Today marks the 6th Anniversary of Safetypinlove.com! This Daily Devotional has become a labor of love for me and now spans across 129 countries around the world…reaching countless people for the Gospel. It has shown me in a real way that God uses common, ordinary people to do His work…and with Him, anything is possible. Looking back over the years, the lessons I’ve learned are many…for I’ve grown in discipline, obedience, and trust – Praise God! Thank you to all my friends that have been on this journey with me from the start…your encouragement and love have kept me going when doubt filled my head . Thank you to those around the world that have stumbled upon this site…know that it isn’t by chance you’re here…for the Holy Spirit has directed you to God’s Word and His Word never returns void. Finally, thank You Lord for Your faithfulness, for this is all for Your glory!
A plaque I saw the other day took me back and really had me thinking…it read, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you had thanked God for the day before?” Pretty sobering, right? I know we try to thank the Lord for what we have (especially around the table on Thanksgiving)…but what about thanking Him for things you no longer have. This could mean thanking God for delivering you from feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and depression that had once ruled your life. Or this could mean thanking Him for complete recovery from illness, injury, or surgery that had plagued you this year. As the Scripture says, let’s be overflowing with thankfulness in all things…the things we have, and the things we don’t.
God had instructed Gideon to tear down his father’s false idols…and Gideon had obeyed, in a fashion. Instead of doing it in broad daylight though, he did it under cover of darkness, …all because of fear. He was afraid of what others would think. Fearful of retaliation, Gideon wanted to obey God, but also wanted to please people. It’s impossible to be a people pleaser and obey God at the same time…for you end up compromising yourself and your integrity.
Bad things happen to good people…for we live in a troubled and broken world where peace and unity is hard to find. But that doesn’t mean we have to cave in to all the ugliness around us. God has placed you on the earth at this particular time in history to make a difference…for you to be an influence, rather than being influenced by the wicked around you. Stand strong in the face of evil…pray without ceasing…tell others about Jesus.
I think as Believers, we all smugly think that if we had lived during Biblical times and had witnessed the miracles and teachings of Jesus…we would of immediately realized He was the Messiah. But would we? Humanity saw Him as just another man…indeed, a good man who taught with unheard of authority and passion, but still just a flesh and blood human like the rest of us. Would we have been able to recognize His divinity…when the incarnate Jesus Christ…the embodiment of God took on human form and lived among us? I would hope and pray so.
The selfish human nature is always striving for the liberty of self-determination. “I want to do what I want, when I want to”, is our mindset. But with that enticement comes deception and seduction as we wander farther and farther off the right path. And sooner or later, we find ourselves in the middle of perversion, and wonder just how we got ourselves into such a mess. In the search for freedom, we have instead become a piece of property…owned and controlled by depravity and lies.
Some later manuscripts show this verse as saying, “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Either translation is a tall order to fill. For we are a people who retaliate at the slightest notion that we’ve been wronged. Taking revenge and repaying evil with evil is touted and even celebrated in today’s social media. But this verse tells us to do the very opposite. And our example should be Jesus, who in I Peter 2:23 demonstrates, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” Taking the high road in the face of cruelty may be a clenched fist, gritted teeth type of grace under pressure, but allowing God to fight your battle is worth it in the end.
The next time you’re in a heated debate, take notice of your body language. Are your arms tightly crossed over your chest? You’re being defensive and resistive to the person and words that are being spoken to you. Are you shaking your head ” No “as someone is speaking to you? You’re not listening, but rather formulating what you want to say in response as soon as that person takes their next breath. This scripture shows that the art of communication is listening deliberately, speaking carefully, and not allowing knee-jerk reactionary anger to prevail.
Repentance is the beginning of your journey with God. True repentance means taking responsibility for what you’ve done… for owning your sins. Repentance could also be called an action word…it starts with a heart change, but commands a directional change too – a turning from darkness to light, evil to good, wicked to righteous. Repentance is the starting point of that new life you’re looking for.
Today marks the 1500 devotional I’ve written over the last 4 1/2 years. What would have happened if I had not asked…not sought…not knocked? God tells us He will supply all our needs…all we have to do is supply the trust. And in additional to that, we need to have the insight to realize what we “want” may not be what we need. As I look back today at how He’s worked in my life with Safetypinlove, I see the plan and purpose He had for me when I first asked, sought, and knocked.