“If You Live In the Past…”

past
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
I can remember a few years ago as my husband was sharing the word, and  he said something that just inspired my heart, and I want to share with you about it in  this devotional.  He said,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you live in the past, you’ll have no current joy.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I think one of the saddest things is seeing people live in the pain of their past yet they have so much to be thankful for in the present moment. If you live in the past, even when there are good things going on around you, you may be hindered from even noticing them.   Even the smallest of goodness around you is overlooked because you are looking in life’s rear view mirror.  The past has the ability to rob you of the good things that are in your life RIGHT NOW!    We need to stop and purposely think of each and every good thing that God has blessed us with.
 
 
 
 
 
Philippians 3:13 (TLB)“No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing
all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…”
 
 
 
 
 
I want to encourage you today that if you are tempted to look over your shoulder into your past to stop, and guard your heart, and check your attitude.   ! Stop and look at who you are today and how far God has brought you.    Ponder all the victories you have experienced as you have released your faith in the living God. Stop and think about every blessing you possess whether it be spiritual blessings, family, friends or material things. Let us not allow the wonderful joys in our present be robbed from us because we feel we are unable to go forward.
 
 
 
 
 
Know this, God can heal you from the pain and scars of your past.     He is well able to take the things in your life that have been bad, and reveal the depths of His wisdom to you.   He can give you hope for a future, and He can bring joy unspeakable into your heart and peace that passes all understanding that will permeate your mind. Enjoy the current joys that are around you and allow God to give you the strength to continue to move forward!


“His Wisdom, A Wellspring!”

 
 
Wellspring of Wisdom
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
What a wonderful thing that God’s wisdom is. As we seek it first before any task we can know that we are doing the right thing and it is in accordance with His will. Today let us meditate on how wonderful it is that godly wisdom is as a spring, a gushing stream with life giving power! As you draw upon it, it will flow to you and from you to others.  I love the thought of my words being vessels that carry life to those around me!
 
 

Wisdom may be in word or it may be in deed, and it may even be wisdom at times to just be silent. We can probably all testify of times that words have been spoken to us apart from His wisdom. Those words can hurt you, leave scars and divide the closest of relationships.

 
 
 
Proverbs 18:4 (AMP)

“The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving].”

 
 
 

May we always remember that the  wisdom of God will always be full of peace, it is always easy to be entreated and it will always be without hypocrisy. Wisdom will always stand in line with the truths of God’s Word, and there is no wavering in the words or actions of wisdom. Let us seek to be vessels of those that speak His wisdom offering words and actions that are life giving and pure. God bless you!



“…and He Shall”

heart strengthened
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I have always heard that if you need someone to help you get something done, you should ask a busy person. I love the people in my life that are there to help me. These people are faithful and dependable…they keep their word. Nothing is more disheartening than someone not following through with something, and they do not keep their word.   A faithful friend is a valuable friend.  A friend that vows to keep his word is a precious jewel.  Isn’t it wonderful that we can have a friend like this in Jesus? He is faithful and He will always keep His Word.    I praise God that we serve a living God that promises to do all that He says He will.    He desires that our hearts be of good courage and we be willing to stand fast and wait upon Him.
 
 

Psalm 27:14(KJV)

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,

and he shall

strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

 
 
 
When I was pondering this scripture to share today the emphasis I want to make is on three words and they are AND HE SHALL. The scripture does not say “wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and it is likely he will strengthen your heart.” Nor did it say “wait on the the Lord: be of good courage and perhaps he will strengthen your heart.” NO! it says, “He shall.” If He said He shall, then He will!
Thank God today that all that God promises to do in His Word, He shall do it! God is good, He is faithful, and He always keeps His Word!


“Be Patient…God Is At Work In You”

 
 
be patient God is at work in you
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Yesterday, I shared about how we need to treat others as we desire to be treated.    Sometimes we all fall short of treating people from God’s heart of love.     It is vital that we continue to walk patiently and lovingly with everyone around us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I want us to  consider  the whole realm of patiently waiting for circumstances to change in our life.   We must stand firm in our faith that God is well able to change that which we are believing for.   We cannot permit ourselves to be impatient with our Lord as His hand works on our behalf.   We cannot make Him work on our timetable but we should trust in His timing and wisdom that is at work within us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
As we meditate upon patience and it’s perfect work, have you ever had  times that you are impatient with yourself.   You may have an area in your life that you are purposing to surrender to Him, yet you find yourself failing.   It can be very tempting to put yourself down through your own words or how you see yourself.  As we pursue to grow in God’s love and in His Word there will always be opportunities to  focus too much on what we are NOT rather that how far He has brought us. With any work that needs done in us there needs to be a time of waiting for His loving hand to work. I guess there are all times we wished He would work a bit faster, but His wisdom encompasses more than we will ever understand. As He works, He promises that the transformation will indeed happen, but remember sometimes we can tend to be impatient in that which we have to wait for.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Be encouraged today that as you are applying yourself to do that which is right and good in His sight that His loving hand IS at work in your life. Guard yourself from focusing on your weaknesses but rather the gifts, the strengths and abilities He has blessed you with. As we keep our hearts humble and open to Him, He will be faithful to show us the areas in which we need to give attention. He promises to lead  and guide us  in ALL truth in every area of our lives! God bless you.



“Do Onto Others…”

do onto others
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
There is the old saying “Actions speak louder than words.”  Words can be used to build up one’s heart yet words can tear one down, and discourage them.   My heart breaks to hear of the bullying that goes on in schools, and sadly it starts at such a young age.    Wrong actions many times are proceeding from one that may have a heart that is jealous, envious, or hurt from the past.  Regardless of where they originate, hurtful words and actions can cut into the soul.   Jesus had something important to say about this, and we  have all heard these words spoken many times over…”Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” I love the Message’s translation because it sums it up simply.
 
 
 
 
Matthew 7:12 (MSG)
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:
Ask yourself what you want people to do for you,
then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
 
 
 
 
 

I love how this says to “grab the initiative and do it for them.” It is so easy to think about how we feel we should be treated but we must also take hold of the initiative to be thinking about the feelings of others around us?   With the help of God’s love, He can show us the needs of people around us. . I think the Lord desires also that we  ponder our words before we speak them, and think about how our actions affect the hearer of our words. Think to yourself, “Is this how I would want to be spoken to or is this how I would want someone to act in my presence.”

 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we ask for Your help this day to show us the depths of our hearts.   Reveal to us how to  treat people around us.  Help us to speak kind words, and do the works that You desire us to do.  We ask that you remind us by Your Holy Spirit to grab the initiative to do unto others  as we would want them to do onto us.   In Jesus Name we ask this.
 
 


“Lay Down Your Burdens”

slide-02
by Dona Hake

I love this image for it depicts a pure surrender to God.   Last week I had shared with you about identifying weights in your life, and how they can keep you from running the race for Him. He came to set us free from any thing that would hinder us from serving Him.   There is not one care in this life that the Lord wants us to try and carry on our own.   As we make the decision to turn our cares and weights over to Him, He promises to help us with them, and sustain us in the midst of dealing with
anything that  is trying to weigh your heart down.

 

Psalm 55:22


“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…”

 

I like the absoluteness of this scripture…”HE SHALL SUSTAIN THEE…” Burdens will hold you down, and burdens will keep you from moving forward into your dreams…if you are trying to deal with them in your own strength and ability.   God desires that you give Him every burden in order that He may anchor you in His hope, and keep you from being  shaken or moved.

Matthew 11:29-30 (NLV)


“Follow My teachings and learn from Me.
I am gentle and do not have pride.

You will have rest for your souls.

For My way of carrying a load is easy and My load is not heavy.”

 

I just want to encourage you to daily examine yourself that you  are not attempting to carry burdens, and  do things in your own ability.   Remember, your help is from Him, and all you have to do is ask Him to take that burden. He promised He would and He is faithful to do that which He said in His Word.



“God Is Looking…”

Contrite Spirit
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
When the Lord created all that we see, He purposed it to be beautiful.  He desires that we
enjoy all that He did as He formed the heavens and Earth with His fingers.   I often
ponder how He did it, and it always reminds me of His greatness.   I know that He
desires that we revere Him as the Creator but more importantly He desires that we
look to live in a humble state and revere His commands in every area of our life.
Think about it, He created man for His purposes, and He solely desires that
we love Him with all of our heart and do His will with every breath we take.   Let
us look at a scripture in Isaiah 66.
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah 66:2 
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 today that His eyes are looking and watching for the one who will listen and hear what He is speaking. Know that He is waiting for someone that He can use for His purposes. Think about it…He made it all and in all it’s grand beauty He is still watching for those of a humble and contrite spirit. I encourage you today to think about how He desires to use you as you purpose to remain humble and reverent to His Word.



“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!

 



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!