Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Man’

Identity

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  ~~ Genesis 1:26-27  (KJV)

Do you really know who you are? The verse above says we were created in the image of God.  We are to have dominion, to be in charge of the earth. But we are not God.

We have limitations, limitations set by God. But we have an enemy who will continually try to get us to violate those limitations. He is always questioning us “Did God really say…?”  (Genesis 3:1)

That question is designed to make us dissatisfied with who we are. And the enemy is cunning. He will pose that question in whatever form he thinks will prod us to question God.

The enemy was successful in getting Adam and Eve to question God and to violate the stipulation God had set for them. That violation created a separation between man and God.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Have you ever been homesick? Lonely for someone absent? Then you know what that hunger is. There is something missing – a part of you that is missing.

We are created with a God-shaped hole in our hearts. We run after things to fill that hole, but nothing satisfies exactly. Oh, we can rationalize “if I just had a little more money” – “if my family loved me more” –  “if I had just a little more success” – “if I could have one more drink” – “if I could win (fill in the blank)” – “if…  if…  if…”

None of those things will really satisfy. Only a restored relationship with God can ease that hunger. In His generosity, God has made a way for us to bridge that separation.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~~ John 3:16-17 (KJV)

We don’t need to let the enemy steal our identity. God has given us a path to friendship with Him again.

Father, God,

Help us to see the wiles of the enemy for what they are – the desperate ploys of a vanquished foe. Remind us of who we are and Whose we are. Grant that we may seek to fill our lives only with You, not with empty things.

In Jesus’ most precious name,

Amen.

 

 

Uncertainty…

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

~~ Luke 12:16-20 (KJV)

My sainted grandmother used to say “man proposes; God disposes”. I didn’t realize that she was quoting Thomas a Kempis from his Of the Imitation of Christ. And he took his cue from Proverbs 19:21.

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.  (KJV)

Translated by The Living Bible, it becomes:

Man proposes, but God disposes.

Life is uncertain. The man in our parable is planning to live a long time, so he laid up treasure to support himself through many years. But he will not live to enjoy those treasures because he will die that very night.

God knows our last breath before we take the first one. I find that comforting. He knows; I don’t have to know. I merely have to trust Him.

I was forcibly reminded of that a few weeks ago. A lovely young woman, the age of my daughters, died suddenly in her sleep. She was in the prime of her life, doing what she wanted to do, being successful at her endeavors. She had accomplished much at work that day. And she is gone – in the blink of an eye.

I’m very glad that her last day at work was successful. But I’m sorry that I never talked with her about her relationship with the Lord. I assumed from what I saw in her, but I don’t know.

Do you know that if this were your last breath, you would immediately be present with the Lord in Paradise?  The thief on the cross knew. Jesus told him so. (Luke 23:32-43)

You can be sure of your eternal home.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~~ John 3:16-17 (KJV)

It’s very simple. Just follow the Roman Road as taught by David Jeremiah.

Father, God,

I pray for everyone who reads this post that they may see and recognize their need for a Savior, that they may read the texts and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and that they may desire to follow Him forever.

In Jesus’ most precious name, we pray.

Amen.

 

 

New Birth

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-14  (KJV)

There was a child born to our family this week, a precious boy, a great-grandson. Looking at his new face, all pink and clean, totally unblemished, I was reminded of the new birth Jesus has provided for us.

We come to him, excited, fresh, ready to become … something new.

This child will grow – is growing as we speak. He will become a toddler, a pre-schooler, a first grader, a freshman, a graduate, a man.

As Christians, are we growing? How far have we come since that first encounter with our Savior?  Perhaps it is time to take stock.

Father, God,

Help us to assess our progress in the life you would have us lead. Give us a clear vision of your plans for us, that we might be in perfect harmony with them. Teach us to grow well.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen.

Two Sins

Focus verses: Jeremiah 2:10-19

The words of the Lord here are a somber charge against the children of Israel. God compares them to the nations of idolaters surrounding them — unfavorably, I might add.

The other nations remain faithful to their idols, even though those idols are powerless to help them. But the people of God have exchanged the glory of God for worthless idols. The heavens are to be appalled and shudder with horror.

These verses are as valuable for us today as they were for the nation of Israel when Jeremiah was speaking them.

We have exchanged the glory of God for the idol of secular humanism. God is no longer the measure by which we judge ourselves. Man is to be the measure of all things.

This shift in values can lead only to destruction. It smacks of the fall of an angel to become a demon.

Our only hope lies in prayer followed by appropriate action. God calls us to pray for the nation and He promises to hear us. But there is action in the call besides just praying. Those actions are humble themselves, pray, seek and turn. Prayer is only a part of it.

Humble ourselves, recognize that we are not the measure of all things.
Pray, get on our knees and petition the Lord, recognizing His Sovereignty.
Seek, actively study to learn more of Him.
Turn, change our behaviors – another way to say repent.

We are called to these actions to try to save our nation from the destruction appointed for the idolatrous.

Father, God,

Show us our place in Your scheme of things. Keep us mindful of our pettiness in the face of Your majesty. Help us to follow Your call to action for our homeland. Stay Your hand yet a little longer while Your faithful pray and seek change.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.