Never Doubt Obedience

May 17, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Carin Leroy –

My three-year-old grandson and his family visited recently, and his Mom was trying to get him potty-trained. Since I had a bowl of gumdrops up high, she bribed him with, “If you use the potty, I’ll give you a candy.” As he eyed the colored sweetness, he understood that if he accomplished what Mommy asked that he would get a reward. It wasn’t long before he started tearing off clothes and heading to the bathroom.

He returned with his little hand out saying, “Candy?”

Sure enough, he would get the promised treat. He learned that obeying and accomplishing a certain task provided a promised reward.

Just as my young grandson was learning the benefits of obedience, we can also be assured that when we listen and obey God’s voice that we will also be blessed.

An example of faith and obedience bringing personal blessing was David. As a young man, he was anointed to be king by the prophet Samuel (I Samuel 16). But instead, he was met with hardships for many years. Yet his choice to have faith and obedience did eventually bring him the kingship of Israel.

Many in the Bible were personally blessed because of obedience:

• Mary’s obedience meant she was the mother of Jesus.
• The widow saved her son from slavery when she obeyed the prophet by collecting many jars and filling them with the last of her oil (II Kings 4).
• Abraham became the father of a nation because he obeyed God when He said, “Go to a land I will show you” (Genesis 12).
• The disciples caught a huge net of fish because they obeyed Christ’s command to cast the net once more (John 21).
• The man born blind received his sight when he listened to Christ and washed the clay off his eyes in the Pool of Siloam (John 9).

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Love is the chief jewel in the bracelet of obedience.” Obedience will flow from a heart that truly loves God. Blessing will follow. We may not understand or see instant results (just like young David), but we can trust we will be blessed, too. Not only do we gain the benefit of growth and maturity in our spiritual life, but we reap the outcome of that step of faith to obey. Never doubt what your obedience to God will accomplish.

PRAYER: Lord, give me a heart that obeys because of a true love for You. Remove any rebellion in my life, so that I can fulfill the purpose that You have for me. Help me not to doubt what my obedience to You will accomplish.

“How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord. How blessed are those who observe His rules, and seek Him with all their heart, who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in His footsteps. You demand that your precepts be carefully kept. If only I were predisposed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, if I were focused on all your commands…With all my heart I seek You. Do not allow me to stray from Your commands!” (Psalm 119:1–6, 10 NET).

Trusting God for the Details

March 8, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Carin LeRoy –

I knew I was going to forget something really important. Several years ago my husband, and son, David, were going on a mission trip to Papua New Guinea. It is in my nature to make lists and pack items carefully. I wanted to remember everything. In a small cosmetic bag, I packed all the office supplies they might need – scissors, mini stapler, tape, etc. In another container I packed the silverware – forks, spoons, knives, can opener and other basics for cooking. Then onto the medical supplies- medicine for pain, allergies, stomach upsets, bug bites and sunburn, and bandages. Then I typed a shopping list for items they would need to buy once they arrived in the country.

I am such a mother. I’ve just got to make sure my family has what it needs.

But the morning my husband left, we decided to change his carry-on suitcase. I ran to get the laptop to see if it would fit. Everything went in smoothly. We zipped up the bags and left for the airport.

After arriving home, I realized I hadn’t packed the power cord to the computer!

Oops.

Now I’m not taking all the blame here, because I do have a hubby with a brain, too. In the suitcase switch, we missed a very important detail.

I strived to remember everything to pack for the trip, but I still forgot something. Thank goodness that God doesn’t forget the details when He orchestrates our lives. I believe He is very interested in all the details—the little ones and the big ones. Sometimes when it seems that He’s missed or forgotten something important, that’s when we must remember He is without fault. Then we trust in the perfect plan He has for us. He can neither make a mistake, forget, nor do anything that contradicts His selfless love for us. I am reminded of Isaiah 55:8 which says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (NIV).

Luckily for me, my son David flew out two days later to follow my husband, so I was able to send the power cord with him.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord that Your ways are higher than mine and Your understanding is infinite. Keep me mindful of Your power to perfectly orchestrate my life. Give me trust in You each day.

“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him” (2 Samuel 22:31 NIV).

Who? Me? Courageous?

March 4, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Carin LeRoy –

Has someone ever said you were gifted at something? Maybe after speaking they said, “You are a wonderful teacher.” Perhaps, “You’re a visionary”, or “God has given you wisdom and discernment.” Many times others see in us what we can’t see in ourselves, but God has given each of us specific gifting.

In Judges 6, we read about the Israelites’ oppression under the dominating rule of the Midians. We find Gideon threshing wheat while hiding in a winepress—normally used for pressing grapes to make wine. He worked alone away from the watchful eyes of the Midianites—probably afraid they would take his wheat for their own use. Their tyranny had left the nation impoverished. While he was working, an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, courageous warrior.”

Gideon probably thought, “Who? Me? A courageous warrior? I’m just trying to eke out a living to feed my family.”

“But sir,” he said, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”

God said, “You have the strength. Deliver Israel from the power of the Midians. Have I not sent you?”

Gideon voiced several areas of concern: 1) “How can I deliver Israel?” 2) “My clan is the weakest in Israel.” 3) “I am the youngest in my family.”

