Monthly Archives: November 2016

December 2016 Devotion

The Perfect One

 

A major hurdle along the path of discipleship is the recognition that God’s ways are vastly superior to our own.  The struggle occurs when God leads us in one direction and we desire to move in another.  This is especially true when God’s way may appear foolish, ignorant, or chaotic.  These moments challenge our understanding and obedience.

 

During the Second World War, the United States and Russia had a common enemy.  They worked willingly with each other to see the defeat of Adolf Hitler.  Once Germany surrendered, both parties became hostile toward each other.  They no longer shared a goal.  Within weeks, the Cold War began.

 

When God begins the process of discipleship within us we rejoice as we see old enemies vanquished.  After a few seasons, the things He begins to eradicate start to become difficult.  We begin to question in our minds if we are ready to surrender a particular area into His all consuming hands.  Are God’s actions really in our best interest?

 

         “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.”  (Psa. 119:96, NIV)

 

As difficult as it is, we must defer to the Lord’s boundless understanding rather than our own.  This is the essence of discipleship.  We must accept God’s leadership over every area of our life.  This is not an easy task since our warped will is incredibly entrenched.

 

         “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.”  (Jer. 29:11, NIV)

 

Within God’s unfathomable character are boundless perfection and love.  He wants what is best for us.  This is our motivation to continue along His chosen path of training.  His ways are infinitely superior to our own.

 

         “…as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  (Josh. 24:15, NIV)

 

Let us not simply keep these as words on a page, but rather embrace these things within our hearts and minds.  May these challenging words motivate us to action.  Discipleship may be difficult; however, the other choices are all filled with incredible suffering, loss, and misery.  In the demonstrated trust of obedience, we find purpose, love, joy and ultimately VICTORY!

 

 

Father, help us to always remember that everything You allow is for our best interests.  May we be diligent in answering and following Your call for our lives.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen!

Merry Christmas!

Rev. Dr. Judy Baumgartner

November 2016 Devotion

Hurricane Hope

 

There are some seasons in life when things can become so difficult that we struggle to find any stationary point of reference.  These are times when a lesser hope or faith would crumble completely.  Like the Northern Star, we need something that is very unmovable.  In the life of the Christian Warrior, this becomes the Bible.

 

“Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.”  (Psa. 119:89-90, NIV)

 

In context with the entire one hundred nineteenth Psalm, we discover that the songwriter’s life was in a horribly harsh season.  His entire world must have seemed upside down to him.  In the midst of his incredible chaos, he firmly holds on to the one thing that he knows that is forever fixed.  His constant was the promises of God’s Holy Word.

 

         “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”  (Psa. 119:92-93, NIV)

 

No matter how horrible the things of the world become, we have our hope in the name of the Lord who forever stands strong.  This is an eternal truth.  Like the psalmist, we must seek this shelter from the storm.  Beloved, this is our only rational option.

 

Storms can be plentiful in our lives, but the Lord remains constant.  When our emotions are a disheveled wreck, His promises can still be trusted.  Sadly, there is a horrible temptation to cling to something else during these moments.  We must ignore these acute temptations.

 

Sweet Jesus, you understand the horrible storm that I am facing.  You know that my hope is waning under this duress. Please strengthen my feeble hands.  Help me to cling to the unchanging promises of the Bible.  Like the psalmist, I recognize that Your loving hands have never failed me before; hence, I can trust you with my difficulties today.  In Your powerful name I pray.  Amen!