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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Songs of Deliverance

Time Published IconBy Lydia E. Harris on March 31st, 2009 at 2:00 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Are you facing a raging river in your life today? We would love the opportunity to pray for you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

“Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:6-7 NIV).

Read Psalm 32: 1-11

From their living room window, Roger and Gail watched the churning water rush down the Skagit River in western Washington. Due to record rainfall, the rising river, filled with limbs and debris, threatened to overflow its banks. Would their home flood?

Together Roger and Gail cried out, “Lord, please protect us and our home! Keep the river within its banks.”

The river raged nearby, but God gave them peace. Although the river did overflow its banks, God’s mighty hand held back the floodwaters, and the muddy water did not come inside their home. That day Roger and Gail experienced Psalm 32:6 in a personal way: “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.”

David penned these reassuring words in a psalm that focuses on instruction and repentance. He acknowledged his sin and accepted God’s forgiveness. David encourages us to follow his example and pray to God, assuring us that God’s love surrounds those who trust Him.

When swirling situations threaten to engulf our lives, we too can cry out to God. Although we don’t know how He’ll answer, He promises to surround us with “songs of deliverance” (verse 7).

Almighty God, You are my hiding place. Thank You for Your strong hand of protection. Remind me to call on You in every storm of life.

Questions: How do you face troubled times in your life? Do you trust God to be with you when troubles surround you and threaten to engulf you?

About the Author Lydia E. Harris

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, God of Love, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Do All To the Glory of God

Time Published IconBy Helen Lescheid on March 30th, 2009 at 2:00 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Are you facing a difficult time in your life? We would love the opportunity to pray for you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might …” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

How do you define serving God? Are you like me, tempted to think that certain works, like teaching Bible studies and speaking to crowds, are more important than having someone in for dinner?

In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddle’s sister, Jenny, felt her brother was putting too much emphasis on his running and not enough on mission work in China. A confrontation between Eric and his sister ensued. “Jenny, I know God made me for a purpose,” Eric said. “He made me for China. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

I think what Eric was saying is that all of life is sacred and whatever God gives us to do at the time, let’s do it whole-heartedly to the glory of God. It may be going to school, raising children, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, writing magazine articles, speaking to women’s groups, visiting those in a Care Home, inviting someone home for lunch …all of it, if done whole-heartedly, is a service to God. The Bible says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Eric Liddle lived that way. After the Olympics in 1924, he went to China where he taught school and organized sporting events. During WWII he was placed in a Chinese prison camp where he continued to serve God whole-heartedly by helping the elderly, teaching Bible classes, arranging games and teaching the children science. He died in the camp on February 21, 1945 at the age of 43, just four months before liberation.

Father, whatever this day brings, I want to live it whole-heartedly for Your glory.

Question: What has God given you to do today? How can you serve Him with all your heart?

About the Author Helen Lescheid

Daily audio podcast: Hear today’s devotional read aloud. Hear Do All to the Glory of God today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

A Call To Prayer

Time Published IconBy Patricia Psooy on March 29th, 2009 at 2:00 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Life is a journey and it is best shared with others. We want to be there for you when you go through life’s struggles. Let us walk this path together.

The Invitation
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17).

Prayer is a gift, priceless and free.

My lover spoke and said to me, “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me” (Songs of Solomon 2:10).

Prayer is a place of relationship and intimacy.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

“Ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession” (Psalm 2:8).

Prayer is a place of kingdom growth.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Prayer is a place of rest, a place where we can lay our burdens down.

The Responsibility
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians. 3:10, 11).

That church is us. The manifold wisdom of God is the word of God fulfilled in Christ. These rulers and authorities are the angels of God and the powers of darkness. God has given us the mandate, and the privilege, of using His word and claiming His promises to impact the unseen battles which are taking place in the heavenly realms.

“Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word” (Psalm 103:20).

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father” (John 16:26, 27).

Jesus has given us His name, His identity, so that we may come boldly and confidently before the Father, but has left the asking up to us.

The Promise
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened ‘ (Matthew 7:7, 8).

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

“You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

God has so much more for us than we can think or imagine but we must ask Him.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

God has new depths of fellowship that He wants to take us into but we must seek Him.

“Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Father God, You have new places and new spiritual heights that You want to take us to. Teach me to knock at Your door and call out to You. Teach me to pray. Amen

Questions: When you feel weary and burdened, do you take your burden to God? Do you ask God to help you believing that He will?

About the Author Patricia Psooy

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, You are not an Accident, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Saturday, March 28, 2009

God is Waiting for an Invitation

Devotional for Women at

Have you ever earnestly prayed for something, only to have your prayer seemingly go unnoticed?

Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20 “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.”

Have you given God the opportunity to accomplish infinitely more than you would ever dare to ask or hope for in your life?

We try to be self-sufficient and get so busy that we don’t invite God to get involved with our needs, dreams, desires, and hopes. God is waiting for us to ask for His involvement in our daily routines and the future. I wonder if He doesn’t get frustrated with us because He wants to give us so much but we don’t ask Him for it. Our prayerlessness denies Him the opportunity to show us His awesome power.

The next time you come into a situation that is too big for you to solve, or seems hopeless, invite God to get involved. He is waiting for an invitation. In The Prayer of Jabez devotional book, Bruce Wilkinson writes, “It doesn’t matter whether you are short of money, people, energy, or time. What God invites you to do will always be greater than the resources you start with.” When the hand of God is upon you He may ask you to do things you don’t think you are capable of doing. However, that is when He can show His awesome power as we stretch and grow in our spiritual lives.

