Word of the Day Series

Start your day the Simply Heavenly way by joining me in a Bible study where we read and learn the Word of God!

Simply Heavenly Chicekn Picata

A tasty and healthy treat that you and your family will love to eat!

Jesus is, was and always will be!

Citrus, it's Simply Heavenly!

Read to find out the endless uses for citrus, God's all natural do-it-all wonderfruit!

A River Runs Through Us!

Don't hold back forgiveness..

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night...

TONIGHT I Pray that as you spend time in His Word that your faith is increased. I pray that you would have a Word from the Lord as you meditate on His Scripture. I pray that you will be blessed as you commune with the King of the universe.  Listen to Him and act upon His voice! I pray for heightened sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so that you can be desensitized to every evil and wrong voice. I pray that you will be responsive to the voice of God and will follow where He leads you.  Wait patiently upon the Lord for His timing is perfect. He will help you and guide you so that you can rise above the negative thoughts, images and memories, surpassing the sorrow and sadness of past circumstances. So that you can move on to the better things that He has for you! I pray that as you put the past behind you - you will be able to press on to the mark of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus!! In His Holy Name we pray, Amen and Amen!! I Love you all…  God bless you!!!  ♥♥♥

Word of the Day... November 30, 2014...

Break the Glass!  
    You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. —Psalm 56:8 

When you're hurting and no one else seems to understand, God understands. You can bring a burden before the Lord that may seem insignificant to someone else. Whatever weighs on your heart is a concern to Him, and He wants you to talk to Him about it. As it says in the J. B. Phillips version of 1 Peter 5:7, "You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern."

David understood this when he wrote, "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book," (Psalm 56:8, NLT). That is a wonderful insight into the personal compassion that God has for each and every one of us.

We are prone to only pray about the "big things." We tend to think of prayer as a last resort, like the fire alarms that say, "In case of emergency, break this glass." If it's a little fire, so to speak, we think, I can handle this, and we'll put the fire out. But if half the building is burning, then we go ahead and break the glass.

What is God telling us?
Break the glass.

No matter what it may be, run to Him in prayer. Don't wait for a small thing to become a big thing. Your heavenly Father is interested in every detail of your life. Don't reduce the infinite to the finite by placing a limit on God, because He says, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Genesis 18:14).

Philippians 4:6 tells us, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything" (NLT). Note the word everything. It doesn't say, "Pray about some things." Nor does it say, "Pray about really big things." I checked the original language, and guess what? It says "everything" in Greek and "everything" in English. And that is just what God intended. Pray about everything.  I hope that you enjoyed this devotional as much as I did.  Have a Simply Heavenly day!!  God bless you!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night...

Tonight I Pray that you realize that as a child of God you are HIS for all eternity!!!   No one can deny you that inheritance in heaven.  We are secure in Him. Even if you stumble and falter as you journey through this life, He will never let go of your hand.  I pray that you know that your future is absolutely secure In Jesus!!!  When you can stand on that faith you will be free to live a more abundant life.  The Lord has prepared this day for you and He has taken great care and attention to every detail.  Instead of living each day by trying to fill it up with things to keep you busy, I pray that you pause and rest in the Lord Jesus.  It may sound easy to do, but it takes a deep level of trust and faith on your part.  When you make the decision to step out in that faith you will see that His way is Perfect. I pray that you live in the light of His Presence and when you do His Light will shine brightly through you for the whole world to see…  In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen and Amen….  I Love You all!!  God Bless You!!! ♥♥♥

Word of the Day... November 29, 2014...

Model Citizens
by Skip Heitzig 

I heard a story of three men who were arguing about which profession was the oldest. One of them, a surgeon, said, "The Bible talks about God carving a rib out of Adam to make Eve, so my profession would be the oldest." The second man, an engineer, said, "Well, you know, the Bible also says that God created order out of chaos and made the world. That, my friend, is the job of an engineer." The third guy standing by was a politician. He smiled and said, "Ah! But who created the chaos?"

Politicians get their fair—or unfair—share of jokes, and many people today seem to have an avid dislike and distrust for human government. Many of us are fed up with those who run for office and make promises and then don't fulfill them—or do fulfill the promises we wish they wouldn't. But God invented human government. We see its beginnings in Genesis 9, when He established for the very first time the authority for man to govern himself after the flood. Life started out simple, but rules had to be established early on so society could function smoothly.

God gave humankind the right, the mandate, the power, and the authority from heaven to oversee culture and society. It's that simple. So the point is that you should honor God, who gave that law, by honoring the law and the society that brings that law. Romans 13:1 says, "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God."

When Paul wrote that, who was in charge? Rome. Who was in charge in Rome? Caesar Nero, a horrible dictator. And yet here was Paul saying, "God established human government; every authority that exists, exists from God." It's part of His sovereign plan. "Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works [that is, usually], but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good" (vv. 2-4). Isn't that interesting? Have you ever thought of government officials as being in the ministry? Well, they are. They're God's ministers to you for good.

"Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing" (vv. 5-6). Again, I have a hard time with that one. I don't like to think of the IRS as God's ministers. But it's there: "Render therefore to all their due" (v. 7).

Now, is there ever a time to violate a government's rule? Yes—whenever a government commands us to do what God forbids, or forbids us to do what God commands. We ultimately obey a higher law, and that is God's law.

But even so, we as Christians have a responsibility—and here's the hardest part of the message—to respect, submit to, and pray for human government and authority. We are to be, out of all people, model citizens.  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Word of the Day... November 28, 2014...

Resisting the Devil
"Take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm" (Eph. 6:13).

Spiritual warfare isn’t as much a frontal attack on Satan’s domain as it is the ability to resist his advances.

Spiritual warfare has become a popular topic in recent years. Books, tapes, and seminars on the subject abound, but there is still much confusion. Some say we must rebuke and bind Satan to thwart his power and influence. Others say we must expel demonic spirits through "deliverance ministries." Still others encourage us to band together to aggressively assault the strongholds of supposed territorial demons.

But spiritual warfare isn't an outright frontal attack on the forces of darkness. Scripture says, "Submit . . . to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7); "Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith" (1 Pet. 5:8-9). The idea that Christians have the authority to rebuke or bind Satan is foreign to Scripture. Even Michael the archangel treated him with more respect than that (Jude 9).

Spiritual victory involves submitting to God, pursuing His will, keeping your spiritual armor on, being on the alert for Satan's attacks, and then standing firm and resisting him "in the evil day" (Eph. 6:13).

"Evil day" is a general reference to the sin that exists in this world. As the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), Satan will continue to produce evil until he and his forces are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10-15). Then the evil day will give way to an eternal age of righteousness.

Countless people have pastored churches, taught Sunday School classes, led Bible studies, sung in choirs, and been involved in every conceivable area of ministry only to one day abandon their ministries and embrace the world. Somehow they stopped resisting the devil and lost the courage to stand firm.

How about you? Is your commitment strong? Are you willing to stand firm for the Lord today?  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night...

Tonight I Pray that you realize that God is our strength and our refuge.  He is an ever present help in time of trouble. No matter what may happen He can meet all of our needs.  I pray that as you lie on your face before the Lord that you will find more than you ever dreamed possible. When we come before Him with an attitude of thanksgiving, He will pour out a blessing upon us that will fill us with His joy no matter what we are going through in this life.  For it is under His wings that we will find refuge.  His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. I pray that you don’t try to figure out what is happening.  Instead, simply trust in the Lord and thank Him knowing that only good will come out of it For He has plans for us and they are good.  Oh Lord I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen…  I Love You All!!!  God Bless You!!! 

Word of the Day... November 27, 2014...

    Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 
—2 Corinthians 11:25 

Writing to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul said, in effect, "Trust me. I've been through it. I know more than I ever wanted to know about shipwrecks."

I have never been literally shipwrecked, but I have been through some pretty rough seas. I remember being on one of those Bible study cruises years ago with a group of people from our church. We were trying to have an evening service as the ship bounced and rocked on the choppy waves. People were getting sick and lurching out of the room. Let's just say the pastor gave an early benediction and ended the service before it ever really got started. But that wasn't a shipwreck; it was only rough seas.

We've all had our share of rough seas, haven't we? I've had my share of hardships in life. More than many? Perhaps. But not as many as some. I remember thinking not that long ago that maybe the days of big shipwrecks in my life were over. Oh, I know there always will be some difficulties, challenges, and trials in the Christian life. But I'd found myself hoping that I might somehow escape any big, traumatic events through my remaining years. You know . . . relatively smooth sailing the rest of the way to heaven. But of course, that was not to be with the unexpected death of our oldest son Christopher in July of 2008.

Anyone who has ever done any sailing can tell you how rapidly the weather can change—how quickly you can find yourself facing stiff winds and rising seas. The fact is, we can't know what's ahead of us in life. We can't see the storms that may be churning just over the horizon. But God can!

And what was true for the psalmist in a time of uncertainty and great storms is true for you and me as well: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake. . . . The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress" (Psalm 46:1-3, 7, NIV). I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night...

Tonight I pray that you take the time to seek HIS face so that you will find more then you ever thought possible.  I pray that you let the Lord Jesus displace worry at the center of your being. Allow Him to be your super saturated cloud that rains peace into the pool of your mind. Remember always that it is HIS nature to bless you and your nature is to receive it with Thanksgiving.  I pray that you realize this is the perfect fit for you in your walk with HIM.  I pray that you come to the realization that He is the goal of all of your searching and that when you truly find Jesus you will be totally satisfied!!!  It is when the less important goals in your life take the capture your attention that our Lord fades into the background of your life.  He is still there in the background, watching and waiting; but you function as if you are alone.  I pray that you learn to live in His radiance by expanding your focus to include Him in ALL areas of your life.   Let nothing hinder your search for HIM.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen.  I love you all!!!  God bless you!!!♥♥♥

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Word of the Day... November 26, 2014...

The Fine Art of Blowing It
by Charles R. Swindoll
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

It happens to every one of us. Teachers as well as students. Cops as well as criminals. Bosses as well as secretaries. Parents as well as kids. The diligent as well as the lazy. Not even presidents are immune. Or corporation heads who earn six-figure salaries. The same is true of well-meaning architects and hard-working builders and clear-thinking engineers . . . not to mention pro ball players, politicians, and preachers. 

What? Making mistakes, that's what. Doing the wrong thing, usually with the best of motives. And it happens with remarkable regularity. 

Let's face it, success is overrated. All of us crave it despite daily proof that man's real genius lies in quite the opposite direction. It's really incompetence that we're all pros at. Which brings me to a basic question that has been burning inside me for months: How come we're so surprised when we see it in others and so devastated when it has occurred in ourselves? 

Show me the guy who wrote the rules for perfectionism and I'll guarantee he's a nailbiter with a face full of tics . . . whose wife dreads to see him come home. Furthermore, he forfeits the right to be respected because he's either guilty of not admitting he blew it or he has become an expert at cover-up. 

