Sorry... No devotional today. We're celebrating Labor Day!
≈ Devotional for Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"I’m Listening Lord…"
I behold God’s creation as I peer out my window this morning and I quietly meditate on His Word.
Sometimes, when I reflect I am amazed at how much God does for us. I even wonder how He has time to hear and answer all of our prayers and petitions. There are so many of us in this world, but He knew me before I was born and He knows everything about me.
Isn’t it a scary prospect to think that someone actually knows every intimate detail about you? If our friends or family knew that much information, we would retreat into the nearest cave as the “real” person may not be what we project. Hear His word found in Luke 16:15 (Contemporary English Version):
"But Jesus told them: You are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned."
But, God ministers to us in unexpected ways, using Angels to provide what we need at just the right moment.
My Master’s Hands
My Master’s hands fashioned me according to His plan
with attributes uniquely my own
My Master’s hands cleanse and comfort me
after the fiercest storm
My Master’s hands wipe the tears from my face
and clothe me in His love
My Master’s hands offer reconciliation and
a gentle touch
My Master’s hands reach for me
wherever I am
My Master’s hands…
GospeLines Prayer: Father, thank You for meeting me just where I am. Thank You for Your healing touch and for the blood of the Lamb which makes me whole.
I feel your presence through Your Angels, but I’m not always certain when you speak directly to me. In his message, Pastor Noel Jones reminds me, “When God speaks, we need to hear His voice in the midst of all other voices.” Let me quietly and patiently wait on Your Word. I’m listening, Lord.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, September 9, 2009
“Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, ‘If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.’ “ (Mark 8:34-35)
The crowd stands there, jeering and deriding us to conform and find acceptance. Jesus looks through the blood and sweat stinging his eyes and calls us to be followers of the cross. One says follow me and I will give you pleasure. God says I will give you everlasting life. The crowd offers immediate satisfaction. Jesus promises suffering. Live it up and be happy cries the crowd. Endure the pain of commitment and LIVE our Lord pleads.
GospeLines Prayer:“Thank You, Father, for giving me the choice of eternal life. If my life is to be one of suffering in order to find true happiness, I would rather die a thousand deaths than to miss one moment with you in eternity!” Amen and amen.
Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, one of the most famous characters in Science Fiction genre, is known for his dedication to facts - he does not "speculate."
A scene in the movie “The Voyage Home” (Paramount Pictures, 1986) finds the perpetually accurate Mr. Spock in a very unusual situation - he must make a guess.
James T. Kirk: “Mr. Spock, have you accounted for the variable mass of whales and water in your time re-entry program?”
Spock: “Mr. Scott cannot give me exact figures, Admiral, so... I will make a guess.”
James T. Kirk: “A guess?You, Spock?That's extraordinary.”
Spock: [to McCoy] “I don't think he understands.”
Leonard McCoy: “No, Spock.He means that he feels safer about your guesses than most other people's facts.”
Spock: “Then you're saying... it is a compliment?”
Leonard McCoy: “It is.”
Spock: “Ah...Then I will try to make the best guess I can.”
When we guess, we form an opinion about something without enough evidence to make a definite judgment.But, what if we’re wrong?
In the Star Trek scenario, the crew would have ended up in the wrong time.If a pilot guesses about his altitude or his heading, he could be lost; or, possibly, his inaccuracy could result in a crash.The seriousness of “guessing” is directly related to the consequences of guessing wrong.
I guess the Bible is just a collection of stories handed down from generation to generation.They’re not really true.
I guess there are many ways to heaven?
I guess modern scientific theory about the universe and about evolution are true.
I guess there is no God.
What if you’re wrong?What if the Bible is the Word of God?That would mean that it's all true; Jesus is the only way to heaven and hell really does exist.
The seriousness of “guessing” is directly related to the consequences of guessing wrong...
GospeLines Prayer:Father, thank you for giving me Your Word so I won't have to guess.Thank You for Your Holy Spirit to guide me in Your Word when I don't understand.Thank You for granting me the faith to believe even when I cannot see.
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but byMe.”
"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Rev. 7:17)
The bloodied hand of the last survivor reached through twisted rubble in the direction of the voice of a New York fireman. Swollen eyes strained toward the narrow beam of light overhead. In twenty minutes she would be saved from the place she lay entombed for more than a day.
Stories rush through our minds, of heroism and terror. The images of buildings targeted by airplanes are etched into our memories. We won't forget that awful day. We shouldn't forget. But we, like the few survivors pulled from Ground Zero, must now move ahead. Beloved, it is time for us to reach toward the healing light and comforting voice of Jehovah God.Our sorrow will not simply walk away; we must nudge it along as we would a guest that has overstayed his welcome. Healing will come to us but not forgetting the tragic events that have marred our nation’s history. Our passage to recovery will open when we can embrace the future with a passion and determination equal to, or greater than our sorrow born from the tragedy.
Forget about it? Ignore it? No! Healing comes to us through a process which includes fear, anger, hopelessness, faith, acceptance and recovery. We would never shame those families who have suffered the loss of their loved ones by trampling the honor of their memories. As many of them said, "It is time to begin the healing process. That's what our husbands and fathers, brothers and sisters would want."
So, there comes a time to exchange our bereavement for bravado, our crying for courage, our anxiety for a stability anchored in everlasting hope. And this is that time. Terror may shake the foundations of the tallest buildings in the world, but it cannot budge the Rock upon which your faith has been built. Danger crippled the airlines of the greatest nation in the world, but it cannot deter your God-given mission. Caution has altered commerce, interfered with the way we communicate, and modified the methods we travel. But the work of the Kingdom will never change, prayer-lines have not been ripped apart, and the pathway to the altar of salvation remains open. For the fellowship of the redeemed, it is business as usual!
Bloodied, perhaps bowed but unbroken, the Church now squints through the rubble, seeks the ray of Light and hears the voice of the Almighty, "Go… make disciples of all nations… and I am with you always!" (Matt. 28:19-20) He has wiped away our tears, replaced our sackcloth with fresh armor, taken away our ragged shoes and has shod our feet with "the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." (Eph. 6:15)
We will not forget our terrible journey prompted by terrorism, and we will never again be the same as we were before. Now, there is a mission ahead of us that calls us back to duty. "Pray for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words will be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador…, pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." (Eph. 6:19-20)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I want to be as brave as You think I am, but I am not. I want to be all those things: courageous, fearless, and strong. But You know my humanity better than anyone. Please, God, let me "sit on the sidelines" just a little longer, I am not ready for this mission. Yet, if this cup cannot pass from me, You will have to do it through me. I cannot do it alone. I will reach toward Your light, and trust in Your strength, and walk in Your power. And frail as I am, You have graciously reminded me that it doesn't depend on me, but You are the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen and amen.