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Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

-Revelation 21:1

WHAT WE CAN BEAR 

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON


Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. - PSALMS 119:54

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. - PHILIPPIANS 4:19


HOW must the pilgrim's load be borne? 

With staggering limbs and look forlorn? 

His Guide chose all that load within; 

There's need of everything but sin.


So, trusting Him whose love He knows, 

Singing along the road he goes; 

And nightly of his burden makes 

A pillow, till the morning breaks.

LUCY LARCOM


THEY live contented with what they have, whether it be little or much, because they know that they receive as much as is profitable for them; little, if little be profitable, and much, if much be profitable for them, but the Lord only can, who has an eternal end in view in all things which He provides. 

EMANUEL SWEDENBORG


I hope you will learn, what I am always hoping to learn, to rejoice in God continually, knowing that He is really ordering all your circumstances to the one end of making you a partaker of His own good-ness, and bringing you within His own sympathy. 

THOMAS ERSKINE


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/what-we-can-bear#sthash.GTGIPhLW.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Life Is Too Short For…

 

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

 

One day when I was caught up in the tyranny of the urgent, my friend Bill McNabb sent me some thoughts entitled "Things That Life Is Too Short For." His thoughts forced me to take a look at my own life and reevaluate my priorities. Perhaps you need a dose of reality today:

 

Life is too short to nurse grudges or hurt feelings.

It's too short to keep all your floors shiny.

It's too short to let a day pass without hugging your loved ones.

It's too short not to take a nap when you need one.

It's too short to put off Bible study.

It's too short to give importance to whether the towels match the bathroom.

It's too short to miss the call to worship on a Sunday morning.

It's too short to stay indoors on a crisp fall Saturday.

It's too short to read all the junk email.

It's too short not to call or write your parents (or children) regularly.

It's too short to work at a job you hate.

It's too short not to stop and talk to children.

It's too short to forget to pray.

It's too short to put off improving our relationships with people that we love.

Life is just too short. Way too short to settle for mediocrity!

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What does Matthew 6:34 tell us not to do?

 

2. Matthew 6:34 also tells us today will have enough trouble of its own. What difficulties will you face today? Take a moment to pray and ask God to take control of your day and any difficulties you may face.

 

FURTHER READING:

Philippians 4:6

Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com. 

Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California. 

More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com

Learn to Say “No”    

 

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. —Jeremiah 6:16

 

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my journey as a Christian is summed up in two little words you’ve heard before: yes and no. Christians tend to use yes a lot, but no, not so much. I want to challenge you to say no more often so you can say yes to the things that matter most.

 

While saying no results in many personal benefits, it’s a difficult word for many Christians to utter because Christian culture values yes. We learn to say yes because we want to please others—it just seems so Christian—and we don’t want to let people down, risk others thinking less of us, or become the target of disappointment or anger.

 

Does this sound like you? Do you want people to really like you? Do you dwell on it when you learn someone is angry with you? Can you identify with the “logic” that says, “I am a Christian, I care about people, and I’m supposed to help others—so when asked I must figure out a way to say yes at all times?” If so, welcome to my club! Actually, I’m trying to cancel my membership, and after many years of fighting, I’m almost out of the club. I think my speech goes something like this: “Hi. I’m Doug, and I’m addicted to busyness, people-pleasing, saying yes, and the belief that my busyness is a unique season that will soon end.” Okay, that’s me in pursuit of health and recovery. So, if this is you too, I know how difficult it is to read this and even consider adding more no’s to your responses.

 

Think about it: Is busyness really getting you what you want—or need? In the end, busyness makes us feel important but cripples our relationships. Busyness feeds our egos but ultimately starves our souls. Busyness fills our calendars but fractures our families. And busyness props up our images but shrinks our hearts.

 

Is there a gnawing sense in your gut that you can’t keep up the pace—and in your heart-of-hearts you don’t want to? Good! Take a deep breath, and let’s go after some hope. You may be at a crossroads in your life and learning to say no is exactly what you need. You need to learn to say no to the many good things and wonderful people so you’ll have space to say yes to God, yes to the important people in your life, yes to what matters most. So I want to challenge you now: In today’s Scripture, we read, “ask where the good way is, and walk in it…” In this case, the “good way” is saying no—have the courage to walk in it and find rest for your soul.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Do you say no enough? Why or why not?

 

2. What can you say no to this week that will enable you to say yes to something that matters most?

 

FURTHER READING:

1 Corinthians 6:12

DOUG FIELDS is the senior director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University and the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com. Doug has been a youth and teaching pastor at Mariners Church and Saddleback Church for 30 years and has authored more than fifty books. He is a passionate speaker reaching thousands of leaders, teenagers, and parents every year. Doug resides with his wife and three children in Southern California. 

More of Doug Fields: www.homeword.com

FLUTTERING SPIRIT -  

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

"And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings" (Ezek. 1:25).


That is the letting down of the wings? People so often say, "How do you get the voice of the Lord?" Here is the secret. They heard the voice when they stood and let down their wings.

We have seen a bird with fluttering wings; though standing still, its wings are fluttering. But here we are told they heard the voice when they stood and had let down their wings.

Do we not sometimes kneel or sit before the Lord and yet feel conscious of a fluttering of our spirits? Not a real stillness in His presence.

A dear one told me several days ago of a certain thing she prayed about, "But," said she, "I did not wait until the answer came."

She did not get still enough to hear Him speak, but went away and followed her own thought in the matter. And the result proved disastrous and she had to retrace her steps.

Oh, how much energy is wasted! How much time is lost by not letting down the wings of our spirit and getting very quiet before Him! Oh, the calm, the rest, the peace which come as we wait In His presence until we hear from Him!

Then, ah then, we can go like lightning, and turn not as we go but go straight forward whithersoever the Spirit goes. (Ezek. 1:1, 20)

"Be still! Just now be still! 

Something thy soul hath never heard, 

Something unknown to any song of bird, 

Something unknown to any wind, or wave, or star, 

A message from the Fatherland afar, 

That with sweet joy the homesick soul shall thrill, 

Cometh to thee if thou canst but be still.


"Be still! Just now be still! 

There comes a presence very mild and sweet; 

White are the sandals of His noiseless feet. 

It is the Comforter whom Jesus sent 

To teach thee what the words He uttered meant. 

The willing, waiting spirit, He doth fill. 

If thou would'st hear His message, 

Dear soul, be still!"


The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/fluttering-spirit#sthash.dL9lHUqe.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

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