Ginrich's Devotional Blog

April 20, 2014

Easter

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,Easter,God,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

Matthew 28:6. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying.

Hallelujah! Jesus IS alive! We start with questions. Is He alive in us? Do others see Jesus alive in us? Are we truly thankful? Do we show it? Are we as excited about Him being alive in us as we are when our favorite sports team is winning? Ouch. Compare our enthusiasm at church with our enthusiasm in a sports arena? Let’s think about this today. Are we as eager to celebrate His resurrection at sunrise as we are to get up early and get the best tickets for the big game? We’re talking about the biggest game–the game of life: life everlasting with God. If that doesn’t excite us He is not alive in us. Let’s get excited and show and tell everyone “Jesus is alive in me and He can be alive in you.” Happy Resurrection Day!

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April 19, 2014

Between Death and Life

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

Matthew 27:65. Pilate said to them, “Take a a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can.”

Pilot wanted to do everything possible to keep Jesus out of this world. So many still try to keep Jesus out. He is kept out of governments, schools places of work, homes and even churches. So many don’t want Him in their lives at all. Many only want Him in their life when the need something from Him. Many think they can slip Him in and out of their lives at their will. As we will celebrate tomorrow, nothing can keep Jesus out. But Jesus will not force His way into anyone’s life. He is there, calling us, knocking in the doors of our minds and hearts and waiting to be welcomed. He wants to be in all of our being, all of our life. Our question is are we allowing Him complete access to all of us and all we do, think and say? On this between day, a day between eternal death and eternal life, let us meditate on areas of our own lives where we have shut Him out and ask His Holy Spirit to cleans out those areas and fill us with Jesus.

April 18, 2014

Good Friday

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Matthew 27:45-46 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Today is Good Friday. Why is it called “good?” What is good about dying on a cross and Jesus being forsaken by His Father? It is good because if Jesus hadn’t gone to the cross we could not know God. We would be condemned for our sins and remain eternally separated from Hod. God had to depart from Jesus when Jesus took our sins upon Himself for God will not be in the presence of sin. He cannot by His very nature for His presence is stronger than sin and washes it out of existence. It is good for us that God was willing to turn away so His Son could take on our sins. We commemorate this today. Many churches have services today to meditate on what God the Father and God the Son have done for us. May we all take time today to meditate on this and thank Him.

April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

Luke 22:7. Then the day for the feast of Unleavened Bread came, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.

Today is Maundy Thursday. The word “Manudy” comes from a Latin word, meaning “commandment,” We are to think on the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper. These commands are to love with humility by serving one another and to remember His sacrifice. Jesus demonstrated this by beginning the Passover celebration by washing the feet of His disciples, including the feet of the one who was about to betray Him. This task was performed by the lowliest of servants. We are to serve one another with the same humility and love Jesus showed His disciples. He also instructed them to commemorate His death on the cross by using the bread and wine as representing His body and blood given for us for the forgiveness of our sins. We are to do this as often as we come together. Many churches will have a service of communion or the Last Supper today. I hope you will be able to commemorate this and remember and thank Him for what He has and is doing for us.

April 16, 2014

I Am Coming

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

Revelation 22:20. The one who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

We are at the last I Am. This verse was spoken by Jesus. He says, “I Am coming soon.” He is in the act of coming now as we open our her hearts, minds and lives to Him. He also promises to come back to this earth in His resurrected body. His purpose will be to bring His Bride, His believers, home to the very real presence of the Father. We must ask ourselves, “are all our family, friends and neighbors ready for His return?” Pray and speak up that none be left behind.

April 15, 2014

I Am Alpha and Omega

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God-the one who is, and who was, and who is still to come-the All-Powerful!

We are now at the end. God is the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end). Before Him there wasn’t. He was and is the start of everything that was, is or will ever be. After Him will be nothing. Without God there is nothing. He not only was, He is and He is still to come. He is still revealing Himself. He is the power behind and through which all is in existence. Our question is have we come into His power? Without His power of existence we are just blown like the chaff of wheat. This is the week we call “Holy Week.” The week between Palm Sunday and Easter. There will be extra worship services in many churches to help us prepare for the grand celebration of resurrection. I hope all of us attend all these services to take in the full impact of the Last Supper, the garden experience, the mock trial the crucifixion and the burial. Without these there would be no resurrection, for Jesus or for us.

April 14, 2014

I Am King and Testifier

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

John 18:37. Then Pilate said, “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world-to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Jesus admits to being a king and goes on to explain why He was born into this world. He came to testify to the truth. Testimony is conveying to others a fact they don’t know. We don’t know God without Jesus. God is truth, Jesus came to testify of God, Who He is, what He wants and how to relate to Him. The only way we can access truth is to listen to Jesus. Our question is are we listening? We listen through reading the written testimony of a Jesus as recorded in the Joly Bible. We listen through the Holy Spirit as we meditate after reading the recorded word or praying. Let us be sure to listen.

April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus — by ginrich @ 6:20 pm
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I have never used any of me sermons for a devotion but I was asked by several people to post this that I shared at our evening service. Usually I have no notes but since this topic required my research I did.

The Triumphal Entry
John 12:13. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him. They began to shout, “ Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Palm tree. Under this generic term many species are botanically included; but we will only talk about the date palm. While this tree was abundant generally in the eastern Mediterranean, it was regarded by the ancients as peculiarly characteristic of Palestine and the neighboring regions, though now it is rare. The palm tree frequently attains a height of eighty feet, but more commonly forty to fifty. It begins to bear fruit after it has been planted six or eight years, and continues to be productive for a century. Its trunk is straight, tall and unbroken, terminating in a crown of emerald-green plumes, like gigantic ostrich-feathers; these leaves are frequently twenty feet in length, droop slightly at the ends, and whisper musically in the breeze.

