“Dare To Love”

dare to love
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Love does not remember wrongs done against it.” 1
Corinthians 13:5-6  (ERV)
 
 
Today we are going to focus on the power to forgive through love.   NOT your human love, but God’s love within you.  Everyone has a measure of love, but human love has boundaries and limitations. When someone sins against us or hurts us it can be painful. We can be assured that the Lord knows our frame very well,  He absolutely understands our emotions, and our thought processes.He knows what it is like to be falsely accused yet He kept His mouth shut, and He walked in forgiveness, and refused to hate.
 
 
 
Sometimes people say they forgive but they choose not to forget. This is where the whole issue of “taking account of wrongs” begins.    When we take account of hurt, we are making it even harder for our hearts to flow in God’s forgiveness.    Believe me, our memories will faithfully remind us of our hurt.   The mere mention of a person’s name or seeing their face will cause something to go off inside of you, and your memory will replay the hurt you experienced.   Every time you permit your mind and unforgiving heart to replay the past, the pain or hate will take root and go deeper and deeper.
 
 
 
The longer we hold onto the pain, and all the details of the  offense, the more it will eat away at our hearts, and tear us down physically. We are the ones that become prisoners when we choose to withhold forgiveness from the one that has hurt us. I believe we can ask the Lord to help us with the pain and the memories that hurt has caused us. Sometimes even after you have forgiven you may still bear scars from that particular hurt, but praise God you have forgiven, and you are free from the terrible effects of hate and bitterness in your heart! You know when you are free from any pain someone has caused you when you find  yourself able to  talk about the past, and you feel absolutely no resentment toward the individual that hurt or offended you.
 
 
 
 
As a child I have one memory in particular that was painful to me. I was only about five years old, yet if I think about it, it is as if it happened yesterday. I can remember anger being exhibited toward me, and I was unfairly treated.    I can honestly say that I forgave that person for the anger and unfair treatment that was exhibited toward me that day. After I was born again as a young woman I began to experience God helping me to see people as He sees them, He showed me how to forgive that individual and He gave me compassion like I had never experienced.
 

 

We live in a world of hurt and pain.   If you are trying to escape that fact, you are not facing life in reality.  We have all been hurt and maybe some of us have caused hurt to someone and you were on the receiving end of forgiveness. Just remember when people have hurt you, God commands us to forgive.

 
 

Matthew 18:20-21 The Voice (VOICE)Peter:
” Lord, when someone
has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him? Once?
Twice? As many as seven times?”Jesus:
” You must forgive not
seven times, but seventy times seven.”
 
 
 

Our God never requires anything of us than He will not equip us to do. Remember also how the Lord Jesus looked down from the cross  and said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Let
us be reminded to look to Jesus everyday as our example. Forgiveness is a must to keep us experiencing and giving His love, and keeping your heart totally free.  I encourage you to dare to love, and choose forgiveness.

 



“…and They Will Soar”

soar
 
by Dona Hake
 
Today my patience with technology (a.k.a. my computer) is being tested, and at first I dealt with some frustration but I have made a decision to “soar” above this problem. As I am typing I am trusting the Lord for Him to help me recall this whole devotional that just disappeared. You see, a few minutes ago I had it completed and ready, and my computer got a bit testy and deleted the whole thing. No, this is not a big problem, but isn’t it stuff like this that can cause our day to be off to a bad start if we allow it to? I am reminded that no matter how big or small problems are, it is me that has to make the decision to rise above it, pull up my bootstraps and carry on.
 
 
 
So here we go…In the book of Isaiah, he wrote particular words of encouragement that would cause us to seek the Lord’s strength in times of storms that will occur in our life. Let us look at Isaiah 40.
 
 
 
Isaiah 40:31 The Voice
“But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint.”
 
 
 
This scripture is very precious to my heart. Nothing is so majestic as seeing an eagle fly over you. I can remember photographing an eagle family watching over their eggs, and it was so awesome, but never did I see one soar in flight. One morning I was blessed to look up as I was driving because I saw an eagle soaring right high above my car. Oh how I desired to pull over and take the sight in as long as possible, but time did not permit me to do so.
 
 
I find it so interesting that Isaiah likened us to rise above the storms of life as the majestic eagle. He said, as we trust in the Lord our God we will regain the strength that the storm is trying to drain us of. Life does not have to make us feel winded, weary, and weak, but rather we can be infused with God’s strength to will rise above the storm. In those times that we truly do experience loss of strength and vigor for this life, we can turn to Him, and draw upon His strength and grace to continue on. Let us look more at the beautiful attributes of the eagle.
 
 
 
An eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it arrives. It will search out a high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. He simply soars. He is above the storm, and the storm is beneath him. He is soaring, yet the storm is in progress. Interesting, isn’t it? We can learn from the eagle during the storms of our lives. We too can rise above them as we draw upon God. As we set our sights upward to Him, we can ride it out and sustained that we not grow weary. He will keep us that we can continue on, not grow tired and not faint.
 
 
 
There are two words I want to leave you with that are the secret of remaining in the “high places” of God. These words are ~abide~ and ~hide~. To abide is to stay, remain, DO NOT leave!!! Even as we are in the midst of our busy day, we can still be in that high place. Second, it is our hiding place! I am not speaking of “sticking you head in the sand” type of hiding place either! It is that place where no matter what is breaking loose around us, our peace needs not to be disturbed. We serve a God that has provided us an abiding and hiding place, and is well able to cause us to soar!!!
 
 
 
 
Psalm 91  (ERV)
“You can go to God Most High to hide.
You can go to God All-Powerful for protection.
 I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress.
My God, I trust in you.”
God will save you from hidden dangers
and from deadly diseases.
 You can go to him for protection.
He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies.
You can trust him to surround and protect you like a shield.”
 
 
 


‘How Is Your Heart?”

How is Your Heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Jesus knows the condition of your heart like no one else. He knows your hurts,  He knows how it beats inconsistently for Him at times, and He well knows that there are times your heart is not strong. He sees the pain of your heart, and He  understands why your heart may be scared from past experiences. He well understands your heart’s history, and He is the best Physician you will ever meet up with!
 
 
 
 
 
This devotional came from words that inspired me in one of my husband’s sermons a few years ago.   He shared how Jesus stands at the door of our hearts. He is a gentleman and He will not push Himself on us. He is not trying to sell anything, He is trying to just give all that He is to you. I began to think about the famous painting of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. As a little girl that painting always struck me as mysterious for some reason. Most of the paintings of this particular image of Jesus at the door shows one very significant thing missing and that is the door knob.
 
 
 
 

He stands gently at the door of every man’s heart and as He knocks He knows if you are there or not. He knows what is inside. Patiently He knocks and if no one answers, patiently He waits and listens. You see if there were a door knob He would be able to turn it and just walk in. From the beginning He created us with a choice and that is to choose right from wrong. He will not push,and He will not shove Himself upon us.
 
 
 
 

The portrait of Jesus standing at the door depicts His desire to be in fellowship with every man,woman, and child. He desires to shed all of His great mercies in the direction of anyone who wants Him. He desires to wash away all sin and forget it all. Allow Him to come in, be your best Friend and fellowship with you every moment that you can. He desires to examine your heart and speak to you in a special way. God is a God of all good things and He desires to open the windows of Heaven and just pour it in your direction. Blessings to you this day!


“The Pure Heart”

A Pure Heart Christian Bulletin
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I can remember once thinking about how people use the phrase. “They do not want to talk about it because the whole thing was swept under the rug.”   In other words they are acting like it never happened, and as long as people cannot see it, they are okay with that.    I remember when one day I was tidying up in my family room I grabbed my broom to sweep right inside my door which is the entrance to our backyard. It is one of those areas I could clean three times a day and there is always dirt because our German Shepherd has these four paws that are always tracking dirt in to the house. I swept this neat little pile dirt and grass and it was by the rug and for some reason I stood there and just glanced at the pile of dirt beside my throw rug.  That idiom “it was just swept under the carpet.”  crossed my mind I began to think how lazy and kind of irresponsible  that would be to just lift the rug and brush it underneath.
 
 
 
 
This thought really triggered in me how so many times people really do practice this in their hearts.
It is a very sad thing when one just tries to hide a problem or keep a problem secret instead of dealing with it. Let us just say that it is not healthy to pretend like a problem is not there or act as if it is going to go away on its own. Let’s read this scripture in light of what I just shared:
 
 
 

Psalm 51:9-10 (The Voice )
“Cover Your face so You will not see my sins,
and erase my guilt from the record.
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
restore within me a sense of being brand new.”
 
 
 
 

I love this scripture because it seems that David was so humiliated by his sin that he did not even want God to see what he did. I believe that it is of utmost importance that we desire first and foremost that our hearts be pure before God. It is when you sin and it does not bother you anymore that you are really in a dangerous place. Thank God for conviction! When we are honest and humble before Him, we just ask God to cleanse us of our sin, and the sin is simply washed away to be seen no more.
 
 
 
 
 
If you begin to practice the habit of ignoring your faults and shortcomings you will sadly master being a pretender and you will not be walking close with God like you think you may be. We should all desire that our hearts are totally clean and we should purpose to maintain a pure heart and sense of being brand new. All we have to do is continue to stay in His presence and humble ourselves when we make
mistakes. I love how the Lord keeps things so simple for us so we can walk with Him in this sometimes complicated life. I pray you walk close to Him today. Keep your heart clean and allow Him to
speak to you about every area of your life. We serve a merciful and loving God!


“For Such A Time As This”

for such a time as this
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
One of the first things our God did in creation was to not only create but to separate. and He separated the light from the dark. As we live our lives as victorious believers we too must keep our
hearts, soul, and mind separate from the ways of darkness. I think sometimes when people read such a statement that I just shared the first inclination is to think of not doing bad things. We do not just up and do bad things, it begins with small thoughts that evolve into walking a wrong path, making a decision contrary to the truth, or not holding fast to His Word in our life.
 
 
 

We are living in a time where spiritual darkness is on the increase. My heart is extremely grieved to see when believers refuse to acknowledge this. It is not that they do not see it but they go about their business just trying to stay happy, keep busy and maintain a comfort zone. As we continue to walk in His Word I believe that in the midst of this deep darkness that is covering our earth with deception, that something very wonderful is going to transpire in Spirit like never before.  
In order for God to sweep this earth and bring many to Him, we MUST 
remain strong, upright and diligent to walk in His truth.
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 112:4 The Voice
“When life is dark, a light will shine for those who live rightly— those
who are merciful, compassionate, and strive for justice.”
 
 
 

I believe many weaken  and do not persist in their faith solely because they are afraid of the condition of the world. We as believers need to be aware of what is going on in the world so that we can be diligent to pray. As we persist in His Word and proclaim it as we live uprightly, HE HAS PROMISED that light will shine for us in the midst of darkness. We cannot stick our heads in the sand, and pretend it is not happening. I do not sit and watch the news 24/7 but I find it important to find a good news source, and follow to the degree of being aware. Let our hearts be strengthened in knowing that…
 
 
 

We do not have
to be
afraid
for such a time as this we are here.
 
 
 

Jesus addressed fear in the book of Matthew and we need to refer to this scripture today in light of what I am sharing:
 
 
 
Matthew 24:5-7 Amplified Bible
 “For many will come in (on the strength of) My name appropriating the
name which belongs to Me, saying, I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will
lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you
are not frightened or troubled, for this must take place, but the end is not
yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there
will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;”
 
 
 

Continue to shine for Jesus and hold fast to His promises. God is calling us in such a time as this to be beacons of light to a world that is looking for answers to their fears and they  the hope we can bring to them.



“Where Does Your Help Come From?”

my help comes from the lord above
 
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…”
 
 
 
 
 
Looking anxiously about  implies that one would be uneasy, fearful or panicking. 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.
 
 
 

Today as I was meditating on this scripture I recalled an incident with my parrot that is a great analogy of this scripture. One morning while I  was preparing for the devotional, I had my coffee sitting at my sofa and my parrot was having her “freedom time” roaming about the outside of her cage.   She enjoys sitting on top of her little world and watching me.   She usually climbs around her cage exploring. It is kind of cute because she has this “I’m big stuff” attitude as she is enjoying her freedom.
 
 
 
 
 
On this particular day she got a little bit daring and decided to try to go from her cage over to a
cupboard that sits about one foot away from her cage. She was trying to be ever so cautious before she went from her cage to the cupboard.  Her confidence got her into a bit of trouble. Her mistake was that she did not have proper footing and she slipped. She frantically started to flap her wings but could not fly because I just had her wings clipped. She went from frantic to  panic.  She was so upset as she sat on the floor looking up at me.   I calmly walked toward her and spoke softly saying, “It’s ok JJ, I’ll help you.” It was amazing how I could see the fear in her little eyes. I gently reached my finger out and under her feet.   As she stepped up, she stopped the panic, rested on my hand, and she immediately calmed down.  
You see, as she felt my hand she felt safe again. As she sat there resting she looked at me with such a thankful look and I put her back on her cage where she felt safe again.
 
 
 
 

It reminded me how sometimes we can get ourselves in trouble and we lose our “footing.” You know…those times when you get a little over confident and you get into your own ability and from there you got yourself 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, calm us with His loving voice and lift us up to that safe place.
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 91:4 (The Voice)
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. He is so good. I pray you will have a day that is prosperous and blessed!


“You Are God’s Light”

you are gods light
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 I would like to share this quote with you because I love it and it
is so true…
 
 
”To reach a great height a person needs
to have great depth.”
Anonymous
 

I think it is important that we as believers have a hope within us that we will continue to grow deeper and deeper in Him. Refuse to stand still and be stagnant. We must desire to walk in the deep waters of the Holy Spirit 
and grow by them.   May we see the roots of our spiritual life growing consistently, and  deeply.
 
 
The evil of this world is moving at a swift pace and we need to continue to prepare ourselves to be used by Him to give God’s Word where ever our assignment is. As we hear God’s Word today  I pray that you will receive all that you are expecting from Him. Remember we must walk into His green pastures with expectation in our hearts. Rest in  the peace and fellowship of fellow believers, and hear His Word with gladness and a receptivity.
 
 
If you are weary, expect to be refreshed. If you are dealing with a difficult circumstance, expect the Lord to speak through your Pastor. The Lord Jesus desires that we continue to go deeper and deeper in our knowledge of Him that we would be fruitful in every good work. As we grow in Him we will have an abundance within us that is spilling over to a lost and dying world. The world needs what we
have and we must be ready to share it with them. 
 
 
Matthew 5:15 Common English Bible 
“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of
a lamp stand, and it shines on all who are in the house.”
 
 
 
As you enter your job this week expect your light to shine on ALL that are around you. Expect opportunities to share, to listen, and just do whatever He asks you to do! I am going to wrap this devotional up with the following  scripture as a prayer just for you!
 
 
Ephesians 3:17-19 Easy-to-Read Version

“I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray
that your life will be strong in love and be built on love.  And I
pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to
understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how
high, and how deep that love is.  Christ’s love is greater than
anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that
love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you.”

 


“New Every Morning”

 
 
 
 
 
 new every morning
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

This morning while having my coffee I heard a gentleman on the news sharing his take on a particular court case, and since he was an attorney, everyone was interested in his opinion. They were all talking about a Federal judge being misled in a case by the one attorney that was appointed to the case. He said, “This is really bad, I mean I would rather anger God than a Federal judge. You know God is forgiving, a Federal judge is NOT!!!”  Honestly, it made me chuckle!

 

 

 

I began to think how any human’s mercy has boundaries and an end but thank God the Lord’s mercies and forgiveness have no limits. After David had sinned with Bathsheba, and sought to repent before the Lord, this was his prayer…
 
 
 

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions.”

Psalm 51:1 (Amplified)
 
 
 
 
I encourage you today to meditate upon the Lord’s mercies and His lovingkindness that is ever coming in your direction. This is probably the very first thing I speak to Him each morning because I know I can not live without His mercy toward me, and I am so thankful for His forgiveness. May we never take for granted the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for us that we may be free from our sin. If you need your heart cleaned up, do not hesitate to humble yourself, but rather seek Him and ask Him to wash you clean through His shed blood, and have your soul restored unto Him.


“He Makes Me Whole”

he makes me whole
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
 

 

He lovingly steers us away from worn, hard paths, yet how many times do we
return to them. Those worn, hard paths could be habits and patterns in our lives
that have ultimately gotten us in trouble. These worn paths are those that have
developed because we seem to keep doing the same thing over and over again.
 
 
 
 
God is calling us to allow Him to step in and guide us on the paths of His desire for us.
Maybe you have walked the path of a habitual worrier. Maybe your worn, hard
path has been one of constantly walking in fear and anxiety over your
future. Regardless of what it is we can make the choice to walk on the path that
is guided by His hand. His hand deals only in truth and right things. His path
does not make provision for us to walk in our own ability but rather draw upon His.
 
 
 
 
Have you ever been in a place where there is some sort of fragrance.  It 
may be flowers or it may be someone’s perfume.  Someone carried that fragrance into
the room whether they were holding or carrying it.   The fragrance was echoing a smell!
I personally love the smell of vanilla, and I can immediately recognize it when that
smell is in the air.   Vanilla is a comforting and soothing smell.   Think about people that walk in
much anxiety, worry or fear.   Think about those that are constantly thinking and speaking negative things.   They too are bringing something into a room, and it is not conducive to a peaceful and joyful atmosphere.   Now, think about how this Psalm is saying that as we are steered 
away from those worn, hard paths what our lives will begin to echo truth and righteousness.
 People around you will begin to notice that your life, your words, decisions, etc…are a reflection
of a very good thing, and they will be drawn to you, and desire that same truth that 
your heart embraces.
 
 
 
 
Today I want to encourage your heart to first of all look at your “spiritual feet” and
ask Him if you are on the right path or maybe you have been traveling on your own
paths with has caused you to feel worn and weary.   He desires to make you whole
each and everyday, and as He does, your life will echo the fact that He is walking
along side of you and you are beholding His paths and direction in your life!
 
 
~~~~~~   ♥  ~~~~~~
 


“The Heart of the Diligent”

Diligence is a Precious Possession
 
 
by Dona Hake 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The diligent hand proceeds from the heart that desires to live productively in everything they put their hand to. We can all relate to that feeling of purposing to be diligent even when we are tired or do not feel like doing something. It is so wonderful though to experience the fruit of accomplishment after we have done what we know we should be doing.
 
 
 
Many times people want to blame others because things are not going well or as planned, and it is simply a lack of their own diligence and foresight. In Ecclesiastes it speaks of everything having a time and a season. I believe we need to know exactly what “season” we are in and do things in their proper time.  
 
 
A farmer or a person that loves to do vegetable gardening totally understands the importance of diligence to maintain a healthy and thriving garden.  After of summer of diligently weeding and tending a garden or crop, the harvest is going to come.   Once it comes you may desire to freeze or can.   Whatever the choice of preserving it, it must be done, and there is  no time to waste.   It is such a blessing to pull a vegetable out of your freezer or a canned veggie or fruit in the cold of winter.   Oh the joy of enjoying the fruit of your diligent, hard working hands!
 
 
 
I have a little hour glass and as the sand flows through it, there is a measure of time that passes. This little hour glass reminds me that once that sand flows through it that a particular “time” has passed and I can not get it back. Many times people fail to realize the time they are living and they are missing
opportunities because they are doing something else. The time goes and so has the opportunity. Just as harvest comes and it calls for our diligence in a specific time there are also other things in life that require our diligence in order that we sow, reap, and enjoy blessings.
 
 
I encourage you today to desire the heart and hands of the diligent and be blessed. Guard you time and spend it wisely. Diligence is a good thing and it leads to abundant blessing!
 
 
Proverbs 21:5 Amplified Bible
“The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent
tend only to plenteousness…”



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!