BBT MINISTRIES INC - Weekly Devotional - Salem, VA
BBT MINISTRIES INC - ...THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOREVER 1PETER 1:25
THIS WEEK

LET THE LOVE OF GOD STREAM THROUGH YOU, washing away fear and distrust.  A trusting response includes God in your thoughts as you consider strategies to deal with a situation.  His continual Presence is a promise, guaranteeing that you never have to face anything alone. His children teethe on the truth that God is always with them, yet they stumble around in a stupor, unaware of His loving Presence all around them. How that grieves God!
     When you walk through a day in trusting dependence on God, His aching heart is soothed.  Gently bring your attention back to God whenever it wanders away.  God looks for persistence -- rather than perfection -- in your walk with Him.
HOLD HIS HAND -- AND TRUST.  So long as you are conscious of His Presence with you, all is well.  It is virtually impossible to stumble while walking in the Light with God.  He designed you to enjoy Him above all else.  You find the deepest fulfillment of your heart in Him alone.
     Fearful, anxious thoughts melt away in the Light of His Presence.  When you turn away from God, you are vulnerable to the darkness that is always at work in the world.  Don't be surprised by how easily you sin when you forget to cling to His hand.  In the world, dependency is seen as immaturity.  But in God's kingdom, dependence on Him is a prime measure of maturity.

LAST WEEK

JESUS LOVES YOU with an everlasting Love.  Before time began, He knew you.  For years you swam around in a sea of meaninglessness, searching for Love, hoping for hope.  All that time Jesus was pursuing you, aching to embrace you in His compassionate arms.
     When the time was right, Jesus revealed Himself to you.  He lifted you out of that sea of despair and set you down on a firm foundation.  Sometimes you felt naked -- exposed to the revealing Light of His Presence.  He wrapped an ermine robe around you:  His robe of righteousness.  Jesus sang you a Love song, whose beginning and end are veiled in eternity.  He infused meaning into your mind and harmony into your heart.  Join Jesus in singing His song.  Together you will draw others out of darkness into HGis marvelous Light.

LAST WEEK

GOD IS ALL AROUND YOU, like a cocoon of Light.  His Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Him.  Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry.  Children of God tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life.  However, worry is a form of unbelief; it is anathema to God.
     Who is in charge of your life?  If it is you, then you have good reason to worry.  But since God is in charge, worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive.  When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to God.  Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Him.  God will either take care of the problem Himself or show you how to handle it.  In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of God.

LAST WEEK

GOD IS INVOLVED in each moment of your life.  He has carefully mapped out every inch of your journey through this day, even though much of it may feel haphazard.  Because the world is in a fallen condition, things always seem to be unraveling around the edges.  Expect to find trouble in this day.  At the same time, trust that God's way is perfect, even in the midst of such messy imperfection.
     Stay conscious of Jesus as you go through this day, remembering that He will never leave yoour side.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from unnecessary trials and equipping you to get throuh whatever must be endured.  As you trudge throught the sludge of this fallen world, keep your mind in heavenly places with God.  Thus the Light of His Presence shines on you, giving you Peace and Joy that circumstances cannot touch.

LAST WEEK

GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW how safe and secure you are in His Presence.  That is a fact, totally independent of your feelings.  You are on your way to heaven; nothing can prevent you from reaching that destination.  There you will see Him face to Face, and your Joy will be off the charts by any earthly standards.  Even now, you are never separated from God, though you must see Him through eyes of faith.  Jesus will walk with you till the end of time, and onward into eternity.
     Although His Presence is a guaranteed promise, that does not necessarily change your feelings.  When you forget that He is with you, you may experience loneliness or fear.  It is through awareness of His Presence that Peace displaces negative feelings.  Practice the discipline of walking consciously with Jesus through each day.

LAST WEEK

LEARN TO RELATE to others through God's Love rather than yours.  Your human love is ever so limited, full of flaws and manipulation.  His loving Presence, which always enfolds you, is available to bless others as well as you.  Instead of trying harder to help people through your own paltry supplies, become aware of His unlimited supply, which is accessible to you continually.  Let God's Love envelop your outreach to other people.
     Many of God's precious children have fallen prey to burnout.  A better description of their condition might be "drainout."  Countless interactions with needy people have drained them, without their conscious awareness.  You are among these weary ones, who are like wounded soldiers needing R&R.  Take time to rest in the Love-Light of God's Presence.  He will gradually restore to you the energy that you have lost over the years.  "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and you will find rest for your souls." (Matthew 11: 28-29)

LAST WEEK

DO NOT SEARCH FOR SECURITY in the world you inhabit.  You tend to make mental checklists of things you need to do in order to gain control of your life.  If only you could check everything off your list, you could relax and be at peace.  But the more you work to accomplish that goal, the more things crop up on your list.  The harder you try, the more frustrated you become.
     There is a better way to find security in this life.  Instead of scrutinizing your checklist, focus your attention on The Presence Of God with you.  This continual contact with God will keep you in His Peace.  Moreover, He will help you sort out what is important and what is not, what needs to be done now and what does not.  Fix your eyes not on what is seen ( your circumstances), but on what is unseen (His Presence).

LAST WEEK

STRIVE TO TRUST GOD in more and more areas of your life.  Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity.  Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings He has hidden in the difficulties.  If you believe that He is sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust Him in all situations.  Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been.  Start at the present moment -- accepting things exactly as they are -- and search for His way in the midst of those circumstances.
     Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Jesus.  If you are trusting in Jesus consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed.  Lean on, trust, and be confident in Jesus with all your heart and mind.

LAST WEEK

JESUS LOVES YOU regardless of how well you are performing.  Sometimes you feel uneasy, wondering if you are doing enough to be worthy of His Love.  No matter how exemplary your behavior, the answer to that question will always be no.  Your performance and His Love are totally different issues, which you need to sort out.  Jesus loves you with an everlasting Love that flows out from eternity without limits or conditions.  He has clothed you in His robe of righteousness, and this is an eternal transaction:  Nothing and no one can reverse it.  Therefore, your accomplishment as a Christian has no bearing on His Love for you.  Even your ability to assess how well you are doing on a given day is flawed.  Your limited human perspective and the condition of your body, with its mercurial variations, distort your evaluations.
     Bring your performance anxiety to Jesus, and receive in its place His unfailing Love.  Try to stay conscious of His loving Presence with you in all that you do, and He will direct your steps.

LAST WEEK

HEAVEN IS both present and future.  As you walk along your life-path holding the hand of Jesus, you are already in touch with the essence of heaven:  nearness to Him.  You can also find many hints of heaven along your pathway, because the earth is radiantly alive with His Presence.  Shimmering sunshine awakens your heart, gently reminding you of His brilliant Light.  Birds and flowers, trees and skies evoke praises to His holy Name.  Keep your eyes and ears fully open as you journey with Jesus.
     At the end of your life-path is an entrance to heaven.  Only God knows when you will reach that destination, but He is preparing you for it each step of the way.  The absolute certainty of your heavenly home gives you Peace and Joy, to help you along your journey.  You know that you will reach your home in His perfect timing:  not one moment too soon or too late.  Let the hoope of heaven encourage you, as you walk along the path of Life with Jesus.

LAST WEEK

GIVE GOD THE SACRIFICE of thanksgiving.  Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun.  Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing.  Satan's temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her.  The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn't have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available.  This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.
     When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened.  You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from God.  You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is "fixed."
     When you approach God with thanksgiving, the Light of His Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through.  Walk in the Light with Jesus by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving.

LAST WEEK

TASTE AND SEE THAT GOD IS GOOD.  The more intimately you experience Jesus, the more convinced you become of His goodness.  He is the Living One who sees you and longs to participate in your life.  Jesus is training you to find Him in each moment and to be a channel of His loving Presence.  Sometimes His blessings come to you in mysterious ways:  through pain and trouble.  At such times you can know His goodness only through your trust in Him.  Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to Jesus.
     Thank Jesus for the gift of His Peace, a gift of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth.  When He appeared to His disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that He communicated first of all.  He knew this was their deepest need:  to calm their fears and clear their minds.  Jesus also speaks Peace to you, for He knows your anxious thoughts.  Listen to Jesus!  Tune out other voices, so that you can hear Jesus more clearly.  He designed you to dwell in Peace all day, every day.  Draw near to Jesus; receive His Peace.

LAST WEEK

JESUS IS A GOD of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance.  When you entrust the details of your life to Him, you are surprised by how thoroughly He answers your petitions.  He takes pleasure in hearing your prayers, so feel free to bring Him all your requests.  The more you pray, the more answers you can receive.  Best of all, your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely He responds to your specific prayers.
     Because God is infinite in all His ways, you need not fear that He will run out of resources.  Abundance is at the very heart of who He is.  Go to Him in joyful expectation of receiving all you need -- and sometimes much more!  God delights in showering blessings on His beloved children.  Go to Jesus with open hands and heart, ready to receive all He has for you.

