Devotionals
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March 11, 2017, 5:00 AM

Are your plans His plans?


What are your plans today? Like most, you probably have a long list of things to get done. If God could sit with you and go over your list, how would He prioritize it? Would he just scrap the entire list and add the items that you've been putting off for a long time, the items that belong to Him? "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

As the Apostle Paul sat in a Roman jail, he wrote a letter to the Philippians to help strengthen their love of Christ. In his letter Paul wrote "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.... I can do all this through him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:12-13  Christ is our answer to living a content life. Once we submit to Him, he strengthens us in all situations so that our priorities can shift. What we once planned for our own lives can take a backseat to God’s plan.  How do we know what God’s plan is?  Can you imagine trying to assemble an automobile without an instruction manual? Then why would you try to figure out how to put together your life without instructions from God?

The Bible is a gift that shows you how dear you are to God.  He took such elaborate pains to prepare a document that explains everything you need to know about life on earth and life in heaven. He wants you to know what he’s like, what he’s done, how he thinks, how he talks. We must remember that God is the author of our life. Is your life what you planned? Are you making plans without God? Are there things God has put on your to-do list that you keep procrastinating… stop drinking, start going to Church, get counseling, stop the affair, turn to Him completely? Today, make your top priority to "do all this through Him who gives me strength" and remember He is here with you today. He has a plan for you, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. “But how will you know what His plan is if you won’t read it.

 

This is my Prayer: God give me the strength to make You my top priority. Lord give me the wisdom to see Your plan for me as You reveal it in Your word. Jesus ready my heart, mind, and spirit for Your purpose.  God teach me how to feel content in You and Your plan and follow it.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 10, 2017, 5:00 AM

Doubt and fear are everywhere, but hope is in the Lord!


Isn’t it difficult being a heaven bound spirit in a broken world? Doubt and fear are everywhere.  The media, schools, the workplace, and sometimes even the church seem to present reason to have fear and doubt. Without our eyes focused on God daily, it is easy to be tossed by the sea and wind of this world  "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." James1:5-6

Personal prayer is a powerful way to direct the focus of our day on God. God can generously give us His wisdom, especially when we are in the depths of doubt and fear, God wants us to "...not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 But be careful how you pray.  What do I mean by that? Well, how many times do you think you have spoken the words of the Lord’s Prayer? A hundred? A thousand? In school we used to say it before all sporting events. I can’t count how many times I have said, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven?” I know I didn’t and I’m pretty sure you didn’t realize that every time we said those things we were telling God that HIS agenda is more important than ours.  Did you mean what you were praying? I know I didn’t because I sure would get mad when I lost a game or competition, how about you?  Many find their trust in God draining away because he doesn’t seem to be doing what they want when they want it, and doubt and fear begin to creep in.  

 

When we are struggling, God wants us to turn to Him first. He wants a deep relationship with us, his children. If you do not know exactly what to say to God, think for just a moment, what is God’s greatest desire for you. It is not to make you wealthy, famous, powerful, comfortable, or give you worldly victory. It is to get you home to heaven.  “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 Let God’s ultimate goal for you be your prayer.  Replace the worries of this world with the hope of the next.  “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18.


What are your doubts and fears today? Have you taken these fears to God knowing that He is in control and will hear you? Have you checked your will at the door and asked for His will to be done?


This is my Prayer:  God help me overcome my fear and doubt. Father Your will be done on earth as in heaven.  Lord prepare me for the outcome of that, make Your will clear to me, and give me the strength to follow it.  Jesus help you focus my day on You and Your eternal hope.  Lord I know You got this.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 9, 2017, 5:00 AM

What or who are you pretending to be?


Do you remember when you where a child every game you played involve pretending.  You played cowboys and Indians or tea party (or whatever game girls played), and it didn’t take any effort to envision a box as a pirate ship or a castle, in fact, that sort of make-believe is critical to a child's development.  Children love to pretend, but the plan is to quit pretending when you are an adult and learn to see and accept reality. If only. I bet you know plenty of other adults who are still pretending. Single people move in with each other and pretend to be married. Married people act as though they are single. Many people pretend that their lives are fine, while they are in bondage to tobacco, drugs, or alcohol.  People pretend to be financially successful, when they are staggering under enormous debt such giant mortgages, mountains of loans, and maxed-out credit cards.

 

The worst thing is when you pretend that you are morally good enough for God. You can blame other people for your sins. You can compare yourself with people farther down the food chain and feel superior. You can indulge in selective memory, remembering only what makes you look good.  But and it’s a big But.  God has a different view of us and it’s not the one we are pretending to be, He sees us as we truly are.  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:13 

 

This scripture tells us we must accept reality, because we are accountable to God for it.  Living in a state of spiritual denial is deadly, especially spiritual self denial. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). You need help and I need help. We all need God’s help.  “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” Romans 3:23-24 No matter what your situation is today, you have to acknowledge the realty of who we are and ask Jesus makes us right in his sight. Jesus is the only who can free us from the penalty of our sin and pretending.  What or who are you pretending to be?  Will you quit pretending and admit to God who you really are and what you really need?

 

This is my Prayer:  God help me to accept the reality of who I am, and the fact that I need you.  Teach me not to live in my delusions or denial, but live in Your grace.  Lord help to be honest with myself and with You.  Jesus I know You know exactly who and what I am, and You still love me and made a way for me to be right in Your sight.  Lord I give all I am to You free me from my sin and give me real life.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 8, 2017, 5:00 AM

The Choice is Yours!


I read this saying on the internet the other day, “When you’ve got your nose in Limburger cheese, the whole world stinks.” What’s that mean? Well basically whatever emotion or situation you are experiencing right now can and will change your entire view of the future.  If you are in pain right now, it can be very hard to be optimistic, to trust that your future will ever be better, and to believe that God is going to work a miracle in your life.

 

When I was a child I used to watch old people move around and walk in that slow, stiff, crooked way and I thought it was because they were losing coordination or eyesight. Knee problems and chronic back pain have helped me understand, as I hurt, limp, and walk in that crocked way through my daily routine, that a great many people, old and young, are in physical pain all day, every day. That’s why they walk that way, and that also may be why they find it hard to trust God. Many people do not have physical pain, but they are facing emotional and spiritual pain and it is affecting the way they walk and their walk with God is suffering. 

 

I have come to realize through the years that I have two choices with physical pain.  I can let the pain get the best of me and withdraw from life or I can continue to walk in spite of it and experience life.  We have those same choices with emotional and spiritual pain.   We can let it get the best of us and deter I walk with Christ or we can continue to walk with Him in spite of it.  Only by walking in spite of our pain will we truly learn God’s power.  In 2 Corinthians God gives Paul this revelation.  He has begged God three times to remove his pain and God responds “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”  Another words, No this shouldn’t stop you from walking with me, and Paul responds OK God I will continue to walk with You in spite of it. “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Cor 12:9-10 
 

Are you hurting today?  There is hope, that hope is not in our tired and aging bodies, wealth, or the world, but in the One who has suffered like us and for us, who has conquered death, hell, and pain for us all. God’s power works best in weakness.  Will you continue to walk with Christ in spite of your present pain?

 

This is my Prayer:  God I need You to teach me how to walk in my weakness and pain.  Lord give me strength to take pleasure in You, when pain is all I feel.  Lord I need Your help to walk close to You and for You in spite of the pain I’m suffering.   Jesus I give You my weakness and pain, please show Your power in it.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 7, 2017, 5:00 AM

Miracles!


Are you in need of a miracle?  That’s a question that tends to rub some people the wrong way.  Nowadays people ask, do miracles still happen, did they ever had, and can something that happens every day constitutes a miracle.  I believe God’s answer is YES, to all three.   Some days for me it takes a miracle to get my teen out of bed and on his way to school.   It takes a miracle to overcome the pain in my back, knee, and all over my body and still get anything done and function for the day.  Each day I need all kinds of miracles.

 

In the Bible we find all kinds of miracles.  Before Jesus' time, there were burning bushes, parted seas, cloud pillars, and on and on. Then, Jesus came and healed thousands, fed thousands with a few loaves of bread, brought people back from the dead, healed diseases, and ultimately provided salvation for all through his death and resurrection. Bible scholars say that miracles similar to those days happen now in oppressed countries where people are desperately seeking Christ.  Other miracles do happen today.

 

There are miracles happening in your town each day. The drug addict who turns to God and goes on to witness to many, sharing their testimony and giving others hope in Christ. The mother and father who have suffered the loss of a child, and are now changing the lives of countless many through their continued walk of faith.  There are people who give their hearts to Jesus and seek to live their lives in His light.  These all are true miracles happening every day.  Have you seen any of these miracles?  What miracles have you seen?  I think if we truly looked for them each day, we would experience the miracles of God all around us.   Are you praying for a miracle today? Have you been watching for the miracles that happen around you every day?   Psalm 66:5 “Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!”    

 

This is my Prayer:  God open my eyes and give me wisdom to experience Your glorious miracles all around me.  Lord help me to see life as a great miracle that only comes from you.   Jesus teach me to acknowledge Your miracles and to share what You have done and are doing in my life.   In Jesus name, Amen.


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