Ginrich's Devotional Blog

October 31, 2009

Children Astray

Pr 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

I have heard so many parents ask the question, “How old do they have to get before they don’t turn from it?” I cannot answer that. I have searched the Bible and it doesn’t say. All I can recommend is prayer, trust in God’s promise and keep your adult children released to God for His knowledge of what is best to set them back on His way for them. Yes, it would be nice to be around and see them come back but we need to realize that they can only come back to God’s way for them, not the way we envision it. So, parents of small children, be sure you raise them in the way they should go (knowing, loving, worshiping, trusting, serving Him as your teaching and example show). Parents of adult children, remember God is faithful to your prayers. Continue to be the example to your adult children and to your grandchildren and hold each one up before the throne of grace of God. God is faithful.

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October 27, 2009

All is Fleeting

 

Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

Again today I heard talk about fear of the future.  People are looking to the wrong places for security of the future.  There is nothing on this earth that is not fleeting.  The only thing that will last forever is the believer’s life with God the Father.  The believer is one who has accepted God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as personal Savior and follows Him.  Our purpose on this earth is to learn to fellowship with God and to share His light and love with those around us.  The only thing I fear is not sharing His Word with others and their not coming into His presence.  Instead of spending our time and energies complaining about the state of the world we need to spend our time and energies in prayer for those in this world who are lost.  How sad it will be for us in heaven when we notices someone whom we know and love on this earth is not there because we did not share God’s love, light and word with them.

October 23, 2009

I Surrender All

I have never put one of my sermons on this blog but feel led to use an abreviated one this time.  May God bless you as you read it.

Lk 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. 

“I Surrender All” is a song which expresses the idea of giving up everything to be a disciple of Jesus. Judson Woodbridge VanDeVenter, born in Michigan in 1855 wrote the words to this hymn.  He had a career in music and art.    He was also a member in a Methodist Episcopal Church and eventually became a preacher.  He traveled around as an evangelist and wrote this hymn in 1896 while conducting a in Ohio. When writing these words her was recalling his long struggle between continuing in art or becoming a full time minister.  When surrendered and dedicated his life to Christ, he wrote, “A new day was ushered into my life…God had hidden a song in my heart.”

The song suggests what we must do to surrender to Jesus.

We just sang that we must freely give all to Him
“All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.”

Giving our all means that we must put His will first in our lives: Mt. 6.33

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “
It also means loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength: Mk. 12.30

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
 Peter expressed this in Luke 18:28 “We have left all and followed You”. And Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God v  and obey it.”

 All to Jesus I surrender – everything in and around us?

What do we mean by “ALL?”

                        Money

                        Time

                        Talent

                        Family

All to Him I freely give – freely?

            No strings or expectations attached

I will every love and trust Him –really love (be devoted to) really trust (with every detail of our life?)

In his presence daily live – Daily, every day.  Aware He is with us, watching and listening to everything we say, think and do. 

 Verse 2, says we must humbly bow at His feet
“All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow;
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me, Jesus, take me now.”

When we bow at Jesus’ feet is we are repenting as the psalmist wrote Psa. 51.15-17

O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices   of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart,
In bowing we submit ourselves fully to Him forsaking all worldly pleasure: Lk. 14.33

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”  Paul is an example of this complete submission to Christ: Gal. 2.20

I have been crucified with Christ  and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,   who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Worldly pleasures all forsaken – would we rather go to a football game, a concert, read the paper, stay in bed, rather than assembling with the saints together on Sunday morning and at other times during the week? 

Take me, Jesus, take me now.  Are we sure He will defend us before God the Father? 

In verse 3, we must come with the desire to belong wholly to Him
“All to Jesus I surrender, Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.”

Jesus demands of His followers to be wholly His: Mt. 16.24-26 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?’”
Only those who live in Christ can know the joy of living: Phil. 4.4) “Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends”

For Jesus to make us wholly His, we must make sure that He is wholly ours.  We can only do by doing the will of the Father: Matt. 7.21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”

Make me Savior wholly thine – with every part of our mind, emotions, and body.  Do we treat our body and mind like they belong to Jesus?

Let me feel the Holy Spirit – We have to open the gift of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work within us

Truly know that thou are mine.  The Holy Spirit is given to each believer to help us grow in holiness. 

As verse 4 tells us, we must give ourselves to Jesus
“All to Jesus I surrender; Lord, I give myself to Thee.
Fill me with Thy love and power; Let Thy blessings fall on me.”
 

Giving ourselves to Jesus simply means that we must give Jesus first place in our lives before all else: Mt. 10.34-38 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. for I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law  —  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.  Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” 

The Philippian jailor in Acts 16.30-34 understood this. “ He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe  in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved   —you and your household.”   Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night q  the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.   The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he s  was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family 

Lord, I give my self to thee – What areas do we hold back?  What do we try to hide from God and from ourself and from others? 

Fill me with thy love and power – love for the unlovable in our community – are we reaching out?  Power to proclaim Christ to our friends and neighbors 

Let thy blessing fall on me – Two forms of blessing.  One means correction.  Willing to be corrected 

Verse 5 concludes with the blessings that come from surrendering all to Jesus
“All to Jesus I surrender; Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation! Glory, glory, to His name!”

This refers to the influence of God’s word in our hearts: Jer. 20.9

But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,”his word is in my heart like a fire,  a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

Only those who surrender to Christ in full obedience can know the eternal salvation that Christ offers: Heb. 5.8-9 “It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.”

And as such, they will want to give glory to His name: Rev. 14.7

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 

Now I feel the sacred flame – feel the flame of the Holy Spirit to show our passion for God 

O the joy of full salvation – fills our mind, our emotions and our physical body

Do others see the joy? 

Glory, glory to His name – Do we glorify His name in all we think, say and do 

Now, finally, the chorus

 The chorus repeats the commitment that is made in each stanza to surrender all to Jesus.
“I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.”
When we sing this song, we are stating we are understand the self-sacrifice that is necessary to come to Jesus.  We receive His salvation from sin, live for Him here, and have the hope of eternal life in heaven with Him.

In earlier centuries battle was hand to hand, or sword to sword.  When one surrendered he would get on his knees, bare the nape of his neck and wait for the victor to decide what to do: cut off his head with the victor’s sword, with his own sword, or let him go.

If we wish to please Christ, we must tell Him, “I Surrender All.”

I surrender all  – think about it

I surrender all

All to Thee my blessed savior – Do we really look to him as our savior in all situations?

I surrender all. 

The altar is open.  Feel free to have your own time with God.

Depression

 

Job 11:16 –19 You will surely forget your trouble,  recalling it only as waters gone by.  Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest  in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,  and many will court your favor.

 The amount of adults on anti-depression medication has risen sharply.  Many of them have even committed suicide.  We have learned to look to the wrong places for our joy, peace and love.  We are looking to places and/or people who cannot possibly fulfill our needs.  The only place we can look for joy, peace and love is to the place in us God created to have His Holy Spirit dwell within us.  Joy, peace and love can only come through God.  When we are in the midst of trials and tribulations it can seem like they will never end.  All things on earth shall pass away – all have a time limit.  When I face difficulties I look to God and I also remind myself, “This, too, shall pass.”  Sometimes it seems God doesn’t hear or at least respond to my prayers but I know that is just a feeling and that feeling, too, shall pass.  It is my job to look to Him, trust Him, His timing, His faithfulness and His love.  Trusting is a choice.  I will to make that choice and plug into His love, joy and peace while I wait for His provision.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I choose to do something each day that will make God smile.  When I make God smile, I can’t help but smile also.

October 22, 2009

Storms

 

Zec 9:14 Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the LORD Almighty will shield them.

I was sitting early in the morning listening to the storm passing over us.  It was darker than usual because the sunrise couldn’t be seen through the storm.  I brought back to mind when I was flying through the edge of a hurricane.  It looked so pretty from above yet, to those below, it was a frightening and destructive thing.  Storms of life can be that way if we look at them from below.  But, if our eyes are on our God, we can be assured He will march into the storms of our life, shield us and see us through them.

October 20, 2009

Sustenance

Ephesians 4:15 Grow up into Him in all things.

 How’s your growing today? In order to grow we must eat and drink. Without that sustenance there is no growth. Are you feeding your spirit? You feed it by studying the Manufacturer’s Handbook – God’s Word – the Holy Bible. Are you taking time to talk to the “Teacher” and to allow the “Teacher” to talk to you? You do this in your prayer time by praising Him, confessing sins, accepting forgiveness, asking Him for directions, discernment and guidance for each day. I find I need to ask Him about many things throughout the day. Many of us supplement our food with vitamins. Spiritual vitamins are through assembling with other believers in church services and small groups for encouragement and fellowship. Our spirit is more important than our body because our spirit will receive a new body when we graduate to heaven. We need to feed our spirit at least as much, if not more, than we feed our bodies. Reading a devotion is not enough food. Take time for a feast today. Enjoy the Word of God. Taste and see it is good – you will eventually crave for it. May we all grow in knowledge, stature and favor with God and man.

October 17, 2009

Habit of Holiness

 

1Ti 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 

 Most of us are aware how hard it is to break an old habit.  Habits are made by repetition.  Training ourselves to be godly takes repetition.  We can develop the habit of prayer by praying at the same time, event, or circumstance every time.  We can develop the habit of Bible reading by reading at the same time every day.  We develop the habit of regular church attendance by going every time.  When we do something repeatedly we will miss it when we don’t do it.  A week will not seem complete or seem to start right without attending church.  A day will not seem right without starting in prayer.  Meals will not seem right without thanking God for the food.  As God what is missing in your life from growing in holiness and start making it a habit.

October 16, 2009

A New “Babe”

Lk 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

 I played for the “Celebration of Life” service for the young woman I wrote about a few days ago.  The most marvelous thing about the service was seeing another young woman come up to the altar at the end of the service and accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.  I’m sure the woman whose life we were celebrating was rejoicing with our God over this new life.  If it were only for a time as this, she would have thought her leaving was not too great a cost.  I’m sure many hearts were touched today.  Please keep this new “babe” in Christ in your prayers as she learns more about her Lord and Savior

October 15, 2009

Share with Respect

1Pe 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

When other people notice my quiet calm rather than fear in various situations or fear about future of finances, health, etc, I must always be ready to tell them the Source of my peace. But, I am not to do this in a pushy or loud way. When I share my faith, I share in a quiet voice. Even though I know accepting Jesus as God’s only Son incarnate and believing in Him and making Him Lord of my life is the only route to God, I must respect others who are not aware of this truth. However, I can and do pray for their freedom from the lies of this world and Satan and openness to God’s truth. There may be times to stand on a street corner and yell but mostly that method will turn people away. The best witness is living our faith in all we say and do. People are watching.

October 13, 2009

Separation

Ro 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God  that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Last night a young woman died.  We don’t know the cause yet.  Many of us in our church had been working with her.  She had a heart for God but struggled with the darkness of drugs.  She battled hard in her own might and was learning to battle in the might of God’s Holy Spirit.  Now I see her free from the darkness that tried so hard to defeat her.  I see her basking in the love of the presence of God.  She had an evangelistic heart for children.  It is hard to understand why God did not intervene in whatever caused her death but we trust His power, His wisdom and His wisdom.  This young woman will forever have a place in our hearts.  The children she reached out to will carry her witness with them throughout their lives.  Darkness can no longer try to separate her from the love of God.

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