Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.08

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

Looking back…

Shalom!

Occasionally I look back over previous years this morning looking back on 2011 I found “Stooping for a Penny” and thought it worthwhile to repost.

Stooping for a Penny

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”” (Mark 12:41–44, NLT)

“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29–31, NLT)

The other day while on my morning bike ride I was on my way home and riding through the parking lot of the Birchwood Mall I glanced at the ground and saw a nickel quickly turning around I went back to retrieve it. However, when I stopped at the spot where it was at I saw instead of a nickel a penny, “You don’t usually bend over for a penny,” I said to myself. (If you have or know someone with artificial hips you’ll know bending over to the ground is a no-no.) But I ignored the warnings going off in my head stooped over and picked it up. Almost instantly it wasn’t a penny it was a life, my life.

By worldly standards a nickel is not as valuable as a dime, a quarter, or a dollar but it is more valuable than a penny therefore a penny will not buy as much as a nickel will buy (actually in today’s world you can’t buy anything for a nickel or a penny). Over the years there have been many times when I’ve compared myself to others and come away thinking myself a penny. “You’re not as valuable as so and so I’d tell myself,” which would strengthen my penny status.

Yet when I took a big risk bent over and picked up that weather tarnished and scratch blemished penny in my imagination I saw Jesus reaching down from his cross and picking me up. Jesus picks up pennies! When Jesus looks at OUR lives he doesn’t see dollars, quarters, dimes, or nickels he sees pennies, weather tarnished scratch blemished pennies! And just as important as we give our “penny status lives” to him he raises us to priceless-ness! If you think a penny is next to being worthless then think about how Jesus felt about pennies!

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.07

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

Beyond the horizon…

Shalom!

““Have you visited the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of hail? (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war.)” (Job 38:22–23, NLT)

You can see the horizon but you can’t see beyond it. When Patti and I are in Townsend, Tennessee one of our favorite activities is it drive up on a parkway where we can sit and watch the sun go down behind Knoxville. As the last sliver of the sun drops below the horizon it is a powerful spiritual experience for us. And as the rays of the sun explode from beyond the horizon it is a testimony to us that Jesus will always light our lives even though darkness has fallen.

Are there storms in your life? (Remember denial won’t make them go away.) Are you looking toward tomorrow’s horizon hoping for Jesus to bless you? However, the truth is the horizon will always be ahead of us. Even though the sun or other objects can drop below the horizon we never will. Even though we’ll never get beyond the horizon all we need to do is hold on to Jesus’ promise streaming at us from beyond the horizon. “…I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12, NLT)

In today’s scripture God questions Job from beyond the horizon following his trial by fire, while it was question to Job for us it is a reminder that God’s richest blessings lie beyond the horizon and all we need do to keep walking toward the Light of Jesus. For the two of us watching the sun fall behind Knoxville is a reminder to follow the SON as he leads us toward God’s richest blessings which come at the right time, and just as there is no end to the horizon there no end to God’s blessings.

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.04

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

Our hope is in the Living God…

Shalom!

If you ever thought about throwing up your arms and quitting the apostle Paul has some very good advice for all of us. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” (1 Timothy 4:8–10, NLT)

“…for our hope is in the living God…” Yesterday I wanted us to consider faith today I want us to consider hope. Because we live in a “vertical world” where the most important is at top and the least important is at the bottom, or the strongest is at the top and weakest is at the bottom, or the richest is at the top and the poorest is at the bottom I have for a while now I’ve wondered which is more important faith or hope. Does faith open the door for hope or does hope open the door for faith? Or does it really matter, and how does the relationship of hope and faith factor in with throwing up our arms and quitting?

The answer of course is both are of equal importance, and both must be present in order to have a relationship with God. The question of which one is more important is of no real importance what is important is how we understand how each on factors in to our relationship with God. With those thoughts in mind I understand hope as standing on the promises of God until they become a reality either “in this life or the life to come”. And one of faith’s many functions is the power to keep hope alive until it is transformed to reality. That lesson was driven home recently following my 26-day prayer vigil for the healing of pulmonary fibrosis. When I first realized a healing was not in God’s Ultimate Plan after getting over the disappointment I found hope, not hope in the healing but hope in Psalms 23:4, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NLT)

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.03

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

I’m writing on faith again!

Shalom!

I find myself writing about some subjects I keep “coming home to” this morning it is faith. The reason I keep circling back to it is out of my own need to not only bolster it but also to ensure it is anchored deep in the Heart of God. So please bear with me.

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:20–24, NLT)

When I think of all the up’s and down’s I’ve experienced over the course of my life one thing becomes apparent somehow all those experiences circle around and come back to faith. Not faith as a belief or a trust level in God but faith as a relationship with God. In this morning’s scripture Paul writes about faith starting with God, then believing in God’s promise then coming full circle back to God at a deeper and stronger level than before. Faith is born out of a relationship with God, a relationship in its infancy stages based on taking a chance on God. It’s like this: after everything has been tested, tried, and failed leaving only God left believe and trust God then step out in faith.

Where some often go wrong is by understanding God’s promise as a fix for our troubles. And when God doesn’t fix our troubles we begin wondering why God allows bad things happen to good people. Jesus answers that probing question in chapter 9 of John’s gospel. “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” (John 9:3, NLT)

Jesus put the “why question” to rest then Paul puts the “bad things” to rest. “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) I don’t know about you but I love lemonade (my favorite is pink lemonade) but when God squeezes the lemons life throws at us no one but no one can make Lemonade like He can!

Life doesn’t get any simpler than this: if you got lemons, you need God, and He is there for the getting!

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.02

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

Grace, Peace and Prayer…

Shalom!

Have you ever prayed for something to improve only to find it going in the opposite direction? I did. On June 23rd I began a 26 day prayer vigil asking the LORD to do the impossible, heal my lungs from pulmonary fibrosis. Armed with belief, trust and faith along with Jesus’ story of the man who knocked on the door of his neighbor’s door for some bread because a visitor had come at midnight. After knocking persistently, the man opened the door and gave his neighbor some bread. I knocked on God’s heart for 26 days seeking not bread but a healing to feed a visitor who had invaded my life. Instead of getting better Mr. Fibrosis worsened, leaving me wondering does God listen and does He heal. To which the Holy Spirit promptly and emphatically answered for me, “Yes and Yes! But He also gives Grace and Peace!”

One of the most powerful, foundational scriptures upon which we need to build our lives around is… “Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT) Along with Grace comes Peace, not Peace FROM troubled lungs but Peace WITH troubled lungs (in my case). Many years ago I read a statement that said, “Christians don’t have problems they just pray them away.” I sure wish that was true and I am sure you do too. But through experience we know that is not true, it must have been someone’s campaign promise or something like that. But it does say something about the writer’s concept of God, doesn’t it?

God and prayer are not something to “pack up our troubles in” instead God is our Ultimate Care-Giver, caring for us at all levels of our lives, giving us not what we want but what we need, topping the list is Love, Grace, Peace, Hope, Joy, and last but never least Commitment. And in return God asks only two things from us Love and Commitment. I am learning and the message I want to send out is our Commitment to God MUST be total, there is no “middle ground” either I am going to believe and trust in God as my Care-Giver or I am not that’s the “reality” of life. Am I totally committed to God? Probably not because I still slip south of the positive/negative line and find myself in dark territory, and God has made provisions for that it’s called Grace accompanied by the Light of Jesus so I (we) can find our way back.

“O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!” (Psalm 71:5–6, NLT)

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.08.01

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

Jesus is what?

Shalom!

Have you ever been reading your bible and happen on a verse you immediately think it doesn’t apply to you but then the further you read the more it does apply to you? It happens to me all the time especially in the Old Testament take these couple of verses from chapter 46 of Isaiah. “Listen to me, descendants of Jacob, all you who remain in Israel. I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 46:3–4, NLT)

I am not a descendant of Jacob, nor do I live in Israel. However, from the end of the first sentence until the last period in verse 4 it has my life written all over it, especially the “hair is white with age,” part. One of the blessings that come with age is a wider, deeper, relationship with God not because we get smarter with age but because our experience base with the LORD is filled with Close and Intimate encounters with God. “I have cared for you since you were born,” becomes more than words in the bible they become bigger than life experiences made alive through our relationship with THE WORD.

Looking back the first evidence I find where God was taking care of me happened in the summer of 1952 or 1953 when a tornado tore its way through the south side of Port Huron. And while huddled under our kitchen table it picked up our house and moved it 12 feet out into our front yard. I can remember coming out of the house and seeing a big hole in the ground where our house once was. None of us was hurt at all. That scenario of God saving me as a storm raged around me has played itself over and over throughout the years. I suspect you know firsthand what I am talking about.

I would like to plant a seed in your thought process that goes along with calming you not the storm. In chapter 10 of Matthew Jesus said something that has haunted me for years. “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34, NLT) A couple of days ago while reading and trying to understand it again the “what if question” struck me. What if Jesus was saying He was the Sword of Peace? What if Jesus were telling us through our relationship with Him we can “slice away” the negativity associated with being a storm victim and experience and live in the “eye of the storm” until it blows itself out?

Jesus as the Sword of Peace cutting us free from fearing the storm to nearing the God who has taken care of us since we were born. I have planted that seed in my heart and I am praying about it and waiting for it to either grow or die off. Personally I kinda like thinking about Jesus as my Sword of Peace.

.

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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Glory Seed Devotional, 2017.07.31

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

From vertical to horizontal to vertical…

Shalom!

It happens to the best of us, transitioning from vertical to horizontal. You’re walking along minding your business, or knee deep in trying to help another with their business when all of a sudden, you’re lying on your back looking up. Somehow, you’ve slipped and fell or tripped and fell. I know that has happened to me on more than one occasion, usually in the winter under icy conditions. It also happens on our walk with the LORD too. For me it usually happens after praying for something I understand as important and God either says no or remains silent. When that happens the negative forces in life are there causing slippery areas in our faith and suddenly we’re flat on our backs looking for help.

It wasn’t that long ago when I realized there’s nothing wrong with me when life becomes slippery and I transition from vertical to horizontal (I slip and fall). While we are on the subject of unanswered or God’s silence there is one prayer He always answers says yes to, “Help me LORD!” Psalm 94 is instrumental in helping us realize that while slips and falls are not normal they can be and are blessings in disguise. “Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Psalm 94:17–19, NLT)

Once upon a time after falling the first thing I did out of embarrassment was look around to see if anyone saw me. However, with two artificial hips and muscles that don’t work as good as they once did it’s not out of embarrassment I look around it’s out of a need for help. And believe me there’s nothing better than looking up and seeing the hand of Jesus reaching out to help us get vertical again!

May God be merciful and bless us. May his face smile with favor on us.” **

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: http://www.gloryseeddevotional.org.

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.”

**Psalm 67:1, New Living Translation

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