“God Is Our Understanding”

counsel is mine
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Think about all that God is to us.   We can look to Him as being the love of our life, He is Light, He is our Healer, He is our Provider…     I could share so many things that He is to us but today I want to share with you that He is our Understanding.   When all seems dark or something may seem confusing I want to encourage your heart today to look to Him as the one that is able to give you the understanding that you need.
 
 
The understanding of God is a wonderful thing yet we must first fear His Name and have a respect for it.   This is the beginning of His wisdom and understanding to be  given to us.   As we follow His guiding principles we will have good sense and be decisive.  I would like to share a scripture with you from Psalm 111:10.   The one translation from the Extended Bible says it simply, and that is “those who obey and do his orders have good understanding.”  I love the way this is worded simply because it calls God’s Word or His commands “his orders”.   Are there times that you feel you can pick and choose from His Word?   God desires that we embrace all of His truth and make it ours to obey that we may live a blessed life.    
 
 
Today, let us reverence the Lord in every way possible.    Lord, help us to be humble as we hear Your Word and read Your Word.   May we draw close to You that we may hear Your tender voice as You desire to instruct us in the way.   You are good, and may we see all of Your commands as  good and profitable in our walk with You that we may grow thereby.   In Jesus Name, amen!
 
 
 
 
.
Psalm 111:10  The Living Bible
How can men be wise? The only way to begin is by reverence for God. For growth in wisdom comes from obeying his laws. Praise his name forever.
 


“Walking Where Truth Echoes His Name”

walking where truth echoes his name
Follow Him and stay in His footprints!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
Yesterday I shared with you that God desires for us to walk within His footprints that are guided by truth and righteousness.   His steps are solid, and as we purpose to walk within those footprints, we  will be within the borders of His will for our life.   This is where God desires that we live, abide and serve Him.    The scripture that I shared with you yesterday was from Psalm 85.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 85:13 BRG version

Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

 
 
 
 
 
Today I want us to reflect upon the beauty of staying by our Lord’s side clinging to Him and His ways. 
 I love knowing that as I abide in Him, He is going to continually restore my soul and lead me into His paths where His truth speaks of Him.   I love knowing that as I walk closely to Him that my life will speak and echo of His righteousness and His truth.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Psalm 23:3 (VOICE)
“He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.”
 
 
 
 
 
Let us look now at how He lovingly steers us away from worn, hard paths yet how many times do we
return to them. Those worn, hard paths could be habits and patterns in our lives that have ultimately gotten us in trouble. Those worn paths are those that have developed because of doing the same thing over and over again. God is calling us to allow Him to step in and guide us on the paths of His desire for us.
Maybe you have walked the path of a habitual worrier. Maybe your worn, hard path has been one of constantly walking in fear and anxiety over your future. Regardless of what it is we can make the choice to walk on the path that is guided by His hand. His hand deals only in truth and right things. His path does not make provision for us to walk in our own ability but rather to draw upon His.
 
 
 
 
Let us look to His way, His paths, and we can live a life that is blessed because when we walk hand in hand with Him, that path echoes His Name! God bless you!
 


“Righteousness Will Go Before Him”

 
 
righteousness will go before Him
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.    Have you been thinking about this day being the first day of 2016 as a clean slate?   Many of you might have set some goals, or are bringing some desires to the Lord in which you want to see come to pass.   Nevertheless, I feel  strongly that no matter how we see this January 1st, we must carry with us in our hearts the desire to diligently seek Him everyday, every minute, and every step.   Of course He desires that we have new goals and desires, but let us first of all give them to Him, and permit Him to bring those things to pass in our lives.   After all He is our Shepherd, shall we think today about how we should make sure that He is never out of our sight, and may we purpose to draw daily upon His grace for all that we need and all that we need to do.
 
 

Psalm 85:11-13 BRG Bible

” Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”

 
 
 
May we continue to grow in truth and righteousness this new year.   I love how this translation says, “Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.”   As I meditated on this I began to think of a small child on the sands of a beach finding some big footsteps of an adult.   Walking along, the child carefully places her feet inside the big footprint.   So it is with us as we desire to cling to our Lord and follow Him closely.   His footprints are established in truth and righteousness.  They are rock solid, and as we purpose to walk within his footprints, we will always be within the borders of His will for our lives.
 
 
 
Lord, we thank You this day for a New Year in which we can set our hearts to live for You and serve You.   May we be mindful that we are living for Your truth and righteousness.   Help us to be mindful of keeping ourselves in the way of Your steps and not our own.   Even in those times that Your way may not make sense to us, help us to be mindful that Your ways are higher than our ways, and You understand the big picture of the work in our life.   In Jesus Name, amen!
 
 
 
 
 
 


“Seeing Through the Eyes of God”

 
see others as Christ
 
 
 


Psalm 32:8 (ERV)

” The Lord says, “I will teach you
and guide you in the way you should live.
I will watch over you and be your guide.”
 
 
 
 
 The Lord desires that we have Him guide us in every aspect of our lives. Today I am sharing this scripture in light of how we treat others. I love this scripture because the psalmist is proclaiming that the Lord has spoken that He will teach us and guide us in how we should live.
 
 
 

Many times it can be easy to fall into the trap of focusing on people’s faults rather than the good things about them. God desires we LIVE to LOVE!!!! Criticizing is not showing His love in any way. The more you focus on anything negative in others the bigger it is going to become to you. Jesus admonished us with the following words from the book of Matthew:

 
 
 

Matthew 7:3-5 (ERV)

“Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own? Why do you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to get the dust out of your friend’s eye.”

 
 
 

The Lord understands that we will encounter the faults and shortcomings of others but He desires that we handle ourselves in His love. The fault of someone else may cause you to be offended or irritated   but it comes back to asking Him to help you to be longsuffering and for His guidance in dealing with such things.

 
 
 
Today let us focus on Jesus’ last words of these verses, “Look at yourself first!” As we continually give our hearts and minds to Him, He has promised to teach us about all that we need in this life.  As we are obedient to His process, He will take care of everything that pertains to us and He will lovingly deal with those around us, in His time.  Let us also remember that the Holy Spirit is a complete gentleman and He will not impose Himself on anyone. The more we pray for others, the more our heart will be enlarged to love and carry people in prayer rather than be critical toward them.
 

Lord we ask You this day to help us to see people around us just like You see them.    May we purpose to grow in the fruit of Your Spirit, and may we have hearts that love rather than seeking to find fault.  Lord, we ask that You search our hearts, and we invite You to help us to grow in the areas in which we need help and strength.   We thank You for that Lord, in Jesus Name, amen.

 



“He Is the God of Faithfulness”

great is his faithfulness
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Lamentations 3:22-23 (VOICE)

“How enduring is God’s loyal love;
the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning, new!
Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.”

 


There is nothing so loyal and beautiful in this life than the love of our God. Everyday He faithfully sheds His love toward us and His compassion cannot be exhausted. As He shows His love to me, it challenges my heart to love the same way. He desires that the love that flows from our hearts to be loyal, enduring and never grow tired and weary. After all, we were created in His image therefore He can enable us to love like Him.
 
 


There may be people in your life that you find very easy to flow with and get along with, and yet there are those that just seem to drain you of your energy for they are more challenging.   Allow this scripture to challenge your heart. Seek to draw upon  His love from above that never runs out of energy and it endures the toughest of challenges.

 
 
 
Remember that every morning you awaken He is seeking new ways to show His love to you. Everything about God begins afresh each day and His compassion is NEVER limited. Everyone of us has a new day ahead of us and each of us will face different challenges. Know this, the God of all love is able to help you endure anything with the love that flows straight from His heart!

 



“How Many Are His Works”

 
 
 
 
how many are your works
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today I have shared an image that I photographed this morning in my front yard.   I am part of a photography group in which each day we are assigned a prompt for the day.   We are to shoot our perspective on the prompt.  Today’s assignment was called “something awesome”.   Sometimes I struggle with ideas especially if I have a busy day in which I do not have extra time to allot to this project.   Then there are other times that I have so many ideas I cannot decide.  This morning after running errands, I was carrying a bunch of things in my front door, and I happened to glance over and see my ornamental cabbage still in full bloom.   The colors of this have been amazing, and I think it is pretty awesome that it is still blooming, but that is not what stopped me to look at it closer.   The light was shining down on it, and right in the center of the cabbage there was rain water accumulated, and it was glistening like a beautiful diamond.   I thought to myself, “Now that is awesome!!”
 
