Party Line

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Devotion:  Colossians 4:6

When I was a little girl, my grandmother lived out in the country.  Every once in a while; I would pick up her phone to hear people talking.  She was on a party line.  She shared a phone line with a couple of others family.  Can you imagine?  In this day and age; that would be so weird.

One must wonder if people would ever gently pick up the phone and listen in on other people’s conversation.  You know they did.  I’ll bet there was a lot of gossip spread that way.  Some things were only half heard so people told the part they heard and that is very dangerous as well.

If we lived like everything we said was heard on a party line; I guarantee we would be ever so careful what comes out of our mouths.  Here’s the thing.  God hears everything we say.  Is what you are saying building people up or tearing them down?

God wants us to be in the business of edification.  He wants us to build up people in the body of Christ.  What does He say about us and the people in our sphere of influence?  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

As far as it is possible; be at peace with all men.  Say kind things to them and about them.  No one likes to be yelled at or treated disrespectfully.  No one likes to be talked about unkindly behind their backs.

Let’s do our best to imagine we are on a party line in all of our conversations.

Prayer in Motion:  

Lord Jesus help me to remember You are listening to my every conversation.  I want You to be pleased with my words regarding other people.   In Jesus Name.  Amen.

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While There’s Still Time

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Devotion: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I believe we need to bless the people God has given us while there’s still time.  All of us have an appointed time to be born and an appointed time to die.  Old people die but so do the young.

Jesus Himself was allowed thirty-three years to accomplish His earthly mission.  God created us all with and on purpose.  In other words; He created you with intentionality.  NO MISTAKES!  Not one.

Part of your mission here on earth is to bless those the LORD has given you.  Not all have the gift of encouragement; however, just like all do not have the gift of evangelism, God has given us the mandate to encourage one another while it is yet today.

Remember the commercial; “Life comes at you fast.”  The more mature you become; the faster it comes.  You wonder how did that happen so fast?  Many people are facing huge giants in their lives; sickness, financial ruin, prodigal children, aging parents and the list can go on and on.

People need encouragement.  We need to bring the words that will “lift their eyes to the hills from where their help comes.”  I’m not talking about just blowing smoke.  I’m talking about words from God’s Word, like “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”  God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down but a good word makes it glad.”  “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

Words from our Bibles bring peace and calm to anxious hearts.  The Word of God brings healing to hearts that are broken.  It’s like a salve applied to a wound.

People need healing while there’s still time.  Bless the hurting.  Speak the Word, in season and out of season to those God has given you.  Pour out love on your family, neighbors, and friends while there’s still time.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I want to redeem the time.  May I speak the Word to those You have given me.  I love you so and thank You for the people You have placed in my life.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Justify only to Disqualify

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Devotion:  Romans 5:18

We try so hard to justify our actions in every situation.  That goes for the saved and the unsaved.  When we justify ourselves by our works; we are already disqualified.  Believers are saved by faith, not of works lest any man should boast.

Read the following verse.

Matthew 16:27

We are known by our works; however, Jesus does not say we are justified by our works.  We are justified alone by our faith in Him.  Justification is the same as saying “just as if I’d never sinned.”  Jesus paid a high price for our justification.

Grace is what we are saved by.  Justification is how Jesus looks at us,  We are living under the covering of the blood He shed for us on the cross.

When I think of all the people who will stand before God with only their works.  “Lord, I visited the sick.”  “I went to the prisons.”  “I fed the hungry.”  All of those things are wonderful and we need to do them; however, that is not how we are justified in God’s eyes.

The Bible tells us our hearts are wicked and deceitful above all else.  To know there is a Redeemer who has made it possible for all of our sins to be covered.  It looks like we never ever sinned.  Isn’t it absolutely amazing?  Our Jesus did that for us on the cross.

Justification remains in place for all of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.  Everyone trying to obtain salvation any other way will be disqualified for eternity in heaven.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way that all men can be justified.  We know those You justify; You will also one day glorify.  What a day that will be.  We will rejoice that our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Hallelujah!

 

Three Levels of Support

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Devotion:  Matthew 28:19

My phone rang early on a Wednesday morning.  The only words I heard were; “O.K., there are three levels of support.”  Then the phone went dead even though I did not hang up on the guy.  That was divine intervention.  It obviously was not something to which God wanted me to support.

I began to think about his statement; “Three levels of support.”  My mind began to think about the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  God has given us three levels of support.  You can’t have one without the other.  He calls them Three in One.  They operate together.

God’s Holy Spirit prompts us to pray.  Jesus who is now sitting at the right hand of the Father receives the prayer and then presents it to His Heavenly Father.  The Bible declares, “Jesus ever lives to make intercession on our behalf.”  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords awaits your fervent, effectual prayers.  He promises they avail much.

There is no more powerful tier than the Trinity.  God says in Ecclesiastes; “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”  Our three levels of support never hang up on us.  One of the most powerful truths is the knowledge that our three levels of support operate as One entity.  They are always in unity and agreement. Always.

I love the Bible passage where Jesus is baptized.  We see the heavens open up as the Father says; “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”  Then the Holy Spirit descends upon Him like a dove.  What a comfort it is to see a visual picture of our beloved Trinity.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, You are the I AM; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I worship You in Spirit and in truth.  You are worthy to be praised, honored and glorified both now and always!  You are worth far more than silver or gold, my most Blessed Treasure.  Thank You for the knowledge of Your powerful Trinity.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

The Things We Don’t Say

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Devotion:  Psalm 81:10

The things we don’t say can get us into trouble just as much as things we do say.  You leave out a little information here and a little information there.  When you neglect to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it’s as good as a lie.

I don’t mean you have to go so far as one lady coming up to me on a Sunday did.  She said that dress is a horrible color on you.  I said, “Wow, my husband just bought me this dress.”  She said, “Well; it’s just not your color.”  Talk about bursting my bubble.  People shouldn’t feel they have to say every little thing that pops into their head.  I guess she thought she was “helping me.”

I’m talking about withholding needful information, the right response that totally affects the outcome.  Our words make a difference in people’s lives.

We need to use kind words, gentle words when the situation calls for them.  We may need to use loud words if someone is about to be hit by a car or have an accident.  It certainly is better than saying nothing.

May we open our mouths on behalf of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Give us the courage to share our most prized Possession.  May we depend on Your Holy Spirit to empower us and give us Your words.

Prayer in Motion:

Open our mouths and fill them with the gospel message.  May we be so sensitive all day long to say what You would have us to speak out loud to those You have placed in our lives  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Touching Everything, Taking Nothing

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Devotion:  Matthew 6:19-20

I read a line in a book called “have a little faith,” by Mitch Albom.  It’s based on a true story of Mitch’s relationship with a Jewish Rabbi whom he adoringly called “Reb.” One day close to his death, the Reb was going through his beloved books.  It broke his heart to leave them behind.  Mitch said, “I watched him roll from pile to pile, looking and remembering, then putting the stuff down and moving to another pile.”  Here’s what the Reb said:

“If you could pack for heaven, this was how you’d do it, touching everything, taking nothing.”

No truer words have ever been spoken.   No one ever saw a hearse pulling a trailer full of stuff behind it.  We love our stuff.  Right?  Every last little bit of it.  The things we cherish the most; we will leave behind.  Only our legacy of love and faith will remain after we are gone.

The people we win to Christ, will be part of our lasting legacy.  They alone will follow us to heaven.  So why do we work so hard to have so much stuff?  Why do we cherish it so?  I guess it’s all we know this side of eternity.  God allows us to have stuff.  I think it’s when we treasure the stuff more than our relationship with Christ and people that we get into trouble.

The stuff can easily become idols in our lives.  There are things in this world that I treasure because of who gave them to me.  I love the quilt my sister in law made me and have it draped across my sofa.  I love the metal angel my daughter in law gave me a couple of Christmas’s ago.  I love the framed pictures of my sister and me as little girls.  There are smaller frames inside and each one has a saying about sisters.   I treasure the furniture given to me by my precious sister in Christ, Michele.

The list of my treasures could go on and on.  I have more things that people have given me than I’ve bought for myself, and that’s the truth.  It makes me treasure the people and the things they’ve so graciously shared with me.

All of these things are touchable; however, I cannot take them with me to heaven.  I won’t remember them nor will I need them there.  Neither will you dear friend.  Neither will you.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for this gentle reminder that the things we now touch, we cannot take with us to heaven.  I pray my legacy will be people I’ve led to Christ and those I’ve helped to grow in their faith walk.  I love You, Lord Jesus.  I praise Your Holy Name.  Amen

 

 

Thirsty

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Devotion:  John 4:10

For some of us; drinking enough liquid can be challenging.  Our bodies need lots of water.  I wake up insatiably thirsty every morning.  My dear friend Michele encouraged me to drink two glasses of water immediately, no sipping allowed; just down them.  So that has become my practice.  It helps, however; I need to do the same a couple more times a day.

I’m a sipper, not a downer.  When something as necessary as water is only sipped;  a body whose cells desperately need the liquid, becomes dry.  It has increased my energy level and just helped my overall well being.

Jesus asks us to thirst for righteousness.  I believe He desires for us to do more than sip in His Word, just have short conversations with Him, and barely listen for His voice. I honestly believe He longs to speak to our hearts through His Word and for us to say; “Speak Lord, for your servant, is listening.”

Remember the words Jesus spoke from the cross.  “I thirst.”  It’s one of the bodies last things to crave.  He had lost so much blood and his body sweated from all the torture done to Him. The guard dunked a sponge in sour wine, put it on the end of a stick to raise it up to the parched lips of our Savior.  It was His last earthly drink.

I don’t want to be sipper of the Living Water.  I want to be a downer.  I want to take long drinks of His Word and spend concerted time in prayer for those He has given me.  I long to listen for the voice of the One who loves me with an everlasting love.  I want that for you, my dear reader.  Let’s pray this for one another.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, create in me an insatiable thirst for Your Word.  I long to have deep conversations with You about the things concerning my life as well as the lives of those You have given me.  I want to hear Your voice and pray what’s on Your heart.  Jesus, please do this for all those praying this prayer today.  In Jesus Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen.