Devotions By Jan

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Scripture for Today: Hebrews 18b-19a “…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

capital 21 chanel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The word, “anchorman” used to mean the last man of a tug-of-war team or one who runs last in a relay race. Now, it means a host for a television program. A recent promotional for a major news program goes further by describing their anchorman as someone who calms and steadies when emotions are high, fears overwhelm and we are at a tipping point!

Today’s verse describes an anchor that does much more! This is an anchor for the soul that is firm and secure. Our anchor is our hope and it will not change or move. We as believers are encouraged when we take hold of this anchor of hope set before us. We hope in the unchanging and sure promises of the Lord and His Word. We have an anchor that calms and steadies regardless of the turbulent circumstances that engulf us! Nothing is as sure and reliable as this anchor.

It is almost comical to think of a newscaster being someone who can calm and steady us! Often when I see the news, my experience is just the opposite. But my heart is steady and calm in reminding myself of God’s precious promises and control. World events will not overwhelm. Circumstances do not shake my faith. It is not that my faith is so strong, but the One in whom it is placed is all-powerful! He has promised. With my eyes always on Him and His promises, I will not be shaken (Ps. 16:8).

Thank you Lord, that my hope in You anchors me.

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Sand Dollar Invasion!

Scripture for Today: John 17:15 “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

Rachel Hathaway

If you want to get rich quick, thousands of sand dollars are right now littering the southern edges of Seaside Beach on the Oregon coast! They are washing up alive on the afternoon high tides and getting stranded. If thrown back in, the ocean just plops them back up on the sand. And the longer they are outside their intertidal zone, the more unlikely their survival. That zone is found above the water level at low tide and underwater at high tide.

Today’s verse is part of the prayer Jesus prays for His disciples and for all those who will believe their message (verse 20). He asks that they be protected from the evil one even though they are in a world where he is active (John 12:31). Believers are part of this world but not of this world (verses 14 & 16). We are part of God’s Kingdom and are no longer in a kingdom of darkness (Col. 1:13). Loving the world and adopting its values is incompatible with loving the Father (I John 2:15).

When I identify too closely with the world’s ideas of what is important, it is as if I am no longer in those intertidal waters where I can thrive. Yes, I am part of this world but I need to be nourished by the environment He has chosen to strengthen me. His Word keeps my values unworldly. Being encouraged by His people keeps me on track. I do not belong up on the sand where I dry out and shrivel. I do not want the world to pull me away from my love for Him.

Lord, keep me close to You.

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Scripture for Today: II Peter 3:8 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends; with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

The hibiscus is such an exotic-looking flower. It is large and showy and comes from a large family comprising several hundred species. This flower is also called the “rose of sharon” and mentioned in the Bible (Song of Songs 2:1) But those bright colorful blooms are short-lived, typically blooming for only one day. Once finished blooming,┬áthe flower will close up and drop off. One day of vibrant color and life. Just one day.

Today’s verse reminds us of the eternal nature of our God. He is not bound by time constraints. He is outside of time. A day can be like a thousand years or a thousand years can pass by like a day. So perhaps in God’s sight, that bloom lasts a thousand years! This reminder served to encourage the believers that God is not slow about fulfilling His promise to return. When it seems so, it is because in His love and patience He waits to include more of us in His family.

I need this reminder. I get weary of waiting to see everything fulfilled that He has promised. But His Word is always true and sure. And it is in the waiting that my faith is tested and tried. In the meantime, God gives me so many gracious reassurances of His love and direction! Over and over He has come through in what can only be called a “God thing!” I know and can be confident that every promise regarding the future will be fulfilled in His perfect timing!

Thank you Lord, that You are true to Your Word!

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Make Up Call

Scripture for Today: Acts 17:31 “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

The Make Up Call would never be necessary in a perfect world where every referee call were done perfectly. But of course, referees are only human. If he erroneously gives possession of the basketball to one team, he may try to balance out the injustice with a make up call. To do that he may quickly whistle a travel or improper zone defense on that team in order to restore possession to the other wronged team. That penalty may be entirely fictional in order to right a previous wrong!

Today’s verse promises a day when the world will be judged. All wrongs will be put right. Perfect justice will be meted out and it will be perfectly done. It will be perfect because of who is appointed to do it; Jesus Christ. The proof of His right to establish justice is evident in His resurrection. In His perfect judgement there will be no make up calls to balance out an injustice. There will no challenges at all to the absolute rightness of what He will declare.

At no point can I ever argue with the His perfect justice. I can never point out something He missed or excuse myself because of my good intentions. There are no extenuating circumstances that can cloud the issue of my absolute guilt before Him. His justice is always fair. Thankfully, He sees Christ’s righteousness when looking at me (Rom. 3:22) and I am under no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). But it is comforting to know that whatever injustice gets overlooked here will one day be put right.

Thank you Lord, for Your perfect justice.



Scripture for Today: Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

Is there anything softer than downey feathers? This is certainly why some duvets and pillows afford such wonderful and comforting sleep. Apart from being breathable and regulating body temperature, these soft feathers will envelop and conform to the body. They are so malleable that there is less strain on the muscles. Their natural softness just wraps around the body, so much so that it is hard to leave!

What a beautiful image feathers are in today’s verse! The Lord covers the believer with something so soft. Yet, at the same time, His feathers are strong, providing refuge from any attack! It is under His wings that we discover His faithful care, as strong and protective as a shield or surrounding rampart. His feathers are lightweight, not weighing us down. We can breathe deeply and catch our breath there, surrounded by His attentive safe keeping. His soft feathers wrap around the body shielding us from whatever threatens us.

The best place to be is under His wings. How good He is to provide that respite for the soul! Sometimes I do not even realize how harsh the world is until I go there and feel the contrast of His soft enveloping love. He offers me His protection and strength there under His waiting wings. But how often do I go there? I am just silly enough to walk right past Him and muddle through on my own. But I have had enough of hard realities. I need to relax, let go, and bask in the soft realities of His love and care.

Lord, keep me under Your wings today.