“Let Us Drop Every Weight”

let us drop
 

 

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 

 
 
“50% of a problem is solved just
understanding what the problem is.”
 
 
 
 
As we acknowledge what our weight is and humble ourselves to God and 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!
 
 
 

 

Secondly, we must stay focused. Anything that draws you away from keeping your eyes on a goal will be your hindrance. The devil understands our weaknesses and he knows how to distract us. He is crafty and understands how to throw us out of the game if we are not diligent to keep it right in our hearts and minds. He roams about like a roaring lion seeking ways to devour us. I love this quote I found relative to maintaining strong focus.

 

 

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
Henry Ford

 

 

Obstacles can serve to obstruct or hinder your progress or you can use it to make you a stronger person. It is all how you handle it as you see it approaching you. Today I encourage you to run the race in the strength of the Lord. Take these two tips from Hebrews 12, and you will run strong in this race that the Lord has put before you.   Drop unnecessary weight and stay focused on the finish line!!!



“Let Heaven Fill Your Thoughts”

let heaven fill your thoughts
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

 

What a refreshing yet challenging scripture.  “Let heaven fill your thoughts…”    Does heaven fill your thoughts?   Sometimes it can be very hard to keep our minds full of heavenly thoughts because we are hit hard at times with the trials, sorrows, and challenges of this earth.    I have found myself praying more and reminding myself that I must keep myself permeated in His peace.   I find that all that is going on in the world can make my heart feel heavy at times, and I must purpose to keep my eyes on the One that said, “In this world there will be trials and tribulations.”  He also said that He will not forsake us, and day by day He proves to be faithful to those that He loves!

 
 
I can remember going to my front garden one day during a summer morning to photograph a stepping stone that laid among the colors of my beautiful flowers.   This morning it lays buried under the snow, but it always reminds me to look up and stay focused on the things that are really important.  My stepping stone says, 
 
 
“Set your mind on things above.”
 
 
 
 Today I encourage you to look up and also keep an eye on your heart within. Pray diligently, and guard that precious peace that is within you.  Keep check on your heart with the help of God to be diligent to do the things that really matter, and count as a good and profitable for His kingdom.
 
 
 

Colossians 3:2 (TLB)

 
“Let heaven fill your thoughts;
don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.”


“The Consistency of God’s Wisdom”

the consistency of gods wisdom
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
James 3:7-12 (PHILLIPS)

 

“Beasts, birds, reptiles and all kinds of sea-creatures can be, and in fact are, tamed by man, but no one can tame the human tongue. It is an evil always liable to break out, and the poison it spreads is deadly. We use the tongue to bless our Father, God, and we use the same tongue to curse our fellow-men, who are all created in God’s likeness.

Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth—surely, my brothers, this is the sort of thing that never ought to happen! Have you ever known a spring to give sweet and bitter water simultaneously? Have you ever seen a fig-tree with a crop of olives, or seen figs growing on a vine? It is just as impossible for a spring to give fresh and salt water at the same time.”

Words spoken apart from God’s wisdom can cut deep into the soul. Words that proceed from an angry heart can be mean and spiteful. God desires that our words and actions are the fruit of all that He is. Wisdom is knowing what is true or right coupled with good and just judgment as to what action to take.

I believe that James was addressing the importance that we take seriously that we are being consistent with our words and actions. “Blessing and curses come out of the same mouth- surely, my brothers, this is the sort of thing that never out to happen!” These are strong words that James spoke but yet they are true. I believe James was strongly admonishing those he was speaking to that they keep an eye on the fruit that they are bearing.

As we purpose to keep our words in line with what we believe, we will be examples of consistency in God’s ways. Our judgments will be pure and we will have discerning hearts.



“Seeking and Pursuing Peace”

be still
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
My oldest granddaughter was sitting beside me on her sofa staring into my eyes as I was doing my best explaining how God wants us to make sure we hold fast to peace.   Children are so precious to share the Word with.   They are like a fresh canvas or a little sponge ready to soak it all in.   I love when the Lord begins to help me bring His Word to a small child, especially when I can tell they are struggling to understand something in Spirit.
 
 
 
As we sat quietly talking about His peace, I began to share how God wants us to hold on to it so tightly, and not let it go.   I started to think about helium balloons flying away if not held on to tightly enough.   I said to her, “You know if it was your birthday, and you had a bunch of pretty balloons, you would want to hold onto them wouldn’t  you?”  Of course she nodded her little head, her eyes sparkled, and she had the sweetest little grin on her face.   I said then, “If you went outside, and you were careless not to hold them tightly, what would happen if you let them go?”   Immediately I could see she took hold, and a degree of revelation of God’s peace went into her little heart.   I proceeded to explain how God wants us to hold tightly to His peace as well.   The same way we would not let  our special balloons get away from us, we should not allow our peace to get away either.
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage you to hold fast to His peace, seek it, crave it,  and determine yourself that you will not let it go!
 
Psalm 34:14b  Amplified Bible
“… seek, inquire for, and crave peace and
pursue (go after) it!”


“He Loved Me Enough…”

he loved me enough
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and in the midst of it you feel as if they may not be totally paying attention and listening.   This can be quite discouraging especially if you are sharing your heart or you are upset.   Today let us meditate upon the fact that we serve a living and loving God that always listens, and hears our prayer as we go to Him with humble hearts.   
 
 
 
I would like to share from Psalm 116. The psalmist begins the chapter by exclaiming, “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice…” He proceeded to say that he knew God’s ear was toward him and then he said, “I will call on Him as long as I live!”
 

You see this psalmist understood that 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 and he stops and reminds himself of who and what his God is all about. This is what Psalm 116:7-9 says…

 

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

 

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



“For I Am Convinced…”

Nothing Can Separate Romans 8-39 Bulletin Cover
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
NOTHING can separate us. He is NEVER distant, and He will NEVER leave or forsake us. We just need to believe this at all times. Whether things are going great or it seems like everything is going wrong…NOTHING can separate us from Him and His love when we know Him personally.

 

Romans 8:39 ERV
“….nothing in the whole created world—
will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown
us in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 

Our lives are full of things. We purpose to set time aside to eat, sleep, work and play. Let us be ever so diligent to carve out moments during the day and dedicate them to sit in His presence and acknowledge Him. Talk with Him about how you feel and what you fear. Ask Him about everything that concerns you. He is bound to you by His love! Do not go by feelings and do not go by what you see. He is ALWAYS with you and nothing can separate you from Him. Praise Him because of His inseparable love for you!!
 


“Do You Know Your Purpose?”

plans
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

I loved the quote I once heard regarding our purpose in life.  
 
 
“If you have a WHY  for your existence, you will have a WHAT and a WHERE as well.”
 
 
When we understand why we are here it will always bring purpose to our hearts. When we understand why we are doing what we are doing, we will be able to set goals for our future. Many a hearts are depressed and despondent today simply because they do not understand their purpose in this life.
 

I know I have shared this many times but it has deep meaning to me personally. When I was a teenager I can remember feeling so empty and life seemed so meaningless. About two years before I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, I can remember laying on my bed before falling asleep and asking God…”Is there more to life than this? If it is please help me understand it.” God was faithful to me in my seeking, and the answers became more clear. It was after I knew Him that my “WHAT do I do? and WHERE do I go from here?” was answered. He still faithfully answers my prayers to this day, and for that I am thankful.

 

Proverbs 19:21 (AMP)
“Many plans are in a man’s mind,
but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”

We can all have our own plans but only the Lord’s purposes succeed, and be established. May I encourage you today that if you do not understand your purpose in this life to just simply ask Him.
He loves you where you are at, and He has a plan for your life!



