Skip to content
Oct 10 21

Not Information But Transformation

by J. M. Farro

   “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT

   These verses from Scripture reveal how God uses His Word to teach, correct, prepare, and equip His people.  The great evangelist, D. L. Moody, was quoted as saying, “The Bible was not given for our information, but for our transformation.”

   I was reminded of Moody’s quote the other day when my 11-year-old grandson, William, was telling me about how he was learning to help his parents around the house more – washing the dishes, doing laundry chores, and making his daddy’s coffee.  He explained to me that he felt led to make some changes in his life, since he had begun reading his Bible every day. 

   This concept of the Bible’s ability to transform our lives is nothing new.  Scripture itself tells us about the life-changing power of God’s Word.  “God means what He says.  What He says goes.  His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.  Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word.  We can’t get away from it – no matter what.” (Hebrews 4:12 MSG)  As we read or listen to the Word of God, it reveals what we are, and what we are not.  And like a surgeon’s scalpel, it cuts away everything that would hinder us from becoming all that God created us to be.

   The apostle Paul wrote:  “And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP)  When we are receptive to God’s Word, it begins to work “effectually” in us, “exercising its superhuman power” in us as we choose to believe what is says.  Hallelujah!  Do you want God to make some changes in your life?  Read His Word!  It is not just for your information – but for your transformation!

   Lord, please use Your Word to teach me what is true, and to help me to realize what is wrong in my life.  Use it to instruct me so that I am always able to discern the difference between good and evil.  Use it to prepare and equip me for every good work.  Thank You that as I spend time in Your Word and believe it with all my heart, it will exercise its superhuman power in my life!

   *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 3 21

No Longer Orphans

by J. M. Farro

   “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.”  John 14:18 AMP

    The mother of a very dear friend of mine died this past summer.  My friend is a very strong woman, and she has a hard time showing her true feelings.  I have seen her lose a beloved sibling, as well as many dear friends, and I have always been amazed at how she is able to keep her emotions under control.  But only a short time after losing her mother, her father passed away.  When I saw her recently, she tried to sound brave, but she couldn’t hold back her tears.  I saw a look in her eyes that said, “I am an orphan now.”  Until I lost both of my own parents, I never realized how painful that realization can be – at ANY age.    

   Scripture has a lot to say about this subject because our God is a compassionate God, and He cares very deeply about our pain.  Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.” (John 14:18 AMP)  Do you think that the same Jesus who died for us is going to leave us comfortless and helpless when we suffer a loss?  No way.  He says, “And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Amen.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

   When I became an orphan myself, one of the promises of God that comforted me most was Psalm 27:10 (NKJV): “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”  I loved my parents with all of my heart, but they were never able to “take care of me” the way that Almighty God has all these years.  Why?  Because as Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 AMP)  One consolation I’ve experienced from losing my parents is that God Himself has become responsible for my needs more than ever before, especially since I have learned to rely on Him more.  And I have seen Him move heaven and earth to provide for me.

   If you are a follower of Christ, then you never have to fear being an orphan.  And if that day should come for you, remember the Lord’s precious promise from His Word – As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13 NIV)

   Lord, I am so grateful that You always do exactly what You say, and You always carry out and fulfill all of Your promises, no matter how many of them there are. (2 Corinthians 1:20 TLB)  Help me to always rely on You and Your faithfulness to Your Word whenever I need care or consolation.  Thank You that as I look to You in times of trouble and pain, I will experience the peace, provision, comfort, and healing that can only come from 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

Sep 27 21

Shake it Off!

by J. M. Farro

   “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.”  Matthew 10:14 NIV

   The Lord brought the above verse to my remembrance recently, when I was doing my best to give a loved one some godly advice.  I confess that it grieves my heart when I see people I care about casting aside God’s will for them, and choosing to go their own way.  Since I surrendered my life to the Lord years ago, and have gotten a taste of the abundant life that Jesus spoke of, I long to see others turn their own lives over to Him, and to experience the same blessings.  But sometimes, no matter how I try to reach out to others with the love and grace of God, my words go unheeded.  Maybe you have felt the same way about some of the people in your own life.  It’s not easy for us to watch loved ones make wrong choices, especially when they result in serious consequences.  If we are not careful, we can allow anger, bitterness, or resentment to worm their way into our hearts. 

   On this particular occasion, the Lord gave me my own personal paraphrase of His words in Matthew 10:14.  He told me, “If someone will not listen to you, shake it off and move on!”  And I desperately needed to hear those words.  Instead of letting the matter go, and leaving this person in God’s hands, I was holding on to my frustration, my helplessness, and my resentment.  And I felt as though all of my peace and joy – gifts that Jesus died to give me – had flown out the window.  That’s when I turned to the Lord in heartfelt repentance, and asked Him to help me “shake off” the negative emotions that threatened to overwhelm me.  And He didn’t hesitate to answer that prayer.

   Notice that Jesus did not tell His disciples – “When people don’t listen to you, I want you to whine, complain, get depressed, and angry.  I want you to focus on their disobedience, and how they are ruining their own lives.  I want you to keep thinking about all of the blessings they are forfeiting, because they refuse to walk in the good plans I have for them.”  No, Jesus said, “Shake it off and move on!”  The Savior knows that it will do us no good to waste time fretting over the wrong choices that others make.  All it will do is hinder our prayers for these people, and make us ineffective witnesses for God.

   I like the way the Message Bible translates Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:14.  It says:  “If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw.  Don’t make a scene.  Shrug your shoulders and be on your way.”  Even if our words fall on deaf ears, and we decide to walk away, we still have powerful spiritual weapons that can make a difference.  We can persist in prayer for these people, and we can consistently set a Christlike example for them, planting seeds in their lives that will eventually produce a heavenly harvest. 

   The next time you minister words of wisdom to someone and they “blow you off,” don’t forget that that’s your cue to “shake it off!”

   Lord, forgive me for the times I reacted badly when I ministered to others, and didn’t get the response that I desired.  Teach me how to be more Christlike in this area, and help me to do my part in the process.  Remind me that it’s never Your will for me to hang on to negative emotions that will only hinder my prayers and my fellowship with You.  Thank You that as I walk as Jesus did, You will use me to touch and change lives for Your glory!

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

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

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

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

Sep 19 21

True Ministers of God

by J. M. Farro

   “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry.” 2 Corinthians 6:3 ESV

   In this passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul emphatically states that he and his co-workers have continually walked in integrity, and therefore, have placed no obstacle in the way of anyone who would come to faith in Christ.  He even goes so far as to insist that no one could find any fault with their ministry.  Their character, conduct, and conversation would never cause a potential believer to question the trustworthiness of the Gospel.  Paul and his co-laborers were certainly not perfect, but no one could claim that they preached morality, but lived in sin.  They were continually clearing the path to faith in Christ by remaining above reproach in their ministry and their personal conduct.

   The Living Bible translation of the above verse reads: “We try to live in such a way that no one will ever be offended or kept back from finding the Lord by the way we act, so that no one can find fault with us and blame it on the Lord.”  The plain truth is that we, as servants of God, have the power to attract people to the Lord, or to drive them away from Him.  How we live our daily lives – and how we conduct whatever ministry God has given us – can have a direct impact on others.

   Paul wrote: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.” (2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP)  It is wise for us to continually examine ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit, and to be quick to correct our course, if necessary, through confession and repentance.  We can pray as David the shepherd-king did – “Examine me, Lord; put me to the test!  Purify my mind and heart.” (Psalm 26:2 CEB)

   Right after Paul talks about his life and ministry being above reproach, he says: “In fact, in everything we do, we try to show that we are true ministers of God.  We patiently endure suffering and hardship and trouble of every kind.” (2 Corinthians 6:4 TLB)  One way we can show the world that we are “true ministers of God” is to remain full of faith and patience in times of “suffering and hardship.”  When others see us heavily depending on God and remaining hopeful in times of “trouble,” they will sit up and take notice.  I have witnessed for myself how this kind of testimony can lead others to Christ.  Today, make yourself available to the Lord, and watch what He will do in you and through you!

   Lord, help me to never put any obstacles in anyone’s way that would hinder them from coming to You.  I ask that You examine and evaluate my life and my ministry continually, and that You teach me how to examine myself.  Empower me to remain full of faith, patience, and hope during times of trouble and trial.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You in these areas, You will make me a powerful world-changer for Christ!

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

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

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

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

Sep 12 21

The Importance of Joy

by J. M. Farro

   “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10 NLT

   In the Bible, the concept of joy is serious business.  It is not a superficial warm and fuzzy kind of feeling.  It’s a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and it can help the believer overcome all kinds of adversity.  The verse above reveals that we gain strength from the joy that God gives us.  And the Scriptures indicate that when we lose our joy, we can become victims of despair, and even sickness.  Proverbs 17:22 (TPT) says, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul.  But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.”  Have you ever gotten sick after something happened to disappoint or depress you?  I have.  Next time you are ill, ask yourself if you have been struggling with negative emotions.

   Proverbs 15:15 (TPT) says, “Everything seems to go wrong when you feel weak and depressed.  But when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness.”  Ever notice how your moods can affect your whole outlook on life?  When you are feeling down, it can seem like nothing is going right, and everyone around you irritates you.  But if you are feeling particularly cheerful one day, almost nothing bothers you.  When you are filled with the joy of the Lord, you feel strong, capable, and ready for anything.  That’s why a joy-filled believer is hard for the devil to handle.  If the enemy can steal your joy, he can rob you of almost anything, including your health.

   Romans 14:17 (NIV) says that the kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  That should tell us just how valuable joy is to the believer.  Jesus spoke about joy a lot.  It was the Savior’s desire that His disciples would be filled with joy. (John 16:22; 17:13)  In John 16:24 (NLT), Jesus says, “Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”  And in First Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT), Paul writes, “Always be joyful.”

   The Bible tells us that God wants us to serve Him with joy.  Psalm 100:2 (ESV) says, “Serve the Lord with gladness!”  And Deuteronomy 28:47-48 (NIV) says that because God’s people refused to serve Him “joyfully and gladly,” He would cause them to serve their enemies instead.  The Lord deserves to have us serve Him with joy, and He has given us His Holy Spirit as our source of joy.

   Let me encourage you to memorize Psalm 86:4 (NIV), so that the next time you need a fresh dose of joy, you can pray like David did: “Bring joy to Your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in You.”  Before you know it, you will be filled with the joy of the Lord, and nothing will be able to keep you down!

   Lord, I ask that by Your Spirit, You would fill me with everlasting joy.  Give me a happy heart that does me good like a medicine, and a cheerful mind that works healing in every part of me. (Proverbs 17:22 AMP)  Whenever I am tempted to despair, remind me of the importance of joy, and how You deserve a cheerful servant.  Thank You that Your joy makes me strong and resistant to defeat!

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

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

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

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

Sep 5 21

God Takes Care of His Own

by J. M. Farro

   “It is useless to get up early and stay up late in order to earn a living.  God takes care of His own, even while they sleep.”  Psalms 127:2 CEV

   You would be hard pressed to find people more in debt than my husband, Joe, and I were for most of our marriage.  Not only did we make a lot of poor financial decisions over the years, but I was a stay-at-home mom the entire time we were raising our two sons, and we only had my husband’s income to depend on.  Joe always worked at least two jobs, and on top of that, he took college classes in the evenings to earn his four-year degree.  Times were hard, and I spent most of my time home alone with our children.  

