The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of October 26, 2015
Better To Obey
Jonah 1:1-3, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.”
Beloved, Jonah was a man who wanted to serve the Lord just like many of us desire to serve the Lord. I believe that Jonah served the Lord until the Lord wanted to send him to some place and to someone where he did not want to go. Jonah rebelled and resisted the Word of the Lord. There is so much to learn from this portion of Scripture.
Practically speaking it speaks to us concerning our everyday obedience to the Lord. Each day as we open up the Word of God to cleanse our hearts and minds and to provide direction for our lives we are given promises to receive and commands to obey. Each day we are faced with the choice like Jonah: are we going to obey the Word of the Lord or are we going to rebel against His authority?
The Lord desires that we obey His Word as 1 Samuel 15:22 says, “And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
God called Jonah to go to a pagan, Gentile city and call them to repentance. Like Jonah we also have been called to preach the Good News to a lost and dying world: Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Beloved, sometimes God calls us to do things that we do not feel like doing and to go places that we do not want to go. Our response is first to make certain that it is God doing the calling and secondly to obey His Word! To obey is better than sacrifice and when we obey we will always reap more than we sow. We can never out give the Lord!
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week. As you read your Bible this week, remember to be obedient to His Word; be a doer and not just a hearer of God’s Word! I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of October 19, 2015
Amos 4:6- “I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me,” declares the Lord.”
Beloved, the Lord desires us to have an abiding relationship with Him; but sometimes we stray away and the Lord lures us back. In the Book of Amos we see the Lord God attempting to lure Israel back to Himself.
Because Israel seemed to have enjoyed financial prosperity when Amos preached, this is probably set in the "prophetic present" - future events spoken of in the present tense. God will humble prosperous Israel that their clean teeth won't be made "dirty" by food, because there will be no food to eat in the drought God will send.
God does this because He wants Israel back. Unfortunately sometimes we are like Israel. We wonder why things are not going right and we do not understand that the Lord is trying to bring us back to Himself. If we find ourselves away from the Lord, we need to return to Him.
Joel 2:13 says, “And rend your heart and not your garments " Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.”
Hosea 14:1 says, “Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity.”
Zechariah 1:3 says, "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Return to Me," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I may return to you," says the LORD of hosts.”
Beloved, anyone can stumble into sin and feel the correcting hand of God, but we are in far greater trouble when we feel God's correction and still will not return to Him. So what do we do if we find ourselves away from God? How do we return to Him? Beloved, we simply make a u-turn and come back to Jesus. We repent and return to Christ.
Revelation 2:5 puts it this way, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
Beloved, the Lord wants you back! Stop hiding and commence returning to Him! I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace Devotion for The Week of October 12, 2015
Only One Savior
Hosea 13:4, “But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.”
Beloved, there is only one God and one Savior thus only one way to get to heaven. In the Book of Hosea, the Lord is dealing with Israel and Judah and their idolatry. Time after time the Israelites attempted to satisfy their inner desire to worship through false gods. It was to no avail because those gods of stone and wood have no ability to help.
Unfortunately, we also sometimes go astray after the god’s of money or possessions or relationships or drugs and alcohol. We run to these false gods attempting to fulfill our lives and meet our needs. It does not work. There is only one Savior as the Lord says, “And besides me there is no savior.”
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6, NASB) and, “For unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24, NASB). The apostle Peter echoed these words, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, KJV).
Jesus has paved the way! God has done it all, and our responsibility is to accept that fact. We can do nothing to add to the work of Jesus; it has all been done for us.
If mankind could have reached God any other way, then Jesus would not have had to die. His death illustrates the fact that there is no other way. Therefore, no other religion or religious leader can bring someone to the knowledge of the one true God.
Beloved, may we run to our true Savior! He alone will meet our needs and He demonstrated His love for us when He died for us as Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ESV
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace for the Week of October 5, 2015
Hosea 6:1-2, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. 2After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.”
Beloved, the Lord has a way in which He takes our broken lives and places them back together. The Book of Hosea paints a wonderful picture of this. Israel and Judah were prideful and sinful and in order to bring them back to Himself, the Lord broke them and then healed, binded, revived and raised them up.
When we come to the Lord we come broken. We come broken of our pride and the Lord restores us. We come out of broken marriages, broken hearts, broken bodies and the Lord restores us.
We need to remember this as we gather together each Wednesday and Sunday. There are those sitting next to us whose lives are being torn and struck down. Instead of judging them we need to remember that the Lord desires to do a great work in them and through them. Beloved, God does not want to leave us broken. We are broken for a purpose, even a destiny. God has great plans for the broken lives He pieces back together.
Therefore, if the Lord is breaking you, you stand in a good place. Isaiah 42:3 says, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.
God will remember you and restore as Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Yes, the Lord desires to heal us and bind us as Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Beloved, in a sense we have been broken together. Broken together to do great and mighty things for the Lord. Broken together for a purpose and a destiny! This reminds me of a song by Bill and Gloria Gaither: I Will Serve Thee. Here are some of the lyrics:
I will serve Thee because I love Thee
You have given life to me.
I was nothing before You found me,
You have given life to me.
Heartaches, broken pieces,
Ruined lives are why You died on Calvary.
Your touch was what I longed for,
You have given life to me.
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
In His Great Love,