It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Crossed the Jordan Lately?

As I was sharing with a young women recently about the importance of obedience and faith and how they work together, and that obedience brings blessings, I was reminded of the story in Joshua Chapter 3, as the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River at a point when the river was out of its banks and was 30 miles wide!

Because I am an inquisitive person, I have to wonder how deep was the river?  How many miles of Israelites were waiting to go across?  How many had their eyes on the water wondering when it would come down and how many had their eyes on the ark of God?  How many rushed to the front of the line excited to see the Lord at work, while those of little faith moved to the back to wait and see how many drowned before they decided if they would cross?  Just a few thoughts that ran through my mind as I studied this.

It wasn’t UNTIL the feet of the priests (who went before them carrying the ark of God) dipped into the edge of the waters, that the waters quit flowing — rising up in one heap, where the children of Israel could cross through the Jordan River walking on dry ground.  While crossing . . .  the ark of the covenant of the Lord, stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until ALL the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.

What can we learn from this?

God will go before us — We must step out in faith, THEN God will show HIMSELF mightily — The waters did NOT part UNTIL the priest stepped into the edge of the water.  This took faith — God will not ask us to trust HIM, then abandon us — Obedience brings blessings and works alongside faith — God cares enough about us to give examples ALL throughout the scriptures that tell us how to live daily — It is the duty of the parents to tell our children the words and works of God, so that they may be trained up in the way they should go, keeping their eyes on God — The Lord Himself remained in the place of danger until all Israel had crossed the Jordan.

The part I love is in Chapter 4 of Joshua where God told them to take up stones and put them at the lodging place on the “other side” of the Jordan.  Where did the stones come from?  God told them to take the stones OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER where the priests feet stood!  Those stones were to be a memorial — a reminder of what God did!  He provided them an opportunity to tell their children (and show them) what God did — passing the torch of faith while demonstrating and explaining with excitement that God is FAITHFUL and can be trusted!!!

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Is Your Name Peter?

At the Last Supper when Peter wanted NO PART of his feet washed, Jesus told Peter that without his feet being washed, he could have NO PART with Christ.  When Peter realized the “cost of refusing” his feet to be cleansed, he THEN WANTED his whole body washed!  John 13:9

I immediately thought of how we try to complicate the Word and instructions the Lord has given us by wanting or doing MORE.  We must decide that what God says in HIS Word, is either final or it’s not! Poor Peter . . . we are more like him, then we’d like to admit!

What have you refused, that Jesus Christ has offered you?

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History of Aprons

I love this story and reminds me of my childhood days — precious memories.

The History of ‘APRONS’ I don’t think many kids today know what an apron is.  The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.  It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.  It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.  From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.  When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.  Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.  Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.  In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.   When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.  When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.  It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes. REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.  They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.  I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…this brings back so many memories from being a kid and holding onto grandmas apron!

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Wasn’t It Smart of God To:

Make our nose holes go down instead of up so when it rains we won’t drown.

Make aging a slow process instead of a sudden change, like while at youth camp.

Make our knees knobby so that we feel just enough discomfort to keep us alert and focused.

Give us nails to bite when we are nervous that aren’t made of metal and don’t taste like Brussels sprouts.

Cover our entire body with skin that flakes and sheds at a rate of up to 105 pounds during 70 years of living — and thankfully not all at once.

Have the spider be the first “web site” designer.

Design human legs perfect for straddling a horse or a Harley.  (Both are safe to ride if handled with respect.  Leather goes well with both.  And neither one needs a windshield.)

Not play “hide and seek” with us.  (Instead He plays ” seek and find” and promises our success!)

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Blessings and Trauma

Do you ever wonder what Mary’s prayers consisted of?  Did she pray for blessings and if so, did she realize that the blessings would bring traumatic experiences to her physical life and her heart?

It’s easy to pray with your mouth “not thy will but Thine”, but does your heart and soul truly follow suit?

Even though Mary’s news from the angel was a blessing and she submitted to the Lord . . . do you think it was also traumatic?  Whether it is traumatic will all be determined by your perspective.

