Ginrich's Devotional Blog

July 31, 2011

Anniversary

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,marriage — by ginrich @ 1:57 am

Mk 10:7-9 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 47th anniversary.  When we married we had been raised in church and active in church but we really didn’t know Jesus personally.  We believed He was the Son of God and died for our sins but church was just something we were supposed to do.  We certainly didn’t have Him as the head of our marriage.  The first ten years were hard.  There were a lot of fights and disharmony because we were each looking out for our own selfish desires.  The only reason we didn’t get divorced is our parents all raised us to believe divorced was never an option.  Just before our 10th anniversary I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life.  A few days later my husband did the same thing.  God has richly blessed us.  Yes, we still had our disagreements and still do but we don’t fight over them.  We pray through them.  Yes, we have still walked through valleys of the shadow of death but God was and is always with us and sees us through all things.  A marriage cannot succeed where God is not the head.  It is like a triangle with God on the top corner and the husband and the wife on the bottom two corners.  We’ve taught a lot of marriage enrichment groups and two things we teach: when you disagree, hold hand, look at each other and pray (you can’t stay mad when you do that) and when making a decision if you don’t have peace don’t do it until you both have peace.  I thank my husband for staying with me through thick and thin and thank God for making us one flesh as He continues to make each of us more one in Him and each other.

July 30, 2011

Compassion

2Co 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.

The word “compassion” is in the Bible at least 73 times.  Many of those times describe the feelings of Jesus for those around Him.   Compassion is defined as: sympathy and understanding for others, including a desire to help others. Synonyms (words that mean the same) are: sympathy, empathy, kindness, understanding, mercy, pity, and heart.  The Gospels are full of descriptions of Jesus having compassion on others.  We are to do what Jesus did.  That means we must show compassion on those around us.  Our human tendency is to criticize, make fun of or even ignore people we see who are most in the need of our compassion.  We judge them without knowing anything about them.  When we’re driving down the street and observe homeless the least we can do is pray for them.  We might be the only one to pray for them.  We may not be in a position to go help in a food pantry but most of us can donate some food or money to help feed the hungry.  Have you been to a nursing home to visit the lonely?  Have you held the door open for a stranger?  Have you told a sales clerk to have a good day or said, “God bless you.”?  There are so many ways to show compassion.  The best way is to ask God how the showing of His compassion is needed in each situation we see.  Then we must obey what He says.  We are His compassion on this earth.

July 29, 2011

The Word “As”

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:39 am
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“As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”—John 20:21.

Little words can mean so very much.  The word “as” is little.  It has only two letters.  Yet it is a very big word.  In the way it is used in this verse it means “in the same manner or way.”  God, the Father of Jesus, sent Him into the world to testify and show His love, to make Himself more real to mankind.  Jesus did this both through His teaching and through the way He lived.  So what is He telling us to do?  We re here to live as Jesus lived.  Jesus lived in an attitude of love for all.  Jesus forgave the sinners and encouraged them to walk rightly with God.  All believers are called to love and serve God through His Holy Spirit and to pass that love and service to all those we meet.  All is also a small word but it is an all-encompassing word.  We cannot pick and choose whom we will allow God to love through us.  We are to reach out to everyone.  Everyone includes the driver who cut us off in traffic, the cashier who was rude, the person who cut in front of us in a long line, and the person who criticized us.  I think we all get the idea.  We may not like it.  I admit there are people who I have trouble being around.  These are the very people God loves and wants to be close to.  Who am I to disagree with God’s judgments?   Join me in asking God to help each of us think less of ourselves, more of Him and make more room for His Holy Spirit to flow in love to ALL those around us.

July 28, 2011

Not of the World

Even as He is, so are we in this world.”—1 John 4:17.

This can be a very confusing verse.  It is referring to Jesus being in the world but not of the world.  To be of the world is to be living in the sin-nature of the world.  Those of the world or primarily full of self.  Thos of the world are consumed with the things of the world – material wealth, power, self-pleasures and so on.  Jesus was in the world in that He was here to experience and relate all that we do and are yet without succumbing to the sin-nature of man.  He displayed God on a level we could see and relate with.  We are to be as He is.  We are to be in the world to learn to worship Him and allow Him to work through us and to relate to others but not consumed with the world to be of the world.  This may still be confusing.  I sat under a Christian teacher who said the things of the Spirit are like spaghetti sauce.  Some sticks to the pasta and some doesn’t.  Enjoy what sticks and don’t worry about what doesn’t stick.  As we make more and more room for God’s Holy Spirit within us, renewing our minds with the mind of Christ, more and more of the Holy Spirit and His teaching will stick to us – we’ll understand more and be able to allow more to flow through us.  Learning to be in the world but no longer of the world is a process.  Take and eat what sticks and rest in faith all will be given to you in His timing.

July 27, 2011

For Good

Ro 15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

It happens so often in most all churches.  Someone doesn’t like what someone else does and criticizes them.  Gossip goes around and before long someone’s feelings are hurt and they leave that church.  Our human nature has us looking out for ourselves.  We want things our way and to build ourselves up we tear others down.  That makes us feel better.  We need to take this scripture to heart.  Maybe our way is the right way but it is not worth putting someone else down.  We are to build up our fellow man.  Notice it doesn’t say anything about building ourselves us.  It is a constant battle against our sin nature.  We are told by Jesus to come as little children.  He didn’t say act like little children with the attitude of “it’s my ball so if you don’t play my way I’ll take my ball and leave.”  There are also two sides to our problem.  Not only do we have the problem of making ourselves feel better by putting someone else down, we should also be more forgiving when others hurt us.  Some may hurt intentionally but most hurt because they don’t stop and think or they are hurting themselves.  Next time we’re tempted to voice a negative opinion let’s stop and talk to God about it first.  Next time we feel hurt, lets also stop and talk to God about it.  He is the one we are to please and He tells us to love and to forgive and to bear with the weaknesses of others.

July 26, 2011

Crucified with Christ

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:58 am
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“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”—Gal. 2:20; 6:14.

The moment we come to the cross of Christ our old sin nature is crucified and dead.  However, if you are like me, I keep taking back some of that old sin nature.  Jesus intended it to be gone for good – for my sin nature to die.  It is a process that is prolonged by my continuing to resurrect various parts of that sin nature.  As I grow in Christ I learn to leave various aspects on the cross.  I learn to recognize some old sin-habits as being dead by the blood Jesus shed.  My problem is the old sin nature is comfortable.  I was in my mid 30’s when I came to the cross so established some pretty strong habit patterns.  Praise God for His Holy Spirit to help me learn to keep these areas on the cross where they can remain dead from my new life in Christ Jesus.  As I open myself more and more each day to allow the Holy Spirit to bring forth growth in His Fruits I will find I reach up less for the old nature and more for following the example of Jesus.  I am learning to live in and through Christ and not through myself.  Join me in learning to keep our old, sinful natures on the cross of Christ and living in Him as He lives in us.

July 25, 2011

The Servent

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:51 am

“I am among you as he that serveth.”—Luke 22:27.

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”—John 13:14.

As we read yesterday, Jesus commanded us to imitate Him.  He said this after He washed the feet of His disciples during their last supper together.  Foot washing was common place then as they wore sandals and walked on dusty roads.  The reclined at their table so dirty feet must have been a problem.  None of the disciples wanted to wash feet.  This was a very menial job considered just for servants.  If I had been there I probably would have suggested we each wash our own feet.  I’m sure I would not have offered to wash everyone else’s’ feet.  Yet, that is just what Jesus did.  We don’t need to wash the feet of others today.  That is not the point.  The point is serving when and where it is needed.  I taught our children if that see trash on the floor or ground they pick it up.  It doesn’t matter if they did not throw it down.  It doesn’t matter who did.  When we see a need we are to be willing of God to meet that need through us.  It may not feel comfortable.  It may be something we have never done before.  God uses whoever is available at the time of need.  To choose not to be available is our own loss.  God will meet the need through someone else and we will have missed out on a blessing.  Let us be willing to go and serve through the power of God.

July 24, 2011

Our Example

“I have given you an example, that ye also should do even as I have done to you.”—John 13:15.

Wow.  What a command.  As difficult as it seems, Jesus would not command us to do the impossible.  In and of our own strength it is impossible to follow the example of Jesus as He lived on this earth.  He was without sin.  There is no way we are capable of being without sin.  What example was Jesus telling us about?  What was it He did to us?  He loved us.  He showed us God’s love and how to love God.  Our love of God is demonstrated through our love of others.  Jesus acted in love to all.  We cannot do this without the love of God in us.  God’s love comes into us as we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and open ourselves up to His Holy Spirit living in and flowing through us.  God is the giver.  All we need is to receive.  In any area of our lives or any relationship in our lives where God’s love is not flowing we need only confess our lack of love and open our heart and mind to God’s love flowing in and through us.  The lack is our unwillingness.  Our unwillingness comes from the desire to put ourselves first– first before God and first before others.  Jesus came to serve us love.  He wants us to pass it on.  Today reach out in love to at least one person you normally do not reach out to.

July 23, 2011

Taste and See

Ps 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

It occurred to me as I was driving to a commitment that I am living my life too fast.  I am hurrying from one thing to another.  I am not taking enough time to taste and see.  I am missing the many miracles God is doing every day.

Each day there are miracles all around us.  If we look we can see His daily miracles in the nature and animal life around us.  If we look and listen we can see His miracles in the people around us.  If we would slow down and taste, we would be more aware of the miracles He is working within us.

In our haste we are depriving our spirit of the food we need – the spiritual food from tasting His miracles.  In our haste, we are hurting our physical bodies, our mental capacities and our emotional health.  God created us in His image.  We need to taste and see for the health of all parts of our being.

When we taste and see we appreciate God and His work more.  As we taste and see our love for Him grows more.  As our love for Him grows more we make more room to receive more of His love.

When we slow down to taste and see the miracles we are more open to see the needs and be available for God to meet a need through us.  He has chosen to use our mouths, our hands and our feet to work some of His miracles.  He didn’t have to do it that way.  He is capable of doing everything by Himself.  But, He loves us enough to allow us to be a part of His working.  We are all born with a need to be needed.  What a glorious gift from God to allow us to think He needs us.  In actually, He wants us because He loves us, not because He needs us.  We need Him.

When we rush to and fro and forget to slow down so we can taste and see, we build up a void within us.  Many seek to fill that void with material wealth, or things, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, food, business and many other ways.  Whatever ways we try to fill that void only serve to create a larger appetite for that way.

We must stop, ask God to show us what we might be feeding on in place of feeding on Him.  Let’s slow down and not miss any of the nourishment God has for our taking.

July 22, 2011

Jeremiah

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:15 am
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There are many ways to study the book of Jeremiah.  The  previous devotions were written as I studied applying what was in the book to my own personal walk with God.  We can study the historical aspects of Jeremiah and how the prophecies were fulfilled in the past.  We can also study the history and see our current governments in a similar situation and attitude as those during Jeremiah’s time.  We can apply many of those prophecies to our own governmental situation.  So many Christians just keep their Bible study confined to the New Testament.  Jesus did not come to obliterate the Old Testament.  He also studied the old scriptures.  He came to fulfill the Old Testament.  There is much to be learned at all levels.  I hope this series of devotions will help you do your own life application studies of all of God’s written word.   Devotions by others (like myself) are intended as a jump off place, an appetizer, so others will have the thirst to dive in for themselves.  Dive in today.  Taste and see God’s written word is a full meal with a very tasty dessert.

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