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Jun 20 21

You Have a Job to Do!

by J. M. Farro

    “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

   If you have received salvation through faith in Christ, then this verse applies to you, and you need never again wonder if you were created for a purpose.  You are God’s masterpiece, re-created in Christ, to do good deeds and accomplish great things for God’s glory.  These acts and achievements were prepared by God in advance, before you were even born.  You have a God-given purpose.  If anyone tells you otherwise, they are dead wrong.  Satan himself will try to convince you that you have no real purpose in life.  He may even use other people to do it.  But if you fall for that lie, you will live a meaningless, purposeless life.  But you don’t have to!  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

   When Jesus told the Parable of the Talents, He was letting us know that each of us has a special purpose in life, and God expects us to cooperate with Him so that it is fulfilled. (Matthew 25:14-30)  All three servants in the parable are given various talents, which represent the individual’s gifts and resources.  The servants who put their gifts to good use, and were productive, were rewarded by the master.  They were given more resources and greater responsibility.  But one of the servants was so fearful and self-centered that he buried his talent, and was totally unfruitful for the master.  Jesus calls him a “worthless servant.” (v. 30)

   If you are a child of God, He has blessed you with special gifts that He expects you to use for His glory.  If you don’t know what they are, ask Him to reveal them to you.  Ephesians 5:15-16 (AMP) says that we should “live purposefully…making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.”

   You have a job to do!  There may be people in this world right now who will never receive God’s precious gift of salvation unless you take your place in the Body of Christ.  It’s my heartfelt prayer that you will make a decision today to cooperate with God’s plans for your life, and align your will with His.  If you do, God’s promise in Psalm 138:8 (NIV) belongs to you – “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me”!

   Lord, today I commit to You all that I am, and all that I have, and I ask that You fulfill Your purpose for my life.  Show me what my gifts are, and help me to use them for Your glory.  Use me to lead others to You.  The next time I doubt that my life has a special purpose, remind me of the truth.  Thank You that You will fulfill Your purpose for me, 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

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

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

Jun 13 21

God is Doing Something New!

by J. M. Farro

   “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?”  Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

    The promise above has a special place in my heart.  God has used it countless times to encourage me when I have experienced times of difficulty, disappointment, and despair.  It has never failed to fill me with a fresh sense of hope whenever I read or hear it.  Because of that, I often share it with people who write me for prayer and encouragement.  These folks are usually looking for some glimmer of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation.  Many times, they are hurting over some kind of heartbreak or loss, and they can’t help but “dwell on the past” – what mistakes they might have made, and what they might have done differently to cause a better outcome.  And even if the Lord is trying to do something new and wonderful in their lives or circumstances, they can’t “perceive it” because they can’t get past their past.

   I had this very same problem myself over 40 years ago, when I experienced the first heartbreak of my young life.  After being in a relationship with my high school sweetheart for more than three years, the relationship ended badly, and I felt the sting of rejection and betrayal.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that God wanted to do “a new thing” in my life, but He couldn’t do that unless I got into agreement with Him.  As I look back, I marvel at the great lengths the Lord went to, in order to convince me that He had new plans for me that were better and brighter than I ever imagined. 

   First, He put my future husband, Joe, in the same college class with me in the Fall of 1973.  And when months went by without Joe and I saying a word to each other, God had our professor put us in a skit together, so that we had to spend time with each other and work on our shared project.  At the same time, the Lord arranged for Joe to buy a brand new Pontiac LeMans, knowing that my family and I always had Pontiacs, and that I wouldn’t dream of saying ‘no’ when Joe offered to give me a ride in it.  That day I rode in Joe’s new car for the first time, he took me to lunch, and I told him my entire life story, even though I was usually a very private person.  We had such a good time together that we both called our families and told them that we wouldn’t be home for dinner that evening because we had other plans.  After sharing another meal together that day, Joe declared that he was going to marry me.  I laughed because it was so unexpected, but inwardly, his spontaneous expression of affection was exactly what my hurting heart needed – and the Lord knew it.

   Looking back, I see now that God was working overtime to get me in agreement with His future plans for me, even where my choice of a lifemate was concerned.  Truly, the similarities between us and our families were striking.  Joe and I were both 100% Italian-American.  All of the children in both families had first names starting with the letter “J”.  Both families had been buying and driving cars made by Pontiac for decades.  Both of our fathers had served in the Air Force working on planes during World War II.  And the list goes on and on.  All of these things were God’s way of trying to get me to stop dwelling on my past pain and disappointment, and to begin perceiving the new things He wanted to do in my life.

   To this day, Joe and I laugh about how we sat in a classroom together for months, without knowing that our future spouse was so close at hand.  And I am telling you all this today in the hope that you will be able to start believing that the “new thing” that God wants to do in YOUR life is closer than you think.  Don’t let how you perceive the past keep you from perceiving the bright and beautiful future that the Lord has for you.  And don’t think that your best days are behind you.  God is still in the miracle-working business, and He loves transforming our troubles into triumphs.  And right now, at this very moment, He’s saying to you – “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present.  I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out!  Don’t you see it?  THERE IT IS!”  (Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG)

    Lord, open my eyes to the new and wonderful things You are longing to do in my life right now.  Deliver me from the tendency to dwell on my past in ways that could hinder me from receiving the bright future You have for me.  Cleanse my heart and mind of all bitterness, doubt, pain, and negativity.  Show me signs that will move me to get into agreement with You and Your plans for my life.  Help me to live a Christ-centered life so that I can experience the comfort, strength, and healing that only You can provide.  Thank You that as I keep my hopes high, and my eyes of faith open, the “new things” You have for me will come bursting forth!

    *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

Jun 6 21

Don’t Let it Enter Your Mind

by J. M. Farro

   “Therefore, I say to you, take no thought about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25 MEV

   Over the years, I have heard many good teachings based on the words of Jesus above when He says “take no thought.”  This simple but powerful principle has impacted my life in many ways.  One example of this is when my doctor told me that I had to stop drinking coffee.  I was only drinking a cup or two a day, but even that became too much for my heart.  I tried drinking the decaffeinated version, but when I started having stomach problems, my doctor said that I had to quit drinking that, too.  To say that I was miserable would be a gross understatement.  But more than 20 years later, I am totally free from an overwhelming desire for coffee.  What helps me most even today is to “take no thought” of drinking it.  In other words, I don’t even let the thought of me drinking coffee enter my mind.  My husband, Joe, brews it and drinks it several times a day, so I smell it almost constantly in our home.  But I am never tempted to drink it myself because I “take no thought” of doing that.  It’s the same with smoking cigarettes.  I was able to quit this habit many years ago once I learned the art of not allowing it to enter my mind.  In cases like these, where addictions are involved, it does no good to say, “Don’t dwell on that.”  No, because by the time you have decided not to “dwell” on something, you have already allowed that thought to enter your mind.  And that makes it a lot harder to resist what you are trying to resist!

   Scripture says: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 MEV)  If we want to gain the victory over the sins, bondages, and evil addictions that our God wants to deliver us from, we are going to have to win the battle in our minds first.  When a tempting thought comes our way, casting it down with lightning speed at the threshold of our minds is our best hope.  Why?  Because once we entertain that thought for even a split second, it is more likely to take hold in our minds, and lead us to act upon it.  I encourage you to start doing this in your areas of need, and ask the Lord to show you how.  Don’t believe the devil’s lies that you are doomed to stay in bondage.  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  You were born again in Christ so that you could live in freedom right here and right now.  Go to God today and tell Him that you want to be free.  “For you have been called to live in freedom!” (Galatians 5:13 NLT)

   Lord, I want to live a life of freedom in Christ, and I believe that this is Your will for me, too.  Teach me how to “take no thought” that would put me or keep me in bondage to sin or unhealthy habits.  Remind me of Your promise which says that I “have the mind of Christ and do hold the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart.” (1 Corinthians 2:16 AMPC)  Thank You that as I cast down every disobedient thought, I will walk in the freedom that You bought for me on Calvary!

   *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

May 30 21

Check Your Connection

by J. M. Farro

   “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”  John 15:7 AMP

     For the past few weeks, my husband, Joe, and I have been having problems with our internet connection.  Every time we would lose our internet service, Joe would contact our neighbors to see if they were having the same trouble.  When they would say that they weren’t, Joe would be left scratching his head.  He would contact our cable provider, but each time he did, he was told that everything was fine on their end.  All this time, we were praying about it, and it finally dawned on my husband that our connection was bad.  The problem was definitely on our end, and once we realized it, we were able to reestablish our connection, and receive the signal that our cable company was sending.

   When I was thinking about this the other day, the Lord impressed upon me that a lot of believers aren’t receiving all the good things He has in store for them because their “connection” is bad.  There is no shortage of power, wisdom, provision, healing, peace, joy, or other blessings in Heaven.  But there IS a shortage of believers who are willing to do what it takes to receive them.  Jesus said: “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7 AMP)  This is an extraordinary promise from the King of Kings concerning answered prayer.  But look at the condition of this promise: We must remain “vitally united to [Christ]” – intimately connected to Him – and His words must “live in [our] hearts.”  If you want to see your percentage of answered prayer increase exponentially, then spend plenty of time alone with the Lord and His Word, depositing His truths into your heart.  When you do, you will pray prayers that are in line with God’s will, and you will receive the answers you seek. (1 John 5:14-15)

   In this same passage of Scripture, Jesus says: “I am the Vine; you are the branches.  Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit.  However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 AMP)  One way we can assess our connection with the Lord is to study the quality of the “fruit” we are bearing for Him.  Are our prayers bearing fruit for His Kingdom?  Are we setting a Christlike example that is drawing others to Him?  Are we growing in the Fruit of the Spirit – becoming more spiritually mature all the time? (Galatians 5:22-23)  If we are living “cut off from vital union with [Christ],” then we can accomplish “nothing” of eternal value for God.  Today, I am asking you to check your own spiritual connection with the Lord.  He has created you to live in vital union with Him – to receive all the blessings He has in store for you, and to bear abundant fruit for His glory!

   Lord, show me how to assess my spiritual connection with You on a regular basis.  Teach me to abide in You, and to remain vitally united to You, without interruption.  Help me to spend plenty of time with You and Your Word on a regular basis, and to plant Your truths deep in my heart.  Enable me to become more spiritually mature all the time.  Thank You that as I keep my heavenly connection in excellent condition, my heavenly receiver will bring me all that You have in store for 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

May 23 21

Ask for a Sign

by J. M. Farro

   “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”  Isaiah 7:11 NIV

   My husband, Joe, has a long-time friend who has struggled with his faith for years.  Recently, this man’s faith got a major boost when his grandson was hospitalized because of a sudden and serious affliction.  As he left his house to head for the emergency room to see his grandson, he spotted a neighbor walking along the road at a distance.  This neighbor had taken walks around the neighborhood every day for many years, and in all that time, she never so much as glanced at my husband’s friend whenever he drove by.  Desperate to hear from God that his grandchild would recover, this man prayed, “Lord, give me a sign that my grandson is going to be all right.”  Seconds later, the lady stopped in her tracks, looked at my husband’s friend, and gave him a huge wave.  Tears sprang to the man’s eyes as he recognized the sign from heaven that he had so desperately needed.  And he is telling everyone who will listen about the kindness and goodness of God.

   Many Christians are afraid to ask God for signs because of Jesus’ words in the Gospels, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” (Matthew 12:39 NKJV)  But we have to keep in mind that when the Master spoke these words, He was mainly addressing the religious people of His day who were not sincere God-seekers, and who would never believe in the Savior, no matter what He did.  Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see that not only did many of God’s people ask for signs, but in many cases, the Lord actually offered them signs, when He knew that it would strengthen their faith in Him. 

   Scripture tells us that God called King David “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22)  Yet in the Book of Psalms, we discover that David prayed:  “Give me a sign of Your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.” (Psalm 86:17 NIV)  David was, in effect, asking God to give him a sign of His approval, some reassurance that the Lord was standing with him against his adversaries. 

   The prophet Isaiah records an occasion when God offered to give King Ahaz of Judah a sign.  “Ask me for a sign, Ahaz, to prove that I will crush your enemies as I have promised.  Ask for anything you like, and make it as difficult as you want.” (Isaiah 7:11 NLT)  Here, the Lord was willing to strengthen the king’s faith with a sign of impending victory.  Instead, Ahaz foolishly turned down God’s offer.  “No,” he said, “I wouldn’t test the Lord like that.” (Isaiah 7:12 NLT)  The verses that follow reveal that God was actually angered by the king’s refusal to ask for a sign.

   There are times when I feel impressed in my spirit to ask the Lord for a sign that would encourage my heart in a situation.  I receive confirmation that these impressions are from Him when I receive the answer to my request in defining ways. 

   God does not want us depending on signs as a way of living the Christian life.  We are to “live by faith,” not by sight or signs. (Romans 1:17)  But it would be wise for us to be sensitive to those times when the Lord is telling us – “Ask for a sign from your God.  Ask anything.  Be extravagant.  Ask for the moon!”  (Isaiah 7:11 MSG)

   Lord, teach me how to pray for signs when it’s Your will and pleasure for me to do so.  Help me to become more sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading by devoting myself to Your Word and prayer.  Thank You, Lord, that the signs I seek will increase my faith and glorify You!

   *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

May 16 21

Show a Little Hutzpah!

by J. M. Farro

   “But I tell you, even if he won’t get up because the man is his friend, yet because of the man’s hutzpah he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” Luke 11:8 CJB

   In Chapter 11 of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is teaching His disciples about prayer.  In verse 5, He begins telling them about a man who goes to a friend’s house to ask him for bread for one of his guests.  Because it is midnight, the friend refuses to get out of bed to honor the man’s request.  But this man will not take “no” for an answer.  He keeps after his friend until he relents and honors his petition.  Jesus tells His listeners: “I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” (Luke 11:8 AMP)  I absolutely love the way the Complete Jewish Bible translates the Master’s words here: “But I tell you, even if he won’t get up because the man is his friend, yet because of the man’s hutzpah he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

   I did a word search for “hutzpah,” and discovered that it can mean “brazen boldness, nerve, or audacity.”  This fits with the Amplified translation above using the words “shameless persistence,” which can mean “persisting in the face of all that seemed reasonable, and refusing to take a denial.”  What is Jesus trying to tell us about prayer in this parable?  One Bible commentator says: “This is to be applied to God in no other sense than that He often hears prayers and grants blessings even long after they appear to be unanswered or withheld.  He does not promise to give blessings at once.  He promises only that He will do it, or will answer prayer…  We should go again and again, until the prayer is heard, and God grants what we ask of Him.”

   I can think of occasions when I made petitions to the Lord that seemed for years as though they would never come to pass – the odds against them were so great.  As I look back, I shudder to think of what might have happened if I had quit praying before my answer came.  All that time, I had the audacity to keep coming to the Lord with the same prayer.  Part of me would say, “Maybe it’s just not God’s will.  Maybe I’m just wasting my time and energy.”  Yet another part of me kept saying, “Keep praying!”  Right after Jesus tells this parable, He goes on to say: “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 AMP)  What petitions are you at risk of giving up on today?

   Lord, teach me how to pray the prayers of Your heart for myself and others.  Remind me often that delays are not necessarily denials, and that You want me to “keep praying until the answer comes.” (Luke 18:1 TLB)  Thank You for the harvest of blessings that I will reap in the days to come, as I persist in prayer according to Your will and pleasure!

    *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

May 9 21

Christ’s Hands On Ours

by J. M. Farro

   “Elisha said, ‘Get a bow and some arrows,’ and he did so.  ‘Take the bow in your hands,’ he said to the king of Israel.  When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.”  2 Kings 13:15-16 NIV

      In the biblical passage above, the great prophet, Elisha, is at the end of his life, and the King of Israel, Jehoash, comes to visit him.  At the time, the nation of Israel is being greatly oppressed by the Arameans, so the prophet asks the king to get his bow and some arrows.  Back then, it was customary to shoot an arrow in the direction of the country which an army intended to invade.  So Elisha directs the king to take the bow in his hands, and when he does, the old prophet does something startling.  He puts his own hands on top of the king’s hands.  “Open the east window,” [Elisha] said, and he opened it.  “Shoot!”  Elisha said, and he shot.  “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!”  Elisha declared.  “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.” (2 Kings 13:17 NIV)

   Why did Elisha place his hands on top of the king’s hands before he shot the arrow?  One Bible commentator says that it signified that in all of the king’s expeditions against the Arameans, “he must look up to God for direction and strength; must reckon his own hands insufficient for him, and must go on in dependence on the divine aid.”  This principle has an application for you and me today, as followers of Christ.  Whatever it is that God calls us to do, whatever challenges we must face in this life, we must look to Christ for guidance and strength, and depend on His divine assistance and aid.

   Scripture tells us: “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)  So for us, “the Lord’s arrow of victory” should be aimed at the devil and his dark forces.  As we “put on the whole armor of God” each day, and “pray without ceasing,” we will have all the resources of heaven on our side to gain the victory. (Ephesians 6:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)  Whatever enemies you are facing today – illness, lack, loneliness, bad habits, addictions, relationship or family troubles – ask Jesus to place His hands upon yours, and watch Him lead you through to victory!

   Lord, I agree with You that apart from You, I can do nothing. (John 15:5)  So help me to always look to You for guidance and strength.  Teach me how to live my life dependent upon Your divine assistance and aid.  Put Your hands on mine, and help me to shoot the victory arrow squarely against the enemy every time.  Thank You that I can and will do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  (Philippians 4:13)

   *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

 

 

May 2 21

Enjoy Being With People

by J. M. Farro

   “I want to remind you to stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you…  For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.”  2 Timothy 1:6-7 TLB

   When I first saw these verses in the Living Bible, they made me cringe – especially the part that says that God doesn’t want me to be afraid of people, and that He wants me to enjoy being with them.  For someone like me who has struggled with social anxiety all their life, these verses sounded totally unreasonable.

   Years ago, I suffered from such severe anxiety that I had to undergo counseling.  What I didn’t realize back then was that anxiety, which is rooted in fear, has a demonic source.  I was totally unaware that Satan was the Author of Fear, and that he uses it to disable and paralyze God’s people.  I was also ignorant of the Scripture which says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)  Now that I know that fear is from the devil, I resist it in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As soon as it comes against me, I declare: “Fear, I resist you – in Jesus’ name, you must GO!”  God has given me authority in Christ to do this, and if you are a born-again child of God, then you can do the same thing.

   Another thing that really helps me is to ask God to give me favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight of Him and others, on the basis of His Word. (Proverbs 3:4 AMP)  Meditating on God’s Word and promises is a powerful way to overcome fear, anxiety, and depression.  Jesus says to us: “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.  [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” (John 14:27 AMP)  Glory to God!

   If you look up the definition of an “introvert,” you will see a description that, in many ways, describes me: An introvert is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual.  They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.”  I have realized over the years that God gave me this personality because it enables me to be content spending endless hours alone at my computer, writing devotional messages and books.  But I no longer allow fear to rule my life, and I often enjoy being with other people.  Now that I know the truth, I am determined to live a fearless life.  How about you?

   Lord, I surrender my life to You anew today, and I ask that You fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit.  Teach me how to resist fear and anxiety every time they come against me, and fill me with a holy determination to live a fearless life.  I thank You and praise You that peace is 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

 

Apr 25 21

God will Not Leave You Comfortless

by J. M. Farro

   “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”  John 14:18 KJV  

   I was thinking about some loved ones of mine who had turned their backs on God, and had begun living apart from His purposes for them, when the Lord spoke to my heart.  He said, “Why don’t you stop dwelling on the mistakes your loved ones are making, and begin asking Me to comfort you and heal your broken heart?”  I realized then just how much I had been making myself miserable by focusing so much on my loved ones and their foolish choices.  I thought about Jesus’ words to His disciples when He told them, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” (John 14:18 KJV)  And I began asking Him to comfort me.  I also thought about another promise from Scripture that I had memorized long ago: “[The Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].” (Psalm 147:3 AMP)  And I earnestly prayed for the Lord to heal my broken heart.

