Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Promises’

Calling

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. ~~ Jeremiah 1:4-8 (KJV)

The story of Jeremiah’s call to be a prophet is a comfort to me because there are three truths in it.

First – God says to Jeremiah that He knew him before He formed him in his mother’s womb. What was true of Jeremiah is true of every person ever born.

God knew you and me before we were born. He knew what we would look like, how we would respond to challenges, whether we would be easily obedient or difficult to discipline. He knew all about us.

And He loved us.

Still loves us!

Second – He says to Jeremiah that He set him apart for a particular calling. This is also true of you and me.

God has a particular calling in mind for each person. There is an appointed time and place for us in His universe. Our highest achievement is to be faithful to that calling.

Third – He promises Jeremiah that He will never leave him. As Jeremiah goes where God tells him and says what God commands him to say, the Lord will be with him and will rescue him from whatever comes against him.

This promise is also true for you and me. When we are doing God’s work, He will be our shield and protector.

Just consider these facts:

  • God had you in mind when He spoke the words “Let there be light.”
  • God has a purpose for your life – one designed just for you alone.
  • God will never leave you.

If we believe these three statements to be true, what can stop us from being the ambassadors God wants to send to His hurting world? Of what need we be afraid?

I love the saying “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.” Let us resolve to stay in the will of God.

Father, God,

Thank You for Your promises to us. We are grateful that You choose to be involved in our lives to the smallest details. Help us to be faithful to You, listening closely for Your will, obeying Your calling instantaneously.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

 

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Does God Need Our Help?

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.  ~~  Genesis 16:1-5 (KJV)

Does God really need our help?

When God promises something, we are foolish and impatient to try to hasten its fulfillment.

Look what happens to Abram and Sarai. Sarai knew about God’s promise of a son. But she convinced herself and her husband that God was too slow and needed their help.

How many time do we do this? We hear a call of God upon our lives, and we start off well. But when things seem to be moving too slowly we decide we know how to help God make things work faster.

God knows hearts. We just know appearances. God has reasons for His time line we know nothing of. Sarai’s proposition seems to make sense from a human standpoint. But she doesn’t figure on the human emotions Hagar’s pregnancy can stir up in both women. And even in Abram.

You see, God has His own plans and doesn’t need our help to bring them to fruition.

What he does require is our patience and faith.

We need to draw closer to Him to bring our will into line with His, to reinforce our faith in His steadfast love, and to strengthen our patience to wait upon His timing

Father, God,

Help us to understand that Your will for us is perfect, that Your timing is perfect, and that all we need to is wait upon  You.

In Jesus’  most precious name.

Amen

First published January 6, 2009
Finite Reason or Infinite Wisdom

Finite Reason or Infinte Wisdom

Focus verses: Genesis 16: 1 – 5.

Does God really need our help?

When God promises something, we are foolish and impatient to try to hasten its fulfillment.

Look what happens to Abram and Sarai. Sarai knew about God’s promise of a son. But she convinced herself and her husband that God was too slow and needed their help.

How many time do we do this? We hear a call of God upon our lives, and we start off well. But when things seem to be moving too slowly we decide we know how to help God make things work faster.

God knows hearts. We just know appearances. God has reasons for His time line we know nothing of. Sarai’s proposition seems to make sense from a human standpoint. But she doesn’t figure on the human emotions Hagar’s pregnancy can stir up in both women. And even in Abram.

You see, God has His own plans and doesn’t need our help to bring them to fruition.

What he does require is our patience and faith.

We need to draw closer to Him to bring our will into line with His, to reinforce our faith in His steadfast love, and to strengthen our patience to wait upon His timing.

Father, God,

Help us to understand that Your will for us is perfect, that Your timing is perfect, and that all we need to do is wait upon You.

In Jesus’ most precious name,
Amen.

Blueprints

Focus verses: Ezekiel 43:6-11

We have just read, in Ezekiel 40:1 through Ezekiel 43:5, what amounts to a blueprint for the rebuilding of the temple of Solomon. God has given the vision to Ezekiel with the same precision and similar specifications as he gave the original specifications to the children of Israel in Moses’ day.

God promises that in this new temple, He will live with the children of Israel forever. Is it any wonder, then, that Israel should want the old site of the temple to be theirs for rebuilding?

The political ramifications of this promise are as alive today as they were in Ezekiel’s time. The exposed wall of the temple mount – sometimes called the western wall or the wailing wall – is still a place where today’s Jews gather to mourn the lost temple.

But there is this promise from God that He will inhabit that place when the temple is rebuilt. And that it will stand forever. Current opinions about the physical wall in Jerusalem vary according to the religious roots of the person giving the opinion.

There is, however, another temple. This one not made by hands, but by God Himself. That temple is the body of the believer. And there is a specific blueprint for the construction of this temple as well.

Ezekiel was told to write the plans for the children of Israel to follow. We have written plans for the temple of the Holy Spirit today. The first set of blue prints came down from the mountain with Moses. And the second set was given by Jesus Himself.

These blueprints define the believer and his behavior toward God and the rest of the world. How do we measure up?

Father, God,

Help us to keep the specifics of Your plans for our lives in mind. Teach us every day how to grow closer and closer to You, reflecting more and more of You into the world around us.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

And Now A Word About Egypt

Focus verses: Ezekiel 29:1-16

Amid the oracles against the enemies of the children of Israel, God says a few words about Egypt.

Egypt is special among those people, because God also promises to scatter them as a retribution for the atrocities against His chosen people. But he also promises to bring them back again.

The promise of restoration is much like the promise of the restoration of Israel – except that Egypt will not be returned to all her former glory. She will be a weaker nation. She will be a lowly people.

God does this so that the children of Israel will never again be tempted to look to Egypt for help or strength in time of trouble.

Where is our Egypt? To what do we turn when in trouble? This should be a reminder to us that our first thought should be to turn to the Lord. He is our help and our strength, our refuge in time of trouble.

Father, God,

Help us to remember that You are our first line of defense in times of trouble. You are not the last resort. Teach us to come to You first in all things.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

A Firm Foundation

Focus verses: I Kings 8:54-61

“Not one word has failed” Solomon’s benediction on the people of Israel tells us what we can rely upon, have relied upon, will continue to rely upon. The word of the Lord is the firm foundation on which any of our hopes and aspirations can safely be built.

Without that foundation, all our hopes and dreams are just so much smoke on the breeze. But with this foundation, we can build the most wonderful castles, not in the air, but on the ground.

Anything we can think of is within our grasp, if we stop and apply the word of the Lord. When we want to do something, we should stop and ask “Is this consistent with the teachings of the Lord?”
If it is, we can safely proceed. If not, we need to stop and move on to another project.

Not one word has failed of the promises He made to Israel. Not one word will fail of the remainder of His promises to us. We can safely build on the firm foundation of God’s Word.

Father, God,

Your faithfulness to us in all generations has overwhelmed us. Keep us faithful to You in the same way You are faithful to Your word.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

Blessing and Cursing

Focus verses: Numbers 24:10-25

Most of us are familiar with the story of Balaam’s donkey. The donkey could see the angel of the Lord when Balaam was totally oblivious. Why should the donkey be more sensitive than Balaam to the presence of the angel of the Lord?

Balaam was on his way to Balak with the Lord’s permission. But with the injunction to say only what the Lord told him to say. Balaam is not a follower of the Lord. He’s a soothsayer, not a prophet of God.

He’s aware that he cannot curse the Israelites. Yet he goes to Balak. And then he blesses the Israelites, not once but three times.The blessings and promises of God are sure. There is no changing them.

There are two lessons for us in this story. First we should cultivate an awareness of the presence of God. And second we should bless those whom God blesses. It isn’t profitable to set oneself at odds with God.

Father, God,

Keep us ever mindful and aware of Your presence. Help us to draw closer to You so that the only words we say are those You approve.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.