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Devotion #1:

Phil Joel - "God is watching over you"
Devotion #1

Deuteronomium 31:6
»[...] do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.« (NIV)

God can be everywhere at once. Another word for this attribute is "omnipresence". It's such a great word to say, it kinda sounds like a new Internet company or a new cell phone technology. In fact, in many ways it is - the only thing is that it doesn't require a modem and it isn't new. I know it can be hard to feel God's presence and truly believe that He is with us always. How can we be sure that He doesn't take off to deal with "god sized" problems like disease, wars, earthquakes, famines, etc... We think He puts us on hold when another big call comes in and the caller i.d. says it's a really big prayer meeting and He has to take the call? Sure He takes the call, and sure He's with those in disaster zones, but He's equally in love with you and He'll never leave you either!

Isn't it strange how easy it is for us to know and believe that due to the internet we can chat with numerous people all at once and essentially be in living rooms all over the world at the same time. Yet, we doubt that God (the creator of all time and space) can be in more than one place at one time.

The final words of Jesus in the book of Matthew are these

»[...] surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.« Matthew 28:20 (NIV)

Pray that God will allow you to let Him into every moment of your day and for His presence to be known and felt in the mundane tasks of life.
- {{Phil Joel}}

Devotion #2:

Phil Joel - "God is watching over you"
Devotion #2

Romans 2:4
»[...] God's kindness leads you toward repentance.« (NIV)

We become so cynical and guarded at such an early age (I know I did), but who can blame us when everything around us has become one big supermarket and everywhere we look someone is trying to sell us something. Advertising and marketing is such a huge part of the modern world that it has left us with our guards up at all times, and it is natural to question and reject the offer of anything free, especially when spending is so fashionable. Such huge value is placed on things that cost a lot of money i.e. name brand clothes, luxury cars, high powered computers, expensive educations, etc., etc the effect all of this is having is that even Christians are having trouble believing, embracing and experiencing the free gift of God's love.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch." "Show me the fine print." "There's gotta be a catch to it". We all know and have probably used these sayings at one time or another, but with God they don't apply. What He offers us truly is free - love, mercy, and eternal life.

The God of the universe loves us and we have done nothing to deserve it. Today, let His kindness bring us to our knees.

Romans 8:38-39
»For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.« (NIV) - {{Phil Joel}}

Devotion #3:

Phil Joel - "God is watching over you"
Devotion #3

Genisis 1:1
»In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.« (NIV)

Let me ask you a questionif God were to sit with you at a computer and you asked Him to attach a jpeg video file to an email, do you think He'd know how? Hmmm?? I imagine your initial, honest response would differ from your thought out logical answer. So often I find myself thinking of God as I do my Grandad - he loves me a lot and but doesn't really understand me or the complicated world I live in.

Here's a big thought for our small minds: God is outside of time and doesn't age. Think about it, God created the world and the elements and also us as humans - He knows how it all works, that's why we call him God! He understands everything and therefore knows exactly how to handle every situation. So take a deep breath and learn to rest in that.

Psalms 46:10
»Be still and know that I am God. [...]« (NIV) - {{Phil Joel}}

Devotion #4:

Phil Joel - "God is watching over you"
Devotion #4

Philippians 4:6-7
»Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests before God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.« (NIV)

Worry. This little word can be a powerful thing. The opposite of worry is
trust. When we look at our lives, does it cause us to be anxious, or does it cause us to be thankful because we trust that God will provide for our needs. I know in my life, I don't always fully trust God to take care of everything and I find myself worrying about all kinds of things (i.e. - money, safety of my friends and family, health, success in my work) when all along God is offering me the peace which transcends all understanding. Why do I rip myself off by selling short and not trusting God? If we spent one forth of the amount of time we spend worrying, in prayer and thanksgiving instead, asking and allowing God to be in control; our lives would be dramatically changed by the peace that will
guard our hearts and minds as God has promised us.

Worrying is not only a waste of time in God's eyes, it's actually an insult to Him. He hears us say or sing the words "I trust you Lord!" every Sunday, but longs for us to truly trust Him and leap wholeheartedly from the ledge of worry and anxiety into His arms.

Let Him turn worry into wonder - wondering expectantly and excitedly about what He will do next in our lives - even in those situations that seem impossible. Let God "WOW" us with His provision!

And again we read "do not be anxious about anything...." {{Phil Joel}}

Devotion #5:

Phil Joel - "God is watching over you"
Devotion #5

Galatians 5:26
»Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.« (NIV)

That means that we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. We all grow up with an inferiority complex. Some of us are better at covering it up than others, but the feeling of being not as valuable is still there. One reason is that in the younger years of our lives, we were small, less knowledgeable, weaker and less experienced than those people who were important to us (our parents, teachers, big brothers or sisters, or other kids). There was always someone around who we felt was better than us in some way. As we get older some of those feeling fade, but never entirely. We are always vulnerable to self doubt: Am I worth anything? Does anyone care? If I disappeared would anyone notice?

We try all kinds of things to make people need us and want us around so that we can feel significant, such as wearing the 'right' clothes, listening to the 'right' music, being seen with the 'right' people, etc... and as we grow older, the shape of our efforts change form. They become 'having the 'right' car, house, job or boat. Being married to a Barbie or Ken and trying to be a Barbie or Ken ourselves etc... Unfortunately all of these efforts will not shake off our inferiority complex.

This is no way to live. We will not be able to experience the freedom and the wonder of all that God has in store for us if we think we are worth nothing and continue to seek approval through our peers, coworkers or neighbors, our possessions, style or status. We will not be motivated to express our true strengths or to develop our 'God given gifts'. This feeling of inadequacy will continue to bind us up until we are ripe old men and women unless we embrace the very simple and most beautiful fact of all - that 'God loves us!'

He asks us this question "Today, will you forgive, accept and love yourself?" God says, "I do! You do know that, right???"

You may think you are 'strange'. Well, God thinks you are 'strangley normal' and so should you! "There's nobody else you were born to be!" That means that we should not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.




Galatians 5:26 - {{Phil Joel}}

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devotions info:

All these devotions here were once published on the crosswalk.com website in the Entertainment Channel. The whole thing was written by Phil Joel and published and assisted by Matthew Turner, Music and Entertainment Editor at crosswalk.com. The exclusive devotions were released in honor of Phil's first solo release "Watching Over You" (inpop Records, 2000) from June 21 to June 27 in the year 2000.

If you know of more devotions regarding the Newsboys please send them in or contact us. Thank you!

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