1.27.17

 

 

 

Devotional for Friday, January 27, 2017
“Seek First”

 

seek god first
 

by Dona Hake

 

Matthew 6:33-34

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,

and then all these things will be given to you too.  

So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow

worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.”

 

I have shared over the last few days in particular about heaven filling our thoughts and the importance of focusing on the Lord in all that we do.   Today we will look at Jesus’ teaching about what we need to seek first above all things.   As Jesus was teaching upon the subject of seeking God’s kingdom first He was making a contrast between heavenly values with earthly values.  He was explaining that our first loyalty needs to  be to those things that do not fade away.  Earthly verses Heavenly…this is a choice that our hearts have to make to serve Him wholly.   He told them, “You cannot serve two masters.  If you try, you will wind up loving the first master and hating the second, or vice versa.  You must choose.”

 Jesus exhorted the people not to worry about their lives.  “Don’t worry about what you eat or drink, and don’t worry about what you will wear tomorrow.”    He pointed their eyes toward the sky and brought their attention to the fact  the birds do not store food for winter nor do they plant gardens.  They do not sow or reap yet they are always fed because the hand of His loving Heavenly Father feeds them.

 “And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird.

If He looks after them, of course He will look after you. “

 Even today He desires that we do not consume ourselves with the worries of today or tomorrow for He knows exactly what we need to get us through each day.  Praise Him first and seek Him for every need in your life.  As we put Him first, He will see to it that all our needs are met!  And as Jesus spoke…”Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.”



1.26.17

 

 

 

 
Devotional for Thursday, January 26, 2017
“From the Abundance of Our Hearts”
 

Abundance of the Heart

by Dona Hake

 

The Lord desires that we diligently care for our hearts, minds and tongues.   It is up to us what we deposit into our hearts and minds.  If you are a person that takes it seriously to guard your heart than you well understand the battle that it can be.  Daily we are bombarded with things that serve to pull us away.  Thoughts can seemingly come out of nowhere and sometimes we think too highly of our own opinions.   Thoughts and opinions can war against our soul.   If left unguarded we will soon be speaking from our mouths things that could harm our faith or possibly offend someone.

 

There is also another area in which we can struggle with and that is failing to see ourselves as God sees us.   I spoke earlier this week about embracing God’s vision, and it applies to this devotion as well.    We must see ourselves as a people that are blessed with the precious gift of forgiveness.   Oh but how many times do we make a mistake and miss the mark, and we can be tempted to be unable to forgive ourselves.   As we meditate upon negative thoughts about ourselves that negative will grow bigger and bigger in our mind.  The strength of any negative will be an arrow that the devil will use against us.   One of his main tools will be our own tongues. You may begin to speak things about yourself and you put yourself down.  Eventually the more you hear those words from your own mouth, you will begin to believe them.

 

Proverbs 4:24(ERV)
“Don’t bend the truth or say things

that you know are not right. 

 

We know it to be a truth that it is wrong in the eyes of our Lord to lie so let us not entertain lies about ourselves.   As we stay full of His Word and remind ourselves of who He says we are, we will not fall prey to lies about ourselves.  I encourage you today to guard your heart with ALL diligence for from it truly flows the issues of this life, and from the abundance of our heart will flow that which we truly believe.
 
Lord, we ask You help us to seek and value the importance of guarding our hearts and minds with all diligence for from it flows the issues of this life.   May we be reminded by Your Holy Spirit to see ourselves and those around us with Your vision.  It is Your focus and vision that will help us keep hope before us. May our words edify those around us and glorify Your Name.   In Jesus Name! Amen.

 



1.25.17

 

 

Devotional for Wednesday, January 25, 2017
“Let Heaven Fill Your Thoughts”

 

let heaven fill your thoughts

by Dona Hake

 

“Set your mind on things above.”   That is what a stepping stone in my front garden speaks to me every time I walk by it.   It has graced my front garden for almost fifteen years.  I love things inside and outside of my home that speak to my heart.   Sometimes we need reminded to do the right thing.   Inside my home there is a sign, and it says one word and that is “Simplify”.    This is only one word yet it reminds me to keep it simple, do not overthink things and makes things complicated.   For me this is a very powerful word.
 

  Today I had several opportunities  that tried to  distract my heart from the most important thing and that was keeping my mind on things above, and keeping it simple.    It is interesting how easily the things of this world can distract us and pull us away from dwelling in the Secret Place.  Today I encourage you to keep your mind on things above.  I am finding that the more I keep my eyes on things above the more  I enjoy the simple joys and pleasures of this life.  Serve the  living God with a glad heart and praise Him today.   He desires that we enjoy  His presence as He walks beside us!  God bless you richly this day!

Colossians 3:2  (TLB)
 “Let heaven fill your thoughts;

don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.”
 
 

 



1.24.17

 

 

Devotional for Tuesday, January 24, 2017
“How We See”

 

 

by Dona Hake

Here is one of my favorite quotes and it is so powerful…”Worry casts a big shadow on small things.”  Worry has the ability to magnify things and it has the power to deceive us.  I would say that we should view worry as a real danger to our souls.   God did not design us to deal with our problems through worry but rather He desires that we see all things through His eyes, and deal with them in faith.

 

God desires that we keep everything in His perspective and the only way that will happen is if we purpose to see things through His eyes.     As we ask Him to help us see through His eyes, our vision will be vision that is sharp and full of faith.  Today I encourage you to ask Him to fill your eyes with life giving light…His light.  As He fills your eyes with that light, determine to keep your eyes fixed on Him!

 Psalm 119:18 (VOICE) 
“Let me see clearly so that I may take in

the amazing things coming from Your law.”
 

 

Matthew 6:22-23  (TLB)

 “If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul.”

 



1.23.17

 

 
Devotional for Monday, January 23, 2017
“The God That Directs Our Paths”
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Many years ago I can remember photographing a wedding that was in one of the hugest churches I have ever seen. It was a Moravian Church and there were at least five different very huge buildings.  I was always thankful for my GPS to find my way from home to so many locations that I have never traveled.   One thing I can remember saying to one of the groomsmen and that was,  “Wow, I am gonna need my GPS while I am inside this church just to find you guys when it is time to photograph you!” 
 
I could remember feeling a bit nervous after photographing the bride and her bridesmaids for it was then time for me to leave them and find the groomsmen. I could not believe how hard it was to find them, and had it not been for us using our cell phones to communicate, a lot of time would have been lost. I was so glad when one of the groomsman came out to meet up with me, and he directed me to exactly where I needed to be. You see when you are photographing a wedding there is a lot of nervousness, emotions, unforeseeable problems, and the photographer must learn to flow with what is happening in the moment.  There is no time for panic, and many times you need to make spur of the moment decisions so that you do not miss any iconic shots.  I was thankful and breathed a sigh of relief to see this groomsmen for I knew that he knew exactly where to lead me so I could continue photographing the bride and groom’s very special day.  I thought this little memory of my experience was a great analogy to  cause appreciation to rise in your heart of the Lord’s presence and guidance in your life especially in your time of need or trouble.
 
Today I want to share with you about that wonderful peace the Lord gives us because he shows us exactly where we need to be at all times.   When we seek to know the path to walk, He will always direct us.   There will be times in this life in which we are faced with wondering if we are on the right path or not.   Confusion can cause fear and panic to our souls, but praise the Living God for the work of the Holy Spirit.
 
The Holy Spirit is always there to walk toward us, take us by the hand, and lead us in the path that we are to walk . No longer do we have to fear that we will not know the right way.   We no longer have to fear what the right decision is for God has promised us to show us the right way. He has promised to fill us with his joy and contentment as we purpose to walk in godliness in this life.  I leave you with this scripture from the Psalms to meditate upon.  Have a blessed day in the Lord!
 

Psalm 16:11  The Voice Translation

“… You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending, and I know true joy and contentment.”



1.22.17

 

 

Devotional for Sunday, January 22, 2017
“Cleansed By His Love, Cleansed By His Blood”

 

purified

by Dona Hake

 

Today let us meditate upon the power of the blood of Jesus.   Oh the power of His blood that purifies our hearts and cleanses us from sin and sets our hearts free from the torment of guilt.  Guilt is like a prison and it is a horrible thing for the one that is imprisoned by it.    Memories and thoughts of the wrong you may have done seem to have voices, and these voices will haunt you until you know how to deal with them.    It is when one understands the power of forgiveness that the power of sin will be broken.    If you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, you can partake of His wonderful forgiveness.  Let us treasure within us how wonderful it is that the Lord will forgive us when we mess up and He will always cleanse our hearts.  As we humble ourselves to Him admitting our wrongs and shortcomings, He is desiring so much to bring you back to that place of cleansed and free.

 

Let us look at David in the Psalms.   His plea to God was for restoration of his heart in a time in which he majorly messed up and  his heart was heavy with guilt and anguish.

 

Psalm 51:7, 8, 10

“Remove my sin and make me pure.” 
    Wash me until I am whiter than snow!
Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.
    God, create a pure heart in me,
    and make my spirit strong again.”

 

Today let us treasure the power of forgiveness from the One who is able to cleanse.  I love how verse eight says “Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.”   This is what restoration  is about.  When we experience freedom from guilt we are able to experience the joy that was robbed by our sin and guilt.  Only God is able to create within us a pure heart, pick us back up, and cause us to press on in His will.  Thank God for the power of forgiveness!

 



1.21.17

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, January 21, 2017
 

 “Believing Is Seeing”

faith is the evidence

by Dona Hake

 

Today let us meditate upon believing before we see.   This is what faith is all about.   As we pray and ask our Lord, may we rest upon Him knowing that His timing and ways are above our ways and timing.  When we are in faith it is important that we not judge how the Lord is working on our behalf simply by what we see with our natural eyes.    Many times the Lord is beginning to unfold answers to our prayers, but because of our preconceived ideas of how it is going to happen we may miss what He is trying to do in our life.  Sometimes the answers to our prayers simply come in a whole different “package” than we expected.  I believe that many times we miss the treasures of His wisdom in the midst of a trial simply because we want out of the problem.   From my own experiences I can say that many times it was in that time of waiting for the fulfillment of my prayer that the Lord spoke and ministered to my heart in such a sweet way.

 

Hebrews 11:1 (TLB)
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something

we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what

we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.

Hebrews 11:1 (VOICE)
Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for,

the absolute conviction that there

are realities you’ve never seen.

 One thing that we can be assured of is that we need to know that God desires to bless our faith  yet He understands more than we will ever know that His timing and our waiting is so important.    It is also of great importance that our asking is in line with His will for our lives.   Today I encourage you that if you are believing Him for something to wait with an assurance in your heart that He will bless your faith.  Let us stand as we pray knowing we have absolute conviction that believing is seeing!

 



1.20.17

 

 

Devotional for Friday, January 20, 2017
“The Contented Heart”

 

godliness with contentment is great gain

by Dona Hake

 

I can remember as a little girl when my Grandmother would take my sister and I to the  Fair.  I can remember how she would put us on the Merry-go-round and stand and watch us. Each time we would pass her, we would wave and there would be joy all over her face as she would wave back at us. There was one thing though that I could remember , and that was the faster the Merry-go-round went I could no longer seem to find her in the crowd of so many faces watching.  Round and round we would go and it seemed like everything around me would seem blurry and it was hard to focus. I was always glad when it finally slowed up and even though it was fun, I was glad to get off, and be back with my Grandma.

Sometimes I think life can be like a Merry-go-round. The demands and responsibilities of this life can cause us to lose sight of what is right in front of us.   God desires for us to enjoy our lives and the many blessings yet He does not want us to get so caught up in them that we forget to look for Him.

 

Yesterday I shared with you about the race that is set before  us.   As a believer we all have weights that try to keep us from running the pace that the Lord desires of us.   May we be mindful that sometimes the many things we think must be done can become the weights that Paul was talking about in Hebrews.  Being busy can become a weight, therefore let us meditate upon the power of living a life of contentment and quietness before Him. May we be consumed with the desire of doing only that which we know the Lord is requiring us to do.  

 

Let us not make ourselves so busy that this life swirls so fast that we can no longer find Him in the midst of the whirlwind that we have created. We have so many things to be thankful for and many are the materialistic blessings we enjoy yet He does not want them to hold our attention to the point that our focus is off of Him. We have all heard it said that there are things we have in this world that we love but we cannot take them with us when we die.

 

1 Timothy 6:6-7  ( The VOICE)
“…because godliness, along with contentment, does put us ahead but not in the ways some imagine. You see we came into this world with nothing, and nothing is going with us on the way out!”
 

 Today I encourage you to desire a heart that is content with Him.  He is all that we need as we run the race of this life which we call God’s will. May we seek to know in our hearts that we are being busy about the things that the Lord has called us.  Lord we thank you for blessing the work of our hands as we seek to walk in contentment before You.



1.19.17

 

 

 

Devotional for Thursday, January 19, 2017
“The Race Set Before Us”
 

run the race

by Dona Hake

 

  Hebrews 12:1-2   The Voice
“…let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us.

We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn.

Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.

 

What does it take to run the race that God has set before us?   Each of us have our very own race, and we need to understand what it takes to run this long race that requires   an endurance that will take us to the finish line.   This endurance and direction that we need can only come from above. Let us follow Paul’s instruction in this race that we are running.  This scripture in Hebrews makes it pretty plain. First, we must drop unnecessary weight or anything that is keeping us from moving forward. We all have things that are trying to weight us down and we as individuals need to recognize what it is. I can remember hearing ” 50% of a problem is solved just understanding what the problem is.” As we acknowledge what our weight is, and humble ourselves to God and ask Him for help, He will surely help us. God loves to help us take off unnecessary “weight” and He has the perfect plan for us to lose that weight!

 

Secondly, we must stay focused. Anything that draws us away from keeping our eyes on a goal will be our hindrance. The devil understands our weaknesses and he knows how to distract us. He is crafty and understands how to throw us out of the game if we are not diligent to keep it right in our hearts and minds. He roams about like a roaring lion seeking ways to devour us. I love this quote I found relative to maintaining strong focus.

 “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
Henry Ford

Obstacles can serve to obstruct or hinder our progress or we can use it to make us stronger than before. Today I encourage you to run the race in the strength of the Lord. Take these two tips from Hebrews 12, and we will run strong in this race that the Lord has put before us. *Drop unnecessary weight and stay focused on the finish line!!!   Let us go forward in our race set before us knowing our loving God is with us, and will help us cross the finish line victoriously!   

 



1.18.17

 
 
Devotional for Wednesday, January 18, 2017
“The Blessing of the Lord”
 
 
blessing of the lord
 
by Dona Hake
 

 Today I want us to meditate on the fact that we are blessed of the Lord!   God desires to bless us above and beyond all that we dare ask or think.  When I look around and see the work of His mighty hand I often wonder how one could not believe there is a God in Heaven. I am thankful that He desires His hand of blessing is upon our life. It is such a comfort to know that His loving eyes are upon us at all times.

Psalm 139:1-5  The Living Bible 
O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away You know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment You know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place Your hand of blessing on my head.
 

While reading these verses my heart is especially blessed when I read “You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest.” Today as you go about your day I encourage you to be mindful of His plans for you as He works through your life. Be mindful and obedient to stop and rest as He instructs you to do that He may refresh and renew your strength. Many times we can get so focused on the work that we forget that our spirit needs refreshed and our body needs rest. He desires to continually empower us with His strength and wisdom that we would not get weary in doing His will. God bless you as you ponder His blessings in your life!  Praise God for we are the blessed!!!

 



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!