Friday, May 20, 2011

Romans 8:38-39

The Lord loves unconditionally.
This is the third one.
Read: Romans 8

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,

nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,

nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the love of God

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (NSRV)

“I love you.” The small boy looked up at my dad.

We were visiting Dad’s cousin and her husband who had their grandson that evening. We hadn’t seen him in quite some time.

“He says that when he thinks he’s in trouble,” his grandmother said. “Sometimes he gets in trouble and he doesn’t want us to be mad at him.”

The little guy didn’t understand that his grandparents loved him and didn’t want to see him get hurt. Their concern for his safety and well being were part of their love for him. Their discipline in light of his misbehavior showed how much they cared for him.

It’s the same between God, our heavenly Father, and us. When we misbehave or become selfish it disappoints Him. He doesn’t stop loving us, although He might not like our behavior. He displayed His great love for us once for all on Calvary. Therefore, He loves us in spite of the unlovely things we do. He disciplines us because of the great love He has for us.

For Your great love You so lavishly given us, I thank You, Father. Amen.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Matthew 25:31-46

Here's the second sample.

Separating Sheep from Goats
 Read: Matthew 25:31-46

“All nations will be gathered before Him.

And he will separate people one from

another as a shepherd separates the sheep from

the goats. He will put the sheep at his right hand

and the goats on his left.” Verses 32-33 (NSRV)

Each person on earth, believer or non-believer, will be called before Jesus when He returns. He will base His judgment on how well we treated others- the poor, the hungry, those ill, the ones imprisoned.

How do we address the ones with needs? Do we take the time to care for them or do we ignore them and hope their needs will go away? Or do we wish them well and go about our business?

Each time we send a card, pray with one in need, visit someone ill or in jail, or provide food for someone who is hungry, God looks kindly upon us. When we don’t assist those in need or we neglect those around us who hurt, God becomes disappointed with us.

As His children, we want to please the Lord. We can do that when we study His Word and apply it to our hearts. Another way we please Him is to spend time with Him in prayer.

Father: Please show us how minister to those in need. Amen

Monday, May 16, 2011

Job 1:21

Job hearing of his loss
 Father, when we forget how precious your gifts are to us, please remind us. Amen.

Last Fall, I submitted three writing samples to a devotional magazine. Last week, I received them back in the mail. The rejection was kind. They were blessed with an abundance of writers. The editor told me that my devotions were "theologically appropriate." I just thought you'd like to see them.  This is the first one.

Read: Job 1:121 (NSRV)

He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the

LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.’

Job 1:21 (NSRV)

As I sat and tried to write about Job and what he says in the above verse, my thoughts went to my family. We recently had lost my husband’s sister. Then he became ill. The previous Tuesday he underwent surgery. The hospital kept him an extra night. After two nights at home, he had to go back. The next day, he had exploratory surgery in the same area. Later, the surgeon thought she’d have to go in a third time.

Job believed what we sometimes forget. We come into the world with nothing. The Lord provides us with our wealth, possessions, family and friends. He also can take them away. We lose our wealth sometimes through no fault of our own. Our possessions wear out or break. Our loved ones and our friends sometimes move away or disease or illness takes them from us.

In spite of all these things we consider negative or hardships in our lives, Job tells us we are to praise the Lord. We learn to do this because we know God will walk through the tough times with us and will be with us.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...