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But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

-Psalms 5:11-12

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MOST HIGH GOD -   

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON  


There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

--JOB 32:8


If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?

--LUKE 11:13


IS it supposable that God has permitted personal intercourse between man and man to be such a potent instrument in the building up of character, and yet has made all intercourse with Himself impossible? If the spirit of man can, through the power of influence and sympathy, bless and uplift the spirit of his fellow-man, much more, a thousand-fold more, shall God who, be it remembered, is a Spirit also, aid by intercourse and influence the creature spirit whom He permits to call himself His child. 

--WILLIAM REED HUNTINGTON


In the fellowship which is established in prayer between man and God we are brought into personal union with Him in whom all things have their being. In this lies the possibility of boundless power; for when the connection is once formed, who can lay down the limits of what man can do in virtue of the communion of his spirit with the Infinite Spirit? 

--BROOKE FOSS WESTCOTT


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength. Shared from here with permission.

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

Mister, Are You God?    

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt    

 

Dear children, let us not love with word or tongue, but with actions and in truth. —1 John 3:18   

 

The story has been told how shortly after World War II came to a close, Europeans began picking up the pieces after having been ravaged by the war.

 

Early one morning, an American soldier was making his way back to his barracks in London. As he passed a doughnut shop, he saw a little boy staring into the window. The soldier turned the corner in his Jeep, got out and walked quietly over to where the little fellow was standing. Through the steamed-up window the boy could see the mouth-watering doughnuts as they were being prepared. The boy released a slight groan as he watched the cook place them into the glass-enclosed counter.

 

The soldier’s heart went out to the boy standing beside him. “Son would you like some of those?” the soldier asked. The boy startled. “Oh yes, I would!” he exclaimed.

 

The soldier went inside the shop and bought a dozen doughnuts, put them in a bag and walked back to where the boy was standing. He smiled, held out the warm bag and said, “Here you are young man.”

 

As he turned to walk away, the soldier felt a tug on his coat. He turned around and the child asked quietly, “Mister, are you God?”

 

This is a great reminder that we are never more like God than when we lovingly give to others. The world, much like the boy in the story, will recognize you as a child of God when you show His love through your actions.

 

Today, will others see God in your life by how you love and how you give?

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Jesus said (John 14) that others will know we are His followers by our love for one another. Reflecting on your own life, do your actions show that you are a follower of Jesus?

 

2. Think of a specific action you can take today to demonstrate God’s love to someone else.

 

FURTHER READING:

Matthew 25:31-36; John 14:23-24; 1 John 3:16-23

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/

Moving from Willpower to Real Power -  

 

I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)

 

If you’ve ever been to a funeral, I’m pretty sure you’ve informally gone through the following process: You sit quietly in the funeral service and grieve the loss of a life, and in that quietness you resolve to sharpen your goals. The reality of death awakens something in you, and in that moment you want to focus on what really matters most. Maybe you go home and change the way you treat your close friends or family. That happens often for a day or two. Then the resolve fades. Why?

 

Easy answer! It fades because you go back to relying on your own willpower rather than on God’s power. I know this because I’ve gone through this spiritual ping-pong match many times myself. And my willpower isn’t enough for what matters most.

 

To be successful at this, we must move from willpower to real power. This is where we depend on God to help us define and achieve what matters most.

 

Today’s Scripture passage gives us insight into how God’s power—real power—is available to us. It means that, as a Christian, since we have the Holy Spirit in our lives, we have access to His power. It’s the same power that defeated death on Easter morning! It’s the same power that created this incredible playground we call Earth! This same power is available to you, to help you live a life with meaning, to heal relationships, work in your family and on the job, rescue your life when you need it, and to focus on the things that matter most!

 

But there is a condition to obtaining this power. Did you notice it in the verses from Ephesians? It states, “the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe in him…” The power is available only to those who believe. If you’re not a believer, this might sound like some bad news. But it can easily be changed into good news if you believe in Jesus and put your faith in Him. All you have to do is say yes to Him today.

 

God’s power is available to everyone. This includes you! When you believe in Him and depend on Him to give you His power, He’ll help you live the life you were created to live. God will give you all the power you need to gain a fresh start. He will help you make up for lost time as you finally begin to pursue what matters most!

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What do you value most?

 

2. What percentage of your time do you feel you spend on what you value most? Is it enough time? If not, why not?

 

FURTHER READING:

Romans 8:11; James 4:14; Psalm 90:12

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

More Like You -  

This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

 

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. —Psalm 37:4

 

In a delightful compilation of children’s letters to God*, a simple and very honest prayer reads, “Dear God, thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.”

 

It’s fairly safe to assume that this little girl’s biggest desire was for a puppy. After all, puppies are cute, fun to play with, make great companions and are often at the top of every child’s wish list. I suspect that her heart must have felt a little betrayed when God answered her prayer differently than she had anticipated. Baby brothers are okay, but to many children, a puppy is a dream, come true.

 

In this psalm of David there is a promise – an if/then statement, if you will. It could as easily read, “If you delight yourself in the Lord, then he will give you the desires of your heart.” If that is the case, how does one explain the baby brother in the above story? Many people imagine God like a Santa in the sky with whom they hope to bargain, such as, “If I just go to church, pray the right prayer, say the right things, then God will reward me with a new job, a new wife, a shiny red convertible, or something else for my pleasure.”

 

However, I’m hesitant to approach Scripture as merely a recipe for my own happiness. A more accurate reading of this passage reveals that when a person delights himself or herself in the Lord, then the desires of our hearts become more in line with the desires of God’s heart. Does that mean you can never ask for a new job, a new car, or other things of personal pleasure? Absolutely not! It does, however, reveal God’s deeper desire for us: to become more like Him. A worship song expresses the prayer this way, “I want to be more like You. I want to be more like You. I want to be a vessel You work through. I want to be more like You.”

 

Today, may those words be the prayer of your own heart.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Listen carefully the next time you pray.  Are your prayers centered on your own desires and wishes, or do they reflect the willingness to accept God’s desires as your own?

 

2. What specific actions are you taking to become more like Christ?

 

FURTHER READING:

Proverbs 19:21; Proverbs 16:2, 9

 

*Children’s Letters to God, the New Collection. Compiled by Stuart Hample and Eric Marshall. Workman Publishing, 1991.

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/

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