The Confusion of this World

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Devotion:  1 Corinthians 14:33

People can be confusing.  They say one thing and do another. We all do at some time or other.  Poet and don’t know it.  In Lisa Whittle’s  “Put Your Warrior Boots On;”  she states: “If we listen to our culture, we will never know exactly what to be, say, and do.  It’s all a ploy of Satan.  He wants us to stay confused because confused people stay ineffective.”

God truly is not the author of confusion.  He longs to bring peace to us and to the world.  How do we achieve peace in the midst of all the turmoil and strife, in our jobs, our families, our neighborhoods and even in our churches?   Christ died for our peace.  He said in His Word; “In this world we will have tribulation.  We are not to be afraid for He has over come the world.  Are we living like He overcame death, hell and the grave? Are we living like He still overcomes all the stuff that’s going on at this present time?

Lisa says, “We are to walk hand in hand with the standard of truth from God’s Word.”  You cannot do that and walk with the world’s standard at the same time.  The two are like oil and water; they do not mix.

We can never understand the height, depth and breadth of God’s great love for us.  There is one thing we can understand and know for certain; God is not the author of confusion.  Thank You Jesus for training us in your ways.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, I will not listen to the author of confusion but to the Author and Finisher of my faith.  You alone are worthy to be praised.  I’m solely dependent upon You Lord.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

Bandwagon Living

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Devotion:  Matthew 16:24

As I came across these two words in Put Your Warrior Boots On by Lisa Whittle, it knocked the breath out of me.  Of course I’ve heard the phrase “getting on the bandwagon” and obviously knew what it meant.  So what’s the difference in seeing those words; “getting on the bandwagon” and in “bandwagon living”?

Here’s Webster’s definition of bandwagon:

“Also, climb or hop or jump on the bandwagon. Join a cause or movement, as in More and more people are getting on the bandwagon to denounce cigarette smoking. This expression alludes to a horse-drawn wagon carrying a brass band, used to accompany candidates on campaign tours in the second half of the 1800s. By about 1900 it was extended to supporting a campaign or other cause.”

My mom used this analogy all the time when she would say, “If you saw someone jumping off a cliff; would you go jump too?”  “Of course not, I would always reply.”  I knew where she was going with her statement.  She wanted me to be able to stand up “Jesus strong” in every thing I knew to be right and true.  Did I always?  I wish I could give a resounding yes but no I did not and I still fall short of the glory of God on many days.  As I have matured through the years in my faith;  I know mom was right.  I do not want to exhibit bandwagon living in my Christianity.

Here’s the thing.  We don’t have to do what everyone else does just because they do it.  We do need to follow the example of Jesus living.  Living His way is outlined for us in the Bible.  His ways are higher than our ways.  His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.

Instead of bandwagon living; I pray you and I will exhibit Jesus living.  Of course we will be set apart from the world’s way of living; but we will be so much more fulfilled.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, help me exhibit You totally and completely.  I want the world to know I am a Christian by my love and by observing me living out my convictions.  May I always live out my looking up.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refusing to Accept an Apology

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Devotion:  Proverbs 18:19

What do you do when someone refuses to accept your apology? Honestly there isn’t anything you can do.  It’s between that person and God.  If you offer a sincere apology; there is nothing else you can do to make things right.  God says; we are to make things right with those we have wronged.

According to today’s scripture; it is very hard to make things right with an offended brother.  You can’t force someone to accept your deepest apology.  That’s not how grace works.  We must give grace to those who readily forgive us; as well as to those who do not.

The Lord stands ready to forgive us way before we ask Him to do so.  We must do the same with those in our sphere of influence.  Be ready in season and out of season to forgive whether you are asked or not.  You can walk in forgiveness whether or not you are asked to do so.  It’s all by the grace of God that we can be forgiven or offer forgiveness to anyone who sins against us.

You cannot and should not worry when a person refuses to accept your apology.  Ask the Lord to make things right in your heart, so God can restore the time the locusts have eaten. Time spent in un-forgiveness is wasted time, time lost that you can never get back.  What is the purpose of holding onto un forgiveness?

What is a person’s reason to refuse to accept another’s apology? They feel they have been wronged and it’s their right to hold a grudge forever.  Grudges are  non-productive.  In fact they are counter-productive.  Go on and accept the apology and learn what God wants you to learn.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus thank You for forgiveness.  May I always stand ready to forgive those who ask for it as well as those who do not.  I don’t want to hold grudges but experience the love, joy and peace God always has in store for me.  In jesus Name.  Amen.

 

Accountability Partner

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Devotion: 1 Samuel 18:1-4

We hear a lot about accountability partners.   Most people do not want to be held accountable for anything; not their money, nor their time and certainly not their spiritual walk with God.

How did our Lord hold people accountable?  He asked them the hard questions.  He confronted their sin in love always but he always confronted them.  Our society has taught us we shouldn’t meddle.

Being accountable is not the same as meddling.  It’s seriously wanting to help someone hold a godly standard.  It’s a willingness to step in and help a person accomplish this.

An accountability partner cares about you more than you care about yourself.  He or she is trying to bring you up out of the miry clay and get you on level ground.

