Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Reasons Why You Need the Bread of Life


Feed Your Faith
A devotional by Casey Wayne

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” —John 6:51 (NLT)

What is your favorite food?

Usually when people ask me this question I say the same, somewhat general, response: Bread.

I love pretty much every form of bread. Bread sticks, garlic bread, biscuits, rolls, toast, etc. There's just something about bread that everybody loves. I don’t think I’ve ever known someone to say they don’t like bread. Even if someone has to stop eating it due to dietary restrictions, they usually like eating it. Think about how many restaurants bring bread for the table before you get the rest of your meal. Some form of bread is a major component in many cuisines found around the world. It is not surprising that Jesus Christ chose to call himself the “bread of life”.

Let’s read what Jesus says in John 6:35 (NLT): “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

God’s provision is what will sustain us, no matter the circumstance. As Christ followers, it is important that we fulfill our spiritual hunger with the “bread of life” and not worldly things.

Most people understand the basics of how the food we put in our bodies determines how well our bodies function. If we choose to pursue the things of this world, we will be left feeling hungry and hopeless. In his book, Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, Max Lucado put it this way: “Feed your fears and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will.”

The same thing could be said about anything our sinful nature may cause us to chase. Whether it's fear, pride, worry, addiction, the perfect life, control or anything else the world draws us down into, making the intentional decision to feed our faith more than what Satan is trying to use to bring us down will help us find the hope and strength we have in Christ.

The more we pursue God’s Word (The Holy Bible) and spiritual growth, the more satisfied we will feel through Christ (Psalm 107:9). By God’s grace-filled provision we find hope and strength through whatever life brings. It is so important that we seek God daily through reading The Bible and praying to Him. When Jesus modeled for the disciples how to pray, He even prayed for God to provide “daily bread” for nourishment (Matthew 6:9-13 ESV).

What we feed our body, heart and mind, matters. There are many pleasures this world provides. Most of us will face the lure of delicious candy and desserts, but we need to realize that those sweet treats are not enough for our souls. While they provide temporary enjoyment, the lasting, life giving satisfaction only comes from a relationship with our Heavenly Father (God).

My hope and prayer for every follower of Christ is that we all remember to continually seek God and pursue spiritual growth. As we receive the amazing grace and sufficiency of our Father's love for us, we can then fully love others for His glory.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your grace-filled provision. Remind me of your faithfulness and open my heart to be fed by You. Help me desire to seek You daily, growing in my knowledge of You. Draw me closer to You and remove anything that is distracting me from pursuing You.

In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Miracle of Grace (Bread of Life)” by Curtis Stephan. Listen to it here.

~*~
Author Bio:

Casey Wayne is a wife and mother of two children. 


She enjoys time with her family doing simple things like movie nights and cooking together.

As a devotional writer, Casey strives to share her story with relatable honesty, showing how God is faithful throughout the big and small moments of life.

She has a heart for encouraging the faith walk of other moms, praying they gain a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father.

Her family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.

~*~
Connect with Casey:
Website: https://www.caseywayne.org/
Blog: https://peaceoffaith.org/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caseylwayne
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Peace.of.FaithCaseyWayne

Monday, January 30, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: How to restore your relationship with God


Back to Basics
A devotional by Heidy De La Cruz

Life has many seasons. Some are fast and busy, some are peaceful and quiet.

The season I have been in has been busy. So busy that I haven’t been consistent with my relationship with God. I’m not proud of this, but because I’m entering a new decade this year, I’ve decided to renew my relationship back with God. How? I’m taking it back to the basics!

Here are three ways I’m drawing closer to God this year and how you can too:

Way #1: Spending time with God. Towards the end of last year, I wasn’t spending as much time reading the Bible as I did in the past. I use the Bible app and I do Bible reading plans to read the whole Bible in 365 days. I love this because it doesn’t feel overwhelming, but I missed too many days. This year, I will read the Bible first thing in the morning. Another way I’m going to spend time with God is by praying and worshiping Him.

Remember, Jesus Christ also spent time with God. Mark 1:35 (NIV) says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Way #2: Commit to paying your tithe to God faithfully. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV), “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Think of tithing as giving back to God. He provides everything we need, and we should bless others with what God provides. I will continue to tithe at my church, but I’ve also been donating to non-profit organizations. We have also donated clothes to those in need instead of selling them.

What are some ways you think you can tithe this year?

Way #3: Build a community with other believers. My church has small groups called “growth groups.” We meet once a week for fellowship. Again, towards the end of last year, I wasn’t attending regularly because other events kept coming up. But this year, I’m going to be intentional about not scheduling other events on the days we meet with the church group.

We are made for community. We need each other. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV), “Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it.” We aren’t meant to do life alone. Having a community of believers in your life can help you when life’s challenges arise. They can pray for you and with you. They can support and encourage you.

If your relationship with God isn’t as strong or close as it used to be, I hope you include these three tips to draw you back closer to God this year.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that whoever needs to draw closer to You this year, will be able to with the tips given today. I pray that their hearts are open to receiving You and that their minds are renewed as they draw closer to you. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “If We Are The Body” (song) by Casting Crowns. Listen to it here.

~*~
Author Bio:

Heidy De La Cruz is daughter of Christ, a wife, and a mother.


She writes poetry and encouraging spiritual blog posts.

Heidy shares her faith and life in hopes of encouraging women. She hosts the podcast, "The American Dream in The Eye of Immigrants" where immigrants share their stories about moving to the United States of America.

Heidy holds a master's degree in Healthcare Administration and bachelor's degree in Psychology. She works as a Medical Coding Specialist.

In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, watching movies, and spending time with her husband and two kids.

~*~
Connect with Heidy:
Blog: https://heidyreynoso.wordpress.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heidy.delacruz13/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heidyreynoso13
Podcast: https://anchor.fm/intheeyesofimmigrantstheamericandream

Friday, January 27, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When God promises to give you something new


A Promise of Something New
A devotional written by Essie Faye Taylor

“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”—Isaiah 42:9 (KJV)

The minute I walked into my apartment the stench was unbearable.

I gasped for air as I pinched my nose between my finger and thumb. I squinted my eyes and made a whistling sound with my mouth. “What is that smell?”

I opened the door and windows to let in the fresh air. Then I quickly searched the house to locate the smell. I opened the refrigerator in search of spoiled food. Finally, I found the culprit. It was the trashcan. There was a bag of spoiled raw chicken in there.

The smell of old food permeated the entire house, making breathing unbearable. I have a question for you: What old thing in your life is stinking up your thinking or your perspective of life? Are you allowing old thoughts and hurts to hold you captive and prohibit you from experiencing the new blessings that the Lord promises?

In the text, the eagle-eye prophet Isaiah declares a message of victory. As the mouthpiece of God, he boldly speaks of new things to come. God declares through the prophet that old things have passed. I’d like to pause here because many times, we are stuck in the past.

We are fixated on negative past experiences of fear or failure. We are trapped in the grips of unforgiveness, past pain, or grief. Don’t get me wrong, your experiences and feelings are valid. What happened was unfair, and hurtful, and the pain is real. However, God promises healing for your past. He promises to give us something fresh and brand new. God is ready to forget the former things and admonishes us to forget in the sense of not dwelling on the past. He wants us to move forward into the new blessings He has for us.

The prophet (Isaiah) declares that old things are over, meaning they have passed. We no longer have to relive our past mistakes or bad choices. They have passed.

Here are five steps you can take to forget the past and move on with your life:

Step #1: Don’t dwell on the past. Instead, remember the lessons you’ve learned. Remember the pain, but don’t get stuck there.

Step #2: Heal day by day through various strategies: therapy, prayer, and journaling. Surround yourself with faith, hope, and love.

Step #3: Partner with God to turn from the old and embrace the new.

Step #4: Rid yourself of the “smell” of the old that permeates your thinking, perspective, and life experiences. Let go of the pain and forgive those who have hurt you.

Step #5: Remember, turning from the old and embracing the new takes a paradigm shift. It is worth renewing your mind in order to walk toward a new path and a new vision. Be kind to yourself.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, You know my secrets. You know the extent of my past—the good, bad, and ugly. You are acquainted with my pain and grief. You saw it all—you were there all the time with your love, grace, and mercy. Father, heal my broken places. 

Heal me from the old things: thoughts, ideas, painful experiences, relationships, etc. that would hinder my progress in life and in Your Kingdom. You also know my future. You know my end from my beginning. Help me to believe and embrace the new things that you promise. Give me a new perspective and renew my faith in myself, in others, and most importantly in You. 

Don’t allow my past to ruin my future. Heal me and I shall be healed. Thank you Father for hearing and answering me. 

In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Just the Beginning” by Kurt Carr. Listen to it here.

~*~
Author Bio:

Essie Faye Taylor is the author of Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love and Acceptance. She is a minister, teacher, podcaster, psalmist, and improviser. 


She is a survivor of domestic violence and marital abandonment in a prior marriage. 

Essie is a gifted teacher and writer who is passionate about advocating for women and children and the marginalized. She is a healer in her own right and aims to bring wholeness to the hurting through her gifts of teaching and writing. Essie lives in Chicago, IL with her husband Donald.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When you let Jesus Christ be more than a guest


Beyond the Foyer
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” 
–Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

Sometimes, I do not invite my guests to go beyond the foyer of my home—especially guests I did not prepare for.

Maybe this means I have poor hospitality skills, but some people just choose the absolute worst times to come over for a visit. Once I hear them knocking on the front door, I take about five seconds to make sure I look somewhat presentable before answering the door and allowing them to step inside the foyer—but no further.

Why? Here are a few reasons: There are dishes piled high in the kitchen sink, along with orange juice that was just recently spilled. There are at least three loads of laundry in my living room. And if that is not bad enough, I haven’t even seen my dining room table in at least a week because of the clutter. All of the doors inside of my house are shut in order to hide the mess.

Everyone can relate to the above scenario to at least some extent. For a long time, this is exactly how my relationship with Jesus was. He was my Friend. I wanted Him to come into my heart and spend time with me. But I never let Him go beyond the foyer. I did not want Him to see my mess. Or worse, I did not want Him to reject me for my mess. If I allowed Jesus to go further into my heart, surely He would make me get rid of some things—He would tell me to throw away the clutter I had grown accustomed to.

Some days, I would work at cleaning the mess myself. I told myself that after everything looked good, then I would let Jesus in. Somehow, my efforts only made things worse, and the mess only grew. Then, I would hear Jesus knocking. I was tired, despondent, and desperate. I needed help. So, I opened the door.

Jesus was not surprised by the mess I was in. He just wanted me to stop hiding and start building my relationship with Him. After that, I opened all my doors. One by one, Jesus would knock, and I would open. It was hard at first, but it got easier when I realized that by surrendering my heart, I was inviting Jesus to be the Master of my heart—not just a guest.

This year, I am going to spend time with Jesus as He shows me the plans He has for my heart. What about you? Where does Jesus stand in your heart? Is He standing in the foyer as a guest, or is He the Master who is allowed to see, heal, and restore all parts of your heart?

You can trust Jesus with your heart. He longs to go beyond just a Friend you think about on the weekends. He wants to be the first person you think about when you wake up in the morning. He wants to have continuous conversations with you. He wants to be more than just a guest.

Jesus is knocking. Are you going to answer?

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord, thank You for Your gracious acceptance and understanding. Please help us to open each door You knock on. Grant us the courage to open our hearts to You and be willing to make the changes You desire in order to grow in our relationship with You. Help us to surrender everything to You. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Movie of Reflection: “The Perfect Stranger”. It’s a story about a non-believing woman who is invited to dinner with Jesus Christ in person. Watch the movie trailer here on YouTube. You can also watch the full movie for free on YouTube via this link.

~*~
Author Bio: 

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois. She was born to Christian parents and has known Jesus Christ personally since the age of five. 


Currently, Tessa is attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school system, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

Tessa enjoys being active in her local church. She serves as a co-teacher for the two-to-five year old class where there is never a dull moment.

It is Tessa’s passion to be a girl after God’s own heart and through her studying of God’s Word, Tessa longs to draw closer to her Savior. Through her writing, she longs to take others with her on this journey of faith.

Tessa loves all things Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size.

When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, she can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

~*~
Connect with Tessa:
Blog: https://beautifulbeloved937002841.wordpress.com/

Monday, January 23, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Life lessons on the true meaning of "home"


Make Yourself at Home
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.” –John 15:9-10 (MSG)

Home is my happy place.

I’ve always been a homebody, preferring to stay in, comfortable and reading a good book, rather than going out and having what others call a good time. I’ve loved decorating the houses I’ve lived in, remodeling outdated rooms, and finding my design style over time. When I was pregnant, the nursery was my ultimate nesting focus.

I’ve been a homemaker for many years. Yet, all the energy I’ve spent in setting tables and fluffing throw pillows does not accurately reflect the “home” Jesus Christ speaks of in John 15. Here Christ says, “Make yourselves at home in my love.” This is not a material location with floors and walls, but a spiritual place of relationship. This shift in meaning from physical place to heart space intrigued me to look deeper at the essence of what it means to make a home.

This scripture begins with the attribute of love. Jesus says, “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me” (John 15:9). The center of God’s Kingdom is loving others. In fact, the very next verse in John 15 states this way of living as mandatory. It reads, “This is my command: Love one another the way that I loved you” (John 15:12 MSG; emphasis mine). Jesus lived out a sacrificial love, his priority being forgiveness of offense and unity in relationship.

Families don’t always prioritize this kind of love within the home. More commonly, being right is more important than being together. Hierarchal structures of head of household, and powerplay instead of teamwork, can create an atmosphere of jealousy, distrust, and sometimes violence. This does not reflect the heart of God. Nor is it following His example of how to love.

Christ reiterates that He kept His Father’s command. His habit of love was his habitat. And that’s the kind of homemaking he instructs us with—living a lifestyle of love for people. This mirrors our true home in Heaven.

Any house rule set by Jesus has a purpose that is meant for good. Jesus reveals to us in John 15:11 that his intent in making love mandatory is in spreading and growing joy. Let’s remember what Jesus says in John 15:11 (MSG): “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.”

The worst years of my life were those when my family was not unified. There was no joy. Accusations flew and hateful statements were hastily made. Lines were drawn and barriers thickened. Home in those days was not a safe place. And no number of scented candles could mask the stink of our brokenness. It wasn’t until we could sacrifice pride and humbly share the hurts on our hearts, exchanging both apologies and forgiveness, that our house returned to being a home.

When my adult children return home these days, they kick off their shoes, dig through the refrigerator, and lay on the couch. Together we cuddle, tell stories, and enjoy each other’s company. This level of comfort and trust came through applying the love rule and is how we can now abide in a joy wholly mature.

It is only when we can say to others, “I’ve loved you the way my Heavenly Father has loved me", that we are making ourselves at home in Christ's love. In following his command, we build a home that is like God’s Home in Heaven.

This is the art of homemaking—joyfully living out love.

Let’s Pray:
Holy Father, Thank You for Your love. Thank You for the example and the sacrifice Jesus lived out for us to follow on earth. We thank You for inviting us into Your Kingdom. May we follow Your command to love others, that we might be at home in You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Always Be My Home” (song) by Rachael Lampa. Listen to it here.

~*~
Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.


She has a diverse background in business, fitness, and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she’s served, Sharon sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.

Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is studying Christian fiction writing.

~*~
Connect with Sharon:
Website: Sharonmusgrove.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sharon-Musgrove-Untethered-102208978041060
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharonmusgrove_untethered/

Friday, January 20, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: How to be content when you want more


Contentment in Circumstances
A devotional by Hannah Benson

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”—1 Timothy 6:6-7 (ESV)

I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to look at someone else and feel envious of their good fortune or to think that they have it made. More followers on Instagram than me? They must feel great about themselves. Life with a better plan than I have? Makes me wish I was like them.

See the pattern and how easily it is to slip into envy and dissatisfaction about anything? And on and on the list goes.

But here’s the thing: I’ve been on both the receiving end of jealousy and the giving side. I’ve received jealously, but more often, I’ve given jealousy and been envious of people. I’ve been the one longing for what another has (this is called coveting. The Bible tells us not to do that in Exodus 20:17 when God gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments). We don’t always have to covet something physical, either. It could be popularity, the level of success they’ve achieved, or any number of things. The Bible also tells us in Romans 12:15 (ESV) that we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep”. But it is so much easier to complain and wish that I had what they have instead of rejoicing with them that God has blessed them. It’s no fun being jealous of someone else and wishing for what isn’t yours!

I’ve also been on the side where I, sometimes, got what I wanted and achieved what I so desperately coveted. Once it was mine, I thought in disappointment, “This didn’t fulfill me like I thought it would.” An example of this is when I was a student in school, I longed for the day I would graduate. But I mistakenly believed that graduating would solve all my problems and that life would get easier. I looked to graduates and thought, “Wow, they have it made.” But chances are they probably didn’t. Now that I have been a graduate for almost two years, I’ve quickly learned that I was wrong because while being a high-school grad is wonderful, it doesn’t fulfill me like I thought it would.

The thing is that glamour is never as truly glamourous as it seems. Because of our sin nature, even if I got what I thought I wanted, it would never be enough, and I would always want more.

Contentment in our circumstances is a beautiful thing. Now, that’s not to say that if a situation is unhealthy that you should stay when you know you should get out. But it means being content when someone else gets the lead in the musical we wanted. It means being content even when it seems like others have so much more and are happier than you. Because chances are, their life isn’t as perfect as it appears.

Contentment really goes hand in hand with trusting God. When we trust that God will take care of us and that He knows best, we are content where we are and can cheer others on when they are showered with blessings. Being content and trusting God produces godliness in our lives.

When we come to realize that we have all we really need, then we gain such a joy that no amount of money, popularity, or success could ever buy.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Father God, I know that You are enough for me, and I thank You! Help me to live as if You are enough for me. Teach me how to stop coveting what belongs to someone else. Help me to rejoice with my friends even when I am tempted to long for what is theirs. I know You love me and have good plans for me too. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: “Satisfied” by Chris Tomlin. Listen to it here.

~*~
Author Bio:

Hannah Benson is a Jesus-follower who’s passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others.


From the time she could hold a pen, she was writing. But it wasn’t until she was sixteen that she began to seriously follow God’s calling to write a novel. Hannah is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has at least four novels in the works. For the past five years, she has been involved with her local Biblical theater company. She wants to show others the love of Jesus through the creative arts.

When she’s not acting or working on her upcoming novel, you can find Hannah laughing with her siblings, cuddling her little fluffy dog, or reading books (usually historical fiction or fantasy stories). You can read more of Hannah’s writings on her blog or on her Instagram where she strives to write content that leaves others feeling encouraged.

~*~
Connect with Hannah:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hannahlynnauthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Hannah-Lynn-Writer/100073790792576/
Blog: www.loveunconditional.blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When we think of God as our personal trainer


When God Is Your Personal Trainer
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”–2 Peter 1:3-7 (NIV)

Change is possible, even for creatures of habit.

I am reminded of this every time I go to the gym–after buying memberships only to lose interest over the years, my mindset changed when I realized I was not only overweight, my knees were in terrible shape. When my orthopedic surgeon recommended knee replacement last year, he said patients with stronger legs have the best outcome. And now, after a year of hard work, prayer, and my trainer's support, I don't need surgery after all.

For most of us, a new year means it's time for a makeover. The possibilities are endless, and if we're not careful, we can try to make so many changes that we throw in the towel too soon.

What if making one change is the only one necessary?

I like to think of God as a personal trainer. While He cares about every need, spiritual fitness is His priority because our character, not our waistline, will help us make a difference in the world.

Asking God to help us build spiritual muscle seems counterintuitive, but only He knows what's up ahead this year and the inner qualities we need to cope with it. If we try to change everything ourselves, it's easy to burn out when life doesn't turn out as we hoped.

Making one change is hard enough; let's keep it simple this time.

As you think about this year, consider implementing one of the following options. The growth you see in yourself over the next several months simply by making one change may surprise you!

Here’s a short list of options: 
  1. Set one goal. Is there one goal you could reach that would make all the difference in how you approach life? Set yourself up for success by making it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Chart your progress each week and reward yourself along the way.
  2. Choose one word. What do you need more of this year? Some examples are simplicity, trust, faith, acceptance, and hope. Let it guide you each day. Keep a journal and see how you grow in that area by the end of the year.
  3. Meditate on a Bible verse. Ask God to reveal a verse that best fits an area you need to improve, such as impatience or offense. Memorize it and apply it to situations as they come up.
Friend, whatever your choice, I'm confident this will be one of your best years yet, because if I've learned anything from working out at the gym, everything works out in the end.

Let's Pray:
Dear Father, thank You for building in me the character that makes me who I am today. Change is hard, but I look forward to seeing what You will do in my life this year. Give me the power to drop excess burdens and build my character so I can fulfill the calling You've designed for me. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.


Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about Gigi (her Cocker Spaniel) was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

Since 2022, Sarah’s devotionals have been published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

~*~
Connect with Sarah:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smittyc65
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@SarahCo45835279
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.cole.52