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Monday, June 25, 2018

Saying Grace - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 25 June

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
For many years, I’ve enjoyed the writings of British author G. K. Chesterton.  His humor and insight often cause me to chuckle and then pause for more serious contemplation. For example, he wrote, “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the play and the opera, and grace before the concert and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing; and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
It’s good for us to thank the Lord before every meal, but it shouldn’t stop there.  The apostle Paul saw every activity, every endeavor as something for which we should thank God and that we should do for His glory. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Recreation, occupation, and education are all avenues through which we can honor the Lord and express our gratefulness to Him.
Paul also encouraged the believers in Colossae to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (v. 15).
The best place to “say grace” is anywhere and anytime we want to give thanks to the Lord and honor Him.
Thank You for Your gift of life eternal. May we acknowledge and honor You throughout this day.
In all we do, let’s give thanks to God and honor Him.
By David C. McCasland | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

Could anything make whatever we do better? When the apostle Paul wrote to readers in Colossae, he described an alternative to any and all attitudes that are harmful to us and others (Colossians 3:5–10). In his letter to the Philippians he uses the word whatever as he describes his personal accomplishments. Whatever he once considered gained, he now considers loss for the sake of Christ (Philippians 3:7). For reasons he never expected, he found a way to move on to something better than his own efforts to be seen as a good, moral, and religious person.
Many of us know the story behind Paul’s change. After an unforeseen encounter with the resurrected Christ (Acts 9:1–6), he thought differently about anything and everything. Seeing the failure of his own efforts, he learned to live by the grace of God. By relying on the presence of Jesus, Paul discovered the means by which any of us can live with divine help and thankfulness in anything and everything worth doing.
 What will we face today that will give us a chance to see and say “grace” in whatever we encounter?

June 25 Don't Get in a Hurry Kenneth Copeland

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou 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.... and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Deuteronomy 6:6-8
One of the reasons Gloria and I have seen the results we have in our lives and in our ministry is because when we realized what the Word of God would do, we literally immersed ourselves in it. We turned off the radio and television, put down the newspaper, and spent nearly every waking moment of the time available either reading the Word, listening to tapes on the Word, or thinking about the Word.
All that time in the Word eventually had a powerful effect on us. It began to revolutionize everything about us. It began to turn failure into success.
All that didn’t happen overnight, however. It took time. A great many believers don’t realize that. They start out devoting themselves to the Word, but they make the mistake of expecting instant, miraculous results, and when they don’t see them, they get disappointed and fall away.
Don’t do that. Be patient. Give the Word time to do its work.
Jesus once said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The Word of God feeds the spirit man just as bread feeds the body. Food has to be built into your body. The vitamins and minerals it contains have a cumulative effect on it, don’t they? In fact, almost anything that affects your body instantaneously is considered dangerous.
Much the same thing is true with the Word of God. It has a cumulative effect. Yes, at times God will act instantly and perform a miracle, but only to get things back on track. What He really intends is for you to feed on His Word to grow in strength and in faith and to bear fruit in due season.
So don’t get in such an all-fired hurry. Stay in the Word. Be patient. The results will come!
Scripture Reading:
Deuteronomy 7:11-23
© 1991 Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc. aka: Kenneth Copeland Publications    All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Friend’s Comfort - Our Daily Bread Ministries daily devotion 24 June Sunday

No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:13
I read about a mom who was surprised to see her daughter muddy from the waist down when she walked in the door after school. Her daughter explained that a friend had slipped and fallen into a mud puddle. While another classmate ran to get help, the little girl felt sorry for her friend sitting by herself and holding her hurt leg. So, the daughter went over and sat in the mud puddle with her friend until a teacher arrived.
When Job experienced the devastating loss of his children and became afflicted with painful sores on his entire body, his suffering was overwhelming. The Bible tells us that three of his friends wanted to comfort him. When they found Job, “they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:12–13).
Job’s friends initially showed remarkable understanding. They sensed that Job simply needed someone to sit and mourn with him. The three men will begin to speak in the next few chapters. The irony is that when the friends do begin to speak, they end up giving Job poor advice (16:1–4).
Often the best thing we can do when comforting a hurting friend is to sit with them in their suffering.
Heavenly Father, help me to be a good friend to those who are hurting. Thank You that You promise to be near to those who are suffering and provide encouragement through Your Holy Spirit.
A friend’s presence in the midst of suffering provides great comfort.
By Lisa Samra | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

Job’s wife’s suffering (except for the painful sores) was just as keen as Job’s. She had lost just as much, and her angry advice to Job is completely understandable: “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Yet even in Job’s response, he “did not sin in what he said” (v. 10). He merely noted that she spoke “like a foolish woman,” implying that he knew her character to be noble. The text also highlights the fact that Job’s friends truly did sympathize with his situation and were there to provide genuine comfort (v. 11). But Job’s wife and his friends couldn’t fathom that he was part of a cosmic battle they didn’t comprehend.
In this life, certain things will remain beyond our understanding. Perhaps someone close to you faces some unanswerable questions. Who might need your quiet presence today?