If we do not “ask or imagine” what limit does God have to exceed? Our finite minds simply cannot grasp what God has in store for us as His beloved children. We have no idea how many times we have prayed and God has answered our prayers but is waiting for the proper time to give the answer.

Do you notice when God answers your prayers? Ask God to adjust your spiritual vision so you will recognize when He is working in your life. Pray about the little concerns in your life then stand back and watch God answer, you will be amazed.

Father God, Please help me to thank You for the answers to my prayers. At the end of the day remind me to recall the many answers you have given, even the little ones throughout the day. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see Your power at work in my life.

Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez devotional, (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2001), p 68.

Questions: Have you given God the opportunity to accomplish infinitely more than you would ever dare to ask or hope for in your life? Is God involved in your daily routines and the future?

About the Author Lillian Penner

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Dealing with Fear: A Lesson from a Two-Year Old, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Friday, March 27, 2009

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Identity

Time Published IconBy John Grant on March 27th, 2009 at 2:00 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

As you listen to the daily news does that make you feel depressed? We would love to talk with you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

“Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:22-23).

Identity theft is a major and growing problem and as the economy deteriorates and people get more desperate, they are turning to electronic thievery. Identity theft is one of the most serious crimes in the United States - one that can take hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars for victims to clean up. According to the Federal Trade Commission, as many as 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year, including 400,000 children. A person’s identity is valuable to them and to a thief. We should all take care to protect our identity from getting into the wrong hands.

But, as Christians, there is another identity that is more important and more valuable and that is our Christian identity. When we are saved, we are set apart. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) That is my spiritual identity and far more valuable than any other identity a thief could take from me.

Much like “dumpster divers” who sort through trash to find a receipt, check or anything else that would reveal our financial identity, Satan dives into our heart with his intention to steal our spiritual identity, our moral purity and he does it subtly by using a morally corrupt secular world to do his bidding for him to lure us into compromising our spiritual identity.

If you ever wonder about the kind of world we live in just look around and look at the news. Here are just a sample of headlines from my local paper over the past few days: “Judge Charged in Stripper Inquiry,” “Former State Official Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography,” “Most Floridians Okay With Gays and Lesbians Adopting.” The incoming Secretary of the Treasury, the top financial post in the federal government admits that it was an oversight that he did not pay his taxes over a number of years, notwithstanding repeated notices from the IRS and now he going to be in charge of the IRS.

The most dangerous word for Christians is the “C”, word “compromise.” I can handle it. It’s okay to watch an “R” rated movie. After all the story line is great, the acting superb and I can overlook the profanity and close my eyes during the morally impure scenes. It’s okay for me to regularly go to lunch with my secretary. I can make sure that nothing gets out of hand. And, the list could go on and on.

We are twice born creatures trying to live in but stay apart from a once born world. There are traps everywhere we look and the bait is so tantalizing. We live in a world of moral arrogance and it is spiritual adultery to pursue the pleasing values of this world while pledging our love for God.

That which we observe, we soon focus our lives around and then we accept as acceptable behavior and then embrace it and ultimately participate in it. That is the normal progression for moral degeneration and don’t think for a minute that Christians are immune from Satan’s temptations. I am not and neither are you.

So how shall we then live? The wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure (James 3:17), not the wisdom of the world. If we surrender our lives to God and resist the devil, he will run from us. (James 4:7) James best sums it up, saying that we aren’t faithful to God and are in love with the world then we are God’s enemies. (James 4:4)

The writer of Hebrews summed it up pretty well saying “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering” (Hebrews 10:22-23).

Don’t risk losing your spiritual identity for it is the most valuable thing any Christian has, more valuable than anything in this world.
(a thought on life from John Grant)

Questions: How can we keep ourselves pure? Do you spend time watching “R” rated movies or are you indifferent to news articles that oppose the principles set out in the Bible?

About the Author John Grant

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Joy and Gladness, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Beware of Conficker Worm come April 1st!

In an event that hits the computer world only once every few years, security experts are racing against time to mitigate the impact of a bit of malware which is set to wreak havoc on a hard-coded date. As is often the case, that date is April 1.

Malware creators love to target April Fool's Day with their wares, and the latest worm, called Conficker C, could be one of the most damaging attacks we've seen in years.

Conficker first bubbled up in late 2008 and began making headlines in January as known infections topped 9 million computers. Now in its third variant, Conficker C, the worm has grown incredibly complicated, powerful, and virulent... though no one is quite sure exactly what it will do when D-Day arrives.

Thanks in part to a quarter-million-dollar bounty on the head of the writer of the worm, offered by Microsoft, security researchers are aggressively digging into the worm's code as they attempt to engineer a cure or find the writer before the deadline. What's known so far is that on April 1, all infected computers will come under the control of a master machine located somewhere across the web, at which point anything's possible. Will the zombie machines become denial of service attack pawns, steal personal information, wipe hard drives, or simply manifest more traditional malware pop-ups and extortion-like come-ons designed to sell you phony security software? No one knows.

Conficker is clever in the way it hides its tracks because it uses an enormous number of URLs to communicate with HQ. The first version of Conficker used just 250 addresses each day -- which security researchers and ICANN simply bought and/or disabled -- but Conficker C will up the ante to 50,000 addresses a day when it goes active, a number which simply can't be tracked and disabled by hand.

