Thank you for what You did on the cross for us. You gave us everything You could possibly give us. As your servants, we want to give You all WE have. We might need help doing that, as we are human and we like to be comfortable and not go without. Touch us, Jesus with unselfish love for others. Give us people and opportunities with which to share Your love and our blessings. We love You so much! Amen
I love the song, “Because He lives” written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. It is so uplifting! Maybe not so for my husband, and even my cat and dog, who have heard me belt that out often! It may not be such a beautiful sound to them, but it fills my soul with hope and it resettles my fears to their rightful place, behind me. Because He lives, we can face any trial because we are not alone! God tells Joshua, after Moses’ death, when he felt very alone…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Did the title of this devotion, “Those three little words” make you think of “I love you?” Those are three words that warm a heart for sure, but my favorite three words are “Because He lives.” How many situations have I faced with hope because of Jesus? Too many to count! How many have you faced and gotten through because He lives?
Here is when I first realized God never leaves us. It is when my mom left us. She died. In fact, from age 12 to about 18, I had six people in my family die. My grandpa died, I found my Nana dead after family camp one year, an aunt and uncle were shot and killed, a very close, special uncle died, and then… When I was a teen, my world suddenly collapsed further. My Mom died too! I totally lost direction and I had no clue how to navigate the new, unfamiliar world that didn’t include her. My three words to God were, “Why me, Lord?” Why my mom? She loved you. I need her. Lord, it hurts! I feel lost! Dad is hurting. He can’t cope.
I know, without a doubt, that you can relate to my story because we all have deep loss. We are all broken and trying to cope. Just as I am sorry I had loss, I am sorry you did as well. I hope that what pulled me out of misery all those years ago, the thought that I wasn’t alone, can help you as well. God was with me. He loved me and He helped me through college and becoming an adult. I kept hearing the Lord tell me…”You may not have this, but I do. I have your back. Use me.” That is what He is saying to us, just as He did to Joshua. In three words, He is saying, “I won’t leave. I promise you. Have no fear. I am God. I am yours. Please use me.”
When things do not make sense in this world, remember we are not of this world. We are here for a moment and then we will have a huge family reunion in Heaven! We cannot possibly understand God’s reasons for trials on earth but we can know for sure that He knows what He is doing and we are not alone! He is GOD, always has been.
He is not new at His job! He is with us in good times and in bad times, always has been. He is God alone, but we are not a people alone. Isn’t He so awesome?!
…So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God…it is not wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5-9, “
If there was ever a time we needed hope, it is right now. Please remember that we can always have hope because He lives. Knowing that brings peace in the middle of craziness. Only God can do that!
Today I hurt for others that are going through unexpected and unwanted hurt. It doesn’t make sense to them and they think they will never get over it. Hug them for me, because You know who they are. Flood their hearts with Your amazing hope that comes from knowing we are never alone, Because You Live! Thank You, God for Your love and mercy that lifts us from despair to a place of hope in You. It is nothing we can do ourselves, so we are so grateful. You put light where there is dark! Words cannot describe how much we love You! Amen
Love and prayers to You all. May God bless you much!
Do you belong to a church that feels like family? Do you think of its members as your brothers and sisters? My husband and I joined our church yesterday and the people definitely already feel like family. Lately, the Lord has been showing me how important that kind of family unity is in our church and in our world. Without unity, we are just a bunch of opinions pulling back and forth and going nowhere. God’s Word is the ultimate uniting and progressive force! When we base our actions on what He says to do, we work together to accomplish great things for Him.
You know how the Bible says we all have gifts? In 1 Peter are two verses that tell us how to be good stewards of whatever gift has given us. We ALL have gifts. God inspired Peter to say so:)
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
There is so much good stuff here!
“AS we have received gifts“… this is confirmation that you definitely have a gift. I have a gift. That gift was not earned, but given by God. It is not whether we have a gift, but because we have a gift, that Peter feels led by the Lord to tell us what God expects from us.