June 24 Don't Tell It Like It Is Kenneth Copeland

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Proverbs 18:21
Words are serious business. And, as believers, we need to get serious about learning how to use them. We need to begin to put them to work for us like God Himself does. The Bible tells us that He uses words to “call those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17).
Most of us don’t have the faintest idea how to do that. We’ve spent our lives “telling it like it is.” We’ve constantly used our mouths to report on the sorry state of affairs around us. Thus, the very thought of calling “things which be not as though they were” seems a little crazy.
“You mean I’m supposed to say, ‘I’m healed’ when I’m feeling sick? I’m supposed to say, ‘I’m prosperous’ when I’m penniless? That sounds like lying to me.”
No, no. There’s a vast difference between lying and speaking by faith. A lie is meant to deceive someone. It’s designed to make someone believe something that’s not true. But to speak by faith is simply to speak words that agree with the Word of God instead of the circumstances around you. It’s speaking from your spirit instead of from your mind.
As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “We have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak” (The Amplified Bible).
Now that’s important. Read that verse again. “I have believed, and therefore have I spoken.”
There are some folks who speak the words, but they don’t have the faith to back it up, and as a result, they fall flat on their spiritual faces. They didn’t actually “call things that be not as though they were.” They called things that be not the way they wished they were.
Those are two very different things. The words may be the same. But just wishing and hoping won’t get the job done. You’ve got to believe.
Begin today bringing both your tongue and your heart in line with the Word. Stop “telling it like it is” and start speaking and believing the promises of God. Put the power of words to work for you.
Scripture Reading:
Proverbs 15
© 1991 Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc. aka: Kenneth Copeland Publications    All rights reserved.

JUNE 24, 2018 Right from the Heart - Joyce Meyer Ministries daily devotion

Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’
— Matthew 6:31

“What are you going to do?”
As a Christian leader, I’ve come to believe this is one of Satan’s favorite questions. I sometimes think he sends out special demons that have one specific task: to whisper this question in the ears of believers: “What are you going to do?” If you listen, the questions increase. The more they increase, the more negative and intense they become. Before long, you think of every possible obstacle on your path. You begin to feel as if nothing is right in your life.
That is Satan’s task. He and his helpers wage war on the battlefield of your mind. They want to engage you and other Christians in long, drawn-out, costly combat. The more questions and uncertainties they raise, the greater their chances for victory over your mind.
Jesus instructs us to “...not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’” (Matthew 6:31 AMP)
The first thing you need to remind yourself of is that you are living in disobedience when you allow anxieties to fill your mind. Jesus says, “Don’t do that.”
Second, remind yourself that when you worry, you’re looking at the wrong things. In school, most of us were shown pictures that were optical illusions. If we looked at a picture one way, we saw a woman’s face. If we looked at it differently, we saw a rose.
Think of that as a mindset. If you focus on Jesus and His loving arms stretched out to you, you live in peace. You know He’s with you, and if He’s with you, He will also take care of you. If you focus on the other picture, you see only problems, defeats, and discouragement. It really does depend on where you concentrate your attention.
The enemy knows that if he can feed your mind often enough and long enough with the wrong things, he can make you think about and feel only the wrong things. For instance, instead of being thankful that the Lord has been with you through many dark and troublesome times, you can begin to ask, “How did I get here anyway? What am I doing in this fix? If God really loved me...”
That’s not the end of it. Once Satan starts to win in the area of poisoning your mind, he moves on, and before long, you’re repeating Satan’s words—words that not only tear you down, but also hurt and tear down others. Then Satan has a double victory—he’s trapped you, and you’ve influenced others.
Jesus said to the people of His day, “You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34–35 AMPC).
Those are strong, powerful words. They remind us that Satan starts with a whisper—just the smallest word of doubt in your ear. If you listen, his words get louder and you hear more things. Soon you unconsciously listen for his misdirection. That leads you to speak the words in your heart, whatever they are. Once you speak, you move into action. You not only spoil your own relationship with God, but you become instruments to churn up doubts and fears in others.
There is only one way for you to win: Refuse to listen to Satan. As soon as you hear such words, you need to say, “Satan, the Lord rebuke you. Stay out of my mind.”
Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for Your words that remind me of the importance of my thoughts and my words. I ask You to fill my heart with such an abundance of peace and joy that the enemy can never infiltrate my mind. May my words reflect Your presence in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Just Enough Time to Do God’s Will BY RICK WARREN — JUNE 24, 2018

“All of us should … enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift” (Ecclesiastes 3:13 GNT).
In a 21st century world where we’re overworked, overstressed, and over-scheduled, this may be one of the most significant and freeing sentences you’ll ever read: You have just enough time to do God’s will.
That means if you don’t feel you have enough time in your day, one of two things is true. Either:
1) You’re doing things God doesn’t intend for you to do.
2) You’re doing the things God intended the wrong way.
God wouldn’t give you a list of things to do and not give you the time to do them. Either you’re trying to do too much or you’re wasting time. There’s really no other option.
Either way, you need to learn to enjoy the moment. The Bible says, “All of us should … enjoy what we have worked for. It is God’s gift” (Ecclesiastes 3:13 GNT).
Too many of us fall victim to a terrible trap. I call it “when and then” thinking. We believe “when” we achieve a particular goal, we’ll be happy. Maybe that goal is graduation, marriage, or a financial goal. But you won’t be happy then. You’ll enjoy reaching that goal for three seconds, and then you’ll start asking yourself, “What’s next?” The cycle simply repeats.
Are you worn out, burnt out, or stressed out? God wants more for you. If you’re carrying an overwhelming load, it isn’t from Jesus. He says in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest …. the load I give you to carry is light” (Matthew 11:28, 30 NCV).
Every moment of your life is a gift from God. He doesn’t want you to miss a single one.

Talk It Over

  • What moments from your past do you regret that your busyness kept you from enjoying?
  • What goals have you achieved in the past that you thought would be satisfying yet they weren’t?
  • How can you change your priorities and your schedule so that you have enough time to do what God wants you to do?

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