Category Archives: devotional

Doubt

It clouds our perspective and dampens the flame of faith.

Yet, it’s a common affliction, some of the greatest men of God struggled with it.

But Moses said before the Lord, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh heed me?” Exodus 6:30 NKJV

Moses doubted God could use him since he was slow of speech.

Luke 7:20 KJV — When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

John the Baptist had a moment of doubt and sent his disciples to question Jesus if He was the One they were waiting for.

In both cases God helped each man to see past their doubt.

So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you. And Aaron your brother shall tell Pharaoh to send the children of Israel out of his land.”
Exodus 7:1‭-‬2 NKJV

God sent Moses’s brother, Aaron, to share the task and the Bible records their faithfulness.

Then Moses and Aaron did so; just as the Lord commanded them, so they did.
Exodus 7:6 NKJV

The man God sent to prepare the way for the Messiah was encouraged through the testimony of his disciples, who saw the miracles and gave him the words of Jesus.

Luke 7:21-23NKJV — And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Thus, we should be prepared for doubt to cloud our perspective.

God gives us His Word to guide and direct, encourage and exhort.

2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV — casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Whenever doubt has engaged our thoughts, we have the ability to not only recognize this tactic of the enemy, but also the ability to replace those lies with truth.

Philippians 4:8 NKJV — Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

On a personal note: I’ve been down with a debilitating migraine for the past five days and can testify that if someone is going to get hit with doubt, seasons of physical pain are a ripe area for it. Yet, God’s truth prevailed through my days of suffering and doubt was obliterated in the words of God. Especially, when at my worst, I found comfort and courage through a recent truth: suffering is an opportunity to praise God.

If you, dear reader, are struggling with doubt, I’d encourage you to seek God’s truth in His Word. Fill your mind with the words of life, for truly there is no other way to be saved than through Jesus Christ.

Also, pray for God to bring you encouragement through others. After all, the Lord gave Moses his brother and John his disciples. God can use other godly people to testify to His truth and help carry the calling God has given.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your testimony which has been the gift of eternal life for generations. Thank You for how You bring us through the tests and trials of this journey, how You use these things in our lives for good. Lord Jesus, I praise Your holy name! You are great and greatly to be praised! Your ways are perfect and Your Word is true. Please continue to teach us how to defend ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. Please continue to walk us through each day allowing us to learn all the more how to totally surrender ourselves before You. Thank You for Your incredible love. May Your name be glorified throughout the whole earth. Amen.

Fences

Fences are very important.

When you have livestock, they are a must.

We have a perimeter fence to mark where our property lies.

We have a tall fence around our garden.

Our chickens have a run which is entirely enclosed.

All these fences are not to keep our stock or veggies from going where we don’t want them, although that is important too.

They are to keep danger out.

Many wild animals would like a chicken, rabbit, lamb or goat dinner, not to mention those herbivores who would gladly decimate our vegetable garden.

Boundaries are important in more than just farmlife.

A playground sitting between a busy street and a large parking lot should have some boundary to keep the children safe.

Even in baseball there is a large fence to protect the fans from foul balls.

God understands the need for boundaries in our lives.

He gave us 10 of them.

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exodus 20:1‭-‬3‭, ‬7‭-‬8‭, ‬12‭-‬17 KJV

See also:
Deuteronomy 5:6‭-‬21 KJV

He also gave us the entirety of scripture to teach us our need for Him to help us apply His boundaries, understanding that we easily misinterpret His Word.

For we cannot follow these Ten Commandments without Him, as the Old Testament clearly reveals.

But for those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus, He grants us forgiveness of sins and insight into His design for our lives.

For it is through the leading of the Holy Spirit that we can first realize the importance of His boundaries and secondly, learn to walk within the safety they provide.

