Ginrich's Devotional Blog

October 13, 2018

Faith Expressed

Filed under: Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Jesus,love,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:09 pm

Galatians 5:6 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (NIV)

Being a Christian isn’t about religion – a following of rules.  It is about a relationship with God through His Word, His Son, Jesus.  This relationship is based on faith.  Faith in God’s great love for us; so great that He sent Jesus to earth to suffer on the cross so we would no longer have to do all the sacrifices described in the Bible but that through the one sacrifice of Jesus our sins are forgiven for all of eternity.  But, if we don’t live out and express this faith through love, it is nothing.  God is love.  Any expression of God must be done in love.  Love doesn’t coerce or force.  Love nurtures.  If we see our life, our testimony isn’t bearing fruit, we must check to see if our faith is immersed in the love of God and expressed in our love for God and for fellow mankind.  The characteristics of this love are found in 1 Corinthians 13.  Read them daily putting our own name in the place of love and see how we come out.  It can be very revealing.

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October 8, 2018

Households

Filed under: Bible,Christian,devotion,God,Jesus,love,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:18 pm

Acts 16:34 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (NIV)

Have you noticed how many times in the New Testament, when someone accepts Jesus, they bring their entire household into acceptance also?  Households were unified in their love for God.  Today there are more households separated in their beliefs than there are unified.  We preach individualism today.  We are told to let our children make up their own minds about what to believe and how to live.  This has been carried to such an extreme people get reported for teaching their children the Bible.  It is past time for believers to stand firm.  We need to trust God and be bold. But we must do it in love, not condemnation.  Some have given Christians a bad image through their pointing out things in a condemning way rather than loving people into the Kingdom.  Let us learn to reach out in love while standing firm for God through Jesus.  Let us courageously raise our children and grandchildren to love the Lord with all their mind, strength and might and their neighbor as themselves.

September 25, 2018

Ripples

Filed under: Christian,depression,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:44 pm

Ecclesiastes 2:11 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. (NIV)

From time to time as I think about all many others are doing for the Kingdom of God, how they’re letting God work through them, I get discouraged about what He is doing through me.  I deride myself on how I waste so much time and how little God is doing through me.  Then the Holy Spirit reminds me about the ripples of a pebble thrown into still water.  The pebble lands in the water and sends out circles of ripples.  God seldom lets us see the ripples He sends out through us.  He knows our sin nature of pride and protects us from it.  The few times He has shown me some ripples were so very encouraging but never often enough to feed my sinful pride nature.  We know there is no way to work our way into His presence.  Our desire to work is out of our love for Him and our desire to be pleasing to Him.  So, let’s not be concerned about our ripples.  Let’s just enjoy becoming more and more intimate in our relationship with God through His Son Jesus and enjoy our ever growing relationship.  Working through us is the job of the Holy Spirit.

September 23, 2018

Flowing Together

Exodus 39:42 42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. (NIV)

The last few chapters of Exodus go into detail on the various pieces of the tabernacle and the clothing for the priest, how they should be made and how they should go together.  Very interesting reading.  God gifted various people with the gifts necessary to fashion the different parts of the tabernacle, furnishings and etc.   What it show us is how the various ministries of the Body of Christ, the Universal Christian Church, should be going together.  Each person within the Body of Christ has a ministry.  God is very specific about each ministry and, through His Holy Spirit and His written word (the Holy Bible), He gives each person instructions.  As we come together in our various buildings our ministries are to come together in unity.  Because of the numbers of us, we have some who have been raise up to coordinate our ministries and fit them together.  No ministry is more important or more needed than any other.  As with the pieces of the tabernacle, each has an important part to play in the Kingdom of God.  Our job is not to be possessive about what we consider to be “our” ministry, but to flow in unity with all other believers and allow the Holy Spirit to unify the results of our various ministries to bring glory to God and to increase and fortify His Kingdom.  Let is not only do our part but also allow our part to work within the whole.

September 21, 2018

More than Enough

Filed under: Bible,Christian,devotion,gifts,God,God's Word,Jesus,tithe,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:57 pm

Exodus 36:4-5 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done. (NIV)

The Hebrews were bringing their free will offering from their possessions to build and furnish the Tabernacle Tent.  They had walked through times of obedience and gratitude and times of disobedience and total lack of trust and belief in God.  Now they were back in a of obedience and thankfulness and were more than happy and very eager to show their thankfulness to God.  They were so very thankful they were bringing in all they had.  Where are we in our thankfulness and obedience to God?  How much of our possessions, our money, do we bring in as an offering to God?  Do our churches and our Christian charities have more than enough to take care of the needs of the sick, hungry and hurting people?  What is our attitude when we bring of our possessions, our money and our time, to God?  These are questions we each much face and answer honestly.  God knows how much we give and why we give it.  He knows if it is out of love and thanksgiving we give or simply obedience for the sake of obedience.  The tithe, 10 % is one thing.  What about our thank offering? 

