daily devotion

  • Discerning the Best from the Good

    worn outThe next morning, Jesus sneaks away. He finds a place away from the crowds, but soon they find Him. The crowd tries their best to keep Him from leaving. Jesus: No, I cannot stay. I need to preach the kingdom of God to other cities too. This is the purpose I was sent to fulfill..”
    Luke 4:42-43 The Voice

    In this day and age you could be going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week following the demands of people around you. I admire Jesus discernment of the best from the good. I desire to be this discerning but often lack the discipline He had and end up tired and burned out from doing too much.

    There are so many good things we can do. Helping a friend or family member…volunteering at church, in the schools, our community..working, cleaning, exercising…The trouble is we simply can’t do them all. When we do, we stop following Jesus’ example, ending up exhausted. When Mark records his account of this event we see what Jesus was doing when he hid away from the crowds. He was praying (Mk 1:37). Jesus made the discipline in His life to take time away from people and pray. It was out of this pulling back and allowing for rest that He was re-energized to fulfill the purpose that the Father had for His life. It was during these times of rest and prayer that brought about discernment for what the Father wanted Him to do next. Jesus refused to be controlled by guilt and sought after purpose.

    Check yourself. Are you feeling tired and weary? If so, you’ve been doing too much. Find some time away, lock the bathroom door if you have to! Rest from all those that would try and keep pulling you to help them. Pray and ask God so you can discern the best from the good that your life can make the greatest impact for Him!

    Prayer:

    Father…Forgive me for not taking the time I should to rest and spend time with you. Help me to prioritize my time with you over anything here on earth. I ask you to provide me with the discernment to know the best from the good and give me boldness to follow through. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • It Takes 2

    It Takes 2
    (c) Todd Stahl

     

     Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength ”            Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

    When you were a kid did you ever get in a competition with another kid over who could stand on one foot longer than the other? Such a silly game, that I always lost. I really don’t have the best balance. To put it bluntly, I’m a clutz! I have learned in so many ways that for me, It Takes 2…two feet that is!

    My husband Todd painted the artwork you see a few years ago. The idea came as a result of God working on Todd’s heart to trust Him with his future and jump in with both feet to what God wanted for his life. In order to do that he had to close a family business that was part of his identity. In Deuteronomy 6:5 God makes it clear that He’s not interested in us giving to him half-heartedly. He wants us to give him our all. ALL our heart…ALL our soul…ALL our strength. This goes against the grain of our self-centered society that wants to protect #1, and #1 being ourselves. Truly following God will cause you to deny yourself, drop everything and run hard after Him!

    This week Todd and I are taking an even bigger leap of faith into God’s calling. I see us like two kids standing at the edge of a pool, holding hands, jumping in. Why don’t you do the same? Sitting on the fence with one foot in and one foot out only gives you splinters! Remember, It Takes 2!

    Prayer:

    Father…We ask for boldness today. Boldness to jump in with both feet to the great adventure you have for our lives. Fear desires to keep us holding firmly to our current position. May we throw off everything thing that would hold us back and run hard after you! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • STAND

    spirtual armor-2Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
                                                     Ephesians 6:13 NIV

    When I was a little girl I belonged to a group in our church called Crusaders. We wore uniforms with sashes and got badges for many of the same things as in Girl Guides, but some had a spiritual twist. I loved getting badges and passing through the workbooks. We memorized a lot of scripture. Every week we quoted Ephesians 6:13 from the King James Version. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND.”

    I remember thinking, what’s a “wherefore”? Even though I didn’t understand it all then, the seeds of truth were planted so deeply into my spirit that it couldn’t help but to bear fruit in my adult life! As I have gone through deserts in my own life I have decidedly chosen to put on all my spiritual armor. I learned early on when I forgot a particular piece it left me open for attack, and headed for a wounding.

    Over the past year I have watched my dear friend Rose in a fight to protect her future and that of her daughter’s. She continually puts on the armor of God, quoting scripture when times get tough. After everything she has faced, she continues to STAND! Her faith is inspiring! May we all learn to bloom like Rose, put on our armor and when we’ve done everything, STAND!

    Prayer:

    Father…Today we dress ourselves in Your armor! We won’t try and fight in our own strength but rely on Your Mighty hand to save us! May we wield the sword of your Word to defeat the enemy! In Jesus Name…Amen.

    spiritual armour

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  • Something New!

    something newFor I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will created rivers in the dry wasteland.”                                                               Isaiah 43:19

    I can’t believe it’s 2015! This is the year my son dreamed about as a teen. He loved the “Back To The Future” movies and 2015 is the year Marty McFly visited. It isn’t quite like what he saw. There aren’t flying cars and no kids on hovering skateboards. Seldom is the future like what we envisioned it would be. Often our expectations are unrealistic at best and leave us disenchanted with hopes for things to come. This mindset can cloud out the vision God has for our lives and keep us from seeing that He is “about to do SOMETHING NEW”.

    I love how the New Living Translation words this verse. I find it brings such clarity to what God is saying. God is speaking to the Israelites who understand living in the desert. Sandstorms that block all visibility keep them from seeing a hand in front of their face, let alone the new thing God is about to do. Even when we can’t see it, God is at work. He tells us in this verse that He’s “already begun” to do it. He is making ways where there is no way. He’s blazing a trail for you!

    Can you see it? If the past has clouded your vision with a mindset that will keep you wandering in the desert, ask the Lord to renew your mind. Let the water of His Word wash away the old so you can see and believe He has SOMETHING NEW for YOU!

    Prayer:

    Father…The enemy has continually tried to kick up sandstorms to block my view from your good plans for my life. Please wipe clean my vision so I can see them. Help me to see, hope for and believe in what you show me. Let me pursue you and your plan with all my heart. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Checkups

    checkupsTest yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups.”
                                                                              2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message
    Years ago my friend was going out for dinner and the theatre with her hubby. She was so excited to be able to get all dressed up and go into the city for a special night out. Getting ready took a long time to create that perfect look. They went out for dinner and then to the theatre. During intermission she was in the washroom when a lady she didn’t know said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but you have a roller in your hair!” My friend was mortified! How could she have missed it? Had her husband not even looked at her all evening? It would have been a great night for one of those regular CHECKUPS!
    New Years is a great time to test yourself. My pastor pointed out how this is one of the slowest times of the year when many of us have a little time off of work and are able to rest. It’s a great time to reflect on the past year and give yourselves one of those regular CHECKUPS. If we don’t examine the way we live, human-nature will cause us to let things slide. Left unchecked we tend to go back to our old ways and stop pursuing God’s best for our lives.
    This New Year’s, take the time to give yourselves a good set of CHECKUPS. Look honestly at where you are, where you want to be, and how you can take steps forward this year to bring you closer to your goals.
    Prayer:
    Father…My greatest desire is to live by faith, moving towards the promises You have for my life! Help me to discern areas where I’ve let things slide and also those areas You desire for me to actively pursue. This year, guide me into your perfect plan for my life so I can bring you glory! In Jesus Name…Amen.

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