Devotionals
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March 23, 2017, 5:00 AM

We cannot let grief stop our walk with Christ!


What or who are you grieving for today? Has your grief stopped your walk with God? Has it taken you further away from Him? Grief can manifest itself in our lives in many ways; the loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, a friendship, innocence lost, the loss of one’s health, or even the loss of a pet or something we cared deeply about.  Grief is a different process for each person. Have you ever been deep in grief, almost paralyzed, and felt guilty for a smile or a giggle, feeling shamed for one moment of joy? It's okay to grieve differently than others. It's okay to grieve for longer than someone thinks you should, or deeper than society says is “normal.”  But we cannot let grief stop our walk with Christ.

 

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." 1 Peter 1:6 In this scripture Peter tells us "for a little while you may have had to suffer grief". "A little while" can be days, months, or years. Some grief will stay with us for a lifetime, but God will change the level and depth of the pain over time so that your life can still bear fruit and have joy.

 

"Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16: 22  You can rejoice and have joy even in grief because we have know that God is with you and He is powerful enough and understands you enough, to comfort you in this moment.  God is our Father who grieves alongside us. God understands loss; after all, his only Son was hated, rejected, and ultimately killed for you. Only He can give you the strength to stay faithful through your grief, and only He can turn our grief into joy, bring triumph out of tragedy.

 

This my Prayer: God strengthen my heart and allow me to feel You comfort in my times of grief. Lord show me Your purpose in these situations and help me to continue seek You.  Jesus give enough faith and strength to follow Your will at all times in my life. God teach me to not let anything stop my walk with you.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

We find a Real God in times of Waiting!


Has the plan for your life ever changed?  Coming out of high school I had life all planned out. I was going to study computers and play football in college. Then maybe go pro, when that was done I would fallback on computers. Then the walls came crashing down, when in practice the day before my first game tragedy struck. Going through a play someone fell taking out my knee and tearing my Acl and Mcl, and bam in an instant my plans are gone. I began to ask God what I was to do now. I began to wait and wait and wait, and wait for him to show.

Those years of waiting, watching my friends having the time of life's living out their dreams, when I could not was excruciating. It was a great desire in my heart to know what God's plan was! Why did God make me wait so long? Better yet, why don’t some people ever get to live out their dream, while some do?

During that time I struggled with faith, grew angry, and questioned why I had to wait. Over and over again God has revealed to me that He is sovereign and I am not.

I believe that during that time God developed some character traits in me that otherwise might not have been developed. He knew every thought and feeling I had during that painful time. I became truthful with Him.  You see no longer did I think of God as some mystical being to talk to as when I was a child. He was now a real person for me to be angry with, talk to (yell at).  He was someone I wasn’t afraid to be real with.  I knew I could cast all of the hurts and pain I had onto him. After all, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5 to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I did just that and you can, too. I threw as hard as I could at Him every hurt, pain, anger, sorrow i had, and in return I received no retaliation, no wrath, just peace, understanding, and love.  My relationship with God grew deeper than ever because He truly became real to me.

 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Are you in a time of waiting right now? Waiting is not fun for me at all. Probably not for you either. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Man, I am so excited about what God is going to show me and how I’m going to change during this time of waiting. I can’t wait to wait some more!” But, as I’ve talked with countless people after their time of waiting and everyone has said that they wouldn’t trade the relationship that they now have with Jesus for the one they had before. You see, it’s in those days, months and years of waiting where we start Jesus as real, we can become real with Him, and He can reveal His plan for our lives.  Have you asked God, “What do you want me to learn from this?”  I learned in waiting that God revealed that He had already given me His plan as a teenager when He called me to preach and that my plan for my life was never His. 

 

This is my Prayer: God give me patience in my time of waiting. Jesus help me to see You as real, someone I can talk to, someone I can share my feelings with, and someone I can rely on.  Lord show how to be real with You and grow closer to You during this time.  God teach me Your ways and help me learn the lesson You want me to learn from waiting.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 21, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Truth Everyone Needs To Hear!


Most of the time when someone dies their grieving relatives want so badly to believe that their loved one is now enjoying life in heaven. It doesn’t matter they had any faith at all.  They create these lovely scenarios of paradise with which to comfort themselves. In their view everybody gets a piece of the old pie in the sky. They are wrong.

 

Here is the truth: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" Acts 4:12. That name is Jesus Christ. There is only one way, and he is it. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  The people in your life need to know this and the Lord has put it in your hands to tell them.   Is it going to be an easy task?  No, if it wasn’t an easy task for Jesus should it be for you.

 

People are resistant to change they tend to push back when they feel pushed. Have you ever tried to get someone to change a behavior that they don’t believe is destructive? It seems impossible to get someone to quit doing drugs, quit drinking, or quit wasting money on lottery tickets and the casinos. In the same way, it may seem impossible to ignite someone's cold, dead faith.

 

But it can happen. Your God wants you to know that it is possible for you to influence positive change in another person. Your words and actions can make a difference.  "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins" James 5:19-20.  How many people has God put in your life that are headed down a destructive path?  Are you content with letting them continue down that path, while you have the knowledge that could save them? 

 

This is my Prayer:  God help me to recognize the people in my life that need to have a relationship with you.  Lord give me the strength, courage, and faith to present them with the truth in love.  Jesus use your testimony in my life to help others come to Your saving grace.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 20, 2017, 5:00 AM

We need to realize that God’s provision in all areas of our lives is enough! 


What are you afraid of? Do you struggle with trusting God to meet your needs? The fear of not having what we need is one of the strongest and most persistent fears people experience. We’re constantly attacked with this fear whether it’s finances, relationships, or the ability to do what God has called us to do. God tells us not to fear, more than any other command in Scripture. God never promises us a trouble-free life, but He does promise us His presence and strength to get us through our troubles. We need to realize that God’s provision in all areas of our lives is enough.

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

The definition of contentment is a state of being happy and satisfied. So what’s the secret that Paul learned that would allow him to be content in any circumstance? I mean, for me, being content is a daily battle, sometimes an hourly battle. There are times I struggle with self esteem and I can barely stand to look in the mirror. Some days I get mad and wish I had more money to buy things I want and things I believe my family needs. At times I’m envious of the gifts that others have and I get frustrated with the way God has gifted me. So, how do I battle to stay content? After giving this question some thought, I’m pretty sure I have the answer. I need to maintain an attitude of gratitude. That may not be exactly what Paul was thinking when he wrote what he wrote. But for me, I need an attitude adjustment in order to find contentment in my life. Usually in my case that comes as a reality check.

On days when I wish I my body looked different, I remember the ones I visited in the hospital, the ones who were so sick and frail, that they would trade their whole life for one day in my body. On days when I wish I had more money, I stop and realize that my family and I have a home, clothes and food to eat. I remember the devastation I have seen with my own eyes, as all over our world everyday many would love to have the “little” that we have. On days when I wish I had someone else’s gifts, I remember that these gifts have allowed me to see countless people give their lives to Christ as their savior, and there are people who have never witnessed that.

Is there a particular area of your life where you don’t feel grateful? What is it that you think would help you be more grateful? Has God already provided it? Today, you have a decision to make and I do, too. We can choose either to be content and grateful or we can choose not to. We can let fear win or God win in our lives.

This is my Prayer: God give me an attitude of gratitude. Lord remind me every day and help me to see just how much I am blessed. Show me how you can be a blessing to someone else. Jesus teach me fight the fear of not having what I need, with the knowledge of what You have truly given me. Lord no matter what I’m going through or what’s around the corner prepare me to follow You and trust in Your provision for my life. In Jesus name, Amen.




March 18, 2017, 5:00 AM

Why am I in this relationship? To lead people to Christ!  


Why am I in this relationship?  I wondered that more than once.  Usually it’s when I’m looking at a relationship in which I’m feeling the need to correct someone’s behavior or someone has just corrected mine.  We need to remember that Christ blesses us through the people He brings into our lives, but these relationships have a reason and a purpose.   What is that reason and purpose?  To lead people to Christ!  In some relationships you are there to lead people to Him and in some YOU need led back to Him.   

 

Look at the relationships you are in right now, do you see what I mean.  Do see someone slipping away spiritually? Maybe there is someone in your own family who once was proud to worship God but now they have no time for him, maybe that person is you. Do you see someone who needs a relationship with Christ?  Did you answer YES to either of those questions? Then you’re probably asking yourself: What do I do? What do I say? Where do I start?  Well if our relationships are for the purpose of leading people to Christ, then I would say start with Him!

 

That’s exactly were Paul started, “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.  Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.  This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. “ 2 Timothy 8-13

 

When Paul shares with his dear friend Timothy, he starts with “REMEMBER JESUS”, then he reminds Timothy to use the Gospel, he refers to the Gospel as “MY GOSPEL”.   He made the Gospel of Jesus Christ his own personal good news.  Paul could endure anything because he knew that Jesus is Faithful even to the faithless.  He truly believed that if Jesus could forgive him, set him on the right path, and use him for God’s glory; then He could definitely do it for everyone else.  No matter where they are in their life. Paul cared about his own salvation, but he also cared about eternal destiny of the people God had put him in relationships with and couldn’t just idly watch somebody fall away from the faith.

 

Friendships based on God's love are important for all of us to have. We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us.  We need people who tell us Godly wisdom when we need to hear it, who will pray for us, and who will shine God’s light in our lives when we are in dark times.  Who in your life would stand beside you no matter what?  Who needs you to stand beside them?  Who do you know who seem to be slipping away? 

 

This is my Prayer:  God continue to fortify my life with friends that will support me in my walk of faith.  Lord help me to reach out to those in my life who are slipping away from You.  Jesus give me the strength to call them back to You.  Show me Lord how to call them back not just with my words but with my life.  Lord give me a responsive heart to those that are calling me back You.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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