Author Topic: Devotion  (Read 425 times)

Philippa

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Re: Devotion
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2017, 10:19:04 pm »
Tuesday, March 07, 2017   

Ruth: The Persistent Daughter
Sally Clarkson and Joel Clarkson

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. ‘Is it really Naomi?’ the women asked.  ‘Don’t call me Naomi,’ she responded. ‘Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?’”  - Ruth 1:19–21

Without warning, everything fell apart. Naomi’s sons, the bulwark of the family after Elimelech’s death, both passed away suddenly, leaving the women of the family on their own. Ruth, swimming in the sea of her grief, looked to her mother-in-law for comfort. But Naomi had changed. Now Naomi was lost, cast behind a veil of mourning.  The hardest thing was the pain Ruth saw in Naomi. She knew her mother-in-law was in anguish. Those first few weeks were a time of suffering with Naomi in her darkness. Finally, Ruth decided to act. She decided it was her responsibility to take care of herself so she could provide for Naomi until her mother-in-law could function again.  Do you feel trapped in the mire of someone else’s depression?

Are the inner mental workings of someone you love confusing and disorienting?

When trying to understand the mental struggles of our family members, it is so easy to allow them to set the tone in our hearts and become filled with confusion and frustration. Sometimes, instead of trying to comprehend or fix their problems, the best thing we can do is to bear with them patiently, praying for their healing, while at the same time pursuing a stable, healthy life of our own.  Sometimes, choosing to be healthy even in the midst of the poor decisions of those around you is the most powerful weapon against chaos. You have the power, given to you by the Holy Spirit, to cling to hope. You have the power to do what is necessary to create spaces that allow you to breathe, be restored, and enjoy life. Today love those who struggle with mental issues by helping yourself so that you can support them in their time of need.

Philippa

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Re: Devotion
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2017, 10:24:57 pm »
Wednesday, March 08, 2017   

Elijah: The Exhausted Prophet
Sally Clarkson and Joel Clarkson

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“‘Go out and stand before me on the mountain,’ the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.”  - 1 Kings 19:11–13

Elijah had given his whole life into the service of the Lord. He had stood for righteousness in a time of great darkness. Yet no matter his efforts, the tide of disbelief, wickedness, and unfaithfulness rose up like a wave within the people of Israel, crashing down upon him in fury.  On a mountain, after a mighty firestorm, on a gentle breath of wind, Elijah caught a faint whisper. It was God, speaking with a still small voice. Elijah understood; God wanted him to rest. He had been running, wrestling with issues far beyond his control; he had lost perspective, lost hope. In the midst of that senselessness, God wanted to give Elijah the peace that a gentle whisper of assurance brings.  Just like Elijah, we can become so caught up in the difficulties of our lives that we lose perspective and begin to burn out. In those moments, we may feel like nothing can possibly get better. We are tempted to ask why God won’t help us fix things, why he won’t put everything in order for us. It is exactly in those moments that God wants us to be still, not to try to find his will in the storms all around, but instead to rest in his peace. Sometimes in the midst of crisis we need to take a moment to pause and let the Lord minister to us. Sometimes the most godly thing to do is to fight the good fight; at other times the most godly thing to do is to sleep, to receive nourishment through food and drink, and to wait on the Lord instead of struggling to find answers on our own. Let the Lord who is the king over all storms put his peace in your heart today.

Philippa

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Re: Devotion
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2017, 10:30:08 pm »
Thursday, March 16, 2017   

Discerning Silence
Karen Ehman

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”  - Proverbs 10:19

As the Amplified Bible version of Proverbs 10:19 says, “When there are many words, transgression and offense are unavoidable. But he who controls his lips and keeps thoughtful silence is wise.”

Have you ever let your constant stream of words get you in trouble?

I sure have more than once. When we constantly run our motor mouths, we create a situation with a greater chance of saying something that offends or that we’ll later regret. It is nearly unavoidable, as Proverbs 10:19 clearly states. The solution?

It’s found in the latter half of the verse we must seek to control our tongues and instead employ the tool of thoughtful silence. Thoughtful silence doesn’t mean we never speak; it means we need to zip our lips to avoid uttering something we will later wish we could take back. It means we must give careful and prayerful thought to the words we might speak, using discernment to decide if we should speak at all.  Today, let’s not just watch what kind of words roll off our lips; let’s also prudently monitor how many. Constantly running motors whether machine or mouth are prone to malfunction, thereby causing a mighty mess.

Philippa

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Re: Devotion
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2017, 10:37:47 pm »
Friday, March 17, 2017   

The Grid
Karen Ehman

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.”  - Proverbs 15:28

If we are to pursue righteousness, we must heed the advice of Proverbs 15:28: “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers” (NIV).

Notice it says “the heart.” It doesn’t say “the mouth.”  Sometimes it’s too late to avoid damage by the time the words tumble out of our mouths. When I don’t first pause to pray and ponder in my heart, hurtful words may pour out. To avoid causing heartache and even regret, I’ve learned to contemplate words secretly in my heart, which means running my thoughts through the grid of Scripture before I ever let the words escape from my lips. Back and forth. Back and forth. Searching for just the right and righteous fruitful combination.  Are you ready to begin carefully weighing your words today?

The result will be a delightful offering, pleasing to you, to the hearer, and to God.

Philippa

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Re: Devotion
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2017, 10:41:33 pm »
Monday, March 20, 2017   

Wearied and Dissatisfied
Anne Carlson Kennedy

Today’s Verse Powered by the New Living Translation
“Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.”  - Psalm 17:15

There is so much cause for dissatisfaction in the course of one single day. You can try to get a grip on your own life, your own choices and plans, but not having control over anybody else’s life means that we all wander around frustrating others and being frustrated by them. There’s the ruination of the beautiful couch by a mean cat with claws, the breaking of the beautiful hand painted platter by a child who doesn’t know what his right hand nor his left hand is doing, the misunderstanding that’s left a fragile friendship practically shattered. Frustration and woe. Dissatisfaction.  As for me, though, I shall be satisfied. I shall find it enough. And the source, the substance of my satisfaction, will be his likeness; the likeness of the one to whom the psalm is written. Who, in the very image and nature of God, became man so that I, even I, could look into his face and hear his voice and be satisfied.  There wasn’t anything about him that would have made me take a second look. There wasn’t anything in me that recognized or knew enough to know him. But that he called my name, and lifted up my head, and gathered up all the frustration and difficulty into himself. So, I shall be satisfied yet more when I behold him face to face; but I am pretty satisfied now, known as I am, by him and not another.