For Christmas a few years ago I was given the three letters to spell joy and as I looked at them today on a what-not shelf, I realized the subject of this devotional. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying to find “joy,” consider Jesus first, others second and yourself last. I thought that way for most of my life but the last few years, I’ve realized that the first commandment Jesus said is to love God with all our hearts and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (see Matthew 22:37-40). The more I’ve thought about this, the more I say we must love ourselves before we can know how to love others! Continue reading
The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened; I have not rebelled or turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:5-7; all verses from New Living Translation.)
Father, I have several problems in my spine and I know a number of other people who have back pain. 1 Peter 2:24 says that by His stripes we were healed. That means that when Jesus’ back was beaten, He was paying the price for my back pain and for the issues others have as well. Jesus conquered death when He rose again and in verse 5 He overcame the pain and sickness Satan puts on us. Continue reading
What can I do to show God I love Him? Various actions demonstrate our love, like reading the Bible, praying, serving however He asks, and giving our tithes and offerings. Trusting God, however probably is the highest way we prove our love. I don’t mean trusting Jesus as our Savior; that’s only the beginning when we grasp that Father God loved us enough to let His Son Jesus die in our place for our rebellion against God. Continue reading
The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. (James 3:6 NKJV)
What a strong James gives us about our tongues! Although I’ve known this verse for years, God revealed a new truth to me tonight as I read it. I’d always taken the defiling to mean if a person speaks wrongfully of God or curses a person or something on that order. Tonight I realized that it can defile our natural bodies, and that defilement comes from Satan, who makes people sick, not God. God’s goodness to us and for us comes from His unfathomable love. Continue reading
He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me. (Psalm 55:18 NASU).
What kind of battle is making your life hard today? Are you in the midst of financial troubles where you don’t know how you can pay the next bill? Are your children out of control and nothing you do seems to help? Do grown children pay no attention to you when you try to tell them the right way to live? Have you lost your job and can’t seem to find another one? Perhaps you face a spiritual battle in doing God’s will when your mind craves something else. What is your battle today? We all have them from time to time. Continue reading
To see God’s face is to know Him, as far as we are able, and to be assured of God’s character. Why do I say that? Perhaps there is much more to seeing God’s face, but that is what I’m understanding at this point. God’s character stands for Who He is, just as ours stands for who we are. Continue reading
How often do we praise the Lord, if we’re not in church that is? I started thinking of how often I praise Him and decided it’s not often enough. I probably thank God more than I praise Him, unless I’m in a church-like setting or worshipping Him at home. Is there a difference between thanking and praising God? Continue reading
And Keep the Light Burning in the Darkness
I live close to the Texas Gulf Coast and lately we’ve had lots of days when you can literally feel the outside humidity. It’s even harder to breathe for people with respiratory problems because the air is so heavy. Then we go into our home or a building and instantly notice the difference. Continue reading
“Lord, I don’t care which way we go, just move us!” I prayed one day after my husband and I talked about putting our home on the market and moving. After two years passed, I didn’t really care if we moved or not, I simply wanted off that fence. Many pros and cons made us undecided which would be the better course for our family. My husband was unhappy in his job and didn’t find similar work in Austin. We were looking at other options out-of-town and even considering moving back to our hometown where our four parents lived and we had a few rentals. The more we looked the more confused the picture became. Sitting on the fence for so long became unbearable. I simply wanted a decision, at that time not really caring what the consequences were. Continue reading
Stepping out in faith never comes easily, but sometimes the battle turns long and drawn out. I think faith costs more dearly during those times. Look at Abraham, “the Father of Faith,” for an example. Abraham’s father Terah with Abraham and Sarah left Ur of the Chaldeans, where his family had lived for generations, to go to Haran. There they made their home and Terah died after a number of years. God told Abraham to leave there and go to a land He would show him. So Abraham took all his servants and all his possessions, including many cattle and sheep, and left without any idea of where he was going. Taking giant steps of faith, Abraham started walking. Continue reading
What is Aggressive Faith? Do we simply believe and patiently wait, or do we need to go after it and do something to help that faith be accomplished? Definitely I think there are times we need to patiently wait on God. Psalm 27:14 tells us: Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! This is like a little child eagerly awaiting a special birthday present; though he wants the day to quickly come, he must wait until it does. Sometimes God has set times to manifest the answer to whatever we’re praying for in faith. Whether He has to work with other people or other circumstances, we may not know, but in His time, it will come without any help from us. Continue reading
As I sat simply enjoying the presence of the Lord, I felt wrapped in luxury as Psalm 23 came to mind. Repeating that beloved Psalm to myself, I quickly saw the reason it popped up. This word from our heavenly Father assures us of all we need at any time. Let me give you my short interpretation of its wealth of contentment. Twice I have written extensively about this Psalm, going phrase by phrase. One so beloved we continually return to, don’t we? (The endnotes contain Scriptures for my descriptions in the Psalm.) Continue reading
Revelation 2:12-17: “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live — where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives.
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who ta”ught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Continue reading
The Bible’s story of Christmas is the third to the most powerful ever told. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the next most powerful, in my opinion. But the reason all this happened is the most powerful, the most wonderful, and the most unimaginable story possible! What a tremendous amount of LOVE Father God had for you and for me! We had no idea of such a God or that we might even need Him. We were much more interested in going our own way.