Devotions By Jan


Leave a comment

Take A Number!

Scripture for Today:  Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

I see fewer and fewer of those machines where one takes a number.  But when they are in use I am not sure it makes the waiting any easier.  But then, the purpose is more about keeping people from cutting in line than my ease.  It does  make sense when the waiting area is small and having any kind of line would crowd everyone.  But what is really annoying is not seeing the machine until after having waited some!

Today’s verse is all about waiting.  David is waiting to see God’s goodness.  He is seeking His face for mercy and help.  David knows that there can be no courage or bravery on his part without that wait.  He waits with expectation that God will come through for him.  His hope is based on God’s character and God’s promises to him.  Despite his circumstances, David remains confident that he will see the goodness of the Lord (verse 13).

When I wait to see God’s goodness I want to wait the way David did.  I do not want to focus on that problem.  Instead, I want to think about who God is; my Light, my Salvation, my Refuge.  Like David I want to remember God’s promises to me (verse 8).  But some waits are so long and difficult.  When there seems to be no evidence of change or when a solution seems impossible, waiting for God’s plan to unfold is a stretch.  But He gives me strength even for the wait.  His promises and reassurances give me confidence.  And when I look back on this wait, I will say that God showed me His goodness.

Keep my heart strong, Lord, while I wait for You.

 


Leave a comment

Eating Alone

Scripture for Today:  Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

I wonder if this man feels a bit conspicuous eating all alone.  Having a meal by one’s self in public can feel lonely.  The same thought must have occurred to three young twenty-somethings in Oxford, Alabama.  One of them approached an older widow eating on her own in a coffee shop and struck up a conversation.  They made such a connection that they invited her to their table and had a great time talking over their meals!  This simple act of kindness blossomed into an unlikely friendship.

Today’s verse uses the image of standing at the door,  knocking and dining.  These words are said by Jesus to the church at Laodicea.  His message is full of warmth and makes clear His desire for relationship.  What better way to become close than to share a meal around the table!  He awaits our arrival at the door.  He does not come in until we hear His voice and open that door.  We open it to show our same desire for relationship.  I am sure His knock and His voice are loud enough to hear.  But I can see how one might miss it.  The distractions of life can drown out the sound.

I am amazed that He wants to dine with me!  What a warm intimate thought!  All the good conversations happen around a meal.  And He is the Bread of life and the water that satisfies my thirst.  I do not want to miss out by being too busy.  He is waiting for me on my doorstep.

Lord, may I listen for your knock and open the door today!

 


Leave a comment

The Westbury White Horse

Scripture for Today: Revelation 19:11 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war.”

This huge white horse has been standing on this hill outside Westbury in Wiltshire, England since at least 1742.  It can be seen for miles as it measures 180 feet tall and 170 feet wide.  It was originally done in chalk and needed constant restoration but has been covered over with concrete since 1950.  Folklore says that when the nearby church clock strikes midnight, the horse goes down to the spring below to drink!

Today’s verse mentions a white horse seen by John as part of God’s revelation.  But more important than the white horse is its unique rider, He who is Faithful and True.  This is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords (verse 16) and He bursts on the scene as a mighty unstoppable warrior bringing judgement and justice.  Following Him are the armies of Heaven, also riding white horses and dressed in white linen.  What an incredible sight which signals the beginning of a thousand years of Christ’s rule on earth!  He is Faithful and True to fulfill every outstanding prophecy about His coming Kingdom!

I could not love Him or worship Him if He were not absolutely faithful and true to His Word.  But He is.  The word of the Lord is right and true.  He is faithful in all He does (Psalm 33:4).  He will defeat evil.  He will bring righteousness and justice.  He will reward faithful service and right living.  I can stand firm knowing He is faithful and true.  Others may renege on their word, and even loved ones may break promises.  But I can always count on Him.

Thank you Lord, that I can rely on your faithfulness even today.


Leave a comment

Overpacked!

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 30:8b-9 “…but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.”

How is it that we can check the maximum measurements with the airline, carefully measure our carry-on and still somehow end up wrestling our bag into that impossibly small bin?  With the fees tacked on for checked luggage, the challenge is to fit more and more into our carry-ons.  As annoying as it is to wait for that passenger to stuff it in, I always sympathize with their dilemma.  Such are the woes for those of us who have too much!

Today’s verse recognizes the danger of having too much or not enough.  Too much and we tend to forget God, being entirely self-sufficient.  When we have plenty and everything is good, why pray?  There is no need to depend on Him for anything.  Jesus warned that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom (Mark 10:25).  To have plenty or more than enough keeps us from realizing our spiritual needs.  But to constantly be in need for the basics of life can make one bitter towards God.  Neither extreme is good.

I am so thankful to belong to One who takes care of daily need.  He does not give me too much.  He only gives me what I need.  He knows much more than I do what I can handle and what I cannot!  He is good and His grace is sufficient.  I do not need to wish or yearn for anything except more of Him.

Thank you Lord, that Your provision today will be perfect!

 


Leave a comment

Administrative Professionals Day

Scripture for Today: Psalm 62:6-7 “Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God.  He is my mighty rock, my refuge.”

Today is a day that honors all secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other support professionals.  It was formerly called Secretaries Day and was begun by the National Secretaries Association founded in 1942.  The name changed in 2000 to reflect the diversity of roles and to make it more inclusive, but maybe not so much as to include the cat!  What a great idea it is to honor those who so faithfully work behind the scenes!

Today’s verse reminds us that our salvation depends on God.  We cannot save ourselves from our sin.  He is the One who in His grace bends down to extract us from the messiness our sin creates.  But our honor also depends on Him.  In addition to redeeming our lives, He crowns us with love and compassion (Psalm 103:4).  David even talks about how God increases honor for him in Psalm 71:21!  If believers live an honorable life, this is also due to His grace.

We all need to be appreciated and honored.  I know that when I am, those thoughtful words spur me on and motivate me to do better.  But whatever honor I receive ultimately can be attributed to God as its source.  He has created me with my talents and abilities.  He has given me opportunities and education.  He is the One who has opened up doors and placed me where I am.  If I receive any honor, it absolutely depends on Him and His grace to me.  And if I receive any honor, may it be redirected to Him!

Thank you Lord, that You create honorable lives  May my life honor You today.


1 Comment

Make a Name for Yourself

Scripture for Today: Revelation 3:5b “I will never blot out the name of that person from the Book of Life but will acknowledge that name before my Father and His angels.” 

This REO Speed Wagon from 1941 was the inspiration for a family name!  My friend’s husband was named after Uncle Reo, the 13th child in his family.  The father was not allowed to take his newborn home until he had a name.  So, looking out the hospital window he saw his neighbor go by in a REO truck and took the name from its side!  (REO actually stands for Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile).  This name continues in the family as the daughter’s name!

Today’s verse tells us that unlike names on earth that may eventually die out, there will one day be names that will never be blotted out.  These are names that remain in the Book of Life.  The ones who are victorious are the ones whose names will remain.  Not only that, Jesus will acknowledged those names before God the Father and the angels.  The victorious ones are those who will be dressed in white, like those from the Church of Sardis who remained faithful.  Those who have placed their faith in Jesus are the victorious ones! (I John 5:4)  God gives us this victory through His Son (I Cor. 15:57).

My name is only in the Book of Life because of Him.  Because of His unmerited favor towards me, He has written it there.  Nothing and no one has the authority to blot out my name except Him and He has promised to never blot it out.  Nothing will ever separate me from His undeserved love (Rom. 8:37-39).  My name is written in permanent ink because of His victory over sin and death!

Thank you Lord, for the victory I have in You!

 

 


2 Comments

“Eggstravaganza”

Scripture for Today: Psalm 9:10 “Those who know Your name trust in You, for You Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.”

I wonder if the sugar high has worn off yet!  Easter seems to be missing something if it does not include lots and lots of sweets.  Those wonderful plastic eggs that are so determinedly sought after yield up colorful jelly beans, usually the only kind of bean that gets children excited!  The search for those eggs is almost as sweet as eating their yummy contents.  The younger the child the more obvious their hiding places and even so, some of those in plain sight get passed over.

Today’s verse talks about seeking for the Lord.  It is not that He is hiding.  It is just that it takes eyes of faith to see Him.  And He wants to be discovered.  He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Heb. 11:6). But it is a search that requires faith and trust.  Knowing His name, who He is and His incredible character helps us trust Him.  His faithfulness and that empty tomb help us to continue seeking Him.  He promises never to leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

He is ready to be sought and found.  He waits for me to turn to Him when I am in trouble.  He promises to be my refuge and stronghold (verse 9).  And just like those eggs scattered for the youngest searchers, He is there is plain sight.  When I seek Him He is ready to reveal Himself and deepen our relationship.  But so often I am too busy, distracted or full of doubts to do the seeking.  I need to slow down and listen to my heart say, “Seek His face!” (Psalm 27:8) as David’s heart told him.

Thank you Lord, for allowing me to find You!