Susan's Sanctuary

Daily Devotions

Behold I am vile; what shall I answer you?-job 40:4

We sometimes talk bold words before men, but not before God. Someone was speaking and complaining about all the evils in the world and stated in a demanding manor, “When I see God I have some questions-I have a lot of questions for Him?” This child leaned forward, looked him in the eyes and boldly said, “no you won’t. When you stand before Him you will not have any questions!” He seemed a bit startled and in silence nodded his head in agreement. Communion with God makes us aware of how holy He is and How unholy we are. It is not unusual for the true believer to carry about an awareness of the potential for sin and corruption. Not to be mistaken for a feeling of condemnation. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Oh Lord, You are Holy, Holy, Holy.

"Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."-John 15:3

Recently a loved one fell ill with a terminal illness. She always confessed a belief in Jesus, however, rarely read the Bible. She was an avid reader and read secular books. On one visit she complained that she didn’t have anything to read, even though there were six books beside her bed. I replied, “it looks like you have several books.” She said, “Aw, they are about boring stuff, every day life, I need a good book to read.” I left the hospital and bought her a Bible, then walked into her room, tossed it on her bed and said, “if that ain’t a good book, I don’t know what is.” She read it for a few weeks then her eye sight failed. About a week before she died I asked if she was still reading the Bible and she said, “my eye sight isn’t good enough to read anymore.” “Would you like me to read it to you?” I asked. She nodded. So I read the Bible to her on our visits. The day before she died I read the above verse. I read it then paused, due to the changed atmosphere in the room, there was a tangible sense of God’s holy presence. I read the verse again, slowly with a holy reverence and the sense of His holy presence in the room became more intense. I looked at her and she was smiling, she sensed the same holy presence. She died the next day. Thank the Lord for His reassurance of love and mercy for this family member. This event is a great source of comfort to her loved ones, now that she is gone. We know that She is in the palm of His hand through the power of His Word (Jesus). The words of the Holy Bible are quick (alive) and powerful!

In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the heights of the mountains are his also.-Psalm 95:4

Barnes’ notes state: “The word used here -mechqar- means the interior, the inmost depth; that which is ‘searched out,’ The primary idea is that of searching by boring or digging; and the allusion here is to the parts of the earth which could be explored only by digging.” The above scripture is clearly an expression of worship and awe at His all knowing presence. It is not a stretch to also see a relationship to our life in this earthly body. Our heavenly Father can see deep within our earthly body and life, He sees beyond our facade and He loves us anyway. Hallelujah! Sometimes we feel as though someone is digging or boring deep within us to expose weakness and corruption and to root it out. Nevertheless, in all things we give Him praise. 

For out of the abundance of the heart does the mouth speaks.-Luke 6:45b

It really doesn’t take very long to hear someone speak before it is revealed what is in their heart. Some time ago, we had a fellowship with Christians and there was one brother which on occasion, would make an inappropriate remark or joke. This was broadcasting what was in his heart and his private pursuits. We must, however, remember it is always easier to see the speck in our brother’s eye. On another occasion, I answered the land line phone and the answering machine was on. Several hours later I noticed the light blinking and listened to the messages. The whole conversation we had earlier was recorded. This child shook her head and thought, ‘there was too much Susan in that conversation.’ We must not neglect our personal and private time with our Lord in prayer and meditation, then it will be apparent in our conversation that we have spent time with Jesus.

But the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. -John 14:26

Some disputers of the word of God try to discount the Bible. They will say things such as: ‘The Bible was written years after Jesus. How could the writers possibly recall specific conversations Jesus had.’ They will often consent that Jesus was a good man and even a prophet. Well, here we have His word (prophecy) that the Holy Spirit will personally oversee their writings. That the Holy Spirit would remind them of the sayings of Jesus to recall specific conversations when they give an account. This promise also extends to us and the Comforter will remind us of His word when we need it. Take heart, Jesus did not leave us as orphans. We have a Comforter (helper). 

Pilate said unto Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said to them, I find in Him no fault at all.-John 18:38

What is truth? Pilate, no doubt, asked this question in a scornful manner. He did not wait for Jesus to answer and it appears that Jesus made no attempt to answer his question. Jesus said elsewhere, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Prior to the above verse in verse 37 He states, “for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.” The world is still posing this question to Christians with a sneering voice. What is truth? Truth is a representation of things as they are. The truth is, the people of this world are lost in their sin and they need a savior. No wonder most of them do not really want to hear the truth. The truth is humbling, the truth hurts. The Old Testament ceremonies of the Jews were shadows; Jesus was the truth (actual existence) of those ceremonies. The truth is, there is no fault in Him (Jesus) at all. Praise the Lord. 

CS Lewis quote:

"For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John."

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with honor and majesty.-Psalm 104:1

Lets be candid, sometimes we feel as if we don’t have any reason to praise the LORD. Again, ‘we just don’t feel like it.’ That is when we need to praise and bless Him the most. Begin to think on the verse above and praise Him just because He is very great; because He is clothed in honor and majesty. Command yourself to “bless the LORD.” This is the ‘sacrifice’ of praise. It wouldn’t be a sacrifice if we always ‘felt’ like it. When you do this, you will find your ‘feelings’ will change and come into line with His word. “Bless the LORD, O my soul.”

But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.-Gen 49:24

Joseph was persecuted, by his own brothers and by strangers. He was separated from his family, imprisoned. Yet, “his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” This brings to mind a father putting his hands over a child’s hands when teaching him how to use a bow. It is really the father that shoots and hits the target, while the child is taught, his hands are strengthened by the Father’s strength. We need our heavenly Father to strengthen us in every situation. May we, in every temptation and trial be made strong by the mighty God of Jacob. 

"I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord

No tender voice like Thine can peace afford

I need thee every hour in joy or pain

Come quickly and abide or life is vain”

Whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will acknowledge him before the angels of God.-Luke 12:8

Lets face it, death by crucifixion was meant to be a public shame and humiliation. Elsewhere, Hebrews 12:2 states regarding the death of the cross, “scorning its shame.” The world will still attempt to affix shame and humiliation to those who confess Jesus and the cross. In these days, the darkness is getting very dark and the world will ridicule relentlessly those who associate with the cross and attempt to make them appear simple and naive. Nevertheless, we are not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation. May the Lord grant us more boldness to confess Jesus and the cross before men.