What God Has Prepared

Monday, May 25, 2015
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Faith Of Our Fathers"1 (Lyrics)

Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. (NKJV)

On this day nineteen years ago, the very first PresbyCan Daily Devotional was published on the fledgling, experimental PCCWeb site. But recently, I have been remembering events that God prepared which stretch back much farther than that.

Back in the early 1970s, straight out of seminary, I was posted to a two-point charge on the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan. As I was considering ways to do mission in our community, one of my ideas was to put an answering machine on a telephone line and record a brief devotional message that people could call in to hear. SaskTel said that if this outreach proved to be too popular, the line-up of calls could tie up the whole telephone exchange, so they insisted on multiple lines and call-switching equipment at business-class rates. The package was more than I could pay or ask my congregations to pay, so I abandoned the idea — or so I thought.

My next charge was in Trenton, Ontario. During my time there, area ministers were asked to come in to the local radio station and record three-minute devotionals to be aired at 8:00 a.m. each weekday. During that time, I wrote and recorded about thirty devotionals. I kept the scripts.

When Michael Farris invited me to start the PresbyCan Daily Devotional (see also "Death Of A Vision"), I used those thirty scripts to get going, soon to be joined by 70 other writers. Near the end of the second year, I realized that instead of 80 visitors to our website each day, we could minister to a greater audience if we sent the devotionals out by e-mail — but how?

Back in the mid-1960s, I had learned how to program the university computer to process some statistics that would have taken me 120 hours to do manually. When the first desktop computers came out, I bought one and learned how to program it. It was just a small jump to learning how to program the PresbyCan Daily Devotional server. I soon figured out how to send out e-mails automatically every day, and over 200 people signed up immediately. Now, with a volunteer staff of five, we minister daily to almost 6,000 people around the world through e-mail, with over 9,000 hits every day on our recently rewritten website, as well as 600 readers on Facebook.

When I look back on these desires and decisions of mine, I realize that God was preparing me for this ministry long before I (or anyone else) had even dreamt of there being an Internet on which a Christian computer programmer could present devotionals to a world-wide audience! It boggles the mind even trying to think about God's foreknowledge — from before we were born! How could we ever doubt His care and loving kindness, seeing how He prepares us for unique ministries through our unique experiences? What a wonder and privilege it is to have the opportunity to exercise the gifts and inspiration that God has prepared for us, for His glory! And that's not all that He has prepared for us: heaven awaits — the best is yet to come!

1 Corinthians 2:9b – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. (NLT)

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You care for us so much, and go to so much trouble in fashioning the circumstances of our lives to fit us for specialized ministries that we can fulfill in Your plan. Reveal to each of us exactly what it is that You are preparing for us. In Jesus' name, we pray.

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About the author:

Robin Ross <rross@telus.net>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Nice to read the full history!

    Amazing how God works. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.

    Good Morning Robin; What a neat witness. Thanks for sharing.

    Excellent bit of history along with a stirring devotional. Thank you.

    I am not very good at writing so I will sai it in one word (thank you).

    Thank you for all that you have done so that we can have the Daily Devotion.

    Great work! Remember you are touching people’s lives for his kingdom!

    May The Lord continue to bless this worthwhile ministry and outreach!!

    I so appreciate hearing our history!! Thanks Robin and who knows-where will it broadcast next – into the ears of the needing!??

    Way to go Robin! I love hearing you preach to me daily. I have learned so much from you during your Mission years. Thank you.

    Awesome message. Someone made the sandals Jesus wore. We all have a God-given gift, and we are urged to use it with love and without hesitation.

    Dear Brother
    That the Lord God might be merciful continuously to this ministry

    God does have plans, Robin, but the human part of the equation has to listen to his word and then act to fulfill his mission. Thanks to you for listening and fulfilling.

    Thanks for refreshing our memories of how God started the Daily Devotional. Thank you for heeding the call and continuing to carry on in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Blessings.

    Thank you for your dedication and inspiration to this work!
    You must get satisfaction from the growth and great success.
    Bless you.

