Tag Archives: devotional

Revelation Song- Devo 3

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Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,

We already looked at the first verse and chorus of this song in Revelation Song- Devo and in Devo 2. In them we discussed a lot of heavy stuff found in the book of Revelation. This one should be a little lighter because the references in the rest of the song aren’t directly related to Revelation. In fact the first part is from another vision of the end times found in the book of Ezekiel.

Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. (Ezekiel 1:25-28)

Can you imagine seeing the Lord with your own eyes and then having the responsibility to describe it for posterity? What an impossible task! And yet that is exactly what Ezekiel tries to do. Think about the dreariness of  a dark, rainy day and the beauty and brightness of a rainbow in the midst of the storm. This is how Ezekiel explains the sight of God. It is so terrifying, amazing, awe-inspiring, (insert your own word here) that he literally can not bear the sight and falls on his face. What a glorious sight that must have been to see God, himself!

And speaking of rainbows and stuff in the sky, what does “flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder” refer to. We have all witnessed the power of a thunderstorm. They can be magnificent and terrifying all at once. And so it is with God. I can’t even to imagine what it will be like the day I get to view him with my own eyes! The splendor, the glory, the holiness and the sheer terror of it all! I imagine it will be too much for me to bear and me hiding my eyes from the magnitude of it all like Ezekiel. The power of God is also often described with thunder and lightening. It is a synonymous with his presence, power and glory. For example when God met Moses on the top of Sinai, there was thunder and lightening covering the mountain (Exodus 19:16; 20:18). I don’t know about you but I tend to think about God’s presence as calming and reassuring, not powerful and scary. Yet, think about what it would be like to meet someone here on earth that you admire. You would probably be nervous at the very least and maybe even scared. Now, imagine your imperfect, guilty, sinful self in front of a powerful, perfect, almighty judge. Does it make your knees knock? It should. It’s called having fear of the Lord. It’s knowing God has the power to zap you to Hell if he wanted but he chooses to pardon you. It’s a fear that does not come from being afraid, it’s a kind of respect that comes from acknowledging the holiness of God.

If God truly is as magnificent as the writer of Revelation describes, it is no wonder that we today sing, “Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be to you  the only Wise King!” I wish we spent more time focusing on the glory of God instead of our own lives. How much more fulfilled would our lives be we if viewed our existence through God-colored glasses that showed us his pure glory? Instead I find myself taking off the glasses and getting distracted by the little things of life. These little things steal the joy I should be finding in Christ. I am reading a book by John Piper called “Desiring God.” In it he describes man’s purpose as this, “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” He is right on! We were created to glorify God by enjoying God. I love what The Message says of 1 Chronicles 16:23-27:

Sing to God, everyone and everything!
Get out his salvation news every day!
Publish his glory among the godless nations,
his wonders to all races and religions.
And why? Because God is great—well worth praising!
No god or goddess comes close in honor.
All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense,
but God made the cosmos!
Splendor and majesty flow out of him,
strength and joy fill his place.

Read this twice- once with joy and exuberance, and once with no feeling. Which do you think is the emotion meant to be behind it? One of joy or no emotion at all? Of course, it is meant to be joyful! This doesn’t mean we have to be happy all the time. Joy is something deeper that goes beyond just mere feeling. It is a deep state of being. It is having on those God-colored glasses and viewing life how he sees it instead of how we see it. It is enjoying God for who he is and not just what he has done for us. It is choosing to praise God regardless of the junk of life because, “God is great– well worth praising!” I was thinking about it tonight as I was driving: Even if God didn’t save us he would still be worthy of praise, even if God didn’t love us he would still be worthy of praise. Why? Because he is Good, Holy, Perfect, Awesome, Power… the list goes on and on. He is all of these things despite the stuff he does for us. Of course that stuff he does is pretty awesome and deserving of praise also. How much more should we long to joyfully praise God because of our salvation! And it shouldn’t be just reserved for Sunday mornings either! We can praise God through serving others, through sharing our salvation stories, through loving others, basically anything we do to reflect his glory is a way of praising God. We miss out so much in our relationship with Christ because we fail to long for the joy we can experience in Him. Instead we find joy in things that don’t last… the latest singers, clothes, friends, books, food, music, etc. We trade ultimate joy for shadows of joy. We trade God for idols.

What do you find joy in? How do you express that joy? When you find a new pair of shoes that you just love, you show them off and tell others about them. When was the last time you got that excited about God? When was the last time you were so joyful about him that you just had to share him with someone else? Take time to explore the beauty of God, not because of what he has done for us, but because of who he is! Take time to rediscover God! Read Psalm 19 and reflect on the glory of God!

Psalm 19

God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.

Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.

That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.

The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.

God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.

There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

The End.

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In Christ Alone- Devo 4

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No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I stand

This verse is very personal to me. If you read How Jesus Changed My Life- A True Story you will know that I have an awful lot that I was guilty for. I did a lot of stupid things, ever been there? But because of the work that Jesus has done in my life, I now do not have to face the penalty of my actions. I deserved to die but because I confessed my sins “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death,” (Romans 8:1&2) Basically I was arrested on charges and found guilty. I should have received the death penalty but Jesus offered to die in my place! This is why I have no fear in death. Yes, my physical body may decay and die but my soul will live on for eternity with God. I don’t need to be afraid of going to Hell because I have been set free from sin and spiritual death.

For me one of the most reassuring Bible passages is found in Romans 8:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Isn’t that good news?!? That means that once we are saved nothing, absolutely nothing can pluck us from the hand of God! Think about how that should impact our lives! We never have to live in fear because there is absolutely nothing that can tear us apart from Christ once we are Christians. In fact, We are called “more than conquerers”! I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I like the way it sounds and it gives me confidence in my relationship with Christ. What would happen if we Christians quit living as if we were powerless and started to embrace the power given to us through Christ? What if we stopped being afraid to share our beautiful stories about how Christ changed our lives? What if we started to believe we are more than conquerers of the bad things in our lives? I know that I am getting tired of living a life that is less than what God promised. We need to rise up and claim these promises for our own, believing that they are given by God and ours for the taking!

The End.

In Christ Alone- Devo 3

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There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

I was going to skip this verse because I have already written a lot on the topic of sin but the imagery is so powerful I couldn’t resist. And quite honestly, shame on me for getting tired of telling others about the very thing that saved my soul so here we go!

I don’t know about you but I would love to know what exactly happened during the time when Jesus was dead. I mean was he down there, ninja style, battling the depths of Hell? Was he just hanging out down there trying to explain his diplomatic immunity? I imagine it to be more like how his arrest and crucifixion happened… abusive. I see him just standing there while the demons and Satan, himself, stood around hurling insults. He was bloody, bruised and bound but everyone of them afraid to get too close… Until one demon gets brave enough to hurl a stone and when the others see Jesus not defending himself, they begin to join in the physical abuse.  But then. Aw, but then the third day rolls around and Jesus, the quiet sacrifice, who was up to that point accepting their degradation begins to glow. Softly, at first, and then brighter and brighter, until the Light is so bright that all of Hell is blinded and in fact, overwhelmed with the the brightness. The gates of Hell begin to tremble and then shake violently as Jesus slowly turns to face them. Then with all the authority of God he boldly proclaims, “OPEN!” And the gates don’t just swing open, they disintegrate before Him as he begins to ascend from the very pit of Hell, victorious!

Again, this is my own imagination, not Biblical fact but it would make for a great Hollywood flick! The truth is we don’t really know what happened during that time. We do know that he was killed, he was dead and he came to life again. And he did it so that we might live again too! How does this happen. Well, it helps to have an understanding of sin, the sacrificial system of atonement and how Christ became the ultimate sacrifice for sin. Back in the day, I’m talking thousands of years before Jesus, God set up a system of sacrifices to take away the sins of people. This is how it worked. When a person would sin, they would take an animal without any illness or physical defects to the priest. The priest would pray over it and do some ritualistic stuff to it, then the sin of the person would be transferred to the animal. The animal would then be killed and the sin was forgiven. That is a very basic overview of the sacrificial system of atonement or forgiveness of sins. Basically, God is perfect, and because he is perfect he demands us to be perfect too. Anything less than perfection deserves to die. Therefore, we deserve to die but God initiated a system of animal death to take the place of our death.

Fast forward to Jesus. He was perfect. He was a like the perfect, “animal” of the sacrificial system. He was without defect. He didn’t deserve to die for sin because he didn’t sin. And yet, he offered himself as a sacrifice and all of our sin was placed on him and he was slaughtered. Our transferred sin killed him. The Jews and Romans didn’t kill Jesus, I did! I did it with every sin I ever did. And because he died with my sin on his tab, I am forgiven. But unlike the animals of old, Jesus didn’t stay dead! He beat death and rose again. This makes him the victor over sin and not just a band aid for sin. You see instead of having to sacrifice an animal every time I sin, Jesus became the once and for all sacrifice because he rose again! It is because of this I can sing, “Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me!” This forgiveness of sins is offered to every one, though few accept it for themselves.

How do you get this gift of forgiveness? You have to admit to God and to yourself that you are a sinner and realize that you deserve to live a life eternally separated from God because of this sin. You must then ask God to forgive you and be willing to accept his forgiveness. Once you accept his forgiveness, you too can then sing with joy, “For I am his and he is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ!” Your life will dramatically change if you begin to seek his ways instead of your own. Mine has.

The End.

In Christ Alone- Devo 2

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Click here to listen to In Christ Alone.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

Ah, Christmas. Trees, gifts, tinsel, lights, a baby sent to die. What? Something doesn’t belong here. Isn’t Christmas supposed to be a feel good holiday? It is the time when Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior but think about it for a minute… He was born to die. Puts a new perspective on Christmas, doesn’t it? Jesus was born as a gift to us from God so that we can be saved from our sins. But instead of accepting this gift with joy and appreciation, he was rejected by most. How would you feel if you spent a lot of time picking out the perfect gift for a loved one. I’m not talking about a cheap gift, either. This gift is costly and you have a great deal invested in it. You wrap it up and with anticipation you take it to the person you care about. You give it to them with a smile on your face and in your heart and… the person rejects it. They don’t just reject the gift because it’s the wrong size or color. They reject it because they don’t return your affection. That my friends is the story of Christmas. God gave us the gift of grace and he is rejected by most of us.

As a result of this rejection, Jesus, this perfect gift, was killed. The funny thing is that God knew this was going to happen and chose to save us this way anyway. He chose that way for his anger about our sin to be satisfied, I think in part so we would understand exactly how much our salvation costs. It was on that day, when Christ was killed, that every sin that I ever did, every sin that you ever did, every sin that anyone ever did was transferred to him. He died to take away my ugly sin. That kind of love just amazes me! Who am I that God would love me so much? It is because of his death that I am offered eternal life! And this gift of life is offered to you, too. This isn’t just an exclusive gift that was meant for one person. I am praying for you, yes you, that as you read this something within you makes you want this precious gift. Please, if you don’t know about this gift of God, please feel free to comment below and I will get back to you and try to answer any questions you may have.

And to those of you who already have this gift, well, it’s not meant to be kept to ourselves. Share this gift. Stop making excuses for not spreading the gospel and start making disciples! Jesus didn’t die so that you could sit on your butt and be content to watch a world go to Hell. He made you for so much more than that. He made you to be Jesus to others so that everyone can proclaim the beautiful words, “Here in the death of Christ I live!”

The End.

In Christ Alone- Devo

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Click here to play In Christ Alone.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

The cornerstone. It’s more than just a stone in a corner. It’s the first stone set where two walls join together and becomes the reference point for all the other stones in the building. If the cornerstone is askew by just a little bit or made of the wrong material, the very integrity of the building becomes compromised. And so it is with life. If what we put our hope in is not made of the right material or off kilter just a bit then the rest of what we believe will crumble at the first sign of trouble.

Let me give you a cold, hard, truth. I have not been living my life as if Christ alone is my cornerstone or hope. I hope that my husband’s job is stable. I hope my children don’t throw another temper tantrum in the grocery store. I hope that the drs. can cure my step mom of cancer. I hope that my car doesn’t go kaputz. I put my hope in a lot of things, and this is sin. Ouch. How about you? What are you putting your hope in?

The only thing we as Christians should place our hope in is the Lord, himself. Psalm 39:6&7 says this:

“Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
without knowing whose it will finally be.

 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.”

The car will break down, my husband’s job could disappear, the doctors can fail,  and my children’s behavior fluctuates… all of these things are phantoms. They are here one minute and gone the next, but God? God is constant. Things and situations change so quickly and yet I will put my hope in these mere phantoms. How ridiculous is this when I have access to an unchanging God?!?! If you read the “Your Great Name Devo” you will already know that God is. He is yesterday, he is today, he is tomorrow. He always is. God says it himself in Malachi 5:6, “I, the Lord, do not change.” That means that everything that is true about God is always true. And yet, I often toss these perfect things aside like trash for the things that I cannot depend on. Wow. That hurts to admit but it’s the truth. How many of us “Christians” do the same thing? We put our hope in the temporal things we can see with our eyes instead of in the One who is “firm through the fiercest drought and storm.” It’s no wonder non-Christians want nothing to with Jesus. We live our lives like hypocrites! We preach faith, hope and love, but we fail to practice these things and when bad things happen, we are blown about like paper ships on an angry sea all while saying we have hope in the one who can calm the storm. Yes, it’s no wonder we are called hypocrites. Today, let’s set aside these things in which we have placed our false hope and instead, let’s practice what we preach! Let’s begin to place our hope in the “All in All”, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let him become the cornerstone upon which everything else in our lives is built upon.

The End.

Whom Shall I Fear (The God of Angel Armies) Devo.

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I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

Have you ever been afraid? Or maybe even nervous about something? I have. I am a stay at home mom and sometimes I get nervous about if we have enough money without me working. I get scared because my step-mom has an aggressive cancer and I’m afraid she will die. But then I hear this song and it stops me in my tracks. “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.” Do I really know this? Do I really believe this? Is it just a song or is it Truth? Let’s look at what the Bible says about it. The God who is all-powerful has my back and commands his angels to guard me! It’s a promise found in Psalm 91:11-12, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Think the angels aren’t good enough? God, himself promises to be with us forever, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” (Deut. 31:8). Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged! And yet I get my panties in a bunch over some of the littlest things when in all things God is right there watching out for me. I allow Satan to confuse me. I start to think that everything depends on what I can do or what the doctors can do to fix a problem. We need to stop living the lie of Satan and step out of our fear in confidence knowing that the God of angel armies is always by our side! What would the Church of God look like if we grasped these truths and started living them instead of just singing about them? What would our own lives look like if we lived with the power of God instead of fear? I don’t know about you, but my life would look drastically different. So join me today in making a stand, take back the power of God that we have forfeited for fear! Let the God of angel armies fight for you!

Your Great Name Devo

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Lost are saved; find their way;

at the sound of your great name

All condemned; feel no shame,

at the sound of your great name

Every fear; has no place;

at the sound of your great name

The enemy; he has to leave;

at the sound of your great name

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us,

Son of God and ManYou are high and lifted up;

and all the world will praise your great name

Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty

My savior, Defender, You are My King!

Most everyone calls me Geanna but the people that are closest to me have special names for me. My kids call me Mommy and my husband gets to call me Honey. In fact a lot of people are known by several names or nicknames and these names mean different things to different people. For example, when my kids call me Mommy, I hope they associate me with a loving authority figure. When my husband calls me Honey I hope he associates me with a loving spouse. So my question is what do we associate with the name of God? Is it just a word we use when we swear? Or is there something more in the name of God? Is there really power in just the sound of his name?

There are actually lots of names for God in the Bible and maybe someday I will do a series explaining some of them. There are just too many to do here right now but they are beautiful and each describes an attribute of God. But the one I want to begin with is the one that I believe is at the root of all the others. Let’s look at the Bible passage first. The context of this passage is as follows: The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. God tells Moses to go to Egypt and demand that the Pharaoh set them free. Moses is afraid and starts making excuses like, “I don’t even know your name. What if the ask me your name?”. I think you are caught up now so let’s jump back into the text:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘I Am the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

I am. Really? That’s the big, fancy name of God? I’ve got to be kidding you, right? Nope. That’s it. I even checked my Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon and that is the correct translation. Sounds simple, right? But think about it some more. I am. That’s actually quite significant. One way to take it is that God is always in a present state of being. He always is in a state of is. Not was, not will be, but is. I’m about to get a little trippy with this next explanation but I’ll try to be as clear as I can. Back in my college theology classes I remember a discussion that kinda blew my mind. It was about how God is outside of time. We can never fully understand God because we are bound by time- minutes, seconds, hours, days… you get the idea. But God created time when he created the sun and the moon (bear with me you non literal Creation believers). “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day,” (Genesis 1:3-5) Day is a measurement of time, God created day, therefore God created time. But God “is” before time. In fact he always “is”. In once sense he never was or will be because he just always is. Crazy, I know. It makes my brain hurt too. Talk about time travel- He is now, just as he is yesterday, just as he is tomorrow.

Another way to think about it is that maybe there just isn’t a human word perfect enough to be used for God’s name. We can describe him with words like, Redeemer, my Healer, Lord Almighty, My Savior, Defender, my King… the list goes on but aren’t these just human ways to describe an indescribable God?

But I still didn’t answer the question- Is there power in the name of God? In John 17:11b-12a Jesus prays, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me.” There is further evidence of power in the name of God found in Acts 4:5-10. Peter healed a lame man and the Pharisees didn’t like it one bit so they took Peter and John into custody…

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there,

and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family.

They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,

then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

I just want to add a Hallelujah! to the end of that. Preach, preacher! Yes, there is great power in the name of God and in his son, Jesus. There is healing power, there is protective power, and there is saving power, too! “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Joel 2:32 & Acts 2:21). Have you called on the name of the Lord? Is he your Healer, Protector, and Savior? If not, won’t you please consider it?

I could go on forever if I were to keep picking apart this song. For example, the line that says, “All condemned, feel no shame” Well, that’s a whole post in and of itself. I know I have a lot to be ashamed for in my life but through Jesus, my shame has been taken away. You can read about it here. But for now this is…

The End.