Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Job’

The Power of Words

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.    Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. ~~ Proverbs 18:20, 21    (KJV)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We all remember that old sing-song from childhood. But it is a lie. We have all been hurt by words at one time or another. And we have all probably said hurtful words to others as well.  Words have power. Look at the beginning of The Book. In Genesis we read “And God said….  ”    He created everything, beginning with light by speaking it forth.

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)

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. ~~  Job 3:25   (KJV)

See the words of Job. He sacrificed for the well-being of his children. Then he confesses that he was afraid of losing them (and everything else). He didn’t know that the enemy was listening and taking all these things from him because God was allowing Satan to test Job’s faithfulness to God.

Then scripture tells us of Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   The same was in the beginning with God.   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  John 1:1-3    (KJV)

And we are enjoined by Paul’s letter to the Ephesians….

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  ~~  Ephesians 4:29   (KJV)

Words can teach and words minister grace.

What do our words do? Do they teach or minister grace? Do they express fear rather than faith? Let us watch our words today to see that they reflect only the will of God.

Father, God,

Help us to set a seal on our lips. Fill our hearts with Your words. Grant that our words may reflect only Your words and Your heart in this world. Use our mouths to edify and minister to Your world.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

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Surviving On Your Feet

Focus verses: Job 1 and Ephesians 6:10-20

Jesus promised that in this world we would have troubles. But He also promised that He had overcome the world. You can see in the Book of Job that being a righteous man is no shield from the tragedies and problems of the world.

Job was a righteous man. In the King James Version, it uses the word “upright.” Posturally that means standing on your feet. If you read further, you will notice that he continually thinks about the Lord and makes sacrifice for himself and his family, lest any of them had cursed God in their hearts.

Notice it doesn’t say aloud. It says “in their hearts.” The thoughts of his children were of concern. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Job had already done all that is in our Ephesians 6 passage. He knew the truth. He was righteous. He lived at peace with his world. He had faith in God.

Much of the source of his anguish was in trying to defend himself against the charge that when evil things happen, the person to whom they happen must have done something against God to have God punish him that way.

We can see that this is a battle against principalities and powers. Job’s righteousness had built a natural hedge around himself and all that was his. God allowed Satan to penetrate that hedge because God knew that Job would remain faithful to Him under any circumstances.

If we are to survive the troubles promised us by Jesus Himself, we must cling faithfully to God.
As my Papa would have said “anti-un-dis-irregardless” of anything that goes on in this world. It is the rock of God’s word upon which we can safely build. Anything else is quicksand.

Father, God,

Keep us always mindful that You are the safe haven in our world. No matter what the worlds says or does, turn our eyes always toward You and Your Word that we might be secure in our knowledge of Your faithfulness.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Spiritual Warfare

Focus verses: Mark 5:1-20

In our modern and “enlightened” age, we tend not to think in terms of spirits. Anything which has to do with aberrant behavior must be some form of psychosis or chemical unbalance that we can treat with counseling or medication.

But if the Bible is true, it is all true. That includes this story about the Gerasene. The man was not psychotic or chemically unbalanced. He was demon-possessed.

There are such things as demons. There is spiritual warfare. We need to be aware that we have a spiritual enemy who seeks our eternal destruction.

If we believe in God, we must believe that the devil exists. We see him in conversation with Eve in Genesis 3. We are told of his fall in Isaiah 14. There are multiple references to Satan in the New Testament. And the entire Book of Job is a chronicle of spiritual warfare.

It is part of Satan’s first lie in the Garden of Eden, that mankind can know all things, find answers comprehensible to the finite mind for all questions, discover cures to all diseases and maladies. When we buy into this arrogance of the intellect, we fall directly into the enemy’s hands.

Not everything is part of our physical, tangible world. There is a spiritual plane of which we know far too little. But all we need to know of it is contained in the Bible. We’ll not find it in psychology texts. Nor will we find beneficial information in new age books of spirituality.

Our hope and our confidence comes from the fact that God is Lord of the spiritual realm, just as He is Creator and Lord of this world. When we serve Him, when we rely solely on Him, He will preserve us from the wiles of the enemy.

Father, God,

Stop our ears from hearing the enticements of the enemy. Shield our eyes from the lust to which he would tempt us – whatever form it may take. Fill our eyes and ears and hearts with Your Holy Spirit so that there is no room for anything else.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Wisdom

Focus verses: Job 28:1-28

In response to Bildad’s claim that man cannot be righteous, Job leads him into a study of wisdom. He likens it to mining for precious metals and jewels. It takes a lot of digging and earth moving to acquire wisdom.

But you have to know which hill or mountain contains what you seek. God knows where wisdom dwells. Job takes his friends to the fear of God for wisdom.

Wisdom would tell you that there is reward in virtue itself. The list of virtues Job continues with are nothing without the fear of God as their root.

Doing good for the sake of doing good is laudable. When we do good in an effort to manipulate the benevolence of the Lord, that is something else again. God sees the motives as well as the actions.

God’s judgment of the motives of men reassures me that when I fail, he will see that my intent was pure. He recognizes that the people He created are fallible, imperfect, prone to sin. He sees the heart, not just the actions.

When we act out of love for God and fall short, we are not judged for our imperfection, but for our intentions. If perfection were a requirement, none of us could stand. But fear of the Lord and love of God are the keys to our right standing with God.

Father, God,

Preserve us from the folly of trusting our own intellects. Grant us Your constant presence in the Holy Spirit as our guide and teacher.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

God Is All

Focus verses: Job 23:1-12

Job’s friends still insist that he must have done something wrong to bring this calamity upon himself. Even though Job’s life outwardly has been righteous, they tell him there must be some hidden sins that caused all this mess.

But Job knows he did nothing wrong. He is not an unrighteous man. He worshiped God and shunned evil.

But there are times when God seems very far away. His lament here is that he cannot seem to find God. Where ever he looks, God is not to be found. This is simply because God has let Satan have charge of his earthly life for the moment.

Contrast this lament with Psalm 139. Here David says there is no place he can go where God is not. He cannot hide from God.

Nor does God hide from Job. He merely allows him to be tested by the enemy. And Job knows that if he can plead his case with God, he will be vindicated as a righteous man.

Father, God,

Help us to remain faithful in the most dire of circumstances. Grant that we should walk closely with You all the days of our lives, no matter what the enemy throws at us.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

The Key To Surviving Suffering

Focus verses: Job 19:23-27

After a tragedy in our own family, the comments I heard most from the people I know and the people I work with were: “You are so strong” and “I don’t see how you do it.”

In fact, I’m not strong. I simply know where to lean and that makes me look strong. When one has a relationship with God and knows that the wrongdoing is not of his own making, he can endure much.

Will he like it? Of course not. Will it be easy? No. Can it be done? Yes, it can. Many have already done it. And in Job, we have a prime example.

The key is found in verse 25. “I know that my Redeemer lives…” It is one of the highlights Handel’s “Messiah” oratorio.

This knowledge is a foundational rock for our faith. When God is ultimately the judge and the king, all wickedness will be recompensed appropriately as will all righteousness. Knowing that the ultimate judgment will be handled by the righteous God – the God who created me and loves me and wants only the best for me – lets me endure anything life can throw my way.

That’s how Job got through this trial by Satan. It’s how anyone can endure anything.

Father, God,

Help us to plant our feet firmly on this foundation stone of faith. Reassure us that You are the ultimate judge and will redeem the faithful from any suffering. Grant us the grace to draw closer to You so that we may withstand any of the darts of the evil one.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Cold Comfort

Focus verses: Job 16:1-17

The dialogue between Eliphaz and Job continues. Eliphaz continues that it is the wicked whom God afflicts. And that Job cannot possibly be righteous.

Job, however, has been righteous. And he knows it. He claims it. He doesn’t understand why God allowed this to happen, nor does he buy into the lie that he must have done something to bring it on himself.

Too often, we tend to blame the victim. If a woman is the victim of domestic violence, she carries a double shadow. What did she do to deserve this? Why doesn’t she leave him? So the situation becomes her fault — somehow.

If you are not prospering in your business or personal relationships, it must be that you have done something wrong. You are not pleasing the Lord, or He would make things prosper for you.

It doesn’t work that way. And those people who insist that is does should stay away from sorrow and tragedy in other people’s lives. The last thing a sufferer needs is someone to shake a finger in his face and point out his shortcomings.

Father, God,

Help me to speak words of life and comfort to those around me who suffer. Let me reflect some of Your light and love into each life I touch.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.