Archive for January, 2013

Read: Matthew 6:25-34

seek first25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

[Source: The Holy Bible (English Standard Version)]

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Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-18

woman-praying-silhoutte1Few things disable new workers on a job like criticism from veterans.  Good hiring managers know to protect new employees by surrounding them with mentors willing to shield them from unnecessary barbs.

Hannah is a mentor to us in dealing with criticism and deep desires of the heart (1 Samuel 1:1-18), Surrounded by a husband who didn’t understand a taunting peer, and an overly judgmental clergyman, Hannah found a way through the fog by confiding in God (v.10).  While we now know God answered the prayer of Hannah’s heart by giving her a child, we don’t know for sure if Eli’s blessing was a wish or a promise from God (v.17).  I think her no-longer-sad face came most of all because she gained peace from confiding in Him.

We were created to be in a relationship with God; and when we take that relationship to an intimate level, it bonds us not only to His presence but also to His strength.  Prayers that express our hurts and emotions are most assuredly welcomed by God because they demonstrate our trust in Him.  We will often find perspective, and nearly always come away comforted, knowing we’ve entrusted the things that are troubling us- whether criticism or deep desire- to the One who is best able to sort through them. –Randy Kilgore

 The kindest Friend I’ve ever had is One I cannot see, yet One in whom I can confide, who loves and blesses me. – Shuler

In prayer, it’s better to have a heart without words than words without heart.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 03 January 21, 2013]

Read: 1 Peter 4:12-19

trouble-aheadDoes it surprise you that trouble is a part of life?  Probably not.  We all know trouble close-up and personal- bad health, empty bank account, blighted love, grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.

It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12).  But trouble, whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral fiber of our soul.

I have never seen a golf course without hazards.  They are part of the game. Golfers speak of the courses with the most challenging, and they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18 holes.

Oliver Wendll Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn’t pass it around.  I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it…Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”

Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the stamina of our souls.  The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19) – Dennis De Haan

HoldingBibleResize

The troubles that we face each day reveal how much we need the Lord; they test our faith and strength of will and help us then to trust God’s Word. – D. De Haan

 Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.

 [Source: Daily Bread 02 January 2013]

 

 

 

Read: Psalm 63:1-8

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photo is from internet

photo shown is from internet

A hotel in Singapore introduced an express buffet- eat all you can in 30 minutes and pay just half the price! After that experience, one diner reported: “I lost my decorum, stuffing my mouth with yet more food.  I lost my civility…and I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, so severe was my heartburn.”

Sometimes I think in our devotional reading we treat God’s Word like an express buffet.  We wolf it down as fast as we can and wonder why we haven’t learned very much.  Like physical food, spiritual food needs chewing!

For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, we may have a tendency to speed-read through the passages we’ve read many times before.   But in doing so, we miss what God is meaning to show us.  One sure sign of this is when we learn nothing new from that passage.

David’s desire was right when he wrote in Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” That’s the way to treat God’s Word- to take time to mull it over.

photo is random finds from internet

photo shown above is from internet

Let’s not come to the Bible as if we were going to an express buffet.  Only by meditating on God’s Word will we get the most value for our spiritual well-being. – C.P. Hia

Spending time in meditation,

Hiding Scripture in our heart,

Works in us a transformation

So from sin we can depart- Sper

Reading the Bible without reflecting is like eating without chewing.

[Source: Daily Bread, 01 January 2013]