In touch Daily Devotional: Because He Came, We Must Go. Luke 2:40-52
It is becoming more common for businesses and organizations to create mission statements in order to stay focused on what is most important. But the concept isn’t new—we can see that Jesus was focused on the mission that His Father assigned to Him. He was able to identify His purpose at the age of 12 by telling His parents that He needed to be in His Father’s house (Luke 2:49).
Do you have a clear understanding of God’s mission for your life? The global mandate of the Great Commission is so vast that we sometimes lose sight of how to implement it locally. People are saved one at a time, whether at home or abroad, and God uses ordinary Christians as His messengers of the gospel.
We must not overlook the opportunities that God provides in our own communities and workplaces. Ina D. Ogdon’s old hymn “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” reminds us of this truth: “Do not wait until some great deed you may perform; Do not wait to shed your light afar.”
Be true to the many responsibilities that are always close at hand.
Make a difference in the corner where you are.
Daily Devotional: When We’re Tempted to Quit. 1 James 1:2–12
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t take this anymore, or I’m going to give up?” These phrases have the power to alter the course of our lives. Let’s take a look at three things that could be causing these feelings.
1. Satan and his demons: We may be tempted, as a result of their involvement, to stop looking to God for solutions and instead seek our own way out. Alternatively, the enemy may attempt to divert our attention away from Jesus and toward our negative emotions. He is successful in distracting us from God if he can make us feel helpless and hopeless.
2. The entire world. Ungodly people are always willing to offer advice to believers. We need God’s wisdom to distinguish ourselves from their thinking while remaining connected enough to share God’s message of hope with them.
3. Our own skin. We have a tendency to do what feels good and is beneficial to us, but God’s way is always the best and most fulfilling.
If you’ve ever wanted to give up, you’ve most likely been swayed by one or more of these factors. But God has a good reason for allowing trials in our lives: they produce perseverance, which helps us mature as Christians. When we look at things in that light, we can actually “consider it all joy” to face difficulties (James 1:2-4).
It can be sobering to consider life as a field of our own planting, with what is in our field determined by the type of seed we choose to sow. What if we chose the wrong “seed” but don’t realize it until we’re standing in a field full of mature “plants” that are causing us pain and difficulty?
There are only two kinds of seeds in this agricultural analogy of sowing and reaping: those that come from our sinful desires and those that come from the Spirit. The first type of seed causes sin and corrupts our character, whereas the second type produces Christlike qualities associated with eternal life.
We can’t change the principle of sowing and reaping; it’s a fact of life in our world. What we sow now will produce more of the same later, so what will we choose to plant? If we allow sinful characteristics to take root, they will eventually characterize our entire life (Gal. 5:19-21).
The good news is that seeds can always be changed. If we want others to see our lives as a godly harvest, we must plant the Spirit’s seeds and rely on Him to cultivate His fruit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Daily Devotional: Developing Faith Through Adversity. 2 Corinthians 11:23-30 (KJV)
Despite the fact that Paul had spent years serving Christ, he was constantly in pain. Doesn’t seem right, does it? Why would God allow him to suffer so much? It’s a question that many of us today have about ourselves. We believe that the Lord should shield us from adversity, but He does not always do so.
Maybe we’re thinking backwards. We believe that faithful Christians do not deserve to suffer, but suffering is a necessary part of being a Christian, according to God. If we all lived pain-free lives, we’d never really know God because we’d never need Him. Whether we like it or not, adversity teaches us things that simply reading the Bible will never teach us.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t know Scripture; it’s the foundation of our faith. But if our beliefs are never tested, they remain only in our heads. If we’ve never faced adversity, how can we know the Lord can be trusted in the midst of it? God provides us with opportunities to apply scriptural truths to the problems we face, and in the process, we discover His faithfulness.
Trials can either be a source of encouragement or a source of discouragement and self-pity—the choice is yours. However, if you apply God’s Word to your situation, your faith and trust in Him will be strengthened through adversity.
Genesis 3:1-7. We’ve all been duped by a lie, whether it was something as innocuous as false advertising or as serious as a bank account scam. Whatever the deception was, it can be traced back to Satan, the Father of Lies (John 8:44). And his most heinous deceptions are those that lead us astray. This is why it is critical to understand the devil’s pattern of deception, which dates back to the Garden of Eden.
Satan’s first move was to persuade Eve to doubt God’s Word, and his strategy was to use the snake to ask, “Has God really said…?” (Gen. 3:15).
