September Devotion, Day 21

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 21
Return to Me With All Your Heart

“‘Yet even now’, declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting, weeping and mourning;
And rend your heart and not your garments.’
Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”

Joel 2:11-13

Blinkin Squiggle

I had a conversation with a Christian friend whom I had not seen for a couple of years. I knew her life had taken a path of hard decisions and I continued to pray for her, unsure of exactly how she was doing.  On this particular day, I was glad I was able to rejoice with her in a new season of life, as I listened intently to all she had to share with me.

As she spoke, I was reminded of the qualities that I really enjoyed about her from so long ago.  She is a very sincere, intentional, and loving person.  I have always liked hearing what she was thinking, because she had amazing eye contact that held my attention, and when I spoke with her, she seemed to drink in every word.  This is such a rare thing to find.

Although she did speak a little of the hardships she had endured, she mostly chose to praise God for all He had brought her through.  She was attending church again, and she felt so glad to be back in the arms of God after many decisions that had led her away.

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When we were done talking and she had to gather her kids to go, I thought to say only one thing, “No matter where we go, God is always right here, steadfastly waiting for us when we return.  He is always faithful even when we are not.”  From experience, she was now able to wholeheartedly agree.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s first take time to read Luke 15:11-19 and then write a few very important verses in our personal journals today.  Remember to use your most beautiful handwriting as we write out the wonderful homecoming of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20-24.

Take time to consider what your response might be as the parent of this young man. Would you welcome him as cheerfully as this father did?  Would you prepare a huge feast and rejoice by giving him new clothing, a ring and new shoes? Does grace and forgiveness come easily to you or is it a struggle?

Praise God for His faithfulness to always give us grace and forgiveness!  Now, let’s take time to finish the story by reading verses 25-32.  

Blinkin Squiggle

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I pray that you are enjoying these devotionals for the month of September.  I am loving writing them.  Please take time to pray for me today and ask God to continue giving me wonderful Scriptures to pass on to you for the rest of this month.

Each of us are precious to Jesus and He loves to spend time with us in His Word.  Thank you for taking time to stop by and spend time with me as well.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, and September 20

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 20

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 20
Sing To God

“Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom
teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

Colossians 3:16-17

Blinkin Squiggle

I love verses like the ones above, where God gives us clear instruction for a Godly lifestyle.  These instructions allow us to move from merely hearing the Word of God, to also doing what it says.

In these verses I see that I can obey God by reading the Bible on a daily basis.  Not just a little, but a copious amount so that I am allowing it to dwell richly inside of me.  I can slow down as we have been doing in these devotionals, write it out and really examine what it says, then change my lifestyle or my thoughts to line up with God’s Word.

I can also see that I am to sing with thankfulness in my heart to God.  Worship is a huge part of our lives as Christians and one form of worshiping God is singing to Him, expressing our thankfulness for all He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ. God has given us many old beautiful hymns, the Psalms, and spiritual songs in order to do this.

These verses also tell me that whatever I do, whether in word or in deed, I am to do in the Name of Jesus, giving thanks through Jesus to God the Father.  This can be a wonderful daily gauge for me as to whether I will say or do a specific thing.  If I am to do everything in the Name of Jesus, there are probably many things I would choose not to do, not wanting to associate His pure and holy Name with that particular word or deed of mine.

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The Word of God is so applicable to daily life.  If we allow it to dwell richly within us, we will have the wisdom we need to teach and admonish one another in a way that is pleasing to God.  I know as a parent of four, I need all the wisdom I can get to do this and still sing to the Lord with a truly thankful heart.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to write out all of Colossians 3 in our personal journal.  Now reading back through what we have written, let’s underline in red anything we are told to do. For instance, in verse 1 we will underline “keep seeking the things above“, in verse 2 we will underline “Set your mind on the things above“, and in verse 5 we will underline “consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed“.

Now slowing down, let yourself scan over how we are to live.  Pick five of the underlined areas that you can begin doing right away and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to help you obey them today. 

Blinkin Squiggle

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I cannot believe that we have completed twenty days of September Devotion already! I am loving doing this devotional with you and would like to receive a comment from you letting me know what you think. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18 and September 19

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 16

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 16
Together In Perfect Harmony

 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body;
and be thankful.

