Category Archives: devotional

Week before Easter

Matthew 26:1-2 NKJV — Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

There’s nothing which can really prepare someone for the death of a loved one.

But this is an even deeper shock.

The disciples had great expectations for Jesus and crucifixion wasn’t one of them.

Not to mention, that Jesus had done nothing wrong.

What would they accuse Him of?

How could an innocent man be allowed to pay the ultimate punishment?

Their minds couldn’t grapple the full truth of what was occurring.

Jesus understood.

The Gospels were written for those who came after.

So we might learn the truth as well as those who walked with Jesus.

Luke 24:15-17 NKJV — So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

Jesus, Himself, explained all that had happened to His disciples, that they might share the truth.

It was why He came.

Luke 24:25-27NKJV — Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

As difficult as it is to realize that Jesus was born to die on a cross, all of scripture points to Him as the Redeemer.

It is truly wonderful that Jesus knew exactly what He was walking to and when He rose, He had made the way to salvation.

As we walk forward in this week before Easter, let us spend time meditating upon Jesus.

What He did.

Who He is.

And why He did it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your sacrifice. Nothing I can do or experience will ever compare to Your wonderful gift of salvation. How great a blessing! What a wonderful, beautiful, priceless gift! Lord, I want to honor You and Your sacrifice. I want my life to reflect Your love and truth. Please help me to live daily, carrying my cross with joy. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your love. I love You. Amen.

Mary and Elizabeth

Taken from https://media.freebibleimages.org/stories/FB_GNPI_004_Mary_Elizabeth

Luke 1:28 NKJV — And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

No imagination can truly grasp what Mary must have felt at this moment.

Understandably, she felt confused on how.

Luke 1:34 NKJV — Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luke 1:35 NKJV — And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

But her faithfulness to God are evident in her humble response.

Luke 1:38 NKJV — Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The scriptures tell the next thing she does is go to stay with Elizabeth, whom the angel had told her was with child after being barren all her life.

Upon the meeting, Elizabeth speaks such beautiful words of encouragement.

Luke 1:42-44 NKJV — Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 1:45 NKJV — “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

And then Mary breaks into song.

Luke 1:46-55 NKJV — And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

What blessed joy these two women shared!

How great is the gift of encouragement!

These two ladies were family members, but their relationship is tied to their individual love and service to God.

They were very different in age.

Elizabeth had been a wife for many years.

Luke 1:7 NKJV — But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

Mary was a young woman betrothed to her husband. (Luke 1:27)

History tells us, she was most likely in her teens.

Elizabeth lives in the hill country of Judah and Mary was from Nazareth.

Their common bond was God.

For us, who are called by His name, we can gather an important truth.

We need to be encouraging and lifting up one another.

We need godly people who will speak into our lives.

We also need to be those who are godly, speaking words of encouragement.

This relationship between these two Jewish mothers is something worth repeating.

An individual love and devotion to God which comes alongside one another in love and support.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your wonderous works! How encouraging Your Word is. What beautiful life and truth are to be found! Lord, thank You for these two women and their examples of life lived in service to God. Thank You for those who You have used to speak words of truth and encouragement to me. Please help me to speak words of truth and encouragement to others. Thank You for Your unending love. Amen.

Jonathan

Illustration from The Children’s Bible by Golden

He waited for his father to finish speaking.

As soon as he was finished he spoke with him.

“David! Praise the Lord for His victory today! Truly, the Lord has set you before Him to do His mighty deeds. Please, come with me.”

1 Samuel 18:3 NKJV — Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

1 Samuel 18:4 NKJV — And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt.

He was the son of the king, King Saul’s oldest son.

Next in line for the throne.

He was a warrior, who trusted God to lead him.

1 Samuel 14:14 NKJV — That first slaughter which Jonathan and his armorbearer made was about twenty men within about half an acre of land.

Jonathan could easily have been full of expectation for his future as the next king, but his heart was surrendered to God.

Jonathan’s life is a lesson in humility, he walked honorably before God.

God had not chosen him to be the next king.

His father, King Saul, didn’t follow the Lord with his whole heart and actually refused to obey God more than once.

Through King Saul’s choices, he removes his own family from the kingly line.

1 Samuel 15:23 NKJV — “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

But Jonathan doesn’t turn his back on God.

Never, not even once, does Jonathan envy David for being God’s chosen king after King Saul.

Instead, he sees the man who God has anointed to be the next king and he loves him.

1 Samuel 20:17 NKJV — Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

Jonathan is an excellent example of friendship.

When King Saul was afraid of David and wants him killed Jonathan first warns David of the danger and then speaks to his father on his behalf.

1 Samuel 19:4 NKJV — Thus Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father, and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant, against David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you.

And Jonathan has to do it again, because his father had become hardened.

At one point King Saul is so enraged by his fear and hatred of David that he tries to kill Jonathan when he speaks to him in defense of David.(1 Samuel 20:33)

Jonathan is humble, and walks in honor before the Lord, no matter what.

Including, honoring his father, although King Saul was no longer an honorable man.

Nothing changed Jonathan, he continued to choose to walk rightly before God.

That same choice meant he followed his father and king into the battle which cost him his life.

He died fighting to protect his king.

1 Samuel 31:2 NKJV — Then the Philistines followed hard after Saul and his sons. And the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons.

No one can choose to make others honorable before God.

Each person only has the choice for themselves.

“Will I walk rightly before God?”

That is the question.

Jonathan answered that question very well.

May his life inspire us to choose to be honorable as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Jonathan and his life. Thank You for teaching me so much through his example. I love how devoted he was to You, to David and to his father. Please help me to live a life which inspires others to honor You as well. Please help me to be a friend like Jonathan was to David. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You. Amen.

Hannah

Illustration by Frances Hook taken from My Book of Bible Stories by Wanda Hayes.

“No! I will not eat.”

“But why not? You know I love you, what more can I give you?”

She shook her head.

She knew his eyes were looking at her, full of love and sorrow at her suffering.

But she couldn’t swallow even one mouthful.

Her heart was too full of grief.

1 Samuel 1:2 NKJV — And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1 Samuel 1:4-5 NKJV — And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.

There’s little else which can cause this kind of pain.

To be married without children and know that her husband has children by another wife.

For a woman it seems to be a failure of the worst degree.

During Hannah’s time and place to be barren was utter disgrace.

1 Samuel 1:10 NKJV — And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

She was desperate.

Her heart was fully and completely open before God.

As much as she wanted a son, she promised to give him back to God for his whole life.

She wasn’t greedy.

She realized that if God gave her a son, he would belong to God.

1 Samuel 1:19 NKJV — Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

What joy Hannah must have had when she found her prayer had been answered!

1 Samuel 1:22 NKJV — But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever.”

The trust and faith Hannah must have had to do what she did.

She walked a difficult path of surrender, because she had promised God he would belong to God alone.

In this place in history, for this family, it meant Samuel would live with the High Priest, Eli, and would be trained in the daily service of the Tabernacle.

The Bible clearly speaks to parents, that each and every child is a gift from God and the parents are responsible unto the Lord for how they raise their children.

Like Hannah, it is imperative that we realize God created each baby and He has a purpose, He has a calling for each one.

As a mother, it is my duty and my privilege, to care for, to nurture, to bring up each child unto God, for they belong to Him.

Hannah’s story is about understanding that God is Sovereign, and He can be trusted completely.

Her son Samuel grew into a man of God who lead the nation of Israel for many years and was the man who anointed both King Saul and King David.

His relationship with God was a personal daily part of his life.

Hannah understood God granted her a son and he belonged to God.

Each person is God’s creation.

Psalm 127:3 KJV — Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Therefore, each parent should be continually seeking His guidance, His Word, and His discernment as to how to raise the child in their care.

