Devotional Times

Taking a moment to be with God


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Writer’s Block: The bane of writers

“I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.” Luke 5:24-25 KJV

It has long been known that writers, whatever the type of pieces they create, suffer from writer’s block from time to time. Writer’s block binds the writer so tightly that he cannot get a single word down on paper–much like stage fright does to the public speaker. Many theories regarding its origin exists–some more plausible than others. And even more advice on removing the blockage abounds. But, it all boils down to the writer putting pen to paper and writing about having the bane or whatever else the writer sees or experiences.

The same is true for the paralytic to whom Jesus said, “Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” (v. 24) The only way the man could be cured of his malady was by doing the very thing he was unable to do. But, he did the impossible. At the command of Jesus he took up his bed and walked. He could have wavered and hesitated, but he did not. He chose to do that which his heart desired and which God desired him to do.

And God expects the same from us. He expects us to do what must be done without wavering. He expects us to use the talents, gifts and entrusted truths and privileges He gave us to bring Him glory and fulfill our purpose. But, sometimes we suffer from writer’s block, like Moses (Exodus 3), and we waver. And just as Moses and the paralytic, and writers throughout the ages did, to overcome the wavering we have to get on and do it. For it is as we do the little we can do that Christ enables us to do the things we ought to do as children of the living God.

Gracious Father in heaven,
to Thee be all glory given,
for Thou hast bid us do Thy will
but we don’t think we fit the bill;
indeed the bill we don’t fit
but strength Thou promis’d
in Thy Holy Writ.
For strength and courage we pray,
in Jesus’ dear and holy name,
Amen.


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Revelation of the Unknown

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12-13 ESV

Recently I received an e-mail from an ex-colleague of mine whom I unknowingly offended at a planning meeting our two schools had together. She bore a grudge for four or five years just because I stepped on her feet while we were seated at the table. I did not apologise. I cannot remember the meeting let alone how I stepped on her feet. The message shocked me: firstly, for the fact that I committed an unknown sin and, secondly, that the she took offence over what I deem to be a minor thing. I thanked her for bringing the offence to my attention and for forgiving me.

This incident just reminded me of how we go through life leaving destruction in our wake. It also reminded me of how we deem certain offences negligible and others irredeemable; yet they are all the same in God’s eyes. That is why we can only but echo David’s prayer that God would forgive us of our unknown and presumptuous sins because even these can keep us from communing with God and keep those whom we offend from being intimate with God.

Dear Father, many are the sins I commit every day and a large proportion of these are unknown sins, character defects and errors in logic and belief. I pray Your forgiveness, Lord, and for the gift of a new heart in Jesus’ name, amen.


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Avenues

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 KJV

John Bunyan in his allegory The Holy War Made by King Shaddai Upon Diabolus, to Regain the Metropolis of the World, Or, The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul tells about how Diabolus Continue reading


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Organelles: Intracellular compartments

“for in him we live, and move, and have our being” Acts 17:28 KJV

Intracellular organelles.

Organisation of a cell.

Cells are magnificent creatures and entities. There are organisms that are composed of only one cell such amoebas and bacteria, simple organisms composed of more than one cell (multicellular) such as the hydra, and complex multicellular organisms such as humans, plants, and animals. Just as our bodies are made up of different organs each performing their own function so cells are composed of different organelles. These organelles keep the cell alive. Some organelles store nutrients (vacuoles) while others produce energy (mitochondria) while yet others, such as peroxisomes, contain dangerous chemicals that would destroy the cell if these chemicals were left to roam around freely in the cell’s main compartment.

Compartmentalisation is part of who we are. Our bodies, brains, cells, and proteins are all compartmentalised. So, its natural that we would want to compartmentalise our lives and time as well. Some of us compartmentalise our personalities too, acting differently in the company of different people. We even constrain our spiritual lives, our relationship with God, to Saturdays or Sundays and to the prayers we say before our meal or get into bed at night.

But, God would not have it that way. Although cells are organised into different organelles, small fat particles line and define these organelles. So, God would have our faith, our relationship with Him, permeate and define the way we live our lives and interact with each other. Because ultimately we are cells in His body, the Church. He’s character is to be our DNA and His love the proteins that mediate the internal cellular processes as our faith and beliefs lend structure to our being. Won’t you allow God to compartmentalise your life instead of doing yourself allowing Him to mould your faith the way He moulds the cells that constitute our bodies? Won’t you let your faith pervade every area of your life?

Loving Father in Heaven, may Your life become mine. As You are present everywhere in this universe You created so I pray that You will be present everywhere in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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Talking Sense

“And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” Genesis 3:9 KJV

God created humans to with five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. These senses work together to form another layer of senses: equilibrioception, thermoception, propioception, nociception, chronoception, and interoception. Equilibrioception allows us to orientate ourselves, giving us a knowledge of our body’s posture, which direction we are facing, how much we are accelerating, and our body movements. With thermoception we perceive heat through our skin. Propioception allows us to always know where our body parts are in relation to each other even though our eyes might be closed or we might find ourselves in a dark room. Nociception is the perception of pain. Chronoception allows us to sense time. The circadian rhythm plays are role in the functioning of this sense. With interoception we sense the state of our internal organs and other sensations our conscious mind does not perceive.

When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, their senses were disturbed. One sense in particular was disturbed: their sense and perception of God–who He is and His love for them. But, they did not realise this at first. They knew they sinned against and that judgement was imminent, but their intimacy, their close relation with Him was severed and they didn’t perceive it. That is why God asked Adam, as the head of his household, where they were. God knew where they were spatially, chronologically and relationally to Him, but they did not.

We do not know how long it took for Adam to come out from behind the bushes they were hiding, but they did. And even after God pronounced judgements on the human race and snakes, they still did not realise what they had done–not until Cain killed Abel.

And so it is with us. We don’t realise the extent of our sins–even now the light from Calvary is dimmed for many of us. Which is why God still asks the question to us He did back then: “Where are you?” I would encourage you to take the time to answer this question, to do the introspection and make things right with God.

Dear Father, thank You for being so concerned with my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Thank You for coming to look for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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Autumn Falls

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7,10 KJV

Autumn Trees

 

The year is winding to an end as we transition to autumn. Whenever we enter this time of the year Continue reading