“Your Word – Our Light”

Your word is like a lamp
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I recently went to light a little flashlight to find the batteries were completely dead, therefore it could not give me the light that I needed. Aren’t you glad that when you need spiritual light that you can always depend upon God to give it to you! I thank God today that no matter what I face in this life, God’s light will never let me down. He is faithful and therefore every spoken Word in the scriptures will continue to shine before me to lead, and light my path.

 

There will be times in which we know we are trusting Him yet our way may seem unclear. Human nature desires a place called a “comfort zone”. We like to feel like we know what is ahead in order that we can plan for it. This is just not reality. Let us always be reminded that sometimes the “not seeing” is very much a part of the trusting. It is indeed part of releasing our faith as we believe without seeing. I love this quote I just came across.

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

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

 

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



“A Word Fitly Spoken”

a word fitly spoken feb 2015
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
To be quite honest I have always thought the jigsaw puzzles with one thousand pieces would be more of a headache to do rather than therapeutic! I commend anyone that loves to sit and put such grand puzzles together. Actually my speed is the kind my oldest granddaughter has…you know, the ones with twenty four pieces. It is so interesting to observe even in the smaller puzzles that some pieces look like they absolutely have to fit yet they do not.
 
 
Our words are like pieces to a grand puzzle. Sometimes we can feel that the words we are desiring to express will fit so well, yet when we speak them, it all seems wrong. I can remember a time in particular with my Granddaughter that she thought for sure a particular puzzle piece just had to fit, and she began to force it. Interesting analogy isn’t it?….we can feel we are right, and we begin to force our opinions and words.
 
 
God desires that our words bless, encourage, and produce. Today I want to share with you about how important it is that our words are to be spoken and fitting for the moment. You see, even a right word spoken in a wrong attitude or wrong time just does not fit nor does it help the hearer. I was studying over many translations of this scripture , and I found them all to be so enlightening.
 
 

Proverbs 25:11 (CJB)
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word appropriately spoken.

Proverbs 25:11 (ERV)
” Saying the right thing at the right time …”

Proverbs 25:11 (GNT) “An idea well-expressed…”

Proverbs 25:11 (TLB) “Timely advice is as lovely…”

Proverbs 25:11 (VOICE) “A well-spoken word at just the right moment…”
 
 

Today let us be reminded that timing has it’s perfect place when it comes to words. Right timing which is God’s timing will prompt us when and how to speak. Silence also has it’s place, so do not feel you are doing wrong when you are feeling prompted to just be silent even in those times your heart is speaking that you have the answer. May our words bless and be as apples of gold in settings of silver!

 


“Maintaining a Heart of Joy”

Heart of Joy
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
After I posted this image it is somewhat making my heart giggle.   I think the art is portraying that the heart is a flower yet it reminds me of a balloon filled with helium.   I am thinking of those days in which my “balloon of joy” is not flying very high!   I had one of those days yesterday.  Oh my, one thing right after another seemed to be going wrong, and then throw into that some interesting challenges, and by the end of the day I was exhausted.   I was tempted to think this thought a hand full of times…”I just wish I could do this day all over again.”
 
 
Now as I think back over my day, it was only my own fault that I was not recognizing my need to stay focused on the Lord and His presence for in His presence is FULLNESS of joy.  I have been sharing for the past few days also of the importance of drawing upon His grace.   How easy it is to permit the circumstances of this life to overshadow the truth that we know and need to be doing.
 
 
Psalm 16:11
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
 
 
 
Today, I encourage you to stay mindful to do that which you know in your heart and that which is right in His sight.   They say “Hind sight is always 20/20 vision.”    This is true for I look back on my yesterday, and could see I could have done better if I would have drawn upon Him more, and not focused on the challenges.    Actually the more I thought upon all that went wrong, the more they seemed to grow bigger in my mind.  Thank God that He speaks to us even when we miss the mark.   God is so good, and His mercies are abundant!
 
 
 
 



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!