The writers of Encouraging.com are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on amazon.com, iTunes, and BarnesandNoble.com.

Life’s Trail

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.
Psalm 25:1


Once again last August, our family traveled to Estes Park, Colorado. We’ve done this now for over 40 years. Rocky Mountain National Park draws us there. We enjoy the beauty and the crisp mountain air. We also enjoy hiking the many trails.

Before each trip, my husband plans our hikes. He studies his hiking trail book from cover to cover. He can tell you where each hike begins, how long it is, and how difficult the trail is. We always know our path.

Life is like a trail. It has a starting point and a stopping point. The Holy Bible is the “trail book”—it teaches about life and how to handle it. God is the trail guide. Like a hiking trail, life has easy spots. Life has tough spots. Life has both mountains and valleys.

Our hikes in the mountains are satisfying and challenging. With God as our trail guide, life can be satisfying and pleasurable. But life has challenges. When God is our guide, we have Someone who helps us through these difficult times.

As we hike this trail of life, we need to remember that God has put us on this path. He has given us life on this earth. We are not here by chance or accident; God put us on this journey called life.

God wants to join us on this hike. He didn’t create us and forget about us. Our lives can be different if we trust God to be our life guide.

God wants us to take a path that leads to faith and trust in Him. It is a safe path. It will lead to eternal life with Him.

Think about your life. Are you hiking along with God? Or, are you on your own trail, getting lost from time to time, facing difficult spots that get you down?

God wants to be our guide and constant companion as we walk this trail of life.


Georgia Andrus

Live the Faith

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

 

When I learned that Mr. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants, died last month, I immediately thought of this verse. He kept the faith.

Mr. Cathy and his wife started with a small restaurant in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In 1967 he opened his first Chick-fil-A. There are now more than 1,800 locations.

Many thought Mr. Cathy was making a mistake when he chose not to open his stores on Sunday. Sundays are big restaurant days. But Mr. Cathy valued worship ahead of profits. Yes, this was a sacrificial decision, but God blessed Mr. Cathy. This is a great testimony to all who drive by a Chick-fil-A on Sundays.

My husband and I have good friends who are Chick-fil-A operators. For years I heard them talk about Mr. Cathy and his faithfulness to God. He was truly a committed, faithful Christian which is evident in the life he lived. His company was definitely Christian based.

When Paul wrote the words in the above verse, he knew that the end of his life was drawing near. Paul was called by Jesus to carry His name to the Gentiles and to the people of Israel (Acts 9:15).

In today’s scripture, Paul sums up his life in three different ways: “ I have fought the good fight.” All believers should take this position. We should all be a defender of the Word of God and stand for the great truths of the Bible.

“I have finished my course.” It is necessary for life that we have staying power. Many people begin a project or a ministry, then fail to complete it. Not Paul. He stayed true to his call.

“I have kept the faith.” Paul never veered from the truths and doctrines in the Word of God. Paul never lost faith in Jesus even during his persecutions.

Are you faithfully serving God and keeping the faith?


Georgia Andrus

What Will They Say?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8


What will they say about your life at your funeral or memorial service? Something to think about, huh?

In the last year my husband and I have lost two good friends. Both were outstanding people, having lived lives worthy of praise. As I sat listening to worthy tributes to each of them, I thought—What will they say at my funeral? Have I made a difference in others’ lives? Has my life glorified God? Have I been a good Christian example?

As I think back on my life, I remember the good things my parents left me. It was not money or a large estate. It was their living example of character, integrity, compassion, honesty, loyalty, discipline, and sacrifice. They taught me about Jesus at an early age. They were faithful Christian servants.

I grew up on a dairy farm—that means lots of hard work and not very much money. There were times I resented not having all the things my friends had. As I grew older, however, I realized the things my parents taught me were so much greater than anything money can buy.

The greatest legacy we can pass on to our children and grandchildren is not money or other material things that we have accumulated in life. The greatest legacy we can pass on is character and faith.

If our character is marked by greed, anger, bitterness, lack of integrity or any other negative quality, this is how we will be remembered. If our character and integrity are shaped by Christ over the years, our children will see and remember it.

It is God’s will for us to become more like Jesus Christ. It’s never too late to change. We can’t change the past, but we certainly can change the future.

What will they say about you?


Georgia Andrus

And Pray . . .

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18


Prayer is incredibly simple, right? So why is it so difficult? Maybe it’s because it is so simple, that we think we cannot possibly be doing it right. I’ll admit, sometimes I don’t think my prayers are powerful or effective. But this is a journey – a journey of a growing, challenging faith. I am committed to pursuing a dynamic, powerful prayer life.

Prayer is a conversation, one of sharing ourselves with our Father, and listening to Him. We can tell him our feelings, our worries, and our fears. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). We ask for help, healing, and protection. We pray for guidance, wisdom, and peace.

What else does God’s word say about prayer? This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:14-15).

According to his will. Whatever we ask. Here is where praying God’s word comes in. Since we know that his word lines up with his will, we can pray scripture with confidence.

During a season of sleepless nights and anxiety I prayed Proverbs 3:24, when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3 encourages us to trust in the Lord, seek his wisdom, honor, and fear him. When we follow him, the promises in this chapter also apply to us.

Scour the scripture for passages to pray back to the Lord. Whether praising or mourning, seeking or repenting, just the right passage to pray can be found in the Bible.

We can also pray that God will align our will with his. What more could I want for myself and those I pray for – that God will align our wills to his? That’s pretty much it. All I can ask for. Just keepin’ it simple.

Thank you, Father, that you hear us, and you answer us. Keep us in your word, and align our wills with yours.  

Julie

Stand on Scripture

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21


We all know how powerful our words can be. Words of affirmation from someone special can make our day. Words of condemnation can send us to the depths of despair.

I have become increasingly more aware of my words as I speak to and about my children. My words are parts of a tapestry that shape the worldview of my kids. My words can also shape my relationship with my husband and other important people in my life. That is powerful stuff!

So why not speak a little more scripture? This is spiritual warfare. When you speak in the name of Jesus, His power is released. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present (1 Corinthians 5:4). This is why God’s word is a sword, a weapon of truth.

What more could we need for battling the enemy? Know God’s word, study it, and speak it. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

You also know that you are speaking truth when you speak scripture. There’s no question. God’s word is truth.

What does God say to do next? Stand. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13). We stand. If we are full of God’s truth, His righteousness, ready with the Gospel, empowered by faith, protected by salvation, and believing God’s Word, there is nothing else necessary! Isn’t it amazing that the Lord has already given us everything that we need?

Father, show us how and when to use the tools you have given, and we thank you that with these tools, we can be victorious over the evil one.

Julie