Love, God

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Devotion:  Jeremiah 31:3

We’ve all received notes that say, “Love, Me.”  God has sent us His Word.  He wrote it with you in mind.  Yes, you!  You were on His mind from before the foundation of the world.  He longs for you to pick up His Word, His love letter and read it to receive your life’s direction, to receive encouragement and instruction.

He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will not leave you comfortless.  He will give you “beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair.”  There is no other love letter greater than this.  It’s such a treasure!  It is priceless.   Every word is invaluable.  It came from the lips of God, and was penned on our behalf.

God says, “If you seek Him, you will find Him when you search for Him with your whole heart.”  There is no better way to seek the mind of Christ than to pour into His Word.  He says I love you on each page, whether it’s Old or New Testament.

Many people have their Bibles in plain sight but go for days without opening them.  I’ve been guilty.   We can read God’s Word online.  Really we are without excuse.   He wants to speak to us about His love for us.  He wants to train us in righteousness.

Pray before you open God’s Word and ask Him to speak to your heart.  He will do it every time.  His eyes are always searching to and fro, looking for those whose hearts long to be completely His.

Open up the most beautiful Love Letter you will ever open. Pour over every word and behold the great and mighty things He has in store for you.  Know this love is from God.   After you read God’s Word, He would sign it saying, “Love, God,” or “Love, Me.”  The Great I Am.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee till the end.  Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend.  Thank You for not leaving me comfortless.  Thank You for loving me enough to leave me Your Word.

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Life is Hard

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Devotion:  Job 4:7-8; 17-19

Adalade Bowman used to say; “Life is hard, but God is good.”  She was an older lady in my childhood church congregation who had experienced her share of hard life.  Lots and lots of sickness fell upon her and her husband Charles.

I pray she did not have an Eliphaz friend in her life to condemn her hard life.  Eliphaz insinuated that Job had plowed iniquity and sown trouble and he was reaping the same.  Job tells his “friend” that blessing comes to both good and evil men.  In the same way; hurt and trouble come to both good and evil men.

We need to be careful before we chew someone up and spit them out with our mouths.  Jill Briscoe calls it practicing empathetic safe silence.  She said we need to think twice, or three, even four times before we speak out words to people who are already in distress.

Job had known God in the good times so he was able to discern the “friend’s” condemnation and remembered God’s commendation.

Life can be hard.  How we respond to the hard things depends upon how we look at what God has allowed.  Will we choose to look at the hard things as “training in righteousness”?  Will we examine the whys to the point of being consumed by them?

My prayer for you and me is that we will know that God is with us.  He promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  He is up for the challenge and His Spirit within us will keep us in perfect peace.  It is totally possible to exhibit joy; the second fruit of the Spirit, in the middle of the hardest things life can bring.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I know that You are with me when life is hard.  You are such a good, good Father.  You will keep me in perfect peace when I am struggling with the issues of life, whatever they may be. I choose to exhibit joy because You are a Faithful Father.  I trust You as much as I trust that my next breath will come.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Daily Dirt

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Devotion:  Psalm 51:10

Some people take a bath at night and some take a shower in the morning.  I once heard a comedian accuse those who wait until the morning; of going to bed with their daily dirt.  Honestly; it’s just a personal preference.

Going to bed with sin in your heart is a much more serious matter.  If left unconfessed; the sin or daily dirt in your heart can create a mountain of guilt that leaves you quite heavy ladened.  That is why God said in 1 John 1:9; “If we confess our sin; He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  He removes it from us as far as the east is from the west and chooses to remember it no more.”

My mom used to say; “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”  There is some truth to that message.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.  Isn’t it wonderful that He longs to create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us?

There is no reason to be defeated when we can have victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He overcame death, hell and the grave.  He died to save us from our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  ALL of it!  Daily!  New mercy every single morning!  Clean and free!

Oh, what a Savior!  Isn’t He wonderful?  I hope we never get over what has been done for us at Calvary.  No human being could ever do this for us, only Jesus.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, search me and know my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me to the way everlasting.  Thank You for providing a way to cleanse me from all my sin.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the Present

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Devotion:  Psalm 118:24

We all know people who cannot enjoy the present for remembering the past.  They allow bad or hurtful memories from days gone by to steal their enjoyment of the present.

My three-year-old grandson Zachary was about to streak through the house naked.  I told him he should not because his cousin Ryann, a girl was present.  He said oh yeah!  Can I open it now?  He was thinking (the gift kind of present.)  It was one of those words little kids haven’t learned to use in the right context.

How can we enjoy the present when we are dragging behind the memories of the past?  Our past is part of what has made us into who we are in the present.  There are times we take the hard times in our past totally out of context, making the present much less of a gift.

If we allow it; the past can become a weight that steals the joy right out of the present.  We can’t enjoy all the happiness of our present when we keep the past circling through our heads.  We must begin to tear down the stubborn wallpaper of harsh memories plastered in our minds.

We can’t leave the walls of our mind bare or those thoughts will come rushing right back in.  We need to replace those old thoughts with God’s encouraging Word.  It is alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.

We must decide to intentionally lay down the less pleasant parts of our past and live in God’s extraordinary present.  We can most effectively accomplish that through the power and strength of God’s Holy Spirit.

Prayer in Motion:

God, I thank You for my past and how You are using it to teach me and train me to leave it behind and enjoy the present in which You have placed me.  God help me to finish my life well enjoying the present.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Grateful Heart

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Devotion:  Psalm 100

Are some people just naturally more thankful than others?  I have one grandchild who says thank you for everything you do for him.  He’s still very young so I wonder if he will be that way always.

We have many things to be thankful for; our salvation in Jesus Christ, our family members and friends. our work, our homes, and food on the table, good health, and strength.  We could list thousands of things for which we are thankful.

“Give thanks with a grateful heart.  Give thanks to the Holy One.  Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son.” That melody rings in my heart and mind as I think about the great and mighty things God has done for me.  He is so good all the time.

It’s so easy to be dragged down by life’s circumstances unless we choose to think about the good things.  Think about whatever is lovely, right and true.  Build yourself and one another up in your most Holy Faith.  You do that by standing on the promises of Christ our King.

Set your mind on things above.  Keep on pouring yourself out into the lives of others.  Our God is pleased when we have an attitude of gratitude toward one another as well as toward Him.

People who extend gratitude easily seem to have an overall good spirit about them on a more consistent basis.  A grateful heart is filled with joy and peace.  How is your heart today? Get a piece of paper and make a list today of all the things for which you are most grateful,

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, thank You for loving me unconditionally.  Thank You for drawing me to Yourself to comfort and sustain me. I’m forever grateful to You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Someone is Praying

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Devotion:  Romans 8:34

Who is praying for you?  How many people have you asked to intercede on your behalf, to make your request known to God?

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes: “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”  In the book of Lamentations, God tells us to “Pour out our hearts like water before the face of the Lord.  Lift up our hands toward Him for the lives of our little ones.”  Those little ones could be our children or any person who needs prayer.

Our verse today declares Jesus is ever interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.  Take comfort, my dear reader.  The Son of God is earnestly petitioning  His Father on your behalf.  “ever” means constantly and always.   What an amazing comfort to our very souls.

If our souls are comforted;  we will walk in peace that surpasses all understanding.  God implores us in Matthew 7 to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

There are times we feel like giving up on prayer.  Years ago, I had a grandma who was part of my high school Moms in Prayer group.  She only stayed about four weeks and then resoundingly declared; “This prayer thing isn’t working out for me.”  Her grandson was not improving on his behavior.  She expected immediate results.

God is not a genie in a bottle.  You can’t see His bigger plan.  That’s when you trust His very heart.  He is earnestly, fervently praying for you as well as those for whom you are praying today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, thank You for praying continually for me.  I need not fear life’s challenges when they try to overtake my mind and heart.  I know that You are interceding for me at Your Father’s right hand.  You are precious and dear to me both now and always.  I love You so!  In Jesus Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen.

What Does the Lord Require?

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Devotion:  Deuteronomy 10:12

Jill Briscoe says; “The Lord does not require us to be successful as the world defines success.  He does not require us to be popular either – just faithful.   First and foremost; God wants our total and complete allegiance to Himself.

If we love the Lord our God with all of our hearts; all of our minds and all of our strength; everything and everyone else will have their rightful place in our lives.

Walking humbly with the Lord our God requires us to die to our self so that we might live for Him.   Fearing the Lord is widely talked about in Christian circles but rarely applied to daily living. Fearing God gives us the right perspective.  When we fear the Lord; we will understand what He requires of us.

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

In order for our foundation to be secure; our main goal in life should be to glorify God.  If our foundation is not based upon the Lord our God; there is no way we can know what He requires of us.  If we base our lives on feelings and our circumstances; we will live our lives in defeat rather than victory.

God, how do You want me to live out this day that You have made?  That should be our first question daily.  How shall I do the job You have graciously given me?  How can I best glorify You?  Lord, what do You require of me?

Prayer in Motion:

My Lord and my God, I humbly ask, “What do You require of me?”  More than anything; “I want to glorify You on earth as You are glorified in heaven.”  It is my heart’s desire to please You.  In Jesus Name, I humbly offer up this prayer.  Amen.