Foreigners

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

~ 1 Peter 2:11 [NLT]

Do you ever feel as though truly living at Christ-like life is impossible? The struggle to commit our lives to Jesus and faithfully serve Him is real! All the worldly voices we hear from the culture go against or work to distract us from what the Bible teaches. Be reminded, we are not citizens of this world. We have to fight to keep our eyes on Jesus and to live as though we are citizens of Heaven.

Evening Prayer

GOD REWARDS WORK
Isaiah 65:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:58

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You

I pray that you will give yourself fully to the work God has called you to do. May you offer your work to Him, for you know that your labor in the Lord is never in vain. May you understand that the Lord causes His chosen ones to enjoy the works of their hands and the fruit of their labor. I pray that you will dwell in the houses you build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards you plant. I pray that you will not toil in vain, for you and your descendants shall be blessed by the Lord.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Evening Devotional

I was walking down the street recently when I noticed. I don’t always notice. Many times, I’m on my phone reading email or checking Twitter while I walk. Other times, I would have my headphones in listening to a podcast. I count myself lucky that I actually heard what was happening. I looked around for the source, but couldn’t find it. A nice woman across the street interrupted my puzzlement. “Do you see it?” she asked. “It has a bright red head.” I admitted that I didn’t. She pointed me a bit further up the tree I was focusing on. Then I saw it, just pecking away at the tree’s bark.

Now I’m not going to claim that the woodpecker on that day was praising God when it was probably just looking for lunch. What I will claim, though, is that praise is happening throughout all creation if we’ll just notice every once in a while. I was just blessed to notice that day.

~ Byron Vance

Jesus Calling

DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. 

I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do. 

ROMANS 8:28; PROVERBS 11:2; MICAH 7:7

Daily Blessings

“And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

~ Matt 1:23

We must never, even in thought, separate the human nature of our adorable Redeemer from his divine. Even when his sacred body lay in the grave, and was thus for a small space of time severed from his pure and holy soul by death and the tomb, there was no separation of the two natures, for his human soul, after he had once become incarnate in the womb of the Virgin, never was parted from his Deity, but went into paradise in indissoluble union with it. It is a fundamental article of our most holy faith that the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ had no existence independent of his divine. In the Virgin’s womb, in the lowly manger, in the lonely wilderness, on the holy mount of transfiguration, in the gloomy garden of Gethsemane, in Pilate’s judgment hall, on the cross, and in the tomb, Jesus was still Immanuel, God with us. And so ineffably close and intimate is the conjunction of the human nature with the divine, that the actings of each nature, though separable, cannot and must not be separated from each other. Thus, the human hands of Jesus broke the seven loaves and the fish; but it was God-man who multiplied them so as to feed therewith four thousand men, besides women and children. The human feet of Jesus walked on the sea of Galilee; but it was the Son of God who walked on the waves to the ship. The human lips of Jesus uttered those words which are “spirit and life” (John 6:63), but it was the Son of the living God who spoke them (John 6:69). The human hands and feet of Jesus were nailed to the cross; but the blood shed by them was indeed divine, for all the virtue and validity of Deity were stamped upon it (Acts 20:28).

True Ministers

In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.

~ 2 Corinthians 6:4 [NLT]

We know hard times come. The light we can shine to others reveals our faith in God. Our faith can persist even in the face of hardship. It is a demonstration of our trust that the Lord is good. When calamity happens the last thing we want to be is patient. We want to hurry up and move beyond the troubles. This is the time God has been preparing us for and we have the opportunity to grow closer to God. If you are in the middle of calamity, muster your patience one day at a time.