They wouldn’t believe His promise to care for them

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, August 28, 2016

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

Today’s scripture reading:

God patiently delivers us, in spite of our forgetfulness and self-willed rebellion. (NLT)

Psalm 106:24-27 – The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord. Therefore, he swore that he would kill them in the wilderness, that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.

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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)

Lynn Karidis (Michigan) titled her story “TRUST GOD;” here is a portion of Lynn’s story:

“The phone call from the dean inviting me to teach plunged me into a panic. . . .

“As I thought about my options, I remembered the Israelites who stood outside the Promised Land filled with fear. They didn’t believe God’s promise of success. . . . They forgot all the wonderful miracles God did to bring them out of Egypt.

“I decided the best option was to trust God despite my fear and to accept the teaching offer. Despite all the unknowns, I clung to God’s promise to be with me. God gave me the strength, knowledge, and perseverance to guide the class.

“When faced with a new challenge, we can remember God’s past faithfulness. These memories provide the courage to accept each new challenge that comes our way.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God helps me to face each new challenge.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for being with us on our journey. Help us through the challenges we face. 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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When we are puzzled by questions or problems

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, August 26, 2016

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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

Today’s scripture reading:

After the two followers had explained their sadness and confusion, Jesus responded by going to Scripture and applying it to his ministry. When we are puzzled by questions or problems, we, too, can go to Scripture and find authoritative help. If we, like these two, do not understand what the Bible means, we can turn to other believers who know the Bible and have the wisdom to apply it to our situation. (NLT)

Luke 24:13-35 – That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them. But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.

“You seem to be in a deep discussion about something,” he said. “What are you so concerned about?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

“What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did wonderful miracles. He was a mighty teacher, highly regarded by both God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders arrested him and handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had thought he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. That all happened three days ago. Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, Jesus’ body was gone, just as the women had said.”

Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?” Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on, but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem, where the eleven disciples and the other followers of Jesus were gathered. When they arrived, they were greeted with the report, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter!”

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Chris Hall (England) titled his story “IN THE FOG;” here is a portion of Chris’ story:

“I left work early and decided to take a scenic route home. I normally saw rolling hills, vibrant colorful fields, and horses grazing by the roadside. But that day all I could see was mist, rain, and fog. . . .

“The drive home echoed my life at that time. I had just received a letter warning that my job was at risk. A time line of what would happen next had been explained to me, but my future was uncertain. I was going into a foggy time in life and had to trust God for direction.

“A few months later . . . The sun illuminated the scenery I remembered and I could see all around. Once again, these surroundings mirrored how I felt about my life. I had a new job, and God’s direction for my life had become clear. The Lord led me through the fog back into the light and the beauty of life once more.

“We all face times of uncertainty when the road ahead is not clear. We often cannot comprehend why the trial is happening or where we will end up. Just as the two disciples walking to Emmaus finally recognized Jesus, sometimes our eyes are suddenly opened and we understand God’s purpose and direction. Even when we are not aware, God is always with us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When the path forward is unclear, I can trust God for direction.

Prayer: Faithful God, help us to trust your guidance even when we can’t see the path ahead. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A JOB

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

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Your work should reflect your creative abilities

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, August 25, 2016

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

Today’s scripture reading:

Those who spun cloth made a beautiful contribution to the Tabernacle. Good workers take pride in the quality and beauty of their work. God is concerned with the quality and beauty of what you do. Whether you are a corporate executive or a drugstore cashier, your work should reflect the creative abilities God has given you. (NLT)

Exodus 35:30-36:1 – And Moses told them, “The Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. In fact, he has every necessary skill. And the Lord has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach their skills to others. The Lord has given them special skills as jewelers, designers, weavers, and embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn on fine linen cloth. They excel in all the crafts needed for the work.

“Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other craftsmen whom the Lord has gifted with wisdom, skill, and intelligence will construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded.”

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Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. –1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

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

“I have been crocheting since I was a teenager. . . .

“Over the years, I have given away many crocheted items as gifts; but until recently, I had not thought of using this skill as a ministry. Would God use crochet as a way to help reach others for the Lord? I searched for answers in the Bible, and found that during the time of Moses, God called skilled craftsmen to build the tabernacle. . . .

“So I started a ministry at my church where we seek out areas of need in the community and crochet or knit items to help meet those needs. To each item we attach a card with Bible verses so that the receivers may be drawn to Christ.

“If we allow God to do so, God can and will use whatever skills we have. I feel blessed to know that the scarves, caps, and baby booties I crochet will help others to know the love of Jesus.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What gift can I use to glorify God?

Prayer: Thank you, God, for using our simple gifts to serve others. In Christ’s name, 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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You place Your hand of blessing on my head

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, August 24, 2016

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

Today’s scripture reading:

Sometimes we don’t let people get to know us completely because we are afraid they will discover something about us that they won’t like. But God already knows everything about us, even to the number of hairs on our heads, and still he accepts and loves us. God is with us through every situation, in every trial—protecting, loving, guiding. He knows and loves us completely. (NLT)

Psalm 139:1-12 – O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I set down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!

I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there you hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.

Thank you God for your blessings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharon Owens-Davis (New Jersey) titled her story “INNER PEACE;” here is a portion of Sharon’s story:

“I have recently formed a friendship with my friend’s son, who is in prison. . . . In one letter he shared his thoughts on ways of keeping himself focused on positive things: communing with God and allowing God’s word to uplift him, encourage him, and comfort him when he is having negative, self-defeating thoughts. . . .

“I have learned from my friend’s letters that our minds can be free no matter where we are – even in an uncomfortable place. Conversely, we can be physically free to move about in search of peace, but our minds may not find true contentment. If we are honest, we can all admit to having some form of confinement that threatens our peace. . . . Wherever we are, wherever we go, God is there. Those whom God sets free are free indeed!”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Because God has set me free, I am free indeed.

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

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Disciples followed

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, August 27, 2016

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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

Today’s scripture reading:

Although it took time for Jesus’ call and his message to get through, the disciples followed. In the same way, we may question and falter, but we must never stop following Jesus. (NLT)

Mark 1:16-20 – One day as Jesus was walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and went with him.

A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat mending their nets. He called them, too, and immediately they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men and went with him.

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William L. Dike (Maryland) titled his story “DEPTH OF DEVOTION;” here is a portion of William’s story:

“When Jesus called his disciples, they were already settled into their vocations. From today’s reading, it appears that they had successful careers. But the call of Christ and a new way of life took precedence. Their allegiance was total, without hesitation or regret, to the cause to which Christ called them.

“. . . Our families, our church, our jobs, our education, our reputation, and other aspects of our lives beckon us. All of them need our attention. But as the disciples demonstrated, our devotion to Christ is our first and primary allegiance. We are called by Christ to be devoted witnesses of our faith. . . .”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When Christ calls, I will follow

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be faithful to you. Search us and call us back to you when we fall short. Strengthen us to be wholehearted in our devotion to you. 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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His love is constant, patient, welcoming

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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

Today’s scripture reading:

In this story, the father watched and waited. He was dealing with a human being with a will of his own, but he was ready to greet his son if he returned. In the same way, God’s love is constant, patient, welcoming. He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond, but he will not force us to come to him. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses. (NLT)

Luke 15:11-24 – To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”’

“So he returned hom to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a fast, for this son of mine was dead and he now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”

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Joey Yow (North Carolina) titled his story “COMING HOME;” here is a portion of Joey’s story:

“My wife and I went to the airport to pick up our daughter when she returned from visiting her grandmother. . . .

“I know that God watches and waits for us with the same longing. God longs to see, welcome, and hold each of us. No one will ever love us with as much depth and intensity as Jesus, who gave himself for us on the cross. We can rest assured knowing that if some sin, or temptation, or mistake has lured us into a ‘far country’ like the son in today’s reading, the promise of forgiveness awaits us when we return to God’s loving arms.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is always ready to welcome me.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for families and friends who love us. Thank you for your love and presence in our earthly life and the promise that you will welcome us into our eternal home with you forever. 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 will never leave you or forsake you

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, August 22, 2016

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

Today’s scripture reading:

David did not continue to dwell on his sin. He returned to God, and God forgave him, opening the way to begin life anew. Even the name God gave Solomon, Jedidiah (“beloved of the Lord”) was a reminder of God’s grace. When we return to God, accept his forgiveness, and change our ways, he gives us a fresh start. To feel forgiven as David did, admit your sins to God and turn to him. Then move ahead with a new and fresh approach to life. (NLT)

2 Samuel 12:15-23 – After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord made Bathsheba’s baby deathly ill. David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. The leaders of the nation pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. Then on the seventh day the baby died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He was so broken up about the baby being sick,” they said. “What will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?”

But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the baby dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied. Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worship0ed the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and ate. His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”

David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

Trust God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. –Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

Rhoda Gowarto Manzo (Nigeria) titled her story “GOD ANSWERS PRAYER;” here is a portion of Rhoda’s story:

“When my husband was critically ill, I prayed and fasted, asking God to heal him; but my husband died. At that moment I could not understand why God did not answer my prayer. . . .

“God answers prayer but not always in the way we want or expect. . . . God did not heal David’s child or my husband, but God did remain present.

“Losing a loved one is painful, but we can learn to move forward. . . . When we draw on God’s grace day by day and allow God to heal our wounded soul, life will go on, and God will always be there for us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Life goes on, and God goes with us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, comfort us when we grieve and give us grace to move forward, knowing you will be with 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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