Devotions By Jan


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Clapping

clapScripture for Today: Psalm 98:8 “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.”

We are clapping a lot these days.  Because our bed sits up high, the headboard shelf even higher and the lamps on top higher still, we broke down.  We bought one of those “clap on clap off” devises to turn on and off the lights.  It works really well, too well.  Anytime we open and close drawers the light turn off.  Even the door opening and closing can activate it.  We enjoy not having to turn around and reach for that switch even so.  With the “clap on clap off’ we feel a bit lazy.  But we will get over that in time, just as we did for the television remote!

Today’s verse mentions clapping from a very unlikely source, as well as singing.  The rivers are clapping and the mountains are singing.  This psalm is describing the joy expressed when something long-awaited finally appears.  Joining in the clapping and singing are the trees and the hills (Isaiah 55:12).  Creation waits in eager expectation, looking forward to being “liberated from its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21).  One day, everything will be put to rights when He comes to judge the earth (verse 9).

We are encouraged to clap our hands as well with cries of joy to our God (Psalm 47:1).  He is coming and He will judge the world with righteousness.  I know every wrong will be addressed.  Every miscarriage of justice will be corrected.  Everyone suffering at the hands of evil will be recompensed.  His faithful ones will be rewarded.  What an enormous reason for joy!  This day is coming and it is why I can listen to the news and yet not lose heart.

Thank you Lord, for being my hope and my joy!


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Indebted

debt-collectionsScripture for Today: Matthew 6:11-12 “Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors.”

Only 12 percent of Americans believe they will die in debt (according to a phone interview done by Princeton).  This is actually down from 21 percent a year ago!  Perhaps we are less concerned about “keeping up with the Joneses.”  It is great we are feeling more optimistic but the Federal Reserve tells another story.  According to them, credit card debt has been steadily rising over the last five years and is now close to one trillion!

Today’s verse is a familiar one being part of the Lord’s Prayer.  We are all indebted to the Lord for forgiving our sins and erasing the payment for them.  He forgave sin at great cost to Himself on that cross.  He took on Himself the awful payment sin deserves.  We could never pay it ourselves and if not for Him, would still carry the heavy burden of guilt.  Because the debt of our sin has been paid, we are to show that same forgiveness towards others who have wronged us.

If God were really to forgive me only as much as I forgive others, I would be in big trouble!  Thankfully, His forgiveness is based on His unconditional love.  The payment for my sins comes from His mercy and His grace.  But when I refuse to forgive the one who wronged me, I conveniently forget how much of a debt the Lord paid in my case!  Somehow, pride is at the root of my failure to forgive when thinking I deserve forgiveness, but they do not!

“Jesus paid it all.  All to Him I owe.”  Surely the price He paid for me was so much higher than any price I pay in forgiving others.

Lord, help me to forgive.


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Oil Dipstick

engine_oil_dipstickScripture for Today:  Ephesians 5:18b-19 “…be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your heart to the Lord,”

If our car maintenance were up to me, we would be in real trouble.  I am one of those women who are totally at sea when opening the hood of a car.  Even so, my husband put the tiniest bit of faith in me to research and find a particular dipstick on line for his upcoming trip to the cold eastern states.  He wanted a dipstick that was heated so there would be no issues with the weather in getting an accurate reading.

Today’s verse provides us with an accurate reading on whether we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  We are filled with Him when we are filled with praise and thankfulness.  The Spirit’s presence in our lives is evident when our hearts are filled with song for all that He has done for us.  The “oil of praise’ keeps us in good running shape.  Like the car, we will start to grind, seize up and then completely stall without the Spirit’s filling.  We burn out.  But when we are filled with Him than we are also filled with song.

I can almost feel myself sputtering and slowing down when I am complaining and negative.  When I cannot acknowledge and thank Him for all of His blessings, everything seems to grind to a halt.  But when my heart is filled with gratitude, not only do I gain new impetus praising Him, but I will want to share that praise with others.  When I am filled with praise I am filled with Him!

Lord, may today be a day of making music in my heart to You.