Friday, September 29, 2017

Daily DEVO...praise God and watch doors open


We have been reading the book of Psalms ever since we started this journey of reading thru the Bible. I think it is very fitting that we end the last chapter of this book giving God praise!

Psalm 150 tells us that everything that has breath should praise the Lord. God made us to praise Him! And when we praise God, good things happen. In fact, when we praise God, the enemy will flee.

It happened with King Jehoshaphat: when his singers sang and praised God, the Lord defeated their enemies. (see 2 Chronicles 20).

It happened with Paul and Silas: when they praised the Lord in prison, God sent an earthquake and the prison doors were flung open. ( see Acts 16)

It happened in Acts: when God’s people were persecuted, they prayed and praised God and the whole place shook. (see Acts 4:31)

If it happened for all these people (and more), don't you know it will happen for you?

(Psalm 150:6) "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord."

It is my prayer today that no matter how your day plays out, you will praise God. Praise Him with all that you have and watch and see if your praise doesn't unlock some doors and turn some things around.


TODAY'S READING: Isaiah 26:20-28:29, 2 Corinthians 8, Psalm 149-150

Thursday, September 28, 2017

DAILY DEVO...worldly sorrow vs godly sorrow

Like you, I have experienced sorrow in my life. Some grief and sorrow has been over some of the choices that I have made. Perhaps you have a regret or two of your own. 

When it comes to our wrongdoing (sin), there are two kinds of sorrow. Worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Both are felt deeply. But one kind of sorrow will lead you down a path you wish you hadn't gone. The other kind will lead you closer to God. 

Judas experienced the kind of sorrow that led to his death. He betrayed the Son of God for a mere thirty pieces of silver. His sorrow did not cause him to repent and be forgiven. Instead, he was so consumed with anguish and isolation that he took his own life. (see Matthew 27:3-5)

Peter’s suffering and sorrow was different. While Peter also failed Jesus, he was so overcome with remorse that he went out and wept bitterly. (see Luke 22:62)

Even though Peter suffered from sorrow, he allowed God to use his pain to help him turn his life around. 

Grief and sorrow over sin is good, as long as it leads us to repentance. But once forgiven, we must not hold onto it. 

(2 Corinthians 7:10) "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death."

Don't let your past mistakes, (that are forgiven), keep you from living the life God has for you. 

HAVE A BLESSED (and forgiven) DAY! Laurie

TODAY'S READING: Isaiah 24:1-26:19, 2 Corinthians 7, Psalm 148 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DAILY DEVO...just love the people


Many years ago, before going into full time ministry, I recall the wise words of encouragement from a senior pastor that I have tried to live up to ... "just love the people".

The world teaches us to love the lovable and those whom we like to spend time with. But Paul demonstrates that his love is for ALL the people in Corinth, even the unlovable...

(2 Corinthians 6:11) " Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide".

When Paul says that his "heart is wide", he means there is no favoritism, he loves the entire congregation. Not just the nice ones, or the ones that served him well, Paul loved the people. 

However, in the next verse, we see that not everyone returned that love...

(2 Corinthians 6:12) "We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us".

Love, whether it is in a marriage, a friendship, family or church, is a two-way street. Here we see Paul respond to this loveless problem in the church by saying the Corinthians are "restricted".

Here lies an awesome life lesson for each of us; straight from the Word of God: LOVE REQUIRES A RESPONSE! 

Paul is telling us that when we don't return the Christ-like love offered to us that we are limiting ourselves! We cannot experience the full richness and blessing that God gives to those who not only love, but who also return love. 

As a leader, not everyone will agree with you or even like you. That is something I learned a long time ago, but even so, I choose to love ALL people. God never charged us to "like" people, just "love" them. 

It is my prayer today that we can learn to just love the people, ALL the people and not limit ourselves of the blessings of love. 

HAVE A BLESSED (and loving) DAY! Laurie 

TODAY'S READING: Isaiah 20-23, 2 Corinthians 6, Psalm 147:12-20 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Laced with Grace...OCD is not the same as serving others

My family has accused me of being OCD. Obssesive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a “mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions). ”

Just recently, at a family gathering, while everyone continued to visit, I began to clean up. Putting away food that had already been out too long, picking up trash and washing dishes. I didn’t do this because I have a compulsive behavior about dishes being clean but rather, I started to clean up to help the hostess; to serve her and the rest of the family.

I am a servant, I do not have OCD. There is a difference.

Most people think of the word “servant” as a negative thing. Most people visualize a servant as one who waits on people hand and foot; someone who is hired to do the dirty work. However, servants today are not slaves; they are people who help or assist others.

Jesus was the perfect example of a servant. 

He came to serve others, to help people. He wasn’t OCD, but He would rather be serving others than be served.

(Galatians 5:13) "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your feeedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

If we are to be like Christ, we must learn to serve. 

Serving others requires putting  aside our own self centeredness and seeing the genuine needs of others. When we see others like Christ sees them, we all should be compelled to get up and help; to serve them.

At our recent family gathering, I was asked why I am always cleaning – if I was just OCD? My response would be this: 

"No I am not OCD, but I have been called to serve others and to serve them humbly, in love."

Being OCD and being a servant is not the same thing. Serving others is a good thing and a God thing.  

Never belittle someone or be ashamed of having a servants heart; it is one of the highest honors a Christian can have this side of heaven.


@copyright2017 laurieadams

Friday, September 22, 2017

DAILY DEVO...will you go?


In the book of Isaiah lies a question that each of us will have to answer, "who will go?" 

(Isaiah 6:8) “Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me.’” 

Many people apply this scripture to those called into missions. But don't you know that "missions" is everywhere and we all have to answer the question and decide if we will make ourselves available to go. 

But go where?

The mission field is in our backyards, at our jobs, in the grocery store and yes, even in the Sunday school rooms of church. God may call you to Africa or China but first He will call you at home. 

Not everyone accepts the call. Moses didn't want to go to Egypt and Jonah tried to escape what God asked of him. We aren't much different; looking for ways to get around our responsibility of teaching a class, holding a prayer meeting or witnessing to our neighbor. 

Jesus said the harvest was full, but the laborers are few. Isaiah answered the call and said, "here I am, send me." What is your answer today - will you go?

HAVE A BLESSED (and fruitful) day. Laurie

TODAY'S READING: Isaiah 6-8, 2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4, Psalm 143:7-12

Thursday, September 21, 2017

DAILY DEVO...God comforts us so we can comfort others


How do you react to hard times?

Hardships can either make us or break us. During times of stress and anxiety, we often lean unto our own understanding instead of God's.

Several years ago, we went thru a very difficult time with one of our kids. At a young age, we received a less than promising report from the doctor. The next few years, we would go thru surgeries and a change of life for all of us.

At the time, I often questioned why God was allowing us to go thru all of that. It wasn't until many years later that I realized that God actually had purpose for our pain, He not only would see us thru but He would use us to minister to families with similar health challenges.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul urged the Corinthians to know that God was their source of comfort in the midst of their trouble...

(2 Corinthians 1:3,4) "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."

He not only brings us comfort but He brings us thru so that we can turn around and be a comfort to others.

You may be feeling some pain today, but be reassured that there is purpose in your pain; God will comfort you so that you can also be a comfort for others.

HAVE A BLESSED (and comforting) DAY. Laurie

TODAY'S READING...Isaiah 3-5, 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, Psalm 143:1-6

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

DAILY DEVO...have you been washed?


The first chapter of Isaiah starts off with how the acts of sin are dealt with. Not by man but by God. 

With man, our former sins will be forever remembered and even held over our heads but that's not the nature of God...

(Isaiah 1:16-17a) "Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice."

When we come to God, He doesn't want us to stay the same way as we came. He wants us to be clean of those things that separate us from Him. 

I don't know about you, but there are days that I need to bathe at least once, sometimes twice. Not just physically but spiritually. 

I am so thankful that when I lay down my wrong doings, wrong thinking and wrong attitudes before the Lord, He swoops it up, washes me and doesn't leave me sitting in my muck any longer. 

God will never leave us in our sin after He forgives us. Isn't that a wonderful thing to know?

Now if we could just learn to do right as our scripture today says, it sure would save on water and soap! 

HAVE A BLESSED (and washed by the Blood) day! LAURIE

TODAY'S READING: Isaiah 1-2, 1 Corinthians 16, Psalm 142 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Daily DEVO...keep a guard at the door of your lips


Today's scripture goes right along with what I wrote about yesterday: encouraging others with our lips.

