Ginrich's Devotional Blog

August 31, 2013

Belong and Serve

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Acts 27:23. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me

What a beautiful statement from the apostle, Paul. He stated he belonged to God and served God. In this world we are consumed with being “our own man.” We strive for independence and self-satisfaction. We regard life as being about “me, me, me.” We make vows to God and our churches saying we will support our churches with our prayers, our presence, our service and our giving, but don’t consistently follow through. We do just enough to be able to say we did. Jesus gave His all for us. We did nothing to deserve it. We can do nothing to earn it. Jesus did it out of obedience to the Father and love for us. Our question is how can we hold back? We either love Him enough to give Him our all or we choose to place ourselves first. To whom do we belong and who do we choose to serve?

December 4, 2012

Not the only Season

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 1:5-6  During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous in the sight of God,

Now Elizabeth comes into the picture.  She is also from a long line of priests.  Scripture says she was considered to be righteous but she was without a child which was considered a big blemish on a woman. Apparently her righteous life kept her from being judged by that stigma.  When Zechariah comes home mute from his temple service Elizabeth is probably stunned.  He has to write motes to tell her what happened.  Unlike her husband, Elizabeth believes the angel’s message from God.  Apparently she believes strongly enough to follow through with what is necessary for it to come about.  In a few months she is carrying the promise of God.  We can only imagine the changes God would have to make if Elizabeth did not believe and did nothing to carry through for the fulfillment of God’s promise.  Our question is are we believing the promises of God not only through our faith but also through our actions?  God says to tithe 10% of all we have.  He says in addition we should also give.  He says this not because He needs this but because we need to do this.  During this season even those who don’t normally give change and give to the needy.  it makes them feel good.  We have another question to face.  Is this season the only season for giving?  Let us carry the season of  Advent with us every day of the year.  It all belongs to God anyway, not us.  Let us listen to His Holy Spirit and give when we see a need cross our path.  God is faithful to supply our needs.

April 3, 2012

Give to Caesar or God

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 20:25 “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s (The Holy Bible, New International Version.)

Even though the cross is in sight of Jesus, He continues teaching. The religious leaders continue trying to trap Him into saying the wrong thing. Here they are trying to get Jesus to say it is wrong to pay taxes – which money should go to the temple. We seem to think that the tithe is only about money. God already owns all in creation. He does not need anything. We do use money to maintain places to come together and worship and for things to help us learn. We also use money to give to others in need of food, housing, etc. But the tithe, what Jesus wants us to give to God, encompasses more than money. He wants our hearts, our minds and our time. None of that is really ours but we are in possessions of hearts mind and time because of His grace. He is asking us to be wise stewards of all of our being and give all to God through obedience and worship. We are to be honest in our taxes paying to our country what is due. We are also to be honest in our churches. We don’t go to church to see what we can get out of it or what it can do for us. We go to give ourselves to God. Yes, we give our money tithes and offerings but we must be sure we give our time and talents with a thankful heart to God for His allowing us to use the time and talents on this earth as we learn more of Him. Our question is what is our attitude in our giving of anything?

March 13, 2012

I Want

Filed under: Christ,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:05 am
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Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

We are a materialistic people. We are consumed with “I wants.” We have a 5-year-old granddaughter who says “I want that” for every toy commercial she sees on TV. We may not give voice to it like she does but we all struggle with the “I wantites.” In one of the churches we were in there was a family who lost everything in a fire. The call was put out for household goods. A friend of mine ours went into her linen closet, moved some new sheets still in their wrapping and picked out a set of old sheets to give. As she was taking them out of her linen closet she her God’s inner voice say, “You give to me from your old and worn out rather than from your best?” She put the old sheets back and picked out the new sheets. I have been guilty giving canned food we don’t want or like to pantries. We want to keep the best for ourselves and just give our leftovers or don’t wants to others. What we fail to realize is when we give to others we are giving to God. Our question is what do we want to give to the One Who gives us His all?

November 23, 2011

Giving Generously

Deuteronomy 15:10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

What a beautiful promise.   God will bless us in all our work and in everything we put our hand (effort) to.  However, as with most promises, this comes with a stipulation.  We must give to others generously and without a grudging heart.  In these hard times many have trouble doing this.  Many scarcely have enough for food, can’t find jobs, don’t have housing.  How are they to give?  What do they have to give?  Giving is not limited to money or material things though they are definitely included.  We can give of our labor.  We can give of our time.  We can give our prayers of intercession.  Give a visit or phone call to someone who is lonely.  Give an encouraging word to someone who is downhearted.  It is a generous heart that God values and a willingness to give out of whatever we have.  My favorite gift from my children was a coupon with an extra chore on it for me to redeem whenever I wanted to.  Regardless of our finances, our material possessions, our heath or any other circumstances we all have something we can give to another.  Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, let us thank God for what we do have and share it generously and happily with others.

November 10, 2011

Giving Our Best

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:03 am
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Dt 15:10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to

We are entering into a very busy time of year.  It is also a giving time of year.  Our church is at work making up Thanksgiving baskets for families in the community who are in need.  Many of us have been asked to donate a turkey along with the can food and boxed food we signed up to donate.  Being made aware of needs reminds me of a friend of mine.  A family had their house and all their possessions burn and she was part of the group asked to donate household items.  She opened her linen closet, move a set of new sheets out of the way and proceeded to grab a used set.  Then she heard the quiet voice of God’s Holy Spirit.  “I’m not worth the best you have to give?  I gave you My best.”  She put back the used sheets and gave the new ones.  So often we give only of our excess or the things we no longer want.   I’m so glad God gave us of His best.  There is no way I can ever give enough.  God did not give grudgingly.  He gave out of love.  As we go through this giving season (and on into the next year) let us be sure we give generously out of our love for God and for His children.  Let it not be a time of cleaning out what we don’t want but sharing what we cherish with others.

August 16, 2011

Open Our Mouth

Mark 7:32–35 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Once again we see Jesus spit combined with touch.  But what strikes me about these verses is that Jesus looked up to heaven with a deep sigh.  He must have been tired.  Not only physically from the constant press of people wanting something from Him, but also spiritually from given forth so much.  After He looked up to heaven He only needed to say one word – open.  What power.  In this instance Jesus took the man aside.  I imagine He was moving him away from so much noise.  We also need to move away from so much noise.  We are surrounded with all sorts of noise.  We need to take time away in the quiet and look up to heaven.  We need to pray, listen, meditate, study the scripture and be prepared to open our mouths in love and ministry to those around us.  We are quick to open our mouths to gossip, criticize and complain.  We need to open them to praise, uplift and spread the love and light of God to those around us.  Let us take time alone with God regularly so when we are amidst the noise of this world we can open our mouths and speak plainly of God.

August 3, 2011

Full Joy

“A now commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”—John 13:34.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, even as I have loved you.”—John

15:12.

 

This command is so very important Jesus gives it twice.  We can find lots of reasons not to love someone: they irritate us, they talk too much, they’re not nice, they smell, the list could go on and on.  We can find one major reasons to love one another – Jesus commanded it.  How can we not love anyone He loves?  You say, He doesn’t have to be around them?  He is more around them than you can ever be.  How can we show His love instead of avoiding them?  First we start with prayer.  It’s hard to keep from loving someone we pray for on a regular basis.  With prayer comes the realization we are all in the same family.  This person is related to us because of the relationship to God.  As we start reaching out in love we can discern needs that might make that person act the way they do: talk too much – lonely, smell – low income or physical handicap, irritate us – we could be expecting too much.  Granted it is not easy to take the time to reach out in love.  It wasn’t easy for Jesus to reach out His arms on the cross out of love for us.  He did it.  He has given us His Holy Spirit so we can stretch out our arms and take in all He sends our way.  Pray and reach out.  There is a promise with this commandment.  I sing it a lot. “This is my commandment that ye love one another THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”  If your joy is not full today, check out and see whom God wants you to reach out and love today.

May 19, 2011

Who Are You Working For?

Lk 12:43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns

My question today is are you working for God or are you expecting God to work for you.

We are so full of “God, do this or give me that.”  We are not here on this earth for God to work for us.  We are here to serve God.  If you are like me, you are far from a servant attitude.  We have fallen into a trap that life is about us, our needs and our wants.  Life is God.  He is the Author and Finisher of life.  Without Him there is no life.  We must first desire God.  Then we must desire to be in His will for our lives.  His will is for us to love and obey Him.  He chooses to work through our minds, eyes, mouth, hands and feet.  This is not for His benefit.  He doesn’t need us.  He can do it all by Himself.  He has chosen to do some of His work through us.  This is an awesome privilege.  We need to be willing to develop a servant’s heart and really put God first in our minds, hearts, words and actions.  Jesus learned obedience through serving.   How much more do we need to learn obedience trough serving God.

February 17, 2011

Lay Down Your Life

John 15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

This verse is referring to Jesus, going to death on the cross, as a substitute for what we deserve for our sins.  That is definitely the ultimate love.  But there are many ways we can lay down our lives for our friends.  We see life as time.  We are very protective of “our” time.  Many of us are so scheduled and busy it upsets us when traffic, illness or any other event upsets our time schedule.  There are times we can best show our love for someone by dropping everything in our time schedule and giving that person our time.  They may only need a few minutes or they may need several days.  I’ve already written about how “our time” belongs to God.  We mostly recognize that with our heads but taking action is harder to do.  When we do allow what I like to call “Devine interruptions” many times we only go through the motions but our heart and mind is really on what we were interrupted from doing.  I pray for me and I hope you pray for you to be more flexible and sensitive to “divine interruptions” and be joyous God has chosen you to interrupt for a greater good.

 

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