Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Tuesday, February 21 2017
“Protect the Life Flow of Your Heart”

 

Heart be watchful for this is where life starts

by Dona Hake

 

Today we will meditate upon the importance of guarding our hearts for from our hearts flow the issues of this life.   May we be diligent and value all that God has given us to watch over.   I will share a story with you that happened several years ago, and this story serves to remind us how harmful things can seep into our hearts even when they do not seem harmful to us by their appearance.  Remember this…the devil will come as an angel of light, and his goal is to trick us, and weaken the strength of our faith and our walk with the Lord.
 
It was a mysterious thing that happened several years ago in West Virginia.  They began to experience a puzzling thing in their water supply.      There was a chemical that seeped into their water supply and threatened to sicken hundreds of thousands of people.  Officials found out about the spill when people started calling in complaints about a strong licorice-type smell in the air.  Who would think such a sweet smell could be a potential danger and health hazard?

 

I found it interesting that this potentially harmful chemical seeping into the water had a sweet smell of licorice.  Some said it smelled like cough syrup, and the smell puzzled them.   To protect the health of over 300,00 people they had told them not to drink, bathe or cook with the water.  Interesting how one chemical literally zapped the pureness of their water.   Their once safe water had now been poisoned and rendered many people to be without the water that they had once trusted.
 
There is an analogy to this story and we can learn from it.  God’s Word speaks to us through Proverbs 4:23 and warns us as well to be careful and be vigilant to watch over our hearts.   This scripture warns us to guard the purity of our heart and all that flows from it.  Our heart is as a wellspring from where all issues flow.   A wellspring is a source or supply of anything, especially when considered inexhaustible.  Many times our hearts are endangered by poisonous things from this world, and we need to stand guard over our hearts that we be not affected by them.

 

Proverbs 4:23 (AMP)

“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance

and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

 

Let us be careful to never leave down our guard over our hearts.  There are so many “sweet smelling” temptations in this world that could taint and poison our hearts in which the life of God desires to flow.  Oh that we will take it seriously to guard our hearts with all vigilance for this is where life begins and flows from.
 
Lord, we thank you this day that You come and show us how to guard our hearts with all diligence.   May we be discerning over all that we see, read, and hear.   Show us the way in which we should walk for we lift our hearts and souls to you in Jesus Name! amen.


Friday, February 15, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Friday, February 17, 2017
“Tenderly He Touches Our Hearts”

Heart He touches my

by Dona Hake
 
Yesterday I shared with you about God’s Word being as a mirror to us.   When we open the Word of God or we sit and hear our Pastor share God’s Word with us we can be deeply touched and fed if we permit ourselves to be.   God desires that we look into His Word expecting us to desire change in our hearts and our minds.    Many times that which we see when we look into God’s mirror may not be pleasing but as we purpose to keep our hearts humble our God will mold us and make us into the change that He desires for us.  Today I want you to meditate upon the times that God has touched your heart in a special way.   Many times He will expose things that we have been ignoring that could be very harmful to our spiritual growth and walk with Him. Nevertheless God will gently tug at our hearts to continue to speak to us.
 
Today I will share a time in which I had the tiniest splinter in my finger.   It was so tiny I could not see it, yet it was tender to the touch.   I was handling some wicker baskets in my kitchen and I am sure that is where this little splinter came from.   I could not see it with my eyes so I decided to go down to my office where I have this awesome big magnifying glass.   Sure enough there was a splinter that I would never been able to see without that 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 promptly removed 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 may be 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 them.    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.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Devotional for Thursday, February 16, 2017
“God’s Word – Our Mirror”
 

Mirror Gods Word as a

by Dona Hake

Mirrors reflect exactly what we look like and they never lie.  They are a tool that we definitely need to groom ourselves each day, and I can not imagine life without them!   It is important that we have an acceptable appearance so  we need to use them to help us.  What if you walked up to a mirror in a department store after you walked in from a very windy day.   You glance at the mirror and see that your hair is a mess.   I would hope you do your best to fix it a bit but if you did not care, you simply walk away and do nothing.  I will use this analogy as we ponder God’s Word being the most blessed mirror we possess as believers.   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 was encouraged and lifted up. Although there may be times the Word of the Lord will greet our hearts with an invitation to take a second glance for our soul may be a mess.   You see, as we hear the living Word of God,  many times the Holy Spirit will speak to us in a more challenging way and reveal the true condition of our hearts.  As He does this He will bring instruction to help us make the necessary change.  But know this…it is our choice to let Him change us into His image.     If we do not act on the challenge of God’s Word, we may be tempted to back burner the living Word of God and thus go unchanged in that area.  It is the same as seeing ourselves in a mirror.   The reflections of our spirit and soul are reflecting where they are, and we walk dare not walk away and act as if we did not see it.  Hearing the Word without obedience following  will never change us.  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 the change that our hearts need.  He who has shown this great light of His Word will be faithful to accomplish the change we need and we will be blessed and changed into His image as we obey Him.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

 

 

 
Devotional for Wednesday, February 15, 2017
“Let Every Man…”
 

listen quick speak slow

by Dona Hake
 
 Today we will meditate upon the wisdom that James wrote to us.  ” Let every man be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”   These are words that are power packed and full of wisdom for us to keep us out of trouble!
 
 
The other day I was watching the news while having my morning coffee.   The reporter was quoting someone that must have made a controversial comment.   Then the news person said, “After this commercial we will be continuing our report on this.”   I could hardly wait to hear the rest of the interview for they were going to talk to one of my favorite contributors, and he was going to give his opinion regarding the news report.   Because I highly regard this contributor’s advice I was anxious to hear his reaction to this controversial remark.   This man’s words are always seasoned with wisdom and I highly respect him for that.  As the reporter began to question this contributor he  sat quietly for a few seconds after being asked his opinion and this was his remark…
 
 
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 about how many arguments would be avoided if this simple and profound verse was mastered .   If one does not give their full attention to the one speaking to them, there will more than likely be 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 we have really listened let us think thoroughly before we open our mouth.   Again I say many times we  may feel that we  have the right answer to cure 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. Listening to someone may be the greatest gift we can give.     Choice words are even a greater gift to one that is in need.

 

Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)

“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like

apples of gold in settings of silver.”

 

Lord, we ask that You  help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold.   We thank You for showing us the proper time to speak, and we ask that You help us to be good listeners.   In Jesus Name, amen.

 



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Tuesday, February 14, 2017
“He Promises To Lift Us Up When We Fall”

 

Falls but lifted up again

By Dona Hake

 

The strength of a man or woman is revealed  when the pressure is on.  It is easy to appear strong when all seems to be going your way but we find out who we really are when we face trials  or we fail.  When we are down and out and failure is trying to haunt us, we have a choice…  quit or determine to get back up again.

 God promises to lift us back up when we fall.   Even when we are at our lowest, if we keep our heart open to Him, He can teach us and strengthen us like never before.  Many times the worst of hardships can cause us to come back stronger…if we do not quit.  He is able to do above and beyond all we dare to ask or dream.   God desires to take hold of our hands and cause us to stand strong again.   I love this quote by General Patton:

 “I don’t measure a man’s success by

how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.”

General George S. Patton

 I believe if our hearts are focused with His determination we will not permit mistakes or failure to dictate us and keep us down, but rather we will stand strong and come back stronger and rise higher!

 Psalm 145:14 (ERV)

“The Lord lifts up people who have fallen.
He helps those who are in trouble.”



Monday, February 13, 2017

 

 

 

Devotional for Monday, February 13, 2017

“It Is Well With My Soul”
 

It is Well With My Soul Church Bulletin Cover

 

by Dona Hake

 

Mark 4:35-40

“It was evening of that same day. Jesus said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”  After sending the people away, they took Jesus with them in a boat. It was the same boat He used when He taught them. Other little boats went along with them. A bad wind storm came up. The waves were coming over the side of the boat. It was filling up with water.  Jesus was in the back part of the boat sleeping on a pillow. They woke Him up, crying out, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?”  He got up and spoke sharp words to the wind. He said to the sea, “Be quiet! Be still.” At once the wind stopped blowing. There were no more waves.  He said to His followers, “Why are you so full of fear? Do you not have faith?”

 

“Oh to be a fly on the wall!”   Have you ever said that?    I hear it all the time when people wish they could be present to see and hear all that happens in the room, but they do not want to be seen.   I often think this about certain stories told in the Bible.   Oh how I wished I could have been there to witness all that was spoken and see exactly how this story went down.  This story from the book of Mark is one of those stories that make me wish I would have been there just to see the raging waters be calm at the command of Jesus’ voice.  I wish I could have seen the looks on the faces within the boat as their souls were calmed by the voice of our Lord.  These words from this portion of scripture have created faith in my heart many times when things around me seemed to be out of control.  To know that He can bring peace to the raging waters of my life causes me to know that I can exclaim “It is well with my soul!”

 

 

The important thing to remember is that God is able to bring peace to a situation in the midst of the raging winds of this life.   When God’s peace prevails within us, our hearts will be stilled and we can be calmed within.  This IS the peace that passes ALL understanding.   It is in those times that we will then be able to hear His whisper as He directs us into the next step.   Let us remember that in the midst of a problem or crisis that it is vital we hold fast to our faith, and have our ears towards the Lord that He may reveal the wisdom that we need.  It is then that our soul will be stilled regardless of anything happening around us.

 

I leave you with this quote from one of my favorite authors.   I pray it ministers to your heart as it has mine.  I love how Francious deFenelon’s quote makes this story from the Mark Chapter Four  even more real.

 

“A word from the Lord stilled the raging sea

and a glance from Him to you, and from

you to Him, will do the same for you.”



Sunday, February 12, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Sunday, February 12, 2017
“His Faithfulness…As Broad As the Day”

 

great is his faithfulness

by Dona Hake

 

Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE)

“How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning, new!

Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.”

 

There is nothing so loyal and beautiful in this life like the faithfulness and love of our God.  Whether we deserve it or not, He sheds His love toward us and He is a faithful God. Before we even called upon His Name to be saved He loved us with a precious love…a love deep enough to send His only Son.   I love how this verse says that His loyal love is enduring and it is inexhaustible.  As He shows His love to me, it challenges my heart to love the same way.   He desires that the love that flows from our hearts to be loyal, enduring and inexhaustible.  After all, we were created in His image therefore He can enable us to love like Him.
 
There may be people in your life that you find very easy to get along with and yet there are those that just seem to drain you of your energy.  Allow this scripture to challenge your heart.  Seek to draw upon the love from above that never runs out of energy and it endures anything.
 
Remember that every morning you wake up He is seeking new ways to show His love to you. Everything about God begins afresh each day and His compassion is NEVER limited.  Just as I exhorted you yesterday to look to His new mercies, let us look and praise Him for His great faithfulness.  This thought also challenges me to draw upon that fresh new compassion each day.  Everyone of us has a day ahead of us and each of us will face different challenges.  Know this, the God of all love is able to help you endure anything with the love that flows straight from His heart!  Praise the living God for His faithfulness is broad as the day!!!

 



Saturday, February 11, 2017

 

 

Devotional for Saturday, February 11, 2017
“Look Toward Heaven and Praise Him For His Mercies”
 

Morning He Meets Us

By Dona Hake
 
 
I hear it said so much, “Time just flies!”   “My life is so very busy!”   I know for myself I cannot believe that we are almost into the middle of February.   Where does time go anyway?    From the time I awake till I go to sleep there is always something that needs attention or a place to go.   I love my “to do” lists for they keep me mindful of how I am budgeting every minute of my day.    I find this to be a good discipline although I have to remind myself that I need to stop and make sure my heart and soul are always at peace.   I try to always keep mindful that sometimes the Lord may just desire to interrupt my day and place a divine appointment before me!  As we stay refreshed in His presence and keen to His voice our days will be filled with joy in living.
 
 
I shared with you yesterday the importance of being restored by our Lord.   Today I want us to meditate upon how we wake in the morning.   When we awake with our face turned to Heaven thanking God for His mercies we will indeed walk in the fullness of His joy throughout our day!
 

 Let us thank and praise Him that everyday is a new day as we serve Him.  What happened yesterday is left behind.  If we are to remember and reflect upon what happened yesterday, let it be the joys that were in it and the wisdom we may have attained from  a learning experience.  God desires to meet us each morning reminding us to have faith in Him and be blessed and overwhelmed by His great love that He has for us.

Psalm 143:8  KJV

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning;

for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein

I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

 

Let us  praise God that He is so merciful to us as we venture to do His will because so many times we fall short because of our human nature.  Let us remember to look to His mercies and His forgiveness at all times and as we lift our soul to Him we can live with joyful hearts!  Lord cause us to hear Your lovingkindness and be mindful of Your tender mercies each new day.   Cause us to know the ways in which to walk for we lift our soul to You! In Jesus Name, amen.

 

Psalm 90:14  Names of God Bible

” Satisfy us every morning with your mercy

so that we may sing joyfully and rejoice all our days.”

 



Friday, February 10, 2017

 

Devotional for Friday, February 10, 2017
“Jesus the Restorer”

 

Restorer

by Dona Hake

 
Today let us meditate on the truth that  Jesus IS the Restorer of our soul.  Even in the doing of His will our souls can grow weary.   This is why we are cautioned in    Galatians 6:9   “Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in…”   Today I want to encourage your heart that reaping time is coming, so let us walk as the restored and refreshed in the Lord!
 
 
You see, many times even in the doing of good things we can tire ourselves trying to keep up with the demands of life, and  we may forget to draw upon His strength and seek His restoration.   Praise the living God that He is able to keep us fresh, strong and built up by the power of His restoration.   In  Psalm 23  David wrote, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures and He leads me beside the still waters…”  I love the ~makes~ because sometimes that is exactly how it is.   Because we push ourselves our Lord may give us that gentle tug at our hearts and cause us to see that we just need to rest at His feet.

 

In order for us to regenerate our bodies one of the most important things is proper rest for our physical bodies.  And so it is in our soul…we must have rest there in order to have strong and healthy souls.   There may be those that you know that their heart is weary and may even be broken, and they feel they cannot go on….maybe it is you that feels as if you feel unable to go on because of weariness.   Know that the Lord is able to restore and heal your broken heart, and He is able to restore your soul.   He is able to strengthen anyone that feels they have no reason to go on.   Today we praise our Living God for He is able to lift us up and we can be restored!
 

 

Psalm 23:3 (AMP)

He refreshes and restores my life (my self)


Thursday, February 9, 2017

 

 

 
Devotional for Thursday, February 9, 2017
 
“Don’t Let It Get Inside You…”
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
It is in my heart to go back over a quote that I shared with you last Monday and Tuesday. My heart has been stirred as I have meditated upon this from time to time since I have shared it. Let us read it together again:
 
“Ships do not sink because of the water around them;
ships sink because of the water that gets in them.
Do not let what is happening around you
get inside you and weigh you down.”
 
First I would like to share with you from the book of First Kings.  
 
1 Kings 18:21  Living Bible (TLB)
“…How long are you going to waver between two opinions?” he asked the people. “If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!”
 
I encourage you to go to 1 Kings Chapter 18 and read the whole story for yourself.   What I want to focus on is the question he asked the people.   “How long are you going to waver between two opinions?”    Many times we may wonder why it is that people are not strong in faith or perhaps you too may be struggling in your faith. I would like you to ponder a thought as we look at this  scripture. Many times the fact of the matter is we are trying to serve two masters or we choose to be indecisive rather than standing firm in the that which we know to be true.    I believe the devil has deceived many in this area and this deception serves to weaken our faith.    It is so wrong to think we can embrace truth one minute and then be changing our mind according to circumstance.  God wants our hearts to be wholly toward Him in all things and all times.
 
Oh we may insist that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul, yet may I share this challenging thought today?      I believe that there may be times that there are things in this world that tug at our hearts more than we realize. When we find ourselves thinking about certain things more than we do our loving God we need to stop and evaluate where our heart is at.  May we ask our self if that thing has a grip on our hearts more than we realize.    God wants us to want all of Him and only Him.
 
God created each of us to make choices.  He will not make our choices for us but He desires greatly that we choose Him above any thing this world has to offer.His greatest desire is that we choose Him and love Him with all of our heart. As we love Him with our whole heart and I repeat our whole heart, we will be single minded and wavering will not even be a thought.   Now let us look at the book of James.
 
James 1:6-8
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a
wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
 
The man or woman with a wavering faith is surely a candidate for a ship capable of being affected by the storms of this life.   It is the weakening and wavering in our faith that could cause our ship to begin to fill up with water and no longer float with the ease the Lord desires it to. Our Lord desires that we rise up and not be brought down by the winds of the sea or the pressures of this life.
 
Today my encouragement to you is to think about and purpose yourself to serve the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your mind, and all of your soul.  May we ever live to guard our hearts and minds that we do not waver and be tossed around by the wind and waves.    I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to be discerning over your heart and your thoughts. May we serve our living God with everything that is in our being!



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!