Ginrich's Devotional Blog

February 29, 2012

Jerusalem

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:59 am
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Luke 9:52-53 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Jesus sent messengers to a particular village in Samaria to prepare for His coming to minister to them. They turned their backs on the messengers so Jesus went to a different village. God has and still sends many messengers to us. These messengers come as pastors, Bible teachers and fellow believers. Do we really listen to what God has to say through them to us? God spoke through an ass so I know He is able to speak through anyone He wants. Sometimes we don’t want to listen because we are not sure where He is headed. The village in Samaria wanted nothing to do with Jerusalem. When we think of Jerusalem we think of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jerusalem represents self-sacrifice. Are we willing to sacrifice our own wants and desires and follow Jesus to our own Jerusalems? Each one of us must experience our own Jerusalem to grow in our spirits. Our question is are we willing to trust the love of God for us to dare to allow Him to take us to our Jerusalem and allow Him to bring us into oneness with Him?

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February 28, 2012

Resolute

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 6:51 am
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Luke 9:51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

The word “resolute” means admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. Jesus knew what was facing Him in Jerusalem. He knew He would be rejected and betrayed by one of His own disciples. He knew He would be beaten and crucified. He knew His Father would have to turn His face away as Jesus bore the sins of all mankind. Yet He purposefully set out for Jerusalem. He knew His purpose on this earth and He purposefully and determinedly set out to accomplish it. God gave each of us a purpose on this earth. We are to learn of Him, worship and praise Him and shed His Light to all those around us. Our question is how resolutely are we doing this? Most of us don’t face physical abuse but only inconvenience to our own selfish desires yet our resolves wavers. We are to resolve unwaveringly. We can only do this to the degree we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and to flow through us. Today let us ask God to fill us deeper that we may unwaveringly resolve to shed His Light to those around us.

February 27, 2012

Temptations

Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

We have looked at the three temptations of Jesus. These three temptations cover all temptations: hunger for the wrong things, worship of the wrong things, pride and materialism. Jesus was tempted in all that we are tempted. We may not be taken up on a high panicle and told to jump tempt God with our careless and dangerous choices. We may not have been offered to possess all that is in the world and rule over it but we do desire more and more possessions and we do want to rule over someone or something. Through all these temptations Jesus faced, He defeated them through quoting scripture. Do we even know scripture well enough to recall it when we are faced with a temptation? Do we even recognize a temptation? A temptation is anything that would separate us from our unity with God. Today is a day to contemplate and ask God to show us areas where we have given into temptations and made him less than first place in our minds, hearts and desires. Be honest. We all have those places in us. After confession and forgiveness let us resolve to be into God’s written word, The Holy Bible, more so we can recognize temptations and stand against them.

February 26, 2012

Power

Matthew 4:8-9 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (The Holy Bible New International Version)

The third temptation was the lust of the eyes, all the kingdoms of the world. Satan said, “All this I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me”. We love material things and power. We want to possess more things than others and have more power than others. Satan offered “all the kingdoms of the world”, after the war against the flesh and the spirit failed. This is one of our greatest dangers to our spirits. It negates the work of our Lord Christ on the cross. . If we reach that point we break all ties and communion between us and the work and suffering of Christ for us. No one can serve two masters, God and Possessions! Here we see our Lord’s decisive and clear refusal of having a dialogue or discussion with the devil. “Depart from me Satan”, which gives clear declaration that conversing or reasoning with the devil is denied. For there is no true rest our soul except in submitting to our God and worshiping at His feet, Him who will lift us up and wipe our every tear. Today is a day to see what has our greatest attention. Are we consumed with what possessions we have or don’t have? Are we consumed with the desire to be able to tell others what to do? Do we really believe God is sufficient and will give us all we need in our lives? It’s not our job title or our economic position that brings glory to God. It is His love flowing through us. Today is a day to check our priorities. Are we content in all things as long as we are walking with God?

February 25, 2012

Pride

Matthew 4:6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

The second temptation was the Pride of life. While the first temptation was aimed to war against man using the weak flesh, the second was geared to war against the human spirit and its pride and haughtiness. This temptation aims for those who are strong, who have life of church involvement, and practice the church rites and rituals. When we boast, and show pride because of our dedication to church events, the gifts God has given us and His work in our life; we are living a false life of piety. Satan tempted Jesus misusing the scripture twisting it to imply that one can jump from the top of a pinnacle and not be hurt. We have seen many who appear on the top of their world give into a temptation because they considered themselves above temptation. They considered themselves as being above all. Then we see them fall. All of us are tempted with pride from time to time. It is a false pride because it covers up our deep-rooted feelings of not being good enough or doing good enough. God says our goodness is as filthy rags. We can never, in and of ourselves, be good enough or do good enough. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus and through God’s grace that any good can come out of us and that good is because God graciously gives us the gift of His Holy Spirit. Today is a day to contemplate areas where we have built up too much pride. Today is a day to acknowledge that without God in us, we are nothing. The hardest part is being honest with ourselves. Then, after confession we must accept God’s forgiveness, forgive ourselves and move on using the gifts and grace God gives us and give the credit and glory to God.

