Archive for January, 2008

We Made It Through Another Day

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.& Psalm 98:1-3 KJV

Have you ever had a day when it seemed like everything came against you, that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong? I have received several emails in the last six months from people who have told me that it seemed like satan was attacking them daily through their jobs, through their health, through their finances, and even through their friends and families.

I have had one of those days. In fact, I have had several of those days and you probably have had one of those days also. The good news is that no matter how many obstacles and hurdles that satan places in front of us and no matter how many poisonous arrows of criticism and sarcasm satan hurls at us, Jesus will always bring us through every trial and every obstacle victoriously.

It is always safe to trust in Jesus. He is faithful to keep His promises. What He says, He will do. He is more than able to bring our wandering children back to Him and to us. He can take a cold heart that is filled with hatred and violence and melt it and then fill the heart with unconditional love and compassion for people. There is nothing too hard for Jesus! He not only is the Saviour of the world; He also saves and delivers us from people who come against us with criticism and sarcasm.

Yes, because of the mercy and compassion of Jesus we made it through another day victoriously. Whatever is going on in your life today, whether you have financial problems, children who have gone astray, marital problems, poor health or anything else negative, Jesus is more than enough for you. He will take your hand and lead you through the darkness of despair and through the valley of hopelessness and once again set your feet on the mountain top of joy, peace and happiness. Reach out and take the hand of our precious Saviour. He is waiting for you with a heart filled with compassion and unconditional love.

Christians in Recovery®
Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

God’s Laundry Basket

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. John 13:3–10 KJV

As I looked at the dirty clothes in my laundry basket yesterday that I needed to wash, the thought came to me that this is exactly what God did for us. He washed all of our filth and our sins from us through the atoning cleansing blood of His beloved Son. I can wash my clothes in the washing machine and they will come out clean but I could never have washed the filth and the sins from my life and got them clean no matter how many times I washed.

It was only by humbling myself, admitting that I was a sinner and asking Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart to be my personal Saviour that I am clean today. Thank God for His mercy, unconditional love, forgiveness and grace that He bestowed on us the day He sent His Son into the world on His mission. Thank You, Jesus for dying for us so that we might be made clean through the blood you shed for us on Calvary.

One day as God looked down on the earth and saw all of the violence and all of the sin (Psalm 53: 2, 3); He knew that we needed help. His heart was moved with compassion for us as sheep having no shepherd. Out of His heart of unconditional love, amazing grace and mercy for us, He sent His only beloved Son into the world and gave Him the commission to take all of our filth and sins on Him and to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Indeed, Jesus paid the price that we could never pay.

Have you been washed in the blood of Jesus? If not, you are still dirty and you stink in the nostrils of Jesus. If you have never given your heart and life to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you for your sins and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour, I urge you, I plead with you to do it right now, right this minute, before it is too late. One day, it will be too late for you to say yes to Jesus. Don’t put it off. This is the most important decision that you will ever make. Give your heart and life to Jesus now!

Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

More Than One Kind

Monday, January 14th, 2008

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." Mark 10:13-16 KJV

I have to be honest with you and tell you that I do not want to write this devotion because it is very painful for me to write it. It brings back memories about things that happened to some friends of mine when I was young. However, Jesus told me to write it and above everything else in my life, I want to make Jesus happy. I know that when I am obedient to write what He inspires me to write that it makes Him happy so I am writing it.

As you read this devotion, I ask that you would pray for me as tears are in my eyes and in my heart as I am writing this. I am reading a story about a little boy that has been burned with cigarettes and it is making me very nauseous. When I was younger, I knew someone who had been burned with cigarettes when he was a little boy. The horror, the pain and the agony that I saw in this boy’s face as he told me about his dad burning him when he was just a little boy at home, is forever etched in my heart.

As heartbreaking and tragic as this story is about this little boy, there is more than one kind of abuse that children are subjected to every day. There are some children who are being ridiculed, rejected, cursed and told that they are no good and will never amount to anything by their own parents in their houses. You noticed that I did not say "in their homes". The reason why I didn’t say "in their homes" is because a home is where love is and a house is a building you live in. These precious children, who Jesus loves dearly, are being mistreated and abused physically, emotionally and spiritually and they are living in houses that are filled with hatred and violence.

