Devotion: 1 Corinthians 4:5
As I rounded the corner of the kitchen in my customer’s home; I saw something scurry by on the floor. I thought it was a mouse but a closer look, revealed its true identity. A small wren must have entered the house, when no one was looking. A bit later, I heard him hitting the sliding glass door, in the lower level of the house. Although I could not find the little guy; he had taken some of Jennifer’s artificial moss, to build a nest, in an artificial tree displayed in the same area. Since he could not escape, he wasted no time in deciding to take up residence, inside this beautiful home. He was so small, and great at concealing himself.
What “little thing” has scurried into your life and taken up residence? It might be a jealous spirit, a disappointment or a habit known only to you. You may be able to hide those things from others, but not from God. He longs to reveal the hidden things, that have taken up residence in our hearts; the things we have become comfortable with. He is jealous for you and want’s no “little thing” making a home in your heart, nothing but Himself.
Ask the Lord to reveal the true identity of any hidden thing that may have taken up residence in your heart. You may have become comfortable with this once “unwelcomed guest.” Escort the “little thing” out; making complete room for Christ!
Devotion: Psalm 34:3
Praise and magnify the Lord are listed among the definitions of the word magnify. As a little girl, I loved finding tiny ants and observing them under a magnifying glass. I would shine a flashlight through the back of my hand, to look at the red blood coursing through my veins. Weird, right? I enjoy taking long looks at God’s creation, to behold His beauty; in a praying mantis, spring’s new leaves coming on to winter’s barren tree, or the brilliant fushia buds bursting forth on an azalea bush. My eyes have beheld the majestic Grand Canyon; as well as the thunderous Niagra Falls. Both made me want to fall down and worship the One who created them. “All things bright and beautiful, all things great and small, all things wise and wonderful, our Lord God made them all.”
God created the earth for those who live and dwell on it. Do we ever take time to stop and magnify His Holy Name? I am in awe of our Creator God, every time I behold freshly fallen snow or a picture of a little baby growing inside of his mother’s womb. God, you are so good! You are good to me! I worship You in Spirit and in Truth! You are worthy to be praised. All blessing and honor, all wisdom and power belong to You forever! You make Your manifest presence known to me! I adore You! I magnify Your Holy Name!
Ask the Lord to show you something this day; that would cause you to magnify and exalt Him.
Devotion: John 17:13-18
Barometers were created to measure changes. When the barometric pressure changes rapidly, all sorts of severe weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes can ravage the land.
Within every believer is an internal barometer of how things ought to be, a deep yearning for perfection that only heaven will bring. Something inside know that no matter how good things are, they should be better. One day they will be, but not now. Knowing how it could be; while living with how it actually is, often causes unhealthy discontentment. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
If we fix our eyes on the ensuing storm, rather than the One who can calm the storm, our whole world gets turned upside down. Hurricanes and tornadoes have the ability to destroy anything in their pathway. Unwanted change, radically transforms the terrain; affecting the people and their property. Many find themselves having to begin again, their once well established lives.
All things, all circumstances, all healthy relationships are dependent on God but are less valuable than God. What Satan meant to use for the purpose of destruction, God longs to use for your good and His glory. It could have been an accident that forever changed your life, a divorce from the one you promised, “until death do us part”, an untimely death of one you held so close, or great loss of everything you owned.
We live in a fallen world; so our internal barometer is always “at risk”. The difference between a Christian and non Christian’s response to the inevitable storms, has to do with the One who dwells within. Will we choose to rely upon Him, when our world is toppling upside down? He promises to keep us in perfect peace, if we will fix our eyes on Him. He controls the external barometer. We choose to give Him the control of our internal responses.
No matter what comes your way, choose to give the Lord your internal response!
Devotion: 2 Corinthians 12:9
Have you ever gotten a pink slip? I am not talking about the kind that informs you; your job has been terminated. I am talking about the insufficient funds slip that comes in the mail, informing you that you have spent more than you had banked. How could this happen? You knew the money was there but then you inadvertently forgot about a bill; that is automatically drafted out of your account.
I’m so thankful Jesus never sends us a pink slip declaring insufficient grace. His grace is always sufficient and his power is perfected in weakness. I continually mess up, but unlike the bank, God pours in a new deposit every single morning. The wealth of His grace is poured out lavishly into my account, on a daily basis. I am eternally thankful; that God’s grace never runs dry, never gives out, but overflows from a never ending well- spring of His vast love and mercy. Oh how He loves you and me! We can do nothing to earn or deserve this grace but God deposits it into our account, whether we acknowledge it or not. I will never get over His all sufficient grace! It is totally amazing!
If the enemy of your soul is telling you God’s grace is not sufficient; that He has forgotten to make the daily deposit into your account; tell him, he is a liar and a deceiver! Your Father deposited mercy into your account this morning!
Enjoy the unmerited favor of your All-Sufficient God and His All-Sufficient Grace!
Devotion: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Paul was radically saved, on the road to Damascas; and because of his divine encounter, immediately began to share the reason for his transformation. This apostle is the main contributing author to our New Testament. He preached to anyone who would listen and spoke powerful truth to the enemies of Jesus.
The one who formerly persecuted the church of God; counted it a holy privilege, to suffer persecution repeatedly and yet he never abandoned his Lord’s message. Upon every release from prison and with his stripes still pulsating; Paul would go right back out to give out the truth that defined him.
There was a time; I came close to being persecuted. I found myself sitting in a bus on a dirt road, on the other side of the earth. Our bus had been confiscated while we were out prayer walking. My first thought was,”Blessed are the persecuted, for they shall see the kingdom of God.” My second thought was, I really don’t want to die this way. I can honestly say, I was not counting it a privilege to possibly fall into the hands of persecutors. At this time there were no I-phones with “find a friend” apps on them so, my third thought was, “My family will never know what happened to me. I will just disappear off the face of the earth.”
If ever faced with persecution, I long to think like Paul; to count it an honor to be persecuted, for the sake of Christ. In this remote country, pastors are imprisoned, beaten, starved and beheaded for proclaiming the gospel, and yet there are waiting lists of men wanting to become pastors, to any newly formed, secret church.
Ask yourself, Is my Jesus of first importance? Would I gladly die for Him?
Devotion: Matthew 24:6-9, 36-42
Remember Vietnam? Countless thousands of young men and women were wounded and many died to try and bring freedom to the Vietnamese people. Christ told us there would always be wars and rumors of wars. In these latter years we have watched wars take place all over the world via television. Jesus told us not to be alarmed, because these things must take place before the end time comes. He called it the beginning of the birth pangs.
Birth pangs come on suddenly without much announcement. Without any aid from the doctors, a mother is in the worst pain she has ever experienced. It’s called labor and it is the painful part of the birthing process. I think many believers reject the idea that we will face any tribulation but Jesus says we will be delivered up to tribulation and be put to death and we will be hated by all nations for His name’s sake.
Just as a mom does not know her exact day and hour of her baby’s birth, we do not know the day or hour when Christ will come. Please do not be deceived by the evil one when he says, “You’ve got plenty of time.” The saddest words anyone could ever hear is ,”Depart from me, …, I never knew you.” Be about your Father’s business rather than your own busyness. He says in verse 14 of Matthew 24: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
“Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere! Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born.”
Devotion: James 5:7-9
To establish means to prove, show, confirm, verify, authenticate, sustain, validate or put to rest any doubts about. How does a Christian establish his heart? Observe the farmer tilling the soil; mixing in, just the right type of fertilizer and then he patiently watches, for the early and late rains. Farmer man pulls the weeds and prunes the vines; so the plants will bear more fruit. What looks like an invasive, stifling process; actually establishes a strong plant, that will endure heat and gully washing rain.
God’s Word paints such a beautiful comparison between the farmer and his crop, as compared to Jesus and His harvest of souls. Farmer man works to establish his crops; in the same way Jesus watches over our hearts to establish them.
Just as the farmer waits for the vegetables and fruit to come on the vines; we must patiently wait for Christ to establish our hearts. Remember God’s children are in process. The establishing of one’s heart is not accomplished in a day. Give Him time to accomplish what concerns you. The Lord longs to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit inside of His children. He lovingly tills the soil of our hearts with trials and tribulations; so that we will produce sweet fruit that will nourish our hearts. He sends the early and late rain of righteousness, rain that will soak our spirits, just at the right time. Be patient with God and yourself.
Allow God to lead you through the processes of establishing your heart!