Stillness In The Lord

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Scripture

Psalm 37:7 “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act.”

Observation

In this psalm, David encourages people of God to be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act on their behalf. At this stage of his life, David has witnessed the faithfulness of God to deliver him from the hand of all his enemies, provide for him in the most troubling times, and uphold him even in his failures. Through it all, David grew strong in the Lord because he learned how to be still in the presence of the Lord.

Application

Like David, in my personal walk with God, I must learn how to be still in the presence of the Lord if I am going to grow strong in Him. Regardless of the troubles I encounter in life, the opposition I face along the way, or the personal failure I experience on the journey, I can have perfect peace if during those times I am still in the presence of the Lord and my mind stays on Him. I am even reminded that when the storm was raging around Jesus as He and His disciples were crossing the sea, Jesus stayed in perfect peace because His trust was completely in His heavenly Father and His word. In fact, the word of God declares in Psalms 89:9, “You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.” When I am still in the presence of the Lord and place my complete trust in Him, He is well able and faithful to still any raging sea around me.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator and Possessor of Heaven and Earth! Thank You Lord for teaching me how to be still in Your presence even during the most difficult, trying times in life. As I learn to place my trust in You and You alone, I praise You for calming the raging seas of life and being faithful to complete the good work that You began in me when I first placed my trust in You. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Stillness In The Lord Copyright 2012, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Stillness In The Lord, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

God With Us

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Scripture

Zechariah 8:23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

Observation

In this passage, the prophet Zechariah speaks of a day when Jewish people will know the Lord Jesus Christ as Immanuel, God With Us.  Furthermore, people from all nations will be influenced by this truth.

Application

As a Christ follower today, I do not have to wait until the time prophesied by Zechariah for the world to be influenced by me through Immanuel, God With Us, because the Lord Jesus Christ is already with me through the good news of His birth, death, burial, and resurrection in my life.  In fact, the gospel of Matthew states in Chapter 1:22-23, “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, “God with us.”” In Christ, God is with me and His Kingdom is within me; therefore, I am given the authority and the power to influence the world around me for His glory through Jesus Christ – Immanuel – God With Us.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Immanuel, God With Us! Thank You Lord for giving me the authority and the power in Christ to influence the world around me for Your glory. Strengthen me in Christ to do all things that You have called me to do in Your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I love You Jesus! Amen!

God With Us Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, God With Us, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Fill Me Up Holy Spirit

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Scripture

Matthew 25:1-4 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

Observation

In these verses, the Lord is teaching about preparation for his second coming by sharing the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The wise virgins who were prepared to meet the coming bridegroom had oil in their lamps, but the foolish took their lamps and no oil with them.  Unfortunately, when it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom for the wedding, the foolish virgins had empty lamps. As a result, they were not prepared to meet him and were left out of the wedding banquet.

Application

This parable is a powerful illustration of the importance of continually inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives – to walk with us and sup with us on a daily basis as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. When we refresh ourselves each day with the filling of the Holy Spirit, we are being like the wise virgins – filling our lamps with the oil of His presence, power, and strength so that we can be used by the Lord [our bridegroom] to be a light in this present darkness until He returns and welcomes us into His wedding banquet. Without the oil of the Holy Spirit to light my lamp each day, I am nothing but an empty lamp unable to shine the light of His presence in my life.  Furthermore, in Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Unfortunately, if I do not invite the Holy Spirit to fill me afresh each day, I am like the foolish virgins in the Lord’s parable – all dressed up and nowhere to go, or in more modern terms, like a car in the driveway without any gas – all ready to go and no power to get there.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts, who gives me Your precious Holy Spirit to set me apart as a vessel of Your light for Your good and noble use.  Strengthen me Lord and fill me to the top with Your anointing so my light in You may shine brightly before men and glorify You, my loving heavenly Father. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Fill Me Up Holy Spirit Copyright 2010, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Fill Me Up Holy Spirit, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

His Blessing

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Scripture

Psalms 128:3 “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.”

Observation

In Psalms 128, the Lord promises blessings to the man who fears Him and more specifically in verse 3, He promises that such a man’s wife will be a life-giving partner in the center of his home and his children will be a sweet smelling aroma around his table.

Application

As a man who fears the Lord, I am forever grateful to Him for blessing me with my wonderful wife who loves me unconditionally and gives herself to me as a faithful life-giving partner.  Additionally, as a man who fears the Lord, I am forever grateful to Him for blessing me with a full quiver of five beautiful children who love me and will always be a sweet-smelling aroma to me in my home like that of a sweet olive tree in full bloom.   

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Shalom, the Lord our Peace! Thank You Lord for blessing me with my beautiful wife and all of my children. May Your peace with nothing missing and nothing broken be upon our home and our relationships as You faithfully watch over us and make Your face to shine upon us in Your grace. I love You Jesus! Amen!

His Blessing Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, His Blessing, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

  • Tested (makeithappenmoment.com)

Forever Fair

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Scripture

Ezekiel 18:25-26 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the prophet Ezekiel is confirming by the Spirit of the Lord that His way is fair and our ways are not fair.  The people in Ezekiel’s day were thinking that their righteous deeds without repentance would somehow cover their inequity and they would live; however, the Lord says that they would surely die.  On the other hand, the Lord also says that if the wicked man turns and repents from his sin, he would surely live and not die. The people were having difficulty understanding that both the righteous and the wicked needed a Savior.

Application

Unfortunately, many people in our day can have the same difficulty understanding that both the righteous and the wicked need a Savior.  There is no amount of self-righteousness we can have that will replace our need for a Savior.  Plus, there is no amount of wickedness that we can do which our Savior cannot cover with His righteousness when we repent.  Romans 3:23 states that “We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and 2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Through Jesus Christ, the Lord is forever fair to all who call upon His Name and repent.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness! Thank You Lord for shedding Your blood on the Cross to pay the debt for my sin and for giving me Your robe of righteousness that completely covers my sin in repentance. I am grateful Lord that Your ways are not my ways and Your way is forever fair! I love You Jesus! Amen!

Forever Fair Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Forever Fair, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Tested

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Scripture

Psalms 105:19 “Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the Bible reminds us of the faithfulness of God to fulfill the word spoken to Joseph about his purpose and destiny in Him. God gave Joseph a dream and until the dream was fulfilled in his life, the word of the Lord tested him in many ways. There were times in Joseph’s life when it appeared that the dream God gave him would never be fulfilled; however, Joseph allowed those times of testing to build his testimony and his character in preparation for the time when the Lord would bring it to pass in His perfect timing.

Application

By the example of Joseph’s life, I know that God cares more about my character than my comfort and will therefore use all situations and circumstances to prepare me for the destiny and purpose He has planned for me.  Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Because the word of the Lord is true and He is faithful to perform it, I can rest assured that He will work all situations and circumstances in my life for good as I allow Him and His word to test me and prepare me for the good work He began in me and has planned for me.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsebaioth, the Lord of Hosts! Thank You Lord for working all things together for my good as I trust You to fulfill all of Your promises in my life. Because You are my victory in Christ, I am more than a conqueror in times of testing and trial on my personal journey of purpose and destiny in You. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Tested Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Tested, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Take A Stand

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Scripture

2 Kings 23:3 “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.”

Observation

In this passage of Scripture, the Bible records that Josiah, the king of Judah at that time, made a covenant before the Lord to follow Him with all of his heart and all of his soul in obedience to the commands of the Lord written in the word of God.  When King Josiah publicly made this heart and soul commitment to follow the Lord and obey the word of God, Jewish history records that all the people turned to the Lord and took a stand for their covenant relationship with Him.

Application

As leaders in our community, we have tremendous leadership influence to significantly impact our community and our nation much like King Josiah had tremendous leadership influence to significantly impact his community and nation. When we are willing to publicly come forth as leaders of righteousness in the kingdom of God and follow the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, the Lord gives us great ability to make real positive lasting impacts in our community and nation.  Because people take notice when leaders lead with a genuine heart strong after God, the hearts of others are softened toward the Lord and their spines are strengthened to take a stand for their covenant relationship with Him.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness!  Thank You Lord for exchanging Your righteousness for my unrighteousness at the Cross so that I could become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! As I commit my heart, soul, strength, and mind to follow after You as a leader of righteousness in Your kingdom, give me the discipline to obey You and the spine to do what You ask me to do. I love You Jesus! Amen!

Take A Stand Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Take A Stand, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Perfect Love

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Staring into the pit, no end in sight,

Falling deeper into fear, no break of light.

Pressure rising and rising, no mind should ever know,

Darkness screaming and screaming, no safe place to go.

Wicked angels appearing like a plague of locusts,

Evil strongholds choking all peace and focus.

Unforgiveness stirring from yester years,

Bitter heart aching from painful tears.

“Look up! Look up!” the heavens cry out,

“No way out! No way out!” the demons shout.

Fear the truth or fear the lie,

The difference is to live or die.

The Lord rebuke you satan,

A child of God is never forsaken.