In our scripture reference today, Jesus not only was displeased because they tried to keep the young children from Him, He was much displeased! Jesus loves our children more than we could ever love them and He is very protective of them. When our children get involved in things that hurt Him, just as He is faithful to forgive us when we do things that displease Him, so He forgives our children and brings them back to Him.

There are some parents who have been praying for years for their children and sometimes it seems like their prayers are not being heard, let alone answered. God hears our prayers unless we have sin in our hearts. We must be sure that there is nothing in our hearts that displeases and hurts God before we ask Him for anything.

It is very arrogant of us to ask Him to do something for us if we have not asked Him to search our hearts and remove anything that is hindering our relationship with Him. Also, God is not a name it and claim it God. He is a Holy God and we need to go to Him with a humble attitude and give Him the respect that He deserves.

If you have pain in your heart today because of the way you were treated when you were a child, tell Jesus. He knows about it but He wants you to tell Him how you are feeling. He understands how it feels to be rejected, criticized, abused and tortured. He has felt all the pain that you feel so He can really relate to your pain and hurt. Allow Him to kiss away your tears with His compassionate unconditional love.

Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

He Loved them All

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

“Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.” John 11:5

This verse teach us that Christ loves all
who are true Christians.

The characters of these three people seem
to have been somewhat different. Of Martha,
we are told in a certain place, that she was
“anxious and troubled about many things,”
while Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His
word.” Of Lazarus we are told nothing distinctive
at all.

Yet all these were loved by the Lord Jesus. They
all belonged to His family, and He loved them all.

We must carefully bear this in mind in forming
our estimate of Christians. We must never forget
that there are varieties in character, and that the
grace of God does not cast all believers into one
and the same mold.

Admitting fully that the ‘foundations’ of Christian
character are always the same, and that all God’s
children repent, believe, are holy, prayerful, and
Scripture loving; we must make allowances for
wide varieties in their temperaments and habits
of mind. We must not undervalue others because
they are not exactly like ourselves.

The flowers in a garden may differ widely,
and yet the gardener feels interest in all.

The children of a family may be curiously unlike
one another, and yet the parents care for all.

It is just so with the Church of Christ.

There are degrees of grace, and varieties of
grace; but the least, the weakest, the feeblest
disciples are all loved by the Lord Jesus.

Then let no believer’s heart fail because of his
infirmities; and, above all, let no believer dare
to despise and undervalue a brother.

J. C. Ryle, “The Gospel of John”

The Light is Still On

Friday, January 11th, 2008

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18 KJV

There is only one verse for today’s devotion but it says it all. I recently read about a man who had run away from God because of some tragedy in his life. Instead of turning to God in his time of need, he got angry at God and ran away from Him. This man had Jesus, the light of the world, in his heart. Jesus hadn’t left this man and the light was still in his heart, but this man chose to extinguish the light of Jesus and go out into the darkness of anger and rebellion. However, we should not judge this man and say that he did a terrible thing by running from God.

I think if we are honest with ourselves, all of us have at one time in our lives run from God. Oh we may not have rebelled against God and left God for years as this man did, but there have probably been times in our lives when God spoke to our hearts and told us to do something. Sometimes we ignored Him. Other times we said that we were too busy and it didn’t fit into our schedules on that particular day when He wanted us to do something for Him.

The saddest thing is that sometimes we just didn’t care that God asked us to do something. I believe that you and I hurt Jesus every day of our lives in some way. We don’t do it intentionally but every time that we say something unkind to someone or do something to hurt someone, it makes Jesus very sad and hurts Him.

Someone was asked to become a prayer partner for the ministries that God has entrusted to me. This person sent me an email and said "I am too busy to pray. My job has to come before everything else." How that statement must have hurt the heart of our precious Saviour. What would have happened if Jesus had been too busy to go to the cross to die for us on that dark and horrible day? What if He hadn’t said while hanging on that cross of torture "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23: 34)? We would be on our way to hell for all eternity. Thank God that Jesus wasn’t too busy for us the day that He was crucified for our sins.

