“The Snare of Perfection”

snare of perfection

by Dona Hake

As a very young believer I can remember having conversations with my Daddy about his spiritual condition.  He did not know the Lord and his first and biggest reason was he felt he did too much wrong in his past and God would never accept him.  Over and over I would try to tell him that God is forgiving and He was able to wash his past clean and give him a fresh start.

You see my Daddy was  a perfectionist.  Everything had to be exact and perfect.  He was a very  intelligent man yet the perfectionist thing became his snare.  The Lord had showed me many times that because of this snare, his conversion would be a death bed experience and so it was.  Sitting beside him in his final hours of life he laid motionless and very unresponsive.  I was growing weary and hopelessness was beginning to try to grip my heart.   I thought how can I communicate with him now since he is almost in a non responsive state of mind and his body was not moving.  Quietly I whispered in his ear, “This is it Daddy, you have very little time…you are going to die…if you want me to pray with you…do something…flutter your eyes…just give me some way of knowing you want me to pray”    Many moments passed and then I was stunned as I saw him slowly moving his hand toward me to embrace mine.  It was his way of communicating that he wanted me to pray.

I will never forget how precious he was as I looked into his eyes and I asked him if he knew Christ.  I held a picture of Jesus in front of his face and said, “Do you know Him now?”  My father nodded and indeed my heart was full of joy to know that when he took his final breath that he went to be with Jesus.   Did he leave a perfect life behind?  Absolutely not.  Did he leave forgiven?  Oh yes he did!!! His thoughts of thinking his life had to be perfect robbed him of his life on earth.  I encourage you today to know that God is not looking for you to be perfect.  He is looking for the heart that knows that it has need of Him and His forgiveness!

Psalm 103:12 (CEB) 
As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

~~~~~    ♥     ~~~~~



“As We Run Toward the Goal”

Dont look back

by Dona Hake

As I was driving the other day I heard a young man testify of a victory in his life.  He was making emphasis on the power of keeping his  heart and eyes set on what was before him.  He also was declaring the importance of understanding how our past can affect us if we do not deal with it properly.  He spoke these words and I spoke the words over and over in my mind till I could jot them down on paper…”The past is not really the past if it is impacting your present.”

I thought this was a powerful thought to ponder.  Of course we understand that what happened twenty years ago or even yesterday is over and done with.  What we need to understand though is  if we dwell on any negatives in the past  and allow it to hinder us it will influence and affect our life in a very negative way.  Memories can serve to torment us IF we allow them to do so.

Paul wrote in the Corinthians and he exclaimed that those in Christ are more than conquerors but in Philippians he brought to us that in the “race” in this life we need to stay focused, strong, and purposed to continue in momentum, and he still did not consider himself a winner.

Philippians 3:13 God’s Word Translation

“Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet.

This is what I do:

I don’t look back,

I lengthen my stride,

and I run straight toward the goal

to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.

Whoever has a mature faith should think this way. And if you think differently, God will show you how to think. However, we should be guided by what we have learned so far.”

Paul was proclaiming that until he crosses the finish line he needed to run with the good mental and spiritual habits of a conqueror.  The heart of a conqueror does not look back.  He spoke of lengthening his stride or running a steady pace or course.  We must continually keep in front of us all of our goals both spiritual and personal and run toward them with all of our hearts and strength that comes only from God!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~



“A Heart Towards God”

Heart towards God

by Dona Hake

I find it so vital in knowing that I am being completely honest with God about every area of my life.  In order to do this I must ALWAYS be honest with myself.    When one fails to be honest with themselves they enter into one of the most dangerous things ever and that is self deception.  The Devil has a hay day with this one!  If he can get you to think you are just fine when you really are not…his work is done.  He has convinced you that there is no need for you to humble yourself and get help and guidance from the Lord .

“Self” has a voice that will try to distract us at times and we need to know when this is happening.  The Psalmist prayed in Psalm 119…

Psalm 119:36-40   (NIV)

“Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.”

This is a beautiful prayer that will keep you on track.  As you sincerely ask Him to keep your heart turned in His direction you will quickly recognize when fleshly desires are trying to get you off the right path.  He will faithfully  reveal to you the things in this life that are of no worth so you can look away from them before they grip your heart.  It is as we look to Him in this way that our life will be preserved blameless before Him.   Praise the living God today and purpose to keep the eyes of your heart toward Him!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~



“The Undivided Heart”

 

 

 



“God’s Thoughts About You…”

Gods thoughts are as many as the sand

by Dona Hake

Psalm 139:17-18


“Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!
How grand in scope! How many in number!
If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!”

The Psalmist speaks in this chapter of how God has explored his heart and knows exactly who he is.  The God of heaven and earth also knows each one of us down to the smallest of details.  He observes our coming and our going, He watches over us as we sleep and He is there when we rise in the morning.  He knows what we are going to say long before we say it because He knows our every thought.  What an amazing feeling we should all have knowing how deeply He loves us and knows us inside and out.  It really is beyond comprehension!

 

As I read this Psalm and think about the sands of the ocean it causes me to realize that I really cannot fathom how many thoughts the God of heaven has thought about me.  In saying that it reminds me as well that His thoughts are different than mine because He sees us through His pure love, and His thoughts and ways will always be higher than how my mind thinks.

 

Isaiah 55:9 (ASV)

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways

higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

He sees our future through His eyes and He desires that our faith rest in Him.  I am thankful that I serve such a loving God that loves me so much!

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 

 



“Created To Do Good Works”

God's Workmanship Religious Bulletin

by Dona Hake

Ephesians 2:10   (AMP)

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [a]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

As we were born anew this should cause us to  anticipate the great Workman at work in our life.  Each one of us is a work in progress!  This should encourage your heart knowing that the God that created the heavens and earth is molding us and preparing us for another day.  Each day our feet hit the floor we should be anticipating how He is going to use us.  Let us be mindful though that we do it with His strength and ability.  Let our steps and plans be directed by Him.

Philippians 2:13   (AMP)

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while [a]effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and [b]delight.”

He delights in using your ears to listen to those around you.  As you speak words, let them be words of edification to the one that may be down in their heart.  May your hands be those that work heartily unto Him!   I am looking forward to what He is going to do in my life today as His loving hands continue to mold and make me for His purposes!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“The God of Direction”

God our guidance

by Dona Hake

“I feel like I’m on track!”  Have you ever said that?  I love the feeling that I know I am doing the right thing and all is flowing smoothly.  God desires to lead and guide us each and everyday of our lives.  He also desires that we seek Him first and that we purpose that His Spirit is leading us.

Galatians 5:16   CEV

“If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires.”

Many times we can fall to the weakness of following our own way or our own selfish desires.  We can also be guilty of knowing the Lord’s direction but trying to make things happen in our own ability.  As we trust Him for answers and direction He will always be faithful to direct us and keep us on track.

Have you ever heard the saying spoken when someone is needing to make a decision…”Maybe you just need to sleep on it.”  I have had times where I have received answers to a particular need or leading in what I needed to do during the night.  The Lord has a beautiful and tender way of quietly speaking in the quietness of the night.

Psalm 16:7 (ERV)
“I praise the Lord because he taught me well.
Even at night he put his instructions deep inside my mind.”

I praise God that He so tenderly desires to come along side of us in this life that we can know we are going the right direction!

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Jesus- The Bread of Life”

Jesus the Bread

by Dona Hake

Matthew 6:11 (CEB)


“Give us the bread we need for today.”

We all understand that we need to eat and drink to keep ourselves healthy.  Proper nutrition is vital in order to feel good and have the energy we need to get us through each day.   It is equally important that we are staying aware of our spirit being fed and nourished by the Word of our Lord.    We all are dealing with different things and different demands, therefore we need to be diligent to read His Word and meditate upon it daily in order that our spirit, soul and mind are thriving on the Bread of Life.

God’s Word is our sustenance, and as we ask for Him to give us our daily bread we will certainly receive from Him.  His bread is our means of sustaining life and nourishment.  I encourage you today to seek Him for that which you need.  Is it a specific answer or need for direction?  Is there emptiness in your heart and pain?  Anything you need God is well able to give to you and He will give you nothing less than what you need to be sustained this day.

Matthew 7:7-10(ERV)

“Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you.  Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them.

“Do any of you have a son? If he asked for bread, would you give him a rock?  Or if he asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? Of course not!

~~~~~♥~~~~~

 



“God of Abundant Life”

God of Abundant Life

by Dona Hake

Serving Jesus is serving the one that has promised abundant life!  John 10:10 “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”  Forty one years ago today, at nineteen years of age  I surrendered my life to Jesus.  I was a stubborn person and I had a way that I could argue with any Christian till they were blue in the face.  Nothing seemed to convince me because all I seemed to encounter was hypocrisy and I hated it!  Then finally I saw the real and I allowed the Lord to take hold of me.  The most important decision I ever made and might I say the joyous!

Has every day of my life been victorious and has everything gone perfectly?  Absolutely not!  My skin crawls when I see or hear anyone of faith that tries to portray that life is a bed of roses  just because they are a believer.  Jesus told us that in this life YOU WILL have trials.  In the book of Romans, chapter 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will not also, along with him, graciously give us all things.”

God has made it possible to fill our cup to the full!  Let us be careful though to realize that He desires to  fill us to the full in order that we have Him to draw upon in our times of test, trials, pain and suffering.  The life of abundance is that of always having His all sufficiency to draw upon, and NOTHING can separate us from Him.

Romans 8:39

“…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us from the

love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“Blessed Are the Merciful”

show mercy

by Dona Hake

Matthew 5:7 (TLB)

“Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”

The Lord has so freely shown us His mercy.  Even before we knew Him, even before we realized we needed Him, He was desiring to forgive us and redeem us to Himself.  As we look to Him and behold how beautiful His love is, and how merciful His heart is , we will come to realize to beauty of being merciful to others.

Micah 6:8 (GNV)


He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord

requireth of thee: surely to do justly, and to love mercy,

and to humble thyself, to walk with thy God.

“Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”  Deep down we could all admit that we want to be treated fairly especially by our family and friends.  Yet we know there are times that people will mess up.  I love this quote because it reminds me that there will be times that I will mess up and in those times I hope that those around me will forgive me and I can be reconciled if I have hurt them.   It makes me think before I react to those around me if I feel they are wrong.  It reminds me that I need to be quick to forgive and forget.

Lord, help us all to be merciful and see those around us the way You see them.  Help us to realize that we cannot forgive in our own ability but only with Your help and strength.  Help us to walk humbly before You, do justly to those around us,  and to love your mercy.  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!