I Lack Nothing

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Devotion: Luke 22:35

What does true human deprivation look like?  We whine and complain about trivial things.  For instance; when we dwell on what others have, we begin to covet those things.  One of the ten commandments forbids coveting.  Exodus 20:17 declares:

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox or his donkey; or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Webster defines covet (to want something you do not have) very much.  Coveting steals the time you could have been “thinking on good things; whatsoever is pure, lovely and of good report.” It matters not how much wealth a person has; there will always be more to be had.

When will we be truly satisfied?  When will we be content? Would it help to look on those who are deprived of basic human needs?  Food, proper clothing and shelter?  There are many.

Paul stated in Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Most of us cannot begin to fathom true deprivation.  We may not have everything our heart desires but yet we lack nothing.  David declares in Psalm 37:25:  “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” Do you have shelter; clothing and people that love you?  Do you have Jesus Christ tabernacling inside of you?

                               YOU LACK NOTHING!

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus You are my Creator, Redeemer and Provider. You have never left me nor forsaken me.  Thank You that I lack nothing.  I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.  I trust You Lord.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

What’s That Sound?

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Devotion: 1 Thessalonians 4:16

As I stood on my patio watering my plants; I thought; “What’s that sound?”   I thought my husband was inside vacuuming, “unsolicited vacuuming.”  Within nano seconds, I realized what I was hearing, He was mixing his morning shake.  I was hearing the blender blending.   Oh well, a woman can dream can’t she? I had mis-interpreted the loud whirring sound.

Certain sounds are recognizable to those of us who are hearing and have lived in this world for more than a day.  A baby recognizes his mama’s voice.  We would know our parent’s voice; even if it’s been years since we’ve heard them.  The sound of a dog barking, a cow lowing; a cricket chirping;  a frog croaking, a bird’s warble or a child’s call for his Mama.  These are all familiar, recognizable world sounds.

I began to think of the day when all who believe in Christ, will hear the trumpet of the Lord sound; loud and clear.  There will be no mistaking that other worldly sound; for even those who’ve never heard a sound before; will know that long awaited sound.

Even before Gabrielle purses his lips, to be placed on God’s trumpet, believers all over our Father’s world will be working in His fields.  Time as we know it will cease; and those who are dead in Christ will rise first.  Then those of us who remain; will be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air.  And so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Hallelujah!

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God, I will work till You come for me, whether through death or Your return.  May I always be listening with the ear of a disciple. In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

” The Nere Do Wells”

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Devotion:  Proverbs 20:11

Years ago; a certain friend would call some of her son’s friends; ” “the nere do wells.”  Nere is slang for never.  What picture do you conjure up in your mind; when you think of “the nere do wells”?  I was never quite certain, but always instantaneously, these very short, troll like cartoon characters; with unkempt hair, scraggly teeth and very bad breath would jump into my mind’s eye.  Admittedly; I have a very vivid imagination.

One thing I knew for sure.  These characters were not a good influence on my friend’s son. They were always lurking somewhere; albeit under a bridge, that had to be crossed over. He was in high school and college during the season of “the nere do wells.”  He was then and even now, twenty years later; is still a very strong man; in his accomplishments and his character.

Today this young man is a wonderful husband, father and successful young business man.  I would say his mama’s prayers and his own rejection of the influence of the “nere do wells”; played a part in the development of his moral character and success.

No parent wants “the nere do wells” to influence their children. We must teach them to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  They need to observe their parents portraying wisdom and discernment.

“The nere do wells” lurk around every corner. They are in public schools, churches, neighborhoods and even in Christian schools.  Some appear to be clean, neat and upstanding citizens on the outside.  They are not troll like at all; however, the intent of their heart, is to destroy godliness in others.

