Friday, June 11, 2021

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!


An Emoji Devotions for Fri, June 11 2021

Topic: Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

By H.U. Wenger

Highlights: Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:20)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all under-standing, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4 – 7)

If you can make it, take the time to read Psalm 66 in its entirety. Often times the burdens of our lives put us so much down that shouts of joy seem impossible for us. By listening to the Psalmist we have to admit that he went through a lot that will not have provoked shouts of joy. Nevertheless he wants to shout, he wants to rejoice, he wants to glorify his wonderful Savior and Lord. His eyes are not on the dire difficulties, but on the excellent trouble shooter and helper, who is second to none and can do much more than we can think and dare praying for. He does not get joy and praise out of the predicaments he has been guided through. His praise and joy are born out of the marvelous experiences he has made with God. He never rejected his prayers and he never diverted his precious love from him. He has always proven bigger, stronger and way superior to every possible trouble that came his way. 

We are not to rejoice in the circumstances of our lives. Much more we are to focus on the Lord for whom no calamity is a problem and with whom we get enabled to go through perceived difficulties, with a merry and joyful heart. 

Years ago, I was in the middle of my theological studies and was preparing for my second Graecum. As a work student, I was always late in the evenings and at four o’ clock in the morning the clock reminded me to get up and translate the New Testament from Greek into German. On the particular morning I still remember, I was on the passage of Philippians 4, as I have cited above. I was sleepy; I was grumpy, full of self-pity and envy of my wife, who was fast asleep. The text: “Rejoice in the Lord …” provoked anger within me and I was very close to go back to bed. I would much rather have shown my anger to all than my gentleness. As I tried to translate on, it suddenly hit me that in a long time I had not done what the text invited to. So I began to pray, to lament to the Lord how much I am under pressure because of the upcoming exam. I thanked for the privilege to study; admitted how much I feel that the exam is over the top of my head and I pleaded for the help of the Lord. I cannot remember any more for how long I was in prayer, but as I went back to my desk, I was totally changed. My circumstances, which were actually quite hard, had not changed, but I felt peace, I felt joy and thankfulness. By turning away from the present givens of life and clinging to the Lord, the one and only giver of joy, peace and life, my soul got restored and healed. 

Whether you are merry today or grumpy and envious as I was, turn your eyes to Jesus. If you manage to change your focus and your attitude today, I invite you together with Nehemiah, after Ezra had publicly read the law:  “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to cling to you and to participate in your joy. Thank you that 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Searching God


An Emoji Devotional for Thu, June 10 2021

Topic: Searching God

By H.U Wenger

 Highlights: I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. (Psalm 119:10)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37 – 40) 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. (Compare John 14:15 – 21)

Nobody begins to search something without the knowledge or perception of having something lost. When God created man, he made them little lower than himself (Psalm 8) and he clothed them with his own glory, which gave them the destiny to live forever in his presence. Deplorably man sinned knowingly (Eve was deceived, Adam was not) and the glory of God, their being born of God, fell away from them and they found themselves naked and ashamed. They died out of the spiritual oneness with the Holy Trinity. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us of the one thing that remained in the human heart: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” The whole book of Ecclesiastes talks about the human awareness of the lost paradise. The key back to that land is to be born of God and that premonition makes us to search for our creator. Jesus himself encourages every human effort to approach God: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7 – 8)  

Often times we are frustrated with God, because he did not react as we would have liked and we forget, that he is absolutely and totally good for us in all he does. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) There is no other way to show our love for God than to be obedient to his word and to show love, mercy and compassion to our fellow human beings. 

By living in our fallen estate, the Bible calls it living in the flesh, we will always fail in keeping God’s commands. We need Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our strength and our guide.  “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” If you do not know Jesus yet as your Lord and Savior, you may turn to him right now. Confess to him that you are a sinner and repent from all of your sins. Invite Jesus into your heart and give him the right to be the master and king of your life. In accepting him as your Lord and believing in him, you will be born again and what was lost in paradise comes back to you by faith and will come back to you by sight, when Christ himself will be revealed to the whole world as the king of kings and the Lord of all Lords. 

Prayer: Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Amen (Psalm 27:7 – 9)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Searching for the adults – the wise


An Emoji Devotions for Wed, 9th of June 2021

Topic: Searching for the adults – the wise

By H.U. Wenger

In Jeremiah 8, 8 – 9 God asks through the prophet:  “How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?”

Highlights: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13 – 18)

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. (Hebrew 2:1)

Wisdom shows in adhering to the word of the Lord and in living out the character of Jesus Christ. As his followers our first task in life is to show his benevolent attitude to every human being according to his word. In our world, unfortunately even in the Christian world, we see way too much bossiness for personal power gain, which James calls demonic. In the times of Jeremiah the Jewish people took the word of God out of context and derived from the so constructed philosophy a divine privilege and right. Prophets stood up and announced good times ahead, whereas Jeremiah had to prophesy the upcoming judgement and doom based upon the word of the Lord.  

From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 8, 10b – 12) They think to be filled with wisdom and power and look down on Jeremiah and his followers as the immature, the fearful and deplorable. In first Corinthians 1: 18 – 31, Paul put wisdom and foolishness into the right light. Adhering to the word of the Lord and living it out as best as we can was, is and remains true wisdom. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1. Corinthians 1:25)

Let us be truly wise and always return to the Lord and check whether our conduct depicts his character. Each time I am realizing that my wisdom does not match the wisdom from above according to James; I am called to repentance, to return to the Lord and to his word. Brothers and Sisters, I have to confess that it happens to me way too often. We are brain-washed by the attitude of this world who celebrates a “wisdom” that is earthly, unspiritual and demonic and therefore are in need to tune ourselves into the wisdom that comes down from heaven. 

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I repent from foolishly being selfish, bossy and often unjust. Please fill me with your wisdom that comes from heaven and make me to a human being that depicts the character of your beloved son, Jesus Christ. Amen

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Jonah, get real!

An Emoji Devotions The 8th June, 2021

Topic: Jonah, get real!

by H. U. Wenger

Highlights: Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24) 

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139, 7 – 16)  

I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.” Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. (Jonah 2:4 – 8)

We all know the story of Jonah. He receives the word of the Lord to go to Nineveh to announce them God’s judgment, but Jonah runs away. He hates the Assyrians, who were well known as brutal warriors and oppressors. He is fully aware of his calling and of his prophetic authority. He knows that his preaching would cause the Assyrian to repentance and that their turning around would provoke God’s grace and mercy. The beginning of Chapter 4 reveals his heart: But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 

Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah knows that he got created by God for a time like this, but he lacks the love. He is craving for retaliation and revenge. He wants to see disaster pouring down on Israel’s enemies. The hatred in him and his anger over God’s love deceive him into his futile running away from God. On that journey he experiences not only the love and forgiveness of God and men, but also God’s wonderful grace and mercy in his spectacular salvation through a fish. His insight that those, who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them, has not yet changed his heart. What he enjoys for himself, he wants to deny to people he does not like. He rather wants to die himself than to witness God’s love for them. Isn’t it time for Jonah to get real? Isn’t it time for Jonah to allow the love of Jesus to enter his heart and to love his enemies? What grudges do I harbor in my heart?  What hinders the love of God to flow through me?   

We all are created for a time like this. Let us not run away from our prophetic authority, but let our hearts be filled with the love of God, who craves salvation for every human being and for his whole creation. 

Prayer: Dear God, let me cling to your word and fill my heart with your love. Beware me from being judgmental to the point that I am getting blind for grace and mercy. Let me rejoice over the salvation of my enemies and give me a double portion of love for them. Amen. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Strength to Stay Calm


An Emoji Devotions for Fri Jun 4, 2021

Topic: Strength to Stay Calm


The Lord is constantly watching everyone, and he gives strength to those who faithfully obey him. But you have done a foolish thing, and your kingdom will never be at peace again.

 2 Chronicles 16:9

May we not do a foolish thing in the sight of  God in Jesus name. When you forget things you heard and saw God did for you recently and in face of challenges take another route without His approval - Who does that? The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe.  When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.  You will live a long life and see my saving power.”

Psalms 91:14‭-‬16

you should look up to God and you know for sure that when you face any challenges all you need is stay calm because The Lord is constantly watching. He does not sleep not slumber. Those who have done foolish things you may not be at peace again unless they find their way back home like the prodigal son. If you want to be at peace you need to pray for Strength to stay calm until God arise to help. "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" ... Matthew 8:26... For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today. Matthew 11:23

It's good to be alert but God knows deep down inside if your intentions are right with him you won't panic - Hey everyone has the fear but Do not think it's what you see in the movies. It's different for those who have strong spirit of God. The wind may tear mountains and break rocks into pieces before the Lord, but the Lord is not in the wind and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord is not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice 1 Kings 19:11-13. It is only those who stay calm that will hear the "still small voice". Not the stormy heart only calmed heart. 

Calm heart is like Heaven and Heaven is a place where sorrow never wander, where joy blooms and happiness ponders. If the heaven is truly inside of you then you must be calm. God is powerful and strong enough to fight your battles for you. From now on, receive strength to stay calm. Amen

Prayer: Heavenly father, I confirm that you are God and I would love to have a calm and confident heart. I pray for strength to stay calm always in Jesus name. Amen. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Sister and Mother of Strength

 An Emoji Devotional for Thu, June 3 2021

Topic: The Sister and Mother of Strength


Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Song of Songs 2:15 NIV

Strength has family members. On the stage today, I present you the strength and it's family. You will need them to catch the foxes that ruins your vineyard. Foxes doesn’t come and only eat the fruit of the vine–they do much more damage. They like to gnaw on the trunk, dig holes around it and expose the roots. They don’t simply eat the grapes, they like to destroy the entire vine! 

Things like unresolved conflicts, addictions, negative mindsets and laziness are examples of foxes that ruins blossoming vineyards. We will need Strength and it's co to win the foxes of life.

Foxes are extremely smart and stubborn. They will watch you and your habits and learn when it is the safest to make an attack on your poultry and vineyard. But Strength alone cannot chase Foxes away, you need Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding to chase Foxes. Proverbs 4:7 says "Wisdom is supreme; so acquire wisdom. And whatever you may acquire, gain understanding." The  three sisters of Strength are Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding but the mother of them all is Vision. If you want to make a difference in the world today, you will need to have Vision also known as Divine Revelation or Divine Guidance. It will unravel the mystery behind chasing away foxes of life permanently. 

The vision I am talking about is divine guidance. Proverbs 29:18 says that "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful."

Do you know that anyone who is lead by divine guidance will work wonders because they have automatic wisdom, knowledge, understanding and strength combined. Foxes don't like urine. You will have to chase them away by urinating in their den(s) and off they will go far away from your vineyards. Strength alone is not enough to discover a solution. We must connect to the source of strength itself which is Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:13 says We can do all things through Christ that Strengthens us. 

Our default mindset is one of defence and self-protection. But we do have to "Trust in the LORD with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding; Proverbs 3:5. When we obey and meditate on divine laws written in the Holy Bible, we will have good success through Divine Guidance. Joshua 1:8. 

Prayer: Help, O LORD, Give me divine guidance in Jesus name. Amen

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Strength of spiritual decency


An Emoji Devotions for Wed, June 2, 2021

Topic: Strength in Spiritual Decency


She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. Genesis 39:12

Do not copy the way others behave on internet. When you go to forums, videos, social media you will see them saying and doing things indecently all because of likes and comments. Though they speak foul languages with indecent lifestyles and got more followers for it - Do not think they do go Scott free. Our Lord Jesus Christ talked about attention seekers in Matthew 6:2 that temporary happiness is their reward and Afterwards they get depressed because they may not get enough attention as they expect from God. Luke 18:14.  

There is strength in decency most especially spiritual decency. Spiritual Decency is behaviour that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability before God and men even when people are not there looking at you. Although Joseph was a vibrant man, he chose to run away from sin of fornication even when no one was looking. That is decency. The strength decency gave him was trust and good records before God. It might not be fornication, it might be other indecent lifestyle, you should run away from it.  Do you know that God forbid gambling in Psalm 15? You should Google search your Bible more often to get answers to real life questions Matthew 7:7.

What will happen when God trust you because of your decent lifestyle? He will elevate you to take over big things and enter into everlasting happiness (Read Matthew 25:21). You cannot manage God's given talent with indecent lifestyles, it will always flop and you will not know why. The reason is because God is Holy. and decent. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) which simply means you must be spiritually decent Hebrews 12:14. Decency is very important in life and it is better to start living out early so that you will be able to cope. (see 1 Samuel 26:25).

 Some people do not know that bad behavior are indecent lifestyles because no one has ever explained it to them before. Please check Galatians 5:19-21 to see more examples of indecent behaviors shortlisted. 

In Job 31:1 Job said “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman." The strength of this decency trait was also part of what lead to his restoration. Miraculously, spiritual decency can lead to restoration of deteriorating health conditions back to full healthy life. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8. Decency does not have two name, you cannot adjust it. It's Either you are spiritually decent or not. Even you yourself can be the judge when you look at your life and honestly ask if you are spiritually decent or not. Read different Bible stories to learn more. Cultivate the habit of reading your Bible from now on to build on this important topic. God loves spiritually decent people. Act 4:13.

Prayer: Heavenly father please give me grace and mercy to be spiritually decent in your eyes. In Jesus name. Amen 

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

  An Emoji Devotions for Fri, June 11 2021 Topic: Shout for joy to God, all the earth! By H.U. Wenger Highlights: Praise be to God, who has ...