Ginrich's Devotional Blog

September 6, 2011

Living in Obedience

Jn 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

 

The first words of this verse is “whoever has my commands.”  We cannot have what we don’t know.  It is so important for us to have a habit of regular Bible study to know the commands of God.  Without knowledge we don’t know what to obey.  The next step is to obey the commands.  Obedience is hard when desire is not there.  Without love for God obedience is an empty act and usually will end in failure.  It is God’s love in us and the love He gives us given back to Him that makes it possible for us to obey.  Not only possible, it makes obedience joyful.  Each time we obey our trust in God grows as we experience His faithfulness to keep His promises.  With each step of obedience we become more able to wait on God’s timing, learning through our growing trust that His timing is much better than our own.  With each step of obedience our commitment to follow Him grows stronger.  The more we are obedient, the more we desire to study the Scripture to learn more of God and the more we learn of God the more we experience Him in our daily lives.  The act of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is only the first step.  Growth into Oneness in Him is a life-long process which we must diligently desire to experience the full and abundant life He promises.

 

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August 17, 2011

New Every Morning

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

We easily get discouraged when things are not going our way.  Financial woes, health, relationships and so many other things seem to be able to “get the best of us.”  Our eyes and our minds and consequently our hearts are so very attuned to the material world around us.  Yet, God is so very faithful and desires to renew us with His Holy Spirit every day.  We look at this material world as being so very permanent.  In Texas we say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”  It is so very true of our entire walk on this earth.  In the time of all eternity, our walk on this earth is barely a brief second.  Nothing that can happen in, to or around us should have any power over us.  What really matters is whether our name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  If it is, we are assured of eternal life in the very real presence of God.  That life starts the moment we allow His Son, Jesus, to enter our life.  With that comes God’s peace and joy.  There is nothing on this earth that has the power to make me lose heart.  I know Who is in control.  I know Who is victorious.  I’ve read the last chapter of the Book.  Truly, we can give thanks in everything and keep the joy of the Lord alive and active in our hearts, lives and faces in and through all things.  Let God renew you every morning (and more often through the day if you loose track).  His Spirit in us can truly be new every morning because God is faithful.  His love is steadfast.

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 9, 2011

Ownership

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,Creation,devotion,faith,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:18 am
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Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Today the law reads if someone has an idea or creates something they can get a patent and they are the owners; all rights belong to them.  They may give permission to others to use the item for a cost or for free.  It is their choice.  God created all that was, is or will ever be.  That makes Him the sole owner.  He lets us pretend we own things or ourselves or time but in reality we don’t own a thing.  God just allows us to use the things and ideas and bodies He’s created.  Does He charge us for the use of His “things?”  No.  He paid the entire cost for us.  He did that by sending His Word through Whom He created everything (Jesus Christ) to us to relate better with Him, to see His love in action and to die on the cross taking on the sins of mankind, past, present and future.  What a cost.  What a gift.  What love.  We need to keep in mind all that we are and have belongs to God.  We are only temporary stewards.  How are we caring for what He allows us to use?  Our bodies belong to Him.  How are we caring for our bodies?  How about what we allow to put into our minds or look at with our eyes?  We can apply this principle of God-ownership and us-stewardship to everything in our lives.  When we meditate on this and allow it to sink into us it can’t help but change our outlook on everything and our care of everything.

August 8, 2011

Interruptions

1Jn 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did

We must walk as Jesus walked.  How do we know how He walked?  We have the written word, the Holy Bible, full of examples.  One thing I’ve really noticed.  It didn’t matter where Jesus was going, how urgent it might have been or how tight of “schedule” He might have been on, He always stopped for those who asked.  Many of us are very task oriented.  Many of us are on tight schedule. We don’t like interruptions to our schedules.  When I am in the grocery store I just want to get what I need and get out of there.  I tend to put my blinders on and quite often don’t notice other people.  God’s been teaching me about what I now call “divine interruptions.”  If I have truly given Him my life then that includes my time.  If I truly believe He is in control of all that touches me then I must believe that anything I think is an interruptions is really God calling my attention to something or someone.  I have stopped in various stores to give a hug, hold a hand and/or pray with many people.  I have no interruptions in my “schedule.”  I just don’t always know what God wants in my schedule and must be open to anything at anytime.  If I’m not, I’m the one who misses out on a blessing.  God can always find someone else to flow through.

August 1, 2011

Thirsty

Filed under: Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion,faith,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:13 am
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Ps 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

Have you ever been really thirsty?  If you have, maybe you can relate to this verse of scripture.    How much do we long for a close, personal relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit?  So many of us have no trouble longing for material possessions and/or power.  The amount of people deep in debt attests to the materialistic attitudes.  We see, we want, we get without considering the cost.  At the same time, we consider the cost of really seeking God as being too great.  It interferes with our own desire of the use of our time, talents and money.  All through the Bible we can read accounts of people who were thirsty for God.  There is a song I like, “I keep falling in love with Him, over and over and over and over again….He get’s sweeter and sweeter as the day goes by, oh what a love between my God and I…”.  This is the reward we get when we really seek God with all our mind, hearts, talents, money, time etc.  We experience more of His love and love Him even more.  He said if we seek we would find.  Let’s go on a treasure hunt.

