Wednesday, August 29, 2007

money's trap.

17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3)

Money does not satisfy. Money cannot bring pure happiness to anyone. It may put on the fascade of security, excitement, and peace, but it cannot touch the inner workings of the soul. It's all surface. The sad thing about money though is that one may not even realize he is in deep misery because the money blinds him. It caters to his greed and selfishness, and so the pain is always ignored. The lust is always satiated, or rather attempted to be satiated.

In this generation, we want so much. I want so much. But don't be a fool. It won't supply you with what you need. It won't give you sustenance or substance. It will only make you lust more and more...and eventually get trapped...avoid this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself." (Ezekiel 3)

We have to, we need to, we should all spread the truth of the gospel. It is so hard to approach people with this topic because we're afraid of rejection and overreactions, but God told Ezekiel not to be afraid, and neither should we fear. There are two possible results, both of which are likely. The first is that they do reject us and put us down. It's plausible. It's reasonable. It's very, very likely. However, the second is that they repent.

Either way, our responsibility is to share the good news. It is never promised that we will be received well. It is not expected that everyone we meet should turn from their ways. Regardless of the outcome, we will be successful in our mission because we have been faithful to the comission. We just have to be sensitive to God's plan, and seek wisdom when speaking to non-believers.

Monday, August 27, 2007


8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143)

Mornings are terrible for me; I am not a morning person, though I'm not exactly a night person either. However, because my husband happens to be a night person, I end up staying up way past a decent sleeping hour. Then, having to wake up to be at work by 7:30, let's just s may, I'm somewhat cranky. My mind is focused on simple things like coffee, breakfast, getting clothes ready, shower, keys, purse...etc. My mind is not on anything lovely, anything that would remind me of God's love, or at least I don't take the hint well.

If this is the case, I don't know why I should ever expect the day to get better. It seems like it's all downhill from there. However, if I just put forth a little bit of effort in asking God to give me a word of His unfailing love, then my soul will be uplifted. I will have a pleasant day. What a great perspective! (okay, I need a nap :))

Sunday, August 26, 2007


11Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3John1)

It cannot be helped. We are imitators. No matter how hard we try to be individualistic, we are simply conforming to be individualistic. We will, regardless of our endeavors, become like others. Like our fathers, like our brothers, like our sisters, like our mothers, like our friends, like our foes, like someone, like everyone. It cannot be helped; that is our nature. We're biters.

Knowing this.. Coming to grip with this.. Facing this reality.. we need to imitate what is good, even though what is bad is normally what is more appealing. We need to surround ourselves with people who are good so that we will naturally become more and more like them. Furthermore, we need to stay in close proximity with God, so we can imitate Him and become more like Him. It sounds so nice and fuzzy, but in truth, it's a reality. We pick up traits, habits, and behaviors of those around us, so we must be careful choosing who we spend time with.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


17 But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear. 18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 39)

Ebed-Melech, the Cushite, was not forgotten! I love this!!! The risk he made to save Jeremiah was not ignored. Ebed-Melech had trusted God, knowing that it was necessary to speak to king on Jeremiah's behalf; he could not let Jeremiah die in the cistern. He could not consciously allow Jeremiah to starve to death in the sinking mud. No, he had to talk to the king. He had to convince the King to draw Jeremiah out and rescue him.

In all of this, God remembered Ebed-Melech. I'm so glad this portion of history is recorded. Sometimes we risk our lives, in a way, to do something we really feel is necessary, and God will remember. We may do things that jeopardize our lives, in a way, and God will not forget. We must trust God wholly, and God will prevent us from being "handed over to those" we fear...even when the stakes are high...

Friday, August 24, 2007

do not mock God.

