Devotions

Author Archives: Debbie Gabbara

Nobody?

Murder | Devotion 2: Nobody?
Debbie Gabbara

D.L. Moody said that Moses spent:
40 years thinking he was a somebody
40 years learning he was a nobody
40 years discovering what God can do with a nobody.

Though he was born to a Hebrew family, Moses spent the first 40 years of his life living like a prince, the grandson of the King of Egypt. Acts 7:22 (NASB) tells us that “Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and action.” Moses was raised to think he was a somebody.

Exodus 2:11-12 says, “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people.  He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”  

The Bible does not tell us how Moses came to know that he was a Hebrew, or if he always had knowledge of his true heritage. Yet there came a time when he made a choice, Moses chose God. He chose the Hebrew people, his people. He refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses saw the burdens of his people, and when he witnessed a slave being beaten, he intervened to help and murdered the Egyptian.

Sin does not go uncovered for long. The sands of life shift and the king soon heard about what Moses had done and wanted to kill him. The Hebrews did not understand why Moses, an Egyptian, was interfering in their affairs and the king was ready to put Moses to death for his crime. Moses must have been in much turmoil trying to understand his role, he was a prince, yet he was also the same as the Hebrew slaves. Moses fled to Midian and would stay there for 40 years learning that he was a nobody.

Acts 7:25 says, “He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand.”

Hebrews 11:24-26 adds, “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”

God had great plans for Moses from the day he was born. He chose Moses long before Moses chose Him. God would one day use this murderer, a nobody, to save His people.

It would take 40 more years for Moses to discover what God could do with a nobody.

One in a Million

Thirst | Devotion #5: One in a Million
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

An article entitled “Biblical Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus” from CBN says “The Old Testament is the part of the Bible written before Jesus was born. Its writings were completed in 450 B.C. The Old Testament, written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His life, death, and resurrection. Mathematically speaking, the odds of anyone fulfilling this amount of prophecy are staggering. Mathematicians put it this way: 

1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 

1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power 

1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Only Jesus!”

“Only Jesus!” Only Jesus, God in the flesh, could have fulfilled every single prophecy that was given concerning the Messiah, the One that God would send to save the world from our sins. One of those prophesies was fulfilled when Jesus spoke the words we find in John chapter 19 (NIV), “I am thirsty.” 

My mind can hardly stand to think about what Jesus had been through by the time He made that statement. Our Lord had been beaten, mocked, humiliated, stripped of his clothes and dignity, and nailed. He was nailed to a cross. The Bible tells us that Jesus hung on the cross for six hours. He went willingly for your sins and mine.  John 19:28 (NIV) says, “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’” 

John tells us that Jesus spoke those words to fulfill Scripture. Psalm 63:1 (NIV) reads, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Jesus left nothing undone that had been foretold. He fulfilled every single Scripture that had ever been written about the One that God would send to rescue us. His will was to do the will of His Father, no matter what the cost. Jesus completely fulfilled the mission that the Father had for Him here on Earth.

We live in a world that is parched. Are you thirsty for the will of God? Do you seek Him no matter what the cost? Do you long for Him? In John 4:14 (NIV), Jesus said, “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Let Jesus lead you to spring waters of life. Anyone or anything else will always leave you thirsty.

The Free Gift 

The Gift of Eternal Life | Devotion #6: The Free Gift
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

Everybody loves free stuff.  We once waited in line for nearly two hours to get a free tank of gas in our car. It is a fun memory. We happened to be driving by, at first we were irritated by all the traffic. It only took a little investigation to find out that a radio station was giving away free gas. Our attitude changed and all of a sudden we were not in that much of a hurry. We needed gas, and it was free! So, we got in the long line and waited. People are interested and intrigued by free. Free draws attention.  

The last part of Romans 6:23 tells us of the most precious “free” gift ever given, “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God has a free gift for each one of us. We desperately need His free gift. Our very lives depend on it. We can not buy the gift or work to earn the gift. Salvation is a free gift to all who believe. This free gift never runs out, it lasts forever, and it brings eternal life with God. We do not deserve the gift. All we have to do is believe and ask for it because Jesus paid all that was due. Yet, so many never accept the gift.

We talked about the last part of Romans 6:23, but what about the first part? The verse starts, “For the wages of sin is death.” This is the part of the verse that no one wants to talk about, sin. We are all born into sin. As my very wise granddaughter once said, “We just sin. We do not want to, but we just cannot help it, we all sin.” There is nothing good about our sinful nature. The Bible says the cost of our sin is death. We are born deserving to be separated from God forever. “But God” has a free gift that gives us eternal life with Him. “But God” loved us so very much that He sent His Only Son to die for you and me. All we have to do is accept the gift.  

When I think about what Jesus did for me, I am so overwhelmed with emotion. I am so undeserving of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. My sin deserved death. Jesus died on a cross to pay the sin debt that I owed, not because He thought that I deserved it, but because Jesus knew that I could never get to the Father without a Savior to give me the free gift of salvation.  

I love the song “Reckless Love. It talks about just how much God loves each one of us. I was His foe, I had no worth, yet Jesus, God’s only Son, left Heaven to come to this sin-filled world and chased me down so that I might one day say yes to Him.  

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me
And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

The overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God came for me, and He came for you. If you have not asked Jesus to come into your life and save you, you have not accepted God’s free gift of Salvation. Please do it right now.

My Defining Moment 

Define It | Devotion #3: My Defining Moment
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

I had been running from God for a long time. Although it was 28 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a long slow drive home from work on a snowy night in February. I worked in an office during the week and then worked at our business on the weekend. I was newly married, and our blended family gave us five kids. The kids were always fighting, and we were always fighting about the kids. The “happily ever after” was not all that happy for any of us.

It was on my mind to go to church that Sunday. Maybe that would help. But I was already tired, so like I had been doing for way too long, I reminded myself how busy my life was and told myself that I deserved at least one day to sleep in for as long as the kids would allow. The radio was on in the car, and I was wandering through the stations. “Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can’t even get out of bed.” All of a sudden, my thoughts were jolted by the words coming from the radio.

It had been a very long time since I had knelt at the altar in a little church and asked Jesus to come into my heart. I know without a doubt that Jesus came into my life that day. His love flooded my heart and soul. But somehow I had spent ten years living my life without giving Jesus much thought, and I was a wreck.
The slow-moving traffic kept me crawling along for what seemed like forever. I could not get the words to that song to stop running through my head. “Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can’t even get out of bed.”

The song was called, “Asleep in the Light.” As a girl, I had invited the Light of the World to come into my heart, yet I had been “asleep” and ignored God for years. Suddenly, I could not live without Him another minute. I pulled my car into a parking lot and begged the Lord to forgive me and let me come back to Him. I made a mess of my life on my own, and I needed Him desperately. I found Jesus again that night.  It was real, personal, and the most powerful overwhelming presence of God I have ever known. I had given my heart to Jesus when I was a little girl; I gave Him my life that snowy night in February. 

My life was forever changed that night. I was rescued by a Savior that had never stopped loving me. My family was still a broken mess, but I was determined to walk with Jesus. With Him, we had a chance to make it.

We went to church that Sunday, I took my children and began to pray for my husband. My family needed to learn about Jesus. He is the only one who can save us from our sins and redeem our lives. I wanted them to experience God’s forgiveness, steadfast love, and faithfulness. God was there; He had always been there, waiting for me to let Him be a part of my life.

“For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all
who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5

Interprets Prisoners’ Dreams 

Joseph in Prison • Devotion #2: Interprets Prisoners’ Dreams
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

Do you dream at night? I do not dream very often, but my husband has crazy dreams all the time. There are many mornings that he wakes up to tell me of the wild adventure he had during the night. He will often ask me what I think his dream meant. After I tell him that I have no idea, we laugh and decide that maybe he should watch less TV before bed.    

Scattered through the Bible, we see God speaking to people through their dreams. In the book of Genesis, we meet Joseph. He had dreams that seemed crazy to his family. His brothers, the sun, moon, and stars were bowing before Joseph. They certainly did not understand what that meant and hated the thought that Joseph might rule over them. But, God would use dreams and interpretation of dreams in incredible ways in Joseph’s life. 

Because of jealousy and anger towards him, Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was later put in prison for a crime he did not commit. I wonder if the dreams God had given him so long ago ever came to mind?

Scripture tells us in Genesis chapter 40 that while in prison, the king’s cupbearer and baker were also imprisoned with Joseph. One day he noticed they were sad and asked why. The men were upset because they both had dreamed the night before and were not able to go to the professionals that were used to interpret dreams. Joseph said that true interpretation would come from God, and asked them to tell him their dreams.  

The Lord helped Joseph that day to know the meaning of the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. One man heard that he would return to his previous position with the king. God told Joseph that the other man would be killed within three days. Could it be that his dream was a warning of an immediate decision he needed to make about his faith in God?

Much time would pass before Joseph would see the fruition of the dreams he had as a teenager. He would go through years of trying times before he saw the great plan that God had for his life as ruler over Egypt. Through it all, Joseph honored God and helped others. God blessed Joseph and those around him.  

Sometimes God sends dreams in the night, and sometimes He whispers them into our heart. What are you dreaming? Even if the dream is unclear, continue to seek God and follow Him; He is always faithful, and His ways are perfect.

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30



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