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... but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

-Jeremiah 9:24

It occurred to me, as I was writing my book, Drama Free, that most of the drama we experience in life is a result of fearing people more than we fear God.  

For instance, I was recently stressed out because someone was believing something about me that wasn’t true. But did I really fear what people thought more than I feared the God who had my back and could clear my name? 

The Bible tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom….” (Psalm 111:10, NASB).

I find that verse interesting because I’ve come to realize the opposite of wisdom is drama. When we exercise wisdom, we use discretion and we don’t make a scene. When we demonstrate wisdom, we don’t bring distress to others. When we display wisdom, we are not putting ourselves on display.  If fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, which negates drama, then fearing anything other than God is likely to trigger drama.

Instead of fearing God, we often fear:

·       being misunderstood

·       being treated unfairly

·       being embarrassed (by appearing weak or incapable)

·       being rejected

·       being in a situation where we are not in control (My daughter has a fear of flying because she fears not being in control. And let me tell you, she can be drama on the airplane because of it!)

 

Sometimes we simply fear the worst. That is still a fear of something other than God. It is giving more power to what we fear than to God, who can handle those fears.

In Exodus 14:14 we are told: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV). That is one capable God, able to do far more than our fears, worries or drama can accomplish.

The more you and I get to know who God is and what He is capable of, the more our worries, fears, and freak-outs can be stilled.

We can be full of drama, or full of trust in an all-capable God. I know which one I want to be. Don’t you? 

Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author who helps women and couples strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 15 books including her newest, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You

More of Cindi McMenamin : http://www.strengthforthesoul.com/

GOD'S PLAN OR OURS? 

BY THEODORE EPP

In Strength for the Journey

Genesis 32:13-21

Genesis 32:13 tells how Jacob returned to his scheming immediately after praying: "And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother."

Instead of trusting in God alone, Jacob plotted how he could appease Esau by giving of his possessions. Jacob substituted appeasement for deception. This perhaps shows some improvement, but his motives were still fleshly and debased in view of all the promises God had given him.

Because Jacob did not trust the Lord as he should have, he continued to carry the burden himself. Jacob leaned on his own plan more than on God's sure word of promise. This is a vivid illustration of the works of the flesh.

The flesh is always in conflict with the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

When we are in the habit of thinking that we provide for ourselves, it is hard to trust God completely. We feel that somehow we have to help God if our needs are to be met. Instead of fitting into God's plan, we expect Him to bless our plans.

"For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me" (Ps. 31:3).


- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/gods-plan-or-ours#sthash.PrF9J9vn.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

DIVINE PROTECTION -   

In Lessons on Living

"Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn." - Ruth 2:9

An Alpine mountain climbing team came to a perilous gap in the ice. The only way to get across was to step into the outstretched hands of the guide who had met them on the other side. The first climber hesitated a moment as he looked into the gloomy depths below, where he would certainly fall to his death if anything went wrong. Seeing his hesitancy, the guide said, "Don't worry. In all my years as a guide, my hands have never yet lost a man!"

With this same assurance, Ruth placed herself in Boaz's hands. God provided someone who would protect her. Boaz took steps to keep her morally safe by commanding the young men not to touch her. He also provided for her physical protection. Under the hot Mediterranean sun, the danger of heat stroke was a very real possibility. But his young men brought jars of water to the field, and Ruth was free to refresh herself whenever she wanted. In Boaz, Ruth found a safe haven from the dangers around her.

God offers the same to all His children. There is never a moment when we are excluded from His divine protection. That does not mean we can never be hurt. It doesn't mean we will never die. But God's divine protection extends to our ultimate safety?the protection of our souls. These can never be harmed. They are safe in the care of Jesus.

Rejoice in God's divine protection. Be confident that you are safe in His care, no matter how difficult your circumstances might be. God is the keeper of your soul.

Life can hurt us but it cannot ultimately harm us.


- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/divine-protection#sthash.OfJ1VHLW.dpuf

Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf

More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

I Am Soooo Sorry -  

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. —Galatians 5:1

 

My husband and I were driving home from dinner with friends and suddenly found ourselves bickering over nothing of importance. The next thing we knew, our wonderful day together had been spoiled by a fight that could have been avoided. We finished our drive home in tense silence.

 

By the time we got home, we both realized how silly our argument had been. Still hurt and angry, it was hard to know where to start. He broke the silence by apologizing for his part and I quickly followed as I recognized my part. It should have ended there, but I didn’t let it. I couldn’t stop apologizing and saying how sorry I was. Even the next morning the first words out of my mouth were another apology about how wrong I had been. That’s when he told me to stop.

 

I probably would have kept apologizing all through the next day if he had not stopped me. It was hard for me to accept his forgiveness. I continued to want to make it up to him and do things for him to show him how very sorry I was. In fact, I often find myself doing that with God, too.

 

I carry shame and guilt over sins I have already confessed. I hold onto the guilt and work to make it up to God. I live as if I am really, really sorry, then He will forgive me. Or, if I do something for someone else today, then maybe I will make myself right before God. However, that is not what the Lord has for us. Christ has set us free. Not free to do whatever we please but free from the penalty of sin. In fact, we have freedom from having to earn His love and earn His forgiveness. He has already paid the price, and he has already forgiven us of our vices and shortfalls.

 

Actions in keeping with repentance are appropriate! But, all those extra “sorry’s” and all the things I do to try to make myself right with God are not about Him. Those things are all about the attempts I make to improve my “standing” in His eyes. And they are simply mistaken. So the challenge becomes: How do you and I accept the invitation God gives us to live a life that is free? How do we live a life not trying to earn forgiveness but accepting what has been freely given?

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. In what ways do you have a hard time accepting the freedom found in a relationship with Christ?

 

2. What makes it hard for you to forgive yourself?

 

FURTHER READING:

Psalm 32:1-5; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:1-2

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

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