Ginrich's Devotional Blog

January 2, 2020

Slavery

Filed under: Bible,cross,God,Gospel,Jesus,prayer,scriptures,sin,thanks,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:17 pm

Galatians 5:1 ​1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

The word “free” is in the Bible117 times.  Freedom is in 28.  Freely is in 24 times.  Other forms of the word “free” are in the Bible a total of 28 times.   That’s 197 times the Holy Bible talks about various forms of being free.   Freedom is important.  Wars have been fought in the name of freedom.  The United States constitution calls for freedom from slavery and freedom of religion.  Notice is says freedom of religion not freedom from religion.    In 1988 the world was focused on setting 2 whales, hemmed in by ice, free.  The Russians even worked with the United States to help free the whales.  It seems some consider 2 whales more important than people.    As the above verse states, it was for freedom Christ came and died on the cross.  The question we must answer for ourselves is how much are we willing to do for the freedom to worship God?  Will we keep our mouths shut for fear of offending someone by our saying, “Thank You, Jesus” in the presence of another?  Are we willing to stand firm against anyone or any government that would take away our freedom to pray or worship or share the good news of the Gospel with others?  Some want to make having a Holy Bible against the law.  Are we willing to fight for the right to have our Bibles?  Let us stand firm and not be yoked by the slavery of unbelief.

December 25, 2019

Filed under: Christmas,cross,Father,God,Holy Spirit,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:03 pm

 

John 1:14 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

Manger Bed

When I walked into the barn  Early one cold morn,  My eyes fell on the manger bed  Looking old and worn  Then I heard You softly say,  “Twas in a place like this,  snuggled in some old dry hay  I first laid to rest.”

As my Savior grew to serve  He wandered all around.  Never did He have a place  He could call His own.  When He died upon the cross  On that dismal day  They laid Him in a borrowed tomb  To wait for that third day.

Now that You have conquered death  Make Your home in me  Fill me with your warmth and peace,  Free Your love through me.  Keep my mind full of Your thoughts  Set my spirit free  To be united with Your own  Then One we’ll ever be.

These are the words to a song I wrote some time ago. I was going into our barn to mile goats and this was the result.  So often at Christmas we concentrate on the birth of Jesus, forgetting He was born in the shadow of the cross.  We forget the pain that must have been in the Father’s heart knowing what His Son must face while He was in totally human form.  Let us keep the entire purpose in mind as we celebrate with friends and family.

May you have a blessed Christmas day and spend time thanking and praising God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

December 14, 2019

Fully Human

Hebrews 2:14 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  (NIV)

Hebrews 2:14 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (ESV)

I also added the English Standard Version to help us understand this verse.  Many people claim Jesus wasn’t really human.  Scripture tells us differently.  The Word of God took off His God nature and became fully human, born from a woman’s egg but fertilized by God’s seed.  He was flesh and blood.  He needed to eat food, drink water and He bled, just as we do.  He had moments of exhaustion, He could laugh with His disciples and He could cry with Mary and Martha.  We can’t say He doesn’t understand how we feel or how hard it is to resist temptations.  He experienced all we experience except sin.  He had to be totally flesh and blood to conquer death for us.  When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil the image of God that was in them died.  God had to put on the image of man, had to become man, to let the image of man die and the image of God resurrect within man.  His image will only come into us through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.  Without our coming to the cross on which Jesus died for us, confessing our separation from God and asking Jesus to dwell in us we cannot be in the Image of God and will have to face spiritual death for eternity.  Praise God for His making a way for us to be united with Him, conquering death for all time.

December 9, 2019

Proof of Grace

Filed under: baptise,believe,Christ,commandment,cross,Father,God,grace,Jesus,Obey,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:32 pm

Luke 23:43 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV)

If anyone needs proof that it is only the grace of Jesus Christ that opens our door to heaven it is this statement Jesus made to one of the thieves on the cross.  There is no way for this thief to change his life.  He has no time to do good works.  He has no time to obey the 10 commandments.  He has no time to be baptized.  He has no time to partake of the communion of the Lord’s supper.  He only has time enough to ask Jesus to forgive him for living apart from God.  The reason we obey the commandments, the reason we attempt to do good works is because we love God and want to please Him, not because we are earning our way to heaven.  What a comforting statement Jesus made to the thief.  The moment we ask Jesus to remember us, to live within us, we are guaranteed a place in heaven.  We can relax.  We don’t need to work ourselves in a frenzy trying to be do-gooders or legalistic.  We need only believe, receive through faith by grace and desire to live each day pleasing to our Father.

November 12, 2019

Cost

Filed under: Christ,cross,God,heart,Holy Spirit,Jesus,surrender,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:54 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)

God considers our worth to Him of such major importance that He gave His only Son so He could have us with Him.  In line of this, we must ask what is Christ, God’s Son, Jesus, worth to us?  For that matter, what is God the Father worth to us?  Is God the Father and God the Son worth total surrender?  What is it we think or do that we refuse to surrender to God?  Worth is rated by how much it cost.  Our union with God cost Him His Son.  Our union with Christ cost Him death on a cross.  What about us?  What are we willing to pay for God?  We must regularly examine what act or thought we refuse to lay at the cross of Jesus.  Lacking any one thing is a lack of surrender.  Let us regularly ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us places in our lives, hearts and minds which are yet to be surrendered to God.  We sing the hymn, All to Jesus I Surrender…let us continue in the surrendering process.  Our relationship with God is worth far more than anything in and of this world.

November 10, 2019

Humble Before All

Filed under: Christ,cross,Father,God,Holy Spirit,humble,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:07 pm

Philippians 2:5-8 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!  (NIV)

Humility.  That’s a hard word for us sinful humans.  Our egos command us to be proud.  If we’re not proud, we pretend and act like we are.  We always want to be the one who’s right and the one who has all the right answers.  We want to be the one in power.  We want to be served rather than to serve.  All these wants are the complete opposite of Jesus, how He walked this earth and what He wanted.  His wants all hinged around what would please His Father.  If we really want to be pleasing to God, we must humble ourselves.  Yes, occasionally God humbles us through various circumstances.  There are many instances cited in the Holy Bible.  But God’s first choice is for us to willingly humble ourselves, not only before Him but to humble ourselves before our fellow humans.  No one of us is better than the other.  No one of us is more important than any other.  God gives each of us a job to do.  He equips us for our specific job through the Person of the Holy Spirit Who will work through us.  What do we have to be proud about?  Nothing.  We are but dust without the Holy Spirit working in and through us.  Next time we want to use the word “I” let us be cautious about what words and/or actions follow that word.

August 24, 2019

Counteract Evil with Good

Filed under: commands,cross,forgive,God,grace,Jesus,mercy,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:44 pm

Romans 12:21 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (NIV)

This verse is hard for most of us. It follows these verses in Romans 12:19-20 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  It is part of the command to forgive others in the same way God forgives us.  We like to think there are some things we don’t have to or shouldn’t have to forgive.  Many of us have had some terrible things done to us.  How can we possibly be expected to forgive the person who killed a love one or raped us or someone we love or spread terrible untruths about us or many other things.  God forgives everything we’ve done or said or thought regardless of what it was as long as we ask through His Son, Jesus, for the forgiveness.  Jesus took every kind of sin to the cross.  Our forgiving and is not so much for the one we are forgiving but for us to keep us turning bitter.  To overcome the evil we start with praying for the one who was evil toward us.  We pray God will work His mercy and grace within that person.  When I did that, I asked God to let me see that person with His eyes.  As He revealed that person to me I began to hurt for that person and my attitude in prayer became less of following a command and more of wanting God’s love to be received by that person for it hurts God for those He loves (that means everyone) to not receive His love.  Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning what the person did or said.  It is right to hate evil.  It is the perpetrator of the evil who needs forgiving along with God’s healing grace and mercy.

May 1, 2019

Laughter

Filed under: cross,God,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

Psalms 37:13 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (NIV)

I only have one picture of the semblance of Jesus.  It is a picture of Him with His head tossed back and laughing.  He knew what He would be facing at the end of His walk on this earth, yet, He was able to laugh.  He could laugh because He knew His suffering would be short compared to the eternity He has and is giving to us.  When we are walking through dark times, it seems they will never end.  We fail to look at our dark times in the light of eternity.  These times are so very short in perspective to the joy that is ours in the very real presence of God.  There are several verses about laughter in the Bible.  One I like particularly is Proverbs 14:13  Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. This verse reminds us that times of laughter and times of grief are changeable.  Jesus could laugh even at the cross because He knew He was victorious over death and rejoicing will be available for all who choose to believe in Him.  Let us always take time to laugh, even when things seem hard and desperate.  We know Who is with us through and in all things.

March 15, 2019

As Much Love

Filed under: cross,faith,Father,God,Jesus,love,sin,suffering,trust,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:37 pm

John 15:9 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (NIV)
The Father loves His Son, Jesus.  Yet, in that love He allowed His Son to suffer the cruelty of being whipped to the bone, being nailed to a cross and physically dying in horrific pain while being jeered by a crowd.  To us, that doesn’t look like love.  Yet, the Father knew the rewards for eternity His Son would have for what, in the eyes of eternity, is only an instant of pain.  When we go through trials and tribulation, quite often we think God has deserted us.  Surely He couldn’t love us if He allows such pain and suffering.  We only see the instance of the now in this sinful world and our sinful bodies.  We fail to realize the prize that is ours for eternity.  Let us learn to be strong in faith.  God does love us.  He loves us so much He endured watching the suffering of His only Son, Jesus, so we could be free from the debt of our sins and be united in His love for all eternity.  We seldom understand why we must walk where we walk on this earth.  That is why faith and trust is needed.  Our vision is short sighted but God knows all that was, is and will ever be.  Let us rest in faith of His love and mercy through each and every situation we face knowing His love for us is complete and perfect.

February 23, 2019

Look to the Cross

Filed under: confess,Creation,cross,forgive,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Obey,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 8:25 pm

1 Peter 2:24 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (NIV)

When mankind chose sin over God, God had to look away and withdraw from mankind.  He had to do the same when His Son, Jesus, was on the cross taking on the sins of all humanity.  Until Jesus took on our sins oneness with God was impossible.  We now have a choice.  We can choose to continue in sin or we can choose to resist sin, keep our eyes on the cross and what it cost the Father and the Son, and embrace the Holy Spirit within us as we grow into the reality of abiding IN and the oneness of our being with our Creator.  The Son of Man, Jesus, had to experience the death that mankind experienced upon the first sin of disobedience by choice to overcome that choice by choosing obedience unto death.  Now, oneness with God is made possible.  Yes, we will sin but hopefully, not by conscious choice.  Keeping our minds on the cross and the price God paid for our reunion with Him will help us make the right choices.  When we stumble, we confess, repent (change directions) and are forgiven.  Then we make our minds up to grow in knowledge from our stumbling and move on into our oneness with God.  He died so we can choose to die to the desire to sin and live in His resurrection to eternal life.

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