Devotions

Author Archives: Lorna Lyman

Miriam

Lesson Three | Devotion #3: Miriam
Lorna Lyman

Miriam was a born leader blessed by God. She was the older sister of Moses and Aaron and very protective of them. Miriam was a prophetess, which is a female prophet. A prophet was someone who was raised up by God and was inspired by the Holy Spirt to proclaim the will and purpose of God. Her words, as well as the work she did, were inspired by God. Miriam was included in the council table with her brothers.  God spoke to all three of them. There is no evidence in the Bible that Miriam ever married.

We first see Miriam in a leadership role when Moses is born. At that time, the Pharaoh had an order out that all male Hebrew babies were to be drowned in the river. Moses’ mother wanted to save him, so she placed him among the thickets near the palace. Miriam stood guard at a distance and kept watch over Moses.  When the Pharaoh’s daughter found him, Miriam appeared to her and offered to get one of the Hebrew mothers to nurse Moses. Miriam took him home to his mother so she could nurse him. Eventually, Moses was brought back to the Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised as her son. Miriam showed bravery and leadership at a young age (Exodus 2).

Miriam and Moses were separated for about forty years. This was because Moses had to flee Egypt. Moses killed an Egyptian because he was treating a Hebrew man very badly. This probably was very hard on Miriam. She was most likely filled with disappointment and probably felt helpless.

Forty years later, Moses returned to Egypt after being called by God to free the Egyptians from slavery. During this time, Miriam was very supportive of her brothers and in helping lead the Israelites out of Egypt. She was a symbol of unity and shared in the victories and hope of Israel. Miriam was a gifted poet and musician. Once the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, Miriam led the women in song and dance praising God for His power and faithfulness for protecting them (Exodus 15:20-21).

Miriam was a leader of the women, and as Moses’ sister, she held an influential position in the community. This made what she said important because the ladies looked up to her and listened to her.

In Numbers chapter 12, we learn about how Miriam and Aaron become jealous of Moses. They did not like that he married a foreigner. Miriam and Aaron started talking with each other, but soon she began to gossip about Moses.  They also questioned God as to why He would put Moses in the position of authority. Usually, the first born son was put in the position of authority.  Moses was the youngest.  The Lord was angered by all of this and disciplined Miriam. She was stricken with leprosy.  Aaron and Moses prayed for her healing.  She was sick and outside the city gates for seven days. Further, Miriam never entered the Promise Land.

What can we learn from Miriam? We need to trust in God’s will, not our own. God can use us and bless us.  God can also take that blessing away as quickly as He gave it to us if we act in a way that is contrary to God’s will. It is when we become selfish and take our focus off God and make it more about ourself that can cause God to remove His blessing or take us down a step.  This is what happened to Miriam. She took her focus off of God and made it more about herself. In the end, God removed His blessing from her, and she was punished. There is no better place to be in life than securely held in the hands of Almighty God. The opposite is most frightening, and that is to not have God’s hands securely on your life.

Pilate

Delivery Plan • Pilate
Lorna Lyman | Secretary

Pontius Pilate was a Roman religious official. He was appointed to his position in 26 AD. He was governor of Judea. His two main jobs were to keep order in the country and make sure all taxes were collected and sent to Rome. He held this position for about ten years. Pilate was a stubborn, cruel man and had very little respect for the Jewish people. Most of Judea hated the Romans.

An uprising could develop quickly over a small dispute. This happened quite often during Passover. Roman governors were always present during the Passover, and Pilate wanted to keep the peace. Pilate was very careful about avoiding the Jewish religious leaders unless they threatened him personally.

The Jewish leaders delivered Jesus to Pilate’s residence hoping that Pilate would grant his execution. John 18:29-30 says, “So Pilate went outside to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered him, ‘If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.’” Under the Roman law they did not have enough evidence that Jesus is guilty of any capital offense; therefore, they are having a hard time convincing Pilate that Jesus should be put to death.

The story continues in John chapter 18:33-38. Pilate and Jesus had a conversation. Pilate started to question Jesus if He was the King of the Jews. Jesus explained to him that He is a King, but His kingdom is not of this world. If He were of this world, His servants would fight to save Him. Pilate asked, “So you are a King?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king” and went on to tell Pilate that His purpose of coming to earth was to bear witness to the truth. Pilate then questioned Jesus, “What is truth?” Pilate fails to see that he is standing face to face with the One who said, “I am the truth.” Pilate is spiritually blind to the truth that is right in front of him. Pilate is about to deliver Jesus to His death.

Pilate lacked interest in Jesus’ case and just wanted it to go away. Unfortunately, he is up against an angry mob. It was the custom at the Feast of the Passover for Pilate to release a prisoner. Since he did not think Jesus was guilty, he decided to give the people two choices: Jesus, the king of the Jews or Barabbas a robber and a murderer. The Jewish chief priests and elders had gathered enough people to be on their side to ask for Barabbas to be freed and for Jesus to be killed. The angry crowd shouted for Jesus to be crucified and for Barabbas to be freed.

Pilate then has a second conversation with Jesus (John 19:9-11). He asks Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus does not answer. Pilate asks, “Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” Once again Pilate remained convinced that Jesus was not guilty. He continued to try and release Jesus. The Jews and religious leaders continued to oppose Pilate and shout, “Crucify him.” There was an uprising starting, and if he did not handle it properly, it would harm his political career. Finally, Pilate feeling like he had no other choice, gave into their demand and released Barabbas. He took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd (Matthew 27:24). This was a symbolic gesture in that he did not believe Jesus deserved death and did not approve of His crucifixion. However, this does not release him from his guilt for taking part in the death of Jesus. He delivered Jesus over to the Jews to be put to death, and he aided in their plans by having Roman soldiers conduct the crucifixion. Pilate delivered Jesus to His death knowing that Jesus was innocent.

Without Pilate sentencing Jesus to death, Jesus would not have fulfilled Scripture that he had to die on the cross for our sins. It was to restore the fullness of the righteousness of God that was planned for us. God ordained Jesus to go to Calvary.

Fallen – His Angels #6

Devils and Demons | Know God, No Fear
Lorna Lyman | Secretary

When I was asked to write this devotional my first thought was, I cannot do this.  After I had found out I had to write about the devil and his demons, even more emotions rose up in me.  I was feeling fear, anxiety, and doubt.  Who do you think was putting those thoughts in my head?  Our God or the devil?    Certainly, it was not God. 

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  I had to stop and pray.  I felt at peace for a while, but by the time I got home from work the worry and fear were creeping back in.  Again I prayed.  I needed to give this entirely to God and not take it back.   I thought I am not going to think about it right now and I tried to take my mind off it.

We need to have our spiritual foundation built on solid ground, so Satan’s demons cannot sneak in an attempt to destroy what you have built.  We can remain strong in our faith.  The moment we let our guard down, Satan will sneak in, and we are suddenly in a spiritual battle.    Matthew 7:24-27 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  We build our foundation on Jesus Christ by first recognizing who He is and what He did for us on the cross.  We then need to be talking to Him (praying) and listening to Him (reading His Word).  Our foundation needs to be continually built and maintained:

  1. Attending the gatherings on Saturday or Sunday. 
  2. Joining a Growth Community. 
  3. Creating a circle of friends that will build us up.

The Devil does not want me to write a devotion.  He is going to try everything to discourage me.   We need to put on our Armor of God.  Every morning we need to do this.  Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” I am going to make sure I am better at this.  I need the Lord’s armor every day to fight the demons of this world.

After thinking about this devotion and praying about it, the Lord gave me the verses I feel He wanted me to share with you.  The Lord has worked in me, and I have learned a lot from writing this devotion.  I need to be in the Word more and putting on my armor every day to keep the devil and his demons away.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

James 4:7 continues, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Finally, 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Death Will Die

God’s Promises • Devotion #4: Death Will Die
Lorna Lyman | Receptionist

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

John and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this August 17.  God has shown Himself to us in many ways during those 25 years.  He is with us through the good times and the bad times.

In the early years of our marriage, I was able to finish dental hygiene school.  I have been working as a dental hygienist for 22 years now.  John was able to go back and finish his degree back in 2011.   John and I both love to travel.  We have been able to take many trips throughout our married life.  We have been blessed with two beautiful girls.  We are so thankful they have chosen to follow Christ.  They are both saved, have been baptized, and are continuing to grow in their faith.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We have also had some storms that we have had to go through.  The first part of our marriage was wonderful.  Things were going along quite well.  Life was good.  Then about nine years into our marriage, we lost John’s grandfather.  Then a few months later, we lost my grandfather.   That was the start of many deaths we would go through the next few years.  Death is hard.   I am so thankful for God’s promise of eternal life to those who believe.  I am confident that I will see my loved ones again in heaven someday.   Other storms have come and gone, but all through them God was with us.  Growing us closer to Him and believing in His promises.

No matter what is presently going on or what will happen in the future, we know that everything will turn out for the best.  It is not saying that all things will be good, but even bad things can work out for our ultimate best.  The Lord will not keep us from going through storms, but He promises to be with us, as we do go through them.



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