You can do that, you know. Stop and think of ways certain people can keep from coming out and confessing they blew it. Doctors can bury their mistakes. Lawyers' mistakes get shut up in prison---literally. Dentists' mistakes are pulled. Plumbers' mistakes are stopped. Carpenters turn theirs into sawdust. I like what I read in a magazine recently. 

Just in case you find any mistakes in this magazine, please remember they were put there for a purpose. We try to offer something for everyone. Some people are always looking for mistakes and we didn't want to disappoint you! 

Hey, there have been some real winners! Back in 1957, Ford bragged about "the car of the decade." The Edsel. Unless you lucked out, the Edsel you bought had a door that wouldn't close, a hood that wouldn't open, a horn that kept getting stuck, paint that peeled, and a transmission that wouldn't fulfill its mission. One business writer likened the Edsel's sales graph to an extremely dangerous ski slope. He added that so far as he knew, there was only one case on record of an Edsel ever being stolen. 

And how about that famous tower in Italy? The "leaning tower," almost twenty feet out of perpendicular. The guy that planned that foundation to be only ten feet deep (for a building 179 feet tall) didn't possess the world's largest brain. How would you like to have listed in your resumé, "Designed the Leaning Tower of Pisa"? 

A friend of mine, realizing how adept I am in this business of blowing it, passed on to me an amazing book (accurate, but funny) entitled The Incomplete Book of Failures, by Stephen Pile. Appropriately, the book itself had two missing pages when it was printed, so the first thing you read is an apology for the omission---and an erratum slip that provides the two pages. 

Among the many wild and crazy reports are such things as the least successful weather report, the worst computer, the most boring lecture, the worst aircraft, the slowest selling book, the smallest ever audience, the ugliest building ever constructed, the most chaotic wedding ceremony, and some of the worst statements . . . proven wrong by posterity. Some of those statements, for example, were: 

"Far too noisy, my dear Mozart. Far too many notes." ---The Emperor Ferdinand after the first performance of The Marriage of Figaro 

"If Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is not by some means abridged, it will soon fall into disuse." ---Philip Hale, Boston music critic, 1837 

"Rembrandt is not to be compared in the painting of character with our extraordinarily gifted English artist Mr. Rippingille." ---John Hunt (1775-1848) 

"Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant . . . utterly impossible." ---Simon Newcomb (1835-1909) 

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on their way out." ---Decca Recording Company when turning down the Beatles in 1962 

"You will never amount to very much." ---A Munich schoolmaster to Albert Einstein, aged ten 

And on and on it goes. The only thing we can be thankful for when it comes to blowing it is that nobody keeps a record of ours. Or do they? Or do you with others? 

Come on, ease off. If our perfect Lord is gracious enough to take our worst, our ugliest, our most boring, our least successful, our leaning-tower failures, our Edsel flops, and forgive them, burying them in the depths of the sea, then it's high time we give each other a break. 

In fact, He promises full acceptance along with full forgiveness in print for all to read . . . without an erratum sheet attached. Isn't that encouraging? Can't we be that type of encourager to one another? After all, imperfection is one of the few things we still have in common. It links us close together in the same family! 

So then, whenever one of us blows it and we can't hide it, how about a little support from those who haven't been caught yet?

Oops, correction. How about a lot of support?  The Fine Art of Blowing It.  I hope that you enjoyed this devotional as much as I did.  Have a Simply Heavenly day!!  God bless you!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Word of the Day... November 25, 2014...

Identifying the Real Enemy
"Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

Don’t confuse prisoners of war with the enemy.

Sometimes in the heat of battle we might lose perspective on who the real enemy is. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our struggle isn't against sinful people, but against the evil system and the supernatural forces that influence their attitudes and actions.

In his assault on the kingdom of God, Satan has assembled a highly organized army of fallen angels. Paul categorized them as "rulers . . . powers . . . world forces of this darkness . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).

That isn't a detailed description of Satan's hierarchy but simply a general indication of its power and sophistication. Apparently "rulers" and "powers" are high- ranking demons. "World forces of this darkness" are possibly demons who infiltrate various political systems of the world, attempting to direct human leaders to oppose God's plans. An example is a demon called "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" in Daniel 10:13. He withstood God's angelic messenger to Daniel until Michael the archangel came to the rescue.

"Spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" perhaps refers to demons involved in the most vile and perverted kinds of sins: gross immorality, occultic practices, Satan worship, and the like.

Those who reject Christ and God are unwitting prisoners of war—captured and mobilized by the enemy to accomplish his purposes. Tragically, when he's finished with them he'll abandon them to an eternal hell.

You probably know unbelievers who enjoy ridiculing your faith and making life difficult for you. Although that is hard to take, be patient and don't become embittered toward them. Ask God to make you an instrument of His love as you reach out to them. Also pray that God will remove their spiritual blindness so they can see beyond Satan's lies and recognize their need for a Savior.  I hope that you enjoyed this devotional as much as I did.  Have a Simply Heavenly day!!  God bless you!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Word of the Day... November 24, 2014...

Add No Stumbling Block
Alistair Begg
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies.  Psalm 5:8

The enmity of the world is bitter in its assault against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offense in the followers of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us make it work for us, and since so many are watching for our collapse, let it be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the watching world will soon see it, and multiple tongues will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander.

They will shout triumphantly, "See! See how these Christians act! They are hypocrites to everyone." And so great damage will be done to the cause of Christ, and His name will be greatly maligned. The cross of Christ is in itself an offense to the world; let us take care that we add no offense of our own. It is "a stumbling block to Jews"1: Let us ensure that we put no stumbling blocks where there are enough already. "Folly to Gentiles": let us not add our folly to give apparent reason for the scorn with which the worldly deride the Gospel. How concerned we should be with ourselves! How rigid with our consciences!

