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The Hebrew word for the Jewish people is Yehudim. It means praise, thanksgiving and worship. A Jewish existence is that of praise and worship, thankful for all they have. How then did the name, Jew, become a profane term or a curse word? Because of sin–our own selfish, self-centered choices to live for ourselves and not God.

Jesus’ life as King of the Jews is a perfect example of Yehudim–praise, thanksgiving and worship. Yet, He was hated, persecuted and finally crucified. The sign over His head on the cross said, “King of the Jews,” and that is what He was/is. Jesus lived and taught what it is like to live for God. He lived a life of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus’ life was that of praise and worship. Even in death on the cross He glorified the Father in Heaven. His resurrection was an act of giving and faithfulness.


Jesus was not destroyed by all the evil attempts on His life. He overcame evil with good. He blessed those who cursed Him. He even died for their forgiveness. If this is how Jesus lived, believers are called to live by His example. We are to be Yehudim–praising and worshiping God, thankful for all we have.


Thank you Father God for Jesus. Help us to live our lives by His example and teaching. Empower us with your strength and boldness to stand firm in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Help with an Attitude Adjustment

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Are you easily controlled by your circumstances? Then I have good news for you. Things that happen in our lives are not always fun or pleasant, but there is a way to change how we respond.

We have three incredible resources–time spent in the presence of the Lord, our Bible and the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Making good use of these changes our perspective in nine ways as we develop the gift of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

  1. Love–Freely we have received God’s love and freely we should give love to others.
  2. Joy–A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).
  3. Peace–The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
  4. Patience–Be patient with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).
  5. Kindness–Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).
  6. Goodness–Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act (Proverbs 3:27).
  7. Gentleness–Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near (Philippians 4:5).
  8. Faithfulness–Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other (Psalm 85:10).
  9. Self-Control–Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city (Proverbs 16:32).


I don’t always wake up with joy, but when I open my devotional guide, my heart begins to say, “I love you Jesus.” As I linger in God’s presence, my composure changes and the day has a beautiful beginning. However, things happen during the day, sometimes hurtful or frustrating things, and I have to pray for an attitude adjustment. God is faithful. His mercies are new every day.


Thank you, Lord, for your love, your presence and your word. Let these change the way we respond to challenges we face each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Unscripture in Scripture

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What do you see when you read the Bible? Letters? Words? What else do you see? White space. Without the white space, you would not be able to read the words. The white space is important for us to see God’s words and to apply them to our lives. We could even admit that the white space, the unscripture, is sacred, couldn’t we?

Paul said, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts,” (Colossians 3:16).


By reading and knowing God’s word and spending time with Him in prayer, we become the sacred white space, the unscripture, in our world. God’s word written on our hearts manifests itself in gifts of the Spirit–Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). This can make a great difference where we live. Our nature will be in contrast to the fear, anxiety, anger, malice, and destruction that surround us. Love instead of anger, faith instead of fear, kindness and goodness instead of malice. What will you do today to manifest God’s spirit where you live?


O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name! How glorious is your word and your ways! Be born in us today so others will know your love and compassion, your mercy and gentleness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

A Touch of Spring

Garvan Woodland Gardens, AR

The daffodils and tulips that grow in the cold and darkness of winter bud and blossom in the Spring. We welcome their color with joy and anticipation of warmer days and the flowers to come–roses, camellias, azaleas, crepe myrtles, hydrangeas and gardenias, to mention a few. It’s like the earth is casting away the old and putting on the new.

Our lives as Christians have a touch of Spring when we put away the old sinful nature that grew in our own darkness–things like anger, fear, anxiety, malice, destruction, greed–and we put on the new, forgiven life, a fulfilled life, knowing our God is always with us, always blessing us. A God who never sleeps or slumbers.


Like the flowers, we bear fruit that attracts others to us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit makes us love others and do good, even to those who don’t like us. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38). How will the world know about God’s love unless we love them? How will you use your gifts and callings to reach a world that desperately needs Jesus?


Thank you, Lord, for the loveliness of Spring. Let it be born in us so others might experience your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

You Are Salt

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Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13).

The verse comes from the Sermon on the Mount after Jesus talks about people who are blessed. In other words, we are blessed to be blessings. So what does salt have to do with blessings?

Salt is used to preserve food, enhance the flavor of food and for healing. When I am sick, I crave salty foods. Properties from the Salt Sea, also known as the Dead Sea, are used for medicinal purposes.

Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, but if we lose our saltiness, we are good for nothing. Yikes! How do we stay salty? First of all, we live in a dark and sinful world where many people have lost hope. It is God’s plan for us to inspire and encourage those in despair by the way we live. I pray for opportunities to recognize people who need a smile, a hug, a listening ear or help. We don’t have to force the action. God provides the opportunities. They are everywhere when we make ourselves available.


Nothing is impossible for God. The Bible is filled with sinful people who experienced redemption–liars, adulterers, murderers, robbers, thieves. Thanks be to God, they didn’t stay that way. They grew to be more like Jesus. That’s why He came to earth–to show the way. In uncertain circumstances, I think of a popular question, “What would Jesus do?” I see the fruit of the Spirit in Him: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Our world needs more of these blessings.


Holy Lord, let Jesus be born in me so I can minister to those who need your love, your peace and hope. I cannot do this without your help. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Does it Make a Difference?

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As we wouldn’t want to be called “Sunday Morning Christians,” neither do we want to walk away from our mornings with God during the week and forget what happened in God’s presence. Benefits of spending time with God are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I would like to add wisdom and strength for the day and power to make right decisions.

I often hear from people that they cannot concentrate during devotions. There is a reason for that. Speaking from experience, it is a spiritual battle. Satan does not want you to benefit from reading God’s word or from devotional books. He does not want you to pray or trust God. He wants you to trust yourself alone, but leaning on your own understanding will take you down a path you don’t want to go. God is so much bigger than everything in this world. Jesus lived on this earth and knows every feeling and emotion common to man. He is willing and able to walk with us through the darkest valley and over the greatest mountain-top experiences. He wants to be our Friend.

It doesn’t matter if you have to read a paragraph or a Scripture several times; read it. Ask God to help you focus. He is Faithful and True. You can trust Him for he cares for you. He will not let you down. He is always with you and will never leave you.


So do all the efforts to concentrate, focus and spend quality time with God make a difference in your life? The answer is, “yes.” It puts love in action because we cannot spend time with God without knowing His amazing love. Our desire then is to love others. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, in serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).


O Lord, our Lord, teach us to follow you. Bless us as we open your word. Put a hunger and thirst for more of you in our hearts so we will find pleasure in your presence. Help us to walk away from our time with you to be the people who please you and bless others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.