Devotions 25-03-08 (Eph 6:19)
"and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,"The apostle Paul is writing these thoughts through the work of the Holy Spirit. I am amazed at the simplicity and how specific this request is. I must do the same as I express my requests to others and to God. In fact this very prayer is so important to all of us. I think if I would express this in my own words it would be:"pray for me that I could speak out clearly by opening my mouth and explain with eagerness and freedom and conviction how wonderful is the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ"Regardless of how spiritual I am or how successful I am I still must work at the basic issues that God knows I must be doing. Sharing my faith and explaining how great is the salvation that God has provided for me and for the world.Lord, this is my prayer request as well. I must be more eager to share my faith and not get bogged down in activities and projects and fail to open my mouth to others about the wonderfulness of what Jesus Christ has done for me. This is also for everyone who wants the peace and the joy that this salvation brings to all who will believe.
Devotions 24-03-08 (Eph 6:18)
"With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,"Paul has talked about the armor of God that I need to fight against the evil forces around me but then there is prayer. It could be part of the armor or it is what I need all the time in using the armor of God. I am to pray at all times and not just to say words but I must be in vital communion with the Holy Spirit who lives in me. I need the Holy Spirit to help me to express my thoughts in a way that are honoring to God and in line what He says to me in His Word. This requires some focus on my part that I am not expressing just my selfish thoughts but I want to have God honoring words in my conversation with the Almighty. That is why I must not seperate God's Word from my thought when I am speaking with God.Not only should I pray for my needs and concerns but I should pray for others who have needs as well. This is not all about me but about God who has given me so much and I want to serve Him and to honor Him with this life He has given me.I am grateful that God continues to remind me of the importance and value of prayer in all I do. I am not the man of prayer I ought to be but I think I am learning the value of it more every day that I live. Maybe as I get older and I am weaker in the flesh I see how much more I need the Lord's help in all that I do. God has the power to do anything and He is just and loving in all He does. Lord, I seek Your will and Your strength today.
Devotions 19-03-08 (Eph 6:10-11)
"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."Today is about the full armor of God. It is something I must do. The armor of God does all the protecting but I must put it on and use it. The purpose of the armor is so I may have His strength and to be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.Sometimes in my youth or in my pride I fail to pick it up and I get into trouble. I fail to recognize my weakness or the strength of the enemy. God has provided an amazing armor and all I must do is to pick it up and use it and God gives the victory.I am in a spiritual battle and I must have God's armor in order to be a spiritual warrior and servant of the Living God. I am not going for a walk in the park or a beautiful garden. I am in a war zone and there are people dying and suffering and God has told me to go to them and help them and deliever them from the traps of the enemy of their souls.Lord, help me to be serious about this armor You have provided. It is not an option but a necessity in order to survive all that satan throws at me. He can not take my life until God agrees but he can wound me and make me an ineffective servant of my Lord. Satan cannot harm me with out God's permission and God wants to use me for His Kingdom if I am a faithful and obedient servant to His plan.
Devotions 18-03-08 (Eph 2:8-10)
"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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."It is so very clear that our salvation is not based on anything we do but all on what God does. Grace is sometimes defined as "God giving me the desire and the power to do His will" There is no human effort involved. My only effort is faith, that is to believe that what God says is true and I can count on it.On top of all of this God says it is a gift and repeats that my works has nothing to do with it. He even gives the sin that would be involved if my works did help. I would want to boast of what I did.God does add that I have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works. But it is only because of what Christ has done in making me a new person (II Cor 5:17). God desires for us to live a life of doing good deeds to honor Him and help others to come to know Christ.Lord thank You for Your great plan of salvation and help me to explain it to others so they might experience real life and the joy of assurance. Lord it is so simple but also so very very profound.
Devotions 13-03-08 (Ps 13:5-6)
"I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me."I have trusted in the lovingkindness of the Lord these 54 years and I have not been disappointed. I do rejoice in my heart for the salvation I have in Jesus Christ. I am not a very good singer but I do love to sing of the wonders of the Lord and all He has done for me. Yes, He has dealt with me very bountifully and I can never be able to thank Him enough for all He has given me.I want to trust Him more and have a greater joy in the important things in life. I want the song in my heart to be obvious to those who know me. I want others to know that it is Jesus Christ that has given me all these things. It is He who has given me life that could be no better or more fulfilling. Lord, I do praise You for all Your lovingkindness and gentleness with me. You have given me a wonderful and beautiful wife and one who loves me so very much. Thank You for our four wonderful children and the 14 beautiful grand-children You have given to Lou and me. Lord, help me to honor You and Praise You to all who know me and that they could see You in me.
Devotions 12-03-08 (Ps 12:6-8)
"The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the erth, refined seven times. You, O Lord, will keep them; You will preserve him from this generation forever. The wicked strut about on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men."It has been awhile since I have written anything in my blog. I truly miss this time when I am not having it. Yet I know that writing my thoughts down is not the real substance of my time with God. I must have this time with God even when I am not able to write anything. I think the verses above says it so well.God's Words are pure and so very priceless. God has preserved them and will continue to do so for ever. When we allow wickedness to flourish and to go against what God says in His Word then we will have wickedness and vileness exalted in our world. I am so grateful for these seven plus years living in Estonia and seeing young folks begin to listen to God's Word and to hate evil and to share their faith with their friends and family. It has been a wonderful time of ministry and Lou and I are so grateful for the privilege of being here. We leave in 36 days to return to our family and grandchildren. Lord, give us wisdom in all our packing and in our closing days with our Estonian loved ones . Helps us to continue to teach the value of God's Word in all of life. Do your miracle work in the lives of folks during these days. Help us to trust in You and to do what is right and honoring to You in all we do.
Devotions 03-03-08 (Ps 03: 03)
"But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head."Sometimes there is so much to do and I am a bit overwhelmed. I know I must make some decisions but I am unsure of what I should do. The enemy likes to come in and get me looking at the problems and not keep my focus on the Lord. If I would stop and refocus on the Lord then He would be a shield for me and give me the peace I need so very much. Not only would He be my shield but He would lift my head and give me the courage to do what I think is right. It sounds to simple but God is not complicated and He does His wonders in many simple ways. God does not need a fanfare to do great things but just someone who would trust Him in child like faith. Lord, I need that child like faith as Lou and I continue to sort and pack our stuff in getting ready to move back to the US after being away for 15 years. Thank You for all You have done already and help us to keep our focus on You and not on all we have yet to do. Lord we are Your children and Servants. You are our glory and we want to honor You in this whole process.