Monthly Archives: August 2022

Get Back Up

I’m high school, I played basketball, but our school was very small. One night we were playing a much larger school and we were down by 20 at the half. Coach threw the door open coming into the locker room. He screamed, “Are y’all scared of them because they’re taller than you? Are you scared because they’re more athletic? It must be something because you’ve quit. You’re a bunch of quitters! If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a quitter…If you quit, I quit!” He stormed out as loudly as he came in. Our captain said, “Let’s Open with the starting five in a Black Diamond defense. Lets get out there and win!” Coach returned halfway into the third and we won that game that night because we got back out there and played hard.

Not long after the Israelites defeated Jericho, they went to fight a small town. They only sent 10% of their warriors. The other city beat them, chased them down and embarrassed them. Joshua returned to the camp and fell on his face before the Lord. He laid there all day giving up. In Joshua 7:10 the Lord said to him, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this?” (NLT) God told him to get back up, fix the problem, get back out there and fight. After finding and removing sin in the camp, they went back to that town and soundly defeated them.

How do you deal with defeat? Do you quit, hide or get depressed? One defeat doesn’t not define you. Ax God told Joshua, you need to get back up, make adjustments and get back out there. Your life is not over. There is still a lot of fight in you, plus you’re not fighting alone. God is with you. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again” (TPT). No matter how many times you’re defeated or fall flat on you’re face, get back up and fight. Don’t quit. You’re victory is ahead.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Insurmountable Odds

2 Kings 18 tells the story of King Hezekiah. He was a good king who was compared to David in his zeal for the Lord. Verse 5 says he trusted in the Lord like no other king in Judah. In his fourteenth year as king, the Assyrian army came to attack. They were the world’s most dominant army at the time. No one could stand against them. They were undefeated, and Jerusalem had a small army at the time. The king of Assyria took control of the city’s aqueduct and then sent people to try to get Israel to surrender. They started off in verse 19, “This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?” (NLT) Hezekiah had confidence in God while he was facing insurmountable odds in the face of defeat.

In chapter 19, King Hezekiah did what we need to do when we’re facing insurmountable odds. He went to the Lord in desperate prayer. He then sought a word from the Lord from Isaiah. God said he would send him back to Assyria where he would be killed. However, the stand off continued. The king of Assyria taunted more. He said, “You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different?” He reminded them of all the other people they destroyed, but Hezekiah still went to God for help even when it looked like God wasn’t answering like he said. Then God moved against Assyria killing 185,000 of them in one night. The king broke camp, went home and was killed.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see” (GNT). You can have confidence in God even though you’re facing an insurmountable odd today. Whenever you’re feeling like the situation is taunting you and it looks like you can’t win, turn to God. When you look at what it has done to others and the thought comes that says, “Why should you get a different outcome,” turn to God in faith. There is nothing God cannot do. There are no insurmountable odds that He can’t overcome. Faith is to be sure of what He can do in the face of what you can’t overcome. Don’t listen to the voices of doubt or the words that tell you there’s no hope. Trust in God no matter what insurmountable odds you face.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Influencers

Who are you influenced by? We live in a world now where someone’s job is to influence you to buy products from companies. Beyond that, there are people who influence every area of your life. There are people who influence how you speak, where you go, how you act and more. The list goes on. Do you remember your parents telling you that you will become like those you run with? They were right. We’re influenced by the people we’re around for good or bad. They are the ones whom we give the power to influence our thinking, our decision making and our relationship with God. The people we’re around will either draw us closer to God or push us further away.

In 1 Kings 12, Solomon’s son Rehoboam had become king. The leaders of Israel requested a meeting with him. They told him that his father worked them to the bone, and asked if he would lighten their load. In return, they would be loyal subjects. Rehoboam went to his father’s advisors. They agreed that he should ease restrictions and have peace. Then he went to his friends. They gave him the opposite advice. They thought he should add more work and prove he was greater than his father. When he went with their advice, the people revolted and the kingdom split. They way he judged the people around him cost him dearly.

2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” (NLT) The word “evaluating” here means to judge or to be influenced by. We can’t judge or be influenced by people from a worldly point of view. We must hold the people we allow into our lives to a higher standard. We run the risk of a split kingdom in our lives when we allow the wrong people to have influence on our decision making. Are the people you’re around drawing you closer to God or are they causing you to blur lines you would have never blurred before? As believers, we must have a different set of evaluation tools than the world. We know Christ and the standards in His Word. The people around us should be influencing us to be more like Him.