At this point, you should be extra vigilant about protecting your PC: Patch Windows completely through Windows Update and update your anti-malware software as well. Make sure your antivirus software is actually running too, as Conficker may have disabled it.

Microsoft also offers a free online safety scan here, which should be able to detect all Conficker versions.

All Day Long

All Day Long

Do you feel like you are in a situation that is hopeless? We can pray for you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

“Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long” (Psalm 25:4 & 5).

Father in Heaven, thank you for the promise and hope of Your word. Thank you that You can be counted on to guide me through my day. Today I need to walk in the hope that only You can give. My way is unclear, my path sometimes feels like it twists and turns in confusing and busy ways as I wind my way along my journey.

Show me Your ways, Lord. Show me how You would walk in these places. Teach me Your paths of grace and mercy and integrity and love. Help me to grasp Your ways so I can walk securely in them even in insecure places. I need Your perspective today.

Guide me in Your truth, Lord. With out Your Word active in my heart and mind I cannot know Your truth. Help me to make time to read my Bible. Help me to take time to think on it and let it penetrate my heart. Lord, Your Word will guide me as a beacon and a light. I need Your word to guide me. Forgive me when I have left it on the shelf or have simply grabbed a verse and run off for the day, quickly forgetting what I read.

Thank you that You promise to guide me and teach me as I let Your truth impact my heart and my mind.

Oh Lord, You are my Savior, my rescuer and my redeemer. You alone are the One who restores and renews my spirit and brings meaning to my life. You bless me. May my heart overflow with thanksgiving to You for Your hand in my life.

I will put my hope in you today, all day long. Remind me by Your Holy Spirit to look to You to guide me. Call me into Your quiet presence to think on Your truths and may I not be distracted. This is the oxygen of my soul. Thank you that You give the hope and help and peace I need today. Thank you that You never cease to call me to Yourself. Help me to respond afresh to Your presence in my life. In Jesus’ strong name I pray, amen.

How does your life reveal to others that all your hope is in God? How does that hope make a difference when you are faced with financial or other losses?

About the Author Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: Hear today’s daily devotional, All Day Long, read aloud today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pushing Buttons

Pushing Buttons

Are you in a panic mode? We would love to talk with you and pray with you.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

Our technological world is one of instant answers with the push of a button. Life also affords us the opportunity to choose our internal “button pushing” responses. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in today will allow you a choice of what button to push. Your choice will affect the outcome. Can you identify with each of these buttons in life?

1. Panic Button
I am sure you have experienced being in a parking lot when someone has accidentally hit the panic button of their vehicle. It is a head turner. If you are like me, I have found myself hitting the panic button of life’s situation more times that I care to recall. It is those panic-mode situations that cause stress and make our thought process look like something in a blender. In the Bible, Jacob fled because he stole his brother’s birthright; Peter denied he knew Jesus and left, and Adam and Eve hid when they disobeyed God. During times of panic, we sometimes have difficulty processing what is Truth and that is when problems begin. Timothy wrote, ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ (2 Timothy 1:7) When panic strikes, we then need to take our hands off the panic button and breathe! Let God take that situation from you. Ask Him for His wisdom, His comfort, and His next step. Then, hit the….

2. Reset Button
Take a step back. Reset your life. Take stock in what just happened and begin your journey again with God as the driver.

“…but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him” (Romans 12:2b). Hitting this button will place things into perspective. It is not the time to hit the escape button, but face life head on. This is the moment to make a definite effort to start again. Reset and remember ‘Whose’ you are. The Apostle Paul had his reset button pushed through various circumstances and look at what God allowed him to accomplish. So, hit this button then get ready to push the….

3. Default Button

Make the default button in your life, God! Let Him be the one who controls your thought pattern.

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).

Without a doubt, we will face situations where panic is inevitable. That is life. For some, it may mean hitting the default button numerous times a day or week. Fill your mind with God’s Word. Let those verses of promise and comfort fill your mind so that when panic does strike, you can claim His promises. I have repeated those to myself many times and it gives me great comfort. God is still on the Throne…how amazing!

Pushing buttons is a part of our lives just like breathing. I encourage you to take your finger off the panic button, reset it, and let God be your default button today. Rejoice in the fact that God is your answer; He is the one who help you get your life back on track. What button will you choose to hit today?

Father God, I praise You for being my Default Button. You are so patient. When situations cross my path, I pray that I will have the courage, from You, to hit the Default Button and claim Your help. For this, I truly thank You. In Your Power, Amen.

Questions: Are you prone to press the panic button as a reaction to your circumstances? What do you need to “reset” today and “default” to God?

About the Author Linda Goodhand Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, When you Speak, God Hears, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Tuesday, March 24, 2009



Here is an online Bible Study that will help you to be totally committed to God.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

What is your definition of totally? The dictionary uses words like completely, entirely, and wholly to describe it.

There is a sad story in 1 Samuel about when God removed His Spirit from King Saul. It’s sad because Saul had convinced himself that he was serving God. It’s sad because many of us have fallen into the same trap that Saul did.

In 1 Samuel 15, God instructed Saul, through the prophet Samuel, to totally destroy the Amalakites. When Saul failed to carry out God’s instructions, Samuel confronted him.

Saul’s response is revealing. “But I did obey the LORD … I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:20, 21).

How can you totally destroy an object or people and still have something to bring back? Isn’t that impossible?

