March 21, 2005

Encouragement for Today

 

“Reflections of Renewal”

 

By Susanne Scheppmann,

Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key verse:

 

Psalm 51:10, Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (NIV) 

 

Devotion:

 

Today my car registration came up for renewal.  I received notification that my magazine subscription will expire if not renewed immediately. Almost everything has a renewal of some sort, including my life.

 

I struggle out of bed each morning to stumble, bleary-eyed to the earthy aroma of coffee.  After just a couple of sips, I feel renewed.  Caffeine works wonders in my drowsy morning state.

 

With the ceramic mug entrenched in my hand, I mosey to my next renewal, a few moments spent with Jesus Christ.  The brief morning interlude prepares me for the day ahead.   So many times, I wake up grouchy for any number of reasons, a spat with my spouse, raging hormones or lack of sleep. 

 

But as I settle into a quiet time with God, I sense His peace.  I experience the Holy Spirit renewing my spirit with calmness and serenity.  He “renews a steadfast spirit within me.”  I accept gratefully his reassurance in the day looming ahead. 

 

With my head down, I ask Him to create a purer heart in me.  I need Him to wipe the slate clean of my anger with my husband. He calms the raging hormones by bestowing self-control upon me.  I can manage the monthly moods, instead of them managing me.  He gives me renewed energy even though I lack my necessary eight hours of slumber.  The words of Isaiah 40:31 spring to life in me, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

Suddenly, I feel energized.  I start the day’s chores with an upbeat attitude. Ok, first I’ll call my husband and apologize. I’ll renew the magazine subscription, and then I will head to DMV to renew my car registration.

 

Finally, I’ll come back tomorrow for another replenishing of my own life.  Thank you, Jesus for my every day renewal.

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord Jesus, help me to make my quiet time with You a priority every morning.  Renew my spirit as I reflect upon You and Your Word.  Amen.

 

Application steps: 

 

Make an appointment with God for tomorrow morning.  Write it in your day-timer and stick a reminder on your fridge.  Prepare for your appointment by collecting your Bible, a notebook and a worship CD. 

 

Reflection points:

 

Do I spend time alone with God each day?

 

How often do I allow Christ to renew my spirit in the mundane areas of life?

 

What planning can I do, in advance, to prepare for a daily quiet time with God?

 

Power verses: 

 

2 Corinthians 3:18,   And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIV)

 

1 Corinthians. 13:12, Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (NIV) 

 

James 1:23, Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror (NIV) 

 

Additional resources:

 

Living Life on Purpose,  by Lysa TerKeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/newsletter.html

 

Seven Life Principles for Every Woman,   by Sharon Jaynes & Lysa Terkeurst

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/newsletter.html

 

Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/newsletter.html