Women of Faith speakers share insight, advice, laughter, and maybe even a few tears in this daily devotional. Voices from fiction, recognizable names from Christian conferences, and well-known Christian writers also are included.
Daily Gifts of Grace is a daily devotional designed specifically for women, with a beautiful hardbound case and a magnetic closure. Readers will be pleased to open it for a devotion that will help them face the day or for an inspirational devotion to close the day.
Contributors include Joni Eareckson Tada, Lisa Whelchel, Jenna Lucado, Sheila Walsh, Kim Cash Tate, Patsy Clairmont, Natalie Grant, Lisa Harper, and others.
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Daily Gifts of Gracedevotions for each day of your year
By Joni Eareckson Tada Lisa Whelchel Jenna Lucado Sheila Walsh Kim Cash Tate Patsy Clairmont Natalie Grant Lisa Harper
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneJanuary 1
Not the How but the Who
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. —PhiliPPians 1:19
One morning recently I felt discouraged and bone weary. Many things in my life were going very well, but there were a few areas where I felt very hopeless.
As I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I heard God speak four words to me: I will deliver you!
I didn't hear an audible voice, but in my spirit God's voice was unmistakable. I was startled by the clarity of the message.
I thought, How will God deliver me from this?
Looking back, I realize the how was ridiculous in light of the who.
All God was asking me to do was receive his promise and trust him. Nothing more.
He was offering much more than a quick fix or rescue; he was offering me a whole new way to live. But I wasn't sure if I was ready or even had the stamina for the journey that might lie ahead. Even so, the choices were painfully clear. I could continue to struggle all alone, pushing myself through one more day, or I could take God at his word—and let go.
Perhaps you, too, are experiencing a level of hopelessness. As you look at your circumstances, you despair of anything ever changing. Maybe you're wondering if God can deliver you even before your circumstances change.
He can deliver us into the grace and peace that are our birthright as his children so that we can be free—truly free. —Sheila Walsh
Dear Father, please anoint my ears so that I can hear. Anoint my eyes so that I can see. Anoint my heart and give me the will to follow you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Jazzed About Valley Living
The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing. —Psalm 65:13
On a cross-country flight recently, my plane flew over a range of snowy mountains. My eyes traced the trails up the rocky sides to see if any of them would take a car to the summit. None of them did. Isn't that just like life? It's never easy to get to the top.
When we do manage to get there, we seem to think we can shake off the valley dust of routine and hardships. And maybe even get closer to God.
But here is the breath-stopping truth: we are called to live most of our lives in the valley. And who volunteers to don a kilt and do the "highland Fling" to that news?
That would be me. Yup, I'm jazzed about valley living (well, most of the time). From the mountaintop I can see an eagle soar, but in the valley I can hear a sparrow sing. On the mountain I see trees like canopies, but in the valley I can sit in their shade and eat of their fruit. On the mountain I see lakes like small mirrors, but in the valley I can ladle the water to my parched lips. On the summit I see people like walking sticks, but in the valley I can trace a child's face and dab away tears.
The mountaintop is distant and dangerous. The valley is fruitful and dangerous. Life is like that too: bone-drying hard and wildly wondrous. —Patsy Clairmont
Dear Jesus, I cherish each moment with you—celebrating on the mountaintop and laboring in the valley. Thank you for the opportunity to live my life for you wherever I am. In your precious name I pray, amen.
A Craving for Comfort
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. —Psalm 63:1
The editor of a sophisticated food magazine links the recent rise in the popularity of cupcakes to our nation's longing for comfort and security. People want to be transported out of this era of modern-day threats and back to a time of greater innocence.
I understand that possible explanation, but the truth is, our desire for security is as old as Adam and eve. There has never been a time when we were not fearful about something.
During my childhood, I was fearful about math. And yes, that little devil's food cupcake purchased after school from Boehm's grocery store did make me feel good, momentarily distracting me from the bewilderment of math class and the teacher who found me annoyingly unteachable. But reality forced me to recognize that the cupcake treated the symptom without providing the cure.
