“God-Our Refiner”

Jesus A Refiner
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 25:4 (ERV)

“Remove the worthless things from

silver to make it pure, and a worker

can make something beautiful.”

 
You are so valuable and He loves you so much.    As we read this scripture we can see that there is a process that we are all walking through as we grow in Him. There is a refining and purification that is taking place in our hearts as we deeply humble ourselves to His Mighty life changing Word.  Let’s look at Proverbs 25:4 from God’s Word translation:
 
“Take the impurities out of silver,
and a vessel is ready for the silversmith to mold.”
 

The Lord our Refiner desires to bring us to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities. As our Purifier He will cause us to be free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates our hearts. God wants every bit of us so He can use us in wonderful ways to glorify Him on this earth.

 

In the forty one years that I have known the Lord I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard people share from the depths of their hearts as they walked through a difficult trial. Many at the end of the trial admit that they experienced God removing things from them that positioned them to be used in a greater way. Many times those difficult situations can actually cause us to do the soul searching we need to do, and God is able to work in such a wonderful way. As we keep our hearts humble before Him I believe He will continue to refine and purify us that we can serve and be used by Him in greater ways. Praise be to the God who is the Refiner and Purifier!

 


“Are You Filled To the Full?

filled to the full
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Are you filled to the full of all the wonderful things God has for you?   Today I want to share about how important it is that we pay attention to the condition of our hearts. Is your heart being kept full, strengthened and maintained by the power of the Holy Spirit? You know He desires that we be full and stay full that we may live the victorious life that He intends for us to live. How many things in life do we diligently pay attention to ? Just think about it …our gas tanks, our bank accounts, the parking meter, food in the refrigerator, etc… We keep a mental note and physical notes that we are maintaining these things, yet our spiritual being could be in a state of lack, and we may not even notice. When our spirit is lacking, eventually we are going to pay for it. If we do not tend to our hearts we will not have the strength that we need, therefore we cannot persevere. As our peace is no longer present, we will react to things in a way that we wished we had not.
 
 
 
This past week while I was busy doing errands, running here and there, my “gas is low” light came on and I heard the signal.    I kept driving for a bit and I noticed the needle was falling way too close to EMPTY, and felt an urgency to get to the gas station.   So it is that we need to stay sensitive to the state of our spirit.   When God speaks to your heart, are you hearing Him, and attending to His direction He is giving you?   We can not afford to try to live this life on the “fumes” of yesterday’s faith and victories.
Let us diligently watch over the gauge of our hearts and minds. Pay attention to the warning signals. Let us be watchful that we do not become deficient in things that He desires we be filled with.
 
 
 
 
Many times we come to this place of lack if we begin to live life from our own resources and our own ability. When we stop trusting God for the littlest of things, it eventually snowballs into every area of our life. God desires to fill us that we bubble over with hope as we trust in Him. As He fills you there will be new strength. Your youth will be renewed as the eagle. I encourage you to receive from His hand today. God is so good, trust in Him!!!
 
 
 
 

Romans 15:13 ERV
“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much
joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more
and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”



“The Gift of a King”

shepherds story
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I love pondering what it must of been like being a shepherd watching over my sheep, and in the dark of  the night an angel of the Lord appears out of nowhere to announce the birth of Jesus.  I can only imagine what they felt, their excitement, amazement, and anticipation!    Let us read from the scriptures about that glorious night.
 
 
 
 
Luke 2:8-18 Amplified
 

“In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord the Messiah.
And this will be a sign for you by which you will recognize Him: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host angelic army praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this wonderful thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger.
And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child,
and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them.”
 
 
 
 
The shepherds had an immediate and decisive response…”Let us go,  and see this wonderful thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us!”   
I can assure you that there was no doubt among them, and they began to seek that which they were told, and they did it immediately with great anticipation!   I love how the scriptures say that they went in a hurry too.   Wouldn’t you have gone in a hurry?    If you were there among the shepherds, and saw this glorious angel of the Lord that just declared the birth of the Savior…would you move quickly to seek Him out?    I know I would have!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today we celebrate the birth of our King Jesus, and for those of us that love Him, we truly understand how this changed a very dark world. Even though we were not there on that dark evening among the shepherds to see the Angel of the Lord hear of the proclamation of His birth, we have been given His life, and a hope for our future.    Oh how wonderful it is that we can seek God Himself   each day with the promise of new mercies, hope, provision, and light for our path!    How blessed we are to be able  to experience  knowing that in the midst of a dark world, we serve the One that brings His Light to us each and everyday!    He brings us the knowledge of His will,  His Light guides us into all truth, and now we are the carriers of this glorious Light.    We are His vessels in which He desires to shine everyday.
 
