Thursday, July 7, 2016

Night Light for Couples - The Moment Life Begins

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

If you and your mate genuinely want to experience true love— the kind that lasts throughout eternity—you must face the truth about your standing before God. According to the Bible, we are all born with a sinful nature (Romans 3:23). This sin problem prevents us from living God’s way, whether as individuals or as a married couple. In fact, unresolved sin will block even your best efforts to have a successful marriage, because the inescapable outcome of sin is slavery to our worst impulses and—eventually—death (Romans 6:23).

But there is a wonderful alternative! Jesus Christ paid the price for your sin through His death on the cross. And through His miraculous resurrection, He rescued you from eternal destruction. You can reach out in faith to receive your free gift of new life. Jesus put the Good News this way: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

It really is that simple: If you choose to repent of your sin and receive the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, you will be forgiven and receive His gift of eternal life.

If you do not know Jesus Christ in this intimate way, we invite you to offer the following prayer tonight. For every human being who invites Jesus into his or her heart, that is the moment real life begins!

Just between us…
  • Have each of us made a choice to receive God’s gift of salvation?
  • If not, what is keeping us from making that choice? 
God, I am a sinner in need of You. I can’t live right or hope for eternal life on my own. Please forgive my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is Your only Son. You sent Him to die in my place and set me free from sin. Thank You! Amen.

Seeking God? Click here to find out more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

His Princess Every Day - A Time for War

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

My Princess Warrior,

I have created a time for every season of life. There is a perfect time for every plan I have. Right now, My beloved, it is a time for war; the enemy’s attacks are great. It is time for My people to put on My full armor and fight. I know the battles you face will not be easy, but they will be worth fighting. You will be fighting for your family and your children’s children. Look around you, My beloved Warrior, and see that you are much needed on the battlefield of this life. There is nothing for you to fear you will not be defeated. I am with you, fighting for you. Soon I will return, and the war will be over forever!

Your King who has already won

A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3:8 (NLT)

A Prayer for the War

Princess Warrior! I pray you will find such great joy knowing you are part of God's army that you will fight with passion. I pray that your fight will bless all future generations and that you will feel the Lord's mighty hand touch your heart. May you find victory over any and all of the battles this life brings. May His angels protect you as you step out on to battlefield to win souls for the Kingdom.

“But all who are able to bear arms will cross over to fight for the LORD, just as you have said.” - Numbers 32:37 (NLT)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - OPEN AND CLOSED DOORS

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

The Bible has much to say about open doors but many times – even as Christians – we seem to face obstacles on our path and in our ministry. Blocked doors can be VERY frustrating. Yet God often uses closed doors to advance His cause.

Bible teachers like Max Lucado remind us that God closed the womb of a young Sarah so he could display His power to the elderly one. He shut the palace door on Moses the prince so he could open shackles through Moses the liberator. He marched Daniel out of Jerusalem so he could use Daniel in Babylon.

And even Jesus knew the challenge of a blocked door. When he requested a path that bypassed the cross, God said no. He said no to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane so He could say yes to us at the gates of heaven.

It’s not that our plans are bad but that God’s plans are better.

A prayer is circulating on the Internet that expresses it this way:

He asked for strength that he might achieve, he was made weak that he might endure;

He asked for health to do larger things, he was given infirmity that he might do better things;

He asked for power that he might impress men, he was given weakness that he might seek God;

He asked for wealth that he might be free from care, he was given poverty that he might be wiser than carefree.

He asked for all things that he might enjoy life, he was given life that he might enjoy all things;

He received nothing he asked for.

He received more than he ever hoped for.

His prayer was answered!

Blessed man!

The shortest distance between a closed and open door is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.

RESPONSE: Today I will accept that my blocked door doesn’t mean God doesn’t love me. Quite the opposite. I’ll see it as proof that He does.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord that You know best and have even better plans for me and my service for You. Help me wait patiently for You to open the right door at the right time!

