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BABY TALK

HOSEA 14:3

I don’t know about you, but compassion is a big deal to me. I have worked almost 42 years with children and teenagers. They need to be shown compassion. They need to know someone loves them. I have found that when kids know you truly care about them, they respond. When I was dealing with difficult children, compassion went a long way.

Our verse today ends with a phrase that really hit me hard. It says, “for in You the orphan finds mercy.” The word for “mercy” is not the normal Hebrew word chesed. It’s racham which means to love or have compassion. It’s similar in meaning to chesed, but it’s different. To me, it almost seems more tender. It actually refers to a motherly type of love and is similar to another Hebrew word which means womb. I just love that.

APPLICATION

How tender are you with your loved ones? How about your children? Moms, remember when you first laid eyes on your children. Dads, do you remember the first time you held your child? Maybe you aren’t a parent. Have you ever held a tiny, little baby? That’s the feeling I’m referring to with this word. It’s deep compassion.

I recently held a newborn. One of our young couples just had their third child. I was in the hallway of the church when they came in. The father handed me his son to hold. The feeling I had when I held my own children came back. I made a fool of myself cooing and using my best baby talk. That’s how God loves us.

We were reborn into His family. I can just picture the Lord holding us and loving on us. He wants us to feel His compassion and tenderness. He shows it to the orphans, but He shows it to us as well. Tender, sweet, compassionate love! That’s it. Have you felt that lately from your Heavenly Father? If you haven’t, come to Him.

I long for Your tenderness and compassion, Lord. Hold me and love me as only You can.

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DON’T CRY

HOSEA 10:5

“The inhabitants of Samaria will fear for the calf of Beth-aven. Indeed, its people will mourn for it, and its idolatrous priests will cry out over it, over its glory, since it has left it.”

You may have been told by your mom or dad to not cry over something. You may have even been told, “I’ll give you something to cry about.” I don’t suggest that either of those statements be used with kids. Crying is okay if it’s for the right reasons. I am a major crier. I cry at Hallmark commercials.

Israel, however, was crying over the wrong stuff. They were crying over the destruction of their pagan altars. They were heartbroken over an idol. Even their “idolatrous priests will cry out over it.” What a scene, what a spectacle. What a misuse of tears.

APPLICATION

Before you go and get all high and mighty, we have done the same. We have cried over things that we have no business crying over. When we lose something that is important to us, we may cry over that. I have known people who totally lost it after misplacing a piece of jewelry. I have known other people who couldn’t control their emotions over a breakup with someone.

We all put too much emphasis on temporal things. We put way too many things above God. He is the only one who deserves our full devotion. When we make anything or anyone an idol in our lives, we turn our attention away from the Lord. Sure, the Lord cares about our losses. He doesn’t want to see us upset and crying. But He also knows that only the eternal is really important.

Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you cried over a lost soul? Do you have friends or family who are lost? Have you cried out for them lately? I pray you have. Those are tears that move the Lord’s heart. Those are tears that can cause change. Now, go grab some tissue.

O Lord, let my tears be tears that move Your heart. I will shed those tears of brokenness over those I long to see come to know You.

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A PIECE OF WOOD

HOSEA 4:12

“My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of infidelity has led them astray, and they have been unfaithful, departing from their God.”

I have mentioned before in my blogs that my dad was a great carpenter. He had a way with wood. He could take a piece of wood and turn it into something beautiful. He could make furniture or build a building. But one thing my dad never did was turn a piece of wood into an idol.

Israel had gone after the false gods of the land and had made idols to represent them. They would bow down to a wooden figure that had been carved by man. Why was this wrong? Commandment number 2! God had told them through Moses to never make any kind of image to worship. He was the only one worthy of worship, and no image could represent Him.

APPLICATION

I have missionary friends around the world who live in places where this is very common. In fact, in some countries there are thousands of temples with tens of thousands of idols that people worship. This isn’t just an Old Testament story. It’s still going on today. Satan still has people fooled into thinking all those idols mean something.

Here in America where I live, we don’t see that as much. But we certainly have our idols. We may not go to a temple and bow down to them, but we sure worship them. We bow down to entertainment and power and money and lust. We pour out our affections on things that can never give us peace. They are just like those wooden idols in Israel.

Are you being faithful to God? Are you bowing down only to Him? He is the one, true God deserving our praise. Don’t let anything come between you and pure worship today. Give Him your affections. Give Him the honor due His name.

I will bow before no other god. I will lift my hands to You alone, O Lord. You are worthy of my praise.

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DELIBERATE SIN

HOSEA 2:5

“For their mother has committed prostitution: She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’”

I have to admit that I mess up a lot. In the eyes of God, that’s sin. I fall short way too often. Most of the time it is accidental, as it should be. You may have heard it said, “Before salvation, we chase sin. After salvation, it chases us.” Sin, for a believer should be an accident. We should never deliberately choose to sin.

Here in today’s verse we see Gomer has chosen to sin. And even as a prostitute, she didn’t wait for the men to come to her. She went after sin. She chased sin. She was sin-crazed, so to speak. And God is showing Israel that they are the same way. They are chasing after sin. They are choosing to disobey.

APPLICATION

Well, the application is pretty plain. We should not be going after things we know are displeasing to God. We should not be doing things we know are sin in the eyes of God. If we have any doubt, we should stop. As a believer, we have the benefit of the Holy Spirit living in us. He is our sin-o-meter. If we listen, He will warn us far in advance.

But most of us have that meter turned down so low we can’t hear the warning signal. We like flirting with sin. We think we can get away with it. Well, you can’t. Sin will always be revealed. It may not be come out until later, but it will come out. Listen to the Spirit. He is your friend.

Today, stop and ask yourself if you are chasing after anything that is sinful. It may surprise you to find out something you thought was harmless is actually sinful. The devil loves to disguise things to distract us. He loves to lure us into complacency. Just ask the Lord. He will tell you, but you have to listen.

Father, keep me far away from the temptations of this world. I long to walk with You in holiness.

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Be Back Soon

Many of you may be wondering what happened to my daily devotional blogs. Well, the Lord told me to take a break. Now, I don’t mean He spoke to me out loud, but He did had not directed me to a new book of Bible to start. He was saying “Wait.” So, I have been waiting.

I have been writing these devotional blogs every day since January 1, 2016. I truly miss writing these every day. I believe the Lord will give me a new direction by February 1. So watch for the return of the blogs then.

I am also searching for a new way to get these out to everyone. I got off FaceBook a couple of weeks ago because of all the stuff that was going on in Social Media. Please pray God directs me how to disseminate His messages to me each day.

Thanks for being a loyal follower of my blog. I will be back soon.

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THREE

1 JOHN 5:7-8

“7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

I really couldn’t think of another title for today’s devotional. It’s pretty straight forward. We’re talking about witnesses. That is someone who can personally vouch for or speak on behalf of something. They have first-hand knowledge. Have you ever been called as a witness? If you tell the truth, it’s no big deal, is it?

John is following his thought from verse 6. And here in verses 7 and 8 he calls forth the three witnesses which testify about Jesus. I love the last phrase in verse 8 – “and the three are in agreement.” The actual Greek says, “these three are in one.” That’s awesome. The water, the blood and the Spirit all speak to who Jesus is.

APPLICATION

Speaking the truth about something is important. Our kids should be taught to always tell the truth. If you know the truth, speak the truth. Falsehoods and lies will lead you to more and more trouble. It gets hard to keep the facts straight, and pretty soon you’re telling lies to cover lies. We should always point others toward the truth.

Our children, even our young children, can be witnesses for Christ. They can share the truth about Jesus to anyone. What’s really great is that most people will let them talk. They may shut us down, but they will listen to a child talk about God. For the Lord’s sake, teach them to do that every chance they get. They may just plant the seed that could lead someone to accept Christ as Savior.

Are you bearing witness to Jesus? You may be only one witness and not three, but you can be an effective witness. Our lives should be a witness to what He’s done in our lives. He has done so much, hasn’t it? Why in the world would we ever miss an opportunity to tell someone that? And by doing that we are being obedient the One who has delivered us. Amen?

I will tell others the great news of my salvation. I will be a witness to the works You have done in my life and point others to You.

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ARE YOU IN CHAINS?

2 PETER 2:19

“promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”

Have you ever felt defeated and overcome? Who hasn’t at some time in their life? The Greek word for “overcome” is only used three times in the New Testament – here in this verse and in the next verse and also in 2 Corinthians 12:13. It means to be defeated or overcome, to be made to feel inferior. Have you ever felt that way? Be assured that is not of God.

The enemy wants to enslave you to those thoughts and feelings. God never wants us to feel inferior. He is in the building up business. Satan, on the other hand, makes it his goal to bring us down, to make us feel less than we were created to be. Do not be enslaved by those thoughts. Allow the Lord to break those chains of corruption. He wants you free.

APPLICATION

Play a game with your kids. Get some various size links of chain and label them with tags that name various sins we commit. Get some heavy chains if you can and even attach some weights to them. Start putting the chains on your kids, starting with the lightest weight. Once you put it on them, have them walk around the room. Add the additional links of chains and weight, each time having them walk the room.

Keep adding the chains and weights until they can’t walk anymore. Now they are getting the picture. The more sin we allow in our lives, the more we are weighted down. We can’t possibly walk with Christ as He intends with these heavy weights on us. The good news is He can remove them all with just the slightest word. Ask your child how they feel once all the chains are removed. I bet they will feel relieved.

Are you walking around right now weighted down and enslaved by your sins? Have you allowed others to draw you into a lifestyle of bondage? Break free today. Jesus has the ability to break any chains that bind you. Will you trust Him to do that today in your life?

Father, forgive me for wearing the chains of bondage. Break me free from any and all chains that bind me. I want to follow You.

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IT’S HERE

I cannot believe it’s here! Book 1 of the 3 Volumes (volumes 2-3 to follow in 2020). God orchestrated this and used AMG Publishers (Steve, Amanda, Ebony, Rick, others) to make it happen. Can’t wait to see how the Lord will use this in the lives of families.
I will have books available at Woodland Park beginning Sunday, November 3. Would make a great Christmas gift for a family. Price is $14.99.
Or you can order through amgpublishers.com, amazon books, Christian Book Distributors or Lifeway. Just search for the title or author.
To God be the Glory!

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Advice, Career, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, Evangelism, Family, Fatherhood, Inspirational, Mentoring, Ministry, Modeling, Motherhood, Parenting, Surrender, Uncategorized, Witnessing

SUPER GLUED


1 THESSALONIANS 3:13

“so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”

That may sound silly – super glued! But I love that stuff. When something needs to be held tight and not move, pull out the super glue. Just make sure you have it set in the right place, because once the glue is applied, it’s not moving.

That’s the meaning behind the word “establish” in today’s verse. God will super glue your heart “without blame in holiness.” Of course, everything God does is eternal. He doesn’t mess around with temporal stuff. So, if He establishes your heart, He intends it to last for eternity.

APPLICATION

How do you apply this verse to yourself and your family? God can only establish your heart if it is yielded to Him. He won’t force you. As bad as you want your children to follow Christ, it is only possible if they surrender to Him. 

Our job as parents is to prepare our children’s hearts to be established by the Lord. That means we are consistently teaching them God’s Word. We know it won’t come back void. We are consistently teaching them to pray, so when the Holy Spirit draws them to surrender, they will know His voice. 

Have you fully, and I mean fully, surrendered your heart to Him? Does He have it all? If you are holding back, He can’t establish you as blameless or in holiness. If we insist of handling part of our heart ourselves, it will not be secure. Allow the Lord today to have it all.  He can handle it. He can secure it.

You are the Maker of my heart, therefore, You are the only one who can establish it. Thank You, Lord, for super glueing my heart today.

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