Tag Archives: devotional

The Power of Prayer – Daily Inspiration, July 5, 2012

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11

Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi is a prayer we should have for all believers- to be united in the love that comes from having a greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight – or discernment – so we can differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. Broaden your circle of influence by praying for others today.

May God continue to bless you.

Which Language Do You Understand? Daily Inspiration, June 23, 2012

“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

The suggested reading for today’s Our Daily Bread devotional is John 8:42-47. In these verses, Jesus Christ explained to the religious leaders the reason why they refused to believe Him – they did not understand His language. Rather than believe the Truth our Lord was speaking, they chose to cling to the lies of Satan, whom Jesus labeled “the father of lies”. Therefore, as He explained, because the religious leaders were so desperate to disprove Him, they were carrying out Satan’s desire. They could understand his deceptive language, but their ears were closed to the Truth.

The verses remind me of a situation I found myself in years ago. The department in which I worked was small. In the mornings, those friendly with one another would gather in small groups to discuss their weekends or nights before while sipping coffee and gathering the work for the day. Because our area was so small, we could hear each other’s conversations. The group in front of me stood enthralled as one woman relayed a date she had from the beginning to its sexual end, all in raunchy detail. I didn’t know the topic of conversation of the group to my right, but I could clearly hear expletives fly between them. Behind me, our team lead and her friend were sharing complaints about their husbands. Soon, my friend joined me. She was an older woman whose counsel I enjoyed. After exchanging pleasantries, I began to tell her about a bible verse I was reading, which turned into a discussion. During our discussion, I noticed the team lead leave her desk. I didn’t think much of it until the supervisor stepped into the area and asked my friend and me to join her in her office.

The supervisor advised she had received a complaint. It seems the team lead found our conversation upsetting. The supervisor explained our topic was inappropriate for the workplace. We should be mindful of what we say not just in the work area but the break room as well. Being fairly new in my walk with Christ, I became angry and was about to protest, but my friend stopped me. She turned to the supervisor, nodded her head and told her we understood. My friend then stood and beckoned for me to join her as she existed the office.

“Can you believe that?” I asked her as we walked back to our desks. “People all around us were cursing like sailors, putting down their families and talking about their sex lives, but a discussion about the Lord is inappropriate?”

My friend just smiled and responded with her own question, “Do you see how the devil tries to keep the Word from coming out?”

I can admit that it took me the better part of the day to cool down. I can also admit that I held on to some resentment for that team lead for a quite a while. Now that I am more knowledgeable in the Lord, I understand it better. I had always believed in Christ but was just then seriously and earnestly seeking Him. My friend was strong in Christ and was a wise and supportive guide. While I could only comprehend the natural of the situation, my friend saw the spiritual. Satan will use many people to keep one person far from the Lord. That team lead no doubt thought she was doing what was right. We are so used to hearing the talk of the world – curses, discord, sexual immorality, etc – that when Truth is discussed it appears foreign and goes against everything we have internalized as right and proper. The team lead, simply, did not understand our language.

Which language do you understand? Do you accept lies but are offended by the truth? In a sea of cursing, lying and immoral talk, does only a ripple of Christian conversation upset you?

May the Lord be with you today.

Pride – Daily Inspiration, June 21, 2012

“For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:10-11

The June 21, 2010 Our Daily Bread devotional centers on wisdom and discernment. The suggested reading for the devotional is Proverbs 2: 6-20. This chapter in Proverbs exhorts us to pray for and develop wisdom and discernment in our lives. After reading the selection in my Life Application Study Bible, I reviewed the notes that clarify certain verses. In the notes for vv 16-17, the Life Application Bible defines what an adulteress is and explains that two of the most difficult sins to overcome is pride and sexual immorality.

One sentence in the clarifying notes on these verses, stood out to me: Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement to the empty heart. The statement about pride convicted me. One definition of pride is a a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. In one of my previous postings, I shared my current employment situation. Despite management’s attempts to make me comfortable and include me in decision-making, I have held on to the feeling that they are doing so with ulterior motives. I have been feeling that I deserve more for the time I have given them these past years. I have been distrusting because of my past experiences with corporate takeovers and layoffs. I have written and re-written my resignation letter. Long story short, I have been making myself miserable. My position may very well end; but being bitter won’t change it. In fact, my bitterness and pride may very well be keeping me from my blessings. I need to stop leaning to my own understanding and pray for wisdom and discernment. And stop being so empty-headed!

Is there an area of your life where you, too, are being empty-headed? Take a moment to pray over your situation. Our understanding is limited, God’s vision is everlasting. Don’t let your pride keep you from God’s blessings.

May the Lord continue to watch over you and keep you.

Daily Inspiration, June 16, 2012

“I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble.” Psalm 142:1-2

Yesterday was a very trying day. I broke off part of a molar while chewing ice chips. I was already on edge and, well, that sent me over. In the past two years I have been involved in a serious car accident, had to undergo lumbar surgery and fought a protracted battle against the city’s miscalculation of my property taxes. I have also been dealing with the numbing fact that my employer is moving all of my job duties to representatives in another city and state. In fact, I am the only person left aboard the sinking ship; my (now former) manager’s last day was yesterday.

So, thankfully, I was alone as I sat at my desk and had one heck of a pity party. The broken tooth just seemed like the last straw. All I wanted to do was go home, hug my pillow and cry it all out. I couldn’t do that, though. There was still a lot of work to do plus I had promised my brother I would attend his birthday celebration. In the midst of my despair, I prayed to the Lord: “I know it can be much worse. Despite it all, I know you are in control, Lord. Please continue to be with me and guide me.”

I was exhausted by the time I made it to my brother’s party. Feeling sorry for yourself takes a lot out of you. I sat wearily, wishing time would speed by. But, then, something amazing happened. My stress level slowly eased; first as my nieces greeted me with warm hugs then at the sight of my sister-in-law’s bright smile at my arrival. My brother’s fun-loving friends moved about the room, cracking jokes and making everyone laugh, including lil’ ole sourpuss me. Then, there was my brother, clearly moved by the turnout and being surrounded by his loved ones. By the time the party ended, I had forgotten all about my “troubles”.

When you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope, know the Lord is there keeping you steady. Release your troubles to Him. He will turn your sadness into joy!