 
 
 
how many 2  
 
 
This also made me ponder and meditate on how God has made the smallest of things so very beautiful.  If you take the time to stop and really look, you can see His hand all around you.   I think it is awesome that God can take a whole bunch of raindrops and let them accumulate in the center of a flower, and shine His sun upon it, and make it glisten so beautifully.    
You see…many times we only classify awesomeness with the big things or the spectacular, but God is in the big and in the small.   
 
 
Psalm 104:24  AMP
 
“O Lord, how many and varied are Your works! In wisdom
You have made them all; The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.”
 
 
 
 
The Lord deals with me often about keeping things simple and not over complicating things.   We all have different responsibilities that we must attend to each day, but let us be careful that we guard our time that we do not have time to slow down and appreciate the simplest of blessings. His riches are all around us, let us give thanks to Him for His many and varied works!
 
 
 
 
 


“The God Who Never Grows Weary”

 
 
 
 
Jesus is Everlasting
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 

How great is our God! It is by His power and strength that we are able to live for Him. There have been times in my life that all physical strength seemed to be gone. As I looked to Him who NEVER grows faint or weary, I am always reminded that He can give me the strength that I need.
 
 

I can remember during the entire birth of our second son I had a worship tape being played and right when he was being delivered “I Exalt Thee” by Phil Driscoll was playing. I was feeling totally exhausted right before our son was born yet quietly in the background I could hear Phil Driscoll speaking the following words and those words infused me with strength and joy in a time in which my body needed strength to deliver a our son.

 
 
 
 

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God,

the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth,

fainteth not, neither is weary?

there is no searching of his understanding.”

Isaiah 40:28 (KJV)

 
 
 
 

Then as our son was taking his first breath I can remember hearing the beautiful words being sung from the song  entitled  “I Exalt Thee” softly playing in the background…

 

” For Thou O Lord art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods
For Thou O Lord art high above all the earth
Thou art exalted far above all gods

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee O Lord”

To this day when I hear this song, my heart and mind are reminded of the Lord God being my strength when I needed it desperately.   I love testimonies like this that I can reflect and look back on for they truly encourage my faith.    Today, let us exalt Him in our hearts as we give praise to Him that never tires nor grows weary of anything. He is the everlasting God!!

 


“God-Our Refiner”

Jesus A Refiner
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
Proverbs 25:4 (ERV)

“Remove the worthless things from

silver to make it pure, and a worker

can make something beautiful.”

 
You are so valuable and He loves you so much.    As we read this scripture we can see that there is a process that we are all walking through as we grow in Him. There is a refining and purification that is taking place in our hearts as we deeply humble ourselves to His Mighty life changing Word.  Let’s look at Proverbs 25:4 from God’s Word translation:
 
“Take the impurities out of silver,
and a vessel is ready for the silversmith to mold.”
 

The Lord our Refiner desires to bring us to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities. As our Purifier He will cause us to be free from anything that debases, pollutes, adulterates, or contaminates our hearts. God wants every bit of us so He can use us in wonderful ways to glorify Him on this earth.

 

In the forty one years that I have known the Lord I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard people share from the depths of their hearts as they walked through a difficult trial. Many at the end of the trial admit that they experienced God removing things from them that positioned them to be used in a greater way. Many times those difficult situations can actually cause us to do the soul searching we need to do, and God is able to work in such a wonderful way. As we keep our hearts humble before Him I believe He will continue to refine and purify us that we can serve and be used by Him in greater ways. Praise be to the God who is the Refiner and Purifier!

 


“Are You Filled To the Full?

filled to the full
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Are you filled to the full of all the wonderful things God has for you?   Today I want to share about how important it is that we pay attention to the condition of our hearts. Is your heart being kept full, strengthened and maintained by the power of the Holy Spirit? You know He desires that we be full and stay full that we may live the victorious life that He intends for us to live. How many things in life do we diligently pay attention to ? Just think about it …our gas tanks, our bank accounts, the parking meter, food in the refrigerator, etc… We keep a mental note and physical notes that we are maintaining these things, yet our spiritual being could be in a state of lack, and we may not even notice. When our spirit is lacking, eventually we are going to pay for it. If we do not tend to our hearts we will not have the strength that we need, therefore we cannot persevere. As our peace is no longer present, we will react to things in a way that we wished we had not.
 
 
 
This past week while I was busy doing errands, running here and there, my “gas is low” light came on and I heard the signal.    I kept driving for a bit and I noticed the needle was falling way too close to EMPTY, and felt an urgency to get to the gas station.   So it is that we need to stay sensitive to the state of our spirit.   When God speaks to your heart, are you hearing Him, and attending to His direction He is giving you?   We can not afford to try to live this life on the “fumes” of yesterday’s faith and victories.
Let us diligently watch over the gauge of our hearts and minds. Pay attention to the warning signals. Let us be watchful that we do not become deficient in things that He desires we be filled with.
 
 
 
 
Many times we come to this place of lack if we begin to live life from our own resources and our own ability. When we stop trusting God for the littlest of things, it eventually snowballs into every area of our life. God desires to fill us that we bubble over with hope as we trust in Him. As He fills you there will be new strength. Your youth will be renewed as the eagle. I encourage you to receive from His hand today. God is so good, trust in Him!!!
 
 
 
 

Romans 15:13 ERV
“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much
joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more
and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”



“The Gift of a King”

shepherds story
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I love pondering what it must of been like being a shepherd watching over my sheep, and in the dark of  the night an angel of the Lord appears out of nowhere to announce the birth of Jesus.  I can only imagine what they felt, their excitement, amazement, and anticipation!    Let us read from the scriptures about that glorious night.
 
 
 
 
Luke 2:8-18 Amplified
 

“In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.
For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord the Messiah.
And this will be a sign for you by which you will recognize Him: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host angelic army praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this wonderful thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger.
And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child,
and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them.”
 
 
 
 
The shepherds had an immediate and decisive response…”Let us go,  and see this wonderful thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us!”   
I can assure you that there was no doubt among them, and they began to seek that which they were told, and they did it immediately with great anticipation!   I love how the scriptures say that they went in a hurry too.   Wouldn’t you have gone in a hurry?    If you were there among the shepherds, and saw this glorious angel of the Lord that just declared the birth of the Savior…would you move quickly to seek Him out?    I know I would have!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today we celebrate the birth of our King Jesus, and for those of us that love Him, we truly understand how this changed a very dark world. Even though we were not there on that dark evening among the shepherds to see the Angel of the Lord hear of the proclamation of His birth, we have been given His life, and a hope for our future.    Oh how wonderful it is that we can seek God Himself   each day with the promise of new mercies, hope, provision, and light for our path!    How blessed we are to be able  to experience  knowing that in the midst of a dark world, we serve the One that brings His Light to us each and everyday!    He brings us the knowledge of His will,  His Light guides us into all truth, and now we are the carriers of this glorious Light.    We are His vessels in which He desires to shine everyday.
 
 
 
 
 
Will you be that Light to the one that needs to see hope?    Will you be the vessel in which His words of wisdom can flow when He calls upon you to speak?   I encourage you today as you think about the the gift of the King that God sent to also think about how He desires to use us for the greater works in these latter days!   God bless you, and Merry Christmas!!!
 
 
 
2 Corinthians 4:5-7   Easy-to-Read Version

“We don’t tell people about ourselves. But we tell people that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we tell them that we are your servants for Jesus. God once said, “Let light shine out of the darkness!”[a] And this is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts to let us know that his own divine greatness is seen in the face of Christ.

We have this treasure from God, but we are only like clay jars that hold the treasure. This is to show that the amazing power we have is from God, not from us.

 
 
 



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!