Saturday, August 25, 2018

August 25

My daughter and I took a trip down to South Florida to the island where I left my phone to pick it up. When we got to our exit, we noticed a sign that said Warm Mineral Springs. I had seen it before and had always been curious about it. We decided that on our way back, we would go by to see what it was all about. When we got there, we didn’t get to touch it because they wanted twenty dollars each to get in! They were nice enough to let us look at it. After we left, we looked it up on the internet. Come to find out, it has four springs that feed into it. Two of the vents have temperatures of 76 degrees and two have temperatures of 97 degrees. The combination gives a temperature of 87 degrees year round. It’s a very large sinkhole that is very deep. The bones of prehistoric animals and humans were found in it. This may have been the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon was looking for. I never knew we had hot vents in Florida!

You never know exactly what’s going on with our great planet because we only get bits and pieces of information from different sources. This is why it’s important that we continue to search the scriptures; it is our source for information from the beginning of time to the end of time. The one thing we can count on is Jesus, our doorway to everlasting life. When you enter through that door, you are then seated in Heavenly places and your eternal destination is no longer a question.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:3

Friday, August 24, 2018

August 24

Oh, the struggles we face! I left my phone and iPad on the island! I’m just kidding about the struggle, it’s been no struggle at all, inconvenient, but not a struggle. Do you do that? Do you get worked up over things that don’t matter? I’ve moved on from the book of James and have started in Ephesians. The Apostle Paul wrote Ephesians, and right away I noticed a difference in the writing style. You think you have problems, imagine being in prison or confined to your home unable to move about freely. He didn’t have the technology to keep himself busy, just a pen and paper. While confined, he didn’t stop teaching, he wrote letters to the churches, giving them instructions. He wrote every thought down, and you can tell that by the way some of the sentences became paragraphs. The Holy Spirit worked feverishly through him, giving him every detail that God wanted to bring to the gentiles, me and you! Many people face challenges, but make sure your issues are not things you’ve brought upon yourself because of wrong thinking. Paul could have easily laid in his bed and became depressed over his situation, but he didn’t. He may have been a little depressed, nevertheless he did what God called him to do. If you are facing problems, ask God if you are feeling the way you are because of a challenge He has given you, or if it’s of your own doing. Then ask Him how you should remedy it.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. Ephesians 3:1-3

Thursday, August 23, 2018

August 23

One topic we all struggle with is sickness. It may not be our own, but someone we love. Our biggest question is why? Our world was free from sickness before sin. That’s been a long time! It began with Adam and Eve and has run rampant ever since. We have to ask, why did Jesus tell those He healed to go and sin no more? Did their condition have to do with their own sin? It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Especially the story where Jesus had healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. He was laying by the pool waiting for it to be stirred, but couldn’t get in, and had no one to help him. Jesus came and healed him, then later told him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” So you see by this, Jesus’s instruction was to instill fear of the worst, so he wouldn’t go into a lifestyle of sin now that he can move freely. Now I’m not saying that your condition has anything to do with your own sin, because we are living in a world that evil has entered in, but whether it be Adam’s sin or your own sin, prayer is the only option we have when seeking healing. Never think you are healed without God’s permission, it’s guaranteed that if you are better it’s because He allowed it. The instruction for today is to ask forgiveness and pray with faith.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:15-16

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 22

We have many people in our lives that we consider friends. Some are co-workers, some are from school, or church, but then there might be one who grabs a hold of your heart. This one friend might be a match that God pulled the strings in order to bring the two of you together. There is a moment that you know; it’s as if God shines a spotlight on that human and says “this is my gift to you, a true friend.” It’s in that moment that your souls are knit together, and a godly bond is created. I believe that this might be a rarity, so if you find it, don’t let it go. Jesus says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus laid His life down for us; it doesn’t get any better than that! God gives us an example of what true friendship should look like with David and Jonathan. They were beautifully bound together. Scripture says that Jonathan loved David as his own soul. If you find this kind of friendship, cultivate it, and cherish it.

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 1 Samuel 18:1

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

August 21

Our vacation place had been empty for quite a while, so when I walked in, I realized something was wrong. It always has a bit of smell from being closed without air circulation, but this time it was a little musty. We had forgotten to take the trash out! I don’t know what was in it, but we had a gazillion fruit flies, most were dead, thank goodness. We had been away so long, I guess everything had dried up. We were lucky that it didn’t smell like rot. I had to clean before I could relax. I think God sends me through the gauntlet, just so I can give you life examples of spiritual truths. It’s okay, He knows I can handle it. So here is the spiritual truth: There are issues from your past that have long been forgotten, dried up so to speak, but it’s still a disgusting mess that needs to be cleaned up. It may not stink like it did way back then, but that’s just because you’re used to living with it. Today, ask God what you need to confess from your past. It has long been forgiven because of Jesus, but sometimes we need to be freed from our musty past so that it doesn’t come back to haunt us.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”... Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:32, 34-36

Monday, August 20, 2018

August 20

It’s very easy to love a friend who is always there for you, and stands by you through thick and thin. On the other hand, it’s easy to hate your enemies. As a follower of Christ, we are commanded to love. What does that mean? Are we to love our enemies? “But Lord, look what they’ve done to me! How am I to love them?” Our goal, during this lifetime, is to become as much like Jesus as we can, and He loves everyone, even those who deny Him and follow their own path. I’m just going to show you my sin nature for a moment, please bear with me. When someone intentionally hurts me, belittles, or is downright evil to me, all I want to do is lash out. What does Jesus say about that? Pray for those who persecute you! Yes! I can do that. “I pray that hell and damnation fall upon them and that they experience the full extent of God’s wrath!” No! No! No! That is not how we are to pray! The Matthew Henry Commentary says it like this: 

We must pray that God will forgive them, that they may never fare the worse for anything they have done against us, and that he would make them to be at peace with us; and this is one way of making them so.

It is so hard to pray that way, but so healing. Something changes inside of you when you pray for good towards them. This is just my opinion, but I think the Holy Spirit takes over for you at that point, and comforts your heart with peace. I know this one is hard to put into practice, but try it and see what happens.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 5:44-46

Sunday, August 19, 2018

August 19

For the past few days, I’ve been reading and editing portions of my devotionals from last year because I’m getting ready to put them together into another book. There is a website that will help you edit, it’s called Grammarly. Now I know a human put this together, however, I’m not sure how it knows whether my sentence is in a passive voice or not, heck I don’t quite understand what that is anyway. I could be writing one right now and wouldn’t know it! It gives me examples of a passive voice, verses an active voice, but it still doesn’t click with me. I guess I need to spend a day with someone who can drill that into my head. When I get it, you will never see another passive voice from me again, but until then, I’m sorry. I must have missed that lesson in English class while day dreaming of frolicking on the beach. Anyway, how does a computer know this? It probably has to do with the structure of the sentence. Here’s my comparison: the Holy Spirit is like Grammarly, except that He edits us as we go. We have to be diligent in listening and making the change before we take action. The Holy Spirit is not a computer and He helps us make decisions in real time based on our situation. He knows what others are thinking and how they will feel if we make a bad decision or say something hurtful. That’s why we get a check in our spirit. Are you convicted? If not, you need to check your salvation! No salvation, no Holy Spirit! If only Grammarly could give me that same check when I write a bad sentence.

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:8