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Fan, Follower or Disciple?

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“You will be my witnesses.”
Ac 1:8 NIV

GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE (1)

A witness is someone who sees and experiences an event, then testifies to it in court in a way that convinces others. And that’s what you have been called to do! You say, “But I don’t feel qualified.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. And don’t let Satan convince you otherwise, because he will try. He will tell you God has an IQ requirement, or an entry fee; that He employs only specialists, experts, and high-powered personalities. No, Jesus said to His disciples, “You will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.” You uneducated and simple folk. You temperamental net casters and tax collectors. “You will be my witnesses.” The one thing the disciples had going for them was their willingness to take a step when Jesus said, “Follow me.” So if you’re more plumber than executive, or more blue jeans than blue blood, you’re qualified! “Few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful” (1Co 1:26-27 NLT). So pray: “Lord, You’ve called me into Your Kingdom to serve You in this specific place, at this specific time, and for this specific purpose. Despite my ordinariness I belong to You—and You are anything but ordinary! Today help me to pour out Your grace and compassion upon others, that they too may experience the richness of Your love.”

Devotional//Word For You Today

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Present In Every Situation

“I was not aware of it.”
Ge 28:16 NIV

BE “AWARE” OF GOD IN YOUR SITUATION

One night Jacob had a dream. He saw a ladder with angels on it extending all the way up to heaven, and God said to him, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” (v. 15 NIV). The next morning Jacob said, “The Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” When it comes to recognizing God at work in your life, you can be spiritually tuned in, or be like Jacob and not be “aware” of Him. It was business as usual for Moses the day he noticed the burning bush—not an uncommon sight in a hot desert climate. Except this time the bush kept burning, and “when…he turned aside to look, God called to him” (Ex 3:4 NKJV). You’ll have some of your greatest encounters with God in the everyday experiences of life. But you have to be open and receptive, otherwise you’ll miss Him. Author William Barry says: “Whether we’re aware of it or not, at every moment of our existence we’re encountering God…who is trying to catch our attention…to draw us into a reciprocal conscious relationship.” And you never know where He’ll appear, or through whom He’ll speak. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene thought Jesus was just the gardener. Paul writes, “Wake up…sleeper” (Eph 5:14 NIV). You can be awakened by a miraculous healing, a restored relationship, or even a great trial. Don’t just look for God in your triumphs; look for Him in your troubles too. Theologian Frederick Buechner said, “There is no event so commonplace but that God is present, leaving you room to recognize or not to recognize Him.”

Devotional// Word For You Today

Takeaways: Sometimes, God will cause things to happen in our lives that will cause us to position our eyes on him.

Familiarity of who God is and what he does can hinder us from truly experiencing him.

Jesus loves you. Have a blessed day 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Sacrificial Love

THE MARRIAGE COVENANT

“For those who are married, I have a command that comes…from the Lord.” 1Co 7:10 NLT

Having God’s blessing on your marriage is contingent upon you operating according to His rules. To enjoy His protection, peace, and prosperity you must follow His instructions. For example, you can spend hours arguing and still not resolve the issue. If you’d just followed God’s rules, the argument could have been over in a matter of minutes, and both parties would have been satisfied at the end of the process. When your car breaks down, you take it back to the dealership. Why? Because they sold it to you and they know how to fix it! God performed the first marriage. So when your relationship gets into trouble, if you’re wise you’ll talk to Him about it before talking to each other. Furthermore, when you get married with the attitude, “If this doesn’t work out I can always get a divorce,” you’re running in the opposite direction from the truth of God’s Word. Paul writes: “For those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife” (vv. 10-11 NLT). Yes, there are some acceptable reasons for divorce, but they are the exception and not the rule! Recently a Hollywood celebrity spent millions of dollars on her wedding and then divorced her husband two months later on the grounds of “incompatibility.” When you say, “Till death us do part,” you say it before God and you’re supposed to mean it. 

We throw the word “love” around loosely, leaving it to be defined in many different ways. People say things like, “I love chocolate cake,” or “I love football,” or “I love that television show.” What they really mean is they “like” and “enjoy” these things. The Bible definition of love goes much deeper than what entertains and excites us, and what makes us feel emotionally attached to one another. To love someone is to pursue their well-being and make it a priority. Love’s first concern is always: “How does this action contribute to my partner’s well-being?” If it doesn’t—or if it does the opposite—then it isn’t love. The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her…In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but…cares for it” (vv. 25, 28-29 NLT). As a husband, you can learn two things from these Scriptures: (1) We are all innately selfish. So your greatest challenge will always be to put your wife’s interests ahead of your own, and be willing to sacrifice your own agenda to do it. (2) We must practice being sensitive. Think how sensitive you are to the aches and needs of your own body, and apply that same principle to caring for your wife. You say, “That’s a tall order!” Yes, and the God who commands you to do it will give you the grace to do it day by day. So draw on His grace!

A good marriage is built on mutual sacrifice. Adam had to sacrifice something near and dear to him in order to get Eve—a rib. And your wife will know you love her when you’re willing to give up things that are important to you in order to meet her needs and promote her well-being. Too many men want to be married but still function as singles. They don’t want to sacrifice any time, attention, or resources for the benefit of their wives. They don’t want a wife; they want a maid. They want to marry someone so they can be served. No—it’s the opposite! The Bible says you and your wife are “heirs together.” That means she is an equal partner. So her opinions, thoughts, and perspectives matter. Yes, as the leader of your home you may make the final decision, but when you don’t get your wife’s input and consider her viewpoint, holy wedlock can turn into unholy deadlock. Your wife will respond to you when she feels cherished and valued (See Eph 5:29). You say, “But my wife’s as cold as ice.” How did she get that way? Ice only stays icy in a cold environment. So instead of complaining, work at changing your environment. Husbands are thermostats and wives are thermometers. Husbands determine the climate and wives thrive or shrivel accordingly. There’s a reason your wife is cold—and there’s a solution. When you begin to love, nurture, cherish, and protect her as Christ did the church, you’ll have a whole new woman in your arms. Try it and see.

Paul writes, “The wife must respect her husband.” Pay close attention to the word “must.” This is a command from the Lord, not a suggestion or a topic that’s open to debate. Notice, the Bible doesn’t say a woman must “love” her husband, but it does say that she must “respect” him. And guys, before you take the throne and start handing out decrees, that means you must prove yourself worthy of respect! To respect your husband is to hold him in esteem and honor. What a woman needs from a man is located in her heart, and what a man needs from a woman is located in his head. It’s called his ego. You say, “I’m not going to feed his ego!” That would be like your husband saying, “I’m not going to feed your heart.” Men long to have their egos fed. When you fail to feed your husband’s ego, he may end up vulnerable to somebody else who feeds it for him! As a wife, you were created by God with the ability to feed your husband’s ego in a healthy manner, by respecting and honoring him. There’s nothing more dangerous in a marriage relationship than disrespect. When a man doesn’t feel respected, he will either rebel against you, remove himself, or become passive. God has given two simple rules for building a successful marriage. The first is for husbands to love their wives, and the second is for wives to respect their husbands. And when you operate by God’s rules you get God’s results. So if you want God’s best, and His blessing at home—start doing things His way.

Devotion// Word For You Today. Have a blessed day 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Strong Finish

@humphreyandgrace.

Happy New Month of December. We thank God for allowing us to see another day/last month of the year. What a faithful God we serve. Many people didn’t get the opportunity to see this day but God he woke us up. Many times, we take for granted the gift of waking up. Someone is taking their last breath but God he blessed us with another day to see. We are reminded in Psalm 30:9, “Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?”. It’s only the living that can praise God. So as long as we are blessed with yet another day to be alive, we ought to praise the Lord. God has kept us for eleven months and by his grace we have made it to see the last month of the year. God inhabits the praises of his people. Though this year may have not started off well for you or it seems like it won’t end well, may this be the month you draw closer to God. Despite the fact that you might have went astray, always remember that as long as God has breathed life into your lungs, you have another opportunity each day to make a decision to draw closer to him and have a better relationship. It can start today. The decision will always be yours. God is waiting for you.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24, we are reminded about the importance of self-discipline. And it reads, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

There is so much to take away from this scripture. Our walk with Christ is a journey. You can’t compare yourself with everyone around you. You must do your part to seek God in everything you do. God will always send people your way to be a destiny helper for the journey but we must never forget to fix our eyes on him. Sometimes, in the midst of our trials, we shift our focus on God. In the same way when running in a race, if we shift our focus on who is next or behind us, we will miss the finish the line. There is nothing wrong with helping our brothers and sisters in Christ but we must always stay connected with God.

Even as we have entered a new month, I would like for us to take the time to think about priorities. What are your priorities? Are you the one that says God 1st but your life is not a reflection of who God is in the decisions you make? Before the year ends, many of us desire to spend time with the Lord but we tend to say it with our lips but our actions don’t match up. Today as I read the “Parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl” which is found in Matthew 13: 44-46, I took away a few points I would to like to share with you all.

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Key Points I Took Away:

  1. Treasure hidden in a field: What have you been hiding and if found, would you be proud of it?
  2. What have you been holding on to? What is causing you not to release this thing?
  3. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. As we know, pearls are really expensive. They aren’t cheap at all. When this merchant found what he was looking for, he went and sold everything that he owned in order for him to purchase these fine pearls. As I read this parable, it reminded me of God and how he sent Jesus, his only son to die on the cross for us. Christ died a sacrificial death. For many of us, we are holding on to many things that are hindering us from God. We are so afraid of releasing because we don’t know what will replace that in which we released. Sometimes, we have to release, make room for God to do what he needs to do. This is not the month where you want to test and see if you can do anything by your power and strength. This is the month where you need to draw closer to the Lord and his strength. In Psalm 105:4, it states “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
  4. “When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” We can look at this from the viewpoint of when we give our lives to Christ, we are filled with joy. Though we don’t know the full cost of following Jesus, daily he reveals himself to us as we continue to seek him. This is the cost of discipleship. As Jesus said to the great crowds that accompanied him in Luke 14:25-33. We must never allow anything to hinder us from following Jesus. In Matthew 6:21, we are told that “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It is very important to check our motives and the condition of our hearts. 

