Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

Are They His?

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans, devises/deviseth, makes…  חָשַׁב  chashab

We think, plan, devise, invent, consider/are mindful of that which we want to do, want to be, think we need, think our next step ought to be.  

BUT… our Gracious God establishes, directs/directeth, determines… כּוּן   kuwn

He knows His plans for us and establishes our steps.  God is firm, stable, firmly establishes, sets up, fixes, securely determines, endures, directs aright, fixes aright, is steadfast, directs toward (moral sense), prepares, makes firm, provides all that we need or want when His will is ours.


Matthew Henry wrote these words on Proverbs 16:9:

“Man is here represented to us, 1. As a reasonable creature, that has the faculty of contriving for himself: His heart devises his way, designs an end, and projects ways and means leading to that end, which the inferior creatures, who are governed by sense and natural instinct, cannot do. The more shame for him if he does not devise the way how to please God and provide for his everlasting state. 2. But as a depending creature, that is subject to the direction and dominion of his Maker: If men devise their way, so as to make God’s glory their end and His will their rule, they may expect that He will direct their steps by His Spirit and grace, so that they shall not miss their way nor come short of their end. But let men devise their worldly affairs ever so politely, and with ever so great a probability of success, yet God has the ordering of the event, and sometimes directs their steps to that which they least intended. The design of this is to teach us to say, If the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that (James 4:14-15), and to have our eye to God, not only in the great turns of our lives, but in every step we take. Lord, direct my way, (1 Thessalonians 3:11).”

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”  James 4:14-15

Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;….  1 Thessalonians 3:11

Father, I know I try to plan my ways in so many things in my life.  I want to walk in Your will, LORD.  I want You to establish my steps, the way in which I should go, for I want to walk closer and closer to You.  The only way that can really happen is for me to loosen the reins, allowing You to control my steps, all of my steps.  I pray I will be mindful of that and of You.  I humbly pray this in Your Son’s Name.  Amen.  



Devotionals · God's Word · Pondering

The LORD said in His heart…

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.  Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:20-22


As we look another cold blast from the Arctic straight in the eye, we may be frozen to the bone, tired of winter, ready for summer or spring, anyway.  It is only the first week of March.  We may have weeks left of this winter weather.  We just don’t know.  But one thing we do know is that God told us that He will always have winter and summer, cold and heat, seedtime and harvest.  ALWAYS…while the earth remains.  He said it in His heart.

When you or I say things in our hearts, it more often than not is said with honesty, integrity, wholeheartedness.  We mean it.  Our hearts speak from the very being of who we are whom God made.  Our hearts speak with the openness and gloriousness of life.  

When God speaks in His heart, He speaks with His all, in His Truth, and the words spoken, whether silently or aloud, they are His very Word.  He says twice in verse 21, I will never again…. Neither will I ever again….  NEVER AGAIN.  He means that.  We, His children, know that.  As we learn to trust and revere Him as we grow in Christ, we come to realize that what God says, He speaks only Truth.  

So, we must accept these wintry blasts and walk in the snow for a breath of fresh air.  Or sit by the fire and keep warm.  Put on extra layers of clothing.  Let us spread our godly warmth to those who are cold, who need a bowl of hot soup, who need a jacket or pair of mittens.  Let us spread God’s Love by the warmth and truth that is in our hearts.  Winters are here to stay as long as there is the earth.

Father God, may we be Your emissaries to those who are cold without You. May we share Your love through kindness and caring, through giving and hugs.  May we stay warm ourselves because we are standing under Your wings of protection.  May we be a sweet aroma to You by our words and our actions.  In the beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God 
as a fragrant aroma.
 Ephesians 5:1-2