose to live out the easy-to-quote-but-sometimes-hard-to-live reminder of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 
 
Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your everlasting love and vision for my life. Help me embrace the fact that Your plans are so much greater than mine. Humble my heart in the moments when I try to maintain control so I can fully serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me and I felt it needed to be shared. We all need to be reminded of this today.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:143


In the Midst of Life Struggles: Look Up

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2) 

There’s so much in this life we can start to feel anxious about, even when we know God’s truth and believe that He’s in control. It can still be a daily battle in our hearts, in our minds.
 
When we just keep looking all around us, we can easily get defeated. Drained. Impatient. Cynical.
 
We may find ourselves wrestling with worry. Fear might creep in. We lose our focus because we’re so distracted on all the things that can never really give us strength and hope anyway.
 
People won’t ever be the answer for our every need. Money, possessions, or success can’t ever satisfy the void deep inside that only God can fill. This world will never be free of all conflict. The government won’t ever fix all of our problems. It can’t. Because no matter who is President, no matter what we face in this life, God’s still on the throne.
 
5 Reminders of Hope from Psalm 121:
 
“My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” v. 2  He’s All-powerful. God is a mountain mover and Creator of heaven and earth. He’s with us, always. He breathes help and strength into our souls, into our day.
 
“He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.” v. 3  He won’t allow us to fall. We may find ourselves on slippery slopes, or the path we’re walking seems to be full of potholes and obstacles. But the God who knows all, knows our way. And even when we stumble, as our eyes are fixed on Him, He will keep our footsteps firm. For He watches over us and never sleeps or slumbers.
 
“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.” v. 5  He keeps us, safe, in His care. He protects us like the shade protects from the heat of the day. Why the “right hand?” Because it is known as the hand that works, so we can be assured that whatever He’s given us to do in this life, His covering of protection rests over all of our work and efforts.
 
“The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.” v. 7  He protects us from “all evil,” not some, but “all.” It does not have the final say over our lives. Fear of death, disease, and hardship has lost its sting, for our lives are hidden with Christ in God. No matter who or what we’re rubbing shoulders with each day, God’s power is greater than whatever darkness we might face. For He is the soul-keeper and He holds all of our tomorrows.
 
“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” v. 8  He watches over us, constantly, His eyes are towards us. He cannot look away from those He loves. He watches our coming and our going, and all in between. He watches over our family and children, even when we cannot see. We do not have to worry, for He strongly supports those whose hearts are His.
 
It often comes down to a choice. Let’s choose, no matter what swirls around us, to set our eyes on God. For if He made all of heaven and earth, surely He has a Sovereign, incredible plan, for you and for me. He knows our way in this journey of life, and He’s a “with us” God. Keep remembering today: Look up. He alone is where our hope is found!
 
Wow! This devotion blessed me today. I pray it blesses you in some way as well. We all struggle with worry, fear and focus but He is able, He is as today’s devotion says, a “with us” God in this journey of life. I pray you are encouraged today to look up! Choose today to set your eyes on God! Amen and Amen! Look Up! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is 2 Peter 3:9


Wanting God’s Will in Our Way

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:41-42) 


I have to admit that when Jesus’ obedience works for my benefit, it’s easier to accept. 
 
If I’m talking about salvation, I have no problem partaking in His obedience, and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. But when it comes to a child’s health, or if a young parent’s life hangs in the balance, or when disasters strike the most vulnerable, I want to question God’s methods, timing and plan. 
 
That might sound contemptuous, but haven’t we all wrestled with this question: Why has this bad thing happened to such a good person? 
And I struggle with praying for God’s will to be done. 
 
I’ve offered up prayers asking God for His will to be done, only to later retract them when God’s way doesn’t seem to match my pace, or when His ideas mess up my perfectly crafted plan, or He doesn’t come through the way I anticipate, pray or plead for. I’m often left shaking my head — curious if God missed something along the way. 

Maybe that’s what Martha and Mary thought as their brother lay on his deathbed, and Jesus, aware of Lazarus’ condition, didn’t rush to His friend’s bedside. Perhaps Jairus, whose daughter also lay dying, similarly questioned Jesus’ seeming lack of urgency as He allowed her life to slip away. 
 
The Father’s will and agenda was Jesus’ priority — not seeking others’ approval, not rushing to accomplish more miracles in His limited time on earth. He wasn’t frantically traveling to every village. Unlike many of us, Jesus didn’t fall into the trap of needing to do “all the things.” 

It’s hard to imagine waiting instead of moving, and yet, Jesus often did. He had all the answers, power and ability to turn back time and hold death at bay simultaneously, and yet — He didn’t. Because Jesus was serious when He offered up the prayer, nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). 
 
How many of our prayers does God answer when we impatiently demand Him to, versus when He deems the time is right? How often does He wait to respond until the moment when His power can be best revealed? How many dreams does God plan to resurrect, perhaps after they’re dead and forgotten, as He’s merely waiting for us to surrender — to stop trying to solve all the problems ourselves? 
 
We ache to have a baby and start our family, but the child God has for us won’t be born for another five years. 

We want a financial blessing, but He wants us to learn stewardship with the little He’s placed in our hands. 
 
We desire influence over the masses, but He points to our home, our neighbors, our workplace — where the recognition will be little, but the fruit will be ripe. 

While God may want to give us all of these things, we expect to tell Him exactly how and when plans should unfold, instead of opening our hands and acknowledging His vantage point is better. 
 
John records Jesus’ words, explaining that “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). 
 
Jesus’ radical, continual and humble submission to the ways and will of His Father is the greatest example of what it means to fully obey. What would happen if, when we came to God with our list of requests, we opened our hands and prayed like Jesus did: “not my will, but thine, be done“…? 

Father God, thank You for giving the perfect example of what obedience means — in Jesus. Thank You for His radical gift in surrendering His life in the greatest act of obedience. Help me today to hear and know Your voice and to willingly obey whatever You are asking me — without arguing, begging or trying to convince You that I know what’s best. I want to surrender, to choose obedience, and see Your will be done — instead of my own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

When I read this devotion it blessed me. I pray it blesses you and inspires you to stop and say nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is 1 Peter 2:15-16 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Stronger Together

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25) 

I had a pastor tell me years ago, “Crystal, you should be in church every time these doors are open.” I remember getting mad at him thinking, “Who does he think he is?!” Well, now I understand. He thought he was my pastor, watching over my soul; he knew my struggles and knew the best place for me to overcome was being consistently around the things and people of God. 
 
I see it now as a pastor that those who struggle the most are inconsistent with church attendance. They are inconsistent with Bible study and prayer group. They are inconsistent with small groups and so they struggle and are up and down in their emotions like a yoyo. 

If you neglect the Body, you become weaker not stronger and are more susceptible to deception and the schemes of Satan. If you are struggling and are constantly up and down, immerse yourself in the things of God. Stop skipping corporate worship, the Word is going forth and you’re missing that time of praise and fellowship when His presence is so strong. Go to Bible Study and prayer group. It’s more important than Monday Night Football. Your faith is more precious than gold!
 
Father, we are not those who walk in darkness, but are children of the Light! Help us walk side by side with our brothers in Christ for we are stronger together! In Jesus’ name.
 
Wow! This devotion blessed me. This very topic has been heavy on my heart lately. It may be a topic that steps all over your toes and you may say as the gal in this devotion said, who do you think you are, but folks, we are living in the last days, more now than ever, the enemy is roaming about seeking who He can devour and as today’s devotion says, If you neglect the Body, you become weaker not stronger and are more susceptible to deception and the schemes of Satan. If you make church a priority, your children, your family will pick up on that, you treat church as if it is simply another activity to take or leave, they will pick up on that as well. Being “too busy” is a myth, people make time for the things that are really important to them. Ask yourself this question today, Is church a priority, do you hit and miss and only attend when it’s convenient? We are stronger together!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is Joshua 24:15


Give Thanks for All He has Done

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. (1 Chronicles 16:8) 

If anything of yours has ever been lost or stolen and then found, your first reaction most likely was thankfulness. Perhaps you were relieved to be reunited with your purse, keys, or phone. However, imagine if what was eventually returned was the symbol of God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant.
 
After God enabled David and his men to defeat the Philistine army, there was one more important task: they were to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. The Ark was now going to be returned to its rightful home and, for this homecoming, David commits a psalm of thanks to the Lord (vv. 8–36). In this poetic song, David thanks God for the wondrous things He has done for the Israelites with His miracles, His judgments, and decrees (v. 12).
 
It is often easier to give thanks to the Lord for miracles than for judgments, but David reminds us that both are needed and necessary. Fast forward a few generations. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many people thanked Him for His miracles, but His decrees about Himself made a very different impression on people. His miracles were praised, while His judgments were perceived as threatening.
 
Even today, we are much quicker to thank God for His miracles than for His judgments. Many people prefer gentle lies rather than hard truths. But God has called us to a life of grace and truth. David reminds his people, as well as us, that we ought to thank the Lord for all the wondrous things He has done. Both His miracles and His judgments show God’s presence in our lives. Thankfully, every day God’s Word gracefully speaks truth into your life and mine.
 
Can you name one miracle and one hard truth God has given you? Remembering what God has done in your life is one of the first steps to fill your life with thanks. Like David, be sure to thank the Lord for all the wondrous things He has done. If you have time, compose your own psalm of praise to the Lord.
 
This devotion blessed me. I felt it needed to shared today. God has a great plan for your life, Trust Him. Remember His goodness and Give Thanks for ALL He has done.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is James 1:2-3


God In The MRI

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psalm 139:7-8) 

I had always thought that I was fine with being cramped in enclosed spaces, until the summer of 2011 when I had my first MRI. That’s when I found out that I was wrong; in fact, not just wrong, but very, very wrong. If you’re unfamiliar with an MRI, it is a medical imaging procedure in which the patient is inserted into a tube just large enough for his or her body to slide into. Then (don’t lose me in the fancy medical jargon here), there are a bunch of loud hammering noises, clicks, claps, beeps and a variety of other atonal hubbub. 
 
Initially, the cramped space and the noise didn’t bother me,I actually felt kind of like an astronaut beneath the white lights of the tube. But about ten minutes into the procedure, waves of panic crashed through my body and I cracked. For some reason, albeit irrational, I just couldn’t handle being in that tube any longer. It was a terrible experience. Six months later, I had to get another one and saying no wasn’t an option. 

However, when I went into the machine this time, it was a much different experience. I was nervous again but this time I closed my eyes and prayed. Initially I felt embarrassed before God by my unreasonable fear, but I needed Him, so I told Him that. I prayed about life and fear and everything in between. It was the last place in the world I expected to connect with God, but I did, and it was amazing. He was there.
 
Regardless of my illogical fear and my sporadic conversation with Him, I deeply felt His presence. Afterward, as I drove home, the words of Psalm 139:7-8 came to life for me. Though I hadn’t been at the bottom of the Atlantic or at the top of Mount Everest, God was with me amidst my fear.
 
No matter the place or situation, God is there, available and unbelievably gracious toward us.
 
What I love about this devotion is the reminder that is doesn’t matter the depth of your fear or fears, God is always in the midst of your fears, waiting for you to call out to Him. No matter the fear, big or small, call out to Him, He is never caught off guard to your fears or surprised by them, He is all knowing, but it’s up to us to call out to Him. He is indeed available and unbelievably gracious toward us. What a mighty God we serve. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness, Isaiah 41:10.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is Ephesians 1:9-10