Whatever

May 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Rosemary Flaaten

What is on today’s to-do list? Is it to put the finishing touches on the big presentation? Is it to clean up a lingering mess in the storeroom? Is it to grade papers? Is it to get to your exercise class? Is it to have lunch with your daughter? Our lives are full of tasks, some menial and routine, others extra special. Whatever the task you will tackle today, God has gifted you with this opportunity for a purpose, and His directive is for you to do your work in such a way that it glorifies Him.

It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, plumber, corporate executive, child care attendant, nurse, computer programmer or salesperson, God has called us to do our work to the best of our ability. Usually if we do our work well there is affirmation that comes our way. We may even get paid for the work we do. But momentary compensation, affirmation or esteem should not be our primary purpose for our work. The Apostle Paul instructs us that “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

Synonyms for the word “whatever” include all, everything, and encompassing. The “whatever” in this scripture is not just talking about the ministry you lead at your church, the Sunday School class you teach or the shut-ins you visit on the weekend. Rather, it encompasses everything we do –working, driving, eating, sleeping, chatting, and exercising. Everything is an act of worship and should be done so that God is glorified, uplifted and extolled.

This may seem plausible when all is going well, your coworkers are picking up their share of the work, your boss is congenial and you feel confident in your abilities. It takes a much greater commitment to see the opportunities to glorify God when the project list is too long, your employees are threatening mutiny and your friend just screamed at you. Glorifying God in all we do is not dependent on situations. It is to occur in spite of our situations.

What are you tempted to do poorly or exclude from your “whatever” list?

PRAYER: Help me this day to choose to glorify You in all that I do – from the menial to the meaningful.

BIBLE VERSE: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV)

Portion Control

April 15, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Janet Morris Grimes –

Portion. I tend to think of it an individual serving. An allotment. The perfect amount. No more or no less than what I need.

Where food is concerned, especially during the holidays, my portions increase in size;  not because I need them, but rather, because the opportunity is there. There is much more to choose from, enticing trays of my favorites, beckoning me to pack on a few holiday pounds.

Clearly, it is in the best interest of my thighs to keep my food portions under control.

In the dictionary, ‘portion’ is defined in many different ways:

Portion – a part of a whole. A share.

Portion – an inheritance. The part of an estate that goes to the next of kin.

Portion – (as a verb) to divide out. This term is used often in worship songs and throughout the Bible. Each time, it takes on a different meaning.

Inheritance – “To you, I give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit” (Psalm 105:11 NIV)

Divide out – “She gets up while it is still night, and provides portions for her family” (Proverbs 31:15 NIV)

A piece – “This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you…” (Jeremiah 13:25 NIV)

But it was in the oft overlooked book of Lamentations that I found my favorite use of this word.

“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion, therefore I shall wait for him” (Lamentations 3:24).

Whatever I need on this day, God offers the perfect amount of it. He brings no more or no less than what I crave. He divides out my piece of Him in daily doses. He alone is my inheritance, and that is more than enough for me.

And in return, I am also His portion. A small piece of His whole, for I am nothing on my own. He tells me that I am more than enough for Him, and I find that quite comforting.

This much I know for sure, as I still sometimes struggle with portion control in everything from the size of my home to the amount of money in our account. He has gone to prepare a place for me. And it will be perfect in size, I am sure.

PRAYER: Dear God, Forgive me for the times that I yearn for more than what I need. Help me to rest in You. Your love and provision are more than enough for me and my family. I trust You and Your timing, for You have more than proven Your faithfulness to me. Therefore, I will wait for You.

 

 

 

Alleluia; All Is Well

April 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Elaine James –

Is all well?

The Alleluia chanted before the Gospel is proclaimed in the liturgies of the various Christian liturgical rites. Alleluia will be solemnly chanted at other times also, usually in conjunction with Psalms. Singing the Praise of the Lord or Alleluia is a way of lifting up our voices to sing “all is well.”

Did you know that love walked amongst us?

This by far is the most epic news ever recorded on this earth.

The Word came to walk amongst us; there were eyewitnesses who recorded it!

Do you believe that?

Take a moment and think about the Word of life that breathed life into you. Jesus came to Earth,as man.

Some say the past is in the past. He is not here now. He may not be here now, but that does not stop me from thinking about Him now! Jesus said he must leave so the Holy Spirit can come rest inside of us. That means that love still walks amongst us.

