“…Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, is
and the power
and the glory
and the victory
and the majesty,
indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;
Yours is the dominion,
O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all,
and in Your hand is power and might;
and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
I still remember the first time I really cut loose and praised God. It was late, well after everyone in the house had gone to bed. I had been reading my Bible and had spent some time in prayer. But suddenly something welled up inside of me and I had so much love and gratitude just wanting to burst out and show Him how thankful I was that He had saved my soul.
I remember as I got up from my chair and quietly stood in the middle of the living room in the dark. I just stood there for what seemed like the longest time. I don’t know why I was so self conscious, there was no one around. Just me and God. Then, slowly, I raised my hands, just a little at first, but then I fully stretched my arms out to Heaven, and started to praise His glorious name, speaking words that came pouring out, deep from within my heart. It felt amazing! I felt so vulnerable, yet so free, so forgiven, so loved, so in touch and enveloped by God Himself. He was hearing me and seeing me and loving me.
His Word says He inhabits the praises of His people and I experienced it on this day, and now I know this to be true.
Do you remember a time when you longed to worship the Lord because of all He is and all He has done for you? How did you respond? What is your favorite way to worship Him? I would love to hear from you in the “comment” section below.
Inspired to Cherish
We all have twenty-four hours on this first day of September. I’m going to take at least one of my hours and write out Psalm 150 in a special journal. Will you join me? Remember to write it slowly, taking in each word and writing in your very best hand.
I would love to spend time in prayer and meditation with you. Let’s imagine God in His sanctuary. Think about all the things He has done for us. As we feel the thankfulness and gratitude well up inside, let’s try a new form of worship; sing a new song, dance before the Lord as David did, or maybe lift our hands and praise His glorious name. You might even want to do all three! See yourself praising Him before His throne in Heaven. Let go. Cut loose and let your whole self – body, soul and spirit, praise God.
He is worthy to be praised!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”
I think you would agree that the flesh sure demands a lot of attention. As Paul states above in his letter to believers, the flesh has passions and desires, and it can quickly become boastful, challenging, and envious. It reminds me of a spoiled child, manipulating, whining, and arguing. It won’t be still or content. It knows no rest. One minute it wants this, the next it wants that. It refuses to be happy, even when it does get what it wants. Can you relate to me if I said I wanted a small treat of ice cream in the evening and then had a strong desire to have potato chips immediately afterward?
I understand all too well what Paul meant when he said, “…the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit…”. Sometimes it feels impossible to obey God, even when deep inside I want to do what’s right.
I was so glad to discover in the Scriptures a way to calm my flesh and teach it to be still. It requires listening to God’s Holy Spirit within and obeying Him. This is how believers can crucify the flesh with its strong passions and desires. We choose to live by what the Spirit wants instead of what the flesh wants. It’s not easy. It’s a daily battle, and a life-long one. It takes confession and repentance when we don’t obey God, remembering that God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take a moment now to read the entire chapter of Romans 8 and then write out verses 12 through 14 in our personal journals. Allow yourself to slow down and really take in the words God is speaking through Paul to us. If you have the time, maybe you would like to write out all of Romans 8!
These verses in Romans are an excellent reminder that as believers, we are not under obligation to the flesh. It also tells us that when we choose to obey God’s Spirit instead of our fleshly desires, we are putting to death the deeds of our body. Personally, this gives me wonderful hope that my desire to obey the Spirit will grow stronger than my desire to obey my flesh as I practice daily obedience to God.
I have found it very helpful to be able to recite the fruit of the Spirit when I am being tempted to live by my flesh. If you have not memorized Galatians 5:22, you may want to write it on a 3 x 5 card and post it on your mirror where you can read it two or three times a day. It won’t take long and you will have it down, and you’ll be better prepared for the next battle.
Thank you so much for joining me during the month of September. Please leave your thoughts in the “Comment” section below. I look forward to spending tomorrow with you for “September Devotion”, Day 3!
“Therefore, putting aside
and all deceit
and all slander,
like newborn babies,
long for the pure milk of the word,
so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
1 Peter 2:1-3
When my husband and I were new Christians, I remember driving along the Puget Sound talking about how amazing it would be to read the Bible every day, naturally, with no struggles – to just do it, like eating when you’re hungry. At that time we could not even imagine the Bible being Daily Bread for our very souls. We knew it was important, but we didn’t know how important. We also did not know that conversation was the beginning of a longing for the pure milk of the Word that would literally change the way we lived our lives.
Not too long after this, we committed to participating in a church-wide fast. It was during that fast I made a change in my life that provided time of reading God’s Word daily and I believe it was one of the best decisions I have made as a Christian. God has answered the desire of my heart from so long ago and it makes a huge difference for me daily.
Something happens to our faith when we read the Bible regularly. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” When we feel weak in our faith, or feel that we are not growing in regards to our salvation, we must pray that God will help us to long for the pure milk of the Word.
Inspired to Cherish
I love to read Psalm 119. There’s just something in the words of the psalmist that reveal so clearly his longing for God’s Word in his life.
Today let’s read all of Psalm 119 and then write verses 129-136 in our personal journals. Take it slowly, and write it as if you are writing a love prayer to God, writing His very words back to Him. It’s beautiful.
Now let’s read these verses out loud to God. Make it a personal prayer. Let’s own the words and cherish them, as if we are the psalmist, desiring and longing for the pure milk of the Word that we might grow into mature children of God.
Thank you for spending another day in September cherishing the Word of God with me. It’s wonderful and I am enjoying it greatly. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I really do love to hear from you.
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
I remember when I was in the sixth grade and I skipped school for many days. My life was hard at that time. My parents were separated and going through a divorce and I was having a hard time dealing with it all.
Even though I was not a Christian, I prayed to God, making a deal that if He would keep me from being found out, I would go to school the next day. Well, “the next day” came, several times, and I was not found in school, and as the Bible says, “You can be sure your sin will find you out.”, and I did get found out! My attempt to keep it all in the dark, only kept me miserable.
I don’t remember much about my punishment, except dreading it, but afterwards I distinctly remember feeling relieved and happier. My dark secret had been brought into the light and it felt good. It seems funny that the very thing I feared brought restoration and peace.
Have you ever had a time where you lived in a dark, secret place? Were you truly happy there, or did you live in misery as I found myself doing? Did you make any deals with God there in that dark place? Do you remember feeling the desire for someone to find you out and release you from the bondage?
Inspired to Cherish
Today, let’s write out 1 John 1:5-7 in our personal journals and take some time to break it down as much as we can by writing the following questions under the verses in our journal and then answering them using only 1 John 1:5-7 – I find it helpful to also record the verse I found my answer in.
- What is the message that John (and the other disciples) heard from Jesus?
- How much darkness is in God?
- If we say we have fellowship with God, yet walk in darkness, what is true of us?
- What two things are true of us if we walk in the Light?
It is so much more peaceful to walk in the Light of Jesus then to dwell secretly in the darkness. As Christians, we may find ourselves in places of darkness periodically and we need to confess our sins and know that He is faithful and righteous to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness as 1 John 1:9 says. This instantly restores us to the Light.
If you are visiting this blog and you are not a Christian, it could be that God has drawn you to His Son Jesus Christ. If you have found yourself in darkness and desire to come into the Light, please know that we all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. We all will die because of our sin, but God has offered eternal life through Jesus Christ. God has demonstrated His great love by sending His Son to die on the Cross for us and He did this while we were all sinners.
But now if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved and have salvation. This is true: Whoever calls upon the Lord Jesus will be saved. Please let someone know if you have chosen to come into the Light and follow Jesus today! I would love to hear from you in the comment section below 🙂
If you have made it all the way through to Day 4 with me, thank you so much for hanging in there! I love reading and writing God’s Word with you and I am loving how our personal journals are quickly filling up with so much wisdom. Your presence is inspiring me to cherish the things of God above all else! Hallelujah!
“For thus says the Lord, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;
And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad,
And your bones will flourish like the new grass;
And the hand of the Lord will be made known to His servants,
But He will be indignant toward His enemies.”
I love the old hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” written by Horatio Spafford. As soon as I type the words, or hear the title spoken, my soul begins to sing the words within me. You know how it begins…
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”
We all know the song as if it is our own and probably even know the story behind the writing of the song as well. This man had known extreme financial difficulties prior to the sinking of the ship that his wife and four daughters were traveling on. According to some reports, only his wife survived that wreck, and the pain and grief he must have felt had to be overwhelmingly tremendous when his own ship passed safely near the very location where his daughters had given up their lives.
It was in that place and that moment on the ship that he was said to have pinned the words to this song that seems to be etched for eternity in our souls. But we can never know the grief that he alone bore at that moment. Each one of us can only know our own sorrows and pains. And it can only be us alone in our moment of suffering who cry out to God in prayer and supplication to receive that peace like a river.
I wonder if Mr. Spafford cried out to the Lord at that very moment, and in return received God’s peace right then and there, or if it flowed in slowly, taking a long time, like a lazy, shallow summer river? Maybe it took time for him to receive that peace. Maybe the words he pinned on that day were the beginning to a long hard trial that God would walk him through. I don’t know that part of his story. I only know my own and for me some of the peace came quickly, but other parts have come very slowly, over years even, and after twenty years, it’s still flowing in.
It may be true that each one of us will experience deep sorrow during our lifetime. But God has a plan during these times. A plan to comfort us, to give us peace, to supply all of our needs. His plan, if we are willing, will cause us to rejoice, and to remain gentle in spirit, and to rest in His peace.
Inspired to Cherish
Take a moment and look up Philippians 4. Read through the entire chapter taking notice of what God does for us and what He calls us to do. Now let’s write out in our very best handwriting, verses 4-7. I found it interesting that the word “supplicate” means the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.
Have you ever spent time in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to God because of a situation that made you incredibly anxious or even distraught? Did you receive God’s peace that surpasses all understanding? Did it guard your heart and your mind? Did His peace come quickly, all at once, or slowly and over a long period of time?
Tomorrow we will continue with Day 6 of our September Devotion. I pray that you have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!
“But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
and His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless the Lord, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word,
obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will.”
There are so many things that happen in our lives that cause us to question the love of those who are closest and most dear to us. We hurt each other even when we don’t intend to because we so often choose sin over obedience to God.
But the Lord’s love for us is perfect and cannot be tainted by sin. It is in the love of God that we can put our full trust and never have our hearts broken. It is in His love that we find forgiveness for our own sins against God and receive the strength and even the desire to forgive those who have sinned again us.
God is faithful even when we are not faithful. His love can bring healing to our broken hearts if we choose to love and obey Him by forgiving others as He has forgiven us.
Do you believe that God has forgiven you of your sins? Do you truly believe that He loves you? Has your heart been so broken by others that you think God may do the same to you? I have found that reading the Bible daily has opened my eyes and my broken heart to the truth of God. I have found in the Scriptures that He is not a man like you and I. He has not been overcome by sin as we have. He is faithful and can be trusted with your heart.
Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s write out John 3:16-17 in our personal journals. Now look up Numbers 23:19 and write this verse in your journal as well. Talk to God about your fears. If you have a hard time trusting that He truly loves you and will never leave you nor forsake you, ask Him to help you let your guard down and trust Him. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone who has hurt you when they should have loved you, ask God to help you forgive them today.
I believe that this is so important. It is a command from God that we forgive those who sin against us. It is not an option for believers to not forgive because Jesus died for our sins and forgave us of each and every sin we have ever committed against Him. Therefore, God has every right to command us to do the same. We must obey and we must ask Him to help us to obey because sometimes forgiveness is not easy, believe me I know.
Thank you again for joining me in this new “September Devotion”. I have been writing this devotional daily as we go, waiting on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Each of these first six days have been such a blessing to me and it feels so good to start the day out in the Word of God, in prayer and in awe and wonder of all God has done for us. I am praying it has been the same for you.
Please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
“Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.”
I love to tell this story, but it seems to me that I have told it so many times that you may have heard it already. If you are visiting today and have already heard this amazing story, please forgive me for repeating myself. However, I do believe it is worth repeating – so you might want to stick around and read it again.
After my husband and I had our third child, we considered that we should sell all of our baby stuff at a garage sale. Deep inside I didn’t want to sell everything because I really wanted to have another child, but we went through with the garage sale anyway.
I was so sad, especially to sell my white wicker bassinet set that my mother-in-law had purchased for me at a garage sale when I was pregnant with our first child. But a lovely Christian woman in her forties showed up with her three teenage daughters and she was happy, but somewhat overwhelmed because she had found out that she was pregnant and she didn’t have baby stuff around her home anymore. I couldn’t think of a better person to sell all of my precious things to. She was so blessed as her girls helped her load up her car. I went in my house and cried.
Fast forward to the fall a few years later and our friends who lived about an hour from our home, north of Seattle, called to schedule our usual once-a-year dinner around Thanksgiving time. I was excited to get together with them and catch up on all that had happened over the year. They had two girls and had a baby boy that was growing quickly and I couldn’t wait to see them all.
After dinner my friend asked if I’d like to go up stairs and help her box up some of her little boy’s baby things he had outgrown to send to the Good Will – I was glad to help. As I knelt on the floor at his little bed, she began handing me things from his closet to put in the boxes. Some clothes that I must have handed down to her, some toys that looked familiar, then some fitted sheets for a bassinet, and a bouncy chair…
A conversation began that went something like this. “Did I give these to you?” She said, “No, I got them from my sister-in-law after her baby grew out of them.” Then she handed me the folded up white wicker bassinet along with the lacy ruffles that hung around the bottom and the toys that hung on the bouncy chair and I knew without a doubt that they were mine! I asked where her sister-in-law lived and she said in University Place – exactly where I was living when I had my garage sale a few years before!
What do you think about miracles? Have you ever witnessed first hand the working of God’s wonders? How did you feel at that moment? Did it change your perspective of who you thought God was? What did it do for your faith?
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read through Psalm 8 and then write out this entire Psalm in our personal journals, using our very best writing. According to this Psalm, what was David considering when he wrote it? Let’s consider the work of God’s fingers and all that He has done – all that He is able to do. In your journal, under Psalm 8, write the following question: Is there anything too difficult for God? Really search your heart and then answer the question.
My friend gave my baby stuff to me to take home that night and not long after that event, I became pregnant with our fourth child. She is now 12 years old, but I can still remember the details of that evening clearly and how God can work wonders beyond our comprehension. There is nothing too difficult for Him.
Then The Lord Answered
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm.
He said: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell Me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
Job 38:1, 4-7
Sometimes I feel like I have an answer for everything. I kind of go through my days answering every question asked of me, and even when its not asked of me… I know that sounds kind of funny, and I should put a Ha! or a 🙂 at the end of that sentence. But, it’s really not that funny. That’s not really how I want to be known.
There are many things I don’t have an answer for and I love the idea of being able to say, “I don’t know”, and being okay with the answer. Or just not saying anything at all, instead just pondering the question being asked. Can you imagine just enjoying a good conversation, just listening and maybe even learning something important from it, but having no response to it? Just pondering.
The Bible says that Mary, the mother of Jesus, did a lot of pondering. As I read through the Scriptures I find myself wanting to answer for Mary sometimes, and I wonder why she just pondered. Why didn’t she tell them what she knew about Jesus? Was she naturally quiet? Was she not allowed to speak by the Holy Spirit, or was there something deeper; some kind of wisdom given by God?
Some people are naturally quiet and genuine, good listeners. Some of us have a hard time calming ourselves, especially our tongues. Like me, is this a place that you struggle? Is it something you want desperately to get control of? Let’s pray together.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read James 3 and then write out in our journals James 3:17-18. Now together, let’s pray sincerely for this wisdom that comes from above which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy.
Well, I just came home from watching the new movie “War Room”. It was a wonderfully made movie and I nearly cried through the whole thing! I just want to spend the whole night praying for our country. Thank you for joining me for another day of September Devotion. I’ll meet you at the Throne!
How Sweet Are Your Words
“How sweet are Your words to my taste!
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.”
Wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment. I think anyone would agree that these are good to have. But how do we get them?
I think prayer is a good place to start, so every morning when my husband leaves for work, I pray that God will give him wisdom, understanding and knowledge for his job and discernment for the times that we live in.
I also pray this for my children. They range from 22 years old down to 12 years old and I pray like crazy that they will have wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment. I pray this whether they are away at college, going to work, or going to hang out with their buddies, or play with a friend right here in our own home. I pray that they will have this beyond their years and experiences because they need it in today’s world of technology and peer pressures. They need it desperately in all situations.
I pray it for myself. I am a wife and a mom and that alone makes me want to kneel down and stay on my knees begging for wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment all day long. Just this evening, the phone rang and someone I love very much needed me to listen and reason with her. I needed all four of these to do what she needed. During this day alone, I have had countless conversations with my kids where I needed all of these desperately and I needed them right at that moment.
How many times in the past twenty-four hours have you needed wisdom, understanding, knowledge or discernment, or all four? Sometimes we need them to remain quiet. Sometimes we need them to speak. Sometimes we need them in order to get home safely. I could go on and on about how often we need these.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read Proverbs 1-3 today. These three chapters are packed to the brim with wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment. My husband and I try to read one chapter of the Proverbs every morning before he leaves for work and you probably know that there are 31 Proverbs, one for every day of each month. Perfect!
After reading these three chapters, let’s get out our personal journals and write out in our very best handwriting, Proverbs 1:1-7. Write it slowly, taking notice of each line and what it says. Let’s also pick three things that really stand out to us from these verses and write them in our journal under our Scripture.
Dear Heavenly Father, please teach us the fear of the LORD! We need it so desperately because it is the beginning of knowledge. Don’t let us be foolish, despising your wisdom and instruction, instead let us be wise, seeking You, loving You, fearing You and teaching our children and grandchildren and anyone who will listen to do the same. Have mercy Lord Jesus and hear our prayer for wisdom, understanding and knowledge for the jobs we have to do, and discernment for the times we are living in. Amen.
Thank you so much for joining me for September Devotion. I am so glad you are hear and I would truly love to hear from you.
“Now the Lord was angry with Solomon
because his heart was turned away from the Lord,
the God of Israel,
who had appeared to him twice.”
1 Kings 11:9
Sticking with the theme of “wisdom” for this devotional today, and remembering that King Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs, I find it interesting that he would write to his son in this way. King Solomon had been given this wisdom from God after asking for it, but he didn’t heed the wisdom he had been given unto himself. Obviously, this wisdom alone was not enough to make him choose obedience to God over his fleshly desires.
It really is a heart issue with us. We need to have a changed heart; a heart that seeks after God. But how do we get a heart like that when we are born sinners? Would we even desire anything of God if we are born dead to the things of God? Of course not. When we sense God drawing us to His Son, we need to put our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. We need to believe that God raised Him from the dead, conquering all sin, and that He is coming again for those who love Him and obey His commandments. This is wisdom combined with faith.
Wisdom is important, but it must be combined with faith or there will be no obedience. Wisdom by itself is not enough.
I’m thinking of all the times I have been disobedient to God, even though I had the wisdom to know better. I know my faith was weak in those moments. Have you ever found yourself in that situation? It is true, that hearing the word even from God Himself as King Solomon did makes no difference in our lives when it is not combined with faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.
Inspired to Cherish
I love the Book of Hebrews. If you ever have the chance to sit down and really study it, I highly suggest it. Today, let’s read Hebrews 1-3. Take note every time you see that Jesus is better. Ask yourself what or who He is better than. Now let’s write out in our personal journals Hebrews 3:12-4:2.
Let’s see if we can answer the following questions: Why couldn’t the Israelites enter into God’s rest? Here’s a hint: It’s only one word. Be sure to use the verses you have written in your journal for your answer. Why didn’t the word they heard profit them? Again, answer from the verses you have written out.
Let’s take time now to pray and thank God for drawing us to His Son Jesus Christ and giving us Sweet Salvation.
I cannot believe that we have completed ten days of this devotional already! I am loving studying in this way with you. Please consider leaving a comment below and letting me know what you think. I really do want to hear from you! 🙂
“… and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water… the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away…”
In February of 1995 I was pregnant with our second child. God had been drawing me to His Son for quite some time, but this time, the calling was so strong I could not deny Him any longer, I had to find a church.
