Organic Truth

October 3, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cindy Martin –

We live in an age where our focus has shifted to eating organic food to protect us from the harmful effects of GMO (genetically modified organisms) as well as toxic chemicals found in pesticides, growth hormones and food additives. It’s all about eating food in its purest form so that we can maximize its nutritional value in order to experience optimal physical health and healing.

As I pondered this trend in our thinking, I couldn’t help but think of the correlation to the effect God’s Word has on our lives. Organic by its very definition refers to something living. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that “the word of God is alive and powerful” (NLT). Psalm 119:9 tells us that the way to stay pure is to follow God’s Word.

The anticipated result of eating organic is that we’d live stronger, healthier lives and experience healing in parts of our body that require it. Psalm 119:50 reminds us, “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me” (NASB).

I am of the opinion that the transforming power of scripture has been greatly overlooked and underestimated in our culture. Our fast-food drive-thru approach to scripture reading and/or memorization has left us spiritually anemic and empty of things of lasting value much like fast food leaves our bodies devoid of any lasting nutritional value.

Trying to “do life” without the direction, truth and power of scripture is indeed like trying to eat burgers and fries hoping they won’t have any effect on our heart or our health.

A regular steady diet of God’s Word is absolutely essential to having a healthy spiritual heart. When we’re faced with temptation or difficulty, which is inevitable (“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” John 16:33 NLT), we need to follow the example Christ set for us. During His temptation in the desert, His immediate response to every antic of the enemy was “It is written…It is also written…It is written” (Matthew 4:4-10 NIV).

Christ knew the irrefutable power of God’s Word and leaned on its strength when His own was being tested. Friend, in all the moments of our lives, we need the truth, correction, comfort and guidance that God offers us in His Word.

“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG).

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the power of Your Word. Create an appetite in my spirit for its transforming work in my life.

Premature Season Change

October 2, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cynthia Ruchti –

As I write this, I’m surrounded by the wonder of a warm autumn day, one that smells like toasted summer. The autumn light spotlights the bright colors of the autumn trees and autumn-crisped grasses, perfuming the autumn air with that mellow, smooth, ripe fragrance of cottonwood at its peak and rusty pine needles, of apples begging for picking and tomato plants giving up their last fruits of harvest.

By the time you read this, few places this far north will have leaves on the trees. The staccato dance of color and rustle will have given way to the rattle of bare boned branches against one another, brown against a gray November sky.

Autumn seems too short of a season, most years. And sometimes that’s my fault. I cheat it of its shelf life, because I know what’s coming–winter.

Winter–not my favorite time of year, living in this land of ice and cold, snow and blizzards, closed roads and colorlessness; unless you count white as a color.

Winter–the season that seems endless, its days short and bone-chilling.

Autumn, on the other hand, calls for sweatshirts and long hikes through the opening woods, for s’mores over the campfire and quilt cocoons, great sleeping weather with the windows open and the down comforters piled high, pumpkins and earthtone decorations and Thanksgiving and putting up the garden’s produce.

But I hesitate in autumn, never taking a full breath, because I know what the season right behind it will demand.

A cancer patient in remission might fail to take a full breath, knowing she’ll have another biopsy six months or a year from now. A parent of a pre-teen might miss some of the beauty because of a premature, imagined chill still years distant. A marriage might suffer from a similar syndrome: “We made it through that crisis, but there’s bound to be another one ahead”.

When God said through Solomon that there was a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3), I wonder if He also was telling us not to cheat the season we’re in. To plan for, but not pre-live, the crises of the next or opposite season.

“Don’t you be talking when it’s the season to be silent,” He might rephrase that instruction. “Don’t feel loss when it’s the season of gain. Don’t pre-worry about a season of death and miss the season of living.”

PRAYER: Father God, why should thoughts of an icy wind trouble me on a day like today when the sun is blindingly bright against the yellow leaves, the breeze merely cool, not cold? So fill my sense with this present moment that I don’t miss Your Presence in it!

“There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 CEB).

The Will of the Father

October 1, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Elaine James –

While sitting at a Senior Choral practice a frail elderly gentleman turned to me and asked, “What is the will of God for your life?”

I wondered how to respond to this kind man. To me it is a loaded question with many possible answers, but I chose to respond “to be a child of Jesus.”

He blinked and gently spoke, “First Thessalonians 5:16-22: rejoice always, pray constantly and give thanks under all circumstances. Know the love of God. Don’t despise prophesying. Test all things. Do well. Refrain from sin. Reach out to Jesus.”

I can only imagine that you have found yourself in similar situations where you weren’t sure what to do or say either. People may have been asking you “Do you believe God exists?” “Who is Jesus and what does he mean to you?” or, “How do you live out the will of the Father?”
Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I rejoice always?
2. Do I pray continually?
3. Do I give thanks under all circumstances?
4. Do I know the love of God?
5. Do I test all things?
6. Do I refrain from sin?

Our answers just need to be honest. God is not grading us. He reminds us gently what His will is for our lives. He is not forcing His will onto us. He loves us and gently guides us. He wants us to do well this side of heaven.

What would happen in our churches if all of us began to model the will of our Father in heaven?

PRAYER: Father give me the courage to examine this checklist. Help me to be honest and desire to live out the will You have for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Twist

September 29, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cheri Cowell –

Call it good parenting. Call it bribery. But all of us have done it.

We have several more errands to run and the children are getting restless. So, we offer to take them to the park, stop for Happy Meals, or allow them to choose the movie that night “if they will help get these last few errands done.”

If you will…then I will… God uses this same parenting technique with us, but His comes with a twist.

Today’s passage is often quoted to make the point that God set up this “if you will do this” (humble yourselves and turn from evil) then God will forgive and heal the land.

Some say that because we have not humbled ourselves and have turned from evil, God is withholding His forgiveness and blessing. What this explanation leaves out is that throughout history we’ve repeatedly not held up our end of the bargain, and yet, God still sent Jesus.

Jesus is the twist. He rewrites this parenting technique to say, even if you don’t, I will still forgive and shower you with blessings.

“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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).

Prayer: God, You are to be praised for being the ultimate parent who, although maintaining the “if you will” goal, steps in with a twist—the twist of grace. Help me see Your grace as reason to fulfill my end of the bargain.

Happy New You

September 28, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Judy Davis –

At the beginning of this year I felt God speaking to my heart about writing a new book. I started writing in January. When God speaks we must be sensitive to hear His voice and be obedient to His divine direction.
Sometimes it’s not easy to step out in faith. It takes discipline, perseverance, endurance, and work. But when God asks us to do something, we can do it in His strength. We certainly need to pray and seek Godly counsel daily in every area of our lives.

Are you pressing forward in the things Jesus has placed on your heart to do? Keep moving forward and let nothing stop you. God wants to meet us right where we are. Learn to see how He works in the details of our daily lives. His promises are as real today as they were when the Word was written. He is still able to meet us at our point of need today as yesterday.

This week my husband and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary. Our marriage has not been perfect but we know God has been there through the good and bad times. We both are forever thankful for these years he has given to us.

Recently I told my youngest son, “The hardest and most important job we do is raising our children.”

Mr. John Rosemond, a minister, was asked, “What is the biggest mistake parents make?”

He stated, “They pay entirely too much attention to and do entirely too much for their children. These children usually, but not always, end up as spoiled brats. On the other hand, some parents’ biggest mistakes are that they pay entirely too little attention to their kids.” Again, we must do the best we can with God’s divine guidance.

Remember, nothing in life is easy. Whether it is writing a manuscript, being married, or raising a family, we must depend on our faith in God. My book Happy New You, a 365-day devotional on reading the Bible through will be finished this month. To God be the glory for He has helped me every step of the way.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, what a mighty God we serve. Help us to do the best we can in all we do so our lives may glorify you.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).

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