Karen's Devotions

This is a selected collection of my devotions e-published on Daily Devotions, Journey Christian Church, Irvine, California; George Bragg, Editor. To join the mailing list, email George, gbragg@cox.net.

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As a 25+ year homeschooling vet, post-cancer, math prof, mother of five, master's track and field athlete, and certificated private pilot, I have a lot to share about what God has done in my life. In 2000 I began writing devotions as something to try when it seemed like accoustic pianists were becoming an endangered species at church. I have since found great blessings from writing and sharing. God is good.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fighting Fire

Published May 21, 2007

Philippians 4: 8-9
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.

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I once had an engineering student who also wanted to enter the Fire Academy in Tustin, California. He said that there are three basic ways to fight fire. You can fight fire with fire, or “back fire” as it is called. You can also extinguish fire with a retardant such as water. Thirdly, using trenches, you can reroute or encase flames to cause minimal damage and to eventually run out of fuel. Depending upon the cause, conditions, and fuel, one or several of these basic methods are used to fight fires.

It’s interesting how solutions to relational “fires” parallel fighting real fires. In fact, the Bible mentions all three of these approaches. David slew Goliath in face-to-face combat chronicled in I Samuel 17. I Peter 4:8 says, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love covers a multitude of sins.’” Jesus rerouted the men ready to stone the woman for committing adultery in John 8:1-12. The hard part is determining when any one approach is the best approach.

Our verses address this. In verse 8 we see that a correct motive is the first priority. Your mind and heart will dictate your actions. Verse 9 focuses on actions based on pure motives. The result is given at the end, “… and the God of peace shall be with you.”

These verses are very powerful, so let’s read them several times today. Pray that God’s word with help you deal with a current “fire” in your life. Do you have a pure heart in the matter? Are your motives true? Consider a solution based on the three approaches discussed that will best reflect your motives. Now pray that when the fire is squelched, the promise of God’s peace will be with you.
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Dear God in Heaven, there are many personal “fires” in my life. I want the calming peace that you promise in your word. Help me to have pure motives in my actions to resolve the conflicts. Give me wisdom to know what type of actions I should take. And thank you Lord, for this day as an opportunity that others see you through my actions. In Jesus’ name, amen.