Read: Psalm 127
Children are a heritage from the Lord. — Psalm 127:3
A friend of mine wrote recently, “If we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family left behind would feel the loss for the rest of their lives. Why then do we invest so much in our work and so little in our children’s lives?”
Why do we sometimes exhaust ourselves rising up early and going late to rest, “eating the bread of anxious toil” (Ps. 127:1-2 esv), busying ourselves to make our mark on this world, and overlooking the one investment that matters beyond everything else—our children?
Solomon declared, “Children are a heritage from the Lord”—an invaluable legacy He has bequeathed us. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” (v.4) is his striking simile. Nothing is more worthy of our energy and time.
There is no need for “anxious toil,” working night and day, the wise man Solomon proclaimed, for the Lord does take care of us (Ps. 127:2). We can make time for our children and trust that the Lord will provide for all of our physical needs. Children, whether our own or those we disciple, are our lasting legacy—an investment we’ll never regret.
Our children are a heritage,
A blessing from the Lord;
They bring a richness to our lives—
In each, a treasure stored. —Fasick
Read: Psalm 139: 13-16
Verse: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
Sometimes when I look
At my life
It seems like a homespun
Patch-work quilt . . .
Quaint, but not quite “together”!
There are bits and pieces of
Cloths and colors,
Scraps of material,
The days of my life . . .
When you began to put together
The days of my life
You must have known
Where each piece would go . . .
You’ve told me that I am
Fearfully and wonderfully
Made . . .
And I believe you, Lord,
I may not be a velvet tapestry,
But even crazy-quilts
To give warmth and
Cozy comfort and
Color to a room!
Whatever I am, Lord,
You made me . .
And exactly right!
Author: Joy Morgan Davis, taken from “Women’s Devotional Bible 2”
Photos Credits: Interweavestore.com & MiaFleur.com
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
My daughter is allergic to peanuts. Her sensitivity is so acute that eating even the tiniest fragment of a peanut threatens her life. As a result, we scrutinize food package labels. We carry a pre-filled syringe of medicine (to treat allergic reactions) wherever we go. And, when we eat out, we call ahead and quiz the wait staff about the restaurant’s menu items.
Despite these precautions, I still feel concerned—both for her current safety and for her future safety. This situation is not something I would naturally be thankful about. Yet, God’s Word challenges: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18). There’s no getting around it. God wants us to pray with thanksgiving when the future is uncertain, when heartbreak hits, and when shortfalls come.
It’s hard to be grateful in difficulties, but it’s not impossible. Daniel “prayed and gave thanks” (Dan. 6:10), knowing that his life was in danger. Jonah called out “with the voice of thanksgiving” (Jonah 2:9) while inside a fish! These examples, coupled with God’s promise that He will work all things together for our good and His glory (Rom. 8:28), can inspire us to be thankful in all things.
Thanks for thorns their stems contain.
Thanks for homes and thanks for fireside
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain! —Hultman
Years ago, I was at an amusement park with our two children. We were in line for a very popular ride. At first it was a single file line, but as we got closer to the front, we were gathered into groups and led into a little building about 20 feet by 20 feet to wait for our turn. We were the first ones in our group to enter the building. We walked all the way to the other side of the room next to these big double doors and waited. But as other people began to come in, they were excited about getting on the ride and started maneuvering their way in front of us. I’m more laid back and easy going, so I wasn’t going to try to fight for our position. It was so crazy that we ended up at the very back of the room by the doors where we came in. In a few minutes, a young lady came out who worked at the park and gave us instructions about the ride. Then she said, “Okay, we’re ready to go. Turn around and go back out the same doors you came in.” We thought we were in the worst position, but one word from the person in charge, and suddenly, we were in the best position!
In the same way, all God has to do is shift the direction of some things in your life, and you’ll go from the back to the front! The truth is, you’re one shift from seeing a dream come to pass; one shift from paying your house off; one shift from seeing your health improve; one shift from meeting the right person.
You might say, “Joel, you’re just getting people’s hopes up.” Yes, you’re right! You can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope. When you go out with the attitude that says, “God, I believe things are shifting in my favor this year,” that’s not just being positive, that’s your faith being released. When you declare God’s favor, God says to the angels, “Listen to what they’re saying. They believe I’m all-powerful. They believe I can do the impossible. Let Me move this person out of the way. Let Me open up this new door. Let Me line up this new relationship. Let Me turn that negative situation around.”
It says in Isaiah that, “This is God’s year to act.” Not next year. Not five years from now. Not in the “sweet by and by.” No, this is the year God is going to shift things in your favor. He is getting things all lined up. What you couldn’t make happen on your own, God is going to cause you to accomplish. It’s going to be bigger than you thought, it’s going to happen quicker than you imagined, and it’s going to be more rewarding than you ever dreamed of. Your part is to stay in faith; keep declaring that God is at work. Keep believing that He is turning things around for your good. Remember, this is the year of God’s favor, and you are just one shift away from every blessing He has in store for you!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19, NIV)
Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries
One of the things that we ought not to ever forget as believers is that God has called us to be witnesses to His name as well as carriers of His glory. God has not brought salvation to us through Jesus Christ simply to get us to heaven. The apostle Paul in the book of Philippians speaks of WORKING OUT your salvation. It is not Paul’s suggestion that you are not fully saved when you confess Jesus Christ as Savior. Neither is he suggesting that there is an element of work that allows us to earn portions of salvation.
