Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.21

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

We NEED God!

Shalom!

For a long time I have struggled with Roman’s chapter 3 verse 23. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23, NLT) I know at one point in my life that described me but for some reason from time-to-time a soft whispering voice goes off inside me saying, “Gary, don’t think you’ve gotten past it because you haven’t.” Does that mean my years of walking the road of repentance has all been for nothing? Am I somehow condemned to spend eternity in hell? If what Paul wrote is true will there be anybody in heaven? And Jesus dying on the cross have I somehow canceled out His sacrifice for me? Is my brokenness is fixable how can I fix things with God?

Last evening while reading Good News for Those Who Try Harder by Alan Kraft in chapter 3 If It’s Broken, Fix It I read this paragraph and suddenly I began to understand some things about myself and what God is actually doing in me. “Apparently the road to hell actually is paved with good intentions—even good behaviors. Trying to be good is the absolute antithesis of living the gospel. Why? Because we cannot fix ourselves no matter how hard we try. The continual reality of the gospel is that we are broken, and we can’t do a thing to fix it. Trying hard to be good will never result in real transformation. All it does is drown out the music of the gospel.” 1

“The continual reality of the gospel is that we are broken, and we can’t do a thing to fix it.As I write these words there’s that soft whispering voice again this time saying, “Gary, you are broken and you can’t fix yourself, but God can. You have fallen and only Jesus can pick you up.”

When we succumb to the reality that we are indeed broken and dump our self righteousness and our efforts to fix ourselves and with a broken spirit and contrite heart and turn to God we can hear the “music of the gospel” and part of the lyrics go like this. “Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” (Romans 3:24, NLT) Did you catch the good news? In case you didn’t catch it here’s the good news — through our relationship with Jesus we are free from the penalty for our sins, Jesus exchanged his life for ours!

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”**

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.”

Kraft, A. (2011). Good news for those trying harder. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

**Hebrews 4:16, NLT

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.18

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

Reflections…

Shalom!

“And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline:” (Lamentations 3:27, NLT)

This morning when I turned my computer on I was immediately confronted with the dreadful word I have gained a strong dislike for “ENDURE” yet at the same time I had a new understanding of enduring. “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:12–13, NLT)

No sooner had I began feeling frustrated at all that I’d endured over the years I found myself drifting and reflecting over the course of my life. Have you ever spent time reflecting on your life and wondering what might have been had you established a relationship with Jesus at an early age? Perhaps you did but not me. I was raised in a “Jesus filled” home since day one of my life and a need for Jesus was taught me through bible stories my entire childhood but it was in my early thirties when I got serious about Jesus. Now that I am nearly 71 years old I can’t help but wonder if I’d embraced the LORD’s discipline and invitation to join him years ago how different my life would have been.

Yet now that our relationship has been established and continues to deepen and strengthen in retrospect out of those early Jesus-less years one thing has become apparent Jesus was never Gary-less. Of all the lessons gained from over my 70 plus years this one has had the greatest impact on me. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:22–26, NLT)

This morning I will never think about life as something to be endured again because I know where there is life there is God! “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT) And somehow I’ve known that my entire life, why it’s surfacing now only God knows.

And last but not least, ”…But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:8–9, NLT, selected portion)

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”**

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.”

**Hebrews 4:16, NLT

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.16

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

Embracing our brokenness…

Shalom!

“The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit.God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin.” (Psalm 51:17, NCV)

In his book titled Good News for Those Who Try Harder Author Alan Kraft writing on our propensity to become unbroken suggests rather than trying to become unbroken instead we embrace our brokenness and permit God to take our lemons and transform them into the sweetest lemonade you’ll ever taste. “What would happen if the melodies of brokenness and faith were continually and increasingly playing in our souls throughout our spiritual journeys? Here’s what would happen: Rather than trying harder to be less and less sinful, we would experience the authentic transformation we long to experience.”*

Embrace our brokenness? That sounds like the dumbest thing we could do after all we live in a fix-it society and not only that but if it can’t be fixed we toss it out and get a new one. But Paul writes, “Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27, HCSB) In other words “It ain’t broken until God says its broken.” God is not the ultimate Mr. Fix-it, God is the ultimate one who transforms.

