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 19

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 19
Ask of God

“But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach,
and it will be given to him.
But he must ask in faith without any doubting,
for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea,
driven and tossed by the wind.
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man,
unstable in all his ways.”

James 1:5-8

Blinkin Squiggle

When I was in my mid twenties, I had an opportunity to go deep sea fishing with my Dad off Newport Bay on the Oregon Coast.  It is an experience that I am glad I’ve had, but honestly, I would never think to do it again.

The initial thought of going was fun.  I remember stopping at a sandwich shop to get plain ham and cheese sandwiches.  My Dad said, that if it didn’t have the mayonnaise and other condiments on it, it would keep us from getting seasick, and even though I thought it a strange thing to have for breakfast, it worked.  We didn’t get sick.

I remembering heading out and thinking the boat was going to break into pieces when we hit the “breakers”.  They seemed appropriately named at the time.  Then we finally got to the smoother waters and just kept going until land could no longer be seen. There was only water and sky everywhere we looked.

We caught lots of fish, and more than one fish on our line at a time.  That part was exciting too, but the thing that stood out more to me than any other part of the trip was the motion of the waves.  We were tossed to and fro on the waves; one minute way, way up, and then next way, way down, and it didn’t matter how long we were doing this, it never got comfortable and I secretly longed to get back on stable ground.

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In these verses, God tells us through James, that this is what it’s like when we need wisdom, but we ask of God without faith, or maybe we don’t ask God at all.  Do you know the feeling when you are trying to make a decision, but it just won’t come and you feel emotionally tossed to and fro on the sea?  You cannot figure out what to do; one minute you feel up and then next down, and sometimes as if you might be broken into pieces.  It is probably a good time to ask God in prayer, not just for wisdom in the matter, but for the faith to believe Him in the matter.

Inspired to Cherish
Even though we have already read Proverbs 3 in our devotional, let’s head back to this wonderful book of wisdom and read it again.  I have mentioned to you that in the morning before my husband leaves for work, he reads one chapter of the Proverbs to me and it always seems to give some form of wisdom to remember throughout my day.

Let’s read the entire chapter of Proverbs 3 out loud and then write it out in our personal journal.  Now, on a 3 x 5 card let’s write out verses 5-6 and put it to memory.  I cannot tell you how many times in one week I will recall this verse and even speak it to my children.  It is a wonderful reminder and worth memorizing.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Blinkin Squiggle

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If you have made it all the way through to Day 19, thank you so much for staying the course with me!  I love how our personal journals have filled up with so much wisdom from the Word of God and I look forward to meeting you here each morning.  Thank you for visiting and please leave a comment below.

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, and September 18

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 10

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 10
The Lord Was Angry

“Now the Lord was angry with Solomon
because his heart was turned away from the Lord,
the God of Israel,
who had appeared to him twice.”
1 Kings 11:9

Blinkin Squiggle

Sticking with the theme of “wisdom” for this devotional today, and remembering that King Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs, I find it interesting that he would write to his son in this way.  King Solomon  had been given this wisdom from God after asking for it, but he didn’t heed the wisdom he had been given unto himself. Obviously, this wisdom alone was not enough to make him choose obedience to God over his fleshly desires.

It really is a heart issue with us.  We need to have a changed heart; a heart that seeks after God.  But how do we get a heart like that when we are born sinners?  Would we even desire anything of God if we are born dead to the things of God?  Of course not. When we sense God drawing us to His Son, we need to put our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  We need to believe that God raised Him from the dead, conquering all sin, and that He is coming again for those who love Him and obey His commandments.  This is wisdom combined with faith.

Wisdom is important, but it must be combined with faith or there will be no obedience.  Wisdom by itself is not enough.

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I’m thinking of all the times I have been disobedient to God, even though I had the wisdom to know better.  I know my faith was weak in those moments.  Have you ever found yourself in that situation?  It is true, that hearing the word even from God Himself as King Solomon did makes no difference in our lives when it is not combined with faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

Inspired to Cherish
I love the Book of Hebrews.  If you ever have the chance to sit down and really study it, I highly suggest it.  Today, let’s read Hebrews 1-3.  Take note every time you see that Jesus is better. Ask yourself what or who He is  better than.  Now let’s write out in our personal journals Hebrews 3:12-4:2.

Let’s see if we can answer the following questions:  Why couldn’t the Israelites enter into God’s rest? Here’s a hint:  It’s only one word.  Be sure to use the verses you have written in your journal for your answer.  Why didn’t the word they heard profit them? Again, answer from the verses you have written out.

Let’s take time now to pray and thank God for drawing us to His Son Jesus Christ and giving us Sweet Salvation.

Blinkin Squiggle

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I cannot believe that we have completed ten days of this devotional already!  I am loving studying in this way with you. Please consider leaving a comment below and letting me know what you think.  I really do want to hear from you! 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8 and September 9

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 9

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 9
How Sweet Are Your Words

“How sweet are Your words to my taste!
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.”
Psalm 119:103-104

Blinkin Squiggle

Wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment.  I think anyone would agree that these are good to have.  But how do we get them? 

I think prayer is a good place to start, so every morning when my husband leaves for work, I pray that God will give him wisdom, understanding and knowledge for his job and discernment for the times that we live in.

I also pray this for my children.  They range from 22 years old down to 12 years old and I pray like crazy that they will have wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment.  I pray this whether they are away at college, going to work, or going to hang out with their buddies, or play with a friend right here in our own home.   I pray that they will have this beyond their years and experiences because they need it in today’s world of technology and peer pressures.  They need it desperately in all situations.