Full of uncertainty, he wondered if he was the right man for such a job. Maybe he thought God would accept those excuses and ask someone else. But God chose him. After the Lord’s gentle coaching, Gideon set out to obey. The result? “The Israelites humiliated Midian; the Midianites fighting spirit was broken. The land had rest for 40 years during Gideon’s time,” (Judges 8: 28 NET). God gave Gideon the power to accomplish His purpose. Gideon progressed from doubt in his ability to trusting God and walking in obedience to Him. As a result, a nation was freed from oppression by one man’s faith in God.

Transitioning from doubt to faith takes courage. It takes trust in God’s word. Just as Gideon, we also have God’s assurance of “I will be with you.”

PRAYER: Lord, thank You that You equip us with gifts to accomplish Your purposes. Help me not to doubt. Give me confidence to believe and trust in Your power. Help me have faith to step out, like Gideon, and trust You.

QUOTE: “I believe that the happiest of all Christians and the truest of Christians are those who never dare to doubt God, but take His Word simply as it stands, believe it, and ask no questions, just feeling assured that if God has said it, it will be so.” C.H. Spurgeon.

Marginalizing God

January 11, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Carin LeRoy  –

The recent event at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut was a horrible and unthinkable tragedy. As a nation, we were stunned by the fact that one person could burst through the safe environment of a school and commit such an act of brutality on innocent and trusting children. We wonder, “Could that happen to my child?”

The carnage that left a school and community suffering, lives destroyed and families devastated makes us ask, “How could this happen? What has gone wrong in our culture that people have become so heartless? Is it violent video games? Do parents work too much? Is it latch-key kids? Is it mental illness? Were drugs the reason? What is it?”

We ask, “Why would God let this happen?”

I don’t know the answers in this situation or the mental stability of the perpetrator, but I do know that as a culture we have left the foundations that this country was built upon. A nation that began with Biblical principles and chose to proclaim on our currency “in God we trust,” is now a nation that seeks tolerance and justification for sins which God hates. We no longer want to recognize God’s laws or commands. We’ve become a nation where many lack moral direction, compassion and empathy. Some children grow up lacking hope and purpose in life, and the scores of broken homes haven’t given our children the stability they deserve. Some polls record that less than 20% of Americans attend church on a regular basis. That leaves about 80% – many who probably do not have knowledge or recognition of God in their personal life.

As a nation we have marginalized God more and more by allowing God’s principles to be forced out of our society, yet we wonder “Where was God?” As our moral decay increases, so will such tragedies. But as believers, we know that God is sovereign and that He still reigns – even with evil in the world. Psalm 73:26 reminds us that “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (NIV)

Not only were we stunned by the events that day, but I believe God grieved too. He gives a solution when He says, “If my people will pray…” Let’s ask God today that our nation will not seek worldly answers from society, but that we will seek God for answers and ask Him to heal our land.

PRAYER: Lord make us a people of prayer. Help us to live lives that will be a testimony to others who do not know You. Make us a light that shines in a dark world.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).

Truest Worship

November 28, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Carin LeRoy –

Recently my neighbor knew a family who had a fire in their house, and she asked if my husband had a spare pair of shoes she could take to the husband. We remembered a pair of casual nice leather shoes that didn’t fit my husband that were never used. They were sitting in the closet gathering dust, so I gave her the pair. My neighbor was grateful, and I felt good they were going to someone in need. As I thought about those shoes, I began to think that giving those was not a sacrifice because we couldn’t use them anyway.

How much do we sacrifice for others? As Christians, we go to church most Sundays, give our tithe, attend small group, maybe give a gift to a missionary and fill our lives with good and honorable things. But these things are not sacrifice. Mothers forgo a career to raise their children; fathers give up comfort and peace to work hard and support their family; and parents forfeit their desires for their children’s needs. These are ways we sacrifice for family.

When we are self-absorbed, we focus on our own needs and desires and are not willing to give for the sake of others. Many marriages fall apart because one or both partners refuse to compromise or meet the needs of the other. Sacrifice means we are willing to deny ourselves in order to bless others or to bless God. We relinquish for the benefit of another.

I think of a missionary pilot and friend who flew a small single-engine plane for years helping others. He flew into isolated areas taking in supplies and food, carrying out those needing medical care and making sure that he was meeting the needs of those in his area. His work cost him his life one day as his plane crashed into the side of a mountain after encountering bad weather. He sacrificed for others.

Do we live a life of sacrifice? Or are we self-absorbed? Christ is our ultimate example. In Scripture we read in Philippians that “Christ made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant.” Why? Because He knew that living in obedience to God’s will was worth the sacrifice of his own life—even death on a cross. Out of His great love, Christ left all the glories of heaven and His deserved place beside His father to sacrifice His life for us.

As we move into this new year, let’s remember that a life of obedience and a willingness to sacrifice is the truest form of worship.

PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your great sacrifice and willingness to come to earth and die for my sins. Keep me mindful that a life of true worship stems from a life of obedience and sacrifice.

“You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross! As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow– in heaven and on earth and under the earth – and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:6-11 NET).

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