Devotionals
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April 2, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you find yourself continually disappointed?


Do you find yourself continually disappointed?  When things don't go our way, our natural response is disappointment.  All of us to some extent come into a relationship with the Lord thinking that our lives are no longer going to be filled with disappointment.  However, most of us who have walked with the Lord for any length of time come to understand that whether we live for the Lord or not, life is still going to hand us disappointments.  The difference, hopefully, is how we handle these disappointments in life.  Romans 8:28 says that God will cause all things to work together for good, He never says that all things will be good.

 

Feeling disappointment is understandable and even accepted. But, it should be a stepping-stone on our path with Jesus, not the weight that drowns our faith. In our walk with Christ we are all going to come across times where we don’t necessarily feel like God is either there or doing anything in our lives.  However, as Christians we aren’t to live by what we feel, but what we believe.  To be honest, I don’t always feel like I’m saved, sanctified and washed in the blood of Jesus, but the Word of God tells me that once I’ve called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, whether I feel like I am or not, I am saved, sanctified, and washed in the blood of Jesus, and I believe it. 

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

The thing is.  We are to trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways, not just in the bad times and not just the good ones, but ALL of them.  That means even in the times of disappointment where it seems like nothing is happening at all and that God is not in control.  I can know that He’s not only in control, but aware of everything that’s going on in my life.  He’s aware of my disappointment over the struggles, shortcomings, and situations I find myself in and He is directing my path.  We still, even as we’re directed by the Lord have to go through some afflictions, trials, tests, persecutions, and yes disappointments.  Those things are just a part of life, but He always there with me.

 

This is my Prayer: God thank You for Your promises and direction.  Lord reveal Your plan for your life and the situations I go through.   Teach me to trust that You’re in control even in time of disappointment.  Jesus show me how to acknowledge and trust You in all of my ways.  Help me to see areas in my life that I need to acknowledge You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.




April 1, 2017, 5:00 AM

Are there any areas of your life where you are still holding onto rejection?  


Are there any areas of your life where you are still holding onto rejection?  Rejection hurts doesn’t it?  I look back on my life and think of all the times I’ve had my heart broken because someone rejected me, and how each time it got a little bit harder to recover from it.  I know after a while I got to the point where I didn’t believe that God was able to repair my broken heart.  He did, but rejection is one of the worst pains in life I’ve ever felt.

 

“And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias.  Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” Acts 1:23-26 These three verses finish off the first chapter of Acts. This is where Jesus ascends in to Heaven and the disciples have to decide who will replace Judas, the disciple who chose to betray Jesus for a few coins. Apparently, the remaining 11 disciples are deciding between two men: Joseph and Matthias. They made their decision and chose Matthias, not Joseph, and that’s the end of it. There is no “and the disciples comforted and encouraged Joseph to continue to pursue the things of Christ” speech after he wasn’t chosen.

 

As I read that passage, I couldn't help but wonder how Joseph must have felt.  Rejection isn't fun for anyone. Even if you know that what you were rejected from isn't what God wants for you. It hurts and it can cause you to doubt who you are and what you're doing. It can cause you to harbor feelings of resentment or bitterness.  At times it even can change how you react to God.  We become incredibly great stone masons who construct walls of brick around our hearts to protect them from pain of further rejection. Has anyone else ever done this other than myself?  I know that I became a master at adding stones to the wall I’d built for decades due to pain, rejection, and the list of reasons to add bricks to my wall goes on and on.

 

However, the longer I walk with the Lord the more He’s helping me to tear down the wall I’ve built. I believe one day that entire wall I’d built to protect me will come down and the only shield of protection I’ll need is Jesus. We just have to surrender all to Him, including our feelings of rejection.  Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world knows all too well how it feels to be rejected. “You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.” 1 Peter 2:4  That’s why we can come to Jesus in our time of need and He is ready, willing and able to help us. 

 

This is my Prayer:  God teach me to turn these areas in my life where still holding onto rejection over to You.  Jesus remove these feeling of resentment and bitterness from my heart and replace them with forgiveness and peace.   Lord help me tear down the walls I’ve built in my life.   In Jesus name, Amen. 




March 31, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you really believe that God absolutely loves you?


Do you really believe that God absolutely loves you? A few years back I was at the Pharmacy picking up a prescription. My kids were there with me while I was waiting, I looked over at them. They weren’t doing anything especially amazing, just sitting there waiting while I waited. Well maybe that is amazing. They were just there with me and in that moment I just realized how much love I had for them. I had to fight back the tears. Really, because no one wants to see a grown man cry in the middle of the CVS Pharmacy!

 

The fact is that our God, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…loves you just like that, completely and without reservation. We need to stop fixating on some future version of who we think God wants us to be and instead believe that God loves us just for who we are. A life of obedience to Him and being in fellowship with Him throughout the day gives Him joy, but He loves us because that is just who He is. He is love and He loved us enough to sacrifice His only son for us. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 If you are a parent, do you love anyone enough to sacrifice your child for them? Yeah, me neither and I got extras to spare. When I think about the love I have for my own sons and daughters, it’s hard to fathom just how much God loves me.

