Devotions By Jan

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Our Bald Eagle

Scripture for Today: Psalm 103:5 “who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

The majestic Bald Eagle has been our National Bird since being placed on our official national seal in 1782 by congress. As we were still embroiled in war with England until the following year, this bird was a fitting choice, looking strong and fierce! In fact, the eagle has been used as a symbol of strength in many different countries throughout the centuries. It was even used by the Roman Legions as their standard.

Today’s verse is a call to praise the Lord for all of His benefits. David then lists several, ending with this amazing declaration. God satisfies our desires so that even our youth is renewed like the eagle’s!  Rather than constantly flapping our wings, we ride that thermal air current, soaring in His power. To be like the eagle means gaining new heights and flying long distances with minimal effort. Regardless of our age, renewal gives new impetus and energy! Satisfaction with what God gives allows us to experience new strength!

Looking to the Lord to take care of each desire is an exercise in renewal. No longer is there an energy drain fussing about what I do not have or pining away for what I wish I had. I am freed from discontent when I hand over my desires to Him. He knows what I really want. He knows what it is I truly need. He sees what complications can come from some of my wants. He only gives to me what is good. I want to relinquish every desire to Him and not be dragged down from the heights where I can be soaring! Satisfaction with Him is energizing!

Thank you Lord, for the renewal You offer me today.


Big Boy Pants

Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

We have a saying in our home that my husband uses when faced with a difficult or unpleasant task; ” I’ll just put on my big boy pants!” Although not heard so often, the idea comes from an earlier era. In the 1910’s and 1920’s, wearing long pants was a true rite of passage. Sometime during the teen years, knee pants, knickers or knickerbockers worn as a boy are exchanged for long pants. This signals to others a certain recognized maturity. So to wear big boy pants today is to do the responsible mature thing!

Today’s verse is Paul’s confident assertion that Christ gives him strength. This strength enables him not just to do the responsible mature thing but to find contentment in whatever situation he finds himself. It is Christ’s offered strength that is the secret to Paul’s contentment (verse 12). Not only does God give strength for the task but He also gives a sense of contentment throughout the ordeal. And it is in abiding and connecting ourselves to the Source of strength that we can rise to the occasion and be effective (John 15:5).

I tend to lean on my own resources. There is a certain “can do” attitude that I expect of myself. But to have a contented heart when the going gets tough is truly a gift of strength from the Lord. When I am overwhelmed by circumstances I cannot change, I need His supernatural strength to be settled and peaceful inside. His contentment has nothing to do with whether today was a good day or a bad day. What a beautiful gift His contentment is! Regardless of the difficulty, He makes my heart light.

Lord, I need Your strength today.



Scripture for Today: Hebrews 11:26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead for his reward.”

What started out as a joke in 2013 has now become the fourth largest crypto by market value! With that logo of Shiba Inu from the “Doge” meme it is hard to take seriously at first glance. But in the world of cryptocurrency it is gaining momentum. At this writing its value has climbed to 55 cents. But many are skeptical and cautious. One of the main differences between this and the bitcoin is that the total supply is uncapped. It is unlimited!

What we value determines how we live. For Moses in today’s verse, he did not value what most would. He was able to turn his back on the riches of Egypt and leave his privileged position. He did this in obedience to God’s call even though it would mean disgrace and loss of recognition by the royal family. He could do this because he was looking in faith toward his eternal reward. Like Paul, Moses could count every advantage as “garbage” compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8)!

Do I value knowing Christ just as much? Like the fluctuating market where values rise and fall, the value I assign to Him can change. His worth far exceeds anything on earth but my priorities sometimes veer towards what is “garbage” in comparison. I am so easily distracted by what the world values. But when I arrive at my eternal home where streets are made of gold and gates of precious stones, I will laugh at what I thought was so important here!!

Lord, keep me valuing what has true worth!

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The Tapir

Scripture for Today: II Corinthians 9:10 “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”

Meet Baird’s Tapir, one of three kinds found in the forests of South America. These animals are related to the horse and the rhino and are recognizable by their “mini trunk.” This flexible snout is really their nose and upper lip combined. It is used to grab branches, pluck fruit and as a snorkel in water! The tapir is called, “the gardener of the forest,” as they spread seeds everywhere in their scat!

Today’s verse tells us that God is the Source of our seed as well as of our bread. We, as believers, are to sow seed that will result in a harvest of righteousness. The Source of our store of seed promises to increase it when we give to others generously. His blessing means having what is needed in order to “abound in every good work.” (verse 8) We are encouraged to sow generously so as to reap generously a harvest that is spiritual. (verse 6) God blesses with spiritual fruit those seeds of time, talent and money sown for Him!

Over the years I have seen the truth of this principle. I cannot explain God’s blessings in my life. They are totally undeserved. But whether I have a lot or a little, my focus is not to be on how much is in the storerooms but how much I am giving out. Somehow, when my attention is on His kingdom and giving to see it advanced, I see my own needs met and feel no lack. Seeing His blessing reassures me of His care and keeps me focused on HIs priorities!

Lord, make me generous and not overly concerned with the storehouse.

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Jolly Green Giant

Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I can still remember the days when canned and frozen foods were not so prevalent in France twenty-five years ago.  Most everything had to be made from scratch. Now, the Jolly Green Giant is everywhere.  But I have always wondered why this giant was jolly. In God’s Word, the giant, Goliath, was a mighty warrior that defied the Lord Almighty and His people. The other four giants mentioned in II Samuel 21 were not so jolly either. Each one vehemently opposed the God of the universe. None of these giants finished well having been defeated by God’s people. In each victory God gave amazing strength to square off against these impossibly large warriors. 

Today’s verse is a declaration by Paul of the strength God gives. Because of this strength, Paul was able to face a particular giant; the giant of discontent. The context speaks of learning to be content in any and every situation.  Paul could live a contented life only through the strength God gives. His contentment did not come from having lots or having little. His contentment came directly from His Creator. And his circumstances never held him back from being all that God wanted him to be.

Discontent can loom like a giant for me. Overcoming feelings of dissatisfaction can seem nearly impossible. The size of my longings for a different set of circumstances can blot out the joy of following the path the Lord has chosen for me. But with the strength God offers, I can vanquish feelings of deprivation and dissatisfaction. This is not something I can achieve on my own but only through Him. Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Thank you Lord, for Your strength to cut down to size any discontent I may feel today!

(Look familiar? This is a repost from 2014)