Thursday, November 30, 2006

Devotions 30-11-06

Job 31:1
" I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?"

Job is describing his integrity to his friends and accusers and he begins with this statement. I think this is the basis of all integrity. God decided to have Job write this at the top of his list. God in His creation designed male and female. It is a beautiful relationship but it must be handled according to God's design. Satan wants to destroy and see this relationship used in a way that will hurt one another and not encourage and build up one another.

Young ladies are beautiful and God designed them this way. They must be protected and handled wisely. Young men must be taught how precious they are and help them to relate to each other in a way that will make life a treasure to them and enable them to honor God in their relationship. We must be honest with one another and with God in how He created us.

Lord, I want to honor Lou in keeping my eyes only for her. She is beautiful in her spirit and her desire to follow Your design in our relationship. I am so grateful for her and Your giving me her as my lover and friend. Help us to model how You would want a man and woman to relate and to serve You. Lord, Your ways are best and it fits the way You have made us. Help me Lord to do what is right!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Devotions 29-11-06

Job 30
Job is humiliated due to his loss and the unconcern of others. Some even take the advantage to laugh and scorn the man who has helped so many and has been generous to others in need. Some like to see someone that is wealthy to lose everything and to know what it feels like to be poor. Job demonstrates by his character and perseverance his confidence in God and why God blessed his life to gain all he had and the respect he had earned.

The whole chapter is how humiliated he is in losing everything and losing the respect and honor that he once had. He is not complaining about his place of honor in the community which he has lost but he is appalled at how quickly those who once honored him now are ignoring him or scorning him.

Job experienced a little of what Jesus faced many years later. I guess many of God's servants have gone through times of great trials and suffering for various reasons but not because of sin. Not that any were perfect but it was not because of some great sin that God was judging them for.

From Job's experience it seems that humiliation is good for my soul and character. I am so prideful and so selfish that to have nothing but God is something I need to experience at times in my life. It is not easy and I do not think anyone should pray for this but it does give one a greater focus on God. Lord, I am grateful for difficult times and I do want to learn from them all to keep my focus on You and not anything else.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Devotions 28-11-06

Job 29: 2-4
"Oh that I were as in months gone by, as in the days when God watched over me; When His lamp shone over my head and by His light I walked through darkness; As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship of God was over my tent;"

It is good to reflect on days when I felt used by God and God was blessing me in what I was seeking to do. Yet the days of difficulty are just as important and maybe even more important. These days are days of refining my faith and purifying my commitment to God regardless of the circumstances. I Pet 1:6-7 says "in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;" There are things more important than success and being used by God in ministry. It is my faith in Him and my confidence in Him no matter what is happening in my life.

I feel so good when God is doing great things through me but there can be an element of pride in this even though I am seeking to give God the glory. After I have gone through a few tests of my faith the pride factor is greatly diminished. I can be more relaxed and give God all the glory and my pride in minimized.

Lord, thank You for those trials that You have brought into my life to refine my faith and improve my character. I have moaned and groaned and cried a lot but I see now how important they were for me to learn to love You more deeply and more sincerely. Help my children to also learn these truths as they go through the difficult times of life. Lord through it all our focus must be on You and making our will Yours. Thank You Lord for Your great love and mercy to me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Devotions 27-11-06

Job 28: 12,15,28
"But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? "Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, nor can silver be weighted as its price. "And to man He said, "Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.' "

I just finished reading Daniel a few days ago and Daniel was a man of wisdom. It was true of him that he feared the Lord and he resisted the temptation to do evil. It is so easy to think that wisdom is being able to make a lot of money but verse 15 says that pure gold can not to be exchanged for wisdom and neither can silver. When I fear God and only Him then He can trust me with His wisdom. I also need to have a strong resolve to not do evil. This is accomplished only by a submissive spirit to God and His ways.

Lord, I am in awe of the simplicity of Your wisdom and yet realize the price of being totally submissive to Your will and none of mine. I know that is worth far more than anything I could possess yet it is fearful to be without any desire of my own but to serve You and honor You; that I would fear You above all things that exist.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Devotions 26-11-06

Job 23:8-10
"Behold, I go forward but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; when He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

Job is an amazing man who has such confidence in God when He is going through such suffering . It is not because of any sin in His life but to show satan that Job will not turn from God in trials but will faithfully follow Him.

Job is looking for God but he is not able to find Him but he is confident that God knows where he is and will bless him in the end. Oh, that I could face difficulties and not be such a wimp and feel that God is angry with me when things go wrong.

I know that God's ways are perfect and that He loves me far more than I can imagine. Whatever tests He brings into my life is for my good and that He is always with me. I must relax and rest in His mighty plan for me and Lou and our family. I do love You Lord!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Devotions 25-11-06

I Thess 5: 14
"And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men"

I seem to have gotten stuck in the last chapter of I Thess. I just have seen some things that I feel God wants me to do some thinking on before I move on. Lord, help me to pay close attention to what You want me to reflect on each and every day.

So God tells me to admonish or give strong advice to those that are undisciplined. Life requires a lot of discipline if we are to succeed or to accomplish what we really want to do. God wants us to learn the value of discipline for our good and for those that we love.

Then there is the fainthearted. To admonish them would make them even more fainthearted. What they need is to be encouraged. My responsibility is to find out how I can encourage them. Maybe it is to do something fun together or just to pray with them. My goal is to strengthen their heart to do what is right.

Then there is the weak. They do not need admonishing and neither will they respond to encouragement. They just need someone to help them and show them that they are truly loved. Help them with their studies that they are bogged down with and feel that they just can not do it. Help them with that letter that they need to write but just cannot seem to get started.

To understand these three needs requires me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to respond accordingly. My goal must be to restore others so they might be able to live a life of fruitfulness and purpose. Satan wants us to become lazy and undisciplined or fainthearted and discouraged or weak and feeling like we can do nothing but cry or sleep.

I am thankful Lord for those who have been sensitive to me and known when to admonish me or encourage me or to help me. I have been in each of these situations and have experienced the wrong kind of advice as well as the right kind of advice. The wrong advice weakened me more and the right advice lifted me out of my difficulties. Lord help me to stay sensitive to where others are struggling with issues in their lives. Help me to choose the right actions to take.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Devotions 24-11-06

I Thess 5: 19-21

"Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

Yesterday I saw these verses and wanted to think on them today before moving on to other things. First I do not want to quench the Spirit. How do I do this? I think I quench the Spirit when I am not listening to what He is trying to say to me either through the Scriptures or in my spirit. This is where sin really trips me up because sin does quench the Spirit. Someone who is a prophet is many times not a very friendly person and I want to stay away from them. I want to appreciate what they are saying but I can despise them if I am not careful.

But there is a warning that whatever a prophet says must be examined because there can be prophets that are not speaking as they ought from God but may be speaking from themselves which is no good. These are called false prophets! That is the reason God has given us His Word so we can examine what people are saying to see if it really is from God.

I am to hold fast to what is good and to not be involved in anything that is evil. Am I holding fast to those things I know is good or do I let others or circumstances pull me away? Of course sin or evil is the pull that often gets me away from doing what is good. I must learn to hate evil and avoid evil and pursue holiness.

I need to meditate on these thoughts today. What is the good I am doing that I must continue and how would satan want to distract me from this good. Am I listening to the Spirit as I ought and what are the things that would quench the Spirit from working in my life. Give me the alertness to examine what I see or what I hear and not to believe in others too quickly. Most of all help me to pursue holiness and to hate evil. Thank You Lord for Your Word and Your warnings of what I should avoid and the encouragement to do what is right and will be a blessing to me and all who know me.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Devotions 23-11-06

I Thess 5:18 Happy Thanksgiving
"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

This is a powerful verse and requires for me to have a deep confidence in the sovereignty of God. I am to give thanks for the good and the bad. It is easy to give thanks for the successes but not so easy for my failures. To give thanks for good and wise decisions but hard when I make foolish and unwise decisions. This is God's will for me as I live out my life in Christ.

What do I have to give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day-the bad first. I lost part of a filling in one of my teeth yesterday, I am a week late in turning in a finance report, my wife is in another city with our daughter on this day, one of my other teeth is not feeling well and I should see a dentist for both of these, I am away from home and the comforts of home. My daughter is going through some very difficult times in her life. She could lose everything she has due to financial difficulties. Yet God is sustaining me and is giving me good things as well.

I am not sick today and can enjoy this Thanksgiving with friends that I have known for years. I am spending Thanksgiving with Jack and Carole Mayhall who I deeply respect and have admired over the years. My wife is able to be with my daughter to help her during some very difficult times in her life. I have a wonderful family with fourteen wonder grandchildren. I have been able to see five of them while on this trip. God has provided a place for me to stay that is not costing me anything while on this trip. The blessing of God would fill fill a page and far overshadows the difficulties I have. It is truly a day to be Thankful!

Lord, I could never Thank You enough for all You have done for me. I pray I would freely express my Thanks to You before others so You would be honored. You have given to me so freely and so richly and I am forever grateful.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Devotions 22-11-06

II Cor 6:17-18
"Therefore come out from their midst and be separate" says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty.

These are the promises that are referred to in II Cor 7:1. It is part of my responsibility to clease myself and to perfect holiness in my life. This truth is not telling me to avoid sinners but to not indulge in what they fill their lives with that is dishonoring to the Lord.

The promise is that God will welcome me as His son and He will be my father. What a wonderful and awesome promise. This is not salvation but a relationship based on my obedience to what God desires from His children. I become God's child by faith but my relationship grows as I obey His truths that protect me and honors Him.

Lord, it is so difficult to perfect holiness in my life while seeking to reach the lost in the world in which we live. Give me a greater resolve to obey Your truths and not allow the world to pull me into those actions or attitudes that hurt my relationship with You.

Devotions 21-11-06

II Cor 7;1-3
"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Make room for us in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one. I do not speak to condemn you; for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together."

There is sure a lot of thoughts in this brief passage and I am not going to cover it fully but point out some key areas I see. The first, is the responsibility I have to cleanse my life of defilement of the flesh and spirit. God does the cleansing but I must do the confessing and turning from those things that will defile me. There is a matter of obedience to God's Word that I must do. In doing this I perfect by God's grace holiness in my life through my fear or deep reverence of God.

The second thought is what I shared yesterday on being open hearted to each other. Do we really love each other and are we ready to live together and to die together. I think I am ready to do this but I am not sure if this is in the thoughts of others that much. I am not sure we are teaching this truth to others that much.
It is this commitment to each other that gives us the strength and courage to battle the enemy and to fight for the souls of men and women.

Lord, I thank you for those You have given me over the years that do have such a like heartedness. I have been able to keep serving because of Your people who love me and stand with me through good times and hard times. Lord, continue to give me the strength and the holiness of character to teach others this important truth from Your Word. To You belongs all the Glory and Honor.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Devotions 20-11-06

II Cor 6:11-13
" Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. Now in a like exchange--I speak as to children--open wide to us also."

An important part of growth in the Christian life is to make our hearts open to those we are seeking to help. If I am open hearted to others it will help them to be open hearted to me. Many times it is really hard for new believers to be open hearted to others. Maybe they have been burned before when they have tried to do this. Paul was facing this with the Corinthians. He was urging them to open up their hearts to him so he might be able to help them. It is not possible to help anyone very much when they are not open hearted to me.

What prevents me from having an open heart to others? Fear of being misunderstood or being hurt or just lack of trust. Being open hearted is difficult when I am struggling or I am confused about what I should be doing. If I can be open hearted with a close friend may help me to be more open hearted with God. For sure I must learn to be open hearted with someone who is seeking to help me in my relationship with God if I want to grow in maturity.

It is so easy to just struggle on your own and not share your heart with others. It is scary at times to be so very honest with others when you are not sure they have your best interest at heart. That is why I need to be with God more and share my heart with Him. He does know what is best and He loves me and I must believe that with all my heart.

Devotions 19-11-06

II Cor 5:20-21
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us ; we beg you in behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Not only did God make me a new person but He gave me a new responsibility. I am now an ambassador for Him. How can I make such a great leap from being a person lost in sin to being an ambassador for the God of the universe. I do it not in my strength but because of His presence in my life. I make myself available to God and He does all the work. I just have the privilege of being used by Him to impact other individuals and make Christ known to the world around me.

As God's ambassador I urge others to give their lives to the One who can make it far more wonderful than they could possible imagine. I now have the righteousness of God because I am now in Christ. Yes, that is a miracle to good to be true but it is so very true.

Lord, I am so grateful for this marvelous privilege to be Your ambassador and to have a purpose in life is far more than anything else in the whole world. Lord, give me the strength to worship You and honor You as I seek to represent You as I should in a world that ignores You and lives such messed up lives so full of misery and suffering. You are so worthy to be honored and Your life of peace and joy is so better than anything else that is offered by anyone.

Devotions 18-11-06

II Cor 5:17
"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away, behold, new things have come."

This verse and Rom 10:9-10 were key in my coming to Christ some 50+ years ago. The next day after praying and asking Jesus to come into my life I woke up to a new world of peace that I had never known. It seemed that everything was new and alive to me and I felt like a new person. This did not last a day or a month or a few years but now it is 52 years later. People can say all they want to about Christianity being a fable or a crutch or whatever but I know that Christ changed my life and I have not been the same since.

I do not mean to imply that I have not had any problems since then but the things of the past do not have a grip on my life and I have the power to resist evil that I did not have before Christ became my Savior. I have been refreshed more everyday that I have had in the presence of God. Sometime this week I think I will write out this experience as a fresh reminder of how this all happened.

Lord, what a privilege to have a relationship with You that has totally changed my life. I do not want to stop with what I have been given but I want to keep sharing this with others so they might have the same. Lord, I know You give the strength to share this good news with others and that You will lead me to those who You are working in their lives. Just as You worked in my life when I was 21 years old.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Devotions 17-11-06

Rom 10:9-10
"...that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation."

I did this 50+years ago and I know my life was completely changed. I have lived differently ever since and I have grown in my relationship with God. I should be more mature in Christ than I am but I am grateful for the maturity He has given to me. God continues to give me strength to serve Him even at the age of 73. I know there are others that are still serving Him at the age of 90 and above. I pray God would be gracious to give me such a life if He so desires.

I pray I would be more bold in sharing Christ with those around me and have answers for those who are struggling with the lies that are in the world. I live in a day where boldness needs to freely expressed and allow God to change the hearts of those who hear.

Lord give me that unashamed freedom of speech in sharing the news of what Jesus Christ has come to give to everyone who would make Him a part of their lives by faith. Lord, it is not dependent only on me because You are the One who changes hearts but You do desire for me to be the messenger for You. Oh, Lord help me to be a faithful messenger!

Devotions 16-11-06

Ps 16:11
"You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever."

This is a very encouraging verse for me. It reminds me of the faithfulness of God and what He will do for me. Regardless of what life may bring me I know that He is giving me the path to follow. As I go down this path and follow Him, He will give me pleasures that are eternal. Not just temporary pleasures that are for a moment and then gone but ones that have eternal values and purposes.

I do not need to search for this path but simply trust Him who knows me and knows what is the best for me. He will make this path known to me because He loves me and I am seeking to be with Him. It is being close to Him which is my responsibility and He will do the rest.

What a wonderful promise from this Psalm. I have memorized it many years ago but I still meditate on it and am blessed every time I do. I pray this truth would be so solid in my being that nothing can jar me from this wonderful truth.

Devotions 15-11-06

Eph 2:8-9
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

This is a wonderful truth found in many places in the bible but this verse says it so very clearly and so simply. God who is the author of grace and the one who defines grace has given to me something which I do not deserve and something I could never gain on my own. It is salvation from a life controlled by my own selfish desires without any care for others. It is a gift which can neither be bought or earned. It can only be received by faith and with gratefulness.

The reason is so I have nothing to boast about but to worship the Lord of all creation. He has done it all and I owe Him everything even my very life.

I am so grateful for the completeness and the clarity of what it means to be a believer in Christ. I do not have a lot of rules to follow nor am I required to be religious but simple to believe in Jesus Christ the very Son of the living God of all creation. Thank You Lord!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Devotions 14- 11- 06

John 5:24
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me , has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." Note that it is Jesus that is making this statement.

Jesus says that those who truly listens to what He is saying and believes in God who sent Him has eternal life and will not come into any kind of judgment but has passed out of death into a new and wonderful life.

All I have to do is to listen to what Jesus is saying and to believe that the Almighty God has sent Him will receive eternal life. It is further confirmed that I will not face any sort of judgment but I have passed out of death due to my sin to have a life that is eternal.

It is truly amazing that such a Salvation is provided in this way by the one who has created me. Is it really true and will this happen to anyone who will believes? It did happen to me and I am eternally grateful to my Lord and Savior who died for me and rose again from the dead and forever interceeds for me.

Devotions 13-11-06

I think it is time for me to review some of the verses I have memorized on the Gospel. John 1: 12-13"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God."

It is so clear and so simple that all I must do to become a child of God is to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He then gives me the authority to become His child and even to those who just believe in His name by faith. At this time I have a new birth which is not from the blood of other human beings, not from the determination of my flesh or from the determined will of man but it is totally from God Almighty.

It is so obvious that there is nothing I do to earn or gain this position with God but it is one that is given to me on the basis of faith in what Jesus Christ has done for me.

God, I am so grateful for all You have done for me on the basis of what Your Son Jesus did willingly on the cross. I have done nothing but to believe in You by faith and receive You into my life by faith. Lord give me a growing appreciation and solid conviction that my salvation is based on Your work and nothing that I do except to believe and to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior by faith.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Devotions 12-11-06

Job 14
In this chapter Job is expressing the hopeless of man. He does not know of the joy of the Lord. He does know that God is the Almighty but he does not know of God's mighty grace and the joy He wants to give to us. He does not have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe. Jesus has not yet come and revealed the character and great love of God.

This is the time to review the gospel of Christ and to remember all that God has done for me in His Son Jesus. I have become a child of God by faith and I now call God my Father. I have been given peace that is beyond understanding. I have joy unspeakable and full of glory. So I obey Phil 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice." as the apostle Paul wrote.

Lord what a privilege I have in Christ and how quickly I forget all He has done for me. Oh, God refresh me and others today who need to return to the joy that is in You. Remind me of all the great things You have done for me and comfort me in Your great love and mercy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Devotions 11-11-06

II Tim 2:1-2
"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men , who will be able to teach others also."

This past week I have been stirred to a deeper conviction that working with individuals is still the best way in building in the lives of others. Jesus set the example and all the apostles followed His example. I am so grateful for the men who have worked in such a way in my life and I have been rewarded so much in working with others in the same way.

My time in Estonia has been so rich and rewarding in meeting with individuals that have responded to the scriptures and following Jesus wholeheartedly.

It truly is amazing Grace! Lord thank You for the privilege of being Your messenger to such wonder children You have brought into Your family of God. Lord, help us to finish well and to honor You and to be productive for Your honor and glory.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Devotions 10-11-06

Micah 6:8
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

In order to finish my pilgrim walk with God I must apply this verse to my life. To do justice is to do what is right! To love kindness is to be sensitive to others. And the last is to live a life of humility.

I learned this week that Jesus did just this from the cross as He died. He cried out "My God and My Father" which is a picture of His humility in submitting to His Father; when He said "It is finished" He was stating a fact that He had done what He had come to do which was an example of His integrity; and when He said to John "behold your mother and mother behold your son" He was showing His sensitivity.

Lord, ennable me to live my life in humility and integrity and with sensitivity. I know this is not easy but it is my goal and my desire as a son of the Almighty God.

Devotions 09-11-06

Isaiah 54:2-3
"Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will posssess nations, and they will resettle the desolate cities."

I was reminded of this promise this week and want to spend some time meditating on it as it applies to us living in Estonia. I believe you have given us some descendants that will minister in Estonia but also to other nations. I need to pray this for those in Estonia that we are ministering to. I need to share with them more fully the value and thrill of this promise for their lives as well.

Lou and I must enlarge the ministry You have given us and stretch out the curtains to involve more people. We must lengthen the cords of love and strengthen the pegs of discipline and training.

Lord, this is your ministry and I know I must pray more and be in Your Word more to see You accomplish what You desire to do in Estonia.

Devotions 08-11-06

Isaiah 43:4
"Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give you other men in your place and other peoples in exhcange for your life."

I believe this is a promise we can apply to our lives just as those of old applied it to their lives. Because I know that I am precious to God and He has shown His love to me in sending His Son, Jesus to die for me. Now if I will give my life in helping others to walk with God than He will give me others that will take my place when I must move on to other places and someday to go to be with Him. I pray the Lord will give me men and women who will serve God long after I leave Estonia and return to the USA to be with my children and grandchildren.

Lord, I am so grateful for the people You have given to Lou and me as we have invested our lives in some very dear people who we have come to love so very much. You have proven to me that this promise is true and You will do what You have promised.

Devotions 07-11-06

II Pet 1:4
"For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust."

I am reminded of the wonderful promises that God has given to me in His Word. God calls them precious and magnificent. I heard a wonderful message on this truth today and was stirred to examine some of these in the days ahead. God is saying to me that it is by His promises that I can have a part in His divine nature and escape the corruption that is all around me.

Lord, I want to make these promises to all believers mine by prayerfully applying them to what I think and do. I need faith to believe and strength to act on the faith that You give. Thank You for making available to me these so very wonderful promises.

Devotions 06-11-06

Job 13:15
"Though He slay me, I will hope in Him."

Sometimes I feel like God is about to slay me and I am anxious about what is ahead. Job was in that situation but he did not lose his confidence in God. He told his friends that even if God was going to let him die he would continue to keep his trust and hope in Him.

Lord, I want to have such a peace and confidence and hope in You. I know You love me because of what Jesus has done for me and I know your way is perfect so help me to rest completely in You.

Devotions 05-11-06

Job 12:13
"With Him are wisdom and might; to Him belong counsel and understanding "

It is not the wisdom of the world but God's wisdom that will fulfill my life and give me purpose. Not only wisdom but the strength to do what I know I must do. Then on top of all of this there is His counsel that will provide direction and advice on all of life's issues plus give me understanding as to what is going on around us.

There is a lot in this verse that I need to apply to my life and to remember in my everyday living. I need wisdom and strength and counsel and understanding. I know that God has all these
and He is eager to give them to me if I am in a right relationship with Him.

Lord give me the strength to seek you and to order my life in such a way that I am able to learn from You and to apply to my life the qualities of life that are Yours. Thank You Lord for reminding me of who You are and what You have available to me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Devotions 04-11-06

Job 11: 1-3
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered, "Shall a multitude of words go unanswered, and a talkative man be acquitted? Shall your boasts silence men? And shall you scoff and none rebuke?..."

Zophar answers Job and rebukes him for his honest questions as to what is happening to him. Zophar should have known Job better and should have been more comforting but that is the way I am sometime. I want to fix people the quickest way I can and it is hard to walk with someone through all they are suffering and be an encouragement to them and help us all to see what God is saying.

What Zophar is saying has much truth in it but it appears that Job probably shared with Zophar these same truths at one time. Zophar is not telling Job anything new and he is not being sensitive in how he is sharing. There is so much to learn from this book of Job in how to minister to our fellow believers. I have the advantage of knowing the full story and know what God is doing with Job. Yet to know how to do this right is not easy and would require much prayer and wisdom.

Lord, thank You for all the truths You have made known to me in this book of suffering. Help me know how to apply this to the way I deal with people. Help me to know how to handle difficult situations in my own life and those in my family.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Devotions 03-11-06

Job 10
Job is trying to understand why God is allowing all his suffering to take place. He is not angry at God because he knows that is futile and wrong. He is asking the big "why" question. What have I done that would merit this suffering to come upon me. God is silent and so Job must continue to trust Him.

I am sure most every believer has experienced some of this in their walk with God. I have had this feeling when I thought I was walking intimately with God. It is not a good feeling. I learned a lot about myself through this and realized that I was not as righteous as I thought I was. What God did to me was what I truly needed. I was not sick like Job but I felt greatly misunderstood by others. God comforted and encouraged me through His Word and revealed to me how much He loved me.

Prov 3:5-6 is the answer to Job and to everyone having hard times for no apparent reason. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." God will do what is best for us if we will obey Him and trust Him! This is not easy to do but it is the best way to go.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Devotions 02-11-06

Job 9: 1-4
" can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times. Wise in heart and mighty in strength, who has defied Him without harm?"

The first question is answered in Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can make us right before God. Even in Job's day he could only be right with God through faith in the coming Messiah. Job is right in who can dispute with God or defiy Him and not come away the loser for it. He is the Almighty God! There is none other!

Yet we know the love of God in Jesus and know that God has an incredible love for us and is wanting to give us good things if we would only obey Him and serve Him- Psalm 84:11. It is for our good that He requires this.

I have a great respect for Job and His trust in God when he did not have near the information that we have and did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit and know what God's Son would do for all mankind. He was an amazing godly man.

Lord, help me to be obedient to Your Word and to act upon all that You have given to me over the years. I must grow in humility and draw upon Your grace and wait patiently for Your leading and guidance. Your are the Almighty and most gracious God. What a privilege to know You.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Devotions 01-11-06

Job 8: 5-7
"If you would seek God and implore the compassion of the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, surely now He would rouse Himself for you and restore your righteous estate. Though your beginning was insignificant, yet your end will increase greatly."

This all sounds so true and in many ways it is except God has the choice to do as He pleases and He knows what is best for us. This is so hard for us to understand because we think if we do all the right things everything will go perfect. That is not reality or the way life is.

God has tests and trials to perfect our faith and to demonstrate to a watching world that God is able to give us peace and joy regardless of our situation. I Pet 1:6-7 is clear on this truth and also I Pet 4: 12-13.

Lord, help me to remember when things are tough that I will rest in you and seek to honor You in all my trials and difficulties. I know that much of my difficulties is because of my own sin and I want to repent of those as quickly as I am able. Help me to cling to Your Word and the promises of forgiveness and strength after I have turned to You from my ways that get me often in trouble. You are the Almighty and I desire to honor You in every way.