He wants to be present with you at all times

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, July 16, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

Have you ever wished you could actually see Jesus, touch him, and hear his words? Are there times you want to sit down with him and get his advice? Thomas wanted Jesus’ physical presence. But God’s plan is wiser. He has not limited himself to one physical body; He want to be present with you at all times. Even now he is with you in the form of the Holy Spirit. You can talk to him, and you can find his words to you in the pages of the Bible. He can be as real to you as he was to Thomas. (NLT)

John 20:19-29 – That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he held out his hands for them to see, and he showed them his side. They were filled with joy when they saw their Lord! He spoke to them again and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven.”

One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway.”

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” –John 20:19 (NRSV)

Adam Benson (North Carolina) titled his story “PEACE IN A PLACE OF DOUBT;” here is a portion of Adam’s story:

“At the end of the eight-mile hike to the top of Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park, we came face-to-face with the metal cables that would guide us to the top. . . . I refused to climb them, feeling it was dangerous and that I might fall 2000 feet to my death. . . . Then, someone came behind me and said, ‘I’ll go with you.’ Our group leader had pulled back from the group to make sure that I would not be left behind or fall off the cables. . . .

“In today’s reading – the account of Jesus’ appearing to his disciples after the Crucifixion – Thomas stubbornly refused to believe his friends’ testimony that they had seen Jesus. In doing so, Thomas separated himself from the rest of the group. Then, without warning, Jesus showed up.

“In times of doubt, it can feel as if God is absent. But, like our group leader who helped me get up the cables, God comes to us even at the height of doubt. When we are ready to turn back, God whispers, ‘I’ll go with you.’”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Even in my times of deepest doubt, God is present.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for your persistent love that brings you alongside us even in our difficult and painful moments of doubt. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Best way to influence someone

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, July 15, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

Often the best way to influence someone is to pray for him or her. Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that they would be unified in love. Their love was to result in greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight (moral discernment). Their love was not based on feelings but on what Christ had done for them. As you grow in Christ’s love, your heart and mind must grow together. Are your love and insight growing? (NLT)

Philippians 1:3-11 – Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God, both when I was in prison and when I was out, defending the truth and telling others the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus. I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Paul wrote, “I thank God . . . as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.” –2 Timothy 1:3 (NIV)

Mae Greenleaf (Florida) titled her story “A FRIEND WHO PRAYS;” here is a portion of Mae’s story:

“. . . During my first time back to church in over two months, my dear friend greeted me with a huge hug. . . . ‘I’ve been praying and praying and praying for you!’

“All that time, my friend had felt led to pray for me.   I knew those prayers had helped our family endure this trying time. How precious is a friend who cares enough to pray for us without ceasing! This reminded me of Paul’s words to Timothy, that he remembered him and prayed for him constantly.

“We all know someone who needs prayer. It may be a friend battling disease or dealing with a wayward child or struggling after having lost their job. We can remember all those who are facing trials and pray that they will find peace and strength to persevere.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will pray for a friend.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to love one another more and more, and remind us to pray for one another often. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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He does not abandon us to our struggles

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, July 14, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

With these words he [Jesus] told his disciples to take courage. In spite of the inevitable struggles they would face, they would not be alone. He does not abandon us to our struggles either. If we remember that the ultimate victory has already been won, we can claim the peace of Christ in the most troublesome times. (NLT)

John 16:32-33 – [Jesus said] “But the time is coming—in fact, it is already here-when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

The Lord said, “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river.” –Isaiah 4:18 (NIV)

Susan Thogerson Maas (Oregon) titled her story “LISTENING TO THE RIVER;” here is a portion of Susan’s story:

“As I stood on the bank of smooth, white pebbles, the river surged past . . . The river’s steady roar filled me with peace. . . . Now we were taking one last walk before heading home. Each time a big truck rumbled past on the nearby road, the noise made me turn and look, disturbing my pensive mood. Then a thought dropped into my mind. Listen to the river. Walking back to the car, I considered those words, and their meaning became clear. If I want to keep my peaceful feeling, I need to focus on the beauty of the river, not the distracting noises.

“God’s presence is like a river running through our lives. But life, like that road, is filled with distractions. Troubling news stories, illness, and other personal struggles may bring worry; daily routines involving work, school, and family require our attention. However, when we ‘listen to the river’ – by reading the Bible, meditating on its meaning, and praying regularly – we can find God’s peace, even in the midst of a busy life.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How will I “listen to the river” of God’s peace today?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the peace only you can give. Help us to focus beyond life’s distractions to see you. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE SEARCHING FOR PEACE

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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We will stumble if we look away from Him to stare at ourselves

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, July 13, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

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. (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 he 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.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. –Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Juan Julio Baez (Dominican Republic) titled his story “EXCESS BAGGAGE;” here is a portion of his story:

“One day when I was looking for a particular pair of slacks, the closet was so full I could not find them. . . .

