Ginrich's Devotional Blog

January 27, 2013

Jesus Calling

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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John 11:28. And when she had said this, Martha went and called her sister Mary, saying privately, “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 

Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s brother, had become critically ill.  The sisters sent word to Jesus to come quickly.   Lazarus died and was buried.  Four days later Jesus arrives.  Martha is at the gravesite with the mourners but Mary remains in their house grieving alone.  Jesus calls for Mary. Jesus is calling for each one of us to come.  We, like Mary, may think our pleas to God aren’t being heard or answered but God promised He would never leave us alone.  God knows when, where and what we need.  It is not for us to sit in self-pity wishing things were different.  Jesus is calling us to a faith of action.  Take time to read all of John 11.  Our question is will we trust God?    

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December 17, 2012

Treasured

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christ,Christian,devotion — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 2:19  But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean. 

We go back to Mary, the virgin who gave birth to Jesus.  She looked and listen to all that was happening to and around her and all that was said to and around her and treasured them.  She did not understand what it all meant.  She had no idea that her Son would end up dying for our sins.  She just kept everything in her heart as a treasure and wondered at them.  We too can treasure all we read, see and hear God doing.  But we can understand some of it because God has given us His Holy Spirit.  We have the wonderful treasure of His written word, the Holy Bible.  Our question is do we treasure it?  Do we treasure it enough to read it and contemplate on the meaning?  When we read it in prayer God will give us understanding of how to apply  what we read for where we are in our walk with Him on this earth.  Let us more than treasure and ponder.  Let us meditate, praise worship and obey.

December 10, 2012

Simeon

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christmas,devotion,God's Word,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 2:25  Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon who was righteous and devout, looking for the restoration of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Simeon was looking for the Messiah, the salvation not only of the Hebrews but of the gentiles as well.  Jesus was not born with a halo around His head.  He looked pretty much like any other baby.  Yet the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon to recognize the One he was looking for and to prophecy over Him.  He acknowledge Jesus was here for all man kind, not just the Jews.  Imagine the amazement, confusion and fear of Mary and Joseph as Simeon prophesied.  “This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own soul as well.”  There was no way for them to really understand what this prophecy meant but ending with the sword piercing their soul must have put some fear and concern into their hearts and minds.  I know it would mine.  Simeon was so sure this was the One he was looking for that he asked God to let him pass on.  He was old and tired and now he considered all his purpose for being on this earth was complete.  He has seen the promised savior.  Our question is are we as confident as Simeon?  Have we seen the Savior of all mankind?  Jesus didn’t come to save one class or one culture of people.  He cane to save each and every individual regardless of how they look, how they thought, what they did or any other characteristic.  God created all mankind and loves all mankind.  Who are we to do less?  Let us reach out in God’s love to someone we don’t know today.

December 7, 2012

Caesar Augustus

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christmas,devotion,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 2:1  Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire  for taxes.

Caesar Augustus commanded all citizens go to the place their forefathers came from and register.  Joseph and Mary both came from the lineage of David so they had to travel to Bethlehem.  They would never have undertaken a trip like that this close to the delivery of her baby.  It is amazing how God can use even those who are not believers.  Without this edict from Augustus Jesus would have been born in Nazareth  instead a the prophecies for-told, in Bethlehem.  Scripture says even the rulers of the countries are there by the hand of God.  We are to pray for them and obey them as long as they do not take away our freedom to worship our God.  Our question is are we in the group of unbelievers being used unaware by God or are we in the group of believers making ourselves consciously aware of God using and flowing through us?  Let us pay attention to God’s workings through and around us.

December 6, 2012

Mary and Elizabeth

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christ,Christmas,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 1:39-40   In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariahs house and greeted Elizabeth.

Mary needed some time to think.  She was told her elderly cousin, Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant and knew she would need some help so she made the long  2 day + walk to see her cousin.  As soon as Mary got there Elizabeth felt her child move in such a way and she was filled with a prophecy of the Holy Spirit and, without being told by Mary what had happened, she acknowledge Mary was to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah.  Tradition believes Mary stayed with Elizabeth until John was born.  I’m sure the two women did a lot of talking and sharing about the miracles of God, the Creator.  I imagine they questioned why He would choose them for such honors.  God still chooses people to serve in unique and sometimes very normal ways.  Our question is are we willing for Him to reveal to us how He wants us to serve in any way that comes to us?  When we see a need come into our path do we choose to pass on thinking someone else will meet that need?  Let us be more open to any need God allows us to see during our walk each day.  Let us be the ones willing to have God meet the need through us.  What a glorious blessing for God to trust us enough to meet a need through us.

December 5, 2012

Mary

Filed under: Advent,Bible,Christ,Christmas,devotion,Jesus — by ginrich @ 1:00 am
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Luke 1:30
So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God

Wow, Mary, a young teenager, had found favor with God.  Imagine how she must have felt.  It was awesome just to see and hear an angel messenger from God speak to her.  I would think she was very  perplexed.  Women were not considered to be important yet God was signaling her out as being favored by Him.  She continued to listen to the angel and was shocked to hear she would bear God’s Son.  That through the Holy Spirit she would become pregnant.  This was troubling not only because of the miraculous way this was to happen but because of the danger she would be in when others found out about the pregnancy.  In those days, an unmarried girl would be stoned to death for being pregnant.  She was engaged but not yet married.  But read on in your Bibles and see her response.  She said let it be with her according to God’s will.  She chose to trust God with her life.  She trusted His protection.  Our question is where are we in our trust of God?  Do we really trust Him in every area of our lives?  Let’s take some time today to ask His Holy Spirit to reveal areas in us where our trust is week or lacking and allow Him to increase our faith in those areas.

