Ginrich's Devotional Blog

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.

May 5, 2019

God is God

Filed under: Christ,commands,God,God's Word,grace,Jesus,mercy,Obey,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

Hebrews 7:18 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (NIV)

The law of circumcision and obeying all the laws will not save us.  We aren’t capable of obeying all the laws in our own sinful nature.  It is only God’s grace that can save us from our sinful nature.  God chose to save us through our trust and faith in His Word made flesh in the Person of Jesus Christ.  There is no way we can every be righteous or good enough.  In our fleshly state, we are weak.  Our efforts to do good or to do God’s work are useless.  The only good we can do is to allow God to do His work through us.  God’s grace is available to all.  God desires all to come under His grace.  But, as with all God’s promises, there is a condition.  The only way we can come under God’s grace is through His Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.  God made all that is and that give Him the only authority to set the rules and bounds.  Nothing we can do can ever change Who God is or what God chooses.  God is God and we are only able to relate to Him through His mercy and grace.  We try to obey but must lean on God’s love and forgiveness.  People say that’s prejudice to say there is only 1 way.  That is set by God.  Let’s make sure everyone knows the 1 way to God’s grace and mercy.

April 20, 2019

Broken Heart

Filed under: God,heart,Holy Spirit,Jesus,mercy,Messiah,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

John 19:26 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” (NIV)

Can you possibly imagine watching your child, the one you gave birth to, the one you fed, taught and raised to adulthood, being taunted, beaten and nailed to a cross?  I can’t imagine such pain.  I know I wouldn’t be able to keep quiet.  Yet, Mary was there and was quiet.  I’m sure she must have had tears running down her cheeks but she remained quiet throughout the entire trial.  There is probably a very good reason for her remaining quiet.  She knew, without a doubt, her son, Jesus, was the Son of God.  She had faith in God and knew He would work good through all of this.  That doesn’t stop her heart from hurting.  We have many trials we have to walk through that hurt our hearts.  Our question is, do we blame God for our trials or do we look to Him knowing He is right with us and will help us get through the trials.  Even when our heart is breaking, do we remain in the peace of God that passes all human understanding?  We either believe God or we don’t.  There is no half way.  We can’t only believe Him when all is good for us.  Our belief must be consistent.  Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to completely abide in us and let us choose to continually abide in the Father and the Son.

April 3, 2019

Lack of Knowledge

Filed under: Bible,commands,faith,God,grace,Holy Spirit,mercy,Obey,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:24 pm

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

God doesn’t want us to lack knowledge.  Faith in Him is not contradictory to knowledge.  He wants us to study His written word, the Holy Bible.  In those pages we find all the instructions we need for a full, abundant life.  As we read and study we must listen to the Holy Spirit for understanding.  Knowledge of facts without understanding and application is useless.  Knowledge just for the sake of knowledge is of little value.  God has given us the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.  The Old Testament is full of examples of mistakes in walking in obedience to God and His word.  Today we have no excuse for a lack of knowledge.  Holy Bibles are readily available in the United States and in many other countries.  The day is coming when they might not be so available so it is even more necessary to use the time we have to put the knowledge God has recorded for us into our minds and hearts.  Let us be sure we don’t lack the knowledge God has lovingly and mercifully supplied.

March 21, 2019

Recognize Who God Is

Filed under: Christ,confess,Father,forgive,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,mercy,prayer,sin,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

2 Peter 3:18 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

When we pray do, we spend most of our prayer time asking for things.  We want to be comfortable.  We want this or that for our convenience.  We are to pray we will continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  If we need to go through a trial to grow, praise God.  But though we do ask for things, and this is okay to do, we need to spend most of our time in praise and words of love, bring glory to God.  We tend to concentrate on the Father image, the Daddy love, of God which sometimes leads us to forgetting Who God really is.  It is only by His grace and mercy through His Son, Jesus that we can approach Him, speak to Him, ask Him and praise Him.  We really don’t have a full concept of how mighty, powerful and all-consuming God is.  Yes, He is our Father if we have come to Him through Jesus, yet, He is still God.  Let us approach Him with praises and thanks on our lips and, only after we have confessed our love for Him and confessed our sin, ask for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit for help in changing our direction in the things we con Ifess, should we turn our attention on our needs and wants.  He already knows our needs and wants but, as Jesus asked the blind man what he wanted, God wants us to voice our wants to Him.  Let us remember ACTS in our prayers.  Acknowledge and acclaim Who God is, Confess our sin, Thank Him for forgiveness and for all He has done for us, the finally Supplicate – ask for things we need and want.

March 18, 2019

Smug

Filed under: forgive,God,mercy,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:28 pm

Jonah 4:1 1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. (NIV)

I hope you will take a few minutes to refresh yourself by reading the entire short account of Jonah.  Jonah was angry with God.  Jonah, in resentful obedience to God told Nineveh they would be destroyed because of their sin, Jonah wanted to see that was done.  So often we want to see others pay for the wrong they’ve done.  Revenge feels good to our sinful existence.  We like to forget we are also sinners.  We have done thing that have hurt other people.  God has forgiven us.  We know God also forgives others but, in our sinful nature, we resent that.  It makes us feel better, in our sinful nature, to see others get what we think they should deserve.  In our spirits we know we aren’t any better than the others but we like to think we are.  Seeing other get punished makes us feel better about ourselves.  I use to be gleeful when passing someone who’s been pulled over by police.  How smug of me.  I am occasionally guilty of speeding.  Instead of feeling smug, I should be glad they were stopped before getting into an accident and say “except for the grace of God that could be me.”  Let us learn to really love our fellow sojourners on this earth and pray they will come to know the merciful forgiveness of God.

March 1, 2019

Grumbling

Filed under: anger,God,mercy,praise,suffering,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 8:43 pm

Philippians 2:14 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (NIV)

Wow.  No grumbling and no arguing.  There are so many things about which we like to grumble.  My biggest one is what I consider to be bad weather.  Along with this verse we might combine Philippians 4:11  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (NIV)  If we are grumbling about anything we are not being content.  The same is true when we argue.  Doing either of these implies we don’t believe God is in control of all that touches us.  No matter what we face, there is always a positive side to anything we consider to be an adversity.  Suffering, something most of us don’t really experience, produces endurance and faith.  We tend to grumble about the most inconsequential of things.  Instead of being negative, let’s always look for the positive in and through all situations we face.  Instead of arguing, let us remember arguing doesn’t change anyone’s mind but does hurt relationships.  In all we do and in all we experience, let us maintain an attitude of praise and thanksgiving to God for His grace and mercy.

 

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