“The Big Picture”

BIG PICTURE Second
 
by Dona Hake
 
 I have always admired the patience of those that like to put jigsaw puzzles together. Especially the ones with hundreds of pieces. I see the jigsaw puzzle as a great analogy of our life being put together day by day by the loving hand of God. There are times we can get so focused on a particular area just having to fit because in our minds we just want to see that part of our life worked out. Yet God is wanting to work on some other area of the “puzzle” or tapestry of His will for us.
 
 
 
Today I am hoping that we be reminded to allow God to search the “pieces” of His specific will for our life that He may work through us. As we live each day may we remain humble and allow Him to work and fit the pieces together that are in His plan, not our custom made ideas. It is a comfort to know that God is the Master Planner and within His plan will always be perfect timing. Young or old, we can all get a bit impatient with God’s timing, and we need to be cautious of this. I always love when my Granddaughters ask how long something may take and if I say it will be in about five minutes, and I get this…”Grandma, that will be forever!” Makes me grin every time. How many times do we react to God the same way.
 
 
 

God wants you to know that He has a plan for your life and He works in your life as you permit Him to. As we stay humble, He will work out all things according to His plans and purposes.
 

 
Romans 8:28 (DRA)
“And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good…”
 
 
 
 


“Trust Him For the Next Step”

 
 
bunting 2
 
by Dona Hake
 

Proverbs 3:5-10

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

“Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge.  With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way.   Don’t trust in your own wisdom, but fear and respect the Lord and stay away from evil.   If you do this, it will be like a refreshing drink and medicine for your body.”
 
 
 
 
Think about times in your life in which there was change taking place, and you really did not know if you were doing the right thing .  Even as you read this there may be change about to take place with your job, and you fear the uncertainties.    Maybe you need confirmation regarding a decision you have to make.  Some decisions almost seem like you are forced to make them in the dark.   So let us read the one verse from Proverbs Chapter Three again…”With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way.”   He promises as we trust Him that He will take hold of our hand and steer us in the right direction.
 
 
 
I love when the Lord uses His own little creatures that He created to teach us about depending upon Him.  Today I shared an image of an Indigo Bunting.  I read the most fascinating fact about how they migrate.  Did you know that they migrate at night?  They start flying south for winter around September, using the stars to guide them along their way.  The first thing I thought was how amazing it is that God’s smallest of creatures just do what He created them to do.  These precious blue beauties fly and allow the stars to guide them to their destination.  I am sure they would never endeavor to do their migration flight during the day because they cannot see the stars for their direction.  Interesting isn’t it?
 
 
 
Next time you feel like you are in the dark about a decision and it seems impossible to know the right way to go, just think about the Indigo Bunting.  We have the light of God’s Word to lead and guide us.  He is the greatest Light in any darkness that we may need to  take flight in. The voice of the Holy Spirit will faithfully speak to us and He will show us with every step  how to go the right way!   Just trust in Him with all of your heart and lean not upon your own understanding.


“May My Thoughts And Words Be Pleasing”

good thoughts 2
 
by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 19:14 (TLB)

 

“May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts

be pleasing even to you,

O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.”

 
I personally think that this is such a wonderful prayer that we could never pray enough.  Oh that we would ask the Lord more often, “Is what I just said okay Lord?” or “Lord Is my heart right in this matter? I think Jesus wants us to view Him as our best friend and we should be allowing our best friend to challenge our heart and bring accountability in our lives.   I value the times when I feel a tug at my heart or a check in my spirit in those times that my thoughts or words are not pleasing to Him.  When He is Lord of your life, you will truly welcome these disciplines into your life.
 
 
The Lord has promised to help us with all things that pertain to life and godliness so be encouraged that it is His heart to help you walk victoriously.  Paul wrote in Philippians how to keep our thoughts in line with truth.   If we just purpose to think on good things…
 
 
good thoughts
 
 
Paul proceeds in Philippians 4:9 , and I am sharing from the Amplified version…
 
9
“Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and
model your way of living on it, and the God of peace
of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”
 

 

As we practice thinking on good things, our  spoken words and unspoken thoughts will be kept and guarded by the peace of God.  I encourage you today to think upon all the good things that Paul instructed us in Philippians.  It is as we do this that our thoughts, words, and actions will always line up with the will and ways of our Lord.

