Glorifying God Together

Open Your Bible

Romans 15:1-33, 2 Samuel 22:50-51, Psalm 117:1-2

Some of my fondest childhood memories include long summer days at the pool. These memories are filled with flipping off the diving board, shouting “Marco Polo,” and of course, playing King of the Mountain. The goal of King of the Mountain was to be the only one on top of the raft, ruling your kingdom by any means necessary. Growing up with brothers, I had to be scrappy and strategic to win this brutal game. From a young age, I learned that only the strong survive.

I’m told that as a grown-up, it’s not cool to push people off rafts at the pool. The thing is, though, we still want to be on top. We just have different rafts now, and we’ve learned to defend our turf in more covert, “polite” ways. 

So much of how we respond has to do with the season we’re in. When we’re treading water, we hope and pray for a gracious hand to help us onto the raft. But when we’re on top, it’s easy to become prideful in our position. It gets especially ugly when we believe there isn’t enough room on the raft for everyone. Even in the Church, we can foster the belief that the kingdom of God only has space for the “good” people, whether we’re conscious of it or not. 

In our reading for today, Paul was writing to a Roman church composed of two very different people groups: the Jews and the Gentiles. Even from its earliest days, it seems there were divisions among the believers in that region. Those who were “strong” didn’t want to help those they considered weak. But Paul challenged the Romans to accept one another, just as Christ had accepted them (Romans 15:7).

Paul points out that even the strongest among us, Jesus Christ, did not use His power to please Himself. If anybody had a right to boast, it was the Lord, yet He took our weakness upon Himself to the point of sacrificing His very life. 

We are all in need of God’s grace. In that humility, we can seek to be like Jesus Christ, freely passing on the strength and encouragement gifted to us. If the Lord of the universe humbled Himself and bore our weaknesses, how much more eager should we be to do the same for those whom He’s placed around us?

In addition to following the sacrificial example of Jesus, Paul also calls the Roman church to accept one another for the glory of God. When we’re competitive and exclusive in our churches, how do you suppose we’re seen from the outside? Our witness is compromised by our selfishness. But if we’re a countercultural people and can demonstrate with love and sincerity that there is room at the table of God, then we will have something divinely different to offer.

It’s tempting to believe the lie of this world that we must fight to be on top. But in the kingdom of God, there is always enough for everyone. As believers, we’re called to lay down our lives for others just as Christ did, to love both the strong and the weak. If we stop trying to protect our little rafts, together we will glorify and join in celebration with the one true King, who lives and reigns over all the mountains. 

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56 thoughts on "Glorifying God Together"

  1. Lynn Saylor says:

    Nancy S. We are 4 years post Alzheimer’s diagnosis and my husband is now at the moderate stage needing help with grooming and all decision making. We go somewhere every day as he is bored and unable to entertain himself.

    But God is faithful and surrounds us with family and friends who love, support and encourage. And He is making me more like Jesus every day!!

  2. Minnie Lee says:

    Thank you for this beautiful devotional. There is truly enough grace for everyone in the Kingdom. No need to protect myself and fight to stay on the raft!

  3. Maria Baer says:

    LEHUA— Thank you, Jesus, that they are good. You were on my heart and prayers yesterday. Thanks for the update.

  4. Shannon L says:

    That’s a beautiful perspective Sharon!!

  5. HL says:

    Thank you all for your prayers regarding my job situation and moving on to the next opportunity He has for me.

    LEHUA-Wonderful that you were able to speak to your parents and that they’re safe. Continuing to lift up everyone on the island of Maui.

    CAROLYN-prayers for your husband Randy and your children as they travel. That you will continue to feel love, support and peace from Him.

  6. Lehua K. says:

    Thank you all and PRAISE JESUS… I was driving home from work today and my dad just called from his cell. I talked to both my mom and dad, they’re doing fine. They left home to get groceries and have reception out on the highway somewhere. ❤️ They’ve been staying at home, they didn’t evacuate since the area is still safe. Their power is still out but one of their neighbor friends has a generator.

    Continuing to pray for the rest of the island and all the families who have been affected. ❤️

  7. Donna Wolcott says:

    Dear Carolyn, prayers for your husband and safe travels for your children.

  8. Carolyn Barron says:

    Such a great study. I never usually comment on here. But want to ask for you ladies to pray for my husband Randy. He was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer which has spread to his liver. He had a fast growing aggressive rumor tumor removed on July 19 and we went home to recover from surgery before beginning chemo. Complications including losing over 14# in a week necessitated a second hospital stay including a few days in ICU. We’re in the hospital tonight as he undergoes his first chemo treatment. Romans 15:13 has been one of many verses that have been life giving lately. Two of our three kids arrived yesterday and our oldest is traveling through the night from Spain where she lives. It’s all been so unexpected and HARD. but I have never felt more loved and cared for by the Lord and our community. I have NO idea how anyone goes through something like this without the Lord!

