Friday, November 30, 2018

Jesus will calm your storm

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Well everybody, apparently it was Jesus. That's who He was. And Mark 4:35-41, is another great reminder that Jesus will give us peace in the midst of a storm when we call out to Him. If there is a storm brewing around you today, know this: if you serve a God who told the wind to be still and it ceased to exist, then He can do it for your life right now. That's right, so believe it. Believe that He will move in your life and He will move. Yes, the wind and the sea will obey Him. 
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

The story of the seeds

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
That was Jesus speaking to His disciples and the reference of the story is, Luke 8:5-15. Regarding the Word of God and regarding staying faithful to the Lord, which person are you in the story? There are four categories -- the path, the rock, the thorns, and the good soil. Why not review the story again and conclude for yourself which one you are? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Your faith has saved you

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them." Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
That's just part of the story in Luke 7:36-50 when Jesus didn't judge a woman who many people judged. Do you know your past and not even your present, matters to Jesus? People may reject you and people may reject me. It's part of life. Yet, guess what? When it comes to loving the Lord and having faith and trust that He doesn't hold anything against us, we're going to be aye-ok, simply because our faith has saved us. 
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

You are guarded

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always."
Psalm 121 has come to you today, to remind you that if you are a child of God, your strength doesn't come from people, places, or things. Your strength -- your real true strength, comes from the Lord. Sometimes we are trying to get strength and power from the wrong places, yet be encouraged today that you are in the right kingdom if you call God your Father. You are in the right kingdom when you can look high and look towards the light to cover you every day of your life. Don't ever forget that. You are guarded -- you are guarded by God.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Nothing is impossible for those who believe

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
What do you think about the scenario in Matthew 17:14-20? Does it increase your faith that nothing is impossible for God to do in your life? Does it increase your faith that whatever mountain you may be facing today, can be overcome with prayer and crying out to the Lord? Am I saying that's all it will take? No of course not, it will take some action, as well. However, with a relationship with God in which you can speak to Him and He will speak back, nothing is impossible for what you want to happen in your life. Do you believe it? Because let me tell you, believing is the first step in positive things happening in your life. Doubt and unbelief will not help. Faith will, because nothing is impossible for those who believe. 
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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Ask God

Yes, you shall get the desires of your heart when you ask the Lord for what you need. That's the spiritual part of it. Your chances of receiving what you want also increase dramatically when you ask and do in the natural. That means, we have a greater opportunity of getting closer to greater things when we open our mouths to God and to man. When we're willing to do the work, those things will come. Will they fall out of the sky? No, but they will come.

God wants us to seek Him first. That means uttering words to Him and being led by the holy spirit. Matthew 6:33 says to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you. The bottom line is that God wants the best for us. His immediate answer may not be yes. It may simply be later, so don't despair. We will get what our heart desires, but it will come in God's timing, not ours. So, it's quite simple really, ask and if you're willing to sacrifice and wait, great things will come. I totally believe that. 
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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Stay strong

You're staying strong, right? You're not growing weary and you're most definitely not giving up, right? I certainly hope not, because you're going to get there. Yes, you're going to get where it is God is taking you. 

Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary while doing well, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Don't tire of doing well, because joy really does come in the morning or at some point, but just know it will come. Challenging times are temporary, so keep praying and keep hope alive. Keep that desire that longs in your heart. What you want manifested will come. Remember what the Lord said and refuse to go let go of it. Keep on keeping on, because you've come too far to turn back now. Stay strong, especially in the Lord.
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Friday, November 23, 2018

You're the anointed one

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"...the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David."
So the story goes in 1 Samuel 16:7-13 when the Lord knew who He was looking for. He knew He anointed the one everyone had cast aside, looked-over, and left for dead. The Lord knew who He was going to use for greatness and Samuel couldn't and wouldn't rest until He found who the Lord told him to anoint -- the chosen second and future king of Israel, David -- the lowly keeper of sheep. Yet in God's eyes, royalty and a strong and mighty warrior.

Could you be the next David? I'm not talking from a male or female perspective -- I'm talking from a God perspective. Could you possibly be a David? The one nobody believes in. The one nobody thinks will amount to anything. The one who was just about doomed by man, from the time you were in your mother's womb. Could you be the next one God is going to use for greatness? I say yes indeed, you could be.

Do you know your life is not your own (Jeremiah 10:23-25) and God has called and chosen you for greatness? And like David, you may not be in any position to act yet and you may not even think you are worthy of such an honor, but stay with God. Because if He said He was going to do it through you, then there is nothing anybody can do to stop it, not even you -- the anointed one.
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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thankful today

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
“Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty fill His sanctuary“ (Psalm 96:6). 

Sometimes I wonder how many of us really realize how blessed we are to be so loved by God. We really are blessed. And what else comes with that love, is the love we can have for each other. When we are thankful, grateful, and blessed, we are in a loving posture. And we can love freely.

When I think over my life I know there were many situations when God gave me favor, grace, and mercy -- many times -- and I didn't really deserve any of it. Now, that's love. So why would I not operate in that same love? Why not thank God for the many things He does for us like giving us life and enabling us to wake up to the magnificent world He created for us? No, it's not a perfect world, far from it, but it has much magnificence in it, because the Lord made it. So I will continue to look at the splendor of it all as I am reminded yet again, to be thankful. I am confident of that very thing. Thankful today.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

My redeemer lives

Job 19:25 says, "for I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth." Is Jesus is your Redeemer? 

Isn't it considerate of Jesus to make us a priority? Isn't it a blessing to know He wants the best for our lives? Isn't it a blessing to be able to be encouraged by the people He places in our lives to make us better? 

Have you ever just sat and thought about it? How much He loves us and the things He shielded and protected us from? His spirit is powerful -- beyond any form. He's omnipotent and He's power, unlimited. He is strength, vitality, a loving jolt of power, and a gentle nudge of intensity. He is the reason for all things great. And whether we know it or not, His spirit is alive. My prayer is that you will experience Him for yourself if you haven't already. Romans 10 is helpful.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

God's promise is still there

Do you know that what God promised you, is still there? Oh yes, it's still there. It's just that you can't see it in the natural. You can only see it with your spiritual eyes. You see, that's how faith works. It's the substance or confidence of things we hope for and the evidence, assurance, certainty, and proof of things not yet seen. Hebrews 11:1 is proof of that. So, when you start getting down, as we all do from time to time, about things that God promised you -- things God showed you, but they haven't been manifested yet, know this: what you want manifested in your life will still happen. It will come to pass. It will show itself in your life. But this is the thing though: it will only show itself if you do not give up and lose hope, because it's taking so long.
Do you know that you have things in your life that somebody else is praying for? Do you know you are blessed with certain things that somebody has been waiting for, for a very long time? And the same applies to them. If we do give up, there's a high probability that what we want to see, will not be seen. Look at the scripture again my friends. Hebrews 11:1 says, faith is the substance hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Faith. Yes, that power word that we often underestimate, because it takes too much trust in the things we can't control. If we could control everything, why in the world would we need God regarding bringing things to fruition? 

So, we have to believe that what's on the other side is worth getting. And we have to be willing to go through all the things we can't see to be able to get there. We can get there. Keep your faith no matter how long it takes to get what God promised you, because everybody is waiting for something
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Monday, November 19, 2018

Jesus and Zacchaeus

"He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Jesus and Zacchaeus. That is the story of what happened in Luke 19:1-10. Do you know anybody like Zacchaeus, who was hated by most, because he was a lying, cheating, tax collector who took advantage of the poor? Do you know anybody like the grumbling, indignant, judgmental people who witnessed Zacchaeus' entire encounter with Jesus and couldn't believe their eyes when Jesus befriended him? 

What did you get from Zacchaeus' encounter with Jesus? One thing is for certain, when we want Jesus, He is available any day and any time. And no matter where we are in our walk with Him, He wants us to come as we are, to be honest about our lives, and He will supper with us and forgive us just as He did with Zacchaeus. He will visit anybody who invites Him in and accept them even if others have counted them out and rejected them. Yes, if He did it for Zacchaeus and if He did it for me, He will do it for anybody. And as long as you're breathing, it's never too late. Jesus is love and He loves all of us. 
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanks to God

"Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I’ve gotwherever good people gather, and in the congregation. God’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of studyendless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark his craft; His generosity never gives out. His miracles are his memorial. This God of Grace, this God of Love, He gave food to those who fear him. He remembered to keep his ancient promise. He proved to his people that he could do what he said: Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift! He manufactures truth and justice; All his products are guaranteed to last—Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof. All that he makes and does is honest and true: He paid the ransom for his people. He ordered his Covenant kept forever. He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect. The good life begins in the fear of God. Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever!"
Today, through Psalm 111, I've come to remind you that we have much to be thankful for. God has given us much more than we will ever know. Today, I take time out to tell Him thank you for everything He's done, everything He is doing, and everything He will do. Yes, today I've come to say, His praise endures forever! Be encouraged in that today, everybody. God is awesome. 
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Saturday, November 17, 2018

