Entries by YMI

ODB: Serve and Be Served

November 17, 2017 

READ: Philippians 4:10–19 

You were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.  Philippians 4:10

 

Marilyn had been ill for many weeks, and many people had encouraged her through this difficult time. How will I ever repay all their kindnesses? she worried. Then one day she read the words of a written prayer: “Pray that [others] will develop humility, allowing them not only to serve, but also to be served.” Marilyn suddenly realized there was no need to balance any scale, but just to be thankful and allow others to experience the joy of serving.

In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul expressed his gratitude for all those who shared “in [his] troubles” (v. 14). He depended on people to support him as he preached and taught the gospel. He understood that the gifts provided for him when he was in need were simply an extension of people’s love for God: “[Your gifts] are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (v. 18).

It may not be easy to be the one on the receiving end—especially if you’ve usually been the first one to help other people. But with humility, we can allow God to gently care for us by a variety of means when we need help.

Paul wrote, “My God will meet all your needs” (v. 19). It was something he had learned during a life of trials. God is faithful and His provision for us has no limits.

— Cindy Hess Kasper

Dear Lord, thank You for caring for us through Your people. May we graciously give and receive help.

Receive love. Give love. Repeat.

 

ODJ: Each Step of the Way

November 16, 2017 

READ: Psalm 25:1-20 

The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands (v.10). 

When I was sixteen I had the privilege of interning with a local TV sports affiliate. My days were spent in the newsroom, in dugouts interviewing Major League Baseball (MLB) players, on the sidelines during National Football League (NFL) games and flying to high-profile events. It was an exciting chapter of my life, one that helped prepare me for more than a decade of work and ministry in sports.

Several years later, a five-week mission trip to Uganda prompted me to shift the focus of my vocation from sports ministry and journalism to coming alongside vulnerable children and communities in East Africa. My experience in Uganda changed my life.

In both seasons of my life, I received guidance and confidence in the words of Psalm 25, written by David to express his deep desire for God and his complete dependence on Him. When we give our lives to God and trust in Him (vv.1-2), we can courageously move forward in what our heavenly Father has called us to do—even if He leads to unexpected places and challenges.

In whatever situation we find ourselves, God’s truth can guide and lead us down the “the right path” of obedience (v.4-5). We can confidently press on, knowing that we’re secure in the One whose compassion and unfailing love has been “shown from long ages past” (v.6). Even when we go astray, we can trust His mercy and goodness to guide us back to the path of His truth (v.8).

Because He’s unfailingly good and merciful, God can be trusted to continually forgive and lead us as we reverently keep our eyes on Him (vv.11-15). He will guide us with “unfailing love and faithfulness” as we walk with Him and obey Him (v.10). Our amazing God will lead us each step of the way.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day-plan: Acts 27:1-26

MORE
Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and consider what it means to truly trust in God’s leading instead of pursuing your own path. 
NEXT
How has God led you in unfailing love? What steps might He be leading you to take? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: In His Presence

November 16, 2017 

READ: Psalm 89:1–17 

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:15

 

The seventeenth-century monk Brother Lawrence, before a day’s work as cook in his community, would pray, “O my God . . . grant me your grace to stay in your presence. Help me in my labors. Possess all my affections.” As he worked, he kept talking to God, listening for His leading and dedicating his work to Him. Even when he was busiest, he would use intervals of relative calm to ask for His grace. No matter what was happening, he sought for and found a sense of his Maker’s love.

As Psalm 89 confesses, the fitting response to the Creator of all who rules the oceans and is worshiped by hosts of angels is to lift up our lives—our whole lives to Him. When we understand the beauty of who God is we “hear the joyful call to worship”—whenever and wherever we are, “all day long” (vv. 15–16 nlt).

Whether it’s standing in store or airport lines, or waiting on hold minute after minute, our lives are full of moments like these, times when we could get annoyed. Or these can be times when we catch our breath and see each of these pauses as an opportunity to learn to “walk in the light of [God’s] presence” (v. 15).

The “wasted” moments of our lives, when we wait or lay ill or wonder what to do next, are all possible pauses to consider our lives in the light of His presence. 

— Harold Myra

Every moment can be lived in God’s presence.