Which One Are You?

Our country is turned upside down. Violence, hatred, and division seems to be the norm. However, even in all of this you will still find the chosen few spreading love and encouraging unity.

Let’s take a moment to think about the parable of the good Samaritan. A traveler fell among thieves and was left for dead, but there were three who passed by him who could have intervened.

First, the priest who saw the afflicted man’s circumstance, yet chose to ignore him and carry on with his life as if nothing never happened.  In fact, in reality choosing to leave the poor man to die alone and without help.  He made a conscious decision to move to the other side, so that he could attempt to separate himself from what was going on right before his eyes.  He chose to turn a blind eye to the man’s situation.

Next, came the Levite who decided to get close enough to look at his situation, scrutinize it, analyze it, and yet still moved away untouched, unmoved, and unwilling to do the hard work of getting involved.  He may have been a little concerned or just downright nosey, but still he would not do his part to do what was right in the time of need.  He chose to remain an onlooker, a silent observer to injustice without the willingness to stand up and lend a helping hand.

Finally, came the good Samaritan who had compassion for the one he saw afflicted and treated unfairly. He helped bind up his wounds, and did what was necessary to find him safe haven and the necessary care that he was unable to request or fight for himself.  He took on the responsibility of bearing the afflicted traveler’s burden as his own. He had compassion (sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others).  He felt empathy (the ability to understand what another person is experiencing or feeling by placing oneself in their position). He stepped up and helped out while others refused, although the traveler’s situation and problem did not affect him personally.  He chose to get involved.  He chose to set aside his own interest and pursuits for that of another.  He chose to give of his time and resources for the good of another. He chose to take a stand for good in the face of evil.

In light of all the turmoil that is going on round about us on today, which of the three are you?  Be honest.  Now go do what is good, acceptable, and perfect in the sight of God.

 

 

 

Weary? Don’t quit!

Tired, Tired, TIRED! How many of you have ever felt tired before, that overwhelming tiredness of not just your body, but your mind and soul too? That deep, down, draining tired that won’t let go no matter how much you fast and pray! How many can admit you are in that place right now?

Never been there. Great! I hope you never do.  Me, on the other hand?  Yes, I’ve been there and done that, and I don’t want to go back anytime soon nor ever if possible. It’s a bad place to be, a dangerous place, but so often we all find ourselves there unexpectedly at some point. Life drains us. Responsibilities pull us here and there. Disappointment after disappointment overwhelms us. People betray us. Good situations suddenly turn bad. On and on it goes. Yep, this thing called life, and then just like that we find ourselves in this place: deep, dark, daunting.

We fight and we fight hard for a season, but how many of you know that’s not enough! We need God to step in on our behalf, and don’t worry He will in due season if we faint not. We fight for our marriages to not fall apart. We fight for our position on our jobs. We fight for others approval. We fight for our good name when others try to disparage us. We fight for our political and religious beliefs, especially in this day and age. We fight for our children to stay on the straight and narrow in the midst of a world that tells them that God’s holy standards are not necessary anymore. Fight, after fight, after fight, and then suddenly we find ourselves in this place, a place of sheer exhaustion, worst than you could ever imagine or explain to the busy passerby and judgmental onlooker (who really doesn’t care anyway because they have their own battles to fight).

Before you get down on yourself too much, look to the bible for encouragement and direction, and you will find great bible heroes who also struggled and found themselves in this place. Too tired to fight for a season, but with enough wisdom to know not to quit and definitely not to turn back. No matter what, never quit! Remember Elijah slayed all the false prophets because God was with him, however he too found himself in a place of despair, bone tired and afraid. Yet, God stepped in on his behalf and fed and strengthed him to fight again. He will feed and strengthen you too, and you will go forth with a greater anointing and greater faith because of your relationship with Christ. He’s an on time God! Trust Him!

I will end with this personal story. Years ago, I had a dream and the Lord showed me and my spouse fighting battle after battle. We were fighting like superheroes. It was impressive! However, it was not enough and eventually we became weary! We had fought and given our all, yet still we found ourselves in this place. Tired and worn out, but not defeated even if we thought so.  Too often we all get lost looking at our situation instead of our great God!  Don’t.  Look to the Lord, our solid rock and our refuge!

In that dream the Lord showed me also the answer to this tiredness and to coming out of this place, and so I share it with you in the hopes that you too can find the way out. God showed us coming together in earnest prayer and turning the battle completely over to Him, removing our own hands, our own ways, our own thoughts, and simply submitting it all to Him.  Do you know what happened when we did?  Immediately the battle was won, and victory was ours!  Wow, so much wasted time and energy when all we had to do was simply release it to God.

The very next morning I woke up, and I told my husband the Lord said a storm is coming, and you know what it did. The strange thing is for some reason I forgot to hold  on to the rest of the dream, and so we suffered and struggled for a season. Fighting in our own strength and without unity.  However, when I came to my senses I remembered what the Lord had said, and so we came together again in prayer and released it all to God. We removed our hands, and placed it in His all powerful hands, and just as He promised victory was ours!

So on today I encourage you to simply release whatever it is that is weighing you down to God. Jehovah-Shalom. The Lord is our peace. Rest in Him, and He will restore you and give you strength and wisdom to fight another day, but this time you will go in the name of the Lord and not your own strength.  Victory is yours!!  Be of good courage. Emmanuel, God with us, shall never leave you nor forsake you!!

 

Words To Stand On…

1 Kings 19: 4-8

4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

 

Isaiah 40: 28-31

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

Exodus 14:13-15

13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

 

Walk It Out…

Stop and take a moment to meditate on this devotional and more importantly the mighty Word of God. How does this apply to you on today? What are you currently believing God for in your life? What do you need to let go of or stop doing immediately? What do you need to begin doing? Pray and listen. Now step out in faith and go forth in Jesus name!

 

Core Values: Do They Really Matter?

Our daily challenge is to be true to self and faithful to God and His calling on our life while living in the midst of a world caught up in turmoil. How do we accomplish such a great task on a day to day basis?  Here are just a few suggestions.

Speak up when something truly matters! Be quiet when it’s not worth the battle. Pray for wisdom to know the difference.

Don’t live a lie! Let your inside you, your character, match your outside you, your witness. Live a life of integrity.

Be a light! Don’t follow the crowd just to be accepted when you know that it is contrary to God’s word. Remember, just because everybody is doing something that doesn’t make it right. Be bold. Be fearless. Be you!

Be strong in the Lord! Be willing to suffer for truth, the Word of God. Remember God is with you, and the battle is already won! You just have to be a willing vessel to carry out the mission.

Be holy! Not only in word, but in deed. Let your outer appearance reflect the inner man. Let your hobbies, entertainment, etc. be pleasing in the sight of God. Separate from worldliness, and be a reflection of Christ!

Words To Stand On…

1 Peter 2:19-20

19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Psalm 119:11

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

1 Samuel 17:45-47

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

Walk It Out…

Stop and take a moment to meditate on this devotional and more importantly the mighty Word of God. How does this apply to you on today? What are you currently believing God for in your life? What do you need to let go of or stop doing immediately? What do you need to begin doing? Pray and listen. Now step out in faith and go forth in Jesus name!

The Report Is Dim. Now What?

People love to shout, jump, and dance when the good report comes, but what happens when it is bad. What do you do when the forecast is dim? How do you respond when you are allowed to see the storm that is headed your way before it arrives?  Do you still shout, jump, and dance?  Think about it. Probably not, but maybe we should.

Why?

If God takes you to it He will surely take you through it. Believe me. I know from personal experience. Some how. Some way. I made it over. You can too!!

If you go through and come out with God by your side you now have a testimony of His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy.  Now you can speak from personal experience, not just what you’ve heard, and that my friend, is powerful!

If you suffer an ailment (body, mind, spiritual,  physical, etc.)  you now have an opportunity to witness God do a great work with miracles, signs, and wonders to follow!! Others will see too.  To God be the glory!!

If you are “thrown in the fire” your adversary might see God walking in the midst with you, and finally know there is a God!!

If God allows attacks to come and loss to occur in your life than expect your reward will be greater than before it ever happened. You will recover more than you could ever ask or think !! Greater annointing. Greater faith. Greater humility. Greater compassion. Greater influence. Greater.

Wow.  Sounds like several good reasons for us to sing, dance, and shout like never before!!!

After the pain, the provision shall come, and the promise shall come to pass!! That’s a word the Lord blessed me with years ago one morning while getting ready for work through a televised sermon, and I never forgot it. Troubles ahead? Forecast gloomy?  It’s okay.  Praise Him in advance!!

 

WORDS TO STAND ON…

Daniel 3: 23-25

23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

 

Romans 5:3-5

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

Numbers 14: 7-9

And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.

If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.

 

Walk It Out…

Stop and take a moment to meditate on this devotional and more importantly the mighty Word of God. How does this apply to you on today? What are you currently believing God for in your life? What do you need to let go of or stop doing immediately? What do you need to begin doing? Pray and listen. Now step out in faith and go forth in Jesus name!

 

Battle Plan

When the enemy comes against you…

Use scripture to respond to every lie and challenge.

Apply the blood over your life, others, and every situation.

Speak aloud the promises of God.

Sing praises and worship to change the atmosphere.

Dance before the Lord for the victory is already won.

Pray without ceasing.

Fast to break yokes.

Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Obey the Word.

Remember to whom you belong.

Mediate on verses relevant to your current issue.

Encourage yourself in the Lord.

Seek wise counsel concerning your situation.

Enlist trustworthy allies to assist you in the battle.

Recall past victories, and God’s faithfulness and goodness.

Ask God to send angels to fight for you.

Remember the battle is not yours, but Gods, and it is already won!

 

Whosoever Will Let Them

Let’s declare this a year of personal responsibility, and go forth knowing we are no longer babes in Christ.

Hebrews 5:12-14 and 6:1-2 states that when we ought to be teachers we must be retaught the basic things of Christ again. Uh Oh. That’s not good. We must do what is necessary to mature in the things of God for our perfecting and the benefit of the kingdom. We must go forth knowing that God is with us, and is able to give us all that we need to do those things that we are called to do for Him and in our daily lives.  We are called to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, so that we can be a prepared people for a prepared place, Philippians 2:12-15. No longer should we stand still or worst go back to the things of the past that were of little or no value when God has such great things planned for us. If we would just believe and go forth in Him doing those things that we know to be right in His sight, then he can reveal more to us as we go forth and allow us to see a greater portion of His plan for us today.

There are many hindrances to our personal growth that we must let go of if we truly want to claim all that God has set aside just for us.

First, the belief that “I am not qualified” as was seen when Moses was called to go lead Israel out from slavery. Exodus 4:10-12. Moses question was “Who am I?”, but it does not matter who we are when God is with us because He has all power in His hand. The question should not be “Who am I”, but instead “Who is the God I serve” for there is none greater.  Moses said God should use someone else, Exodus 14:13-16, but God knows what he has placed in each of us and what we are capable of accomplishing with His grace and power.  We must trust God, and go forth believing that all that we need has already been provided to accomplish that which we have been called to do.  The wisdom, provision, and connections that we need to complete a task are already there although we may not see them with our natural eye.  Philippians 4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.

The second hindrance to our growth is fear, but “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind”.  Ester had to face fear when she was called upon to appear before the king without being summoned on behalf of her people, but finally came to a peace to go forth no matter the consequences and declared “if I perish let me perish”.  Esther 4:13-14.  Mordecai assured her that God would deliver His people with or without her, but the lost would be her own if she failed to do what she was instructed to do.  Even today, the choice is ours, to do what God tells us to do and be a part of what He is doing, or stand back and watch in fear and doubt, and lose out on our part of the vision.  Our humble cry should be like the songwriter, Bishop Paul S. Morton, “Lord whatever you are doing in this season, please don’t do it without me”!!

The third hindrance, is feeling lost and saying, “I don’t know what to do”. Proverbs 3:6 states that we should acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, and he would direct our path.  We can go forth by starting with the basics and doing those simple things that we already know to do.  Matthews 25:35-36 talks about helping others. Ephesians 4:32 talks of having the right attitude towards others, one of kindness. Luke 14:12-14 talks about helping the needy. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together (in other words don’t skip church).  Finally, we can use those gifts that God has given to us (natural and spiritual) to help in the ministry: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-12, Ephesians 4:22-32.

The fourth hindrance to our growth and walk with Christ is being too busy, but we must remember that only what we do for Christ will last.  We must maintain our personal relationship with Christ by continually coming to sit at His feet to hear his instructions and guidance throughout our ministry and life. The things of this world will pass away, but the things of God are for evermore.  The recent disasters show this so clearly as we see the images of homes, vehicles, businesses washed away so quickly like flimsy pieces of paper.  Think of all the energy, time, money, and more importantly lives that have been destroyed in such a brief moment of time, but what joy it is to know that if our hope is in Christ we are building on a strong foundation that will stand forever.

We must constantly reevaluate our walk with Christ, and the things that we are involved with in our daily lives to ensure that we are prioritizing those things that are of most value: our spiritual life, our family, and our health to name a few.  We must be willing to make personal sacrifice and give up those things that are not like Christ, and that keep us from being in his perfect will for our lives.  We must forsake all that is not like Him, and does not bring glory to His name and this is a difficult thing to do sometimes, but if we seek God and not the things of the world everything will work out right. God knows the things that we need and desire, and will provide those things for us if we would just believe Him and go forth in obedience to do those things that he has instructed us to already do.  Luke 14:26-33, Luke 12:29-37.

The final hindrance that I will address is the belief that we are too young or too old to work for God.  Sometimes you will hear people say “I’m not ready”, “I still want to party and have fun”, and on and on it goes.  However, today is the day when we hear God’s voice that  we must make a decision to answer His call while there is still time.  Young and old are dying daily, and we do not know how long we have before we will have to make that same final journey, but we do know that we have a choice and an opportunity right now to serve Him.  The old have the wisdom, but the young have the strength to carry out the work that must be done for the glory of God and for the up building of the kingdom.

Let’s set aside all those things that keep us from going forth into the promised land, and answer the call to go forth and do greater works.   John 14:12-13.  We are encouraged to do whatever our hands find to do as unto the Lord, and God has promised to prosper us and to allow us to find favor in the sight of those who have the rule over us.  Ecclesiastes 9:10. We must make a decision today to serve God, and to do all that we can in His name, and we will surely see the mighty hand of God move in our lives and on our behalf.  God needs those who will be faithful workers in His kingdom, and it’s up to each of us to do our part while we still have time.  Joshua 24:15.

Whosoever will let them… will you?

 

Words To Stand On…

 

Philippians 2:12

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 

Proverbs 3:6

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

Colossians 3:23

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

 

Walk It Out…

Stop and take a moment to meditate on this devotional and more importantly the mighty Word of God. How does this apply to you on today? What are you currently believing God for in your life? What do you need to let go of or stop doing immediately? What do you need to begin doing? Pray and listen. Now step out in faith and go forth in Jesus name!

 

 

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Do you believe? Can you see?

Do you believe?  Can you see?

 

John 20:25-28

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

 

Did you catch that??? His response…

My Lord AND my God.

 

Now he believed. Now he could see.

My Lord and MY GOD.

 

Do you believe?  Can you see?

Forgiveness – Question And Response

Matthew 6:14-15

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Forgiveness of others is required as a child of God.  However, does forgiveness always mean reconciliation of a damaged relationship is possible or necessary?

I don’t think so.

Should reconciliation be the goal?

Yes. Maybe. Time, experience, and discernment will help you to know.

There are consequences that follow broken trust and sin for everyone involved, whether in a family, church, marriage, or occupation.  There are steps that must be taken to begin the process of reconciliation and healing.

The offender must be truly repentant and willing to be held accountable, for example truthfully reporting progress to someone else, such as a pastor or mentor.  The offender must identify the source of their issue, and immediately stop all behaviors that allowed the enemy to creep into their life and relationships.

The offended should remain tender hearted yet prayerfully vigilant. The offended must realize that the desire for retaliation or revenge must be released to God when they choose to forgive.

Love is kind and covers others, but wisdom sets boundaries and protects you. There’s a time to stay, and a time to walk away (even if only for a season). Either way, you must be spirit led and prepared for the difficult journey ahead.

Your thoughts?  Please comment below.  I would love to hear from you!

 

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