The palm is, in truth, a beautiful and most useful tree. Its fruit is the daily food of millions; its sap furnishes an agreeable wine; the fibers of the base of its leaves are woven into ropes and rigging; its tall stem supplies a valuable timber; its leaves are manufactured into brushes, mats, bags, couches and baskets. Palm oils have been made into both butter and soap. The seeds of palms were boiled into a medicinal drink or were dried and used as nuts. If they were allowed to dry a long time, they became hard and transparent and made durable beads and trinkets. They even used them to make huts for special religious celebrations.

Many places are mentioned in the Bible as having connection with palm trees; Elim, where grew three score and ten palm trees, (Exodus 15:27 ) and Elath. ( 2:8 ) Palms are in the Bible 38 times. Jericho was the city of Palm oils known for making both butter and soap. Many names in the Bible come from the word palm: Tamar, “the palm.” ( Ezekiel 47:19 ) Bethany means the “house of dates.” The word Phoenicia, which occurs twice in the New Testament — (Acts 11:19 ; 15:3 ) –is in all probability derived from the Greek word for a palm.

There is in Psalms 92:12 the familiar comparison, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.” which suggests a world of illustration whether respect be had to the orderly and regular aspect of the tree, its fruitfulness, the perpetual greenness of its foliage, or the height at which the foliage grows, as far as possible from earth and as near as possible to heaven. The elasticity of the fiber of the palm and its determined growth upward even when loaded with weights.

The passage in (Revelation 7:9 ) where the glorified of all nations are described as “clothed with white robes and palms in their hands,” might seem to us a purely classical image; but palm branches were used by the Jews in token of victory and peace. Date palm is a symbol of resurrection. The people didn’t know they were heralding the resurrection as well.

Its principle of growth: it is an endogen, (grows from the inside and in height); its usefulness; the Syrians enumerating 360 different uses to which it may be put; it bears its best fruit in old age.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the trees were in bloom, so in covering the way with palm branches, the people were offering a symbol of great value and luxury. But palms were a symbol of necessity, too. To the Jews, palm branches represented a gift from God because of their many uses in the people’s lives. The palm was so important, this one tree supplies almost all the wants of the Arabs or Egyptians that when countries in the area went to war, they cut away the enemy’s palm branches, causing their enemy to suffer from the loss of food and other necessities. This is why all the palm trees were burned by the victors in a defeated country. That’s also why they’re scarce now.

Strewing palm branches at Jesus’ feet, then, was a symbol of the giving up of worldly goods, both necessities and luxuries. The people loved and honored Jesus, and they showed their love and honor by lining His path with something very important to them.

The significance of Jesus riding a donkey and having his way paved with palm branches is a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken by the prophet Zechariah some 450-500 years earlier, (Zechariah 9:9). “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. In biblical times, the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey. The donkey (or domesticated ***) was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. Matthew 21:7-9 records the fulfillment of that prophecy: “They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” We’re still talking about the events which took place on the Sunday before Jesus’ crucifixion. The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.

After Palm Sunday the palm leaves are burned and the ashes are saved for Ash Wednesday the next year.

Palm Sunday ranks as one of Christianity’s holiest days, second only to Christmas and Easter. Palm Sunday falls on the last Sunday of Lent (the Sunday before Easter) and marks the beginning of Holy Week. In the simplest of terms, Palm Sunday is an occasion for reflecting on the final week of Jesus’ life. It is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts for the agony of His Passion and the joy of His Resurrection. John 1:11 tells us, “He (Jesus) came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” The same crowds that were crying out “Hosanna” were crying out “crucify Him” five days later (Matthew 27:22-23). Do we honor Him one day and deny Him with our words or actions another day?

So what do we get from this information? Besides knowing the significance of what the palm represented, there are lessons for our own spiritual growth. We are to grow in the inside and it will show on the outside. We are to grow in height toward our God, straight towards Him, nor taking any turns away. Be elastic, stretchable for growth through challenges and difficulties without breaking, We are to be flexible in the winds of His Holy Spirit. All of our being, all we say, do and think should be useful to God for His glory and the building up of His kingdom.

Think about it. What represents the most to you that you would waive to celebrate and welcome the coming of your King, Jesus when He returns in triumph for His Bride? How will you commemorate this Holy Week? Thursday for the Last Supper, Friday for the crucifixion, Easter Sunday for the resurrection, maybe at sunrise?

I Am the Vine

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

John 15:1. I Am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.

The gardener plants, nourishes and cares for the vine. Jesus says He is the vine and His Father is the gardener Who planted Him, nourishes Him and cares for Him. In John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me-and I in him-bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” Just as Jesus is cared for and nourished by the Father, we are also nourished and cared for, but only if we stay attached to the vine, Jesus. To stay attached we must abide in Him. To abide means to live with and in. We must be aware of Jesus within us and us within Him throughout each and every day. Psalms is full of words of meditating on Him throughout the day and night. Our question is how often are we aware of His very real presence with us and our very real presence with Him?

April 12, 2014

I Am in the Father

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am

John 14:10. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds.

Jesus came for several reasons. He came to die for our sins to reunite us with God. He also came to show us God’s love and to teach us to hear God. Everything He said and did was a direct reflection of God, the Father. He told us the Father lives in Him and works through Him. When He prayed for us in John 17:21-22 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.”
As the Father is in and working through the Son and the Son is in the Father, so is it to be with us. Our question is, are we letting Him work through us and in us?

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