Category: <span>thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya</span>

Read: Psalm 107: 1-38

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

Soul singer Lionel Ritchie was once deeply impacted by a speech in which his father had honored his mother, on their 37th wedding anniversary. In his speech, Ritchie Senior had lovingly thanked his wife for sticking by him through the ups and downs of life. Said Lionel, “What a great story because I pass through my house every day and I don’t say thank you. I just take for granted that certain things be done”. That speech moved him to compose one of his best loved songs, ‘Three Times a Lady’.

How much we too forget to be thankful to God for the blessings He gives us. We often take them for granted. In Psalm 107, the author earnestly encourages the people to be thankful to God, by repeating the phrase, “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to humankind” on four occasions (Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, and 31).

The Psalmist also describes the many ways in which a loving God has been faithful to His children by reflecting on His deliverance (Psalm 107:6), guidance (Psalm 107:7), provision (Psalm 107:9), protection (Psalm 107:29-30) and blessings (Psalm 107:35-38).

As I was reflecting recently over this psalm, the Lord reminded me of how He had brought deliverance through trials, guidance in difficult situations, provision in unexpected ways, protection from targeted attacks of the enemy and individual blessings to each of our family members. So much to be thankful for!

May we truly learn to be thankful to God every day!

PrayerLord, may I never forget all the blessings You have given me. Like the Psalmist, help me to be thankful today through a prayer or a song of praise. Amen.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/p-jayasooriya_heart-thankfulness/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

“…, people brought the sick into the streets and laid then on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by… and all of them were healed” Acts 5:15-16

As you think of the Apostle Peter’s ministry in the book of Acts, what comes to mind? Is it fearlessness, anointing, miracle worker, dynamic preacher?

Yes, all these are true and God used Peter powerfully. Through Peter God healed a crippled (Acts 3:6-7) and a paralyzed man (Acts 9:32-35), raised the dead (Acts 9:36-43), opened prison doors and gates (Acts 5:19, 12:8-10) and brought thousands to salvation [Both Jews and Gentiles] (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 10:44-46). As the opening scripture in these Devotional records, people even expected to be healed by having Peter’s shadow fall on them as he passed by.

How did such a dramatic change happen in the life of a man who had so callously denied Jesus on 3 occasions? The obvious answer would be the anointing received as Peter and the other disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. How true that is and what an anointing they received!

I would however like to suggest another reason why Peter’s ministry was so effective. I believe it was also because of the power of a prayer. In fact, it was an intercessory prayer that was made on his behalf  by none other than the Lord Jesus himself. Jesus told Peter at the Last Supper “Simon, Simon, satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32). The final result of that prayer was quite amazing as we have seen in Peter’s powerful ministry.

That shows the power of a prayer!

Friend, never underestimate the power behind a prayer. While we may not sometimes see immediate results, be sure the Lord hears every fervent prayer. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul recommends, “Never stop praying” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/palitha-jayasooriya_power-prayer/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya


“..She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Mark 14:6 (NIV)

I read in a local newspaper of how a Christian Organization had used its funds to help many farming families in the Polonnaruwa District in Sri Lanka, seriously affected by the silent killer, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Through a beautiful act of love, this organization has so far built 8 out of a targeted 15 ‘safe water’ community wells with filtration units, to provide pure drinking water for over 8000 people. In one village, the land to set up the unit had apparently been donated by a farmer who himself was dying of CKD (Another beautiful act).

In Mark 14, Jesus was at the home of Simon the leper when a lady came up to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. She broke the jar and anointed Jesus’ head with the expensive perfume (Mark 14:3). Although she was scolded harshly by some who were present since they felt that her gracious act was a waste (Mark 14:4-5), Jesus looked at it very differently. He mentioned that she had anointed his body for burial (Mark 14:8) and called her act ‘a good thing’ (Mark 14:6). The NIV translates it as ‘a beautiful thing’. He also confirmed that her ‘beautiful act’ would be remembered forever (Mark 14:9)!

We too are called to do ‘beautiful things’ for God so that the lonely and hurting could feel His love in a tangible way. When David took care of his faithful friend Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth, it was a ‘beautiful thing’ that lasted a lifetime (2 Samuel 9:7). Similarly, when Barnabas befriended Saul and found acceptance for him among the disciples who were suspicious of Saul’s motives, it was a ‘beautiful act’ (Acts 9:27). What about you?

