Category Archives: Devos

Feeling a Lot of Responsibility Pressure?

Got a lot of oversight responsibility?  Feeling an incredible amount of pressure as a leader today?  Does it keep you awake at night?

King Solomon, king of Israel for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42; 2 Chronicles 9:30) identified with responsibility and pressure!  He was the eighth son of king David, an icon in Israel and was charged with the building of the temple as well as the responsibility for the development and oversight of Jerusalem, the great city, and the united oversight of both the northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah).

Solomon was a very wise man (in fact the Bible refers to him as the wisest man who ever lived!).  In Psalm 127 (a psalm attributed to him) this is what he observed…

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:1–2 ESV)

I’d say that’s wise advice from a guy who knows what he is talking about!  Jesus, the greatest leader of all time – “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” – creator and sustainer of the entire universe (Colossians 1:15-17) gave this invitation to those who feel a lot of responsibility and an incredible amount of pressure leadership brings…

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30 ESV)

Don’t know about you, but I’m going to try to learn from Solomon today… and especially take the invitation and advice of Jesus seriously!  Help me Lord, as I navigate the responsibilities and the pressure I feel!

The Power of Kindness

Here’s what I’d like to urge you to do today… Think of the kindest person you know and the kindest act (or acts) you have personally experienced from that person… Who was that person and what was their act of kindness?  My wife, Sharon and I spent some time today doing just that… We discovered that some of the kindest people we know are not the most visible – but they are wonderful examples of authentic, loving Christians.

You know, don’t you, that kindness is really an unexpected, undeserved act of goodness, generosity, and caring.

The passage of Scripture I read today during my time of “coffee with the Lord” was really a wonderful testimony to “kindness!”  It is part of the wonderful story found in the first two chapters of Ruth in your Bible

First, KINDNESS WAS SHOWN.  Ruth, daughter-in-law of Naomi (who had tragically lost her husband and two sons) was kind to her mother-in-law!  When her mother-in-law decided she would return from Moab to Israel she assured her, “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge!  Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.  May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you!” (Ruth 1:16-17)  Bereft of husband and security, and really facing destitution, Ruth shows kindness to her mother-in-law by promising companionship and care for her!

Then, of course, another truth about authentic kindness – A REPUTATION FOR KINDNESS GETS AROUND!  When Ruth helps out with provision for the two of them – Ruth and Naomi – by offering to “glean” grain for their food in the fields of their neighbors, Ruth happens upon the field of Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband.  He discovers who she is and tells her, “All you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and yow you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.  The Lord repay you for what you have done – a full reward be given you by the Lord the God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:11-12)

And finally, THE KINDNESS RUTH SHOWED HER MOTHER-IN-LAW WAS RECIPROCATED!  “At mealtime Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.’  So she sat beside the reapers, and Boaz passed to her roasted grain.  And she at until she was satisfied, and had some left over.  When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, ‘let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.  Also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’  So she gleaned in the field until evening.  Then she beat out what she had gleaned… When her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned she also brought out the food she had left over after being satisfied!  And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today?  And where have you worked?  Blessed be the man who took notice of you!’” (from Ruth 2:14-20)

And believe me, that is not the end of this wonderful story!  Read it for yourself – chapters 3-4 of Ruth in your Bible!  KINDNESS PAYS!  KINDNESS PLEASES GOD!

So as a Christian, Ruth’s kindness reminds me of my responsibility: “BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Which bring us to the greatest example of kindness of all!  But WHEN THE GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS OF GOD OUR SAVIOR APPEARED, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior!”  (Titus 3:4–6)

Mountains! Mountains!! Mountains!!!

Mountains!  Mountains!!  Mountains!!!

Now I was born and raised in the mountains – Western Montana mountains near Glacier Park – the Rockies, not “hills.”  I love ‘em!  They give me a sense of security, of wonder, of God’s greatness and grandeur, of “home!”  Now I know it’s not that way for many who were raised in the plains – they feel shut in, mountains are kind of scary.  But give me mountains!!!

I read a wonderful passage during my time of “coffee with the Lord” this morning that featured the imagery of mountains… Here it is:

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.  As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.”

Those who trust in the Lord enjoy the stability of… “Mount Zion” – where God manifested His presence!  Here, near Glacier National Park we’d think of the “Great Northern Peak” (the “granddaddy of them all!” – Great, tall, imposing and stable.  Listen, trust in the Lord bring God’s presence and power – that kind of stability!

And protection!  See that little cabin in the pic?  That’s the “Bartel cabin” and it resides in Hungry Horse, Montana at Glacier Bible Camp, just 10 miles from the entrance to Glacier National Park (where most of the pics come from).  It’s nestled in the midst of all those mountains on every side – mountains everywhere! …  And this is what came to mind as I read this passage today… “As the mountains surround “the Bartel cabin,” so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore!”  Gotta tell you, I’m depending on it!!!

Mountain!  Mountains!!  Mountains!!!  Love ‘em!!!

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