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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, December 31, 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:
Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul’s energies. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal—knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. What is holding you back?
Paul had reason to forget the past—he had held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ. (NLT)
Philippians 3:12-14 – I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
“Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” –Revelation 3:8 (NRSV)
Christopher Yopp (Virginia) titled his story “THESE ARE THE DAYS;” here is a portion of Christopher’s story:
“One of my favorite television shows from the 1970s always opened with the two main characters sitting at a piano singing ‘Those Were the Days.’ As I think about this song, I realize that it is easy for us to look back and idolize the ‘good old days.’ But scripture challenges us to sing ‘These are the days!’
“. . . Here and now we are called to celebrate God’s presence. Here and now we are called to embrace what God is doing in our lives. God has placed before us open doors of opportunity. We don’t want to miss them by looking back or because we are afraid of what lies on the other side of the threshold. Instead, we can follow the apostle Paul’s example from today’s reading: ‘I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me.’ Like Paul, we can celebrate and embrace what God is doing and is going to do in our lives.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will celebrate and embrace what God is doing in my life.
Prayer: Loving God, strengthen us to press forward in faith, knowing that you are showing us open doors of opportunity. Lead, guide, and direct us by your Spirit. Amen.
Prayer Focus: SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH PAST MISTAKES
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/