When He speaks do you listen, and respond

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, February 24, 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

Let-your-faith-be-bigger-than-your-fear[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

God called the universe into existence out of nothing; he declared that it was to be, and it was. Our faith is in the God who created the entire universe by his word. God’s word has awesome power. When He speaks do you listen and respond? How can you better prepare yourself to respond to God’s word?

God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of his existence. He wants a personal, dynamic relationship with you that will transform your life. Those who seek God will find that they are rewarded with his intimate presence. (NLT)

Hebrews 11:3-12 – By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. God accepted Abel’s offering to show that he was a righteous man. And although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us because of his faith.

It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“suddenly he disappeared because God took him.” But before he was taken up, he was approved as pleasing to God. So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about something that had never happened before. By his faith he condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God’s sight.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob, to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

It was by faith that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child, even though they were too old and Sarah was barren. Abraham believed that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man, Abraham, who was too old to have any children—a nation with so many people that, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

A person is shown to be righteous through faithful actions and not through faith alone. –James 2:24 (CEB)

Donald Bottenfield (Pennsylvania) titled his story “WALK THE TALK;” here is a portion of Donald’s story:

“Hebrews 11 is often referred to as ‘Faith’s Hall of Fame’ because it lists people who fulfilled what God asked them to do. . . . These and others mentioned had one thing in common; they obeyed the Lord.

“James 2:20 says, ‘Faith without works is dead.’ The people in Hebrews 11 ultimately pleased God when they fulfilled their faith by obediently taking action. They were not perfect; they had weaknesses and temptations similar to ours. But in each case, they helped accomplish God’s purposes by obedience to God’s call – no matter where that call led.

“Our faith calls each of us to action, and in the Bible we find everything we need to help us faithfully carry out God’s will.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Beyond my words, God wants my actions.

Prayer: Dear God, help us put our faith into action. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO DISCERN GOD’S CALL

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Him completely, care for others as you care for yourself

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, February 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

love

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

God’s laws are not burdensome. They can be reduced to two simple principles: Love God and love others. When you love Him completely, care for others as you care for yourself, then you have fulfilled the intent of the Ten Commandments and the other Old Testament laws. According to Jesus, these two commandments summarize all God’s laws. Let them rule your thoughts, decisions, and actions. When you are uncertain about what to do, ask yourself which course of action best demonstrates love for God and love for others. (NLT)

Mark 12:28-31 – One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The king will say to those at his right hand, “I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” –Matthew 25:36 (NRSV)

Anabela Couto de Castro Valente (Luanda, Angola) titled her story “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR;” here is a portion of Anabela’s story:

“I have been a regular reader of The Upper Room for over eight years. I feel comforted and strengthened in my faith by reserving 30 minutes of my day to pray, read, and reflect on the word of God, our guide and protector.

“Through my devotional reading, I have come to believe that God calls all of us to help our neighbors. By helping others, we follow Christ’s example and reflect his love to the world. . . .

“. . . As Christians we can offer help not only by giving material goods but also through prayers, spiritual encouragement, and acts of grace. After all, offering compassion to those in need is a gift to Christ as well.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What will I do today to help a neighbor?

Prayer: O God, help us to show your love and care to those who are in difficult or desperate situations. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come. They will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, KJV). Amen.

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Count on others for support and prayer

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, February 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

Prayer to help those hurting

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

People in the church are not alone. Members of Christ’s body should be able to count on others for support and prayer, especially when they are sick or suffering. The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any member, and the church should be sensitive to the needs of all its members.

The “prayer offered in faith” does not refer to the faith of the sick person but to the faith of the people praying. God heals, faith doesn’t, and all prayers are subject to God’s will. But prayer is part of God’s healing process.

The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Some people see prayer as a last resort to be tried when all else fails. This approach is backward. Prayer should come first. Because God’s power is infinitely greater than ours, it only makes sense to rely on it—especially because God encourges us to do so. (NLT)

James 5:13-16 – Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord.

Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. –James 5:16 (NIV)

Stanley L. Hayes (Michigan) titled his story “THE PRAYERS OF MANY PEOPLE;” here is a portion of Stanley’s story:

“Recently my wife, Joyce, went through a difficult time with serious health issues. We made a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to deal with one specific health concern. However, while the medical staff was preparing to respond, they discovered other serious medical problems. The result was that our stay in Rochester lasted for 25 days, and the real purpose for our going in the first place could not be addressed at that time.

