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January 14, 2014
Entrust your loved ones to Me. Release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.
I think I sometimes confuse loving others with rescuing them. When a loved one has a problem, I often feel responsible to come up with a solution. I plunge headlong into problem-solving mode, as if I’m obligated to provide sound advice. Please help me stop feeling responsible to fix people, since that is Your role—not mine.
Beloved, it is indeed My prerogative to bring about change in people’s lives, as I choose to do so. You can be part of the process, but remember that I am the Author and Director of the drama: You need to follow My script, rather than creating your own. Do not usurp My role in people’s lives, no matter how much you long to help them.
When you feel compelled to rescue a loved one, take a good look at the quality of your love. Learn from Me, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth: I could rescue or control anyone at will. Yet I intentionally created people with the capacity to choose good or evil. I wanted them to be free to love Me—or not. Love that has no choice is not real!
Subordinate your deficient, controlling love to My perfect, empowering Love. Prayerfully release your loved ones to Me. Restrain your urges to solve their problems. Instead, use your time and energy to listen to them and pray for them. Trust in My Love and My unsearchable wisdom. I can work changes in your loved ones’ lives: beyond anything you might ask or imagine. As you release these precious ones to Me, linger a while in My unfailing Love—for them and also for you.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” – Matthew 28:18
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20–21
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. – Psalm 143:8
January 12, 2013
From Good Morning, Lord, by Sheila Walsh
Today I will appreciate your touches of compassion and grace in my own life.
Hers is an amazing story! While those five words could be said about many women in the Bible—perhaps every woman—I want to spend some time today revisiting Mary Magdalene’s story. We don’t know a lot about her life before she met Jesus. We do know that, at that point, she was possessed by seven demons, each of which Jesus cast out of her. But before that powerful touch of grace, imagine what it was like to be taken over by the prince of darkness and his twisted cohorts. What relentless agony of soul and spirit! Mary must have felt there was no way out of the nightmare that was her life. Thankfully, Jesus rescued Mary from the kingdom of darkness and put her feet on a path right beside his.
Blessed by Jesus’ gracious act of deliverance, the healed and whole Mary traveled with him and his disciples. She saw miracles performed and lives transformed—and she saw Jesus handed over to the soldiers and nailed to a cross on Calvary. Mary watched as Joseph of Arimathea wrapped Jesus’ body in clean linens, laid him inside a tomb, and rolled a stone in front of the entrance. Then, before dawn, Mary was back at the garden tomb with spices to anoint the broken body of Jesus—but the stone had been rolled away! The body was missing! Panicked, Mary ran to find Peter and John, and together the three hurried to the tomb. The weeping Mary stayed there after the two returned to the other disciples. That was when she heard her name: “Mary.” The resurrected Jesus chose to show himself first to Mary. He appeared before the very person who had been tormented by the legions of hell. She was the first to see that Satan, her enemy, was defeated and that Jesus her Lord held the keys to life and death.
January 11, 2011
From Lead Serve Love, by Gregory Lang
Live as Servants
Even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Be a shepherd of God’s flock; give an example that others may follow, not because you must but because you are willing and eager to serve, just as Jesus serves as your shepherd. Christ will see and reward your good deeds. Even if you receive no earthly rewards, you will indeed prosper in spirit. Live as servants.
January 10, 2013
From Wisdom for Each Day, by Billy Graham
Letting Go of the Past
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31
Have you ever noticed that if you continue to hate someone, whatever they did will continue to hurt you? Our anger and hatred just keeps reopening the emotional wounds of the past.
This is one reason why we need to let go of the past and— with God’s help—release our anger and hatred and replace them with His love. If we don’t our souls will be poisoned the rest of our life by bitterness and resentment, instead of reflecting the love and mercy of Christ. Remember Jesus’ command: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
Admittedly this isn’t easy to do. That is why I urge you to turn to Christ and seek His forgiveness for all the ways you have hurt Him. When we realize how much we have hurt God, the hurts we have received from others will begin to fade.
January 9, 2013
From More Than a Bucket List, by Toni Birdsong
Run Your Race
A prize racehorse trains with blinders on. Blinders allow the horse to stay focused and not to be spooked by distractions or by the maneuvers of the other horses and jockeys.
When the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy (and us) to run the race set before us and to keep our eyes on the prize, he was urging us to stay focused by saying, “You aren’t the first; you won’t be the last. You can do this . . . and heaven is gonna be worth it!”
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. —Hebrews 12:1
REAL-LIFE CHALLENGE: What are the things, people, or fears distracting you today? Write them down, and work on a game plan to overcome them. Like a racehorse, condition your life daily for the race. Ask God to help.