We should also understand, we are God’s and our lives are to be lived in service to Him.

Hannah never forgot her son.

1 Samuel 2:19 NKJV — Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

Hannah continued to show her son all love and to live for the Lord.

Her story inspires us to value the individual, for all belong to Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Hannah and the previous son You gave her. Thank You for this example of a mother choosing to give her son back into Your hands. It reminds me of Mary and how she too had to give You up. What a wonderful sacrifice for all of mankind! Lord, thank You for choosing to die for our sins. Please help me to choose to die daily to my self and to serve You. Lord, I want to follow Hannah’s example and always remember each of our children belong to You alone. To honor You in the way I teach and love them. Lord, that they would follow that example in the way they love and teach their children. Please let us be people who follow after You in all our ways. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Nehemiah

Painting by R.P.

He was deep in prayer.

Tears of anguish ran down his face, down his beard.

The knot in his stomach was evidence of his lack of food.

He prayed:

Nehemiah 1:5-10 NKJV — And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’
Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.”

Nehemiah was a man of prayer.

When he heard of the great distress of the Jews, who had returned to Jerusalem, were under he was deeply troubled.

Nehemiah 1:4 NKJV — So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

When he was afraid he prayed. Nehemiah 2:1-4

When he was ridiculed and mocked, he prayed. Nehemiah 4:4-5

When he and all those who were working on the wall were threatened he prayed. Nehemiah 4:9

When the people came to Nehemiah because of the famine and he found that some were charging their brethren usury and the previous Governors had taxed the people, he lived according to God’s Word, made those who had taken advantage of their brothers restore what was taken, shared what he had and didn’t gain anything personally. Then he prayed. Nehemiah 5:19

When his enemies attacked his integrity he prayed. Nehemiah 6:9

When a snare was set for him, God gave him understanding and he wasn’t tricked. He prayed. Nehemiah. 6:14

Throughout the book of Nehemiah he is constantly going back to God in one way or another.

At times he wrote “Then my God put it into my heart…” Nehemiah 7:5a other times he states: “…they perceived that this work was done by our God.” Nehemiah 6:16b

This man’s devotion to God are evident in all he did.

His fabric of life was prayer.

And his response to God was obedience.

The anguish he felt when he first heard of the trouble of those living in Jerusalem was birthed into being used by God to restore not only the wall of Jerusalem, no small task, but also to restore order and devotion to God in the people living there.

His life is an incredible inspiration for those who are called by the name of the Son.

His passion, discernment, and faithfulness speak volumes about his character and his personal love of the God of heaven.

For such a small amount of information about this man, Nehemiah (it’s a short book, only 13 chapters all focusing on what took place before, during, and after the building of the wall) we can be given a large dose of encouragement.

Nehemiah was secure in his walk with God and no amount of threats, attack, difficulty, squabbling, or just plain hard work deterred him from following what God had put in his heart.

That is the result of a life completely surrendered to God.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this book of the Bible and for the man who shows such an example of prayer and obedience to You. Lord, no matter our past, You can redeem us. Please help us to be individuals who are steeped in prayer. Lord, help us to respond to life through prayer and Your Word. Let the lives of Your servants be our example, that we might inspire others to follow You as well. Lord, start with me. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Ruth

Illustration by Frances Hook taken from My book of Bible Stories by Wanda Hayes.

Her back ached.

It had been hours since she began.

She refused to look up, the Sun constantly drove her to wipe her brow and feel the tickle of moister between her shoulder blades.

Her arms were complaining, there was a kink in her neck, but what bothered her most was the fear.

Questions and doubt buzzed her brain, more obnoxious than the flies that buzzed her face.

“What’s going to happen when harvest is over?”

Hunching her shoulders to better carry her burden, she stubbornly ignored this and caught up another shaft of grain.

“You’re not foolish enough to think this pitiful amount you’ve gleaned so far will provide until next harvest!”

She took a deep breath to steady herself.