God declares in 1 Samuel that “Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart.”  Teach your children well, in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Read God’s Word to them.  Teach them to read It for themselves.  Pray for and with them continually. Always speak truth in love.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God, raise up Christian parents and children to strongly influence Your kingdom.  May “the nere do wells” come to faith in Christ, so that they can impact their sphere of influence.  May godly parents continue to be godly and train up their children in the way they should go; so that when they are old, they will not depart from the “training in righteousness.” In Jesus Name. Amen

 

Make a “U Turn”

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Devotion:  Isaiah 53:6

My college roommate and I made a pact between the two of us; we make every effort to get together every couple of months. We only live an hour and a half apart from one another. Writing the date on our calendars; we plan to meet each other half way.

Neither one of us have a great sense of direction.  We joke about being glad we don’t have to find our way to heaven.  As we left “Brixx” Pizza in Gastonia; we began coursing toward Toys R Us, in order to purchase a birthday gift for her grandson.  We naturally headed out in the wrong direction.  Siri began to say:

                      “Make a U turn as soon as possible.”

How many times have I heard this computerized voice blaring these instructions?  I shudder to think.  We ignored her command because we knew we were just around the block from our destination.  Although it took a little longer; we did not want to take the time to turn around.

I believe God Himself has provided the best instructions and direction for our lives through His Holy Bible.  Inside this all time best seller; the Lord has written down for us His Ten Commandments, as well as sixty six books full of instructions.

                     We read the Bible but do we heed It?

We think we know best.  We want to do things our way because we are familiar with our own paths.  Our scripture for today declares; “All we like sheep have gone astray, he has turned everyone into his own way, but the Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all.”

Going the familiar path, takes longer to arrive to your destination. According to Jeremiah 29:11 God has mapped out a plan for your life.

                                        It is no secret.

Your Lord wants you on the path He has ordained for you.  “Ask and it will be given to you.  Seek and you will find.  Knock and it shall be opened unto you.”  God will tell you if you need to make a “U-turn.”

          You need to heed His voice as soon as possible.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for every time I have ignored making the required U-turns for my life.  You speak and I have not quickly obeyed thinking I knew a better, easier way.  I want obey Your voice immediately with no arguments or excuses.  You know better than I the best direction for my life.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

Life Time Pass

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Devotion: Ecclesiastes 3:2

The phone rang yesterday and I heard the voice of my dear friend Becky Carey.  She mentioned that she and her husband recently visited a Mountain Parkway.  She excitedly told me because of their age; they were given a life time pass to any parkway in America.  Absolutely free for the rest of their lives. We both chuckled wondering the definition of a lifetime; when we are in our sixties?  There must be some reward for living this long.  Right?

Just for fun; I looked up Webster’s definition of a lifetime.  I discovered the following three simple definitions.

  1.     The time which a person is alive
  2.      A very long time
  3.      The time during which something lasts or is useful

A life time can be short or long.  I’ve known babies to die even before their birth date.  I knew a two year old that died with leukemia.  I’ve also known a few people who’ve lived well into their nineties.

Please re-read the third definition of a lifetime. The more I read that definition; the more I realized it’s not so much about the length of a lifetime; as it is about all that falls in-between.   It’s the dash in between your time to be born and your time to die.

Here’s the five thousand dollar question.  What will you do with your life before you expire?  Will you put to good use; your God given life time until you pass into eternity?  What are you doing to make a difference in the kingdom of God?

Believers in Christ know their pass into heaven is not about anything they have done but because of faith in their Lord and Savior.  According to 1 John 1:9,  Each one of us must confess and repent of our sins. The Lord forgave us our sins and remembers them no more.  Our pass into heaven is paid for by Him.  He paid the cost by dying on the cross.  Salvation; eternal life is absolutely free to you and to me.  Now there’s something to be excited about!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for my lifetime pass.  I want to live everyday enjoying my dash.  I give You all the praise, all the honor and all the glory.  It belongs to You.  You alone made this life-time pass possible!  I love You Lord!  In Jesus Name.  Amen!

 

 

 

 

Seal Us Oh Holy Spirit

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Devotion:  Ephesians 4:30

“Seal us oh Holy Spirit.”  My mind was flooded with childhood memories of standing between my mom and dad in our little country church , as the congregation sang this old hymn.

