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41 Will Come


Chuck Tate is the author of “41 Will Come”. The theme of the book is: In the Bible, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. But day 41 came, and the rain stopped. The people of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Then year 41 came, and a new generation entered the Promised Land. For 40 days, Goliath bullied Israel and dared anyone to fight him. Day 41 came, and David slew the giant. Do you see the theme? Don’t quit. Don’t give up.

Today’s devotion is my interview with Chuck.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned waiting on your own 41?

The greatest lesson I’ve learned during a season of waiting is to trust God no matter what. That’s the bottom line. Trust Him and His Word, but I’ve also learned to trust His timing. There were periods during my “41” journey where I felt as if someone else’s fingerprints would end up my dream. I was tempted to force doors open (due to being impatient), but in the end, I realized God’s timing is better than mine. His ways are better than my ways.

My favorite chapter is “Rawk Stance” because it reminds us that 41 doesn’t come unless we prepare for it. In your opinion, what’s one of the most important things we can do to prepare for our 41 to come and why?

God will always do His part, but if we aren’t willing to do ours, we will miss out on BIG opportunities. The real answer to this question depends on what we are preparing for. David’s time as a shepherd (and practicing with a sling-shot) served as preparation to fight Goliath. My “practice” time writing and blogging served as preparation for drafting my manuscript. The key is working hard on your craft TODAY so you are prepared to seize every moment of opportunity TOMORROW.

What advice would you give someone who has given up on their 41 like you had at one point?

That it’s never too late to dream again and you are never too old start over. The Scriptures are filled with numerous examples of second chances and new beginnings. You serve a God who doesn’t need to consult with your past when mapping out your future. He saw you doing “good deeds” before you even showed up on Planet Earth. Micah 7:8 says, “Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again.” Get up! Dream again. Start over. 

I don’t know anyone who won’t be moved by the story of your mom’s illness. What is your go to verse to “Word Up” with when you’re waiting on a 41 to come?

While my mom was in the hospital, we clung to Isaiah 53:5 (…by His stripes we were healed). Proverbs 24:10 (If we quit when times are tough, our strength is small) and Habakkuk 2:2 (…though the vision seems delayed. Wait for it!) are my “Go to” verses while waiting!

What’s the coolest “41” story you’ve heard since writing the book?

The following Facebook post about a family waiting on a heart transplant for their baby girl: “God is good! Day 41 at 10:10PM we got the call!! After 40 days & 40 nights God has answered our prayers! We have a heart! They believe it is the perfect heart for our Miela!”

How have periods of waiting for 41 to come shaped your life?

By teaching me patience. Ha! I’m joking, but I’m not joking. The periods of waiting have made me stronger. The Scripture that comes to mind is found in James 1:2-3: …when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

In your mind, who would benefit from reading your book?

Anyone who feels hopeless. Anyone in a season of waiting. Anyone who needs their faith fueled to carry on or dream again. Anyone who wants to learn how to hold on and stand strong right now…or in the future.

If there was only one thing someone reading your book could come away with, what would that be? By the way, there are a ton of things to take away. My book is full of highlighted sentences!

First of all, THANK YOU for the encouragement, Chris! I guess if I could have ONE takeaway, it would be this: God is ALWAYS moving behind the scenes…even when you don’t feel like He is. Don’t quit!

This book was written about the 41 that came when David killed Goliath. Which 41 will your next book be about and why?

Ahhhh, what a great question! The next book I want to write is a 41-day devotional (for individuals and small groups) that shares 41 testimonies (stories) that are a direct result of 41 Will Come. 

I love that you share so many personal stories in the book so that the reader can get to know you. For those who don’t know you, what’s something they need to know about you before they read “41 Will Come”?

That I am an ordinary person who has been given the opportunity to share some extraordinary stories. This is not a “hey, that’s a cool idea for a book” book. This is my life message. This is a book that I have walked out and one that I have lived…and my prayer is for that to come across to the reader. You might cry, you will probably laugh, but I know you will be filled with HOPE.

I know you will be blessed by this book. You can buy it by clicking here. Also, Chuck has agreed to give away a free book to someone who reads this today (9/1/16). To enter, type, “Don’t Quit. Don’t give up. #41WillCome #DevotionsByChris” on either Facebook or Twitter. I’ll randomly choose a winner tomorrow through the hashtag and private message you for a shipping address. 

Follow Chuck Tate on Twitter and check out his website.

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Passionate Prayer

It’s Free Friday! Today you can choose to let go of the things that weigh you down and hold you back so you can embrace all that God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a free copy of “The 21 Most Effective Prayers of the Bible”. Keep reading to find out how you can win it.

Someone recently asked me to pray for one of their friends. As I started to pray, I started to become more passionate in that prayer. The more passionate I got, the longer the prayer got. When I said, “Amen”, they said, “Thank you” and mentioned that they just meant a “little” prayer. I couldn’t do it though. If it’s worth praying about, it’s worth being passionate about.

I don’t know that the louder a prayer is, the more God will hear it. I believe the more passionate prayer is, the more God responds to it. I think of Hannah in the Bible in I Samuel 1, she was deeply troubled because she couldn’t have children. She was embarrassed and felt like a lesser person. While her husband went to offer sacrifices, she went into the temple to pray. Her prayer wasn’t loud, but it was passionate.

Verse 10 says, “And Hannah was in distress of soul, praying to The Lord and weeping bitterly.” When Eli the priest came in, he saw her mouth moving, but nothing coming out. Verse 13 says she was praying in her heart. He quite honestly thought she was drunk. When he confronted her, she assured him she wasn’t and that she was pouring out her soul. He then told her to go in peace because God was going to answer her petition.

It wasn’t on the words she was saying, it was in the emotion of her spirit that caught God’s attention. So often we worry so much about the words to our prayers, that we forget to worry about the passion in them. James 5:16 says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” When I looked up the words “effectual” and “fervent” in the original Greek, the word used was energeo. That’s our root word for energetic.

God is more concerned with the energy in our prayers than in the words. He wants to see our passion instead of our memory. I’m afraid most of our prayers aren’t answered because we aren’t very energetic in them. We don’t put much emotion into them. Instead we say it half hearted just hoping He’ll hears us and maybe answer. James said an energetic prayer is dynamic in its working. It has tremendous power available. The words in our prayer are important, but God is listening to our heart too.

If your prayers aren’t being answered, I encourage you to think about the emotion and passion you’re putting into your prayers. Are they more of an after thought or are they passionate? Are concerned more about saying the right thing or conveying the right thing? The most effective prayers in the Bible came from deep within the heart, not the brain. The heart is the seat of our emotion. It’s where our passion comes from. Try praying from there and watch God work.

If you’d like to win, “The 21 Most Effective Prayers in the Bible”, go to my Facebook page and “like” it or one of my statuses today. I will choose one person randomly tomorrow (9/20/14) who does either of those things. You can access my Facebook page here.

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A Proverbs 31 Woman

It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “The Measure Of Success: Uncovering The Biblical Perspective On Women, Work, & The Home” by Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I’ve always heard people talk about a “Proverbs 31 Woman”. My mom was described as one. I’m sure someone you know has been described as one as well. To some guys, she seems as mythical as a unicorn! To others, like me, we’ve seen them firsthand in our home or we’re married to one. In any case, I want to share a few of my favorite verses in that chapter and my thoughts on them.

She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. (Verse 15)

When I read this, I think of my mom. I don’t care what day it was, if I got up early, I would find her on the couch with a cup of coffee and her Bible. She spent hours reading, marking, dog earring and putting notes in her Bible. She spent time gathering spiritual food for herself and the household. She had us memorize scripture and quite it to her. She wanted to make sure that each of us knew the Bible inside and out. A Proverbs 31 woman trains her family to gather spiritual food.

