RRR Devotion Archives

I Know Your Deeds

Revelation 2:19 – I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Picture a young girl plucking the petals off of a daisy, “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me!”  Do you hear the wistfulness in her voice as she strives to know if the one she cares for also cares for her?  

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How Refreshing!

Philemon 1:7 - Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

When my husband and I lived on a mission field, we received cards and letters from many different people. One dear lady will always hold a special place in my heart. Ruth never missed a special day for my family. She remembered birthdays, our anniversary and every holiday. She always signed her cards “Jesus loves you and I do too.” The love of Jesus shone so brightly through Ruth that I couldn’t help but find joy and encouragement in her letters. I knew she would share that joyous message of Jesus love which would encourage and refresh my heart. 

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The Robe of Righteousness

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10

So, how is it going for you today? This week? This year? Whether we are experiencing good times or are wading through life’s valleys, let us continuously look for the many things we have to be thankful for, however small they may be. 

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A Thanksgiving Message in Habakkuk

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19

I was visiting a friend in Texas. It was November, just days before American Thanksgiving, and she invited me to attend a staff meeting with her at her church. The pastor of the church met weekly with his staff, beginning with a short devotion. The devotion that morning was based on Habakkuk 3:17-19. As together we read through verse 17, one couldn’t help but feel the discouragement and despair expressed in the prophet Habakkuk’s painful description of life as it would be for the tribe of Judah after a future enemy invasion. In the previous two chapters, Habakkuk had shared God’s warning and punishment with his fellow countrymen. These words in verse 17 would be a graphic view of the result of this horrific event if Judah didn’t heed God’s warning. Judah did not heed God’s warning and the Chaldeans invaded Judah less than a 100 years after Habakkuk’s prediction.

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It's Not the End of the World

Hurricanes and floods. Droughts and famines. Fires. Earthquakes. Melting ice caps. We often talk about the things of this world being temporal, but what about the world itself? It is so tempting to look at the world for our strength and confidence. But look at what God says about this world in 2 Peter 3:10, “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” We know the danger of putting our trust in the things of this world. Maybe it’s a little harder to see how often we put our trust in the actual world itself. When we look for a type of “heaven” on this earth, we will always be disappointed. 

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us with just this world. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Mark 13:31. This is the beautiful promise God gives not only to us but for us to share because in God’s Word we see Jesus. We see grace personified. We see forgiveness. We can’t find that anywhere else. It’s not found in the majestic mountains, the expansive oceans, or even the boundless universe. And it’s not destroyed by wind, wave, fire, or any other natural disaster this world might endure. No, we find salvation in Christ alone and we find Christ in God’s Word. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17). 

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A Message from our Master Gardener

“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”  Luke 8:15 (NKJV)

You know it by its smell, its feel.  Scoop it up.  It’s heavy, cool, crumbly; it smells rich, dark, fertile.  Good soil—what a miraculous, transformative medium.  Plant a seed in that bed, ensure enough sun and water, and one day, a living, thriving organism emerges.  I may just be a humble gardener, but I’m also a God-created creature made in his own image, and he works through me to create something from nothing.

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Filled to Overflowing

It was a typical Saturday at our household of five. The laundry was piled so high that the children were climbing it and calling it Mount Manning.  I had a list of “To Do’s” longer than there were hours in the day!  It was time to have the children climb down the mountain of clothes and get this day of must-do’s moving!

One of our boys began practicing his upright bass for an upcoming Youth Church Service and our youngest was supposed to be upstairs cleaning her room. The dishwasher was broken and one of our daughters was washing dishes after being gently reminded that she was serving her Savior by helping clean.  Currently we were down a vehicle, a dryer and a dishwasher.  It’s just been one of those years!

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Rejoice with St. Jude!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of his glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever! Amen!
                Jude 24-25 (New American Standard Bible-NASB)

How often have you heard a devotion, sermon or Bible class on the book of Jude? Probably not too often. Jude begins his little inspired letter by warning us to fight for our faith. He writes, “I felt I had to write and urge you to CONTEND for the faith” (verse 3). Why the warning? Because so many fall away from the faith despite receiving great spiritual blessings from God.

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A Lasting Adventure

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. (Psalm 119:111 – NIV)

The truth is, the adventure ended long before thieves entered our home and took off with our belongings.

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The Rest of the Story

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 
Roman 5:1-5

Everybody has a story. The older I get, the more I see this fact. People aren’t always willing to be open and honest about their struggles but it doesn’t mean they don’t have them. It’s not all Pinterest perfect. 

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