Many folks don’t understand the purpose of accountability partners because  it sounds restricting to our finite minds.  God tells us we are accountable before Him but also to other sisters and brothers in Christ.  We need to hold each other accountable for our actions and our words.  Both are very important to the word of our testimony and advancing the kingdom of God.

I’ve always had friends around me who held me accountable for my quiet times and prayer times.  Jesus kept His disciples accountable by speaking the truth in love.  Paul did the same. He never held back on speaking the words of Jesus everywhere he preached.  Was it alway popular?  No.  Did people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?  Yes.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, thank You for always providing accountability partners for my life.  May I hold others accountable as well. I want to speak truth in love to those You have given me.  I honestly want them to speak truth in love to me as well.  I love you Lord Jesus.  It’s in Your Name I pray.  Amen

To Whom Do You Give Grace?

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Devotion:  John 1:16-17

To whom do you give grace?  The acronym for grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s expense.  We easily give grace to those whom we love but it’s a bit more challenging to give it to those with whom we are aggravated or disappointed in.

Can you give grace when someone cuts you off while you are driving?  Can you give grace when you are waiting in a parking deck with your turn signal on, for a parking place and a person comes zipping around the corner and pulls right in the same spot? Those sound like minute incidentals but how do you honestly react?

I’ve talked a lot about grace in my devotions lately.  Maybe that’s because I’ve been given a lot by my Lord and the people in my sphere of influence.  The Bible says; “To whom much is given much is required.” We need to give a lot of grace to the people God has placed in our lives.

Grace is not blindly avoiding the truth of someone’s sin to keep from hurting their feelings.  It’s confronting the sin in love the same way Jesus did.  We are doing more good for the kingdom’s sake; by holding one another accountable for wrong actions, than to say nothing.

If we ignore wrongful actions; people begin to think it’s ok to act the way they are acting, to do the things they are doing and continue to say the things they are saying.  When we “know to do good and do it not; it is sin.”  “We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”  Treat people with respect and honor.  That reflects grace to the saved and the lost, more than being silent regarding the truth.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord Jesus, may I continually pour out grace upon all those You have given me.  You give me grace unmerited every day of my life.  Thank You for teaching me and training me in righteousness to give it to those You have blessed me with.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

 

Convicted to the Core

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Devotion: John 16:8

Ever been convicted to the core of your being?  It makes your heart and soul sick!  Conviction comes over you filling every part of you from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.  It leaves no stone unturned.  That is why the Bible says, “If we confess our sin; He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Confession follows conviction.

You can be washed clean from years of heavy sin and shame. Chains fall away immediately and the ache of places to which you have been sorely bound begin to heal.  Freedom replaces captivity.

The church of Jesus Christ needs revival as never before.  We must ask the Lord for conviction and repentance.  We will be restored fully when we confess and repent of our sins.  God will remove them from us as far as the east is from the west.  We need the Lord to pour out a refreshing upon His church as never before.  We cry out to Him to search our hearts and see if there be any wicked way in us.  Oh God we seek Your face and may we know Your heart.  We beg You to renew a right spirit within us Lord.

We want the church to be the church to a lost and dying world. Create in us a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within us Jesus.  We are tired of looking and acting like the world.  We want to come out and be set apart, unto You oh God.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord of heaven and earth; convict me to the core of my being Jesus.  I want You to bring refreshing to my soul.  I need You Lord more than yesterday.  I need You to speak to my heart so that my soul may hear.  Revive me again.  Fill my heart with Your love.  Rekindle a fire in my heart as never before.  I love You Lordl In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Feeling and Thinking

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Devotion:  Philippians 3:4

What’s the difference between feeling and thinking?  Feeling succumbs to the flesh.  Thinking requires one to acknowledge and work through the known facts.  Although feelings are God given; we should not allow them to rule our actions and reactions.  Ouch!

There is godly anger; where you can be angry over an injustice and not sin in it.  You may be filled with grief over the loss of a person, a job, or a relationship; however, you must not choose to allow it to consume you for years.

We should never depend on our feelings because they can change with the weather.  When there is an overcast day; some people become a little gloomy in their countenance.  It’s strange but even the weather can affect our actions and reactions.

I know a lady who cusses at her neighbors and yet raises her hands in worship every time she gathers with other believers. It’s the most confusing thing.  Her neighbors were shocked to find out she claims to be a Christian.  Unless she asks them for forgiveness; she’s forever lost her witness with them.

Christians cannot act upon every circumstance that comes into their lives.  People are going to make us mad.  The Bible says, “Out of the mouth the heart speaks.”  What’s in your heart?  All of us battle our feelings and will till the day we are called home to heaven.  We have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us and if we will take the time; He will help us to think on God’s Word and His ways before we blurt out ugly words.

Thinking can override feelings, if we will take the time to reflect on the truth of God’s precious Word.  It’s up to us to think or feel.

Prayer in Motion:

Oh Lord God, thank You for giving me the ability to act and react according to Your Word.  May I defer to Your ways before I blurt out ugly words and lose my testimony.  I love You so much Lord!  In Jesus Name.  Amen