Devotions By Jan


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A Blue Door

Scripture for Today: Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with Me.”

There are not too many people knocking on our door during these days of self-isolation.  But according to the design experts I may have the wrong colored door!  Each color communicates something different.  Red shouts welcome. Purple signals privilege.  Yellow says positivity while green says ambition.  Orange is called for if one wants to communicate  warmth and wisdom.  A blue door represents trust, loyalty and stability.

Regardless of the color, today’s verse tells us there is Someone who stands at the door and knocks.  These words are an invitation from the Lord to open the door to Him.  His message is full of warmth and makes clear His desire for relationship.  What better way to become close than to share a meal around the table!  He awaits our arrival at the door.  He does not come in until we hear His voice and open that door.  We open it to show our same desire for relationship.

I am sure His knock and His voice are loud enough to hear.  But I can see how I might miss it.  The distractions of life can drown out the sound.  My busy schedule keeps me from hearing His voice.  That knock of His becomes just one more noise in the general din of busyness.  Sometimes it is hard to really believe that He wants to dine with me!  But what a warm intimate thought!  I do not want to miss out for any reason.  He is waiting for me on my doorstep.

Lord, may I listen for your knock and open the door today!


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Sandbar

Scripture for Today: Matthew 7:26 “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”  

It must be odd to walk on a sandbar, surrounded by water and yet staying dry.  There are many famous sandbars in our world, many of which are found in the Philippines.  But the Haulover Sandbar in Biscayne Bay, Florida, enjoyed some notoriety when a baby grand piano suddenly made its appearance!  It was a true mystery how it got there.  It turns out that it was an artistic photo shoot done by a young man for his school application!  Had the piano stayed there, it would have eventually sunk or been overtaken by water.

Today’s verse describes something just as ludicrous; constructing a house on sand.  Hearing God’s Word but not applying it makes the foundation of our lives as precarious as sand.  Jesus assures the listeners that the crash of that house is inevitable.  In contrast, those that DO put into practice God’s Word will enjoy stability as their foundation is solid Rock.

The sand can represent words of shifting cultural norms.  They are easier to follow but the result is ruin.  God’s Word is true and eternal, unaffected by what is modern or popular (Ps. 119:160).  Building my life on the objective truth of His Words does not happen just by knowing and quoting it.  I can study those words for a lifetime but if I do not obey them as authoritative, then that next storm may just bring me down.  His words are practical and speak to every area of my life.  Applying them is a question of humility to do things His way and not my own!

Lord, keep me off that sand!


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Winchester Mystery House

Scripture for Today: Hebrews 3:6 “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are His house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

Poor Mrs. Sarah Winchester.  Her San Jose home was always under construction as she was told that evil spirits would leave her alone if she never stopped building.  After the untimely death of her daughter and husband, she felt that she could be next.  This sprawling mansion at the time of her death in 1922 boasted 160 rooms, 2,000 doors (some leading nowhere) and 10,000 windows, 47 stairways (a few climbing to nothing), 47 fireplaces, 6 kitchens, and 13 bathrooms!

Today’s verse describes believers as God’s house.  This house is solid being held together not with stone and mortar but with confidence and hope.  It is held up with the truth, acting as pillars (I Tim. 3:15) and as a foundation.  God’s house or “household” is the church.  In this building there are no staircases or doors leading nowhere.  Every component has a purpose to bring glory and honor to the Builder.  The honor is not so much in the building itself but in the Builder.  And Christ, as the building manager is faithful over all and trustworthy.

Holding firmly to His plan for this building is not always easy.  Losing confidence and hope is a real temptation when because of conflict, cracks seem to appear in the walls.  But Christ is faithful even when I am not!  He continues to work on me to make me more like Him.  He strengthens my weaknesses and fills me with the fruit of His Spirit.  Where discord reigned, I can with His help respond with love and patience.  We need each other to collectively bring glory to Him who is worthy!

Help me Lord, to honor You today.

Look familiar?  This is a repost due to summer ministries.

 

 


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Widow’s Walk

Scripture for Today: Mark 13:35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.”

While visiting our daughter in the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts, I have seen a number of these widow’s walks perched on the top of older homes, facing the water.  These structures are also called widow’s watch, roofwalk, or Captain’s walk.  In former times the men would leave for years at a time working aboard ships at sea.  The wives would use this viewing platform to scan the horizon, waiting for their mens’ return.  Unfortunately, some men lost their lives at sea and never came home.

Today’s verse comes from a parable recounted by Jesus.  We are like the servants of a house, not knowing when the owner will return.  But there is no question that he will return.  We are told to be alert and to be watching (verse 33) and not to fall asleep (verse 37).  The Lord Jesus will one day return and those who belong to Him are to be expecting Him.  No one knows the hour except the Father, not even His angels (verse 32).

To be honest, I do not often think about Jesus returning.  But when I do, it makes a difference to how I live.  I shudder to think of Him returning at a moment of disobedience on my  part.  When He returns I want to be ready.  That readiness is not found in trying to figure out the timing or in being the first to spot Him.  Being ready is a daily decision to please Him in all I do.

Lord, help me be that good and faithful servant, looking for Your return.

Look familiar?  This is a repost due to summer ministries.


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Famous Builder

Scripture for Today: Hebrews 3:3 “Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.”

This is a very recognizable house!  It was many years ago that we made a visit to the White House and I remember feeling the history of the place.  But to my chagrin I did not remember who built it!  The architect, James Hoban, not only built it originally in 1792 but he also rebuilt it after the British set fire to it in 1814.  One would think that such a recognizable landmark with such history would have brought the builder more name recognition!

Today’s verse points out that the builder of a house would normally have more honor than the actual building.  The Jews being addressed were honoring Moses more than Jesus.  Moses was very important as a faithful servant in God’s house, however Jesus is the Son over God’s house (verse 5-6).  Jesus Christ as God’s Son and the Builder of the house deserves all the honor.  And the “house” are all those, Jews and Gentiles alike, who have trusted in Christ’s sacrifice for their sin.

So God is the Architect and Builder of my life.  Sometimes, I do not understand the building plans at all.  There seem to be some wide open places that I wish He would close in and make more intimate.  There are way too many doors when as an introvert I would prefer to be quiet and alone.  But He is the Builder of my life and I can trust what He is creating.  In any case, all the honor for any success and accomplishment belongs to Him!  When others see my “house” may they see the Builder.

Lord, what an honor it is to honor You!