More Than Bread Devotional for 7/2/12

Romans 5:3-5
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Well this one is kinda hard to hear huh? What does suffering actually bring when it all comes together… Hope. What is our hope? I should say who?? Christ. Remember that no matter what happens we as believers have an eternal hope that spans any difficulties we may face in this life. Focus on what God is teaching you so that you only have to learn your lessons once. Trust me, if you are hard-headed… there will be a review lesson.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/29/12

John 16:12-13
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

Verse 12 is interesting to me. “I have more to say… more than you can bear right now.” This is proof to me that God shields us from things He knows because we couldn’t stand it if we did know. What does that mean? Maybe He knows that if we knew… what He knew… we would head for the nearest cave and hide away. But if it is revealed to us slowly by the Holy Spirit we will be ready to receive it. Don’t be concerned if you are a little unsure of where God is taking you. Enjoy the paths of preparation that He has prepared.
And Press on!!! : o )

P.S. I wanted to post a rerun from Gina that was originally posted on her birthday and went all the way back to 2004 before I found one.  This is it.  Just wanted to ask all of you faithful readers to be praying for my lil sister.  I hope to see her writing more devotionals again soon.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/28/12

1 By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept,
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there
we hung up our lyres.
For there our captors
required of us songs,
and our tormentors, mirth, saying,
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”  – Psalm 137:1-3

Sometimes sorrow is the only response that can fit a situation.  It is a very human thing to look for words of comfort or to try and “bring a smile” to the face of one who is hurting.  But there are times when only tears will suffice.  Take comfort in the words of Scripture that remind us that God is all too familiar with our heartaches and pain.  He knows our hurts and lovingly carries us through them in His arms.  Lean on the everlasting arms in your times of trial or tears.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/27/12

10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!   – Psalm 111:10

There are many reminders in the Bible that there is a gap between knowing and doing.  Some of them are quite obvious and others are more subtle.  Put this in the subtle category.  The psalmist reminds us of the source of wisdom and the value in having it as he casually reminds us that its practice is what demonstrates that it has truly been acquired.  After all, what good is wisdom, if you don’t use it?

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/25/12

1  Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.   – Isaiah 64:1-4

When God shows up on the scene, it is impossible to miss it.  At least most of the time it is anyway.  Our biggest frustration at times (maybe all the time) seems to be the waiting for God to rend the heavens and show up in power to take care of the situation.  That would seem to be the case from reading the vast number of places in Scripture that show the people of God calling for His time to come quickly.  Of course, these numerous requests are followed by God showing up at exactly the right time.  So, Isaiah reminds us that He acts for those who “wait for Him.”  It may not be the answer we want at the time, but we must take heart in the fact that He does act.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  And so we wait for Him to rend the heavens.  Maranatha.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/20/12

38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  – Matthew 10:38-39

I am at camp this week with a bunch of youth and adults, so I wasn’t really sure if I would be able to get the devotions out this week, but so far, so good.  There is a special air at a youth camp or a retreat when all the distractions are taken away and we can concentrate on what is truly important.  The speaker at camp mentioned these verses tonight as he shared with the rest of us about surrendering our lives to God.  Sometimes, it seems easier to talk like this at camp that it is to live this out in the everyday push of our lives.  But this is what we are called to do.  Our lives are not our own.  We have been bought with a price.  We cannot give Him more than He has given us.  That is why we surrender all.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/19/12

Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.  – Psalm 107:4-6

The feeling of isolation and despair can be overwhelming at times.  It is good to remember that you are never truly alone.  When we call out to God, He is there.  Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us.  Cry out to Him and He will answer you.

 

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/18/12

12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”   – Esther 4:12-14

In the book of Esther, God is operating in the background.  He isn’t really mentioned directly at all.  There is talk like this from Mordecai and Esther about fasting, but they don’t even mention prayer.  It is almost like God is hidden.  Perhaps you sometimes feel like God is hidden or not there at all.  He is always at work though.  Even when you don’t see or know He is there.  As you see in Esther, God brings all things together to save His people, just as Mordecai predicted.  God takes care of those who belong to Him.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/14/12

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.  – Titus 3:9-11

There was a time when I lived for argument and debate.  I enjoyed “lively discussions” whenever and wherever I could find them.  Over the years, my heart has changed and my appetite for controversy and endless debate has waned.  While there are certainly times to stand for what is right and defend the faith and the truth, that is seldom what people engage in the most heated discussions about.  In my experience, they are usually unanswerable issues and unwinnable debates that consume people who like argue in the body of Christ.  Learning to recognize when discussions turn (or already are) unprofitable is an important step in growing in Christlikeness.  Sometimes quarrels are worth losing for the sake of peace with our brothers.

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More Than Bread Devotional for 6/12/12

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.  – Hebrews 4:9-11

Yesterday, I spoke about the Sabbath and the need for rest.  The writer of Hebrews said some things about God’s rest as well.  He reminds us that there is rest of a sort here, but that the ultimate rest that we all look forward to is yet to come.  And it sounds somewhat strange to our ears to hear someone tell us to “strive to enter rest.”  What does that mean anyway?

For those who don’t practice a Sabbath in the same manner that those who first got this letter did, the phrase seems odd.  Even today, Jewish people (and others) who observe a weekly Sabbath take great pains to get everything prepared ahead of time; because the moment the Sabbath begins, there is no more time to prepare.  All work must cease.  This is true in life as well.  We are given this life to prepare for eternity, where God offers us rest in Him.  We cannot wait until eternity has begun to try and prepare for that time of rest.  We must prepare now.  Knowing that the rest is coming, makes it a little easier to work extra hard in the push to see it realized in its time.

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