“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

We have many squirrels in our yard and it is interesting to watch them at this time of year as they are busy gathering nuts and seeds to store for their winter food. It is amazing to me how they can remember where they have buried things so that they can go back and find them later. God has given them an instinct to prepare for what is coming. They cannot listen to the weather forecasts on the radio or read the newspapers that tell what the winter is going to be like, but they will be ready for whatever comes.

As we listen to sermons week after week in our local churches, we hear so many wonderful teachings from the Word of God. Sometimes the message does not apply to us at that time, but we store it up in our hearts because we know that a situation may arise when we will need some answers and the Lord will bring to our remembrance what we have heard. We have no way of knowing what we may face in the coming days or weeks or months, but the Lord will give our Pastor a message that will prepare us for whatever comes our way.

The same thing is true when we read and study our Bible each day. A Scripture may stand out to us and we wonder just why the Lord is opening it to our hearts. It may not be something that fits today’s situation, but we store it away, knowing that at sometime in the future we will need it. Often amid a trial or circumstance, scriptures will come to us that we can’t even remember reading, but they contain the answer for what we are facing.

Just as the squirrels prepare for winter, we need to hide God’s Word in our hearts, so that it is there when we need it. We do this by spending time every day reading the Word of God, meditating on it, and hiding it in our heart, so that when the need arises, we can dig it up, and have the confidence that the Lord will give us the answers that are required.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Help us to hide it away in our hearts, so that it is there when we need it.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;” (Luke 12:35, KJV)

I have probably read this verse or heard the phrase “gird your loins” hundreds of times, but today the English Standard Version struck me different.

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,” (Luke 12:35, ESV)

As a woman, I pack a lot.  Whether it’s a “bible bag” for church, bags to go to the beach or multiple bags for a long trip. I usually pack for myself, my boys and for all of those unexpected things. I almost always pack too much. The “just in case” things like extra clothes and good supply of medicine to cover any manner of illness. When traveling in the winter, we pack extra blankets, clothes and fire supplies just in case we end up stranded.

To be honest, reading “gird your loins” does not particularly motivate me, but when I hear “stay dressed for action” that is speaking my language.

What action are we being called to dress for? The verse is speaking of a servant waiting for the coming of his master. Just as a servant prepares for the return of the master we are to prepare for the return of our King. Part of being ready is preparing ourselves as well as being busy about our Father’s business. People are His business. Reaching people is our command and mission.

How do we dress for action?  We need to be ready to give an answer and a ray of hope to the dark world in which we live. We need to follow God’s voice to be led to those who are hungry and ready to receive that hope. We need to equip ourselves with the tools needed to reach those around us. Most importantly we need to seek to be like Him and to love our neighbors as He does. When we are equipped with compassion, sensitivity and knowledge, we are truly dressed for our God given mission.

Prayer:  Lord, let me be prepared today for every good work. Let me be sensitive to those around me and ready to share the hope that was shared with me.