Ginrich's Devotional Blog

January 15, 2020

Change

2 Corinthians 3:18 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  (NIV)

I have a high need for change.  Maybe because I was a military brat and moved to a new place most every year.  My need for change even carries through in the house.  No one in the family would get up in the night without a flashlight because I might have been up re-arranging the furniture.  My desire for changing things is alike to God.  He is continually changing us.  His desire is for us to be like His Son, Jesus so we can be one with Him, one in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This requires change.  Though our salvation is instant the moment we ask Jesus into our mind, heart and life, the change in our heart, mind and life takes time.  As we read, study and meditate on the written word of God, the Holy Bible, we get to know God better and gradually, through the Holy Spirit working in us, we become more and more like God.  When I think back on how I was, spoke, acted and thought, years ago I am amazed at the person I have become today.  Yet, as I look at who I am today and think about who God will make me be tomorrow, I’m even amazed.  My goal is the same as God’s goal for me – to become truly one with God in thought, heart and action.  Change isn’t easy for us – even those who like me like change.  Change occurs not only through reading and meditating on scripture, change comes through walking through trials.  So, when trials come our way, let us praise God for He is in the changing process to make us more one with Him.

January 8, 2020

Not Our Thoughts

Filed under: Bible,God,prayer,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:19 pm

Isaiah 55:8 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  (NIV)

More on God is in control of all.  It isn’t God’s fault if we choose to build our house in a area known for floods or landslides.   A lot of things we blame God for are really because we chose to get in the way of what God planned.  We can’t possibly comprehend God’s plans with our finite minds.  We don’t have the ability to see past, present and future all at one time.  Instead of making decisions without consulting God we would find our lives much simpler if we would always consult Him before making a decision.  We consult Him in several ways: prayer which includes waiting for an answer we can hear, agreement with what is written in the Holy Bible, circumstances and input from others who know us well and also are totally committed to God.  When what we consider adversity hits us we must check to see whether we are involved due to a faulty or hasty decision on our part, being in the wrong place at the wrong time on our part or if God is calling for our complete attention.  Instead of complaining when things get hard let us look to God and ask Him not only the why but what we are to learn through the difficult times.

December 17, 2019

Strong in Heart

Filed under: Bible,discouragment,God,God's Word,heart,love,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:38 pm

Proverbs 3:5 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (NIV)

This is a very hard thing to do.  We want to understand everything around us.  When we hit a block, we get upset because we think we need to understand.  We like to be the problem fixer and to fix a problem we think we need to understand it.  God is of a different mind-set.  He more than understands.  He absolutely knows all answers.  When we go through trials we often ask, why.  Quite often it’s not for understanding but for a “why me” attitude.  When we demand to understand why God allows some things we are showing a lack of trust.  All we need to know is already contained in the pages of the Holy Bible.  Understanding that is necessary is given to us through the Holy Spirit.  When the time is right for us to understand, the Holy Spirit will give us whatever understanding is needed.  Our job is to trust in the Lord with all our heart even when we don’t understand the why of a situation.

October 31, 2019

Joy in Trials

Filed under: God,joy,love,trials,Uncategorized,walk — by ginrich @ 7:12 pm

1 Peter 1:6-9 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NIV)

We don’t like trials.  When faced with a trial our usually response is, “Why me, Lord?”  Actually, that is a good response if we are willing to listen to His answer rather than mean that question as a complaint.  Peter gives us the reason in verses 3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time  Going through trials is one of the ways God teaches us and continues to mold us into the image of Jesus.  As we walk through our trials we learn to listen to God.  As we walk out of our trials we are better able to minister to others who walk through their trials.  As we walk through our trials our faith and trust grow in God.  All these, as we walk through trials, depends on the attitude we have as we walk through the trials.  When a trial comes our way lets do ask God, why me wanting to know what it is God wants us to learn through the trial.  Each trial is for a specific need in our life.  God is faithful and true to His word.  We might not be happy as we walk through our trials but we can keep the glorious joy of the salvation of our soul and the constant presence and provision of God Who loves us more than we can understand..

October 21, 2019

Goliath

Filed under: armor,God,sheep,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:20 pm

1 Samuel 17:41 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David  (NIV)

Please take a minute to read the entire section about David and Goliath before you read any further in this.  Notice all the armor Goliath wore.  There was only a small part of his body exposed, from his forehead to the bottom of his mouth.  Notice also his extreme height.  Also notice he had  a shield bearer.  Shield bearers were only with the archers because they wouldn’t have a free hand to hold a shield.  It was unusual for someone armed as Goliath to have a shield bearer.  Reading on, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:43) He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  If you noticed the description of David he only had one shepherd’s staff, not multiple sticks.  Notice also (1 Samuel 17:44) Goliath said Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!” Putting together Goliath’s height and his apparent double vision, he had a pituitary disease which caused continual growth of the body along with double vision.  He needed the shield bearer in front of him to serve as his eyes.  He needed David to come to him for two reasons.  He couldn’t see David well and he was trained in hand to hand combat.  David was trained to hurl stones from a distance to kill animas that would try to get the sheep.  The Israelites judged Goliath only by what they saw.  We judge our trials by what we see when we focus our eyes on our trials.  David focused his eyes on God and the promises of God.  When we walk through a trial we can be like the Israelites and see a big giant or we can be like David and see God and His promises to always be with us.  It’s our choice.