I don’t know what is going on in your life, what heartaches and burdens you are carrying, but Jesus knows. If you will listen with your heart, I believe you will hear Him say to you "My light is still there in your heart to guide you and lead you through the darkness of despair and hurt". If you are hurting today, instead of extinguishing the light of hope in your heart, run into the outstretched waiting arms of Jesus.

He is longing to comfort and encourage you and kiss away your tears but you have to go to Him and tell Him that you need Him. Jesus is a gentleman and He will never force Himself on you. Is the light of Jesus burning brightly in your heart today or have you allowed satan and the cares of this world to extinguish the light of the world? If you have, ask Jesus to please turn on the light of His compassion, unconditional love and understanding once again. He will be faithful to fill your heart with His light and with His peace, the peace that the world can’t give you.

Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

And Jesus Wept

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" John 11:32–36 KJV

We had an unusual cold spell here recently and the newspaper had many articles telling about the homeless sleeping outside in the bitter cold temperatures. When I read those articles, I got tears in my eyes and I cried. I had wanted to open my home to some of those people when the weather report said it was going to be freezing but I don’t have an extra bedroom.

I believe that as Jesus looked down on those precious people without a home or a bed and saw them sleeping in the streets in the cold that He wept. He can certainly relate to them because He also didn’t have a home or bed when He was born. I have read articles stating that Jesus doesn’t weep any more because He is in Heaven.

I submit to you on the authority of the Word of God that just because He is in Heaven does not mean that He has stopped caring about us and being concerned for us. The Bible tells us several times that Jesus was moved with compassion. He is still a compassionate and caring Saviour. He weeps when we cry and He laughs with us. He is the dearest and most precious friend that we could ever have. His heart is tender and He really does love us.

He not only is a loving and compassionate Saviour; He is an understanding Saviour. He understands that we will hurt Him and fail Him because we are human. He doesn’t condemn us when we hurt Him and fail Him. He whispers softly in our ears as His loving arms go around us "I love you and I forgive you and I will never hold it against you again." Oh that you and I would have the compassion and unconditional love in our hearts that our precious Saviour has in His heart.

I believe another thing that made Jesus very sad and even angry was that the same time the newspapers and television were reporting about the homeless people sleeping in the cold, they were also reporting that thousands of dollars were being spent to build big buildings. When will we ever grasp in our hearts that Jesus is not impressed with our money and with material things? The only thing that touches our dear Heavenly Father and our precious Saviour is the condition of our hearts.

As He sees the fighting and the abuse that goes on in our homes and families, I believe that our precious Saviour weeps and His heart is broken. It is time that you and I start making Jesus happy instead of making Him sad. If ever someone deserves to be happy, it is Jesus! He does so much for us, yet He asks so little of us. One of the things He has told us to do is to love one another unconditionally as He loves us. All too often, we fail Him in this area of our lives.

Are you making Jesus weep or are you making Him laugh? When He looks in your heart and sees what is in it, does His heart rejoice or does it make Him sad? Have you allowed unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness and criticism to enter your heart? If so, ask Him to forgive you and help you to once again love people unconditionally as He has commanded us to do. Again, is Jesus weeping or laughing because of what is in your heart?

Christians in Recovery®
Joanne Lowe
Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

Locked Up

Monday, January 7th, 2008

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3-4 KJV

I have received several emails over the last three months from people who have relatives and friends who are locked up in jail. All of the emails were heartbreaking and they brought much sadness to my heart. However, there is another jail that people are locked up in but it isn’t for anything wrong that they have done. It is an emotional jail that has been created by satan with his poisonous barbs of lies and deception.

The most tragic thing about this jail is that sometimes satan uses wonderful people, even people who are saved and love Jesus, to say harsh and criticizing words to people and the hurt and pain from those words are what confines them to this horrible emotional jail. When we are locked up in this emotional jail, there is no medicine that a doctor can prescribe for us that will get us out of this jail.

