Have No Fear Of God’s Roads

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Today’s Devotional

by Becca Spence
June 06, 2019

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness, the unchosen shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, the shall not go astray.
— Isaiah 35:8

It is astonishing how often a road is used in the bible to draw us closer to God. We see it in Luke when the Lord used the story of a Samaritan man who stopped to help another man left to die in the road to point us toward understanding God’s mercy (Luke 10:29–37). We see it in the book of Acts when Jesus meets Saul on the road to Damascus, forever changing Saul in name and testimony such that he became the greatest testifier for the glory of Jesus Christ (Acts 9: 1–22). We see it in the prophecies of Isaiah when he says that a highway will exist such that the redeemed, even those of us who are fools, will walk this road and not go astray (Isaiah 35:8). In Deuteronomy we are taught to impress the Lord’s commandments upon our children at every opportunity, as we rise in the morning and walk along the roads (Deuteronomy 6:7). I could go on and on listing bible passages involving roads. Biblically, there are roads of doubt, roads of joy, roads of humility and roads of hope.

As I thought and prayed through the writing of this devotional, God has shown me how often he has used literal roads as an integral part of my own travels with him and his gentle guidance. As I went through my old devotionals, I just had to laugh as God appeared on literal roads in my life, over and over again. You can read about some of these experiences here: clifec.com/daily-devotionals/the-day-i-met-johnny, here: clifec.com/daily-devotionals/change-scares-the-comfortable, here: clifec.com/daily-devotionals/that-is-the-church, and here: clifec.com/daily-devotionals/misunderstanding-why-we-serve.

It was through one of these literal road encounters while driving to church one Sunday morning that I was led to begin trusting the Lord in the sharing of my testimony with others. Boy, was I scared! Through the encounter, I knew God was clearly asking me to begin sharing my story of his grace, but I was scared of what would happen to me once the world knew who I had been. I was scared to claim publicly that it was the grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ that turned me away from my previous life and way of thinking. I was afraid I would be rejected, mocked and ridiculed by those who knew me before I knew Christ. Many of my friends were and are adamant atheists and none of my friends were authentic Christians at that time. Oh, the stress! But the encounter was so profound and moving, that I answered God’s call in faith and began to share my testimony at every opportunity. And, sadly, I did lose a few “friends.” But God has been faithful to bring me many more friends and to give me such strength and peace through his presence. 

Are you afraid to trust the Lord? Are you on the brink of having faith in him but let the fear of the outcome hold you back? Take heart, for God is always faithful. He promises he will go with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

When Paul, the ultimate pharisee and persecutor of Christians, met Christ on the road to Damascus, he immediately began preaching Christ in the synagogues (after a few days of recovering from severe illness, that is). And God was faithful to Paul’s testimony.

But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this was the Christ.
— Acts 9:22

God’s faith through your testimony will prove to you and to others that Jesus is the Christ. If you’re standing at the top of the road, start walking.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Good News

Today’s Devotional

by Valerie Williams
June 05, 2019

Being picked for a team, hitting a grand slam, wining first place, walking away from a wreck that should have been fatal, being accepted into universities on my wish list, receiving scholarships and academic recognition, graduating (high school, undergraduate and grad school), work accolades, buying a car, buying a home, being healed from a tumor on my brain stem, being spared by God during several health scares, watching my nephew and niece come into this world, celebrating life events of family and friends, accepting Jesus as my savior, choosing Jesus and living purposefully, leading someone to the Lord, recognizing God’s calling on my life.

The list above could go on. These times may look unconnected. They may even seem quite random, but they represent just some of the good-news moments in my life that I couldn’t wait to share with friends and family. Good news is something that we always want to share and celebrate. We just can’t keep it to ourselves. It generally ignites joy, stirs up happiness in the heart and spreads infectious smiles to all who hear. Why would anyone want to keep it to themselves?

What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
— Matthew 10:27 ESV

The best news of all is the good news of the gospel. God’s forgiveness, love, mercy and grace know no limit. He gives me hope. He never leaves. He never sleeps. He loves me and calls me his own. He allows me to be different. We have the privilege, not only to share the incredible, revolutionary, life-altering story of Jesus with our words, but also with our lives. Even more, God places our steps to give us the opportunity to share his phenomenal gift of life and love with others countless times every single day! At this second, my heart is just overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation of my next God moment, but it is also heavy, knowing that I have missed out on some amazing moments and blessings when I have failed to be obedient in sharing with others.

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:9–11 MSG

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:13–16 MSG

It’s time to take advantage of the moments that God gives us to share love and life in him with others. You don’t have to be a Bible expert. We don’t have to know or have all of life’s answers, because God just wants our willing hearts and able selves to walk in him and share his love along the way. It could be just being sweet to the Walmart greeter who has had a bad day. It might just be smiling at someone. It could also be sharing hope through the most devastating of circumstances. Most of time, if I am just being the person God calls me to be, I am blessed, surprised and blown away by the conversations that start up with the people in my path. You would never know how shy I really am in a room of people I don’t know. I mean, seriously! But God just takes over with his plan, his way, his intention, his big picture. And I get to be blessed to share who he is and watch what he does!


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

God In Difficult Times

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Today’s Devotional

by Joanna Sarver
May 31, 2019

Faith is never more tested than in difficult times. In the midst of hard circumstances, we may find ourselves asking where God is or what he is going to do about what we are experiencing. Often there are more questions than answers. What do we do when times are tough and the solution does not come right away?

First, connect. Connect with the person and power of God through the reading of his word and through prayer. At first, it may be a few verses and a handful of whispered sentences a day. Do not let the simplicity of the act hold you back from experiencing the complexity of God’s presence. Jesus illustrated the difference between show and substance in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18. The Pharisee had the résumé, but the tax collector got the result. Come as you are to the Father. Connect with him.

Second, contend. The Bible tells us that hardship is a guaranteed reality in this life (John 16:33). In addition, the enemy is constantly prowling around looking for an opportunity to do damage (1 Peter 5:8). By first connecting with God, you will be better equipped to contend against the enemy. Hardship usually does not fly solo. Often along for the ride are temptation, bitterness, anger, resentment and fear. The enemy seeks a means by which he can rattle you or worse. The book of Jude, likely written by Jesus’ younger brother, speaks of how to contend for our faith against the enemy’s schemes. He says the presence of opposition is not surprising. In fact, it was predicted thousands of years ago. In response, we should seek to build our faith and pray while waiting on the Lord’s mercy. In the final words of the book, Jude reminds us that the Lord is able to keep us from stumbling.

Finally, consign. Consign means to turn over to someone else’s charge, to assign or commit to a special purpose. To consign something or someone to Christ means relinquishing your stake in the matter. Submitting your circumstance, burden, heartbreak or worry to the Lord is an act of consignment. It is both a singular event and an ongoing process. By trusting Jesus with your situation, then continuing to trust him each day, the door opens for him to do more than you can imagine. We may not understand all that is happening around us, but we have complete assurance that God does.

Chris Machen wrote the song Bow The Knee about walking through a hard season. He says:

Bow the knee.
Trust the heart of your Father
When the answer goes beyond what you can see.

Bow the knee.
Lift your eyes toward heaven
And believe the One who holds eternity.

When you don’t understand
The purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King,
Bow the knee.

Connect, contend and consign.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Encouragement

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Today’s Devotional

by Crystal Brashear
May 30, 2019

Have you ever thought deeply about the word encourage? It comes from the Latin root cour, which means heart, with the prefix en, which means to put in. Thus, the idea of encouragement is to put something into one’s heart. The heart is like a treasure box, a storage container for our innermost thoughts and feelings. We can put beautiful, life-giving things into our hearts. When Jesus was growing from a boy into a man, his mother did:

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
— Luke 2:19

We can also store ugly, death-bringing things in our hearts:

”The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil…”
— Luke 6:45

As a container, the heart is neutral. It is shaped by what we fill it with.

When Jesus was preparing to return to the Father so that the Sprit could descend upon early believers, he told his followers some pretty scary stuff about the years ahead. He wanted to warn them about the trouble they would face, so they would not be taken off guard. Then he encouraged them:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
— John 16:33

He wanted them to take heart, to store the knowledge of his victory in their inner treasure boxes, so when barriers rose up against them, they could hold onto peace.

We can think about the power of words in two different ways. First, we could caution about the importance of choosing our words carefully, of filtering them, because words hold the power of life or death. It is surely wise to be thoughtful and intentional with our words. Second, we could warn about what we are storing up in our hearts.

“… it is out of the abundance of the heart that his mouth speaks.”
— Luke 6:45

See, our hearts are treasure boxes with broken lids. They won’t stay shut very easily. What we put into them will leak out when we aren’t vigilantly guarding them. When we are weary, when we are careless, our hearts overflow out of our mouths.