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“The Love That Never Fails”

love that never fails
by Dona Hake
 
Lamentations 3:22-23 “How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
 
Loyalty is characterized by faithfulness to commitments and obligations. God has promised to be loyal to us with His love, forgiveness, help, …oh my!…there are so many things that He promises to be to us. Jesus said in His Word that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us. We know that His love is ever with us and He loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us.
 
At the end of many days I may look back on my day and wished that I would have said or done things differently but praise God He faithfully forgives and He promises to help me do better as I lean upon Him for all wisdom and strength. Isn’t this a wonderful love?
 
One of the first things I try to do each morning as I greet Him is remind myself and thank Him that His mercies are new every morning. My day is a fresh canvas and I am hoping I will do His will with His help. Thank God we have fresh starts each day and we can learn from our yesterdays. He is there to help us to keep working out those things that we are trying to get right in our lives, and it is all because of His great love for us.   God’s love…a love that NEVER fails us!
 


“A Time For Everything”

time for everything
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:6-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
 

When both my son and husband are out of the country, I refer to my world clock app on my phone. I know not to expect my husband to call me because my morning may be the middle of the night for him. I must constantly remind myself that even though it is day time for me that I not text my son because he may be asleep. It also reminds me by way of analogy that we are all doing some THING in the exact same moment but we are all in a different “places and times.”

Verse eight of this scripture in Ecclesiastes reminds us that we really are doing four different things all at the same time. I know God wants us to love at all times yet at the same time we hate the evil of the enemy that is running wild in the earth today. This is a time in which we see war going on all around us yet we are able to carry peace in our hearts with the help of the Lord. In this time in which we are seeing so much turmoil, let us be reminded that Jesus left something behind for us, and it was not because He forgot to take it with Him. He left it on purpose, and it was His peace. He well understood the time in which we would live, and that we would need it to keep our hearts anchored.

 

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…”

I intend to encourage your heart today to keep your heart anchored in peace when it seems as if so much is going on. Sometimes I feel like there is too much going on all at the same time. I know many hearts are troubled and so is mine. There is so much turmoil going on in the world, and so many are hurting. People are bearing things that seem impossible to me, and my heart weeps for them. Let us be reminded that the time to pray has no set time but as the Lord leads and directs us to. We just need to be obedient when He does call us to pray. Let us always strive to calm ourselves and hold fast to His peace no matter what time we are in. Now is the time to live for Him. God bless you.



“How Do You Reflect the Son”

reflect the son
by Dona Hake
 
 
 God has commanded us to live as Jesus lived. Within us dwells His life, light, and love. He intends to bless our lives, but He desires that we give it out as well. There is a greater work needed here on earth like never before and He is looking for those that will reflect that He is the answer to a lost and dying world. How do you reflect the Son? Think about how He desires to reflect Himself through you. Just think about it…within you are all the good things that He is because you have ask Him to abide within you. As He lives within us and we seek to abide in Him, let us seek how we can effectively reflect all the glorious things that He is!

1 John 2: 6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
“Whoever says he abides in Him ought as a personal debt to walk and
conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted
Himself.”

As we stay immersed in the Word of God and in the presence of Jesus, we will be full of His light and life. Love and joy WILL pour forth from us, and we will indeed be a vessel that reflects the Son! Each one of us are fearfully and wonderfully created by God so expect Him to reflect Himself uniquely through your life today!  

 


“Anchored By Being Single Minded”

singleminded
by Dona Hake
 
James 1:6-8 (The Voice)
“The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded
commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like
those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.
Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue
them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your
compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.”
 
I really love how this translation brings such great insight into the importance of being single minded.   This scripture warns us of leaning on our own understanding and placing our wisdom above God’s.   God desires that we be totally devoted in our hearts and minds to His wisdom only that we may be anchored with a single mind.    Let us look closer to the one verse here in James…
 
“The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your
compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.”
 
The last thing I want to deal with as I set out to sail in my faith  is the experience of spiritual dizziness and confusion.  I want vision and direction before me that is guided and directed by the Lord Himself.  There is great danger in  not being single minded and it can cause severe consequences. Just as a compass keeps you on track, being single-minded with all that God has for you will also keep you wise, discerning and very sensitive to the voice of the Lord in the midst of trouble. Your spiritual “compass” will keep you right on target and you will remain strong, steady, and focused in the midst of a storm.  With God’s compass, there will be no wavering, and your path will be sure, and you will stay on course.  Let us purpose to seek to be single minded by keeping ourselves full of God’s Word and drawing upon His wisdom.


“Watching Over One Another”

provoke one another in love
 
by Dona Hake
 

 

 Have you ever walked away from someone feeling inspired to be a better person and to try harder in a particular area of your life? I know how it will hit me. Sometimes when I spend time with certain individuals I will ponder and think over the person’s words and actions that they spoke. I may study in my mind how they are dealing with something that so difficult yet they are remaining strong. I will recall their attitude or words and those things will cause my heart to want to rise to a higher level. They have been an example to me, and they may have not even realized it. They have provoked my heart to press in and be a better and stronger person.

“And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities…” Hebrews 10:24 AMP

This scripture is not saying to look for another’s weaknesses but rather to look and see how God may possibly use you to stir them up or incite them to pressing into more of their potential. The Word is exhorting us to give attention and continuous care each other. My heart is so grieved when I observe people, and they seem to busy themselves to such a degree that they can barely keep an eye on their own life let along others. I personally feel that God desires us to go beyond ourselves. There is more to life than just living for pleasure, it is about living from our hearts, and helping others. He desires that we purpose to help one another grow and live in all the good things that our Lord wants us to live and grow in!

Today I encourage you to look around and observe those that God has put in your life. Seek ways to encourage them and bring out the best in them. Let us pay attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds.
 

 
 
 


“You Raise Me Up”

You Raise Me Up Gradient Lettering
 
by Dona Hake
 
Psalm 27:5 (TLB)

 

” There I’ll be when troubles come.

He will hide me.

 

He will set me on a high rock”

 
 
Isn’t it interesting that the psalmist said “when trouble comes?” He definitely understood that there would be trouble because it is part of life. He also understood where he would be positioned in the midst of it. He expected God’s mighty hand to gird him and lift him up above the storms beneath him.
When unrest visits our soul, it is a beautiful thing to know that we have a God that has a plan of escape for us. As he hides us under His wings we can be assured that He is well able to get us through any battle in this life. Today I encourage you to reflect on His wonderful peace as a place of refuge. His peace exceeds all our thoughts about any matter and it will guard and shelter our hearts and minds!
Can we proclaim today that God is lifting us up and He desires to place us above anything that troubles our soul?  
 


“The Way You Give To Others”

do to others
by Dona Hake
 
Matthew 7:12 (MSG)
“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior:

 

Ask yourself what you want people to do for you,

then grab the initiative and do it for them.”
 
We all have feelings about how we desire to be treated. This scripture is exhorting us to “grab the initiative” and do for them that which you desire to be done to you. Many times this scripture is used more when something negative may happen. I want to look at it relative to just blessing and doing good. I want to stir your heart to take initiative to just be a blessing to someone…just because you want to show the love of God. If we are honest we would say that we all love when someone blesses us for no reason at all.
 
 
Today we here much about random acts of kindness. Recently I had someone bless me with much needed help while my husband was out of the country, and my heart was so grateful. To be quite honest, I can have a hard time just receiving help because I know how busy everyone is. Thank God for those times in which people bless you out of obedience to the Holy Spirit. When it is in our power to bless or help someone, I believe the Lord wants us to take initiative and do so. We live in a time in which our lives are so busy, and we must be so careful to never become so engrossed in our own little worlds that there is no time left over to be a vessel of God’s kindness and love.
 
 
I love the translation of this scripture and it fits well with living a life of giving.
Luke 6:38 Easy-to-Read Version
“Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
 
 
Giving is not just done through money, it is done in a handful of ways. There may be someone in your path today that is heavy in heart, and just needs someone to listen to them. Think about the times that all you wanted was someone to listen to you. You may even encounter someone needing direction, and they are feeling overwhelmed. Let’s say you have walked through a similar situation and God has blessed you with wisdom relative to their experience. Are you willing to take the time and be a blessing and share your wisdom? It just may be very possible that you are the vessel in which God desires to speak His wisdom through.
 
 

There are a world of opportunities for us to do God’s Word. So grab the initiative and look for opportunities!




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!