DEVOTIONS

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Today’s Truth

Reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent. Selah (Psalm 4:4b CSB).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I open my eyes to a new day and it’s hard to resist rushing into it. I’m learning the power of pausing, inspired by the invitation found in Psalm 4:4. “Reflect in your heart while on your bed and be silent. Selah” The word “Selah” appears over seventy times in the book of Psalms, yet in many ways it remains a mystery because there is no English equivalent.


Author and worship pastor Jason Soroski says, “Many commentators think that Selah meant ‘to pause’ or ‘to reflect’. This could have been a request for the reader or listener to pause and think about what has just been said, or it could have been a space for voices to pause and for

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Today’s Truth

For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


The story is told of a young boy who carved a sailboat from a block of wood. When the boat was finished, the boy raced to a nearby stream, gently slid the boat into the water, and let it go. The boy watched his precious boat gather speed as it floated away. He didn’t realize there was an undercurrent in the stream until the boat was swept away beyond his reach. The little boy frantically searched until there was no light but couldn’t find his boat. With a heavy heart, the young boy headed home.


Several days later, the little boy was walking down the main street of his small town, when he saw a wooden boat in the

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Today’s Truth

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44 NLT)!


 


 


Friend to Friend


One of the frustrating tensions of the Christian life is Jesus’ command to love our enemies. Even more, Jesus teaches us to even pray for those who hassle us. Does Jesus’ command ignore healthy boundaries or our hurt feelings? Not at all!


In 2 Samuel 16, there was a man named Shimei who was related to the former King Saul, who’d died in battle. Shimei carried a grudge against now King David. During an angry outburst, Shimei threw rocks at David and his entourage while screaming that David was a murderer and scoundrel. That’s awkward, right? Imagine how David must have felt as Shimei yelled insults while the other Israelites came out of their houses and, no doubt, heard

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Today’s Truth

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15 NLT).


 


 


Friend to Friend


For almost forty years, Margaret lived with word-inflicted wounds that nearly destroyed her life. From the first day she attended her one room schoolhouse, she and her teacher, Ms. Garner, didn’t get along. Ms. Garner was harsh, bitter, and cruel, and could not tolerate Margaret’s childish idiosyncrasies.


Margaret was nine years old when she frantically raced into class, late again. As she burst through the doors, she faced her peers jeering at her maliciously.


“Margaret!” Ms. Garner shouted. “We have been waiting for you! Get up here to the front of the class, right now!”


Ms. Garner ranted, “Boys and girls, Margaret has been a bad girl. I have tried to help her be responsible. But apparently, she doesn’t want to

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Today’s Truth

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector “ (Luke 18:11 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


In many ways, it is far easier to rely on works than it is to rely, by faith, on grace.


I’m coming to terms with this because I have had a works-based mentality, without even realizing it. I have used my works to benefit me when it is supposed to be all about God’s grace and glory.  


For example, I’ve worked extra hard at church, really hoping to get compliments. I went above and beyond, not one hundred percent for God but, underneath, to merit my own significance, because I did such a great job! I have given compliments or encouragement to others, internally hoping that they would give the same thing back to me. 


But, were these things for

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Today’s Truth

Remain in me, as I also remain in you (John 15:4a NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


The first time I went to a drive-in theater I was about six years old. The motion pictures on the reel that night were not just exciting – they were epic. A double feature of Godzilla and Star Wars. It was a rare treat for our young family. With five kids and an educator’s salary, movies were a luxury. 


The details of that evening are foggy, but there are several things that I remember. Daylight ended as Godzilla began. Dad went to get popcorn while mom spread a blanket out and helped the three oldest littles get to the best vantage point for the show: the roof of our station wagon. Pillows were handed up to the roof perch

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Today’s Truth

For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I believe one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century was the Post-It Note. First, there was yellow. Then came fuchsia, turquoise, buttercup, and magenta. From full-page mega notes to tiny little strips, sticky notes have saved me from embarrassment, kept me organized, and helped me memorize. Mostly, they have served as visual reminders of information, events, and appointments not to forget.


But visual reminders of things not to forget didn’t begin with Post-It Notes. They began with God, Himself. All through life God places Post-It Notes on our days to remind us of Him. Just today, I jotted down a few Post-It Notes God placed throughout my day.



The sunrise with swirls of mist rising from the
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Today’s Truth

Search me, God, and know my heart (Psalm 139:23a NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


A few years ago, I was given a 12x magnification hand mirror as part of a gift. The gift-giver told me that she uses hers all the time and expected that I would love it. Never thinking I would actually need or use it; I thanked her with all the grace I could muster and put the mirror away where I put the gifts that I never plan on needing or using.


Fast-forward a few years … My son was working on a self-portrait for art class and asked me if I had a hand mirror. I remembered that the 12x magnification mirror had a normal-mirror side, so I ran and got it for him.


After his art project was

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Today’s Truth

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; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant (Philippians 2:5–7 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


As a child, I did just about anything to avoid work. This included paying my brother to do my chores; hiding dirty clothes under my bed; and one memorable time, putting dirty dishes in the oven so my mom wouldn’t see them.


As an adult, I figured out the only one I was hurting with my laziness was myself. Dishes that didn’t get done one day were still going to be waiting for me the next day. Laundry would pile up until my kids were tempted to use bandanas as underwear—or just go commando.


So as I got older, I learned the art of distraction to soldier on and get things done. Folding clothes wasn’t so bad as long as

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Today’s Truth

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control (Proverbs 25:28 NIV).


 


 


Friend to Friend


I could not believe my eyes! I had decided to go grocery shopping – a chore I hate with all my heart. I drove around the parking lot, looking for a good parking spot – and there she was. A woman standing in the middle of a parking place waving cars away. Why? She was saving the spot for her husband who was circling the lot.


I had a choice to make. I could give in to my rising anger or I could harness that anger and drive away, praying that someone did not mow down that woman with their car.


And then, the story of Jesus confronting the money changers in the temple came to mind.


When Jesus saw money

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