Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.12.02

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

Wondering – Pondering – God…

Shalom!

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.” (Luke 2:1–5, ESV)

I often find myself wondering about God’s involvement in those things that happen to us that seem to have no connection to God. For example did God cause the recent wild fires in the Smoky Mountains? Did God cause my troubled heart? Did God give me pulmonary fibrosis? Does God cause hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes? Does God cause a person to become so angry he or she kills someone? Did God cause Caesar Augustus to declare everyone to register in their place of birth?

Scriptures tell us that God is behind Mary being the mother of Jesus. When I look back on my life I can see that God is behind my living testimony that He i alive and hard at work behind the scenes in my life. I can see God behind the testimonies from people who have lost everything in “natural disasters” such as the fires in Tennessee who say, “We’ve lost everything but we still have each other.”

I’m not sure whether God is the ultimate causer of all that happens to us and our world or He is the ultimate opportunist. All I’m really sure of is when I need Him the most God is always there for me giving to me and for me His very best. When I stop and consider the circumstances and events that put Mary, Joseph, and the birth of Jesus where it needed to take place I know God is in the business of grabbing every moment and circumstance to give His very best.

And while the questions I posed above continue to linger and challenge me I will continue hold on to my own belief that God is the ultimate opportunist. One of the Old Testament names for God was Jehovah-Nissi, the LORD is my Banner. The LORD is my Banner and on my Banner are these words: Look at me! God is alive in me and you! Seek God and live!

During Advent 2016 take some time and reflect on your own life and experience anew some of the moments and circumstances in your own life when God has ceased the opportunity to bless you out of the dark into the light. Then on Christmas day think about Jesus’ birth and say to yourself, “Yeah! He did that for me!”

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

**Psalm 67:1, ESV

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.12.01

Glory Seed Devotionals, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

HELP!

Shalom!

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:20–22, ESV)

I need to personalize this mornings scripture to this. “My soul waits for the Lord; he is my help and my shield. For my heart is glad in him, because I trust in his holy name. Let my steadfast love, O Lord, be upon me, even as I hope in you.” I don’t mean to single myself out as the only one those two verses apply to, because they do apply to all of us. However there are times when we find ourselves in a “dry and thirsty land” alone, except for our hope, belief, and trust in God. I am writing this while walking in a dry and thirsty land.

Of all the lessons I’ve learned over the years while in a dry and thirsty land second one only to the continued presence of God is: if you try to hide from others your whereabouts you are severely limiting the God’s ability to help you. I’m sure you remember the story of the man who asked for help and God sent him help in the form of rescuers and he rejected each one of them waiting instead for God Himself to show up and rescue him. My good friend Sue White once told me, “You have not because you ask not.” That’s a good thing to remember.

HELP is a four letter word that has a meaning all its own. It is a stand alone word expressing the fact that you’re not going to make it on your own. You don’t really need to add any details (unless you feel the need to). The first lesson I learned is God accompanies me (and you) through every dry and thirsty land through the Holy Spirit. And because He does He knows the details behind our cry for HELP. Therefore, because He knows He will send (in his own time) exactly what kind of help we need and who can best help us. .

The most important response to anyone asking for HELP is to pray. Pray that God out of His foreknowledge He will send the HELP needed. That person may be you, it may be me, or it may be a total stranger.

The first action taken after a plea for HELP is FAITH!

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.”

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

**Psalm 67:1, ESV

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.29

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

God’s preblessings…

Shalom!

“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger… When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10–12, 5–16, ESV)

Have you ever heard of a preblessing? I’ve never heard of until this morning when the Holy Spirit introduced me to it. So the investigative side of me Googled it come to find out preblessing is a blessing before hand. From what I read I understand it to simply to be a blessing that is in the works but not yet fully realized. It is believing on the promises of God!

A blessing that is in the works but not yet fully realized. Believing on the promises of God. Stop for a minute and think of the impact that can have on your life. At the same time remember the greatest preblessing of all is God’s presence in your life. God preblesses us not because we seek blessings but out of this love and compassion for us. There are times in your life (and mine) when we need to make our needs known to God, and there are other times when all we need to do is sit in God’s presence and allow the Holy Spirit to draw out of us what we really need.

This mornings scripture is an excellent example of a preblessing. The shepherds were given the preblessing by the angels. Then later when they stood in the presence of the new born Jesus the preblessing became the blessing. I wasn’t one of the shepherds that night long ago but I suspect as they made their way to the manger their excitement and anticipation grew and grew.

This morning God is wanting to give you a preblessing. Grab and open your bible to Psalms 27 and begin reading and allow the Holy Spirit to draw out of you the things God is going to bless you with. Then anticipate the forth coming blessings.

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

**Psalm 67:1, ESV

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.28

Glory Seed Devotionals, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

Shalom!

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:4–7, ESV)

The season of Advent 2016 is upon us. So we begin our annual expedition/exploration to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. I use the words expedition/exploration because they both lend themselves to a more deeper meaning to our annual pilgrimage to the manger.

The first time I experienced the Great Smoky Mountains was back in the 1967 from an airplane flying home while on leave from the USS Newman K Perry. But then in 1997 as we drove I-75 to the Great Smoky Mountains it was a totally different experience. One experience lasted minutes, the other years, each time we make our spiritual pilgrimage to the manger our experience must not be momentarily but lasting.

The question that continues to haunt me and intensifies at this time of the year is why do I really need to experience Jesus as a helpless newborn. And each year the Holy Spirit reminds me of. ”…Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, ESV, emphasis mine) For us returning to the manger represents life coming full circle. We spend most of our life learning to be independent but then comes a point when independence becomes problematic.

When I watch our great grandson Colton I am amazed at how both fragile and agile. To be both fragile and agile at the same time is a sign of being dependent and independent at the same time. Colton at the age of 3 isn’t the only one who is fragile and agile at the same time, I am, you are. With us adults the dividing line between the two of them swings one way then the other. For Colton the line swings into the dependency yet slowly moving toward independency for me the line is moving slowly (and with some personal struggles) from independency toward dependency.

As we begin our Expedition through Advent 2016 remember it is just as important that we learn about ourselves (maybe more so with some) as it is to learn about Jesus as a baby.

And we begin…

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.25

Glory Seed Devotionals, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

The Parable of a no railing deck…

Shalom!

Standing on the wooden deck of his newly finished mountain top log home a man said to be best friend, “My dream home as become a reality. After all these years of dreaming of it saving for it working to bring it to reality was worth the wait.”

“Are you sure it’s finished?” his friend asked.

“Yup. It sure is,” he replied.

“But there’s no railing on the deck and that first step is a big one,” the friend replied pointing down the mountain side.

“That’s what the builder said but I want an unobstructed view of God’s paradise.”

“But won’t you fall?”

“Nah, I’m not worried about it. Long as I know there’s no railing I’ll be extra careful so I won’t fall.”

“But what if…”

“Don’t worry Sam it’ll be okay,” the man interrupted. “You want an ice tea?”

“Sure.”

Returning with the ice tea Fred suddenly tripped and found himself falling through the air. Being a religious man he immediately began praying, “Jesus help me I’m falling and will be killed in a few seconds.”

He was surprised when he heard a voice replying, “I did help you.”

“You did?”

“Sure did twice, once through the builder and the second time through your friend.”

“But that was then, this is now won’t you help me before it’s too late?”

“Can’t, what’s done is done. If you’d followed my advice in the first place you wouldn’t be hitting the ground right now.”

With nothing else to do the man closed his eyes and waited for the sudden stop. “Are you all right, Fred,” Sam asked his friend, “you sure came close to falling. If I were you I’d get serious about putting a railing up.”

Still groggy Fred muttered, “What happened?”

“You tripped fell and hit your head on one of the cups you were holding but I caught you just before you rolled off the edge. Are you all right?”

“All right? I’m more than all right I’m saved. And I’m not only putting a railing on the deck I’m gonna put more of Jesus around my life too.”

Life is full of trip hazards so putting more Jesus in your life today will be the most important thing you do all day.

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.23

Glory Seed Devotionals, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

Having Hope at Thanksgiving…

Shalom!

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:28–30, ESV)

On this the day before Thanksgiving I am thankful for the God of Hope. When I think about our needs at the top of the list is the God who loves us, Jesus who gave His life for us, and the Holy Spirit who not only makes both of them real but also sustains us. And then comes Hope. I am thankful for Hope. Not hope in its wishful thinking mode but Hope in its God will see it through mode.

Proverbs 29:18 reads, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (KJV) I put Hope in the same category as vision, “Where there is no Hope, the people perish…” Of course that cannot be taken literally, perhaps this a better way of understanding it, “Where there is no Hope, life becomes empty, drifting in an endless sea of hopelessness.”

Hope in its God will see it through mode not only illuminates the darkness of hopelessness it also gives us the motivation and strength run, walk, or crawl toward and into the Light at the end of the tunnel. For me this morning’s opening verse is not only filled with Hope but also with Vision.

Once upon a time prior to 1981 I could run and I could jump having both hips replaced brought an end to running and jumping. While I wasn’t really into running and jumping we were raising two young boys at the time and suddenly an important part of me as a father was gone. Then along came Hope, Hope not that I would be able to run and jump again, but Hope that God would see us as a family through it. And Hope worked because “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true…”

I have learned over the years and it’s the lesson I want to pass along to you, Hope (in its God will see it through mode) doesn’t necessarily solve our problems and difficulties, Hope IS the solution because when you have Hope you relinquish the outcome to Jehovah-Jireh, the God who sees and provides. The day will come when I will once again be able to run and jump, it will probably not be in this life but then with Hope the next life becomes alive. As my good friend Robert Campbell said and lived, “Keep Hope Alive!”.

Happy Thanksgiving my friend! And have a second helping of Hope!

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

**Psalm 67:1, ESV

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.22

Glory Seed Devotional, 2016.11.22

Glory Seed Devotionals, 2016: Year of the Blessing…

Words of encouragement from the Jehovah-Raah…

Shalom!

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” (Psalm 138:7–8, ESV)

In the summer of 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain Derek Redmond had qualified for 400 Meter race with the fastest time and was on his way to win a Gold Metal. At some point during the race Derek pulled up lame with a torn hamstring and rather than quit he began slowly and painfully he began limping toward the finish line.  Then suddenly Derek’s father step out of the sideline encouraged his son and helped him finish the race to a standing ovation.

I suspect you’ve already figured out where I am going with this after all you know that is what God did for us when he sent Jesus into our world. And you already know upon His return to heaven Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world to take His place. The Holy Spirit working on behalf of Jesus is not only the ultimate symbol of encouragement but also the ultimate source as well.

Like Derek Redmond’s father when you pull up lame Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to encourage you, to strengthen you, and to carry you if you need carrying. There are three things you need to do have faith, believe, and keep hobbling until either the Holy Spirit arrives, or Jesus sends someone else.

There are no more powerful encouraging words in the entire bible then these. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:4-5 (ESV) Jesus has already been through your shadow of death valley and has sent the Holy Spirit to you to help you get through it yourself!

May your focus be on Jesus and may the Holy Spirit nurture and grow the Seeds of Blessing planted in you this day.

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: http://www.abidingradio.org/listen/

Scripture quotations marked ESV “Are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.”

**Psalm 67:1, ESV

 

 

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