Confess your sins to each other

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, November 8, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important place in the life of the church. (1) If we have sinned against an individual, we must ask him or her to forgive us. (2) If our sin has affected the church, we must confess it publicly. (3) If we need loving support as we struggle with a sin, we should confess that sin to those who are able to provide that support. (4) If we doubt God’s forgiveness, after confessing a sin to him, we may wish to confess that sin to a fellow believer for assurance of God’s pardon. In Christ’s Kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers. (NLT)

James 5:13-16 – Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

Confess your sins to each other. –James 5:16 (NIV)

Marie Braam (Cape Town, South Africa) titled her story “A BURDEN LIFTED;” here is a portion of Marie’s story:

“Early one morning, an elderly neighbor rang my doorbell. ‘Fetch your Bible,’ he said. ‘Read James 5:16. What is says is what I have come to do.’ . . . I listened as he unburdened himself, and I prayed for him. I was greatly humbled by this experience.

“Since then, today’s verse has become especially meaningful to me. To confess is to acknowledge weakness. It requires that we trust one another. Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28).

“To acknowledge our faults may bring relief and a measure of peace, but only Jesus can give the assurance, comfort, strength, healing, and forgiveness that we need.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – By confessing my sins, I open myself to Christ’s forgiveness.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for understanding our frailty and bearing our burdens. Strengthen us as we listen and pray for others. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, KJV). Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Discouragement over an apparent lack of results

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, November 7, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Paul says that because of the resurrection, nothing we do is useless. Sometimes we become apathetic about serving the Lord because we don’t see any results. Knowing that Christ has won the ultimate victory should affect the way we live right now. Don’t let discouragement over an apparent lack of results keep you from doing the work of the Lord enthusiastically as you have opportunity. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 – What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.

But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.

When this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

The saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” –John 4:37 (NRSV)

Monica A. Andermann (New York) titled her story “SOWING SEEDS;” here is a portion of Monica’s story:

“Miss Mildred, my former Sunday school teacher, has always held a special place in my heart. I have never forgotten her lessons or her powerful example of Christian faith.

“Recently, 25 years after I last saw her, we were lucky enough to reconnect. ‘I never knew if any of my students absorbed what I taught,’ Miss Mildred commented after I told her how I had dedicated my life to Christ. . . . ‘But to speak to you and know that at least one of the seeds I planted took root is truly my reward.’

“Often we plant a seed of the gospel by our kind acts or counsel without ever knowing the end result. Like Miss Mildred, we may wonder if we were just wasting our time. After my discussion with her, I realized that we don’t always know what comes of our good deeds. We are called only to step out in faith and, following our Lord’s example, sow a seed. God will take it from there!”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What seeds of faith can I sow today?

Prayer: Dear God, give us charitable and faithful hearts so that we may go through life blessing others through our words and deeds. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Life centered around Him is fulfilling

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, November 6, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

As life without God can produce bitterness, loneliness, and hopelessness in old age. A life centered around Him is fulfilling and can be richer and more bearable when we are faced with disabilities, sickness, or handicaps. Being young is exciting. But the excitement of youth can become a barrier to closeness with God if it makes young people focus on passing pleasures instead of eternal values. Make your strength available to God when it is still yours—during your youthful years. Don’t waste it on evil or meaningless activities that become bad habits and make you callous. Seek God now.

The silver cord, golden bowl, water jar, and pulley symbolize life’s fragility. How easily death comes to us; how swiftly and unexpectedly we may return to the dust from which we came. Therefore, we should recognize life as a precious resource to be used wisely and not squandered frivolously. (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 – Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to remember him, when the light of the sun and moon and stars is dim to your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among the clouds. Your limbs will tremble with age, and your strong legs will grow weak. Your teeth will be too few to do their work, and you will be blind, too. And when your teeth are gone, keep your lips tightly closed when you eat! Even the chirping of birds will wake you up. But you yourself will be deaf and tuneless, with a quavering voice. You will be afraid of heights and of falling, white-haired and withered, dragging along without any sexual desire. You will be standing at death’s door. And as you near your everlasting home, the mourners will walk along the streets.

Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come. –Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV)

Jeremy Stuart (Massachusetts) titled his story “SPIRITUAL INVESTMENT;” here is Jeremy’s story:

“Early one Monday morning I stumbled through my morning routine and walked to work with coffee in hand. I began the workday listening to a new song I had heard at church the day before.   When it ended, my phone automatically began playing older worship songs I hadn’t heard in years. As the songs played, I found myself encouraged in a wave of remembrance of God’s faithfulness. I recounted some of the best and worst times of my life – from the early days of my relationship with my wife to seasons when I struggled with depression in college. I thought to myself, Thank you, younger me, for remembering God then, so I could find encouragement today. And as I recalled the many instances of God’s faithfulness, I wondered, Have I done a good job of investing in my spiritual life to sustain my faith through old age?

“Today’s quoted verse reminds us to practice our faith even before troubles befall us. Nurturing our relationship with God throughout our lives can help us to remember God’s faithfulness when challenges arise – illness, broken relationships, the death of loved ones. No matter our age, we need strength to get through tomorrow. If we invest in our relationship with God today, we can trust that God will carry us through whatever the future may hold.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How can I build memories of God’s faithfulness today that will sustain me tomorrow?

Prayer: Dear Lord, foster in us the desire to remember you today so that we will continue to trust in your faithfulness throughout our lives. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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His power is absolute

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, November 5, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

The psalmist portrays powerful people as inadequate saviors, making false promises they cannot deliver. God is the hope and the help of the needy. Jesus affirms his concern for the poor and afflicted. He does not separate the physical needs from spiritual needs but attends to both. While God, not the government, is the hope of the needy, we are his instruments to help here on earth. (NLT)

Psalm 147:1-9 – Praise the Lord!

