“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another . . .” —Colossians 3:12–13

From Greg Laurie’s 11th July 2015 devotion ..

Paul reminds us in the Book of Ephesians, “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you!” (Ephesians 4:30–32 NLT, emphasis added). Is there someone that you need to forgive?

When you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free: yourself!

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“Be who you are by the will of God”

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.

God has called each and every one of us to different vocations. Paul was called to be an apostle by the will of God. But Steve can be called to be an architect by the will of God. Mary can be called to be a nurse by the will of God. Joan can be called to be an attorney by the will of God. Jack can be called to be a police officer by the will of God.

Each of us has a part to play. The highest calling of God is what God has called you to be. There is no higher. We need to be faithful to what the Lord has called us to.

You may think it is a higher calling to preach. Granted, it is a high calling—and a great privilege. But the highest calling is what God has called you to do. So don’t feel like a secondclass citizen if you aren’t in full-time ministry.

When certain people at church are highly visible, you think they are important. Maybe they are, and maybe they aren’t. But then there is the person you don’t know anything about who is very important to God. You might be one of those people. Be who you are by the will of God.

 

[excerpt from daily devotions from Greg Laurie]

“In understanding this great truth, however, you should want to do everything for His glory—not to earn His approval, but because you already have it”

He made us accepted in the Beloved.

God approves of you. You are “accepted in the Beloved” — not because you read your Bible a little bit longer, share Christ with more people, or give a little more in the offering. You are still accepted even when you don’t do all of that. You are accepted in the Beloved when you fail, when you trip up. You are accepted in the Beloved not because of what you have done, but because of what He has done.

In understanding this great truth, however, you should want to do everything for His glory—not to earn His approval, but because you already have it.

[excerpt from Greg Laurie’s daily devotions]

Feeling complete

 When I read this devotion, then reflected about the Christians I had met … I can’t say that I thought they were “particularly” nice … they were largely polite, and were cordial … but many felt “fake”, as if they knew they were suppose to be a certain way, but lacked sincerity or genuine concern or interest. It didn’t upset me or disappoint me. I’m not blogging it to “have a whinge” … but it is just interesting the difference in experience. 

I do share the missing piece feeling with Greg. I have often thought, when such and such happens, then it will “feel complete”. When I achieve this goal, the next goal then I’ll be “happy”. The feeling of happiness does come, don’t get me wrong, but then it fades, and then you set another target. And it’s not as satisfying as it seemed when the goal was originally set. 

So yes, I believe the answer is a relationship with God, but what does that actually mean. I knew that answer when I was struggling in my marriage and going through those dark moments in my life, but knowing the answer didn’t change anything. I knew nothing else would actually provide peace, contentment and joy. 

For me, it wasn’t until I actively asked for him and gave up control. What does that mean? Well, even though I knew during those periods, I wasn’t centered on God, I was still putting my energy and efforts into “fixing my marriage”, into “trying to please my husband”, into “figuring out on my own what I thought I should be doing”. For me, things didn’t change until I realised, things were not in my control, that I needed to open my heart to Him, listen to His direction, His purpose. Which was hard, as for a very long time, I had chosen to ignore what God’s answers to my questions were. I did use to pray, asking Him to make my ex-husband want me, want our marriage, value me, respect me. How foolish. 

Now, in prayers, I ask that I hear His answers, even when they’re not what I want to hear or accept. To open my heart, my mind. To be obedient, even when sometimes, it doesn’t seem to make sense because it’s so hard, because it seems impossible to do.

When we seek Him, He will answer. But seeking, is actually a hard step when we’ve traveled down the path of thinking we know the answers. 

Amen.  

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Sorrow … sadness

How timely that this was the devotion I read this afternoon (see below).

This morning, I was irrationally upset. On almost all days I feel God’s peace, His joy, His grace … to varying degrees, and it is extremely rare I feel deep sadness or sorrow … but on days where I have to interaction with my ex-husband, half of those times it leaves me feeling sorrow, and an ache inside, especially if he speaks to me with hostility (which is almost every conversation).

I say it’s irrational because I chose to leave our marriage knowing it was unfortunately, the best decision, had I not made that choice, I know the outcome would have been catastrophic for my self and my bub. Yet it still aches. Knowing the choice was right, doesn’t change the emotions.

I prayed this morning. I didn’t really know what to pray for, but I knew I needed Him. I don’t need to understand why the pain exists, or why I still feel pain, but I needed release from those feelings. For God to help me center myself, my energy, thoughts, love back to Him. I know that no amount of my asking my ex-husband to “speak appropriately” to me in-front our daughter would have any affect, or would ever change the situation. No amount of pleading, and reminding that how we interact is showing to our child what “appropriate” behavior is.

The devotion below helped me refocus, take comfort that He is in control, that He has a purpose and to trust in Him. Which is often hard to do, even though we accept the premise.

So I continue to pray, Lord my God, open my heart to receive your purpose, your direction, to focus my life to giving glory to you. To trust in you and your love for us. Amen

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