Cause to Celebrate

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Devotion: Luke 20:34, John 2:1-2

My husband and I found ourselves standing in the card section of Walmart; after 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night.  We looked at each other and said; “We’ve never done this before.”  We were buying each other anniversary cards. We had never purchased our cards together.  So we held these “Happy Anniversary” cards in our hands; so the other one could read it; except for the one we each decided upon.

Forty one years is a long time and yet it seems to have flown by so quickly.  We’ve had children together.  We’ve bought houses together.  We’ve purchased cars together. We’ve buried both my parents and one of his together.  We’ve had arguments together. He’s stuck with me in sickness and health, in poverty and wealth, and at this point I pray, until death do us part.  Then we will celebrate our betrothal to Jesus.

Weddings are one of the highest forms of celebration!  Jews, Greeks, Gentiles all celebrate the betrothal of a man to a woman.  I never want to take for granted the vows I spoke on August 31, 1974 before God and the host of people gathered at Pleasant View Baptist Church in Morganton, NC.

My love for my husband Ben has grown deeper with each passing year.  I still look forward to waking up with him beside me in the mornings.  I wait expectantly every evening, for his return from work. He has blessed me indeed; in my role as his wife and helpmate.  He has given me cause to celebrate yet another anniversary!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, bless my dear help mate!  I ask You to accomplish all that concerns him or her.  Help my life’s mate as he or she makes life’s decisions.  May her or she hear Your voice and know Your heart all the days of His or her life.  I thank You for the gift of my husband or wife and I pray his or her latter days will be greater than the former.  In Jesus Name. Amen

 

In All Things

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Devotion: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I heard myself say; “Thank You Lord for allowing me another day to live.  Thank You for life, health and strength to do Your bidding.Thank You for this cross You have chosen for me to bear.”  You may think that is a nominal, everyday kind of prayer. To give thanks in everything; can be difficult.  Choosing to be thankful in everything; takes some discipline.  Ask someone who has cancer or a disability that does not go away. Ask a grieving parent, child or sibling.

My friend, there is always something to be thankful for;  eyes to behold the world, ears to hear the music of crickets, birds and a baby’s cry, lungs that are capable of drawing deep breaths, arms and hands to work with; as well as legs and feet that can move you from place to place.  There is so much, for which you have to be thankful!

The things God allows in our lives that bring pain, discomfort and uncertainty; bring us pause in our lives.  Pause to reflect, rethink, and even release those painful things back to Him.  We earnestly need to come to the place where we can say; God I want to bring you honor and glory, even in this, whatever this is. I will choose to find things to be thankful for; in the midst of my trials and tribulations.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Jewish prisoner, in a Nazi camp, during World War II.  During her stay; the quarters she lived in, was never visited by the raping, pillaging Nazi soldiers. She wondered why they escaped the torture she heard about from the women in other cabins. Years later, after she was released, she happened to meet a converted soldier.  She asked him why their cabin was never invaded by those who meant to do nightly harm.  He said, What was the number of the  cabin were you in? She told him and he said, “Are you kidding me?  We knew your cabin was lice infested, so we would not dare come into those women.

You see, the rest of the story is, Corrie had told her sister, they need to thank God in all things, even for the lice. The lice had driven them absolutely mad, during their imprisonment. The yucky, itchy lice had protected them from being molested on a nightly basis.  It is such a powerfully true story, proving that what Satan means for evil, God can use for our good and His glory.  In all things, give thanks.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I thank you for the challenges You have ordained for my life.  You promised in this world, we would have tribulation but told us not to be afraid, for You have overcome the world.  God I thank You for entrusting me with even this.______________.  (You fill in the blank).  I want to bring You honor and glory in everything You allow into my life.  You are a good God and I trust You to accomplish what concerns me. I will choose to give thanks in all things. In Jesus Name. Amen

 

Life Still Matters

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Devotion: John 10:10

No matter what you are facing; nothing is worth ending your life. God has given you an appointed time to be born and an appointed time to die.  Young and older people alike; can battle such serious depression, that they begin to despair of their life. We must tell people they are of value to the Lord Jesus, no matter the situation they find themselves in.  Every life matters to God.

Harsh criticism, rejection and exclusion may have been the norm in a person’s life.  Many who despair of their very lives; have no idea of their great value to God; who created them with a divine purpose.  He will help them to live purposefully, even in the midst of severe depression.

God longs to help people live victoriously; in the midst of sickness, whether it be mental or physical.  It’s part of the word of our testimony.  We can overcome by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony.  His Word can build us up in our most holy faith because every word is true.

Each life counts to God.  He is with us in sickness and in health, in poverty and in wealth; until death do us part.  His love is unconditional for those He created.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He loves us no matter what state we find ourselves in.

Please encourage those who are depressed.  Help them to know their life matters to you and most of all to God.  Speak life through God’s wonderful, powerful Word.  Every life matters to Him.

Prayer in Motion:

God help me to encourage those who are downtrodden and depressed.  May I speak truth and life and let them know their life matters to me and to You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

God of Emotion

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Devotion:  Psalm 30:5

Our God is not passive.  Bette Midler used to sing a song. God is watching us from a distance.  That’s such a big fat lie.  God is actively, not passively involved in our lives.  He created us for sweet fellowship with Himself.  He is to be revered and disciplines us in love.

