Devotions By Jan


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A Good Egg

Scripture for Today: Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Imagine my surprise when on opening an egg carton this verse greeted me; “This is the day which the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  As the day had started differently with my grandson impatient for his breakfast, it was a welcomed reminder.  Suddenly, the unaccustomed chaos around me with his mother in the hospital was not quite so  serious.  Instead of scrambled thoughts with the scrambled eggs, I was able to focus my thoughts on just who had made this day!

Today’s verse is such an encouragement.  God’s compassions are new every morning.  And certainly a new day is a mercy and compassion from Him that we do not deserve.   Each day of life is a gift regardless of the struggle it can be.   Each day of life can be a reason for gladness when we recognize His hand and His mercies throughout the day.  His faithfulness to us, to His word and to His promises is totally undeserved.

My day starts out a whole lot better when I recognize His compassion.  On waking I realize that He has again spared me and granted me life.  One day, my eyes may not fly open with the morning light.  But He has given me this day.  He created it and He has plans for today.  I can be confident that He knows what it holds and His mercy and compassion will carry me through it.  His compassions are new and not warmed up leftovers from yesterday.  How incredible is His faithful love for me!  And how undeserving I am!

Thank you Lord for today/

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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.

 


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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.


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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!

 


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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!

 

 


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Air Bag Fail?

Scripture for Today: Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.”

No, my Mother-in-law’s air bag did not deploy.  Her 1991 car had only frontal air bags in any case and none on the sides.  But we do what we can to protect ourselves in the event of a crash.  We wear our seat belts and obey the rules.  We often depend on those air bags even though there have been recalls and even though there are counterfeits out there that malfunction.  And not every airbag is even supposed to deploy in some circumstances.  But we do try to take every precaution.

Today’s verse tells us that God’s protection belongs to those who love His name.  We can rejoice because He is all-knowing and all-powerful.  Knowing that He is in control means that we can have a light heart and even sing for joy.  His love and protection is always trustworthy as He has a plan for what He allows to happen.

I wish belonging to the Lord meant that I or my loved ones are never touched by evil, sickness or accident.  We live in a fallen world and it is not Paradise!  But God’s Word reassures me that He is in control.  The pain and suffering He allows is always used for His higher purposes.  None of it is “bad luck” or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I am fragile.  Life is fragile.  But I belong to the God of the universe and that calms me down.  He has already taken care of my eternity.  I can trust Him for every detail of this life.

Thank you Lord, that Your loving kindness protects me.

 


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The Quokka

Scripture for Today: Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

This seemingly sweet quokka looks as if he is smiling.  He is the smallest member of the “big foot” family that includes the kangaroo and wallaby.  They look so cuddly with their teddy bear ears and their doe like eyes.  But in fact, they can be quite vicious when using  their sharp claws.  This adorable looking animal is not so adorable when the mother pushes her baby out of her pouch when chased in order to escape her predator!

Today’s verse is a promise that the Lord will never abandon His own.  What a comforting truth that the Lord our God will go with us!  He not only is with us but He goes before us and leads the way.  Because He will never leave us or forsake us, we are not fearful or discouraged.  There is never a question of being abandoned by God.  These words were spoken by Moses to the Israelites in verse 6 and then repeated in verse 8 to Joshua and the Israelites.  His leadership was coming to an end and Moses did not want them to feel abandoned.

It is during the hard discouraging times that the Lord wants to reassure me of His loving presence and control.  Looking at my unclear future causes anxious fearful thoughts to fill me.  Looking at my daunting circumstances brings discouragement.  But looking to Him brings me hope.  He is right there in front of me, clearing the way through the mess.  The promise that He will never leave me or abandon me helps calm me down.

Lord, help me remember that You are there and working on my behalf.