your daily crossroad

 

What To Do With Halloween?

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:15) 
 
Halloween. It’s a time of year when the air gets crisper, the days get shorter, and for many young Americans, the excitement grows in anticipation of shouting, “Trick or Treat?”
 
Many Christians refuse to participate in Halloween. Some are wary of its pagan origins, others of its dark, ghoulish imagery; some are concerned for the safety of their children. Still other Christians choose to partake of the festivities, whether participating in school activities, neighborhood trick-or-treating, or a Halloween alternative, such as Trunk or Treat at their church or another venue.
 
The name “Halloween” comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. “All Hallows Eve,” the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. “All Hallows Eve” was eventually contracted to “Hallow-e’en,” which became “Halloween.” 
 
The question is, “How should Christians respond to Halloween? Is it irresponsible for parents to let their children trick-or-treat? What about Christians who refuse any kind of participation during the season; are they overreacting?”
 
Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, remember that Halloween provides the Christian with the opportunity to show AND share the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a message that is holy, set apart from the world; it’s a message that is the very mercy of a forgiving God. What better time of the year is there to share such a message than Halloween?
 
After I read this devotion I felt it was worth sharing for such a day. I pray after reading todays devotion I can leave you with this. Jesus Christ is Lord–and we celebrate HIM every day! However you choose to celebrate or not to celebrate, may HE be the honoring factor in every decision!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is 1 Peter 5:8-9


Writing About God

Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. (Jeremiah 30:2) 
 
The Old Testament is a written record of God’s work in the lives of the Israelites. We are deeply indebted to the writers of the Bible—their records show us the great work that God has done for humanity. We can follow in the footsteps of the Biblical authors by journaling what God has done in our lives. 
 
Journaling can be an amazing part of how you connect to God. Keep a record of how God moves in your life, and over time, you will see how intimately God is involved. Then, one day, you will read with awe the testimony God has written on the pages of your life. 

What a simple but powerful devotion. I am always amazed at how God’s word has basic instructions to lead and guide every aspect of our lives. I remember a time in my life when I would journal a lot and I’ve looked back and seen just as today’s devotion says, I read with awe the testimony God has written on the pages of my life. I am going to start journaling again. I pray this devotion inspires you to take the time and start journaling what God has done in your life.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Ephesians 2:8-9


Obey Fast

I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. (Psalm 119:59-60) 
 
When God said, “Let there be light,” the universe sprang into existence. 
 
So what is God speaking in your life, family, or church right now? And are you obeying as quickly as the universe did?! 

Finish this statement:
 
“God is calling me to _______.”
 
What was your answer?
 
Whatever it is, are you going to obey him fast?
 
In today’s verses, the psalmist described a key life pattern we should each adopt:
  1. Observe your life
  2. Turn to God’s word
  3. Obey as fast as you can
Imagine your life if you started living in this simple way today. (Some of you already do!) 
 
Can you imagine the impact your life could have for the kingdom?
 
The best part is, when we understand who is speaking to us, it is a joyful thing to obey.
 
He is the God who spoke the universe into existence…
 
Who commanded the sun to shine…
 
Who set the earth spinning…
 
When God speaks, his incredible will comes to pass. So what is his will for you today?
 
Will you look to his word as your source of truth and obey as fast as you can?
 
I was blessed by this devotion today. I pray it inspires you to ask yourself that very question, what is God calling me to do, what is His will for my life? I love this, what if, instead of a scramble for our personal comfort, our lives looked like a mad dash for obedience. Remember today, when God speaks glorious things happen. Amen and Amen.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Romans 12:1


You Are Worth More

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

As a little girl, I never felt I was worth very much.

I always felt I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough or good enough. I sensed my parents tolerated me but certainly didn’t delight in me. And if your own parents couldn’t love you, then who could?

Then there was the definitive day in the eleventh grade that took my self-worth to an all-time low. I can still remember what I was wearing: lavender bell-bottom low-rise jeans, a bubble knit short-sleeve top, Dr. Scholl’s wooden sandals, and a blue bandanna tied around my head of long, oily hair that I hadn’t had time to wash that morning. This was acceptable attire when I was in high school, except for the days when a special awards or recognition assembly was held.

In homeroom that morning, the principal announced over the intercom that an unscheduled assembly would take place at 11 a.m. to recognize students being inducted into the National Honor Society. That’s when I understood why so many of my friends were dressed a notch above the norm. Their parents had received the secretive congratulatory call the night before and made sure their kids had washed their hair and left the frayed jeans in the drawer.

Some 400 teens found seats in the darkened auditorium. The principal made a speech of commendation from the podium and then said, “Will the following students come forward when your name is called to receive a certificate and a candle to be lit by last year’s inductees?”

The principal called each name, and I watched several of my friends walk across the immense stage. Then, to my horror and surprise, my name was called. Why didn’t my parents warn me, I thought. I look horrible — and I did.

When the houselights went up, I panned the back of the room where proud parents snapped pictures and pointed out their progeny to others standing on tiptoe to catch a glimpse. My parents were not among them — they never were.

I later discovered that my dad had received the call from the school the night before but forgot to tell my mom. Even though they both worked across the street from the school, they didn’t come to the ceremony. In my mind, their absence confirmed what I’d suspected for the past 17 years. I’m just not worth the trouble.

I didn’t care about the certificate or the principal’s accolades. What I really wanted to know was that I had value to the two people who mattered most.

Perhaps you’ve had painful experiences in the past that left you feeling worthless. Jesus wants you to know you have great value. He gave His life so that you would!

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31).

In other words …

You are worth more than the money in your bank account.

You are worth more than the number of friends you have on Facebook.

You are worth more than the number of followers on your Twitter account.

You are worth more than the number of meetings and appointments on your calendar.

You are worth more than your successes or failures.

You are worth more than your level of education.

You are worth more than the price tags in your closet.

You are worth more than your accomplishments or lack of them.

You are worth more than many sparrows.

It took many years, but finally I took hold of Jesus’ words: You are worth more. That’s what Jesus wants you to know today.

Oh, Lord, help me to really get this. I’ve spent so much of my life feeling like I’m not good enough. Help me see that because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His Spirit in me, I am enough. Help me see I have great worth as a child of God and image-bearer of my Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This devotion brought tears to my eyes. I pray it opens someone’s eyes to know and see there worth, to know that they are enough. Remember today, you are worth more to Jesus.

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is 1 Peter 1:24-25



Standing in Daddy’s Strength

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)

 

It was years ago when my firstborn traipsed through a muddy pumpkin field in search of the perfect pumpkin, but I can picture him now. Wrapped in a fuzzy yellow sweatshirt and an ornery grin, he moved up and down the rows of tangled vines and inspected the bulging orange fruit.

 

I’d already made it clear we were leaving with just one, so he stooped to consider the shape and texture, the width and height of every pumpkin that caught his eye.

 

He wiggled them and slapped them, sniffed them and studied them. Finally, he gave a Goliath-sized gourd a gentle kick and stared at me with an expectant grin. “I want this one, Mom!”

 

Weigh it, then pay it! the sign posted on the edge of the pumpkin field had declared.

One look at Goliath, and I knew I didn’t have enough money in my pocket to pay for my son’s pumpkin of choice.

 

But before I could voice my objection, a coverall-clad farmer sauntered to our side. “I’ll give you that pumpkin for free if you can carry it,” he said to my boy with a conspiratorial wink.

 

My little one nodded, then wrapped his spindly arms around the pumpkin’s massive middle and tried to lift it out of the dirt. He grunted and heaved. Heaved and grunted, but that pumpkin wouldn’t budge.

 

Finally, my preschooler plopped on the ground beside that giant gourd, and I braced myself for the angry wails that were sure to follow.

 

Much to my surprise, there were no tears or tantrums, just an honest admission: “I’m not strong enough to carry this,” my boy told the kind-eyed farmer.

 

The old pumpkin grower rubbed his silver beard and held my son’s earnest gaze. “Sorry about that, young man …” he said.

 

“It’s okay,” my 4-year-old replied with a confident smile. “My daddy’s really strong.”

 

A sing-song chuckle erupted from the farmer’s lips, and I laughed with relief when I realized that my son hadn’t stayed stuck on what he couldn’t do. Instead, he allowed his weakness to remind him of what his daddy could do.

 

And there on that pumpkin-dotted hilltop, it struck me. That’s all God asks of His children, too.

 

God doesn’t expect us to stir up our own strength or multiply our own might. He doesn’t command us to conquer our challenges alone or give up when we face our gaps. He invites us to seek His with-ness in our weakness and enlist His extravagance in our lack.

 

Scripture reminds us that our strength is found in Christ, (Philippians 4:13) and our might comes from our Maker (Psalm 24:8).

