Devotions
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October 12, 2017, 5:00 AM

Where do you need to dig deeper into the truth to expose the state of your heart?



The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

 

In our minds, we create “truths” that determine our direction and influence our perspective. They are often rooted in our desire to experience freedom, peace and hope. Chasing after those things, and proving to others they are true, becomes our agenda and purpose. They are so powerful they don’t even need to be verbalized to control our mindset and lay claim to our heart. Often, they begin with the word IF. As in, if I get married, then I will finally be happy. If I had more money, then I would feel more secure. If humanity could all agree on my side of the issue, then there would be unity. Each IF/THEN statement is based upon what we think will handle the affections of our souls.

 

Yet, no matter how hard we might push for them to be true, they always leave us disappointed. They collapse under the pressure because they weren’t designed to be the source of our hope.  Truth doesn’t set us free so that we can do whatever we want. In fact, that is no freedom at all. If we’re not careful, we can use that freedom and still be enslaved through our self-absorption. This doesn’t lead to freedom, but rather frustration and futility. Why is this case? Because everything finds its meaning and purpose within the context of its relationship to God. Apart from Him nothing makes sense. The only foundation strong enough to support the weight of our desires is God’s truth. Our lives were created in the image of God to demonstrate His compelling beauty and the greatness of His love.

 

Freeing truth compels us to love. We demonstrate our understanding of God’s truth when we give our lives away. The way in which we do this flows from our relationship with our Creator and our willingness to stay connected to Him. Rather than a principle or an issue, truth is always found in the context of a relationship. Human beings are designed to relate to one another in the context of love. Whoever loves is known by God and it is this knowing that serves as the source for which we love others. The heart is the source of love while the soul and mind are instruments of love. Our hearts must be awakened to live and to love. Our minds are useful to that end. Lust, envy, anger, comparison, pride, jealousy, indifference, complacency, etc. Where do you need to dig deeper into the truth to expose the state of your heart?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, I desire to be drawn to Your truth in such a way that it is forged into my character and heart. Lord help me to trust that everything I desire and hope for finds its meaning and purpose in You. Jesus transform my mind in order to awaken my heart to Your will. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




October 11, 2017, 9:55 AM

Where is your praise today?



Today I want to do a little different.  I think the good old enemy has been getting a lot of recognition lately and today I just want to focusing on praising the one who has delivered me from the enemy!  SO, I hope you will join me in that today! 

Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! (Ephesians 1:5)

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my savior all the day long

For the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TKAN-nAsu8

 




October 10, 2017, 5:00 AM

Would you say pride is clouding your judgment when it comes to your priorities, respect for authority and current pace of life?



When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble there is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

What is pride?  We all recognize it when we see it. Prideful people have an inflated opinion of themselves.  They presume their thoughts, opinions and ways are always right.  Pride rejects and resents wise instruction and correction. Let’s be honest: prideful people get on our nerves. But, what is pride, really? Pride is self-delusion!  Pride happens when we demand the status and position only reserved for God.  Pride happens the moment we refuse to acknowledge our dependence upon God. We think that unlike other people we are immune to the crash and can handle everything that comes our way.

 

Yet, consider today’s words from Proverbs. Pride is not just an annoying character trait.  It brings disgrace and, eventually, destruction. If we choose pride, and refuse to humble ourselves before God, He will oppose us. Most of us do not set out to be prideful and self-centered.  Our intention is to be good.  However, it is our direction, not our intention, that determines our destination. Pride is one of the traits that causes us to continue to push. Why do the humble have wisdom?  It is because the humble do not trust their motives and tremble before God’s Word.  They take correction, quickly confess their mistakes and alter their lives accordingly.  In sharp contrast, the proud deceive themselves into ignoring the reality of their conduct and rush headlong onto a path of destruction.

 

What is your direction?  Are you on a prideful path?  You must examine yourself closely.  Identify the seeds of pride in your life and root them out quickly and completely.  Seek after God in such a way that your life is changed because you are being formed more closely in His image. Would you say pride is clouding your judgment when it comes to your priorities, respect for authority and current pace of life? Why or why not? What makes you answer in the way that you do?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, give me eyes to see my prideful ways and ears to hear wise advice and counsel.  Lord help me root out the pride in my life and keep me from disgrace.  I acknowledge my complete and total dependence upon You and humble myself before You.  Jesus grant me the resolve to actively take a posture of humility so that I might gain wisdom and be formed more closely in Your image.  In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




October 9, 2017, 5:00 AM

Do you find yourself more dependent on God in your strengths or weaknesses?



My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8

 

These verses have a beautiful motif—that God is powerful and all that we need. This truth should produce joy and peace. The Lord is strong! In our daily lives, or at least in mine, I can forget that simple idea. I forget that God is big and beautiful, but more than that I forget that He is powerful. I limit Him to the scope of my tiny world. I limit Him to the abilities of my mind. I limit Him to my circumstances, but He is a limitless God. He is infinite in all that He can do and in all His ways and I so often forget that He is. But that is part of learning who He is and walking with Him, remembering His ways and remembering Him. As we learn to constantly live with Him, during the sprints of life and during the dark times, we slowly learn to bring Him into each moment. And when we reach a place where we are consistently reminded of His character and we are absolutely in awe of all that He is, that is when our weaknesses, our circumstances, and our pride all fall to the wayside.

 

When He is magnified in our lives, it changes our entire world and perspective. It is not enough to know our weaknesses; we must know who He is. It is in the moments of learning who God is that our weaknesses are paradoxically multiplied and yet overshadowed. When we stare at perfection, our faults blaze. And yet, standing in the presence of Him who knew no wrong, He covers us in His blameless blood. We are at once overcome with our imperfections and His goodness. It is in our darkest places that His light shines brightest. It is in the place of our greatest inabilities that His ability is overwhelming. It is in our weaknesses that God has the biggest space to move. In my own life, it is when I am completely helpless, desperate in my weakness, where I see God move the most. It’s when I am stretched—in my finances, emotions, job, ministry, and relationships—that my cries become dependent on God.

 

It is when I recognize that I cannot do something and gently open up my clutched fingers, that I see my faithful God come in and work with a power that is beyond words. It is when I recognize my limits and inability when God shows up. But I don’t want to only recognize my limits in my weaknesses; I want to recognize my limits in my strengths. For I most often forget to invite God to be with and work within me when I am operating out of my strengths. But even in my strengths, my abilities pale in comparison to what He is and all He has to offer.  Now, this is not to say that we each don’t have talents or abilities or that He doesn’t work through those, but it is to say that we often 1) limit God to our talents, 2) avoid opportunities because we are terrified of our weaknesses, or 3) miss God partnering in and multiplying our strengths because we think we’ve got a grasp on it. The goal should be to invite Him into every area, both our weaknesses and our strengths.

 

Inviting Him into each area becomes easier the more you know His character and His ways. The more you know Him, the more your life is shaped by reliance on Him. Our lives should characterized by our dependence on God. Do you find yourself more dependent on God in your strengths or weaknesses? What does partnering with God in both your strengths and weaknesses look like? In what ways are you in awe of God?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, You are beautiful in all of Your ways. Lord allow me see a different part of who You are today. Jesus I ask that You lift the veil of my stubborn self to see my strengths and weaknesses in the light of all that You are. As I walk through my day show me where I am depending fully on myself. Let my strengths and weaknesses not be hindrances in my relationship with You, but rather tools to further glorify Your name and become ever more like You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.




October 8, 2017, 12:40 AM

What issues are you gathering information about to buttress your own beliefs rather than seeking understanding and encountering truth?



All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalm 119:160

 

Our words and our minds have the power to create realities that shape how we view the world and our part in it. Sadly, we are prone to remain stuck within them. Why? Because they require little effort on our part and we are able to avoid the hard work required of seeking out what is true. These false realities influence the way we interact or label others. They fool us into believing that what we are seeing, feeling and thinking is true. They confirm our biases, viewpoints and limited perspective. These strongholds reside nowhere close to freedom and peace. Not only do they leave us divided as a person, but they enable division to take root in our communities. A world without truth isn’t wrong, it’s insane.

 

Because we can want wrong things and believe wrong things, we can’t depend on them to lead us to life. So, what else do we have? How can we experience the security and purpose we crave? It comes only when we are willing to mine for truth and wisdom. We have to put our agenda to the side and be willing to seek out truth in a way that sets us free. The truth provides us a foundation that is strong enough to support the weight of our desires. Understanding truth establishes the essence of reality. Not only that, but it gives us purpose. We were made for life with God and life for God. We were created in the image of God’s compelling beauty and greatness and were made to display that beauty and greatness in everything we do. The way of Jesus is the redemption of that image and the power by which we actually live in a way that reflects His glory.

 

Scripture speaks of the tongue having the power of death and life. When our words are disconnected from the truth, we create false realities. Knowledge is designed to connect our souls to the truth while language was designed to express our soul’s desire for freedom. Language doesn’t simply communicate, it expresses. It helps us understand and articulate truth.  Unfortunately, we have the tendency to use our words to conceal and avoid the truth. We play word games in order to avoid looking inside of our heart. Yet, God desires truth in our innermost being. Truth is discovered as it is revealed. The knowledge we seek must reach beyond what we want or hope to be true and instead be anchored to the truth. The ways of Jesus is very different then the ways of this world, which are filled with shortened truths and diminished realities.

 

Together, as a community, we can bring a force of sanity into our culture by being a place of grace and truth. What issues are you gathering information about to buttress your own beliefs rather than seeking understanding and encountering truth? What does the Gospel do to this issue?

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, help me to seek Your truth and not my way. Lord give me eyes to see where I’ve created false realities that go against the truth of who You are, how You love me, and the purposes You’ve given me. Jesus help me seek wisdom that guides my steps, influences my speech, and grounds my actions in Your love and grace. 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   Entries 46-50 of 285
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