“Minister to one another“… Because God gave us a gift, we are to use it on each other. It was not meant to be kept and treasured for ourselves. God knows it will do more good being given away. That makes sense because we have differing gifts. We can encourage and strengthen the body of Christ by allowing our God-given different gifts to be used in ministering to each other. Some people have the gift of encouragement. I used to not know that was a gift. Things you think are small gifts can sometimes be the biggest and most needed. We can use all that we are to glorify God in some way!
“As good stewards of the manifold grace of God“…. What sticks out here to me is the words, ‘steward’ and ‘grace.’ Our gifts are not something we own exactly. Gifts are ours to use for God. It is kind of like if a boss gave his construction employees hammers and pens and forklifts. They are tools meant to be used to complete jobs for him. As a boss would only give tools to people he himself judges to be worthy, God does the same. By His grace and His reasons, He gives us tools to use for Him. He gives everyone tools!
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,”… Oracles of God? That is a high calling, to speak His holy words, but we should take our gifts that seriously.
Whatever we do, let us do it with all the holiness and reverence that God deserves with His words, His way, His love. With the ability that He provides, let us glorify Him for the gift, with the gift and just because He gave us a gift!
“to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.“… This. This is the purpose of everything we do with our gifts, because of our gifts. I cannot embellish these words or say it any better than Peter did. The glory belongs, not to us, but to our ruling King, forever!
Reading this makes me excited! How about you? Do you know what your gift is? If so, isn’t it exciting that God chose You to play a part in His Kingdom? Are you using Your gift? If you are not sure of your gift, please ask someone in the church that you respect, such as the pastor or elders. They can pray for you and give you direction. They will be encouraged that you want to know and use your gift. Your gift can make a difference in whether a person hears about Jesus or sees His love demonstrated. Through God, you can reach someone for Him! How cool is that?!
It is without pride that anyone can say he or she has a gift, or uses that gift because it comes from outside of ourselves. It comes from God. One thing I have found…When we realize God gave us a gift and we have a willing heart, get ready for an adventure! Gifts and willing hearts are meant to go together and glorify God! we are all special enough to be given gifts! God thought so:)
Dear Father God,
Thank You for giving us gifts. You are the only One good so Your gifts are good. Please help us focus on what our gifts may be in our time with You. We want to serve you to the best of our ability, even if we think we do not have much ability sometimes. Please shine light on what we can do for You with what You gave us. Give us opportunities and people to serve as your gift-bearer to others. As Paul says, help us to be ministers of our gifts without pride, but with the purpose of drawing attention to You. We love You more every day! Amen
Have a wonderful Monday, folks! Love and prayers to all!
When I went to the Nazarene children’s camp in 1971, I found more than fun, I found Jesus. And you know what? I didn’t know I was missing him!
Seriously, when the lady on the stage told me the most important story I have ever heard, I was shocked! “Someone in heaven, that I have never met or seen loves me?” In my nine-year old mind I was thinking… “Jesus died for me?? He loves me? My heart is black? That’s awful. He can actually clean it? Hurry up, tell me how to get a white heart! “
My heart was beating so fast and I hung on every word of the song we sang next. It was about God preparing a place for us in heaven. I’ve never forgotten the words that drew me to him. Here they are.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1…..Blast-off!! Somewhere in outer space God has prepared a place for those who trust Him and obey.
Someday He’ll come again and though we don’t know when, the countdowns getting lower every day.
10 and 9, 8 and 7, 6 and 5 and 4 …call upon the Savior while you may
3 and 2 , coming through, the clouds in bright array. The countdown’s getting lower every day.
If you ever work with children or desire to, it is one of the most important things you can do with your life. Jesus loves children. Their innocence, need for love and their curiosity make them little sponges of what we tell or show them. May we always talk about Jesus to them. May we never forget how one story or one song about Jesus to one child can change their future, like it did mine. My children love Jesus because someone taught ME to.
Isn’t that incredible? God can work through us to change lives! He worked through that lady at Camp one summer Thank you, lady. I will never forget you and that special song and special day!
There are literally no “good enough” words to describe how I am feeling about all that you did for me. Your plan included using a lady at camp to draw me to you. It changed my whole life and is still changing my life. Although I can’t comprehend why you would love all of us so much, I know that you do. Please urge me and my friends to use whatever passions we have with the main goal of drawing others to you. Nothing else really matters. You already know this, but we love you so much! Amen
In Shirley Temple’s movie, Curly Top, she has a chicken. and she tells someone that her chicken can do a special trick. Read below, why she thought her chicken was special…
This thought of her being amazed at what a chicken can do…it got me thinking. God does special things too, because of His nature. Why aren’t we so amazed that we are telling everyone more often, how special He is?
I wondered…What does the Bible say He does naturally? What is He made up of? I went straight to God’s Word to find out.The Bible says He is love:)
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
His nature is also powerful and divine and everlasting. All He makes or does is perfect.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:7
He is the One true God!
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20
And my most favorite verse, Psalm 113:4-6 tells us He is exalted, above all and there is noone like Him!
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
His glory is above even the heavens! Is there anyone like Him? NO! He has to STOOP to look down on the sky! He stoops to look down on the earth! There is nothing He cannot do. Nothing.
Wr should never lose our amazement at what He does No one else in the entire universe, even to billions of light years away, is like Him! And….He not only wants to be our friend but wants us to live with Him forever and ever!
Aren’t you glad that our God has the nature that He does? He is anything and everything that we need. We already know that, so why is it so special? Can anyone else do absolutely everything? Nope! To Him be ALL the glory, because He deserves it!
Focusing on all You are makes us truly thankful that You included us in Your plan for eternity. How You could love us so much, even though that it comes natural to You, still amazes us! We cannot be our best for you, without You. Thank you for making us like you did and loving us. We love You! Amen
Love and prayers to all of you! Have a great Thursday!
Remember the story of Moses freeing the Israelites from slavery? It was by the burning bush that God first spoke to Moses and told him to do this. And how did Moses respond? He gave many excuses, one of which was that he was not a good speaker. He asked God to please send someone else to rescue His people. God was a little angry with him! After God gave him some miraculous things to do, and said He would allow Aaron to speak for him, Moses finally agreed to do God’s bidding.
We see a stubborn, reluctant Moses eventually become a willing servant of God. Not only did he lead the Israelites from slavery, but he also received the ten commandments from God and wrote the first five books of the Bible. If you fast forward to the end of Moses’ life, you see how changed Moses was from the resistant shepherd that God first spoke to, into a prophet that seeks God’s favor and does just what God tells Him to. In Exodus 31, Moses is at the end of his life and, despite him saying he was not a good speaker in younger years, he was very willing at age 120 to tell the Israelites every single thing God told him to. Did you know that the whole book of Deuteronomy is a speech by Moses with what God told him to say?
Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you.” Deuteronomy 31:1
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
I find it ironic but beautiful that Moses tells the people that God will be with them and never leave them. He tells them not to be afraid, as he was. Many years ago, at Moses’ first resistance to God’s command, God said to him, “I will be with you.” Exodus 3:12 What Moses needed to hear earlier, He was now telling God’s chosen people! After forty years in the desert with them, he knows they will probably stray from God in the future, plus God confirms it. Even to his last breath, he painstakingly details what God expects from them. With his heart that has loved and served God for a lifetime, he writes down laws and gives them as much detailed direction as he possibly can. He does it willingly, fervently and without questioning God at all. How different is Moses now than he was as a younger man! He is a man of God with all faith in the faithful God. His heart was changed!
The book of Deuteronomy really grabbed my heart. It is all about blessings and curses from God and obedience and disobedience toward Him that brings it. Moses did not think He could speak well without God’s help and Aaron’s help. He was actually right in a way. We are right when we know that we cannot do anything on our own that will count for God. When God calls us to do work for Him, He is the One who will make it possible. We just need a willing heart.
Like You told Moses, You tell us today, You will never leave us. Thank You for staying with us while we work Your plan for our lives. We want to please You with our willing heart that obeys Your commands. Like You did for Moses, please continue to work through us, all the days of our lives. You are God and Holy and we can do nothing without You, but everything is possible with You. We love You so much! Amen
Have a great Tuesday! Love and prayers for you all:)
Don’t you just love makeover shows? I do! It is amazing to see what can be done with a little hard work in the right direction. King Hezekiah, in Chronicles 29, was in a makeover mood! His father, Ahaz, had just died so Hezekiah became king. He was ready to makeover the temple. Why? Because his father, King Ahaz, had turned away from God and Hezekiah was determined to purify the temple and set things right with God. Hezekiah, instead of following in his father’s footsteps, chose a different role model to emulate. He chose to pattern his life after David, a King of Israel from the early years.