 

Perhaps that’s why, in today’s key verse, we find King David singing with confidence when it seems he’ll soon be sunk.

 

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7)

 

And centuries later, we discover the Apostle Paul echoing the same sentiment from a stinky prison cell, where he declares:

 

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) 

 

King David and the Apostle Paul understood what you and I would be wise to remember: Our weaknesses can set the stage for God’s strength.

 

Our lack can pave the way for His provision.

Our gaps can be windows to His glory.

Our “not enough” can make room for His “exceeding abundantly” (Ephesians 3:20).

 

Friends, when we truly understand this radical truth, something amazing happens.

We become less concerned about what we can’t do and more convinced of what God can do.

 

Where we once felt frustration, we find freedom. Where we once felt discouragement, we find hope. Where we once felt frailty, we find strength.

 

And just like Paul, David, and a 4-year-old I once knew, we discover that our weaknesses aren’t fatal when we have a Daddy who’s faithful … and really, really strong.

 

Dear Jesus, I want to know You as my strong Father. Teach me how to live in the freedom of Your strength rather than in the frustration of my shortcomings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

What a beautiful devotion. I pray it encourages and reminds you today to live in the freedom of His strength rather than our own. Amen! I love this! Be encouraged today. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is Ephesians 5:19-20



Seeing Jesus in Others

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:37-40) 
 
When I rush through life I tend to see sin in others, not my Savior Jesus. If I first look for someone’s imperfections, I jettison the joy of immediately loving them like they were the Lord. Jesus explains in His parable—the counterintuitive claim of feeding, clothing, visiting the sick and those in prison, are all a reflection of caring for Christ, “You did it for me”. What a loving lens! Prayerfully, I am able to see others like Jesus—beautiful, precious and worthy of my love.
 
I find myself from time to time thinking poorly about another, and frankly at times I get downright angry at someone’s insensitivity toward me or someone I care about. Only when I pray for them am I prepared to love them like the Lord loves them. I have to ask myself, though I have been hurt by this person, how by the power of the Holy Spirit can I look beyond my hurt to the healing their heart needs. In Jesus’ name, I can pray for wholeness of soul for both of us. My posture of prayer prepares me to let go of my hang ups and lift up a needy soul in love.
 
When I pray for people hard to love, it’s hard not to love them. Love sees Jesus in others.
 
From Catherine of Siena, Letters:
 
The soul will want to be on fire with love for God, forgetting itself like a person in love does. People who are in love forget themselves entirely. They have no time for staring at their navels. Instead, they’re totally absorbed in the object of their love. Love has the power to make lover and beloved join in heart and mind. What one loves, the other loves. They are one. I’ve noticed that whenever we love or really want something (whether this is something useful or something merely bringing us joy or pleasure), we don’t care what insult, injury, or trouble we must go through to get it. In fact, we’re so intent on getting what we want, we hardly even notice how hard we are working to get it. Now that’s love!
 
Who do you know who is hard to love? Look at him with eyes of compassion and concern. He may still be stuck in a crazy cycle of hurt from a childhood trauma that fuels his unhealthy emotions. Look for the Lord in his life: his smile, his good deed, his helpful work. Or, she may lack the love of her earthly father—needy and hungry for connection. See your Savior in her life: her wise words, her intuitive sense, her relational skills. Love looks for the best—it sees Jesus. 
 
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). 
 
Heavenly Father, give me loving eyes to see You at work in the heart of those who cross my path, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
Wow, I was so moved by this devotion that I had to share it. Just the other day I seen something and it said, Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. May this be at the forefront of our minds when we find it hard to love. I needed to be reminded of this today and my prayer is that someone is encouraged to “Look at him or her with eyes of compassion and concern”. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind, always.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is Proverbs 9:10


God’s Love For You and I

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) 
 
Focusing on the way God loves us in this verse, seems an infinitely more profound way of communicating the depth of His love. We must consider the reality that in order to redeem mankind, who had made themselves God’s enemies, his very Son was required as substitute. That’s like a parent giving his or her only child’s life to save the lives of soldiers from an invading enemy nation, intent on destruction. 
 
When our eyes are opened to that kind of unfathomable love, it should stir something in us. God’s love for us is deeper than words, it was spoken through selfless action and is further communicated through His adoption of us. (Ephesians 1:5). The beautiful gift of our salvation is a story wrought with absolute love.
 
