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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, August 7, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Going through rivers of difficulty will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. If you invite the Lord to go with you, he will protect you. (NLT)
Isaiah 43:1-6 – But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. . . .”
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” –1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
Heidi Gaul (Oregon) titled her story “CHOSEN;” here is Heidi’s story:
“‘We pick Lisa.’ ‘We want Debbie.’ ‘Susan.’ ‘Janice.’ I listened as they called name after name, dividing my classmates into teams. Smiling girls ran to one side or the other, laughing and clapping their hands in excitement. Not me. Growing up, I failed at any and all sports. My inability to stay focused on the play matched my clumsiness. As a result, I was always among the last chosen.
“Standing alone, waiting for a team leader to pick me, I felt the minutes drag by like hours. I wanted and needed acceptance. The day I graduated from high school, part of my joy involved putting that pain behind me.
“No matter our experience in school sports, none of us has to feel unwanted, abandoned, or rejected because God has called our names. Inexplicably, God has chosen each of us for an all-star team. We don’t require special skills to earn a spot or need to stand on the sidelines waiting to be chosen. Before our birth, our Father selected us and will support us against every opponent, even sin and death. Blessed with the freedom of acceptance and secure in God’s promise never to reject us, we can excel. We are beloved children of God, cheering one another on toward final victory.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – On God’s team, everyone belongs.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us remember that you have chosen us for your team. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE FEELING ABANDONED
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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