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.

A Facebook Society

April 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Carin LeRoy –

Five years ago at the prompting of a friend, I started a Facebook account and began to collect a list of social friends. It’s been a great way to connect with old college buddies, people who live in other states, and stay connected my children who live out of town. I love to see updates and photos of my family and the special events of others. I just added a great friend from my middle/high years whom I haven’t talked with in over 30 years. People that we can never actually visit, we can communicate and keep up with on Facebook.

It can become a great place to “spy,” brag or vent – not necessarily good virtues. We can post so many updates that it looks like some think their realm of friends is interested in their every move (who cares if you just bought a milkshake at Burger King?). It’s easy to see what mood some are in for the day–happy, mad, depressed, struggling, grieving–just by their posts.

Although I have several hundred friends and make comments on other’s posts, the communication is superficial. It’s a word here or a sentence there as I scroll down the home page. Communication is brief and to the point with no in-depth conversation. I see that as the sign of our busy times: Connect, comment and move on.

How dangerous it can be for us if our times with God are as brief and superficial as a Facebook post! Read a verse, pray and move on? How badly we need extended times of prayer and meditation with the Lord to hear His voice and draw on His strength for this life. Does God just get a token prayer like our friends get a one-sentence comment? With Facebook that might be enough, but it’s not enough for communicating with our Creator. Let’s remember to not let the busyness of our lives crowd out time for nourishing our spiritual life and hearing God speak.

PRAYER: Lord, keep me mindful that spending quality time with You needs to be part of my day. Help me to meditate and reflect on Your word and spend time in real communication with You.

“I recall the old days; I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on Your accomplishments. I spread my hands out to You in prayer; my soul thirsts for You in a parched land,” Psalm 143: 5-6 NET).

The Perfect Accessory

March 5, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Carin LeRoy –

I received my first piece of jewelry from my grandparents when I was only five years old. One day they took me to the store to help me choose my first ring. I remember being so excited and admiring it on my hand. Over the years family members have given me other special gifts: the opal necklace my parents gave me on my 20th birthday, the diamond band from my husband on our 20th anniversary and the birthstone heart necklace that my children bought me one Mother’s Day. These gifts are special as I wear them to compliment my outfit or adorn my hand.

God has picked out the perfect accessory for us too. In Proverbs 3:21,22 He says, “Preserve sound judgment and discernment , do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.”

With all the characteristics God could choose, what makes these so important that He wants to emphasize our need for them? God desires for us to navigate life well, and that requires good judgment and discernment.

Judgment can be described as the ability to logically compare and understand the best results and outcome, and discernment is the skill to see and comprehend what is not obvious or evident in a given situation. Both of these help us make wise decisions. In a culture where wrong is only relative, the ability to make wise choices has become obscured. No longer is the firm foundation of God’s Word used in making wise choices.

Just as a necklace that adorns our neck is the first part of our wardrobe that people see, so, too, our sound judgment and discernment (or lack thereof) will be the first thing that people notice about us. God’s adornment of sound judgment and discernment give us a life with meaning – not a life with bad decisions and regret. Let’s remember to adorn ourselves with God’s perfect accessory.

PRAYER: Lord, give me sound judgment and discernment. As I make decisions, help me to have wisdom to make right choices for my life. Give me a heart that desires You to lead and guide me each day.

“My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared,” (Proverbs 3: 21-26 NIV).

Holiness: A Listening Heart

February 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Carin LeRoy –

Ernest Hemingway once said, “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Although his life ended in tragedy, as a journalist he recognized the importance of a skill that many of us lack.

Sometimes when my family speaks to me, I realize I didn’t hear what they said because I wasn’t paying attention. How many of us go through seminars, meetings and church services and then can’t remember all that was said because we weren’t engaged mentally? Listening is a skill we all need to improve.

As we continue to learn what a holy life is, another aspect is having a heart that desires to know more and a willingness to listen to God’s instruction. In Luke 10, Mary is a great example of a listening heart. While Jesus was visiting at their home, she chose to sit and listen to Him speak. Martha, on the other hand, was too busy to stop her activity and spend time with Him. She missed out on what God was teaching because she was “too busy.”

How many times do we do the same? Even though Martha was doing good (fixing food for all the guests), God still said, “Mary has chosen what is better.” Mary placed importance on spending time with God. Mary listened because Jesus was speaking, and she knew to listen.

Having a listening heart means we have a desire to learn from and obey God. He wants the best for us but cannot give it if we are distracted or placing more importance on other things

Proverbs 1 says, “whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.” Remember, God has our best interest in mind if we can develop a heart that listens.

PRAYER: Thank You that Your words are truth for my life. Give me a willing and focused heart to hear You when you speak.

“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” (Psalm 119: 1-6 NET).

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