Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 26, 2018

Luke — No Matter What!

Day 3169: Had a nice birthday yesterday, but now another day closer to 70!

Scripture: The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how His body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.  Luke 23:55,56

Thoughts/questions: After all that had happened during the past few days of these women’s lives, they still were obedient. Their leader and the One whom they had put their hope in had suffered and been crucified. The finality of His death was then confirmed as they laid Him in the ground.

They couldn’t do much, but they could bring spices and perfumes to appropriately deal with Jesus’ body. Certainly that was the least they could do. But they didn’t! The Sabbath was upon them. It surely could be ignored considering the circumstances they faced. Rationalization could have easily happened, but it didn’t.

No matter what had happened to them, they remained faithful Can we follow their example? Or do we choose the rationalization route? No matter what happens, let us also remain faithful!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, when my faith waivers, help me to remain faithful . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 25, 2018

Personal Sharing — One Defensible Answer!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 24, 2018

Personal Sharing — This Is Us!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 22, 2018

Favorite Verses — Comfort!

Day 3166: Today’s devotion reinforces why Sunday (one of the 2 days of this post) truly is a day of celebration!

Scripture:  I should not be ignorant regarding those who have died, so that I will not grieve as those who have no hope.  For since I believe that Jesus died and rose again, I also believe that God will bring with Him those who have died in Jesus!  For the Lord has said that if I am living when Jesus returns, I will not precede those who are in their graves.  For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout; with the voice of the archangel; and with the trumpet of God!  Then the Christ followers who have died will rise first.  After that, those Christ followers who are living will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever!  I am to comfort and encourage others with these words!  I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Thoughts/questions:  Although Christ followers will also grieve when a loved one dies, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.

I was deeply reminded of this when I had to officiate at a funeral recently which did not have much hope. Characteristics of the lives of Christ followers should be forgiveness, acceptance, and hope. So as we go through the stages of grief, it is different – Our hope never has to be regained; acceptance is practiced regularly, not just in times of tragedy; and the possibility of forgiveness is an option immediately!

In life, death, or loss, we have a purposeful hope for now and for eternity! Yes, in death and during the difficult times of life, we can comfort others with these words!!

Suggested Prayer:  Father God, may I always find comfort in Your promises . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 21, 2018

Favorite Verses — Amazing Grace!

Day 3165:  Not just on Friday, but everyday it is only by God’s grace that we experience TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven!!!

Scripture:  For the grace of God that brings salvation has been revealed to me.  I am instructed to say “No” to ungodliness and sinful pleasures, and I am to live with self-control – uprightly and godly in this present age.  At all times I am to be looking forward to the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!  Titus 2:11-13

Thoughts/questions: Grace of God – His grace is commonly defined as ‘unmerited favor’ in which we don’t get what we deserve.  However, it is FAR more than even that.  His grace goes contrary to what we deserve!!  Grace takes us from a negative position (sinners who have separated themselves from a holy God) to a positive one (re-established relationship forever with the living God of the universe!)  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!!!

Sinful pleasures – In a movie an atheist shared how no longer believing in God was the most freeing thing that had ever happened to him.  After considering his comment in depth, I realized how true that statement would be to him.  No longer believing in God freed him to look forward to fulfilling any of his desires and to enjoy sinful pleasures without guilt or shame.

Instead, Christ followers are to look forward to the blessed hope – the present blessed hope of a life on earth filled with meaning and purpose beyond themselves, and the future blessed hope of eternal life when the Lord returns!!!

Suggested Prayer:  Father God, thank You for Your amazing grace . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 20, 2018

Luke — There’s a Difference!

Day 3164: Headed out to do a little camping! Grandkids coming to visit!

Scripture:  The centurion, seeing what had happened during the crucifixion, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went awayBut all those who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. Luke 23:47-49

Thoughts/questions: Reactions to Jesus are many and varied. In today’s verses, onlookers didn’t like what they saw, expressed frustration, and left. However, there was a distinct difference in the reaction of those who knew Jesus. Although not a perfect reaction, they hung in there and stayed with Jesus!

As Christ followers, sometimes we don’t realize that there IS a difference in our lives as well. Jesus has changed us, but because we live with ourselves, there are times when we don’t recognize how much we’ve changed. Our reactions are also often not perfect either, but we too hang in there and stay with Jesus. We don’t just walk away from Him.

So today, give yourself a break! Jesus doesn’t condemn us, and we should not be in the business of condemning ourselves either!

Suggested Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for forgiving and forgiving and forgiving . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 19, 2018

Personal Sharing — A War Between Hopes!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 18, 2018

Luke — Everybody’s Last!

Day 3162: This truly is the day which the Lord has made! And the only one we currently have.

Scripture: It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:44-46

Thoughts/questions: There are statistics about almost everything, but the most impressive statistic of all is that one out of one people die! Even Jesus.

We may not say it as Jesus did, and He chose to lay down His life, but we will all commit our spirit into God’s hands! And we don’t have any choice in the matter! ‘What a moment that will be, when my Jesus I will see.‘ A great line of a hymn and in a twinkling of an eye our spirit will be His forever!

Yes, we will breathe our last. The moment after – we can only imagine. The years before – now we’re talking. During these years, we have little control of things/people around us, but we do have control of little ole us!

Intentional today? Purposeful? Prioritizing the important? Minimizing time spent on the temporal? Loving your family and others God puts in your path? Or worrying too much about things that don’t really matter and giving them too much of your time, energy, and thoughts?

Almost daily we need to refocus. Hopefully today’s God2me helps you do just that!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, You lived and died with intentionality, love, and purpose. Help me to do the same . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 17, 2018

Luke — We’re All Equal!

Day 3161: Praise the Lord from Whom all blessings flow . . .

Scripture: But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentenceWe are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.”  Luke 23:40-43

Thoughts/questions: The thief who chose to rebuke the other criminal for putting Jesus down had it right – we are ALL under the same sentence. As Romans 3:23 so aptly puts it, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.‘ Jesus also got it right! We are also under the same sentence when we acknowledge Jesus for Who He really is. Our sentence is one of being with Him in paradise!

What a Father God we have Who makes salvation available to all and responds to all without being a respecter of a person’s status or even criminal record or whatever! A great way to refocus on Mondays – a focus on a forgiving Jesus who invites all to be with Him in paradise!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that even as You were suffering on the cross, You still continued Your life of forgiveness and love . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | September 15, 2018

Luke — Why Him?

Day 3160: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Scripture: As the soldiers led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26

Thoughts/questions: I wish this could have been Larry from Nipomo . . . .  How about you?

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for ALL you’ve done for me . . .

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