Posts Tagged With: inspiration

What Did I Do?

 

 

WHY-I’ve read the book of Job a couple times. It’s a good reminder of what trust in God looks like. We are told that God let Satan test Job. Satan thought if extremely bad things happened to Job, Job would denounce his faith in God. So a collapsing building killed all of Job’s children, all his livestock was taken by raiders, and Job was inflicted with painful sores all over his body. Yet, Job stayed true to God. He questioned God, but did not lose his faith in Him. Job’s friends thought Job must have done something really terrible for God to punish him like this.

Then Job said, “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are His.”   ( Job 12:13)   Job didn’t know why these things happened to him, but he trusted God.

Many times we can’t make sense of things when we are hit with struggles and bad times. Like Job’s friends we ask “why?” or “what did I do to deserve this?”. We can’t find a reason.

But, God has a reason. He is in control. Maybe the situation is to make us stronger. Perhaps we’ve closed our eyes and He wants to open them again. Or maybe our relationship with Him has faded and He wants us to come back to Him.

Whatever the reason, we need to remember everything is in God’s hands. He definitely has a purpose in mind when He sends things our way – good or bad. Stay close to Him. Lean on Him. Put your faith and trust in Him. God is faithful and He will get you through every circumstance.

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Are You In The Habit of Daily Bible Reading?

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Instead of focusing on one particular Scripture passage I want to talk, in general, about reading a daily devotion. In the past I wanted to read a chapter or a few verses every day, but life always seemed to get in the way. Weeks would go by and I wouldn’t open my Bible except on Sunday morning at church.

That all changed for me with a gift I received from my daughter this past Christmas. For something a little extra she gave me one of those desk calendars where each daily page has something written on it to think about that day. Well, the one she gave me has daily Bible verses. This was perfect for me.

I tried using the quarterly devotional booklets, but I’d read the verse, then read what the writer wrote about it. That was OK, however, I was not really digging into it deep enough.  With this new calendar I had my answer.

Every day starting January 1, 2017 I’ve read not only the verse on the calendar, but the whole chapter where it’s found. Since there is no one else’s interpretation of the passage written with the verse I can form my own. Before I read I pray, asking God to show me which verse or verses I should focus on that day. It’s not always the verse on the calendar that jumps out at me. I’ll read the chapter and then go back and re-read the verses that popped out. I’ve added an extra dimension to my daily reading. I write in a journal each day what the focused verses are telling me, personally. This has given me a whole new perspective to the daily reading.

There have been some days where nothing grabs me, but those days are extremely few. That’s OK. I’ve still read my Bible that day.

Since I began this daily journey, my relationship with the Lord has grown. I feel His presence more. I’m chatting with Him more throughout the day. And my detailed prayer time has blossomed.

If you want to develop the habit of daily Bible reading there are numerous resources out there to use as a trigger to get you into the habit. I just wanted to share with you today the resource that has helped me a lot.

Developing a heart-felt habit of reading Scripture daily will take a desire to want to do it. It’s not an easy habit to get into, but the initial effort it takes is worth it. After a while you will begin to feel uneasy if you don’t read your Bible each day. Daily Bible reading will change how you approach God. I have never felt closer to Him than I do now since traveling on this daily journey with Him.

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What Are You Waiting For?

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I am a procrastinator. In fact I procrastinated posting this devotional.  I wrote it last week but I’m just getting around to posting it today. I also procrastinate doing things that are out of my comfort zone. I will put things off until I absolutely have to do it or it’s convenient for me.

King Solomon gave us these words in Ecclesiastes 11:4,  “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

Solomon is talking about procrastination. We have the tendency to wait for the perfect time to do things, like share the Gospel with others. We might have someone in mind we want to share Christ with, but it never seems like the right time to do it.

If we are waiting for the perfect moment, forget it. We can tell ourselves all day, “I need to talk with him/her but now is not the right time.” There will never be a “right time”. We must do it now. There might not be another opportunity. We don’t want to wait until it’s too late.

Are you waiting to share the Gospel with someone who needs to hear it?  Or maybe you are seeking Christ and keep putting off asking someone about Him. DON’T PROCRASTINATE! Reach out now. Who knows, this may be the last chance you have.

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It’s Examination Time

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There is a verse in Lamentations that jumped out for me today. It’s Lamentations 3:40 – “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”

I try to live my life the way Jesus wants me to, but I fall short. I live in my own little world, not thinking about the global picture. I’m a coward when it comes to telling someone face to face about Jesus. I’m afraid to be bold and stand up when my faith is threatened. I need to examine my ways and see where I can change.

I think this lack of boldness has effected Christians throughout the U.S. We have been silent and have sat back watching our nation slowly disintegrate. What’s happened to the Christian values this country was founded on? How long are we going to wait before we examine our ways and test them?

It is definitely time for us as individuals and as a nation to return to the Lord. God has never stopped loving us. He is faithful forever. But I’m sure we have made Him sad.

I, for one, don’t like knowing that I am causing God’s sadness. Instead He should be rejoicing over what His children are doing.