In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds and impugn our motives if they cannot censure our actions, we should be circumspect! Like pilgrims we travel under suspicion through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance, but there are more spies than we imagine, at home and at work. If we fall into the enemies' hands, we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf or mercy from a fiend than anything like patience with our infirmities from those who spice their infidelity toward God with scandals against His people. Lord, lead us always; do not allow our enemies to trip us up!  Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies.  Psalm 5:8

The enmity of the world is bitter in its assault against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offense in the followers of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us make it work for us, and since so many are watching for our collapse, let it be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the watching world will soon see it, and multiple tongues will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander.

They will shout triumphantly, "See! See how these Christians act! They are hypocrites to everyone." And so great damage will be done to the cause of Christ, and His name will be greatly maligned. The cross of Christ is in itself an offense to the world; let us take care that we add no offense of our own. It is "a stumbling block to Jews"1: Let us ensure that we put no stumbling blocks where there are enough already. "Folly to Gentiles": let us not add our folly to give apparent reason for the scorn with which the worldly deride the Gospel. How concerned we should be with ourselves! How rigid with our consciences!

In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds and impugn our motives if they cannot censure our actions, we should be circumspect! Like pilgrims we travel under suspicion through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance, but there are more spies than we imagine, at home and at work. If we fall into the enemies' hands, we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf or mercy from a fiend than anything like patience with our infirmities from those who spice their infidelity toward God with scandals against His people. Lord, lead us always; do not allow our enemies to trip us up!  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Word of the Day... November 23, 2014...

by Charles R. Swindoll
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:11-13

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, things are going to be a lot different. The garage won't be full of bikes, electric train tracks on plywood, sawhorses surrounded by chunks of two-by-fours, nails, a hammer and saw, unfinished "experimental projects," and the rabbit cage. I'll be able to park both cars neatly in just the right places, and never again stumble over skateboards, a pile of papers (saved for the school fund drive), or the bag of rabbit food---now split and spilled. Ugh! 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, the kitchen will be incredibly neat. The sink will be free of sticky dishes, the garbage disposal won't get choked on rubber bands or paper cups, the refrigerator won't be clogged with nine bottles of milk, and we won't lose the tops to jelly jars, catsup bottles, the peanut butter, the margarine, or the mustard. The water jar won't be put back empty, the ice trays won't be left out overnight, the blender won't stand for six hours coated with the remains of a midnight malt, and the honey will stay inside the container. 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, my lovely wife will actually have time to get dressed leisurely. A long, hot bath (without three panic interruptions), time to do her nails (even toenails if she pleases!) without answering a dozen questions and reviewing spelling words, having had her hair done that afternoon without trying to squeeze it in between racing a sick dog to the vet and a trip to the orthodontist with a kid in a bad mood because she lost her headgear. 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, the instrument called a "telephone" will actually be available. It won't look like it's growing from a teenager's ear. It will simply hang there . . . silently and amazingly available! It will be free of lipstick, human saliva, mayonnaise, corn chip crumbs, and toothpicks stuck in those little holes. 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, I'll be able to see through the car windows. Fingerprints, tongue licks, sneaker footprints, and dog tracks (nobody knows how) will be conspicuous by their absence. The back seat won't be a disaster area, we won't sit on jacks or crayons anymore, the tank will not always be somewhere between empty and fumes, and (glory to God!) I won't have to clean up dog messes another time. 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, we will return to normal conversations. You know, just plain American talk. "Gross" won't punctuate every sentence seven times. "Yuk!" will not be heard. "Hurry up, I gotta go!" will not accompany the banging of fists on the bathroom door. "It's my turn" won't call for a referee. And a magazine article will be read in full without interruption, then discussed at length without mom and dad having to hide in the attic to finish the conversation. 

SOMEDAY WHEN THE KIDS ARE GROWN, we won't run out of toilet tissue. My wife won't lose her keys. We won't forget to shut the refrigerator door. I won't have to dream up new ways of diverting attention from the gumball machine . . . or have to answer "Daddy, is it a sin that you're driving forty-seven in a thirty-mile-per-hour zone?" . . . or promise to kiss the rabbit goodnight . . . or wait up forever until they get home from dates . . . or have to take a number to get a word in at the supper table . . . or endure the pious pounding of one Keith Green just below the level of acute pain. 

Yes, someday when the kids are grown, things are going to be a lot different. One by one they'll leave our nest, and the place will begin to resemble order and maybe even a touch of elegance. The clink of china and silver will be heard on occasion. The crackling of the fireplace will echo through the hallway. The phone will be strangely silent. The house will be quiet . . . and calm . . . and always clean . . . and empty . . . and filled with memories . . . and lonely . . . and we won't like that at all. And we'll spend our time not looking forward to Someday but looking back to Yesterday. And thinking, "Maybe we can babysit the grandkids and get some life back in this place for a change!" 

Could it be that the apostle Paul had some of this in mind when he wrote: 

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. (Philippians 4:11) 

Maybe so. But then again, chances are good Paul never had to clean up many dog messes.  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night...

TONIGHT I Pray that the Lord to help you to put off anger, loss of temper and bitterness and put on being tenderhearted and sensitive! You may have some obstacles in your path, but the good news is, the Power that is in you is greater than any power that is against you. I pray that the power of the Holy Spirit gives you the power that you need to resist the enemy! The Holy Spirit can conquer all of the storms in your life!!! Take His hand and as you walk with Him be as the birds that fly into the WIND as it pushes against them, it moves them higher into the heavens. That even in the worst storms the Lord will hold you in His arms and allow you to rest in Him.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen…  I Love You All!!!    God bless you!!! <3 span="">

Word of the Day... November 22, 2014...

The Positive Side of Adversity    

    My troubles turned out all for the best--they forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine. —Psalm 119:71–72 

Here's the problem in a nutshell: our definition of good is what benefits us in the here and now, not in our eternal life to come. In other words, we are interested in what will benefit us temporarily, but God is interested in what will benefit us eternally. We are interested in what will make us happy for a while, but God is far more interested in what will make us holy.

So here is the key. Jesus loves us, and He wants to be glorified through our lives. In view of that reality, He won't always remove suffering because it can make us stronger and bring us closer to Him. Even though we would never choose it, suffering can give us a greater platform for glorifying God and pointing others toward Him.

Adversity levels us and keeps us humble. Success or prosperity has a tendency to make people proud and self-sufficient. We may not feel an overwhelming need for God when we have our salary, our investments, our career, our 401k, our homes, our health, and our family. But when the economy goes south or the stock market crashes or our home burns, we have the opportunity to turn back to God with all our hearts, being reminded of what really matters in life.

The truth is, you and I shouldn't always be so afraid of pain. There's something worse than pain: it is a prosperity that leads us to forget about God.

Adversity teaches us eternal truths we might not otherwise learn. For most of us, our basic objective in life is to avoid pain at all costs. Bottom line, we just want to dodge pain whenever we can. We want to get into better shape and look cool in our new gym outfit, but we don't want to sweat and strain.

No pain, no gain? Alas, it's true. And what is true of the gym or health club is also true of life. Our pain reminds us of a deeper need: the need for God in our lives. And God will teach us lessons in those valleys that we never would have learned on mountaintops.
I hope that you enjoyed this devotional as much as I did.  Have a Simply Heavenly day!!  God bless you!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Word of the Day... November 21, 2014...

Two Homes, Two Foundations    
 We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. —Acts 14:22 

We don't always like to read a verse like that. We would rather the passage read, "Through many days of perpetual happiness we enter the kingdom of God." But that isn't Scripture, and that isn't life. Trials and tribulations will come. Job said it well: "Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble" (Job 14:1, NIV).

Jesus once told a story about two men who built two homes. They may have been built at the same time, close together, and even with the same floor plan. One of the builders, however, erected his home on shifting sand, while the other built on a stable rock foundation.

Then the storms came, hitting both of those houses—hard! The house that had been built on sand collapsed and fell in upon itself, while the one built on the rock stood firm. The obvious moral of the story is to build your life on a foundation that will last, like the one we find in the pages of God's Word.

But here's an application we sometimes miss: The storm came to both lives. The wind beat on both houses. The rain poured on both building sites. The man who was wise and carefully chose a stable foundation got hit with the same hurricane-force winds as the man who foolishly took shortcuts and didn't bother to plan ahead.

We all will experience storms in life. Good things will happen to us as well as tragic and inexplicable things. Every life will have its share of pain. Even so, we have a God who, despite the worst tragedy, can bring good out of bad. That is not to say that God will make bad good because bad is bad. But it is to say that good can come out of bad. As Romans 8:28 affirms, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV).

Life is a process, and as finite beings who live moment to moment, we can't see around the bend. We can't discern God's ultimate purposes. But we can know that the ultimate result will be good . . . because He is good.  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!  God bless you!!! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Word of the Day... November 20, 2014...

"So That We Can Comfort Others"    
Experience shows that the more we share Christ's suffering the more we are able to give of his encouragement. —2 Corinthians 1:5 

If someone just found out they have cancer and you are a cancer survivor, you have no idea how much encouragement and perspective you can bring to such a person, who feels as though he or she has been handed a death sentence.

If you have alcoholism in your past, and God has graciously delivered you from that plague and kept you from falling back into it again, your life can bring great hope to someone still in the grip of the addiction.

Or maybe a couple you know lost a child through illness or some terrible accident, and they are walking on the ragged edge of sanity, feeling like they can't go on another minute, much less another day. If you have lost a child in the past and God has brought you healing, you can come along and say, "We lost a child, too, and it was the hardest thing that ever happened to us. Though we still mourn that child, and though we're still dealing with it and miss him every single day, we want you to know that God can help you each step of the way. His grace really will be sufficient for you."

You have no idea how much comfort that can bring. And it would be something that only you could say. No one else could say those words with the same kind of credibility.

The apostle Paul, who had his own serious issues with suffering, as I have said, wrote, "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, NLT).

God will give you that comfort—over and beyond what you can personally contain—so that you can share it with others.  I love that the Lord allowed me to go through lung cancer.  It has opened the door to sharing the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ with many.  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your Love Guard Me Through The Night....

TONIGHT I Pray that every counsel, design, plan, desire, expectation, imagination, device and activity of the enemy against your life be rendered null and void!!!  We can’t reach our highest potential in our own ability. It’s going to take the Most High God breathing in our direction, making a way where it looks like there is no way.  Don’t let the giant problems, restrictions, or even legitimate excuses deter your dreams and overpower your passions. Go for what God has placed in your heart!  I pray that every power prolonging any battle in your life to receive permanent defeat in Jesus’ name! I pray that the spirit of fear and worry is overturned!  I pray that you move forward in the name of Jesus Christ and walk in the light of His great Love!!!  Be Blessed!!!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen. I love you all. God bless you!!!♥♥♥

Word of the Day... November 19, 2014...

