Mutually encouraged by each other’s faith

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, January 20, 2018

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:

About 3,000 people became new believers when Peter preached the Good News about Christ. These new Christians were united with the other believers, taught by the apostles, and included in the prayer meetings and fellowship. New believers in Christ need to be in groups, where they can learn God’s Word, pray, and mature in the faith. If you have just begun a relationship with Christ, seek out other believers for fellowship, prayer, and teaching. This is the way to grow. (NLT)

Acts 2:41-42 – Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church—about three thousand in all. They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer.

You and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. –Romans 1:12 (NIV)

Colin D. Harbach’s (Cumbria, England) story is titled “ROBIN’S NEST;” here is a portion of Colin’s story:

“Pamela met me at the chapel door, her face bright with eagerness as she showed me the shoebox in her hands. . . . ‘I’ve made a nest,’ she said. ‘A robin will come to live in it!’

“How could I explain to a young child so full of faith that a robin will usually build its own nest . . . ?

“Reflecting on this experience led me to another important truth. Pamela could offer all the materials for a nest, but the robin had to build it herself. Like Pamela building the nest for the robin, we may also find ourselves wanting to build other people’s faith for them. But we forget that our Christian experiences are unique because each is between us and our Lord. However, our lives are bound together in fellowship and built on the same materials of faith and love. Today’s verse reminds us to share our faith and the love of Christ with one another as we each build our own relationship with God.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How am I building my own relationship with Christ?

Prayer: Dear Father, you have given us this life in Christ to enjoy and to share. Help us to support one another as we build our relationships with you. 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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I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, January 19, 2018

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:

Ephesians 1:15-23 – Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.

I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.

Paul wrote, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which [God] has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” –Ephesians 1:1 (NIV)

Margie J. Harding (Maryland) titled her story “FLOODED WITH LIGHT;” here is a portion of Margie’s story:

“Rainy days give me a slow, sleepy kind of feeling. . . . Then the sun peeks out, and suddenly I feel warm and cheerful again. The light from the sun honestly changes my mood. The New Living Translation of the Bible says, ‘I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light,’ . . .

“When our hearts are flooded with God’s light through scripture, we can feel the warmth and peace God offers. God loves us and cares for us all the days of our lives. Just as the sun’s light changed my mood from dreary to happy, so scripture can change our minds and hearts from cloudy and uncertain to confident in God’s presence and peace. No matter what the day may bring, God’s light brightens our lives.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Even on cloudy days, the light of God’s love is shining.

Prayer: O God, illumine our minds and hearts with your words so that we may gain a better understanding of you and your will for our lives. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE SUFFERING FROM SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

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

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Nothing can ever separate us from His love

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, January 18, 2018

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:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. –Romans 8:38 (NLT)

No matter what happens to us, no matter where we are, we can never be separated from his love. These verses contain one of the most comforting promises in all Scripture. Believers have always had to face hardships in many forms: persecution, illness, imprisonment, and even death. These sometimes cause them to fear that they have been abandoned by Christ. But Paul exclaims that it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death for us is proof of his unconquerable love. Nothing can separate us from Christ’s presence. God tells us how great his love is so that we will feel totally secure in him. If we believe these overwhelming assurances, we will not be afraid. (NLT)

Romans 8:31-39 – What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[The Lord your God] will never leave you nor forsake you. –Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

Samuel Hunt (Florida) titled his story “ALWAYS WITH US;” here is a portion of Samuel’s story:

“As a 20-year-old Bible school graduate, I kissed my parents goodbye and went to teach the Bible in Southeast Asia. I had planned the whole adventure on my own and was traveling by myself for the entire summer. . . . Far from anything familiar and with no one around to talk to, I felt deeply and utterly alone.

“Sometimes we force our own backs against a wall; other times life pushes us there. We may be anxious, depressed, afraid for the future, or lonely. We know we can’t backtrack, but the way ahead looks murky.

“. . . When our backs are against the wall, we can look to our heavenly Father for peace. . . . when we focus not on the darkness but on god’s goodness, we can find comfort. That day, I sang in worship to God. Someone else might have quoted scripture or prayed. However we respond, we can trust that God is always with us, leading us through the darkness.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I am never alone because God is with me.

Prayer: Dear Father God, thank you for comforting us with your words in scripture that remind us of your faithful 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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Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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:

To walk safely in the woods at night we need a light so we don’t trip over tree roots or fall into holes. In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil. But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead so we won’t stumble as we walk. It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. Study the Bible so you will be able to see your way clear enough to say on the right path. (NLT)

Psalm 119:105-112 – Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise again: I will obey your wonderful laws. I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again, just as you promised. Lord, accept my grateful thanks and teach me your laws. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your law. The wicked have set their traps for me along your path, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your decrees are my treasure; they are truly my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your principles, even forever, to the very end.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. –Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Kristi Woods (Oklahoma) titled her story “THE GIFT OF A BIBLE;” here is a portion of Kristi’s story:

“My hand reached for the gift as everyone in the congregation watched. I pulled the brown book toward me, admiring its big, gold lettering. HOLY BIBLE was stamped across the front. At the time I didn’t realize how precious the gift was.

“A few years later, that same brown Bible was snuggled under my arm as I walked into a small country church. Each Sunday as I read from that Bible, my faith and God’s word became real.