April 15, 2012

Bones

Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

There is a man who has claimed he found the bones of Jesus. It sees he wants his moment of fame. There are many reasons these bones are not the bones of Jesus. The main reason is Jesus said He still had his bones after He was resurrected. The disciples witnessed this. There are other problems with this man’s claim also. He’s claiming something that cannot be proven. We don’t have a DNA on Jesus. This man can only claim the bones belonged to a man crucified around the same time as Jesus. Crucifixion was a very common form of torture the Romans used for anyone against the government. It is not surprising bones of crucified men during that period are being found. The same man claims these bones are buried near the bones of a woman named Mary. Mary was a very common name – it still is. Does all this matter? Not to me. Even if somehow Jesus shed His bones on this earth before He ascended back up to heaven it would not change my belief. I know Jesus is the Son and Word of God. I know He came to walk this earth to show us some of God the Father. I know He died on a cross to take on my sins for all eternity. I know 3 days after He died on that cross He rose back to life and walked this earth another 40 days to show us through Him we to can have life after our physical bodies die. I know He physically rose through the clouds into heaven and will come back for us in the same manner so we can attend His wedding feast and be in the glorious Presence of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for all eternity. I know all this based on witness of the past and on my own experiences. Our questions today is will we let someone’s new claims change what we have experienced ourselves and bring doubt or will we choose to stand on what we, personally know to be true. Jesus died once for 3 days but is alive even today so we can be alive for all eternity.

March 5, 2012

Mary and Martha

Filed under: Bible,Christ,devotion,God's Word,Jesus,Lent — by ginrich @ 1:33 am
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Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (The Holy Bible, New International Version)

Much has been said about the “Mary/Martha personalities. Most of us (men and women both) have a mixture of the two personalities. There are times are consumed with the material problems and presumed responsibilities of the day. There are days we end with wondering if it was “much ado about nothing.” Hopefully there are days when we desire to draw apart from the material world and spend time with our God. Jesus wasn’t telling Martha she should never be about her chores. He was telling her there were times that chores should be put on the back burner and time should be taken to feed our spirits. Mary chose to delay chores and listen to Jesus. How many times do we delay our business to take quiet time with our Lord? John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination, was a good example. On days he was scheduled to be the busiest he got up extra early to have more time with God. He knew to be well balanced he must balance his time spent serving with time spent communing with God. Let us develop the habit of always allotting quality time with God each and every day. That’s more than reading devotion and/or a couple verses of scripture. That’s to include time to listen to what God is putting in our hearts each and every day. Our question is do we take time to listen as Mary did?

December 13, 2010

Mary Ponders

Lk 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Mary’s life changed dramatically.  She was not only a mother but also the mother of God’s Son.  The sudden appearance of the shepherds and their story about the angels must have really made an impression on Mary.  When we treasure something it means we consider it to be very special to us.   What were the things Mary treasured?  Probably her encounter with the angel, her visit with Elizabeth, the birth of John the Baptist, Joseph accepting her as his wife, the birth of Jesus and the visit of the shepherds and their story about the angels.  As she treasured them she also pondered them; she wondered about them and what they meant to her future.

 

We have many encounters with God throughout our life.  We must take the time to not only treasure these encounters as they occur, we must ponder them in our hearts.  We must ask ourselves what they mean to us in the present and for the future.  Each encounter we have with God should have an impact on our lives, our thoughts, our relationship with Him and our character.  With each encounter we have with God we should become more transparent to His love and light shining through us to others.  Let us take time during this season to recount our encounters with God and reflect on them and how they have impacted our lives.

 

December 10, 2010

The Census

Lk 1:80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.

 

Mary and Joseph did not live in a democratic country.  When Caesar decided he wanted something they had to obey.  It didn’t matter if you were poor, sick, lame pregnant or anything else.  Everyone had to obey the command for the census and the tax.  It wasn’t an easy thing like we have in the United States of being sent a short form, filling it out and mailing it.  All had to travel to the birthplace of their family tree.  Mary and Joseph were both from the family tree of David the King and Psalmist so they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  By this time Mary was close to delivery.  I remember how uncomfortable car trips were when I was close to full term with my babies.  Mary had to ride in the elements of the weather on the back of a donkey on bumpy terrain.  When they got to Bethlehem it was over crowded.  Usually they would stay with family but there must have been no more room.  They looked all around and finally found someone who would make room for them in their animal shelter.  Many of the homes were built around a courtyard, which made a secure place to keep their animals at night.  It would be the equivalent to being born in a garage attached to a house.  There were animals, tools, maybe carts, hay and probably smells to greet the birth of the King.  It seems Mary and Joseph knew how to make the best of a bad situation.  Instead of complaining or feeling sorry for themselves they found clean hay and an empty animal food box (manger) and Mary gave birth to Jesus.

 

How often do we find ourselves in bad or uncomfortable situations and we give way to complaints or feel sorry for ourselves.  We need to learn to look to God for His answers.  We need to ask Him why we are there and what we should learn and do about it rather than seeing the bad, hard or uncomfortable.  Let’s learn to praise God in all situations and through our praise let His Light shine on our surroundings.

 

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