Friday, August 18, 2017

DAILY DEVO...there is NO condemnation

TODAY'S DEVOTION...

I'm not perfect and neither are you. And God knows that none of us are. 

Becoming a Christian doesn't mean that everything will be perfect, in fact, the Bible warns us that trials and tribulations will be great. But thankfully, the Grace of God not only forgives us of our wrongdoing but once forgiven, we are not condemned. 

So many Believers live in fear or guilt of their past mistakes. Even though we ask God (and others) to forgive us, we tend to have a hard time forgiving ourselves. 

But the Bible says: 
"There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Because God doesn’t judge us for all the things that we've  done wrong and have been forgiven for, there is no reason for any Christian to walk around in shame. 

God takes all of our imperfections (and we ALL have many) and instead of using them against us, He uses it for good.

If you are still holding onto some past mistakes; ask for forgiveness and do what God has done ...move on! 

Have a blessed Friday!!
LAURIE


TODAY'S READING: Ezra 7:27-9:4, Romans 8:1-27, Psalm 119:33-40

Thursday, August 17, 2017

DAILY DEVO...who's in charge?

TODAY'S DEVOTION...

Every single day we need to decide who is in control...us or God?

Choosing is sometimes difficult.  We all have areas in our life that we like to control, it's usually in those moments of desperation or failure that we relinquish our control and say, "ok God, I'm giving control to you!"

I've tried to control things before in my life and it just doesn't work. I mess it up every time! But no matter how badly things get out of control, God always seems to show up and fixes what was never mine to fix in the first place.

In the book of Ezra, we find God using King Darius to illustrate this very thing.

The people were always at odds with the authorities to rebuild the House of God after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it. But King Darius issued a decree that not only allowed them to rebuild God's house but he actually took money from the treasury to pay for it!!

(Ezra 6:8) "Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God: Their expenses are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop."

When we allow God to have control, He shows up and gets the job done! I don't know what you need to loosen your grip from; but choose today to give control to God and see how He rebuilds what has been broken.

Have a blessed and victorious day! LAURIE

TODAY'S READING...Ezra 6:1-7:26, Romans 7:7-25, Psalm 119:17-32

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DAILY DEVO...choose a life that beats for Godx

TODAY'S DEVOTION...

What kind of things find their way into your heart?

If we aren't careful, we may find the things that we allow in will cause us heart disease. I'm not talking about the kind of heart disease that requires a pacemaker. I'm talking about heart disease (spiritually) that need THE Peacemaker. 

If the doctor tells us that we need to make some changes in our life to restore our heart, no doubt we would. However, when God tells us to make changes, we aren't as serious about it. 

Day in, day out, we all have the responsibility of tending to our heart. What we allow in will either be healthy or unhealthy. It's our choice. 

Hiding God’s word in our heart will guard against those things that hurt our hearts and displease God. 

I love the words of the Psalmist when he said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)

The question to consider today is this: what is hidden in your heart - Envy, anger, lust, jealousy or God's Word? One will cause death, the other life.

Choose a life that beats for God. 

Have a blessed day. LAURIE

TODAY'S READING...Ezra 4-5, Romans 6:1-7:6, Psalm 119:9-16


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DAILY DEVO...finding peace

TODAY'S DAILY...

Finding peace in your life is much more than having a temporary absence of strife. It is more than just having "enough" to squeak by or having a brief time of things going well. Peace, my friend, can only be found in God. 

We try so hard to find peace in other people, relationships, careers, money, investments, even our emotions. But I have found that all of those things will change, fail us or fall away. 

God never intended for His children to live life full of anxiety and worry. Before He left His Disciples, Jesus told them to not let their hearts be troubled...

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives." (John 14:27)

If you are looking for peace, you will never find it until you trust God. Trusting God doesn't mean everything will be perfect but I promise, you will find a peace that is unexplainable. 

Have a blessed (and peaceful) day. LAURIE


DAILY SCRIPTURE READING: Ezra 1-3, Romans 5, Psalm 119:1-8

Monday, August 14, 2017

Daily DEVO...recognize the idols in your life

TODAY'S DEVOTION...

During my "break" from social media for nearly a month, I noticed something. I noticed how much more time there seemed to be in a day!!!

Clearly, there were other things that I could be doing that time spent on social media was robbing me of. 

We live in a "smart" atmosphere; a world where we are inundated with smart phones, smart tvs and smart apps. Everything we ever need is at the tips of our fingers. 

Have you ever wondered why we are so influenced by the culture around us? Simple - what consumes us becomes us. 

Recently I heard someone say, "we become what we worship". Often times, I think we idolize things that we aren't even aware have become idols in our lives. 

How absurd it must have been for the Israelites to create an idol to worship when God Almighty was with them, longing for their adoration and worship. 

But isn't that what you and I do when we place other things and other people before God?

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you". (Matthew 6:33)

The world is begging for our attention. But so is God. The question today is...who or what will you serve?

If you are not sure Whom you are serving; compare your time, your passion and your investments - Is God first or last? If He isn't first, you may have some idols in your life. 

My prayer today is that God is given the worship and adoration that He deserves in our lives. No idol (not even Facebook), ever died for you and never will. 

PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive me for placing other things in front of You. You and You ALONE deserve my praise and honor. AMEN

Have a blessed day,

Laurie

Friday, July 14, 2017

DAILY DEVO...are you devoted to Christ?

TODAY'S DAILY...

Getting off of our regular Scripture reading today, I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about the importance of being devoted to God in your daily life.

"Set your mind on things above,  not on earthly things." (Colossians 3:2)

Have you ever wondered what it would take to accomplish this?

Paul realized that the secret to a life full of contentment first starts with a life devoted to God. He learned to keep his eye on the prize. 

Much like an athlete, who never takes their eye off of the ball or off of their opponent, 
Paul learned to run fast and play hard. And he learned that it is easy to lose focus. 

Life isn't always easy. Sometimes we stumble, get tired, retreat and wonder if it's worth it all. We must keep our eye on the ball and stay focused.

No successful athlete becomes great overnight. No, it takes years of training and practicing. I doubt that Paul became an Apostle overnight with no discipleship or mentoring. In order to get good at what we do, it takes time and it takes practice. 

That's exactly what it is like with our faith. No one can know everything they need to know about Christ overnight. It's a daily walk with Him and each day He reveals something new. 

Reading God's Word daily, pursuing His presence and sharing what He teaches me thru writing devotions is just a small way that I stay focused on Him. 

What keeps you in the game? Are you focused on the prize or have you fumbled the ball?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S DAILY READING: 
2 Kings 21:1-22:20, Acts 10:34-11:18, Psalm 104:24-30

SATURDAY'S DAILY READING: 2 Kings 23, Acts 11:19-12:17, Psalms 104:31-35


SUNDAY'S DAILY READING: 2 Kings 24-25, Acts 12:18-13:13, Psalm 105:1-7  

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DAILY DEVO...intimidation doesn't scare God

There use to be a day that intimidation bothered me. But now that I'm older (and not just in age), but wiser in the Lord, there isn't much that I bow to due to intimidation. 

Don't get me wrong, it still bothers me when I see people, (especially Christians), using intimidation to manipulate things. 

Instead of worrying about it though, I just turn it over to God and let Him handle things. 

Isn't that what Hezekiah did?

In today's Scripture reading we find Hezekiah responding to a letter he just received from Sennacherib; a letter that criticizes the Lord. 

Hezekiah found himself to be in a tight spot. City after city had fallen to Sennacherib and seemingly, it was all Hezekiah's fault. 

As the king, he was responsible for leading his people down the wrong path that led to rebellion. How would he make this right?

With letter in hand, Hezekiah went up to the temple of the Lord...

(2 Kings 19:14) "Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord."

I would say that this was Hezekiah's finest moment in leadership, after making a mess of things, he sought the counsel of the Lord. Hezekiah did not let the intimidation of what others thought to override what God thought. 

There's so much we can learn from this story. Maybe you have received a letter that has left you in a panic or you are being intimidated by someone to do something you shouldn't; I encourage you to do what Hezekiah did and go to Lord and spread it all out before Him. 

What He thinks of the situation is far more important than anyone else. 

BLESSINGS. Laurie 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Kings 19:8-20:21, Acts 10:17-33, Psalm 104:10-23