Now, Saul probably didn’t consciously think that he had a better plan than God, but his actions proved that to him, totally didn’t mean one hundred percent. Saul believed it was possible to obey God (mostly) and still do what he wanted.

But obedience isn’t obedience unless it is total.

Do we also think we can serve God and get our own way?

Little compromises, an ounce of pride, a smidgen of selfishness and soon we are thinking that a sacrifice in one area will make up for a lack of “total” obedience in another area.

Like Saul, we have convinced ourselves that it is okay.

Samuel’s words to Saul are words that we too must heed:

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of ram” (1 Samuel 15:22).

Heavenly Father, I want to obey You totally. Reveal to me any area where I have convinced myself that I am obeying but am not.

Questions: How do you try to justify partial obedience? What stands in the way of total obedience?

About the Author Suzanne Benner

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Stones Cry Out, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Prepared Place

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, _, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Do you have difficulty sharing God’s love with others? We invite you to talk to us about it. One of our Women Today e-mail mentors will respond to you personally.

Join us for our Daily Devotional Chat today in our Women’s Chatroom at 10:30am EST.

“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself ” (John 14:2-3 (KJV).

Read John 14:1-14

Together with other church women, I worked hard to prepare a lovely setting for the church dessert to welcome newcomers. To make it special, we draped the tables with colorful tablecloths, added fragrant flowers, and fluffed napkins into the cups. Then we set out a wide variety of irresistible, mouthwatering homemade desserts. I couldn’t wait to welcome the forty-five guests who had signed up. They trickled in slowly, so we delayed starting, hoping more would come. When only twenty-five attended, I felt disappointed.

The Lord Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. We’re all invited, but so few accept His offer. Those who neglected our dessert simply missed a pleasant evening; those who reject the Lord’s invitation miss out for all eternity.

Will we accept His invitation? Are we burdened and praying that others will respond?

Lord Jesus, thank You for preparing a heavenly mansion for those who believe. I pray that many will respond to Your invitation. Help me share my faith and invite others to know You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Questions: What could we do differently so that more people would be attracted to the Lord’s invitation? How does your life reflect God’s love and forgiveness?

About the Author Lydia E. Harris

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, How to Handle our Weakness, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stopping for Tea

Do you need help with scheduling your time so that you have more time to spend with the Lord? We would love to pray for you.

“Stop!” Samuel said to Saul “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night” (1 Samuel 15:16).

We found it by accident. After a brisk winter walk in a park north of New York City, we were ready for a hot cup of tea or coffee. After parking the car, we began walking toward the town center. And there it was—a cozy tea room with small tables, friendly staff and quietly conversing customers. The thick menu described hundreds of teas and several appetizing food items. With our selections finally made and the aromatic brews poured, we visibly relaxed. With a plaintive sigh, our daughter asked, “Why don’t I stop for this every day?” She is a high school teacher and her many responsibilities and relationships seem to fill every waking moment.

Time for a cup of tea—or coffee or hot chocolate—or it may not involve any beverage at all. The importance of the ritual involves stopping. For the follower of Jesus, stopping is crucial—stopping the whirl of activities, stopping the ever-present household or career responsibilities, stopping well-meant ministry. Just stopping. Stopping to hear and drink in the quiet voice of God.

We read that Jesus often left the crowds with their deep physical and spiritual needs to stop. He even stepped away from his disciples to whom He would soon entrust the Kingdom. We must do no less. When will you stop for your cup of tea today?

Lord, stopping seems so unproductive! I have been trained to believe that to stop means an interruption in moving forward toward success. Please continue to remind me that I will only hear “what the Lord said to me” if I stop.

Questions: What are some ways that you take the time to “stop” and listen to what God has to say to you? Why is it important to you to take that quiet time with God?

About the Author Marilyn Ehle

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Becoming like Jesus is a Slow Process, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Friday, March 20, 2009

Will the Rope Hold?

If you need encouragement during difficult times, someone is always here to pray with you!

The summer between my 3rd and 4th year of university I worked at Yellowstone National Park. It was a great summer, full of adventures and new experiences.

On a day off, I had signed up for a day long class in rock climbing. I was successfully making my way up the side of a mountain when the instructor surprised me with an unexpected challenge, when he said, “I want you to push yourself off and fall on the rope!” Questioning why he would ask me to do this, I hesitated, and he wisely pointed out that, “You will never be a good rock climber until you can trust that the rope will hold you. Push yourself off and fall on the rope.”

I was afraid. Obviously, my trust was in my ability to use my hands and feet to scale the mountain. The rope was a secondary source of security, in case I slipped (which I did not plan to do!). I eventually did let go of my hand holds, and I’m here to tell you that the rope held!

There are times when God seems to say the same thing to me as my instructor did that day. “Take the step, release your hands on what you are holding and see that I’m trustworthy.” The writer of the Psalms wrote, “O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the person who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Just as I would never be a good rock climber without experiencing that the rope will hold. The same is true of my spiritual life. I will never be a responsive Christ follower if I am unwilling to let go of whatever I am grasping when God says, “Let go, trust me.”

Are you willing to let go of the things that give you security? We can only experience God’s goodness when we take those, sometimes scary steps that take faith. Do you trust God is able to hold you securely when you let go of the things that provide comfort or security? What step is God asking you to take? Could it be he is asking you to let go of a relationship, finances or a position … A thought that comforts me is God holds the universe together it is likely He can provide all I need to hold life together … Enjoy the adventure!

Father God, Help me today to truly trust You and to let go of the things I have been putting my trust in. You alone are able to hold me securely! Thank you.

