Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - Dogged Devotion

Maggie doesn't care much for television. She would rather look out a window than stare at a small screen. Reading doesn't thrill her either. She has been known to "chew" on books, but only in the strictly literal sense. Nevertheless, when Jay and I read or watch TV, Maggie participates. Even though she doesn't enjoy what we're doing, she enjoys being with us. Maggie is our very devoted dog. More than anything (well, just about anything) Maggie wants to be with us.

The word dogged means determined and persistent. These words describe Maggie. They should also describe us. When we are devoted to God, we want to be with Him even when He's doing something that makes no sense to us. We may ask, "Why, Lord?" when He seems angry (Ps. 88:14) or when He seems to be napping (44:23), or when the wicked prosper (Jer. 12:1). But when we remain devoted to God despite our questions, we find fullness of joy in His presence (Ps. 16:11).

Jesus knew that we would have questions. To prepare us for them, He urged us to abide in His love (John 15:11). Even when God's ways are inexplicable, His love is reliable. So we remain doggedly devoted to Him. We find joy when we learn to abide in Jesus' love.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, You are always there waiting for me. May I never be too busy to find time to spend in Your presence. Guide me always to do Your holy will knowing that your strength will carry me through.

Help me to be always aware of the important things in life. Help me to care for those around me. And, help me to seek Your presence in all I meet.

As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope. Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, be there at my sleeping. And give me, I pray, Your peace in my heart, Lord, at the end of the day.


Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 16:11

He got our feet on the life path. He is all radiant from the shining of His face. Ever since He took our hand, we will always be on the right way. There is indeed a fullness of joy when we are always in His presence. 

He will show us the path of life. In His right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. When we let God guide our steps, He will always show us the right way. Let Him guide you and walk you to the right direction. Delight yourself in Him.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - Heart Matters

Our hearts pump at a rate of 70-75 beats per minute. Though weighing only 11 ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back. A healthy heart can do amazing things. Conversely, if our heart malfunctions, our whole body shuts down.

The same could be said of our "spiritual heart". In Scripture, the word heart represents the center of our emotions, thinking, and reasoning. It is the "command center" of our life. So when we read, "Keep your heart with all diligence" (Prov. 4:23), it makes a lot of sense. But, it's a difficult advice to keep.

Life will always make demands upon our time and energy that cry out for immediate attention. By comparison, taking time to hear God's Word and to do what it says may not shout quite so loudly. We may not notice the consequences of neglect right away, but over time it may give way to a spiritual heart attack. I'm thankful God has given us His Word. We need His help not to neglect it, but to use it to align our hearts with His every day. To keep spiritually fit, consult the Great Physician.

Today We Pray

Dear God, who has given me life and breath, and another day: I do not know what this day might bring. For men make plans, and their plans come to naught, as You will it. Thus I take this day out of my hands and submit it to Your will.

Let me follow only Your way. Let me hear only Your voice, not the voices of those who do not believe in Your teachings. Let me celebrate and rejoice with those who do believe in You.

Take my heart and hand. May Your sweet love grow more like You day by day. In His name, I pray, let my day be Yours, and let it be filled with goodness and faith.


Todays Godly Reminder - Our Protector

God is our Ultimate Protector from the works of the enemies. The enemy is like a devouring lion, ready to attack us anytime. But, we must not be deceived by the enemy. Ask God for protection everyday, and He will carry you in His mighty arms.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Blame Game

When Jenny's husband left her for another woman, she vowed that she would never meet his new wife. But when she realized that her bitterness was damaging her children's relationship with their father, she asked for God's help to take the first steps towards overcoming bitterness in a situation she couldn't change.

In Genesis 16, there's a story of a couple to whom God later promised a baby. When Sarai suggested that her husband Abram have a child with their servant Hagar, she wasn't fully trusting God for the child He had promised. When the baby was born, Hagar despised Sarai (Gen. 16:3-4), and Sarai became bitter (vv. 5-6). Hagar had been the slave with no rights and suddenly she was special. How did Sarai react? By blaming others, including Abram (v. 5). God's promise was realized in the birth of Isaac 14 years later. Even his weaning celebration was spoiled by Sarai's attitude (21:8-10).

It may never have been easy for Sarai to have lived with the consequences of their decision to go ahead of God. It may have taken a miracle of grace to change her attitude, but that could have transformed everything. Sarai couldn't reverse the decision but through God's strength, she could have lived with it differently and given God the glory. By God's grace, we can reflect His light in the dark times.