Devotions By Jan


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The Condor

Scripture for Today:  I Corinthians 15:25-26 “For He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

This vigilant squirrel is right to keep an eye on the condor flying overhead!  But perhaps he does not need to worry too much as the condor will only feed on a carcass.  They are scavengers and I suppose they have their place in the scheme of things.  But to me they are disgusting because of their eating habits, not to mention their grunts, growls and hissing!  There are two species of vultures to which the condor refers and they are associated with death in Scripture.

Today’s verse speaks of death as an enemy.  It is an enemy that touches every one and each time brings with it unspeakable sorrow.  It is an enemy mankind has brought on ourselves by our own sin and rebellion against God (Rom. 6:23).  But thankfully, death will one day be vanquished forever.  There will be a time when there will be no more mourning or death (Rev. 21:4).  The pain and sorrow of separation will in the future be a distant memory.  Death will take its rightful place, fully vanquished and overcome under His feet.

I know this is true as Jesus has already vanquished death for Himself when He rose up from the grave.  And God has already made me alive spiritually when I was dead in my sins (Eph. 2:5).  But what is true in a spiritual sense will one day be true in a physical sense as well!   I will enjoy a new body that will never wear out (I Cor. 15:54) and death will be “swallowed up in victory!”  No more funerals, obituaries or burials!  And best of all, no more goodbyes!

Thanks you Lord, for the coming victory over death.

(Look familiar?  Summer reposing while reposting!)


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Peek-A-Boo Canyon

Scripture for Today: I Corinthians 13:12 Colossians 3:1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The Peek-A-Boo slot canyon in Zion National Park ushers the hiker into another world!  The trail twists and turns, narrows and then widens.  It is eerily quiet and the temperature drops.  Some parts are dark with overhanging rock.  But in other places one can see orange, warm red and rustic brown on the curving sandstone walls.  Some walls soar up to 100 feet and the narrowest part is only 16 inches wide!  It is like a glimpse into another dimension.

Today’s verse gives us a small glimpse of Heaven.  Paul tells believers to set their minds on what is found there.  Christ is on His throne and He sits at the right hand of God the Father.  Our minds and our hearts are to be changed by this eternal perspective.  What we see on earth does not match up with spiritual realities.  What we see, touch and feel around us can be breathtaking, but it is not eternal.  God’s incredible creation is real but it will not last.

When I set my mind and heart on the realities of Heaven, it changes how I view that awful situation.  It affects how I see my problems.  What can loom so large for me is in fact only, “light and momentary trouble.” (II Cor. 4:17)  All the hard things in this life are, “achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  When I think of Heaven, my heart fills with hope.  And I need that hope to get me through.

Lord, help me see even a glimpse of what is to come!

(Look familiar?  Summer reposing while reposting!)


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Are We There Yet??

Scripture for Today: II Corinthians 4:17 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

“Are we there yet?” must be the most often-asked question while going through this tunnel!  The Laerdal tunnel in Norway is the longest land tunnel in the world at 24.5 kilometers.  Because of concern for the well-being of the travelers, advice was sought from industrial psychology consultants.  To keep people positive, three large caverns were built every six kilometers with blue lighting to suggest daylight and yellow lighting on walls to represent sunrise!  But what would keep me positive is the sign with the length posted!

Today’s verse encourages positivity as our troubles are said to be “momentary.”  Regardless of the duration, every difficulty in life is temporary when compared to eternity!   Pain is momentary but glory is eternal.  And the glory experienced in Heaven grows in direct relation to our afflictions here on earth.  The hard times experienced by the believer are not only momentary but are working for him.  What awaits us far outweighs any sadness and pain on earth.

To answer the question, no, we are not there yet.  But we will be.  Ten thousand years from now I very much doubt that I will give this pandemic a second thought.  All the trials and difficult times I experience are but for a moment  They are a temporary condition.  And as hard as they feel, it is a pain that is never wasted.  My sorrow is not for nothing.  This truth keeps me from “losing heart” (verse 16).  Remembering this keeps me looking forward to what is unseen and eternal.

Thank you Lord, that life’s trials can seem small when compared to You and eternity!


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The Other Side

Scripture for Today:  Colossians 3:1-2  “Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

There is not much to enjoy about tunnels.  They are dark, smelly, and claustrophobic.  When traversing a mountain in Europe, the tunnel will normally have the length posted on a sign at the entrance.  I find that helpful when the tunnel is especially long and the exit cannot readily be seen.  But the best part of the tunnel experience is the light that beckons at the end of it!

Today’s verse talks about setting our minds and hearts on things above in Heaven.  It is because the believer has been raised with Christ that he can see his world differently.  Rather than focusing on the dark uncomfortable tunnel, he sees the light at the end of it.  Christ is that Light (John 8:12).  And He promises that we will never walk in darkness.  It is never completely dark as He is there and He is the light of life.

When life is good, my mind and heart are set firmly on earthly things.  I am less likely to think on Heaven when I am comfortable.  But when I forget about eternity, somehow these earthly distractions start to lose their luster.  Life becomes a bit dim when I focus entirely on what I can see and touch.  And it is when life is difficult that my gaze turns to that Light.  He is my future.  He is my Hope.  Passing through this “tunnel experience” of a pandemic will not last forever, but life with Him will!

Lord, keep me focused on what is ahead!


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HAZMAT Suit?

Scripture for Today: I Peter 1:4b-5 “This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last times.”

This yellow protective suit makes me smile, especially as the wearer has seemingly incorporated it into his daily routine!  But this “HAZMAT suit wanna-be” looks less scary than the real thing.  The hazard materials suit is meant to shield against chemical, nuclear and biological agents as well as fire and high temperatures.  The suit can only be worn up to two hours as it is hot and poorly ventilated.

Today’s verse tells us that the believer is shielded at all times by God’s power.  Our faith is that shield, the same piece of armor that protects us from our enemy, Satan (Eph. 6:16).  God’s power insures that the inheritance of our future salvation is kept safe and secure in Heaven.  Nothing can touch it.  No chemical, nuclear or biological agent is greater than His power.  But this does not mean that we will not “suffer grief and all kinds of trials.” (verse 6)  What it does mean is that there is a future and a hope.

There is lots of uncertainty in our covid-conscious world right now.  We are all wondering what measures are needed to protect ourselves and for how long.  It is sobering to see how quickly the world can change and how powerless we can feel.  But the one thing I am sure of is God’s power to protect, to guard and to save.  His plans for me are never frustrated.  Even though I may be touched by suffering and trial, He has secured for me an untouchable inheritance that is eternal.

Lord, I am so thankful for Your power to save!