But how do we embrace our brokenness rather than trying to fix it? The first lesson I learned (the hard way) is not to run away, yet don’t bury it either. I am currently taking a new medication for pulmonary fibrosis called Esbriet it’s what I consider an “embracing drug” since pulmonary fibrosis cannot be fixed all Esbriet will do is to stop for slow down further scaring of my lungs, it is medical science’s help in embracing it so I can get on with life. Since day one in the summer of 2011 I extended God the invitation to embrace it with me and now I am free to get on with my life. Do I want the IPF to be fixed? You bet I do! At the same time I extended an invitation to God to fix it as well but like he said to Paul, “My Grace is sufficient for you,” he said to me as well. I soon discovered that God’s Grace keeps on supporting, and supporting, and supporting, and supporting, and you know what I’m talking about.

And here’s the lesson for you — What God did, is doing, and will do for me He will do for you! Believe! Embrace your brokenness and invite God! Experience a God Embraced brokenness! And be Energized by it!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”**

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 HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

*Kraft, A. (2011). Good news for those trying harder. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

**Romans 15:13, HCSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.15

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

All is not as it seems…

Shalom!

“You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me.” (Mark 14:7, HCSB)

Once upon a time not really that long ago in his grandmother’s kitchen not far from here a little boy opened up a cupboard and proceeded to methodically remove all the labels from the canned food. I remember my mom laughing and saying she never knew what they would be preparing to fix for lunch or supper. At the heart of that humerus and true story lies a much deeper and true story. It is unfortunate that we are guilty of placing labels on ourselves and others that need to be removed. One such label is the label of being poor.

The lyrics of a song is going through my mind, ”Sometimes a pauper is richer by far,” I can’t remember the name of the song nor can I remember any more of the lyrics just those seven words. But they remind me that every woman, man, and child in the world could have unlimited financial resources and there still would be those who living in poverty. Author Kathryn J. Hermes writes, “In the Gospel we read instead a story of chosen weakness, glorified poverty, exalted lowliness. God will never take away our inner poverty, for then he would take away exactly what we need to depend on him. He wants us to realize that we can’t achieve salvation and grow in contemplation by ourselves. Actually, we will get absolutely nowhere by ourselves.”1

There is actually another label we place on ourselves and others and that label is the being rich. The falseness of the label of being rich comes to life when you look at our money and see the picture of a dead president. “God will never take away our inner poverty,” because that is the “rich fertile soil” in which He plants His greatest blessings. “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” (Matthew 5:3, HCSB)

Being poor is never a good thing and like Jesus said, “you can do what is good for them whenever you want,” but by placing labels on those who appear to be poor we are labeling ourselves and saying much more about ourselves at the time.

Sometimes those who are poor are richer then those who are rich, and sometimes those who are rich are poorer then those who are poor. All is not how it seems! Oh, there is one more label that both the poor and the rich need to remove, and that is the label of pride.

Whosoever resides in God’s heart though they may become poor will never live in poverty, they will live in the riches of God’s never ending Grace!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”**

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 HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Hermes, K. J. (2009). Beginning Contemplative Prayer: Out of Chaos into Quiet (p. 29). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.

**Romans 15:13, HCSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.14

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

A day for reckoning…

Shalom!

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26, HCSB)

For me a patient with a troubled heart with its 4 blocked inoperable arteries the words of Psalm 73:26 are words of hope, peace, and life. About an hour ago I began to feel some discomfort behind my breast bone anyone who has had a heart attack knows chest pains can be dangerous. And while I did not just “fluff off” the danger signals I did not panic either because for me there were signs that God was not about to let me down. So along with taking a nitro tablet, a short help me God prayer, and relaxing in my recliner the discomfort was short lived.

But Psalm 73:26 goes far beyond patients with a troubled heart, it “strikes at the heart” of everyone because we live in world destined to fail. We are a people familiar with failure. The problems begin getting out of hand when begin seeing failure as an end rather than a beginning. The most important phrase is “my portion forever.” It is important because of what it implies, its implication is we need to stop being our own portion so God can begin being our portion.

