In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives a little animal called the ermine, usa known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait for the ermine. They don’t set a trap to catch him, but instead find his home and smear it with grime. Then when the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine, the frightened animal flees to the safety of his home in a nearby rock he will not enter because of the filth. He would rather give up his life then dirty his purity.
What would God think of us, if we gave up our lives for the sake of maintaining our wholesomeness before Him? Many of those early Christians who died in the Coliseum in Rome were like the ermine.1
The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains and those who dwell in it; for God has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand with Him in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:1-5
And if you haven’t been able to live a very wholesome or pure life to any real extent, all you need do is go to Him and say, “Lord forgive me.” And He does, and looks upon you from that point on as clean in His sight. To be honest, sometimes I have had to go to the Lord quite often in seeking His forgiveness, and even on an hourly basis at times. But He knows this, and knows me, and is waiting to forgive no matter what I’ve done. And even if I don’t ask His forgiveness in a timely manner and when I should, He still forgives.
Other Teachable Moment Devotional thoughts
Here are some other devotional thoughts I’ve put out in Facebook over these past few weeks. I hope you enjoy and can use them.
As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
Because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him
In peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
In ways that were my own.
Finally I took them back and said,
“Dear God, why are you so slow?”
“My child,” He said, “what could I do?
You never di let go.”
Difficulty is the first stage of a miracle.
I can always count on God to be in my corner, no matter how well I do or perform.
A key question to pursue when picking a leader for any situation, whether a political, spiritual, or otherwise is… does he or she serve or need to be served to get things done? (k)
What is true love? It is an act of the will to do what is best for another instead of ourselves. (Billy Graham)
Purposes of God
God may conceal His purposes so that we will live on His promises.
It’s not how you start life’s race, but how you end it when the finish comes into sight. God can help you then, as He can now, if only you would ask Him. “Ask and it shall be given unto you.” Matthew 7:7 (k)
God foreknowing what we are going to do after influencing the free will He gave us from the beginning. (k)
Peace of Mind
When we keep our mind on God, He will give us peace of mind.
It doesn’t matter how great the pressure is. What really matters is where the pressure lies, whether it comes between me and God or whether it presses me nearer to His heart. (Hudson Taylor)
Nothing is as strong as gentleness, and nothing as gentle as strength.
Getting God to do what we want
You may have played this game when you were a child. You interlace your fingers with someone else’s and try to bend the other’s hands back until the other cries, “Mercy!” The winner is the one who gets the other person to surrender. If you’re like me, sometimes you try to play “Mercy” with God when you pray. You have a request that you desperately want answered in a certain way, so you try to bend His finders back. Abandon such a prayer practice; let Him answer according to His perspective on your life, not yours. He knows things you don’t know and will do what’s best for you every time if you let Him. Ouch! Just got my fingers bent back again this morning during my devotions.
Great things take time
In 1879, William Wilberforce (English statesman) cried out for the day when men, women, and children would no longer be bought and sold like farm animals. Each year for the next 18 years, his bill in the English Parliament was defeated, but he continually prayed and tirelessly campaigned against slavery. Finally, in 1833, four days before his death, Parliament passed a bill completely abolishing slavery in England. This very act inspired Lincoln to later do the same in America.
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; the steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
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. Psalm 37:3-7; 23-25
- April 21st Daily Bread (Author-Bartel)