Maranatha Devotionals

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Have you entered into the Lord’s gates today? One of our men preached the morning service yesterday and he preached on our covenant with God. It got me to thinking how blessed we are that Christ’s death and resurrection created a covenant for us with the Father – for all born again believers! What a joy to meditate on that today. So today, I want to encourage each of you toward righteousness.

We do not need to be defeated Christians. We do not need to give in to temptation. We just need to be hard workers at our faith in our precious Saviour. I’m sure many a lady gives it her “all” when it comes to caring for her husband, her family, her home, etc. We can’t stop there … we need to care for our spiritual lives with just as much zeal and effort. Yes, cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry is a chore. I just don’t get that same effervescent feeling the lady in the commercial gets about my scrubbing bubbles cleaning my toilet, ya know? It’s WORK to get these chores done – but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards is priceless!

Making sure that we cover all the areas of our spiritual lives is work also. But this “work” has eternal results. The work in our homes is temporary – the dust will always come back and there will always be dishes and laundry to do. But the work we do for the Lord is forever. I think of Christ’s account of Mary and Martha. He did not use a parable here but referred to actual women. The Lord placed this account in His Word especially for us! Mary spent her time at His feet while Martha carried on with the chores. Mary gleaned from the Master while Martha missed out on His blessings from the Word.

Working at our spiritual lives is just that – WORK! Here is a little something that helps me strive in this area of training myself and I want to share it with you.

W – Wake up with the Lord with song! Sing your favorite hymn – you know the one – it just speaks to your heart and gets you in the right mood – Mine is “Amazing Grace”

O – Open my heart to Him in prayer. I believe in making my heart right with God before praying for others. I confess my sins, I love on Him real good and then I pray for others.
I have a prayer list – in fact, I’m making a prayer journal to start using – and I keep this list with my Bible – the list is so long but I’ve broken it down by days so each day has a different grouping of people (i.e. Sunday = church family; Monday = missionaries; etc. I record specific details for each of these people so I’m praying for specific needs, not generalities.

R – Read His Word! Reading God’s Word is a learned trait. Don’t be so stringent that you don’t enjoy His Word. I have three separate times for reading.

  1. The first is my sweet time with Him. Today is Dec. 11th so I read my Proverb of the day (there are conveniently 31 Proverbs, one each for the 31 days in the month). I then read my Psalms for the day (I read Psalm 11 (then add 30), Psalm 41, Psalm 71, Psalm 101, and Psalm 131. I then read the 11th division or section of Psalm 119. This method for reading Psalms enables me to read the entire Book of Psalms every month. I then read Acts chapter 11 so I can learn about the church’s history. And finally, I read Revelations chapter 11 because we are promised a blessing in Rev. 1:3 if we read and understand this book.
  2. The second time for reading is reading through the Bible – I usually do this before bed. I
    have never been able to completely read the Bible through using a yearly plan but at least I am reading through. Sometimes we set goals that we just can’t keep and then we feel defeated and give up totally. I would rather keep at it and be blessed then to give up.
  3. My third reading comes with studying God’s Word. We’re commanded to study to show ourselves approved UNTO GOD Not to show off our knowledge to others, not to puff ourselves up thinking we’re better than others – but approved UNTO GOD. This is where we dive into meaty things and learn – not learning from someone else’s studying but learning for ourselves. You may have your own method of reading – I hope you do. In my 26 years of salvation, all the women that I’ve come in contact with who have struggled spiritually, struggled because they were not in the Word for themselves. When we stand before the Lord and give Him the reason why we didn’t do this or didn’t do that, our excuse that the preacher never taught us won’t hold water. We are commanded to study for ourselves.

K – Keep Him in the forefront of my mind all day. When we have sung, prayed and read, it’s pretty hard to forget the God you started your day with.

I use to have my time with Him at night because my children were early risers and I ran from the time they woke up till it was time for their bedtime. However, I found that I did not get the fuel and spiritual energizing I so needed to make it through the day. It took hard work to get up in the wee hours to have my time with the Lord. I was not always faithful but I kept at it.

Of course, we women have different routines and whatever works best for you is what you should be faithful in. If you have little ones at home, don’t despair. Your time will come where you will have all the time you need in the mornings. Maybe your time is nap time or after their bed time. If you don’t have a special time, resolve to yourself to make one. If you want to succeed at this, hold yourself accountable to someone. Ask a good friend to ask you daily if you spent your time with the Lord. One who won’t take excuses but will lovingly tell you that your excuse is not a good one!

Dear God…
Help me to be like Mary
As I start this day, oh Lord
Mindful of the things I’ve gleaned
From Your Holy Word!

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 145:10-12, All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. (10) They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; (11) To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. (12)

Do we speak of God’s mighty acts to those around us? It’s easy to speak to those who are saved. But what about to those who are not saved? God’s Kingdom will come again. His Word says so. Christ will reign here for a thousand years and His reign will begin in the not-too-distant future. His Kingdom is filled with God’s beauty, His glorious works, and His blessings! How can we not shout from the rooftops?

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

The intricacies of a baby, from conception to birth, are mind-boggling! This little peanut of a child, designed by God Himself, comes to us full of innocence and beauty! From its beginning where two cells are joined, each cell thereafter is produced to go to a specific location for a specific function. The brain cell emerges and goes to the brain; the heart cell is formed and goes to the heart, etc. All these different cells with different functions come from the merger of two cells!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

God’s outer creation in the universe is also overwhelming. The Hubble telescope has only captured a miniscule amount of pictures in comparison to all that is out there to be seen! Man is high-minded and thinks he knows so much about what is in the universe. Man’s knowledge is a speck compared to what he does not know. God has shown His love for intricacies in His creation on earth – why should the universe be any different?

~ Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

These tube worms were discovered at the ocean’s bottom in my lifetime! Think of all those other pieces of nature which have not been discovered because of man’s limitations! I remember watching a television special when they were first discovered. They showed how these creatures “came out” and grabbed their food! The worms sway in the current like grass when the wind blows. I stood in awesome wonder then and do still today.

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Have you ever read about the praying mantis? What a beautiful insect it is! This carnivorous insect eats other insects and can be used in a natural form of pest control around your home. I have seen one on my deck that was almost the length of my hand! I can see why they are called praying mantis because their front legs look as though they are praying. The delicate balance of God’s creation should stir our souls when we meditate upon it.

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

The only bird I know of that is able to fly backwards is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds have the ability to fly up and down, and forward and backwards because they have a rotator cuff which allows them to move their wings in a figure eight motion. They fly backwards so that they can remove their beak from the flower they are feeding on while in flight. Their normal flight speed can be 30 mph, 50 mph when escaping and 63 mph when diving!! This amazing little bird’s nest is the size of a walnut and their eggs are the size of a pea!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Have you shared your praises with others today, oh Christian? If not, why not? Have you forgotten what your Father in Heaven has given to you to behold in awesome wonder? Each one of the Lord’s creation is a gift to us.

The greatest of these gifts is the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Without His birth, we would not be able to enter Heaven! We cannot get to heaven on our own merit. God is Holy and He cannot allow sin into heaven. We have ALL sinned. Yes, even you, my friend. The Garden of Eden was created perfect by God – and so were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve are the ones who brought sin into this world, not God. All those horrible things you see in this world are happening because sin entered in through Adam and Eve – not because God is cruel. In fact, God was so heart broken at the fact that His perfect creation would not be able to enter heaven, He found a way by sending His Only Son to earth. He loved us that much!

~John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This Perfect Son, Jesus Christ, lived a sinless life, died a cruel death and rose again to defeat death. He took upon Him the punishment for us all. All we have to do is acknowledge our sin, repent and accept Him as Lord and Saviour! Thank You, Father, for loving us so much that You would send Your very own Son to earth to take on our punishment!

~Psalm 8:1 [To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.] O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Excerpt from O Holy Night

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!

Maranatha Devotionals

Do you have spiritual amnesia? Have you forgotten God’s blessings on your life? Do you still thank Him for your precious salvation? Our Saviour left His royal throne to pay the price for our wickedness. If that alone were the only thing you had reason to thank God for, it would be enough, amen?

~Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:

If you cannot think of anything to be thankful for, then shame on you. 🙁 These are the thoughts of a self-centered, ungrateful person who thinks the world revolves around him/her.

There are so many things for which we can be grateful: our family and church family, our health, home, job – so many things! If you must, take a few minutes to sit down and reflect on these things. These are all physical blessings – but what about those spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ that await us! We should be thankful that we are saved and have those to look forward to when we finally arrive in our eternal home! 🙂

Maranatha Devotionals

 ~Isaiah 12:5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

The world publishes beautiful graphics of God’s creation – they give intricate details of migration, feeding, flight, etc. But is God given thanks by these same people? They are busy thinking it is due to the process of evolution.

This is where we Christians fail every day. Isaiah tells us to sing unto God and thank Him. Even better, let the earth hear you! We have so much for which to be thankful! Not only has the Lord given us His beautiful creation to look at, but He has given us countless blessings in our lives. Sometimes we must look for the blessings but they are there. It is God’s will for us to be thankful. The average Christian does not think along these lines but the Word of God says so.

~1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 

~Psalm 95:2a Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving… 

There is no better way to start off your devotional time with the Lord than with giving thanks for everything. I just love the piece below – I’ve never found out who actually wrote it, but it shows you just how you don’t have to look far to find God’s blessings in your life. If any of you happen to know who the Author of this wonderful piece is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Thank You Lord!

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy in the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord, there are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.

I can’t help but think that God smiles from ear-to-ear when He hears this woman’s words in the mornings! She has learned the art of being thankful and finding God’s blessings at every turn in her life. What are you thankful for today?

~Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. 

David knew how to thank His God! He was able to recognize when he was discouraged or depressed. The world recognizes in their 12-step programs the need to admit one’s addiction. However, their 12-step programs are only temporary. I speak from experience – I witnessed my father remain sober for almost 30 years, but the feeling of being alone drove him to drink again. The 12-step program did not have a lasting effect on my father. But this is not so with born-again believers! Praise God that we have One whose help can be eternal, if we allow Him to work in our lives.

We, as believers, need to recognize our state of discouragement and depression and go to the Source of healing and encouragement. We have the precious Word of God, in our King James Bible, which contains all the solutions on overcoming discouragement. Let’s learn from David.

~Psalm 42:1  Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 

David knew that his discouraged soul would find health. But David had to take that first step – David had to hope in God and His solutions as well as praise God. What does a discouraged soul have to praise God about? Counting your blessings is a great place to start. Everyone has blessings in their lives – everyone! Are you a born-again child of the King? Have you been spared from an eternity of burning in hell? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food on your table (even if it is just peanut butter)? Do you have fairly good health where you can still get around? Do you have loved ones? Do you have a good church family? List these blessings on a post-it note and place it where you can see it several times a day. After reading these blessings over and over, you will be able to say with David that you can praise God.

Now that you are praising God, the next step is to magnify Him with thanksgiving. I love looking up words from King James’ era when our beloved King James Bible was translated. The words from that time period have so much more punch and meaning than if using modern-day English.

Noah Webster’s definition of magnify is:

2. To make great in representation; to extol; to exalt in description or praise. The embassador magnified the king and queen.
3. To extol; to exalt; to elevate; to raise in estimation. Thee that day Thy thunders
magnified. The Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly. 1 Chr 29.

So my brother and sister in Christ, extol and exalt the precious Name of Jesus to yourself and anyone who will listen! Share with others God’s blessings and compassion for you! Doing this is a sure-fire way of taking your eyes off your circumstances and discouragement and focusing on the “good” things that the Lord has blessed you with. Do you have the gift of writing? Let others know what God has done for you. Do you have the gift of speaking? Use your gift and magnify the Lord and His goodness toward you. Do you have a gift of ministering to others? Find yourself a dear Senior Saint and share God’s blessings with them. I dare say, these dear Saints are in desperate need of a kind and uplifting word. As you read the words to Mr. Oatman’s song, Count Your Blessings, you can surely appreciate the fact that he had been through a few bouts of discouragement. He learned from David what he had to do to be encouraged.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

~Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

How often do we give thanks for all that God has done throughout the ages, even in our own lives? When I look back at God’s hand in my life, I can’t help but rejoice! In the middle of my darkest hours, my heart has led me to His word and encouraged me. Discouragement happens – there’s no getting around it. However, what we DO with discouragement is the key, amen?  This separates the nominal Christian with the disciple (the disciplined Christian).  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Who knows me better than me? If I allow myself to wallow in self-pity or discouragement, I won’t have the desire to seek the holy things of God. I won’t have the desire to remember what He has done for me. However, if I train myself to recognize discouragement and immediately start praising God, I will see the rain cloud dissipate. A grateful heart and a thankful heart does not have room for discouragement.

What does God say about discouragement? If you search the word of God for the words “discourage, discouraged, discouragement,” you will see that they appear a total of seven times – six in the Old Testament and only once in the New Testament. Numbers 32 reveals exactly what God thinks of discouragement and of those who lead others into it. Some discouraged the children of Israel so much so that those above the age of 20 were not allowed into the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 32:9,11).  Those are serious repercussions for what some think is a small thing.  God obviously does not consider discouraging others a small matter.

Let’s look at the consequences of discouragement.  Discouragement is an insult to God! It tells God that you are not satisfied with His provisions in your life and that you can do better. But let me ask you this: How is that discouragement working out for you? Aren’t you miserable? Furthermore, you are not acting alone.  You’re dragging others down with you – especially your family members for they can see you as you really are. The unsaved who come into contact with you on a daily basis interpret your discouragement as your God’s lack of power. What a horrible testimony to the Living God!

Psalm 30:4 encourages us to sing  and to give thanks!  If you can’t even come up with one thing to be thankful for, I believe you have more serious issues than discouragement.  This type of thinking is selfish and self-centered.  Life is not about you, no matter what you think!  Life is about Christ and what He has given to us and done for us! The first thing we have to be thankful for is salvation!  Even if nothing else ever happened in the Christian’s life, thanking God for his salvation should be enough to keep him busy!  Our time on this earth is so short compared to eternity!  Our lack of thankfulness here will be reflected there! Don’t you see that?

Make full use of all that God has done for you in your “singing”!  You have a roof over your head; you’re not going hungry; you have clothing; you have people who care for you.  There is always something for which to be thankful!  Always!!!  Make a list if you have to – but do it.  Watch that discouragement melt away as you sing praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords!  God is faithful and loves you!  Acknowledge Him and be thankful for all that He has done.

Great is Thy Faithfulness (Thomas O. Chisolm)

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As thou has been, thou forever will be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

(Refrain)

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

(Refrain)

The picture above was taken by a sweet Christian lady, Connie Wentworth and used here with her permission. Her pictures are mostly taken in the State of Maine and depict God’s glorious creation! Thank you, Connie, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

~Psalm 105:1-5 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (1) Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. (2) Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. (3) Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. (4) Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; (5)

Weariness… it creeps in like a rain storm. You see dark clouds and a wall of rain from a distance yet the sun is still shining over you. Closer and closer the rain comes and you know that it’s only a matter of minutes before you are drenched. Isn’t weariness the same? It doesn’t come quickly and out of the blue – it slowly builds.

Weariness is a tool that the devil sometimes uses to overwhelm the believer. Ole slew foot is smart! He works slowly, methodically, making sure that you do not recognize his tactics. He creeps in unaware. By the time the believer is totally weary, he can no longer see the hand of God in his life. That is why it is so important for the believer to keep his eyes on the Lord and not on the day-to-day circumstances.

In these beautifully written verses, the Psalmist gives us insight as to what we can do to overcome our weariness. Psalm 105:1 does not specify exactly for what we are suppose to thank God. However, God showed us elsewhere in His word:

~Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

We are to thank God for the bad – the good – the uncertainties – for everything! It is hard to be sad when you have an ‘attitude of gratitude’. A thankful heart cannot be achieved during trials when all we’re doing is griping and complaining about our lot in life. The more we complain, the easier it becomes!  It comes to a point where complaining becomes a habit.  Our heart is a muscle which needs to be exercised like any muscle. Therefore, exercising our faith and teaching ourselves to be thankful in all things will result in a strong, grateful attitude. It is so important to get a handle on this because whatever condition our heart is in will be revealed by the words we speak.

~Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 

Practice makes perfect. Starting today, thank God for your trials. You will start conditioning your heart – you will be exercising your faith and making it strong. The Lord says that whatever thoughts we harbor in our hearts will be reflected in our speech. Our mouths are a dead give-away for what lies in our hearts – you must understand this. Whether your trial is chronic illness, financial problems, marital stresses or other relationship problems, thank God for these in your life. When we experience a trial in our lives, it is our opportunity to be trained by God! When we don’t thank Him, our heart is certainly not open to being taught and our attitude will show it. God wants to teach us to rest in Him – to draw upon His grace to make it through each day. When we moan and groan, our thoughts couldn’t be any further from the Lord. Thanking him in all things opens our heart to seeing what He wants to teach us. We are then able to glean from the Scriptures and we are ready to accept His direction.

Psalm 105:1-2 speak of telling others what the Lord has done for us. When we keep His blessings to ourselves, we miss out on opportunities to give glory to God for His goodness and grace. We are to tell others of the trials we have been experiencing and how the God of Glory has brought us through them. This doesn’t mean that you now have center stage and can express every gory detail about the trial. But it does mean that you can generalize and then give every detail about how the Lord is bringing you through. Tell them that He is your light in the very darkest of nights. Give God the glory in all things and He will give you exactly the right amount of grace of each difficult moment of the day – He will sustain you!

Psalm 105:4 encourages us to seek God’s face and His strength. Some trials will never go away. It is at these times that we must accept the fact that we will be living with this trial until the Lord takes us Home. It is those dear believers who need to seek Him and His strength minute by minute. There is nothing this believer can do to make this trial go away. Therefore, it is vital this believer gets his strength from the Father because in his own strength, he will fail. The Heavenly Father never fails!

So dear weary Christian, (1) give thanks in all things, (2) make know to others how God is bringing your through, and (3) seek Him and His strength. His grace is sufficient!

O Render Thanks To God Above

O render thanks to God above,
The fountain of eternal love,
Whose mercy firm through ages past
Hath stood, and shall forever last.

Who can His mighty deeds express,
Not only vast, but numberless?
What mortal eloquence can raise
His tribute of immortal praise?

Extend to me that favor, Lord,
Thou to Thy chosen dost afford;
When Thou return’st to set them free,
Let Thy salvation visit me.

O may I worthy prove to see
Thy saints in full prosperity,
That I the joyful choir may join,
And count Thy people’s triumph mine!

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

~Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

How is your “contentment meter” reading today? Is working on contentment in your spiritual walk at a snail’s pace or are you zooming toward the mark? Practicing contentment should be a way of life. It’s human nature to complain, isn’t it? But it takes a lot of practice not to complain.

Paul said that he “had learned” in whatever situation he was in, to be content. I would say that Paul had reached his mark in this area, wouldn’t you? Paul was not just content with parts of his life but with all of his life.

How does one learn to be content? We become discontent when we look at others. When we dwell on our circumstances long enough, we find that we are not content with what we have. If we look around at the house we live in, we’ll see that our neighbor’s house is so much better. If we look at our friend’s car, we’ll see the bucket ‘o bolts we’re driving. If we look at someone else’s position at work, we’ll notice that we do not have the salary he has. When we “look” at our own circumstances and dwell on them, James says that it will develop into lust and this lust will turn into sin. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: (James 1:15) Therefore, our thought life is what we have to bring under subjection.

Some people are naturally pessimistic – their cup is always half empty – their future seems to hold the worse possible scenario. The pessimistic Christian sees the dark side – this Christian needs a lot of work at controlling his thoughts. This Christian needs to spend some quality time meditating on what God has provided rather than what he does not have. The pessimistic Christian needs to count his blessings instead of looking at his negative circumstances.

Paul had the remedy for negative and stinky thinking. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 ) He controlled his thought life by thinking on good things. So should we. The pessimistic Christian needs to remember that he has a home in eternity awaiting him; he had food to eat today; he awoke in a warm bed; he has a job to support his family, just to name a few. Doing this will keep him focused and on track.

God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. He only provides us with good things in our lives. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17) When we focus on the good things, which are of the Lord, we are walking in His Spirit. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) In so doing, we are not so quick to be discontent, which is sin.

Paul taught about contentment in several churches. It must be a pretty important teaching if he taught it in Hebrews, 1 Timothy, Philippians and Galatians.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Timothy 6:8 )

When we meditate on our salvation, we will not be so quick to notice what we are lacking in this life because we will see that we have gained so much for all eternity! Time here is but a moment in the vastness of eternity.

Maranatha Devotionals


~Isaiah 12:5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. 

The world publishes beautiful graphics of God’s creation – they give intricate details of migration, feeding, flight, etc. But is God given thanks by these same people? They are busy thinking it is due to the process of evolution.

This is where we Christians fail every day. Isaiah tells us to sing unto God and thank Him. Even better, let the earth hear you! We have so much for which to be thankful! Not only has the Lord given us His beautiful creation to look at, but He has given us countless blessings in our lives. Sometimes we must look for the blessings but they are there. It is God’s will for us to be thankful. The average Christian does not think along these lines but the Word of God says so. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ) (Emphasis mine.)

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving… Psalm 95:2a There is no better way to start off your devotional time with the Lord than with giving thanks for everything. I just love this piece – I’ve never found out who actually wrote it, but it shows you just how you don’t have to look far to find God’s blessings in your life. If any of you happen to know who the Author of this wonderful piece is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Thank You Lord!

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy in the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord, there are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.

I can’t help but think that God smiles from ear-to-ear when He hears this woman’s words in the mornings! She has learned the art of being thankful and finding God’s blessings at every turn in her life. What are you thankful for today?

~Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Maranatha Devotionals

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is fitting to focus on a thankful heart. I love Noah Webster’s definition of the word psalm:

A sacred song or hymn; a song composed on a divine subject and in praise of God. The most remarkable psalms are those composed by David and other Jewish saints, a collection of one hundred and fifty of which constitutes a canonical book of the Old Testament, called Psalms, or the book of Psalms. The word is also applied to sacred songs composed by modern poets, being versifications of the scriptural psalms, or of these with other parts of Scripture, composed for the use of churches; as the Psalms of Tate and Brady, of Watts, etc.

Can you imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when His children come before Him in their prayer closets or church services with this kind of grateful and thankful prayer? Can you imagine what it would be like if God’s children would make this joyful noise to Him with this kind of sacred psalm? I have chill bumps just thinking about it!

I know how blessed I am when my children are thankful for their blessings in life and say so. How much more our Heavenly Father? All blessings come from Him. He is worthy to be blessed, praised and worshiped! God enjoys blessing His children just as we enjoy blessing ours. Do we like it when our children are ungrateful? Of course not. Nor should we be ungrateful to our precious Heavenly Father. After all, He sent His only Son to take our punishment for sin so that we may inherit eternal life! There is no better reason to be thankful! (John 3:16)

Share with me today as we start preparing our hearts for one of the best holidays this country has. Yes, the world has turned it into a money-making holiday. As Christians, we must remember why we are thankful and sing sacred psalms to the One who has provided for us. I can think of many reasons why I am thankful – not just at Thanksgiving but every day: my salvation, my husband and the fact that he has survived colon cancer, my children, my precious grandson, my Pastor, my dear friends, my church family, my health, and the list goes on. When I focus on being thankful, I am not thinking about my problems and trials. (Ephesians 5:20, James 1:17, 2 Corinthians 9:15, Philippians 4:6)

O King of Kings, O Lord of Lords
Henry Burton, 1887

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, Whose throne is lifted high
Above the nations of the earth, the armies of the sky,
The spirits of perfected saints may give their nobler songs
And we, Thy children, worship Thee, to Whom all praise belongs.

Thy hand has hid within our fields treasures of countless worth;
The light, the suns of other years, shine from the depths of earth;
The very dust, inbreathed by Thee, the clods all cold and dead,
Wake into beauty and to life, to give Thy children bread.

Thou Who hast sown the sky with stars, and set Thy thoughts in gold,
Hast crowned our nation’s life, and ours, with blessings manifold;
Thy mercies have been numberless; Thy love, Thy grace, Thy care,
Were wider than our utmost need, and higher than our prayer.

O King of kings, O Lord of hosts, our fathers’ God and ours!
Be with us in the future years; and if the tempest lowers,
Look through the cloud with light of love, and smile our tears away
And lead us through the brightening years to Heaven’s eternal day.

Maranatha Devotionals


Numbers 13:31-33 (But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. 32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

If you take a moment to read this entire chapter, you will remember that God promised the children of Israel the beautiful land of Canaan. However, somewhere along the way, the children of Israel forgot the blessings of yesterday – how this same God had rescued them in times passed! This was the same God who parted the Red Sea so they could escape Pharaoh and his chariots! (Exodus 14) In today’s reading, it does not appear as though the children of Israel remembered God’s power. How sad it is that we soon forget God’s blessings and the miracles He performs in our every day lives!

I’m certain that you’ve been in situations in life where you have felt like you were a grasshopper in comparison to the giant of a problem you were experiencing. I know that I have been in those circumstances many a time! Some days it felt as though I had to climb a mountain in order to get over the crisis of the day. Today’s photo of this beautiful mountain really spoke to my heart as I was working on this devotional. As impossible as it seems to be able to climb this mountain, the solution to my crisis seemed just as impossible! I really felt as though I was that grasshopper in the midst of giants. I can almost feel exactly what the children of Israel were feeling!

So how is a Christian suppose to act when he is confronted with a ‘giant’? I love the Jewish holy days that the Jews were commanded to celebrate. God knows our weaknesses. He created days where the children of Israel had to take time out of their busy schedule to honor Him, to remember His blessings and how He gave them shelter during their storms! God knows that when we take a moment to remember His goodness, our discouragement or feelings of being overwhelmed will be easier to handle. The storm of life does not go away but we are aware that the Lord can help us through them. (Psalm 121:1-2) In giving the people holy days to remember, God gave them an opportunity to reflect and remember what He had done for them. The Psalmist, David, practiced this very thing as he shared in three of his psalms: Psalm 42:6, Psalm 77:10, and Psalm 77:11  A Christian who makes it a practice to remember God’s goodness on a daily basis will be able to fight the giants in his spiritual life.

What giant are you facing today, reader? Do you feel like a grasshopper in the midst? Think back on the problems and trials in your life thus far. If you’re reading this devotional, then I can safely assume that you survived each one through the grace of God! 🙂 Remember how the Lord worked out the details and blessed you?! Those were yesterday’s giants – you are yesterday’s grasshopper! Yet the Lord conquered your giant, my friend. What makes you think that He would not help you with this giant? Meditate on the details of yesterday’s trial and how God worked every one of them out! This will make your heart tender and will prepare it for praise, honor and worship.

We are exhorted to give thanks in all things. Wow, Paul, really? But how can we give thanks when we are in the midst of a severe trial? How can I thank God for this crisis? Paul gives us the answer:

Eph. 5:19-20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

When I sing hymns and spiritual songs, my mind cannot focus on my problems. In so doing, I place a song in my heart – I’ve converted my sorrowful heart into a joyful one. A thankful heart will not have room for defeat because it is too busy being thankful – it is too busy being grateful for what the Lord has done in days gone by. Christians need to celebrate days of remembrance of their own – our own personal ‘holy’ days, if you will. When our prayer life includes song, worship and thankful praise to our Lord and Saviour for the many blessings that we have, we do not have time for bitterness. A grateful heart does not give himself an opportunity for complaining! (Job 5:8-9)

When we complain about our lot in life, we place ourselves in a position where we display a bad testimony. It’s a bad testimony to have an ungrateful heart because it shows others that our God is not able! It is also showing our children and other Christians around us just how much we do not trust the Lord to take care of our giants! (Proverbs 3:5-6) We reveal just how much of a grasshopper we believe that we are!

Is our God able or isn’t He? He is still the ultimate Conqueror! (Romans 8:37-39) He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This same God who parted the Red Sea and conquered the giants in Canaan, will help you with your giants! David not only faced his giant (Goliath), he ran towards him. (1 Samuel 17:48) David knew that his God was able to help defeat his giant because he remembered how his God brought him through previous trials! (1 Samuel 17:37)

Proverb 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Maranatha Devotionals

Psalm 107

1 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. 5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. 7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. 8 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

The best New Year’s resolution a believer could make is to be more thankful for the blessings God has bestowed upon him (Psalm 107:1). [Note to Reader: I’ve added the new widget that allows you to see the Scripture verse by positioning your curser over the Bible reference and a small pop-up will appear with the verse.] The natural display of emotion after receiving a blessing is to tell others, hence Psalm 107:2. The child of God who does not see these blessings or stays silent after being blessed is self centered and ungrateful child. This may come across as harsh to some who read this but let’s stop and discuss why I am saying this.

Psalm 10:4 says that the prideful man does not have God in his thoughts. In fact, the verse regards this person as wicked. Surely the child of the King does not want to be in the same category as the wicked and ungodly. If the Christian does not have God in his thoughts, he loses focus. He does not see that the very bread on his table is there because the Lord has blessed him! (Psalm 37:25) He does not see that the bills are being paid because the Lord has provided a job and finances to pay for those bills. The ungrateful believer is absorbed in himself. He has succumbed to the sin of pride and taken his eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 John 2:16)  The cares of this world and all that it offers has consumed him and he has forgotten the Lord.

Don’t you know that God will get your attention one way or another if you are His child? (Proverbs 3:12)  It is a fearful thing to ignore God!  Would your earthly parents have “taken it” if you had ignored their instructions?  Absolutely not!  You would have been punished for sure.  Why would you think it different in your relationship with your Heavenly Father?

It is a miserable believer indeed who does not recognize the blessings that flow from the Throne of Grace! Dear friend, if you are reading this and think me foolish, I beg you to try this resolution! Dig down deep if you have to but find one thing to be thankful for each morning! Start with your salvation! Meditate on what was done to our Saviour before and during the suffering of the cross! My word, no royalty has ever left his kingdom to pay a punishment for you! But our Lord and Saviour did! He left His Heavenly throne to take on the form of man so He could die for us! Such love!!

Can you do it? Will you do it is more the question that needs to be asked. I know way too many people who call themselves Christians and are absolutely miserable! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! If your salvation is the only blessing you can be thankful for, then start saying so. It won’t be long before your heart allows the Holy Spirit to do His job!

Start your new year off by committing to God that you will make Him the center of your life. Start by recognizing the day’s blessings when you review your day at bed time. Thank Him for these blessings. Then when you wake up the next morning, make it a point to tell others. There is a person out there that needs encouraging and sharing your blessings may be just the thing that person needs!

Maranatha Devotionals, Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

~Matthew 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

Have you been touched by Christ? Don’t just automatically answer “yes” to my question. Reach deep down in your heart of hearts and answer truthfully … just between you and God.

Anyone you talk to who has ever received an absolutely wonderful Christmas gift can tell you who gave it to them, what Christmas the gift was given, and exactly how they felt when they opened it. Correct? The same is true with the gift of salvation. One knows when they receive this gift and when they received it. Everyone goes through the salvation experience differently, but everyone knows the gift they have been given.

The Father loved us so much that He gave us a Gift through His Son, Jesus Christ. The beautiful gift of salvation began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve first sinned. The gift arrived when Christ was born. The gift was fulfilled when He arose from the dead. And, finally, the Gift awaits us when we reach Heaven. Our faith will be made sight and we will be with Him for all eternity.

So, my friend, have you been touched by Jesus? If you have, then arise and be not afraid! We do not know what our future on earth holds – whether our country will survive the birth pangs of the end times – whether the Rapture will happen today or in 20 years. But one thing we know for certain – Christ touched us and we need not be afraid!

Stand out amongst the lost and rejoice! Give Christ the sacrifice of a thankful heart this Christmas. Let everyone you know hear you rejoice in the God of your salvation! Praise be to God in the highest!!!!

Good Reading, Inspirational Reading, Scriptures, Devotionals

IMG_0059

~Psalm 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

It is good to remember our blessings and to thank God for all that He has given to us. He has blessed us with so much, hasn’t He? But I believe that the blessing that leads all blessings for me is in Christ’s holiness! Without Christ’s perfect holiness, we would not be able to enjoy salvation. It is this perfection that made Him the only one qualified to die for our sins because He lived a sinless and perfect life. He was our spotless Lamb!

Thank You, Lord, for dying for us! Without You, we would be lost and on our way to Hell. Praise Your Holy Name!!!

Maranatha Devotionals

~1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

What is it in your life that is preventing you from fulfilling this verse? Is it your health? Is it your finances? Is it a bad marriage? Why would one thank God for such trials? I believe Paul wants us to thank God because we know that the Lord will be there to provide comfort, will shed light on our path, will give us counsel through His Word, and will carry us when we just can’t go one more step. Knowing this helps us to be grateful to our Heavenly Father. Therefore, it’s easy to give thanks in everything because we have peace – we know the Lord is in control!

“I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I found myself, my work and my God.” – Helen Keller

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Maranatha Devotionals

It is not a coincidence that the Holy Spirit of God would be depicted as a dove. It’s a wonderful picture – gentle in descent – cooing. God’s Spirit gently comes on us – He is not forceful, but “lights” on us. His “cooing” is not a blaring noise or a scream – but a gentle coo – a still small voice, which works in our hearts to woo us to Christ. Thoughts like these bring great comfort to me. They still my troubled spirit and create in me a calmness. We can be in the midst of the most tumultuous storm in our lives but the Spirit brings us comfort, reminding us that God is in control of even the worst of storms. God is not the author of confusion – He does not have to resort to such measures to get our attention. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Cor 14:33) Instead, He has left us with the Holy Spirit to draw us to Him. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. (Jam 4:8a)

The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter. Oh joy! God’s Word doesn’t coincidentally portray Him as such. God meant to show us that although He is a Judge, He is also our Saviour and our Comforter! As I searched for the word comforter, I discovered that it was conveniently used seven times in the King James Bible! The joys that come from God’s Word when we but only search through it. How blessed we are!

(1) So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. (Ecc 4:1) Solomon, the wisest except for Christ, said that he observed all those who were oppressed and they had no comforter. We are no longer over powered by the devil and sin. We are no longer over burdened with the load of sin. We have freedom through Christ Jesus! We have the Comforter, given to us at the time of salvation and we are, therefore, sealed unto the day of redemption! And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Eph 4:30) The first mention of the word comforter is applied to mankind being separated from God. There is no comfort outside of God, my friend. Only He can provide a comfort which is lasting – nothing else can bring this kind of comfort to the soul. The Hebrew word for comforter here is:

H5162
נחם
nâcham
naw-kham’
A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): – comfort (self), ease [one’s self], repent (-er, -ing, self).

It is not a coincidence that these definitions describe the Holy Spirit’s ministry. I also thought of the verse where Christ breathed upon His disciples so they could receive the Holy Spirit. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (Joh 20:22) Jesus said and did this right after He told them “Peace be unto you” in the previous verse. The Holy Spirit definitely brings peace to the believer – what a Comforter He is!

(2) Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself. (Lam 1:9) The unsaved do not have this wonderful Comforter as we do. The enemy reigns in their lives and sin rules their bodies. Jeremiah weeped because Zion had defiled the things of God. They did not have the Comforter convicting them of sin as we have Him today.

This is the second appearance of the word comforter. The number two, symbolizing “witness or separation,” is evidenced in why the Comforter was not with Zion. They had defiled the things of God – they were no longer separated and a peculiar people unto God! The heathen could not see anything different about God’s people.

(3) For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed. (Lam 1:16) Our Blessed Comforter relieves our soul from eternal damnation – from an eternity of burning in hell’s fire – from eternal separation from the Saviour! Praise the Lord for the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit who woos us to Christ and brings us to the saving power of the Cross! There is salvation only through God. The number three symbolizes the Godhead. How appropriate that we find this beautiful Triune God in (1 Jo 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, draws us to Him and brings to memory what His Word teaches (John 15:26).

(4) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; (Joh 14:16) I lost my father in 1993 and I grieved so deeply for him. How I missed his presence and his teasing! When my mother passed away, I felt like an orphan, even though I was almost 50 years old at the time. It is not so with our Heavenly Father! He has left us His Spirit, our Comforter, who promises to abide with us forever! Jesus Himself promised us this! What a glorious promise it is indeed! I am not an orphan at all! I was born into God’s family on April 1st, 1980, and His Comforter was given to me to be with me forever! Oh Glory!! This is the I fourth mention of the Comforter. The number four symbolizes “earth, creation, and world.” Despite the fact that earth shall pass away, our Comforter is with us forever. He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5b) … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

(5) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26) This same Comforter is not only with us forever, but He also is our Teacher! He wrote the Word of God. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pe 1:21) Who better to interpret the Word to us than the One Who wrote it? We don’t need someone to interpret God’s Word for us. If we are diligently seeking the Lord’s will in our lives through His Word, He will show us what He desires for us. I did not go to church for three months after I was first saved. During those three months, I was very studious and read my Bible at least three hours a day and soaked it in like a sponge. When I heard my first message preached three months later, everything that the preacher said had been taught to me by the Comforter Himself! I definitely was comforted and elated at that very moment. I knew that God had taught me during my readings and He was the one that had taken care of me spiritually so I would not be drawn to false doctrine! What a blessing this was to me! This was my first experience knowing that I was His child and He would care for me!

This fifth (five symbolizing grace, cross, atonement, life) appearance of the Comforter shows us that the Holy Spirit will bring to mind and teach us from His Word all that we need to know regarding Christ and how to live the Christian life. Coincidence? I doubt it! Can this beautiful pattern of God’s numbering be duplicated in any other version than the King James? Nope! Ju
st for the fun of it, I looked up the word in a few other versions and some had more and some had less. God means for us to be blessed by His Words. He means for us to find golden nuggets within the pages of our Kings James Bible, my friend. All we need to do is search them out. Bless His Holy Name!

(6) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (Joh 15:26) Our Comforter is also the One who will reveal Christ to us. He woos us to Christ, He pricks our heart and convicts us of our sin so we see the need of Christ, then He molds us to be like Christ. As He teaches us the truths from the Word, He testifies of Christ and glorifies Him through our yielded lives. What a beautiful portrait! This is the sixth appearance of the word Comforter – six symbolizes man. Man cannot gain entrance to Heaven without Christ. Man is lost and on his way to hell without Christ. How wonderful that God would place the sixth appearance of the Comforter in this light – showing man his need of salvation through the work of the Comforter!

(7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (Joh 16:7) Our Saviour did not leave us empty handed upon His departure. He left us in good hands. He left us His Spirit to dwell within us. This Comforter was sent to us by the Good Shepherd who knew exactly what we needed to complete our mission here on earth! Bless God! Glory to the Highest! Our comfort is complete because of the work of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter! God’s perfect love for us is shown by leaving His Spirit with us! Perfection, again, in the Trinity is shown here by the seventh use of this blessed word comforter!

Brother Jerry Bouey added these insights – what a blessing!

“First of all, we have the promise of the Comforter. The word ‘Comforter’ is interesting. It is used to translate a Greek word, Parakletos, which is a compound word meaning, one who comes to the side of another, that is a helper in time of need. In the First Epistle of John (chap. 2:1) we have ‘Advocate,’ which is exactly the same word in the original.

There is a sweetness and preciousness about that word ‘Comforter’ that appeals to the heart. After all, we cannot use any other word in our language that would so adequately represent the Greek word, for the Paraklete is in very truth the Comforter. Our English word ‘Comforter’ is also a compound. ‘Comforter’ comes from two Latin words – con, and fortis, the one meaning ‘to be in company with,’ and the other ‘to strengthen,’ so that actually the Comforter is one who strengthens by companionship. That is one of the great ministries of the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete is one who comes to your side to help, to give aid, and so the word is properly used. An attorney-at-law, or an advocate, is one who comes to help you in your legal difficulties, and the Holy Spirit is all this. He has come from heaven, as promised by our blessed Lord, to assist us in every crisis, in every time of difficulty that may arise in our Christian lives – He strengthens by His companionship.” (Quoted from Addresses On The Gospel Of John by H.A. Ironside, pages 622-623)

Jerry’s added comment:

A trace of the root words behind Parakletos gives us this definition: “One who is called alongside.” With these two definitions (ie. Ironside’s and Strong’s) taken together, we arrive at the conclusion that the Comforter is “one who comes alongside to strengthen” – in this case, strengthening from the inside. That is a wonderful picture. A believer can come alongside and strengthen someone else with their words of comfort, but the Holy Spirit does His special work of comfort from the inside, using the Word of God as His means of comforting.

This series has truly proven to be quite a blessing! Never did I imagine that we could glean so many “groupings and numbers” in God’s Word! The joy that I have received is more than I can contain!

The Comforter

I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I realized I was doomed, pretty hopeless I’ll say.
But The Comforter entered and brought me such peace.
I knew I was different, that burden released.

Those tears just kept coming, His Love could it be?
How precious and sacred that time was to me!
He washed me and saved me from sin and despair.
I was heading for hell, it seemed no one cared.

But my Heavenly Father loved a wretch such as me.
That He sent His Dear Son to shed blood on a tree.
He took upon Him all my sin and my shame.
That some day with Him I would be able to reign.

Praise my Wonderful Lord from Whom all Blessings Flow.
How wonderful these words, how they bless my soul.
How wondrous for me is this Act of Great Love.
Provided by my Father from Heaven Above!

Thank you Lord for saving my soul!

Kate Plourde

Maranatha Devotionals

Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. (Isa 12:5) The world publishes beautiful graphics of God’s creation – they give intricate details of migration, feeding, flight, etc. But is God given thanks by these same people? They are busy thinking it is due to the process of evolution.

This is where we Christians fail every day. Isaiah tells us to sing unto God and thank Him. Even better, let the earth hear you! We have so much for which to be thankful! Not only has the Lord given us His beautiful creation to look at, but He has given us countless blessings in our lives. Sometimes we must look for the blessings but they are there. It is God’s will for us to be thankful. The average Christian does not think along these lines but the Word of God says so. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thess 5:18 ) (Emphasis mine.)

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving… Psalm 95:2a There is no better way to start off your devotional time with the Lord than with giving thanks for everything. I just love this piece – I’ve never found out who actually wrote it, but it shows you just how you don’t have to look far to find God’s blessings in your life. If any of you happen to know who the Author of this wonderful piece is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Thank You Lord!

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs cleaning. It has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that we all enjoy in the yard. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord, there are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.

I can’t help but think that God smiles from ear-to-ear when He hears this woman’s words in the mornings! She has learned the art of being thankful and finding God’s blessings at every turn in her life. What are you thankful for today?

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Eph. 5:20

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Maranatha Devotionals

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phi 4:11) How is your “contentment reader” reading today? Is working on contentment in your spiritual walk at a snail’s pace or are you zooming toward the mark? Practicing contentment should be a way of life.

Paul said that he “had learned” in whatever situation he was in, to be content. I would say that Paul had reached his mark in this area, wouldn’t you? Paul was not just content with part of his life but with all of his life. How does one learn to be content? We become discontent when we look at others. When we dwell on our circumstances long enough we find that we are not content with what we have. If we look around at the house we live in, we’ll see that our neighbor’s house is so much better. If we look at our friend’s car, we’ll see the bucket ‘o bolts we’re driving. If we look at someone else’s position at work, we’ll notice that we do not have the salary he has. When we “look” at our own circumstances and dwell on them, James says that it will develop into lust and this lust will turn into sin. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: (Jam 1:15a) Therefore, our thought life is what we have to bring under control. Some people are naturally pessimistic – their cup is always half empty – their future seems to always to hold the worse possible scenario. The pessimistic Christian sees the worse – this Christian needs a lot of work at controlling his thoughts. This Christian needs to spend some quality time meditating on what God has provided rather than what he does not have.

Paul had the remedy for negative and stinky thinking. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phi 4:8 ) He controlled his thought life by thinking on good things. So should we. The pessimistic Christian needs to remember that he has a home in eternity awaiting him; he had food to eat today; he awoke in a warm bed; he has a job to support his family, just to name a few. Doing this will keep him focused and on track.

God gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. He only provides us with good things in our lives. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (Jam 1:17) When we focus on the good things, which are of the Lord, we are walking in His Spirit. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16) In so doing, we are not so quick to be discontent, which is sin.

Paul taught about contentment in several churches. It must be a pretty important teaching if he taught it in Hebrews, 1 Timothy, Philippians and Galatians.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Ti 6:6)

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Ti 6:8 )

When we meditate on our salvation, we will not be so quick to notice what we are lacking in this life because we will see that we have gained so much for all eternity!

Dear God…
May my heart always be grateful
For what You have given me
May I not dwell on what I lack
But I pray to see things clearly

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