Glory Seed Devotional, 20127.05.31

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

Shalom!

“Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you— yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble. That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you— the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude” (Psalm 66:13–15, NLT)

Have you ever seen the movie “The End”? Burt Reynolds starred as a man trying to commit suicide. In the final scene Burt is swimming out into the ocean with the hopes of getting out far enough so he’ll not be able to make it back to shore. As he was swimming he was rehearsing all the reasons he wanted to die. Then all of a sudden he realized he wanted to live and began swimming back to shore telling God he didn’t want to die and began making all kinds of promises. However when he saw he was going to make it back to shore he changed his tune and began blaming God for all the reasons he wanted to die in the first place. While it was suppose to be a comedy it also had a deeper message reminding me to keep my promises/vows to God and not blame him for every little thing that goes wrong.

Psalm 63 is about “payback time” for the Psalmist a time to honor and praise the Father for “bailing” him out. How many of us has God “bailed” out yet we’ve not stopped long enough to offer Him praise and thank you for His blessings? I am guilty as charged! Do you remember this story from the New Testament? “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:11–16, NLT)

I always wonder what happened to the nine who never returned to thank Jesus for healing them. Perhaps rather than returning to Jesus they went about praising and thanking him to others they met. However, on the other hand maybe they never gave Jesus a second thought and went about their lives until the blessing they received suddenly disappeared. For me one of the most useful tools in the bible is its ability to provide me with an experience but without the actual experience. I have never neglected thanking the LORD on purpose, my neglect has always been an oversight on my part but from now on I am going to take extra care in making sure God gets the praise and thanks He so richly deserves.

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.”

Big problem!

The email client I use to send the Glory Seeds by email no longer works. Until I fix it or get one that does group sending if you want to keep reading them please go too www.gloryseeddevotionals.org and click follow.

Sorry for the inconvenience technology works great but it when it doesn’t it doesn’t.

Grace and PEACE,
Gary

On May 24, 2017 6:53 AM, "Gary Piper" <crustychristian> wrote:

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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."

Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.05.29/30

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

The Sanctuary…

Shalom!

The other day while driving home I decided to take the “scenic route home” and drove past my favorite morning spot along the St. Clair River where because of changes in my life I have been unable to spend my early mornings. Immediately the thought occurred to me, “I wonder if God misses me here?” Almost immediately I countered, “But, God is everywhere so how can he miss you at all?”

Thinking about the possibility that somehow God misses me I feel the answer is YES, somehow we’ve established a special relationship sitting looking out over the river and lake and watching the sun come up and the river flow. That doesn’t mean the only place on earth where I had a relationship with God it simply means sitting by the river bank became a Sanctuary for me – a place where in spite of the world around me I felt safe and secure with God.

I believe that is one of the reasons Jesus would often go to the mountains to be alone with the Father. Jesus’ life was busy, if he wasn’t teaching and preaching about the Kingdom he was healing people, if he wasn’t healing people he was performing other miracles, if he wasn’t performing miracles he was avoiding the religious authorities, if he wasn’t avoiding the religious authorities he was preparing the disciples for the time when he would return to the Father. I am sure you can see why Jesus needed a Sanctuary where he could be alone with God? Did the Father miss him when he was in the world? Again just guessing I say YES. As I see it there were times when God wanted Jesus all by himself because God knew life wouldn’t be easy for Jesus, God knew Jesus would need to be strengthened. While our days aren’t filled with the same activities as Jesus’ life was, never-the-less our lives are spiritually demanding and spiritually depleting and God longs to be alone with us.

Have you, like me unable to return to your Sanctuary? If so then because God is everywhere seek another place. Don’t have a Sanctuary yet? If so then seek one God is waiting for you? The words of Psalmist remind us of the blessings await us in our own personal God Sanctuary, “Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you.” God will save you from hidden traps and from deadly diseases. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection. You will not fear any danger by night or an arrow during the day. You will not be afraid of diseases that come in the dark or sickness that strikes at noon.” (Psalm 91:1–6, NCV) In the words of Tarzan and Gary, “It’s a jungle out there!” and God awaits you in His/Your Sanctuary. Go to him and be strengthened for what will come.

“God says, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, NCV)

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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/

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

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.”

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.”

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.”

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.”