Restoration After Suffering

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Suffering has an expiration date. No matter what pain or hardship we’re going through, it’s temporary. Even if it lasts the rest of our life, that time period is so small when compared to eternity. And if we keep our eyes on God, through Jesus, much of what we’re going through will establish in us a greater, stronger person than who we were before the suffering. Cling to that promise today!

Keeping Promises No Matter What

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As each of us grows up, we often learn that not everyone keeps their promises. Sometimes it’s a parent, or a friend, or even a teacher. No matter what position they are in, they don’t keep the promise they’ve made. But God has promised to keep all His promises. That means that even if we are in a tough situation, a place where we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we need to trust Him and that He will keep His word. Sometimes this is really hard when we’re used to other’s betrayal. But God is faithful to all those who trust Him. No matter what is happening, remember that He keeps His word.

Real Strength

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In case you hadn’t realized before now, humans rarely see things the same way that God does. What we call strength – power, might, and toughness – is nothing to God. When we find ourselves agreeing more and more with God we discover what it is to be wise. Wisdom is when we learn for a fact what God has been telling us all along. And according to God, strength is all about winning the inner battles rather than comparing ourselves to others or winning against others. So growing stronger is only possible when we take God’s hand and step toward becoming what He says we will become.

Sunday #Devotional Blog Post: Guest Post from David Wiley

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Forming the Foundation

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7: 24-27 (ESV)

When you were a child you may have learned this verse through a song, complete with hand motions and satisfying sounds to accompany the foolish man’s building exploits. For such a simple passage of Scripture, it has an unlimited amount of flexibility in how it can apply to our daily lives. Have you considered taking a look at the foundation for your study time? In today’s world, with so many materials available and information a click away via technology, it can be easy to lose sight of what foundation we are building our personal study upon.

There are more options available than a Christian could ever hope to explore in a lifetime of study, and the number grows larger every week. There are video and audio recordings of sermons. Thousands of podcasts are available dealing with a whole range of topics relevant to the Christian walk, including many going through studies. There are books and devotionals covering a broad range of topics. There are commentaries on the entire bible from dozens of different authors. That isn’t even considering the debate out there on which translation in itself is the best to use.

It can be easy to lose your entire daily study time among the collection of resources out there. And those resources, in themselves, are outstanding and absolutely worth reading, viewing, or hearing. But if those have become your entire study time, perhaps it is time to take a step back and consider what you are building your foundation upon.

The Bible tells us that “16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) which should be a clear enough argument for what should form our foundation when we study. Our time with God each day can be supplemented with those other things, so long as they are rooted in Biblical truths and are Scripturally sound, but they are no substitute for a daily delving into the Bible itself. Just like you would not build the foundation for a house out of shingles, your foundation in study should not be built primarily on anything other than Scripture.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Wiley is an author of Fantasy and Science Fiction stories, choosing to write the stories he would love to read and praying that God would use his love of writing to reach an audience desiring to know God. Find him at: https://authordavidwiley.wordpress.com/

Are You a Slave or a Son?

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When we think that being a Christian is all about our behavior – going to church, avoiding drugs and alcohol, staying away from pornography, and keeping our lips free of curse words – we have made ourselves into slaves. Being a Christian is not about following a bunch of rules or presenting a perfect picture, it’s about faith and a relationship with God. A slave-master isn’t worried about whether his slaves are happy or satisfied. Their troubles are hardly worth the slave-master’s thoughts, unless it interferes with their work. But a Father does care about the relationship He has with His son. Getting chores done is more about children learning responsibility than earning their meals and the roof over their heads. Likewise, we don’t earn heaven by how we behave, because we are sons, not slaves. If we’ve been focusing on the wrong things, we should ask God today where our focus should be, and deepen our relationship with Him.

Keeping Your Chin Up

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Bad things happen. They happen to good people, who are doing the right things, and feel as though they have it all together. When things fall apart, remember that God has plans for you. He’s promised that your future is in His hands, and therefore you have hope, too. So when you’re down, look up and remember that it’s only temporary and not the end of what He has planned for you.

Never Lost

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There is no playing hide and seek with God. Not only can you not hide from Him, but no one can hide you from Him either. If you feel lost or alone, He knows where you are and is with you. If you feel as though no one sees the bad that someone has done to you, remember that He sees. He is aware of your every hurt and every pain, and He is holding you in His hand. Be sure to pour your heart and needs out to Him today. He’s listening and He wants to be there for you.

Where do you draw the line?

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When talking to the Lord in prayer, where do you draw the line? Are you afraid to really speak what you feel? Do you think it disrespectful to complain, whine, or ask God, “why?” Remember that Job, David, Abraham, and all the founding fathers of the Bible complained to God when things didn’t go the way they expected. And God called these people some of His favorite people.

So what draws us farther from God? It’s not our complaints, our questions, or even our doubts, provided that we bring them all to Him in prayer. Our complaints do not drive a wedge between us and God, but our silence. Remember today that God wants you to come to Him when you’re happy, sad, struggling, or doubting. The only thing He doesn’t want to hear from you is your silence.

Prayer of Hope by Robert J. Goluba

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Heavenly Father, your abundant grace and love are clear for all to see.

I know your Son died on the cross for all our sins. He died for me.

The fight with temptation and evil is ferocious, like a boxer in a ring.

With you, I know everything is possible; you can do anything.

I know you are always with me when times are good as well as bad; day or night.

And despite life’s troubles; since you are with me, I know everything will be all right.

You love everyone, and you can change any heart. Nothing is out of your scope.

I know you love me just the way I am now, and for that reason, I have eternal hope!

By Robert J. Goluba at Hope Refreshed

The One Thing

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What will you do today if you could only do one thing?

But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (LUKE 10:41-42)

While you’re going on with your daily life today, will you make time to sit at the feet of Jesus? Martha, like most of us get busy with doing good things – going to work, cleaning the house, raising the children. But she neglected the most important thing – making Jesus number one in her life today.

Be sure to put Jesus first on your to-do list today!