I drove around looking for a church that my Dad had told me was on 72nd in Tacoma. It should have been easy enough to find, not far from our home at that time, but I turned right instead of left on 72nd and got lost. Then, as I was trying to find signs to the highway to go home, there it was… a church! I walked in and was greeted by an usher who introduced himself and took me to the front of the sanctuary.
I heard the message and listened intently to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the invitation was given, I went forward to give my life to Jesus. I was met by an altar worker and I shared that I wanted to be the wife and mom God had created me to be and I needed to repent of my sins and surrender my life to Him.
Two weeks later I miscarried our precious baby. I didn’t know the Bible, and I barely knew God. No one from the church knew me, but they came to our home since I had filled out a visitor’s card. I stayed in my room upstairs to recover for three days; I didn’t talk with anyone other than family.
It was a hard time, but during those three days alone with God, He laid this question on my heart, “Am I still God?” I took my time in answering – I wanted to be sure of what I believed, but my emotions were strong like a flood, and overwhelming.
In the Book of Joshua 3:15-16, the Jordan river was at flood stage. God was going to part the waters for them to cross over into the promised land as He had done for their fathers when they came out of Egypt, but the priests had to put their toes in the water first.
Before putting their toes in, however, I wonder if they had to answer a question within their hearts too; “Was He still God?” I imagine that flood water of the Jordan felt strong and overwhelming, but they did it – and so did He!
Before I left my room to move on as a changed person in so many ways, I answered that question. I chose by faith to believe that He was God, that He is God, and that He will always be God. I had a hope that He was who He said He was, and it would be alright.
Inspired to Cherish
Hebrews 11 is known as “The Faith Chapter”, and rightfully so. Let’s take time to read the entire chapter.
Now let’s write out a few of the verses from this chapter in our personal journal. Since we are writing the very words of God, let’s really slow down and think about what we are writing and of course, write in our very best writing. Let’s write verses 1-3, 6, 13-16 and 39-40.
As humans, we want to see a miracle before we will put our faith in the One who created us. But if we will stop and take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, we will see one of His most amazing miracles of all. The flood is strong and overwhelming all around us, it’s time to put our toes in the water, by faith.
I have been writing these devotions the night before, so that I can wake up and do them along with you and I am praying daily that September Devotion is as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me. Please continue to join me and leave a comment if you feel led to. I love to hear from you 🙂
Prayers of Blessing
“The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”
This is the prayer that Aaron and his sons were to bless the sons of Israel with. When I find a prayer of blessing in the Bible that really stands out to me and that I can feel myself praying for others, I tend to begin using it in my daily prayer time for my family and friends. I also tend to pray that prayer for so long that it becomes a part of my life – it just automatically comes out of me any time prayer is needed. In my prayer journals, as I re-read, I often find the same prayer being prayed day after day, over a long period of time and it still means so much to me.
For years, I have prayed for God to raise our family up to be mighty men and women of God, and to raise up Godly spouses for each of our children. I pray that we would be blessed and have His peace every time we lay our heads down to sleep. I prayed that our bodies would be healed if we needed it and that we would hunger and thirst for His Living Word, reading it daily and obeying it.
For years, I have prayed over those who leave our home to go to their home, or to work, or run errands, or just to play; I pray Lord, please surround them with angels and take them safely to their destination and back again. Please give them wisdom, understanding and knowledge for their jobs, and discernment for the times we live in. Please give them favor with You and with those whom they come in contact with today. Please help them to be bold to share the Gospel of Jesus with anyone You lead them to.
For the past several years, I have prayed similar to what is often called “The Prayer of Jabez”. I love the words in this prayer, and they are wonderful to pray for those I love and hold dear to me. I take these words before the throne of God in all sincerity of my heart. That our family and friends would be blessed indeed and that our territory would be enlarged. That God would keep His hand upon each of us and the enemy far from us. That He would make us a blessing to the world and to glorify Jesus in all we do.
Do you have a special prayer for you, your family and friends that really resonates with you? Do you pray for missionaries and pastors and others who take the Gospel out to huge portions of the world? Having a specific prayer in mind that we would pray for anyone, may give us a sort of foundation to begin building upon and encourage us to pray daily or in a specific moment of time, always allowing the Spirit of God to lead. Our prayers of blessing matter to God and to those we pray for.
Inspired to Cherish
Isaiah 55 has been one of my most favored chapters in the Bible since I became a Christian over 20 years ago. I have memorized verses 6-13 in the past, but as I read through this chapter now, I can see I need to refresh! Let’s read Isaiah 55 out loud today. Read it boldly, as if all the people of the world are listening. Don’t read it silently, let it out!
Isaiah 55 is a beautiful chapter and I get especially excited when I read, “For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and (imagine this) all the trees will clap their hands”. Oh my goodness!!!!! This is when I decide to use a specific prayer – when I feel it in my soul – so that the prayer means something from me to God for someone else!!! Make sure you FEEL it!
With Jesus’ Sweet Love,
In the Hand of the Potter
“…Then I went down to the potter’s house,
and there he was, making something on the wheel.
But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter;
so he remade it into another vessel,
as it pleased the potter to make.”
In the Book of Jeremiah God tells the prophet to go to the potter’s house. He had something to show Jeremiah pertaining to the house of Israel. They were marred and they were in the hand of the Potter.
But the Bible tells us that we are all marred, not just the house of Israel. Sin entered into the world through Adam and it has spread from one person to the next to the point of consuming us all. And the result of sin has been death which has also spread to us all.
This is where our faith comes in. It’s by placing our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God that the Potter then begins to remold us. I love Romans 5 because it tells us clearly that while we were still in sin and enemies to God, Jesus died on the Cross for us and through His death, we are reconciled to God and saved by His resurrected life.
When we place our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we are no longer God’s enemies through sin, but we are now His children through Jesus’ death and resurrection! Amazing!
Sometimes the Bible is hard to wrap our minds around, but we cannot comprehend it with logical thinking. We need the Holy Spirit to direct us through the Word of God and help us to believe what it says about us and about God. Psalm 119:34 says, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.”
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s pray for the Holy Spirit to give us understanding as we take time to read Psalm 139. Read it out loud if you can, as a prayer to God. Take it slowly and let it flow from your heart. Let’s sincerely ask God to search and see if there is any hurtful way in us and let’s give Him time to answer.
I cannot believe that we are on Day 13 of this devotional. The month of September is flying by. I know school is beginning for many, and some have already started, but it’s important that in our busyness and change of schedules that we continue to cherish the things of God above all else. I pray that this devotional will help you do just that.
A Great Multitude Is Coming!
“Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram…“
2 Chronicles 20:2
Have you ever been informed that something bad is going to happen? That you have an enemy coming after you and you need to be prepared? How did you respond to the news? Were you afraid? What did you do to get prepared?
It reminds me of the time in elementary school when I was told by a fellow classmate that the block bully was going to beat up my friend and I after school! We quickly made a plan to take a new route home of which he found out and met us on the way.
While we stood there listening to him yell at us in the open field right next to my house, my friend suddenly punched the bully in the nose. I was shocked that she did it, but while he was lying there crying with nose bleeding, we ran! I probably don’t need to tell you that he never bothered us again, but did ask us to never tell a soul. 🙂
One of my favorite victory stories in the Bible is about King Jehoshaphat. In 2 Chronicles 20 he had just been told that a great multitude was coming against him and they were already on their way. The third verse tells us right away that Jehoshaphat was afraid. But here’s where it gets really good. In his fear he turns his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah.
He was right in responding this way. Verse one tells us that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites were coming to make war. That’s a lot of people! Now, if you are not familiar with it, let’s stop here because I think we should read this entire awesome victory for our devotional today.
It’s a good thing to be prepared for an attack. God tells us that we have an enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. If we think for a moment that he can’t do any damage, we definitely should read Job 1-2 and really consider what is taking place in these chapters and who is allowing it all.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time now to read 2 Chronicles 20:1-25.
As I mentioned above, this story is one of my favorite victories and I love how they worshiped the Lord while He took care of the whole battle, but it’s also one of the saddest stories to read in the Bible. Take the time now to read 2 Chronicles 20:26 – 21:1. We must be prepared, yet always seek the Lord to know exactly what to do.
Let’s get out our personal journals and head over to the New Testament and take time to write out Ephesians 6:10-18. I love these verses. If you haven’t memorized the different parts of the armor, write it out on a 3 x 5 card (maybe even draw a picture) and go over them several times a day. Before you know it, you’ll be able to point to your head and beginning with the Helmet of Salvation, say them all.
Many of you have sent me an email or a Facebook message and they are so encouraging to read. It’s fun remembering different things that have happened in my life and taking the time to share them with you. Do you have any childhood memories that you would like to share that pertain to this devotional? I would love to hear from you.
Eternal Weight of Glory
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.“
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Several years ago a friend gave me a gift. It was a little glass, oval-shaped dish with a lid. I loved the beautiful colors and it was so delicate. But the most precious thing about it was on the inside of the lid where it read, “What is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.”
I had the perfect place in my home to display it, tiny as it was, and I wanted to be able to see the verse on the inside. So I thought it might be a good idea to place a pretty rock in such a way as to hold open the lid – but it slipped while I was putting the rock into place and the lid broke in many pieces on my table top… I only had the gift in my possession about ten minutes.
I almost cried, but after I found some glue and began gluing the pieces back together, the verse came into view once again and the truth of God’s Word written on the inside was driven deep into my heart. What is seen, like this sweet little man-made dish, is temporary, but the gift of life with God through faith in Jesus Christ is eternal. Though we cannot see it now, someday Heaven will be reality.
The suffering, trials, tribulation, pain and sorrow, though they seem like such a burden at times here on this earth, God sees as momentary, light affliction that is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. Paul says in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Revelation 21-22 this morning. Isn’t it wonderful to read about Heaven? I love to spend time just looking up at the clouds, imagining that Jesus is coming to take us to our Eternal Home to be with our loving Father. Come Lord Jesus, Come.
In our personal journals let’s write out Ephesians 1:3-14 and then spend some time praising God for all He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ.
Thank you for being such a wonderful blessing. As you visit this blog each morning, I am blessed to spend time with you in God’s wonderful Word. Please leave a comment below, I love hearing from you. Please watch my new video “A SimplyLiving Day”.
Together In Perfect Harmony
“ bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;
and be thankful.“
I don’t think there is ever a time of the week for me that feels more like what is described in the verses above, than on church morning. All over the world we enter into the church with a sense of excitement to see each other again in this special place. I think it’s because, it’s not just a few of us, but a lot of us – a gathering together of the Body of Christ that comes bearing with and forgiving one another.
Then as we begin the service, we pray together and we enter into worship. The distractions eventually cease, and the Holy Spirit leads us on; beckoning us to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. It’s truly a beautiful thing when we are in our time of worship, all together. It’s a time of love that we all share for the Father, for His Son Jesus, and for the Holy Spirit. It is a perfect bond of unity.
Now our Pastor leads us in the Word of God. Following along as sheep follow their Shepherd, we are led from everyday life and the hardships we have endured through the week, into the throne room of God to feed on the Bread of Life. It’s in this place that we drink of His Blood and partake of His Flesh and our souls are nourished in the only way they can be. His peace replaces our anxiety and where there are convictions, repentance flows from deep within, and we are cleansed, and we are truly thankful!
Recently, through sermons given specifically on the Church, I have come to realize for the first time how beautiful the Body of Christ truly is. It has been made clear to me through the Scriptures that Jesus LOVES His Bride. She is beautiful and pure before the Father because of the cleansing Blood that Jesus willingly shed on the Cross for Her. He loves Her and we are to do the same. Each one of us, a part of this amazing Body of Christ, is to love each other as deeply as Jesus loves us. This is the fruit that we bear, love.
Inspired to Cherish
Today, let’s write out 1 Corinthians 13 in our personal journals. Afterward, let’s read through this chapter and mark everywhere we have written the word “love” with a red heart. Now, below our writing, let’s make a list of everything we learn about love.
How important is love to the Body of Christ? Let’s pray and ask God to help us truly love the Body of Christ as He loves Her.
I pray that you have a blessed day and that the Holy Spirit guides each of us on a beautiful path that allows us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many. I pray that those in our presence will sense the love of God like never before.
The Fear of The Lord
“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless, and I shall acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:9, 11-14
There is nothing that drives the fear of the Lord within me like the account of David and Bathsheba. Right from the beginning, I begin thinking, “Oh no!” I can feel every muscle in my body begin to tense up as I force myself to read through to the end.
It doesn’t matter how many times I have read it. I still feel the same each time. The fact that God knows all things is very real to me, and when someone like King David who loves God so much, known as “A man after God’s own heart”, and has a desire to be obedient and pleasing to God falls into such great sin, it is overwhelming for me. It reminds me that no one is without sin on this earth and all of us struggle with it. No matter how hard we try, we stumble.
It does me good to remember what Jesus said when the scribes and the Pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Him. They wanted her to be stoned for her action, and when they persisted in asking Him, He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” He could have said this to any of us, not just a Pharisee. We all have to put our stones down and walk away, humbly.
I wonder if King David felt like Paul described in Romans 7:24 when he said, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” I’m so thankful that he answers his own question. It’s the same answer for all of us who have placed our faith in Christ… “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…”
Inspired to Cherish
Today, let’s read Psalm 51. It is called A Contrite Sinner’s Prayer for Pardon – It was written by David when Nathan the prophet came to him regarding Bathsheba.
Which part of this Psalm can you relate to? I love verses 10-13, especially verse 13. Pick at least four verses from this Psalm that really minister to you and write them out in your personal journal. Now let’s spend time in prayer asking God for the verses we have chosen.
Let’s join together to pray for the people of Chile, Hawaii, and California as the earthquakes and tsunamis cause devastation and continue to threaten their lives. I pray that wherever you are on this day, you are safe and blessed. Thank you for visiting with me in God’s Amazing Word.
Rivers of Living Water
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, from his innermost being will flow
rivers of living water.’
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him,
were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given,
because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
I love these verses. They are some of my favorite. Can you see what this might look like? Can you see yourself with rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being? I would like to paint a picture of this image. It would be so beautiful.
It goes on to say that these rivers of living water are the Spirit whom believers would receive once Jesus was glorified. Whom we received when we believed in Jesus because He has now been glorified. And the Spirit flows from our innermost being like rivers of living water. I like to say it over and over and let my mind and my heart have a moment to really wrap around this truth.
When we go out into the world, whether we are at the grocery store or getting gas at the gas station, or at the hair salon or nail salon, wherever we go, the Spirit of God is flowing out of us into the darkness. He is flowing from our innermost being like rivers of living water, bringing life to those who are dead, to those who are weary, and to those who are thirsty. The Holy Spirit of God is bidding the lost to come to Jesus as He pours Himself out of each of us who have believed in Jesus. WOW!
As a believer, have you seen yourself in this way? Have you truly believed these words spoken by Jesus so long ago about those who would believe in Him. Take time to let your heart and your mind wrap around this truth, then spend time with your eyes closed, visualizing yourself with rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being as you go out into the world.
Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s add a few verses to our personal journal that tell us about the Holy Spirit. Write out in your very best writing: John 14:26, Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19, Romans 5:5. These are just a few of the wonderful verses that speak of God’s Spirit who dwells within those who have believed in Jesus Christ. Maybe you would like to add another of your own.
Now let’s have some fun. Close your eyes for a moment longer and get a good visual of all that we have seen in John 7:37-39. Even if you think you cannot draw, draw the best picture you can of you with rivers of living water flowing from your innermost being. Draw it in your personal journal under the verses you have written out. Also, add some people around you that are being affected by the Spirit within you.
If you would like to share your drawing of the Spirit flowing like rivers of living water from your innermost being, you can send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include it with this post. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for visiting SimplyLiving101!
Ask of God
“But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
But he must ask in faith without any doubting,
for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea,
driven and tossed by the wind.
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man,
unstable in all his ways.”
When I was in my mid twenties, I had an opportunity to go deep sea fishing with my Dad off Newport Bay on the Oregon Coast. It is an experience that I am glad I’ve had, but honestly, I would never think to do it again.
The initial thought of going was fun. I remember stopping at a sandwich shop to get plain ham and cheese sandwiches. My Dad said, that if it didn’t have the mayonnaise and other condiments on it, it would keep us from getting seasick, and even though I thought it a strange thing to have for breakfast, it worked. We didn’t get sick.
I remembering heading out and thinking the boat was going to break into pieces when we hit the “breakers”. They seemed appropriately named at the time. Then we finally got to the smoother waters and just kept going until land could no longer be seen. There was only water and sky everywhere we looked.
We caught lots of fish, and more than one fish on our line at a time. That part was exciting too, but the thing that stood out more to me than any other part of the trip was the motion of the waves. We were tossed to and fro on the waves; one minute way, way up, and then next way, way down, and it didn’t matter how long we were doing this, it never got comfortable and I secretly longed to get back on stable ground.
In these verses, God tells us through James, that this is what it’s like when we need wisdom, but we ask of God without faith, or maybe we don’t ask God at all. Do you know the feeling when you are trying to make a decision, but it just won’t come and you feel emotionally tossed to and fro on the sea? You cannot figure out what to do; one minute you feel up and then next down, and sometimes as if you might be broken into pieces. It is probably a good time to ask God in prayer, not just for wisdom in the matter, but for the faith to believe Him in the matter.
Inspired to Cherish
Even though we have already read Proverbs 3 in our devotional, let’s head back to this wonderful book of wisdom and read it again. I have mentioned to you that in the morning before my husband leaves for work, he reads one chapter of the Proverbs to me and it always seems to give some form of wisdom to remember throughout my day.
Let’s read the entire chapter of Proverbs 3 out loud and then write it out in our personal journal. Now, on a 3 x 5 card let’s write out verses 5-6 and put it to memory. I cannot tell you how many times in one week I will recall this verse and even speak it to my children. It is a wonderful reminder and worth memorizing.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
If you have made it all the way through to Day 19, thank you so much for staying the course with me! I love how our personal journals have filled up with so much wisdom from the Word of God and I look forward to meeting you here each morning. Thank you for visiting and please leave a comment below.
Sing To God
“Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom
teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
I love verses like the ones above, where God gives us clear instruction for a Godly lifestyle. These instructions allow us to move from merely hearing the Word of God, to also doing what it says.
In these verses I see that I can obey God by reading the Bible on a daily basis. Not just a little, but a copious amount so that I am allowing it to dwell richly inside of me. I can slow down as we have been doing in these devotionals, write it out and really examine what it says, then change my lifestyle or my thoughts to line up with God’s Word.
I can also see that I am to sing with thankfulness in my heart to God. Worship is a huge part of our lives as Christians and one form of worshiping God is singing to Him, expressing our thankfulness for all He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. God has given us many old beautiful hymns, the Psalms, and spiritual songs in order to do this.
These verses also tell me that whatever I do, whether in word or in deed, I am to do in the Name of Jesus, giving thanks through Jesus to God the Father. This can be a wonderful daily gauge for me as to whether I will say or do a specific thing. If I am to do everything in the Name of Jesus, there are probably many things I would choose not to do, not wanting to associate His pure and holy Name with that particular word or deed of mine.
The Word of God is so applicable to daily life. If we allow it to dwell richly within us, we will have the wisdom we need to teach and admonish one another in a way that is pleasing to God. I know as a parent of four, I need all the wisdom I can get to do this and still sing to the Lord with a truly thankful heart.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to write out all of Colossians 3 in our personal journal. Now reading back through what we have written, let’s underline in red anything we are told to do. For instance, in verse 1 we will underline “keep seeking the things above“, in verse 2 we will underline “Set your mind on the things above“, and in verse 5 we will underline “consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed“.
Now slowing down, let yourself scan over how we are to live. Pick five of the underlined areas that you can begin doing right away and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to help you obey them today.
