Devotions By Jan


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Plenty of Fish

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:116 “Sustain me, my God, according to Your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

“There are plenty of fish in the sea,” is a phrase often used to console those who have loved and lost.  The idea is that there are plenty of potential mates still to be discovered out there.  There is even an online dating service called, “Plenty of Fish,” with 40 million fish in its waters.  The problem comes from those “predators” who raise hopes in others only to dash them.  One predator in particular decided to dine and dash, leaving his online date stuck with the bill!

Today’s verse is found in the longest psalm extolling the joys of knowing and following God’s law.  The author prays that God would sustain him.  He acknowledges that true meaningful life is found in following God’s ways.  He can pray for God’s sustaining power with hope as it is a prayer calling on the Lord’s promises.  When God makes a promise, He will always be true to His word.  Hope placed here will not be dashed.

If I were to place all my hope exclusively in human love, my hopes would sometimes be dashed.  No one can love me the way the Lord does.  Placing my hope in His promise to never leave me is a hope that will never be disappointed.  He sustains me when I am feeling weak.  He upholds me when I am discouraged.  His peace has kept me close to Him.  No other relationship can be this consistent.  His love will never let me down.  I can always count on Him because His word means something!

Thank you Lord, that with You my hope is never disappointed.


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Beaded Necklace

img_20161030_175353Scripture for Today: Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”

My sister-in-law spent hours and hours making this beautiful beaded necklace for me.  It touched me that she would put so much time in to creating this piece with me in mind.  If it was the “thought that counts,” than all that time thinking of me makes the gift that much more special!  It has survived many wearings and moves over thirty-five years.  It will be a very sad day if it ever breaks apart.

Today’s verse tells us that those who have accepted Christ as Savior were chosen before the creation of the world.  The interplay between God choosing us and we choosing Him is something I can never hope to completely understand.  But what amazes me is that the Lord had me in mind before the creation of the world!  That is quite a long time to be thinking of me!  He chose me to be blameless and holy.  Because of what Christ accomplished on the cross, I am declared righteous in Him.  I am certainly not  blameless and holy by my own efforts!

He thought of me and chose me before the world ever existed.  He formed me specifically in the womb of my Mother.  And I know He thought of me on that cross as well.  How precious His thoughts are toward me, numbering more than the grains of sand on a beach (Psalm139:17-18).  No one could ever think of me more than He does!  His love is so amazing that there is never a moment in my day when He is not thinking of me!

Thank you Lord, for Your precious loving thoughts for me.


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A Bad Penny

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

I am one of those rare people who still bend down to pick up a lost penny, bad or not!  The phrase, “a bad penny always turns up,” was coined in the mid eighteenth century.  Pennies used to be more valuable and because they were easily counterfeited, the “bad ones” would continually circulate, turning up in a pocket or purse.  “Turning up like a bad penny,” came to mean someone or something unwanted, turning up repeatedly and unexpectedly.

Today’s verse reassures the believer that God’s forgiveness of sin is complete.  He chooses to no longer remember our sins.  Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for sin, the penalty has been paid and God’s justice is satisfied.  Those sins are blotted out forever.  When He forgives, He does not bring it up again.  But like a bad penny, the thought of them (for the believer) can turn up at the most unwanted and inopportune times.  Thankfully, that is never the case for the Lord.  Of course, He is all knowing and so forgets nothing.  But the idea is that He does not call it to mind with censor and judgement.

I would love to be able to “remember my sins no longer.”  But the memories remain.  Thankfully, God’s Word is full of reassurances of unconditional love and complete pardon.  The Lord graciously softens and blurs memories of past failures.  If guilty memories occasionally do reappear, He is there to build me back up.  If nothing else, those remembrances can serve to remind me that I am not perfect, but His forgiveness is!

Thank you Lord, that Your grace chooses not to remember what is forgiven!