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Old 09-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Upper Room Daily Devotional

Notes to Live By

Suggested Bible Reading
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
-Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)

Today's Scripture

Away with you, Satan! for it is written, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him."
-Matthew 4:10 (NRSV)

I stood in the courtroom. The judge took a deep breath: "Mr. Westbury, I am sentencing you to time in a drug-treatment facility." During the three days until a bed became available, I stayed with my brother, who was living in the house we grew up in.
While in jail awaiting trial, I had attended church and read the Bible. I had known for some time that addiction is primarily a spiritual disease, and reading scripture touched me in ways that drugs could not. For the first time in my life, I felt hope.
At my brother's, I was restless. I was tempted to call old friends for one last party. I had to find something to do, so I decided to pack. I went up to the attic and found myself in a world of cardboard boxes.
In the first box was an old notebook filled with my mother's notes from a Bible-study class. In the back was a section titled, "Daily Prayers." I started reading my mother's prayers, cries from her heart to God. The prayers were written when I was at my lowest, and I saw my name lifted up in every prayer. I wept. At some point peace came over me, and I felt the spirit of God in my heart.
When I went downstairs, I knew two things: I never had to be alone again, and I never had to use drugs again. God had sent me my mom's notes and prayers to live by.
Adam James Westbury (Virginia, USA)


God, keep each of us safe in your love. Amen.

Thought for the Day

Whose prayers have made a difference in my life?

Prayer Focus

Those addicted to alcohol or other drugs
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