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Nov 20 22

Don’t Be Swayed

by J. M. Farro

   “You aren’t swayed by others, because You pay no attention to who they are.” Matthew 22:16 NIV  

   The Lord has used this verse many times over the years to remind me that Jesus was never “swayed by others,” because He refused to pay attention to who they were.  Because of that, I have always been wary of so-called “experts” in any field.

   I confess that it disturbs me when I hear of Christians making plans for their retirement without consulting God.  They will consult financial experts, and even other people, about what they should do, without even giving a thought to seeking the Lord through prayer and His Word.

   It also concerns me when I hear about students consulting guidance counselors, their friends, and their loved ones about their future, instead of seeking the One who created them with specific and unique plans and purposes in mind.

   And don’t get me started on food and drink.  After decades of the government’s nutritional experts telling us how to eat in order to be healthy, they have declared that they had it all wrong, and generations have suffered multitudes of illnesses as a result of a poor diet.

   Every day, I see Christians being swayed by people and institutions who do not have one iota of the wisdom that our God has, and who continually reap the consequences of their foolishness.  Jesus said, “I do nothing without consulting the Father.” (John 5:30 NLT)  You and I would be wise to follow His example.

   Lord, don’t let me be fooled into thinking that I can make my own plans and ask You to bless them.  Instead, let me be fully persuaded that YOUR plans for me are already BLESSED. (Jeremiah 29:11)  Teach me what is best for me – even where my eating and drinking habits are concerned. (Isaiah 48:17)  Help me to always walk in wisdom so that I will be delivered and kept safe from all harm – including from poverty, debt, and lack, and all sickness and disease. (Proverbs 28:26)  Thank You that as I seek You and Your wisdom for every area of my life, I will reap all of the blessings, breakthroughs, and victories that You have in store for me!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Nov 13 22

You Shall Be Sought After

by J. M. Farro

   “See, your Savior comes!  See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him…and you will be called Sought After.”  Isaiah 62:11-12 NIV

   Here is a Word from the Lord for you when you feel as though you are working hard, with little results to show for it.  It’s a promise from God when you know in your heart that He has given you talents, gifts, and skills that should be in greater demand than they are right now.

   Your Savior is saying to you today that He is going to show up in your situation, and He’s bringing your rewards with Him.  He is going to right your wrongs, as only He can.  And He is going to see to it that you and your God-given gifts are highly “sought after.”

   And for those of you who are alone and lonely today, I encourage you to claim this promise for your relationships.  I pray in the Name of Jesus that you – and Christ – may be “sought after” by your estranged family members, and by those companions whom God has ordained for you.

   Begin declaring with confidence today, “I and my God-given talents are highly sought after, in Jesus Name!”

   Lord, when I feel as though I have been treated unjustly or unfairly, remind me to look to You to right my wrongs.  Give me a revelation of how much You value all of my hard work and efforts, even when no one else does.  Speak to my heart and reassure me that I have extraordinary rewards and opportunities heading my way from You.  Grant me divine favor with others that will lead to new and restored relationships that will enrich and bless my life.  Help me to develop my God-given talents, skills, and gifts so that they will become more valuable and in demand all the time.  Thank You that by Your grace and power, I shall be called Sought After in Jesus’ name!

    *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Nov 6 22

Worried, Bothered, and Anxious

by J. M. Farro

   “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 AMP

   I had been feeling sick for several days, when I sensed the Holy Spirit’s conviction and correction in my spirit.  He showed me the passage in Luke chapter 10, where Jesus is at the home of Martha and Mary.  You probably know the story.  Mary is sitting at the Master’s feet, hanging on His every word, while Martha is running around trying to prepare the meal for everyone.  When Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her, she gets a response she doesn’t expect.  “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42 AMP)

   That’s when it hit me.  The whole time I was sick, I was spending countless hours searching online for solutions to get over my illness as soon as possible.  Like Martha, I was “very busy and distracted.”  And with little results from all my efforts, I was getting more and more “worried, bothered, and anxious.”  The Lord was trying to show me that Mary had “chosen the good part” – that which was “to her advantage.”  In other words, if I would cease with the busyness and distractions, and shift my focus to the Lord through prayer and Scripture study – listening for what He wanted to tell me – I would receive His wisdom and help for my situation.

   As it turned out, as I sought the Lord His way, I was able to receive the revelation knowledge He had for me, and my situation (and health) began to steadily improve.  Is there something that has you worried, bothered, and anxious today?  Try making yourself more receptive to the Lord’s instructions by shifting your focus to Him and His Word!

