The Lord Rejoices

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17) 

 

You My grandmother recently sent me a folder full of old photographs, and as I thumbed through them, one caught my eye. In it, I’m two years old, and I’m sitting on one end of a hearth in front of a fireplace. On the other end, my dad has his arm around my mom’s shoulders. Both are gazing at me with expressions of love and delight. 

 

I pinned this photo to my dresser, where I see it every morning. It’s a wonderful reminder of their love for me. The truth is, though, that even the love of good parents is imperfect. I saved this photo because it reminds me that although human love may fail sometimes, God’s love never fails—and according to Scripture, God looks at me the way my parents are looking at me in this picture. 

 

The prophet Zephaniah described this love in a way that astounds me. He describes God as rejoicing over His people with singing. God’s people had not earned this love. They had failed to obey Him or to treat each other with compassion. But Zephaniah promised that in the end, God’s love would prevail over their failures. God would take away their punishment (Zephaniah 3:15), and He would rejoice over them (v. 17). He would gather His people into His arms, bring them home, and restore them (v. 20). 

 

That’s a love worth reflecting on every morning. 

 

How does it make you feel that God rejoices over you with singing? How have you experienced His love? 

 

God, thank You for Your forgiveness and faithful love for us. Amen. 

 

This devotion blessed me. I pray it opens your eyes to see just how loved you are by God. I am reminded of Luke 15:3-7. He will leave the ninety and nine to go after the one who is lost until he find it. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.What a mighty God we serve. 

 

Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is John 16:33 



In the Moment

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life. . . No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself . . . (John 10:17-18) 
 
The ambulance door was about to close—with me on the inside. Outside, my son was on the phone to my wife. From my concussed fog, I called his name. As he recalls the moment, I slowly said, “Tell your mom I love her very much.” 
 
Apparently I thought this might be goodbye, and I wanted those to be my parting words. In the moment, that’s what mattered most to me. 
 
As Jesus endured His darkest moment, He didn’t merely tell us He loved us; He showed it in specific ways. He showed it to the mocking soldiers who had just nailed Him to a cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). He gave hope to a criminal crucified with Him: “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (v. 43). Nearing the end, He looked at His mother. “Behold thy son,” He said to her, and to His close friend John He said, “Behold thy mother” (John 19:26–27). Then, as His life slipped from Him, Jesus’s last act of love was to trust His Father: “Into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). 
 
Jesus purposefully chose the cross in order to show His obedience to His Father—and the depth of His love for us. To the very end, He showed us His relentless love. 
 
When I read this devotion it depicted a very real image of what Christ went through for you and I, why, because He loves us, before we were even born, He chose to die for me, for you. What an example to follow knowing that every word of Jesus was spoken in love. I am reminded of James 1:29, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. May we ponder these questions today, What matters most to you? How do love and obedience fit together? 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 51:1-2 


Set Free!

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4) 
 
My mom was the only child born to a 13-year-old single mother in the 1930s. She grew up poor and feeling unloved. My mom was an angry woman who didn’t appear to like being a mom. She raised us the same way she’d been raised, with a harsh tone and little affection. So we grew up feeling unloved too. Around fourth grade, mired in shame and guilt of my own, I began to lash out at others. The girls who seemed to come from loving and caring families became the ones I targeted on the playground after school. I hated those girls. My actions didn’t make me feel better, though. In fact, I felt worse. One summer during Vacation Bible School, I learned about Jesus. I learned that he loved me to the point of death on the cross and that he died so that I would not have to feel shame and worthlessness. I couldn’t imagine someone loving me like that. I finally felt comforted, knowing that someone loved me. I was a new creation. (See 2 Cor. 5:17.) I didn’t have to hate girls whose moms took care of them. In loving others who came from better circumstances than I did, I could actually experience the love of God and become the kind of person God intended me to be. 
 
Dear Lord, give us the desire to show others love as you have loved us and the strength to treat others well regardless of our circumstances. Amen. 
 
This devotion blessed me. I pray it changes your perspective regardless of your circumstances and in return show The Love of Christ and pray for those who treat you badly. You never know what that individual is dealing with. A moment of hate can devastate a lifetime of work, whereas a moment of love can break barriers that took a lifetime to build. Use me today Lord to love beyond my own circumstances and help break barriers that may have taken a lifetime to build for you are The Way, The Truth and The Life. Use me to help others experience your Love so they too can become the kind of person you intended them to be. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 19:14 

 

 

 



Friends?

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands . . . (Isaiah 49:16)
 
While waiting with my sick children to see a pediatrician, I noticed a face that looked familiar. As she came closer with her two kids in tow, I was pleasantly surprised that I remembered her name and that she was a classmate from back in my secondary-school days. However, what could have been an exciting reunion turned slightly embarrassing when I went over to say hello and she didn’t recognize me or recall my name — even after I introduced myself! I was even more perplexed by this encounter since she is a Facebook “friend” of mine. However, it dawned on me how easily the roles could have been reversed, that I could have been the one who had forgotten her name. This experience reminded me how grateful I am that I have a God who not only calls me friend but whose palms are inscribed with my name. I marvel that while I struggle to recall the name of a few hundred acquaintances and former colleagues, God invites all 7.6 billion people on this earth to be his close friends! My prayer is that I will cultivate a meaningful, personal relationship with God so that I can recognize God’s voice and follow God’s will every day. 
 
Dear God, thank you for loving us and calling us each by name. Amen. 
 
When I read this devotion I was instantly reminded of Luke 12:7, But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. No matter what difficulty your facing today be encouraged, you are more than a friend to God, your name is inscribed in the palm of his hand. Wow! God loves you far more than you can even imagine, what love. Remember today, you are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Deuteronomy 6:6-7


Putting Up Hay

Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Romans 4:7) 
 
When I was in college, I worked a summer on a ranch in Colorado. One evening, tired and hungry after a long day of mowing hay, I drove the tractor into the yard. Acting like the hot shot I thought I was, I cranked the steering wheel hard left, stamped on the left brake, and spun the tractor around. 
 
The sickle was down and swept the legs out from under a 500-gallon gasoline tank standing nearby. The tank hit the ground with a resounding boom, the seams split, and all the gasoline spewed out. 
 
The rancher stood nearby surveying the scene. 
 
I got off the tractor, stammered an apology, and—because it was the first thing that popped into my mind—offered to work the rest of the summer without pay. 
 
The old rancher stared at the wreckage for a moment and turned toward the house. “Let’s go have dinner,” he drawled. 
 
A scrap of a story Jesus told passed through my mind—a story about a young man who had done a terrible thing: “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,” he cried. He intended to add, “make me as one of thy hired servants,” but before he could get all the words out of his mouth his father interrupted him. In essence, he said, “Let’s go have dinner” (Luke 15:17–24). 
 
Such is God’s amazing grace. 
 
Father, we celebrate Your gracious and lavish forgiveness. Thank You for the peace and freedom it brings us as we enjoy a family relationship with You. Amen. 
 
This devotion blessed me. What an example of love and forgiveness in two different situation. It’s incredible to me that God’s love and forgiveness is even greater. What a privilege to be sons and daughters of the King! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 1 Corinthians 15:57


Are You So Foolish?

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:3) 
 
There are times that we all get discouraged when we try so hard in our homes and in our work. We want to do the best we can. We want to be giving and loving in our efforts. We want to know that we are pleasing the Lord. We equate blessings with God’s favor, thinking that it is our motives and actions that are being rewarded. So when things don’t go well, we wonder what we are doing wrong. It is a common misconception, but God doesn’t work like that. His grace is not gained by our good behavior. Because we are under the covenant of grace, we are called into rest. That is why it is so important to hold on to His promises. He is always working in us and with us. His plan is that we almost become passive in the process. We get tired of trying as we get caught in the middle between His promises and our efforts. Our hearts long to spend time with the Lord but there are always too many other factors competing for our attention. These factors take away our energy, and at times, make us feel like we can’t do it all or we didn’t do a good job anyway. 
 
If God has given you promises, then He is the One who is responsible to fulfill them. God does not need our help or efforts. What He has started in the Spirit will not ever get accomplished in our flesh. It is the enemy who tries to discourage you. Satan will put thoughts in your mind of doubt and self defeat. Out loud, tell those evil forces that God has a plan regardless of your abilities. You choose to rest in His promises instead of worrying and doubting God by looking at yourself. Tell the Lord that you are choosing to focus your eyes on Him. And then, get into His Word and claim those promises. His Word puts you on the Rock, and our only responsibility is to stand firm on that Rock. 
 
I feel the biggest thing to walk away with from this devotion is to focus your eyes on Him, dig into the word and claim those promises. I am reminded of Isaiah 55:11, So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Stand firm on The Rock today! God has a plan! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 59:16


You Love Me?

I have loved you, saith the Lord . . .(Malachi 1:2) 
 
The Israelites questioned how much God loved them because of their time in captivity in Babylon. But that captivity was God’s correction for their continued rebellion against Him. So now, God sent the prophet Malachi to them. His opening words from the Lord were, “I have loved you” (Malachi 1:2). Israel replied skeptically, inquiring as to how God has loved them, as if to say, “Really?” But God, through Malachi, reminded them of the way He had demonstrated that love: He had chosen them over the Edomites. 
 
We all go through difficult seasons in life. We may be tempted to question God’s love for us during those times. Let’s recall the many ways He’s shown us His unfailing love. When we stop to consider His goodness, we find that He is indeed a loving Father. 
 
Lord, You have shown tender care for me over the course of my life. You’ve been present with me in difficult seasons. Help me to always remember Your love. Amen. 
 
