“Jesus Remains the Same”

Jesus the same

by Dona Hake

 I have heard it said that 67% of people hate change. I kind of feel that holds true. I really can not say where I stand on this thought because some days I like to see things a bit unpredictable yet there are other days I hate the kind of changes that can come in this life. I am sure you too could agree.

 

I am so thankful that Jesus never changes. His love never changes for me. No matter how bad I mess up He still loves me. If I fall, He promises to reach out His loving hand and pick me up…but I must reach out and ask for His help.
I am glad that He never changes positions… He is always by my side and I am so glad that I can count on that. His ear is always towards me when I pray, He has never failed to be therefor me 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 is. There may be things that are changing and it is beyond your 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

Living Bible (TLB)

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

(a revised, archived devotional from October, 2013)

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“Make Plans But…”

make plans but count on God to directyou

by Dona Hake

I love watching how our youngest granddaughter tries to keep up with her big sister.  Some days she amazes me how she seems so independent and wants to do so much without any help.  The other morning I was getting her out of my car and it was deep snow and ice, and she got a bit frustrated with me.  In her mind she wanted to try to walk through it herself and did not even want to hold my hand.  I knew she would have fallen so I picked her up and carried her past the danger.  The whole time I am hearing, “Grandma, I can do it!!! Put me down!!!”

How many times do we think we can just do things without God’s assistance ?   How many times do we  go forward without God’s okay on something therefore doing things in our own ability.  Many times God does step in and pick us up and carry us past the “difficult” and unfortunately there are times we have to learn the hard way.  Thank God He is merciful and patient with us and He is always there to pick us back up, and point us in the right direction.

Proverbs 16:3
(NIV)
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”

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“My God, my Hope”

my God my Hope

by Dona Hake

Psalm 31:24 (NASB)
“Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the Lord.”

The other day while riding in my car I heard someone sharing a testimony and it was relative to our hope being in the Lord.  She said, “Hope is like oxygen for your next breath.”  That one sentence was so powerful and it really touched my heart.  Sometimes in life you just do not even know what you are going to do in the next moment you face.  Things can be so overwhelming that we seem to not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Know that Jesus is there for you, no matter how hopeless it may seem.

When I ponder this scripture in Psalms, it challenges my heart in a different way.  It says, “and let your heart take courage…”   Sometimes we can tend to relax our faith and just accept things as they are, therefore discouragement is able to flood your soul. God desires that we TAKE COURAGE and believe for things to become as He sees them.  Let us take courage as we hope in Him for He truly is our light no matter how dark the darkness is.  Know that hope in Him is like oxygen for your next breath and it will cause you to hold fast and confidently stand in faith until your storm passes.

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“May My Words and Thoughts Be Acceptable”

Let the words of my mouth... Psalm 19-14

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 think that we cannot pray this prayer too many times. 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.  Truth is if we would check in with Him more often we could really avoid a lot of problems in our life.

 

 

Really when you think about it, it is the unspoken thoughts that are not dealt with that will eventually get us into trouble with loved ones and friends or those in the work place. Let us remember the next time a thought comes that you are not too sure of to stop and ask Him. “Lord, I need some direction here because I do not know if my thinking is correct on this matter.” Fill my mind with Your thoughts that I be not offensive and hurtful to those that I love.  Please give me the wisdom that I really need right now.”

 

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 in this life.

 

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“I Will Dwell In the House of the Lord Forever”

I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever

by Dona Hake

“…I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 23:6

To dwell in a place means to  live or continue in a given condition or state.  God desires that His children never  leave the beauty of His presence.  He desires we never stray or entertain thoughts of the “grass being greener on the other side.”    As He follows us all the days of our lives, He so longs for our love.  He longs that we give Him everything.

Oh that we would remind ourselves as much as possible of the abundance of blessings we possess in Him.  Let us declare that we belong to Him and exhibit it proudly.  We should delight to give testimony of what He has or is doing in our life.  I encourage you to look for opportunities to share the wonderful things He has done for you as you dwell in Him!

“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have

put my trust in the Lord God and made Him my

refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.”

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“Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me”

goodness and mercy follow me

by Dona Hake

“SURELY goodness and mercy SHALL follow me all the days of my life.”

As we have walked through each precious verse of Psalm 23 we can be most assured that we serve a faithful, loving Shepherd!  Because He is so good, we can most assuredly say “only goodness and mercy WILL follow me.”

If you have lived any length of time on this earth you can testify to the fact that there will be tests and there will be trials.  Nevertheless, our Shepherd has promised to follow us around with His goodness and His mercy.  Many times trials can test our confidence in Christ, but we must remember that He will never give up on us.  Even though we fall, He has promised to lift us back up and restore us again.

His goodness and mercy should not only follow us but we should have it flowing through us.  I believe that we can vessels of His goodness and mercy even to those that you may feel are undeserving of it.    I leave you with two questions to ask yourself and ponder…How do you deposit the blessings you have received into the lives of others? And can others see that you are  being followed by His goodness and mercy?  I find these two questions very challenging and I want to think about them on a regular basis in order to keep my heart challenged…how about you?

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“My Cup Runneth Over”

My cup runneth over

by Dona Hake

This world seems to have so much to offer and tempt us.  If we do not keep our eyes on Jesus we can be pulled and tugged to find our satisfaction is things other than Him.  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 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 to you!

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“He Anoints My Head With Oil”

He anoints my head Aby Dona Hake

I have an image in my mind of the troubled sheep standing submissively under the shepherd’s hands as he pours fresh oil down over his woolly forehead. As the shepherd gently rubs it into his head he is assured that his sheep will be protected from torments that come from a particular pestilence. The shepherd well knows and understands how his sheep can be troubled by nose flies. These little flies buzz about the sheep’s head attempting to deposit their eggs on the damp, mucous membranes of the nasal passages. If they succeed the worm-like larvae work their way up into the the sheep’s head. It is then that the intense irritation cause extreme inflammation to the poor sheep. There is extreme torment and pain for this poor sheep that has been afflicted with this nasty parasite.

 

 

I think of the daily cares that seem to swarm around our heads and torment us as well. Many times we are tempted to worry about things before they even happen. We try at times to put things out of our minds yet thoughts that are not dealt with eventually take root and get bigger. We must purpose ourselves to daily stay under our caring Shepherd’s loving hands. Allow Him to pour the oil of His loving Spirit over you and permeate your mind, heart, and soul.

 

 

It is as we spend time with Him that we will receive our daily anointing of His fresh Spirit in our lives. Allow His fresh and sweet presence to anoint your soul that you are resisting picking up cares and any other tormenting things that seem to bring you down.



“You Prepare A Table For Me”

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemines

by Dona Hake

“You Prepare A Table For Me In the Presence of My Enemies”

As I have been reading  from the experience of a shepherd, he speaks of the tableland for his sheepfold.  Before the shepherd attempts to move his sheep to these high plateaus he must go before them and make preparations.  He looks over the rough, wild country and with great care distributes salt and minerals for the nourishment of his flock.   He goes over the range carefully to determine how vigorous the grass and vegetation is.  His keen eye and wisdom and initiative will cause his flock to be safe and they will thrive.  One of the most important things is the shepherd’s attention that he gives is to the removal of the poisonous weeds on a tableland that could kill his sheep if they ingest them.

I see an analogy here as to the importance that we take hold of being led by the Spirit of God.  Our Good Shepherd always has our well being in mind and is watching over us.  As we are led by Him and we purpose to heed to His instruction and admonishment  we will continually be moving forward with Him to higher places in the will of God for our life.

“I have set the Lord always before me…”

The Bible speaks of the Devil appearing as an angel of light.  Let us always be mindful that there will be things that may appear good yet they are evil.  As we stay close to Him and permit Him to show us the “poisonous” things that could cause us to stumble, it will always be to our benefit.  Let us remember that our Master has been there ahead of us coping with every situation which could undo us.  As we make the decision to keep Him before us, we will continue to move forward with a discerning heart and have the ability to know that which is good and that which is evil.  Thank God today that He is well able to cause your mind and heart to be led by Him in all things.

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“Your Rod and Your Staff”

Your Rod and Your Staff they comfort me

by Dona Hake

Psalm 23:4 (DARBY) 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

When you are walking through a dark valley in this life you absolutely must believe that He is beside you.  He has not left you alone to walk in a place in which you do not understand.  It makes my heart cringe when I hear a believer exclaim, “Where is God in all of this?…”    Either you believe with all of your heart that Jesus keeps His Word or you do not.  Jesus plainly said in His Word, “I will not leave nor forsake you.”

Let us look at what one of the  meanings that  the rod symbolizes.  One of the uses for a shepherd’s rod was to examine and count the sheep.  Many times when we are walking through difficult times we may find that our perspective on life is now different.  We come to grip with the reality of what is really important and God is able to touch your heart in an area He may not have been able to before.  You may then feel His gentle tug to deal with a particular area of your life. As you  permit Him to deal with your heart, He will speak and instruct you in that which may need help or change.

Psalm 139:23-24 (AMP)

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart!

Try me and know my thoughts!

And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.”

The staff is symbolic of His loving and watchful care over you and your life.  He is concerned about you and He sees your every need.  The staff is also used in guiding sheep that they stay on the right path.  We know that His Word is a lamp onto our feet and a light onto our path. As we permit Him to lead us with His rod and staff we will walk through the valleys as well as walk on the mountain tops with Him.  Praise God for our loving Shepherd!

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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!