“Keep Your Heart Pure”

Heart be watchful for this is where life starts
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I can still remember the horrible situation that West Virginia had to face with the contamination of their water supply.    A chemical seeped into the water supply and threatened to sicken hundreds of thousands of people. Officials found out about the spill when people started calling in complaints about a strong licorice-type smell in the air.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I found it interesting that this potentially harmful chemical seeping into the water had a sweet smell of licorice. Some said it smelled like cough syrup, and the smell puzzled them. I am sure they figured out how this happened but what really mattered  is that it rendered over 300,000 people no drinking, no bathing, and no cooking with the water. One chemical literally zapped the pureness of their water to poisonous and harmful, and brought a huge amount of people helpless, and  without pure water.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let us look at this story, and apply it to how our hearts can become contaminated by the things that seem sweet and okay in this life.   God’s Word speaks to us through Proverbs 4:23, and warns us as well to be careful and be vigilant to watch over our hearts. This scripture warns us to guard the purity of our heart and all that flows from it. Our heart is as a wellspring from where all issues flow. A wellspring is a source or supply of anything, especially when considered inexhaustible.
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance

and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

 
 
 
 
 

Let us be careful to never leave down our guard over our hearts. There are so many “sweet smelling” temptations in this world that could taint and poison our hearts in which the life of God desires to flow purely.  Oh that we will take it seriously to guard our hearts with all vigilance for this is where life begins and flows from.



“Perseverance and Persistence”

keep your eyes on the goal
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
Yesterday I had shared with you about recognizing any weight that may be holding you back or causing you hindrance as you run the good race set before you.    I want to share the scriptures from Hebrews 12:1-2 again with you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hebrews 12:1-2
The Voice (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.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I want to look at verse two where Paul is zeroing in on focusing on Jesus.   As we keep our eyes on the Lord and His perfect will, we will see the world around us as God sees it.   May we fight the good fight and run the good race with every bit of our being!   Today I want to share a story with you that I heard a few months ago.   I think it fits wonderfully with our meditation in God’s Word from Hebrews.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There was a young man being interviewed on the news after a race that he ran.   The runner was sharing that as he was approaching the finish line he was convinced that he was going to win and he relaxed right before the finish line.    The sad thing was that he did not see the young man that was running beside him, and that young man ended up winning the race.   Oh my how he must of felt so upset with himself!   The young man that lost the race made an assumption but he said to the reporter, “There are more races, I am sure I will never do that again!”  The gist of the story was that he shared that he knew his competitor was close but he thought he had it.  Oh how assumption can really get us into trouble.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stories like this can serve to make us think about spiritual things.    How many times do we think that our battle may be over, and we relax in the fight, and that devil throws in a punch, and sets you back.   Sometimes things like this can really teach us a great lesson in this life, but one thing for sure is we need to always be persevering till the end of everything we put our hands to.   As Paul said in Hebrews 12:2  “Now stay focused on Jesus….”   As we stay focused on Him, nothing else around us will keep us from the pursuit of victory.   Let us run with endurance and persistence the long race set before us! 


“Lay the Weight Down”

let us drop
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Hebrews 12:1-2
 
The Voice (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? This scripture in Hebrews makes it pretty plain. First, we must drop unnecessary weight or anything that is keeping us from moving forward. Do you know the “weights” in your life that have held you back? 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 the following quote…
 
 
 
 
“50% of a problem is solved just
understanding what the problem is.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

As we acknowledge what our weight is and humble ourselves to God let us ask Him for help, He will surely help us.Remember…God understands you inside and out, and He certainly has a way to help you lose that “unnecessary weight” that you are carrying around!  Lord, we ask you today to shed light within our hearts.   Show us weights that we may be carrying that we are not even aware of.We ask that you guide and instruct us as to how to rid of these weights that will only hold usback.   We thank you for that in Jesus Name!

