Devotions

Author Archives: Jill Osmon

Moses Tells of God’s Goodness

Advice | Devotion 3: Moses Tells of God’s Goodness
Jill Osmon

We love good storytellers, writers of books and stories, and speakers that can capture us with their words. We find in Exodus chapter 18, Moses told his father-in-law all that God had done. Verse 8 says, “Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them.”

We love good stories, but do we love to tell the best story? Do we tell the stories in our lives that show God’s goodness even in the most difficult times? God tells us to rejoice, to tell of His works and goodness. Psalm 105:2 says, “Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!” 

Moses had been through some pretty epic things, things that would cripple most of us. He experienced the good, the bad, and the devastating and yet when he sat and told the stories, God’s goodness abounded. It is a good reminder for us that even through difficult times, God is good, and when you come out on the other side, His goodness is what we should not forget.

Psalm 145:5-12 says, “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your powers, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.” 

We need to remember these verses when we are on the other side of a difficult season, that we remember to tell of His goodness.

Failure?

Moses Challenges Pharaoh | Devotion 3: Failure?
Jill Osmon

Do you ever feel that God has put you in a situation that you feel unprepared and ill-equipped to handle? That is where we find Moses in Exodus 6:30, “But Moses said to the Lord, ‘Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?’” Have we all been there? We say or think, “God, I think you have the wrong person, why would anyone listen to me?” However, God with an avalanche of wisdom and patience is so kind to Moses. In chapter 7, God shows Moses and Aaron how He will provide.

First, we see that God equipped Moses and Aaron to relay His message to Pharaoh. Exodus 7:1-2 says, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land.’” He not only equipped them to relay the message, but He also gave them the message to tell Pharaoh. God’s ability to provide in every situation continues to amaze me. It reassures me that if I rely on Him, He will provide and equip me for anything the world throws at me.

Second, God told them how the “plan” would fail. Can you imagine being Moses and Aaron? God laid this plan out and then in verse 4; God said, “Pharaoh will not listen to you.” God prepared and equipped Moses but told them, guys, it is not going to work; Pharaoh would let Israel go, but He still wanted them to go and boldly proclaim His name. Does it feel like life is that way sometimes? God asks for us to be bold, to proclaim His name and the world laughs and refuses to listen and walks away. What do we do then? We let God handle it, just like He handled Pharaoh and the Egyptians. In the end, they knew their role was to obey, and God would take care of the rest.

God equips and provides, and even though it may seem like the end result does not make sense, God’s will will always win, and His ways will always be for His glory.

Seventh Day

Sequel | Devotion #1: Seventh Day
Jill Osmon

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:2-3

I have the privilege of coordinating most of our large events at The River Church, and I love it, I mean super nerd love it, it is what God made me to do. But, it is an intense job, very detailed, and very much requires me to expend a lot of mind muscle energy and just plain physical energy. So after a large event, I completely lose the ability to make decisions, I have been making decisions for the last few months about everything, and now all I want to do is sit and not think. After a few days, I feel refreshed, maybe, but I do not always truly feel rested, and I have struggled with why, after relaxing, getting away, why can I not find true rest?

We have all been there, right? We have been through seasons of life that are just exhausting, a new baby, a new job, teenagers, tough financial times, or health issues for yourself or a loved one; and all you want to do is rest. But what is true rest? God rested on the seventh day during Creation, making a command that we rest. Unfortunately, we have a culture that does not truly know rest, even with vacations and days off, rest alludes most of us. Exodus 20:8-11 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

We often equate rest with time off, doing nothing, or vacation, but what is God saying here? If you look closely, verse 10 says, “But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” While we may come back from a vacation or a day off refreshed, we will not know true rest unless we rest in God.

Psalm 91:1 (NIV) says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I know that my soul craves for true rest, and that desire, that need, can only be satisfied by resting in the shadow of the Almighty. So how do we do that? Well, I think we look at how God rested on the seventh day. Verse 31 of Genesis chapter 1 says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” We look back on all that God has done, even when we are in the deepest valleys, and we see His goodness, kindness, and love, and we rejoice in gratitude. Matthew Henry Commentary puts it this way, “The Christian Sabbath, which we observe, is a seventh day, and in it we celebrate the rest of God the Son, and the finishing the work of our redemption.” Then, and only then, will we find true rest.

He Provides

Son, Mother | Devotion #6: He Provides
Jill Osmon | Assistant to the Lead Pastor

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26-27

Imagine Mary’s grief during this time. I am sure it was all consuming, nothing else mattered at that moment. It was probably her lowest point, unable to think about anything else. She was not thinking about what Jesus’ death would practically mean for her. We assume Joseph had passed away, and in that culture, her son was responsible for her care when the husband was gone. It is interesting that during His death, Jesus remembered her, loved her, and took care of her. He had the weight of the world’s sin on His shoulders, and yet, He took time to care for the woman who carried Him, raised Him, and loved Him. 

I could definitely use this time to talk about taking care of your mother (which you should!), but I want to look at what this reveals about the character of God. In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he says, “Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, he raises up another for us, perhaps where we looked not for it.”

The Lord provided for Mary. His care for her on Earth was being taken away, but He was providing her a son that would take care of her. God provides, even if it looks different than we thought and even with unique timing. He shows us throughout the Bible that He provides. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 

Psalm 84:11 adds, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Please remember that while God may take things away, He always provides in other ways. We need to be ready for it, trust that it will come, and accept it when we see it. 

Hatred and Jealousy 

Joseph & Brothers • Devotion #4: Hatred and Jealousy
Jill Osmon | Assistant to Lead Pastor

“They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, ‘Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.’” Genesis 37:18-20  

Bitterness, hatred, and jealousy are not new. Something from deep within us can react to the mere perceived slight from anyone. Joseph’s brothers come to this moment with a wealth of history piled up into a heap of anger. Joseph was the favorite, Joseph was clearly anointed by God, Joseph had the coat, and Joseph had the dreams to remind his brothers of these very things. 

Does this story instantly bring someone to mind that reminds you of Joseph? Is there someone in your life who seems to have it all, knows they have it all, and reminds you that they have it all? Replace dreams and coat with social media and success, and maybe then you can imagine someone. It makes you discontent, and in that discontentment, it opens a harshness that spreads like cancer to every aspect of your life. You find yourself secretly wishing upon them failures and messes because their life highlights what you do not have. 

Hatred and jealousy say more about us than it does about the person we have decided to point out all of our frustrations. We are wounded, hurt, and wondering why God has lavished such favor on someone else. It makes us react out of a place that is unhealthy and harmful. Joseph’s brothers were not psychotic, evil people. They were wounded and reacting, and we have all been there. I have been reading a book, “Uninvited,” and this statement has stuck with me, “The only thing I’ve seen work in my life to protect my heart from these deep wounds is the constant pursuit of the sweetest grace.” 

Take a moment, think through your life, find those places, situations, and people that pull out the bitterness, hatred, and jealousy. Pursue grace with them and for them. God’s favor does not exclude anyone from hurt and difficulties. We are all in need of God’s grace, to pursue it, give it, and receive it from each other.



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