Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)
It happened two days in a row: three different messages from God.
Do you, like me, sometimes wonder how God lets us know what He wants for us? I'm a practical person, not given to flights of fancy or emotion. I'm more likely to read for information or to search out the history behind a particular Scripture passage. But three times in two days, God clearly spoke to me through my regular morning devotions.
A group that I help to lead is having difficulties getting started for the season, due to events beyond our control, and the members are not happy. I allowed a comment from a group member to put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I piled everything into my mood: politics, COVID-19 restrictions, rumours, new owners of the RV park where I live, remodelling and shutdown of our buildings — you name it. Mainly, it revolved around my powerlessness to do anything about any of these situations.
The next morning, two devotionals that I read were just what I needed — amazing how this happens, isn't it?
Ephesians 3:17b-19 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (NIV 2011)
Next to this passage, there's a note in my Bible from a long-ago sermon: "To carry out God's eternal plan, we need to get along here on earth." And that can come only when we are rooted and established in His love and filled with His fullness. If that's true in my life, then nothing else really matters.
The second devotional referenced John 13:12-14 in which Jesus humbled Himself to wash the disciples' feet. The devotional ended with the question, "How will we wash someone's feet today?" — in other words, how will we humble ourselves and serve others today?
I laughed as I read the second one — two hits in one day and aimed correctly. I have no control over any circumstances in my life, except my attitude to them. I'd been telling friends that I wasn't letting all this stuff bother me, but God was clearly telling me to make my actions match my verbalizing.
Matthew 5:44-45a – But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (NIV 2011)
That afternoon, something else happened that I let get under my skin. Evidently, I hadn't yet internalized the two messages that God had sent me earlier! The next morning, I read about a group that responded in love to someone who hated them, and I realized that my response had not been out of love, and that I'd let the devil into my thoughts and reactions.
Did you notice the phrases "I allowed" and "I let"? Perhaps, like me, you "allow" and "let" situations beyond your control to get to you. I want to remember these lessons often. I hope that you will, too. Pray with me:
Prayer: Father, I know that I'm quick to judge and slow to give grace. Help me to love my enemies — and my friends — whose actions get under my skin. Help me to be so rooted and established in Your love that I can surrender it all to You. Amen.
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Thanks for the encouraging words, Sharon.
Good lessons. I like the scriptures. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us! Blessings.
Goes along with, ‘If you spot it, you got it!’, Sharon. Helps me. Thank you.
Amen Sharon. Something we all need to continually remember and put into practice.
Sharon, you are a breath of fresh air for this mostly house-bound great-grandma; oh, how often I need those nudges you write of.
Thanks for being a blessing.
Good morning, Sharon,
I love your devotions and your transparency in responding to life situations. Your devotions bring strength and encouragement to us all.
Thank you for sharing your heart!
Wonderful message Sharon.
I could hold a mirror in front of myself. I experience the same feelings at times. I know I should not, but sometimes I let things get to me that I should not.
Your message is an excellent reminder of what we are supposed to do.
Thank you for your transparency. This was me yesterday after talking with a friend that God is teaching me to love …right where she is… getting on my nerves. It’s probably because we’re so much alike! I allowed our trying discussion to run over into my heart today, that is… until God showed me your message. It convicted me and I received the alert. Immediately, I acknowledged my wrong because you made it plain through your own similar situation. I am most grateful to God for leading me to read this devotional. I almost skipped over it. Thank you. This made my day! Praise God!
Dear Sharon, A very good message! I too have had the same experience you have had and decided to humble myself and apologize and the Lord richly blessed me for it. The persons attitude toward me has undergone a complete change, from anger and resentment to one of concern. I hope your message reaches the hearts of those that are struggling like I was. Thank you, for being honest and open and not being fearful to let new Christians know God speaks to us through others and their experiences. God Bless You and Yours,
Good morning, Sharon,
I really appreciate when someone shares how God spoke to them. It is very impactful and encouraging to others. I am also a very practical person, but I have heard God nudging me so many times that I am more awake to them than I was years ago. It can be through reading the Bible, it can be through someone’s sharing, it can be through music.
Thank you for sharing your experience and as I pray your prayer, may God also help me to be rooted in His love and spread His grace. May you hear God’s voice often and share His wisdom with others. Blessings.
Sharon Cook, thanks for your contribution to Presbycan Daily, “God spoke to me!”
I love reading the PresbyCan Daily each day to see and be inspired by the everyday circumstances that people are dealing with or have dealt with and through God’s Word they have walked through the valley and become overcomers and are now an inspiration to those who read about it and encouragement to those who are going through another challenge.
Be blessed this 2022 and may you walk closely with our Almighty God and Father and His Son Jesus Christ and as you are inspired through the Holy Spirit keep on contributing to Presbycan Daily.
What a wonderful reminder. I also live in a mobile park in the winter months in Fl. This year with a lot of new residents, as so many of my older friends have sold due to Covid and didn’t want to travel anymore, the attitude has changed. When I first arrived after Christmas everyone was complaining about the new folks especially the outspoken ones. “We just want to live the way it was no changes”. I suddenly realized I was once one of the 55–60-year-olds new to park at one time and luckily the “old ones” befriended me, and I was very happy here. Now it’s my turn to be friends with all the young ones and show them what a wonderful place we live in.
I have done this and now I find the younger folks are dropping by on a regular basis.
Only God can lead us on this path.
Sharon, I saved this devotional to read again. God’s message came through again like a magnitude 10 earthquake! I needed to hear this again! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.
Thanks for sharing, Sharon.
We must learn to respond in love unto those who persecute us.
It’s hard, but God has said so.