    Hallalujah! Praise the Lord – what you started has blessed so many.
    The Lord gave you the idea, you pursued it despite initial setbacks, and today – with the internet, many of us are inspired and educated to follow His way.

    Yes, God has great foresight!
    Thanks Robin, for your years of service in this ministry.

    Thank you for sharing Robin,
    What a great testimony and encouragement for others.
    Is any thing too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14 KJV)
    Continued blessings to you and your ministry.

    This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing the story of how this began. I have been a subscriber since I got my first computer which was after I retired and my daughter was insisting this was the way to go. Love receiving the message every morning.

    Hi Robin;
    Who would have thought? As you say, God knew beforehand and look at what He has done! It is mind boggling. May God continue to bless this ministry and thank you for listening and acting on God’s vision.

    Robin – I really enjoyed hearing how the Lord prepared you for the presbycan ministry. What an awesome God we serve who knows the end from the beginning. May His Name be glorified in all we do!
    Thank you for sharing this encouraging message.

    Dear Robin,
    Congratulations on all the progress and the developments. Who all will we meet in heaven because of the following of the urge of God to begin something great!
    May God empower us all to accept and follow his leading.

    Thanks, Robin, for your faithful witness and work in sending out these daily devotionals. I don’t know how long I have been reading them – got my computer in about 1998 and a friend invited me to join, so I was one of the early ones, I guess. Can’t start my day without the Daily. Bless you and all the contributors.

    Good Morning Robin and Hearty Congratulations on bringing “Daily” to fruition as well as guiding so many of us to contribute as writers these past 19 years. May God Bless you and those of us who wrote, continue to write and especially our readers with many, many more years on the web.
    My personal Thank You for all your help throughout the years.
    Thanks be to God.

    Dear Robin: Congratulations on never giving up and thank you sincerely for this wonderful devotional site. Can’t remember the exact date I started writing devotionals for this site, and am amazed at how far through out the world “The Word” is spread. God gives us each the inspiration to write for him, what a privilege it is. He equips us for each task. I have met some awesome people through this devotional site. Thank you Robin and Praise God, to him be all glory.

    Thanks for your reminder about the Daily’s evolution, Robin – also for your personal story in tandem with that of the Daily.
    Your personal story reminded me that we are invited into a relationship and pilgrimage with God that includes all of our giftedness (Romans 12:1). We take all that we are on the journey.
    (AB, CANADA)

    I agreed wholeheartedly that God indeed has a plan for each one of us. I began visitation ministries back in the 70s. It was not my idea of doing all the driving around to visit folks, but God prepared me in doing his work. I thank God for protecting me in doing all the driving.

    Robin thank you for your persistence. I mentioned to you in past how often I used your PCC Devotionals over the dozen years plus I did weekly Bible studies in NS. That was in the old days prior to my retirement over 5 years ago. Obviously I still read them. Thank you for the quality articles that encouraged me and others in our Christian growth. Shalom.

    Thank you Rev. Ross and your volunteers for all you do to make this Daily Devotional possible. They are all so meaningful and I could not count the number of times that the Devotionals have given me encouragement, peace and strength to face a day of trials.
    We give God all the glory and may the Lord continue to bless you as you seek to serve Him through the daily Devotionals along with your own Ministry.
    God bless.

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you for turning your technological dreams into the reality of the PresbyCan Daily. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your devotional from 1999; it was such a wonderful experience to read about how this venture was birthed. This shows with God’s timing a vibrant ministry has been raised and grown to the praise and glory of God. I’m so happy to be a part of this ministry. May God continue to bless us and our readers as we follow His lead.

    Dear Mr. Ross,
    Many thanks for your great sharing of such wonderful experiences in encountering God’s own plan for your own life.
    It has indeed strengthened – not only myself I believe but – all of the readers to this day’s Devotional that it is God himself Who works remarkably in every single day for this Devotional to reach us all, and to learn and experience His daily gift through it.
    My pray for you and all the writers, staffs that God will always guide and inspire you through this Devotional as you commence your 20th years of this God blessed journey.

    19 years!
    I was really touched to be reminded of the beginnings of DD, which has been a lifeline for me. I have frequently forwarded them to friends who might benefit from the day’s meditation, in the hopes that they might get the DD habit. I am able to recognize the style of certain writers, such as Anne Russell, John Stuart, Joel Jongkind, Martin Wiles and others and find it exciting when a new one turns up in a new part of God’s Kingdom! I am delighted that God has used this ministry to reach so many, but in particular that you made yourself available for His purposes. Your knowledge of computers and how to use them was key to the project. Wishing you continued joy in the journey as you improve and expand this ministry.

    Morning Robin,
    Great devotional Robin. You describe how God brought the Devotionals on line through the early years. God led you forward step by steps to bring about His service. 19 years ago eh? I must have been writing devotionals near to the beginning.
    Now I am wondering if God is raising up people with His gifts, step by step, to bless the church through these changing times. I am sure He is planning the future just as He did the past, leading men and women just the same way as He led you – on to this day.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Robin, I love your amazing story, and want you to know how much I look forward every morning for whatever is going to be a beginning for a new day. It came to me as a gift from a new found cousin in Canada.
    Your story sparked a memory I’d like to share with you, and it goes back into the ’30’s when I was about 9 years old.
    Daddy was sent to the Free Methodist Church and he learned that the only radio station opened 5 days a week at 9 with a devotional by the ministers in town. He was notified when it was his turn for a week. He told me that I was going to go with him every day and open the program with a hymn. To this day I’ve wondered if what I did as a 9 year child touched the heart of someone who needed the Lord. We just never know.
    Thank you, Robin, for what you are giving to thousands of people. God bless you real good.

    Thank you for the Daily devotions. Enjoyed the explanation of how you got it all started.
    (New Brunswick)

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging word this morning, Robin.

    Good morning, Robin! 19 years!! God is good and He has/is using you – and even me – to do His bidding through all these years! …and thank you for all your digital ministry; I do enjoy the daily devotionals.

    I’m so thankful you listened to God’s leading … He is able to do abundantly more that we could ever dream of. I enjoy the daily devotionals so very much.

    Thank God for His directing you in this marvelous ministry!!! I am not even sure how I came upon it, but I have been blessed for several years reading each day and I share as much as possible with others!

    Keep it coming Robin! Blessings and prayers.

    Thank you for the devotional.
    I was introduced to it several years ago and look forward to reading what God says through His people.

    Thank you for sharing the history of the devotionals and for persisting with God’s help to make it all happen for all of us who start our day with some fresh insight.

    We praise the Lord for leading you to such a tremendous ministry. We really do appreciate all you and your staff do to inspire us each day.
    Thanks again.

    Thanks Robin. Yes, it’s “cool” how God prepares us for certain works even before we have an idea what they might be. I thank Him for your gifts and contributions electronic and otherwise.

    Hi Mr. Ross,
    What a wonderful story, it is amazing how things work out, you are indeed a blessing to many people.
    I am always so pleased with the way you change/alter/ad to some of the writings I submit.
    Thank you.

    Dear robin:
    Along with you, and others, I am amazed at God’s foreknowledge and work toward arming us for His purpose.
    My personal life also sees miracles where I saw hopelessness.
    May your endeavours continue to be a blessing,

    My dear Ross, friend in Christ,
    Thank you so much for sharing, I often times wondered how this all got started!
    May God bless and keep you safe as you continue to reach out to people across the nation, spreading inspiring devotions and bringing comfort and peace to people like myself every day. I am so grateful. Be blessed.

    It has been thrilling to hear how God has prepared the way for us in advance. The Daily Devotional has been a great blessing to me for several years and continues to be the way I begin my day. God Bless you for pursuing your vision for the future, though you didn’t realize it fully. The Holy Spirit brought it to fruition.

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