Category: Devotionals

The Father’s Gift to Jesus

By , February 11, 2019

“…those You have given Me…”
John 17:24

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A few years ago I did what I was dreading for years, I moved house. I had lived in the same house for 28 years and packrat that I am had accumulated an amazing lot of really “great” stuff. Great at least in my own mind!

But, the fact was, I was downsizing to a home half the size and simply could not take it all with me. I vividly recall purging a 5 drawer lateral filing cabinet. I had documents there from 40 years earlier that had to go to the shredder for disposition. There were all kinds of things I had not seen in decades.

But there were a hand full of files that I simply could not trash. Had anyone other than myself seen the contents lying around or blowing down the street they would have immediately trashed the papers without another thought. They were simply garbage to anyone but myself and to me they were priceless treasures that I would keep no matter how small the house to which I moved.

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Deserted But Not Alone

By , February 10, 2019

“No longer will they call you ‘Deserted’
…for the Lord will take delight in you.”
Isaiah 62:4

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When we think of someone deserted we may think of a lost child who is frightened because of the loss of mother’s visual presence. Or we may consider parents’ whose only child has no time for them any more and only wants to know what their inheritance is.

Then there is the enemy called death that relentlessly steals from us our most beloved ones. Or the faithful wife whose spouse is not so faithful.

Perhaps one of the most haunting and frightening cries of desertion was heard outside of the walled city of Jerusalem a couple of centuries ago when Jesus uttered the words, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

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What makes God sing?

By , February 9, 2019

“He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

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Have you ever thought about the emotional life of God? Certainly we are full of emotions, some good, and some not so good. At times our emotions get the better of us and cause us to do things we later regret. Other times our emotions run strong and it is an absolutely wonderful to experience.

But what about God? Some think of God as having a long white beard, dressed in white and perhaps a little stern. Someone to be afraid of or who is unapproachable.

In our verse today we have God described as delighting, loving, and singing! What a contrast to the common image of the divine, especially the singing idea. Where does that come from? Well, it was not humankind who invented music and harmony that delights the hearer.

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Should we pray for the sick?

By , January 25, 2019

“I pray that you may enjoy good health
and that all may go well with you…”
3 John 2

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I received an email recently and the writer included the reference for today’s verse. Somehow it got me thinking about illness, God’s will, and prayer for the sick.

I well recall being in a prayer meeting at a certain church and mentioned a member of that church for prayer. This man had been ill for several years with a painful condition. I know the church had prayed often that the man might be healed.

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Is It God’s Will for His People to Suffer?

By , January 23, 2019

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit
themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)

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Having spent the best part of 50 years in Christian ministry I have had many opportunities to work with people who suffer. I hope I never become easy in the presence of people’s pain.

I always seek to be a calm voice to those in the whirlwind of adversity yet inwardly I am always troubled by what I see on the faces of those I seek to help.

No one ought to seek out trouble as there is no use in having sorrow for its own sake. We are all called on by our Lord and Saviour to rejoice and be glad in the salvation we have in Jesus. Of all people, the Christian has the best reasons for being happy in this life.

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