Category: Devotionals

How to Love God

By , January 15, 2020

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)

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Recently a visitor asked me to explain how to love God as Jesus commanded and how to love others.

What Jesus taught about the two greatest commandments conforms to the ten commandments as seen in Exodus 20. There we see in vss. 2-11 four commandments telling us how to relate to our Creator. Vss. 12-17 the last six commandments deal with how we relate to each other.

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Prayer that touches the heart of God

By , January 14, 2020

Then Job replied:
“Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.”
Job 23:2-4 (NIV)

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Job’s situation was as desperate as could be. So dire was his position that he felt the Lord had deserted him. He knew his life was pleasing to the Lord even as the Lord described Job in Job 1:8  where the Lord said, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

So, if Job was such a godly man, why did he suffer more than anyone who ever lived? He felt estranged from the God he served so well. He was confused by the very painful situation he was in, namely the loss of all his children, loss of his wife’s support, loss of his  health, loss of his wealth, and loss of comfort from his friends. All that he had was his very miserable life and his confused mind.

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When the End of This Life Comes

By , January 13, 2020

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering,
and the time for my departure is near.
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,
which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—
and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

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She has lived a faithful life and honoured her beloved Saviour without any known blemish whatever. Now her loving extended family keep vigil with her as she waits for the angels to come to her bedside and escort her home to heaven.

As these heavenly messengers came to both the beggar Lazarus and the Lord Jesus when they came to their final hour, they come to all of the Lord’s children to minister grace, comfort, strength and joy. They take the child of God by the hand and lift them from their sorrow, and pain and lead them into everlasting glory.

An elderly Baptist pastor lay dying in St. Joseph’s Hospital in the early 1930’s when the Sisters of St. Joseph were running the facility. One morning a Sister came into the pastor’s room only to find him weeping and inconsolable. Mother Superior was summoned, and she gently talked to the elderly saint. “Pastor Brown,” she asked, “why are you so sad?” “Well I dreamed I was in heaven and when I woke up, I was still here!”

When we weep by the side of our dying loved one, we are really weeping for ourselves. The more we love the patient the more we want to release them into Jesus’ loving arms and know they are free from suffering, all tears being wiped from their eyes, and finally they are face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. Their journey done and now forever to live in their Father’s house.

Brothers

By , January 12, 2020

“Esau held a grudge against Jacob
because of the blessing his father had given him.
He said to himself, ‘The days of mourning for my father are near;
then I will kill my brother Jacob.’”
Genesis 27:41 (NIV)

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I will never forget a suggestion my wife made to me in August 2004. I had a week of holiday booked for that month and we had not planned to do anything much except day trips to some of the tourist traps in our vicinity.

What my wife suggested to me was that I take the week and go visit my brother who lived about 2 1/2 hours distance from us. She mentioned that he had suffered a couple of heart attacks and I did not know how much longer I would enjoy his company before he left for heaven.

I had been visiting him for a couple of days each month for several years ever since his wife had passed away. We were very close as brothers and enjoyed the same interests in life. He owned a classic car, a 1941 Buick, just like one our father had for our family car many years earlier. We loved to drive it around the country roads near his home in the summer and reminisce about the “good old days”.

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How Did He Do It? He Didn’t!

By , January 11, 2020

“May the day of my birth perish,
and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’”
Job 3:3 (NIV)

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[11] “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? [26] I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” Job 3:11,26 (NIV)

From the way I read Job’s story he is a misunderstood man. The picture we have of him is of a man who was resilient, steady, totally faithful to God in all circumstances, and so on. Get the picture? He is portrayed as the perfect man during his lifetime.

However, when you really get into his story in the Bible, it tells us of a man very much like ourselves. Yes, when things went well, really well for him, he was spiritually strong. However, when life fell apart so tragically for him he discovered that he could be weak like the rest of us.

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