Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God WILL build His Church!

In the book of Matthew, chapter 16, we find a remarkable promise from Jesus, "I will build My church"!

Today as I read that I am gripped with such peace and hope that God indeed has a plan for His people and for His church.

No matter what different church models we've grown up in, the New Testament outlines for us THE model that God gives for the Christian church; how it is suppose to look and act.

No matter what the name says on the sign, no church belongs to man (or it shouldn't). Every Bible believing (and preaching) church belongs to God and Him alone.

No Pastor died for you and no deacon hung on the cross. Only Jesus did and that's why you will never read in Scripture, "You will build My church", rather, we read Jesus' words stating "I will build My church"...

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18)

We must always remember that differences may divide us here on earth, but nothing can stand in the way of the furthering of the Gospel of Christ. Not man. Not different faiths. Not even the enemy.

The powerful, sovereign plan of God will overrule any evil plot of the enemy. Take courage and find peace that God WILL build His Church. 

Let's get on board and stop playing church and just BE the church that belongs to God.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 5:22-7:24, Matthew 16:13-28, Psalm 23

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DAILY DEVO...using acceptable words

The Psalmist makes it very clear that our words are not to be something we hem and haw around with...

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." (Psalm 18:14)

The words that come from our mouth are directly connected to what resides in our heart.

Jesus spoke about this in Matthew when He called the Pharisees "white washed tombs" because they looked good on the outside (like a nice grave marker) but on the inside, they were nasty and dirty. (Matthew 23:27-28).

I remember one time when I was a little girl, I let the wrong thing come out of my mouth. My mother immediately got a bar of soap and washed my mouth out.

Sometimes I wonder why God doesn't do that to us, but then again, when I think about what the Psalmist wrote, I realize that if my words and my thoughts were constantly on Him, no soap would be needed.

Whatever you say or think about today, keep it clean and acceptable.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE  READING...Genesis 46:1-47:26, Matthew 13:24-34, Psalm 19

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

DAILY DEVO...it's dark -watch your step

This past summer, I visited the Mammoth Caves with our youth group in Kentucky.

The caves consist of miles upon miles of dark, seemingly endless passageways. It is said that the Mammoth Cave began hundreds of millions of years ago and continues today as the longest cave in the world;  more than 335 miles of mapped passageways.

Once down in the cave, it was cold and dark. We had to really watch our step.

Today's Scripture reading in Psalms made me think of this experience down in the caves. Without light, the darkness would be so great that it would be impossible to see your next step.

The sin in the world is much like this dark cave. Without the illumination of the light of God, none of our steps would be clear (or safe).

(Psalm 18:28) "You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light."

Perhaps you have been stumbling in the dark. You don't have to any more because of Christ. His light shines everywhere; all we have to do is turn It on and watch the darkness fade.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 42-43, Matthew 14:1-9, Psalm 18:16-29

Friday, January 20, 2017

Laced with Grace...what matters most to you?

This is a question that I have been asking myself lately. I have come to a crossroads in my life where answering this question has been life changing for me. So many times, I think that we get caught up in the busyness of our life, the comings and the goings and the wants and want not’s of our every day surroundings. I no longer want the great things to mean little and the little things to become great in my life. I want what God wants and nothing less.

To answer this question of “what matters to you? ‘, my list could consist of many things. Things like my family, my health, my testimony, but the one thing at the top of the list would certainly be my relationship with God. To me, every single other thing in life hinges on this very thing. If my relationship with Christ isn’t what it needs to be, all other things will simply just be mediocre. I don’t want to be a mediocre Christian.
I want (I need) to put God first and foremost in my life. When I surrendered my life and heart to Christ, it meant more to me than just joining a church. My relationship with Him is so much deeper than a job title or the name on the sign out front. When we experience salvation, the change is noticeable, well it should be. The things that we use to do, we shouldn’t do any longer…
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)
The Apostle Paul struggled with this “Have and Have Not’s”, knowing what he should do but yet not doing it. I suppose we all have that one or two things on our “to-do” list that no matter how hard we try, just does not get done. If it is important to God, it should be important to us.
So what do you think matters the most to God?
Outside of accepting Him as your Lord and Savior, following Him and making Him number one in your life would closely follow.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
When we put God first in our lives, all other things fall into their proper place. (Or they will drop out of our lives.) If you are missing church more than usual, where have you placed God in your life? If your schedule is too full to spend time in prayer or His Word, check where God has been placed. So many times we put “other” things before God and then we wonder, “where is He?” God never moves, we move Him out of the way to make room for other things.
As a pastor’s wife, I hear all of the “reasons” for not being faithful. Not just faithful on Sunday morning, but faithful in giving, faithful in serving, faithful in prayer, faithful in living for God. When I think about all that God has done for me – NEVER should He be put on the back burner. If I, (if we), are to rise up above the mediocracy of this world, we must answer this question: WHAT MATTERS MOST TO YOU? And then put our money where our mouth is…live it!
Make 2017 a year of intentional living, put God back where He belongs!
@copyright Laurie Adams

DAILY DEVO...live to be unshakable

In today's reading of Psalm 15, we find a list of attributes (a code of conduct) that if followed will cause great stability. The Bible says if you do these things you will not be moved...you will be unshakable!

In today's culture, (and sometimes in today's church), we find compromise. We trade a truth for a lie. Things like "no one will know", "one time won't hurt" to accepting "little white lies" as being acceptable are all compromises that can crumble your spirit.

(PSALM 15) "Lord, who may dwell in Your sacred tent? Who may live on Your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken."

Rising to live by this code of conduct  will NOT keep you from struggles or heartbreak, however, when you dwell with God, the struggles of this world will seem insignificant when compared to the awe and splendor of Him.

Anyone who is anchored to a immovable rock will be hard to shake. Attach yourself to the Rock (Jesus Christ) and you will NOT be moved.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 35-36, Matthew 11:7-24, Psalm 15.

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 37-38, Matthew 11:25-30, Psalm 16.

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 39-40, Matthew 12:1-29, Psalm 17.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DAILY DEVO...what do you wrestle with?

Have you ever wrestled with God? Jacob did, literally. 

Today's scripture reading takes us to the journey that Jacob was on to go meet Esau. Jacob was dreading the meeting and actually was full of fear and despair. 

Has that ever happened to you? Instead of faith, you wrestled with fear and anxiety?

God didn't just appear to Jacob on this particular night in a vision or a dream; He addressed Jacobs fears by making him wrestle all night. As he tossed and turned and fought back, Jacob ended up with a blessing from God and so much more...Jacob received renewed strength.

Sometimes when we want God’s comfort, He will send it in unexpected ways. It is very important that we remember those times in our life when God reveals Himself to us in special (and sometimes unexpected) ways.

We may not have a permanent limp in our walk like Jacob to remind us of our wrestlings with God, but we must not forget God's faithfulness and blessing to us, so when difficulties come, we can stand strong and face our fears.

"So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." (Genesis 32:30)

Jacob faced his fear and he never forgot his face to face encounter with the Lord. May we never forget ours.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 32:22-34:31, Matthew 10:37-11:6, Psalm 14.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DAILY DEVO...fear vs faith

Although Jacob's prayer in Genesis 32  was probably inspired more by fear than faith, we can recognize that despite his fear, Jacob remembered God's promises.

Jacob was likely motivated more by fear than wisdom. But yet, his prayer  reveals that his faith is real (Genesis 32:9–12). True faith does not mean that fear is completely absent, in fact, our trust in the Lord may be strongest when we are fearful but we obey God anyway.

Whenever you are faced with fear, remember the promises that God has made and pray them back to Him. God certainly does not need to be reminded of His promises, but from time to time, we do.

(Psalm 13:5-6) "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me."

Don't let your fear rob you of your faith.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 31:22- 32:21, Matthew 10:16-36, Psalm 13.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God has the last Word


Reading the Psalms is a good place to learn more about God and more about mankind. The writers use poetry to describe God and to show how we can praise Him, complain to Him, ask Him for relief and how to make promises to Him.

Often times, I have found myself to be more of a complainer (more than I realized) to God. The book of Psalms is a good place to go when you feel like this. When you feel like people (or circumstances) have done you wrong, check out the writing of David; he puts it all into perspective.

No matter what the struggle or complaint is about, God sees it. Don't think that the word spoken about you God doesn't hear; He sees all, hears all and knows all.

Do you think that people didn't come against David? A king, or any person in leadership for that fact, has been (and will continue to be) under attack.

But for the one who seeks God and His righteousness, vindication will come from Him and Him alone.

(Psalm 12:5) "Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."

God has given us the promise today that He gives relief to those who are victimized. It is His intent to arise and deliver victims to safety.

That right there is a promise worth praising Him for today! No matter what others say or do, God WILL have the last Word!

(Hope you are reading the Psalms with me in this journey to read the Bible thru in 2017 and allowing His Word to change you. I've been changed today.)


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 30:1-31:21, Matthew 10:1-15, Psalm 12.

Monday, January 16, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the compassion of God

From the leper to the ones caught in the storm to poor, unloved Leah; the scriptures we have read this past weekend and today are full of stories that outline the compassion of God.

In today's reading, Jesus reveals His heart to His disciples...

(Matthew 9:12) Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

Jesus not only loves the unlovable (like Leah), He also includes the outcasts (like sinners and the taxpayers), but Jesus also sets out to heal the sick and care for the needy (like the synagogue officials daughter and the blind man); Jesus clearly has a great deal of compassion and love for those who are in need.

The compassion that He has is the same compassion that He desires for us to have. He desires us to remove anything standing in our way that keeps us from loving the unlovable, or forgiving the sinner or embracing the outcasts.

Today, as we go through our day, may we all be moved with the compassion of God and reach out to someone in need, for this is the heart of God. By His grace, may it also become our heart.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 28:10-29:35, Matthew 9 and Psalm 11.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DAILY DEVO...how far up the mountain would you go?

It was a test of faith that NO parent would want to face. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The only son given to Abraham and Sarah, so why would God wait until late in their lives to bless them with a son if He was only going to snatch him away?

It must have been a long, solemn walk up that mountain for Abraham. Isaac wondered where the lamb for sacrifice was, all the while, Abraham believed that God would provide...

(Genesis 22:7,8) Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” "Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

I cannot even imagine that moment; even as Abraham tied his only son and laid him on the altar with the knife raised, even in THAT moment, Abraham still trusted God.

God spared Isaac that day, as we read in our daily scripture reading today, but isn't that exactly what God did for you and me? He spared us while He gave His only Son to die for all who would believe in Him.

I wonder, if it had been up to us to bring the sacrifice - how far up the mountain would we have gotten?


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Genesis 21-23, Matthew 7:1-11, Psalm 9:1-8.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DAILY DEVO...You are not insignificant to God

Have you ever considered just how important you are to God? In today's Scripture reading, we are compared to that of the sparrow and the birds of flight...

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" ( Matthew 6:25,26)

There are over 9,000 species of birds, but it is the sparrow that Jesus singles out to make a very clear point to us. Even though a sparrow may seem one of the least, compared to a strong Eagle or a graceful Dove, nevertheless, Jesus says that He takes care of everything that He has created.

He not only cares about the well being of the most insignificant and least noticed bird of the air, but He cares for you and me  even more.

Sometimes I feel insignificant, and often times unnoticed by those who hurriedly brush by; but next time I notice a bird in the air or put out birdseed in the yard, I will be reminded that everything I need rests in the palm of God's Hand. Because just as He cares for the sparrow, nothing that I need will go unseen.

So, how will you approach God today?

Perhaps it's cold outside, and the bird feeder looks slim to you; look to God Who cares for you and He will provide everything you need.


Genesis 19 & 20, Matthew 6:19-34 and Psalm 8.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DAILY DEVO...do you ever laugh at the promises of God?

Do you ever not take God's promises seriously? Maybe you have felt unworthy or perhaps you have whispered, "I'm not sure what I believe, Lord. I just don't have enough faith."

I assure you, you are not alone. 

In today's Scripture reading, Sarah finds herself laughing at the thought of God giving her a son at her old age..

Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?" Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? " (Genesis 18:12-14)

Have you ever considered why Sarah laughed at God? Could it be because she lacked faith or doubted that it could happen?

I wonder, if you have ever laughed at God or simply snickered at the thought of what His promises could do for you...

"Saved ~ who me?"
"Healed ~ if only!"
"Delivered ~ too late!"

Maybe deep down you just don't think God cares enough about you to keep His promises or perhaps you doubt that He can actually do what He says.

Here's the thing that I've learned, it's the same thing Sarah probably learned: our lack of faith DOES NOT affect the faithfulness of God. He will always keep His promises, it is never dependent upon the level of our belief as it is the level of His Power.

God can handle our cynicism and He understands our doubts, but like Sarah, when our faith seems alittle shaky, He will always prove Himself. Every time!


Genesis 17 & 18, Matthew 6:1-18, Psalm 7

Monday, January 9, 2017

Daily DEVO...where is your faith leading?

If you have followed the daily Bible reading this past weekend, we find ourselves reading about Abraham today. Abraham had the kind of faith I want, how about you?

Faith can be a difficult concept for people to understand, but yet it is the catalyst to how we make it from one thing to the next.

For example: how many of you go to a doctor whose name you cannot pronounce and who has a degree from somewhere you did not verify? The dr. gives you a prognosis in which they cannot prove to you and writes you a prescription that No one can read. You take the prescription to a pharmacist who you cannot see what they put in the bottle or understand how the ingredients will work. However, you take the filled prescription home and follow the instructions exactly as written ... all in faith that it is the best thing for you!

Much like that, Abraham showed such faith in God that he trusted the absolute unknown. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to follow the path before me even when the directions are clear, but Abraham's faith allowed him to follow instructions even without knowing the outcome.

"He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5)

God not only promised him land but God promised Abraham many descendants. And don't you know at his age, THAT took a lot of faith. He may not of known how or when but Abraham knew if God said it, it was coming.

What is your faith telling you? If God said it...claim it and receive it and in faith trust that it is coming!


Genesis 14 thru 16, Matthew 5:21-48, Psalm 6

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...Satan is a liar!


As we continue in our reading of the book of Genesis today, we may find that chapter 3 presents a grim outlook on the future of humanity. But even in the midst of all the chaos and the "blame  games", God assures the serpent he has not won!

Ever since the fall of man, we have been in a continual battle against our adversary; the devil. Satan is a fallen angel, whose sole intent is to cause havoc for each of us. It is his goal to get us off track of what God's plan is for our lives and often times, he will wait until we come to a vulnerable place before putting the hammer down on our head.

This is why it is imperative that we be on our guard every single day...

"Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:8,9)

Whenever we feel like our back is up against the wall, remember that the enemy is trying to discourage us and wants us to think we have lost the fight; he wants us to think we cannot be triumphant.

But let me remind you that ever since the garden of Eden, God has declared Satan to be a liar! So the choice is ours, which voice will we listen to...the enemies or the voice of God?


**if you are reading thru the Bible with me this year; today's Bible Readings are: Genesis 3&4, Matthew 2 and P

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the hand of God


From the very beginning of the Scriptures, we can trace the Hand of God. From the creation of this perfect world in the book of Genesis to the fall of man; all the way to God sending His son to walk the land as one of us in the book of Matthew to the crucifixion on the cross.

Realizing that God's hand has been upon this world from day one helps me to realize that His Hand is continually there for me in my time of need.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 63:7-8...

"Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me."

It has been written that King David wrote this psalm in the wilderness of Judah, during a difficult time of his son Absalom's rebellion. Absalom, his son had come against him, to dethrone him. David fled to the wilderness (read 2 Samuel 15-16) and it was in this most trying time that David completely trusted the hand of God.

Life can be hard and painful at times. Sometimes at the hand of those closest to us, but in the midst of whatever comes our way, God is never out of reach.

Everything that His Hand touches is good..."And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

Trust the Hand of God.


**For those reading thru the Bible with me this year, today's Scripture reading is: Genesis 1, Matthew 1 and Psalm 1.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Living at peace ...as far as it depends on you

Well, here it is … the second day of a new year. “Out with the old and in with the new” is what they say. And that is exactly what I intend to do in 2017.
2016 literally drained me of needy people. Some may call them toxic relationships, whatever you call it, they drain me spiritually, physically and emotionally. I am the type of personality to give it my all; give, give, and give some more and it is difficult for me when people zone in on my kindness and take advantage of me. It’s almost like I’m wearing a bull’s-eye on my chest that says, “hit me right here!”.
You know what I am talking about. That person you work with, or go to church with or maybe even call brother or sister, that literally suck the life out of you! They insist on getting the last word, or attacking you for anything and everything. Every chance they get, they sucker punch you! As a Christian, we are all led to believe that the “Christian thing” to do is sit back and take it, but the Bible does not say that we have to let it keep coming. In fact the Bible DOES say that some people are just toxic or “snakes”…
“Their venom is like the venom of a snake…” (Psalm 58:4)
Maybe you have someone in your life that is slippery like a snake; the havoc that they bring will mess up your attitude, mess with your relationships and it can mess with your spiritual walk with the Lord if you are not careful. Toxic people are often very unreasonable. You cannot reason with them or talk things out because they are so fixated on themselves. They will blame you for everything and point out how everyone has wronged them and they take no personal responsibility for anything.
So what do we do with these relationships that are killing us, more specifically, what can a Christian do?
First, recognize that it has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with them. The saying is true that “hurting people hurt people”. The main reason some people become a thorn in our flesh is because they have unresolved hurt in their life and instead of dealing with it, it is easier to inflict pain on others.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
They key phrase here is, “as far as it depends on you”. Also, “If it is possible”. What a Christian can do in a toxic relationship hinges upon these two things. Sometimes, a person can do all that they can do and it still not be possible to live at peace. Some people don’t want peace, they want to wallow in their pain and while down there, they want to make you suffer to. If you have prayed, fasted and done all that you can do to seek peace and STILL there is none…all you can do sometimes is just agree to disagree.
Secondly, sometimes even agreeing to disagreeing doesn’t stop people from sucker punching us. When you have done all that you can, sometimes you need to just move on, take a step away and separate yourself. Even Jesus recognized this with the Pharisees…
“Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to His disciples, saying, ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.’ ” (Luke 12:1)
After you have recognized what causes toxic people to tick, and you have done all that you can do, and you have had no choice but to separate yourself from them; the third and most important thing to do is to pray for reconciliation and seek God to break down the barriers that keep the toxic person from getting free from their pain.
In 2017, I am determined to do things differently. I don’t mean that I intend to hang up the towel on every angry, hurtful person that comes across my path. In fact, I don’t think that is what God wants for us to do at all. But I do think God wants us to live more intentional. In 2017 I am going to be more intentional about the words I speak, the places that I go, the actions (and reactions) that I take and I am going to be more intentional of putting safe boundaries up in relationships that are harming me and not bringing me closer to Christ. If I could live a more intentional life for Christ, perhaps the walls of pain that others have could be penetrated and they too could become more intentional. (And free in Christ)!
Live in peace … as it depends on you, because it just might be dependent on what you do or don’t do.
Blessings. Laurie

Be Intentional!

The word "Intentional", according to Webster, means "deliberate; or on purpose". Living each day like it has some sort of purpose is exactly what I need for my new year! What others do (or don't do) towards me matters but more importantly, what I do or don't do, matters most to God.

I want to live my life in such a way that I am alert and intuned to what is all around me. I want to be intentional about the things I do and say, no matter where I go...I need to be intentional!

At home, at the grocery store, at work, at the doctor’s office and even on vacation, may I be alert to those around me. To the one that is hurt, or lost or the one who just needs a friend...may I be found to be an "intentional" Christian.

"For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose." (Philippians 2:13) HSCV

I don't know about you, but I don't want to waste my life ( not even this year) away. I choose to let go of what I can't change and change what I have hold of today. May there be more of Him...and less of me as I intentionally live for God.

My word for 2017 is "INTENTIONAL", what is yours?