“God’s Amazing Grace”

amazing grace May 2015
by Dona Hake

I want you to visualize with me what it must have been like to be present during the crucifixion of our Lord. I cannot even imagine the pain and sorrow of those that followed Him. It must have be so horrible for those that loved Him to stand by and have to watch the one they loved agonizing in His death. There were those that heard what was spoken from His cross. As one point while Jesus was agonizing in his torture, and suffering He looked down and said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Amazing, isn’t it? I think of the horrible pain and suffering His body was experiencing, and He still found it in His heart to speak that which was pleasing to His Heavenly Father.

Two criminals hung on each side of Jesus dying a death they both deserved, and this was their conversation:    One of the criminals who were hanging to one side of Jesus was hurling abuse at Him,
saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are  under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has
done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43 (NASB)
Amazing isn’t it??….that a man was being crucified for his crime, and up until his last breath he found enough strength to mock the Living Son of God ? The other one that was dying on his cross looked in Jesus’ direction, and saw his need for deliverance, and believed He was indeed the Son of God. One of this man’s last words was a question to Jesus. “Will you remember me?” He believed that Jesus was who He claimed that He was, and this man’s last hope and prayer was for Jesus to remember him. Amazing isn’t it???  that Jesus assured this man by giving him a second chance.  A second chance that he did not deserve in light of his crime.
This criminal was breathing his last painful breaths yet he was asking a question that would change his life forever. This would not be a second chance to do his life over again but rather he would have the  chance to live eternally in Paradise with our Lord. The grace brought to us by the Lord is amazing isn’t it?    
He gives us all second chances in this life every time He forgives us. When we humble ourselves to
Him in our sin He simply forgives us, and wipes the slate of our heart clean. Amazing isn’t it?…He gives us something so precious, and we do not have to work for it because His Son did it all at the cross. The man on the cross did not deserve a second chance in the eyes of man, and the cross was his punishment. You see, this man’s heart was truly repentant, therefore he was with Jesus after he breathed his last breath.

Maybe you feel you have done some things, and you do not deserve a second chance.   I want to proclaim today to you that we serve a God of second chances!   Today may I stir your heart to think about what Jesus did on the cross for any sin you have ever done. There is no sin that His love and forgiveness will not cover. If you need a second chance I encourage you to look in His direction and ask Him for your heart to be cleansed and be made right with Him.. He is faithful to forgive and bless us with new  beginnings. Amazing isn’t it?

“Guard the Moment”

guarding the moment in which we are living
by Dona Hake
I am recalling a day that had extra demands, and my to do list seemed too long.   I can tend to be hard on myself and loose my peace if I feel I am not keeping up with things.  I was driving my car and I can remember right in the middle of all my anxious thoughts the Lord impressed my heart with something He wanted me to learn.   I  could not stop thinking about it because it ministered to my heart so deeply,  and I wanted to make sure I wrote it down. Since I was driving  I had to wait till I had a red light so I could jot it down but the only thing I could find to write on was a napkin.  I was happy to write it quickly on the only thing I could find for I did not want these words to slip my memory.  Those words were

“Guard the moment in which you are living.”

As I pondered these words I could see that the Lord was admonishing me to guard the peace of my heart that was available to me in which every moment I live. He spoke to  me about how I needed to just live by faith in the  moment I am presently in, and be careful to guard all that is in each moment He blesses me with.     
Have you ever found yourself thinking too far ahead, and not enjoying the blessings of the Lord and His presence? How precious it would be if we just took one moment at a time entrusting it all to Him.
How many days do we awaken with our minds burdened with care and worries?  Many times we permit our hearts to become anxious over things that have not even happened.    Worries many times originate from our fears of the future and the unknown.  There is no grace from Him for worrying about the future or trying to figure out how things are going to happen.  
Oh how sweet and blessed it would be if we lived in the peace of  the moment in which our Lord has so graciously blessed us with.   As we live by faith in the confines of the moment we can remain quiet in our souls and hear His sweet whispers and His gentle direction that we need.   I love this thought of living in the moment with Jesus. 
Today I encourage you to first of all just live one moment at a time, and partake of His grace in everything you put your hand to. Guard your heart with all diligence for from it flows all the issues of this life.   There are testimonies in your life that are milestones  of His great works…remind yourself of them when you walk through trials. These testimonies serve to encourage our hearts of God’s work and greatness toward us.  These are the moments that live on in our memories and serve to remind us that we serve a good God and we have been blessed with a good life.  Be blessed as you go about your day treasuring every moment in Him!

