your daily crossroad

 

Improving on Purpose

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13) 
 
This world is set up in such a way that if something isn’t cared for and attended to, at some point it will definitely change…for the worse! You can see this very clearly as you drive around your neighborhood. Some yards are beautifully landscaped, while other yards are overgrown and full of weeds. The difference? One yard has been cared for and had work done in it; the other has been un-cared for and ignored. 
 
This is just as true in our lives as it is in a yard. The areas in our lives that we care for and work on are the areas that we’ll see improvement in over time, but the areas we ignore are pretty much guaranteed to deteriorate. I’ve found that many people procrastinate taking the steps necessary to begin working on those areas they want to improve. But the levels of discomfort and anxiety that come from not changing are usually higher than the levels of discomfort and anxiety that the process of change may bring. In other words, life’s much better when we’re changing and improving than when we’re not. 
 
Is there an area in your life where you want to see improvement, a skill that you want to get better at, or a character trait that you want to grow? If so, begin by taking that first step toward your goal. That step might be reading a book about the subject, enrolling in a class, watching an online video, or talking to someone who is already strong in that area. Then keep in mind that as you do what you can, God will do what you can’t. The Bible makes it clear that as we serve God, He will prosper what we do (see scriptures such as Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3, and Philippians 4:13). God isn’t able to bring much prosperity to so many lives simply because so many people aren’t doing much. The more we do, the more God can bless our efforts. 
 
Just as walking a mile starts with a single step, so your growth starts in the same way. As you take steps toward growth you won’t see change overnight, but you will see change over time. And through this simple step-by-step process, you’ll be on your road to improvement! 
 
My prayer is that you are encouraged today. When I read this devotion I was reminded of one of our earlier posts on our facebook page and it’s worth repeating today, “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time”. Step by step, day by day. With Christ, ALL things are POSSIBLE.  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 42:8 

 



God Uses Your Problems for Good

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold . . .  (1 Peter 1:6-7) 
 
Life is not a series of random, freak accidents. Life is not totally unplanned. Life is not without meaning. God knows what’s going on. 
 
God is weaving the tapestry of your life, and it includes light and dark threads—happy and sad times—to produce richness and texture and color. Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God’s permission. Everything is Father‑filtered. 
 
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God’s perfect will. That’s just not true. There are a lot of things that are not God’s will. If you go out and sin, that’s not God’s will. If somebody sins against you, that’s not God’s perfect will. 
 
But God does have a permissive will. If I go out and overeat, I pay the consequences. If I go out and wreck my body, I pay the consequences. God does not cause evil, and God does not cause suffering. But he does allow those things because they have a purpose. God permits them, and then he uses them. 
 
God is an expert at bringing good out of bad. He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi, but instead he let Paul go to prison, and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross, but he let him go. He let his own Son suffer and die. Did God bring any good out of that? I’d say he did! 
 
God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. The things you most wish were removed from your life are often the very things that God uses to shape you and make you into the believer he wants you to be. He wants to use that problem for good in your life. There’s something more important than your pain: what you’re learning from that pain. God is in control. 
 
So how can we respond to painful or difficulty situations? The apostle Paul says, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) 
 
When I read this devotion I couldn’t help but think of the many times I’ve been asked, why do bad things happen to good people and today’s devotions sums it all up in such an incredible way. I pray today’s devotion opens the door to understanding the why and you realize God is in control and despite the pain you realize as today’s devotions explains, He wants to use your painful and difficult situations for good in your life. What are you learning from your pain? God is in control, amen!  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 16:8 

 

 



God Will Not, Will Not

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:5-6) 

 

The Bible makes this glorious promise: God “will never leave nor forsake” us. But the promise actually is stronger than we might realize. 

 

The Greek word here is a double negative, which is different from a double negative in English. We gain a clearer understanding of this emphasis through Kenneth Wuest’s translation: “I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you. I will not, will not let you down.” This should give us extra confidence that, in every situation, we can be confident and delivered from fear. 

 

This demonstrates how firmly we can entrust our lives to the Lord, and how completely we can be freed from worry about our future and our needs. And we never need to fear what other people say or think. 

 

He is not merely saying He will not leave us. He is stating emphatically that He will not, will not leave us, and that He will not, will not let us down. God is stressing that He promises to sustain and uphold us. 

 

The Bible gives us this promise that we might be free from worry or fear and to know that we can trust God in every situation. We always can be content and at peace. We always can be confident in Him. 

 

Today, seek to make this promise real in your life. Remember, you have no reason to fear. What can man do to you? 

 

Father, thank You that You never will leave me. I will not fear. I trust in You! In Jesus’ name, amen. Amen. 

 

This devotion blessed me so much when I read  it. I have read Hebrews 13:5-6 many times in my walk with The Lord, but I love how they demonstrate just how much He loves us through this setting of scripture in such a way it emphasizes His love for us in a much greater capacity. He will not, He will not cease to sustain and uphold you. He will not, will not let you down! Amen! He will never leave thee nor forsake thee. What a remarkable promise!! Be encouraged today and let go of discouragement. But God!  

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is 1 John 5:12 



God Goes Where You Go

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) 
 
How comforting it is to know that wherever we go, God is there with us. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and wonder if God is paying attention. We may feel so alone and even depressed. We can’t feel God’s presence, and we need His guidance and help. 
 
Sometimes friends, spouses, and parents don’t really understand what we are going through. But God does and He cares. God told Joshua to be strong and to have courage. Then He told him a wonderful truth: “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Yes, that’s right… wherever! We don’t have to feel all alone. God is with us. He is working out the problems, and we don’t even realize it. 
 
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee … and he that formed thee … Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? (Isaiah 43:1-3, 13) 
 
God is with us, leading us, guiding us, loving us, providing for us — all with His unlimited resources. What do we need? Do we need strength, peace, love, joy, or hope? He has it all. He is longing to pour out His favor and blessing upon us. We need to be open to Him and to trust Him. We need, by faith, to receive what He has for us. It is essential we realize how much He loves us and that He has a good purpose and plan for us. 
 
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. (Ephesians 3:14-16) 
 
This Scripture is awesome. There is nothing that God doesn’t know and can’t do for us. He walks with us every moment of every day. We need to speak these Scriptures to our hearts. The devil can’t stand it when we, in confidence, speak God’s Word. It builds faith in us and gives us the strength to stand. 
 
O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. (Psalm 139:1-6) 
 
Like David let us declare: 
 
Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5) 
 
You can trust God. No matter what is going on in your life, He is there! God goes where you go. 
 
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10:35-36) 
 
When I read today’s devotion I was encouraged by all the scripture. Whenever you are feeling down and overwhelmed by life just remember God’s word and don’t ever forget God goes where you go. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 2 Corinthians 7:1


Called By God

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8) 
 
God did not direct His call to Isaiah— Isaiah overheard God saying, “…who will go for Us?” The call of God is not just for a select few but for everyone. Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears, and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14). That is, few prove that they are the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and have had their spiritual condition changed and their ears opened. Then they hear “the voice of the Lord” continually asking, “…who will go for Us?” However, God doesn’t single out someone and say, “Now, you go.” He did not force His will on Isaiah. Isaiah was in the presence of God, and he overheard the call. His response, performed in complete freedom, could only be to say, “Here am I! Send me.” 
 
Remove the thought from your mind of expecting God to come to force you or to plead with you. When our Lord called His disciples, He did it without irresistible pressure from the outside. The quiet, yet passionate, insistence of His “Follow Me” was spoken to men whose every sense was receptive (Matthew 4:19). If we will allow the Holy Spirit to bring us face to face with God, we too will hear what Isaiah heard— “the voice of the Lord.” In perfect freedom we too will say, “Here am I! Send me.” 
 
When I read this devotion today I felt it was an important reminder for each and every one of us and it needed to be shared. I pray it blesses you today and encourages you to do as today’s devotions says and allow The Holy Spirit to bring you face to face with God. He will not force himself on anyone.  
 
I pray you have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Romans 14:8


Who’s Setting Your Priorities?

