Friday, July 31, 2009

In the World

My prayer is not that you take them out of the
world but that you protect them from the evil one.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

John 17:15-16

Believers are to be "in the world but not of the world."
God's children are to value the heavenly Father above all
earthly pursuits. Where God intended that we receive peace
and contentment from obeying Him, satan promotes the delusion
of self-fulfillment. No pleasure offered by the world system
is permanent or truly rewarding. One day it will be destroyed
and replaced with a kingdom devoted to God. Until Christ establishes
a new heaven and earth, believers must take part in this world. But,
we are to see it as it truly is--a place corrupted by satan. Earthly
success or pleasure can never equal the soul-satisfying kingdom that
awaits us. So be sure your heart stays turned toward God.

~Charles Stanley~
from: In Touch Devotional Booklet

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Photo by
Donna Downey

For God is working in you,
giving you the desire to
obey Him and the power to
do what pleases Him.

Philippians 2:13

God is faithful. What He is doing in me is
more important than what He is doing for me.

~Sheila Walsh~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We went through fire
and through water,
yet You brought us out
into a place of abundance.

Psalm 66:12

Discouragement often brings enlargement.
He uses not only discouragement but also
desperate situations to bring new release
and enlargement into our lives--greater
fulfillment and abundance and growth.

~Ruth Myers~
from: The Satisfied Heart

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


You and I were created in response to the loving plan of God.

Psalm 139:14-16 "I praise you because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old" (NCV).

We were created in love ... for love. God Himself supervised our formation. We were created for a special purpose and with a unique plan for our lives. In other words, we were created by God for God!

Psalm 100:3 "Know that the LORD is God. He made us, and we belong to Him; we are His people, the sheep He tends" (NCV).

He created us and chose us. And He has a special plan for each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11 "I know what I am planning for you," says the LORD. "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future" (NCV).

The best plan for our lives rests solely in the hands of the One who created us. God is our creator. When our lives are broken, He can heal them. When the plan falls apart, He can fix it. We are wanted, loved and cherished by God. We belong to Him. We are chosen.

Let's Pray
Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for the plan You have for my life. I want to follow You and obey you each day - for Your glory, Lord. I want others to examine my life and know that the only possible explanation is You. When I am in trouble, remind me to turn to You first for the answers I need. Help me to walk in the Light, to doubt my doubts and to celebrate the fact that because I am chosen ... I am blessed. I love You, Father.

In Jesus' name,

~Mary Southerland~

Monday, July 27, 2009

All I Need

Protect me, God,
because I trust in You.
I said to the Lord,
"You are my Lord.
Every good thing I have
comes from You."
...the Lord is all I
need. He takes care of me.

Psalm 16:2,5

For every need in our emotional or mental or
spiritual life, for every problem in our
relationships, for every trial we go through,
God offers something (such as His love, His
power, His provision) that can bring us through
triumphantly-if we know and believe and count on
Him in the hour of need. God is our first Source,
and ultimately the only Source, of all we need for
a full and satisfied life.

~Ruth Myers~
from: The Satisfied Heart

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our Shield

...take up the
shield of faith,
with which you can
extinguish all the
flaming arrows of
the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

How glad I am, Lord, that the complete armor
You've give us includes the shield of faith--
a massive shield that prevents damage from
the flaming arrows Satan uses to attack our
faith and our walk with You.

Thank You, Lord, that faith comes through
feeding on--and counting on--Your Word.
Thank You for Your grace in which I can
stand and for all You have provided for me.

Thank You for Your promise that You will be
with me and that You will hide me in the
shelter of Your presence. So, by faith I
choose today to dwell in You--to trust in
Your all-protective presence which evil
powers cannot pierce. Build a wall around
my life, a strong defense grounded on truth
after truth which I choose to believe. Work
deeply in me so that I'll constantly count on
the promises You've given, looking to You to
work in me, for me and through me.


~Ruth Meyers~
from: 31 Days of Power

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slow Growth

“The Lord your God will drive those
nations out ahead of you little by
little. You will not clear them away
all at once”

Deuteronomy 7:22 NLT

Although God could instantly transform us,
He has chosen to develop us slowly. Jesus
is deliberate in developing His disciples.

