Devotional for Friday, December 2, 2016
“He Lifts Me Up”
he upholds his sheep
by Dona Hake
 I love meditating upon the fact that my Lord watches over me, walks beside me, and He expects me to follow Him.  Today I want to share about how the Lord wants to uphold us at all times, and it is because of His watchful and caring eyes.   I found some very interesting definitions of the word uphold.   Let us meditate upon these definitions of the word uphold.
*to support or defend, as against opposition or criticism:
*to keep up or keep from sinking; support:
*to lift upward; raise:
As a shepherd, David understand how it was so important to be watchful and care for every need of his sheep.   He understood the importance of defending his sheep against any dangerous predators.   One of the most dangerous dilemmas for a sheep was if they ended up in a “cast down” position.    The alertness and swift action of the caring shepherd was important when this happened or it meant a sheep would die if left to itself.  
There are a handful of Psalms where David used this term “cast down.” Understanding this particular fact about a sheep brings greater understanding why the psalmist used this term so frequently in his psalms.  “Cast down” is a term used for a sheep that has turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself. I want to make emphasis on *it cannot get up again by itself.    The poor sheep must be helped and turned right side up by the loving, strong hands of it’s shepherd.  A “cast down” sheep is a sad sight. It lays on its back, and as its feet are in the air, it struggles frantically to get back up again. Sometimes it will make little bleating cries for help and just lays there frustrated. If the shepherd does not arrive on time, the sheep will die. Since a sheep that is cast down is in such a helpless state, it is also vulnerable to attack by predators.
I think this is such an excellent analogy of our condition at times when the circumstances of life seem to turn things upside down in our souls, yet David would use this term within prayers such as “why are you cast down oh my soul?…hope in God.” I am sure we can all relate to those times in which we are down, feeling frustrated and helpless.  Oh thank God we have a Shepherd that always arrives on time to uphold and lift us back up!
 Psalm 37:24 Amplified Bible
 “Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down,
for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him.”
I encourage you that in those times of being down and feeling helpless that you would look up for His hand. It is there for you to grasp! He will lift you up and put you on your feet again. Our Lord is a good Shepherd and He most assuredly will uphold you!


Devotional for Thursday, December 1, 2016
“What Have You Asked the Lord Today?”
jesus is understanding
by Dona Hake
What have you asked the Lord for today?   As you pray and seek His help first thing in the morning may I encourage you to speak and ask of Him throughout you day?   In this verse that I am sharing it speaks of the attributes of our Living God and He desires that we draw upon them.  They are His counsel, His sound wisdom, His insights, and His strength.  Let us ask Him and believe Him for these things.
Proverbs 8:14 (ESV)
“I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.”
Consoling isn’t it?…to know that we can draw upon these things from the throne room of God.   We all face times in which we may not understand something that is going on in our life or we are looking to understand His Word in greater depth.    When we seek to know more, and we ask Him to help us understand, He is faithful to help us. As we search His Word He will help us understand it and apply it to our lives.   In those times where things may seem to appear  cloudy and difficult…know that He is well able to unfold to you what you need to know. He is able to bring to you the clarity that you need.

 1 Corinthians 2:16 (AMP)

” For who has known or understood the mind
(the counsels and purposes)
of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge?
But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah)
and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
Praise Him today that as we draw upon His  realms of understanding   we will begin to understand His Word in a greater way, and see the counsel, wisdom, insights and strength of His heart at work in our life!


Devotional for Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“Seize Your Moment”
by Dona Hake
“Lose not yourself in a far off time,
seize the moment that is thine.”
Friedrich Schiller
I love this quote so much because I love the truth of seizing the moment in which I live. The longer I am here on this beautiful earth the more I can see how fast time goes by. I can hardly believe that we are about to see another year go by. Where did the time go? I am sure many of you are asking yourself that same question.
Many times the future can be a cause for fear and worry. Praise God that we serve a wonderful Heavenly Father that has promised to give us that which we need to live each day, and for every moment that we are here. God does not want us to worry about our future, but rather He wants us to place our faith in Him.
Today I encourage you to seize the moment that you are in right now. It is as we seize the moment we are living in that we will not miss God given opportunities that are sent our way.   I believe the Lord desires that we take thorough account of how we spend our time, that we may use every moment to accomplish wonderful things for Him!  
Let us be careful that we not permit ourselves to become anxious in our hearts about our future, or our joy will slowly diminish. As we stay in the presence of the Lord and continue in faith, our joy will be full. As we stay before Him we will walk in His peace, therefore there will be many opportunities that we can recognize that are of Him, and we can seize them with great joy in our hearts! I’ll leave you with the scripture to meditate upon, and I pray that this Word has blessed your heart today.  Remember, do not lose yourself in the future by fearing what is ahead but rather seize the moment that you are blessed with right now.

