your daily crossroad


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

Out of the Valley

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18) 
Life is beautiful, but it can also be painful. In reality, we are all either hurting, healing, or somewhere in between. So when—not if—you find yourself in a valley, what do you do? 
Here are three methods of dealing with emotional pain. 
First, it’s okay to feel the way you do, but don’t let it become your identity. Your feelings are not bigger than who God created you to be. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10
Second, focus on what you know. In no way should we compare our struggles with Christ’s suffering on the cross, but do you think he could have willingly put himself through that kind of humiliation and torture if he was focused on his feelings? No, Christ knew God’s plan, and it was his singular focus until his last breath. We must strive to have the same mentality. “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalm 73:26
And third, remember what you’ve already overcome! It’s not healthy to live in the past, but we can certainly learn from it and remind ourselves how God has already helped us persevere. He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and when we learn to rely on Him in every aspect of life, we can accomplish anything (Philippians 4:13). “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.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 Cor 12:9-10
Healing is a process, but when we refuse to let it define us, focus on God’s plan for our lives, and learn to rely on his love, grace, and mercy, in all things, he will bring us out of the valley. 
This devotion blessed me today. I pray it gives you spiritual guidance when dealing with emotional pain. I love how God’s word has all the answers when life is beautiful and when life is painful. He will always bring you out of the valley. Isaiah 40:29 says, He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. He is faithful.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 112:5

You’re Shining for Jesus Wherever You Are

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16) 
The news headlines drifted in from the living room as I sat at my desk. The story of yet another tragedy contrasted so sharply with what I was writing that I stopped, sighed and leaned back in my chair. A sense of despair washed over me. 
“Lord,” I silently prayed, “is there anything I can do about the darkness in this world? It seems so overwhelming.” 
I sensed a gentle whisper within my heart replying, “The only way to get rid of the darkness is to add more light.” 
Darkness is the absence of light. Trying to go after it directly is like chasing your shadow. You can’t bag it up and throw it away. Only light is powerful enough to make the darkness disappear. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that we are the light of the world. We are called to shine. But the light we share is not our own.
From the very beginning of creation, God has been the source of light both spiritually and literally. Genesis 1:2b-3 says, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” 
Imagine a world full of darkness. Then with four small words, light blazes forth. Every living thing in our world relies on light for its existence – plants, animals and people. The God who brought light to the world also brings it to our lives. As 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts”. . . 
The best part of all is that we don’t have to be like the light bulb that said, “I have to find a way to shine!” The light bulb went to a self-help meeting to learn about its inner capacity for light. It read books about how to get brighter. Each morning the light bulb would get up and recite positive affirmations. “I am a light bulb. I believe in myself. I will shine!” But nothing happened. 
Eventually the light bulb became weary and discouraged. It began to doubt who it was and what it could do. It almost burned out completely. Fortunately, one day the light bulb was carefully placed in a fixture. Light burst forth and filled the room. The light bulb finally understood. The key was not to try harder but to plug into the source. 
Trying to shine on our own can be exhausting. Instead, we’re simply called to be closely connected to God and remain in Him. When we do, His light pours forth through us in powerful, brilliant ways that change the world. The ways we shine might not make the news, but they make even more of a difference than we can see. 
Lord, thank You for being the light within us so we can shine brightly for the world around us. When it seems darkness is crowding in, use us to make a difference. We ask that You will help us share Your love, joy and peace. You are the hope we need and the One light that will never burn out, be overcome or fade away. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
After reading this I truly don’t know what more to add so I will leave you with this and pray it blesses and strengthens someone today who may be struggling to shine on there own. Be the light that helps others see. John 8:12 says, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 19:14 

From Victory to Victory

Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psalm 20:6) 
“From” is a preposition—a qualifier of another word—and it can be used to specify a starting point in spatial movement or used to indicate a source or origin. Victory is both your starting point as you move toward seeking God, and your place of origin if you hold the right perspective. 
Most of how you walk through life is based upon perspective. A pastor once said, “You get what you expect, so expect good things.” When you are facing circumstances with a lot of unknowns, you can be tempted to look at all the things that could go wrong. Or you can remember that Christ came so that you could have an abundant life. 
The second part of that phrase says you are to trust God for the outcome. Trust is reliance on another, on their integrity, strength, ability, etc. If you’ve ever been hurt by someone before, trust can be a scary thing. God will never fail you. Even if what you wanted to happen didn’t, you can rest assured that God knows better and sees clearer and farther than you can. 
Let go of your picture of perfection. Let God out of the box you’ve placed Him in. Seek God’s picture of perfection for your life. 
After reading this devotion my prayer is that you will be encouraged to live victoriously. Pray for courage, comfort and strength as you continue to trust Him. I read a quote the other day that blessed me, it said, it’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think your not. Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can. You get what you expect, so start your day expecting good things, even if some days you have to try a little harder.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 119:11 

