Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Witness’

Presence

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

~~ Genesis 9:9 (KJV)

Beginning in Genesis, we see God deigning to communicate with man, making promises to man. The passage above is quoted from right after the flood when God promises never to flood the earth again.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~~ Matthew 28:20 (KJV)

And the promise is found again in Jesus’ words to the disciples. He gives them the great commission and then a promise “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

This is not a new concept.

That we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD’s Presence, by continually conversing with Him. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation, to think of trifles and fooleries.  —  Brother Lawrence

But even before that, before Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, we read…

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.    ~~  Genesis 3:8 (KJV)

It is said so matter-of-factly that we are led to believe this was a common occurrence. That God walked in the garden regularly.

How many of us are constantly aware of the presence of God in our lives? Whether we are sitting in church or scrubbing the toilet, God is present – with us.

Does this thought comfort you or scare you?

In one way, it scares the puddin’ out of me.

God is a witness to everything I do, or think, or say. Therefore I must be very careful of my thoughts, words, and deeds. They must never disgrace the glory of God. They must never reflect badly on the name of Christ.

Every Christian is commissioned to be a witness for Christ.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  ~~ Acts 1:8 (KJV)

That’s not a part time job. It’s 24 – 7 – 365. An awesome responsibility!

But the thought of God present with me at all times comforts me as well.

It comforts me when I am uncertain what to do next. I can simply breathe a prayer for guidance and be led in the right direction or be content to stay still awaiting his nudge.

When things of this world look terribly wrong, it comforts me to know that He is not surprised by this circumstance or happening. He was there before it, and He has a plan to get me through it – no matter how terrible or devastating it may look on the surface.

The presence of God is an awesome thing. It’s reassuring to know that I have His constant companionship. It makes anything the world or the enemy can throw at me of no consequence because my God is bigger than that.

And it’s humbling, too. Why would a God so big He can create with just a word spend time with me, love me as if I were His only child? Amazing!

Neither disease, nor violence, nor natural disaster can make me fear for my life. God knew my last breath before I took the first one. My life is safe in His hands.

So is yours.

Father, God,

Help us to be more aware of Your presence – at all times, in all circumstances. Give us the grace to look to you rather than the happenings of this world. Thank You for loving us as you do. Let us never bring shame to the name of Christ.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Amen

 

Identity – Part Two

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 1:12-13 – King James Version (KJV)
Now that we have decided who Jesus is, perhaps we should look at our own identity.
When we are introduced to someone new, there are several identity type questions that spring to mind. Where are you from? Who are you related to? What do you do?
Take a minute and try to define who you are without answering any of those questions.
Yes, it is harder than it looks.
This is who God says you are. You are His child.
Some years ago, my friend Sandra and I were talking about children. She had five. I had four. And she was laughing at the thought that we were in charge of family planning. “We think it’s because of our love for our husbands that these children were born. We had nothing to do with it. Each child was conceived when God said ‘(Name of child) come forth!’  We had very little to do with it.”
She had come to the same conclusion as the poet, William Wordsworth.
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:    
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,    
        Hath had elsewhere its setting,    
          And cometh from afar:    
        Not in entire forgetfulness,    
        And not in utter nakedness,    
But trailing clouds of glory do we come      
        From God, who is our home:
from his Ode – Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
We started as His children. We were born into a world of sin and God-forgetfulness, becoming children of the world and of sin. When we believe on Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we claim our identity as God’s children.
And God claims us as His children.  What a privilege!  What a responsibility!
Father, God,
Help us to understand the depth of Your love that called us forth into this life and that redeems us from the world. Grant that we may be ever aware of Your love, Your generosity, Your provision. Give us the grace to extend to others as we witness to them about Who You are and how much You love them.
In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

My Word!

Focus verses: Deuteronomy 23:21-23

More regulations and stipulations are laid down in today’s reading. But one of them is foundational. It deals with integrity of purpose.

“If you make a vow to your Lord…” Any vow you make is made before the Lord. As Christians, our word is our bond before the world. And how we fulfill those vows is our witness before the world.

When we fail to live up to our vows, the world notices. But we don’t bear the onus , our God does. You’ve heard it. Christians are no better than anyone else. See them at church, gossiping about the neighbors. Well, you know how he made his money. Did you hear about her? And on it goes.

As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to a higher standard. And it begins with keeping one’s word. When you make a commitment, it must be kept. Even if it turns out to be to your own detriment, you must keep you word.

If your word is worthless, what about your invitation to Christ to come into your life? Is that worthless as well? I certainly hope not.

Father, God,

Help us to guard our tongues. Keep us from rash speaking. Strengthen our resolve to discipline ourselves to keeping our word as if it were Your word.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.