Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Despised and Rejected

PBJ Devotional
By George M. Stahnke, 04/17/2018

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3 ESV)

What kind of man has the strength to go through life rejected and remains unbroken? What kind of man can face reproach, false accusations, humiliation, death and still be faithful to the call of the Father? It is the Lord Jesus Christ alone, the savior of mankind! He is the lamb of God. There is no pain, no sorrow, no sickness, no grief that he cannot identify with. There is no temptation that he has not endured and defeated.

"He was also 'a man of sorrows,' for the variety of his woes; he was a man not of sorrow only, but of 'sorrows.' All the sufferings of the body and of the soul were known to him; the sorrows of the man who actively struggles to obey; the sorrows of the man who sits still, and passively endures. The sorrows of the lofty he knew, for he was the King of Israel; the sorrows of the poor he knew, for he 'had not where to lay his head.' Sorrows relative, and sorrows personal; sorrows mental, and sorrows spiritual; sorrows of all kinds and degrees assailed him. Affliction emptied his quiver upon him, making his heart the target for all conceivable woes." (Charles Spurgeon)

Only Christ knows the extent of our pain. Only Christ can reach to the deepest part of our soul to bring hope and healing. Through faith in Him alone, the stain and consequence of our sins are removed.

Jesus, you alone understand the human condition with all its frailties and weaknesses. Only you can heal the deep wounds of our soul. Only you can help us deal with all our regrets, sorrows, and shame! It is to you alone that we can turn to for help, healing, forgiveness, and salvation!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

He Will Come to Save You

PBJ Devotional
By George M. Stahnke, 04/04/2018

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you." (Isaiah 35:3-4 ESV)

Considering the end times, and the evil that will prevail in the land is a fearful thing. Our Lord Jesus said, we would face tribulation in the last days but not to fear. (John 16) He is our advocate. He is at the right hand of the father praying for us. (Romans 8:24) He will not fail us. Though we may be tossed by the storm, shaken by the events to come, in Christ, we will continue to be unmoved. We will continue to stand in the truth of his love, and the sure knowledge did he will come to save!

Father God, oh how I love you! Give me the courage to face the days to come. Give me faith to face the shaking of the world and that having been shaken I will continue to stand firm. Strengthen my hands for the work you have called me to do. Strengthened my knees that I may ever be submitted to you in prayer and in practice. Amen

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

PBJ Devotional– Isaiah 12:1-2

PBJ Devotional
By George M. Stahnke, 03/13/2018

You will say in that day: "I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."  Isaiah 12:1-2 ESV)

The Lords word to me: “Though your sins were many and great come, I had mercy on you. Though you rebelled continually, I pursued you. Though you endangered your life through with self-destructive behavior and abuse, I spared and saved you. When through your ignorance you opened doors to evil and demonic spirits, I intervened on your behalf and drove back the enemy. When you called out to me, I was there waiting for you as a loving father for the return of his rebellious child. In your pain, I comforted you. I removed your guilt and I helped you deal with your shame. In your pain and loss, I comforted and sustained you. I am Abba father and you are my child by adoption, chosen before the foundation of the world to walk in fellowship together with me for eternity!”

Father God, I love you! I praise and thank you for my great salvation and the newness of life! Truly You have not dealt with me as my sin deserves. Thank you for the indwelling of Your Spirit and the refreshing that you brought to my soul today. I am your humble servant. Use me as you will for the good of your kingdom. Amen

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ephesians 6:6

George Stahnke PBJ 02/23/19

Ephesians 6:6 (ESV) not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Your true self is revealed as you work in secret. Your projected self is revealed in how you work when others are watching. We are called to live authentic lives before God and man. As Christ followers we are called to give our best, to shine as it were like a light upon the hill reflecting the true character of God in our daily living and work.

"As to the Lord means that all our work is really done unto the Lord, not unto man. “Grace makes us the servants of God while still we are the servants of men: it enables us to do the business of heaven while we are attending to the business of earth: it sanctifies the common duties of life by showing us how to perform them in the light of heaven.” (Spurgeon)

We are like reservoirs of water subject to the heat of the day. Our levels of spiritual strength and desires to please the Lord evaporate as we walk through life.  We are in constant need to be replenished least we become bone dry and an offense to the world! We will only succeed to the degree that we give ourselves to the Lord a new on a daily basis.

Father God, I think of the words of Jesus when he to his disciples, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41b). I confess that it is true also of me. My heart is to follow hard after you, but my flesh rises up in defiance to my spirit. Help me Holy Spirit, one decision at a time to be the man you have called me to be!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blessed in Heavenly Places

02/17/2018 Todays PBJ by George Stahnke

Ephesians 1:3 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

How privileged we are, above all others that we, as mear mortals would be called "the children of God." By the Spirit of adoption, we have been born again. Our many sins are forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Christ Jesus. If this were all we were to receive in this life it would be enough! Once we were dead in our sins alienated from God. Now we are alive in Christ Jesus and in renewed fellowship with Abba Father!

“Our thanks are due to God for all temporal blessings; they are more than we deserve. But our thanks ought to go to God in thunders of hallelujahs for spiritual blessings. A new heart is better than a new coat. To feed on Christ is better than to have the best earthly food. To be an heir of God is better than being the heir of the greatest nobleman. To have God for our portion is blessed, infinitely more blessed than to own broad acres of land. God hath blessed us with spiritual blessings. These are the rarest, the richest, the most enduring of all blessings; they are priceless in value.” (Spurgeon)

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Power of Music

11/03/2016 2 Kings 3:15 PBJ Devotional
“But now bring me a musician. And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him.” (2 Kings 3:15 ESV)

Music played by someone who loves the Lord, is indeed, a “minister of music.” They create more than just sound. They create a pathway for the spirit of the Lord to flow into a situation that can bring clarity and refreshing. Anointed music can bring the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and usher in the prophetic word of God! Such was the case with Elisha.

“Composure and serenity of soul were essential if the prophet was to hear the voice of God within.” Ellicott’s Commentary

“…the playing of any skilled minstrel had a soothing effect on those possessing the prophetic gift generally, and enabled them to shut out the outer world, and concentrate their whole attention on the inward voice which communicated to them the Divine messages.” Pulpit Commentary
Anointed music can also sooth the depressed, drive back demonic spirits, and bring times of emotional and spiritual refreshing to the afflicted.
“Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well." (1 Samuel 16:16 NIV)
I am personally grateful for the men and women who have recognized their gifting and honed their skills for the sake of ministry to the body of Christ and the world. I have personally benefited over the years. I owe them a debt that I can never repay!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Titus 3:1-2 Devotional

11/01/2017 PBJ Devotional

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (Titus 3:1-2 ESV)

Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded, as in verse one, to do every good work. Here the work is defined with respect to our attitude toward others. Humility and determination will be needed to bring every prejudice into check. For us to be successful in this biblical admonition, we must not see ourselves as better than others. We are the children of God, by faith alone in Jesus Christ, but we are not better than our neighbor who may be carnal or unsaved! We are not of greater value to God than another, for he sent Jesus Christ into our world to save all men. How can we exemplify the love of God to the world in which we live if we believe that somehow, as Christ followers we are better than others? This is why we are instructed to have our speech seasoned with grace, to be peaceable, gentle showing every consideration for all men. Only as we walk in the power the Holy Spirit can we accomplish such a task!

Father God, as I consider the years that I have served I recognize that there have been many times when I have fallen short of this command. Forgive me for my pride and prejudice. Forgive me for speaking out of anger and being harsh with others. Help me humble myself that I may extend to all men the love of the Father, the forgiveness of Jesus, and the fellowship of the Spirit. Amen.