Devotions
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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.  




June 23, 2017, 5:00 AM

Who do you know that could use a helping hand or some genuine comfort? 



He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we may be able to comfort those in any trouble, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

I don’t know about you, but for the longest time the act of leading others to Christ seemed intimidating to me. I would build it up in my head, and worry that I will come across as a fraud. I would think about inviting a friend or coworker to church, get up the courage to do it and then change my mind the minute I opened my mouth. I was scared they would think I was pushing my faith onto them. What I didn’t realize, is that my actions and my story introduce those around me to Christ every day. I heard the statement one day, “Your relationship with Jesus is personal, but it is not private.”

 

Building a relationship with Christ changed my life and continues to change my life every day as I walk with Him, learn from Him, and reach for His Truth in the Bible for hope, guidance, and wisdom.  I am truly grateful to have met and been saved by Jesus, and to be able to share my story and tell others about that relationship.  To pass on His gift of comfort to someone else is the most important and meaningful work on this earth 2 Corinthians 1:4 makes it incredibly clear, that we are able to use our story, our struggles, and the comfort we have found in God to help comfort someone else and show them the true source of that comfort.

 

Sharing God with others is like reaching out with one hand to help a friend while grasping on tightly with the other hand to Jesus, who has helped you and continues to support and comfort you every day. Who do you know that could use a helping hand or some genuine comfort?  What would it look like to take some time and share your story with a friend who may not know Jesus like you know Jesus?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, Thank You for my story and Your work in my life. Lord give me the strength to share my story and the story of Your grace, support, and comfort. Jesus I have friends, family, and coworkers who need Your comfort and I know I can share that with them. Help me to share Your love today and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.




June 22, 2017, 5:00 AM

How are you reflecting Christ’s heart in your relationships?



For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Today’s passage reminds us that we are God’s workmanship and have been created to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. It is important to keep in consideration that some individuals may not be aware that God has a purpose for them. By being in relationships with others, we have the opportunity to grow together. As you consider the people you are in a relationship with, remember God made them for a purpose.

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 speaks to the “in it together” mentality of a community. Each person plays an important role in the body of Christ. Yet, this Scripture goes a step further in our goal to remain united. In verse 26, we learn that “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” How do you typically respond when someone you know makes a wrong decision or is going through a hard time? Do you suffer with them? Do you desire to carry that burden? Are you there to pick up the part of the body that has fallen?

 

Verse 26 also speaks about rejoicing. Do you rejoice when a part is honored? When others receive something, are you happy for them? Or do you feel as if you deserve something as well? All too often, we tend to envy the accomplishments of others or wish we could get some sort of recognition, but if we see ourselves as a part of the same body then when one part receives honor we all do. We must compassionately pursue relationships that were made for God. Relationships provide us the opportunity to not only reveal God’s character but to experience something bigger than us. A God-centered community is intentional about each individual within it.

 

The individuals have a responsibility to encourage each other in their walks with God: to love one another by making these relationships a priority, to be authentic and to experience accountability.  The hope is by understanding the point of a redemptive community you will be further strengthened in your walk with God and see how important each individual is to our overall impact as believers. Community is a group of people that are radically devoted to God, to one another and to the world we are called to serve. Community is where God penetrates our world. Our challenge is to reveal Him to others.  Who do you know that needs to be encouraged? How are you reflecting Christ’s heart in your relationships?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, may I look for ways to encourage others today. Lord give me the eyes to see where You are moving in their life. Jesus help me to point out the good so they can be spurred on to pursue Your heart. 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 58   Entries 146-150 of 286