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!


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?


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.


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.
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)
@copyright LAURIEADAMS

DAILY DEVO....doing for the least of these

In today's scripture reading, we come across a passage that I think is probably the most misquoted and misunderstood scripture in the Bible...

(Matthew 25:45) "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

In the scriptures right before this, we see Jesus telling the crowd that those who will inherit the kingdom are those who gave Him food when He was hungry, a drink when He was thirsty, a home when He was a stranger, clothes when He had none and visited Him when He was sick and imprisoned. (See Matthew 25:34-36)

If we interpret this as meaning that if we do all of these things it will lead to eternal life, we are not understanding. There is only one thing that we can do to ensure our eternity and that is ask God to forgive us and confess Him as Lord.

When Jesus says "the least of these My brothers", He is talking about His Disciples. Many times Jesus refers to His Disciples as "least of these" or refers only to them as His "brothers". (Matthew 10:42, 18:4, 18:6, 18:10 and 18:14.)
When I apply this particular passage to what the entire book of Matthew is saying, I see that what Jesus is alluding to is that when His brothers (His disciples) are treated well, so is Jesus because He is an extension of them. 

Often times, I see people get weary of doing good. (Sometimes I get weary) When people don't notice our good deeds or even appreciate all that we do, we simply want to give up. But what you and I fail to see is that we are simply an extension of the arms and heart of Jesus. 

When you give to others remember you are giving them Jesus.


**how are you doing with your Bible reading? This weekend we will finish another book in the Old Testament! Keep up the good work!

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 38-39, Matthew 25:31-46, Psalm 35:9-17

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 40, Matthew 26:1-35, Psalm 35:18-28

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 1-3, Matthew 26:36-68, Psalm 36:1-6

Thursday, February 16, 2017

DAILY DEVO...what are you doing with your talents?

All of our talents are God given. Sometimes I think we don't understand the purpose of all that God has blessed us with.

Our talents and gifts are not for us alone, no, God gives us talents to share and to benefit others. And likewise, the talents given to others are to benefit us.

You see, we are all part of the Body of Christ and every part matters to God. That is why He has given each of us certain talents and when we put them all together for His glory, great things happen. But when just one keeps their talent hidden and does not use it according to God's will, the body cannot function as well as it could.

(Exodus 35:31) "and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills".

It doesn't matter if you are a musician, a teacher, a cook or a toilet cleaner; you are the manager of the gifts God has given to you. Today, I have wondered if those who had a job to do building the Tabernacle or the Ark would not have used their talents the way they did, how differently things would have turned out.

May we all recognize that our gifts are a blessing and even when we feel insignificant or like our part is unimportant - we all have a part to do and without it, something may not get accomplished.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 35:30-37:28, Matthew 25:14-30, Psalm 35:1-8.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DAILY DEVO...when is the last time an encounter with God changed you?

Having an encounter with God will most definitely change a person. When is the last time that you spent time in the presence of the Lord and someone noticed your countenance to be different?

That is exactly what happened to Moses. We first read how Moses was at the top of the mountain, spending time with God and writing the tablets but he was interrupted because of the chaos going on down below by the impatient people.  

However, the second time he went back to the top of the mountain to spend time with God, the glory of God was quite noticeable when he returned to the people below...

(Exodus 34:30) "When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him."

Coming down from the mountain, the face of Moses was literally shining, so much that it scared Aaron and the people. How awesome is it to see that after spending time with God, Moses was visibly changed.

I'm not talking about his personality being changed because you and I both understand how the saving grace of God changes us from the inside out. But this kind of change that was seen here was a shine, a radiant light beaming from his face, like a headlight shining bright in the dark of night.

From today's scripture reading, the challenge for us is this: when is the last time we encountered God and people noticed something different about us? When is the last time our countenance shined like a bright light in the dark?

God's glory will reflect off of us when we truly encounter Him and it is His love that will shine bright (like a spotlight) through us for all to see.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 34:1-35:29, Matthew 25:1-13, Psalm 34:8-22.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

DAILY DEVO... Who are you magnifying?

We all know that one person who no matter what the topic seems to be will always bring their name up and sing their own praises.

Bringing attention to what we have done instead of magnifying the One Who empowers us is a grave mistake many make.

Often, I think that our problems and trials seem so big to us. They are so overwhelming that they overshadow God and make Him appear small compared to the enormous weight that we carry.

When we are able to recognize the magnitude of God and how He is limitless in all that He can do, we will then see that God is so much bigger than our small problems.

