Category: thoughts by Gail Davis

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“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Her warm, cheerful country kitchen was a lovely place to sit with a coffee and talk about life.

The wooden plaque on the wall spoke volumes.

“Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful.”

Jill made the words come alive as she shared some of the hardship and deep grief her family had endured. In the midst of the moments, as she walked, this focus held her gaze and gave her an uncommon steadiness. Yet it was not rooted in her own ability to be strong. It was much deeper. The words on her plaque helped her shift her focus to let the peace of Christ rule in her heart.

I learned much from my friend.

We all face times with we feel anxious, weak, frightened or confused. Life has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls. Reactions can overtake us. These words, “Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful!” have a way of pointing us in the direction of choosing our responses rather than being swept away. The way we choose to respond will characterize our lives. We can move toward Jesus and His peace, or we can continue in turmoil in the midst of the unexpected.

I often think of Jill’s wooden plaque, and the wisdom those words bring. When uncertainty creeps into the day through the news, a phone call or some unexpected circumstance, let’s be challenged to let these words shift our gaze to Jesus, and choose to let His peace encompass us. As we do, His calm and His strength will fill us. He will give the courage to seek thankfulness, even when its hard to find.

“Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful!” Let these words help shift your gaze to Jesus when uncertainty threatens to overthrow you. He is calm and strong and you can lean into that! He is faithful!!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

Lord Jesus, You are my Peace. When uncertainty plunges unexpectedly into my day today please remind me, by Your Spirit, to “Be calm. Be strong. Be thankful.” I choose today to LET the peace of Christ rule in my heart and to search for Your treasures of thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission

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Psalm 73 speaks of jealousy of the foolish and arrogant rich. These people became rich by mocking and extorting men. They spoke against God saying He had no power over them and could not judge them. They paraded their arrogance and enticed God’s people to drink from their cup and follow them.

The psalmist saw the foolish rich and experienced temptation. He went to the sanctuary of God and remembered God would punish them with destruction and terrors. With his focus renewed on God, he recognized his sin and repented.

The psalmist remembered God’s goodness to His children, the upright and pure in heart. God is continually with His children, holding their hand and guiding them. He honors them and gives them glory upon death with their inheritance in His kingdom. The psalmist recalled God is almighty, the true desire of our hearts, our Rock and Strength, and our Portion forever.

The psalmist testified God is not God of those far from Him. He will destroy everyone who is false to Him. The psalmist’s final profession, seen from a renewed God-focused heart, contrasted with the earthly-focused heart of verse one. Instead of being a child who almost slipped, he drew near God and focused on Him, not material things. The psalmist put His trust in the Lord again, made Him his refuge, and determined to tell about God’s works. He focused on God, the One Who is good to the pure and upright in heart.

“My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm Strength.” (Psalm 73:25-26)

Father, help us to keep our heart focused on You and not be jealous for the things of this world. Lead us to testify about You and Your works. Amen

By Gail Davis
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In 1 Corinthians 1:4-8, Paul began his encouragement and entreaty to the Corinthian Christians. He began his letter reminding them of the most important thing – God’s grace is all-sufficient. In these five verses, Paul taught very succinctly the four most important things about God’s grace. Most importantly, he said, God’s grace enriches believers’ lives. We today can and need to learn and hold on to this teaching.

First, remember God’s grace is His loving-kindness and mercy given to a person without him or her deserving it. His grace is more than this though. 1 Corinthians 1:4-8 is where Paul unpacked it for the Corinthian believers.

God’s grace enriches a believer’s life in his or her speech and knowledge. He fully enriches every believer in all ways so the believer’s words, speech, declarations, thoughts, meditations, reasoning, intelligence, understanding of God and the Christian faith are deeper, more perfect, and enlarged. The understanding by the believer of God and the Christian faith is so enriched and illuminated he or she explains his or her faith with power.

God’s grace acts in a believer’s life so it is visible. His grace enriching the believer’s knowledge and understanding of Him and the Christian faith spoken and testified with power and conviction leads to the believer’s life confirming his or her testimony of his or her faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in God came from His gift and gave His undeserved grace to the believer. That grace then makes itself evident in the gift of knowledge, understanding, and speech of the believer when he or she that testifies of God and the Christian faith

In addition to these, Paul stated God’s grace gives and shows in the believer’s expectant, eager, and watchful hope for the return of Jesus Christ. God’s grace, which provides salvation and adoption, gives hope for the future expected return of Jesus the Christ, a time when all things on earth return to perfection. His grace affects the mind of the believer, affects the believer’s thinking and hope for present and future times. Living with this evident hope testifies to God’s grace.

Finally, Paul said, God’s grace confirms the believer to the end so he or she is blameless and innocent before God. God’s grace given through the blood of Jesus Christ establishes and makes sure the believer is blameless of sin on the day of judgment and for eternity. His grace seals the believer for eternity.

This statement by Paul seems so small when considered in the totality of his writings, yet it is profound though concise. God’s grace enriches a believer’s life in speech, knowledge and insight so he or she lacks no gift from God. The conviction of this faith and the depth of knowledge and illumination manifests itself in the believer’s life and words to confirm his or her testimony of believing in Jesus Christ. God’s grace gives and shows in the believer’s expectant, eager, and watchful hope for the return of Jesus Christ. Finally, it confirms the believer to the end so he or she is blameless before God.

Have you experienced God’s grace?

Is your life a living testimony to God’s grace?

Like the Corinthian Christians who were divided into factions, we need to remember we must choose to live the life God’s grace put into us so our words and actions show His grace to the world as a testimony so others will want to come to know Jesus Christ, too

By Gail Davis
Used by Permission


Are you at a place in your life where you want to know Jesus and have him in your life? You can start a life surrendered to Christ today. This is a sample, simple prayer, but the words are powerful and full of meaning.  If  you truly believe them Christ will enter your life and start you on a wonderful journey. (not always easy, but never alone)

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”  Romans 1:15 KJV

The love Paul felt for God and for other people compelled-obliged-him to preach to the Romans. Though he’d never met them, he felt obligated to God. That means he felt duty-bound to share the gospel so other people could know the love of God, know Jesus, and receive salvation and eternal life. Paul’s response to God’s love was love for Him through obedience and love for people so they could know of God’s love, too.

A very important point comes in this verse. Paul said he was “eager.” The word “eager” comes from a Greek word meaning ready and willing. Readiness is God’s part of the equation; willingness is a person’s side. Paul’s rabbinical training, his love for God and people, and God’s calling on his life made him ready. God gave what he needed to do the task to which He called him. That’s one side of “eager.” The other side of “eager” is willingness. Paul’s attitude and obedience to God’s calling showed him willing to obey Him.

Paul was ready, made so by God, and willing, made so by his heart and mind. God calls people to tasks for Him, but people often hesitate or say, “No.” A person’s fear, ambitions, or complacency causes that person not to be willing. God did His side of the eager equation; He made the person ready. That denying person did not fulfill his or her side and wasn’t willing to obey.

This is eagerness, acknowledging God’s preparation of us for His task and stepping out in faith with obedience to what God calls us.

Lord, please show us Your way and prepare us for the task to which you call us. Help us to be willing to obey Your calling and step out in faith knowing you have prepared us. Amen.

By Gail Davis

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“‘Then He said to them, ‘Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.’” Luke 22:46 (NKJV)

It is much easier to sleep than to stay awake and pray. Haven’t we all put our head on the pillow with thoughts to pray and have quickly fallen asleep? Especially in the face of trying circumstances, our minds and bodies tire and prayer seems optional.

Prayer was Jesus’ solace and strength as He faced the great drama of His dreadful suffering. Being in great agony, He prayed all the more earnestly. His heart cried out to His Father in Heaven. He knew the Source of His strength and the power of prayer.

He had asked His followers to pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, yet they fell asleep, exhausted and in sorrow. When Jesus found them sleeping, He called to them: “Rise up and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” It was not a reprimand from their loving Lord, but rather a warning.

Rise up and pray so that you can rise up with strength in the circumstances surrounding you today.

In ordinary days or in difficult and challenging times, prayer is our strength. If we neglect prayer, then the strength we need to rise above the circumstances of the moment will fade when it is most needed.

Father God, it is easy to neglect prayer. Please forgive me for the times I have treated it too casually. Thank You that You draw me into times in Your presence where I can receive strength from You. Help me to take time to listen for Your wisdom, to read Your word and to let Your Spirit speak to my heart and strengthen my mind, body, and spirit. May prayer be my solace, my comfort, and my desire as I draw near to You to be fortified to rise above the challenges of my day. I pray this in the strong name of Jesus, amen.

By Gail Rodgers
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devotional resting in God

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

God anointed David as His chosen king over Israel. Absalom tried to usurp God’s chosen king. David fled. His counselors and soldiers sided with Absalom. David could have feared and lost heart; instead he provided testimony and gave instruction.

In Psalm 4, David spoke his distress and confidence in Jehovah. He knew God heard his cries. David recognized God’s righteousness and his source of righteousness. It showed he knew Who gave him blessings and is all-powerful.

After verse one David spoke to all people. He taught that God sets apart the person who seeks Him. David explained how to be a godly person, one whom God sets apart. He gave six commands to people who want to be God’s child.

  • Tremble and be in awe of and fear God.
  • Follow the LORD and His commands.
  • Meditate about God and His Word in your heart.
  • Be still in mind, heart, and body to ponder on God.
  • Offer sacrifices of righteousness to God.
  • Trust in the LORD.

In God, David found his greatest blessing. For David, God was worth more than abundant grain and new wine. Being in God’s presence gave complete joy, contentment, and peace. Knowing and having a relationship with God gave David perfect peace. He rested from his worries and received complete refreshment. David trusted God and let down his own guard because of that perfect peace in God.

Oh Lord, please help us to trust only in You and look to you alone for our guidance and safety. Help us to place our complete trust in You so we can have perfect peace even in the tumult of our lives.

By Gail Davis

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In Matthew and Luke, Jesus’ disciples recorded He went to a solitary place to pray. He modeled taking time to be with the Father – communing with Him. Jesus went to the mountains or wilderness for 9-12 hours then. This solitary prayer gave Him re-connection with the Father and rest for the body. Possibly Jesus slept during some of this time to allow His human body to recover and prepare. During these times of solitary prayer, He most often went by Himself, but His disciples knew what He was doing. Twice Jesus took three disciples. He modeled solitary prayer for them.

In Mark 6:30-32, Jesus led the disciples to have a time of solitude. He told them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” They had been so busy they had had little time to eat. When the disciples returned, they drew near to Jesus. Afterwards He led them to rest. In the Bible, “drawing near” means – continually coming to be with God – speaking to and receiving from Him. The secluded place of Mark 6:31 means “lonely place.” Jesus’ times of solitary prayer were in secluded places. Jesus sent the disciples in a boat away from people – to rest.

Jesus taught about solitary prayer in Matthew 6:6, modeled it in Matthew 14:23 and Luke 5:16, 6:12, & 9:28. He commanded them to get away to a lonely place in Mark 6:31. Solitary prayer is “drawing near” to God.

Jesus was an excellent teacher. We can learn from Him. Do you take time to get away, commune with the Father, and receive rest? Solitariness affects your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.

Jesus, lead us to take time each day to receive revival and rejuvenation from You, the source of our strength.

By Gail Davis

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Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 [NASB])

We have entered January 2016. Have you remained committed to your objectives and goals so far?

We each are weak and fail in some of our goals in life whether it be to eat better, exercise more, be aware and help the needy, read our Bibles and pray, or be a better family member. Each of us proved ourselves unfaithful to our own goals and objectives at some point already this year. We are human – fallible and sinful.

Paul closed his first letter to the Corinthians reminding and encouraging them to be alert and stand firm in the faith. He told them to be cautious to keep the faith and be active in their faith – put into action their love for God by obeying Him.

Paul also encouraged and reminded them to act like men and be strong. They were to be brave like men and take a stand for God. Since the Corinthian believers came from the midst of a Gentile (non-Jewish) background and were surrounded by a pantheon of gods worshiped by their neighbors and the Roman Empire, it would be easy to slip back into their old ways. Paul challenged and encouraged them to be like brave and strong men and take a stand for Christ in their lives. Even when everyone around them worshiped other gods and ridiculed them, stand brave and strong in their faith in Jesus Christ, Paul instructed.

Considering what Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, how active is your faith? Do you stand firm when others around you do not live a Christian life or when they mock yours? Are you strong in your faith in the face of ridicule, slander, and persecution?

Paul was no stranger to persecution. He was a prime example for the Corinthian Christians on what it looks like to be active, firm, brave, and strong in the faith.

– Will you listen to and receive encouragement from Paul to be active in your faith?
– Will you stand firm in your faith in Jesus Christ today, tomorrow, next week?
– Will you be brave in the face of adversity and be strong in your faith in God?

Stay committed to God.

He is committed to you.

By Gail Davis

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