“Generally, I do not like waiting for issues to be addressed. However, during our stay in Rochester, I felt a peace that all things were working for our good. . . .

“. . . But I know that my peace came from knowing of the large number of people who were holding us up to God through their prayers.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will add my prayers to those of others.

Prayer: All-knowing God, we thank you for hearing the prayers of your people. Help us to realize that there is much power in prayer. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE EXPERIENCING SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The title of today’s post, “Responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” is from today’s story in The Upper Room, see below.

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

Prayer-for-comfort-joy-peace-guidance[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

Mary had to let go of her child and let him become a man, God’s Son, the Messiah. Fearful that she hadn’t been careful enough with this God-given child, she searched frantically for him. But she was looking for a boy, not the young man who was in the Temple astounding the religious leaders with his questions. It is hard to let go of people or projects we have nurtured. It is both sweet and painful to see our children growing into adults, our students into teachers, our subordinates into managers, our inspirations into institutions. But when the time comes we must step back and let go—in spite of the hurt. Then our protégés can exercise their wings, take flight, and soar to the heights God intended for them.

This is the first mention of Jesus’ awareness that he was God’s Son. But even though he knew his real Father, he did not reject his earthly parents. He went back to Nazareth with them and lived under their authority for another 18 years. God’s people do not despise human relationships or family responsibilities. If the Son of God obeyed his human parents, how much more should we honor our family members! Don’t use commitment to God’s work to justify neglecting your family.

Jesus’ parents didn’t understand what he meant about his Father’s house. They didn’t realize he was making a distinction between his earthly father and his heavenly Father.

Jesus was unique, he had a normal childhood and adolescence. In terms of development, he went through the same progression we do. He grew physically and mentally, he related to other people, and he was loved by God. A full human life is not unbalanced. It was important to Jesus—and it should be important to all believers—to develop fully and harmoniously in each of these key areas: physical, mental, social, and spiritual. (NLT)

Luke 2:41-52 – Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was with friends among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him. He was in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, discussing deep questions with them. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son!” his mother said to him. “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”

“But why did you need to search? He asked. “You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.” But they didn’t understand what he meant.

Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and his mother stored all these things in her heart. So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him.

Jesus said to his parents, “[Know] ye not that I must be about my father’s business?” –Luke 2:49 (KJV)

Laura L. Bradford (Washington) titled her story “THE FATHER’S BUSINESS;” here is a portion of Laura’s story:

“While reading about the prophet Anna in Luke’s Gospel, I felt guilty. A widow, Anna ‘did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.’ I’m also a widow but have never spent a whole day praying, let alone fasting. Was I failing God?

“. . . That’s right! I thought. Even though I didn’t pray all day and night like Anna, I could still be about my Father’s business. Pursuing the ‘Father’s business’ means responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That’s something I can do, if I’ll just follow Jesus’ example. Jesus persistently sought the Father’s will. At first I thought that might be difficult. Yet, as I spend time in prayer, meditation, and scripture, I’m grasping the way God communicates with me. Then, as I act in faith, I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me in my Father’s business.

“God has given each of us important tasks. Each day we can ask God for guidance and follow where that leads . . .”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How am I going about the Father’s business today?

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for guiding our steps so that our lives reflect your glory. Amen.

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our antidote for fear

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, February 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

Do-not-fear-Isaiah-40[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

God offers help for today and hope for the future; unwavering confidence in God is our antidote for fear and loneliness.

Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us and ultimately imprisons us within ourselves. Each of us has been a prisoner of fear at one time or another—fear of rejection, misunderstanding, uncertainty, sickness, or even death. But we can conquer fear by using the bright liberating light of the Lord, who brings salvation. If we want to dispel the darkness of fear, let us remember with the psalmist that “the Lord is my light and my salvation.” (NLT)

Psalm 27:1-14 – The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger—so why should I tremble?

When evil people come to destroy me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident.

The one think I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me. At his Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

Listen to my pleading, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not hide yourself from me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the path of honesty, for my enemies are waiting for me to fall. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done and breathe out violence against me. Yet I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! –Psalm 27:14

Dot French’s (New Jersey) story is titled “WAITING FOR THE LORD;” here is a portion of the story:

“David, the presumed author of Psalm 27 . . . I do not have enemies threatening my life, but I have been afraid of a raging storm, an uncomfortable task, or a frightening medical diagnosis.