Girlfriends in God - How Hiding Keeps You From Seeking

Today’s Truth

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24, ESV)

Friend to Friend

In John 4, we see a tired Jesus who stopped to rest at Jacob’s well where He begins a conversation with a Samaritan woman, ignoring the cultural, racial, and social norms of that day. (Jews did not associate with Samaritans and often tried to avoid Samaria all together on their journeys. In addition to that, respectable Jewish men did not talk women whom they didn’t know.) But Jesus was not concerned with public opinion. He was on a mission of mercy.

The woman’s name is never mentioned, but He knew it.

He knew not only her name, but also her insecurities, her reputation, her fears, her failures, and her needs.

Jesus asked this unnamed woman for a drink, then engaged her in a meaningful and purposed conversation. They talked of practical thirst, and then Jesus spoke of living water that satisfies eternally.

Not realizing who in the world she was talking to or what He was really chatting about, this woman asked for a full-to-the-tippy-top jar of living water so she would never be thirsty again. “Show me the money, Jewish man. I want some of that water because I am SO over making these constant trips to the well.” (Bless her! I mean, who wouldn't want that? I get this woman. If I never had to buy groceries again I would be one happy girl!)

Then, in order to lovingly introduce this thirsty girl to the Living Water she longed for, Jesus redirected the conversation and asked her to go call her husband and come back (v. 16). Why? Because she didn't have a husband and He knew it. She’d had lover after lover.

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is quite true.” (John 4:17-18)

He called her out. As light invades darkness, this conversation instantly went from veiled and casual to exposed and personal. I imagine that she squirmed like crazy under her covering as she acknowledged that this man must be a prophet. Uncomfortable, she tried to change the subject by talking about religion instead of her rebellion. She told him, “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus replied, “believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:19-24).

What did Jesus mean by saying we must worship God in TRUTH? The root word for truth in this verse is alēthia, which means, “hiding nothing”. So, to worship God in truth means that we are to come before Him, hiding nothing. It means that we must bare all to the One who sees and knows all. It means that we should come as we are, allowing our stained hearts to be made white as snow in the presence of our holy God who dwells in unapproachable light.

Friend, God is not looking for us to be religious and He certainly knows all about the rebellion that we try to hide. He knows when you flirt with that married man at work or with an old boyfriend on Facebook. He knows when you secretly put away shopping bags and throw away receipts before your husband gets home. He knows when you are sexually intimate with that boyfriend. He knows when you surrender to eating that entire bag of potato chips, when you cut yourself to anesthetize the pain, when you make yourself throw up after meals. He knows about that affair. He knows when gossip dances on your lips, and when your heart hangs on to unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, deceit, hatred, and ugliness.

He knows it ALL, and in His knowing He invites you to bring what is hidden into the Light so that you can to experience His restoring grace.

And then he calls us to more.

He calls us to a vulnerable, honest faith. To worship Him in humble awareness of our depravity, but with a sacred awareness of His grace and unfailing love that binds us to forgiveness, restoration, healing, peace, hope and joy.

Today, let’s worship Him in spirit and in truth – hiding nothing.

Let’s Pray

Holy Father, Oh, how I try to hide! Forgive me. Please fill me with Your living water and help me to know and live out Your truth. Lead me with Your Spirit, today.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

READ 1 Peter 5:6-7. Write it down in your journal or on a 3x5 index card. Consider what this would look like for you. If you’re ready to stop hiding in worship, I sure would love to hear about it and pray for you. Click here to leave a comment on my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

Are you ready for more?
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s new book, I WANT IT ALL, whichwill help you to experience more faith, more power, and more impact. More of Jesus. All of Jesus. Everything that God has for you. Order yours today from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or For a signed copy, get yours from the store on Gwen’s website!

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Girlfriends in God
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Verse of the Day - July 07, 2016

Psalm 18:30 (NIV) As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

Read all of Psalm 18