Adapted from rbc.org/
One winter night composer Johann Sebastian Bach was scheduled to debut a new composition. He arrived at the church expecting it to be full. Instead, he learned that no one had come. Without missing a beat, Bach told his musicians that they would still perform as planned. They took their places, Bach raised his baton, and soon the empty church was filled with magnificent music.
New writers are often advised to visualize one person they are writing to as a way of staying focused. I do this when I write devotionals; I try to keep readers in mind because I want to say something they will want to read and that will help them on their spiritual journey.
I doubt that the “devotional writer” David, whose psalms we turn to for comfort and encouragement, had “readers” in mind. The only audience he had in mind was God.
Whether our “deeds,” mentioned in Matthew 6, are works of art or acts of service, we should keep in mind that they’re really between us and God. Whether or not anyone else sees does not matter. He is our audience.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations…
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has set you apart from the nations.
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
Do you ever feel lonely, isolated, alone? Do you ever wonder “where have all the people gone”? I think these are natural thoughts from time to time, but we need to think about the root of why we are thinking them, not trying to find the answer to the questions and the feelings they can bring.
When you are a Christian, finding the root of what you are thinking about and who the source of the thought is, is critical. Satan comes as an angel of light, and if we don’t put a hedge up around our minds and our thinking, he can easily come in appearing to be an innocent sheep, when he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
I had a pastor’s wife years ago who had struggled with her thought life. She was and is one of the wisest ladies I know. I have never seen anyone in my life hear from God as she does! How did she go from fighting tormenting thoughts to being a loving, praying powerhouse for God? She began to ask a simple question when thoughts began to flood her mind. That question was and still is, “Who’s talking?” When she began to take every single thought “captive” that didn’t bring her joy or honor and praise to God, she knew who the source of that thought was. Soon, she and the Holy Spirit were in control of her thinking and she hasn’t stopped propelling into the things of the spirit since.
Satan loves to come and tell you how useless you are, how nobody ever calls, how you are all by yourself, but have you ever stopped to wonder why you are really alone? Or could you be ‘set apart‘? I have found when I am having extended periods of ‘alone time’ it is because God wants me to be alone with Him. If I will go into prayer and praise during these times, I find there are mighty plans, purposes, and direction God is wanting to talk to me about. He is in the still small voice when we are “set apart” from the crowds, not in the noisy restaurants, shopping malls, or the movies where it is loud and we are concentrated on anything and everything but Him. When we realize we haven’t been left alone by friends and family, but we are being set apart from the crowds for prayer, our whole perspective changes on being by ourselves! We are never alone because God is with us, and that is when He is ready to have time with you!
Take advantage of these ‘set apart’ times, precious reader. This is where you get the ‘mind of Christ‘ and where the Holy Spirit will pray out vital things to your present and to you and your family’s future! You will actually become excited the phone DIDN’T ring, because you know now what that means. A blessing and the instruction you need to have it fully is coming your way!
God bless you, dear reader!! I will see you soon! Simply, Juliana
For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favor]. Luke 2:11-14 AMP
No, you did not get that memo, because God is FULLY in control and I have wonderful news, sweet friend!! God ALWAYS will be in control! When I wake up the first thing I do every morning is turn over, unplug my phone that is on my nightstand and go through my emails. I am signed up for all kinds of news posts to be sent to my email, and I don’t have to tell you, the news seems to get worse daily!
I began to notice not long ago, first thing in the morning, I would feel a sinking feeling on the inside. I then would roll out of bed half mad and half disappointed and my feet had not even touched the floor for the day! Before I began the habit of reading the news first, I would get out of bed thanking God, and now I seem to be asking, “God, what is happening??” and feeling utter dread and despair. Before I can even get a cup of coffee, my day seems to be starting out anything but joyous. This is NOT me, nor does it reflect my personality.
I have ALWAYS lived my life centered around God and His word. I have found myself living my life centered around the news of the next imbecile thing our government does that only reflects the interest of about 13 per cent of America’s population! Can you feel me getting frustrated again? Why? Because my focus has become more “man” ward than God ward!
I thought getting off of Facebook for a couple of weeks would help me, but of course, the emails kept coming. I spent more time in prayer, but my prayer time seemed frenzied instead of peaceful and confident. Have you ever watched the fights on television? Hubby and Kate love them. I can’t stand them! But, for this occasion in life I can relate something from them.