Are you ready to give God a “heart” totally vacated of self? Before you answer yes or no think about what that takes in. My day of reckoning occurred back in March of 1981 following some delicate surgery. One night after the surgery things were not going well I felt the presence of “the Grim Reaper” I remember looking at the dark ceiling and saying, “God, if I am going to live it will only be because of you.” Almost immediately I fell into a peaceful night of sleep. That night I began a life long journey of emptying myself of myself so I had room for God to become my portion. For me spiritual growth is the process of emptying self and making room for God and is ongoing.

Have you had your day of reckoning yet? We all need it. We all need to come to the point when all seems lost because it is at that point we become ready to experience God taking up residence in our life. It is at that point when the love of God kicks in at full force.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”**

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 HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

**Romans 15:13, HCSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.13

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

Above the daily grind…

Shalom!

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24, HCSB)

I have thought long and hard on condensing an explanation from what I’ve read and studied about spirituality that I am comfortable with. Two scriptures have been instrumental in doing so. The first one you just read. The second one picks up where that one leaves off. “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (1 Corinthians 2:11–13, HCSB)

For my simple uncomplicated meaning/explanation of spirituality is experiencing God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. To the scriptures above Kathryn J. Hermes adds, “Spirituality has to do with our deepest needs, anxieties, joys, hopes, and fears, our values and dreams. It is a part of our daily life and propels us to rise above the daily grind. It fuels our work, our relationships, our prayer, pushing us to live with greater meaning and intensity. Spirituality takes us as we are and connects us to God as God is.” (Beginning Contemplative Prayer: Out of Chaos into Quiet (p. 1). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.)

“It (spirituality) is a part of our daily life and propels us to rise above the daily grind.” What’s your “daily grind”? Out of control high blood glucose readings are mine. For a couple of months I have been working with my doctor to get it back down in normal ranges. I’m angry! I’m frustrated! I’ve wanted to quit and go on a sugar eating binge! I’ve prayed! I’ve begged God! I’ve argued with God! The only thing I haven’t tried is holding my breath only because my pulmonary fibrosis won’t allow me to! Yet in spite of my tendency to cross into the dark side out of God’s strong spiritual ties with me come the strength, courage, the drive to keep going, until the lifting power of the Holy Spirit raises me above the daily grind.

Spirituality takes you and all your daily grind and connects you to God as God is.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”**

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 HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

**Romans 15:13, HCSB

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.02.10

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

Words of Jesus for you…

Shalom!

Standing at the edge of time even before creating the earth we envisioned your face. We watched the rising and falling of your chest as life giving air oxygenated your life. We felt the warmth of your tender skin. We felt the strength of your muscles. We observed the frailty of your life. We shared your deepest thoughts, your hopes, your dreams, and your fears then in love we created a beautiful garden you call planet earth. To us it is still a beautiful garden.

The sun sets and rises so you’ll know that heaven’s light is always faithful and on time! The Father wants you to understand that the sun never sets on those that love the Son. And I want you to know that when you walk in the Light you become a reflection of the Light. You are points of Light in a dark and cold world.

The wind circles and blows across the face of the earth not wildly as many think but as we need it to. The wind in the trees. The wind across the waters. The wind whistling through your hair. Even the storms are but lessons of the presence of the Holy Spirit as it brings to life the life of the Father – the Spirit brings life!

The waters of the rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans evaporate into the sky then cool then fall to the earth filling the rivers and in turn flow into the lakes, the seas, the oceans not willy-nilly but by divine design because the very life of all creation depends upon flowing water.

You folks have been given a great responsibility – the greatest responsibility of all – the Father has given you the responsibility to not only sense and understand the fragile ecological balance but to lovingly care for it just as the Father compassionately cares and loves you. The Father has entrusted to YOU the life or death of planet earth.

Do not see even the smallest effort as futile but you who call yourselves my followers MUST be in the forefront of people everywhere to act and live in ways that not only preserve the earth but contribute to its prosperity as well. And as you see beyond the “futility” you will be blessed with the eyes of the Father and will be empowered beyond what you can even now conceive with the power of a healing and restoring Spirit.

AMEN!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”**

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 HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

**Romans 15:13, HCSB

Glory Seed Devotional, editing

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