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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, April 25, 2019
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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 ♥
Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)
Today’s scripture reading:
Jesus said that God is aware of everything that happens even to sparrows, and you are far more valuable to Him than they are. You are so valuable that God sent His only Son to die for you. Because God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats or difficult trials. These can’t shake God’s love or dislodge his Spirit from within you. [Personal threats or difficult trials cannot shake His love or dislodge His Spirit from within you.]
But this doesn’t mean that God will take away all your troubles (see [below] Matthew 10:16). The real test of value is how well something holds up under the wear, tear, and stress of everyday life. Those who stand up for Christ in spite of their troubles truly have lasting value and will receive great rewards (see [below] Matthew 5:11-12). (NLT)
Matthew 10:28-31 – [Jesus said] “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill you. They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. . . .”
Quoted verse: Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God. –Luke 14:15 (NIV)
“Story” – Robert E. Townsend (Georgia, USA) titled his story “A GREAT BANQUET;” here is a portion of Robert’s story:
“My good friend Buck had just died. . . .
“. . . Instead of having two traditional funeral services, his wife decided we would have a fellowship supper in his memory. After we ate, we shared thoughts and memories of Buick. Then we celebrated our life together with Holy Communion. It was a powerful and meaningful occasion, one which helped us to shine the light of faith into our profound sense of loss.
“When I was asked to share some thoughts, I told how Jesus once compared God’s kingdom to a great banquet and that he gave the feast added meaning during his last supper with his disciples. I told them I was looking forward to being with Buck in heaven and that we would all then be able to share in Christ’s great feast together.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I look forward with joy to participating in God’s great feast.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for good and faithful friends, for the faith and fellowship of the church, and for the hope of eternity which we have in you. In Christ we pray. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
* The opposition of the Pharisees would be like ravaging wolves. The disciples’ only hope would be to look to their Shepherd for protection. We may face similar hostility. Like the disciples, we are not to be sheep-like in our attitude but sensible and prudent. We are not to be gullible pawns, but neither are we to be deceitful connivers. We must find a balance between wisdom and vulnerability to accomplish God’s work. (NLT)
Matthew 10:16 – [Jesus said] “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as snakes and harmless as doves. . . .”
* Jesus said to rejoice when we’re persecuted for our faith. Persecution can be good because (1) it takes our eyes off earthly rewards, (2) it strips away superficial belief, (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure, and (4) our attitude through it serves as an example to others who follow. We can be comforted knowing that God’s greatest prophets were persecuted (Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel). The fact that we are being persecuted proves that we have been faithful; faithless people would be unnoticed. In the future God will reward the faithful by receiving them into his eternal Kingdom, where there is no more persecution. (NLT)
Matthew 5:11-12 – [Jesus said] “God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.”