My Responsibility

You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save lives. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act - th

God's Ways

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way. and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 6-9 (NRSV) Oluwasola Jegede, from Lagos, Nigeria, is a publisher of a devotional book. The printer for their book notified them that they didn't have enough funds for the 1,000 copies they had planned to print. Still sure the book would come

Without Words

Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel said: "Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness; and light dwells with him. To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have revealed to me what we asked of you, for you have revealed to us what the king ordered." Daniel 2:19-23 (NRSV) Trust in the Lord, and do good; so you will live in the l

Priorities

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 23:34-40 (NRSV) ,,,Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NRSV) It can be easy to prioritize many things over G

"I Lost Pop!"

"....do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV) "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8 (NRSV) Wright Peavy, from Georgia, relates how his two-and-a-half-year-old grandson would always say "I lost Pop!" whenever Wright had to leave the house to go to work. For the first few years of his life, he and his mother, Wright's daughter, were living with Wright and his wife, Lolly. Wright wanted to be with him as much as he could, and when his work took him away from

Our Unbelief

Read Mark 9:4-29 Jesus said to him, "If you are able! - All things can be done for the one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:23-24 (NRSV) In Mark 9, when some of the disciples were unable to heal a boy with an evil spirit, Jesus reassured the father of the boy, who then responded, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" What a profound prayer! The desperate man was trying his best to believe, but he knew he needed help. Jesus accepted the father's imperfect belief and healed the boy. Apparently, healing didn't depend on the dad's faith, but on Jesus' righteousness. That's good news for those of us who struggle with beli

Being Neighborly

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself, but, as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Welcome one another, ther

Large and Small

Trust in the lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him. and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NRSV) James C. Leyrer, from Ohio, helps at a Christian food pantry. Recently they all held hands to pray for a fellow volunteer who was about to begin a strenuous series of surgical procedures to help alleviate some of his symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Their prayer was for healing but more importantly, they asked for God's will to be done as well as comfort for him, his wife, and his family. Cliff, who was leading the prayer, said something that made a deep impression on James: "God, we trust you with our salvation and our et

Surefooted

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12: 12-13 (NRSV) Urvashi H. Parmar is from Gujarat, India. For several months her severe arthritis affected her gait. When she watched a video of herself walking, she was astonished. Her right foot slanted, causing her to limp. Seeing her gait made her think of the way that problems we face can cause us to drift away from our spiritual path. Trials tend to drain our physical and mental strength. However, when we take our questions and troubles to God through prayer and Bible study, we find our weak feet becom

A Blank Canvas

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26 (NRSV) Many years ago, Kendra Lelie, from Pennsylvania, took a plein air landscape painting class using oil paints. She loved the idea of painting landscapes while surrounded by nature, but she was not very good at it. Fortunately, oil paints take a while to dry; so when yo

Bearing Fruit

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in yo

A Way Through

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? Any why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil or spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is

God Waits

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirst for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long a I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8 (NRSV) During prayer time at St

God's Reassurance

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous. Praise befits the upright. Praise the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. Psalm 33:1-5 (NRSV) Most of his life, Virginia Horst Loewen's 85-year-old husband had been an accomplished musician. He had played the organ, piano, trombone, and tuba. But for his last few years he could play none of these. A blood clot on his brain, together with a stroke and a heart attack, had robbed him o

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