Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Children’

Searching for Peace?

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:

For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

Thou anointest my head with oil;

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
~~  Psalm 23  (KJV)

David’s psalms are beautiful, but this is probably the most familiar. It teaches you a lot of theology by describing God as a shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd.” Notice that He is MY shepherd. He is personal to me. This is a one on one relationship.

“I shall not want.” He is able and willing to fulfill my every need.

Green pastures are areas of abundance and peace. Still waters allow the sheep to drink without the possibility of drowning. Restoration of the soul gives one the ability to rejoice anew.

Heeding and obeying His commandments will keep us from doing evil. No matter where we are, His constant presence reassures us that He is sovereign. When all the world seems to be against us, He provides whatever we need. He adopts us as His children, children of the King.

His presence in our lives is our abundance and provision. Now and always. We are His forever. That is the essence of our peace – not who we are, but whose we are.

Father, God,

Thank you for being our peace, our total provision at all times and in all circumstances. Grant that we, like sheep, may hear and follow only the Shepherd’s voice.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Love?

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  ~~  Matthew 5:44-48 (KJV)

Most Christians are familiar with this scripture, even though we seldom practice it. We give ourselves all kinds of excuses not to follow through with these actions.  Yes actions.

  • Love – Love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling. Love is action – working for the best interest of the beloved.
  • Bless – Speak well of and speak encouragement to this person.
  • Do good – In other words, serve. Bring the coffee; shovel the snow; promote his business…
  • Pray – Bring this person before the throne and thank God that He is sovereign in all things.

I enjoy a subscription to Mikey’s Funnies. Subscribed after my younger cousin began sending me snippets from her subscription. In honor of Valentines Day, he published a list of things youngsters said define love. This little girl has it down pat – from our scripture today scripture.

“If you want to learn to love better,

you should start with a friend who you hate.”

Nikka – age 6

Art Linkletter said it best: “Kids say the darnedest things.”  Some of them put the rest of us to shame.

Father, God,

We ask that You make us a little children, eager to learn and quick to comprehend Your teaching. Give us hearts softened to love those who are not necessarily nice to us. Grant that we may serve You by serving them. Help us to see their needs and work to fulfill them.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

Generations

Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;

And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;

And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan. ~~  Genesis 36:1-5 (KJV)

These are the names the descendants of Esau and his wives. Notice that Esau’s wives are Adah, a Hittite; Oholibama, a Hivite; and Basemath, the daughter of his uncle Ishmael.

Remember God’s words about Ishmael? There will be enmity between Isaac and Ishmael. Since Isaac is God’s promised father of nations and Ishmael will also be a great nation, it is interesting that Esau’s wives are all from backgrounds antithetical to God’s chosen people.

The Edomites will continue to be hostile to God to the bitter end. This bad blood will be handed down from generation to generation, whether by DNA or by nurture and culture.

We can hand down our fictions, foibles and faithlessnesses to our children. We do it unthinkingly, carelessly, by not being purposeful in creating a model for them to follow.

Let us resolve to be more purposeful in leading our children to salvation under the blood of Christ. They should be the prime objects of our evangelistic efforts. And they are the witnesses we must impress with living the life of Christ.

Father, God,

Keep us ever mindful of the model we set for our children. Help us to show them faithfulness to You, love for You, and worship of You.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.