How could, should, would that make your life different?

It must make our lives different. Does that reality bring you to tears?  Tears of joy flow from me. The knowledge of Jesus is so lofty to attain. I ache inside to see Him. The Spirit of God exists, and that is satisfying. The Spirit dwells in me, and He reveals Himself to me. Alleluia!

Loneliness grips me at times. Asking for love to walk with me, at those moments, is powerful. On my own, loving others is not easy. Seems that I can’t make anyone happy! Some reject this love, unable to feel it.

This is hard to grasp. The apostles were also confused that love walked among them, especially after Jesus died. Then, when he reappeared, they panicked and wondered, “Is this Jesus?” In the end, God touched them, blessed them and too, their doubt and fear away, sent the Holy Spirit to walk with them; within them.

We can’t live life in our own strength. We weren’t designed that way.

Jesus is love that walks amongst you. Think about it, receive it.

Give that Spirit-led love to others and allow God to use you!

Feel the love. All is well. Alleluia!

PRAYER:  Love walks with me; touch me. In Jesus name.

BIBLE VERSE: “When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them” (Luk 24:50 (NIV).

Then and Now

March 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Rosemary Flaaten –

We all love life-change stories. Someone was once a drug addict, living on the streets, and now they have a family and are a contributing member of society. Someone was bankrupt, and now they own a multimillion dollar business. Someone chose adultery, but now have returned to their marriage and are loving, honoring and devoted to their spouse.

Then-and-now stories are inspirational. They give us hope that, despite the mistakes we have made, we can enter a new present that will enable a future of change.

Reflecting on then-and-now stories made me think of my own story of transformation. No, I never lived on the street, suffered bankruptcy or cheated on my spouse. But, before asking Jesus to be my Lord, I lived a life without God.

The apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossian church gives a then-and-now story that mirrors my life: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22 NIV).

Before I committed my life to Christ, I was fearful of death, failure and just about anything that went “boo” in the night. Now, I have an abiding trust in God’s goodness and His plan for my life. I may not get it right all the time -– actually I will not get it right all the time – but God, in his amazing grace and love, picks me up and sets me back on the path of grace.  He never shames me, but simply loves me and draws me further to a likeness that reflects His character.

What’s your then-and-now story? How has God’s presence in your life brought about transformation? What change has come about in your life because of God? I encourage you to tell others your story of transformation. Don’t ever feel its not dramatic enough to speak about. Every little step of change is worth celebrating. The angels are rejoicing, so let’s celebrate on earth, as it is in heaven.

PRAYER: Lord, I ask for opportunities to share my story of the difference You have made in my life.  Use it for Your glory and to further Your kingdom.

BIBLE VERSE: “Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” 1 Peter 3:15 (The Message).

What Does God Want?

March 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Art Fulks –

It was a common conversation that I have with believers. Someone wanted me to know and understand his position about a decision that he had to make. I first told him that I loved him and that I wanted God’s best for him. But after listening and probing a bit, I heard something that really troubled me. He said he was going to make a list of pros and cons before making a final decision.

Why does that bother me so much? As followers of Christ, our process for making decisions should be different from that of the world. Yet what we too many times do is avoid the most important question: “What does God want?”

If we believe that God has our best interest at heart and has the power to bring into our lives that best if we follow Him, then why avoid asking the question? I asked that exact question and I believe this person answered it very accurately. He said, “I am not sure I want to know the answer.”

There are many decisions in my life that I wish now would have been preceded by this critical question. Certainly God gives us wisdom and intellect to figure out what to have for dinner. But how often do we get God’s perspective on weightier matters such as finances, relationships, vocation, education, etc.? When we do not ask God for His guidance in the most important decisions, we relegate our lives to asking God to bless our decisions.

God has given us His Spirit in order to make discerning choices. Opinions are everywhere and may even be godly. But as 1 John 4:1-6 tells us, we can ultimately know that our decision-making is sound based on two criteria: (1) Does it glorify Jesus Christ? and (2) Is it consistent with the teaching of God’s Word? If our ultimate goal in life is to glorify Jesus Christ, then it will also be for our best. And God gave us His Word as the fully sufficient resource to all of the questions of faith and life. You can depend on it.

BIBLE VERSE: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God…’” (I John 4:1a NASB).

« Previous PageNext Page »