Devotions By Jan


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The Red Carpet

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:28 “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.”

For many the red carpet represents fame, fortune and accolade.  Since the twenties the red carpet has been associated with Hollywood stardom, showcasing our film stars.  Getting the “red carpet treatment,” is a saying dating back to 1902 when special train passengers were welcomed aboard an exclusive express car.  But looking back further, the red carpet dates back to ancient Greece and was reserved for royal feet.  The red color was special as the dye was difficult and expensive to make from the cochineal insect.

I do not ever expect to walk on the red carpet.  But according to the verse for today, I can be on a path that leads to immortality.  I am not receiving accolades from the media or any official recognition.  But there is One watching where I put my feet.  I am stepping on a way of righteousness.  That righteousness does not come from me but from Christ. The path is red with His blood as He made a way for me, living a sinless life because I could not.

Because of the cross, my path leads to an eternity with Him!  There, all the accolades and glory will go to Him.  He deserves all my praise and gratitude.  The one-dimensional tributes and trophies given here will pale in comparison to the eternal reality that awaits.  He wants me to persevere in doing what He wants, staying on that path in order to receive what He has promised (Heb. 10:36).  It is just not important that there is no recognition here.  I would rather walk on those streets of gold than any special red carpet!

Lord, keep me focused on pleasing You today.

Look familiar?  This is a repost due to summer ministries.


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Fido

Scripture for Today: Psalm 117:1-2 “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples. For great is His steadfast love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.”

In the town of Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy, this monument stands  as a silent tribute to the faithfulness of one called, Fido, meaning “faithful one,” in Latin.  Each day this dog would accompany his owner to the bus stop and then meet him there again at its close.  But everything changed in 1945 when the owner died in a city-wide bombing.  Even so, Fido would faithfully continue his trips to the bus stop.  This continued for the next fourteen years until the day he died, waiting at that bus stop.

Today’s verse describes a faithfulness that has no equal.  The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  His love for His own never fails and is perfectly expressed in His unending faithful commitment.  There is no waning.  There are no breaks or interruptions.  His faithfulness has no end as He is eternal and unchanging.  Praising Him is the very least we can do in response to such incredible faithfulness!

There is nothing that I can rely on as sure, steady and consistent as His love.  I waver and I am fickle but His faithfulness and commitment to me are solid.  It is the foundation to my life and without it I would be utterly lost.  I can live in reliance on His faithfulness (Psalm 26:3).  His love gives me purpose.  His love gives motivation to live each day.  His love is my support when everything around me is falling apart.  Thankfully, His love is faithful and will never change.

Thank you Lord, that I can count on Your faithful love today, and tomorrow.

Look familiar?  This is a repost due to summer ministries.

 


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Merry-Go-Round

Scripture for Today:  Ecclesiastes 1:9  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

I am so glad my grandsons are not too old for the merry-go-round.  I enjoy them too as there are no heart-stopping descents or speeds that take my breath away!  The movement is gentle, the music is appealing and the views of folks enjoying themselves all make the ride pleasant.  But of course, after a little bit the sameness starts to get to me.  When the novelty begins to wear off, I begin looking at my watch.

Today’s verse recognizes that there can be a sameness to our days which can be a challenge.  The same view may present itself again and again.  The same experience with only a few variations can have us thinking, “deja vu.”  There is the feeling of “been there, done that.”  What has been done before will be done again.  Life can feel like it is going around in circles.

Unlike Solomon I can view life differently when I include the Lord.  There may be “nothing new under the sun” but the One who gives purpose to my life is above the sun!  I do not always understand His purpose but it is a comfort to know that there is one!  I can take pleasure in the thought that He had plans for this day even before I was born.  I can face the routine and sameness of each day because there just may arise a new opportunity to serve Him, if I am looking for it!  My relationship with Christ can make each day different.  My communion and conversation with Him can be fresh and new each day.  I am climbing off that merry-go-round.

Thank you Lord, for making life full and meaningful!


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The Bench Seat

Scripture for Today:  Hebrews 3:5  “Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.'”

The classic cars are great for one very personal reason; they often have that bench-style seat!  Instead of being separated from my Honey by bucket seats, I can snuggle up close.  I have heard it said that one can see how long a couple has been married by the distance the wife puts between herself and the driver.  Of course, the driver has not moved.  But the wife would sometimes inch her way towards the door a little more each year!

In today’s verse Jesus promises never to leave us or abandon us.  He does not move.  His love remains constant.  It is because of the promise of His presence and care that we can be free of money worries.  Rather than loving money we love Him.  Rather than looking for contentment elsewhere, we find it in His love.

There are times I feel very far from the Lord.  I know He is there but I do not sense His presence.  Without even being aware, I find I have inched toward that door.  It has happened through my own neglect of His Word.  Or I have simply let drop my conversations with Him.  He has not moved.  I have.  Inching away from Him leads to feeling discontented. I start looking out the car window at all the things I think I should have.  Because He has not moved, the solution is simple.  Through His Word and through our conversations I come back to where He is.  He waits for me and He promises to be there.

Thank you, Lord, that you never move!


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The Happy Button

Scripture for Today: Matthew 25:23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share in your master’s happiness.'”

This is one way to get feedback easily.  Many airports worldwide use this system to determine satisfaction level.  With a quick push of a button one can rate their experience.  The choices are; very happy, pretty happy, pretty unhappy or very unhappy.  The faces make the choices clear in any language.  Companies use this data created by “Happy or Not” to improve service.  CNBC recently reported the 1 billionth Smiley button press!

Today’s verse has some very important feedback!  The context is the parable of the talents taught by Jesus.  The master of the house, after being away, calls for an accounting from each of his servants.  He commends two of them for their faithfulness in increasing what was entrusted to them.  Not only were they given positive feedback but they were rewarded with more responsibility.

One day, I hope to hear the same words of this verse when entering His presence.  But I need feedback today too.  Positive feedback from Him is motivating!  But He does communicate that feedback.  Many times it is through His reassuring Word.  Sometimes it can be through the encouragement of other believers.  It can even be the progress I see in the small victories over temptation.  His feedback may be expressed in giving me more responsibility.  More often, I just feel a closer sense of His presence.  His love  and strength seem more real somehow.  Intimacy and connection feel deeper.  There have been times I have even felt His pleasure!

Feedback or not, Lord, may I be found faithful to the end!


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Trivial Pursuit

Scripture for Today: Psalm 139:2-3 “You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.”

Trivial Pursuit is probably one of my least favorite board games.  Somehow, the questions on popular culture and general knowledge have a way of stumping me and making me look stupid!  Yet it has enjoyed much success having sold over a 100 million games in 26 languages and in 17 different languages!  I console myself with the thought that the one who wins is simply the one who knows the most trivia!

Today’s verse describes God’s intimate knowledge of us.  He knows not only our physical movements but the direction of our thoughts as well.  God is so big that the smallest most trivial detail does not get past Him!  He knows when, where and why a swallow falls to the ground and He knows just how many hairs are currently on my head.  Our powerful God is not only Lord of the universe but also cares about the puny unimportant minutia of our lives.  His omniscience is all inclusive.

I find enormous comfort and assurance to know He is intimately involved in the details of my life.  Because of His love and grace, I do not have to hide from this knowledge.  And His intimate knowledge of me means I can live without fear.  I can move confidently through my day, knowing He is there.  He knows and He cares, even when it is something so small that has me worried.  Rather than get nervous over what could happen, I can trust Him.  There is nothing too small for His notice.  There is nothing too trivial.

Thank you Lord, that I can come to You over the smallest thing.


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Taking it Easy?

Scripture for Today: Psalm 71:18 “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, ’til I declare Your power to the next generation, Your mighty acts to all who are to come.”

This image has rest and relaxation written all over it!  I can imagine that the couple pictured have lived a busy and productive life, maybe with several career changes.  Perhaps they have stopped punching a clock.  The hard part of raising a family is behind them.  They have paid their dues and are now enjoying their “golden years.”

Today’s verse is looking forward to this stage of life.  But rather than thinking about well-deserved rest and relaxation, David still has a “to do” list in mind.  He looks forward to declaring to the next generation all that the Lord has done for him.  There is still a story to be told to others of all of God’s miracles seen in a lifetime!  With age, the story becomes longer and richer and more credible.

I know He will never leave me or forsake me (I Kings 8:57)  He has shown Himself faithful to me time and time again! Declaring His power and His greatness is a privilege belonging especially to those of a certain age.  In testifying to His faithfulness throughout a long life, others are encouraged to persevere in the faith.  In this sense, there is no retirement when it comes to speaking to the next generation of God’s greatness!  And it is often in looking back over the years that we see more clearly His miraculous hand!  I know my children and my grandchildren are watching me.  They will never see perfection but my prayer is that they will hear from me praise and testimony to God’s power!

Lord, keep me praising You to others.