Here we go – entering the second half of March! I always like the opportunity of “new beginnings” – so on this Monday, the first day of a new week in the second half of March, let’s all start fresh with a new mindset toward more victorious living!
Now onto today’s devotional shares – and remember to check out Daily Scripture Readings, if you would like to read some Psalms and Proverbs for the day. Proverbs 16:3 happens to be one of my favorite verses, because it says, “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” I definitely need to have MY thoughts established, because otherwise they become foggy and distracted, and I don’t accomplish the works I need to do each day!
“Do you know God wants to take care of you? It’s true. He wants you to give Him all your cares, your problems, your failures–your ‘ashes’–and in exchange He will give you beauty.
Many people want God to take care of them, but they continue worrying or trying to figure out the answers to their problems instead of waiting for His direction. They continue to wallow in their ‘ashes’ and expect God to give them beauty.
But it doesn’t work that way–God can only give you beauty when you give Him the ashes. It’s a great privilege to be cared for by the King of kings, so give up your worries and concerns to Him, and enjoy His protection, stability, and fulness of joy.”
–Joyce Meyer in “Ending Your Day Right”
“Lord, thank You that in my deepest and truest identity, I am a new person in union with Christ…I am one of Your spiritual masterpieces, created clean and clear as a flawless jewel…and You are cutting and polishing me to receive and display more fully the beauty of Your glorious attributes.”
–Ruth Myers in “31 Days of Praise”
-1- I have heard the concept of exchanging “beauty for ashes” as a means to emotional healing, but I hadn’t really made the connection that it’s our own negative thinking or actions that comprise the “ashes.” So if we desire positive changes in our lives, to attain that “beauty”–we need to transform the negativity into positivity by entrusting those “ashes” of our lives into God’s loving, caring hands.
-2- It amazes me when two devotionals on the same day, in devotional books written in different years–and in this case, by different authors–have similar messages. To me, that’s like someone waving a flag and yelling, “PAY ATTENTION!!” So again, on the theme of transformation…we know it’s a process for a crude gemstone to become a polished, flawless jewel. I wonder why we sometimes think it should be any less of a process for us to be transformed into God’s image?
So what are YOUR thoughts? Do you look forward to the transformation process, or do you back away, unsure if you want to go through the process?