Carrying your worries, stress, daily struggles by yourself

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 27, 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:

Carrying your worries, stresses, daily struggles by yourself shows that you have not trusted God fully with your life. It takes humility, however, to recognize that God cares, to admit your need, and to let others in God’s family help you. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God’s concern. But when we turn to God in repentance, he will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God have your anxieties calls for action, not passivity. Don’t submit to circumstances but to the Lord, who controls circumstances. (NLT)

1 Peter 5:6-11 – So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind fo suffering you are.

In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is his forever and ever. Amen.

Resist [the devil], steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. –1 Peter 5:9 (NRSV)

Connie Schroeder (California) titled her story “A LITTLE BEYOND;” here is a portion of Connie’s story:

“I enjoy exercising by attending an aerobic dance class. . . . With an elastic band held in each of my hands stretched out in front of me, I hear her say, ‘Try to stretch the band as far as you can and then a little beyond. If you expect to get stronger, you need to meet and exceed the resistance!’

“Later I realized that these words apply to my faith life as well. As I identify areas of challenge, I now see them differently. Perhaps God is calling me to cultivate character traits like patience, acceptance, and kindness. I’ve found that those traits are easy to reflect when I’m around loved ones and friends but much harder when I’m surrounded by people who seem different from me. I am challenged now to find those areas where I ‘resist’ treating others the way Christ would and then push past this resistance. When I went to the gym to work out my body, God helped me to work on my spirit as well.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Where is God asking me to stretch beyond my routine?

Prayer: Dear God, help us to trust in you, and train us to reflect your glory in all that we do. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO GROW STRONGER SPIRITUALLY

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

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Examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, May 26, 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:

Jesus tells us to examine our own motives and conduct instead of judging others. The traits that bother us in others are often the habits we have ourselves. Our bad habits and behavior patterns are the very ones that we most want to change in others. Do you find it easy to magnify others’ faults while excusing your own? If you are ready to criticize someone, check to see if you deserve the same criticism. Judge yourself first, and then lovingly forgive and help your neighbor. (NLT)

Matthew 7:1-5 – [Jesus said] “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? –Matthew 7:3 (NIV)

Martha Swann Murphy-Shipley (South Carolina) titled her story “A PLANK IN MY EYE;” here is a portion of Martha’s story:

“For years, my husband and I shared the sink in our bathroom. Toothpaste splatter was always on the faucet – the spots put there, I was certain, by my husband. . . . I would see the splatter and think, Why can’t he clean up after himself? or just be plain mad at his sloppiness. A few months ago we moved into a new house with two sinks in the master bathroom. One day I realized that my husband’s sink and faucet were clean. Mine were covered with spots of toothpaste splatter. What a revelation that was, and what an embarrassment to me!

“This realization caused me to reflect on the Bible verse quoted above. It is so easy for us to assume that we are perfect and to be critical of everyone else. Jesus didn’t see people that way. He counseled us to examine our own flaws and to work to correct them according to God’s will.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I am tempted to judge others, God can help me reflect on my own faults.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to be aware of our failings and to be gentle with ourselves and others. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:204, NIV). 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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He is always there to help, providing refuge, security, peace

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, May 25, 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:

He is always there to help, providing refuge, security, peace. God’s power is complete and his ultimate victory is certain. He will not fail to rescue those who love him.

The fear of mountains or cities suddenly crumbling into the sea as the result of an earthquake or a nuclear blast haunts many people today. But the psalmist says that even if the world ends, we need not fear. In the face of utter destruction, the writer expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. It seems impossible to consider the end of the world without becoming consumed by fear, but the bible is clear—God is our refuge even in the midst of total destruction. He is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance. (NLT)

Psalm 46:1-7 – God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

A river brings joy to the city of our god, the Sacred home of the Most High. God himself lives in that city; it cannot be destroyed. God will protect it at the break of day. The nations are in an uproar, and kingdoms crumble! God thunders, and the earth melts!

The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

We will not fear . . . though [the sea’s] waters roar and foam. –Psalm 46:2-3 (NIV)

Bob Peterson (Texas) titled his story “THE SUDDEN STORM;” here is a portion of Bob’s story:

“My bass-fishing partner and I were enjoying a good catch on Lake Livingston in Texas. The weather had been perfect until a fierce storm blew up rather quickly. . . .

“Just in time, we spotted an empty, covered boat dock in the back of a small cove just off the creek channel. The dock became our refuge while the storm raged.

“The rain came so heavily and so fast that we could see a foaming stream of runoff rushing in the main channel about two feet above the water level. . . . We learned later that a tornado had touched down nearby.

“As I reflect on that day, I remember those times when the storms of life arise, often without warning. These storms can frighten us with their challenges and interrupt our dreams.

“But just like the boat dock offered shelter from the thunderstorm, we can find shelter in the arms and protection of God. What comfort to know that God hears our prayers and is working for good in all the circumstances of our lives!”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can always find refuge in God’s loving arms

Prayer: Almighty and loving God, thank you for hearing our prayers and for giving us reguge, security, and peace. In Jesus’ name. 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 asking Him to direct us we can conquer many of life’s challenges

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, May 24, 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:

Joshua’s new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge—even for a man of Joshua’s caliber! Every new job is a challenge. Without God it can be frightening. With God it can be a great adventure. Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our new challenges. We may not conquer nations, but every day we face tough situations, difficult people, and temptations. However, God promises that he will never abandon us or fail to help us. By asking Him to direct us we can conquer many of life’s challenges. (NLT)

Joshua 1:1-18 – After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Now that my servant Moses is dead, you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Everywhere you go, you will be on land I have given you—from the Negev Desert in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses.   I will not fail you or abandon you.

“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua then commanded the leaders of Israel, “Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God has given you.”

Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them, “Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and has given you this land.’ Your wives, children, and cattle may remain here on the east side of the Jordan River, but your warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them until the Lord gives rest to them as he has given rest to you, and until they, too, possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. Only then may you settle here on the east side of the Jordan River in the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you.”

They answered Joshua, “we will do whatever you command us, and we will go wherever you send us. We will obey you just as we obeyed Moses. And may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. Anyone who rebels against your word and does not obey your every command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Blanca Longhurst (Tennessee) titled her story “EVEN STRONGER NOW;” here is a portion of Blanca’s story:

“A few years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy and several surgeries. During this time, my position at work was eliminated and my husband lost his job. I remember thinking, How can this be? This too, when we’re feeling so vulnerable? Though it was a very difficult time, it was also a time of great joy because my younger daughter graduated from college and my older daughter got married. Throughout all of this, I prayed and asked God to allow me time to grow old with my husband, see my daughters reach their goals, and hopefully enjoy grandchildren someday. As I prayed, I felt the warmth and peace of the Holy Spirit.

“Three months after my diagnosis, my husband got a new job; and at the end of my treatment I was offered a new and exciting position. To this day, my checkups at my oncologist show no signs of cancerous cells. . . .

“Just as God commanded Joshua not to be afraid or discouraged, God encouraged me. My faith is even stronger now because I know that the Lord is with me no matter what challenges I may face.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can have courage because God is always with me.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for the gift of life. Help us to appreciate each and every day. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE UNDERGOING CANCER TREATMENT

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

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Our prayers won’t change His mind, but they may change ours

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, May 23, 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:

Did Abraham change God’s mind? Of course not. The more likely answer is that God changed Abraham’s mind. Abraham knew that God is just and that he punishes sin, but he may have wondered about God’s mercy. Abraham seemed to be probing God’s mind to see how merciful he really was. He left his conversation with God convinced that God was both kind and fair. Our prayers won’t change His mind, but they may change ours just as Abraham’s prayer changed his. Prayer helps us better understand the mind of God. (NLT)

Genesis 18:23-33 – Abraham approached him and said, “Will you destroy both innocent and guilty alike? Suppose you find fifty innocent people there within the city—will you still destroy it, and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the innocent with the guilty. Why, you would be treating the innocent and the guilty exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”

And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in Sodom, I will share the entire city for their sake.”

Then Abraham spoke again, “Since I have begun, let me go on and speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. Suppose there are only forty-five? Will you destroy the city for lack of five?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five.”

Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”

And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if there are forty.”

“Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty are found?”

And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if there are thirty.”

Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”

And the Lord said, “then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please do not get angry; I will speak but once more! Supose only ten are found there?”

And the Lord said, “Then, for the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it.”

The Lord went on his way when he had finished his conversation with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his tent.

Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” –Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

John W. Garcia M. (Cali, Colombia) titled his story “POWER OF FORGIVENESS;” here is a portion of John’s story:

“Within a month of my starting to attend church, a friend invited me to participate in a church-sponsored event called ‘Encounter with Christ.’ At the event, today’s reading and quoted verse had a profound impact on me.

“After the event, I called my sons’ mother. Since our separation we had not been able to hold a civil conversation for more than five minutes. But after the lessons I learned at the church event, everything changed. I called her and asked for her forgiveness for all of my deplorable behavior that I could recall and for all the things I could not recall as well. . . . Since that day, I have felt great relief from a burden that I had not realized was weighing so heavily on me: the absence of forgiveness. Today, my sons’ mother and I share a beautiful relationship – one that is only possible through Christ when we make him our priority in all things.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Forgiveness can transform my relationship with God and others.

Prayer: Creator God, thank you for teaching us about forgiveness, love, mercy, and generosity. In the name of Jesus we pray. 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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There are many rooms in my Father’s home

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, May 22, 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:

[Jesus said] “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.” –John 14:2 (NLT)

There are few verses in Scripture [John 14:2-3] that describe eternal life, but these few verses are rich with promises. Here Jesus says, “I am going to prepare a place for you,” and “I will come and get you.” We can look forward to eternal life because Jesus has promises it to all who believe in him. Although the details of eternity are unknown, we need not fear because Jesus is preparing for us and will spend eternity with us. (NLT)

John 14:1-6 – [Jesus said] “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, no 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.”

Jesus said, “My father’s house has many rooms . . . if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” –John 14:2-3 (NIV)

Sarah Lyons (Kansas) titled her story “A HEAVENLY HOME;” here is a portion of Sarah’s story:

“. . . Just as a new mom looks forward to the day that she will bring her baby home, Jesus is planning to come back for us and take us to his Father’s house where he has lovingly prepared a room for us.   He wants to spend time with us and is excited for our arrival.

“In the meantime, we can eagerly and prayerfully await his return, when he will take us to our heavenly home. The thought of a room prepared by the Savior himself is enough to make me smile and fill me with excitement and anticipation.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Jesus is preparing a room for me.

Prayer: Dear Savior, thank you for lovingly preparing a place for us in your Father’s house. Help us to follow you as we await your return. 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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Good examples of those who have invested themselves in you

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, May 21, 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:

If you are a Christian, you owe much to others who have taught you and modeled for you what you needed to know about the Good News and Christian living. Continue following the good examples of those who have invested themselves in you by investing in your life through evangelism, service, and Christian education. (NLT)

Hebrews 13:1-8 – Continue to love each other with true Christian love. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”

That is why we can say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”

Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as they do.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. –Hebrews 13:7 (NIV)

Chuck Kralik (Missouri) titled his story “IMITATORS;” here is a portion of Chuck’s story:

“. . . Scripture calls us to imitate those who have gone before us in the Christian faith, to follow their example of obedience, perseverance, joy, and love. I know that my father was not perfect, but Dad trusted Jesus to forgive his shortcomings and to love him in spite of them. That kind of faith and trust is certainly worth imitating.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I will imitate the faith of those who have gone before me.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for leaders in the faith who are with us now and for those who have gone ahead of us. Help us to imitate their lives of faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer Focus: MY SPIRITUAL MENTORS

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

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