God's awesome assurance

Isn't it great to never hunger or thirst? That's the awesome assurance we get from God -- the  awesome guarantee that Jesus tells us in John 6:35 when He declares, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

We can walk in assurance and confidence that with Jesus, we will never go wrong. It doesn't mean we will live a sinless perfect life. It means our life will always be one of protection and coverage in all the things of God, because as fast as we can ask, He's already forgiven us.

Never being hungry or thirsty means having an endless supply of grace, favor, and mercy at our fingertips, simply because we are God's off-spring and He can shower us with any of those things whenever He so chooses. No, we can't take those things for granted, but we can be blessed with His goodness even though we don't come anywhere close to deserving it. Thankfully though, we can call Him, "Father".

Yes, God activates His blessings as we continue to trust in Him. And although we don't always know when He will act, He will remember what He said in John 6:35. Getting our daily bread -- our daily dose of the Lord, is something we sometimes overlook, but He's there regardless. He loves us that much and He gives us that awesome assurance constantly.
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Prayer to be reckoned with

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out. Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God."
James 5:13-20 are powerful words, aren't they? They are words of comfort and confirmation that God will do what He said He would do. Do you believe Him? If so, pray and do so without ceasing. Prayer to be reckoned with.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lord, have mercy

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road."

Isn't that another great testimony about God's mercy? That story comes from Mark 10:46-52 and it's encouraging for a number of reasons. Namely, that Jesus had mercy on a blind man who called out to Him and his sight was restored. And it's a story of perseverance, because the blind man didn't give up, no matter the people who were trying to silence him. In fact, He cried out to the Lord even more. Isn't it wonderful to know that no matter who is trying to shut us up, shut us out, or shut us down, God is the final authority? He is the one who will be there when all may seem lost. With faith, anything is possible for those who believe. And with faith, the Lord will have mercy on us. 
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The very tree of life

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed! With Lady Wisdom, God formed Earth; with Madame Insight, he raised Heaven."
Need I say more about Proverbs 3:13-19? It's about wisdom today everybody -- knowledge plus application. Yes, that's wisdom and Solomon, the writer of the majority of Proverbs, said when we make friends with her -- Lady Wisdom -- it's more than money in the bank. Makes sense, right? Because wisdom has long life. Wisdom has leverage. And wisdom stands the test of time. Oh yes, it can hold water and it's a sure foundation. The Word of God -- the bible, is always a great start (and finish), to gaining it. Wisdom, the very tree of life. 
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A risk of faith

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with. At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”
Perhaps some of you have heard that story in Mark 5:25-34, about the woman with the issue of blood. As you can surmise from the story, she had suffered for many years, until one day when Jesus was passing by, she took a leap of faith that paid off for her. She reached out to Him and was healed as a result. 

For you yourself, what do you need faith for today? What has been bothering you for far too long now, that you not only need a touch from the Lord, but you know you need to reach out and touch Him? If you need a move of faith in your life, one simple risk of faith may do it for you. Maybe just maybe, you need to seek the Lord again about that issue or about the thing that has been weighing heavily on you. And maybe He will tell you the same thing He told the woman with the issue of blood, “Daughter [or son], you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.” Hallelujah everybody, hallelujah to that.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Victory awaits

Do you know, if we want to be used by God and we're willing to work at it,  victory awaits us?

Yes, if we're willing to go the distance, it's just a matter of time before we get the victory that God promised us.  In 1 Kings 11:38, the Lord told Solomon "...and if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you." As long as King Solomon was willing to do what it took, God had his back. Solomon had it made. You can read the rest of 1 Kings to find out how he fared. 

Nevertheless, God will use us for great feats if we're willing to be used. It's free will. When He calls us, we make the choice to go. It's a sacrifice. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You want to win? Be willing to go through the obstacle course of life in order to do so.  You can do it though, through Christ who lives in you. Philippians 4:13 says, you can do all things through Him who strengthens you. Yes you can.
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Sunday, November 11, 2018

No shame

Isaiah 61:7 says "Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours." So, there you have it. There's no shame in your game. There's no shame or disgrace in the life you've live. It's been lived, what happened happened. There's no erasing anything. And there's no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). He has wiped the slate clean and you have been forgiven for everything (Hebrews 10:17/18). He will give turn your mourning into gladness and sorrow into comfort and joy (Jeremiah 31:13b). You are created new in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

So you see, there is absolutely no shame in your game. Don't bother looking back. Keep going forward. If you find your mind wandering back, immediately shift it to something new and fresh. Don't stay back there. Life offers us more abundance, more joy, and more peace. Focus on those things. God has preserved your life -- my life -- for a reason and we have even more to offer people through our testimony, which wasn't for nothing. It was such a time as the time it will be for. It's time to start walking in the authority the Lord has given us. Walk in your victory. 
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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Secure footing

Is your footing secure? Is your foundation built solid like a rock -- on a precious stone? Matthew 7:24-27 says, "everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand", says the Lord. In other words, we have to consider our foundation, because anything built on sand won't stand -- the foundation will be unstable and unsafe. It has to be built on a solid reliable foundation. If it isn't, when we fall we will have difficulty getting back up.

It's so much easier for us when we have a steady foundation, because that means it's a foundation built on God. Solid! The Rock! Which makes the foundation more durable and which makes us able to withstand any pressure that comes our way. Psalm 18:2 says, "the Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." 
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Friday, November 9, 2018

The wideness of God's mercy

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"Then Jonah prayed to his God from the belly of the fish. He prayed: “In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God. He answered me. From the belly of the grave I cried, ‘Help!’ You heard my cry. You threw me into ocean’s depths, into a watery grave, With ocean waves, ocean breakers crashing over me. I said, ‘I’ve been thrown away, thrown out, out of your sight. I’ll never again lay eyes on your Holy Temple.’ Ocean gripped me by the throat. The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight. My head was all tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root. I was as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever—Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive, O God, my God! When my life was slipping away, I remembered God, And my prayer got through to you, made it all the way to your Holy Temple. Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love. But I’m worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I’ll do what I promised I’d do! Salvation belongs to God!” Then God spoke to the fish, and it vomited up Jonah on the seashore." 
Those verses come from Jonah 2 and that was the part where God made the Prophet Jonah go into the belly of a fish (which was the wilderness). Because of Jonah's disobedience concerning his unwillingness to go preach to the people of Ninevah, he found himself in the belly of the fish. Down and out and in a bad place. God told Jonah that the people were living an evil wretched life and He was going to destroy them, so God wanted Jonah to warn them. After the fish ordeal, God told Jonah a second time and Jonah went, but found himself depressed after God spared the people. You see, Jonah didn't want God to bless them. Yet, don't you know, God is a merciful and forgiving God? Yes, and when the people of Ninevah became repentant, prayed to God to spare them, and changed their wicked ways, God relented and answered their prayers. He saved them. The story of Jonah has several lessons for us, including God's great mercy on those who humbly ask for it. 
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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Glory is just around the corner

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name! It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message! If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad? So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.“ Those scriptures come from 1 Peter 4:12-19.
It’s apparent what all of those verses mean. They mean to keep going, throughout the challenges or negativity, and despite the setbacks. God is on your side and glory and victory are imminent for you when you don’t grow weary of well-doing. Things may not be ideal right now, but God will still do it, so don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Stay with it. Glory -- is just around the corner. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Faith in Action

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? 

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?"

Those entire words come from James 2:1-24. It's all about faith and putting faith into action. Be encouraged in your active faith today.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Slow down

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Those verses come from Luke 10:41/42. Are you a Martha or a Mary? Are you so busy doing things that don't get you anywhere or are you using your time to the best of your ability? Are you distracted by life's many circumstances that come and go or are you spending time with the Lord? One gets great dividends and the other, great losses really. Thankfully though, it's a choice for all of us and it's not too late to tweak some things in our lives if we must. Perhaps we can all take some inventory and consider where we need to make change. And when we do that, we will able to slow down enough to listen and hear what the Lord is saying to us. It's about on-going communication with Him. 

Verses 38 and 40 kind of sets the stage of what happened when Jesus said "Martha Martha." Verses 38 and 40 say, "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 

The Lord was saying that Mary has made time for me and I'm going to spend time with her. We all have a choice to make. Of course the Lord will help us, but what are we doing to help ourselves? And what are doing to gain a better relationship with Him? Just a few things for us to ponder. That's all.
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