Thursday, May 25, 2017

DAILY DEVO...seek the Giver not the gift

We are all familiar with the story in the Bible of Jesus feeding the 5000. Have you ever noticed the attitude that Jesus sees in the crowd?

After sending His Disciples to Capernaum, Jesus catches up with them and has a confrontation with the crowd...

(John 6:26) Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. "

Clearly, Jesus was concerned that the crowd was more concerned with the blessing and not the One blessing.

I think it easy to fall into the trap of seeking God for what He can give rather than for Who He is. The people who saw the many loaves, sought after Him because of the food. We too, can seek God for what He gives and lose sight of Who God is.

There are a lot of things that I could ask God for. But in the end, if I don't have Him in my life, what good are all those other things?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 22-23, John 6:22-42, Psalm 81:1-10

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Devo...got questions?

We all have questions. We question people why and we often question God why. Job in the Bible asked a lot of "why" questions. I think it's totally human nature to ask such questions.

Somehow, we think if we understand the answer, it will make our pain and misery easier.

In today's Scripture reading in John, we see that the role is switched. Instead of being asked a question, Jesus Himself, is the One asking the question...

(John 6:5-6) When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do."

Here, we see that Jesus asks Philip the question of "where", but it couldn't be because Jesus needed to know the answer, for He already had a plan and He knew exactly the "where, when and how." Jesus wanted to see how much Philip trusted Him.

It's like that in our life also. When you ask me those hard questions in life like "why did they die?", "why did they leave me?" or "where is God?" I can only give the answer that I know to be true..."I"! DO"! "NOT"! "KNOW"!

I really don't know some of those answers. Some things just aren't for us to know, only God knows.

The question for us to answer today is "will we trust Him?" It is so comforting to me to know that even in the midst of my questions and not understanding, God already knows about it and has a plan in motion.

It's alright to ask questions but can you trust Him even if the answer isn't what you want or need?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING:  1 Samuel 20-21, John 6:1-21, Psalm 80:8-19

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily DEVO...God is in your cloud!

One of the most magnificent sights I've ever seen is over the beach right after a storm, the clouds break and a glimpse of the sun breaks thru.

It's almost as if a bright spotlight from heaven breaks thru the dark clouds.

Many of you reading this today are in a storm. The clouds are hovering above you and you wonder if they will ever clear. None of us want storm clouds in our life, not when we can have sunny, blue skies, right?

However, like the clouds over the beach, when God's light shines thru, the clouds WILL move out of the way.

(Psalm 80:7) "Turn us again, oh Lord,
Cause Thy face to shine, and we will be saved."

Today's Scripture reading in Psalms is a good reminder that even in the roughest storm, God's face will turn towards us and His amazing Light will break thru and all will be well once again. Even the clouds will bow!

God is in your cloud. Wait for it...it's about to move out of the way.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 18-19, John 5:25-47, Psalm 80:1-7.

Monday, May 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO...where does your strength come from?

In today's Scripture reading, we find one of the greatest stories told of strength and courage.

Strength and courage isn't always about size; strength and courage is in best form when your faith, not your muscles, are big!

The Philistine army had gathered to war against Israel. The Philistines had a giant, over nine feet tall, come out in full armor taunting the Israelites for 40 days. His name was Goliath and everyone was afraid of him.

Until David, a young teen age boy, came volunteering to fight him. It took king Saul some convincing to let such a little, young, untrained boy go against such a mighty force. David didn't come forward with much, no armor or swords, just courage and God's Hand of protection.

(1 Samuel 17:45) David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin,but I come against you in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."

As the giant moved in for the kill, this confident young boy reached into his pocket and slung a stone at the giants head. That was quite the victorious day for the Israelites.

We all face giants in our life. Many of us are not big enough or strong enough to overtake them. It is only by the power of God that we can go to battle against those Goliath's in our way.

Your victory is not in overcoming the giants, but rather, standing in the strength and the courage of the Lord.

Get your stones ready!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 17, John 5:1-24, Psalm 79:8-13

Friday, May 19, 2017

Laced with Grace...loosen your grip

We all know that everything comes from the Hand of God. But somehow when those blessings are passed from His Hand to ours, we hold on with a tight grip.
I have always been impressed with my husband’s ability to give to others so freely. He is the kind of man that would give the shirt off his back for a stranger. I like to think I also have a giving heart, but honestly, my grip on the things I adore doesn’t always come loose easily.
I wish I could be more like him and more like Hannah was. The Bible tells us of how Hannah had a undeniable understanding of the gift from God that her son Samuel was…
(1 Samuel 1:22) “Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, ‘After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before he Lord, and he will live there always.'”
If you are familiar with the story of Hannah, you will know that she had begged God for a child and when God answered her, she wanted to give him back to God, to serve Him all the days of his life.
I find this selfless act that Hannah did so remarkable. So often, we grip so tightly to those things that God has freely given us that we forget where it all came from in the first place.
I love how Hannah was so grateful to God that she humbly loosened her grip on the best gift she had and offered him back to the Lord. I don’t want to just give the “best” gifts back to the Lord, I want to have such a loose grip that everything I have and everything I am, I offer back up to Him.
What belongs to God that you still are holding on to? Let it go and let God do some awesome things in your life!
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright laurieadams

Monday, May 15, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the Word is Jesus

As we begin reading in the book of John, John lays the foundation for what we will soon see unravel as the love that God has for us.

John very boldly states that the Word, which is the very reason for life, became flesh and lived among us...

(John 1:14) "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, Who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

That may seem odd to you. How can the "Word" come alive, you might ask? I would like to bring our focus today on one word: "Word". In the first verse of John, we see that "Word" is very specifically defined...

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

There can never be any question about where or how the Word came to be. The Word has always been and will always be. It is unchangeable. It is Undeniable. And it is all powerful!

The "Word" is Jesus.

Jesus became flesh, to walk among us to show us firsthand that the "Word" is life and life everlasting. Many try to find fulfillment in other things; like a job or relationships, and some may find what they are looking for. But there will be no better fulfillment in life than a relationship with Jesus.

This is the very reason that Jesus came; to give life and to give it more abundantly.

Read the book of John with me. In these next chapters, we will find that Christ dwelled with John and He dwells with you and me also. Jesus is THE Word!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 1:1-28, Psalm 78:17-24

Friday, May 12, 2017

DAILY DEVO...Ruth: a book of selfless love

Yesterday and today, we have been in the book of Ruth in our Read-thru-the-Bible Scripture reading. The book of Ruth is a short story but so full of selfless love.

It begins by telling of a story of a woman who had lost everything. Naomi and her husband had two sons. Things didn't go so well for Naomi. First, their sons married women who were not Israelites, then Naomi's husband died leaving her alone and soon after, her only two sons died before having any children.

(Ruth 1:20) "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter."

How alone Naomi must have felt. But she was not alone. She had God and she had a daughter-in-law that was devoted to her. Ruth stayed by her side and provided for Naomi when she was unable.

By the end of this story Naomi was no longer feeling empty and bitter. Because of the Grace of God and because of the love and devotion of a dear friend like Ruth, Naomi became a different person.

Often times, God places people in our life that may seem like a mismatch or not someone we would choose. But with His divine appointment, when paths are crossed, something incredible can happen.

God used a friend like Ruth to encourage Naomi. I wonder if you have such a friend or more importantly, ARE you that friend?

Take time to read the book of Ruth. It's an incredible story of unselfish love and friendship.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Ruth 3-4, Luke 23:26-24:12, Psalm 78:5-8

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:21, Luke 24:13-53, Psalm 78:9-16

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 2:22-4:22, John 1:1-28, Psalm 78:17-24  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the cost of seevanthood

We are called to serve others because Christ first served us. Today's Scripture reading takes us to the Last Supper, a perfect example of serving.

Here we find Christ sitting with His disciples for a final Passover meal, before His death...

(Luke 22:19) "He took some bread and the wine and handed it to His disciples, saying, 'Do this in remembrance of me' "

Let's take a minute and consider what this even means. The broken bread and the wine speak of the core of our faith: the sacrifice of Christ.

When I think of the last time His Followers saw Jesus before His death, they saw Jesus as a Slave.

Jesus got up from the table and the sound of water could be heard as He poured water in a basin. Then with a towel wrapped around Him, He moved from one Follower to another, washing their feet.

Christ served them and He serves us by being the example of what servanthood looks like. Even up to His death, Jesus served others.

Taking communion is just one way that we remember the sacrifice of Christ. Another way we remember is by serving others, may we serve others, even up until our own death.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 19:1-20:23, Luke 22:7-30, Psalm 77:1-11

Friday, May 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God is the rewarder of everything!

So many times we work diligently to receive a reward or a promotion. We look to our boss at work for recognition that we think we deserve.

But often times, we are let down. We are disappointed when that raise never comes or we are passed by for that promotion.

The Psalmist reminds us in today's Scripture reading Who is actually in charge and Who has the final say...

(Psalm 75:6,7) "For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another."

God is the One Who promotes or demotes. While it is a good thing to do a good job wherever you find yourself, it is not our jobs or schools that we ultimately work for.

Nothing rises or falls without the approval of God. Look at Job. Job was very successful; had a successful business, family and many riches until it was all stripped away at the approval of God. But in the end, because of God's faithfulness to Job, Job received far more than he ever had.

From the Hand of God is where our blessings flow. So next time you are low on funds and notice an unexpected bonus on your check...give God the praise not your boss. For our blessings do not come from below us (south) or beside us (east & west), they come from above!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 11:1-12:7, Luke 20:1-26, Psalm 75:1-7

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 12:7-14:20, Luke 20:27-47, Psalm 75:8-10

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 15-16, Luke 21:1-19, Psalm 76:1-7

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Laced with Grace...what does prayer change?

Today is marked National Day of Prayer. All across our country, the emphasis is on praying for our great country. But what does praying really do, does it even change anything?
You might ask, “If God knows everything anyway, what difference does Prayer make?”
(Matthew 6:8) “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
(Ephesians 1:11) “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
Praying does not change God. He is, He was and He always will be. God is the only steadfast and unchangable power you will ever encounter. Sometimes praying will change our circumstances but what Prayer changes most is the one praying and believing!
I think of Abraham as he was pleading for the people of Sodom (found in Genesis 18:23-33); would God really destroy this city if only 50 righteous people were found? Abraham continues to ask, how about 40? 30? All the way down to 10 – would God destroy the city if ONLY 10 righteous were found? To each of Abraham pleas, God answers, “I will not destroy it”.
Abraham finally stopped praying about it. Why, Because he got what he wanted? I don’t think so, I think Abraham finally realized the depth of God’s mercy.
Praying changed Abraham, not God. Prayer changes things. Mostly, if we look beyond our own thinking and look to God, Prayer will change us.
Today is National Day of Prayer, won’t you take a moment to pray for our country, your city, our churches and our families and see if God doesn’t change something, perhaps He will change something in you!
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright Laurieadams

DAIKY DEVO...God cares

I've heard it, you've heard it, everyone has heard it and maybe even thought it..."God doesn't care."

Often times when we don't see the writing on the wall or the purpose of our pain, we think God has left us and doesn't care. But that is the farthest thing from the truth.

We have to remember that God is not like us...we are limited, limited in what we can do and limited in our thinking. But God is limitLESS, there is nothing too big for Him.

We may live in a big world, but it's not too big for God. We may not remember every detail but God can. In fact, today's Scripture reading illustrates that...

(Luke 18:29-30) "As He approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His Disciples, saying to them, 'Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.'"

It may seem insignificant to you, but here is a fascinating point found in scripture that shows that every single detail is important to God.

(Luke 19: 32) "Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as He had told them."

There is nothing hidden from God's view.  If He can see ahead to a town, where a colt awaits to be found exactly as He said, then what is it to Him to see what lies ahead for you and me?

God does care. He cares about you and He cares about me. He even cares about the unknown colts waiting to be found.

Trust God for what you cannot see because God is the One Who holds the whole wide world in His Hands.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 9:24-10:18, Luke 19:29-48, Psalm 74:18:23

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Encounters with Christ changes people. Look at how Zaccheaus was changed in today's Scripture reading...

Most people who know anything about Zaccheaus, probably only remember that he was a wee little man. But there's more to Zaccheaus' story than his size.

The story goes that Jesus was going from town to town, teaching. When He came to the town of Jericho, there were alot of people wanting to hear Him, including Zaccheaus. The problem was that no one liked Zaccheaus because he was the tax collector. Here's where knowing that Zaccheaus was short comes into the story...

(Luke 19:3-4) "He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way."

Jesus calls out to Zaccheaus up in the tree and tells him to come down and invites Himself to his house.

It may appear that Zaccheaus was pursuing Jesus but in reality Jesus pursued him. He went out of His way to initiate a relationship with Zaccheaus. It was this personal encounter with Jesus that changed him.

Just as Jesus pursued Zaccheaus, He pursues us too. No matter what we face in life, an encounter with Jesus will change everything!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 8:1-9:23, Luke 19:1-28, Psalm 74:12-17

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DAILY DEVO...bigger isn't always better

God knows our nature so well. He also knows how much and how little we need to be victorious in life.

As I was reading about Gideon today, it occurred to me that God was fully aware of what He could do but Gideon may not have been completely convinced. Sometimes bigger isn't always better. It may be better if you are shopping for vegetables but often times it is the small things that God uses. Gideon was about to learn this lesson.

God told Gideon that he would lead him to victory but Gideon appeared to be reluctant to take God at His word. In fact, Gideon took ALL of his men with him to defeat the Midianites, all 32,000 of them .

(Judges 7:2) "The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’

Gideon clearly thought more was better; the more men who stood with him, the stronger his army but the only One he needed leading his pack was God.

God told Gideon to send men home because he had too many. Instead of using 32,000 men, God led Gideon to victory using a mere 300 men!

The lesson for us today is realizing that with God, less is often times more! It is not about what we can accomplish in our own strength but what can God do thru us in His strength.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Judges 7:1-25, Luke 18:18-43, Psalm 74:4-11

Monday, May 1, 2017

Laced with Grace...when power is lost!

It happened again! We lost our power.
The last two Saturday nights we have experienced wicked storms here in the south. So wicked that we lost all of our electrical power. Last Sunday morning when power was not restored yet, my husband decided to cancel Sunday morning worship. Shortly after he canceled, our power was restored.
This past Saturday night, it was a repeat of the week before, except this time a breaker on our street caught on fire and it seemed we would be without power for some time, in fact, all night long and into Sunday. What would we do without power again?
Have you ever considered what having no power can do in your life? No electrical power means no lights, no charging the cell phone, no Facebook, no evening news, no air conditioning on a hot night, no cooking on an electric stove, ice cream will melt in the freezer, no hair dryer to fix your hair, etc and etc.
My husband was in a dilemma, two Sundays in a row now with no power. Could he possible cancel church again? Everything around us seemed to be a mess with wild winds knocking down tree limbs and flooding the streets and now no electricity. Isn’t this exactly what happens to us when we fail to get plugged into the power of God? Everything is off balance, out of order and we feel powerless.
While many of our towns people and congregation families waited for the power company to come out to fix their lines, my husband decided to have church anyway. And the power of God was felt in a awesome way and not only that but right before church started, our lights at church came back on.
I was quickly reminded of how we are dependent upon so many things in our life to give us power. Our careers. Our bank accounts. Our positions that we hold. But when power is stripped away (and it often is) how lost we become. There is only one power that will sustain us thru any storm in life and that is the power of God.
That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
My power doesn’t come from a man, a utility company or anything else other than God, but like the electrical outlets in my house I must be plugged in to get His power.
Are you plugged in or have the storms got you sitting in the dark?
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright laurie.adams

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily DEVO...never quit the team!

There are days that we all doubt; we may doubt what God has said to us or even if we heard God at all!

I have days like that. Days that feel like there is a cloud hanging over me, and it's not from a rainstorm. Days that I feel so utterly exhausted that one more breath feels like I will just simply die.

Days like that make me wonder if quitting is a better choice?

When our kids were younger, we taught them to not be quitters. We told them if you go out for the team, even if you sit in the bench the whole season, you will be committed to the team.

I think God is that way with His kids. Quitting is not in His vocabulary, it wasn't when it came to Jesus on the cross, was it?

Are you discouraged in some way today? Is it difficult to see the finish line and you just want to give up, throw in the towel and quit?

My son who didn't get to play ball all season often would ask us, "when do I get to play?" We would tell him, "Wait son, just wait. The coach will put you in soon".

As a child of God, it is hard to wait. Abraham waited twenty-five years for his promised son. Joseph waited at least two years in prison before he was vindicated and released. David waited over ten years after being anointed by Samuel before he became king.

Surely in their time of waiting, they asked the Coach to put them in the game a few times. But even in their waiting time, God was faithful. And Is still faithful today!

God was faithful to them and He was faithful to the Israelites as we see in today's Scripture reading...

(Joshua 21:45) "Not one of all the LORD's good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled."

All of God's promises will come to pass. No good gift from Him will ever fail, He promises us good things because He loves us in a way we cannot comprehend.

If God, our Coach, has you benched right now; there is a good reason. He wants you to hang in there because when the time is right, He will send you out into the field! But you have to remain on the team and be faithful in order to get to play!

Don't quit on God! He has great things in store for you today and all the days to come. You are part of His team!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 21:43-22:34, Luke 15:11-32, Psalm 72:12-20

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God is looking for Disciples, do you qualify?

As Christians, we have no excuse for not knowing what love is. First Corinthians chapter 13 tells us in no
uncertain terms what love is and what it is not.

If the "love chapter", (as many call the 13th chapter of First Corinthians), was the job qualifications for Christ followers, what would others see?

Well, the world would know we are Disciples of Christ by our patience. They would recognize that we are Christians by our contentment, our modesty and our humility. They could spot us in a crowd because we aren't rude and we seek the best for all people. We don't get angry easily and we refuse to keep score of those who do us wrong. Our hope and perseverance would be noticed by all.

These are all attributes that should mark us as Disciples of Christ. God isn't looking for "perfect" Followers, after-all most of the first twelve had some serious issues.

However, God is looking for some people who will be obedient and who will be willing to give their all for Him.

(Luke 14:33) "In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples."

Today, God is taking applications to fill some Disciple roles; how well would you qualify?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 17:1-19:16, Luke 14:16-35, Psalm 71:22-24

Sunday, April 23, 2017

DAILY DEVO...when everything is chaotic around you.

I don't usually do a DEVO on the weekend but since our power was out this morning and we were not able to have church, I wanted to share what God woke me up with:

TODAY'S DAILY...

What do you think of if I say the word "chaos"? My mind goes to a vision I have when I walked into my young child's bedroom and horror gripped my face to see every toy, every piece of clothing strewn about the room!

Maybe your chaos isn't in a bedroom, but chaos is strewn all about in your life! The kind of chaos that makes no sense, life is out of control, nothing is working and all you feel is despair and fear.

In the midst of such chaos in our life, we feel powerless. Much like this morning when we had no electrical power, many of us were stuck. It was dark. And we were limited as to what we could accomplish.

The disciples who were in the boat with Jesus experienced this kind of fear. Once the storm hit, everything got chaotic for them...

(Mark 4:37, 38) "A furious storm came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Let's look at this for a minute: a horrific storm has hit, the disciples are all panicky about it and Jesus is in the back sleeping!!!

How could He sleep at a time like this? Because He is at peace even when the world around Him is in chaos.

What happens next is amazing...

(Mark 4:39) "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."

Three words I want to bring to your attention ... HE. GOT. UP. Jesus simply got up. What is your reaction when someone wakes you out of a deep sleep? Probably not a calm one. But here we see that Jesus just gets up and takes care of it. There is no ceremony, no need to gather His energies: He doesn’t even need to pray; He simply calms the storm.

What chaotic storm are you facing? Does it seem like your power has been cut off? Trust me, even though the storm is raging around you, God is not shocked by it and He has complete control. If you place your trust in Him, He will GET UP and be your calm in the storm!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

Friday, April 21, 2017

DAILY DEVO...peace brings division

Sometimes, while reading the Bible, we come to passages that we sit up and say "what?!?" Today's Scripture reading is one of those times...

(Luke 12:51) "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."

Many of you are thinking, "what happened to goodwill towards all men?" Didn't Jesus come to bring peace to the world?

Yes, He did do that BUT the peace that He brings, He is telling His disciples, will cause division. Christianity will be faced with resistance.

All we have to do is look back over time and we will clearly see that the message of Christ divides: the Jews and Christians were divided. Families are divided. And because of your own testimony; believers and unbelievers are divided.

There is a cost to follow Christ. Our sin cost Jesus His life and our commitment to follow Him will cost us something too.

There is a song that we sing sometimes that says this:

“Nothing can bring me peace with God, nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

Jesus promised, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29).

Following Christ may cost you everything! However, if you want the peace of God, expect some opposition. Expect to pay a price.

BLESSINGS.  Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING:Joshua 8-9, Luke 12:49-59, Psalm 70

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 10:1-11:15, Luke 13:1-21, Psalm 71:1-6

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Joshua 11:16-13:33, Luke 13:22-35, Psalm 71:7-16

Have you ever felt lost?

Have you ever been lost? I have and it is a very scary feeling. I remember a time that my husband and I took a trip to Orlando and while at a very packed theme park, we became separated. I remember feeling a little panicked but then I remembered what my husband has always told me, “just be still and you will be found.”
What a comfort it is to me to know that no matter where I go, I am never alone and when I feel lost, all I have to do is be still and God will find me!
There have been times in my life, even though I am surrounded by family and friends, that I have felt so alone and lost.  Sometimes even the closest of closest friends can’t find me where I’m at. They mean well but they just don’t understand what I’m going through or as hard as they try, they don’t hear what I am saying. But God does. God even hears those unspoken fears that we keep inside.
I’ve been reading about Joshua in my daily Scripture reading and I love the strength and courage that Joshua had. In my moments of feeling lost from everyone around me, I can stand upon the words that God spoke to Joshua…
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
There is NOTHING that God does not know or that He wouldn’t do for us. I have found that when circumstances surround me that leave me feeling “separated” from the world, meditating upon His Word gives me a sense of hope. It strengthens me and It causes me to stand courageously against the vileness of the enemy.
My prayer for you today is the same prayer that David had…
“Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God Who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
If you feel lost today, just be still and God WILL find you!
BLESSINGS. Laurie

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DAILY DEVO... today is the day, tomorrow may not come!

Sometimes when I think about what needs to be done in a day, I get overwhelmed. It's easy to put off today what we can possibly get away with doing tomorrow.

I'm alittle bit OCD, so putting things off usually stresses me out. My husband is a "wait 'til the last minute" kind of guy while I make "lists for my to-do lists." (I know ...alittle over the top) The fact that my husband can wait until the last minute stresses me out even more!

Here is a truth to ponder: God gave each of us the same 24 hour span to accomplish things. What I do with my 24 hour allotment may differ from what you do with your 24 hours. However, when we continually put off today what God needs us to do, we are not being good stewards of the time that He has given us.

I am becoming more and more aware of how little time I have left on this earth. When I think about all the goals and ministries that I want to accomplish, I think I better hurry up before my time runs out.

It is so easy to intend to do great things but actually pushing up our sleeves and getting the job done sometimes doesn't ever come.

(Luke 12:43) "It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns."

Have you ever considered that today may be the last opportunity to do that ONE thing? Share Christ with that one person, serve the needy, help the poor, sing a solo in church, on and on.

Don't wait for tomorrow to do what God needs you to do today, some tomorrows never come back around. And how good it will be for God to find us caught up on our to-do lists.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING...Joshua 5:13-7:26, Luke 12:41-48, Psalm 69:29-36

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TODAY'S DAILY...purpose not perfection

Have you ever thought that God couldn't use you? To be honest, there have been times that I have thought that someone else could be better for the job than me.

There are those people that no matter what, they have it all together. They are patient with their children, calm when it comes to job related deadlines and can juggle the world at their fingertips. They can come right to Bible Study from work; with kids in hand, Bible Study homework done, and a smile on their face!

Often times I think when God has work assignments to hand out, the "good, tidy, have-it-all together" one  will be picked over me. But that's not exactly how God works.

We see this very thing in today's Scripture reading about Rahab. Rahab was a woman of the city, a prostitute, who was living within the city of Jericho. The people of Jericho were not following God, so God sent the Israelites to conquer the city. Joshua, the Israelite leader, sent two of his men into the city to spy and they found themselves at the door of Rahab...

(Joshua 1:6) "But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof."

Sometimes the best woman (or man) for the job that God has doesn’t mean the holiest or the one who seems better.

I'm not sure why God chose someone like Rahab to help Him. Perhaps it is because He saw something that no other could see. Instead of looking at the outside; He saw her tender heart and her ability. He knew He could trust her.

Isn't that just like God? When He saw Rahab, He didn't see her past but He saw her potential!

God does the same for you and me!
Sometimes He doesn't choose the perfect person for the job...but He chooses the right one!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 34-Joshua 2, Luke 12:1-15, Psalm 69:10-17

Friday, April 14, 2017

Daily DEVO...blessings are new every day!

So many times I have heard it quoted and even quoted it myself: "This is the day the Lord has made and I will  rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 128:24)

Thinking about that scripture and what we read in our daily scripture reading today brings me to the question that many people have asked: "Where is God?"

I don't want to be like some who miss out on the answer; I don't want to miss out on all the blessings that God has right in front of me. If you are waiting for a shiny explosion in the sky to alert you of God and His blessings, you might miss out.

(Psalm 68:19) "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation."

Today's Scripture reading in Psalms tells us that God's goodness (His blessings) are daily! He never leaves us, He is always near to us even when we can't see Him.

Our blessings aren't always filled with bling and pizzaz, some of the best blessings are held in a soft spoken word or a hug or just smelling the fresh air that God has given us.

God's Word today indicates that the blessings of God, that only He can give to us daily, are so great that it probably is impossible to take it all in.

Take a minute to look around, see all that God has blessed you with today and simply rejoice and be glad IN it!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Luke 10:21-37, Psalm 68:15-19

SATURDAY'S  SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 29-30, Luke 10:38-11:23, Psalm 68:20-27

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 31:1-32:22, Luke 11:24-36, Psalm 68:28-35

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Laced with Grace...growing in Grace

This week we had to cut our tree down in the backyard. I’m not sure when or how, but at some time our tree became diseased and stopped growing. As the men were cutting it down, I came to realize something: the tree may have stopped growing but the roots were still intact!
Realizing this about the tree made me think about my own spiritual growth. I know I have deep rooted faith but how well am I growing in grace?
Before you or I can answer that question, we must understand what it means to grow in grace. In order to grow in grace, we must increase our Christ-likeness. Many people have roots of Christ; they know OF Him but their growth is somehow stunted because they don’t nurture what they know of.
Growing in Christ-likeness is an ongoing process. 
One way to check your growth in grace is to take an honest look back over your past years trials and hurts. How have you reacted to them – with mercy towards others or with anger and bitterness? Have you learned to be more kind and more patient? Have you learned to be more soft spoken as you encountered those difficult people in your life?
The saying goes, “if you aren’t growing, you are dying”. There is nothing more disheartening to God than to see one of His children have His roots but make choices that hinder steady, strong growth.
Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians exactly what needs to be removed In our lives in order to grow in the grace of Christ:
Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
Jesus makes it very clear that holding onto such things will cause us undue deadly weight that can hinder our spiritual growth. Without continual growth in our spirit, we will just end up like the tree in my backyard; nothing but dead weight with our roots still intact.
Consider with me today the following question…”are you growing or dying?”
BLESSINGS. Laurie

DAILY DEVO...Who's your Daddy?

There once was a time when hearing that God was a "Father to the fatherless" didn't mean much to me. After all, what did I know about fathers?

I was just an infant when my father chose to leave. The next 40 years was filled with disappointments and misgivings of what fatherhood really looked like.

I don't share that part of my life to conger up any sympathy, rather, I share that today to emphasize that what we read in today's Scripture reading is true and I'm a testimony to back it up...

(Psalm 68:5-6) "A Father to the fatherless, a Defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."

God is very relational. He is the Father to those who have none. He is the protector of the widow. He places those without a home into families. He cares about what we are in need of.

As a young girl, I learned that I was fatherless but it didn't take me long to understand that I had the best Daddy in the world! While other girls dads were strong, my Daddy caused the Red Sea to part. While other dads were good providers, my Daddy caused one boys sack lunch to feed 5,000! While your dad may have caught a bullet for you, my Daddy took 3 nails for every single person in the universe.

Next time you think that you are all alone in the world, whether you are without a father or a home or a spouse, you are never alone. My Daddy is watching over you and He always keeps His promises!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 23:9-25:19, Luke 9:43-62, Psalm 68:1-6

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...be grateful for the One Who is there

Have you ever helped someone out of a jam and later on it appeared they didn't even remember all you did for them?

I have. And if I could be transparent for a moment; when someone is ungrateful for something that I sacrifice for them, I tend to not want to do it again.

I'm so grateful that God is not like that! Even when we don't recognize His Hand, He keeps doing amazing things for us.

In today's Scripture reading, we see the warning that God gives the Israelites before they entered the Promise land...

(Deuteronomy 8:18) "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."

You must remember what God brought the Israelites through; 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, dependent upon God for every meal in which He provided manna every day for them.

God is warning them, before they go into the land of milk and honey, to remember what it was like to be hungry and Who provided for them.

Often times when things are going well; (the bank account is full, food is plenty, health is good, job is prospering), we tend to become self sufficient and put God on the back shelf.

Just as God led the Israelites, He is leading us. If you are in a time of prosperity right now, good for you! If you are struggling and down on your luck right now, good is coming to you!

Either way, remember how faithful God has been to you and never take His blessings for granted.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 8-9, Luke 7:18-35, Psalm 64:6-10

Monday, April 3, 2017

DAILY DEVO... hide and seek

God is not a God Who makes Himself hard to find. He doesn't try to hide Himself from us or keep Himself at a distance so that we can't know Him.

In fact, in today's Scripture reading we see that if we seek Him, He will be found...

(Deuteronomy 4:29) "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

I'm reminded today of the times when my husband and I would play hide and seek with our young children. We lived in a house that had great hiding places, I remember our son, Jeremy would always hide with his father while I counted in another room...

"One, two, three....TEN, here I come ready or not!"

After looking here and there, I would find myself going to the same closet that Jeremy always hid in with his father. As part of the game of "finding" Jeremy, I would stand outside the closet door...

"I wish I knew where Jeremy was. If I could find Jeremy, he could have a piece of this candy."

(From the closet in a muffled voice) "Here I am!"

It worked every time!

The game of hide or seek is fun to play but the fun isn't in hiding, the fun is to be found!

When I would open the closet door, Jeremy would laugh and jump up and down...

"You found us!"

When we seek God, we have a 100% chance of finding Him. He is never far away or hid so well that He cannot be found. Like my son, when we call out for God He will say...

"Here I am".

Seek God with all your heart and soul, He is waiting to be found.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Deuteronomy 4:15-5:22, Luke 6:36-49, Psalm 63:6-11

Friday, March 31, 2017

LACED WITH GRACE...stand out, don't just fit in

This weekend I will be taking our youth group to participate in this years state competition for Fine Arts. It is one of the moments that as a youth pastor makes me proud. Obviously, I am proud that these young people are using the gifts and talents that God has blessed them with for His glory but more than that, I am proud to see these young people taking a stand instead of trying to fit in.
We live in such a time that youth (and adults) seem to do whatever it takes to “fit in”. From finding the right look, to hanging with the right crowd to keeping up with the “Jones”. But it has been my experience that whenever we try to keep up appearances, we usually trade peace with anxiety, acceptance for disappointment and contentment for worry.
For the Christian youth (and adults), the focus of life should not be on “fitting in” but rather on “standing out”. In order to accomplish that we all need to make a choice…the path that we choose will determine which side of the road we travel.
The best example of those who took the right road to travel were the twelve disciples…they chose to stand out from the rest. Think about these guys; they were just ordinary men, living the norm up until they were asked to follow Jesus. The difference between them and all the others that were just trying to “fit in” came down to their determination to follow Christ. No doubt, this decision did not win them the popular vote but they followed their heart in despite of that.
The things you have heard from me among many witnesses. Commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
Despite the obstacles, fear and challenges that these men endured, following Christ brought them to a place of peace and hope in which they were able to turn around and teach to others…instead of fitting in, they stood out for Christ.
You might ask, how are these young people “standing out” as they sing or play an instrument at a Fine Arts competition? There are many other things they could be doing on a Friday night – they could be at a party or hanging with the wrong crowd but each of these young Christians made a choice; they chose to not be like the others, instead, to follow Christ.
May the Lord bless you and me as we “stand out” for Him.
BLESSINGS. Laurie
@copyright /laurie adams

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DAILY DEVO...keep your promises

Have you ever made a vow to someone? Have you ever not kept your vow?

So many times I think we easily make promises (vows) that we either can't keep or we choose not to keep.

In today's Scripture reading in Numbers, we read that God loves vows...

(Numbers 30:2) "If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth."

There are many examples of people making vows in the Bible, and because of their commitment God honored them. People like Jacob (Genesis 28), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:11) and Solomon (Proverbs 7:14).

There is power in a vow! And if making a vow is serious, then fulfill your part so you can not only keep your word but experience favor with God.

No one likes someone who acts wishy washy, especially God. Make your "Yes" a yes and your "no" a no. If you make a vow, especially to God, do everything you can to honor your word. And watch God honor you.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 29:12-30:16, Luke 3, Psalm 60:1-5

Friday, March 24, 2017

DAILY DEVO...talking donkeys in your life

Sometimes the very thing that stands in your way and frustrates you to no end could be the very thing that saves you from a disaster happening.

In today's Scripture reading in Numbers, this is the very thing that happened to Balaam.

Balaam was enroute, on his donkey, to do something that was against the will of God. On the way, an angel appeared, blocking the way but Balaam did not see it. But his donkey did.

The donkey refused to go past the angel which caused Balaam to get mad at the donkey. While Balaam chewed the donkey out, the craziest thing happened...God opened the mouth of the donkey and caused the donkey to talk back to Balaam!

Meanwhile, the angel still stood in their path...

(Numbers 22:31) "Then the Lord opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing there."

Balaam fell flat on his face, now he was ready to listen to the Lord. Now he was willing to pay attention to the leading of the Lord.

How many times have roadblocks stood in your way? Perhaps those things that stand in our way are nothing but donkeys in our life, trying to keep us from harm.

Allow God to show you that some detours in your life are for your own good. And if you have a donkey talking back to you, you might stand up and take notice. It might see the angels in front of you that you don't see.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 22:21-23:30, Luke 1:26-56, Psalm 57

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 24-25, Luke 1:56-2:20, Psalm 58

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 26:1-27:11, Luke 2:21-28, Psalm 59:1-8

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO...waiting time is not wasted time

Even in His resurrection, Jesus showed humility and love. We see that in today's Scripture reading in the book of Mark...

(Mark 16:8) "When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had driven seven demons."

Some commentaries say that Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene first to show His attention for the weak. I'm not saying that women are weak, but, in the culture of that particular time, women were not considered to be in a high status.

Mary Magdalene may not have been one to have much prestigious power but she was the one who remained at the tomb. Look at what happened when Mary arrived at the tomb and found it empty...

(Mark 16:10) "She went and told those who had been with Him and who were mourning and weeping."

(Mark 16:11) "When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen Him, they did not believe it."

Jesus appeared to Mary because she was there at the tomb waiting on Him. No one else was. And when the others heard the news of the empty tomb, they were doubtful, perhaps even afraid.

When we wait upon the Lord, there should be no fear or doubt. Even though the disciples were with Jesus all through His days of ministry, they could not wait on Him to show Himself again. So that left Mary.

She waited alone. She sought Him in the dark, in the early dawn, she cried, worshipped and she waited on God.

The question I have to ask today is this: when everyone else turns their back on you, on God - will you remain? Will you wait for God or will you turn in fear and go your own way.

I pray that in your waiting period that God will reveal Himself to you as He did on that Resurrection morning to Mary Magdalene. Waiting time is never wasted time.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 19-20, Mark 16, Psalm 16:1-7

Friday, March 17, 2017

DAILY DEVO...meekness is not weakness

TODAY'S DAILY...

Meekness is not weakness. Perhaps we get the two mixed up from time to time. But there is a difference: a weak person can't do anything while a meek  (a humble) person can do something but they choose not to.

In today's Scripture reading in the book of Numbers, we read that Moses was the meekest man on earth. At first, I thought, Moses? But then I thought about how he led a multitude of people and how he basically was the go-between between God, the Israelites and king Pharaoh. Surely not a small task to be done.

I know people who obtain alittle fame, some fortune, even a new title and it ALL goes to their head, but not Moses. Rather than making him arrogant and prideful, Moses was humble.

(Numbers 12:3) "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth."

Throughout the Bible, we see how true encounters with God never puffed people up, rather, it brought them to their knees.

We all have a choice to make: we can face our challenges and approach God with weakness or meekness. Which one will it be?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 12-13, Mark 13:9-37, Psalm 51:10-19

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 14, Mark 14:1-31, Psalm 52

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 15, Mark 14:32-72, Psalm 53

God's Word is a light unto our path!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

DAILY DEVO...don't cheat Caesar OR God!

(Mark 12:17) "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

It is easy to gripe and complain about paying taxes, but as Christians, we must hear what Jesus is saying.

In today's Scripture reading, Jesus was telling those listening to render to Caesar the things that were Caesars, meaning that the people were to pay taxes to the Roman government, which was the political authority at that time.

If you read the scriptures carefully, you will see that the emphasis is not about Jesus putting His approval on paying taxes, rather, the emphasis is on the coin.

When Jesus took the denarius (the coin), after inspecting it, He said...

"Whose image is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. (Mark 12:15)

Caesar minted coins that had his image stamped on them and expected some of them back. Jesus was simply making a distinction between two kingdoms. Caesar at the time held the power of the kingdom of the world but God held (and still holds) the Kingdom to come.

Christians today are part of both kingdoms (while still on earth). Therefore, if our Government demands money, we must obey. At the same time, whatever God demands, we must also obey.

Give to Caesar (IRS) his part and give God His. Anything less is cheating God because it ALL belongs to Him anyway.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 7:48-8:4, Mark 12:1-27, Psalm 50:1-15

Monday, March 13, 2017

DAILY DEVO...before you pray, forgive!

Today's scripture reading found in the book of Mark directs our attention to prayer and pride. One doesn't go with the other...

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mark 11:24-25).

Jesus is speaking to His disciples and telling them that one of the greatest hindrances to their faith in God is pride. Pride will keep unforgiveness in the heart, and unforgiveness will put distance between prayers and God.

At times, we may feel justified when we demand others to forgive us but when it comes to extending the same kind of forgiveness to others, it isn't as easy. Whether we do it subtly or openly, we tend to have a hard time forgiving those who bring offense to us. In fact, sometimes it makes us feel good to keep our enemies at a distance or make them come crawling on their knees for forgiveness.

But Jesus says that that is a great mountain in our life that needs to be removed, it is the very thing that is  blocking the flow of God to our faith.

When we stand (or sit or lay prostate) and pray; the unforgiveness that we harbor in our hearts interrupts the flow of our prayers, it stands between us and our faith.

The one thing that will block the move of God towards people, churches and even nations is pride and unforgiveness.

"Lord, help us to be a nation that forgives, help our churches be filled with people who lay down their pride and pray with a forgiving heart."

"Lord, help ME to forgive others as You forgive me so that my faith will be strong in You and all of my prayers will be received with a clean heart." AMEN

Friends, I not only hope that you prayed that prayer with me but I also pray that you not only receive forgiveness today but that you extend it. Forgiveness will change how you pray.

BLESSINGS.Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Numbers 6:22-7:47, Mark 11, Psalm 49:10-20.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

DAILY DEVO...be still and know He is God

In today's scripture reading in the book of Psalms, we come to one of my favorite verses...

(Psalm 46:10) "Be still, and know that I am God".

“When I think of being still, I realize that for most of us, it is difficult to do. It goes all the way back to when we were young. I remember not being still and my Mom would tell me that I had "ants in my pants".

The word "still" in this passage has nothing to do with jumping ants, rather, it means to "let go" or "release". If we want to be still before the Lord, we must learn to submit ourselves, willingly to Him.

I find so much comfort in this Psalm, knowing that no matter what comes my way, God is the One thing that stays constant. He never moves. He never changes.

I willingly let go of all those things that are out of my control and release them into the Hands of God. When this happens, I can truly be still (have peace) because God said He would take care of it.

Take a minute to slow down, be still in the middle of your chaos and focus on what this Psalm is offering...

Peace...be still...know that He is God!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 27, Mark 8, Psalm 46.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Laced with Grace...do you long for God?

Today I shared the following devotion over at Www.lacedwithgrace.com:

Many times in my life I have longed for something. When I was a young child, I longed to be 16 years old so I could drive. Once I reached that goal (age), it didn’t seem to satisfy me because it wasn’t too long before I longed to be 18.  The point being, that many of us just are not satisfied with where we are at the moment. We all want to be somewhere else, be a different age, look a certain way or maybe even be someone else.
Longing for something means that we are either not satisfied or we are immensely missing something or someone. Have you ever longed to see someone? Perhaps time has passed by and you haven’t seen someone in a long time or a loved one has gone to heaven and you long to see them once again. When my son was in the Air Force and he served for a year overseas, I remember the anticipation that filled my every being while we waited at the airport for him to come walking out of that exit door. I literally stood on my tiptoes, scaling over every head of each person who came walking off of that plane. Looking and looking until I finally saw the top of the head of my beloved son. Such a longing to see him, to hug him and know that he was safe.
The Psalmist exposes his heart with such a longing for the Lord in Psalm 63:1
“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you. my body longs for you…”
Here, the Psalmist does not ask God for anything; he doesn’t ask for better health for himself or his family, he doesn’t ask for a raise at work, or even plead with God for a happier marriage. Instead he focuses on his relationship with God, “earnestly” seeking Him to fill every fiber of his being with the things of the Lord.
This is the kind of longing that I desire. Much like looking for my son in that crowded airport, I want to be always searching for the Lord, with such great anticipation that nothing (and no one else) will matter. Today, I want to ask you as you read this: Do you long for God’s presence as though it were the very thing sustaining you? When is the last time you cried out like the Psalmist for God?
Pray this with me: “Dear Lord, You are my God and I desire to seek You like never before. Give me a thirst that cannot be satisfied, give me a longing to see Your face like never before. When I am dry, fill me up. When I am weak, give me strength. When I am lost, guide my steps. You, My Lord are all I need. I long for You today and all the days to come. AMEN “
 BLESSINGS, Laurie
@copyright laurieadamsdaily2017

DAILY DEVO...when actions speak louder than words

Today's scripture reading in the book of Mark reminds me of the old saying that we've heard a million times, "Actions speak louder than words.”

No truer words than this. But when we apply this saying to our walk with God,  how do we measure up?

In Mark chapter 7, the Pharisees and the leaders of the law quickly criticized the disciples for not obeying the law by eating with unclean hands. But Jesus pointed out what hypocrites they were; honoring Him with their lips but not from their heart.


(Mark 7:6) He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'"

It is easy to say that you love someone, but if you had never spent time with them or shown affection to them, it would be difficult for such love to grow. That's why in a romantic relationship it is called courting, it's the stage where you are getting to know one another.

In the same way, it isn't enough to just say that you love God. Many people can memorize His words without ever knowing Him. We must hide His Holy Word in our hearts! This is the place that His Holy Spirit will spill out from.

We need to get to know God, maybe even court Him!

When we give our heart over to God, it is only a matter of time that what is in our heart will spew out of our mouth.

May we live in such a way that God would never say to us, "(insert your name here), honored Me with their lips, but their heart was far from Me."

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 26, Mark 7, Psalm 45:13-17

Monday, March 6, 2017

DAILY DEVO...get some rest!

Recently after church service, someone said good bye to me by saying "get some rest". I'm not sure if they told me that because I looked tired or because they knew we had been really busy lately. Either way, rest is good for us.

Rest is more than just taking a Sunday afternoon nap, rest can rejuvenate us in body, mind and spirit and help alleviate burnout. Rest can help us focus or become more re-focused.

Even Jesus recognized that ministry can be draining and that taking a period of rest will cause us to stay more focused on what is important...

(Mark 6:30-32) "The apostles returned to Jesus and told Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves."

Prior to this, we see that Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach, heal and drive demons out. Sounds like a pretty busy schedule!

When they return to Jesus, they are eager to tell Him all about it. No doubt their adrenaline was running high. I'm the same way after I teach a class or speak at a conference; my mind is running a million miles an hour and "rest" is the LAST thing on my mind.

But here we see the disciples shift their focus from being about Jesus to being about what they did and what they said.

Jesus understood that a rest period would help turn their focus of what they did back to why they were doing what they were doing.

Sometimes I think we get so busy in our life (our ministries too) that our focus gets blurry. Along the way we lose sight of why we are doing what we do and instead of having purpose, we just go thru the motions or we simply put on display what "we" accomplished, rather than giving God the honor due Him.

It's in these moments that a long overdue rest may be needed. Keep in mind that rests are not considered finality. The disciples didn't use rest times as quitting times. Just because you are on a rest does not mean God is done with you.

Don't quit! Once you get revived, renewed, recharged - get back in the there and watch how much more strength, energy and focus you will have to accomplish what God needs you to accomplish, making it about Him and not you!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 25, Mark 6:30-56, Psalm 45:6-12

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Daily DEVO...desperate enough to touch Jesus

Desperate people do desperate things in desperate times. Today's scripture reading shows us that.

Here, we find a very desperate woman. A woman who traveled a long way because of her faith knew if she could just touch the One Who heals.

I've read in different study Bibles that women who were considered unclean were not allowed to touch anyone. And here is a woman, who because of an unexplained reason has been bleeding for 12 long years and she has a plan to touch THE Son of God!

That's gutsy! But look at her options:

(Mark 5:26) "spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse."

How many people have you known that have been in this exact place, maybe it has been you. Doctor visit after doctor visit, prescriptions one after another but still no answers. No change. No hope.

When I think about this woman, I don't see what others might see. I don't see a woman with an issue of blood, instead I see a woman of great faith!

Despite what she had been told, she believed that she could be healed. She believed it so much that she knew if she could just touch Him, it would happen.

Most of us won't believe something until we "see" it. See it face to face. Here is a woman who doesn't need to see Jesus face to face or meet Him while all the attention is on her; instead she stretches her hand out in the busy crowd and says, "if I could just touch the hem of His robe, I will be healed." (Mark 5:28)

When is the last time you felt desperate; desperate enough to touch Jesus? Sometimes it takes guts but mostly it just takes faith!

BLESSINGS . Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 29, Mark 5, Psalm 42-43.

Friday, February 24, 2017

DAILY DEVO... pray like you believe it!

As I read the book of Psalms, I have to admit I wish I could have the boldness and confidence that David had as he wrote about his prayers to God.

(Psalm 38:15) "Lord, I wait for You; You will answer, Lord my God."

The book of Psalms is full of prayers to God much like this one. The difference between the words of David and my words when I pray seem to be the level of confidence.

In today's Psalm reading, David isn't wondering IF or WHEN God will answer him, David confidently says he will wait for God's answer.

What do your prayers sound like? Do you have the hope and confidence that David had?

I urge you today to seek God diligently and place your trust in Him for all that you need; He is our hope, He has the answer. Maybe the only thing keeping us from His answer is simply... our disbelief.

Pray like you believe it!

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 11-12, Mark 1:1-28, Psalm 38

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 13, Mark 1:29-39, Psalm 39

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 14, Mark 1:40-2:12, Psalm 40:1-8

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO... curveballs are for the Coach to worry about

Curve balls in the game of baseball is similar to experiencing curveballs in life: you never know which way it will go.

Over the years, I have discovered that life is nothing but a series of curve balls. It is almost impossible to dodge (escape) them. What may start out as something good can quickly take a turn and spin out of control. However, as a Christian, I have learned that the series of obstacles and challenges in life are merely just another opportunity for me to place my trust in the Lord.

If you are a person of order, like myself, you probably like to know what your next step looks like. I think God gets a good laugh at me sometimes when I'm trying to line up all of my ducks in a row. After all, if I could pre determine every step of my life, why would I need God?

(Psalm 37:23) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.”

God orders our steps, not only that but God delights to see us walk in them. He knows all about the curve balls in our life but He wants us to trust Him enough to stay in the game. We don't have to know every play of the game, we just need to trust the wisdom and direction of our Coach. Even on those days that we stumble, God (The Coach) will be at our side telling us which way to go. He knows exactly where our next step will take us, so why worry about it?

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 7:22-8:36, Matthew 27:51-66, Psalm 37:7-26

Monday, February 20, 2017

DAILY DEVO... the price of betrayal

Today's scripture reading is full of betrayal, remorse and death...

(Matthew 27:3-5) "When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 'I have sinned,' he said, 'for I have betrayed innocent blood.' 'What is that to us?' they replied. 'That’s your responsibility.' So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

The money that passed into the hands of Judas for selling Jesus out was so tainted. Betrayal certainly had a price, but the price Judas paid was so much more than a few silver coins. Betrayal cost Judas his life.

I wonder, what is Jesus worth to you?

Some may question how Judas could do what he did, but the way I see it, even though Judas sat and dined with Jesus numerous times he just didn't get Jesus.

Judas totally missed the whole point of why Jesus had come, He came to die so sinners like Judas could live! The agony and defeat of what Judas did overshadowed the reality that even death could not hold Jesus down.

Sometimes, you and I are like Judas. We just cannot let the past sins of our heart go; they hold us captive and keep us from living completely for God. We actually sell Jesus out (like Judas did) every time that we hold onto the very things that Jesus already has forgiven us for.

Jesus died on the cross so that you and I can live freely. He paid the price, there is no more debt to pay. No more regret, no more remorse, no more looking back once we receive Gods forgiveness.

So why in the world would Judas choose to die a traitor instead of accepting Jesus forgiveness? I don't know, I suppose it's the same way how you and I trade a Truth for a lie. We all have our silver coins, but none of us have to cash them in like Judas did.

Yes we are all sinners, but because of Jesus, none of us have to live (or die) as one.

BLESSINGS. Laurie

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 4:1-5:13, Matthew 26:69-27:26, Psalm 36:7-12.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Laced with Grace...lessons from Moses

Since the first of the year, I have been on a quest to read thru the Bible this year. I have just finished the book of Exodus, it is here that I have found a new interest in the story of Moses. We all are familiar of the childhood Bible stories of Moses going up against Pharoah and even about Moses going up to the mountain to write the tablets of commandments, but there is so much more to Moses than all of that.
Moses was indeed the first great Israelite Prophet but he was also one of the greatest leaders, I think, in all history. Moses wasn’t always considered great though. Before God called him out, Moses was just a slave. Being  born into slavery, Moses had his obstacles to overcome. For one he had a stuttering issue and for another he had a temper. But despite  all of that, God saw fit to use Moses and he became one of the most powerful rulers who led his people out of oppression into freedom.
I would like to share with you today 5 things that God showed me this week that can help us in our quest of becoming a stronger Christian and a more grounded leader:
TAKE A STAND (Exodus 3:7-10)
Here we see that Moses, the one saved son during the time that Pharoah demanded all sons to be killed found himself to be living at the palace. He may have been guarded his first few years but when he became an age of understanding and witnessed for himself the mistreatment of his fellow Israelites, he knew that not all was right with the world. Moses had a choice to make – would he stand or would he bow. There are too many people in the world who are bowing – God needs us to take a stand and be counted.
KNOW WHEN TO TAKE A RISK (Exodus 32:1-14)
Moses listened to God. He also obeyed God’s Word, but Moses also challenged God at critical moments. Take the moment he was on top of Mount Sinai, God expresses His anger towards the Israelites for building the golden calf and God declares that He will destroy them for their disobedience. However, Moses takes a leap of faith and urges God to reconsider for he knows that the people can repent and change. I say that took a lot of courage for Moses to take such a risk. In the end, God agrees with him and the people are saved. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to debate with God but I do think that if Christians of today took more risks, perhaps if they came out of their comfort zone more people could be saved.
MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE (Exodus 19:24,25)
Moses was on Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments. Instead of proclaiming it from the top of the mountain he did something that we don’t see much these days from leaders. He went to the bottom of the mountain, where the people were and walked among them, proclaiming and teaching them the new laws. Instead of just telling them, Moses got on their level and showed them. There is no better lesson for any leader to learn than this – don’t just tell people about God, show them. 
NEVER COAST (Hebrews 3:5)
When I think about the long road that Moses went on, it lasted for years. Think about it – 40 years as they wandered in the desert and that was just a glimpse of the years that Moses labored hard. If anyone deserved a rest, it was Moses! But he remained focused and he never stopped working or caring about the people. Sometimes I think we get frustrated too easily in our ministries and the first onset of trouble or turbulence, we abandon ship. God blesses faithfulness and hard work and steadfastness. Just look at Moses! Ministry is definitely not for the faint and  lighthearted.
SPEAK TO THE HEART (Exodus 35:21)
Most of us think that the way to motivate people is thru the pocketbook. The more we give monetarily, the more they pay attention. That may work in politics but Moses showed us that the job can get done when people are moved from their heart. The Bible tells us that when the Tabernacle was built, everyone gave “as their heart so moved them.” Speaking to the heart of people may be challenging and uncomfortable but when we get to the heart of the matter, we get to the core of each persons heartbeat (what they are passionate about). God speaks to our heart, so why would we lead any differently?
I don’t know if any of these points of leadership resonate with your or your ministry but I implore you, if you haven’t taken a look in awhile, check out the life of Moses. See if you can’t glean a few leadership tips from him and along the way maybe God will guide you as you lead a few people out of their oppression and into God’s freedom.
 “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14)
BLESSINGS. Laurie
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