“His Love Restores My Soul”

his love restores my soul
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
There is much torment in feeling guilty. It kind of feels like a prison because you are no longer free from the inside out. Memories and thoughts of the wrong you may have done seem to have voices, and they continue to haunt and remind you of what you think is irreparable. If you have received Jesus into your life, you can be cleansed by the blood of Jesus,  and you can partake of His wonderful forgiveness. Let us treasure within us how wonderful it is that the Lord will forgive us when we mess up, and He will always cleanse our hearts. As we humble ourselves to Him admitting our wrongs and shortcomings, He will bring His mercies and forgiveness to you, and  bring you back to that place of feeling clean again. Let us look at David in the Psalms. His plea to God was for restoration of his heart in a time in which he majorly messed up and his heart was heavy with guilt and anguish. Psalm 51:7, 8, 10 “Remove my sin and make me pure.” Wash me until I am whiter than snow! Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again. God, create a pure heart in me, and make my spirit strong again.” Today let us treasure the power of love and forgiveness, and look to the only One that can bring restoration to our souls.  He is the only one who is able to cleanse. I love how verse eight says “Let me hear sounds of joy and happiness again.” This is what restoration is about. When we experience freedom from guilt we are able to experience the joy that was robbed by our sin and guilt. Only God is able to create within us a pure heart, pick us back up, and cause us to continue on in His will. Thank God for the power of forgivenesss!  


“Teach Us To Love”

lord enlighten our hearts to love
 
by Dona Hake
 
Yesterday I shared how God’s love is so deep , and absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.    His love is  unfathomable.  Love conquers all and God’s love covers all things. God desires that His conquering love flow through us yet there are times His love is not able to flow freely. If we do not desire to look beyond our own little world, how is He able to love through you to a lost and dying world? There is a cost to loving like Jesus and it is a matter letting go of that which is holding you back. In the book of Luke he wrote “If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them.”  I love the following quote by Mother Teresa, and it fits perfectly with our devotional today…
 

 

“Love,

to be real,

must cost –

it must hurt –

it must empty us of self.”

 

God is calling us to the high places of love. A wonderful place to meditate is 1 Corinthians 13 because this simply spells out what God’s love is and what it is not.
 

 

“Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious,

doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about.

There’s no arrogance in love;

it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—

it’s not self-absorbed.

Love isn’t easily upset.

Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice;

but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!

Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along;

it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.

Love will never become obsolete.”

 

 

Let us desire today that God’s true and real love flows through us in every way possible. Lord help us to desire to pay the cost even when it hurts. Cause us to see that which hinders us from loving like You and empty us of those things! We are believing that you are well able to do above and beyond all we dare ask or think regarding Your love operating through us!



“As Deep As the Sea”

as deep as the sea
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

Psalm 42:8 (CEB)
“By day the Lord commands his faithful love;
by night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.”

This scripture reminds me that from the time I awaken till I lay my head down to sleep that I should simply praise His Name. As I ponder this I think about all that can happen in a day and to be quite honest sometimes we may encounter difficulties or difficult people that make it hard to keep praise to Him in our hearts. The distractions and difficulties can tend to distort our focus on Him. The Lord desires that there is an offering of praise proceeding from our hearts no matter what is going on around us.

Psalm 113:3 (CEV)
” From dawn until sunset
the name of the Lord
deserves to be praised.”

I think the secret to this whole thing is that we ask Him for a greater understanding that He really is with us all the time and He promises to never leave or forsake us. No matter what happened today or what you have to face tomorrow…NOTHING can keep you from offering praise to the Living God!  So today, think about the great oceans and their depth…His love for you is deeper than the deepest sea!

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ” Romans 8:39 (The Message)



“Lord, Be Thou My Vision”

Lord be thou my vision
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I was able to photograph this image this past week on an extremely foggy morning.   I thought this would be a perfect image for a photography group that I am a part of.   Each day we are given an assigned prompt that we are to shoot and I felt this would be a perfect shot for it.   I shared this image on Facebook and I was really inspired to share a message with you today after I read a comment left beneath this image.    My good friend commented on this image with the following inspiring words:
 

 

“Kept thinking this is life. Sometimes we get foggy vision.

We can’t really see the path or end. Thank God –
we have a merciful father whose path is true.”
 
 
This is so true isn’t it?   Even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are on God’s path, sometimes things can get foggy, and hard to see.   I know when I was driving in the fog the other morning I was exercising extreme caution because visibility was terrible, yet I knew where I was going, and I knew I would eventually get there.    Along the way, I saw a bad accident, and again it reminded me to be extra careful.    Let us be reminded in times when things seem to be uncertain to proceed with caution and  trust the Lord in those times that things seem to fog our vision.
 
 
Psalm 17:5
“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.”
 
 
Lord, help us to remember that as we stay on your path, that it is true because you are all truth.  We thank You that you are well able to keep our feet from slipping.  You have promised to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.   Remind us to hold Your hand tightly in times of uncertainty and feeling we are lacking direction.   It is you that is able to give all the direction that we need to walk securely in the path you have appointed to us, and we trust You to keep us safe and our footing sure.


“To Everything There Is A Season”

a time for everything
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1  (AMP)

 

“To everything there is a season, and a time

for every matter or purpose under heaven…”
 
 
Have you ever heard someone say that “God sees the big picture” ?   I think this visual art that I am sharing with you today will help us understand it even more.    This image shows all four seasons at one time.    This is also a great visual analogy to help us understand that God sees my life, and every season of it.   He has specific plans for us, and they are for specific times in our life.   He well understands that there will be seasons of great growth,  seasons of great beauty, and then there may be seasons where it may appear that there is dormancy, dry times or  little growth.   I can remember one of my favorite things I read that helped me understand a deeper truth about those times when it appears that nothing is happening in or through me.
 
There was a chapter from a book t that I read  from Madame Guyon and it was entitled “The Blessedness of Winter.”   She made great emphasis of what goes on in the depths of the root system and deepest parts of a tree during the winter months.   She used the cycle of growth in a tree to help enlighten to the reader about our spiritual growth.  Even though the tree seemed lifeless on the outside during the winter months, great things were going on in the inside of the tree.   When spring arrived, all could see that the tree budding to bring forth new and fresh growth for a new season.  Never does one wonder what is happening deep within the root system of a tree during the winter months.
 
Today I encourage you to never be impatient with the working of the Lord’s hand in your life, especially in those “winter seasons”.   Trust Him and believe that His loving hand is molding and making you into a strong vessel that will continue to illuminate His glory as you faithfully draw upon Him for all the grace that you need.  Know that for every purpose He has for you, He is preparing you for it.    He may be preparing you today for something that is going to happen ten years from now.   Patiently wait upon Him and know that He will complete the good work He began in you…in His appointed time and season.


“The Power of the Tongue”

The power of the tongue
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I would like to share from the book of James.   The following scriptures give us great examples of how powerful our words are.   Our words can build up, or they could hurt and cause pain.   Let’s read from James Chapter three:
 
 
 
James 3:3-9 (AMP)

3 If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about.


4 Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!
 
 
Just think about how huge of an animal the horse is.   Yet a small bit put in their mouth causes them to submit and obey you.   A ship even though so great in size can be driven by a mighty wind or storm but a very small rudder is used to keep it on course.   The rudder is used for  governing, directing, or guiding a course,  It is amazing thinking about how the use of such a small thing can control such a great thing.

Have you ever felt discouraged at times because it seems your mouth gets you in trouble.   Think about it, one word can cause an argument.   One hateful word could be the beginning of a relationship that will be broken beyond repair.  Many times it is that one word or sentence spoken that was never dealt with that caused good friends to never speak again.     This is such a sad thing.   Many times people do not even know why a relationship has been destroyed.  Every thing is gone and they do not even know how the damage began.   James spoke here in the scriptures how the tiny spark can burn down a whole forest.
 
 
I want to encourage you today to be ever so careful with the words you speak.   Our thoughts need to be constantly guarded and we need to ask the Lord to help guard our mouths.   Ask Him for wisdom and guidance before you speak especially in situations where there is already hurt that has been done.   The Holy Spirit has come to help lead, guide and teach us in every area of our lives.  Let us look to Him to keep our tongues from speaking anything that would hurt or destroy.    May we edify and build people up as we purpose to speak only that which is good and edifying to the hearer.


“Praise Him For His Mighty Acts”

praise him for his mighty acts
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Psalm 150:2 KJV

“Praise him for his mighty acts: praise

him according to his excellent greatness.”

 

Let us ever be reminded of how great and mighty that the Living God is!! When doubts and fears try to make us shrink back in our faith, let us call to mind that with man it may seem impossible but with God ALL things are possible. The Hand that created and called into existence the Heaven and Earth waits for you to turn to Him in your time of trouble. He desires to do mighty acts in your life according to His excellent greatness!

 

Psalm 77:12

“I will meditate also upon all Your

works and consider all Your [mighty] deeds.”

