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#LaCasaFamily Daily Devotion

Optimism

November 20, 2020

Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.  Psalm 43:5

I generally consider myself an optimist. I start each day excited about what can be accomplished or experienced. Yes, I pack an umbrella and carry a sweater when we travel. Living with Boy Scouts has taught me to embrace the “be prepared” motto. So, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I am cautiously optimistic about life.

In his book Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman describes pessimists and optimists this way: Pessimists tend to believe that bad events will last for a long time, undermine everything they do and are seen as being their own fault.

Optimists believe that defeat is a temporary setback and its causes are confined to the one case. They are unfazed by defeat; they see it as a challenge and try harder.

Trouble and difficulty will help you figure out which you are, optimist or pessimist.

Worldly optimism is not necessarily based on faith in God. Many unbelievers simply refuse to worry because life is easier that way. “Don’t worry; be happy” is their motto.

Biblical optimism, however, comes from faith in the character of God. The Bible tells us unequivocally that God is a God of love and has designed us to live in hope. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Optimism is a choice. When we choose to trust God in everything, we can rest in His promises. In faith we can move through the trials of life with confidence and hope.

Kim Atchison

For All People

November 19, 2020

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. Titus 2:11

Christianity is not reserved for only an exclusive group of people. The church is not a club that only some are allowed into. Rather, the salvation of God is for all people. The grace of God is goodness that is for everybody.

It is tempting for any church to turn inward, to take care of our own people, to form our own group. But God constantly invites us to look outward, to the community and world around us. To make sure that all know that the grace of God is for all people.

Live your life today as this message: The salvation of God is for all people.

Pastor Matt Knopf

The Power of Words

November 18, 2020

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Do you find yourself speaking harshly to your spouse? It is so easy to do and quick, snarky remarks can become a bad habit. Why do we put on a filter when speaking to others but not always when speaking to the person we love the most?

The power of words can either encourage or destroy the heart of your spouse. 

I have a challenge for you this week: If you feel like making a negative comment to your spouse, close your lips and open your heart in prayer instead. It is better to say nothing than to say something you will later regret. After you pause, replace the negative comment and instead, thank your spouse for something they did or compliment them. Soon you will create a new habit of replacing unkind words with kind words.

Dear Lord, through the power of your Holy Spirit, please help me control my tongue. Fill my heart with self-control and give me only kind words that encourage my spouse. May all that I say and do in my marriage bring honor to you. Amen

Michelle Hayes

Encouragement

November 17, 2020

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

The other day I received a note of encouragement in the mail from a friend. It wasn’t a long note but it was just enough to put strength and hope back into my lack of faith.

I think we are all lacking a bit of encouragement these days. We need to remind people that they are doing a wonderful job at whatever they may be going through, working toward, or doing.

Encouragement is an important gift in our lives that we all need at some point. To give encouragement is not an expensive, difficult, or time-consuming task. We need to lift each other up, not bring each other down.

Take a moment and think of the people who have encouraged you in your life. The ones who lifted you up when you were down. People don’t want to be forgotten. When was the last time you encouraged someone?

Dear Lord, point me in the direction of someone who needs your encouragement, love, and hope today. Amen.

Kate Fegan

Thankful

November 16, 2020

I am thankful for your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. Philippians 1:3-5

This month is Thanksgiving—that much is obvious. And Thanksgiving 2020 may look different than years past. Kids may be home from college and not returning for December; we all adjust to new holiday routines in a pandemic.

But this year, maybe it will be helpful if we don’t thank God for things. We thank God for homes, food, cars, clothes—material things. What about people? Let’s treasure the people in our lives, whether living or in heaven.

When we can be thankful for people, we truly see all the blessings God has in store for us. Material things wear out or come and go. Food is eaten and forgotten. That big-ticket item we thought we needed, that shiny object we desired, it all fades.

The truest treasures we have are God and family. This Thanksgiving, thank God for the special people in your life!

Pastor Jeff Ruby