Category: thoughts by Sherry Yarger

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Think about a time in your life when you experienced true grief. We experience grief when we lose a cherished loved one.  We experience grief when we know we’ve badly hurt someone we love.  Or maybe grief comes from the loss of a dream.  Sometimes we grieve when we know we’ve been unable to reach someone whom we desperately want to help turn their life around.  There are many reasons we feel grief in our lives.

I want you to think about how it felt when you faced that grief in your life, the broken-hearted, gut wrenching sorrow in which your soul cried for release from the pain.

Do you know that when we sin we grieve the Holy Spirit?  The Bible says in Ephesians 4:30:

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

There are times when I’m really tempted to sin in which the Lord reminds me that if I do so, I will grieve his Holy Spirit.  At those times, if I really stop and think about how I felt during times of great distress and grief in my life, I realize that I don’t want to cause the Holy Spirit of God to experience grief because of my actions.  Let us not resist the Lord’s prompting to turn away from the temptation which so easily besets us.

Prayer: Merciful God, Abba Father, may I be ever mindful that when I’m tempted to sin, to do so would grieve your Holy Spirit.  Give me the strength to resist the lure of evil.  Help me to choose to do what is right in your sight and bring honor and glory to your name.

By Sherry Yarger
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Proverbs 27:19 says, “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

Have you ever struggled with stubborn sin in your life and become discouraged because you just couldn’t seem to overcome it?  I have.  There was a time when I desperately wanted to change some things the Lord had revealed to me about myself.  It just seemed, however, that the more I thought about them and prayed about them, the worse they became.  Then the Lord revealed to me that I wasn’t changing because I was focusing on the problem, not on Him.

There’s a principal I learned about displacement and replacement. It had to do with self-esteem.  Picture a bucket filled with water.  The water represents the good things about you.  Then, as people chip away at your self-esteem by saying negative things, the negatives are like pebbles.  When you drop a pebble in the bucket, the water, your good qualities, splashes over the edge and out of your bucket.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Bible also says in Ephesians 4:22-23,

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

So the question is, “How does this transformation take place?”  We find the answer in Philippians 4:8,

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

It is the Word of God that renews our mind!  In my bucket, I look at the water as my old self, the sin I want to remove from my life.  The pebbles are God’s Word.  So each time I focus on God’s Word, His pebbles are dropped in my bucket.  It is God’s Word which displaces the sin in my life and replaces it with His righteousness and holiness.

PrayerMy most gracious and holy Father, I come to you today with stubborn sin in my life for which I ask your forgiveness.  Keep me focused on your Word, Lord, that through your power my old self will vanish and your righteousness and holiness will reign in my heart and actions.  Guide me and grant me wisdom so my heart will be transformed to one which reflects you, O Lord. Praise and glory and honor be to you throughout eternity.  Amen.

by Sherry Yarger
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People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.”

The above quote by John Harrigan has become a principle of life for me.  At the same time, it’s one of the hardest things for most of us to do, in our humanness, to love someone when they deserve it the least.

Have you ever had times when your behavior was so out of control that you couldn’t stand yourself?  When I was a young mother and wife, there would be one day most months when I was “PMS”ing, in which I would find myself either yelling and screaming uncontrollably all day, or crying all day.  I was so miserable I couldn’t stand myself, I felt just plain unlovable!  It’s times like that when I think if someone had been able to just grab me and hug me it would have helped to get me out of that nasty mood, in spite of the hormones that were working against me.

I believe that loving someone to that extent takes a supernatural love. It takes the love of Christ flowing through us to be able to reach out to the unlovable.  Jesus was criticized often for associating with “sinners,” those people who others thought of as unlovable, not worthy of their time and attention – tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, etc.

The Bible says in 1 John 1:19, “We love because he first loved us.

Christ died for the ungodly.  Romans 5:6

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  Luke 6:32 & 35.

Prayer: Most gracious and loving Lord, how grateful I am that the you loved me enough to die for my sins, so that through you, I am able to stand before a just God and live in His presence throughout eternity.  I thank you that your love compels me and pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit within me, you will enable me to love those who seem unlovable, as you have loved me.  Through your power grant me the grace to extend mercy to all. Amen.

by Sherry Yarger

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When we first come to Christ, we learn that the Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

As a young Christian, there were times when satan, my accuser, would rob me of my peace as he caused me to question my forgiveness.  As I searched the scriptures, it is the following scripture that finally settled the question, “Are you forgiven?” in my heart.

Psalm 103:8-13 says:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities, For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;”

As I read Psalm 103 the well-known opening line of the poem, “The Ballad of East and West” by Rudyard Kipling came to mind:  “Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.”  Think about it.  As I pondered the question, “Exactly where does the east meet the west?,” I realized that no matter where on this globe we may stand, that question remains unfathomable.  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”   What a glorious reminder of the depth and breadth of our forgiveness!

My prayer for you is the prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians 3:16-21:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

By Sherry Yarger


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devotionalsHe who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” Psalm 91:1-2, 4

When I lived in Yakima, Washington, it was quite common to see a covey of California Quail scratching for food among the dried grass.  One day as I came home from work there were quail in my driveway.  I was able to cautiously walk up onto my deck to watch as the hen, her eight chicks and the male quail strutted by.  Suddenly they became frightened and quickly fled toward the dried stalks in my flowerbed.  As I watched them scatter, the chicks all dove under the hen’s wings while she swelled up to about three times her normal size.

What a perfect visual of the first several verses of Psalm 91. Just as the chicks sought shelter under the hen’s wings, so too does God shelter us when we are afraid.  When we run to Him, we can trust that He will spread his wings and grant us refuge from the many storms we face in life.

By Sherry Yarger

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by Sherry Yarger

What does your letter of introduction say about you?

A salesman sends a letter of introduction to present himself to others in a light that will hopefully make the person receiving the letter trust him and want what he has to offer.

A speaker sends a letter of introduction regaling her attributes so the audience will be enticed to hear what she has to say.

If you were introducing yourself to a non-Christian whom you hoped to win for Christ, what would you want your letter of introduction to say about you?

As Christians, we are introducing ourselves to non-Christians every day.  Our actions are being read by all with whom we come in contact.  Do our actions and character draw people to us and make them want what we have?  Can they see the love of Christ in us and through us?

Paul commended the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3: You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Hebrews 12:1 says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

What does your letter of introduction say about you?

Prayer: My most gracious heavenly Father, help me to be ever mindful of the multitude of witnesses who surround me.  Cleanse me of my sins.  Through the power of your Holy Spirit guide me and help me yield myself completely to you so others may read on the tablet of my heart a love letter from Christ, one which will draw them to you.

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sherry Yarger Thoughts by Women