Thursday, April 28, 2016

DAILY DEVO...God will fight your battle

I often get frustrated with myself when I can't figure out what I need to do next. I was praying about a certain situation that I'm facing right now, asking or should I say, TELLING God, "I don't know what to do!"

And then I recalled the story of King Jehoshaphat...

 “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."  (2 Chronicles 20:12)
The people of Judah were about to be invaded by a vast army but they didn't  know what to do or how they could battle against them. In response, Jehoshaphat gathers the people together to seek the Lord. While the situation looks grim and they don’t know what to do, they choose to seek God rather than sit around and worry.

The Spirit of the Lord tells them the battle is the Lord’s and they don’t need to fight, but rather to stand firm and watch God save them from their attackers! 

"This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15)

Instead of relying on God, how often do we try to figure things out on our own? God reminded me thru His Word today that He is the One fighting for me and He is in control. 

The same God who went before King Jehoshaphat and his people will go before you. The battle is not yours, but God's. Let Him fight it for you. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DAILY DEVO...go the extra mile

used to love watching a show on television called "Undercover Boss". If you haven't seen it, the whole show follows a top corporate person who disguises themselves as a new employee and goes to work at different levels in their own company to see how things are going with the employees and customers.
Sometimes while undercover, they would unravel some bad management techniques and corporate rules being broken. While on the other hand, the undercover sting often revealed some amazing workers who were going the extra mile for the company.
If you have ever been on the receiving end of "bad service", perhaps in a restaurant, it would be easy to spot "good service" then. My favorite part of the show "Undercover Boss" was at the end of the show when the undercover corporate leader revealed themselves and rewarded those who went above and beyond. 
I believe that any corporation, organization, or ministry, where the extra mile service is the heartbeat of what they do, nothing but good things can happen. The rewards may be too many to count.
"Whoever forces you to go one mile, offer to go two." (Matthew 5:41)
Jesus taught the people in Rome this idea of "going the extra mile". The soldiers could ask any of the civilians to carry their armor for a mile at any time they wanted to. The people grew to resent this law until Jesus taught them to go "the extra mile". Instead of one mile, carry the armor two miles Jesus told them.
Isn't that what following Christ is about...going the extra mile? Serving others, even if we don't feel like it.
Wouldn't it be interesting to have our own "Undercover Boss" show. God would play the role of the Undercover Boss and you and I were the workers being watched secretly. What would be revealed about the service we give to others? 
In case you didn't know, God IS the boss and He IS watching. May we go the extra mile for all those we come in contact with, God has a great reward waiting for those who do!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DAILY DEVO...let your light shine bright

When you turn a light on, where is it shining ... do you set your lamps in the closet when you need light in your living room?

Most likely not. Of course, you strategically set your lamps in the center of the room that needs to be lit up. None of us want to stumble around in the dark while the inside of a closed off closet is well lit.

What's good for our physical house seems logical for our spiritual house as well...

"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

Every day that we step outside our house, we enter darkness. Face it, the world we live in is in dire need of some light. God's light.

In order for God's light to shine thru us, we must not keep it hidden in the closet. When we walk among the darkness, may we illuminate God's light like a city on a hill, that cannot be hidden.

If you are a Christ Follower, you have the light that the world needs, do not be afraid to keep it out in the open and burn it bright!

Monday, April 25, 2016

DAILY bye bye to the snakes

The weather was just too pretty this past weekend to not go for a walk. So my husband and I found our way over to Memphis for a few errands and decided to stop off at the Wolf River Greenway, a walking/bike trail tucked away off the highway.

As we began our walk, it wasn't too long into our stride when something came slithering out of the grass and across the walkway right in front of us. I don't know what kind of snake it was, but my husband wanted to chase it as it made its way across to the other side, slinking into the grass. I, on the other hand, wanted to just stay focused on my journey and continue on the pathway.

Seeing how quickly that snake came upon our path reminded me this weekend of how quick the enemy (the sneaky snake) comes upon our path in life. We can be walking along and everything is sunshine and going smoothly and WHAM! there that snake appears and stops us in our tracks!

When it appears, you and I have a choice to make, much like the choice we had to make on Saturday. The choice to follow it to wherever it may lead or the choice to stay focused on God and stay on the straight and narrow pathway that He is leading us down.

The Bible says that the serpent has come to "steal, kill and destroy". Don't underestimate the power of the venom that a snake carries. With just one smite of its tongue, you can be stricken or worse...killed. The enemy can easily destroy us with its temptations that it puts in front of our path. Each and every day we must choose what we will do with this tempter, the snake. Will we follow it to our destruction or will we ignore it and stay on the path that leads us to righteousness?

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." -James 4:7

Isn't it time to say bye bye to the snakes in your life? God gives a 3-step plan to do just that according to James:

1. Submit to Him
2. Resist the Devil
3. Watch him flee

I pray today that you watch out for those snakes and keep on the path that God is leading you on. Don't fall for the tricks of the one that slithers in front of you.

Friday, April 22, 2016


"Why, LORD? Why me?" I have said that a time or two, I bet you have too.
Surprisingly enough, as I recently sat in a doctors office and heard the report that I did not want to hear, I didn't ask "Why me?", rather I found myself saying, "why NOT me?"

There is nothing wrong with trying to understand the "why's" of our life, however, the Bible instructs us to NOT lean on our ability to explain the why...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).

No matter how hard we try, we cannot figure everything out and we aren't meant to. God is in control, and His ways are higher than ours.

Trusting God for the things we see and even for the things we don't see comes from our heart, not our understanding. So, if you are looking for an answer from God, the question to ask is, "why not me?"
I can't think of anyone more suitable for a miracle than you!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DAILY DEVO...a friend indeed

In this week's small group session with the youth group at church, we discussed WDJD (what DID Jesus do) with friends. This particular lesson has caused me to think about my own friendships and what kind of friend I am to others, especially those with like faith.

We all have friends and then we really HAVE friends. Some friends are just acquaintances while others can be as close as (or closer than) family. Too often in our churches today, fellow church members are typically more like acquaintances rather than friends. As a group of believers, I wonder if we are forming the deep relationships that we need.
Scripture tells us we are to be one body. We’re supposed to be mutually supportive of each other. We can’t do it all alone, meaning we need our Christian brothers and sisters. While we know this and we say this, if we examine our relationships within the church and in our ministries, most of us do not have deep rooted spiritual friendships.
"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul."  – 1 Samuel 18:1-3, ESV
If we would consider who we are actually knit to, like Jonathan and David were, we might consider more carefully who we call friend. 
We all need friends who will hold us accountable and we need friends who will help restore us when we fail. Friends who are mere acquaintances and not of like faith cannot and will not do this. This is why we need godly friends who we intimately know and have a relationship with.
God said "ask and you will receive", sometimes we don't have godly friendships because we are not seeking. Look inwardly and consider who you are becoming knit to ... are they bringing you closer to God and more importantly are you the godly friend that brings them closer to God?
It's my prayer that we can love one another as one body and become knitted together with cords that cannot be broken; developing deep friendships that grow because of the grace of God. May God be the very foundation of every good friendship. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

TODAY'S it what it is!

One thing that my Granddaughter knows is her animals and the sounds that they make. You cannot trick her in believing that a cow makes the sound of a dog. She knows that a cow is a cow and calls it what it is and recognizes the sound it makes.

As I pray and seek for revival in my country and my city, I can't help but  think how far gone we have gotten from this simple childlike realization that if a cow is a cow, just call it a cow not a dog!

Today, I am not talking about farm animals but I am talking about recognizing that in order to have revival, we must stop covering things up or calling things something they are not.

No one likes to have God place His hands on us and call our actions or thoughts "sin". We'd rather call it something else, but God calls it like He sees it. Sin is sin. If a duck quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck. If God says it is sin and we are guilty of it and not repentive, then it is still sin!

God loves us and does not want sin in our lives. The problem is we need to come to the place where we no longer want sin in our life as well. We not only need to ask for forgiveness but God says we are to turn from it and sin no more!

If we want revival in our hearts and in our land, we can no longer ignore sin. Call it what it is, bring it to God, lay it at His feet, receive His forgiveness and Grace and turn and walk a new way with the help of the Holy Spirit.

"Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:9,10)

It is my prayer that a true revival will break out in our land, but before that can happen, we must seek revival in our own hearts. May God renew in each of us a pure heart.

May we see that cows are indeed cows and sin is simply sin. Let's call things what they are and recognize the sounds that they make and let God bring things back to order.

Friday, April 8, 2016

DAILY DEVO...pieces that fit together

I have always loved working puzzles. Literally, I can stay up for hours trying to figure out all those pieces. First thing that I do is sort the pieces by colors and designs and then look for the edges.

The edges serve as the frame and then piece by piece I can fit it all together. Have you ever really considered how the body of Christ is like the pieces of a puzzle?

Each piece has certain protrusions and indentations. The protrusions remind me of our strengths (gifts, talents, abilities), and the indentations remind me of our weaknesses (faults, limitations, shortcomings, undeveloped areas).

Each piece is completely different. There are no two pieces exactly alike. The beautiful thing about a jigsaw puzzle (and the different pieces of the body) is that the pieces compliment one another and produce a beautiful image when all the pieces interlock together.

"For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being  many, are one body: so also is Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12

You see, just like a puzzle, God serves as the frame and it is incomplete if just one piece is missing or even broken. Each one of us has specific protrusions and indentations that only we possess.

It may seem like a little thing to us, but when we work together, we become part of God's big picture. May we all see the importance of our piece.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

DAILY DEVO...God makes everything right

If you have been wrongly accused or you feel misunderstood, remember that God knows all about it. He not only knows about it but He has the power to make all truth known.

I have discovered that some people just will not listen to reason. No amount of convincing or deal breakers will budge them off of thinking what they think. Some battles are just out of our hands.

We need to let God fight these battles for us. He will expose the finger pointers and the nay Sayers once and for all. Let Him fight this battle for you.

When we suffer, Jesus sympathizes with us, especially when we are falsely accused because He was also falsely accused.

Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

I don't know about you, but being misunderstood makes me feel isolated. Like its me against the world, but the Bible clearly gives example after example of how God took something that was meant for bad and turned it around for good:

While Joseph was thrown in prison, he had God’s favor, from the jailor noticing Joseph to Joseph being  put in charge of other prisoners which than led to interpreting dreams for the king.

David, although wrongfully accused of trying to dethrone King Saul, became the king.

And then there was Job. He had lost everything: his wife, his children, his home, his health and his livelihood. He remained faithful and obedient to God, despite his grief and despite the accusations that came his way.

Reading these stories gives me hope and encouragement in such trying times; perhaps you find yourself in a season of being wrongfully accused or misunderstood. May you come boldly to God and rest in His mercy and grace and see that He is bringing something good to you.

Be still and know He is God ...and He will right every wrong.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bloom where you are planted

Have you ever considered the place where God has placed you?

Where you work?
Where you live?
The family you are in?

God has graciously placed us exactly where we are; in this city, in this country, in this church, in this job, in this family; all for such a time as this.

Wherever you find yourself, remember the gift of freedom that God has given.

You may be in a country that isn't perfect, but you have freedom to come and go. You may be in a job that seemingly isn't going anywhere, but it's a paycheck in a time of high unemployment. You may be in a family that has a lot of ups, downs and drama but think of those who are completely alone in the world like orphans and widows who have literally no one to call their own.

So many people with less than us, with unrest in their lives and without peace, so many who would give anything to have what we wish we didn't have.

Don’t take where God has you for granted, enjoy His goodness and grow in His grace.

"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." Isaiah 32:18

Thank the Lord for placing you right where you are. Bloom where you are planted for He has you right where you are for a reason. As quickly as He placed you there, He can just as quickly remove you. Cherish the moment you are in and be thankful for the place that God has set you...for such a time as this!