He is good; His faithful love endures forever

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

Confidence in God’s eternal love; God’s love is unchanging in the midst of changing situations. This gives us security. (NLT)

Psalm 118:26-29 – Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, shining upon us. Bring forward the sacrifice and put it on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Mackenzie Jager (Michigan) titled her story “CHOOSING JOY;” here is Mackenzie’s story:

“I spent one summer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan planning and leading children’s activities. Before I arrived I imagined that the other staff members would be friendly, that the children would behave angelically, and that I would spend my free time at the lake.

“As it turned out, the staff rarely acknowledged me, the kids refused to listen to directions and ran wild, and the weather was cold, overcast, and rainy most of the month. I became bitter and discontented as I longed for the summer that I had imagines and felt I deserved.

“I went for a walk on one of the rare sunny days, bundled up in sweatpants and a hoodie, and stood on the bridge over the cove. As I looked at God’s creation, I was astounded by the contrast between the tiny detail in the flower petals and the massive hundred-year-old trees. I exchanged my discontent for gratitude and joy.

“Every moment of the day, we have a choice: to compare life to our expectations or to thank God for what we have been given. We can rejoice in the small adventures and surprises that God hides inside every day for us to discover if we only give that day a chance.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I can choose to give thanks joyfully for God’s love each day.

Prayer: Dear God, fill our hearts with your peace and joy, and teach us to treat each day as a gift. Amen.

Prayer Focus: CAMP COUNSELORS

To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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How grateful we should be for His kindness to us

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, May 15, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

When we trust in Christ, we make an exchange: He takes our sin and makes us right with God. Our sin was laid on Christ at his crucifixion. His righteousness is given to us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade his righteousness for our sin—something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless. How grateful we should be for His kindness to us. (NLT)

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – What this means is that those who become Christians become new person. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone.   A new life has begun!

All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NRSV)

John I Penn (Georgia) titled his story “THE NEW ME;here is a portion of John’s story:

“One of my favorite places to study the Bible and to spend my devotional time is in the room adjoining our kitchen, near a fireplace and lots of windows. In this peaceful and picturesque space . . . As I look into the morning sky, my attention is drawn to the moving clouds that are constantly changing in size and shape.

“The cloud formations remind me that God is always creating and recreating, making all things new. Since Christ came into my life, I have radically changed. The old me is being transformed into a new creation. Daily I am dying to my old self – the me who tried to live life by my own strength and power. This by no means has been easy. My life is a work in progress. I am not yet what I ought to be, but thanks to God I am not what I used to be. Through God’s amazing grace and transforming power, God is shaping me into the image of Jesus Christ.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Abundant life begins with accepting God’s love and saving grace.

Prayer: Creator God, thank you for looking beyond our faults and seeing our need for salvation. Forgive us and guide us daily as we seek to grow in the likeness of Christ. 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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Simple faith needed to believe

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 14, 2017

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

Today’s scripture reading:

The disciples must have forgotten what Jesus had said about children. Jesus wanted little children to come to him because he loves them and because they have a guileless trust in God. He didn’t mean that heaven is only for children but that all people need childlike faith in God. The receptiveness of little children was a great contrast to the stubbornness of the religious leaders, who let their education and sophistication stand in the way of the simple faith needed to believe in Jesus. (NLT)

Matthew 19:13-15 – Some children were brought to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. The disciples told them not to bother him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” And he put his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.

Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6 (CEB)

Rebeca Boyadjian Fahmazian (Uruguay) titled her story “SEEDS OF FAITH;” here is a portion of Rebeca’s story:

“. . . I give thanks to God for my parents and their legacy of family prayer.

“I remember with fondness each night when my mother would place a worn carpet on the floor. She, my father, my three siblings, and I would sit in a circle as my mother read a daily devotional. Then she would open her Bible and read the scripture in her language. We all listened attentively. We would offer our reflections, and then my mother would ask us to join in a prayer.

“Today I begin each day reading a portion of scripture along with the daily devotional from . . . The Upper Room. The meditations and life experiences of our brothers and sisters around the world enrich my life. I treasure the seeds of faith my mother planted in us – the discipline of devotional reflection, Bible reading, and prayer. Her great faith continues to inspire me and keeps me centered on God’s will for my life.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How might I plant the seed of faith in another?

Prayer: Creator God, thank you for the teachings and guidance of those whose faith has created the foundation of our own spiritual formation. 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 can minister to your deepest needs

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, May 13, 2017

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

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

After 38 years, this man’s problem had become a way of life. No one had ever helped him. He had no hope of ever being healed. The man’s situation looked hopeless. But no matter how trapped you fill in your infirmities, He can minister to your deepest needs. Don’t let a problem or hardship cause to you to lose hope. God may have special work for you to do in spite of your condition, or even because of it. Many have ministered effectively to hurting people because they have triumphed over their own hurts. (NLT)

John 5:1-9 – Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!”

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day.

At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. –John 5:9 (NIV)

Sherri Tuck (Virginia) titled her story “NO ONE TO HELP;” here is a portion of Sherri’s story:

“. . . This passage from John’s Gospel reminds us that no matter how hard we try, some things cannot be accomplished without the help of Christ. Too often I have tried to succeed on my own, only to have someone ‘[go] down ahead of me.’ Eventually, Jesus has come along to tell me to ‘pick up [my] mat’ and to trust his way and his power for my life.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Christ stands ready to help me.

Prayer: Father God, thank you for being with us; we cannot make it on our own. 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 rewards the faithful with joy

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, May 12, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

Although the Bible invites us to praise God, we often aren’t sure how to go about it. Here, several ways are suggested: by singing, dancing, or playing musical instruments. God enjoys His people, and we should enjoy praising Him. (NLT)

Psalm 149:1-5 – Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful. O Israel, rejoice in our Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King. Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp. For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the faithful rejoice in this honor. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. –Colossians 3:23-24 (NRSV)

Ibifubara Okoseimiema’s (Rivers State, Nigeria) story is titled “UNFLINCHING DEVOTION;” here is a portion of Ibifubara’s story:

“My elder brother, Ajagaboka, takes great delight in his service to God. Most weekends, he wakes up early and joins the women in our local church in keeping the chapel clean. . . .

“As Ajagaboka has served, God has opened a new door for him. He was awarded a scholarship to study for a master’s degree in agriculture at the University of Kent. After completing his 14-month-long studies, Ajagaboka returned to Nigeria and continued with his unflinching devotion to and ministry for God.

“. . . Through my brother’s example, the words of the scripture quoted above came alive for all of us in a new way. His continued dedication has inspired a younger generation to devote their time in service to God and to their brothers and sisters wherever they find them.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God rewards the faithful with joy.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to work humbly in your service so that all may know you are God. 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 wants His people to do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL Thursday, May 11, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

People have tried all kinds of ways to please God, but God has made his wishes clear: He wants His people to do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. In your efforts to please God, examine these areas on a regular basis. Are you fair in your dealings with people? Do you show mercy to those who wrong you? Are you learning humility? (NLT)

Micah 6:6-8 – What can we bring to the Lord to make up for what we’ve done? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and tens of thousands of rivers of olive oil? Would that please the Lord? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for the sins of our souls? Would that make him glad?

No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. –Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Philip A., Rice (Michigan) titled his story “UNCHANGING VALUES;” here is a portion of Philip’s story:

“. . . Some parts of our lives can be a matter of individual choice: clothes, food, hobbies. But for Christians, compassion, honesty, peace-seeking, and justice are non-negotiable. We are called by Jesus to practice compassion and honesty, to seek peace and justice, and to be loyal to God in every situation. These ways of Christian living are as unchanging as the cardinal points on the compass. They are the standards by which Jesus lived and to which Jesus has called us to live.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Jesus calls me to a life of compassion, honesty, peace, and justice.

Prayer: Thank you, Holy One, for all the opportunities you put before us. Help us to honor Jesus’ call for peace and compassion as we pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Amen. (Matt. 6:9-13, NIV).

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

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Thanking God for all His blessings

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s scripture reading:

God had always loved Israel as a parent loves a stubborn child, and that is why he would not release Israel from the consequences of its behavior.

God had consistently provided for his people, but they refused to see what he had done, and they showed no interest in thanking him. Ungratefulness is a common human fault. For example, when was the last time you thanked your parents for caring for you; your pastor for the service he gives your church; your child’s teacher for the care taken with each day’s activities; your heavenly Father for his guidance? Many of the benefits and privileges we enjoy are the result of loving actions done long ago. Look for hidden acts of nurturing, and thank those who make the world better through their love. But begin by thanking God for all His blessings. (NLT)

Hosea 11:1-4 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called to him, the more he rebelled, offering sacrifices to the images of Baal and burning incense to idols. It was I who taught Israel how to walk, leading him along by the hand. But he doesn’t know or even care that it was I who took care of him. I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him.”

The Lord says, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” –Isaiah 66:13 (NRSV)

Alina Kanaski (Pennsylvania) titled her story “GOD, THE MOTHER;” here is a portion of Alina’s story:

“. . . I love the image of God as a mother, there for her children all the time, caring for them and sacrificing for them. God is our protector; but God is also our comforter and sustainer.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is both mother and father for us.

Prayer: God, our protector and sustainer, thank you for caring for us, your children. Thank you for images that give us a deeper understanding of you. 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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