Path of blessing

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, November 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:

You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing. – John 13:17 (NLT)

Jesus was the model servant, and he showed his servant attitude to his disciples. Washing guests’ feet was a job for a household servant to carry out when guests arrived. But Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist, as the lowliest slave would do, and washed and dried his disciples’ feet. If even he, God in the flesh, is willing to serve, we his followers must also be servants, willing to serve in any way that glorifies God. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example of serving? Whom can you serve today? There is a special blessing for those who not only agree that humble service is Christ’s way, but who also follow through and do it. (NLT)

John 13:3-17 – Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.

When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, why are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; someday you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “But if I don’t wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you are clean, but that isn’t true of everyone here.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than the master. Nor are messengers more important than the one who sends them. You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing. . . .”

Quoted verse: Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. – Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

“Story” – Carol Harrison (Saskatchewan, Canada) story is titled “SERVANT HEART;” here is a portion of Carol’s story:

“For six weeks my broken knee had limited my ability to do things for myself. When my friend offered to come over and care for my feet, I reluctantly accepted. . . .

“My friend’s act of service reminded me of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. . . . He taught in words and by example how they should treat one another. Paul expressed it this way: ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others’ (Phil. 2:3-4).

“I was humbled by my friend’s servant heart and challenged by scripture and her example to look for those in need – to seek ways, no matter how humble, that I can serve God by serving others.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Jesus is my example for serving others.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to be mindful of the needs of others. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO SERVE OTHERS

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

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Those who feel lost

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, November 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:

The title of today’s post “Those who feel lost,” is taken from the story in The Upper Room.

Isaiah 43:5-7 – “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”

Quoted verse: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. – Revelation 21:6 (NIV)

“Story” – Hope Douglas Harle-Mould’s (New York, USA) story is titled “OUR PRIME MERIDIAN;” here is a portion of Hope Douglas’ story:

“On a ministry trip, I stopped in London and spent a day at the Greenwich Observatory . . . Outside the observatory, a thick red line – along the Greenwich Prime Meridian . . . tourists . . . take pictures with one foot in the Western Hemisphere and one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere, thus being two places at once.

“After arriving in Ghana . . . I stood before that church [Presbyterian Church of the Greenwich Meridian], thinking about Christ – our Alpha and Omega – our beginning and end.

“When we have lost our bearings, our courage, our vision and cannot see the way ahead, we can turn to our Savior, our Source and Destination. In Christ, East and West meet. He is the place where we were first loved and baptized, the place where we were first called and empowered to go forth and serve.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is both my source and my destination.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, align our inner spiritual compass that we may be faithful. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO FEEL LOST AND CONFUSED

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

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From His temple He heard my voice

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, November 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. 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:

From his temple he heard my voice . . . – Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

2 Samuel 22:1-7 – David sang this song to the Lord after the Lord had rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul.   These are the words he sang: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold, my high tower, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.

“The waves of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord, yes, I called to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. . . .”

Quoted verse: In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. – Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

“Story” – Clementine M. Msengi (Texas, USA) titled her story “GUIDE OUR STEPS;” here is a portion of Clementine’s story:

“A few months after my graduation from high school, I found myself running to find a safe place to hide. My native country had broken into a war . . . that killed approximately 800,000 people – including my family members. This unexpected . . . event left me parentless, homeless, and penniless. I began to wonder where my God had been when these horrible things were happening. I found myself in a state of confusion, not knowing where and how to move forward in life.

“I remember one day sitting under a tree having a conversation with God. ‘God, please hear me. How will I move forward? How can I survive as an orphan, without support and guidance? Who will comfort me? Who will counsel me? Who will provide for me?’ I felt paralyzed with fear and grief.

“Sometimes we face challenges beyond our control.   Psalm 18:6 reminds us that when we call on the Lord for help in times of distress, God will hear our prayers. Knowing that God hears our cries and is with us every step we take gave me strength in the darkest hours of my life. We can trust that regardless of what life throws at us, God hears our prayers and will guide our steps.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God hears my deepest cries.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to lean on you and to trust you in times of fear and grief. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Here is Clementine’s biography: Clementine is a university professor, wife, mother, mentor, and an expert who speaks on leadership, resilience, education, and the role of faith in personal growth.

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

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Incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward us

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, October 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:

And so God can always point to us as example of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:7 (NLT)

We become Christians through God’s unmerited favor, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on our part. However, out of gratitude for this free gift, we will seek to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not merely to please ourselves. While no action or work we do can help us obtain salvation, God’s intention is that our salvation will result in acts of service. We are not saved merely for our own benefit but to serve Christ and build up the church. (NLT)

Ephesians 2:1-10 – Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms—all because we are one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Quoted verse: By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)

“Story” – Flo Au’s (Hong Kong, China) story is titled “GOD’S SALVATION;” here is a portion of Flo’s story:

“I live in a city where students are very competitive. I got used to the competition at a young age and became focused on staying at the top. . . . I would tell myself that I would do better than he next time. But even when I did, instead of feeling happy I felt filled with overwhelming pressure and fatigue.

