Monthly Archives: March 2017

He is preparing the way…

Deuteronomy 7:21 -23, “Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.”

At the time of the writing of this scripture, the Israelites are threatened by many nations: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – seven nations who are much larger and stronger than they are.  Some of you may say, “That sounds like my life right now. I feel like I’m being hit from all sides.” And some of you are under great fire right now.

Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God For me, this is the most powerful part of this scripture and our lives. Acknowledge and accept that the power with you is our great and awesome God. You are not alone in your problems. You will not be fighting this battle alone. God has a solution. He has a plan. He is rolling up His sleeves. You have no reason to fear. God is near.

You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once – This is the tough part of the scripture. Even though God could flick His fingers and everything would go away, He doesn’t. Because He knows what is up ahead. Something far worse. Something that will harm His plan. Something that needs readjusting. Whatever the reason, He isn’t going to wipe out all your trials at once; because He sees a better way.

or the wild animals will multiply around you – God knows that if He just flicks His finger and destroys seven nations, a greater problem awaits the Israelites. The wild animals will multiply and the Israelites will be overcome by them. Sometimes we just want an answer. We want God to take it all away. What we don’t realize is a bigger trial is lurking on the outside we don’t know about yet; but God does. I’m sure the Israelites just want their enemies to ‘GO AWAY’! They aren’t thinking about the wild animals around them because at the time, the wild animals are of little concern. There is enough population to keep them away. God doesn’t do anything haphazardly. He sees the whole picture not just the part we are in.

But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed – Understand that God sees you. He knows you exist. He knows your pain, your problems, your dilemmas. He has not forgotten you. He may need to take care of things a little by little; but, He will deliver you.

I want to encourage you, God has heard your cries at night. He sees the problems you face and He knows the outcome. He is preparing the way for you, little by little.


Whatever He says…

John 2:1-7, “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.”

I love the miracles of Jesus. Of all of them, this is probably my favorite because it says so much for us today. When Mary goes to Jesus with the dilemma, she instructs the servants to do whatever He tells them to do. Think about that for a moment. These are not Mary’s servants. They do not know who Jesus is or what He is capable of doing; and yet, their hearts are willing to do whatever He tells them to do.

There are some stone water jars nearby used by the Jews for ceremonial washing. These are not small jars when you consider they are capable of holding 20 to 30 gallons of water. That’s heavy. When He tells them to fill the stone jars with water, the servants filled them to the brim.

Some of you are looking for God to move in your life miraculously. Maybe you need healing or an answer to a financial problem or help with your children. Maybe your home is near foreclosure or in foreclosure. Maybe your business is going under or you need money for an education or you lost your job. Whatever the issue, whatever the need, are you filling your stone jars to the brim? When I think about these servants, I realize, Jesus didn’t tell them how much water to put in the stone jars. Some of you would probably only put 1/4 of the way full; some of you, only 1/2. But they went the extra mile and filled it to the brim.

I know I’m speaking to someone out there, God has asked you to do something very specific but you aren’t doing it. If the servants had not filled the stone jars with water, there wouldn’t be wine. Jesus needed them to do something so He would do something.

There have been times in my life when God has instructed me to do something and I really didn’t understand at all why He would asked me to do that; but I did it anyway. I filled my stone jars to the brim and received His blessing.

I want to encourage you today to listen to what God is instructing you to do. You can hear Him through prayer, the Bible, the peace within you, through others, or some other way. God is limitless. Do what He is telling you to do!

I recently visited a friend in the hospital. He told me God had been telling him to lose 50 pounds for over a year and he didn’t do it. Now he faced by-pass surgery and his physician told him if he didn’t lose 50 pounds he was going to die. Through tears he explained he knew God wanted him to do a particular thing for the Kingdom. We prayed together and as I left the hospital he asked me, “Do you think God will give me the chance this time to do what He asked me to do?”

Don’t miss your miracle because you are too stubborn or too frustrated or too unwilling or too whatever to fill your stone jars to the brim. Your miracle awaits. Don’t lose your chance.


A God of Promises

2 Samuel 9:1, “David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’

King David summons his servant Ziba and asks him if there is anyone left of Saul’s family. He is actually inquiring about Jonathan’s lineage. Jonathan was the son of Saul and a loyal and devoted friend to David. Ziba tells him of  Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, son of Saul. Mephibosheth has a physical deformity which makes him lame in both feet. David sends for him because he wants to show him God’s kindness. Why? Because of  his relationship with Jonathan.

There are several scriptures which describe a similar blessing for us. God wants to show us His kindness because of our relationship with Christ.

Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

2 Samuel 7-8, “’Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’”

Some of you respond to God in similar fashion. “I am a nobody. I have messed up my life. I am worthless. Why would God want to bless a dead dog like me?”

Sound familiar? The enemy of your soul whispers in your ear, “You’re nobody. You are nothing. You are not, not, not…” Then, you look in the mirror and tell yourself the same thing. You then go to work, “I can’t do this job. I will never get a promotion. I don’t have what it takes.” You bring it home to your wife or husband, “I married the wrong person. You just don’t make me happy.” You kick your dog and call him stupid. You tell the kids they will amount to nothing. And you go to bed wishing to sleep, hoping to never wake up.

Stop believing what Satan tells you. You either believe what God says or you believe your feelings. God is not a god of feelings – He is a god of promises – He is a rock.

Start telling yourself what the Bible tells you. Start telling yourself what God says about you. “I am a joint heir in Christ. I am anointed. I am created by God and I love what He created.”

Not only will you start believing it but everyone around you will too from your boss, to your wife or husband, to your kids, and yes, even your dog.


The Weapon of Praise

Psalm 103:20-23, “Praise the Lord, you his angels,  you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”

Do you realize, when you speak God’s Word, when you do His will, when you declare His Name over your situation, angels will respond? It is a very important part to know. What comes from our mouths is pretty significant. It can change the outcome of our situations.

If you will, consider that words are secondary to our thoughts. We think and then respond. Sometimes, it may appear as if we put no thought into what we are saying, but words come from the thoughts we have. It is important to meditate on the Word of God; to fill our thoughts with God’s Word so that when we respond, it will reflect Him. What is on our minds shows in our words.

Psalm 91:10-12, “No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.…”

There is a great deal the Lord is telling us in these two scriptures. When we praise Him and when we declare His word over our lives, He instructs His angels to protect us. That in and of itself gives me reason to sit up and take note. The times we need to praise Him the most are the times we don’t feel like praising Him. I’ve learned over the years in ministry, when people are in trouble or hurting or confused, they tend to run away from God. They tend to shake their fists at God. Those are the times His people need to shout out His name in praise because His angels will come to their defense.

One of the greatest weapons of warfare we have is praise. Psalm 34:1, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Not sometimes on my lips or just when things are good and I feel happy, we are to declare I will praise the Lord ALL the time and His praise will ALWAYS be on our lips.

Today, thank God for the blessings of your life. Thank Him for the discipline He has given you. Thank Him for the trials and struggles that you will overcome because of Him. Thank Him for His ability to heal you. Praise Him that He is the ultimate victor and glorify His name because Satan can’t have you. You are God’s child.


Your Own Way

John 10:1-4, “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”

This morning as I type this devotion to you, I’m thinking of the words, “he goes on ahead of them…” I know God is an intricate part of my day. I ask Him to control who I meet with each day. I ask Him to help me as I speak to others and put the words He wants to come from my mouth. I pray for His guidance in decision-making and His ability to love others unconditionally; but today I’m focused on that particular group of words. “He goes on ahead of them…”

Isn’t it a comfortable feeling to know someone is blazing the trail for you? The feeling that there is someone up ahead taking in the issues; covering the difficult parts; preparing the way? The reality of it all is most of us really don’t believe that. After our prayer time, some of us shower, get the kids to school, walk the dog, maybe jump on the treadmill or go to the gym. We start our work days with coffee and fruit. We open emails and answer texts and somewhere about mid-morning we have totally forgotten Who is making our path. We’ve forgotten because we are making our own. Does that describe you?

I remember hiking with my children, and we came up to a cave. My daughter grabbed my hand and whispered, “Daddy, you go first.” She wanted to know everything was OK inside that cave. If I went first, she would follow because I would never lead her into harms way. If something bad happened, she knew I’d get her out of there. My daughter knows, I’d kill a tiger with my bare hands for her. That’s how God is for us – only so much more. And when we take control of our day; when we pass Him on the trail; we open ourselves up for trouble.

Today, put the machete away. The trail you’re cutting is going nowhere. Stop trying to make your own way and let God lead. Use God’s GPS for a change.


Partial Obedience?

There are times when obedience to God is overlooked. Many people have become nonchalant about the importance of following the Word of God. It’s a “if it applies to me” kind of generation; and “if it doesn’t apply to me,” or “isn’t in line with my thinking” kind of mentality. Why is it so important we obey God’s commands? Why is it so important we do what God asks us to do?

Consider Noah, his obedience to God’s direction saved the extinction of mankind. Abraham’s willingness to be faithful built nations from which we are descendants. Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Esther, Ruth, Elijah, Elisha, Gideon, Elizabeth, Mary and the list goes on. Jesus’ obedience to God’s plan gave us salvation. It is amazing to consider how it just takes one person’s willingness to listen, to change a world.

What about partial obedience? There are some of you who obey a portion of God’s Word but disregard the part you think is impractical or not of this culture. King Saul couldn’t agree with you more. In 1 Samuel 15, God instructed him to completely destroy the Amalikites, their livestock, and all their possessions. Saul thought it a good idea to spare the best of the sheep and cattle, and he wanted to parade the king of the Amalikites through the town. He reasoned it was good PR for him. Partial obedience is the same as disobedience; only in a different flavor. When the prophet Samuel questioned him as to his reasons, Saul assured him, he had saved the sheep and cattle to sacrifice them to God. Even if our motives are good, disobedience to God is disobedience to God.

John 14:21, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 15:10, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”

When obedience becomes a habit in our lives, God can trust us. God honors obedience and rewards those who obey His commands.

Revelation 2:26, “To him who overcomes and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations…”

The question then remains, can He count on you?

Today as you go to God in prayer, ask Him for direction. Consider the actions in your life that are disobedient. Ask God’s forgiveness and help in not repeating the sin. Start today, fresh and new, walking obediently in the Word of God.


To Be Him

The other night I was flipping through the channels and came across the movie Bruce Almighty. In the story line, God has given Bruce the ability to be Him for a brief period of time. During Bruce’s reign, he causes a tsunami because he’s trying to impress his wife by making the moon bigger and brighter. He lets everyone win the lottery. To put it lightly, Bruce causes a disaster in less than a day.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why God answers us the way He does or why He doesn’t answer us the way we want Him to answer us. In times of hardship, waiting on God can be the toughest part. I hope this devotion will help you to see God’s thorough plans for our lives. He thinks of every detail. Aren’t we glad He does?

Deuteronomy 7:21 -23, “Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.”

At the time of the writing of this scripture, the Israelites are threatened by many nations: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – seven nations who are much larger and stronger than they are.  Some of you may say, “That sounds like my life right now. I feel like I’m being hit from all sides.” And some of you are under great fire right now.

Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God – For me, this is the most powerful part of this scripture and our lives. Acknowledge and accept that the power with you is our great and awesome God. You are not alone in your problems. You will not be fighting this battle alone. God has a solution. He has a plan. He is rolling up His sleeves. You have no reason to fear. God is near.

You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once – This is the tough part of the scripture. Even though God could flick His fingers and everything would go away, He doesn’t. Because He knows what is up ahead. Something far worse. Something that will harm His plan. Something that needs readjusting. Whatever the reason, He isn’t going to wipe out all your trials at once; because He sees a better way.

or the wild animals will multiply around you – God knows that if He just flicks His finger and destroys seven nations, a greater problem awaits the Israelites. The wild animals will multiply and the Israelites will be overcome by them. Sometimes we just want an answer. We want God to take it all away. What we don’t realize is a bigger trial is lurking on the outside we don’t know about yet; but God does. I’m sure the Israelites just want their enemies to ‘GO AWAY’! They aren’t thinking about the wild animals around them because at the time, the wild animals are of little concern. There is enough population to keep them away. God doesn’t do anything haphazardly. He sees the whole picture not just the part we are in.

But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed – Understand that God sees you. He knows you exist. He knows your pain, your problems, your dilemmas. He has not forgotten you. He may need to take care of things a little by little; but, He will deliver you.

I want to encourage you, God has heard your cries at night. He sees the problems you face and He knows the outcome. He is preparing the way for you, little by little.