One Starry Night

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Devotion:  Genesis 22:15-18

In 1999 my husband and I were privileged to travel out west with our good friends, Dr. Joe Brown and his wife Teresa.  One night we stayed near the Yellowstone Lake. There are no outside electric lights in this area.  We walked down to the Lake and looked up, to behold a breathtaking, God producing, light show. It seemed we could have reached out to touch the thousands of shooting stars, reflecting on this body of water. I felt like Abraham when he looked up and God said, “I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and the sand on the seashore.”   God tells us in His Word, that He knows each one by name.  We who live near cities are not privileged to behold such night time beauty.  This beautiful sight is forever etched in my memory.

The Lord our God, created the stars and the moon to light the way.  He created the star in the east, for the shepherds and wise men to find the Christ Child.  Each star was created with a purpose and a plan.  God reminds us, “Not one of them is missing.”  If stars were created with a purpose and a plan, how much more did God create you my friend, with a purpose and a plan?

He is watching over you to accomplish His great purpose and plan.

In Motion:

Go out tonight and look up to the stars and see if you can count them.  Just like the hairs of your head, our God has them all numbered.

 

 

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Fellowship

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Devotion: 1 John 1:3b

Christians speak of fellowship or body life.  Fellowship implies a relationship of people who have the same interests or feelings. In this particular scripture; John proclaimed the Word of Life; so that all believers would realize they have fellowship with Jesus Christ and fellow believers.  For believers in Christ, it is the mutual life and love of those who are one in spirit.

Christ followers are regenerated into everlasting fellowship with their Lord and Savior.  The fellowship with Christ overflows into fellowship with one another.  True fellowship revolves around praying for and with other believers, as well as studying God’s Word together.  When you have studied God’s Word together for any length of time; you develop a deep intimacy with those people.  There becomes a level of trust, where you can ask questions without judgement, and become more deeply rooted and grounded in God’s Word.

Life lessons are learned and applied to everyday circumstances as we share with one another the things God is teaching us.  We use our spiritual gifts to build each other up in our most holy faith and help to meet existing needs.  It’s how the body of Christ works most fluently.  It also shows the world how we love one another because He first loved us.

Word gets out when true fellowship happens.  The testimony of Christ is exalted as non-believers watch believers minister to one another.  It makes a powerful impact for the witness of the church.  Is your church displaying true fellowship to the people watching?

In Motion:  

Open your heart and your home and invite people in to experience fellowship with one another.

 

 

In the Beginning

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Devotion:   John 1:1, 1 John 1:1-3

New beginnings are awesome, whether it be a new day, a new week, a new month, or a new year. New; always feels good and fresh, like a chance to start over.

The first day of January denotes the beginning of our new calendar year.  Numbers of people make resolutions and promises that can possibly be broken before the sun sets on the same day, but probably will be broken by the end of January. Supposedly it only takes twenty one days to create a new habit. If we can keep our focus on the challenge stated in our resolution; and make the transitions required, we might make it all the way through a quarter of the year.  That would be phenomenal!

The beginning I am referring to is “the Word which was God.” Here; beginning does not imply a start but a state.  It does not mean that Christ had a beginning but, on the contrary, is a reference to the Lord’s eternal preexistence.  There was a specific time Christ entered into human life on planet Earth, but His earthly birthdate, marked the coming into this world as a Person of the Trinity, who had existed from all eternity. Truthfully, He has no beginning nor an end.  He always was, is and is to come.  He is the Great I AM!  He is the Word made flesh among us.  He alone is our salvation.  He knows every minute detail about you and me.  Nothing escapes Him.

Who better to entrust with your new year?  Who better to go with you, in every endeavor and every new challenge?  He will lead you.  He will teach you.  He will keep you on track and give you the ability to focus as you pursue the passion, He alone has placed in your heart.

In Motion:

Seek to hear the Word Incarnate and obey all He says do. Listen intentionally for His voice.  Fellowship with the One who loves you most, the One who pursues you relentlessly.  Expect great and mighty things that you do not yet know of.  Then watch to see the new thing He will do in you.

 

First Words

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Devotion:  John 1:35-39

My children and grandchildren either said, mama or dada as their first words.  It’s so sweet to hear them babble but when they begin to form words, the parents and grandparents are elated with joy.

The first words John heard from Jesus were “Come and see.” So John came and heard and saw.  He watched Jesus thousands of times and was an eyewitness to all that Jesus said and did.  This beloved disciple could have filled libraries with the things he heard and saw in Jesus.

First words are important and Jesus’ first words to John made a BIG impression.  He would be the one who prepared the way in the wilderness, for those who would follow Jesus. John was the closest to the Lord of all His disciples.  John described Jesus as the Word of life.  One of Jesus names was The Word.  Thoughts remain invisible and inaudible until they are clothed in words.

