Friday, August 9, 2013

Week of August 10 - 16

This Devotional can also be found on Facebook at A LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS August 10 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68 Throughout the scriptures there is continually woven the assertion that God wants nothing more than to save us from evil, pain, disappointment, hopelessness, helplessness and division. The constant refrain of salvation is clear and strong. In our troubles and distress we must constantly remember this promise of relief and respite. In looking to God and God’s desire for us we can be reminded that we are loved and created for more than disease and strife. This understanding can give us confidence and strength. O God, because you love me, I am offered a hope beyond compare. I ask for your love to lift me and help carry me through days that cause me struggle and fear. Amen. August 11 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:7 Love. It is stronger than any other force in this universe. It sustains us. It under girds us. It motivates us. It empowers us. Look at the love that surrounds you, that flows out of you and that comes graciously to you and let it remind you of what is most important in your life. Allow that love to create in you a force that enables you to rise above the challenges and difficulties you face. Allow it to help you embrace the goodness that is around you every day. Dear God, you are love and you have created me out of love to share love and to be loved in this life. Thank you for this exceedingly generous gift. Amen. August 12 Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord. The Lord lightens my darkness. II Samuel 22:29 This journey we are on is often lonely and dark. Most of the way we have no idea where we are headed and what it will mean for us. While the path is not clear when we attempt to go it on our own, we are promised that when we walk life’s journey with God we will have a light shining before us to show us the direction that is best for us. Especially on the cancer journey, we need the glow of a comforting, calming, caring light to illuminate our path. Without it we stumble and fall when we do not have to. Too many times I have faltered and slipped along life’s path. Dear God, help me to allow your guiding light to show me a better way. Amen. August 13 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 What is the kingdom of God? The scriptures give us countless descriptions of what is means. It is where peace of mind resides. It is where generosity of spirit reigns. It is where wholeness of body is real. The kingdom of God exists whenever and wherever we experience and realize the wonder and joy of God’s love, forgiveness, healing and purpose for us. How are you realizing the kingdom of God today? What are you doing to enable it to come alive in your life? This kingdom is meant for us all – right here and right now. O God, I need your kingdom to be alive in my life. Help me to see evidence of it today. Help me to create the conditions for it to be realized in me. Amen. August 14 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. I Samuel 2:8a As we often are reminded in the Bible, God pays special attention to those of us who are weak and impoverished. Whether it is through weakness of body or poverty of spirit, God comes to gift us with strength and abundant riches. It is these gifts that we must seek, especially when we are struggling and in distress. It’s too easy to give up hope and to give in to despair. But these reminders give us reason to keep persevering in spite of the immense challenges before us. They offer us help and saving grace just when we need them most. In spite of all that confronts me, I know that you are offering me another way, another answer to my dilemmas. Thank you for this tremendous gift, O God. Amen. August 15 For he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Luke 1:48a One very evident characteristic of God’s grace and love is that God is always drawn to those of us who are suffering, longing for relief, seeking peace and aching for hope and purpose. Especially in our distress, God is here beside us and around us, offering to give us the blessings of life we need. When we are as low as we think we can get, it is especially then that God is with us – lifting, redeeming and seeking to save us from evil and from even our selves. When, O Lord, I am desperate and low, I need to remember that you are right here with me. That reminder compels me to not give up hope. Amen. August 16 It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us … Isaiah 25:9a Sometimes it seems as if all we do is wait – for answers, for hope, for test results, for good news, for a return to better days. Waiting is incredibly frustrating and difficult much of the time. We are not always very good at it and resent that our timing is not everyone else’s. But it is God’s timing that really matters. It is God who knows just what we need and when we need it. When we have done all that we can possibly think to do to make what we need happen, we can do one more thing – look for God to act in our lives. Waiting for God’s perfect answers for us will save us from frustration and despair. Why is it so hard for me to trust that you will always reach out to strengthen and guide me, O God? I need to remember how you have always helped me before. I need to be confident that you will continue to help me today. Amen.

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