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Oct 18 19

General Declarations of Faith – J. M. Farro

by J. M. Farro

Whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, I do it all for the glory of God! (1 Corinthians 10:31)

The Lord continually renews my youth. The Lord continually renews my strength. (Psalm 103:5; Isaiah 40:31)

I will not grieve or be depressed, for the joy of the Lord is my strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

I am highly favored, and the Lord is with me. (Luke 1:28)

I will not toil in vain. I will long enjoy the works of my hands. (Isaiah 65:22-23)

My labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

I will eat the fruit of my labor. Blessings and prosperity will be mine. (Psalm 128:2)

God is not unjust. He will not forget my work and the love I have shown Him as I have helped His people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)

I will go in the strength of the Lord God! (Psalm 71:16)

The Lord will make my later years very great. My future will be extraordinary! (Job 8:7)

I will keep my mind stayed on You, Lord, and You will keep me in perfect peace. (Isaiah 26:3)

I will not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but I will pray about everything – with thanksgiving – and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

I have an anointing from the Holy One, and I know all things. (1 John 2:20)

I sow bountifully, blessing others, and I reap bountifully, and with blessings. (2 Corinthians 9:6)

God makes all grace abound toward me so that in all things, at all times, I have all that I need – even more than I need – with a surplus for every good work! (2 Corinthians 9:8)

My God liberally supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19)

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need! (Psalm 23:1)

The Lord be magnified, who delights in the prosperity and well-being of His servant! (Psalm 35:27)

The Lord keeps me from all harm. He watches over my life. The Lord watches over my coming and my going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens and empowers me. (Philippians 4:13)

No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that accuses me, I shall refute and prove wrong. (Isaiah 54:17)

I am shrewd and wise as a serpent; I am innocent and guileless as a dove. (Matthew 10:16)

God gives me words and wisdom which none of my adversaries can resist or contradict. (Luke 21:15)

I will not worry about what to say, or how to say it, for the Holy Spirit will always give me the right words at the right time. (Matthew 10:19-20)

The reply of my tongue comes from the Lord. (Proverbs 16:1)

I know just what to do in every situation and circumstance for God makes me see and understand. (Isaiah 28:26)

I speak the truth in love, and I grow up into the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. (Ephesians 4:15)

My God whom I serve continually shall deliver me! (Daniel 6:16)

God Himself will fight for me, and I shall hold my peace and remain at rest. (Exodus 14:14)

Not by might, nor by power, but by Your Spirit, O Lord Almighty! I will succeed because of Your Spirit! (Zechariah 4:6)

I am strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might! Weakness is a thing of the past. (Ephesians 6:10)

I have endless energy and boundless strength! (Ephesians 1:18)

The Lord makes me abundantly prosperous in every work of my hand! (Deuteronomy 30:9)

I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not beneath. I always mount higher and never decline. I always have the upper hand. (Deuteronomy 28:13)

I lend to many and borrow from none! (Deuteronomy 15:6)

I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be on my lips! (Psalm 34:1)

I sought the Lord, and He answered me. He delivered me from ALL my fears. I look to Him for help and I am radiant. My face is never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:4-5)

I cry to the Lord and He hears me. He delivers me from ALL my troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

The Lord protects all my bones – not one of them shall be broken. (Psalm 34:20)

I delight myself in the Lord, and He gives me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)

The Lord fulfills my desires because I fear and reverence Him. (Psalm 145:19)

Now, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name! (1 Chronicles 29:13)

Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. (Psalm 113:2-3)

You are my God and I will give You thanks; You are my God, and I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:28-29)

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. (Psalm 116:7)

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and my prayers are powerful and effective. (2 Corinthians 5:21; James 5:16)

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and by His stripes I am healed and made whole. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24)

I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me. (Romans 8:37)

All things are working together for my good, because I love the Lord, and I am called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I have the mind of Christ and I hold the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

The Lord guides me continually. He satisfies my needs in a sun-scorched land. He strengthens my frame and makes my bones strong. I am like a well-watered garden – like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:11)

My light breaks forth like the dawn. My healing springs forth speedily! My righteousness goes before me. The glory of the Lord is my rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8)

My good works bring me honor and recognition from people of importance. (Proverbs 31:31)

I find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:4)

I am continually increasing in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)

Surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround me with Your favor like a shield. (Psalm 5:12)

I trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is the Eternal Rock! (Isaiah 26:4)