Philippians 4:4-7

Always be filled with joy in the Lord.

I will say it again. Be filled with joy.

Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind.

The Lord is coming soon.

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God

for everything you need, always giving thanks

for what you have. And because you belong to

Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over

all your thoughts and feelings. His peace

can do this far better than our human minds.


Devotional for Tuesday, November 29, 2016
“Seeing Through God’s Eyes”
eye full of light
by Dona Hake
Have you ever formed an opinion based on what you see, and then to find out that your opinion was totally incorrect because you were misinformed of all the facts?     We must be very careful to never form opinions apart from the facts and from the truth of what God has to say about it.      It is so alarming to me in this day and age how many standards and rules are based on how people “feel” about things.  Let us understand that many times  our eyes and our feelings can deceive us. We can think we are perceiving things properly but truth is we are seeing things from the wrong perspective or improper thinking. There are many things that can cloud our eyes from seeing things how God sees them.  Today I desire to cause you to seek to see things as God sees them.   May we seek His help to view the world and people through His eyes and His Word.
Now let us look at another way that we can be deceived into viewing our circumstances apart from faith and that is worrying.    We have heard it said that worry casts a big shadow on small things. Really when you think about it worry has the ability to paint a picture about your situation that could be an exaggeration of what is really going on.    Worry has the ability to magnify things and distort the truth. When we face a problem, and we allow the light of His Word to shine on it, we will always be able to embrace an attitude of victory and not worry.  We will most importantly be able to lay hold of the truth and wisdom that God desires for us to walk in.
God desires that we see everything in truth and in the proper perspective, and the only way that will happen is if we see things through His eyes.  I guarantee you that as we ask Him to help us see, our perspective on everything will be correct. Today I encourage you to ask Him to fill your eyes with light…His light.


Psalm 119:18 (VOICE)
“Let me see clearly so that I may take in
the amazing things coming from Your law.”
Matthew 6:22-23  (TLB)
“If your eye is pure, there will be sunshine in your soul.”


Devotional for Monday, November 28, 2016
“Be a Vessel of His Love!”
our love must be real june 2015
by Dona Hake
Yesterday we meditated upon the health of our Lord’s countenance being upon us.  Oh that we would desire that His countenance would shine and flow through us! Walking in God’s love is what we will meditate upon today.  Let us look at being willing vessels that He may cause His great love to flow from.  
God is looking for us to put feet to His love, and exhibit His ways to a lost and dying world. He is desiring that we put action to that which we know we should do. There is a scripture that says, “In Him I live and move and have my being.” Acts 17:28   He so desires that bring His Word to life.   You know…you may be the only Bible that one ever reads.     There are those that need His love and we need to avail ourselves to Him that He can flow through us.
We must remember that there will be times that He may call upon us to help people, and He may just call upon us to  go one more mile than what we initially intended. Many times His love will stretch us, and that is a very good thing. It is in those times that His love will be shown in a wonderful way, and we too will grow as we give of ourselves. I think it is a good thing for all of us to be pulled away from our comfort zone, and put in a place we have to rely on Him to help us to do things we never thought were possible!
Today let us rejoice in knowing that He desires to use us as vessels of His great love.  Let us position ourselves for unexpected opportunities of doing works that are birthed from His great love in Jesus Name!
1 John 3:18-19 (ERV)
“My children, our love should not be only words and talk.

No, our love must be real.

We must show our love by the things we do.

That’s how we know we belong to the way of truth.”


Devotional for Sunday, November 27, 2016
“His Countenance Upon Us”
by Dona Hake
Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
and give you peace.”
One’s countenance is his or her appearance, and it is especially the look or expression of the face. I love this scripture because is shows us that we are able to shine the light and love of the Lord from our countenance as we permit Him to do so.  Oh that we would desire that His countenance would shine and be upon us!!  Have you ever met someone and you just know that they love the Lord, and it is because their countenance is a give away?  Their countenance if full of His Light, Life and Love.    I always think of that song as a little girl that we would sing in Sunday school, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…!”  As we spend time with the Lord, follow His Word, we will begin to emanate His peace and joy, and all that He is.
Our countenance reveals so much about us.  If someone knows us very well, they are able to discern quickly if something is wrong just by the look on our face, and the expressions that are coming from within us.    David understood that it was his soul that was disquieted and cast down, and  he understood that as he waited upon God that He would bring a saving health to his countenance as his soul experienced God’s restoration.  I love this Psalm so much, and since I have meditated on this one so much, there are times I find myself addressing my soul, and calling it to be quiet before God that He is able to restore me.
Psalm 42:11 Jubilee Bible 2000
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?  Wait thou for God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the saving health of my  countenance and my God.”
When one has good health in their body and mind they are experiencing soundness and vigor, and freedom from disease or ailment. When someone loses hope they may also begin to fear their future and feel as if they are a failure.  It is when we lose hope that our enemy, the devil can begin to try to speak lies to us that would cause a spirit of timidity within us.   Let us keep our mind renewed that our God has given us  a sound mind, and not a spirit of fear.    This is a real part of maintaining a healthy countenance before God and man.
2 Timothy 1:7   (AMP)
” For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and  cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love  and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Today I pray that you receive this blessing from the book of Numbers. May He bless and keep you. Look to Him and gaze on His radiant face, and receive His grace for your day and your life. As you do so you will find your inward man lifted up as His countenance rests upon you with His great peace!


Devotional for Saturday, November 26, 2016
“His Word  – Our Shield”
our shield june 2015
by Dona Hake

Proverbs 30:5 Expanded Bible

“Every word of God ·is true [passes the test;  is refined;
·He guards those [ They are a shield to those] who come to
him for ·safety [refuge].

God’s Word  is flawless.   God’s Word is true, and God’s Word must be our necessary food!   Yesterday we meditated upon the Lord giving us our daily Bread as we ask Him for it.   Oh let us praise Him as He so faithfully brings us the provision that we need to serve Him!  Today let us meditate on the truth that God’s Word is a shield to us.


We need not try to analyze it, we need only to believe it. He promises that His Word is a shield to those that place their trust in Him. In our day of battle we are promised that His Word will shield us and keep us. It is in those times when the fiery darts of the enemy come to penetrate our soul that the Word of God that we believe and speak will be a protection, a refuge, and we will walk in victory. Jesus stressed the importance and the blessing of living by the truth.

John 8:31-32 (PHILLIPS)

“If you are faithful to what I have said,

you are truly my disciples. And you will

know the truth and the truth will set you free!”

Oh that we would be diligent to know His Word that we may be free in every area of our lives. Let us never add or subtract from His Word either.

Proverbs 30:6
 “Add thou not anything to the words of him,
and thou be reproved, and be found a liar.
(Do not thou add anything to his words,
lest thou be rebuked, and be found a liar.)”
Again let us be reminded that God’s Word is perfect. May we never add our own thoughts or opinions to the Word of God because His Word is total truth and it need no more. I rejoice in the simplicity that God has laid out for us in His Word. Love His Word and live by it. He promises that as we do this, we will be free indeed!!!  Lord God we thank You that You are our Shield!!


Devotional for Friday, November 25, 2016
“Our Daily Bread – His Provision”
give us each day
by Dona Hake

 Matthew 6:11 (DRA)

“Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.”

 Matthew 6:11 (VOICE)
” Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—”

The Lord knows our needs before we are even aware of them.    He also knows the areas in our hearts that are weak and needy.  Let us praise the One that formed us so intricately in our mother’s wombs.   Every part of our being was woven as a beautiful tapestry and formed into the being we are today.   We are here to give glory to His Name and He desires to give us exactly what we need to do His perfect will today!
His Word, His voice, and His grace are there for us to draw upon for each day that we live.   It can be so tempting to concern ourselves with things that we do not yet have to deal with. When we believe that He is faithful to give us exactly what we need, our hearts and minds will be at peace, and we will live in true contentment.   Oh how I love the scripture in Psalm 23, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures…”
Today let us ask Him with faith in our hearts for His Bread for our day.   Whatever you need He is able to give you.   As Him for the provision that you need for your spirit, soul, and body.    I encourage you to meditate upon the fact that God is faithful to give us the “bread” we need to get us through one day at a time. That bread promises to sustain us, and keep us nourished in our spirits.  Praise Him each day for He has promised to care for you, and you would not suffer lack.  
Remember though all that He showered upon you today was for this day, and tomorrow is a new day.   Each day meets us with new challenges, and needs.  Let us draw upon Him each day, and believe that His hand is willing to touch every area of our lives.  


Devotional for Thursday, November 24, 2016
“Thankful For His Inseparable Love”
nothing can separate
by Dona Hake
Today is such a special day!   As you gather together with family to celebrate this Thanksgiving I encourage you to ponder throughout this day the many blessings that you enjoy.   Sometimes it is easy to take fore granted the smallest of things that really are indeed blessings that we enjoy each day.   Today I want to encourage your heart to ponder a wonderful thing from our Lord and that is His great love, and He has promised that we can never be separated from that love.   What a wonderful truth…NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.   He is NEVER distant, and He will NEVER leave or forsake us.  We just need to believe this at all times.  Whether things are going great or it seems like everything is going wrong…NOTHING can separate us from Him and His love when we know and understand the depths of His love.
Romans 8:39 ERV
“….nothing in the whole created world—
will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown
us in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Oh my friend, let us never stop thanking God for each and every one of His blessings.   We as a nation are so very blessed, and we have so much to be thankful for.   Let us be cautious though that material blessings do not take our heart from Him.   Let us stay dedicated in our hearts to serve Him looking to seek His righteousness and the things of His kingdom.   We purpose to set time aside to eat, sleep, work and play. Let us be ever so diligent to carve out moments during the day and dedicate them to sit in His presence and acknowledge Him. Talk with Him about how you feel and what you fear. Ask Him about everything that concerns you. He is bound to you by His love! Do not go by feelings and do not go by what you see. He is ALWAYS with you and nothing can separate you from Him. Praise Him because of His inseparable love for you!!
Father, today we give thanks to You for Your inseparable love!   Your love is incapable of parting from us. We give thanks for Your faithfulness that is brand new every morning.   Throughout our day we can come to You and You will faithfully listen to our cry.   Today we give thanks to  You for that inseparable love! 


Devotional for Wednesday, November 23, 2016
“Be Thankful For His Grace At Work In You”
grace growing in it
by Dona Hake
Today let us meditate upon the beauty of the grace of our Lord.  I pray that you have been meditating and thinking about the many blessings in your life.   I am speaking of the blessings that money cannot buy…I am speaking of the blessings that only the Lord can give.    I am thankful today as I write this for you that when I pray and ask Him for His grace that I know He is going to pour it out upon me.   Some days I see His grace in different ways but I am amazed at times at His amazing grace and how it works.   God desires that we diligently seek Him for His grace, and we therefore  continue to grow in  it.  Seeking God’s grace, wisdom, and knowledge is all a part of tending to keeping our hearts that we grow strong in Him.  Let us look at how the beauty of a garden and how things grow in it also illustrates spiritual principals.
We are presently in the beauty of the season of fall, and winter is right around the corner.  We no longer have to concern ourselves with weeds interfering with our pursuit of a beautiful, thriving flower garden for our gardens will now be dormant for many months.   I love my gardens, but I must admit they are a lot of work.   It always amazes me how weeds just grow. They need no help at all. They will thrive, take over and eventually choke the life out of our beautiful flowers.
It is interesting how some things just grow all by themselves. I have to laugh when I hear someone say to a child, “You are growing like a weed!!!!” Funny expression, yet true. A child growing up is a good and positive thing yet there are certain things like weeds you wished would not grow so fast!
There is a very negative side to this though.   In life there are many things if left to themselves  will grow and thrive without any help at all.   Our negligence alone is all these negative things need to make them begin to take root in our hearts and minds.  Think about the sin of bitterness, hate and unforgiveness.  These things can grow and take root and ultimately weaken and destroy one’s soul.   God desires that we tend to the garden of our hearts that we grow deep and strong in His ways that we can glorify Him.
2 Peter 3:18

“Be careful that you do not fall from your

strong faith. But grow in the grace and

knowledge of our Lord and

Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to him,

now and forever! Amen.”

We must purpose to feed on His Word that we remain strong in our faith that we not fall from it.     We must look to Him each day, and receive His grace and live by it.   How silly it would be if we ate a good dinner this evening, and think we could survive off of that meal for the rest of the year. No, we would become weak. Our body would become depleted in it’s much needed nutrition that we need for strength to live. As we ponder that thought let us also be diligent to ask Him for His grace and live by it each and every day.    Let us purpose to thank Him for His grace and knowledge, and grow in it.   
Today let us look upward as we pray and thank Him for the grace He offers us to live by.   Let us thank Him that He causes His grace to flow through us that we do not have to depend on our own ability but rather live by His!  Praise Him for His wonderful blessing of grace!!

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!