Devotionals
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March 28, 2017, 5:00 AM

The best thing I can do is be obedient to speaking and pouring the truth into their lives and then pray.


Do you ever find yourself wanting to “fix” or change someone? Why do we all think we can do that?  Do we think we have the some special power or some master knowledge needed to change a person to be what we want them to be?  We are a very misled group, aren't we?  We think that if we say or do the right things that maybe someone will come to their senses and change.  I have found myself falling into that trap so many times.  As I think back on those times, I remember the feeling of despair I felt and anger when I didn’t see the fruit of my labor or the outcome I desired.  I was focusing on my desires, abilities and actions, and not on God’s.

 

I had to come to an understanding that I am no match for the power of God.  I whole heartedly believe in speaking and pouring the truth in someone's life.  I believe God put people in our lives for that purpose and that the Holy Spirit prompts us to those people He has put in our path.  But even if I do that it still doesn't guarantee that they will change. I have to remember that it’s not up to me, only God can change that person.  The best thing I can do is be obedient to speaking and pouring the truth into their lives and then pray. “Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” Mark 9:28-29

 

Recently I was reminded this in my church’s Sunday evening Bible study, when God put some people on my heart to pray for that I had given up on.  I had shared the gospel and poured in to this person’s life years ago only to not see my desired outcome.  So for years, I hadn’t been praying for them.  So I asked God what He would have me pray and He showed me.  This person’s heart seem to be a little on the hard side.  They thought they had it all together and there was nothing wrong with their life or life style. So I prayed for brokenness, for them to see a need for God, and for them to develop a hatred for their sin.  I prayed that God would forgive them and give them a new heart and a new spirit. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

 

I give praises to God, because I've seen amazing results in that person’s life.  But quite frankly, I should be praising Him all the time. Because I know that even if I never see my desired transformation in people lives, I know He will see His. 

 

This is my Prayer:  God show me the areas of my life where I am trying to take over Your job.  Jesus show me how to love people where they are and how to pray them to where You want them to be. Lord help me to be obedient to speak and pour truth into their lives and then pray for Your desired outcome.  God teach me to praise for the transformation You are providing in our lives.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 27, 2017, 5:00 AM

Mercy is meant to be shared!


Do you find it difficult to “let things go” when someone has hurt or offended you?  When I was young, I often played the game Mercy. It’s a simple game really. You and your opponent take both of your hands and intertwine them with each other’s. You then proceed to bend them back trying to inflict the most pain to your opponent to “win the game”. When it starts to hurt beyond what you can handle, you merely yell, “Mercy!” and your opponent stops. Whoever yells “Mercy!” first is the loser.

 

That’s what the world wants us to believe that if we need mercy then we are losers and less than.  When in fact we are far from losers, because we have victory through mercy.  Not only was Christ’s sacrifice on the cross full of grace, but also full of mercy! We deserved that cross, not Jesus. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 Webster defines mercy as this: compassion shown to an offender.   We are the offenders, not Him. But God showed us his amazing compassion when He gave us Himself for us instead of giving us what we deserve.


Do you have a hard time extending mercy in situations where you've been extended mercy to? We often judge others by their actions but ourselves by our intentions.  We sometimes are quick to accept mercy from God and are slow in extending that mercy to others. Like those times where we hoard our resources because we’ve forgotten what it was like to be in need and times as simple as not allowing a car to merge into our lane on the highway when we were just extended the same act by another kind driver. “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13

 

The mercy of God is more than our finite minds will ever be able to comprehend. We will never understand how the Creator of the Universe sent his son to this broken world in order to redeem mankind. We will never truly grasp how wide and high and deep the love of God is while we are here on this earth. But even though we don’t fully get it, it doesn’t mean we can’t receive it with open arms, rest in our eternal security through Christ’s death on the cross, and share it with those who need it extended to their lives.  I believe that when we really receive mercy and see that we don’t deserve it that it’s a gift from God, we can then extend that same mercy to others.

This is my Prayer: God show me where I need to show mercy to others. Lord reveal to me just how much mercy You have shown me through my life and where I would be without it.  Jesus thank You for loving me and having mercy on me, for give Your life for mine.  God help me each day to believe in Your mercy, to receive it, and to share with those who need it.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 26, 2017, 5:00 AM

Follow or Guard your heart, the choice is yours!


Do you find yourself following your heart on a regular basis? What usually happens when you do?  We hear the phrase “follow your heart” almost daily.  The Bible actually says that we are to guard our heart, not follow it. “Guard your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 The Hebrew word for "spring" in that verse means "goings out, going forth." Meaning that basically what is in our heart is where our life will lead.  

 

You see when we follow our hearts we are basically just following our misguided feelings.  Our feelings, aka the “heart”, lead us into situations simply because it feels right especially when sin enters the equation. The sinful nature of our heart can also cause us to make wrong decisions just because it feels good. Decisions like having that affair, stealing that money, and doing those drugs, because they feel good and if it feels good has to right, right?   

