Thank you for this day, when we remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country. We pray that every spouse, every family member, every friend who has lost someone dear to them would feel a touch of Your comfort today. And Father, please help us to honor them by seeking ways to give of ourselves for the good of others and the communities we live in.
Is joy your natural state? According to Scripture, we are to have joy always. Not happiness, though, which can be fleeting. We can have a deep “abiding” joy in our spirit no matter what’s happening around us. How do we get it? Start with thanking God for sending His Son to save us, and see where that leads you.
“We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.”
J. I. Packer
“With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.”
One of the great truths of God is that when we give of ourselves, we get back more. But it can be hard to reach out when we’re caught up in our own worries or difficult circumstances. I’ve found that one thing I can always do for someone is pray. That is a quiet yet powerful way to minister no matter what I’m dealing with.
“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.“
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Knowing that God is the Only Source of truth is a comfort to me. I spent way too much time and energy in my pre-Christian years either believing I could find it “out there,” or that I had to create it myself. Neither worked. Now the challenge is to hold onto what I know is truth, even when I or someone else is tempted to shade or shape it.
“In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are.”
C. S. Lewis
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world…They are of the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them. .We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.”
“Beloved, I say, let your fears go, lest they make you fainthearted. Stop inspiring fear in those around you and now take your stand in faith. God has been good and He will continue to manifest His goodness. Let us approach these days expecting to see the goodness of the Lord manifest. Let us be strong and of good courage, for the Lord will fight for us if we stand in faith.”
“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.”
“Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God’s goodness – especially in connection with his commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience. A discontent with our position and portion, a craving from something which God has wisely held from us. Reject any suggestion that God is unduly severe with you. Resist with the utmost abhorrence anything that causes you to doubt God’s love and his lovingkindness toward you. Allow nothing to make you question the Father’s love for his child.”
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ “
Discernment. A fancy word that means to know what’s true and right. It should guide our decisions, including how we spend our time. But the world is so full of activities, and things to experience. And many of them are indeed good. So how do we gain this discernment as we fill out our calendars?
As believers in Christ, we already have discernment within us. But like a muscle, it needs strengthening. Slowing our pace, making room for God and seeking His leading are just some of the “training exercises” we can do. In time, you’ll begin to better sense what your answer to an invitation or opportunity should be.
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” John C. Maxwell
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As I get up this morning, let my first words be a prayer to You. Then, as I go through my busy day, keep my thoughts tuned to Yours to guide my steps in the right direction. And when I get ready for sleep, help me to remember how You’ve blessed me. For that will be a truly good day.
In Jesus’ Name I pray.
“From morning to night keep Jesus in thy heart, long for nothing, desire nothing, hope for nothing but to have all that is within thee changed into the spirit and temper of the holy Jesus.”
“…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
“Christ life unfolds, in part, as we learn to appreciate the gifts He has given us. How easy it is to blame others for our unhappiness, but we are only unhappy when something other than Christ has become our life.”
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”