Category Archives: Did You Know Devotional
Read: Jeremiah 29:11-13
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven…I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
As I was diving into the Word during my morning quiet time with God, the ‘beep’ sound signaled a text had just came in . Then a ‘ding’ alerted me of a new email. Then a vibration sound to remind me of an appointment later on in the day. As much as I tried to keep focused on connecting with God, my mind began to drift to the unread messages on my phone: I wonder if it’s something important…don’t forget to send that email later…I should call so and so to see if…
That’s when the small still voice of the Holy Spirit interrupted me, “Turn it off.” Without a moment’s hesitation, I obeyed. I turned the darn thing off and haven’t brought it into another quiet time since. I was suddenly so convicted by my behavior. How would you feel if you were spending quality one-on-one time with a close friend and just as you were about to say something really near and dear to your heart, the person interrupted you with phone calls, texts, and emails? Can you think of anything more rude?
This is the age we are living in. The beeps, bells and whistles of our nifty gadgets have made a home in our daily conversations and we don’t think anything of it. But God does. No matter how modern and digital our world gets, He is still yearning for our undivided attention. We don’t want to be one of those unfortunate ones who Jesus looks at and says, “I never knew you.”
Bringing our gadget habits and addictions into our spiritual lives can take a toll on our spiritual health if we are not careful. And what’s worse is that it’s downright offensive to our Lord. So let’s check our phones at the door before entering God’s throne room of grace this week and give Him nothing less than the undivided, uninterrupted attention He deserves.
Dear Lord, forgive me for putting other things before You. Forgive me for going through the motions of religious activity and failing to give You my full attention. Show me where I have picked up bad habits that are offensive to You. Help me change Lord, I want less distraction and more of You. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: Out of 24 hours in a day, how much time do you spend one-on-one, alone and quiet with the Lord? Make a commitment to spend time with Him each day, and make sure you give him the undivided attention He deserves!
HAPPY 4TH of July to my American friends both near and far! I hope you are enjoying this day with friends, family, fun and fireworks. May God bless you and the USA on this patriotic summer holiday and beyond!
I’m sticking to the normal ‘Did You Know’ devotional post today and will be blogging about red, white and blue on Wednesday…stay tuned!
DID YOU KNOW? God Wants You to Soar
Read: Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 23:1-3
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Do you ever feel so tired, you don’t know if you can make it through another day? Do you ever feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you ever long for the days when you were a kid and never seemed to tire?
If so, welcome to planet earth. Tiredness is a part of life. It is a sign of our humanity. But we need to learn to discern when to let God and others carry some of the load. Sometimes we need to have the courage to say, “I am feeling weak today Lord, will you carry me through this day?” When we turn to our Lord during times of feeling tired or weary, He says He will renew our strength. It’s a promise!
Next time you feel so exhausted you could literally collapse, close your eyes and imagine God swooping you off the ground and soaring on His wings of grace, like an eagle. See yourself flying through the air, light as a feather and free as a bird. He is taking you higher and higher into His heavenly realm to renew your strength and to reshape your perspective from this birds-eye view. When He sets you back down, you will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not grow faint!
Dear Lord, thank you that you are there to give me Your strength when I am weary and weak. Lord, sometimes I feel so tired from all that life demands of me. Help me to turn to You, allowing you to carry me on Your wings like an eagle. Take me to a high place so I can breathe some fresh new air. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: Evaluate your exhaustion level. Are you doing too much or are you just needing some rest and renewal? Let it be a week of soaring on His wings as He turns your weakness into strength.
Read: Hebrews 12
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I was jogging my normal route and suddenly I was stopped by a huge barrier in the road. I couldn’t see the way around it and started to become frustrated, until finally a construction man came to the rescue and signaled for me to take a little narrow path on the opposite side. I was relieved I could continue on my run.
Barriers often keep us from moving forward in our spiritual journey. Things like anger, unforgiveness, pride and self-sufficiency hinder us from staying on the path God has paved out for us. Or it could be more obvious behaviors like lying, stealing or sexual immorality. The Scripture verse today instructs us to “throw off everything that hinders” so we can continue to run our race to the best of our ability.
How do we “throw off” hindrances? Just as I had to look to the construction worker for guidance around the roadblock, we must look to Jesus. If we are willing, He will show us if there is anything that is hindering our ability to see and hear Him clearly. He will show us behaviors and attitudes that are entangling us and keeping us from walking out His plans for us. But we must be willing to do what it takes in order to remove the roadblocks once we know they are there.
Are you willing?
Dear Lord, please help me see any barriers that might be blocking my ability to see You and Your plans clearly. Give me the wisdom and strength to do what it takes to remove any road blocks so that I can continue on the straight path You have marked out for me. Help me to keep my eyes on You, trusting that You will show me what I need to do to keep running forward in this race of life. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: Are there any roadblocks preventing you from experiencing the fullness of joy and peace in Christ? What are some hindrances you might need to “throw off” in order to be where God wants you to be?
Read Psalm 4
“In peace I will lay down and sleep, for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
The seat belt sign had just been turned off and people jumped out of their seats to get their baggage down from the overhead bins. People are always anxious to get off as fast as they can–myself included.
As I was embroiled in the hustle and bustle of eager travelers, I glanced over and saw a baby fast asleep on what must have been his father’s shoulders. The baby’s mouth was slightly open with a bit of drool oozing out of the corners. The baby looked so peaceful and comfortable, safe and secure in the loving arms of his parent, completely oblivious to what was going on around him.
I found myself longing to be that baby, even for a moment. Then I heard the Spirit whisper, “You are that baby and I am Your father holding you in My arms.” God was reminding me that no matter grown up or mature I was expected to act in the world, I would never cease to be His child, held and rocked to sleep in His arms. He is waiting to pick you up too and rock you to sleep in His peaceful arms today–will you let Him?
Dear Lord, thank You for the sweet reminder that I am never too old to be cuddled and rocked by You. Help me to discover the safe haven that Your loving presence brings. Continue to find new ways to remind me of Your sweet and tender love and help me to receive it as easily as a baby would. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure:How do you relate to God as Father? Ask Him to remove any barriers that keep you from enjoying His love with a childlike innocence.
Read: Exodus 23, Jeremiah 29
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and bring you to the place I have prepared for you” (Exodus 23:20)
One of my favorite runs to do while I lived in Singapore was called McRitchie Reservoir–one of the city’s most beautiful nature trails. I loved the watch tower where you could climb to the top for a bird’s eye view of the entire park. I always hesitated, pondering whether it was worth the climb up several stories of stairs. But every time, after a moment’s thought I eventually would decide to give it a go.
I was always so glad I did. What I found at the top of the watch tower was nothing I would have experienced from the ground. Not only was it quite and peaceful with a cool breeze, but I could see the entire lay-out of the trail. Parts of it were shaded, while others were out in the open, there were dips and climbs, rocky parts and smooth ones, curves and stretches of straight path.
As I was literally tracing each step of the trail from high up on the watch tower, God seemed to be telling me something through it. He wanted me to come to His watch tower to show me a similar bird’s eye view of my life. He had already gone before me and marked out a spiritual trail, which would be my path of life. However, just like the natural trail, there would be parts that would require an up-hill climb, and parts that were rocky, parts that were smooth and parts that were straight. Being a Christian didn’t mean I was exempt from the varied terrain of the nature trail of life on earth; it just meant I had God to hold my hand through it all.
Setting aside time with God each day was the same thing as climbing the stairs of that tower. It takes a little effort, but the reward is so worth it. It’s from that high place with Him that He wants to show us things that we can’t see with our own human eyes. Things that relate to His plans for our lives and future.
Today, He is inviting you to His watch tower for an extra special bird’s eye view. Will you make the climb?
Dear Lord, thank You that You have the trail of my life already marked out. Thank you that You desire to show me what’s ahead so I won’t be alarmed or harmed by anything that life brings. Please help me to value spending time with You so that You can show me these things. Give me the willingness and the strength to climb the stairs to Your watch tower, so I can enjoy the rewards Your presence brings. Amen.
*Take-Away Treasure: What’s keeping you from climbing the stairs to God’s watch tower? How can you make more time for God this week?