  9. Kimberly Z says:

    I am no perfect person! @MIA FAITH – praying for you sweet sister. I can only imagine what you have all been through but I pray things will get easier for you. Sometimes it doesn’t always make sense why we have to go through so much heartbreak. Praying for you!!

  10. Kimberly Z says:

    Happy Thursday! What a great reminder today. I feel as though I am secretly competitive with myself. I feel like I have to volunteer for everything and if I don’t then I’m not as good as whoever did volunteer. Does that make sense? I am

  11. Sheryl Gunderson says:

    Amen, Laura!!

  12. Mercy says:

    Prayers lifted up on behalf of our dear she’s….
    @JEN B: praying for your new job whenever you might start, and good relationship.
    @SHARON JERSEY GIRL: praise God for Arian’s new place and bigger provision.
    Prayers lifted up on behalf of our dear she’s.
    @HEIDI: grace for Kin to adjust well to her new environment, and be surrounded with kind and sweet friends, teachers.
    @TERESA DONLEY: healing from diabetes and grace for weight loss regime.
    @LYNN FROM AL, NANCY S: treatment for your dear husbands, more strength for you.
    @LEHUA K: prayers for your family, community through this wildfire. So sorry!
    @MICHELLE P: praying for your car fix expense. Loved the testimony, your story today.
    @MIA FAITH: was thinking of you. Praying for your family in this season. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5). Seasons don’t last forever. They change.
    @SEARCHING: So glad to hear the update. Praise the Lord for the quick turnaround.❤️
    @KELLY (NEO): amen about “serving over status”. This could be on a tee-shirt :) Pride surely loves status. A good way to check, if we are okay being the servant of all. May we remember that “status” is not our reward, but God Himself is our reward so we don’t lose sight why we run this race.❤️
    Be blessed dear sisters. Very thankful for your collective wisdom and daily faithfulness!

  13. Teresa Donley says:

    Sharon, Jersey Girl – I’m thankful that Arian has a place to live, and join you in praying that God will work in big ways to provide the funds necessary to stay there.

  14. Teresa Donley says:

    Lifting in prayer:
    Heidi – thank you for the beautiful story of Kin’s day at school yesterday. Isn’t God amazing to send just the right friends at just the right time? Praising God for His care of Kin, and asking that today is a good day for her as well. Praying that her anxiety will lessen with each hour. May God bless you with peace as you wait through each day.
    Sarah D and all other teachers – for the new school year to be exciting and successful for you and for your students
    Searching, Cee Gee – thank you so much for your prayers and for your wonderful words of encouragement. I’ll be holding onto them each day.
    Tia Watkins – that you will feel God’s love and direction in each day
    Laura – for you daughter, her partner, and your son, that they will hear God’s message to them in their hearts. And for you, as you struggle with the feelings of this situation. My favorite verse, especially is Zechariah 4:6 “Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit, says the Lord God Almighty.” God’s got this.
    Mia Faith – for salvation for your children and grandchildren.

  15. Teresa Donley says:

    LEHUA K. – I’ve been praying for you all day since I first heard the news of the devastation on Maui. I’m so glad to hear that you are out of harm’s way. And glad that most of your family are accounted for. I am praying for the safety of your parents and that you are able to communicate with them very soon. I’m praying that God wraps you in a blanket of His love and comfort, and gives you His peace in your heart through the waiting.
    Father, please be with the people of Hawaii, especially those on Maui. Bless the firefighters and other first responders; keep them safe and direct them in putting out the flames and rescuing victims. Please be with Lehua’s family, especially her parents, and keep them safe. I pray that LEHUA is soon able to communicate with her parents. Bless her in the waiting with your peace that passes all understanding. We thank you, Father, that we can turn to you in times of disaster, and be assured of your Presence and comfort , not only for ourselves, but for those in harm’s way as well. Thank You for hearing, and answering my prayer, and for the sense of peace that comes from talking with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  16. Donna Wolcott says:

    Echoing other Lehua, prayers for your family and all in harms way. I hope you hear from them today. Sisters lifting all requests on hearts, lips and minds.

  17. Mercy says:

    Happy Thursday she’s,

    Today the word “Endurance” also stood out to me (thank you KRISTINE LOUGHMAN). God’s faithfulness endures forever, it endures our various situations, our various rebellion episodes, all the wayward and stiffneckness of man, His faithfulness endures it all. Praise and Glory to Him in the Highest. I imagine a worn-out God, is His heart tattered? (I am thinking of you ALEIDA as you venture out to find your son and cry with him) just like our Faithful God venture out finding His children patiently, enduring rejection again and again, that none shall be lost but all will come to the knowledge of Truth. He has seen it all since the beginning of His Ancient days, yet come to the Cross, and pay the penalty for us. Glory to the our Faithful God.

    @LAURA: I agree 100%. Thank you for your boldness. Let Truth not be compromised. I agree with MICHELLE too in her answer for you, God’s Love is very different (higher) than the World’s Sentimental Love. It includes discipline and chastise. He is both gentle and stern. Laura, if I may suggest regarding discerning God’s good/ acceptable/ perfect will and appropriate course of actions, since you shared, I pray the Lord will speak to you to give you wisdom & directions. Because He does speak when we ask. He said, ask of me anything in My Name and I will give it to you so your joy might be full. Just ask Him for specific guidance & write them down (I do this all the time). He will speak to you, and also through dreams/ people/ news channel/ Bible. And the Spirit within you will bear witness that it is for you (for me it feels like something grabs my gut all of a sudden- it startles me). His Voice will guide you as he says here, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21. It is a realm God wants to elevate His children to walk in. Back in the day, the prophets all talked to God that way before they even had a Bible put together like we have now. Like when Noah made the boat with specific dimensions, what kind of wood to harvest and construct, or when David carrying out battles which directions to go from, or when Solomon built the temple, what specific materials, architectural design to go with, and so on, these are not in the Bible either. They had nothing in the text and had to depend on the voice of God through prayers. Clearly He is taking you there, since you can’t find your answer in the Bible regarding your situation. It’s the Voice realm, not the Word’s realm by the book. I pray you will embark on this… BY FAITH in GOD. He did it for them, will do for you too. May you have great success and unfathomable joy as you discover such wealth of wisdom unfold when God speaks to you and to your specific situations. Hugs and blessings.

  18. Nora Lowrey says:

    Praise His glorious name!

  19. Traci Gendron says:

    “Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves.” This verse made me think of Tanner. I needed to be strong for him when he was unable to do for himself. It was so easy for me to do that. Why is it so hard for me to do that for others? Sometimes I think it’s because I’m so worn out from the last 10 years, but that’s no excuse. I do find myself coming out of grief a bit and joyfully seeing those in my life through a lens I did not have before. I feel lighter. Life was so heavy for awhile. It’s time to step up and remember to love both the weak and the strong. To be a source of encouragement when I can.

    Praying LEHUA. The pictures of the fire are so tragically sad. Tanner loved Hawaii so much. We spent a lot of time there. Breaks my heart for all those that call it their home.

    In agreement with NANCY S that this is such a beautiful caring community. Thankful for you all.

    RHONDA – I’m looking up that book!!
    Praying over requests as I read through.

  20. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    With all that is going on in the world, in our communities and in our families, it is so refreshing to read Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Not only do we have access to joy, peace and hope – but we can overflow with hope, hope in abundance!! As we hope and as we see answers to prayer it prompts us to praise God, to give Him the glory – to proclaim His name! Thank you Paul for including this in scripture!

    I pray that same joy, peace and hope for each of you today who are asking for prayer in your specific situations..

    @Mia Faith – I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son, I can’t imagine it. But praise God he knew the Lord. I am praying for your family and the heartbreaking situations you face. Families are complicated – no matter how you look at it. May God fill you with His peace, joy and hope as you work through your difficult circumstances. He is our strength.

    @Tia Watkins – praying that God will fill you with hope and remove all of your discouragement.

    @Heidi – continuing to pray for Kin, it’s good to hear that the end of her day yesterday ended on a brighter note than it began. Praying she will have a good day today and that the teachers will continue to be supportive. Also praying for you. May God give you clarity and guide you each step of the way.

    @Sarah D – prayers for you as school begins next week!

    @Lehua K. – I am so sorry to hear of the awful wildfires sweeping your state. Prayers that God will send the rain and put them out. Also praying you hear from your parents soon and that they and the rest of your family are safe. Prayers for those who lost loved ones.

    @Rhonda J. – I lead a ladies study a few years back using Sharon Hodes’ Free Of Me….It was a great study! It changed my life – really. God showed me so much about me that I needed to change. I highly recommend the study – it was so good I’d do it again for a refresher!

    Have a blessed Thursday my dear SRT sisters – may God’s peace and grace be upon each of you today! ❤️

  21. Erica Chiarelli says:

    I love the picture of a raft, and there is room for all!

  22. Lehua K. says:

    Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement. ❤️❤️ Continuing to lift up everyone’s prayer requests, including the ones not listed or shared. Also celebrating the little glimpses of miracles as I read them. God is working in, around, and through us. ❤️❤️

    I woke up this morning a little dazed, hoping that this was all a bad dream and I’d wake up from it. I’m hesitant to watch/read the news and to go to work (I could work from home but that might not be good for me too)… lots of my dad’s side lost their homes. I still haven’t heard from my parents but I heard indirectly that a few cousins got ahold of them somehow and that they were okay on Tuesday night. I’m supposed to see my parents next Saturday on my mom’s birthday- they were going to Vegas next Monday and were stopping on O’ahu for a layover on their way home. I really hope I can see them soon… last time was New Years.

    Praying that our local community stays unified, encouraged, and that God will continue to move and be glorified through it all. Praying for rain and that many will be saved. God doesn’t waste pain.


  23. lisa chapek says:

    I looked up the Matthew Henry commentary on these verses and, boy did he put it into perspective! Even Christ; kai gar ho Christos. Even he who was infinitely happy in the enjoyment of himself, who needed not us nor our services,—even he who thought it no robbery to be equal with God, who had reason enough to pleas himself, and no reason to be concerned, much less to be crossed, for us,—even he pleased not himself, even he bore our sins. And should not we be humble, and self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another?

  24. Cee Gee says:

    RACHEL – ❤

  25. Lynne from Alabama says:

    MIA FAITH—Prayers for strength for you and your family as you endure all that is going on right now. I pray for salvation for all your family. How is your grandchild that attempted suicide a few months ago?

    LEHUA—Prayers for safety for your family and peace for you while you wait for news.


    NANCY S.—Prayers for you and your husband as you take this journey of Alzheimer’s together. I certainly have a soft spot in my heart for you as I know firsthand what you are dealing with. ❤️

    Thank you for your continued prayers for Jack and I. Love to each of you!

  26. Jen B says:

    @Lehua K – praying for your family as well as all of those in Maui and on the Big Island. I’m heartbroken seeing the devastation.

    @Lynne from Alabama – thank you for asking about my fiancé and I. We are still working through ups and downs but we seem to keep finding a way to stay in this. I keep praying to God on it all.

    @Mia – I am here daily as well but do not post much. Praying for you and your family.

    Praying for all requests as I read them each day. Know you are prayed for and cares about.

    Thanks for all of the shared praises yesterday in my news of finally landing a job after almost 9 months of being out of work.

  27. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Just wanted to give an UPDATE before I do the study…
    @all of you who have been praying for my sister Arian, there is an answer – not what I was expecting or praying for, but God knows best and His ways are perfect! Arian will continue to stay where she is (this place started out as temporary) because there is just nothing else out there. The con is – it’s $1000/month plus utilities, lawn care & snow removal, her budget is $900/month. My husband (the wiser one) made a very good point. He said perhaps this is the answer to prayer, not that she would get a place that she could afford, but that she would have this place that is way over her budget – and have to trust God from month to month to provide the extra. In doing so, her faith grows and God gets to do BIG things!And He gets the glory! THANK YOU ALL for your prayers, please continue to pray that God brings in the extra each month.

  28. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    MIA praying for your family.

  29. Cindy Hanna says:

    @ Tia Watkins. Yes! You said many things I was thinking on this morning. Giving repeatedly only to be left empty-handed. I don’t feel indifferent though, just tired and discouraged. I’ll be joining you in prayer for my own attitude and desperate need for mutual benefit to fade away quickly. Well said.

  30. Allison Bentley says:

    Today’s reading brought me back to our key verse “for all have sinned …they are justified freely by His grace” Lord help me to see we ALL need you and our job as believers is to lift those brothers and sisters (and even those outside of my family of Christ) up so they can experience Your goodness! Lord teach me to put away my “what about me” thoughts and replace with “how can I be used today for the Kingdom”- lifting up prayers for you She’s today!

  31. Nancy S says:

    Praying in agreement with all the prayers offered here today. This community is so beautiful. Even when the scripture &/or devotional are convicting, there is such love shared here. Blessings to you all. My husband & I continue to grapple with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis & it’s ramifications. I’d appreciate your ongoing prayers for encouragement, peace, good medical care & strength to carry on. Thank you.

  32. Cheryl Blow says:

    This is so true! I get the picture of people running a marathon. It is not so much about finishing. If we see someone fall, you stop and help them. Even if you have to walk with them to the finish. It’s about getting everyone to the finish line, not winning the race.

  33. AZ Walker says:

    I am praying for you Lehua K and your community and parents. I saw the news last night and remembered Lehua and have been praying. Thank you so much Searching, Kelly (NEO), Mercy and others who list out the prayers every day. Peaceful blessings to all.

  34. Michelle Patire says:

    Good morning, Shes! Today is one of those odd mornings I didn’t really enjoy the readings, but had to force myself to reread when my flesh wanted to skim. Not typical of me. I love my morning devotionals! Lol.

    Anyway, some lightheartedness as I see some serious prayer requests from some of you.

    @Lehua- still believing God is with your parents. Praying peace to your hometown. I was reading an article yesterday about hospitals needing doctors to fly in to treat burn victims because hospitals were overwhelmed and 911 shut down. I pray that people are being employed to go and help your state. May the Lord move the hearts of doctors and other needed workers to fly to help your fellow neighbors. Praying you continue to have hope, despite the circumstances. May the Lord be glorified in this.

    @Mia Faith – <3 I am sorry your family has gone through so much. Your prayers are always welcome here. I pray the Lord comfort your whole family! May God heal your hurts. May He work all things together for good. I pray that in those who are questioning God's goodness through these tragedies, that God would be proven kind and faithful to them. God bless you, Mia.

    @Heidi- happy to read the beautiful teamwork that God used to bring Kin to school. :) My siblings used to try to skip school because of fear and anxiety… One of them failed a grade, another dropped out… So I am glad to see that the Lord hears your prayers and keeps watch over Kin. :)

    @Laura- I liked your comment, today. I think of the Scripture, "God disciplines those He loves." God welcomes all people, but He has a limit to how long we will continue in sin. I think about when I kept trying to date people in my teens and 20s and God kept telling me "no" – but for years I was insistent on doing it my way. I just wanted to be loved! When I got closer to Him and was finally being discipled by a small church as an adult, that's when He put His foot down and said "No more!" because I was starting to date one of the less mature in faith guys at church. He made it clear I was to wait on Him for my husband. I say all this to say, God will welcome all His people to church and is patient and slow to anger. We are to reflect that. We are to listen to His Holy Spirit, and as Romans 15 says, bear with the weak. But there comes a point where Jesus might tell us to say something that isn't pleasant for the other, but is necessary. It is discipline in love. The love of God doesn't always feel good. The world will tell us that love should always feel good, though.

    @Rhonda J- praying for wisdom as you think of a subject for your next group. Hope that new book serves your spirit well in the meantime! :)

    I apologize I write a lot! I always wrote over the suggested page limit in school, too. The Lord has blessed me with a writer's heart. Wanted to squeeze in a prayer request. My car is at the mechanic and I use it for work– very expensive– please pray God holds it together for some time after this repair and I have peace knowing He is with me as I drive. I can't work if I can't drive.

  35. Jane K says:

    @Mia, I’m here every day too, but rarely post. I read the comments and pray for the requests. I will be praying for you and your family. Today, may the Holy Spirit fill you with His hope and peace.

  36. Laura says:

    I think it is important to remember who the book of Romans was written to – the Church, believers. The Church in Rome was a diverse mix of people from all walks of life. They needed a unifying message because they were all over the place culturally.

    The Holy Spirit is working hard on my heart in the season that I am in to understand the difference between love and judgement. It’s a tough season for my family because the Bible doesn’t specifically address what to do when a family member is bi-sexual and lives with a partner who has transitioned, nor does it speak to how specifically deal with your child who used to be a STRONG believer and now completely follows the world and thinks that he is more compassionate and loving than you because he loves everyone and accepts sin as good. So this is what my mind and heart are pondering today – Paul is talking here about worshiping together as a Church, not being prideful, boastful, but following the example of Christ. BUT it doesn’t mean that the Bible and therefore TRUTH was not being taught and preached. I 100% agree that churches need to be open to anyone coming into their space. BUT, the truth of the Bible must be preached. Are we doing that? Are we living that? Because if we are not, then this spiritual maturity that is written about here will not happen. I believe a lot of Churches have adopted a world-view instead of a Biblical-view when it comes to acceptance. They think the Church should accept everyone and NOT speak the truth of the Bible because it may be offensive, or come off as judgmental. And that is just plain WRONG. We must speak the truth, which is only from the Bible.

    Thank you, MERCY, for your words yesterday. I wrote them in my journal: Speaking truth is NOT passing judgement. We need more of that in the Christian Church.

  37. Cee Gee says:

    MIA FAITH – ❤❤❤

  38. Cee Gee says:

    Oh, RHONDA J – Your post came in while I was typing mine. When our youngest was going into 5th grade, he got the very teacher I had been told would be the worst one for his shy personality. She scooped him in and was the most encouraging and supportive teacher he ever had! We just never know! Praying your granddaughter has a great year!

  39. Cee Gee says:

    SEARCHING – HALLELUJAH!!! PTL!!! Continued prayers for the situation!
    ❤ I tend to fail, too! We are all a work in progress, right?!

    TERESA DONLEY, NORA LOWREY, and others who may be facing necessary lifestyle changes – prayers for endurance and perseverance along with CONFIDENCE that you are not alone! A former doctor told me often that it’s not about the weight, but about exercising and eating right to be healthier. I have had to be careful my whole adult life and fend off remarks by people who didn’t understand. It will happen and when it does you can go back and read the wonderful comments in this community to boost your spirits. So much good stuff said here this week! We are here to encourage you when you need it!

    NC PEEPS – Rough storm coming your way above upstate SC!

    LEHUA K – Sweet sister, I saw the fires a few minutes ago on the Weather Channel. Praying for your heart as you wait to hear from your parents and, of course, prayers for their safety and protection for their home.

    LYNNE – So glad the reversal is possible and confident that the doctor will not proceed before Jack is able to endure it. Praying along with SEARCHING on adjusting to the new routine as that has been on my heart since you mentioned the possibility. Continued prayers for you in all you face each day! ❤

    Romans 15:13 has been a favorite of mine for so long, but today I noticed for the first time the significance of the ‘gift’ Paul was delivering to Jerusalem. Our church supports several mission works and I can’t imagine any of them ever refusing the support!

    MARI V – What a blessing and encouragement to have those words spoken to you!!! Truth!!! So happy for you!

    HEIDI – Continued prayers for Kin and her acceptance and adjustment!

    This has been an incredible study! Thanks to each of you sisters for your input and sharing! Love you all!!!

  40. Rhonda J. says:

    “Pleasing others, not ourselves” Doesn’t that just go against all that we learn and think here in our great country! It’ usually all about me. And I admit, I lived most of my life with this attitude, even boastfully! It’s all about me! When I first met my husband years ago and would meet his friends they all would just praise what a caring, nice person he was. It seemed the whole town knew him and thought highly of him. He is a person that puts others first before himself. My sister is a person like this as well. I used to think of it as a weakness (per cultural thinking). But in the last couple decades God has been working on me. I still have far to go, but now I try to see all others as people with stories and pasts and striving to do their best (even if it doesn’t come off that way!). I try to have grace for them, and assume the best, for they know not what they do half the time. I ordered a new book yesterday, (I am trying to decide what book study to do for Fall groups) it is called Free of Me, by Sharon Hoodde Miller. Which basically seems spot on how we make everything about ourselves, and instead need to make everything about Christ, and what was done at the cross.

    @Heidi- that’s a sweet story. School is so hard for this young ones today. I had a granddaughter call VERY upset that she didn’t get the teacher she had hoped for. AND her mom wasn’t letting her have access to her phone to talk (haha…text!) with her friends to know who they got. It was almost funny how upset she was over such a little thing, but of course it was not. And then she called yesterday and said how I was right, (that she shouldn’t have negative thinking before she even knows what all is going to happen), because sure enough one of her good friends is in her class….and some of the cute boys! lol She is 10, 5th grade.

    @Leuah- prayers for safety for your parents and their home.

  41. Tia Watkins says:

    Oh.. what can I say about today’s devotion. It’s just such a eye opener for me. At 45 years old, I can’t help but notice how different my response has become. My tolerance has become shorter, and my interest feels limited. I’ve always been someone who wants everyone to succeed, but lately, it feels like I’m constantly giving and giving, only to be left empty-handed without enough to keep myself motivated or consistent. I found solace in the part that mentioned how our responses change depending on the season we’re in but yet i found so much conviction. I can’t help but hope and pray that this indifferent and unbothered attitude, or my desperate need for mutual benefits in my friendships and relationships, fades away, especially if it’s not in alignment with God’s will for my life.

  42. Mia Faith says:

    Hi friends, I’m here every day for pretty much every devotional. I don’t always post because I always feel late to the party. I read all the comments and appreciate this group so much. I’d love to ask for prayers on behalf of my family. We have had a decade of one heartbreaking event after another beginning with my son’s death by suicide. It just hasn’t stopped for us. I have six kids (including my son who died) and 17 grandchildren! All need Jesus! I am thankful to say my son who died was saved and living his life for Jesus. His death shocked us all and profoundly impacted each of us in various ways. If I told you all of it…you’d think it impossible. Thank you in advance for your prayers.

  43. June Pimpo says:


  44. June Pimpo says:

    We have so much to learn, don’t we friends? Our entire existence here is to glorify Jesus. I fall short so many times – even if it’s just the sexiest grumblings in my heart that don’t honor Him. Holy Spirit, we need you. I need you.

  45. Searching says:

    Living in harmony – KRISTINE LOUGHMAN, thank you for pointing this out in a way that got my attention. My response is to walk away and avoid those people from then on. And no, I don’t learn a single thing by doing this but cannot find even a smidge of patience (so far) to navigate being around certain types of people. A work in progress …

    LEHUA K – praying for safety of your parents and others in danger, fire control and restoration of cell and other services.

    MARI V – lots of us are proud of you! ❤️

    KIMBERLY Z and others dealing with anxiety – praying!

    TERESA DONLEY – praying as you begin and continue taking steps toward improving your health. You CAN do it, sister! One step and then more as you figure out exercises that will get you started, one good choice and then more as you evaluate your food choices and look for balance with the diabetes challenges. And maybe a part of your motivation is related to appearance, but don’t we all have multiple reasons for what we do? You’ve got this! ❤️

    NORA LOWREY – I’m praying for you along with Teresa (see above) – you CAN do it too! ❤️

    For those dealing with eating disorders, praying for victory and seeking help as needed.

    JEN B – congrats on new job!

    LYNNE FROM AL – such good news on the reversal being possible. Praying for Jack’s strength and healing as you wait for the surgery date, and for you as you navigate adjusting to the changes that will come with the reversal. Love you! ❤️

    MERCY, LYNNE FROM AL, RHONDA J, KRISTEN, CEE GEE and others praying yesterday – I was able to talk with someone and it seems they were able to diffuse the situation for now, praise the Lord!

    CEE GEE – :) Shutter worked too, as I wanted to hide from all the issues! ❤️
    And your BIG QUESTION yesterday (keep ‘em coming!),
    How do I honor God and promote harmony in a divisive situation?
    My answer is I mostly fail – as I said earlier today, I’m a work in progress.

    HEIDI – Kin’s first day was heartbreak turned to praise! I could see myself in that car with her – those first days of school (ESPECIALLY a new school) were awful for me. And isn’t it just like the awesome God we serve to reveal His love for her (and you) in such a timely and amazing way ❤️
    Praying for all that you are juggling and dealing with now, for a clear mind to identify priorities and eliminate things that may be distracting, efficiency as you begin to catch up as well as not fall further behind, encouragement as you see progress! I have a slew of plates in the air and wearing myself out trying to keep them all spinning … So let’s get going, love you!

  46. Maria Baer says:

    Oh LEHUA— so heartbreaking to hear and see the images of Lahaina and around Maui. Sending bold prayers that you are able to connect with your parents. I felt the same way when I couldn’t reach my mom for days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. So my heart and my prayers are with you sister. Sending hugs and much love.❤️

  47. Aimee D-R says:

    Gosh pride can be so invisible. Father help me to not strive to be anything but Your child with whom You are well pleased. In Jesus name, Amen

  48. Taylor says:

    Such a good message today. There is room for EVERYONE at God’s table, even those we don’t agree with, those who don’t live how we think one should live, those who are living in sin because God’s grace is GREATER. Everyone is welcome to experience how deep and wide God’s love for them is. Also thanks for sharing The Message version of Romans 15 @Kelly(NEO)! I wrote down the quote: “Strength is for service, not status.” in my journal.

    Lifting up all the prayer requests <3

  49. Heidi says:

    “So much of how we respond has to do with the season we’re in.” – That’s a mouthful… I’d say I fall on the “treading water” end of the spectrum, but more “Bethany Hamilton/one-armed style”. I’m really struggling and I am not only NOT on top of my raft, I believe it’s got a few air-leaks so as I try to get on, it’s just deflating. That’s a lot of use for a small analogy ;) But it puts where I am in a nutshell. I don’t even know what to pray really. Just feeling how behind I am in so many areas – some areas are my own fault for not attending to consistently/well enough and some areas just because I’m experiencing an enormous lack of support to keep up. I don’t know…. I’m over it though. Just unsre how to really get past it.

