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30th July

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Christian parenting has eternal weight. Give them Jesus or else the world will grasp them firm. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Throughout scripture, God is pretty clear about the responsibility He places in the hands of parents. None is more clear than Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

We have a responsibility as parents to teach our children what matters to God. It doesn’t mean forcing them into a certain set of beliefs or rituals; rather, it means demonstrating real faith-one that puts the focus on loving God and loving others. There is no greater purpose we can have in life than reflecting God’s image for our children to see.

Our children are going to learn about the world around them and their role in it. If they don’t learn from us, they will learn from someone else. It’s our responsibility to use our time with our kids wisely.

When writing to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the church to be “followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1-2. That encourages me and reminds me of how I’m supposed to live and love. But, it also reminds me that my children are in my care and looking for my example. Our children imitate us. They learn how to act by seeing how we act. They’ll only know love by seeing how we love.

It’s not likely that Proverbs 22:6 is a guarantee of success for committed, Christ-following parents. But, it is important to recognize the truth the verse contains. God has given us an incredible responsibility by placing children in our care. The family is a primary mechanism God uses to grow His kingdom and grow His people. As a result, it’s our duty to teach our children about God. We are in an influential position, and what we do today will matter in our kids’ lives tomorrow.

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24th July

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When Tragedy Strikes. A few days ago, a young man who graduated in the same high school class as my son, passed away suddenly. The unimaginably to all who knew him and loved him. My heart aches for his grieving parents and brother especially. He was such a great kid with a whole future in front of him.

When this type of pain and tragedy happens many of us ask the question, “Why did God allow this?” There are no words to describe the anguish that many suffer over tragedies, and answers to important questions like the one above seem difficult to find.

We do not have an answer since we do not know God’s mind, or see things through His eyes. We are told in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” that all we know is “partial and incomplete,” with the promise that, as Believers, we will one day know everything completely.

God is merciful and loving. And even when He allows tragedy to enter our lives or the lives of those we care about and love, we should always find comfort in knowing that God is also grieving in our pain.

In times of tragedy, one of the most comforting verses of the Bible is the very shortest verse. It simply says in John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” Those two words remind us that our Savior isn’t a cold-hearted cosmic judge disconnected from our pain. He’s a loving Father and Friend who is walking with us and even carrying us through life’s most difficult pain. Jesus also said in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, or forsake thee.”

If you’re going through a time of tragedy, please don’t lose hope. God is with you, He is for you and He will never leave your side. The arms of the universe are embracing you. He will carry you through.

Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”

 

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June 24th

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Leave Behind The Past. Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Spiritual bumps and bruises, inner aches and pains that just don’t seem to go away. Most all of us know what it’s like to suffer from them but too few of us know just what to do about them.

We limp along, hoping somehow those hidden wounds will magically stop hurting, thinking that maybe (with a little extra sleep or an extra helping of dessert) that nagging sense of depression will finally disappear.

But does it ever happen that way? No! The healing of a bruised and beaten spirit, however, doesn’t come that easily. In fact, the passing of time often worsens this condition. The reason is this: instead of putting painful failures behind us, we often dwell on them until those failures become more real to us than the promises of God. We focus on them until we become bogged down in depression, frozen in our tracts by the fear that if we go on, we’ll only fall again.

Purposely meditate on the Word of God. Replace thoughts of the past with scriptural promises about your future and be diligent about it. Then, instead of being a wounded soldier, you’ll become the conquering warrior God made you to be. (K Copeland)

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June 21st

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What about the small stuff? Zechariah 4:10 “For who hath despised the day of small things?  for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet of the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

What small things have you seen God use?

Small numbers. Jonathon told his armor-bearer, 1 Samuel 14:6 “And Jonathon said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” , that is makes little difference to God whether He saves by the few or the many. Good reminder. You and I know small churches that feel they can’t do anything because their members are few in number. Not so.

Small people. The Apostle Paul suggested in 1 Corinthians 1:26 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” , that the members of the church look around. They would see not many celebrities, not many people the world acclaims as great or mighty or rich or gifted. God chose to use the nobodies of the world.

Small gifts. No one illustrates this better than the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus and ended up feeding five thousand John 6:9 “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” or the widow who dropped her two coins into the offering and went on her way Mark 12:42 “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.”  Neither had any way of knowing what this meant to the Lord or that we would still be talking about them 2,000 years later.

Small moments. You prayed a prayer of commitment. You said “I do” at the altar. You decided to start reading your Bible. You went next door and invited your neighbor to church.

God loves to use small things. The thrust of what follows, however, is the implication of that for us. Mark it down in big letters and underscore it, the fact that God delights in using nothings and nobodies means a great deal to his children.

When Gabriel told the teenage Mary of God’s plan for her, he had to strengthen her faith. He said, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 We all need that reminder from time to time.

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June 15th

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God is My Spinach. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM That sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14

Psalm 139:13-14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

When Popeye was confronted with difficult situations he would state “I yam what I yam?” gulp down his spinach and defend right!

We are not all Popeyes and we are expected to conform, often to standards below those of our Christian faith and may face difficulties if we do not. It is necessary to understand who we are, what we are and keep the Lord in our daily lives. We need our “spinach”.

If there was a right way to be, how would some of the prophets or John the Baptist fit in with the rest of their society? Probably not too well at times. The truth is you are you. You are who God created you to be. He wants you to know who you are and understand your unique characteristics. You were created by God and then the mold was broken. No one else is exactly like you.

You are unique. You are special and it is all right to be you. Don’t let others shape you. That is God’s task He started with you, he will finish with you and he will be with you. He is our spinach.

Let us search for the person that God wants us to be so that we may serve him better.

Heavenly Father, as we travel through our weekly chores, we need to see a way to help You. We often lose track of your plan. Sometimes we are too busy and do not understand it. Today we pray that each of us may find a better way to serve You. (pickering)

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May 14th

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Sharing Your Faith. The Apostle Paul wasn’t eloquent, but God used him because he depended on the Holy Spirit to guide him. “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 God guided many others in the Bible: Moses, who a first asked God to get someone else to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, or Jonah, who didn’t think the wicked Ninevites deserved God’s mercy and tried to run the other way.

God does not call the equipped; He equips the called. As Christians, we are called to share what Christ has done. Some of Christ’s last words on earth were, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19 Sharing our faith isn’t just a suggestion, it’s a command.

Make a habit of reading the Bible, praying and going to church. We do these things not for attention or for the sake of doing them but to help us grow in our own faith. We can also reflect Christ through our kind words, patience, a gentle temperament, choosing to love even difficult people, carefully monitoring what we watch or listen to, and treating others with respect.

People need to hear the Gospel and that God loves them, Christ died for them and that they can have eternal life. Romans 10:13-14 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?”   (B Graham)

For the devotionals for the month of June, I would like to share testimonies of how God has worked in and through your life or your testimony of how you came to know God and was saved. Each day I will post a testimony for others to read and maybe someone will come to know Him through your words. I need 29 people who are willing to share. Pray that God calls you to share your testimony. You can email your testimony to me at tinawebb2468@gmail.com. It will be shared through my website blog.

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2.9.19

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Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart”.

When we comfort those who are going through sorrowful times, we are reminded of the shortness of life and the promise of heaven. These are moments that help us realign our lives with God’s will and purpose for our lives. We waste less time on the fruitless pursuits of worldliness and charge forward towards holiness and righteousness. The house of mourning sets in place the reality of that we are ambassadors for Christ and the world isn’t our home.

In Revelation 21:4 we learn that in heaven, God will wipe away every tear and never will sorrow come to His people again. Yet while we are on this earth, we will suffer times of sorrow. Our solid hope is in the Lord to comfort, sustain, and restore us in those day of sorrow.

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Prayer. Dear God, I am mourning; send me Your comfort now. Wrap Your arms around me and hold me tight. Send angels of mercy to me. Shower Your comfort on me through those around me, and keep far from me those whose words and actions are no comfort. Amen.

“Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and he will say ‘Here I am’.”  Isaish 58:9