“God’s Word – Our Mirror”

Mirror Gods Word as a

by Dona Hake

I would venture to say that before you leave to go to work or go out in public that you will stand in front of your mirror.  What would we do without our mirrors?   Mirrors reflect exactly what we look like and they never lie.  They speak to us in a sense of what needs changed before you leave your home.  If you see your hair is a mess and you walk away and forget to go back and change it, nothing will change until you stop and take whatever effort and attention it needs.

Today I want to share a scripture in which James speaks about our attention to the Word in our life being likened to looking into a mirror.

James 1:22-25 (Amplified)

“But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].

For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;

For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.

But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”

There may have been a time that you have  heard the Word of God and your heart seemed encouraged and lifted up.  At that moment you may feel  you have seen an area of your life in which your are lacking or need growth and change.  If you do not act on the challenge of God’s Word, you will be tempted to back burner the living Word of God and thus go unchanged in that area.  It is the same as seeing yourself in a mirror.   The reflections of your spirit and soul are speaking where they are and you walk away and act as if you did not see it.  Hearing the Word without obedience following  will never change you.  Action by faith in Him must follow!

As we look into the glorious mirror of the living Word of God and it reveals what we need let us ask God to help us receive the wisdom, understanding and direction to deal with our own hearts.  He who has shown this great light of His Word will be faithful to accomplish the change you need and you will be blessed as you obey Him.

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“A Word Fitly Spoken”

listen quick speak slow

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 would be avoided if this simple and profound verse was mastered by us.   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 or hurtful.   This verse has a wealth of wisdom in it for us.   I think it is just as important to listen to another’s heart as well as the words that proceed from their mouth.    After you have listened, then think thoroughly before you open your mouth.  Many times you  may feel that you  have the right answer for someone’s problem yet it is not the appropriate time for that word to be spoken.

Let us ask the Lord to have sensitive hearts that we will listen more sensitively 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.  I would also venture to say that the one that has mastered being a good listener also understands the value of giving their full attention and making eye contact with the one speaking.

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.  I believe the Lord can help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold.

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“In His Presence”

presence is His joy

by Dona Hake

Nehemiah 8:10 (Amplified)

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.”

This is one scripture I have heard many say that is one of their favorite Bible verses.   It is important that we are always purposing to stay in His presence because this is where His joy is found.     Psalm 16:11 says “In Your presence is fullness of joy.”   It is very easy to get caught up in the issues of life, get too busy  and just leave Him out of our affairs.  Let us never forget that He is called along side to help us.  His Word says that He will perfect that which concerns us.   He also knows every anxious thought that tries to torment us and rob our joy.

I like to think of being in His presence as having a constant awareness that He is listening to my thoughts and my words, and  He sees every action.    As I pray I can be fully confident that He is right there listening to me.  The more we strive to walk in His ways we will stay conscious that He is always present.  After all did He not promise that He would never leave or forsake us?  His joy in all of it’s fullness will certainly bring us every bit of strength that we need for each and every day of our lives.  Let us give thanks to Him that He has promised to be our faithful friend and He is always present with  us!

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“God Is Looking…”

Contrite Spirit

By Dona Hake

I marvel at God’s creation! I can remember being at Niagara Falls and The Grand Canyon and it caused me to release a deep breath in awe of God. How did He do it? These ponderings should always position us to be reminded of how great our God is! In the book of Isaiah is is written

“My hand made all these things
and brought them into being, says the Lord.
But here is where I will look:
to the humble and contrite in spirit,
those who tremble at my word.”

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.

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“Continuing In His Light”

light in darkness

by Dona Hake

I was speaking with a gentleman yesterday and he was sharing how scared he was in a recent snow storms.  He was driving down the road and without warning he encountered a “white out.”    This occurs when the light reflected off the snow equals the light coming through the clouds.  He said what was most frightening was that he had no recollection of what was behind him so he feared stopping.  He was completely blinded with absolutely no visibility in front of him.  As I listened to him I could see how unnerving that had to have been.

God’s  Word tells us in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  As I ponder this scripture and this man’s story it causes me to be mindful that sometimes in life all can seem normal and just out of nowhere an unexpected problem or danger can hit.  With no warning at all you may be faced with a decision that could affect many around you.

It is vitally important that we take seriously that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are connected with the light of His Word that we can know exactly what to do in such situations.   It is in those times that it seems like everything around you can just become dark.  The temptation to fear what your next step should be could cause fear to grip your heart.  Again, as we are walking along side of Him, we know all too well that He is faithful to show us exactly what to do.

light God is light in him no dark

 “The psalmist proclaims in Psalm 119:112  I have resolved to obey your laws forever, at every step.”  I believe this kind of  resolve in one’s heart  will always cause him to hold fast to God no matter what he sees or cannot see.    This is the man that will not be moved by circumstance but in faith in God alone.    We can be assured that our faith will be met by a God of total light because in Him is NO darkness at all.

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“When He Touches My Heart”

Heart He touches my

by Dona Hake

Last evening I was putting some wicker baskets away and after I hung them I was almost certain that I had gotten a splinter from one of them.   I could not see the splinter because it was so tiny so    I went down to my office where I have a magnifying glass with light behind it.  Sure enough there was a splinter that I would never been able to see without magnification.  The thought of taking a sterile needle and digging it out made me cringe, yet to leave it there would just cause an even more painful problem.  I decided to remove that splinter and even though it was painful, I was so glad it was out.

This reminds me of how many times the Word of God will expose things within us that are ever so tiny.  Sometimes there are things in our hearts that we think are okay to leave alone.  He well understands that our problems start as a seed and if let go it will gain momentum and cause us painful consequences.  We can choose to leave these “little things”  alone and bear painful consequences or allow Him to deal with it.    Sometimes the dealings of getting our hearts right isn’t always the most comfortable, but when it is taken care of, the healing will surely begin.

Hebrews 4: 12 – 13 (PHILLIPS)
” For the Word that God speaks is alive and active;

it cuts more keenly than any two-edged sword:

it strikes through to the place where soul and spirit meet,

to the innermost intimacies of a man’s being: it exposes

the very thoughts and motives of a man’s heart.

No creature has any cover from the sight of God;

everything lies naked and exposed before the

eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

I am so thankful that His Word is able to cut  right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of our heart.  No one knows us better than the God that has made us!   He loves us so much and desires to lovingly deal with our hearts that we may continue to go forward and grow in Him.

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“He Hears Our Voice”

Prayer God hears

by Dona Hake

I would like to share from Psalm 116.  The psalmist begins the chapter by exclaiming, “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice…”   He proceeded to say that he knew God’s ear was toward him and then he said, “I will call on Him as long as I live!”

You see this psalmist understood that death was staring him in the face and he had no where to turn. I am sure that what the writer went through was terrifying and he stops and reminds himself of who and what his God is all about.    This is what Psalm 116:7-9 says.

“Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.”

I believe this chapter in Psalms can serve to remind us that in trying circumstances we absolutely must call on the Lord for our help and we must purpose to remind ourselves of His love and care over us.  As he said, “Return to your rest, my soul for the Lord has been good to you…”   We too need to remind ourselves of these truths that our souls may be calmed.   As we walk before the Lord in the land of the living, let us rejoice in His mighty works He has done in our lives!

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“The Power of Perseverance”

perseverence

by Dona Hake

While driving yesterday I saw something that I never saw before.  With gusts of wind of 40 m.p.h. I looked up and saw a large bird flying.  What was very odd at one point is that even though it was flapping it’s wings it was literally not moving forward.  It dawned on me that it was flying against the gust of wind.  Every so often it would go forward and then it was just flapping it’s wings but going no where.  I saw a wonderful analogy in this as I pondered what I saw.

That bird was doing all it knew to do.  Although the strong winds were coming against this bird’s flight, he just continued flapping it’s wings.  He was not moved by the fact that he was going no where at certain points nor did he look like he was panicking.  He  kept doing the only thing he knew to do.  He never once looked like giving up, he  just kept persevering against the wind.

Many times in life when the winds of trouble come against us and serve to slow us down or stop us, we too need to just keep doing all we know to do.  As we make the decision to stand in faith, it is almost a guarantee that we will be tested, yet God can keep us standing firm and unmovable.

Ephesians 6:13 (AMP)
“Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that

you may be able to resist and stand your ground

on the evil day [of danger], and, having done

all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”

Just know that as you remain steadfast in your faith and His purposes that He is able to keep you in the difficulties and obstacles and He will cause us to rejoice in the victory!

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“Lay Down Your Burdens”

slide-02

by Dona Hake

Look closely at this picture and notice the burdens this individual is giving to the Lord.    Maybe you can put yourself in this image and think about the burdens you may be carrying.    You know, the Lord does not want us to try to carry any burdens.  He came to set us free from those things and as we make the decision to turn them over to Him, He promises to help us with them.

Psalm 55:22
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…”

I like the absoluteness of this scripture…”HE SHALL SUSTAIN THEE…”   Burdens will hold you down.  Burdens will keep you from moving forward into your dreams.  Burdens will flat out keep you from being free. God desires that you give Him every burden in order that He may anchor you in His hope and He also promises that you will not be shaken or moved.

slide-12

Matthew 11:29-30  (NLV)
“Follow My teachings and learn from Me.

I am gentle and do not have pride.

You will have rest for your souls.

For My way of carrying a load is easy and My load is not heavy.”

I just want to encourage you to make sure you are not carrying burdens.  Your help is from Him and all you have to do is ask Him to take that burden.  He promised He would and He is faithful to do that which He said in His Word.

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“His Unfailing Love”

love unfailing

by Dona Hake

As a little girl I can remember one of my Grandmothers having a wall plaque and it had three powerful words written on it…”Jesus Never Fails.”    Those three words always intrigued me.   I would wonder how He could be so perfect and how impossible it seemed that there was someone that could not fail.  His unfailing love just seemed too hard for me to comprehend.   Just the thought of someone never messing up and always being there for me just seemed too great and unreachable.

“…but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in Him.”

Psalm 32:10b  NIV

As you purpose to trust Him with all of your heart He promises to surround you with His unfailing love.    Amazing isn’t it?  Just to try to fathom that His love is incapable of failing.    His love knows only faithfulness.  His love has no beginning and it has no end.   Because His love has no limits,   He promises to always be there as our  faithful Friend.

 

When you feel like no one understands or you  feel like you are standing alone, know this…if you put your trust in Jesus, He promises to never fail you, leave you or forsake you.   A God of perfect love desires to come along side of you  and encompass you with the beauty of His never ending, unfailing love.

 

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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!