We all need encouragement. I can’t imagine not having others that have encouraged me during times when I felt so all alone. Maybe it was an appreciative word on days that I felt I had nothing else to give. Or perhaps a forgiving heart, when I needed it most but did not deserve it. Or a simple act of kindness. Take, for instance, our Drive-thru Difference day. I have never been on the receiving end of a meal paid for at the drive-thru until recently. The kindness that a stranger gave, made my day!
I don't try to do this but after reading my devotion tonight I felt it was appropriate to share as we live in such a 24/7 plugged-in world where nothing is but a phone app or quick check on the internet away. A smartphone provides nearly constant access to the noisy crowd of humanity. Anybody can call us at any time. They can also email us, or message us or just broadcast their personal noise into our pockets through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Jesus understood the danger of noisy crowds, so he regularly withdrew to the wilderness to pray. This is one reason why his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30). It is not just that he offers an alternative to rule-based religion. He offers us grace and the means to experience grace daily through prayer. We have to make it an ambition to pray and lead a quiet life. There will always be more work to do! There will always be a crowd to celebrate our good work. The crowd praised Jesus for what he did, so he withdrew. He stopped healing people in order to pray. Jesus did not come to do good deeds and work hard to redeem the world by the sweat of his brow. Jesus Christ redeemed the world by his very nature, which could not be constrained by death. We must have this same mindset as Jesus Christ, and, like Jesus, we must withdraw daily and visit with God. God will remind us of our very nature. He will say, "You are my child." And when we remember who we are before God, our daily to-do lists will be manageable and good. Our obligations will seem light. After prayer, we will be able to pick up the phone and serve the crowd without anxiety. Prayer Heavenly Father, help me retreat regularly from the noise of the world, from too much work, from too many social events, from excessive entertainment, from smartphones that deliver the crowd constantly into my pocket. And after I retreat to you, Lord, help me return to the crowd with the ability to hear its joy and serve as Jesus did. Amen. Luke 5:15-16.ESV But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Matthew 11:28-30.ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Ken Jordan
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We all face challenges each and every day. The challenges might be at home, in the workplace or perhaps socially. They might involve our place of worship, the school our child attends, or perhaps it has to do with our health or the health of someone we love. These difficulties may involve finances, ending relationships, or some type of addiction. The challenge could be another family member, a neighbor, or a friend. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. I have found that my reaction to a challenge can be much more damaging than the challenge itself.
Good Morning. Today’s Devotional is on prayer This morning, like each morning, it was still dark outside as I awakened. I always try to move around our house without the lights being careful not to disturb anyone if they are still sleeping. I have also been told that once my shoes are on, I can make a lot of noise. I still had a little work to do to complete this devotional. I was reminded of my faith in two ways before I went to my office in the garage where I can make all the noise I want and turn every light on and not disturb anyone.