THE WORRY BOX

By Richard De Haan

Do not worry about your life. —Matthew 6:25

I heard about a woman who kept a box in her kitchen that she called her “Worry Box.” Every time something troubled her, she would write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the box. She resolved not to think about her problems as long as they were in the box. This enabled the woman to put her troubles completely out of mind. She knew they could be dealt with later.

Occasionally she would take out a slip of paper and review the concern written on it. Because she had not been drained by anxiety, she was relaxed and better able to find the solution to her problem. Many times she discovered that a specific worry no longer existed.

Writing your worries on paper and putting them in a box may be helpful, but how much better it is to place them in the hands of God. Worry robs us of joy, drains us of energy, stunts our spiritual growth, and dishonors God. Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Let’s believe the Lord’s promises and trust Him to meet our needs. Placing our problems in His hands is far better than putting them in a worry box.

Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He does not bear;
Never a sorrow that He does not share—
Moment by moment, I’m under His care. —Whittle

When we put our cares in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our heart.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

THE BEACON

By David C. Egner

He came to them, walking on the sea. —Mark 6:48

When a helicopter crashed in a cold, mountainous wilderness, the pilots survived but were seriously injured. The frozen afternoon stretched toward an even more freezing night. The situation seemed hopeless—until a rescue helicopter appeared, its searchlights illuminating the darkness. It spotted the wreckage, landed nearby, and carried them off to safety.

“How did you know where we were?” an injured man asked.

“The homing device on your aircraft,” the rescuers told him. “It went off automatically when you went down. All we had to do was follow it.”

The disciples of Jesus also experienced the joy of being rescued. They had been struggling as they rowed their boat against wind and waves in the darkness of night on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 6:45-47). Then Jesus came to them, walking on the water, and calmed the sea (vv.48-51).

We may experience similar times when all is dark and foreboding. We can’t help ourselves, and it seems that no one else can either. No one knows how terrified and exhausted we are. No one, that is, except Jesus.

When we’re trapped, hurt, lonely, or discouraged, Jesus knows it. Our cries of grief are beacons that bring Him to our side—right when we need Him most.

There is only One who knows
All the answers to my woes;
He will all my needs supply
When in faith to Him I cry. —Morgan

Jesus hears even the faintest cry for help.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

BEWARE!

 

By Richard De Haan

Take heed that you not be deceived. —Luke 21:8

An acquaintance of mine was “taken in” by a smooth-talking salesman who stopped at his place of business. The man displayed some attractive jewelry that he said he had purchased at a tremendous discount. He was especially proud of some very expensive-looking watches that had a well-known name on the dials.

My friend was impressed and bought several watches. But after the salesman left, he examined his “bargains” more carefully. He was surprised to discover that the trademark was not that of a famous brand after all. Two letters in the name were different, but the print was so small he hadn’t noticed it before. The watch straps were not genuine leather but “genuine lizard,” and on the back of the cases were the words “Swiss base metal.”

The incident reminded me of what the Savior said in Luke 21:8, “Take heed that you not be deceived.” Even as some in the business world cleverly pervert the facts and victimize their customers, there are also false teachers in the church who distort the truth. They use biblical terminology and appear to be orthodox. But beware! They are evil and will lead you astray. Be firmly grounded in the Word of God and you won’t be “taken in” by deception.

O grant us grace, Almighty Lord,
To read and mark Your holy Word,
Its truths with meekness to receive,
And by its holy precepts live. —Beddome

Examine all teaching in the light of God’s Word.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

SING!

By David H. Roper

Sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! —1 Chronicles 16:9

Our home in Boise is next to a park where I walk most mornings. An elderly woman walks there at the same time. She walks clockwise and I walk counter-clockwise, which means that we meet twice each lap.

She has the most lovely, crinkly eyes and wrinkled face that wrinkles even more when she smiles. When she smiles, her whole face smiles!

She has Alzheimer’s.

The first time we meet she asks, “Have I sung my song?” I say, “No, ma’am.” And she sings a little song about the sun: “Good morning, Mr. Sunshine . . .” Then she smiles, raises her hands in a kind of blessing, and moves on.

So we go our separate ways—180 degrees around the circle—until we meet again. She asks, “Have I sung my song?” I say, “Sing it again!” And she does. I can’t get her delightful song out of my mind.

She has become a parable of the kind of person I want to be—making my way through the world, singing and making melody in my heart, singing of the Sun of Righteousness who has risen with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2), leaving behind a lingering memory of His love.

May His song be on your heart and lips this day. And may many hear and put their trust in the Lord.

There’s within my heart a melody,
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,”
In all of life’s ebb and flow. —Bridgers

A song in your heart puts a smile on your face.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

LEND A HAND

By David C. McCasland
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. —Romans 12:15

The next month will be very difficult for many people who are still reeling from a loss this past year. The crippling hurt caused by the absence of a loved one can cloud holiday gatherings and even dim the desire to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Poet Ann Weems has written:

Some of us walk into Advent
tethered to our unresolved yesterdays,
the pain still stabbing,
the hurt still throbbing.
It’s not that we don’t know better;
it’s just that we can’t stand up
anymore by ourselves.
On the way to Bethlehem,
will you give us a hand?

In Romans 12:9-21, Paul gives ways to express practical Christianity in our relationships. One seems especially needed at this time of year: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (v.15). We can “give a hand” to grieving friends and family by understanding their sorrow and not expecting them to “get over it” in time to celebrate the holidays. We can freely mention the name of the person whose death has brought such desolation and then share a fond memory. We can be quiet, listen, and pray for God’s help.

Only God can heal the deep wounds of the heart, but we can lend a hand.

If I can help some wounded heart,
If I can by my love impart
Some blessing that will help more now—
Lord, just show me how. —Brandt

No one is strong enough to bear his burdens alone.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

ANOTHER CHANCE

By Joanie Yoder

Do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheep. —John 21:16

Jesus promised Peter something every repentant believer craves—another chance (Luke 22:31-34). After telling him Satan would sift him as wheat, Jesus reassured Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail. Although Peter had insisted he would never forsake Him, Jesus said he would deny Him three times before dawn. In expectation of Peter’s restoration, Jesus recommissioned him for future ministry: “When you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (v.32).

Preacher George Duncan said, “I don’t think many church-vacancy committees would have considered Peter a suitable candidate for a church!” Duncan pointed out that at Pentecost, however, God chose Peter to deliver the most vital sermon in church history. “It would seem,” Duncan said, “that some Christians have a message of forgiveness for the unbeliever, but no message of forgiveness for the believer. I’m glad that God does!” Because of that forgiveness, a new day of service dawned for Peter.

Indeed, if you are a repentant believer like Peter, you too can trust the Lord to give you another chance. Confess your sin and experience His forgiveness, healing, and restoration (1 John 1:9).

When we confess our sins to God,
We’re washed as white as snow;
Then He will send us out again—
His love and grace to show. —Sper

God’s forgiveness always comes with another chance.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC

SING A NEW SONG

By Albert Lee

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. —Psalm 98:4

At age 94, Pastor Willis was admitted into a care facility. From his wheelchair, he shared with joy how God had given him a new mission field to share the gospel. When he was bedridden a few years later, he spoke with enthusiasm of being in the best possible position to look up to God. When he died at age 100, Pastor Willis left behind a legacy of one who sang a new song of praise at every turn of his earthly life.

Psalm 98 exhorts us to sing a new song for God who “has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory” (v.1). We ought to praise Him —even in times of difficulty—for God remembers “His mercy and His faithfulness” (v.3). Though this psalm is about God freeing the Israelites from slavery, it is prophetically also about our salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. And as we remember what God has done for us, we can trust Him to help us with today’s difficulties as well as tomorrow’s uncertainties.

The psalmist wrote: “Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it; . . . let the hills be joyful together before the Lord” (vv.7-9). Let us join God’s creation in singing praise to our Savior!

I don’t know about tomorrow,

Nor what coming days will bring;

But I know my Lord is with me,

And His praise my heart will sing. —Fitzhugh
A heart in tune with God sings melodies of praise.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT

NCCP Ecumenical Ministry – Church of the Risen Lord

University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC