Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Absence

Yet again I have been away from writing devotions for quite some time. I have been praying about changes the Lord has laid upon my heart for this blog. I still do not have all the answers and will continue to pray until He shows me His will. However, I wanted to let you know I haven't abandoned this blog. I plan on resuming regular posting but it may be in a more limited capacity. If you could, please pray for wisdom and guidance and I carefully consider where He wants me to take this ministry.

Living for Him,
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Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28- Is Your Husband Living on the Roof?

The following devotional is an expansion of a devotion I wrote earlier. This devotional appeared on Fresh Starts this week. I had every intention of writing a new devotion tonight, but as I have always said, this blog is the work of God. I only write what He tells me to. I feel convicted to share this verse with you today once again, I hope it reaches those of you that He is speaking to.

Better to live on a corner of a roof
than share a house with a
quarrelsome wife.
Proverbs 25:25 

Imagine for a minute going on a month long vacation which turns into a life changing move. Not only do you not return to your hometown to say good-bye to friends and family but you also do not return to pack up your house. Instead your husband makes the 2000 mile return trip home to pack up everything and close out your life in your hometown. For over 2 months you and your three kids live with family, a month of which is without your spouse.  Imagine the stress, the exhaustion, and the emotional toll that scenario might take on you.

I do not have to imagine, I am living this reality.  What started as a month long vacation to find work for my husband has turned into a life-long move from my hometown of over 30 years. This move had been anticipated but not quite so quickly. Soon after my husband returned home my stress level sky rocketed. I was so stressed that I was bickering with my husband over the phone almost daily. We do not argue very often so I knew something was astray within myself. As I searched for help and guidance in scripture I came across Proverbs 25:25.

This proverb rings true for me on so many levels. Ponder the depth of this verse for a moment. Think of the impact and relevance it has in your own life and marriage. A quarrelsome wife has not only the power and ability to make her husband leave his home but he might think it better to live on the roof than to live with her. Living in the cold and exposing himself to the elements on top of a hard roof top is better than being in the same room as his cranky wife. Living on a roof top is figurative of course, but you get the point.

The husband and father is the backbone to every family; the leader, the spiritual guide. His place is not on the roof forced there by an angry wife. Has this ever been you? Be honest with yourself. I know I am guilty! Personally it breaks my heart and brings me to my knees in prayer when I realize I am a thorn in my husband's side. Our husbands do so much for us everyday, we should shower them with thanks and appreciation. 

From 2000 miles away I was forcing my husband to sleep on the roof. Shame on me! Thankfully, I have been able to change my ways and we are no longer arguing. Now my kids and I are eagerly awaiting his safe arrival in our new hometown in a few weeks.

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me of my sins and shortsightedness. O Lord, it is not my desire to be argumentative. I do not enjoy quarreling with my husband. O Father, please give me the strength and wisdom to change my heart, my actions, and my mind. Father I want to align my thoughts and actions according to Your will. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

What is something you can do today to improve your attitude toward your husband? How can you show him that you appreciate his hard work? Don't just think it, do it!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our True Identity in Christ Conclusion

The following is a summary of the Our True Identity in Christ study that concluded today:

24 True Identities in Christ!! We are truly blessed.

We are justified (righteous).
No Condemnation awaits us.
We are set free from sin that leads to death.
We are sanctified in Jesus Christ.
We are pure and holy in Christ.
We will be given new life at the resurrection.
We are new persons.
We are made right with God.
We are one in Christ with all other believers.
We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
We are holy and without fault.
We are adopted as God's children.
Our sins are taken away, and we are forgiven.
We will be brought under Christ's authority.
We are identified as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit.
We have been raised up to sit with Christ in the Heavenly realms.
We are God's masterpiece.
We have been brought near to God.
We share in the promise of blessings through Christ.
We can come boldly and confidently into God's presence.
We are members of Christ's body, the church.
We are made complete in Christ.
We are set free from our sinful nature.
We will have eternal glory.

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May 27 - We Have Eternal Glory!

So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation 
and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
2Timothy 2:10

What a wonderful verse to end the Our True Identity in Christ study! God has chosen you and me, we will have eternal glory. Praise and glory be to Him!! Life is full of trials, tribulations, challenges, and adversity. Through it all though as Christians we have hope and faith that we can endure anything because one day we will be brought to salvation. We will have eternal glory in Heaven thanks to Christ. He gave it all so that we can have eternal glory and salvation. We can find strength in the difficult times knowing that we will not suffer forever. There is hope! If you are dealing with health problems, financial struggles, or other personal issues look to Him for hope and strength. You will not bear the weight of your struggles for eternity. The beauty and majesty of Heaven will embrace us when our time here on earth is complete. Through Him I am truly willing to endure anything because I know one day I will experience salvation and eternal glory, thanks be to Christ. Thanks be to God for choosing you and me for salvation.

Dear Heavenly Father, thanks be to You for choosing me for salvation and eternal glory. I am truly willing to endure anything because I know that one day I will bask in the glory of eternal life in Heaven. I am humbled and honored to be chosen for eternal life in Your beautiful home. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26 - We Are Set Free

When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised", 
but not by a physical procedure. 
Christ performed a spiritual circumcision - 
the cutting away of your sinful nature.
Colossians 2:11

Circumcision was an old testament command from God. It was the way Jews entered into an agreement of faith and salvation with God. Through Christ's birth and death we have been set free from the sacrament of circumcision. Christ's death set us free from a physical commitment for eternal life. Instead we are now committed to Christ through our hearts, not our body. We are free from our evil desires through Christ's spiritual operation rather then a physical procedure. Despite the fact that Christ has set us free from a physical commitment of salvation, the commitment in our hearts must be just as strong and steadfast as in the Old Testament. What you do with your freedom and commitment to God is your choice. We must always remember though that Christ gave everything for our sins and salvation. Without Christ, the freedom you experience now would not be possible. We must give thanks to Him always for all that He gave and continues to give to each of us everyday.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your only son to live and die for my sins, salvation, and freedom. O Lord, please give me the strength and wisdom to live each day according to Your word. I pray that my freedom is pleasing to Your eyes. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25 - We Are Made Complete Through Christ

So you also are complete through your union with Christ, 
who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Colossians 2:10

You may know someone who has a void in their life. Or perhaps you are feeling low and empty at this point in your own life. Something is missing mentally and spiritually. But where do you turn to fill that void? What do you do, who do you talk to, how do you get through each day feeling empty and unfulfilled? We all go through these times in our lives. It in only human. However, as Christians we have a place to turn to and seek solace from our emptiness. Christ alone is all we need to be made complete. He is our life, our fulfillment, our everything. Christ teaches us to be content with ourselves. God made us perfectly. 

When you know Christ you do not need anything else in your life to feel complete. Cults, gangs, other religions, or non-biblical philosophers provide nothing for true Christians. Christ alone holds the answers to our life.  We have all that we need to live a fulfilled life here on earth and be saved for salvation.

Dear friend, you have the ability to live more freely and completely with Christ in your heart. You alone have the ability to live, love, and give more freely and openly through Christ. He will provide all that you need. There is no fear or limitation because we are made complete through Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins. Through Him I am made complete. O Lord, with you by my side I want to live more freely, openly, and completely with You. Please guide me O Father, send me where I need to go, to do what You want me to do. I am here to serve You O Lord. I have complete faith that You will provide all that I need. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24 - We Are Members

No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it;
just as Christ cares for the church. 
And we are members of his body.
Ephesians 5:29,30

As Christians we are members of Christ's body; the church. Christ cares for His body; us as members of the church. He loves us unconditionally because he feeds and cares for us. In turn however, how do we care for our own bodies; both physical and spiritual? Are you perhaps neglecting an aspect of your life that you know you need to care more for? Nutrition, exercise, time in scripture, they are all crucial for maintaining and nourishing our physical and spiritual bodies. Laziness can at times creep in to our lives and run amuck. But time in prayer and attention to ourselves is what God wants from us. He made us perfectly. It is our job to keep our bodies and minds in good condition so we are prepared to serve Him whenever and wherever He calls us to serve. We are members for Christ's body, the church, but we are also members of a greater everlasting kingdom. We are to care for ourselves and others like Christ cares for us.

