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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Son Or Servant?

Given June 29, 2006
During my devotions this morning, I was thinking about the fact that I am a child of God, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Romans 8:16", and also I'm to be a servant, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: Hebrews 12:28".

I listened to some teaching recently about, "The Father", and am reminded that my relationship with my Heavenly Father is special. Many earthly father-son relationships are such that the son's relationship to the father is more of, "meet my needs and give me what I want and I'll be happy". Not, "Daddy, I love you. What can I do for you today?". But that's the way it should be with us and our Heavenly Father. We should come to him offering to be a servant or with the attitude of a servant. But, you know what He'll do? God will smile, take us up in His arms and say, "Son, you please me. What can I do for you?".

If we come to God with a servant's heart, even though we are His children, it pleases Him and He's more willing to shower us with blessings. I have four sons and they all are wonderful boys. But when they, "do everything right" and are willing to help me, it pleases me and I'm more willing to give them what they want. Another example is the story of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15, who took all that was his as a son, came to his senses, and returned willing to be a servant. That made all the difference.

I pray every day, "Father, how may I serve you today?". It's an attitude. I know I'm a son by birth but I CHOOSE to be a servant. That makes all the difference!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Safe In The Harbor

Given October 3, 2005
I receive a, "Quote Of The Day" email daily and the one I got this day made me think. The quote was from William Shedd and it stated, "A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." I thought, "Man, that's like Christians." A Christian in church is safe, (usually), but that's not what Christians are built for.

James 1:22 says, " But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." So many Christians are comfortable in church and want to spend time there but shy away from putting into practice what they learn there. It takes much more committment to go out of the church doors and "do" what the Bible tells us to do. It is uncomfortable, many times, to answer the call and fullfill God's plan for us at the grocery store, on the job, in our families...you know what I mean?

Today, I would encourage you to remember some of the teaching you've received in church and look, really look, for ways to apply it in your daily life. I've heard it said, "You don't have to go out of your way to find people to help each day. There will be plenty of people in your way." Just look for them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Restoration

Given June 20, 2006
Driving to work this morning, I was impressed to turn off the XM radio and pray. I found out God wanted to remind me of something and He wants you to know it as well. If you've ever been down or are down now, this will encourage you as it did me.

As we walk with God along the road of life, sometimes we stumble. We don't fall down but God is right there and catches us and helps us get right again. Other times we get ahead of Him, fall behind, or just get off the path and we trip up and do fall down. But, as a child would do, we holler, "Daddy!", and He comes, helps us up, dusts us off and leads us back in the way.

But there may be a time when we really get off the road, responding to a temptation of the flesh, by choice or deception, leave God, and go off on our own. I can see The Father shaking His head and saying, "He's going to get hurt." And, sure enough, God knows, the enemy who tempted us down that road just knocks us down, beats us up, then stands there gloating in our pain!

But....as we lay there in our pain and suffering, if we cry out, "Daddy, help!", He will respond and come to our rescue. He'll kneel down, wipe off the pain and dirt, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3", then turn to our enemies and sternly says, "Get outta here!" And they get scared and flee. Then, lovingly, He picks us up and carries us back to the road and continues carrying us until we're able to stand again. He will restore us! "I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, Isaiah 57:18"

This vision had me sobbing as I drove because I remember the time when I was laying there in a heap and I cried out to God and He came and restored me! If you've been beaten down by the enemy or even if you've never walked with God, all you have to do is cry out to Him and He WILL come. You can be restored. The Father is waiting to hear your cry.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Look Up!

Given June 9, 2006, (to my wife)
My wife has been going through a time since August 2005, where she has experienced a variety of medical abnormalities beginning with chest pains. During the course of the past 10 months, she has had several tests and procedures which all have turned out fine. The Lord is taking care of her and we thank Him for that at every turn.

The last thing that was "found" was swolen lymph nodes in her chest which were scanned on three separate occasions to see if they had grown. After the last scan and they were still the same size, her doctor insisted she have a biopsy to, "put this thing to rest". She did and it was found to be only an inflamatory condition, Praise the Lord!

But she remembered this story from her recovery time after the surgery. She was still "out of it" past the time of normal recovery and they were walking her around to wake her up. She was real wobbly and she was looking at her feet to steady herself to keep from falling. But the nurse told her, "Mrs. Dotson, look up, don't look down. If you look up, you won't fall."

My wife thought, "How true". If we keep our eyes looking up to Jesus, we won't fall! Even when fear tries to make us look down where we think we're going, He wants us to look up and trust Him. "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28". When you're feeling weak and you think you're going to fall, don't look down, LOOK UP!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Your Dwelling

Given April 18, 2006

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalms 23:6". What does it mean to live in God's house? I don't think it means to stop by sometime, maybe have a meal with Him, just visit for awhile, or sit on the porch. No, but isn't that what most Christians do?

We might visit God's house once or twice a week, maybe we talk to Him a few minutes once in a while, (usually asking Him for something), but, there's not too much time spent with Him here.

What He wants us to do is to move in and stay, to abide there! If we'll do that, I think the benefits of the Father's house will make a great difference in our lives AND the lives of those around us. When you live with someone, you get to really know them and learn from them. And, I'd really like for those two guys, Goodness and Mercy, to follow me around! Take us residence in the Fathers' House.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Trade It All In

Given June 5, 2006
We sang a song during Praise & Worship that really got to me. We'd sung it many times but, this morning, I got a different picture of what it means. It's the song, "Trading My Sorrows" by Darrell Evans and this is the verse,
"I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord
I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord."

This is the picture I got; I saw myself at a swap meet and Jesus was standing there behind a little table with a variety of wonderful things on it. I come up burdened down with my, "sorrow, shame, pain and sickness" and Jesus says, "Why don't you trade what you're carrying for something on the table?" It really made me think.

We carry around all this "stuff" that comes from the world and I don't know about you, but I'm tired of dragging it around! Jesus says, "Cast your care on me because I care for you." 1 Peter 5:7". Isn't it about time we trade this stuff in for what Jesus is offering? Go ahead, make the deal! We don't have to carry it anymore.