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5) 
 
Could my cell phone affect my to-do list? Could this little bit of gadgetry redirect my day, causing me to miss God’s best for me? I think so, and here’s why.  
 
Growing up, we had a house phone. Just one.There was no call-waiting beep or answering machine. And of course, no email or texting. So if you wanted to reach me, you had to keep calling until you got through. Or maybe head to my house and actually knock on my door. Quite frustrating when “someone” spent hours talking to a friend! 
 
Basically, the burden to communicate was on the person with the message to share. 
 
Today the responsibility to communicate has shifted. No longer is it your burden to reach me; all you do is type-type-type a message, hit send and all the responsibility floats through cyberspace and lands firmly on me. 
 
Multiply this by every which way people can reach me, and before I even wake up, I’m behind. 
 
This shift has silently affected all of us. A typical day starts with checking some sort of communication device to see who might have emailed, posted or texted. Then, before we begin to handle what’s most important to us, our day begins by responding to what’s most important to others. 
 
Without a concerted effort to stop this pull, we are drawn into the day’s rushing current like a tiny raft on a whitewater river. And rather than being proactive, our days are spent in reactive mode. 
 
Sound familiar? If so, you’ve probably also experienced the too-long to-do list that comes with it. After we’ve given the best of our time and energy to others, there’s little left to address God’s priorities for us. Consequently we put-off, delay and procrastinate our priorities. 
 
After years of shortchanging myself and my family, and often dishonoring God with disobedience, I realized I had things upside down! Things that mattered least replaced things that mattered most in my schedule. And work that would make the greatest impact on my life often fell to the bottom of my lists, then transferred to the next list until I either completed it with a fraction of my ability or abandoned it entirely. 
 
Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to figure out our best work. It sounds so easy to say, “Identify your priorities, and do those first.” However, when we face multiple demands we can often feel helpless. And helplessness can lead us to escape, avoid or numb. 
 
When those feelings start to overtake me and I don’t know what to do, rather than make a self-defeating choice, it’s time to press pause. Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing – except seek direction and wisdom from the One who knows what our best is. 
 
Given the chance, others will set our priorities for us. Yet God specifically has a calling for each of us that will only come from Him. To discern this, we need wisdom. Without God’s wisdom, we make decisions on facts and feelings. And the fact that I have 100 emails to answer and feel overwhelmed does not mean it’s wise to do so now. 
 
To find wisdom, I need to silence the demands of many, to hear the commands of One. 
 
God is faithful, and His Word promises we can receive wisdom. In fact, it’s a gift from God. Here is what James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” 
 
As my life becomes more interconnected with others, my priorities are harder to identify. There will always be new demands rising to the tops of my to-do list, giving me reasons to delay tackling my own priorities. 
 
There is hope. When we take our tiny raft out of the raging river, and sit on the banks with our Heavenly Father, He will give us wisdom for what to do next. Sometimes it’s answering an email, but it might be something else He has planned for today. 
 
Heavenly Father, You are the source of all wisdom, including my priorities and what my day should look like. Help me seek Your wisdom for my priorities rather than finding them in my inbox or social media accounts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 
When I read this devotion it depicted such an image in my mind of how life can certainly be like a raging river but if we would seek His wisdom for our priorities and choose to sit on the banks with our Heavenly Father, what an impact that would make in our daily lives. We have so many distractions in life it can feel like wave after wave after wave crashing into you but I can guarantee that if you call out to the master He will calm the raging river in your life and allow you the opportunity to make it to the banks to sit with Him. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore (Psalm 121:8). I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye (Psalm 32:8). What a mighty good Father. Now ask yourself, who’s setting your priorities?
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Revelation 3:19-20 

 



Expectations in Relationships

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. (Psalm 142:4-5) 
 
In every interaction you have is someone weighted? 
 
What do I mean by this? Do you put expectations on others to act a certain way or say things in a certain manner? Then, when they don’t do what you expected, do you get upset? Do you misinterpret others’ words? Or do you put words into people’s mouths that they didn’t say? Welcome to the broken club my friend. 
 
