“He Teaches Us What To Choose”

Choose July 2014
by Dona Hake
Today we will look at a scripture from Proverbs 8.   Within this scripture the writer exclaims that we are to choose God’s teachings, His instruction, and His discipline.    He states that the value of these things are more precious than silver, and His knowledge is greater than fine gold.
Think about it…whatever you could ever desire can never be compared to  His precious gifts.

Proverbs 8:10-11 Expanded Bible (EXB)

“Choose [Take] my ·teachings [instructions; discipline] instead of silver, and knowledge rather than ·the finest [choice] gold. Wisdom is more precious than ·rubies [or pearls]. Nothing ·you could want is equal to [is more delightful than] it.”

There are many things in this life that are able to tempt us to lust.  Let us be discerning and guarding of our hearts and eyes for the devil seeks to devour us in this matter.    May we continue to be grateful for every blessing that we have, and may we remember that  it is only the eternal things that have the greatest of  value.  Let us value His Word above anything this world has to offer.  Let us purpose to choose His teachings and receive the discipline that His Word brings to us.  I desire to leave you with this thought…
We can read scriptures and fail to continue to keep a grateful heart that He has brought us out of darkness into the light of His kingdom.   Let the Word of God never become cliche to us, and may we never grow tired of hearing certain truths over and over again.    God’s Word is fresh, alive, and it is exactly what our spirits needs.  It is His Word that is the light that caused our blinded eyes to be open.   For this we need to be thankful and grateful to the Living God!

“God Made You With A Special Purpose In Mind”

purpose do you know what it is
by Dona Hake
Yesterday we looked at the beauty of knowing that our Lord is molding us and making us for His plans and purposes.  You may say, “But, what is my purpose?”   God desires that we seek to know what His plans are for us for He most definitely has a special purpose in mind for your life.   You see, all your days are numbered, He knows every hair on your head, and He desires to perfect all that concerns you!
Many times individuals struggle with why they are here, and what are they to do with their life. As people begin to age they may look back on their lives, and they need to feel that they have made an impact on someone’s life or they desire to know that they have done great accomplishments. Only God can bring out of us all that He created us to be! It is so important to understand that God knew
you before your mother gave birth to you. Every stitch and fiber of our being was uniquely knitted together as He formed us in our mother’s womb. Within us He has placed gifts and talents that are an expression of Him.
Psalm 139:13-15 (AMP)
“For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s
I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the
awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self
knows right well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and]
intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in
the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].”

We need to confess and praise Him for how wonderfully He fashioned us for this life. Deep inside you there may be something that needs birthed. It may be a gift, calling, or some type of creativity that is waiting for it’s awakening. I love how verse fifteen says that we were curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors. I have never embroidered but I have always felt it to look as if it
was a tedious craft. So it was with us as we were being formed within our mother’s womb. He gave great thought to every part of us and how He fashioned us for the work of our life.

Today I encourage you to think about how you are a gift from the hand of God and as you live for Him, confess that He leads and guides you into all truth and He will indeed accomplish much through you as you seek and serve Him.

“God, the Great Workman”

God's Workmanship Religious Bulletin
by Dona Hake

Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”

Praise the Lord for He is the Great Workman, and His skilled hands work to form, shape and mold us to do great things for His Kingdom!   Our hearts should be encouraged that the One that created the Heavens and the Earth is at work in our lives.   I shared with you yesterday that when we have needs, and we call out to Him for help,  He answers us with His grace.    His grace is always there to help us  to do His will.   His grace is at work in us to accomplish the great works and live in the realm of
His miraculous works that He desires to do.    
I want to encourage your heart today in the fact that you are a work in progress.   No matter how long you have known the Lord, whether it be a few years or many, He continues to work in your life.     God sees our lives from the beginning to end, and He has the perfect plans to accomplish His will for our lives.   He is the faithful one that will continue to work by His Holy Spirit in our lives no matter what weaknesses or inabilities we may have.  Praise Him today for what He has done in your life.   Praise Him for what you also expect Him to do, and remember to give Him all the glory as He dwells within you and uses you as He wills!

Philippians 2:13 (AMP)

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.”


“God Answers Us With His Grace!”

grace is sufficient
by Dona Hake

Sometimes we can walk through things in this life that leave us feeling like we are weak and broken. Whether our heart has been broken or we are walking through a tough time, we can be tempted to feel we do not have the strength to go on.   Today, let us remember His grace is enough! There may be pieces of our life that are broken and seem beyond repair,  remember His grace is all you need! I am going to share a scripture where Paul was crying out to God in his weakness and despair…

2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Amplified Bible (AMP)
“Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [b]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!”

In a nutshell Paul finally saw what God desired for him to see. All Paul needed was to trust Him to be more than enough for His situation. Paul understood that he had hit rock bottom, and he no longer had his own strength to depend on.    Now Paul was in the perfect place where God could totally empower him. He also realized that God was all that He needed, and that in his weakness the power of Christ would rest upon him mightily.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking all is well and you have no need to ponder this.   It is human nature at times to neglect to continue to strengthen our inner man especially if all is going well.  May I share with you that we can never get rock solid enough in this revelation. This is what I desire to think about and get it rooted so deep in me…God’s grace is sufficient for me to live, and He grace is more than  enough. Read this awesome definition I found of the word enough.

ENOUGH:- in a quantity or degree that answers a
purpose or satisfies a need or desire…

When we call upon God , He will always answer us with the empowering grace that we need for the situation we are in. I think this is a powerful thought… your need or weakness is calling out, and as you call out to Him, He answers that need with grace that is sufficient to deal with it. Praise the Living God that is MORE than enough for every one of our needs!!!

“Let Us Praise Him For His Works In Our Life!”

let us praise Him for his loving works
by Dona Hake
In yesterday’s devotional I had shared with you about how the little deeds and kindnesses can mean so much to people around us.   Many times we do not realize that such small things can touch another’s heart in a way we may never know.   After sharing that devotional with you, I headed out to do errands, and I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to take a small amount of time and reach out to a complete stranger.   Today I would like to share that testimony with you, and I pray that it will touch and encourage your heart!
 I love when God shows up in my day and shows himself so sweetly when I least expect  it.   I was at the grocery store, and I came out and I was walking through the parking lot, and I noticed a woman walking through the lot.  She had a cart full of groceries, and she looked at me and giggled a bit and said, “Did you ever lose your car in the parking lot? I said,”Oh my, yes I have had times that has happened to me.”  We began to share with each other funny things that we have done between losing things or forgetting something.  I began to share with her that sometimes when I find myself forgetful it is because of lack of rest.   Little did I know that she was going to begin sharing her heart with me.
She began to share  that she had brain surgery once and also she dealt with epilepsy. She felt ever since her surgery that she has dealt with forgetfulness, and she feels it’s relative to the surgery, and the scar tissue on her brain. I told her I was not going to leave her until I helped her find her car. So we walked around the parking lot and finally we located her car.      We chatted for a few minutes, and she said “I want to give you a hug!”  We embraced and as we did, I prayed over her and she thanked me and exclaimed that she too knew Jesus!   We began to share our testimonies of coming to the Lord, our time in prayer, and our life as a result of serving him, and then we parted.  
I was just overjoyed at how the Lord moved in such a sweet way in the middle of the grocery store parking lot.  Honestly, I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled and encouraged my heart was that the Lord used me to help her in such a simple way!    I just want to encourage your heart today to look for Him in the every day things, and permit him to take the ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary.  
Psalm 40:4 (Easy to Read Version)
“Lord my God, you have done many amazing things!
You have made great plans for us—too many to list.
I could talk on and on about them,
because there are too many to count.”

“Sometimes It’s The Little Things…”

sometimes its the little things
by Dona Hake

Sometimes it really is the little things that may count to be something really big in another’s life. It is also true that sometimes the things we are called upon to do may even be inconvenient,  yet if God is asking us to do it, we need to be obedient no matter  how small of a thing it may seem to you.


There was a time ordained by the Lord in which He had me visiting two special ladies in a nursing home.   They had shared a room in the home, and their days were long so they loved to have visitors.   Some days I would take my little dog, and it was so precious to see all the resident’s eyes light up when they got to pet and love on that little dog.   Sometimes I would sit by the bed side of

these women and read devotions from the scriptures for them.   Other days I would try to decorate their room according to seasons and holidays or I would try to show up with some fresh brewed coffee for them.   Such small things meant so much for their world was now confined to four walls, and limited activity.   Honestly, there were days that fitting this in my schedule really did make for a long day for me, but I knew I needed to be obedient to what the
Lord had instructed me to do.    

Today I encourage you to find ways to bring joy to those that cannot repay you. As I drive by the street on which this nursing home is I often think that I would give anything to pick up some hot coffee, and walk through those doors and see their precious faces. They have gone on to be with the Lord and that time is gone and precious memories of their love for me is all I have to remember.   I learned once again in my life that life is so frail, and there are those that need us desperately   May we obediently show the love of Jesus no matter how small the deed may seem to us. 

“Never get tired of doing little things for others.

Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest

parts of their hearts.” Author unknown


“He Will Remember His Covenant”

deep in my heart
by Dona Hake
 Lamentations 3:24 (CEV)
Deep in my heart I say,
“The Lord is all I need;
I can depend on him!”
No matter what is going on around us, no matter how disheartening it is at times, let us remind ourselves of our hope and the future the Lord promises us.   May we be careful to be discerning of all that we permit our minds to dwell on.   As I have been sharing over the past few days, we must purpose to keep our minds in a state of peace, and this can only be done with the help of God and His Word.  It will take a determined effort on our part to guard our hearts and minds.   Remember, 
no one can do this for you.  Today we will ponder that we serve a God
that promises to keep His Word and can depend on Him!
God is doing such a great work, and I believe that we are going to continue to see and hear wonderful testimonies of His works in the lives of believers.   Let us rejoice in the work of His hand yet let us stay mindful to be in prayer for the turmoil that is going on all over this world.  We cannot stick our heads in the sand, and pretend as if things are not going bad around us. Praise God that we can embrace  a greater truth, and that is the Lord is faithful to us no matter how bad things look to our physical eyes for He is faithful and dependable.

Psalm 111:5 (AMP)
“He has given food and provision to those who reverently and

worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant

forever and imprint it [on His mind].”

The Lord God has a heart that has promised His children that He will remember His covenant and upon His mind He has imprinted that promise. Thank Him for His faithfulness and His mighty provision in your life today! He is so good.

“Don’t Believe Everything You Think”

right thoughts
by Dona Hake
I once heard someone say, “Don’t believe everything you think.”    Simple yet profound isn’t it?    You know, if you begin to think about something too much, it begins to take residence in your mind, and before long it will rule your thoughts.  
Yesterday I shared with you about keeping your mind in a state of peace as you allows the peace of God to rule over you.  Of course we all have the right to our own thoughts and opinions but let us be careful to permit those thoughts be examined against the Word of God.   If we do not keep ourselves humble, we can think that all that goes on between our ears is right. If we do not keep our thoughts in check with what the Word of God says, it will not be long that our thoughts will become opinions that cannot be challenged or or they will become actions that could cause us some big trouble. 
We would keep ourselves guarded well if we would vow to live by what the Word says about maintaining our thought realm. In 2 Corinthians, Paul said if our thoughts exalt themselves against the knowledge of God…get rid of them! Such words are not worthy to keep residence in our mind and you clearly cannot trust them nor believe them.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ERV)
“…and we tear down every proud idea that raises

itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture

every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.”

The secret to tearing down proud ideas and thoughts that are bad are knowing what God’s Word says about our situation. As we stay full of His Word we can look to the Lord and ask Him to help us to rightly discern our thoughts.   Those thoughts that are not worthy of residing in our mind will quickly leave as we replace our thoughts with His. This reminds me of how it is so vitally important that we be in tune with Him and know that we are totally immersed in His Word and His peace. The mind that is full of His Word and peace is the guarded mind.

“That Peaceful State”

Peace rules and reigns
by Dona Hake
Colossians 3:15-Amplified version

“And let the peace soul harmony which comes from Christ

rule act as umpire continually in your hearts deciding

and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,

in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s

one body you were also called to live…”

Many times you may hear someone say, “I am in the wrong state of mind right now,”   When someone uses the word ~state~ in this way they are referring to the condition of their thoughts and their mind in respect to their circumstances.     I know I have had times already in which I was walking through a tough time  or I was tired, and the smallest of decisions seemed to rob my peace.   When one lacks rest or they are walking through a trial, their judgments and emotions can be greatly affected.   I appreciate the many times that while I was in that wrong state of mind that my husband would lovingly exhort me to not try to make a decision while I was tired or emotionally affected by a situation.   He will always emphasize the importance of me getting my peace back before any decisions or judgments on a situation are made.

In this scripture Paul spoke of Christ’s peace being like an umpire or referee in our hearts. His peace will settle all unrest and arguments that go on in our minds. Our hearts and minds are the center of all conflict because this is where our feelings and desires clash, our hopes and fears meet , jealousy battles with love, etc… Ask Him to help you listen to the umpire of your heart. He will instruct you in a way that peace will rule and reign no matter what. It is God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Most importantly we have been called to live in this peaceful state of mind, and for that we can give Him thanks!     Blessings to you this day! 

“Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover!”

dont judge
by Dona Hake
The other evening I went to a Christian bookstore in my area.   It was on my heart to purchase some little story books for my Granddaughters that were godly.   It was one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” type of search. I was able to find three storybooks that I was extremely excited about.   I was heading to the cash register, and I felt drawn to this huge table.   There was nothing exciting about this table at all in fact it was somewhat drab looking.   All that lay on the table were about three unwanted items that were not selling.   I immediately felt drawn to pick up one of the items that was a book specific to devotions for children.    As I paged through it I was so excited.   It’s childlike simplicity yet beautiful spiritual depth made me just know that I had to have it.   Here is the funny thing about this book.   It was laying on the table basically because they were trying to get rid of it.   A book that originally sold for $15.99 was now 90% off.   I bet you are wondering why…the reason was that it was damaged in shipment.   The top corner of the book took a beating on it’s way from the publisher.   The first thing I said to myself after I thought about it….”I am glad I did not judge this book by it’s cover!”    I was so sold on what was inside the book before I even noticed the damaged cover!   To me it was nothing a good piece of clear shipping tape could not mend.   So I walked out of the store with a book that cost me only $1.59!!!
My experience that evening at the bookstore  reminded me of human nature and how we want things to be all so perfect….especially if we are buying it brand new.   Things like this can teach us little lessons with big spiritual significance.   It reminded me that many times we miss seeing the truth about a situation because we permit other things such as imperfections and weaknesses to cloud our judgments, and we do not see things for what they really are.   It reminds me that sometimes we may prejudge people by the outward appearance, and we do not even give them a chance to show us their heart.   May we be reminded that God is always looking at hearts.   Let us look at people’s hearts through the love of Jesus and love them with His love.
1 Samuel 16:7 Easy To Read Version
God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart…”

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!