 
 

I encourage you to reflect on the times that He has done a mighty work in your life. His Name is called mighty and there is nothing too big for Him. “Now to Him who is ABLE to do above and beyond all you dare ask or think…exceeding your highest hopes and dreams.” Ephesians 3:20



“The Breakthrough That Grace Brings”

and God is able
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today I want to share with you about breakthrough.    A breakthrough is when there is an instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction.   Can you think of a time that you have needed a breakthrough because your problem or trial seemed unsolvable.   Today I want to encourage your heart to look to the Lord for the grace that you need.   It is His grace that is sufficient for all that you need, and His grace will cause you to breakthrough whatever seems to pose a hindrance in your walk with Him.     God’s grace will cause you will have all that you need, and you will excel in the good fight and in the good work.

 

 
 
“And God is able to make every grace overflow

 

to you, so that in every way, always having

everything you need, you may excel in every good work.”

 

 

This scripture just really blesses me. I love meditating on the fact that God is desiring to shower us with His all sufficient grace as we set out to do His will.   He desires that we draw upon that grace that is well able to break through the clouds and darkness that this life brings at times.

 
 
 
Today, look to Him with great desire to be a living example of excellence in all that you put your hands to.  Draw upon His great grace, and just watch for how He showers it upon you.  It is as we do this that we will demonstrate that He is the God that is more than enough!
 

 

Psalm 1:3 (ESV)

“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”



“You Are My Hiding Place Oh Lord”

you are my hiding place
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Recently our German Shepherd was diagnosed with a mild ear infection.  I cannot begin to tell you how upset this dog gets when it is time for her ear drops.   The poor thing knows exactly the time of evening when they are due to be put in, and her whole countenance changes.   She is afraid, and beside herself.   It makes me feel so bad but she has to have the medicine put in.   There were times that my husband found her making plans to hide from me.   The one evening she was attempting to go inside our shower and the next evening she crawled in and hid behind the shower curtain.  It was kind of funny yet the poor thing was trying to find a hiding place from that which she feared.    She certainly must of thought that if I could not find her she would escape the ear drops!  We too in this life are faced with things that cause our hearts to dread and be fearful.
 
 
 
 
 
 
When we are afraid, we too need a hiding place.  Today we will praise Him because we can run to Him when we need to be hidden. We can always run to His place of safety and He has promised to keep us safe in the storms we will face. Sometimes this life can tempt our hearts to be troubled and afraid. In those times of trouble you can know that He will hide you under His wings and keep you safe in the storm. 

 

Psalm 32:7

You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord,

preserve me from trouble, You surround

me with songs and shouts of deliverance.

Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
 
 
I love this scripture! It causes me to visualize the Lord’s strong arm of protection in the worst of storms and even while the storm is trying to rob my peace I can believe that songs and shouts of deliverance are round about me. He knows the outcome and He well understands that He is able to cause us to be victorious!
 
 

Psalm 119:114
You are my hiding place and my shield;

I hope in Your word.
 
 

As we look at Jesus being our hiding place in the storm, let us also look at Him as being the hope of our soul. He will always keep us anchored in our faith as we continue to hope and abide in His Word. To Him be the glory!!!



“Jesus Never Changes”

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
It is quite common that people do not like things around them to change too much.  David in the Psalms in Chapter twenty-three wrote that He leads us by still waters, and causes us to lie down in green pastures.    Let us take one day at a time as we serve Him knowing that He promised to take care of our every need.    Today I want to encourage your heart to remember that Jesus never, ever changes, and He can always be depended upon.
 
 
 
Aren’t you thankful that Jesus never changes?   His love never changes for us. No matter how bad we mess up He still loves us. If we fall, He promises to reach out His loving hand and pick us up…but let us remember that we must reach out and ask for His help.  His mercies are new every morning, His faithfulness endures, His forgiveness is always there.   Just a few beautiful things about our Lord that never changes.
 
 
 

I am glad that He never changes positions… He is always by our side and we can count on that. His ear is always towards us when we pray, He has never failed to be there for us with a listening ear. In His Word it says that He NEVER fails, that fact will never change. On and on I could go but it’s just that simple… Jesus never changes. He is not capable of it!
 
 

 

I hope this stirs you to think about the concrete fact that He is faithful and there is no changing in Him. The world may change and we all well know that it does. There may be things that are changing and it is beyond our control to make it the way it was. But take comfort in the fact that the God of the Universe NEVER changes…it’s that simple.
 
 

Hebrews 13:8   (TLB)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. “




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!