He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. Chronicles 29:2 NIV
Hezekiah got right to work. He repaired the temple doors, then gathered the priests and Levites, his team of makeover workers, and explained the project. They were to consecrate themselves and the temple, because God’s anger was on Judah and Jerusalem for turning their backs on God. Their parents and ancestors had desecrated the temple and Hezekiah was determined to start new with a purified temple and people. He knew that doing this would bring God’s favor back. Look at the difference between what was done under Ahaz’s reign, compared to what Hezekiah intended. A vast difference!
7 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. Chronicles 29:7
10 I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. Chronicles 29:10
A huge renovation was about to take place! Look how cool this is! Hezekiah was King of Israel but God was King of His heart! The renovation would be according to God’s Word, our King! Hezekiah ordered the workers to take out unclean things from the temple. They did so as
“the king had ordered, following the Word of the Lord. Chronicles 29:15
The priest and Levites followed Hezekiah’s word which was God’s Word. What significance! The workers could not have done better than to follow a man who was following God’s Word. Is that not like us following the word of our pastor who follows God? It is a special relationship of love and honoring God’s message that comes from the pastor’s mouth. I digress a bit, but the Lord led me down that path. Back to Hezekiah…Just as Hezekiah chose the first day of the first month of the first year of his reign to start a renewal of Israel’s relationship with the Lord and a consecration of God’s temple, we can do the same! What better day than the first day of the week to set things right!
Our heart is God’s temple in which to reign. Does it need a makeover? A renewal? Do we have any extra habits, attitudes, any turning to the way of the world, the reigning culture, that we can take out of our heart, God’s temple? Does God fully reign there? Has the world snuck things in that aren’t God- honoring? Lets treat His temple with the purity that it deserves.
Let’s honor God by starting today, to give His temple a fresh coat of His Word, His will, His way. Let’s take stock of the project (God’s mission for us to do) that needs to be done and begin by ask Him to purify our hearts, renewing us with His passion for people! Today can be the start of a new reign in a beautified temple!
Dear Father God,
Sometimes, for me anyway, it is hard to talk to You because You are so holy and righteous and our words are so, well, normal. But You know what we are trying to say when we ask for more of You. We want to start our week with a renewal of our hearts. May it lead to revival in our churches as we let our hearts draw closer and closer to You. Do work in us that we cannot do ourselves. Make the temple of our heart fully Yours and draw others to You through us. It is such an honor to be a servant and child of Yours. We love You so much! Amen
May you all have a blessed sunshiny day in the Lord. Happy Makeover Monday! Love you!
Happy Saturday! Here is today’s devotion! March 6, 2021 gloryinthemorning.com
I can’t help but think of how much we owe to the Holy Spirit and His guidance, so today’s devotion is to encourage us all to stop and think on how great He is! He’s a best friend:) He sets our minds on heavenly things when the world vies for our attention. He cheers us on when we are on the right track and makes us know when we are on the wrong track. He tells us all we need to know or need to hear again. He fills us with all we need. He is totally satisfying!
I choose You, Holy Spirit, forever:)
I Choose You
Freely flowing love is glowing. Fill Me Lord with Holy Fire. Make your home a light in me. Help me do what you desire.
The world can’t fill me though it’s tried. Dark can’t light a needy soul. I choose you and you alone , For only You can make me whole.
I love you Spirit, Father, Son. The world has nothing good to give. I’ll give you glory all my days. As in your light I’ll daily live.
Today’s devotion comes from something the Lord is urging me to explore in my own life. I hope it speaks to you as well. The Christian life is all about being led by the Spirit. When we ask God to lead us, we do so because we trust His guidance more than our own. We know He knows best. We know He wants our best. We know He can do all things that we cannot. We know He answers every call to Him.
