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So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


-Matthew 7:12

HE WILL HELP YOU!    

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON


Let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble. - DEUTERONOMY 20:3


THOU wilt be near me, Father, when I fail,

For Thou hast called me now to be Thy son,

And when the foe within me may assail,

Help me to say in Christ, "Thy will be done;"

This ever calms, this ever gives me rest;

There is no fight in which I may not stand,

When Christ doth dwell supreme within my breast,

And Thou uphold'st me with Thy mighty hand. 

JONES VERY


THOU must begin low, and be glad of a little light to travel with, and be faithful thereunto; and in faithfulness expect additions of light, and so much power as may help thee to rub on. And though thou may be long weak and little and ready to perish; yet the Father will help thee, and cause His life to shoot up in thee. Thankfully receive the smallest visitation that comes from Him to thy soul; for there is life and peace in it, and death and perplexity in turning from it. 

ISAAC PENINGTON


All the evil we do not commit, all the temptations to which we do not consent or which never visit us; all our holy thoughts and good intentions, all our longings after that which is right,--are so many witnesses of His loving kindness towards us. How could He help you thus unless He cared for you? 

CHARLES DE CONDREN


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/he-will-help-you#sthash.rFHidKU1.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

HOW CLEAN ARE YOUR HANDS?    

BY WARREN WIERSBE

In Prayer, Praise and Promises

Read Psalm 18:20-29

No matter how difficult our trials are, if we have clean hands, God will fill them with blessing. "The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me" (v. 20). "Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight" (v. 24). David's hands were clean. His enemies were lying about him--those people in Saul's court who wanted Saul's attention and affection. They lied about David. They said, "Saul, David said this," but he never said it. "David is doing this to you," but he never did that. David's hands were clean. When our hands are clean and we are keeping the ways of the Lord, God will work for us. He will give us what we need, protect us and see us through.

God responds to us as we respond to Him. "With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; with the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd [opposed]" (vv. 25,26). We decide how close God will be, how much affection He will be able to show us. "He delivered me because He delighted in me" (v. 19). The Lord delights in children with clean hands and a pure heart. Integrity is the key word. David was a man of integrity. Saul was a man of duplicity. He was double-minded, looking in two directions at once. But David kept his eyes on the Lord.

When our hands are clean, no matter how difficult life may be, God will see us through. He will take us through any trial and enable us to bring glory to His name when it's all over.

God rewards us according to our righteousness. Are you keeping the ways of the Lord? If so, you may depend on His protection and strength. When your hands are clean, He sees you through your difficult trials and circumstances.


Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/how-clean-are-your-hands#sthash.qE8h0BLp.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Guilty!   

 

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. —Romans 3:23

 

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 6:23

 

On a sunny September day, a stern-faced, plainly dressed man stood on a street corner in downtown Chicago. Pedestrians hurried by on their way to lunch, shopping, or business. This solemn-faced man would lift his right arm, point to the person nearest him, and intone loudly the single word "GUILTY!"

 

Then, without any change of expression, he would resume his stiff stance for a few minutes before repeating the same gesture again, raising his arm and pointing to another person, then pronouncing loudly that one word "GUILTY!"

 

The effect that this strange man had on the people was almost eerie. People would stare at him, hesitate, look aside, and then hurry away as if they had been caught. One man turned to another man and exclaimed, "But how did he know?" Guilty! We are all guilty. We have made some major mistakes in our life, and many minor ones; we are all guilty.

 

When it comes to our relationship with God, we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. To sin means to "miss the mark," and we have all missed the mark of God's perfection.

 

The good news is that sin and guilt are erased in Jesus Christ. There is a Scriptural principle which helps us understand the beauty of God's forgiveness of our sin and guilt. It's found in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

 

You don't have to live in the guilt of your past sins. You are forgiven. You are cleansed. Your sins are no longer remembered. Hallelujah!

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. According to Romans 3:23, who has sinned? Okay…now according to Romans 6:23, what are the wages of sin? Go to the next question!

 

2. We have established that we all have sinned and that we all face death because of that sin; but what hope does the second part of Romans 6:23 offer us? How can we be freed from the guilt of sin in our daily lives according to 1 John 1:9?

 

FURTHER READING:

Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12; Galatians 6:7-8

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com. 

Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California. 

More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com

Love is Hard, but Hate is Harder -  

The news passed us by those four days. We did not look or listen. We listened to each other instead. This is one of the joys of writing retreats. (This one the New Smyrna Beach Writer’s Retreat.) 

We read. We wrote. We sang. We prayed. A room of 12 strangers became a room of friends and confidantes, sharing our highest hopes, our ragged hearts, our quiet dreams to one another. But it could not last. Soon after we parted, the world lobbed its bombs: phone calls, frantic emails, the latest protests, the news from faraway and nearby.

Anger crashed in with it, like a fist pounding on the door. And there was hate, too. For entire groups of people, far and next door and out on the street; and you and I became Us and Them and No More. And Over There is Right Here and no one is at home in this strange land anymore . . .

If that isn’t enough, Anger calcifies like a rock and goes personal. A fist curled around a rock with your name on it is raised and hurled through your window. Sometimes you don’t even know why. Maybe you posted the wrong picture? Maybe you said a little too much truth. And though you have spent more than your whole life trying to love the rock-throwers, their stones pelt your house now more than ever. And the stones just keep getting bigger.  

This is nothing new. King David knew about this. And Abel, and Jeremiah and Stephen and Paul and Jesus and every ancient prophet and man and woman who tried to live right. The stoners were always nearby, poised and armed. 

But however ancient this battle, I am tired. I know you are too. In these daily storms, Love is too hard. Love disappoints. Love does not bridge every chasm. My own love wears out. It is not returned. It is misjudged and maligned. I want to give up on loving my neighbors. I don’t want to love the ones who think I am their enemy. I want to give up.

I have considered it. But surely hate is harder. How unrelentingly tight you must shut your eyes to the image of God in others! How much Truth you must suppress to give in to fear! How vigilant you must be to guard your heart against compassion! How tiring to believe every conspiracy! How deaf you must be to the voices of children! How hard to shield your soul against the stirring of the Spirit! How loud you must shout to drown the whisper of mercy! How ruthlessly you must pirate every grace and kindness of God to claim as your due! And all those people you’ve locked into boxes, how all-consuming to keep them in that prison!

I have not the strength to do this.

Do you?

How do we keep on loving in the midst of such conflict then? Here, these women and men remind me. If you too are tired, rest for these moments and remember with me what Love can do. And where it comes from. 

Maybe we can bend down and pick up that shattered glass.

Maybe we can open our doors to one another again.

"If there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, being in full accord and of one mind. "     Phi. 2:1-2


This first appeared here in its original format and has been shared with the author's permission.

Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of 10 books, including her most recent Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt and the Seas, which won Christianity Today's 2017 Book of the Year in Christian Living. She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska with her family and her yorkie Sophie who thinks she's a sled dog. 

More of Leslie Leyland Fields: http://www.leslieleylandfields.com

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