This year is a year of Focus. This article provides some recommendations for individuals who are focused on spiritual growth, gaining wisdom and insight, and developing a more deeper and enriching relationship with God. These resources are able to be purchased through the affiliate links of Christian Books. Recommendations include Charles Stanley Life Principles daily Bible, My Utmost for His Highest Devotional by Oswald Chambers, Six Battles Men Must Win, and Uninvited. By purchasing these resources (and other recommended resources) through the affiliate links, you are helping to support this website and program.
Daily Devotions | January 1 – 6, 2019
These daily devotions are being published to provide inspiration, growth, and spiritual perspective for those in recovery, struggling with their faith, and feeling lost.
The moment we step out in faith and draw near to God is the moment our journey begins. The past is behind us as we step over the threshold of our own pain and suffering. Once we draw near to God, outside of the door of our past, we are progressing and God begins to draw near to us. Once we purify our hands and our hearts, He begins to work within our lives. His grace, mercy, and forgiveness ever transforming us.
Our life is a process of learning, gaining knowledge, developing wisdom, and being open to discipline. Much like a child, our Heavenly Father corrects us in order to assist us in maintaining our footing on the right path. His gift to us is our moral agency. When we fail, make mistakes, and give way to temptation – …he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9, ESV).
Our relationships have a dynamic affair where they are quite fluid. When we are actively involved in our recovery, we begin to focus on nurturing them in healthier ways. If anything, our compulsions, substance use, and dysfunctions brought difficulty into ours and other’s lives.
As we shake off those chains that have bound us, we are renewed in our spirit. Our Heavenly Father graciously gives us a new heart, a new spirit, and power of love and self-control. Our relationship with God requires us to be mindful and receptive. We continue to remain receptive and open to personal spiritual messages that come through His word, through those who continue to pursue after Him. Our relationship with God grows deeper and enriches us.
Unlike loneliness, solitude affords us an opportunity to be at peace with ourselves. We become fully acquainted with who we are, develop a deeper sense of honesty and appreciation, and enrich our spiritual development. Christ often committed himself to be in solitude. Here, he prayed to the Father. As we spend time in meditation, we are consciously connected with our Heavenly Father. We discover that in our time of solitude, we are not alone.
It is quite a difficult path to learn to look to the present moment. However, when we are willing to take small steps, we begin to realize there are no instant fixes to complex problems and issues we may face. Only when we surrender into the intimacy of God’s divine will and grace are we able to truly be human and redeemed. We no longer need to pretend. We are authentic, we love others because we have a true love for Christ. We enjoy the fellowship and companionship of others because we enjoy our fellowship and companionship with our gracious Heavenly Father.
One Year Bible Reading Plan
Reading through the Bible in one year is challenging. Even for those who are new to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, there are many blessings, promises, encouragement, and empowerment one receives when they prayerfully and sincerely meditate upon God’s word. As you read through the Bible in one year, reflect on where you are at, how God is drawing you close, and focus on how you come to grow spiritually in God’s grace.
We begin where we are at. And where that beginning occurs is when we come to the end of self and rest in the intimate relationship we have with God. Through our faith in Him, we surrender our lives and will over to His divine sovereign will. He desires to enrich us, bless us, and bring us through our personal adversities to a place where we are able to grow and live an abundant life.
Doubt begins with the questioning of God’s design and plan. It begins with questioning the divine purpose and nature of our relationship with Him. The adversary is crafty and presents, what appears, a seemingly innocent question. It leads us to question whether obedience is necessary for our growth. Ultimately, we are led to believe the illusion that we are capable of finding greater blessing in walking in our own will and desire.
Through our obedience, we are nurtured and secured in God’s divine providence and grace. Obedience ought to be the cornerstone of our personal faith and relationship with Him. This brings blessings and rewards into our own life. It encourages, and empowers us, to live and be an influence toward others. Opposite of obedience is disobedience. Through disobedience we receive condemnation and judgment.
Jesus Christ provided the example of how we are to rest in the security and safety of God’s grace. When the adversary presented himself, there were three temptations Christ dealt with. As we follow the leading of God, there will surely be some form of temptation to set us back. Bring us to a place of questioning and doubting God’s will and desire. These temptations are not from God. However, we may see them as a test of our faithfulness toward Him. He already has a way provided for us to move past those temptations.
Under the banner of forgiveness, we come to admit the suffering, shame, and guilt our personal transgressions have brought upon us. Through His divine word, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind conviction of our sin. And, there is no coming to God and justifying the reasons behind our transgressions. We merely beseech Him to forgive us. We humble ourselves in all sincerity and seek those whom we offended and request forgiveness.
As we grow in obedience, we come to recognize that God’s plan is not based on common sense. Sometimes, what our Heavenly Father may require might appear to be quite ridiculous from our own perspective and understanding. Along with this, our obedience will undergo testing. This is because, just like Abraham, God understands and knows the motivations of our heart as we continue to grow in obedience to His will.
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