“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!
 


“Being Passionate About God’s Word”

are you passionate about his word
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
When one is passionate they exhibit a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for something. I want to share with you a portion of Psalm 119 in which the psalmist expresses his passion about the Word.
 
 
 
Psalm 119:130-142 The Voice

“When Your words are unveiled, light shines forth;
they bring understanding to the simple.
My desire for Your commands
left me waiting, open-mouthed and panting.
Acknowledge me and show me Your grace
as is Your habit toward all those who love Your name.
Guide my steps in the ways of Your word,
and do not let any sin control me.
Rescue me from the torment of my human oppressors
so that I may live according Your decrees.
Let Your face shine upon Your servant,
and help me to learn what You require.
My eyes shed rivers of tears

whenever people fail to keep Your teaching.
You are good and just, O Eternal One,
and Your rulings are right.
You have set out Your decrees in justice,
and they can be trusted.
I AM OVERWHELMED BY MY PASSION
because my enemies have forgotten Your words.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you have such a passion in your heart today for God’s Word? Have you ever thought how you would live without it? I remember the movie about the precious saint Corrie Ten Boom entitled “The Hiding Place.” Oh what a love for the Lord and His Word she and her sister had.   When they were going into the concentration camp they decided they would try to take in their little Bible.   They prayed that they would be able to get it passed the guards without it being noticed.  The Lord was faithful to provide a miraculous way to protect their Bible   It was amazing to see them pray before they hid it under her coat, and  the beautiful little Bible made its way past the darkness and evil of that place.   You see, she and her sister were passionate about a loving God and His Word. They well understood that all they needed would come from His love and provision.
 
 
 
 
 
 
God desires that we be so passionate and loving about His Word.    Let us look to His Word with  longing in our heart for it is the Bread of life…the Bread that truly sustains and strengthens us to do His will.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lord we thank You for Your precious Word that You have given us.   We thank You for sustaining us with Your Word.   It is by Your Word that we receive all the wisdom and direction that we need.   We ask that You would open the eyes of our understanding that we can receive the light of Your Word in every area of our lives.  Help us Lord to learn from Your Word all that You require of us.    In Jesus Name, amen!
 


“Living In the Integrity of Our God”

God our integrity
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
Today we will meditate upon how our integrity which comes from following the Lord will guide us. First I would love for you to read this short quote as we think about our Lord guiding us in the ways and path of integrity.
 
 
 
 
“God shall be my hope, My stay, my guide and lantern to my feet.”
William Shakespeare
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If God is our hope, He is always ahead of us. Our eyes are fixed on Him with great confidence and expectation.   When we see Him as our stay, He is always all that we need in the present. He shall be the loving Anchor of our soul, and we shall not be moved.   When He is our guide, He is the ultimate compass that moves in the greatest of accuracy.    As He is our lantern to our feet we will be moving in His divine direction with great illumination all around us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As we practice living, breathing and moving by the Spirit of the Living God, we will be a people of great honor and integrity.  From the depths of our being there will  be a passionate desire to please Him and do the right thing. Oh the beauty of walking in the integrity of our God!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 11:3
New Life Version
“The honor of good people will lead them…”
 
 
 
 
 

We thank you Lord that Your integrity shall guide us, and that integrity will also draw people to You! We praise You for being our Hope, our Stay, and the Lantern to our feet that we may exhibit integrity in our lives.

 
 


“The Friend That Is Loyal To Truth”

in the same way
 
by  Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 27:17 (The Voice)
” In the same way that iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character
of his friend.”
 
 
 
 
 
We need to be  loyal to the truth, and living uncompromisingly in every relationship we have on this earth.  I love the scripture from Proverbs 27:17, and I love the challenge it brings. I am sure everyone reading this has a friend or maybe you have many friends. A true friend will keep their eye on you, and they will get to know your heart. They will be able to observe by a mere, slight change on your face that something is troubling you. In the event you fail or make a mistake, a true friend will never leave you. A true friendship withstands much hardship, and will continue to grow in the midst of trials. In fact we will see that the trials actually will be us stronger, if we handle them in God’s wisdom and His ways. An individual that loves their friend dearly will also desire to share their own personal strengths, and also draw from the strengths of their friend.
 
 
 
 
 
 

May we be ever mindful to be grateful to our Lord for the faithful friends that He has put in our lives. Thank God for those friends that have not walked away from us when they see our faults and they purposed to love us instead. We should be so thankful for those friends that love us enough to speak God’s Word even when we do not want to hear it. Many times our mind and emotions may not want to hear the truth but our hearts should be rejoicing at the voice of godly counsel. We must value it, and allow it to minister to us that we can be sharpened by it both in character and in countenance.

 

 

 

Proverbs 27:9
“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s
friend by hearty counsel.”
 
 
 
 
Today I encourage your heart to seek Him, and ask Him to help you be the best friend you can be to those that He has divinely put in your life. I pray that you will recognize the God given strengths in your friends . As iron sharpens iron, let us be willing to be used to sharpen as well as be sharpened!


“Declaring His Greatness!”

tell of his goodness
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

Psalm 145:6-821st Century King James Version (KJ21)

“And men shall speak of the might of Thy fearsome acts, and I will declare Thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy great goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.”
 
 
 

The Amplified version of verse seven says that we shall pour forth like a fountain the fame of His great and abundant goodness!      I love this scripture for it reminds me that daily I should be like a fountain pouring forth to all around me proclaiming that I am blessed, and I serve a God of abundant blessing! Today I am thinking about being genuine in my words that I speak about the blessings in my life. May my life show that I am blessed going in and blessed coming out! Let us not only speak of blessings when all is going well but let us speak of His blessings no matter what is going on in our lives.

 
 

Today I just want to put the challenge out that we always humbly return to Him the thanks and praise that He deserves, and live in a place that our eyes are always on Him from whom all blessings flow. The greatest blessing that we can give thanks for today is that His life is flowing like a mighty river within us. Dear friend, it is not there for us alone, but that abounding life of all that God is, is there for those around us. We are to become springs of His life that flow and bubble over continually.

John 4:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)
But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no
never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a
spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto
(into, for) eternal life.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Let us remember to give thanks to Him often!!!



“His Hands Desire To Work In Your Life”

let us praise Him for his loving works
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today we will meditate upon the work of God’s hand in your life.  It is a good thing to reach into our memories and ponder the many good things the Lord has done for us.   It keeps our hearts grateful to Him for He has done great and wonderful things!   There will be times that you can exclaim that you have seen His hand of protection upon your life. There may also be times that you know that His loving hand reached out, and stopped you before you made a decision that could have caused you severe consequences. As we look to God and submit to Him we will experience the work of His hands in so many ways. His ways are way above and beyond whatever we could dream!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 92:4
Amplified Bible
“For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of
Your hands I joyfully sing.”
 
 
 
 

This scripture is implying that His hands are open to us, and it indicates power, and a means of direction. I love this because I know that God desires that His hand be moving in our lives. He desires as He walks with us through our day that we acknowledge our need to be looking to hold it. Sometimes little ones do not understand the importance of holding tightly to their parent’s hand in a potentially dangerous situation. A child may resist because he or she may want to do things their way, and therefore they could endanger themselves. We too at times think we may not need to hold the Lord’s hand because we think we can do things in our own ability. May I say that this is only pride that one could think they are able to walk any day in this life without holding tightly to the Lord’s hand?

 
 
 
 
God’s loving hand desires to lead, guide and be a means of direction every day of our life. Those same hands that direct us are there to comfort us in our times of pain. Let us receive all of His loving comfort, and do not seek it in other things that this world has to offer. The same hands that offer guidance and comfort will at times offer warning to us. Let us remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what our weaknesses are, and He knows the wisdom and grace we need. Today I encourage you to think about the works of God’s hands in your life, and give praise to Him!


“Journeying Through Life By the Light of His Face”

 
 
by the light of your face
 
by Dona Hake

Psalm 89:15 The Voice translation
“How happy are those who have learned how to praise You;
those who journey through life by the light of Your face.”
 
 
 
 

Life on this earth is a journey. Some days the journey is smooth and some days the journey is just full unexpected things that try to hinder our walk with Him. The important thing about the journey is knowing that He has promised to be right there beside us, and He would never leave us.

 
 
 
 
 
 
When the journey gets rough we must purpose to keep our perspective. These are the days you may not feel like praising Him, and you have to command your soul to rise up from hopelessness and be encouraged. When you do this, you begin to praise Him regardless of what is
going on around you. Therefore you are truly content and happy because you have learned how to praise Him even when circumstances are not conducive, and you would rather not fight the good fight.
 
 
 
 
We serve a God that is absolute light, life and love. As we stay in His presence there will be a fullness of joy. As we walk closely beside Him we can have absolute confidence that even though this world is dark, our journey will be illuminated by the light of His face as He goes before us. I love this awesome quote that reminds me to stick real close to Jesus at all times!
 
 
 
 
“The closer you walk with God,
the less anything can get
between you and Him.”
 
 
 

May we meditate today on how we need to stay close beside Him at all times. May we recognize immediately anything that would come to distract us, and take our eyes off of Him. Allow the light of His countenance to illuminate your journey, and walk in expectancy of all the good things He desires to do for you today!!!



“Without Him”

 
without God I can do nothing
 
by Dona Hake
 
Last evening I was searching for a recipe to make homemade pancakes for my Granddaughters this morning.   As I was making sure I had all the ingredients I was a bit disappointed because I had every ingredient except for one.   That one ingredient missing would  cause the pancakes to be unsuccessful for sure.   Well I thought to myself that I needed to keep searching my spice shelf and I finally found that ingredient.   I was excited because now I can make those special pancakes!  This reminds me that in this life we must have certain things  to do His will.  We can not think that certain things can be missing for the Lord has a perfect plan and a perfect way to accomplish it.   We may have our abilities,strengths and talents but the Lord Jesus spoke something in John 15:5 that we must never forget…”without Me, you will accomplish nothing.”
 
 

John 15:5

The Voice (VOICE)

“I am the vine, and you are the branches.

If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit.

Without Me, you will accomplish nothing.”

This is such a wonderful scripture to keep fresh in our hearts. Without Him we can do nothing and yet with Him ALL things are possible! All means all, and that little word with three letters contains big possibilities. Whether we are trying to do things for Him or the things that involve our daily accomplishments, it would do us good to know that we are pulling ALL of our strength and wisdom from His resources.  Praise Him today as you look to Him for all things for with Him you can accomplish that which you put your hand to!

 


“Understanding the Purposes of God’s Heart”

counsel is mine
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Proverbs 8:14 (ESV)
“I have counsel and sound wisdom;
I have insight; I have strength.”
 
 
 
Wisdom, counsel, insight, and strength!    We are blessed as we serve a God that we can turn to and draw upon and embrace these things aren’t we?     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 understanding, wisdom, counsel and strength we are walking in deeper realms of the purposes of His 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!