“My overflowing closet resembles what sometimes happens in our lives. In our hearts we may store up envy, resentment, bitterness, and hurt – excess baggage that keeps us from becoming the people God wants us to be. Today is a good day to free our hearts from everything that does us harm and to seek a genuine relationship with God.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).

Prayer: Almighty God, come dwell in our hearts. Help us release what is not pleasing in your sight so that we may find strength and gladness in you. We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV).

Prayer Focus: TO RELEASE SPIRITUAL CLUTTER

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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You are not left to your own resources to cope with problems

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, July 12, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

As a believer, you are not left to your own resources to cope with problems. Even when you don’t know the right words to pray, the Holy Spirit prays with and for you, and God answers. With God helping you pray, you don’t need to be afraid to come before him. Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you “in harmony with God’s own will.” Then, when you bring your requests to God trust that he will always do what is best. (NLT)

Romans 8:18-27 – Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

The psalmist wrote, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” –Psalm 121:2 (NIV)

Karen Woodard (North Carolina) titled her story “OUR INTERCESSOR;” here is a portion of Karen’s story:

“I usually begin each new year with a feeling of excitement at the chance for new beginnings. But the first month of 2014 did not hold much hope. My four-year-old son, Ben, was lying helpless in a hospital bed with a traumatic brain injury. . . .

“I couldn’t see past the situation. Although I could feel that God was there in that dark place with us, I found that I couldn’t manage more than a frantic prayer that I muttered over and over: ‘God, please help us.’ . . .

“The Spirit knows our innermost thoughts, our feelings, and the desires of our hearts and conveys them all to the Creator of the universe on our behalf. When we are at our weakest and don’t have the words, the Spirit will intercede for us. The Spirit is always there, our constant helper. Even in the most helpless moments, that kind of love fills me with peace and hope.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I don’t have the words, the Spirit intercedes for me.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of your Holy Spirit who intercedes for us when we are at our weakest. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Turning points in our past to help us through the present

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, July 11, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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:

The Israelites had great difficulty with the Philistines, but God rescued them. In response, the people set up a stone as a memorial of God’s great help and deliverance. During tough times, we may need to remember the crucial turning points in our past to help us through the present. Memorials can help us remember God’s past victories and gain confidence and strength for the present. (NLT)

1 Samuel 7:8-12 – “Plead with the Lord our God to save us from the Philistines!” they begged Samuel. So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered.

Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived for battle. But the Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.

Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—“the stone of help”—for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”

Samuel took a stone . . . and named it Ebenezer; for he said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” –1 Samuel 7:12 (NRSV)

Deb Vellines (Missouri) titled her story “EBENEZER;” here is a portion of Deb’s story:

“. . . I had no idea what Ebenezer meant. Then I read today’s scripture and learned that Ebenezer refers to a stone memorial that Samuel built to remind the people how much God had helped them. The word means ‘Stone of Help.’

“I recognize the Lord’s daily help when I look back at my journals, which I now think of as ‘Ebenezer journals.’ Each day I make a list of ten things I am thankful for from the day before. I also make a list of prayer requests. The thank-you lists are often answers to the requests. No matter the year or date, as I flip open the pages I am always struck by God’s faithfulness. I am especially thankful for these records on days when I question God’s answers – or lack of answers.

“When we remember God’s help ‘thus far,’ then, like Samuel, we can give thanks. And as we raise our Ebenezers, we need not doubt that help will come.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – What can I use as a reminder of God’s faithfulness?

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for hearing our prayers. Help us to trust your faithfulness. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING WITH DOUBT

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Let your good deeds shine out for all to see

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – July 10, 2018

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

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, “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” –Matthew 5:16 (NLT)

Can you hide a city that is sitting on top of a mountain? Its light at night can be seen for miles. If we live for Christ, we will glow like lights, showing others what Christ is like.   We hide our light by (1) being quiet when we should speak, (2) going along with the crowd, (3) denying the light, (4) letting sin dim our light, (5) not explaining our light to others, or (6) ignoring the needs of others. Be a beacon of truth—don’t shut your light off from the rest of the world. (NLT)

Matthew 5:14-16 – [Jesus said] “You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

God, who said, “Let light sine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts. –2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

Steven Cohen (California) titled his story “THE LIVERMORE LIGHT BULB;” here is a portion of Steven’s story:

“Fire station #6 in Livermore, California, draws visitors from all over the globe. They come to see the world’s most famous light bulb, a 60-watt bulb installed in 1901 which has been shining for over 115 years. . . . Physicists discovered that the bulb’s filament, the heart of the bulb, is about eight times thicker than that of an ordinary bulb, giving it extraordinary durability. . . .

“That light bulb in Livermore is a tangible reminder for me that if we consider the words of Jesus, we’ll want to let others see the loving light of God constantly shining through us.

“Like the filament in that bulb, God calls us to radiate light continuously, year after year. Jesus said, ‘You are the light of the world,’ and ‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’ (Matt. 5:14, 16). It is our privilege to glorify God and to share God’s light with others so they may glorify God as well.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How will I glorify God today?

Prayer: Jesus, Light of the World, help us to share your light of love with those who pass through our lives. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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