“It’s so easy to leave our Bible closed and untouched. But the Bible is personal, a lamp for our path today and for the future. Reading the Bible offers guidance in any stage of life. It encourages us to forgive, to find hope, and to love well.

“. . . Its pages – some of them now taped due to years of use – contain many handwritten notes of insight and guidance. Its words have provided powerful wisdom to lead me through these 30 years. God’s word is truly a lamp for life’s path, a gift given to each of us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I will seek guidance from the Bible today.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the Bible and your guidance through it. May its words become an even brighter lamp, guiding us every day. 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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To be humble involves leaning on His power, His guidance

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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:

Bowing before the Lord means recognizing that our worth comes from God alone. To be humble involves leaning on His power, His guidance, and not going our own independent way. Although we do not deserve God’s favor, he wants to lift us up and give us worth and dignity, despite our human shortcomings. (NLT)

James 4:1-10 – What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can’t be a friend of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealousy longs for us to be faithful? He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites. Let there be tears fro the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

I will lie down and fall asleep in peace because you along, Lord, let me live in safety. –Psalm 4:8 (CEB)

Gale A. Richards’ (Iowa) story is titled “THE MISSING PIECE;” here is a portion of Gale’s story:

“My mother enjoys jigsaw puzzles. . . . One puzzle that she worked on didn’t go together properly because each time she got close to finishing a certain part of the picture, a necessary piece was missing.

“Life can feel like that incomplete puzzle when we forget to rely on God. We try to build our lives out of the pieces we have: education, money, material goods. Just when things seem to be coming together properly, frustrations creep in. The problem is that we are missing the piece that holds all the other pieces together – God. By coming to God in humble repentance, we receive the grace of our Lord’s forgiveness and love.

“Following God in service is seldom easy, but it comes with peaceful assurance. God will guide our steps and can cause good to come out of the worst situation. God brings order and peace out of the chaos of life’s small pieces.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God wants me to have true peace.

Prayer: God of grace, thank you for your promise to deliver us from evil. May your love and mercy guide our actions so we may know your peace each day. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO RECEIVE GOD’S PEACE

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

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You have a reserve of power and love

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, January 15, 2018

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 love that caused Christ to die is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us every day. The power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that saved you and is available to you in your daily life. Be assured that, having begun a life with Christ, you have a reserve of power and love to call on each day for help to meet every challenge or trial. You can pray for God’s power and love as you need it. (NLT)

Romans 5:1-11 – Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.

We . . . boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because god’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. –Romans 5:3-5 (NRSV)

Amy B. Trent (California) titled her story “BEAUTIFUL, BROKEN SHELLS;” here is a portion of Amy’s story:

“When I dig a seashell out of the sand, I first turn it one way and then the other to see its condition. Does it have chips or cracks, or is it whole and complete? I am looking for a perfect shell – not a broken one. Often, we are content only with the perfect, the unblemished, the new.

“That is not the way with God, who understands that we are broken, imperfect, damaged – and still seeks us. . . . We journey through an ocean filled with rocks and reefs and storms, and none of us makes it to the shore without scars of suffering and endurance.

“At times we may feel disappointed or ashamed at our brokenness. But in our suffering we are being made strong. And that strength will develop a character that clings to hope. Our hope is not in circumstances, people, or even ourselves, but in the powerful and loving God who will never let us be crushed or lost in the storm. God can transform our stories of suffering into a beautiful strength of character that produces hope that will never disappoint us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God transform my suffering into strength.

Prayer: Dear God, give us strength to withstand the storms we encounter. Help us to cling to you in hope. 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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Show us our gifts, guide us to opportunities to use them

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, January 14, 2018

The inspiration for the title of my post are words found in today’s prayer, see below.

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:

Sometimes Christians excuse themselves from witnessing by saying that their family or friends aren’t ready to believe. Jesus, however, makes it clear that around us a continual harvest waits to be reaped. Don’t let Jesus find you making excuses. Look around. You will find people ready to hear God’s Word. (NLT)

John 4:34-36 – Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. –John 10:10 (NIV)

Randy Tramp (South Dakota) titled his story “DETERMINATION;” here is a portion of Randy’s story:

“I walked out of the nursing home feeling like a failure. . . . I lacked the courage. Over the following weeks, I prayed earnestly for courage to share my faith. I know that this type of evangelism is not everyone’s gift, but the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus and the abundant life he offers has become a passion for me.

“After many prayers, the day finally came when I decided I would no longer let my fear stop me. One day soon after, following God’s nudging, I approached a man in a cafeteria. Pulse increasing, voice cracking, I asked, ‘Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?’ With tears he replied, ‘My mom on her death bed asked me to do that.’ We prayed, and he asked Jesus into his life.

“At times we may feel as if we have failed God. But when we continue to pray, we will discover opportunities to use the gifts God has given us. When we are willing to serve, God is willing to give us the strength and power to fulfill the plans we have made. Above all, we can come to love doing God’s will.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I will pray for courage to answer God’s call.

Prayer: Dear God, show us our gifts, and guide us to opportunities to use them. Restore our passion for your work, and help us to seek your will above our own. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE SHARING GOD’S WORD

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

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