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Mar 22 20

Rewards for the Repentant

by J. M. Farro

   “God is high and lifted up.  He lives forever.  His name is holy.  He says, ‘I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and sorry for their sins.  I will give new life to those who are humble in spirit.  I will give new life to those who are sorry for their sins.’”  Isaiah 57:15 ERV

   Weeks before the Coronavirus broke out here in the U.S., the Lord began dealing with me about adopting a posture of deep repentance.  Instead of asking God in a general sense to pardon me for my sins, the Holy Spirit led me to begin mentioning my specific sins as I prayed for forgiveness.  I didn’t realize just how much I was “falling short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) until I began expressing sorrow for my sins in a very specific way.  While I was truly sorry for my sins, instead of feeling condemned as I voiced my repentance, I came away feeling refreshed and renewed.  And I rejoiced in God’s promise which says:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)  When we confess our sins in a godly way, we experience purification, instead of condemnation.

   Isaiah 57:15 reveals that while our great God lives in “a high and holy place,” He also lives with “people who are humble and sorry for their sins.”  People like these will experience the Lord’s presence in a deeper way, and will see more of His involvement in their daily lives.  But there’s more.  God promises, “I will give new life to those who are humble in spirit.  I will give new life to those who are sorry for their sins.”  Those who live their lives with a humble dependence upon God, and an attitude of reverence, respect, and repentance, will be given “new life” here on earth.  This means that God Himself will lift us up, and fill us with divine energy, confidence, and courage.  And He will give us a new purpose for living, and send us new assignments in His Kingdom.

   A lot of Christians are seeing this pandemic as a wakeup call from Almighty God, and I am one of them.  Do I believe that God sent this deadly virus?  Absolutely not.  But the fact that He is allowing it should give us pause.  Scripture says:  “For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 AMP)  Before we look at the ungodly and blame them for the predicament we are in right now, we need to look at ourselves.  Have we always been loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled? (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)  No, we haven’t.  We have failed to consistently set a good example for other Christians, as well as for the ungodly.  And because of this, we have given up a tremendous amount of ground to Satan and his forces of evil – ground that should have belonged to Christ.

   As I was writing this message, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind Second Chronicles 7:14 (NIV), which says:  “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  I hesitated to include it here, until the Lord had me listen to a brief message by Charles Stanley, “America’s Pastor,” in which he quoted this verse with regard to our nation and this pandemic.  Many Christian leaders believe that our right response to this crisis could usher in a Great Awakening here in America, and around the world.  Let us turn to our God in humble repentance today, so He can use us to bring multitudes into His Kingdom during these dark and difficult times!

   Lord, I turn to You in heartfelt repentance now for all of my sins.  Cleanse me with the precious Blood of Christ, the spotless Lamb of God.  Grant me the new life and rewards that You promise in Your Word to those who are truly humble and repentant.  Give me a new purpose for living, and new assignments in Your Kingdom.  Thank You for filling me with supernatural strength, confidence, and courage, and for using me to touch and change lives in an eternal way 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

Mar 15 20

Trust Only in God Every Moment

by J. M. Farro

   “Join me, everyone!  Trust only in God every moment!  Tell Him all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to Him.  Believe me when I tell you – He will help you!”  Psalm 62:8 TPT

   One of my study Bibles says that this psalm by King David expresses a simple trust in God like no other psalm.  God showed it to me in The Passion Translation for the first time, and it felt like a healing balm on my hurting soul.  In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, there have been times when I have been tempted to become fearful and disheartened, and I have looked to the Lord and His Word for comfort and reassurance.

   In the verse above, David urges us to “Trust only in God every moment!”  It’s so easy to put our trust in things and people rather than God, especially in a crisis.  In David’s case, he was surrounded by murderous conspirators, yet in the midst of his own crisis, he urges us to trust ONLY in God on a moment-by-moment basis.  Those moments when we are not trusting God will cause us tension and torment.

   Then David says, “Tell [God] all your troubles and pour out your heart-longings to Him.”  David knew from experience how pouring our hearts out to the Lord enables us to release our fears, doubts, and distress.  When we do this, it’s not an exercise in futility.  We are committing our problems and worries to the only One who can supply us with supernatural protection and provision.  David says emphatically, “Believe me when I tell you – He will help you!”