Through the sacrifice made upon the cross we are reconciled back to our rightful place as sons and daughters of God; and this place is one that cannot be taken from us. (Romans 8: 38-39). Our place of dependence here is as God’s dearly beloved children.
 
In light of your dependence as children of God, you are invited to trust in the Father’s intense love and affection for you. Take time today to rest in the truth of the love that was shown to us all through the sacrifice of Jesus.
 
This devotion blessed me. As a parent myself I don’t know if I could willingly do as today’s devotion depicts, sacrifice my only child’s life to save the lives of soldiers from an invading enemy nation, intent on destruction. Wow! What a thought provoking visual. What love! Remember this today, God loves you more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime. There is no pit so deep that that God’s Love is not deeper still. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Galatians 6:2


Speaking Of Faith in Action

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. (John 5:5-9) 
 
Picture this scene: An old man is lying beside the healing pools of Bethesda. He had been sick and paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus walks by and says to him, “Do you wish to get well?” Now come on, could there be a more obvious question than this? Everyday, people have been carrying him on his mat, laying him by the pool, and hoping for healing. Then Jesus comes up and asks if he wants to get well. Why in the world would He ask a question like that?
 
Jesus asks this question because He knew that for 38 years this man had been totally dependent on others. He lived a life of dependency. And if he is healed, then he’s going to have to start showing initiative and taking personal responsibility for himself. And that’s why Jesus asks him, “Do you want to get well?” Jesus had the power to completely transform this man’s life.
 
You see, Jesus was highlighting an interesting facet of human nature: dependency on anything is incredibly addictive. So, how does this man answer Jesus’ question? With classic victimization mindset, he blames someone else for the fact that he is still unwell. “I can’t get well, because I have no one to help me into the pool,” the man says (My Paraphrase John 5: 7). Because of his disability, he’s blaming others and seeing himself as a victim. Jesus said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”
 
Let’s break down what’s happening:
  • “Stand up.” — It took a lot of faith for that man who’s been trapped in that paralyzed body to stand up, but the man stood up.
  •  “Pick up your mat.” — The man had to take responsibility for himself; he couldn’t depend on others carrying him anymore. The man picked up his mat.
  •  “Walk.” — In other words, it was a command for this man to leave his former life where he had been totally dependent on others. So, what happened? The man began to walk!

That man left his old life, where he had been so incapacitated for all those years, to live a new life, all thanks to the supernatural healing power of Jesus. 

Are you caught in the trap of dependency? Look to Jesus. Through faith, He will give you the power to change your life — whether you are supernaturally healed or not.
 
What a powerful devotion. I pray it touches someone’s life is such a way you realize today that as this devotion says, He will give you the power to change your life.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Proverbs 15:23


Zechariah: A Faith Example

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (Luke 1:13) 

When faithful men of the Bible are spoken of, Zechariah is not a name often mentioned. He is only mentioned in the Gospel of Luke because he is the father of the great John the Baptist, the fore runner of the Messiah, Jesus. While there aren’t books written about him or any other mentions in the Bible, he is someone we can look to as an example of faithfulness.
 
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old in age and did not have children (Luke 1:7). In that day, being childless usually brought sorrow to the family and shame from those around them (Luke 1:25). Outsiders would often think there was sin in the lives of the couple, and that childlessness was the means by which God is punishing them. During this though, Zechariah chose to remain faithful to God in his work as a priest and in his prayers for a child of his own.
 
Zechariah could have easily stopped praying, became bitter, and stopped working for the God who was not providing a child for him. However, this is not how Zechariah’s story ends. We know that God did in fact answer his prayers and blessed him with a son, John the Baptist.
 
We can be encouraged that God hears our prayers and answers them in His timing for a greater blessing than we could have ever imagined.
 
Let us remember to recall the story of God’s faithfulness to Zechariah at moments in our lives when we are tempted to give up on God.
 
This devotion blessed me. I pray you are encouraged to never give up on God, He will never give up on you. Stay the course and keep believing. You may be tired, discouraged and frustrated, but don’t give up, God is faithful. Trust in His timing. Kick the devil in the teeth and don’t give up.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 40:8


Walking by Faith

For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:5-7)

 

 

Christians generally associate faith with their salvation experience, and rightly so. By believing in Christ, we enter into a relationship with Him. But that’s not the end—after that initial decision comes a lifetime of walking with Him.

