It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Glory Days

“I’m bored,” complained my oldest son.  “I don’t have anything to do.” Normally, those words created images of countless tasks to give my son during our homeschool day.  However, today I sensed the Lord asking me to teach a lesson from His Word instead.

“Mountaintop experiences don’t happen every day,” I said.  “You’ll find that life is usually 80% ordinary and 20% extraordinary.  Most of your life will involve being faithful in the normal everyday routine, but when God chooses, He will give something that changes your life forever.”

Exciting experiences can be bought in this life, but the life-changing moments that give true satisfaction and fulfillment come only through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who faithfully lived a quiet life until the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Savior.  Joseph became ruler over Egypt after years of suffering and separation from his family.  Moses met God through a burning bush after 40 years of isolated living as a shepherd.

Looking back on your life, how many extraordinary moments have you had? Faithfully serving God in the ordinary makes you a candidate to serve God in the extraordinary.  “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Father, help me remember that You have a special plan and purpose for my life. May I be found faithful in the everyday things, so I am ready for the extraordinary moments when they come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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By Their Fruits

Is the fruit on your tree rotting or inviting?

Just yesterday morning my daughter Olivia and I laughed and enjoyed our day as we traipsed through the muck and mire of Math!  A subject I love and one she dreads due to frustrations in the past of not understanding as well as my ability to explain in a way that “her” brain could understand.  I have spent many months homeschooling in my own strength.  However, the Lord has given me insight, grace and  patience needed to continue marching through the pages of life and Math, while showing love, laughing and building memories and demonstrating the joy of Christ we can have through and in every event in life – even math!  Praise the Lord His mercies are new every morning and HIS grace is sufficient!

How long do you need to teach your children at home before you “officially” become a homeschool family?  Like the tests that evaluate a child’s academic performance, you can assume homeschooling has arrived at your house when the following are true:

You have more books in your house than groceries.

Your children show up for school in their pajamas.

Your house décor consists of time lines, maps, assorted craft projects, and half-finished science experiments.

Your trips to the library require a laundry basket to hold all the books.

Your refrigerator is perpetually covered in art projects and completed assignments.

Your children think reading history is best achieved while lying on your bed with the family cats.

Your kitchen pantry holds more school supplies than cooking supplies.

Your children’s favorite classmates are their siblings.

Christians, too, have distinct marks that help us gauge whether we are growing more like Christ.  In Galatians 5:22 we read of fruits that should be displayed if we are truly following the Lord — love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  As these fruits become more evident in our lives, we can trust the Holy Spirit is working to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

What about your life? Is there fruit that proves you’re a follower of Jesus? “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16a).

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The Shepherd’s Voice

Do you . . . can you . . . or will you hear the Shepherds voice when HE calls?  Are you able to discern one voice from the other?  To do so, you must be still and be responsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  He may not speak with a blast of the trumpet, and it may not be a touch on the shoulder.  Do not wait for some climactic experience, yet follow the still, small voice.  Be obedient to the gentle nudging of His Spirit.  He often works this way because He wants to develop your sensitivity.  He knows our frailties, and will use this process to make us stronger and strengthen our faith!  You will either hear HIS voice and respond, resulting in a life of increased faith, or you will miss it, missing out on the abundant life of walking closely with the Shepherd.

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