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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, July 8, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, and to struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away from him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must always keep him in sight.
When we face hardship and discouragement, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. But we’re not alone; there is help. Many have already made it through life, enduring far more difficult circumstances than we have experienced. Suffering is the training ground for Christian maturity. It develops our patience and makes our final victory sweet. (NLT)
Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now his is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.
Judith Vander Wege (Iowa) titled her story “RUNNING THE RACE:” here is a portion of Judith’s story:
“Rejection letters are a normal part of my career as a writer. A seasoned writer once told me, ‘When you have enough rejection letters to paper your wall, then you are a real writer.’ The idea is that a ‘real’ writer doesn’t quit but perseveres.
“. . . We are often hindered and tempted to quit, yet5 we want to complete the task or mission God has marked out for us.
“We cannot overcome discouragement and persevere to the end by our own power. But we can focus on Jesus – on what we’ve learned about him through the Bible, Sunday school, and worship – and trust him. When we do this, Jesus will encourage us and guide us to do the work he has called us to do.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Focusing on Jesus gives me courage to persevere.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your encouragement and for giving us strength to run the race set before us. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE DISCOURAGED IN THEIR WORK
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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