In today's world we still want to retreat into simple pleasures and believe that tomorrow's math class has been canceled, along with other demanding requirements beyond our capabilities. I believe it's possible to have our cupcake and eat it too. We can feel secure in this life without worrying that our security will be yanked from us, as it was for me as math class started at 10:00 a.m. each day. God has clearly stated promises in the Bible that are intended to produce security in us in spite of our circumstances.
For example, Psalm 9:10 states, "Those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You."
That truth, sweet baby, is reason to celebrate. May I suggest a cupcake? —Marilyn Meberg
Dear Father, the security of your steadfast love is the sweetest gift I know. In Jesus' precious name, I thank you! Amen.
Permeating Our World with God's Glory
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! —Psalm 8:9 NIV
Sometimes I think about the sorry state of our world and feel the burden of being responsible for others. The appalling smut passed off as entertainment, the horror of women and children sold for their bodies, the uncertainty of how best to care for the planet—I can't decide whether to build a bunker in the backyard or race out in full battle regalia. Perhaps you, too, have felt overwhelmed by the sight of hungry faces on the evening news or have been moved to anger by the casual attitude others have toward God's gift of life.
The good news is that a little bit of elbow grease on our part goes a long way when coupled with our heavenly Father's compassion for humanity. Just a smidgen of love will often sweeten a bitter relationship. A morsel of mercy can soften the most callous criminal. And a teaspoon of biblical truth, seasoned with grace, has the power to enlighten those who've been duped.
We must not forget that when God handed humanity the authority to manage his creation, he didn't intend for us to govern with an iron fist. We won't change society for good through autocratic bullying, scowling in disapproval, or waving protest placards. Instead we can permeate our world with God's glory by engaging our culture—by sharing microwave popcorn with a Muslim co-worker; by voluntarily cleaning up an abandoned lot in town; by chatting with the lonely, blue-haired ladies in church; or by simply dropping off a casserole to a frazzled single mom who works two jobs to support her family.
We will lead the way God intended when we love well the other messy image-bearers he weaves into our stories. —Lisa Harper
Heavenly Father, I pray that I will have a strong desire to show others compassion in everything I do. I ask that you surround me with people and opportunities where I can show your glory. Amen.
The Judas Kiss
He who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. —luke 22:47
Yes, it is true. If we ask to be like Jesus, we will experience some of the things he experienced. We will have those who do not care for us because of our faith, and we will have those who hurt us even within the household of faith. There may be acts of betrayal. These acts can be deeply painful.
Forgiving them is the first step toward walking out the heart of God in these hurtful situations. In the past, when I have felt this type of pain (I call it the Judas kiss), it has taken me a little while to come to the place of forgiveness. Probably because I don't expect to feel betrayed by one who follows Christ, much less one I have known and trusted for many years. Jesus certainly knew and loved Judas, didn't he? Judas saw the miracles and felt the wonder of who Jesus was, and yet Judas still kissed him, betraying him to his enemies.
For a time I felt that simply forgiving the deep hurt that came with a Judas kiss was enough. Then one day, I felt the Lord wanting me to go deeper. I felt him impressing my heart that, after forgiving, I was to go out of my way to do something special or to give something special to that person.
I began to do that very thing. I gave a special gift, or I did some special deed or invited that person for a special meal. I was amazed at the results. Doing something kind that cost me something, either in finances or time expended, ushered me right into gratitude; and hidden between the letters of the word gratitude, I found (in the Spirit) the word freedom. I suddenly found myself set truly free of all that had taken place. —Lana Bateman
Lord, what a wonderful discovery. That additional step after forgiveness brings us all the way to your heart, for not only have we forgiven but we have also blessed our enemy. Amen.
Becoming a Safe Person
Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. —mark 11:25
While filming a Facts of Life reunion movie a few years ago, I reverted to teenage behavior and took up old junior-high-girls-gossiping activities with cast-member friends.
We didn't dislike the ones we were gossiping about. It was just a way of bonding. One of us might say to the other, "Can you believe ______ did ________?"
The night after the gossiping began, I felt the Lord whisper to my heart, Lisa, you don't know why _____ does what you were gossiping about. You don't have a clue what she's going through.
I felt terrible. Thankfully, God let me realize my wrong so I could change. During the rest of that month of filming, if someone started talking to me about someone else, I would say, "I've noticed she does that, but have you seen how much she's grown in other areas?" Or, "I can't believe she did that either. But I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. I wonder if we'll ever grow up!"
An interesting thing happened. I was soon perceived as a safe person. The cast and crew drew close to me, and when filming ended, some told me, "You just don't carry any baggage, do you? You're different now."
What I learned through this experience is that people are hungry for safe havens, places of grace, where they can be themselves without judgment, fear of exposure, or betrayal.
Despite what we think we see on the outside, everyone is hurting in some way on the inside. If we have allowed God to bring love and healing to our own hurting places, we can share with others the grace we've been given that shows we know what it feels like to be hurt and healed. —Lisa Whelchel
Dear Jesus, when I am tempted to gossip and judge, please remind me of the grace I've been given and help me extend it to others. In your precious name, amen.
Fresh from the Fall
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees. —Job 4:4
At a concert in Iowa a few years ago, I fell off the stage.
Yes, you read that correctly. I fell off the stage! I don't know exactly what happened, but somehow I lost my balance, flipped through an Olympic-caliber aerial movement, and tumbled into the crowd.
Fortunately, people standing against the stage caught me and pushed me back up on the stage, where I lay curled up in the fetal position, thinking, Lord, is there any chance you misunderstood earlier tonight when I asked that you would be glorified through my performance tonight? Maybe you thought I said horrified?
I lay there on the stage another moment, lost in the darkness, ready to burst into both tears and laughter at the same time.
Girl, you've got two choices, I told myself: Get off the stage while it's still dark and never show your face in this town again, or get up and keep going.
I got up, and although I was embarrassed, humiliated, insecure, and unsure of myself, I finished my show.
I have not always been strong enough to make a fool of myself in front of thousands of people then blink back tears, regain my composure, share a laugh, and carry on with the show. The old Natalie would have run off that stage straight into the bathroom.
But the old Natalie's self-image was one of deception, shame, and failure. Now, as the new Natalie, I'm learning what it means to be real. I'm working each day to recognize and appreciate the unique person God created me to be. And I'm learning to see that person, that Natalie, through God's eyes. The difference has been life changing. —Natalie Grant
Dear Father, thank you for creating me as a unique being but one made in your image. Help me to model your Word and share your love and grace everywhere with everyone. In Jesus' name, amen.
The Power of Forgiveness
If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. —matthew 6:14
We live on a fallen planet where terrible injustices can sometimes rain down on us. When the wound comes from the hand of someone we trusted, the pain and resulting anger can be crippling.
But holding on to those feelings of unforgiveness can become a prison. The other person goes free while we, encumbered by resentment and anger, are trapped. When we are unable to forgive or refuse to forgive, we become hostages to the pain of the past. The resulting bitterness can ruin our lives, poisoning the soul and making it hard for us to know where we end and where the bitter unforgiveness begins. That overpowering negativity warps our sense of self.
That's why unforgiveness is one of the most difficult things to let go of. Let's be honest: it's human nature to want to hurt the one who hurts us. But God claims vengeance for himself (see Deuteronomy 32:35). As hard as it is to admit, it's not really up to us to expect a feel-good ending for all our woes. We simply have to trust that justice will take its God-ordained course.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful spiritual weapons God has tucked into our arsenal. From Genesis to Revelation, the golden thread of forgiveness is woven through the Word of God as the key to deliverance.
When we learn by God's grace to let go of revenge and to embrace forgiveness, the freedom that results is outrageous. —Sheila Walsh
Merciful Father, I beg you to soothe my soul with the grace of your forgiveness and give me the strength to pass it on to others. In Jesus' name, amen.
Excerpted from Daily Gifts of Grace by Joni Eareckson Tada Lisa Whelchel Jenna Lucado Sheila Walsh Kim Cash Tate Patsy Clairmont Natalie Grant Lisa Harper Copyright © 2012 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very thoughtful and meaningful daily devotional and thoughtful readings to get your day off to the right start.
Very well designed, with a front flap that is also used as a bookmark. Written by women of faith this book is a keeper. These women truly understand your joys and sorrows. They give insight and reflection to light your spiritual path. The book is 384 pages with a devotional for each day of the year. Filled with words of wisdom, this book is compact enough to take with you where ever you go. It easily fits into your purse or travel bag so that you can take it with you and never have to miss a devotional when away from home. The book is filled with these women's light and uplifting messages. With words to help you through your own troubles , these ladies give wise advice. They will have you smiling and laughing at a story they tell, to crying over heartache along the way. These women have been there and have advice to help you in almost every situation you might be going through. I recommend this book to women of all ages for a truly uplifting inspirational devotional book. I give it 4 **stars**
Daily Gifts of Grace: Devotions for Each Day of Your Year A 365 Day Devotional Book If you are looking for a devotional book to make you think about your life, this is the one for you. Each day the authors present something new for you to ponder. From your worth in your Father’s eyes, to the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to the amazing blessings He gives us each day; it’s all in there. This book has challenged me in my faith and has also provided a good starter for my journaling time.
I spent days looking for the perfect daily devotional book for my new nook. I finally decided on this one and I love it! The short stories are ones I can relate to my daily life and really help remind me of the kind of life to strive for as a Christian. I really like the short prayer at the end of each one as well.
As always the Women of Faith have produced a great devotion. This one brings insight and is truly a great way to help stay in the word and be truly uplifted.
Beautifully scripted and well written. It is put together so well that from the very first devotional, your heart opens up to the beauty of their words. Each woman shared brilliant insight and I laughed my way through many of the devotionals. From the first page alone I felt as though they were speaking right into the very problem I have most and that is putting my trust into the right person, or Being, for that matter. I'm looking forward to starting this book over January 1st and continuing it throughout the year. If you are looking for a great Women's Devotional, I'd say run to your nearest book store and pick it up. It's beautifully bound and I can't help but judge a book by it's cover.
"Daily Gifts of Grace: Devotions For Each Day of Your Year" and love it so far... it will also inspire you to take life by the horns and make the most out of it. Jesus shows up in the most s, uprising places, and if we're not careful we'll miss seeing him there. The personalities described in this book along with their successes and failures, I recommend this book for those who are struggling, those who know they are nearing to. This book featured different people about their success, failures to learn to and so much more to offer. I will treasure this book. read this you wont regret it!
Daily Gifts of Grace Absolutely loved this devotional journal. From the Women of Faith, it hits a home run, and I've cherished it since I got it. As it says, this 366 collection of dated stories illustrates how the daily gift of grace has played out in the lives of women featured here. Content is great, easy to read, very personal collection. But the coup de grace is the "wrapping". I love the colors, the magnetic wrap around cover, and the illustrations inside. Very feminine, and just plain fun. Love it. I choose to review this for Booksneeze and was not expected to give a good review; only my honest opinion. My honest opinion is this is awesome
This book looked really pretty on the outside and sounded really good,so naturally I had to get it to try. It is a devotion book with one devotion for each day of the year from different women. It is women writing from the Women of faith. It has great day to day devotions that help women through each day and really makes you think. It includes a bible verse with each devotion and the book itself is beautiful with a magnetic closure front and very easy to carry along with you each day. Some of the devotions writers include Joni Eareckson Tada,Natalie Grant and so many other wonderful women. This would make a great gift for somebody or just a treat to read for yourself. Wonderful devotion book. I received this book free from booksneeze for my honest review