Colossians 3:13-15

Blinkin Squiggle

I don’t think there is ever a time of the week for me that feels more like what is described in the verses above, than on church morning.  All over the world we enter into the church with a sense of excitement to see each other again in this special place. I think it’s because, it’s not just a few of us, but a lot of us – a gathering together of the Body of Christ that comes bearing with and forgiving one another.

Then as we begin the service, we pray together and we enter into worship.  The distractions eventually cease, and the Holy Spirit leads us on; beckoning us to worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.  It’s truly a beautiful thing when we are in our time of worship, all together.  It’s a time of love that we all share for the Father, for His Son Jesus, and for the Holy Spirit.  It is a perfect bond of unity.

Now our Pastor leads us in the Word of God.  Following along as sheep follow their Shepherd, we are led from everyday life and the hardships we have endured through the week, into the throne room of God to feed on the Bread of Life.  It’s in this place that we drink of His Blood and partake of His Flesh and our souls are nourished in the only way they can be.  His peace replaces our anxiety and where there are convictions, repentance flows from deep within, and we are cleansed, and we are truly thankful!

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Recently, through sermons given specifically on the Church, I have come to realize for the first time how beautiful the Body of Christ truly is.  It has been made clear to me through the Scriptures that Jesus LOVES His Bride.  She is beautiful and pure before the Father because of the cleansing Blood that Jesus willingly shed on the Cross for Her.  He loves Her and we are to do the same.  Each one of us, a part of this amazing Body of Christ, is to love each other as deeply as Jesus loves us.  This is the fruit that we bear, love.

Inspired to Cherish
Today, let’s write out 1 Corinthians 13 in our personal journals.  Afterward, let’s read through this chapter and mark everywhere we have written the word “love” with a red heart.  Now, below our writing, let’s make a list of everything we learn about love.

How important is love to the Body of Christ?  Let’s pray and ask God to help us truly love the Body of Christ as He loves Her.

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I pray that you have a blessed day and that the Holy Spirit guides each of us on a beautiful path that allows us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many.  I pray that those in our presence will sense the love of God like never before.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, and September 15

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

Truly Thankful!

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Here I am sick with what started as a head cold that has now traveled down to my throat and my chest – so I’m coughing away, ugh!  I praise God once again for hot Chamomile tea and wonderful raw organic honey from a local beekeeper.

But as I look out my window on this amazing October day, all my woes seem to disappear. My Hon- is playing beautiful music on the piano and my eyes are quickly mesmerized by the golden strands of decorative wheat and the sight of my beautiful maple tree in all its brilliant autumn colors.

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It is so quietly nestled among the other maples with a glorious two acres of bright green, rolling grass and the towering hedge of protective evergreens round about.  They are all so green due to the wonderful rains that have recently begun.  It’s this beautiful sight that makes the Pacific Northwest a desired place to live.  I love it when God waters our land for us – it doesn’t cost a penny.  It reminds me of the verse that says,

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“…It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”
                                                                                                                                         Revelation 21:6

I’m so excited to show you my new creation!  As autumn has crept up on us – and God has been slowly changing the colors of the leaves to brilliant golds, burnt oranges, and beautiful, deep, dark reds…  He has also been doing a little brilliant work through my fingertips!

Connie'sQuote

I have never written a quote of my own before, so I thought I’d give it a try.  Do you like it? It makes me laugh.  My oldest daughter said it was “sketch” – still, I’m kind of proud. 🙂 If you like it and you want to share my quote, I don’t mind – just be sure to put “Constance of Olalla” under it 🙂  Thank you!

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You can check out my newest creation of Bible studies provided free for you in the right side bar —–>.  If you have been looking for a Bible study, my  “November Thankfulness” just might be the perfect study for you! Leave me a comment below and tell me in ever-so-gentle words what you think 🙂

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Check in often to see what I have added to my studies as I paint and write my way through the autumn months and into winter time.  Who knows “November Thankfulness” just may be the key to help you be Truly Thankful in the month of November – Enjoy!

Happy Autumn!

Constance

 

Linked with Friday Sketches, Art Journal Every Day, Artist’s Play Room, Illustration Friday, Paint Party Friday