Ginrich's Devotional Blog

April 30, 2011

Maintaining Peace

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Isa 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

It is sad to hear people talk about how worried they are about things.  Most of the things they worry about are beyond their control.  All this worry produces poor health and a definite lack of peace.  This verse in Isaiah is so right on.  Keeping our minds focused on the One Who is in control of all that touches us definitely leads to a peaceful mind and heart.  I preached a sermon on taking our burdens to the Lord and leaving them there.  So often we keep picking them back up.  This is a lack of trust in God and His love for us and His power, wisdom and provision.  Trusting God is a choice.  We do have the power to choose to trust Him and leave our concerns before His throne of grace.  He has promised never to leave us or forsake us.  We will have trials to walk through.  It is the trials that take away the chaff in us and strengthen our faith muscles.  But we do not walk our trials alone.  God walks with us.  Whenever we start to find worry or anxiousness trying to take root in our minds and hearts we need to make the active choice to trust Him.

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April 29, 2011

Careful Attention

Heb 2:1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.

Pay careful attention to what we hear.  We are surrounded by sound everywhere we go.  We are told if we are not carefully attentive to what we hear we might drift away from God.  Sometimes we’re not aware of the sounds that penetrate us; we’re not paying careful attention.  One example is music and the words being sung.  We may not be paying attention but the words are penetrating our brains.  TV shows, movies and everything else we hear penetrate into our being.  We must see that what reaches our hearing is health for our spirits.  We must carefully guard our hearing by being selective of the sounds around us.  Let us not drift away

April 28, 2011

Encouragement

1Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Normal humans are so quick to criticize and find fault with others.  We do this because we have doubts about ourselves and we strive to feel better by putting others down.  God tells us to build each other up, to encourage each other.  We can’t do that if we are finding fault.  We’re all guilty.  Some play “tear the sermon apart” at lunch after the service.  Even when the minister can’t hear it, it still discourages those involved in hearing the criticism.  We can discourage someone just with our looking at them in a critical or questioning way.  We can discourage someone by ignoring them.  Let us start thinking before we speak or even are around anyone.  Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us sensitive hearts and minds and work at encouraging one another.  None of us need critiques.  We are all our own worst critique.  Let’s build each other up in the faith of God.

April 27, 2011

Feeding

Mt 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?

 

We’ve been watching mocking birds out our front door.  They built a nest in our trellis and laid 4 eggs.  We watched as all 4 birds came out of their shells.  We watched mom and dad fly back and forth feeding them.  We saw one pushed out of the nest, dead and watch the remaining 3 grow and pull out their fuzz as their feathers came in.  Today I took a photo of one of the babies on the edge of the nest.  Later on we looked and the nest was empty.  We searched our yard but could not find them.  Then we heard them.  They were hopping around trying to find places to hide.  As we watched we watched their parents call to them and bring food to wherever they were.  God will feed us wherever we are.  We just need to open our hearts and minds as these baby birds open their beaks for the food from their parents.  God will feed us through the Bible as we read and meditate on it, through our church services as we gather together to worship Him and encourage each other, through the small groups each of us should be in to grow more deeply and through our own prayer and meditation time.  Are you being fed?

April 26, 2011

Don’t Look Back

Ge 19:26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Lot and his family were told not to look back.  They were told to flee the city so full of sin and keep their eyes straight ahead.  So often we find ourselves looking back.  We think: what if I had done different, said different, reacted different or if only…etc.  Past is past and we cannot change it.  Future is future and we cannot control or guess what it holds.  We live in the here and now.  We need to be fully present where we are: present with our minds, emotions and actions.  God wants us in the present.  The past is under the blood of the cross and the future is in His hands.  We are to keep our eyes on Him and what He is telling us to do right now.  Let us determine not to look back.  Let us look at the present and at our Lord, God Who has all things (including us) in the palm of His hand.

April 25, 2011

Go Tell

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 2:39 am

Mk 16:10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping.

Mary Magdalene saw Jesus alive.  He told her to go tell the others.  She immediately went and told them.  She did not falter thinking they might not believe her (which they didn’t).  She just knew what the Lord wanted her to do and did it without question.  She shared the good news.  If you’re reading this you have probably met Jesus.  You have good news.  You know He is alive.  You’ve probably read a lot of what He said which is recorded in the Bible.  You know He said to tell all others about Him.  Do you?  So often we think we are being to familiar with others when we tell them about Jesus.  We don’t want to hurt their feelings.  We don’t want to “butt into” their life.  There are many excuses we give ourselves for not sharing the good news – Jesus is alive – with others.  Mary was excited.  Mary was happy.  Mary was obedient.  Where are we?  Who did we tell yesterday?  Who are we going to tell today?

April 24, 2011

Easter

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,Easter,God's Word,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:26 am

Mk 16:6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

He is alive.  The tomb is empty.  The women were in shock.  They didn’t understand.  One ran to tell some of the others who had gathered together for comfort.  The other knelt outside the tomb in grief.  She was so consumed with grief she didn’t recognize the one standing in front of her.  But she knew how He called her name.  When He said, “Mary” she immediately knew Him.  Quite often we don’t recognize the Presence of God in our lives.  Have we learned to recognize His voice within us?  No matter what the challenge we face, He is always here.  We only need to keep our ears open and listen.  Take time to listen to Him today.  He IS alive.  He speaks today.  Praise God.  Have a joyful Easter.

April 23, 2011

The Sabbath

Filed under: Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 1:16 am

Mk 15:46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

Jesus died and was taken from the cross just before the start of the Sabbath.  They had no time to anoint His body with the various spices they used before the start of their day’s rest.  The women saw where He was laid and planned to return after the Sabbath to anoint His body for burial.  It must have been the longest Sabbath they experienced.  They were consumed with grief and unable to anoint Him for 24 hours.  I can imagine their hushed conversation throughout the day.  They felt they hadn’t said good-bye.  If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one you can feel for them.  It seems like a very long time between the death and the burial.  Time moves in slow motion.  This Saturday is a good do for us to really grieve our sins.  Because of Jesus we no longer need to be separated from God’s presence.  When we sin, God sees the blood of Jesus – not our sin.  Don’t stop at grieving for your sins.  Enter into thanksgiving to God for giving His Son to redeem us.

April 22, 2011

Is He Your King?

Mk 15:12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them

Friday was a busy day for all involved.  Peter denied Jesus three time.  The others were hiding in fear.  The crowd that praised Him just a week ago was now yelling for His death.  The only calm one was Jesus.  He stood quietly.  How did He do that?  He knew He was in the center of His Father’s will.  He knew whatever He said or did would not change the situation.  He was filled with peace even though he knew the pain that was coming and already here.  The question we face; whom do we relate to?  Are we Peter who spoke boldness a few hours later but denied Him three times?  Are we Judas, betraying Him in secret?  Are we one of the other disciples hiding our belief in fear?  Are we the mob, hot for Him one time and then cold the next?  Are we the priest watching out for our own popularity over Him?  Are we Pilot, wanting not to be responsible for what happens with Jesus?  What are we doing with Jesus?  Whether we realize it or not, others are watching and can see where we stand.  Is He your king?

April 21, 2011

Watch and Pray

Mk 14:36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

After celebrating the Passover, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. After telling the disciples to watch and pray He withdrew by Himself and prayed.  He really didn’t want to face what He was about to face.  He prayed for His Father to find another way yet He was resolved to do the will of His Father.  What was it He was so afraid of?  It wasn’t the cross.  Thousands have been crucified.  He did not want to experience the total separation from His Father, God while He (Jesus) took on the sins of all humanity for all time.  God cannot be in the presence so He had to look away while the sin was taken on His Son, Jesus.  I cannot even imagine such a burden.  Just my own sins are a burden until I confess and receive forgiveness.  Jesus not only took on my burden of sin, He took on the burden of sin for every person who ever was, is and will ever be.

He also told His disciples to watch and pray.  We still need to watch and pray.  We are week.  We tend to stray easily.  Not only are we to watch for evil and pray strength against it, we are to be on watch for His return.  Yes, every generation since the original disciples has thought they were in the last generation before He returns.  We don’t know when it will be but we are to be ready.  If Jesus came in the next moments, are you ready?

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