Saturday, August 22, 2015


To listen to an audio version of this devotional, click here (to save it, right click and click "save as")

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! (Psalms 123:1)

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalms 46:1)

Oh to dwell on high with the Lord! One day we will. Even now we can allow Him to bring us up to the Heavenlies and dwell where He is, in a high and holy place, rather than dwelling in our own muck, or in the evil around us, or in all the distractions of this world that blind us to that glory. He invites us to "lift up our eyes" to see Him Who is high and lifted up, Who inhabits eternity, Who dwells in a high and holy place. He invites us to find His refuge and strength for all we need here below. He is not far removed from us and all our trials but has provided all we need here below that we can dwell/abide in Him, where He is, where He dwells, partaking of His life and provision and all we need as He comes to dwell in us.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3)

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Here is the key..."through them you may become partakers of the divine nature." We have all we need but too often we do not partake of it. We live like paupers, rather than those who have all that we need. We go on begging from human means, from our own resources, rather than lifting up our eyes to Him Who is on high, to the One Who has provided all we need to live godly in this world. He did not make any exceptions to that...He did not say He has granted us some things but when life gets beyond that we'll have to struggle on our own, or that He has made provision for simple trials but the really difficult cases He cannot handle. He doesn't say to look to the resources of the flesh and the world but to "lift up our eyes." We have to consciously do this in order to partake of all that is "on high" and make it our own. He has given all to those who have come to Him for eternal life and have been born from above, joining His Heavenly kingdom. It's through His divine power, not through anything in us.

When one lifts up their eyes, it is usually from a place below. Such a contrast there is with where we are and where He is! Such a contrast there is with Who He is in His holiness and who we are in our sinfulness and weakness. From our humble position, He actually invites us to come up to where He is, and that if we lift our eyes to Him, He will dwell with us in our contrite spirit, in our weakness, in our seeing ourselves in this lowly position and finding that He is our only true help. He promises to revive the hearts of the contrite and lowly as they lift up their eyes to look to Him in whatever circumstance they find themselves in. He promises those who are His own children have access to every spiritual blessing in the Heavenlies. He is our Abba, our Heavenly Father Who has not neglected all provision for His own dear children.

We are not alone in this world. We need eyes that see not just what is happening around us in these days, or what is happening to us, or to others, but we need eyes "lifted up." I'm feeling this so strongly, lately, and I know others who love our Lord, Jesus Christ are feeling the same way. As the world closes in on us, we are finding He alone is our portion in this world, and what a portion that is! We're finding the more of this world that is taken from us the more we have as we draw from Him and lift our eyes more and more to Him. Our hope is not in the United States of America, or in our leaders, or in our Constitution. It is in our God and Savior as we lift our eyes to Him.

To You, Oh Lord, I lift my eyes for Your love, for Your provision, for Your patience and endurance, for Your grace and hope. You alone sustain me when I'm afraid, weary, weak, and needy. How sad when we forget to lift our eyes to Him and instead we live as though He simply saved us but gave us no way to live in Him. We go on as though we have no present help but must just do "our best" and struggle on. I have found that my best is not good enough. It won't cut it. What a relief it was to find out I didn't have to depend on or trust in my best to get me through life. What a relief it was to finally realize that I could fully trust in Him to keep me and that I did not have to fear I could not keep myself. Of course I cannot keep myself. When trial comes, when temptation comes, when life is overwhelming, He has never failed me and He has taught me that I can count on His power, and not worry about not having enough of my own.

To You I lift up my eyes Lord. More and more, the older I get, the longer I've walked with You, I lift my eyes to You, and I hope to guide others to do the same. You alone are our source of life, love, and happiness. I'm finding this earth has less and less of what I want to set my eyes on. More and more I'm drawn away from it to lift my eyes to Him. There are things in this life I need refuge from. When my eyes are lifted up to Him it's as though He has drawn me out of the storm and given me shelter in His presence, and He keeps me safe, though the storm rages around me still. My inner being, where He dwells, becomes still and peaceful. His presence sustains me. He is my ever-present help guiding me safely to the other shore.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" (Matthew 8:24-27)

If Jesus brings you into the boat, He plans to bring you ashore as well. He could sleep because He was the One Who had power over the great tempest. He has power over every tempest in our life, and He is at rest knowing His purposes in them for our good. It may appear He does not care, but it is because of His total care and full provision, that He is at rest in Himself, and wants us to rest in Him as well, knowing He will take us where He wants to take us safely, as we place ourselves in His hands.

Abba, when the tempest is so overwhelmingly strong and threatens to drown me, remind me to lift my eyes to You and see You, high and lifted up, and all You are and realize You also dwell with me in all Your power and have made provision for all. Give us all that peace that passes understanding in You today, no matter where we are at. Whether things on earth are troubling, or going well for us, remind us to lift up our eyes to You, the Maker and Creator of all things.

If you want to know more about this salvation and are not sure you are going to Heaven, you can know. His Word assures us how we can know. Click here to read more.

Monday, August 17, 2015


To listen to an audio version of this devotional, click here (to save it, right click and click "save as")

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

1. To move clumsily or with little progress, as through water or mud.
2. To act or function in a confused or directionless manner; struggle: "Some ... floundered professionally, never quite deciding what they wanted to do" (Steve Olson).

I couldn't put my finger on it, but this was the right word to describe how I have felt lately. As I was praying about it the word popped into my head and I looked it up. "That's exactly how I feel, Lord! I feel like I'm moving through muck, stuck, directionless, not knowing exactly where I am supposed to go or what I am supposed to do. Help!" Have you ever felt that way in your pilgrimage here below? There have been times I felt like I was "abounding" and I couldn't eat up His Word fast enough as all of it seemed to nourish and provide spiritual strength and growth and joy and love and all the things it was supposed to produce in my heart and life. I had direction, and knew what I was to do. I was being used of the Lord.

Yet something inside of me gives me the feeling there is a reason for this floundering thing going on in my life right now. Sometimes, it seems, the Lord has to stop me for a bit, get me to see I need to stop, look, and listen and maybe He's about to change the direction in my life. I need to ask Him for what this is all about, what caused it, if there is something He's trying to show me, or guide me into another phase of my Christian walk, or something He's preparing me for. I don't know. I only know it is a call to seek His face.

You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek." (Psalms 27:8)

We can only "abound" when it is the Holy Spirit working in us to enable us to do so. We never abound in spiritual growth or love or discernment or knowledge on our own. I know that. I have been through that type of floundering in the past - trying to grow in my own power and finding I was floundering badly. It was not until I realized "Christ in me, the hope of glory" and "it is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me" that I stopped floundering. When I quit struggling and began walking in faith in His finished Work His life began growing in me and being more and more revealed to me and in me and through me and I was filled with the joy of His salvation.

He stops me at times to let me really see myself, what's going on inside my heart, and what I need. Then in my desperate need, as I am made truly aware of it, I am drawn to Him for the answer, the knowledge in Him, and the discernment I need. I guess that's where I am finding myself right now. This day we live in, this world we live in, things happening so fast around us at break-neck speed, all of this has been causing me to take a look at myself, and at God a little more. How am I to live through this? What do I need from You, Lord? What is my work, my calling, my walk supposed to be right now? I am restless, struggling with little physical strength and inner battles with how to face the evil in this world. I feel useless, like I should be doing so much more, but what? How? I'm feeling so strongly the importance of "redeeming the time because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:16), yet how to do that? What does it mean to redeem the time? I can think I am just because I am busy, but if my busyness is not of Him I'm just filling the time, not redeeming it. Going about my humdrum daily life seems like a waste of it many days. I'm floundering through all these things, waiting on God for His direction.

One thing I know, I can trust Him to bring me through it, and to guide and show His purpose. One thing I've found in my Christian pilgrimage is that whenever I've had these times of floundering, they have led me to a time of abounding as I sought Him and trusted Him and surrendered to Him in it. When His Spirit indwells us, He always leads us to abound in faith in His perfect provision, and always has a purpose in all He leads us into. He is always forming Christ in us, and ultimately making us what we are to be for eternity living in His presence forever. So I'm looking forward to the abounding that will come again as He leads me.

I know I can rest in His love and His guiding me through this and place my hope in His purpose to be accomplished in it. I need not fear, or faint, or be afraid. As in all things I can come to my Savior and trust Him to lead me through it to the place He has for me and teach me yet another lesson on my road to knowing Him more until I know Him perfectly. What a day that will be? He is always dependable on this pilgrim journey. I only have to rest in His love and let Him take me there. The journey is not mine but His. I don't dare take a path of my own, but let Him lead me on His. I don't want any other, no matter how appealing it seems or how much easier or more comfortable it appears to be. It's not about making it through with as little discomfort as possible but walking through this pilgrim journey on His path alone, refusing any other, doing it His way, not mine. If we want this, we can be sure and rest in faith that He will lead us on it and grant us the grace to walk it. It is not always the easiest smoothest road to travel, but it is the narrow way.

If we want something else, unfortunately, He'll many times let us go the wrong path and suffer the consequences as well. I've had that unfortunate experience as well. Ultimately it led me to desire His path alone in my life, no matter where it takes me or what is to be endured there. I've learned I would rather suffer than fail to walk His path. Once you have had His presence with you in that path, you just do not want to settle for anything less. You just can't. You trust His will, and His way, and His provision. Nothing else will do.

So brothers and sisters in Christ, are you abounding or floundering? If you are at one place, you may find yourself in the other at some point. Either way, let us pray for one another through this journey remembering we are citizens of another country, a heavenly one, and we need each other along the way. One day we'll come to the end of our pilgrimage and receive that inheritance incorruptible! "Hold fast that which you have!"

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (Revelation 3:10-12)

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:6-10)

If you want to know more about this salvation and are not sure you are going to Heaven, you can know. His Word assures us how we can know. Click here to read more.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


I'm sharing an older devotional with you today. But one that it's good to remind ourselves of often, especially in our day.

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Col. 3:1-2 (NKJV)

"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2 (NKJV)

"But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear." Matt. 13:16 (NKJV)

There are so many things in our lives that take our eyes off from Jesus aren't there? Just when the Lord has shown us some victory in our lives and our "eyes see" and we are able to draw close to the Lord, something again draws our attention away. How do we keep our focus? What does it mean to "keep our eyes on Jesus?" This is a question my son recently asked me, who came to the Lord just last summer.

"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" Matt. 6:22-23 (NKJV)

(Notes from NKJV personal study Bible © 1990, 1995 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.) "The lamp and the eye stand for our intentions and choices. The person with a good eye focuses on God alone and is totally loyal to His kingdom. His life is full of God's light. The person with a bad eye makes other things the goal of his life. Because he has purposefully turned from God, his darkness is great."

It's Jesus Himself that has given us eyes to see and given us that light. It's He who is the author and finisher of our faith. He started that faith in us.....and He alone can bring it to completion and perfection. Notice how He continually draws your eyes back to Him every time you somehow become distracted?

We keep our eyes on Him by hoping in Him when all hope is gone. We keep our eyes on Him by trusting Him instead of our own ways or the ways of the ungodly. We keep our eyes on Him by going to His Word for our instruction, our comfort, our guidance, our spiritual life, and wisdom. We keep our eyes on Him through the daily communion of prayer, and praise, and worship.

God gives us that....He woos us, draws us, speaks to our heart about Himself, about our need for Him. Make sure when you feel His Spirit stir your heart that you do not turn Him away. Make sure you answer that call!

Won't it be wonderful when we are with Him in constant communion...always, always in His presence? But even now He has given you a wonderful gift.....a gift of unbroken fellowship with Him! He has given every child of God His Spirit to indwell them. He never leaves you but has given you unbroken access to His throne! He is just as close to you as your own heart. If we walk daily in that faith and knowledge, it will have an incredible impact on all we do.

You know I've found that when I suddenly realize my eyes have been focused on the problem around me or the situation in my life, if I begin to think of God's attributes and worship Him for who He is and thank Him and just begin to praise and adore Him, that soon my focus is back where it belongs, my heart is yielded to Him, I can look into His Word and trust Him and cling to His Word and know that I know that He is working all things together for my good.

Going back to Heb. 12....we see the thing that we need to do in order to look unto Jesus....verse 1 says..."Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.."

What is the weight in your life that weighs you down or the besetting sin that seems to always ensnare you and get your eyes on yourself instead of Jesus and His promises and His way? I found in my own life that it was self pity. Oh it feels so good to feel sorry for yourself. Even feels better if you can get a few others to feel sorry for you too! But guess who the focus is? Me, myself, and I. Hard to recognize some of our besetting sins. We think of the obvious, lust, covetousness, greed....whatever...but anything in your life that causes your focus to always turn to you instead of God is a weight or sin that ensnares and traps you and holds you so that you cannot see Jesus and the plan He has for you and the victory He has in store for you. It may even be your own introspection. Your eyes are on you instead of Jesus...the one who took all your sin to His cross and made you clean, if you trust Him. It is a weight that needs to be thrown aside. And you can do that by surrender and faith.
Surrender it to the Lord. He accepts your weakest surrender. And then trust Him to take it upon Himself to give the power for that surrender and to make it complete. It is not a matter of feeling but of choice. If we waited to "feel" like it....we would never do it! You may feel like a failure because you can't feel the surrender you need to make.

If you are not sure you are going to Heaven, and want to be sure, the Bible says you can know that you have eternal life.  To read more about salvation visit this page