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.

Who’s in Control?

. . . As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

  
Pause for a moment and ask yourself this question: Who is in control of my mind, my actions, my words, my attitude? Would your answer be the world, or Jesus Christ, or some of both?

Joshua made a commitment to God and was willing to be an example of this commitment. Joshua was called by God to lead the Israelites into the land which God had promised their forefathers. Joshua was a strong military leader. The key to his success was his submission to God. There were many idol gods in Canaan (Israel today), and Joshua made it clear that he would follow the Lord God who was trustworthy.

Just like Joshua, we, too, must decide who or what will control us. There are many idols around us, and if we aren’t careful, we can get swept up in them. It is easy to get totally absorbed in our families, our job, our hobbies, after-school activities.

In Philippians 2 Paul tells us that we should have the same mind and the same attitude as Jesus Christ. This means we will be obedient to God. We will be willing to forgive, to show compassion, and to wipe out selfish desires. We cannot do this on our own. God has to be in control of our lives.

I’m sure by now that you are in your new fall schedule. Did you make a place for God? He should be at the top. Have you allowed time for family devotions, Bible stories for your children, church and church activities? Most of all, have you made time for a quiet time with God? God is often pushed into the margins of our schedules.

Choose to serve God unashamedly with all your heart, and then watch to see how God blesses you.

Georgia Andrus

Do It Now

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Proverbs 27:1


Do you have a problem with procrastination—putting off until tomorrow what could be done today? It is not that there is no intention of doing the thing in question. It is just that we put it off. There is an English proverb which says, “Procrastination is the thief of time.”

One major problem with procrastination is that it does not take into consideration the uncertainty of life. I am still feeling sad that I missed saying goodbye to my long-time friend, Dianne. We had been friends since high school. Dianne was in a hospital a hundred miles from where I live. I was planning to go visit her, but I kept putting it off.

Finally, I made plans to go visit Dianne. She died the day before my visit was to be. I did not get to tell my friend goodbye or to give her a hug. If only I had gone to visit her earlier. I procrastinated.

I remember reading a true story a few years ago about a mother whose husband left her for another woman. She was left to raise four children alone. She worked two jobs, then had to go home to feed hungry children, do laundry, clean house, and help with homework. Her life was nothing but work.

The children grew up to be nice, productive adults. They didn’t make time to visit their mother very often. As the mother was dying in a hospital, her children gathered around her to say their goodbyes. They thanked her for working so hard and for providing for them alone. The mother said, “Oh, if I could have only heard those kind remarks when I was struggling so hard.” Her children procrastinated.

Is there someone you need to tell about Jesus and eternal life? Is there someone you need to visit? Do it now before it is too late.


Georgia Andrus

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