   Lord, when I need a breakthrough in my health, my finances, my work, my relationships – or any other area – help me to seek You by spending time in Your presence and Your Word.  Make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in all things.  Teach me how to walk in peace in every situation and circumstance.  Thank You that as I look to You for all of my needs and desires, I will reap a harvest of blessings and breakthroughs! 

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 30 22

Cling to God’s Promises

by J. M. Farro

   “The seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s Word, CLING TO IT, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Luke 8:15 NLT 

   As I write this, there is a little kite caught in a tree in my backyard.  This is the third year that it has been there – clinging to our tree with all its might through countless storms in every season.  It got there when my husband, Joe, and my grandson, William, were flying kites one sunny summer day.  And it has refused to let go of our tree, even when battered by ice, wind, and snow.

   One day as I was watching that little kite out of my kitchen window being whipped by the wind, I sensed the Lord speaking to me in my spirit, saying, “Cling to Me.  Cling to My promises.  I know how things look now, but I’m telling you that help is on the way.”  He reminded me of the Parable of the Sower, and Jesus’ words in Luke 8:15 (NLT):  “The seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s Word, CLING TO IT, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”  And the Lord impressed upon me that if that little kite could cling to that tree through three years of stormy weather, then certainly, I could weather the storms of life clinging to God’s promises with His Spirit’s help – eventually reaping a “huge harvest” of divine rewards, blessings, and opportunities.

   In the past three years, we have had six huge trees uprooted from storms, yet that kite has held on tight to one of our remaining trees.  Last winter, a fierce storm split the kite’s tree in half from top to bottom.  My husband warned me not to go near it because it was swaying badly and was sure to fall any minute.  I thought that if it did fall, one consolation would be that we would finally be rid of that stubborn kite.  But here we are a year later, with the tree and the kite tenaciously holding on in storm after storm.  And every time I see them out of my kitchen window, I hear a voice saying, “Hold on.  Stand fast.  Keep clinging.  Your answer is on the way…“

   Lord, whenever I am faced with troubles of any kind, help me to turn to You first.  Give me Your perspective, and help me to respond in a Christlike way.  Teach me how to dig into Your Word and discover all of the “exceedingly great and precious promises” that You have for me. (2 Peter 1:4 NKJV)  Today, I thank and praise You that Your Word is true, and You are true to Your Word! 

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 23 22

The Unsearchable Ways of God

by J. M. Farro

   “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  How UNSEARCHABLE are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!” Romans 11:33 AMP

   I was pondering a perplexing situation in my alone time with the Lord one morning, when He showed me the verse above.  As I meditated on it, and thought about how God’s methods and ways are not meant to be understood, I got more and more depressed.  Then suddenly, the word “unsearchable” jumped off the page, and the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance one of my favorite verses of Scripture.  “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and UNSEARCHABLE things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV)  Hallelujah!  While there’s no denying that God’s ways can be unfathomable, He invites us to call upon Him to reveal “unsearchable” things to His devoted ones.

   Think about this:  If the Lord didn’t want us to seek Him for divine wisdom and guidance, then why would He include James 1:5 in His Word?  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)  Here is another too-good-to-be-true invitation from the Lord to call upon Him for supernatural wisdom.  The following verses reveal one condition for this amazing promise.  “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” (v. 6-7 NIV)  This doesn’t mean that our faith has to be perfect.  It only means that when we ask for divine wisdom, we should ask with expectancy. 

   I love how the Message Bible translates Jeremiah 33:3:  “Call to Me and I will answer you.  I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.”  Don’t waste precious time and energy trying to figure out things that are beyond your understanding.  Ask the Lord to impart His wisdom to you about that difficult relationship you’ve been wrestling with.  Call on Him to reveal how you should handle that perplexing financial situation, or that persistent health problem you’ve been dealing with.  Always remember that while God’s ways are unsearchable, He is not unreachable.  He’s just waiting for you to call on Him!

   Lord, when I need answers, remind me to turn to You first for wisdom and guidance.  Deliver me from my doubts, and teach me to consult You with an attitude of faith and expectancy.  Remind me to feed my faith with Your Word on a regular, consistent basis.  Thank You that as I consider You my first and best source of wisdom, Your highest purposes will prevail in every area of my life!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 16 22

The Power of Agreeing in Prayer

by J. M. Farro

   “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you.” Matthew 18:19 NLT

   When our 10-year-old pet duck, Libby, began having some serious health problems, my husband, Joe, and I began treating her with the usual medications and remedies that always helped her in the past.  We have been raising pet ducks for more than 22 years, so we have gained some valuable experience in this area.  Even so, weeks passed with Libby’s health failing to improve.  One Friday, we decided that if she didn’t improve over the weekend, we would take her to the vet on Monday to have her euthanized, in order to end her suffering.

   During this time, I asked a dear friend of mine to pray for Libby’s recovery.  I explained to her that if Libby died, we would not only lose her, but her mate, Larry.  Previously, each time that he lost one of his mates, Larry would grieve so deeply that he would refuse to eat or drink anything.  Then we would have to find him a new mate before he died.  This time, however, would be different.  Larry was 22 years old – “ancient” by duck standards, as our vet liked to say – and we knew that losing a mate would probably end his life.  My friend sympathized with me, and she promised to keep Libby and Larry in her prayers.

   Joe and I knew that Libby needed a miracle, and we earnestly prayed for one.  Over the course of that weekend, Libby’s health began to steadily improve.  By Monday, she was doing so well that we cancelled our plans to have her euthanized.  When my friend wrote me for an update on Libby, and I told her that her health turned around over the weekend, she told me that she had contacted a television ministry for prayer.  She even sent me a video clip from the program, showing a prayer warrior praying over Libby.  My heart and my faith soared.  And I am thankful to report that both Libby and Larry are doing just fine.

   Whenever I think of this experience, I am reminded of the power contained in the prayer of agreement.  Jesus said, “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you.” (Matthew 18:19 NLT)  Sometimes, we need help praying God’s will over ourselves, our loved ones, and others.  The spiritual resistance against the will of God may be so strong that powerful prayers of agreement may be necessary.  The Message Bible translation of this verse says, “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.”  Hallelujah!  Ask the Lord what areas of your life – or your loved ones’ lives – are just begging for some extra prayer power today!

   Lord, I know that even though my prayers are powerful and effective because of my righteousness in Christ, there are times when I need to pray the prayer of agreement.  Show me who to call on for prayer.  Direct our petitions so that they will be in line with Your will.  Thank You that as we pray prayers full of faith and expectancy, You will spring into action on our behalf!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 9 22

Look Ahead to New Things

by J. M. Farro

   “But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

   At dinner one night before his retirement, my husband, Joe, was telling me about how frustrated he was becoming with his boss.  Apparently, every time my husband accomplished something at work, instead of his boss being satisfied, he would say, “That’s great – what’s next?”  I understood my husband’s frustration, but at the same time, I thought about how God seems to like keeping us looking ahead, too.  Many times, after I have accomplished something for the Lord, He has led me to Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV), which says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

   God does appreciate and reward all of our efforts done in His name and for His glory.  But He doesn’t want us growing stagnant in our faith walk, or in our service to Him, so He continually encourages us to keep moving forward.  The Lord knows what we are truly capable of, even when we don’t.  And He knows the bright and beautiful future that lies ahead of us, when we cling to Him and follow His lead.

   It’s perfectly okay to celebrate each of our achievements and accomplishments in a Christlike fashion – with gratefulness to God, and without being prideful or boastful.  But at the same time, we should not get “stuck” dwelling on the past, but we should always be looking ahead to the good things that the Lord has in store for us.   

   The Bible tells us: “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Romans 8:15 MSG)  Today, open the door to the new things that God has up ahead for you, by raising your level of expectancy, and keeping your eyes fixed on Him!

   Lord, help me to “perceive” the new things that You want to lead me into at this time.  Show me what steps You would like me to take right now, in order to cooperate with Your plans and purposes for me.  Thank You that as I give You first place in my life, You will open new doors for me, and present me with new opportunities to serve You and do Your will!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

   *To contact J. M. Farro by email, please use this address: jmf@jmfarro.com

Oct 2 22

Favor in the Wilderness

by J. M. Farro

   “This is what the Lord says:  ‘Those who survive the coming destruction will find blessings even in the barren land.’”  Jeremiah 31:2 NLT

   This promise from Scripture reassures us that in the hard times that are to come, God’s faithful remnant will not only survive, but will thrive.  Because of their devotion to the one true God, He will bless them with extraordinary and unusual blessings that will make them stand out in a crowd, and that will cause those around them to want a relationship with Him.

    When the Lord allows you and me to walk through a “barren land,” it’s only because He has “blessings” for us there that we won’t find anywhere else.  The trials we experience there are not designed to push us down, but to lift us up and exalt us.  Our job is to remain faithful to the Lord – always keeping prayers of faith on our lips, and praises to God in our mouths.

   Psalm 66 talks about how the Lord sometimes allows His people to be “tested” and “refined” through various troubles and trials. (v. 10 NIV)  These trials will not be able to discourage or defeat us if we focus on God’s promise in verse 12, which assures us: “Yet in the end, You always bring us out better than we were before, saturated with Your goodness.”  Hallelujah!

   The NIV translation of Jeremiah 31:2 says that you and I “will find FAVOR in the wilderness.”  Today, thank God for the divine favor and blessings that will show up right in the midst of your wilderness experience!

   Lord, when You allow me to experience troubled times, remind me that it’s only because You have blessings and rewards for me that I cannot receive in the good times.  Guard me from discouragement and disillusionment, and comfort and strengthen me as only You can.  Equip and enable me to follow You wholeheartedly no matter what comes my way.  Thank You that as I keep prayers of faith on my lips, and praises to God in my mouth, I will experience the victories and breakthroughs that will be absolutely life-changing for me and those around me!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

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

 

Sep 25 22

Too Much Thinking and Talking

by J. M. Farro

   “Watch your words and be careful what you say, and you’ll be surprised by how few troubles you’ll have.” Proverbs 21:23 TPT

   I was agonizing over a troubling situation when the Lord showed me a Scripture that says, “If you keep thinking about something, you will dream about it.  If you talk too much, you will say the wrong thing.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3 CEV)  It was true that I kept thinking about my problem, and it was affecting my sleep.  Not only that, but I was talking about it way too much, and I knew that some of my words would have been better left unsaid.

   God has good reasons for telling us not to worry or become fearful.  He wants us to enjoy restful, peaceful sleep each night.  It’s important for our well-being and our health.  He also has good reasons for warning us against talking too much.  He knows that the more we talk, the more likely it will be for us to say things that can seriously harm our relationships and our reputation.

   In every situation, God’s will for us is to trust Him.  When we are truly trusting Him, we will not be dwelling on our problems, and we will get the rest we need.  And our trust in the Lord will restrain us from speaking negative words that can affect the outcome of our situation.  The Bible tells us: “The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; the one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 AMP)

   What we have to remember is that our words have consequences, and we are the only ones who can really control what we say.  Proverbs says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” (Proverbs 18:21 AMP)  Today, out of my sincere love and concern for you, I issue you this admonition from God’s Word – “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble”! (Proverbs 21:23 NLT)

   Lord, today I surrender my speech to You, and I pray according to Your Word: “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3 NIV)  Remind me often that my words have consequences, and help me to always think before I speak.  When trouble comes my way, give me an awareness that the very first words that come out of my mouth can affect my outcome.  Today and every day, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NLT)

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

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

 

 

Sep 18 22

Serve the Lord without Distraction

by J. M. Farro

   “I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you.  I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” 1 Corinthians 7:35 NLT

   I was reading a news article about one of the richest men in the world, and I was shocked to hear him say that he doesn’t like to multitask.  He said that when he is reading his email, that’s all he wants to focus on, and he doesn’t allow distractions of any kind.

   I thought about how this man’s approach to life could apply to the Christian life.  The author of the book of Hebrews wrote about the proper focus of a believer, saying that we should always be “[Looking away from all that will DISTRACT us and] FOCUSING our eyes on Jesus,” in order to follow the Master’s example in every area of our lives. (Hebrews 12:2 AMP)  One of the best ways that we can sharpen our spiritual focus is to spend undistracted, unhurried time alone with God and His Word on a regular basis, listening for His voice, and responding in prayerful obedience.

   As believers, you and I MUST take distractions seriously.  And Jesus Himself gives us one reason why.  “The cares and anxieties of the world and DISTRACTIONS of the age…creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” (Mark 4:19 AMP)  As powerful as the Word of God is, it will prove ineffective in an environment of fear, worry, and busyness. 

   I love how the Scripture says simply, “Serve the Lord without distraction.” (First Corinthians 7:35 NKJV)  When we follow this divine command, we will not only be closer to our Lord than we ever dreamed possible, but we will also reap untold rewards in our health, our finances, our social life, our career, our ministry – and in every other area of our lives!

   Lord, help me to sharpen my spiritual focus by spending undistracted, unhurried time alone with You and Your Word on a regular, consistent basis.  Teach me how to hear and to heed Your voice.  Remind me to cast my cares on You each day, so that I won’t live burdened and burned out.  Thank You that as I do whatever will help me to serve You best – with as few distractions as possible – You will pour out Your blessings upon me in full measure!

   *To order J. M. Farro books on Amazon, please use this link!

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

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

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