Archive for the ‘Devotional’ Category

Taking a Sabbath Rest

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Today’s Verse: But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work…Deuteronomy 5:14 (NIV)

My car crawled slowly northward in the rush-hour traffic. I had stared at the same rear bumper for ten agonizingly slow miles. “The Best Never Rest!” it proclaimed. As I pondered that statement, I realized that, indeed, the Best had rested on the seventh day of Creation. In fact, He thought it was so important that He mandated rest for the land as well as the people He had created. But why had He rested? Surely God didn’t get tired, did He?

With a start I realized that God rested because He was celebrating His holiness, His awesomeness, after a week that displayed His glory. And, as our Father, He was modeling that pattern for His children to follow. We set aside time for physical rest each day, even when we don’t feel tired. Vital health requires it. Likewise, regularly setting apart one day each week to reflect on God’s power and glory renews us spiritually, and gives us strength for the demands of the new week.

—Patricia S. Baker

“Day of all the week the best,
Emblem of eternal rest.” —John Newton, “Saturday Evening”

©2006 by Patricia S. Baker
First printed in The Quiet Hour, (September-November 2006, Vol. 70, No. 1, p.68)

Prevailing with God

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 35:6-10

Today’s Verse: God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. Genesis 35:10 (NIV)

When we first moved to our present home seven years ago, we quickly began planting trees on our barren acre of property. Situated on a hill, I worried about the constant effect of strong winds on the young trees.

“Shouldn’t we stake the trees?” I asked my husband. With his background in landscape and design, I trusted his judgment in all things requiring a green thumb.

“Don’t worry,” he replied. “The stress of the wind actually makes the trees stronger, encouraging the roots to grow and take hold.”

Many people today believe that the Christian life should be one of smooth sailing. Yet, the winds of trouble actually cause us to grow stronger in our faith. After Jacob wrestled with God, God named him “Israel,” meaning “he who struggles with God and prevails.” The walk of faith is one in which we can persevere through difficulty because God is with us, anchoring our faith and giving us the strength to prevail.

—Patricia S. Baker

“I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”
—John Rippon, “How Firm a Foundation”

©2006 by Patricia S. Baker
First printed in The Quiet Hour, (September-November 2006)