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Daily Devotion

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Today's Devotional

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March 10
Broken to Be Shared
Bible in a Year:

You give them something to eat.

Luke 9:13
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Luke 9:11–17
We met every Thursday after he lost his wife in a car accident. Sometimes he came with questions to which no answers exist; sometimes he came with memories he wanted to relive. Over time, he accepted that even though the accident was a result of the brokenness in our world, God could work in the midst of it. A few years later, he taught a class at our church about grief and how to lament well. Soon, he became our go-to guide for people experiencing loss. Sometimes it’s when we don’t feel like we have anything to offer that God takes our “not enough” and makes it “more than enough.”
Jesus told His disciples to give the people something to eat. They’d protested that there was nothing to give; Jesus multiplied their meager supplies and then turned back to the disciples and gave them the bread, as if to say, “I meant it: You give them something to eat!” (Luke 9:13–16). Christ will do the miraculous, but He often chooses to involve us.
Jesus says to us, “Place who you are and what you have in My hands. Your broken life. Your story. Your frailty and your failure, your pain and your suffering. Put it in My hands. You’ll be surprised what I can do with it.” Jesus knows that out of our emptiness, He can bring fullness. Out of our weakness, He can reveal His strength.
By: Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray
What brokenness have you experienced? What would it look like to offer that experience to Jesus and ask Him to bring life to others from it?
Dear Jesus, take my “not enough” and make it “more than enough.” Take my pain, my failure, and my frailty, and make it something more.
 

boldstardex

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“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
IS REGULAR TIME WITH GOD NECESSARY?
March 10, 2020
Practicing Jews pray three times a day and Muslims five. Not so with Christianity. Rather than simply adhering to a list of rules, requirements or pillars, Christianity’s primary focus is on a relationship with God. And just like any relationship, this requires time. Jesus modeled spending time with God by regularly setting aside time to pray.
Now, Jesus is God, so why would God (Jesus) pray to God (the Father)? I can’t fully explain the mystery of the three in one relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – but I can tell you that Jesus’ ultimate goal throughout His ministry on earth was walking 100% in His Father’s will. This meant staying close to His Father and prioritizing His time with God (the Father) over everything else. Before work, ministry, friends and even family – His Father always came first.
The same holds true for followers of Jesus. If Jesus prioritized time with His Father, then so should we. Our ultimate desire in life should be staying close to our Heavenly Father through prayer and reading His Word in order to fulfill His will. It’s about saying, “No matter what my schedule looks like or what pressures I’m facing, my number one purpose in life is my relationship with God. Everything else comes second.”
When we choose to put God first, we want to spend time with Him. We won’t worry about checking off a list of rules, but rather experiencing a relationship with the One True God by spending time alone with Him like Jesus did. That’s a relationship worth pursuing!
 

boldstardex

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
GOD HASN’T MOVED – HE’S ALWAYS THERE
March 11, 2020
My wife and I really enjoy visiting other parts of the world. Years ago, we had the privilege to visit the base of the Matterhorn in Switzerland – it has to be one of the most majestic sites on earth.
When we woke up the next morning, I walked out of our room to view the Matterhorn once again and it was gone! The clouds had rolled in and all of a sudden, there was absolutely no evidence it had ever been there. But as soon as the clouds lifted, it was obvious that the mountain had not moved.
Sometimes it’s like that with God. We come to experience Him in an awe-inspiring way, but later once the clouds of life roll in, it’s only disappointment, rejection, or suffering. It’s as if God is nowhere to be found.
But remember, God has never moved. He’s as sure and as near as the Matterhorn was to us that day in Switzerland when it was temporarily hidden behind the clouds. So, when the clouds of life move in, it’s time to hold onto the truth that God never moves.
If you’re in one of those seasons of doubt or struggle, take a moment to reflect on the times where God showed up in your life. Ask God for the faith to trust His promise that He’ll never leave you or forsake you (Deut. 31:6) – even when life’s circumstances are clouding your view.
For in time, the clouds of life will lift and you’ll find that God never moved; He’s been there there all along.
 

boldstardex

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“And immediately (Jesus) made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away. And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray.” – Mark 6:45-46
WHY DID JESUS SPEND TIME WITH GOD?
March 16, 2020
Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. It’s a mind-boggling concept that we’ll probably never fully understand this side of Heaven, but it means that while being fully God, Jesus fully experienced everything we do. He experienced hunger and thirst, betrayal and pain, stress and exhaustion – every temptation we face. So how did He cope? He spent time with His Heavenly Father.
We’ve all known exhaustion and stress. For those regularly serving in ministry, the incredible emotional, spiritual and intellectual drain of trying to meet the endless needs and demands of people can be overwhelming. Often as the ministry grows, so does the need. Jesus’ experience was no different. As Jesus’ ministry took off, He faced incredible demands at every turn. It was extremely stressful and exhausting. Jesus needed time with His Heavenly Father more than ever before. Jesus needed the Father to recharge, refresh and revitalize Him for another day.
We may not be leading a demanding ministry like Jesus, but we all face similar seasons of intense stress, overwhelming need and physical exhaustion. We run out of gas – out of power. Couldn’t we all stand to be recharged, refreshed and revitalized by the Creator of the Universe?
If you’re feeling burnout spiritually, follow Jesus’ example and go to God. Carve out some time today and really invest in time with God. Ask Him to equip, refresh and strengthen you to face each day.
 

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Today's Devotional

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March 21
Chirpy
Bible in a Year:

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

1 Kings 17:6
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
1 Kings 17:2–6
For twelve years, Chirpy, a seagull, has made daily visits to a man who’d helped him heal from a broken leg. John wooed Chirpy to himself with dog biscuits and was then able to nurse him back to health. Though Chirpy only resides in Instow Beach in Devon, England, between September and March, he and John Sumner find each other easily—Chirpy flies straight to him when he arrives at the beach each day, though he doesn’t approach any other human. It’s an uncommon relationship, to be sure.
John and Chirpy’s bond reminds me of another uncommon relationship between man and bird. When Elijah, one of God’s prophets, was sent into the wilderness to “hide in the Kerith Ravine” during a time of drought, God said he was to drink from the brook, and He’d send ravens to supply him with food (1 Kings 17:3–4). Despite the difficult circumstances and surroundings, Elijah would have his needs for food and water met. Ravens were unlikely caterers—naturally feeding on unseemly meals themselves—yet they brought Elijah wholesome food.
It may not surprise us that a man would help a bird, but when birds provide for a man with “bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening,” it can only be explained by God’s power and care (v. 6). Like Elijah, we too can trust in His provision for us.
By: Kirsten Holmberg

Reflect & Pray
How has God provided for your needs in surprising ways? How has this deepened your trust in Him?
Loving God, please help me to trust in You to meet my needs no matter what my circumstances might be.
 

boldstardex

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“(Barnabas) was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” – Acts 11:24
WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN FOR?
March 26, 2020
Answer the following questions honestly: What are you known for? What do you want to be known for? Is there a disconnect between the two? Because it’s our everyday decisions that determine how these questions are answered.
In the early church, Barnabas was well-known as a respected leader and also known for his ability to encourage others. In Acts 11, he’s described as an overall good man. But, what does that mean, exactly?
A good person is one who’s trustworthy and strong; one who does the right thing and whose character is above reproach. They respond with compassion and kindness, even in the most trying of circumstances, and put the needs of others before their own. What better compliment could anyone receive than to be known as a good person? Our world could certainly use more good people these days, don’t you think?
So how did Barnabas come to be such a kind, generous, and good person? He was filled with the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t just his natural temperament and determination that made Barnabas such a good person, but the filling of the Holy Spirit that slowly transformed his life. Now, this is incredible news for anyone who, like me, has ever fallen short when it comes to how we live and love others. You see, when a person comes to faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to transform their hearts and lives to become more like Jesus in spirit, in character, and in life’s mission. In other words, as we walk in faith with Jesus, He helps us to live and love others in ways that are often very counter-cultural. With the help of the Holy Spirit, our lives can point others to God.
So, what are you known for? When people think of your life, do they say, “he or she is a good person”? Through faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit – God can make anyone truly good.
As the world continues to navigate life during this global pandemic, ask yourself what you want to be known for when this crisis is finally behind us? When the news or uncertainty sparks fear, turn to God. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide in every decision – no matter how big or small. In this way, may Jesus followers around the world be known as a beacon of hope during this uncertain time.
 
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