Devotions By Jan

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On the Throne

View of Peacock ThroneScripture for Today:  Revelation 5:13  “…Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

As an American I am not so familiar with royalty and throne rooms.  But living in Europe I have had opportunities to see a few palaces of former kings.  But I don’t think I have ever seen a throne as opulent as the one pictured here!

The throne for me is an image of absolute authority.  It is from the throne that edicts and commands are issued.  The throne is the seat of control, benevolent or not.  The one seated there commands respect and obedience.

As a teenager I was taught that there is a throne in my heart, the seat of control.  I was challenged to look at that throne and determine who or what was seated there.  If one is a non-christian there is no question but that on the throne is seated one’s self.  But as a Christian, Someone else is to occupy that throne.

As a believer and Christ follower, the One seated on the throne of my heart is Jesus.  Rather than following my own will, I strive to follow His.  He has redeemed my life and He has every right in the world to be on my throne.  He is my Savior and my King.

It is a daily choice to allow Him to reign in me.  The French say, “Je suis Dieu” meaning “I am God.”  But the verb “suivre” means “follow” looking identical conjugated in the first person.  So the same phrase, “Je suis Dieu,” can also mean, “I follow God.”

I pray there will be no confusion about who is God in my life!  He deserves all honor glory and power from my obedience!

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IMG_20130227_110838Scripture for Today:  Nehemiah 9:20  “You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, And You gave them water for their thirst.”

My poor poor tulips!  They died an early death.  From just one day to the next they gave it up.  When I threw them out, I saw that the vase was bone dry, not that there was any doubt as to cause of death.

It is true that I do not have a green thumb for potted plants.  But what possible excuse do I have here?  All I had to do was check the water level and add some when needed.  If I let this happen too often, my husband will not be so motivated to bring me flowers!

From our verse for today we see that our God is a God who provides for us both spiritually and physically.  This passage speaks of His compassion for the Israelites.  In the wilderness there was no bread and there was no water.  Yet He supernaturally provided both.  He took care of both their hunger and their thirst.

I am very aware when I am hungry or when I am thirsty.  He is so good to meet those needs daily.  But there is another provision in this verse, that of the instruction of His Spirit.  I am not always aware of this need.

His Spirit teaches me and His instruction is just as needed as my daily provisions.  I often do not see it that way.  Either I am too distracted by my physical needs, or I feel I am doing fine without His Spirit.  But without His instruction and guidance I find myself resembling those tulips!

Lord, keep me aware today of my need for You.

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Turkish Delight

Scripture for Today: Psalm 111:2  “Great are the works of the Lord.  They are studied by all who delight in them.”

I find the name of this mid-eastern candy intriguing.  Its other name is “Lokum.”  Turkish Delight is quite common here in France and easily found in the special foods section of the stores.

This is the candy of choice for Edmund, one of C. S. Lewis’ characters in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  Edmund not only took delight in this candy, he became addicted to it.  The wicked white Witch was able  to manipulate Edmund with promises of more.  But no matter how much Edmund ate, he still longed for it again, never satisfied.

Our verse for today speaks about a delight found in studying God’s wondrous works.  I am more familiar with another verse that tells us to “delight yourself in the Lord…” (Psalm 37:4)  The source of delight is found in our relationship with Him, but it is also found in studying His great works.

I am no academic and I do not normally put the words, “study” and “delight” in the same phrase.  There are many who find delight in studying math equations or Greek.  But I am not one of them!  However, with God’s wondrous doings as the subject of study, I do find delight.  I am to seek out what He has done, both in the Scripture and in my life.

Studying His work in Scripture is in fact a means of knowing Him better.  All the works of the Lord reveal who He is.  Every miracle of creation, every changed heart, and every evidence of care gives insight into His character.

True delight is found in Him and His works.  He is a delightful study!  And unlike Turkish Delight, He satisfies!

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Good Weight!

feet on a bathroom scale - isolatedScripture for Today:  II Corinthians 4:17  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

There is good weight and bad weight.  The weight gain of every newborn is carefully monitored and desired for good health.  Weight gain following a serious illness is cause for rejoicing!  Every horse jockey is daily concerned with his weight gain or weight loss.

I have in mind what a good weight is for myself.  I do not often see that number on the scale!  I do have the choice of weighing in on the other scale in our house, the metric one.  That one at least will give me a smaller number as it is in kilos!  In any case, weight gain is normally something one tries to avoid.  It seems to be harder and harder with age to keep those numbers from climbing!

Our verse today mentions another kind of weight and it is all good; the weight of glory!  This is a weight one would like to see increase.  But the weight of glory in Heaven grows in direct relation to our afflictions here on earth.  The hard times are working for us.  Life’s sorrows are achieving that weight of glory!

All the trials and difficult times one experiences are but for a moment  They are a temporary condition.  And as hard as they feel, they are considered  “light” in comparison to the eternal glory that awaits.  Our pain is never wasted.  Our sorrow is not for nothing.  One day everything will be glorious.  One day there will be only recompense and joy.

As the old hymn says, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.  Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Him.”

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Push or Pull?

img_1552Scripture for Today:  Psalm 143:10  “Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God: Your Spirit is good, lead me into the land of uprightness.”

Invariably I push when a door sign says pull.  Or I pull when it says push!  When the sign is written in something other than English maybe I can excuse myself.  But many times I am just not paying attention.  I would not know what to do with the sign pictured here.  Push and pull?  I saw a sign once that read, “Push, and if door does not open, pull.  If door still does not open, we’re closed.”

In Christian circles we often refer to God closing or opening a door when describing His leading.  But when that door does shut, we feel compelled to try it.  I am not always ready to believe that a door is really closed.  I may want to push at it.  Or, I may want to pull on it, all in an effort to see if it is really closed.  Has the door forever shut on what I want?

My own will is so strong.  It would be easy to say that it was God who opened a door when in fact it was all due to my push or pull.  The verse for today says that one is taught to follow Him.  It is a learning process.  It starts with acknowledging that He is God and not me.  As MY God, He directs and leads.  Because He is good He will only direct me towards what is good and upright.  But I need to allow Him to lead.

When I push and pull for my own way, I am forfeiting what is the best for me.  Lord, help me to follow Your lead.