The Love Of God

Me: I love some ham!

Prodigal: I reckon you will enjoy supper then!

This is from the book The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) for our sins’ (4:10). In the Romans 3 passage, Paul takes the propitiatory nature of the cross (hilasterion) as the demonstration of God’s justice; here John takes it as the manifestation of God’s love. It is both equally. True love is God’s love, not ours, and he showed it among us (v9) by sending his one and only Son into the world that he might die for us and we might live through him. The two words ‘live’ (v.9) and ‘propitiation’ (v. 10) both betray the extremity of our need. Because we were sinners, we deserved to die under the righteous anger of God. But God sent his only Son, and in sending him came himself, to die that death and bear that wrath instead of us. It was an act of sheer, pure, unmerited love.

We have jobs to do. You have a job that needs done tomorrow. Yes, it is important. Jesus job was to love us so much He died for us. It took years to reach the point where He could fulfill this job duty. It took pain for Him to complete this act of Love. Do we thank Him for it. You already have. He is worth to really thank Him again.

Psalms 104:1-2

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.

Jennifer Van Allen

Making it Plain to Me

Me: Where did your friend go?

Prodigal: He took off like two hound dogs backed into a porcupine when she found out, I was going to go exercise.

Me: Well, I will stick around.

This is from the book All of Grace by C.H. Spurgeon

Let me give you a bit of personal experience. When I was under the conviction of sin, under the hand of the Holy Spirit, I had a clear and sharp sense of the justice of God. Sin, whatever it might be to other people, became to me an intolerable burden. It was not so much that I feared hell, but that I feared sin. I knew myself to be so horribly guilty that I remember feeling that God did not punish me for sin, He should do so. I felt that the Judge of all the earth ought to condemn such sin as mine. I sat on the judgment seat and condemned myself to perish, for I confessed that if I had been God, I could have done nothing else than send such a guilty person as I was down to the lowest hell.

There is a choice though and that choice is named Jesus Christ. He died for our sin so we would not have to pay the price. He may have excepted Jesus as Savior but we need a refreshing of our spirit. Sins have covered your soul and created a covering of dust on you. We go to Christ and ask him to examine our hearts and then repent of sins. It does not have to be done in front of all. No this is between you and the Lord. Afterward you will feel renewed and joy will return unto you.

Psalm 30:2

O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: Your’re as pert as a cricket with all this quilting.

Me: I am trying to get it done.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 6:22

When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. (ESV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Stand In Battle

Me: Some days we are the statue and some days we are the birds.

Prodigal: Yes, but everyday is a reminder that the Lord is King.

This is from the book The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A Kempis

If we would endeavour like brave men to stand in the battle, surely we should behold above us the help of God from Heaven. For He Himself who gives us occasions to fight, to the end we may get the victory, is ready to succour those who strive, and trust in His grace.

John 6:3

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

Jennifer Van Allen

When A Child Comes to Me

Me: A day spent with the children.

Prodigal: Yes, and it is great!

This is from the book How Can I Find You, God? by Marjorie Holmes

Dear God, whenever a child comes to me with questions, help me to find the answers; speak through me, don’t let me falter and fail him. And when a child begs, “Come with me!” let me go. And when a child says to me, “It’s so wonderful–I’ve found God!” don’t let me be indifferent or superior or amused; let me rejoice with him, let me share the wonder….And don’t let me call on you only in times of desperate need.

Keep close to me always as I try to raise my children. Be real to me, be real to them. Be a part of my life, and of theirs.

Psalms 30:11-12

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: I had to wait for you.

Me: I know, there ain’t no grass growin’ under your feet.

Prodigal: Well we can take a break now.

This is a short video devotion on proverbs

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 6:21

Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. (KJV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Angel in the Andes

Me: I like your sand castle.

Prodigal: It is a masterpiece!

Me: So is God’s work.

This is from the book Where Angels Walk by Joan Wester Anderson

From 1923 to 1928, Edman and his wife were young missionaries in the Andes, Ecuador. They lived on the outskirts of the city where they could reach both the Spanish-speaking citizens as well as the shy, suspicious Indians who passed their doorway on the way to market.

But their assignment was difficult. “The people were unfriendly, and some were fanatical in their bitter opposition to our presence in their city, ” Edman recalled. “On occasion, small crowds would gather to hurl insults as well as stones. The Indians from the countryside were especially timid about being friendly with us because of intimidation by the townspeople. As a result, it was often difficult for us to shop for the bare necessities of life–fruit and vegetables, or charcoal for the kitchen stove.”