Questions: What step is God asking you to take today? What are the things we look to, other than God, for our security?

About this Author: Mike Woodard

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Second Chances, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting Through to God

Try our online study “Why isn’t God Answering my Prayers?

“Why do some people get their prayers answered—and I don’t?” you may sometimes wonder. When you have a problem, you may talk with some godly person about it. “Pray for me,” you ask. If anyone can get an answer from God, you figure he or she can! Actually, if you are a Christian, you can, too. Let’s look at the conditions for getting prayer answered.

REPENTANCE is the first essential for answered prayer. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we read, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Obviously sin certainly keeps prayers from being answered. But did you know that bitterness, bad temper, anger, harsh words, and resentment can come between us and God? How can we make things right? The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

RIGHTEOUSNESS also helps us get prayers answered. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective,” James 5:16 says. Righteousness refers to a daily, steady walk with the Lord. We try not to let anything come between Him and us. Christ has first place in the righteous person’s life, and others can see it. That’s how they know who to go to when they need someone to pray.

FORGIVENESS is necessary for answered prayer. Jesus said, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25).

Sarah was sorry for things she had done wrong, and she wanted to get right with the Lord. So she asked Him to forgive her. But when she finished praying, guess what she still carried in her heart? Bitterness, anger, hostility, and unforgiveness toward the friend who had deserted her. Then she wondered why she still didn’t feel right with God!

Hard to forgive some people for the way they have hurt us? Sure it is—for us! Let God help you. Hold up those destructive self-centered feelings to God and say, “Lord, take these hurtful things. I don’t want them. Cleanse me, I just want your peace, joy, and love. I forgive those who have wronged me!” Then you will get through in prayer.

OBEDIENCE is another requirement for answered prayer. First John 3:22 says that we receive from the Lord whatever we ask when we obey His commands and do what pleases Him. God’s two great commandments call for love and cover every relationship and every circumstance: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart…and your neighbor as yourself.” Obedience isn’t hard when you truly love God and others.

AGREEMENT with others on requests adds power to prayers. PERSISTENCE prevails. And FAITH is an absolute necessity. Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
Believe God will work—and He will!

Now here is a special promise for you: “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Question: Has it seemed like God hasn’t been hearing your prayers lately?

About this Author: Muriel Larson

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Evidence Against a Proud Heart, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Run in Such a Way

Time Published IconBy Suzanne Benner on March 18th, 2009 at 12:01 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

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“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

I’m not a runner, but the picture Paul paints of an athlete captures my imagination.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)

I know what it is like to sacrifice in order to accomplish a goal, to scrimp and save, to spend hours studying, to labor for weeks on a project, to imagine and then create.

Anything worthwhile takes effort. If work is done haphazardly, or thoughtlessly, or sloppily, it is visible in the end result.

Paul urges us to remember that principle and apply it to our spiritual lives.

We are called to purposefully pursue a life pleasing to God, not only purposefully, but fervently and diligently.

I say to my kids, “Do your best.” The Bible exhorts us to “Make every effort.”

Make every effort to enter through the narrow door (Luke 13:24)

Make every effort to do what leads to peace (Romans 14:9)

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3)

Make every effort to live in peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14)

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; (2 Peter 1:5)

Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with [God] (2 Peter 3:14)

You are in a race. Make every effort. Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Holy God, thank you for reminding me how important my spiritual journey is. May I pursue You and Your righteousness with all that I am.

Questions: Where have you become lazy in regard to your spiritual race? Do you put more importance on being diligent in earthly things, than spiritual things? If so, why?

About this Author: Suzanne Benner

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, God of Hope, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hope for the Harried

Hope for the Harried

Feeling harried? Talking to a mentor online can help!

We talked over a pot of tea. Together we read these stark words from the Bible …

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1)

The frenzied pace she kept was taking a toll on her home. Life just seemed to be fraying around the edges.

When we live at a pace that continually drains us we end up taking it out on those closest to us. Complaining, frustration and lack of patience can surface all too often. As women we can actually be tearing down relationships by our own hand and not even be aware we are doing so. A wise woman will take note of her reactions and make a choice to be a builder.

If your quiet time with God has slipped to the wayside of your life it won’t be long before you notice the tell-tale reactions of complaining, negativity and frustration in your life and relationships.

Ask God to come in a fresh way into your life to help you make time with Him a priority. Choose to make some changes in your schedule so God can make some changes in your heart. Invite His Holy Spirit to be the change agent in your life today. Ask for what the Bible calls the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) It’s “The Great Exchange.” He will help you build your relationships. You can depend on God to be your source for all your needs.

- Exchange your weakness for His strength.
- Your unhappy heart for His joy.
- Your annoyance with His love.
- Your anxiety with His peace.
- Your impatience for His patience.
- Your complaining for His contentment.
- Your harsh attitude for His gentleness.

Father in Heaven, Today I ask that You would forgive me for foolishly reacting in ways that can tear my relationships down. Fill me afresh today with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit. May I be a wise woman filled with the wisdom and revelation that Your Spirit offers me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Question: If your life feels harried these days, what’s causing all the stress?

About this Author: Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, How Knowledge Strengthens You, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Monday, March 16, 2009

You're a Gem!

You’re a Gem!

Do you feel like you’re going through a particularly tough “polishing” process right now? Feel free to contact a mentor to pray with you!

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure;
genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.”
1 Peter 1:8

Two young women walked out of a meeting where they had listened to wise comments made by an older woman. “She is such a gem!” said one of the women. Her friend enthusiastically agreed.

Curious about what is included in the gem-making process, I did some research. Words such as cut, hammer, fracture, knock off, grind and drill were used to describe the means by which a rough stone is turned into a brilliant, light reflecting stone that can cost thousands of dollars.

I discovered that all gems are cut and polished by progressive abrasion using finer and finer grits of harder substances. After a stone has been sawed and hammered, ground and drilled, it is polished with further rubbing so that it will magnificently reflect light.

This description fits well with the process God uses in our lives to make us into “gems.” Lost jobs or promotions, illnesses, misunderstandings, broken relationships—all part of the sawing, hammering, grinding and drilling God allows in His loving determination to mold us into reflections of Christ.

We wonder at the process—how can God be loving and yet allow such pain? It is exactly that love we depend upon, especially during crises. When we make it a holy habit to learn more of the nature of our God, we are more apt to simply cry out, “Yes, Father,” knowing that we are gems in the making.

Lord, I want to be reflective of Jesus to a world around me desperately needing a glimpse of such heavenly light. Help me be willing to be a gem in the making.

Questions: Think about one person who has shined as a gem in your life? What about that reflection would you like to see in your own life?

About this Author: Marilyn J. Ehle

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Let God’s Light Through, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Let Go to Grow

Let Go to Grow

How can you grow in your faith? One way is to explore our selection of online interactive life lessons.

Margaret McSweeney wrote,
“A mother’s heart knows how to stretch and to grow.
A mother’s heart knows when it’s time to let go.”

Letting go is an essential part of being a mother.
“Let go to let grow” should be your motto as a mother too.
A mother lets go of her baby’s hand so he can learn to walk.
She lets go of the bicycle handlebars so her child can learn to ride alone.
And she lets go of the apron strings so her young adult can mature.

But especially, a mother needs to let go and let God grow her son or daughter.
In the Bible, Hannah is a fine example. She gave her son Samuel completely over to God.
She said “he will belong to the Lord his whole life.”

Yes, friend, let God have control over your children… no matter what age they are!

Father God, Give me grace and courage to release my children to You. Amen.

Question: What relationship do you need to release to God today?

About this Author: Vonette Bright

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Start with the Faith You Have, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lost & Found

Lost and Found

Why do we wear masks? And how can we get behind the mask to our real selves and the image of God which we all possess? Our online interactive study “Behind the Mask” explores this issue.

The old hymn “Amazing Grace” assures, “I once was lost but now am found…”

It makes me think of Enoch’s lost and found experience recorded in Genesis 5:24: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

A prophet, Enoch spoke God’s truth to an evil and corrupt society. Side by side Enoch and his Savior strode, Enoch listening, nodding in obedience, then bravely proclaiming God’s insight to those who were jaded and disillusioned by sin.

Then, suddenly, Enoch was no more; his journey on earth was completed. God was so pleased with Enoch that it was time to continue their walk down the golden streets of heaven.

How is your walk with God? Do you walk side by side with Him or do you run ahead impatiently, deciding when and where God’s truth applies? Maybe you linger, dragging your heels, because speaking God’s truth has been challenged with sandpaper-like disapproval.

Walk abreast with Christ, hunger for His character, and strive to be His voice of truth.
Get lost in God’s amazing grace and like Enoch, find yourself commended as one who pleased God.

Lord, as I lose myself in Your grace, may I find myself hungering to be more like You. Help me to walk steadfastly in Your truth, influencing others for Your glory. I am overjoyed that You want to delight in me!

Response: Tell us about your journey with God. Share your lessons of mercy, hope and adventures that keep your hungering for God.

About this Author: Charlene Friesen

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, A Tough Command, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yes, Lord!

Yes, Lord!

When you need prayer, just say “yes” to contacting us and letting an online mentor pray with you!

You have probably noticed the advertisement for the new movie, Yes Man. I have not watched the movie, but its plot involves answering “yes” to every request. For the main character, portrayed by comedian, Jim Carrey, saying “yes” begins an adventure.

As I contemplate our faith walk with Jesus and growth in our character, the same word comes to my mind – yes. A distinctive characteristic of a Jesus follower manifests itself when the Lord requests “follow Me” and our answer is “yes, Lord.” When the Lord prompts us to confess, speak, act, walk, trust, believe – whatever He asks, our answer needs to be, “yes, Lord.”

I don’t think we realize what is at stake if we say no, or not now. We forfeit the blessings the Lord has for us. The Israelites forfeited their blessings because of their rebellion. They did not trust that our Heavenly Father knows best. He knows what we need and what we need to know and learn. He knows exactly what it takes to mold us and make us holy – set apart for Him. He sees the bigger picture and wants us to experience His best.

In Hebrews, Paul explains to us:

“Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts…Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God…For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” Hebrews 3:6,7,12,14

“Yes” expresses our trust and belief in God’s sovereignty. “Yes” honors the Lord and accepts His Lordship. “Yes” says, “not my will but Yours be done.” There are consequences to saying “yes” to the Lord. Sometimes, He asks us to do something we consider difficult or He asks us to do something we oppose; however, as we continually offer the Lord our “yes,” He will build our character. Obedience is worship in action.

Lord, when I hear your voice today, may my answer be yes. Yes, Lord, may Your will be done in my life. I want to say, “Yes, Lord, I will follow wherever You lead” and “I believe and trust You.” Thank you, that as I say “yes,” and trust You, I will share in everything that belongs to Christ.”

