Ginrich's Devotional Blog

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 7, 2011

Listen

Jn 8:47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

God spoke and all we know came into being.  God still speaks today.  God is always speaking.  He speaks through His creation.  He speaks through His written Word; He speaks through His Holy Spirit.  The problem is not with God speaking.  The problems are with our listening.  We fail to listen for many reasons.  Some don’t really believe God would speak to them.  Some are too busy to listen.  Some just don’t want to hear.  I get excited when someone finally says they heard God speak to them.  He has actually been speaking to them all the time.  They just didn’t recognize His voice.  We can’t recognize the voice of someone we don’t know.  Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and know Him.  We become His sheep through asking Jesus into our hearts and lives and acknowledging Him as God’s Son and the Lord of our lives.  Then we must get to know Him personally.  We do this through the study of the written Word – the Holly Bible – that He provided for us.  As we learn from the written Word we start hearing through our meditation on the Word and through our quiet times in prayer.  Gradually, as we practice listening, we recognize His voice even when we are busy in our daily routine.  We can’t say God doesn’t speak to us.  Let’s open our ears, minds and hearts and listen.  God’s word is in everything around us.  He is speaking.  Let’s listen.

August 4, 2011

Prayer Alone

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed.”—Mark 1:35.

You might question why Jesus needed to get away from everyone to pray.  Surely He was able to pray while ministering to others.  Surely He prayed “on the go.”  Jesus wanted time alone with His Father.  He used that time to praise, worship and listen to His Father as well as interceded for the ministry and people ahead for His day.  John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination learned that principle.  The busier his day was going to be, the earlier he got up to spend even more time in prayer.  Prayer alone with the Father is where we fill up with His Holy Spirit.  Prayer with the Father is where we can freely express our love for Him and receive His love for us.  Prayer with the Father is when we can be quiet, bask in His Presence and hear what He has to say to us.  Keep praying on the go but be sure to take time every day to draw apart, alone with the Father, to share and experience Him.

July 21, 2011

Changeable Directions

 

Jer 43:2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying!  The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there

 

I hope you are reading these devotions on Jeremiah with your Bibles open.  We always need to read what goes before and after certain verses.  This verse describes a man who thinks his opinion is the only right opinion.  Do you know anyone like that?  Perhaps it is also you.  We all go there from time to time.  Church hoppers are there.  Any time a pastor says something they don’t want to hear, something that is different from their own personal hidden agenda, they go hopping off to another church.  Our churches are full of disagreements over little things.  So much so we tend to forget the major thing that unites us – our love by and for Jesus.  Azariah did not want to hear what God was saying.  Azariah had a different hope and agenda.  Just because we can’t see what God has ahead for us doesn’t mean we shouldn’t trust Him when He takes us a different way than we expected.  Faith is putting down the heal of your foot and before the toes are down being willing to hear God say, “turn in this direction instead of that one.”  Let us pray for open hears and hearts and minds.

June 17, 2011

Persistent God

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:04 am
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Nu 22:27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff.

We were each taking one of our favorite scriptures and meditating on it to hear what the Lord would say through it to us on that day.  One of the members picked this verse.  I really like the account about Balaam.  I find it very encouraging for my own listening problems.  God speaks to us directly through His Holy Spirit.  When we don’t hear or respond, He’ll use scripture, circumstances and other people.  What really encourages me if we still don’t respond He has the power to use

anything in His creation to speak to us – even the mouth of a dumb donkey.  Jesus said even the rocks could speak if God so chose.  Our goal should be to hear His quiet inner voice of the Holy Spirit within us and respond to it.  It is so very comforting to know God loves us so very much He is persistent and make sure we, His children, will hear Him one way or another.  I don’t know about you but I want to choose the easiest way – His quiet inner voice.  I pray He continually help me to be more and more attuned.

June 5, 2011

Consequences

 

Eze 44:10 “ ‘The Levites who went far from me when Israel went astray and who wandered from me after their idols must bear the consequences of their sin.

 

So often we make decisions without consulting God.  These decisions can lead us through some pretty hard trials.  God allows us to walk out the results of these decisions to teach us to look to Him for our directions.  Though we must walk out the consequences, we do not walk them alone.  He has promised never to leave us or forsake us even when we choose wrong.  The earlier we realize the decision we made was wrong, the sooner we will tune ourselves to God’s direction in how to walk it out.  The walk will probably not be pleasant or without some kind of pain be it spiritual, mental, emotional, physical or financial but it will teach us and will help us relate and minister to others who make like decisions.  For the walk to be successful we must also remember to ask God’s forgiveness, forgiveness from those we may have hurt because of our choices and forgiveness of ourselves for choosing that direction.  Then we can put it behind us and press on, hopefully being more in tune with God, our Father, our Maker and our Director.

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.

May 10, 2011

Sarah Laughed

Ge 18:12 So Sarah laughed  to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master  is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

God gave a promise and Sarah laughed.  After several years of her not seeing the promised she laughed at, Sarah decided she must help God fulfill it and took matters in her own hands using her servant as a surrogate mother for a child for Abraham.  Later Sarah realized the fulfillment of God’s promise in her own body.  From then on, there has been trouble between two different lines of generations from Abraham.  Before we judge Sarah too harshly for her unbelief of God’s ability to fulfill His promise we must look at ourselves.  The Bible is full of promises from God.  We fail to believe they are for us.  We take many matters into our own hands rather than waiting to see God act.  There is no difference between our actions and Sarah’s laugh and actions.  We must repent and stand on the promises of God.

April 5, 2011

Listen to God

Jn 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

We taught a prayer study group about writing their prayers down.  Then we had them be quiet for a little and then write down what they heard.  Many of them heard God for the first time.  They were delightfully surprised.  It is very helpful to write our prayers from time to time.  Then we must be silent, still ourselves in the Presence of God and be willing to listen to Him.  He wants to talk to us but so often we get busy or distracted and fail to take the time to hear what He wants to say to us.  It is important to write what we hear after praying.  Don’t try to “dress it up” or alter it.  Write only what flows into our minds.  Then, go back and read it and we will discover God has spoken to us.  It sometimes takes a good bit of practice before we readily recognize God’s voice.  He has promised, if we are His sheep and if we listen, we will know His voice.  When we don’t hear it, it is because we are not listening, we have active un-confessed sin between us or we have failed to do what He last told us.  I encourage you to start writing some of your prayers and don’t forget to take time to listen and write what you hear.  For me, anything God says is important to write down so I can review it and meditate on it.  If I trust my memory I find distractions make it fade away quickly.

 

March 29, 2011

Hear God

Isa 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice v  behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

God doesn’t want to read our minds.  He can and knows our thoughts even before we do but He created us to have fellowship with Him and with each other.  He wants us to talk to Him, to tell Him what’s on our minds and to take time to listen to what’s on His mind.  In the quiet of the morning or when ever we choose to have our major prayer time of the day, we need to be sure we give God equal time to speak to us.  He doesn’t speak in an audible voice though He can.  He speaks through His Holy Spirit within us.  We need to take time to write down what is in us.  He puts His word to us in us through His Holy Spirit.  It’s our choice to listen.  Let’s ask ourselves, “Are we listening?”  If not, why?  There is no need to fear for God loves us more than we can ever imagine.  With enough practice in writing what we hear we will learn to hear on the go as well.  Let’s take time today to listen and write what we hear.  Then let us learn to hear throughout our day.

 

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