The Clock Is Ticking    
 A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God. —Luke 12:21 

A watchmaker who built grandfather clocks inscribed these words on every clock he built: "Lo, here I stand by thee upright to give thee warning day and night, for every tick that I do click cuts short the time thou hast to live."

Jesus told the story of a rich farmer who enjoyed great success. Reflecting on his accomplishments, he said, "I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I'll sit back and say to myself, 'My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!' " (Luke 12:18-19, NLT). But God told him, "You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?" (verse 20, NLT).

We can find some commendable things about this rich man. He was a hardworking farmer. He probably would have had to work longer and get up earlier and expend more energy than the other farmers of his day to achieve such success. But his mistake wasn't in being successful in his work. His mistake wasn't even in acquiring possessions. His mistake was failing to make plans for eternity. He was living large. But he forgot that the clock was ticking, that life was passing by.

And this man who died, leaving all his possessions behind, is like many people today. They just want to enjoy the moment. "Take it easy!" they say. "Eat, drink, and be merry!" Yet God says that is not the way to live.

In Psalm 10, the psalmist describes an arrogant, wicked man. One of the most striking things he says about this man is in verse 4: "In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God" (NIV).

That says it so well, doesn't it? There was no room for God, no room for the Creator, Lord, and Savior in all this man's many thoughts about this and that.

Our lives on this earth may be very brief, but when we fill our thoughts with the eternal God and His purposes, we prepare ourselves for an endless life in His presence. I loved this devotional today from Pastor Greg!!!  I always want to make sure that there is always room for the Lord in my life.  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Word of the Day... November 17, 2014...

You Belong to Him    
    Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me. 
—Acts 27:23 

Paul spoke of "the God to whom I belong." In Song of Solomon we read, "My beloved is mine, and I am His" (2:16). As a Christian, you belong to the Lord. You are His.

There are a number of analogies the Lord uses to show how we belong to God. For instance, we are called "the bride of Christ."

My bride is Cathe. I call her my wife, and she calls me her husband. She belongs to me, and I belong to her. That is just the way it works. We belong to each other.
The Bible also compares us to sheep that belong to a shepherd. In John chapter 10, Jesus affirmed that He is the Good Shepherd and that we are His sheep. Sometimes we romanticize these wooly little animals, sheep. They look so charming out there in the green grass, under the watchful eye of the shepherd. But we should also bear in mind that they are some of the stupidest animals on the face of the earth. It should not inflate you with pride to hear that you are compared to dumb, defenseless sheep.

We are also compared to children belonging to a father. Romans 8:15 says, "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' " Abba was an affectionate cry of a Hebrew child. Even if you go to Israel today, you will hear little children crying out, "Abba" to their fathers. We might say, "Daddy" or "Papa." It's a close, affectionate, endearing term. And we have that kind of access and closeness with our Father God.

I belong to God. I've been bought and paid for, and I am His.

I heard the story of an older gentleman who was known for his godly life. Someone once asked him, "Old man, what do you do when you get tempted?"

He smiled and replied, "Well, I just look up to heaven and say, 'Lord, your property is in danger.' "

You are God's bride. You are His sheep. You are His child. You are His property. And like Paul, you, too, can say, "I belong to God."  I love belonging to God!!!  I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!!  God bless you!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Word of the Day... November 16, 2014...

Speak Out
by Skip Heitzig

When President John F. Kennedy was shot in 1963, it took the world about two to three hours to get the news. In 1999, when John Kennedy, Jr. was killed in a plane crash, it took the world two to three minutes to get the news. Jesus died on a cross two thousand years ago, and a huge part of the world still hasn't heard the message of redemption. Part of engaging the world with God's truth is vocally sharing a witness—what Peter called giving every person "a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).

In the second half of Daniel 2, the young prophet Daniel spoke out to King Nebuchadnezzar about a dream the king had—a remarkable dream that took a sweep of the future all the way to the second coming of Christ. Let's consider four ways that Daniel spoke and how they can guide our own interactions with unbelievers.

Number one: Daniel spoke out with authority: "I will tell the king the interpretation" (v. 24); "This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it" (v. 36); "The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure" (v. 45). There was a ring of authority in his voice. Why? Because this was the Word of God he was speaking. And by authority, I don't mean arrogance—I mean confidence. Confidence comes from the fact that the message you share is God's truth. The most effective people in sharing their faith are those who are confident in believing their faith. And so it was with Daniel.

Number two: Daniel spoke out with humility (see vv. 26-30). Daniel knew what the king had dreamed and what it meant; he easily could have said, "I happen to be the wisest guy on earth." But instead he said, "There's a God in heaven who knows everything. I'm not better, smarter, or wiser than anybody else." When you speak to an unbeliever, humility is so important. Listen to the other person. Find out what their questions and concerns are. Give them the truth in doses. Don't point to yourself; point to God.

Number three: Daniel spoke out with accuracy—what he interpreted as prophecies actually happened in the course of history (see vv. 31-45). Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a polymetallic statue of a man represented different rules of humankind: Nebuchadnezzar's (see vv. 37-38), the Medo-Persian Empire (see v. 39), Alexander the Great's empire (see v. 39), and the Roman Empire (see vv. 40-43). But the best part is the last part—the everlasting kingdom: "In the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (v. 44). This is Christ's kingdom, which will also come to pass; it's only a matter of time.

Number four: Daniel spoke out with victory. Let verses 46 and 47 just wash over you. Here was a pagan, polytheistic king making a confession of faith—however deep or shallow—that all of his gods were wrong and that he believed in Daniel's God. All because Daniel dared to speak God's truths in a pagan culture to a pagan king.

