This Week’s Verse: “Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:21-23 (HCSB)
I don’t know about you, but life is wearing me out. I have a lot on my plate, including homework, projects, an internship, planning a retreat for my major, and finally, trying to edit one of my manuscripts to send to a potential agent.
The work never goes away, and it always feels like I have to slack in one area so I can give more attention to a different one. I don’t mean to complain, really, and my life’s always been this busy, but for some reason, it’s more amplified this week.
All this to say, I need a break.
When I started thinking about the devotion for this week and flipped through my Bible, Lamentations 3:21-23 stuck out to me. While my own personal drive wears down, leaving me impatient and irritable, God’s love for me. His faithfulness never wavers and never will. As verse 23 says, His mercies are new every day, waiting for us to come running to Him.
Are you worn out by everyday life? Go to Him for renewal. His arms are open wide for you to rest in Him.
Prayer: Father, I’m worn out by the world around me. Renew my heart and mind, Lord, so I can continue to live for You. Amen.
This Week’s Verse: “Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 (HCSB)
We’ve all known someone at one point or another who lived their life adventurously. They took risks, like skydiving or rock climbing, coming out of those experiences with as fond of an appreciation for life as ever. Plus, they always have stories to share when you get together with them for coffee.
It takes a lot of trust to skydive. You have to trust the pilot of the plane to fly you over the drop zone and tell you the correct time to jump. You have to trust the instructor you’re with to teach you how to correctly jump and when to pull your parachute so you land safely back on the ground. Heck, you have to trust that your parachute isn’t busted when you pull the cord on your descent back to earth.
There are probably several other factors that go into skydiving that I’ve missed, but I’ve never been skydiving, so I’m going to move on from the illustration.
This week’s focus is living with abandon, and I feel Psalm 119:165 really captures that view I want to emphasize. Because of our faith in Jesus, we’re given this gift of peace, meaning we find our rest and strength in Him. This peace He’s given grants us the capability to live our lives out without fear. How cool is that? We have the ability to live our lives with the knowledge that God has everything under control.
Examine your life and find ways to live with abandon this week. When we root ourselves in the Lord, we have the confidence to live for Him. We can trust Him to deliver us through life’s trials.
Prayer: Thank You for providing peace throughout my life. Help me continue to live out Your will for my life. Amen.
This Week’s Verse: “A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 (HCSB)
One of the hardest things to do when being a Christian is remembering to be faithful to God and His calling for our lives. Our world revolves around people looking out for themselves and mercilessly climbing to the top of whatever social or economic ladder they choose to climb. Because of that, and our sinful nature, remembering God is the main focus of our lives is hard.
Last week, I talked about being dependent on God for everything. We have to remember to be faithful to Him, even when we’ve pledged our dependence on Him.
You can be dependent on God every day of your life, but there can still be a disconnect between you and Him. When you’re actively dependent on God, you’re relying on your faith in Him. And there are ways to strengthen your faith, like reading your Bible daily and being in constant prayer with God. Building your relationship with God is an important thing, especially since, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians, we are the servants of Christ. We should want to know our Creator more and grow in Him.
Continuing to live out your faith day-to-day is not for the faint-hearted. It requires discipline and devotion to God. But, because of His sovereign love, even when you mess up and fail, He is always in your corner.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your love and for sustaining me. Help me continue to serve You with a grateful heart, and learn to be faithful to You. Amen.
This Week’s Verse: “For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (HCSB)
I don’t know about you, but when I set goals for myself at the beginning of the new year, I try as hard as I can to reach them. One of my goals for this year is to remain dependent on God. Pretty simple, right?
What I knew going into this desire to live my life dependent on God is that I would have to be constantly conscious of this switch of my perception on my life. I had to surrender my life, plans, burdens, and worries over to God daily. And the days I remember to do this are great. I have low anxiety and I’m more willing to roll with the punches. The days I forget to, though, are days of high stress and uncertainty.
I use those days of uncertainty to turn myself back to God, and try even harder to live dependent on Him.
This week, I encourage you to take that step and be fully dependent on God. It’s not easy; it’s a conscious surrender of your struggles and plans for your life. As Chrisitians, we’re called to trust God with those burdens. He’s bigger than our problems, and He can handle whatever challenges you’re facing at the moment. Be dependent on you heavenly Father.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your steadfast love and kindness. I’m falling into Your embrace, and I pray you lead me in Your way today. Amen.
This week’s verse: “Don’t criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12 (HCSB)
Take a moment and think about a person you can’t stand being around. What qualities make them unbearable? Their voice? Actions? Beliefs? Or is it something in their personality that just rubs you the wrong way? Whatever the reason, it makes them a little harder for you to tolerate their presence.
I’m human just like you, and there are people in my life that I have trouble being around, too. We should also keep in mind that we’re probably that person for other people, and we should be compassionate toward those people who annoy us just like everyone else.
We’re not perfect. God’s not asking us to be. Our goal as Christians is to live like Christ in every aspect of our lives, including in how we interact with people. As the verse this week says, we shouldn’t judge the people around us because we’re just as at fault and imperfect. We need to be there for everyone, especially for those people who annoy us. We don’t know what’s going on in their personal lives, and we should be mindful of that in those moments of irritation.
This week, I encourage you to pray for that person you thought of at the beginning of this devotion. You never know. They may need that encouragement this week.
Prayer: Father, I thank you for my friends, and I thank you for the people I struggle with loving. Be with me this week, and be with them. Amen.