“Old People’s” Disease

Standard

Devotion:  Jeremiah 33:6

I was having a virtual visit with my cardiologist.  I heard him say the word “angina”.  I thought, “That’s an old person’s disease.”  My grandmother had that disease.  Wait a minute, I am close to my grandmother’s age when she developed the same thing.  Mercy!  How did that happen?

I am going to try and reverse the curse by changing my diet to a plant-based diet.  It certainly can’t hurt.  I go back and forth, thinking it helps and then wondering if it really does?  I want to eat as God would have me to eat, the way that glorifies Him, and is most beneficial to me as His servant.  All foods are allowed but each one of us must determine what is most beneficial to us.  According to God’s Word, all things are permissible but not all things are profitable.

I will not condemn those who eat or drink differently from me however, I do not want to be condemned either.  We must all figure out what works for each of us.  Obviously processed foods are not as good for us as whole foods.  In my later years; I have been somewhat restricted in my eating because of some food allergies.  I still have not eaten as healthy as I should have.

Jesus bore all of our sicknesses and diseases on the cross.  Our bodies are His temple, so how are we caring for them?  Do we eat right, get enough rest, and exercise?  I believe He wants us to do all we do to glorify Him.

All throughout the Bible, we hear of Jesus healing people with different illnesses.  I just happen to believe He still does, even from old people’s disease.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord in heaven, we cry out to You Jesus to help us take care of our bodies till death do us part.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Demonstration of the Spirit

Standard

Devotion:  1 Corinthians 2:1-5

As I read Paul’s testimony; I was quite blown away by his humility.  He was one of the smartest men and wrote most of the New Testament.  He declared he was with the Corinthians in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling,  He even stated that his preaching was not given out with persuasive words of human wisdom.

Paul preached in the power of God’s Holy Spirit as he told the Corinthians their faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  Paul was one of the most well-spoken missionaries of his time however he knew better than to try and preach in his own strength, with any wisdom apart from God.

Dear ones,  the only way we can ever speak or teach in His great Name is by the power of His Holy Spirit.  When Jesus left this world, He promised His disciples that He would leave His Spirit with them.  A few days later, they gathered in the upper room and His Holy Spirit fell with fire and power manifested by speaking in languages different from their own.  He wanted them to know this was real.

Honestly, we need a demonstration of His Spirit today.  Our world perishes for lack of knowledge.  All of us who have a relationship with Jesus are inhabited by His Holy Spirit.  We pray to the Father through Jesus His Son and it is by His Spirit that He quickens us to pray, to witness, and to minister to others.  Everything else is powerless,

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus,  It is by Your Holy Spirit that I trust You to be my Helper, my Comforter, my Teacher, and the One who keeps me in perfect peace as I walk through this world.

 

Self Help – Shelf Help

Standard

Devotion: Psalm 119:105

How many self-help books do you own?  How many are on the shelf, rarely if ever opened.  You visually see those books every time you walk by those shelves.  If those books could, they would jump off the shelf and into your hands.

You see that very shelf built to hold those books, is serving its purpose.  However, if its purpose stops right there, is its purpose complete?  Why did you buy this book?  You had a problem that needed a resolution.  We all desire resolution for what ails us, whether it’s physical, spiritual, or emotional well being.

No matter how hard they try, a self-help book cannot help you if it is left on the shelf.  The author intended for you to pick it up, read it, high light it, and to employ the knowledge within.

Sweet one, it’s the same with your Bible.  Many are rarely if ever opened.  God poured into His servants what He knew you would need for such a time as this.  Every word was written with you in mind.

God knows that every trial, every heartache, every disappointment needs a remedy.  He knew this before the foundation of the earth.  He is Omniscient, so He knew specifically every  heartache and tribulation you would face,

Please take your Bible off that shelf.  Do not allow it to remain a shelf-help book.  It is truly the greatest story ever told.  Please know it’s not outdated.  It’s written for today, for such a time as this for you and for me.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I’m crying out to You for the forgiveness of neglecting Your Word.  I long to be in it more, to study to show myself approved unto God.  Help me Lord to apply its truth daily.  I lift my eyes to You Lord from where my help comes.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Removing the Root

Standard

Devotion:  Job 14:7-9

Cutting the top of any weed, plant or tree will remove the ugly; however, it will come right back if you do not remove the root.

