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Nov 17 19

Watch Your Words

by J. M. Farro

   “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” (Proverbs 21:23 MSG)

   My husband, Joe, and I have been raising pet ducks for almost twenty years now, and one of the things that has concerned us most all this time is keeping our ducks safe from predators.  Thanks to my husband’s ingenuity, our duck house is built like a fortress.  But during the day, Libby and Larry are allowed to roam around their spacious duck pen, which is surrounded by a high metal fence. 

   Last week, Joe was giving our fence some maintenance, and I joked that it would be nice if he would put some barbed wire on the top of it, to discourage hawks from landing on it.  Even though I hadn’t seen a single hawk land on our duck pen fence for more than a year, I thought my remark would sound funny.  But as soon as the words left my mouth, I got a “check” in my spirit, and I knew that I would regret saying them.

   Two days later, I went out to do my daily duck chores, and I saw a huge hawk sitting on our duck pen fence, staring at my ducks.  I shuddered, and then I shouted at the hawk and chased him away.  Then I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, saying, You called in that hawk.  I repented to the Lord immediately, and I prayed that He would help me to be more careful with my words in the future.

   As I thought about this incident, I recalled hearing a godly man say, “Don’t call the cat when you want the dog!”  We are “calling” things to ourselves all the time, whether we realize it or not.  And if we aren’t careful, we will “call in” the wrong things.  We can call sickness to ourselves with our own words, even though they may be spoken casually or jokingly.  I have heard people say, “The flu is going around again this year, and I just know that I’m going to catch it – I always do!”  We can call debt and lack to ourselves when we say things like, “I could never afford that!”  In my case, I “called in” a hawk, which was eyeing my pets, and thinking about how good they would be for lunch!

   Jesus said that Satan is the one who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10 NIV)  But we can actually cooperate with the devil by speaking words that call destruction to us and our loved ones.  The Bible says, “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” (Proverbs 21:23 MSG)  Let’s save ourselves a lot of grief by watching every word we say!

   Lord, fill me with revelation that will help me to understand just how powerful my words really are.  Teach me how to “call in” good things for me and my loved ones.  Today, in the name of Jesus, I call in divine health and wholeness, and abundant provision and supply.  I call in supernatural peace and joy, and security and stability.  Thank You, Lord, that as I continually cooperate with You and Your Spirit, I will receive and enjoy all the benefits of my inheritance in Christ!

   *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

 

Nov 10 19

It Pleases God to Make Us Strong

by J. M. Farro

   “You are their glorious strength.  It pleases You to make us strong.”  Psalm 89:17 NLT

   When I came across the Scripture above during my devotional time with the Lord, I rejoiced.  Seeing in His Word that “it pleases [God] to make us strong,” filled me with a fresh sense of hope.  You and I don’t have to feel ashamed or guilty when we feel weak, or our faith begins to falter.  We just need to remember that the Lord is “[our] glorious strength,” and that He delights in filling us with His own power.

   But this process of God making us strong is not automatic.  We need to cooperate with Him in the process.  One way we do that is by praying for divine strength.  David the shepherd-king wrote, “When I pray, You answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.” (Psalm 138:3 TLB)  It is a great encouragement to sense a surge of strength after we have asked the Lord to empower us.  When we are facing an unpleasant event or task, if we will petition God for an infusion of His strength, even the devil himself will not be able to weaken or defeat us.

   Besides praying for strength, we need to seek the Lord’s face and His presence in order to draw on His supernatural power.  In David’s song of thanksgiving in First Chronicles, he tells us, “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence].” (1 Chronicles 16:11 AMP)  There is a measure of divine strength that we will only experience as a result of spending regular, focused time alone with God, without distractions or interruptions.  We all love to be able to take shortcuts to achieve our goals, but in God’s kingdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time in His presence – sharing our hearts with Him, reading His Word, and listening for His voice.

   In Psalm 18, David says of the Lord, “He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go.” (Psalm 18:32 TLB)  David depended on the Lord to enable him to fulfill His God-given purpose and potential, and you and I can do the same thing.  What is it that God is asking you to do, that begs for an infilling of His power today?

   Lord, please don’t let me go through this life without making the most of Your offer to strengthen me with Your own strength.  Teach me how to pray for Your strength on a regular basis, so that I never depend on my own limited power.  Fill me with a deep desire to seek Your face and Your presence daily, and show me how to plan my schedule around You.  Thank You that You are truly my “glorious strength,” and it pleases You to make me strong!

   *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

 

Nov 3 19

Get Into Agreement with God

by J. M. Farro

   “You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.” Job 22:28 NKJV

   My husband, Joe, will finally be retiring at the end of this year.  He has been in the workforce for more than 50 years – sometimes working multiple jobs at one time.  No one is happier than I am that, very soon, he won’t have to spend long hours commuting five days a week. 

   Yet, I keep running into people who are doing their best to make me feel apprehensive about my husband’s retirement.  They will say things like, “Aren’t you afraid that your husband is going to drive you crazy when he’s home full-time?” 

   When I spent some time alone with the Lord, sharing my thoughts with Him on the subject, He reminded me about how I handled the “empty nest syndrome” years ago.  My older son was already married at the time, and my younger son was planning his own wedding with his future wife.  People kept coming up to me, warning me that I was going to be miserable when I no longer had any children living under my roof.  When I sought the Lord about it, He instructed me to depend on Him for strength and guidance, and to pray in advance against all negative feelings, emotions, and mindsets that might come against me.  With God’s help, the transition went smoothly, and I never did become grieved or sorrowful when my youngest son left home.

   Now people are warning me that I am going to hate having my husband home full-time when he retires later this year.  And I have a choice to make.  Am I going to agree with God that I will enjoy having my husband around more?  Or am I going to agree with the devil that spending more time together will be a burden, instead of a blessing? 

   The Bible says, “You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.” (Job 22:28 NKJV)  The Lord showed me that if I will align my thoughts and my words with His in the matter, He will see that a good outcome is “established” for me and my husband.  And the “light of God’s favor” will shine on us. (AMP)  I can honestly say that I am eagerly looking forward to Joe’s retirement, and I am continually thanking God for what I am viewing as a blessing.

   What about you?  What are you facing today, that the Lord wants you to get into agreement with Him about?  I’m here to tell you that if you will get into agreement with God, and out of agreement with the devil, you will see Him establish great good for you, and the light of His favor will shine on you!

   Lord, I bring before You today all of my concerns and circumstances.  Reveal to me what Your will is for me in these matters, and help me to get into agreement with You for the very best outcome.  Deliver me from all my fears, and strengthen me to ignore words of doubt from others, as well as all feelings of dread.  Thank You that as I declare and receive Your favor over every area of my life, You will establish great good for me and mine!

   *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 27 19

Your Healing Touch

by J. M. Farro

   “As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus.  No matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one.” Luke 4:40 NLT

   I love how this verse of Scripture talks about the healing touch of Jesus’ hand.  What’s interesting is that we know that Jesus was able to heal with just a word from His lips. (Matthew 8:8)  He could have easily healed the whole crowd around Him with a spoken word, but He chose not to.  Instead, He chose to touch each one individually, face-to-face, one-on-one.  He knew the power and importance of human touch, even though He was divine.

   There’s a powerful lesson here for you and me.  When others are going through a difficult time, there’s simply no substitute for us being there with them – to hold their hand, to put a loving arm around them, or to give them a warm hug.  Just small gestures like these can minister healing and hope to a hurting soul.

   When I was getting counseling for anxiety and depression many years ago, the Christian lady who was ministering to me told me something I have never forgotten.  She said that studies showed that for a person to be healthy and whole, they needed at least nine good hugs a day.  When I told my husband, Joe, about it, he wrapped his arms around me and promised to give me more hugs every day from then on.  For the most part, he has kept that promise, and we try to give each other some really good hugs on a daily basis.

   The last time I saw my mother alive, she was in the hospital with kidney failure.  As we chatted, I held her hand, and I could see in her eyes how much that meant to her.  When she drifted off to sleep, I knew that I would never see her again this side of heaven.  I wanted to say goodbye, but I didn’t want to disturb her.  So I tenderly kissed her on the forehead and whispered, Goodbye, Mama.  Something so strong inside of me insisted that I had to touch her one more time, and once my lips touched her face, I felt a warm sense of peace.

   There are people in your life who need your healing touch today.  You may not always know what to say to comfort them, but you can say more than words with a warm embrace, a hand on their shoulder, or a touch of their hand.  And the best part?  As you reach out to heal others in Jesus’ name, you too will be healed!

   Lord, give me a revelation of how vital human touch is to me and to others.  As You healed suffering souls with a touch of Your hand, please anoint and enable me to heal those I come in contact with who are hurting.  By Your Spirit, show me how to minister to them in ways that will draw them to You.  Thank You that as I reach out to others in Your name, You will send the right people to reach out to ME when I need them most!

   *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 20 19

Our Responsibility to Pray

by J. M. Farro

   “Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.”  Luke 12:48 TLB

   When my husband, Joe, underwent a heart-related surgical procedure this past summer, my loved ones and I kept him covered in prayer.  I come from a praying family, and we have witnessed countless times the difference that prayer can make in all kinds of situations and circumstances.

   After Joe came out of surgery and recovery that day, he was brought back to his original hospital room.  As I sat with him while he came out of anesthesia, we sensed a commotion all around us.  When one of the nurses came in to check on Joe, and we asked her what all of the activity was about, she told us that we were surrounded by “bleeders” – people who experienced abnormal and life-threatening bleeding after their surgical procedures, and who had to extend their hospital stays.  Suddenly, I sensed the Spirit of God speaking to my heart and saying, “Not everyone has someone to pray for them.”  Immediately, I began praying for all of the patients around us who were experiencing serious complications from their surgeries.  And I thanked and praised God that Joe did so well that his doctors sent him home the very same day.  

   For a long time afterwards, the Holy Spirit’s words rang in my ears.  And it saddened me to think that there are people in this world who have no one to pray for them.  Jesus said, “Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.” (Luke 12:48 TLB)  As born-again children of the Most High God, you and I have a responsibility to pray for people everywhere we go.  As we begin to pray for someone, we should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, because He knows what their greatest needs are, and He will show us the best way to intercede for them.  I know from experience that the first thing He is likely to have us pray for is their salvation.  This is what I did that day at the hospital.  It makes no sense to pray for someone’s body to be healed, if we haven’t prayed for them to receive God’s precious gift of salvation. 

   I have been praying for people everywhere I go for decades.  But that day at the hospital, God surrounded me with hurting people to impress upon me how urgent it is for His people to do this more and more.  The Bible says that as a believer, your prayers are “powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)  With that power comes great responsibility.  Today, I urge you to answer the Lord’s call to prayer, so that when you get to Heaven, countless people will come up to you and say, I’m here because of YOU!

   Lord, I thank You that Your Word says that because of my righteousness in Christ, “great things will happen” when I pray. (James 5:16 ERV)  Help me to make the most of the power and responsibility You have given me as a believer by praying for people everywhere I go.  Holy Spirit, teach me how to intercede for others according to the will of God.  Thank You that as I am sensitive and obedient to Your leading in prayer, lives will be eternally transformed for the glory of God!

   *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 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 I will trust in You, 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)

Let 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 man. (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

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   *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

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   *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