Ginrich's Devotional Blog

February 14, 2013

Lent

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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2 Peter 1:5. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge;

Today is the first day of Lent.  This season is usually considered as a time to give up something we do.  This time I will concentrate and what I should add to my daily schedule rather than what I should give up.  We have some suggestions in this Scripture verse: add excellence to our faith and excellence to our knowledge.  First we look at the preceding verse to fund the reason to do this.  (2 Peter 1:4) “Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.” The means to grow excellence is God’s Holy Spirit.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit we can grow in the knowledge of God and with the growth of knowledge our faith grows.  As our knowledge and faith from our desire for the things the world desires fade and our desire for God increase.  The question today is do you want to join me for this search in growth?

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March 26, 2012

Balance

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:28 am
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Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” ( New International Version)

I’ve written about the Mary/Martha contradiction before (see archives).  Most of us are a mixture of the two personalities.  In our busy electronic age it is becoming even more a challenge not to be distracted.  Keeping a healthy balance mentally emotionally physically and spiritually takes effort.  It would not be so hard on us if we would put our prayer life into proper perspective.  In our pride we think we are capable of making most decisions on our own.  We only need to consult God on the really big things.  Surely he doesn’t want us to ask about everything.  As we grow in fellowship and obedience with God we do learn what decisions to make in line with His will and purpose for our walk on this earth.  This is a learning process.  I’ve found the more time I spend with the Lord through Bible study, prayer and meditation, the more time I want to spend with Him.  I pray during this Lenten season we are all developing good habits that will produce a Christ-centered, God-balanced walk. 

March 10, 2012

Glass Globe

Filed under: Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:58 am
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Luke 11:36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Jesus said this after being asked for more miracles to prove to the doubters who He is. He spoke about hiding lights. When we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord His Holy Spirit comes into us and lights us with His Light and Power. I think of us as a glass globe for His light. When He first enters our glass globe is dirty. Gradually, as we learn to walk with Him in obedience, areas of our glass globe become clean. In those clean areas His light is able to shine brightly to be seen by all. During this time of Lent is a good time to ask God to show us areas within our hearts, minds and lives that are still dirty. I find cleaning that glass globe is a continuing process. Sometimes the areas that have already been clean get a little dingy. This happens when we fail to stay into His Word, fail to talk with Him through prayer and meditation and/or fail to assemble with other believers to be strengthened and encouraged in our walk with God. The question is are we willing to continually allow God’s scrub brush of trials to clean our glass globe so His Light can shine brightly through us? I pray we all say, “Yes, Lord, clean away all within that would hide or even dim Your Light.”

March 4, 2012

Mercy

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:04 am
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Luke 10:37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Jesus taught through parables. Defined in “ Wikipedia”, “a parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or (sometimes) a normative principle. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy” Jesus used this method to help our finite, carnal minds understand the spiritual things of God. This quote is from the parable of “The Good Samaritan.” You’re probably familiar with it. Jesus is stressing the imprtance of mercy. God had mercy on us. That’s why He sent Jesus to walk this earth and sacrifice for us. We tend to prefer to judge and condemn others. We deserve God’s condemnation yet He continues to love us, forgive us and encourage us to walk with Him. How can we, as sinners, do less for God’s other humans whom He loves and forgives. As we see people who are different or act different from us let us remember but for God’s grace, we could be in the same difficulty as they are or act even more odd than they are. We have not walked in anyone else’s shoes. We are not to judge but to have mercy for others. To have mercy we must be willing to reach out and lend a helpful, loving hand. If we will only be sensitive to God’s gentle proddings through His Holy Spirit within us, we will know who and when and how to reach out to help. Let us be sensitive to Him today. Let’s reach out to someone in love and encouragement.

March 3, 2012

Book of Life

Luke 10:20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Jesus was speaking to the 72 other disciples He was sending out to minister in the same way He was ministering. He gave them the power of the Holy Spirit to do miraculous healings and deliverances. Yet, He said not to rejoice about the power He gave them. They were to rejoice in the fact that their names were written in the Book of Heaven. All creation faces death. It is only through the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we, God’s human creation in His image, can pass through human death into eternal life. We don’t really understand or appreciate it on this side of death. We are consumed with all the things related to living in carnal flesh and blood. We don’t usually think about why we were created. God created us to fellowship with Him for all eternity. We chose to turn our backs on Him. We do this many times a day. We fail to fellowship with Him by not listening to Him, not following and walking with Him and going about our own ways in our own carnal desires. Lent is a time for us to review where we are in our fellowship with God. Who is first on our minds when we wake up from a night’s sleep? Who is last on our minds before we drift off to sleep? Who do we look to for direction throughout our day? Today let us acknowledge and confess our continual consumption with self and thank God for His grace and love. Let us breathe in the power of His Holy Spirit and walk in obedience and fellowship with Him as we rejoice, not in what we might think we are doing on this earth, but rejoice in the knowledge God has our names in His Son’s Book of Eternal Life.
fellowship

February 28, 2012

Resolute

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 6:51 am
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Luke 9:51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

The word “resolute” means admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. Jesus knew what was facing Him in Jerusalem. He knew He would be rejected and betrayed by one of His own disciples. He knew He would be beaten and crucified. He knew His Father would have to turn His face away as Jesus bore the sins of all mankind. Yet He purposefully set out for Jerusalem. He knew His purpose on this earth and He purposefully and determinedly set out to accomplish it. God gave each of us a purpose on this earth. We are to learn of Him, worship and praise Him and shed His Light to all those around us. Our question is how resolutely are we doing this? Most of us don’t face physical abuse but only inconvenience to our own selfish desires yet our resolves wavers. We are to resolve unwaveringly. We can only do this to the degree we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and to flow through us. Today let us ask God to fill us deeper that we may unwaveringly resolve to shed His Light to those around us.

February 27, 2012

Temptations

Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

We have looked at the three temptations of Jesus. These three temptations cover all temptations: hunger for the wrong things, worship of the wrong things, pride and materialism. Jesus was tempted in all that we are tempted. We may not be taken up on a high panicle and told to jump tempt God with our careless and dangerous choices. We may not have been offered to possess all that is in the world and rule over it but we do desire more and more possessions and we do want to rule over someone or something. Through all these temptations Jesus faced, He defeated them through quoting scripture. Do we even know scripture well enough to recall it when we are faced with a temptation? Do we even recognize a temptation? A temptation is anything that would separate us from our unity with God. Today is a day to contemplate and ask God to show us areas where we have given into temptations and made him less than first place in our minds, hearts and desires. Be honest. We all have those places in us. After confession and forgiveness let us resolve to be into God’s written word, The Holy Bible, more so we can recognize temptations and stand against them.

February 25, 2012

Pride

Matthew 4:6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

The second temptation was the Pride of life. While the first temptation was aimed to war against man using the weak flesh, the second was geared to war against the human spirit and its pride and haughtiness. This temptation aims for those who are strong, who have life of church involvement, and practice the church rites and rituals. When we boast, and show pride because of our dedication to church events, the gifts God has given us and His work in our life; we are living a false life of piety. Satan tempted Jesus misusing the scripture twisting it to imply that one can jump from the top of a pinnacle and not be hurt. We have seen many who appear on the top of their world give into a temptation because they considered themselves above temptation. They considered themselves as being above all. Then we see them fall. All of us are tempted with pride from time to time. It is a false pride because it covers up our deep-rooted feelings of not being good enough or doing good enough. God says our goodness is as filthy rags. We can never, in and of ourselves, be good enough or do good enough. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus and through God’s grace that any good can come out of us and that good is because God graciously gives us the gift of His Holy Spirit. Today is a day to contemplate areas where we have built up too much pride. Today is a day to acknowledge that without God in us, we are nothing. The hardest part is being honest with ourselves. Then, after confession we must accept God’s forgiveness, forgive ourselves and move on using the gifts and grace God gives us and give the credit and glory to God.

February 24, 2012

Bread of Life

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:53 am
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Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

When Jesus was in the wilderness fasting for forty days in preparation for His ministry Satan tempted him. The first temptation was food. After 40 days Jesus was extremely hungry. He knew His source of food was doing God the Father’s will above all else. He knew that the spirit would starve if the only food we ate was the “bread of the land.” He knew we must digest the words from God to keep our spirits alive and healthy. Yes, our physical bodies need food and God sent His angels down after Jesus defeated Satan by not giving in to temptation. Temptation is not sin. Giving into it is sin. Anytime we put anything material ahead of God it is sin. During lent lets be sure we have our priorities straight. Even when our bodies need the food of this earth we can put God first by taking time to thank Him for the ability of this earth to grow the food. Let us make a habit of doing this any and every time we eat anything. Doing this helps to keep our priorities straight and also helps to make us aware of when we are putting food into our mouths.
ministry

February 23, 2012

Forty Days

Genesis 7:12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights

Exodus 24:18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights

Numbers 13:25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Matthew 4:2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry

Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Why does Lent last 40 days? This is a very significant time of preparation in both the Old and New Testaments. There are many other references in addition to the ones I’ve quoted here. All of the deal with preparation for something: 40 days of rain to prepare the earth for renewal, 40 days on the mount for Moses to receive the 10 commandments, 40 days for the Hebrew spies to search out the land in preparation for the Hebrews to enter and occupy it. Most significant for us is the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in preparation for His revealing His ministry as the Son of God and the culmination of the atonement for our sins. He balances it with another 40 days after His resurrection in preparation for the building up of the Church. Now we take 40 days to prepare ourselves to become more mature in our faith and ministry. Each one of us is called into ministry – ministering the Word, Light and Love of God to all those He brings into our path. We take time to prepare by refreshing in this way 2 times a year: Lent and Advent. Why do we need this? If Jesus, God’s Son, needed to do this how much more do we need to take these times to slow us down from the clutter of this world and renew our minds and spirits to “be about our God’s (our Father’s) business. Let us renew so we can go and serve preparing all for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

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