Are you willing to examine your ways and test them? Then what are you going to start doing differently to return to the Lord?

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Is Surrender Always A Negative Action?

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When we think of the word “surrender” we usually think of giving up to an enemy or have a feeling of defeat if we can’t do something the way it’s supposed to be done.

However, there is a time when surrendering is a positive action. It’s dealing with our relationship with God. In order for that relationship to grow and for us to be tuned in to God’s plan for us we first need to surrender ourselves to Him.

Look at the story of Jonah. God wanted Jonah to preach in Ninevah. But Jonah refused to go because the people of Ninevah were so evil. Instead he boarded a ship going in the opposite direction. A major storm began, threatening to tear the ship apart. The crew wondered why this was happening. Jonah realized God sent the storm because Jonah disobeyed. So Jonah told the men to throw him into the sea, which they did, and the storm stopped immediately. Jonah was then swallowed by a great fish and was inside it for three days. During that time Jonah surrendered himself to God. (see Jonah 2)

While in the fish Jonah prayed to God. At the end of his prayer he said, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.”  Jonah 2:9

The fish spat Jonah out and he did go to Ninevah. Because of his preaching the people of Ninevah “turned from their evil ways” and cried out to God. (Jonah 3)

Surrendering to God is not admitting defeat in a negative way. It’s the beginning of a new life with God, which is so much better than a life without Him.

Are you seeking something that’s missing from your life,but you don’t know what it is? Surrender to God. He is that “something” which is missing.

Do you know God but have strayed from Him? Surrender to Him and He’ll help you get back on the right track.

Is “surrender” a negative word? It’s not when you are surrendering to God, opening yourself up to a new relationship with Him.

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I don’t know about you, but the last few weeks for me were full of busyness. Now it’s time to get back to normal. The fun Christmas gatherings with family and friends are history. The new year has begun. Decorations are put away (or soon will be). Now what?

One of the gifts I received from my daughter was a desk calendar. Each page has a different Scripture verse. I have decided to not only to read the verse each day, but to also read the entire chapter where the verse is found. Today’s verse is in Psalm 46, however when I read the whole Psalm another verse popped out for me.

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”   Psalm 46:10

We live hectic lives, but we need to take time to just be still and listen to what God has to say. Sometimes it might not feel like it, but God IS in control. And there will be a time when every knee will bow before Him.

Now that 2017 has begun it is a good time to look at your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Maybe you don’t know Him yet, but are seeking. Maybe you already have a relationship with Him, but you want it to grow stronger. Be still and listen for His words to speak to you through the Holy Spirit.

I have put my new calendar on my coffee table right next to my computer so I won’t forget to stop and focus on God for a while each day.  I want 2017 to be the year my relationship with Him grows.

How about you?  Is this a good time to either begin or continue your journey with God?Think of some way you can set out reminders so that each day you will spend some time to be still and know God.

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ACCOUNTABILITY

Writing is a solitary activity. I enjoy doing things by myself. I think that’s one reason I enjoy writing. I can be in my own little world.

However, even writers need to talk with other people sometimes. We want input from others on what we are writing. We need encouragement and inspiration from other writers. That’s where being a member of a writers’ group comes into play.

A good writers’ group will be a place you can bring your writing and have it critiqued before it’s released to the public. They will see flaws you missed. They will catch spots where your language needs to be stronger, where passive needs to be active, where description is too much or not enough. The other members will also proof read for grammer and spelling issues.

Members of writers’ groups all have the same goal in mind – to produce the best written piece they can possibly write. No one is worse or better than anyone else. All are there to support each other.

I belong to the Word Weavers of West Michigan. Word Weavers is based in Florida and groups are springing up around the country. Check out their new website at www.Word-Weavers.com  for a group near you or to find out how you can start a group in your area.

We meet twice a month in our small local group. As a group we read books on writing and review 2-3 chapters at our meetings. We inform the others what we are currently working on and about any milestones we may have made. The rest of the 2-hour meeting is spent critiquing each other’s work. Two or three people will bring in a short portion of what they’ve been working on and as a group we read it and offer comments and suggestions.  This time can be scary, but it is also very worthwhile.

Once every other month we meet in a large group with the other Word Weaver groups of West Michigan. At these meetings we usually have a speaker – an author, publisher, editor, agent – who can give us insights into the writing/publishing world. During this time we also celebrate accomplishments our fellow writers have made over the last couple months, such as finishing a project or getting a book/article published. We offer support and encouragement to each other. Seeing others reach their goals is inspirational for us who are still working to get there.

I can not encourage you enough about getting involved in a writers’ group which meets regularly. Not only are the benefits there which I already talked about, but if you have been procrastinating with your writing, the meetings give you the boost you need to get back to it. You don’t want to be the member who, meeting after meeting, has nothing to say about what you’ve been working on.

Do a google search for writers’ groups in your area. That’s how I found Word Weavers originally. If you are serious about writing you need to be serious about joining a writers’ group.

If you already belong to a group, share with the rest of us how your group is run and what you are getting from being a member.

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