Devotions 30-09-08 (Lu 9:49-50)
Luke 9 "And John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to hinder him because he does not follow along with us" But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you." How do I feel toward fellow believers that are not doing the things I am doing. Do I feel my calling or my way of doing things is right and their way is wrong. We both are seeking to follow the scriptures but we just do not see thing the same way. I think Jesus is saying here do not try to get everyone to join your calling and do not hinder others who may be doing the ministry a little differently than you. My responsibility is to share the good news of Christ and to help people grow in their faith.A Christian Leader, Waldron Scott once said "Most of the work of God in the world is done by those who are tired or do not feel well and who are off in their doctrine". You would think those who are correct in the doctrine and are in good health would be the ones most zealous in sharing Christ and teaching others the scriptures. Sometimes I get more critical of others than I should and that distracts me from doing what God has called me to do. I must be focused on doing well what God has called me to do and let my life and example encourage others to follow the Lord according to the scriptures and to be like Jesus. Lord, give me a loving heart for all who are seeking to know You and to serve You. Protect me from being overly critical and to allow others to distract me from doing what You have called me to do. There is so much work to do in the world concerning Your Kingdom; I must be focused on Your calling to me and seek to be more like Jesus in the process. Help me to be a genuine encouragement to other believers and not be critical of what they are sincerely doing. Help me to honor You in all my work and the way I relate to others.
Devotions 29-09-08 Lu (9:46-48)
Luke 9 "And an argument arose among them(Jesus disciples) as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side and said to them, "whoever receives this child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for he who is least among you, this is the one who is great."To really understand the above verses you should read all of Luke 9. The disciples were all involved in some amazing events and could see how God could work through them and see the power of God. How would I react to these things happening in my life?I am sure I would be no better and it is important for me to see what the disciples did wrong. What did they begin to do that I must avoid. I think they forgot that it was God working through them and not themselves. This is so easy to do. I must always keep my focus on the Lord and realize that I am only a channel that God may work through. It is humility that God desires from His servants and not who is doing the most or who is the greatest. Oh, how the work of God is marred by the greed and selfishness of His servants who want to be noticed for their glory and not God's glory. Isaiah 42:8 "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images."Lord, help me to truly Humble myself and to give all the glory to You. What I do is such a small part of what You are doing through my life. You are the one who drew me to Youself and it is You who gave me a New Life in Christ and it is the power of the Holy Spirit who gives me any power that I might have. Lord thank You for reminding me again that I must be like a little child to be pleasing to You in my desire to serve You.
Devotions 26-09-08 (Ps 69:13-15)
Ps 69:13-15 "But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire, and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes, and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me, and may the deep not swallow me up, and may the pit not shut its mouth on me."Have you ever felt like this? It just does not seem like you can keep going for some reason. You are tired or just not feeling well and it seems so hard to get things done. I sure have felt that way before and feeling that way just not. It seems like the psalmist is discouraged and is asking God to do something quickly because He is about ready to drown in His problems. Maybe he is not discouraged but just overwhelmed with all he needs to do. I can sure identify with his feelings.We just returned from Estonia after 15year living there for 8 years and in Russia for 5 years with two years inbetween working on the transition. Now we are in the US and I feel exhausted and a bit overwhelmed at all the things I have forgotten about since leaving my home country and getting adjusted to living in other cultures. So you can pray with me in adjusting to my native land and getting some rest from these past fifteen years.Lord, I know You hear me and I know You are allowing these days for my good. I just need to see what I am suppose to be learning and to be patient in waiting for You to act in my behalf. I am grateful Lord for being allowed to go through these difficult times so I might trust You more and more when I feel so weak and tired.
Devotions 25-09-08 (Ps 70:4)
Ps 70:4 "Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified."I am urged to seek the Lord and to do it with joy. It is a great privilege to be able to seek the Lord and to know that He is available for me. That in itself is a joyful thought. Then to add to that is He listens to me and will answer me in what I should do. I am also urged to say aloud "Let God be maginfied" because of my love for God's Salvation. I was doing some of this yesterday after my morning devotions. I spent some time in Romans 3, 4, and 5 and reflecting on what God has given me in His great Salvation. After reading those chapters it is so very easy to say, "Let God be magnified" Lord, I long to be ever praising You in an appropriate mannor. I want to honor You and to draw others to know You and to honor You as well. Lord, I need Your strength to do this and take care of the responsibilities You have given me. I am weak and tired but I rejoice in the joy of knowing You as my Savior and my God!
