Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Devotional - Friends with Benefits

Oh my goodness.....this one is talking to me specifically....WOW! There have been situations that have been occuring at my church that causes me to look at Christians differently and if we are living the way God would want us to live. Another words.....judging others by their actions and wondering if my family should be a part of something that just doesn't look pure and so this has been a struggle for me because I believe that we should live pure and serve Christ correctly. This devotional made me think and all I can do is do my part and let them take care of their own actions.

Here is the devotional so that you can understand what I am talking about: (my daughter went to see Harry Potter last night, our worship leader drinks, he says WTF at all times(acronym only), worship team drinks and smokes, etc.)

Friends with Benefits
by Stephen Sanders, Salem A/V Editor

"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. -1 Corinthians 10:23-24 (NIV)

Anyone who has been a Christian for an amount of time has probably experienced an unfriendly encounter with another believer. It’s just inevitable. People have bad days, become influenced by the wrong things and make the wrong decision sometimes. Christians, in our culture specifically, also have a tendency to be very judgmental...and that is probably a bigger problem than most of us realize.

In recent months, I’ve seen really strong arguments online about a variety of issues. Here are a few:

-Can someone watch Harry Potter movies and still be a Christian?

-Can someone drink an alcoholic beverage from time to time and still be a Christian?

-Is it God’s will for all Christians to be rich?

-Should Christians take medicine for illness or trust God for healing?

-Why did God create people that He knew would go to hell?

As you read some of these, you probably immediately formed an opinion based on what you have found to be “true” in the Bible or in your Christian walk. Maybe you have spent countless hours stewing over and standing for one of the sides to these arguments because you feel so strongly about them. You could be one of the few people who don’t get caught up in such arguments and, for that, I salute you. But, regardless of who you are, there is a very important lesson to learn from all of this.

God has made it perfectly clear in the Bible that it is His will for Christians to be a light to this world. He has called us to be a people who draw the lost to Him, who share the Good News with those around us in order for them to be reconciled to Him. Those who are not Christians should look at us and see a group of people who love one another. This we know.

However, there are some things that we do not know for sure. We have not been given the ability to look into the hearts of other Christians and know what motivates them. It is absolutely impossible for any of us to walk in the same shoes as those around us come to the same conclusions about the issues of life. But isn’t it funny how sometimes we still try?

Is Harry Potter something that Satan could use to pull a believer closer to him? Perhaps, but I think that he would be far more likely to use something or somebody far more unlikely to do another believer. Could a Christian become addicted to alcohol and do damage to himself and others around him? Yes, but could a Christian also practice moderation and shame the devil? Definitely. Did God create people that He knew would go to hell? If so, does that really change the way we have been called to behave and minister to those around us? Absolutely not.

Thursday's devotional - Glory in Weaknesses

How awesome is this title....I haven't even read the devotional and I am pumped to know what it says. How is there Glory in Weaknesses? Let's find out...

Paul had learned he was valuable not because of his many accomplishments but because of Christ in him. Because God loved him and guided him. He had learned to rely not on his own strength and abilities but on the strength and power of Christ. And he learned that when he was honest about his own weaknesses, he opened the door for Christ's strength and power to work in his life. He had learned that Jesus' strength and power would "pitch a tent over and dwell upon" him! What a picture!

I know that admitting your weaknesses is a tough situation for many but when you release those weaknesses to God - IMAGINE what takes place and how is strength comes upon us when we let go of the things that hold us Bound, like weaknesses.

This saying says it all...You just have to trust Jesus and follow him--and let his strength and power rest on you. Like Paul, you will be able to glory in your weakness.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Devotional - The Fiery Furnace

What a great devotional....God is always with us and we are never alone or will be hurt. Can you believe how many times we have been in the fire and he has rescued us....accidents, lies, stolen goods, the enemy's trap in other situations, the things Satan tells us that we start to believe, etc. Powerful devitional today!

We can be sure of this, my friend - when walking through the fiery trials of life, we are never alone. Jesus is right there with us all the way. A little smoke and fire doesn’t bother Him one little bit.

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, thank You that I never have to walk through the fiery trials of life alone. You promised that You will never leave me, and I cling to that truth today. Also, thank You for sending friends to walk through the flames with me! They are some of my most treasured gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Devotional - Apperances can be Deceiving

Just reading this title of today's devotional has brought me to a halt because this is exactly what has been happening lately with my church and what has been on my mind this week. So sad to say but appearances do deceive. I am so tired of always being hurt or deceived in some way from churches. Every time we find a good church we like or the one we think we should be a part of.....things start showing up that are not Godly. I know that we are not perfect but we should be walking the walk and staying pure rather than doing things that hold us drinking, smoking, saying bad words, etc. I know these are setbacks but important people in the ministry are doing these things and I know it is wrong.......I know this has nothing to do with the devotional today but I had to VENT a little. Get some things off my I wrong to say this, am I wrong to think these things.......all I can do is pray and allow God to lead me to do what is right. I am listening carefully lately as to what to do. Quiet time in the morning is what I have to do.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7, NIV

Now with this verse, it makes me I looking at the wrong thing? I just want to work with a group of followers that are going towards the right goal and not someone that is going to be drinking the night prior to service and miss the mark of what God has to say the next morning....I have a problem with that. Oh God, please help me to understand what you want me to SEE.

This was a great devotional and one that can help us see people through there heart and not the outside appearance. I am currently struggling with this in many ways but I believe that how I consider these individuals is just not right and I know God will help me get through this soon.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Devotional - Unqualified

Just reading the heading, the scripture and the first two lines, I believe we describe ourselves always this way...unqualified, undeserving, no memory for verses, no spiritual gifts but we have to remember that this is what Satan wants us to believe and this is NOT what God says about us. We have to stand strong and believe in the promises God made to us in his WORD! Whooo, powerful devotional today.

What a powerful saying....."God loves unqualified Christians." This is how I feel sometimes but I am a warrior in Christ, I am destined to preach the gospel to others and bring lost souls to Christ. I can preach on this one....I love when God's word flows through me....there is power in HIS Name! Thank you Heavenly Father for your wisdom and power.

Don’t underestimate what Christ can do with your life. Give God one willing Christian, and he can change the face of the world. LOVE IT!

Do you feel like an unqualified Christian? Don’t feel down; pray to God and seek a place where you can serve him.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Devotional - Who Defines your Worth?

No one defines our worth other than God but I know that there are many factors that we try to use to define us as women. It could be something that happenned to us as a young teen, as a woman, things that people said and did to us, etc. But God has the final say to how he sees us; beautiful, young, shining, exquisite, desired, loved....we have to remember what HE says about us and not man.

"Because of Jesus Christ, I am a WOMAN OF HIGHEST WORTH!".... I love that saying. I am a child of God as well. Don't allow the enemy to speak worthlessness to you or lie to you. Bind him up immediately and speak life to your mind!

Allow God to cover you with his coat of how worthy you are.....I love this devotion, all women need to read this....take the time to read how we should walk...
We as women should be clothed by the "robe of righteousness," “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21

I hate to copy and paste from other websites but this is WORTH every minute of it.
There’s no way we could ever afford or earn such a robe but Jesus gave His life for us - He earned it for us. He paid the price and we receive the gift. Why? Because you’re worth it. You are precious and highly valuable in the eyes of the One who sees. And you never, never, never have to worry about being on anyone's bargain rack again. AMEN!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Devotional - Sandpaper People

This devotional today really is a great one to learn from. There are many people in our lives that are sandpaper people. We need to shower them with God's love and serve them.

Usually we try to change them, run from them, ignore them instead of serving them. You ask why serve them if they cause so much Havoc......because God loved us regardless.

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” and “honor one another” (Romans 12:10, NIV). In this verse, “devotion” indicates commitment and duty and carries the idea of a constant faithfulness that deliberately chooses repeatedly to serve.

Father, when I let pride take up residence in my heart, I can be so blind to the needs of others, especially those who are more difficult to love. I am so thankful that You did not feel that way toward me, one of the most difficult people of all to love. I praise You for the grace and love You have given me. Help me to be an instrument of that love and grace in the lives of those around me.
In Jesus’ name,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Devotional - Trigger Points

There is always something or someone who tells us we are not good enough or you can't do it, we as women always feel inadequate. But we as the STRONG women that we are we have to stand against those accusations or those roots that can be planted and tell the enemy he is a liar.

Insecurity and self-doubt are so hard to overcome once they have been planted within us however we have to stand against them, encourage ourselves with the word of God and be strong women in faith. We have to be the WOMEN that God wants us to be in HIM! These items that we sometimes allow to overcome us can paralyze us which is exactly what the enemy wants but GOD. We serve an Almighty Father that removes those bondage's from our lives and sets us FREE. Hallelujah!

When we change the way we think, it will change how we feel and eventually transform the way we live.

Lord, I'm tired of doubting myself and feeling paralyzed by insecurity and uncertainty. Show me what triggers my self-doubt and then help me focus on Your thoughts about me instead of my thoughts about myself. I want to rely on and live in the power of Your promises. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Devotional - Neverending socks

Today's devotional really hit home this morning as I began to read about laundry, folding, unfolding, washing, and THE SOCKS. I like to do laundry but the SOCKS, they always stay in a pile and never get done and this is what happens when we continue to allow burdens to come upon us, they stay in a pile and never get sorted through......what a testimony through this devotion. So you are do you get through having quiet time with God!
Isn't that amazing....all your burdens drift away when you spend time with the Lord and just listen. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

When we go about our daily lives.....How important is the power of quiet, the power of still, the power of listening, the power of expecting and can you not stop and listen! God is so amazing and wonderful!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Devotional - To Do Lists

I love this verse because it shows how we are as wives and as mothers! "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." Proverbs 31:17

I know sometimes we can get so frustrated with our To do Lists on a daily basis but God sees our hard work and we don't need to face them alone because God is with us through it all. God is my strength and without him I am nothing!

I want to fear the Lord always, remember to be on fire for him daily, and give him the honor that a Father is given! I love how this devotional states that our source is rooted in faith and to depend on God. In order to have strength each day, we have to prioritize God and fear Him.

The steps I need to take to move in a deeper dependance of God's strength is to be consistent in prayer, stay pure, and worship in his presence daily.