She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. (Verses 17-18)

A Proverbs 31 woman is mentally, physically and spiritually tough. She knows that raising a family is hard work and she’s up for the challenge. She does the things necessary to help herself to be prepared for what God has called her to do. She reads books on parenting, managing money, raising responsible kids as well as finding time for herself and her husband. There’s a certain instinct in women that can sense danger. I love that this says, “Her lamp goes not out.” My wife can be fully asleep and wake up if our son isn’t breathing right. I’ve slept through him falling out of the bed and hurting himself. God has given Proverbs 31 women an instinct to protect their own.

Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! (Verse 30)

To me, inner beauty is far more important than outer beauty. If you ever saw the movie “Shallow Hal”, they did a good job of showing this. Hal was so concentrated on physical beauty that he couldn’t see inner beauty. He got hypnotized and saw women from the perspective of their inner beauty instead. This verse tells me that’s how we should see Proverbs 31 women. They are women who care about eternal things rather than the temporal. When she learns to worship God with all she has, her inner beauty can’t help but shine through into her outer beauty. Such a woman is to be praised and honored. She should be cherished and not objectified.

If God has blessed you where you have a Proverbs 31 woman in your life, honor her today. Let her know you are appreciative of all she does. When you read the whole chapter you will see that she works hard, gets up early, stays up late, finds time to balance her life, her relationships and her spiritual life. If you are called to be one, keep fulfilling your God given tasks. It’s not impossible for you to be this woman. You may feel like you fall short more often than not, but I am confident that if it’s your desire to be this kind of woman, God will give you the strength to do it. You were made in a His image after all. You are a strong and capable person who is an heir to the King of Kings. You are loved by a God All Mighty and His grace is sufficient for you!

If you would like to win “The Measure Of Success”, go to my Facebook page here and tag the Proverbs 31 women in your life. Tomorrow (8/16), I will select one person randomly who has tagged someone else to win the book. I will then post it on my site. If you haven’t liked my Facebook page, please do that as well to be able to see when new posts come out.

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Do You Hear Your Soul?

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “The Priest’s Graveyard” by Ted Dekker. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I got to meet Ted Dekker and hear him speak at the Re:Write Conference. He shared his thoughts on writing, but more importantly, he shared about his faith. He played one of those videos where it starts on earth looking at a microorganism and pans out all the way out to space and somehow ends up back on earth again. While it was playing, you could hear the faint sound of “Yahweh” being called out. I started paying more attention to that than the video itself. Ted then talked about how our souls cry out to God.

In Psalm 84:2, the psalmist wrote about his soul crying out. In Psalm 42, he wrote that his inner self thirsts for God. I believe our souls want badly to connect with God. They want to hear from Him. I think that’s why there’s such a feeling of contentment when you are in a prayer meeting or a worship service when you can feel God’s presence. Your soul is being satisfied and recharged while you’re in His presence. It’s thirst for being with God is quenched.

We tend to be pretty good at satisfying our physical thirst, but not always our spiritual thirst. We care for our physical bodies more because we are more in tune with it. Our spirit has needs as well, but often we just disregard it or tune a deaf ear to hearing it cry out for Yahweh. David was in tough with his soul. He could sense that it was calling out, that it was thirsty. He decided to be led by His spirit rather than His flesh. I believe that’s one of the main reasons that he was known as a man after God’s own heart.

When Jesus was on the garden before the crucifixion, His soul was crying out to God. He asked the disciples to pray with Him. He invited them to let their souls cry out as well. Instead, they fell asleep. They tended to their body’s needs instead of their spiritual needs. In the Message, Jesus told them, “There’s a part of you (soul) that’s eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part of you (flesh) that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” We fault the disciples for sleeping all the time, but don’t we do the same thing? Don’t we listen to the weaker part a lot?

David spoke to his soul to wake it up, to challenge it or to cheer if up. If you find yourself listening to the part that doesn’t want to do anything for God, speak to your soul. Find the place where you can quench its thirst for God. Fasting is a great way to do that. It denies the weaker part of your body and feeds your soul. Do a one day, two day or three day fast. It doesn’t have to be 40 days. If you find you’re lacking the ability to do what God asked you to do, quit feeding your flesh and start feeding your soul. It’s ready to do all that God wants you to do. You just have to start listening to it.