Overcoming the Flesh

Romans 8:1-11 
Sin is often frightfully deceptive. We can be diligently serving the Lord without realizing that we’re actually doing so for selfish reasons such as recognition, affirmation, or achieving our own goals. Or maybe our external behavior doesn’t match what’s really going on within our heart. We could be doing all the right things outwardly while at the same time holding a grudge, finding fault, or grumbling in our heart.  
These problems flow from our flesh and its sinful desires, which are part of the condition in which we were born. The only cure for a self-focused life is what Galatians 5:16 calls “walking by the Spirit.” 
First, we must realize that we cannot live a godly life apart from the Holy Spirit. Remember, the flesh cannot be changed or tamed but must be replaced with dependence on the Holy Spirit. He alone can overcome the pull of sin because His power is unlimited. 
Second, we must surrender to the Holy Spirit rather than yield to our fleshly desires. In other words, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14). 
Third, we must trust the Lord. We can’t fully surrender to Him until we confidently believe both that His Word is true and that He keeps His promises. Then, as our thoughts, decisions, and actions align with the truths of Scripture, we are empowered to stand firm against temptation. 
God wants you to live in the fullness of His Spirit. So lay your flesh down at the cross today, and let the Spirit lead you into a fruitful, abundant life. 
I was blessed by this devotion when I read it and I felt we could all benefit from it, no matter who you are, no one is exempt. We all struggle with something from day to day but God has given us instruction to overcoming the flesh. He knows distinctly just what each and every one of us struggle with. As today’s devotion says, there is a cure for a self focused life and overcoming the flesh, surrender to The Holy Spirit and trust The Lord. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit (Galatians 8:5). 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 41:10

We Know Love by This

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down ourlives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) 
I find it impossible to lose sight of the fact that Christ not only died for our sins, but He also endured everything we would have to endure so that we could never say that He didn’t understand our problems. 
In the verse above, we see how Jesus shows His unconditional, undeserved love through His willingness to die for us in order to give us life. With this action on His part, He has every right to request that we offer the littlest portion of such a gesture for someone else. This verse doesn’t only talk about showing love by losing your physical life; but also about setting aside your own agenda in order to help, reach out to, and love others. 
If you think there are no people on earth today that are willing to die for their fellow man, look again! All you have to do is take a look around your community—from the policemen, firemen, and emergency crews to members of the military. 
We see that such a love for others is all around us. It doesn’t have to be as glamorous as the secret service in their dapper suits and earpiece communications to be a life-saving profession. We all witnessed countless heroes on 9/11 and during other tragedies who did their all to save the lives of others. 
We see accounts of heroism on some level just about every night on the evening news. People are seen laying their own lives on the line for someone else. How much more should we be willing to lay down our lives for others since we have the example of Christ being sacrificed once for all men! 
If you ask any of these people (servicemen and women, firemen, policemen, etc.) “why” they do what they do, they may not be able to tell you, it’s just something in them—a sense of duty that makes them willing. It’s the same with our faith! With the Holy Spirit in us, we will just be walking in the Spirit, willing to do what we should as we love each other. 
The picture of love that Christ showed us is perfect. Love in its simplest form according to Christ is obedience. Christ was obedient to the Father and became the ultimate sacrifice, a greater example of love does not exist! 
In John 14:15, we see Jesus give guidance on our relationship with Him, where He says, 
If ye love me, keep my commandments. 
Obedience is a result of love and respect. When we love Jesus, we obey His requests. Jesus loved the Father and obeyed His commands. 
We love God and others, and one way we show our love is through obeying God’s commands. Jesus clearly tells His people, 
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35) 
In this, we can see that loving one another Jesus’ way is more than “mushy gushy love talk” and a quick hug. It’s the real, lay down your life, pull together and help someone where they need you (even when it’s not easy) type gesture backed up by genuine, hard-working action. Love is the best when it is being “worked out” and actions are involved. Love is an action. It is not just a passing emotion that requires little more than brainpower and some smooth talk! 
Jesus showed love to those He came into contact with during His earthly ministry by improving their situation. He impacted their lives in positive ways. He cast out demons, making the possessed emotionally whole. He healed physical conditions; He helped out at a wedding to bring honor to those hosting it. He changed lives. Jesus helped us all by giving us the hope of salvation. 
I pray you are blessed and encouraged by this devotion today. When I read this devotion I felt it needed to be shared because we all need  this reminder. Strive to impact someone’s life in a positive way today.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:7 


