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Devotion

Are You Part Time or Full Time?

(Mark 12:30) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

 

The parable of the seed and the sower describes how we hear and receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The seeds that fell on the path eaten by the birds are those who hear but do not understand and the seed sown is snatched away by Satan.  The seed on the rocky places are those who hear the Word and receive it with joy but it has not taken root in their heart and the persecutions of life come and they fall away in discouragement and depression and they lose faith.  The seed that fell among the thorns are for those who hear the Word but the many worries of life with family, work and finances stunt its growth and trust and faith in God and His love for you gets choked out by all the worries of the world.

The second and third scenarios are “part time believers.”  They only believe and have faith when everything is going well, but when trouble comes, their joy leaves and their faith dies.  Do you fit into either of these two categories?   Are you a “part time believer”  believing in God and worshipping Him when things are good or maybe you think because you go to church on Sunday everything is ok but the rest of the week you can be found at the neighborhood bar or at home smoking a joint?  We are to come out from the world and be separate!  Not to be “holier than thou” but because that life will eventually destroy us!  (I John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world– the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does– comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

The last seed is the one that fell in good soil and the roots grew deep and the seed grew and produced a bountiful crop.  This is the person that receives the Word and understands it; it takes root in his heart and he truly does belong to God; he is the “full time believer” who is eternally God’s child and will believe and trust in God no matter what; in good times or in bad.  He understands that our life here on earth is, but a breath and it is preparation for where we will spend eternity.  He knows that it is only in Christ that we have the promise of eternal life in heaven and lives his life on earth with that knowing in his heart. (John 14:6) “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Does your heart truly belong to God or are you having a little trouble with your faith when the going gets rough?  Do you want your own children or family members to love you at all times; when you are happy and generous, when you are angry and in a bad mood and on the war path, when you are down on your luck and your wallet is empty and when you are sad and depressed?  Well, the Lord went through trials and tribulations while He walked the earth and He overcame.   He wants us to love Him at all times as well.   He went through trials so He could understand us in our weaknesses.  (Hebrews 2:14) “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil.”  His humanity helps Him to understand our weakness and temptations.  (Hebrews 2:17-18) “For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”  He overcame and as we trust and keep trusting in Him we will too.  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

God is our refuge and He loves us unconditionally and loved us while we were sinning against Him and He still chose to die for us.  (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  How can you ever doubt that love?  So in return trust in His unconditional, sacrificial love for us and trust and love Him at all times; He is your refuge and your “ever present help in times of trouble.”  (Psalm 62:8) “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  If you truly believed and received Him as Lord with a sincere heart then you are truly born again and He is your Heavenly Father and you are His child; a child of God!  Rejoice!  (John 3:3) “I tell you the truth; no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  (John 3:5-6) “I tell you the truth; no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”  This means, that upon receiving Jesus, you are filled with the Holy Spirit, your heart is changed, and you are made alive in Christ, when before you were dead in your transgressions.  (Romans 6:8-11) “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.  The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

When you receive Jesus, you receive His Spirit into your heart and the fruit of His Spirit which makes you a new creation in Christ.  You will feel His love and peace within, and you will be just as loving to others in return.  (II Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  Is your faith sincere and do you truly love God at all times; in the good and the bad?  Search your heart and if there are any doubts, go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal your doubts and help your with them.  He is faithful and will answer.  He loves you and longs to bless you!

 

(Jeremiah 29:11-14) “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.  Then you will call upon 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 bring you back from captivity.”

 

 

 

 

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Devotion

Stuck? Are you trusting God?

In Acts 12:1-8 you find Peter in jail, bound and stuck between 2 soldiers. That is stuck, but he was asleep! He was at rest because he trusted the Lord.
“About that time, King Herod reached out to harm some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He arrested him and put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out to the people after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was fervently praying to God for him. On the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, with sentries standing guard at the entrance to the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. “Get dressed and put on your sandals,” said the angel. Peter did so, and the angel told him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me. When we trust God we can rest like Peter. The Lord delivered him, the chains fell off, the prison doors did not stop the Lord from setting Peter free.” (Acts 12:1-8)
What prison doors do you have? Financial, health, family issues? Maybe a relationship or a wayward child? Maybe it is emotional or spiritual and maybe all of the above. Nothing is too hard for the Lord!
He told him, get up and put on his cloak and his sandals, meaning put on the, the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit, rise up and walk. When the Lord tells you to “go,”, He will also give you the inner and outer gifts and provision to do what is needed. You just need to trust and obey.
Peter trusted and walked out of the prison with ease and as you learn to trust, so will you.
“With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12)
Devotion

HE HAS RISEN!

 

(Mark 16:6) “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”

 

Easter; a day we celebrate our risen Lord who by His abounding love for mankind died for us.  God saw that the sin of mankind was just too great for us to pay, so He paid the price for us.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

 

To look around at the world, the beauty of the mountains, trees and waters in the oceans, seas and lakes; you cannot deny that God exists.  Look at life; trees and flowers die and come back to life in the spring; the birth of human life in babies is a true miracle in itself.  How can you deny God’s existence?  (Isaiah 40:21-26) “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Has it not been told you from the beginning?  Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.  He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.  He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.   No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than He blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.   “To whom will you compare me?  Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One.   Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name.  Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

 

So, with that settled, you must also believe in heaven and hell.  Where will you spend eternity?  Only God knows the hour and time of your death.  (Job 14:5) ”Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”    The time of your death could be today, tomorrow, a year from now or 50, but only God knows the exact day and time.  Are living according to your flesh and the passions and lusts of the world?  Do you really want to take a chance on an eternity in heaven or hell for a few fleeting moments of the lust of your flesh?  (Mark 8:36) “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

 

God says do not love the world or anything in it because it passes away but your soul lives forever and where you will spend it is your choice.  (I John 2:15-17) “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

 

On this special day of remembrance when Jesus gave His life in the painful way that He did for all of us, why not commemorate it with giving your life to Him?  He took our pain and was beaten beyond human recognition.  (Isaiah 52:13-15) “See, my servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.   Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness—so will He sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.  For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

 

Have you given your life to Him in only words, but your heart did not mean it?  Have you been calling everything that has to do with Jesus pure rubbish, only because you still want to party?  Remember, you do not control the hour of your death.  Do you really want to take a chance with where you will spend eternity?  In life you will go through many hardships, but as a child of the King, He will always be there to back you up, help you up and bring you through to victory.  Who else on earth can make you that promise?  No one!  Only God loves you just because of who you are, and He loved you first.  He loves you now and will love you no matter what you have done or will do.  He may not always like your actions, but you do not have to do anything to earn His love.  He did it for you.  (Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Only in Christ will you get a do over!  Who else promises that?  (II Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”    Decide today to make it the first and best day of the rest of your life and pray the prayer of salvation above.  You will not regret it!

Devotion

Are the Stones Praising God in Your Place?


(Luke 19:37-40) “When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’  ‘I tell you, He replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

 

Do you thank God for the blessing of your salvation?  What about the basic necessities that He provides such as a roof over your head, electric, transportation, food, clean water and the many other luxuries you enjoy?  Do you thank Him for the little things He does for you to bless you and the prayers that He answers?  (Luke 17:17-19) “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’  Then He said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Are the stones crying out in your place?  Are you longing to feel and experience more of God’s presence?  God dwells within our praises, so start appreciating Him and praising Him a little more!  (Psalm 22:3) “But thou are holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel.”  Our heavenly Father created us in His image; (Genesis 1:27) “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  The emotions that we have came from Him!

So, isn’t it right to assume that just as we need to be appreciated, God does as well?  God loved the world so much, that He did not want us to have to pay the price for our sins; so He sent His Son, Jesus.

  (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

He saw that the sin was so great in the world that we would never be able to pay for our sins on our own and He wanted us, the children He created to be with Him in eternity, so He took the punishment upon Himself.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on the righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”  That in itself is enough to praise Him and yet He still blesses us each and every day.  Have you made life all about “you?”

We are to follow His example of unselfish love.  (John 15:12-13) “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”   He despaired so in the Garden that His sweat was as drops of blood as He prayed.    (Luke 22:44) “And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

He set the example of putting us first; do you put Him first?  Do you put others before yourself?  Are you following His example?  (John 13:15-17) “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

He also gave thanks to the Father; is your prayers filled with the “give me’s” or are you truly worshipping God as well and not only in prayer time but all throughout the day?  Do you praise Him for who He is or are the stones crying out in your place?

(Revelation 11:17:19) “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken your great power and have begun to reign.  The nations were angry; and Your wrath has come.  The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding Your servants the prophets and Your saints and those who reverence Your name, both small and great–and for destroying those who destroy the earth.  Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of His covenant.  And there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder, and earthquake and a great hailstorm.”

 

 

Devotion

An Overwhelming Love

(John 15:13) “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Life throws a lot our way; family problems, financial problems, health problems, emotional problems and problems with people in general.  Jesus suffered all of that for us.  He said, “The Son of Man has no place to lay His head,” He came as a servant so as to understand the same issues that we face.  (Hebrews 2:17) “For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people.”  He suffered problems with people, the Pharisees and Sadducees were so scared of loosing their standing, the praise of men, that they continually gave Him trouble.  He had emotional problems, He withdrew to Himself in the Garden to pray and His heart was so overwhelmed that as He prayed “His sweat was as drops of blood.”  Our Lord was beaten beyond human recognition, He was spit on and a crown of thorns hung on His head causing the thorns to dig into His forehead and blood ran down His face.  He did this for us.  (Isaiah 59:16-17) “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.  He put on righteousness as His breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak.”

 

So, remember the next time you are going through a rough patch and experiencing a great deal of turmoil that Jesus went through it too and He understands.  Remember that He is there for you and will deliver you; “the Lord watches over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.”  Remember what He went through to bring you salvation and the overwhelming love He has for all of us and what a faithful God we serve.  (Psalm 145:13) “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.”

Remember and take to heart that if He loved you so much that He died for you, that He will deliver you from this trial as well.  If He allows it, like any good parent, it is to teach you something, to draw something out of your heart that He did not plant and is harmful to your character, it is to mold you into His likeness or it is a consequence of something you chose beyond His wishes and are now reaping what you have sowed.  In all of it; it is out of love to transform you into a more loving, trusting, forgiving, humble, generous child of God.  We go “from glory to glory.”  The trials of life are what He uses to transform us not only for our character, but also for a purpose that He has already planned out.  The trials He allows will draw a passion out of you for His purpose that you may not have had otherwise.  Remember as you go through your next trial and instead of complaining, ask God instead, “What are you trying to teach me?”  Remember the death He experienced and the overwhelming love He has for you that caused Him to die for you in the first place and just trust Him.

 

(Romans 5:8) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

 

 

Devotion

God is in Control

(Proverbs 20:24) “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can any man understand his own way?”

  

As a child of God, you have a Heavenly Father who is always watching over you. “The Lord will watch over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8)

You may feel as if everything is out of control, surrounded by issues much bigger than you have the ability to fix.  Then you are in the perfect place!  It is a set up for God to show up and be glorified!    When the Lord visited Gideon, the Midianites were oppressing them.  He was from the tribe of Manasseh and according to Gideon, the weakest, yet they were in a perfect place for God to be glorified and show them that He had not forgotten them.  When the issues are within your means to fix, then why do you need God?  Gideon and his people needed to see that God would not fail them. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (I Corinthians 1:27)

They had lost hope, felt forsaken.  When the angel of the Lord visited him, all he did was complain.  This was a learned response and he had no confidence.  The people had lost faith and were worshiping other gods.  God calls things into being before they exist.  “(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17) The Lord called him, “Mighty man of valor.”  That is what he became!  Instead of complaining and giving the devil more ammunition, start prophesying over yourself, your family and your issues!  Give the angels seed to work with, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Gideon listened to the Lord, he did as the Lord commanded.  He put himself and his people in God’s hands. Gideon fleeced the Lord two times in order to receive a sign from Him that it was indeed Him, the Lord.  The Lord understood and knew he needed built up and gave into Gideon’s request.   After Gideon had torn down the altars of Baal, he called out people to come out and fight against the Midianites.  Thirty-two thousand people showed up, but the Lord reduced them to three hundred!  They needed this so they could see God’s hands in their victory. “So, he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Surrender to the Lord, He has you and “Will never fail or forsake you.”  He is in control, believe it, accept it and surrender to it.  You will find rest for your spirit when you learn this response.  Gideon and his three hundred men went out to fight and the Lord delivered the Midianites into their hands!  He will do the same for you.

Live by it daily believing God is good and loves you and will as He says in His word that He will work out everything for your good.

As you surrender, trust and obey, you keep God in control, giving Him room to work. You will gain the victory!

 “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12)

 

 

 

Devotion

You are Promoted!


 (Daniel 3:30) “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”

  

You have been going through a season of trials from every direction.  Trouble in your family, your emotions, your job and your finances; it seems as if you have had Satan’s complete attention!  Well, your season of trials has ended; there is a season for everything, even the trials that we go through.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

You may have wondered in the beginning about all the trials that were coming your way, but if this message is speaking to you then by now, I am sure as you have learned with each passing trial that the Lord has made you aware of what was being pruned in you.  (John 15:1-2) “I am the vine, and My Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

The trials are Gods way of communicating to you to let you know if there is still unconfessed sin in your heart, or roots of depression, fear, worry, anger, pride, etc that need to be cut out and past heartache that needs to be healed.   (Matthew 15:13) “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”

The trials are also to teach you and to mold you more into His likeness and His character. (Colossians 3:10) “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”   They are also to develop the gifts that He has planted in you for a purpose He has created before you were born.  (Ephesians 2:10) ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Through the trials you have been through God has taught you who you are in Him, His child in which even the very hairs on your head are numbered.  He has taught you to be confident in you identity in Him no matter what Satan tries to throw your way to make you doubt.  He has taught you that His Kingdom is within you and for encouragement, all you have to do is look within; that is where the Holy Spirit resides.  (Luke 17:21) “Neither shall they say, see here! or, see there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

He has taught you that when the thoughts of anger, depression and self-pity come into your mind, all you have to do is cast them out!  Replace them with His truth!  They will come but the battle is truly won or lost in your mind.  What you dwell on will sink into your heart and either bless it or destroy it.  (II Corinthians 10:3-5) “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

He has taught you to stand up in your spirit for you are not going to take Satan’s attacks any longer.  He has taught you to stand firm and to trust Him who is faithful.  (I Peter 5:6-11) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. “

Just as He went through the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, He will do the same with you. Now that He has been with you to mold you and to teach you and to prepare you for service, rejoice!  Now you are ready to be promoted to the calling He has for you!  But be on your guard, as you have learned with each new step, each new level comes new devils!

(I Corinthians 16:13) “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”

 

 

 

Devotion

Faith is Getting Back Up, Moving On

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”  I Corinthians 9:24-25

Your faith is not judged in the momentary weaknesses, God knows you have them. He knows we are flesh and the flesh is weak. For “We all fall short of the glory of God.”

 

Peter fell, denied Jesus 3 times, and Jesus told him in Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

Jesus knew and encouraged him that he would also get back up. That is the mercy and grace of God.

 

Your faith is not judged in the momentary weaknesses, it is in the getting back up. If a runner falls down running a race and yet gets back up to continue on and even win the race, he is no less a winner even though he fell along the way?

 

Get back up, repent and keep moving! God will always love you, always help you, always restore you, and always give you victory!

Devotion

Turn it over! Rest in the Lord

(Psalm 46:10) “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

Is life overwhelming you?  Then go to God in prayer and turn it all over to Him!  (Psalm 55:22) “Cast you cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”  Sometimes you just need to accept when things are too much for you and all out of control that you need to just turn everything over to God!  Hand it all over to the Creator!

Just like the words of an old Kenny Rogers song, “you have to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”   You have to know when you can do something acting in faith and know when it is just too much that it will take God to clean up your mess.  It is a big act of faith when you throw up your hands and say “Lord, help” and give it all over to Him; trusting Him to take care of it.  (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Step back and ask yourself, who is in control of everything?”   Who Created all thing?    Who knows all things, who knows the end from the beginning?   Who is the One who allows things you’re your life if they will teach you something or draw something out of you or blocks it if it will not?   “Who is our God and who is our Savior?     Who watches over our going and our coming?

Then step back and examine your problems and ask yourself, if God who created the earth and everything in it and provided for our salvation, then is my problem too big for Him?   No!  (Numbers 11:23) “Is the Lord’s arm too short?”  Trust in the One, your Heavenly Father to always love you, protect you and deliver you.

Cast it all into His loving arms and trust Him to take care of your problems.  (Psalm 121:5-8) “The Lord watches over you– the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The Lord will keep you from all harm– He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over you coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Cast all your cares into His hands and He will comfort you and heal your heart.  (Romans 8:31) “What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  As long as you are a child of God, you should ‘fear no evil,’ because our God is a God of love, but He is also strong and powerful.

(I John 4:4) “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Learn how to rest in His faithful loving arms, and joy will overwhelm your heart because you know WHOSE you are and you know you will come through victoriously!

 

“He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him: fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.”   Psalm 37:6-7

 

 

Devotion

Who is Really Controlling You?

      (II Peter 2:19) “For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” 

  

In growing into spiritual maturity God will let you go through trials that will weed out the impurities left on your heart before your were saved.  (Matthew 15:13) “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”   Little by little you will grow closer and closer to God and as you grow, the fruit of the Spirit will grow, and you will die more and more to the flesh; this is God’s way of purifying you so your mind will agree with the change of heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.    In letting God purify you—you are also learning how to be led by the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:24-25) “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

This is day to day dying to self.  (Luke 9:23) “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  (Philippians 1:21) “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  If you ever want to be used mightily in your daily life for God, you need to remember it is for His glory and not your own and you must let the Holy Spirit lead you; not your mind, will and emotions.  This is submitting to the Lordship of Christ.  Your flesh and your mind may want to something contrary to the Spirit, but it is your choice to obey it or God.  (I Corinthians 2:15) “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”  You are doing God’s will and it is for His purpose and glory and He already knows the outcome; therefore, He already knows the process and steps He wants to take to achieve it.  The purification process is also known as sanctification.  (I Thessalonians 5:23) “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When you accept Jesus Christ, you must love, trust and obey Him.  As you do this, God will lead you and guide you and supply all your needs.  As you start to go through the “weeding out process” it will not be easy; so you must stay close to the Lord in prayer and in reading the Word so you will draw from His strength.  He will help you walk according to the Spirit and not according to the world.  You can’t live according to the world and be a child of God.  (I John 2:15-16) “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world– the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.”  You cannot be a Christian and live according to the way God wants you to, a way pleasing to Him, and live according to the lusts and desires of the world.  (I Corinthians 10:21-22) “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons.  Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?  Are we stronger than He?”

God tells us that when we receive Jesus Christ you are to be holy.  Living a holy life keeps you from falling into temptations that will bring repercussions.  As long as you are a child of God, He will always be with you to help you and hold you up and His Spirit in you will help you to lead the holy life He desires for you.  (Joshua 1:5) “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  When you go through a problem that you just can’t see a way through, remember that God has already been there ahead of you and will guide you, but you have to ask.  (Isaiah 43:1-3) “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

The trials you go through are to mold you and help you grow as a Christian, but your Heavenly Father will always protect you.  (Psalm 23:4) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”  The sooner you “let go and let God” mold you through trials and stop fighting to feed your own self-will, the sooner you will get through them.  But if you are constantly letting your anger get the best of you then your flesh is still controlling you.  (James 1:19-21) “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you.”

When you are led by the Spirit you will know how to be content and keep your peace. Peace is ours through Jesus Christ.  (John 16:33) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  God gives wisdom to handle every situation and you just need to ask and rely on Him.  (James 1:5) “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”  You can overcome the trials of life and still be content and keep your peace.  Paul learned and the hardships he went through were a lot harder than we have it today.  (Philippians 4:11-13) “For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Who is controlling you?  Are you led by the Spirit or by your flesh?  Your actions will tell on you.  Examine your ways and then take them to God; ask Him for the strength and wisdom to see what the root behind your anger really is and to help you overcome and be able to go forth in peace in all situations and He will gladly supply!  (James 4:2) “You do not have because you do no ask God.”