“Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover!”

dont judge
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The other evening I went to a Christian bookstore in my area.   It was on my heart to purchase some little story books for my Granddaughters that were godly.   It was one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” type of search. I was able to find three storybooks that I was extremely excited about.   I was heading to the cash register, and I felt drawn to this huge table.   There was nothing exciting about this table at all in fact it was somewhat drab looking.   All that lay on the table were about three unwanted items that were not selling.   I immediately felt drawn to pick up one of the items that was a book specific to devotions for children.    As I paged through it I was so excited.   It’s childlike simplicity yet beautiful spiritual depth made me just know that I had to have it.   Here is the funny thing about this book.   It was laying on the table basically because they were trying to get rid of it.   A book that originally sold for $15.99 was now 90% off.   I bet you are wondering why…the reason was that it was damaged in shipment.   The top corner of the book took a beating on it’s way from the publisher.   The first thing I said to myself after I thought about it….”I am glad I did not judge this book by it’s cover!”    I was so sold on what was inside the book before I even noticed the damaged cover!   To me it was nothing a good piece of clear shipping tape could not mend.   So I walked out of the store with a book that cost me only $1.59!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My experience that evening at the bookstore  reminded me of human nature and how we want things to be all so perfect….especially if we are buying it brand new.   Things like this can teach us little lessons with big spiritual significance.   It reminded me that many times we miss seeing the truth about a situation because we permit other things such as imperfections and weaknesses to cloud our judgments, and we do not see things for what they really are.   It reminds me that sometimes we may prejudge people by the outward appearance, and we do not even give them a chance to show us their heart.   May we be reminded that God is always looking at hearts.   Let us look at people’s hearts through the love of Jesus and love them with His love.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Samuel 16:7 Easy To Read Version
God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart…”


“But What Does God Think?”

 
 
 
Devotional for Sunday, February 28, 2016
“But What Does God Think?”
 
 
knowing you are on Gods side
 
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 54:4-5 (VOICE)
“But see now! God comes to rescue me;
the Lord is my valiant supporter.”
 
 
 
Yesterday I shared with you about God using our frailty.   If we permit Him, in our weakness, He can make us strong.   Let us think about our times of weakness especially when we are in a “life storm”.  Many times when the raging winds of doubt and unbelief try to torment us we can turn quickly to our own thoughts and ways of dealing with a problem.   May we stop ourselves and look to God and ask Him what His thoughts are on the matter that we are dealing with.  Let us look to Him in those times of weakness and draw upon His strength.
 
 
 
 
God desires to help us strategically win, and He promises supernatural strength to us as we lean upon Him in our day of battle. Thank God that in our time of trouble He desires to rescue us for as this scripture says, He is the valiant supporter. The word valiant means: boldly courageous;brave; and stout-hearted. Even if one is alone in the natural they really are never alone if God is on their side! It is so wonderful to know that the Ultimate Strength is standing with us, and He is on our side.
May our only concern be in knowing  that we are standing on the side of God in all matters. Here is a powerful quote by Abraham Lincoln that fits perfectly with our devotion today. In the time of battle and the concerns of it, he spoke these words….
 
 
 
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side;
my greatest concern is to be on God’s side,
for God is always right.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Father, help us to stay aware that we are always abiding in Your truth. We know that You are all truth, and that brings us strength in our day of trouble. Help us as well to have the courage to speak the truth even when it may not be the most popular thing to do. Help us to be mindful to stay on Your side, the side of truth, and cause us to speak truth in Your Spirit of love.
 
 
 

 

 


“When God Uses Our Frailty”

 
 
 
 
fools for christ
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
“But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. ” 1 Corinthians 1:27 Amp
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I read this scripture I am reminded once again that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, and they are above figuring out.   Many times we may think that God is going to use what we perceive to be our strengths, yet He may chose to touch our heart and ask us to step out in an area in which we  feel totally inadequate.  This can cause us to not step out for fear of failing and looking foolish.      I can remember a specific time in which the Lord was tugging at my heart to step out in something, and I did not feel that I was qualified to do what He was asking.   I resisted for a while, and after I finally gave in I experienced His grace in my life.     My testimony was His strength flowing into my life and enabling me to look away from my inabilities and draw upon His ability.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now let us look at how the world views us at times.   Have you ever been obedient to the Lord in an area that in the natural may have looked a bit foolish.   You know the world sees us the way they do because they are blinded, and they are trying to figure us out with their human understanding.   Many times we will be regarded as foolish in the eyes of the well educated in this world.   Today I leave you with a quote by the late Justice Scalia.  May it touch your heart as it did mine….
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”     Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia   1936-2016
 


“He Makes A Road For Our Steps”

 
 
What'sYourPathSD_main
 
by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 85:10-13 (CEB)
Faithful love and truth have met;righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth springs up from the ground;righteousness gazes down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord gives what is good,and our land yields its produce.
Righteousness walks before God, making a road for his steps.
 
 
 
 
 
God desires that we live and walk by His truth and His truth alone. Our walk with Him must be led by the light of His righteousness. Many times the way of the Lord will be narrow, and sometimes even unpopular. I remember a quote that I used to have hanging on a poster in my high school classroom. It’s said “What is popular is not always right, what is right is not always popular.”  Many time popular trends can lead and pull and tug at our hearts.   May we determine that the way of the world will not dictate the paths that we choose to walk on.   Also, may we seek Him for the courage and strength to walk on right paths that are not popular.   God blesses the paths that He desires that we walk in.
 
 
 
 
He desires to perfect all things that concern us. As we turn our hearts toward him I believe He will cause us to see and discern when we are not on the right path.  The secret to knowing we are always walking in the Lord’s foot steps, is staying aware that we are not walking in our own ability nor thinking our own thoughts. We must draw upon His grace for everything we do, We must purpose to draw upon the mind of Christ in our prayers, our words, and our actions. I remember many years ago the popular saying “What would Jesus do?” The bracelets that had imprinted upon them WWJD were worn as a constant reminder of this truth. I loved this because it really did make you stop and ask yourself that question.
 
 
 
 
 
Today may we look to Him for His loving guidance, and His loving kindness in our lives. May we release our faith that He will speak to us and cause others to see His love in our lives. Help us to hear with expectant hope what He desires to speak to our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Psalm 85:7

“He will speak peace to his people.”
 


“Guarding Our Mouth and Our Tongue”

 
 
Let the words of my mouth... Psalm 19-14
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I would like to share with you about how our mouths can get us into trouble. Have you ever made a statement about something or expressed an opinion before thinking it through. After it is spoken, you might say to yourself…”Oh my why did I just say that?” or “Oh my I did not mean for it to come out like that.” Once our words are spoken, it is too late to take those words back. Sadly, if wrong words are spoken and others hear, we may end up offending someone or hurting someone’s feelings.     Many times when our souls are troubled, and we lack peace we can end up speaking things that are not edifying and needful to be spoken. I remember hearing once a quote “Just because a thought is in your head does not mean it has to come out of your mouth.”   Simple, (funny), and yet profound!
 
 
 
 
 

May we tend to our hearts and be all so diligent in the  guarding of our  words. Understand that our mouth and our tongue must work together to create a word. This scripture I am sharing clearly says guard your mouth and guard your tongue. One without the other cannot cannot work.

 
 
 
 
Proverbs 21:23 (God’s Word Translation)
Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
 
 
 
 
 
I just want to share the importance of your soul being kept at total peace. When the soul is not at peace and rest, this is when our minds will work overtime and many times this is when our mouth will get us into trouble. Many times we say things out of frustration, anger, and even to try control a situation. Sometimes it can be the hardest thing to just keep our mouth shut. There is a scripture in Proverbs that I also want to share in light of this devotional.  Today may we choose right words that will edify the listeners of our words.   May we speak wise words that proceed from God’s wisdom.

 

 
 
 
Proverbs 21:23 (God’s Word Translation)
 
The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver ·bowl  setting.
A wise ·warning correction to ·someone who will listen ( a listening ear) is as valuable as gold earrings or fine gold jewelry.


“Because Of Jesus We Have Peace”

 
 
 
cross
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
It is hard to believe that the blessed celebration of Easter is only weeks away. I think that  we should always ponder in our hearts what Jesus did on the cross, but this is a time of the year where we will think more about it and reflect upon that great work.  I have been thinking a lot lately about the precious gift of peace that we have been given by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is vitally important that this precious peace be guarded with all diligence. No one can guard your heart for you, only you can do that.   A soul that is at rest is a soul that is guarded. 
 
 
 
 
 
Have you ever seen someone receive a gift, and you can tell they really do not appreciate it as they should or they might not understand it’s value? I believe that many times we can be guilty of forgetting with Jesus did for us. Our hearts can easily forget or take fore-granted the freedom that was purchased for us.  As we purpose in our hearts to remember and thank Him each day for the price He paid in His death we will continue to value within us all that was purchased by His blood.   
 
 
We thank You today Lord for going to the cross.  You were punished for us, and the work of Your blood is precious to our hearts.    May we be mindful that you were crushed because of our guilt and You took the punishment that we deserved.  You brought us the blessed gift of salvation,forgiveness, healing, and  and peace that surpasses our human understanding.   In Jesus Name, we thank You for that. Amen.
 
 
 

Isaiah 53:5 (EXB)
But he was wounded for ·the wrong we did (our transgressions) ;he was crushed for ·the evil we did (our iniquities.)The punishment, which ·made us well brought us wholeness/peace, was given to him,and we are healed because of his ·wounds lacerations;  stripes; .

 


“Pressing In To Our Destination”

run race
 
by Dona Hake
 
 It is the desire of my heart that these devotionals are encouraging those that take time to read them each day.   I want these few words I share to build up your heart, and give you words to ponder throughout your day.   There are times in which I hear stories, testimonies, or simply things that cause  my ears to listen more closely.   Many times it is those things that bring inspiration to me for my devotionals that I create for you.    Listening to people share their heart can truly inspire us to press in and try harder to do our very best at whatever we are putting our hands and hearts to.  It is a blessing to pass on to you the things that I am pondering in my heart.
 
 
 
 
This morning as I was preparing my breakfast I heard a gentleman sharing in an interview how he found his passion at a very young age. He was gifted in discovering musical talent, developing it, and has made quite a few people famous. I appreciated the words that he shared and he also reflected and shared the words of wisdom of his mother.    It seemed the one thing he really was strong in was purposing to live a life of determination.
 
 
 
 
 
These words he spoke stood out to me…”I do not look at obstacles, I focus on my destination and I charge toward it.”   I was impressed with his winning attitude.   He was not denying that obstacles can arise, but the strong one does not permit the eyes of his soul to be distracted by such things.   At the end of his interview he said, “My mom used to tell me that when I walk into  a room the room is a better room because you are in it.”  What encouraging words!
 
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage you to charge toward the destination that the Lord has set before you.   When obstacles position themselves in your path, determine in your heart that they will not stop you from reaching your destination for Him.   We have a race to run, and if we run it with diligence and determination, we know we shall live victoriously!   Do not quit, and know that God wants to use you to make a difference and change the world around you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hebrews 12:1-3    (ERV)

We Also Should Follow Jesus’ Example

“We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. 2 We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. 3 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.”
 
 


“But What Is God Looking For?”

 
 
 
 
creation Oct 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Isaiah 66:2 (AMP)
“For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.”
 
 
 
 
As God in Heaven proclaims what He did with the work of His hands He goes on to say, “but here is where I look…” I do not know about you but I want to know what God is looking for. After all the beauty and wonder of His creation He is still looking? I love this because it is reminding us that God’s eyes are moving to and fro watching for the one that will ALWAYS put Him and His Word first and reverently respond to what He says. He is looking for those that even when they mess up they admit they are wrong and receive His forgiveness. He is watching for the man and woman that desires to be humble and respect His Word above their own opinions and thoughts. He is watching you and your heart.
 
 
 
Let us be reminded that God is well pleased with the humble heart.    Know that He is waiting to use that humble heart for His special purposes to bring forth His glory. Think about it…He made it all and in all it’s grand beauty He is still watching for those who desire to be willing and obedient above all else. I encourage you today to think about how He desires to use you as you purpose to remain humble and reverent to His Word.
 
 
 


“Fresh Faith For Today!”

fresh faith for today
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 Yesterday I shared the scripture with you from Acts 17:28,    “It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are..”    May I ask if you have to make a conscious effort to take your next breath or does it just happen?   The Lord desires that we live this life in Him just as we depend upon Him for our next breath.   We need not labor to live for Him but rather we should press in to  live and move and flow from His heavenly abundance, grace and strength.  Let us continue to build our faith and be mindful that our dependency must be upon Him for every moment we live.   The strength we received yesterday was for yesterday’s needs.  Tomorrow is a new day, and we must look to Him for new strength and provision for the needs of today.
 
 
I want to share a quote with you written by Francois deFellelon…
 
“The comfort you find in a moment of faith will 
be completely inadequate for the next.”
 
 
It is our human nature to get caught up in moments isn’t it?   Some moments are so wonderful and just unforgettable.   In this life we will be blessed to experience joys that are beyond our belief.   There will also be times in which we release our faith, and we just know heaven and earth has been moved for us.   Oh the joy of those sweet victories.   But know this my friend, we cannot live off of the fumes of yesterday’s faith and victories.
 
 
Today I encourage you to reflect on the wonderful victories the Lord has blessed you with but remember that today is a new day with new demands, circumstances, and sometimes obstacles that are going to try to stop you.   Look to Him with faith, new strength and grace for this day, and live and move in Him by faith as you serve Him fresh today!
 
 


“It Is Through Him We Live!”

It is through Him that we are able
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
My youngest Granddaughter is still trying to master putting on winter gloves so she can go out and through ball to my German Shepherd.  “Grandma….this is complicated!!!” she says to me.   You see, I still have to help her because she ends up getting two fingers stuck in one of the fingers of the glove.   We laugh as we look at the glove for there is one of the fingers of the glove that is motionless because there is no finger in it.   I always say, “Okay, let’s try this again…”   She opens her little hand and tries to guide each finger where it belongs.   Then I hear, “There!!!! I got it Grandma, now let’s go!!!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We too are like that glove that really can not move perfectly apart from Him filling each and  every aspect of our being.   He desires to live and flow through us in every area of our walk.   This is His perfect will for us!   Today I want you to remember that you are His very special vessel and He wants you to submit yourself to Him that He can breathe His life into every word you speak, every deed you do, and every circumstance you face today.    He wants to move through you and make you a vessel of honor for Him.   Let us live and move and have our total being in Him!
 
 
 
 
 
Acts 17:28 (East To Read version)

 “It is through him that we are able to live, to do
what we do, and to be who we are…”
 
 
 
 
 
 



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!