“The Time We Are Given”

making the very most of time
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Time is a gift to all of us, and we must use it wisely.   I hear people say it all the time, “Time flies…”     Wow!   Some days I wonder where the day has gone, and I think even now that we are half way through February already!
 
 
 
I recently saw something that was shared on social media that I thought was thought provoking about time.   This young lady was 37 years old and she has decided to return to school.    It is a University of  Western Sydney in Australia, and it was a three hour work shop for mature age students returning to learning.    She shared a shot of what was on the overhead screen, and it was about time.   This is what it said:
 
 
 

*We all get 24 hours a day


*It does not matter how rich, how smart or otherwise. Nobody gets more time in a day, week or semester than anyone else.

 

 

*No one can make more time

 

 

*We can only use it wisely or waist it

 

 

*Even the most intelligent student can fail at this University if they do not manage their time well.

 
 
I think this is a wonderful bit of wisdom for anyone and any age.   As I meditated upon sharing this with you today, there were three words on my heart that I want us to ponder.  They are grace, choices, and wisdom.
 
 
 
It is true that all of us have the same amount of time, yet each of us  have totally different demands on the “plates” of our life.    I know in my life that different seasons seemed more demanding, and there were seasons in which those demands could have brought me great stress.  As I look back on a particular time I still cannot believe that I was able to swing the schedule I had along with raising two young sons at the time.   It simply was God’s grace and the instruction of His wisdom in my life.   I simply want to share with you that there may be times in which our days may seem impossible but know this…God’s grace is sufficient to help us deal wisely with every demand.    His wisdom will enable us to do exactly the right thing at the right time.    Lastly I want to share about our choices with what we do with our time.  Let us look at the scripture from Ephesians 5:16 …
 
 
“…making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.”
 
 
In the realm of our choices may we be reminded that wrong choices with our time will cause our time to slip away.   Once it is gone, it is gone.   We cannot wish it back nor can we buy it back.  That time is gone.    If we waste time, many times we really do pay for it.   Wasted time can cause small demands that need accomplished to seem impossible.  If you have ever tried to hold sand in your hands, you will find it almost impossible for it slips away quickly, and this is how time is as well.   My friends, time really does go quickly, and we must use wise choices over every minute of our day knowing that we are honoring Him with all of our time.   May you recognize today the value and blessing of each and every minute that He has given you.   Enjoy your life, make the most of your time, and bless the Lord with every opportunity that life brings to you!!


“God’s Sufficient Grace”

 
 
sufficient grace
 
by Dona Hake
 
Last evening just as I pulled up to my home at the end of a long day my gas light went on, and I heard the “ding!!”.   It is nearly on the “E”.    I knew it was low but I did not feel like standing out in the bitter cold and pumping gas.   Today I must stop and get gas for if I do not I am going find myself sitting somewhere on yet another cold, frigid day, and I am really going to be inconvenienced.  Not only would there be the inconvenience but because of not doing my part, I would be wasting precious time to get done the things that need done.     Sometimes we must stop and get exactly what we need for specific things if we use them to accomplish certain purposes.   Today we will look at the word ~sufficient~.   Sufficient defined is when something is enough to meet a need or purpose.   It is the adequate amount of something.   Today if I plan to go anywhere, I must put a sufficient amount of gas into the tank.   I cannot put water into it or some other substance, it must be gas.  You see I know that you know that it would be silly to put anything but gas in my tank, but how many times to we try to replace God’s strength and ability with our own knowledge, ability or strength?   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let us use this analogy to reflect upon our need for His grace to do specific things.   If we do not look upon Him and ask for His grace, we will surely rely upon our own resources, knowledge and ability.  May I suggest that as you begin your day in prayer that you can ask Him for His much needed grace to live your day.   I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me to beware of doing things in my own ability.   I desire with all of my heart that my strength and help is from Him and from Him alone!  It is His grace that will see us through any circumstance, and He desires that we draw upon it in all that we do.  
 
 
 
 
 

In the scriptures (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) Paul spoke of calling out to God to help him. Paul had enough of dealing with problems and he begged God that the whole issue would depart from him. God’s response…”My grace which is my favor, my lovingkindness, and my mercy are all that you need. My grace is SUFFICIENT  against any danger and it enables you to bear this trouble manfully. My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves MOST effective in your weakness.”

 
 
 
 

Paul’s heart was totally toward God and he realized that all he had to do was allow God’s grace to rest upon him. One translation implies to allow God’s grace to rest as a tent pitched upon us. What an awesome way of looking at dwelling and drawing upon His wonderful grace.

 
 
 
 
Paul then said, “when I am weak in my own human strength, then I am truly strong, able and powerful in God’s strength.” Paul saw that God’s grace was all that he needed. He saw that it was sufficient. God’s grace is adequate for His purposes and it  will always be more than enough.    Today I encourage you to make sure that you are drawing upon His grace.    In the morning and throughout the day, remind yourself to look up and draw upon His  strength and ability that flows from His throneroom of His grace. May we draw upon it as we live this life.


“But Seek First…”

seek first his kingdom
by Dona Hake
Matthew 6:33
Easy-to-Read Version
“What you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what he wants you
to do. Then he will give you all these other things you need.”
In this portion of scripture Jesus is teaching that our priority as a believer is to seek His kingdom first and His righteousness and all else will be taken care of. He was teaching that heavenly things are always more important than anything else. He well understands how things in this world can occupy our hearts and minds and cause us to lose site of the most important thing.
Prior to Him sharing this He spoke about worrying about being clothed. He spoke of the lilies of the field, and how they grow without care and they thrive. How much more will He take care of us? Yet we worry. In the life in which we live it always seems to be something to be tempted to pick up care about.
Jesus understands our weaknesses and our human nature, yet He commands us to cast our care, and wants us to do the most important thing, and that is to just seek Him first. Let us read some scriptures from the writings of Luke.
Luke 10:38-42
Easy-to-Read Version
“While Jesus and his followers were traveling, he went into a town, and a
woman named Martha let him stay at her house. She had a sister named
Mary. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. But her
sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went
in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the
work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and
upset about too many things.”
This story tells us once again that our Lord desires that we seek Him first. Mary understood this well, but poor Martha in all her good intentions did not understand. The cares of her duties were being placed before her doing the right thing. I do not believe Martha was wrong for wanting to serve, she went wrong in her serving by ending up carrying care, and then assuming that Mary needed to be doing the same. Mary understood that she needed to cease from her work and  sit at the feet of the Lord. Martha did not understand that she needed to set the work aside and sit before Jesus.

May we learn from this story of Mary and Martha. Let us seize the opportunities in which the Lord is desiring us to stop and hear what He has to say. Remember in your walk with Him that there is ONLY ONE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT and that is to seek Him first!



“Hate What God Hates”

hate
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
I was with my four year old Granddaughter yesterday.   I was across the room and she said, “Grandma, what does it mean to hate?”    I replied at first, “What did you ask?”   Again she said, “Hate…what does that mean?”     Honestly it is moments like these that are so precious that I wish I could freeze that moment in time.   It was so precious to see her face and innocent eyes looking at me as she was trying to understand a word and what it meant.   In that split second so many responses began to run through my mind but I knew I needed to scale this answer down to where her understanding of spiritual things are.   I began to share with her that we never hate people that do bad but rather hate their actions and sin.   I also shared with her that we need to understand that we are to hate the devil for he always does evil things to try to lie and hurt us.
 
 
 
 
 
Today I am feeling to share with you that God indeed desires that there are things that we need to hate passionately.   He wants us to know Him so well that we know exactly what He detests and abhors.  He desires that we hate what He hates and love what He loves.   To hate something is to dislike intensely or passionately or to  feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward a particular thing.    
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 97:10-11-Amplified

“You who love the Lord, hate evil;He protects the souls of His godly ones believers,He rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown like seed for the righteous and illuminates their path,And irrepressible joy is spread for the upright in heart who delight in His favor and protection.”
 
 
 
 
 
The more we are in fellowship with God by prayer and the reading of His Word, the more we will immediately identify what the Lord hates.   We must keep our hearts guarded and never hate people that do evil acts.   We love the person yet hate the evil deed.   The Lord is able to help us do this.  This scripture tells us that His light is sown like a seed for us, and it WILL illuminate our path.  That Light will correctly define for us the things that we need to reject that are evil and poisonous to our souls.   Today let us love like God yet hate those things that He hates.  God desires that we live uncompromisingly as we serve Him in faith and in truth. that He will be glorified in our life.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 8:13 The Living Bible

“If anyone respects and fears God, he will hate evil. For wisdom hates pride, arrogance, corruption, and deceit of every kind.”
 


“He Leads Us In the Smallest of Things”

 
he leads me for he is concerned
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Yesterday I shared with you how precious it is to have a heart that is free from the noise of this world.  Our hearts must be a place of stillness and quiet that we may hear from our Loving Lord when He desires to speak to us.    I mention so often that He is concerned about the smallest of things.   Many times people only go to the Lord with things that they are unable to figure out but they save the big things for prayer.   I love when the Lord shows up and shows Himself as my provider even in those things that I thought would not be worthy of a prayer.
 
