The Light of the World

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
– ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬‬ NIV

Sometimes during a bad storm, the power goes out. There’s a storm going on, and we’re surrounded by the darkness. What is the first thing we do?

We want to find our way to a source of light! A cell phone, a flashlight, a candle…
And even though a storm is raging all around us, we feel a little bit of relief when we have that source of light in our hand. Eventually the storm will pass, and the sun will shine again.

Jesus is that source of light for all the storms we face in the world. When we feel surrounded by the darkness of our problems, our worries, and our mistakes, He can bring us back into the light and restore peace where there was turmoil. If we continue to follow Him, we never have to feel alone in the dark again.

When I feel the darkness closing in, I will pray…

Dear God, thank You for bringing hope when I am in despair. You light up the darkness in my life. You turn my pain into contentment, peace, and even joy! Please shine your light on the choices that I make today. I want to reflect Your light for others to see, so that You may also chase their darkness away. Amen

A Future and a Hope

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
– ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬‬ NLT

No matter where we are or what we are going through, it is important to realize that God has a beautiful plan for our future. He promises that His plans will enrich our lives. That we will flourish. Through our faith in Him, we have hope.

But how do I know what  this big plan for my life is? How do I know if I’m doing what God has planned for me?

– Start by praying. Ask God to reveal his plan for your life.
– Open your eyes to what is going on around you. God has placed you there for a reason.
– Continue praying. You may not be immediately enlightened after one prayer. Keep praying, and ask God to help you follow His plan.
– Spend time with God every day. Go to church. Join a Bible study group. Read the Bible. Follow a reading plan. Pray. Make it a habit to bring him into your day.
– Try to live your life like Christ every minute of every day. Look for opportunities to share His love with every step you take. Even if you can’t see the “Big Picture” of His plan for you, you know that you are on the right path if you think this way.
– Hope. It’s a part of His plan. Wherever you find yourself, let this hope anchor you and keep you holding onto Him.

Lord, I know that you created me for a purpose. Please help me discover your plan for me.
Amen

Wherever You Go

No matter how isolated we feel sometimes, we are never alone.
At times, we focus on the obstacles that we see before us, and we think that we don’t have the strength to overcome them. But some of the biggest obstacles that we face are our own fears and doubts.
God wants us to be confident and lean into HIS strength at these times.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Joshua had a job to do, and God was telling him not to let his fear get in the way of that – just as we ALL have a purpose in life that God is leading us into if we are courageous enough to follow.
Be confident that He will be with you every step you take.

The Best Pathway For Your Life

“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sometimes we want to experience what life could be like outside of the path that God has set for us. We wonder what we could be missing out on if we stay on His path.
Security?
Financial gain?
Excitement?
Happiness?
Fun?
Popularity?
But God says that He will guide us along “the BEST pathway for your life.” The best! God doesn’t want us to live miserable lives. It’s easy to get sidetracked and pulled away from the path we set out on, by the temptations of having more. More fun. More happiness. More of what everyone else has. But the important question is: what could we be losing if we choose another path?

Sometimes we get scared and and we want to protect ourselves, so we choose a route that looks safer. We let our fear lead us down a different path instead of having faith that God is watching over us like He says He will. Staying on His path is declaring that my God is stronger than my fears!

Sometimes we think we know what’s best and we choose to rely on our own efforts instead of relying on God. We let our pride lead us down a different path. It’s okay to put in extra hours to save up and buy a new car or to have a strong work ethic and work towards that promotion that you’ve been wanting. But we have to humble ourselves and admit that God’s path is always the best path and our strength comes from him.

Sometimes we want to find a shortcut and we think we can find a quicker or easier way than what God has planned for us. If we take an alternate route to avoid one obstacle, we are bound to come across others eventually. No matter how many times we branch off of His path, we are not getting any closer to a life free of all obstacles or worry. We are only taking ourselves farther away from everything he intends for us to gain in His timing.

Sometimes we just want to be alone, away from people who hurt us, so we turn down a path of isolation, thinking that if we don’t let anyone close to us, then no one can hurt us. But God doesn’t want us to live our lives alone. He made us to love. If we close ourselves off from being hurt, we close ourselves off from being loved. When we choose to isolate ourselves and push others away, we are only thinking of ourselves. Our hurt. Our pain. Our sadness. Our frustration. We are holding onto the past, when God wants us to let it go and be made new. He wants our hearts to be open and loving. In fact, he COMMANDS it. And if we truly want to serve God, we come to realize that we do so by serving others.

Sometimes we want a change in our life. We want to do something adventurous and different, so we choose a dark and scary path. We follow others who seem to have a much more interesting life than anything we have experienced, thinking that we know where to draw the line. We tell ourselves that it’s okay – we won’t stray TOO far from His path. But one small decision at a time, we find ourselves farther and farther away. It is perfectly fine to assess our lives and see what we can improve. But it is important to seek these new exciting hobbies and friendships on His terms! Find a group of people who will walk His path WITH you – not lead you away! Allowing Him to guide you will lead you to new happiness, new excitement, and new LIFE that you never imagined was possible when all you could see was the thrill of earthly treasures.

There are so many paths available for us to take, but the danger is the same for all of them. If we step off the path He has set, we could lose ourselves. Those paths can lead to pain, shame, and a world of darkness and loneliness. We can hurt the people who care about us and who want to see us succeed when we walk away from His guidance.

Dear Lord, Thank you for watching over me and leading me along the best pathway for my life. Please help me to stay on this path and not be distracted. Open my eyes so that I may see your path before me and follow where you lead, no matter what decisions I face. Amen

Precious

After Noah showed God his respect and gratefulness, God was pleased. In fact, He immediately began blessing Noah and his sons.
He said that He would never again curse the ground because of us, even knowing full well that it is our nature to sin.
His love for us is so great that he wanted to fill the Earth with us again.
He gave us meat to eat. That may seem insignificant to us these days, but this is a gift that He had not offered before.
He made it clear how precious our lives are to Him when he said that he would demand an accounting for the life of a fellow human.
He established a covenant with Noah, and He put a rainbow in the sky, because He wants us to see this symbol of His love. He has the power to take away everything we have, even our very lives, in the blink of an eye, but He chooses to show us His love instead.

Look at how much has changed in God’s view of us, as humans, from the beginning of Noah’s story through to the covenant. He looked at us and regretted that he had ever made us at all. But this one man was so faithful, so full of love, devotion, and gratefulness, that God looked at us as precious again. He wants to give us the world!
He wants us to love Him and honor Him, like Noah did.
He wants us to show that we are devoted and grateful.

Dear God,
I fall on my knees, thanking You for Your love and Your grace that I could never earn. Thank You for never giving up on me, even when I give up on myself. I am so grateful for the relationship that we are building stronger each day, and for everything that You are teaching me as I draw closer to You. Please open my eyes so that I may see every opportunity to honor You and to show my devotion to You.
Amen ❤️