Ginrich's Devotional Blog

October 31, 2010

When Loved Ones Are in Crisis

Ro 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

When loved ones are facing a crisis, it is hard on those who love them.  Feeling helpless is difficult.  It creates emotional pain and guilt.  We want to do something to ease their worry and/or pain but just don’t know what we can do.  We want to solve their problems.  We don’t know how they really feel, physically or emotionally because we cannot feel what others feel.  We can only imagine.  That makes it even harder for us.  What can we do for our loved ones facing critical problems?  We can be there.  We can learn when to be quiet, when to ask questions and when to give aid.  We can encourage them to share how they feel but not push them to share.  We can understand when they get angry but not get angry back.  When it gets to stressful for us we can share our stress with someone not involved.  Most important, we can get down on our knees and talk to God.  Sometimes it’s hard for those in crisis to pray for themselves.  We can fill the gap.  I’ve been on both sides.  I know how comforting knowing and feeling the prayers of others are.  I know the fears of watching and not being able to solve the problems.  I know walking through the crisis: the initial anger, the initial fear and moving into trust and peace as we feel the prayers of others.  I also know the need to keep our lives as “normal” as they have been.  We always have more than one thing going on in our lives.  To concentrate on just the one thing, like an illness or other problem, and ignore all the rest of our interest is not beneficial.  We need to encourage each other to continue on as best we can through whatever crisis we face and allow God His timing on seeing us through our crisis.  He is faithful.  He is all knowing.  He can do it in spite of us.

 

October 30, 2010

Facing Hard Times

 

Dt 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

 

We live in a sinful world.  When it rains, it rains on whoever is in the area.  Sometimes bad things happen.  Sometimes we’re where the bad things happen.  Sometimes we do things or don’t do things to our physical bodies that bear consequences later on.  Sometimes just working or being around certain things bear consequences to our bodies or minds.  We cannot change the fact that life is a risk; that there are events that can happen we don’t like.  We can change how we face them.  We can face them in fear and dread or we can face them in trust and faith that we are not facing them alone.  If we have accepted Jesus, God’s Son, as our Lord and Savior, have confessed our sins and received His forgiveness, we can count on God walking with us through all life brings our way.  He never promised us we would be free from the storms of life on this earth.  In fact, His Word tells us we will walk through storms.  His promise is He is with us, never leaving us alone or forsaking us.  He will see us through the storms of life.  All we need do is look to Him.  Allow His faith to enter us and His Holy Spirit to comfort, give us peace and give us wisdom.

 

October 29, 2010

Tomorrow

 

Mt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 

A wonderful neighbor of ours just got word he has lung cancer.  He’s waited a long time to find out what was wrong.  Now he has to wait for them to find out what kind and what stage.  Waiting is very hard.  It’s hard to control our mind and emotions from doomsday thinking.  We are full of “what if’s.”  Our comfort is in God’s Word.  He promises to be with us to the very end.  When we have to wait on situations like this we must stand firm and trust God.  We must fill our minds on things that are good and lovely.  We don’t know what we will face tomorrow.  We don’t even know what we will face in the next hour.  We must choose, and continue to choose what thoughts we will allow ourselves to dwell on and choose trust and faith in the One Who created us and loves us enough to sacrifice His only Son, Jesus, for us.

 

October 28, 2010

Be All-Inclusive

Mt 25:42-43 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

Churches need to open up all events to their communities.  This includes all fellowship dinners.  So many just want “their own family” and don’t want strangers walking in.  It seems they forget we are here not to please ourselves but to please God.  We need to be all-inclusive in our “events” and take the opportunity of coming together for fellowship or anything else to reach out to others who have not.  Yes, maybe they don’t “dress right,” or “smell right” or “talk right” but they are God’s creation just as much as we are.  Let’s open our doors – the doors of our fellowship halls and the doors of our hearts.  Let’s say, “come one and all” Let’s hear Jesus say to us, “I was hungry and you fed me, I was lonely and you welcomed me.”

October 27, 2010

Giving Season

Lk 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

A dear friend and I used to ride our bikes together for exercise.  We worked on memorizing Bible verses while we road.  We both had a hard time with this verse and ended up laughing so hard at our poor efforts we would have to get off our bikes and “sober” up.  Another friend learned the real meaning of this verse.  We had a family in our church that was in dire need of household items – all items.  My friend went into her linen closet and moved a new set a bed sheets out of the way to get an old set she was about to throw out.  Then, that quiet voice of God spoke within her saying, “You save the best for yourself and give me what you have no need of, no desire for?”  That cut to the quick of her being.  She put back the old sheets and took out the new to give to the family.

