By Judy Davis -
What new thing has God spoken into your heart this year? At the beginning of January as I reflected on setting goals I silently prayed, “What new devotion should I read this year?”
Within a minute I felt that still quiet voice of God speaking softly into my heart and spirit, “Write your own devotion, a 365 day devotional.” Did I hear correctly? That is a lot of writing!
However, I started writing the devotion the next morning. Since I have read the Bible through each year for many years, I felt it most important to write a Devotional for January through December using the whole Bible. This way the reader will also read the Scripture along with the daily devotion.
For over 20 years I have written devotions for various publishers. The way had already been prepared through attending writers conferences, going to college, even taking a class on writing nonfiction through Writer’s Digest.
I completed devotion number fifty this morning, writing one a day. My hope is to continue writing a page a day. But, if I can’t, I will continue working on this project until completion.
Is God speaking to you today? Are you listening? God never overlooks our obedience or disobedience. Peter Lord wrote in his book, Hearing God, “a person learns to hear” and that a hearing ear can be developed. What a challenge to learn to listen to God!
PRAYER: Father, thank you for a new thing you are doing in us today. May our hearts and ears be open to hear your voice. Then help us to act on what you would have us to do so others may know You.
“See the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isaiah 42:9).
By Judy Davis -
Jesus Christ came as light, joy, and peace. Exactly what the human race needs. How can people receive this light, joy, and peace? They get it only through a disciplined life transformed daily by the Holy Spirit.
When people lose the light of Christ in their lives, depression, pain, and misery come in. When they are filled up with his Spirit and dwell on him, the love He has for them will pour out onto others ultimately helping them with their own troubles.
We have no idea what people are going through. We should be ready to help and console those in need. Recently, one of our neighbors shared about the pain and suffering they had experienced through the years. His wife was killed by a dump truck slamming into her car. His son committed suicide. He married later on and his new wife’s daughter was murdered by her ex-husband. God places people in our path for us to pray for them, encourage, and comfort them.
Joy is one of the fruits of the spirit, but it must be cultivated. We must learn to resist the enemy. If he can get Christians’ joy, he will have their strength. Christians should SMILE and let joy be a part of their lives so others may see and believe. They know in their heart as long as there is life there will be difficulties.
If Christians carry the burdens of others, they will lose their own. Everywhere they look there are others worse off than they are. When they pray for them, love them, and help them, they will get their minds off themselves.
Learn to live above the every day circumstances. So what if things are not going smoothly? Accept them and move forward. Go to the library, go to the gym, go bowling, write in a journal, but most of all, spend quality time in prayer and the Bible.
PRAYER: Father, please help me today to better understand Your Word as this will produce the light of Christ in my life. Letting Your light shine in our lives is the key to turning others toward You.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NIV).
By Judy Davis -
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
My friend Ann asked me if I would teach a Bible study to women in a detention center. As I gave each woman a copy of my book, Women of the Bible, they seemed eager to learn. It was during Valentine’s week so I also took a bag of Valentine candy. Each piece had words written across the top such as Love, Peace, Joy, and Sweet. This act of kindness not only blessed them, but they seemed to be more attentive to the study.
I thought this was a great idea and didn’t see anything wrong with giving the women a few pieces of candy. But I learned later we were not supposed to take candy into the jail. Oh, to live and learn….
Our message is not only to tell others that love is a powerful gift from God. We also need to show people the power of love in action. Be observant; a vessel asking God to help us in all of life’s situations. One of the women in jail was crying. She missed her children. It was an opportune time to give her a hug….let her know someone cares. And pray for her to allow God’s love to change her life.
Everywhere we go there are people worse off than we can imagine. We must pray for them, help them, and most of all love them. Do you know some one in need today? During the Christmas holidays we were so quick to give not only gifts but ourselves. May we be willing to give of ourselves all year. This pleases God!
One way to reach out to those in need is to buy cards and place money or a gift certificate in them. You can buy gift certificates at many restaurants. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Loving others is the most important gift we can give.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1Corinthians 13:13 NIV).
PRAYER: Father, help me today to be a vessel of love. So many people are hurting and need a hug, or maybe just a kind word. Guide me to be more in tune to the needs of others.
By Judy Davis -
Ever since my pastor preached a sermon on reading God’s Word through each year, it has been a challenge. After he preached on this topic, I started reading with the book of Genesis. It has not only blessed my life, but changed it!
I read a little each day using Bible Pathway’s simple 15 minute reading plan. Bible Pathway is a great guide to reading the Bible through by giving an excerpt of each daily Scripture that helps me to better understand what I read.
I soon realized there is always something new to comprehend. The Bible seems to come alive literally lighting up my day. The Words seem to jump off the page just when I need them. We can’t just read it, though. Once we have been enlightened by the Holy Scripture, we have a responsibility to act upon it. It’s important to meditate on what you are reading. It also helps to memorize the Word.
When we bought our new home several years ago, I purchased some pretty paintings with Scripture on them. I have pictures on the wall in each room of my home with God’s Word. It’s important to me for our home to be founded on the Bible. Yes, even the bathrooms have small paintings with Scripture. One of my favorites is my life verse: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
Some days I must make my self sit down and read the Bible. Other things start coming to my mind such as what to cook for dinner, what to wear, and where to go. It’s difficult to stay focused on what I am reading. Yet, this is one of the most important things I do each day. I have to stop and pray for my mind to receive what God would have me receive for the new day.
He already knows what the day holds, whether good or bad. Let’s make the New Year our best year ever by meeting God in His Word every day. When you do this, the next 12 months will be the most spiritually rewarding year of your life. You’ll never be the same!
It’s hard to believe it’s been 26 years since I first started reading the Bible through. My husband started a few years ago. We enjoy discussing what we are reading. We both look forward to beginning again in 2013!
By Judy Davis –
Christmas, what a wonderful time of the year! I’ll never forget the memories of our older grandchildren celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Each Christmas Eve I baked a cake and lit a candle as we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. After we finished singing, I read the Christmas Story.
As I read the Christmas story, I was captivated by the simple words that there was no room in the inn. On the morning our Lord was born, there was no room for Him. In many lives today, there is still no room for Him. The Jesus of the first Christmas is the Jesus of this Christmas. Christmas means that God is where you are with your needs. Whatever you are going through, the answer is and always will be Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham stated in his message “Christmas: God With Us,” that “many cynics will blame God for the troubles of the world. We should blame ourselves. We have a spiritual disease, and that disease is called sin. Until sin is conquered, the world will not be a better place in which to live.”
Christmas is more than tinsel and lights. It is more than gifts under the tree. Christmas is a joyous time to experience Christ, to have our needs met and help meet the needs of others.
I’ll never forget the Christmas when our younger grandson Connor started to open a present. He saw my little olive wood manger scene I bought in Bethlehem many years ago. He slowly picked up Baby Jesus, the manger, a donkey, and a camel, in his tiny hand. He laid down his gifts that were still wrapped and began to play with Baby Jesus.
It was not long before he ran to me and said, “Nana, where is Baby Jesus? I can’t find baby Jesus.” We began to look for Him under the rug, etc. We both got down on our hands and knees, crawling all over the living room searching for Jesus. “I found Him! I found him!” squeaked Connor. At that moment I thought of the verse, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
Jesus told his disciples not to keep Him from little children, He wants them to know and love Him. As we prepare our homes for this festive holiday let us also prepare our heart and make room for Christ in Christmas.
When the holidays seem hectic with all the shopping, gift-wrapping, decorating, baking, addressing Christmas cards, and cleaning house, take time to plan. Start early with a list. If you do, you can get ahead and be ready to enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.