Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.25/26

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

Going off the grid with Jesus…

Shalom!

Has this ever been you? “I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.” (Psalms 142:4-5, NLT) If that describes your life then you’ve been in good company because, “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”” (Matthew 27:45–46, NLT), Jesus experienced abandonment too.

As far as I am concerned there is no worse experience than that of abandonment or loneliness. What’s so devastating about feeling abandoned or lonely is they can happen in a crowded room surrounded by family and friends. In verse 3 the Psalmist talks about traps the enemy sets for us, when you stop and think about it isn’t abandonment and loneliness enemies too? In an earlier Psalm the Psalmist reminds us of how God handles our enemies. “I will praise You, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. I will be filled with joy because of You. I will sing praises to Your name, O Most High. My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when You appeared. For You have judged in my favor; from Your throne You have judged with fairness.” (Psalms 9:1-4 NLT)

However, there are times when loneliness doesn’t die instead the Holy Spirit transforms it into aloneness. In the hands of Jesus loneliness becomes a doorway to aloneness. And aloneness then becomes a doorway to a deeper relationship with God. Take Jesus for example, “Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that His disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while He sent the people home. After sending them home, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. Night fell while He was there alone.” (Matthew 14:22-23 NLT)

No one really knows what happened when Jesus went “off the grid” and away from His daily distractions but He was never alone. I am sure out of His relationship with the Father the Holy Spirit transformed His abandonment/loneliness to Blessings of God’s Presence! Jesus was never alone. For many abandonment/loneliness is a death sentence (not physical death) but an emotional death but for those who walk in Jesus’ footsteps and live in His heart feelings of abandonment/loneliness are invitations to spend time with the LORD on His terms not ours or the worlds. Going “off the grid” can be getting off by yourself like the Bible says or it can also be getting off with a loved one or Christian friends like the Bible says of Jesus and His disciples. The trick is when they begin pulling you into their deadly trap as soon as you can get off the grid, Blessings are awaiting!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14, NLT)

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 NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.24

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

Unity…

Shalom!

Author Max Lucado writes the key to evangelism is unity, for me unity is the key to everything from my relationship of me to God and everyone in between, and my home turf to the universe and everything in between. “If unity is the key to evangelism, shouldn’t it have precedence in our prayers? Should we, as Paul said, “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3 NIV)? If unity matters to God, then shouldn’t unity matter to us? If unity is a priority in heaven, then shouldn’t it be a priority on earth? Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity. We are told simply to keep unity. From God’s perspective there is but “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Unity does not need to be created; it simply needs to be protected…” (Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado)

“…eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:3-4, ESV)

Above I have covered a vast undiscovered area of unity but rather than drift in its vastness we need to narrow the area of experience to our own lives, which in itself covers a large area. I understand the importance of my relationship with people out of the area of my immediate world where my influence is indirect at best. It is the area of my direct influence I need to constantly keep in the forefront of my journey through life. From my perspective Lucado hits a “grand slam home run” with, “Nowhere, by the way, are we told to build unity. We are told simply to keep unity.” As I understand it God is not only Creator of our world but also Creator of unity within our personal world as well as within the “world” wherever it exists. At the risk of over simplifying it, all we need do is to look deep inside and discover the “seed” of unity already planted in us, allow love to germinate it, let the Holy Spirit nurture it, feed it, and grow it.

After nearly 71 years of living and nearly 50 years of marriage to Patti experience has taught me that unity is not grounded in thinking alike instead unity is grounded in agape love. Wikipedia has this to say about agape love. “Within Christianity, Agape is considered to be the Love of God or Christ for humankind. Cf. Matthew 3:17, Mark 10:21. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow man.”

With the help of the Holy Spirit the over 49 plus years we’ve been married we’ve discovered the common ground upon which our relationship is built allowing/helping us weather many storms is our mutual love of God extending to each other. And that extends beyond the relationship of a husband and wife to include all our relationships, unity is “built” on a mutual love of God.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, ESV)

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.23

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

Radical Faith…

Shalom!

In spite of Jesus’ plea not to be afraid I still get afraid. While I am not really afraid of dying (although I am not looking forward to it) it is living that scares me. That is especially true when my physical ailments are wrecking havoc with me, “God, I don’t know if I can go through this any more.” The ailments are bittersweet, they don’t scare me as much as living with them. There are bittersweet because they have solidified my relationship with God and have permanently burned themselves in my memory so I can recall them to help someone else going through similar circumstances. However, on the other side of that coin is the fact they have fulfilled their purpose (see the previous sentence) so why am I still suffering their effect’s?

Fear has many faces. One face is the face of terror, another is a fear of the dark from my childhood I know that face well. Another face is that of nothing changes, things are as they are and will always will be that way is the face I am looking at now. Not only does fear have many faces it also has either a postive or a negative effects on us. And strangely enough fear is also a window where we can look into the foundation upon which or lives are built.

For me one of the greatest lessons on the foundation upon which I have built my life on is found on the Sea of Galilee during a terrible storm at night. “And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.” (Matthew 14:25–29, ESV)

Peter in a matter of minutes when from fear to getting out of the boat and walking on water! In the ugly face of fear Peter saw the beautiful face of Radical Faith in the face and open arms of Jesus. Not on solid ground but on storm tossed sea in the dark of night illuminated only by the flashes of lightning and thus it is for us once we’ve solidified our relationship with Jesus. If you read the complete story in Matthew chapter 14 verses 22-33 you’ll discover my fear-to-radical faith story and your fear-to-radical faith story. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”” (Matthew 14:30–31, ESV)

Some have said God tests our faith. I’m not so sure about that because life itself is a master at challenging our faith. In the challenge and face of fear when the odds are stacked against us we need to completely depend on the Radical Faith we see in the face and extended hands of Jesus.

The next time fear begins staring you in the face, close your eyes and with Radical Faith focus on the face of Jesus and take that first radical step and walk with Him.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, ESV)

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.22

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

Getting Good Things…

Shalom!

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:8–10, ESV)

There are times while reading the bible read a verse or series of verses I wish I could take it literally because according to today’s scripture I’d have everything I’ve ever wanted. I do fear the LORD and therefore I would lack nothing, “for those who fear him have no lack!” Sounds great doesn’t it? If you could have everything you’ve ever wanted what would it be? If I could have everything I’ve ever wanted it would be a luxury log cabin sitting in a beautiful valley sounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, of course I would need to have a Super Duty Ford Pickup Truck, and a whole lot of money to go with it. And then there’s the pulmonary fibrosis, prostate cancer, diabetes, and four blocked coronary arteries that need fixing.

But alas! Taking the bible literally can be not only a very dangerous to our spiritual wellbeing it can also lead to a big disappointment. A similar verse to the one above is, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7, ESV) I can pray and have everything I ask for? I see understand scriptures as this one and the one above as check points revealing the depth of our relationship with and commitment to God, what is more important what I want for me or what God wants for me.

The Psalmist sets us straight us not to take what he wrote literally in the last words of verse 10, “but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” That’s saying, “but those who seek things lack the LORD.” It took me a considerable amount of time to get past my desire to relocate upon retirement to the Great Smoky Mountains. It had been our dream 1997 and when I realized it wasn’t going to happen I got angry at God, after all it was a good thing, we’ve known many people who have moved after retiring why couldn’t we? Why was God not giving us something good?

The answer is moving was our thing not God’s thing. It was a tough lesson to learn but I’ve caught the bigger picture. It’s not for us, until God says it’s for us then we lack no good thing! Here’s a partial list of the good things God wants us to have. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ” (Galatians 5:22–23, ESV)

And finally there’s this. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, ESV)

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, ESV)

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Corrected Glory Seed, 2017.05.20

Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.19

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

A Dear Jesus Letter…

Shalom!

“Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:10–11, ESV)

Dear Jesus,

Master, is that You Isaiah is talking about? If that is You is the “reward” Isaiah is talking about the forgiveness of my sins? Is the “recompense” Your Beauty for my ashes? I know You are my Shepherd, not because the Psalmist says so but because I have experienced Your life first hand and You’ve led me, cared for me, watched over me, tended to my wounds, and blest me like no other Shepherd ever could.

Jesus, I remember in March of 1981 following chest surgery and I wasn’t doing good, in fact I was losing ground and my surgeon was baffled by what was happening to me. I am sure You remember me looking up at the ceiling with tears in my eyes and terrible pain in my chest from the surgery, “Jesus,” I prayed, “if I am going to make it, it will only because of You.” Minutes later I fell into the most peaceful/restful night sleep I’d had in the previous week. Later that day my doctor figures out what as wrong and fixed the problem. Jesus, You picked me up in Your arms that night and rocked me to sleep didn’t You?

Since that night when You picked me up and rocked me to sleep You’ve never let me down have You? You’ve carried me ever since, through my good time, through my bad times, and all the times in between. Jesus, why do You do that for me? I know I’m not deserving of the things You’ve done for me but You’ve done them anyway. I want to tell the whole world of how You’ve been my greatest “reward” my greatest “recompense/compensator” because like me they’ll never make it on their own.

Jesus, I wish I could love You as much as You love me! I also pray for every person who reads this, and prayerfully it will reach a lot of readers!

In the Bonds of the Holy Spirit

With Love,

Gary (alias Crusty the Christian)

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, ESV)

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.19

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

A Dear Jesus Letter…

Shalom!

“Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:10–11, ESV)

Dear Jesus,

Master, is that You Isaiah is talking about? If that is You is the “reward” Isaiah is talking about the forgiveness of my sins? Is the “recompense” Your Beauty for my ashes? I know You are my Shepherd, not because the Psalmist says so but because I have experienced Your life first hand and You’ve led me, cared for me, watched over me, tended to my wounds, and blest me like no other Shepherd ever could.

Jesus, I remember in March of 1981 following chest surgery and I wasn’t doing good, in fact I was losing ground and my surgeon was baffled by what was happening to me. I am sure You remember me looking up at the ceiling with tears in my eyes and terrible pain in my chest from the surgery, “Jesus,” I prayed, “if I am going to make it, it will only because of You.” Minutes later I fell into the most peaceful/restful night sleep I’d had in the previous week. Later that day my doctor figures out what as wrong and fixed the problem. Jesus, You picked me up in Your arms that night and rocked me to sleep didn’t You?

Since that night when You picked me up and rocked me to sleep You’ve never let me down have You? You’ve carried me ever since, through my good time, through my bad times, and all the times in between. Jesus, why do You do that for me? I know I’m not deserving of the things You’ve done for me but You’ve done them anyway. I want to tell the whole world of how You’ve been my greatest “reward” my greatest “recompense/compensator” because like me they’ll never make it on their own.

Jesus, I wish I could love You as much as You love me! I also wish that and pray that for every person who reads this, and prayerfully it will reach a lot of readers!

In the Bonds of the Holy Spirit

With Love,

Gary (alias Crusty the Christian)

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14, ESV)

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.18

Glory Seed Devotional’s, 2017: Anticipating and Experiencing Jehovah-Jireh…

Lessons on Living from the book of Psalms…

Shalom!

“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.” (Psalm 6:2–4, ESV)

”…For my bones are troubled…” Because I have two artificial hips I limp my way through life so today’s scripture has a familiar ring to me. However, as I reflect on the ways I have been blessed I can honestly say, “Thank God for troubled bones.” Because God has ministered to me though my troubled bones, therefore I KNOW Jesus will minister to my troubled soul. What’s my biggest Jesus blocker? Impatience! But because I can no longer walk at a fast pace God continues to discipline me to have patience and I am getting better.

How about you? What maladies have or are troubling you? What ever they are – no matter how devastating they may seem the ministry of Jesus will turn lumps of coal into spiritual diamonds. I know this to be true from personal experience and because, “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.” (Psalm 6:9, ESV) What God did for David he did for me and what God did for me he’ll do for you!

God wants to bless you in ways that make not now seem clear you only need to place your trust in him. The good news is God gives us the trust-ability we need to trust in him! “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24, ESV)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all today and everyday as you place your trust in God.

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 © 2016 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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