Hear the Word of the Lord

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Devotion:  Isaiah 1:10-18

Such sorrowful words are spoken by our Lord in verse fifteen. God is obviously angry with Israel.  He is not pleased with their sacrifices.  He defines their appearances in His temple, “the trampling of His courts.”  He is disgusted with their vain rituals.

Worthless offerings, burning of incense, calling of assemblies, He will no longer endure.  Israel was wearing God out by coming to the festivals and feasts with unprepared hearts.

God spoke harsh but true words to the Israelites.  He said;  “When you spread out your hands in prayer; I will hide my eyes from you”.  Why?  The Bible promises: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear my prayer.”  God always keeps His Word.

In our day, people think as long as they don’t steal, kill or cheat, everything’s alright between them and the “Man Upstairs.”  They are obeying three of the ten commandments but do they have a relationship with the God of Israel?

In Proverbs God tells us to “Watch over our hearts with all diligence, for from them flow the issues of life.”  On a daily basis, we must purpose in our hearts not to sin against God.  God is not ok with BIG or little sins.  Sin is sin.  We must ask Him daily to “search our hearts to see if there be any wicked way in us.”

Verse eighteen gives us great hope when it says, “Tho your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”  God has always made a way for us to be restored. First it was the blood of goats and bulls, but now we have the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all of our sins.  There’s power in the blood of Jesus.  Christ died once for all.  If you have a personal relationship with Jesus; His blood will never lose it’s power.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh God, thank You for Your Word.  It is Your promise to me.  I not only read it and hear it but I choose to believe it.  Your Word is life to my body and health to my bones.  May I heed It all the days of my life.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Assignment Shift

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Devotion:  Matthew 4:19

God always has an assignment for you.  His assignments always line up with His will for your life. Sometimes His assignment for your life shifts.  He may take you to another place of service or He may keep you in the same place doing something different. His ways are higher than our ways.

God doesn’t ask us to agree with His assignments.  He just asks us to obey.  It may be something you have no desire to do; or it may be something you’ve always wanted to do but just never had a door to open for you.

There are a few questions you must ask yourself.  Am I open and available if my assignment changes?  The waiting time can be difficult.   One door has closed and another has yet to have opened.  You keep wondering what does God have in store for me?  The Bible promises He has great and mighty things about which you do not yet know.

There were many in the Bible who had assignment shifts.

Noah from being a crazy old man, to the wisest one in the world. David,  from being a shepherd to a king.                                       Esther from being an ordinary girl to a queen.                               Paul from being a persecutor of Christians to leading people to Christ.                                                                                             Simon and Andrew from fishermen to fishers of men.

The Bible is full of men who gave up their jobs to follow Christ. They had an assignment shift.  The Lord was faithful to choose them for just the right new assignment.  He will do the same for you.

Be ready.  It could be today, tomorrow, next week, next month or years from now but be ready to obey and follow Christ.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I want to obey when You call me to an assignment shift.  What you call me to do; You will equip me to do. May I wait patiently upon You both now and always.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen.

 

Shouldn’t Take Too Long

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Devotion:  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Over the course of the past two months; I’ve heard my husband say a number of times, “This shouldn’t take too long.”  We’ve laughed because almost everything has taken two to three times longer than we thought.

I’ve heard doctors, dentists, nurses, painters, flooring guys, plumbers and all sorts of people proclaim; “This shouldn’t take too long.”  We can make those declarations; however, until we get into a project or plan of action, you never know what you are going to encounter.  For every single thing my dear husband did to renovate; he had to either spend twice the time doing it or redo certain things.

Our God is a God of specific time.  Today’s verse declares it to be true.  So what is the thing for which you wish God would hurry up; the thing for which you have been praying?  You wonder if God has heard the cries of your prayers.  Of course He has; however, His timing is perfect.

The Lord is faithful to all who call upon Him.  He’s working in and through the situation.  He is a Gentleman, so He will never force Himself on any human being.  He wants you to trust Him with the timing.  I, for one am impatient.  God’s still working on that fourth fruit of the Spirit .  You see, I love to hear the dentist say, “This shouldn’t take too long.”  I love to hear the car repairman say; “This shouldn’t take too long.  I love to hear any person working in my house say, “This shouldn’t take too long.”  I must be patient, when plans are changed due to unexpected challenges.

For God, “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” His definition of “too long” is different from mine. He’s working all these things out for my good and His glory.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I be patient with people and with all You are doing. You send people into our lives to teach us and train us in righteousness.  I so long to be taught and trained by You.  May I wait upon You expecting to gain new strength.  May I run and not be weary and walk and not faint.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

Winners Either Way

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Devotion:  Hebrews 12:1

How can we do that in the midst of suffering?   I’ve known the following people for many years and I’ve watched them do life when it’s pleasant as well as when it’s not so pleasant.  They continue to look to the Author and Finisher of their faith.  They run the race in such a way as to win the prize.

Over the past month, I’ve heard that three of my good friends discovered they have cancer.  I hate the word.  I hate what it does to people.  There are those who are healed for a season. Then there are those who are healed for the rest of their days. There are also those who struggle through to the end.  They suffer pain, horrific sickness and weakness.

There are  times a person gets a good report.  My friend Linda is one such person.  She only has to take radiation and no chemotherapy for her breast cancer.  The cancer was removed and after her surgery; I saw on her refrigerator the words; “Today, I am cancer free.”  What a blessing, to be able to write those words.  Jesus, I pray You will totally eradicate that cancer from her body.

In the past two weeks my friend Patty’s brother was diagnosed with cancer.  My friend Dennis was just diagnosed with cancer. Another friend named Chuck just found out he has cancer. My friend Teresa has battled cancer for the last fifteen years.  A longtime friend and former neighbor named Becky had breast cancer along with a mutual friend named Joyce.

All of these people look so healthy on the outside.  The joy of the Lord is certainly their strength because they all have a personal relationship with Jesus.  Cancer does not define them.  Jesus will either heal them now, later or in eternity.  They are all winners either way.  How can this be possible?  …because they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He defines them.

Cancer is never easy to walk through.  Hearing the “C” word; is like having a death sentence stamped on your forehead. Although strangers do not know about my friends’ illness;. I would imagine it feels like everyone knows.  Their lives are forever changed.

These friends all just keep on living and doing what God has called them to do.  For some it’s praying.  For others it’s teaching or preaching.  All of these strong believers serve God’s kingdom in some capacity.  Each one of them would absolutely say; “I’m a winner either way.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, teach me to number my days that I may present to You a heart of wisdom.  I am a  winner whether I live or die.  You promised to never leave me nor forsake me. You are with me from life’s first breath until my final one.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

Seek the LORD

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Devotion: Isaiah 55:6-11

I am super excited!  I get to start studying this wonderful Old Testament Book in just a few weeks.  I will be taking a Precept Class taught by Lee Ann Hopkins.  She is anointed, called and chosen to teach this class, for such a time as this.

This familiar passage jumped off the pages of my Bible this morning; right into my mind and heart.  It caused me to sincerely ask myself; am I seeking the LORD while He may be found?  Am I calling upon Him while He is near?

Lately; I’ve been guilty of not spending too much time with my Best Friend.  Some of you will remember the song you sang as a child.  “My Best Friend is Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  My Best Friend is Jesus.  I love Him.”  I haven’t been seeking Him the way I use to, nor calling upon Him as often.

                                        …….Why?

Staying too busy….. I am guilty….. I am missing Him.  Isaiah begins in verse six with a beckoning.  With a heart full of love he begs us to seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.

Verse seven says.  “Let the wicked forsake His way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him and to our God For He will abundantly pardon.”

God in heaven; I cry out to You, the Living God, to forgive me for allowing the tyranny of the urgent to steal my time with You.  I know that verse eight is true: “Your thoughts are not my thoughts, nor my ways Your ways.  God, I acknowledge that Your ways are higher than mine and Your thoughts higher than mine.”

I confess I get so caught up in this world and the day to day distractions that come with it.  Thank You Lord for the knowledge that You will restore the time the locusts have eaten.  I believe You.

God, I am asking right now that You would reign down on every single person reading this post.  I pray You will meet each one at their point of need, whether it’s restoration of time, energy, lost income, pain in their body, a wayward child, a broken relationship; no matter what, God grant them their petitions and requests.

You are such a good God. I pray You will cause Your Word to rain down on each one and help them to know Your Word will not return void.  It will accomplish what You please and prosper in the thing for which You sent it.

I will close today with verses 12-13.  I know I am repeating today’s scripture but these verses are so powerful.

“You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree. And it shall be to the LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

I pray the Spirit of the Living God to fall freshly upon each one of you this very day.  I am so thankful for your faithfulness to our Lord.

Amen and Amen

 

Smitten by Christ

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Devotion:  Hebrews 12:2

As I read the prayer of my dear friend Cynde; she ended it with praying: “May our Jesus manifest Himself to you in a special way, that you might behold Him and be so smitten by Him that He flows in you and freely through you, as you live and move and have your being in Jesus.”  Those powerful words totally pierced me through.  On an early Tuesday afternoon; I experienced being smitten by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He made His presence know to me; right in my kitchen on Ferncliff Drive.  Praise His Holy Name.

Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit; I understood the word smitten.  Christ is the only one in whom we live and move and have our being.  Quite frankly; He’s the only One with whom we should be smitten.  Let’s look at a little bit of history for the word  smite.

“The word can be traced back to an Old English word meaning “to smear or defile” and is a distant relative of the Scottish word smit, meaning “to stain, contaminate, or infect.” In addition to the straightforward “strike” and “attack” senses, smitealso has a softer side. It can mean “to captivate or take”-a sense that is frequently used in the past participle in such contexts as “smitten by her beauty” or “smitten with him” (meaning “in love with him”).

How I pray you and I will infect other people with the love and truth of Christ Jesus.  My dear believer in the Savior; I ask the Lord to make you more and more smitten with Him.  I pray that we will become courageously contagious.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, thank you for bringing me into You innermost sanctuary.  I love You more and more with each passing day.  “The longer I serve You the sweeter You grow.”  “Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died. Draw me nearer nearer nearer blessed Lord, to Thy precious bleeding side.”  In Jesus Name.  Amen!

 

Settled in Heaven

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Devotion:  Psalm 119:89-94

The words, “Forever O LORD;”  jumped off the page and into my mind.  Forever.  Can we even begin to grasp the meaning of forever?  No earthly treasure, no person, no animal, no house, no car; nothing is built to last forever.  Some things are life time guaranteed but even those things don’t proclaim “forever.”

This passage declares that God’s Word is settled in heaven, forever.  His words are yes and amen and cannot be changed or revoked by any one.  His Word is just as true today as it was the moment it was penned onto parchment paper.  It was settled in heaven then and it’s settled in heaven now.

God’s law is to be our delight both now and always.  One of the names of Jesus is the Word.   He sits at the right hand of His Father interceding for us.  Every word Christ utters on our behalf is settled between He and His Father.  He is the Lord and He changes not.

When a judge utters a sentence for a person; it’s forever settled in the judge’s heart and mind.  It will remain true for the person for as long as the judge pronounces his or her sentence.  Our just Judge has written out our sentence as well.  We were condemned to die but when we believed in Jesus as our Lord and Savior; we became redeemed.  We are forever free in Christ and our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Our eternal life is settled in heaven both now and forever.  What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Lord, thank You for settling Your Word in heaven for me.  When I was condemned to die; you wrote a pardon for me.  No one can erase my name from the Lamb’s Book of Life.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  Amen