“…Bring My Soul Out of Prison…”

soul imprisoned

by Dona Hake

As we have just celebrated the glorious holiday Easter, we have been reminded in our hearts of all that Jesus did for us.  We celebrate our freedom from sin and the wonderful fact that He has made us overcomers in this life.   Sadly there are times we fail to realize that He desires we be free in every area and aspect of our lives.  Our minds and hearts may be held prisoner by many different things, and we may fail to realize that we are still in bondage.  Let us beware of such a thing and desire the freedom and abundant life He desires us to have.

I want to take you to a scripture that David had written when he was hiding from Saul in caves.  These may have seemed like prisons to him because of the confinement.  He was losing hope, and bound in fear and depression.  There may be times that we are caught in depression, fear, unforgiveness, etc…

Psalm 142:6-7
“Attend unto my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver

me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may celebrate thy name.

The righteous shall surround me, because thou dealest bountifully with me.”

One thing we must understand is that a prison is not just a physical place where one is paying a price for a wrong done.  There can be “prisons” within our hearts and minds that those around you do not even know  exist.   You know, we can learn to hide things very well at times and act like everything is okay.     Yet there are  times there are unspoken thoughts that are wrong and you embrace them.  They roam your mind freely and let me make emphasis on the word *freely*.  They may be free in your mind but they are imprisoning you and keeping you from staying humble to God.  Maybe there is unforgiveness in your heart that you refuse to release…again it is your own prison.  There is also the horrible effects that fear can have on one’s heart and make one feel prisoner.

Let us remind ourselves that we were meant to be free in Jesus Christ.  It is only by Him that we can be free.  Let us never be afraid to ask the Lord to “bring our soul out of prison.”  He knows our heart and mind inside and out and He loves us so much.

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Faith-Assurance With Hope In Prayer”

faith assurance in hope

by Dona Hake

He is risen!!!!  Praise God we serve a Living Savior and He lives forever!  Today I encourage you to look to Him for all that you need.  It is through believing upon His Name that we have an abundant life promised to us.  He has promised to be there for us and He said He would never forsake us!  He has wiped away all of our sins as far as the east is to the west.  Oh my, what a wonderful thing to be thankful for this day!

In this life we will face times in which we need answers to problems and wisdom to walk through them.  Let us remind ourselves that we serve the One that made us over comers through His blood.  There is not one thing that we ever have to walk through that He has not promised to walk through it with us.

Hebrews 11:1
Living Bible 
“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.”

I praise Him today that I can abide in His loving care and just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can live in confident assurance as I keep my eyes upon Him.  I pray that you will have a blessed and beautiful Easter Day!!!


“Our Blessed Assurance”


by Dona Hake

Yesterday I shared about Thomas’ reaction to hearing that Jesus had appeared to the disciples.  Poor Thomas just happened to miss the whole surprising event.  I am very sure that he had to be disappointed.    I can only imagine the joy and emotions that had been stirred among the other disciples and he missed it.  Don’t you just hate when something super exciting happens and you just happened to miss the whole thing cause you decided to be somewhere else.   On top of it all Thomas doubted that they even saw Jesus.

He saw Jesus suffer and die on the cross and now his friends are saying that He was right there in the same room speaking with them. I am paraphrasing Thomas’ reaction…”Unless I can touch His nail scarred hands and see where the sword pierced His side, I am not believing this whole deal!” A week later Jesus walked through the same room with locked doors. Thomas was there this time and Jesus totally knew what Thomas needed to see. As Jesus showed His hands and side, Thomas’ reaction…”My Lord, My God!!!”

My heart is just stuck on this story because it just touches my heart and stirs me to realize how often we too struggle with doubt and unbelief.  The scripture that immediately follows this story is:

John 20:30-31

“Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll.  But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.”