The morning’s brilliant sunlight would pour in through the stained glass windows surrounding our sanctuary.  I grew up in this church that still dons the top of a hill; surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Morganton, NC.  I was baptized there and married in this same place.

Three months away from our forty third anniversary, my mind goes back to the day our lives changed forever.  What day was that? It was the day my husband and I said “I do.”

On a warm summer’s evening; standing on that same hill, the photographer captured the setting sun, that formed a brilliant cross between my husband and me.  Almost forty three years later; “in sickness and health, in poverty and wealth, until death do us part,” I believe both of us would still say, “I do”.

Ben and I have built three houses together, and stayed married. We raised two boys together, who have turned into wonderful young men and have blessed us with five precious grandchildren.  We pray together, laugh together and have cried over the loss of parents together.  Together; we’ve served in seven churches.  We still love one another passionately and have times of “intense fellowship” as well.

Has it all been perfect?  We would both say No!  What has kept us together?  Is it the covenant vows we said to each other before a Holy and Righteous God; as well as the congregation on August 31, 1974?  Is it our fear of God or our intense love and passion for Jesus and one another?  I would say it’s all of the above.

Right before our wedding vows were spoken; a young man named Steve, sang “Seal us Oh Holy Spirit.

                         “He did and He still does.”

One of my most  treasured possessions and memorable wedding gifts; came from our wedding director;  Mrs. Geraldine Rector.  She enlarged a picture of us standing at the altar, in front of the fully lit candles.  Over top of the picture; she placed raised gold letters with the words, “Seal us Oh Holy Spirit,”  

The wedding is such a precious memory; but it’s the life of commitment to one another that stands out most in my mind. We were and are still sealed by God for one another; until death do us part.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, thank You for the gift of marriage.  I love the earthly picture of a heavenly completion.  Husbands and wives all over the world are completed by Your design.  We are sealed by Your Holy Spirit and will finish our lives completed in You.  It is only then; we will realize Heaven’s gift of eternal life in Christ.  In Jesus Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen!

 

 

 

A Living Sacrifice

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Devotion:  Romans 12:1

When you think of sacrifice, in the context of Biblical sacrifice; you know something or Someone has to die.  So what does it mean to be a living sacrifice?

The latter part of the verse declares it to be our reasonable act of worship.  It represents the sum total of who we are to be; along with all we possess and all that we do.  Believers in the Old Testament signified their dedication and consecration to God by offering up sacrifices to be utterly consumed on the altar.

We are to offer ourselves totally before the Lord our God  and to be utterly consumed by Him.  We must go on living in our fleshly bodies, acknowledging that we are not our own.  God dwells within our earthly temple until the day we go home, to forever be with the Lord.

This means more than giving our Sundays to God.  We completely and wholly present ourselves to the Lord twenty four seven.

Think back to the day you gave your life to Christ.  It was the beginning of a lifetime of devotion and dedication to the One who gave His life for you.  It’s God’s picture of earthly marriage.

Weddings are full of beautiful and delicious.  Perfect way to begin a couple’s life together.  They have verbally spoken their vows; committing to a lifetime of daily living.  It’s no longer me but we.

“For better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health,                               until death do we part.”

Over time, couples grow to understand what their covenant vows really meant.  After the “I dos”, the rice is thrown and the tuxedos are returned; there is excitement for the honeymoon, the giving of ourselves to one another, fully and completely.

 Our lives are no longer our own.  We belong to each other.

It’s the same in our relationship to the Lord.  There is a starting place, a time when we have said, I do.  When we invite Him into our lives, we enter into an eternal, covenantal relationship with Him.  At the outset, we have no idea what that means, what life with Christ entails.

Just as in a marriage; we are called to live out daily our consecration to Him.  It involves daily sacrifice as we submit to Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom.  One unselfish kindness at a time; laying aside the me for Him.

As Jesus laid down His life for us; we must choose to make our lives a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God, how I love you!  I long to live my life; all for Your praise, honor, glory and blessing.  Forgive me for the times I’ve been so selfish, wanting things my way.   Make my life a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen