Dog Gone Wealthy

August 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cheri Cowell –

When I was growing up, we had a huge collie named Happy. Happy was the perfect dog for children; he was protective, playful, gentle, and a lot of fun. We often dressed him up like a doll, and he loved to play in the Water Wiggle with us in the back yard. It was my job to feed happy at night, which meant filling his water bowl, scooping a big cupful of dry food into his dish, and then topping it with table scraps. The bowl would almost overflow, but it didn’t take long for it to disappear. Every once in a while my father would stop at the butcher to get meat for our family, and while there, he always got a box of bones for Happy. Once a week, my sister and I would go into the freezer and get one of those bones for him. You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven. Today I believe he is enjoying a doggie banquet in heaven, where even the lowliest of us here on earth will one day sup with God.

The term ‘dog’ is the same word the Jews used to demean gentiles. In the scripture listed below, it tells a story of a woman used to approach Jesus while he was eating. Jesus was not demeaning the woman by using this term; He was showing the hypocrisy of those around her. She saw in Jesus someone whom she could trust so she offered to eat the scraps from His table if He would heal her daughter. This woman, a Canaanite enemy of the Jews, was then offered the best meal in town, for her faith brought her the very thing she wished. All of us are equal in God’s eyes, so one day we should not be surprised by who is seated next to us at His large banqueting table in heaven.

PRAYER I thank You, Lord, for the privilege of even allowed the crumbs from Your table, yet You have offered a seat of honor there. Help me treat others the way You see them – valuable, worthy, and to be honored.

“The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment” (Matthew 15:25-28 NIV).

Son Bleached

August 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

I was amazed the other day to discover young girls still use lemon juice in their hair during the summer. My teen girlfriends and I put lemon juice in our hair before heading to the beach. While out all day in the sun, the lemon juice would bleach our hair in streaks—a cheap highlighting job. If we returned to the beach day after day, those streaks would turn almost white. I remember one time, however, we tried this when spending a day at a friend’s pool. Some of you may be laughing right now because you know what happened. That’s right, our hair turned green. The lemon juice produces a chemical reaction with the chlorine in a pool that turns hair green. And there is no way to fix this problem, except to bleach your hair. I still chuckle with that memory. God knows all about highlighting, bleaching, and the solution for color mistakes.

In God’s color wheel, sin is given the color red—blood red. Purity is white—snow white. Though our sins are blood red, God’s forgiveness, or His purity, bleaches that sin, making it as white as snow. How does this process work? We begin by highlighting them, and then submitting them to the rays of His Son. Often, you and I try to make this process “easy” by skipping the step of bringing our sins into the Sonlight. Instead, we try to hide them in the pool of self-help, self-analysis, or self-pity. But these don’t really work and instead of white as snow, we get green with envy. Our only hope is to turn to God’s bleach bottle and blot out our transgressions. His solution is the only one that works.

PRAYER: I praise You God for Your gift of forgiveness that comes through the blood of Your only Son. Forgive me when I choose self-help, self-analysis, or self-pity instead of the wonderful free gift of forgiveness—Son bleached sin.

“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).

Sea of Forgiveness

July 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

Skipping stones across the water to see how far you can send it is a favorite lakeside pastime. This summer many families will camp or enjoy a picnic along the shores of lakes ensuring this age-old tradition will continue. Young and old, male and female, will enter into the competition to see who can skim it the farthest. I was never very good at it, but my dad was the king of skimming. He could make that stone go so far it looked as if it would never stop. My father was good at this game, but my Heavenly Father is even better at it. He takes the rocks that weigh us down and sends them sailing.

It is as if God, with His mighty hands and outstretched arms, takes the sins that weigh us down and hurls them across the universe. He sends those rocks skimming across the sea of forgiveness, which runs as deep and wide as His love. We stand at the shore and try to imagine how far that must be, but we cannot. No matter what sins we have committed, no matter how badly we have behaved, no matter what rocks are weighing us down, He wants to send those rocks sailing. All He requires is that we offer Him the stones.

AUTHOR QUOTE: Praise God for the depth of the sea of His forgiveness, and for His mighty hand, which chooses to hurl your sins across that sea. Ask Him to help you to give up the rocks that are weighing you down so He can set you free.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us” (Psalm 103:12 GNT).

I See You

June 27, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Cheri Cowell –

How silly we must look on Sunday mornings dressed in our Sunday best driving our air-conditioned fancy cars to attend worship, all the while passing by the real needs of the world. This idea struck me the other day when I passed by a church with its manicured lawns, and right across the street was an old man struggling to remove a fallen tree from his front yard. How many people at that church even knew the old man lived there? How many people saw the large oak tree in his yard and thought about his needs? There is nothing wrong with worshipping on Sunday morning, or even dressing up and driving our nice cars to church, but God doesn’t want us to miss the needs along the way.

The Pharisees probably knew the man with the crippled hand. He had no doubt been there before, praying, and offering sacrifices for his sins that supposedly caused his deformity. When the man entered the temple, Jesus was angered by the Pharisees’ desire to continue in their pious worship rather than tend to the needs of this man. They were more interested in playing the part of religious observer, than acting like the true follower they were supposed to be. Jesus not only wants us to worship Him, but that worship should cause us to see the needs around us, and to act upon them, healing in the name of Jesus.

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for the community of faith where I am able to worship the Word Made Flesh who came to serve and heal. On my way to worship this week, help me see beyond the walls of my church to the needs of the man or woman across the street.

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone.’ Then Jesus asked them, ‘Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent” (Mark 3:1-6 NIV).

Ants

June 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

“As boring as watching ants” the saying goes. It is obvious the person who created this saying never watched ants. Have you? They are fascinating. I was weeding the other day and came across an ant bed. As I paused to watch them I was struck by how busy they were, each one doing his or her own job, not caring what the other ants were up to. They seemed to be driven by a natural instinct to forge ahead no matter what obstacles were laid before them. To test this theory, I created a large log barrier in their path, and without missing a step they discovered ways around the obstacle. They continued in their pursuit of food and other things, which they dutifully carried into their home. God wants us to be more like ants, dutifully carrying out our jobs in spite of the obstacles that may come our way.

Proverbs is a collection of writings from the wise men or teachers from the time of Solomon to the time of Hezekiah in 8 B.C. This section is about one of the pet peeves of the wise men: laziness. They believed slothfulness, as it was called, only led to failure and poverty. It was a wise man that would take a lesson from the ants and work hard even if no one was around to see what they were doing.

PRAYER: God, help me become like an ant today, busy at the tasks I am given while leaving the results up to You. No matter what obstacles may come my way; I want to be found busy doing the work of You, heavenly Father, when Your Son returns once again.

“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter” (Proverbs 6:6-8 NLT).

Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on topics of Christian discipleship. In addition to her books and articles, you can learn about her speaking ministry and sign up to receive her daily devotional at www.CheriCowell.com/.

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