The Word made flesh revealed the great thoughts and feelings of God regarding our sin, our salvation and how we are to live and move and have our being.  Christ spoke words that healed, brought back the dead to life and most of all brought eternal life to the living.  He told Lazarus, to “Come forth.”  He had to speak his name or all the dead in Christ would have been instantly resurrected from their sleeping graves.

There is power in words.  They can heal or wound.  They can bring comfort or great sorrow to the one listening.

In Motion:

Bring words of life and hope to all those God puts in your path today.

 

The Unclaimed Gift

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Devotion: Romans 8:26-27

Growing up; I remember every year after Christmas, there was always an unclaimed gift under the tree.  Nicely wrapped, ready for the designated owner to receive, it would sit under the tree waiting to be picked up.  Someone had taken the time to purchase it; and  paid a price for it, with the benefactor in mind.

There is an unclaimed gift that many believers fail to open and even then, it is opened as a last resort.  When no plan, preparation or scheme of our own seems to work;  it is then that we open the gift of prayer.  This precious gift is how we began our relationship with Christ.  We humbled ourselves and prayed and turned from our wicked ways and invited Him to come into our hearts.  It always amazes me that the God of the universe invites us to have daily, intimate fellowship with Him.

Prayers to our Lord should always begin with praise, for God inhabits the praises of His people.  When we give Him all the honor, glory and blessing and focus on HIs character, He is exalted on high.  Your focus is clearly on the One you are praying to, more than your needs, your wants, your desires.

Next we confess our sins to Him, so that He will hear our prayer and we will receive forgiveness of all our sins.  Repentance prepares us for intercession.  Its not a performance, nor is it about condemnation, but it brings sweet freedom to our sin laden hearts.

Once you have confessed your sin, thanksgiving for answers to your prayers; flows freely from your cleansed heart, mind and lips.  It brings our Lord great pleasure before His throne.

We have prepared ourselves to go into the presence of God. We have the hearing of God and now it pleases God, for us to enter into intercession with Him.  Luke 18:1 tells us to pray at all times and not to lose heart.  It’s a high and holy privilege to intercede between God and man, to pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord and lift up your hands toward Him, for the life of another person.

In Motion:

Please open this gift of prayer on a daily basis.  You are the benefactor of this priceless gift.  Every good and perfect gift is from above and this one is available twenty four – seven.

A New Name

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Devotion: Isaiah 62:1-5

Once betrothed; a bride begins to practice writing her new last name.  She will then become his bride and he; her husband.  It’s what little girls dream about; from the time they are old enough to dream.  Taking on the husband’s last name, denotes an exclusivity.   The husband is no longer free to date other women nor the wife other men.  They belong to each other, till death do they part.

The same is true of an unbeliever; when one prays to receive Jesus Christ.  He or she has a new name; Christian, which sets them apart from non Christians.  A bride of Christ; not only has a name change but a change in their character.  One who belongs to Christ; no longer portrays a self-centered life, but a selfless life.   The world observes Christians longing to serve rather than be served.

Believers in Christ, immolate His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. There is a noted difference in the character of one who knows Jesus.  By the power and strength of the Holy Spirit; who dwells within us, we are able to reflect Christ’s behavior, rather than react out of our own flesh.

Our new name means we are betrothed to Christ and we get to spend eternity with Him in Heaven, to be forever with our Bridegroom.  I can only imagine the beauty we will behold, when we see Him for the very first time.  The thought brings overwhelming joy to this undeserving bride.

In Motion:

Ascribe honor and glory and blessing to the Name above every name, your Bridegroom.  He is with you always!

 

 

Unwrapped

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Devotion: Luke 2:12

Immediately after a mom is handed her freshly delivered and washed baby; doctors allow the mom and baby; skin to skin time, so that the child and mom might bond. After the baby is weighed, measured, pricked and thoroughly checked out, nurses place the little darling back into his mother’s arms.  What’s the first thing she does?  She unwraps the swaddled child; to check out his arms, hands, legs, finger and toes.

We celebrated Christmas yesterday.  We gave and we got. People gasped in surprise; while others sighed in disappointment.  Miles and miles of knee deep wrappings; were spread across living room floors, all over this land, leaving behind a few needs, but mostly wants and desires.

Can you imagine Mary unwrapping her blanketed Child; looking into the baby face of God?  As she checked out this Holy One, did she bow in worship, alongside the shepherds, the kings and the wisemen?  Did the zeal for her Lord; consume her, as she gazed upon His face? Moms all over our modern day world, must wonder at the birth of the Christ Child?

Jesus was the world’s greatest gift to have ever been given.  He was fully God and fully man.  He came of His own accord, into a world that did not know Him, who treated Him horrifically and yet He came anyway.  He was never wrapped up nor entrapped by the things of this world, and yet He gave His life in exchange for ours.  Oh how He loves you and me.

In Motion:

Unwrap and share with the world; the countless blessings you have received, from the Lord your God.