Welcome to my Encounter Devotionals Blog Site. I appreciate you visiting the site out. Check out the devotionals I've written below as well as the archived ones in the column on the right.
I pray they help and inspire you to have a deeper and more personal relationship and encounter with Jesus Christ. If you would like to receive these devotionals through e-mail, please send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Who Are Your 'Go To' People?" By Zach Wood Psalm 1:1-3, Proverbs 15:22
The first verse in Psalm 1 hits the nail on the head.Where do we go we need advice?Every one of us has times when we must seek out counsel from others as to what is good to do and what God would have us do.Hopefully, we do not just go to anyone to seek advice.This can be the very beginning of a painful and sorrowful road.
We are blessed if we choose to seek out the right people whom we seek out counsel.You wouldn’t walk down the road with a huge problem on your mind and just stop any person walking toward you and ask them advice.You would think that’s probably absurd.However, many of us choose people that will not give us good advice and counsel.
My experience has been that I have just a handful of people that I know I can rely on and go to for Godly advice and direction.These people I know will pray for me and give me some very helpful direction.
If we make our choices to gain advice and counsel from unwise and ungodly people, we will have a treacherous path ahead of us.
Sometimes, we do not even go to people for advice face to face, we’ll go online to read advice from others or we’ll watch TV of a popular talk show to glean wisdom.We have to be very careful here.We absolutely cannot look for the easy way out of our situations and problems.We need trusted sources of advice and wisdom.
It is my encouragement to you, that when you need solid advice and wise direction, to find Godly sources that you feel and believe will help you in your relationship with the Creator.
"We're Good At Holding On And Letting Go" By Zach Wood Matthew 5:43-48
We are pretty good at holding onto things, aren’t we?One thing many of us are good at holding onto are grudges.We hold onto grudges and bitterness very well.
Our problem here is that we are good at holding onto the bitterness we have toward people that wrong us or do things to upset us.Do we really think it’s healthy to hold onto the grudges and bitterness?Of course not!But when we are wronged and hurt by others, it is human to be angry and to have a feeling of “I’ll show them” or “I’ll make sure they realize I’m hurt”.When we do this, we essentially let go of the things God wants us to do.
When I think of how we react many times with these human emotions, I cannot help but think of Jesus when He preached about love for our enemies as He gave the sermon on the mount.
How many of us really actually enjoy loving our enemies?I’ll be the first to tell you, I don't like to!I have had more than enough of my fair share of holding grudges and bitterness toward other people.And, you know what, it has done me no good.I come to find out that it does more harm to me than the other person because it just eats and chews away at my heart.
My heart grows moldy and I am not a fun person to be around when this happens.And this is what happens when all of us react this way to these negative things that have happened.
All of us like to be good at things in life, but holding grudges and bitterness toward others should absolutely not be one of them.
I encourage you to consider what things you are holding onto that you need to let go and give to God to experience freedom.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard this phrase, “The house that prays together stays together”.When we are spending quality time together and doing things with each other and not checking our cell phones or e-mail every 5 minutes, our minds and hearts can then break away and be entirely focused on our family. We should always be striving to engage quality time with our families. Family time is something we often neglect and get too busy to take care of.
Commitment is the key to being engaged in family time, whatever that time may mean.Whether it is going out for an evening together, taking a vacation together or just having a night where you shut off the tv, computers, cell phones and just do something together.This seems to be unheard of now.We have become so dependent on TV, computers and cell phones to “keep us in the loop” that we have really neglected spending quality time with our families.
As a family, it is so vital to spend time together encouraging one another with God’s Word and encouragement.
Do you pray together as a family?Is prayer a vital part of keeping your family together?Do you pray for one another?
I kept this week's writing short and to the point to encourage you to spend time with your family. Maybe you've neglected the time and family bonding you need. I encourage you to pray for your family and spend time praying together.
"We Need To Regain Appreciation" By Zach Wood Psalm 9:1-2
There’s not one of us who has never given appreciation to someone else.However, sometimes in our lives we get to a point where we get so distracted and lose our focus and goals and we forget to appreciate those who mean so much to us.
We get caught up in our own agendas and we sort of put our appreciation for others on the back burner.It’s not that we don’t know how, but we have forgotten to do it as often or even at all anymore.
This is just like riding a bike, going roller skating or going for a log run.When you haven’t done these things for a while, it takes time to get back into it and you’ve done it before so you can do it again.Just takes some practice again. So is true with showing appreciation.If we’ve lost that momentum to appreciate others with intention, we can once again start doing it and get back into the habit.
The same is true with our appreciation for what Christ did for us.We can learn to regain appreciation of Him.It’s not that we didn’t before, but we may have lost focus and need to gain that back again.
Maybe you need to take some time away and just think about all that He has done for you and just shout out praises to Him for a while without anyone else around. How often have you found yourself just completely taking time to do nothing but expressing your thanks and appreciation to God for all He’s done for you?He absolutely loves it when we worship Him and express our gratitude for all He’s done and continues to do.
I invite you to take some time maybe in the next few days or even the next few weeks and just focus on doing nothing but praising God and giving Him thanks. Put aside your requests and petitions for a few moments in your time with Him and just give Him adoration and praise. Your requests and petitions are important to give to Him, but sometimes we just need to focus on giving Him praise.