May God use us to do ‘beautiful things’ for Him. Someone said, ‘Duty makes us do things well; Love makes us do them beautifully’.

Prayer – Lord help me to spread your beauty wherever I go by doing beautiful things to glorify You.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/pj_beautiful-things/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.Zephaniah 3:17

The book of Zephaniah was written to warn of impending judgment on Judah. In the midst of the doom however, the book ends with a promise of restoration, forgiveness and blessing. In Zephaniah 3:17, we find the powerful truths shown below.

The Lord is among His people

What a comfort it is to know that God is with His people even in the most challenging circumstances. Grab a hold of that fact without allowing your feelings and your circumstances to control you. He has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The Lord is always with His people even though we may not feel like it at times.

He takes delight in you

Today, many people battle an identity crisis. They struggle with rejection, feeling unloved, low self- esteem and a sense of unworthiness. The situation worsens when we go through regular failures.

What is your condition today? Unloved? Rejected? Feeling worthless? Does it seem like everything you touch turns to tears? If so, rejoice, because God knows you by name (Isaiah 43:1) and He takes great delight in you.

Will you rather believe your feelings, others opinions, or the truth of God’s word.

He is mighty to save

When we trust Jesus, His resurrection power works in us. That power will deliver us from every attack of the evil one for nothing can overcome us when God is on our side (Romans 8:31).

If I were walking down a dark alley and two strong men were waiting to overpower and rob me, it wouldn’t be too difficult since I am not a strongly built person. However, if the Heavyweight boxing champion of the world was walking by my side, the end result would be totally different!!

How much more secure we are when Jesus, the living Savior, dwells in us!! He is mighty to save.

With His love He will calm (quiet) you

In a world filled with stress, God gives His children lasting peace. It is a peace that passes human understanding (Philippians 4:7) and calms us when we feel overwhelmed.

In the midst of a serious spinal problem I had in my mid-twenties, it was only the peace of God that sustained me through 25 days of hospitalization, heavy and discomforting traction (sandbags) on both legs, negative words spoken by many people and what seemed like an uncertain future. Many years later, I still haven’t needed surgery!!

Let’s be encouraged by the words of Zephaniah 3:17 and trust our Lord at all times.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/pj_god-mighty/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

My name is

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. Isaiah 43:1

We all like to protect our name. In fact, most people would do anything to stop their name being misused or abused. It always makes me happy when my name is spelt or pronounced correctly. The satisfaction is even greater when someone that I may have met only fleetingly, remembers my name.

I have at times faced some level of embarrassment when the name of a person I’m talking to has eluded me. On a few occasions, I have even struggled to remember the name of a person I was praying for at the altar!

How comforting it is therefore to understand that Our God knows and calls us by name! He says, ‘I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Yes, He knows you by name.
Let’s look at some Biblical examples to clarify this:

· A senior Citizen had most probably given up on his youthful dreams and ambitions and settled down to a quiet, nomadic life in the desert; until he had a life changing encounter with God. The sight before Moses in Exodus 2:1-6, probably reflected a modern day television as he saw a picture of a burning bush, with a voice speaking from within the bush! What were the first words God spoke to Moses? He said, ‘Moses! Moses (verse 4)!” God called him by name!

God knew Moses by name and He knows you too.

· In 1 Samuel 3:1-10, a young boy serving in the Lord’s temple was probably trying to figure out what his future in ministry would be like. He was surrounded by leadership examples that were quite horrible (Read chapter 2). Then God spoke, and God called him by name! In fact, God probably called him by name at least 5 times that night!

God knew Samuel by name and He knows you too.

· Peter denied the Lord at the most crucial hour and was handling a failure that could have haunted him for the rest of his life. He may have even considered giving up ministry. When Jesus rose from the dead however, an angel told the ladies at the tomb, “But go, tell His disciples and PETER, He is going ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter was identified by name and so are you.

So friend, be assured that God knows you by name. That shows how personal His love is towards you.

Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name.” (Isaiah 49:1)

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/pj_by-name/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Follow us by:
       
 Follow  Follow

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

devotional

A couple known to me, took time off their busy schedule to visit a lady who had just lost her husband. Since they didn’t know the lady too well, the visit turned out to be an awkward one, with neither party communicating too much. The grieving wife in fact hardly spoke a word. When the couple eventually left, they felt disappointed that they had failed to comfort the grieving widow. Many months later, to their absolute surprise, she told them that their visit had been one of the most encouraging moments for her during her time of sadness!

We live in an extremely busy world that moves at a rapid pace and given a chance, most people would rather not stop for anyone. In the process however, we could be losing great opportunities to minister God’s love and healing to hurting people.

The Lord Jesus loved to stop for people. In Mark 10:46 –52, we read about Bartimaeus, a blind man who was begging by the roadside (Vs 46). When Bartimaeus cried to Jesus, asking for mercy, many in the crowd rebuked him and asked him to be quiet (Vs 47-48). (Talk about being helpful!) The next verse however is truly beautiful! It says, ‘Jesus stopped’ (Vs 49). He then called for Bartimaeus and healed him. Because Jesus stopped, a blind man received sight and a life was transformed powerfully!

In Luke 8: 40-48, Jesus was on His way to pray for Jairus’ dying daughter. He was in a hurry and the crowd was almost crushing Him. Just then, a lady with a serious and longstanding bleeding condition, with no medical cure close at hand, touched the edge of His cloak.  Jesus stops and asks, ‘Who touched me’ (Vs 45). He stopped for this unnamed lady and a life was transformed as she experienced His healing!

Jesus stopped for Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), He stopped to bless children (Mark 10:13-16), He stopped for a grieving widow who had lost her only son (Luke 7:11-17), and He stopped for many, many others. What a difference it made! He will always stop for you too!

Friend, are you willing to stop for someone today? Are you willing to give some quality time from your busy schedule to share the love of Jesus with a hurting person? Will you walk across the street to comfort a neighbor whose family has been torn apart by the cruel hand of death? Could you take that phone call that might give new hope to a person battling cancer or depression? Will you spare a moment to speak to the lonely person seated at the coffee shop? Can you take a break from your busy day to help put some food on a struggling family’s table?

When we stop for someone, it could at times, literally mean ‘life or death’ for them. It could bring healing to a broken heart, lift up a crushed spirit and change a person for a lifetime. Even more, as we share the saving grace of Jesus, it could change that same person for all eternity!

Will you stop for someone today?

You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you’ (Author unknown).

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Use by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

If  you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can learn how to start one at this link:
http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/4laws/law0.html


arrowcircleEmail Visitors, please visit our webpage to leave a comment. We warmly invite your thoughts on this devotional.


Follow us by:
       
 Follow  Follow

Share with a Friend
Would you take just a moment to prayerfully consider sending this to two friends who might be blessed by what we’ve shared today?
If you received this issue from a friend, you can join our list at www.thoughts-about-god.com/blog/

Photo Credit: Glacoma Carena
Creative Commons license.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jekkone/

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

You will forget the shame of your youth. Isaiah 54:4c

“…You will forget the shame of your youth” Isaiah 54:4c

A historical wonder of my country Sri Lanka is the complex rock fortress Sigiriya and the palace built on it by one of our former Kings, Kasyapa, in the 5th century. Tourists flock there to view its beauty, grandeur and craftsmanship.  One of highlights of Sigiriya is the frescoes that are painted on its rock walls. Many years ago, some of these frescoes were vandalized by an unknown group of people, with either ink or paint being thrown to deface them. As a result, many experts had to be brought in to restore these frescoes back to their original state. Thankfully, they succeeded in the restoration efforts.

Isaiah 54 speaks about God’s restoration to a barren, widowed lady (symbolic of the nation of Israel), who had possibly been rejected by her husband (vs 6). In that time and culture, being barren, widowed and rejected, marked her for humiliation and shame. It made her extremely vulnerable.  God however speaks restoration into her shame and disgrace as Isaiah 54:4 says, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.  Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood”. In verse 17, God says, ‘you will refute every tongue that accuses you…”.

Friend, are you carrying any shame or reproach from your past?  May be from your youth? Is it about failure as a parent or as a spouse or in some other area of your life? Does the recent past bring up memories of being humiliated and disgraced?  Be encouraged because our God has the amazing ability to restore us from our shame and failures when we turn to Him with our whole heart!