Questions: Is there an area in your life where you are saying, “no” or “not now” to the Lord? What holds you back from saying “yes” to the Lord with no strings attached?

About this Author: Donna Mitchell

Daily audio podcast: Hear today’s daily devotional, Yes, Lord!, read aloud today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Communicate Differently

Communicate Differently

Do you want to improve and deepen you marriage? Communication can be a large part of that. Why not try our series of marriage online interactive studies?

Pause before you speak. It’s a simple thing … a very small thing. Yet the wisdom in that simple act actually comes from the heart of God. Listen to the relationship-changing words He gives us …

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:29, 30a).

- Recognize and admit any negative communication cycle you are in.

- Ask God to forgive you for grieving Him with the negative overflow from your mouth.

- Ask Him to help you hold your tongue and to give you wisdom in your responses.

He can help you refrain from saying those accusing, mean, whiny or hurtful things that spring defensively from your heart.

- Ask God to help you understand the needs of the other person and put them before your own. This is not easy; yet the other heart has been affected by the tense communication, too, and this cycle needs to be broken.

- Speak building words and not words that tear down or cut. Choose words that benefit the other person.

As you depend on God to help you, you will find your defenses coming down and there will be new opportunities to communicate on things that need change. Make the first move in God’s power. Our tension-filled relationships and homes need His healing touch.

God, You know the tension there is in some of my relationships. Help me to be willing to be the change agent. I ask that You would change my heart attitude. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and enable me to speak words that build up and benefit. Help me to keep silent when I need to. Forgive me when I fail and help me as I learn to trust You in this critical area of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Question: Do you sometimes find it hard to pause before speaking? (How quickly did you answer that question?)

About this Author: Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, God’s Mission: Adoption, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Friday, March 6, 2009

In His Likeness

Time Published IconBy Brigitte Straub on March 6th, 2009 at 12:01 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Join our daily online chat topics for thought-provoking discussions, or chat with others at almost any time of day in our online chat rooms!

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.” Genesis 5:1

The most fascinating and transforming reality is that we were made in the very likeness of God. Just to meditate on that for but a mere moment should bring us into such awe of God, our Creator, and also, our Father. It should draw us closer to Him and impact us to such a degree that we burn with a passion to change in order to represent Him for who He is. I truly believe that this is foundational for us to live our lives in fullness and in completion.

The image of God is stamped on us.

Colossians 3:10 says … “and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.”

We are sons and daughters of the Living God! We must allow this to seep deep within us and take root so that everything we do comes out of this core truth. Satan has tried hard to keep us from understanding and realizing where our identity lies and who we really are. One way to prevent this from happening is by understanding the concept of living in God, and allowing Him to come into every part our being.

Jesus had an incredible intimacy with His Father. Oneness is what He had. Oneness is what He prayed for. He spoke about how the Father was in Him and He was in the Father. He prayed that we would likewise be in Him, and Him in us. Jesus knew His Father, and we must come to know Him, for out of knowing Him, we will awaken to who we are.

Galations 4:7 says: “So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if you are a child, then you are also an heir because of what God did.” Jesus said something similar in John 15:14-15, when He said that we are His friends and no longer servants because a servant does not know what his master is doing; but He makes known to us everything He has heard from His Father.

Why did He say this? Because He wanted us to know, that what we have available to us is to come into the presence of God, know Him personally; His thoughts and His ways. This is the lifestyle Jesus had and wanted to make sure we knew we could have this as well.

May we enter into God and allow Him to indwell us. May our lives reveal Him and Him alone as we walk this life releasing the presence of God.

Heavenly Father, thank you that we are your children and that we are in your family. Thank you that Your thoughts are made known to us by Your Spirit, and may you fill us more with Yourself and Who You are in Your fullness. We love You, Your will and Your ways. Bring us into a deeper understanding that we are Your children and can come to You as Abba and know You more deeply and personally in this way.

Questions: What does it mean (or what is the significance of) being made “in God’s image”?

About this Author: Brigitte Straub

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Blessings of Our Inadequacy, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Thursday, March 5, 2009

God Sees and Sends

Time Published IconBy Marilyn Ehle on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:00 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Are you waiting for God but he doesn’t seem to be answering? Try out online interactive study “Why Doesn’t God Answer my Prayer?

“I have indeed seen the misery of my people…I have heard them crying out…I am concerned about their suffering … So now, go! I am sending you …” Exodus 3:7-10

“And God spoke with Moses face-to-face, as neighbors speak to one another… “ Exodus 33:11 (The Message)

It is far easier to ask God to end sorrow and suffering than it is to agree to be His instrument in the process. Have you heard any of the following reasons people give to rationalize their non-involvement in what could be called the down-and-dirty aspects of service to others? “I’m too old (or young!)” “I wouldn’t know what to say to people like that.” “I give money. Isn’t that enough?” “It’s time for others to work.” “I’m not smart/rich/talented/educated enough.”

Moses, too, gave God good reasons why he could not possibly be a chosen instrument. In fact, his reasons sound much more rational than those noted above. First, he wanted to be sure exactly who was sending him. He asked God to more clearly describe himself. God responded with words that resound through the ages: “I AM WHO I AM.” Then Moses made what seems like a perfectly adequate and realistic comment: “I have never been eloquent…I am slow of speech.” Some surmise that Moses was a stutterer, but whatever the weakness, he apparently did not have what he thought to be necessary skills to speak to a powerful king.

We can understand Moses’ hesitance—his obedience was to be unutterably costly. When he finally agreed to be used of God as an instrument, he was granted the remarkable privilege of speaking face to face with God. God is waiting for His followers to be similar instruments in a weary, pain-laden, starving world. Perhaps some of us will only hear God speaking as a neighbor when we agree to be sent.

Father, I don’t want to miss out on your purposes but I admit that I am often fearful. I hesitate to act because I’m not sure about the future. ‘I believe, but help my unbelief.’

Questions: How has God sent you into the world recently? What did you learn about God from the experience?

About this Author: Marilyn J. Ehle

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, We Serve God By Serving Others, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Changed by the Spirit

Time Published IconBy Gail Rodgers on March 3rd, 2009 at 12:01 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Our series of diverse online interactive Bible studies can help you reconnect with God’s word.

There are places and times when we feel we need extra wisdom, insight, guidance and strength. We long for understanding in situations that seem confusing. We need revelation when truth is being hidden or skewed.

God provides all these things to His children through the Holy Spirit. Paul the apostle, prayed for believers to receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so they could know God better.

This prayer is still for us today. It reflects what is available to believers … to you and me.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you
• may know the hope to which he has called you,
• the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and
• his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”
(Ephesians 1:17-20)

Why do we allow ourselves to live in confusion and even chaos when we can be equipped by the Holy Spirit of God? Do we miss the wisdom and revelation we can have from God because we drown out that quiet voice of the Spirit by our busy lives? In so doing we are actually choosing the chaos and confusion. Think about it. This is not God’s plan for you. Know He wants to equip you to walk in wisdom, revelation, strength and power right where you are. He wants you to know Him better.

Think of one area where you are experiencing perplexity, confusion or chaos and invite God right now to begin to show You His wisdom in this situation.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that Your Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Thank you that Your Spirit will lead me to know You better. Fill my spirit afresh today with the wisdom and revelation, the strength and comfort I need to walk in the areas that perplex me. Quiet my heart to hear Your Spirit specifically in (name your own perplexing circumstance) . Thank you that You equip me by Your Spirit. I pray these things in the name of Jesus, amen.

Questions: How do we sometimes “miss the wisdom and revelation we can have from God”? How can freshly we seek God’s wisdom and revelation?

About this Author: Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Blessed are the Peacemakers, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

One Another

Time Published IconBy Suzanne Benner on March 4th, 2009 at 12:01 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Talk with other Christians and whoever else ends up in our online chat rooms, almost any time of day!

Is the body of Christ an abstract concept to you?

We are not simply individuals; we are part of a group, a group that is to be characterized by loving interactions.

The Bible is loaded with instructions on how Christians should respond to each other. These “one another” statements form the framework for the body of Christ:

Love one another (John 13:34)

Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)

Live in harmony with one another. (Romans 12:16)

Accept one another (Romans 15:7)

Agree with one another (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)

Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. (Colossians 3:13)

Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Offer hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4:9)

The body of Christ is a place of acceptance, service and love. It is a community full of compassion, encouragement and harmony; a group devoted to humility, forgiveness and unity.

How is such a community developed? One “one another” at a time.

Imagine the impact our lives would have if we focused on practicing a different “one another” each day or the same one for a whole week. What would happen if in the midst of an argument or an interaction with an irritating person, we paused to ask ourselves which “one another” we should be exercising at that moment?

I believe that not only would we be changed, but so would those around us. The body of Christ would be an attractive and transforming agent in our world.

God, I want to live how You have called me to live. Help me begin treating all believers with love, compassion and forgiveness. Show me how to humbly serve those around me.

Questions: Which “one another” do you need to exercise today? Why is God so concerned about how we treat one another?

About this Author: Suzanne Benner

Daily audio podcast: Hear today’s daily devotional One Another read aloud, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog

Pursuing God

Time Published IconBy Gail Rodgers on March 5th, 2009 at 12:01 am in Devotional, Devotional For Women

Go deeper in your faith and pursuit of God by talking with an online mentor.

The demands of life can become front and center in our lives. It is easy to postpone quiet times with God. Will Bruce, in Guidelines for Praying for Your Pastor states, “life’s pressures will always result in spiritual decline unless one is careful to maintain a close walk with the Lord.”

We all experience that decline from time to time as pressures mount in our individual lives. It is because we know this happens that we strive to encourage and build each other up.

God makes a promise:
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

What do you need to do today to actively choose your relationship with Jesus over the many important and busy tasks that call for your attention? He longs to bring that freshness to your soul! Make a choice to become active in pursuing God.

• Actively choose to spend time in His presence
• expose yourself to music that inspires
• turn off the TV and read something that will feed your spirit
• invite Him into every decision
• ask Him which fruit of the Spirit He wants to cultivate in your life today
• pray in a quiet place and not just on the run
• listen for His voice
• read his Word and to ask Him to teach you.

He will be true to His promise! He will come near and refresh your soul.

Father God,
Thank you for each woman You have brought to this site today. Give each one a fresh desire to pursue You. Grant them insight, wisdom and revelation from Your word as they take the time to be refreshed in Your presence. Bless them today in the powerful name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Questions: In which ways do you feel comfortable drawing near to God? Reading? Serving? Singing? Quiet contemplation? And which ways do you find uncomfortable?

About this Author: Gail Rodgers

Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog