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Devotional- Faith like Job

Struggling is a part of the sinful world we live in. Everyone will face times of struggle, trials, and tribulations regardless of their faith in God. The importance lies in how we react and handle life’s battles when they strike.

Job was a Godly man and had great faith and love for God, but Job faced a lot of suffering and loss. Job was a wealthy man who not only had a lot of money, animals, and ‘stuff’, but he also was in great health.

In Job 1 satan and God have a discussion about Job and his faithfulness. Satan basically says that Job only loves God and is so faithful to Him because God has blessed him and his possessions are great. Going on to express that if God allowed all of his wealth and possessions to be taken away, that Job would certainly curse God.

God allowed satan to have power of Job’s possessions and wealth but strictly told satan not to lay a hand on his body.

Satan left the presence of the Lord and went out to attack Job’s possessions.

Job lost his wealth, his animals, and all of his possessions. However, Job did not sin! Instead Job fell to the ground and worshipped God. In all that Job had lost and faced he did not sin nor did he blame God for any of it.

Satan tells God that all a man has in possessions he will give up for his life, but if He allows Job’s bone and flesh (health) be taken, that he will surely curse Him (God). So God allows this but strictly states to spare his life.

Job then loses his family, his friends, and his health. He is covered from head to foot in painful boils. Job still did not curse God or blame Him for what was happening in his life.

Instead Job cries out and curses the day he was born. (Job 3)

Job is a great one to look at for examples of how we should remain faithful in God during all seasons of our life. Job shows us that our love for God and our faith in God should not depend on how we feel He is treating us.

Satan is the author of pain, suffering, grief, and loss. He wants to use these things to separate us from the love and mercy of God. He wants us to remain bound by our feelings, allowing them to navigate our faith and love for God; keeping us from the awareness of God’s higher purpose for our life.

God is always near regardless of what our circumstances may look like or how we may feel, God is always good and near to us in our brokenness, pain, and sorrow.

Reflection

Do you think you would react the same way if God took away all your belongings, wealth, and health?

What is one thing God is telling you or showing you through Job’s suffering?

Do you allow how you feel God is treating you to affect how you feel about God?

Call to Action

What is one thing you can do moving forward to form a stronger faith in God, regardless of your circumstances?

I encourage you to set your feelings aside and seek the truth’s in God’s Word, allowing Him to guide your every step and trusting what He says over what you feel.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a faithful, patient, and loving God. For giving us the example of Job’s suffering so that we may see our own suffering in his story. Lord forgive us for falling trap to our feelings and allowing them to drive our actions and faith. I pray that each person who reads this will be touched by Your truth. Lord I pray you would expose our faithfulness or lack of to each of us, show us where we need to apply Your truth more and prune out the schemes of satan. Lead us in every area of our life. Open our hearts, ears, minds, and eyes to Your truth and protect us from the lies of the enemy. God I pray You would remind us of the example Job set when we face our own times of suffering and loss, help us to remain strong in Your truth and faithful to Your calling. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Can we trust the Bible?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Is the Bible fact or fiction?

All scripture is God breathed- God inspired.

God CANNOT lie!

The Bible is historically true.

Psalm 33:4
For the word of the Lord is right,
And all His work is done in truth.

The word is true and right. It has passed the history test many times. Peter, Moses, Mark, Luke- they were all there. Their stories are eye witness accounts.

There are rules to ensure extreme care when the Bible was copied and continues to hold these same rules today.

The Dead Sea scrolls were written 100 years before Jesus.

Archeology proves that the places and events happened. These sites can still be seen today.

Many have tried to disprove the Bible, however, it always ends the same- the Bible is proved to right. It is scientifically accurate.

Science constantly changes but the Bible does NOT.

God’s word is factual and alive!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for giving us Your inspired scripture for correction, reproof, and instruction in righteousness. Lord forgive me for anytime I have doubted Your Word or its’ accuracy. Lord I pray that each person would have discernment when reading the Bible. Give them Your guidance and help them to understand what we read and how to apply it to our life. I pray those who question Your word or existence would see the proof and know Your word is factual and alive. It is in Jesus 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- Waiting to see the harvest

Coming to Jesus and building a relationship with Him is a process. Faith and trust in God doesn’t just happen overnight- they are fundamentals we learn as we study God’s Word. Often times it takes multiple exposures or experience’s with Jesus for someone to make a decision to follow Him.

We need to be sensitive about where those we are witnessing to are in regards to their walk of faith. Everyone learns and processes information differently. We certainly do not want to push someone away from God by being overbearing and not respecting their individual journey with Him.

Just as a farmer sows seeds and has to wait to harvest the crop- as do we when it comes to sowing spiritual seeds into the lives of others.

The old saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’.

Same goes for leading the lost to Jesus.

We can give them the information, share our testimony, and pray fervently for them. We can not make them accept Jesus. We were all given the freedom of choice when God created us. He longs for us to accept Him, His love and Salvation but ultimately it is our choice.

As Christians we are responsible for sharing the good news of Jesus with the lost. It is NOT our responsibility to “save them”- ONLY Jesus can save them. Each person must choose Him for their own life.

God has already chosen us from the beginning- when we were created in our mothers womb. He is waiting for each of us to reach out to Him. NOTHING we do is too much for God to handle. He only wants us to run to Him not away from Him.

We are called to sow seeds of faith, truth, and the good news of Jesus to those we interact with through-out our life. Then pray for the “harvest” of those spiritual seeds and be patient while waiting for them to metaphorically grow into foundational roots of truth in their lives.

Bible Verses about Sowing Seeds

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this message on sowing seeds and being patient while we wait for the harvest in the lives of others. Lord I thank You for your continued guidance and discernment as I study Your Word. Lord I pray that each person who the message reaches would have You at the center of their life. Lord I pray that we would each be vessels for You to use- that we would all be willing to step out in faith and sow spiritual seeds into the lives of those around us. Lord I pray that You would give each of us the patience to allow the seeds to grow in others lives. Lord I pray You would lead and guide our every step. Give us the courage to step up and step out when You are calling us to do so. Lord Thank you for Your Word and many blessing. For being a promise keeper and never leaving our side. In Jesus might name I pray.

Amen

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Spread Love

Last week in my post Love Defined I explained how the word love is perceived one way in society– an emotion or attachment and another in God’s eyes–an attitude or behavior. Further I explained that God is the creator of the concept of love and without God love simply doesn’t exist. We love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Society has become extremely hateful and negative as a whole. God created us and instructed us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) The intolerance, discrimination, and anger/bitterness that people hold against one another is out of control. It has got to the point for some, that those who are different or think differently than oneself is immediate grounds for hatefulness, slander, and down right bigotry.

God never intended for our world to be full of so much hatred– however by choices made by each person in society– here we are in 2020– God is not allowed to be talked about in school, prayer is frowned upon– yet sex, violence, and other sinful nature runs rampad and no one blinks an eye. I think this year needs to be the year we choose change–choose to spread love–healthy, Godly, unconditional love. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

We are called to walk in love, to share the love of Christ with others, and to be the example of Christ’s love to the world. You have everything you need to walk in love. You already have compassion, empathy, patience to love– you only have to accept Jesus and access it through the Holy Spirit. Love is believing the best in people and not the worst.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

I want to be clear that when I refer to society being hateful and negative as a whole–this INCLUDES many self proclaimed Christians. In fact if I am being honest–I have had some experiences that the Christian folk was far more rude, hateful, and unpleasant than the unsaved folk who had never heard about the love of Jesus. This is disheartening and exactly why Christians get a bad stigma. When people see someone whom is claiming to be a Christian and love God acting in such a way– it detours the lost– why would they want to live for Jesus and act like that? We have to be very careful and be sure that if we are talking the talk– we need to be walking the walk. This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t mess up because you will– we aren’t perfect. Being aware of your talk and actions during your day to day interactions will help you recognize when your fleshly emotions are starting to take over.

In the Bible God gives us instruction on how to behave like a Christian.

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor (Hate) what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God wants us to love like He loves– not like the world loves. God designed the concept of love and wants us to understand how perfect His love is. When we spread love in the way God tells us too– It pleases Him. God even went as far to say in Matthew 25:33-40 that when you help others you are helping Him. I have often heard people say why doesn’t God stop all the terrible things in the world or why does He allow people to go hungry and without a home. I usually respond with something along the lines of “God created us and called us to do His work– often times we see these things because God is calling one of His children to help those in the world around them and unfortunately we don’t always make the move when we are called into action.” One person alone can’t fix all the “problems” in the world today BUT if we all did our part and acted when called upon to help and show love like Jesus–society as a whole would be much, much better.

Matthew 25:33-40

33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

5 ways to spread love everywhere you go

Smile at people
Hold the door open for someone
Compliment a stranger
Pay it forward (buy someone a meal, coffee, etc.)
Leave positive post-it notes in public places


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Daily Bible Verse- January 25, 2020

Psalm 16:7

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.