Devotions By Jan

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Happy Spring!

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 35:1-2a “The desert and the parched land will be glad. The wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom. It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”

Happy first day of Spring!  I do not see too many signs of the season in Cape Cod where we are expecting more snow today.  But this gallant purple crocus peeking out through that white stuff tells me that things are changing!  The trees here are still bare and the grass is not so green.  But this tiny burst of color gives me hope that the landscape will not always be so barren.

Today’s verse uses the image of the crocus to picture the joy of God’s redeemed people.  The desert of their distress and persecution will be transformed into joyful springs of water.  There will be a day when God will move on their behalf, coming with vengeance and salvation (verse 4).  Every wrong will be made right.  There will be singing, shouting, gladness and everlasting joy for the redeemed.  There will be complete healing and protection.  Sorrow and sighing will be no more!

What an incredible future awaits me!  I can choose to live with joy as I look forward to that day.  I do not have to be bowed down with sorrow over the struggles I face.  A different season is coming.  There is a promise of so much more to come.  All will be transformed in the blink of an eye.  At that point, there will be no containing my bursting joy!  It is so easy to look around at everything sad and negative in my life and become discouraged.  But instead, I am going to look for that small crocus flower today!

Thank you Lord, that incredible joy IS my future!

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The Leprechaun

Scripture for Today: Colossians 2:2 “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ.”

Today is a day for all things Irish.  And the leprechaun has been part of Irish folklore for centuries.  Our American ideas have changed him a bit as originally he is said to wear red.  The leprechaun in the beginning was a much scarier figure who would warn off people from sacred sites for their protection.  Now he is all about making shoes, granting wishes and hiding his gold at the end of he rainbow.  This leprechaun does not look so happy counting his gold!

Today’s verse talks about different riches.  They are described as “full” and have nothing to do with wealth in the traditional sense.  These riches involve understanding and knowing a Person, Jesus Christ.  Progressively coming to know God’s Son makes a life full and rich.  This kind of wealth is eternal rather than temporal.  Wealth of this kind cannot be stolen or taxed.  It is a wealth that has no limit.  The riches of Christ are boundless! (Eph. 3:8)

My riches are not tangible.  Their value is not easily recognized by the world.  Even so, I would never trade them for that “pot of gold!”  It cannot compare with the surpassing value of knowing and loving my Savior.  The closer I am to Jesus, the richer I am.  The further away I move from Him, the more impoverished I become.  Knowing, Him, loving Him and serving Him enriches me like nothing else!  How rich I am!

Thank you Lord, for the boundless and endless riches I find in You!


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Chocolate Citroen

chocolate-citroenScripture for Today: Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”

My husband is passionate about cars and I am passionate about chocolate.  This creation seems to cover all our bases!  My husband always turns his head to see one of these “Deux Cheveaux” go by.  But my head turns at any sign of chocolate.  This Citroen is made of 2,645 pounds of chocolate so both our heads turn!  It was created by eleven students in France as part of a project at their school for restaurant management.  This masterpiece took 4,000 hours of painstaking effort and the result is impressive.

Satisfaction with both cars and chocolate is not so easy to find.  Today’s verse tells us where true satisfaction can be found.   This psalm is a prayer of Moses.  After recounting all the times the Lord disciplined the Israelites in the desert, Moses recognizes that God’s love remained faithful and constant.  The people had experienced “trouble and sorrow” over many years.  Now Moses prays for the satisfaction that comes from God’s unfailing love.  That satisfaction will bring them joy and gladness every day, despite the hard times.

Chocolate, cars, or any other earthly passion can fail to consistently bring me satisfaction  But God’s love does not fail.  His love and compassion are renewed every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).  When I am feeling an emptiness and lack inside, lots of good things can be a temporary distraction.  But nothing can reach that deeper longing of my soul like an awareness of His love.  That reassurance not only satisfies but replaces the emptiness with a song of joy!  And what a wonderful way to begin a day, to be satisfied in the morning!

Lord, thank you for Your love that never ever fails me!