Ginrich's Devotional Blog

January 31, 2018

Speech

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:23 pm

Matthew 26:73 73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. (KJV)

This is taking place during the mock crucifixion trial of Jesus.  Earlier Peter claimed he would always be faithful even if he was the only one.  This is the third time during the night Peter denied knowing Jesus.  But what we look at today is it was his speech that gave him away and made them suspicious.  We must question our speech.  Does what comes out of our mouths betray us as believers and followers of Jesus or does it show we aren’t believers and followers of Jesus?  What we say and how we say it reflects who we are and what we believe.  Are we critical of others?  Are we complainers?  Are we braggers?  The list can go on and on.  Let us always try to honor our God with what we say, how we say it and when we say it.

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January 30, 2018

Results

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:07 pm

Matthew 16:21-23 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns (NIV)

Once again we see Peter speaking before thinking.  Peter is rebuking Jesus.  This is after Peter acknowledges Jesus is truly the Messiah.  Before we condemn Peter for rebuking Jesus, we must look within ourselves and see how often we have not done or said what the Holy Spirit has told us to say or do.  Not doing it, giving in to doubts, is equal to rebuking God.  We may not (and quite often) understand the why, when or where but it is for us to follow through in obedience.  I’ve shared before about being told by the Spirit to go to the hospital and pray for an anti-Christian to be healed of melanoma.  I went in obedience, held her hand, prayed “In the name of Jesus, be healed.” and left.  I left the results to God and dismissed it from my mind.  The results weren’t up to me but up to God.  Obedience was up to me.  Several years later I heard from her that, not only was she healed as doctors confirmed just before they were ready to operate, but she and her husband accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were in full time Christian ministry.  We tend to take more responsibility on ourselves than God intends.  He just wants fellowship with us and obedience from us.  The results are in His powerful and capable hands.  Let us walk forward.

January 29, 2018

Whoops

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:57 pm

Matthew 14:25-31 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt (NIV)

I so relate to Peter.  He so often is too fast to speak or act.  Here, at first, He questions Jesus’ identity right after Jesus says it is Him.  He speaks up giving the Lord instructions.  Jesus called Peter on it and, as is normal for us, Peter starts out looking at the Lord and in faith.  But shortly after, Peter takes his eyes off the Lord and looks at the circumstances.  How often do we start out in faith only to look back at the circumstances and loose our confidence on what the Lord said to us?  This is a good example for us to listen carefully and not speak out before we hear.  It’s also a good lesson on keeping our eyes on our Lord, trusting Him to lead us through any circumstance.  Poor Peter vacillated so much between total faith and questioning doubt, yet, when the Holy Spirit came, Peter was one to speak with total boldness.  We now have the Holy Spirit within us.  Let us be bold after we listen and hear.

January 28, 2018

Criticism

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:45 pm

Ephesians 4:29 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

There is a big difference between correcting someone and criticizing them.  Correcting, done in love, is gentle and positive.  Criticizing is usually done in an attitude of being better than the one we’re criticizing.  We must remember God loves everyone.  We must also remember God hears everything we say and even everything we think.  Instead of criticizing others either to their face or to other people, take our problem of understanding them to God.  Lift them up to God for His direction, healing and help.  Offer ourselves to be available to Him to be used by Him in any way He chooses.  He may just want us to love that person and allow Him to do His own work within the person.  Let’s put criticism aside and turn it to prayer.  Prayer holds the power of change for the glory of God.

January 27, 2018

Opinionated

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:20 pm

Matthew 7:4 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let . me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (NIV)

Someone was talking to me about someone else saying that person was very opinionated.  To be opinionated means to be firmly or unduly adhering to one’s own opinion or to preconceived notions.  We are all opinionated about something.  Some of us might be willing to listen to the other opinion quicker than others but that doesn’t change the fact that, in human, sinful nature, we are all opinionated.  The big problem we face is being willing to consider our well held opinion on something or someone might just be wrong.  We like to believe we are always right in our thinking and our actions.  We need to be willing for the Holy Spirit to help us be teachable.  We like to choose who we allow to teach us.  I’ve learned I can be taught something by just about anyone.  The teaching might come as an example of what not to do or not to say.  It also can come as what I might need to change in my speaking, action or thinking.  Being willing to open ourselves up to correction and teaching through the written word, through the inner voice of the Holy Spirit, through circumstances and through others will help diffuse our natural tendencies to be opinionated.

January 26, 2018

Daily Instsruction

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:04 pm

Psalms 32:8 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.  (NIV)

What a beautiful promise of God.  He will personally instruct and teach us in every way we should go and guide us by keeping His loving eye on us.  How does He do this?  Many ways.  The primary way of instruction is His written word, the Holy Bible.  Any instruction or teaching that doesn’t agree with the written words in the Holy Bible are questionable at the least.  We must study His writing and put it deep in our hearts and minds.  He also instructs and teaches us through His Holy Spirit.  We are guided by the quiet, inner voice of the Holy Spirit.   Once again, anything we hear from the Holy Spirit must agree with the written word or it is wrong.  He also guides and teaches us through circumstances.  These can be a learn by doing wrong or a building up of confidence by doing right.  He also teaches and instructs us through the input of others.  Once again, their input must be in agreement with the scriptures.  In all of these ways, all must be in agreement with scriptures.  This shows how important it is for us to read, study and meditate on the words in the Holy Bible each and every day. 

January 25, 2018

Measure of Giving

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,gifts,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:41 pm

Luke 6:38 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

So many ministries use this verse to motivate people to give money to them so the people can get even more money.  If you read the entire paragraph before this verse you will find it is talking about judging others and forgiving others.  The word money is not used.  But the principle of giving is true.  When you give you get back even more than you give along as your motive for giving is to give, not to get.  Giving comes out of the motive of love.  We give because we want to bless someone.  Whether it is money, forgiveness, complements or anything, our motive for giving should be because we want to bless someone.  We want God’s blessing to come through us to someone else.  When we give out bad or negative things (especially words), we can expect to get bad or negative things back.  When we give positive, good things (including words) out, we can expect to get good things back.  The short of it is “what you give you get.”  When we give, let it be because we want to be part of God’s blessing to others.  What we get, let us trust God for what we get.  God is our source, not our giving or our getting.

January 24, 2018

“If’s”

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:20 pm

John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  (NIV)

Most all of God’s promises have an “if” with them.  If we humble ourselves and pray He will heal our land.  If we forgive others, we will experience the forgiveness He has given.  But His love for us has no “if’s.”  He loves us because He created us.  We are His.  Our problem is not Him loving us but our receiving His love.  He is always loving and always with us.  We are not always loving Him or aware of His presence.  His love is the only unconditional love in existence.  Let us be sure to open up to receive His love.  We can’t earn it.  We can never deserve it.  We can only receive it.  When we do receive it we will desire to love Him.  That leads us to all the “if’s.”  Let us open ourselves up to His love and His Holy Spirit within us to empower us to do our part of the “if’s.”  Let us study His written word and allow His Holy Spirit to teach us to love.

January 23, 2018

Circle of Forgiveness

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:15 pm

Luke 23:34 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (NIV)

Our sins were forgiven the moment Jesus asked God to forgive our sins.  This is the reason He went to the cross.  There is nothing left for the forgiveness of our sins.  It is finished.  But, we must receive that forgiveness for it to be complete in us.  To receive it we must confess our sins, accept God’s forgiveness, forgive ourselves and forgive others.  It is not complete unless we forgive others.  In Matthew 6:15 we read, But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NIV).  It is not a mater of degree of sin.  Sin is sin.  Sin separates us from God for He, by His very nature, cannot stand in the presence of sin.  Any unforgiveness in us is sin.  Let us be quick to complete the full circle of forgiveness.

January 22, 2018

Different Translations

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer — by ginrich @ 8:54 pm

Psalms 119:11 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  (NIV)

We know why we are to hide God’s word in our heart but how do we do this?  There are several different translations of the Holy Bible, God’s written word to us.  The Holy Spirit will speak to us through any of those translations.  We need to be comfortable with the translation.  We all use different words with different meanings.  We need to familiarize ourselves with all the translations and read the one that best suits us.  If we’re not comfortable with the language it is hard to hide it in our hearts.  I, personally, use several different translations according to the need I have and the reason I am reading the written word.  When I just want to read and enjoy God’s love letter to me I pick up the Phillips translation of the New Testament.  For me, it flows the best.  When I study I use the New International Version because it speaks the best to me for in-depth studying.  When I’m looking up a specific scripture, I use the King James Version because that is the version I memorized most of the scriptures as I was growing up and I find  it easier to find the verse I’m seeking.  Many of these versions are available on line or in our local libraries.  Take time to read some of your favorite passages of scripture in as many different version you can find and see what resonates with you for reading and for studying.  Just be sure you can hide His word in your heart and mind so you can pull it out when you need it.

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