How good it is to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how right! The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The Lord supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.

Sing out your thanks to the Lord; sing praises to our God, accompanied by harps. He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the green grass grow in mountain pastures.

He feeds the wild animals, and the young ravens cry to him for food.

[The Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. –Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Glynis M. Belec (Ontario, Canada) story is titled “WE BELONG TO GOD;” here is a portion of Glynis’ story:

“As I waited for the worship service to begin one Sunday morning, I unzipped the cover of my Bible. Inside, I found several funeral cards with photos of people I had known who had gone to be with Jesus . . .

“As I sat waiting, listening to the soothing music playing prior to the service, I felt an urge to pray. I prayed for the people who had died and gone on to be with God in heaven. I prayed for their families who were left behind to mourn. I prayed for understanding for myself, and then I gave God thanks. I felt great security there in the power and presence of the risen Christ. How good it is to be reminded that God hears our prayers, comforts us in our crises, and never leaves us or forsakes us – in life or in death!”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I am never alone – God is here!

Prayer: Heavenly Comforter, thank you for your grace that holds us close when we feel lost and helpless. May we live so that others will know your comfort for themselves. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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By uniting our lives with His, we are united with Him

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, November 4, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

This is one of the most basic and important passages in Scripture. How can we know the way to God? Only through Jesus. Jesus is the way because He is both God and man. By uniting our lives with His, we are united with Him [God]. Trust Jesus to take you to the Father, and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.

As the way, Jesus is our path to the Father. As the truth, he is the reality of all God’s promises. As the life, he joins his divine life to ours, both now and eternally. (NLT)

John 14:1-7 – [Jesus said] “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!”

Jesus said to [Thomas], “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” –John 14:6 (NRSV)

(Mrs.) Lidiya Petrova (Pleven, Bulgaria) titled her story “RIGHT DIRECTION;” here is a portion of Lidiya’s story:

“I love driving. And as I drive, I love listening to music and admiring the view of God’s creation.

“Some months ago, I was driving to a familiar town . . . At a crossing, I . . . entered a roundabout – only to take the wrong exit. Then a storm came up, which confused me even more.

“. . . That situation reminds me of the panic I feel when I realize my mistakes along the road of faith. Often, I think I can overcome a mistake without God’s help, but then I move farther and farther away from God. I have to stop and turn to God for help rather than trying to find the right direction on my own.

“While praying for God’s direction during that difficult drive, I realized that Christ’s example is the path we have to follow, and I gave thanks to our Lord.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will seek God’s direction.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for helping us to find the right way. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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When our lives are intertwined with His

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, November 3, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

When things are going well, we feel elated. When hardships come, we sink into depression. But true joy transcends the rolling waves of circumstance. Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. When our lives are intertwined with His, He will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs. The joy of living with Jesus Christ daily will keep us levelheaded, no matter how high or low our circumstances.

We are to love each other as Jesus loved us, and he loved us enough to give his life for us. We may not have to die for someone, but there are other ways to practice sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, giving. Think of someone in particular who needs this kind of love today. Give all the love you can, and then try to give a little more. (NLT)

John 15:9-17 – [Jesus said] “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy.   Yes, your joy will overflow! I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it—the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. You are my friends if you obey me. I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. I command you to love each other.”

Jesus said, “I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Dave Caswell (Arkansas) titled his story “FINDING A FRIEND;” here is a portion of Dave’s story:

“While on an extended vacation, I made a point to visit an old Navy buddy I hadn’t seen in years. I was surprised to find that we connected just like we had many years ago. Sharing our experiences was a joy.

“Beginning a relationship with Jesus is something like that. . . .   When it happens, we realize that we should have made this friendship long ago. Jesus is our friend, but he is so much more. He has walked where we walk and has experienced the troubles that can enter our lives. Not only does he know what we are going through, he promises to fill us with a joy that we can find nowhere else.

“But we can miss opportunities to connect with God through Jesus. There are so many things that can get in the way – the busyness of life, the draw of constant entertainment, a culture that often discourages thoughtful connection with God. Just as the visit to my friend required action, it takes action on our part to connect with God. Jesus has been seeking us from the very beginning, but it is up to us to look and listen to find him. Today’s reading is a wonderful place to start.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I always have a friend in Jesus.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you came from heaven to be with us. Turn our hearts toward you so that we may know you and be filled with the joy of your presence. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Having trouble loving yourself

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, November 2, 2017

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Matthew 19:16-19 – Someone came to Jesus with this question: Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?”

“Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.”

“Which ones?” the man asked.

And Jesus replied: “‘Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal.   Do not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . mind and . . . strength. . . . Love your neighbor as yourself! There is no commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

Pamela Crowe (Delaware) titled her story “HOW DO WE LOVE OURSELVES?” Here is Pamela’s story:

“Jesus commanded all who would follow him to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ but for most of my life I ignored the last two words of the commandments. I did not love myself. I thought I had to be perfect to be acceptable, and I didn’t know how to forgive myself for my imperfection. I lived under self-condemnation and guilt, until I realized the truth: God loves and accepts me just as I am.

“‘As I am’ means that God loves all of me. God sent Jesus to save us from our sins and teach us how to live, because God loves us unconditionally. Jesus taught us to love our enemies: ‘Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’ (Luke 6:28). He even forgave his crucifiers. If I am to bless my enemies and treat others with kindness and love, then can I not do the same for myself?

“God can do amazing work in us and through us when we learn how to love ourselves. When we love and accept ourselves as God does, we feel secure, confident, and able to serve others better.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Because God loves me, I will treat myself with kindness and love.

Prayer: Dear God, help us learn to love ourselves so that we may live out your command to love our neighbors. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING TO LOVE THEMSELVES

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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