September 16, 2018

A Different Answer

Matthew 11:4-6 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (NIV)

Isaiah 42:7 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. (NIV)

John knew the promises of the Old Testament.  He was waiting for the Messiah Who would set the captives free from prison.  He wanted to be free.  Jesus knew what John was hoping.  He knew what answer John wanted.  Jesus made a point to quote all but the part of the captives being free from prison.  Jesus wanted to let John know he wouldn’t be set free.  God had other plans for John as part of His testimony later.  So often we don’t understand why God answers our prayers in a different way than we want or expect.  We can’t see God’s total plan.  We don’t know what God is calling to happen on down the road past where we are.  God doesn’t do things for our own personal pleasure.  Life here isn’t about us and what we want.  Life is about glorifying God.  God is God.  We tend to put Him in our own little boxes for our wants and pleasures.  We need to remember Who God is.  God is life.  Without Him there is no life.  Just to be allowed to know Him in any small way is a privilege.  Let us thank God for where ever He has us and whatever He wants to do through us.  It is an underserved privilege.

September 15, 2018

Supplied

Exodus 25:1-9 ​1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. 3 These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; 4 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 5 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; 6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 7 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. 9 Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (NIV)

We must remember the Israelites were in the wilderness when this command came to them from God.  How were they able to get all of these materials?  If we go back to the last days in Egypt, the Israelites were told to take things from the Egyptians and the Egyptians were more than ready to the Israelites anything to have them gone.  God knew what they would be needing and made sure all that would be needed was provided.  So often, when God tells us to do something we hesitate because we don’t think we have everything we need to obey and go forward.  God always provides us with what we need to walk in obedience to Him.  He was faithful to the Israelites and He will always be faithful to those of us who have His Son, Jesus, in our hearts, minds and lives and strive to walk in obedience to all Jesus has taught us.  When God tells us to do something, the words, “I can’t.  I’m not able.” Should never be spoken.  We should always have the attitude, “Here I am, God.  Send me.  Use me.”  Let us be sure to take time to listen and hear what God, through His Holy Spirit, is asking us to do.  He works through every one of us regardless of age, gender, ethnic background or physical or mental ability.  He supplies all we need to walk with Him and to allow Him to flow and work through us.

September 11, 2018

Responbility

Filed under: Christian,devotion,God,health,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:34 pm

Exodus 15:26 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (NIV)

As a hospital chaplain I am asked frequently by patients to pray for healing.  Many of them want to eat what they want, when they want, drink what they want, smoke what they want and lead sedentary lives yet, expect God to heal them and bless their life style.  God has given us a responsibility for our own health.  He has given us access to wisdom on how to maintain our bodies to be healthy the way He designed them to be.  When we don’t take care, when we are not good stewards of what God has given us we can’t expect Him to intervene and presto, all is back in order.  Yes, it will rain on the just and the unjust.  Disease is not always the result of personal sin but the total sin of humanity against nature and God’s creation.  This doesn’t excuse us from our personal responsibility.  When we start to feel sick we must self-check to see what part in the illness our own choice of life-style played in our sickness.  Let us be good stewards, not only of our money and talents God had given us but also of the bodies He’s given us.

September 7, 2018

Surpassing Love

Ephesians 3:19 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (NIV)

I’ve been talking with God about His love, a love that exceeds my imagination.  He had me picture myself in His place.  Imagine ourselves with only one child.  We love that child very much.  Our child is a very good and loving and obedient child.  One day we tell the child we want him to take the place of a child who doesn’t even know us and who has been very bad and is scheduled to be consigned to hell.  We know it will be incredibly painful for our child.  Our child will go through hell even though, after a time, he will return to join us.  To tell you the truth, I know I could never let any of my children die in place of any other child.  I love my children too much for that.  God loves His Son even more than we can love our children.  Yet, He loves us, as sinful and doubtful and unloving as we are, so much He sent His Son to stand in for us.  I can’t imagine how much pain and grief it cost our God.  This is a love beyond our ability to imagine. 

September 6, 2018

Condemning

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,God,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

John 3:17 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (NIV)

Many, many people can quote John 3:16 but not so many know what the following verse says.  It seems we spend a good bit of time condemning, criticizing and complaining.  How much time do we spend in praying about the things we are condemning, criticizing or complaining about?  We can’t save any part of the world but God can save all of it.  He wants us to be part of His work by uniting with His power through prayer.  It is our prayers that connect our finite world with God’s infinite world and power.  We need to encourage one another to pray fervently until results are seen in our time and space.  We encourage each other by sharing answers we have seen and by joining with others to pray for specific issues.  Let us turn our condemning, criticizing and complaining into prayers of faith and power.

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