LifeLines Weekly Devotion

June 22nd, 2020

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27, NIV)

My father joined the Lord in late July of 1995. My grief was extensive. I was in the midst of trying to finish my degree in elementary education, and the heaviness I was experiencing made me unsure if I would be able to accomplish this goal. In January of 1996, I had an incredible dream of my father. He was smiling and laughing. I had never seen that kind of joy on my dad’s face. My dad was a man who was consistently anxious, pensive, and tense. However, he was also a man devoted to God and his family. He was committed to walking the narrow path. After that dream, 80 percent of my grief lifted. That evening, I just knew that God had opened a window to witness the inexpressible joy on my father’s face! I was able to complete my student teaching semester.

In his sermons, Bobby Schuller often imparts that death is merely a doorway into eternal life with Jesus. Life is not short at all, but long and wondrous. The heavenly realms are more glorious and majestic than anything we can imagine. According to Bobby, death is more akin to waking up than going to sleep.

I firmly believe that Jesus offers us the true way, the complete truth, and the abundant life!

Father, thank you for sending us Jesus to tell us about the true and abundant life. Lord, thank you for your promise to all believers that we will never die. Holy Spirit, remind us of Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. Amen.

Your sister in Christ,
DW

June 1st, 2020

Proverbs 3:1b -2, 5: keep my commands in your heart. 2 they will prolong your life many years and bring your prosperity. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Once we set our mind on the priorities and leave the anxiety, fear, distrust, depression etc. behind (as Jesus took these mind-altering concerns to the cross so we do not have to bear their weight) we can again begin to experience peace and joy in our life. As a Christ follower we are not exempt from challenges that often cause us to falter. But we can know with certainty that through the grace of our Lord and Savior the challenges will be addressed.

Father…help me to see you in all facets of life…good, bad, or indifferent. In your precious love and guidance through the Holy Spirit enable us to walk another day hand in hand with you. I pray this in your ever-ending love.
Nan Cords

May 28th, 2020

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30, NIV).

When you read any Christian author trying to convey how they hear from the Lord, you will get a different answer. All of them will tell you that it is essential to develop a Biblical mind by reading the Bible. Bobby Schuller believes that for most Christians, God’s language is knowledge, epiphany, or internal knowing. In Joyce Meyer’s study guide, How to Hear from God, she lists several ways. One of those ways is what she terms the inner witness or conscience. If it gives you peace, then it is likely from God. Joyce also indicates that it takes a lot of practice, and you will make mistakes. She maintains that’s part of growing spiritually.

Being part of a devoutly Christian family, Corrie ten Boom helped hide persecuted Jews and ended up spending several months in concentration camps. During her time at Ravensbruck, she felt directed to deliver her gospel message to anyone who would listen in her vicinity, and ultimately, anywhere in the world that the Lord sent her.

Corrie tells of an incredible experience of the Presence of the Lord Jesus and her Baptism in the Holy Spirit: “It was the beginning of a new spiritual blessing that each day brings me into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus. Now, whether I am walking in the bright light of His Presence, or abiding under the shadow of the Almighty, I know that He is not only with me, He is in me” (Tramp for the Lord, p. 63).

Father Almighty, help us to feel you holding us safely in your hands. Lord Jesus, draw us closer into your presence as we attempt to perceive you more clearly. Holy Spirit, renew our hearts and minds with your counsel and comfort. Amen.

 Your sister in Christ, DW

May 4, 2020

“Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

To some, COVID-19 can be the most devastating word spoken: All that is on TV or the internet is about the virus. Yet no matter the circumstances we may encounter including a loved one or even yourself being a victim of COVID-19, rely on Philippians 4:6 as it reminds us that the Lord Jesus will not forsake us. Food is not going to run out…we may have to sacrifice some of our time and space (staying home) but the Lord is in charge and he is blessing us over and over. Keep the faith.

Dear Heavenly Father…Thank you for another day – COVID 19 and all. We know things are changing and our future will look quite different but you never waiver and are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. May we feel your peace and presence through all this chaos. In your precious name, I pray.

Nan Cord

April 27, 2020

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:1-3, NIV)

Jesus prayed for himself. This might surprise some people. He was consistently in direct contact with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Each gospel includes a version of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus. In Mark, the Father says, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11b, NIV). There is a profound communion between all three persons of God shown in these two adjoining verses of Mark 1:10-11.

In St. Teresa’s great work, The Interior Castle, she writes, “All the Three Persons here communicate Themselves to the soul, speak to it and make it understand the words of our Lord in the Gospel that He and the Father and the Holy Ghost will come and make their abode with the soul which loves Him and keeps His commandments” (The Seventh Mansions, Ch. I, sec. 9).

Imagine being aware that you are inviting three persons of God into prayer with you! This symbiotic relationship deepens our communion with God. This relationship grounds us so that we can pray for others. This relationship grounds us so that we can serve others. Otherwise, we may end up teaching, supervising, and serving under our own steam instead of being directed by God. I think the yoke of Jesus is oftentimes easier than our own.

Father, remind me that when I meet Jesus, I encounter you. Jesus, help me to pray as you prayed. Holy Spirit, build your kingdom here. Amen.

Your sister in Christ,

DW

April 20, 2020

“Jesus came over, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This marked the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after being raised from the dead.” — John 21:13-14 

Simon Peter is a striking example of God’s mercy. He said one of the worst things you can say to Jesus is by denying the necessity of the cross (Mt 16:22). Yet the Lord mercifully continued to teach and serve Peter. After bluntly denying that he would deny Christ (Lk 22:33), Peter promptly denied Him three times right before His crucifixion (Lk 22:61). However, the Lord forgave Peter again and again. The risen Jesus even came to Peter on the morning of the Resurrection (Lk 24:34) and appeared to Peter with the apostles several other times. Then, after Peter had met with the risen Christ at least three times, Peter decided to go back into the fishing business (Jn 21:3ff), although Jesus had called him out of fishing for fish to be fishing for men (see Mt 4:19).

Nonetheless, Jesus had mercy on Peter, forgave him again and again, gave him the Holy Spirit, chose him to preach at the first Christian Pentecost, and made him the first pope, as well as a missionary and a martyr. Jesus gave Peter inexhaustible mercies. Be merciful as Jesus is. 

Prayer: Father, make me a missionary of mercy. I can so relate with Peter about not being the best example to others. Thanks for your huge sacrifice and the deepest love of forgiveness. What is cool about Peter is he Got Out of The Boat; I might not of. Thanks for the wisdom to know a good example from a not so good one. Amen

Two Fingers

P.S. First Pope, Missionary  and Martyr. You’re on deck… Batter Up!  but it is not a good time to get out of the boat ?  Or is it,… Peter?