Since then, people have fallen for this deception. When they hear one of God’s unequivocal commands, they rationalize that it’s not what He meant or that it doesn’t apply to them.
The devil then directly contradicted God’s Word and slandered His character by denying that Eve would face any consequences for her sin. Instead, the adversary promised her incredible benefits if she ate the fruit. This is also how he operates today.
When temptation strikes, don’t fall for Satan’s lies. Sin always has consequences. As a result, consider whether the temporary gratification of a bad decision is worth the inevitable consequences.
Joyce Meyer Daily Devotional- Consider What You’re Thinking About
Some people are extremely unhappy, and they’ve been that way for so long that they’ve forgotten there’s another way. I can recall being like that. I blamed my unhappiness on the actions of others, believing that my husband and children were the most unhappy. I was certain that if they changed and became a little more sensitive to my needs, I would feel better. I knew I’d be happy if they helped around the house more, volunteered to run errands, or simply asked how I was doing. Of course, I never said anything to them to express my feelings. I reasoned that if they were sensitive and caring, they would be able to see how they could assist me and make my life easier.
I prayed about it, telling God how much happier I would be if they cooperated more, but they didn’t.
God spoke to me one day, but not in the way I expected. Think about what you’re thinking, he said. I had no idea what God was talking about. In fact, the words made no sense. How was I supposed to think about what I was thinking about?
Then I realized what was going on. My mind was racing from one thought to the next. That was bad enough, but the majority of my thoughts were focused on myself and my needs. I used to believe that if they—the other people in my life—changed, I would be content. I eventually admitted, reluctantly, that even if they changed, I’d find something else to be upset about. I was just unhappy, and I didn’t need a reason; it was just one thing after another.
As I considered my situation, I remembered Philippians 4:8, where Paul presented a list of the kinds of things we should concentrate on. If God didn’t want me to think about the things I had been thinking about, I needed to know what I should be thinking about instead. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn. Despite the fact that I had been going to church for years, I couldn’t recall anyone ever telling me how important my thoughts were to God and to my overall quality of life.
We will be built up, spiritually grown, and strong in the Lord if we focus our thoughts on good things, as Paul mentioned in that verse.
The more I thought about God’s message, the more I realized how my thoughts influenced my attitude, and how this is true for all of us. God only instructs us to do things that are beneficial to us. He wants us to be happy and fulfilled, and the only way to be happy and fulfilled is to live our lives according to God’s plan. We are unhappy if we are filled with negative thoughts. That is not just a theory; it is based on my personal experience as well as God’s Word. I’ve also learned that when we’re unhappy, we tend to make those around us unhappy as well.
Since then, I’ve made it a habit to take a regular inventory of my thoughts—to examine how I think. What was I thinking about? I think to myself.
I emphasize this because, as I have learned from personal experience, Satan deceives us into believing that the source of our misery or pain is other people or, in some cases, our circumstances. He tries to keep us from acknowledging that our own thoughts are frequently the source of our unhappiness. I’d venture to say that it’s nearly impossible to be happy while thinking negatively, critically, or depressingly.
We will begin to overcome the enemy in the battle for our thoughts as we take action by intentionally redirecting our thoughts to the types of things God told us to focus on and inviting Him to help us (see Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:13).
Dear Jesus, please teach me to think about what I’ve been thinking about and to intentionally redirect my thoughts to things that align with Your Word. Thank You for promising to give me the grace I need to do exactly what You’ve called me to do, and for assisting me in thinking more like You. In the name of Jesus, amen.
God, Lord, Please forgive me for everything I’ve done wrong.
I turn to you while avoiding sin.
[Pause. Ask for forgiveness quietly for anything that you know is keeping you from God.]
Please, Jesus, be the center of my life.
I personally welcome you as my Lord and Savior. I beseech you, Holy Spirit, to fill me and empower me to live as a God’s child. I’d like to have your grace so that I can truly live a new life.
Thank you for hearing my prayer through the grace and mercy of Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Commitment to Jesus.
Lord Jesus, help me to become more aware that you are my true sustenance and no one else’s.
Assist me in maintaining the recognition that only you can make me into someone in life.
As I recognize my fleshly weakness, please help me to rest in your strength.
I pray that I will be completely committed to my walk with you for the rest of my life.
I pray that I will be completely satisfied with my life with you for the rest of my life.
I pray that I do not stray from the path of righteousness for the sake of your name.
I pray that the devil will not be able to sift me out of our heavenly Father’s kingdom.
Have Hope! We Discovered 11 Best Christian Family Movies on Netflix About Love, Hope, and Perseverance.
The beauty of Netflix is that no matter what type of film you’re looking for, the streaming service has a massive selection in every genre to choose from. Netflix has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for something uplifting, a comedy that will have you in stitches, or a kid-friendly movie that the whole family can enjoy together. However, the best family-friendly movies are those that have larger meanings and themes about life and faith that we can all learn from. If Christian movies are what you’re looking for, there are plenty to choose from on Netflix for you and your family.
How do we persevere in the face of adversity? 2021 is unquestionably the year to curl up under a blanket and watch an inspiring film about resilience and faith in a higher power. After all, this year has been a true test of faith. We could all use a reminder that there is a plan for us, and movies are one of the most powerful ways to learn about life, love, faith, and character strength.
Here are the 11 Christian family movies to watch on Netflix at any time of year, but especially during the holiday season.
1. A Walk to Remember (2002)
The film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling novel A Walk to Remember, starring Mandy Moore and Shane West, was one of the most talked-about films of the early 2000s. And for good reason: both the film and the book are still relevant today. When Jamie (Moore) is diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, the last thing she expects is to fall in love in high school. But when bad boy Landon (West) begins to get to know Jamie, that all changes. What about the rest? History. It’s not the tragedy that will stick with you from this film, though it is heartbreaking. It’s a memorable love story.
2. Soul Surfer (2011)
Soul Surfer is based on the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton and follows one young woman’s journey through faith even when it is tested. Hamilton (played by AnnaSophia Robb), a pro surfer, is ambushed by a shark and has her arm amputated as a result. But she finds the strength to keep going and get back on her surfboard through faith and prayer. Soul Surfer, starring Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, and Carrie Underwood, is a must-see for everyone.
3. The Healer (2017)
Alec is a mediocre handyman who is perpetually broke, but when his uncle agrees to pay off his debt, Alec agrees to relocate abroad in exchange. He is now attempting to make a name for himself as an electrician in a small town in Nova Scotia. However, a misunderstanding results in the newspaper ad portraying him as a mystical healer. When families flock to Alec to heal their children’s illnesses and their grandparents’ ailments, Alec may discover that the ad wasn’t a mistake at all, and that it may be his destiny to truly heal people.
4. God Bless the Broken Road (2018)
To summarize a line from God Bless the Broken Road, it is at times like these that you must rely on your faith. Amber must find strength in her relationship with God after her husband is killed in combat in order to stay afloat, make ends meet, and raise her daughter. This is a beautiful film starring Patrika Darbo, Kim Delaney, and Jordin Sparks about how grief isn’t just an end, but perhaps also a new beginning.
5. God’s Not Dead (2014)
God’s Not Dead, a Christian film fan favorite, was created with those who doubt His existence in mind. When college sophomore Josh (Shane Harper) enrolls in a philosophy class taught by the avowed atheist professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo), who claims that God is no longer alive, he challenges him and defends his own faith. Josh is determined to refute professor Radisson’s claims, even if it means failing the class. God’s Not Dead, which also stars David A.R. White and Dean Cain, as well as appearances by Willie and Korie Robertson and The Newsboys, is so inspiring and well-received that a sequel was made. God’s Not Dead 2 is currently unavailable on Netflix.
7. An Interview With God (2018)
What would you ask Him if you had the opportunity to do so? Paul (Brenton Thwaites) is a journalist who has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview God (David Strathairn). However, as the interview progresses, Paul’s world crumbles around him and his faith is tested. Can the man claiming to be God provide him with answers and restore his faith?
8. Never Heard (2018)
Aaron Davis (David Banner) is imprisoned for a crime he denies committing. Meanwhile, his son Jalen (Romeo Miller) wanders the streets of Los Angeles without his father, falling in with the wrong crowd and dealing drugs. When it all comes down to it, will prayer and the power of faith be able to save everyone involved? Never Heard, which also stars Karrueche Tran, Robin Givens, Dijon Talton, Dorien Wilson, Karen Abercrombie, and Jackie Long, is about a test of faith: Will Jalen opt for the fast or the faith?
9. The Young Messiah (2016)
The story of God’s son, Jesus Christ, is told in The Young Messiah. Jesus and his family left Egypt when he was seven years old to return to Nazareth. This film is a meaningful educational tool for families and children to learn about Jesus because it tells the story from Jesus’ young perspective as he grows and evolves into the spiritual icon we know and praise today.
10. Full Count (2019)
Milton Young, who was once at the top of his game and full of potential, suddenly loses everything: his father, his dream of playing professional baseball, and his family’s farm. But he might discover, through faith, that things, even seemingly terrible things, have a way of working themselves out.