No…when you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior the gift of salvation is imparted unto you and you are saved right then and forever.
What Paul means is that the application and expression of your salvation should be seen in your growth and development…that you should be striving on a daily basis to grow in the knowledge of your salvation and the more you grow in it the more you show of it. A part of the showing of your salvation is the sharing of it with others. You and I are called to share the glorious good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to share all that Jesus does and can do for you once you accept Him as your Savior. You can share it through your words and you can share Jesus through your deeds. How you act and what you say become a witness of something every time you say something and in all that you do.
My question to you today is what are your words and actions being a witness to and a witness for?
GRACE AND PEACE,
Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr.
© Copyright 2013 Rudolph W. McKissick Jr.
215 Bethel Baptist St. Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: 904-353-8686 | Fax: 904-353-9993
Winning In Life Daily Devotion
January 22, 2013
Jesus loves you! Enjoy today’s Winning Word
“And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it” Habakkuk 2:2 (KJV)
When God shares with us the vision and plan he has for our lives we ought not to be careless and irresponsible by not documenting and writing down what He said. We must be diligent stewards over what God has placed in our care.
So let’s live structured and disciplined lives and write the vision down and make it plain, at the very moment God reveals it to us. It is only then that we will be able to successfully run with it.
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by Joyce Meyer – posted January 10, 2013
If you get up and do the exact same thing every morning, you may get pretty bored after a month or so. But seeking God when you first wake up is never boring. He will always have a new revelation ready for you to hear.
Keep your expectation fresh by changing what you do in your time with God. You might worship the Lord with singing one morning, listen to Christian music another morning, read God’s Word the third morning, sit in His presence or confess His Word the following morning. Let the Holy Spirit lead you as you learn to enjoy starting your day with God.
From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2003 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Read: Ephesians 1:15-21
A prisoner who survived 14 years in a Cuban jail told how he kept his spirits up and his hope alive: “I had no window in my cell, and so I mentally constructed one on the door. I ‘saw’ in my mind a beautiful scene from the mountains, with water tumbling down a ravine over rocks. It became so real to me that I would visualize it without effort every time I looked at the cell door.”
Ironically, some of the most hopeful books of the Bible—Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians—come out of Paul’s house arrest in Rome. The letter to the Ephesians gives a hint as to what the apostle Paul saw when he thought about life beyond his place of confinement.
First he saw the spiritual growth in the churches he left behind. This book opens with a burst of thanksgiving for the vitality of the Ephesian church (Eph. 1:15-16). Then he sought to open the eyes of their hearts to even more exalted sights: the “exceeding riches” of God’s grace (2:7). When Paul cranks up the volume to express God’s plan of love, not one low, mournful note sneaks in.
If you feel discouraged or question whether the Christian life is worth it, Ephesians proves to be a great tonic. It prescribes the riches in Christ available to all.
good news of the riches of Your infinite grace.
Thank You for the encouragement and hope
we find in Ephesians. Amen.
And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. ~ Matthew 21:22, AMP.
In the natural realm, we exchange money for the things we want and need. But in the spiritual realm, faith is what we exchange. The Bible tells us that when you pray, have faith, and you will receive it. Faith moves mountains. Faith pleases God. Faith is what opens doors. What is faith? It’s believing in God and His goodness. It’s knowing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Faith is believing that the promises of God are true. It’s obeying His Word. It’s what causes you to act.
Where does faith come from? Scripture tells us that everyone is given a measure of faith; that faith grows by hearing the Word of God. Simply put, the more you hear the Word of God, the more real it becomes in your life and the easier it is to believe His promises.
It doesn’t matter how much faith you have today, begin growing your faith by choosing to obey God’s Word. As you hear and obey the Word, your faith will strengthen, and you will receive what you’ve been believing for in Jesus’ name!
Prayer for Today:
Father, thank You for Your Word which causes my faith to grow. I open my heart to You and invite You to have Your way in my life. Show me Your goodness and faithfulness as I put my trust in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries
Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. – Malachi 3:10, AMP.
God wants to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings on you today and every day of the year. But notice that today’s verse tells us that there is something we have to do first—we have to step out in faith and bring our tithes to Him. In other words, we have to be obedient to God with our finances.
We have to remember that we are stewards over the resources God has given us. When we are good and faithful stewards, the Lord entrusts us with more. He opens the windows of heaven. Have you ever thought about what kind of blessing would be so great that there would not be room enough to receive it? It may be hard to comprehend, but that’s what God’s Word promises—to overwhelm us with His blessings!
I encourage you today, be a giver. Be a tither. Put yourself in a position to receive His blessing. Begin to thank Him for His faithfulness. Lift up your eyes to Him. As the scripture says, prove Him and see Him move mightily on your behalf!
Prayer for Today:
Father, thank You for choosing to bless me. Thank You for opening the windows of heaven in my life. I choose to be obedient to Your Word. I choose to be a giver. I choose to be faithful and thank You for Your faithfulness to me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries