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I will never forget your commandments, for you have used them to restore my joy and health.  

-Psalms 119: 93

NOT ATTAINED - 

BY MARY WILDER TILESTON

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Jesus Christ. -PHILIPPIANS 3:12

LET no man think that sudden in a minute

All is accomplished and the work is done;--

Though with thine earliest dawn thou shouldst begin it,

Scarce were it ended in thy setting sun.

--FREDERIC W. H. MYERS


NOTHING so purifies the thoughts, heightens the acts, shuts out self, admits God, as, in all things, little or great, to look to Jesus. Look to Him, when ye can, as ye begin to act, to converse, or labor; and then desire to speak or be silent, as He would have you; to say this word, or leave that unsaid; to do this, or leave that undone; to shape your words, as if He were present, and He will be present, not in body, but in spirit, not by your side, but in your soul. Faint not, any who would love Jesus, if ye find yourselves yet far short of what He Himself who is Love saith of the love of Him. Perfect love is heaven. When ye are perfected in love, your work on earth is done. There is no short road to heaven or to love. Do what in thee lies by the grace of God, and He will lead thee from strength to strength, and grace to grace, and love to love.

--EDWARD B. PUSEY


This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength.

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

COMPANY OF THE UNFIT -  

In Lessons on Living

David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. - 1 Samuel 22:1-2

When Gen. George Washington gathered his armies to fight against the redcoats, they came from every conceivable walk of life. Some were frontiersmen, while others were merchants, farmers and even slaves. But the overwhelming majority had one thing in common: they were not trained soldiers. Most of them had shot nothing bigger than wild game. Yet in spite of that glaring deficiency, they took on the disciplined regiments of British regulars, and after a seven-year struggle they won.

David's army also was a ragtag band of misfits. Those who were in trouble, in debt or simply discontented were drawn to him. A more motley group of outcasts would be hard to find--hardly a fit army for a would-be king. Yet despite their many shortcomings, God used them ultimately to bring David to the throne.

God delights in accomplishing His will through those the world considers unfit. He always has been attracted to people who will make themselves available and let Him do the rest. He took a schemer like Jacob and made him the father of Israel. He took an escaped fugitive like Moses and made him a fearless liberator. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that He was able to take a group of unlikely malcontents and debtors and use them to establish a shepherd boy like David as king over Israel. Imagine what He can do with you and me.

Are you ill-equipped for the task that God has called you to? Then rejoice, because that means you have the primary qualification God is looking for. If you are willing to be used, God will do the rest.


God can make the unfit fit for His plans.

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Reasons for Giving Thanks -  

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. —James 1:17

 

I wonder at times why it seems so easy for me to focus on the negative aspects of my life. I routinely take for granted some of the very basic blessings that God has given. How about you? This week as we have celebrated Thanksgiving, take a few moments to reflect on all of the good things that God has provided you with and give Him thanks. It just might make your day! Here’s a reminder (author unknown) that helped to spark my own thinking about how God has blessed my life:

 

• If you woke up this morning with more health than illness… you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

• If you have never experienced battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation… you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

• If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75% of people in this world.

• If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace… you are among 8% of the world’s most wealthy people.

• If your parents are alive and still married… you are very rare, even in the United States.

• If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful… you are blessed because the majority can, but do not.

• If you prayed yesterday and today… you are blessed because you believe God does hear and answer prayer, even though you are in the minority by holding this belief.

• If you can read these words… you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

 

There is no doubt that God is good and that we are blessed! Like the Psalmist, we can ask, “How can I repay the Lord for all of his goodness to me?” (Psalm 116:12) Though we can never fully repay God for his goodness, we can demonstrate our gratitude through our praise and by serving others. Today, live your life as one who has been blessed. Begin by whispering a simple “thank you” to God, in prayer. Then, demonstrate your gratitude by serving someone else, in Jesus’ name.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Take a few minutes and make a list of God’s blessings that you find it easy to take for granted. Carry the list with you today, as a reminder of God’s many blessings.

 

2. Spend some time in prayer, giving God thanks for each one of these items on your list.

 

FURTHER READING:

Psalm 128; Psalm 84:11; Hebrews 13:15-16

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

LAWN CARE 

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

In Streams in the Desert

"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass" (Ps. 72:6).

Amos speaks of the king's mowings. Our King has many scythes, and is perpetually mowing His lawns. The musical tinkle of the whetstone on the scythe portends the cutting down of myriads of green blades, daisies and other flowers. Beautiful as they were in the morning, within an hour or two they lie in long, faded rows.

Thus in human life we make a brave show, before the scythe of pain, the shears of disappointment, the sickle of death.

There is no method of obtaining a velvety lawn but by repeated mowings; and there is no way of developing tenderness, evenness, sympathy, but by the passing of God's scythes. How constantly the Word of God compares man to grass, and His glory to its flower! But when grass is mown, and all the tender shoots are bleeding, and desolation reigns where flowers were bursting, it is the most acceptable time for showers of rain falling soft and warm.

O soul, thou hast been mown! Time after time the King has come to thee with His sharp scythe. Do not dread the scythe--it is sure to be followed by the shower. --F. B. Meyer


"When across the heart deep waves of sorrow

Break, as on a dry and barren shore;

When hope glistens with no bright tomorrow,

And the storm seems sweeping evermore;


"When the cup of every earthly gladness

Bears no taste of the life-giving stream;

And high hopes, as though to mock our sadness,

Fade and die as in some fitful dream,


"Who shall hush the weary spirit's chiding?

Who the aching void within shall fill?

Who shall whisper of a peace abiding,

And each surging billow calmly still?


"Only He whose wounded heart was broken

With the bitter cross and thorny crown;

Whose dear love glad words of Joy had spoken,

Who His life for us laid meekly down.


"Blessed Healer, all our burdens lighten;

Give us peace, Thine own sweet peace, we pray! 

Keep us near Thee till the morn shall brighten,

And all the mists and shadows flee away!"


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

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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