Devotional Blog

Luke 10:25-28 Worship Through The Difficult Times

Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

Considering the current state of our country, it may be difficult to do as the law says, "love your neighbor as yourself." This may be particularly difficult because as we see in this passage, Jesus was tested and as a Christian, you will be tested as well. Your faith will be tried, your morals and values will be judged, and your trust in God will be examined. As Robert Schnase summarized in his book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, God uses worship to transform lives, heal wounded souls, renew hope, shape decisions, provoke change, inspire compassion, and bind people to one another. Today, I encourage you to remain calm and steadfast when you are tested. I encourage you to love your neighbor as you would want to be loved. Most importantly, I encourage you to worship hrough the difficult times because worship transforms minds, opens hearts, and changes behaviors.

Isaiah 41:10-11 Who Do You Fear?

Isaiah 41:10-11 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. "All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.

As I reflect on today’s scripture, it reminds me that the only person, thing, entity, etc. that I should fear is God and God alone. For His word says, honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honor the king. When we become under spiritual attack of the enemy we need to make sure that we are not afraid of Satan. For the bible also says that yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. As you face attacks, adversities, and strife, remember to be bold and fearless for God is with you. He has promised to strengthen you. And God is the only being to fear!

Proverbs 19:21 Is Your Plan God's Plan?

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

In life many of us have been guilty of either trying to take over God’s role in our lives or planning so much that we do not leave space for God. All while God is sitting back waiting for us to say, I avail myself to you. Today, I encourage you to pray that whatever uniquely designed plan God has for your life that it manifests. I encourage you to take five minutes each day and sit in silence while you seek His purpose in your life. I encourage you to take a step back and petition God to give you His vision and take away your vision. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 Stop. Delete. Replace.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

When someone first accepts Christ into their life, they are extremely excited! They are consumed in the fire of the Holy Spirit, yet sometimes there is an ever present struggle between the old self and the new self. The old self condemns for all of the past wrongs and fills the mind with guilt and shame. The new self remembers this scripture, and says, Christ died for my sins, He now dwells in me, so the old has passed away and the new has come. This constant battle between the old and new self will only be won once you STOP. DELETE. REPLACE. your negative thinking. As you continue to get closer to Christ, the enemy will continue to attack your blind spots through your thoughts. Therefore, you cannot just be in the presence of God, you must be in God so the Holy Spirit can help you stop, delete, and replace condemning and defeating thoughts. Always remember, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, the new has come. Let the new you come and continue to let Christ dwell in you so you can ascend higher!

 

James 5:13-15 Your Personal Journey to Building the Ultimate Connection with Christ Pt. 2

James 5:13-15 (ESV)
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Last week we reflected on the importance of staying connected to Christ and now let’s take a look at the first step — faith.

Faith, is building a relationship with God. How can you build a relationship with God, you may ask? It is through Daily Prayer. In the movie, Miss Clara showed Elizabeth how to pray, and not just pray out of frustration, rather pray with the spirit of expectation! Daily Prayer as John 14:25 reads, “I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. Prayer builds faith and faith provides endurance through every situation you may face! This type of peace of mind that grows your faith cannot be found in the world but only through Christ Jesus! Therefore daily pray connects you closer to Him! During this Lenten season, as you seek to form a deeper connection to Jesus, you need to have faith in your prayers! Faith is the one and only thing that you need. Faith that God will not leave nor forsake you, faith that God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory, faith that you will embody resilience while exiting the storm, faith that He will open the right doors and close the wrong ones, faith that He has the healing power, faith that He can be your comforter in the midnight hour, and faith that you will be ready to embark upon a new journey at the end of your preparation season. Even the rapper Big Krit says, “Don’t get it twisted, I ain’t no saint, I ain’t no pastor. But prayer ain’t just for cloudy days and natural disasters.” Hence, prayer needs to be a daily commitment! So, don’t limit yourself and pray only when you need God. Prayer builds faith and in order to increase your faith, you have to have continuous communication with God.

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Ephesians 4:1-8 - Your Essence

Ephesians 4:1-8
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

The essence of a woman, the essence of a man, the essence of you, the essence of me, the essence of who we are meant to be! What is the essence of you? Are you living a life worthy of the calling you have received or are you living a life of bondage, insecurity, fear, and hopelessness? As our passage reads, God has called us to a life of worthiness. Worthy to have love, worthy to have peace, worthy to have prosperity, worthy to have respect, worthy to be cherished, worthy to know the truth, and worthy to be free. When Christ ascended higher He left us many gifts which creates the essence of who we are, but often times when we are not humble, gentle, and patient, we lose our essence — we lose the very intricate and intrinsic fabric by which God created us! Today, I want you to ask yourself, what is the very essence of you and are you fully thriving in that essence?

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Leaning on the Everlasting Arm

Proverbs 3:5-6       
Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Often in life you desire to go higher but you refuse to trust in God. You ask God to reveal his uniquely designed plan for your life, yet when He does, you either, hesitate or negotiate His plans.  However, when you trust in God and submit to God’s plans, your steps will be ordered.  When you step up to the calling God has for your life, perhaps you will encounter evil / demons / obstacles / hurdles / roadblocks to try to hinder you from being what God has called you to be. Some of these roadblocks may be emotional problems, physical or intellectual disabilities, perhaps financial or even relational. Yet, when leaning on the everlasting arm of Jesus Christ, being complacent in negative attitudes and thinking, believing in lies after lies and some more lies, unhealthy and unstable relationships, and false ideologies — will no longer be tolerated! Therefore, I encourage you today, trust in God to take you higher and lean onto God’s everlasting arm, so you can live out the uniquely designed plan He has for your life.