Dear Heavenly Father, thanks and praise be to You for including me in Your body, the church. I am honored and humbled to be a member of your eternal kingdom. O Lord, please give me the wisdom and strength to care for myself as You care for me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23 - We Can Come Boldly and Confidently

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come 
boldly and confidently into God's presence.
Ephesians 3:12

Why is it that we feel confident approaching God with our prayers, concerns, and praises? Every other ruler demands respect, silence, and submission. Christ alone is the reason we can enter into a relationship freely, openly, and honestly with our Heavenly Father. What a wonderful privilege we have to be able to approach God freely and confidently. Through prayer we can comfortably talk with our Father about everything and anything that is laid upon our heart. What an amazing gift Christ gave us through the bridge he created between God and ourselves. Through our relationship with Christ we know that we will be welcomed with open arms because we are God's children. Christ gives us the confidence to freely talk with God about everything. Openly pray to God, He is listening. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son to allow me to freely, boldly, and confidently enter into a relationship with You. What a privilege you have given to all that believe!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22 - We Share in the Promise

And this is God's plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the 
Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God's children. 
Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise 
of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6

Everyone who believes in the gospel shares equally in the bounty of heaven. All that have accepted Jesus as their Savior will reap the bounty of salvation. Our message for today is particularly convicting for me because so much talk and attention is given to "which religion is better". So many Christian groups senselessly waste their time bickering back and forth about which teaching is truer, which Bible is clearer, or which church is more convicting. If we take to heart Paul's teachings in Ephesians we can clearly understand that one group of Christians or Jews is not better than another. Following this Bible translation or that makes no difference. What matters most to God is that we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He wants us to follow in His footsteps and go where He leads us. Faith, forgiveness, and mercy is all that He asks of us. In return we receive salvation. Nothing more, nothing less.  Together as Christians and Jews who believe in Christ Jesus we will share in the promise of salvation and a bountiful eternal life. Next time you begin to throw stones about another Christian group, please think of Ephesians 3:6.

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me of my sins. O Lord please open my eyes to my shortsightedness and wash away the sins. Awaken my heart to acceptance of all that believe in You as their Savior. Please help me to willingly open my arms, heart, and home to all that believe in You. May I be a beckon on encouragement and comfort to all that seek me in Your name. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21 - We Are Near God

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. 
Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought 
near to him through the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13

In Jesus' time Jews and Gentiles resented each other. The Jews believed they were superior to the Gentiles and that the Gentiles were hopeless to save. The Gentiles on the other hand scoffed at the Jews claims and felt hatred towards them for the way the Jews treated them. Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection was for not only the Jews but also the Gentiles. Jesus united both groups under His wing and gave the precious gift of salvation to everyone. Even in modern times we are all united with and because of Jesus Christ. When you accepted Christ into your life you were united with Him through His body and blood. Jesus is so mighty and powerful that He can break down prejudices, brings reconciliation, and unifies us all into one body. 

Have you stopped to think recently about how far you have come in your life because you accepted Christ? Where would you be without Him? Are you walking near or far from God at this time in your life? I am deeply humbled when I consider the changes that God has made in my own life. I am brought to my knees with anguish to even consider where I might be without His love, guidance, and wisdom in my own life. We all need to stop and contemplate sometimes the marvelous impact God has had on our lives and give thanks to Him for all the glory He has bestowed upon us all. Times might be tough right now but do not fear, God is still near and He will not forsake you.

Dear Heavenly Father, O Lord where would I be without You in my life? Thank you Father for choosing me for salvation. All glory and honor is owed to You God for all that blessings you have given to me. May I never stray from your side and all be near You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20 - We Are God's Masterpiece

For we are God's masterpiece. 
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, 
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10

I wish I was skinnier. I wish I was taller. I wish I had different color hair. I wish I had less wrinkles. The list of wishes for ourselves can go on and on. But why? Why do we torment ourself over and over again by dwelling on the imperfections rather than celebrate the perfect way God made us? You are truly God's masterpiece. You were created and live in perfection. Every wrinkle upon your face, every strand of hair upon your head, and every inch that allows you to stand tall is just how God intended you to be here on Earth. Celebrate the beauty within and without. Give thinks to Him for the grace and perfection He showed in creating you. Perfect you! 

Personally, I shudder to think how much time I wasted wishing away my blessings. I wish I was taller, I wish I had curly hair, I wish I didn't have freckles, and the list goes on. Once I learned to stop speaking negatively of myself I was able to enter a new level of relationship with God. I was finally able to embrace the perfection and imperfection with which He created me. What a wonderful feeling I was finally able to experience once I began appreciating myself.

