“Do You Know What God Is Looking For?

creation  Oct 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

I marvel at God’s creation! I can remember being at  The Grand Canyon and it literally took my breath away as I stood at the edge of the greatness of it all.  I said out loud, “How can someone see this and not believe there is a God in Heaven?”  Experiences such as this  should always position us to be reminded of how great our God is! In the book of Isaiah it is written
 
 
 
Isaiah 66:2 (AMP)
“For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.”
 

As God in Heaven proclaims what He did with the work of His hands He goes on to say, “but here is where I look…” I do not know about you but I want to know what God is looking for. After all the beauty and wonder of His creation He is still looking? I love this because it is reminding us that God’s eyes are moving to and fro watching for the one that will ALWAYS put Him and His Word first and reverently respond to what He says. He is looking for those that even when they mess up they admit they are wrong and receive His forgiveness. He is watching for the man and woman that desires to be humble and respect His Word above their own opinions and thoughts. He is watching you and your heart.

 

Let us be reminded today that His eyes are looking and watching for the one who will listen and hear what He is speaking. Know that He is waiting for someone that He can use for His purposes. Think about it…He made it all and in all it’s grand beauty He is still watching for those of a humble and contrite spirit. I encourage you today to think about how He desires to use you as you purpose to remain humble and reverent to His Word.



“The Water Jesus Gives”

but the water
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
This world can try to pull and tug at our hearts.   The devil tries to deceive us and tempt us, and we must live with guarded hearts.  If we do not keep our eyes on Jesus we can be lured into seeking our satisfaction in things other than Him. If we are not careful we can get our eyes too much on our blessings and forget the One that gave them in the first place.  
 
Only Jesus can satisfy the thirst of our souls. Jesus explained to the woman at the well the meaning of the true spring of water that only He gives.

 

 
 

John 4:13-14
Amplified Bible

“Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again.
But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.”

 
 

When you feel life problems and this world draining you of your strength and peace, stop and drink of His water that will strengthen and refresh your soul. Know that it will continue to nourish your soul and it has no end. As this scripture translation says, His water “shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling, continually…” This gives such a beautiful image of His living water within us. It truly is the life flow from which we can draw upon whenever we meet uncertainty and overwhelming problems. God is gracious and He ever lives to pour forth that living water onto us!



“Our Sweet Portion”

soon in glory
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I will wrap up our meditation upon the verses in the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” The following is the fourth verse:
 
 
“Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.”
 
 
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ we can set our gaze on the blessed hope that “soon in glory bright, unclouded…” Oh that blessed day when we are in the presence of the Lord and His saints. This is a beautiful hope and it is to be embraced! I love this meditation especially when I think of loved ones that have gone before me. Some day….oh yes!…some blessed day, we will reunite and see each other again! What a wonderful day that will be.
 
 
 
We have looked at this hymn and have seen the writer’s focus and intent that it would bring revelation of understanding that Jesus desires to be our Friend. He has promised us refuge, He will heal our sicknesses, and He brings us peace in the midst of turmoil. On and on I could share of the many things that He promises. As for me I want to know that I am sticking by Him closely, and not taking my eyes off of His will for my life. You see, He has promised to never leave us but we do tend to get our eyes off of Him at times. Thank God for His forgiveness and restoration.
 
 
 
So we have this wonderful promise of our “sweet portion” awaiting us, but truth is we each have a work to do here. We need to be strong in our Lord, seek His will and run the race He has set before us. Each of us has a specific race to run, and our time left here is different, but one thing for sure, He wants us to give our all for Him! ~ Praise Him! ~
 
 

 


Hebrews 12:1-2  (ERV)
“…So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. 2 We must never stop looking to Jesus.”


“Precious Savior, Still Our Refuge”

are we weak and heavy laden
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I have been sharing from the hymn entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”.   I hope this has ministered to your heart, and is deepening your revelation of our Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Today, we will look at verse three.
 
 
“Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.”
 
 
 “Are you cumbered with a load of care?”    ~Cumbered ~ is not one of those words you hear today.   Defined it means 
to hinder; hamper..
to overload; burden.
to inconvenience; trouble.
 
 
We can all identify when our hearts are heavy. Our thoughts are hindered, and we cannot think straight. When we are weak from carrying care, our hearts and minds will go into overload, and it is going to affect us in many ways. It seems that the writer of this hymn Joseph M. Scriven, appeared to have a revelation that his good Friend Jesus did not want him to try to bear the cares and burdens of this world. As I read this verse I thought it’s enough to deal with resist carrying care at times, but then he throws into the mix the thought of friends not only walking away, but being despised by them. Terrible thought isn’t it?
 
 
When you have what you thought was a friendship with someone, and something comes between you, it can be hurtful and devastating.   So in this verse he asks, “Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?”   Today I just want to encourage those of you that have deep hurt from broken relationships.   Jesus with open arms wants to hold you and heal your heart.   He promises that you will find solace in His embrace.   Many times broken relationships are restored but sadly there are some that are not.   Jesus still promises to be there and be all that you need Him to be.    Our Savior, still our refuge!
 
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

 

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 


“Faith Under Pressure” devotional for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

faith under pressure
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today we will continue looking at the Hymn written by  Joseph M. Scriven,  entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”    Today we will read and ponder the second verse.
 
 
 
“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
 
 
 
Sometimes it seems as if there are seasons in which there is one trial after another.   Temptations are around us at all times, so we can answer the first part of this verse with a big “Yes!!!”   We all well understand that many times in the midst of trials and temptations that our hearts can lose hope and be tempted to discouragement if we do not stay focused and remain in faith.
 
 
I praise God that Jesus knows me inside and out and He also knows EVERY weakness within me.  I pray that as I stay in fellowship with Him in prayer that He will reveal to me those weaknesses.  I know this wonderful Friend named Jesus will not only show me my weaknesses but He will enable me to learn, grow and become strong in those weak places within my soul.   I encourage you to take your known weaknesses to Him, and ask Him for wisdom.   Also ask Him to reveal in His times the weaknesses that are within you that you are not aware of.  Many times it is when we are standing in the midst of hardships that we awaken to areas within our soul that are weak or broken down.  We can think we are so strong to find out differently in the midst of a trial.  Let this not discourage your heart but rather determine yourself to grow in the midst of it all.
 

James 1:2-5The Voice (VOICE)

“Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.”
 
 
I thank God today that I serve and walk with my good friend Jesus.   He said He would share in all of my sorrows, and even though He knows every weakness of your’s and mine, He continues to stand and walk beside us.   What a friend we have in Jesus!!


“What A Friend We Have In Jesus” Devotional for Wednesday 10/22/14

what a friend we have in Jesus
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I am feeling that I am to share some devotional thoughts that are based on the lyrics of the hymn written by Joseph M. Scriven,  entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”    This was written in 1855, and it is known by many as a very precious hymn.   I can remember singing this as a little girl.  Quite honestly, I sang this before I even knew Him and the whole concept seemed so foreign to have such a good friend that I could not see.   Once I came to know Him as my personal Savior I totally understood what a wonderful friend He could be, and today He is my best friend!  Today we will look at the first of the four verses.
 
 
 
“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”
 
 
 
I am sure as you read this carefully there may be a particular word or a special thought that ministered to your heart.   My heart is touched firstly by the word PRIVILEGE.  May I never forget what a privilege it is that I can carry everything to the feet of Jesus in prayer.  When something is a privilege it is  a right,  or benefit.   We have the privilege of going to Jesus any time and for any thing  because of our rightstanding  with God through Jesus Christ.    
 
 
 
The second word that  touched my heart was the word EVERYTHING.  When Jesus has come to reside in our hearts we can rejoice in knowing that it is our  God given right and blessing to take everything to Him in prayer.   He wants to know everything that is bothering us.   He wants us to lay down our hurts and troubles.   If we do not lay them down, our hearts will be heavy, and we will not enjoy the freedom that is ours to live.   Do not forfeit your peace and take on needless pain because you are trying to carry the load that He desires to bear for you.   Today, take everything to God in prayer.   Your Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ desires to be there for you as a good friend would.
 
 


“The Power of Encouragement”

geese
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
One evening I was in my back yard and I was strolling around with my camera.  Sometimes I do that as I look for special nature gems that I seek to photograph.   As I was ready to walk back in the house I heard a flock of geese overhead, and I was so excited to capture this shot.    The sound of their honking and the flapping of their wings was so amazing to see and hear.  One geese always leads in the front and the ones behind are in formation following right behind.   I found this interesting thing written regarding geese in formation and their honking as they fly.  Today let us reflect on the power of encouragement.
 
 
 
The Importance of Encouragement

 

“Geese flying in
formation “honk”
to encourage those up front to
keep up with their speed.

We need to make sure
our “honking” is encouraging.
In groups and teams where
there is encouragement,
production is much greater.
Individual empowerment results
from quality “honking.”
Author Unknown

 
 
 
 
The geese “honking” teaches us the power of encouragement but the form in which they fly teaches us another lesson. Did you ever wonder why geese fly in the “V” formation?    There are two reasons.  First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.   The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason.  I found understanding this makes this an analogy that can teach us about encouragement as we as unity. 
 
 
This is the time of the year where I live that you hear flocks of geese beginning to leave for the cold winter months ahead.    These facts will remind me why they fly in formation and why they are honking.   So how can we learn from the behavior of geese?  
 
 
 
 When we as believers find our rightful place where God wants us to be, we will be strong and effective.   We will find our rightful place and soar to new heights.   We will draw upon the strength of our God and those people that He has put in our lives.   When we see anyone around us that is weakening and needs an encouraging word, we will speak an encouraging word, and they shall be lifted up. 
 
 
 
As we look to love and encourage one another as God desires us to, we will see each other walking out our God given assignments that we have been given.   There is power in encouragement and unity!    Today, I encourage you to be sensitive to those around you.  There are troubled hearts everywhere, let us seek to speak a word of life giving encouragement to the heavy and anxious heart!
 
 
Proverbs 12:25  
Anxious hearts are very heavy,
but a word of encouragement does wonders!” 


“What Happens When…”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN_edited-3
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I want you to think about this question.  What happens to you when your idealistic thoughts or plans meet disappointment?   Truth is…. we have all done it.   We build up expectations at times and if they do not turn out the way we planned, we are disappointed and let down. How we react to those disappointments will either upset us or just make us a bit stronger inside.   It all boils down to how we decide to face things when they do not turn out the way we thought they should.  Let our goal be that we face disappointments with a proper attitude.
 
 
 
 
Today I will tell on my parrot. Since she talks but does not read I will be able to get away with this. (lololo!!!)   Our parrot, JJ, observes our household very closely and she understands our routines very keenly. I was told by a very wise woman that raises and understands these birdies that you should never get them too used to a routine, because if they like it too much and you break it…well let’s just say they will not be too happy with you. This is why I NEVER feed her at the same time everyday.   All of her treats come when she least expects them.  This is somewhat tough on me because I am very much a routine person, and I especially like to see my pets in a routine.
 
 
 
 

JJ even knows my personal routine in the morning and one morning everything seemed to be going wrong.   I was rushing to get out the door because I had an appointment.   She could see something was very different and she DID NOT like it.  I always walk over to her cage before I leave, and say goodbye and tell her I love her.   Well…since she did not like the “rush-rush” deal that I was doing, she decided to let me know what she thought.    When I moved toward her cage  to say goodbye she snapped the side of her cage in anger rather than her usual affectionate little goodbyes that I get. She just did not want me to leave her. I left her with these words… “That was not very nice JJ!” Whenever I return home I am usually greeted with  happy whistles and fun greetings, but not this time.   I walked over to her cage and she turned her back and would not even look at me.   Oh my gosh…I could not believe it was in this little bird to act like this.  You see, she had an expectation based on what “she thought” should have happened. She was indeed a disappointed and mad little bird that day!

 
 
 

Let us be honest and admit that we may at times have preconceived ideas of how we feel people should treat us and do for us.   We can all relate to having expectations on how we think something should go.  Sometimes  our expectations that are based on the ideal meet up with the real, and we have great big disappointments.

 
 
 
 
Disappointments are going to  happen, and life is full of them. It is what we do with our disappointments that makes all the difference. It is so important to just move on and not permit anything to hinder or rob our joy. It is of great consolation that our Lord well understands our disappointments and as we take them to Him, He will help us walk through them. Thank God for Jesus because He understands every up and down we will ever face.
 
 
“The Lord is close to those who have suffered
disappointment.   He saves those who
are discouraged.”
Psalm 34:18    (ERV)


“Quick To Hear” – devotional for Sun. Oct. 19,2014

quick to hear Oct 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

James 1:19 (AMP)

 

“Understand [this], my beloved brethren.

Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener],

slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”
 
 
 
 I think of how many arguments and misunderstandings that would be avoided if this simple truth were taken heed to. If one does not give their full attention to the one speaking to them, there will more than likely words that are spoken which could be inappropriate, hurtful or misunderstood. This verse has a wealth of wisdom in it for us. It also shows us that it is just as important to listen to another’s heart for the unspoken words and feelings they may be feeling. Many times we may feel that we have the right answer for someone yet it is not the appropriate time for that word to be spoken. As we take care to listen, our words spoken will be appropriate and edifying to the listener. 
 
 
 
 

Let us ask the Lord to have sensitive hearts that we will listen more closely to those around us. Many times we may indeed know what that individual may need but we need to ask the Lord for the proper season to share it.

 
 
Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
 
 
 

Listening to someone may be the greatest gift you could give them. Choice words are even a greater gift to one that is in need. After you have listened carefully you will find they will be much more apt to hear your heartfelt and choice response. They will be more likely to take heed to the wisdom that you feel you are to share too. I believe the Lord can help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold.



“God’s Word-My Shield”

sf_myShield_02
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Proverbs 30:5 Expanded Bible

 

“Every word of God ·is true [passes the test;  is refined;
·He guards those [ They are a shield to those] who come to
him for ·safety [refuge].

 
 
God’s Word to us is flawless. We need not try to analyze it, we need only to believe that His Word is true. He promises that His Word is a shield to those that place their trust in Him. In your day of battle you are promised that His Word will shield you and keep you. It is in those times when the fiery darts of the enemy come to penetrate your soul that the Word of God that you believe and speak will be a protection, a refuge, and you will walk in victory. Jesus stressed the importance and the blessing of living by the truth.
 
 

John 8:31-32 (PHILLIPS)

“If you are faithful to what I have said,

you are truly my disciples. And you will

know the truth and the truth will set you free!”

 
 
Oh that we would be diligent to know His Word that we may be free in every area of our lives. Let us never add or subtract from His Word either.      Proverbs 30:6 says “Add thou not anything to the words of him, and thou be reproved, and be found a liar. (Do not thou add anything to his words, lest thou be rebuked, and be found a liar.)”      Again let us be reminded that God’s Word is perfect. Let us never add our own thoughts or opinions to the Word of God because His Word is total truth and it need no more.

I rejoice in the simplicity that God has laid out for us in His Word. Love His Word and live by it. He promises that as we do this, we will be free indeed!!!




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!