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“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.” 

-Isaiah 65:17

ACCEPTING CONSOLATION -  

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON


None of them that trust in Him shall be desolate. - PSALMS 34:22 

That ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. - 1 THESSALONIANS 4:13 

Are the consolations of God too small for thee? - JOB 15:11 (R. V.)


WHAT shall make trouble? Not the holy thought

Of the departed; that will be a part

Of those undying things His peace hath wrought 

Into a world of beauty in the heart.

SARAH J. WILLIAMS


SHE spoke of those who had walked with her long ago in her garden, and for whose sake, now that they had all gone into the world of light, every flower was doubly dear. Would it be a true proof of loyalty to them if she lived gloomily or despondently because they were away? She spoke of the duty of being ready to welcome happiness as well as to endure pain, and of the strength that endurance wins by being grateful for small daily joys, like the evening light, and the smell of roses, and the singing of birds. She spoke of the faith that rests on the Unseen Wisdom and Love like a child on its mother's breast, and the melting away of doubts in the warmth of an effort to do some good in the world. 

HENRY VAN DYKE


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/accepting-consolation#sthash.DaixhZP0.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Let’s Practice What We Preach -  

This devotional was written by Jim Grams

 

Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out. James 5:13-15 (The Message)

 

Economy got you down? Pray. Is your heart still pumping? Sing. Are politicians troubling you? Pray. Can you feel God’s presence? Sing. You get the message!

 

Isn’t it amazing how easily we get frustrated and lose the sense of victory in our lives? We get all bent out of shape over the challenges we face. Praying and singing actually work…so why do we so often wait and use them as a last result? When I was a kid and got sick, the first thing my Dad and Mom did was to pray over me. There weren’t many visits to the doctor’s office back then. I wasn’t healed every time they prayed, but God’s ability to heal was never in doubt. And, they set a marvelous example for me of seeking God in prayer when faced with difficulties.

 

A smile is a wonderful gift. A kind word can change a life.A song will lift your spirit.A prayer is a powerful force.

 

Let’s practice what we preach or quit preaching. Let’s really believe what we say we believe…and then live like we believe it. May God give us the courage to share Christ every single day…actively seeking Him for the strength and joy to enter our personal mission fields wearing His name and character. Trust me, He wears well.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Take a moment to pray about something that is troubling you.

 

2. Sing praises to the Lord right now.

 

3. Begin and end each day with a song and prayer.

 

FURTHER READING:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Ephesians 5:19

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Learn to Say “No”    

 

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. —Jeremiah 6:16

 

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my journey as a Christian is summed up in two little words you’ve heard before: yes and no. Christians tend to use yes a lot, but no, not so much. I want to challenge you to say no more often so you can say yes to the things that matter most.

 

While saying no results in many personal benefits, it’s a difficult word for many Christians to utter because Christian culture values yes. We learn to say yes because we want to please others—it just seems so Christian—and we don’t want to let people down, risk others thinking less of us, or become the target of disappointment or anger.

 

Does this sound like you? Do you want people to really like you? Do you dwell on it when you learn someone is angry with you? Can you identify with the “logic” that says, “I am a Christian, I care about people, and I’m supposed to help others—so when asked I must figure out a way to say yes at all times?” If so, welcome to my club! Actually, I’m trying to cancel my membership, and after many years of fighting, I’m almost out of the club. I think my speech goes something like this: “Hi. I’m Doug, and I’m addicted to busyness, people-pleasing, saying yes, and the belief that my busyness is a unique season that will soon end.” Okay, that’s me in pursuit of health and recovery. So, if this is you too, I know how difficult it is to read this and even consider adding more no’s to your responses.

 

Think about it: Is busyness really getting you what you want—or need? In the end, busyness makes us feel important but cripples our relationships. Busyness feeds our egos but ultimately starves our souls. Busyness fills our calendars but fractures our families. And busyness props up our images but shrinks our hearts.

 

Is there a gnawing sense in your gut that you can’t keep up the pace—and in your heart-of-hearts you don’t want to? Good! Take a deep breath, and let’s go after some hope. You may be at a crossroads in your life and learning to say no is exactly what you need. You need to learn to say no to the many good things and wonderful people so you’ll have space to say yes to God, yes to the important people in your life, yes to what matters most. So I want to challenge you now: In today’s Scripture, we read, “ask where the good way is, and walk in it…” In this case, the “good way” is saying no—have the courage to walk in it and find rest for your soul.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Do you say no enough? Why or why not?

 

2. What can you say no to this week that will enable you to say yes to something that matters most?

 

FURTHER READING:

1 Corinthians 6:12

DOUG FIELDS is the senior director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University and the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com. Doug has been a youth and teaching pastor at Mariners Church and Saddleback Church for 30 years and has authored more than fifty books. He is a passionate speaker reaching thousands of leaders, teenagers, and parents every year. Doug resides with his wife and three children in Southern California. 

More of Doug Fields: www.homeword.com

FLUTTERING SPIRIT -  

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

"And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings" (Ezek. 1:25).


That is the letting down of the wings? People so often say, "How do you get the voice of the Lord?" Here is the secret. They heard the voice when they stood and let down their wings.

We have seen a bird with fluttering wings; though standing still, its wings are fluttering. But here we are told they heard the voice when they stood and had let down their wings.

Do we not sometimes kneel or sit before the Lord and yet feel conscious of a fluttering of our spirits? Not a real stillness in His presence.

A dear one told me several days ago of a certain thing she prayed about, "But," said she, "I did not wait until the answer came."

She did not get still enough to hear Him speak, but went away and followed her own thought in the matter. And the result proved disastrous and she had to retrace her steps.

Oh, how much energy is wasted! How much time is lost by not letting down the wings of our spirit and getting very quiet before Him! Oh, the calm, the rest, the peace which come as we wait In His presence until we hear from Him!

Then, ah then, we can go like lightning, and turn not as we go but go straight forward whithersoever the Spirit goes. (Ezek. 1:1, 20)

"Be still! Just now be still! 

Something thy soul hath never heard, 

Something unknown to any song of bird, 

Something unknown to any wind, or wave, or star, 

A message from the Fatherland afar, 

That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill, 

Cometh to thee if thou canst but be still.


"Be still! Just now be still! 

There comes a presence very mild and sweet; 

White are the sandals of His noiseless feet. 

It is the Comforter whom Jesus sent 

To teach thee what the words He uttered meant. 

The willing, waiting spirit, He doth fill. 

If thou would'st hear His message, 

Dear soul, be still!"


The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/fluttering-spirit#sthash.dL9lHUqe.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

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