Fresh Devotional will be posted almost daily. Be sure to tune in regularly for a new blessing.
|Posted on June 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM||comments (5)|
Matthew 14:18 – Little or a lot
18 “Bring them here,” he said. NLT
Bring them here, is Jesus’ reply to the disciples saying they didn’t have enough. I can see if this was me, I would have taken the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread to Jesus only to make my point that there was nothing they had to offer. Isn’t it funny how that is? It seams like one or two is much better than zero to prove a point. “Look here it is. What can you possibly do with it? Give it to the first 2 people and then make everyone else mad and cause a riot?” If we sat and thought about it, we could come up with a lot more excuses, or a list of bad things that will happen for even trying. I’ll spare us of this negative exercise.
God can make things out of nothing. He is really good at it. But I think what God loves best, is to take a little and do amazing things with it. Look at me, I am little, but he has done some really cool things through me. It’s always in a way that I can’t take credit for it. That’s his little joke on me. But it is still awesome to be used, or be apart of a miracle.
So if you want to be part of a miracle this week or even today, give God your little and watch him work. What is your little?
MONEY – to ministry or your local church,
TIME – Friends, neighbor, elderly on your block, church, ministry, or mentoring.
HOME – Host a bible study, dinner party, invite someone new to the church or neighborhood.
TALENT – Don’t worry if you think others are better. Give the talent you enjoy to God. Paint a wall for the nursery, join the choir, write letters to the people who have been out. Write letters to a soldier over seas. Bake cookies for people in the hospital or in the waiting room of the ICU unit, whether you know them or not. Take some food to the Fire Department.
What are you good at? DO IT.
|Posted on February 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM||comments (151)|
Listen for the still small voice.
1 Kings 19:11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” NLT
I continue to look for God’s touch on each day. Some people I know feel like they are in a dry place. A place where they haven’t felt God move in a while. We all find ourselves there, at some point. I have been in a level of high stress for a few weeks. No more than anyone else at work. But it has made me less than desirable to work with, I’m sure. One thing that has helped me get through each day, is the Holy Spirit. I have to look outside myself and see what god is doing around me and for me. Despite myself, God did some pretty special things in these last few weeks as well.
Seeing what God is doing, is the hard part of our life. If we only look for the big miracle, or a life changing experience, it will be a long time between seeing anything. I grow more and more convinced day after day, that Jesus loves the little details. As the verse above ends, God came in a whisper. If we look to the fire and the wind, we will spend a lot of time waiting.
Sunday I left my Ipod at church. Accident? On the surface maybe. I ran to get it Monday. I can’t go long with out it. If I want to listen to Frankie Vallie, I can’t do it on the radio, I’ve got to have my Ipod. But any ways. When I got there, Mrs. Shirley was there and needed help with a big desk. I told her It was God that had brought me there. And explained the Ipod. She agreed, because she was very glad to get the help. In a few minutes I was out of there. But came back with a Dollie to more the big stuff easier. When I got back, she was all shuck up. A large TV had fallen over on her. But a miracle took place and it didn’t land on her. (this was not a flat screen) Her angels protected her. But she was shaken. Here’s the real reason I was there. Not because I did anything in my own power, but I did know I was suppose to pray with her. So I did. I couldn’t even formulate any words, that made sense. But the Holy Spirit, knew what she needed. I babbled a few words, and God’s presence was strong. I felt him there with us. I count it more from Shirley’s faith, than mine, but it was real.
Forgetting my Ipod was a bother, but it turned into a blessing. Some would count it as nothing special. But I know it was very important. And a blessing to both of us. No biblical scale miracle, but a moment I will never forget.
Point: God is doing amazing things every day all around us. We need to look for them and not cont them as nothing. We also need to look for it in others. If we only look at what he is doing for us, we’ll miss out on some amazing things.
|Posted on February 23, 2012 at 12:55 AM||comments (4)|
Pocket full of Mercy
by Jeffrey Harris
As I listened to music this morning, I heard a line wrong. It didn’t say this, but I thought it said a pocket full of mercy. This struck a thought.
I thought of Mercy being like money. When our pockets are full of change, we are more app to share it; Salvation Army cans at Christmas, friend at work needing a quarter for a coke, or helping someone in front of you in line at Subway, that needs 15 cents so they don’t have to break a 20. We are quick to share at times, and as we share we are not just sharing 15 cents, we share a blessing.
I am thinking about how mercy is like the loose change that we can share. It doesn’t take much away from ourselves, but can be a huge blessing to someone else. It is even better than loose change, because we can never run out of it, no matter how much we give.
Jesus has poured his Mercy on us until it over flows. Now we have excess of mercy to share.
Do we share?
Do we give the mercy to others?
Mercy is not deserved, it is not earned.
SO why do we qualify it when it comes to others.
We suddenly think the mercy in our pocket is limited and we should be very selective when giving it out. We want to save it for a special occasion.
It IS for a special occasion.
That occasion is today. Everyone god sends your way, especially the ones who get on your nerves, are the special occasion you have been waiting for.
Don’t end the day with a pocket full of mercy, give as much as you can away.
For just like Manna that came to Moses every morning. We will have a fresh pocket full again tomorrow.
“His mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22 & 23
Share it, and receive more.
Be blessed as you bless others.
It’s an endless circle, that is a win win. The only way you lose, is by not giving it away.
|Posted on November 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM||comments (111)|
Matthew 6:1- 4 - Praise Seekers
Verse 1 of Chapter 6 starts with a warning.
These four verses are all about bragging. Doing things simply to bring glory to you is pride building. Doing things for the praise is selfishness.
I do this all the time. If you don’t give me praise for my good deeds right away, I’ll fish for it. For those of you that know me know this is true. I hope that I do things with out praise. Not that there is a score card, that I am trying to mark. I feel like I truly love to help people, but I can’t say that I do it for the Lord.
I believe this is something I need to work on. Even when I don’t fish for the praise, I look for it in silence.
I use to be a lot better at doing things with out being noticed. Pick up some trash in the parking lot, pushing the shopping cart all the way back to the collection cage. I do know the rewards for most of the good things I have done, are repaid here on earth. The praise I have received is enough for now.
The true reason to do well is to show the love of Jesus. If we do it for ourselves, we do not bring honor to Jesus. We only bring it to ourselves. Humility is the only thing that gives honor to Jesus.
Humility is not an accident and it is not natural.
Humility comes from Practice, Reading the Word, and Praying specifically for help to be humble.
Lord, help me I need help in a bad way.
I want you to be glorified through me.
|Posted on November 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM||comments (92)|
Matthew 5:43 - 48 - Difficult Love
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. NLT
I believe I have covered the topic of loving your enemies. It’s what makes us different, or at least we are suppose to act different.
I like to say “the true measure of Christian is to Love those who don’t love you.” If we can do this, we can say we’ve arrived. I don’t think I am any where close.
Praying for them is the best place to start. With out this step from verse 44 it is not going to happen. Love doesn’t come by accident. To love those who aren’t crazy about you, is not a natural thing. It takes Prayer, the Word of God, and Patience. Then a little more prayer.
The Fruit of Spirit is only applicable when we show it during less than pleasant circumstances.
Like verse 46 says, event those who don’t know Christ can do this much. So to be showing good fruit, that truly tells the world that we are different, it needs to be toward those who don’t give a rip about us.
When we can love and forgive the ones who want us destroyed, and then we are like Christ. After being beaten for hours, spit on, lied about, and rejected, Jesus hung on a cross for all of our sins. He used one of his last humanly breaths to forgive the very ones who were in the process of mocking him. That’s right, even as they mocked him, he forgave.
Even when we were worthless and have no reason to be forgiven, Jesus reaches out to us and gave us his Grace and Righteousness. He declares us not guilty.
Are or were we any better than those who you can’t seam to get along with? Not really. They probably just need to have Jesus and his grace. Until that happens, you need to show the other Fruit; Patience. Do not let them under your skin. It doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them, unless the Holy Spirit is telling you to. Just show kindness and gentleness to them, when you are around them.
Remember this will probably take a lot of prayer.
Prayer is good for you.
|Posted on August 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM||comments (233)|
Romans 8:38-39; No separation from God’s Love
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing can separate us.
This is a fact.
We often feel like we are not just separated, but in a different universe. This is a verse to remind us that just like our relationships with others, we can not base our relationship with God by feelings. Even if we do feel like we are separated, the truth does not change, God is close.
This closeness is only broken by us. Not by accident, but we would have to choose to. Since we don’t choose to, Jesus is close by. Nothing else can get between us and God.
Not even the devil. All he can do is trick us into believing we are separated. His only weapon is to make us think God doesn’t love us. But we need to stay in his word and know that nothing comes between us and God’s Love.
This everlasting love is revealed to us through Jesus.
Jesus is the walking embodiment of Love. His love is perfect and his love is endless.
The best defense against the devil and his lies, is the Bible. We need to read it, to keep him off our back and help us see through his lies.
Jesus is close and his love is real.
|Posted on August 9, 2011 at 11:10 PM||comments (2689)|
Romans 8:31-34 Expression of love.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
If God be for us? There are plenty of people against us, but none of them have any authority over us. So who is against us? The devil. He’s a loser. He has lost the authority over man, when Jesus came up from the grave. Sins are easily wiped out by Jesus’ blood. So can the Devil speak ill against us? No.
Then it goes past even our salvation, which in itself is enough. Our salvation is more than we can ask, but here God is telling us to ask for even more.
We are asked to think about how much God has already done for us. To look at the the weight of the sacrifice God and Jesus made. If you were to sacrifice that much, would that love be limited to just one thing, even if it huge.
No of course not. It is a Love that is eternal. A love that God wants to express every day.
In this expression, we are able to ask for help and things just as our own children would.
God’s expression of love is ready for you to open up to him. Pray and talk to him. Not just a wish list, but talk to him. Let him know you love him too. Let him know you want everything good that he can give you.
Experience his expression of love today.
|Posted on July 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM||comments (28)|
Romans 8:24, 25 – Hope and Patients
24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Waiting on the Lord.
Faith is step one.
Faith in the ability for God to answer prayer.
Faith in God’s Love and desire to answer.
Patients is step two.
Waiting is the hardest part of Faith.
It is when we need to have faith ten days from now.
Even harder 2 months from now.
To get the answer or victory. We must wait until the time is right.
Timing of God, which is perfect, is always on time.
Not always when we want it, but never late.
Waiting it out is the only way to success.
There is no victory in quitting.
There is no way to get to the finish if we quit.
The wait is always worth it.
And I mean always.
I have a friend named Daryl, who has been in the holding pattern for years. He knew God wasn’t done with him. I have prayed with him. Others have prayed with him. He has been an inspiration in his patients and faithfulness. To sit on the side lines and wait on the Lord. It is not an easy thing. Instead of jumping into things and get the ball rolling on his own, he waited on the Lord.
The opportunity came along and BAM! The magic happened, well maybe not magic, but God.
The holy Spirit has been preparing him for the perfect time and place. Two years ago he wasn’t ready, the place wasn’t ready. But together the Lord brought everything together.
Amazing things have already happened and much, much more is ahead. If you asked him about the wait, he’d tell you it was hard, but worth it in more ways than words can express.
It is always worth the wait. When we are waiting on God.
|Posted on July 26, 2011 at 10:55 PM||comments (455)|
Romans 8:18-21 - Suffering
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
I know myself I don’t know suffering compared to some of my friends. I went through most of my suffering while I was a child. Some times I feel like I am suffering, but usually it is only in my mind. So I don’t think I can count it as suffering (or at least not real suffering) if my mind is creating bad fictional scenario. I remain my own worst enemy.
But I know people that know true suffering.
Abuse as a child, or as a wife.
Sickness, handicapped, or hurt.
Bad family situations or marriage.
Loss of Job or Home or both.
There are close friends of mine that have suffered in more than one of these. I don’t know how they have made it. I don’t know if I could have the faith that it takes to keep on going. I am amazed at the perseverance.
I am at a lost on what to say or do. I really have only one thing which is a huge privilege and the best thing I can do; Pray.
But here is the group of verses that give hope. The suffering may not come to an end here on the earth in this life time, but what a prize awaits.
There is an amazing Glory waiting. I will be standing there beside these friends, giving them high fives, and checking out their rewards. I know their rewards will far out weigh my own, but I know I will rejoice in the fact that their suffering is over and rejoice in the greatness of God’s grace on them.
I long to see Jesus face to face, but I think a close second will be to witness the rewards my friends will receive. I truly long to see them lifted up in a way they deserve.
If you are suffering, don’t get hung up on whether the suffering will end.
Know this; It will and the reward of seeing Jesus and his glory will make it all worth while. When you see Jesus - Face to Face – the suffering will be forgotten, or at least the pain of it.
|Posted on July 20, 2011 at 11:32 PM||comments (55)|
Romans 8:1 – Live like your free
1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
This means there is no condemnation. The ax is not about to fall on you. If and only if you belong to Jesus. With out Jesus there is condemnation.
If you have Jesus and you remain humble in the fact that you need him for everything spiritual. Even if you fail and sin, repentance is there for us. It is a part of our life. When we repent the sin is gone. As far as the east is from the west. If the sin is gone then there is nothing for God to use against us.
With No evidence there can be no trial. No trial there can be no sentencing. If there is no sentencing, then there is no condemnation.
We are forgiven.
It is time we start living like it. No more pity parties. We have Jesus and forgiveness.
What else can we want or ask for?
Live like you are forgiven. Stop worrying about the future. We know one thing that won’t happen so we can stop worrying about judgment. Our sins have been erased.