Some of the greatest blessings in our life can also bring trauma, yet the trauma as well as blessings each have an eternal purpose.  May we have a new perspective on answered prayers — accepting that which the Lord has “blessed” us with.

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Spiritually Barefoot

Our testimony gives the Spirit of God leverage in our lives. Hold fast the profession of your salvation. The more we share our testimony, the more sure we are of what took place, leaving NO ROOM for doubt.

There is NOTHING wrong with sharing your testimony from 20 years ago . . . But don’t forget the powerful things that God is doing in your life TODAY! It is time to “update your resume”!

Get out and run in your testimony. Don’t put it away like a new pair of shoes that you don’t want to get dirty! If you can’t share the gospel, you may find that you are “spiritually barefoot”.

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God Will Not Drag You

God is not trying to drag you into a “run” . . . He is teaching you to walk with HIM. He didn’t drag the Israelites kicking and screaming. He told them to “move their feet”, teaching them to “walk WITH Him”. He will do the same for you, if you will allow HIM. Exodus 14:13-15

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The Fragile Rattlesnake

John 3:14  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up…”

The rattlesnake is a dangerous creature, but surprisingly vulnerable.  Believe it or not, rodents, rather than being easy victims of the rattlesnake, are one of the rattlesnake’s greatest enemies.  Ground squirrels will sometimes attack rattlers, lunging at and biting them.  Ground squirrels can inflict wounds that become infected and cause the snakes death.  They often get away with this because their reflexes are so much faster than the snake’s.

Those who handle rattlesnakes must be careful of their bite.  But they must be equally careful about how they pick the snake up, because its neck is easily broken.  If a rattler is trapped for only 20 minutes in the noonday sun, it can go into convulsions.  And if it is placed on ground with too steep an incline, its heart, unable to pump uphill, may fail.  In fact, simply handling a rattler may cause it to starve itself to death.

Scripture refers to the devil as the “serpent” many times.  However, just as the rattlesnake is truly deadly but also vulnerable, so, too, is the devil — truly deadly but vulnerable.  All who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior from sin, death and the devil have that victory through Christ, even though the devil would like us to forget that he is a beaten foe.

**While I know in this life I will still have to contend with the devil, may the Lord always keep me mindful of how HE has beaten him for me!

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Wasn’t It Smart Of God To:

Design Esau to be a skillful hunter and Jacob to be a quiet man living in tents so we know it’s okay to be country folk or city slickers!

Send us into the world with nothing and then take us back with nothing so we’re reminded that the most valuable thing in life is that we belong to HIM.

Make children washable and guaranteed not to shrink!

Design the human body to self-maintain by feeling thirsty when it needs water, hungry when it needs fuel, tired when it needs rest — and grumpy when any of those needs aren’t met.

Give instructions to parents to not spare the rod of discipline so the rest of us won’t mind being around their kids.

 

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Lost Car – Found Faith

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

My six-year-old son came running to me with crocodile tears in his eyes and cried, “Mommy, I can’t find my favorite car! Can you please help me?” Walking with him into the living room, we proceeded to look for his favorite toy race car that he had just received for his birthday. However, our efforts were to no avail as it was not to be found anywhere. I saw the anxious look on his face and knew we had to do something. Taking him by the hand, we sat down together on the couch and prayed.

“Let’s ask God where it is. I’m sure He knows,” I said.

After we finished our prayer, we returned to our morning homeschool routine. Little did I know, God had already prepared an invaluable lesson for both my young son and me. As we sat back down on the couch to read my son’s science lesson, his lost car popped up between the cushions. Excitedly, we thanked the Lord for showing us the car’s location, and the answered prayer was forever cemented in my son’s mind.

The lesson my son learned was that an all-knowing God was big enough to handle any problem he might have in life. God’s lesson for me was that He was the better teacher. He had a syllabus of truths for my children to learn each day. My job as a homeschooling parent was to be sensitive to those Holy Spirit subject areas, so my children wouldn’t miss the most important lessons in life.

How about you? Are you so structured in your homeschool day that you cannot allow for any deviations for God’s instruction? If so, pray for God’s wisdom and will to be revealed. Don’t lose the opportunities for you or your children to find the greatest truths in the world. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
AOP Homeschool Devotions
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