Devotions By Jan


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Floundering

Scripture for Today: “II Corinthians 5:15 “And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.”

This fish continued his valiant fight for life even after being pulled from the water.  I enjoy seafood so much but I hate thinking about how it got to be on my plate!  In the end, this fish flopping and floundering did him no good.  The word “floundering” was perhaps influenced in the 1590’s by the Dutch word, “flodderen” meaning to flop about.  Later this verb referred to being completely unable to decide what to do or say.

Today’s verse gives a goal and direction to life.  Rather than flounder through life following different visions and dreams, there is a sense of purpose.  This goal in life does not change with the times or fashions of the day.  It is not a goal that could disappoint but a purpose that is deep and lasting.  There is no ambiguity.  We are to live our lives for the Lord Jesus who died and was raised again for us.  Living to please ourselves leaves us empty and unfulfilled.  Solomon found that living for any desire or pleasure was meaningless and like chasing after wind. (Eccl. 2:10-11)

It breaks my heart to see family and friends floundering, living for the next relationship, the next adventure or the next big purchase.  A whole life can be spent on the dubious goal of pleasing one’s self.  But living for the Lord is always an adventure of faith!  He gives that sense of purpose to my life.  Living for His purposes gives a satisfaction and a significance like nothing else can.

Thank you Lord, that in sacrificing Your own life, You have made mine worth living!

(Look familiar?  Summer reposing while reposting!)


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Yield Sign

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”

It looks complicated.  I would have to stop a minute to figure out who would have to yield to whom!  It looks as if the bike has to yield to everyone and the horse and rider to no one!  But I do not suppose there are many intersections to worry about on this trail.  If there were confusion I would think common sense would go a long way.  Regardless, yielding is often the safest choice.  When maneuvering through those huge traffic circles in Europe, I do not argue with a yield sign!

Today’s verse tells us we are to yield or submit to the Lord in each and every way we choose to take.  By acknowledging His control, His superior knowledge and His goodness, we travel a path much less complicated by twists and turns.  He makes our paths straight, unencumbered by lengthy unnecessary detours.  We reach our destination in good time, or in His time.  When we give way to Him rather than insisting on our own plan, we find He had a better idea all along!

Yielding my will to His is so often a struggle.  Even knowing that my own understanding is limited, I stubbornly resist.  I like being the one who makes the decisions.  Trusting Him with all my heart is scary without having some measure of control.  But He promises that when I do, He will make my paths straight, choosing the best way.  No time will be lost in making U turns or encountering dead ends.

Thank you Lord, that I can fully trust Your heart of love for me!

(Look familiar?  Summer reposing while reposting!)


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Beyond the Storm

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let the one who walks in the dark who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”

With all the technology at our fingertips, we are often forewarned of a storm on its way.  Other times a storm seems to descend suddenly with little or no warning at all.  With our many road trips we are sometimes stuck with no option except to go through its path.  But I am not too concerned when I can see the skies clearing ahead.  Just the thought of the storm being temporary helps me calm down and get through it.

Today’s verse talks about walking in the dark with no light at all.  There is no vision of clear skies ahead.  This happens for even those that fear and obey the Lord.  When those confusing dark times come, we are to trust in His name and who He is.  We are to rely on God rather than our senses or our intelligence.  Walking by faith has nothing to do with what we can see ahead that reassures us (II Cor. 5:7).  We are given no “light at the end of the tunnel” on which to focus.

I cannot see that patch of blue ahead.  But I can remain calm in the middle of a storm.  Trusting and relying on the Creator of that storm keeps me serene.  He is trustworthy and He is in control.  I have no reason to be fearful for what the future might hold.  And the only light I really need in that darkness is the heart conviction of how good and gracious He is.

Thank you Lord for Your reassuring presence even in the dark.

(Look familiar?  Summer reposing through reposting!)


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Barn Sour

Scripture for Today: Psalm 32:8-9a “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule…”

If the path to the left leads back to the barn, these horses may show signs of being “barn sour.”  Once a barn sour horse is turned back toward home, he will pick up speed.  If left unchecked, he will gallop back to the barn like a madman!  Becoming barn sour could be the result of fears and insecurities being away from his comfort zone, or just plain stubbornness.

Today’s verse tells us not to be like a horse or mule.  They have no understanding and need the control of the bit and bridle.  We, on the other hand, have God’s promise to instruct and teach us in the way we should go.  The Lord promises to instruct those that fear Him in the ways they should choose (Psalm 25:12).  He promises to guide the humble (Psalm 25:9).  His loving eye is on us, seeing every choice we need to make.  He knows about every decision we face.  His counsel is always available if we are humble enough to seek it.

Quite frankly, I sometimes prefer being “barn sour.”  That way, I know I am returning to the comfortable and familiar.  But He does not always lead that way.  He is more interested in growing my faith and dependance on Him.  The path that He chooses may be more challenging, but it is a path with adventures that will bring me closer to Him!  His guidance and counsel is done with love.  And I can trust that He knows what He is doing even if it is away from my “comfort zone.”

Lord, thank you for your loving guidance.

 

 

 


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Remote Control Mix-Up

Scripture for Today:  Psalm 37:5  “Commit your way to the Lord;  trust in Him and He will do this.”

This array of remote controls is impressive!  I cannot imagine trying to keep them all straight.  Seriously, I would probably mix them up to the point of inadvertently turning on or off the wrong thing.  Even with the few we have, I have been mixed up, pointing the fan remote at the television and wondering why nothing happened!  All these controls must give one a sense of command.  With voice recognition we can tell lights to come on or heating to turn off.  It is a powerful feeling to have the environment obey one’s every command!

Today’s verse teaches believers to give up control of our lives to the Lord.  There are plenty of things over which we have no control.  But for those things we do, we are to entrust even those to Him.  This is not a natural reaction to a problem.  In fact, in facing a difficulty beyond one’s control, the first inclination is to somehow find a sense of control.  But committing one’s way to the Lord is yielding it all to Him.  It is an intentional decision to allow the Lord His perfect way and to relinquish control.

My basic problem in yielding those controls to Him is a lack of trust.  Why ever do I think I can do a better job of it than He can?  Trusting in myself and my own limited understanding may keep control in my feeble hands but His way is always better.  Even when His way is difficult, I can trust that He knows what He is doing.  Nothing is random and I can be confident that He does have a plan.

Thank you, Lord, for your wise and loving control.