Devotionals
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June 28, 2017, 5:00 AM

God knows you better than you know you.


Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23-24

 

Life comes at us quickly. We move at such a fast pace that we don’t think we have any time to spend on taking care of ourselves. As long as nothing is majorly wrong, we don’t pay attention to the condition our hearts. We often assume we are okay until we are not. Most of us desire to grow, but the formation we desire will never happen in a hurry. It requires us to slow down and take the time to reflect on our own, as well as invite other voices into the conversation. We need to slow down long enough to give some careful thought to what is going on below the surface of our lives.

 

Self-reflection is a vital part of our walk with God. In order for the reflection that leads to transformation to take root in our lives, we must learn the art of self-awareness and self-assessment. These two ideas are vitally connected to each other and don’t work without the other. Self-awareness without self-assessment is reckless and harmful. Knowing you have a short fuse or are prone to worry but do nothing to learn why you are that way will lead you to hurt yourself and others by just “being you.”

 

On the other hand, self-assessment without self-awareness is pretty much useless. The problem with just having self-assessment is that our heart can be deceptive and prevent us from noticing our blind spots or the raw, real condition of what is happening below the surface. Our hearts aren’t completely well and the truth is we can be easily fooled. Regardless of whether you are super self-aware or you are an avid self-assessor, we all need other voices in our lives to help us turn self-reflection into transformation.

 

An accurate assessment requires an authentic encounter with God. The only person who can understand the true condition of your heart is the One who created you. Psalm 139 speaks to the care, love, and grace God extends to each one of us. The reality is that God knows you better than you know you. This statement can leave some of us uneasy. Our greatest desire is to be known, but our greatest fear is to be known and not loved. We are worried that if God sees all of us that he will reject us. Yet, Scripture reminds us time and time again that God knows us fully and He loves us completely.

 

Being known by God is a safe place. So, why would we ever run? After all, Psalm 139 speaks to this being a futile venture anyway.  We cannot outrun God. We can run, but the truth is He is there. His pursuit of us is perfect.  God knows exactly where you are in relation to Him. He also knows who you were made to be.  God understands how you work: your personality, how you think, how you process and how you make decisions. He also recognizes what is going to trip you up, what’s going to tempt you every time, and what has the potential to bring you down. We shouldn’t assess ourselves against who we think we should be, but rather against who God has made us to be.

 

God knows us fully, loves us completely, pursues us perfectly, and created us wonderfully. So, in light of all this, what can we do to know the condition of our hearts? We should follow the lead of David when he makes a simple, yet incredible authentic request of God: search him and know him. When you encounter God authentically, it positions you to ask this question, “God, what do you see in me?” It’s only when you encounter God authentically that you will be able to see yourself accurately.

 

An authentic encounter with God takes time. You can’t do this in a hurry. An authentic encounter with God takes some tools: a Bible, a journal, and a pen. And lastly, an authentic encounter with God takes trust. Will you trust God with what He brings to light?  When you see the true condition of your heart, and it’s not as neat and tidy as you thought, will you trust Him?  To come before God and ask, “What do you see in me?” might just be the scariest thing you do, but it could also be the most formative thing you do. This honest encounter won’t just happen. It’s going to take intentional time, some helpful tools, and authentic trust.

 

This my Prayer: Father God, search me and know me. Lord I desire for my heart to change but this requires me to expose it to You. Jesus allow me to be vulnerable and transparent with You and others. Rather than rush the transformation process, help me to trust the process. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




June 27, 2017, 5:00 AM

God sees the leader inside of us long before others or even ourselves see it.


God sees the leader inside of us long before others or even ourselves see it. In the story of David, found in 1 Samuel 16. While David didn’t fit the “appearance” or have the credentials that everyone else was looking for, he was chosen by God.  If you look back a few chapters in 1 Samuel 8-10, Israel had ignored God’s direction and they chose a King for themselves. They chose Saul, based on his “qualifications”. In other words, he looked the part. Long story short, Saul didn’t make a good king, and was eventually rejected by God.

 

While this is a very brief description of everything that happened to get us to the place of David being anointed to become king, there is a truth that rings loud and clear.  There are times that God will give us what we ask for, even though it’s not what is best for us. I have seen this ring true in my life more times than I’d like to admit. There are things I have chased after, things I have willed myself to make happen, that simply were not God’s best for my life. And yet He allowed them to happen.

 

So what have I learned from these situations? That’s a fair question with a simple answer… I make a terrible God for myself! When left to my own vices, I mess stuff up more than I get it right and that’s a good thing. God is a redemptive God.  He has a way of turning my mess-ups into something beautiful, something unique, but that only happens when I come to a place of submission to Him. Now submission sounds like an unpleasant thing, but I believe some of the greatest growth comes in trusting that God knows what’s best for me more than I do!

 

This truth is echoed in Proverbs which was written by King David’s son. Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (In other words, I’m not near as smart as I’d like to think I am) Choosing to trust God over self is the healthiest perspective we can have. That said, even when we blow it and we will from time to time, we are just one surrender away from growth and redemption.

 

This is my Prayer:  Father God, I know You call those You want to lead and You provide the opportunity they need to lead.  Lord help me to see past appearances, my own wants, and desires and trust in Your calling.  Jesus teach me to lead and live in Your redemptive power.  To have faith in Your forgiveness and purpose in my life and others.  In Your name Jesus. Amen.




June 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

When you hear the term “living sacrifice,” what comes to mind?


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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. ROMANS 12:1-2

 

When you hear the term “living sacrifice,” what comes to mind? Is it a positive or negative figure?  We all want to make an impact with the time we’ve been given. We all desire to leave a mark on the world. We yearn for a deep satisfaction where we are content in the work of our hands. But, this will never occur if we don’t do the internal work required.  Each one of us has a God given purpose. It’s to make His name known. Yet, how we reflect and fulfill that purpose is unique. We all have been given different talents, gifts and passions. We all have been given a certain sphere of influence. We all have been positioned in our current place for a purpose.

 

Proverbs 20:5 says, “the purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Sadly, most of us know ourselves only at the surface. We must possess the courage to look inside ourselves and draw out the purposes deep inside. You cannot find God’s purpose apart from God’s word.  Transformation doesn’t take place unless we are willing to sacrifice. Work is required. Understanding only occurs as a result of reflection and knowing oneself. In order to be used by God, we have to put ourselves in a position to be used. Direction occurs when our head and our heart are aligned and centered with His purposes.

 

Leverage is about position, while force is about effort. Effort tells us to pick up the pace. Everything is on our shoulders.  Leverage is when you become the pressure. Our pace needs to be fueled by our relationship with God. Leverage is simply the power to influence something in a particular direction.  It is about taking personal responsibility for the Kingdom of God and having a willingness to be a living sacrifice. One begins to leverage their life when they begin to understand God has given them the power to influence others through the way they live their life. Sacrifice isn’t about what we give up, but what we make available.

 

God has trusted you with the influence of His love and the integrity of His image. As you are transformed into the image of God, the opportunities for your life are to be used to display His kingdom increase as well.  God desires for every follower of His to use everything they’ve been given – every moment, every struggle, and every success – for the sake of His Kingdom. We have to look at everything we have, as well as all that we experience, both the good and the bad, and ask, “what is this for?”

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, open my eyes to the desires You’ve placed inside my heart. Lord I seek to understand not only my gifts and passions, but how I can leverage them to make Your name known. Jesus teach me to use everything You’ve given me to bring You glory. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




June 25, 2017, 5:00 AM

Seeking affirmation from God leads to a deeper trust, faith, satisfaction and dependency in Him.


The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Psalm 51:6

When we are not comfortable in our own skin, we will pursue any avenue to obtain feelings of affirmation, even if they are temporary. Since we are created in the image of God who desires relationships and intimacy, we are hard wired for connection. We want to hear we belong, we are loved and we are valued.  The problem arises when we, as broken people, try to fill and satisfy these God given desires by looking to other broken people to speak value and worth into our lives.

 

How we relate to and are received by others determine our sense of self and feelings of security. We determine how valuable we are based off the perception of others. This places us on dangerous footing. By seeking the applause of the crowd, we become nothing more than an actor on the stage of life – we pretend, we play a role, we overcompensate, and we crave attention.  Our relationships become no more than a means to an end. We use other flawed individuals to get what we want. Our days are spent always comparing and always competing. Bitter envy and selfish ambition begin to take root in our lives.

