Peace for the Day

Devotions for our daily angst.


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Take Time to Make Time

Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Median. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God. Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this. Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?” God saw that he stopped to look. (Exodus 3:1-4 AMP)

Look!  I can’t read this verse without wondering what God would have done if Moses had not stopped to look at the bush. He didn’t glance at it. He observed, examined, and contemplated the fact that the bush before him was burning without being consumed. That’s not something you see every day. If Moses ignored the bush and walked on by, would God have found another leader for Israel? Or would He have taken an even bolder move by knocking Moses over the head to get his attention?

We think we live in the busiest times ever, but even a shepherd has pressure. Moses could have been in a hurry to get home or to move the flock to a more secure location. Maybe he was distracted by hunger or an upset stomach or thinking about a fight with his wife or fretting about his children. There could be a hundred reasons why Moses might have walked right on by that burning bush.

So I ask myself, how many burning bushes have I power walked by too distracted or too busy to notice? I don’t necessarily mean monumental burning bushes where I learn I’m going to rule a nation, but smaller moments when God wanted my attention to show me some little tidbit or to let me know He loves me in a special way. I don’t how many times I’ve passed someone in a store so focused on the shopping goal that I didn’t notice the person trying to say hello. (I’m sorry. I’m not a snob. Really.) My husband will tell you, “Lots!”

Father, I don’t want to miss anything You have for me, not one burning bush. I can be dense and preoccupied. Please help me to see, to really see, the world around me. Amen. It shall be so.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T Respect Yourself

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“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1 NIV

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.” Romans 8:1 MSG

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person?

When I enter a bookstore like Barnes and Noble, little voices start their litany. “You’ll never be published. You see how many books there are? There’s no room for you. You can’t. You won’t. You’ll never.” What my dear friend Margot sees is potential. “If they can, I can. There’s always room for one more book on wine. Let’s do this!”

As a half empty person, I fight the tendency. Unfortunately, true temperament is revealed when a person is tired or under pressure. That’s when I wallow and whine and whimper the most. Like a pig in mud, I roll around in the negatives. Eventually, I manage to look up from my stinking sty, that miry pit, and see the hand of the one who can pull me out.

“What are you doing down there?” he asks me.

“Kicking myself when I’m down.” I don’t need the accuser of the brethren to tell me where I’ve messed up. I’m great at doing that all by myself.

“That’s not how I see you.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Go back to what you learned in the beginning.”

And I do. God has a lot to say about what he thinks of me, of all of us, in the Bible. It would be good, he reminds me, to consider myself from his point of view and take captive every thought that differs from that view (II Corinthians 10:5). After all, he paid the ultimate price for my freedom.

So what does he say?

For God so loved the world (me) that he gave… John 3:16 AMP God’s a gift giver. All I have to do is accept that gift of love.

He has rescued me from the domain of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of his beloved son. Colossians 1:13ESV This verse reminds me of Star Trek when Kirk says, “Beam me up, Scotty.” Just like he is transferred from a planet to the Enterprise, we’re translated from the dark to the light.

Here are a few verses I need to remember when I start fretting.

He knows the thoughts and plans that he has for me, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give me hope in my final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11AMP

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for me that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 AMP

I am assured and know that all things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to and for those who love God and are called according to his plan and purpose. Romans 8:28AMP

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 3:16

I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37AMP

The greater one lives in me. I John 4:4 AMP

He has not given me a spirt of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. I Timothy 1:7KJB

These are only a few of the many promises he has for us. I would do well to remember them.

I respect myself when I stop wallowing, grasp the hand that longs to pull me out of the muck, and allow the Word to transform my stinking thinking. And so I pray daily, sometimes hourly. God, please help me to turn to you before I get stuck in the pit and covered with mud. Help me remember what you have to say about me and to choose your words over my self-recriminations. Thank God your grace is sufficient, your mercies are new every morning, and that you are faithful. You are awesome! Respect