 
 
 
 
I can remember a few years ago getting in my car and traveling to an area of town that I was not real familiar with.   I needed to go to a particular store to pick up a gift card and honestly I could not figure out how to get to this store.   I drove around in circles till I reached a point of frustration and I was ready to forget about it.   Then I heard His voice quietly speak to my spirit, “Have you asked me for help yet?” I thought to myself how we can so easily go about our business and forget that He wants to help with all kinds of things. I admitted to Him that I did not ask Him for help and I prayed a simple “Help!!!” prayer, nothing fancy because I had to make a decision because I was in some busy traffic and I needed to proceed.   I  pulled into a grocery store and I felt to ask a shopper for directions .
 
 
 
 
 
 
I pulled up and there was a woman to my right and another to my left loading their car with groceries. I originally went to ask the one woman and I felt I was supposed to ask the other one instead. You see…I now know that God was directing me to the exact person I was to ask help from. It  was just amazing what this woman did. She said, “Pull your car over, wait till I get my groceries loaded in the car and you can follow me and I will lead you right to the store.” She explained that it was
complicated and so many have trouble finding this store. She led me right to the entrance. I purposed to tell her that she was an answer to prayer and she seemed blessed that I shared that with her.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s hand was upon me that day, and He led me to the perfect person for help.   I could of missed this blessing by not listening to His still small voice speaking to me about something I perceived to be too trivial to pray about. Lesson learned! I hope this blessed you and I hope you are reminded to include Him in the smallest of details in your day today as you take time to quiet your heart and listen to Him.
 
 
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me…” Psalm 138:8
 


“In the Silence of the Heart”

 
Quiet heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
Today I would like for us to meditate upon the importance of our hearts being a place of stillness, peace, calm, and silence.    I particularly want us to look at the word ~silence~.   Silence is the absence of any sound or noise, it is a place of stillness.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Many times when we think of noise we may think about the noises that go on in our house.   Maybe you have small children that get loud at times or you have a particular appliance that gets on your nerves because it is so loud.  You may go to work where there are loud noises and it hurts your ears.   Sometimes you may be in your car and out of nowhere an ambulance or police car’s siren can alarm you because it is so loud.   You may think at times that you just want to get to a place where there is total peace and quiet.   Noise is so much a part of the world in which we live, but what about the noise that goes on in our minds and hearts because we have not been diligent to keep our thoughts, troubles and opinions in their proper place.   It is sad to say that many people live with constant “noise” between their ears and in their heart, and it just becomes a normal thing and they accept it to be something they have to live with.  Here is a beautiful quote by Mother Teresa for you to ponder….
 
 
 
 
 
 
“God
speaks in the silence of the heart.
Listening is the
beginning of prayer.” 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our heart is the place that our Lord dwells and I believe it should be a place of stillness and silence.   The Word tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence for from it flows the issues of life.   May our hearts and minds be a guarded place.   May we learn to arrest those thoughts that come from out of nowhere to rob you of your peace.   Ask yourself if that thought is worthy of remaining in your mind and robbing you of the precious peace you desire.  Today I encourage you to yearn for your heart to be a place of silence and refuge.   May it be a place so quiet that you can hear your Lord speak to you in prayer.   Silence in the heart is truly the sweetest silence to know!
 
 
 


“But What Does God See?”

god sees heart
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Samuel 16:7(ERV)
“… God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the
outside, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (VOICE)
“… for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value.
Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers
the inner character.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today I want you to consider seeing yourself and others as God sees. Many times we can be guilty of judging a person or situation by the outward appearance. We stop at that and this is so very wrong. The old saying, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” is so very true. Many times we do not give people a chance simply because we are not looking closely and deeply into their heart.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I believe as we pray diligently and ask God for His wisdom into every matter He will begin to open our eyes and impart His sight to us. I find it so sad that many times we fall short of being merciful and forgiving because we are just being wise in our own eyes in our judgments of people and situations. Let us be cautious in this matter as we encounter people. Let us seek to see as God sees.
I pray today that you will look to Him and let His eyesight become yours. I believe as we do this we will begin to see ourselves grow in God’s mercy and His forgiveness like never before.

~



“Choose His Instruction”

where to turn what to do
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
“Lord, I do not know what to do in this situation?”    “What is my next step?” Many times our hearts cry out with these words for we may be facing difficult decisions. I don’t know about you but I value embracing that I know God is directing my decisions.    I want to know that His wisdom and guidance are before Me for it is then that I can walk free from the anxieties that uncertainty can bring.
 
 
 

Today I want to encourage your heart in simply meditating upon the truths and power of the written Word. We must believe with all of our heart that our Lord is desiring to grant us the provision that we need no matter how big or small the need may be. Every answer or direction is there for us. It is as we keep ourselves full of His Word and spend time in prayer with Him that our choices and decisions will be guided by Him.   Within the Word of God is a wealth of testimonies of those that have gone before us. Their lives can encourage us to be strong when fear,weakness and uncertainty are trying to overtake our hearts. The Psalms are full of words to encourage our heart every time we read them. Many of the Psalms were written by those that may have been depressed, weary or their lives were endangered yet they chose to call out to the Living God, petition Him for answers, and praise His holy Name!   Allow these testimonies to lead your heart to praise the living God in your time of questions and great need. The Proverbs are so beautiful and profound and they can serve to bring wisdom to our heart as we may be facing a time of decision making.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 8:10-11 (NIV)
“Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
 
 
 
 
In this scripture God is showing us that even the jewels that we could ever possess that are incredibly expensive do not measure in value to His instruction, His wisdom and knowledge. Think about it…NOTHING we could ever desire no matter how wonderful can compare to the worth of His great knowledge and instruction.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lord, help us to continue to grow in valuing Your written Word. We thank You that You desire to give us answers to our every question and prayer. Help us to be discerning over our time that you have blessed us with that we may be diligent to keep our time with You and the reading of Your Word, for it is there that You will meet us and keep us in all our ways.
 
 
 


“Always Be Thankful”

remember to give thanks
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
I have shared with you many times that I am part of a wonderful photography group where over 22,000 people are members from all over the world.   I feel blessed to be a part of such a great group of people that daily share their part of the world in images.   The other day our prompt for the day was ~home~.    Wonderful and beautiful images were being shared as each participant shared their interpretation of the prompt.   But one stopped me, and touched my heart like no other.   Her image was unreal and very sad.     The image was her home from two years ago.   It showed not only her home but her car completely destroyed.   It looked to either be some kind of very bad fire or possibly an explosion.   Many asked her what happened but she never did tell.   Obviously it must had been too painful to elaborate on.   All she wrote was
 
 
 
 
“My home 2 years ago. It makes you realize home
is where family is, not the building.”
 
 
 
 
 
There is an  idiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” which refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image.   This is so very true.   I could not stop thinking how horrible of a thing she went through.      The more I thought about it my heart rested on the importance of being thankful for what really matters.   The image and her words told me that she realized to a deeper degree what family really was and what it was not.
 
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage your heart to remain  thankful for the smallest of things.    Many times we can get tempted to think that certain things are way more important than what they really are.    God desires that we be thankful and value the things that really matter in this life.  Thank God today for all that the Lord has done for you and for those that He has put in your life to walk along side of you.   These are the blessings that can never be replaced and we need to be ever so thankful for them.   I leave you with this wonderful scripture…
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ERV)
“Always be full of joy.
Never stop praying.
Whatever happens, always be thankful.
This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.”
 


“The Dwelling Place of Our Lord”

he who dwells
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Psalm 91:1   AMP
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].”
 
Psalm 91:1   CEB
“Living in the Most High’s shelter, camping in the Almighty’s shade,”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In Psalm 91:1 the Psalmist points us to the place in which our Lord desires for us to dwell.  Our Lord knows our hearts, our fears, and our weaknesses.   He understands our need for Him and the security His presence brings to our hearts.   He longs that we remain in this dwelling place  and make it the place  where we can rest secure.
 
 
 
 
Let us look further into what it means to dwell in a particular place.  The word dwell means to live or continue in a given condition or state. 
God has provided for us this dwelling place that is His place of refuge for us.    He knows exactly what we need to feel secure from the things of this life. He desires that we dwell there, and that we remain.
 
 
 
 
There will be things around us from day to day that will tempt us to pull away from that dwelling place.  Sometimes it may be mere distractions that tempt our hearts to not stay focused on heavenly things.  Many times we choose anxiety over peace or bitterness over love, etc. This is only a few of the many choices we can make that can keep us from abiding in the hiding place and shelter He has provided. Remember, His shelter is our refuge. Next time you are tempted to get upset, instead of dwelling on the one who upset you or the circumstance, choose rather to run to Him for help, and refuge from the problem.
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 91:1 (GW)
“Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High
will remain in the shadow of the Almighty.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I just want to encourage you to value the wonderful blessing of Him providing a place for you to dwell. Do not allow the negative things of this life to pull you from that place of love, peace, and protection that He has so abundantly blessed you with. For every problem we have, He has a solution. All we need to do is remain in His presence, look to Him, and enjoy the security of living under the shadow of the Most High!
 



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!