Be a friend, O Soul, to others in need. When you are in need, ask God to send a friend. Remember the parable of the good Samaritan. Friendship means help and encouragement. Make friends in good times so that you can be there for each other in the tough times. Be open, be willing to work at a relationship, take time, face to face, with others. Don’t dwell on people’s faults, but be honest, when needed, to help a friend grow. Don’t listen to a friend to do wrong, but strengthen one another in the practice of godliness. Speak to your friend about God, and speak to God about your friend.

A beautiful thought today in Ed M.’s devotional, from 1 Samuel 23.16, along with this prayer.

Lord God, everyone has moments of despair. When life closes in on me, send a friend. When life closes in on someone else, send me. In Jesus, the greatest friend of all, Amen.

Focus question: When despair approaches, do you tend to shut yourself off from others, or ask God to send a friend? Are you a friend to those in despair?

J. Ridley Stroop explained the name of his book, God’s Plan and Me. It’s a good explanation.

“God’s Plan” simply means that the plan or the teaching is God’s; that the lessons originated with him; that they partake of his nature and are divine. Certainly this is the kind of teaching that we all want. This is the very quality that makes the teaching peculiar or different. It is different from all human teachings because it comes from a different source; it is of divine origin. Paul reminds us of the fact that man had no part in providing this teaching when he asks the questions, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:34). Since God thus provided the plan without the aid of man and has never delegated to man the privilege of injecting his own ideas into it, we should be exceedingly careful to remember that it is God’s plan and that we should treat it as such.

“Contrary to what a lot of people believe (or hope), comfort doesn’t take the pain away. Comfort slides in beside the pain, pulling up a chair so that we have something more than sorrow in our hearts. Comfort gently expands our spirits so that we can breathe again. Comfort opens our eyes so that we can see possibility again. And on those days, whether it is the next day or five years removed, on that day when grief rears its dark head again, comfort helps us remember that pain is not all there is.” —Peggy Haymes

Observe your words and actions, to learn and to compare with God’s word. Discover how they affect others. Notice whether or not they move people closer to God. Look hard at yourself, O Soul. Be truthful and do not avoid seeing harmful habits. Recognize the good you do. Be thankful for progress. Be thirsty for greater growth. Step closer to the perfection of Christ. Inch further toward the holiness of God. Open yourself to the Spirit’s discipline. Pray to become a servant more attentive to God, more useful to the Kingdom, glorifying by growth the name of Jesus Christ.

Ed M. encourages us today in his devotional.

Everyone is influenced by interests, shaped by motives. Church leaders can use their power to push their opinions on others. Church members can use pressure to get their way. “Selfish ambition” is part of the “sinful nature” of human beings, Galatians 5:19,20. Thankfully, in spite of these warts and wrinkles, “Christ is preached.” That does not justify the push and shove of Church politics. It merely gives hope to the faithful in times of discouraging discord.

Focus question: How can you examine your motives, in order to purify them? How to recognize selfish ambition when it appears in your heart?

  1. We’re back home. Only two weeks and a couple days away, but it seemed like more, what with so much packed into that period of time.

  2. DD’s college graduation was very fine. We’re proud of her. Her last semester was 4.0. Graduated magna cum laude.

  3. DD has a house and, up to now, a part-time job. Waiting for full-time employment to appear.

  4. We met DD’s boyfriend Ethan. Good guy, his parents, too. Praying for their relationship.

  5. Nashville-Miami flight with AA was delayed, missing the international leg. They sent us home through Dallas. We sat 12 hours in the DFW airport. No meal voucher, hotel to rest, upgrade, nope. We survived.

  6. An original verse: God redeems both man and hour, / And turns to sweet what we find sour.

  7. A Bible verse: “Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen” Rom 15.33.

#7points #travel #family

  1. Finally, a quite good hot chocolate mix, homemade, for the lactose intolerant. Don’t ask me for the recipe, it was a gift to DD.

  2. Some reading inspires thoughts to be jotted down and pursued; other reading captivates the mind and refuses to let go.

  3. Suddenly, book reviews and recommendations are surfacing that makes me want to invest again. Just as I’m paring down my volumes in preparation for my office move.

  4. A day behind on the Romans postings to one of the Portuguese sites, but the one for tomorrow is ready to go. Now, to do one for Thursday, because there’ll be no time, since our day flight starts early.

  5. Was surprised to discover how many times joy and happiness are mentioned in the book of Romans.

  6. An original verse: Beneath the surface lies the truest treasure, / Reached by severest effort without measure.

  7. A Bible verse: “He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” Matthew 25.33.

The humble man and woman who act by faith, who walk in the light, who make the Lord Jesus Christ their strength, are mighty and powerful in the will of God. The family of faith appears weak, people whose only link to each other is their commitment to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind. Their number is often small. Struggles among them abound. Differences surface. Sin sometimes leaves its mark. But the persevering church is “powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds” 2 Cor 10.4 CSB. Convinced of this truth, God’s spiritual army marches to certain victory. If they lose sight of it, however, they will fall before the forces of evil.

Ed M. wrote as a part of today’s devotional:

People should bring to Him their daunting perplexities, vexing questions, and impossible situations. He will give them strength to overcome their weakness, II Corinthians 12:9,10. If we would fully trust Him, we could do great things. We could defy all the odds along the way. We could swim the deepest ocean, climb the highest hill, and move the biggest mountain, Matthew 17:20b.

What should you bring to the Lord in faith, for him to solve, accomplish, or multiply? What great thing awaits us to do when we show full trust in him?