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Devotional- Be a part of making someone’s day

We all know that the world is full of people who hold on to hatred, act of violence, and speak with bitterness. Regardless of where you work, what city you live in, or the places you go in your free time, I can guarantee you have seen someone having a rough day.

I have had plenty of rough days myself, you know the days you wake up late– forgot your clothes in the dryer– spilled your coffee in the car on the way to work– and just can’t seem to catch a break– all before 8 o’clock in the morning.

A few years back I use to work full time with the public. If you have ever worked in customer service (at any level), you know that not everyone you come in contact with is pleasant.

There were days I would come in to work barely making it on time, having one of those rough days, only to be met by my first client who was NOT happy to say the least.

I often wondered how someone could be in such a fowl mood so early in the morning.

So, here it is 8:15 AM I have had a terrible morning, sit down with my first interview and before I can speak a word I am being cursed out. The famous ‘You people..’ (referring to the workers) comments were mind blowing. My intelligence questioned and my patience tested.

I did my very best to remain calm and help in any way I could. Many left feeling much better than they came in; however, some you just couldn’t please.

On the contrary, I have also had terrible morning’s only to arrive at work to a client who is happy, grateful, and willing to share a smile.

These days meant so much to me, it literally could take a bad day and turned it around in an instant.

The Bible instructs us to let go of bitterness, anger, evil, and anything of bad intentions. We are to treat each other with kindness. soft hearts, and quick to forgiveness.

Ephesians 4:31-32

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

God calls us to share His love and spread His joy, even to those who are not so kind to you. Gods greatest commandment is to love one another. (John 13:34-35) He also instructs us to bless those who curse us. (Luke 6:28) We are not to repay evil with evil. (1 Peter 3:9)

Reflection

Having read the scriptures above what is God speaking to you?

What if anything do you think God is calling you to change in your life after having read Ephesians 4:31?

Call to Action

I challenge you today to make it a point to stay positive and set out each day to spread love to at least five people. Through a smile, a kind word, or a kind gesture; it costs nothing to be kind.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your grace, mercy, and love. God we are not always quick to listen and slow to anger, forgive us for responding to others in any way besides love and kindness. Lord I pray that each person that reads this will hear Your message; touch their hearts and move within them Father. I pray each of us would seek to know You more and set out each day to serve You and spread Your perfect love. Lord, thank you for Your many blessings and Your hedge of protection each day. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Divine Power

The Bible tells us in more than one place that the same power that was used to raise Jesus from the grave lives in each of God’s children. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you. It is through the Holy Spirit and our connection with God that gives us the power to break curses, stop the enemies attacks, and declare victory over sin and death.

Ephesians 1:19-20 NKJV

19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Romans 8:11 NKJV

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit.

Children of God, let this be encouragement to you today.

You have the power through Jesus Christ to declare the enemy to flee from you– the power of healing– and the power of love and truth. All the power belongs to God, He has defeated the enemy and it is by His power and His grace that we are saved and made righteous despite our short-comings.

God has the power for resurrection.

He raised Jesus from the dead and He is still alive today. It is because of this we have confidence that He will also raise us up.

1 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

God’s power is directly tied to the Holy Spirit. God gives us His power through sending the Holy Spirit to live within us. We are spiritually united with Jesus in His death and resurrection, which is what has freed us from our sins.

Romans 6:4-7 NKJV

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

It is by the power of the Holy Spirit and our knowledge of God and Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we are able to live a life of godliness.

2 Peter 1:2-3 NKJV Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue

Through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us:

Take time to worship God for who He is and the power we have in Him!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for the sword of the spirit, your Word. Thank you for sending Your Holy Spirit to live within me. Lord, I confess there are many times I try to beat the enemies attacks in my own power, please forgive me Lord. Help me to remember we have the same power in us that raised Jesus from the grave. God, Your Word tells us that through You and in Your power we can quench the fiery darts of the enemy, we can cast down every stronghold, and bring every thought into accordance with Your Will. Lord, I am so thankful that because I have the Holy Spirit living within me- I have the power in Jesus to overcome and be victorious. Lord, remind us that when we are under attack You are in the midst and will help us have favor and will fight for us. In Jesus name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- Imagination

Imagination is define as the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. There are three classifications of imagination– things we should not imagine– things we can not imagine– and things we should imagine.

