Pregnant with Un-forgiveness

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Devotion:  Matthew 6:12

When a woman comes to the end of her pregnancy, she is ready to deliver.  Everything within her cries out, get this baby out of me. Nine months feels like nine years.  Her tummy is stretched beyond what she ever thought possible.  There is no truly comfortable position with that baby growing inside of her.

Like wise, when you carry around a tummy full of un-forgiveness; your belly hurts.  You experience indigestion.  Your heart feels weighted down and you struggle to move forward in any direction.  The un-forgiveness rules your life.  It steals your sleep as well as your ability to make rational decisions.  You cannot think about anything else.  It’s like being constipated. You are miserable!  This un-forgiveness won’t let you go!

Here’s the thing.  No matter how miserable a pregnant mom becomes at the end of her pregnancy; one way or another, she’s got to deliver this baby.  To hold it in would bring serious harm to the mom and the baby.  It’s the same with un-forgiveness.  You must release it, away from you.  You must ask the Father to forgive you of your sins.  Holding onto un-forgiveness, holds the same consequences, as for the person who sinned against you.

The Lord wants to fill you with forgiveness.  You will receive the comfort of the Lord and forgiveness can be birthed in you; rather than the pregnancy of un-forgiveness.

Prayer in Motion:

Thank You Lord for Your amazing forgiveness!  May I release every un-forgiveness ASAP.  May forgiveness be birthed in my soul.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

To Eat or Not to Eat

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Devotion:  Jeremiah 15:16

So many choices.  Shall I eat this food or that food?  How much should I eat?  What foods are beneficial to my body?  What foods taste good but brings harm to my well being?  Empty calories feel good on your tongue but bring rottenness to your gut.

There are people in the world who are starving and there are those who are gorging.  Many struggle with eating too much and others don’t have enough to hardly exist. There are people who eat just to get the taste of the food and then cause themselves to vomit; so the calories won’t surge through their system.

Remember when the Israelites were coursing through the desert fleeing from the Egyptian Pharoah.  God promised “His own would not go begging for bread.”  Jehovah Jireh has always provided for His people called by His Name.

The people began to murmur and complain because of the food they were missing. God had just delivered them from Egypt and now they wanted to go back. They wanted meat. They kept begging God for meat so He sent them quail.  He sent excessive quail.  There was no way to keep this meat fresh so after they ate their fill, it started to stink and make them sick. Read about it in Numbers 11:18-20, 31-33

You see, if we will hunger and thirst for righteousness and fill up on God’s Word, it will become a joy and a delight to our soul. Matthew 5:6  He will provide our daily bread. Psalm 23:5  Out of our hearts and mouths will come the joy and the delight of our soul.  If we choose to fill up on God’s truth; our soul will be healthy.

I heard a Christian Counselor say;  “We can take the “ways of the world,” baptize them and use them for our good.”  I thought for sure God would strike him dead in the pulpit.  No, no, a thousand times NO!  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  Just as whole food stands alone in their own right; Christians can stand securely upon the whole counsel of God.  We must open it’s pages, chew it, swallow it and digest it. It will change how we live in this world.  We will be given the strength to share it with others.

If you choose to leave your Bible closed, you will experience the same effect as if you were starving your body.  Your soul will become weak and discontent.  You will go looking for all the wrong things to satisfy what only Jesus can satisfy.

What you eat matters. Your body will thank you. What you take into your mind and heart matters.  Your Father God will bless you with wisdom, strength and power from on high.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I am hungry for more of You.  My heart longs to be filled with Your joy and delight.  May I eat Your Word daily and find new strength continually.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Try a Little Kindness

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Devotion:  Ephesians 4:32

Many years ago, my husband and I had Sunday school teachers name Marcella and Harold Smith.  They were going through a series on marriage.  They stood up and sang this little jingle put to scripture.  It went like this.  “Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.  Do do, do ta le do ta do..Ephesians 4:32…Yeah!”

That song still swirls through my head quite often.  Glen Campbell sang the song, “Why don’t you try a little kindness, just show a little kindness…”  In an unkind world; kindness is the most rewarding thing a human being can show to another human being.  Kindness reveals the heart of it’s giver.

It’s difficult to be kind to those who aren’t being kind to you.  Our example was Jesus.  He always told the truth in love. For instance, when a woman was caught in the act of adultery; in biblical times, she was to be stoned.  Instead of screaming at them; Jesus said to the Pharisees, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. Of course the Pharisees walked away. Jesus said, “Woman where are you accusers?”  Then He said” “Neither do I accuse you.  Go and sin no more.”

Christians can choose to tell the truth in love.  Honestly, I believe kindness will go so much farther than anger; yelling things you will regret. Once those words or actions are out, you can’t take them back. If you are screaming and yelling loudly, the person only hears the tone and decibel level of your voice; versus the message you intended to convey.  It’s harder to receive a message given in anger rather than in kindness.

If we are to be known by our fruit, we need to “try a little kindness and show a little kindness.”

Prayer in Motion:

Jesus, you are my example.  May I be kind to all those you have placed in my life.  May I choose to be kind to strangers, kind to neighbors, to co-workers, and to family members.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Diffusing

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Devotion: 2 Corinthians 2:15

I  was  recently introduced to the art of diffusing oils.  The diffuser holds a certain amount of water into which I drop my favorite oil and it dispenses the most wonderful smell into my room.  It has helped my sleep and amazingly has stopped my night time coughing.

I don’t understand exactly how it works.  All I know, is that I wake up well rested and my lungs seem to be responding to these oils used in biblical times.  To diffuse, means to spread out over a large area.  By placing these oils in the diffuser; the fragrance and healing properties of the oils; has made my asthma less intense and puts my sleep deprivation at bay.

I need to ask you; what do you diffuse when you walk into a room?  God has given you the spiritual capability to diffuse in the market place, in the work force, in your neighborhood, or family. You may question how?

The fragrance of Christ should be shed abroad in our hearts, so that we diffuse love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  God tells us to come and reason together.  Seek the counsel of God and His people.  God says, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”

The Lord tells us, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,   who gives to all men generously and without reproach.”  There are times we absolutely don’t know what to do, how to respond or how to speak wisdom into a situation.  If we will but ask God; and those who walk in His wise ways;  I believe we will gain the wisdom we need and the diffusing will begin.  Healing  and restoration will take place in families, among friends and in the church.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I want to be a diffuser of good and never of evil.  I pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be spread out over every room  into which I walk.  I pray people will see Jesus in me and want to know Him in Spirit and in Truth.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

 

 

Permission or Forgiveness

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Devotion:  Luke 12:48

Is it better to ask permission or forgiveness?  That depends upon who you ask.  If you ask the one who’s contemplating saying or performing a certain action; for which he or she is not absolutely certain, most likely they would say; “better to act now and ask forgiveness later.” If you ask the one who might be offended; they would say; “it’s better to ask permission first.”

Today’s verse declares; “To whom much is given, much is required.” That statement applies to our money, our time, our talents.  How do you spend them?  Do you use the blessings of God; however you want and then have to ask His forgiveness later; or do you talk to Him about the direction you should take. One of the most important disciplines to consider in permission or forgiveness; is the use of the tongue.

God’s Word is always our standard.  The book of Proverbs addresses the issue of permission or forgiveness, over and over.

Proverbs 18:2  “A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.”

Proverbs 18:7  “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.”

Proverbs 18:15 “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Here’s a verse to remember; while contemplating whether to act now or ask forgiveness later:

Proverbs 18:19  “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Finally let’s look at Proverbs 18: 21 ” Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.”

James 3:8-10 tells us “But no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing….”

When considering the whole permission or forgiveness thing; I think we would do well to ask God; “Is this okay with You?”   Does this line up with your Word?   “Does it build up the person, or tear them down?”  “What are the benefits of what I am about to say or do?”  If it is helpful to rebuild and restore a broken relationship; then go for it.  If it will make the gap wider; then zip those lips or restrain those actions.  Continue to talk to God and seek His face and know His heart.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, help me remember to ask You permission, before I speak out of turn or act in a way that does not bring honor and glory to You.   Teach me Lord, to seek Your face and know Your heart.

 

Hard to Stay Humble

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Devotion:  James 4:10, 1 Peter 5:5

In a world that worships people; athletes, icons and heroes, it’s hard to stay humble.  There are few; who once placed in the lime light,  can manage to  remain humble, in the midst of all the praise and glory.

Athletes get injured, never to play again,. Icons fall from their place of “icon-ness”.  Heroes who performed an act of heroism, are subject to pride issues.

We’ve all known athletes who begin with a powerful witness and testimony for Jesus Christ, who succumbed to the ways of the world.  I won’t name names; however, for fear of losing their abilities, these men begin taking drugs, to keep themselves at top performance.  Their place of fame and fortune becomes their god.  Oh dear one, take heed where you stand lest you fall.

If you remain humble before the LORD, He will exalt you in due time.  Look at Billy Graham.  I believe God so blessed his ministry with millions of salvations because he repeatedly gave out the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.  He would never take credit for the work of God.

God has given us certain abilities.  We must always use them for His honor and glory.  God knows who can  handle the temptation to take the glory for themselves.  Can He trust you my friend?

God asks us in 1 Peter 5:5 to clothe ourselves with humility. Why?  Because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  As servants of the Most High God; we want to consistently resist the temptation to take the credit that belongs to our LORD.  We must persistently make His Name famous.

When we face exhaltation, humility must become a discipline we choose to employ.

Prayer in Motion:

God, you are the One I choose to put in the lime light.  It’s not by my might, nor by my power but by Your Spirit, that I can elect to remain humble.  You alone will lift me up in Your time.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Absorbing Criticism

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Devotion:  Hebrews 12:5

Priscilla Shirer asked the question in her Armor of God.  “Can I become able to absorb criticism without taking offense?”  Now that’s a heavy question.  Maybe the criticism is for your “training in righteousness”, or maybe it holds not an ounce of merit. Either way, it is possible to absorb it without taking offense.

Christians should not become hard hearted or heartless in their dealings with people, however, if you’ve been around the block a few times; you understand you cannot take into your heart, every single mean spirited thing said about you. Nor can you absorb every thoughtless thing done to you. Why?  It will result in anger and bitterness, which only hurts you.  I think we have the misconception that it hurts the other person.  It doesn’t.

Anger is often based on a distortion of the facts.  We can ruminate poisonous thoughts in our head and assign false blame and speculation; until we are buried with hatred in our heart.  For what purpose? It just leads to constant heart ache, disappointment and depression.

Un-forgiveness is probably the one most damaging emotion to be carried around by a human being.  It weighs a ton.  It steals your thoughts and creativity.  It’s not who God says you are nor what He meant  for you to carry.

What does it mean to absorb the criticism.  The Bible tells us to “Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Consider the source of the criticism.  Ask yourself  “Does the person have a viable reason for making the comment?”  If not, let it go.  Absorb it and move on.   If so, then it’s your place to receive the criticism and do what you can do, to change the infraction.

It takes a mature person; to be able to accomplish absorbing criticism.  Our flesh never gladly receives criticism but our spirit should be willing.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, teach me to absorb criticism, examine myself to see if I am at fault and then take action to make the necessary changes. Thank You Lord for Your patience toward me.  I love You Lord! In Jesus Name.  Amen