Be a Stand-out Believer

July 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

Carin LeRoy –

While in a college, I had a friend that caused a stir every time she would sneeze. Rather than let loose like the rest of us with a big hearty “Ah-Choo,” she’d suppress hers so that it stopped before it made it past her lips. All you’d hear was a squeaky sound cut short in the back of her throat. We’d all stop and take notice when my friend would sneeze. I worried she was going to burst some blood vessel in her head, but she assured us everything was fine.

Sometimes people just stand out. Have you ever been in the room with someone with a recognizable laugh? You’d know the laugh anywhere and with your eyes closed. How about the guy driving the new sports car? I’ve seen the males in my family stop and take a second look as they drive by. We’ve all run into people that grab our attention.

As Christians, we should be someone who people notice, too. But rather than being drawn to our unusual sneeze, recognizable laugh or new sports car, they should be drawn to our actions and spirit. If we demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, people should see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5). Instead of reacting with impatience, we respond with politeness. Rather than rudeness, we show kindness. Love, gentleness and faith in God are evident as we interact with others.

Who stood out in the crowd more than Noah? In Genesis 6, God describes the people during Noah’s day as “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Wickedness ruled the earth. “But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.” Noah stood out to God as a blameless and righteous contemporary of his day. I’m sure others noticed he didn’t live the life they did.

How does God see us? What is noticeable to others when they encounter us? Let’s be that person that is “different” in a good way. Our actions and attitude cause other to be drawn to the Christ-like spirit that our lives display. Not only will we stand out in a crowd, but we will gain God’s favor.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to be the person that lives a consistent and exemplary life before others. Help my attitude and actions to reflect who You are, and help my life to be an example to those who do not know You.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14-16 NIV).

Prince Charming

June 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Carin LeRoy –

He caught my eye right away–the tall, lean guy with sun-bleached hair. It was love-at-first-sight for me. A mutual friend introduced us in the hallway during my first week of college.

Wow, I thought, I’d love to go out with him.

As a young girl, I had dreamy thoughts of who my Prince Charming might be and what he’d look like. Would he be tall or average height? Would he be blue or brown-eyed? What color would his hair be? Would he be handsome and funny? I had this weird idea that God would probably give me a husband, but that I’d probably not like him too much. Or that he’d be a great Christian, but he’d be ugly. God would give everyone else a great guy, but he’d give me the leftovers.

I remember the day the tall, lean guy with the sun-bleached hair sat by me in class. It was the end of my junior year in college, three years after I’d met him. (I guess it took him a while to notice me!) My heart must have skipped several beats.

“Hi,” he said calmly, “mind if I sit here?”

Are you kidding? I don’t think I absorbed too much of the lecture that day.

Yes, I married the tall, lean guy with the sun-bleached hair. He was everything I’d hoped for and far more. His devotion for God, his love and faithfulness to family, and his commitment to serve others made him my ideal choice. Marriage isn’t always perfect as you work through some of the bumps, but he’s definitely perfect for me.

What made me think that God would give me the ugly leftovers in a guy? Sometimes we have a distorted view of who God is. God loves to surprise us with the great plans He has for us–if only we’d just be patient and wait. Too many times we jump ahead of God’s plan, and then we live with that regret. So whatever place you find yourself today, remember that God does have a great plan for you, too. Be willing to wait on His timing.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You that You have great plans for me. Give me understanding and a proper view of who You are. Help me not to be impulsive and jump ahead of Your plan, but give me patience to wait for Your timing in my life.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29: 11-14 NIV).

Living Productive

June 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Carin LeRoy –

Working in a mission organization, I have the privilege of seeing and talking with many people who are living and working in overseas locations. Part of my job is to do a closing interview with all of those who go on short term trips to discuss how their time went. I enjoy hearing their stories as their share about their experience. Recently while talking with a medical intern who spent six weeks in a village hospital in Papua New Guinea, I asked him “What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from your time there?”

“While living there, I saw how hard the people had to work each day just to survive. Their lives are difficult. I want to become more diligent. Rather than having a day to sit around and watch a movie or do something I like, I want my life to be productive,” he said.

In Psalms 90:12 (NET) it says, “So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely.” It’s easy to let a day slip by us. Whether we sit around watching movies, playing video games, or spend hours with friends, we need to ask ourselves if the day could have been better spent. We can never recapture a day. Once spent, it is gone. But we can change the future and how we live each new day. A bit of prayerful planning can provide us with both the relaxation we need as well as fulfillment from our accomplishments.

God desires that we live productive lives. Don’t let time pass each day without a sense of fulfillment from a day well spent. Let’s stay focused on what God desires for us to accomplish each day and use our energy to work toward things that show diligence in our lives.

PRAYER: Lord, keep me focused on living a productive life. Give me wisdom to know the balance between relaxation and wasting time. Help me to accomplish Your purpose for each day.

“Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might, because there is neither work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, the place where you will eventually go” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NET).

Little Jason

May 6, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Carin LeRoy –

Years ago when teaching Kindergarten, I had the cutest little boy in my class. Jason was a lovable little guy and would walk into class and say, “Mrs. LeRoy, I love you!” His smile was contagious, but he had a big problem. He couldn’t sit still. His constant wiggles and lack of attention provided many distractions for the other children in the class. Some days I needed to send him out to sit in the office so the other students could concentrate. As he would walk down the hall to sit in the office, he would turn to me and say, “But Mrs. LeRoy, I’ll be good! I’ll be good!” As hard as he tried he couldn’t sit still. He wanted to learn, but his mind wouldn’t let him.

That reminds me of our lives as believers. God commands us to live holy lives, but we stumble along trying to meet God’s standard of godly living and many times fall short. Even the apostle Paul said, “For what I do is not the good I want to do” (Romans 7: 19 NIV). He saw the sinful nature at war with our desire to please and follow God. It is a struggle we all have to face. We are much like little Jason as we continually try hard, but often fail to get it right.

I’ve often wondered where the years have taken Jason in life. By now he would be a matured adult, and those wiggles would have disappeared. In a similar way, as we mature in Christ and become sensitive to His guidance, we learn to keep those sinful desires under control.

Charles Stanley says, “Every believer is indwelt by God’s Spirit, but the extent of His rule is determined by the Christian’s freedom to comply.” It’s our choice whether we will let God have control or give in to those desires. Let’s choose to live a life that is dependent upon the power of God.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You that I have Your Spirit to guide me and prompt me as I walk through life. Thank You that I can depend on Your power to live an obedient life. Help me to learn to be sensitive to Your leading each day.

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8: 5, 6 NIV).

The Hope of Heaven

April 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Carin LeRoy –

Yesterday while driving home from running a few errands, I noticed the bad condition of the road. As I drove over potholes and patched sections, I saw its ugliness. Unsightly orange cones lined one section where road repair happened. Litter cluttered the side. My thoughts turned to what heaven’s road will look like. They sure won’t look like the scene I saw.

When scripture speaks of the New Jerusalem it says, “The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass, (Revelation 21:21 NIV). While we pave our streets with black tarmac, heaven has streets of pure gold. Earlier in the chapter, it speaks of the foundation of the city walls. There are twelve layers, each with a different precious stone – jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelion, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. The twelve gates in the city are each made with a single pearl. That’s hard for me to imagine, but how beautiful that must look!

As we go through life in a fallen world with sin, sickness and pain, heaven is our hope. Not only because of its beauty, but because it is where we will spend eternity with Christ and where life’s struggles will end. I’m sure when we get to Heaven, the joys we experience will far outweigh the burdens of earthly life.

So when life gets you down, remember that Heaven awaits!

PRAYER: Lord, thank You that I have the hope of Heaven. Someday, when life’s struggles are over, thank You that I will get to enjoy the great wonders of Heaven and an eternal life with You.

QUOTE: “If you’re a Christian suffering with great pains and losses, Jesus says, “Be of good cheer,” (John 16:33 NIV). The new house is nearly ready for you. Moving day is coming. The dark winter is about to be magically transformed into spring. One day soon you will be home–for the first time. Until then, I encourage you to meditate on the Bible’s truths about Heaven. May your imagination soar and your heart rejoice,” Randy Alcorn, from Heaven.

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