Devotion: John 3:19-21
As a young child, I grew up singing, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Little children learn quickly, the value of a small flash light. The tiniest ray of light; will pierce the blackest darkness, exposing all that surrounds its’ beam. My sister and I tried numerous times, when we were little, to stay overnight, in the playhouse our father built for us. It was approximately one hundred yards from our house. Our mom would make us a palate on the floor and while it was still light, we would don our flash lights and happily prepare to sleep in our tiny abode. There was just one problem. We were both “scaredy cats”, with huge imaginations. With every little crack or sound, we would imagine someone or something evil, out in the darkness, intending to bring us harm. We never made it through a whole night without running back to a well lit house.
We learn all too soon, that evil truly exists in our fallen world and, “everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, fearing his deeds will be exposed.” He who does the truth does them in the light. There is no fear, when we live and move and have our being, in the Light of the world.
The only way to expose the darkness is with the Light dwelling inside of you. Refuse to hide it under a bushel and let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Devotion: 2 Corinthians 4:7-11
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word, treasure? Is it an inheritance left behind by someone who loved you? Is it a person, place or thing you can call your own? You love it better than your own life. You spend time protecting and caring for the person you treasure. You spend time cleaning, polishing, restoring and protecting the place or things you treasure. In other words, you treat the person, place or things you treasure the most, with high regard. You cherish the people and things you love the most.
As Christians, our life’s greatest Treasure dwells inside of our hearts, the One with whom we are sealed, for our day of redemption. You honor and cherish Him. You enjoy His presence, receive His discipline and obey Him quickly. We can only do this by His power, not our own. I long to die to myself daily, so the life of Jesus may be manifested to all those around me. I desperately want to treasure Him above all else.
Tell Jesus, you treasure Him and then treat Him with high regard, in your words and your deeds. Show the people watching, how you honor and cherish your King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You cannot accomplish this in your imperfect strength but you most certainly can display your treasure to a watching world, by His power and strength. Manifest this Jesus who lives in you, to a lost and dying world.
Devotion: Philippians 3:13-14
The older I get, the more I hear myself say, “I can’t remember.” I love the fact that our Omnicient God, chooses to forget our sins, and remembers them no more. He removes them from us, as far as the east is from the west. I long to have the mind of Christ, when it comes to remembering past hurts and disappointments; to decide ahead of time, to place them in the sea of forgetfulness. I want to choose to forget meanness, wrong doings and “rehearse not”, the hateful words and deeds done against me.
What does it accomplish to hold onto the painful words and deeds? Anger, bitterness, judging the perpetrator with the judgement you do not want for yourself. These are just a few of the woes that come, when you keep these things at the forefront of your mind and heart.
Only God knows the number of hurts and disappointments you are carrying around like a ball and chain. Truly, it hurts no one but you. Make the choice on a daily basis, to take your hands and your heart off every past grudge, and begin to experience the freedom Christ has ordained for you. As you choose to forget, you will have the mind of Christ.
Devotion: John 14:2-3, 1 Corinthians 2:9
God is always preparing us ahead of time, for what is about to come. I am a live in the moment kind of gal. There is good to be found in enjoying the moments God has ordained for us; but there must be a balance interwoven, with preparation for the future. If God has gone to prepare a place for us, then we must prepare to let go of all the earthly things and even the people, we so desperately try to hold on to.
As a parent, you are always training your children to become independent. However, when the time comes for them to “fly the nest”, the reality of “letting go”, is harder than one ever thought. You miss the day in, day out interactions, with those you love better than your own life. The same is true of close family members. Sometimes the separation is swift and tragic. How can one prepare their soul for the unthinkable?
You begin to hold onto things and people loosely. You love them passionately and unconditionally, for as long as God has ordained your time together. You walk with them in peace, keeping yourself in a state of readiness to forgive, and extend moment by moment, the grace that has been liberally, extended to you.
Devotion: Isaiah 41:17-18
There was once a poor man; with many children, living in a frigid, foreign land. They were all crying from hunger, as he put them to bed one snowy night. Although without work and financially destitute, this man prayed; asking and believing God, to supply food for his family. The oil lamps had barely been extinguished, when there came a knock at the door.
All the man could see, was an arm extended, with a loaf of fresh baked bread. This story is told to be true. “All things are possible to him that believes.” This believing man, was praying to the Bread of Life. For what miracle, are you believing, hoping and trusting in the Lord your God to provide? Is it a basic need, a want or a desire? If that need, want or desire lines up with the will of your Heavenly Father; He will grant your petition and your request.
God waits for you to ask Him for the impossible. Jesus still longs to perform miracles on behalf of His children. Pour out your heart like water before Him. Cry out to the One who loves to move and act in miraculous ways.
Devotion: John 1:16-17
A line from an old hymn says, “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord; grace that’s bestowed on all who believe.” Scripture says “For from His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace.” Grace is lavished upon the saved and the unsaved on a daily basis because it is a grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt. He pours it out on the unsaved, by granting them another day to choose to believe. It is freely given to the saved, through the blood of Jesus. We did nothing to earn or deserve it. It is by grace, we are saved and kept until it is time for us to go to our eternal home. By grace we are loved and by grace we are disciplined. God’s grace is sufficient for every day, for every circumstance He lovingly allows into our lives.
My finite mind can never fully comprehend God’s unmerited favor but I will choose to be eternally thankful for this God given, inexhaustible gift. There will always be a vast supply of our Lord’s grace waiting for us.
Receive it. Live in it. Bask in it. Give it out to those God has lovingly placed in your life. Enjoy this most wonderful gift all the days of your life. Always thank God for the grace by which you were saved and the grace that keeps you on a moment by moment basis.
Devotion: 1 John 4:14-15, 5:1-5,11-12
Many religions believe in Jesus as a great teacher or a great prophet but do not believe Him to be Christ, the Son of God. Even the pharisees did not believe Him to be God’s only begotten Son. They were still waiting for Messiah to be born and writhed in anger, every time Jesus spoke the truth, regarding His God-ness. It was these law keepers that yelled, crucify Him, crucify Him.
Believers in Christ come from all social and economic statuses; the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich, those in high and low places. He brings joy and hope to all who believe in Him and call upon His name. This is why we rejoice that Christ, the Savior of the world is born. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. He is the One who knew us before the foundation of the world. He longs for us to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him.
As you celebrate the birthday of our Lord Jesus, remember why He came. Re-dedicate yourself afresh and anew to His service in 2014. Live in full abandonment to Jesus the Christ. Worship Him today as you open your gifts. Pour out thanksgiving, as you celebrate around your bountiful table. Live like you believe Jesus is the Christ!