Welcome! Let's Do Devotions Together!

Let's grow together!
Here's how God is using the daily readings from Jesus Calling to speak into my life.
What is He saying to YOU? Share it with someone & have a BLESSED day in Jesus!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Praising When Puzzled

"I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty... When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do." (111)
I must continually stretch my mind to fully appreciate what God's sovereignty means in my own life. To live a life of thanksgiving means I must appreciate Him, even when I do not appreciated or understand Him or His ways. If my worship is based upon my ability to comprehend what God is doing, then I will severely limit my abundant life options... because my ability to understand God's ways falls far short of the grander realities that exist beyond my own sense of reality.
I think of God's Sovereignty as the picture on the outside of a puzzle box, while all I can see are the scattered puzzle pieces before me. God sees the big picture. I see the scattered pieces of my life and will only be able to link a limited number of them together. He sees it all and the picture is profoundly clear to Him. As I trust His sovereign Hand in my life, more and more pieces will fit together.
At times I would like to force a puzzle piece into a certain place because that makes perfect sense to me. Trusting Him means I allow Him to replace and reposition the pieces to match the bigger picture He sees.
I can choose to "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thes.5:18) because I am confident He can see beyond what I can see. Furthermore, if I could see with His eyes I would make the same choice, because God is beyond good... He is absolutely AWESOME! So either God is Sovereign in my life or He's not...it's up to me!
Though puzzled, still praising...dmc

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Premium Perspective

"Out of control...not running smoothly...shaken...loss of comfort." (110)
This sounds so typical of the circumstances and lives around us many days...even in my own life at times! The comfort zone seems long gone!
True security comes only in Him. But to look at these times as "growth opportunities" rather than "bemoaning the loss of (our) comfort" or even the loss of a hopeful expectation can stretch us further than we've gone before!
Accepting "the challenge of something new" when that "something new" is NOT what we would have planned is the premium perspective that has the potential of leading us "on from glory to glory" and preparing us for eternity!

Lord, help me to take on Your Premium Perspective! For I know that my thoughts are not Your thoughts, and my ways are not Your ways...just like heaven is higher than the earth, so Your ways are much higher than my ways, and Your thoughts are far beyond my thoughts. Amen! (Is. 55:8-9)

Learning to say "Yes" & Simply Trust Him...dmc

Monday, April 14, 2014

Soul-Anchored in Heaven

"As you walk along your life-path holding My hand you will...find many hints of heaven along your pathway...Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Me." (109)
"We have this hope, like a sure and firm anchor of the soul." (Hebrews 6:19)
So, we can confidently "hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)
In the midst of this world's stormy winds and waves, I can be securely anchored to Christ. My relationship with Him allows "hints of heaven" to touch my life. On some days, I will reach out, as if to take His hand, holding tight to my invisible Anchor! It reminds me of His Presence and it helps me to keep my focus on the Hope of Heaven. After all, around me are slivers of heaven. “Shimmering sunshine awakens (my) heart, gently reminding (me) of (His) brilliant Light. Birds and flowers, trees and skies evoke praises to (His) holy name.” That is enough evidence to rally my confidence. I am anchored to Jesus. Jesus is anchored to Heaven. Therein lies my Hope!
Holding Tight, Headed in the Heavenly Direction...dmc

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stilled not Stalled

"When I give you no special guidance, stay where you are. Concentrate on doing your everyday tasks in awareness of My Presence with you." (108)

To "stay where (I am)" and wait for God to activate the next step and to "depend on (Him) moment by moment" can be such a HUGE stall. It feels like I'm loosing time, missing opportunities, idling or standing still and wasting too much precious time!

However, stillness can offer me the opportunity to gain a broader perspective of "collaborating with (Him)," allowing His Life to merge deeper into mine.
It's my choice...and I know I need more "stillness" to keep me from becoming spiritually stalled!