Devotions 24-09-08 (Ps 68:19)
Ps 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation."How grateful I should be to God for how He bears or carries my burdens that I face in just my day to day living life. He even says in I Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you." He also reminds us that He is our burden bearer and invities us to allow Him to do just that. How much easier life would be if I took God at His word and allowed Him to be my true burden bearer.His being my burden bearer is very easy for Him since He has already purchased my Salvation through Jesus Christ. The next focus I must maintain is the truth that God is the one who delivered me from evil to actually have a son relationship to Him. He is my heavenly Father and I am his child by faith in what Jesus did for me on the cross of calvary.How glorious and amazing is His salvation for me.Lord,thank You so much for these two great truths. You will carry my daily burdens if I will just give them to You and not try to do it on my own. And to always keep fresh in my mind and heart the Salvation I have because of Your love for me. These are simple truths I have known for 54 years but I have allowed them to become dulled over time. I must bring them to life in my mind and heart and recognize how profound and majestic these truths are in my life.Thank You Lord so very,very much! Help me to be stronger in my faith and to allow You to carry my burdens today.
Devotions 23-09-08 (Ps 68:15-16)
Ps 68:15-16 "A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; a mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan Why do you look with envy, O mountains of many peaks, at the mountain which God has desired for His abode? Surely, the Lord will dwell there forever."I have been reading this passage for several days and trying to grasp what God is saying that would help me in my walk with God. I still am not real sure. There is one thing that is a stong possibility. Let me know what you think, You have to read the whole Ps 68 to get the overall picture.God has personified two mountains and points out the envy of one being chosen where God dwells over the other. D
o we tend to act the same way when God uses or chooses to use someone more than He does me. I think God is trying to help me to see how absurd such envy is.God is the creator of all things and what He chooses to do with me or for me is His business. I must give Praise to God for all that He does because He is my creator and my God and I am privileged to know Him and to see His mighty acts.Lord, thank you for all You are doing in our world. Thank you for the privilege of being a child of Yours. You are worthy of all Praise regardless of who You choose to bring You honor and glory. Envy is of satan and his hosts of liars and deceivers. I know Your plan is a perfect plan and You are working that plan and no one can thwart You Holy and beautiful plan for the earth and all here. Lord help me tobe ever alert and sensitive to Your eternal plans.
Devotions 22-09-08 (Ps 67:03 & 05)
Ps 67:3 & 5 "Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.""Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You."When God repeats Himself it is for a strong emphasis. I must pay close attention to this repetition and be sure I am grasping more than just the surface thought but the real depth of the statement and seek to apply it to my life.This is the prayer of the Psalmist to God for all peoples and for God's glory. He did not say make everyone to praise God but to let them do this of their own accord and because they truly desire to do so. How does God do this?He does it through His everlasting love and grace. His perfect salvation that is a gift to me on the basis of faith. God gives me so many opportunities to Praise Him and do I take these opportuities? It is to my benefit when I do stop my busyness and Praise Him for all He does for me day by day and moment by moment. It is so comforting and reassuring when I develop an attitude of Praise in my life because of all God has done for me. Even those things I do not understand and are hard, I can still praise the Him because I have learned to trust Him with everything in my life.Lord, I do want to give You Praise for all You have done for me in my life. I want my life to be an example of Praise to others who know me. Oh, Lord, help me to take advantage to Praise You at evry opportunity that You make available to me. Help me not to make this a religious routine but a genuine expression of Honor to You. Lord, may my example cause others to express Praise to You for all You are doing in their lives as well. Tomorrow I want to use this last Saturday as a day in which there was so much to express Praise to You about. I know every day I should be able to do the same but Sep 20th was one of these very miracle days in which God was doing so many things for me and I had so much for which I could give You Praise.
Devotions 20-09-08 (Ps 66:18-20)
Ps 66:18-20 "If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; but certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His lovingkindnes from me."Prayer is so vital to a believer's life and to my life. Yet the enemy of my soul is always trying to get me to turn from this precious gift God has made available to me. It is clear I can not have sin in my life and expect God to hear my request to Him. What peace floods my soul when I know I have not hidden my sin from Him and I am confident that He hears the requests I bring to Him.What praise and gratefulness I must express when I know He hears my prayer and that His lovingkindness is toward me. There is so much God has done for me and I still stumble and let the world pull me away from the riches He offers me.Lord, I first ask Your forgiveness for my lack of fervent and grateful prayer for all You have given me and my family. How weak I am to hold on to Your Being, the Almighty God above all gods. I need Your strength to enable me to be all that You have created me to be. I love You Lord, and do worship and give You Praise this morning. Lead me today in all You have for me this day.
Devotions 19-09-08 Psalm 65:5
Ps 65:5 "By awesome deeds You do answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;"God is the one who answers my prayers and He does it in righteousness. That means He does what is right and according to His Holiness. He answers me according to what is best for me and His purposes for me.He is the God of my salvation and that is the greatest He could do for anyone. Without His salvation I have nothing and I would have no hope. My God is the One who all people trust from all the ends of the earth. There is noone as faithful as Almighty God in all the earth. Lord, I am so grateful to You for all you have done for me these 75 years. Today is my wife's birthday and I am so grateful for Your gift of her to me to be my life partner and friend. You have been so gracious and kind to us and our family. Forgive me Lord for all my grumbling and complaints. I must be more diligent to remember that you answer me in righteousness.