If you would like to win “The Priest’s Graveyard” by Ted Dekker, go to the Devotions By Chris Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (July 19, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already “liked” my page, you are already entered for this drawing. I would appreciate it if you would invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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Lesson Learned

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “AHA: Awakening.Honesty.Action.” by Kyle Idleman. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

Have you ever been stuck on a problem or in a situation and didn’t know the answer of what to do? Have you spent days and nights racking your brain trying to figure out the solution? It’s stressful. You’re in a no win situation with no doors or windows opening telling you, “Thos is the way out!” It’s complicated too. If you do this, then that will happen. If you do that, then this will happen. Then, when you least expect it, you see the answer. It was there the whole time, but your vision was cloudy.

That’s how the prodigal son was. He had taken his inheritance early (mistake). He had moved away from his family so he could be himself (mistake). He wasted all the money from his inheritance on partying (mistake). He didn’t take time to build real relationships with others. All the friendships he had made were superficial and shallow because they were built on his ability to pay for drinks (mistake). When a famine came, all those superficial friends wouldn’t lend him a hand. They only looked out for themselves. Every mistake he had made was staring him in the face. His hunger was a constant reminder that he had messed up.

Here he was trapped in a foreign land. He had no friends, no shelter, no food, no money and no way back. He had to be honest with himself. He had no way out of the situation. He thought for days on how to get some money back. He found a job slopping pigs. He was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food in the slop. I’m sure he got angry at himself as he watched the pigs have enough food to eat. He probably tried to think of ways get some of the food out of the trough with no one looking. He was desperate. Hope was running out when he had a moment of clarity. He could go home to his father and feed his pigs. At least his father fed his servants unlike his current employer.

That moment of clarity led to action. He got up immediately once he saw the answer to his problem. He rehearsed his speech the whole way. “Dad, I’ve messed up. I don’t deserve to be called your son. Will you hire me? I’m starving and am willing to work hard.” While he was going through the words as he walked, his father saw him and ran to him. His father embraced him and kissed him. The son pushed the father back and started to say his speech, but the father wasn’t listening. He saw the hunger and desperation in his son. He had his servants prepare a feast for his son. The son never had to worry about food or shelter again.

He learned some valuable lessons in the ordeal. He learned that real relationships aren’t made by paying for everything. He learned that you should always prepare for the worst outcome and have enough to survive it. He learned that family loves you no matter what. He learned that pride will keep you from having real relationships. He learned that being honest with yourself and God pushes you to action. Most of all, he learned that no matter what he has done, the Father will always accept him back if he’s willing to return. The past is pushed aside and arms are wide open to the child who returns.

If you would like to win “AHA” by Kyle Idleman, go to the Devotions By Chris Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (June 28, 2014) who has done liked my page. If enjoy reading these daily devotionals, please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too. You can also follow me on Twitter here.

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Digging Deeper

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters” by Joshua Harris. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

Let me ask you a few questions. Who is the President of the United States? What is their spouse’s name? How many kids do they have? What are their names? Do they have any pets? What are their names? Where do they live? What did they do before becoming president? Do you personally know the president? If you answered no to that last one, but were able to answer the others, you know about the president, but you don’t really know them. It’s the same thing with Christianity. So many of us can answer a lot of questions about God and the Bible, but so few really know Him in comparison.

Think of your best friend. What makes them your best friend? I would imagine that you have been through a lot together. They have stood with you through thick and thin. When others abandoned you in the hard times, they stuck with you. They don’t just show up in your good times. You’ve built a relationship with them through good times and bad. You know more than the surface level things about them. You know the intimate details, their struggles, their fears, their hopes and the dreams they’ve never told anyone else. That’s the difference in knowing about someone and knowing them.