   The last two verses of this psalm read: “God said to me once and for all, ‘All the strength and power you need flows from Me!’  And again I heard it clearly said, ‘All the love you need is found in Me!’  And it’s true that You repay people for what they do.” (Psalm 62:11-12 TPT)  Divine strength and power are flowing to us and through us continually through God’s Spirit who abides in us.  We just need to acknowledge them and receive them by faith.  And we have all the love we need through Jesus, so we can set a Christlike example, even in times of crisis when others are acting irrationally.  When David says in the very last line of this psalm that God will “repay people for what they do,” he is speaking from experience, and reassuring us that the Lord will reward our faithfulness, while dealing with those who do wrong.

   In the midst of a world in turmoil today, I urge you as David did – “Trust only in God every moment!  Believe me when I tell you – He will help you!”

   Lord, please work in my heart so that I can learn to trust in You alone every moment of every day.  Teach me how to pour my heart out to You, sharing with You all of my hopes, fears, wounds, and worries.  Enable me to see You as the all-powerful, all-loving God that You really are.  Help me to rely on Your strength to consistently set a Christlike example in my conduct and conversation.  Thank You for proving Yourself to be my Protector, my Provider, and my Vindicator!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farrowith 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

Mar 8 20

Be Prepared but Don’t Be Scared

by J. M. Farro

   “How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands.  They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.  They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.”  Psalm 112:1, 7-8 NLT

   Several years ago, when my region of the U.S. was facing a major storm, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “Be prepared, but don’t be scared.”  This strategy helped me and my family to get through a very difficult time amazingly well.  Today, with the Coronavirus spreading throughout my nation and around the world, the Lord has given me the same warning, and I am passing it on to you.

   The verses above from Psalm 112 reveal that those who “fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands” can live joyful, peaceful lives in the midst of turmoil.  “They do NOT fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless” when facing adversities that would make most people crumble.  And they “can face their foes triumphantly,” because even the devil himself cannot make them tremble or doubt their God.

  I just read this morning that “Coronavirus fears are creating consumer product shortages.”  What’s interesting is that it is not the virus itself that is creating shortages, but the FEAR of this disease that is creating problems.  So I have been thanking and praising God for His promise which states, “He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever and imprint it [on His mind].” (Psalm 111:5 AMP)  I am determined to remain “provision-minded” during this crisis, instead of “shortage-minded.”  That doesn’t mean that I am not going to take the necessary precautions, but that I refuse to become fearful and fretful.  Fear can make it difficult for us to hear from God, and to receive from Him.  Satan knows this, so he works overtime trying to get us into a state of panic.  Then we will be poor witnesses for Christ, and we will do more harm than good for His Kingdom.

   Psalm 33 says: “The Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.  He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (v. 18-19 NLT)  Hallelujah!  Notice that every single one of the divine promises I have mentioned here is meant only for those who fear God and obey His Word.  Perhaps you haven’t been living a truly surrendered life before the Lord.  These are dangerous times, and I urge you not to wait another moment to surrender every area of your life to God for real.  Humble yourself before Him right now, and lay hold of the divine protection and provision that are reserved for His most faithful ones in Christ! 

   Lord, fill me with a reverence and respect for You and Your Word that will enable me to lay hold of Your “exceedingly great and precious promises” all the rest of my days on this earth. (2 Peter 1:4 NKJV)  Deliver me from all my fears, and remind me often that You have not given me a spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. (Psalm 34:4 NIV; 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)  Show me how to pray the prayers of Your heart for Your saints and the lost of this world, especially in these troubled times.  Thank You that as I confidently trust You to take care of me, I can face every adversity fearlessly and triumphantly!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farrowith 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

Mar 1 20

Agreeing with the Enemy

by J. M. Farro

   “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7 NIV

   During my study time the other day, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that when we agree with sins and sinful lifestyles in the name of “tolerance,” we align ourselves with the evil spirits behind those sins.  Instead of “submitting ourselves to God” and “resisting the devil,” as the above verse commands, we get into agreement with the devil and his lies saying that there is nothing wrong with these sins – and he doesn’t have to “flee” from us.  Instead, we literally open the door to Satan and his dark forces who come only to “steal and kill and destroy,” as Jesus warned us. (John 10:10)  And we suffer in ways that we could have completely avoided if we hadn’t been disobedient. 

   Right before the Scripture tells us to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, it says:  “You adulterers!  Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?  I say it again:  If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 NLT)  Agreeing with the world and its “socially acceptable” sins puts us at odds with God.  On the other hand, agreeing with God and His Word puts us at odds with the world.  Jesus said: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first.  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world.  I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:18-19 NLT)  We cannot think that we can play “both sides of the street” with God.  Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me.” (Matthew 12:30 NKJV)  And He meant it.  He also said that simply calling Him “Lord” was not going to get us into the Kingdom of Heaven, but only doing the will of His Father would. (Matthew 7:21-23)  On Judgment Day, there will be many people who expected to go to Heaven who will hear from His lips, “I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].” (v. 23 AMP)

   I will be honest and tell you that one of the primary reasons why I live in agreement with God’s Word is found in Proverbs 28:9 (NIV):  “If anyone turns a deaf ear to My instruction, even their prayers are detestable.”  The Message Bible says it this way:  “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won’t listen to Him.”  I decided long ago that my prayers are too important to me, and I am not about to compromise with the ungodly, no matter how socially acceptable their sins become.  Today, I urge you to stay in agreement with God and His Word, and out of agreement with the devil and his lies.  As you do, nothing and no one will be able to keep God’s very best blessings from you!

   Lord, today, I surrender every aspect of my life to You, and I choose to submit to Your will and Your Word in every area.  Make me a powerful witness for You.  Remind me often that You are continually asking, “Who will stand up for me against evildoers?  Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?” (Psalm 94:16 NASB)  Teach me how to love others Your way, while submitting to You, and resisting the devil at all times.  Help me to take to heart Your command which says that I must “keep [myself] uncontaminated by the [secular] world.” (James 1:27 AMP)  Thank You that as I live my life in obedience to Your Word by the power of Your Spirit, I will live the exceedingly blessed, abundant life You came to give me!

   *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

Feb 23 20

When Doctors Treat in Vain

by J. M. Farro

   “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”  Psalm 127:1 NIV

   When I suffered a major attack on my health last year, and I sought the Lord for His wisdom and healing, He led me to the verse above.  Then He spoke to my heart, “Unless the Lord heals the man, the doctors treat in vain.”  Psalm 127:1 warns us against depending upon anything or anyone but the Lord.  It tells us that real success and protection can come only from God.  And that depending upon our own ingenuity, skills, or talents – or upon another human being – will lead to loss and defeat.  The Lord was warning me that if I left Him out of the equation when I was seeking healing, all of the medical help I would get would be useless and in vain.

   Then the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance a passage in Second Chronicles concerning King Asa.  “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet.  Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” (2 Chronicles 16:12 NIV)  Here, the Chronicler is highlighting the fact that, rather than depending upon the Divine Physician for help, Asa depended only upon his doctors.  And the next verse in this text reveals the devastating results of Asa’s folly.  “Then in the forty-first year of his reign, Asa died and rested with his ancestors.” (v. 13)  Did God condemn Asa for seeking medical help?  No.  He judged Asa because he sought help “ONLY from the physicians.”  God is not against doctors or medical treatment.  Many of them are gifts from God Himself.  But what the Lord IS against is His people seeking medical help without seeking Him.  In years past, I was guilty of this very thing myself.  When I exhausted every medical option, without the results and relief I had hoped for, I had the attitude that said, “I guess all I can do is pray.”  Prayer should always be our first option, not our last.

   Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see warning after warning against putting our faith in people, instead of in God.  “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.’” (Jeremiah 17:5 NLT)  One translation says it this way: “Bad things will happen to those who put their trust in people.  Bad things will happen to those who depend on human strength.  That is because they have stopped trusting the Lord.’” (Jeremiah 17:5 ERV)  Notice the words “rely” and “depend” in these verses.  And ask yourself, “Who am I putting my trust in most, when I am seeking healing for my body?”  Verse 7 in this same passage says: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7 NLT)  Notice the contrast between those who are “blessed” and those who are “cursed.”  Trusting in God definitely has its rewards.

   The Bible says, “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils.  Why hold them in esteem?” (Isaiah 2:22 NIV)  I have seen a lot of people over the years trusting in doctors, and holding them “in esteem” to their own hurt.  They had more respect for physicians than they had for the Divine Physician, and it cost them dearly.  Throughout the above-mentioned attack on my health, I first put my trust in God, and then I sought medical help as the Lord led me to.  And I know that I am healed today because I depended on God more than on people.  What or who are you relying on most today?

   Lord, please forgive me for the times that I didn’t seek You first when I had a need.  Work in my heart so that I will learn to depend on You for healing, protection, and provision.  When I am tempted to rely too heavily upon doctors or others, remind me of what it can cost me.  Today, on the basis of Your Word, I pray: “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.  Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 108:12-13 NKJV)

   *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

Feb 16 20

God Tests Us Before He Trusts Us

by J. M. Farro

  “God is the one who gave us this work.  And this was only after He tested us and saw that we could be trusted to do it.  So when we speak, we are only trying to please God, not anyone else.  He is the one who can see what is in our hearts.”  1 Thessalonians 2:4 ERV

   The verse above reveals a major theme of the Christian life:  God tests us before He trusts us with our most important work for His Kingdom.  This is how the Message Bible puts it:  “God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message.  Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval – only God approval.  Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 MSG)  The “battery of tests” God will put us through will make sure that we are “not after crowd approval,” but “only God approval.”  

   The Lord wants us to be led by His Spirit, and not other people.  So He will put us in situations where we will have to choose whether we will follow His leadership – even if it attracts criticism and rejection from others – or take the path of least resistance.  The apostle Paul wrote, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10 NLT)  If we want the Lord to use us to the degree that He longs to, then we are going to have to adopt Paul’s attitude.

   I can tell you from personal experience that where Kingdom work is involved, God will test our perseverance.  Will we persevere when we see little or no results from our efforts?  When we aren’t being encouraged or appreciated?  When we aren’t receiving any recognition or reward for our work?  How about when it looks like our outreach is shrinking instead of growing?

   How will we react when someone criticizes us, or is suspicious of our motives?  Will we back off from obeying God, or will we find out from Him what He thinks?  Will we stand strong against Satan’s evil strategies to stop the good work we are doing?  We can’t expect the devil to stand idly by while we are following God’s will for our lives, especially when it involves advancing the Kingdom of God.

   One translation of First Thessalonians 2:4 (NCV) says:  “We speak the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it.  When we speak, we are not trying to please people, but God, who tests our hearts.”  If you have made Jesus your Savior and Lord, then God has extraordinary plans for your life, and He has important work for you to do.  Pass His tests with the help of His Spirit, and watch Him make you and mold you into a world-changer for Christ!

   Lord, today, I surrender to You every aspect of my life, and I make myself available to You, and ask You to put me to work in Your Kingdom.  Anoint and enable me to pass every test You send my way through the power of Your Spirit.  Root out of me every tendency to please people instead of You.  When I am tempted to quit or give up on the work You have assigned me, comfort and strengthen me, and send me some special encouragement.  Thank You for using me to touch and change lives 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

 

Feb 9 20

Be Satisfied with What You Have

by J. M. Farro

   “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, ‘I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.’”  Hebrews 13:5 NLT

   I was preparing a large meal on my kitchen stove when I began complaining about it to my husband, Joe, and saying how difficult it made my work because of its poor design.  I made my case so convincingly that the next time we were out, my husband suggested that we look at new stoves.  As I wandered around the appliance department and inspected some new models, I was stunned when I realized that the stove I had at home was superior to the new ones in the store.  As I prayed silently, asking the Lord for His guidance, He confirmed in my spirit that a new stove was not what I really needed, but I just needed to be satisfied with the one that I already had.  Instantly, a sense of joy and contentment came over me, and I thanked God for preventing me from making a costly mistake.

   The Scripture above admonishes us to “be satisfied with what [we] have,” because the Lord will never leave us or forsake us.  When we focus on the things we don’t have, instead of being grateful for the things we do have, we will never be happy.  But when we cultivate an attitude of gratitude and appreciation, we experience the contentment and joy that are our inheritance in Christ.  An old adage says, “Happy is the man who wants what he has.”  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ever want better things for ourselves.  It just means that while we are waiting on the Lord for new opportunities, rewards, and blessings, we should make the most of those that He has already provided for us.  And we should express our thanks for them.

   The apostle Paul wrote: “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.  After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.  So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NLT)  One of my father’s favorite movies was an old film entitled, “You Can’t Take It with You.”  The Lord greatly blessed my dad with all kinds of blessings during his life, including material ones, because he knew that things were only temporary, and that when he left this world, they weren’t going with him.  This mindset helped him to live with a healthy sense of satisfaction that enabled him to enjoy his life on this earth.

   Paul said: “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” (Philippians 4:11 NLT)  When we adopt Paul’s godly attitude, we will experience a sense of satisfaction that will help us to appreciate all of the good in our lives, and that will enable us to enjoy every day on this earth!

   Lord, forgive me for the times that I have taken my blessings for granted, instead of demonstrating an appreciation for them.  Remind me often that the “things” in this life are only temporary, and that I will be leaving them behind when I leave this earth.  Help me to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, and to focus on all that I already have, instead of focusing on what I don’t have.  Thank You that as I live with a sense of satisfaction and contentment, I will reap the rewards that only thankfulness can provide!

   *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

 

Feb 2 20

Anything Deadly or Poisonous

by J. M. Farro

   “And these signs will follow those who believe . . . if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.”  Mark 16:17-18 NKJV

   This is one of the Savior’s promises that some Christians say we shouldn’t take literally.  However, I have discovered that when we take the Lord at His Word with the faith of a child, He will often reveal Himself and His saving power in extraordinary ways.  So, years ago, I began confessing this Scripture every day, claiming it as my own.  And I know at least one reason why the Lord has led me to do this.  I have suffered with digestive problems for most of my life.  Through promise-based prayer, medical intervention, and watching what I eat and drink, my health has improved greatly in this area.  But there are still times when I am caught off guard, and I consume something in good faith, that makes me extremely ill.  This is when I declare, “Lord, I thank You that because of my faith in Christ, even if I eat or drink anything deadly or poisonous, it shall not hurt me!”  And I am amazed at how often immediate relief washes over me from head to toe.

   The fact is that there are a lot of chemicals and additives in so many of our foods and drinks these days that there is no way to avoid everything that could cause us to have a negative reaction.  We may have sensitivities or allergies that we aren’t even aware of.  Even medical intervention cannot guarantee that we are protected from unsafe ingredients in things that we consume.  Eating restaurant foods can be particularly risky.  Eateries don’t have to reveal all of the things that they are putting in our food.  I find myself continually praying, “Lord, help me to always crave and consume the things that are best for me, in the amounts that are best for me.”

   Scripture says, “You shall serve the Lord our God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.” (Exodus 23:25 NASB)  I pray and stand on this promise for myself and my family every day.  Whenever I eat, I ask for the Lord’s blessing on my food and drink.  Even so, there are times when my body suffers after I consume something.  I can eat a certain food with no problem if I eat it by itself.  But if I combine it with certain other foods or drinks, I can have a negative reaction.  And I usually don’t know that it’s not going to agree with me until it’s too late.  That combination of foods turns out to be “deadly” or “poisonous” (NLT) for me.  It is then that I am so grateful for God’s promise in Mark 16:18, and I am so thankful for His faithfulness to His Word.

   I encourage you to arm yourself with the Lord’s promises to protect you from things you consume that have the power to harm you.  Teach these things to “those who believe” among your loved ones, so that they, too, can experience the healing power and protection of God’s Word!

   Lord, help me to only crave and consume the things that are best for every part of my body and my being.  Give me wisdom and discernment with regard to food and drink – when I am preparing meals at home, and when I dine out.  If I happen to consume anything deadly or poisonous, I ask that You neutralize its ability to do me harm.  Thank You that because I worship and serve You, You will bless my food and water and remove all sickness from me in Jesus’ name!

   *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

 

Jan 26 20

The Practical and Spiritual Sides of Healing

by J. M. Farro

   “The prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”  James 5:15 NASB

   In walking closely with the Lord all these years, I have discovered that, where healing needs are concerned, there is usually a spiritual side, as well as a practical side.  Case in point:  The last time I had serious knee problems, the Lord directed me to see my chiropractor more frequently, as well as to take some homeopathic remedies to reduce inflammation.  That was the practical side.  At the same time, He led me to specific healing promises in His Word that I was to diligently pray and stand on until my healing manifested.  He also showed me which fellow followers of Christ I was to call upon to intercede for me in my time of need.

