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God’s Daily Word Devotionals

God’s Perfect Will

Much of our Christian walk seems to involve searching for God’s will. We search for His perfect will for our job, home, school, church, and relationships; and we’re often frustrated because God seems silent regarding the details of our life. But God is not silent! His Word reveals much of His will, and a large portion of His will for our life today is the same as for every past generation.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for
this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

We often gloss over such passages, thinking we already understand and ought to search for “deeper” truths. But in God’s plan for us to beconformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29 ) there is no greater challenge to our faith. Do we really believe God is in control? Does our life – our attitude – reflect this belief?

Our Heavenly Father desires us to live each moment with a thankful heart, full of joy – regardless of our circumstances. Why? Because this reveals our trust in a loving God. He wants us to continually commune with Him in prayer and refuse to leave His presence to pursue concerns or pleasures of the world. This portion of God’s will has been clearly revealed!

Some are facing situations today which make following this portion of God’s will very difficult. They see absolutely no reason for rejoicing and can’t understand how God can be directing their path. How is it possible to remain by His side when being pressed down from all directions and when the pulls of the world seem relentless?

We must begin by viewing our life from an eternal perspective rather than the temporary nature of the world; The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). All our trials will soon be gone (do we really believe this?). God is in control and, in the end, ALL will glorify His name; In all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28 ). As we trust and love Him with all our heart, He works ALL things for the good – no matter how bad our situation may appear or how difficult it may be to understand His plan. He IS in control! This level of trust is what Paul referred to as “the secret of being content” (Philippians 4:12 ).

There are certainly times when God will give us very specific direction, but perhaps He’s waiting until we follow His general will for our life. Let’s come before Him today with a thankful and loving heart. Let’s enter His presence and refuse to be taken away by circumstances which will soon fade. Let’s trust Him without compromise and joyfully walk each step by faith according to God’s perfect will.

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

Actively Wait

In the message “God’s Perfect Will” we saw that God’s will is for us to live a life of thanksgiving and prayer; a life of contentment and peace independent of circumstances. It is also “God’s will that you should be sanctified {set apart, made holy}; that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). These are general aspects of God’s will, given to every one of His Children. His specific direction will come as we obediently align our life with His general will…and wait.

We live in a generation where waiting is viewed as a waste of time, but learning to wait is how we grow: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV).

This is a powerful and encouraging passage: if we wait on the Lord, we will be strengthened, soar like the eagles, and not grow weary. But what does it really mean to wait? We were not called to “take up the cross of Salvation” so we can then live our lives sitting on the couch. Rather, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have been invited to a wonderful lifetime journey – a journey which is sometimes difficult, but one always filled
with adventure and purpose.

1 Timothy 6:11-12

“But you, man of God, flee from all this {evil}, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Notice all the words of action: flee, pursue, fight, take hold. This is definitely a call to actively move forward in our journey of faith.

So do we wait, or do we fight and take hold? Do we rest and hope in the Lord, or do we flee and pursue? The answer is a simple but absolute yes! We are called to a life of action – to a life where we “bear much
fruit” (John 15:8 ) – but we must learn to “act” while waiting and trusting God for every result. We must give Him all our effort while remaining “in the vine” (John 15:4), and allowing the life of Christ to flow through us and produce the fruit.

This means we are to boldly share the gospel message, but then to wait on God for the harvest of belief. It means we are to seek opportunities and diligently prepare for service, but then continue to listen and trust Him to reveal His desired path.

God calls us to a faith of complete trust; a faith which produces both action and patience. Let’s take hold and fight the good fight of faith as we learn to actively wait.

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

God’s Daily Word Devotionals

The Example of Barnabas

Prior to meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul (who would later
be known as the Apostle Paul) was one of the greatest enemies of Christians:

“Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison” (Acts 8:3).

But Saul’s conversion was dramatic and after a few years he tried to join with the believers in Jerusalem.  However, with his reputation for hatred toward Christians, the disciples were not willing to accept him.

But one man saw beyond the past mistakes; saw beyond the slimy pit from which he had been removed; saw the grace of Jesus which had worked a miracle in Saul’s life – that man was Barnabas!  Barnabas believed in Saul, comforted him, and defended him to the other believers.

Acts 9:27
“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them  how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to  him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”

Saul was on fire for Jesus, ready to preach the gospel with the same energy he once used to persecute the church.  But after just a short time in Jerusalem, Saul had to flee for his life back to his home in Tarsus.  It’s not clear what he did for the next several years, but there’s no evidence of ministry work until Barnabas, once again, found Saul and provided the necessary encouragement.

Acts 11:25-26
“Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people.”

The Apostle Paul went on to have a greater impact in the forming of the early Church and in defining Church doctrine than any other follower of Jesus.  But if not for Barnabas, Paul may not have ever preached beyond his own back yard.  In the early days of the Church, Barnabas believed the absolute best in people and encouraged them at every opportunity.  His encouragement of Paul resulted in more fruit for God’s Kingdom than anything else he could have possibly done or imagined.

We all know someone who can use a lift – someone in desperate need of a friend to believe in them – someone in need of a Barnabas!  Let’s encourage others today by believing in the power of Christ working through their lives; by looking beyond what we can see, to what we know Jesus can do  with a life completely devoted to Him.  Let’s be the spark which reignites the fire in others and helps them return to the great race – let’s look for opportunities to encourage our Brothers and Sisters according to the example of Barnabas.

Part II of this study is:

Son Of Encouragement

In the message “The Example of Barnabas” we saw how Barnabas played an essential role in Paul’s ministry.  He boldly introduced Paul to the apostles in Jerusalem (Acts 9:27), and then searched for Paul when he had fled Jerusalem to his home town of Tarsus (Acts 11:25-26).  After taking Paul to Antioch, Barnabas remained with him for several years while they encouraged the church…and each other.

Being an encourager was a way of life for Barnabas.  His name was originally Joseph, but prior to even meeting Paul, the apostles had begun to call him “Barnabas (which means Son of  Encouragement)”  (Acts 4:36)

Barnabas was able to evaluate other people according to their ability in Christ – an ability determined by His strength and not hindered by past failures.  This allowed Barnabas to see great potential where others saw only weakness, and to encourage when others had given up.

Barnabas went with Paul on his first missionary journey where they jointly proclaimed the name of Jesus wherever they went.  Another young man, named Mark, began this first missionary journey but then turned back.  This apparent lack of perseverance bothered Paul so much that when he began
his second missionary trip he refused to take Mark along.

Acts 15:37-39
“Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement, that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus.”

Barnabas saw the Christ-given potential in young Mark and encouraged him as he had done with Paul many years before.  As a result, Mark matured in his ministry and faithfully continued in his service to Jesus.  He ministered along side the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 5:13), was reunited with Paul (Colossians 4:10, Philemon 24), and later wrote the earliest account of the Gospel – the Gospel of Mark.

The early church faced many difficulties – many opportunities for discouragement – but God used Barnabas to strengthen those who had been called to the front lines of battle.  We can’t all stand up and preach in front of large crowds or travel as missionaries to foreign lands, but we ALL have the ability to encourage those whom God places in our path.

The world is full of people crying out for someone to care and believe in them.  Individual lives can be changed, families can be restored, entire communities and even nations can be turned toward God, if each of us will encourage others to draw closer to our Heavenly Father, to love Him more, and to trust Him with all their heart.  Let’s share the love of Jesus and effectively minister by seeing others, and then taking action, as a Son of Encouragement.

God’s Daily Word is written by:
Steve Troxel
of God’s Daily Word Ministries

August 14, 2008 Posted by | In the News | Leave a comment

Why I love my German Shepherd.

My darling Wulfie

My darling Wulfie

I have owned Wolfgang for 9 years so this story really touched my heart. I have never had a dog who is more intelligent, loyal, loving and dedicated to my well being.

Owning a German Shepherd is just one of the best pet choices of my life. It doesn’t matter how the world treats me or how bad my day may be, when I come home I always know it is to the love and protection that is constant and always there. How fortunate I am to know such unfailing love and loyalty. And if you happen by… never, and I mean never, put yourself between me and my dog, with ill intent. I know that this dog would put his own life on the line to protect me, and he never fails me. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if the people around us were more like him.

German shepherd guards her owner for 6 weeks after he dies

Sara Baysinger of La Salle sits with Cash, the family’s 3-year-old German shepherd who was rescued Sunday and taken to the Humane Society of Weld County. Baysinger said that Cash is in surprisingly good health considering the six weeks she survived on her own.

