Tag Archives: devotional on

Looking For God’s Works

My job is one that requires people to gather together. When quarantining and isolation began, my customers postponed our meetings. The next day, our air conditioner went out. I felt defeated and began to worry about how to make ends meet. Fear started to creep in. That Sunday, my pastor preached on not giving into fear or a defeatist attitude. I began to change how I prayed to God about my situation. I thanked Him for all He’s done for me and began to recount the ways He’s provided in the past. My attitude began to change as I reminded myself that God is my source, not my skills, talents or job.

That week, we received money from a friend to help with the AC. The AC guy offered to accept half now and half in a month. The next day, I received a check from a stock payout that had been set up two years before. The next week, I received my income tax check. Then the bank sent me a check from an over payment last year. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more things that have happened during this time where God has shown up just in time and provided for our needs. It seems almost every day something happens where my wife and I look at each other, laugh in disbelief and then stop to thank God for His provision. We now look for all the ways He’s working in our lives beyond the monetary ways.

Psalm 18:22 says, “Now I’m alert to GOD’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works” (MSG). I believe when you and I begin to look for the different ways God is moving in our lives, we will find them. Some times it’s obvious, but most of the times, they are little, subtle hints that He’s working on our behalf and causing all things to work together for our good. We have to train our eyes to look beyond our problems to see His provision. We need to be alert to God’s ways of working in our lives so we don’t take the little things He does for granted. At the end of each day, think back to where you saw God work on your behalf and give Him thanks. Not only will it change your perspective of your situation, it’ll refocus your eyes on God.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Thankful Mindset

Several years ago, I taught a sales psychology class. It was designed to help salespeople stay mentally tough because they’re rejected so often. One of the things I taught in it was the Law of Thanksgiving. It stated that the more we give thanks, the more we have to be thankful for. It was all about counting your blessings and then giving thanks for every one of them. It really is an attitude changer when you decide to be thankful each day to find something in your life to be thankful for. The first couple of weeks are pretty easy, but after that, your mind starts to get stretched and gets creative in looking for things to be thankful for. It ultimately changes your perspective on your life and changes how you look at the world.

In a time where the news is dominated by statistics of people getting sick and dying, it’s a great time to reprogram your mind to looking for things to be grateful for. Matthew Henry, a Welsh minister in the 1600’s, demonstrated this line of thinking when his wallet was stolen. He said, “I am thankful that he never robbed me before. I am thankful that although he took my wallet, he didn’t take my life. Although he took all I had, it wasn’t much. I am glad that it was I who was robbed, and not I who did the robbing.” He had adopted a mindset of being thankful and it changed his perspective on things that happened to him. It’s a mindset that we all should have, and I believe it starts with reminding ourselves that all we have has been given to us by God. He is who we need to be thankful to.

Psalm 16:5 says, “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands” (GNT). It’s important that we start with the thought that God is your source of everything and and that everything you have belongs to Him. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes,” is how Job put it. Being mindful of this helps keep our minds right when the future is uncertain and fear wants to creep in. He has and will continue to give you all you need. Your future is in His hands, not yours. Following the Law of Thanksgiving is a great way to remember that and to give thanks where it’s due. It will allow you to worship during calamity and to be content whether you have a little or a lot. It’s the mindset I believe God is calling us all back to.

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God Is Your Protector

In times of crisis, such as the one we’re currently living in, fear is one of the greatest threats we must guard against. It brings up questions that seem rational, but at their root cause us to question God. What if I get sick? What if my kids get it? What if I lose my job? How am I going to provide for my family? All these questions are valid, but what is motivating them? For some, it’s so you have a plan in place. For others, it’s the fear of the unknown. Fear’s job is to occupy your mind, to cause you to doubt God and to put an undue burden on you to slow you down. Fear does not come from God which is why you need to find out the motivating factors behind your thoughts and feelings.

When King David had the opportunity to fear, he looked to God for protection and help. So many of the Psalms deal with his feelings and were born out of times of uncertainty in his life. He had every opportunity to be afraid, but instead of giving into it, he let those circumstances shape his prayers and the worship he created. He wrote them to remind his mind and his spirit to run to God in the time of need and to trust God’s plan above all else. His words of prayer and lyrics of praise resonate with us because were written out of honesty and intended to keep our focus on God. Instead of consuming the news during this time, feed your soul with the Psalms and with worship songs. Remind yourself that God is your protector and provider.

Here are some Bible verses on God as your protector.

1. Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.” He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.

Psalm 91:1-3 GNT

2. Lord, you are my secure shelter. Don’t ever let me down! You’re the only place of protection for me. I keep coming back to hide myself in you, for you are like a mountain-cliff fortress where I’m kept safe.

Psalms 71:1, 3 TPT

3. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do] From this time forth and forever.

Psalms 121:8 AMP

4. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.

Psalms 89:18 NLT

5. GOD’s name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

Proverbs 18:10 MSG

Photo by Diana Vargas on Unsplash

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Leading With Love

We’ve all heard the saying that actions speak louder than words. We can probably all think of someone who is all talk and no action too. We have very little confidence in people who rarely do what they say. You never know when to believe them. I’ve had friends, coworkers and acquaintances who are like this. It’s no fun to be associated with them because it creates a lack of trust in you as a person. I don’t ever want to be known as a person like that. I want to be known as a person who does what they say or can at least own up to it when I can’t deliver on what I promised.