The same can be said of sin.  All of us know “the sin” that so easily besets us.  Beset means to threaten persistently.  We all have those things albeit large or small, that seem to return like a stubborn weed, one that all the roots were not removed.

Some of those roots involve anger, unforgiveness and the “need” to retaliate impose upon our lives.  Dallas Willard says, “If we remove those things from our lives, a huge transformation will occur in the landscape of our life.  It removes the root and source of by far the greater part of human evil we have to deal with in our world.”  As I read these words conviction falls hard on my soul.

Thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit who keeps us from lashing out but then we carry those thoughts in our innermost being and struggle with fully releasing them to Him.  God help me and my friends who are reading this today.  We so long to be committed wholly to You.

Peter calls us to follow Jesus in “not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”  God longs to teach us and train us in righteousness.  He lovingly allows those difficult people in your lives. (They don’t even know they are difficult.  They probably believe you to be difficult.)

May we love those who are difficult just as Christ loves us and gave Himself up for us.  Christ said; “To whom much has been given, much is required.”

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I am asking You to remove any roots of anger or bitterness in my life.  Forgive me for holding onto any thoughts of revenge or my own flesh’s justification.  I want to be pleasing to You Lord.  I love You so.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

When is the Church Most Effective?

Standard

Devotion:  Luke 14:23

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?  Is it when the music is just right?  Is it when the pastor brings the most amazing message? Is it when someone acknowledges you or makes over you?    All those things are wonderful, however; when is the church most effective?

I believe the church is never more effective than when it is praying and secondly going out into the highways and byways and compelling them to come in.  That is what Jesus asks us to do.

Factory Church of Concord, NC supports many community ministries financially.  This body of believers also goes out to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Their heart is to serve God and love people.  The sole purpose of the church is to be about our Father’s business.  We must be about the things to which God has called us.  That is when we are most effective.

The world is always watching to see how we respond to all that’s going on at any given time.  Truly they are hoping we have something to offer them.  Most of us live so much like the world, it’s hard for the world to tell the difference between us and them.

The church was God’s idea.  We are His bride.  He calls us out so they will know we are Christians by our love.  We are called and chosen for such a time as this.  He longs for us to exhibit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control at all times.

Prayer in Motion:

God help me to be Your church to those You have given me.  I long for many to come to know You personally as their Lord and Savior.  May I be effective to all those You have given me.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

It’s Okay

Standard

Devotion:  Isaiah 5:20

I’ve heard it said, “I think it’s okay with God if I do (whatever it is the person has justified in their own minds).  How can one say I’ve prayed about this and God says it’s okay when He clearly states in His Word the polar opposite?

Today’s verse is being lived out in our world.  It makes everything our flesh wants to do okay.  Verses come to mind like the following; “The heart is desperately wicked deceitful above all else.”  “Watch over your heart with all diligence from it flow the issues of life.”

It grieves my heart to think how many times I’ve justified my own sin, doing what I wanted to do or saying whatever I wanted to say.  Right now I am asking  God to search me and know my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me into the way everlasting.

The only way we can ever be okay is to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.  He really is working all things together for our good and His glory.

We can never justify our sin.  Our justification comes from Christ alone.  We can never justify our own flesh.  Never.  Dying to self is never easy.  Just remember that you are a work in progress.  God is transforming you from glory to glory.  Everything will be okay.

Prayer in Motion:

Thank You, Lord, for Your forgiveness every time I’ve tried to justify my sin.  You never give up on me.  I acknowledge my heart and flesh may fail but You are always there ready to forgive and restore.  I do love You with all of my heart and long to please You more than my own flesh. In Jesus Name.  Amen,

Sight for Sore Eyes

Standard

Devotion: Genesis 3:6

A couple of days ago I woke up with a very sore right eye.  I thought it might be a sty and it still may be but two days later my whole eyelid is now red and swollen.  It’s not a pretty sight to behold.

Sore eyes sound painful, but when this phrase is used it typically means something different. The word “sore” usually refers to feelings of fear, worry, tension, or sorrow. The person or thing being viewed brings relief or is a welcome sight to the beholder.

There are times our eyes become sore from crying over someone or something.  Dear one, the soreness in my eye will certainly go away but I pray we will be looking for Jesus as we deal with the harder things life brings.

God will comfort us and bring hope to the darkest of trials.  Scripture promises He will. bring “beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair.”  We shall behold Him in the middle of anything God allows.  No purpose of His can be thwarted.  There is so much comfort in the truth of what He promises.

The real meaning of this phrase should bring us so much joy and delight, even more so than the fruit of the tree of good and evil.  God delights to see His children walking circumspectly with Him.  That’s when we become a sight for His eyes.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, may we be a sight for sore eyes to all those who need encouragement, and may we be looking for all those whom we may say; “You are a sight for sore eyes.”  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Building an Altar

Standard

Devotion:  Genesis 12:1-7

Do you have a place in your home where you meet with God?  God has just spoken a huge blessing over Abraham.  We know Abraham believed the promises of God by his act of obedience. He went,

God does not spare any details when recalling his children’s story.  He told us where Abram was going and when he passed through Shechem at the Oak of Moreh, the Lord appeared to him and built an altar to the Lord.

That altar was both a landmark and a faith mark for Abraham and the Israelites.  Scholars believe this “terebinth” tree to be as old as the earth.  There are two schools of thought; whether it was an oak or a pistachio tree (terebinth). In either case, the tree was quite large and majestic.

Again I ask if you have a place where you come to meet with God?  I can promise you that He wants you to have a place where you read His Word and pray to Him.  It can be a place of quiet rest for you because your time with Him is near to His heart.  It’s you build an altar with Him, figuratively speaking, it can become your place by the “terebinth.”

God promises if we draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to us.  He waits for you his child to find a place that will be established between you and Him.  It’s the place for you to build an altar to Him.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I long to build an altar to glorify You and hear Your voice in that place.  Show me Lord where you want me to meet with You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

Be My Witnesses

Standard

Devotion:  Acts 1:8

My sweet friend asked me to come over because she had something she wanted me to see.  It was really something she wanted me to listen to.  I didn’t know what to expect.

I came over and we chatted for a few minutes and then she began to play three songs for me.  I knew two of the three.  They were actually songs with deep theological meaning.  This woman will straight up tell you she does not profess Christ so I was quite astonished that she would play these particular songs.

The man singing had a beautiful voice and sang them quite well.  We both cried as he sang The Vile Dela Rosa.  She exclaimed she didn’t know why she cried.  I said because it’s the story of the walk to the calvary’s cross.  She said emphatically it was only the music and melody.  She could not understand the whole faith thing.

She also exclaimed that it never made any sense to her that Christians should suffer.  I told her we live in a fallen world.  We all have tribulation but we will receive our crowns in heaven.  She said but that’s just not fair.  I said it’s not about fairness.  It shows the world we experience the same things they do, but hopefully, we walk through things differently, even victoriously.

We are to be His witnesses in our Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world.  I do not have the gift of evangelism but I am still responsible to speak the truth to anyone that does not know my Savior.

Some of us are seed planters and others of us are harvest reapers.  I pray that we get to have the conversation again and she will ask Jesus in her heart.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I pray for my friend and all those who do not as yet have faith in Christ as their Savior.  May they come to have this great salvation before Your return.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Jesus, Sow Into My Spirit

Standard

Devotion:  Psalm 126:5-6

I found myself beseeching the God of mercies to sow into my spirit.  Depleted of any energy and strength, I was crying out to Him for the fortitude and stamina to keep moving forward.  I know “He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we could ask or think or imagine.”

I want to daily surrender myself to Jesus and His cause, abandon all that I love to Him and for Him.  Dear friend, that’s the only way our Lord can sow into our lives.  Let’s ask Him to search our hearts and show us anything we love more than Him.  “Lord, show us those things we need to release so that we can remain in You and You in us.”

I began to sing this old chorus.  “I surrender all. I surrender all.  All to Thee my blessed Savior.  I surrender all.”  As I searched my heart, I asked, “Lord, what do I need to surrender to You?”  “Search me oh God and know my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me.”

Jesus, my heart is laid bare before You.  I’m crying out to You Jesus to reveal the hidden things that I need to confess before my Savior and my only Judge.  He is a God of love but He’s also a God that judges.  He knows the physical and spiritual aspects of our hearts.  He is our strength and our song.

Prayer in Motion:

God, help me to bear fruit that will remain.  You have sown Your Word into my heart.  I long for me as well as the readers of this devotion to finish well and strong the race set before us.  I trust You will accomplish what concerns us.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.