Perhaps more burdensome than physical hardships was loneliness. The young couple was never fearful, but with a complete lack of a support group-even one encouraging friend in this unfamiliar land-their emotional isolation must have been intense. And because of their awareness that some stranger might harass them or get into their house to steal, they kept the grilled gate on their high iron fence locked at all times, probably adding to their sense of disconnection.

The couple often fed hungry strangers or attempted to buy necessities from passing Indians, and one noon as they ate on their patio at the back of the house, they heard a rattling on the gate. When Edman went out with the key, he saw a barefoot Indian woman standing on the other side of the gate, one hand inside the bars knocking on the chain with the padlock. She wore beads and the large heavy hat of the mountain women, along with a dress of coarse woolen cloth and a brightly colored homemade belt. On her shoulders was a bundle, and a blue shawl, but she did not appear to have merchandise of food to sell. Edman hadn’t seen her before.

As he approached, she began to speak softly in the mixture of Spanish and Quichua typical of the Indians who lived close to town. Pointing to a Gospel verse the Edmans had posted on the porch, she then asked, “Are you the people who have come to tell us about the living God?”

Edman was startled. No one had ever asked him that. “Yes, Mamita (little mother),” he answered. “We are.”

The woman then raised the hand that was still inside the gate and began to pray-for blessings upon the couple’s house, for their courage to follow His guidance, for joy in the task. Finally, she blessed Edman, withdrew her hand, smiled at him, eyes shining, then bowed and turned to go.

He had been taken aback at her friendly support that he was speechless. Then, realizing that it was hot and the Indian woman should be invited inside to eat and rest, he quickly unlocked the gate and stepped through to call her back. In the time elapsed, she could not have gone more than five or ten yards in any direction. But she was not there.

“Where could she have gone so quickly? It was at least fifty yards from our gate to the corner of the street, and there was no opening along that stretch.” Edman ran to the corner–assuming that is she had gotten that far, he could surely see her–but again, no woman, no passages into which she could have slipped. He went to the nearest open gate and asked two men repairing a wheel if an Indian woman had passed or come in.

They both looked up. “No, sir.”

“I mean just now.”

“Sir, we have been here for an hour or more,” one answered,” and no one has entered or left during that time.”

Psalms 86:4-5

Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Jennifer Van Allen

My Response

Me: Your friend is some kinda pretty.

Prodigal: Yes, it is all the hair!

This is from the book Simple Faith by Charles Swindoll

I am like James and John.

Lord, I size up other people

in terms of what they can do for me;

how they can further my program,

feed my ego,

satisfy my needs,

give me strategic advantage.

I exploit people,

ostensibly for your sake,

but really for my own sake.

Lord, I turn to you

to get the inside track

and obtain special favors,

your direction for my schemes,

your power for my projects,

your sanction for my ambitions,

your blank check for whatever I want.

I am like James and John.

Change me, Lord.

Make me a man who asks of you and of others,

what can I do for you?

Proverbs 21:21

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Jennifer Van Allen

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: I am ready to take a load off.

Me: Me too. Let’s rest here for awhile.

This is a short video devotion on Proverbs 6:20

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 6:20

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching (ESV)

Jennifer Van Allen

Deep End In the Pool

Me: I love the pool in the summer!

Prodigal: Me too!

This is from the book Psalm 91 by Peggy Ruth and Angelia Schum

The summer that Cullen was five years old, I was swimming with him and his cousins in their pool. One of the adults had said, “Ok, everyone out of the pool.” Everyone else had headed inside the house, when Cullen saw a plastic life raft come floating by. He said, “Hey, James, watch this,” as he stepped off the side of the pool onto the raft like it was a solid piece. It flipped out from under him, and he fell backward into the water, grazing his head on the side of the pool as he fell.

It was deep end of the pool, and I watched Cullen, with his arms and legs outstretched, just start sinking to the bottom. I dove in and grabbed him under the arms, but he is unusually big for his age and weighed more than I did. His dad always said that he felt like a chunk of lead when you tried to lift him, so I wondered if I could get him to the top of the water–especially since he must have been dazed from scraping his head on the concrete.

I knew we were in trouble, so I called on God, and suddenly, I felt someone grab me from behind and begin pushing Cullen and me straight up from the bottom of the pool. (I thought one of the adults had seen us and dove in to help me.) I shot up out of the water with Cullen above me. Then it was like someone pulled Cullen from my arms and laid him on the side of the pool. (I was in water way over my head, so there was no way I could have lifted dead weight out of the pool.) Cullen started crying and coughing, and when I looked around, no one was there–absolutely no one! I knew God had heard me call, and He had sent an angel to answer my call.

Psalms 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Jennifer Van Allen