- 2020 (17)
- June (2)
- April (5)
- March (10)
- • We find a Real God in times of Waiting!
- • We cannot let grief stop our walk with Christ!
- • Are you broken or blameless?
- • You are in right standing with God, because of what Jesus has done, not what you’ve done.
- • Follow or Guard your heart, the choice is yours!
- • Mercy is meant to be shared!
- • The best thing I can do is be obedient to speaking and pouring the truth into their lives and then pray.
- • It’s hard to relinquish control and surrender our lives, our possessions, and our family to GOD.
- • Guilty or Convicted?
- • Do you really believe that God absolutely loves you?
June 02, 2020
“bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
For us to truly forgive those who have hurt us, we have to learn to surrender. Now, “surrender” can be one of those words that makes people squeamish. We tend to equate it with losing a battle—waving a white flag and allowing the enemy to overtake us. But when we surrender to God, we can view it differently.
With God, surrender means being open handed with our hurt and pain so that He can take it from us. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion for each of us. We don’t have to be afraid to give our pain to God because we can trust Him to be tender, and handle our hearts with care.
Surrender also means giving up our desire for revenge. It’s natural for us to want to see someone pay the consequences for their actions. Even God has a righteous anger toward sin and injustice. But we have to accept that only God can judge a person’s heart. We don’t get to decide whether someone receives punishment or grace, and holding on to our need for vengeance will only leave us with bitterness.
If we want to find peace, we have to give our anger and pride over to God and focus on our own hearts. Surrender is a conscious choice to lay our pain and desire for control at His feet and ask God to do a work in us. It’s saying we can’t forgive on our own and we need His help.
As Christ followers, surrender is something we do daily—even when we don’t want to do it. Sometimes when we’re working through forgiveness, we have to surrender the same pain to God multiple times. When old feelings stir up, we forgive again and again until it no longer upsets us. With God’s grace, all things are forgivable.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened is ok. It doesn’t mean we let that person back into our lives or allow them to hurt us again. And it doesn’t necessarily mean having a face-to-face conversation—the person doesn’t even have to still be alive for us to forgive them because it’s not about them. It’s an acknowledgement in a moment that is just between us and God. It’s about inviting Him in so He can heal our hearts.
Prayer: Father God I want to take a moment to give You the hurt I’ve been focusing on. God I surrender it to You. Lord I need Your help and I trust You with the results. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
June 01, 2020
God is an amazing God. As I look at the happening of the world, a new set of devotionals come up for this week on of all things: Forgiveness. WOW, I thought this is exactly what I world needs now more than ever and guess what I am a part of that world too! So I decided it share this weeks devotion with the world. I hope God speaks to you as He speaks to me!
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Many of us carry around the weight of unforgiveness. Some because we don’t know how to forgive. Others because we are unwilling to let go of what has been said and done to us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what was done was ok, but unforgiveness only offers us bitterness, anger, hate, and pride. If we’re not careful, our past hurts can shape our lives and destroy us from the inside out.
To live in the freedom that Christ has for us, we have to learn how to forgive and shed the heaviness that comes from holding onto our pain. While our natural tendency is to push away the discomfort and challenge of forgiving, as Christ followers, we’re called to lean into it. Working through the things in our past with God is what enables us to move forward.
Unfortunately, it’s not a one-time process. Forgiveness is a constant part of our lives. It’s something we have to work on every day as new offenses happen. All relationships require grace, so they don’t become toxic. Marriage is a constant ebb and flow of humility. And sometimes, we need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, realizing we don’t have to hold onto something God has already forgiven.
The reality is everyone is wounded. We all have hurts that color the way we see the world and cause us to respond the way we do. But we can’t use our hurts as an excuse for bad behavior. Not when God is waiting patiently for us to give him our pain, so He can heal us.
Dealing with old wounds, on our own, can be overwhelming. Hurtful words and actions, both big and small, can pile up into something seemingly insurmountable. But the truth is, nothing is impossible with our God!
Prayer: Father God as I read through this plan, help me with the things I’ve struggled to forgive. Those things that are weighing on my mind and my heart. Lord guide me through all my wounds, piece by piece and layer by layer. Show me how You forgave me and how I can forgive. In Jesus’ Amen.
April 05, 2020
In what areas of your life do you worry the most? It’s interesting that what we think we can do by worrying really doesn’t happen at all. I know from my life whenever I was worried about things I thought that by worrying I showed that I cared, and that I was getting something done. However, the more I think about it the more I realize that worrying never really accomplishes anything. In fact, it actually goes to hinder us more than anything else. You see worrying is really just a smaller way to say we don't know if God will come through. We somehow think that if we add a little worry to His holy mix that things will work out better.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:25-27
Listen, there’s nothing going on in our lives that God cannot take care of! There’s nothing that’s catches Him by surprise or that He doesn’t know about. There isn’t anything that we cannot or shouldn’t be able to lay down at the altar of the Cross including our lives. Today, you and I need to make a stand against that worry that creeps up in our minds and wants to steal away our strength and faith.
I don’t know what you’re facing. I don’t know the situations or circumstances in your life. However, I know the One who does. He knows all about you, your life, and the situations you are facing. He doesn’t need us to help Him, He needs us get out of His way. The scripture tell us that we serve a God who effortlessly created the world in six days and still knows how many hairs you have on your head. Romans 8:28 tells us that He is in full control of all things, and works all things out for good of those who love him.
I admitted to you that I’m not perfect, and I certainly haven’t figured all there is to figure out. It’s taken me a long time to learn not to not give in to worry, but what took me the longest to learn was to surrender the things I worried about to God and allow Him to take care of them. But I have found that when asked God to take over, He did. What’s unsurprising is that once He did take over things turned out a lot better than they did or they were while I was trying to take care of them on my own.“ Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22
This is my Prayer: God remove all my worries and fear for today and tomorrow. Lord reveal Your promises in Your Word to me. Jesus strengthen my faith so that I will trust You to be in control. Lord show me how to have a more intimate relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
April 04, 2020
Forgiveness is hard isn’t it, especially when we have the right to be upset? Think about the story of Esau and Jacob. Jacob betrayed Esau in a mighty way, he took everything from Esau. And after that betrayal Jacob hit the road. Then one day Jacob decides to come back and Esau just forgives him.
“Then Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming with his 400 men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and his two servant wives. He put the servant wives and their children at the front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.” Genesis 33:1-4
Have you ever wondered what thought processes Esau went through to get to this place of forgiveness? I try to imagine what would happen in today’s world if something like this happened to anyone of us. I mean think about how something like what Jacob did to Esau would go in today’s world. Today’s world is about seeking our own vengeance and payback instead of forgiveness. I have to be honest with you in the fact that there was a time that had someone ripped me off like that I am certain that I wouldn’t have been so quick to forgive and forget, but God’s done a lot of work in my heart when it comes to this area too. I’m still learning to forgive without holding any kind of grudge at all. I can honestly say that I’m getting better at forgiving like God has forgiven me, but sometimes it’s a struggle to not hold on to the hurt.
Why do we hold onto hurt? I think it because we don't look at forgiveness correctly. We judge ourselves from a horizontal stance when we should be judging ourselves from a vertical one. You see, we think things like, “I'm not so bad compared to them.” We think our sins aren't as bad as someone else's, but in the eyes of God they are all the same. I don’t know about anyone else’s life, but when it comes to mine, I know exactly what I’ve done in my life. Therefore there’s no right or reason for me to ever point a finger at someone else to say that at least I didn’t do what they’ve done, because what God’s forgiven and given me grace for is just as bad. I needed the grace, mercy, and Blood of Jesus to cleanse me just as much as anyone else.
Jesus Christ was the only perfect person and will be the only perfect person ever. When we measure ourselves in light of his standard, we will always fall short. No matter how big or how small we think our sins may be, without a Savior they still separate us from God. You don’t need anyone's participation or permission to forgive them. Forgiving someone is the most self-loving thing you can do, because forgiveness is for you, not the other person.
This is my Prayer: Heavenly Father I don’t want to hold on to bitterness and unforgiveness. Lord if there’s any of that in my life reveal it to me and help me to let it go. Jesus give me a heart like Yours. Help me to get to a place where I extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness as quickly, as easily, and as completely as You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen
April 03, 2020
Do you tend to be more negative or positive with your words? We live in a world that focuses on the negative. The news we watch on TV is almost always filled with stories about bad stuff. It’s almost always, the government did this, this person has died, this horrible accident happened, this person was shot, stabbed or arrested, so much negativity. That’s why my wife doesn’t watch it anymore, because it really affects her heart and mind. And if I’m not careful, I can find myself fretting over things just because someone told me something bad happened. It causes me to worry and steal trouble from tomorrow which totally overloads the troubles that today already has. Matthew 6:34 “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Here’s a challenge for you: Try going one day without saying anything negative, rude, sarcastic or hurtful to anyone or about anyone. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:29-30
This one hits me like a ton of bricks, because I am one of those naturally sarcastic and antagonizing people. So I struggle with God telling me I should only say things that are helpful, that build others up, and that benefit anyone listening. But that’s exactly what His word says! When I say sarcastic things at the expense of someone else or cut someone down, it grieves Him. The word grieves mean to throw into sorrow and sadness. You see, God wants us all to have a day of redemption, a day where we find complete forgiveness in Jesus, and He uses us a vessel in which to share that message.
Listen, if we don’t treat the people we’re trying to lead to the Lord any differently than the world treats them, why in the world would they want what we claim to have? It brings God sorrow and sadness when we allow negativity to over shadow the message of His love for others in our life. The Bible says that the world would know Jesus’ disciples by their LOVE. “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:35
It’s like my momma used to tell me and she had to tell me a lot, “If you can’t say nothing good…don’t say nothing at all.”
This is my Prayer: God thank You for challenging my heart. Lord reveal to me the why behind my hurtful, negative words. Jesus help me to be a more effective and successful representation of Your redemption. Lord I need You to help me put away this kind of behavior so that I’m not hurting Your message. God show me how to better reflect You and Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
April 02, 2020
Do you find yourself continually disappointed? When things don't go our way, our natural response is disappointment. All of us to some extent come into a relationship with the Lord thinking that our lives are no longer going to be filled with disappointment. However, most of us who have walked with the Lord for any length of time come to understand that whether we live for the Lord or not, life is still going to hand us disappointments. The difference, hopefully, is how we handle these disappointments in life. Romans 8:28 says that God will cause all things to work together for good, He never says that all things will be good.
Feeling disappointment is understandable and even accepted. But, it should be a stepping-stone on our path with Jesus, not the weight that drowns our faith. In our walk with Christ we are all going to come across times where we don’t necessarily feel like God is either there or doing anything in our lives. However, as Christians we aren’t to live by what we feel, but what we believe. To be honest, I don’t always feel like I’m saved, sanctified and washed in the blood of Jesus, but the Word of God tells me that once I’ve called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, whether I feel like I am or not, I am saved, sanctified, and washed in the blood of Jesus, and I believe it.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The thing is. We are to trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in ALL of our ways, not just in the bad times and not just the good ones, but ALL of them. That means even in the times of disappointment where it seems like nothing is happening at all and that God is not in control. I can know that He’s not only in control, but aware of everything that’s going on in my life. He’s aware of my disappointment over the struggles, shortcomings, and situations I find myself in and He is directing my path. We still, even as we’re directed by the Lord have to go through some afflictions, trials, tests, persecutions, and yes disappointments. Those things are just a part of life, but He always there with me.
This is my Prayer: God thank You for Your promises and direction. Lord reveal Your plan for your life and the situations I go through. Teach me to trust that You’re in control even in time of disappointment. Jesus show me how to acknowledge and trust You in all of my ways. Help me to see areas in my life that I need to acknowledge You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
April 01, 2020
Are there any areas of your life where you are still holding onto rejection? Rejection hurts doesn’t it? I look back on my life and think of all the times I’ve had my heart broken because someone rejected me, and how each time it got a little bit harder to recover from it. I know after a while I got to the point where I didn’t believe that God was able to repair my broken heart. He did, but rejection is one of the worst pains in life I’ve ever felt.
“And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and Matthias was selected to become an apostle with the other eleven.” Acts 1:23-26 These three verses finish off the first chapter of Acts. This is where Jesus ascends in to Heaven and the disciples have to decide who will replace Judas, the disciple who chose to betray Jesus for a few coins. Apparently, the remaining 11 disciples are deciding between two men: Joseph and Matthias. They made their decision and chose Matthias, not Joseph, and that’s the end of it. There is no “and the disciples comforted and encouraged Joseph to continue to pursue the things of Christ” speech after he wasn’t chosen.
As I read that passage, I couldn't help but wonder how Joseph must have felt. Rejection isn't fun for anyone. Even if you know that what you were rejected from isn't what God wants for you. It hurts and it can cause you to doubt who you are and what you're doing. It can cause you to harbor feelings of resentment or bitterness. At times it even can change how you react to God. We become incredibly great stone masons who construct walls of brick around our hearts to protect them from pain of further rejection. Has anyone else ever done this other than myself? I know that I became a master at adding stones to the wall I’d built for decades due to pain, rejection, and the list of reasons to add bricks to my wall goes on and on.
However, the longer I walk with the Lord the more He’s helping me to tear down the wall I’ve built. I believe one day that entire wall I’d built to protect me will come down and the only shield of protection I’ll need is Jesus. We just have to surrender all to Him, including our feelings of rejection. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world knows all too well how it feels to be rejected. “You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.” 1 Peter 2:4 That’s why we can come to Jesus in our time of need and He is ready, willing and able to help us.
This is my Prayer: God teach me to turn these areas in my life where still holding onto rejection over to You. Jesus remove these feeling of resentment and bitterness from my heart and replace them with forgiveness and peace. Lord help me tear down the walls I’ve built in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.