Thus, we should acknowledge that which our rebellious flesh would label as “hindering us” is in reality that which is designed to help us.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You specifically for Your boundaries in my life. Lord, as I continue in this journey, I thank You for all Your faithful teaching and I look forward to what You have for me in today. Lord, please continue to open my mind to understanding Your Word and the boundaries You have set that I might be saved from the dangers of sin and the rebellion of my own flesh. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your protection. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

“What do you do?”

It’s a common question when people first meet.

We often describe ourselves by our occupation or our hobbies, or sometimes by our family.

If someone has a job they are less than happy in, they may skip over it to describe their interest in motor sports.

Where we use our time and attention is an excellent indication of what we value.

Our values and beliefs are what make up our world view, which includes how we see ourselves.

For the follower of Christ Jesus, what we do should be a reflection of who we are in Him.

How we view ourselves, others, and life should all be founded upon the Word of God.

For Jesus spoke a great deal about what those who follow Him should value.

John 13:34 NKJV — “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

John 13:35 NKJV — “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Matthew 5:44 NKJV — “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

The New Testament is full of instruction for the follower.

Ephesians 4:1-3NKJV — I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 3:12-14NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Understanding that what we do and where we spend our time is often a reflection of what we value.

How will you choose to answer the next time someone asks you:

“What do you do?”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for bringing this to my attention, that I might use future opportunities to testify of You and how You have done so much for me and my family. Lord, I want all that I do and say to reflect Your love for others. Lord, please continue to teach me how to walk in today with love and compassion, discerning the season, and redeeming the time. Lord, I don’t want to waste Your gifts. Please help me to value what You do. Please teach me how to use my time wisely, guarding myself from the “busyness” which can eat away from the things I truly value. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for salvation. I want my life to say, “I’m a follower of Jesus.” I love You, Lord. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

“The Lord gives…”

Job 1:21 NKJV — And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job was a righteous man, who had a profound perspective.

Job 2:10 NKJV — But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Both these recorded words, as well as his actions, shows the truth he had built his faith upon:

God is Sovereign.

and

He deserves all our worship.

It’s been said, that the character of a person is revealed when they are “squeezed” by life’s circumstances.

Job’s character is clear:

Job 1:8 NKJV — Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

God knew his integrity from the beginning and after this extreme trial, He reveals Himself to Job in a way He’d not done before.

Job 42:1-3 NKJV — Then Job answered the LORD and said:“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

Because Job held fast to his integrity, he came through the trial with a far greater understanding of God Almighty.

Job 42:4-6 NKJV — Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

He also had a better understanding of himself.

Would Job’s incredible journey be yours or mine if we were put to the test this way?

Would we hold fast to the truths Job did and find a clearer understanding of both God and ourselves?

Or would we fall prey to the sins of Job’s friends?

Determined in their beliefs that God never allows bad things to happen to “good” people, they accused Job of sin over and over, demanding him to confess and repent, without any evidence of wrong doing.

They jumped to a conclusion based upon their faulty understanding of God.

But God used this circumstance to teach both Job and his friends.

Job 42:7-9NKJV — And so it was, after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. “Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD commanded them; for the LORD had accepted Job.

“If God is good, why do bad things happen?”

Humanity has been asking this question for generations.

Sometimes, it is a consequence of sin.

Sometimes, it’s our faulty perspective, assuming something is “bad” when it’s actually a blessing.

Other times, it’s a test or trial, filled with opportunity from the Lord for understanding and growth.

Let us, each one, come before the Lord with humility and seek Him, asking that He reveal our hearts to us and instruct us in truth.

“Do I believe God is Sovereign?”

“Do I believe He is worthy of all praise?”

“Do I respond as Job, with humility and worship when facing loss?”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Job’s story and how much there is to glean from it. Lord Jesus, please help me to cling to Your truths, to be steadfast in my integrity before You. Lord, I want to walk as Job did. I want to be faithful through every circumstance. Lord, I want to seek You in all things, praising You continually with a thankful heart. Lord, I am weak and often I fail to give You the trust and worship You deserve. Please forgive me. Lord, I want to do better. Thank You for today, another opportunity to choose to walk with You. May my life reflect Your Word. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

A man of incredible faith

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:8‭-‬12 KJV

Although this passage of scripture is rather startling, to see Satan challenging God about the uprightness of Job, it’s an incredible testimony.

God knew Job’s heart and Satan did not.

Thus, when Satan challenges Job’s faithfulness, God allows the test.

Satan is given all of Job’s possessions and the ability to kill his children, but isn’t to lay a finger on Job.

Job’s response proves God’s words concerning him.

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 1:20‭-‬22 KJV

Even in this, Satan shows his unwillingness to yield to God’s truth.

And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Job 2:4‭-‬6 KJV

So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job 2:7‭-‬10 KJV

Job didn’t know why all these things were happening to him, and he’s completely heartbroken, yet he doesn’t sin again the Lord.

Job’s integrity inspires me.

When, the circumstances of life bring loss and sorrow and deep pain, I want to fall upon my knees and worship God.

I want a faith which accepts trials and tribulations as much as blessings and seasons of plenty, for can it be called faith if it withers and died when the storm rolls over it?

No.

How did Job come to have such great faith?

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 1:5 KJV

He was diligent in serving God, both for himself and for his family, even when things were good.

Faithfulness was built by continually doing what was right.

What a wonderful truth and something we can apply today.

Whether we’ve done well or poorly in the past doesn’t eliminate our opportunity in the now.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for this story of Job, which never ceases to inspire my heart and encourage my mind. Lord, please speak clearly through Your Word into our today. Help each one of us to walk with You in faith, choosing to do what is right and following after You. Lord, You are sinless, even when You walked this Earth. I know sin and my flesh are constantly waiting to trip me up, please help me to be self-controlled, centered on Your Word, and a person of righteousness. Lord, on my own, I’m weak, but You make me strong. Lord, please renew our minds, if there’s anything the enemy has fed us which is marring our perspective, please reveal the truth. Lord, if there’s anything that has been taught to us, which does not align with Your Word, please reveal it and correct the error. Lord Jesus, please break up the fallow ground and replant it with Your Word. Let us not waste the gifts You have given, but instead teach us how to live. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Fellowship of believers

Proverbs 27:17 NKJV — As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

People need each other and the gift of true friendship comes from God.

This verse captures the truth in a concrete way: friendship is a mutually beneficial relationship.

Both parties are honed, sharpened, and better able to be used by God, because of the friendship.

It’s a place where both parties can be real, honest, and held accountable; encouraged in righteousness.

Proverbs 17:17 NKJV — A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

True friendship is built through love and it withstands the storms of life.

Even friendship can be twisted by the enemy to be something it was never intended to be, this choosing one’s friends needs to be with wisdom and discernment.

Proverbs 20:11 NKJV — Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.

Our choice in friends should be honorable before the Lord; fellow believers who live by the Word of God and exhort us to do the same.

We also need to be a friend to others if we expect to have them.

Jesus is our example in all things.

He is the Son of God, which means He’s holy, righteous, sinless, and He is greatest friend, ever.

John 15:13 KJV — Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Let us be inspired by our Savior to follow in His example.

Loving at all times, exhorting through application of His Word, encouraging through faithfulness, and sacrificing ourselves for our friends and family.

As the body of Christ, we need one another, and there’s no better time to hold each other up than today.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that we can find direction for every part of life, including our friendships. Lord, please help me to be a good friend, like You are. Please bring scripture to my heart as I pray for my friends. Please place Your Word in my mouth as we share. Lord, please help me to be silent and simply listen, not caught up in myself that all I do is talk. Lord Jesus, help me to have discernment and understanding. That I would be an encouragement to my friends and family. Lord, thank You that some of my closest friends are my family. That is such a blessing. Lord Jesus, in all things I want to bring You glory. I want to be filled with gratitude and praise, not allowing anything to quench my worship of You. Thank You for Your encouragement this day. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

A flower is…

a beautiful testimony to God’s faithfulness.

These blossoms or the ones out in the field, each point back to the goodness of God.

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 6:28‭-‬30 KJV

Jesus used the frailty of the flower to teach us.

His handiwork is an everyday witness.

Romans 1:20 KJV — For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

May each heart be inspired by creation to walk in faith knowing God is trustworthy.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:31‭-‬33 KJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your creation. Thank You for the beauty of a single flower, whether cultivated by people or wild. Thank You for the incredible witness of the universe and how intricate the designs of a single blade of grass. Lord, thank You for the truth of Your Word which gives us life. Thank You for the encouragement we see in Your scriptures, guiding us to live according to Your design, for You know how You created all things. Lord, thank You for Your love. Your sacrifice which paid for my sin. Thank You for Your love, which is beyond my comprehension. Lord Jesus, thank You for life. It is a beautiful gift. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

The sky

Psalm 19:1 KJV — To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

God’s creation has been astounding me of late.

The very sky has been a daily reminder of the glory of God.

Psalm 8:3-5 NKJV — When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

Just think, God created all we can see and many more things we cannot.

Taking in the very incredible truths of scripture being testified by my surroundings, has brought me to a place of security.

Truly, the One who created all the Universe and set such delicate things in order like the water cycle, the human cell, the composition of breathable air…

How can I not worship?!

How can my finite mind not find comfort in an infinite God?

How can I allow doubt or worry?

Matthew 10:29 KJV — Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

Matthew 10:31 KJV — Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Dear Lord Jesus,

How great is Your faithfulness! How amazing are Your works! You show us daily kindness. You provide for us in ways we do not expect. Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory! Your name is great and greatly to be praised!! Amen.

Put off; put on

The letter to the Colossians is extremely applicable to us today.

Scripture is clear, that once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Therefore:

Colossians 3:1 NKJV — If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

The Lord knows we need His Word to instruct, guide, and direct, thus He places two lists here in Colossians, one to replace the other.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8 NKJV

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
Colossians 3:12‭-‬14 NKJV

Rather than walking in anger, wrath, or malice, we are to be merciful and kind.

Instead of having blasphemy or filthy words in our speech, we are to be humble, meek, and patient.

Our lives are to be filled with forgiveness towards others, recalling God’s forgiveness for us.

Most of all, we are to respond to those around us with love, following the example of God.

John 3:16-17 NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Applying God’s Word to our everyday lives is a practice in diligence and integrity.

Times will come when we may fall into old ways of the flesh, but let us, each one, strive to be focused upon the things of Heaven and walking in the instructions of the Lord.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your clear instruction, that as followers we might better understand how to walk in Your ways. Lord Jesus, it is easy to sin, to fall into the ways of the flesh. Please forgive me for doing so this morning and thank You for pointing out my sin quickly. Lord, I am so blessed to have Your instruction, that I might guard myself from future moments. Lord, please continue to hone my heart and guide my steps. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Patience

Something, I’m still learning.

I seem to learn best from object lessons, therefore God has been teaching me about patience through several circumstances.

Our vegetable garden is a daily testimony to patience.

I started our tomato plants from seeds months ago.

Although we water them twice a day, we’ve just know begun to get tiny green tomatoes.

I’m waiting, tending to the weeding and watering, and watchful for the day when we will enjoy the harvest.

For followers of Christ, we are to be doing the same thing with regard to our Lord’s return.

James 5:7 NLT — Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.
James 5:8 NLT — You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.

My life, my heart is where Jesus’s seed has taken root and each day I must keep it, diligently bringing forth fruit with patience.

Luke 8:15 KJV — But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

While waiting, working, and watching over our veggies, I’m reminded to be as diligent about my Lord’s return.

Patience is a gift of the Holy Spirit and I’m still learning how to rest in it while completing the task at hand with thanksgiving and praise, for I want to be the servant ready and awake at my Lord’s return.

Dear Lord Jesus,

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
Psalms 86:11‭-‬13 NKJV