   Since then, God has shown me why it’s so important for us to turn to Him for comfort and healing in the midst of our heartbreak.  When we are suffering because of the poor choices of our loved ones, we are likely to lash out at them, and to withhold forgiveness from them.  But by doing this, we are hindering our prayers, which our loved ones desperately need.  Not only that, but we are greatly damaging our witness, when they need to see Jesus in us.  We need to remember that our intimacy with God will help determine our influence in the lives of others.

    David the psalmist wrote: “Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].” (Psalm 27:10 AMP)  Whether you feel forsaken by a parent, a child, a spouse, or someone else, if you are a follower of Christ, then you have been adopted by Father God Himself. (Romans 8:15)  That means that you are never alone – not ever.  God Himself promises you: “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” (Hebrews 13:5 AMP)  The Lord is always waiting for you to turn to Him for comfort and healing.  Don’t suffer in silence any longer, but call out to Him today!

   Lord, remind me often that You promise to comfort and heal me when I call upon You in faith.  Help me not to dwell on the people or things that break my heart.  Instead, remind me to follow Your instructions by casting my cares, concerns, and burdens upon You – releasing the weight of them once and for all. (Psalm 55:22 AMP)  Thank You that as I rely on Your help to walk in love continually, I will prove to be a powerful witness for You!

  *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

Apr 18 21

God’s Prescription for Healing

by J. M. Farro

   “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him, and He will gladly tell you, for He is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him; He will not resent it.” James 1:5 TLB

   When I woke up with my body racked with pain recently, I promptly sought the Lord for His wisdom and help.  As I prayed for healing and guidance, I suddenly thought about an old neck-shaped bean bag that I used to heat in the microwave oven for pain relief.  I had not seen this item in many years, and I didn’t even know for sure where it was.  But I decided to check one of my closets, and I located it immediately.  That’s when I began to think that using this bean bag was God’s idea.  When a dear friend and I were texting each other that same day, she asked how she could pray for me.  I told her about the pain in my body, and she recommended something that sounded almost identical to my neck-shaped bean bag.  I knew this was no coincidence, so I began using my heated bean bag regularly.  Each day, I felt better and better, and I thanked and praised God for His “prescription” for my ailment.

   This experience made me realize once again how the Lord often helps us in our time of need when we make seeking Him our highest priority.  In the case of healing, there are often multiple aspects of His “prescription” for us, and He will reveal them if we ask Him to.  As I sought His healing touch in this instance, I asked if I had committed some sin that had opened the door to Satan and his forces of evil.  That’s when I discovered that I had some unforgiveness in my heart, and that I needed to confess it, and to intentionally choose forgiveness, which I did right then and there.  The Holy Spirit reminded me of Ephesians 4:26-27 (TLB): “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge.  Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry – get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.”

   Another aspect of God’s prescription for me was to ask a fellow follower of Christ for prayer – the dear friend I mentioned above.  Scripture says: “Pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (James 5:16 NLT)  Sometimes, we need to put aside our pride, and be transparent enough to share our struggles with other believers, so that they can pray for us.  If you don’t have someone close to you who you can trust in this manner, then ask the Lord if you should share your prayer requests with a trustworthy ministry.

   Lastly, another aspect of my divine prescription was to take some practical steps toward healing.  Using my neck-shaped bean bag was definitely a part of the healing process.  It sounds almost too simple, but when you combine this step with the other two God-directed steps I’ve mentioned here – forgiveness and prayer – you’ve got a powerful prescription for healing.  Ask the Lord how this message might apply to you today – and receive His prescription for your healing!

   Lord, I believe that You delight in healing those who belong to You.  Today, I ask in Jesus’ name that You reveal to me Your personal prescription for my healing.  Show me the spiritual aspects of it, as well as the practical aspects, and help me to implement them with a holy ease and joy.  Reveal to me who I can request prayer from, and who will stand in agreement with me for my deliverance.  By faith, I receive my healing right here and right now, Lord, and I thank You for it 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