Devotional Journal 07-15-17
July 15 2017
Are You Being Prepared?
The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and . . . the bear will rescue me. 1 Samuel 17:37
I worked at a fast-food restaurant for over two years in high school. Some aspects of the job were difficult. Customers verbalized their anger while I apologized for the unwanted slice of cheese on the sandwich I didn’t make. Soon after I left, I applied for a computer job at my university. The employers were more interested in my fast-food experience than my computer skills. They wanted to know that I knew how to deal with people. My experience in unpleasant circumstances prepared me for a better job!
Young David persevered through an experience we might well call unpleasant. When Israel was challenged to send someone to fight Goliath, no one was brave enough to step up to the task. No one but David. King Saul was reluctant to send him to fight, but David explained that as a shepherd he had fought and killed a lion and a bear for the sake of the sheep (1 Sam. 17:34–36). Confidently he stated, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and . . . the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (v. 37).
Being a shepherd didn’t earn David much respect, but it prepared him to fight Goliath and eventually become Israel’s greatest king. We may be in difficult circumstances, but through them God might be preparing us for something greater!
Lord, help me to hold on during the unpleasant times in my life knowing that You may be preparing me for something greater.
God uses present circumstances to prepare us for the future.
Copy received from Our Daily Bread
The Wild Ride of Faith –By Chrystal Evanshurst
“… the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4 (NIV)
On a recent trip to an amusement park, my boys and I decided to try out a new roller coaster. Well, it was new for them. I’d experienced it before and knew it was the perfect ride for my boys: One is a thrill-seeker, one is a thrill-avoider and one sits somewhere in between.
We approached the line and waited patiently for our turn. My thrill-avoider slowly became apprehensive about getting on the ride. He had time to wonder how fast the ride would go, how far the drops would be and how many sharp curves he would encounter. In other words, he had a long wait full of worry.
The closer we got to the front of the line, the more anxious he became. He started asking me for a way out — some way to avoid venturing into the unknown. I felt like a terrible mom, but I decided he would just have to go. We’d already waited so long, and it wouldn’t be fair to his brothers.
But here’s the other reason I made him get on the ride. I knew it wasn’t that bad. As a roller coaster-lover, I knew this ride was rather mild, and he would be just fine once he experienced the ups and downs for himself.
I knew he’d be okay. He didn’t believe me.
As we approached the front of the line, the people behind us could see my son was visibly shaken and averse to moving forward. I assumed they secretly thought I was an awful mom. To my surprise, one of the ladies leaned toward my son and said, “Don’t be scared. I was afraid the first time I rode it, but it was super fun!”
Her encouragement kept him moving forward.
When it was our turn to ride, the park employee who controlled the ride noticed my son’s nervousness. He left his post and bent down to comfort my son, reassuring him that he would love the ride.
My son seemed a bit calmer. Resolved that the ride was imminent, he reached over and asked me to hold his hand throughout our journey.
More often than I care to admit, I find myself in line for something in life I’m unsure about. I anticipate the ride will be rougher than I want — too much for me to handle.
And I want out.
I worry. I whine. I cry. I beg God to get me out of the line. I’m apprehensive and anxious about the direction things are headed and I let the world know it.
But here’s what I’ve learned: While God may not always remove me from my circumstances, He is always with me.
He knows I’ll be okay.
I don’t always believe Him — particularly when I ruminate about all the things that could go wrong. Thankfully, God doesn’t let my apprehension or anxiety about my future stop me from embarking on rides I might otherwise avoid.
God doesn’t place me in situations where I will be tempted beyond what I can bear. He also ensures that when I’m feeling weak, I can hold on to Him, take comfort in His presence and trust in His strength to get me through. God, in His loving care, often places people in my path who’ve been on the ride I face and can encourage me to move forward.
We rode the ride that day, and my son screamed the whole time. He was that kid who hollered his brains out. But you know what? As we got out of our seats and made our way through the exit, he had a huge smile on his face. He’d enjoyed the ride. He even asked to ride again.
I’ve been walking with God long enough to know that building my faith often requires unexpected rides that may leave me feeling worried and unsettled. I’ve also learned that God can be trusted. He will hold my hand and be with me the entire way. And while the ride may seem wild at times — building my faith is the ride of a lifetime. And it’s one ride I’m learning to enjoy.
Dear Father, sometimes I struggle to have confidence when I encounter a wild ride of faith. Please help me to believe that You are with me to walk boldly forward, even when it’s toward the unknown. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations
Copy was collected from ACC- Two Years Bible Reading Plan.
Crucify The Flesh
「Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.」- Galatians 5:24
“I couldn’t help it,” said Jack. “It” was his lust, which he frequently fed. “I just lost it,” said Jill. What she lost was control of her sharp tongue, which she regularly used to cut people down. Some think there’s no use fighting “it.”
A Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson depicts a woman clinging for dear life to a parking meter. She is being sucked off her feet, as if by a huge vacuum, pulled toward the door of a candy store. I understand the temptation, since I absolutely love chocolate! But, of course, eating chocolate is not a sin. Obsessing over it or overindulging in it, though, can be sinful. For any of us, temptations to sin can be so strong that they can be hard to resist.
Paul says we must crucify “the flesh”—our sinful passions and desires. We might think this is simply a vivid metaphor. But that is not the case. Believing in Christ, our spirits are united with him in his death on the cross.
Every day we must put to death “the acts of the flesh,” such as sexual immorality, hatred, jealousy—today’s verses list a host of offenses. Such sins wage war on our souls and play havoc with our relationships.
Crucifying the flesh—saying “No!” to the passions that besiege us—is torture, just as crucifixion was a form of torture. But with God’s help and through the power of the Holy Spirit, it can be done.
Prayer: Thank you Father, that we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection, and that your Spirit lives within us. Help us to grow in godliness. Amen.
「凡屬基督耶穌的人，是已經把肉體連肉體的邪情私慾，同釘在十字架上了。」 – 加 5:24
Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l
人際衝突，往往是由一個小小的不原諒引發 （本文選自：成熟之愛 作者：麥道衛）