   The Scripture above reveals a powerful principle with regard to the spiritual side of our healing.  Through the Lord’s mercy, goodness, and grace, faith-filled prayers spoken by God’s people have the power to “restore the one who is sick.”  As a result of these petitions, it is the Lord Himself who will “raise [us] up” again.  I have discovered that praying God’s scriptural promises back to Him is one of the most powerful and effective ways for us to pray.  This is just one more instance of why it is so important for us to have a working knowledge of God’s Word.

   The practical side of healing can be just as important as the spiritual side, because when we pray for the restoration of our health, the Lord will often direct us and expect us to cooperate with the healing process in a practical way.  We see a good example of this principle in Scripture when the prophet Isaiah is sent by God to tell King Hezekiah that he should set his affairs in order because he is going to die. (2 Kings 20:1-7)  When the good king turns his face to the wall and prays for mercy, the Lord graciously decides to extend his life, and He prescribes an ointment of figs to bring about the healing that Hezekiah so desperately needs.  Could God have restored the king to health without the ointment?  No question.  But it was a combination of Hezekiah’s prayer AND a fig ointment that brought about the king’s healing.

   I believe that the Lord has you reading this today because He has a perfect plan for your healing.  If you will lay hold of this message by faith – and apply it to your situation – you will witness the Lord working mightily on your behalf.  Right now, rejoice as good King Hezekiah did:  “Think of it – the Lord is ready to heal me!” (Isaiah 38:20 NLT)

   Lord, I thank You that You have promised to be my Healer. (Exodus 15:26)  Whenever I need healing, please reveal to me the practical side, as well as the spiritual side of my healing.  Make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in these matters, so that I can walk in divine health, and live the abundant life that You came to give me.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You for my healing, others will see Your favor on my life, and You will be glorified!

   *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

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

 

Jan 19 20

Those Who Want the Best for Us

by J. M. Farro

   “To those who want the best for me, I wish them joy and happiness.  May they always say, ‘Praise the Lord, who wants what is best for His servant.’”  Psalms 35:27 ERV

   The Scripture above highlights two important truths that can help us to live the good life that our God ordained for us.  First, it talks about the people who want what is best for us.  And, second, it refers to the Lord Himself, who wants the best for His servants.

   The Bible tells us that it’s important for you and I to surround ourselves with “those who want the best for [us].”  These are the people who are FOR us, and not against us.  They not only respect our faith in God, but they encourage it.  And when we are going through trials, they are the ones who will pray the prayers of God’s heart for us.  Unfortunately, just because some folks are our family members, that doesn’t mean that they are on our side.  Jesus warned that some of our worst enemies would be our own family members. (Matthew 10:35-36)  He also told us that when we make sacrifices for His sake, He will bless us with new and better loved ones who will support us in our life of faith. (Mark 10:29-30)  Do some serious soul-searching and assess your relationships, especially your closest ones.  The wrong relationships can cause you to miss your God-given destiny, while the right ones can launch you forward right into it!

   As followers of Christ, we are called to continually “praise the Lord” because He always “wants what is best for His servants.”  Believe and act like God really does want the best for you, and that He always has your best interests in mind.  If you don’t, you will make yourself an easy target for Satan, who will attempt to convince you that God doesn’t really want you to enjoy your life, and that He’s always trying to keep good things from you.  The truth is that when the Lord says “no” to something we want, it’s not because He wants to keep good things from us, but that He wants to keep us from settling for second best.  His plans for us far exceed anything that we could ever “ask or imagine,” and only by trusting Him and His good intentions for us – and getting into agreement with Him, instead of resisting Him all the time – can we experience the fullness of our destiny. (Ephesians 3:20)

   The bottom line is this:  If you will hang out with those who want the best for you – God Himself, and the Christ followers He has ordained for your life – He will bless you and use you in exciting ways for His glory!

   Lord, please grant me the wisdom, courage, and discernment I need to surround myself with the God-honoring people that You have ordained for me.  Remind me continually that wrong associations can lead me astray, and away from my God-given destiny. (Proverbs 12:26)  Help me to devote myself to Your Word so that I can easily distinguish between lies from Satan, and Your eternal Truth.  Thank You that as I trust You to always want what is best for me – and as I wholeheartedly follow Your leadership in every area – I will fulfill my God-given purpose and potential!

   *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