Saturday, January 25, 2020

January 25

Two days ago, I mentioned that I was having some type of writing block, or disconnect in hearing from God. During the night while I was sleeping, I heard my ear pop. Whether it was a dream or real, I’m not sure, but I went from hearing a watery gurgle, to hearing more clearly. I believe it was a physical manifestation to usher in a spiritual connection. He may have been testing me to see if I would give up, and made it very clear that the test was over. I’m truly amazed at God and how he maneuvers, because as I’m writing this, it occurred to me that the next portion of scripture that I was to read was about God testing Abraham. I stopped before reading it, wanting to wait on it for tomorrow. Needless to say, I went back and read the scriptures.

God called out to Abraham and told him to sacrifice his son. As he followed the orders, God saw his obedience, and called out to him to stop, and then provided a ram for the sacrifice. I’m not saying that my testing was anywhere near this big, but nevertheless, it was a type of testing of my dedication to him. Thank goodness I pushed through it. 

If you are going through a challenge, step back from the situation for a moment, and see if God might be putting you to a test. Will you continue in your obedience, and pass the test, or will you fail and need repentance? The choice is yours. Choose wisely my friends.

He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” Genesis 22:12

Friday, January 24, 2020

January 24

Do you try and force an outcome, even though you’ve prayed, and given it into the hands of God? We make things harder on ourselves by doing such as this. For instance, look at Abraham and Sarah, God had promised that he would make a great nation of Abraham, but because of their impatience, and disbelief, Sarah offered her servant Hagar to Abraham. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael, and his offspring has been an enemy of the nation of Israel ever since. This one wrong move has caused issues for the entire world, all because they thought what they were doing was what God wanted. Even though they got ahead of God, he still fulfilled his promise to them by making Sarah a mother, even in her nineties! These two old people became the parents of the nation of Israel, and Jesus is their direct descendant according to the flesh. Next time you decide that you’ve waited long enough for God’s answer, thinking you need to make a move to help it happen, don’t do it, especially if it seems a little sketchy.

The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Genesis 21:1-2

Thursday, January 23, 2020

January 23

My daughters and I spent the day cleaning and decorating an old barn, getting ready for a party to usher in the next member of our family. The bathrooms are clean, the floors are mopped, and all the surfaces are sparkling. The space is vast, and trying to fill the area with decorations, was quite a task, but together we fulfilled the idea of the mom-to-be. It was a long, labor intensive day, but the end result was a whimsical, winter wonderland, to be enjoyed by all. We go above and beyond for the people we love, even to the point of exhaustion. We work diligently to try and please them because we love them and want them to be happy.

For the past several days I’ve experienced a block, making it hard to put words together for this daily devotional, but because of my love for the Lord, I push through. Though your tasks for the Lord may not be cleaning a barn, or writing a devotional, you show your faith in him by your works. The works won’t save you, but will reveal your faith in him. Put your faith in Jesus to work!

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. James 2:26

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

January 22

Many people live in fear of what can happen next. Life has treated them so harshly, that they are shy as to what is to come. Anxiety and depression set in, stalling any advancement. The striking blows have given them the feeling of helplessness where the only comfort found is when hiding in bed. 

If you find yourself in this situation, there is good news! It’s Jesus! Set your face toward him, call out his name; it promotes healing, and comfort. There is power in the name of Jesus. Any demonic presence will shudder at his name; they do not want to hear it, and will run. Unfortunately, we forget, and continue wallowing in our pain without evoking his name. If you are dealing with depression today, this is your reminder to call out to him, even if you are rendered unable to utter a prayer, his name will usher in the comfort you need so you can begin to heal.

"And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all."  Acts 3:16

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January 21

If you started a diet, Bible reading, or anything else that’s repetitive on January 1st, today is the day it should become a habit, according to experts. Supposedly, three weeks, twenty-one days, creates a habit. If you’ve made it this far, you are well on your way to good health, physically, and mentally! Don’t worry if you slipped up along the way, it happens; because we are not perfect. 

After the flood, and things got back to normal, Noah became a gardener by creating vineyards. He loved the fruit of the vine. I know this because God chose to tell us that, at one point, he became drunk, and lay naked inside his tent. His youngest son Hamm, saw him, and made fun of him to his brothers. The brothers decided to continue to honor their father, and carefully cover him up without seeing him naked. Because the youngest dishonored his father, he was made to become a servant to his brothers through his son Canaan. He received no mercy for his disrespect, and the whole lineage was cursed to become slaves. 

One thing you need to remember, we have Jesus, and our sins are forgiven. You are not doomed if you make a mistake like Hamm. We are like Noah when we sin, we are forgiven, and our sin is covered, no longer subjected to shame. 

When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.” Genesis 9:24-27

Monday, January 20, 2020

January 20

Cold air has come to Florida! I’m afraid my garden may suffer, but looking on the bright side, if my plants wilt without dying from the cold, it will give them a fresh start for new growth when it warms up. Having orchids that are getting ready to bust out in bloom, I will give them a reprieve from the cold by bringing them inside. Thankfully, we just had our home sprayed for bugs, so if any of those creepers are in my plants, they won’t get far. 

The life of a Christ follower is much the same; the enemy blows in like a cold wind, standing between us and the warmth of our Savior, causing some to tremble in fear, but the ones that are well rooted, will stand strong through the adversity, and the weaker ones will be brought inside for protection under the guiding hand of the Lord. The orchids are like tender, new Christians, and the others, who are well rooted, are like those with experience, and strong armor. Stand firm under adversity, it won’t last forever, you will be victorious, and come out stronger than ever before.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Sunday, January 19, 2020

January 19

Many years ago, my husband and I decided to build a pool at our home on the lake. We had worked for years clearing out plants, trees, and even took down a small building to open up our view of the lake. We were excited about the pool because it would give us a place to swim besides the muddy lake. All was going well until they began to put in the plumbing. Before I even had the chance to give my input, they had placed the pool pump, and all of the equipment in the middle of the yard, disrupting the view. My husband reasoned that it would keep us from hearing it inside the house. It was a terrible sight! They wouldn’t move it so I began creating a flower bed and strategically placing plants around it to cover it, and eventually all you could see was the garden. 

That has been my life; finding ways to cover up ugly things in my surroundings. That is why Jesus is so important to me; he covers all the ugliness. Not only does he cover our sin, he begins doing a work within us causing us to turn from our sin, keeping us from creating eyesores for all to see. If you are not seeing changes in your life, it may be time to re-evaluate your commitment to Jesus. Are you truly changed? If not, it’s time!

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalms 51:9-10