I can’t believe how broken I still am when I put expectations on interactions! I’m cruising along doing fine, and one misinterpreted interaction brings me back to that lost and abandoned child. Pain comes rushing back, and sorrow sets in. 
 
However, I have learned a few things over the years; one being, most people are selfish. Yes, it’s true. People care about themselves and their own problems. It’s our human nature; so if you’re putting expectations on people, you will be failed. King David experienced this throughout his life and cried out to God in the Psalms. 
 
If you are putting expectations on a person to fill you; you will fail my friend and still find yourself alone and lost. There is only one who will never fail you. There is only one who will never abandon you. You can trust Jesus to listen. You can trust Jesus to hold you when you are broken-hearted. He alone is your refuge! 
 
Father, we acknowledge we are broken and ask for You to fill us with Your presence. Fill us with Your joy! Let us not look to others to fill our void, but only to Jesus, our refuge and portion, in Jesus mighty name. Amen. 
 
He alone is your refuge! Wow! I needed that reminder this evening. No matter the day you’ve had, not matter the interactions, rest assured tonight when you lay your head on your pillow, that He alone is your refuge. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Ephesians 2:10


Success in God’s Eyes

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) 
 
If someone were to ask you to define “success,” what would you say? No doubt, there would be about as many different answers as the number of people asked. One thing, however, is sure…our culture is obsessed with success. 
 
We are obsessed not only with our own personal success, but we may be even more obsessed with providing our children with the tools they need to become successful. We all do our best, but a lot of times, there’s confusion about what constitutes real success. 
 
There’s a nebulous understanding that success means that our child will one day get a good education, have a good job, a good family and be a good citizen. But that is a very short-sighted view. It’s not very successful if our children grow up to have worldly success for fifty years and then spend eternity in hell. That’s a temporary success, but an eternal failure. So, what’s God’s definition? 
 
In God’s eyes, success means discovering His will for your life and using that purpose for His glory, rather than our own. We must see that big picture when setting our own goals, and especially when guiding our children down the road of life. When a child grows to understand that, then the child has a far greater chance of experiencing real, lasting success. Why? Because they will have found success in God’s eyes as well. 
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. What a reminder of the true meaning of success in God’s eyes. I pray this encourages you today. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 2 Thessalonians 3:3


The Importance of a Good Example

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Titus 2:7-8) 

Paul told Titus how to speak to the different groups of people in the church, and he told Timothy to tell the young men “to be sober-minded” (Titus 2:6). Then Paul explained to Titus the importance of being a good example himself. 

This is what Paul wrote: “In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works.” Titus had to be more than a teacher, he also had to be an example, a pattern. His guidance to others could not be taken seriously if he himself was not walking after God’s truth. This is a powerful, basic principle that is often neglected. If the preacher or teacher does not live what he teaches, why should anyone else?

This doesn’t mean that leaders in the church must be perfect. Like anyone else, they will have their weaknesses and failings. Leaders can’t be examples of perfection, but they certainly can be examples of humility and repentance. 

There’s a specific way that Titus had to be an example: “In doctrine showing integrity.” Titus had to be an example in doctrinal stability and integrity. If he wasn’t comfortably settled in his understanding of the Scriptures, he wasn’t ready to lead. 

Titus also had to be an example of reverence, of incorruptibility, and of sound speech. Titus had to teach the older men (Titus 2:2) and the older women (Titus 2:3) to be reverent, but he had to be an example of reverence first. Titus had to teach the older men to be sound in faith (Titus 2:2), but his faith had to be incorruptible. 

When God’s leaders live this way, it gives those who oppose God’s work no excuse to accuse and reject the truth. Paul put it this way: “That one who is an opponent may be ashamed.” Of course, Jesus lived this better than anyone. Jesus could say to an angry mob, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46) and no one could say anything. 

I’m sure there are people that you really want to see come to faith and a real relationship with Jesus Christ. There are probably many others you know who already love Jesus but need to be taught in some important areas of the Christian life. With both groups, remember that your example means so much. 

If we fail to be good examples of the Christian life, what we teach others is of little effect. If we fail to be good examples of the Christian life, we give others the opportunity to excuse their unbelief. 

We can humbly ask Jesus to forgive us for all the times we have failed in being good examples, and then ask Him for the ongoing strength to represent God and His people by our good example. 

I searched out this devotion on the importance of being a good example. We are all leaders in one form or another in our lives and it’s so important that we strive each and every day to set a good and loving example to follow for those who are watching our every move, our every action. Be the change you want to see in The world and pray. 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:130



One Life at a Time

And he gave her hishand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. (Acts 9:41) 

 

Today’s story in Scripture provides a glimpse into the Spirit of God’s work through the apostle Peter. The book of Acts tells of big moments like Pentecost, but it also highlights how individuals’ lives are changed by the ministry of Jesus’ disciples. 

 

A man who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years hears Peter say, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up…” His life was changed, and many people in the local area turned to Jesus. 

 

Another person whose life was changed was Tabitha, also known as Dorcas. She became sick and died, and many people mourned. When Peter arrived, many widows showed him the clothing Dorcas had made for them. Peter prayed to the Lord, and God brought her back to life again. Mourning turned into dancing, and more people came to believe in Jesus as Lord. 

 

Are these merely good stories of a distant time in the life of the church, or are they something more? God is still at work in this world. The news media may not pay attention, but we know that the church of Jesus is still called to touch the lives of others—one life at a time. We can come alongside people who are hurting and point them to the healing and hope that come through Jesus. 

 

God of healing and hope, empower us to enter into the lives of others so we may weep with those who weep and also wipe away tears as we witness to your love, hope, and healing in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

I was encouraged by this devotion today. I pray you are also encouraged to touch the lives of others, one life at a time. Little it much when God is in it. Luke 15:10 says, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. One life at a time. Amen!  Don’t allow discouragement to detour you from what God has called you to do, touch lives through Christ, one life at a time.  

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is James 1:22 



Lincoln’s Pockets

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (Romans 15:2) 
 
The night US president Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater in 1865, his pockets contained the following: two spectacles, a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a handkerchief, a leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate bill, and eight newspaper clippings, including several that praised him and his policies. 
 
I wonder what the Confederate money was doing in the president’s pocket, but I have little doubt about the glowing news stories. Everyone needs encouragement, even a great leader like Lincoln! Can you see him, in the moments before the fateful play, perhaps reading them to his wife? 
 
Who do you know who needs encouragement? Everyone! Look around you. There isn’t one person in your line of vision who is as confident as they seem. We’re all one failure, snide comment, or bad hair day away from self-doubt. 
 
What if we all obeyed God’s command to “please his neighbour for his good to edification”? (Romans 15:2). What if we determined only to speak “pleasant words” that are “as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones”? (Proverbs 16:24). What if we wrote these words down, so friends could reread and savor them? Then we’d all have notes in our pockets (or on our phones!). And we’d be more like Jesus, who “pleased not himself” but lived for others (Romans 15:3). 
 
Whose words have most encouraged you? Who might need encouragement that you’ve been overlooking? 
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me so very much! I needed to be reminded of this today. So often we can be so quick to judge someone, not knowing what they are truly going through. Maybe they just need an encouraging word. I pray today God will show me someone I’ve overlooked that might need encouragement. I pray today we can all be better at being swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.

Loving God, help me to encourage others with my words, actions, and presence. Amen  

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:114


Just One More Look Behind, God?

Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19) 

 

I am captivated by the biblical account of Lot and his God-ordained rescue from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 19. As a child, I was most interested in the behavior of Mrs. Lot and her rebellion against God’s command to not look back. 

 

By the time I was about 10 years old, I decided that Mrs. Lot was clearly an ungrateful, rebellious woman who probably deserved to be turned to salt. From my perspective, firmly situated in my summer-camp, family-holiday good life, I judged Mrs. Lot for making the fatal error of looking back. 

 

As I find myself in a new season in life, grieving the loss of the familiar, I’m reminded of this ancient woman’s rebellion and her long, last look at the life she was leaving behind. 

 

Now I get it. 

 

I get why Mrs. Lot looked back: It was familiar — and despite Sodom and Gomorrah’s spiritual darkness, I imagine there were pleasant things there, too. Perhaps you’ve been there, and can identify with Mrs. Lot? 

 

Maybe you’re facing an unwanted season of change, and you find yourself stuck between where you’ve been and where you’re going. It seems overwhelming and devastating, and sometimes in the devastation we look back or maybe even glorify what’s been lost. We’re drawn to reminisce and hash over the past in our minds and hearts. This seems to be an age-old problem, so it’s by grand design that this important story is included in Scripture. 

 

We know God is present-future focused, not present-past focused. He calls us in the key verse — and throughout His Word — to focus on Him, to let Him work in and through us: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19). 

 

God wants us to allow Him to lead us out of things not meant for us, toward Him. Sometimes this is terrifying, and our human instinct is to let our thoughts rush back to the familiar, but our present-future focused God wants our attention on Him. Eyes up, heart open, moving forward in His plan. 

 

God is not surprised with your current situation, and He’s intimately invested in every thought you have and every turn in the road you take. When we allow Him to heal us from the past, and we focus on Him and His great plan for us, He makes a way for beauty, joy and new life to flow back in. 

 

He’s doing a new thing in you and me. Rest in the sturdy hands of our Father, listen for His voice and trust His timing. What lies behind us pales in comparison to what He has in store. 

 

Dear heavenly Father, thank You that You are a God who stands with me right where I am. Thank You for being a present-future focused God and for reminding me today that You call me to keep my eyes on You and trust the plans You have for me. Forgive me, Lord, for looking back at a life You’ve helped me leave behind. I trust You, Jesus, and I believe in Your perfect plan for me. Please help me remember to turn all my anxieties and fears over to You and lean into Your Word and Your promises. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

What a powerful devotion. I pray it touches your heart and life in such a way that you see, as today’s devotions says, what lies behind you pales in comparison to what He has in store for you. He is faithful.  

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is John 1:12-13 



Finding Rest Amidst the Stress

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29) 

 

How do you find the possibility of freedom and peace in a world where there seems to be no rest? The idea that the pace of life seems to continually increase stress and worry is a universal concept. There seems to be no end to the demands on our time and energy. Are you tired of the constant busyness that seems to consume our lives? I know I am! 

 

There is a solution: It isn’t one that offers escape from the demands of life, but one that guarantees rest in the midst of the rat race and the fast pace of life. Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). 

 

Jesus offers us rest amidst the stress. 

 

Christ doesn’t always take us out of life’s demanding situations. Instead, He asks us to let HIM show us how to handle life’s demands. Jesus wants us to face each day and each challenge with HIM. Walk with Jesus Christ daily and trust Him for guidance and wisdom to handle whatever comes next.  In this way, you’ll finally experience true rest amidst the stress of life. 

 

When I read this devotion it blessed me and I pray it encourages you to find rest in the midst of life’s demands. I would hope to encourage you to let go today and let God, He is bigger than anything you are facing and He desires to face life’s demands with you. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is Matthew 5:16



Waiting on God is Tough

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him . . . (Psalm 37:7) 
 
I don’t know about you, but I hate to wait. From doctor appointments that run way too long, to rush hour traffic, waiting often feels like a waste of time. Thankfully, when it comes to waiting, God’s timing is always just on time! We need to trust that God sees the full picture and be willing to do His will, in His timing, not our own. Because, the right action at the right time equals the right result. 
 
So, what does it really mean to “wait on the Lord?” I’ll tell you one thing, it doesn’t mean just standing still and doing nothing; that’s not the idea. It might be how we wait around at a restaurant or in line at the DMV – we stand still, quietly waiting and not doing anything – but it shouldn’t be how we approach waiting on God. 
 
The word “wait” in the original Hebrew means, “to be bound like a rope or twisted or bonded together.” So, to wait on the Lord means that you trust Him, that you humble yourself and rely on His strength. It means that you obey His Word and commands. It conveys all those meanings. 
 
Sometimes it’s very difficult to wait on the Lord for things to happen or for things to take place, but if we will do those things, if we will trust the Lord and if we will humble ourselves under His mighty hand and make sure we obey His will, then we will be blessed. Waiting on God can be tough, but God’s timing is always the best thing for us. 
 
When I read this devotion I was reminded of a  quote I once read, it said, Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. When you begin to get frustrated I would encourage you to remember what today’s  devotion says, the right action at the right time equals the right result and remember, if it doesn’t open, it’s not your door. Trust Him for His timing truly is always the best thing for us. Give God your weakness today and He will give you His strength. It’s truly that simple. Waiting on God is tough but don’t get discouraged. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:93


The Blessings Found in the Fire

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:3) 
 
Do you ever get tired of the constant battles in your life? 
 
Let me be the first to say I understand. 
 
There are times it feels like I hardly get one issue resolved when another seems to pop up. Not that I go looking for problems; they just seem to be incredibly adept at finding me. 
 
I’m learning, though, to view my troubles in life as “growth opportunities.” They give me a chance to recognize God shaping and molding me to fit the calling He’s given me. They remind me God is interested in my character, not my comfort. 
 
Which brings us to a passage of Scripture I’d love for us to look at closely together today. In Malachi 3, God wants His people to know they have some character issues that need to be addressed. 
 
The Lord declares through the prophet Malachi: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:1-3)  
 
The messenger in this passage actually refers to John the Baptist. (Matthew 11:10-14) He went before Jesus to ready the people’s hearts for Jesus’ first coming. Now we are the messengers God has called to prepare people for Jesus’ second coming. But that means our own hearts need to be purified so we’re prepared and mature for our calling. 
 
Malachi 3:3 reveals that the Lord comes both “like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.” The “fullers’ soap” (or alkali) was a strong soap used in the ancient Near East to whiten clothing. 
 
And the refiner’s fire? This is a method of purifying precious metals with intense heat. Impurities rise to the top where they can be skimmed off and discarded. The way a refiner knows that the process of purification is complete is by looking into the open furnace and checking the reflection. He knows the dross has all burnt away when he can see his reflection clearly. 
 
This is what we were made to do — to clearly reflect the image of our Maker. Genesis 1:27tells us God created us in His likeness and image. But when sin entered the world, we were “marred” by sin. We were left spiritually disfigured and defiled. The purification process removes that sin and disfigurement and restores our ability to reflect the goodness of God Himself. 
 
Another name for this refining work is sanctification. It’s the Lord’s continual process of making us holy and wholly set apart for Him. And today’s passage reminds us that sometimes the sanctification process involves suffering. 
 
I saw such a vivid depiction of this when I took my children to a silversmith’s workshop when they were younger. We saw firsthand how the magnificently beautiful pieces in the showroom had to undergo a grueling process in the workroom. There was pounding, turning, heating and then even more pounding before the polishing. For the silversmith to put his name on a piece, the silver had to submit to treatment we might say is harsh and cruel. But every painful blow the silver endures … every scorching second it sits in the fire … each moment has great purpose. And the results are truly stunning. 
 
Oh, how I pray this will stir our hearts to trust God in the midst of our troubles. Our God is not a cruel God. He allows the heating and shaping, the abrasive rubs and polishing in our lives for a reason. They are purifying and smoothing us so we will reflect Him. 
 
Is it always an easy process? No. It’s not. 
 
But is beautifully reflecting our Creator and having lives that point hearts toward Him worth the discomfort? I truly believe so. 
 
How grateful I am to know that nothing God allows us to go through is pointless. Even in the midst of hurt, He will work things for our good and His glory. 
 
Lord, I’m so thankful that I can trust You, even in the most difficult and refining seasons of my life. Shape me. Purify me. Make me look more and more like You. I want to reflect You in all I say and do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 
Wow! I myself was blessed by this devotion today and I pray you are as well. Remember today, nothing God allows us to go through is pointless. I needed to read this today. Thank You Lord, for you are always faithful, always there to lead, guide and protect. Even in the fire there are blessings to be found. May we never forget this and trust Him in the midst of our troubles. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:60