 

Since the word walk is used to describe behavior and conduct, we may mistakenly conclude that after salvation, the Christian life is all about performance. But today’s verses clearly state that we walk with Christ in the same way we received Him—by faith. This means we place our trust in Him for every circumstance of life. To help us understand this, Paul uses some phrases in verse 7 that describe how confidence in God grows:

 

“Having been firmly rooted”—At the moment of salvation, believers are planted in Christ. As we anchor ourselves in the Lord, our roots grow deep, drawing spiritual nourishment from Him.

 

“Being built up in Him”—Through obedience, the believer’s life is built on the foundation of the Savior. God wants us to choose precious and valuable building materials that will last into eternity (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

 

“Established in your faith”—As we begin to understand more about the Lord and how He operates, our trust in Him increases. Then we experience stability, even in the winds of adversity.

 

In our goal-oriented society, it’s easy to forget that walking in Christ is a process. While on earth, we never “arrive” but are slowly transformed along the way. As we trust the Lord, our hearts will overflow with gratitude for all His blessings and the stability He offers in every circumstance.

 

I was encouraged by this devotion. I think as Christians we can be so overwhelmed by trying to “arrive” that we loose site of the true purpose of salvation and what God truly wants for us. Realize today that you are slowly transforming and it’s okay to go slow, He is with you every step of your journey helping you along the way. I realize we are our own worse critic, but today rest in knowing He offers true stability in every circumstance. One day we will stand before Him and I pray you hear, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. It will be in that moment in eternity that we have truly arrived. Until then, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and find the beauty in walking with Him each and every day. Walk by faith! 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 27:14 



The Lord, Our Shepherd

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 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. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:1-18) 


If you’re like most people today, you probably don’t know much about shepherding sheep, but in biblical times this was a common occupation. Every evening, the local shepherds could be seen leading their flock into a common fold for the night. And each morning, they would call their own sheep out of the communal fold and lead them to pasture.

 

 

It was the shepherd’s job to find adequate food and water, protect the sheep from predators, rescue those who wandered off, and care for the weak or wounded. The shepherd lived among his flock and slept across the doorway of the fold to keep the sheep in and the wolves out. Although this was a lowly, dirty, and exhausting job, Christ used it to describe Himself, saying, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11; John 10:14).

 

The Sovereign God of the universe humbled Himself, became a man, and lived among sinful, errant, and willful human “sheep.” He laid down His life for them so that all who believe in Him could enter into the fold and become part of His flock. And once they become His sheep, He does for them exactly what the shepherds long ago did—He feeds them, protects them from enemies, brings them back when they stray, strengthens the weak, and cares for the hurting.

 

Being one of Christ’s sheep is the most secure and comforting position possible. He knows each of us intimately and calls us by name, leading us every step of the way through this life. And when we are truly His, we can distinguish His voice from all the others and will follow Him in obedience. 

 

I love today’s devotion. What a visual. I pray it blesses you and reminds you today and every day, just how important you are to Him. I am so grateful He is my shepherd. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 25:14-15



A Way Out

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) 
 
Anxious to get home after a long day at work, I rushed through the grocery store and did not notice that the cashier had accidentally given me extra change.  As I neared the exit, I caught the mistake, and thoughts started streaming in my mind: Walk faster.  No one will know.  Then another thought followed: This must be a test.
 
This last thought began to consume me because this had been the second such experience I’d had that day.  Earlier, I had almost left a public bus without paying for the fare; but then I felt that God was telling me that if I went on and didn’t pay, I would be sinning.  If instead I went back to pay, I would be growing and maturing for the glory of God.  I paid my bus fare and ultimately gave back the extra change to the cashier as well.
 
Being short on money and yet having two challenges involving money in one day reminded me of the way temptations sometimes storm our lives and cloud our judgment to the extent that we start viewing things that are wrong as right.  But God is faithful and knows us and never stops giving us instruction and reproof to help us endure temptation.
 
Mighty God, thank you for delivering us from temptations today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me today. I pray today you remember that God is faithful and He knows you and never stops giving you instruction and reproof to help you endure temptation. Lean in on Him just a little more today and watch Him lead and guide you in the right direction. Telling lies and being deceitful takes so much more energy than being honest and sincere. Always remember, God is watching, He sees all things, great and small.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 


Good Decisions

And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me. And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:27-34) 

The familiar expression “You reap what you sow” is reinforced throughout Scripture (Job 4:8; Prov. 11:18). In today’s passage, Esau learned this truth the hard way. Famished, he returned from hunting and requested a bowl of the stew his brother was cooking. Jacob seized upon the opportunity and agreed to share the food in exchange for his older twin’s birthright.
 
In Old Testament times, the firstborn son enjoyed special privileges, which included authority over younger siblings, a double share of the inheritance, and the honored position as spiritual leader over the family. Yet Esau, deciding that food was more of a necessity right then, traded his birthright for dinner. He later grieved when he realized what was lost, but at that point, it was too late. Like Esau, we at times all face critical choices. While God offers forgiveness for wrong decisions, the consequences remain. So we must learn to choose wisely.
 
We should take to heart two warnings from this story. First, to distinguish our best options, we need to assess whether we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually stable; if not, we should wait. Otherwise, we might end up like Esau, who allowed hunger to cloud his thinking. Second, delaying gratification is usually a safe choice. For example, though a person may be eager to buy a car, it’s wise to shop around for the best deal. Our human desires can feel overwhelming at times, but we should prayerfully wait for God’s timing.
 
Think about the longings you have, consider the consequences, and take your time. God wants to steer you away from unnecessary trouble.
 
I was blessed by this devotion today. I pray you are encouraged by today’s devotion as well and it causes you to pause and distinguish your best options by assessing whether you are physically, emotionally, and spiritually stable; if not, you should wait. I am reminded of Isaiah 40:31, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. It’s okay to wait. Delays are not defeats.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
 
Today’s Reading is 2 Samuel 7:22


Jesus’ Yoke Is Easy And Light

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)

The word “yoke” can be foreign to those of us living in an industrialized nation.

Basically, a yoke is a piece of wood that is used to hold two animals together, usually oxen, to help them share the load in pulling a till or a buggy of some sort.

The key here is that the yoke allows the animals to support each other in pulling the heavy weight.

As we live our lives, we are often times yoked by many things. We might be yoked with a personal decision that is weighing heavy on us.

We might even be yoked with a spouse who helps us in the hard times. We can even be yoked to sin as the Israelites were with Baal (Numbers 25:3). No matter how you look at it, we are yoked to something, whether good or bad.

Jesus tells us to come and take his yoke and we will find rest. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t say he will take our burdens and attach his yoke to it as we stand by and watch.

No, he takes us under his yoke and carries those burdens with us along the way.

In turn, he takes the majority of the burden and makes it “light” for us. We also “learn” from Jesus as we carry the burden with him.

This allows us to learn to change from the inside instead of repeating the same wrong things over and over. Is there something pulling you down that you haven’t given to Jesus today?

Take off your yoke and join Jesus in lightening the load.

What I love so much about this devotion is the visual it gives for the meaning of Yoke. I can honestly say I never gave much thought to the meaning of that one word but wow, what a powerful understanding. It transforms that setting of scripture in such a powerful way. I pray today you are encouraged to learn from Jesus as you carry the burden with him, For His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Romans 12:2



A Prescription For Your Soul

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2)

 

 

Have you heard the saying, “take care of yourself and the rest will take care of itself”? There’s a lot of truth in that statement. When we’re rested, well-fed, and in good physical condition, we have the energy needed to tackle life head-on.

 

Or, so it would seem.

 

Taking care of ourselves requires more than just taking care of our physical needs. We also need to nourish our souls.

 

Our soul is who we are as individuals, dictating our choices, feelings, and self-image. A healthy soul is not only a key component of our overall health but our eternal salvation as well.

 

While it’s generally understood what makes a healthy body, here are a few ways to recognize a healthy soul.

 

A healthy soul is right with God, which is achieved by placing our faith in Jesus (Romans 3:22). Pray regularly and include him in all of your daily decisions.

 

A healthy soul is renewed by the Word of God and transformed by His Spirit (Ephesians 4:17–24). Ask the Lord to guard your heart and direct your thoughts away from selfishness, greed, and any kind of impurity or sinful desires.

 

A healthy soul loves God and understands all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28). Trust His ways and know that his plan is at work, even when you don’t see or understand it.

 

And a healthy soul is joyful (Nehemiah 8:10), no matter the circumstance. If we let the day get to us, we let Satan take advantage of our situation and exploit it for his gain.

 

What is ONE CHANGE you could make in your life today that would improve the overall health of your soul? What’s holding you back from making that change?

 

A prescription for your soul, what I love about this devotion is the fact that we are constantly hearing about being in good healthy condition, which is good, but with that comes the most important thing, above all else, the overall health of your soul. All it takes is choosing to make one simple change at a time. I pray you are encouraged today. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 62:1