In God’s Story

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Devotion: 2 Corinthians 6:2

Why do we invite God into our stories rather than humbly receiving the invitation to share in His?  When He gave His life for us, He requires that we give ourselves to Him.  Remember the song, I Surrender All.  The first line exclaims: “All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give.”  All means all.

Have you heard a loved one say; “I’ll come to Jesus after I’ve given up drinking or doing drugs” or whatever the after I’m done doing what I am doing entails?  Jesus will take you just as you are.  He wants to come into your life, right in the middle of your NOW.  He will help you overcome any addiction or lifestyle; if you will seek Him right where you are.  Please do not delay; if you do not know Him personally.  He longs for you to give your life to Him, now.  “Now is the acceptable time.  Today is the day of salvation.”

Many years ago; I was blessed to be a part of a prayer team, with Joni and Friends in Amsterdam.  We went onto a docked boat, to minister and pray with the people there.  The music was loud as were the people.  She walked in this rocking boat; dressed in high heels, fish net hose, short tight skirt, large hooped earrings and a spiked collar around her neck.  She was sporting two large dobermans who also wore spiked collars. You get the picture!

My friend Gail and I prayed; as our friend Bonnie walked up to her and instantly began conversation.  Within ten minutes, we saw her heart of stone transform to a heart of flesh.  She was weeping as she invited Jesus into her heart.  Ten minutes.  I promise. Transformation.  Icy, hard heart, melted like snow; as the Son’s rays shone upon her heart.

She accepted the invitation to share in God’s story.  She became a part of the family of God.  It’s the only way we can come, just as we are.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I humbly give myself to You this day.  I want my day to be all about You.  Help me to listen with the ear of a disciple.  I want to share in Your story versus You in my story.  You are the Author and Finisher of my story and my faith.  I thank You Lord for all the great and mighty things You have done.  I love You Jesus.  Amen

 

 

The Truth About Me

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Devotion:  Jeremiah 17:9

How many of us acknowledge that our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all else?  At the least, we don’t go around making that kind of announcement to our friends; or to people, when we first meet them.  Can you imagine saying, “Hi, my name is ____________.  My heart is deceitful and wicked above all else?”  You certainly wouldn’t have many friends.

We must acknowledge this fact in our heart because it’s what God says about us.  He also says, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”  He has taken our hearts of stone and turned them into hearts of flesh.  If we “Call unto Him, He will show us great and mighty things we know not of.” Jeremiah 33:3

Our Jesus made provision for our desperately wicked hearts.  He died on a cross, taking on our sin and shame, so that we might have eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth.  If we committed only one sin, we could not get ourselves to heaven.  It takes perfection and only One man has ever been perfect. HIs Name is Jesus.  I want to act and react with a heart that chooses to display the love and grace of my Lord Jesus.

Daily; I must confess my sins of omission and commission.  I ask God to search my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me.  We tend to think we are okay because we haven’t committed any of the BIG sins.  Truth is, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23  

Prayer in Motion:

Dear Jesus, may I always acknowledge to You, the truth about me.  My heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all else.  I humbly ask that You reveal any unconfessed sin in my heart so that I may confess it and repent of it before You.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Who’s at the Center?

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Devotion:  Matthew 28:18

Prayer involves worship and worship involves prayer.  It’s so much easier to perform before people and God than to truly desire the presence of God.  We desperately want to be a “good Christian; so, we go to church (check).  We go to Bible Study or Sunday School (check).  We read our Bibles daily. (check)  We pray over our list. (check)  We tithe. (check)  All of those are righteous and holy disciplines; however, we should do them as a spiritual act of service to the Lord, versus our own self edification.

In the book “Beloved Dust” Jammin  Goggin and Kyle Strobel say, “It’s easier to relate to Him as a tool or resource in our quest for happiness, fulfillment, and meaning, rather than as the Lord who calls us to worship.”

Are you at a fork in the road of your life with God?  Jammin and Kyle stated,  “To the left is a choice to use God to achieve the kind of life you want.  It feels faithful because of how much cultural Christianity is sprinkled in, how much we can accomplish, and how important we are perceived to be in our church.  To the right is a choice to receive the truth of yourself. This fork leads to the foot of the cross, where the only proper response is how to bow a knee to God.”

Are you at the center of your life, where it’s all about your dreams, your plans, your accomplishments, your happiness, or is God at the center and you find yourself called into His presence and know the freedom of being beloved?  Oh how I pray we will seek Him to know the answer.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Jesus, please help me know the answer to this question.  Am I focused on me, in my prayer life or am I focused on the Author and Perfecter of my life, the One who has all the authority in heaven and on earth?  I want You to be central in my relationship with You.  There is no one or no thing that I desire more than You.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name I offer up this prayer.  Amen

 

 

Dust and Dustiness

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Devotion: Psalm 103:14

What is your approach to God?  Do you begin your prayer time by presenting a list of your needs, wants and desires?  Do you begin by acknowledging His attributes and characteristics because He inhabits the praises of His people.   In his book, “Beloved Dust”, Jamin Goggin declares, “Often it is our approach to God that needs healing most.”

Many of us have broken expectations in our prayer lives.  We’ve prayed and we’ve prayed; over a person or a situation.  We’ve fasted.  We’ve cried buckets of tears and yet; heaven seems silent.  We must remember: God is not Santa Claus.  Yet, you are wondering, “How do I fix this?” and “How do I get that feeling back, I used to have with God?”

There is no quick solution, technique or formula; for getting  you back to where you once were with God.  One of God’s Names is Immanuel, God with us.   Jesus is fully God and fully man.  We are only fully man; however, our God can relate to us fully because He dwelled here on earth for thirty three years.  He doesn’t ask us to understand His ways but merely to trust them.

From dust we were created and to dust we shall return.  Your Creator God has you right in the palm of His hand.  He wants you to cry out to Him and to listen for His voice.

This world gets dusty.  Sometimes it’s hard to understand God’s higher ways.  He still wants you to come to Him, cling to Him, no matter how long you’ve been praying about that person or that situation.  Please don’t give up.

Dust is inevitable, because that’s what we are made of.  The dustiness of this world gets hard.  In fact, if we are looking for dust, it won’t be hard to find.  It’s because of our dustiness, that God is with us.  He is mindful that we are but dust.  Come to Him.  He understands.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, help me to remember I am made of dust.  You will accomplish what concerns me.  You are not surprised at my dustiness.  I trust You to take my dust and use it to conform me into Your image.

On Giving Grace

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Devotion:  Acts 20:35

Grace.  Are we more blessed to give it out than to receive it? Our God pours it out upon us; freely, unconditionally, lavishly.  Like salve; poured out upon a gaping, open wound; we love receiving it.  Undeserved grace flows directly from God’s throne room. Jesus gave His perfect life and became the slain Lamb on our behalf.

We can stand or kneel before our God, fully redeemed and welcomed into His throne room at any given moment.  I will never get over this amazing love.

God is teaching us; we must give it out, as fully as we have received it.  We have to get over our expectations of receiving it from other people.  Just because we have given it out to someone; doesn’t mean we will receive it back. Remember to give grace, no matter what.  Remember: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Dwell on the fact that God’s mercies and grace are new every single morning.  Great is His faithfulness.  He will pour it out upon you; so that there is not room enough to receive it.  That’s the kind of God we serve.  Expect Him to do a work in you and through you.

When you do not receive the grace you expected; from a co-worker, a friend, a family member;  release that expectation to the Lord your God.  He will increase your ability to give grace, in the same way He gives it to you;  freely, unconditionally, lavishly.

The next time you are tested in this area of giving grace; rather than lashing out; try putting this grace thing into practice.  You will find; “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Prayer in Motion

Lord Jesus, you know I am weak in this area.  Help me to give out the grace You continually give to me.  I love You Lord.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen

Transcending Time

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Devotion: Revelation 3:22

From the beginning of the ages, man has been curious about time traveling.  Until a person actually meets one from the future; we have no reason to believe in time travel.

However, there is one person who experienced time travel.  His name is John.  John saw a door standing open in heaven.  He was invited to “Come up here.”  He was immediately in the Spirit and what he saw after that; is amazing!  He saw a throne and the One who sat on the throne.  He saw a rainbow around the throne and twenty four thrones with twenty four elders clothed in white robes.

From the throne were flashes of lightening, thunderings and voices.  Seven lamps were burning before the throne which represented the seven Spirits of God.  Before this throne was a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the midst of the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in the front and the back.

Wow, God’s words are so descriptive.  Doesn’t it make you want to read more?  Go read the rest of chapter four and beyond.  At the end of Revelation, God tells us we will be blessed for reading this book.

Many folks are afraid to read this book full of imagery and futuristic happenings.  We may not comprehend or understand it to it’s fullest, but we will be blessed.  Ask His Holy Spirit to help you as you read.  Revelation is all about the fulfillment of Jesus purpose for coming to earth.  It is the perfect ending to our “forever” story.  So shall we ever be with the Lord.  Go read it.

Prayer in Motion

Lord, bless those who read and study this divinely inspired last book of Your Word.  May I not be afraid but pour over it, believing You will help me to accept by faith, the things I cannot understand.  Thank You for the perfect ending to Your story and mine.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Prepared Ground

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Devotion:  Proverbs 19:21

My husband and I began building our first house in the winter.  In spite of the bitter cold; the foundation was poured.  The block was layed for the first basement wall.  The ground was so frozen; this wall fell down, not one time, not two times but three times.  The icy ground repeatedly pushed that wall up and over.

Our plans were established, but our time frame backfired. Lesson learned: Frozen soil is not a good condition for the foundation of a structure. In the same way, we must examine the condition of our heart.  Our hearts’ climate, is a critical path to establishing God’s plans for us.

Life with God is from the ground up, so we must examine the soil of our heart.  When God wants to do a work in you, the soil has to be prepared.  Is it hard has a rock?  You try and try to manipulate God’s plans to fit your own.  The soil must be ready to build upon.

Frozen soil will not receive a foundation. God cannot build upon a cold, hard heart.   Allow Him to work in your circumstances.  It doesn’t always mean He will remove them.  He may want to teach you a lesson as He takes you through them.  Allow Him to prepare the soil of your heart, so His plans can be established upon a firm foundation.

Invite the Lord to be part of your plans.  He longs to accomplish what concerns you.  Ask Him to lead you and guide your planning. Don’t try to establish your foundation from a cold, hard, heart.  Allow Him to prepare the soil of your heart and watch Him build you up in your most Holy faith.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, please prepare the soil of my heart.  I want your plans to be established in my heart.  Oh God, teach me Your ways and may I always seek Your face and know Your heart.  I want to be about my Father’s business.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen