Ginrich's Devotional Blog

January 21, 2017

Oaths

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:02 am

Matthew 5:33-37 33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (NIV)

 How many times has someone asked us to pray for them and we said yes then we forgot?  Saying yes is the same as a promise and Jesus says we are not to break our promises.  I’ve learned, when someone asks me to pray for them, I do it with them right away.  Then, when or if I remember later, I pray for them again.  We are to be true to our yeses.  We are also to be true to our no’s.  How many times have we told God we wouldn’t do a certain thing anymore and then we do it?  We need to be careful with our no’s as well as our yeses.  It comes down to asking God before we say either yes or no.

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January 20, 2017

Lusts

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:06 am

Matthew 5:27-30 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (NIV)

 Jesus didn’t mean literally to cut off our hand or gouge out our eye.  What He was telling us is, in any area we are tempted, stay away from that area.  If we are tempted to adultery, we avoid being in any situation where that would be possible.  If we are tempted to get drunk, we avoid drinking alcohol.  If we are tempted to steal someone else’s money, we don’t touch any body’s money.  We know our desires.  We know what God’s word says about these desires.  If our desire would separate our fellowship with God, we stay away from that desire and fill it with something else.  Gouging out our eye means not letting our eye wander where it shouldn’t.  Cutting off our hand means only putting our hands where they will glorify God.  No, that doesn’t mean our hands can’t do menial chores.  We still have to do dishes and take out the garbage.  We don’t use our hands to hurt others or take things from others.  We do use them to give to others.  The essence of what Jesus said is in all we see and do, let it be to glorify God.

January 19, 2017

Anger

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,peace,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:06 am

Matthew 5:21-24 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (NIV)

 Jesus equated anger and murder together.  When we display anger towards someone we are murdering their spirit.  This anger is not the righteous anger Jesus had when He turned over the money tables in the temple.  His anger was directed against the tables and what they represented, not the people.  When we are angry with someone we tend to say derogatory things to them.  These things can penetrate their spirit.  As long as we are harboring anger against someone our gift of praise or tithe is unacceptable to God for while we carry anger we are out of fellowship with Him.  We are to make peace before we can get back into fellowship with God.  Anger usually comes from our own pride.  We don’t like to be wrong.  We want what we want when we want it.  Let us be sure we recognize anger quickly, deal with it immediately and stay in fellowship with God and with those around us.

January 18, 2017

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:28 am

Matthew 5:17-20 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)

 No man can totally obey all of the laws in the Old Testament that God gave through the prophets.  Even if someone could, they are still unrighteous because only Jesus is righteous.  It is only through the cross and through Jesus and God’s grace that forgiveness can be given and eternal life in heaven with God be given.  When Jesus was on the cross He said, “It is finished.”  We are no longer under the law to be forgiven.  No longer do we have to sacrifice an animal for the blood offering for our sin.  The blood of Jesus is the final sacrifice for sin.  We do live by the law because of our love for God.  The law and the words of Jesus show us how God designed us to live but it is His grace and the acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the shedding of His blood that gives us forgiveness and eternal life.  We must ask if we are striving to be good to get into heaven or are we striving to be good because we love God.  Let us study all the words of Jesus and put the first two commandments (love the Lord God with all our heart, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself) deep into our minds and hearts and all else will follow.

January 17, 2017

Light

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,peace,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:04 am

Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV)

 There is a song I sang as a child. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.  Hide it under a bush, no, no.  I’m gonna let it shine.  Won’t let Satan blow it out.  Let it shine til Jesus comes.”  Those are some of the words of the song.  It is based on the above verses.  Our light is the love of Jesus within us through His Holy Spirit.  God’s love shines through all who really love Him and serve Him, following His precepts.  There are many things that can keep our God’s light in us from shining to others.  We can be too busy an too involved in our own little world, we can be too distracted, we can be disobeying His word, we can be out of fellowship with God and many other reasons.  We must remember our purpose on this earth.  We are to love God with all our heart, mind and strength and our neighbor as our self.  When we do this His light shines through us.  Our question is where is our heart, our mind and our eyes?  Are we loving, fellowshipping and looking to God and others or are we looking to ourselves.  Let’s be sure we allow God’s light to shine in and through us.

January 16, 2017

Salt

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:43 am

Matthew 5:13 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (NIV)

 Salt has several uses.  It is used as a preservative for meat and fish.  It is also used to enhance flavor of food.  I have used it to clean pots and pans and, diluted slightly in water to ease a sore throat.  We are to be salt to those around us.  We are to bring preservation to others by introducing them to Jesus.  We are to demonstrate a full abundant life enhanced through Jesus.  We are to tell them about being cleansed from sin through the blood of Jesus.  We are to pray for healing of those who are sick because of the strips from the lashes Jesus took on our behalf.  We must ask ourselves if we are salty and allowing the Holy Spirit through us to function in all the areas salt functions.

January 15, 2017

Persecurted

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,peace,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:04 am

Matthew 5:10 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (NIV)

 This is hard for our finite minds to understand.  That’s because we don’t really have a concept of eternity.  We are locked into a 24-hour day, a 7 day a week and on and on according to our clocks and calendars.  Eternity is hard to grasp.  We do grasp persecution and we don’t like it.  Some like to be on the giving end of it but no one likes to be on the receiving end.  Persecution takes many forms.  We can be persecuted verbally, socially, financially or physically.  We don’t feel blessed when we are persecuted Many times we respond in anger.  Sometimes persecution is not because of our righteousness in Jesus.  But, when we are persecuted because we stand with Jesus and we won’t back down, we are blessed because we are assured by Jesus that we will be in the kingdom of heaven.  Stephen is a good example.  As he was being persecuted by stoning he saw heaven open up to receive him.  This doesn’t mean we don’t pray for the Christians around the world who are being persecuted.  We pray for them for protection, for strong faith, for release and for the strength of God.  We also pray that their faithfulness will have an impact on those persecuting them and will turn their persecutors to God through His Son, Jesus.

January 14, 2017

Peacemakers

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,peace,prayer — by ginrich @ 4:42 am

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (NIV)

 Peacemakers are children of God because to be full of peace we must be full of God’s Holy Spirit.  To be full of God’s Holy Spirit we must be forgiven and forgiving.  Without forgiveness, there can’t be peace.When peace is within us we carry it with us and show it to others by our words and actions.  Quite often a peacemaker is an arbitrator helping others come to terms with issues and come into God’s peace.  We all seek after peace.  It is our nature to seek peace.  God is peace so when we seek peace we are seeking God.  As we allow more of God into our lives, our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, our nation and the world, we will find peace.  We can’t just pray for peace.  We must embody it in us, our words and actions through the Holy Spirit.  Our question is are we at peace with God, with ourselves and with others?  Let us ask God to show us any area within us where we haven’t allowed His peace to enter.

January 13, 2017

Pure Heart

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,peace,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:04 am

Matthew 5:8 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (NIV)

 Only the pure in heart will see God and spend eternity in His presence.  In Psalms, we read, “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.”  We are asking God for a pure heart.  To have a pure heart doesn’t mean we are without sin.  It means we have given our heart to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.  It means we have chosen to obey His word as given to us in the Holy Bible.  It means we confess our sins and repent, choosing to turn away from sin and walk in His Light and His righteousness.  It is only by following Jesus that our heart can be pure.  We cannot do enough “good works” to purify our own heart.  Only through Jesus and the infilling of His Holy Spirit can our hearts be purified.  They are purified by God’s mercy and grace through His Son.  With a pure heart we confess our love for God.  With a pure heart, we repent and walk anew in the forgiveness God gives us.  Let’s keep our hearts pure through Jesus by meditating on His word and fellowshipping with Him through each and every day. 

January 12, 2017

Mercy

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 1:04 am

Matthew 5:7 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (NIV)

 We’ve all heard the expression, “What goes around comes around.”  The Bible puts it another way, “Give and it will be given unto you.”  We’ve also heard “There but for the grace of God go I.”  Jesus gave us the example of showing mercy.  The blind man called out, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.”  We don’t know where someone else has walked so we can’t judge them but we can show them mercy.  We are told to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice.  We are also told to forgive as we are forgiven.  We are so quick to judge and criticize.  God wants us to be quick to show mercy.  We are to be His hands, feet and mouth and reach out to others with mercy that comes from God’s love flowing through us.  The next time we see a homeless person or someone hurting, let’s reach out to them in whatever way God provides for us to do so.  Mercy can be given in a listening ear, a smile, a hand on a shoulder, a few dollars or a multitude of ways.  We only need to be open to listening to the Holy Spirit Who will lead us in the way mercy is needed to be expressed.

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