“May We Never Forget”

we will never forget
by Dona Hake
A few days ago I heard  a young man being interviewed, and he said such a powerful thing.  He was talking about going into the fight to destroy the enemy that is presently in a relentless pursuit of  terrorizing, torturing, and many are dying as martyrs for the name of our Lord by this group.  The woman interviewing this young man said, “Aren’t you afraid of being captured?”   His response was powerful, and convicting to my heart…He said, “When you do not fear death, you do not fear being captured.   If we are captured we are willing to die for the cause.”    I still am touched thinking about his response.   
Today I want to encourage you to remember those in the many wars in the past that also embraced that attitude.   To remember something is to keep it retained in the heart and mind.   It is when one purposes to remain aware of something.   In the past there have been men and women that  went into the battle determined to fight for the cause of our freedom.   Only thing is they never returned to enjoy the freedom they went to fight for.    Today let us think often in our hearts, and be thankful for the many freedoms you enjoy today.  

President Abraham Lincoln referred to one dying for his country as the full measure of devotion.   The valor of men and women that never came back from war made possible our freedoms, our values, and our very existence.


Did you know that a few years ago Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act. It asked Americans to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. local time and think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  

It may seem like a small gesture, but it’s a way to, however briefly, keep faith with those heroes and maintain a tradition worth keeping.
Romans 13:7 (AMP)

“… respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.”


“Let Us Praise Him For His Loving Works”

let us praise Him for his loving works
by Dona Hake
I love thinking about all that the Lord has done in my life, and  I can testify of the many wonderful works in my life since I became a child of His.  His hands work in so many ways. Some days you may see His hand as He has guided you in a tough decision. There will be times that you can exclaim that you have seen His hand of protection upon your life. There may also be times that you know that His loving hand reached out, and stopped you before you made a decision that could have caused you severe consequences. As we look to God and submit to Him we will experience the work of His hands in so many ways.   His ways are way above and beyond whatever we could dream!
Psalm 92:4
Amplified Bible
“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of
Your hands I joyfully sing.”
The word hands in this scripture is translated as a hand that is open, and it indicates power, and a means of direction. I love this because I know that God desires that His hand be moving in our lives. He desires as He walks with us through our day that we acknowledge our need to be looking to hold it.   Sometimes little ones do not understand the importance of holding tightly to their parent’s hand in a potentially dangerous situation.  A child may resist because he or she may  want to do things their way,  and therefore they could endanger themselves. We too at times think we may not need to hold the Lord’s hand because we think we can do things in our own ability. May I say that this is only pride that one could think they are able to walk any day in this life without holding tightly to the Lord’s hand?

God’s loving hand desires to lead, guide and be a means of direction every day of our life. Those same hands that direct us are there to comfort us in our times of pain. Let us receive all of His loving comfort, and do not seek it in other things that this world has to offer. The same hands that offer guidance and comfort will at times offer warning to us.
Let us remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves.   He knows what our weaknesses are, and He knows the wisdom and grace we need. Today I encourage you to think about the works of God’s hands in your life, and give praise to Him!

“We Walk By Faith”

we walk by faith and not by sight
by Dona Hake
For the past few days I have been sharing about Peter stepping out of the boat, and walking on the water to meet up with Jesus. As I said yesterday we need to remember that out of all the disciples, Peter was the only one that ventured to release his faith, and step out of the boat.Today let us continue to meditate upon  how vital it is to stay focused on God, and His Word when we step out of the “boat” and walk in faith in an area of our life.
The lesson we can learn from Peter is that in a split second his focus and faith was hindered . You see, when he initially stepped out of the boat, there were wind and the waves, and his faith caused him to rise above anything he saw or heard.   Although he stepped out in faith, the wind and the waves began to distract him, and fear entered his heart.  Broken focus can do so much harm to one’s walk of faith.   

As I was meditating upon keeping focus I started to think about blinders, and their use on horses. There is  definite purpose, and benefits to do such a thing, and that is for the focus and protection of both the horse and the rider. I would like to share some things that I found regarding using blinders on the horse, and I hope they will serve us as an interesting analogy, and give us greater understanding in the realm of focus, and teach us to rise above distractions.
The blinders cover the rear vision of the horse, forcing it to look only in a forward direction, and keeping it on track. Farming horses can be predisposed to distractions, and if they are pulling a plow or a wagon they might need blinders to stop them from losing concentration on the direction they are supposed to be headed. Race horses also need blinders to stay focused that they can run a race, stay on course, and not be taken by distraction.

In light of sharing about horses and blinders I want to refer to scripture that is all about our faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 is basically summed up in a few words…We walk by faith and not by sight. Many times it is the very things that we see that seem so sure and secure, yet those are the things that will hinder us the most from believing God to do the unbelievable. There are those times that we will need to purpose ourselves to look past everything in the natural, and see into the Spirit in order that we can stay focused and stay in faith.
God’s Word is total light and life,and His Word will  keep us focused and on track in the fight, and in our walk. Let us be reminded that whenever we step out that God is there walking along
side of us. As we look to His Word and refuse to be moved by what we see in the natural we will begin to see Him moving in our lives in ways we never have imagined. “…now unto Him who is ABLE to above and beyond all we dare ask or  think.” Ephesians 3:20

“Walking On the Water By Faith”

stepping out on the water
by Dona Hake
Yesterday I shared about the story in the Bible where Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water to walk to Jesus. I want to emphasize again for you to just think about the courage it must of taken him to get out of the boat. His question to the Lord was, “If that’s you, tell me to come.” and Jesus proclaimed that yes indeed it was Him. Many times we will ask the same question when we fear stepping out in something bigger than us in this life. God may be speaking to your heart to do something and your prayer has been “Lord if this is you, I will do it.”

It is very important to know that when we are purposing to do God’s will that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is Him. Yet there can be those times  that it seems a bit sketchy or too big for us to grasp how it is going to fall together. Getting out of our “boats” in this life could mean different things to each of us. All of us are at different growth levels and the Lord is molding and making each of us in His timing and in His perfect way. It is always important that we remember that the Lord requires our our obedience to His Word and to His voice at all times.

Saying all that I have said, I want to remind you today that Jesus is the author and finisher of YOUR faith. He desires to perfect all that concerns you in this life. He is the one who gives you incentive for your faith and He is the one who completes your faith. He is your example and you must look to that example if you become weak in heart from the discouragement that may come to rob your soul of hope and purpose.
Hebrews 12:2 The Voice
“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.”

Getting out of the boat for you may be God speaking to you about changing to a different job, going on a mission’s trip, sharing the Word of God with someone…etc. Sometimes getting out of the boat for someone may be the need for courage to face a confrontation. No matter what it is, Jesus is right there on the water with you. He has been there and done it, and He will complete that thing that you desire to set your faith upon.
Philippians 3:13 Easy-to-Read Version
“Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is
one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach
the goal before me.”
Maybe today is the day that you are planning to step out of the boat in an area of your life, and do something that you have never done before. If you know that in your heart, then it is time to STEP OUT!!!!! I encourage you to look to Jesus, and stay focused upon Him. Do not dwell on the past when you tried, and you were moved by the “wind and the waves” of this life. Jesus is there, and He will walk with you. God bless you as you walk with Him today!

“When Jesus Calls You To Step Out”

when jesus calls you to step out of the boad
by Dona Hake
Today I want to share about doing things that seem impossible. We serve a God that wants to keep our hearts challenged to live by faith. We must dare to step out and serve Him even when it looks to us like we cannot do it. Today we will look at a wonderful account of Jesus doing the supernatural and inviting one of His disciples to join Him.
The disciples were in their boat and Jesus had told them to head to the other side because He planned to meet up with them later. Jesus was spending time in prayer as He desired to be alone with his Heavenly Father. Matthew’s account of the story is as follows:

Matthew 14:25-31 (Easy to Read Version)
“Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus’ followers were still in
the boat. Jesus came to them. He was walking on the water. When they saw
him walking on the water, it scared them. “It’s a ghost!” they said,
screaming in fear. But Jesus quickly spoke to them. He said, “Don’t worry!
It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” Peter said, “Lord, if that is really you, tell me to
come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come, Peter.” Then Peter left the 
boat and walked on the water to Jesus. But while Peter was walking on the
water, he saw the wind and the waves. He was afraid and began sinking into
the water. He shouted, “Lord, save me!” Then Jesus caught Peter with his
hand. He said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”

I think there are so many lessons to learn from this portion of scripture. Peter always seems to be remembered for being the dear old soul that was always sticking his foot in his mouth. Isn’t it interest that it was  the disciples that were frightened as they saw someone on the water walking towards them, but it was Peter that stepped out in his heart first to find out what was going on. When he asked, “Lord, IF that’s you…tell me to come.” Peter was at least willing to get out of the boat. I made emphasize on the words “But while Peter was walking on the water…” Let us be reminded here that Peter was doing the exact same miracle that Jesus was.
So many read this and place emphasis that Peter was moved by the wind and the waves and he sunk. Let us focus on the fact that Peter WAS walking on the water. Even if it was only a few steps, I always think about the faith that was in his heart that caused him to try and reach the Lord by way of the impossible in the natural.   I find it interesting as well that he was that  close to Jesus when he began to sink, and all Jesus had to do was reach out and grab his hand.  Really, Peter was almost there.
Peter was walking in the miracle yet his reasoning made him begin to sink.  Think about it…Peter was on top of the water bypassing all laws of nature.   I can only imagine how wonderful and awesome those few seconds of his faith were.   Peter just simply permitted his reasoning to challenge and pull down his faith.  There may be times that we are only an arm’s reach away from victory and circumstances seem to weaken us.     Many times it is when we are closest to victory that the devil will try to distract us with anything that will tempt us to reason away the Word of God on which we are standing. Think about it…simple reasoning of what Peter’s eye’s saw and what his ear’s heard caused him to begin to go down.  I will leave you with this scripture:

Proverbs 3:5 (NASB)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.”

I want to challenge your heart with this story. Many times Jesus is calling us out of our “boats” and these “boats”  are actually our comfort zones. He is calling us to cry out for courage to get out of our comfort zone, and walk in a whole different realm. This realm or new task He may be calling us to walk in may challenge our faith like never before.

As we trust Him, He will give us all that we need to do that which He desires to accomplish in us. We serve a God that is always an arm’s reach away from us, so let us trust in Him and not be moved by what we see or hear!  Accept the challenges that the Lord sets before you to step out of your comfort zone, and walk toward Him with unwavering faith!

“God’s Perfect Love”

Gods perfect love casts out all fear_edited-1
by Dona Hake
Good day to all of you!   I apologize that there was no devotional for the past two days.   Once again we are experiencing some issues that has hindered my use of the internet.    It is still not totally resolved but I am thankful that I can create this today for you!  Today we are going to reflect upon the perfect love of our perfect and loving God.
Oh how important it is that we  acknowledge and continue to confess the truth that God’s perfect love will always cast out fear, yet at times when fear strikes our hearts we can be tempted to be shaken.   May we stop in those moments, and remember that Jesus has promised to never leave us or forsake us.    He has promised that He can cause our souls to lie down in green pastures, and sooth our restless souls.   In the reading of the Psalms you can find David speak to his own disquieted and anxious soul.   He always would end with “my hope is in God!”   As we quiet ourselves in His presence, and remember our hope,  we begin to receive the instruction of what we need to do, and in His time we see the manifestation of our prayers. Sometimes after we get through circumstances we take a deep breath in the Spirit, and  we may sometimes ask ourselves, ” Why was I so afraid? In light of this let us look at I John 4:18 from the Amplified version:
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete,
perfect) love [a]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For
fear [b]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid
has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s
complete perfection].”

 As I have said many times before it seems the Lord speaks to me in the everyday happenings of my life and I love it.   In light of sharing about fear, I would like to share a little story about my German Shepherd that seems to be fearless yet there is one thing that can tip her off, and make her a bit scared and nervous.  It’s that three letter word …the VET!   .   No matter how much I try to comfort her, she hates going to the vet.   One time  I took her when she was a bit younger, and she was quivering and shaking.   It was so pitiful.  With every bit of strength I had and the use of her choker, I had to drag this 85 pound bundle of fur back into the doctor’s office. I had her there for a shot and a nail trim, but for her it was walking into the fear of the unknown!
There is one particular vet technician that is so calm, sweet and loving and she totally understands how to handle the German Shepherd breed. She sweetly calmed Aasha, and it wasn’t long that she was at peace. Aasha totally submitted to this woman yet she kept her eyes locked on me. All her fear seemed to leave as long as she could see me. My presence helped dispel her fears. After the exam, shots and nail trim, it was interesting observing her leaving the doctors office. She pranced out the door looking like, “hey, that wasn’t so bad, when can we do this again?” I might also mention that
I gave a sigh of relief that I got through it with her and it all turned out okay!

I want to refer back to the scripture in light of this little story. “Perfect love makes our fear leave and expels every trace of terror!” Next time fear knocks on the “door” of your heart try to remember to keep your eyes on Him and visualize yourself experiencing the power of His love, and presence making every trace of fear and terror leave you. Fear and torment must obey, and leave the premises of your mind and soul in Jesus Name.    Today let us ponder the power of His perfect love.

“In the Same Way…”

in the same way
by Dona Hake
Proverbs 27:17 (The Voice)
” In the same way that iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character
of his friend.”

I shared with you yesterday about being a friend that is loyal to the truth, and living uncompromisingly in your friendships.   I love the scripture from Proverbs 27:17, and I love the challenge it brings. I am sure everyone reading this has a friend or maybe you have many friends.  A true friend will
keep their eye on you, and they will get to know your heart. They will be able to observe by a mere, slight change on your face that something is troubling you. In the event you fail or make a mistake, a true friend will never leave you. A true friendship withstands much hardship, and will continue to grow in the midst of trials.   In fact we will see that the trials actually will be us stronger, if we handle them in God’s wisdom and His ways.   An individual that loves their friend dearly will also desire to share their own personal strengths,  and also draw from the strengths of their friend.


May we be ever mindful to be grateful to our Lord for the faithful friends that He has put in our lives.  Thank God for those friends that have not walked away from us when they see our faults and they purposed to love us instead. We should be so thankful for those friends that love us enough to
speak God’s Word even when we do not want to hear it. Many times our mind and emotions may not want to hear the truth but our hearts should be rejoicing at the voice of godly counsel. We must value it, and allow it to minister to us that we can be sharpened by it both in character and in countenance.

Proverbs 27:9
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s
friend by hearty counsel.”

Today I encourage your heart to seek Him, and ask Him to help you be the best friend you can be to those that He has divinely put in your life. I pray that you will recognize the God given strengths in your friends .   As iron sharpens iron, let us be willing to be used to sharpen as well as be sharpened!

“A Friend Loves At All Times”

a friend loves at all times may 2015
by Dona Hake
Over the past few days I have been sharing about the importance of living by the truth of our Lord. I would like to continue in our meditations upon truth, and how it applies to our friendships. Our conviction about the truth we hear and receive will truly make us who we are. It will cause us to be unmovable no matter what the circumstances. You will be able to stand in faith because you live and move and have all of your  being in Him. It is vital to live by the truth you have believed in every aspect of your life.

Let us focus on how God sees friendship, and how our living by the truth is so important as we nurture and maintain our friendships.   We need to desire to be the friend that will be truthful and honest at all times. Many times people are very loyal in their relationships, and that is a good thing although we must first and foremost be loyal to the truth. Many times an individual is so loyal in a friendship that they fear to speak up and speak truth for fear of losing that relationship.  I have shared this quote numerous times before, but I feel it is powerful.   Actually, I have it hanging on my desk because I love it so much.


“This above all:to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”


In a friendship the truth in your heart can never be compromised. If you know something to be true in your heart and you do not stand by it, your conscience will make you miserable and to be quite honest…that is a warning that you better heed to. It is like the pain in your body that is speaking on it’s behalf letting you know something is wrong. Never water down the truth in you just for the sake of being accepted by someone. I shared with you the other day a quote, “That which you compromise to keep you will ultimately lose.”
It is a sad thing when one allows a conviction to fall by the wayside just so they can be part of the fun they may feel they are missing. When you live by the truth in your heart, that truth will rule your decision making. That truth will be the standard that you live by, and you will make wise choices because of that truth. If you are a friend that desires to be a godly friend, you should always seek to
speak truth and honestly in a matter. Many times people will view a good friend as someone they merely vent to and then draw sympathy from them. A true friend will speak of the truths that they know that will be of help to you in your situation. That truth will be boldly spoken even if it hurts. The following are two different translations of Proverbs27:6.

The Voice
“Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful;
the abundant kisses of an enemy show his lies.”

Easy-to-Read Version
“You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts. But your enemies
want to hurt you, even when they act nice.”

Let me say it this way…many times when we are hurting we can be tempted to want to hear the easy way out of something. Be very cautious if in the midst of a problem you look for people to just vent to and not want to hear good counsel. Something is very wrong if you do not want to hear good counsel . Many times that which we need to hear is the hardest to swallow but so are some of those expensive vitamin pills we take! They may be hard going down but the benefits and blessing are worth it all.
I have had encounters with individuals that have sought my counsel and asked me what I have thought and afterwards they said my words “hurt.” Proverbs 27:6 says it plainly that wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove that he is faithful. Seems contradictory I guess to some but really a good friend will not go against their heart when asked their opinion. That is what being true to yourself is all about.

Today I encourage you to think about the kind of friend you are. Are you willing to speak the truth even if it hurts? I pray that this has given you some food for good thought in this area. God bless you as you serve Him today.

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!