Category Archives: Devos

On “redecorating”

RedecoratingI’m re-reading a book by one of my favorite devotional authors… Max Lucado.  Couldn’t resist posting this wonderful quote from one of them…  The topic?  “Redecorating”

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“My writing room is different.  Just a few months ago these walls were white.  Now they are green.  Once these windows were curtain covered; today they are shielded by shutters.  My chair used to sit on a tan carpet, but the tan has been replaced by white.  To be candid, I had no problem with tan carpet.  It looked fine to me.  Nor did I object to the white walls and curtains.  From my perspective the room looked fine.

“But not from my wife’s perspective.  Denalyn loves to decorate!  Better stated, she HAS to decorate!  She can no more leave a house unchanged than an artist can leave a canvas untouched or a musician a song unsung.

“Fortunately, she limits her remodeling to what we own.  She’s never shuffled the furniture in a hotel room or reorganized pictures in the houses of friends.  (Though she has been tempted.)  She only remodels what we possess.  But mark it down: what we possess WILL be remodeled.  For Denalyn, its not enough to own a house; she has to change the house.

“As for me, I’m content with owning the house.  My tastes are, shall we say, less sophisticated.  In my view a char and a refrigerator go a long way toward award-winning interior design.  For me the herculean task is purchasing the house.  Once the transaction is complete and the house is bought, I’m ready to move in and rest.

“Not so with Denalyn.  As the ink is drying on the deed, she is moving in and remodeling.  I wonder if she inherited this trait from her Father – her Heavenly Father.  You see, the way Denalyn views a house is the way God views a life!

“God loves to decorate – God HAS to decorate!  Let him live long enough in a heart, and that heart will begin to change.  Portraits of hurt will be replaced by landscapes of grace.  Walls of anger will be demolished, and shaky foundations restored.  God can no more leave a life unchanged than a mother can leave her child’s tear untouched.

“It’s not enough for him to own you; he wants to change you.  Where you and I might be satisfied with a recliner and refrigerator, he refuses to settle for any dwelling short of a palace.  After all, this is HIS house.  No expense is spared.  No corners are cut, “Oh the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him!” (Ephesians 1:19 MSG)

“This might explain some of the discomfort in our lives!  Remodeling of the heart is not always pleasant.  We don’t object when the Carpenter adds a few shelves, but he’s been known to gut the entire west wing!  He has such high aspirations for you!  God envisions a complete restoration.  He won’t stop until he is finished.  And he won’t be finished until we have been shaped “along the…lines…of his Son.” (Romans 8:29 MSG)

“Listen, your Creator is remaking you into the image of Christ!  He wants you to be just like Jesus!  That is the desire of God.”

(From JUST LIKE JESUS (Nashville: Word, 1998)

A Prayer for Protection from Danger…

Praying HandsDuring this season of fear, uncertainty, disease, and even death, I’ve been so impressed with the power, passion and practicality of David’s prayers in the Psalms! I was especially captivated by his prayer in Psalm 31 yesterday – I labeled it in my journal, “A Prayer for Protection from Danger.” Read it over, look for the language that describes the situation and circumstances David envisions and is experiencing! And then turn David’s word into your prayer regarding what you’re facing right now… I did!
 
The prayer…
 
“O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced!
 
Save me, for you always do what is right!
 
Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly.
 
Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.
 
You are my rock and my fortress.
 
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
 
I find protection in you alone.
 
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
 
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God!
 
“I am trusting you, O Lord, You are my God!
 
My future is in your hands! …
 
Let your favor shine on your servant.
 
In your unfailing love, rescue me!
 
“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you!
 
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
 
You hide them in the shelter of your presence!
 
“Praise the Lord!
 
He has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love!”
 
And then David’s admonition and encouragement…
 
“Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
 
For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him!
 
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”
 
(From Psalm 31: Adapted and formatted for personal prayer)

Needed: A broadened understanding of “Spiritual gifts!”

Spiritual Gifts
I’ve been so impressed with the significance of Bezalel and his “Spiritual giftedness” described in these Old Testament chapters: Exodus 35:30 – 39:42… Reference to his name (and Ohoiliab’s) appear over and over again in these chapters, along with personal pronouns referring to them (“he” – “they”) … and the reference is to “Spiritual gifts” that we do not usually associate with “Spirituality” … craftsmanship, artistic designs, etc.
 
And the result of their “Spiritual gifts?” The tabernacle was constructed “just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (another oft repeated phrase in these chapters)!
 
Perhaps… no, not “perhaps,” – we DEFINITELY need a broadened understanding of what “Spiritual gifts” are and consist of! And we need to re-read 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12:1-8, Ephesians 4:1-16, and 1 Peter 4:10-11 in light of this broadened, comprehensive, understanding.
 
Spiritual gifts enable the “Church” to be what it is called to be, “the body of Christ!” Through “Spiritual gifts” the Lord provides EVERYTHING that is needed for the Church to be “the body of Christ” in our communities and around the world through the Holy Spirit’s power and enablement!
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