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Devotion

Good day.  Let's thank God that we have a God who wants to share our struggles.  Be blessed by these devotions.

May our report be like that of Joshua and Caleb, remembering where God had led us from and where He can lead us.
Enjoy the devotion and have a wonderful day.

WHICH REPORT WILL WE GIVE?

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When the twelve spies were sent into Canaan to spy out the land, ten returned with a bad report. Their assessment was that it was impossible to conquer the land that God had promised them. Forgetting how God had led them with a pillar of fire by night, and fed them manna from heaven during the day, brought forth water out of a rock, and parted the Red Sea, they saw the situation with only their natural eyes, failed to walk by faith, and succumbed to fear.

Joshua and Caleb however, returned with a good report. Refusing to be discouraged by what they saw, they fully trusted that their supernatural God was not going to break His promise to His people, Israel.

We are living in days where the world looks bleak, and the evils seem to grow more threatening and dangerous. How will we react? Will we be devastated and terrorized like the 10 spies with a bad report? Or will we do something extraordinary -- will we walk by faith like Joshua and Caleb, trust in the love and power of our God, and seize the opportunities that are at hand?

Let's walk by faith and stand firm in it, facing every challenge, and laying hold of every opportunity that awaits us. May Joshua and Caleb be our examples of faith and courage in these days. With our God going before us, we also, can take the land, glorifying Him in every battle.

SOURCE: WORTHY DEVOTIONS

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SHARED STRUGGLES

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2

April 25, 2015, marked the 100th commemoration of Anzac Day. It is celebrated each year by both Australia and New Zealand to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought together during World War I. It marks a time when neither country had to face the dangers of war alone; soldiers from both countries engaged in the struggle together.

Sharing life’s struggles is fundamental to the way followers of Christ are called to live. As Paul challenged us, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2 nlt). By working together through life’s challenges we can help to strengthen and support one another when times are hard. By expressing toward one another the care and affections of Christ, the difficulties of life should draw us to Christ and to each other—not isolate us in our suffering.

By sharing in the struggles of another, we are modeling the love of Christ. We read in Isaiah, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4 nkjv). No matter how great the struggle we face, we never face it alone.

Thank You, Father, that I don’t have to walk my life’s journey alone. You are near. We can go a lot further together than we can alone.                    
SOURCE: OUR DAILY BREAD


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APPRECIATE WHAT WE HAVE

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances..." - Philippians 4:11b

An armchair philosopher once declared, “Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.” I applaud his creative solution to this age-old problem, but prefer God’s advice on the subject. God tells us to just not play that game at all.

We fall into a destructive trap when we compare ourselves to others, because the fact is, there will always be someone who has more than we do. On Monday we are so proud of our shiny new car, but on Tuesday, a newer one is parked in the driveway next door. And that 52″ TV will soon pale in comparison to your brother-in-law’s 68″ inch model. Here’s a guarantee in life – no matter what you acquire, somebody, somewhere, is going to have something newer, shinier, and more powerful.

So what’s the harm in comparing ourselves to others? Comparison takes our eyes off the blessings God put into our lives. When we compare our things with others, we get envious and can begin to feel that we deserve more than they do. Comparison cheapens our appreciation for what God has done in our lives, and we can easily shift from gratitude to envy. God wants us to be content with how He has blessed us in life.

SOURCE: RIGHT FROM THE HEART
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GOD KNOWS YOUR FEELINGS AND FRUSTRATIONS

You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Psalm 56:6 (Good News)

"God sees the hurt in your heart like nobody else can. "

You may think, "Nobody knows what I'm going through, nobody feels the pain I'm experiencing." But God knows!

He knows your feelings and frustrations.  He's seen the crisis in your soul. There's no hurt that goes unnoticed by God. Psalm 56:6 says, "You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears." (Good News)

Often when we're hurting, we feel very isolated and lonely. Maybe there's been a death in the family, a divorce, maybe we've gotten fired, and we start to think, "Nobody understands the way I feel; nobody can tell the way I feel; nobody feels the pain."

But God knows, and "The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him." (Psalms 103:13, NLT)

God not only sees, He cares!
He knows the causes, the reasons, the things that brought you to this point. He understands because he made you, and he sees the hurt in your heart like nobody else can.

Because God knows our frustrations and despair, we can give those feelings to God: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." (1 Peter 5:7, NLT)

Cast them all permanently on God, once and for all, and then, don't take them back.

SOURCE: BACK TO THE BIBLE

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TO LIVE AGAIN

Job 14:14  "If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes."

The Romanian weekly Tinerama reported that a woman fainted when she opened her front door and found her husband standing there. It all started when a man named Neagu choked on a fish bone, stopped breathing and collapsed. The family doctor, knowing Neagu's heart condition, didn't think twice about proclaiming the 71-year-old dead of a heart attack. But three days later, grave diggers at the cemetery heard a suspicious sound. They opened Neagu's coffin to find him surrounded by wilted flowers but very much alive. It took Neagu three weeks to convince the authorities to cancel his death certificate from their register.

Job, however, had more in mind than mere resuscitation. As he looked ahead to that day when he would put aside his mortal body, he asked the age-old question, "Will I live again?" Implied in Job's question is not the hopeless uncertainty of the pagan world but a quiet confidence that someday it would be so. As a result, he was willing to plod through his trials patiently, knowing that a greater and more glorious day lay ahead.

As believers in Christ, we have even more reason to be confident. We have not only the promise of resurrection (1 Cor. 6:14) but also the example of Christ (Luke 24:1-3). The apostle Paul assured us that what is sown perishable shall be raised imperishable (1 Cor. 15:42-44). That which is placed in the ground will someday be resurrected to rejoin the spirit from which it was separated and together spend eternity with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:14-17).

If you are troubled by pain and disappointment, be encouraged by what is to come. Wait patiently for that day when God will give you a new body in which to live a new life. The difficulties we experience now will one day vanish into eternity. Take heart--the best is yet to be.

Real life begins after this life.

SOURCE: LESSONS ON LIVING


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THE WORD FOR TODAY:          "WHAT YOUR CHILD DESERVES "
       ‘Children are a gift from the Lord.’  Psalm 127:3 NLT

YOUR CHILDREN deserve certain things, like: 1) Time. Not leftover time at the end of the day, but prioritised time. If your life is ruled by a schedule and your children aren’t on it, do something – quickly. Otherwise there’ll come a day when you’re not included in their schedule. Simply watching television together for three hours won’t cut it; you must be ‘emotionally present’. Sometimes that means letting them see your fears and insecurities, even as they witness your delight and appreciation of them. 2) Openness. There’s so much our children can teach us about themselves, about ourselves, and about who God is. Once we realise we don’t have all the answers, we become open to allowing God to speak to us through our children. That kind of receptivity strengthens their faith, helps them remain teachable, and also keeps us young at heart. 3) Structure. It’s vital, during the formative years, to establish rules and maintain boundaries. Children need guidelines and a framework to feel secure. In the early years this includes things like having an established bedtime, then moving it back as they get older. This helps them understand that age brings freedom, but not all at once, because freedom brings responsibility and they’re not as ready to handle it as they think. Don’t try to be your child’s best friend, or look to them to meet your emotional needs. Their shoulders aren’t broad enough to carry that load. Be confident in God, and in who you are. Seek outside encouragement from healthy sources. In short, strive to become the firm, gentle parent your child deserves.

      ‘Bring them…so I may bless them.’  Genesis 48:9 NIV (2011 Edition)

HERE ARE three more things your children deserve from you: 1) Forgive them, and be willing to ask for their forgiveness. By doing this you’re teaching them that: a) We must all deal with the consequences of our actions. And that when we do, we grow. b) Failing doesn’t make you a failure; it’s just part of learning and maturing. It comes with the turf. c) We should be quick to extend to others the same grace that has so often been extended to us. 2) Separate the baggage. One man became anxious and depressed as his son approached his twelfth birthday. Shortly after the boy’s birthday party, the father was thumbing through a photo album from his own childhood. That’s when it dawned on him that he was twelve when his father abandoned the family and then killed himself. Watching his son approach the same age made him afraid because it reopened old wounds – unhealed ones. A caring counsellor helped him regain his perspective and peace by helping him realise he was a very different man from his father, and he wasn’t about to abandon his family. 3) Bless them. ‘“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them”’ (v. 9 NIV 2011 Edition). The principles you live by and the blessings you enjoy are meant to be passed on to your children and grandchildren. Whether it’s expressing what’s in your heart, or sending a note or email to say you’re proud of them, bless your children at every possible opportunity.

Soul Food Reading : Luke 22: 47-71, Ps 120-122.       Courtesy Grace So Amazing Foundation