February 24, 2012

Bread of Life

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:53 am
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Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days in preparation for His ministry Satan tempted him. The first temptation was food. After 40 days Jesus was extremely hungry. He knew His source of food was doing God the Father’s will above all else. He knew that the spirit would starve if the only food we ate was the “bread of the land.” He knew we must digest the words from God to keep our spirits alive and healthy. Yes, our physical bodies need food and God sent His angels down after Jesus defeated Satan by not giving in to temptation. Temptation is not sin. Giving into it is sin. Anytime we put anything material ahead of God it is sin. During lent lets be sure we have our priorities straight. Even when our bodies need the food of this earth we can put God first by taking time to thank Him for the ability of this earth to grow the food. Let us make a habit of doing this any and every time we eat anything. Doing this helps to keep our priorities straight and also helps to make us aware of when we are putting food into our mouths.
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February 23, 2012

Forty Days

Genesis 7:12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights

Exodus 24:18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights

Numbers 13:25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Matthew 4:2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Why does Lent last 40 days? This is a very significant time of preparation in both the Old and New Testaments. There are many other references in addition to the ones I’ve quoted here. All of the deal with preparation for something: 40 days of rain to prepare the earth for renewal, 40 days on the mount for Moses to receive the 10 commandments, 40 days for the Hebrew spies to search out the land in preparation for the Hebrews to enter and occupy it. Most significant for us is the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in preparation for His revealing His ministry as the Son of God and the culmination of the atonement for our sins. He balances it with another 40 days after His resurrection in preparation for the building up of the Church. Now we take 40 days to prepare ourselves to become more mature in our faith and ministry. Each one of us is called into ministry – ministering the Word, Light and Love of God to all those He brings into our path. We take time to prepare by refreshing in this way 2 times a year: Lent and Advent. Why do we need this? If Jesus, God’s Son, needed to do this how much more do we need to take these times to slow us down from the clutter of this world and renew our minds and spirits to “be about our God’s (our Father’s) business. Let us renew so we can go and serve preparing all for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:22 am
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Daniel 9:3-4 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the first day of Lent which lasts for 40 days, ending with Easter. If you count the days you will find Sunday’s are not included in the count. Sundays are days for celebrating and worshiping our God. Fasting, by many, is considered to be on the other six days of the week. During Lent many Christians take a more intense time for the growth of their spirits by fasting, repenting and other spiritual discipline. We don’t put on sackcloth today and cover ourselves with ashes but many churches use ashes to rub the sign of the cross on foreheads. Today, Ash Wednesday is a day to ask God in what areas we need more spiritual discipline. Fasting is not limited to food but could consist of giving up an activity and replacing it with prayer tine, meditation time, Bible study time or even a needed service to someone in need of God’s love and peace. I encourage all of us to go to God with an open mind asking Him what will best help us grow closer to Him during the next 40 days of Lent.

February 21, 2012

Unity

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:56 am
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Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

So many of our problems are related to these 3 verses. As sinful humans we find it quite a challenge to be completely humble, gentle, patient and loving. We seem always to want to put our own thoughts, feelings and desires first. We seem to think we are in the right and anyone who has other ideas is wrong. Marriages break up over this. Churches divide over this. Voters riot over this. We often think we’re only one and might as well not bother with these scriptures because one person can’t make the difference. We are so wrong. When we are one with God we have all the power of God. Paul might have written the verses but they came from God. It is God’s instruction that we live our lives this way. He wouldn’t command us to do what we can’t do. It is through His Holy Spirit that He enables us to follow through on this command. Our question is do we want Him to enable us to live this way or do we prefer to continually put ourselves first. This takes us back to Matthew 6:33. May I suggest you look it up and memorize it if you haven’t already? Let us realize God is God and we are accountable to Him.

February 20, 2012

Graduation

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 2:47 am
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Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

When we find ourselves in need we are allowed to approach the throne of God’s grace with the confidence of a small child reaching up for the parent. I find I am always in need to approach His grace and mercy. I know in and of myself I can do nothing. Without God my life is worthless. It is only through Him I can find purpose for my life. It is only through Him I gain knowledge and wisdom. It is only through His Son, Jesus that my life will have no end. Right now I am studying His Word and learning how to prepare for graduation to His throne room. Just as we must study in school for our graduation and pass tests, we must also study God’s word in this school of life on earth to prepare for our graduation to His throne room. We have various tests along the way so we can see what areas in us need more study and growth. My aged friend told me a day without her learning something new about her God was a day wasted. Our question is have we learned something new of our God this day? Let not a day go by without doing so.

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