Devotions By Jan

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EV Charging

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:27-28 “Cause me to understand the way of Your precepts, that I may meditate on Your wonderful deeds. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word.”

by Ivan Radic

The electric vehicle charging station is making its appearance more and more frequently in daily life. This change to an alternate source of power has its share of controversy. But it seems that this change is here to stay in one form or another. And as the situation evolves, there is one truth that everyone can agree on and that is the continuing need for sustainable energy. Regardless of the form it takes, no one wants to read the word, “Empty” on that dashboard!

Today’s verse reminds us that God’s Word can be our “charging station.” It is His Word that strengthens a soul. Understanding how He wants us to live, thinking long and hard about what He has already accomplished and spending time in praising Him gives solace to a soul lethargic with sadness. It is sadness that can so quickly deplete our strength. But He promises that through His Word our souls are strengthened.

My alone time with the Lord is my charging station, renewing my strength and even lifting my spirits. But I do not need to wait until I am dangerously low on power to come to Him! I do not want that needle anywhere near empty before turning to His Word for the encouragement I need. Being “charged up” not only strengthens me but puts me in a state of readiness for whatever challenge is around the corner. It is only in being connected to Christ and His Word that I can be at full strength to face whatever this day may bring!

Lord, fill me with Your strength today.

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“Strong Arm” Saguaro

Scripture for Today: Psalm 89:13 “Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.”

This majestic Saguaro not only dwarfs its visitors by its size but can boast of a long life, some of them being as old as 200 years! Recently, the “Strong Arm” Saguaro in Marana, Arizona fell over, all forty feet of it! Its thirty-four arms lay broken and dusty on the floor of the Tortolita Preserve. What an undignified end to what is considered an impressive symbol of the Sonoran Desert!

Today’s verse describes another arm that will never face a similar fate. The arm of God is so powerful that by it He created the heavens and the earth (Jer. 32:17). His outstretched arm has accomplished great and awesome deeds (Deut. 4:34) and by the incredible power of His arm He redeems and saves those who reach out to grasp it (Ex. 6:6). His strong arm scatters His enemies (vs. 10) but strengthens those who belong to Him (verse 21). But not only are His arms powerful, they are tender as well. He gathers us in His arms and carries us close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11).

God’s powerful arms would actually evoke fear if it were not for His love. God’s unlimited power is part of what makes Him God. But I am grateful that because of His great love and grace, those arms operate for me and not against me (Rom. 8:31). The same power demonstrated in His arm is the same power that keeps my soul entrusted to Him! (II Tim 1:12) Nothing is too hard for Him and I can absolutely trust what His powerful arms are doing in my life.

Thank you Lord, that Your powerful arms keep me close to Your heart.

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The Mongoose

Scripture for Today: II Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

This Dwarf mongoose makes his home in Botswana and he happens to be sitting atop an abandoned termite mound. As small as he is, he is bold enough to take down a king cobra! His speed and agility are remarkable, darting at the head of the snake and cracking its skull with his powerful bite! He himself does not need to worry about being bitten. That is because he has a protein that binds to proteins in the snake venom, rendering it harmless.

Today’s verse is a wonderful promise of the Lord to His own. He promises to strengthen and protect the believer from the evil one. Satan showed up in the very beginning as a serpent who deceives (Gen 3:13). He is also pictured as a lion looking to devour its prey (I Peter 5:8). There will be attacks and we are encouraged to stand firm in the faith with the armor He provides (Eph. 6:10-17). We may feel small, but the Lord is faithful to protect our soul, now and for eternity. Nothing and no one can snatch us from His powerful protective hands (John 10:29).

Like the small mongoose, I can be fearless and confident! I do not want to underestimate the enemy, but I know that victory is mine in Christ. The venom and sting of death is rendered powerless because of God’s faithfulness to me. There may be that occasional skirmish that can discourage, but the outcome is already decided! If God is for me, who can be against me? (Rom. 8:31) And this victory does not depend on this fickle soul but on the Savior of my soul who has promised!

Thank you Lord, for Your strength and protection!

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Our Bald Eagle

Scripture for Today: Psalm 103:5 “who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

The majestic Bald Eagle has been our National Bird since being placed on our official national seal in 1782 by congress. As we were still embroiled in war with England until the following year, this bird was a fitting choice, looking strong and fierce! In fact, the eagle has been used as a symbol of strength in many different countries throughout the centuries. It was even used by the Roman Legions as their standard.

Today’s verse is a call to praise the Lord for all of His benefits. David then lists several, ending with this amazing declaration. God satisfies our desires so that even our youth is renewed like the eagle’s!  Rather than constantly flapping our wings, we ride that thermal air current, soaring in His power. To be like the eagle means gaining new heights and flying long distances with minimal effort. Regardless of our age, renewal gives new impetus and energy! Satisfaction with what God gives allows us to experience new strength!

Looking to the Lord to take care of each desire is an exercise in renewal. No longer is there an energy drain fussing about what I do not have or pining away for what I wish I had. I am freed from discontent when I hand over my desires to Him. He knows what I really want. He knows what it is I truly need. He sees what complications can come from some of my wants. He only gives to me what is good. I want to relinquish every desire to Him and not be dragged down from the heights where I can be soaring! Satisfaction with Him is energizing!

Thank you Lord, for the renewal You offer me today.


See No Evil…

Scripture for Today: Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The first monkey has eyes half closed. The second seems stoic and unmoving, perhaps not hearing. And the third may be speaking something, but hopefully not something evil. See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil is a well-known proverb. The idea is that we are to ignore any evil we come in contact with. Supposedly, ignoring evil keeps one virtuous. Although mass shootings are unfortunately not new, I am hearing the word, “evil” bandied about more freely by the media.

Today’s verse is part of a description of evil, its source and how to stand up against it! Evil comes from the intentional schemes of the devil (verse 11). It is not just an idea or the absence of good. Evil is the plan of Satan and although his strategy may be to use individuals, he himself is the ultimate source. To use anything other than the armor of God will be a losing proposition. It involves struggle but not against flesh and blood. Evil is a spiritual problem that can never be resolved except through God’s intervention.

Am I the only one who believes the world is getting darker and darker? Thankfully, there is ultimate victory over evil through Christ’s sacrifice for sin. And as a believer I am not without resources. Rather than ignore evil, I am to stand firm against it with objective unchangeable truth and righteous living. I am to fight back by spreading the good news of peace with God through Christ. My arsenal is faith, salvation and confidence in God’s Word.

Thank you Lord that through You, evil is overcome.