~~ Devotions and recipes for God's hurried people ~~

IF

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.” – Zechariah 3:7

All God’s promises are real and true, but they are preceded by a condition. God has a wonderful plan for each of us that unfolded in the life of His Son Jesus. Even though Christ gave His life so that no one would have to pay the consequences of their own sin, each of us has to make the choice to accept God’s plan by inviting Christ to forgive our sins and then live according to the requirements of God’s Word, or reject the offer and instead pay the penalty of an eternal Hell. The prophet Zechariah had a vision from the Lord concerning Joshua, the leader of the Israelite tribes after Moses’ death, and in this verse he speaks the Words of the Lord to him. Just like Johsua, we too have free access to all God has if we walk in His ways and keep His requirements.

Almighty Father: You are the Righteous One who sets the requirements for which we are saved. When I choose Your wonderful plan and abide by Your ways, I am promised a place in Your Kingdom. I choose today to follow after You and keep Your commandments. Help me to be strong as temptation comes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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SMOTHERED CHICKEN (crockpot)

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
16 ounces sour cream

Mix all ingredients; put in crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve with potatoes, noodles, or rice.

IF

Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me. –Jeremiah 15:19

Jeremiah had previously questioned God’s faithfulness to him, and now he was seeking Him for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. The people of Judah rejected the Lord and continued to backslide. Though Jeremiah was sensitive and tenderhearted, his message was bold and rather harsh as he continued to try and persuade them to repent and turn back to God. But the people turned deaf ears to his warnings and treated him with contempt. Through Jeremiah the Lord once again gave the people another opportunity to repent and serve Him; but they did not listen. How many times have we been warned, yet do not listen? God is patient with us also, but one day our opportunity to surrender our lives to Him will be over. Only IF we have repented, while there is still yet time, will we have the privilege of being restored as servants of God.

Heavenly Father: You are a God of patience and love; how can this be when we are so contemptible and rebellious? Thank You for being willing to send your only Son to be my Source of Hope. Forgive me for my rebellion and restore my broken life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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CORN CASSEROLE

1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) package Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or your favorite

Mix together all ingredients, except the cheese. Pour into a 9×13-inch greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until set in the middle and golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese; return to oven until cheese melted

IF

Instead, I told them, “If you listen to me and do what I tell you, I will be your God, you will be my people, and all will go well for you.” – Jeremiah 7:23, CEV

The prophet Jeremiah was sent to Judah to try and persuade them to follow the God who loved them. He warned them over and over of the impending doom that would approach them if they didn’t turn from their wickedness with a true repentant heart. Jeremiah was often called the “weeping prophet” because he had a sensitive heart that was broken for those who did not obey God’s commands. Though he was lonely and rejected by many, he continued to proclaim the Word of the Lord. Just like the people of Jeremiah’s day turned deaf ears and hatred toward him for pleading with them to repent and obey, many of us also ignore the message of salvation. We disregard the warning to repent and turn to God, and continue to live a life of rebellion. Jeremiah warns us to obey God and walk in His ways; and if we do, our Heavenly Father will bless our lives.

Dear God: Forgive me for the times I turned a deaf ear toward those proclaiming the message of salvation and obedience to Your Word. My desire is to follow the commands You have set before me and in doing so, I am Yours, and You are mine. Thank you for this promise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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LOADED CHICKEN TATER TOT CASSEROLE

1 (16-ounce) bag tater tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
2 cups cooked and diced chicken (pre-packaged Southwestern style works great)
3 ounces or ½ cup crumbled bacon pieces
2 cups grated Colby, Cheddar, or other favorite cheese
Sour cream, diced green onion and tomatoes (optional)

Grease bottom of 9×13-inch dish. Cover with single layer of tater tots; bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Mix soup, milk, chicken, bacon, and cheese; spread overtop; bake 10 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and tomatoes.