God considers you His masterpiece. Do no disrespect Him by treating yourself or other as inferior.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the masterpiece you have created in me. No longer will I disrespect You by thinking of myself as inferior. Please bless my eyes and open them to the perfection within me and everyone around me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19 - We Are Sitting With Christ

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated 
us with him in the heavenly realms because 
we are united with Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6

One of the foundational identities that we have through Christ is resurrection after we die. We know we will be resurrected because Christ rose to heaven after His death. Christ's life and death also gives us the privilege of living as a Christian now. We are united with Christ and not only sit with Him here in the living but also after our death.  Personally when I consider the fact that I am sitting with my Savior I am not only humbled but empowered to live by His standards to the best of my ability. It is sobering to think that I have been chosen by my heavenly Father to live a Christian life. It is a gift and an honor that I do not take lightly. I am proud to walk (and sit) alongside Christ, my Savior.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am humbled and honored to sit with you O Lord. You have chosen me to walk alongside You through this life. Please guide me and strengthen me as I do Your work here on earth. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18 - We Belong to God By the Holy Spirit

And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, 
the Good News that God saves you. 
And when you believed in Christ, he identified you 
as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, 
who he promised long ago.
Ephesians 1:13

Our relationship with God begins with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God's guarantee that we belong to Him and that He will do all that He has promised us. By accepting the Holy Spirit you are demonstrating your faith and securing your eternal life in Heaven with God. The Holy Spirit works inside of us to change our hearts and our minds. If you are truly accepting of the Spirit your life will never be the same. Your life will be exponentially better than before. What are you doing in your life to nourish and foster your relationship with the Holy Spirit? Do you ask for help and guidance or are you walking on your own and stumbling as you go? Dear friend in Christ I urge you to seek out the Holy Spirit living within you and grow your relationship to become closer to God. The Holy Spirit is part of the trinity we as Christians sometimes overlook.  We do not discuss or acknowledge it's importance in our spiritual lives nearly enough.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for guaranteeing your love and commitment to me through the Holy Spirit. Please give me the wisdom and strength to let the Holy Spirit guide and transform my life now and forever. In  Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17 - Brought Under Christ's Authority

And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together 
under the authority of Christ - everything in heaven and on earth. 
Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received 
an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance and he 
makes everything work out according to his plan.
Ephesians 1:10,11

Our true identity in Christ for today is two-fold; first God's plan for us could not be fully understood until He sent Christ to this earth. Upon Christ's birth Jew and Gentile were united. Second God's plan for our salvation cannot be altered no matter the evil doings of Satan. 

Christ's birth alone united two very different groups of people. One group were the "chosen" people while the others were commoners worthy of little until Jesus was born. Upon his birth and subsequent death for our sins the Gentiles were given a chance at eternal life, something only afforded to the Jews at that time. But dear friend, this is more than just a biblical history lesson. Devote some time this day to grasp the full meaning of Christ's birth. As a Christian, we are Gentiles. Had it not been for Jesus' birth we would have no opportunity for salvation, forgiveness of sins, or love and support from our Heavenly Father here on Earth. Prayers would not be answered. Life would be bleak and hopeless without the birth of Jesus over 2000 years ago.

Verse 11 addresses the notion that God's plan for your life is perfect. Even when it is chaotic and stressful your life is all according to His plan. The stress and difficulties are not mistakes but rather all a part of His righteous plan for your life. God is in charge! Nothing, not even the evil doings of Satan can derail His plan for your life and mine. There is great comfort in knowing this. God's plan for us is without fault, therefore we can live rest assured that He will carry us through the rough times and let us run in happiness during the good times. We can have faith and trust in God because His plan for our life is perfect.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for sending Your only son to die for my sins. Without this precious gift I would have no chance at salvation. Oh Lord, I gain enormous strength and comfort knowing that your plan for my life is perfect. When I am struggling O Father, please give me a sense of calm and comfort just knowing that You will guide me through the rough waters. Please Lord open my eyes and my arms to all that You have planned for my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16 - Our Sins Have Been Taken Away

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our
freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7

Am I the only one that is brought to my knees with humility when I think of the price Jesus paid for my sins? Through His death we were redeemed and forgiven. Jesus died as the final and perfect sacrifice for our sins. Your sins. My sins. The price for the gift that Jesus gives us each and every day is eternal. We are loved so much that our sins are forgiven. Some days when I feel low or discouraged I find enormous strength in the thought that I was chosen, I am loved, and He gave everything for little ole' me. If you are struggling in your life, I pray that you find comfort and strength knowing that you are important, you are loved, and your sins belong to God. His son paid the ultimate price for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, I drop to my knees today with thanksgiving for the price Your son paid for my sins. Thank you O Lord for choosing me as a member of your family. When I am feeling discouraged O Father, may I gain strength and comfort in just knowing that Your love for me is never ending. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15 - We Are Adopted

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family 
by bringing us to himself through Christ Jesus. 
This is what he wnted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured
out on us who belong to his dear Son.
Ephesians 1:5,6

Before you were born God decided to adopt you into His own family. You were chosen well before you were conceived. Adoption is one of your true identities in Christ. Another way of explaining that God adopted you into His family is that salvation is by God's own hand and we have no part in our own eternal life. By Roman law, adopted children had the same birth rights as biological children. Therefore, in Ephesians, Paul is telling uses the term adoption to communicate how strong our relationship is with God. What have you done to enter into this relationship? What have you done to grow and foster your relationship with God? Your personal relationship with Christ gives Him great pleasure and joy. He is proud of you. His grace has been poured out upon you and you are a loved member of God's eternal family.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your loving kindness that you have showered upon my life. I am humbled to be adopted into your eternal family. Thank you O Lord for blessing me with your gift of salvation. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14 - We Are Holy and Without Fault

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in
Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Ephesians 1:4

God chose you. Consider that statement for a minute. You didn't choose to be saved, you accepted Him in your heart but you didn't choose God. He chose you! Your salvation depends entirely on God and God alone. God's graciousness alone gave you salvation. You didn't do anything to deserve salvation, you were saved according to His plan. Do not boast about your salvation for you played no part it happening. God alone is to credit for your gift of eternal life and salvation. It is difficult to wrap our head around how God could accept sinful people into His kingdom like ourselves. It is through Christ that we are sinless and blameless. We are holy and without fault because of Christ and God's perfect plan for our lives. Give thanks and praise to Him today for choosing you to enter His kingdom.

Dear Heavenly Father, I humbly fall at your feet today to give thanks and praise for choosing me for salvation and eternal life in Your kingdom. May I never boast about this gift but rather walk by Your side with graciousness, forever accepting of the life you have set before me. May my heart, arms, and eyes be open to all that you have given me. For all the days of my life O Lord I will be a soldier in Your army here on Earth. Thank you O Father for seeing me as holy and without fault. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13 - We are Blessed

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the 
heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

All praise and glory to Him for everything He has blessed us with! How often do you count your blessings and give thanks for everything in your life? Everything you have or don't have is because of Him. The path your life has taken is due entirely to our Father in Heaven. When you accepted Christ into your heart you were united as one and all of His blessings befell upon you. Dear friend in Christ, please do not despair when the blessings from above are not easy or cheerful. God puts challenges in all of our lives to test us, help us grow, and most of all bring us closer to Him. Your faith is tested when difficulties are put in your path. How do you deal with adversity? How do you cope with stress? Does your faith waver when He tests you? These are real questions that you need to answer honestly within yourself and with God. He will never forsake you. He will only ever give you what you can handle. Health issues, financial struggles, family problems; these are all secondary to the blessings that abound in your life. 

As a testament to His eternal wisdom and graciousness, I believe that it was His intent to put this devotional in my life on this exact day. I could have written it back in March like I had intended but the timing was never right. He knew I would need to write this devotion at this time in my life. Due to our recent move life has been a bit stressful. My patience and faith have been tested each and everyday since we left our home 6 weeks ago. But today His will and blessings in my life were shown in abundance. It is with honest faith that I can say I am truly blessed. Despite the hardships, the challenges, and the stresses I am enduring in this time of my life, I know I am blessed. Being blessed is one of my true identities in Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today to thank you for all the blessings you have given me. I might not always be able to see the gifts you have given me through the struggles in my life but Lord I know as a follower I am blessed. O Lord please give me the strength and wisdom to see your glory through the stress in my life. Please help me to not get bogged down in the everyday struggles but rather look to You for all the beautiful things you have placed in my life. Thank you Father for all that I have been blessed with. Through you I am blessed. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Our True Identity in Christ

Dear Friends,
 Thank you so much for your patience and devotion to this blog during the recent hiatus. Your encouraging words meant so much to me and let me know that this is where God is growing my ministry. Beginning today, I will resume the Our True Identity in Christ series which I began in April. As always, please let me know at anytime if you need a devotion on a particular topic. I can write it personally for you or publish here on Faithful Rubies.
 May God's Blessings be upon you and your family!

God Bless,
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12 - The Joy of Laughter

We were filled with laughter,
And we sang for joy,
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
Psalms 126:2

Do you laugh everyday? Do your kids laugh everyday? When was the last time you had a whole-hearted belly laugh that brought you to tears? Laugh creates memories, evokes strong emotions, and forges and everlasting bond between friends and family. Laughter heals. Laughter cleanses. Laughter is just plain fun.

Today I encourage you to sing for joy, give praise to His name for all the amazing things He has done in your life, and laugh! Fill yourself with laughter. Lay aside your stresses, your to-do list, and our worries. Fill your home and heart with laughter today and everyday. Life is to be celebrated. He has blessed you with so much. Enjoy it and sing His amazing praises!

Dear heavenly Father you have blessed me so! Too often I get caught up in daily grind and forget to sing your praises. Lord today please help me to spread joy and laughter in my family and to all those you put in my path today. May I be a beacon of light, joy, laughter and encouragement to all those I meet today. You are truly a glorious God! Everything I have is a blessing from you. Thank you O Lord for standing by me through the tough times. Today because of Your everlasting love, I will laugh. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11 - Sing the Praises

Listen, you kings!
Pay attention, you mighty rulers!
For I will sing to the Lord.
I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.
Judges 5:3

Amidst the hustle and bustle of your daily life, how often do you include prayers for our political leaders? No matter your personal feelings about local and national leaders, admittedly so this is a tumultuous time of political unrest and change. We as Christians must make our voices be heard. We must sing the praises and make music to the Lord! Again and again in scripture we read about the negative effects apathy from Christians has on the political arena. If we stood up and spoke up to our local and national political officials perhaps we would not be in the economic and social situation that we now find ourselves. You have a voice, make it be heard. What have you as a Christian done recently to positively affect political officials? Write, call, or email; it is easy, fast and effective. We can no longer sit ideally by and watch as our country falls apart at the core. If our country returned to it’s religious beginnings we would have a moral compass to guide our laws and governments. Complaining about our political climate is of no use. Lay down your complaints and sing the praise of our Lord and Father in Heaven. Make your voice be heard just like those in Israel so many years ago after Joshua died and they fell into political and moral turmoil.

Dear heavenly Father our world is in trouble. We have strayed so far from your teachings, much like Israel after Joshua’s death. Lord please give me the wisdom, strength, courage to be an active part in returning our government to a moral and just body. Please give wisdom and courage to our national and local leaders. O Lord, I plead that they may have the courage to stand upon their Christian beliefs when voting and acting within their political stature. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10 - A Call for Repentance

Turn to me now, while there is still time.
 Give me your hearts. Come with fasting,
 weeping, and mourning.
Do not tear your clothing in your grief,
 but tear your hearts instead.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
Joel 1:12,13

Where is your faith in God? Are you all in or are you dabbling your toes in the sea of Christianity? Does your study of the word and commitment to prayer ebb and flow like the tides? Today is the day to commit yourselves whole-heartedly to God. He wants you all in. Give Him your hearts! Tear your heart open for God and let His love for your pour in. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, the struggles and challenges that bombard us from all angles. Time in the word is often sacrificed for time on the internet or time gossiping with friends. Where are your priorities? If you regularly put God and your faith second then you are dabbling your toes in the water. Repent today dear friend. He is waiting.

Remember time with your Father in Heaven comes in many different shapes, forms, and fashions. Prayer can happen anytime the world around you is quiet. Taking a shower, washing dishes by hand, cleaning the house, driving in the car between your children’s events; these are just a few of the times you can pray and give praise to Him. Download podcasts of the Bible to spend time in the word while you workout, drive around town, take the dog for a walk, or get things done around the house. If your faith is important to you there is time in your daily life.

Dear heavenly Father I come before you today with a repentant heart. Forgive me O Lord for my sinful ways. I have lost sight of what is important in my life. It is You O Father that must come first in my life. Please show me the ways and the times in my life where I can make time for you and Your word throughout my day. Please give me the strength and wisdom to change my ways so that my daily faith remains renewed, refreshed, and encouraged. All glory and honor is owed to you O Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9 - A Prayer of Praise

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling 
away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence 
without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God,
 our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, 
majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, 
and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 1:24,25

When was the last time you gave thanks to our Father for simply being all that He is? It is so easy to get caught up in praying for things we need in our own lives that we lose sight of the big picture. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time. All praise, thanksgiving and honor are owed to Him today and everyday. We live in a time of temptation and sinfulness. We must remain strong and steadfast in our faith despite the world that surrounds us. God alone will bring us into His presence without sin when it is our time to ascend to heaven. He will keep you from falling into temptation and He guarantees that if you remain faithful you will receive the gift of everlasting life. What greater reward is there than eternal life without sin in His presence? I want to encourage you today to say a prayer from your heart of praise and thanksgiving. Recount all the marvelous things He has done in your life. Do not ask for anything; simply give praise for his amazing graciousness.

Dear Father in Heaven, today I give thanks to you for you graciousness and amazing blessings in my life. Without You in my life I would be lost. But behold I am found. All glory and honor to your O Father for the gifts in my life. Despite the hardships and struggles I may face O Lord, you have blessed with me abundance. With your strength and love I can overcome everything. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Devotional Hiatus

I want to thank all of the sweet readers who have contacted me regarding the recent absence of devotions. Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me! I have have been out of town all month and was not able to get the entire month written before my vacation. I am without regular access to internet so I have not been able to keep up with my devotion writing. I miss it terribly and will hopefully be able to resume my blogging very soon. Thank you again for your caring and warm wishes. Please keep my family in your prayers!

May God Bless you all!!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17 - We Are One With Other Believers

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. 
For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28

Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female we are all equal in God's eyes. So it follows that we must look upon each other with the same equality. Honestly though, how often do you look upon others with true equality? Do you look down upon people that don't follow your particular beliefs in the Bible? Do you feel uncomfortable around others that dress differently or act differently than you? Or do you prefer to stick with people you are comfortable with; people like yourself? When we separate ourselves from other Christ-followers we are disregarding scripture teachings. Faith in Christ transcends all of the inequalities that we have built up around us. We are all one with Christ because of our belief in Him. I want to encourage you to not distinguish yourself from others when Christ has removed all distinctions. We are all equally entitled to live forever in the kingdom of God, not one of us is better than the other. When we make a point to seek out other believers that are different from ourselves we might just find that we are less different than we originally thought. Do not make presumptions about other Christians. We are all equal in His eyes.

Dear Father God,  please forgive me for my selfish thoughts and actions toward other believers. My veil of selfishness has closed possible doors that you set before me for fellowship. O Lord, please give me the wisdom and strength to minister and fellowship with others according to Your will. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16 - We Are Made Right With God

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin,
so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Cor 5:21

Stop and consider 2Cor 5:21 for just a minute. Contemplate the enormity of this verse. God made Christ to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can be made right with God through Jesus Christ. God loves you and I so much that he created His son who is sinless so that we have a chance at eternal life in heaven with God our Father. When you became a Christian you made an exchange with God. He took our sin and laid it at the feet of His crucified son. In turn he gave us righteousness. The exchange of goods between us and our Heavenly Father are hardly equal. He took our sin and gave us righteousness; two things that are far from equivalent. But God loves you and I so much that he freely gives righteousness and eternal life to those who believe. How grateful are you today and everyday for the gift that God has given you?

Dear Heavenly Father, Your love for me spans the heavens and the earth. O Father please forgive me of my sins and shortsightedness. For my sins you have given me an immeasurable gift. My sins are worthless to you but salvation is priceless. Thank you Father for loving me everyday and forgiving me of all my sins. Please open my heart and mind to freely let your will be done through me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15 - We Are New People

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. 
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Cor 5:17

All you have to do is believe. When you believe in Christ as Your Savior you become a new person. That is all it takes. Belief. Faith. Trust in Him. You do not have to earn the new life. Jesus Christ paid that price for you and earned the new life for you when He died on the cross. When the Holy Spirit grew in your heart you became a new person. Instantly you shed the clothes of your former life. All of your old sins, hardships, and stresses had been thrown away. Rejoice knowing that you are a new person in Jesus Christ your Savior. Dear friend, do not waste this precious gift of a new life. Go out and use your gift as He leads you. With a new life comes new thoughts, behaviors, and decisions. What changes have you made with your gift of a new life? How are you growing personally as a Christian? How are you growing others around you for the glory of God?

Dear Heavenly Father, through you I have become a new person. You have not only given me the gift of salvation but also transformation. I have been transformed through you. I pray O Father that I make the changes you want me to make and influence those around me that You want me to bring to your kingdom. All glory and honor is owed to you O Father. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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