ILLUSTRATION – I have always loved music and singing. (This I believe led me into a career in Radio Broadcasting later on.)  When Jesus gloriously saved me, one of the first things I wanted to do therefore was to join the church choir. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I couldn’t sing too well!! When I joined the choir, I was singing off pitch and therefore disorienting the rest of the group! As a result, it seemed like I would have to step down from the choir. This would have been a severe setback and caused much shame for me as a young boy. However, thanks to my Choir Director, 3 members of the choir and most of all, God’s help, I managed to overcome this problem. I later became a worship Leader in my church and even sang harmony!! Over the past 8 years, I have been involved in many ministry areas, but the one that I have served most closely in is…..like to take a guess? It’s worship!!!

God delights to restore us from our shame. Will you allow Him to do so?

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame...” Psalm 25:3

Prayer – Lord, I ask you today to be the Lord over every area of my life and to restore me from all shame and disgrace. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by permission

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

If  you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can learn how to start one at this link:
http://www.thoughts-about-god.com/4laws/law0.html


arrowcircleEmail Visitors, please visit our webpage to leave a comment. We warmly invite your thoughts on this devotional.


Follow us by:
       
 Follow  Follow

Share with a Friend
Would you take just a moment to prayerfully consider sending this to two friends who might be blessed by what we’ve shared today?
If you received this issue from a friend, you can join our list at www.thoughts-about-god.com/blog/

 

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

God's Goodness in 2017

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”. Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

What a powerful verse!!

As the New Year begins, we may be reflecting on what happened in the past 12 months. Some will have powerful testimonies while others will remember their challenges. Some would say, ‘It was my best year’, while others may say, ‘it could have been better’. Here are a few memories that went through my mind.

• I remembered a year when I ended up in hospital on January 2nd, due to a severe asthmatic condition

• I vividly remembered December 26th, 2004, when a deadly Tsunami devastated the coastline of my beloved country, Sri Lanka.

• I also remembered the end of one particularly disappointing year when Johnny Logan’s song “What’s Another Year?” seemed to be a perfect anthem for me for the year ahead!!!

Psalm 65 is considered a National Psalm of praise to God for His goodness. It was apparently sung after the spring rains came in to water and refresh the earth. The song became even more meaningful if the Nation had been through a dry season. Let’s look at what this Psalm tells us about God’s goodness.

1)    God’s Goodness Crowns the Year with a Bountiful Harvest

A crown is a special and glittering insignia worn by Kings, Queens, Emperors & other royalty. A crown or something that resembled it, was given to the winners of sporting events in Biblical times, and the winner in present-day beauty contests is also given a crown. We crown people with titles like King of Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley), and King of Pop (Michael Jackson).

According to Psalm 65:11, God places a crown of a ‘bountiful harvest’ on the year. So, are you ready to receive a ‘bountiful harvest’ through God’s ‘goodness’ in the New Year?!! (The Psalm highlights many other acts of God’s goodness to His people through verses 2-13).

A man of God said, ‘You may lack the fastest, the finest and the latest, but you will never lack what is needed’!!

  2)   God’s Goodness Will be Seen Even in the Hard Places

Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”.

No doubt, we will have to face some, if not many ‘hard pathways’ in the coming year. It’s part of life. But, the Psalmist says, “Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”. This statement, when looked at in the agricultural setting in which it was written, speaks about the ‘dry’ pathways being made fertile after the rains.

Maybe the past year has been a ‘dry season’ for you; for your ministry. If so, believe now that you will see God’s abundance overflowing in the ‘hard pathways’ in the New Year!
‘If God takes us on stony paths, He will fix us with strong shoes’!!

ILLUSTRATION – Right now, I remember 2013. It was a challenging year for us from a health perspective. First, to my dismay, I found that the Retina on my left eye had torn, which meant that I had to go through 2 serious surgeries in the space of 3 months. It was truly a ‘hard pathway’. A few months later, my wife was hospitalized with Dengue Fever with her condition being quite scary for a few days. Thank God, He brought us through those challenges and we experienced His goodness and favor in the midst of the ‘hard pathways’.

As we prepare our hearts to see Psalm 65:11 fulfilled in the year ahead, let’s remember that we need to give the Lord Jesus the first place in every area of our life. Here’s something I gleaned off a bulletin.

