Ginrich's Devotional Blog

July 22, 2020

First Sermon

Filed under: bless,God,Jesus,mercy,peace,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:56 pm

Matthew 5:3 3 “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.  (NIV)

This verse and the following verses are the first recorded teaching of Jesus.  Usually, when one starts teaching or preaching, they start with what is most important or the main topic of their ministry.  I know my first sermon was on John 3:16 for it’s all about our relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.  When Jesus spoke these words in the native language, Aramaic, the word He used which we have translated at blessed actually meant bestowed good will by God.  In other words, happy in the fulfillment and favor of God.  To further understand the meaning, we must look at all if what we call, the Beatitudes to see how, in our lives, God blesses or favors us in our fulfillment with Him.  The first one is poor in spirit.  That means we are humbled in who we are compared to Who God is.  We are to mourn our sinfulness and are comforted with God’s forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Meekness means we are aware that we inherently can do nothing good unless it is God doing good through us.  As He does good through us, the earth is blessed.  We are fulfilled in our hunger for the righteousness of Jesus because when we welcome Him into our hearts, minds and lives we are complete and therefore satisfied.  As we learn to be merciful as God is merciful, we not only receive His mercy but also the mercy of other believers.  When our hearts are pure in our desire for God, we gradually learn to see God in everything around us.  God is the source of peace.  We cannot be a child of His if we don’t carry His peace in and through us.  We are called to be one in spirit with God and with other believers and peace is necessary for oneness.  Jesus was persecuted because of His righteousness.  Sin doesn’t like righteousness and is constantly attacking those who seek righteousness.  We see those attacks coming more and more every day.  Because we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus and sin hates righteousness, we will be reviled and persecuted.  It is a privilege to join Jesus in the suffering for righteousness sake and our reward is eternal in heaven.  So much better than temporal awards that will rust and fall away.  As we continue to read throughout the gospels, we find Jesus teaching on each of the facets at different times and in different ways.   When we compare these with the fruits of the Holy Spirit we will find how those fruits help us grow into living the fulfillment of these beatitudes.

 

July 9, 2020

Demonstrate Forgiveness

 

John 13:5 5 Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.  (NIV)

Notice none of the disciples are excluded from Jesus’ washing their feet.  Peter, who would even curse Him as he denied knowing Jesus, even tried to get Jesus not to wash His feet.  The most surprising one whose feet Jesus washed was Judas.  Jesus already knew Judas would betray Him.  In spite of that, He washed the feet of His betrayer.  Jesus was forgiving the sin before it was even committed, yet He knew the sin was already in place in the heart of Judas.  Jesus was demonstrating mercy.  So many Christians are vindictive in their judgement of others.  So many show no mercy.  There are consequences in breaking the laws of the government and they must be followed as long as they are not against the laws of God, but the penalties of the consequences can be carried out with mercy.  Jesus was saying He knew they would flee from Him and even lie about knowing Him but, after they return to Him they would know their forgiveness.  We are to forgive just as Jesus did and continues to do.  We each bear the consequences of our sins but the consequences are only while we walk this earth.  When we confess our sins to the Father we are forgiven without any eternal consequences.  Let us learn not to continually whip ourselves or others over pass sins.  Let us confess and let those confessed and forgiven sins be buried under the blood of Jesus and move on in obedience under His forgiveness and mercy as e show forgiveness and mercy not only to others, but also to ourselves.

April 10, 2020

Good Friday

Filed under: blood,Father,God,heart,Jesus,love,mercy,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:00 pm

Matthew 27:46 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).  (NIV)

We call this day Good Friday.  In a way it seems strange that we would have the word “good” attached to the description of this day.  But, what Jesus did for us was definitely good for us.  God the Father had to turn away from Jesus when Jesus took on our sin of separation and disobedience to God for God, by His very nature, cannot be in the presence of sin.  Since Jesus substituted for us by taking on our sin, we will never need to cry out, “God, why have you left us.”  Once we invite Jesus into our life, minds and hearts, God will never leave us.  This makes it a Good Friday.  Not only do we take extra time today to remember the extreme cost to the Father and the Son, Jesus, we should tank God each and every day for His mercy, grace and love.  When the Father looks at us, He sees the blood of His Son covering us and sees us as righteous.

April 7, 2020

Not Discriminating

John 14:6 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (NIV)

People accuse Christians as being biased and prejudiced because we say there is only one way to salvation and eternal life with God and that is through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  If there was any other way God would not have had to separate Himself from His Word, His Son, and send Him down in human likeness to suffer and die on a cross in payment form our penalty of our sinful nature.  That very fact is sufficient proof that there is only one way to eternal life with God.  There is so much proof that all Jesus said was truth.  Jesus said He is the only way to the Father because He and the Father are one.  So many think that they can be good enough to stand in the presence of God.  When we look at the attributes of God, (March 25 devotion) we find we cannot consistently hold up to them let alone being consistent with just one of His attributes.  By God’s very nature He cannot be in the presence of the opposite of His attributes.  We mostly live in the presence of the opposite of His attributes.  God desires all mankind to enter into His presence.  That’s why He sent His Son to pay our penalty and why He sent the Holy Spirit down to dwell in those Who would choose to enter by the only door – Jesus Christ.  No, we are not prejudiced or being biased or closed minded nor is God.  God loves all mankind and, in His love, and mercy He has made a way possible for us to stand in His very presence.  Let us reach out in love and mercy to others, demonstrating by our words and our lives the attributes of God and by this encouraging others to enter the way God has so lovingly provided.