LAST WEEK

IT IS GOOD THAT YOU RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESS.  That keeps you looking to Jesus, your Strength.  Abundant life is not necessarily health and wealth; it is living in continual dependence on Jesus.  Instead of trying to fit this day into a preconceived mold, relax and be on the lookout for what God is doing.  This mind-set will free you to enjoy Jesus and to find what He has planned for you to do.  This is far better than trying to make things go according to your own plan.
     Don't take yourself so seriously.  Lighten up and laugh with Jesus.  You have Him on your side, so what are you worried about?  He can equip you to do absolutely anything, as long as it is His will.  The more difficult your day, the more God yearns to help you.  Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts.  When you look to Jesus and whisper His Name, you break free and receive His help.  Focus on Jesus, and you will find Peace in His Presence.

LAST WEEK

MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE.  Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that Jesus is sovereign over everything.  Jesus can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Him.  Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece He created you to be.  The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance.  The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Jesus or defy Him.
     The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Jesus for them.  This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties.  You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread.  The next step is to introduce them to Jesus, enabling Jesus to embrace them in His loving Presence.  He will not necessarily remove your problems, but His wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.

LAST WEEK

STOP JUDGING and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role.  Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people.  This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes, a mixture of both.  God leads each of His children along a path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her.  Comparing is not only wrong; it is also meaningless.
     Don't look for affirmation in the wrong places:  your own evaluations, or those of other people.  The only source of real affirmation is Jesus' unconditional Love.  Many believers perceive Jesus as an unpleasable Judge, angrily searching out their faults and failures.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  Jesus died for your sins, so that He might clothe you in His garments of salvation.  This is how He sees you:  radiant in His robe of righteousness.  When He disciplines you, it is never in anger or disgust; it is to prepare you for face-to-Face fellowship with Him throughout all eternity.  Immerse yourself in His loving Presence.  Be receptive to His affirmation, which flows continually from the throne of grace.

LAST WEEK

BE ON GUARD against the pit of self-pity.  When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face.  Don't even go near the edge of the pit.  Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down.  It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it.  That is why God tells you to be on guard.
     There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity.  When you are occupied with praising and thanking God, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself.  Also, the closer you live to Jesus, the more distance there is between you and the pit.  Live in the Light of His Presence by fixing your eyes on Jesus.  Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling.

LAST WEEK

THANK GOD for the conditions that are requiring you to be still.  Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.  Some of the greatest works in His kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells.  Instead of resenting the limitations of a weakened body, search for His way in the midst of these very circumstances.  Limitations can be liberating when your strongest desire is living close to Jesus.
     Quietness and trust enhance your awareness of His Presence with you.  Do not despise these simple ways of serving God.  Although you feel cut off from the activity of the world, your quiet trust makes a powerful statement in spiritual realms.  His Strength and Power show themselves most effective in weakness.

LAST WEEK

TRUST JESUS ENOUGH to spend ample time with Him, pushing back the demands of the day.  Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so pleasing to God, the King of the universe.  Because He is omnipotent, He is able to bend time and events in your favor.  You will find that you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Him in rich communion.  Also, as you align yourself with His perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.
     Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go.  Many, many things people do in Jesus Name have no value in His kingdom.  To avoid doing meaningless works, stay in continual communication with Him.  He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; He will counsel you with His eye upon you.

LAST WEEK

FOLLOW JESUS ONE STEP AT A TIME.  That is all He requires of you.  In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world.  You see huge mountains looming, and you start wondering how you're going to scale those heights.  Meanwhile, because you're not looking where you're going, you stumble on the easy path where God is leading you now.  As He helps you get back on your feet, you tell Him how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead.  But you don't know what will happen today, much less tomorrow.  Your path with Jesus may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains.  There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance.  If He does lead you up the cliffs, He will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb.  He will even give His angels charge over you, to preserve you in all yur ways. 
     Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying His Presence.  Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Him to open yp the way before you.


LAST WEEK

LET THE LOVE OF JESUS ENFOLD YOU in the radiance of His Glory.  Sit still in the Light of His Presence, and receive His Peace.  These quiet moments with Jesus transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine.  Bring Him the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly He blesses you and your loved ones.
     Through the intimacy of your relationship with Jesus, you are being transformed from the inside out.  As you keep your focus on Him, He forms you into the one He desires you to be.  Your part is to yield to His creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up.  Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Him set the pace.  Hold His hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.

LAST WEEK

GOD IS LEADING YOU ALONG THE HIGH ROAD, but there are descents as well as ascents.  In the distance you see snow-covered peaks glistening in brilliant sunlight.  Your longing to reach those peaks is good, but you must not take shortcuts.  Your assignment is to follow God, allowing Him to direct your path.  Let the heights beckon you onward, but stay close to Him.
     Learn to trust God when things go "wrong."  Disruptions to your routine highlights your dependence on God.  Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all.  Walk hand in hand with God through this day.  He has lovingly planned every inch of the way.  Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep.  Breathe deep draughts of His Presence, and hold tightly to His hand.  Together with God you can make it!