Today’s devotional

I haven’t shared a devotional in a while, so while I was checking my e-mail just now, I read this and knew I had to share. This devotional really kind of cut to the quick of me. Yesterday, I got some frustrating news and while driving called out to God. My prayer life has been kind of sparse for awhile and this devotional just spoke to me, convicted me and encouraged me to step it up a little. It really can be an effort to pray sometimes, but the rewards are massive. God really just wants to spend time with us. You would’nt think that it would be such a big thing to give God some of your time. I think for me at least, if I just acknowledge Him throughout my day, it will keep my lines of communication open to Him. He loves us so much and He just wants to spend time with us, and be involved in our everyday life.

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September 11, 2008

 

A Dime in my Pocket

Karen Ehman

 

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.”

Psalm 86:3 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

Do you remember pay phones? My kids are just sure I’m ready for the senior citizen’s discount when they hear me speak of them. But maybe you’re one of my fellow ‘old folks’ and know exactly what I’m talking about. They hung on the walls at restaurants and airports; in shopping malls and at gas stations. When you needed to get a message to someone back home that the ball game was over or the outing was finished, you dug for the dime your mother (being the proper parent she was) always made sure resided in your jean’s pocket. Then you reached for the receiver, slipped your other hand up to the slot, dropped the silver coin in and dialed. Soon help, or a ride, was on the way.

 

I used my dimes sparingly in the olden days–you know, the 1980’s–reserving them only for completely necessary calls and occasional emergencies. In the course of a month, I resorted to my waiting dime only a time or two. If it was to be used, I wanted to make sure it was really worth it. If not, then it stayed conveniently tucked away in my front pocket, waiting for the day it would be called upon to come and rescue me.

 

Contrast this with today’s cell phones and some teenagers. Oh dear, at times it appears those electronic contraptions are glued to their ears!!! These kids don’t make a call once or twice a month, but once or twice a minute in some severe cases! They feel free to dial at any time, call at their convenience, and to use their ‘phone a friend’ lifeline at the drop of a hat. Now, least you think this is going to be a devotion that scolds these talkative teens, let me make my point clear. I actually think they are on to something!

 

Think with me in terms of our relationship with God. I’m afraid that often I am much more like a teen in the 80’s when it comes to calling upon the Lord. I reserve my spiritual dimes for the times I really need Him, making sure it is worth the effort of prayer. (And earnest prayer is sometimes effort, you know!) When I fear I will be spiritually stranded without a ride, feel a bit scared and need someone to rush to my side, or any other such divine emergency, I call upon the Lord. Other times, sadly, I must admit my spiritual cell phone sometimes stays shut.

 

Instead, my prayer life should emulate the actions of the chatty teens of our current culture. I should feel free to call, text and mobile-to-mobile my Lord about any and everything and, as a result, stay constantly connected to Him throughout the course of my day. I should realize that His line is never busy, His ear never tires and He longs to connect with me more than an occasional time or two a week. I too can call (pray), text (journal), save a message (memorize Scripture) or return a message (praise Him) no matter the time or place! Oh, if only God’s presence in my everyday life became as precious and desired as a teen’s cell phone use addiction!

 

How about it, fellow phoner? Perhaps this week when we spy a cell phone, let it trigger our memory of today’s key verse. Call upon the Lord. All day long. He will answer every time. No roaming charges, no busy signals and best of all, no dropped calls!

 

Dear Lord, please forgive me for resorting to prayer only when I need You for something. I resolve now to keep connected with You all through my day. I’ll call upon You in times of need as well as when I just want to thank You or spend time with You. You are my only lifeline. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Engraved in His Hands

From time to time I read my devotionals that I get in the e-mail, and it will really speak to me, but not only to me, but will remind me of someone who needs to read this as well. I figure that everyone can benefit from knowing that no matter what trials they face in life, God loves them. I struggle at times with the knowledge that God truly loves me. But He does. God doesn’t care what denomination you are, or if you don’t even claim a denomination, He still loves you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. You haven’t done anything that is so bad that His love won’t reach you. Murder?, nope, God still loves you. Theft?, nope, God still loves you. Lied? nope, God still loves you. You are never out of His reach. The key is, we need to accept this wonderful love. We need to realize that we can’t get out of our messes alone. We need to get “over ourselves” and realize that we need help, help that only a loving, all-powerful God can give. If we would just stop trying to do it ourselves, cry out to the One Who has all the answers, we will find that life is a little more bearable. It is my prayer that you will read the devotional. I’m including a prayer for anyone to read. This prayer invites the Lord Jesus into your heart. If you pray this prayer, please contact me.
“Lord God, thank you for loving me enough to send your one and only Son to die for me. I know I am a sinner, and that Jesus was crucified and raised to life to pay a debt I was unable to pay, in order that I may live with You forever. I want to turn from my way of life and follow Jesus. I invite Jesus into my heart as the Lord of my life. Thank you, Father, for giving me new life in the name of Jesus. Amen!”
May 16, 2008
Engraved in His Hand by Fred “Fritz” Alberti,
Crosswalk.com Manager of Communities

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”Isaiah 49:15-16
Sometimes we find ourselves in harsh circumstances. We feel isolated from the Lord and begin to ask ourselves, “Is He really there? Has He forgotten me?” Today’s passage is a stark reminder that there is no way our Lord will forget us or forsake us.
Being the father of five children I have been blessed to witness the blessed scene of a mother feeding her baby. I’ve seen both mother and child relax and share that bond that comes through breastfeeding. It is that beautiful analogy that is drawn in Isaiah. A mother does not forget the child she is nursing, she and the baby are in a deep bond that is difficult to be ignored. Likewise, our Father in heaven is in no way going to forget His love for us. But even if a mother were to forget, the Lord proclaims that even if a mother were to forget, He never will.
Dear child of God, you will never be forgotten!
In the midst of losing your house to foreclosure, you will not be forgotten.
When worrying how you are going to deal with the high gas prices, you will not be forgotten.
When struggling to budget the grocery bill, you will not be forgotten.
God will never forget you.
Why not?
This brings us to the second half of our passage.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”
As we were reading this in church one Sunday my wife was quick to point out an interesting observation. She felt, and I agree, that this was a messianic prophecy.
Our names were written into the palms that would bear the nails that hung our Lord on the cross at Calvary.
Your name, my name, and that of every other believer in Christ Jesus has had our names engraved by the nails that bore our Lord to a cruel tree.
You will not be forgotten because He loves you so much that He was willing to die for you. 1 Cor. 6:20 says, “…you were bought at a price.”
That price was paid on a cross between two thieves.
That price was endured until the last breath when Jesus said, “It is finished.”
With that proclamation, let’s turn to 1 Cor. 1:7-11 which says this:
“… We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.”
Friend, it is our hardships which cause us to turn and rely on God. Set your hope on Him and pray for those who are in distress.
He has engraved you on His hand and He will deliver.