Archive for the ‘Guest Devotionals’ Category.

Is My God Too Nice? by Faith Kimbler

 

The other day, Jack was mean to some kids that were visiting at our house.  After our company left, I discussed with Jack what had happened and asked him what he thought his punishment should be.  He was coming up with some hefty punishments that were over the top.  He mentioned execution and starvation to name a few.  He was worried and realized he had done wrong.  I talked to Joe about the situation and since we love Jack so much we talked about why he had been mean.  First, the kids were provoking him.  Secondly, he was having a horrible day to begin with and we should have recognized that before we invited people over.  Third, unable to find something to entertain himself, he was bored and ready for the company to leave.  Together we decided that we would not punish him for his reaction to things he could not deal with in the face of his autism.  I went back and told him “We have decided to give you grace and not give you a punishment.”  He looked astonished and immediately burst into tears and said “I didn’t expect that!”

Isn’t that how we all feel in the face of grace?

Since God made us all so differently and we are each unique, I wonder if He will judge us all differently and individually when we die.  Just like how we as Jack’s parents took his autism and circumstances into account when making our decision, I think God will be the same way with us. He might judge me using this “ruler”, but judge you using that “scale”.  And that other person over there, by some other separate measurement.  If he knows us as well as it says in the Bible, then He sees our hurts, our reasons for our sins, and our struggles.  I think maybe He thinks “No wonder she committed that sin.  I probably would’ve, too, in that situation if I weren’t God and I was a human in her circumstances.”  I think His compassion and empathy are bigger than we can imagine.  If His love is as big as it says in the Bible, then we can expect Him to surprise us with the greatness of His love.

I think when we die, God will meet us, hug us, and say,

“Wow, I’m impressed!  You made it through that life.  Fantastic job!  You put up with a lot and I saw it all.  I saw what that person did to you and said to you when you were a little child.  I saw how you struggled to overcome that the rest of your life.  I saw how you fought to keep from killing yourself every day during that really bad time.  I understand why you felt that way.  That depression is miserable.  I get it. You persevered and fought to love in spite of the overwhelming obstacles in your life.  I am so proud of you.  I kept track of every time you said something loving.  I saw every time you thought a gracious thought towards that person who hated you.  I counted every tear that fell in your pain.  And I cried two tears for every one of yours.  And when the pain was too great to even cry, I felt that same numbing ache that you felt.  But you survived!  You did it!  Did you hear me cheering for you?  Because I was.  Every single minute I cheered for you.”

I think we will be so shocked that we won’t be able to say a thing in response.  And He will continue to astound us.

“I know you think that you aren’t good enough.  I know you feel like you failed to love everyone perfectly.  But I never expected perfection from you.  How could I?  You are a human! Instead, I kept track of every good intention.  I added up all the happiness you felt for another.  I counted every kiss and every hug you gently gave away.  And when you were alone, I saw how you tried so hard not to beat yourself up.  I saw the temptations and their strength, but I also saw your resistance to fight the hate.  I saw how you spread light and laughter when you could.  I saw how you worked to protect those you loved.  I saw how you sacrificed to give to others.  I saw how you responded in love to those church people who spewed wrong things about Me.  I saw how you fought the fear in the middle of the night.  I saw every time you chose to do good instead of evil.  I heard every positive, helpful word you said.  And I am proud, so very proud, to call you my Daughter.  Now that you are so good at loving, we can spend the rest of forever doing just that!”

If you think that this makes God too nice, then you have got it exactly right!  He IS too nice!  He can be as gracious and loving as He wants if He’s God, can’t He?  My version is nothing compared to what it will really be like when you see Him face to face. There’s a verse about every knee bowing at the end.  I think that we will be  so taken back by His love and compassion for us that it will drive us to our knees.  No one will be able to stand in the face of so much love.  And like Jack, we will say with tears and disbelief, “I didn’t expect that!”

THE RESURRECTION by Guest Contributor

DISTRAUGHT AND FRIGHTENED,

CONFUSED AND ALONE.

WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO THE CHOSEN ONE?

THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT HE WAS GONE.

CRUCIFIED AND TREATED LIKE HE WAS NO ONE.

IN ALL THEIR FEAR, AND IN ALL THEIR PAIN,

THEY TRIED TO RECALL ALL THE PROMISES HE MADE.

THEY REMEMBERED THE MIRACLES AND THE GREAT THINGS HE DID.

THEY RECALLED THE PARABLES AND THE GREAT THINGS HE SAID.

FEARING FOR THEIR LIFE, THE DISCIPLES HID AWAY,

AND ALL THEY COULD DO WAS PRAY.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL MORNING WHEN THEY HEARD THE NEWS.

THE SAVIOR WAS GONE, HE WAS NOT IN THE TOMB.

HOPE AND JOY SUDDENLY FILLED THEIR HEARTS,

EVERYTHING HE HAD SAID WAS TRUE FROM THE START.

JESUS WAS RESURRECTED, HE DIED FOR OUR SINS,

SO WE CAN ONE DAY LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM.

GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE SACRIFICED HIS SON.

AND IT WAS IN THE RESURRECTION THAT THE BATTLE WAS WON.

By JOSEPHINE ZAVALA-FLOREZ

 

Good News! By Joni Ames

Once again the nation is divided politically.  Your party may or may not have won last night’s election.  Our guest contributor, Joni Ames, has some good words to share no matter if you are elated or depressed.

Good News!
By Joni Ames

Dear Friends,
My 58th birthday was this past week – Nov. 3rd. My wish/prayer was that Romney get elected. I felt he would be the best man for the job. I was very disappointed (to put it mildly) at the election results reported. But the Lord came alongside and encouraged me, and I want to now encourage you…

I have good news! Jesus is still on the throne.

A president can only serve four to eight years. A king or queen, only as long as they live. But Jesus Christ is on His throne for eternity and can’t get voted off. And at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He, alone, is Lord.

Only Jesus and His Kingdom lasts forever. Even evil men like Hitler, Soddom Hussein, Bin Ladin, and others eventually come to the end of their days and face Him. We will too. So let’s keep our focus and remain faithful.

Chin up, Christians in America. He’s the glory and the lifter of your head. Hang tightly to Him.

Intercessors, stay on the wall. Don’t let go of the momentum of prayer. The Lord and this nation has need of you now more than ever.

The Word of God is true and promises, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have, remembering His Word says, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6 NKJV)

So let’s continue to cry out to our Lord, trust Him, and remember that, truly, the best IS yet to come!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8 NKJV)

Thank you for your love, prayers, and friendship! It means a lot to me!

God bless!!!
Love in Him,
Joni

 

 

www.candacesimar.com

Praying and Voting!

This excerpt of a larger admonition by James Goll addresses our duty to vote.  If you live in the U.S., please vote. If you live in another country, please pray for the U.S. elections.

“Voting” is to “prayer” as “works” is to “faith.” We are to demonstrate our faith by our works or corresponding actions. You can do more than prayer after you’ve prayed. But you cannot do more than pray until you’ve prayed. We do not choose between the two as though they are conflicting purposes. No! We pray, get informed, and then put feet to our faith, and VOTE!

Let me close with a simple and urgent appeal as voters in the United States of America head to the polls this week for our national elections. Pray that righteousness prevails. Pray and vote for those who take a stand for life, who stand with the Biblical view of marriage, and take a firm stand with Israel. This election is not just about the economy or international affairs – as important as those subjects are. These elections, like few others, are about righteousness ruling in our land.

Praying for righteousness to prevail!

 

 

Depend on God

What word in the English language spelled either forward or backward can be described with the same phrase?  The phrase is “man’s best friend.”  If you guessed God (or dog), you would be correct.

On May 19, 2012, my Beagle puppy, Bella, joined my family.  Every day I spend time with her, and she has become my friend.  How do dogs show that they are your friends?  Bella comes up to me and wants me to scratch her belly or simply hold her on my lap.  She also follows me around the farm.  Sometimes, I take her for walks on a leash.

The other dog, Bailey, will come up to me and give me hugs.  She lifts up her front feet and wants to crawl up on me.  Sometimes, I pet her and give her hugs so she knows she is loved.

God, through his son Jesus, also wants to be man’s best friend.  He wants you to turn to Him with all your problems and concerns.  There is a direct link to God through prayer.  You can talk to your friend any time even when it seems like you are alone.

“And you are my friends if you do what I command you.”  John 15:14 TEV

No matter where your journey takes you in life,  remember to depend on “man’s best friend”.  If you have a four-legged friend in your life, give them a hug and say thank you for being a good friend.

A dog is similar to Jesus in that it accepts you in spite of your faults.  Could dogs be angels in disguise to show us what it means to love others?

© September 18, 2012 by Kara Tollerud