Tag Archives: Devotional

In God We Trust

The US currency says, “In God we trust,” however, we tend to put our trust in the currency instead of Him. We think if we had more, we could do XYZ or we wouldn’t have the troubles we currently have. When we believe that something can solve our problems, we are putting our trust in that instead of in God. When we put our trust in something other than God, we rely on Him and His Word less. That kind of thinking slowly pulls us away from our relationship with God. We must stop those thoughts when they come in and redirect our trust to God. He is worthy of our trust, and there are blessings that come with trusting in Him.

Here are some Bible verses on trusting in God.

1. Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

1 Timothy 6:17 NLT

2. Lord, so many times I fail; I fall into disgrace. But when I trust in you, I have a strong and glorious presence protecting and anointing me. Forever you’re all I need!

Psalms 73:26 TPT

3. A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.

Proverbs 28:25 MSG

4. Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

John 14:1 NLT

5. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].”

Luke 17:5 AMP

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Place And Position

God has placed in each one of us a feeling that lets us know we were meant for more. It’s a holy calling that reminds us to keep moving forward and that the place where we are now is only temporary. He uses places in our lives to prepare us for positions He wants to give us. However, when we become discontent in the place we’re in, the enemy plays to our sympathies telling us we deserve a higher position. His plan is two fold. First, he wants to get you out of the place you’re in prematurely before God has finished His work. Secondly, he wants to make you desire a position that is different than the one God has for you in order to slow you down in your progress towards God’s plan.

David’s place was a pasture. The position he was preparing for was king. He had to remain in the pasture watching sheep facing lions and bears in preparation for being king. He had to go into a valley to face a giant, and he lived in caves running from King Saul. I’m sure his mind was telling him he deserved his position in the palace while he lived in those caves, but he didn’t give into the voice. He trusted God’s plan and timing for him to receive the position. Each time the position presented itself to him to take, he stayed in his place waiting for God to open the door. Because of that, God honored him in the position of king more than any other king.

In Mark 10, James and John wanted the position of Jesus’ right and left in the new kingdom. Jesus asked if they were able to endure the suffering that comes with those positions. Ignorantly they said yes. In verses 39-40 Jesus said, “You will certainly drink from the cup of my sufferings and be immersed into my death, but to have you sit in the position of highest honor is not mine to decide. It is reserved for those whom grace has prepared them to have it” (TPT). They wanted a position before they were prepared in their place. The beautiful thing Jesus illustrated here is that grace prepares us in the place we are in now for the position He has for us in the future. His grace is sufficient to guide you and strengthen you in the place you’re in right now so He can give you the positions He’s planned for you. Be patient and trust His plan and ignore the sympathetic lies of the enemy.

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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.

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Gaining Wisdom

I was discussing the importance of mentorship with a group. While I was debriefing, a gentleman raised his hand. He said, “So I need to find someone who has been here in my position for a long time so I can get knowledge from them?” I told him that was almost it. I explained that it wasn’t really knowledge he should be seeking from the mentor. What he needs to be seeking is wisdom. You can get knowledge from just about anywhere, and knowledge is good to have. However, knowledge doesn’t really help you if you don’t know what to do with it. Wisdom gives you insight on how to make the best decisions with the knowledge you gain.

In 1 Kings 10, Solomon was visited by the Queen of Sheba. She had heard how wise he was and wanted to see for herself. She observed how his servants and palace were organized and run. She also came prepared with lots of questions hoping Solomon would mentor her a bit. After he answered her questions, she said he was even more wise than what she had heard. Then, in verse 8 she said, “How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom!” (NLT). A Queen was a bit jealous of the commoners who had the opportunity to listen and learn from his wisdom each day.

In Proverbs 5:11 Solomon wrote, “For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.” Our world has given this kind of value to knowledge instead of wisdom. More and more people are seeking knowledge over wisdom, but you and I can’t do that. We must place a high value on godly wisdom rooted in His Word. We must seek out people who are more wise than we are and learn from them. Solomon also said that if you want to be wise, you must walk with the wise (Proverbs 13:10). Look around at the people God had placed in your life. Who can you ask to mentor you and give you wisdom? Be prepared with situations and questions when you meet with them. God desires that we gain wisdom. It’s time we were proactive in getting it.

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Leaving Stress Behind

Steven Covey taught that many of us aren’t as productive as we could be because of how we spend our time and how we manage the tasks we face. He divided up tasks into four areas. There’s urgent and non urgent, and important and not important. One of the problems many of us face is that we live in the quadrant that is urgent and important. It sounds good on the surface, but the truth is that all we’re doing is putting out fires constantly. We’re doing a lot, but we’re going nowhere. We need to be spending our time focusing on the important, but not urgent quadrant. That one will help us plan for the future and prevent many of the fire drills we face.

In Luke 10, Jesus was visiting the house of Martha and Mary. Martha was in the quadrant of urgent and important. She was busy trying to clean, cook and serve. Mary was in the quadrant of important and not urgent. She sat at Jesus’ feet to listen and learn. Martha got upset at Mary, just like people who live in that quadrant do, and told Jesus to have her help. Jesus replied, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (NLT). Jesus understood how tiring it gets living that way being distracted and constantly worrying. Martha wasn’t stressed out or distracted. She was calm because she focused on the right things.

Psalm 37:5 says, “Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way, you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!” (TPT) God knows what is best for you. Cast your cares, your schedule and whatever else is distracting you on Him. Give Him to right to guide your life. He knows what’s best for you mentally, physically and spiritually. Refocus your heart on Him, spend time daily sitting at His feet listening. You’ll find your life will be the way He intended it. Commit all your ways to Him and trust Him in every area of your life. You’ll find peace and rest for your mind, body and soul. He knows what’s best for you and will lead you beside the still waters.

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Digging Ditches

I grew up in a church where all forms of gambling (including Bingo) were considered taboo. When my next door neighbor, who was a little, old lady who had been in the church since the 1920’s, wanted to tell me a gambling joke, I was all ears. She said, “There was a man who wanted to win the lottery real bad so he prayed, ‘Lord, if you let me win the lottery, I’ll pay my tithe and give another 10% to missions.’ Do you know what the Lord said back to him?” I said, “Depart from me, I never knew you?” She shook her said and whispered, “Buy a ticket!” I laughed then because it was out of character for who I thought God was. I laugh now because we all do something similar to Him when we want something big.

In 2 Kings 3, the armies of Israel and Judah went to attack Moab because they quit paying tribute. They took the wilderness route so as not to be seen. When they got close, the men were tired and out of water. They called for Elisha to ask God for help. He told them to dig ditches and they would be filled with water even though it wouldn’t rain. It didn’t make sense, but the army complied. The next morning a pool of water ran through the valley filling all the holes giving the men and animals enough to drink. The opposing army showed up, saw the red morning sky reflecting in the pools and thought it was blood. They went down to plunder on,y to be surprised and were defeated.

One of my favorite quotes says, “Pray like it depends on God. Work like it depends on you.” We are good about asking God for things like it depends on Him, but we’re not always good about digging those ditches like the armies of Israel. Sometimes the ditches were asked to dig won’t make sense. Dig them anyway. God’s actions are motivated by our faith in action. That’s the pattern of the Bible. God doesn’t always answer big prayers, but He does honor big faith in action that accompanies those prayers. What ditches do you need to be digging right now to prepare for God’s answer? Pick up a shovel today and start digging ditches. Don’t wait. Put some action to your faith. Do your part and expect God to do His.

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Keeping Watch

Part of the code I was taught to live by is to be mentally, physically and spiritually alert. From an early age, I learned to be aware of things that affect me in those areas. We know that our enemy roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour in any of these areas. He knows that if he can affect any of these areas, he can disrupt your relationship with God. It’s important that you and I keep watch on all these fronts. We must be prepared so that we’re not overtaken unaware by our enemy. The Bible suggests many ways and areas that we must keep watch over. The Lord is our Shepherd, but you and I still need to be alert.

Here are some Bible verses on keeping watch.

1. Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Matthew 26:41 GNT

2. Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet, And all your ways will be steadfast and sure.

Proverbs 4:26 AMP

3. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.

Proverbs 4:23 MSG

4. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you.

Proverbs 4:26 TPT

5. Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1 Timothy 4:16 GNT

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Leaving The Valley Of Weeping

Every one of us will go through valleys. They’re those dark periods in our lives that are created by the loss of a loved one, the consequence of sin, being hurt by someone we love, an illness or something else. In the valley, it’s natural to want to push everyone away and face it alone, but that’s not God’s plan. That’s when you need those who love you the most to carry you, walk with you and encourage you. Having been there and tried that, I know the reasoning and the lies that get you to believe it. I’ve found that Psalm 84:5-7 give us a blueprint to endure the valley.

Verse 5 says, “Blessed and greatly favored is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion” (AMP). The first thing we have to realize is we shouldn’t try to walk through this time in our own strength. When our strength is weak, His is made perfect in us. We need to rely on God, and the people He’s placed in our lives, to get through this period of darkness. We also need to focus on Him rather than the issue. If we’re not careful, we can go further down into a darker place than we are.

Verse 6 says, “Passing through the Valley of Weeping ( Baca), they make it a place of springs; The early rain also covers it with blessings.” I love this because it’s up to us what we make of the valley experience. Will it be a dry, desolate place or will it be a place of refreshing springs? Are we just trying to push through it or are we learning as we go? God has blessings in the valleys of life if we’re looking for them and we’re turning those times into learning and growing experiences.

Finally, verse 7 says, “They go from strength to strength [increasing in victorious power]; Each of them appears before God in Zion.” There is light at the end of the valley because victory is ours when we do these things. You are not alone in this. God sees you, He gives you strength daily and you are on His mind. Don’t push Him or others away on this journey. They provide the strength you need to gain the victory over this period and place in life. The valley isn’t permanent. Weeping in the valley may last for a while, but joy is on the way when we do these things.

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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.

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Breath Of Life

I’ve been in the right place at the right time to save people’s lives. I’ve saved a friend who was drowning and couldn’t swim. I’ve done the Heimlich on someone who was chocking. I’ve even talked a couple of people off the ledge when they felt they had nothing to live for. However, I have never had to use CPR thankfully, even though I’ve been trained in it. CPR is unique in that you’re taking your breath and giving it to someone to bring life. It’s one of the greatest gifts you could ever give someone.

In Genesis, we read where God breathed into Adam and he became a living being. God’s breath brings greater life than our breath ever could. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read, “God has transmitted his very substance into every Scripture, for it is God-breathed. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness” (TPT). His Word is life to each of us who breath it in and apply it to our lives. Remember that Jesus came to give life, and that more abundantly.

Isaiah 42:5 says, “God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth” (NLT). God has given you His breath to give you life and to bring things back to life that you thought were dead. If God promised something to you that has yet to be accomplished, it will surely come to pass. Speak His Word, that He breathed into, over those areas of your life. His Word will not fail (Luke 11:37), nor will it return accomplishing what He said (Isaiah 55:11). Ask God today to breath life into those areas and have faith that He will do it.

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Completely Surrendered

Every one of us are somewhere in our walk with Jesus. The spectrum goes from rejecting Him to being completely surrendered to Him. On this journey, we need to be constantly moving towards being surrendered. However, all of us hit plateaus, get knocked backwards at times and go through valleys. The plateaus are dangerous. We can feel like we’re doing good enough, so we don’t keep trying to get closer to Him. We’ve known Him for a long time, learned the stories in the Bible and pray often. These plateaus can lead to complacency and keep us from knowing Him more.

In Mark 10, Jesus was headed out of Jerusalem when a young man ran up to Him and asked what He needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus recited the commandments to him. The man got excited and said he had followed those since he was young. Then Jesus added, “‘There is still one thing you haven’t done,’ He told him. ‘Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (NLT). The man went away sad because what Jesus was requiring was total surrender, and he wasn’t willing to do that.

Many Christians live on this plateau. We’ve served Him a long time and live the way the Bible teaches us to, but we’re missing that something more because we’re not willing to surrender all. God is calling each of us into a greater relationship with Him. The more of our life that we’re willing to surrender to Him, the greater our relationship will be. If you’ve been on a plateau for a while, and are ready to experience more of Jesus, ask Him to show you what more you need to do. Just like this man that encountered Jesus, the choice will be yours to either surrender or to stay on your plateau. My prayer is that you will have the courage to let go of what’s holding you back and live completely surrendered.

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Overcoming Obstacles

Some of my favorite shows to watch are obstacle course ones. I used to watch “Wipeout” pretty regularly. My new favorite is “Floor Is Lava”. I love watching the creativity and bravery the people use to take on the obstacles. However, there are a lot of people going through these courses who never make it to the end. The obstacles prove to be too much for them to handle, and they’re knocked out of contention for the grand prize. If we’re not careful, the same thing can happen to us as we follow Jesus. There are obstacles that are constantly trying to knock us off course and to interfere with our relationship with Him.

In Mark 11, Jesus was in His final week. He was facing obstacles that were trying to throw Him off course. At one point He was hungry and approached a fig tree, but it didn’t have fruit on it, so He cursed it. The next day, as they walked by, Peter noticed it was dead and pointed it out. In verse 23, Jesus responded, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart” (NLT). Some scholars believe he was using a Hebrew colloquialism referring to obstacles that impede progress, and that we shouldn’t let any obstacles stand between us and our faith in God.

We all face obstacles that sucker punch us and try to come between us and God though at some point in our lives. For me it was the untimely death of my mother and a divorce. For you, it will be different. The important thing is to identify the obstacles standing in your way so that you can remove them. It’s going to take some faith in order to move these obstacles. You’re going to have to trust God when you can’t see Him or feel Him because of the mountain in your way. Don’t give up, and don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t care about you or your situation. Speak to your mountain in faith. Cast it into the sea and begin growing in your faith once again. You don’t have to stay where you or or succumb to the obstacle. There is more life and growth ahead for you.

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