March 24, 2020

Ask Specifically

Filed under: God,Jesus,mercy,prayer,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:18 pm

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

Two blind men calling out to Jesus for His mercy.  It was evident to all, including Jesus, that they were blind.  Yet, Jesus asked this question.  What do you want me to do for you?”  Jesus wants us to be specific in our prayers.  It’s not that He doesn’t know what we need.  He already said God knows and will supply all our needs.  He wants us to know what we need.  He wants us to decipher between need and desirous want.  Our family learned this in a very practical way.  We had bought some land and were getting ready to build a house.  We needed to dig a well.  We gathered together in the rental house around the breakfast table and prayed, “Lord, give us an abundance of water.  Thank You, Amen.”  I met the well digger at our land and he began to dig.  He hit a gusher at 55 feet.  I paid him, thanked him and returned to the rental house.  As I started to open the door I heard what sounded like our aquarium but that couldn’t be because it was in storage.  As I stepped in I was ankle deep in water.  The water heater in the kitchen had rusted out and water was throughout the rental house.  We were not specific in prayer.  We asked for an abundance of water and we had it.  We didn’t ask it to only be for the well dig.  God has a beautiful sense of humor (He created humor) as He teaches us lessons.  When we pray, let us learn to be specific.  We will identify the answers so much faster if we really know what it is we are asking.

March 22, 2020

God’s Wrath

Filed under: Christ,God,Jesus,mercy,peace,Uncategorized,wisdom — by ginrich @ 7:08 pm

Nahum 1:2 2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath.  The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.  (NIV)

As children adopted into the family of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, we experience the loving nature of God.  However, there are those who experience God in a very different way.  Yes, God is love.  That doesn’t mean God is never angry.  God will see to it that His enemies, those who reject His Son and choose to follow the way of self and the way of Satan, feel His wrath.  This is one reason those who are not believers are so against those of us who walk with God.  When one is filled with wrath one will take it out on others.  We know the statement, “misery loves company.”  Instead of hating back or judging those bent on evil against us, we need to reach out in love and lift them up before the throne of God that they will open up their minds and hearts to the love and mercy of God.  The biggest vengeance God takes on them is the lack of the peace that can only come from God.  It is a peace that far passes any human understanding.  It is this peace we can have even during times of a pandemic disease such as this COVID-19 virus we are now facing.  God has given us wisdom in maintain good hygiene and health.  Let’s use the wisdom He’s given us, pray for those who are without the peace of God and continue to walk in love and faith without fear or panic.

October 19, 2019

Hearing with Practice

Filed under: believe,Bible,Creation,God,grace,Holy Spirit,Jesus,love,mercy,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 9:09 pm

Romans 11:35 – 3635 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”  For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (NIV)

We, in our sinful nature, think everything is about us.  Our prayers even echo that sentiment.  We pray, God I need, God do this….  It’s mostly all about us, what we think we need and what we want.  God didn’t created humans for themselves.  He created humans and everything else for Him.  There is nothing we can do to repay Him for His grace and mercy to us.  Even when we forget all things, including us, belong to Him and are for Him, He still loves us and has mercy on us.  Let us remember we are on this earth for Him.  He wants us to develop a personal and intimate relationship with Him.  It is only through that intimate relationship with Him that we can be reshaped into His image.  His image is reflected in the fruits of the Holy Spirit (previous writings talk about the fruit).  The only way we can develop that intimate relationship with Him is by being aware, talking to and listening to the Holy Spirit Whom, Jesus, in His infinite love and mercy, inputs into every believer/follower.  This takes quiet time.  Time when we quit talking so much and start listening more.  If you’ve not experienced this, sit down with the Bible and a note pad.  Read until something really speaks to you and write your thoughts and questions on the note pad.  Then listen and write what you hear.  With practice you will learn to recognize the soft, gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

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.

June 14, 2019

Antidote

Filed under: anger,God,God's Word,grace,Holy Spirit,Jesus,mercy,praise,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:51 pm

Hosea 14:4 4 “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. (NIV)

Most of Hosea deals with the sins of Israel and the punishment for their sin by God.  But, as we read on to the last chapter we find God’s love and mercy are stronger than mankind’s sin.  This is so very encouraging.  As much as we would like not to sin, we are sinners.  We are in a fleshly body with a carnal mind living among other sinners and temptations.  God provide what we can call an antidote for our prone to sinning.  He sent His Word, His Son, Jesus to leave His God-head nature and clothe Himself in a fleshly body to demonstrate to us how God intends for us to live  Knowing we still wouldn’t live that as Jesus demonstrated, God allowed His Son to die as the perfect Lamb for a one time for all sin offering.  Three days later Jesus rose from the death to show us we, through our belief and following Him, can have life eternally with God.  Even though we bear the consequences in the here and now of some of our sins, God forgives and forgets them.  He no longer holds them against us and allows us to have an intimate relationship with Him.  He has every right to be angry with us.  So often we take Him for granted.  So often we treat Him like a Genie in a bottle.  So often our prayers are full of “I wants” rather than praise for Who God is and thanks for what He has done and continues to do for us.  Let us work to be less into ourselves and our wants and more into Who God really is and what He has done and is doing.

May 30, 2019

One Thousand Years

Filed under: forgive,God,grace,mercy,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:46 pm

2 Peter 3:8 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (NIV)

This verse is not easily understood.  We are locked into our physical time and space.  God isn’t.  God is all eternity.  One thing we can learn from this verse is what we do or say in one day, even in one moment of a day, can last and does last into eternity.  Words and actions can’t be taken back.  We all have things we regret saying or doing.  Those things can be forgiven by God when we ask.  It takes God’s grace and mercy to erase those from eternity.  God doesn’t force others to erase those things from their memories.  They can only fade as we appropriate God’s forgiveness through us on others.  Sometimes we end the day saying, “Whew.  I’m glad this day is over.”  The physical day may be over but what we said and did could last into eternity.  Let us be mindful and careful with our words and actions.

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