Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Devotions 25-04-07

Ps 91:14-16
"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and let him behold My salvation."

God will take care of me when I am in a love relationship with Him. His love is a deep caring love far greater than I can even imagine. It is not only my love for God but I know Him by name. His name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

Because I love my Father and know His name, I will call to Him when I am in trouble and He will answer me, He will rescue me and honor me. He will give me a long life and let me see and experience His wonderful salvation.

So what do I learn from these verses? The basis of prayer is loving God and knowing Him for who He is. I love Him because of His great love shown to me on the cross and His care of me through the years. He is the Wonderful Counselor who gives perfect counsel that I can trust completely. He is the Mighty God that is above all gods and everyone bows to Him in Heaven and Earth. He is the Everlasting Father that has no end. He will always be there for me. He is the Prince of Peace, the one who brings peace into the world and will someday bring eternal peace to the whole world.

Then God invites me to call to Him and He will answer and go far beyond what I could ask or think. So why do I not pray more? It is only because I become distracted by the unimportant and forget who God truly is!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Devotions 24-04-07

Ps 90:16-17
Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your majesty to their children. And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

Every one likes to see results from the work they are doing. I may not always be able to see the end results but I think it is ok for me to ask God to allow me to see what He is doing through my work in some degree. So I ought to pray that my children will be able to see the greatness and the majesty of God through my life and what I have sought to do for God's honor and glory.

I first prayed this thought of God confirming the work of our hands while stationed in Germany some 42 years ago. I think He has done that for Lou and me at various times over the years. To confirm means to give lasting value to what we are seeking to do in serving God. We believe God has done this for us since we have been in Estonia.

Lord, thanks for the permanence which we see You doing in the lives of people that You have brought into our ministry. We trust You are doing more than what we are able to see and we give You all the praise. We are grateful for the favor You have shown us and continue to ask that You would favor us with Your many blessings.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Devotions 18-04-07

Ps 86:11-13
Faithfulness springs from the earth; and righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its produce. Righteousness will go before Him, and will make His footsteps into a way.

Faithfulness or truth is the responsibility of men to the works of God. It is His righteousness that comes down from heaven to guide us and to direct us in what we are to do. Oh, how hard it is for me to be faithful in what I should do. I try to do so much and end up not being faithful in what is truly important.

God will always give what is good because that is His very nature. Oh, that I would appreciate more the goodness of God. If I am faithful to His righteousness then the land of Estonia will yield its produce of godly men and women. That is why Lou and I came to Estonia to be available to God to do through us.

As God does righteousness in Estonia then His footsteps will become a way for others to follow. There is such a hunger that people have to know the way of godliness and the way of God's blessings. I need wisdom and His strength to do the work of His righteousness and to be faithful to the ministry He has given me here in Estonia.

Lord, I thank You for the strength You have given me but also for the weakness that I have as well. I know I must be faithful at the tasks you have given me and to be diligent to follow Your footsteps of righteousness and faith. Give me discernment in what is Your way and what are the distractions of other ways that may be good but not the best. I know Your way is the very best and I long to be in that way. I long to see the fruit of Your righteousness in the lives of the people of Estonia. I long to see true discipleship begin to reproduce in the lives of Your people in this land.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Devotions 16-04-07

Ps 84:12
O Lord of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!

We had a great team retreat in Roosta with Stella, Piret and Robert. It was our second disciple seminar retreat. Each one seems to get a little better and we draw closer to each other and have more clarity in what we should be doing in reaching the people of Estonia. We had a great time on our way back to Tallinn when we stopped at the ruins of an old monastery in a very small town in the country.

Yesterday Lou and I took the day off and had a good time in prayer walking along the beach in Pirita. We prayed for our Estonian team and for the work of God in Estonia. We ended up in Kadriog at the Park Cafe and had a relaxing time before heading home.

Yesterday was also a tragic event in the US with the shooting at Virginia Tech and 33 young students were killed and 29 injured by a lone gunman. Oh, Lord use this to wake up students in our country to the brevity of life and the need to place their trust in God.

So the verse today is very important to remember. I must keep putting my trust in You and seeking to know You more personally.

There is no one more trustworthy than God. He is the Lord of hosts and He is in control of all the situations of life. He is not the author of evil but He is not surprised at what is happening but is trying to get everyone to wake up to the fact that life is short and I and everyone else must be ready to meet God in eternity. For sure I am not in control of things that happen to me. Lord minister to hurting people who have lost loved ones and need Your comfort.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Devotions 12-04-07

Ps 83:4,12,17-18
v4 They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." v12 Who said, "Let us possess for ourselves the pastures of God." v17-18 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever; and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

This sounds like today's news in the Middle East with the Muslim countries saying they are going to wipe out the nation of Israel. They will end up just like their forefathers and maybe even worse. When I read this from the bible which was written over 2,000 years ago it makes me more confident that the Word of God is truly the Words of God.

The land of Israel is truly the pastures of God and that will never change. He may let others live in this land for awhile but it is still the land of God's special people and the nation of Israel. We are living in exciting days as we see this whole picture unfold.

Soon the whole world will know that God the Lord is the MOST HIGH over all the earth. God is doing this so He can show to everyone who is the One who is in control of the Earth and the nations on it.

Lord, I do stand in awe of You and all You are doing in our world. Lord, help me to stay focused on You and what You want to accomplish in the lives of people who can minister to their family and friends and those they meet in the process of life. Lord, we need Your help and Your strength to do all of this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Devotions 11-04-07

Ps 81:8-10
"Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! "Let there be no strange god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god. "I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

God wants to give good things to His people and He urges me to listen to His advice. He is speaking to Israel but it surely applies to all who worship the Lord, and I am one of those. Am I so busy with my plans that I do not listen to what God has to say to me.

God says to not have strange gods and not to worship foreign gods. In America we are doing both these days. We are allowing Islam, Buddha and other foreign gods to have freedom in our country that is undermining our values as Christians. We want to give them freedom to worship as they please but soon they will be taking away our rights because that is part of their belief system.

O Lord, I want to worship You alone and to pay so close attention to what You say and be ever so eager to receive all You desire to give to me and my family.

Your word to me today is to listen to what You are saying to me when I am in Your Word. It is good advice that I must pay close attention. I must not allow other gods to influence me in any way and that includes foreign gods. There is only one God who is the creator and the Savior of all who will put their faith in Him.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Devotions 10-04-07

Ps 78:70-72
He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from the care of the ewes with suckling lambs He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, so he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands.

God chose a servant to lead His people and to make them a great nation. God is the Almighty and sovereign Lord. David came from the fields where he was caring for sheep and learning how to provide for them. He did it faithfully with sheep and God gave him people to shepherd in the same way.

David had an honest heart and he was skilled in warfare. God places a high value on honesty because He is honest and trustworthy. He also looks for someone who is skilled and who will work to remain skilled. David was such a man.

David had a servant heart, an honest heart and was skillful in what he did. I think this is a good combination that God is looking for in the lives of His children. In whatever God created me to be I must be a servant and honest and be skillful in His task that He has for me.

I have a great desire to be a good servant of God and to be a man of integrity and to be skillful in what I do. I am not sure that I am very skillful in discipling others but I want to be. It is amazing how clear things can be at one time and so fuzzy at another. I think prayer is the difference. Lord, help me to pray as I ought. I pray for this coming weekend that You would give me wisdom in what I should do with this small Nav team.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Devotions 08-04-07

Ps 78:5-8
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.

There is so much in these four verses about what God expects of us and what we should do with the generations that follow us. We must not get so busy in our own world of serving the Lord that we forget to minister to the next generation. They must carry on what we have learned and pass it on to their generation. A very clear mandate on reproduction not just physically but spiritually as well. To reproduce physically is only half the task God has given us. We must also reproduce spiritually.

God establishes a testimony first and then gives us commandments to obey that will help us in our reproducing of Godly values to the next generation. These values are to put their confidence in God and to trust Him for all their needs. Not to rely on their strength but on God's. They must find ways to not forget the works of God which He is constantly doing in our world and for us personally. He has graciously given us commands that we must obey if we are going to be successful at the task God has given us.

