Do not fret!
Your priorities are different from your friend’s priorities.
I did not create you to be the same.
I have given both of you different jobs to do
and different roles to play.
Your gifts, abilities and talents complement each other.
Be content with your sphere of responsibility.
It is my delight to give you good things.
Enjoy all life has to offer you today.
You will enjoy freedom in your work.
Affirm each other’s talents.
1 Corinthians 12:4, 5 (NIV) “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
Do you have family or friends who are very talented in areas which make you wonder why God did not bless you with that gift? Some people are very organized and I am not. My brother plays the piano and sings beautifully, I do not.
However, God has given me other talents to use in His service. Just like all the parts of our physical bodies work in unison, we too work together to accomplish His purposes.
“At the moment I have everything I need – and more!…And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:18,19 (NLT)
I, your Lord, walked the dusty roads of Israel.
Paul was bound in chains!
Remember when Silas and Paul were severely beaten and thrown into prison?
In those days there was no electricity, no running water,
nor the vast array of groceries you have in your house.
Yet, Paul did not complain!
I want you to thank me for all the blessings of your present life.
As I read the scripture above, I realize Paul was under house arrest. He did not ask to be released and actually felt he had everything he wanted. I want to learn to be more thankful as we are so blessed in this country.
There is an old song “Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman: the last two phrases are
“Count your blessings – name them one by one;
count your blessings – see what God has done.”
When we make thankfulness part of our devotional time, we do see how many answers to prayer God grants. I am thankful for the Lord Jesus who cared enough to come to earth, for the precious Word of God, for sunshine today, a friend to walk with, the food we eat, an acquaintance who stopped over to visit and so much more. Some friends make lists and count over two thousand blessings God provides!! I usually have three to four answers to prayer or unexpected pleasures for which I am grateful the Lord provided each day.
My child, I love you and yes, I want to help.
My Word says that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain.’
Trust in Me…
You have told Me the desires of your heart.
I know it seems My walk is a difficult pathway.
There are mountains to climb.
Sometimes, tears dim your eyes and you stumble over rocks along the way.
Remember, however, I am with you always.
I do give my angels to guard you as well.
Although the trail is rough and, at times, there are not many fellow travelers,
Yet, one day, we will welcome you home!
Psalms 91:11,12 (NLT) “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”
Scapegoat, a photo by Immagina on Flickr.
I am very thankful to the Lord for His Word and Holy Spirit which comforts us each day as we struggle with difficulties. As I reread this portion I thought of Hannah Hurnard’s book “Hind’s Feet on High Places”. It is an allegory which illustrates our walk with our loving Good Shepherd. Too often I complain, yet I realize those tests and trials help change me as I take the time to wait in His Presence.
Some time ago I was going through a small dark valley and in “listening” to that still small voice, I heard in my heart the following:
My child, when you constantly dwell on the negative things in life,
you will naturally become depressed.
You can choose to count your blessings or you can wallow in self-pity.
It is your choice!
I came to set you free.
I want to show you the ways of love.
Will you, like Paul say “Forgetting the past I press on?”
He had far more things to regret than you do.
His life could have been one of defeat.
Yet, by my grace, he did not dwell on his former life.
And was able to teach many about the truths of life-freeing,
Love does cover a multitude of sins.
Learn to love as I have loved you.
PHIL 3:13,14 (NIV) …One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
The title for this devotional comes from a popular song of the 40′s and 50′s.
“Accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative
And don’t mess with Mr. In Between!”
It seems to illustrate the scripture very well and can bring a smile to the face of some of us old-timers who recall listening to those words. And for those who never heard it, Here’s a link to a great rendition!
The Andrew Sisters & Bing Crosby-Accentuate The Positive – YouTube.
Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Trust
Tagged Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, God's Help, Grace, Obedience, Paul, Peace, Regrets, strength, trust, Worry
How many times have I promised you my direction and help?
The patriarchs believed and followed my commands.
My ways are not always easy.
Many times you will get weary on the journey.
