Thursday, July 24, 2008
Day 10 - Friday, July 25
Note: This D.H. is a retired military gentleman. He is an administrator high up in the health care system. So, you can see that his background really dictated his thoughts.
Bible Verse - Luke 16:13 (ISV)
No servant can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and wealth!
Loyalty is critical to a successful relationship. It is a personal value that is highly treasured when present in an individual and sorely missed when not present. Loyalty demonstrates the importance or value that one places in a person, or belief, or concept. Loyalty is a manifestation of love. Loyalties can be challenged. The world today has so many things that compete for our love and for our loyalty. Those things that captivate us and allure us can become our master. But our God is a jealous God. And he told us that the sole purpose of man is to love God and keep his commandments. He wants to be, and deserves to be, our only master. We must be continually on guard to ensure that we submit ourselves only to the true and living God. Loyalty to God is critical to our relationship with Him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
May we never have divided loyalties. May we never submit ourselves to any master other than You. Help us to stay focused on you as we walk through this world which is too often prepared to enslave us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... We need loyalty in our lives. We need to be able to trust. I have a friend right now who is about my age, has never been married, and is in a relationship with a girl who doesn't trust him. She is constantly texting him to see where he is or who he is with. When his mother passed away recently, he didn't even tell her when the funeral was because he didn't want her interfering with the friends that would come and see him at the funeral home. I wonder if God feels that way sometimes. I know that he is an ever-loving God, but does he sometimes get disgusted with us to the point that he doesn't even want us in His presence? I pray that we can all see where our loyalty needs to lie. I pray that we all put the trust in God that he deserves.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Day 9 - Thursday July 24
Note: The gentleman who wrote this one is our preacher.
Bible Verse - I Samuel 16:11 (ASV)
And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all the children?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep." Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here."
Faithfully doing what my parents wanted me to do when they were not around wasn’t always easy for me. David was always faithful and in so doing, learned submission. Faithful submission is tough for any disciple. But in learning this - we will be blessed. David may not have wanted to be tending sheep, but it was what his father wanted.
Help me to be submissive even when I want something else. Help me to remember it’s Your will that matters most. Give me the desire to surrender my will to You and for Your kingdom. Help me to learn, like David, to faithfully be about Your business.
In the name of Christ, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... Don't we all just want to "do our own thing" sometimes? We want to say, "Lord, we'll take this one and we'll get back to you the next time." We must always remember that the Lord's will for us is the best thing that can happen to us. No, it might not be the most fun thing sometimes; but the Lord always wants what is best.
Please keep my baby girl in your prayers. She started running a fever of slightly less than 102 (F) yesterday afternoon. The acetaminophen and ibuprofen seemed to be helping until tonight. Her temp was 103.3 under her arm (so add one for the true body temp). The doc on call said to put her in a bath to bring it down and keep an eye on her. If it goes back up, we are to take her to the ER tonight. He wants to see us in the office tomorrow. She is acting normal. She just has a really high temp. Thanks.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Day 8 - Wednesday, July 23
Note: The lady who wrote this devotional is the mother of three grown children whom she and her husband adopted. The youngest is in high school. She has suffered many trials with her two older children... many which would not be my place to say. She understands trials and struggles. Both she and her husband have multiple medical problems... mostly due to their being overweight. They both recently got lap-band surgery to help correct those problems.
Bible Verse - James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
It is always such a comfort to me to read the book of James. Life on earth is so hard. So many unexplained things happen to you and your loved ones. James 1:2-4 lets me know that it is God’s will, and it is all for a purpose and for my good.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for the trials that are put on us to let me know that this place I live is not my home. Thank you for the book of James to comfort me and to let me see the bigger picture and that Heaven is my true home. Dear Father, thank you so much for the wisdom to read your words. I ask this in your son’s name, my Savior Jesus Christ.
Additional Thoughts... There are so many things that happen and we ask "God Why?" I truly believe that God can use everything that happens to us for some good, no matter how bad it is. I lost my mother and had a miscarriage all in the same year. I asked "God Why?" My second daughter was born premature and had to spend a little less than 2 weeks in the NICU. I asked "God Why?"
A friend of mine recently lost his mother. I could be there for him and really know how he felt. I have met other ladies online who were suffering recent miscarriages. I could impart a bit of myself to them hoping that it did them well. I can empathize with mothers whose babies are in the NICU, and I'm so thankful that my little girl only had to spent the little amount of time there that she did.
We all face trials in this life. God promised us a wonderful life in Heaven, but He didn't promise us a rose garden here on earth. I just pray that God will keep my trials to a minimum.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Day 7 - Tuesday, July 22
Note... The gentleman who wrote this devotional is one of our older men in the congregation. He is an active member and teaches (along with my hubbie and one other) the senior saints of the congregation.
Bible Verse - Ephesians 3:17-19 (NKJ)
…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The bringing of Gentiles as well as Jews into membership of the one body is explained as a mystery (Eph.3:3-6). It is a deep and hidden truth that none of us could have worked out by ourselves but that we who are Gentiles have come to know who Jesus is and his love for us -- “the width and length and depth and height” of his love. By the work that he did at Calvary, he reconciled the world to himself. He is still reconciling the world to himself and he invites us to share in that great work. We know that the Word has transformed our lives and will transform the lives of others. We are to share this message, this mystery, with those we know.
I am grateful for the joy of knowing who Jesus is and his love for me, and for the joy of being a part of his family and being able to grow together. Help me to share this joy and love with others.
Through Jesus I pray, Amen.
Additional Thoughts... We are all children of God and Jesus is His Son. What a great thought that Jesus is our Big Brother. We are part of his family. He is the one who fights for us, his little brothers and sisters, against the bully of this world... Satan. Isn't that a great thing? I couldn't think of a better big brother to have.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Day 6 - Monday, July 21
Note... This gentleman is a high school teacher in our public school system. Just recently, he was hired as the part-time minister of our teens. He is one of the quiet ones who you never really get to know... until you read something like this.
Bible Verse - I Corinthians 9:24-25 (KJV)
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
II Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Over the last few months, we have had several baptisms in our congregation. It is a wonderful thing to see people put on Christ in baptism and see the sincerity and excitement on their faces. As great and important an experience this is, let us always remember that baptism is the beginning of our Christian race and not the end. Many people begin races, but only those with endurance and faith are able to finish. The same is true in our Christian lives as well. As Christians, let us all encourage and “cheer on” those who have recently been baptized as they begin their race. On the other hand, my wish for those who have recently been baptized is that they may use their new-found excitement and enthusiasm in such a way to rejuvenate the rest of the congregation. When that happens, everyone wins. Regardless of when each person begins the race, the important thing is that each person finishes it. May we all fight the good fight and finish the course.
We are so thankful for all the many blessings that You have give each of us throughout our lives. Father, we are especially thankful for those in our congregation who have recently been baptized and begun their Christian race. Father, we ask that You be with them and us so that we may constantly be an encouragement to each other. Father, we pray that You help us realize that we are not racing against each other but that we are running with each other as we strive to finish the course. Please forgive us when we fail as we strive to do Your will.
In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Additional Thought... You know, at the age of 13 when I was baptized it was like I floated down the aisle at our little country church. I felt like I was being carried by the angels. Sometimes in a race, it is easy at the beginning. There are people at the starting line cheering you on. Then somewhere in the middle of the race course, the cheering crowd diminishes and you seem to be alone. But we are not alone. Jesus is always there beside us. We need to remember that at the finish line, our cheering crowd will be there again waiting for us to come home.
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