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Weekly Devotions 

This is the kind of life you've been invited to, the kind of life Christ lived... He is your example, and you must follow IN HIS STEPS.  1 Peter 2:21

                  

Week of March 4th 2024 

 

Bible Verse

“The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.”  (Psalm 19:8 NIV)

 

Devotion

If you’ve ever read this verse from Psalm 19 and wondered what a “precept” is, that’s just a fancy way of saying a guideline or direction.  It refers to the general guidelines the Lord has given us about how we should live.  But, the important thing for us to realize about this verse is that the author isn’t focused on following rules because he wants to be “good.”  He knows and is acknowledging that the guidelines the Lord has given bring joy to the heart!  And give light to our eyes!  He doesn’t want to follow them because he’s trying to stay out of trouble.  He’s following them because he knows they will bring him joy and life!

 

Too often it’s easy for us to fall back into a “works” mindset where we’re trying to earn God’s approval, instead of just receiving by faith through grace like Jesus taught us.  We tend to think of God’s directions like He’s the Principal and we’re trying to stay out of detention.  Instead of remembering they are the loving guidance of a caring and kind Father who knows what’s best for us.  It’s a small shift in mindset, but an extremely significant one!  Because once we are able to look at God’s precepts as David does in the Psalm, they will begin to shine radiantly to us as well and bring more joy into our hearts!

 

Do Something

How do you feel about God’s “precepts?”  Do they feel like laws to you?  Or do you see them as the loving direction of your Heavenly Father?  Talk about it with someone. Maybe it was something you were taught when you were young.  Or maybe some of your own experience with earthly authority figures has crept over into your view of God.  Make sure to take some time to share your feelings with the Lord in prayer too. Remember, He is always there to listen and help, so if you need help finding more joy in His Word, He will absolutely help you find it.  All you have to do is ask!

Week of March 11th 2024

 

Bible Verse

“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”  (Luke 1:44 NIV)

 

Devotion

At the end of Luke 1, we find Mary visiting with Zacharias and Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist.  When Mary greets Elizabeth, the Scriptures tell us, Elizabeth’s baby leaps for joy inside of her womb.  It’s such an awesome picture of the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary, who is carrying Jesus inside of her own womb, causes John inside of Elizabeth’s womb to jump for joy!  Because even though he hasn’t even been born yet, he is overcome with joy at the work of the Lord.

 

These two women and the sons each would bear, played a major role in what would forever change life as we know it.  They were ordinary people that the Lord was going to use in extraordinary ways.  And from the very beginning, they could feel the joy of the Lord around the whole thing.  That’s because when God is at work in our lives, even when something seems big and overwhelming (like Mary first felt when she learned she’d be carrying Jesus), we can still have joy in it because the Lord’s anointing is on it!  We can rest in knowing that He will be the one to make it happen and bring it forth according to His plan.  And, all we have to do is be willing to go along.  And, respond as Mary did to the Angel of the Lord, “Let it be as you have said.”

 

Do Something

Even though John the Baptist was still a baby inside of his mother’s womb, his spirit still recognized Jesus in Mary’s womb and leapt for joy!  And, the Lord would have you remember that He’s had a plan for you ever since you were in your mother’s womb too (Jeremiah 1:5)!  You were perfectly and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) from the very beginning.  So, no matter what type of earthly family experience you may have been born into or how your life has played out so far, He wants you to know that you were formed with your very own unique purpose too.  If you’re not sure what that is yet, that’s okay!  Set aside some time this week to talk to the Lord and dream with Him about what He has in store for your future.  He wants to share with you and more importantly, He wants to bring such joy to your heart that you’ll want to leap too!

 

 

Week of March 18th 2024

 

Bible Verse

“I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night, for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” (Psalm 63:7 ESV)

 

Devotion

Wow… our dance season has gone by so fast! We have treasured memories… don’t we? We can also hold on to the memories of how God has come through for us before and always been there for us. Remembering all the times that God has helped us in the past will help us to have hope and confidence that He will do it again.  So often, when we’re in the middle of a difficult time, our minds will want to play tricks on us and make us think that we will never get out of it, that it’s going to go on forever or only get worse.  But, that’s when we have to take control of our thoughts and speak truth to ourselves.  We can also remember our happy times…the joys of our lives. The good times. And remind ourselves that God is good. All the time. 

 

Until our summer camps get here or our dance season starts again, there will be good times, there will be tough times. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was out on the water with the disciples, there very much were plenty of wind and waves coming at them.  And, He didn’t tell them to pretend they weren’t there.  He just told them not to focus on them and to keep their eyes on Him instead.  And, the same goes for us.  There will be plenty of “waves” that try to come at us and knock us down.  But, when we stay under the safety of the Lord’s wings (by remaining close to Him, trusting Him and standing on the truth of His word), everything we have learned this dance season, we not only don’t have to be knocked off our feet by the waves.  But, can sing and dance for joy right there in the middle of them! 

 

Do Something

Take some time and make a list of all the times God has helped you in the past.  Sometimes, we need to see it actually written down in front of our faces to really remember and understand just how much He has been there for us.  Especially, when we’re in the middle of trying times and it’s easier to forget.  Then, review the list anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed and remind yourself that just like all of those other times before, the Lord will come through for you again.  Because He didn’t leave you or forsake you then and He’s not about to start now! Good is good, all the time. 

                     Chaplain Info                                                            In His Steps has Chaplains on-call and available for In His Steps families. Our chaplains have extensive experience and training in a wide variety of pastoral care situations. Some of the assistance IHS Chaplains can offer grownups include Biblical pastoral counseling, marriage and family issues, conflict resolution, grief and trauma support. Please also contact us for assistance with premarital counseling, weddings and funerals.

You may contact our chaplains by contacting Ms. Donna at info@ihsdance.com or

704-650-4089 with questions or to arrange an appointment.

As with all In His Steps activities, there is no charge or honorarium expected for our pastoral/chaplaincy assistance. In His Steps is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and donations are always welcome, appreciated and are tax deductible. 

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