Ginrich's Devotional Blog

March 7, 2020

Love Not Judgement

Filed under: encouragement,God,Holy Spirit,judging,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:53 pm

Joshua 22:18 18 And are you now turning away from the Lord?  “‘If you rebel against the Lord today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole community of Israel. (NIV)

Though many churches are turning away from God’s word in favor of current culture, we must be careful in judging.  This is a lesson we learn in this recorded event in Joshua.  Looks can be deceiving and mis-interpreted as was in this case.  When accused of setting up an altar they responded in Joshua 22:24 24 “No! We did it for fear that some day your descendants might say to ours, ‘What do you have to do with the Lord, the God of Israel?  Their intent was good but good intentions can be mis-interpreted.  We must be careful that our words and actions don’t take on the possibility of being mis-interpreted.  Quite often our stance on the precepts of God, which are always correct, come over as hate.  We must learn to speak in love, not condemnation of the individual.  It is only man-kind who put value classifications on sins and select only certain sins to speak out on.  In God’s eyes, anything against His precepts is equal in separation from Him.  Telling lies, regardless of how “little” they are is equal to adultery.  Unforgiveness is equal to homosexuality.  We are to emphasize love of each other with encouragement to follow the precepts of God.  It is the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that can pull people out of sinful actions, not our judgement.  Let us reach out in love to all while at the same time showing them through our words and actions how living our lives in obedience to God’s precepts bring a joyful and abundant life.

February 21, 2020

Speaking Through Us

Filed under: Bible,encouragement,Father,God,Holy Spirit,trials,Uncategorized,Word — by ginrich @ 7:11 pm

Matthew 10:19-20 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.  (NIV)

 

I remember the first time I was asked to pray out loud.  I was upset because I didn’t have advance notice.  How would I know what to pray without rehearsing it and making sure I said all the right things.  As I grew in my relationship with God, I realized I didn’t need to rehearse.  The above verses give us His promise that He will speak through us.  Our problem is taking the time to listen to Him.  It takes a little practice to quickly recognize the quiet, inner voice of the Holy Spirit.  Without regular listening we won’t hear Him when we really need to speak out.  Learning to hear takes practice.  Writing down what we hear after prayer time or a time meditating on the written word, the Holy Bible, helps us to recognize what is the voice of the Holy Spirit verses our own voice.  It’s also an encouragement to have a journal of what the Holy Spirit has said to us so we can look back and see His words in present times of struggle.  Let us diligently learn how to always allow the Holy Spirit to speak not only to us personally, but also through us to others.

February 20, 2020

Growing Daily

1 Peter 2:1-3 1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (NIV)

It is our task to rid ourselves of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander.  It is our task to grow up into mature children of God, joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ.  There are a few steps we must do in order to grow up spiritually.  We must be into the written word of God, the Holy Bible.  We can’t just casually read it.  We must prayerfully study it, put it deep into our minds and ask the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and help us apply all it says into our present day lives.  Along with the study and meditation of God’s written word comes regular and often conversation time with Him through prayer.  We must be sure to take time to listen.  Writing down what we hear during our prayer time is very helpful.  Our growth is not complete without gathering together with other Christians in worship, praise and encouraging and sharing with one another.  There is much we can learn from the experiences of others in their growth walk.  Any day we have not learned something more about our God is a day wasted.  Let us not waste a single day He gives us on this earth.  Let us grow in knowledge and faith each and every day.

February 19, 2020

Tithe Plus

Filed under: Christ,encouragement,God,Jesus,tithe,Uncategorized,worship — by ginrich @ 7:55 pm

Hebrews 7:5 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.  (NIV)

I’ve noticed on YouTube some T.V. preachers are debating about giving a tithe.  In actuality, all we “own” on this earth belongs to God.  This includes the money we earn from our jobs.  Why do we complain about giving 10% of what God allows to come our way back to Him through our churches to help to spread the Good News?  In actuality, we should give much more than 10%.  So many have taken a back seat to spreading the Good News.  The think, they give a little money to their church so let the preacher do that job.  We are all ministers of Christ Jesus.  We are all to spread the Good News, the message of salvation and God’s love.  A tithe of 10% is a small amount to support a place for us to gather together to encourage one another in spreading God’s message and in joining together to worship Him.  Let us rejoice in the privilege of giving the 10% and ask God for financial wisdom and discipline in selfish spending to enable us to give more than 10% along with giving much more of our time in spreading God’s love.

February 13, 2020

Confession and Small Groups

Filed under: Church,confess,encouragement,God,prayer,Righteous,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

James 5:16 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  (NIV)

This is something most of us don’t do.  It seems like the ones who do confess their sins do so over and over boasting about how bad they were and how good they are now.  Why are we to confess our sins to one-another.  One reason is, when done with the right attitude and motive, it helps keep us humble.  Another reason is it encourages others not to feel so bad about themselves for they have the same problem and temptations.  Confession out loud gets the sin in the open for us and enables us to better deal with why we are so tempted in that particular area.  When confessed, we can no longer deny we have a problem in the area.  We must be careful, however.  We must know who it is we are confessing our sins to.  Confession to a known gossip is an opening for major problems.  This is one reason it is important to be a member of a small group within the larger local church group.  Confession to a large amount of people isn’t wise.  In a small group we are more able to pray with and for one another.  Small groups know not to take out of the group what is said in the group.  If you’re not in a small group may I encourage you to either find one or start one yourself.  The purpose of a small group is to share what God is doing in your lives and encourage one another in continual growth in relationship to God and to one another.

February 6, 2020

Worshiping Together

From Hebrews 10 in the Message Translation  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 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.

These few verses in this translating say a good bit very distinctly.  First, we must be confident of who we are and how Father God sees us.  He sees us fully robed in the righteous of His Son.  Next, we are to take a firm grip on the promises Jesus revealed to us.  We can’t do that unless we are reading, studying and meditating on the written word of God, the Holy Bible.  Then we must be worshiping together.  When we go to a church service, we must be speaking to others that are there.  We need to be encouraging and helping one another.  When we go to our worship service and greet others with “How are you?” do we really listen or even encourage them to really tell us how their week has gone?  As Christians, we are the Family of God.  Family members pull together and help each other.  They know when one of them has a problem and is walking through a trial.  Let us be sure we treat one another as family.  Let us truly take the time to be apart of one another’s lives.

November 19, 2019

All in All

Filed under: Bible,encouragement,God,Holy Spirit,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:11 pm

1 Corinthians 15:28 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.  (NIV)

This is what it is all about.  That God may be all in all.  This is what Jesus came to accomplish.  It took His dying on the cross to reunite us with God the Father to be restored to being in His image as He had created us to be.  Sin changed our image.  With sin in our hearts, minds and lives we cannot be in the image of God for God has no sin.  As we release more and more of our sinful self-image to God, more and more of His image will be revealed in us.  How can we release more and more of our sinful self-image?  Through the careful reading, studying and meditating on the instruction book (The Holly Bible) which the Father so livingly provided for us, through regular conversations (prayer) with the Father, through the power and gentle whispering of the Holy Spirit and even through the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.  Let us aim for our goal of God being all in us.

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.

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.

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