In an amazing display of loyalty, officials now believe a German shepherd dog stayed at her master’s side for six weeks after the man had killed himself out on the prairie.
The dog, “Cash,” was found alive Sunday, next to the body of her master, Jake Baysinger, 25, a resident of La Salle before his life ended on the Pawnee National Grassland.
When Baysinger was first reported missing and suicidal on June 28, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive search on land and by airplane, but they were unable to locate Baysinger or his pickup.
Undersheriff Margie Martinez said the pickup was found Sunday near the body, but it was in an area that was difficult to see from the road or air. The Pawnee National Grasslands contains almost 200,000 acres — about one-quarter the size of Rhode Island. He was found near the intersection of Weld County Road 73 and 104, northwest of Briggsdale.
The body was found Sunday because a rancher saw the dog and went to investigate, finding Baysinger’s body. Baysinger’s gun lay nearby, and it’s believe he shot himself.
On Monday, Sara Baysinger, the victim’s wife, took Cash home with her from the Humane Society of Weld County shelter. “At least we know it’s over now,” Sara Baysinger said. “We’d been looking for my husband for six weeks, and this isn’t how we wanted it to end, at least we can close this.”
Sara Baysinger has a 2-year-old son, Lane, who was happy to see Cash come home. “He’s very close to that dog,” Sara Baysinger said. “He’s very happy to see (Cash).”
The dog was friendly when found, although she was thin and dehydrated, deputies said. She was checked at the humane society, and Baysinger said she had their own vet check the dog, also.

Investigators also said the dog probably protected her master’s body by keeping coyotes away.

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Commentaries, In the News | | 13 Comments

God’s Daily Word – Nothing too hard

Jeremiah had been a prophet for nearly forty years by the time Jerusalem came under attack by the Babylonians. He had long been proclaiming a message of repentance, but the people continued to ignore his words. Now the enemy had surrounded Jerusalem and the end was near. In this time of great turmoil, God told Jeremiah to purchase a field from his cousin.

This was a strange request, but Jeremiah obediently purchased the field. However, he soon began to question God’s reasoning: “See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city? Though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, You say to me, ‘Buy the field'” (Jeremiah 32:24,25). Jeremiah had been a prophet for many years. He had been given the privilege of talking directly with God, but this command just didn’t make sense. Why should he purchase a field when the enemy was invading and taking prisoners?

God answered Jeremiah with a simple, yet challenging question.

Jeremiah 32:27

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?”

Yes, the enemy had invaded the land and would soon overrun the city of
Jerusalem. But God’s plan was for the people to one day return:

“I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in My furious
anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.
They will be My people and I will be their God”
(Jeremiah 32:37-38).

Jeremiah’s field was to be a reminder that God would one day restore His people – a reminder
that He could be trusted even in the face of overwhelming circumstances.

We often have a difficult time seeing how all the pieces of God’s plan fit together. He leads us down a path and we fail to see the purpose – especially when the enemy begins to attack. We want to fight back, but God says to patiently trust Him and pray. We want to determine a solution and solve the problem, but God says to love Him with all our heart and share His love with others.

The times in which we are most tested and pressed down ought to be the times of greatest growth and closeness with our Heavenly Father. When it seems we have no where else to turn, we ought to rejoice and trust Him even more! Let’s put our life firmly in His Hands and submit to His guidance – even when we may not see where we are going or how we will get there. Let’s trust His ways and always remember…for God, there is NOTHING too hard!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries

August 13, 2008 Posted by | Daily Devotions, God / Jesus Christ | Leave a comment

Daily Reflection and Prayer – 08-02-2008

, Laity Lodge Senior Director and Scholar-in-Residence

God of the Possible

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

When Jesus said that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven, his disciples were understandably concerned. Was Jesus implying that rich people could not live in God’s kingdom?

No, that was not his point, though he was aware of how much our love for possessions can keep us from full surrender to God. But Jesus knew of a power greater than the lure of riches. The power of God could do the impossible, helping even a rich person to come under God’s authority. The same God who changed the hearts of tax collectors and sinners could transform the values of one who loved riches more than anything else. For the God of the possible, nothing was impossible.

God is still in the possibility business today. You may be facing situations in your life that feel overwhelming. Your work situation may be frustrating. Your marriage may be crumbling. Your children may be rebelling. Yet God is not daunted by the challenges of your life. He can do what to us seems to be impossible.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What are the biggest challenges you face today? What in your life seems overly difficult, even impossible? Are you actively offering this to the Lord? Have you asked others to pray with you? Are you looking to see what God is already doing?

PRAYER: Gracious God, were it not for your mercy, I would never have entered your kingdom. It’s not that I’m a rich person. But I do want to hold tight to the possessions I have. The fact that I can offer them to you as I offer my whole self to you is evidence of your amazing grace at work in me.

Lord, you know how I can get overwhelmed when problems are too big for me. I love to be in control, or at least to think I am. So when I come upon something that seems to be impossible, I can panic. Help me, dear Lord, to lean into you at these times, to feel your strength, to seek your wisdom. Do in my life even that which seems impossible. And help me to trust you more in all times, knowing that all things are possible for you. Amen.

August 2, 2008 Posted by | In the News | Leave a comment