The Word of God should be held very precious in our hearts.  It is God’s love letters to us that we might keep our hearts stirred and full of faith that we might believe and have life in His name.  It is stories like this that should cause us to see ourselves in these same situations and cause our hearts to grow in faith.  I encourage you today to love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart and everything that is within you, therefore you will life in the abundance and joy and overcoming faith that He intended for you!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“My Lord and My God!!!!”


by Dona Hake

I don’t know about you but some of the wonderful stories in the Bible make me just close my eyes and try to visualize what it must have been like in that moment in time. Today we are looking at John 20:25-30 where the disciples had just experienced Jesus making an appearance after His death. The room where they were in had locked doors for fear of the Jews. As Jesus entered the room He spoke peace over them and they were thrilled to see Him and they even got to touch His nail scarred hands and side. I cannot even imagine how they felt after seeing Jesus dying and then to see Him alive again! I tell you what I cannot imagine is being one of the twelve and I just happened to not be there. Oh my…talk about disappointment or shall we say for Thomas …a whole lot of doubt.

You got to give it to Thomas, he was being honest and he just was not buying this story unless there was proof and he spoke what proof he wanted.

John 20:25-30
Easy-to-Read Version

They told him, “We saw the Lord.” Thomas said, “That’s hard to believe. I will have to see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side. Only then will I believe it.”

A week later the followers were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand here in my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to him, “You believe because you see me. Great blessings belong to the people who believe without seeing me!”

I have read these scriptures over and over again since I have started meditating on this yesterday. I can just see Jesus walking toward Thomas and after his eyes saw the scarred hands and side of Jesus, Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God!” I keep visualizing the possibility of Thomas dropping to his knees in total awe, humility, and worship to Jesus. Every bit of doubt melted away and his heart was filled with renewed faith.

Jesus knew Thomas’ heart before he entered the room and He addressed Thomas’ doubt right away. He knew what Thomas needed to see and Jesus showed Him. To me this story reminds me that we in times of unbelief are challenged to just believe before we see the end result. I encourage you to ponder this story in your heart to just believe that He is alive and desires to show Himself to you however you need Him to. Are you troubled? Sad? Sick? Jesus just wants you to believe that He can be whatever you need Him to be as you release your faith in prayer. His loving, nail scarred hands are ready to touch your life today!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~


“Guarding the Blessings From Above”

Where Your Treasure Is

by Dona Hake

Matthew 6:19-21  (Darby)

“Don’t pile up treasures on earth, where moth and rust can spoil them and thieves can break in and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is neither moth nor rust to spoil it and nobody can break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, you may be certain that your heart will be there too!”

There are so many things in this life that can serve to distract us from what is really the most important things in life.    Many may feel that if they only had more money or if they were more beautiful that everything would be better.  You could be the richest and most beautiful person in the world yet  have an empty and lonely heart.  The things in this world cannot compare to those things  that proceed from the windows of Heaven.  We need to remind ourselves to be in great gratitude and thanks to our Lord for how He has touched in our lives.

When we start to accumulate the beautiful treasures that only Heaven can birth in our hearts, we will know and understand that they cannot be taken from us.  His Word should be our greatest treasure and we need to guard it with all diligence.

Proverbs 4:23 (Amplified)

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Today I encourage you to look up!  Look up and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that He has touched your heart with.  There are blessings all around you and He desires that you embrace a heart of thankfulness and that you would never take any good thing for granted.  It is God that is the giver of all good things and today we can praise Him for that!

~~~~~     ♥    ~~~~~

“Do You Understand His Plans?”

plans and purposes

by Dona Hake

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 plans that are for a specific day and then there are the plans and dreams that live in our hearts about our life in general.    The questions I think are good for us to ponder throughout our days and lives:

What would the Lord have me to do today to bless Him?

Are my plans fittings His purposes that He has for me?

A purpose is the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.  I think it is the most wonderful feeling that you just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are flowing in the perfect will of God.  I absolutely hate when I feel like I do not know if I am supposed to be doing something or not.  As I have shared before there may be times you may even be  doing a good thing yet it may not be the Lord’s will that you are  doing it.  All these types of good works can merely rob you of your time and energy.  We should always desire that our days be fully productive for Him and those around us.

As you begin your day I encourage you to seek Him and know that your heart is toward Him and your ears are as well.  He desires to speak to your heart while you are at work, home or whatever you may be doing.    Maintain a readiness of heart at all times to be used by Him.

I chuckled to myself the other day.  I was in a store and a mother was struggling trying to carry something and she looked at her child and said, “Don’t just stand there, make yourself useful!”  (I can remember my mother speaking those words to me.)  How true this is for us.  As we stay aware of how He desires to use us we will not just stand empty handed, we will allow Him to make us useful!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“Conquer Through Love”

conquer through love

by Dona Hake

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.”


to be real,

must cost –

it must hurt –

it must empty us of self.”

Mother Teresa

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!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“I Can See Clearly Now”

be thou my vision

by Dona Hake

“Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light”

(A portion of lyrics from “Be Thou My Vision”)

Just a few verses from the beautiful hymn “Be Thou My Vision.”  I believe the more we purpose to keep our eyes steadfast on Him, the more we will see clearly and see as He sees.  As we take hold of His commands we can begin to walk with more courage and confidence.  Many times if things seem foggy and unclear to us we can fear making one step in front of the other.  Yet the more we have clear understanding we know by His Word that He will broaden our path and we can run the race with joy and purpose in our hearts!

Psalm 119:32 (CEB)

” I run the same path as your commandments
because you give my heart insight.”

Today my prayer for you is from Ephesians 1:18…

Ephesians 1:18 (CEV)

“My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.”

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“My Delight Is In the Lord!”

tree planted by living waters

by Dona Hake

Psalm 1 :2-3  (TLB)

“…but they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

 They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.”

There is great reward for being diligent in embracing the Word of God.  As you daily follow Him and purpose to put His teachings first and foremost in your life, He has promised that your life would be prospered.  As we stand as trees along God’s riverbank we will begin to see things grow and develop within us.  Let us always be mindful that our fruit is not for us alone to survive in this life but rather to be a blessing to those around us.  Let us purpose to be used by Him and to be willing to bless those He puts in our path as we live and abide in Him.  As we proclaim His Word many will be blessed and nourished from the  fruit that our lives bear.

Proverbs 10:21 (NIV)

“The lips of the righteous nourish many…”


I’m feeling blessed today knowing that I am standing strong in His promises.  I love that He has promised that my life would bear fruit all the seasons of my life and all that I put my hand to shall prosper!

~~~~~     ♥     ~~~~~

“The Snare of Perfection”

snare of perfection

by Dona Hake

As a very young believer I can remember having conversations with my Daddy about his spiritual condition.  He did not know the Lord and his first and biggest reason was he felt he did too much wrong in his past and God would never accept him.  Over and over I would try to tell him that God is forgiving and He was able to wash his past clean and give him a fresh start.

You see my Daddy was  a perfectionist.  Everything had to be exact and perfect.  He was a very  intelligent man yet the perfectionist thing became his snare.  The Lord had showed me many times that because of this snare, his conversion would be a death bed experience and so it was.  Sitting beside him in his final hours of life he laid motionless and very unresponsive.  I was growing weary and hopelessness was beginning to try to grip my heart.   I thought how can I communicate with him now since he is almost in a non responsive state of mind and his body was not moving.  Quietly I whispered in his ear, “This is it Daddy, you have very little time…you are going to die…if you want me to pray with you…do something…flutter your eyes…just give me some way of knowing you want me to pray”    Many moments passed and then I was stunned as I saw him slowly moving his hand toward me to embrace mine.  It was his way of communicating that he wanted me to pray.

I will never forget how precious he was as I looked into his eyes and I asked him if he knew Christ.  I held a picture of Jesus in front of his face and said, “Do you know Him now?”  My father nodded and indeed my heart was full of joy to know that when he took his final breath that he went to be with Jesus.   Did he leave a perfect life behind?  Absolutely not.  Did he leave forgiven?  Oh yes he did!!! His thoughts of thinking his life had to be perfect robbed him of his life on earth.  I encourage you today to know that God is not looking for you to be perfect.  He is looking for the heart that knows that it has need of Him and His forgiveness!

Psalm 103:12 (CEB) 
As far as east is from west—
that’s how far God has removed our sin from us.

~~~~~    ♥     ~~~~~

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!