It is a new month and I believe that God is ready to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond our expectations. May we finish strong. May we not lose sight of who God is even in this last month. The devil will bring forth many distractions but you must learn to remain in the word of God and stay in contact with your heavenly Father. What you couldn’t finish today, you can continue by the grace of God. Don’t allow the enemy to discourage you in this month. You are not a failure but rather a conqueror. You are trying. This year may have been rough for you and you are just waiting for it to be over but God still wants to do many things in and through you. God isn’t finished. He can do a new thing in you before a new year begins. He’s a God of new beginnings and many blessings. What God has started in you, may it prosper for his kingdom and his glory. May you be a light in someone’s life in this month. May your eyes be opened and your hearts/minds be transformed daily in this month. May your heart be filled with gratitude more than ever before. By the grace of God, it will be a great month. Peace, love, joy, divine protection and supernatural blessings in this last month to you and your loved ones. Until next time, stay rooted in the Lord. Praise Him. Live, Love & Keep Pressing Forward 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Glory Be To God

@designroots.

“You are worthy, o lord, to receive glory.”
Rev 4:11 NKJV

PRAISE GOD EVERY DAY

A Christian farmer taught his horse to start and stop, using words from the Bible. When he wanted the horse to go, he would shout, “Praise the Lord.” When he wanted the horse to stop, he would shout, “Hallelujah.” All went well until one day a thunderbolt caused the horse to take off galloping at full speed. Realizing he had lost control, the farmer panicked and forgot the words he had trained the horse to respond to. Up ahead was a cliff, and they were headed toward it at full speed. Desperately he tried to recall every religious word he’d ever heard of. He shouted, “Amen! Jesus saves! Worthy! Holy!” Nothing worked. Just as the horse approached the precipice, he shouted, “Hallelujah!” The horse stopped right there on the edge. Relieved, he wiped the sweat off his brow and said, “Whew, praise the Lord!” Seriously, praising the Lord is not a religious activity that belongs only in church on Sunday morning. “From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised” (Ps 113:3 NKJV). That means let your first words in the morning and your last words at night, be praise to God. “Why should I praise God every day?” you ask. Because He is worthy of your praise. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power.” And one more thought. Spoken words of love and appreciation draw people together and create intimacy. Do you want to get closer to God? Start praising Him more.

Reflection: As I read my devotional, there were so many things running through my mind. Thoughts of how important it is for us to praise God. Sometimes, when we are going through things in life, we tend to focus on our circumstances. We wonder where God is when the storms of life comes our way. There is so many things we need to be thankful for in our lives. God has brought us through 11 months and by his grace, we will enter into a new month. Take time to make a list of all the things your thankful for. Pray over it. I pray that the month of December will bring about many of God’s blessings to you and your family. All that you’ve been trusting God for, may it come to pass according to his will for your life. God bless you 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Learn To Listen

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” Pr 12:15 NIV

“LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” Part #3

Another way God will lead you is: Through godly advice. Moses experienced this. Instead of getting help, he tried to do it all himself. At that point his father-in-law, Jethro, said to him, “What you are doing is not good” (Ex 18:17 NIV). Then he told Moses to delegate responsibility to capable leaders who could share the load with him. “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (Ex 18:24 NIV). As a result, Moses’ problem was solved, and Israel made it successfully to the Promised Land. Some of the time God will speak to you directly and reveal what you should do, but much of the time He will speak to you through relationships. He will bring wise and seasoned people alongside you. At that point you need to be humble enough to heed their advice. You may be good; indeed, you may be better than most. But you’ll never be as good as you could be, without the help of others. But you must be careful who you listen to—trustworthy counselors and persons who want only what God wants. Such persons will stay objective, listen carefully, and answer slowly. Often they won’t give you an answer at the time you ask for it. They want to sleep on it; they want to pray about it; they want to think about it. Such a person is like having an extra set of eyes and ears. Why would you want to live without them? So today be open to those God sends into your life to help guide you. 

Devotional//Word For You Today

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Holy Spirit

“God is working in you.” Php 2:13

“LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO?” (Part #2)

Another way in which God will lead you is: Through the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit. As a parent, you wouldn’t allow your children to get into trouble if you could stop them—and neither would God. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” God will give you a desire to do His will, plus the power to carry it out. You ask, “But how can I know God’s voice?” Through time, through testing, through experience, and most of all through intimacy with Him. When a loved one calls you on the phone, they don’t have to say, “Hello, this is your husband or your wife calling.” You know their voice! And learning to recognize the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit is crucial, because much of the time you won’t be able to figure it out. “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” (Pr 20:24 NLT). When all is said and done, you will say, “Honestly, I didn’t figure this thing out. It must have been God.” The longer you walk with God the less you’ll know about why He leads as He does, but you’ll know with assurance that He does lead you. Knowing that is what will draw you back to Him time and time again to seek His guidance. The apostle Jude said, “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith” (Jude v.3 NIV). Those words—“I felt I had to”—are nothing less than the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Devotional//Word For You Today

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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