October 18, 2019

Never Alone

Filed under: faith,God,God's Word,Holy Spirit,Jesus,trials,Uncategorized,Word — by ginrich @ 7:38 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)

Matthew 28:20 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Often when we go through a trial we feel God has left us.  We feel we are on our own.  It seems God isn’t answering our prayers.  Jesus understands our feelings.  He felt forsaken on the cross.  But after He rose from the dead He told the disciples (and us) that He is with us always, to the very end of the age.  The earth is still here and Jesus is still with us.  He is more than with us.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to be in us.  That’s even better than being with us.  Our emotions will feel we’7re alone from time to time but we can choose to stand in faith that as believers and followers of Jesus, the very Word of God and His only begotten Son, through Whom the universe, all that was, is and will ever be was created are never alone no matter how we feel.  Emotions come and go but faith is a choice  Let us, in all circumstances, choose faith.  We are never without the Holy Spirit for once He comes into us, He stays in us.  We only need to pay attention to Him.

October 1, 2019

Walking on Water

Filed under: faith,heart,Holy Spirit,Jesus,ministry,trials,Uncategorized,walk — by ginrich @ 7:25 pm

Matthew 14:29-30 29 “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.    But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (NIV)

Most of us concentrate on Peter losing faith and falling into the water.  We must remember there were 11 other disciples in the boat.  None of them even thought about stepping out in faith onto the water to come to Jesus.  It took a lot of faith to make that first step.  So often we also have a surge of faith and take the first step.  But when we take our eyes off of Jesus and concentrate on looking at the trial as Peter did, we also lose faith and start to fail in our endeavor.  The quicker we refocus on Jesus rather than the trial at hand, the quicker we will arise above the water (the trial).  Faith is a matter of choosing where our eyes, minds and hearts will focus.  Let us choose to keep our focus on Jesus.  Let us always be willing to step out in faith when He says come (or go do…) for the Holy Spirit will always equip us with whatever is needed to walk on the top of the water of any trial or ministry that Jesus tell us to come.

September 5, 2019

Scattering

Filed under: God,Jesus,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:47 pm

 

Acts 8:4 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.  (NIV)

Many ask why God allows His children to be persecuted.  When things are going our way we tend, by sinful nature, to become complacent.  It takes trials like persecution to move us into action.  If the early followers of “the Way” weren’t persecuted “the Way” would have remained in Jerusalem.  Scattering from persecution was what spread the Gospel of Good News around the world.  Today, in countries where there is little persecution, so many confessing Christians are complacent.  They take their freedom of worship as a given.  In countries where people are being imprisoned, beaten or killed for confession Jesus, new believers are added daily.  Being willing to stand firm against persecution says that the belief is worth their life and that speaks volumes to those watching.  The early apostles asked for prayer not for their lives to be protected but for their ability and strength to stand firm to the way of eternal life – Jesus, the only way and mediator between God the Father and mankind.  Let us learn to be bold while we are still somewhat free to do so.  Jesus stands for us before the Father so we should stand for Him before mankind.

August 26, 2019

Joseph’s Trials

Filed under: God,Holy Spirit,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:15 pm

Genesis 45:5 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.  (NIV)

The story of Joseph has much to teach us.  Though this statement he made in the above verse attributes all the trials he endured as part of God’s plan, I’m sure he didn’t feel that way as he went through the various trials.  Go back into Genesis and read the full story of Joseph.  He was the youngest son and the favorite of his father.  He was very vocal about the dreams he had, almost to the point of boasting.  His brothers plotted to kill him but then sold him into slavery in a foreign land.  He became a trusted slave but then was falsely accused and put into prison.  He befriended 2 people in prison and interpreted their dreams with a promise he would be remembered yet he was forgotten for some time.  Finally, he was put into the position God intended.  What he had to go through to get there was quite an ordeal.  We often question God when we go through difficult times.  As we go through our various trials we have no idea why.  Often we beg God to get us out of the trial quickly.  It can be quite some time after the trial before God shows us what we were to learn or why we had to go through it to get to a particular place.  We must hang on to the verse in James and quietly endure our trials with an open mind and heart, listening to the Holy Spirit’s instructions on how to walk through the trials rather than get out of them.  We have God’s promise He will never leave us or forsake us.  Instead of complaining about our trials, let’s embrace them and flow with God in the direction He is taking us.

August 16, 2019

Eyes Focused

Filed under: God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Jew,trials,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:07 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)

Stephen had just finished sharing the history of Jews and their relationship with God and His bringing them salvation from their continual disobedience through Jesus Christ when the crowd turned upon him and began stoning him to death.  Instead of looking at his circumstances, Stephen kept his eyes on God.  What a beautiful vision God gave him as he was passing from this earthly life to his eternal home in the very presence of God.  We can learn so much from Stephen.  We tend to focus our eyes and all our attention on our present circumstances.  We take comfort in complaining to all who will listen how hard things are or how much pain we’re in.  Keeping our eyes focused on our trials interferes with our seeing and hearing what God has for us through the trials and after the trials.  Instead of complaints, let us turn and keep our eyes on God and our ears tuned to the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit living in us.

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