He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, June 17, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

In this story, the father watched and waited. He was dealing with a human being with a will of his own, but he was ready to greet his son if he returned. In the same way, God’s love is constant and patient and welcoming. He will search for us and give us opportunities to respond, but he will not force us to come to him. Like the father in this story, God waits patiently for us to come to our senses. (NLT)

Luke 15:11-20 – To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.

He ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. –Luke 15:20 (NIV)

Pascual P. Torres’ (Cortés, Honduras) story is titled “FULL OF LIFE AGAIN;” here is a portion of Pascual’s story:

“In our HIV/AIDS clinic, we maintain a rose garden to honor the patients we serve. . . .

“One day I found, to my dismay, that someone had carelessly walked through the garden and trampled two rose bushes. . . . I saw one terribly damaged white rose with some buds lying in the mud. I picked it up, filled a glass jar with water, and placed the lifeless rose in it. . . . A few hours later, the rose and its leaves were fully extended, the buds had opened up, and its full beauty was on display.

“The lesson in this for me is that no matter in what condition God finds us, we can rest assured that God will embrace us and attend to us lovingly. Through our small acts of compassion, we can find a new sense of purpose so that we can flourish and let the beauty of God’s love show through us.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – No life is too broken for God to make it new.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for creating us anew. Help us to shine your love into a world so desperately in need of it. 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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Let us rejoice and be glad in it

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, June 16, 2017

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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:

There are days when the last thing we want to do is rejoice. Our mood is down, our situation is out of hand, and our sorrow or guilt is overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of the psalms who often felt this way. But no matter how low the psalmists felt, they were always honest with God. And as they talked to God, their prayers ended in praise. When you don’t feel like rejoicing, tell God how you truly feel. You will find that God will give you a reason to rejoice. God has given you this day to live and to serve him—be glad! (NLT)

Psalm 118:21-24 – I thank you for answering my prayer and saving me!

The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s ding, and it is marvelous to see. This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice nd be glad in it. –Psalm 118:24 (NRSV)

Courtney Hill Gulbro (Alabama) titled her story “JOY IN TIMES OF STRESS;” here is a portion of Courtney’s story:

“My husband and I were going through some difficult times with work-related stress and financial worries. . . .

“One morning as I was meditating, the verse quoted above came to my mind. For the first time in a while, I thought about joys that I could find in the world every day. I remembered that a walk in the woods had brought me close to the fresh scent of trees and soil, the musical sound of birds conversing, and the feeling of a gentle breeze across my face. And it didn’t cost a dime!

“Scripture helped me realize that every day can bring something to enjoy, if I will only look for it. In time my husband and I got back into the habit of seeing God’s gifts right in front of us, and that went a long way toward easing our stress. The Lord has created many reasons to rejoice and be glad within this day and every day.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God made today, and that is a reason to rejoice!

Prayer: Loving Father, help us to allow the joy of your world to reach us even during times of stress. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY

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 will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, June 15 , 2017

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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 was soon going to leave the disciples, but he would remain with them. How could this be? The Counselor—the Spirit of God himself—would come after Jesus was gone to care for and guide the disciples. The regenerating power of the Spirit came on the disciples just before Jesus’ ascension, and the Spirit was poured out on all the believers at Pentecost, shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven. The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us and all believers, helping us live as God wants and building Christ’s church on earth. By faith we can appropriate the Spirit’s power each day. (NLT)

John 14:15-20 – [Jesus said] “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will, too. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27 (NIV)

Christine Henderson (Texas) titled her story “THE PERFECT GIFT OF LOVE;” here is a portion of Christine’s story:

“When my grandparents retired and decided to move into a smaller home, they asked extended family members to come and choose some special mementos from the items that they couldn’t take with them. One of the items I chose was a colorful candy dish. . . . When I look at that candy dish, I am reminded of her love for me.

“God also considers each of us special and has an abundance of gifts and blessings to give us. God’s blessings come to us in many different ways if we are open to receiving them. They come as the gift of a friend who lends a listening ear, the beauty of a new flower in bloom, or the many second chances God offers. God is a perfect parent who showers us with love. God is always ready to hear from us and forgive us when we come with an open heart.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will give thanks for the many blessings God has given me.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the gift of eternal life paid for by the death of your son, our Lord Jesus. 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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We should concentrate on all we can do to show our love

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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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 if we truly love God and our neighbor, we will naturally keep the commandments. This is looking at God’s law positively. Rather than worrying about all we should not do, we should concentrate on all we can do to show our love for God and others. (NLT)

Matthew 22:36-40 – “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. –Matthew 7:2 (NIV)

Jeff Adams (Arizona) titled his story “PERSPECTIVES;” here is Jeff’s story:

“The way we see God affects the way we see ourselves. If we imagine God to be a demanding boss, we expect to be rewarded or punished based on our performance. But if we believe that God is a loving father, we see ourselves as children – imperfect, yet adored.

“Focusing on our flaws, faults, and failures can lead us to see the same imperfections in others. When we are unkind, impatient, and irritable toward others, it’s often because we treat ourselves the same way. If we have trouble forgiving ourselves, we may also tend to hang on to the wrongs others have done to us.

“Recently I looked in the mirror and saw a man I didn’t like, a man who wasn’t always polite or friendly. But God didn’t see what I saw. As I stared at my reflection, I felt God whisper, ‘You should speak to that man in the mirror gently and pray for him with compassion. You should love that man – because I do.’

“God doesn’t ignore our sins; God forgives us. And we can do the same – for ourselves and for others.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Because God loves me, I can love myself.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us see what you see and do what you do. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE STRUGGLING TO LOVE THEMSELVES

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

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He has helped me

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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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:

A desire for God’s presence, provision, and protection. No matter where we are, our desire should be for God because only He satisfies fully. (NLT) He has helped me.

Psalm 63:1-11 – O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest of foods. I will praise you with songs of joy.

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings. I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin. They will go down into the depths of the earth. They will die by the sword and become the food of jackals.

But the king will rejoice in God. All who trust in him will praise him, while liars will be silenced.

David wrote, “God, . . . earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, . . . . On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, . . . . I cling to you.” –Psalm 63:1, 6-8 (NIV)

Laurie LaCross (California) titled her story “GOD IS NEAR;” here is a portion of Laurie’s story:

“A year had passed since Brion, my husband, died. My heart was still profoundly broken. One night, grief overwhelmed me. My Bible was beside me, but almost defiantly I pointed to the empty pillow, ‘God, I don’t want to read my Bible! I want to see Brion’s face. That’s what I want!’ At first I was shocked by my own words, and then I felt refreshed with the strong sense that God was hearing my cry. A sense of peace filled me.

“. . . Amid my overwhelming sorrow, I understood that God’s nearness was all I needed. God was present, and that indescribably presence brought me comfort.

“I have learned that God meets us in those desert places of brokenness – the time of our greatest need. I have found God to be enough and very near. I no longer feel alone. Instead, I am protected in God’s perfect love.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God hears the cries of my deepest loss.

Prayer: God of all comfort, thank you for seeing our need and hearing our cries. Help us to cling to you always. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE GRIEVING A SPOUSE

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

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Acts of mercy do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, June 12, 2017

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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, that 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:

This parable describes acts of mercy we all can do every day. These acts of mercy do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence; they are simple acts freely given and freely received. We have no excuse to neglect those who have deep needs, and we cannot hand over this responsibility to the church or government. Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for others’ needs. (NLT)

Matthew 25:31-46 – [Jesus said] “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Then the King will say to those on the right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.   I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ And he will answer, ‘I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Give to those who ask, and don’t refuse those who wish to borrow from you. –Matthew 5:42 (CEB)

Will Pepper (Mississippi) titled his story “THE LORD’S GOOD WORK;” here is a portion of Will’s story:

“One day as I was leaving the grocery story, a man recognized me from my teaching days. He introduced himself and asked if I could give him a lift to a nearby gas station. On the drive he told me about his broken truck and that he needed to borrow a little money to tow it to his buddy’s shop, where it would be fixed for free. Upon arrival, he asked to borrow just a bit more money for gas. I thought, Why does he need gas for a broken truck?

“This man had asked for a ride, money, and finally more money. I said a silent prayer and gave him more than he asked for. . . . As I drove off, I felt I had been conned.

“Not until I prayed out loud, ‘Lord, help that money to do good,’ did I feel better about the situation. It didn’t matter whether he was telling the truth about the truck. One of God’s children was trying desperately to make it in the world – and he had asked me for help.

“I have come to understand that helping someone and then expecting something in return is doing business, not showing God’s love. I pray that my act of compassion did what it was meant to do: the Lord’s good work.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Showing God’s love through acts of compassion is its own reward.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us overcome our harsh judgment of others, and show us how to help when you call us to give assistance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer Focus: TO SHOW COMPASSION, NOT JUDGMENT

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

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Do not depend on your own understanding

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, June 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, that 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:

We gain wisdom through a constant process of growing. First, we must trust and honor God. Second, we must realize that the Bible reveals God’s wisdom to us. Third, we must make a life-long series of right choices and avoid moral pitfalls. Fourth, when we make sinful choices or mistakes, we must learn from our errors and recover. People don’t develop all aspects of wisdom at once. For example, some people have more insight than discretion; others have more knowledge than common sense. But we can pray for all aspects of wisdom and take the steps to develop them in our life. (NLT)

Proverbs 3:5-10 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn your back on evil. Then you will gain renewed health and vitality.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine.

Trust in the Lord with all your hert, and do not rely on your own insight. –Proverbs 3:5 (NRSV)

Joseph H. Prater IV (North Carolina) titled his story “WAVING THE FLAG;” here is a portion of Joseph’s story:

“Like many other places, my hometown has a maze, cut into a field of corn. This corn maze covers six acres and can be very confusing and difficult to complete. Each person or group who begins the journey is given a flag to carry along the way. . . .

“Like the person in the tower, God watches over us all to ensure that we do not get lost. When we ‘wave our flags’ by praying for guidance, we are not leaning on our own insight but putting our trust in the Lord. When times are tough, and we feel lost, we don’t have to be afraid to ‘wave the flag’ and seek help from the Lord.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Anytime I feel lost, I can ask God for guidance and help.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to lean on you and not on our own understanding. Show us your love and mercy. As Jesus taught us, we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:2-4, KJV). 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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