Be assured Sarah and Abraham tired on their trip from Ur to Canaan.
Sarah had left behind a beautiful home and then resided in tents.
My followers realize there is satisfaction in obeying my words.
They seek to please Me.
I have ordered your steps and prepared the way.
Your obedience is pleasing to Me.
Follow Me and you will be astonished by my provision along the way.
I love you.
Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV) “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
image, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.
In 1976, we emigrated from Canada to the United States and decided we would camp in a tent for two or three weeks on our way to Florida. It was a challenging experience for me.
For that reason I was glad when my husband was diagnosed with ALS and decided to travel full-time, it was in a truck and fifth-wheel. Like Sarah we gave up a beautiful home on a canal to live in approximately 300 square feet for the next ten years. The blessing is that I learned to be content with a simpler lifestyle and he has lived for nearly 19 years since the doctors declared he probably had only one or two years!!! God does prepare a way!! And like Abraham and Sarah, we look forward to our home in heaven with God.
Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Folowing Jesus, Heb. 11:8-10, Tenting, Travel - RV
Tagged Abraham, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, God's Help, Guidance, Obedience, strength, trust
My child, I told you I would make a way for you.
Be diligent and accomplish the task I have for you.
Do not neglect the gift I have given you.
I will direct your pathway.
You have chosen to follow Me and honor Me with your life.
I only need willing vessels.
I will pour My love through you to many hearts.
Do not despair if My promises are long in coming to fruition.
Every day you work you come closer to the prize.
I love you very much.
Your prayers and thanksgiving reach the throne room of God himself.
I will answer those petitions.
I know you often marvel at My goodness and care.
As a mother cares for her beloved children, I care for you.
Be obedient to the dream I have placed within your heart.
Earthen vessels, a photo by heyyu on Flickr.
I Timothy 4:14(a),15 (NLT) “Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received…Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”
Yes, my child, I do know life on this earth is difficult.
After giving up the benefits and privileges of heaven,
I only experienced thirty-three years on earth.
Yet, it was long enough to experience the pain and anguish of people.
You have glimpsed a portion of your eternal home.
You were very awed and blessed!
As you go through this trial, fix your mind on the things that are lovely.
It will make this day brighter.
white butterfly, a photo by catlovers on Flickr.
There is a song which says “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.”
I trust as you go through this day you will allow your mind to think on things that are lovely, admirable and worthy of praise to diminish the impact of your problems.
I am trying to find those “unforced rhythms of grace”, but it is harder than I expected. I am trying to learn what the Lord’s Rest is actually like in practice. One of my “blogging” pals has offered to edit some of my blogs and today I am using a “listening” from my brother Dan. I hope you will enjoy it.
My son, give Me your heart. If your heart belongs to Me, I will take care of the rest. There is so much more in store for My people. But many do not access My throne of grace. Come boldly to your Lord Jesus and you will find grace to help in time of need. Be at peace, My child, for only in My peace will you find the rest and hope you need!
Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Posted in Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Folowing Jesus, Graceful Living, Hebrews 4:16, Rest
Tagged Encouragement, Guidance, Obedience, Peace, Rest, Throne of Grace
Thank you for reading my blogs and the many who have shared, liked or made comments on my blogs. I realize everyone is very busy these days.
I will be back February 25, 12014 and look forward to re-connecting with you then.
My child, I love to see you excited!
I will help you as you sort out your priorities.
You learn as you sit at my feet.
You learn as you read my Word.
“To learn and never be filled, is wisdom; to teach and never be weary, is love.” – Author Unknown, a photo by Brian Metcalfe on Flickr.
The fourth step in the book “The Hour that Changes the World ” by Dick Eastman is reading the Word. I asked the Lord to help me make a decision whether to teach a Sunday School Class at my church for January and February. I hesitated to add one more thing to an already busy schedule.
Then I read 1 Timothy 4:11-14 (NLT) “Teach those things…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures…encouraging the believers, and teaching them.”
I discovered God can give me direction from His Holy Scriptures. It was very exciting and the class this Sunday went well.