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Monday, August 20, 2012

­­Purified by Adversity


Bible Verse:

Psalm 119:71 (ESV) – “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”


Additional Bible Reading:


James 1:2-4 (ESV) – “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”


Devotion:



Depression has typically been my first response to the fires of adversity. Unpleasant words and actions sear deeply into my soul leaving painful scars. Even when the flames of adversity roar about me, I know that God is still actively present, caring for me in all circumstances and allowing the upheaval in my life to accomplish a greater purpose. When I suffer the consequences of my own sinful choices, I know that God is lovingly permitting the winds of adversity to burn away my imperfections and supply a quality I lack so that I can become spiritually mature, purified for his purposes. As I renew my intimacy with God, I trust his promise to never leave me or forsake me.

Prayer:

Dear Father, when the fires of adversity cause upheaval in my life, strengthen my faith in your good purposes and renew my trust in your promises.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 Challenge:                          
Consider your own response to adversity. Does it draw you into greater intimacy with God?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Facing Adversity

Meditation:

Bible Verse:

Isaiah 55:8, 9 (ESV) – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Additional Bible Reading:


Romans 8:28

Devotion:

 In our fallen world, bad things happen to people who do good things. The Aurora, Colorado, movie theater tragedy of July 2012 is a riveting example of this truth. When sin came into the world, suffering accompanied it. Our own foolish choices cause heartache.  Satan plots to destroy our lives and our Christian testimony, attempting to render us useless for God’s purposes in this life. For those who place their trust in God, we know that every adversity that befalls us has been sent or allowed by God to achieve his good purposes. In his love for us, he has the power to take every adversity and use it to grow us in faith, transforming us into the image of Christ.

Prayer:
Dear Father, in the midst of adversity, strengthen my faith in your good purposes.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 Challenge:                          
Reflect upon a time of adversity in your past when God used it for his good purposes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tell Me a Story

Bible Verse:
Psalm 102:18 (ESV) – “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.”

Additional Bible Reading:


Psalm 71:18, 19; Deuteronomy 32:7

Devotion:


­
Invariably, one of my six precious grandchildren will ask what life was like for me when I was a child. I treasure these moments, because they give me the opportunity to share with them God’s watch care throughout my life.­­­­­­­ To recount the mighty works of God with my grandchildren is a high priority for me, for it is a high priority for God. During these sacred moments of remembering how God has faithfully intervened in my life in the past and has kept his promises to me, faith in God is nurtured in my grandchildren and confidence for their future is strengthened. “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11 (ESV)”

Prayer:
Dear Father, thank you for your faithfulness that endures to all generations, for your steadfast love that never ceases, and for your mercies that never come to an end. Help me convey these stories to others so that they may be connected more closely to you. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Challenge:                          
Share with a young person a personal story from your past that demonstrates God’s faithfulness to you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Serving Christ in all Circumstances

Bible Verse:

Colossians 3:23, 24 (ESV) – “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Additional Bible Readings:


Galatians 5:13

Devotion:

Throughout my mother’s life, serving others in the name of Jesus was her lifestyle. She has experienced personal joy meeting the needs of others through loving and encouraging words and deeds performed for God’s glory and honor. Even with a diagnosis of multi-focal dementia, I am confident that God will continue to use my mother as a vessel for His purposes and that his Spirit will be poured into her daily as a blessing to all who are touched by her life. Though her impact may no longer be as obvious or appear as fruitful, I trust that God will achieve his purposes and be glorified through her.

Even in our weakness, God can accomplish his mighty works through us.
Prayer:

Dear Father, let your Spirit work through me and provide me with all I need to serve you with a full heart all my life long.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Challenge:                          

Never allow your disability, weakness, or fears to discourage you from a willingness to be used by God for his glorious purposes.