To achieve spiritual success, do not forget to give God the first hour of the day, the first day of the week, the first part of every paycheck, the first consideration in every decision, and the first place in your heart.’ – That’s a great way to start and to live through the year ahead!!

May you receive God’s crown of goodness and a bountiful harvest in the New Year, and may you see His abundance overflowing in the hard pathways. Have a blessed and Christ-filled 2017!!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

 

Comments are welcome – click on the Title (email readers)


Follow us by:
       
 Follow  Follow

Share with a Friend
Would you take just a moment to prayerfully consider sending this to two friends who might be blessed by what we’ve shared today?
If you received this issue from a friend, you can join our list at www.thoughts-about-god.com/blog/
Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

Recently, a family visited and thanked me for ministering to them in a difficult situation. I felt blessed because we live in a world where gratitude is often not expressed and help given is easily forgotten. Undercutting and backstabbing seem to be the order of the day! This article reflects on three areas in which we should always be thankful and show gratitude.

Thankful for God’s Goodness

It amazes me how easily people forget God’s blessings. I have prayed with people for suitable employment but once they get the blessing, their job, and not God, gets their time and commitment. I have prayed with others for healing but once their health is restored, they chase worldly pursuits with no time for God! Sad, but often true!

For many years God was Israel’s King and provided for the Nation. However, in 1 Samuel 8, Israel unashamedly asks for a human King of their own, to keep pace with the Nations around them. They were asking for trouble and boy, didn’t they get it! They forgot God’s goodness.

A Gospel song titled ‘Remind me O Lord’, has the following lyrics and should be our prayer. Remember I’m human and humans forget, So, remind me, remind me, O Lord.

Thankful for Others’ Goodness

A Pastor trains a new intern for many years, but when established, the intern starts his own ministry, taking part of the congregation with him. A young lady invites a friend going through trouble into their home for a season, to help her through her trauma. She begins an affair with the friend’s husband and the family is devastated.  How often we hear stories like this. It reminds us that we need to cultivate gratitude and not forget what others have done for us.

In 1 Samuel 23:1-12, David saved the people of Keilah from the horrors of being captured by the Philistines. In response, they were ready to hand him over to King Saul! Talk about gratitude!

As much as people may like to brag about it, nobody makes it on their own. Along the way, people have invested their time, wisdom, advice and skills in us and given us a helping hand, when we needed it badly. Well, this just might be a good time to think of them by giving a call or sending a special gift or a ‘thank you’ card.  For some, this may be a great season to honor our spiritual leaders.

Let’s honor people while they are still alive. It’s so much better than sending flowers to their funeral!

Thankful for our Family’s Goodness
How often we take our spouse, children, parents and other family members for granted. We forget the love, faithfulness and commitment shown to us. It is said that home is the place where we are loved the most but also get hurt the most! At trying times, by being thankful and appreciative, we can stifle Satan’s strategies to invade our homes.

Husbands – Remember the girl you met at the altar, the one who bore your child and has stood by your side faithfully. Why not express your gratitude in a new and romantic way? The Kenny Rogers song says, ‘Buy me a rose, call me from work, open a door for me, what would it hurt’.
Wives – Remember the man you fell in love with and swooned over. Be thankful for what he has been to you. A little gray hair or extra weight need not bring negativity to your feelings!
Children – Be thankful for the mother who bore you inside of her; the father who has sacrificed so much for you.
Parents – Be thankful for the children God has blessed you with. Remember the joy they brought you in the growing up years. Love and pray them through the challenging years.

Together, let’s build a culture that often expresses thanks and appreciation!

Prayer – Lord, give me a heart of thanksgiving daily.

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

We’d love to hear from you.  If you don’t see our response form, please go to https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/pj_be-thankful/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


Subscribe to Daily Devotionals by Email

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

Living One Day at a Time Devotional on Matthew 6:34

I read in a Men’s Devotional as to how we might react if our bank credits $86,400 to our account every day; the catch being that the money has to be used up the same day. If not, it’s taken away. The process is then renewed the next day and every other day with $86,400 being credited to our account daily. I’m sure most people would have no hesitation in using the money every day! Similarly, God blesses us with 86,400 seconds credited every day! Let us therefore use that time wisely and place each day in His hands.