I'm reminded today of a magnifying glass; when properly placed we can properly see all of the intricate parts that use to appear small but now are magnified. When we magnify God, His power becomes so much more evident to us and It can flow more freely through us.

(Psalm 34:3) "Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."

The Psalmist today is encouraging us to take the attention off of ourselves and join together in magnifying God. It's not about you, it's not about me. It's about God and how much bigger He is than anything this world can offer.

Don't make God smaller than He really is.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 32-33, Matthew 24:29-51, Psalm 34:1-7.

Monday, February 13, 2017

DAILY DEVO...where is your trust placed?

In today's Psalm reading about "trust", I was reminded of a situation that happened several years ago involving our son. As a young driver, just receiving his drivers license, he was in the turning lane to turn into the church parking lot. Another car was also in the turning lane, coming the opposite way. They waved him on, signaling that it was safe to turn, he trusted their judgement and turned. The only problem is, it was not clear and a car coming in the other lane hit him as he turned.

That day our son learned a valuable lesson in careful who you trust.

We all live our life like that from time to time. Looking ahead but not seeing the dangers and placing our trust in things we shouldn't that only cause us to crash.

(Psalm 33:20) "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield."

Today is a good day for us to reflect on who or what we are placing our trust in. Having money, good health, strong relationships or perhaps a promising career are all great things but none of these can guarantee security.

Psalm 33 reminds us that our security comes from God and God alone. Everything else in this world will fade away but when we place our trust in God, even for those things we can't clearly see, He will keep us safe and sound and out of the line of oncoming traffic.

Are you trusting God?


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 30-3, Matthew 23:37-24:28, Psalm 33:13-22.

Friday, February 10, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the parable of the 2 sons and today's Christian

In today's' scripture reading, we find a parable (a story) told by Jesus about two sons. At first glance, it may seem like Jesus is telling us a story about the difference of two sons work ethics...

(Matthew 21:28-30) "There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ (29) "'I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. (30) "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go."

Let's consider the answers the two sons offer; the first son shows a pretty blunt answer, "I will not!" This reckless response shows not only that he lives life alittle careless but he is downright disobedient. Even though he ended up going, he was still disobedient. The second son, responding "I will" but then ends up not going after all shows us that not all "yeses" mean yes.

This parable of the two sons can be likened to the kind of worker you and I are in the kingdom of God. Just because we are found busy doing this ministry or that ministry doesn't mean that we are being obedient to God. Obedience is never "busyness". Just because we do something doesn't mean our heart is in it.

Some of us are like the second son; too often we make commitments, promises and have intentions in our ministry but even though we say "yes", we know we cannot fulfill what we say we will do. Instead of our yes meaning yes, we are wishy washy and found to be not reliable.

Both sons brought dishonor and disappointment to their father. It is my prayer that my Heavenly Father finds me not only obedient to Him and His Word but that I am found to be true to my word; that my yes will mean yes and my no be no.

 "But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." -Jesus (Matthew 5:7)


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 26-27, Matthew 21:28-46, Psalm 31:19-24

SATURDAY SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 28, Matthew 22, Psalm 32

SUNDAY SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 29, Matthew 23:1-36, Psalm 33:1-12

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DAILY you hear their cry?

Reading thru the book of Exodus, I can't help but stop and wonder about some of the laws that were in place. We think our world is crazy today? Imagine if some of these Old Testament laws were in place, we would probably have a lot less jail over crowding!

The laws have changed since then but one thing that remains is God's Character.

His Character was (and is) that of love and caring for the less fortunate. The kings and rulers back then were concerned with the same thing many of our current leaders are concerned with: money and power. The rich and famous are favored much over the poor and downcast; but not so with God.

God cared for the least; the poor, the sick, the needy, the widow and the orphan. Of course, He loved everyone, but these were the crowds of people you could find Him among most.

He wants us to do the same. As we care for the widow and the orphan in their time of need, we reveal the heart of God. This was His heartbeat and it should be ours also ...

(Exodus 22:22-23) "Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry."

Taking advantage of the weak and vulnerable is no small offense to God. He does not overlook those who often get overlooked by the world and we should not overlook them either.

There is someone crying out today, someone whom you rub shoulders with. The question isn't "will God hear them" - because He does; the question is, "will you"?


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 22-23, Matthew 20:20-34, Psalm 31:1-8

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DAILY God and don't grumble about it

How easy it is to doubt the gifts that God has for us, this doubt often arises from comparing ourselves to others.

When my children were younger, I remember very precisely making sure that each child had the same amount of gifts at Christmas. Even though I'm sure at times one or more may have felt they received less, I know that the amount of money spent was the same.

Today's scripture reading in Matthew shows us a story where laborers were hired to work at a vineyard, even though some worked longer hours they were all paid the same amount of money.

"When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner." (Matthew 20:11)

Here we see that while the workers worked long and hard for their wages and earned enough to provide for their families, they grumbled and compared their pay with others.

How often do we act just like these workers in the parable in Matthew? We compare what we have with others. Like a small child on Christmas morning, we find ourselves feeling like we've been treated unfairly.

Instead of giving thanks for the blessings of God, we compare our gifts to those around us. May we learn a lesson today from the laborers in this parable and receive what we have been given with open hands and a grateful heart.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 20-21, Matthew 20:1-19, Psalm 30

Monday, February 6, 2017

DAILY DEVO...what stands in your way?

Is there anything in your life that you would refuse to give up for Christ?

It's easy to say we would surrender everything until we actually get put to the test. It is then that we would find ourselves putting our money where our mouth is.

In today's scripture reading in the book of Matthew, we see where the heart issue of one young man is put to the test...

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

I wonder what it would take to sell everything we owned and give it away and just trust God? Apparently, the young man in this story had too much to give up and just couldn't do it...

"the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth." (Matthew 19:22)

It would be easy to assume that a man could have wealth and still serve God, but the point Jesus is making here is that when we completely surrender to Him, worldly possessions and all, God's blessings will outweigh any earthly treasures.

God knows all too well that our possessions and goods that we hold so near to our hearts would easily take  root where only He belongs.

I encourage you today to search your own heart and see if there is anything you could "sell" that may be standing in your way of completely surrendering to God.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 17-19, Matthew 19:16-30, Psalm 29

Friday, February 3, 2017

DAILY DEVO...walk with integrity

King David was far from being perfect (but nether am I), but yet God called him "a man after His own heart", (1 Samuel 13:14).

In today's Psalm reading I can see why God said that. David set his heart in such a way that he wanted to live in a way that would be pleasing to God. David's statements that he has walked and will continue to walk in integrity caused me to stop and think about my own life and those around me that I am allowing to influence me. What does integrity look like in us?

I suppose you could say that "integrity" isn't something many people talk about these days, probably because in society there is such a lack of it. But for a Christian, integrity should be one of the main ingredients of their walk.

Integrity is being the same in light as you are in darkness. It means not swaying or changing because of people or circumstances. It requires for us to stand upon our word; not being wishy washy but knowing what you believe and standing upon it.

(Psalm 26:1) "Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered."

As I read further in today's Psalm, I see some of the choices that David made in order to walk in integrity. He knew he was a sinner saved by Grace but yet he asked God to test him, (v. 3). What boldness, what a confidence that David had about his own integrity.

It doesn't come from an arrogant spirit, instead, this confidence wells up from knowing that the blood of the lamb had David covered.

Likewise, we are covered by that same blood but what does our walk with the Lord look like? Can we confidently say that integrity is one of our main goals?

May we walk in such a way with the Lord that we too can say, "I have not faltered".


*they say it takes 30 days to form a habit. If you are reading thru the Bible with me each day, the habit has been formed. Stay with me, it only takes a few minutes each day, isn't God worth that?

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 12, Matthew 18:1-20, Psalm 26

SATURDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 13-14, Matthew 18:21-35, Psalm 27

SUNDAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 15-16, Matthew 19:1-15, Psalm 28

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DAILY DEVO...redirect your pain to see Gods purpose

The long process of getting the Israelites out of Egypt had to of been painful. God continued to harden Pharaoh's heart, time after time, which not only made things difficult for him but it also brought much hardship to the Israelite people.

It would have been easy back then to question why God would put His people through all this. But looking back, we can clearly see that God's purpose was to free His people on His terms and in His time.

Often times, I think we focus on our pain and struggle instead of seeing God's purpose...

(Matthew 10:1-2) "Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of Mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed My signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”

Later, in the book of John, the disciples ask whose sin caused a man to be born blind. Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned” (John 9:3). Jesus then redirected His disciples thinking from what the cause of the man’s disability was to considering what the purpose was for it. He told them, “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

God wants to use our suffering for His glory and He wants to redirect our thinking; take our eyes off of our pain and focus more on His purpose. Like the Israelites, God is working everything out for you according to His time and His purpose.


TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Exodus 10-11, Matthew 17:10-27, Psalm 25