The Lord God is my help; therefore, I am not disgraced. I have set my face like flint to do His will, knowing that I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near! (Isaiah 50:7-8)

The Lord God has given me His words of wisdom so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning, He wakens me; He opens my understanding to His will. (Isaiah 50:4)

I walk in love. I live a life of love. (Ephesians 5:2)

I live by the Spirit, and I walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

I walk by the Spirit, and I do not carry out the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

I follow the Good Shepherd, and I know His voice! (John 10:27)

God gives His angels charge over me to guard me in all my ways, so that no harm or evil will befall me. (Psalm 91:10-11)

O Lord, my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O Lord, my God, I will give You thanks forever. (Psalm 30:2, 12)

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are the One I praise! (Jeremiah 17:14)

God sends His Word and heals me. He delivers me from all destruction. (Psalm 107:20)

God blesses my food and water, and He removes all sickness from me. (Exodus 23:25)

The Lord keeps me free from every disease. (Deuteronomy 7:15)

Christ Himself took my infirmities and carried away my diseases. He bore my sicknesses and carried my pains. With His stripes, I am healed and made whole! (Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4-5)

The Lord is restoring me to full health. The Lord is completely healing me. (Psalm 41:3)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. He forgives all my sins. He heals all my diseases. (Psalm 103:2-3)

I attend to God’s words and they are life to me, they are health to all my flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

I prosper in every way, and my body keeps well, even as my soul keeps well and prospers. (3 John 2)

I seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things are added unto me – even perfect health and wholeness! (Matthew 6:33)

My happy heart does me good like a medicine. My cheerful mind works healing. (Proverbs 17:22)

God is good, and His plans for me are good! (Jeremiah 29:11)

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me. (Psalm 138:8)

The Lord is watching over His Word to fulfill it on my behalf. (Jeremiah 1:12)

God’s Word profits me because I mix it with faith. (Hebrews 4:2)

God is working with me and confirming His Word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)

God’s Word works effectually in me because I believe it! (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Oct 13 19

Do What is Right

by J. M. Farro

   “Do what is right; then if men speak against you, calling you evil names, they will become ashamed of themselves for falsely accusing you when you have only done what is good.”  1 Peter 3:16 TLB

   The Bible makes it clear that, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 NLT)  So we shouldn’t be surprised when others react negatively to our faith and good behavior.  But Scripture also reveals that there is another principle at work when we live our lives for Christ.  The apostle Peter tells us, “Do what is right; then if men speak against you, calling you evil names, they will become ashamed of themselves for falsely accusing you when you have only done what is good.” (1 Peter 3:16 TLB)  When we “do what is right,” we keep ourselves under the Lord’s protection, and within the realm of His favor, where we can reap divine rewards for setting a Christlike example for others. 

   In Isaiah 54, we see that God promises to fight our battles for us.  Verse 17 says, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong.” (Isaiah 54:17 AMP)  But we have a part to play in this kind of divine rescue operation.  By walking in obedience, we shall “show [our critics] to be in the wrong,” and God Himself will guarantee our safety and success.

   Scripture says, “God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right.” (1 Peter 2:15 GW)  One of the best ways to silence our critics is to make sure that we don’t appear to be hypocritical.  We can’t say that we are Christians, and then live like the devil.  People are constantly watching what we do, and listening to what we say.  So our conduct and conversation are extremely important.  We must consistently set a Christlike example if we want to make a real difference for God in this world.

   The Message Bible translation of First Peter 3:16 says, “Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick.  They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath.”  Hallelujah!  Stand out for Christ, and watch the Lord stand up for you!

   Lord, today, I recommit myself to You, and I ask that You give me a fresh anointing of Your Holy Spirit.  Enable and empower me to live a godly life, and to set a Christlike example everywhere I go.  Help me to conduct myself in ways that will silence my critics, and that will enable You to fight my battles for me.  Thank You that as I am led by Your Spirit in every area of my life, You will bless me and use me in new and exciting ways for Your glory!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 6 19

The God Who Makes Things Happen

by J. M. Farro

   “O God!  Your way is holy!  No god is great like God!  You’re the God who makes things happen.”  Psalm 77:13-14 MSG

   One of the most difficult lessons that I have had to learn as a follower of Christ is to wait on God for His best.  I have always been a “take charge” kind of person, so learning to depend on the Lord, and to wait for His perfect timing in my life on a regular basis, has been quite a challenge.

   One thing that helps me in this area is the feeling that I don’t want to miss out on any of the blessings that God has in store for me.  I’ve learned that, just because the blessings He has reserved for me have my name on them, they are not automatic.  On the contrary, the Lord expects me to cooperate with Him in order for me to receive His best.  How do I do that?  I surrender my own ideas, plans, and agendas to Him.  And I resist trying to make things happen in my own strength and timing.

   The Bible says:  “O God!  Your way is holy!  No god is great like God!  You’re the God who makes things happen.” (Psalm 77:13-14 MSG)  When we get ahead of God and try to make things happen on our own, it is not only an insult to Him, but it can cause us to delay or forfeit His best for us.  The Lord wants us to look to Him only for our needs and desires, and He expects us to live in humble dependence upon Him.

   I heard a godly man say that God does not want to keep good things from us; rather, He keeps us from settling for second best.  That’s why resisting His timetable is basically resisting the very best blessings, rewards, and opportunities that He has for us.  Scripture says:  “At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” (Isaiah 60:22 NLT)  Today, surrender your own ideas and agendas to the Lord, and tell Him that you want His plans, instead.  Then watch Him move heaven and earth to give you His very best!

   Lord, today, I surrender to You every aspect of my life, and all of my own ideas and plans.  When I am tempted to act on my own wisdom and knowledge, remind me that I cannot see the future, or the big picture, the way that You can.  Remove all pride from me, and teach me how to live in humble dependence upon You.  Thank You that as I submit to Your will and timing in every area and situation, I will receive Your very best blessings, opportunities, and rewards!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Sep 29 19

God’s Rescue Operation

by J. M. Farro

   “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings…the persecutions I endured.  Yet the Lord rescued me from ALL of them.” 2 Timothy 3:10-11 NIV

   Sometimes I think, as believers, we tend to dwell a little too much on Bible verses that tell us that we will have to endure persecution and suffering of all kinds in this world.  I have done this very thing myself, which is why the Lord showed me the verses above penned by the apostle Paul.  Here, Paul mentions his “persecutions” and “sufferings,” but we shouldn’t miss his words saying that the Lord rescued him out of them ALL. 

   In Psalm 34, David the shepherd-king emphasizes God’s eagerness to rescue His devoted ones from trouble.  In verse 6 (NLT), he says, “In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; He saved me from all my troubles.”  In the very next verse, David reveals that God is so intent on aiding His people that, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (v. 7 NIV)  Verse 17 (NIV) in this psalm says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”  And then David drives home his point by concluding, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34:19 NIV)  Do you see a pattern here?  David was bragging on God, just as Paul was when he wrote, “Yet the Lord rescued me from ALL of them (his persecutions and sufferings).”

   My favorite translation of David’s words in Psalm 34:19 is from the Living Bible: “The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them too.  But the Lord helps him in each and every one.”  How does the Lord help us in our trials?  He gives us wisdom to know what to do in our situation, so that we don’t have to suffer one more moment than is absolutely necessary.  He gives us the strength and patience to respond to our trials correctly, so that we won’t have to reap the penalty of a wrong response.  He comforts, reassures, and encourages us, so that we don’t lose heart or lose hope.  He grants us His discernible presence, so we never feel alone.  And He makes sure that we benefit and profit from every difficulty that comes our way.

   If you are in a trial right now, my prayer is that you will take great comfort in the Savior’s words to you today:  “In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.  [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding]!”  (John 16:33 AMP)

   Lord, when trouble strikes, help me to turn to You first.  Give me the wisdom and strength I need to respond in a Christlike manner.  Grant me Your comfort, reassurance, and healing, as well as Your discernible presence.  Remind me that You are committed to causing every difficulty to profit me somehow. (Romans 8:28)  Thank You that as I cooperate with Your divine rescue operation, I will overcome and be victorious for Your glory!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Sep 22 19

You Need to Hear from God

by J. M. Farro

   “I do nothing without consulting the Father.”  John 5:30 NLT

   This past Labor Day weekend, my husband, Joe, and I were enjoying the company of our oldest son and his family when Joe experienced an unsettling heart “episode.”  I insisted that he call his cardiologist right away, and when he did, he was told that he should expect such symptoms for up to three months after his recent surgery.  We both breathed a sigh of relief and thanked God.  But later that day, Joe received a call from his surgeon saying that he needed to be hospitalized again as soon as possible to receive more invasive and risky treatment.  As soon as the call ended, I said to my husband, “We are not making any decisions until we hear from God.”