Before a big fight, they get both opponents on camera and they talk all kinds of silly mess. How one is going to pummel the other one, they aren’t the champion they are, how they have more fights under their belt, etc.. It just goes on and on like that. But I have noticed there is always one that doesn’t do all of that trash talking. They talk about what is necessary to focus, train, and to be ready when the time comes. Rarely, does the one who talked all the garbage wins! It always seems to be the one who kept their mind focused on the positive and necessary things, instead of all the smack talk that walks away with the prize!
It is just like that with the devil. The devil will ALWAYS show you how bad things are! The headlines will be negative. The statistics of the economy and all that is happening to weaken the country more and more will follow. One story after the other of utter negativity and hopelessness from one news agency to the next seems to be all too available!
Your emotions become involved…I have never seen anybody happy to hear bad news! You begin to feel sullen and whipped! You see no way of it changing. Then the Holy Spirit begins to speak. “What about Me? What about all of the places in the word that promises you, you are the victor no matter what you see around you? What about all the examples of when I sent My Word and performed mighty acts on behalf of those who put their confidence in Me instead of circumstances?” Oh, thank God for the Holy Spirit!!!
I don’t deny our country is in a mess! I don’t deny that even hopelessness, anger, and a spirit of offense has tried to trickle into the body of Christ due to it! BUT I DO DENY ITS POWER TO ADVERSELY EFFECT ME AND MINE!! God is my stronghold!! On Him I CAN depend!! My enemies may come at me one way, BUT THEY SHALL FLEE SEVEN DIFFERENT WAYS! What does that mean? When they see you armed with the Word of God, joy is overflowing, and you know the FIGHT IS WON BY JESUS AND HIS VICTORY OVER THE CROSS WAS YOUR VICTORY, TOO THEY CAN’T “SPLIT” FAST ENOUGH!!
I am going to post a Psalm for you and for me! It is the guarantee of what I have told you! I am putting it before my eyes several times daily!! Here is the memo! YOU ARE VICTORIOUS! NOTHING THE DEVIL PLANS WILL PREVAIL AGAINST YOU! STOP BEING AFRAID AND CONFUSED! DON’T BE OFFENDED (you forfeit power and the ability to be used of God as He wants to use you when you do!) AND YOU WILL SEE YOUR LIFE FLOURISH AND THRIVE IN THE WORST OF TIMES! GOD LOVES YOU, AND NOTHING CAN CHANGE THAT FACT!!!
Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness (that which is not upright or in right standing with God).
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
6 And He will make your uprightness and right standing with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right as [the shining sun of] the noonday.
7 Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord [in the end] shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the evildoers will be no more; though you look with care where they used to be, they will not be found.
11 But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plot against the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright in right standing with God); they gnash at them with their teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at [the wicked], for He sees that their own day [of defeat] is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who walk uprightly (blameless in conduct and in conversation).
15 The swords [of the wicked] shall enter their own hearts, and their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is the little that the [uncompromisingly] righteous have than the abundance [of possessions] of many who are wrong and wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the [consistently] righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever.
19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs [that is consumed in smoke] and as the glory of the pastures. They shall vanish; like smoke shall they consume away.
21 The wicked borrow and pay not again [for they may be unable], but the [uncompromisingly] righteous deal kindly and give [for they are able].
22 For such as are blessed of God shall [in the end] inherit the earth, but they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.
25 I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.
26 All day long they are merciful and deal graciously; they lend, and their offspring are blessed.
27 Depart from evil and do good; and you will dwell forever [securely].
28 For the Lord delights in justice and forsakes not His saints; they are preserved forever, but the offspring of the wicked [in time] shall be cut off.
29 [Then] the [consistently] righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.
30 The mouth of the [uncompromisingly] righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks with justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and seek to put them to death.
33 The Lord will not leave them in their hands, or [suffer them to] condemn them when they are judged.
34 Wait for and expect the Lord and keep and heed His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; [in the end] when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
35 I have seen a wicked man in great power and spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil,
36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was not; yes, I sought and inquired for him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.
38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together; in the end the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the [consistently] righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in Him.
Now that is a memo!! Blessings, precious reader!! I will see you soon!
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, Fall on the earth; likewise He speaks to the showers and to the downpour of His mighty rains. Job 37:5-6 AMP