Luke 1:51 NKJV
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Things we SHOULD NOT imagine:

  • Things evil in nature
  • Worrisome thoughts
  • Fearful thoughts
  • Lustful or perverted thoughts

Did you know?

Worry is a misuse of our imagination and it also activates fear.

Somethings we CANNOT imagine:

  • Heaven
  • Plans God has in store for us
  • Blessings
  • Miracles

Did you know?

Some people do not believe in Heaven, because they can not imagine it.

Things we SHOULD imagine:

To possess and exercise a healthy imagination makes the impossible things–possible.

Imagination is essential to living by faith. Hebrews 11:1 tell us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Great lives are built around great imagination God’s dreams are bigger than my dreams. Ephesians 3:20

Don’t plan your life and set goals around what you see or your circumstances. Let the size of your God, determine the size of your goals. Remember, God can make the impossible- possible. Let God’s spirit and His word guide you and fuel your imagination.

Satan comes to put doubt in our mind.

Mark 9:23-24 NKJV
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


Doubt is meant to be doubted and beliefs are meant to be believed.

– Pastor Phil Willingham Sermon 2017

As believers we have a helper in life– someone who is trustworthy and loyal– someone the world does not have because they do now know Him, and cannot imagine His existence.

John 14:16-17 NKJV
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The key to a stronger and healthier imagination is spending daily quiet time with God. Read His word– listen for His voice– study in your areas of weakness– and trust in His promises.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being our helping hand and guiding as through Your word. Lord, forgive us for our times of doubt and for our misuse of our imagination. Open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful ways of Your law. Help us to understand so that we can meditate on Your works. I pray that you will stir up our spirits so that we will want to seek You more. I pray You will help us as we seek to have a stronger and healthier imagination. Guide our quiet time in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Eyes of Fear or Eyes of Faith

The gospel teaches us how to get right with God. It starts with faith and ends with faith. Those that study God’s word and seek to be right in His eyes- live their life by trusting in Him and His ways.

Romans 1:17 NKJV

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Those who do not have a relationship with Jesus- live their life by making decisions based off their circumstances and feelings. Which tends to lead to more issues. We can not please God without having faith.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith is seeing the world through God’s point of view. Faith has nothing to do with feelings and is believing in what you can not see. Faith gives us confidence and assurance in what we know will happen because God’s word tells us what to expect and He promises good for those who love Him.

How do you live your life? Do you see with eyes of fear or eyes of faith?

What happens when we see with eyes of fear?

Read Numbers 13-14

  • We can miss what God has planned for our life
  • We exaggerate our difficulties- negative attitudes are contagious
  • We underestimate our own abilities- when we live in fear we project our fears on to those around us.
  • We become discouraged.
  • We start to gripe and complain about all of our lives.
  • We eventually give up and ultimately blame God

Highly critical people are usually insecure within themselves. Each person we come in contact with through-out life will either increase us or decrease us. We must be careful who we allow to influence our life- some people want us to crawl when God created us to soar.

What happens when we see with eyes of faith?

  • Faith shrinks our problems (Genesis 18:14)
  • Faith opens the door for a miracle. (Mark 11:22-24)
    The law of faith- trumps the law of nature. We do not have miracles because we do not believe they can happen. This is because our lack of faith.
  • Faith moves God to act on our behalf. God is not moved by us complaining and seeking to accomplish something in our own power and will. The Bible is clear that God is moved by our faith. (Matthew 9:29)
  • Faith unlocks all the promises of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Faith turns our God given dreams into a reality. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • Faith gives us the power and strength to hold on during tough times.
    – Faith does not always remove the problem but the Bible promises that faith will help us through it. Just like faith does not take away the pain you experience in life but it does give you the ability to handle the pain.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your goodness and faithfulness to those who love and seek You. I confess that I often catch myself seeing through the eyes of fear. I pray that you would help me to keep my focus on you. Help me to set my eyes on You and live by faith in Your promises. I trust in You Lord and pray that Your will be done in my life. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Deceptions Discovered

Deception is deep in the roots of the world today. For years, generations have been slowly moving away from the morals and foundational truths that our world was built upon. Evil is beginning to flourish in our nation and people are basing their self-worth on what they do or do not do and what others think of them.

In a world that the enemy is deceiving us people are destined to drink the cup of lies. Lies so deep they ultimately lead to failure. I have believed this lie for years! As a Christian I noticed my life did not seem any different than those who were non-believers.

I knew I had to be missing something- where was my peace and security in Jesus. I certainly was not feeling it or seeing it!

I began to ‘try harder’ to gain the approval of those around me, ultimately causing me to feel more ‘valuable’. This did not help! Unfortunately, it took me YEARS to discover that I was being deceived to my core and I had NO IDEA! It ultimately led to me feeling alienated, insecure, lonely, and an extreme fear of abandonment.

The definition of deceived is:

  • cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid
  • to give false impression
  • to make someone believe something that is not true

Insecurity comes from being born into a fallen human race and is a common struggle among people. When we struggle with insecurity we need to look within ourselves to find out the underlying reason we feel this way.

Feeling insecure comes from a problem within a persons foundational beliefs. Just as a fever indicates a physical health illness- insecurity indicates a faith ailment and should be addressed accordingly with God’s truth.

Many people seek relief for their emotional, relational, and spiritual insecurities. The intense feelings of insecurity is debilitating and painful.

Life is a constant struggle to gain more and more freedom for this debilitating ‘birth defect’ that we all have. The Bible warns us in many places to be aware of our natural conditions.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,

Ephesians 2:1 NKJV

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

Ephesians 4:17-18 NKJV

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:22 NKJV

We are also warned that our battle with security and significance does not disappear as soon as we accept Jesus. We must be on guard and check everything against the standards of God before accepting something as true.

2 Prime Deceptions

  1. We do not realize that we are plagued by many deceptions of the world. These type of deceptions come in all shapes and sizes- in varying degrees- and from varying sources. No amount of contemplation or reasoning can reveal every person’s core deceptions- only God can reveal the deceptions that hinder our lives individually.
  2. What we think we believe isn’t what we truly believe. Believing something in your mind but lacking full commitment in our heart is called intellectual assent. I am going to use myself for the example- I grew up with a harsh, condemning, and abusive father- so when I heard that God is a loving, forgiving, and patient Father- I believed this in an intellectual assented way.

    I knew in my mind that God was good- His word tells me so- but it took years for me to realize that I wasn’t truly trusting God with all my heart. I would verbally state I believed God is a loving God- but due to my early beliefs of what a father was – being rooted in deception from my earthly father I struggled to trust God. If I am being honest, on occasion, I still catch myself subconsciously not trusting in Him.

Our ‘heart beliefs’ is what controls our understanding and experience of God. When we come into the world as babies- we have no defense against absorbing the deceptions around them. That, combined with our natural minds that are antagonistic (showing dislike or opposition) to the things of God- we tend to entrust our lives into critical beliefs that are false. False heart or critical beliefs influence our lives and beliefs about God and who we are. It also influences our thinking when it comes to our value and worth.

Discovering the Deception in Your Life

We do not usually question our core heart beliefs- especially when those around us hold the same ones. However, if we trace our insecurities back to their roots- we will find it is always due to a deception that we believe about how God responds to our failures, sin, or falling short of His standards.

Every perception of God, every way a person interacts with Him, is built on what they believe is the basis of their relationship with Him.

-Robert McGee

Satan has been quite successful in distorting this aspect of persons relationship with God. These type of heart deceptions are common- even in born again Christians- because we hold a distorted view of grace and God’s unconditional love for us. We intellectually know these things, but our hearts won’t believe what our minds acknowledge and know to be true.

Believer’s and non-believer’s fail consistently because of our sinful nature. If we are not relying completely on the grace of God and His love we will have feelings of abandonment. Feeling as if God has left us or even worse, He is our enemy, or that He is punishing us in some way.

When we experience these feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and insecurity- God desires that we come to Him and ask Him for help- allowing the Holy Spirit to expose to us any deceptions on which we are depending or believing.

When we feel the feelings of anxiety, fear, abandonment, and insecurity we don’t have to fear these experiences. God allows us to have these experiences so that He can show His people the deceptions on which we are relying, and then remove them.

God wants to set us free of every deception- every feeling of abandonment, insecurity, and fear. If we seek Him and His truth, discernment, and understanding- He will set us free from our insecurities and deceptions!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a God of truth and love- For offering us discernment and security through Your word. Lord I pray You break every chain of deception the enemy has over each of us. I pray You would expose the lies we are believing in our hearts and show us the truth to replace them with. God, I ask for forgiveness for falling prey to the enemy in my heart beliefs and for not seeking Your truth. Lord, I pray for each person who reads this message- that You would touch their hearts- open their eyes- and show each of us who we are in You. I declare every insecurity, feeling of abandonment, and feeling of loneliness be shut down and the chains be broken now, in the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- The Problem with Pride

There is a fine line between the balance of confidence and being prideful of oneself. Confidence is on the positive side- you need confidence to be successful. However, on the other hand, pride falls on the negative side- often leading to self-destruction.

We want to be confident in what God tells us to do and who He says we are- we should have a healthy and positive self-image. But we have to be careful not to get a ‘big head’ about it and become prideful.

Pride motivates people to do what is best for themselves- even at the expense of others. Pride tells people they deserve to be rewarded, promoted, or acknowledged in some way. Pride stops people from admitting their weakness and reaching out for help. Pride is the greatest factor that stops one from seeking counseling, because they do not think that they need anyone else’s help to fix their problem.

Some people are so prideful they refuse to consult God with anything in their lives- instead they prefer to trust their own abilities and instincts.

Some people will have a healthy balance of confidence that leads them to success and then become prideful. They begin behaving in a way as to say that no one else could ever do what they do- giving themselves an exaggerated sense of importance and becoming prideful.

Pride is the root expression of our sinful nature. Pride is so full of itself that it can not listen to any other voice that is contrary to its’ opinion.

Pride is used in a negative sense in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Pride was the reason Adam and Eve violated God’s command- and choose to eat from the tree of knowledge. (Genesis 3:4-6) It was also the cause that motivated Lucifer to rebel against God- known as the fall of Satan. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Pride is what motivated Lucifer- a powerful angel of God- to set his will against God’s- he is said to be the culprit of sin. (Ezekiel 28:11-19)

In the New Testament Paul warns against several different expressions of pride. Pride can be dangerous to non-Christians and new Christians alike- when seeking salvation. Salvation must be a work of God and can not be earned through our own works. Reliance on our self to accomplish salvation distorts the message all together.

Salvation is a gift from God. It is because of His works alone- through faith in Jesus Christ- that we can be saved. There is no room for self-achievement within it- so that no one can take pride or boast.

Paul said it like this in Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Humility overcomes Pride

Pride tells people that you do not need anyone’s help. Humility tells people that they can not do anything without God. Humility is always looking for someone to help and listen to, not for someone to talk to. Humility is near to those who are hurting, focusing on the need.

Humility reminds people that God is the source of all gifts and abilities- that God can equip those that He calls. Pride is the arrogant refusal to allow God to be God. Pride tells people I am something without God- Humility says I am something because of God and nothing without Him.

How do you trade your pride in for humility?

Most importantly you will need a healthy view of God. Understanding who He is and who we are with and without Him. Spending time in His word- praying- and worshipping Him through all seasons of life.

Stop focusing so much on your own needs and wants and start praying and asking God how you can serve someone else’s needs. Be on guard- keep your eyes and ears open to situations around you through-out the day- purposely SEEK to bless and lift up others.

Give God thanks in ALL things- big or small- He has blessed you with them all!


Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your many gifts and blessings. Thank you for being a patient Father who is quick to forgive. Forgive us for having prideful attitudes and for relying on our own ways and our own abilities. God I pray You fill us up with Your Holy Spirit- we want to be confident in You and not prideful in our own ways. I pray that You would help each of us to be humble and look to help others. I pray You use us to lead others to Your love. God I pray for each person that does not know you personally- that they would seek You and find You. I pray for our nation as a whole remove the pride in us all and replace it with humility and confidence in You. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo-Compromising Peace

Are you a people pleaser? Do you often put your own wants, beliefs, and needs to the side to keep peace among friends, family, or co-workers? Maybe you feel your worth comes from what others think, say, or feel about you. Who do you live your life striving to please- God or others?

I am a people pleaser. I know this is not what God has called me to be and I am working hard on learning to stand up for myself and God.

For many years I was living my life under the control of my father. Day after day I willfully gave him all the power over my life. Allowing him to control every decision I made- from when I do yard work to how I raised my child.

It was totally unhealthy!

The worst part was it went on for many years and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I was 30 years old when God showed me CLEARLY what He was doing in my life.

I was going through a period of trials and heartache lasting about four years that finally ended when I became FULLY obedient to God. When crying out to Him about the situations going on at the time God asked me, “Are you going to serve Gary your earthly father, or Me, God THE father? You can’t do both!”

I wept. I knew EXACTLY what God was saying to me.

There were countless times that I did the opposite of what God was telling me to do to please my father and avoid any verbal abuse, physical abuse, or confrontation of any kind.

I longed for my father to be loving, positively involved, and simply proud of who I was- not who he wanted me to be.

The mentioning of God would make his skin crawl. Unfortunately, my father had many demons that he carried throughout his life starting in his own childhood. This made it very difficult when trying to serve God- yet please him.

God wants us to be fully obedient to Him- He doesn’t want sacrifice’s or partial obedience- He wants us ALL IN. I would pray and ask for direction and wisdom- God would show me something and tell me to take action- then I would try to compromise with Him to be obedient yet not upset anyone else.

We can NOT only do a small part of what God tells us to do. When we know He is leading us we have to be bold in Him. Stepping out and standing up in love and not compromising our own morals or relationship with God so others won’t be upset.

Living in a compromised peace is not what God wants for us. We are not to me conformed to this world but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind through Jesus.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 NKJV

The world is becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in but we need to be sure we are making our own decisions and not allowing others to influence them. The Bible tells us to stand FIRM on His word and put on the whole armor of God. Our only responsibility is do what God wants us to do.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV

When we spend time studying God’s word and seeking Him- He lights a fire within our heart that can not be put out. You should know however, when you are on fire for God, people in the world will reject you- BUT He has overcome the world and we should not fear.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV

We are not created to blend in with the world. In fact, it is quite the opposite- we are created to standout- to be bold and courageous- and to lean NOT on our own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

God promises if we stand firm in our faith-seek Him above all else- and love with all our heart, mind, and soul- than we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 NKJV

God is with you wherever you go! We do not have to live a life in compromised peace. It is time to stand-up, stand-out, and stand-frim on the truth.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NKJV

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day and for offering us peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, the world can be such a sinful and misleading representation of You and our destiny, help us to have discernment and knowledge. Let us not lean on our own understanding but trust in You with all our hearts. It is election day Lord, and the stress and tension is very tight. I pray each person would be lead by Your Holy Spirit and remember regardless of the outcome, You are still in control.

Lord I pray that each of us would have the courage to stand strong on Your word and stand up for what is right and true in You. Lord, help us to remember that we are all children of God and You want the world to choose love over hate- peace over strife, and truth over deceit.

Guide our steps and show us the way as we move forward through the election process. I pray Your will be done and the hearts of people all over the world would be open to see You.

Lord I pray for both candidates that each would hold themselves with grace and dignity. That you would protect each of them and their families. Lord I pray people would find love in their hearts and choose to support and uplift regardless of the outcome. I pray for the safety of America, guidance moving forward, and that love would fill the hearts of Your people all across the world. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- We all have Spiritual Gifts

A spiritual gift is a concept in Christianity that refers to an extraordinary power given to each person by God, our Creator, through the Holy Spirit. God has given each of us a different gift according to His plan and purpose for our life. It is our responsibility to seek Him and use our gifts to strengthen the church (the people; not the building) and share the message of Christ.

The Bible refers to spiritual gifts in multiple places; giving examples and direction on what we are to do with the gifts He has given us.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV

We shouldn’t be jealous or envious of another person’s gift(s), God has chosen and designed each of us for a specific purpose- tailored to who we are called to be- in Him.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:6-8 NKJV

I myself have often “wished” I had other gifts. However, I quickly began to learn to stop chasing “dreams” that were not meant for me. Stop wasting my gifts, to pursue and wish away my life trying to be something or someone I am not called to be. To start embracing what God has equipped me to do and who He called me to be in His kingdom.

for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 NKJV

I encourage each person to dig into God’s word-spend time in prayer- and discover who You are and what gift(s) God has blessed you with.

Then, I encourage you to find ways to use and share your gift(s) with others.

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11 NKJV

Discovering who you are in Christ and seeking to fulfill your purpose in Him is the most freeing decision you could ever make. Learning to embrace and even celebrate the things that make you “different” releases the pressure of feeling the need to measure up to someone else’s standard.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a father who loves us and has chosen us before we were born. Thank you Lord, for blessing each of us with spiritual gifts to grow Your kingdom and share the good news of Jesus Christ. I confess that often times I get wrapped up chasing “dreams” of this world and lose focus of seeking Your purpose for my life. Lord, I pray that You would lead me and guide me in the way You want me to go. Show me the gifts you have blessed me with and how You want me to use them to glorify You. Thank you Lord for Your many blessings in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Discovering Absolute Truth

One who is sincere in searching for the truth will ask questions either directly or indirectly. Questions that help lead them to the truth, such as: What is truth? Where can I find it? How do I know when I find it?- and so on. On the other hand there are those who lack the sincerity of finding truth and often settle for the mindset- truth is whatever is true for me. The problem with this thinking is many people believe lies, false truths, and even have little to no knowledge of something, then go on to claim facts about a particular subject can not be true. This is a distorted way of thinking and living- robbing the person of the absolute truth which can and will set them free.

The good news is that the truth can be discovered, defined, and experienced. Making the reality- that what a person believes- DOES matter. Truth matters.

What is truth?

Dictionary.com defines truth as that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.

Truth can not be altered and refers to things how they really are- no matter what people may believe. In the world we live in today postmodernism advocates that “something is true, if its true for me.”

Christians deny this definition because we believe in absolute truth, meaning that truth is truth- regardless of a person’s personal experiences. In order for something to be considered “truth” it must be measured, but NOT against what they believe- but against absolute truth.

God is the Absolute truth and is the foundation for all truth because He is truth.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

God loves truth and hates falsehood.

Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

God can NOT lie!

Titus 1:2
in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Because God is truth- He holds His people to His standard of truth. Psalm 51:6 tells us we will desire the truth in our inward parts. People of truth exhibit behavior that matches their words. They seek to be accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

How can we be people of truth?

We can ask God to help us. Ask Him to lead you, guide you, and teach you what is true and acceptable to God. (Ps. 25:5) The Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth, will lead us to the truth of God’s word, give us receptive hearts and minds, and submissive will to know the truth, be the truth, and do the truth. When someone is sincere about seeking the spiritual truth, the Holy Spirit, will bear witness in our spirit through God’s word and we will know it is the truth.

In order to be a person of truth you must be genuine and authentic. This includes being honest with yourself in all areas of your life. Truth will not settle for anything less than honesty with yourself and others. When you seek the truth- it has a way of shining the light into the dark areas of our life- so that we can clean it up, dust it off, and move forward in truth.

When we are people of truth and know the absolute truth, we will behave accordingly. Truth will inspire us to live authentic lives and speak authentic truth. Truth will refuse to rename sin in our life or the lives of others. Truth will urge us to speak the truth to people- out of love- as we seek peace with others. Truth will prompt spouses to be faithful to one another. Truth will stimulate parents to live consistent lives before their children. Truth will inspire us to pray that God’s will be done.

How can the truth help me?

Truth will help you be prepared and equipped to do battle against the enemy- Satan- the father of all lies! Satan and his demons will flee from the truth. If you are in truth with God you can withstand and quench every fiery dart from the devil. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. You are protected by the full armor of God. (Eph. 6:12-18) The belt of truth has to be in place before the rest of God’s armor will fit.

Truth plays a large role in helping relationships. We have to be truthful with ourselves and others in order to be able to help them. We also have to require truthfulness from those we are trying to help. We have to be able to speak to hurting people from a place of truth and experience.

The hurting souls around us need to learn truths such as:

  • Their relationship with God is not based on performance, but on His grace and what He has already done for them- Salvation is a gift from God- not to be earned only accepted. (Eph. 2:8-9)
  • In a relationship with Jesus, they are a person of worth and value- perfectly and wonderfully made. (Eph. 1:4-5)
  • They need to accept, they are human with failures and limitations and where they are weak He(God) is strong. (2 Cor. 12:9)
  • Their pain can be used by God to help them grow and mature and then help others. (Rom. 8:28-29)
  • They can experience freedom and joy in their life with Christ. (Gal. 5:1)

The Freedom’s of Truth

Jesus promised us that the truth will set us free.

John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When people know the truth- that is Jesus Christ- it sets them free from the lies and deceptions of Satan. It breaks the bondage that spiritually and emotionally binds us. The truth of Jesus can break chains and generations of sin- deliver us from the pain of our past- and break us out of the imprisonment of our emotions and thought life. The truth will help people rebuild their self-image and worth and see themselves as the unique and powerful child of God that they are.

In absolute truth that is Christ- we can be all that He intended us to be- it gives us the freedom we need to enjoy building an intimate relationship with Him.

Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Just as prisoner’s long for their freedom- those bound by sin and engulfed by a negative thought life long to be free of the sins and bondage that is keeping them miserable. Jesus tells us that we can have that freedom by knowing the truth- which is Him.

Truth is not an abstract concept- it’s a reality and absolute truth can not be changed, altered, or skewed. Jesus came into the world to ‘bear witness to the truth’ (John 18:37)- He was truth in the flesh.

Jesus frees us from the consequences of sin, from self-deceptions, and from deception from Satan. The truth in Jesus will set you free! Free from sin’s death penalty and the destructive, corrosive effects of sin and deception in our minds and over our life.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Your truth and for the opportunity to know it and live it. Lord, help me to see Your truth in every area of my life, if there is deceit happening in me or around me- expose it in Your light. God, as I seek You and the truth- guide me, protect me, and surround me with Your love. I want to know You more, know Your truths and live a life of freedom and joy just as Your word promises. Thank you God for being a trustworthy and honest Father. Lead me in Your truth and teach me Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and gird my waist with Your truth so that I can withstand the schemes of the enemy- in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen


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Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 20, 2018

Ephesians 6:12- For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.