I pray this devotion blesses someone today who may be in a difficult season of life. Stop and reflect on the many ways He has shown His unfailing love to you. He will comfort you, He loves you. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 27:14 


Interrupted Fellowship

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46) 
 
The loud, sorrowful cry pierced the dark afternoon air. I imagine it drowning out the sound of mourning from friends and loved ones gathered at Jesus’s feet. It must have overwhelmed the moans of the dying criminals who flanked Jesus on both sides. And surely startled all who heard it. 
 
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” Jesus cried out in agony and in utter despondency as He hung on that cross of shame on Golgotha (Matthew 27:45–46). 
 
“My God,” He said, “my God, why have you forsaken me?” 
 
I cannot think of more heart-wrenching words. Since eternity, Jesus had been in perfect fellowship with God the Father. Together they had created the universe, had fashioned mankind in their image, and planned salvation. Never in the eons past had they not been in total fellowship with each other. 
 
And now, as the anguish of the cross continued to bring devastating pain on Jesus—He for the first time lost the awareness of God’s presence as He carried the burden of the sins of the world. 
 
It was the only way. Only through this time of interrupted fellowship could our salvation be provided for. And it was only because Jesus was willing to experience this sense of being forsaken on the cross that we humans can gain fellowship with God. 
 
Thank You, Jesus, for experiencing such pain so we could be forgiven. 
 
Jesus, we again stand in awe at Your sacrifice. We kneel in Your presence and with gratitude acknowledge what You did for us on the cross. Thank You for making it possible to have fellowship with the Father forever. 
 
When I read this devotion it touched a cord deep down in my spirit. It caused me to reflect on all He sacrificed for you and I because He loves us more than we can even imagine. Willing to sacrifice perfect fellowship with The Father to provide salivation for you and I. What love! How great is our God!! But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). 
 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Jeremiah 32:17 


Because of Who He Is

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)

Moses reminds the children of Israel that it was not because of anything they had done to be chosen as His people. God had made a covenant with Abraham and promised him that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars. God showed Abraham the land in which they would dwell. God also told Abraham that his ?descendents? would have dark years of bondage. It would be several hundred years later before the Israelites would actually enter the Promised Land. But by the end of this appointed time, they consisted of twelve tribes and millions of people. God knew the end from the beginning. He knew how vast a nation they would be. He set His love on them because He is love, not because of who they were or what they did.

By God’s great mercy and grace, He chooses us today. He loves us beyond our understanding. He has plans for us beyond our imaginations, not because of who we are but because of Who He is. When we begin to appreciate God’s character, then we can begin to rest in Him. We cannot earn rewards by impressing God with our works. We can never be good enough or do enough good deeds. In reality, it is not about us at all. It is all about God. Everything God does, He does because He is God. God is love. God is righteous. God is faithful. God is perfect in every way. God is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present. God cannot be anything but who He is. Therefore, God will never not love us. God will never let us down. God can never go against His own character.

The Bible clearly teaches us God’s character. When we spend time in His Word, we learn more and more about Who He is. We learn of His activities throughout history and how He dealt with the people. We are given amazing insight into His plans and purposes through His prophets. We learn of His never changing love and faithfulness in ways that pierce our hearts. And most of all, we learn of how He transacted His covenant of love to us by sending His Son to die on a cross so we could inherit the land He has for us. As the song goes, “Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done, not because of what I’ve done, but because of Who You are.” We need to get to know who the Lord is and who He wants to be in your life today.

As I read this devotion I am reminded of Deuteronomy 7:9, Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. We must make time to spend time in His Word to learn who He is and who we are to be. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:3-5). No matter what your facing just know that His love for you never changes and He will strengthen you to overcome whatever obstacle is in your path. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).

Have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Romans 8:1-2



Adopted by a Great God!

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)

Many times, we struggle in our prayer life with the Lord. We understand the issues at hand and even accept the blame and resulting consequence. But we don’t know how to express how we feel about it to the Lord. As a result, we experience depression and frustration, waiting for time to play itself out.

God tells us that He is our ?Abba? Father. He wants us to know that He is our Daddy, desiring to hear from us. He didn’t create us to be robots, but His children who can go to Him. He tells us to draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Our opinions matter to the Lord regardless of the poor choices we may have made to reach our situation. The Lord loves us and if we include Him in our struggles and frustrations, He works with us to get through the difficulties, sometime miraculously. If we don’t share with Him and draw near, we will miss out on His intervention and in the nearness of His presence to walk through every part of life with Him. Do not fear; you have been adopted by a great God!

When I read this I am reminded of how incredibly blessed we are as children of God. He loves us beyond measure, it’s truly remarkable how unmeasurable His love is for us. He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives if we will allow Him to be. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) He’s a great great God!!

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is John 15:9-17