Are we teachable?
Are we eager to learn new things?
Do we give our full attention to the Lord, looking forward to His plans expectantly?
His plans are to give us hope, a future. What do we think this is?
What are our plans?
Whose plans will we follow?
"We are to be a living sacrifice - holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~ Romans 12:1-2
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13
Do I look ahead at today's plans and problems?
Do I return my focus to Jesus whose Presence within me strengthens me for all that lies ahead?
Do I know what is better through Christ and go after it or do I move toward "me thinking" only?
Jesus responds to Martha re: her sister, Mary, who was sitting at the feet of Jesus. He responds likewise to each of us.
"...you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." ~Luke 10:41-42
Do I experience God's peace every moment - at all times, in all circumstances, or is worry my nature?
Do others see Jesus within me or do they see all the problems and concerns that bog me down?
Who do I focus my attention - heart and mind? Is it God, who constantly walks beside me and within me, or is it Satan, who rules the world we live in, who makes mountains out of mole hills, who seeks to destroy, kill all?
Jesus overcame the power of the devil, therefore we can too - but we do not. We accept Chris as our Savior and continue to live as if none of it matters.
Who really has my soul?
Am I with Him and He with me as I professed He be my Savior or have I gone my own way, scattered away from Him and all He has for me?
"...in Me you may have peace. In the wold you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33
Do I trust Jesus or is it me alone who deals with every adverse situation that comes into play?
How often do I say, and believe it is true -- "I trust You, Jesus?"
or is fear the road I travel?
"He only is my rock..." ~ Psalm 62:2a
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence?" ~Psalm 139:7
Do I come to Him expectantly with all that He could do?
Am I discouraged with every circumstance that arises or do I view it as a way for God to intervene?
~ Romans 8:6-8
Do I ask for the Lord's assistance at every turn and thank Him for all He has done, or do I forget and think it was just luck?
Where is my hope - is it in Jesus, who is always with me, or do I have no hope, because I'm failing to look beyond myself?
Hope has many sides. I can hope a relationship is mended, but who do you supposed does the mending?
Do I believe it is me and you -- only we can make things better -- or do I reach out to the Lord, seeking His help for my every need?
It is a constant battle between the heavenly realms and the world. I live in the world, but I am not of the world. I am a child of the almighty God.
I am so weak. I give in, give up. Satan has won a skirmish, but God overcame Satan -- God wins the battle. He is my every hope, my constant hope. When things overwhelm me, I must remember, I must say, I must believe, "I trust You Lord. Help me see the light." Remove the darkness Lord. Remove the pain, remove the struggle.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." ~ Psalm 46:1
"do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ... Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. ... Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
~ Romans 12:7, 9-12, 16d, 17, 21
Do I have a course of action for today?
How will I know if it is in line with His will?
Will I ask for His guidance every step or will I forge ahead, unmindful of His Presence?
Not every plan is for today, but another day. I / we cannot run quickly, but wait for the Lord's response. It will be Yes - No. Sometimes His response is Maybe - Not Yet. Whatever His answer is, I / we will know it is the right time. I must remain close to Him, His word. I must listen for His still small voice that comes to me when I least expect it. I must be willing to go where He sends me. Sometimes when I / we abide ever so closely to the Lord, His will and my will / desire are intwined, and when that be, there is nothing that can stop me from moving toward the destined goal.
Do I let discouragement destroy my day?
Do I get caught up in the pressures of the day and become stress-filled?
Stress is not of of God. When I trust in Him, when I seek His assistance throughout every moment, and thank Him, stress will fly out the window. Then I will not say words that are unkind or unfruitful.
Help me slow down Lord. Help me accomplish all you have for me this day.
Do I carry burdens not meant for me to carry - my own or another's?
I am responsible only for me. I must give all those I love and care for to You. I must give my goals, my desires for another to You. It is Your will Lord, not mine.
"If God is for us, who can be against us?" ~ Romans 9:31
"For with God nothing will be impossible." ~ Luke 1:37
Help me focus on You Lord, past the pain. Help me Lord believe, realize, without You, I am so insufficient, so insignificant, so weak.
I want to trust You more, completely, without fail, in big and small events.
One says I want to know about God. Another says I want what you have. Another still says I'm tired of this, I want a man, a job, a relationship with my wayward children, health.
We all have wants, desires. Through the years, they trickle down, but unless our wants and desires, our will, is in line with Your will, all we want remains unfilfilled.
How do I show trust to another?
How do I make another understand I must trust You to accomplish great and wonderful things for me?
"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? ... What can man do to me?"
~Psalm 56:3-4, 11
Am I thanking God for the answers (that I seek) that He has already set in motion?
Do I just bring my concerns to Him over and over without expectant hope?
How much do I trust the Lord?
How much do I believe in His mighty power?
How often do I offer up praises to Him?
Do I remember His promises?
Do my prayers reveal my true focus?
Thankful prayers keep your focus on His Presence and His Promises.
"Be still, and know that I am God." ~ Psalm 46:10
"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." ~ Colossians 4:2
Sky remains cloudy, yet God can see all past the clouds.
You think your life is hidden from view - behind closed doors - but only from those not allowed in is it true.
Do I put forth my best foot at every opportunity?
Do I start the day thinking about God or does my mind go elsewhere, thinking about all the things to get done before I consider what God has for me?
Do I redirect my thoughts to God when my mind wanders or do I continue on the wayward path?
You do not need to see the way if / when you are following The One who is The Way.
Are you open to suggestions the Lord gives you?
Do you seek out others who might be able to help you accomplish the Lord's suggestions?
"My Presence will go with you, and I give you rest." ~ Exodus 33:14
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." ~ John 15:4-5
What do I do when I feel interest lacking from the one person I thought would be open to new ideas?
What do I do when my suggestions go in and out?
How can I move forward if I do not have encouragement?
Is encouragement only for women to give to the men in their lives ... not vice versa?
How can we accomplish the Lord's will in our lives and the lives of others if we see discouragement instead of encouragement?
Do I think of the day as an adventure or would I rather spend the day in slumber?
Why would I rather do that?
Do I believe the Lord is with me even when I don't sense His Presence?
"This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." ~ Psalm 118:24
Jesus is our example.
Do I realize who created the sun? The clouds, the trees, the flowers, the seas ... Do I know?
Just as the sun peeks, shines bright into darkened windows, so too does our Lord -- He sees straight through you into the depths of your being. He knows what you think and feel. There is nowhere you can hide. Every corner, every crevice is open to Him. He sees your fears, your struggles. Yes, even when we are dishonest -- with ourselves and those around us -- He sees our responses. You think you can pretend, you can fool another, and maybe that is so on the outside. But inside, at the heart level, pretense fails. God sees all.
Do I care what God sees?
Do I want a personal, ongoing relationship with Him?
Do I want His peace, His blessings?
Do I have time to give to the one who has time for me?
Do I thank Him for each day anew?
"Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." ~ I Samuel 16:7
Am I aware of God's face shining upon me? Do I sense it in the midst of the darkness that intrudes upon me or am I fixated with problems staring me in the face?
The closer I live to the Lord, the safer I am. Why do I allow problems to inundate me?
Jesus is my help; He is nearby. Call on Him. He will lift me up, up out of the skinking hole I've plummetted into.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication; with Thanksgiving, let your requets be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:6-7
"He (Jesus) said, Come and when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginnng to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me!" ~ Matthew 14:29-30
"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" ~ Matthew 14:31
When I become weary and discourage, do I consider the hostility Jesus endured for our sake?
"Let us run with endurance the rae that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." ~ Hebrews 12:-1-2
Do I think about my problems, my difficulties before I think about my God?
Who / what comes to my mind first thing in the morning and for that matter, last thing at night?
Does my headache that lingers beome my constant burden or have I given my pain to the Lord?
What happens when I ask Him to remove it and He does not?
Have I considered asking the Lord instead to show me how to deal with it, cope with it, but not spend all my time burdened by it ... to focus on Him instead?
Do I know how to focus on the Lord?
What does that mean to you ... to focus, to stay focused?
Is it concentration?
Is it praising and thanking our holy God at every turn?
Have I forgotten Jesus is with me always?
Why do I go over and over in my mind the troubles that plaque me? Does it do my any good?
Jesus tells us to come to Him, to rest in His Presence, His Peace. He will give us the necessary strength day by day. Our fear will diminish ... our fear of what may lie ahead ... we will be transformed. Trust is what we will remember in the midst of our trials ... "I trust You Lord Jesus. Help me. Save me."
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me." (v. 29) We are free from the Law, but that does not make us free to make our own rules. We are to be harnessed (yoked) to Jesus, living life His way.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." ~ Joshua 1:9
What am I thankful for today?
--a working furnace
--an enclosed house with no leaks
--curtains and drapes
--a warm bed with pillows and blankets
--freedom to worship God
--awareness of weather conditions
To whom am I thankful? If, assuming it is the Lord, do I thank Him for all or just those I consider personally good?
Do I trust God will provide all I need in the midst of every battle?
Do I seek out His help whenever, for whatever, or only when I have used up all my own resources?
God is with us everywhere we are. We are to keep our focus on Him, not on ourselves. He will bring us blessings we only hope for in a distance time. Trust Him. Believe in His power.
"This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." ~ Psalm 118:24
"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:19
How often do I spent personal, private time with the Lord? Is it daily?
If I can't make it to worship on a given Sunday, what do I do?
Do I see God at work in my life?
Does He talk to me ... what do I hear Him say?
Do I learn something new in Scripture passages I have read before?
Do I have a favorite verse?
Can I / do I praise God in the midst of my circumstances?
Am I following the Lord?
Do I stay close, trusting Him with every step?
Do shortcuts interest me more?
Do I get sidetracked, following instead a path that leads to more trouble, more hardship?
"The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.'' ~ Habakkuk 3:19
Bible note: Truth Faith means loving and serving God regardless of circumstances.
Like deer, am I sure-footed because I am sure-faithed" ... an image of victory and triumph in precarious times?
Where do / where did your thoughts take you today?
Did you wake early and ponder all you had to do?
Did you take a moment to consider God and what He might have planned for you?
Did you think about the headache and/or other ailments that take your focus off Jesus and onto yourself?
Who / what is more important?
Is it I?
Is it all about me, about what I feel like doing or not doing?
God created the clouds. Do I ever look up and think about them?
Do I see God there?
Do I see God wherever I am?
I know He is with me. It says so in the Bible, but do I see Him?
Do I feel His loving embrace?
Am I aware of His discipline?
Do I hear Him speak to me? -- through His word,through His Spirit?
Do I see Jesus in the rain that falls?
"The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts, and minds through Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:7
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:13
Who is boss today?
Are you or is there a higher authority in your life?
Are you aware of who the boss is?
When are you aware of God -- only when circumstances are tough going?
The Lord says to us in Isaiah 55:8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you -- thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." ~Jeremiah 29:11
"I want you to be all mine" is the beginning line in today's devotional. Reminds me of phrases in Valentine's Day cards passed out to others -- "Will you be mine?"
Jesus asks the same things of me.
Have I accepted His gift of salvation?
Have I given my all to Him or do I give Him myself, my life bit by bit?
I’m more in the latter category. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, at that time I said I was giving my all, but I was wrong. I didn’t do it all at once. I wasn’t willing. I thought I could do things myself. I thought I could take care of the little things and let God handle the big ones. It took me years before I realized I needed God to handle everything. He deserves my praise and thanksgiving. He deserves my attention. Without Him I was defeated. Defeated by anything and anyone. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. Jesus is my Savior. Therefore, I did not need to be defeated. I too could defeat the pull of the darkness, of evil, through the Power of Christ living in me.
It is a miracle to have Jesus walking with you.
I began traveling the relationship road with Jesus when I accepted the free gift of salvation offered me. The gift had been offered for years, but it was not until a summer August day in 1982 that I received the gift and became His child. And it wasn’t until the early 2000s, when Jim and I embarked upon the “Forty Days of Purpose” at Immanuel, that I saw more of His Light and more of His Purpose for my life.
In 2006, I began writing devotional poetry. In 2008, I began a stone study. In 2012, I published a book of poetry. In 2014, the Lord instructed me to write a book, based on the stone study.
Up and down, in health and not, having money and not, the Lord Jesus stayed nearby.
I am glad for that day in 1982. I am gladder still He has not and does not forsake me. He continues to show me The Way, The Truth, The Life – that is His, and mine to follow.
Who do I depend on?
Where is my security – is it in my job?
Where is my strength?
Do I believe my strength comes from myself – my muscles, my brain power, do I ask the Lord for His strength to accomplish things I otherwise could not?
Do I trust in His power – do I believe He will do all He says and then personally take that step of faith, or do I trust only in myself, believe only what I think?
Deuteronomy 33:27 says,
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, Destroy!”
Romans 8:35, 37-39 says,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Do I trust Jesus more each day?
When I am anxious about anything do I look to the Lord to help me through it?
Do I run from challenges or do I see them as an opportunity to grow closer to God?
Do I find excuses not to do something because I prefer to do things my way in my time?
Do I give up on relationships because it's too much work to keep going?
Do I stop praying because I see no answers?
Do I stop believing in love?
Do I stop loving another because I'm tired of always giving to the relationship and receiving nothing?
Do I think I am better than you?
Have I forgotten my life was not created to please me?
Do I trust Jesus step by step?
Do I look forward to the challenge of the day or am I fearful of what may lie ahead?
Do I regret choices made and remind myself of them all the time?
Do I think I can have better, I can do better, with someone else, in another place?
Do I lean on Jesus for every trial and circumstance that comes my way?
Do I search for Him all the time?
Am I thankful for His blessings, many of which I have yet to see?
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil." ~ Proverbs 3:5-7
Have I accomplished anything worthwhile?
Is the Lord unhappy with me?
Where is my contentment?
Why have I allowed circumstance to make me feel worthless?
Where is my quiet and gentle spirit?
Why do I feel I have fallen away?
Where is my closeness to Jesus?
What blessings can I give to another?
If blessings are dependant upon our closeness to the Lord, its no wonder so many blessings are absent.
If His strength and His power are mostly readily seen in my weakness, goodness should prevail.
He says He will never leave me nor forsake me.
Why do I feel all is gone?
Circumstances, activities of others bring me down. But God is still in control. God is still master of the universe.
"Be strong and of good courage,do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." ~ Deuteronomy 31:6
"Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." ~ I Peter 3:4
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." ~ II Corinthians 12:9
What treasure do I seek?
What map do I follow to find the chest of hidden treasure?
What do I hope to find?
Do I follow the path of doing things my way, in my time, working toward a life of riches and luxury?
Do I follow the path Jesus walked, going where He leads,being at peace no matter what the circumstances because I am close to Him all the time?
Am I willing to lose what God has given me to get what the world offers?
Why do I act like I have it all together?
Do I really believe I do?
Have I found the treasure?
Is it under my nose?
Do I fail to see it?
Is my treasure peace in God or tribulation in the world?
"... in Me you may have peace.In the world you will have tribulation." ~John 16:33
"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ,and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fraqrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." ~ II Corinthians 2:14-15
Do I give God enough of my time?
Who determines how much enough is?
Do I come to Himfirst thing in the morning or does the Lord only get leftovers?
Do I ever find time, make time?
Where is my focus? Is it on me, my perceptions of circumstances and events around me, my desires, my needs, my wants, my job, my friends and family? Me My Mine!
Or is it on The Lord , His Way, His Truth, His Life?
Who do I follow?
Who do I obey?
Who do I trust?
Do I resist His leadership?
Do I ry to help Him along?
Or do I let Him set the pace?
Do I think I can do everything better?
How is my life filled --faith filled or failure filled?
Have I learned anything from my time with Christ?
AmI eager to returnto His side again?
Do I hear Him throughout the day?
Do I thank Him?
Do I hold His hand -- not literally, but in my mind?
Are my steps light in childlike trust, as my day unfolds with Jesus guiding my way?
"... Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." ~Hebrews 13:15
Why is the route so hard?
Why don't I know what to do?
Am I following the Lord?
Have I stopped focusing on Him and His glory?
Is my heart racing because of worry and concern?
Do I spend more time worrying about the problem than turning it over to the Lord, praying, listening to His instructions and obeying?
Why do I think that it is too much work?
Why do I follow the path of sin ... Or have I forgotten all that sin encompasses?
Sin is everything that is not of God. Sin is fleshly pursuits, with no consideration given to another; only ourselves, our own lusts, interests, desires.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world." ~ I John 2:15-16
Do I love the world more than I love God?
Do I love my personal desires more than being obedient to God?
Have I replaced God with something else?
Do I worship another to get what I feel is rightfully mine?
"For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone." ~ Psalm 91: 11-12
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." ~ II Corinthians 5:7
When we walk by what we see, there is much we miss -- with our eyes, our ears, our hearts.
Without the Lord's guidance, without our focus on Him, our abiding in Him,we miss many blessings.
Where is my positiveness?
Why do I spend so much time on my problems?
Why does it seem the dark and gloom of the day brings down my spirits ... why do I allow it?
Why do I fall into a pit of dismay -- everything around me antagonizes me. I am distraught. So much I don't understand.
Why can't I focus on God -- why don't I -- why am I not -- and why aren't you?
Why do I and you too react so boldly instead of considering our responses?
Why, since I know You, God, are there, is my focus not on You -- what is preventing me from seeking You out?
How do I train my mind to seek You Lord -- at all times, in every moment, every situation?
How do I determine when God is talking to me and when it is Satan?
If I sometimes see God and am aware of Him, why can't it be all the time?
Why can't I see God's heavenly Sonlight in the midst of the dark?
Jesus, the Son of God, overcame the darkness, overcame Satan.
Why do I struggle to remember God's promises?
Why can't I be what God desires me to be? When will we become more like You?
Why can't my thoughts be more positive?
Why don't I trust You Lord? You do not fail me. Why don't I reach out for You?
You who are forever true and faithful.
The struggles I face with a loved one don't have to prevent me from coming to the Lord Jesus.
Why do I continue to stay in the dark when the light is right there?
God is everywhere. I know You are. I am aware of Your Presence. I talk to You. I pray to You. I study Your word.
Others know too. But are they aware of You? Do they talk to You ... pray to You ... worship You ... sing praises to You ... study Your Word?
Do I enjoy fellowship with fellow believers?
Do I enjoy sleeping in more?
Do I allow any distraction to come along to keep me from doing what I know is the right thing to do?
Do I listen to the sermon or does my mind wander ... am I distracted?
Do I come to Sunday worship with an open mind? Or is closed?
Do I come to Sunday worship just to get an obligation out of the way?
Have I opened His word?
Do I think it is not necessary to open the Bible?
Did I read the Bible once and decide that was enough?
What did I learn?
Do I think whatever it was that I learned once upon a time applies to all time -- in whatever stage I am in?
Why should I continue to read the Bible?
Why should I even start to read the Bible?
Do I believe there is nothing in it that will be useful to me?
If the one time I read the Bible, it didn't say I couldn't do this or that, does that mean I have every right, no matter what the circumstances, to continue doing it?
What about all the things the Bible does say?
What does it say about love?
Does the Bible say to "abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good?" (Romans 12:9)
Or does it say something else?
Does the Bible say "Do not be wise in your own opinion?" (Romans 12:16)
Does the Bible say "Repay no one evil for evil?" (Romans 12:17)
Does the Bible say "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good?" (Romans 12:21)
What does the Bible say about being a stumbling block to another?
Does it say, "We then who are strong (in the flesh) ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves?" (Romans 15:1)
And if I am weak as another is weak, I nor you, in all honesty, can say, Oh I didn't know that -- not when we are children of God!
Am I seeking His Face?
Do I bend my knee?
Do I bow my head?
I want what is best. I don't really know what is best. I think I do, but God is The One who knows best all the time. I want His light to shine in me and through me to others, so they will see God's glory and praise and worship Him.
How Lord, how can I stay focused on You when circumstances get so messed up?
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~ Romans 12:2
"Seek the Lord and His Strength; Seek His face evermore!" ~ Psalm 105:4
What point is there for me to think about tomorrow and the next day when I have today?
But what if this happens or that happens?
What if it does, God will say. You have today -- I have given it to you. Focus on this day. Focus on Me. There are enough troubles on this day. If you turn to Me, I will help you through them all.
What about when I don't remember to turn to Jesus? What about when I get so caught up in whatever is going on, I forget?
You are human. You will forget. But when you do remember, come unto Me. Confess your sins, ask forgiveness. Start again to focus on Me.
I need to remember, over and over. Jesus is with me, today, tomorrow, all the time, always. He said He was. He said He would be.
When I am angry and release my anger in undignified ways, I am reacting as the world I see around me says is okay. I have my rights, after all.
But I am not a child of the world; I am a child of God. It is to God I am to look, not elsewhere.
Why do I forget from where I came? Why do I think my rights count more than anything else?
Am I not grateful for what the Lord has given me today?
Why do I find it necessary to seek elsewhere to find that which will satisfy me at a given moment?
Why am I not satisfied with what I have?
Why do I think satisfaction is in the world?
Why did I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when it seems I don't accept His way as The Way?
How can I possibly be a child of God and yet do not live my life as though I am?
Who do I think I am fooling?
God is under no delusions. He knows what is going on. I will pay the consequences of my sins, and so will you.
Why do I find fault with everyone around me -- what they do, how they act?
Do I ever find myself wrong? Do I never do wrong?
Do I ever try to correct my faults?
Do I acknowledge my inconsistencies?
Am I ever grateful?
Why don't I trust some people?
Where do my kids pick up such filthy language?
Do I ever think about what I say, how I say it?
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 12:28
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Evn though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." ~ II Corinthians 4:16
"Bring Me your weakness, and receive My Peace."
Am I weak today?
Am I emotionally weak ... emotionally weak ... physically weak ... mentally weak ... spiritually weak?
Am I not strong?
How do I accept myself?
How do I / how can I accept my circumstances?
"The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace." ~ Psalm 29:11
"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."
a promise. a blessing.
We all are weak. Sometimes we don't realize it; we think we have it together all the time.
When I am filled / we are filled with rage, we proclaiming strength of will, but our strength does not come from God, and without His Power we are as weak as a newborn babe.
We need others, but more than any other, we need the Lord Jesus, who will accomplish in us all He desires and all that will bring us what we need and where we need.
Am I weak? Yes!
Am I thankful for all the Lord does throughout the day?
Do I trust His guiding light?
When a computer program causes problems and I am frustrated, am I showing my weakness? Yes.
How do I gain or regain strength?
How do I get out from under a pile of mess?
Apologize -- to the Lord, to another. Even if you see nothing you did wrong, your strength has caused another to be weak, and that weakness does not bring peace.
Think about what you plan on saying before it is said.
How can I be more aware of the Lord's Presence within me?
"But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your Salvation." ~ Psalm 13:5
Focus. Remember. Study. Worship. Praise. Pray. Meditate.
FOCUS - Focus On Christ (the) Understanding Shepherd
Who or what do I grasp for when things go srewy?
Do I reach out for my spouse or a friend?
Do I go to God in prayer or search the Scriptures?
Why do I wake up in the morning with thoughts of what could go wrong?
Why do I think about why this isn't that or that isn't something else?
Why do I watch a movie and remember former times with my loved one and wish it were still so?
Where has romance gone?
We can help another, but who is there to help us?
Where is our encouragement ... where is mine?
A memory is good, but why can't the memory be current?
Where is the excitement?
What hoies will I make this day?
Who will I trust?
Who can I trust?
There is always one. If not your spouse, then your Father in heaven -- God. Jesus.
Do I trust the Lord?
Do I believe He will do what is best for me, for us, for all time?
If the hand I want to hold is not available, can I say - Lord, will You take my hand and walk with me, and guide me?
If the answers I want to know are not forthcoming, can I not be angry and ask the Lord to provide me with the answers I seek?
If the choices I have made in the past haunt me and remind others of my mistakes, will You Lord still love me? Will You be with me even then?
If my loved one's face I no longer see, can I still see Yours Lord?
Lord, make today go however is Your will, Your desire. It if be Lord, bring the closeness back between us.
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
~ Romans 8:6
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." ~ Psalm 46:1-2a
Seek My Face
Find My Presence
Know My Peace
Be open with Me
Be Still and Know.
Do I seek the Lord?
Do I open my heart to Him?
Do I trust Him?
Am I surrounded by His Presence?
Do I have the Peace He promises?
Did I get a restful sleep?
Am I still tired?
Before I got out of bed, did I thank the Lord for His many blessings?
Do I thank Him forbeing with me the day before, the current day?
Do I see how things go before I decide to thank the Lord for anything?
Do I just move -- go, without thought as to whether it is right, whether God is in my midst?
What do I learn during the tough times?
Have I grown -- matured -- or have I fallen down, away?
Do I see the gifts God gives to me?
Am I aware of His Presence?
Does His light shine upon me?
Do I have fullness of life -- His Life living in me?
Am I joyful, at peace?
Have I turned away from Him to other things?
Has the glow disappeared?
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." ~ Matthew 11:28-29
"I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." ~ I Timothy 2:8
Am I rested?
Am I refreshed?
Am I exhausted, even after a night of sleep?
Am I excited for the opportunities ahead?
Do I look for ways to share the Lord's blessings to others?
Am I attentive to God?
Am I constantly aware of Him?
Do I stay connected to God?
Have I given up?
"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God. For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God." ~Psalm 42:11
Jesus says He is above all things. Do I believe that He is?
Do I think I am on top of everything ... Do I think if I work harder, sleep longer, everything will turn out alright?
Am I fooling myself?
Do I not believe what the Bible says?
Do I even know what the Bible says or do I only know what it doesn't say?
Where do I go when problems overwhelm me?
Do I sit and watch TV or play games?
Why do I not have time to get my Bible out and open its pages and read and study God's words of wisdom?
Why do I choose the darkness of misery over the Light of the Lord's presence?
Why am I discouraged?
Why don't I call to the one highest, the one above all, for help?
Am I afraid?
Why am I afraid?
Where is my faith?
Why is my fear of what may happen stronger than my belief or my desire to believe God will take care of me?
When Jesus is walking on the water, Peter says to him from the boat, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. So He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus, but when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he could not, saying, Lord, save me! And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" ~ Matthew 14:28-31
Why is my life so hard?
Why can't it be more user-friendly?
Treasure hunts can be fun. I remember as a teenager and part of a church youth group, we would go place to place asking for various things until we received the treasure we were looking for. It seems we don't do that much as adults, but couldn't we?
The Lord Jesus is my treasure -- is He yours too?
The first step can be easy or extremely difficult.
His Presence is all around, yet do I sense it ... in the flowers that bloom, the winds that blow, the sun that rises and sets? He is everywhere, even in my heart -- is He in yours too?
His Presence glistens like the eary morning dew on the ground and shimmers like a snake winding its way through the tall grass.
His Presence beckons to me to come into His holiness and journey with Him through prayer and Bible study and meditation, my path being led by His guiding light.
When I follow His light, being obedient and seeking His Presence every day for every moment, every circumstance, I will find His long-awaited Peace.
So do I follow His light?
Am I being obedient?
Do I seek Him all the day.
Am I at peace?
Do I trust Him?
Do I believe He will lead me along the paths of truth and righteousness?
Do I stumble and fall, struggling to get myself up?
Is He my strength, my refuge, my comforter, my friend?
"Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Haver mercy also upon me, and answer me." ~ Psalm 27: 7
"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me in a smooth path." ~ Psalm 27:13
"I will trust and not be afraid." ~Isaiah 12:2
Do I spend ample time with the Lord each morning?
How much is enough time?
Do I feel refreshed about the amount of time I spend with the Lord - in prayer, Bible study, meditation and even jouraling?
Do I feel quilty when I feel the tug of the Lord on my heart but fail to respond?
Do I care about what is pleasing to the Lord or only to me?
Do I really accomplish more in less time after my time with the Lord?
How come I sometimes feel I haven't accomplished as much as I'd like?
Is it perhaps possible some item was unnecessary?
Is it perhaps possible what was on my plate to do was more than enough and with the Lord's help, it would be accomplished?
Do I look at what I have to do or think I need to get done from His perspective insted of my own?
Do I pray His will, not my own?
Do I think I always need to be on the go, whether I accomplish anything or not?
Do I do meaningless tasks?
What does God consider meaningless?
God says if I stay in continual communication with Him, I will avoid meaningless works.
When Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha, Martha was busy serving and Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening and learning. Martha says to Jesus in Luke 10:40b, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."
Jesus' response in verse 41: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." ~ Psalm 32:8
Do I feel the light of His Presence upon me?
Do I see opportunities in the darkness?
Are the opportunities to show others the way of Jesus only available when it is light?
Am I afraid?
Do I remain focused on the Lord in sunny days and dull, dark days?
Would I rather stay in bed on days that look like evening stayed overnight?
Am I at peace no matter what is going on about me?
Do I get caught up in the difficulties of others?
Do I forget that prayer is the key to the answers I seek from my heavenly Father?
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." ~ John 1:4-5
FEBRUARY 13 ~ Peace
The Lord's Presence gives us peace, yet when our focus on Him is absent, our peace diminishes.
Why do I allow that to happen?
Why do I allow comments made by another or my own thoughts bring me down?
Why do I react instead of just letting the moment go by?
Why do I let perceived thinking become my reality?
How can i sit quietly one minute and burst out with frustrated irritation the next?
How can the Lord forgive me over and over for my every mistake?
The peace of God is so fine a treasure. Always with me. Yet, sometimes, it seems we bury it, fail to utilize it.
What good is this treasure if I don't give my all to the giver?
"Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ~John 14:27
What adventure awaits today?
Every day can be an adventure. If we leave the day in God's capable hands instead of my own, which can jumble things up rather badly, it will be a joyous walk along the way. It may not be necessarily happy, but joy is not a component of happiness. Joy comes from the Lord. Happiness from our circumstances.
How boldly will I walk?
Will I remember the Lord, who is with me always, all along the path?
Will I stumble and fail to return to the Lord's side, seeking His mercy and forgiveness?
Why do I react more boldly than I ponder and then respond?
Why do I become so distraught over comments made, believing they are made maliciously?
Why do I struggle to forgive another?
Do I feel I have not been forgiven?
Abundant living is living on the positive side of life -- that no matter what may come, the Lord Jesus remains with me. I do not have to fall into traps of fear and worry, disheartened, dissatisfied, dismayed, disillusioned. God will lift me up, higher than the highest mountain.
Help me Lord to trust You throughout my day, to face problems that come instead of anticipating and dreading them.
Why have I forgotten the reminder?
"... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." ~ Hebrews 12:2-3
" For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' " ~ Isaiah 41:13
How can my limitations, my weaknesses be liberating?
How does it strengthen me?
"Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord." ~ Zechariah 2:13a
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." ~ Isaiah 30:13
FEBRUARY 17 - Worship
Who do I worship?
Is it the Living God who reigns above the heavens and in my heart?
Is it some other deity I've devised for myself?
Do I believe a relationship with the Lord Jesus is paramount or do other things take precedence?
Do I fear change?
Do I want things the way they are even if they are not the best for me?
What specifically does it mean - "old things passing away?"
What is the old?
Could it be relatively recent and still be old? Or is it more my distant past?
Am I resisting the Lord's work within me?
Am I clinging to old ways and sameness?
What are the old ways I cling to?
Where do I go for my security?
Is it focused on the Almighty God or is it my paycheck or my spouse or my physical or emotional well-being?
FEBRUARY 22 - Need
Oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee.
I thought of the song, " I Need Thee Every Hour" and looked it up in the 1991 Baptist Hymnal. Here are the words:
I need Thee ev-ry hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee ev-ry hour,
Stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow'r
When Thou art nigh.
I need Thee ev-ry hour,
In joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide,
Or life is vain.
I need Thee ev-ry hour,
Teach me Thy will;
Thy promises so rich
In me fulfill.
I need Thee ev-ry hour,
Most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed,
Thou blessed Son.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Ev-ry hour I need Thee!
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
After reading today's devotional, so many questions came to my mind today.
Who do I need?
Is it You Lord as some have indicated so to me?
What can You do?
Why do I believe I can do just fine on my own?
Why do I come to church and say I need to return, yet I have not returned?
Who am I kidding?
Do I think God doesn't see my twisted thinking?
Do I believe God doesn't really know me?
Why do I refuse instruction?
Why don't I come regularly to worship ore Sunday School/Bible Study?
Why do I always find an excuse?
Why don't I want to watch Christian movies?
Why isn't my strength enough?
Why must I spent time with my spouse and my children?
Why isn't my own time more important?
What is wrong with coming to church only when I feel like it?
Why am I angry with my spouse?
Where is my happiness?
Where is my joy?
Where is my love for You and for those around me?
Why when I was a child Jesus was most important to me, but now that I am older, He is not?
Why do I not open up with those closest to me, to those who care for my well-being?
Why do I believe this is who and what and how I am and I cannot change?
Why do I not ask for help from The One who can truly help me?
Do I not like the answers He may give?
Why doesn't my spouse understand my needs?
Why do I believe my needs, my wants, my desires are all more important that those of my spouse or my children or any other person?
Why do I act disinterested in doing things as a family?
Why am I unhappy?
Why do I think different scenery would be better?
Why do I not pray for forgiveness?
Why do I not ask for guidance?
Why do I not follow through?
Why do I not teach my children how to pray?
Why do I not teach my children about God?
Why am I not calm?
Why can't I have fun with my family without getting frustrated?
Why is there no laughter?
Why is my child angry?
Why does my child yell?
Why does my child use words not beneficial?
Is this my fault?
Why should I read the Bible?
Why should I pray?
Why should I be thankful?
What should I be thankful for?
Do I not care about God's will?
Do I not care about God?
Why do I need a relationship with Jesus?
I accepted His gift of salvation. I don't need anything else, do I?
Am I resting in His Presence?
Am I allowing the Lord to take charge of my day?
Do I let the Lord direct my steps?
Do I go my own way?
Am I thankful for all the Lord gives?
Do I regularly thank Him?
Am I grateful for His many blessings?
Am I aware of all He does for me?
Do I see it in the words and actions of others?
"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." ~ Colossians 4:2-3
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ I Thessalonians 5:16
Why do I insist on doing things my way?
Why do I say one thing the night before and do something totally different the next morning?
Why do I think I can handle whatever comes along?
Why do I not pray and when I do, why aren't my prayers consistent?
Am I ever thankful?
Do I appreciate what the Lord has given?
Why when the choice is before me do I say I should but then I don't?
Why when others offer reasonable advice do I let it go in one ear and right out the other without much thinking about it?
Why am I angry?
Why do I do things to please myself only?
Why do I say things I don't mean, whether good or bad?
When will I do what I say I'm going to do?
When will I include the Lord in everything I do and say and everywhere I go?
When will I see the trials of life as gifts from God so I will see my need for Him in every aspect of my life?
When will I trust Him?
When will I believe the answers I need are in Him?
When will I reach out to Him?
"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate of You on the night watches. Because You have been my help. Therefore in the shadow of Your wings, I will rejoice." ~ Psalm 63:6-7
"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." ~ James 1:2-3