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.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

10/03/2017 PBJ Devotional

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (1 Kings 3:5, 9 ESV)

Understanding:  שָׁמַע  shaw-mah'; a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.

Mind/Heart: לֵב Lav = inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding, heart (of moral character), mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, determination (of will), conscience.

Here is my paraphrase of what Solomon is asking God for. Give me a hearing heart, attuned to the will and wisdom of God, that in obedience, I may have what is necessary to fulfill God’s purposes for the good of His people.

When you consider the position that you are in, perhaps as a parent, spouse, employer, minister, elected official, whatever you place in life you find yourself, you are encouraged to ask God for wisdom.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5 ESV)

James gives us a good working definition of the wisdom that we seek. “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”  (James 3:17 ESV)

The wisdom we seek is also enhanced by our life experience and training, which, in turn, helps us to rightly discern good from evil.

“For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! 14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.” (Hebrews 5:13-14 AMPC)  

The Apostle Paul’s prayer for all of us all is that we would continue in our spiritual grow to full maturity in discernment and truth, bringing honor to God and blessing to others.

And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], 10 So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].  (Philippians 1:9-10 AMPC)

Lord Jesus, I earnestly ask that you would “Give me a hearing heart, attuned to the will and wisdom of God, that in obedience, I may have what is necessary to fulfill God’s purposes for the good of His people.” Amen.