Forever written for His glory,

The truth of God completes the story.

The Lord is faithful, a mighty strong tower,

In His name, there is no greater power.

“Jesus! Jesus!” The darkness finally shatters,

“Truly! Truly!” His perfect love is all that really matters.

Perfect Love Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the poem, Perfect Love, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Planted In Love

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Wooden cross on the top of Zámčisko

Wooden Cross

“Good morning, son!  I am so glad you will be home.  I have some orders to finish up and was wondering if you could help me today.”

“Yes Papa.  I can give you a hand.  What would you like me to do?”

“See those large logs over there in the corner of the shop?  We need to square them off into wooden beams.”

The small woodworking shop is a family owned business with many customers in the city of Jerusalem.  Tables, chairs, doors, cabinets, desks, and furniture are normal everyday customer orders.  But this week’s special order includes the making of large wooden beams for the Roman government.

With hammer and chisel in hand, the carpenter’s son begins to chip away at the logs as requested by his father. 

Clang.  Clang.  Clang.  As he goes to work on the logs in his hands, he contemplates this tree of life planted in love by his father thirty-three years ago.

 

Growing up in a place known for religion,

A harvest of wheat is worth more than a smidgeon.  

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,

Can something be done to make such a penalty moot? 

Strong and sturdy, full of life and shade,

This tree was cut down so that debts can be paid.

 

Providing shelter for many from the storms of life,

So much can be done for those living in strife. 

Doing everything in their own power and might,

Why do so many work and work blinded in their sight?

Gentle and humble living day after day,

This tree has grown up just to give its life away.

 

“How’s it coming son?  Are you ready for a break?  Your mother has cooked some lunch.”

“Ok, Papa.  I’ll be right there.”

After having lunch with his Papa, the carpenter’s son gets back to work.

Clang. Clang. Clang.   He reflects again on the life of this tree being sculpted by his hands. 

 

Laughing and giggling, climbing up in its branches,

Innocent children find a tree of adventure and plenty romances. 

Adults searching for answers and a life full of meaning,

Find a tree that can be trusted is a tree that isn’t leaning.

Old or young, bald or grey,

This tree embraces all and never turns away.

 

A subtle breeze blowing through its leaves forecast a change in season.

Although the wind cannot be seen, this tree and its branches sway for a reason.

Perched high up in a nest, rising early in the morning,

Can you hear the gentle dove announce the sun as it is dawning? 

Swinging on a swing and life twirling all around,

This tree is always safe because its roots grow deep into the ground.

 

“Son, how’s it coming in there?  Are you finished yet?  We don’t want to keep the government waiting!” 

“Yes Papa.  I AM finished. The cross beams are prepared.”

The special order is delivered to Pontius Pilate in time for Passover.

Clang. Clang. Clang.   “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 NKJV

Planted In Love Poetic Devotional Copyright 2009, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the Planted In Love Poetic Devotional, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved. http://www.makeithappenbooks.com

Treasures Of Darkness

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Scripture

Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.”

Observation

In this verse, the prophet Isaiah declares that the Lord will give to His anointed leader called by name and whose right hand He holds, the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places so that the anointed leader will know the Lord as the One and Only True Living God of Israel.  Even in dark secret places, the Lord still reigns because He has created the darkness and He knows every secret place. Furthermore, the Lord has special treasures in darkness and hidden riches in secret places, which He will give to His anointed leaders when they go through the dark secret places of life where no one can find them but the Lord.

Application

There are times in my life when I may feel like I am all alone in a dark place that no one knows but me; however, it is in those times of seemingly dark isolation when I discover that the Lord is right there with me as a glorious light in the midst of the darkness. As a child of God called by His name, no matter how isolated or dark a place may seem in my life, the simple truth is that I am never alone and there is never a place too dark for God because Psalms 139:7-12 states, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” When the Lord holds my hand and leads me through the darkest places of my life, He gives me treasure and riches that I could not have received any other way because the Lord is good, He is faithful, and His Word is true, even in the darkest places of my life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I praise You for You are El Elyon, God Most High, Creator Of Heaven And Earth!  Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness to fulfill the entirety of Your Word throughout my entire life by remaining faithful to complete the good work that You began in me 20 years ago. Knowing that You will never leave me or forsake me, even in the darkest places of my life, is a treasure of darkness that I will forever behold in worshipful gratitude to You, my Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Lord, and Forever Faithful Friend! I love You Jesus! Amen!

Treasures Of Darkness Copyright 2011, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the personal devotion, Treasures Of Darkness, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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