 

Do you know how much God loves you? I don’t think I really do either, but I am trying hard to understand His love. Paul exhorts us to do that in Ephesians 3:16-18 “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” This scripture means that as our understanding of God’s love for us increases, so will our gratitude and the only reasonable response to Him should be giving Him our complete lives. But, it’s not an easy task, is it?

 

Sometimes we can't help but wonder does God really love me? The scripture tells us that no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, no matter how unworthy you think you are, He does.

 

This is my Prayer: God allow Your love to fall upon me and drench my heart. Jesus reveal to me how much You love me. God help me to understand how You love me. Lord show me how my life can reflect the love You have for me to others. I want to give You my complete life. In Jesus name, Amen.




March 30, 2017, 8:03 AM

Guilty or Convicted?  


People often say they feel guilty when they have done something wrong. While others say they feel convicted. How do you feel when you've done something wrong? Guilty or convicted? An easy way to figure it out is this: Guilt paralyzes, conviction motivates. When you’re experience guilt, it can feel as if there no way to make amends for the wrong you committed. This is a tactic of the enemy to paralyzes us and keep us in bondage to our sin. Guilt is not from the Holy Spirit. Conviction, on the other hand, is from the Spirit, it motivates us to right the wrong we have committed. The Spirit guides you to the savior, who can save us from our sin.

 

Over the years, I’ve had lots of people ask me if Baptists believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I always answer with a resounding “YES!” Not only do we believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, but we recognize that no Christian can live without His guidance. The Holy Spirit is very important in our Christian walk. We need His divine intervention to live in this fallen world. That’s why God gives each believer a Helper, whose job is to produce Christ like character in us. The Holy Spirit guides, counsels, comforts, and protects, to name a few.

 

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” John 16:7-8

 

I love the Holy Spirit. The guidance He gives me to reach out to a friend who is hurting. He gives me the words that falls from my lips when I have no idea what to say to a person in need. He comforts me when I am hurting and no one on this earth can relieve it. But He also convicts me of my sin and dang it, I don't like that. Don't misunderstand me. I love the outcome of conviction but I am just not a fan of the discomfort that goes along with it. But, it's necessary for growth and a changed life. God wants each of us to live a changed life, a life in which we can experience the fullness of his love, a life that glorifies Him. Is the Holy Spirit motivating you to glorify God by making a change in your life? Are you at the end of your rope and feel unable to make it? The enemy will keep you there if you let him. The Holy Spirit will give you the power to make it if you seek it.

 

This is my Prayer: God give me guidance through Your conviction. Jesus forgive me for the sin in my life that I’m still holding on to. Lord help me to overcome the guilt that paralyzes my walk with you. God give me strength to follow the Spirit's lead to make the changes in my life that are need to live a changed life and bring You glory. In Jesus name, Amen.




March 29, 2017, 5:00 AM

It’s hard to relinquish control and surrender our lives, our possessions, and our family to GOD.


Are there parts of your life that you haven't surrendered to God?  Are there areas where you are not allowing Him to lead you, like a relationship, your career, or with your children?   It’s hard to relinquish control and surrender our lives, our possessions, and our family to GOD.  Yet, that’s exactly what he calls us to do!

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? Matthew 16:24-26

If you’ve walked the Christian road for any amount of time, the likelihood that you’ve heard a message preached on the verse above is great. Oftentimes we hear a message that exhorts us to rise above ourselves and live our lives to honor Christ with no regard for what we’ll receive. And we are told that when we take this path we will truly find life.

I remember in the fall of 2009 a big event transpired in my life, just as my plan for my life was just starting to work out, there was a calling from God to surrender. Surrender what, you might ask? Everything and I didn’t know if I wanted to. It was the call to vocational ministry. I didn’t have a desire whatsoever to do that for a living. Volunteering was just fine with me. But, after wrestling with God about it for a few months, and him revealing His call in a mighty way I eventually surrendered. And that was the beginning of me truly finding life.

Travel ahead to 2011 if you will and you’ll find me hearing from God yet again about the direction in my life. Serving in a church that is absolutely on the rocks, starting crumble, and dissolve before my very eyes, God calls me to stay and work things out, and not only that but to lead His people. That encouraged many and frightened plenty. But, I chose to follow God’s direction and literally lose my life. And again, I found it.

During the last several years, God has shown up and brought more blessings than I can comprehend.  Sometimes I just sit and think about how much I’ve been given. I don’t remember the exact day but God spoke to me. I was praying, looking at my life, and asking, “Why me, Lord?” and He replied “you said yes.”  I sat up and realized that I had a choice to make back then. I could have said “no” and kept the life I enjoyed and thought I wanted. Or, I could have said “yes” and received a life that I never could have imagined.  Is God calling you to a new life? What do you say? Yes or no?  

This is my Prayer:  God I surrender all to you my Savior.  I believe that you surrendered everything for me.  Jesus I need Your help to faithfully follow You in all things.  Lord give me the strength and courage I need to say YES to Your calling, whatever it is.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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