Solar Eclipse

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Devotion:  John 8:12

According to Webster’s dictionary; “A solar eclipse (as seen from the planet Earth) is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and when the Moon fully or partially blocks (“occults”) the Sun.”

On August 21, 2017 there was an eclipse of the sun blocked by the moon.  I shall never forget it; because it was my oldest son’s twenty ninth birthday.  Thousands of eclipse sunglasses have been purchased so people could view this rare phenomenon.

My friend Riley said he’s going to get in bed and cover up his head.  Another friend named Sandy said her husband’s optometrist does not recommend looking at it any way, shape nor form. After all, he is an eye guy.  His job is to protect people’s eyes.

I found it interesting that the word occult was used in the definition.  I only knew occult to be a false religion, one in which there is an element of truth; however, it leads people away from the “Way, the Truth and the Life.

Webster’s definition of occult is “to shut off from view or exposure :  covereclipse the light of a star that was about to be occulted … by Uranus itself — Jonathan Eberhart.”

That’s exactly what an occult does; It shuts off your view or expose to the “Light of the World.”  There are so many “almost true” religions; enough so to persuade people into believing the lie of the enemy of their soul.  That’s been Satan’s plan all along, to eclipse the One and Only Son of God.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, You are the One and Only Savior of the world.  You will not be eclipsed nor will Your plans be thwarted by the Devil. I belong to You Jesus.  You are for me and not against me both now and always  No weapon formed against me shall prosper.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Old Camel Knees

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Devotion:  Romans 14:11

James, the brother of Jesus was called “Old Camel Knees.”  I wondered where this came from because I never read it in the Bible.

Hegesippus, who lived immediately after the apostles, gives the most accurate account in the fifth book of his Memoirs. He writes as follows:

…” [James] alone was permitted to enter into the holy place; for he wore not woolen but linen garments. And he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple, and was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel, in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God, and asking forgiveness for the people.”

Wouldn’t it be awesome to leave that kind of legacy to our family?  Oh that we could all be called “old camel knees.”  A couple of my grandchildren call me old but that’s as far as it goes. My granddaughter asked me why I am so old.  I told her I had to get this age to be blessed with grandchildren.  I’ve seen pictures of camels kneeling to let their riders get off and those knees certainly do look worn and calloused.

I remember one day looking down at my knees and saying’ “Oh no; my knees have too much skin. When did my knees get old? Not that I was old but my knees were old.  Excess skin is not an indicator of too much prayer time.

It is not necessary to kneel down to pray but kneeling certainly indicates a position of humility and service.  Most important is the attitude of our hearts as we pray.  We come before the Lord our maker with reverence and expectancy.; reverence because of who He is and expecting to see great and mighty things in response to our prayers.

May we all become like James and may people call us “Old camel knees.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I have calloused knees because of being in prayer to you.  May I bring my petitions and requests before you on a daily basis and stay on my knees to You my Holy and Righteous God.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

The Uglies are Showing

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“Create in me a clean heart oh God, and renew a right spirit in me.”  Psalm 91:10

Chad and Alex have worked hard to repair and restore our twenty year old house.  They have tirelessly pressure washed siding and side walks, caulked, and painted shutters and inside walls.  This old house desperately needed some attention.

When you clean one thing, it reveals all the “uglies”.  They stick out like a sore thumb. In other words, when you truly begin to examine the walls for defects, the hidden things will be revealed. Every crack and mark become exposed.  The very things you’ve gotten used to; all of sudden become eye sores.

The same thing applies to our sins. When you ask the Lord to search your heart to see if there be any wicked way in you, it may be a process.  He will reveal one thing at a time.  When you confess and repent of one sin; He will then reveal another and another, until He has created in you a clean heart.

I couldn’t help but think of the line from the song, “It is well with my Soul”: “My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.  Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Oh my soul.”  We all must seek to have a clean soul

God says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear my prayer.”  I don’t know about you, but I desperately long for the Lord to hear my prayers.  No one wants to just speak into the air.  I pray that you and I will pray those “fervent, effectual prayers that avail much.”  Why pray any other way?

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I honestly pray “You will create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.”  I want to pray fervent effectual prayers that avail much.  Reveal any “uglies” that would separate my cries in prayer to You my Lord and my God.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Good Leaders amongst Evil Leaders

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Devotion:  2 Chronicles 7:14

While reading through 2 Kings 14:17-15:38, I saw all the evil the kings committed.  One restored a border in Israel but most statements read; “and he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.”  The only reason the LORD did not blot out the name of Israel was because He had promised He would not blot out their name.

Because King Manahem was refused a particular territory, he “ripped open all the women in that territory who were pregnant.”  He took money from the wealthy to keep his position.  It was said of him as most of the other kings of that era; “He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done.  He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.”

Finally there was a king Jotham, the son of Uzziah who did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.

As in the days of Israel, our world is desperately wicked and deceitful above all else.  I believe God still calls evil, evil and good, good.  We need deliverance from the evil that is against us.   Much of our media produces fear in our land.  They make up false evidence that appears to be real.

There is no good thing in any of us apart from Jesus Christ.  Uzziah was a king who set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah who instructed him in the fear of God.  Our current President Donald Trump has many godly men around him regularly.  They pray for and with him as he leads our country.

No matter what you think of President Trump; we are instructed to pray for our leaders.  I spoke with a man yesterday who said he met with some people for several hours this week to pray for our nation. If more of us would truly seek the face of God on behalf of our nation; I believe God would hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land.”

Prayer in Motion:

Dear Lord, may I seek Your face and know Your heart for the United States of America.  Help me to know how to pray fervent, effectual prayers that avail much.  May I join together with others to pray for our nation.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Release, Restore, Remain and Refresh

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Devotion:  Joel 2:25

My friend Linda asked for my favorite word or words.  I had to share My One Word(s) from the last four years.  They all began with the prefix (re) which means:1.  again :  anew, retell  2:  back :  backward recall.

I looked at the meaning of these words:  In 2014 the word given to me by God was Release.   Of course it means to let go.  I needed to let go of many things I was holding onto, things over which I had no control.  In 2015 my one word was Restore  It means to:  give back.  The things I had released to God in 2014 were given back to me in 2015.  In 2016 my word was Remain based upon the scripture; “Remain in me and I will remain in you.”  Other translations read “Abide in me and I will abide in you.” I was called to remain faithful to the One who is always faithful to me.  In 2017 my word is Refresh based upon, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

There is a progression here.  What we release to God, is restored to us.  As we remain in Him, and bless those He has given us, we will refresh others and be refreshed by the Lord Himself.  It’s so sweet to be reminded of the goodness of God. His ways are higher than ours.

God is faithful to all those who trust in Him.  He hears our cries. He meets us at our point of need.  His eyes are always searching to and fro, looking for those whose hearts long to be completely His.

I would encourage you to begin to seek the Lord regarding your one word for 2018.  Is there a characteristic you would like to see Him develop in you?  We should all long to be more Christ like with each passing year.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, help me to continually seek to be more Christ like.   Show me daily the character traits You would have me develop. In Jesus Name, Amen

Our Deepest Regrets

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Devotion:  Romans 3:23

Do you have any regrets?  I am talking about things you wish you hadn’t said or done. I certainly do.  Like toothpaste; the words so easily came out of my mouth and the actions I committed, although seemingly justifiable, remain among my deepest regrets.

  “We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The above verse is the very reason we need to give GRACE. God declares in His Word, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  He also says in Ephesians 2:7

“that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

John 1:16 says: “and of His fulness we have all received and grace for grace.”

Oh my friend; because God has shown us the kindness of having eternal life in Christ; we have no choice but to receive His forgiveness for our deepest regrets and offer forgiveness to those who’ve sinned against us.

If there is someone today whom you have sinned against; I urge you to go to them and ask for their forgiveness. Whether it was in word, action or thoughts; I beg you do not delay.  Ask God to grant you the courage to go quickly.  Do not worry about their response, whether positive or negative. You are not responsible for their actions or reactions; only to obey your Lord and Savior.

Remember the Lord said, “If I regard sin in my heart; the Lord cannot hear my prayers.”  God knows we long to have our prayers answered.  You and I don’t want any sin to separate us from our Savior’s ears.  Ask Him today to search your heart to see if there be any wicked way in you.  He alone can restore the years the locusts have eaten.  He’s such a wonderful Savior.

Prayer in Motion:

Pray with me this old hymn.

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
2
Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storm and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
3
Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
4
Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!
Into the joy and pleasure, Thine own,
Jesus, I come to Thee!
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the flock Thy love doth enfold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee!

 

“Just Trying to Get Through Another One”

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Devotion:  John 10:10

As I walked into the grocery store; I heard one man yelling to another man; “Hey buddy, how ya doin?” The younger of the two men replied; “just trying to get through another one.”  It was only 10:00 o’clock in the morning.  I thought, “How sad; just trying to get through.”   I wondered; “Does he hate his job or is he in an unhappy relationship?”  He looked perfectly healthy but outside appearances can be deceptive.

How many of us are just trying to get through another one? That would be a miserable way to live.  That kind of statement expresses no hope, no joy and no peace.  Drudgery comes to mind.  It sounds like a person in chains, barely able to move one foot in front of the other.  Could it be possible he is in some kind of horrible pain in his body?

I prayed last night. “Lord, please bring this young man to Yourself.  Give him the joy that only You can bring.

God does not mean for His created beings to “just try and get through.”  He means for us to have joy unspeakable and full of glory.  He wants us to seek peace and pursue it.  He means for us to live life and live it abundantly in Christ Jesus.  Those are His Words, not mine.

Even if we don’t say “just trying to make it through another one; does our countenance convey joylessness?  I’m guilty; especially when I’m in pain.

There are plenty of people who have reason to lose their joy and peace due to horrific circumstances; and yet these are some of the most joyful people I know.  My friend Teresa says, “I choose joy.”  This is one who has battled cancer the last fifteen years. She hasn’t missed one minute of living life to the fullest through pain, surgery, and chemotherapy.  You ask her how she’s doing and she will say, “I’m just fine”  That has to be God in her soul.  I’m willing to bet the words; “I’m just trying to get through another one,”  has never entered her mind.

My dear reader, I pray that no matter what; you and I can live victoriously choosing joy.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God, may I not live like this young man by “just trying to get through another one.”  May I live like Teresa and many of my friends who daily choose joy.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.