When I was a small child, I had a brown corduroy cap that I wore everywhere. I loved that cap. I don’t remember having a security blanket or favorite stuffed animal, but I remember my cap. My parents had to make me take it off to go to church. When I got home, the cap went back on.
At that time my father worked out of town, so my mother had a friend, Edna, that stayed with us when my dad was away. I am sure she was a great help to my mom. My brother, sister and I loved Edna.
One day before I had dressed and had not yet put on my cap, Edna made my bed. That day I could not find my cap. I was distraught, and nothing would console me but the cap. For several days it was gone. Then one night I went to bed and put my hands under my pillow. There, under the pillow, was my cap! Edna hid it there when she made my bed several days before. I don’t believe I ever liked her as much after that!
From time to time I think about the cap, how much it meant to me and how upset I was when it was gone. At night while I slept it was only inches from me. It was there all the time, but I did not know it.
As we go through the everyday trials of our lives, it is easy to forget that God is with us all the time. He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Call to mind that truth today as you go through the fire. Remember, He is there all the time; every day, everywhere. He is not hiding. We can find Him anytime.
You likely know the familiar passage, “I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. Psalm 100:4. NIV. Thanksgiving and praise are critical elements in our prayers. I believe, however, if our prayers end with thanking Him for what he has done for us, we miss the most important aspect of prayer.
The verse says we enter his gates and His courts with thanksgiving and praise. God does not dwell in the gates and courts. He resides in the Holy of Holies. We enter there through worship! Worship is not praising Him for what He does for us, but for Who He is. In other words, if God never does anything else for you, He is still worthy of our worship because He is God.
Praise and worship are two different things. They go hand in hand. Yes, praise Him and thank Him but then move on to worship. When we spend time in worship, our relationship with God will grow.
We have an apple tree in our yard. Each summer it bears fruit. The apples are small, and I rarely pick them because it takes so many and so much time to peel and cook them. Yes, there is fruit, but it does me little good. Every summer I think how much better the crop would be if we would prune the tree and fertilize it before the apples appear. Unfortunately, we never think to do that until it is too late.
When I see this wasted fruit tree, it reminds me of the scripture where Jesus talks about the same principle. “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2.
Pruning of a tree by definition, means some branches are cut off, allowing more and better fruit to grow on the remaining branches. Jesus is teaching us we must cut off or cut out anything that is not producing fruit to advance the Kingdom.
Consider today: Does your life need pruning so that you may bear more fruit?
My husband and I have been talking about getting a new car. It is interesting how different our priorities are when we think of the vehicle we want. For me, the most important feature is the audio system. One must have good music when driving!! The next priority for me is the color. After these two features, nothing else matters. My husband has entirely different criteria. He looks at such things as engine performance, gas mileage, and consumer reports. I do think we can come to an agreement and find a car each of us likes.
We find ourselves in life situations every day where we must compromise or find a way to accept something less than we want. The Bible tells us in Psalm 133.1, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” Not all our interactions are with Christians, but we must look for ways to find common ground. We should never compromise core values or Christian beliefs, but if we can make every effort to live in harmony with those with whom we come in contact, we will have more respect and possibly win converts to our way of thinking.
Resolve today to live in unity with everyone.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5
A stronghold is anything that Satan uses in our lives to divert attention away from God. This scripture clearly tells us we have divine power and divine weapons to demolish those strongholds and any argument and pretension that is contrary to God’s best for us. We begin by taking captive every thought we have and make that thought obedient to Christ.
Today, resolve to take captive every thought. If every thought we have is obedient to Christ, the strongholds begin to disappear.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV. This well-known verse assures us God’s timing is perfect.
We live in a fallen world, and that seems to become more apparent every day. The world is on the brink of destruction.
Today take comfort in knowing no matter what is happening in the world around you, God is in control, and it will make sense and be beautiful in His time.
My husband left today for a two-day road trip. I wondered all day how his trip was going. It occurred to me late this afternoon I could track him by my smartphone. The phone has an application that locates any of our mobile devices wherever they are. I tracked his phone and was able to see precisely where he was. He was surprised when I sent him a text telling him I knew he had just crossed the river from Memphis TN into Arkansas.
Though I had never done this before, he knew I was tracking him on some gadget. He could not hide from me.
As I thought about this later, I thought how God follows us every moment of every day. He knows where we go, what we say, what we think, and how we feel. We cannot hide from Him. Unfortunately, we often try. Rather than hide from Him, resolve today to embrace and reside in His presence and feel the comfort from knowing He is always with us. We can’t hide!
I am an avid golfer. By avid, I don’t mean I am good, I just mean I love the game and play every chance I get. On one unusually hot day, I was walking the course with a bag full of clubs. At one point I asked myself, “Why do I carry so many clubs?” The answer was apparent. Each club in my bag serves a special purpose. I would not use a putter from the tee box, nor a driver on the green.
As I continued to play I thought how God uses each of us for a different purpose to advance His Kingdom. You have gifts I don’t have and I have gifts you don’t have. The Scripture is clear He equips each body of believers with the gifts needed to carry on His work.
Consider today if you are being used for the purpose for which you were created. Another thing to consider is, are you trying to do more than you are equipped to do? Often we are so eager to do God’s work we try to do too much. That may lead to burnout, or you may be preventing someone else from doing what he or she was created to do.
YOUR DAILY MOMENT; Inspirational thoughts to begin your day
August 18, 2016
“As long as the heir is a child, he is no different than a slave, even though he owns the entire estate,” Galatians 4:8.
We all know that children rarely get to enjoy their inheritance until they are grown. Any wealthy person leaving an estate to a minor child knows he must have a stipulation that the child cannot receive anything until he (the child) reaches a certain age.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church at Galatia, is trying to explain that if we, as Christians, choose never to grow but instead remain babes in Christ, we will never really enjoy the inheritance God has for us. The Christian child cannot grow unless he receives nourishment from the Word of God, spends time with God, and exercises discipline to remain in good spiritual condition.
Resolve today to grow so that you may enjoy your inheritance. You have the keys to the Kingdom, but you cannot experience its wonder until you grow into spiritual maturity.
Many years ago, in a time of meditation, I was reading Psalm 8. I was familiar with the passage, but, that day, as often is the case, one verse seemed to jump off the page. For some reason, I had never really noticed this verse “From the lips of children and infants, You have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2. While I love praise, I had never thought of it as a weapon against the enemy, (Satan). Praise has many purposes. When we use it as a weapon, Satan will flee.
Today, as you face temptation, trials, and attacks from our enemy, use the weapon of praise. Begin to praise God in your circumstances and watch Him begin to work.
Praise: It may the most powerful weapon in your arsenal.