The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:34Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. Yes, each day has troubles of its own, but in Psalm 68:19, God is revealed as the Lord “Who daily bears our burdens” and Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer, taught us to pray “Give us TODAY our DAILY bread” (Matthew 6:11).

What troubles are you facing today? What are you worrying about? A quick read through of Matthew 6:25-34, where Jesus speaks against worry, will act as a powerful faith booster and a stress-buster! A quote I read says, “Do not let the worries of tomorrow, affect your relationship with God today”.

Let’s place each day in God’s hands!

A highly successful country songwriter by the name of Marijohn Wilkin drifted away from her faith after finding success. At a time of crisis and personal desperation, as the story goes, she stopped at a church for some counseling and prayer. The young Minister who was on duty had apparently asked her during the conversation, whether she had ever considered being thankful to God for her problems. As she went home and pondered over that statement, she began to play her piano and the words of a song came to her. Needing some help to complete the lyrics that she had written down, she approached Kris Kristofferson (of Why Me Lord fame) who helped her with some of the remaining words. The completed song goes like this.

I’m only human, I’m just a woman
Help me believe in what I could be, and all that I am
Show me the stairway, I have to climb
Lord for my sake, teach me to take, one day at a time.
One day at a time sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from you
(Stories Behind 50 Southern Gospel Favorites)

Let’s learn to live “one day at a time”, completely trusting our Lord Jesus Christ!

PrayerLord, help me to spend quality time in Your presence today and to trust you in every challenge.  Help me also to spend quality time with my spouse and children. May I make at least one person happy today and not put off giving a compliment or a helping hand to someone. Help me also to pray for lost souls daily. Thank you, Jesus. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

Brought to you by www.thoughts-about-god.com


Follow us by:
         Follow

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

Divine Appointments, Diving Blessings

Are you troubled about an answer to a prayer being delayed in your life? Have you almost given up?

No one likes delays. We live in an instant world, filled with instant food, instant noodles, online banking, quick promotions, quick turnovers & rapid solutions. Any delay therefore, is uncomfortable. God however, has his own timing in our lives & he can turn the delays into ‘Divine Appointments’.

In the book of Esther, we read in chapter 2 vs 21-23, about how Mordecai uncovered an assassination plot on Xerxes, the King of a mighty Empire. As he revealed the details of the plot to the King through Esther, the conspirators were apprehended & the King’s life was saved. But, what was Mordecai’s reward? NOTHING! He was forgotten. The only reward he got was that with this incident, his name was recorded in the chronicles of the King (vs 23), an action that would have great significance later. What about you? Do you feel forgotten today?

Mordecai, like any other man I’m sure, would have been rather disappointed. Wouldn’t we, if we had helped save the life of our Nation’s Leader? But, Mordecai kept serving faithfully.

At a later date, when Mordecai was about to be hanged on a large gallows the following day, due to a conspiracy by a wicked official named Haman (5:14), God planned a ‘Divine Appointment‘. It so happened that according to chapter 6:1, the King couldn’t sleep that night (some believe that he couldn’t sleep because the construction of the gallows was creating a loud ding!) Since there was no TV for the King to watch a reality show, no radio to listen to his favorite talk show or no other entertainment available at that time of night, the best thing he could do was to read about his exploits (6:1). The record of his rule was therefore read to him, and as the officials started reading, it was no coincidence that they turned to the story of how Mordecai had saved the King’s life (vs 2). When the King asked what reward Mordecai had received (vs 3), the officials would have replied sheepishly, ‘nothing’.

Man may forget, but God never forgets!

Immediately, the King planned a rewards scheme for Mordecai (vs 4-11), and of all people, Haman was chosen to do the honors! As a result, not only Mordecai’s life, but the entire Jewish race was eventually saved from possible destruction! The delay had been turned into a ‘Divine Appointment‘ and Mordecai ended up being appointed to the second highest position in the empire (10:3).

Trust God therefore through the delays of your life. You may just be on a verge of a ‘Divine Appointment’.

“An unexpected delay can be a ‘Divine Appointment’.  Any ‘Divine Appointment’ will bring divine blessing”.

PrayerLord, help me to trust you through the delays in my life. May I have the faith to believe that You will use them to bring about ‘Divine Appointments’. Amen!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

Brought to you by www.thoughts-about-god.com


Follow us by:
         Follow

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

devotional

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever“. (Hebrews 13:8) This is one of the most powerful verses in the scriptures and one that almost every Christian knows by memory!

In a world where things change so fast, where life seems to move so fast and where we often feel left behind, it’s tremendously comforting to know that we have a Savior who never changes. We see change all around us, including in our own bodies. Talking about change, I am reminded of the old Beatles song, ‘The Night Before’. The lyrics say,
‘Love was in your eyes, the night before,
Now today I find, you have changed your mind’

That’s how fast things can change!!

In this devotional, I would like to share the following thoughts from this scripture.

1) The Power of Jesus’ Name Never Changes – ‘Jesus Christ is the same…’

What an amazing name!! It carries so much power and that power is still the same. In 30 years of ministry, I have seen broken lives renewed, strained relationships restored, sick bodies healed and hearts transformed through the name of Jesus Christ!! I have prayed in that name in hospitals, emergency rooms, funeral parlors, church services and teaching classes and even at the bedside of my father when he was passing away. It has always brought comfort and strength to people.

In Acts 3, when a crippled man at the temple asked Peter and John for alms, Peter responded by saying, “…in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Acts 3:6), and an amazing miracle happened!!

Someone said that the beggar asked for arms (alms) and got legs!!

2) He Never Changes in All Seasons – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”.

The latter part of the verse covers every season of our lives in 3 different time zones; the past, the present and the future. It covers our;

a) Yesterday – Jesus Christ can change the shame and failures of our past. “You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood” (Isaiah 54:4). We are also reminded of how good He has been to us in the past; in our yesterdays.

I was personally delivered from all kinds of occult practices and superstitious beliefs when I got saved.

b) Today – He is faithful and real in our challenges today. Someone said, ‘the day of miracles is not past, because the God of miracles is still present’!!

c)  Tomorrow (Forever) – He knows our future and has already planned for it. He has also planned eternal blessings for us. Besides that, this verse reminds us that our children’s future is also secure in Him!! It’s good to emphasize that to our children often.

It is said that Bill and Gloria Gaither were once wondering what the future held for their newborn child, as they looked at the tension gripping their country and the world around them. They were naturally, anxious parents, in a world filled with war, riots, free sex and the threat of nuclear devastation. However, in that moment, the Lord gave them the words of a song that has become a favorite of Christians for around 4 decades or more. It said;

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone, Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

May you be blessed by the powerful words of Hebrews 13:8!! Jesus Christ never changes.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19).

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

comment hereEmail Viewers, please visit our webpage to leave a comment. We warmly invite your thoughts on this devotional.

Brought to you by www.thoughts-about-god.com

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

devotional

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hand Psalms 19:1

I just returned from a refreshing 2 day vacation in a lovely hotel on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Early on the first day of this stay, I walked on to the balcony of our room for my devotions and felt a great sense of wonder at the breathtaking scenery in front of me. The beauty of the whole surrounding, gave me a feeling of closeness and intimacy with the God who had created such an amazing world! That experience, led me to writing this post.

There is an illustrative story about a young boy who was walking on the road when he noticed a copper coin glistening on the ground. He joyfully picked it up and was greatly excited about the find. The coin was all his and at no cost! Thereafter, every time he would walk on the road, the boy’s eyes would be fixed to the ground, looking for more money. Over much time, it is said that he found quite a bit of money that kept his excitement high. You might say that he was a lucky guy. Well, not really, for in the process of picking pennies, the boy missed out on seeing all the beauty of the world God had created around him. He missed out on the sunsets, the majestic trees with their fruit and flowers, the beautiful blue sky with its pillows of clouds, the birds with their variety of colors, flying across the spaces above him, and much, much more!

In contrast, around 1885, a Swedish preacher named Carl Boberg (as the story goes), was taking a journey one day in the countryside. All of a sudden, he heard the roll of thunder and soon a storm broke out. After the storm ended, Boberg continued his journey, but now couldn’t help noticing the freshness of the grass and the trees after the rain, the singing of the birds and the flowing waters of a nearby brook. Most probably in awe, he penned downed his feelings into a poem (song) in the Swedish language.

