Conntecting the Dots

Never Lose Heart

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)

Your daily routine might feel boring or monotonous compared to others whose lives seem exciting and glamorous. Perhaps you feel stuck and wonder if your tasks really matter or your life makes a difference.

God has placed you where you are for this season of life. He wants you to be faithful there, even in the little things that seem mundane and often go unnoticed. Fulfill your obligations not as mere duties to be done but as acts of worship and holy service.

Rest assured, God sees you and will reward you for labors done with love.

Question: What task will you try to reframe not as a duty to be done but as an act of worship?

“Father, I offer You the work of my hands as an act of worship. Strengthen me and fill me with joy as I serve You in this way. Amen.”

#bgbg2 #devotions  #ServingGod

Lacking Nothing

Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,

but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10 NLT)

Last week, my flight from Vancouver to Toronto was canceled moments before boarding began. What if I miss my connection from Toronto to Budapest?I thought. What if goofed-up flights cause my suitcases to go missing?

Circumstances were a universe beyond my control. I faced a choice: Worry about the what-ifs, or trust God to provide everything needed to fulfill my overseas commitment. I summoned prayer backup and chose the latter. God would get me to Budapest that day, suitcases in tow, if I needed to be there with those ministry supplies (and He did despite His method looking vastly different than my plans).

The LORD promises to provide every good thing we need, and He knows best what those things are. Trust Him to keep His word, choose to rest in His sovereignty, and watch Him work on your behalf.

Question: What good thing do you need today? Remind God of His promise to provide.

“Father, thank You for promising that I’ll lack no good thing. I trust You to keep Your word. Amen.”

#bgbg2 #devotions  #GodPromises

Nighttime Thoughts

I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

I think of how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings. (Psalm 63:6,7 NLT)

I wake up several times every night. I usually fall back to sleep fairly quickly, but occasionally I’m awake for an hour or more. During that time, my thoughts flit here and there, landing first on recent frustrations and then on tomorrow’s to-do list. Stress mounts and sleeplessness increases unless I cage my thoughts and pray over them.

The psalmist experienced sleeplessness too. He utilized those hours by meditating on God, specifically on how much He’d helped him. The result? Joy, and a deeper sense of God’s presence and protection. I think I could learn a thing or two by following his example.

How about you? Where do your thoughts take you when you can’t sleep at night? How might focusing on how God’s helped you in the past change things for you?

“Father, You know our weaknesses and that our minds don’t naturally gravitate toward You. When we can’t sleep at night, please help us focus our thoughts on You. You deserve our attention. Amen.”

#bgbg2 #devotions  #NighttimeThoughts

What Does Our Face Say?

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;

no shadow of shame will darken their faces. (Psalm 34:5 NLT)

I was deep in thought while walking in a local park when a stranger approached from the front.  “Smile! Life’s not half as bad as you think it is,” he said. I don’t remember what my thoughts were at the time, but I do remember his words shocking me. I had no idea that my expression resembled a sour lemon. 

The stranger’s words remain with me today, and for good reason. They remind me that our faces convey a message to those around us even when we’re unaware.

Do our faces tell others that we’re angry or bitter inside? That we feel like we’re fighting a losing battle? Or do they say we’re content, hopeful, and joy-filled?

When we focus our eyes on Jesus and His love for us, our countenance conveys a message for which the world longs. Without our saying a word, others will see peace and love in our faces—a message that cannot be counterfeited.

Question: What does your face say when others look at you?

“Father, fill me with Your Spirit so others see You when they look at me.”

#bgbg2 #FacialExpression  #Radiance

Why We Can Face the Future with Confidence

But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.

Psalm 31:14,15

“Doctors suspect I have Parkinson’s disease,” a friend said as we washed and dried dishes after a recent dinner party. Her hands noticeably trembled.

Hands are an interesting study. Some are youthful and strong. Others, like my friend’s, grow weak, stiff, or gnarled with illness or age. How different from God’s hands!

The Bible describes them as mighty (Psalm 89:13). They hold the depths of the earth (Psalm 95:4). They measure the waters of the whole world (Isaiah 40:12). They’re filled with justice (Deuteronomy 32:41). They’re also filled with power and might, and they strengthen everyone (1 Chronicles 29:12). Best, they contain the nail scars that prove His infinite love for us.

God’s hands never age or weaken. They lead us, provide for us, and hold us close to His heart. Why should we ever worry about the future, when our future rests in hands like this?

Question: What challenges face you at this time? How does meditating on God’s hands fill you with confidence as you consider the future?

“God, thank You for holding me in Your almighty hand. Such knowledge fills me with unspeakable joy!”

#bgbg2 #GodHoldsMe  #NotAfraid

Post-Victory Battles

The Israelites were ecstatic over rebuilding the Temple’s foundation in Jerusalem: “The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance” (Ezra 3:13).

But the next verses say, “The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, the God of Israel. So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do….Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work. They bribed agents to work against them and to frustrate their plans” (Ezra 4:1,2,4,5).

So typical. We experience a major victory in our lives, and as though on cue, the enemy shows up and tries to derail us. Be aware of, but do not fear his tactics. He will try to undo what God has accomplished, but stand firm.

God’s Holy Spirit has given you everything needed to defend yourself. Use the resources He’s given you and trust Him for the battle’s outcome.

Question: How have you seen the enemy try to discourage you after you’ve experienced a victory?

“Lord, thank You for victories accomplished. Help me to be aware of, but not afraid of, the enemy’s tactics when he tries to undo them. Amen. “

#bgbg2 #spiritualwarfare #fightingdiscouragement

When You Need Strength

Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. Romans 16:25

Sometimes the realities of life drain our mental and emotional energy. We grow tired from dealing with a difficult relationship, or worrying about finances, or wrestling over the same temptation over and over. We wonder if we’ll ever see a particular prayer answered, health restored, or depression lifted.

When we feel depleted, it’s vital to focus on the truth: Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). He strengthens us when we recall His presence and promises and walk in them.

No battle is too big. No ocean is too deep. No river is too wide when Christ—the One who overcame death itself—is our strength. 

Today, if you’re needing an extra dose of strength, take a few minutes to read Psalm 18. Which verse resonates with you most? Feel free to leave your comment here—it will encourage other readers.

“Lord, we are empty vessels apart from You. Please fill us with Your power today. Amen. “

#bgbg2 #GodGivesStrength

What Does Creation Speak to You?

In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD almighty!

The whole earth is filled with his glory!” Isaiah 6:3 NLT

Watching the sun rise or set is, for me, a spiritual experience. It’s like sitting in the Creator’s art studio—at His invitation—and watching Him sweep His brush across nature’s canvas, creating yet another masterpiece unique to that day.

Dawn and dusk calm my anxious thoughts. Their silent grandeur beckons me to be still in God’s presence. To meditate on His splendor. To revel in the knowledge that the hand painting the scene before me is the same one that holds me, provides for me, and guides me. No matter where I travel in the world, their message is seen and remains the same: I AM yours, and you are Mine.

Creation’s morning and evening ritual infuses me with courage and peace. What aspect of God’s amazing creation speaks to you, and how?

“God, thank You for giving me glimpses of Your glory through Your handiwork. Amen.”

#Creation #bgbg2  #devotions

Keeping Our Battles in the Right Perspective

He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty;

no one can stand against you!”

2 Chronicles 19:6 (NLT)

Terror filled King Jehoshaphat as a vast enemy army marched toward his kingdom. He responded by praying. Rather than focusing on his desperate plight, however, he first focused on God’s might and His faithfulness in the past.

We face battles too. Focusing on the details in prayer only makes them loom larger. Centering our thoughts and words first on God’s strength, wisdom, and love helps put our situation in the right perspective: Our battle seems big, but God is bigger.

“God, I praise You today for being bigger than my battle. Through You, I will be victorious. Amen.”

#bgbg2 #devotions  #ChristianFaith

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You Can Scale Any Wall

My daughter and son-in-law enjoy climbing rock walls—like those found in God’s great outdoors, not in a rec facility. I’ve watched them, awed by their strength and teamwork.

Sometimes life’s journey presents us with walls that must be climbed—a relationship, health, or money issue; a God-given task that seems insurmountable; a heavy workload; a relocation; grief over a loss.

We might feel weak or inexperienced. We might lack necessary resources for the climb. We stand at the base, overwhelmed by the wall’s shadow.

Remember this—we don’t climb alone. God partners with us. His strength fills us. He enables us to find firm footing one step at a time until we reach the top.

What wall are you facing today? How does Psalm 18:29 apply to your climb?

“God, please give me strength to scale the wall I face today. I trust You to help me climb. Amen.”

#bgbg2 #devotions  #ChristianFaith