Category Archives: Devos

Listen up! A message from the Lord at the beginning of 2020…

Listen Up!Often just letting God’s word speak for itself is the best course of action! I read these words during my time of “coffee with the Lord” and felt they were appropriate at the beginning of this new year as we face the challenges it brings (they’re from Isaiah 8, as God’s people faced a threatening Assyrian invasion) …

The Lord’s message to the enemies of God’s people…

“Huddle together, you nations – listen, all you distant lands! Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless! Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed!”

Why?…

“Immanuel! – For God is with us!”

Then Lord’s message to His own people…

“Don’t think like everyone else does! Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them! Make the Lord of heaven’s armies holy in your life! He is the One you should fear [or reverence]!”

God’s word must have priority for God’s people!

“Preserve the teaching of God! Entrust His instructions to those who follow Him! Wait for the Lord! Put your hope in Him! … Someone may say to you, ‘Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings they will tell us what to do.’ But shouldn’t God’s people ask God for guidance? … Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict His word are completely in the dark!” (adapted from Isaiah 8 – the New Living Translation)

Let me tell you, as I move into 2020 and the challenges it brings, that is going to be my strategy! I purpose to listen and heed what God’s word says – not what “the Enemy” says! How about you?

How does a person get “right with God?”

JustificationGayle Phillips, a member of the Coffee with the Lord group reposted this from 2017… I had just finished reading Romans 5 today and was moved by its message of “How to get ‘right with God'” and re-read what I had written earlier… Decided to repost as Gayle had. It is a needed message today, believe me!

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How do you get “right with God?” What does it take to gain the righteousness that God requires… that’s right – not the righteousness that impresses your neighbor, your parents, the people you go to church with, or even your pastor or other religious leader. How do you gain the righteousness that is acceptable to God?

People try to get it in different ways… Some try good works – they think God will be impressed by that and say they’re ok with Him. Others try very hard to keep a list of religious rules … they really are working on a score of 98 or above on the “righteousness test” (and hoping God will accept a score of 75 on that exam). Some depend on church attendance or church membership. Others believe participation in significant religious rituals will win them God’s acceptance. Others could care less… they believe “a loving God” would NEVER withhold His approval – what they really think is that almost EVERYONE ends up being accepted by God! None of those things will work!

Getting right with God – being acceptable to Him and being righteous – is really not that difficult! Yet there is only one way to gain it according to the Bible… Are you ready for this? It’s “BY FAITH!” I read about it in my Bible reading this morning. Here it is…

Abraham was given a promise by God – what seemed to be an impossible promise. God promised something incredible to Abraham when he and his wife Sarah were far past the age of being able to have a child! And the Bible says, “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told… He did not weaken in faith when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. THAT IS WHY HIS FAITH WAS ‘COUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ BUT THE WORDS ‘IT WAS COUNTED TO HIM’ WERE NOT WRITTEN FOR HIS SAKE ALONE, BUT FOR OURS ALSO! IT WILL BE COUNTED TO US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM WHO RAISED FROM THE DEAD JESUS OUR LORD, WHO WAS DELIVERED UP FOR OUR TRESPASSES [OUR SIN] AND RAISED FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION [i.e. to make us ‘right with God’]! (From Romans 5:18-25)

That’s how you get “right with God!” That’s the ONLY way God will consider you a “righteous person!” You’ve got put your trust in Jesus! You’ve got to believe that God will do what He said He would do because of what Christ did on our behalf! I’m so glad I did that! Hope you have as well!

When God call your children to Christian service…

Saying goodby

Can you imagine what went through Zebedee’s mind? Here it is from the Bible…

“Jesus saw two brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And He called them to come and follow Him. They immediately followed Him, leaving the boat and their father behind!” (Matthew 4:21-22)

Here are the issues, it seems to me…

A thriving family fishing business.

Two grown sons who had grown up learning the business from their dad.

They were integral to the success of the business – Zebedee had in fact structured the future of the business around their participation and ownership with him.

They were engaged with him in an important daily
responsibility and task… repairing the nets.

Along comes Jesus… He stops, engages in a conversation with Zebedee’s two boys… then he calls them to follow him…

They drop everything… leave Zebedee in the boat with the nets… and follow Jesus!

Tell me… if you were a parent, how would you feel?

Hey, let me tell you, it’s a challenge that many Christian parents have faced when God has called their children into Christian service! I can give you the names – I was their pastor… I saw it happen!

Some parents have responded in a constructive, godly way (after all they had “dedicated their children to the Lord” and His purposes for their life). Others have resisted, and have become angry at God for His call – even bitter. And honestly, not all children have handled the situation well either.

But here’s the deal… The Lord, who is our Creator and Redeemer has first rights to all of us… even our children! His call has priority! His purposes are primary! I am sure Zebedee had to deal with that! We are not told about his response or struggles! We trust they were godly and gracious.

I am so glad my parents prayerfully entrusted their children to God’s will, God’s purposes and call! We’ve tried to follow in their footsteps with our children. Let me urge you to do the same with yours.

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