What we say (or don't say) has such a powerful impact on those we communicate with. In today's Psalm, It says...

"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips”. (Psalm 141:3)

Imagine with me today that inside of our lips is a door and at the door stands a doorman on guard. He is keeping watch of what goes in and what comes out.

Every word that is spoken (or just thought) does not get by God. He is our Doorkeeper and knowing that He is on watch over my lips encourages me that I need to be an encourager with my mouth.

I have to admit, I haven't always guarded my mouth like I should but today my prayer is found in Colossians 4:6: "Dear Lord; let my speech be full of grace and seasoned with salt."

It will serve you well if you use sweet words today so tomorrow you won't have to eat them.

Have a blessed (and watchful) day. LAURIE

TODAY'S READING...Song of Solomon 5-8, 1 Corinthians 15:35-58, Psalm 141

Monday, September 18, 2017

DAILY DEVO...everyone likes a compliment


Who doesn't love receiving a compliment? 

I noticed in the book of Solomon, the writers were not shy when it came to expressing their love and adoration for one another. 

(Song of Solomon 7:5) "Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel. Your hair is like royal tapestry; the king is held captive by its tresses."

While it may be received strangely if we went around quoting Song of Solomon scriptures to complete strangers, I assure you, a mere compliment would brighten someone's day. 

If you look around, you will see that there are many beautiful people in your world. You will find them at the checkouts, in the post office, at school and right across the street. 

I have noticed some of the prettiest eyes and the most beautiful smiles on people I barely know. But yet, I often don't tell them what I see. Why are we leary to compliment people? 

No one wants to feel weird or laughed at but giving compliments is something that even God does. All throughout the Bible, you will find God giving affirmation to people of all walks of life. 

One way that we can be more Christ-like is to speak love and affirmation to others; it will not only bring a smile to their face but it will encourage them to be all that God created them to be. 

Look for something beautiful in someone today and don't be afraid to let them know what you (and God) sees in them. 

Have a Blessed (and beautiful) day. LAURIE

TODAY'S READING: Song of Solomon 1-4, 1 Corinthians 15:12-34, Psalm 140:9-13

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DAILY DEVO...there's a time for everything


Have you ever noticed how much we seem to complain about time? If we wait for more than 5 minutes for our food in the fast lane, it's too long. But on the other hand, a sweet family reunion with someone we haven't seen in a long time is never long enough. 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we are reminded that every season of life has purpose. We all have seasons of difficulty and seasons of joy. In each season, God wants to teach us something about Who He is and all that He can be for us. 

If we will let Him...

(Ecclesiastes 3:11) "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

God's timing is different than ours. He wants good things for us but sometimes we must wait for the right time. If we rush things, we might miss out on a blessing. 

I've changed how I look at trials and disappointments in my life. Instead of asking "why?", I simply understand it's just not the right time. 

If I can trust that God created the beautiful heavens and earth and everything in it, surely I can trust Him for all that He has planned for me. Can you?

Have a blessed (and on-time) day! LAURIE

TODAY'S READING: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:15, 1 Corinthians 12:1-26, Psalm 139:1-6

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DAILY DEVO...Who is your source?


From the very onset of sin in this world, harmony between a man and a woman was disrupted. The sin of Adam and Eve brought headship and submission into existence. 

For many people there is a misunderstanding of what this all means. Wives don't like to hear the word "submit" and some men take their "authority" just too far. 

Headship or "having authority" is not a right to command and control. It is a responsibility to love like Christ. 

I heard a wonderful illustration a few years ago that explained the headship of the husband over the wife. Many would think that the term "head" refers to leadership but I heard it called another word; it was defined as our "source". Think about what the head supplies, literally:

Literally, the head is home to our eyes that give us sight, and a mouth that feeds us and ears to hear the upcoming sounds of danger. The head is our source for protection for all of these things that we need.

Likewise, the husband, as the head of his wife is the "source" for the leading, the providing and the protecting of his family and home. 

Just as God placed the man to look after and take care of the needs of his wife, the Bible says  that Christ is the head of every man (and woman) and He takes care of their needs. 

(1 Corinthians 11:3) "But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."

God is the source for every man, every woman and every body of Believers. He is the Head and He wants to not only love and nurture us but lead us, protect us and grow us. 

Have a blessed day. LAURIE

TODAY'S READING: Job 40-42, 1 Corinthians 11:2-34, Psalm 138

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

DAILY DEVO...when we ask God "why"?


In his pain and despair, Job asked a lot of questions. I think that the "why" questions are human nature and we all ask them.

"Why do bad things happen to good people?" "Why do people I love have to suffer?" "Why do I have to go thru this?"

Somehow, we think by asking questions we may get a clearer understanding of our pain.

When Job asked God "why", God responded quite harshly. God turned it around and asked Job who he was to question God...

(Job 38:4) "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell Me, if you understand."

Sometimes, my friend, we don't need understanding but faith. Faith that God knows better than us. Faith that God's ways are higher than ours and that He wants good things for us. 

During those moments of questioning, understand that you may not always find the answer. 

Some things just aren't for us to know. God is a God who does reveal certain things to us but He is also a God Who conceals. 

Why would He keep things from us? So we will learn to trust Him instead of our feelings and to live by faith rather than our emotions. 

What questions do you have? Trust God today for the answer, even if you don't see it, He has His reasons, His plans and He has the answers!

Have a blessed (and trusting) day! LAURIE

@copyright2017 laurieadams

TODAY'S READING: Job 37-39, 1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1, Psalm 137 

Monday, September 11, 2017

LACED WITH GRACE...are you burdened for the unchurched?

How burdened are you for the unchurched?
Recently, my husband was having a conversation with someone about the burden that he has for those who have left the church. While often times there is not much a Pastor can do about those who choose to uproot and leave, it is still a burden they carry, as far as their relationship with God.
In a recent survey conducted by Reachrightstudios, a ghastly number was revealed that 59% of millennial’s who grew up in church are now leaving the church. Not to go to another denomination, but walking away from their faith!
That statistic should alarm you if you are a Believer. As Pastors, I  can assure you that it bothers us, even worries us.We have one of the greatest mission fields right in our own backyard with those who are unchurched.
The feedback that my husband received about his worry for those who have gone out the backdoor kind of surprised me and sent me on this trail of wondering where my own burden lies. He was told he needed to be delivered of worry. Now, I would agree that it isn’t good for a Believer to worry, for God says that He will take care of everything, even the tiny sparrow. But worry and burden are two different things.
The Apostle Paul possessed the most effective tool for evangelism: a burden for those who did not know Jesus. His burden for his own people to become Believers burned inside of him. He sums up what was in his heart in Romans 9 where he basically says, if it was possible, he would give up his own hope of eternal life so that those who didn’t have it could.
(Roman 9:2,3) “that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers.”
Paul strove to reach as many people as possible for the Gospel. I am sure that even Paul, the great teacher that he was, had some walk away. But his burden for those who rebuked him and walked away from the Message never stopped him from caring or praying for them.
We all know someone who has walked away for one reason or another. What have you done about it…have you prayed? Have you cared? Do you still have a burden?
It is my prayer that I will never stop worrying (having a burden) for the unchurched to come back Home.
@copyright 2017 laurieadams

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

DAILY DEVO...the Lost and the Found


There are two kinds of people in the world; the lost and the found. 

Those that are found are sometimes called something else; saved, born again, believers, redeemed, saved. The Bible says that those who are Believers were once lost but now are found. 

It's easy to forget about the lost once we are found. But God never forgets about either ...He is concerned for both the Lost and Found. 

Paul addresses the Lost and Found in today's scripture reading (1 Corinthians 5:9,10) when he explains that it was never meant for the Saved (the Found) to not associate with the Sinner (the Lost).  

After all, even Jesus spent time with the Lost...

(Luke 15:1,2) "Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them."

Christian's are to be in the world but not of the world. Meaning that we are to bring God's light to the darkness without contributing to the darkness. 

To not associate with the Lost would be to completely miss the point of the mission of those who have been found. 

May we have a compassion and love for those Lost souls to become found. After all, isn't that what God did for your Lost soul? 

Thanking God that when we seek Him, He is always found! 

Have a blessed day today. LAURIE

TODAY'S READING: Job 14-16, 1 Corinthians 4:14-5:13, Psalm 130