Long Devotional for Women:
Planting Seeds --
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop -- a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."—Matthew 13:3-8
A few years ago, I spoke at a camp at which I have been both a camper and a staff member. Upon arrival, some campers who I had worked with previously greeted me. One afternoon, a group of us were reminiscing about past years at camp when one young man mentioned that he remembered something I had said at a seminar four years prior. Expecting him to say something sarcastic, I asked him what it was. “You told a story about getting cut from a team and someone told you, ‘It is not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back up that matters.’ I’ll never forget that,” he said.
Rarely in our lives do we get an opportunity to know how we have affected another person. I felt so encouraged to know that someone was actually paying attention four years before! But mostly, it was a reminder to me. Each one of us has the ability to plant seeds. We have the ability to plant positive seeds that can bear fruit for the kingdom and negative seeds that can crush spirits. There are times that I am sure I have missed opportunities, but this was a great reminder that you never know who is really listening.
Each one of us is an example to others around us and, as such, we must be conscious of what type of seeds we are planting. More often than not, you will not know whether you have affected someone positively or negatively or at all. We should never do anything looking for awards, praise, or accolades. But as this young man encouraged me, I know it is my place now to encourage someone else: The person who originally shared that quote with me more than ten years ago.
Today, remember those people who have made a difference in your life. If possible, thank them for the legacy they have handed down to you.
1. What kinds of seeds are you planting in people’s lives at work? At home? On a day-to-day basis?
2. Is there someone in your life who helped you during a tough time or molded your life? Have you said “thank you”? Now may be the time.
Psalm 10:12-18; 1 Timothy 1:5-7; Hebrews 3:7-19
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/
Long Devotional for Men:
Praise and Worship -
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory. —Ephesians 1:3-14
When you praise the Lord, you unleash the Spirit of God to do awesome acts of power. Here are a few reasons why my heart is filled with praise and worship to the King of kings. Can you praise Him too?
Praise God for the beauty of His creation (Psalm 19).
Praise God for the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
Praise God for the blood of Christ for our redemption (Revelation 5:9).
Praise God for healing the broken-hearted (Psalm 147:3).
Praise God for His birth: Emmanuel (Luke 2).
Praise God for His life on earth (John 13:15-17).
Praise God for the cross and sacrificial love (Romans 5:8).
Praise God for His mighty acts of power (Deuteronomy 3:24).
Praise God for His surpassing greatness (Psalm 150:2).
Praise God for His Word (1 Peter 1:24-25).
Praise is music to God’s ears. God inhabits praise. God loves to hear His children offer Him praise. How can you make God happy? Praise Him! Why should God be praised? Praise releases the Holy Spirit within you to call upon His almighty authority. Praise releases your spirit to sing of His awesome greatness!
1. Make a list of reasons why you are filled with praise today.
2. Take a minute to sing a song of praise to God. Now sing another one.
Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com.
Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California.
More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com