Devotionals

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Posted 1/29/17 at 11:41 AM | Daniella Whyte

Honest to Goodness (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 46)

Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

When we’ve messed up, it is quite easy to pass the blame or to just not say anything about it. But neither choice is actually telling the truth. When we don’t tell the truth, we fail to help ourselves or to benefit anyone else in the long run. We reject the abundance of mercy that is available to us if we only open up and tell the straight-up honest to goodness truth.

FULL POST

Posted 1/27/17 at 9:25 PM | Greg Gordon

Bitterness The Poison Of The Soul

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. - Ephesians 4:31

Bitterness is something we feel never will happen to us. We go through life opening our hearts to many people, seeking friendship in this life. But when we least expect it someone hurts us, or circumstances themselves come to a place where we allow bitterness to come into our hearts towards even God himself. Feeling angry and disappointed over how we have been treated or how circumstances have treated us produce great bitterness in our being. This feeling we hold in is suppressed in our hearts and not see at first in our daily life. But it starts to seep out its poison slowly in our words (James 3:7), and mind, we start to judge everyone, say cynical and hard comments towards others. Usually this hurt is directed towards a person or specific situation. Anything that would remind the hurt person of this situation will result in their hurt to come out in words that damage and tear down others. FULL POST

Posted 1/21/17 at 9:01 PM | Diane Castro

Stop Whining!

The title of a Christianity Today article from the year 2000 stuck in my mind and became a mantra of mine: “Get Thou Over It!” As author Jody Vickery wrote,

We believers are the most offended, wounded, upset, shocked, thunderstruck, consternated, and (the enduring favorite) outraged group of people on the planet. Is there something in the baptismal waters that makes Christians thin-skinned? Once I even read a letter from a correspondent that began, “My wife … was disturbed.” Well, pardon me. Didn’t mean to disturb the Mrs.

The problem has only gotten worse since the turn of the millennium. Like our society in general, evangelicals are taking offense at the slightest provocation, and the proliferation of Internet comment wars has produced hordes of appalled and insulted and dismayed Christians.

Did someone challenge a cherished belief of yours? Is it worth getting so worked up about it that your relationship with him is damaged? Did someone say something to you that feels hurtful? Chances are the person didn’t mean to hurt you. And even if she did, is it worth getting your panties all in a wad and letting it ruin your day? Do online commenters mock your faith? It is to be expected. But does your indignation reflect the message of the gospel? FULL POST

Posted 1/19/17 at 2:42 AM | Daniella Whyte

Love that Proves (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 45)

John 13:34-35 (NLT)
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Love each other. This is not just a suggestion or a recommendation for us to follow. This is a command — a direct order. It is a new commandment that warrants our attention through service. We prove our love for one another by serving one another. Love is ultimately defined by service. In love, we find our identity. In service to others, love goes deeper than flesh and blood.

FULL POST

Posted 1/15/17 at 6:55 PM | Diane Castro

Grow in Grace

When I was growing up, I was not a particularly nice person. My sister Karen was the nice one—the do-gooder, the Candy Striper, the kind and thoughtful one. I didn’t have much patience with weak or needy people; I thought they needed to just suck it up and get a grip. When my mom would take us to visit someone at a nursing home, Karen was very sweet to the old folks, while I was thinking, “Get me outta here.”

Well, God has a sense of humor. He let me become weak and needy myself, and gradually, over decades, He has given me a heart for all people. He has brought across my path many hurting people, and now, instead of thinking “Get me outta here,” I can enter into their lives and offer them some of the comfort I have received from “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (1 Cor. 1:3).

The first time I recall someone really opening up to me was when I greeted a young mom after church one Sunday morning. I didn’t know her well, and I just said the customary “Hi, how’re you doing?” She burst into tears and a whole tale tumbled out—a story of abuse by her husband and stress with her small children and struggles with money. I think the reason she felt safe with me was because it was no big secret that I had troubles of my own. I had let down my façade of pretending that I had it all together, and therefore she could be open and vulnerable with me. FULL POST

Posted 1/11/17 at 6:12 PM | Daniella Whyte

Faith in the Storm (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 44)

Joshua 17:18 (NLT)
The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.

There is always room for progress. The top of the mountain is filled with very few people who have struggled to make it there. However, the journey to the top of the mountain is littered with people who are still trying, and some who have given up. Seeing life as it could be is almost impossible when in the middle of some difficult moment. But that is why we are encouraged to have faith.

Faith pushes through frustrations. Faith allows us to be at peace when problems persist. When your valley is filled with Canaanites who are strong and have iron chariots at their disposal, believe that whatever God has promised you will be yours. No matter how difficult it is, or how cloudy the skies may seem, remember that God is powerful and He has given each of us a bit of that power to break through barriers and overcome obstacles in our way. FULL POST

Posted 1/5/17 at 12:16 AM | Daniella Whyte

Facing the Same Things (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 43)

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT)
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Trials are very real in our lives. Sometimes, it is a challenge to deal with those trials and endure those trials in a way that seems to bring benefit to our lives. We never see the end result at the beginning which is why far too many people give up on their faith. It is important to understand that as we endure difficulties and trouble in life, our enemy is not God; it is the devil.

The devil seeks to destroy us and crush our hope and faith in Christ. This is why we must be aware of what we allow to enter our hearts and our minds. Much of the negative things that cross our paths come from the workings of the devil as he aims to get us off track. Some people want to blame God for everything bad that happens in their life. In reality, God is not to blame. Yes, He allows some things to happen in our lives to make His power known, to teach us a lesson, or to prepare us for some greater work or blessing. But it is the devil who seeks to destroy. FULL POST

Posted 12/29/16 at 4:25 PM | Daniella Whyte

Just Ask For It (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 42)

Romans 8:32 (NLT)
Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

For most of us, when we were little, we didn’t really worry about basic necessities like food, clothes, or where money was going to come from to pay bills. As children, it wasn’t our job to be concerned with such things. We asked for what we wanted from our parents or older adults and siblings around us. And in our mind, it was their responsibility to get it.

God is the same way. He doesn’t want us to worry about how He’s going to work something out or how He’s going to provide for our needs. He wants us to have a childlike faith and trust that He has everything under control. All we have to do is trust and pray. God has the hard job of providing for all the people in the world; we have a fairly easy job of trusting wholeheartedly and praying believingly. FULL POST

Posted 12/21/16 at 4:07 PM | Daniella Whyte

Love God, Love People (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 41)

Luke 16:10 (NLT)
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.

Many big things in our world are made up of very tiny objects. Think about the ocean for a minute. What is the ocean made of? It’s made up of little drops of water that follow from really tiny molecules. You can’t see the molecules or every individual drop of water. But we can see the huge body of water. Without the little drops of water and tiny molecules, there would be no ocean.

In life, it is the same way. Our lives are made up of big moments and small ones. But it’s mostly made up of numerous small moments that lead to big moments. All big things are made up of little things and if we are not careful we can miss those blessings that are derived from these small things. God wants us to be faithful in the small things. It is the small things that really count. FULL POST

Posted 12/16/16 at 6:04 AM | June Samuel

The Word of God - The Bible

I am meditating in the Book of Revelations and I am currently reading in chapter 3. As I read the various statements our Lord Jesus made to the seven churches, I wondered what He would say about my church that I attend. If I were brave I would ask. Then, who am I that the Lord Jesus would entrust His message about my church to me? I can ask Him about myself. How am I doing?

I have noticed that the Lord Jesus made pronouncements of Himself to each church as they were related to the needs of the church. He stated who He is, signifying He knows the issues and He is capable of correcting each one.

He started with the church at Ephesus. The Lord Jesus said, “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:” The Lord Jesus is saying He holds the seven angels of the seven churches (ch 1:20) in His right hand. His right denotes strength. He walks among the seven churches. In other words, He is seeing all that is going on in the churches. He is observing the happenings, the activities in the churches, and He is looking closely at the hearts of the individuals which make up each church. When He speaks, He knows about what He is talking. He is speaking from firsthand knowledge – what He has observed, seen and heard in the churches. I am sure the Lord is doing the same today – walking amongst the churches (the church gatherings). FULL POST

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