Devotions
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February 18, 2017, 5:56 PM

Don’t quit Stay with God



Have you ever looked at a situation your life and said to yourself there is nothing there, no life, no hope, nothing. Just because it looks like nothing doesn't mean God isn't up to something.

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’1 Kings 18:43-44.

Elijah believed God would end the drought therefore, he continued to pray for rain. I bet people thought he was crazy because he kept believing when it really looked like a dead situation. However, he trusted God would stay faithful to His promise. We can apply this lesson in our lives today. Are we willing to be persistent and continue to pray? In this passage, we see persistence plus prayer is key. Elijah was not only persistent but he did not take “no” for an answer. Each time his servant came back to report there was no sign of rain, he instructed him to go back a total of seven times before there was even a small sign of cloud.

Many times in life we give up too easily – when the doctor says “no,” when we have one bad day, an opportunity falls through or our kids are acting a certain way. But, we must realize our faithful prayers are a constant and powerful breakthrough. God sent Elijah a small sign – a cloud and soon after there was a heavy rain. Although you may not see huge progress today, God is forming small clouds on your behalf. So is there an area in your life you have given up? Don’t let your discouragement separate you from God.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.—Psalm 27:14

This is my Prayer: Lord, You know where I’ve been discouraged lately. You know the struggles I am facing. I need You to strengthen my heart as I wait on You to act. Help me to grow closer to You, Jesus as I wait. Help me keep my focused on You. Thank You for knowing my need and loving me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.




February 17, 2017, 9:46 AM

What if your future is the foundation for someone else’s?



It was laid on my heart today to ask God for His guidance and allow Him to lead me. Sometimes in life, we have an idea of how we want our lives to unfold, but God already knows what is in our future. But what if your future is the foundation for someone else’s?

Most have heard Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  It’s a common security blanket, it reminds us, God already has a plan for our lives.  But what’s the context of that verse?  It is actually part of Jeremiah 29:10-14, a full statement made by God to his people.   The Israelites were in exile, a punishment from God as result of their disobedience. God hands out a giant blow. In verse 10, God says that “after seventy years are completed in Babylon.”, that He would restore them in mercy. This meant that none in the current generation of Israelites would ever return to their home. What a crushing thing to be told! But He followed with one of the greatest promises of grace! 

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”Jeremiah 29:12-14

This scripture declares, of course God knows the plans He has for us. But it’s for His glory not our own.  We need to remember that the growth comes through persevering through trials, not escaping them. And when we learn perseverance, we find hope in God. Hope not just for ourselves, but those God has put into a relationship with us. God explains in verses 12-14, that they were going to become an example to generations to come.  They were going to teach them how to pray, to find faith in the midst of struggle, and to seek God with all their heart.  He promises the generations are going to learn and He is going to gather them and bring the back.  You see the future He promises, is that He would teach, lead, correct, all with a deep and selfless love for us.  So that we would do the same, pour ourselves out for others, and share the hope we find in Him!

This is my Prayer:  Jesus, what are Your plans for me?  Whatever it is Lord, give me the grace to do Your will.  God, help me to remember, it’s about Your glory and not mine. Teach me to follow Your example. Help me to serve others today; knowing the hope you have for us. May my service reflect Your presence and example. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.




February 16, 2017, 8:48 AM

Trust Him even when you can't trace Him



Sometimes, we face life's issues and wonder why God has not stepped in to help. Perhaps He has already helped us, but we may not see it yet. Even more so, we do not know how God intends to work out our issues because it is not how we expected it.  When we don't quite understand what is going on in our lives it is important to put it in God’s hands.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

Verse 5 tells us, lean not to our own limited understanding, but stand confident knowing we can both trust and depend on God.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

We often forget verse 6 which tells us to acknowledge that God is at work even when we can see it and that He will show us the way.

 

Let God know you trust Him no matter what it looks like. God knows when to step in at the right time and turn things around. Remember, He knows and sees all. Therefore, the direction you desperately want to travel, God may instruct you that it may not be time just yet. Or the person you are praying for may need a little growing first. Whatever it is, God knows best. God will remain faithful, He will direct you when you put it all in His hands, but first you have to trust Him.  Declare you will trust Him and surrender it all; every anxiety and worry to His will.

Prayer: God, You know the circumstances and relationships in my life where I’m feeling uncertain of how to make it through. Teach me to find confidence and courage in Your presence.  Lord, help me to acknowledge you and walk with You, even when I can’t see You.  Jesus, I want my life and relationships to reflect my trust in You. In Jesus Name, Amen.




February 15, 2017, 9:54 AM

Who are you going to believe?



Often in life, you will hear the devil speak to you, saying things like you don’t look right; you’re too poor, not smart enough, or not good enough to do what God is telling you to do. You must recognize these voices are of the devil.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

The call to follow Jesus is a call to transformation. He does not leave us as He finds us. Isn’t that great news? He leaves no area of our lives untouched: family relationships, friendships, our perspective on life, work, and the world in which we live, all are fair game. Jesus doesn’t come to justify our current lives; He comes to call us to real life! Are you ready to trade in your life to find real life? I understand, I used to listen to those voices and even worse, I believed them. Although God already had a plan for my life, I mean a big plan. The devil knew if I believed the lies, it would stop me from moving into the direction God already had for me. God knew my future and He knows yours. Are you ready to follow Him?

Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

When those voices come against you, you have to fight back. Jesus defeated the devils temptation with quotes of scripture. The Bible is the most powerful weapon you will ever own. You must fight back with the Word, memorize it and be able to share it. Make a commitment you will no longer allow the devil to lie to you, declare God’s Word in your life.

This is my Prayer: Jesus, I hear You calling me to follow You and I need Your to help to silence the voices of this world. I only want to hear Your voice. Lord show me my defense against the world in Your word. I don’t know all the places You will take me or the things that I will face along the way, but I know You are trustworthy and I want to follow You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.




February 14, 2017, 11:58 AM

Focus and Keep Hope



Many things vie for our attention in life—family, work, community, entertainment, success, and even ministry. In the midst of your life’s demands, where is Jesus? It’s possible to lose focus on our relationship with Him even though He has promised to be with us always. Is He the One you seek?

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.—Psalm 27:4

In this scripture the psalmist asks for God help to him maintain his focus and seek Him.  It takes a lot of effort and strength to focus and seek God, and it is something that you can’t do alone we need His help.  Sometimes with all the distractions of life, waiting on God’s help can be challenging. We start saying, “God when? God why? God, what are you doing with me? God, I don't quite understand it.” God give us His Word for those times. He says there is hope in your future, “There is hope in your future, says the Lord,” Jeremiah 31:17a.  Just hold on, wait for Him, and quietly place all your hope in the Lord.  “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26. In doing so, He will provide you with the strength to keep going. 


This is my Prayer: Jesus, I confess that many things pull at me and cause me to lose sight of Your presence in my life, but that isn’t how I want it to be. Lord, help me tune my heart to Your presence, to Your will, and Your direction.  I know Your Word is truth and I thank you for the help to focus on You and seek You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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