10 How long will the enemy mock you, O God?
Will the foe revile your name forever? (Psalm 74)

You see it everywhere; people are blatantly mocking God. They make fun of Him on television, in books, and in music; people are starting to push the limits, the boundaries, and the lines of what's appropriate. They try to look tough by putting down the Almighty God. They try to look intellectual by showing aversion toward faith and believing. They try to look spiritual by rejecting the truth and embracing a pack of lies. But it seems as if God just is sitting back, allowing them all to defile His name??? I think not.

For those who think they're getting away with mocking God, don't be fooled. Judgment is approaching. However, repentence is still an option. God will take back a sinner, who wants to make things right. Just remember, though, God will not be mocked. There will be severe consequences.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


16 This is what the LORD says:
"Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded," (Jeremiah 31)

We should not grow weary in doing good. Though the labor may appear futile and somewhat in vain, what we reap will be abundantly good if we have sown what is good. If we have poured out of our souls everything pure and holy...everything that is from God, then the rewards will be evident in the end. We just have to be patient.

While we wait, it's only natural for us to sometimes fall under the impression that things won't ever change. To us, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade seems like a long time. However, when it's all said and done, time passes very quickly. We will one day look back and realize all was not in vain.

So, as we travel this journey, though it be narrow and trying, we need to hold back ours tears and try to resist the temptation to cry. God will reward us, and with that hope, we should live in joy and peace...right now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

His plans.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile." (Jeremiah 29)

We hurt. We cry. We suffer. But pain is only temporary. The tragedy only momentary. What God has in store for us transcends the here and now. He has a specific plan for each one us that includes everything that we could ever hope for.

Because we are just human, it is difficult to understand time. To try to gaze into the distant future is futile because our perspective is marred. We don't see what God's see. We are frightened because we think our pathetic state of existence can never change for the good. We are depressed because we only foresee shadows and gloom up in the road ahead; however, God's plan for us is beyond that. It is marked out completely. There is a goal. There is a trail. It might seem a bit bumpy, but it's there.

If we seek Him and His ways, He will allow us to find Him and His ways. We just have to be persistent. The trials, though many and sometimes overwhelming, will pass and we will one day see His marvelous plans unfold for us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success. (Psalm 118)

It's not a bad thing to ask God for success, for accomplishments, for a job well done. Our faith is not measured by how much we suffer and how much we lose; God wants us to perform with excellence. So when we're faced with a situation, we should pray, wholeheartedly, for success. We should want to surpass all expectations in a job, for any given opportunity, doing it for His glory.

I guess, I've often felt it was somewhat selfish to want to get A's in my classes, to be the cream of the crop, or to be considered a reliable and good worker. If it's not fueled with greed, but rather a godly desire to do well given the task, I think God wants us to want success. We ought to pray, and if our hearts are not right, then He will change our desires. However, we should always want to be successful in the light of what is holy. We should want to represent God as high-achievers and not slackers.

Monday, August 20, 2007

prideful sin.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1John 1)

Obviously, everyone makes mistakes. Apparently, everone is flawed. However, there are times in our lives when we deny the fact that we are wrong, in a particular circumstances, at a specific time. We blame others, point the finger at everyone but ourselves. In our pride, we really believe or at least we really try to convince ourselves that we are not at fault. How could we be??

The fact of the matter is that our pride sometimes makes it difficult for us to discern between prideful sin and righteousness. Our pride makes our sin look good. With justifications and explanations and reasons and the rest, we endeavor to cover our tracks, but it never quite goes away. It only gets worst.

In deceiving ourselves, we lack the truth of God. We have to get real. Is what we're doing prideful sin or purity driven? Who does it benefit? Who does it hurt? Who does it glorify?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

giving back.

10Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." (John 21)

After Jesus' resurrection, Peter and some of the disciples are a bit discouraged, maybe even confused. For three years, they had followed Jesus, and at this point they really don't know what else to do. Therefore, they decide to go back to the sea, and return to their old lifestyles. Interestingly, Peter is the one who leads them.

Jesus, however, has a plan for them. He stands on the shore, tells them where to cast their nets, and then calls them in for breakfast. Already prepared are a couple fish and bread, yet he invites them to offer the fish they just caught. Even though Jesus could have provided completely and abundantly for them, He gives them the opportunity to give of themselves, in a way. Oddly enough, the reason why they even had any fish in the first place was because Jesus had directed them, but now He's allowing them to give it back.

In our lives, there are many things that we have not because we have earned it by our own efforts or we deserve it through our own merit, but rather because God simply loved us enough to direct us to that particular gain. It is with our abundance that we can give back. We should offer it. We should share it. Not because we have to or need to, but rather because Jesus is allowing us to commune and share in His love and grace. There's just something lovely about giving.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


But the LORD had hidden them. Jeremiah 36

Jehoiakim is seeking to kill both Jeremiah and Baruch. Jeremiah dictating the words of the Lord to Baruch, who wrote them on a scroll, had them read to the people, including Jehoiakim's officials. Even though his officials realized the gravity of these words, Jehoiakim rejected them and burned them in the fire, piece by piece. Furthermore, Jehoiakim demonstrates his belligerence by seeking to destroy the prophet and his servant.

Neverthless, God hides them. The terror that envelopes us and surrounds us can never penetrate our hearts if we follow God. He will hide us in the midst of it. I'm almost certain that Jeremiah and Baruch, though they knew God was protecting them, felt a bit panicked. They probably felt a tad anxious. It was not the most comfortable of circumstances. However, God was there keeping them safe.

Likewise, in our lives, even when we feel a bit panicked, anxious, and uncomfortable because of the events that unfold in our lives, we must remember that God is keeping us hidden. We will be safe in His hands.

Friday, August 17, 2007

peer pressure.

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9and he went back inside the palace. (John 19)

Pilate is conflicted; on one hand, he fears the people and doesn't want to cause an uprising by contradicting them. On the other hand, he's experiencing some sort of conviction, realizing that what they say about Jesus being the Son of God seems true. Deep down inside, he's questioning whether or not there is any possibility of Jesus being deity, and if so, he doesn't want to do anything against a higher power.

His initial response to his conviction is to go directly to Jesus. He begins to ask questions. His belief continues to grow, as from this point on, Pilate is said to have attempted to release Jesus. However, the people's pressure wears him down. he eventually is overpowered by them, and he gives in.

Peer pressure is tough. I don't know why it's so important to look good in the eyes of others, but it is to most people. I don't know why it's so critical that people accept us, but it is to everyone. Whether we like it or not, we all suffer from peer pressure. However, it's vital that we try to live our lives by God's standards and not man's. Yes, we might offend people, we might even make enemies, but God will guide us, and for the most part, there will be people who will accept us because of who we have become through Christ.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

bad attitude.

5 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice. (Psalm 112)

It is important for us not to only love God and serve Him, but to also love and serve those around us. Our demonstration of love for Him is through our love for others. Everyone. It's easy to love people who want to be loved, but what about the people who constantly reject us? I don't want to get hurt by their rejection, and I suppose that's when my pride interferes with how I conduct myself, and I end up having a bad attitude.

Without a doubt, there are people out who put up a front that they don't want to be loved. Or at least that's how it feels. They make everything an argument. They can't help but fight and make things harder than they have to be. It's so utterly frustrating.

But God desires for us to be generous and kind. To be just and fair. We shouldn't assume that they're wrong. We should never take that judgment into our own hands. Rather, we need to simply be humble and to be loving regardless of who the person is....

Obviously, this devotion is a stretch for the verse I chose. But I guess it's just on my heart because I had an incident today. I just want to get along with people, but sometimes it's almost impossible. Nevertheless I need to be generous with my patience, with my sympathy, with my love, and with my prayer. They just might be having a bad day...and why should that result in me getting a bad attitude???

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

being honest with our feelings.

18 Why did I ever come out of the womb
to see trouble and sorrow
and to end my days in shame? (Jeremiah 20)

Jeremiah's pain is intense; he hurts so much from all the rejection and feelings of inadequacy. No matter how hard he tries to warn the Israelites, they reject him. No matter how hard he tries to avoid them, the truth springs up out of his mouth and again he is put down. He is in a place of utter sadness, and thus, he begins to wish he was never born. He begins to question his existence.

I think it's important for us to realize that our days on this earth are not guaranteed to be free of failure, rejection or pain. There will be times when we feel so completely forlorn, but it's okay to experience it. We can't just shrug it off. We can't just ignore the reality of these feelings. Jeremiah doesn't conjure up pseudo-confidence and try to make everyone think he's okay. He doesn't put up a front.

Instead, he pours his heart out to God...HONESTLY. He doesn't candy-coat it. He doesn't generalize it. He just tells it like it is. We need to be like Jeremiah, in that even when we're not happy with the situation God has placed us in, instead of pretending we're okay, we need to tell God we're not okay...and perhaps He will help us get through it okay.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


7 "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17

There will be trouble in this world, guaranteed. No amount of precaution or preventative measures can reduce the conflict, hardships, and pain that is bound to occur to us while we're on this earth. It's evitable. Jesus even said it in John chapter 16. So, what do we do when trouble strikes? Actually, it should be rephased to what should we do before trouble strikes? Although we cannot stop anything bad from happening or we cannot even begin to lessen the heavy blows of reality and injustice, we can surely be prepared for the beating.

In Jeremiah we are told that a man whose confidence is in God is like a tree, which is planted strategically by the water. When drought comes, not only does it refrain from fearing or trembling, but it also remains wholly green and healthy. By planting itself so firmly in what is good, nothing can shake it, even when traumatic events do occur! We need to be like that tree; we need to be so rooted in God's grace and love, that WHEN those times arrive and they will, we will not waver. Our confidence is in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world, why should we be afraid?

Monday, August 13, 2007


6 You have rejected me," declares the LORD.
"You keep on backsliding.
So I will lay hands on you and destroy you;
I can no longer show compassion. (Jeremiah 15)

We cannot take God's grace for granted; there will be judgment and consequences for our shame. We can't keep sinning with a confident expectancy that God will pull us out, dust us off, and allow us to fall back into the mire. It doesn't work that way. His grace is without bound, but our hearts are breakable, easily damaged, quickly marred and mutilated. We cannot really believe that we can endure the wounds of sinful behaviors and not grow weak and thin from such a lifestyle. There will come a day when our hearts will fail...a day when God can no longer show us compassion because we have chosen to reject Him fully...completely...and tragically.

We need to bind our hearts, our ways, our will to His heart, His ways, and His will. God will never fail to show those who follow Him compassion. He will even pour His love out on those who don't follow Him right now. He forgives; He shows grace and mercy, but we have to remember that we, as humans, are falliable...corruptible...and powerless to save ourselves. We can depend on Him, but we surely can't depend on ourselves. And to be denied God's compassion because we have chosen that path is a very sad, sad, sad thing.

Friday, August 10, 2007


16 This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6)

There exist such a path, a path that will lead us to God and to what is good, but it is not one that is easily marked. It is not even one that we can take casually or traversed by accident. No, it takes effort. It requires us to "look", to search and seek it earnestly. It also demands us to "ask" and to inquire, not just aimlessly or blindly walk it, but to know why and how we walk it. Nevertheless it is there, and many have traveled it and found what they were looking for.

Even though it exists, people don't take it. I don't take it sometimes. Lately, I have been so consumed with school that devotional time has taken a backseat. I think it was evident in the way I conducted myself over the past month. I've been terribly miserable and on edge. Worst yet, I just finished my calculus final today, and I feel completely empty...what a waste.

Well, God wants us to find that path that leads us away from the darkness and into His arms...and to find for our souls! Nothing else in the world can guarantee that!