“Following my second year at the university, I developed serious flu-like symptoms, and I started losing weight. I managed to finish my final year of college, but I was apprehensive about my future. I wondered, With such a poor physical condition, what can I possibly do after graduation?

“Scripture offered me great comfort during that time, and it continues to help me today. The Bible reminds me that we are saved by the grace of God. Our salvation is a gift. God does not require top grades, a certain status, or huge success. Loving grace is readily given to anyone who reaches out to God. Even during difficult periods, God continually restores us through scripture and love.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God loves me regardless of my achievements.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you that our salvation does not depend on our achievements. Help us feel your presence in all the times of our lives. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO FEEL THEIR WORTH DEPENDS ON ACHIEVING

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

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Let us strip off every weight that slows us down

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, October 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. 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:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. – Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away from Him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep Him in sight. (NLT)

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.

Quoted verse: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? — Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

“Story” – Steven Thompson (Iowa, USA) titled his story “INVISIBLE BARRIERS;” here is a portion of Steven’s story:

“A bee entered the passenger-side window of my car and headed straight for the clear windshield, searching for escape. . . .

“As I thought of the bee’s actions, I wondered how many invisible barriers in my life keep me from experiencing the full freedom and blessings that God wants me to enjoy. Are there buried resentments, hidden pride, fears, stale traditions, false beliefs, or passive rebellion that I haven’t noticed?

“Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that though we think we understand our hearts and minds, we can never fully understand ourselves or our motives. Jeremiah went on to record, ‘I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind’ (17:10). Because only God can fully understand us, we can pray along with David: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (Ps. 139:23-24). We can rely on God to help us recognize the invisible barriers that are keeping us from Christ’s freedom and blessings.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God can help me discover the invisible barriers that keep me from being free in Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, reveal to us the hidden areas of our lives that prevent us from finding full freedom in Christ. Amen.

Prayer Focus: FOR DEEPER SELF-AWARENESS

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

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He will help you in resisting temptation

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, October 15, 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:

In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul encouraged the Corinthians about temptation. He said that (1) temptations happen to everyone, so don’t feel you’ve been singled out; (2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out. [God] He will help you in resisting temptation by helping you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, (2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what is right, (4) pray for God’s help, and (5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted. Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 10:8-13 – And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.   And don’t grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them. All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close.

If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Quoted verse: God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

“Story” – Vimbai Chizarura’s (Mashonaland East, Zimbabwe) story is titled “A WAY OUT;” here is a portion of Vimbai’s story:

“. . . I rushed through the grocery store and did not notice that the cashier had accidentally given me extra change. As I neared the exit, I caught the mistake, and thoughts started streaming in my mind: Walk faster. No one will know. Then another thought followed: This must be a test.

“This last thought began to consume me because this had been the second such experience I’d had that day. . . . I had almost left a public bus without paying for the fare; but then I felt that God was telling me that if I went on and didn’t pay, I would be sinning. If instead I went back to pay, I would be growing and maturing for the glory of God. I paid my bus fare and . . . gave back the extra change to the cashier as well.

“Being short on money and yet having two challenges involving money in one day reminded me of the way temptations sometimes storm our lives and cloud our judgment to the extent that we start viewing things that are wrong as right. But God is faithful and knows us and never stops giving us instruction and reproof to help us endure temptation.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today, with every temptation, I will look to God for the way out.

Prayer: Mighty God, thank you for delivering us from temptations today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO LISTEN FOR GOD IN TIMES OF TEMPTATION

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 shelter them in your presence

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, October 14, 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:

. . . [God] You shelter them in your presence . . . – Psalm 31:20 (NLT)

Psalm 31:19-22 – Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.

Praise the Lord, for he has shown me his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack.   In sudden fear I had cried out, “I have been cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.

Quoted verse: You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. – Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)

“Story” – Roland Rink (Gauteng, South Africa) titled his story “SANCTUARY;” here is a portion of Roland’s story:

“A violent hailstorm ripped through many parts of my city. Our church windows were not spared when the golf-ball sized hailstones punched through them. On Sunday morning, as I sat in a quiet space in a hall with broken windows, I wondered what good could come from this damage.

“. . . The house of God is a sanctuary – a place of healing and recovery for those who hurt, for those in need, for those who seek shelter from the storm.

“Somehow out of the bad comes good. It depends on how we choose to view the storms of life. Yes, hail does bring damage, but it can also open new ways in which pigeons – and all of us – can find sanctuary in God’s house.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How can I help make my church a true sanctuary?

Prayer: Loving God, we pray for those who seek shelter from the storms of life. 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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