   After Joe and I prayed for the Lord’s wisdom, we felt very strongly that he was not to be hospitalized again so soon, but that he should wait until his next appointment with his cardiologist.  So my husband said a firm “no” to his surgeon’s recommendations.  When Joe saw his cardiologist two weeks later, he was told that his surgeon “overreacted” when he wanted my husband to receive more invasive treatment so soon after his last surgery.  And we were deeply grateful that we had consulted God when we did, instead of blindly following the surgeon’s recommendations.

   If all this had happened years ago, before I began walking closely with the Lord, I would have probably made sure that my husband listened to his surgeon’s orders without questioning them.  Now that I have a personal knowledge of God’s wisdom, power, and love, I consult Him about everything – following the Savior’s lead when He said, “I do nothing without consulting the Father.” (John 5:30 NLT)

   I will tell you from experience that you will get some really funny looks from people when you tell them that you have to pray about something before you make a decision about it, especially where serious medical situations are concerned.  Many people have the idea that we absolutely must comply with the wisdom of medical doctors, especially when they are giving advice and recommendations for very serious medical conditions.  Be prepared!

   One thing that we always need to remember is that the devil always tries to make things look worse than they really are.  He wants us to become fearful because he knows that it’s more difficult for us to hear from God when we are in a state of panic.  Corrie ten Boom was quoted as saying, “There is no panic in Heaven!  God has no problems, only plans.”  The Lord has a plan for your deliverance today.  Will you consult Him and put Your trust in Him?

   Lord, when trouble strikes suddenly and without warning, give me the strength I need to be calm enough to seek Your wisdom and will.  Guard me from the fearfulness and fretfulness that would make it difficult for me to hear Your voice speaking to me.  Help me to tune out the voices that would hinder me from receiving Your best.  Thank You that as I consult You for Your divine plans and purposes, my victory in Jesus is guaranteed!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Sep 15 19

God Can Give You Much More

by J. M. Farro

   “The Lord can give you much more than that.”  2 Chronicles 25:9 NIV

   I was thinking about the fact that my husband, Joe, would be retiring at the end of this year, and how it might radically change our way of living.  And then I thought about inflation, and how prices always seem to be going up, and never down.  And as I began thinking about one of our expenses in particular, and how it recently increased, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance a Scripture that I had heard many years before – “The Lord can give you much more than that.” (2 Chronicles 25:9 NIV)  God was assuring me that He was able (and willing!) to give us the amount of that rate increase – and more!

   Because you and I have trusted Christ as our Savior, and made Him Lord over every area of our lives, He has obligated Himself to provide all of our needs – abundantly, and not meagerly.  The Bible says that “God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 AMP)  The Lord is keenly aware of our expenses, and how they fluctuate, and He will more than compensate us for them.

   Those of us who love God don’t have to be alarmed when our rent goes up, or gas prices increase, or we suddenly have additional expenses.  God can, and will, give us that much and more – IF we will trust Him, and expect Him to supply our needs, and to even go beyond that, so that we always have a surplus to spend, save, and give.  Scripture promises, “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].” (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP)  Hallelujah!

   My husband, Joe, has worked with a lot of people who had multiple pensions, and more money than they could ever spend in one lifetime, and still faced their retirement with fear and trembling.  I refuse to be one of those pitiful people, and I’m asking you today not to be one of them, either.  Let us go forward in faith, remembering David the shepherd-king’s words of encouragement in the psalms – “I have been young and now I am old.  And in all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves Him!” (Psalm 37:25 TLB)

   Lord, forgive me for the times that I doubted Your ability or willingness to abundantly supply all of my needs.  Please increase my faith and expand my vision so that I can believe You, not only for my needs, but for a surplus of provision to spend, save, and give.  Guard me from fear, doubt, and laziness, and make me productive and fruitful all the rest of my days.  Thank You that as I keep my trust in You and Your goodness, You will bless me and use me in mighty ways for Your glory!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Sep 8 19

Resort to Prayer

by J. M. Farro

   “In return for my love they are my adversaries, but I resort to prayer.”  Psalm 109:4 AMP

   I often hear from believers who are in relationship with people who are bitter, angry, and vindictive.  Some of these difficult people are family members that they just cannot bring themselves to cut off.  So they are constantly met with opposition, criticism, and accusations that wear them down, and even harm their health and well-being.  To make matters worse, when these precious people look for help and support from their other loved ones, their pain is often minimized, and even ridiculed.