As Christians, we need to be concerned about our reputation because we don’t just carry our name with us. We also bear the name of Jesus Christ. It’s not just our reputation we’re tarnishing, it’s His. Knowing that, our lives should reflect the work He’s done and is doing in our lives. The love He’s shown us should be something we give out each day. 1 John 3:18 says, “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality“ (MSG).

A life lead by love is one that doesn’t just talk about loving others, it does it. It shows up in the smallest ways throughout our day. Too many times we try to think of doing great things to the point that it keeps us from doing anything. I love the quote by Mother Teresa that says, “We can’t all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” If you and I will focus on doing small things today, showing God’s great love, we will make a difference in the lives of others. Doing great things isn’t what makes the difference in life. It’s doing the small things consistently. Today, look for something small you can do with great love, and bless someone.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing 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

Bringing Healing

One of most accurate memes I’ve seen during this quarantine is, “Check on your extroverted friends. We’re not ok!” With everyone working and staying at home, people are looking for ways to connect. One way is to do a Facebook live video. In face so many are doing it now that Facebook has had to shift its resources and focus to improving that feature because of the use it’s getting. I also saw a Hallmark commercial where they are giving three free cards to everyone who requests them on their website. They’re wanting people to stay connected and to send encouraging words to someone else during this time. There is a unique opportunity right now to speak life into other people like never before.

If you watch the news, it’s hard to find hope of this ending anytime soon. The no school and stay home orders keep getting extended. Unemployment is rising every day as businesses struggle to adapt and fear keeps consumers home and from buying. Hope is what people are hungry for. In fact, I read an article yesterday from Pew research that said over 50% of people have now prayed for Coronavirus to end. People who haven’t talked to God in years or who have doubted His existence are now reaching out. The need for good news and hope is great. Have you prayed to ask God how He can use you to meet that need?

Don’t panic. Most of what God asks us to do are small steps of faith. It could be a Facebook live video, commenting on a post, sending an email (or card) or posting a prayer. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits” (TPT). You have the ability to bring healing right now. You have the ability to speak beautiful, life giving words. All it takes is for you to seek God on how He wants to use you during this time. You can do it because the same Spirit that dwelled in Christ, dwells in you. You are empowered to make a difference right now and to release sweetness to souls. You can make a difference today through the words you use.

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Taking Your Promised Land

My son, who is in elementary school, is having to read Pilgrim’s Progress. I remember having to read it at a young age too. Quite honestly I think it should be required reading for every Christian adult because there is so much depth to it. In it, Christian Pilgrim reads about Heaven and begins his journey to find Christ. On the way he meets people like Evangelist and Helper who guide him toward the Celestial City. He also encounters people like Worldly Wiseman, Despair and Formalist who try to persuade him to get off the straight and narrow path. Each person warms him not to listen to the others and he has to decide who is right and suffer the consequences when he listens to the wrong voices.

In Numbers 13, God told Moses to send out one person from each tribe to go throughout the Promised Land to scout it. They saw how fertile the land was, checked out the terrain and saw the cities. They noticed that there were several nations living in the land as well. They all agreed that it was a good land as God promised, but they also saw that there were giants and fortified cities that would be difficult to go to war with. The people began to murmur and to doubt God’s promise to give them the land. Then in verse 30 it says, “Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, ‘Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it’” (MSG). You know the story. The people listened to the 10 spies with a negative report and faced the consequences.

What has God promises you? What voices are causing you to doubt Him? We often forget that there is a process to receiving His promises. There are battles that must be won, faith steps to be taken and moments where you push past what your eyes see. If God has promised something to you, there will be giants and people who try to persuade you away from going after it. There comes a point where you either trust God or you don’t. Receiving His promises is never easy. It takes faith and it takes courage to move towards it because others can’t see it or feel the passion God placed in you. Who’s voice will you listen to? There are consequences for listening to the wrong ones, but there’s also forgiveness. Ask God to give you wisdom in who you listen to and courage to proceed. Go take your land. You can do it!

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Trusting In God’s Goodness

In Numbers 11, the children of Israel had left Egypt and were on their way to the Promised Land. They began to grumble about how hard their new life was and it upset God. They then began to crave something they didn’t have: meat. Manna, God’s provision, was getting old. They were sick of having it every day, so they complained that they wanted meat. God told moses He was going to give them meat. So much meat that they were going to get sick of it. He was going to provide it for 30 days, and lots of it. In verses 21-22 Moses replied, “I’m standing here surrounded by 600,000 men on foot and you say, ‘I’ll give them meat, meat every day for a month.’ So where’s it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?” (MSG)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been guilty of this. I look at my needs, then I look at what I have and I tell God how impossible the situation is. Depending on how desperate the situation is, I may even go a step further, like Moses, and tell Him that even His resources are not enough. I try to take a supernatural God and out natural constraints on Him. This attitude, though temporary, is wrong and it comes from having the wrong perspective. In my desperation, I tend to look at God through the lens of my problem rather than the other way around. This attitude is telling God that I feel He is incapable of taking care of me or unable to meet my needs. God’s response to Moses is the gut check I need in those situations. He said, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.”

When I start thinking this way, I go back to Philippians 4:19. It says, “And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (AMP). I remind myself of God’s promises and of His faithfulness. He doesn’t always answer in the ways that I think He should or could, but He always fills my needs. He has been faithful all of my life, and when I look back on desperate situations and times in my life, I can see the hand of God at work. He has not failed me yet, and I can tell you that He will not fail you either. His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:23). You don’t have to know where or how He will provide for you. Just trust in His goodness, and make your requests known to Him. He will take care of you.

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized