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Hebrews 4 Ministries

"For the word of God is alive and active."
Hebrews 4:12
Daily Devotions for the week
Giving can come in many shapes and forms. You can give something up, you can give your time, and you can even give your life. However, giving can be more than just handing someone a Christmas present.
When you give you also receive. You can receive love, thankfulness, and divine appreciation, even if it sometimes does not show. However, when it truly means something, you don’t just give because you are forced to. You should give because you want to. This is what makes giving so special: when it comes from your heart.
For example, a man named Jim Elliot gave his life for love. When he was a missionary in the Equator jungle, he was witnessing to a tribe called the Aucas. They were not friendly and killed everyone who came into their territory. Jim thought they were ready for him and his fellow missionaries to meet them but, they were not. When they came at him with spears raised, he had a choice: pull out his gun and kill them or die. However, Jim and the other missionaries had promised to never kill another person. So, Jim chose to keep his gun in the holster. He chose to give his life so others could live. He gave his life for love. He gave up his temporary life for an eternal one. Later on, his wife and their daughter also chose to give when they showed the Aucas forgiveness and continued Jim’s work in witnessing to them. Many members of the tribe became believers. Jim and his family stood up for what they believed in, love, and did not back down. He gave his life and received a much better one in heaven. These kinds of stories make me think “what would I sacrifice my life for? What would I give up so I or someone else may receive something greater?”
I would sacrifice my life for my faith. I would give my life, or something I have, for someone else. I have a general love for people so it is hard sometimes when I am challenged with giving something up. I may love this one object but, my friend needs it more. You don’t have to do something big and fantastic to sacrifice something in your life. It can be as small as sacrificing some of your soda, letting someone have some of your lunch, or giving someone a ride home from school. Even just being kind and giving a friendly smile can change a person’s day.
When you give, you sacrifice part of your life or in some cases your life itself. Some people don’t have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. I am telling you this: don’t be afraid! Don’t give up! God is in control. Present all your worries and fears to Him. He’s got you in the palm of His hand. Fight for what you believe in, and don’t back down. “You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” -Amy Carmichael  (Written by Emily Koppenhaver.)
  
  
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your
Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain
on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45)
It hurts to hear statements like, “If you don’t give, God will not bless you.” That is opposed to the
character and nature of God. Now, the Bible teaches us the importance of giving. But we need to realize
that it is not our giving that makes God bless us. We are to be liberal and sacrificial givers motivated by
love because of God’s nature we have.
Our text says, God—our Father, makes His sun to rise on both the evil and good and sends rain on the
just and the unjust. These (the rain and sun) are forms of blessings, and God gives them to all
men—believers and unbelievers in Him alike. Why? That is the character of our God—He is a loving
Father! He is not waiting on us to do good for Him to be good to us. It is His character and nature to be
good.
Time and again, the psalmist used the words, “God is good.” That is His identity—His nature—His
character—Who He is! Friend, let go of every wrong idea you may have had about God and see that He
is good! You are blessed. God loves you. Yes, you!
Say This: God is good, and He is good to me all the time. Hallelujah! (Written by Daniel Emmanuel.)
  

  
Sometimes God’s ways don’t make sense from where we stand. I have prayed and cried for miracles that never came. I know God hears my prayers. I know He desires to bless me and love me, but still the answer is sometimes “No”. That can be very hard to hear, and even harder to understand. But, even in the hard moments when our prayers are answered with an answer we don’t want to hear, God is still in control. It isn’t that we must resolve ourselves to the whim of a fickle or moody God. We don’t need to just suck up our hurt and pain because God is in control and there is nothing we can do about it. We aren’t defeated by God’s superiority; we are blessed by it. Simply because it doesn’t make sense doesn’t mean it isn’t for our benefit or for the fulfillment of God’s GOOD plan for our lives. Often, many years pass before I understand how God’s “No” kept me from a future less than wonderful. Sometimes, it is the “No” that redirects our path onto the road that leads us to more blessings than we could ever imagine. The sweetest “Yes” doesn’t always come the first time. Often, it only appears after many a painful “No”. God is more than just in control; He is faithful. He is more than just sovereign; He is love. As painful as a “No” feels after so many heart-felt and desperate prayers, I have learned to have peace. I have learned that, just because I desperately wanted it doesn’t mean it was good for me or the right time. Have peace when the answer to your prayers is “No” because “Yes” would not have been as good. God’s timing and His purposes are always perfect and never cruel. The very thing we understand the least may be the avenue of the biggest blessing. Trust isn’t born from getting everything you want. It comes when we realize our desires pale in comparison with God’s plans. We may not understand, but trust depends and hopes on the one who does. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
  

