As His heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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:

Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father’s property, even if he was formerly a slave. He was not a second-class son; he was equal to all other sons, biological or adopted, in his father’s family. As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God’s resources. As God’s heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us—our full identity as His children. (NLT)

Galatians 4:5-7 – God sent him [Jesus] to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children. And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.

* Paul uses adoption to illustrate the believer’s new relationship with God. In Roman culture, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family and gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family. He became a full heir to his new father’s estate. Likewise, when a person becomes a Christian, he or she gains all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God’s family. One of these outstanding privileges is being led by the Spirit (Galatians 4:5-7 [above]). We may not always feel as though we belong to God, but the Holy Spirit is our witness. His inward presence reminds us of who we are and encourages us with God’s love. (Romans 5:5 – 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.) (NLT)

Romans 8:12-17 – So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Quoted verse: To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. –John 1:12 (NIV)

“Story” – Mary Ann Baker (Pennsylvania) titled her story “ADOPTED;” here is Mary Ann’s story:

“My parents took me into their home when I was three months old. After that, every detail of their lives was scrutinized before they could adopt me. In court, their friends testified as character references. Social workers made many unannounced visits to see what kind of care I was receiving. My parents finally were able to legally adopt me when I was 11 months old.

“Knowing all that my parents went through to adopt me helps me appreciate how much they wanted me as part of their family. Kids at school would tease me about being adopted, but nothing they said could convince me that I am not special to my parents. I know I am special because my parents chose me to be in their family. They had to prove that they wanted me and would take good care of me.

“Every one of us is even more special to God. After all, God became human in Jesus Christ, who died for us so that we could be adopted as God’s children. God has chosen us and has called everyone to join the family of God by trusting in Jesus.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Every person is special to God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your son so that we can be adopted into your family. Help us to show our love to you by following you in faith, word, and deed. Amen.

Prayer Focus: CHILDREN WAITING TO BE ADOPTED

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

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Carrying heavy burdens too heavy to bear

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, January 21, 2019

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:

[Carrying heavy burdens too heavy to bear.] A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment the oxen are to pull. A person may be carrying heavy burdens of (1) sin, (2) excessive demands of religious leaders, (3) oppression and persecution, or (4) weariness in the search for God.

Jesus frees people from all these burdens. The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. A relationship with God changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose. (NLT)

Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

Quoted verse: Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. –Psalm 55:22 (NRSV)

“Story” – Michael Medeiros (California) titled his story “UNBURDENED;” here is a portion of Michael’s story:

“The members of our youth group were weighed down by heavy burdens and many worries. When the time came for our monthly hike, the leaders saw a great opportunity to help the teens to trust the Lord with their concerns. Each youth received a backpack and water bottle for the short hike. Many of them wondered what the backpacks contained since they were so heavy.

“Halfway up the hill, the youth were directed to open their backpacks where they found several bricks. Many of them complained about carrying needless weight, but others figured out the object lesson right away. We instructed each to take out the bricks and write on them their burdens, worries, and cares. ‘School stress,’ ‘finances,’ ‘parents divorcing,’ ‘broken friendships,’ and ‘my future’ were some of the concerns. When we arrived at the top of the hill, the students knelt down to lay their bricks at a large cross and offer their personal prayers to God to share these specific burdens.

“At the end, all of us rose and prayed around the cross – standing upon the very burdens that once were on our backs. The return trip was . . . joyful as each person recalled God’s care.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can be free from the weight of worry when I lay down my burdens at the cross.

Prayer: Compassionate God, thank you for lifting us up and sustaining us. 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 Father already knows your needs; He will give you all you need from day to day

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, January 20, 2019

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:

[Jesus said] . . . your Father already knows your needs; He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. –Luke 12:31 (NLT)

Making the Kingdom of God your primary concern means making Jesus the Lord and King of your life. He must control every area—your work, play, plans, relationships. Is the Kingdom only one of your many concerns, or is it central to all you do? Are you holding back any areas of your life from God’s control? As Lord and Creator, He wants to help provide what you need as well as guide how you use what he provides. (NLT)

Luke 12:22-31 – Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For life consists of far more than food and clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can’t do little things like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! And don’t worry about food—what to eat and drink. Don’t worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. . . .”

Quoted verse: Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” –Matthew 11:29 (NIV)

“Story” – Lenore Warton (New South Wales, Australia) titled her story “ONE DAY AT A TIME;” here is Lenore’s story:

“Struggling with the grief of widowhood, I’ve had days where even the touch of my clothes seems uncomfortable, and I wonder how I can carry on by myself. When I feel this way, I remember Jesus’ words, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28). I remember thinking that I just need to keep pressing on, listening for God’s guidance. It was too easy to get ahead of myself and worry about my future. I wondered how long I would be able to maintain my house and survive on my own.

“After a while I discovered the secret to my getting through. It is just by living – at times minute by minute, hour by hour, or day by day. All these days added together are two and a half years; while I still struggle, I know I am stronger and that further healing is coming. I know that if I continue to trust and remain obedient, God will lead me – one day at a time.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God carries us into the future one day at a time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, release us from our worries about the future, and help us to trust you for all our days. Amen.

Prayer Focus: WIDOWS

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

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He wants to give us help for all our problems

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, January 19, 2019

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 lame man asked for money, but Peter gave him something much better—the use of his legs. We often ask God to solve a small problem, but He wants to give us a whole new life, He wants to give us help for all our problems. When we ask God for help, he may say, “I’ve got something even better for you.” You may ask God for what you want, but don’t be surprised when he gives you what you really need. (NLT)

Acts 3:1-10 – Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service.   As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in.   Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting a gift. But Peter said, “I don’t have any money for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!”

Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and anklebones were healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! . . .

Quoted verse: Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

“Story” – David McCain (Louisiana) titled his story “GOD CAN;” here is a portion of David’s story:

“. . . As adults we tend to say ‘I can’t.’ But sometimes when we say we can’t do something, we are closing all possibilities without even trying. All too often, we say we can’t, when in fact we should more honestly be saying that we won’t – for a variety of reasons.

“When Peter told the lame man to stand up and walk, thank goodness the man didn’t respond by saying ‘I can’t.’ He had faith that the power of God had healed him, and he stood up, walking and leaping and praising God! I don’t want to limit the possibilities that God has for me – shutting things down by saying ‘I can’t’ without even trying. With God, all things are possible. (See Matt. 19:26 [Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.’)”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What is God inviting me to do today, to which I will say “I can”?

Prayer: Dear Lord, open our eyes to the things that seem impossible to us, but which can happen through you. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE LACKING CONFIDENCE

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

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We can be confident that He will accomplish all He has promised

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, January 18, 2019

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:

Jesus’ resurrection is the key to the Christian faith. Why? (1) Just as he promised, Jesus rose from the dead. We can be confident that He will accomplish all He has promised. (2) Jesus’ bodily resurrection shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God’s eternal Kingdom, not a false prophet or impostor. (3) We can be certain of our resurrection because he was resurrected. Death is not the end—there is future life. (4) The power that brought Jesus back to life is available to us to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life. (5) The Resurrection is the basis for the church’s witness to the world. Jesus is more than just a human leader; he is the Son of God. (NLT)

Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20 – Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said, “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them, “Greetings!” he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them still doubted!

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Quoted verse: Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. –Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

“Story” – Arlene Rains Graber (Kansas) titled her story “GOD’S ASSURANCE;” here is a portion of Arlene’s story:

“Lightning zipped across the sky with thunder roaring on its heels . . . From the back seat my nine-year-old great-niece cried out in fear. . . . I felt helpless because I couldn’t reach her from the front seat. Suddenly her cries began to fade. I turned again and saw my grandson, Palmer, rubbing his cousin’s arm softly and saying, ‘It’s okay, Kayla . . .’ The lightning and thunder increased . . . but with no more cries from Kayla because Palmer kept his arms around her, soothing her with his words.

“I smiled, proud of Palmer as I remembered how often God calms my fears. As a child of God, I know that in times of crisis or challenge, God encircles me and calms my fears. I remember how God gave reassurance to the Israelites: ‘Do not fear, for I am with you.’ And Jesus reaffirmed the promise: ‘And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (NRSV). Like Kayla, I am calmed by the loving arms of Jesus. And his promise of protection and comfort assures me that everything will work out.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When fears and doubts arise, I can rely on God’s promises.

Prayer: God of all comfort, thank you for your constant presence with us and for your word that assures us of protection and comfort. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO ARE FEARFUL

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

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His household is not a building but a group of people

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, January 17, 2019

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:

A church building is sometimes called God’s house. In reality, God’s, His household is not a building but a group of people. He lives in us and shows himself to a watching world through us. People can see that God is love and that Christ is Lord as we live in harmony with each other and in accordance with what God says in his Word. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom and members of his household. (NLT)

Ephesians 2:11-22 – Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders by birth. You were called “the uncircumcised ones” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from God’s people, Israel, and you did not know the promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ.

For Christ himself has made peace between us Jews and you Gentiles by making us all one people. He has broken down the wall of hostility that used to separate us. By his death he ended the whole system of Jewish law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new person from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He has brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and to us Jews who were ear. Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.   We who believe are carefully joined together, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

Quoted verse: In [Christ] the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. –Ephesians 2:21-22 (NIV)

“Story” – Riho Pors’ (Estonia) story is titled “HOUSE OF GOD;” here is a portion of Riho’s story:

“I was standing near a large building that was about to be demolished. . . . My church used to rent a worship area in it. While standing there I thought about the day I first attended a Sunday service in that building. I received a warm welcome and found my spiritual home – a life-changing experience for me.

“I learned to know Jesus and God’s word. I met many wonderful people who became my brothers and sisters in faith. They are faithful and trustworthy friends, who are always there when I need them. My heart is filled with gratitude for these people and the building where I first encountered them.

“. . . Even though I have fond memories of that building, the apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians remind me that the building is not the church; Christians make up the church. Paul writes that together we ‘become a holy temple in the Lord.’ How wonderful it is when we find our spiritual home among fellow Christians!”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – My church is much more than a building.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the gift of fellowship with other Christians. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE LOOKING FOR A CHURCH HOME

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

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Being rooted, built up, strengthened in faith

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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:

Receiving Christ as Lord of your life is the beginning of life with Christ. But you must continue to follow his leadership by being rooted, built up, strengthened in faith. Christ wants to guide you and help you with your daily problems. You can live for Christ by (1) committing your life and submitting your will to Him (Romans 12:1-2 [see below]; (2) seeking to learn from Him, His life, and His teachings (Colossians 3:16 [see below]; and (3) recognizing the Holy Spirit’s power in you (Acts 1:8 [see below]; Galatians 5:22 [see below]). (NLT)

Colossians 2:6-10 – And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.

Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.

Quoted verse: Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. –Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

“Story” – Jenny Iruela (North Carolina) titled her story “BUSY DAYS;” here is a portion of Jenny’s story:

“One day at school, I had two tests, neither of which I had studied for. A friend was having a really bad morning, and she also had a test that day. I felt bad for her, but I told myself there was nothing I could do. I had to study for my tests . . . Later in the day I realized that dismissing my friend had been wrong. Good grades are important, but so is being a good friend – especially when someone is having a tough day.

“Often the busyness of everyday life makes it a challenge to live up to our Christian values, and we forget to walk in the steps of Jesus. Life is not just about school work, material possessions, or all the activities that bring us pleasure. Life is also about doing good for others and shinning the light of Christ into the lives of people around us.

By walking in Jesus’ footsteps we can help our world to become kinder and more compassionate. No matter how busy our lives may be, as Christians our true mission is to notice those in dark places and to shine God’s light of love on them.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – In the midst of a busy world, I will walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

Prayer: Dear God, help us not to be so consumed by busy lives that we fail to find time to share your love with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

* God wants us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices—daily laying aside our own desires to follow him, putting all our energy and resources at his disposal and trusting him to guide us. We do this out of gratitude that our sins have been forgiven.

God has good, pleasing, and perfect plans for his children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey him. Because he wants only what is best for us, and because he gave his Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for his service. (NLT)

Romans 12:1-2 – And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

* Although the early Christians had access to the Old Testament and freely used it, they did not yet have the New Testament or any other Christian books to study. Their stories and teachings about Christ were memorized and passed on from person to person. Sometimes the teachings were set to music, and so music became an important part of Christian worship and education. (NLT)

Colossians 3:16 – Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

* Jesus had instructed his disciples to witness to people of all nations about him. But they were told to wait first for the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49 – [Jesus said] “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven”). God has important work for you to do for him, but you must do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. We often like to get on with the job, even if it means running ahead of God. But waiting is sometimes part of God’s plan. Are you waiting and listening for God’s complete instructions, or are you running ahead of his plans? We need God’s timing and power to be truly effective. (NLT)

Acts 1:8 – [Jesus said] “. . . But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

* The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you? (NLT)

Galatians 5:22-23 – But when the Holy spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. . . .

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