Ginrich's Devotional Blog

April 17, 2017

The First

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 5:35 am

John 20:16 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). (NIV)

 The first person to see Jesus risen from the dead was Mary Magdalene.  All we know about this Mary is that she seemed to have a sordid past, she had no home obligations to keep her and she had enough money to follow and serve Jesus.  That Jesus would choose a past sinner to be the first to see Him resurrected is appropriate seeing as His purpose in coming was to save the sinner.  What we notice in this verse was she didn’t recognize Jesus by sight through her grief and tears but she did know how He said her name and immediately recognized Him when He called her name.  He still calls the names of the sinners.  Our question is do we hear Him call our name?  Mary turned toward Jesus when He called her.  He’s calling us to turn toward Him.  Let us be sure to not only turn toward Him but to keep our eyes, heart and minds on Him throughout each and every day.

April 15, 2017

Silence

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 9:09 am

.Matthew 27:59-60 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb (NIV)

 We find the Sabbath day.  Many of the friends of Jesus have gathered together.  The talk in quiet voices.  They are scared.  They are disappointed.  They are sad.  They are confused.  They really thought Jesus was the Messiah and they would be free from the Roman rule.  Now Jesus is dead and sealed in a tomb.  Their hope has died.  It is hard for us to relate because we know what happens the next day.  They don’t know.  They saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead but they watched Him die a horrible death on the cross.  There’s no coming back from such a death.  On the day between Good Friday, the crucifixion, and Easter Sunday, the resurrection, think about how hopeless they felt.  We can be thankful we never need be hopeless.  We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us since we accepted Jesus into our hearts, minds and lives as our Lord and Savior.  God had to turn away from Jesus as He took on all the sin of humanity.  Because of that, God will never turn away from us.  When He looks at us He doesn’t see sin.  He sees the righteousness and the blood of His Son, Jesus.  We can stand forgiven in His presence by His mercy and grace.  Let’s praise and thank Him in preparation for the celebration of His resurrection and the expectation of His coming back to this earth to gather His Bride, the children of God through Jesus.

April 14, 2017

For Our Sin

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 10:21 pm

Matthew 26:38 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (NIV)

 We tend to romanticize the crucifixion.  We don’t really understand how very harsh and inhumane it was.  Jesus knew He was headed for crucifixion.  He grew up seeing people nailed to crosses.    He knew the intense pain and humiliation He was about to face.  No clothes were worn on the cross.  People were nailed there fully exposed for all on the major road to see.  He didn’t look forward to it.  He even asked His Father if there were any other way possible to pay for our sins for all eternity.  In spite of his dread and intense sorrow, love for the Father and love for us prevailed and He went forward.  He could have come down from the cross like the crowd jeered Him to.  I He had come down we wouldn’t be here.  We wouldn’t have God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness nor the Holy Spirit.  Let us reflect on a cost we cannot understand because we will never have to pay such a cost.  Let us give Him praise and thanksgiving for taking our place.

April 13, 2017

Denial

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 9:05 pm

Matthew 26:35 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. (NIV)

 We judge Peter harshly.  He says he will be faithful to Jesus and stand with him and then he turns his back.  Not only does he turn his back, he actually denies even knowing Him.  We must look at ourselves.  How many times have we denied Jesus through our actions, our words and our thoughts.  Think not?  Judging someone else is putting yourself in the place of God.  There is only one Judge and one God.  Taking His role is denying Him.  Disobeying His word is denying Him.  Looking to the world to meet our needs instead of to Him is denying Him.  We are all in the same boat as Peter.  We all deny Jesus.  But, we will see after His resurrection and Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit he turns from denial to complete obedience and service all the way to his own death for the glory of God.  We have the Holy Spirit in us.  Let the Holy Spirit change us as completely as it changed Peter.  Peter gave his all.  Should we give less?

April 12, 2017

Under Authority

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 9:46 pm

Matthew 21:24 24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. (NIV)

 The religious leaders were jealous and felt threatened by Jesus.  They wanted to discredit His teaching but had nothing to discredit.  You can’t discredit what you know is truth.  This is why they were not able to say anything when Jesus asked them about John the Baptist.  They knew the truth but preferred to live under their own lies and dreams of self-importance and power over others.  We, as believers, have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.  This gives us the authority to speak God’s word.  But we must be cautious and be sure our hearts are right.  We don’t speak to be honored by men.  We don’t speak to have people acclaim us.  We speak out of love of God and a desire to serve Him, obey Him and make disciples for Him.  Every time I preach I spend time trembling in prayer.  I know I have nothing of my own to say worth anybody listening.  But I also know I’ve given myself to be a vessel for God to pass His love to others that they may know, love and serve Him.  This is for all believers.  Be it preaching before thousands or talking to a neighbor or friend in need, it is all the same.  We are under the authority of God and through Jesus we have His authority to speak and make disciples.  We must ask ourselves if we are obeying Him out of love and obedience.

April 11, 2017

Money Changers

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 10:28 pm

Matthew 21:13 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” (NIV)

 Granted we don’t have money changer tables in our churches any more but there are a lot of things that go on in our churches that would probably upset Jesus if He were to walk into them physically now.  Many have become big social clubs.  It’s fine to have things of fellowship and good activities for the church members but we must remember our primary reason for a church is to worship God, feed the sheep and equip the sheep to go outside of the church into the community and make disciples.  When we are in the church with other believers we are to encourage each other to go out the doors of the church and get to work in the community.  I’ve written about this before.  It is imperative that we be salt and pour ourselves out of the salt shaker.  We can do this as a group and we can do this as individuals.  We must ask ourselves what we are doing to bring new disciples into the kingdom of God.  Where are our neighbors in relation to Jesus?  Where are our business associates in relationship to Jesus.  Do they know where we are?  Are we being salt and light?

April 10, 2017

Crowd Mentality

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 9:22 pm

Matthew 21:9 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (NIV)

 There is a crowd mentality.  We don’t want to stand out alone.  When we see a crowd gathering the normal human tendency is to join the crowd, see what’s going on and join in with them.  A good many of these people in this crowd didn’t even know who Jesus was.  They just joined in with the rest of the crowd.  There is also a church mentality today.  Many think if the join in with a church group that means they are a Christian.  The do as the rest of the church members do thinking that copying their actions and their way of speaking that seals them in good standing with God.  Jesus said otherwise.  He said we must be born again.  We are born again by accepting Jesus into our hearts, minds and lives as our Lord and Savior and following the example of living He demonstrated when He walked this earth.  Just acknowledging the fact that He is the Son of God doesn’t do it.  Satan acknowledges that fact.  We must ask Jesus to live in and through us.  These last few days of lent let us take time to be sure we have a personal relationship with the Son of God, Jesus.  Let us also ask our family members and friends about their relationship with Jesus.  Coming through Jesus is the only way into the family of God.

April 9, 2017

Specific

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 10:15 pm

Matthew 20:32 32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. (NIV)

 Many prayers go unanswered because we don’t pray specifics.  We learned that the hard way.  We were in a rental house while we were building a new house.  We gathered around the breakfast table and prayed, “Lord, give us an abundance of water.”  That’s all we asked.  I was going to meet the well digger at our land and we wanted him to find a good well on the first dig. 

 He dug and found a good supply of water.  I didn’t take him very long.  I rejoiced and drove back to the rental house.  As I opened the front door I heard what sounded like our aquarium pump.  Then I remembered that was in storage.  As I stepped in I was ankle deep in water.  The hot water heater located in the kitchen had rusted out and water was all over the house since no one was there to turn it off.  God gave us an abundance of water that day.  Along with showing us His sense of humor He also taught us to be specific in what we asked Him.

 As a hospital chaplain, I ask the patients and/or family members present, if there is something specific they would like to ask God.  Sometimes it isn’t for physical healing.  Sometimes they have a more pressing emotional, spiritual or other need.  God wants to meet our needs.  He also wants us to know what our needs are.  Let’s learn to be very specific when we pray.

April 8, 2017

Serving

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 9:13 pm

Matthew 20:26 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (NIV)

 So many like to be served.  We like to wait for others to do the work.  Parents hear children say, “it’s not mine.  I didn’t drop it.” When they’re asked to pick up something.  We have this misconception that being the one doing the serving demeans us.  Jesus set the example.  When we continue reading this section of scripture we read, “I didn’t come to be served but to serve.”  Of all who have ever walked this earth, Jesus deserves and has the right to be the one who is served.  When we look honestly at ourselves, how can we ever imagine we deserve to be served.  As we learn to be the server we learn to enjoy being the server.  Serving is a form of giving and it is a great joy to be a giver.  When we see a need, let’s learn to serve and fill that need.  Something as small as picking up a piece of trash left carelessly by someone else can actually put joy in our hearts when it’s done in the right attitude; an attitude of doing it unto our Lord Jesus Christ.

April 7, 2017

Equality

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Lent,prayer — by ginrich @ 10:33 pm

Matthew 20:14 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. (NIV)

 Some think because they accepted Jesus at an early age and spent years walking in obedience and serving them they will reap extra rewards in heaven.  What they have earned more than those who come to know Him in their last days on this earth was a life of abundant joy from know Him.  All who come to know Jesus, regardless of how long they walk with Him in this life, have equal access to the throne of God and eternal life.  We are equally covered in the righteousness of Jesus.  Granted there are rewards in heaven but thinking our work on earth makes us more valuable to God than those who have done less is putting us in the middle of the pride of sin.  We serve out of love for God, not out of the hope of rewards or being more in favor than others.  Because of our love for God, we love others and want only God’s best for them.  As lent is coming to a close soon, let us reflect on our attitude both to whatever ministry God has called us to and to others around us. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with a pure love not only for God but also for all humanity, wanting only His best for all.

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