Sometimes all I’ve got is, "wow!"

9:36 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Luke 6:35
Love your Enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will be acting as children of the most high, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. Luke 6:35 (NLT)

This morning I was reading the bible and came across this really well-worn verse. It’s the kind of verse I’ve heard so often that I skim over it when it’s quoted in books. I’ve forgotten how good it tasted the first time I discovered it. 

I just let it sink in. One phrase at a time. 

Love your Enemies! 

Do good to them. 

Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. 

Oh, how I wish that I lived this verse out every day. But so often I fail to do this. 

I say I love my enemies but when was the last time I did something good for them that was inconvenient for me?

This verse hit me because often I am all about what I can get, then Jesus comes and whispers, "Love your enemy. Treat them better than your best friend...come on."

And then Jesus reminds me that I must do this because of who I am: a child of the most high.

Then your reward from heaven will be very great, 

And you will be acting as children of the most high.

I am a reflection of Jesus to my enemies. 

Just as I’m ready to put the bible down, and find an enemy to love, I see the last phrase:

For God is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

10 little words that remind me how much like my enemies I am. How I am often unthankful and wicked before God and how this unending, kind, grace-filled God does good things for me without expecting anything in return. 

Sometimes all I’ve got is wow... (tweet this)

Ponder: When was the last time you did something kind to your enemies without expecting to be repaid?

Prayer: Lord, help me to be more like you. Show me how to be kind to those who hate me. Amen


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What are you afraid of?

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Inspiring christian quotes
I, I’m the One comforting you, What are you afraid of – or who? Some man or woman who’ll soon be dead? Some poor wretch destined for dust? You’ve forgotten me, God, who made you, who unfurled the skies, who founded the earth. Isaiah 51: 12-13 (MSG)

I am afraid of confrontation.

I know that confronting a small thing when it occurs is better than facing off about a big thing further down the line. 

This last month I forgot this and I ended up in a situation where I was feeling used and abused and alone. 

After another episode of being treated badly I yelled at my computer in frustration and then burst into tears. 

My poor husband has heard me ranting about the situation for weeks. While I stood there wiping tears away he told me to quit. 

He told me I needed to stand up for myself and if it meant that I lost the contract we’d find another way to make ends meet. 

And I knew: this man had my back. 

I’d forgotten that I wasn’t alone and that I didn’t need to solve this problem on my own. 

Later in the day I thought about what had happened and about how I do the same thing with God. 

I forget that God has my back. (tweet this)

I think that’s why God included verses like Isaiah 51:12 – 14 in the bible, little reminders that he is bigger than all our problems. 

Isaiah 51:12-13 devotionalCues that most of my worries are tiny compared to a God who made me, unfurled the skies, and founded the earth. 

When I put it like that I wonder why I would ever think that God didn’t have my back? Why I would stress for even one moment that if I stand up for myself God won’t back me up. 

My problems are nothing compared to crafting a human, or flinging stars, or speaking a planet into being but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. 

As long as I remember God has my back, all my fears seem tiny. (tweet this)

Even confrontation doesn’t seem so scary when I remember that God is standing right behind me saying, 
“I’ve got this. No matter what happens, I’ve got your back.” (tweet this)

Ponder: Do you ever feel like no one has your back? How do you feel about the idea that God has your back?

Prayer: Lord, thank you that I don’t need to be afraid because you are with me. Amen.


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Would you make the list of good stuff?

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

God makes good stuff John 1:3

His speech shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him. John 1:3 (The Voice)

Sometimes I miss God in small things. 

I often fail to see God in all things. 

But the other day I bit into an apple, an ordinary fruit, tasted the sweet juice and wondered at how it tastes so much better than so many man-made foods. 

And I thought, “God makes good stuff.” (tweet this)

I started a “God makes good stuff” list today. This is what I have so far:
Apples
Sleep
Air
Oranges
Friends
Me

I struggle with that last one. I hesitate to put "me" there. I find it hard to believe that I am good stuff.  

Funny thing is I don’t find it so hard to write friends onto the list. I find it easy to see how the people I love could be on the “God makes good stuff” list but not me. 

I don’t feel adequate. 

I feel small. 

Sometimes I miss God in small things. (tweet this)

I often fail to see God in all things.

Maybe it is because my eyes are busy looking for big things when the Bible says, “God’s speech shaped the entire cosmos.”

God in all thingsEverything created heard God’s voice before they saw Him with their eyes. (tweet this)

Perhaps instead of looking with my eyes, I should be listening with my heart. 

God makes good stuff.” 

My eyes see an apple; my heart hears God proclaiming what he made is good. 

My eyes see an inadequate woman; my heart hears the Lord saying that everything he makes is good, including me.

When I hear God in small things I begin to see God in all things. (tweet this)

Ponder: What would you put on a “God makes good stuff” list. Post your ideas in the comments. 

Prayer: Lord, give me a God-hearing heart. Amen. (tweet this) 


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Finding purpose in pain

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

devotionals 2 Corinthians 12:9
{A guest devotional by Stacy Williams}

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

When I’m not writing, running an online ministry, or teaching classes as a health coach, I work as a part-time nanny. As anyone who spends time with children, particularly toddlers will attest that young children love to be independent.