“I would like to say that the first thoughts that come to mind when I am faced with a challenge are ‘Be strong . . . wait for the Lord!’ but my reaction is usually a tightening in my stomach and worry that circles through my mind. I’m afraid. . . .Then I begin to remember that I am not alone. I can ‘wait for the Lord.’ Even though I am weak, ‘the Lord is the stronghold of my life.’ I can take heart. I do not feel strong in myself, but I know that the Lord is with me.

“As I look back over my life, I have experienced the strength and love of God through the hands, words, and prayers of other people – the strength and love of others in my life. God understands what we are going through. Even when we are unable to utter anything more than ‘The Lord is my strength,’ we can remember that we are connected to a loving God.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will remember that the Lord is my strength.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we give thanks that you are the stronghold of our lives and that we need not be afraid. Amen.

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good things He planned for us long ago

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, February 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

Have faith that things will work out

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

Luke 10:30-37 – Jesus replied with an illustration: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes and money, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a Jewish priest came along; but when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two pieces of silver and told him to take care of the man. ‘If his bill runs higher than that, he said, ‘I’ll pay the difference the next time I am here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who sowed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. –Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Hazel Sandra Fitz-Gibbon (Surrey, England) titled her story “NEVER OFF DUTY;” here is a portion of Hazel’s story:

“Recently I met my son, James, for lunch. To my surprise, he insisted on paying for my mean, saying, ‘Give the money to someone who really needs it.’ After lunch we parted, and I started for the train station. Suddenly, I heard a quiet voice behind me saying, ‘Excuse me.’ I turned to see a young man. He needed a hotel bed for the night and asked for some money. As I listened to his story, I felt sure that God wanted me to help him. I gave him the money that I had expected to spend on lunch, shook his hand, and promised to pray for him. He thanked me warmly.

“Later, as I rode the train, I knew that Jesus had been present in the café with my son and me. I knew Jesus was also there on the street, meeting me in that young man.

“. . . after doing a good deed, I feel as if I can go ‘off duty.’ So in a way, I am separating my life into compartments – this much for God, the rest for myself. This experience reminded me that God never goes ‘off duty.’ God calls us to share love and compassion at any time, in any place.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God has prepared a way for me to serve others today.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you are always available to help us. May we be ready to respond to your prompting to help others, whenever and wherever that may be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grow and experience the joy of your faith

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

DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, February 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

Faith[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

This was not Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome. But he didn’t know that. Awaiting trial, he knew he could either be released or executed. However, he trusted Christ to work it out for his deliverance. Paul’s prayer was that when he stood trial, he would speak courageously for Christ and not be timid or ashamed. Whether he lived or died, he wanted to exalt Christ. As it turned out, he was released from this imprisonment but arrested again two or three years later. Only faith in Christ could sustain Paul in such adversity. (NLT)

Philippians 1:18-30 – But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live.

I am convinced of this, so I will continue with you so that you will grow and experience the joy of your faith. Then when I return to you, you will have even more reason to boast about what Christ Jesus has done for me.

Buy whatever happens to me, you must live in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ, as citizens of heaven. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing side by side, fighting together for the Good News. Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this fight together. You have seen me suffer for him in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of this great struggle.

Paul wrote, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. –Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

John Bown (Minnesota) titled his story “BLESSED ASSURANCE;” here is a portion of John’s story:

“My good friend Glenn had been diagnosed with leukemia and hospitalized for chemotherapy treatments. . . .

“. . . Although his future was uncertain, he was at peace. As he told me on that first visit, ‘If my time is up, it’s ok. I know where I am going.’ Glenn’s response was a great example of what faith can do.

“In today’s scripture reading, the apostle Paul summed up this faith. Although he was imprisoned and uncertain whether he would live or die, Paul was a peace because he trusted God. With Christ as our Savior, we do not face challenges alone. We can take heart in Paul’s words that whatever our circumstance, we can find peace and assurance from knowing that our Lord and Savior is with us today and throughout eternity.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the comfort and peace you provide in times of trouble. Help us to share the good news of your love and grace with others. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE UNDERGOING CHEMOTHERAPY

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

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Guidance, Hope, Inspiration, Love, Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment