Category Archives: Devotionals

Of Value in the Darkness

They don’t wring their hands.

Don’t cower in fear, don’t shrink away from the challenge.

They embrace it.

Almost, celebrate it.

True candles understand they were created to be a light in the darkness, so when the darkness descends, they begin to anticipate  being soon placed into service.

The light of a candle is useless unless surrounded by darkness.

It is life-giving, direction-providing, darkness dispelling.

Beautiful.

In the same way, when surrounded by darkness, the candle is only of value when willing to be set on fire.

Candles are intended to be functional, not decorative.

In fact, ones that look great on the shelf or in the box, rarely burn brightly.

When darkness hits, a match is struck and applied to the candle.

The flame creates a light that burns from the center of the candle, and burns away the darkness around it.

Jesus calls His true followers “lights” that He intends to put on a stand, on a hill, in bright view of anything and everyone that would be caught in darkness.

As darkness tries to descend, those who wear the Name from their core will be easy to spot. They will be burning brightly, contending against the darkness.

Those who wear the Name for cosmetics, for personal comfort, will also be easy to spot.

They will be banding together in a box.

On a shelf.

Choosing not to risk being burned, or offending the darkness.

They will be….

Useless.

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Victory Through Every Battle

 

Some of you are predisposed to alcohol.

Some, to gossip.

Some of you grapple with sexual addiction.

Drug addiction.

Stealing.

Lying.

 

The Word of God tells us that we are born in sin, desperately in need of a Savior.

 

Psychology is telling us the same “part one” of that sentence: some are born predisposed to certain thoughts, feelings, longings. Only, they won’t call it sin. And they won’t tell you that you need a Savior.

 

Because psychology, by it’s nature, is humanistic.

Meaning, it operates from a premise that we’re basically good, what we feel is basically good, and needs to be nurtured.

Tolerated.

Satisfied.

 

The Word tells us that the One Who created us, delicately formed into each of our hearts two critical things. First, a need to be in fellowship with our Creator.

 

Second, the ability to choose for ourselves if we will respect him, or deny Him and try to become our own god, our own creator. The designer of our own destiny.

 

Short term satisfaction and prideful gratification only advances the disease of sin within us.  And make no mistake: it will kill us, if we let it.

 

Humanistic psychology says “I was born this way, I cannot change.”

 

Those redeemed by Calvary say “I was born in sin, and can be set free by the Cross of Christ.”

 

Does that mean that all temptation will be gone?  

 

Not until you see Jesus face to face.

 

We’re told quite clearly from Genesis (“…Sin is crouching at your door; it’s desire is to have you, but you must rule over it.”  Chapter 4) to Revelation (“..woe to the earth and the sea,
 because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short..”  Chapter 12.) that temptations will come as long as we are on the earth.

 

It is up to us to decide if we believe the world (you’ll never be able to conquer it) or the Word (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”).

 

And, remember, Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

 

The Lover of your soul understands the pull of those things that would destroy Him, and you.  He knows, He cares, He understands……and gives the power to say ‘no’ to the sin that is crouching, taunting,  desiring to destroy.

There may not be complete freedom from the temptation, the pull, the longing, the original sin that crouches and seeks to destroy.

There can, however, be victory through, a conquering over, a winner in the battle that is you  –  hidden in the loving, grace-filled, compassionate arms of the Savior who understands.

 

He has conquered the pull of every single sin your enemy could ever throw at you.

 

Fellowship with your Creator, and victory through every battle is yours.

 

If you truly want it…


Free Indeed

Bondage. Darkness. Abuse. Addiction.

Pride, prejudice, personal preference.

Chains of our own making, chains others entrap us in.

 

Desperate desire to be free.

Seeing others walk, run, fly free.

Want what they have, long for what they can do.

Get me there!

 

Straining, trying, striving, exhausted.

 

Pause.

Stop trying to run with chains on your ankles.

Stop trying to fly with shackles on your wrists.

 

So often we want to be free “to do” something, without recognize we must first be set free “from” something.

And being set free ‘from’, usually takes time.

 

The most free people you know are the ones who were willing to sit still long enough for the shackles to be removed.

Willing to curl up and cry long enough for the chains to be softened through their brokenness.

Determined enough to be passionately patient for the Spiritual Surgeon’s scalpel to remove anything that is not of Him.