I pray it for myself.  I am a wife and a mom and that alone makes me want to kneel down and stay on my knees begging for wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment all day long.  Just this evening, the phone rang and someone I love very much needed me to listen and reason with her.  I needed all four of these to do what she needed. During this day alone, I have had countless conversations with my kids where I needed all of these desperately and I needed them right at that moment. 

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How many times in the past twenty-four hours have you needed wisdom, understanding, knowledge or discernment, or all four?  Sometimes we need them to remain quiet.  Sometimes we need them to speak.  Sometimes we need them in order to get home safely.  I could go on and on about how often we need these.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read Proverbs 1-3 today.  These three chapters are  packed to the brim with wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment.  My husband and I try to read one chapter of the Proverbs every morning before he leaves for work and you probably know that there are 31 Proverbs, one for every day of each month.  Perfect!

After reading these three chapters, let’s get out our personal journals and write out in our very best handwriting, Proverbs 1:1-7.  Write it slowly, taking notice of each line and what it says.  Let’s also pick three things that really stand out to us from these verses and write them in our journal under our Scripture.

Dear Heavenly Father, please teach us the fear of the LORD!  We need it so desperately because it is the beginning of knowledge.  Don’t let us be foolish, despising your wisdom and instruction, instead let us be wise, seeking You, loving You, fearing You and teaching our children and grandchildren and anyone who will listen to do the same.  Have mercy Lord Jesus and hear our prayer for wisdom, understanding and knowledge for the jobs we have to do, and discernment for the times we are living in. Amen.

Blinkin Squiggle

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Thank you so much for joining me for September Devotion.  I am so glad you are hear and I would truly love to hear from you.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7 and September 8

With Jesus’ Sweet Love,
Constance

The Ostrich

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threehearts2The ostriches’ wings flap joyously

With the pinion and plumage of love,

For she abandons her eggs to the earth

And warms them in the dust,

And she forgets that a foot may crush them,

Or that a wild beast may trample them.

She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers;

Though her labor be in vain, she in unconcerned;

Because God has made her forget wisdom,

And has not given her a share of understanding.

When she lifts herself on high,

She laughs at the horse and his rider.”

Job 39:13-18

I am really enjoying reading through the Bible chronologically!  I have seen things already that I have not seen in all my times of reading through Genesis and Job, and I certainly would not have thought of reading the two together as we have during this Bible Read Thru 2015.  By the way, it’s not too late to join BRT2015 with Keith Ferrin – check it out HERE.

As I came to the end of Job yesterday, the above verses popped out.  I have never witnessed an ostrich at work with her young, but it sounds like she does not make a good mom!  I have always had bunnies around for our kids to have as pets and even the bunny moms we have had over the years have been better caregivers for their young than the ostrich described in Job.  Why is the ostrich this way?  The verses above say, “Because God has made her forget wisdom, and has not given her a share of understanding.”

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I’m so glad God has given us a better example of a mother than the ostrich.  I’m so thankful for the wisdom that is ours as we pray and ask God for His perfect guidance in raising our four wonderful kids!

As I read through the first few chapters of Genesis, I was reminded once again of what a wonderful, faithful, and loving Father we have – even in the face of war!  He is not afraid to protect His own.

As I wrote in my Bible study, “December Love” (which you can find for free just for you in the right side bar ——->), “The Creator of the universe did not hesitate when an attack was made on His children – He did not just walk away defeated and let us go to our destruction with the enemy of our souls!  No!  He declared war against our archenemy immediately and then made a promise for us to hold on to while the battle raged!  I wonder, do we think of this Righteous example that God has given us in regards to our own family?  Do we declare war when the enemy makes a move within our family structure, within the lives of our children, or upon our spouse?  Do we drop to our knees on their behalf, or do we crumble in defeat?  Do we cling to the promises of God and cast a vision of Hope when those we love most are struggling around us?”

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Here’s to all the parents out there!  Don’t grow weary of doing good and seeking God for the wisdom you need and the wisdom He freely gives!  Remember God’s example and press on!  Our children desperately need and deserve our prayers and love!

Thank you so much for stopping by SimplyLiving101 today!  I’m so glad you are here.  I hope you pull up a chair with a cup of coffee or tea and join me as I search the Scriptures and serve them to you in small bites that we can digest and live on through our day.  God’s Word is truly amazing!  Leave a comment and give me your thoughts.

Happy SimplyLiving in 2015!

Constance

A Prayer From The Proverbs

 

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Blinkin Squiggle

“My son, attend to my words;
Incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Let them not depart from thine eyes;
keep them in the midst of thy heart.
For they are life unto those that find them,
and health to all their flesh.
Keep thy heart with all diligence;
For out of it are the issues of life.
Put away from thee a wayward mouth,
and perverse lips put far from thee.
Let thine eyes look right on,
and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Make level the path of thy feet,
and let all thy ways be established.
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left;
Remove thy foot from evil.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -Proverbs 4:20-27

Blinkin Squiggle

Father, I absolutely love, and hunger, and thirst for Your amazing Word! These verses are full of warning and wisdom to all who love you and are called by Your Name.

It feels like I am drinking a much needed glass of icy cold water while standing in a desert place.  How refreshing, how comforting, how perfect are these words for me right now. They are truly life unto my bones, and health to my flesh, and discernment for my tongue.

My eyes are looking right on; my eyelids are looking straight before me. My path is level; my ways are established by You, and I will not turn to the right hand nor to the left.  My feet are shod with the Gospel of peace.  Amen.

Many Blessings!

Constance