“You Are a Gift”

your life is a gift jan 2015
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

 

Your life is a gift from God and you are a gift to people around you. God saw a plan for your life before you were even born. When He created you within the womb of your mother, He saw purpose, He saw a future for you, and He has wonderful plans for you to fulfill.
 
 
 
 
 

Psalm 139:14 (GW)

“I will give thanks to you

because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.

Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.”
 
 
 
 
 
Now I want to add to this thought that those that are in our life are also a gift. No…I did not say they are perfect, but God created them with a purpose as well. God has put family and friends in our life to love us, help us and walk along side of us during the good and the bad times. He has put people in our life to help us to do His will, and encourage our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 
I thank God for all my precious family members, and my friends, and especially my church family. I think the more you go on you realize that the real gifts in this life are not those that come in boxes with beautiful bows but those precious people that He has called along side of us to do His will, and help us when we need help!
 
 
 
 
 

Today I encourage you to stop and give thanks for the life and breath that He has given you. If you do not know you purpose, then simply ask Him. He is faithful to bring us answers as well as direction and instruction. Also, stop and think about all the special people that are in your life…now give thanks to God for them!



” I Run In the Path “

I run in the path
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Yesterday I had such a beautiful day with my Granddaughters! We spent the day at the river with a picnic lunch, taking short walks, and playing in the playground. I love being with the fun sized people for it almost always happens…the Lord will use what they say, and bring truth to my heart from His Word. The photo I am sharing today is one I captured of them running together. The scripture I have chosen for the inspiration for this devotional is from Psalm 119:32 (NIV)
 
 
 
 
“I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.”
 
 
 
I am thinking about the carefree spirit of a child when I look at this image, for the Lord desires that we be carefree for we are to cast our cares upon Him. As we lean our ears toward Him and heed to His Words, we will continue to learn, and grow. Along with this thought I think about the times that we may know that the Lord is trying to correct us or stop us for our own good. There may be times that we are quick to hear and obey, but how many times do we just act like we did not hear, and we just go about doing something our own way, and we end up in trouble?
 
 
 
 
 
As the girls and I were walking yesterday along the river they both decided they wanted to find some gems from the river to take home to remember their special time. It was so precious seeing them pick up rocks and shells, and squeal with excitement over their beautiful finds. One of the girls yelled for me to come over, “Grandma, look, look!!!! Look at this beautiful rock!!!!” In her hand was a piece of beautifully colored glass, smoothed the whole way around, but it did have one sharp point. I reached down and explained to her that it was indeed a pretty color but it was not a rock, it was a piece of broken glass. I began to explain how careful we need to be, and she immediately handed it over to me so we could get rid of it.
 
 
 
 

How many times does the Lord try to warn us that the “pretty thing” we are about to touch or handle is dangerous to our soul, and we better put it down? You see, the Lord desires to broaden our understanding in every area of our lives, so that we can indeed run in the path of His commands. Let us keep our hearts humble everyday that we too can let go of anything that could be harmful to our souls.

 
 
 
 


“Being Consistent With His Decrees”

oh that my actions
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 

Oh that we would consistently reflect the Lord’s ways! The psalmist wrote this, and he spoke his heart’s desire to reflect all that was right and good that he could represent God according to the decrees he knew. We too should desire this. The Amplified version of this scripture shares the secret to doing this in four words. We need to truly hear, receive, love, and obey His Word.
 
 
 
 

Psalm 119:5   (AMP)
“Oh, that my ways were directed and established
 
to observe Your statutes
[hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]!”
 
 
 
 
 
Have you ever heard something, and it went in one ear and out the other? We have all been guilty of that one. Yet, God wants us to be cautious that we do not do that when we hear the living Word of His truth. May we hear it, and take hold of it, and receive it to be our very own revelation. As we hold fast to it, love, and obey it, we will indeed reflect His decrees. Let us be faithful to read and study His Word. It is as we meditate and reflect upon the Word that it will grow within our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 
“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.”
Psalms 119:15 NLT
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, we ask you to help us to remember that as we are here on this earth, you desire to live in and through us. We are Your vessels, and we long to radiate and reflect Your life, light, and love in all that we do. Keep us humble Lord, and show us those things that would hinder us from reflecting You fully. We thank you for Your great and awesome works that you plan to do through us. Lord, “You are good and kind and do good; teach me Your statutes.” Psalms 119:68 (Amp.)
 


“Who’s Side Are You On?”

 
 
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.”
 
 
 
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.
 
 
Today, we are not only looking at God being faithful to rescue but we must always be sure that we are in deed on God’s side. Let us always be careful in the midst of a situation or life’s battle that we are thinking like God, and acting according to His Word. It is all too common for people to look for opinions from others in their time of trouble. People can be well meaning with good intentions but that by no means is an indication that their opinion should lead you in your decision making. May we know that we are listening for the still small voice, the RIGHT voice in our time of trouble. We need to concern ourselves with the 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.”
 
 
I want to encourage you today with the truth that it is always important that you are totally loyal to the truth in every area of your life. When we are dwelling and remaining loyal to the truth, this is where we will always find an abundance of strength, help, and wisdom from the Lord our God. There may be times as well that people, especially in friendships can be more loyal to their friendships or relationships than to God’s Word. What do I mean by this? Well, in those times that someone you love dearly asks you for your opinion, are you afraid to state the truth or are you afraid it will upset them? Any relationship that is truly God ordained should be able to withstand, and grow from their friend or spouse speaking firmly and lovingly to them.
 
 

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.



“Taking Every Though Captive”

 
 
 
take every thought captive dec 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I can remember last year an individual sharing an image of a church sign that they saw.   This was on Facebook, so it was open for comments and opinions, and boy did this image get some heat!   The church sign said…“We need to get rid of some of our knowledge so we can make room for belief.” There was a lot of  carnal reaction to this quote, and it was due to people trying to understand it apart from spiritual understanding.
 
 
 
 
 
You see, there are people that exalt their knowledge and opinions above everything, even the Word of God. I have heard of individuals that exclaim that they have no need for God. This is so sad to think that they are living and being guiding by their knowledge and philosophies, and living in their own ability. Today I would like to share a scripture with you along with this quote.
 
 

2 Corinthians 10:5 (AMP)

” [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…”

 
 
 
 
 
We live in a day in which information and knowledge are quickly accessed. This can be an excellent tool but let us be ever so careful that we do not trust in information and knowledge above what the Word of God says about any given situation that we are facing. I can remember a very long time ago talking with an individual in the medical profession. This individual loves the Lord yet she shared that sometimes the knowledge of the medical field can actually stand in the way of her  faith at times. Sometimes that which we know and understand in the natural can hinder us from believing in that which we do not see.
 
 
 
 
 

If someone tells you that there is no hope for your situation because of this, that, and the other…what are you going to believe? God’s Word is the highest authority for EVERY SITUATION, and as we choose to keep it in our hearts as such, we will surely be more than overcomers. I encourage you today to seek Him to help you identify wrong thinking and attitudes that would serve to keep you from thinking His thoughts, and believing before seeing. Look to Him to help you take each and every thought captive, and keep your eyes on the true knowledge of God which is His Word.



“Keeping Our Minds Renewed”

renew the mind
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Yesterday, my husband shared such an awesome message on “Mindsets”.    It was truly an amazing time in the Word of God, and I look forward to hearing part 2 next Sunday!    Oh, how our wrong mindsets can set us up for problems, and hold us back from God’s perfect will.
 
 
 
 
Recently, I had my Granddaughters on the sofa with me, and we were talking about walking in God’s love, and what that meant to them.   I opened my Bible to 1 Corinthians 13, and read.   What blessed me was there are no bright colorful pictures in my Bible to entertain their eyes and minds.    They both were cuddled closely, holding tightly to my arms, and their eyes were glued on me as I talked to them about how God loves when we love.   We began discussing how wrong thoughts that are in our minds will always cause us problems.    I was so blessed when my oldest Granddaughter spoke up and said,
 
 
 
 
“Grandma, when you have bad things in your brain, bad words are going to come out of your mouth.  You need to erase those bad things so there are only good things in your brain!”
 
 
 
 
My heart was touched to hear her speak such simple words yet they were so profound.   Today, may I encourage you to keep bad things out of your brain in order that there is only room for good things!   I believe it is a wonderful thing to strive for, and it will keep our hearts right with God.    It will also be a guard over our tongues that we may express good and edifying things to everyone around us!
 
 
 
 
 
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”



“Peace Is Not the Absence of Trouble”

 
Peace rules and reigns
 
by Dona Hake 
 
 
 
“Peace is not the absence
of trouble. Peace is the
presence of God.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
How tempting it can be for one to think that if all is going their way that this is what brings peace. One can also think that if you just go to a place where it is quiet, and you leave your problems behind, that this is peace. The truth is that you could run to the quietest place in the world, but if there is turmoil and frustration in your heart and mind, you will take it with you. Not only does it go with you, but it continues to rage on in your heart. We will find the only true peace is in the presence of our loving God.  Along with His presence, He has promised us the ultimate peace. Let us look at the following scripture, and I encourage you to read this translation slowly, and let it touch your heart.
 
 
 
 
John 14:27 (AMP)
 
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
 
 
 
 
I love how it says, “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves…” It sounds to me like we have some effort to be made on our part doesn’t it? Today I encourage you to discipline your heart and mind to look and purpose yourself to stay in the presence of your Lord and Savior Jesus.
 
 
 

Psalm 16:11 (CEB)

” You teach me the way of life.
In your presence is total celebration.
Beautiful things are always in your right hand.”



“In God Alone We Must Rest”

 
find rest my soul
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Psalm 62:5
American Standard Version

 

“My soul, wait thou in silence for God only; For my expectation is from Him.”
 
 
 
Thoughts, worries, and fears have a sly way of pulling and tugging at our souls. They start out many times as little thoughts, “no big deal” worrying, and little fears that we are convinced we can handle on our own.   Oh, that we would beware of such a way of thinking!   If such thoughts are not dealt with, any of these “small things” can snowball, and become big and out of control. In this scripture in Psalm 62, the psalmist was commanding his soul to be quiet and wait upon God. He spoke out that his expectation was from God. There are those times that we too need to speak to our souls, and command them to quiet, and be silent so that we can be at peace as we expect from the Lord our God.
 
 
 
 
 
I would like to also 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 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 could do. 
 
 
 
 
 
“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 also serve to remind us that in trying circumstances we absolutely must call on the Lord for our help, and we must purpose to meditate upon His love and care over us. Let us be diligent to think upon these truths that our souls may be calmed. As we walk before the Lord in the land of the living, let us rejoice in His mighty works He has done in our lives!



“May My Words Be Acceptable”

 
Lord I pray
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Yesterday in our devotional I shared with you the power that our tongues have.   One negative word can bring a person down, yet one positive word as the ability to life someone back to their feet, and walk forward.   Oh my….what a power we possess within us!
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Lord, are my thoughts and words acceptable to you?” This would probably be a very good question and prayer that should cross our minds often. I believe that this question would keep us out of much trouble that could easily be avoided. Many times we are quick to think things or form opinions based on our first impression. Maybe you are thinking things and speaking things based on what you have seen in the past. As a result of not asking the Lord for how you are to respond in word and in thought , you could get yourself in a difficult situation or offend someone.
 
 
 
 
 

Psalm 19:14 (AMP)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my

[firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.”

 
 
 
 
 

It is only God that knows you all too well. He understands how you tend to think and react. He knows every hurt and pain that is still in the healing process within you. He is well able to help you hold your tongue and alter your thought process. It is He that can help us to be rock solid in every area of our life because He is the Rock! Look to Him as often as you need to be your Helper today that you may think thoughts and speak words that are pleasing to Him. Lord, help us! We desire that our words are blessing to you and edifying to those around us.



“The Power of Our Tongue”

 
 
 
 
death and life
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 

There is a cliche I have heard often. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back!” Usually this is said when someone just seems they cannot go on, and they throw up their hands and just give up.    It is also used when there seems to be one situation that snowballs into a huge problem, and eventually takes it’s toll on those involved.  The idiom the straw that broke the camel’s back is from an Arabic proverb about how a camel is loaded beyond its capacity to move or stand. Many times people become paralyzed by fear of failing again or they just feel they can not go on any longer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have you ever seen someone appear to fall apart as a result of someone being unkind to them or a word spoken that was hurtful. Many times people may not realize that the careless word they just spoke could potentially put a hurting person in a very bad place. If a person is walking in a place of despair and discouragement and they feel there is no way out, they need lifted up. Oh Lord, help us to see with your eyes the hurting people around us.
 
 
 
 
                                           Proverbs 18:21 (GNT)
                         “What you say can preserve life or destroy it;
                  so you must accept the consequences of your words.”
 
 
 
 

The truth is our words carry power that not only affects us but it has the power to affect others. On a positive note I love to think of the power of one encouraging word. Have you ever been there?…you are about to give up, and one person speaks one powerful encouraging word, and out of no where you just feel that with God’s help YOU CAN!!!! There is power in our words. Never underestimate the power of death and life in our tongues. May we guard our tongues that we speak words that bring health, healing, and joy to those around us.

 
 



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!