10.31.16

 
 
 
Devotional for Monday, October 31, 2016
“Don’t Run But Stand Firm”
 
your faith will blossom
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
James 1:2-4 (The Voice)
 
“Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and
sisters. As difficult as they are, you will
ultimately find joy in them; if you
embrace them, your faith will blossom
under pressure and teach you true
patience as you endure. And true patience
brought on by endurance will equip
you to complete the long journey and
cross the finish line—mature, complete,
and wanting nothing.”
 
 
 
It can be so tempting to try to ignore or run away from the pressures of this life.   Some run to places, some turn to alcohol and drugs, some go shopping, etc…    No matter who we are, and no matter how strong we may be we will face pressures in this life, and with those pressures come the decision of how we are going to handle them.    To be quite honest this scripture in James used to kind of baffle me, and I would think I can not understand why James would say to count it as joy when you are going through a bad time. The more of life that I have experienced the more I understand this scripture.  If our hearts and minds are open, hardships have the ability to bring new perspective, and greater appreciation for everything and everyone around you.
I can not tell you how many times I have heard people express a thankful heart for the hardship they walked through because with the help of God they came out stronger and embraced a wealth of wisdom from their experience.
 
We need to come to a place where we embrace hardships and tests with a right attitude.  It seems that our  human nature just wants to live in a place where there is no conflict but we well know that on this earth that is not going to happen. I find it troubling when Christians want to get angry with God, and turn their eyes away from Him when things are not going their way.   The truth is, we live in a fallen world where stressful days and unfortunate things can happen to anyone but we serve a risen Savior that is well able to bring victory in every thing we face!
 
 
Jesus tells us in the Word that we will have trials and troubles and He tells us how to handle them.
 
John 16:33 (AMP)
 
” I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”    Isn’t it interesting that Jesus mentions that in the midst of tribulation, trials, distress and frustration that we are to be of good cheer or as James said it,  “Count it all joy…”
 
 
May we continue to grow in our faith as we live everyday for Him.    May we keep our eyes toward Him when all is well, and may we ever keep our gaze on Him when we have hardships.   God has promised that He would equip us in this journey.   May we rest in that promise no matter what.   God is good all the time, all the time…God is Good!
 
 


10.30.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Sunday, October 30, 2016
“The Love That Bears All Things”
 
gods love bears all things
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

 

Today we will meditate upon the fact that God’s love bears all things.   I would like to share two different translations that I found to be very helpful in bring an even greater revelation to our hearts.
 
 
 

1 Corinthians 13:7   (AMP)

 “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes…”

 
 
 
1 Corinthians 13:7-10 (PHILLIPS)
“Love knows no limit to its endurance…”
 
 
 

The love of God  does not give up, and it never weakens. Here is another great scripture that I love that reminds me of what the love chapter is saying about the endurance of our God, and it is found in the book of Isaiah.

 

 

 Isaiah 40:28-31 (The Voice)
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Eternal, the Everlasting God, The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary. His wisdom is beyond understanding. God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care. Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall. But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint.”
 
 
 
 
Isn’t it good to know that even in times of weariness that as we look to Him, He will enable us to regain the strength that we need to go on because God never tires in any situation. Paul said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” We serve a God that will help us to bear down and draw on new strength when we just feel like giving up.
 
 
 
 
I can remember a particular time in my life where I was growing weary as I was  believing for the salvation of my father.   He was in a nursing home and I would visit each day, as I was also teaching school.   I felt like my days were not long enough, and I was growing physically weak, and unable to focus.  One evening while I was in prayer the Lord showed me in my spirit an image of a candle that was burning so long that the wick was ready to go out because the wax was so deep and it was extinguishing the wick.   It seemed that the candle was a reflection of me losing hope and burning out.   As I pondered this, I can remember asking the Lord for His strength and just one moment of clarity with my father that I might be able to pray with him.    I rejoiced as that moment came within a day before he died.   I was assured he gave his life to the Lord, and I will never forget the strength that only God could give for I had none in my own ability!    Praise God that we serve a God that never weakens nor gives up but presses in until the desired result is accomplished.  The love of God bears up under anything, and He is able to help us endure even when we are at our weakest.   Praise God!
 


10.29.16

 
 
 
Devotional for Saturday, October 29, 2016
“He Stands At the Door and Knocks”
 
 
How is Your Heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Jesus knows the condition of our hearts in a way that is beyond our human comprehension.   He knows our hurts,  He knows how it beats inconsistently for Him at times, and He well knows that there are times our heart is not strong. He sees the pain of our heart, and He  understands why our heart may be scared from past experiences. He well understands our heart’s history.
 
 
 
 
 Once in one of my husband’s sermons he shared how Jesus stands at the door of our hearts. He spoke of Jesus being the complete gentleman, and He will not push Himself on us.   Know that He is not trying to sell anything, He is trying to just give all that He is to us. I began to think about the famous painting of Jesus standing at the door and knocking. As a little girl that painting always struck me as mysterious for some reason. Most of the paintings of this particular image of Jesus at the door shows one very significant thing missing and that is the door knob.
 
 
 
 
This famous pictures shows Him standing quietly and patiently at the door of a man’s heart.   He gently knocks and waits for a response.   Remember this…as Jesus knocks on the door of man’s heart He knows exactly what is going on inside.    He knows the pain, loneliness, fears and all the hurts one has every experienced.   He also knows that He is the answer…He is the only way!   But we must open the door and permit Him to enter in.    You see if there were a door knob He would be able to turn it and just walk in. From the beginning He created us with a choice and that is to choose right from wrong. He will not push,and He will not shove Himself upon us.
 
 
 
 
The portrait of Jesus standing at the door depicts His desire to be in fellowship with every man,woman, and child. He desires to shed all of His great mercies in the direction of anyone who wants Him. He desires to wash away all sin and forget it all. Allow Him to come in, be your best Friend and fellowship with you every moment that you can. He desires to examine your heart and speak to you in a special way. God is a God of all good things and He desires to open the windows of Heaven and just pour it in your direction. Blessings to you this day!


10.28.16

 
 
 
 
 
Devotional for Friday, October 28, 2016
“This Is Our Time !”
 
for such a time as this
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
One of the first things our God did in creation was to not only create but to separate. and He separated the light from the dark. As we live our lives as victorious believers we too must keep our hearts, soul, and mind separate from the ways of darkness. I think sometimes when people read such a statement that I just shared the first inclination is to think of not doing bad things. We do not just up and do bad things, it begins with small thoughts that evolve into walking a wrong path, making a decision contrary to the truth, or not holding fast to His Word in our life.  Let us be diligent to walk in the light the Lord has given us.
 
 
We are living in a time where spiritual darkness is on the increase. My heart is extremely grieved to see when believers refuse to acknowledge this. It is not that they do not see it but they go about their business just trying to stay happy, keep busy and maintain a comfort zone. As we continue to walk in His Word I believe that in the midst of this deep darkness that is covering our earth with deception, that something very wonderful is going to transpire in Spirit like never before.  In order for God to sweep this earth and bring many to Him, we MUST remain strong, upright and diligent to walk in His truth.
 
Psalm 112:4 The Voice
“When life is dark, a light will
shine for those who live rightly— those
who are merciful, compassionate, and strive for justice.”
 
I believe many weaken  and do not persist in their faith solely because they are afraid of the condition of the world. We as believers need to be aware of what is going on in the world so that we can be diligent to pray. As we persist in His Word and proclaim it as we live uprightly, HE HAS PROMISED that light will shine for us in the midst of darkness. Let our hearts be strengthened in knowing that we do not have  to be afraid for such a time as this we are here!   Jesus addressed fear in the book of Matthew and we need to refer to this scripture today in light of what I am sharing:
 
Matthew 24:5-7 Amplified Bible

 “For many will come in (on the strength of)
My name appropriating the
name which belongs to Me, saying,
I am the Christ (the Messiah), and they will
lead many astray. And you will hear
of wars and rumors of wars; see that you
are not frightened or troubled,
for this must take place, but the end is not
yet. For nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom, and there
will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;”
 
 
Continue to shine for Jesus and hold fast to His promises. Cling to the peace of our Lord!  God is calling us in such a time as this to be beacons of light to a world that is looking for answers to their fears, and they are yearning for  the hope that we can bring to them.


10.27.16

 

Devotional for Thursday, October 27, 2016
“Look To His Mercies!”
 
as we awaken
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today let us meditate upon the rich and tender mercies of the Lord!   When you wake, are you only consumed with the duties of your day or do you pause and thank Him for His new mercies?   You know…that is so important!   Even if you only have a few minutes, it will make the difference in your whole day.
 
 
 
 
Maybe you are reading this first thing in the morning or maybe you started your day many hours ago. Regardless of when you are reading this, I want to bring to your heart a reminder of God’s wonderful mercies in your life. No matter how busy your day is, and no matter how good or bad it seems to be going, I encourage you to ponder this…
 
 
Lamentations 3:22-23
New American Bible (Revised Edition)

“The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
his compassion is not spent;
They are renewed each morning—
great is your faithfulness!”
 
 
As we look to Him at the start of our day we can stand believing for bountiful blessings flowing from His hand into our life. We can know that everything we will need to sustain us is there, and all we have to do is ask Him for it. I love knowing that I serve a God that is FULL of mercy and He promises that it never runs out nor can it be exhausted! As you meditate upon this, I encourage you to set your gaze upon Him and allow your spirit to receive all that He has for you today. We can look to Him in prayer and believe that His fullness will be upon us as we trust in Him.
 
 
 
Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and direct thou the work of our hands upon us…”
 
 
 
I believe as we allow His beauty or His grace to be upon us, He will direct the work of our hands. He will begin to deal with how we view everything. He is well able to put us in alignment with His will as we stay humble to Him. He will in turn cause all that we set our hand to to be blessed and prosperous!


10.26.16

 
 
 
Lord, we ask you this day to bless the work of our hands, and we look to You to live by Your abundant grace.   Pour our Your grace on the work of our life, and we thank You for breathing upon every thing we do this day!   In Jesus Name, Amen!


10.25.16

 
 
Devotional for Tuesday, October 25, 2016
“Moving Closer To Him”
 
 
 
trust god today
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I would like to share with you a very precious experience I had the other morning. I love feeding birds on my deck, and I love when they sit in the trees and watch and wait for me to fill their feeders. I have so many different kinds of birds that visit my feeders, and it is so much fun to see them come and go. That morning I was opening the door to my deck, and I saw a little finch sitting on one of  the water bowls I have for them to drink from. I thought for sure he would fly away, but instead he sat there and watched me.  I calmly and quietly moved toward him and that precious little bird permitted me to get about six inches away from it’s little face as I spoke to it.   It sat there and looked into my eyes,  and then it flew away. I was so amazed that it trusted me to get that close to it.  I felt so blessed to get that close to one of God’s sweet creations.
 
I have a book in which a woman shares her experiences as a bird lover, and her observations as she feeds them every day.   I can remember her mentioning how they will sit in the trees and watch her and wait for her to fill her feeders.   They knew her schedule, and her coming and going.  She mentioned how certain ones would move closer to her just because she had gained their trust.    It was so sweet how she mentioned in the book that there would be times that she would be at her feeders and she could just feel she was being watched!   I too have that same experience especially with my cardinals.   Because of their beautiful red vibrant color I can spot them sitting and watching me as they perch in my Willow trees.  
 
As I was having my prayer time that morning, I was thinking about this experience of this little finch permitting me to get so close to him, and it caused me to meditate on  how our trust in our loving God should continue to grow as we keep our eyes on Him, and trust Him with all of our hearts.    Do you watch for Him to come close to you in your day?    Do you wait expectantly for His provision in your life?    We too need to learn to sit still and permit Him to come close and speak to our hearts.    As we purpose to keep our focus on Him and watch him, and all the wonderful things He does for us, we will continue to grow in our trust and faith in Him. I pray this little story will encourage your heart to keep your eyes on  Jesus, read His Word as much as you can, and permit Him to continue to draw close to you as you walk alongside Him in this life. God bless you!
 
 
 
 
 
James 4:8 (AMP)
“Come close to God [with a contrite heart]
and He will come close to you…”


10.24.16

 
 


10.23.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Sunday, October 23, 2016
“The Precious Possession of Diligence”
 
 
Diligence is a Precious Possession
 
 
by Dona Hake 
 
 
 

Proverbs 12:27b Amplified Bible (AMP)

“…But the precious possession of a [wise] man is diligence

[because he recognizes opportunities and seizes them].”
 
 
 I love this scripture for it shows us that if one seeks to be diligent he is developing something that is a precious possession.   Oh that we would ask our Lord to help us recognize opportunities coupled with strategies to seize them!     The diligent hand proceeds from the heart that desires to live productively in everything.     It is so rewarding to experience the fruit of accomplishment after we have done what we know we should be doing.
 
 
 
I feel one very important thing in developing diligence is respecting the time you have been given every day.   We cannot afford to waste time but must seek to use it wisely. A farmer or a person that does vegetable gardening  understands the importance of diligence to maintain a healthy and thriving garden.  After of summer of diligently weeding and tending a garden or crop, the harvest is going to come.   Once that plentiful harvest comes it must be frozen or canned.   Whatever the choice of preserving it, it must be done, and there is  no time to waste.   It is such a blessing to pull a vegetable out of your freezer or a canned veggie or fruit in the cold of winter.   Oh the joy of enjoying the fruit of your planning and diligent, hard working hands!
 
 
 
I have a lovely little hour glass and as the sand flows through it, there is a measure of time that passes. This little hour glass reminds me that once that sand flows through it that a particular “time” has passed and I can not get it back. Many times people fail to realize the time that they are living in.   We have all been blessed with twenty four hours in a day, and each of us has a special assignment in this life.   May we be good stewards over our time, use it wisely, and be diligent to seize opportunities for His glory.      Just as harvest comes and it calls for our diligence in a specific time of planning, there are also other things in life that require our diligence in order that we sow, reap, and enjoy blessings.
 
 
I encourage you today to desire the heart and hands of the diligent and be blessed. Guard you time and spend it wisely!
 
 
Proverbs 21:5 Amplified Bible
“The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent
tend only to plenteousness…”


10.22.16

 
 
 
 
Devotional for Saturday, October  22, 2016
“No, There Is Not One Thing Too Hard For Him!”
 
nothing is too hard
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Let us meditate on how we see our Heavenly Father.   I love to think of Him as my loving Father that is watching over me carefully and He also desires that I have my eye on Him.   Today I want you to ponder in your heart the wonderful truth that there is not ONE thing too hard for Him, NO not ONE thing!!   Sometimes we just need to step back and remind ourselves that no matter what we face in this life, God is greater and His power within is more than enough to carry us through the demands of our day or any difficulties.
 
Jeremiah 32:17 (VOICE) “Eternal Lord, with Your
outstretched arm and Your enormous power You
created the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too difficult for You.”
 
It is important that we recognize that we live in a day where our wonderful Living God is being discredited. There are those that are trying to convince us that God does not exist, and they are trying to explain away the wondrous things He created with His hands and the power of His spoken word.  If they can convince themselves that God does not exist, they can live by their own standards and decide what is right and wrong for themselves.
 
We must not permit these evil mindsets to discourage our hearts because He is ready to do wonderful things through us like never before!   He is the living God with big plans for us.   Everyday as I pray for His provision in my life I call to my remembrance how He gave the children of of Israel manna from heaven to meet the need and sustain them.    Let us look up to Him to meet our daily needs as we trust in Him too! 
 
 
His Words says in Psalm 138:8 (KJV) “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me,,,” Let us trust Him with our day and our lives. Remind yourself that there is NOTHING too hard for Him and He is well able to perfect ANYTHING in your life that is concerning  you. Look to the God of all creation, the one who spoke words that created everything around you knowing that nothing is too difficult for Him as you place your life in His hands!



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!