In All Circumstances

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For a month, our mission team had been sleeping in $5 hotel rooms, dealing with occasional ants in our beds, crumbling walls, unclean hallway bathrooms, and other run-down facilities.

In one location the conditions were especially difficult. The rooms had no fans and the weather was especially humid. Crime and insects kept us from opening the windows, so you can imagine how hard it was to sleep. We felt like we were in an oven.

I was not thankful for that room!

Then something wonderful happened: one of our team members who knew the language shared Christ with a hotel employee, and he became a believer!

Seeing his face as he held his new Bible was "a 1 Thessalonians 5:18 moment" for me:

“Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  

Even though this event happened over twenty years ago, I never think of that hot, humid hotel room without thanksgiving. After all, it resulted in great rejoicing in heaven (Luke 15:7).

Have you ever had a "5:18 moment" - a time when you experienced thanksgiving in the midst of a difficult circumstance?

* I've withheld the location of this event so as not to offend citizens of the country we visited.

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In All Circumstances.

Bible Love Notes

Let's Be Among the Readers

Reading offers benefits for all ages of brain development, but Bible reading takes it up a notch. See these 11 benefits. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions

Studies show that reading has benefits at every age. It helps children develop their language and vocabulary skills, and it exercises adult brains. It can slow down or stop cognitive decline in older adults, and it can also help people to be more sensitive to others (source).

Sadly, fewer and fewer Americans are reading.

But let’s take the importance of reading up a notch to Bible reading.

Bible reading also has these benefits:

1. It helps us avoid sin (Psalm 119:11).

2. It gives us comfort (Psalm 119:52).

3. It gives us good judgment (Psalm 119:66).

4. It keeps us from heading in the wrong direction (Psalm 119:67).

5. It prevents us from doing things that bring us shame (Psalm 119:80).

6. It sustains us in hardship (Psalm 119:92).

7. It gives us wisdom, insight, and understanding (Psalm 119:98-100; 130).

8. It helps us make wise choices (Psalm 119:104).

9. It guides us (Psalm 119:105).

10. It gives us joy (Psalm 119:111; 143).

11. It gives us abundant peace (Psalm 119:165).

Sadly, studies show that fewer people are making the Bible a central part of their lives (source).

Let’s be among those who read, study, trust, and love God’s wonderful Word!

Reading offers benefits for all ages of brain development, but Bible reading takes it up a notch. See these 11 benefits. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible #Devotions

Bible Love Notes

Don't Be Deceived

We human beings are incredible in our ability to deceive ourselves. This 1-minute devotion explains God's solution. #BibleLoveNotes #Devotions #Bible

I once talked through past problems with a family member, and we were surprised that both of us remembered things that put us in a good light and forgot the things that we’d done wrong.

This is a human problem:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?Jeremiah 17:9 

Some adult children forget their faults but regularly highlight their parents failures.

Some friends overlook their rudeness but are highly sensitive to the inconsideration of others.

Some spouses “know” their mate is the main problem in their marriage.

Who can understand our deceitful hearts?

God can (Jeremiah 17:10).

And He gives us this advice:

1. Take the log out (Matthew 7:1-5).
If we don’t deal biblically with our sins, we'll have a deceptive view of other people's sins.

2. Forgive (Matthew 6:15).
Bitterness distorts our view of relationship problems (Hebrews 12:15).

3. Return good for evil (Romans 12:21).
This is a powerful tool against self-deception.(1)   

With God's help we can see things as they really are. 
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(1) We often deceive ourselves by blaming others for problems we have caused. For example, someone who seems inconsiderate may actually be responding to our inconsiderate behavior. When we return good for evil, we act on the principle that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Even if the other person remains unchanged, we can feel confident that we have dealt with them biblically.

We human beings are incredible in our ability to deceive ourselves. This 1-minute devotion explains God's solution. #BibleLoveNotes #Devotions #Bible

Bible Love Notes
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