“Moses said: When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”

She reached out and picked up more gleanings, being careful with each.

“Lord, thank You for the food You have provided for Naomi and myself. I trust You to prove for our future.”

Wiping her brow again, she continued on, diligent in the back breaking, monotony of gleaning the field.

Ruth 2:2 NKJV — So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
Ruth 2:3 NKJV — Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

This is Ruth.

The Bible doesn’t tell us about how she felt.

It doesn’t describe the pain, the fear, or even the life shared with a woman who had lost all. (Ruth 1:21)

It simply tells us what Ruth did.

She diligently took up the only task she could do and she worked at it with a determination and gentleness which speaks volumes about her character.

She had experienced disappointment, no children were added to her though she was married.

Ruth 1:4 NKJV — Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.

She had watched tragedy take it’s toll.

Ruth 1:5 NKJV — Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

This young woman had known incredible loss, but she didn’t allow it to rob her of integrity.

Her mind and heart belonged to her family and the God of the Hebrews.

Ruth 1:16 NKJV — But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

As a woman from Moab, she was risking a great deal. Moab and Israel were not on friendly terms.

Yet, she worked at the task she could do, the task she had to do and she did it well.

Ruth 2:7 NKJV — “And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”

It’s pretty difficult to imagine how exhausting this would be.

Ruth shows incredible faith in simply doing the task at hand.

And her story ends with God’s faithfulness to her.

Ruth 4:13 NKJV — So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.

Ruth 4:17 NKJV — Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi.” And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the story of Ruth. Thank You for how she trusted in You with all her heart. Lord, please help me to be like her. To do what is difficult. To trust You with my future. To be steadfast in following You with my whole heart. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for what You did in Ruth’s day and what You are doing in mine. Blessed be Your name Jesus! Amen.

God’s Word, our gateway

The Bible is our standard for life.

It’s instruction is what we as followers should be aligned with daily.

But our flesh is often at war with what Scripture instructs and our world is not an easy place to walk out the commandments of God.

Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV — “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Loving God seems easy enough, but add to it loving others and no one finds it easy.

1 John 4:7 NKJV — Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Loving God equals loving others, because God’s love is meant to be shared.

“But how do I love when…?”

“You don’t understand, I can’t love them because…”

“If they are not loving others, who can!?”

It’s easy to feel frustrated and confused by the experiences we find ourselves in.

Life can be complicated and living out God’s love can seem impossible at times.

Thankfully we have God’s Word.

Through it, God’s Holy Spirit teaches us how to live and how to love as He does.

In the Bible we find examples of both the right and wrong way to live and to love.

The best thing about God’s Word is that it always has something to teach us.

When we need guidance, wisdom, direction, and truth it’s there, waiting in His Word to shine His light into our hearts and lives.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Lord, thank You for loving us right where we are. Please continue to help us learn to love You and to love others as You teach us to. Lord, I am unable to do anything without You. Please help me to walk with You today. Please help me to obey Your voice, to think upon Your truths, praise You in all things, and love as You do. Thank You for Your love, faithfulness, and grace. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.

For next week, or possibly longer, I’m going to do something different with my posts.

I’m going to take a look at some people in scripture who have had a profound impact upon my life and share with you what God has spoken to me.

I pray it’s a blessing. ❤️

Faithful

Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJV — “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

None is faithful like the LORD.

His Word is truth and speaks clearly.

Psalm 119:138 NKJV — Your testimonies, which You have commanded, Are righteous and very faithful.

For God’s ways are pure and His faithfulness is amazing.

1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV — God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

What a gift to be granted salvation through Christ Jesus!

1 John 1:9 NKJV — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

How wonderful to know that the Lord is faithful to do all He has promised.

Hebrews 10:23 NKJV — Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

With this same knowledge of God’s faithfulness, we are called to be faithful to Him and to follow His Word.

Luke 16:10 NKJV — “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

For those who remain steadfast in following the Lord, great is the reward.

Matthew 25:23 NKJV — “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

Truly, nothing on earth compares to the reward of hearing the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

Thus, we need to remember the faithfulness of God and choose to be faithful as well.

No, it will not always be easy, but God’s promises cover that as well.

2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 NKJV And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

No matter the circumstances, His Word is true.

One can live according to His Word and find peace in knowing God is faithful.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV — Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness! What an incredible gift You give in salvation, in Your truth, and in Your love. Lord Jesus, You have done so much and are still working, thank You! Please continue to help me to follow You in all things. Lord, please help me to be faithful in little so I will be faithful in much. Lord, help me to be humble and to quickly confess sin and wrong doing that I might not walk in those things. Lord, please purify my heart, that I might live wholeheartedly unto You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Pleasing God

Psalm 147:11 NKJV — The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.

Putting our hope of salvation and daily guidance in God is pleasing to Him.

To revere Him with our whole heart and walk in that continually is something God takes pleasure in.

Psalm 149:4 NKJV — For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

What is more beautiful than salvation?!

To humble ourselves before God is to allow Him to be King of our hearts, sovereign over our lives.

Proverbs 11:20 NKJV — Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their ways are His delight.

The Bible is clear, no person is without sin, but Jesus paid the price of every sin, and to be blameless before God we simply confess with our mouth and believe in our hearts that Jesus, God’s Son paid for our transgressions, then we pick up our cross and follow Him.

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV — that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Psalm 35:27 NKJV — Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”

Who can refrain from rejoicing when the truth of salvation has been accepted and practiced?

Who can keep from praising God, Who is holy and righteous, yet has gone to such great lengths to save?

Surely, no greater prosperity can be valued at the enormous weight of eternity spent with God Almighty.

Psalm 117:2 NKJV — For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these truths. Thank You that You are pleased by those who trust in You, who find hope each day in You. Lord Jesus, thank You so much for salvation. Thank You for giving Your life for us. Lord Jesus, please help me to walk in Your Word and Your will today. Lord, please guide and direct my heart, my mind, and my steps. Thank You for giving me so much. Please help me to continually humble myself before You and to love You with a whole heart. Thank You for Your Word. I want my life to bring You pleasure. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Obedience is better…

1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV — So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.”

Here we see Samuel answering King Saul.

God had spoken directly to Samuel and the instruction was clear, King Saul was to go and wipe out the enemy.

But King Saul decided God’s command wasn’t the best way and proceeded to keep back the best animals.

When questioned by Samuel his response shows his heart.

Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”

He had not obeyed, but instead done what he thought was best.

Samuel wasn’t going to allow even the king to transgress the command of the Lord.

1 Samuel 15:14 NKJV — But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

And when called to account King Saul doesn’t humble himself.

1 Samuel 15:15 NKJV — And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”

It is here Samuel speaks the verse which can be applied to every heart:

“…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22b

God wants our hearts to be so devoted to Him that obedience is our first choice.

The Lord expands this idea by speaking through the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 6:6 NKJV — For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

To be a follower of God, one is to reflect God in their own lives, their attitudes and actions.

God is merciful and He wants us to be merciful as well.

God is loving and He wants us to be loving.

God teaches us through His Word, because through it we are given the instruction on how to live as He designed us and He wants us to follow and teach others.

God became flesh and dwelt among us to teach us and to give us an example for our everyday.

He wants us to follow Him.

Matthew 12:7 NKJV — “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.

Matthew 9:13 KJV — But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

May we each one be inspired to obedience and mercy as well as sacrifice.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your example to each one of us. Thank You for loving us so deeply that You paid the price for our sins. Lord Jesus, please help me to learn from Your Word each day. To understand the truths of scripture. Please help me to obey Your Word, to walk in mercy and knowledge of You. Lord, You do not want hollow service which has no substance. You want true devotion of the innermost. I want to give You that, every day. Please help me to do so, whatever it costs. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.