His character goes into the creation of every person

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, September 23, 2017

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’s, His character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God’s Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us. (NLT)

Psalm 139:13-18 – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!

The Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” –2 Corinthians 12:9 (NRSV)

Ramona Furst (Ontario, Canada) titled her story “WONDERFULLY MADE;” here is Ramona’s story:

“Although I’ve never been formally diagnosed, I look back over my childhood and recognize the symptoms of a learning disability now called dyslexia. A good memory helped me in school; but insecurity, doubt, and low self-esteem made me question my value. As I struggled to overcome obstacles, hurts, and disappointments, my perception of God became distorted. I began to question God’s love for me. What people thought about me mattered more than God’s opinion. I set unrealistic goals for myself and often thought, If other people can do this, why am I having such a hard time?

When I became a wife and mother, I admitted that if I couldn’t accept myself the way I had been created, I wasn’t trusting God. In the beginning, getting rid of negative thinking and replacing it with the word of God was a slow, daily, and sometimes painful process. Then I began to believe that God took great delight in me and that I played a necessary and significant role in God’s work on earth. Now my goal is to please God, reminding myself that I have been promised, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can find my value in the loving grace of God.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for never giving up on us. Help us remember that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING WITH LEARNING DISORDERS

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

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He provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definitions or expectations

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, September 22, 2017

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 nation that was required by law to care for its prophets, it is ironic that God turned to ravens (unclean birds) and a widow (a foreigner from Jezebel’s home territory) to care for Elijah. God has help where we least expect it. He provides for us in ways that go beyond our narrow definitions of expectations. No matter how bitter our trials or how seemingly hopeless our situation, we should look for God’s caring touch. We may find his providence in some strange places! (NLT)

1 Kings 17:8-24 – Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. There is a widow there who will feed you. I have given her my instructions.”

So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a cup of water?” As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”

But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug.   I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”

But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and cook that ‘last meal,’ but bake me a little loaf of bread first. Afterward there will still be enough food for you and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil for many days. For no matter how much they used, there was always enough left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

Some time later, the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. She then said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to punish my sins by killing my son?”

But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the boy’s body from her, carried him up to the upper room, where he lived, and laid the body on his bed. Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy on this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”

And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he came back to life! Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look, your son is alive!” he said.

Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

Jim Weems (Mississippi) titled his story “CHOICES;” here is a portion of Jim’s story:

“When I see a person on the side of the road asking for food or money, it is easy to find an excuse not to stop. It might not be safe to stop. I don’t know if I can spare the money.   What if this person is part of a scam? It’s far easier and safer, we think, to say a prayer in these situations. But sometimes we fail even to do that.

“Today’s reading . . . The widow did as he asked. How many of us would do the same? I’m sure we’d like to think we would, but we should ask ourselves, How many times a week am I asked to do something much easier, and I decline?

“The woman was blessed immeasurably for her generosity; she was kept alive by God in a time of famine. Later, the man repaid her by asking God to restore her son’s life, which God did. God gives us choices every day. May we choose wisely.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I help others, I am helping Christ.

Prayer: Dear God, give us eyes to see those in need and the courage to help them. In the name of the compassionate 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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In Him, we are valuable, capable of worthy service

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, September 21, 2017

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:

Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate self-evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth—our identity in Christ. Apart from him, we aren’t capable of very much by eternal standards; in him, we are valuable, capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God’s eyes. (NLT)

Romans 12:1-8 – 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.

As God’s messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.

God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. –Romans 12:2 (NRSV)

Amanda Brechko (North Carolina) [*see below] titled her story “TRUE TO YOURSELF;” here is Amanda’s story:

“I have spent countless hours wondering if I should act, talk, or fix my hair like certain individuals. I see that they are popular, and I think that if I do what they do I will be popular. However, I shortchange myself by not being true to the person God created me to be.

“My mom hangs inspiring quotes on our wall where we can all see them. The quotes encourage us to be ourselves and be happy about who we have become or are becoming. I realize now that unless I include God in my life, things are not going to work out very well for me. I have begun to realize that I do not need to copy someone’s hairstyle, clothes, or lifestyle. I need to accept who I am, love who I am, and be proud of who I am. This is who God wants me to be.

“With so many outside influences, it’s easy to forget who we are. We can pretend to be someone we are not instead of following the path God made for us. When that happens, we need to call on God to help us be true to who God created us to be.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I will strive to be true to the person God created me to be.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to discover a focus for our lives so that we may serve you more faithfully. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING WITH PEER PRESSURE

* Recent high school graduate Amanda Brechko enjoys traveling, competitive swimming, & volunteering.

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

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Parts are different for a purpose

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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:

Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: (1) being proud of their abilities, or (2) thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should us our different gifts, together, to spread the Good News of salvation. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 12:12-20 – The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? Suppose the whole body were an eye—then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?

But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.

As it is, there are many parts, but one body. –1 Corinthians 12:20(NIV)

Nancy C. Todd (Kentucky) titled her story “DIFFERING ROLES;” here is a portion of Nancy’s story:

“Our four grandchildren are blessed to have their other grandparents living close by. . . .Since my husband and I live several hours away, we are more the pop-in, pop-out type grandparents. This has been difficult for me. I cannot participate in my grandchildren’s lives as often as I would like.

