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Jesus I Need You

I came across this wonderful song that reminded me a little bit of the devotional thought this week about depending on the Lord. Part of the lyrics say, “Christ before me, Christ behind me”. We should always be keeping the Lord God before us as we navigate the troubled waters of this life. We should also be keeping the Lord behind us as we allow Him to heal painful pasts full of regret, guilt and shame. He is always the Lord of our future as well as our past.

Songwriters: Brooke Ligertwood / Jarrad Leith Rogers / Reuben Morgan / Scott Ross Ligertwood

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Spiritual Health

I just finished reading through the book of Daniel. Daniel was someone who knew God and didn’t allow what was going on in the world of his time to dictate to him whom he should be worshiping/following.

In the beginning of the book we see that Daniel was brought into the king’s palace for the specific purpose of entering into the king’s service, Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king” (Daniel 1:3-5).

How does Daniel react to his new lot in life? “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank.” Daniel knew he shouldn’t be eating the king’s food and decides to take a bold step in asking to be allowed to go against the king’s wishes in order to obey the Lord, “Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8).

Not only does Daniel ask this but he is secure enough in what he believes that he asks this request of the steward in charge of them, “‘Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.’ So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables” (Daniel 1:8, 11-16).

Daniel and his companions were healthier than everyone else because they didn’t defile themselves with the king’s food. Not only were they healthier but the Lord God gave these men, “every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom” (Daniel 1:20).

I’m not going to make this about what we should or shouldn’t eat. The point I wanted to make today is that sometimes we have to do what God wants us to do and not what the world thinks we should do in order to remain spiritually healthy. We can’t gorge on the pleasures of this world and maintain good spiritual health. I know this isn’t easy because sometimes it requires us to stand alone, to be different and do the opposite of what the world says we should be doing.

I will leave you with this one last verse that I hope will serve as both a reminder and a source of encouragement today, Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (I Timothy 4:7-8).

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Depending Upon the Lord

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we depend on education, we get what education can do; when we depend on man, we get what man can do; but when we depend upon prayer, we get what God can do.” – A. C. Dixon

I love the reminder that we shouldn’t depend on anything but the Lord our God.

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Follow The Son

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Over the weekend my daughter and I took a photo walk through the Sunflower Festival near our house. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers because they seem so bright and cheery. I can’t help but smile when I see one.

Here are a few fascinating fact about sunflowers that we can apply to our lives:

Growing sunflowers always face the sun during the day. These young flowers will literally follow the sun as it moves across the sky. They have a similar internal clock as we do called circadian rhythms. It is “the behavioral changes tied to an internal clock . . . , which follows a roughly 24 hour cycle.” What is fascinating about this is that it faces east in the morning because the growth rate is higher in the morning and will follow the sun as it moves across the sky towards the west when the growth rate is higher at night.

Mature sunflowers respond differently to the sun. As their growth process slows down their circadian rhythm makes sure that the plant responds more strongly to the morning sun. This is why it stops following the sun across the sky. Some of the plants will turn west and stay that way but researches have discovered that the east facing plants attract five times as many helpful pollinators as the west facing plants. The reason? The east facing plants heat up faster which attracts bees quicker.

These plants instinctively know that they need the sun to grow. Not only do they need the sun to grow but they also know the importance of spreading and growing newer plants

As we mature spiritually we learn the importance of always facing the Son. We know we have to constantly read and memorize His Word as well as spend time with Him in prayer. It is only when we maintain our relationship with Jesus that we can be more effective in spreading the Good News to others.

Let us be like these beautiful flowers and never take our eyes off the Son.

(Note: Quote taken from The Mystery Of Why Sunflowers Turn To Follow The Sun.)