The Bible declares He knows even when a sparrow falls to the ground, so we must know He actively cares for us.  He is NOT watching us from a distance.  In fact, if you have invited Jesus into your heart; He is with you always. ALWAYS! He will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you.  NEVER!  He comes close rather than watches you from a distance.  There are times when His presence is so strong, that it seems we could reach out and touch the hem of His garment.  Then there are times when He seems far away but guess who moved?  It isn’t Him.  It is you and me.

Our God is a consuming fire.  He cannot now; nor will He ever tolerate sin in His children’s lives.  He is Holy and Righteous in all His ways.  We may not be able to trace His hand but we can always trust His heart.  He is for you and not against you.  If you are experiencing the discipline of the Lord; take heart.  That means He has not given up on you.  He’s still working on you and me, to make us what we ought to be.

Don’t listen to people who say God is watching us from a distance. He is with us both now and throughout eternity.

Prayer in Motion:

Thank You Lord for always being with me.  You are a God of emotion.  I know you care for me by your great love and Your acts of discipline in my life.  Thank You for Your unconditional love for me.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

Crunch Time

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Devotion: 1 Timothy 6:17

What was your first thought; when you read the above title? Time for a project to be completed?  Time for a report to be turned in? Time for a house to sell?  Were you reminded of a dead line yet to be met?

My dear friend LeeAnn, experienced “crunch time” in a different sort of way.  Her daughter Lindsey parked her brand new car right behind her own car in the garage.  LeeAnn was busy loading her personal car for an event and forgot Lindsey was parked behind her.  Bam!  Crunch!  Metal met metal.  A sickening feeling poured into my friend’s heart, when she heard the loud noise.

Accidents happen now and again.  We’ve all had them, in one way or another.  Her sweet daughter responded with such maturity.  Lindsey said, “Mom, it’s just a thing.”  This is her very first car; the one she’s paying for, with her own hard earned money.  Although it’s quite disconcerting when our new things become tarnished; they are just things.  If not totaled, cars can be repaired to look like new.

We can’t set our minds on the things of this world.  God gives us all things to enjoy, but things in this world are subject to moth and rust, can be stolen or damaged.  It’s not so with eternal treasures.  No one can damage or steal the eternity in your heart.  Our God is a shield about us.  No  weapon formed against us can prosper.  He will provide for all of our needs and many of our wants.

The things of this world are destined to get broken and messed up.  So when crunch time comes; for “a thing”, and it will, if you live long enough; will you be able to say, “It’s just a thing?”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, please help me to never “set my hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on You, who richly provides me with everything to enjoy.”  I love You Lord Jesus.  It’s in Your Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen.

Pray While You Work

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Devotion:  Romans 15:30

One of my favorite childhood stories was entitled, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”  Each of those seven little creatures had a name, indicative of their personalities.  They would merrily sing, “Whistle while you work,” and then begin to whistle the exact same tune.  It still rings in my head because it’s such a happy little song.

We can pray about people, circumstances, or situations while doing manual labor.  God invites you to pour out your heart with rivers of requests.  The Lord is listening for the voices of His children.   If you will listen for His still, small voice; He will speak with you regarding your people,  your questions, your life’s circumstances.  He takes great delight in hearing and answering your prayers.

The definition of strive is as follows: to devote serious effort or energy to something…to struggle in opposition.  Your enemy does not wish for you to pray. Ever!  He wants you to worry and cry and deliberate your struggles within yourself.  Satan does not want you to pour out your heart like water, before the face of the Lord, nor lift up your hands toward heaven, for the people or things that concern you.  He will keep you distracted and so busy even doing things for God, that you have little time to spend with God.  So why not pray while you work?

Why did Paul ask his brothers to strive together with him in prayers to God on his behalf?  Verse thirty two says, “so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed by your company.”

Our God longs for us to strive together in prayer for one another, as well as with Him.  He tells us to “Ask and it shall be given to you.  Seek and you shall find.  Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”  The verbs ask, seek and knock in this instance are continuous action.  Keep on asking.  Keep on seeking.  Keep on knocking.  Ask, seek and knock, while you are working.  You will be refreshed by the Lord and filled with His joy.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord may I pray while I work today.  I can’t wait to fellowship with You in prayer.  You are my light, my hope, my everything.  I cast my cares upon You.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

 

 

The Latter Days

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Devotion:  Deuteronomy 4: 27-31

Captive Israel was in the place of idolatry, when they began to seek the Lord and find Him. God had made Himself known to them by miraculous deliveries, time after time.  To think that their hearts could be so easily swayed; is hard to believe.  God scattered and drove them to nations other than their own.  In those places, far from home, they would serve gods made from human hands.

After having served other gods on foreign soil, the Israelites would seek the LORD and find Him.  God had one stipulation. The people of God; had to search after Him, with all their heart and with all their soul.

Verse thirty is incredibly applicable to us in our day and hour. When you are in tribulation; God did not say, if you are in tribulation but when you are in tribulation.  “When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey His voice.”

We are living in the latter days.  No man knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return; but many of God’s prophecies for the latter days have been fulfilled. Christ’s return is imminent.  We must lift up our heads, for our redemption draws nigh.

Our God is a merciful God. Seek the Lord, while He may be found. Even in our time of tribulation; He will not leave us nor destroy us or forget the covenant He made with our fathers. When tribulation comes upon those who have wandered far from God; they must realize, it’s time to return to the LORD and obey His voice.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I stay strong in these latter days.  Help me keep my eyes fixed on You, the Author and Finisher of my faith.  May I seek You with all my heart and with all my soul.  In Jesus Name. Amen!