“Only recently have I realized that our role is no less important even though it is different. In many ways, the body of Christ is the same; we all have different roles. Some of us are out front leading music, preaching, and chairing committees. Others serve more behind the scenes, cooking meals, working in the nursery, and decorating the sanctuary. One position is not more important than another.

“God has called each of us to different roles in our families and in the body of Christ. When we embrace what God has called us to, we can move beyond comparisons to find abundant joy.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will embrace God’s unique calling for my life.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the variety of roles in the body of Christ. Help us to support each other as we serve you. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE SEARCHING FOR THEIR CALLING

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

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Be sensitive to others’ need for encouragement

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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:

As you near the end of a long race, your legs ache, your throat burns, and your whole body cries out for you to stop. This is when friends and fans are most valuable. Their encouragement helps you push through the pain to the finish line. In the same way, Christians are to encourage one another. A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can be the difference between finishing well and collapsing along the way. Look around you. Be sensitive to others’ need for encouragement, and offer supportive words or actions. (NLT)

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – I really don’t need to write to you about how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “All is well; everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman’s birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape.

But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober. Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Paul wrote, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

Deepika Emmanuel Sagar’s (Rajasthan, India) story is titled “HANDWRITTEN ENCOURAGEMENT;” here is a portion of Deepika’s story:

“One day I received a letter from someone who was unknown to me. As I read through it, I found it was regarding an article I wrote that was published in a Christian magazine. Handwritten and four pages long, the letter was from one of my readers. He was 93 years old and said that he appreciated my article and encouraged me to continue using my spiritual gift of writing for God’s glory. After I had gone through the letter, I wondered: Why did this stranger take so much pain, at his age, to send me a handwritten letter?

“Scripture says that we should encourage one another. I was encouraged by a person whom I did not even know, but he obeyed God’s word to uplift my efforts for the kingdom’s sake. I still remember a line from the handwritten letter: ‘Encouragement is like strength to bones.’

“. . . Encouragement can make us zealous to yield even more fruit and can move us forward in fulfilling God’s purpose for us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Whom is God nudging me to encourage today?

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to encourage others as they seek to grow in faith and know you more fully. Amen.

Prayer Focus: A FRIEND WHO NEEDS ENCOURAGEMENT

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

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A relationship with Him changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity, purpose

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, September 18, 2017

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 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 Him changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity, 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.”

Stephen Smith (Texas) titled his story “ALIVE AGAIN;” here is Stephen’s story:

“My life was in shambles. Working three jobs, I still couldn’t support my family. I felt like a failure. At home, my sons had drifted into destructive pursuits. My wife and I barely spoke. I felt isolated and alone. At night I would pray to die and awaken disappointed to still be alive.

“Finally, in despair, I walked into the garage, intending to end my life. Instead, I fell to my knees and prayed, ‘Jesus, I do not want to die. But I don’t want to go on living like this either. Take this burden away. Jesus, please save my life!’ In a flash, Jesus showed me the difference between his humility and my pride, his meekness and my anger, his faithfulness and my selfishness and deceit. Repenting of my sins, I asked Jesus to transform me – to come into my heart and make me clean. Immediately, rays of hope entered me, and I felt alive again.

“After that day, my relationship with my family changed. We cried and prayed together. We forgave each other. We studied the Bible and, with the help of other Christians, my wife and I reconciled. Finally, one Sunday, my family and I stood together before hundreds of witnesses and professed Jesus as Lord.

“Although none of us is perfect, our Savior is. We can know that whatever happens, Jesus will never leave us; and knowing this can give us peace.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When we draw near to God, God will draw near to us. (See [below] Jas. 4:8.)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving and rescuing us when we cry out to you. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE CONSIDERING SUICIDE

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

* How can you draw near to God? James gives five ways: (1) Humble yourselves before God. Yield to his authority and will, commit your life to him and his control, and be willing to follow him. (2) Resist the Devil. Don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you. (3) Wash your hands . . . and purify your hearts (that is, lead a pure life). Be cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity. (4) Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins. Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done. (5) Bow down before the Lord, and he will life you up. (NLT)

James 4:8 – Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you hypocrites.

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He will not fail you or forsake you

Click on the following link for previous layout and posts: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, September 17, 2017

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:

Deuteronomy 31:6-8 – “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord your God will go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to give their ancestors.   You are the one who will deliver it to them as their inheritance. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor forsake you.”

The Lord your God . . . goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. –Deuteronomy 31:6 (NRSV)

Donna Scales (Oregon) titled her story “ARM OF PROTECTION;” here is a portion of Donna’s story:

“My grandson, Keagan, thrashed his arms and legs in the pool as he tried to swim. . . .

“. . . When his face was in the water, I gently touched his tummy with just one finger, not to support him but to assure him I was still there.

“Later, I savored that grandma-grandson experience and realized it’s what Jesus does for me. He walks beside me – protecting me from sinking, expecting me to do my part, but never leaving me.

“Many times in life I’ve been required to plunge my face into the waters of new, unknown, scary challenges. I rarely want to; the familiar is much more comfortable. But when we act with faithful obedience, we can rest assured that Jesus is with us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Jesus goes with me into the unknown.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for never leaving us or forsaking 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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