“His Grace Abounds Toward Us”

god is able to make all grace abound
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

2 Corinthians 9:8   (AMP)

 

“And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

 
 
 
I have been loving and thoroughly enjoying our meditations upon God’s grace!   Today will be my last day to share on grace and I would like us to meditate on the fact that our loving God is well able to make grace happen in our lives, and it is absolutely ours when we ask.   Not only will He cause it to flow toward us but it will be in abundance.    He has good reason for His abundant giving for He wants us to possess enough that we can do any good work for Him.    In the book of James he speaks of faith without works is dead so let us release our faith to do the good works that our Lord is asking us to do.     
 
 
Today I leave with you a very interesting quote I came across, and I found it to be appropriate for today.
 
 
“Grace is given not because we have done good works,
but in order that we may be able to do them.”
St. Augustine of Hippo
 
This quote reminds me once again that there is nothing we can do to earn His grace.  It is a free gift with the purpose  to help us, to aid us, and to strengthen us in the work for Him.   Remind us Lord that You are always able to cause your grace to flow toward us in our time of need in order that we may have abundance for every good work for You.
 
 
 
 
 
 


“When Grace Comes Into the Soul”

when grace comes into the soul
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today we continue to look at God’s grace!    The old hymn entitled “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” is so powerful and it’s words so  beautifully speak of how the things on earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  
 
 
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace. “
 
 
This blessed gift of grace is from God, and it is ours, and all we have to do is ask Him for it.   Again I will remind you that it is free, and it will strengthen you to do His will and it will carry you when you feel you cannot go on any longer.   Our hearts must strive to remain humble for God resists the proud in heart.    This grace will regenerate you as this great strength proceeds from the Spirit of the living God.   
 
 
Today I want to share about when we ask for His grace that it is  by faith.    As we release our faith for God’s grace in our time of weakness or need, we need to know in our hearts that God is faithful to grant it to us.   
 
 
“The Lord God is a sun and shield:
the Lord will give grace and glory;
no good thing will He withhold
from them that walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:11
 
 
Lord, we lift our hearts to You and humbly ask for your grace today.   We are so blessed to serve a loving God that withholds no good thing as we purpose in our hearts to walk upright before You.   Your Word says in Proverbs 4:18 that the path of those who live right is like the early morning light. It gets brighter and brighter until the full light of day.  Thank you for blessing us with Your grace and Your glory as we keep the eyes of our hearts turned toward You.


“As We Praise Him For His Greatness…”

as we praise Him for his greatness
 
by Dona Hake
 
I am purposely and deliberately taking longer to share with you about God’s grace. I want you to be saturated with understanding how vital it is that we understand His grace. Today, I want to review the past four days of what I have shared.
 
 
We have looked at the question, “What is grace?”. We have learned the beautiful fact that it was here even before time began. Grace is freely given, none of us can work for it, nor do we deserve it. It is solely from the Spirit of God and it operates in us as it regenerates and strengthens our spirit. It is as we maintain a humble heart that we will always be vessels in which God’s grace can flow toward!
 
 
 
 
If one is proud they will not even consider their need for help from above. A proud person will not ask for grace from God. The proud in heart will always seek to do things their own way, and of course they will desire to take credit for all their accomplishments for these feeds the pride of anyone. I would like to share a scripture with you from 1 Peter 5:5. This is from the Amplified Bible…yes, it’s a bit wordy but read it slowly and allow it to minister to your heart. I promise you, it will!
 
 
 
 
1 Peter 5:5 Amplified Version
“Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.”
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage you to “bundle up” in the garments of humility! It was 0 degrees this morning, and before I went out with my dog, I bundled up in layers. I dressed wisely for my own protection. I was trying to take a picture with my iPhone so I had to go without a glove on the hand I was holding the phone. I was not out even three minutes, and that hand began to burn from the freezing temperatures.
 
 
 
 

You see, you cannot play around with keeping yourself protected by using common sense and God given wisdom. So it is that we need to heed from all wisdom from above! Can we just think about how wise it is to “bundle up” in humility so that we can take a protective stand against any temptation that pride can bring? I do not know about you, but I want to be the vessel looking up at God’s greatness and be a recipient of His wonderful grace!

 
 


“God’s Grace Is Truly Amazing”

amazing grace
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I have been so blessed as I have been meditating on the grace of God, and I am excited to share these reflections with you.   I want to refresh your memory with the words of John Newton that I shared yesterday.
 

“I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I want to be.
I am not what I hope to be.
But still, I am not what I used to be,
And by the grace of God,
I am what I am.”
 
 
What a humble heart John Newton exhibited in his words.   These words tell me that he kept everything in proper perspective.   He understood that without God he was could do nothing yet he valued that all that was done in his life was because of the grace of God.   He speaks to us words here that set an example for us to live by.   He never forgot where he came from, and he understood that he needed grace to accomplish God’s perfect will.   It is no wonder that the Lord used John Newton to bring us this wonderful hymn that has been held precious in the hearts of many for such a long time.
 
 
 

“Amazing Grace”

John Newton (1725-1807)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.



“Who Is It That Asks For His Grace?”

WHO IS IT THAT ASKS FOR HIS GRACE
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Who is it that asks for His grace? I will answer that question right here in the devotional. First, I will share with you again the definition of grace that I shared yesterday.
 
 
“Grace:  the freely given, unmerited favor of God;
the Spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.”
 
 
 
Here is another definition that blessed me…
“God’s grace is immeasurable,
eternal, overflowing, perfect,
and lavish, yet free. Undeserved,
enlightening, incomprehensible,
glorious, and divine, yet available.
It is abounding and astounding.
God’s grace is amazing!
 
 
 
This is what John Newton said…
“I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I want to be.
I am not what I hope to be.
But still, I am not what I used to be,
And by the grace of God,
I am what I am.”
 
 
These are words from a truly humbled heart before God. So who is it that asks for His grace? It is the man or woman that seeks to have a humble heart, and resist any form of pride whatsoever. It is the heart that truly understands where all strength, ability, and power come from. It is the heart that totally understands where true change comes from.
 
 
 
 

When I read what John Newton wrote, I see a heart that is longing to be in the “present moment” with a loving God. I encourage you to read this again and ask God to reveal to your heart all that He has done in you, yet there is still so much more that needs accomplished. Praise Him for who He has made you to be today, and where He has brought you from! Yet always keep in your focus the fact that God still has a great work He desires to do in you and it will only be brought about as you continue to ask for His grace.

 
 
 


“What Is Grace?”

what is grace
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I love how our Loving God knows what we need before we understand that we even have a need or a problem. He knows the answer to every problem we face, and He understands our weaknesses as humans. As God created the heavens and the earth, His fingers worked it all like a wonderful tapestry. It all has reason and purpose, and know this…there is not one thing created without reason. Every star in heaven was placed by His hand, the seas obey their boundaries by His command, He formed and breathed life into the Man he formed. Oh what a Mighty God!
 
 
Today I want to share with you that before man was even created, the Word of God says that grace was here and for good reason. Remember this, God has a divine purpose for every thought He thinks and everything He does. Here is part of the scripture I want you to read and ponder…
 
 

…that grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began.”
2 Timothy 1:9 ERV

Now let’s read the whole verse with the part you just read…
 
 
 
“God saved us and chose us to be his holy people, but not because of anything we ourselves did. God saved us and made us his people because that was what he wanted and it was because of his grace. That grace was given to us through Christ Jesus before time began.”
 
 
 
Before time began it was in the mind of God to have a holy people to call His own. He knew man would need His help so the provision of grace through Jesus Christ was already planned in God’s mind. He created us in His wisdom to do wonderful things while we live on this Earth yet we have abilities that have limitations. We may be strong but our strength has it’s limitations. Quite simply, God created us with one great need, and that need is for Him to be a part of every breath we take and every purpose we pursue. Oh that we stay aware that we must live this life by the grace of God!
 
 
 

I want to share a sweet definition of grace that I came across.

“Grace: the freely given,
unmerited favor of God;
the Spirit of God operating
in humans to regenerate
or strengthen them.”
 
 
 

Grace…none of us deserve it from God but He desires to infuse you with it! He desires this day to regenerate and strengthen you with it. God is so good!

 
 


“Power In Our Words”

power of words
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
The Lord desires that we stay mindful of the power of our words.   Our tongue has  the power to encourage, heal and build up.  What a blessing we are when we seek to be used in such a way.   Yet our words can cause hurt and pain if we are not keeping a guard on our thoughts which always come before the words are spoken.
 
 
  Our words can encourage another’s heart so greatly that we could make someone feel like they are on a mountain top.  Words are capable of building up and encouraging a a heart, and our words can also move mountains in our life if we dare to fill our hearts with faith and believe for mountains to move.    There is also the very negative force that words can bring and that is to hinder the heart of someone because you have spoken from a heart of negativity.  Negative words can tear down another’s heart and cause them to doubt themselves, and lose hope.  I find it sad to know that our words could even destroy another’s dreams.   Did you ever meet someone that is full of potential yet negative words from their past have frozen their steps from going forward into the purposes God has for them?  There are those that go through life with negative “mountains” in their life because of negative words spoken over them. This is so sad, yet it should serve to remind us to keep our mouths shut when we are tempted to speak negative things to people.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Colossians 4:6 (AMP)
” Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as
it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to
answer anyone [who puts a question to you.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage you to think about the words that proceed from your mouth. Think as well about the power of your words when your heart is filled with faith.  The mountains that may be hindering your life can be moved as you speak words of faith.   Father, help us to be mindful to speak words of faith and encouragement throughout our day.   Remind us to keep our meditations sweet and pure in Your sight, and we ask that You would put a guard over our lips that our words would speak good and edifying things.  In Jesus Name!
 
 

”The truth is, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, mountain, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, then God will do it for you.”  Mark 11:23  ERV



“But the Lord Looks At the Heart”

god sees heart
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
1 Samuel 16:7(ERV)
“… God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the
outside, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (VOICE)
“… for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value.
Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers
the inner character.”

 

Today I want you to consider seeing yourself and others as God sees. Many times we can be guilty of judging a person or situation by the outward appearance. We stop at that and this is so very wrong. The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” is so very true. Many times we do not give people a chance simply because we are not looking closely and deeply into their heart.

 

I believe as we pray diligently and ask God for His wisdom into every matter He will begin to open our eyes and impart His sight to us. I find it so sad that many times we fall short of being merciful and forgiving because we are just being wise in our own eyes in our judgments of people and situations. Let us be cautious in this matter as we encounter people. Let us seek to see as God sees.
I pray today that you will look to Him and let His eyesight become yours. I believe as we do this we will begin to see ourselves grow in God’s mercy and His forgiveness like never before.



“His Word Is Light To Our Night”

night-seasons-300x200
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

The image you see today is one that I photographed on a cold, snowy winter night a few years ago.   I love the challenge of shooting in darkness with my very special low light lens.   I love the  beauty of how natural the image looks.    I received this lantern as a gift, and I can remember visualizing on some snowy evening that I would light it and photograph it.   This image inspires me to think about how God’s Word is a light to me in those night seasons of my life.   He has promised to illuminate my path no matter how dark it seems, and I praise the Living God that He always keeps His Word!
 

This is the time of the year where we all hear everyone exclaim how the days just go by so fast and darkness is approaching us earlier and earlier each day.    What we can all relate to though is that there are “night seasons” in our lives that come without warning, and they bring darkness or they cause you uncertainty.    Jesus said that in this world we would experience trials and tribulation, but our hearts are not to be troubled by this.  We can rejoice that as  we hold the Word of life and light, we need not fear any dark times.   In Psalm 23:4 in the Good News Translation we can read what David exclaimed about valleys that were dark and how our precious Shepherd would lead us.
 

 

“Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, Lord,
for you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.”

 
 
As we hold the light of God’s Word and instruction before us, even the darkest of times can be illuminated with understanding and direction.    Rather than focusing on the darkness let us focus on the light we have to break through the darkness.  As we can see ahead, we also see victory in the midst of the battle. Winning the battles we face all begins as we are infused with His strength, direction and courage to go forward.
 
 
 
 
2 Samuel 22:29 (MSG)

 

” Suddenly, God, your light floods my path,

God drives out the darkness.

I smash the bands of marauders, .

I vault the high fences.

What a God! His road

stretches straight and smooth.

Every God-direction is road-tested.

Everyone who runs toward him”

 

I love the part of the verse that says that every God-direction is road-tested! As we trust in Him, we can be assured that His light going before us will always illuminate our path.

 



“Are You Guarding Your Heart?”

are you guarding your heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I would like you to look at the art that I chose today.   It is sheep out in a pasture and they are grazing in lush green grass.   This picture makes me think of how our Good Shepherd watches over us, yet there is the devil who roams about seeking way he can set us up to fall and devour us.   He watches for our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.   No, we do not live in fear of the tactics of the devil, but dear friend we must be wise and very diligent to make sure we are guarding our hearts at all times.   We must be ever so careful to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are keeping our hearts guarded with our diligent input of God’s Word and prayer.
 
 
Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and

above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
 
 
We see from this scripture that our heart is able to contain springs of life from which we can draw.   God wants our hearts to be full of Him and His life giving presence.   I can remember recently becoming preoccupied with something on my mind that was troubling me.    I can remember how the Lord ministered to my heart so sweetly yet firmly that because I was preoccupied with something that my heart was unguarded.   I began to think about how diligent we are to make sure our doors to our homes are locked.   We have passwords for our logins on different sites we visit on our computers, and we are encouraged to make them so difficult in order that we are not hacked.  We have become so knowledgeable in realms of taking care of our bodies that we be healthy, and we strictly try to follow the dos and don’ts.    Those thoughts led me to examine my diligence of guarding my heart that the evil one does not try to rob from me.   My heart was convicted about going greater extremes to see that my heart was guarded and not left vulnerable to anything that would rob my peace and joy.
 
 
In the book of Philippians Paul wrote how we can keep the peace of God guarded in our hearts.   This was his advice…
 
 
Philippians 4:6-9Easy-to-Read Version

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have.  And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.

 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. 9 And do what you learned and received from me—what I told you and what you saw me do.

And the God who gives peace will be with you.
 
 
 
When we purpose to think on good things we are being proactive in guarding our hearts, and keeping them in the peace of God.    I know for myself that when my heart is full and I mean FULL of God’s peace and faith, I face the problems of this life in His strength.   Today I encourage you to watch over your heart and your thoughts.   Make sure you are not walking about your day with a heart that is unguarded, for God desires to keep it with His loving peace.♥



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!