Devotions By Jan


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Heart’s Desire

Scripture for Today:  Isaiah 26:8 “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”

I am amazed to see the variety and quantity of heart shaped boxes of chocolate displayed on the shelves for Valentine’s day!  I am a recovering “chocoholic” so I dare not linger long in front of those tempting displays!  If addiction means intense craving, loss of control, or continued use despite negative consequences, than that could be me if I am not careful!  According to the Nielson consumer study group, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold!  There is something about that “dark master…the cocoa bean” that creates strong desire!

Our verse for today mentions a desire of the heart.  It is much deeper than any other desire.  A desire for God’s glory completely changes a life.  Wanting His name to be known means saying,”Yes, Lord” to what He asks of us.  Wanting His name to be more prominent than our own means we will follow Him.  His glory in our lives will be evident by the way we walk, following His commandments.

The best way my husband loves me is when he praises me to others!  In turn, I honor him at every opportunity.  I want him to be recognized for all his hard work and sacrifice.  It is the same principle with our Lord.  We show Him that we love Him when we praise Him to others!  We show we are jealous for His name and glory when we walk in a way that honors Him.  It is the best way I can love my Lord.

Lord, You are the desire of my heart!  Help me to live that truth today!


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Royal Tombs

tombs3735304055_31f7be270d_zScripture for Today: Psalm 49:16-17  “Do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies, his splendor will not descend with him.”

My husband and I were able to tour these royal tombs in Macedonia with my French chorale.  They were only discovered in 1977 but date back to the beginning of the third century!  They were able to escape detection for so long as they are so well camouflaged with dirt reaching 13 meters high and 110 meters across!  They seem to blend in with the surrounding topography!

The tombs here contain not only the remains of Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great, but much of his wealth as well.  On display are articles made of silver, gold and ivory found in these tombs.  There are also marble structures, paintings and weapons.  It almost seemed as if Alexander wanted to take these items with him into his next life.

Our verse for today points out the absurdity of the idea that at death we can take our riches with us!  A man may grow rich in this life and his house be a marvel, but he cannot take any of that hard earned splendor with him.  He descends into the grave without it.  Death is the great equalizer when it comes to riches.  But there are riches that are eternal!

Those that are rich in faith will inherit the kingdom promised to those who love Him (James 2:5).  I may be poor in the eyes of the world.  But my rich inheritance is waiting for me and it will not perish, spoil or fade! (I Peter 1:4)

So, I am not overawed at the rich!  Instead, I am awed by God’s grace and generosity!


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Fearless!

Scripture for Today:  I John 4:18  “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

My sister had a cat named, Angel.  With a name like that, she must have thought she could fly!  She would chase birds on the apartment balcony risking life and limb by running along the railings.  One day, the inevitable happened.  She lunged for a pigeon and lost her balance, falling seven stories!  Thankfully, she fell on a patch of grass.  Her tummy and knees were grass stained.  She was sore and grumpy for a few days but that was all.  Most surprising was Angel’s quick return to her favorite past time; chasing pigeons on the balcony!  She was fearless!

In our verse for today is a description of love for God.  It is fearless.  Perfect or complete love for God will have no fear of punishment for the believer who understands God’s grace.  Those who are “in Christ” are under no condemnation (Rom. 8:1).  I John 4:17 says our love is made complete so that we can have confidence on the day of judgement!  Our confidence has nothing to do with our own good works but everything to do with Christ taking the punishment for our sin.

Imagine loving someone only to avoid punishment.  That is coercion, not love.  “We love because He first loved us.”  I love Him in gratitude for all He did on that cross!  With no fear of punishment, I can sincerely love Him and serve Him!  Knowing that He has paid the debt owed for sin allows me to enjoy His love and love Him in return!

Lord, Your love is my security!  Thank you that I do not have to live in fear!