An Ounce of Prevention…

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Devotion:  Psalm 103:12

…is worth a pound of cure.  My five-year-old grandson Eli had the flu.  Here’s the kicker.  Several months ago he received a flu shot.  Poor little buddy.  On a yearly basis, medical experts try to discern each year the type of flu that will be spread before they create the vaccine.   I’m not certain the criteria used to create the formula; however, the shot is supposed to prevent the flu or at least lessen the symptoms.

The flu happens every year without fail.  I know because I used to get it every year before I started taking the flu shot.  There are all kinds of speculation about side effects from taking this shot, from getting the flu to a long-term side effect of getting dementia.  That’s a pretty drastic side effect.

I did not take the flu shot the year those same experts did not make enough serum.  I did not want an elderly person to die from the flu because I took their shot!  Guess what?  I got the full-blown seven days of bone-aching, skin hurting, fever-chillin, coughing my lungs out kind of flu.

Why am I going on and on about the flu?  The flu is rather miserable but short lived.  I began to think about the sins we commit and their side effects.  Most of the time, they are long term until we choose to apply “confession and repentance” of that sin.  The sin is then removed from us as far as the east is from the west and remembered no more.  The consequences go away because of receiving the cure; Christ’s blood covers our sin.  Praise the Lord!   He is the absolute cure and the consequences deliver us to heaven where there is no more sickness or pain…total and complete healing.  It’s more than an ounce of prevention, it changes the trajectory of one’s life, both now and for eternity.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a way of escape from eternal separation from You and Your heaven.  I am forever grateful to You, the Author and Finisher of my faith.  May I share this great truth with all who need to hear.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

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Keeping the Outside Looking Good

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Devotion:  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I stood at my son’s kitchen sink to peel an apple for my grandson.  Joshua happened to be home for lunch and shared how the peeling is horrible for us.  What?  I’ve always eaten the peeling versus throwing it away. I’ve been told that’s where the most vitamins and minerals exist.

Josh told me his friend’s wife had received the dreaded diagnosis: cancer.  This young man began to research all causes of cancer.  One thing he uncovered is that apples stay on the tree for a very long time before they are fully ready to be plucked off the tree.  This particular fruit is sprayed so many times during its growth process to keep the outside “looking good.”

I began to think of all the things women and some men do to keep the outside “looking good.”  Chemical peels, botox, and some even have total facelifts.  There is not one thing wrong with having these done.  That is not my point.  I just wonder what some of those choices do to the cells on the inside of our bodies?    The things we do to the outside of our bodies matter.  Those things affect not just our outward appearance but the whole.

My dear sister Susan can’t even wear makeup due to severe allergies.  You know what?  She has beautiful skin!  In a world of so much technology and information, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do.  God intends for us to take care of the outside as well as the inside of our temples.  That is where our spirit and  His Holy Spirit dwells.

Good News:  “We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.” Reality: God tells us in His Word our “outward man is always decaying.”  We have an appointed time to be born and an appointed time to die.  Let’s take care of our temples for as long as we both shall live until we receive our glorified body.  No chemicals, no botox, no surgery required!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, give me wisdom how to treat my body and my spirit.  I want to be strong and finish well this life You have given me.  You have provided a wealth of wisdom in Your Word. May I rest when it’s time to rest and work or exercise for Your honor and glory.  I do love You so!  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than Enough

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Devotion:  Exodus 36:6-7

Statistics tell us that only twenty percent of Christians tithe.  How can believers in Christ disregard this mandate spoken by God Himself for His children?  He said, “Bring all the tithe into the storehouse that there may not be “need” in my house?  ALL means all.  He also went so far as to call it “robbing God.”  Oh my mercy!  Who wants to stand before God with His tithe used somewhere else?

God also promises if we will tithe; He will pour out blessings that there is “not room enough to receive it”.  It’s ten percent.  TEN!  Everything else is an offering.  He will bless those too.

We think, “Ah, that’s Old Testament.”  I am no longer under the law.  I am under grace.  Jesus said, “I came to fulfill the law not to abolish it.  I am not trying to beat anyone up.  “I am just saying what God’s Word said.

I kept wondering who was the “he” that was building all these temple pieces of furniture in Exodus 36.    Did he have a name?  As I read on down I discovered that Moses commanded and a priest under Aaron named Ithamar was in charge of building all the furniture as well as the structure. He was the master builder who took all the gold and silver and types of wood to create the temple the Lord had described to Moses.

I loved our portion of scripture today.  As I read the part that said;

“And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.”

I was blown away.  I wondered if every single person brought according to what he had.  The Bible doesn’t say but did some sell their things? All I know is what the Bible tells us.  They brought “indeed too much.”  Glory be to the Name of the Lord.  It was more than sufficient!

I’ve never heard a preacher say, “Stop, we have too much!”  Of course, he would never say, “stop bringing your tithe” because that comes from the very mouth of God.  However; “Wouldn’t that be a great problem for the bride of Christ, His church? “Indeed too much!”

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, may all your children give as unto the Lord.  May I never hold back Your tithe.  You say it is holy unto You.  Thank You for the opportunity to “try You and test You” in bringing all my tithe unto Your storehouse.  I trust You to provide and make the ninety percent be sufficient for me.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Time Be Still

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Devotion:  Psalm 139:16

We all want things to go faster; everything but time.  We want time to be still.  Remember when you could not wait to be sixteen, then twenty-one, and after that; time seemed to escalate like a roller coaster.  You took that job.  You married the one man or woman God gave you.  The whole world lay waiting and open for you to explore, to experience and to enjoy.

God has given us life to enjoy.  He meant for it to be that way.  It did not mean we would have a life free from trials and troubles.  God said, “In this world, you will have tribulation but don’t be afraid for I have overcome the world.”

On a Sunday morning, I was standing peeling potatoes fast and furiously because I wanted to take some potato soup to a sick friend that afternoon.  I was slicing and dicing them and placing them in salt water.  I got tickled because I was doing it so fast, the end came off of the peeler.  Good grief was there smoke coming out of the end of my fingers?  Just kidding!  I’m not that fast.

Much of the time; I feel like I’m in a time crunch.  Time is not “a wasting” but it certainly won’t be still.  Why do I always feel like the clock is ticking?  It is!  If I am doing what I feel like God wants me to be doing then why am I always in a hurry?  I want to accomplish all that He has for me to do up until my last breath.

I don’t always have to be in a hurry!  That’s liberating if I take it to heart.  Time has always moved the same since God created it.  Seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years.  No matter what you’ve heard, time has never changed.  No matter if I want it to slow down or speed up; it will not.  It just keeps ticking away.

Let’s make certain time is spent well.  Let’s not try to make it be still when we don’t want it to move or try to speed it up when we don’t like what’s going on.  How’s that working for you anyway? Let’s just make the most of our God-given days on this earth.  They are all God ordained, every single wonderful second of every single day.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I thank You for the gift of time.  May I always make the most of it, the time You have ordained for me.  This life You have given me is a beautiful thing and I never want to make it move one minute faster or go one minute slower.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Awakened to Worship

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Devotion:  Revelation 4:8

God places within us the desire for true worship.  I was awakened to hear the Lord singing over me.  It makes me cry tears of joy.  I just love Him so.  I don’t even have words but it was so beautiful to know He was stirring worship in my very soul.  He is making all things new.

What joy!  What hope!  What peace flooded this unworthy soul to hear the One who is worthy; drawing me to Himself.  I am rejoicing that my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

My soul began to sing a couple of songs…”Oh, what a Savior!  Isn’t He wonderful?”  “My heart, my flesh cries out to You the Living God.  Your Spirit’s water to my soul.  I’ve tasted and I’ve seen.  Come once again to me.  I will draw near to You.  Yes, Lord, I will draw near to You.”  If we draw nigh to God, He will draw nigh to us.

Your God loves you and is drawing you to Himself.  He longs to speak life through His Word.  He wants you to be encouraged and lifted up!  The Bible tells us God is love.  He wants you to share His love with someone.  This same Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father is pouring Himself out on those who seek for a closer walk with Him.  He longs to use you to bless those in your sphere of influence.

God, You first loved this precious reader.  He/she loves you and I pray You will make his/her latter days greater than the former.  You promised, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself.”  Your promises are yes and amen. If you know this song, sing it back to your Father.

Lord Jesus, thank You for first loving me.  I love being loved by You, my precious Creator, Redeemer, and Friend.  You are more beautiful than any other.  My heart and flesh cry out in worship, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.  Early in the morning, my song will rise to Thee.”  In Jesus Name.  Amen!

Your Trouble is a Classroom

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Devotion:  Exodus 3:21

I just read this statement on a piece of paper mailed to me by my friend Stephanie.  It’s not original with me.  Even though I don’t know who said it; I believe it with all my heart.  Here’s the whole statement:  “Your trouble is only a classroom, a controlled environment for God to work on your behalf.”

Think back over your life.  Think about 2018.  Think back.  Reflect.  What were your troubles?  Did you come out bitter or better?  Many of you suffered great loss and heartache.  At the moment you may still be reeling from the throws of the tragedy.  You may feel like Jesus did on the cross, that your Father has forsaken you.  He never has and He never will.

After you’ve reflected on this powerful statement on trouble being your classroom; did the trouble help you grow in your faith walk?  Oh, how I pray that it did.  Otherwise, we stay in a funk or a state of defeat.  That is never what God created us to do!  He does not want that for us.  He wants us to be trained in righteousness in our classroom of troubles.

God’s classroom of troubles is powerfully effective.  All that comes to us is filtered through His hands.  He knows we will have to depend upon Him for strength to carry on.  We can’t go forward in our times of weakness and without leaning upon Him; we can become paralyzed under the weight of the burden.

If we will allow Him to train us in righteousness; He will give us the favor of His outstretched hand.  It’s how our Creator ordained it to be.  He longs for His created beings to cast our cares upon Him for He will sustain us.  He will send His Word and heal our deepest hurts and troubles.  It will be a balm in Gilead for our wounded souls.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus may we find respite in the classroom of troubles.  You long to provide healing for Your children.  You wait for us to ask You for it.  Help us to learn all we need to learn while we are in the classroom of troubles.  “Behold You are with us always, even to the end of the age.”  I love You, Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Never Alone

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Devotion:  Joshua 1:9

God is NOT watching you from a distance as the Bett Midler song declares.  He is with you all the time, when things are great and when they are not so great.  You may feel abandoned; however, that’s a lie from the pit of hell.  He promised:  “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

We’ve all been guilty of looking at another person’s life and wishing it was our own.  Kay Arthur says in her book “Lord Heal My Hurts” “That is wasted thinking and wasted thinking will make you even more miserable.  Your task is to forgive.  God’s task is to judge.”

It is hard to give thanks for past hurts and disappointments.  God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  It’s that little word everything that’s the clincher.  Kay says, “If you will, and if you will continue to walk in faithful obedience, you will find God’s divine healing.”

Oh for that kind of freedom, the kind that declares you to be “free indeed.”  To God be the glory, great things He has done.  So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.  Who yielded and died an atonement for sin (the sin of the person who sinned against you) and opened the life gate that all may come in.  If you will take the time to meditate upon that song, God will deliver you from the anger and hatred you have toward the person who wounded you so deeply.

Prayer in Motion:

Pray Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”  Thank You, Jesus, for the great and mighty things You have done for me as well as those who’ve sinned against me.  May I love them; pray over them and then release them to You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.