    FOR THOSE WHO PRAYED/HAVE INTEREST: Kin’s drop off at school yesterday was very very difficult. Crying so hard, panicked, she would not get out of the car. Then once finally out, we took a few steps toward the doors to the nice greeter that was there and Kin bolted back to the car and shut the door. Long story short, 1 of the only 2 moms I even know at this school “happened” to be walking out and after Kin tried to get out of the car again, she recognized her and started chatting with Kin about some non-school stuff. The greeter figured out the 2 girls Kin knows and went inside and got them OUT OF CLASS (we were late at this point) just to bring outside and chat with Kin and help her. It was an unbelievable example of the Body of Christ working to support someone weak and scared and it was beautiful. The rest of the day went really well and she seemed good about going back when going to bed last night. Teachers were incredibly supportive of her throughout the day and I know there was so much prayer going on for her. Thank you. God clearly showed up in IN THE MESS instead of removing the mess and honestly, I’ll take it.

    I didn’t get much time to return yesterday- But hope everyone is well! I am trying to keep my early morning times here and also add in a “check in” sometime before bed to see how all is going and what I can pray for others :)

  50. Sarah D. says:

    Praying for you and your family @Lehua K! Praying for safety and that would be able to reach them soon.

    Praying you all have a great day! This week has been teacher orientation week with my new job and it’s been going well! I am adjusting to waking up earlier, and I am definitely feeling the tiredness today (I stayed late yesterday to finish decorating my classroom). Would love your prayers as we prepare for school to start next week!

  51. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Gooood mornin’!
    The Message puts Romans 15:1-2 this way, “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?'”

    I know most of my issues with others stem from operating out of a position of navel-gazing instead of Heaven-gazing. Planks and specks block my view of seeing the world as God sees it.

    SEARCHING – so sorry you’re facing an issue. Praters for peace and wisdom!

    LEHUA K – prayers for safty for your family. I have a friend on her honeymoon in HI this week, praying they are safe too.

    ALLIE M – praying for strength in your journey of recovery. May the Lord strengthen you more every day.

    HEIDI – came late, praying Kin’s second day is a good one

  52. Kristine Loughman says:

    The word endurance stood out to me in today’s reading. Normally I think of endurance with some kind of prize at the end, a Survivor-like competition to see who can outlast the others. The person with the most endurance will last the longest and end up King of the Mountain. But Paul used it when speaking of living in harmony with others. And yes, that can also take endurance- to not roll my eyes when THAT person starts to talk, to walk away from gossip – and to make those choices over and over again until I’ve built up that muscle memory.
    Happy Thursday, ladies! Our church had a Night of Worship last night and we prayed/sang our way through the Lord’s Prayer. It was beautiful and this special community was on my mind as we were there. Thank you for your willingness to show up each morning, shoulder each others burdens and life each other up!

  53. Elaine Morgan says:

    ❤️❤️ I love the Bible reading for today! Glorifying God is all that really matters in this life. ❤️❤️

  54. Charlotte Hill says:

    LEHUA K, we are praying for your beautiful state from NC. Also, for Alaska, where there is flooding and devastation. Prayers for the safety of your families.

  55. Lehua K. says:

    Thinking of you ladies and your requests, hoping all is well ❤️

    I have a huge prayer request and apologize for randomly stumbling in here to ask for this…

    Not sure how widespread the news coverage is on this, but Hurricane Dora passed south of our state (Hawai’i) this week and the high winds have wreaked a lot of havoc on my hometown of Lahaina (on the island of Maui) as well as several other areas of Maui and Hawai’i islands. There’s huge brush fires are still ongoing. I’m on the island of O’ahu so I am fine, but I have lots of loved ones on Maui, including my parents. Most of them have been accounted for and are safe but I haven’t been able to reach my parents since yesterday. Power has been down to thousands of homes including cell phone towers and phone lines. I am trying my best to focus on Jesus, pray and not worry… they’re a handful of miles away from the brush fire but it’s still not contained yet as of tonight. It’s the “not knowing what’s going on” and not being able to hear from them that’s eating at me. Please pray for our islands, my heart aches and breaks for all of the families affected, homes lost, destruction to life and property, etc…
    Thank you in advance for the prayers ❤️❤️❤️

  56. Kristen says:

    Lord, please help us and keep us humble and help us so that our thoughts,actions, and words are online with You ways. May Your Name be glorified!

    The Lord’s Faithfulness Endures Forever
    Psalm 117: Praise the Lord, all nations!
    Extol him, all peoples!
    2 For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Amen.
    May we be always be amazed and undone by His lve and faithfulness.

    Typing this at 1 in the morning. I didn’t read the new comments from yesterday after the early morning, but prayers for you all today,