   I didn’t surrender my life to the Lord for real until I was almost 40 years old.  By then, we were so deeply in debt that we pretty much resigned ourselves to staying that way.  It wasn’t until I began studying the Bible in-depth that I realized that God wanted His people debt free.  I began earnestly praying for God’s wisdom for Joe and me for every area of our lives, including our finances.  And I began studying and memorizing biblical promises of increase, provision, and prosperity, and praying them every day.  One of my favorites was Psalm 127:2 (ERV): “It is a waste of time to get up early and stay up late, trying to make a living.  The Lord provides for those He loves, even while they are sleeping.”  In other words, what counts most is not how hard we work, but the quality of our personal relationship with God, who is able to give blessings to His beloved ones even while they sleep.  The Lord is not advocating laziness here, but He’s emphasizing the fact that He must be our first priority.  Jesus Himself stresses this truth when He says: “Your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well [the things you need], and He will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as He wants you to.” (Matthew 6:32-33 TLB)

   The older Joe and I got, the more people we encountered who tried to make us fearful about our retirement.  Financial planners warned us that we would not have enough money after Joe stopped working.  But each day, I would turn to the Lord in prayer, and He would remind me again of His promise in Psalm 127:2 (TPT): “It really is senseless to work so hard from early morning till late at night, toiling to make a living for fear of not having enough.  God can provide for His devoted lovers even while they sleep!”  Each night, I went to sleep on this promise, trusting the Lord to provide for us abundantly as we slept.  When Joe gave his retirement notice to his employer one full year before he left his job, we were still in debt.  But right before his last day at work, God opened up the windows of heaven and supplied us with enough money to pay off all of our debts, including our mortgage, and we have been debt free ever since.  Today, if you are in need of a financial miracle yourself, remember this truth – “God takes care of His own, even while they sleep!”

   Lord, don’t ever let me be driven by the fear of not having enough.  Remind me often that if I will just make my relationship with You my number one priority, You will abundantly supply all of my needs, and You will give me the desires of my heart. (Philippians 4:19; Psalm 37:4)  Thank You that as I sleep on Your promises of provision, I will wake up rested, refreshed, and energized!

   *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

Aug 29 21

Let’s Not Be Stupid

by J. M. Farro

   “The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever.” Psalm 92:6-7 ESV

   During my time with the Lord earlier today, I was reading Psalm 92, when the Lord spoke to my heart.  He said that His people are being stupid and acting like fools when they think that evildoers won’t pay for their evildoing.  Look carefully at the verses above.  God says that though the wicked seem to flourish and succeed, “they are doomed to destruction forever.”  Verse 9 confirms this truth when it says, “For surely Your enemies, Lord, surely Your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.” (Psalms 92:9 NIV) 

   One of the best reasons to read the Bible on a regular basis is to be reassured throughout its pages that those who are faithful to God and His Word will be rewarded, and those who are not will suffer the due penalty of their wicked deeds.  Jesus calls out to us from the Scriptures, saying – “Look, I am coming soon!  My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” (Revelation 22:12 NIV)  One thing we must keep in mind is that the closer we get to the Savior’s return, the more evil we will see reigning throughout the earth.  Why?  Because “[Satan] is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (Revelation 12:12 NIV)

   Psalm 92 ends with a beautiful description of those who are faithful to the Lord.  “The righteous will flourish like the date palm [long-lived, upright and useful]; They will grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic and stable].  [Growing in grace] they will still thrive and bear fruit and prosper in old age; They will flourish and be vital and fresh [rich in trust and love and contentment].” (v. 12, 14 AMP)  Through thick and thin, God’s people will  have stability and vitality, and we will flourish and thrive, continuing to bear fruit even in our old age.  But there’s more.  “[They are living memorials] to declare that the Lord is upright and faithful [to His promises]; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (v. 15)  You and I will testify to everyone around us that God is good and faithful to His promises.  Hallelujah!  From now on, let’s not be stupid.  Let’s continually give thanks and praise to our God that we are bound for heaven and glory!

   Lord, when I am tempted to lament over the prosperity of the wicked, remind me of the glorious future that You have for me.  Teach me how to pray the prayers of Your heart for the lost people of this world.  Give me the right words at the right time to minister to them according to Your will.  Thank You that as I remain faithful to You and Your Word, You will make me a living memorial of Your goodness and Your faithfulness to Your promises!

   *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

Aug 22 21

Our Heavenly Guard

by J. M. Farro

   “You guard all that is mine.”  Psalm 16:5 NLT

   One of the things I love most about knowing and serving God is that when we commit ourselves to Him, He becomes committed to us.  He cares about what we care about.  And He looks out for our interests.  Of course, in many cases, He expects us to partner with Him in order for us to experience the blessings of His protection and provision.  One way we can do that is to pray and stand on His promises.  Psalm 16:5 above is the perfect example – “You guard all that is mine.”  I have prayed and claimed this promise for myself and my family for years, and we have reaped its benefits many times.

   One night some years ago, while my husband, Joe, and I were asleep, someone tied an explosive device to our above-the-ground pool in an attempt to blow a hole in it.  The thought of thousands of gallons of water flooding our property was more than enough to make me feel uneasy.  When my husband called the police to report the incident, the officer who inspected the damage could not believe that the explosion did nothing more than create a small crater in the side of our pool.  There was no doubt in my mind that the Lord had protected us from what could have been a terrible calamity, and I thanked and praised God for His protection.

   Another scriptural promise that I hold dear says, “You will know that your home is safe.  When you survey your possessions, nothing will be missing.” (Job 5:24 NLT)  This promise is one that I have counted on when storms have hit our area, or when my family and I have had to be away from home.  I like the way the Living Bible says, “You need not worry about your home while you are gone.”  Hallelujah!  God has made it clear that He longs to be our Protector – and He will reveal Himself as such when we take Him at His Word!   

   Lord, I am so grateful that You desire to guard all that is mine and my family’s.  Teach us to cooperate with you fully to that end, so that we never have to worry about anything that belongs to us.  Help us to continually walk in wisdom so that we’ll never foolishly put ourselves or our possessions at risk.  Thank You that You will bring to nothing every scheme and plan that would come against us! 

   *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

Aug 15 21

Fear No Evil

by J. M. Farro

   “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”  Psalm 23:4 NIV

   As I go about my daily business in the midst of this unrelenting global pandemic, it saddens me to be surrounded by fearful people everywhere I go.  Lately, some profound words of Shakespeare have been constantly in my thoughts: “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”  What does this saying mean on a practical level?  It means that people who constantly fear death feel the stress associated with it many times before actually dying.  Think about the kind of stress that fear puts on the human mind, heart, and body.  It’s the kind of stress that fosters anxiety, depression, and all kinds of bodily ailments – including headaches, stomach ailments, inflammation, and pain.  Now think of how all of this is suppressing a body’s immune system at a time when immunity is crucial to fight off pathogens of all kinds.  It makes me even more determined to resist being afraid.

   David the shepherd-king wrote, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4 NIV)  How could David say, “I will fear no evil” in dark times?  The key is found in his words, “for You are with me.”  David focused on the presence of God during times of danger and difficulty.  I love how the Living Bible translates his words in this verse: “Even when walking through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.”  Hallelujah!

   When Jesus and His disciples were caught in a sudden violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, and the Savior was sound asleep in their boat, they were so overwhelmed with fear that they roused the Master and exclaimed, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?”  After Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the waves, He proceeded to rebuke His disciples – “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith and confidence in Me?” (Mark 4:38, 40 AMP)  Jesus is contrasting fear with faith here, and He makes it clear that He equates fear with a lack of faith.  One of my study Bibles gives this explanation – “Faith here means trust in God’s helping power in crisis, a help that is both present and active in Jesus.”  If you are a follower of Christ, everywhere you go, you carry the overcoming presence and power of God with you, because the Holy Spirit dwells in you.  Jesus said, “Be sure of this – that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20 TLB)  And He meant it.  Today, you and I can say with confidence and conviction – “I will fear no evil, for You are with me!”

   Lord, forgive me for my fears, and for my lack of faith in You and Your helping power in times of crisis.  On the basis of Your Word, help me to stop allowing myself to be agitated and disturbed, and to not permit myself to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled. (John 14:27 AMP)  Thank You for making me an overcomer in every situation and circumstance!

   *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

 

Aug 8 21

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

by J. M. Farro

   “Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to Him.  When he came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’  ‘Lord, I want to see,’ he replied.  Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’” Luke 18:40-42 NIV

   There is a phrase spoken by Jesus and recorded in the Gospels that is amazing, but often overlooked.  It’s, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41; Matthew 20:32; Mark 10:36; Mark 10:51)  I believe that this is a question that the Lord asks all of us on a regular basis, but unfortunately, we rarely recognize it, or respond to it.  In Luke 18, a blind beggar boldly calls out to Jesus and stops Him in His tracks.  When the Savior asks him what he wants, without hesitation, the beggar replies, “Lord, I want to see.”  I think if I had been in this beggar’s place, I probably would have analyzed my situation and my worthiness before I dared to ask for a miracle.  I might have said, “Lord, I would really like my vision restored, but I probably don’t deserve it, so if it’s not Your will, I’ll understand.”  Fortunately, this beggar didn’t make that mistake.  He took a leap of faith and asked Jesus to heal him, and when the Lord did, He told him, “Your faith has healed you.”  The fact of the matter is that it often takes great faith to ask God for His help.  We read promises in the Bible such as John 16:24 (TLB) – “Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow” – and we think to ourselves, “That’s just too good to be true; it couldn’t possibly be that simple.”  But the truth is that it usually is.

   The apostle Paul wrote: “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace shall be yours…” (Philippians 4:6-7 AMP)  The Lord has practical reasons for inviting us to continually make our wants, needs, and desires known to Him.  As we share our thoughts and concerns with Him freely, we are able to let go of our fears and anxieties, and receive His supernatural peace.  How can we enjoy our lives, or touch the lives of others, if we are constantly bound by fear and fretting?  We wouldn’t be much use to God that way, so we really aren’t just being selfish when we approach Him with our wants – we are positioning ourselves to be more fruitful and productive for His glory.

   Peace is not the only thing we need in order to be the most useful to God.  We need to be filled with supernatural joy, too – because the Bible says that this kind of joy is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)  Jesus said: “Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.” (John 16:24 AMP)  Here again, we see the emphasis on continually requesting the Lord’s help and blessings.  As we do, the Savior says that we will experience the kind of joy that fills up our entire being, and leaves no room for depression or despair.

   One of the reasons why believers often hesitate to tell the Lord what they really want is that they are afraid they will ask for the wrong thing.  They lack confidence in their ability to pray according to God’s will, as the Bible instructs them to. (1 John 5:14-15)  But believers who are devoted to the Lord and His Word don’t have to be timid about asking Him for the desires of their hearts.  As Jesus Himself 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)  We simply cannot pray correctly apart from knowing and believing the Word of God.  Having a working knowledge of the Scriptures renews our minds, and helps our thoughts and desires to line up with God’s.  When that happens, we wouldn’t even want anything that wasn’t God’s perfect will for us – so if our prayers weren’t answered, we would trust that it was in our own best interests.

   I believe that this message is for you today, and that Jesus Himself is asking you – “What do you want Me to do for you?”  How are you going to answer Him?

   Lord, teach me how to pray with the confidence and boldness that I know are Your will for me.  Fill me with a love for You and Your Word that will move me to spend time in Your presence and the Scriptures each day.  Thank You that from now on when You ask me – “What do you want Me to do for you?” – I will respond in ways that will bless my life 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