Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.19

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

Signs of the times…

Shalom!

One of the ways to check the authenticity of words of prophecy is whether or not they come true. As far as I am concerned in his 2nd letter to Timothy Paul is vindicated as one who spoke prophetic words. “But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people.” (2 Timothy 3:1–5, CSB)

Yesterday I was watching a video class presented by BiblicalTraining.org where the instructor was talking about being a Christian is no walk in the park. Paul prophesied, “But know this: Hard times will come in the last days,” then he goes on to describe some of the “stuff” going on in our world today. Frankly you don’t have to get very far through the list to get the idea that not only are we facing hard times, we are facing impossible times.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Survival goes to the fittest,” as much as it makes sense it does not and will not work in God’s world nor in the Christian world. Paul explains what I am talking about. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10, CSB)

Anyone who has ever studied about Paul knows every well after everything he endured during his ministerial life he was no 90-pound weakling. Because of the many times he was beaten, shipped wrecked, jailed, and betrayed I used to think Paul would not make a good poster for attracting new Christians. Yet my exposure to the way of life described above and my own experience during “hard times” I decided to look past the outward Paul and think about the inward Paul I have decided Paul makes a shining example of a Christian. And while I continue to strive to become more and more like Jesus Paul’s life and writings have been instrumental in my journey.

Here’s what Paul was saying with words and his life, “When the world hands you lemons give them to Jesus and wait for Him to make Heaven made Lemonade.” That’s what I want to do with my words and life too and with a tremendous amount of help and encouragement from the Holy Spirit I will succeed. And if I can you can too just put one foot in front of the other take the hand of Jesus and go for it!

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.18

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

God is good, God is great!

Shalom!

“You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” (Genesis 50:20, CSB)

In his sermon notes James Merritt of Touching Lives writes. “Have you ever heart the saying, “the Devil is in the details?” This statement is totally wrong! God is in the details. There is nothing random about your life. The God who created you sustains you and manages every detail of your life every single day. Every experience and circumstance of your life fits into God’s over-arching plan for you., so no matter how much you think your life is out of control, mark this down—God is in complete control.”

Have you ever asked yourself something like this, “If God is in control of my everyday life why do I feel like it’s out of control?” If you answered yes like I did then consider this, “A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?”” (Mark 4:37–38, CSB) Even with Jesus in the boat and because He was sleeping the disciples began having an out of control moment just like we do. Consider this… “He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”” (Mark 4:39–40, CSB)

I believe in the remake of the Bishop’s Wife the little boy at the end of the movie says of Dudley the Angel, “Just because you can’t see him doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.” (I am not 100% sure that’s the correct movie and an exact quote.) To capitalize on the little boy’s remarks, “Just because God seems to be asleep doesn’t He is. Consider this… “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side.” (Psalm 121:1–5, CSB, emphasis mine)

The very next time you feel your life coming undone and having an out of control moment rather than allowing yourself to be ‘sucked in” by it have Faith moment instead. Keeping in mind that God has only one speed, the speed of eternity, and it does not include any sleep time either. The Holy Spirit is in your heart/life 24/7/364.5 listening not only to you but to God as well.

Life may have its own plans for you, but what life plans God has a Better Plan, an out of this world Plan coming to you via the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus told the disciples about having faith.

Crustyism 1.1.18… Faith without Patience is powerless and useless.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.17

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

More Holy Spirit “stuff”

Shalom!

Paul, “…asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” “No,” they told him, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”” (Acts 19:2, CSB) It is hard for me to believe there are those who fall into the category Paul is talking about, but when I think of the population of the world they probably outnumber those of us who do. What I do believe is since Jesus’ return to heaven the Holy Spirit is “our” first contact with God. And according to John the Holy Spirit holds the “map” to “all the truth” and will guide us into it. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” (John 16:13, CSB)

Here’s how I see it. Upon Jesus’ return to heaven the Holy Spirit took Jesus’ place ushering in a stage of spiritual development and understanding, guiding the disciples into the truth of Jesus and the Father’s ultimate plan of salvation. The same Holy Spirit is still carrying out the instructions of the other two members of the God Head today. In you! In me! It should be noted that the Spirit “guides” He does not hand it to us on a silver platter. In other words, we still need to go through the “stuff” life throws at us under the watchful eye and ministry of the Holy Spirit.

I am convinced that the only way to get someone to believe in God and begin to establish a relationship with Him is to help them realize their need for God. Since the Holy Spirit is the first encounter with God before making their first encounter with God they need not only know there is a Holy Spirit they also need help to begin understanding as best they can the Holy Spirit has the “map” to establishing a relationship with God. That’s where we come in. at some point in our lives we discovered our absolute need for God and when we did we opened ourselves up to the Holy Spirit and the rest is in our personal history book. Then with a great deal of prayer and patience we share our belief in the Holy Spirit and open up our history book up to them and let the Holy Spirit take over for us. And in God’s time the door will open, and the Holy Spirit will guide them into their own understanding of God’s truth of their need for a relationship with Him.

There are those who believe the first contact with God is in a church, however some refuse to enter a church therefore their first contact must be “where the rubber hits the road” on their trek through life. Isn’t that one of the reasons for Jesus’ trek on earth? Relationships with God are planted in one’s life trek and then nurtured in a church environment.

My point in all of this is for each of as history teachers / story tellers is to examine our own belief and relationship in the Holy Spirit then constantly and consistently deepening it. Always remember we cannot give another what we don’t have, and we can only take people as close to God as we ourselves are.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.16

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

We are Holy Ground…

Shalom!

“But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does produce fruit and yields: some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty times what was sown.”” (Matthew 13:23, CSB)

If you are reading this you are the good ground Jesus was talking about in this parable. Anyone who has ever planted a vegetable or flower garden know in between planting and harvesting those are crucial times if your garden will have a good yield. Don’t forget during the growing season most of the nurturing work is done to the ground not the plants.

In an actual garden the ground cannot do anything by itself the gardener does all the work, but that is not the case with us we need time in the “wilderness”, personal devotional and bible study time, time with other Christians (church), and most importantly 24/7 time spent with the Holy Spirit. While all times are equally important perhaps time spent in the “wilderness” slightly edges out the other ones by the narrowest of margins yet according to Peter contain great Blessings.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:6-7, NLT)

I don’t know about you but those times of “testing” bring out my impatience which is probably my reason for being tested in the first place. My belief is, if God is going to get me through this then let Him shorten my time here. But His response is always the same, “Not by your timeline, but by My timeline.” And we all know who prevails don’t we? I am glad and Blessed because in that case I am both the loser and winner. God is the GREATEST!

David who some would say was financially challenged attends the same church we do puts in a garden every spring and in the fall at harvest time everyone in the church has plenty of tomatoes and other fresh vegetables, in addition David gives some to the food banks in the area. Out of his “financial wilderness” David shares the fruit of his harvest setting an example for the rest of us.

What’s your ground to yield story?

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.15

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

We are fearfully and wonderfully created…

Shalom!

I come across a label attached to those of us who are not a physically fit as we used to be, some may even be bedridden. The label? Invalid. Every time I hear or encounter the word it begins to make my blood boil. The dictionary defines invalid as: “a person made weak or disabled by illness or injury.” While that may define a lot of us, shame on us or anyone who looks at us as an invalid because is spite of what the dictionary says when we break the word down it says, in-valid, an invalid is an in-valid! In God’s eyes NO ONE IS IN-VALID! For example. think about this, “ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:13–14, ESV, emphasis mine)

Not only are those of us who are physically challenged, fearfully and wonderfully made we have a very important ministry to give in spite of our handicap. “O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”(Psalm 71:17–18, ESV, emphasis mine) Not only can we share our Jesus stories with those who come in contact with us we also have an important prayer ministry to give.

While it is true “things” can become in-valid that is NOT true with people every person no matter whether they are healthy or not, whether they are young or old, no matter what race they are, no matter whether they are woman or man is of ultimate worth to God and until we all see each other with God’s understanding there will always be hatred, prejudice, greed, and deadly conflicts. In your prayers do not only pray for Peace pray also that the people of the world will begin to understand each other and life with God’s understanding, because the day will come when, “Night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will give them light (His understanding), and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5, CSB, added comment mine)

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked ESV "Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.12

Glory Seed Devotional’s 2018 Experiencing Jesus, the Prelude to Life

God’s word/light…

Shalom!

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105, CSB) When God’s light illuminates the dark paths we walk it ignites and empowers our faith. The bible tells the story of a woman who knew all she had to do was to touch the hem of his robe and she’d be healed. Can you imagine the depth of her faith? “Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.”” (Matthew 9:20–21, CSB, emphasis mine)

My own story, like the woman in chapter 9 of Matthew is one of “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not extinguished it.” Oh, LORD when has Your Light illuminated the darkness on my path through life? Let me count the ways! First there was life as a baby, childhood, teenage years, US Navy and the Viet Nam war, marriage, two boys, 12 hip operations, heart bypass surgery, a heart attack, pulmonary fibrosis, diabetics, 42 years of factory as a factory worker, prostate cancer, and everything in between. I am not suggesting my 71 years has been spent in darkness because instead for 71 years I have walked in the light of God experiencing sporadic moments of darkness designed to bolster my faith and dependency on God.

One of the most important periods in my life were my early childhood years going to Sunday School and learning the stories of Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, the Christmas story, the Easter story. On the surface they seem just like bible stories but actually they are “seeds of God’s light” shining from the Bible become joined together under the auspices of the Holy Spirit into God’s ever illuminating Light of Faith.

Every time you open up your bible, pray, expose yourself to other God centered media, pray, or expose yourself to Christian fellowship you are planting of “seeds of God’s light” and at the right time and in His own way God will bring for His light amidst the darkest times you can imagine. I’ll let Isaiah have the last word on what happens when we expose ourselves to God and His word. “For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”” (Isaiah 55:10–11, CSB)

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.11

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2018 Anticipating the Spiritual Jesus the Prelude to Life

Blessing our God who Blesses us…

Shalom!

Confessing time! There have been times when I don’t stop to take stock of my life the give God the Blessing He is due! Therefore, let it be said by me, “Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleading. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Therefore, my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to him with my song. The Lord is the strength of his people; he is a stronghold of salvation for his anointed. Save your people, bless your possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever.” (Psalm 28:6–9, CSB)

In all honesty there are times when I don’t feel like Blessing God because I don’t feel Blessed, but after sulking a few minutes the Holy Spirit gently reminds me, “…we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3–5, CSB, selected portion)

Did you notice hope popped up a couple of times? Hope is one of the major themes of the Bible. Wasn’t the reason Jesus came into the world because hope had been lost? Isn’t the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives to give us the divine hope we need so we can smile in the face of hopelessness and declare and unbreakable allegiance to the God WHO IS Hope, WHO IS our strength?

With Christmas still fresh in some of our minds Guideposts 7 Things that Christmas Teaches Us about Hope, reason number 7 reads, “Light shines brightest in darkness. That’s the heart of the Christmas story, an overriding message of hope that is articulated beautifully in the lyrics of “O Holy Night”: “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.” God didn’t come into our world at high noon. He entered our lives in darkness — showing us the way to light, guiding us towards love, and demonstrating how to overcome shadows and blackness. Christmas teaches us that even when things seem dark, we can trust the everlasting light.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” **

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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Note: Should you want to go back and review this Glory Seed or if you would like to subscribe so you can receive them in your email you can do so by clicking on this link: Glory Seed Devotional Blog.

If you would like inspirational music playing as you read this Glory Seed may I suggest clicking on this link:

"Scriptures marked NCV quoted from The Holy Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission."

Scripture quotations marked CSB have been taken from Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

** John 14:6, CSB

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