Daily Devotional for Sunday July 1, 2012

Today is the Start of the 4th of July Holiday

(Mark 6:31)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, do you feel that a person who is blind or visually impaired can be used to reach souls for Christ? Also can they serve in the body of Christ?

ANSWER: ABSOLUTELY!!! One of the great hymn writers of the church was Fanny Crosby who was blind! God can use ANYONE, as long as they are surrendered to Him.

Today is the start of the 4th of July holiday. For many, it is a time to get away from the pressures of work and relax. Even if you have to work during this holiday, let me encourage you to spend as much time as possible in the next couple of days putting your troubles on hold and focusing instead on rest and relaxation. I am not trying to minimize the complex and difficult situations many of you are facing, but we MUST find pockets of time in our life to put the burdens down and rest.

You are much better equipped to handle life's problems fresh and energized than when you are tired and running on fumes. It is in those run down times when our problems look insurmountable and we are most apt to become depressed and lose hope. Even Jesus had to get away once in a while to recharge and refocus.

A time of rest does many things for you. It helps you, of course, to regain your physical strength. Just as important though, it allows you to regain your mental strength. Fighting day after day wears us down mentally, and we get so focused on our problems that we lose sight of possible alternatives that may help us in our struggles.

Getting worn down also causes us to lose perspective, and it can snowball, causing us to forget that God is still in control. Most important though, a time of rest helps us to refocus on our personal relationship with the Lord. In the midst of our trials, we can miss out on that daily, intimate time with Him which just compounds the problems. That time of rest allows us to not only recharge our bodies and minds, but our relationship with the Lord.

Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus told His disciples that in this life they would have many trials. He did not want them to be deceived into thinking that just because they had walked with Christ, they were immune from life's problems. But He promised them that He would always be with them.

We are heirs to that promise as followers of Christ. It is the Christ living in us that gives us the ability to live overcoming and victorious lives. Never lose sight that the Bible tells us we are more than conquerors through Him. That means whatever you are facing today, whatever obstacles may be in your life, because of Jesus you can overcome them and be victorious.

So in these next few days while you rest, while you recharge, dwell not on your problems...but on the fact that we have total victory in Jesus!!!

I love you and care about you. Many will be traveling these next few days and you will be in my prayers for traveling mercies. I pray that you will have a wonderful few days of rest and relaxation, that you will be able to spend quality time with family and friends, and most important, that you will spend some quality time with the Lord.

He loves you, cares about you, and will make you adequate each day for the challenges that you face. Focus on living life in His strength and not your strength, and those burdens won't seem as heavy. Enjoy the holiday as you put your troubles on hold, and find that peace that passes all human understanding in Him.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller