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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, January 18, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Because of the ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs that God promises to supply. Worry may (1) damage your health, (2) disrupt your productivity, (3) negatively affect the way you treat others, and (4) reduce your ability to trust in God. How many ill effects of worry are you experiencing? Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern—worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.
To “make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” means to put God first in your life, to fill your thoughts with his desires, to take his character for your pattern, and to serve and obey him in everything. What is really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first place if you don’t actively choose to give him first place in every area of your life.
Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God’s guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God. Don’t let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today. (NLT)
Matthew 6:25-34 – [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.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
Shirley Rose (Illinois) titled her story “REMEMBER TO BREATHE;” here is a portion of Shirley’s story:
“. . . Every time a problem or an unexpected challenge came along, I held my breath through it. I became stressed and could not relax. I knew that God has shown me mercy by helping me through difficult times. I also realized that God didn’t want me to hold my breath throughout my life. God wanted me to rest in faith, knowing that no matter what problem I was facing, God would help me through it. . .”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is our constant companion and helper.
Prayer: Breathing in, say: Loving God – Breathing out, say: You are with us in all our troubles. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO ARE WORRIED AND STRESSED
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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