Friday, June 19, 2020

 
 
 
 
 
Devotional 6/19/20
“What Is The Transformed Life?”
 
 
 
As we have been meditating upon Romans 12:1-2 we saw that our God desires to be delighted in His heart as we live in holiness before Him. He loves when we express all that He is in every detail of our life. This is what becomes our genuine expression of worship. This is walking in transformation, and not being conformed to this world.
 
Over the next devotionals we will be pondering the word ~transformed~. Today my heart is being led by the Spirit of God to ponder the words in Micah 6:8.
 
“With what shall I come before the Lord [to honor Him] And bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Will the Lord be delighted with thousands of rams, Or with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my acts of rebellion, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?”
Micah 6:6-8 – The Amplified Translation

Many times people view outward works of goodness and sacrifice as being a transformed person. The transformed life is not about a display of good works, although works of godly goodness and obedience will proceed from the believer that presses in to God. Anyone… even an unbeliever can do beautiful and wonderful things apart from God. We as believers are called upon to live daily, looking to Him to continue to deal with us and continue His work within us.  True transformation comes from our willful obedience, determining to walk in His love, and walking humbly before Him.
 
 
This scripture in Micah sums it up…“be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?”
 
 
God is looking for that man and woman that will dare to live the transformed life, and it is then that glory will be brought to His Name! I look forward to the next few days as we look at the transformed life of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

 
 
 
Devotional 6/13/20 
“Delighting His Heart”
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
We have looked at Romans 12:1-2 over the past two days from the Passion Translation. As I look over these scriptures again the words that are really speaking to my heart today are… “and live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart…”. (excerpt from Romans 12:1-2 The Passion Translation)
 
Are we transforming according to His Word or are there times that  we conforming to the world’s ways? This is the question we need to continue to challenge our hearts with. Do we know that we are seeking His Word in every situation, or do we get our own thoughts or opinions mixed into how we live?? This is not a once and done thing, this is something we need to continually keep in check within our hearts.
 
These scriptures warn us to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of our culture, and press into God like never before. We need to seek Him completely and believe for His guidance in the smallest of matters and details of our life. God is looking for total reformation of how we live! Let us go forward in Jesus Name expecting to continually be transformed by His Word and delighting His heart as we do so.


Friday, June 12, 2020

 
 
Devotional 6/12/20 
“Be Transformed”
 
 
 
 
Let us look at and meditate upon Romans 12:1-2 again…
 
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
Romans 12:1-2 – The Passion Translation
 
Here we see that our response to our Lord’s mercies should be surrender. It is in surrender that we will live holy and separated onto the life that He desires.
Here is the thing though… we need to continue to maintain an awareness that the ideals and opinions around us have an extremely loud voice. Our thoughts and views can easily become conformed to this world if we are not cautious over our thought realm. Now more than ever the voice and influences of the news and social media will most certainly snatch away our peace if we do not handle it correctly. Then there are opinions. Oh my… we need to be careful of our own opinions and those opinions that we hear.
 
Today I encourage you to challenge your own heart to permit the Holy Spirit to transform your every thought, opinion, worry, fear, etc… As you invite Him to work on your heart and mind, transformation will come, and it will come and it will continue. It will give you power to discern between right and wrong thinking. It will cause a wonderful godly discernment that is needful to stay strong in your Lord.

“But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil the reality of every truth within you…”
John 16:13 – The Passion Translation


Thursday, June 11, 2020

 
 
 
Devotional 6/11/20 
“His Transformed Life In Us”
 
 
 
 
“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.”
Romans 12:1-2 – The Passion Translation
 
I love the translation of these verses here in Romans. Respond, surrender, live, and experience all of that delights His heart!
 
The devotionals over the past two weeks have strongly focused on the mirror of His Word. I hope you permit the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance how important it is to look into His mirror in order to see yourself as He sees you. It is then that you will receive His loving correction and direction as He leads you in His perfect will. This is how continual transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit is going to take place in our hearts.
 
Over the next few days we will look at keeping ourselves out of the trap of being pulled into the world’s way. This is the secret of standing out and shining for Jesus. It paves our way to share words of life and our testimony with those that want to hear!


Thursday, June 4, 2020

 
 
Devotional 6/4/20
“His Still Waters-A Reflection In His Mirror”
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
Have you ever stood over still water, and observed your own reflection? It too is like a mirror. Today we continue our meditation upon God‘s Word being His mirror.
 
 
Let us look at those times you are hearing or reading God‘s Word, and He gently and sweetly strikes at your heart.   Sometimes our minds can be so full of what we think is important that we are missing what our Lord is seeing.   In those times it  is like He is tugging you to draw near to understand something in a deeper way. It may be something you never realized about yourself before. These are those special moments where He is gently leading you to the still water where He stands beside you and you gaze at your reflection…you standing beside of Him.  These are those special times that He desires for us. He desires we gaze into His Word as we spend time in His presence.
 
 
Today I encourage you to set time aside to be still before Him, and set your gaze upon Him. Listen to His whisper of direction and maybe even correction. Drink of those still waters that will restore your soul. Permit Him to speak to your heart about things that you need to deal with or grow in that you may flourish in His specific will for you.
 

“He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters. He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Psalm 23:2-3 -The Amplified Version


June 3, 2020

Devotional 6/3/20
“God’s Word- The Place To Dwell”
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I am going to take today’s time of meditation to be in review of what I have been sharing on the mirror of God’s Word. I feel I am to continue sharing the Word relative to this so let us look at what we have covered.
 
 
If we have minds that are the home of anxious thoughts and fears, it will hinder us from responding to God‘s Word. We must tend to our souls diligently, and clean house so to speak. As we keep our hearts and minds completely full of the peace that passes all understanding we will be quick to be a doer of His Word.
 
 
As we stay humble we will faithfully abide, and live by His Word. He desires that we do not walk on the “fence” but to live and walk the narrow way. Walking on the fence as the world speaks of is  sitting on the fence and straddling the position between two ideas without committing to either of them.  We can not feel it is possible to live with one foot in the world’s ways, but if trouble comes and when you have need of God you get on the other side of the fence.    I remember hearing a Pastor say, “Many try to build a foundation in the midst of a flood, and it is a very hard and impossible thing to do!”   This is not the way to live my friends! This is not pleasing to our Lord.
 
 
If we have ears to hear let’s use them. We cannot live with selective hearing. Again I share The scripture from James 1:23 -25.
 
 
“If some fail to do what God requires, it’s as if they forget the word as soon as they hear it. One minute they look in the mirror, and the next they forget who they are and what they look like. However, it is possible to open your eyes and take in the beautiful, perfect truth found in God’s law of liberty and live by it. If you pursue that path and actually do what God has commanded, then you will avoid the many distractions that lead to an amnesia of all true things and you will be blessed.”
James 1:23,25 – The Voice Translation
 
 
You have heard the old saying “A mirror never lies”. We may not like what we see at times , but we need to do what we can do to change what we do not like. It is our choice to press in, and change what we do not like about ourselves. God’s mirror will give us vision for a victorious life. We can know that God has given us His grace, wisdom and direction as we continue in His Word… the perfect mirror! Over the next few days I look forward to meditating upon these truths with you. Have a blessed day!


Friday, May 29, 2020

 
 
 
Devotional 5/29/20
“The Sower Tends the Soil of His Heart”
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Yesterday we meditated on responding to God‘s Word. The soil of our heart is determined by how we maintain it.   We must be obedient to Him, and purpose to be humble in all of our ways.  We cannot get away with a life lived carelessly or walking it on “the fence“.   One foot in the world’s ways, and the other in God’s ways are not pleasing to Him.  Oh that our hearts would be kept guarded that we not fall into a pick and choose attitude relative to our obedience to God and His Word. If we do, we will find the Word unable to take root. Therefore we will not see spiritual growth.  There are Christians that struggle deeply because they keep going round and round the same “mountain” of troubles because of this very thing.   God desires that none of us live this way.  Again, the man or woman that looks into His mirror and walks away and forgets is so sad to our Lord’s heart. Let us look at chapter three of the book of Mark in light of looking into the mirror of God’s Word.

“Consider this: A farmer went out to sow seeds. As he cast his seeds some of it fell along the beaten path and soon the birds came and ate it. Other seeds fell onto gravel with no topsoil and the seeds quickly sprouted since the soil had no depth. But when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots. Other seeds fell among the thorns, so when the seeds sprouted so did the thorns, crowding out the young plants so that they could produce no grain. But some of the seeds fell onto good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty—and some even one hundred times as much as was planted! If you understand this, then you need to respond.”
Mark 4:3-9 The Passion Translation
 
Isn’t it interesting that this translation’s last few words of Jesus are “If you understand this, then you need to respond.”  In closing I am going to share a footnote of the Passion translation on this portion of scripture which I found to be interesting…
 
“The one with ears to hear should use them.” We usually apply portions of this parable to unbelievers, but Jesus instructs us to apply it to ourselves. The four kinds of soils speak of four kinds of hearts, hard hearts, hollow hearts, half hearts, and whole hearts. With the first soil we see the activity of Satan, the second, that of the flesh, and the third, that of the world. Bearing fruit is never a problem with the seed but with the soil it falls upon. “
 
May we live for God with whole hearts, and intently gaze into the mirror of His Word!


Thursday, May 28, 2020

 
 
 
Devotional 5/28/20
“Response To His Word”
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
When we look into God‘s Word which is His mirror,
 
 
His desire and perfect will
is that we respond to it.
 
 
He desires we do something with that precious seed of truth. Response is an answer or reply as in words or action. While we may sit in church and say “Amen!“ with our lips we must follow through with action, and be a doer of the word. This response of action is part of being obedient to His gentle hand as He desires to lead us in paths of righteousness that echo His Name.
 
We must handle the Word with all diligence.  We must  guard it, water it, and stand by with watchful eyes to pull up any weed (the work and trap of our enemy) that would try to choke it out, and bring death to that seed of Life in us.
 
The word I want us to meditate upon today is ~response~. The next time you are reading or hearing God’s Word, and His Word strikes at your heart…ask yourself, “How am I going to respond to this?”   You have a choice…You can sit and ponder yourself in His mirror.   His mirror will show you continually how you are growing and where you are weak.  That mirror will instruct you and guide you in His way.  Or can just walk away and be a careless listener. I pray that your desire would be to carefully look at where you are, and where God desires to take you in your walk with Him.

“But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].”
James 1:25 The Amplified Version
 


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

 
 
Devotional 5/27/20
“God’s Word-Our Mirror”
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
I shared last week the value of being a good listener. Beware if you are listening at any time with a mind full of anxious thoughts or preoccupied with something else. If our mind is on other things we will most certainly miss important words we are to be hearing.    
 
Gathering together to hear God’s Word should be something we hold as precious and valuable. I believe our Lord desires that hearing and studying His Word should be a priority  in our life. There are many ways we can hear God’s Word in this day and age, and we can thank God for those advances. We must make sure we are gathering with believers and hearing and valuing the Word of the Lord above all things.
 
This week we will be meditating upon God‘s Word, our mirror. His mirror will show us our reflection which is our potential.   His mirror reflects to us  the wisdom we need for our day, and His perfect will  for us as believers. It IS our daily bread, His provision that we shall not want!
 
As we hear God’s Word,
His perfect will for every
believer is response to it.
 
 
He desires we respond by holding fast to it, absorbing it in the depths of our being, and growing thereby. Sadly one can sit and hear the Word, store it in their brain, and do absolutely nothing with it. These are some of the things we will be looking deeper at over the next few days. I will leave you with this scripture to meditate upon.
 
”If some fail to do what God requires, it’s as if they forget the word as soon as they hear it. One minute they look in the mirror, and the next they forget who they are and what they look like. However, it is possible to open your eyes and take in the beautiful, perfect truth found in God’s law of liberty and live by it. If you pursue that path and actually do what God has commanded, then you will avoid the many distractions that lead to an amnesia of all true things and you will be blessed.
James 1:23,25 The Voice


Saturday, May 23, 2020

 
 
 
Devotional 5/23/20
“The Humble Heart”
 
 
 
By Dona Hake
 
 

Today we continue with chapter one of James. We have been meditating upon being a good listener, one that thinks before he speaks, and one that practices control over anger. In verse 21 James exhorts us to rid of all uncleanness and wickedness. He speaks of the value of receiving God’s Word with a humble spirit. Let us look at that scripture now…
 
“So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].”
James 1:21-22 Amplified Version
 
While I was going to wrap up this meditation today, the Spirit of God has prompted me to focus on one more thing before we proceed to meditating on looking into the mirror.
 
If we fail to heed to God’s Word we are dealing in the realm of a very dangerous pride. This pride will speak to you, and assure you that the Word you hear applies to someone else and not you.
 
Pride will usher you into the
most dangerous
place a believer can live,
and that is self deception.
 
It will cause you to stand firm on your own self created standards and unsound reasoning. It will also cause you to go forward in your own “way” and not walk in God’s way.
 
There is an old saying “It’s like water off a ducks back”. People often use this to describe insults or other negative actions that others do against them that do not harm them.
 
While this is most commonly used when someone ignores insults, I see that same application in the one that just seems to let God‘s Word roll right off their back and pretend as if they did not hear it. It is as they hear it but it has absolutely no application to helping them.   Again, a very dangerous place for a believer to be.
 
I encourage and exhort you today as you hear or read God‘s Word to examine your heart, and make sure it is totally humble. A humble heart will receive a nourishing Word from Him that is well able to continue deep growth in you that you will live this life strong and victorious!



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!