Why does it take so long to change and grow up?
There are several reasons.

We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a
lesson forty or fifty times to really get it. The
problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again!
I’ve already learned that!”—but God knows better.
The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we
forget the lessons God teaches us and how soon we
revert to our old patterns of behavior. We need
repeated exposure.

We have a lot to unlearn.Since most of our problems
(and all of our bad habits)didn’t develop overnight,
it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately.

There is no pill, prayer, or principle that will instantly
undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of
removal and replacement. The Bible calls it “taking off the
old self” and “putting on the new self”
(Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22-25; Colossians 3:7-10, 14).

Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without
change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is
no loss without pain. We fear these losses, even if our old ways
were self-defeating, because, like a worn out pair of shoes, they
were at least comfortable and familiar.

Every change involves a loss of some kind: You must let go of
old ways in order to experience the new.

~Rick Warren~

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Cast your cares
on the LORD
and He will
sustain you;
He will never
let the
righteous fall.

Psalm 55:22

Burdens come in a variety of emotional, spiritual,
and physical forms, but they all feel heavy and
cause weariness. Persistent problems and trials
drain our vitality and threaten to overwhelm us.

Every circumstance in life is lovingly sifted
through the Lord's fingers before reaching us.
From His perspective, those things which are too
heavy for us are opportunities for dependence on
Him. God never intends for any of us to carry
a burden without Him. He says to give it to Him
and promises to sustain us.

Casting your cares upon God means releasing them
fully into His control. The freedom Christ offers
will release you from the burden's oppressive weight.
He'll sustain you with His peace as you trust Him.

~Charles Stanley~
from: In Touch Devotional Booklet

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He Loves Me

Before I formed
you in the womb
I knew you, before
you were born I
set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

How could this Holy God, Creator and Ruler of all things,
have such deep love for us, tiny specks in a vast universe,
who fall short of even our own ideals?

God loves us because He is love. It's His nature to love.
God loves us because He made us. He made each of us with
great skill, and we have unique value to Him as His special
workmanship. He highly prizes us and wants us for Himself,
knowing what a love relationship with Him can mean to us--
and to Him--in this life.

God also loves us for what He knows we'll become for all
eternity. He eagerly awaits the delights in store for Him
and us when we dwell with Him forever in joyful, unbroken

Lord, I praise You that You are love. I pray that in new ways
day by day and month by month, I'll be to You what You long for,
as I let You and Your love be to me what I need.

~Ruth Myers~
from: The Satisfied Heart

Monday, July 20, 2009


Blessed are
the poor
in spirit.

Matt. 5:3

Photo by Donna Downey

The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty,
not possessions, not making decisions for Jesus, but having such
a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, "Lord, I cannot
even begin to do it." Then Jesus says, "Blessed are you..." This is
the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe
that we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what
brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work.

~Oswald Chambers~
from: My Utmost for His Highest

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blessed Controller

God is the
controller of
all things.

1 Tim. 6:15

With God, nothing is accidental,
nothing is incidental, and no
experience is ever wasted.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Donna Downey

But these things I plan won't happen right away.
Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches
when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems
slow, do not despair, for these things will
surely come to pass. Just be patient!
They will not be overdue a single day!

Habakkuk 2:3

Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn't?
God wants to work on you before He works on the project.
We all have to go through these waiting periods.
Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn
that His timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to
learn is this: God's delay never destroys His purpose.
A delay is not a denial.

~Rick Warren~


For just as the
sufferings of
Christ are ours
in abundance, so
also our comfort
is abundant through
Christ. 2 Cor. 1:5

Photo by Donna Downey

There is a place,
there is a way,
there is Someone we can run to in the deepest sorrows of life.

You can be absolutely assured that our heavenly Father will take
you through any trial. He is the God of all comfort. Whatever
you need, He's going to be there to match that need. God under-
stands every single person. He never gets upset. He doesn't get
angry with us for being angry about pain. The Holy Spirit comes
along side of us to help us and encourage us. Jesus said the Holy
Spirit will be in us, with us and upon us forever.

