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Tag: devotion

Don’t, Do, and a Promise

Philippians 4:6 tells us: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…

Be anxious for…NOTHING
Pray for…EVERYTHING.

But, it doesn’t stop with don’t and do. Notice the ellipsis at the end of that verse. It is only half the sentence. Beyond “don’t do this thing that is in human nature and do this thing that you have to consciously do all the time with thanksgiving in your heart even if times are really super hard,” there is the promise of a beautiful gift.

Philippians 4:7 says: …and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The PEACE of GOD which surpasses ALL understanding will GUARD our hearts and minds through CHRIST Jesus.

I know I want that peace. I know I cling to the promise that I will receive that peace that passes all understanding. I know even in the depth of the valley when I’m sinking and overcome with despair, I can seek God, open that line of communication with Him, and receive HIS peace.

What burdens are on your heart, friend? How can I pray for you today?

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Devotion: Loving and Serving God

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. I listen to it in the morning when I walk/run. I read and study it. I’m the type of person that starts digging through my Bible during sermons or Bible studies because something said sparked a thought that required looking something up, that leads me to look up something else, etc. Even though I’ve done so much study for years and years, but I had a new revelation last week.

Don’t you just love it when God does that?

Here it is:

Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us what God’s greatest commandment is (Jesus affirmed this in Matthew):

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

LOVE God with ALL your heart and ALL your soul.

Got it?

Now, Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says:

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

This says we’re supposed to SERVE God with ALL our heart and with ALL our soul!
We’re to LOVE God and SERVE God with the SAME PASSION!!

I love this so much.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

God’s grace is what allows me to claim victory over sin and be a true follower of Christ. HOWEVER, more is expected. I can’t just sit back and take the grace and never act.

Acts 16:31 tells us that if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved. But, the word believe is the same word as the word OBEY. The Greek word is pisteuō – and it means both believe AND obey. Christ told us to obey His commandments, and claimed the greatest commandment was to love the Lord God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.

And we learn that LOVING God is to be the same as SERVING God.

James 2:14-26 makes it clear that FAITH without WORKS means NOTHING.

I think what I realized reading Deuteronomy last night is that LOVE for God without SERVING God goes totally hand in had with FAITH and WORKS.

Exciting stuff!!

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The Beauty of the Brown Eyed Susan

This is a Brown-Eyed Susan. This is one of my favorite flowers. It is so simple in its beauty but looks strong and certain. The shape of the flower makes me think that it’s lifting its head and charging forward on a mission, embracing whatever the world is going to throw at it.

As I was walking with my dogs the other morning, I noticed they were blooming. I stopped to take a picture of them because I wanted to share with you my favorite flower. Then I came around a corner and saw another batch of them and something else occurred to me.

This is a simple flower. Golden-rod petals surrounding a brown center. It should be boring. It should be nothing special. But look at this picture. What do you see? Among a field of wildflowers, delicate white Irish lace, Purple Phacelia, White Violets, and other beautiful greenery, what stands out the most with its bold and bright colors, with its face lifted to the sky?

To me, the Brown-Eyed Susan shines from this little patch of beauty.

We all have been given something very special by God, something that He has endowed upon us to use to serve Him, to serve our neighbor, to take care of those who are in need, to encourage others, to teach others — something given to us to use as God needs it used.

Oftentimes, we feel unimportant, plain, boring, less than that person or this person. Not as beautiful, not as delicate, not as smart, not as graceful. Our brains get flooded with less than thoughts that bring us down and make us afraid to use this gift from God because we’re afraid we’re not good enough.

Let me tell you something – that’s a lie straight from the master deceiver who tricked Eve with the words, “Did God really say…?”

Every single one of us called by God have EXACTLY what we need to succeed for HIS  purposes. I know that I am tone def and cannot sing, read music, or play an instrument. That doesn’t mean that I feel less than capable of serving God than my talented musician friends. It simply means that He didn’t give me the gift of song! If I compare myself to them, of course I fall short. Their ministries are not my ministries, and mine are not theirs.

I don’t care if you’re a delicate flower with petals that look like intricate lace, or if you’re sturdy and strong with golden petals around a brown center – lift your face to God, embrace the gifts He’s given you, and use them to His glory. That’s all He wants from you, and that’s what your soul needs you to do.

Do it, and you’ll learn that you are worthy, you are beautiful, you are important, you are interesting, you are a piece of the intricate perfection that is God’s church, and you are on a mission that He KNOWS you can accomplish, because He’s the one who has prepared you.

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