teaser

Here’s a sample devotion taken from ‘frank’. This one is entitled ‘arms wide open’… once again it isn’t the full work… enjoy :]

God stoops. He bends down, listening to every word we whisper. He picks us up when we fall down. God on High gets down in the dirt, alongside us in our suffering and shame. He’s not deaf to our despair, He’s never out of ear-shot. Our God is not blind to our needs, “The Lord himself watches over you!” (Psalm 121:5 NLT). He never takes His eyes off His people, His prize. He sees our every struggle and flies across the skies to comfort us, He “rides the ancient skies above” (Psalm 68:33 NIV) watching over us. Our God comes to our aid whenever we need Him the most, “I am with you. I will rescue you and save you,” says the Lord” (Jeremiah 15:20 NCV). Our Lord God is responsive, He hears our every cry.  He’s here for us before we know it.

Our God never relaxes His hold on us, “your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:10 NIV). He never turns His back on His beloved, “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him” (Deut 33:12 Amplified). He stands with arms wide open when we run to Him. When we come to our Father empty-handed He beckons us to come close, open-handed. “You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favour” (Psalm 145:16 Amplified), He doesn’t reserve anything from those He loves. He gives, and He gives generously, “we all live off His generous bounty, gift after gift after gift” (John 1:16 MSG). We’re laden down with His love!

God gives, when we don’t deserve. If I slaved away my whole life long I still couldn’t earn any of it. We all know what we really deserve. We deserve to be His slaves. But God chooses to call us His kids, “so now you are not a slave; you are God’s child, and God will give you the blessing he promised, because you are his child” (Galatians 4:7 NCV). We deserve to die, but God gives us abundant life, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10 Amplified). We deserve to be left out in the cold, but God gathers us close. We deserve to go to hell, but God promises us a place in Heaven. We deserve little more than crumbs, but God throws us a party and we feast at His table.

When we think of the words “unworthy” or “worthless” quite often someone comes to mind. Very rarely is that someone ourselves. Luke 7:36-50 tells a story about a harlot.  Read the passage from start to finish to refresh your memory. A Pharisee invited Jesus around for food when the town harlot turned up uninvited. She “came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume” (Luke 7:38-39 MSG). Jesus withdrew her debt and forgave her freely. Simon the Pharisee was disgusted; he knew that this woman was unworthy. The thing that set her apart was that she knew it, whereas Simon didn’t. We should see our sin for what it really is. We shouldn’t try and mask the ugliness of our sin, we should see ourselves for who we really are.  There’s no doubt about it; we are unworthy. We just have to admit it. It’s then that God welcomes us with arms wide open.

Here’s a teaser from one of my devotions in “faith undiluted”… it’s not the full work, for that it looks like you’ll just have to buy the book :]

There’s no point putting up a fight. God always wins. Always. If you kick up a fuss and “do a Jonah” you had better make an about turn… and pronto! God is on your tail! There is no running from what God has in store for you. Check out the book of Jonah.  Before you read another word open your Bible to Jonah 1 and read it from start to finish, study it in-depth.

Once you’ve read it you’ll realise that it talks about Jonah dashing off in the opposite direction from God, trying his hardest to run “as far from God as he could get” (Jonah 1:2 MSG). Here’s what happened, God told Jonah to get up and go, to lead the city of Ninevah to repentance, but Jonah dug in his heels in protest. Sounds unbelievable but here’s what happened next, “Jonah rose up to flee… from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3 NASB). Now we both know that that’s quite the impossibility. You can never, no never, take flight from the Father.

Needless to say God had a trick up His sleeve. “God sent a huge storm” (Jonah 1:4 MSG) to bring Jonah back to where he belonged. God will grab your attention, you will be sitting up and paying attention in no time! There’s only one thing for it, only one way to get yourself out of this pickle… total surrender.  I can’t emphasise this enough, this is the turning point!

The moment you surrender the storm in your soul stops “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed” (Psalm 107:29 NIV). As soon as Jonah sacrificed his self-seeking soul the wild and rowdy sea stilled.  You may be thinking that surrender is about giving up and giving in, but it isn’t.  It’s about giving yourself over to God.

Never forget that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV). As soon as you’re off the road He has laid before you He sets off after you because He knows the best route Home, you haven’t found a short-cut. You can’t out-smart God, it’s just another detour. “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life” (Psalm 32:8 NLT), God knows what He’s doing, trust Him.



Cross Rhythms Radio