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Apology -- Various verses

DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 27

 
SCRIPTURE: Various
Author:  Jeremy Witt
 
I feel convicted about something from Thursday’s devotional.  No one has said this, but my spirit is stirred.  When we type or write, people cannot hear our tone or spirit with which we speak.  This causes the reader to miss much of our communication.  As the one who wrote, I must write more effectively so that my words convey this tone and spirit.  This not only applies to this but also to what we put on social media.  May we communicate the love of Jesus, the grace of the Cross, the Hope of the Resurrection, and the expectancy of His return.
 
I am fully aware that many of us are hurting emotionally, worried about their livelihoods and futures.  I am also aware of many who are quarantined because of possible exposure.  As I reread and thought of my words, I felt as if I was “preachy” and unloving.  As Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, “if I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a nosy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”  (NLT)
 
I am concerned that I came across as unloving.  I am not any better than you.  I am struggling too.  Those words were meant to encourage and strengthen your faith (and my faith) because I keep allowing myself to take my eyes off of Jesus.  Never would I try to push you away from the LORD.  My heart’s desire is to encourage, challenge, and support you in your walk towards becoming more like Jesus. 
 
I want to be iron that helps to sharpen you.  I need that from you as well.  So let me apologize for not clearly communicating yesterday.  I will strive to do better.  I will close with some verses that help me to hope, to trust, and not fear. 

  • Deuteronomy 31:8  “the LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.”
  • Joshua 1:9  “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
  • Psalm 56:8  “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
  • 1 Peter 5:7  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
  • Luke 12:22-23  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
  • “But seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Matthew 6:33-34
  • Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
  • Psalm 33:22 “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You.”
  • Psalm 43:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
  • Romans 12:12  “Be joyful in hope, faithful in prayer.”

 
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . Hebrews 12:2”

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

Daily Devotion - Various verses

 DAILY DEVOTION
FOR
THURSDAY, MARCH 26

 
SCRIPTURE: Various
Author:  Jeremy Witt
 
It’s midnight and I can’t sleep.  This has been happening more often than I wish.  It has been going on longer than this virus thing, but that is not why I am writing so early in the morning.  (Or late at night depending on how you look at it.)  We as people of the United States are all over the place.  We are red or blue, this virus is the real deal or this is somebody’s made-up idea and something else is up.  This is we should all be at home staying away from others or we should be at work because this is destroying our economy.  We all over the place.  We aren’t sure what to believe or what is real?  I’ve seen it all over the place the past week and thought some of these thoughts myself.  (stay with me, there is a point . . . I think.)

God has been doing a work in us and in me.  He is convicting us of some things, but we are struggling to let go.  He has forced us to give up some things that we loved.  We are struggling to trust Him.  We do not want to give up our (my) control or so we think that we have control.  We want things to be as they were.  Maybe we are wanting something lesser (sports, entertainment, freedom to go and do) and missing out on the greater which is Him.  Maybe God has something richer (not necessarily financial) like spending time with Him, and we are wanting the poorer.  Here is the question that God keeps asking me? 

Who are you trusting in?  What are you trusting in?  Is it the dollar?  Is it your control?  Is it the government to fix this?  Is it in other people to fix this?  What are you wanting to be done?  What do you want to be fixed?  Does it have anything to do with Him?  Or are we consumed with this world?
Or are you (we) trusting in the LORD? 

We are all stressed and anxious.  We are worried or worrying rather than letting go and letting God.  We are all out of sorts and probably all tired of this “whatever it is.”  So we need to hear these words:

“Cast all your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”  Ps 55:22 
How are you doing at casting your cares on the LORD?  Or are you keeping them to yourself because God is not acting fast enough for you or how you expect Him to act?

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this:  He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.” Ps. 37:5-6                                                                               
How committed are you to the LORD’s way?  How are you doing at trusting Him and letting Him have it?  Notice what happens if we will do it His way!

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”                                                
Quit worrying about your retirement, bank account, finances, etc.  Have you given them to God?  They are His anyway.  Have you quit trusting Him?  Have you quit tithing and giving offerings to God?  Has God changed? 

“Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in prayer and everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the PEACE of God, which transcends all  understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:6-7

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him, He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7-8

We know what we should do.  It is the doing that is hard.  We know where we should trust, but we keep thinking that we can fix it.  That is laughable.  We think the government can fix it.  Now, I am laughing out loud.  No, we really have only one choice, and God’s Word repeats it time and again.  When we do it God’s way, notice the tree.  It does not worry, it has confidence, and it survives and still bears fruit. 
 
The reality is our world is sick and it does not have much to offer us that is real.  But there is One who can heal, One worthy of trusting in, One who knows and cares for us, and One who has gone above and beyond to have a relationship with us.  The question is what will we do with Jesus.  Will we believe Him?  Will we believe His words?  Will we trust Him?  Will we give Him our worries, anxiety, and cares or will we try to fix things ourselves? 

Here is the deal.  God is working on us for our good and for His glory.  Keep looking up and trusting Him more each day.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . Hebrews 12:2”

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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