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44) 
Many of us have a box or drawer that we keep mementos in—photographs that bring back fond memories, cards with kind and meaningful words written on them, trinkets given by a loved one, or maybe a ribbon, a lock of hair, or a pressed flower. What is in your treasure box? 
The Israelites had a history of being conquered and plundered by neighboring nations. Whenever war broke out and the enemy advanced, farmers would hide their valuables in a field in case their house was raided. Often, sadly, the family was swept away by the invaders and their treasure remained hidden until someone might discover it years later—usually while plowing the field or digging for some other reason. 
Jesus used that scenario as the backdrop for this parable about the kingdom. And when the man found the treasure, Jesus said, “He hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field.” 
So what is the value of the king­dom? To the one who finds it, says Jesus, it is worth more than everything he or she has. 
Now consider this: The kingdom of heaven’s value is your life, paid for by the life of Jesus. In his joy, upon finding the lost treasure that is you, Jesus went and sold all he had so that he could have you! 
Lord Jesus, thank you that you treasure me so much that you gave your life for mine. In your name, Amen. 
This devotion blessed me and my prayer is that it is a reminder of just how treasured you are by The King of all Kings. He treasures you and I so much He gave His life willingly. I am brought to tears when I read and think on what today’s devotion says, Jesus went and sold all he had so that he could have you and me, wow! That causes me to stop and reflect on things differently, He chose me! 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Romans 1:16

I CHOOSE Not To Be Offended

The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11) 
What did she mean by that? Why does she always hurt my feelings? Why does she treat me that way? 
I didn’t realize these words played through my head on a continual basis until my daughter pointed it out. She ended many of our conversations with, “Why do you get your feelings hurt so easily?” Or, “Mom, you’re so sensitive. 
At first, her words angered me. But over time, I began to hear what she was saying. For years, I allowed people’s words to hurt my feelings. In turn, I harbored anger for those words. The anger took root. Satan fed the words to me over and over again. I re-played them in my mind. Each time the anger grew deeper roots. 
Listening to a sermon in church, I would think, “I wish ______ was here. They really need to hear this!” Of course, the sermon by-passed my heart all together. The words of others consumed my thoughts and focus, and stole my time. 
About this time, God called me to teach a Bible study on the book of Proverbs. I spent days and weeks absorbed in this amazing book of wisdom. One afternoon, this verse leapt off the page and into my heart, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11). 
I had a choice. Up until now, I heard people’s words, jumped to a conclusion, and chose to be offended. But through His Word, God spoke and said, “Wendy, you can choose to look past their words and not receive them with an offended heart.” 
I discovered that I needed to LISTEN objectively and ask: What is driving their words? Do they have a valid point? Do they have a deep hurt? Do they need something I am not giving? Are they generally just plain mean and negative? 
The responsibility was on me to stop the words from entering my heart and taking root. I discovered in this process that I WANTED the approval of others. Yet, God’s Word clearly says that He is the only One whose approval I need. When I accepted this, my heart changed. 
Yes, it took time, and I am a work in progress. But, now when someone speaks a hurtful word, I check it at the door of my heart. I hear the words, I recognize my issue, and I speak Truth over my heart. I literally say, “It is to my glory to not receive this as an offense.” 
It is a win-win for everyone because I do not ruin the rest of the day by pouting and making it all about me or soaking in self-pity. And, each time, I sense God is pleased as I honor Him by choosing NOT to be offended. 
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am created in Your image. Thank You I find my identity in You. Thank You that it is only Your Word and Your opinion that matter. Lord, give me Your ears to hear. Help me not to be easily offended and easily angered. Help me lay down any offenses to which I am currently holding. Let me live in the freedom of Your love and forgiveness. Help me live not in my flesh, but supernaturally in the fullness and freshness of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
I pray this blesses someone in some way. I know it blessed me. God is so good. He’s always showing me ways to grow in Him. Thank You Lord for You are Faithful. I choose not to be offended. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 12:2

Giving God Your Best

Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing . . . (2 Samuel 24:24) 
After David had displeased God by holding a census, Israel experienced a plague. When “the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it,” God ordered the angel to stop. The point was a threshing floor that belonged to Araunah. 
Because of the importance of this place, the prophet, Gad, told David to build an altar there. Araunah offered to donate the land, but, to David, this was not acceptable. The principle to him was simple: “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” 
Eventually Araunah allowed David to buy the land. An altar was built, and “the Lord was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.” But David demonstrated how much he loved God by giving Him something of real value. 
David knew that we need to give God our best. Looking at our hearts, He sees what is important to us. And we demonstrate our priorities by what we do with our time, abilities, and possessions. 
We remember that Jesus told how a poor widow who had given an offering of two mites had, in His eyes, given more than anyone else (Mark 12:43). She had given God her very best. 
In your life, remember that God deserves your best, in everything you do. Show Him how important He is to you by your actions and attitudes. Never compromise, and always seek to serve Him with passion and excellence. Spend quality time with Him in prayer and Bible reading. 
And put your energy and resources into the things of God. Don’t hold back. And make His Kingdom your highest priority! 
Father, I want to give You the best in my life. I want to spend quality time with You, and give You the best of my time, talent, and treasure. Thank You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  
I pray this devotion inspires you to do just as it says, to put your energy and resources into the things of God. How can you make His kingdom your highest priority today? You always have time for the things you put first. Fill your mind with God’s word and you will have no room for satan’s lies, amen and amen. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is James 1:21 


The Power of Patience

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (Proverbs 14:29) 


One of the Merriam Webster definitions of patience is: “steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.” It’s not the most uplifting definition. Being patient is hard because as humans, we have a tendency to want what we want at that particular moment. Unfortunately, it seems that life is often a test of patience. 


I struggle with waiting – whether it’s sitting in traffic or at a restaurant. Why, I’d rather drive five miles out of the way than sit stuck in traffic. I get impatient when I’m facing a deadline and get interrupted, or when someone says they’ll do something and then fall through. 


Where do you struggle with patience? Do you ever pray, “Lord, give me some patience, now!” Let me suggest a few practical ways to learn patience:

  1. Take a deep breath and pray for self-control.
  2. When people anger you, if possible, retreat for a moment. Take time to back off and get control of your emotions.
  3. Confront fairly, and seek to listen and understand – first.  When needed, be sure to forgive.
  4. Remember, the greatest motive for patience is remembering God’s patience with us.


Patience is a precious commodity, for it’s a powerful way to win the respect of others and turn a potential enemy into a friend. 


Amen! This devotion blessed me. I pray after reading this devotion you can take something away from it to influence your life for the good. We can all use a little direction and guidance when it comes to patience. I love when it said, the greatest motive for patience is remembering God’s patience with us. Help us today Lord to show patience, for there is  power in patience. 


Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 


Today Reading is Romans 8:25 

Wise Aid

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1 Thessalonians 5:14) 


As I stopped my car at a red light, I saw the same man standing beside the road again. He held a cardboard sign: Need money for food. Anything helps. I looked away and sighed. Was I the kind of person who ignored the needy? 


Some people pretend to have needs but are actually con artists. Others have legitimate needs but face difficulties overcoming destructive habits. Social workers tell us it’s better to give money to the aid ministries in our city. I swallowed hard and drove past. I felt bad, but I may have acted wisely. 


God commands us to “warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). To do this well we must know who belongs in which category. If we warn a weak or disheartened person, we may break her spirit; if we help an idle person, we may encourage laziness. Consequently, we help best from up close, when we know the person well enough to know what he needs. 


Has God burdened your heart to help someone? Great! Now the work begins. Don’t assume you know what that person needs. Ask her to share her story, and listen. Prayerfully give as seems wise and not merely to feel better. When we truly aim to do what is good for each other, we will more readily be patient with everyone, even when they stumble (vv. 14–15). 


When have others most helped you? What did you learn about how best to help others? 


Father, help me to help wisely, and often. Amen. 


I was so encouraged by this devotion and I pray you are as well. It gave me spiritual insight to an area I myself struggle with from time to time. If we would do as today’s devotion says and seek God and don’t assume we know what the need is but stop, ask and listen, God will lead and guide you and I to help wisely. 


Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 


Today’s Reading is Jeremiah 32:17

Hope and Encouragement

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4,1-6) 
What happens to people when they lose hope? They give up. They quit. Hope and perseverance go together. Hope is a future promise that keeps us going. It is the carrot before the donkey. Hope knows that there is a goal, and that the goal is worth pursuing, even through hardship and difficulty. If we don’t have hope, we won’t have perseverance. 
Paul writes in Romans 15 is that everything in the Scripture—by which he means what we call the Old Testament—was written to instruct us in the Christian hope. Throughout the Old Testament we see God’s faithfulness in spite of man’s sin. We see the saints going through times of suffering and discouragement. We see the saints exiled to the wilderness, with no apparent future. But we also see that in time, God brings them back for greater service than before. The kingdom of God never shrinks; it may flow underground for a season, but it always emerges mightier than before. God is not going to be the loser in history! 
Thus, with the encouragements of the Scripture before us (Old and New Testaments), we should have hope. And following God’s example, we should encourage one another. Paul writes in Romans 15:5–6that we encourage one another when we live in unity, without being at each others’ throats, and that a fundamental expression of that unity is worship. When we stand together to sing God’s praises in the psalms and great hymns and prayers of the church, we encourage one another. The man who comes to worship downcast and beaten may emerge with new hope simply because of the unity of worship he has experienced. 
Paul says that God gives endurance and encouragement (verse 5). It is not just the history of redemption as recorded in the Bible that gives us encouragement. It is not just the continuing history of the church, which indeed shows growth over 2,000 years, that gives encouragement. And it is not just the fellowship of other saints, in life and in praise, that gives encouragement. But it is primarily God Himself who gives us encouragement. If we lack endurance and hope, we need to learn more about the attributes and intentions of God; for the more we know Him, the more encouraged we will be.
Psalms are a great source of encouragement, because (a) they meet us where we are, in the midst of difficulty and conflict, (b) they remind us of what God has done, and (c) they bring us face to face with God in prayer. Let’s get the psalms back into our worship and our private devotions. 
I pray this devotion encourages you today. It blessed me when I read it and encouraged me that the more we know Him, the more we seek Him, the more we read the word, the more we pray and seek His face, the more encouraged we will be. Make time for Him each and every day and watch encouragement poor into your life. We have an incredible hope in Christ.  
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Philippians 1:6

How Quickly We Forget

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. (Mark 8:16-17) 
Picture this – a group of friends had just left a large gathering of people, 5000 to be exact, setting sail on the Sea of Galilee when they realized they had no bread. This was no small matter, as the journey could be lengthy and potentially difficult. But the story doesn’t stop there. 
At the large gathering they had just left, Jesus had been teaching and preaching to the crowd when those 5000 people became hungry. So, Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish that were available and multiplied it such that everyone on the hillside was fed. There were even 12 baskets full of left overs! It was an incredible miracle, above duplication of the feeding of the 5000 men and their families. 
And now this group of men in their haste to leave, had forgotten to bring any provision for the journey. The irony of this scene is that Jesus, who had just miraculously fed a crowd of 5000 only minutes before, is sitting in that very boat listening to these concerns. He had to be shaking His head in disbelief. In fact, Jesus responds to these close friends, His disciples, “Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?”
You and I can be so similar to those disciples in that boat. How often have we experienced some miraculous circumstance (whether we credit Jesus or not), only to turn right around and whine about some other area of our lives. We so quickly forget the blessings we’ve experienced and allow doubt and fear to dominate our current situation, rather than resting in the fact that Jesus is right there in the boat of life with us. Jesus has already proven Himself trustworthy, to be found when we truly seek Him, and to never leave us or forsake us. Jesus is the Bread of Life…completely satisfying, and sufficient. If we could only rest and trust in that fact! 
If you’re struggling to trust Jesus, I want to encourage you that Jesus is who He says He is! But He doesn’t force us to trust Him. He allows that decision to be a deliberate act of our own free will. 
Will you take your eyes off the problems in your life and look to Jesus? See Him. Get to know Him. Soften your heart to His presence, because He’s right there with you in the boat. 
This devotion blessed me. I pray it is a reminder to you today of how quickly we tend to forget what God has done for us. In those moments when you start to murmur and complain, choose to count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done. Amen. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Ephesians 3:20-21