Recent Written Devotions 2022

July 15, 2022
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Nine a Day by Karen Maio

     

                Experts recommend eating nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Yes, you read that correctly, nine! Ugh, I’m full just thinking about it!

                This brings to mind nine “super fruits”, if you will, and no, I’m not talking about acacia berries or pomegranates. These fruits are characteristics of the Holy Spirit’s active presence in our lives. They are gifts of our loving God. Only faith in Christ can save us, but faith is never alone. It shows itself in love and thanks for the grace that God has shown us in our salvation won by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross.

                “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” Galatians 5:22-23

 

1.  Love – We love because Jesus first loved us, by giving his life for us on the cross, and loving others like Jesus did – unconditionally.

2.  Joy – This isn’t a “yippee!” excited happiness. That runs out rather quickly when based on worldly sources. Rather, it is an inexpressible gladness that comes from knowing that through faith in Christ, we are saved and heaven is ours.

3.  Peace – While a little more “me” time might be hoped for, this peace is the comfort in knowing that God’s mercy and forgiveness are already yours. It knows that God is in control of everything in our lives.

4.  Patience - By nature, we are not very good at being patient. Here we can model our God. He shows his patience – his “long suffering” – in righteous judgment. By his example, we can imitate patience with others without lashing out in anger or pay back. God, grant us patience this minute!

5.  Kindness – Squelch self-centeredness and reflect our love of God and all that he has done for us by being nice to others.

6.  Goodness – Similar to kindness, goodness is giving with no selfish motivation. It is a Godly trait that we too can be good to others so that they might see the goodness of the Lord through us.

7.  Faithfulness – Just as God is faithful in His promises, we strive to remain faithful to God. Faithfulness is about integrity and devotion to Christ and others.

8.  Gentleness – Meekness is choosing to defer to others, forgiving others, correcting with kindness; it is not being a “marshmallow” or a “doormat”.

9.  Self-control – This isn’t necessarily about saying “no” to a piece of cheesecake, but saying “no” to the attacks of a sinful nature.

 

Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your love so that we may love others. Thank you for the salvation won by Jesus. May it ever be the source of our peace and joy. May it lead us to be kind, gentle, and patient with others, and always faithful to you. Help us have greater self-control over our sinful natures. We praise you for the grace you’ve shown us through Jesus, in whose name we pray, amen.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

 
A WORD for Women
July 8, 2022
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You’ll Pay! Really? by Julie Luetke

     

               My husband and I were in Walmart.  We got to chatting with the man ahead of us in the check-out line.  The person in front of him had a full cart and was having trouble so it took a long time. Once the man we chatted with checked out we felt like friends.  He kept talking to us as we checked out our 5-6 small items.  The bill was about $20.  Before we could pay, he stepped in and paid for us.  We had never done anything for this man that he should feel obligated to pay for our items.  We had no reason to expect anyone to pay for us.  We had the money in hand fully ready to pay.

                I am guessing the loss of his $20 was not enough to feel for long.  Not that the man would have to be wealthy, but a $20 bill passes in and out of our hands fast and often.  It won’t make or break us.  Still, it was a very kind thing to do and we appreciated it.  I think of it every time I enter Walmart.

                Being the recipients of this man’s generosity was a first for us.  The surprise of it, the generosity from a stranger, the kindness... all makes me smile and fill me with warm thankfulness.

                Unfortunately, I often take Jesus’ payment for my sin for granted.  The debt I have incurred is larger than any dollar amount imaginable, and it keeps growing!

                We have done nothing to earn or expect Jesus to jump in and redeem us.  Jesus is no stranger, He is our brother. His love is endless. When He paid for our sin it was not painless and God knew it wouldn’t be.  It cost God the Father His only Son; God the Son his life blood.  God the Spirit rushes in to give us faith to believe it so we can spend eternity in heaven with the God of love, Father, Son and Spirit.

               

For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 EHV

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

A WORD for Women
July 1, 2022
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Traveling through God’s Love Story by Kathy Schreiner

     

                I love to travel.  Exploring the Creator's Creation has brought me much happiness.  I have been blessed to visit ten different countries, a few more than once. 

                My financial situation meant traveling "on the cheap."  Not staying in a four-star hotel and eating in a local "mom and pop" cafe means getting to know the locals.  The thrill of seeing the Swiss Alps, the Roman Coliseum, Mad Ludwig's castle, the Mayan Pyramids and so many other places is the same for rich and poor alike. 

                With all that is going on in the world, I wonder if travel will become something we can only dream of. 

Fortunately, there is one journey everyone can still make.  It is our spiritual journey.  Through your bible you can not only visit foreign countries, you can time-travel.  The Bible has everything.  Palace intrigue, espionage, adultery, idolatry, the proud humbled and the humble exalted. 

                But most important, it has the key to eternal life.  The bible is essentially a love story—the love of God for us.  It shows us our Savior from sin, Jesus.  

                The true story of a Father's love so incomprehensible it means sacrificing His only Son to save mankind.  And then the Son, who loves us so much He willingly gives His life in the saving plan.  The climax of the story is the Son claiming His victory over death by rising from death after three days. 

                As if this is not amazing enough, the Father and the Son give us the gift of eternal life in heaven for free!  It is a gift.  The best gift ever!  We can do nothing for this.  We receive this through the Holy Spirit who works faith in our hearts, faith in the Father's plan and the Son's completion of the plan.  This gift is for all who believe. 

 

                To God be the glory! 

This is how God’s love for us was revealed: God has sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we may live through him. This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us so much, we also should love one another.

1 John 4:9-11 (EHV)

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

 
A WORD for Women