We must be a generation that prepares our hearts in prayer and meditation and have a spirit that is faithful to God. I must have this in my life and seek to reproduce this in the lives of my children and grandchildren both physically and spiritually.

Today is Easter and it has been a very good day in many ways. God, You have allowed us to see some fruit of Your working through us in the lives of those we came to share Your truths with. Lord thank You for the privilege of being here these many years and to see what You have done through us. What a wonderful gift to us to see Your work in the lives of others. Lord, help me to seek to apply these truths to my life in the days and months ahead. I give You all the glory and praise.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Devotions 07-04-07

Ps 77:11-13
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God?

It is good to remember the things God has done in the world in general and for others we hear about. It is especially good that I remember what He has done for me and my family. I can relate the things in my lifetime with those actions that God did ages ago.

I must purpose to think seriously and mull over in my mind and heart the works of God and what He has done for good and evil. God blesses the righteous and brings judgement on that which is evil.

God's ways are good and He is holy and just.There is no god like our God. The events of the world and the ages give a clear account of the greatness of the God of the Bible.

I must do more meditating on the actions of God in my world and in my life. I want to be able to speak clearly and with power and accuracy of all the works of God. Of course the greatest act of power and love is my salvation and how God has changed my lite. Lord, give me grace and strength to be a more verbal witness of You love and Grace.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Devotions 05-04-07

Ps 76:1-3
God is known in Judah; His name is great in Israel, and His tabernacle is in Salem; His dwelling place also is in Zion. There He broke the flaming arrows, the shield and the sword, and the battles of war. Selah

God is known in a personal way in Judah. This is the way that God wants all His children to know Him. He wants me to know His great love for me but also how He hates sin and all the evil that could destroy me. He wants me to know His character and the way that He does things so I might represent Him accurately.

His name is great in Israel because the people of Judah have told others because of their personal knowledge of Him. So I must do the same in my world and seek to know God so closely and then to tell others how great God is. This is not because I have heard of Him but because I know Him personally and I fellowship with Him daily.

In this personal relationship with God I have been with Him where He dwells in Salem, the city of Peace. Not physically but in my spirit. God's peace floods my being when I am in His presence. Jesus said in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace...." How wonderful to have the peace of God in our lives throughout our lives.

Not only does God dwell in Salem but He also dwells in Zion. Zion reveals the power of God. It is here that He does battle with all that is evil and wicked. He broke the flaming arrows as well as the shield and the sword and all the instruments of war. In fact some day He will destroy even the battles of war and there will be none; only His Peace.

What a wonderful picture for me to follow in my personal walk with God. 1st I must seek to know Him and grow in my knowledge of Him every day of my life

2nd I must tell others of His greatness so the whole world around me is aware of the greatness of my God. He is great and there is no one like Him.

3rd as I know Him and understand His greatness then I will experience the Peace which only He can give. In fact He dwells in the city of Salem or the city of peace. This city is Jerusalem and someday God will dwell there and rule the world in Peace.

4th there is Zion which demonstrates the power of God. God also dwells here to crush all that is evil and wicked and will someday defeat war and there will be no more. So I must join my Lord in this battle both to bring people to know Him but to also deliver those who are captured by evil and held as slaves today. This is a spiritual war for the souls of me. The weapons are love and grace.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Devotions 04-04-07

Ps 75:7
But God is the judge; He puts down one, and exalts another.

It is difficult when a christian works so hard to lead a ministry and then he is removed and another is put in his place. I feel for Dave and his not knowing why the change was made. He is trusting God and seeking to understand but it is still difficult.

It is comforting to know that God is just and has my best interest in what ever He allows me to experience. He is the Judge and He gives me whatever position He wants me to have. One thing I learn is that position is only a place to serve God in whatever He wishes. I must not turn from any position God wants to give me but neither is it a place to desire for my benefit. The Lord is my Judge and I must rest in whatever He decides for me.

I am so grateful that I can trust the Lord with my life completely. It is easy to say sometimes but very hard to experience when things happen to you that you do not really understand. I must not forget that God is the judge over me and over all people. He does what is right and what fits into His plans.