He has already declared how valuable we are to Him

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, September 23, 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:

When we look at the vast expanse of creation, we wonder how God could be concerned for people who constantly disappoint him. Yet God created us only a little lower than himself or the angels! The next time you question your worth as a person, remember that God considers you highly valuable. We have great worth because we bear the stamp of the Creator. Because [God] He has already declared how valuable we are to Him, we can be set free from feelings of worthlessness. (NLT)

Psalm 8:3-9 – When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have set in place—what are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us? For you made us only a little lower than God, and you crowned us with glory and honor. You put us in charge of everything you made, giving us authority over all things—the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.

O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of your name fills the earth!

Quoted verse: You are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. – Galatians 4:7 (NRSV)

“Story” – Philip Rice (Michigan, USA) titled his story “THE OLD COIN;” here is a portion of Philip’s story:

“An old and somewhat rare coin fascinated me, so I bought it. . . . The coin has two values: the value that the government stamped on it and the value that a collector might pay for it.

“It seems to me that it is the same way with people. We may feel that society gives us a value based on our social status, income level, or appearance. But God values us as beloved children for whom Jesus Christ lived, died, and was raised again. God is the supreme collector who seeks to gather all of us into the kingdom of compassion, peace, and justice. When we accept and treat others as people of intrinsic worth who are endowed with dignity, the kingdom of God draws a bit closer. The lives of others are blessed and, by the grace of God, so is ours.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I am worth more to God than I can imagine.

Prayer: Help us, Holy One, to see the worth and dignity in everyone we meet, remembering that we are all your beloved children. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV). Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO SEE WORTH IN EVERY PERSON

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

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Because all believers are His heirs

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, September 22, 2019

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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:

Some Jewish males greeted each new day by praying, “Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” The role of women was enhanced by Christianity. Faith in Christ transcends these differences and makes all believers one in Christ. Make sure you do not impose distinctions that Christ has removed. Because all believers are His heirs, no one is more privileged than or superior to anyone else. (NLT)

Galatians 3:26-29 – So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.   For you are all Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.

Quoted verse: There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Romans 10:12-13 (KJV)

“Story” – Breyanna Parr’s (Texas, USA) story is titled “WHICH BOX?” Here is a portion of Breyanna’s story:

“I never considered that the color of someone’s skin was a big deal – until I was in third grade. My class was registering for state testing . . . I raised my hand and asked the teacher to help me. I pointed to the question labeled ‘RACE/ETHNICITY (choose one).’ She told me to go by what my father was. I still wasn’t sure what to choose because my dad had always told me he is American, even though he is half African-American and half Hispanic – while my mom is white.

“As time went on I started to notice more and more that most people do not see my family as normal. I felt as if I did not fit into any particular group. However, my family has taught me that God created and cherishes each one of us. We are each special in our own way and should love one another, regardless of what we look like. No matter what box we check, we can know that we are all children of God.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God’s family includes every color of the rainbow.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for creating everyone in your own special way. Guide us to see one another as equals and as your children. 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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You are far more valuable to Him

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, September 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:

[Jesus said] “. . . you are far more valuable to him than they are.” — Matthew 6:26 (NLT)

Matthew 6:25-33 – [Jesus said] “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.

“And why worry about your clothes? 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!

“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. . . .”

Quoted verse: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)

“Story” – David Serdyukov (Moscow, Russia) titled his story “EVEN ME;” here is a portion of David’s story:

“I’ve always had to work really hard in school. I make many mistakes, and my dad has to point them out and explain them to me. I was so discouraged by my struggles with school that I began to feel that I didn’t deserve any of the good things in my life.

“When I expressed my feelings of unworthiness, my dad explained that God may give us challenging tasks but also will help us through them. . . . Then Dad read John 3:16 to remind me how much God loves me.

“Even when I mess up, God still gives me oxygen, sunshine, food, and many good things just because God loves each of us so very much. Now I do my work with more enthusiasm because I know that even when I make mistakes, God is with me and still loves me.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for caring for us – even when we feel we don’t deserve it. In the name of Jesus Christ. 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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Think of one person who needs to hear Good News

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, September 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:

We must take God’s great message of salvation to others so that they can respond to the Good News. How will your loved ones and neighbors hear it unless someone tells them? Is God calling you to take a part in making His message known in your community? Think of one person who needs to hear Good News, and think of something you can do to help him or her hear it. Then take that step as soon as possible. (NLT)

Romans 10:11-15 – As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Quoted verse: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.   But do this with gentleness and respect. – 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

“Story” – Jewell Johnson (Arizona, USA) titled her story “THE GREATEST WITNESS;” here is a portion of Jewell’s story:

“When I became a Christian, I resolved never to miss an opportunity to share my faith with others. One day as my husband and I were admiring our newborn son in the hospital, another patient, Vi, was wheeled into the room with her newborn girl. I said a prayer for boldness to witness to her.

“. . . in the evening after our babies were asleep, Vi talked about the difficult circumstances of her life. And I listened.

“In my interactions with Vi, I learned much about witnessing. I know it’s important to witness by talking to people about Jesus. However, this experience taught me that listening to the deepest heart-cry of another person is also important. In those times, we may be a link in the chain that eventually connects that person with God.

“. . . As the nurse wheeled our son and me down the hall, I thought, I didn’t outline the plan of salvation for Vi. I didn’t pray with her or share a scripture.

“But the Lord reminded me that I had shown love. And that can be the greatest witness of all.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Compassionate listening is one way I can show God’s love.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to take any opportunity we have to share the love of Christ in any way we can. 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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Reflect His character in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, faithfulness

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, September 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:

In what ways are we made in God’s image? God obviously did not create us exactly like himself because God has no physical body. Instead, we are reflections of God’s glory. Some feel that our reason, creativity, speech, or self-determination is the image of God. More likely, it is our entire self that reflects the image of God. We will never be totally like God because He is our supreme Creator. But we do have the ability to reflect His character in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, faithfulness.

Knowing that we are made in God’s image and thus share many of His characteristics provides a solid basis for self-worth. Criticizing or downgrading ourselves is criticizing what God has made and the abilities He has given us. Knowing that you are a person of worth helps you love God, know him personally, and make a valuable contribution to those around you. (NLT)

Genesis 1:26-31 – Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life—the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals.”

So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals.” And God said, “Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food.” And so it was. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was excellent in every way. This all happened on the sixth day.

Quoted verse: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. – Genesis 1:31 (NIV)

“Story” – Nathan Melia (Texas, USA) titled his story “GOD’S WONDERFUL CREATION;” here is a portion of Nathan’s story:

“As an artist, I have to focus on details like light, shadow, and color. Often I find inspiration in the beauty of God’s creation. Sunsets, mountains, and cascading waterfalls have been central to my work – until a few months ago.

“Back in January, I began painting faces. What I noticed was just how much harder it is to capture the essence of a person in pencil and acrylics. . . .

“. . . On the sixth day of Creation, however, after making a human, God declared that creation was ‘very good.’ Too often we look around and see the beauty in sunsets, mountains, or cascading waterfalls but forget the beauty present in God’s greatest, most complex creation – human beings. After all, God loves us enough to have sent Jesus Christ to live and die so that we could have abundant and eternal life.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How do I show love for God’s creation?

Prayer: Dear God, help us see every human as a unique creation of your love. 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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Receiving strength, encouragement, hope to deal with our troubles

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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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:

Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being “comforted” can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us. If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 1:1-7 – This letter is from Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our dear brother Timothy.

We are writing to God’s church in Corinth and to all the Christians throughout Greece. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you his grace and peace.

All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God’s comfort.

Quoted verse: The God of all comfort . . . comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

“Story” – Christine Duncan (Ontario, Canada) titled her story “GUIDED TO SERVE;” here is a portion of Christine’s story:

“. . . I moved to a bustling new city far from friends and family, I was overcome with loneliness. I began to pray: ‘Father, it’s miserable being lonely, and I know I’m not the only one. Thank you that I can empathize a little better with people who are far from family and friends. But what can I do with this situation? Where can I go to make others less lonely?’ Nursing homes popped into my mind, so I decided to see if my church had any ministries already going.

“But when Sunday came and I scanned a room of mostly nameless faces, my resolve sank. . . . An elderly woman came and sat beside me. After we exchanged hellos, she told me that she and a group of others had just returned from visiting a nearby nursing home. I learned that they go every month so I decided to join them. I love seeing how much the old hymns mean to some of the residents and consider it a privilege to be welcomed as their visitor.

“In the midst of my loneliness, God had brought out a willingness to help others. This led me to recognize the path that God had placed before me – one that took away not only my loneliness but also some of the lonely feelings of others.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – While I comfort others, God comforts me.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for shepherding us so well. Amen.

Prayer Focus: GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S GUIDANCE

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 not selfish, begrudging, or stingy, we do not have to beg or grovel

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, September 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:

Christ is showing us the heart of God the Father. He is not selfish, begrudging, or stingy, we don’t have to beg or grovel as we come with our requests. He is a loving Father, who understands, cares, and comforts. If humans can be kind, imagine how kind God, the Creator of kindness, can be. (NLT)

Matthew 7:7-11 – [Jesus said] “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

Quoted verse: Jesus replied to the disciples, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” — Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

“Story” – Max Mardick (Colorado, USA) titled his story “ANSWERED PRAYERS;” here is Max’s story:

“After retiring as president and Chief Operating Officer of a public company, I missed my job’s challenges and activity. To help fill the vacuum, I turned to prayer – asking for guidance in serving God with my new abundance of free time. Then, during an Easter sermon, God inspired me to create bookmarks for prisoners. The purpose of the bookmarks is to provide comfort and motivate the inmates to seek faith in Christ by reading several scripture references as well as a concise summary of Christian beliefs. To date, 187,000 of those bookmarks have been distributed and well received in 343 prisons in all 50 states. Clearly, God has answered my prayer, although I had not expected to be led in this direction.

“God does hear and answer our prayers. Sometimes, the answers may be exactly what we expected. Others are subtle and easily overlooked, as we focus solely on our own expectations. Some we recognize only when we look back after the passage of time. Some prayers may seem to remain unanswered altogether. In whatever situation, we can be assured that God wants the very best for us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God always answers my prayers – sometimes in surprising ways.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Help us to acknowledge those answers, even when they don’t match our expectations. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE IN PRISON

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

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