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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In The Pits (and other devotionals)

In the Pits?

There are times when each of us are in the pits, when life just seems to be upside down and nothing seems to be going right.

As you read the Psalms, you realize King David often felt this way.  Take Psalm 88 for example.  In verses 2-6 he says,
Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry.  For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave.  I am counted with those who go down to the pit; I am like a man who has no strength, adrift among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more, and who are cut off from Your hand.  You have laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the depths.

Pretty descriptive of how you and I can sometimes feel, when our soul is full of troubles…like one who has no strength…adrift among the dead…whom You [God] remember no more.

When you are in the pits, it can often seem like there is no way out.  Your soul is full of trouble, you are despondent, you are overwhelmed by the problems of life, you can almost feel like something has died inside of you, and you might feel totally cut off from God, like He has somehow forgotten you.

What I want you to see in today's Scripture is that you are not alone.  Every one of us has gone through these difficult days.  Even King David!

God knows your struggles.  Like David, take time today to share with God all that is on your heart, and in the next few days, I will show you how you can get out of the pits!

~Bayless Conley~

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Wealth of God 
He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Luke 10:34-35 

What does it mean to be a good goer? It involves giving time and resources. We roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to meet the need in front of us. Our head assesses the situation and diagnoses the need while our heart engages our calendar and our checkbook. Good goers understand the correlation between serving and greatness.

Jesus said, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43b-45).

Good goers have the gumption to get involved and even get messy if needed. They initiate service to others in the name of Jesus. They don’t wait for the needy to come to them—instead they are quick to show up and serve. It may mean leaving someone an anonymous gift to relieve pressure from huge medical bills. Perhaps the Lord is calling you to short or long-term missions to love the poor and needy.

It could be keeping the lawn of a neighbor who travels a lot, or paying a mechanic to repair the car of a single mom. Being a good goer could involve opening your home to a prodigal  who is trying to find their way, but desperately needs an environment of love, hope and acceptance. Good goers have the uncanny ability to look around, and like radar, lock onto to those who need a helping hand.

The Lord Jesus could have demanded to be served, but on the contrary served. He did not use His position for Himself, but for others. He “…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7).

It is bold and unnatural to make yourself nothing for the sake of others, but this is the way of Christ. He takes your nothing and makes it something of great significance. However, as you follow Jesus, you are on the track for greatness, because you will engage your time and money for others in His name. So break free from feeling like you can’t get involved and become great for God, by going where it’s messy to serve.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).

Prayer: Who is God calling me to serve—those that others are passing by?

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~


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Ezekiel 16:6
When I passed by thee, I said unto thee, Live.
Saved one, consider gratefully this mandate (of mercy. Note that this fiat of God is majestic. In our text, we perceive a sinner with nothing in him but sin, expecting nothing but wrath; but the eternal Lord passes by in His glory; l He looks. He pauses, and He pronounces the solitary but royal word, "Live." There speaks a God. Who but He could venture thus to deal with life and dispense it with a single syllable? Again, this fiat is manifold. When He saith "Live," it includes many things. Here is judicial life. The sinner is ready to be condemned, but the mighty One saith, "Live," and he rises pardoned and absolved. It is spiritual life. We knew not Jesus-our eyes could not see Christ, our ears could not hear His voice-Jehovah said "Live," and we were quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Moreover, it includes glory-life, which is the perfection of spiritual life. "I said unto thee, Live:" and that word rolls on through all the years of time till death comes, and in the midst of the shadows of death, the Lord's voice is still heard, "Live!" In the morning of the resurrection it is that self-same voice which is echoed by the arch-angel, "Live," and as holy spirits rise to heaven to be blest for ever in the glory of their God, it is in the power of this same word, "Live." Note again, that it is an irresistible mandate. Saul of Tarsus is on the road to Damascus to arrest the saints of the living God. A voice is heard from heaven and a light is seen above the brightness of the sun, and Saul is crying out, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" This mandate is a mandate of free grace. When sinners are saved, it is only and solely because God will do it to magnify His free, unpurchased, unsought grace. Christians, see your position, debtors to grace; show your gratitude by earnest, Christlike lives, and as God has bidden you live, see to it that you live in earnest.

~Charles Spurgeon~

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