  
Hope is a beautiful thing. It carries us when our eyes cannot see the way. It cheers us on when the finish line appears too far away. It encourages us to get back up and try just one more time. Life without hope would be devastating. We need hope as much as we need food and water. We might survive for a little while without it, but we won’t last very long. So what do we hope in? Do we hope in our ability to succeed? Do we hope in another person’s ability to help us? Do we hope some magical occurrence or twist of luck to swoop in and save the day? Honestly, I think that at sometimes in our lives we hope in all those things. I have made many a wish on a falling star. I have crossed my fingers and wished for the luck to smile on my endeavors. I have trusted in myself and others to alter my destiny and save me from myself. Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes the things I hope for pay out but most of the time even I know that is just chance. None of those things are a sure bet. None of them truly deserve our trust and hope. But there is one who can be hoped upon without fail. There is one who never leaves us. Isaiah 40:31 tells us, “But hose who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” And, Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Why not hope in the one who is able to renew our strength; the one who helps us rise above the worries and problems we face? Why not hope in the one who walks right beside us and never leaves our side? Hope truly is a beautiful thing, but what do we hope in? When our hope rests confidently in the Lord, we can face whatever tomorrow brings knowing we will have the strength to be everything God calls us to be! (Written by Keegan Harkins.) 
  
  
As a high school graduate, I had my life all planned out.  I just knew that after it was all said and done I would have my PhD, travel the world, and make some good money.   Then POSSIBLY marriage AFTER I reached all my goals.  My life didn’t go as I planned. I met my husband during my undergraduate studies and we got married after graduation.  We both went back to graduate school together but I got pregnant with our first child two years later and the children seemed to keep coming.  Here I am with a husband and six children and my life is not what I thought it would be. God absolutely wrecked my plans and I am so glad He did!  Say what?  Yes, you read that right, I am glad He did.
I have learned to embrace God’s will for my life because it is far better than mine.
While my plans are what I thought was best,
His plans proved to BE the best.
My plans were what I wanted,
His plans were exactly what I needed.
This is not to say that life has been a fairy tale, a far cry from it.  As I have said and proven for myself, following God’s will doesn’t prevent trouble. However, I can say that because I have surrendered to God’s plans for my life, I have had peace in the inevitable storms.  I feel fulfilled because I am living on purpose.   Yes, God absolutely wrecked my plans, but I am here for it!
How about you?  Is God directing you in a different direction than you originally planned for.  Have you embraced His will for your life or are you fighting to get your way? 
In Psalm 32:8 (NLT), the Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” (Written by Anika Jones.)
  
  
We are no longer who we once were. Our life is forever changed by the power of the cross. So, why do we try to live the same as before? Why do we do the same things, watch the same movies, hang out with the same people? The change in our heart and soul must overflow into our daily lives. If it doesn’t we only harm ourselves. 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” It goes on to say in verse 17, “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.” There is a fine line between being ‘in’ the world and being ‘of’ the world. We all must be ‘in’ the world. If we did not walk among the lost and share the truth with those who do not know it, what good will our salvation do for them? How will they ever hear the truth and be set free if we stay quiet and refuse to walk among them? But, to be ‘of’ the world is completely different. It means we embrace all the world has to offer. It means we see the sin and do nothing to fight against it. It means we appear the same as every lost soul around us. But we are not the same. We are forgiven, restored, redeemed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Why hide the new under the old coverings of the old? Come out from among them. Separate yourselves in your actions. Be a light in the darkness but not of the darkness. Light and dark cannot live in the same place. Either we are new, light shining the love of God or we are still lost in darkness. Let us not be afraid to shine God’s love in the darkest room. Let us never be tempted to turn that light off so we don’t stand out from the crowd. You don’t belong to the darkness any longer. Live in the light even when surrounded by the dark. (Written by Keegan Harkins.)
  

Hebrews 4 Ministries

"For the word of God is alive and active."
Hebrews 4:12