Ginrich's Devotional Blog

September 1, 2019

Standing

Filed under: encouragement,faith,glory,God,government,Uncategorized,witness — by ginrich @ 7:19 pm

Acts 7:56 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”  (NIV)

Most often we read Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God the Father.  This time He is standing.  What could cause Him to stand up?  I see 2 reasons.  He is standing as Stephen is being stoned to death.  Jesus has open the curtain for Stephen to see Him as Jesus welcomes Stephen home to his rest and reward.  I also see Jesus looking at Saul, standing there holding the coats and urging them on as the stone Stephen.  As He looks at Saul, I’m sure He already sees Saul on the Damascus Road.  Jesus watches over all His Father’s children – even before they come into His family.  I can just hear Him saying to Stephen, “Hang in there, Stephen.  You’re coming home.  What you are saying is very important.  I have someone listening who will be my emissary to the gentiles.”  I hope this helps us all understand Jesus isn’t just basking in glory, He is actively encouraging us onward.  Let us be encouraged to stand firm in faith and be bold in witnessing as Stephen set the example.

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August 28, 2019

Squirting Ink

Filed under: Bible,encouragement,God,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 9:10 pm

Philippians 4:11 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (NIV)

As with many verses of the Bible this one can be interpreted at various levels.  Our attitude greatly affects our outcome.  When we have negative thoughts about ourselves, we block ourselves from succeeding.   When we have negative thoughts about others, we see only the negative in them.  Often this leads to a battle of name calling which we have seen lately amongst those in leadership.  God tells us to encourage one another.  We can’t do this by name calling.  My daughter-in-law calls it “squirting ink.”   Like an octopus squirts ink when it’s mad or scared, we squirt negativity on ourselves and on others with our negative thinking.  As children of God we are special.  Yes, we mess up from time to time, but God loves us through our messes.  Shouldn’t we love all those whom God loves?  This includes ourselves.  Let’s choose to start each day in a positive and loving attitude, not only about ourselves, but about all those we will meet and interface with throughout the day.

August 20, 2019

Our Whole Heart

Filed under: Church,encouragement,God,heart,praise,song,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:01 pm

Psalms 100:2 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (NIV)

.I love the praise and worship time in music at church (or anywhere else).  But I am hearing less and less of worship.  Worship is to and about God.  It is offering Him our thanks and praises and love for Who He is.  So many of the songs we sing are about us, what we want, what we need.  These are songs of intercession.  There is nothing wrong with these songs.  They definitely have their place in our service.  My problem is the imbalance of the songs.  I think the worship songs should outweigh the songs of intercession.  We are gathering together mostly to worship.  We also gather together for encouragement for that is so very necessary but let us first worship with our who heart and being.  That means singing the songs of worship to God, not about God.  That means when the worship leader repeats the song over and over we don’t go into rote in our singing and let our minds wander.  We continue to pay attention to the words and make them real in our hearts and minds.  I’ve shared this before but it bears repeating.  One day as I was enjoying worshiping the Lord with about 500 other worshipers, I heard God say, “Do you know who’s worship is the loveliest.”  Since was a professional singer I started to get puffed up.  Then I heard Him say the man standing right next to me.  I looked.  He had his eyes closed, his hands up and was singing notes that didn’t even exist in a rhythm that didn’t really match any known rhythm but he was totally unaware of anyone else being around.  He was totally focused on worshiping Hid Father God.  Oh what a lesson I learned.  Worship is totally from the heart and is not for others to think you sound really good.  Let us worship with our whole hearts and not be concerned with what others around us might think.  Their focus should be on worshiping God, not on what others are doing.

August 19, 2019

Gathering Together

Filed under: body,Christ,Church,encouragement,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:07 pm

Hebrews 10:23-25 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

I like how the Message interprets these verses. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out.  Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.  He always keeps his word.  Let’s see ow inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.   I especially like the part of being inventive.  So very often, in most of our churches, the order of worship and the things said are the same week after week.  This probably has a part in why the overall attendance in churches is steadily declining.  People are bored and see no advantage in gathering together for worship.  In the church where I am currently attending, we have to stay on our toes so to speak.  The order for worship varies from week to week.  That means we can’t worship as an automatic reflex.  We must think about what we are doing and saying.  We have a time of updating each other on prayer needs and encouraging one another in our various walks.  We can’t be a true part of the body of Christ if we avoid being with the other parts of His body.  In other words, if we aren’t fully involved in a local church group, we are not functioning in the body of Christ.  We are not meant and cannot do it alone.  If you aren’t already involved in a local church group, find a church that believes and practices the message of the Holy Bible and become a real and active part that the part of His body you are can function with the other parts of His body and become whole.

July 30, 2019

God’s Team Wins

Filed under: discouragment,encouragement,God,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:23 pm

Hebrews 4:15-16 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (NIV)

We looked at discouragement.  Now let’s look at encouragement.  After we receive Jesus into our hearts, minds and lives, we are guaranteed we have direct approach to God’s throne of grace and by that have His help in any and all of our times of need.  Since God is the source of all that was, is and will ever be, He is the best source for all the answers and directions we will ever need.  There is no way to stay discouraged when we go to our Father and listen to His directions.  We might have to practice the fruit of patience because we think in the form of physical, earthly timing and God is all about eternal timing.  If we find ourselves still discouraged, we need to go to the last few verses in  Revelation 22:6-7 6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.” There is no doubt.  God wins over evil and we are on God’s team.

July 10, 2019

James and the Church Family

James 1:1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (NIV)

I like the introduction to James in “The Message” translation of the Holy Bible.  James was a half-brother of Jesus.  He grew up with Him.  As per normal human behavior, we tend to think more critically of those closest to us even though we love them.  James grew up not believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus showed Himself to James after His resurrection.  We all must believe in the resurrected Jesus to be a Christian believer.

When Christian belivers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does.  Outsiders, and labels them a such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised.  It’s simiar with sinners outside the church. (The Message Bible)

James deals with the various problems pastors have in discerning, confronting and dealing with the normal problems of sin in the body of believers.  Each of us, from time to time, are part of those problems.  Let us look to our own words and actions rather than judging the words and actions of others in our church family.  Let us be an active participant in the gathering together for worship which includes encouraging others and helping others rather than judging and criticizing.

July 9, 2019

Encouraging in Actions

Filed under: encouragement,love,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:03 pm

Hebrews 10:24 Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. (The Message)

We are to be inventive in encouraging love among all of us.  We are to be helping out each other.  Each of us perceives love in different ways.  There are many books written on the different languages of love.  Being inventive means, we are to find ways to reach out to love in ways the love can be understood and received.  For some it might be a phone call, for other a visit, for some it might mean an offer to go out someplace.  There are multitudes of ways to demonstrate our love for one another.  Also, multiple ways to help out others.  But we are not to stop with reaching out in love.  We are to come together to worship together.  Something they needn’t go to a group worship service.  They nick pick and think they can worship by themselves so much better than with others.  The benefit of worshiping together is to encourage others in their worship.  Basically, our problem is a me-first and I have the only right way of doing things attitude.  Let us not be self-absorbed.  Let us love as Jesus loves, not just in our words but also in our actions.

April 13, 2019

Encouragement

Filed under: armor,encouragement,faith,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:23 pm

Romans 1:12  that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (NIV)

We are to encourage each other to keep faith and grow in faith.  All of us have heard about how a charcoal coal, left by itself, will eventually quit burning.  However, when in a pile with other coals the fire can become quite hot.  There are several ways to encourage each other in our faith.  One, of course, is the gathering together in a church building.  That isn’t but once or twice a week.  There are at least 5 other days that we could all use some encouragement.  Paul writes often of how much he prays for all the believers.  This is a good way for encouragement for prayer is the strongest weapon we have.  We can also speak a good word to one another as we see others at work, school, shopping or in our own neighborhoods.  Then there is the telephone, e-mail and texting.  Let’s take advantage of the electronic age and use it in encouraging one another in our individual walks.  Sometimes just a short “Hi” brings all the encouragement someone might need on a particular day.  The day I wrote this is the 4th anniversary of my spouse leaving me for the throne of God and I was encouraged by a text from my daughter asking how I was doing.  Just knowing someone is thinking of us is a big encouragement.  Who will you encourage today?

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