Photo by Muhammed Fayiz on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Well Lived Life

Twenty years ago, “Saving Private Ryan” came out in theaters. It starts off at the Battle of Normandy and is one of the few movies that captures the reality of that day. A group of men are sent to find Private Ryan because both of his brothers had been killed in action and the government deemed it too great a cost for one family to lose all their sons. At the end of the movie, you see an older Private Ryan standing in Arlington National Cemetery speaking to a grave. He said, “To be honest with you, i wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me on the bridge (“Earn this”). I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.”

It’s a very moving scene where a man reflects on his life hoping that he lived it well in response to others paying the ultimate sacrifice so he could live. I can’t help but to put myself in his place thinking about Jesus paying the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. At the end of my life, will I be able to say, “Lord, I gave it my all in response to what you did for me”? Does His death on the cross motivate me, or you, to live our lives to the fullest or are we merely existing going through life without trying? Are we willing to risk it all for Him or are we playing it safe hoping to arrive at Heaven having done nothing for Him? Philippians 3:12 says, “I keep striving to win the prize” (GNT). Paul never took his foot off the gas pressing onward in response to what Jesus did.

Proverbs 15:9 puts it, “A life frittered away disgusts GOD; he loves those who run straight for the finish line” (MSG). God delights in us living our lives intentionally, not to try to earn salvation, but to show our love for Him. Each of us have one life to live, so live it to the best of your ability. Don’t waste your life just trying to make it through each week. Do something with it. Give yourself to serving others. Support people who give up everything to share the Gospel. Find out the name of an orphan and show them the love of the Father. Make your life matter. Life is not about becoming rich and famous. It’s about fulfilling what God created you for. Your life has purpose. Don’t fritter away the talents God gave you. Live life to the fullest.

Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Proclaiming Good News

Think of a time when you had something amazing happen to you. How hard was it to keep it in? It probably felt like you were going to burst if you didn’t tell someone. Depending on the news, you may have had an order in which you wanted to tell people or you could have just told everyone you ran into. Good news has that effect on us. We want to proclaim it from the rooftops. We should feel the same way about the Good News of the Bible as well. The Great Commission applies to each one of us as individuals. We’re to proclaim the goodness of God wherever we go, telling everyone we meet. If God has made a difference in your life, don’t be afraid to let someone know. After all, it’s the greatest news there is.

Here are some Bible verses on proclaiming what God has done.

1. I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.

Psalms 71:15 NLT

2. Proclaim the Word of God and stand upon it no matter what! Rise to the occasion and preach when it is convenient and when it is not. Preach in the full expression of the Holy Spirit —with wisdom and patience as you instruct and teach the people.

2 Timothy 4:2 TPT

3. But how can people call on him for help if they’ve not yet believed? And how can they believe in one they’ve not yet heard of? And how can they hear the message of life if there is no one there to proclaim it?

Romans 10:14 TPT

4. Give thanks to the Lord, proclaim his greatness; tell the nations what he has done.

1 Chronicles 16:8 GNT

5. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Psalms 71:18 NLT

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Driving God Crazy

I love how Luke 18 starts out. “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up” (NLT). Jesus knew that not only would they give up after praying for something for awhile, but so would we. He didn’t want us to stop asking just because it’s been a while. I wish I understood why some prayers are answered immediately, some take a while, and others are never answered. No matter what though, Jesus didn’t want us to give up.

He told the story of a widow who was suffering injustice from someone. She went to a judge who didn’t fear God or care about people. When she didn’t get her justice, she went back to court begging him fir it over and over. Finally, in verse 5 the judge says, “This woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

When our answers come slowly, we can take courage from this story. We can bombard Heaven with our requests until we drive God crazy. I heard the story recently where Leonard Ravenhill told a friend of mine, “God doesn’t answer prayers. He answers desperate prayers!” When we seek God desperately for an answer, the way this widow did, we can expect answers. And just as the woman believed that the judge would respond, we need to believe that God I’ll respond.

Jesus finishes this parable out just as strongly as He opens it. In verse 8 of The Message, Jesus asked, “But how much of that persistent faith will the Son of Man find on earth when He returns?” That’s our challenge. We live in a world where we can get same day deliveries on things we buy online, but God is looking for a persistent faith. He’s looking for people who will call to Him in prayer the way they would to Amazon if they didn’t deliver their package. He wants us to drive Him crazy and never give up.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Humbly Return

The importance of mentorship ne of the things I try to teach people. All of us could benefit from someone more experienced at any area of life to help us achieve growth in that area. The problem is that most of us are too proud or scared to ask someone to do it. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing leaders in large companies. One lady was the most approachable leader I’ve met, and she is the head of the retail side of a Fortune 15 company. She told me that people ask her all the time to mentor them. She tells them to set it up with her assistant.. She would love to be a mentor, but no one takes that next step to set up the meeting.

