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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Threefold Cord (04/12/12)

TITLE: Discover Life!
By Garry Stopa


Genesis 29:8 “We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats” (NLT).

If you are anything like me, you have, at one time or another allowed your busy life to keep you from connecting with God. I would attend church on Sunday and re-charge like a battery. As I left the service, I would simply roll the stone back in front of the well and struggle through another week of existence.

The challenges of life would seem to get more and more overwhelming and then one day, I had this brilliant idea---I should try praying. The more time I spent praying, the more real the presence of God became. I did a lot of driving in the work that I did, I just imagined Jesus beside me as I drove. I talked and talked and talked. It became very clear that Jesus listened, as He would respond to my petitions. Life’s challenges were still difficult at times, but not usually overwhelming---I began to feel life might be worth living after all.

By taking advantage of prayer, His presence became more evident all of the time. However, something was still missing. I knew He would put thoughts in my mind occasionally, but I wanted to listen to Him talk. I wanted to hear Him, as I would a best friend. After all, is it not a relationship?

I soon discovered that many ministries offer daily devotions that they will send to your email. Thank God for smart phones. I wake up a little earlier and before my feet hit the floor, I grab my phone and read my devotions. From time to time, I end up making chicken tracks through Scripture. Something in a devotional triggers a thought. WOW---the Bible really is alive. Now life becomes worth living.

If you call on the name of Jesus, you become a child of God. That is all it takes---receive Jesus, and you are born-again. However, if you are born-again, you may not be taking advantage of everything salvation has to offer.

The moment you receive Christ, you obtain everlasting life (John 3:16). Maybe you attend church once a week and appreciate this gift. Even so, you may not enjoy your life. You may just want to get on with life in heaven.

If you add prayer to your life, you will gain strength to stand through life’s battles. You will know that God is real, and he will protect you from total defeat. Life improves but you may still desire more.

What you really need is power. Power is something you acquire through continual two-way communication with Jesus. Power is the explosives you pack into a bomb. Power is when you turn the table completely around in a battle. You gain territory. You not only win the battle---you come home with the plunder. You begin to enjoy life, even this one here on earth.

Attend a good Church, pray continually, and make time to study your Bible. Church---prayer---Bible study, twine them together and you have a rope that is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Salvation is more than just life---it is life more abundantly (John 10:10).

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This article has been read 262 times
Member Comments
Member Date
PamFord Davis 04/20/12
Looks like a winner to me! The more I read, the more I smiled! If you were sharing the information audibly I'd respond with "Amen and Amen!" You mentioned daily devotionals; they are my first love in writing. If you are not already sharing your insights through that outlet, I hope you will. You have an open ear to God's message and there are multitudes who need encouragement and direction.

Wing His Words,
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/25/12
I really enjoyed this devotion. I absolutely loved the fact that you didn't start with the Ecclesiastes. I've read quite a few entries and many used that. (I see you did use it at the bottom but you really didn't need to because you did a great job of writing outside the box and being on topic)

I liked how the first part told a personal story of your life. When you switched from I to you, to me it felt a tad preachy. Others like that effect but personally I am drawn more when I identify with the author like you did in the beginning. This is just a personal preference though. If you had switched the you to I or me, it still would have made me think about every point but I wouldn't have felt like it was a lecture.

In actuality your piece is really good and I so related to the first half that the second part didn't bother me as much as it might have. You did a nice job summing it all up and coming full circle.
C D Swanson 04/26/12
Congrats! God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/12
Congratulations for placing 3rd in level one and 19th overall!