I cannot believe that we have completed twenty days of September Devotion already! I am loving doing this devotional with you and would like to receive a comment from you letting me know what you think. 🙂
Return to Me With All Your Heart
“‘Yet even now’, declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.’
Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”
I had a conversation with a Christian friend whom I had not seen for a couple of years. I knew her life had taken a path of hard decisions and I continued to pray for her, unsure of exactly how she was doing. On this particular day, I was glad I was able to rejoice with her in a new season of life, as I listened intently to all she had to share with me.
As she spoke, I was reminded of the qualities that I really enjoyed about her from so long ago. She is a very sincere, intentional, and loving person. I have always liked hearing what she was thinking, because she had amazing eye contact that held my attention, and when I spoke with her, she seemed to drink in every word. This is such a rare thing to find.
Although she did speak a little of the hardships she had endured, she mostly chose to praise God for all He had brought her through. She was attending church again, and she felt so glad to be back in the arms of God after many decisions that had led her away.
When we were done talking and she had to gather her kids to go, I thought to say only one thing, “No matter where we go, God is always right here, steadfastly waiting for us when we return. He is always faithful even when we are not.” From experience, she was now able to wholeheartedly agree.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s first take time to read Luke 15:11-19 and then write a few very important verses in our personal journals today. Remember to use your most beautiful handwriting as we write out the wonderful homecoming of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20-24.
Take time to consider what your response might be as the parent of this young man. Would you welcome him as cheerfully as this father did? Would you prepare a huge feast and rejoice by giving him new clothing, a ring and new shoes? Does grace and forgiveness come easily to you or is it a struggle?
Praise God for His faithfulness to always give us grace and forgiveness! Now, let’s take time to finish the story by reading verses 25-32.
I pray that you are enjoying these devotionals for the month of September. I am loving writing them. Please take time to pray for me today and ask God to continue giving me wonderful Scriptures to pass on to you for the rest of this month.
Each of us are precious to Jesus and He loves to spend time with us in His Word. Thank you for taking time to stop by and spend time with me as well.
Lift Up Your Eyes
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?”
In 1 Kings 18:21 Elijah asked an interesting question. “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”
It seems to me that I know more people today who are hesitating between two opinions. They admit that God is the Creator of all things and they even consider Jesus to be the Son of God, but in their daily life they have no desire to spend time with Him, choosing instead many idols of this world for comfort and pleasure.
Although Elijah posed a great question, the people did not answer. So he suggested an altar be built. Then they would call on their god and Elijah would call on the name of the Lord. The God who answered by fire, burning up the altar, He is God.
I always feel sorry for the people as they called on their god from morning until noon and then leaped about the altar. Elijah thought maybe they should shout louder because their god was either occupied, on a journey, or maybe even sleeping!
Of course they did as he suggested and cried louder and even cut themselves with swords and lances until blood gushed out on them. They raved on until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, but to no avail.
Aren’t you glad we serve a mighty God who does not slumber nor sleep? He is the only True and Living God. He is our Provider and our Protector and He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He hears us when we pray and He has given us the right to be called His children because we have believed in His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read what happened when Elijah prayed – I would have loved to be present for this moment in time! Read 1 Kings 18:30-39. I especially love how the people were no longer quiet, but instead praised the One True God! Now let’s turn to Psalm 121 and in our most beloved handwriting write it in our personal journals.
Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion. We have only eight days to go, so let’s press on and be diligent in meeting here daily to cherish the things of God above all else – together. Please consider leaving a comment below – I love to hear from you. 🙂
Better Is A Day In Your Courts!
“For a day in Your courts is
better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
Even today, when I read Psalm 84, it reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs by Kim Hill, “Better Is One Day”. I heard it sung live by Kim, I believe in 1999, when I attended the “Renewing The Heart – For Such A Time As This” conference in Seattle. A friend who had tickets invited several of us to go and it ended up being a time of worship I will never forget.
The words to this song left me feeling as if I had truly entered into the courts of God and it changed the way I worshiped Him. “How lovely are Your dwelling places” had taken on a real meaning to me, and I felt that I could relate with the Psalmist for the first time.
In addition to an amazing time of worship, the guest speakers came with messages that kept me clinging to God. I listened intently to Joni Eareckson Tada speak about the accident that changed her life at only 17 years old, and I heard Kay Arthur speak for the first time on a lie that moms often believe, a topic I had never heard anyone speak on, but helped me to make a deeper commitment to my children.
At that conference in Seattle with some special Christian friends I learned something new about worship and placing my hope fully in God; That while we are still on this earth waiting for Jesus to return, we can come into the presence of God, come into His courts with praise.
Since learning this, my soul has had many times of longing and even yearning for the courts of the Lord; “My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God” at the thought of dwelling there one day; “How blessed are those who dwell in God’s house! They are ever praising You.”
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to write Psalm 84 into our personal journals. Remember to use your very best handwriting. You may like to take time to listen to “Better Is One Day” by Kim Hill and praise God along with her. It will be a nice start to your day.
Do Not Withhold Good
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,”
when you have it with you.”
I remember shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, I was grocery shopping not far from our new home in Tacoma. It was kind of overwhelming for me to go out and about with a one and a half year old, because I was unfamiliar with my surroundings and I had never lived in a city so big. I was shocked by the amount of homeless people I saw.
While I was shopping I noticed that bagels were on sale, so I put two in the cart, but at the last second decided to grab a third. I continued with my shopping and then headed to the checkout and out to the car to load up. Things were going smoothly and I was able to get out quickly which was good since I had my son with me.
As I began to pull out of the parking lot, I noticed a woman with a sign. I don’t remember what it said specifically, but it made reference to the fact that she was hungry. This was an area where Jesus had been really working on me. My husband and I had been discussing it in our Sunday morning adult Bible study class and I found it interesting that so many Christians were opposed to helping those on the streets. They felt that they were being taken advantage of by people who could get jobs, but were simply too lazy to work.
I decided that this woman might be doing the same and I passed her by. I didn’t feel bad about it at all… until I stopped at the end of the block for the red light. As I sat there, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me ever so softly to go back, to not deny her. In my heart I loudly answered back, “No!”, and that began a battle between my flesh and God’s Spirit that I will never forget.
Have you ever made a decision to not help someone even though you had the means to help them? How did you feel about it? How do you decide to help some and maybe not others? These are questions I think we all struggle with at one time or another.
Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s take time to write out Matthew 25:34-40.
As I struggled against the Holy Spirit that day, I drove around the block of the grocery store, not able to go home. By the time I came back around to where the woman was standing, I was in tears. I somewhat begrudgingly parked my car and went to the back to open the hatch where the groceries were. There on top of one of the bags of groceries was that extra bag of bagels I had purchased – I knew it was for her.
As I approached her I waited while someone else was talking with her, however, he did not give her anything. Then her gaze turned to me and I reluctantly handed her the bag. I was humbled even further when she quickly took the bag from me, ripped it open and shoved a bagel into her mouth! She was so hungry and so grateful! She could not stop telling me, “God bless you! I am starving!” and I could not stop crying in shame. I still cry while typing this now, twenty years later.
Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion. I truly love spending this time with you each morning. I have my own personal journal and am doing September Devotion right along with you. I hope it is as much of a blessing to you as it is to me. 🙂
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
I think as Christians all of us would love to hear these words at some point in our lives. But we would have to know clearly what it is we are called to do. Jesus has made this clear by commanding us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.
This would take submission to our Master with a true desire to do it His way, and not our own. When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and Paul tells us to, “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
It would take dedication and commitment on our part, seeing it through to the very end no matter how long it might take. Hebrews 3:6 tells us, “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”
It would also take a life of godliness and 2 Peter 1:3 says that Jesus has taken care of this on our behalf, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Titus 2. Now pick the portion of Titus 2 that applies to you and write it out in your personal journal. Now let’s take time to pray that God will help us to be faithful servants in the portion that He has given us.
I am so enjoying writing these devotionals for the month of September! I pray that they are a blessing to you as well. I would love to hear from you in the comment section below. Thank you 🙂
Words To Tell Our Children
“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life…”
What precious gifts our children are from God. I marvel, as I am sure you do, that God would entrust them to us… He must truly see something in us that we cannot see.
My husband and I have four children and as we have been told so often over the years by those much wiser than ourselves, “They grow up quickly!” I would say now they grow up even quicker than that. It is as if we blinked our eyes only one time, and twenty years flew by.
I can still remember the advice given us, from a manager that my husband reported to, when we were nearing the birth of our first child. He said something like, “After a month or so, move your baby to his own room, in his own bed, and when he cries at night, don’t rush in and pick him up until his next feeding time. Simply, cover him back up, make sure he is dry and comfortable, and then leave him to go back to sleep. Let him cry a little if need be, but don’t pick him up until his next feeding time.”
I know this advice would horrify some, but for us, it was the best advice we could have received. It worked with our first baby and I wish I could say we were diligent enough to use it for all four of our babies. Yet, I understand that while this may have been good advice for us, it may not have worked for others.
I’m so thankful that the Word of God is good for all of God’s children and it is a blessing for any of us who take the time to read it and do what it says. It makes for a firm foundation for us and our children and our children’s children.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read Proverbs 6. Now let’s write Proverbs 6:20-23 in our personal journals.
If you have children or grandchildren in your life, or even nieces, nephews or neighborhood children, you may want to write them a special letter in your beautiful handwriting using these verses. Maybe you can even type it up and frame it like this:
This is only one of many different prayers you can take time to type up for a special person. Search the Scriptures and find the perfect one for that precious gift God has placed in your life.
Thank you so much for stopping by to read September Devotion with me. I can’t believe how this month has flown by. I have plans to read through the four Gospels during the month of October and would love for you to join me. You can get more details here: Gospel Read Thru In October
There Is Something About That Name!
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other
name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
How can anyone truly surrender their life to someone whom they don’t really know or understand? In Ephesians 2:4-10, Paul answers this question,
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the age to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
As you read through these verses, you see that it’s “with Christ Jesus” and “in Christ Jesus” that God has saved us by grace through faith, and He did this while we were dead in our sins. God did it and we are told that we can’t even boast in this fact.
Some ask this question, “What is our part then?” Paul answers in Romans 10:9-10,
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Our part is simply to believe what God has done for us in Jesus Christ His Son and we will be saved. Now, we can’t leave out Ephesians 1:13-14 that tells us something else that happens when God saves us by grace through faith and we believe in Jesus Christ,
“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation —
having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance;
with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession,
to the praise of His glory.”
Because of the name of Jesus Christ we can have confidence before God, a sincere and clean heart, a steadfast confession that does not waver, the ability to stimulate one another, and the desire to come together regularly to encourage one another – and we need this now more than ever.
Are you here and have never given your life to Christ? I want you to know that it is easier than you think because God has done it all for you through His Son Jesus Christ. You just need to believe that God is telling you the truth about His Son. There is no other way for you to be saved accept by the name of Jesus Christ.
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s write in our personal journals Hebrews 10:19-25. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have confidence to enter the holy place where God is?
- Is your heart sincere and cleansed from an evil conscience and your body washed with pure water?
- Are you holding fast the confession of hope without wavering?
- Do you take time to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds?
- Is it a priority to you that you not forsake assembling together with fellow believers in order to encourage one another?
Now let’s spend time on this beautiful Sunday asking God our Father to help this to be true of us after all He has done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are almost to the end of September Devotion. Only three more days left and I will bring this devotion to a close and put it into book form as a PDF for you to access in the right side bar under “Bible Studies I Have Written For You”. Don’t forget to check out Gospel Read Thru In October. It is my prayer that you will continue to come daily, joining me in reading through the four Gospels during the month of October.
Blessed Is He Who Reads, Hears and Heeds
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy,
and heed the things which are written in it;
for the time is near.”
I love reading through the Book of Revelation. It’s so fascinating to me just how Jesus’ disciple, John, was given this revelation. We are told that John was on the Island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. It also tells us that John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
What would it be like to be alone and suddenly see Jesus? What would you do if He began speaking to you in a loud voice from behind that sounds like a trumpet?
It reminds me of a day when I had been looking for a house for my husband and I… Well, I think it would be more accurate to say, “looking for a house for me”. Unlike, John on the Island of Patmos, I was in the flesh, not in the Spirit.
So I found this really cute house and just knew it was the one. I called my husband at work and asked if he could swing by and look at it with a real estate agent after work. He calmly said, “No.” I was not so calm.
Later that evening, I was marching around our apartment, quite upset. Knowing that I really needed to pray, I decided to go out to the garage and get into the car – in the dark. I wanted some alone time with God and I proceeded to demand that God meet me there in the dark! As the words were rolling off my tongue, I could sense what I believed to be the presence of the Lord drawing near and I could not get out of that garage fast enough! I quickly decided that I did not need that cute little house.
As I read through the Book of Revelation, I am always watching and listening to how John responds to Jesus and what Jesus reveals to him. What a truly humble man. I have so much to learn, but I pray that God works this same humility in me. I also pray that He will be patient with me as it can take a while before I get it. Is this true of you too? Do you pray that God will teach you humility? Do you think it’s a dangerous thing to pray for?
Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Revelation 1 and then write in our personal journals Revelation 22:17-21. Now spend time in prayer and wait on the Lord to bless you with His presence.
We are almost to the end of September Devotion. Only two more days! I invite you to join me for the all new Gospel Read Thru In October. It is my prayer that you will continue to come to SimplyLiving101.com daily, so we can read through the four Gospels during the month of October together.