Devotions By Jan


Leave a comment

Sound Wave Tattoos

Scripture for Today: Jude 21 “keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

How amazing that an image tattooed on a body can be translated into sound!  The idea is to wear on your skin a snippet of your favorite music or a recorded message from a loved one.  With an app one can read it and play it anytime by scanning that unique sound wave image.  A young woman recently had her dead grandmother’s last voice message tattooed on her chest.  She will forever have her grandmother’s voice over her heart!  How sweet to be able to access that message of love anytime and anywhere.

Today’s verse encourages the believer to keep one’s self in God’s love.  His love does not change but our perceptions sure can!  When He brings us into eternal life there will never again be the smallest whisper of doubt that He loves us.  But today, rather than needing a voice tattoo, we can hear and be reassured of His love through His Word.  Psalm 143:8 say that the morning brings us “word of Your unfailing love.”  But not only then.  He reassures our hearts all day long!

Surprisingly, it is not in the difficult times that I doubt His love.  I am most prone to forget or question His love when I am not in His Word, actively listening.  God’s Word is His love letter to me.  It is full of His declarations of love.  He uses that written word to reassure my heart and build me up.  His voice is the one I need to be listening for and not all the other negative ones in my head.

Lord, remind me and keep me in Your love today!

Advertisements


2 Comments

Mudslide!

Scripture for Today: Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”

The recent mudslides in California have been devastating!  The rainfall was short lived, but because of the lack of vegetation due to recent fires, whole hillsides were swept away.  At this writing, 17 are dead and 48 are missing.  The images of homes swallowed up in mud are heartbreaking.  I do wonder why some people did not heed the ample warnings and evacuate.  I am sure there were  extenuating circumstances for some.  And  I can imagine that others had difficulty grasping the seriousness of the danger they faced.

Today’s verse describes the faith Noah demonstrated when he built that ark.  Although Noah was warned, it must have been difficult for him to believe in something that had never been seen before.  Yet, in faith, he heeded the warnings and obeyed God’s instructions.  Not only was he and his family saved from those rising waters, but he was saved spiritually as his faith was counted to him as righteousness (Romans 3:22).

What a loving gracious God He is!  He warns of danger and judgement.  He is not obliged to do so, but waits and pleads, not willing to see anyone perish but to come to Him for salvation (II Peter 3:9).  He is my “Savior” because I needed saving from the just punishment for my own wrong-doing.  Not only has He saved me for all eternity, but His commandments preserve my life here as well (Psalm 119:93).  His warnings keep me from needless heartbreak.  What a wonderful expression of His love for me!

Help me Lord, to listen for Your warnings and follow You today.


Leave a comment

Stingray Shuffle

Scripture for Today:  Ephesians 5:15  “Look carefully then how you walk!  Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people).”

There have been numerous stories lately about stingrays on the California beaches.  All records were broken when 156 stingray injuries were reported in just three days!  Normally, I think of this problem as only being on the Atlantic side.  But apparently, the low tides and warm water have brought these unwanted visitors close enough to be a problem.  The prevailing wisdom is to shuffle your feet when entering the water.  The sand kicked up when walking this way will alert and scatter them.

Today’s verse tells us to be wise by walking carefully.  We walk through life with a purpose.  We walk in a manner that is worthy of our calling, pleasing the Lord (Col. 1:10).  We do not walk courting disaster as the unwise would do.  Rather than wondering just how far one can go in a particular behavior before it becomes sin, we need to walk with a healthy fear of danger.  So much heartache can be avoided when we walk through this life the way the Lord has prescribed.  Walking carefully is walking within His will, making the most every day (verses 16-17).

Walking my way instead of His does not seem so bad.  Mt problem is that I do not see that stingray in my path as it can blend in with the sand.  The only way I can be confident of my next step, and the one after that, is to know I am walking to please Him.  No decision is too small or unimportant to bring to Him for counsel (Psalm 73:24).  He guides me through His Word which touches every area of my life.

Lord, show me how to walk today.

 

 


Leave a comment

Thirsty Kittens

Scripture for Today: I Peter 2:2-3  “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

These sweet kittens seem pretty motivated to reach that pail of milk!  It cannot be too comfortable for them to stand on their hind legs and fully extend them.  I wonder what they did when the level of milk dropped so that they could no longer reach it.  I imagine that either one or more fell in or perhaps in their eagerness the pail tipped over!

Today’s verse describes that same longing.  A new believer will show enthusiasm for reading and learning from God’s Word.  It is not something a believer ever need deny himself.  Although a mature believer will gradually add the meatier doctrines of the Bible, one never outgrows the need to review and appreciate the foundational truths, or milk.

The milk of God’s Word is described as pure.  Hearing others preach and comment on God’s Word is important and valuable.  But my own personal feeding is essential for my faith to grow.  Nothing can take the place of His personal message.  Having that sweet communion leaves me wanting more.  And it is when I read His Word for myself that I taste His kindness for me!

I need that close quality time with the Lord for my faith to grow.  Through His written Word He reassures me of His love and presence, His control and care!  It is wonderful to grow in knowledge.  But my deepest desire is to grow closer to Him!

Thank you Lord, that You nourish my soul!


Leave a comment

Watch Where You Sit!

Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

I will never forget the story.  A friend of mine grew up in some rustic conditions in Papua New Guinea.  She was used to getting up in the night to find her way half asleep to the outhouse.  Of course she carried her flashlight.  On this particular night she just happened to shine her light on the toilet opening before sitting.  Unlike the spider pictured, this nighttime visitor completely spanned the opening!  How relieved she was for the light!

Today’s verse describes the Word of God as a lamp and a light by which we find our way.  Without that light we would still be stumbling around in the darkness with no way to find God.  His Word lights the way to Him, to His holy mountain or dwelling place (Psalm 43:3).  But even after finding Him and enjoying a relationship with Him, we continue to need that light.  His Word warns of danger, snares and pitfalls (Ps. 19:11).  Following His commands even preserves our lives! (Ps. 199:93)  His Word keeps us on that path of righteousness where we can enjoy walking in the light of His presence (Ps. 89:15).

I am amazed how easy it is for me to get off track!  When I am not in His Word, I start to doubt His love and control.  When I neglect reading His love letter to me, I begin to rationalize behavior that I know deep down does not please Him.  But staying in His Word keeps me holding on tight to what I know is true (Ps. 33:4).  His Word keeps my heart  flooded with the warmth and light of His guiding presence!

Thank you Lord, for lighting the way to Your presence!

 

 


Leave a comment

Charging Stations

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.”

When I enter the airport lounge, no longer do I look for the most comfortable chair, or the place with a view out the window.  I do not worry about who I am sitting next to or how close I am to my gate.  Like so many others, I am scanning the waiting area for those power stations for my phone.  I have a horror of my phone being without enough power to text people about schedule changes or missed flights.  There is something reassuring about having my phone charged up and being ready for any eventuality.

Today’s verse reminds me that it is God’s Word that can strengthen my soul.  Understanding His precepts, meditating on His wonderful deeds and being in His Word gives solace to a soul lethargic with sorrow.  Sadness depletes our strength and we need to be built up and encouraged.  His Word does that.  And even when it is inconvenient to be actually reading the Bible, there are always the memories of His faithfulness in the past that can bolster my faith and strengthen me.

My alone-time with Him is my charging station, renewing my spirit and my strength.   I do not, however, need to wait until I am dangerously low on power.  Being “prayed-up” and “charged up” keeps me in a state of preparedness for whatever unknowns are ahead of me.  I want to have full strength to face anything, but that can only happen as I stay connected to Him and His Word.

Lord, I am tired of being sad.  Strengthen me with Your Word today.


Leave a comment

Truth

Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:8 “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

There has been a lot of talk lately about “fake news.”  Without referring to politics, all can agree that the printed word needs to be read with discernment whether in the traditional daily paper or on social media.  I can still hear my Dad’s voice in my head saying, “just because it is in print does not mean that it’s true!”  It is the better part of wisdom to fact check.  Just as important is knowing the source and deciding if it is a reliable one.

Paul encourages the believer in today’s verse to think on a list of things that are excellent or praiseworthy.  At the top of the list and perhaps most important is the truth.  That starting point influences our world view, our direction, and our values.  The problem in today’s world is determining what is true and what is not.  Fortunately, the follower of Christ has a distinct advantage in knowing what is true.  We have the Spirit of truth directing us into all truth (John 16:13).  We also have God’s Word which is truth (John 17:17).

My day is so influenced by my thoughts.  When I allow my thoughts to focus on the negative, the ugly or the hopeless, I can count on a very mediocre twenty-four hours.  However, my spirit and mood are lifted with thoughts of what is noble.  How much better is my outlook when I think on what is admirable in life!  And isn’t it amazing that every one of these characteristics describes the One who is called Faithful and True! (Rev. 19:11)

Lord, help me with my thoughts today.