Today, I am inviting you to tackle a challenge. Carve out some time to take a full heart inventory. What is lurking inside that box of yours that could overflow and wreak havoc? The Spirit can help you discover where the danger lies:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
— Psalm 139:23–24

Ask God for his help. Ask others you trust for feedback. What do your words reveal about what you have been storing up in your heart? Remember, it’s not just what you’ve been thinking about others. It’s also about how you speak to yourself in your heart. If you think you can store up compassion for others and condemnation for yourself, you’ve been tricked into believing a lie. If you can find the courage to conduct this heart inventory, to uproot the evil and plant good, you will experience freedom from having to diligently guard your tongue. It will overflow with love, kindness and encouragement.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Words vs. Actions

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Today’s Devotional

by William Battle
May 29, 2019

Words are not enough if they aren’t backed up with actions. This statement seems intuitive enough. Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Most of us have heard this little aphorism before and readily accept it at face value. We have even seen (and maybe even accepted as true) this statement: Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words. Words are meaningless without action.

Actions are important, but what about words? Should we regard words as less important than actions? Should we all just take a vow of silence and try to do our best to communicate all we can through body language and good behavior?

Scripture seems to indicate that words are far more important than culture wants us to think they are. Paul admonishes us to speak truth in love with one another (Ephesians 4:15) and to encourage and build one another up (1Thessalonians 5:11). How can we do this without words?

Actually, encouraging one another is a lot bigger of a concern in scripture than most people realize. In communicating with one another, we should remember the wisdom of Proverbs:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
— Proverbs 15:1

Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
— Proverbs 16:24

Words are an inevitability, and how we use them can be the difference between someone coming to know Christ or not, someone feeling more or less disheartened about their current circumstances, or simply the confidence a person can have that you love them.

People should see Jesus through our actions. However, just because people see Jesus through our actions, does this mean that there is no need to communicate with kind and loving words? Actions can only communicate so much. We need words to articulate the important stuff. If words were not important, then why would God use words to create the heavens and the earth? Why should we ever bother praying to God? Why would the entire third chapter of the book of James be devoted to controlling the tongue? Why did Jesus stand up and give the sermon on the mount? Why is Jesus called the Word?

Words Matter. They do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only exacerbate wounds, but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through spoken words. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.

Yes, actions matter, but so do words. Let’s remember this the next time we speak to an unbeliever, get in an argument with our spouse, or spend time with someone who is going through a turbulent season. It’s true that words aren’t enough if they aren’t backed up by actions, but loving actions coupled with hateful words are not any better. We need to remember that both our actions and our words should reflect the character of our Savior.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

The Power Of Words

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Today’s Devotional

by Joey Hensley
May 28, 2019

Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
— James 3:4–5

Something that almost all of us have in common is that we talk. And we talk a lot. Some of us more than others, but we all talk. We do more talking than we do anything else. Most of us will only make a handful of giant, life-altering decisions in our lives. And most of us will not be recorded in the history books to be talked about 300 years after our lives. This is a harsh truth that we have a hard time grasping sometimes. But, there is so much life and purpose in what we would often call the mundane day-to-day life. This is where we live. If God is not the God over us in these “unexciting” times, then is he is not the God over our lives. What is it that fills the “uneventful” times in our lives? It is our words. Words have so much power and effect on our direction throughout life. In fact, communication and words are something that makes us the most like God.

The first words ever spoken were by God himself. All throughout scripture we see the power of words. Man and creation were spoken into existence. Walls came tumbling down with a shout. Jesus sustains the universe by the power of his word. Jesus could heal with a word, cast out demons with a word. Jesus’ words are eternal and will live forever. Those that heard Jesus were amazed by his words.

Words connect us to God, and God says that there is much power in our words. This means that God has a purpose for our words. Until we understand that our words are a meaningful tool that God uses to sanctify us and to show his love, we do not truly bear the image of our Lord. Our words are not our words, just like our money is not our money, just like our lives are not our lives. Our words are God’s words. What are we doing with our words? Proverbs is a masters class on how we should use our words and what type of power they have. Paul David Tripp summarizes this part of Proverbs like this, “Words give life, words bring death — you choose.” If all of our words do one of these two things, then that means that none of our words are neutral.

This ties in so perfectly with our sermon from last week, which stated that direction, not intention, determine your destination. Every single one of our words has direction in them, life or death. Paul David Tripp says that if your words are moving in the life direction, they will be words of encouragement, hope, love, peace, unity, instruction, wisdom and correction. But if your words are moving in a death direction, they will be words of anger, malice, slander, jealousy, gossip, division, contempt, racism, violence, judgment and condemnation.

Every day, every moment, I get to choose with my words that this is a chance to die to myself and to live for Jesus. My words are not mine, they are his. To be slow to speak my initial thought and emotion, and to choose the words of life. My words have power. The everyday decisions that I make with words have direction and power. Words bear fruit.

So what should our words look like? Here is a helpful reference from Justin Taylor from the book, The Power of Words and the Wonder of God.

PROVERB  GODLY WORDS UNGODLY WORDS
10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable. The mouth of the wicked [knows] what is perverse.
12:18 The tongue of the wise brings healing. Rash words are like sword thrusts.
13:1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction. A scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life. He who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
13:10 With those who take advice is wisdom. By insolence comes nothing but strife.
13:18 Whoever heeds reproof is honored. Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction.
14:3 The lips of the wise will preserve them. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back.
14:25 A truthful witness saves lives. One who breathes out lies is deceitful.
15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath. A harsh word stirs up anger.

Words give life, words bring death — you choose! May God help me to see the power and direction of my words as I desire to be more like him daily.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

The Words That Gave Me Life

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Today’s Devotional

by Joe Paris
May 27, 2019

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
— Proverbs 18:21

We can all think of a conversation that was formative in shaping us. Maybe it was the teacher who saw something special in us and called it out. Or possibly it was the boss who encouraged you after you tanked that super important meeting.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned scenarios typically aren’t the stories we remember. The stories that resonate are the ones where the words spoken took life rather than gave it. The coach who humiliated you because you missed a play. Or maybe it was the insecure parent who criticized you at every opportunity. Those are the stories we can’t forget. The Bible tells us that there is power in the words we use:

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
— Proverbs 18:21

Someone who doesn’t know my story may assume that my rise to the title Dr. J was smooth sailing, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Growing up, I struggled academically. It was so bad that I had teachers, speech therapists and tutors. It truly was a team effort every year to move on. I survived middle school and endured high school, but then came my first semester of college. The big leagues.

I was told, “You need to get off to a good start in college. Your first semester sets the tone for your academic career.”

Good start. Got it. There was one problem though. I didn’t have a good start, I had a terrible start! Entering college, I made two wrong assumptions:
1. I assumed the minimal effort I applied in high school would net the same results in college.
2. I assumed that my professors would understand and be gracious when I missed class because I was leading our college golf team to illustrious conference championships.

Neither assumption was correct, and my academic start was in trouble. How bad, you ask? When midterms came out that semester, I was the proud owner of a 1.7 GPA! Not the start I wanted. No one was predicting academic success for me and I wondered if I was cut out for college.

While home on Christmas break, I went to watch my old high school basketball team. I just wanted to be somewhere familiar, somewhere that didn’t remind me of college. While at the game, I ran into my old English teacher, Mrs. Swicke. I should probably say “former” English teacher, as she most likely wouldn’t like the adjective “old”.

Mrs. Swicke and I talked a little, and she inevitably asked how college was going. I don’t know why I opened up and told her my story, but I shared with her about my grades and my poor performance my first semester. During our talk, she never seemed shocked or scared, she just listened. When I finished talking, she just looked at me and said, “You will be fine. I know you, and you don’t really start trying until you have to.”

And then she walked away. Probably not the best motivational speech, but it worked. Her words gave me new life. Her words helped me believe that, when I applied myself, I was cut out for college.

That next semester, I returned confident of my ability all because of one short sentence from an old, I mean former, teacher.

I have often wondered where I would have been without the encouraging words of Mrs. Swicke. The truth is that I will never know. She took away the possibility of failure by being an encourager. Such simple words of encouragement had a profound impact on my life. To this day, she has no idea what her words meant to me that night.

The tongue has power to bring death and life.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

What’s Your Win?

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Today’s Devotional

by Lisalette Hamon
May 22, 2019

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,
to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.

— Proverbs 7:1–4

What is the apple of your eye? Is it a person, a job, a child, a passion? This term, both today and more than 2,000 years ago, is used to describe something or someone who is cherished or esteemed above all others. Proverbs 7:1–4 tells us that God’s word, his commands and teachings, are to be held to that regard. We should treasure his commands, and his teaching should be the apple of our eyes! Somehow we, as believers of Jesus Christ, can believe the lie that we can get closer to God without even drawing near to him. But the saying almost always holds true: direction, not intention, determines destination. If we want to have peace, freedom, and to walk in step with God, we must move in the direction of his will. We have to draw near to him, and get to know him in order to know what his desire is and what is right and true.

Let’s all start our summer off by deciding what our “win” is in life. At the end of our lives, what do we want to say we fought for? Our fight, our battle to win for what matters, starts with knowing Jesus. Not knowing about him, but really knowing him. Having a relationship with him and being made new. This starts by inviting him into your life.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
— Romans 10:9–10

Let’s fight to know God more each day. Let’s fight to put off our own desires and adopt his desires as our own. Let’s fight to keep him first. Let’s fight to “hide his word in [our] heart that [we] might not sin against him.” (Ps. 119:11) Because that kind of life would be a true win!

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
— Psalm 119:105

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
— James 1:22

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.
— Psalm 119:9

“He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’”
— Luke 11:28

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
— Matthew 7:24

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
— Matthew 4:4

Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
— John 7:38

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
— Hebrews 4:12

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
— James 1:22


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Realignment

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Today’s Devotional

by Andrea Bailey
May 21, 2019

Each day is a new opportunity to align our direction with our intention. The prophet Jeremiah says in Lamentations:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
— Lamentations 3:22–23

Because of the Lord’s great love for us, we get to wake up each day and decide if we are going to continue to let our sins rule our lives, or if we are going to let this day honor the God that gave it to us. What is even better is that, like the movie Groundhog Day, we get to experience the mercy of God’s love every day, again and again, because he is faithful. This means that no matter how far our intentions were from our direction yesterday, today is different if we choose to lean on God rather than ourselves.

I know that this is good news for me. Often, I let my schedule or checklist for the day derail my direction. When I let the world begin my day rather than spending precious time studying, praying and worshiping, then by 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon I am lost. My head is swimming in worry, fear and doubt. The things of this life seem bigger than the people around me, and I forget to count others more important than myself, as Paul tells us in Philippians.

In the past few months, I have been stopping several times each day to realign my direction with my intention. My intentions are to live this life lifting up those around me, spurring them on to better things, and showing them what it means to live life in grace. I have learned that the only way for me to live out those things is to begin the day with my Lord. The Lord has been more than faithful to help me begin noticing during the day when it is time to stop and realign a bit before continuing one more second. Recently, I have begun working on ending the day with my Father and allowing him to show me all of the gifts that he has blessed me with during that day.

Trusting God to satisfy the needs in your life, rather than trusting the world takes minute-by-minute alignment of direction and intention. The only way that you will be able to align your life is through the Father. Paul tells us in Philippians 4 that we should keep our thoughts on purity, holiness, honor, honesty and kindness focusing on the good works of our God, and then, he will give us peace. Our human nature can make this task seem monumental, but we have a good Father who loves us. He will help us focus our thoughts when we ask him to do so. I pray that each of you begins to do the good work of realignment and focus on the God of peace.


We pray that God has used this devotional to encourage and challenge you. If you would like to speak to someone about a spiritual decision or engage in a spiritual discussion, please click here. If you would like to support the ministry of Community Life Church, please click here.

Relationships

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Today’s Devotional

by Kyle Kelley
May 17, 2019

We will have many different relationships over our lifetimes. Usually, they change and become more complicated. We start out as children with parents and, many times, siblings. Inside the family unit we will have lots of experiences with immediate and extended family members, neighbors and family friends. Hopefully, most are good experiences, but sometimes they’re not so good. As we grow, friends, neighbors, coworkers, spouses, in-laws, and more come into the picture. Most levels of development will bring many kinds of relationships, but along the path of life we will all experience good and bad interactions with people. We are to learn and grow through these encounters.

We are designed to be in relationships, but how can we make sure they are healthy and beneficial?

As relationships change, we need time to adjust to new roles. It is not always easy to see all aspects of each relationship, but we are on a journey to grow and develop so we can serve others. Being healthy requires us to have healthy relationships. Sometimes we are the giver, sometimes we are the taker, and other times we share those roles. As we move through life, we should become better and better at understanding our roles and how to make them successful.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
— Philippians 2:1–8

So for successful relationships, we have to have the same mind as Christ, serving others and looking for the best for them. Selfishness is the number one killer of relationships!

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
— Ephisians 5:21

For a relationship to work, both parties need to follow Jesus’ example of standing in the other’s shoes. Are we willing to humble ourselves and submit to others “out of reverence for Christ”?

Prayer: Father, help us to follow Christ’s example in building healthy relationships. Lord, be our mediator and give us extra patience when relationships get tense. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


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