Archive | May 2015

A Season of Life:

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It is a new season in the mountains. Wild roses, daisies, ferns, strawberries, honeysuckle, and various flowers have made an appearance. It is the beginning of the summer season. The sun is shining brightly, and everything is thriving on the sun’s energy.

I am reminded that everything changes with time. As the verse in Daniel 2:21 says, “God changes times and seasons;..” I see a different landscape compared with winter, just a short time ago. There were dreary days, not much sun, and the ground was buried in snow. The landscape seemed barren. The winter season was like a black and white photo compared to all the color I see today.

The world seems to be in a different season too. Earthquakes are more severe, and are occurring more often. Nations are rising against nations. Even the solar system has displayed different signs and wonders. Birds are falling from the sky. Fish in great numbers have washed up on shores. Honey bees are dying in large numbers. People are calling evil, ‘good’, and good, ‘evil’.

Don’t let these things take your focus off of God. This is a season. Things will change. God offers us hope, through our faith. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the discerning. Our hope is in God.

Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Thank You, God, for being our refuge and strength, and an ever-present help in times of trouble. We can count on You. Help us to  stay focused on You in this chaotic season of life. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Free Grace:

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This verse struck me today, because it is a monumental statement–that we are justified freely by God’s grace through redemption that is in Jesus Christ.

God gives us so many free gifts that we need, and that we take for granted: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we walk on.

People seem to especially take the gift of God’s free grace for granted, maybe because it is unseen. Only by faith, will you be able to experience this monumental gift to the fullest.

We don’t see the air we breathe, but if we weren’t able to inhale it, we would die. Water is crystal clear, but it is a necessity for life. Sometimes, it is the unseen things that are of much value. God’s grace is an eternal value. We do not want to overlook it. Without it, we are dead in our sins and trespasses. Without accepting God’s grace, we have no hope of an eternal future with our great Creator. We will be separated forever from His love and mercy.

Now is the time of salvation, while you are alive on this earth. Enjoy God’s free gifts of air, water, land, and His amazing grace, our redemption through Jesus Christ!

Dear God, I know that acknowledging You is the first step to knowing You. There are many things on this earth that are fingerprints of who You are. I love You, Your sunsets and sunrises, crystal clear mountain streams, the fresh pine smell of the forest, the creatures that are so unique, and so much more. I see You in the beautiful details of this world.  I know that many people live in regions where they cannot see the beauty of Your creation. I pray that You would make Yourself known to them. I pray for Your will to be done. In the name of Jesus, amen.

-Dawn-

PS: We could never pay the price that our sin’s debt would require, the free gift of God was paid in full by His Precious Son, Jesus.

In God, We Live and Move and Have our Being!

100_8579 When I read my devotions, the main verse was Acts 17:28. For in Him we live and move and have our being. If we acknowledge God as the One Who gave us life, we can put this into perspective. Our lives completely relate to God’s will. Because of Him, we live, move, and have our being. Deeper yet, I can see through the Bible, God’s interaction with man. He directed the steps of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, and many more. The disciples had the privilege of walking with Jesus, God’s very presence was with them! God directed the steps of women too. Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Mary, Elizabeth, Abigail, and many more experienced His presence in their lives.

God was not far from any of them. They were able to do amazing things through God’s strength. Elijah and Enoch had such a close relationship with God, that they went to be with Him in unique circumstances. Enoch walked with God, and was no more. Elijah caught a chariot of fire that carried him to heaven. To be so close to God, that He carries us away would be a fantastic experience! People who are willing to search for God, to grow in their faith in Him, to acknowledge and accept His divine will in their life, have reaped the reward of a personal relationship with an awesome, wonderful, God. We must move forward in faith, and grow in the Lord, and increase in our knowledge of Him daily.

Oh God, help us to draw near to You with a heart full of desire and love and knowledge. Keep us in Your will, and keep us from being deceived. I pray for Your word and Your truth in my life, that I would embed it in my inward most parts. Like David prayed, I also want for Your word to be hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Help me to grow in my faith daily. I pray that I would not be dead or stagnant in my love for You, or in my faith in You. Thanks! Amen. -Dawn-

Continued: Secret Shopping

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Continuing from yesterday’s post, if a secret shopper would evaluate my service to Christ, I could do much better at several things:

My Name Tag

I still revert to a broken life, instead of being the conqueror that God made me through Christ.

I re-hash old painful memories. I think of myself in the terms of my past,- the person I used to be.

Those thoughts can be big set-backs, and keep me from living a victorious life in Christ.

My old ‘name tag’ said I was unforgiven, unloved, and broken. I am wearing a new name tag, one that says,”I am a child of God”. I have been redeemed at a great price, by the King of Kings!

I need to start living like I am forgiven, loved, cherished, and restored.

My Service to God

Next, instead of allowing God to use my past mistakes, I keep punishing myself for them.

I need to stop doing that. — Jesus took my punishment on the cross. He was wounded for my transgressions. The price for my sins has been ‘paid in full’.

Instead of running away from the crowds, afraid of the insults and persecution, I need to run to them, and serve them with the knowledge and saving Grace of God.

My Uniform

Instead of wearing the full armor of God, some of my soul has been exposed with weakness. I was allowing painful circumstances to hurt me. I’ve allowed the enemy a foothold in my weakness. The devil knows our weakest moments, and uses those times when we are tired, sorrowful, lonely, angry, and hurt, to test our faith and patience. We need the armor of God, His Salvation, Faith, Truth, Righteousness, and Peace. Those things that God freely gave me are my defense and strength against the enemy.

My Focus

The world is a ‘noisy’ place. People are trying to tell us all kinds of things. My focus needs to be totally on Christ. I cannot be distracted by events and bad news. God is in control of this world. I need my attention to be on Him. I need to take my cares, worries, and concerns to Him. He knows how to handle everything.

Examining my Christian walk is a good thing. There are things I can do better. Maybe by seeing ‘the planks in my own eye’, I can help others, too?

Dear God, I know that nothing can separate me from Your love. You have paid a dear price for my forgiveness and restoration. Help me to put aside the old things, and grab on to the new things that will help me to grow in my faith and love for You. Instead of the brokenness, I pray that You would help me to live victorious! In the name of Jesus, amen.

-Dawn-

A Secret Shopper:

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I woke up early, thinking about “Secret Shoppers”.

I was once a “Secret Shopper”. I went around to restaurants and gas stations to see if they were providing good service to their customers.

I checked for cleanliness, quality, customer service, and if fixtures were in working condition. I checked for proper uniforms and dress codes, and gave a report of my findings. (I was judging businesses and employees. It was my job.:)

David, the Psalmist, once asked God to see if there was any wicked way in him, and asked for God to lead him in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139: 23,24:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

It is important for us to examine our lives. How can we pull the sliver out of someone’s eye, when we might have a plank in our own?

Many people say that we are judgmental when we point out sins. I would reply to them that God is judgmental, and He has provided a way out of our sins. But, if we choose to keep sinning, and refuse God’s grace, we are doomed. God has shown us that He is just. He punishes sin, and if we refuse to tell our sisters and brothers their sins, then we are responsible for their punishment too. Pointing out to a person the error of their way can be a loving and kind thing to do.

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. Ezekiel 3:18

Many people do not want advice, but sometimes advice is necessary. There is a Bible verse that tells us to listen to instruction and accept advice, and in the end, you will be wise.

First, it is important to examine our own lives, and get right with God. It is also important that we help unbelievers to see their need for Christ’s salvation. It is also important to expose sin and unrighteousness in the hopes that a person will repent and be saved. Jesus is coming quickly, and He will return to judge the world. There will be wailing and weeping.

Dear God, You have laid some things on my heart. I pray for Your will in my life. Like David asked, please examine me for any wickedness, and lead me in the way everlasting. I know I have plenty of faults and confess that I continue to need Your forgiveness. I want to be a good ambassador for You, and I pray that Your Holy Spirit would guide me in words and actions, to be a witness for You. I know You are returning soon. In Your Name, Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

What Great Love!

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When I took this picture of a wild daisy in our rock garden, I failed to notice the little bug that was resting on it.

Can you imagine how great God’s love for us is? He has done so much to show us how He loves us. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without Him noticing. He notices every little thing about us. Before we were born, He knew us.

While we were yet in our sins, Christ died for us, in order to reconcile us to God.

He is our Savior, our friend, our help, our refuge, our strength, our Shepherd, and so much more!

Jesus, on earth, was the exact replica of God. He is a healer, restorer, physician, and comforter. If we ask, He is willing to help us. If we believe, He is willing to save us!

How great is our God!

Oh God, You amaze me! I am in awe of Your great love for me. I do not understand how someone so insignificant as myself, can be loved or noticed by such a great and holy God? Thank You that Your ways are higher than our ways, and Your thoughts higher than our thoughts. Amen.

-Dawn-

Lyrics to the old hymn, The Love of God:

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

Frederick Lehman tells us that verse 3 “had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave.” While it is only supposition that he was the one who adapted the Jewish author’s poem to leave us these well-known lines, if the account is true it shows in any case that he highly esteemed the message.

Please visit http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Love_of_God/ to learn more.

Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, and Don’t Quench the Spirit:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 

These verses are loaded with action words: rejoice, pray, give, hold on, and reject.

This is good advice from the apostle Paul, and its message is timeless.

I rejoice in salvation, in the love and redemptive power of Jesus, and in God’s great mercy and grace.

I rejoice because I have many sisters and brothers in Christ, and I am encouraged by your testimonies, your faith, and words of comfort, and encouragement.

I pray for all of you, that God’s presence would be mighty in your lives, and that you would receive comfort, peace, and help in all your troubles. I pray that you would be encouraged and strengthened in your faith.

I know that many prophecies are being fulfilled that concern the end times, but no one knows the day or the hour, only God. He is patient, because He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would have life.

I will hold on to what is good, and reject every kind of evil, with God’s help.

Thank You, Lord, for everything! Dear God, let Your will be done. Amen.

-Dawn-