~Charles Stanley~
from: God is in Control

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holiness & Faith

Let us press on
to know the Lord.
Hosea 6:3

He rewards those
who earnestly
seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6

Photo by Donna Downey

How do we increase our holiness and faith?
By pursuing a deeper knowledge of God. Every
truth we grasp about Him increases our level
of confidence in Him and makes us more like Him.

I worship before You as the God of peace and well-
being who is commited to making us holy. I count
on You to do this day by day, giving us grace to
cooperate with You. How I rejoice that You are
faithful. You will continue Your work in us until
the day when You bring us faultless into Your
glorious presence. Amen.

~Ruth Myers~
from: 31 Days of Prayer

Monday, July 13, 2009


For nothing
is impossible
with God.

Luke 1:37

Photo by
Donna Downey

God encourages us to ask as freely for the
impossible as for the possible, since to Him
all difficulties are the same size--less than
~J. Oswald Chambers~

We have a God who delights in impossibilities.
~Andrew Murray~

Friday, July 10, 2009


Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears our
Psalm 68:19

Thou wilt keep him
in perfect peace
whose mind is
stayed on Thee.
Isaiah 26:3

...the Creator of the universe-all the galaxies, stars, suns, moons-
can handle any and all of the burdens you may experience. No test or
trial surprises Him. He is aware of every circumstance that you might
go through. You don't have to live in anxiety; you can live in complete trust and peace. True peace protects. It will guard the way we think and safeguard our feelings. The answer to everything in life is living on the inside of us in the presence of the Holy Sprit. If I could point to one key to peace, it's the principle of focus. Focus on God. Then no matter what challenge comes before you, God's peace is available to you in Christ.

~Charles Stanley~
from: God is in Control

Thursday, July 9, 2009


He has showed you, O man,
what is good. And what does
the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Humility has nothing to do with being weak or pessimistic.
It is simply thinking about God and ourselves realistically.
As we choose humility, God gives us special grace to pray in
ways that please Him.

How often we slip into self-sufficiency, leaning on our own
natural wisdom and abilities, our own power and forcefulness,
our own whatever. That's pride. But it can just as easily be
pride when we bemoan our weaknesses or lack of natural abilities.
You see, either way we're caught in human values that measure us
by our abilities and personality rather than by God's evaluation.

What is true humility? Think of it as a two-sided coin. On the
one side "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5) and on the
other side "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
(Philippians 4:13).

Knowing this prepares us to yield to Christ and trust Him as our
life and our sufficiency.

~Ruth Myers~
from: 31 Days of Prayer

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Glorify ye
the Lord
in the fires.

Isaiah 24:15 KJV

We are to honor the Lord in the trial--
in the very thing that afflicts us. Even
more, we are to believe that out of the
fire will arise something more worthy of
praise to Him than had we never experienced it.

A person only has as much faith as he shows
in times of trouble.

~L.B. Cowman~
from: Streams in the Desert

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his
craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the
simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3

Will you pause for a moment and think with me about the
standards of our day? Who sets them? Who determines what
is right? moral? correct? socially acceptable? just? fair?
how we should dress, think, act, behave?

Where are you in this world? in the flow of our culture?
Who sets the standards for you? Whose standard do you
come closer to--God's or the culture's?

Examine me, O holy and righteous Lord. Test my mind and
heart and show me any way in which I have strayed from my
devotion to You.

~Kay Arthur~
from: Lord, I Give You This Day

Monday, July 6, 2009

This Day

Acknowledge and take to heart this day
that the Lord is God in heaven above and
on the earth below. Deut. 4:39

We are to think about the truths God has revealed
about Himself. Then we're to pause and be still--
relax, let go, cease striving--and know in the depths
of our being that this awesome, exalted, dependable
person is God. Waiting on God and resting in Him have
much in common. Both result in absorbing His strength;
both involve truly tuning in to God and His Word. The
more we have His Word dwelling richly in our hearts, the
more it can help us be quiet, restful, and attentive to
Him during all our waking hours.

~Ruth Myers~
from: 31 Days of Prayer

Friday, July 3, 2009


Do not
it only

Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external
circumstances at all, but on your relationship with
God Himself. Worrying always results in sin. Fretting
rises from our determination to have our own way. All
our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without

~Oswald Chambers~
from: My Utmost for His Highest