 

We find ways to compete rather than look for opportunities to connect. It’s almost impossible to root for anybody when we are always trying to compete with everybody. We have no frame of reference to really consider others because our default is to figure out how to gain the upper hand.  Our relationships aren’t a cure for our loneliness, but serve as the context for expression. How we deal with our loneliness impacts every relationship we have. In Genesis, when God looked at Adam and said it wasn’t good for man to be alone, God wasn’t saying people could fill us in ways that He couldn’t. God was making a bold statement about Himself. The reason it is not good for man to be alone is because man cannot glorify God by himself.

 

Throughout history, a body of people reflecting the image of Christ is what has glorified God. We come together to support and encourage one another as we seek to glorify God through the way we live and interact with one another. People will see God’s love through our love for each other.  This can only take place if we understand the origin of our true self-worth. Instead we must let our true worth and identity be spoken into us from God. It begins by trusting that we have value in the eyes of God. The only relationship that makes us valuable is the one we have with our Creator.

 

Seeking affirmation from God leads to a deeper trust, faith, satisfaction and dependency in Him. But, it also transforms our approach to human relationships as well. When we are no longer looking for a human solution for our loneliness, we are free to find a connection with others.  Where do you tend to compare and compete? How is this inhibiting your ability to be authentic with others?

 

This is my Prayer:  Father God, rather than compete, help me look to connect with others. Lord teach me no to hide my true self from those around me.  Jesus show me how to have the courage to reveal my heart knowing I am loved by You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




June 24, 2017, 5:00 AM

The object of our worship will determine our future and define our life.


They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.  Romans 1:25

The Bible makes it clear to us that all worship is to be God alone.  The first of the ten commandments tells us that we should worship God only, and have no other gods before Him. What’s worship? We typically think of worship as a religious act. However, if a person is a member of the human race and has a mind, body, and emotions, then they are hard-wired to worship. Worship is simply putting our hope in something or someone and then chasing after it. In other words, we hold something up, and give our lives to pursuing it.

 

Worship can take all kinds of forms. So how does this play out in my life? It might look a little bit like this…. If I worship technology, then I always have the newest computer, TV, gaming console, phone, etc. as soon as they come out. If I worship my favorite sports team, I will travel to the ends of the earth to watch them play. I will sit in inhumane weather, screaming my head off, in my latest favorite player’s jersey. If I worship my kids, I will spend my last dollar making sure they have the right clothes, get on all the right travelling sports teams, drive all over country (nine days a week) to take them to whatever activity they’re supposed attend. If I worship myself, well then, everything is about me. I spend my time based on what makes me, and only me, happy. I spend my money on things that make me look and feel good. I make decisions based on, “How does this affect me?”

 

Now here’s the deal, technology is not bad. I can even argue that it’s good. Watching or playing sports in and of itself is not bad. My kids are definitely not bad – the Bible tells us they are a gift. Doing things for myself is not wrong. However, none of these things were meant to be worshipped. They are gifts. Who or what we worship is our choice.  The object of our worship will determine our future and define our life. It's the one choice that our other choices are motivated by.  Our worship of God is birthed out of His love for us, which in turn makes us want to love Him, which shapes where we spend our time and our resources. So the question becomes, “What does my life look like if I worship God? 

 

Now with that in mind, I’ll close with Joshua 24:14-15

 "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord"

A life of worship, is one where we give everything we have and are into His control. We allow God to order and direct how we conduct ourselves in every part of our lives, how we relate to our family, friends, and others, how we deal with our money, how we go about our work. Everything is brought under the control of God, and lived out in accordance with His word to bring Him glory.  So choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve(worship)!

 

This my prayer:  Father God, I see where at times in my life I worship Your creation over the You, and I am sorry.  Lord please forgive me and help me to give my life to pursuing You and Your glory.  Jesus help me to show Your love in such a way to my family and those You bring into my life, that it motivates them to worship You.  In your name, Jesus. Amen.  


Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57   Entries 141-145 of 283