 

“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 We have to be careful to compare what our hearts are leading us to do with what the Word of God and His spirit are telling us to do.  And as the saying goes “The Holy Spirit will not lead you where the Word of God can’t keep you”.  If we make following our hearts a daily practice it will only yield pain, disappointment.

 

When it comes to making decisions in our lives that honor God, consider getting God’s opinion first before just “following your heart.” By following God’s word and living by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can guard your heart which will yield joy and peace.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

 

This is my Prayer:  God help me to guard my heart.  Lord help me overcome my emotions and follow Your leading and not my own feelings.  Jesus give me a heart like Yours, so that I will be able to follow Your word and Your will.  Lord teach me to make decisions that honor and glorify You.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 25, 2017, 5:00 AM

You are in right standing with God, because of what Jesus has done, not what you’ve done.


Do you trust that He is completely satisfied and pleased with who you are?  For years I lived with the mentality, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.”  I focused my whole life on work that need to be done. Even in my relationship with God, I felt like I owed God something for all the wrong I had done, so I tried to work hard every day and make up for it.  I wanted so badly to be blessed by Him, and I felt that I could earn His blessings or pay Him back if I worked hard enough.  I finally learned the truth that we cannot earn or pay for God’s gifts; otherwise, they are not gifts at all.  “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

I love God and try to follow Him, but I don’t do everything right.  All I want is for His will to done with my life and it hurts knowing that I have disappointed Him.  That hurt produces feelings of guilt that lead to fear.  Fear that I’m not good enough or strong enough to follow Him.  That fear brings back the mindset that I need to try to work and prove that I am, and the cycle starts all over again.   God sees the heart of man, and how He deals with us is based on the kind of heart He has not what we have.  Perhaps like me, you experience those feelings of guilt and fear.  God loves you unconditionally and it is Jesus who has reconciled you, not yourself. What does it mean to be reconciled? It means your balance is zero. You don’t owe anything! 

 

Do you really believe you are reconciled to God?  Do you find yourself walking in shame over your past decisions? What is it that takes you back and makes you feel that shame?  In 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” Paul begging the people to take the reconciliation that God is offering, and I urge you to do the same.  Don’t wait another moment to be reconciled to God.  He accepts you because you have accepted Jesus in to your heart.  You are in right standing with Him, because of what Jesus has done, not what you’ve done.  Nothing you can do or have done can earn that!

 

This is my Prayer:  God renew me from the inside out. Jesus teach me when I experience shame over my past to remember that You reconciled me to You.  Lord please remove the feeling of shame and replace it with peace and joy.  God help me to be willing to follow Your will and believe that my balance is zero.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 24, 2017, 5:00 AM

Are you broken or blameless?


Have you ever just set back and watched people?  People watching is kind of a hobby of mine. I just enjoy learning about people and you can learn a lot about a person by just watching them.  Not only do I like to sit and watch I also like to listen. I enjoyed listening to people no matter their age, demographic, or intellect. I believe I can learn something from everyone. In all of this, one of the things that I've learned about people is that some are broken and some are not.   And I have come to the conclusion we all need to be broken.  Allow me to unpack this for you.

 

Brokenness is God’s gift, designed to motivate you to initiate reconciliation.  Broken people are aware of their need for a Savior. They have no time to focus on anyone else’s sins. Broken people are fully willing to accept the consequences of their sin and don't dodge responsibility for their actions.  I've heard countless stories from people who weren’t broken, people who can't or won't take responsibility for what they've done. They play the blame game and search to place blame on anyone else but themselves for the situations they find themselves in.  Sometime it’s hard for me listen to them and not to just tell them “It’s your sin, own it”.  

 

The truth is hard to deal with for them, because truth is even if you feel like you did something because of someone did something to you or because someone didn't meet your needs, you still sinned. When it comes to sin, there is never a legitimate excuse.  You made the choice to sin. No matter what anyone else did first. You are still responsible for you!  Therefore, we must accept responsibility for it and the consequences that follow.  This marks the beginning of our faith and the transition from sinner to saved.

 

 Only upon recognizing our sin and acknowledging our need of a Savior, can we truly repent of it. Repentance is not only a change of mind; it is a change of direction. Unless you change your behavior, you haven’t really repented, no matter how many tears you may have shed. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. II Corinthians 7:10 Do you find that you dodge responsibility for your actions or sin? Do you ever blame someone else for your sinful actions? 

 

This is my Prayer:  God teach me to be broken.  Lord help me accept responsibility for my own actions and not blame others. Lord reveal to me why I don't take this path very often.  Jesus give me have an attitude of true repentance.  God reveal the steps I need to take to change my direction and follow you.  In Jesus name, 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 231-235 of 283