Devotions
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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.




March 6, 2017, 5:00 AM

Persevere and Follow Him!



Have you ever felt abandoned, lost and alone?  Have you ever thought, not even God cares?  Jesus himself felt that way at one time crying out from the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  God has given us His word, so that even when we can’t see God or feel like we can’t follow Him, we can find hope because our confidence is in Him.  So that we can replace pain and sorrow with hope and faithfully follow Him."So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36

 

Hebrews tells us we need to persevere.  Persevere means continue to do something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. But it’s hard to persevere and continue to trust God for the future when you think that your present life is empty.  The devil works very hard to convince us that we have nothing, that we are doomed to a life of disappointment and frustration. He massages our wounded egos into thinking that we’ve been cheated in life, that nothing is working for us nor ever will. That’s not reality, reality is we have an option, we can choose to quit or to persevere.  So how do we do that? Well Paul gives us an answer that most don’t want to hear. "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

 

He tells us that we will only find perseverance in our suffering.  That means we must go through those tuff times, times were we feel abandoned and alone, in order to find perseverance and eventually hope.  When we feel alone or abandoned, God is teaching us the character of Christ and the hope we have in Him.  So that once these times are over, we will know who God is and have confidence to follow Him.  We can then continue to follow Him despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.     


This is my Prayer:  God I need Your word, today.  Lord give me confidence to follow You.  Help me to persevere through these times in my life.  Jesus show me how to follow You even when I can see You by seeing the hope I have in You.  Lord help me to follow You all the days of my life.  In Jesus name, Amen.




March 3, 2017, 4:24 PM

Dawn is coming!



The coldest and darkest part of the night is right before dawn. In those hours, the darkest hours, tragedy, heartbreak, disappointment, and grief can pull us down, at these times it seems almost impossible to come out of it.  God gives hope of a new beginning each and every day, when dawn breaks, light shines and the temperatures begin to climb.

These are the times that we need to reach out to God and let Him bring His light in our lives. The choice is ours, we can stay in pain, the seclusion of our situation, or we can reach out and grab onto God.  "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7  You may feel that you can't, but no matter your situation, you can trust that God loves you, and won’t leave you in darkness. 

“God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” Colossians 1:13 Notice it says he has rescued us, God has already provided our rescue, it is in Jesus Christ who purchased “who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”  If you have given your life to Jesus, darkness has no power over you anymore.  No matter what your situation is today, go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him shine Hit light, and He will.   In your moments of darkness, doubt, confusion, pain, or suffering, know that dawn is coming. “A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful. He will give light to those who live in the dark and in death’s shadow. He will guide us into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79

 

This is my Prayer: Lord I need Your light in my life.  Help me see beyond my situation, and look forward to the dawn.  Jesus thank You for rescuing me from darkness and forgiving my sin. God remind me each day how to live in Your light and love.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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