Sunday, May 29, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Sunday, May 29, 2017
“Lord You Are Amazing!”

 

All around me

by Dona Hake

 

 

Psalm 139:1-6    Easy-to-Read Version

“Lord, you have tested me,
so you know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts from far away.
 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
 Lord, you know what I want to say,
even before the words leave my mouth.
 You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
I feel your hand on my shoulder.
I am amazed at what you know;
it is too much for me to understand.”

 

 

His precious love  surrounds us, and He knows every detail about us.  The God of Heaven and Earth formed you in the womb, and He knows all about you.   He knows your heart, your soul, and the deepest of your emotions.  How precious and wonderful is this to ponder in our hearts!  What blessed assurance we can hold fast to in knowing that we can serve a God that totally understands us inside and out.  Even before words leave our mouth He knows what we are going to say.    There is no escaping His loving knowledge about us.

 

The Amplified version says in verse three “You sift and search out my path.”   He knows every minute of our life and every breath we will take, and the path we walk is “sifted” and seen with His loving eyes.    As we remain humble before Him there is freedom in knowing that He who sees all will direct our path.    There is sweet peace and protection in knowing that He sees everything before us and behind us.

 

As we start our day let us remind ourselves to allow Him to search our hearts and speak to us.  We should be amazed as we meditate upon how awesome He is.    This is a thought that should keep us humble before Him in every area of our life.  As we do this, we will live in peace and freedom in Christ!



Saturday, May 27, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, May 27, 2017
“Our Words Seasoned With His Grace”

 

 

WORDS SEASONED WITH GRACE

by Dona Hake

 

Our words can build people up or our words can tear people down.  One word has the power to encourage, yet an unkind word has the power to tear a heart down.  When I think of people that always seem to speak words with grace I think of those individuals that seem to know how to speak exactly the right thing .  They seem to know not only the perfect words but their timing is just as proper.  As I looked at  Colossians 4:6 ,  I found two translations very thought provoking.

 

 “Be gracious in your speech.

The goal is to bring out the best in others

in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”

Colossians 4:6  The Message

 

 “Everything you say should be kind and

well thought out so that you know

how to answer everyone.”

Colossians 4:6 GOD’S WORD Translation

 

Today let us look at setting a goal  of our words being that of bringing out the best in people.   There will be times that we will encounter people that  do not feel good about themselves.  Sometimes this is because of things they might be enduring, they may be feeling low, and not feeling self worth.  As we exercise observation of people while we are in conversation we may be surprised how the Lord may provide an opportunity for us to build them up.

 

 

Sometimes I see this as I have taught children to draw.  Once there was a child in my class at church that was not doing as well as the rest of the class.   I could see she was becoming quite troubled, but one thing really stood out to me and that was that  she was really trying to do the best she knew how.  When class dismissed I made a point of getting down to her level, and making sure she was looking me square in the eye.  I began to praise her for her job well done, and her little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.  She was so focused on what she felt she could not do.  But what was so interesting was that a few encouraging words changed her whole countenance.

 

 I believe as we purpose to think through and observe people carefully before we speak, we may be surprised how the Lord desires to use our words to build them up.    As we couple that with seeing others through God’s eyes we too will see them in a different light as well.  Let our words be encouraging, full of His grace that our words are instruments for a good thing!

Proverbs 18:4 (TLB)

“A wise man’s words express deep streams of thought.”



Friday, May 26, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Friday, May 26, 2017
“The Process of His Work In Us”
 

god at work in your

by Dona Hake

 

I can remember as a little girl thinking how everything took too long. Small children almost seem to think that waiting for anything can be an eternity. Many times it is just hard for them to accept the whole concept of how every thing has a process and takes time.

 

One day when our oldest granddaughter was about three years old, I was teaching her to make banana bread. She thought it was the neatest thing ever to walk through every part of the process. She saw me crack an egg and she wanted to crack an egg. Apprehensively I handed her the egg hoping it would be a good experience. She managed to crack it properly and did rather well. With each step she grew more and more in love with the whole process of preparing the bread batter. She kept stirring and stirring and eventually it was time to pour in the pans an pop in the oven.

 

I could see that the baking process was hard for my Granddaughter because she did not understand why she could not just keep it in the bowl, and just keep stirring it.     She was so proud of that bread batter in her mixing bowl, and she did not want to part with it!  She was a bit unhappy with me when I finally took the bowl from her and poured it into the pans.    Eventually she began to understand  as she would peek into the oven and see and smell the bread rising as it was baking.  It all seemed to click for her then.
 
So it is that we too  need to be patient with our God as He is in the process of working on our hearts, and helping us grow and mature in Him. Many times there are parts of our growth process that we may tend to just be comfortable with.  It is those times that the Lord is moving us out of our comfort zones that may upset us.  It is important that we obediently move forward in the direction He desires to take us.  If we desire to see Him work His will in us we need to cooperate with the process He chooses for us.  It is equally important that we patiently wait for Him in those times that we simply do not understand.  Yes there will be times that we may be tempted to throw up our hands because it seems like we are not growing, yet all the while God is at work on our hearts in ways  we could ever imagine.  God is good and His plans are those of precision and He well knows what He is doing.
 

Today I encourage you to think about growing in Him.   Praise Him for all the things He has brought you through, and seek to know what He is purposing to do in your life.   God is good as He works out His will in each of us!

 

 Philippians 2:13 (ERV)

“Yes, it is God who is working in you.

He helps you want to do what pleases him,

and he gives you the power to do it.”

 



Thursday, May 25, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Thursday, May 25, 2017
“Look For Divine Opportunities”

 

testimonies

by Dona Hake

 

I love when someone shares what the Lord has done for them.  Testimonies bring hope and refreshment to our hearts.  As we share the wonderful works that the Lord has done for us we will be encouraging the hearts of those listening, and even strengthen their faith.   I can remember hearing the testimony that I am going to share with you, and this is what I call a Divine Appointment.   I love those times in which you know that the God of Heaven and Earth is orchestrating where we are and who we end up speaking to.   You never know how He desires to use you!   I hope this testimony encourages your heart…

 

This woman had shared how she lived in Florida and she received a phone call on her cell phone from Pennsylvania.  She did not recognize the number but she felt to answer it.  The man on the other end was obviously confused, and he said he was trying to reach a family member.  He apologized and hung up and she felt prompted to call the police in the area in which the call came from.  She felt a bit awkward but explained to them that she really felt something was wrong with this gentleman.  The police arrived at  this gentleman’s house and he indeed was in need of help.  After a week in the hospital they diagnosed him with a life threatening blood infection.

 

Needless to say the family of this man were ever so thankful that this young woman’s simple act of kindness and going the extra mile very likely saved this man’s life.  The testimony just really touched my heart.  

 

Everyday we need to be  sensitive to opportunities that seem small yet they may be big to someone in need.   Sometimes you never really know how that one word you spoke in due season could have sparked hope in a person’s soul.  Let us be sensitive to the times that we are presented with opportunities to give a listening ear to a lonely person or  just take the time to pray for someone because you feel prompted.  These things are all part of ministering the love of God, and just possibly setting someone up for a beautiful testimony of the Lord’s great work in their life!   I pray that your eyes will be opened for divine opportunities to be used by Him today!



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

 

 

 

 

Devotional for Tuesday, May 23, 2017
“The High Places In God”

 

hidden

by Dona Hake

 

Each morning my deck is full of a variety of birds munching away on all the good seed I provide for them. Along with my feathered friends I have many squirrels and bunnies all over my yard.  There is only one problem though, when I leave my German Shepherd out in the backyard it startles them. It is interesting how the little birds just flee, but the doves just go and peacefully sit in my willow trees and just wait and watch.  Somehow the doves just seem to know that they are safe. The squirrels on the other hand get frantic. They scurry around the yard and nervously run to escape. Our dog has the time of her life chasing them and it seems to amuse her.
 

The thing that inspired me with seeing my birds fly to safety was that they were already safe on the deck of my home. There was no way for my dog to get to them there.  The deck has no stairs and she cannot get to them even if she tried.   They were in a high place, and safely protected and were not aware of it.  

 

Today we are going to meditate upon the high places of God.   I am thinking about the safe places that God has for us to hide and dwell in the Spirit.  When we abide in Him there is a place of refuge and everything will be okay. By faith we must believe that He has provided a way of escape and our hearts can rest and be at peace even when turmoil is all around us.

Psalm 27:5 (TLB)

” There I’ll be when troubles come.

He will hide me.

He will set me on a high rock”

When unrest visits our soul, it is a beautiful thing to know that we have a God that has a plan of escape for us. As He hides us under His wings we can be assured that He is well able to get us through any battle in this life. Today I especially am desiring to reflect on His wonderful peace as a place of refuge. His peace exceeds all our thoughts about any matter and it will guard and shelter our hearts and minds!

Philippians 4:7 (CEB)

“Then the peace of God that exceeds

all understanding will keep your

hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.”



Monday, May 22, 2017

 

 
 

 

 

 Devotional for Monday, May 22, 2017
“Reaping From the Good Work of Our Life”
 
 

grow weary

by Dona Hake

 I know when I stay focused on God’s grace flowing through me that I can do anything He requires me to do.  It is then that I experience that wonderful blessed feeling of working wholeheartedly for it is God’s strength that enables me to do all He asks.   It is then that I know that I will indeed reap from the good and diligent work of my hands.   Yet there may be times that we are all tempted to lose heart in what we are doing.    The Word of God says in Galatians that if we do not “lose heart and grow weary”  we shall reap.

 

Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and

faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due

time and at the appointed season we shall reap,

if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”

 

It is when we lose heart that most of us can identify and will express words like “I just feel like I am going through the motions.”  It is usually at this time we could feel   drained in our  attempts even to do a good thing.  Most certainly at times like these our mind will begin to develop an unhealthy attitude and this is a sure guarantee that the Lord’s hand will not be able to bless what we are doing.  I think it is always important to remember  even when we step out in an attempt to do a good thing by no means gives us the guarantee of smooth sailing.

 

As we establish in our hearts and mind what  the will of the Lord , we must keep our eyes on Him.  It takes courage and strength to persevere in this life and as we continue to focus on that which He has instructed us to do we shall reap!  Today I encourage your heart to ask Him to help you work with a diligent heart and hands.   Ask the Holy Spirit to warn you when you are tempted to negative thoughts that would give place to weariness.   God is able to bless the work of our hearts and keep our hearts strong as we do His will, in Jesus Name!

 

2 Thessalonians 3:13 TLB

“And to the rest of you I say, dear brothers,

never be tired of doing right”



Sunday, May 21, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Sunday, May 21, 2017
“Stay In the Son’s Light!”
 

all my cares

by Dona Hake

 

Matthew 6:27 (God’s Word Translation)

“Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?”

 

It would be interesting to know who much time we waste as we  worry and become  preoccupied with unnecessary thoughts.  The Lord knows each of us so well and He understands  how the fears of this life can pull us into a place of fearing our future.  In the scripture from Matthew 6 He warned us to not worry but rather give our cares to Him.

Jesus was  saying that worry is a waste of time and it is not going to add anything to our life. Worry can damage our health, it can consume our thoughts, negatively affect how we treat those around us, and most importantly it weakens our faith.

Worry has the ability to bring us to a standstill. It is totally normal to be concerned about what we face in this life yet we need to remind ourselves that it is Him that will perfect that which concerns us.

The following is an interesting quote by Benjamin Franklin…

 

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.

Keep in the sunlight.”

 

Today I encourage you to stay in  the “Son’s light” by keeping yourself absorbed in His Word, and as we do this….all fears must go!  Even in the face of negative we need to believe God can turn it inside out and we can be on the victory side!   Let us ask the Lord as we face fears and difficulties for His help and His perspective. Pray that He would give you courage to face your tomorrows and know that He is walking with you.

 

1 Peter 5:7

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your
concerns,once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and

cares about you watchfully.”


Saturday, May 20, 2017

 

Devotional for Saturday, May 20, 2017
“Reach Toward Your Goals”

 

one thing I do

by Dona Hake

 

Philippians 3:13 (ERV)

“Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go.

But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and

try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.”

 

I love how Paul expressed his determination to keep his focus.  He admitted  he had a long way to go but he was determined to do two things, and they were to forget the past and reach toward his goals.  He understood that his past needed to be forgotten and his future needed to be reached for with great perseverance.

 

Many times we can become frozen in our past and  they become our stand stills.  It is sad to think one’s purpose and determination is robbed by the memories or failures of  yesterday. I always felt that there is importance in learning from mistakes or bad experiences.  These things can serve to help us learn and gain wisdom.  Wisdom gained from bad experiences or mistakes can be carried with us the rest of our life.  This wisdom is something we can embrace and pass on to others.
 

Many times in our journey in life we may come to a “dead end” on a path that seems so promising.  Do not let that discourage you but rather seek the Lord and what He would have you  do.  I believe there are many times that “dead ends” on the paths that we walk are God’s favor on us, and He is sparing us from a bad decision or mistake.  Sometimes you just never know… one thing we do know though, and that is that we need to keep moving forward with our eyes on our Lord!   I leave you with this quote…

 

“One of the greatest and most comforting truths

is that when one door opens, another closes,

but often we look so long and

regretfully upon the closed door that

we do not see the one that is open for us.”

(Anonymous)



Friday, May 19, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Friday, May 19, 2017
“The Proof of God’s Amazing Love”

 

how deep how wide

by Dona Hake

 

No love on this planet can be compared to the love of God. God’s love was toward us before we ever knew Him. I can remember when I thought I did not need God in my life. My excuse…well, plain and simple…I thought there were just too many hypocrites out there. I thought if people could not be real then I wanted nothing to do with the whole deal of Christianity or walking with a God that I could not see.    Then the day came when I encountered some individuals that truly exhibited His love. They were real and walked the talk. They showed me that He loved me even though I did not yet love Him. He loved me even though I did not deserve His love and goodness. God knew exactly what I needed and I thank Him that He put those special people in my path to show me His love.

 

After living for Him for forty four  years I can honestly say I cannot imagine life without Him. I thank God He loved me through people that He placed in my life, and I am ever so thankful for those that prayed for me when some gave up and thought I was too stubborn.

 

 

Romans 5:6-8 (PHILLIPS)

” And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves

that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing

for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man,

though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it.

Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we

were sinners that Christ died for us.”

 

I encourage you to think about His great love for you.   The greatness of His love can be compared to none.  It is so amazing and so great!   God is good!



Thursday, May 18, 2017\

 

 

 

 
Devotional for Thursday, May 18, 2017
“Lord, Cause Us To Know…”
 

cause me to know

by Dona Hake

 

Today I would like to encourage your heart in the matter of being mindful that you are seeking the direction of your Lord.   I am sharing a scripture from the Psalms which happens to be the very first Bible verse I ever memorized.   It is special to me for I remember being a young Christian.   For the first time in my life I was experiencing freedom in my soul from bondages and weights that made my life miserable.   I knew with all of my heart that I needed all the help I could get, and my heart was refreshed in knowing that I now no longer had to figure things out on my own.   I now belonged to a loving Shepherd!   Sometimes the one thing that can hinder someone the most is when one looks to their own ability, and they do not invite the Holy Spirit to help them in the smallest of matters and concerns.
 
 
 

  This image I share today shows a little one sitting on a stack of books which represents knowledge.  No matter how much you know and how much knowledge you have attained by study, you need to remain as a child in your heart.  You need to maintain childlike faith in everything you do.  It is as you do this that you will not try to reason things out in your mind.  You will just believe.     You will absolutely give your concerns and questions to God and as you remain childlike in your heart , you will believe He will take care of you.  

 

 

 

Psalm 143:8    (KJV)

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;

for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”

 

“Cause me to hear” is probably my favorite part of the verse because it is basically asking God to bring something about.  There are just way too many things in this life that we cannot make happen in our own ability.  It takes faith.  Sometimes just knowing what to say or knowing what to do could make or break a situation for you.  I encourage you to ask Him today to “cause you to know…”
 
Lord, we lift our soul to You, and we are believing to hear in our spirits Your loving voice for we are purposing to trust in You.   We ask that You cause us to know what our every step should be. We thank You that Your gentle hand is able to lead us and guide us in the way we are to walk.  In Jesus Name, amen.



6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!