Oh, the medicine may temporarily dull the hurt and pain but after the effects of the medicine wears off, the overwhelming pain and devastating hurt is still there and many times we hurt worse than we did before we took the medicine. There is only one person who can get us out of this emotional jail and His name is Jesus. He too was criticized, rejected, scorned, cursed, judged and laughed at when He was here on earth so He really does understand the pain we feel in our hearts when people say these cruel words to us.

We must always remember that we also say unkind and cruel words to others when we get angry because we are human and we are not perfect. There was only one perfect person who ever lived or ever will live and His name is Jesus. May you and I never be guilty of saying things that locks others in this emotional prison created by satan.

Jesus can’t release us from this emotional jail until we first come to Him and admit that we need help and ask Him to please help us. Sometimes we are put into this emotional prison by what we do. There are times when we take off eyes off of Jesus and put them on our circumstances and instead of feeling the peace that only Jesus can give us, we are locked up once again in this emotional jail. We must keep our hearts, our eyes and our minds on Jesus if we want to live a peaceful life.

If you are locked up in this emotional jail that has been created by satan to discourage us, defeat us and keep us from serving Jesus, ask Jesus to please release you from the tortured thoughts you are having. He will be faithful to encourage you and comfort you. He loves you and He proved His love for you when He allowed them to crucify Him on the old rugged cross for your sins.

If you have never given your heart to Jesus, I urge you; I plead with you to do it even as you read this devotion because Jesus could come back for us anytime and you will be left behind if you have not asked Him to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour. Please don’t wait another minute. It is the most important decision that you will ever make in your life. Say yes to Jesus before it is too late!

Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

Wrinkles of the Heart

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11: 28-30 KJV

Over the holidays, I received a lot of emails from people who are heartbroken and who are going through some very difficult and sad situations. Just as we get wrinkles on our skin when we worry, so we get wrinkles in our hearts when we worry. We need Jesus to get out His iron of understanding and unconditional love and gently remove the wrinkles of worry, frustration and discouragement from our hearts. I have good news for you, my friends. Jesus said that He will give us rest. There is no situation or crisis too hard for Jesus.

Whether our lives are fragmented, or whether we have broken homes and our marriages are falling apart and we are going through a nasty divorce, or we have loneliness, discouragement, heartaches, sorrow and desperation in our lives, He is more than enough to bring us through every heartache and every crisis into victory. Jesus is all that we need and He will walk with us through everything that satan hurls at us. Jesus will take our hands and walk with us through the dark valleys and will once again set us on the mountaintops of joy, peace and happiness.

If today you are hurting and you have wrinkles of worry in your heart, allow Jesus to take His iron and remove them with His unconditional love, His understanding and His care for you. He will be faithful to take your hand and walk with you and hold you close to His heart of understanding and love. There is no one like Jesus! No one loves us like our dear Heavenly Father and our precious Saviour loves us.

Reach out and take His hand as He is waiting for you to come to Him so that He may comfort and encourage you. He will hold you close to His loving heart and will whisper softly in your ear "I love you and I understand how you are feeling. I will never leave you, not even for one minute. You can trust Me because I will never hurt you." Run as fast as you can into the loving arms of our precious Saviour and you will once again feel the peace, joy and happiness that only He can give to you.

Christians in Recovery®
Joanne Lowe
Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

All That We Need

Friday, January 4th, 2008

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Philippians 4:19-20 JKV

What do you need today? Do you need a bed to sleep on? God will supply it for you. For a month, I didn’t have a bed to sleep on. I slept on a concrete floor. God not only gave me a bed to sleep on; He gave me a home of my own to live in. Do you need food to eat? He will feed you and He will provide everything that you need if you will only trust Him and not doubt Him. Are you lonely? God will give you friends. He gave us His beloved Son. Jesus is our faithful friend and He never leaves us, not even for one minute.

I have received a couple of emails from people asking me why I am recording my writings on CD and mailing them to people who request them. They said "You must have a lot of money." I told them "No, I do not have a lot of money. I am on Social Security and Disability but I have a Heavenly Father who supplies all of my needs because He promised me that He would." When I surrendered to the mission field, Pastor David prayed the most beautiful prayer for me and said "God will supply everything that you need for the ministries that He will entrust to you."

Was it easy for me when I first stepped out on faith to serve Jesus? I have to be honest with you. No, it wasn’t easy at all. Up until January 24, 2005, I didn’t trust anybody and I didn’t like anybody because of the sexual, the physical and the emotional abuse that I had endured. I wasn’t even looking people in the eye at that time. I began to realize that what I had endured was nothing compared to the abuse, the torture, the rejection and the heartaches that Jesus endured. I still thought that I had nothing to contribute to the world. In myself, I still don’t have anything to give to the world, but I have the Saviour of the world living in my heart and I can give His love to everyone I meet.

When I received the first hate filled email from someone after I started sending my devotions, I cried. That made satan very happy and he tried to discourage me from serving Jesus by lying to me and telling me that Jesus didn’t love me and couldn’t love me because I was no good. I had been told that I was no good for so many years when I was younger that for about ten minutes I believed satan when he told me that lie.

However, when God gave me the ministries of encouraging pastors and writing devotions when Jesus inspires them, I told God that I would serve Him with all of my heart. I said "Father, I need You to please help me because I can’t do anything by myself." In twenty one days, I will have had the privilege of serving Jesus full time for three years, should Jesus tarry His return for us.

I have not always had all that I wanted or thought that I needed, but Jesus always provided what I really needed. When it comes right down to it, all that I need is Jesus. He is more than enough for every crisis, every need and every heartache. He cries with me and He laughs with me. The greatest thing He has done for me during these last three years is to continually whisper in my ear "I love you, Joanne, and I will never leave you." He has proven Himself to be faithful to help me write the devotions as He promised me He would.

No matter what is going on in your life and no matter what you need, Jesus is all that you need. He will take your hand and walk with you through the dark valleys. He will be your light in the middle of the darkness of despair. He will comfort you and encourage you. He will hold you in His tender loving arms of compassion and understanding when people criticize you. There is no friend like Jesus! No one loves us like our dear Heavenly Father and our precious Saviour loves us.

Worthy is the Lamb of God! All hail, King Jesus! Your name is above every name. Jesus, You are the beautiful Rose of Sharon and the bright and morning star. You are wonderful, amazing, kind, considerate, understanding and compassionate. Oh how I love you, Jesus! Thank You so much for loving me and for caring what happens to me. I long for the day when I shall see You face to face and be able to hug You and try to tell You in person how much I love You. Again, thank You for loving me and for being all that I need.

Joanne Lowe
Copyright 2088 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved

God’s Wheel Chair

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV

When we see someone in a wheelchair, we understand that they have a physical problem and need the wheelchair to get around. Often we have trials, heartaches and crises and we need God’s wheelchair to carry us through life. The ones in His wheelchair are the people who are hurting, lonely, discouraged and defeated, have broken hearts, broken homes and fragmented lives. All of us have been in God’s wheelchair because all of us hurt.

The Bible tells us that Jesus carries our sorrows and bears our griefs. What a precious friend, this Jesus of Nazareth! He loves us unconditionally and He loves us so much that He died for us. He took our sins on Him and paid the price for our sins because we could have never paid the price. He understands how we feel when we are hurting because He also endured loneliness, heartache, rejection, ridicule, criticism and sarcasm.

We are to help Jesus push His wheelchair by being kind to one another. We help push His wheelchair by forgiving others when they hurt us and by loving one another unconditionally. All too often, we fail Jesus in these areas of our lives. Many times we put conditions on our love. I am so grateful that Jesus loves us unconditionally. We would be in terrible trouble if He didn’t.

If you are hurting today and feel like it is impossible for you to give another smile and keep going, get in God’s wheelchair and allow Him to carry you until the crises, the heartaches and the discouragement goes away. As He carries you in His wheelchair of love, He will kiss away your discouragement, loneliness, heartaches and frustration with His unconditional love, understanding, and compassion. He will carry you until you are able to smile once again. Are you helping Jesus push His wheelchair by being kind and loving to people?

Copyright 2008 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved