4.21.16

 
Devotional for Thursday, April 21, 2016
“Don’t Look Back!”
 
 
 
 
Dont look back
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
I can remember hearing a young man’s testimony as he shared of getting 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 in the present. Memories can serve to torment us IF we allow them to do so.  Pondering in living in the past can freeze you in the present and prevent you from moving forward.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.   Let us run toward the goal with courage and God’s strength in our hearts for we are more than conquerors!
 


4.20.16

 
 
Devotional for Wednesday, April 20, 2016
“As We Stand Strong In Him”
 
 
tree planted by living waters
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 1 :2-3 (TLB)

“…but they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.”

 
 
 

There is great reward for being diligent in embracing the Word of God. As you daily follow Him and purpose to put His teachings first and foremost in your life, He has promised that your life would be prospered. As we stand as trees along God’s riverbank we will begin to see things grow and develop within us. Let us always be mindful that our fruit is not for us alone to survive in this life but rather to be a blessing to those around us. Let us purpose to be used by Him and to be willing to bless those He puts in our path as we live and abide in Him. As we proclaim His Word many will be blessed and nourished from the fruit that our lives bear.

 
 

Proverbs 10:21 (NIV)
“The lips of the righteous nourish many…”

 

I’m feeling blessed today knowing that I am standing strong in His promises. I love that He has promised that my life would bear fruit all the seasons of my life and all that I put my hand to shall prosper!  I praise God that as we stand strong in Him we are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious and strong fruit each season without fail!

 
 


4.19.16

 
 
Devotional for Tuesday, April 19, 2016
“Jesus-Our Blessed Assurance”
 
 
asssurance
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Yesterday I shared about Thomas’ reaction to hearing that Jesus had appeared to the disciples. Poor Thomas just happened to miss the whole surprising event. I am very sure that he had to be disappointed. I can only imagine the joy and emotions that had been stirred among the other disciples, and he missed it. Don’t you just hate when something super exciting happens, and you just happened to miss the whole thing cause you decided to be somewhere else. On top of it all Thomas doubted that they even saw Jesus.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
He saw Jesus suffer and die on the cross and now his friends are saying that He was right there in the same room speaking with them. I am paraphrasing Thomas’ reaction…”Unless I can touch His nail scarred hands and see where the sword pierced His side, I am not believing this whole deal!” A week later Jesus walked through the same room with locked doors. Thomas was there this time and Jesus totally knew what Thomas needed to see. As Jesus showed His hands and side, Thomas’ reaction…”My Lord, My God!!!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

My heart is just stuck on this story because it just touches my heart and stirs me to realize how often we too struggle with doubt and unbelief. The scripture that immediately follows this story is:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

John 20:30-31

“Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Word of God should be held very precious in our hearts. It is God’s love letters to us that we might keep our hearts stirred and full of faith that we might believe and have life in His name. It is stories like this that should cause us to see ourselves in these same situations and cause our hearts to ponder our faith and challenge our hearts. I encourage you today to love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart and everything that is within you, therefore you will live in the abundance and joy and the overcoming faith that He intended for you!  Oh what blessed assurance we have in Him!
 


4.18.16

 
 
Devotional for Monday, April 18, 2016
“Believing Is Seeing!”
 
 
 
doubt
 
by Dona Hake
 
 There are so many Bible stories that were recorded to encourage our faith for these were the warriors of faith that lived and died and they are now in Heaven.    Their lives and great stories serve to encourage our faith.  So many of the stories that are my favorite make me wish I could go back  and just be there in that great moment in time.   Today we are looking at John 20:25-30 where the disciples had just experienced Jesus making an appearance after His death.  As Jesus entered the room where they were assembled He spoke peace over them, and they were thrilled and amazed to see Him again.    This is one of those moments you wished you could have been a fly on the wall just to see the expressions on everyone’s face!
 
 
 
Can you imagine being there seeing the Lord walk toward you and then you notice His nail scarred hands and His side?  I cannot even imagine the emotions that went through their souls.   For them to see their Lord suffer as He was brutally crucified and, and now He stands before them alive again.  I tell you what I cannot imagine is being one of the twelve.   Today we will look at the one disciple that was not there and his name was Thomas. Oh my…talk about the disappointment he must have felt or did he?     Thomas’ reaction to hearing that they saw Jesus was not disappointment but rather he made a statement of doubt and unbelief.   You got to give it to Thomas, he was being honest and he just was not buying this story unless there was proof and he stated what proof he wanted.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

John 20:25-30
Easy-to-Read Version

“They told him, “We saw the Lord.” Thomas said, “That’s hard to believe. I will have to see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side. Only then will I believe it.”

A week later the followers were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand here in my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “You believe because you see me. Great blessings belong to the people who believe without seeing me!”

 
 
 
 
 
Imagine with me what must of gone through Thomas’ thoughts and feelings when he finally got to see Jesus.    I can just see Jesus walking toward Thomas and after his eyes saw His nail scarred hands and scar on Jesus’ side, Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God!” I keep visualizing the possibility of Thomas dropping to his knees in total awe and humility, and  he began to worship his Lord. Every bit of doubt melted away and his heart was filled with renewed faith.
 
 
 
Jesus knew Thomas’ heart before He entered the room and He addressed Thomas’ doubt right away. He knew what Thomas needed to see and Jesus showed Him. To me this story reminds me that we in times of unbelief are challenged to just believe before we see the end result. I encourage you to ponder this story in your heart to just believe that He is alive and desires to show Himself to you however you need Him to. Are you troubled? Sad? Sick? Jesus just wants you to believe that He can be whatever you need Him to be as you release your faith in prayer. His loving, nail scarred hands are ready to touch your life today!
 


4.17.16

 
Devotional for Sunday, April 17, 2016
“Be Thou My Vision”
be thou my vision
by Dona Hake
 
 
 

“Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light”

(A portion of lyrics from “Be Thou My Vision”)

 
 
 
 
 

This is just a few verses from the beautiful hymn “Be Thou My Vision.” I believe the more we purpose to keep our eyes steadfast on Him, the more we will see clearly and see as He sees. As we take hold of His commands we can begin to walk with more courage and confidence. Many times if things seem foggy and unclear to us we can fear making one step in front of the other. Yet the more we have clear understanding we know by His Word that He will broaden our path and we can run the race with joy and purpose in our hearts!  When  we wake and when we lie down to sleep, let His precious presence be our light!  As we walk in His commands, stay humble, and walk by faith,  we can be assured that our hearts will be given insights from above.

 
 
 
 
 
 

” I run the same path as your commandments
because you give my heart insight.”
Psalm 119:32 (CEB)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Paul prayed this prayer in the book of Ephesians, and I leave this with you to meditate upon and pray for yourself and those that you pray for!
 
“My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.”     Ephesians 1:18 (CEV)
 


4.16.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Saturday, April 16, 2016
“Understanding God’s Plans and Purposes”
 
 
 
plans and purposes
 
by Dona Hake
 

Proverbs 19:21 (AMP)

“Many plans are in a man’s mind,

but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”

 
 
We can all have our plans that are for a specific day and then there are the plans and dreams that live in our hearts about our life. The questions I think are good for us to ponder throughout our days and lives:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What would the Lord have me to do today to bless Him?
 

What does the Lord desire for me to do with my life?   Am I in His will?

Are my plans fittings His purposes that He has for me?
 
 
 
 
A purpose is the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. It is such a good and fulfilling feeling when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are flowing in the perfect will of God.    There may be times we are doing something that seems to be a good thing yet it is not God’s perfect will at that time.    The Lord desires that all our good deeds proceed from a right heart and not one of feeling obligated.  Let us be careful that all we do is instructed by the Lord, and we maintain a peace in our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 

As we begin our day let us seek Him and know that our heart is toward Him and our ears are as well. He desires to speak to our heart while we are at work, home or whatever we may be doing. Maintain a readiness of heart at all times to be used by Him.  I must share something I overheard once while I was shopping.   It made me giggle to myself for my Mother used to say this to me a lot. I was in a store and a mother was struggling trying to carry something and she looked at her child and said, “Don’t just stand there, make yourself useful!” How true this is for us as spiritual children!   Let us make a conscious effort to have our “hands full” of doing the will of God and accomplishing His purposes for He has a great work He desires to accomplish through us.    As we stay aware of how He desires to use us, we will not  stand empty handed, we will allow Him to make us useful as we do His will and give Him glory!

 
 


4.15.16

 

 

 
Devotional for Friday, April 15, 2017
“Conquering Through Love”
 
 
 
 
conquer through love
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
God’s love conquers and covers all things. God desires that His conquering love flow through us yet there are times His love is not able to flow freely.  If we do not desire to look beyond our own little world how is He able to love through us and reach a lost and dying world?  There is a cost to loving like Jesus and it is a matter letting go of that which is holding us back.  In the book of Luke he wrote “If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them.”  Let us read this powerful quote by Mother Teresa:
 
 

 

 Love,

to be real,

must cost –

it must hurt –

it must empty us of self.”

Mother Teresa
 
 

 

 

 

God is calling us to the His high places of love.  A wonderful place to meditate is 1 Corinthians 13 because this simply spells out what God’s love is and what it is not.

 
 
 

Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious,

doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about.

There’s no arrogance in love;  

it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—

it’s not self-absorbed.

Love isn’t easily upset.

Love doesn’t tally wrongs  or celebrate injustice;

but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!  

Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along;

it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.

Love will never become obsolete.
 
 
 
 

 Let us desire today that God’s true and real love flows through us in every way possible.  Lord, help us to desire to pay the cost of displaying and living giving Your perfect love even when it hurts.  Cause us to see that which hinders us from loving like You and empty us of those things!  We are believing that you are well able to do above and beyond all we dare ask or think regarding Your love operating through us!



4.14.16

Devotional for Thursday, April 14, 2016
“Overcoming Depression”
do not worry
by Dona Hake
“Worry [Anxiety] ·is a heavy load [leads to depression],
but a ·kind [good] word cheers you up.”
Proverbs 12:25 Expanded Bible
 
We live in a day in which we hear much about depression. I find this to be such a sad thing but we can rejoice that we serve a  God that has equipped us with His living Word, and we can indeed be victorious over this terrible thing called depression. Anyone of us may have dealt with this or have had loved ones that have had battles with it.  It is such a sad thing to see someone being tormenting as they fight this battle.   Let us be reminded that He is our Shepherd and He gives us all that we need, and restoration of the soul will deliver any of us from the grips of depression.
Depression like anything else begins as a very small seed.   Thoughts that are not dealt with can nurture the perfect breeding ground for depression to take root. Worry and anxiety will begin to weaken your faith and before long you will find double-mindedness  becoming a habit in your thought process.    No matter how hard you try it almost seems that you see everything in a negative way, merely because negative thoughts, worry and anxiety are now ruling you.  The book of James tells us that the double-minded man will not receive from the Lord.   Let us therefore understand how to stand strong that we can resist being pulled down by depression.    Depression has the power to cause your focus to be broken, it will cause you to lose hope, and it will rob you of the joy of living.  I say it often and I will say it again…the Word of God warns us that we must be very serious about the guarding of our hearts and minds for this is where the issues of this life flow from.
Maybe you are not dealing with depression but you know someone that is.  Know this…your prayers for that individual and the words you speak to them can be such a blessing and help to them.  Proverbs 12:25 says 
that a good word cheers you up. If you are in a position to speak the Word of God or just an encouraging word to someone who is down in the dumps, those words are able to  lift them up.   It is those words that could enable someone to finally see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.   It is those good words spoken that are able to deliver and set someone free!
 
The good Word that we need to continually hear is the one that we speak and purpose to deposit into our own hearts by reading the Word of God. We need to make a diligent effort each and every day to deposit God’s Word that we may nourish our spirits.
Today Lord we ask that you help us to look to your good Word. We ask that you help us to see your words more clearly in our hearts that we can flee from anxiety and worry, and experience the life giving force that Your Word brings to our hearts.   We ask that You put words on our hearts to speak to that one that is heavy in heart that we may minister Your life giving love and encouragement. In Jesus Name, Amen. 


4.13.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Wednesday, April 13, 2016
“Victory Over the Sin of Anger”
 
 
 
anger and words
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Proverbs 15:1   ERV
“A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath,But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.”
 
 
 
 
 
Anger is an emotion that everyone of us can admit we have had to deal with. What is anger? Here is one definition I was able to find:
 
 
 
 
anger:
a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong.
 
 
 
 
God desires that we purpose to do that which is right in His sight. We all well know that there will always be opportunities to react in anger, but the Lord will help us in this area if we seek Him for help in those moments of temptation.  Today I want to encourage you that when opportunities come to make you angry…look up and take hold of God’s ability that will cause you to rise above the temptation to sin.  
 
 
 
 
It can be very hard at times to resist getting upset with people’s actions, words, and deeds especially when it goes against the truth you know to be so real in your heart. Many times it is hard to understand how people can be so deceived, and the fruits of how they think and believe turn into actions that can really so to speak pull the rug from out under our feet. People can say things and do things that can leave you in a  place in which you have a choice to make. You can either choose to react in a calm response and God’s wisdom and peace, or react in a carnal way and become angry.
 
 
 
 
 
In my life I can honestly say that in those times I permitted myself to be angry and react out of that anger that I  only made matters worse. This scripture in Proverbs admonishes us that a harsh word only stirs up more anger.    Speaking wrong words in an already bad situation is like taking a baseball bat and hitting a beehive. You know what the end result is going to  be, and it makes no sense to even go there. Sometimes we just need to ask God to help us hold our tongue, give us the proper answer according to His wisdom, or just keep our mouth shut, and lay hold of silence.    Sometimes silence really is golden!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today I encourage you to meditate upon the truth that soft, simple, and thoughtful words will create an answer from your heart and mouth that will bring peace to a situation rather than strife, anger, and harsh words. This is a Proverb that all of us can put into practice, for we will never escape the fact that people can be mean, lacking thoughtfulness, and speaking words that can hurt the heart.   If we do not handle such things in God’s way, we will ultimately be tempted to react in anger.

 

 
 
 
 

Let us look to the Lord for He  has girded us with everything we need that we can react properly to any  temptation that we may encounter.  May we walk in that place of guarding our peace and guarding our hearts with all diligence for all things truly do proceed from the depths of our hearts.



4.12.16

 
 
Devotional for Tuesday, April 12, 2016
“Patience and Encouragement”
 
 
that hope comes from
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
Romans 15:4-5. ERV
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Those things were written so that we could have hope. That hope comes from the patience and encouragement that the Scriptures give us.  All patience and encouragement come from God.”
 
 
 
 
 
As believers we must always value and prioritize God’s Word and it’s place in our life. We have heard it said many times over as we go to church that it is important that we read God’s Word. God’s Word will bring  light and life, and will help us to know exactly what to do in this life. God’s Word is our daily bread and it will sustain us, it will keep us, and we must make it a priority to feed upon it, and make it our Daily Bread.
 
 
 
 
As this Scripture says, the Word of God brings us patience and encouragement. From this patience and encouragement we embrace our hope. We can have hope that God will be with us every day. We can have hope that He truly is the answer.  He never changes for He is the same  yesterday today and forever. We can live this life with this blessed hope which empowers our hearts with courage to do the will of God.  Praise Him today for He is the One from whom all blessings flow!
 
 
 
 



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!