February 17 Devotional

In a time when nothing seems to be stable and dependable, I am thankful that God is God.  I am grateful that regardless of how my health is … God is still God.  I am thankful that whether the value of the dollar goes up or down … God is still God!  I am relieved to know that regardless of who is in the position of political power … God is still God!  I am thankful that no matter what the challenge is that is waiting for me today … God will still be God!

 

I would recommend that each of you read the entire chapter of Psalm 46.  It is an amazing collection of encouraging verses for times just like we are living in.  The last verse of the chapter is what captured my attention today.  “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah” (Psalm 46:11).  Think a little bit with me about how strong God showed Himself to Jacob and the nation of Israel.

 

God allowed Jacob to have a blessing and birthright that he did not earn or deserve.  God has given us many blessings in spite of how many times we have turned our back to Him.  God allowed Joseph, Jacob’s son, to be taken into captivity in order to save Jacob and his other sons and their families during a famine.  God has provided for each of us repeatedly in ways we cannot explain, or fully understand.  God provided a heritage for Jacob that continues today with the twelve tribes of Israel.

 

Just as you can look at the life of Jacob in the Bible, you can see in your own life how God has blessed you beyond what you deserve too.  I am thankful that God has always been the place that I could run to hide when I feel troubles closing in around me.  I am thankful that when I am facing a challenge that is far beyond my wisdom that I can lean on His Word He has given me for knowledge.  I am grateful that when my heart rejoices to over-flowing and I don’t have words to speak, He can understand the language of my heart.

 

I am thankful that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  When troubles come and we take the roll, God is never absent!  When I need strength to make it through a day … there He is.  When you need a place to hide today, run to Him … God is still God!  What a wonderful thought for the remainder of this day!  God is still God!

 

Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God?” – Curtis Hutson

February 16 Devotional

In my opinion, some of the saddest verses in the entire Bible are found in the book of Jonah.  From the point where God clearly directed Jonah to go to Nineveh and he headed in the opposite direction … to the great fish swallowing him and Jonah describing his surroundings as hell … to being thrown up onto the shore …  There are a number of bad things revealed in the book of Jonah … but, none of these is the worst.  Here it is …

 

And God saw their works, that they [the people of Nineveh after Jonah preached to them] turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them; and He did it not.  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry” (Jonah 3:10-4:1).

 

You have heard this preached before, I am sure, but read that first verse of chapter four one more time: “But it DISPLEASED Jonah EXCEEDINGLY, and he was VERY ANGRY.”  What a horrible evangelist Jonah was!  He preached the message of God (which always carries the power of God with it despite the messenger), and then he was disappointed when God moved in the hearts of men.

 

Jonah had a problem that I am afraid many of us have today as well.  Jonah’s main problem was not that he hated Nineveh so much.  The problem that he had that many of us share is that Jonah forgot how wretched he was before God saved him.  That’s right, I used the word “wretched.”  I have noticed that our modern hymnals and song-books have changed that word in the old hymns to something that sounds much better.  The truth is that we are all WRETCHED, and lost in our sin, without hope apart from God’s grace.

 

Many of us are guilty of the same thing today.  We love to look down our spiritually pious noses at the horrible sinners that are all around us today.  We have a much easier time praying for the fire of God to come down and consume the sinners around us than we do praying for God to give us just one more chance to witness to those same people before it is too late.

 

I did not write this today to pound you into dust.  I wrote it today to encourage you to ask God to give you the same heart for souls that He has today.  God wants all the “Ninevites” to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!  He is not willing that any should perish, but that all sinners would repent.  Will you have the same heart as God today?  It’s your choice

 

You have one business on earth – to save souls.” – John Wesley