The song was subsequently translated into the German and Russian languages, and then into English in 1925. It then found its way into the hands of an English missionary named S K Hine, who did a second translation over a period of time. This great hymn had however still not received its full popularity until a music copy of it was handed over to the featured soloist at all Billy Graham crusades, George Beverly Shea. Bev Shea described the hymn in this manner; “I glanced over the lyrics and music and could see that the hymn had majesty and power to it”.

He subsequently sang it for the first time at a Billy Graham crusade in 1955 and the response was unbelievable. Bev Shea further said, “After the Toronto crusade…. Its popularity spread across the country with such frenzy that it soon became one of the most popular hymns in America. It wasn’t long, of course, until it was being sung all over the world”.

No wonder!! The lyrics go like this,

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the Universe displayed;

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly through the trees,
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur,
And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

(From: ‘Then Sings My Soul’ by George Beverly Shea)

So friend, whenever you need to feel inspired, whenever you may be battling discouragement, take a good look at or get close to our God’s amazing creation! You will surely say “How great Thou art!

We do not worship creation, but only worship the great Creator!

For by Him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible .…., all things were created by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16)

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA

arrowcircleEmail Visitors, please visit our webpage to leave a comment. We warmly invite your thoughts on this devotional.

Brought to you by www.thoughts-about-god.com

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya

devotional on what people think

When they let me out of prison, I held my head up high,
Determined I would rise above the shame,
But no matter where I’m living, the black mark follows me,
I’m branded with a number on my name.

The above lyrics, the reflections of a prisoner, were taken off a hit-song recorded by Country star Merle Haggard, titled ‘Branded Man’. Merle certainly knew what it was like to be a ‘Branded Man’, since he spent time in prison, including the dreaded San Quentin Prison.

I don’t know what it is about humans, but we seem to thrive on placing ‘brands’ on people. We hear terms like loser, failure, cheat, addict, gossip, prison bird, fat, ugly and more being used on people. Partners use insulting names on each other, with much regret later. And, parents sometimes use brands like fool, idiot and stupid on their children, snuffing out the light inside them in the process. Sadly, many times we accept the branding put on us by others and live our lives believing that lie!

The good news however, is that whatever people say or think of us, what really matters is what God thinks of us. Thankfully, the scriptures show us time and time again that God never brands us, but instead, places great value on us. So much value in fact, that He gave His only Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, to die for us as individuals. The Bible also says that God knows us by name, our real name, and not the branded names others have placed on us. Here are some powerful scriptures.

I (God) have summoned you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1)

I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)

Yet to all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God”. (John 1:12)

Yes, in Jesus, you are a child of God! So, today, stop believing the names others have branded you with and believe the truth of what God thinks of you. It will change your entire outlook in life and give you new courage to fulfill your God-given destiny!

Illustration – There is a story of a man who was caught stealing sheep and was branded with the letters ST (sheep thief) on his foredevhead. It was a stigma he would carry for the rest of his life. However, the man turned it around by living a godly and fulfilled life, so much so that in his later years, the same letters, ST (sheep thief), were considered to stand for ‘Saint’!

Coming back to the example given earlier, Merle Haggard, the prisoner, was pardoned by the then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, later to become President Reagan, and never looked back. He went on to become a legend in Country Music!

The book of Philemon in the New Testament, tells the story of how the Apostle Paul mentored a runaway slave named Onesimus (meaning useful), who was now branded as ‘useless’. In verse 11, Paul tells his former master Philemon, “Formerly he (Onesimus) was useless to you, but now he has become USEFUL both to you and to me”. That’s how God removes our insults.

Once again I say, don’t accept the brands people place on you. Instead, live for God’s glory and be amazed by what Jesus will do in and through you!

By Palitha Jayasooriya

We Welcome your comments.

Enter Email
reCAPTCHA
Reading this by email? Please comment by Clicking on the Title at the top

follow us on Facebook follow on Facebook   follow us on Twitter  follow on Twitter   follow by EMAIL  RSS follow RSS feed christian website

Brought to you by www.thoughts-about-god.com

Are you a Facebook User? Be sure that our devotionals show up on your wall.
HOW TO ARTICLE: https://www.thoughts-about-god.com/blog/devotions-on-timeline/

Share this on:

Thoughts by All Thoughts by Men thoughts by Palitha Jayasooriya