Here's the takeaway: you don't have to be afraid of truth. God's straight truth is mightier than the Devil's crooked lies. I understand that not everybody is vocal. We're not all wired that way. But I challenge you to get out of your comfort zone.

God has come with a message of freedom: two thousand years ago, His Son died on the cross to take away punishment, to open up the doors of heaven, and to give us everlasting life. That's not just good news, that's great news! I pray that the Lord would help us boldly engage in intelligent conversation and, by Spirit-led persuasion, reason with those in the world about these truths that are so precious.

I loved this devotional today from Pastor Skip Heitzig!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Word of the Day... November 15, 2014...

Beauty for Ashes    
    To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. —Isaiah 61:3 

I have been amazed at the testimonies of some people when they tell me the way they used to be. I've looked at them and thought, There is no way they used to be that way. Jesus Christ has so radically changed them.

Isaiah 61:3-4 promises that God "will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago" (NLT).

For the person who has made a mess of his or her life—a pile of ashes, so to speak—God says, "I will bring beauty." For those who mourn because of the wrongs they have done and the sins they have committed, God says, "I will bring joy out of it."

Only God can take a tangled mess of a life, turn it around, and transform it in such a way that you wouldn't even know that individual used to be a very different person. Not only that, but such a transformation gives hope to others who may still despair over the condition of their lives.

If you come to Christ and say, "Lord, here I am. Forgive me of my sin," He can transform you and change you. He can take your mistakes and your sins, turn them around, and even use them for His glory. When you commit your life to Christ, putting the broken, stained, twisted pieces into His hand, He will transform it into a thing of beauty.  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Word of the Day... November 14, 2014...

Going . . . Not Knowing,
 Part Two
by Charles R. Swindoll
“I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.
I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.”   Isaiah 42:16

Yesterday we read about two great men of the faith, Abraham and the apostle Paul, who set out into the great unknown out of obedience to God. It is no easy thing to leave a sure thing, walk away from an ace in the hole, and start down a long, dark tunnel with no end in sight. Absolutely frightening . . . yet filled with unimaginable excitement. Going . . . yet not knowing. Obeying . . . yet not understanding. Beginning a journey that is unpredictable, risky, untried, and appearing virtually insane---yet prompted by none other than the Lord Himself. 

Like the competent Christian businessman I spoke to who left a secure $100,000-a-year position to enter a whole new career without training or expertise in the field. After he learns the ropes he may (repeat, may) gross $20,000 if things fall together. "Why?" I asked. With incredible assurance he answered, "One word---God." I've seldom seen a person more confident, more fulfilled.

Are you on the verge of such a decision? Is the Lord loosening your tent pegs today, suggesting it's time for you to take a drastic leap of faith? Are you counting on Him to direct your steps through a future that offers no tangible map? Great! But before you jump, be sure of four things: 

Be sure it's the Lord who is speaking. 
Be sure the decision doesn't contradict Scripture. 
Be sure your motive is unselfish and pure. 
Be sure the "leap" won't injure others or your testimony. 
Sometimes it helps to remember what God calls us during our short stint on Planet Earth: strangers and pilgrims. People on the move, living in tents, free and unencumbered, loose and available, ready to roll, willing to break the mold---whenever and wherever He leads. Regardless.  I loved this devotional today and learned so much!!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Word of the Day... November 13, 2014...

Going . . . Not Knowing, 
Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll
Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.  Genesis 12:1-5

The statement recurs through Scripture like a repeating telegraph signal on a high frequency radio band. Sometimes faint, barely discernible---sometimes strong, clear. Over and over. Paul made the statement as he was saying goodbye to a group of friends standing with him on an Asian beach. Several of the men wept freely, realizing they would never see the missionary again. The aging apostle looked from man to man, holding each one's eyes for a brief moment. Then, looking out to sea with his weathered hand pointing south to the stormy skies above the Mediterranean, he voiced these words: 

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. (Acts 20:22 NIV) 

What an honest admission! 

I am going . . . not knowing what will happen . . . 

That's what this thing called the Christian life is all about, isn't it? Going . . . yet not knowing. As followers of our Lord we believe He leads us in a certain direction . . . or in pursuit of a precise goal. That leading is unmistakably clear. Not necessarily logical or explainable, but clear. At least to us. So---out of sheer obedience---we go. We pack our bags, pull up stakes, bid our friends farewell, and strike out. We face a future as uncertain as our leading is sure. How strange . . . yet how typical! 

There isn't a Christian reading my words who hasn't walked that path. And struggled with ways to convince others it was right. And endured the frowns and well-meaning counsel of those who tried to point out why the idea was a fluke . . . even downright foolish. 

For sure Abraham faced it when he wrenched up roots from his hometown soil and struck out for---let's see, where was he going? He didn't know! There he was, almost seventy-five years old, loading up a camel caravan with his wife and family bound for . . . somewhere. Hebrews 11:8 puts it straight: 

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out . . . not knowing where he was going. 

"Abraham, what are you doing?" asked a neighbor. 
"I'm packing." 
"That's right. We're moving." 
"Why? Why in the world would you want to leave Ur?" 
"God has made it clear that I should go." 
"God, huh? You've been talking to Him again?" 
"Right. He told me to leave. I must go." 
"Well, where are you going?" 
"I don't know. He didn't tell me that." 
"Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. You know you oughta go, but you don't know much beyond that, huh?" 
"That says it pretty well." 
"Wow . . . that's all I can say . . . wow. God sure gets blamed for a lot of stuff He doesn't have anything to do with. You know, man, some of us have been a little bit worried about the way you've been acting lately. Up to now, it's just been a little strange . . . but this, Abraham . . . this takes you off the end of the pier. It's like everyone's saying---you really are off the deep end!" 

And so it goes. Who hasn't stepped off the end of the dock to stride on faith footing? Abraham and Paul did it. And, sooner or later, all of us will be called to do it. Are you on the verge of such a decision? Tomorrow, I'll give you some things to ponder before you jump.  I loved this devotional today and I can’t wait for tomorrows!!  I hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Word of the Day... November 12, 2014....

The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence Psalm 11:5

All events are under the control of providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are ultimately traceable to God our Father. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies of trial march in rank, clad in their iron armor and armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to testing. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in prosperous seas as easily as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: Trials lurk at every turn. Everywhere, above and below, we are confronted and surrounded with danger. Still no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order before it arrives on the earth.

The trials that come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces and immediately illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues and to add to their energy. Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love sets such a high value upon His people's faith that He will not protect them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith that now supports you if the trial of your faith had not put you through the fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted as well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro and made you take a firm hold upon the precious truths of God's gracious covenant.

Worldly ease is a great enemy to faith; it loosens the joints of holy zeal and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction provides this service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk, it is useless to us; it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is good that the Lord tests the righteous, for it causes them to grow rich toward God. I really enjoyed this devotional from Alistair Begg.  I hope that you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!  God bless you!!!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Word of the Day... November 11, 2014

"I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month in 1918 when the world celebrated as a treaty was signed ending what was to be "the war to end all wars" - World War I.

One year later, on what came to be known as Armistice Day, Americans came together to remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women who served during the war. Soldiers who survived the war marched in parades and were honored by speeches and ceremonies recognizing their contribution to peace throughout the world. 

Congress declared Armistice Day a national holiday in 1938. By this time, with unrest in much of the world, Americans realized World War I would not be the last war. After the Second World War, which was even bloodier than the first, Armistice Day continued to be observed. In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to include veterans of all United States wars.
Today, Americans honor the service and sacrifice of our armed forces in the past as well as the present on Veterans Day. The official, national ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. A color guard representing all the branches of the military executes "Present Arms" at the tomb, a Presidential wreath is placed on the graves, and a bugler plays "taps."

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13

I am so thankful for all of the brave men and women who put their lives on the line everyday so that we can say what we please and make choices for our lives.  In many countries around the world you can’t do that.  Freedom isn’t free and our freedom has been paid for by the blood and lives of many brave young men and women who serve our country valiantly!!  May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Word of the Day... November 10, 2014...

True Friendship
by Skip Heitzig 

One of the greatest things you could call somebody is your friend. I know sometimes we picture in our minds this sort of Lone Ranger mentality in the people God uses: "Oh, Paul the apostle was just out there by himself." Baloney! Paul had a team; think Barnabas, for example. The apostles Peter, James, and John were often together. There was Ruth and Naomi, Aquila and Priscilla. They all formed great teams. One of the first things God said after creation was, "It is not good that man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18). We need to develop relationships and friendships in order to grow emotionally and spiritually. I want to look specifically at the friendship between David and Jonathan and explore four facets of their friendship that we should practice in our own lives.

The first facet is initiative. As Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly." In 1 Samuel 17:57-18:4, we read about how King Saul's son Jonathan first met David after the defeat of Goliath. Jonathan was so impressed with David that "the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David.... Then Jonathan and David made a covenant.... And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt" (18:1, 3-4). When Jonathan made that covenant and gave those things to David, he did not choose to have a friend as much as he chose to be a friend. When people see that you're willing to step out and invest yourself, they're going to respond to that.

The second facet is encouragement. After their covenant was made, Jonathan gave David something that was very precious. He was in essence saying, "I know that you're next on the throne, even though I should be. I know you are called by God. You take these things. You deserve them." Through the act of giving, Jonathan was both acknowledging that David was God's chosen one and encouraging him in that.

The third facet is support. Soon after the defeat of Goliath, Saul became bent on David's destruction, but Jonathan stuck up for David and put his life on the line for him (see 1 Sam. 19:1-5). Why? First Samuel 19:1 says Jonathan "delighted greatly in David," or prized him immensely. Jonathan had everything to lose, but he valued David's friendship enough to put his own reputation on the line and speak up for him. Proverbs 18:24 in the Message says, "Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family"—ready to support, ready to hold you up.

The fourth facet of friendship is risk. After David had fled from Saul, in 1 Samuel 20, Jonathan tested Saul to see if he still sought to kill David. Eventually, "Saul cast a spear at [Jonathan] to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David" (v. 33). What a risk! But by it, Jonathan was able to let David know that Saul was still after his life.

The real secret of Jonathan and David's friendship was that both of them had a heart for the Lord. As they said goodbye to each other, Jonathan told David, "Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, 'May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever'" (1 Sam. 20:42). They both loved God.

Let me close with two thoughts. First, make sure your best friend is Jesus. Then, develop friendships that have these four facets. Be a Jonathan to somebody. You might say, "I don't have anything to offer." Oh, yes, you do. You're redeemed, right? You're forgiven, right? You have the Holy Spirit living in you, right? You have certain gifts of the Spirit; all of us do as believers in Christ. When you take a risk and step out to be a Jonathan to somebody, that's when your life really opens up.

I love this devotional from Pastor Skip I want to be a Nathan and be open to what the Lord has for me.  I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!!  God bless you!!!  


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