I love the story of the Prodigal Son. After taking his share of the inheritance, he took off to see the world and make a name for himself. If he had asked his father for wisdom, the father would have explained the importance of saving up for tough times. However, the son was living for the minute and ran out money when the famine came. After working for pig slop, he decided to humble himself and return home. He knew that at the least his father would accept him back as a servant and he would have food, shelter and money. What he wasn’t expecting was the willingness of the father to do exceedingly more than he could have imagined. His father ran to him as he got close to home. When he humbled himself and repented, he was forgiven and restored.

James 4:7-8 says, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT). Humility is our first step in approaching God. We must know we need Him and His help. We must be bold enough to resist the devil and his lies that would try to keep us from the Father. He’ll try to appeal to our pride and fear to keep us away. However, when we, like the Prodigal Son, head towards God, He will rush to meet us with open arms. He will forgive us, restore us and mentor us as His children. All that He has is available to us if only we would humble ourselves and seek Him.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Compliant Disobedience

I once worked at a place where you had to wear a dress shirt and a tie every day. There was a guy who didn’t like the rule. He would try to show up without a tie. He was told that each time he showed up without one, he’d be sent home to get one and would be docked that time on his check. Instead of simply complying, he decided to dig his feet in. He showed up the next time in a clown tie. It was extra wide and short. When confronted, he said that the rules simply said he had to wear a tie, and this was a tie. I refer to this behavior as compliant disobedience. He’s following the rules while being disobedient in the process. It was an outward expression of his internal attitude.

The book of Jonah tells a similar story. God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh to pronounce judgment on it. Instead of complying, he went the opposite direction in a ship. The Lord caused a great storm to rock the boat, Jonah was found to be the problem and they tossed him overboard. The Bible says the Lord prepared a great fish to come swallow him and return him to shore. The Lord told him the same instructions. He obeyed, but still had disobedience in his heart. When Nineveh repented, God forgave them. Once again his disobedient attitude showed through. God tried to get through to him, but we don’t really know how the story ends. The book stops with God having the last word.

How is your attitude toward what God has asked you to do? 2 John 1;6 says, “And this is love: that we walk in accordance with His commandments and are guided continually by His precepts. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should [always] walk in love” (AMP). God isn’t looking for compliant disobedience. He’s looking for you to obey out of love for Him. Our attitudes show up in our behaviors, but even still God always looks at the intent of our heart. Don’t be like Jonah or the tie guy. Trust God’s plan, be thankful He’s wanting to use you and obey while walking in love. He’s not done writing your story yet. How it’s written depends on your obedience.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

God Of The Impossible

Have you been in an impossible situation where the only way through it was if God intervened? I have too. As I think about those times, I can recall those times when God miraculously showed up and made a way where there appeared to be no way. I can also think of the times where He didn’t show up and rescue the way I wanted Him too. In those times, my faith had to override my feelings. My trust in Him had to be greater than my pain or sorrow. Just because He didn’t intervene, it didn’t mean He was unable. I still choose to trust Him when I need the impossible to happen.

In 2 Kings 6-7, the city of Samaria was besieged by the Syrian army. The people in the city were running out of food, and some had turned to cannibalism. The King became angry at God and blamed Him for their situation. He went to kill Elisha, but Elisha said that on the next day there would be so much food that it would be cheap. The king’s servant said that was impossible and couldn’t happen even if God sent food from heaven. That night, the Syrian army heard the Egyptian army was coming and fled leaving all their food and supplies behind. There was more than enough food for the entire city as Elisha had predicted.

I don’t know what impossible situation you’re facing, but I do know that God is more than able to meet it. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Everything is possible! Even what you can’t imagine or see. God can make streams in the desert, He can part the Red Sea and He can meet your need. Instead of being angry at Him or declaring that not even He could make a way, put your situation and trust in Him. He is more than able to do the impossible if only we will believe. If for some reason, He doesn’t intervene the way you want, it doesn’t change who He is. Continue to put your faith in Him. He is the God of the impossible.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Having Confidence In God

To be confident in something is to have full trust in it. Some people have confidence in themselves, their money, their friends and many other things. Misplaced confidence though can lead to pain and hurt. Instead of placing our confidence in temporary things, we need to place it in God. Do you fully trust God? It’s easy to answer yes when things are going well. Do you trust Him when when you can’t see a way forward or when your world is falling apart? True faith and confidence says, “God, I trust in you no matter what my circumstances are telling me.” That’s the level of faith, trust and confidence we are called to in our relationship with Him. You can have confidence today that whatever you’re facing will work out for your good.

Here are some Bible verses on having confidence in God.

1. For we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises].

2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP

2. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.

1 John 5:14 NLT

3. Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 GNT

4. But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance.

Romans 5:3 TPT

5. And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope [my confident expectation] is in You.

Psalms 39:7 AMP

Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized