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