July 28, 2011

Not of the World

Even as He is, so are we in this world.”—1 John 4:17.

This can be a very confusing verse.  It is referring to Jesus being in the world but not of the world.  To be of the world is to be living in the sin-nature of the world.  Those of the world or primarily full of self.  Thos of the world are consumed with the things of the world – material wealth, power, self-pleasures and so on.  Jesus was in the world in that He was here to experience and relate all that we do and are yet without succumbing to the sin-nature of man.  He displayed God on a level we could see and relate with.  We are to be as He is.  We are to be in the world to learn to worship Him and allow Him to work through us and to relate to others but not consumed with the world to be of the world.  This may still be confusing.  I sat under a Christian teacher who said the things of the Spirit are like spaghetti sauce.  Some sticks to the pasta and some doesn’t.  Enjoy what sticks and don’t worry about what doesn’t stick.  As we make more and more room for God’s Holy Spirit within us, renewing our minds with the mind of Christ, more and more of the Holy Spirit and His teaching will stick to us – we’ll understand more and be able to allow more to flow through us.  Learning to be in the world but no longer of the world is a process.  Take and eat what sticks and rest in faith all will be given to you in His timing.

July 27, 2011

For Good

Ro 15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

It happens so often in most all churches.  Someone doesn’t like what someone else does and criticizes them.  Gossip goes around and before long someone’s feelings are hurt and they leave that church.  Our human nature has us looking out for ourselves.  We want things our way and to build ourselves up we tear others down.  That makes us feel better.  We need to take this scripture to heart.  Maybe our way is the right way but it is not worth putting someone else down.  We are to build up our fellow man.  Notice it doesn’t say anything about building ourselves us.  It is a constant battle against our sin nature.  We are told by Jesus to come as little children.  He didn’t say act like little children with the attitude of “it’s my ball so if you don’t play my way I’ll take my ball and leave.”  There are also two sides to our problem.  Not only do we have the problem of making ourselves feel better by putting someone else down, we should also be more forgiving when others hurt us.  Some may hurt intentionally but most hurt because they don’t stop and think or they are hurting themselves.  Next time we’re tempted to voice a negative opinion let’s stop and talk to God about it first.  Next time we feel hurt, lets also stop and talk to God about it.  He is the one we are to please and He tells us to love and to forgive and to bear with the weaknesses of others.

July 24, 2011

Our Example

“I have given you an example, that ye also should do even as I have done to you.”—John 13:15.

Wow.  What a command.  As difficult as it seems, Jesus would not command us to do the impossible.  In and of our own strength it is impossible to follow the example of Jesus as He lived on this earth.  He was without sin.  There is no way we are capable of being without sin.  What example was Jesus telling us about?  What was it He did to us?  He loved us.  He showed us God’s love and how to love God.  Our love of God is demonstrated through our love of others.  Jesus acted in love to all.  We cannot do this without the love of God in us.  God’s love comes into us as we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior and open ourselves up to His Holy Spirit living in and flowing through us.  God is the giver.  All we need is to receive.  In any area of our lives or any relationship in our lives where God’s love is not flowing we need only confess our lack of love and open our heart and mind to God’s love flowing in and through us.  The lack is our unwillingness.  Our unwillingness comes from the desire to put ourselves first– first before God and first before others.  Jesus came to serve us love.  He wants us to pass it on.  Today reach out in love to at least one person you normally do not reach out to.

July 23, 2011

Taste and See

Ps 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

It occurred to me as I was driving to a commitment that I am living my life too fast.  I am hurrying from one thing to another.  I am not taking enough time to taste and see.  I am missing the many miracles God is doing every day.

Each day there are miracles all around us.  If we look we can see His daily miracles in the nature and animal life around us.  If we look and listen we can see His miracles in the people around us.  If we would slow down and taste, we would be more aware of the miracles He is working within us.

In our haste we are depriving our spirit of the food we need – the spiritual food from tasting His miracles.  In our haste, we are hurting our physical bodies, our mental capacities and our emotional health.  God created us in His image.  We need to taste and see for the health of all parts of our being.

When we taste and see we appreciate God and His work more.  As we taste and see our love for Him grows more.  As our love for Him grows more we make more room to receive more of His love.

When we slow down to taste and see the miracles we are more open to see the needs and be available for God to meet a need through us.  He has chosen to use our mouths, our hands and our feet to work some of His miracles.  He didn’t have to do it that way.  He is capable of doing everything by Himself.  But, He loves us enough to allow us to be a part of His working.  We are all born with a need to be needed.  What a glorious gift from God to allow us to think He needs us.  In actually, He wants us because He loves us, not because He needs us.  We need Him.

When we rush to and fro and forget to slow down so we can taste and see, we build up a void within us.  Many seek to fill that void with material wealth, or things, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, food, business and many other ways.  Whatever ways we try to fill that void only serve to create a larger appetite for that way.

We must stop, ask God to show us what we might be feeding on in place of feeding on Him.  Let’s slow down and not miss any of the nourishment God has for our taking.

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