 

We are fast approaching the “season of giving.’  Yes, the season should be throughout the year, every day of the year, but our unloving hearts are moved more during the season from Thanksgiving through Christmas.  Everyone has something to give to someone else.  Giving doesn’t limit itself to money or material things.  Giving includes the gift of time.  Yes, we need to give money where it is needed and things where they are needed, but we must remember to give the gift of our company or some of our food.  This is a good time to practice reaching out to a neighbor who might be lonely or even a phone call.  Pray and ask God each day what you can give and who needs it.  That puts His joy in you each day.

 

October 26, 2010

Check-up Time

2Ti 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Three questions for today:  do we speak to others about God openly and with boldness, do we show love and do we practice self-discipline.  If we don’t do all of these, if we lack in any one, it is not because God hasn’t given us the power.  It is because we choose not to do them.  There are times in my life I think, “Oops, I missed an opportunity to talk about Jesus.”  Then I ask God’s forgiveness and try to be more aware of open doors.  Self-discipline is another common problem.  It takes self-discipline to consistently study the Bible; it takes self-discipline to be consistent in our prayer life.  Take time today to check and see how you’re doing.

 

October 25, 2010

KISS

2 Tim 4:2b (from the Message Bible) “Don’t ever quit.  Just keep it simple.”

 

I really enjoy reading the ‘Message” translation.  It isn’t a study Bible but it is very good reading in the words we use today in the United States.  You’ve probably heard “KISS” for “Keep it simple, stupid.”  We seem to like to make things complicated.  I have trouble with our entertainment center.  I have to find which remote to use for what and sometimes I have to use 3 different remotes to get the right combination going.  It is not simple.  This passage in Timothy applies to our witness and what and how we speak of the Gospel message to others.  Using “churchy” words to those who are not in church are no more affective than throwing ice cubes into a frozen lake.  The Gospel message is simple.  We tell them about God, His love for us through His Son, Jesus and how we can be saved from our separation from Him.  Basically it’s “three in one and one in three and the one in the middle died for me.”  Let us communicate the child-like faith and trust we see in a very young child.  Let’s drop our big, fancy words and repeat the simple words of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  “Whoever believes in me will have eternal life.”

 

October 24, 2010

Interruptions

Pr 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

 

Many times when I sit to write these devotions I find I am interrupted.  I try to look at the interruptions as Divine Interruptions.  If I have given God the day as I arise from bed, He is in control of my time.  If I am only task minded I will be irritated by interruptions that keep me from the task at hand.  If I am God minded, I will see all as being under His eyes.  Interruptions are a good tool to teach love and patience.  I don’t always succeed.  More time than I would like to admit I become irritated with what I see as an interruption.  Then I realize my eyes have diverted from what God wants to what I want.   Next time you’re involved in a task and someone interrupts, see it as God’s hand and give them your full attention.  Remember, God makes the days, not us.

 

October 23, 2010

Discouragement

Dt 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Discouragement is a killer of faith.  All of us experience discouragement.  When we feel discouraged it is time to make a choice.  We can continue in our discouragement and let it attack our faith or we can choose to not be discouraged.  Job is a good example of choosing faith over discouragement.  He said, (Job 13:15). Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.  Job made an active choice.  We must make an active choice.  We can choose to wallow in self-pity or discouragement or we can choose to trust God and continue our walk in the faith He gives us.  We may need to confess our faith many times to drive away the discouragement but God’s Holy Spirit is within us to helps us.  Next time discouragement wags it’s ugly head your way, stop it right away and choose trust.

 

October 22, 2010

Hide

Ge 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

 

Adam and Eve hid from God because they knew they disobeyed Him.  We try to hide our sin from God and from ourselves.  We use words other than the word “sin” to describe our words and actions.  We say “white lie” instead of acknowledging we speak things that are not true.  We find “reason” to do what pleases us at the instant.  We are lazy and lax in obeying the laws God set down for our own good.  I am very good at rationalizing.  All that does is put of the time I must face the truth about an issue or event.  As long as we refuse to look at ourselves in the truth of God’s Word, we are separated from Him.  How to tell if that is the case?  Are our prayers being answered?  Are we seeing God working miracles?  Are the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit growing within us?  God is God.  He has laws He will not disobey by His very nature of Truth.  With God, it is all or nothing.  We either follow Him or we follow Satan.  Who will you follow today?

 

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