   If you are one of these hurting people, let me assure you that I have some understanding of how you feel.  The last time I was in this kind of situation, and I sought the Lord for answers, He led me to a very powerful principle in Psalm 109:4 (AMP):  “In return for my love they are my adversaries, but I resort to prayer.”  Being hurt by our own loved ones is some of the worst kind of hurt that we will ever experience on this earth.  Feelings of betrayal and rejection can shake us to the core.  And it can affect our whole outlook on life.  But there is hope.  If we will learn to “resort to prayer” – earnestly and diligently seeking God for His love, wisdom, comfort, and courage – He will show us exactly how we should respond to gain the victory in our situation.

   Many times, the Lord will lead us to distance ourselves from a loved one’s hurtful behavior.  We can do that physically by limiting our exposure to them.  When that’s not possible, we can often distance ourselves from these difficult people emotionally.  We detach ourselves from them in an emotional sense, and we remain guarded in all of our dealings with them.  Jesus said:  “Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.  Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God].” (Matthew 10:16-17 AMP)  The Lord offers us His protection, but He expects us to be on the alert for people who mean us harm.

   One translation of Psalm 109:4 (NKJV) says, “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer.”  Giving ourselves to prayer – seeking God’s will and wisdom when we are faced with opposition – can bring peace, victory, and blessing.  The Lord wants to help you deal with your own adversaries and accusers.  Will you earnestly seek Him today?

   Lord, whenever I am met with contempt, criticism, or vindictiveness, I pray that my first response will be to “resort to prayer.”  As I seek You, give me all the wisdom, comfort, and courage I need to do Your will, and reveal Your love for me in fresh, new ways.  Show me which people I need to love from a distance.  And surround me with believers who will support and encourage me.  Thank You that as I follow Your will and Your wisdom, You will prove Yourself to be my mighty Vindicator and Rewarder!  (Isaiah 54:17)

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Sep 1 19

Stay Away from Fools

by J. M. Farro

   “Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.”  Proverbs 14:7 NLT

   This verse of Scripture was one of the first that God gave me when I got serious about my relationship with Him many years ago.  He made it clear to me that I was never going to fulfill His call on my life if I allowed myself to get distracted and sidetracked by people that the Bible classifies as “fools.”  These are the people who have no fear of God, and no respect for His Word, and who are often unreceptive and unteachable.

   The Lord showed me that my first duty as a Christian is my own safety.  Therefore, when I am faced with people who are hostile to God and His Word, my first response should not be to fight, but to flee.  The intention of many of these “fools” is not to learn anything from me, but to contaminate, hurt, and harm me.  Over the years, I have seen the faith of many believers spoiled because they spent too much time in the company of foolish people. (Colossians 2:8)  I have also seen God’s people demonstrate poor judgment by engaging unbelievers in unhealthy conversations that do more harm than good. (2 Timothy 2:14)

   Proverbs 23:9 (NLT) says, “Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”  One of Satan’s favorite strategies is to cause Christians to engage in endless discussions and debates with fools who are totally unreceptive to the Gospel message.  Jesus Himself warned His disciples of this kind of error when He said, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.  If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NIV)  As focused as Christ was on saving the lost, He knew there would be times when His disciples would need to use discernment in sharing the Gospel, so that they would not become the victims of Satan’s evil plans to harm them and their witness.  The Bible reveals that even the Apostle Paul separated himself from those who stubbornly rejected his message, taking his disciples with him to a safer place. (Acts 19:9)

   The saddest part of all this is that sometimes, the “fools” that we need to keep a healthy distance from will be among our own family members and loved ones. (Matthew 10:34-36)  I know without a doubt that I would not be in ministry today if I had not spent the last 20+ years limiting my exposure to ungodly, hurtful people.  Yes, we need to have a heart for the lost of this world, and we need to be motivated by love to help them.  But our efforts must be Spirit-initiated and Spirit-led, so that we remain within the realm of divine protection at all times.

   Today, I encourage you with the Message Bible translation of Proverbs 14:7 – “Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words!”

   Lord, help me to perfectly fulfill Your high calling on my life.  Teach me how to be led by Your Spirit at all times, and give me the discernment I need to minister effectively to others in Your name.  Warn me when I am spending too much time and energy on people who have no desire to know You.  And help me to distance myself from those who would spoil my faith.  Thank You that as I trust and obey You, You will make me a powerful world-changer for Christ!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

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Aug 25 19

Seething Within

by J. M. Farro

  “I am seething within and cannot relax; Days of affliction confront me.”  Job 30:27 NASB            

   When I was praying and asking the Lord to work in a greater way in my family and ministry, He surprised me by challenging me to get serious about refraining from complaining and criticizing.  Months later, I had made some progress in being more grateful and less critical, but I wasn’t seeing the Lord’s intervention the way I had hoped.  When I asked Him about it, He impressed upon me that I was outwardly less angry, but I was often “seething within,” as the above Scripture says.

   What is “seething”?  It’s “being filled with an intense but unexpressed anger.”  The Lord showed me that just because I didn’t express my anger outwardly, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t going to have dire consequences.  As the verse above states, when we are “seething within,” we “cannot relax,” and as a result, “days of affliction” WILL “confront [us].”  This kind of constant inner turmoil can lead to “afflictions” such as heart, head, and stomach problems.

   What’s interesting is that the word “seething” is from an Old English term meaning, “to make or keep boiling.”  The Lord showed me that if I didn’t want my seething resentment to reach a boiling point, I was going to have to deal with my anger at its roots.  And that meant dealing with my thoughts.  Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34 NIV)  We can hide what is in our heart for a time, but eventually, our words will reveal how we really feel.  When that happens, we can say things that have the potential to destroy our most cherished relationships – or keep us from receiving the promotions, opportunities, and rewards that the Lord had in store for us.  God would rather help us to get to the root of our ungodly thoughts, so that they never bear rotten fruit.

   When someone offends us, we can choose to dwell on it, and to feel sorry for ourselves.  We can think about it over and over, until it robs us of our peace and joy, and perhaps, even our health.  Or, we can choose to overlook the offense, committing it to the Lord, and trusting Him to right our wrongs.  Proverbs 19:11 (AMP) says, “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].”  “Harboring resentment” will lead to us “seething within,” and that is never God’s will for us, because it is harmful to us.  What is it that the Lord wants you to let go of today?

   Lord, today, I ask You to deliver me from a critical and complaining spirit, and fill me with an attitude of gratitude.  When others hurt or offend me, help me to shake it off quickly, and to trust You to be my Defender and Vindicator.  Teach me how to discipline my thoughts so that I never allow ungodly emotions or feelings to take root inside me.  And guard me from “seething within,” which can rob me of my health and well-being.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You in this area, I will experience the peace, joy, abundance, and wholeness that are my inheritance in Christ!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

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   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Aug 18 19

Prepare and Strengthen Our Hearts

by J. M. Farro

   “O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear.” Psalm 10:17 AMPC

   When I got the news recently that my husband, Joe, needed yet another medical procedure on his heart, my own heart sank.  He had suffered a massive heart attack years before, and had open-heart surgery some years later.  And we had hoped and prayed that Joe’s heart problems were behind us.  So when I heard this latest news, bitter disappointment swept over me.

   As I poured my heart out to God, He gave me the promise above.  He assured me that He heard my prayers and cries, and He was aware of my pain.  I began praying this promise with all my heart, believing that the Lord would honor His Word to me. 

   I said, “Lord, please ‘prepare’ my heart!”  I felt so unprepared for this latest surgery.  I knew that I would have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning in order to get Joe to the hospital in time for his procedure, and I knew that it meant that I would be sleep deprived.

   I also prayed, “Lord, ‘strengthen’ my heart!”  I would have to endure long hours of sitting in a hospital waiting room while the doctors operated on Joe’s heart.  I knew that there would be moments when I would be tempted to become fearful and fretful.

   When I prayed – “Lord, ‘direct’ my heart!” – I was asking the Lord to provide me with all of the guidance and direction I would need to navigate these troubled waters skillfully and successfully – fully cooperating with God so that He could bring great good out of them. (Romans 8:28)

   Psalm 10:17 reassures us that when we turn to the Lord in times of difficulty and pain, He hears the desires and longings of our hearts.  And He will anoint, equip, empower, and enable us to not just endure our trials – but to emerge triumphant for our good and His glory!

   Lord, when trouble comes, let my first response be to turn to You with all my heart.  Show me which promises apply to my circumstances, and enable me to lay hold of them and receive them as my own.  Prepare me, strengthen me, and direct me to receive Your best in every situation I face.  Thank You that as I look to You for help, and follow Your lead, I will experience Your matchless presence, power, and peace!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new mini devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com