Devotions By Jan


Leave a comment

My Heart’s Desire

Scripture for Today:  Isaiah 26:8 “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”

I am amazed to see the variety and quantity of heart shaped boxes of chocolate displayed on the shelves for Valentine’s day!  I am a recovering “chocoholic” so I dare not linger long in front of those tempting displays!  If addiction means intense craving, loss of control, or continued use despite negative consequences, than that could be me if I am not careful!  According to the Nielsen consumer study group, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, 58 million pounds of chocolate are sold!  There is something about that “dark master…the cocoa bean” that creates strong desire!

Today’s verse mentions a desire of the heart.  It is much deeper than any other desire.  A desire for God’s glory completely changes a life.  Wanting His name to be known means saying,”Yes, Lord,” to what He asks of us.  Wanting His name to be more prominent than our own means we will follow Him.  His glory in our lives will be evident by the way we walk, following His commandments.

The best way my husband loves me is when he praises me to others!  In turn, I honor him at every opportunity.  I want him to be recognized for all his hard work and sacrifice.  It is the same principle with our Lord.  We show Him that we love Him when we praise Him to others!  We show we are jealous for His name and glory when we walk in a way that honors Him.  It is the best way I can love my Lord.

Lord, You are the desire of my heart!  Help me to live that truth today!

Advertisements


2 Comments

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.

 


Leave a comment

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1 Comment

S & H Green Stamps

Scripture for Today: Psalm 103:4 “who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”

Collecting these green stamps was part of my everyday life growing up.  The disagreeable part was licking the back of them to put in the collector’s book!  These stamps were one of the first loyalty programs.  From 1930 to the late 80’s, Sperry and Hutchinson rewarded customers with stamps at grocery stores, department stores and gas stations.  They could be redeemed for a variety of products from their catalog.  I remember dreaming over certain products but my Mother redeemed them for more practical choices.

Today’s verse redeems something infinitely more important than stamps!  God redeems our lives.  He brings us up from the pit and restores dignity with the gift of His unconditional love and compassion.  He redeems us from the “realm of the dead” and takes us to Himself (Ps.49:15).  And He didi it at an enormous cost to Himself!  Not with gold or silver but with the precious blood of Christ (I Peter 1:18-19).  He gave Himself to redeem us (Titus 2:14).  No one can redeem the life of another (Ps. 49:7-9)  He did for us what none of us could do for ourselves!

The only reasonable response to being redeemed is praise!  And part of expressing that praise is for the redeemed to say so!! (Psalm 107:2)  He is my personal Redeemer!  Nothing obligated Him to pull me up from that pit.  His love and compassion for me are completely unearned!  Not only does He give me what I do not deserve but He does not treat me as my sins do deserve (Psalm 103:10).  What amazing love, what incredible compassion that He would give His life in exchange for mine!

I am redeemed and how I do love to proclaim it!


Leave a comment

The Accordion

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” 

The music of an accordion is such a happy one, reminding me of street performers, dances, and festivals in France.  The buttonboard cannot be seen by the player so some buttons have a small depression so the player can navigate by feel.  The base-note buttons sound one or more notes in differing octaves.  The chord buttons emit a three-note chord when pressed.  This 120 button layout can seem confusing.  But the one thing each button has in common is that it needs to be pushed to be sounded.

Today’s verse is a warning about anger.  When someone “pushes our buttons,” it can have a predictable result.  We can be quickly provoked to anger with the right trigger, especially when there is a history with the one goading us.  Certain words, situations or reminders can rouse us to anger in an instant.  Unfortunately, it more often happens with those who are the closest to us.  But when we allow anger to settle down and take up residence, we risk becoming a fool.

Anger can sometimes be completely justified  But anger can also turn me into a fool if I let it linger (Eph. 4:26).  And I am to be slow to get to that point of anger if I want to be like Him (Ps. 103:8).  If I always react with anger at the mention of someone’s name, than anger is residing in my lap!  I need God’s Spirit to cultivate the same kind of love, compassion and forgiveness in my heart that the Lord has shown me.  That way, pushing my buttons will only produce something melodious!

Lord, make me slow to anger and quick to forgive.


2 Comments

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!


Leave a comment

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.