 
 
 
 
Will you be that Light to the one that needs to see hope?    Will you be the vessel in which His words of wisdom can flow when He calls upon you to speak?   I encourage you today as you think about the the gift of the King that God sent to also think about how He desires to use us for the greater works in these latter days!   God bless you, and Merry Christmas!!!
 
 
 
2 Corinthians 4:5-7   Easy-to-Read Version

“We don’t tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we tell them that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!”[a] And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.

We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.

 
 
 


“How Precious Is the Clean Heart!”

 
CLEAN HEART
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
A few days ago I had shared with you regarding resolutions for the upcoming New Year.   As I said, when you go into a New Year you can feel like you are wiping the slate clean.   A year has passed and now it is time to start a fresh one.   Sometimes people may feel like they really had a bad year full of challenges, and they are just ready to start fresh.    Again, may I mention that I personally feel this is something we should do everyday.   As we live one day at a time, we can start afresh, thanking Him for His new mercies, His grace that will sustain us, and His provision that He promises to give us to help us do His will.    Most importantly is His forgiveness when we miss the mark.   Isn’t it precious that even when we mess up, all we have to do is ask Him to cleanse us, and get us right back up and running the course that He has set before us!!!
 
 
 
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and
renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me..”
Psalm 51:10
 
 

As the psalmist prayed here you can see he plainly realized that he had lost something, and he wanted it back. He was walking in the blessing of feeling right, he was a persevering person with a spirit that was steadfast, yet he knew something was wrong. He was no longer clean and pure.   When we mess up and do not ask the Lord to help us, things are not the same. The longer we put it off the more we will become callous to our spirit trying to let us know that something is not right within us.

 
 
I have shared this little teaching analogy before but it will serve to minister to your heart again since we are looking at cleansing and renewal. I can still remember when I shared with some preschoolers a simple little object lesson about forgiveness. It was precious watching their innocent little faces and their eyes light up as they took hold of the truth. I was teaching them the importance of knowing their hearts were clean. I mixed up a big old batch of mud. I took them all outside and we sat down around the bowl of mud. I squished my hands into the mud (may I add the little boys were loving how gross it was!) and rubbed it up and down my arms and my hands were caked with mud. I emphasized to them how bad it felt not to be clean, and I just wanted it off of me.
 
 
 
I shared with them that the mud was symbolic of our mistakes, our sins, etc. I had a pitcher of fresh, clean water beside me. As I poured the pure, clean water over me, the mud totally cleansed my arms and hands, and into the ground the mud was absorbed. “Where is the mud?” I asked them, and the point was made beautifully. It could not be seen anymore and it was gone! These kind of visual analogies are so powerful, not just for children but adults as well.
 
 

Psalm 51:2-3 Amplified
“Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions and
I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.”

 
 
 
There are two key words here that the writer wrote and these are our keys to living with a clean heart and those words are CONSCIOUS and ACKNOWLEDGE. It is plain and simple, as we stay conscious of the condition of our hearts and we acknowledge it before God, He will always help us, and work within us and renew us again. Let us be quick to humble and repent when we are out of align with His perfect will. We serve a merciful and loving God. Think about anything that has hindered your steadfastness and strength in Him and ask Him to cleanse it so your heart pure and totally restored. This is truly freedom!
 


“…and the Truth Shall Keep You Free”

 
you shall know the truth
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
It says in  Ecclesiates 3:8 that there is “a time to love and a time to hate…” There are times in which we are called upon to hate what God hates. Every day of our life we will be presented with opportunities to make choices, and God wants us to choose His way, and His way is always truth. May we never forget that our Lord detests any kind of falsehood.   God desires that our hearts be sold out completely and committed to His Word. May we never ever think that we can pick and choose when we are going to walk in truth. May our hearts desire to know that we are saturated in His Word. May we be determined to walk in a way in which we never waver but stay true to every precept He has given us to live by.
 
 
 

It is as we are with strong conviction about living His Word in our lives that we will take strong stands against falsehoods that would try to pull us down and weaken our convictions. Falsehood is lack of conformity to truth or fact.

Psalm 119:163 (CEB)

“I hate, I absolutely despise, what is false,
but I’m in love with your Instruction.”

Psalm 119:163 Good News Translation

“I hate and detest all lies, but I love your law.”

 
 
The truth that our Lord spoke of that will set us free will keep us free as we determine ourselves to never compromise the truth.   May we decisively proclaim in our words and actions that truth holds a high value in our hearts, and we will guard and protect it no matter the cost.    I have heard it said that “The thing you compromise to keep you will eventually lose.”  

These are powerful words that are all so true!

 
 
 
 
Today Lord we ask that You would give us discerning hearts for we well know that the devil can come as an Angel of Light. He can try to confuse us in order that we walk away from our strong convictions. We thank You Lord that Your grace is able to keep us strong and deliberate in our walk. We ask that Your Word would grow deeper and deeper within us as we proclaim that we love Your law with all of our hearts. In Jesus Name! Amen.
 
 
 
 


“Let the Lord Direct the Work of Your Hands”

beauty of the lord upon us
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
I can hardly believe that Christmas is only days away…where did this year go?   It will not be long that you will hear some speak of their resolutions for the fresh new year.   Many times people see the New Year as a fresh start and a beginning point to accomplish a desire of their heart, break a bad habit, or press into a goal.    If one makes a resolution it is of utmost importance that it is coupled with a desire to accomplish it or follow through with it. My thoughts on this are to live each day as unto Him and do that which He is speaking to your heart about. Do not get me wrong, I think it is great to make plans and goals but I kind of love staying in that place of living one day at a time knowing that I have His hand of blessing on all that I set my hand to, and everything else seems to fall into the right place.   The Lord desires that we look to Him every day as a clean slate with fresh beginnings in which He can direct the work of our hands.
 
 
 
 

Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,

and direct thou the work of our hands upon us…”

 
 
 
 
 

I believe as we allow His beauty or His grace to be upon us He will direct the work of our hands and lead us in our God given assignments.   He will begin to deal with how we view everything. He is well able to put us in alignment with His will as we stay humble to Him. He will in turn cause all that we set our hand to to be blessed and prosperous. If there are things in your life relative to disciplines that you desire change in, I just encourage you to prayerfully take them to Him. Let Him do the changing and bring growth in His timing.    

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we thank You for Your Holy Spirit that is at work within us, and we humbly ask that You direct every work of our hands.   As we look at going into a new year let us start each day, and look at it as a new beginning as we acknowledge You.    May Your beauty be upon all that we do that we may glorify You, in Jesus Name, amen.
 
 


“The Sweet Fragrance of Christ”

sweet fragrance
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today I want to share with you about fragrance.   Fragrance is anything  having a pleasant scent or aroma; something sweet-smelling; sweet-scented such as a fragrant rose.   This past summer I noticed we have an abundance of honeysuckle bushes around our property, and there were days as I walked around the yard with my dog that I was amazed at the beauty of their sweet smelling fragrance.  If there is a beautiful fragrance in the air, it makes one just want to stop and enjoy it or you may try to figure out where the smell is coming from.    God’s Word speaks of His paths being fragrant with His attributes, and as we walk in His Word, we too will give off the beauty of that fragrance.    Let’s read this scripture from the the Living Bible…
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 25:9-10 (TLB)
“He will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to him.
And when we obey him, every path he guides us on is fragrant with his loving-kindness and his truth.”
 
 
 
 
Today I want you to meditate upon the truth that as you humbly turn to Him, He will teach you His ways, and you will desire to walk in the paths that will cause a wonderful fragrance of Christ to emanate to those that know Him and also those that do not know Him.
 
 
 
 

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (TLB)
But thanks be to God! For through what Christ has done, he has triumphed over us so that now wherever we go he uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Gospel like a sweet perfume.
As far as God is concerned there is a sweet, wholesome fragrance in our lives. It is the fragrance of Christ within us, an aroma to both the saved and the unsaved all around us.”

 
 
 
 
I believe that this fragrance will cause people to seek out the Lord.   It will expose to them their lack, and it will draw them to Christ.   May we release our faith that the Lord is using us everyday to reach people whether they know Him or not.   Many times we may never know how God is using the testimony of our love, deeds, and prayers that we offer up on behalf of people.
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we thank You today that as we humbly look to You in all of our ways that You will teach us how to walk in Your paths.   May that fragrance touch the hearts of even those that seem hardened and unreachable.   We thank You for we know You are able to do above and beyond all that we dare ask or think as You  permit us to be used as You desire! In Jesus Name, amen.
 
 
 


“Let His Light Shine!”

Shining Light Verse from Matthew
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today let us meditate on His light that is within us, and for that we should feel honored and thank Him.   We are His vessels and He desires to radiate that light each and everyday we serve Him.   We live in a world in which there is darkness and there are so many  that do not know Him.    How else will they know there is light if we do not allow Him to shine through us.
 
 

Matthew 5:14-16 ( Amplified )

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.”

 

I think God is calling each and everyone of us as believers to shine and bloom where we are planted.  In the plan of God, He has wonderful desires  to use each one of us differently and uniquely. We should never compare how God chooses to use us to how He works through others. This is not a competition, it is command….we are lights and we are to shine! Today I encourage you to shine for Him through every word and deed you do. As He continues to mold and make you into His image He will be faithful to show Himself through you that others may see how awesome He is.

 
 
 
Father, we thank You that you have chosen us to  be carriers of Your beautiful, life giving light!   As we do good deeds and exhibit moral excellence, we pray that those that see this will be drawn to You that they may honor and praise Your Name.   In Jesus Name, amen.


“The Power of the Persevering Heart”

 
 
 
perseverence
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against

you until it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never

give up then, for that is just the time and place that the tide

will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe

 
 
 
I love this quote. It makes me wonder how many times that I have given up on something or someone just when the tide was ready to turn.    There is power in perseverance and the determined heart cannot be stopped or shaken.    Determination is when you come to a decision or you fix yourself on a purpose, and nothing is going to hold you back.
 
 
 
I cannot help but think of Peter as he stepped out of the boat upon the Lord’s command. “Come Peter!” I can only imagine what was going through Peter’s mind as he looked down and saw himself walking on the water. His faith was at work and he was defying the impossible. Yet when his mind became focused on the wind, waves and the turbulent storm, he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, took a firm grip and kept him above water. The thing that always hit me the hardest with this account was that Peter was only an arm’s reach away from Jesus.  Let’s look at the story in the scriptures.
 
 
 

Matthew 14:28-31 Amplified

 “And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.

 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.

 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!

 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

 
 
 

How many times are we just an arm’s reach away from the finish line of success in that which we are setting ourselves, but then our minds begin to “perceive” and we get ourselves into trouble?   How many times is the tide ready to turn and we throw up our hands and give up?  We must apply faith, persistence, and determination to all we set ourselves to do. As we fix our eyes on Jesus with determination and faith in our hearts, He will enable us to do the impossible. It is as we do this that we can share the testimony of what we learned in our accomplishment to those that need this same word of encouragement!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for

after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”

Galatians 6:9 TLB



“The Life Giving Force Within Us”

spring that never runs dry
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah 58:11 (ERV)
“The Lord will always lead you and satisfy your needs in dry lands.

He will give strength to your bones.

You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring that never goes dry.”

 
 
 
 
As we draw upon the living water from above, let us be mindful to share that water that gives life with those around us. Let us be thankful that the water He gives is the only water that will quench the thirst of the human soul. I love how this scripture in Isaiah says that we will be “like a garden that has plenty of water, a spring that never goes dry.” No matter how much we draw upon it, those waters will continue to flow toward us to meet our every need! The only requirement is that we continue to seek Him and draw upon that river of life that proceeds from Him.
 
 
 
 
 
This type of abundance is not just for our survival alone but it is there for us to give. God desires to see us active in doing good for others from a heart of faith and love.   He desires that we share from that well that promises to never run dry.   I encourage you to think about the abundance in your life, and how He would have you be a blessing to those around you. Think about the many times He has rescued you from a problem that seemed unsolvable. Thank Him for those times that your anxiety tormented you and His peace permeated you beyond your understanding. We have so much to be thankful for,   may we ponder our blessings, and meditate upon the testimonies, and share them with those that need lifted up.
 
 
 
Lord, we are so very thankful that You are our Shepherd,   Your eyes are watchful, and You know how to satisfy our every need.   We thank You for the strength You bring to us in our times of weakness, and we praise You that everyday You bring us the provision that we need to accomplish Your will.   Lord as we live and draw from that spring within us  we ask that You would help us to look beyond ourselves, and be givers of that life giving force  that comes from You and You alone! 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!