So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while (1 Peter 1:6 NLT).
Life is tough at times. We all struggle through bad times. We all suffer many different problems. We are broken people who are living in a broken world. At times, it may seem that life just stinks and that is probably true while you are walking through your “valley.” But remember, the Son will shine on you tomorrow.
Notice how I spelled “Son” in the above text. The Light of Jesus Christ will shine on you and bring you through your trials and tribulations. He will never leave you but will help you, pick you up and even carry you in His amazing arms. He will bring you through your valley. Trust in Him and know that He is God and that He is with you and will never leave or abandon you.
God will use today's trial to create in you a stronger and more faithful being. He will show you things that you might never see without going through the struggle that you are currently experiencing. Our God is faithful, even when we are not.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing (James 1:2-4 NLT).
Dear Lord, thank You for loving us and carrying us through our current mess. We know that, by our faith and Your grace, we will never be left to battle life's problems alone. I give You all the praise and glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Are You In or Out?
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7 NLT).
I love John's illustration of light and dark in this passage. We must remember that evil hates the light and chooses to hide in the realms of darkness.
Are you living in the light? Have you chosen Christ as your Savior? If so, let His light shine through you.
We also must be warned that if we are straddling the fence on God's truth, we might as well give ourselves over to darkness. Each of us must make a decision, is it God's direction for your life or have you given yourself over to the Devil.
In old-school talk: Are you in or out? Is it His way or the path to destruction? It's your choice. Choose wisely. Is it time to get off the fence and come into the light? You can't have it both ways.
Father God, open the hearts and minds of those that are straddling the fence. We ask and pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Mining for God's Gold
Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance—
all who seek the Lord!
Consider the rock from which you were cut,
the quarry from which you were mined.
Yes, think about Abraham, your ancestor,
and Sarah, who gave birth to your nation.
Abraham was only one man when I called him.
But when I blessed him, he became a great nation.
We are all formed in the image of our God. Our Creator designed and formed us and knows more about us than we know about ourselves. We are His creation (Isaiah 51:1-2 NLT).
We all have the “gold” of God deep inside our hearts. We are prone to cover up that gold with our sinful lives. We keep digging deeper and placing more dirt over God's gold. In order to get to that gold, we must be mined. In the gold mining industry, two tons of dirt must be moved to harvest one ounce of gold.
There was a lot of dirt in my own life that had to be moved and discarded to get to that ounce of God's gold. I thank God for excavating, exploring and revealing His gold that was in my heart. At times, it was a painful and a trying time during the excavation process. But no matter the discomfort, every scoop of dirt that was removed, the closer that I got to my Godly gold.
Have you let God remove the sin in your life? Are you letting Him excavate the dirt from your heart? Are you coming to Him for deliverance? Isn't it time to turn to God and accept His Son as your Savior? Is it not time to repent and let God take the dirt from your heart and reveal His precious gold?
Thank You, Lord, for loving us so much that You are willing to drag out the heavy equipment, get the excavator, and dig deep into our lives, changing us one scoop at a time. I pray and give thanks in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Pray for All
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT).
It's easy to pray for those who love you. It's not so easy to pray for those who hate and disagree with you. However, God calls us to especially pray for them. Do this and be blessed beyond all your expectations.
Dear Lord, help us to have Your heart for others. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Ability to Love
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4:10 NLT).
We cannot begin to love others until we first accept the love of Jesus for ourselves. Accepting the love of Christ opens our hearts to begin to understand the how deep, wide, and broad the Gospel is to the world.
Dear Lord, let us each begin a path of understanding Your Gospel. Walking with You, Lord, is just the beginning of a lifelong education of the true meaning of love. Help us to walk, listen, and soak up Your presence in our lives. In Your mighty name, we pray. Amen.
We All Slip
I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer (Psalms 94:18-19 NLT).
Do you remember sliding down a hill on a Slip-N-Slide? A big roll of plastic where you turn the garden hose on supplying water to make it a slippery surface? Well, life is just like that. Everything is going great, then next thing you know, you hit a patch of "Slip-N-Slide." Your feet go up above your head and you land flat on your back-side.
Sin creeps into our lives through our daily routines. Next thing you know, it has you wrapped up and living a life far from God's plan.
Isn't it time that you cry out for God? Isn't it time to ask Him to come back into your life? Don't you want to feel the joy that only He can provide? It's your decision, God or Sin. They can't co-exist.
Dear Lord, thank You for pulling us back into Your mighty grasp. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
We Are Rescued – We Are Redeemed
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
No matter our current situation, we can rest in the fact that those who are “in Christ” are “good-to-go” and will be taken care of, in life and in death. I've made the statement, and certainly not the first to use it, “I am good either way.” Knowing Jesus as Savior gives a person the courage to face any situation in life. We know that our true home awaits us and we are only visiting this world. That said, I'm in no hurry to get to my heavenly destination even though I'm assured that I have a much better home waiting.
Friends, do you know Jesus? Can you say that you are “good either way”? If not, isn't it time to make that decision? Jesus is waiting, but will never force Himself on you. You have to accept Him, turn from your wicked ways, repent of your transgressions, and proclaim Him as your Savior. He is there. What are you waiting for? Every breath is a gift and we never know when we might take that last one. Make your decision wisely.
Dear Lord, let someone who reads this, make the decision for You as their Savior. Amen.
On a personal note, through my redemption, I am able to witness to His power. It's only due to His grace that I am even able to write this devotion. I was lost and now I'm found. This, my friends, is how Jesus works. He pulls us up out of our muck and mire, washes us in His cleansing blood and gives us new life. I am still a sinner, but I repent and do my best to turn away from that sin everyday. We are broken and we all mess up. As the Apostle Paul wrote, 1 Timothy 1:15 (NLT) “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” We are all sinners, no matter if you are the pastor of a church or a really good guy or gal. We are all in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Isn't it time to turn to Jesus and stop running? I'm praying for your decision to accept Him.