This Experience Must Come

August 11th, 2008

Verse: “And he saw him no more.
– 2 Kings 2:12

Quote: “If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.”

The reference to “your Jordan” is from the story that today’s verse is taken out of. In verse 12, Elisha, Elijah’s student, has just witnessed his master being taken up into heaven by fiery chariots and horses. Elisha had witnessed countless miracles during his ministry, but up until now they had all been called upon by Elijah.

Back just a few verses in verse 8, Elijah parted the Jordan so the two of them could pass to the other side. Now Elisha is at the bank of the river without his master, needing to cross. Without hesitating, Elisha calls on the God of his master to part the Jordan and crosses it alone.

It is good to study under strong, Godly people in your life, but there will come a time when you have to face obstacles on your own. Only then will you truly put your faith in God’s omnipotence to the test. If God is the God He claims to be, then you can go through any trial with Him alone. Learn to rely completely on God’s goodness, and nothing this world throws can shake you.

The Sacrament of the Saint

August 10th, 2008

Verse: “Let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing.
– 1 Peter 4:19

Quote: “To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing.

Suffering by itself is never a good thing—it is the result of the evil that man brought into this world. However, remaining patient during your suffering and continuing to trust God through every situation is a blessed opportunity to glorify the Father.

God doesn’t want to see any of His children suffer, but He does want to see them remain loyal to them in the inevitable darknesses of this life. Don’t look for suffering, but do look for God in your suffering.

Prayer in the Father’s Hearing

August 9th, 2008

Verse: “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.
– John 11:41

Quote: “God always hears the prayers of His Son, and if the Son of God is formed in me the Father will always hear my prayers.”

What an amazing promise! It is easy for us to take the effects Christ’s sacrifice for granted because it’s all we’ve ever known, but through His death on the cross, Jesus opened up a direct line of communication between us and the Father. God hears and answers our prayers because we pray on behalf of the life of Christ hid within us. This is an enormous blessing that we should daily take full advantage of.

Prayer in the Father’s Honour

August 8th, 2008

Verse: “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
– Luke 1:35

Quote: “Am I continually saying with amazement to my common-sense life—why do you want to turn me off here? Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?”

That quote doesn’t really go with either the title or the verse for today’s devotion, but it struck a chord with me. I often find myself struggling with what seems like my natural instinct to behave a certain way, and I usually just try to deal with it. But I like the picture of actually rebuking my flesh when it tries to lead me away from where God has me.

That thing that was born in you when you submitted yourself to Jesus Christ was the life of the Son of God. You must act accordingly now to the new life that is in you, letting nothing interfere with you being face to face with your Father.

Neither to the Right nor the Left

August 7th, 2008

Verse: “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”
– Joshua 1:7

Quote: “Ours is to be a straightforward course, which bends neither to the right nor to the left. We are not to err by being more rigid than the law, nor turn out of levity to a more free and easy way.”

I try to quote the verse in the same version that is presented in the devotion I am reading. I did that today, but was very tempted to “modernize” it, though I trust you get the point.

Balance is key. It’s often said that Satan’s greatest tool is using half-lies. If you start with something true and then twist it, you are less likely to notice that you have gone astray. God’s Word warns us sternly to pay close attention to our course, and continually look to God for direction lest you “bend” to the right or the left.

As Christians, we have just as much tendency to make the law more tedious as we do to ignore it altogether. Remember that it was the teachers of the law who conflicted more with Jesus during His time here on earth, because of their rigidness. Spend time communicating with the God of the Law, follow as He leads, and you will remain in His light.

The Cross in Prayer

August 6th, 2008

Verse: “At that day ye shall ask in My name.
– John 16:26

Quote: “We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God’s grace.”

Prayer is about communication with God, not having our wishes granted us. God promises to give the desires of our heart, but He also promises to change our hearts to line up with His if we will pursue Him. Focus on talking to God in prayer, not on the answers. The answers will come, but not always in the way we hoped for.

The Baffling Call of God

August 5th, 2008

Verse: “And all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished….And they understood none of these things.
– Luke 18:31, 34

Quote: “If we are in communion with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, we shall no longer try to find out what His purposes are.”

It is of no concern to us where God is leading, we are but to follow. We should never focus on, or even desire the end result. Our goal should be obedience, and our joy in the consistency in which we follow lest our future becomes brighter than the God who is present.

If a tree falls in the woods…

August 4th, 2008

…will it crush your trampoline? Apparently so. I got back in town today to find what looks like one of my trees has been hit by lightning and fallen to the ground crushing my seldom used trampoline. Sorry Ean and Spencer.

On the ground

Broken trampoline


Broken stump


The Brave Comradeship of God

August 4th, 2008

Verse: “The He took unto Him the twelve.
– Luke 18:31

Quote: “The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks he is of use to God.”

We must put completely out of our mind the notion that God needs us in any shape or fashion. God chooses by His perfect grace and mercy to work through us and give us an opportunity to give back with what was never ours to begin with. Before you can be of use to God, you must realize your uselessness without Him.

The Big Compelling

August 3rd, 2008

Verse: “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem.
– Luke 18:31

Quote: “We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God’s purpose, we are taken up into God’s purpose without any consciousness at all.”

We do not have to know where God is headed in order to follow Him effectively. His vision is so much clearer than ours, that it is impossible for us to see the end result the way He sees it. All we have to do is submit the way Jesus did in Jerusalem: “I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30 NKJV).