Devotions By Jan


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Financial Infidelity

Scripture for Today: Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; love and faithfulness go before You.”

Is financial infidelity as bad as physical infidelity?  For more than half of those surveyed, the answer was a resounding Yes!  Keeping financial secrets from one’s significant other communicates a severe lack of trust.  Money issues are the second biggest cause for divorce after infidelity.  And only 52% of those surveyed believe that their partner was totally honest with them when  it comes to money.  Deceit in this area cuts out from under one’s feet the important foundation love needs to survive; that of trust.

Today’s verse describes a love that is faithful.  God’s love for His own is right and just and would never cheat or deceive.  His love is completely trustworthy being a perfect love.  When others are not faithful with us, it is easy to believe that loyalty just cannot be found anymore (Psalm 12:1).  And the truth is, we are all weak and flawed.  Our love for one another is not a perfect faithful love.  We disappoint each other and we destroy trust.  But God’s love will never disappoint!  His faithfulness reaches to the skies and His love is always faithful and trustworthy.

A love that will last for eternity takes faithfulness to a whole new level!  God’s love is like no other.  Not only did He initiate this love, but He shows it to the very ones who put Him to death!  His love thankfully does not depend on my response.  He so loved that He gave (John 3:16).  And He has never stopped loving or giving!  That is a love I can count on.  His love holds me up when others let me down.

Thank You Lord for Your faithful love.  Help me to believe it today.

 

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Sinkhole Rescue

Scripture for Today:   Psalms 40:2 “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Poor Ruby.  They say curiosity kills the cat, but dogs are curious too!  This sweet Golden Retriever was on a walk with her owner and seeing something new, a sinkhole, she approached to check it out.  Ruby fell in and spent several unhappy hours there before being rescued.  Thankfully, she was not injured and was happily reunited with his worried owner.

Today’s verse describes depression like a horrible pit.  The floor of that pit is a miry clay where one cannot get any traction.  The only escape is for the Lord to lift David out in answer to his cry.  It did not happen immediately.  David had to wait patiently for God to act (verse 1).  And the pit did not disappear.  It still exists as there is always the temptation to climb back in o that pit of sadness and self-pity.  But God set David’s feet on the Rock of Himself, giving him a sure standing on His faithfulness.

That slippery clay of emotion keeps me from a firm footing.  I want to stand on the truth of God’s Word and His character.  Regardless of how I feel, He does not change nor do His promises.  Sometimes, when the miry clay is especially thick, I cannot even pray or read His Word.  When I am in the pit of despair, the only solution is to cry out to Him for help.  I cannot pull myself up by self-talk.  How gracious He is to hear my cry and to “put a new song in my mouth.” (verse 3)  He changes my pit into praise!

Thank you Lord, for not leaving me in the pits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Doomsday Clock

Scripture for Today: Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

The time left on the “doomsday clock” is not very encouraging.  This symbolic clock reads 2 minutes to midnight, or 2 minutes to a global man-made catastrophe!  The members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists started the doomsday clock in 1947.  Since then, it has read as much as 17 minutes to midnight (1991).  This year marks the third time it has shown 2 minutes remaining.  Nuclear risk and climate change are the factors that influence the clock.

Today’s verse talks about an hour that has already come; the hour to wake up from spiritual slumber.  The night is almost over and the day is about to arrive.  This is not a doomsday clock for the believer, but it is something for which we need to be prepared.  We are to understand our times, the present time and the time that is to come.  God’s Word gives us signs for what is coming.  Although there are lots of different ideas about how to interpret them, one thing is sure; our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed!

It is easy for me to be sleepy and to believe that things will always continue as they are.  I need to “wake up” and realize that my time is limited.  Knowing that Christ’s return could happen at any moment changes my priorities and how I live.  When I live with this certainty, it makes me want to live a pure life that pleases Him (I John 3:2-3).  I want to live wisely, making the most of every opportunity the Lord offers me (Eph. 5:15-16).

Lord, wake me up today!

 


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Building Forts

Scripture for Today: Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love, for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.”

Kids can make a fort out of just about anything!  All that is needed is a little imagination and a few props.  There was not only room enough in this fort for my two grandsons but their mother as well.  Surprisingly, she stayed in there after the boys lost interest.  Maybe not so surprisingly!  It was quiet and peaceful there.  It was even warm with the protection from drafts.  After even just a few minutes inside, she came out looking happily refreshed!

Today’s verse describes God as a fortress and refuge.  David’s house was being watched by Saul’s men as they laid in wait to ambush and kill him.  David prays for deliverance not only from his enemies (verse 1), but from their slander, curses and lies (verses 10 & 12).  He recognizes that God is his strength and that he can rely on Him (verse 10).  David’s confidence in God being his strength, fortress and refuge is so strong that he can sing!  He praises God in song for His strength and His love.

In times of trouble, I need the warmth and protection of HIs strength and love.  Actually, I just need Him all the time.  But it is when faced with hard times that I realize my need.  His presence fortifies and strengthens my resolve to stand firm and resolute.  His love reminds me that He is in control and will not allow me to be overwhelmed.  His strength can be mine when I run to Him for shelter.  I am His.  I belong to Him and whatever I am facing, nothing is too hard for HIm.

Lord, I will sing today of Your strength and love!


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Chased by a Moose!

Scripture for Today: Psalm 57:3 “He sends from Heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me – Gods sends forth His love and His faithfulness.”

Some snowboarders at a ski resort in Breckenridge, Colorado got the surprise of their lives when chased by a moose!  The animal looked calm enough but at one point must have felt threatened as they zipped by on their boards!  Just before charging, the ears of a moose are laid back and the hairs on its hump are raised.  If pursued by a moose, it is recommended to either run or take cover behind something solid like a tree.

Today’s verse speaks of being hotly pursued.  David is running from an enemy that is intent on destroying him; Saul.  Unlike a moose whose charge is sometimes only a warning, this pursuit was to the death!  David cries out to the Lord for mercy.  He takes cover in a cave and God protects David out of His love and faithfulness.  Because David’s heart is steadfast he can sing and make music in the middle of disaster (verse 7).  His trust and confidence is so strong that he describes God’s love as reaching to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies (verse 10).

I am amazed at David’s trust in God while being so relentlessly pursued!  Rather than respond with fear or complaint, David looks past his circumstances to the love and faithfulness of God.  His situation sure did not stimulate this praise.  And sometimes, neither does mine.  It can be hard to praise Him when faced with unnerving conflict and injustice.  But when I call to mind His love for me I can be confident.  When I remember His faithfulness my heart can take courage.  He will fight for me.  He will vindicate me.

Lord, remind today of Your love and faithfulness.

 


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Banished Words

Scripture for Today: Luke 16:17 “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”

Every year since 1976 Lake Superior State University has issued a list of banished words.  These words are nominated from around the world.  They include pet peeves from everyday speech.  But they also come from news, education, and advertising, among other fields.  The 2019 list includes: yeet, collusion, ghosting and accoutrements.  Their list is comprised of words that are misused, overused or useless!

Today’s verse speaks of the permanence of God’s Word.  In contrast to the falling out of favor and banishment of words, the Word of God stands forever (Psalm 119:89).  It would be easier for all of heaven and earth to disappear than for even one little part of His Law to be null and void.  What God says stands for all eternity.  There are no mistakes and there is never a need for revision.  His Word is always relevant throughout the centuries.  Because His Words are inspired by His Spirit, they communicate unchangeable truth.  The standards of the Law are not changed by popular opinion or a nominating committee!

How convicting and comforting His Word can be!  It is convicting because it exposes my heart and motives (Heb. 4:12).  And His Law shows me how woefully I do not measure up.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ kept the Law and perfectly fulfilled it.  His righteousness is mine through faith in His work and sacrifice (Romans 3:22).  But His eternal Word is also comforting.  It is truth that never changes and strengthens my faith (Romans 10:17).  His Word reminds me of His love and faithfulness.  His Word gives me an unshakeable hope that is an anchor for my soul.

Thank you Lord, that Your Word is forever and worthy of trust.

 

 

 


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Chicken Feet

Scripture for Today: Psalm 18:33 “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He causes me to stand on the heights.”

I have loved our excursions in the Alps of Haute Savoie, France.  And once we have even surprised a herd of Ibex mountain goats.  But we have never come across a brood of chickens on those heights!  Even though some breeds have an extra toe, none could grip, climb and keep their balance on a mountainous terrain.  The feet of deer and mountain goats are sure-footed and allow them to scale the heights.

Today’s verse comes from David’s song of praise for God’s deliverance from Saul.  He begins it saying, “I love You Lord, my strength.”  He describes God as His shield, rock, fortress, and stronghold.  David recognizes that it is God giving him strength to stand on the heights of victory over his enemies (verse 32).  His feet are as sure-footed as the deer and David even thanks God that his ankles do not give way (verse 36).  It is God who helps Him and makes him great.

When I look down at my feet, I see chicken’s feet!  Without His help and strength, I am unsure and wobbly.  When the path is level I can do pretty well on my own.  The problem is that life is seldom smooth.  My path is strewn with pits and obstacles.  My enemies are often the unseen ones of doubt, discouragement, fear and frustration.  They trip me up.  I need God’s help and strength everyday.  When He answers my cry, He infuses strength in my soul to face the hard times.  He not only gets me through but He gives me victory!  How incredible to stand on the heights and enjoy the view of His faithfulness!

Lord, make my feet like the deer today.