Thursday, January 19, 2017

DAILY DEVO...what do you wrestle with?

Have you ever wrestled with God? Jacob did, literally. 

Today's scripture reading takes us to the journey that Jacob was on to go meet Esau. Jacob was dreading the meeting and actually was full of fear and despair. 

Has that ever happened to you? Instead of faith, you wrestled with fear and anxiety?

God didn't just appear to Jacob on this particular night in a vision or a dream; He addressed Jacobs fears by making him wrestle all night. As he tossed and turned and fought back, Jacob ended up with a blessing from God and so much more...Jacob received renewed strength.

Sometimes when we want God’s comfort, He will send it in unexpected ways. It is very important that we remember those times in our life when God reveals Himself to us in special (and sometimes unexpected) ways.

We may not have a permanent limp in our walk like Jacob to remind us of our wrestlings with God, but we must not forget God's faithfulness and blessing to us, so when difficulties come, we can stand strong and face our fears.

"So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." (Genesis 32:30)

Jacob faced his fear and he never forgot his face to face encounter with the Lord. May we never forget ours.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 32:22-34:31, Matthew 10:37-11:6, Psalm 14.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DAILY DEVO...fear vs faith

Although Jacob's prayer in Genesis 32  was probably inspired more by fear than faith, we can recognize that despite his fear, Jacob remembered God's promises.

Jacob was likely motivated more by fear than wisdom. But yet, his prayer  reveals that his faith is real (Genesis 32:9–12). True faith does not mean that fear is completely absent, in fact, our trust in the Lord may be strongest when we are fearful but we obey God anyway.

Whenever you are faced with fear, remember the promises that God has made and pray them back to Him. God certainly does not need to be reminded of His promises, but from time to time, we do.

(Psalm 13:5-6) "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me."

Don't let your fear rob you of your faith.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 31:22- 32:21, Matthew 10:16-36, Psalm 13.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God has the last Word

TODAY'S DAILY...

Reading the Psalms is a good place to learn more about God and more about mankind. The writers use poetry to describe God and to show how we can praise Him, complain to Him, ask Him for relief and how to make promises to Him.

Often times, I have found myself to be more of a complainer (more than I realized) to God. The book of Psalms is a good place to go when you feel like this. When you feel like people (or circumstances) have done you wrong, check out the writing of David; he puts it all into perspective.

No matter what the struggle or complaint is about, God sees it. Don't think that the word spoken about you God doesn't hear; He sees all, hears all and knows all.

Do you think that people didn't come against David? A king, or any person in leadership for that fact, has been (and will continue to be) under attack.

But for the one who seeks God and His righteousness, vindication will come from Him and Him alone.

(Psalm 12:5) "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."



God has given us the promise today that He gives relief to those who are victimized. It is His intent to arise and deliver victims to safety.

That right there is a promise worth praising Him for today! No matter what others say or do, God WILL have the last Word!

(Hope you are reading the Psalms with me in this journey to read the Bible thru in 2017 and allowing His Word to change you. I've been changed today.)

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 30:1-31:21, Matthew 10:1-15, Psalm 12.


Monday, January 16, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the compassion of God

From the leper to the ones caught in the storm to poor, unloved Leah; the scriptures we have read this past weekend and today are full of stories that outline the compassion of God.

In today's reading, Jesus reveals His heart to His disciples...

(Matthew 9:12) Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

Jesus not only loves the unlovable (like Leah), He also includes the outcasts (like sinners and the taxpayers), but Jesus also sets out to heal the sick and care for the needy (like the synagogue officials daughter and the blind man); Jesus clearly has a great deal of compassion and love for those who are in need.

The compassion that He has is the same compassion that He desires for us to have. He desires us to remove anything standing in our way that keeps us from loving the unlovable, or forgiving the sinner or embracing the outcasts.

Today, as we go through our day, may we all be moved with the compassion of God and reach out to someone in need, for this is the heart of God. By His grace, may it also become our heart.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 28:10-29:35, Matthew 9 and Psalm 11.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DAILY DEVO...how far up the mountain would you go?

It was a test of faith that NO parent would want to face. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The only son given to Abraham and Sarah, so why would God wait until late in their lives to bless them with a son if He was only going to snatch him away?

It must have been a long, solemn walk up that mountain for Abraham. Isaac wondered where the lamb for sacrifice was, all the while, Abraham believed that God would provide...

(Genesis 22:7,8) Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” "Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

I cannot even imagine that moment; even as Abraham tied his only son and laid him on the altar with the knife raised, even in THAT moment, Abraham still trusted God.

God spared Isaac that day, as we read in our daily scripture reading today, but isn't that exactly what God did for you and me? He spared us while He gave His only Son to die for all who would believe in Him.

I wonder, if it had been up to us to bring the sacrifice - how far up the mountain would we have gotten?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 21-23, Matthew 7:1-11, Psalm 9:1-8.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DAILY DEVO...You are not insignificant to God

Have you ever considered just how important you are to God? In today's Scripture reading, we are compared to that of the sparrow and the birds of flight...

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" ( Matthew 6:25,26)

There are over 9,000 species of birds, but it is the sparrow that Jesus singles out to make a very clear point to us. Even though a sparrow may seem one of the least, compared to a strong Eagle or a graceful Dove, nevertheless, Jesus says that He takes care of everything that He has created.

He not only cares about the well being of the most insignificant and least noticed bird of the air, but He cares for you and me  even more.

Sometimes I feel insignificant, and often times unnoticed by those who hurriedly brush by; but next time I notice a bird in the air or put out birdseed in the yard, I will be reminded that everything I need rests in the palm of God's Hand. Because just as He cares for the sparrow, nothing that I need will go unseen.

So, how will you approach God today?

Perhaps it's cold outside, and the bird feeder looks slim to you; look to God Who cares for you and He will provide everything you need.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S DAILY SCRIPTURE READING:
Genesis 19 & 20, Matthew 6:19-34 and Psalm 8.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DAILY DEVO...do you ever laugh at the promises of God?

Do you ever not take God's promises seriously? Maybe you have felt unworthy or perhaps you have whispered, "I'm not sure what I believe, Lord. I just don't have enough faith."

I assure you, you are not alone. 

In today's Scripture reading, Sarah finds herself laughing at the thought of God giving her a son at her old age..

Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? " (Genesis 18:12-14)

Have you ever considered why Sarah laughed at God? Could it be because she lacked faith or doubted that it could happen?

I wonder, if you have ever laughed at God or simply snickered at the thought of what His promises could do for you...

"Saved ~ who me?"
"Healed ~ if only!"
"Delivered ~ too late!"

Maybe deep down you just don't think God cares enough about you to keep His promises or perhaps you doubt that He can actually do what He says.

Here's the thing that I've learned, it's the same thing Sarah probably learned: our lack of faith DOES NOT affect the faithfulness of God. He will always keep His promises, it is never dependent upon the level of our belief as it is the level of His Power.

God can handle our cynicism and He understands our doubts, but like Sarah, when our faith seems alittle shaky, He will always prove Himself. Every time!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING:
Genesis 17 & 18, Matthew 6:1-18, Psalm 7