Thought of the Day

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

Thought: When we allow God to have first place in our lives, everything else in life falls into its rightful place.

Challenge: Take the challenge. For the next 7 days elevate God to first place in your thoughts, attitudes, decisions and actions and see if what I’m saying isn’t true.

The Importance of Prayer

Prayer is the greatest and most beneficial form of communication we have the privilege and opportunity to engage in.

Chaplain Steve Looper

Holy Week – Devotion 2

Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. John 12:3

She was the only one who believed him. Whenever he spoke of his death, the others shrugged or doubted, but Mary believed. Mary believed because he spoke with a firmness she’d heard before.

“Lazarus, come out!” he’d demanded, and her brother came out. After four days in a stone-sealed grave, he walked out.

And as Mary kissed the now-warm hands of her just-dead brother, she turned and looked. Tear streaks were dry and the teeth shone from beneath the beard. Jesus was smiling.

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Holy Week – Devotion 1

“Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die. 19 Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Matthew 20:18–19

The road from Jericho to Jerusalem was just fourteen miles. A half-day’s journey. Jesus is at the front of his band of disciples. A young soldier marching into battle.

As Jesus states his mission, forget any suggestion that he was trapped and made a miscalculation. Ignore any speculation that the cross was a last-ditch attempt to salvage a dying mission.

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Spirituality, Religion May Protect Against Major Depression by Thickening Brain Cortex

Jan. 16, 2014 — A thickening of the brain cortex associated with regular meditation or other spiritual or religious practice could be the reason those activities guard against depression — particularly in people who are predisposed to the disease, according to new research led by Lisa Miller, professor and director of Clinical Psychology and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University.

The study, published online by JAMA Psychiatry, involved 103 adults at either high or low risk of depression, based on family history. The subjects were asked how highly they valued religion or spirituality. Brain MRIs showed thicker cortices in subjects who placed a high importance on religion or spirituality than those who did not. The relatively thicker cortex was found in precisely the same regions of the brain that had otherwise shown thinning in people at high risk for depression.

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Searching For Who You Are?

Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. John 17:3

Thought: If you’re searching for who you are but don’t know God, you will never find yourself.

Challenge: Once you find God, you’ll discover His will for you and THEN you will know who you are. Get to know God by praying, reading the Bible and surrounding yourself  with other friends of faith.

Character Development

Your father’s commands are like a lamp. Your mother’s teaching is like a light. And the training that corrects you leads to life. –Proverbs 6:23

Thought: When God develops character, He works on it throughout a lifetime. He’s never in a hurry.

Challenge: When it comes to your Christian character, be patient with the process. Cultivate a habit of doing the little things well, every day. God will transform you throughout your life.

God Knows What We Need

When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly…Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him. -Matthew 6:6,8b

Thought: The best of God always flows through those who leave the choice with Him.

Challenge: When you say your prayers today, instead of telling God what you need, ask Him to provide what He feels is best for you.

Trust: One of the Great Lifebloods of the Spiritual Life

“A blessing on those who put their trust in the Lord, with the Lord for their hope.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8

Of all the many great gifts the Lord gives us, perhaps one of the most precious of all is trust. Trust calms our fears like the soothing words of a parent when a child wakes in the night. Trust brings life to our souls like a full, deep breath of warm spring air. Trust enables us to fly when we think we cannot.

Trust is one of the great lifebloods of the spiritual life. No matter our spiritual outlook or expression, there is always an element of trust involved. We trust that God is real and there for us. We trust that God is active and concerned in our lives. We trust in the power of love to overcome all obstacles.

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Thought of The Day

My dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Don’t let anything move you. Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord. Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless. -1 Corinthians 15:58

Thought: Each of us should be laboring with God to change the world for the better. Are you?

Challenge: We know that God is at work to change the world, and we need to be His hands, feet and voice to accomplish His plan. Have you signed up to be one of God’s laborers? Find a way to serve Him today.