 

The weariest ones are those who see their bondage, yet refuse to wait for the process of full deliverance before trying to ‘act free’.

 

Feeling weary trying to be set free?

Stop.

Be still.

Admit that He is God, and you are not.

Let Him take the time to patiently remove the chains, restore your soul, and renew your energy.

When you try to set yourself free, you become enslaved to a worse bondage: your own performance-driven pride.

When you allow Him to set you free, you will be free indeed.

 

 

 


Lessons from Noah

Nothing to do with building a boat, preparing for rain.
Not about learning to live with dozens of pairs of roommates for weeks who are truly…animals.
Involves an incredible heritiage of faith, an encouragement for us to ‘build’ the same.
Imagine for a moment the young lad of Noah, in his early teens. Stories were told of a man who walked so closely with God that one day he just disappeared, stepping immediately onto Heaven’s eternal streets. His name was Enoch. Noah says “yeah, he was my great grandfather”.   Then the lad tells about his grandfather Methuselah, who was the oldest man ever to live on the earth.
As an adult Noah ‘found grace in the eyes of The Lord’ at a time when the entire known population on earth was grieving the heart of God. Amid such depravity it is said that Noah walked with The Lord. The same description given of his great grandfather Enoch.
Didn’t matter what the rest of the world was doing, Noah was following the Godly heritage passed down to him and choosing to spend his days listening to God and obeying what he heard.
And life got messy.
Ever said “everyone’s against me?”.  Typically we are exaggerating greatly when that phrase is used.
For Noah, it was reality. Only his immediate family was “with him”; the rest of the world thought he was literally crazy for more than a century. He was ridiculed often, harrassed continually…..until the rain started to fall.
What sent him apart and saved him & his family in the middle of moral collapse is what can set us apart and save us, also.
He remembered his God-honoring heritage. Didn’t matter where public opinion went, he choose consistently to look to the Creator of the Universe for guidance for everything. Everyday.
He walked closely and consistently with his God  –  not random ‘arrow prayers’ or short-term devotional helps. The core of his being was committed to the relationship with his Father, and passing that on to his family.
“Noah, you’re a lunatic!”
Hammer another nail.
“Noah, can’t you see nobody does it that way any more?”
Add another board.
“This God stuff of yours is old fashioned, out of date, too restrictive.”
Measure out another stall for an animal.
When the Voice within us is given priority and permission to speak freely, the volume of voices outside will not matter.  Ever.
If the Spirit within has been neglected or silenced, unstable voices of the world will lead us astray.
Every time.
Lesson one:  Be a person who chooses to walk with, listen to, and obey God above all others. Pass that on to those around you.
Lesson two: Stay close to your spiritual fathers and mothers. They might be in your immediate family, they might not. Those lunatics who choose to walk with God even though the rest of the world says its crazy are the very ones who will quietly, yet firmly lead you to God’s side in the middle of this world’s chaos.
Lesson three, just for fun: realize that some of the ones who God rescues are similar lunatics, animals even, and you just might have a temporary room next to them.  Hang in there,  your ‘landing spot’ will be more than spacious enough for all of us.
~ Hope Scribe

When Everyone Else Walks Away

It’s the  loneliest time of the year, most years.

Seems the whole world has taken a shower in glitter, practiced their pretending.

Songs. Lights. Sales. Parties. Crowds.

Fake smiles, staged pictures.

Plastic families that only come out for the holiday, stepping back into the shadows the rest of the year.

I wander through the middle of it all barely hearing the words, blinded by the lights,  scowling at the pretense.

Peace on earth, good will toward men, help your neighbor because its the right thing to do….today.

Forget about the hurt once the calendar pages turn.

Someday someone will figure out that my heartache doesn’t follow their calendar.

My homelessness isn’t cured by your one-time blanket toss.

Our stomachs groaning from hunger aren’t silenced by your robed choir singing in perfect harmony.

Soon you’ll walk away, just like everyone else.

Everyone, that is, except the One this whole crazy world is supposed to be focused on.

When I tried to run from the noise, He followed me.

Hiding from the fake people, He got real…..and came close to me.

When I cried from the depths of a hurt no one else could understand, He gently dried my tears.

And cried a few of His own, with me.

The ones I thought would be with me forever scowled and walked away, casting judgement on my mistakes.

The One who knows not only my wrong actions, but all my thoughts as well, sat down in the middle of my mess with me.

And held me.

And told me He would never leave, never abandon, never betray.

I stumble, He picks me up.

I steal, lie, cheat, smoke, drink, cry….and cry some more trying to find my own way.

And when I give up, He steps in to show me a better way.

His way.

The right way.

When everyone else walked away, He walked in.

He’s never left my side.

He is the true Gift for broken hearts like mine.

And that is worth throwing a party about.


Compelled By Commitment

 

Such intense personal sacrifice, wholeheartedly committed to the Cause.

 

Willing to place the good of the whole far above personal gratification.

 

Acknowledging the God Who led them.

And fed them.

Gave them the skills to work, the strength to fight.

 

Kneeling in honor of the One who gave them their very breath.

 

Thankful.

 

 

The contrast of those spending that first Thanksgiving on American soil with those of us in this great country today is stark, and tragic.

 

 

Our predecessors were compelled by a commitment to the cause of freedom, willing to sacrifice everything they had so that others could receive.

 

Today’s Americans react out of being controlled by their personal god of convenience, grasping at anything they want because ‘it’s my right’.

 

 

 

Our forefathers and mothers accepted the responsibility to care for others, and taught their children to do the same.

 

Today’s generation is demanding others care for them, passing down a legacy of dependency  that will be the downfall of them…and this great nation.

 

Those who created this holiday for us gave up their personal comforts for the good of others.

 

During this holiday we are surrounded by the masses fighting for personal ‘rights’ at the expense of others.

 

 

 

Bowing their knee to their Creator is replaced with scoffing, denying that He even exists.

 

Vowing to fight for the right of all to worship is substituted with suing to restrict His acknowledgment anywhere.

 

 

Reverence for the Bible and it’s ability to teach, guide, and comfort has been transformed into disdain for the very words printed, denial of the principles it conveys.

 

The food on America’s table might look the same.

 The hearts of Americans have greatly changed.

 

 

Father, forgive our unfaithful hearts.

Draw us back to You, before we destroy ourselves.

Teach us to be thankful once again.

May we be compelled by commitment, refusing to be controlled by convenience or compromise.


In Samuel’s Footsteps

 

God blessed the nation’s beginning, providing freedom from oppression. Early free men prayed for God’s blessing, He answered more abundantly than any other nation on earth. Gradually, deliberately, methodically men walked further and further away from their God. Heightened affluence created inflated egos that created their own gods, including worship of themselves. Now, any voice declaring honor of God is met with violent, belligerent resistance.

 

God, this can’t be okay with you! Stop this downfall somehow, help people see they need to return to you!

 

“They won’t return, they will demand their way. Give them what they want; but warn them about what the results of their choice will bring.”

 

The faith leader sounds an alarm, painting a grim picture of where their current path will lead.

 

Increased taxes.

Taking from the wealthy, redistributing resources according to government preference.

Indoctrinate and enslave youth, pumped with propaganda and forced to work for the system.

Farther and farther away from God and morality, deeper and deeper into depravity.

 

The message is sounded, the masses disregard.

 

The prophet Samuel anoints Saul king of Israel.  (I Sam. 8)

 

And all that was prophesied, comes to pass.

 

Two lessons for us, if we seek to follow in Samuel’s footsteps.

 

First, Samuel prayed, diligently seeking God’s wisdom in what to do. He then stepped forward to what was his role in selecting the new leader.

 

Likewise, we need to be seriously in prayer, asking God what His plan is, what His desire is for us to do in our responsibility of selecting our new leader.

 

Samuel didn’t neglect his responsibility because the choice in front of him wasn’t someone he would have chosen; he trusted God was wiser, had a perfect plan, was ultimately sovereign in all things.

 

Next, even though he could see the negative path the nation had chosen, Samuel promised not to sin against God  by ceasing to pray for the people, and committed himself to continuing to teach them Truth. (I Sam. 12:23) 

 

In the days and years ahead we see Samuel continuing to pray, weep, teach, and serve God by serving His people.

 

Knees raw from kneeling.

 

Eyes red from crying, truly grieving for God’s people.

 

Throat sore from continuing to speak truth to those who refused to listen.

 

Sandals dusty from miles and miles and miles of walking, simply doing God’s best every single day  –  –  no matter what others chose.

 

May we, today, follow in Samuel’s footsteps.