God’s Big Picture

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Devotion:  Psalm 82:3-4

God commanded His people to rescue the weak and needy. But how well are we doing that?  Do we care about the orphans, the widows, the imprisoned?  Some are in positions because of bad choices and other men, women and children have been prostituted for the gain of those who sold them into slavery.

It’s easy to address the issues that plague our society, while sitting on our comfortable church pews. We nod our heads in agreement with our pastor or teacher but then walk out of the church house, barely giving it another thought.

What can one person do to make a difference?  Don’t look away.  Get involved with “the unfortunate”, “the needy”, “the orphans”, “the prisoners”.  You say, “Let the missionaries take care of “those people.”.  God has called you dear one, for such a time as this.  Ask Him to show you, the weak and the needy. They are living all around you.

Look at God’s Big Picture.  He has placed within you; a message of hope and healing, for the lost and the forgotten.  We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The message you bear in your heart and mind, is one that will make a difference in where a person spends eternity.  Your testimony can make a difference in the life of the rich or the poor; who are without Jesus.  He sees them of equal value.  The truth is; without Christ, both are weak and needy.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I refuse to look away, when I encounter the weak and the needy.  May I remember; You see the Big Picture and I am in it.  You called me and chose me to be Your hands and feet. May my eyes be open to every opportunity You might place in front of me.

 

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Unbreakable Bonds

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Devotion: Hosea 11:4Colossians 3:14

“Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace; freely bestowed on all who believe.”  God’s grace truly is amazing.  In order for us to love people the way God intended, we have to give out grace the way God gives it to us.  We are human and that is very difficult.  We want vengeance to be poured out on those who’ve offended us. It’s hard for us to sit back and not get some degree of pleasure; when our offender struggles. We feel, they “deserve payback”.

It’s easier to give grace to those we love, even when they’ve offended us.  There is a bond that cannot be undone for our blood line.  Although family can get messy, a different freedom exists to speak the words you want or need to say, because you know they will love you regardless.

It’s the same way with Christ.  Knowing He will love us no matter what, doesn’t give us the freedom to sin. However, the bond to Christ is unbreakable.  We can say what we need to say to Him without condemnation. He cares about every detail that concerns us.  We have obtained the sweetest and yet most powerful freedom one can possess this side of heaven.

God knew there was potential for problems between brothers and sisters in Christ; so He told us to protect the bond of unity.

Prayer In Motion:

Lord may we strive to protect the bond of unity that you died to provide for your bride.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

A Well Soul

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Devotion: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Fitting religion into our human framework, is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.  We were created to know Christ and to make Him known.  Lisa Whittle says in her book, Whole,  “We need spiritual recovery through choosing relationship with God over a misplaced faith in religion.”

Church people sometimes behave badly.  Why?  We are still human and our behavior largely reflects the amount of control we give over to the indwelling Holy Spirit.  People of the world say they don’t attend church because, “It’s full of hypocrites!” That would be true.  As far as humanly possible, we can act out our roles as Christians.  We’ve all been that at times.  Hypocritical.

The world says, “Knowledge is power.”  There is an element of truth to that statement but not necessarily in a Christian’s life.  Although Biblical knowledge is important, Christians can have just enough knowledge to know how to “have a form of godliness but deny the power therein.”  Jesus, please show us if we are addicted to our religion and are lacking a relationship with you. God says, “Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord and I will say to them, Depart from Me, you who work iniquity, I never knew you.”  Lisa says, “Knowledge won’t give us impact because we won’t authentically display something we don’t feel from within.”

Religion has the possibility of taking you further than you wanted to go and keeping you longer than you wanted to stay. Relationship with Christ will draw you in and hold you closer than any addiction to religious performance.   Gaining religious performance makes our souls sick.  Gaining deep relationship with Jesus brings our souls to a state of health and wellness like never before.  Dear Reader, Christ desires for you to know Him in His fullness, He wants your soul to be well.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I long to know you better, to obey You quickly and submit to Your Biblical commandments readily.  Jesus burn away the dross of any religious facade, so my soul can be made well and remain healthy.

 

Love Prevails

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Devotion:  Proverbs 10:12

LOVE covers a multitude of sins. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us,  Love suffers long and is kind,… does not behave rudely,… is not easily provoked.  Even between these three; faith, hope and love; the greatest is love.”

The verse in Proverbs promises help for the times we are frustrated with the people God has placed in our lives.  After all, we just want them to do the right thing, because doing the right thing would greatly help us.  It would ease our troubled soul and greatly reduce the weight of the burdens we are carrying.

When our family and friends do not meet our expectations, we can grow weary in the waiting for their change to come. Sometimes, God wants to change us, change our expectations and teach us to love unconditionally; the way He loves us.  Love will prevail because “God is love.”  Every time we pour out love upon the person we would rather not, we bless the Lord by our spiritual act of worship.  It’s easy to love those who love us back; who treats us with respect and gives us lots of affirmation.  It’s more difficult to love those who say they love you but treat you otherwise.

When you decide to love others the way Jesus loves you, that is when Jesus is honored and glorified on earth, as He is in heaven.  Is it easy?  NO!  Is it a living testimony to the one you are loving sacrificially?  Yes!  They will know you are Christian by your love!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I choose to let love prevail in my words, my attitude, and my actions.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

 

Dissatisfied

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Devotion:  Isaiah 55:2-3, Matthew 16:26

Malcom Forbes said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”; He also said, “By the time we’ve made it, we’ve had it.”  February 26,1990, at age 70, Malcom; described as a flamboyant multi-millioniare, died suddenly of a heart attack, in his sleep.  He had asked a friend, “Do you think I’ll be remembered after I die?” Two of those closest to his net worth, Donald Trump and Julio Iglesias did not attend his funeral.  What toys did he take with him?  NONE!  What did Malcom give in exchange for his own soul? He did not win; if he did not know Jesus.

What does it take to satisfy a man’s soul?  Solomon was the wisest and richest man in biblical times.  He used wisdom and discernment with his money and with all he had. 1 Kings 4:29-30

Americans are the most dissatisfied of all the people in the universe.  More is better to the majority of those who dwell in our nation.  What more will it take to satisfy our hungry souls?

God says if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart.  Only Jesus can satisfy our souls, as we hunger and thirst for righteousness more than the things of this world.

Denying ones’ self, is a lost art in our culture.  In Matthew 16: 24, Jesus says, “If we would desire to come after Him, we should deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.”

Examine your heart today, to see what really satisfies your inner man.

Prayer in Motion:

I ask You Lord to help me to be satisfied with what you have provided. Forgive me for every time I have been dissatisfied.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Last Deception

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Devotion: Matthew 27:64

Even when His body was missing; the Pharisees did not believe the words of Jesus.  “After three days I will rise.”  They asked Pilate to make Jesus’ tomb secure until the third day.  The Pharisees believed Jesus instructed His disciples to steal His body and then tell people, He has risen from the dead.  “So they went and sealed the stone and set a guard in front of the stone.”

The Pharisees were consumed with hate for Jesus and His followers; so they would go to any length to discount His promise to rise again.  They made the statement, “His last deception would be greater than the first”; which meant, they never believed Jesus was who He said He was.  In spite of all His miracles, they believed Him to be of the devil.  However; it turns out to be; their last deception was greater than the former; because Jesus had indeed risen from the grave.

Satan came to steal, kill and destroy the Way, the Truth and the Life.  It is through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that we are saved from our enemy’s deception.  Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He would do.  No grave could hold Him.  No seal could keep that stone from rolling away. No guard could keep Him from bursting forth from his tomb.  He took off His grave clothes and put on His heavenly garments.  His countenance was like lightening and his clothes as white as snow.  The guards placed outside the empty tomb, now shook with fear and became like dead men.

Satan thought he had won the victory; when Jesus breathed out the words, It is finished! However the deceiver was himself deceived.  Jesus is ALIVE, and lives forevermore, at the right hand of the Father.

One day soon, the deceiver will  be forever banned to the eternal lake of fire, never to deceive again.  He will have his last deception!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I long for the day; our enemy can never deceive anyone again!  Deception will be finished FOREVER!  We will forever be with the LORD!  Hallelujah!  In our resurrected Lord’s Name I offer up this prayer.  In Jesus Name.  Amen!

 

 

Time for Silence

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Devotion: Matthew 27:45

Help!  There is so much noise in the world!  We hear road noise; car horns blowing, speakers blaring, jack hammers hammering. Even if we were blindfolded, we would recognize the sounds of cars, motercycles; buses and trains, airplanes and boats. These are sounds that bring pictures of movement, to our mind’s eye.

Then, there is the endless noise in our own heads; that keeps us awake at night; the what ifs, the fears, the troubles racing through our minds.  When the audible noise stops; the issues of the heart take over.  How can we stop the flood of real and imagined scenarios from pouring into our spirits?

God created darkness so humans could rest and enjoy a time of silence from the noise of the world.  It was meant for our good and God’s glory.  However darkness can also bring about feelings of loneliness and rejection.

Two thousand years ago; there was a time of silence; that can change the way Christians handle any noise in our life.

Darkness covered the whole earth, during our Saviors last three hours on the cross.  People were probably puzzled by the pitch black silence, in the middle of the day.  I’m sure the birds hushed their singing.  Workers ceased working. Everything became still and silent.   It was because the Light of the World was dying, and would be in the grave for the next three days. Jesus asked His Father, “Why have You forsaken Me?”  Just as Jesus felt forsaken by His Father, right before His death; Christ’s disciples felt devastated without their Jesus. It was a time for silence that would ultimately lead to rejoicing; when the stone was rolled away.

Prayer In Motion: 

Lord, help me know how to reject the noise in my life and rely upon what has been done for me.  In Jesus Name. Amen