11. The Gospel of Matthew/Luke/John (2014)
These three films, The Gospel of Matthew, The Gospel of Luke, and The Gospel of John, are fictional explorations of the lives of the Apostles. Each of these films, which use word-for-word language from the Bible, can be used as biblical aids to religious education for families and children.
Share Your Thoughts With Us on the 11 Christian family movies
Second chances begin when a hardened criminal meets a precocious young girl who is assisted by an angel in changing hearts during the holiday season.
Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace Review
Scarlett Diamond, in her feature film debut, captivates the screen and steals the hearts of viewers as Lucy Shimmers, a precocious, kind-hearted 5-year-old with a strong faith in Jesus and a desire to do His work. Based on a dream from the Lord and advice from her deceased-turned-angel Grandpa Jackson (Shawn Stevens), Lucy works feverishly on a book titled Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace, which features a character she refers to as “the sad man.” When Lucy falls ill and ends up in the hospital, she begins her mission of spreading Jesus’ love to everyone, including “the sad man,” a stubborn prisoner with kidney failure named Edgar (Vincent Vargas).
Lucy and Edgar’s unlikely friendship changes his life. Unfortunately, as things begin to improve for him, things begin to fall apart for Lucy. Lucy is a prime example of the prophet Isaiah’s words, “a child shall lead them,” touching the hearts of everyone she meets and remaining a strong witness for Christ even during her illness (Isaiah 11:6). Lucy’s steadfast, childlike faith teaches the adults around her to know Christ in a deeper, more meaningful way than they have ever known before.
The most powerful lesson Lucy teaches may be in a scene with her father, James (Adam Hightower), in which she asks, “If Jesus can love him, why can’t we?” Her innocent and daring question begs the question for all believers: If Christ is not picky about who he loves, why are we?
I’m going to warn you now… Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace is a heartbreaking film. I’m talking full-on baby sobs. The production and writing quality are both excellent, and the performances by Diamond, Stevens, and Vargas stand out as particularly memorable. The film’s theology has some flaws, such as the grandpa-turning-into-an-angel angle, but the trope serves as a great foundation for events in the story and moving the plot forward. Watching Grandpa Jackson and Lucy’s relationship is very touching, and the filmmakers got one thing right: angels do minister strength to believers (Hebrews 1:4).
Overall, Lucy’s character serves as a powerful example for both children and adults; God can use anyone, anywhere, for any purpose… We only need to have faith and obey.
There are some intensely emotional scenes in the film, particularly a particularly gruesome death scene near the end, which may be upsetting to some younger viewers. The film has a lot of positive character arcs and great examples of integrity (supporting family, parents who raise their children in the faith, etc.) and is sure to become a new Christmas classic in a lot of homes.
For these and other reasons, we bestow the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages on Lucy Shimmers and the Prince of Peace.
Inspiration Ministries Daily Devotional – July 12 2021
Topic: Ready for a Turnaround
“Arise! For this is the day that the LORD has given Sisera to you; behold, the LORD has gone out ahead of you.” – Judges 4:14 NASB
Israel had sinned, and God allowed them to be conquered by Jabin, King of Canaan. Jabin’s army possessed superior weapons, including nine hundred iron chariots. For years, he used these advantages to oppress Israel. Their situation appeared to be hopeless.
Deborah, the prophetess, was ruling over Israel at the time. She summoned Barak, the commander of her army, one day. She informed him that God had commanded him to lead a march of ten thousand men to Mount Tabor. Then she gave him a winning strategy. Her forces would entice Jabin’s army and deliver it to Barak’s hands. He agreed to proceed – but only if Deborah accompanied them.
Israel saw Sisera’s mighty army as they approached Mount Tabor. It had to have been a terrifying force. Deborah, on the other hand, knew that God was with them. She instructed Barak to get ready! God was marching in front of them. Encouraged by Deborah’s words, the army charged into battle and won a decisive victory. Their situation changed in an instant.
How often do we feel like Israel, outnumbered and up against an opponent with superior resources? We must remember, as Israel did, that God is with us. Remember that God is on your side today. Don’t be afraid to bring your problems to Him. Have faith in Him. Follow His Word and the leading of His Spirit. Believe that He can change your situation. Move forward bodly by faith.
Father, I entrust the following situations to You: . I believe You are capable of accomplishing anything. I am confident in Your victory. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Inspiration Ministries Daily Devotional is made available by Inspiration Ministries