 


“His Light That Always Illuminates”

Your word is like a lamp
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Have you ever gone to grab a flashlight that did not work, and you thought it’s batteries were fine.    You needed the light, you were in the darkness, and you were left to search for another flashlight, candles, etc…    Aren’t you glad that when you need spiritual light that you can always depend upon God to give it to you!   His light is always there upon asking.   It never changes, nor does it grow dim!I thank God today that no matter what I face in this life, God’s light will never let me down. He is faithful and therefore every spoken Word in the scriptures will continue to shine before me to lead, and light my path.
 
 
 
 
 
There will be times in which we know we are trusting Him yet our way may seem unclear. Human nature desires a place called a “comfort zone”. We like to feel like we know what is ahead in order that we can plan for it. This is just not reality. Let us always be reminded that sometimes the “not seeing” is very much a part of the trusting. It is indeed part of releasing our faith as we believe without seeing. I want to share a quote with you that fits perfectly with our devotional today, and then a scripture from the book of Ephesians.
 
 

“We don’t need to see the way
when we stay close to the One who does.”

 
~~~~~♥~~~~~
Ephesians 1:16-18 (AMP)
“[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones)”
 
 
 
 
 
 

I hope this has encouraged your heart in the knowing that if you serve the living God, you serve a God that is able to flood the eyes of your heart with His glorious light. We need to be ever so diligent to hold His Word close to our hearts and meditate upon it with all diligence for it is the Light for every path we walk!



“Our Lord Always Listens”

he loved me enough
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and in the midst of it you feel as if they may not be totally paying attention and listening. This can be quite discouraging especially if you are sharing your heart or you are upset. Today let us meditate upon the fact that we serve a  loving God that always listens, and hears our prayer as we go to Him with humble hearts.
 
 
 

I would like to share from Psalm 116. The psalmist begins the chapter by exclaiming, “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice…” He proceeded to say that he knew God’s ear was toward him, and then he said, “I will call on Him as long as I live!”

 
 
 
 
 
 
You see this psalmist understood that danger and  death was staring him in the face, and he had no where to turn. I am sure that what the writer went through was terrifying yet  he stopped and reminded himself of who and what his God is all about. This is what Psalm 116:7-9 says…
 
 
 

“Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”

 
 
 
I believe this chapter in Psalms can serve to remind us that in trying circumstances we absolutely must call on the Lord for our help, and we must purpose to remind ourselves of His love and care over us. Lord, we thank You that Your ear is always open to listen to our heart’s cry no matter how big or small it may seem. We thank You for your faithfulness and lovingkindness toward us!


“The Voices of Doubt and Fear”

Faith and Doubt have voices
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do we really believe what we believe? Sometimes the circumstances of life will tempt us to look away from our faith and be tempted to doubt, therefore we are set up to be double minded. When one is double minded their faith will not work. Let us look at a wonderful scripture in James that will encourage our hearts in the importance of being anchored in our faith!

 

 

James 1:6-8 (The Voice)
“The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded
commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like
those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.
Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue
them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your
compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.”
 
 
 
When we are single minded toward God we will react in faith in any given situation. If we are not single-minded it is because we are more than likely depending on our own wisdom, and we need to get knowledge of what God’s Word has to say about our situation. Another way one falls to being double minded is pride. If one fails to totally submit themselves to the Word of God they will always be tempted to rely on their knowledge or experience. God sees us to be in a dangerous place when we are not living by faith in Him, but rather trusting in our knowledge of how something should come about. 
 
 
 
I really love how this translation brings an even greater insight in the very last sentence of this portion of scripture in James 1:8… “The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy
and confused.”
 
 
 
The danger of not being single minded can cause severe consequences. Just as a compass keeps you on track, being single-minded with all that God has for you will also keep you wise, discerning and very sensitive to the voice of the Lord in the midst of trouble. Your spiritual “compass” will keep you right on target and you will remain strong, steady, and focused in the midst of a storm. This “compass” is vital because if you are in a problem, the last thing you need is to feel spiritually dizzy, confused, and not knowing which direction to turn.
 
 
 
When we are weak spiritually and our emotions are a wreck from the trial we are walking through we may find ourselves more susceptible to confusion and wrong thinking. Much of the time this is where the voice of doubt originates from. When we are not established in truth before the storm comes, we will be in trouble when we are in the midst of a trial. I am going to leave you with a poem that I absolutely love because of it’s powerful message.
 
 
 
 
 
Doubt sees the obstacle, faith sees the way;
Doubt sees the darkest night, faith sees the day;
Doubt dreads to take a step, faith soars on high;
Doubt questions, “Who believes?”
FAITH answers “I”
(Anonymous)
 
 
 

Keep your spiritual ears tuned to the Spirit of God and keep your faith strong in Him. Give no place to the voice of doubt. Allow it no room in your thoughts. I pray that this devotional has been a blessing to you today!



“Are You Guarding Your Heart?”

 
are you guarding your heart
 
by Dona Hake
I would like you to look at the art that I chose today. It is sheep out in a pasture and they are grazing in lush green grass. This picture makes me think of how our Good Shepherd watches over us, yet there is the devil who roams about seeking ways he can set us up to fall and devour us. He watches for our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. No, we do not live in fear of the tactics of the devil, but dear friend we must be wise and very diligent to make sure we are guarding our hearts at all times. We must be ever so careful to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are keeping our hearts guarded with our diligent input of God’s Word and prayer.
 
 
 
 

Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and

above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

 
 
 

We see from this scripture that our heart is able to contain springs of life from which we can draw. God wants our hearts to be full of Him and His life giving presence. I can remember recently becoming preoccupied with something on my mind that was troubling me. I can remember how the Lord ministered to my heart so sweetly yet firmly that because I was preoccupied with something that my heart was unguarded. I began to think about how diligent we are to make sure our doors to our homes are locked. We have passwords for our logins on different sites we visit on our computers, and we are encouraged to make them so difficult in order that we are not hacked. We have become so knowledgeable in realms of taking care of our bodies that we be healthy, and we strictly try to follow the dos and don’ts. Those thoughts led me to examine my diligence of guarding my heart that the evil one does not try to rob from me. My heart was convicted about going greater extremes to see that my heart was guarded and not left vulnerable to anything that would rob my peace and joy.

 
 
 
In the book of Philippians Paul wrote how we can keep the peace of God guarded in our hearts. This was his advice…
 
 
 
Philippians 4:6-9 Easy-to-Read Version
“Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.
Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. 9 And do what you learned and received from me—what I told you and what you saw me do.
And the God who gives peace will be with you.”
 
 
 

When we purpose to think on good things we are being proactive in guarding our hearts, and keeping them in the peace of God. I know for myself that when my heart is full and I mean FULL of God’s peace and faith, I face the problems of this life in His strength. Today I encourage you to watch over your heart and your thoughts. Make sure you are not walking about your day with a heart that is unguarded, for God desires to keep it with His loving peace.♥

 
 


“What Is Grace?”

 
what is grace
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
I love how our Loving God knows what we need before we understand that we even have a need or a problem. He knows the answer to every problem we face, and He understands our weaknesses as humans. As God created the heavens and the earth, His fingers worked it all like a wonderful tapestry. It all has reason and purpose, and know this…there is not one thing created without reason. Every star in heaven was placed by His hand, the seas obey their boundaries by His command, He formed and breathed life into the Man he formed. Oh what a Mighty God!
 
 
 
Today I want to share with you that before man was even created, the Word of God says that grace was here and for good reason. Remember this, God has a divine purpose for every thought He thinks and everything He does. Here is part of the scripture I want you to read and ponder…
“…that grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began.”
2 Timothy 1:9 ERV
 
 

Now let’s read the whole verse with the part you just read…

“God saved us and chose us to be his holy people, but not because of anything we ourselves did. God saved us and made us his people because that was what he wanted and it was because of his grace. That grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began.”
 
 
 
Before time began it was in the mind of God to have a holy people to call His own. He knew man would need His help so the provision of grace through Jesus Christ was already planned in God’s mind. He created us in His wisdom to do wonderful things while we live on this Earth yet we have abilities that have limitations. We may be strong but our strength has it’s limitations. Quite simply, God created us with one great need, and that need is for Him to be a part of every breath we take and every purpose we pursue. Oh that we stay aware that we must live this life by the grace of God!
 
 
 

I want to share a sweet definition of grace that I came across.

“Grace: the freely given,
unmerited favor of God;
the Spirit of God operating
in humans to regenerate
or strengthen them.”
 
 

Grace…none of us deserve it from God but He desires to infuse you with it! He desires this day to regenerate and strengthen you with it. God is so good!



“Fear Not”

fear not
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 


Isaiah 41:10 (The Voice) So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be
dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you. I am here with
My right hand to make right and to hold you up.
 

The King James Version says, “Fear not, do not look anxiously about you for I
AM your God…”

 
 
 
 

 
Fear is one of those things that everyone of us have experienced,  and when when we encounter fear, it can grip our heart.  The King James Version translates part of Isaiah 41:10 saying “do not look anxiously about you…” which gives implication of fear, panic or uneasiness in one’s heart and soul. It is good to know that our loving Heavenly Father is there for us in those times to come under us, and lift us up and hold us closely. He will sit us on the solid rock where we will not be moved and He is able to keep us.
 
 
 
 
 
I have shared this story before about my parrot JJ, and I will share it again for it fits great with this devotional.   It is a great little story and analogy to help us see our God coming to our rescue when we are in trouble. My parrot was roaming about on the outside of her cage. I permit her to do this at times, and I watch her closely. She usually is very happy just to sit on top of her “little world” and watch me and my husband. One day she decided she was going to try to get on the pie safe which is about six inches from her cage. I happened to be watching her, and I was curious what she was going to do. As she went to carefully go from her cage to the piece of furniture she slipped on the finish of the wood and began to panic, squawk loudly, and flutter her wings really fast.  She ended up on the floor, and she was so upset.   I calmly walked over to her and spoke softly and put my hand under her so she could rest on me and feel safe again. She was so sweet as she looked at me with such a sense of safety and relief. After I felt she calmed down, I put her back on her cage.
 
 
 
 
 
This reminded me how sometimes we can get ourselves in trouble and we lose our”footing.” You know…those times when we get a little over confident and  get into our own ability and from there we get  in trouble. There are also those times that you are stepping out on faith and you really have yourself out on the “limb” and it can cause fear to grip your heart. It is very easy to
panic, get in anxiety, and be fearful.
 
 
 
 
 
Isn’t it good to know that our loving Heavenly Father is right there ready to hold out His mighty right hand to calm us, and His loving voice speaks to our heart and we feel safe again.
 
 
Psalm 91:4 (TheVoice) “Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.”
 
 
 

I pray that you will see Him today as the One that is always nearby you, and only an arm’s reach away to rescue you in your time of need or trouble. Only He can calm our hearts when we are in anxiety and fear. We serve a loving and caring God!



“The Power of Determination and Perseverence”

 
the determined and persevering heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Have you ever determined yourself to do something and then “bottomed out” and
given up?   It is something that can happen to anyone of us.  After the decision is made an obstacle or
opposition stands before you and you weaken, give up and feel guilty that you
did not stick it out.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Any decision you make whether it be to do something or stop doing something, it 
must be coupled with determination and perseverance with the help
of the Holy Spirit.In this life  there will always be obstacles in our paths. If we seek
His wisdom we can begin to see that many times obstacles can just be those “pauses” in which
we learn and grow, as we seek Him in the midst of it all. No matter how big
the obstacle, if you have make a decision to do something, hold fast to the
decision to persevere until you have accomplished your desire.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Winston Churchhill said it this way, “The nose of the bulldog is slanted
backwards so he can continue to breathe without letting go.” I love this because
many times it is just a matter of not letting go. Dig in, hold fast, and don’t let
go!!! Do what you have decided to do no matter how tough the fight. Draw
upon the strength and wisdom of the Lord for He is well able to help you
accomplish that thing you have determined yourself in.
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Corinthians 15:58 (AMP)
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].”
 
 
 

~~~~~♥~~~~~




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!