But still, we try to lead ourselves. Why do we do that sometimes? When I am writing, my deep desire is to be led of the Spirit. There is just something special about letting God give you words and ideas. But sometimes, I go off on my own “great” idea, only to delete the whole thing and start over because it was all me and not what God led me to. Who do I think I am anyhow?:) A successful writer or successful Christian life depends hugely on daily seeking God’s influence. I say this often and mean it. I am only what God makes me. We cannot be what God makes us if we have already made ourselves. He wants in on the project from the get-go.
We need to be led because that is what God wants. When we submit our life to Him, we are giving Him full control of our lives and saying, “God lead me.” Simply put…we crave to be led by Him whom we love with our whole heart. From our perspective, we think we can make pretty good plans on our own, but we need to want the future that God wants for us. We see around us and we see the visible. God sees every direction and the invisible and even into our future. He is perfect, so asking for and following His lead will take us exactly where He wants us to be, to do what He wants us to do. And He can do way more than we can even imagine!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20 NIV
The more we let Him, the more He will lead. It really is up to us, trusting Him enough to let Him lead,, more and more and more. Because we are human, we do not always get it right, but constant time in the Word and prayer…God honors that seeking time and guides us. He desires for us to keep seeking Him and desiring Him as leader, day after day, year after year. It honors who He is. Our leader is the Holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal Father who created us! That still blows my mind! He, God almighty, knows us!
This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isaiah 48:17
We need to be led so God’s will gets done. Do we want the very best life we can live for Him? If so, that means letting go of our will and purposefully, daily, asking Him to lead us to His will. Whatever we can accomplish for Him, He will lead us to it. Not only that, He will give us what we need to accomplish it. He will equip us to do His will. He will give us a passion to do His will. That’s how I think pastors thrive in a very tough calling. God gives them His passion for people and and equips them with all they need for building His kingdom. That’s so cool! They depend heavily on God, as we should.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Doing God’s will is more than just saying the Lord’s prayer or going to church several times a week, soaking in wisdom. (as I used to think!) It is a constant, daily, earnest grappling with the amazing reality that God knows our name, abilities, desires, habits, everything. And He wants to use all of us to further His kingdom. He wants to use His creations, that He made for a specific purpose, for that purpose. If only us humans would stop more often and marvel that the one Holy God can use us. It is a very humbling reality and an amazing one.
We love You. We want Your will more than we want ours. Show us where we are doing well and where we need to submit more in our lives. It’s hard being human and lining up to meet Your will, especially when we have certain ideas of how our future should look. Work on us, Lord to become purer and more like You. We ask that You do that work in us because we can’t do it ourselves. We are only what You make us. It’s all You, Lord, and that’s okay with us. We give You all the glory! Amen
Have You ever wondered what God’s plan is for your life? Have you, like me, wondered if you are becoming the real you He meant you to be? Reading the Bible and praying is the best place to meet God to talk to Him about it…or…to LISTEN to what He speaks into your heart. My husband and I are joining our church soon and we are so excited for the future of the church and our roles in leading others to Christ. We wonder if we are fulfilling our purpose for God already or if He has something else for us.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV
One thing we do know…before we accept what God wants me to do, we have to choose what kind of person we want to be. Despite a painful past or ongoing trials, we have a choice to make. Do we want to be positive or negative? If we are psoitive, how can God use that for His good and the good of others? This is a poem about deciding to be a Positive Me. The power of our choice can determine our entire future.
I am more than what happens to me. I absorb pain and see healing, but I am neither a sponge, nor am I a doctor. I am more or less who I choose to be inside. I am me.
I am less than what I want to be. Though I reach up and travel far I am neither a ladder, nor am I an airplane. I am more or less, who I choose to be inside. I am me.
Life’s ups and downs may toss me around but once I’ve landed, I can choose to what extent it shapes me. I choose the better path. I will be God’s child, positive, kind. I will be grateful me.
You made us and know us better than we do ourselves. You think we are capable of things we have not even realized yet and may never realize without Your help. We are Yours; we want to be what You can make of us. Please shed light on what You want us to be, even if it is something uncomfortable or scary. We know that in You, we can do amazing things that reach other people. Guide us to be more others minded with a focus on how we can lead them to You. We ask these things in You most precious and holy name. Amen.