Family Ties

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Devotion: 1 Timothy 2:13

Family reunions are ever so much fun; especially when you haven’t seen your people in a while.  It’s fun to laugh about old times and catch up on what’s happening in everyone’s life. There’s always lots of advice to be given; as well as received. There is tons of laughter and possibly even some tears shared; depending upon life events that have occurred, since the last gathering.

Bless be the tie that binds us together.  Same blood line flows through the veins of family members, all joined with a shared history.  Even for those who are adopted, literally chosen by their parents, or chosen through marriage, God brought together for the shared experience of family ties.  He never meant for us to do life alone.  His plan is for us to encourage and strengthen the family unit, never to tear it down.

A man and woman form a God ordained union that brings love to one another and to any children brought into their lives. Vows spoken; never meant to be broken.  Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas created to form the family unit.  In sickness and health, in poverty and wealth until death do us part.  Bless be the tie that binds.

The same is true for the family of God.  The ties that bind are deep and wide; as deep as those who’ve been martyred for their faith and as wide as the arms that stretched across the cross reaching to you and me.  Although the same literal  blood does not run through our veins, our blood bought souls are bound together for eternity. One day we will have a family reunion of all reunions.  There will be laughter but no tears because there are no tears in heaven.  There will be no more fuses or mis-understandings or years of not speaking.  What God has ordained through Jesus Christ, no man will ever put asunder. Forever family; through Jesus Christ, the tie that binds.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Jesus, how I love You.  You called me to Your side and no one can separate that tie that binds me to You; both now and throughout eternity.  You love me with an everlasting love and underneath me are Your everlasting arms.  You make all things new on a daily basis because I am tied to You through Your precious blood.  I give thanks to You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

The Lord is my Shepherd

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Devotion:  Psalm 23:1

A shepherd is one who watches over his sheep; all of them, from the weakest baby lamb, to the strongest, most obstinate sheep, desperately trying to graze in the wrong pasture.  He takes the greatest care of their wool and skin.  He makes sure they have grass to eat, shade to cool themselves and water to drink.  He will supply for their every single need, great or small.  If they fall and break a limb, he places the sheep between his shoulders, carrying the animal, until he is healed.

A shepherd counts regularly to make sure not one sheep has escaped or been snatched from his fold.  This kind of care; makes the sheep feel very safe and content.  The sheep knows his shepherd’s voice and will not follow the voice of another.  He can hear his shepherd close by and he can hear him far away. He knows to obey quickly and there are consequences when he rebels.

When the sheep have a good shepherd, they are less prone to wander off.  They want to stay close to their caregiver and provider.  He is always gentle and kind.  He keeps the enemy at bay.

In the same way, we Christians have the best Shepherd ever; so why are we so prone to wander away from His side?  He said,”My sheep know my voice.”  Do you hear His gentle voice, calling to you?  He waits to lovingly draw you to His side.  Oh, how He loves you and me.  All we have needed, His hands have provided, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Remind yourself today, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

Prayer in Motion:

God, You alone are my Shepherd!  I will not follow the voice of another.   I worship You today, in Spirit and in Truth.  You call me to Your side on a daily basis. You always take care of my needs and many of my wants. You are such a good God!  I love You Jesus.  It’s in Your Name I pray.  Amen

What Lies Beneath?

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Devotion: Psalm 131:2

Beneath the noise and action of your life lies the real you; the person you are, when no one is looking.  It’s you and God.  You are never truly alone because He is always with you.  How goes the conversation between you and the Lord?  What are the thoughts you think, when the work for the day has ceased and there is no other human being around?

Can you enjoy the quiet, without any noise in the background? No television or music playing?  Can you enjoy being still? There’s an old hymn whose lines bring reflection upon this matter.  “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God. A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God.  Oh Jesus, blessed Redeemer, sent from the heart of God.  Hold us who wait before Thee, near to the heart of God.”

You see, dear friend, underneath all the activity and flurry of life, lies the heart.  God says, man’s heart; although sinful, is worth saving and restoring.  No one is without hope for salvation or restoration.  We are going to make bad choices.  Our heart and flesh may fail, but Jesus never fails.  He is mindful we are but flesh.  He knows every minute detail of what lies beneath the surface of all our doing.  He knows our being, right down to the tiniest DNA, of which He constructed you in your mother’s womb.

God knows every muscle’s move, every breath you take, every single beat of your heart.  He is in charge of you! There is a huge difference between one who acknowledges God and one who does not.  If you acknowledge the Lord who made you, He will direct your paths and order your steps.  Then, the heart that lies beneath; will find peace with oneself and with others.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, “Create in me a clean heart Oh God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  I need Your peace, not as the world gives but as You give.  I want every beat of my heart to beat with Yours. May my outward appearance; reflect my inward being, for Your honor and glory.  I love You Lord Jesus.  In Your precious and holy Name I pray.  Amen

Caving In

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Devotion: Romans 7:19-25

Several months ago; Tom Dodds stepped out onto his porch, to hear someone yelling “Help, help.”  He said the cry sounded so far away, that he could hardly depict the direction of the person’s voice.  When he walked out to try and locate the one in distress; it was actually barely across the street.  His neighbor had fallen in a sink hole.  A place in the man’s yard had caved in and swallowed him up.  He had been there for hours yelling for someone to help him.

Do you ever find yourself caving in? Caving into something you don’t want to do.  Caving into pressure from another person? Caving into your circumstances?  If you cave in, the ground feels as if it would fall out from under you and you find yourself frantically grabbing onto whatever or whomever, is within your reach, desperate for someone to help you.

Is there anyway to prevent ourselves from caving into life?  Hard things happen.  Our flesh fails us.  We say things we should not. We do things contrary to our belief system.  We treat others the exact opposite of the way we want to be treated.  If we cave into our fleshly gut reactions; versus the reaction of the Holy Spirit, we then find ourselves on a slippery slope; that leads to a deep abyss.  Losing ground to our flesh; brings about regret and loss of victory in Christ.

Who will set us free from this inner struggle to cave in to our flesh?  It’s only God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  When we have the desire to do the right thing, but lack the ability to carry it out; we must “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding.  In all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.”  Seek the Lord while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near.

Tom took a ladder to help the man get out of the sink hole. Jesus hears your cries for help.  He has made a way where there doesn’t seem to be any way out.  He is just waiting for you to cry out to Him.  Your help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.  Nothing is too hard for Him.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I am crying out to You for help.  “I need You, Oh I need You.  Every hour I need You.  Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to Thee.”  May I not cave in to my flesh because my heart and flesh will always fail me but You are my Rock and my Salvation.  I know You hear and You will answer.  Thank You Jesus!  It’s in Your Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen.

Worrier versus Warrior

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Devotion:  Ephesians 6:10-18

I watched a woman carrying a a truck load of worry and concern. Is it possible to protect our mind when one has a million things whirling around inside of her head?

Would you believe God has promised an amazing outfit; the garments of a warrior that supernaturally provide immediate release from worry?  Will you choose to put on the belt of deception or the belt of truth?  When you buckle on worry you allow each stifling notch to steal God’s provision of freedom. Instead, choose to bind the belt of truth around your waist and breathe confidently God’s truth versus the lies of the devil.

When you put on the shirt of unrighteousness, you are hiding all the hidden hurts, sin and turmoil.  Choose to put on the  breast plate of righteousness.  Make yourself ready to enter into daily times of prayer protected form those fiery darts.

Throw away those boots that will take you to a place of destination and woe. They will keep you walking to the same places you’ve always walked; to arguing and defending yourself.

Next, let’s predetermine to lay down the shield of doubt, so that we no longer doubt the promises of God.  If we choose to hold onto the shield of doubt, it will turn into oppressive fear, anxiety and worry.

Remove the helmet of  self-condemnation because it will only lead to self destruction.  Put on the helmet of salvation and choose joy and thanksgiving; which will guard your mind against destructive thoughts.

Do not fight life’s battles with worry, which is the sword of the flesh.  Rather, take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  It will be your greatest offensive weapon.

Trade in your worry and become a warrior.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, I give You my worry and seek to become a warrior.  My battles belong to You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Mind on Good Things

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Devotion:  Philippians 4:8-9

How do you do it?  How do you keep your mind on the good things, when there is so much evil around you?  God said there would be tribulation in this world.  He said, “Do not be afraid, for I have overcome the world.”  He also said, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions.  If it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you and when I come again, I will receive you unto Myself.”  Not if I come again but when I come again.

So why are we so broken hearted; over the things we cannot change?  Is it our heart full of unconditional love for those God has given us or is it the lack of unfulfilled expectations toward us?  Possibly both?  Whatever the case, we must lay our expectations at the foot of the cross and cast all of burdens upon the Lord.  He will keep our minds and hearts in perfect peace; if we will but ask Him.  He is our “Need Meeter,”  our Sustainer, our Peace that passes all understanding, the Guard of our Heart, the Lover of our soul and our strength.

If we will; moment by moment, cast all of our cares upon Him, He will handle everything.  He will.  He promises to never leave us nor forsake us.  He will be to us ,whatever we have need of.  He will give His angels charge concerning us.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, You are my all in all.  I choose to dwell upon You, put my focus upon You.   I will come to You because I am weary and heavy laden.  I know You will give me rest.  I take Your nail scarred hand because only You can still the waters of my storm tossed life.  I thank You for being My Savior and Redeemer.  “The longer I serve You the sweeter You grow.  The more that I love You , more love You bestow.”  I set my mind and heart upon You.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Your Heart’s How Old?

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Devotion:  1 Samuel 16:7, Proverbs 17:22

Reality check.  My doctor asked me how old is your heart?  I burst out laughing because rather than asking how old I am, he asked how old is your heart?  Still makes me laugh out loud.   He didn’t want to ask this woman her age, so he asked about the age of a body part.

Dr. Baird clearly made his point, to this stubborn woman , who does not like to take medicine.   If I am going to watch over my heart with all diligence, then it’s important to take what the doctor prescribes.

God created us with a heart and placed it in the center of our body, to pump the blood to all the needed areas. Without proper blood flow, our extremities will develop blood clots, clogging the pathways.

God says many things about the heart.  “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks.”  “Let not your heart be troubled.” “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” “Create in me a clean heart O God.” “A joyful heart is good medicine.” Trust in the Lord with all  your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  There are hundreds more my friend because the heart is who we are.  It’s the seat of our emotions, our will, as well as the dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit.

How old is your heart?  If you will watch over your heart with all diligence; it doesn’t really matter the age of your heart.  It’s what you’ve done with it.  Have you given your heart to Jesus?  Do you turn over your heart issues to Him on a daily basis?  The One who created your heart, will watch over it until the day He calls you Home.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, thank You for watching over my heart continually.  I love You and cast my cares upon You.  I trust You with my heart, all the days of my life.  I want to be a good steward of all I allow to come into my heart and all the things that go out of my heart.