Yielded & Still...dmc

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Trust Test

"Trusting Me is a moment-by-moment choice....Choose to trust Me in all circumstances." (107)
I find it good to be well aware of the issues that cause my trust to weaken. When certain things fall out of alignment I can sense a 'trust test' is underway.
That can include a certain physical/emotional/spiritual/relational/financial or otherwise circumstantial mix that challenges my trust. There are also certain things that can help to strengthen my trust when I'm in the throes of a 'trust test.'
However, one way I can overcome my doubts is to voice my choice to believe that God is faithful and can be fully trusted. There's just something about hearing myself speak faith over my fear and to acknowledge I believe more in a loving Heavenly Father than in some lousy earthly fear!
I will say it aloud, "I trust in You, Lord; I say, "You are my God." (Ps.31:14)
Choosing Trust, Voicing Trust...dmc

Friday, April 11, 2014

In & Out of "The Box"

Some people are outside-the-box thinkers, others are more inclined to be in-the-box people. Today's devo encourages us to "begin the day with open hands of faith...this act of faith frees (God) to work (His) ways into" our lives. (106)
Some days require an outside-the-box perspective.  This means living with a strong faith perspective that can thank God even for "unwanted situations" or to be at peace when we are challenged with a "reality of what is (yet) hoped for." (Heb.11:1)  Outside-the-box thinking frees me to face the future.
While we are challenged to have faith for the future, we must also "live within the boundaries...of only one day at a time. Not worrying about tomorrow or getting stuck in the past." So, we need to "bear the weight of only one day at a time." This requires carefully constructed mental boundaries that come with healthy in-the-box thinking that secures us in the midst of today's challenges.
The constructive balance between these two perspectives can be a challenge. I have discovered that as I recognize how "this is the day the Lord has made" and I choose to "rejoice and be glad in it," helps me establish a more balanced perspective. (Ps.118:24)
I need the roots of trust that anchor me in-the-box. I also need the wings of faith that set me free to gain that incredible outside-the-box advantage. So, in or out of the box, I can wholeheartedly choose a "rejoice and BE glad" perspective.
In His Presence...dmc

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recycling God's Way

"Nothing is wasted when you walk close to Me. Even your mistakes and sins can be recycled into something good, through My transforming grace." (105)
I suppose this has got to be one of the MOST amazing realities of my relationship with Jesus! No matter how flawed my efforts, how broken my heart or how disappointing life may seem... God has a way of creatively re-crafting, recycling and transforming "everything that happens...into a pattern for good." (Rom.8:28)
How I picture this, comes from the Jeremiah 18 passage, where "the clay became flawed in the potter's hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do... Just like clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand..." (Jer. 18:4&6)
What an amazing privilege... to place our flawed efforts, broken hearts, disappointing lives in The Potter's hands and allow Him to recycle and transform us into "clay jars" filled with "Treasure!" (2 Cor. 4:7)
On the Potter's Wheel...dmc

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Practicing His Restful Presence

"Each moment you can choose to practice My Presence or to practice the presence of problems." (104)
Practicing His presence is a state of spiritual awareness that I need to "practice" a whole lot more! Much like developing a skill, I want to develop the discipline of an embracing focus on Him and on the truths of scripture, more than embracing the realities of this deeply flawed and spiritually fallen world.
My heart resonates with Moses' request...when he asked God to teach him His ways and for His favor.  God responds, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Ex. 33:1
God could have given him many other things... but instead He promised REST!
There is a kind of restlessness that comes when a relationship is in question... when the love has been compromised or contaminated. However, God's presence is all about a most pure and perfect love that allows the heart to be at ease, the mind to be at peace and the soul to be at rest. It's Practice Time...time to practice resting...
In His loving Presence...dmc

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Power & Presence

"When you feel far from me, whisper My Name...in childlike faith...prepare to receive My Love." (103) In Genesis 28:16 Jacob says, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."
There are times in my life when I feel so vulnerable and alone. Prayerfully whispering His Name  really helps me to reestablish that vital connection. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." There is such power and presence in His Name!
I have learned that just because I cannot "sense" Him does not mean He is not here. If I'm aware of any sin issue in my life, I quickly repent, reestablishing our relationship. If I'm sensing the presence of sin near me, creating a spiritually dark, heavy atmosphere around me, I quickly acknowledge that and whisper His Name. It's a phenomenal privilege to have access to such power and presence through His Name!
Like Jacob, I can be so distracted by my own internal drama or the drama around me that I overlook Him. For "surely He IS in this place, and I just did not know it" until I refocused and rediscovered Him, the Resurrected Lord!
Sensing His Presence...dmc