Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.31

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

Intimacy with God…

Shalom!

God not only knows you, He knows you more intimately than you know yourself! “Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord. You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me. This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.” (Psalm 139:1–6)

Knowing God knows you more intimately than you know yourself is bittersweet because He not only knows the good things you do, He also knows about all the “stuff” you’ve hidden and locked away in a closet. I don’t know about you but I’m ok with God knowing about my good “stuff,” however His knowledge of my locked closet can be a little unsettling.

It would not only be unsettling but also spirituality devastating if it weren’t for this promise, “You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me.” It would be impossible for God to be intimate with us without an intimate relationship with the crucified and resurrected Jesus who makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God. Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount outlined many of the “fruits” coming out of God’s intimacy with us among them are, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

For who knows what is good for anyone in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 6:12) My first encounter with Matthew’s quote above gave me the impression I could have anything I wanted, within reason of course. It turned out to be a “bomb” leaving me questioning the scripture and Jesus. Matthew Henry sets the record straight “We must come to him for good things, for those he gives to them that ask him; which teaches us to refer ourselves to him; we know not what is good for ourselves (Eccl. 6:12), but he knows what is good for us, we must therefore leave it with him; Father, thy will be done.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrows.” In an intimate relationship with God is old “stuff” because of… “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6)

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:

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

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.30

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

God’s Love for you…

Shalom!

In writing about God’s Love for us yesterday’s Glory Seed John wrote, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. We love because he first loved us.” (1st John 4:18-19)

I am sure we are all aware of the power fear can have over us, that’s especially true when it comes to experiencing a loss. Fear caused the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Fear played a big part in both my mother and mother-in-law’s lives when they lost their husbands to health issues, and when they eventually past away. How many women (and men) stay in an abusive relationship? How many people have given up on their dreams because of fear?

I am not sure when fear first made me afraid of the dark, I do know it was at an early age because. It was so bad I would go to sleep with a toy gun under my pillow. I was in my late thirties when I began to conquer it. Even now I can still feel the accompanying symptoms of fear enveloping me when I find myself alone in the dark yet the Holy Spirit deep inside me lifts me above it before it takes a hold of me.

I still on occasion get fearful when I feel separated from God’s Love. And at first fear puts me in a tailspin further separating me from the Love of God. But when I read and re-read what John wrote I focus on, “…perfect Love drives out fear,” and the word “perfect” asking myself, “How can I an imperfect man love perfectly?” The answer is I can’t Love God or Patti or anyone else for that matter perfectly, if I could I wouldn’t need Jesus’ sacrificial Love for me nor would I need the Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.

In his first letter Peter puts it in perspective for us. “You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith-more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire-may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1st Peter 1:5-7)

Basically, I am trying to say if you find yourself in a fearful situation no matter the source you need the BIG THREE, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and you need to DEPEND on each of them to bolster your faith in them as the lift you above your fears. As plentiful as fears are the power of the Love the BIG THREE has for you over powers every fear imaginable!

Got fears? Let God Love you more perfectly!

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6)

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:

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

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.29

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

God’s Love for you…

Shalom!

“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. In this, love is made complete with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.” (1st John 4:16-18)

The basis of our Companionship with God branching out to our companionship with all others as well is Love. In fact, our Companionship with God stands alone at the top. Yet at times the “negative stuff” that plagues us like a phantom in the night surfaces and takes control leading to emotional and spiritual meltdowns. And somehow in the process it overpowers our experiences of promised God’s Love (and the love others have for us) if that has hit a familiar cord with you then there is GREAT NEWS! One of the most plentiful messages of the bible including todays scripture reading reminds and teaches us of God’s promised Companionship. Before moving on it should be noted that our relationship with others especially our “significant others” is based on the Love of God coming from us not the worldly love that is so plentiful.

Here is a sampling of the bible verses serving as reminders of what God’s Love means to us and the power it unleashes in us … “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you… The LORD is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8)

James also offers this reminder. “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2–4)

Perhaps the hardest part in exercising courage when God seems so far off, is depending on the tiny seed of faith God planted in our hearts, not faith in our five senses, but faith in God who created us. And as we cry out to Him the seed of faith comes alive.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6)

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:

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

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.26

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

To err is human…

Shalom!

I am sure you’ve heard the phrase, “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Yet there’s another side to that “coin” as well, “To err is human, not to go back and correct our errors is human as well.” In yesterday’s Glory Seed I wrote, “…not to gain merit by many words, but to fully transfer the burden of one’s soul into God’s hands,” this prayer at its best, it is why we prayer there’s where safer, no where more peaceful than locked in prayer with God. It doesn’t matter what storm or now many rage outside our heart/spirit/soul inside there will be a sense of peace that will defy all logic, “One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.”

A couple of hours later Patti pointed out some major errors that rendered the paragraph unreadable. I then went back changed errors and rewrote the paragraph like this. “…not to gain merit by many words, but to fully transfer the burden of one’s soul into God’s hands,” this is prayer at its best, it is why we pray, there’s nowhere safer or more peaceful then enfolded in the arms of God while in prayer. It doesn’t matter what storm or how many rage outside our heart/spirit/soul inside there will be Peace that defies all logic, “One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.”

One of my least favorite things to do is telling on myself, yet confession is good for the soul, as is having a reality check to ensure we don’t, “…think of our self more highly than we should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.” (based on Romans 12:3) There are mistakes that we can correct ourselves that do not add up to life and death choices such as my writing mistakes, however there are other mistakes that are life threatening we cannot make changes ourselves among them sin stands alone at the top of the list. It is those mistakes God has made provisions for us. Such as chapter 36 of Ezekiel.

“I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:25–27, CSB) The new heart of flesh mentioned in verse 26 will be pliable and teachable opposite of a rigid and stone-cold heart hammer out by a life without a relationship with God.

To make a mistake is human, but to ignore Jehovah-Elohay (the LORD your God) and the heart of flesh He has for you is a life threatening mistake..

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”(John 14:6)

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:

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

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.25

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

Just a simple reminder…

Shalom!

There is little power in prayer instead the real power in prayer is the faith of the person praying and the Person to whom he or she is praying. Prayer is more than just putting together words to convince God or a need or needs, it’s stepping into the presence of God and opening ourselves up to the God who not only sees and provides but just as important listens too. There have been many, many books written on how to pray and what to for yet the greatest Prayer Book ever written is the Bible it is the ultimate prayer book and student resource book.

Perhaps the second greatest teacher (Jesus is number one) of prayer in the New Testament is the apostle Paul. One of his greatest lessons is found in chapter 4 of Philippians. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7, CSB)

The commentary in the NKJV Study Bible offers this insight into this mornings scripture. “Supplication is more than petitioning but suggests an intensity of earnestness in extended prayer—not to gain merit by many words, but to fully transfer the burden of one’s soul into God’s hands. Prayer and peace are closely connected. One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.”

“…not to gain merit by many words, but to fully transfer the burden of one’s soul into God’s hands,” this prayer at its best, it is why we prayer there’s where safer, no where more peaceful than locked in prayer with God. It doesn’t matter what storm or now many rage outside our heart/spirit/soul inside there will be a sense of peace that will defy all logic, “One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.”

Notice Paul puts rejoicing first, when we affix our focus on God with expectation, anticipation, and rejoicing in God who is intently listening to our pray, we experience the “soul warming” presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One last lesson on prayer, perhaps one of the most important lessons, “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, CSB)

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”(John 14:6)

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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

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

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

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.22

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

Encouragement begets Hope…

Shalom!

“Everyone helped his neighbor, And said to his brother, “Be of good courage!” So the craftsman encouraged the goldsmith; He who smooths with the hammer inspired him who strikes the anvil, Saying, “It is ready for the soldering”; Then he fastened it with pegs, That it might not totter.” (Isaiah 41:6–7, NKJV)

What the world needs now is one more encourager! Discourager’s are a “dime a dozen” however one encourager is invaluable and can turn another’s world upside down! Encouragement planted in one’s life germinates into Hope, not hope in its “wishful thinking mode” but Hope in its “God’s got this mode” Ken Boa President of Reflections Ministries and Trinity House Publishers writing of God’s Encouragement and Hope offers this insight.

“People cannot live without hope. Throughout history, human beings have endured the loss of many things. People have lost their health, their finances, their reputations, their careers, even their loved ones, and yet have endured. The pages of history books are filled with those who suffered pain, rejection, isolation, persecution and abuse; there have been people who faced concentration camps with unbroken spirits and unbowed heads, people who have been devastated by Job-like trials and yet found the strength to go on without cursing God and dying. Humans can survive the loss of almost anything – but not without hope.” In other words, Ken Boa was saying what hope is to our broken spirit’s oxygenated blood is to our bodies,

“…and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.” (1 Thessalonians 3:2–3, NKJV)

Paul was telling the Thessalonians he and Timothy had been given the gift of being encouragers, a gift they took responsibility for, “…for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.” For them it came easy for others it may not be as easy. That is especially true for someone in need of encouragement themselves. Yet when people get together putting the other first then seek God’s strength and insight they will find the words to encourage the other and in return find the encouragement they need themselves.

Crustyism 2018.01.22… Encouragement begets Hope, Hope begets Encouragement and together they both beget life!

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”(John 14:6)

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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

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

Scriptures marked NKJV are from The New King James Version. (1982). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Glory Seed Devotional, 2018.01.22

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

Hard times are a illusionary reality…

Shalom!

Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life." (John 8:12, CSB)

I don’t know about you but when going through hard times I have the tendency to focus on the “light at the end of the tunnel,” to the time when hard times are gone. Somehow and I don’t really know why when trying to look ahead I usually wind up getting blindsided by present day hardness. Finally, after setting my sights to far ahead I learned this lesson: it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel I need to look for but the present-day Light. There are at least two ways of arriving your destination fly or driving, both offer something different. Flying is quicker and less troublesome. Driving on the other hand is slower and can be troublesome yet it exposes the travelers to the beauty of our world. While it’s a matter of choice, it’s also a matter of following God’s plan for your life, and there are no short cuts in God’s plan.

In case you’d like or need a reality check on the song Where Corn Don’t Go illustrates the truth. For me it is a parable and if you decide to click on the link think about the father in the song as God. https://youtu.be/X9nb8rMwkaA. My “beef” with the song is while hard times are real for those who love and have a relationship with God hard times are illusionary at best. Psalms 34 carries with it one of the most powerful promises in God’s plan when it comes to going through hard times.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. One who is righteous has many adversities, but the LORD rescues him from them all. He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken.” (Psalms 34:17-20, CSB)

The watch and go word for today is BELIEVE!

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

Grace and PEACE,

Gary

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

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

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

** John 14:6, CSB