“I can do it”

“It’s my turn”

“Don’t help me”

They long so much to show their independence, strength and new skills. And we live in a culture that celebrates those characteristics. The last thing anyone wants to be is weak and dependent. 

Oh, what a beautiful, backwards kingdom, the kingdom of God is! (tweet this)

For the last 19 years, I have lived with severe, chronic nerve pain throughout my body. And while I’ve seen miraculous healing in the last year, for decades I searched for purpose in my pain. And while God in His mercy showed me much purpose from my pain, the biggest lesson I learned was to be dependent on God and rely on Him in all things. 

Rely on Him for the strength to get out of bed each morning.

Rely on Him to help me to work and pay my bills when I couldn’t work full-time. 

And rely on Him to give me joy through many dark years. 

Are you walking a difficult road today? 
Maybe your pain isn’t physical like mine but perhaps relational or circumstantial? 
Are you trying, like a stubborn toddler, to do it all on your own? 

God is there waiting for you to surrender to Him. Not only can He give you power in your weakness but His power is made perfect through your weakness. 

So today if I can encourage you, make the choice and embrace your weakness. Allow God to show you purpose in your pain as you depend on Him.

Ponder: What purpose does God want to show me through the pain I am enduring right now?

Pray: Lord Jesus there is nothing more challenging than painful times in life. We thank you and praise you that you promise to never leave us or forsake us. As we admit weakness and depend on your strength please Lord show us purpose in our pain and bring beauty from these ashes. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. 

{Win}
As a gift to readers of Ilovedevotionals.com, I would love to giveaway a pdf copy of my devotional 21 Days to Finding Purpose in Pain. To enter leave a comment and share why you would like to read this devotional. Wendy will select a winner on the 26th of August 2013.

About the author of this devotional: Stacy Williams
Stacy Williams lives in Central Ohio. She loves Jesus, traveling, the ocean, essential oils, seeing God answer prayer and encouraging others. She has a Bachelor’s degree is sociology and a Master’s degree in journalism and communications. She currently works as a writer for her online ministry, health coach specializing in natural healing options and sometimes nanny and virtual assistant. She is the Creator of Finding Purpose in the Pain. Check her out on Twitter and Facebook. Check out her devotional 21 Days to Finding Purpose in Pain.

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But God's not finished

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

bible verses Isaiah 30:18 God is making everything right
But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. Isaiah 30:18 (MSG)

3 months waiting to do a PET scan and find out if the stem cell transplant my husband underwent has removed all trace of cancer. 

91 days of praying that this scan will be clean.

2184 hours trying not to think of “what if’s” and unknowns. 

131 040 minutes hoping that cancer is part of our history, not our future.

Sometimes I am tired of waiting.

Done with everything. Over waiting for medical results. Frustrated that I don’t know when this whole cancer treatment thing will end. 

Sometimes I feel finished. 

Which is why I loved discovering this verse about how God is not finished. 

God isn’t done with me, he isn’t over waiting on me to trust him or tired that I keep revisiting the same worries all the time. 

God is waiting around to be gracious to me. (tweet this)

God’s waiting. 
God’s waiting on me. 
God’s hanging around looking for ways to serve or attend to me. 
God’s waiting for me to let him be gracious to me.

God's graceSeriously, that’s what waiting means when it’s used like this. I looked it up!

So often when I think of waiting I think of me waiting on God for an answer, direction, strength. 

I rarely think of God waiting on me. 

I’ve never thought about God waiting to show grace to me. 

I can’t count how many times I have left God twiddling his thumbs instead of asking for his grace.

I’ve seen waiting as an inconvenient delay rather than as an opportunity for grace, I have failed to see that waiting can be the way that God chooses to make everything right. 

For me waiting has always felt like punishment or at best an unavoidable part of life but this verse ends with the promise that those who wait around for God are the lucky ones. 

I’m beginning to understand that if waiting is grace – if waiting is God’s way to put everything right – then as I wait I acknowledge that God’s not finished, even when I am. (tweet this)

Ponder: Have you ever thought about God waiting on you? How does that change your idea of waiting on God?

Prayer: God, I’m waiting for things to change. Let me know your grace as I wait. Amen. (tweet this)


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Are you making a big deal about small things?

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Bible verse graphics of Matthew 19:13-14
At this, some of Jesus’ followers brought their children before Jesus; they wanted Him to place His hands on the children and pray for them. Some of the disciples, mistakenly thinking that Jesus wouldn’t want to be bothered with the likes of children, began to rebuke the crowd. 
Jesus: Let the little children come to Me; do not get in their way. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to children like these. Matthew 19:13-14 (VOICE)

Sometimes I feel like I’m bothering people.

I try to mold myself into the furniture of the room so people won’t notice me, so I can disappear, and not bother the people there. 

Occasionally I feel the same way with Jesus. I feel like I’m bothering him with small things.

Instead of opening my mouth and telling him how I feel, I keep quiet. I try not to disturb the God-of-angel armies with my little fears, worries, and doubts. 

Often I act like Jesus’ disciples, assuming that Jesus doesn’t want to bothered with small things, let alone my small things. 

Sometimes I need to be reminded of the words Jesus spoke when the disciples acted like he was too important to be bothered. 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me; do not get in their way. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to children like these.”

In essence Jesus tells me, “Bring your small things to me, do not hold them back. For the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who trust me with their small things.”

So I’m trying to learn to do that, to not hold my small things back from Jesus, to not think that he’s too important to bothered with all the tiny things that concern me. 

I want to give all of me to Jesus, so why do I keep these small things to myself?

I am not a bother to Jesus. My worries, fears and doubts are not a bother to him. (tweet this)

I am learning to hear Jesus’ gentle voice saying, “Come, come to me and tell me about the small things.”

Ponder: What small things are going on in your life that you don’t want to bother Jesus with? Why not tell him about them now. 

Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you care about the small things in my life. Help me to hear your voice saying, “Come, come to me and tell me about the small things.” Amen.

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Prayer changes things

6:00 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

prayer changes things
{Guest devotional by Renee Fisher}

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,  “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35, 40-43 (NIV)

Have you ever felt like Jesus can’t hear you, and for whatever reason the crowds of this life try to choke you and keep you from crying out? 

In these times, remember this: Anguish leads to a powerful prayer life

Don’t let Satan make you believe otherwise. When Jesus finally heard the blind man he stopped. Yes, that’s right. He looked right into his eyes--which could not yet see--and asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?”

What a powerful question. 

Thankfully this man didn’t hesitate. Instead of telling Jesus his sob story or trying to explain the reasons why he was blind, he simply asked.

You can do that too. You can just ask. We have that ability through the power of prayer. 

In One Year Alone with God, Ava Pennington writes,

Anguish leads to a powerful prayer life devotional diva“Intercessory prayer causes us to look beyond our interests as we become aware of the needs and burdens of others…Intercessory prayer is critical if we are having difficulty forgiving someone else. It is almost impossible to stay angry with a person when we ask God to help us see them through His perspective, and pray for Him to bless them abundantly!”

We might think prayer helps change God or speed up the process of healing, but in fact, it changes you! (tweet this)

Just like the blind man, we need more than just physical healing. We need to see God and experience His forgiveness!

Adapted from “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” (Harvest House, 2013). Learn more about prayer and the power of forgiveness by purchasing your copy here

{About the author of this guest devotional}
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of JesusNot Another Dating BookForgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Rock Star. Learn more about Renee at devotionaldiva.com and forgivingme.com

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I've been writing here this week: 
This week I've been doing my own share of guest posts. This is where you can find them:
A short devotional for Dose of encouragement: You matter 
An interview on blogging for Ashleigh Davids: Blogging with Wendy van Eyck


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If you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Inspiring bible verses

And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. Ephesians 2:19 (VOICE)

The year I turned 13 my parents asked me what I’d like for my birthday. 

I could have asked for anything but I requested an “I-Love-You” box. 

I asked for a box filled with reasons why they loved me so that whenever I felt unloved I could pull one out and be reminded of the truth. 

Growing up my parents never gave me any real reason to doubt that they loved me but still I still felt unloved. 

In my head I knew the truth, that my family loved me, but I didn’t know how to overcome the unloved. I found my solution in an “I-Love-You” box.

On my birthday I opened up a little white box with thousands of pieces of paper from my brothers and my parents with the words “I love you.”

I still have that box somewhere. 

That box did more than just remind me that I was loved, it reminded me that I belonged. 

It told me that I was part of a family that embraced me. 

That I was connected to a clan of people who would write “I love you” on a piece of paper and put it in a box with thousands of others just because I asked to be loved that way. 

The other day I came across this quote that reminded me of that box:
Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong. (tweet this)
In tiny letters underneath it referenced Ephesians 2:19. I pulled out my bible and flicked to the verse.

I read the words out loud – slowly – personalizing it:

And so I am no longer called an outcast and a wanderer but a citizen with God’s people, a member of God’s holy family, and a resident of His household.

I thought about that little white box, and those thousands of papers, and how the mixture of belonging had somehow loved me to wholeness.

Realizing I belonged helped me to feel less unloved.

bible verses Ephesians 2:19I thought about God wants us to know how much he loves us, and what better way to do that then to tell us we belong in every way possible. 

I am a citizen with God’s people.

I am a member of God’s family.

I am a resident of God’s household.

There is no loophole, no getting round the fact that I belong with God and to God. And that I am loved by God.

It’s been 17 years since I asked for an “I-Love-You” box but there are still days when I feel unloved, unimportant or insecure. 

Perhaps I never needed that box after all, what I really needed was to read the words in Ephesians 2:19 until my soul believed them. 

Until this truth was written on my heart: 
I belong to God, and I am wholly and fully known, and loved by him. (tweet this)

Ponder: When you have felt unloved, unimportant or insecure in the past how have you dealt with it? How will this verse help you to behave differently. 

Prayer: Lord, I’m having one of those days when I need to be reminded that I am loved and important to you. Help me believe Eph 2:19. Amen.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THIS POST: When you feel unloved by God, try this

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