IF

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. – Isaiah 48:18

The Lord is speaking to the people of Judah who professed to follow Him, but in reality rejected the Truth of His Word (hypocrites). With all God had done for them they still refused to live righteously and obey His commands. Their conduct brought deep regret to the Lord, and yet His plans were to deliver them from their bondage and set them free. Throughout the ages man has proceeded to rebel against God, yet God continues to pour out His love and compassion on each of us. We seek to fulfill our own plans, oftentimes feeling unrest and turmoil along the way. IF only we had paid attention to what we knew was right, and obeyed the Spirit’s leading. Perhaps the outcome of our decisions would be much different. God’s love is tender and kind, not wanting any of us to reap the wages of our sin. Peace and security are found only IF we put our trust in our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Dear Lord: There have been times in my life when I paid no attention to Your commands, and then paid the consequences of unrest and discord in my soul. Forgive me and help me to find peace as I follow after You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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SMOTHERED CHICKEN (crockpot)

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
16 ounces sour cream

Put chicken in crockpot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours. Serve with potatoes, noodles, or rice.

IF

If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. – Isaiah 1:19

Isaiah was led of the Lord to prophesy to the people of Israel and Judah regarding their sin and apostasy. Both kingdoms had turned from God and His Law to worship false gods. They had received God’s covenant, His Law, His temple, and His many promises, yet they disregarded all these blessings to live in sin. Because of this, God sent judgment on them. But even in His displeasure, God continued to offer opportunities for them to repent and turn back to Him. God didn’t want to condemn and destroy His people. He offered full forgiveness and pardon if they would only repent and obey His Word. God offers the same for each of us, but also warns us of the outcome if we resist and rebel. The decision is ours! We can partake of God’s blessings IF we obey His Word, or be destroyed IF we rebel and resist His holy ordinance for us.

Father: With a willing heart I repent of my sin and rebellion. No longer will I resist Your Word and face death, but with all my might I will obey what You require of me in Your Word. Thank You for giving me another chance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  

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BAKED PORK CHOPS IN RED SAUCE

4 pork chops
1 onion
1 beef bouillon dissolved in ½ cup hot water
1 can tomato soup

Place pork chops in a casserole dish and cover with sliced onions. Mix dissolved bouillon water with soup and pour over pork chops. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until thoroughly done.

IF

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. – Psalms 91:9-10

A refuge is a shelter or a place of safety. The Psalmist describes the Lord as our protector and safe haven. Life’s storms might portray themselves in any number of ways. Evil is lurking around trying to find someone or something to damage and destroy. But, when we look to God as our refuge, everything will work together for our spiritual good and benefit (Romans 8:28), no matter what the challenges may be. Though we may not be aware of the wickedness of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12), it is real. We must call on the Most High to rescue us. IF we do, our place of safety is found in the Lord.

Thank you Father for being my dwelling place and shelter in the time of storm. When I look to you as my refuge, you are there to protect me and bring me to safety. Help me to always put my trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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SWISS CHICKEN CASSEROLE

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4-6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
¼ cup sliced almonds (optional)
¼ cup butter

Arrange chicken in a greased casserole dish. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and milk; mix well and pour over chicken. Cover with stuffing mix and almonds. Drizzle with butter. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

IF

If they obey and serve him (God), they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge. – Job 36:11, 12

Job was a righteous man who loved God even when Satan, with permission by God, killed his family, afflicted him physically, and destroyed all of his earthly possessions. Job’s friends searched for answers as to why he was afflicted, and a young man named Elihu also offered his insight into the meaning. He believed Job’s suffering involved God’s redemptive purpose of further purifying him. Elihu, in these two verses, says that if we obey and serve God, even in our afflictions, persecutions, and circumstances, repent of our sins, and seek God’s mercy by obeying and serving Him, prosperity will come. And on the contrary, if we do not listen and obey God, we will die in our lost state and suffer the consequences of an eternal Hell. It is always our choice to accept the plan God gave us for salvation, or say no thank you and pay the consequences of our sin. If we obey and serve God . . . the decision is ours.

Dear Lord: You are the reason for my existence and I choose this day to repent of my sin, and obey and serve You. Help me to not lose heart when trials and afflictions come my way. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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EASY CHEESY TOMATO MELT

2 ounces mozzarella cheese
4 slices of tomatoes
2 slices bread
Italian seasoning (optional)

Put tomato slices, cheese, and seasoning on bread. Broil until cheese melted.

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