When you look at the image of the tree above, that’s what happens in our relationship with God when storms come and our relationship is only surface level. When we haven’t taken the time to really get to know Him, His Word, His thoughts, His dreams and His plans, our roots are only surface level. We can look big and mighty, but the truth is, it wouldn’t take a whole lot to knock us over. How do I know? I’ve lived it. I’ve been that oak tree that looked strong, but the truth was that everything was surface level. Nothing was really deep.

As I lay on my side like that oak, I had a decision to make: I could lay there like that, rot away and die or I could get back up and grow my roots down deep into what I already believed and knew so much about. I chose the later. I decided my meeting with a God wouldn’t be just on Sundays. I chose to read His Word for myself rather than just listening to someone else telling me what it said. I decided to be honest with God in my prayers rather than giving shallow platitudes. I needed Him to be my rock in the bad times and not just someone I blessed in the good times. I had to dig my roots down deep in Him, like Colossians 2:7 says, so that my life began to be built on Him.

In the process, I had to give up some relationships that distracted from that goal. I had to make hard choices about what thoughts I let enter my mind. I had to choose to walk away from distractions in my life. I knew I didn’t want to be blown over again in another storm. That’s still my motivating factor in digging down deeper in Him. I know that the deeper my relationship is with God, the deeper my roots will be. The deeper my roots, the stronger I am. I won’t just appear to be strong, I’ll really be strong. You have the ability to make the same choice. Get free of the things in your life that hold you to a surface level relationship with God. When you do, your roots will begin to grow down instead of out.

If you would like to win a copy of “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris, all you have to do is sign up to receive my devotions in your email. There is a box on the right hand side of my web page where you can enter it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (May 24, 2014) who has liked my page today. If you have already signed up to receive these devotions by email, thank you. If you enjoy reading them, please forward them to your friends and invite them to subscribe as well.

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Robbed At Gunpoint

It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “Hurt Healer: reaching out to a broken world” by Tony Nolan. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

I was driving out in the middle of nowhere when I came to a four way stop intersection. I looked to my left for oncoming traffic and then to my right. When I looked right, there was a man standing there with a gun up to the window. He demanded my car. My first thought was to punch it. He must have seen the look in my eyes. He said, “If you hit the gas, I’ll shoot. Put it in park and get out.” What could I do? I got out. He walked around the car and hit me in face with his gun. He then punched me in the stomach and when I bent over, he kneed me in the face. I don’t remember much after that.

I woke up in the middle of the road at this intersection not knowing really where I was. I was covered in blood and hurt all over. I could barely move. I reached for my phone, but it was gone. There was no one for miles. I passed out again from the pain. I woke up to the sound of a car coming. I could hear the tires hum against the pavement. As he slowed down, he moved out of the lane I was laying in. Finally, I had hope as he pulled up next to me. He sat up in his car to look out his passenger side window and see me. It took everything in me to say, “Help,” but it came out as a whisper.

He turned his head back to the road ahead of him and started driving off. I remember seeing a fish on the back of his car and a bumper sticker that said, “God is my co-pilot”. I tried to say, “I’m a Christian too,” but he was gone and I didn’t have the strength. I laid my head back down and waited. My mind began to wonder what would happen if a wild animal came up to me. How would I defend myself? As my mind ran with all these scenarios, I heard another car coming. I began to hope again and tried to turn on my side. It hurt so badly, but I was able to do it.

This man was wearing a suit and was in a nice car. He was in the lane next to me because I was still in the road. I tried to wave to get his attention, but he didn’t even look my way. He was willing to go around me, but not look at me. I began to cry as he drove off. Every time my body moved as I tried to catch my breath, it hurt even more. I’m not sure if I was crying from the pain, the disappointment or the fear of dying there on the road. The sun was going down and so were my dreams of being rescued. I knew if it got dark, the chances of someone seeing me before they hit me were minimal. I prepared for the worst.

As it got dark, I could hear music far off. As it got closer, I could tell it was heavy metal. It was loud and over powered the sound of the car’s engine. As it got closer, I just knew this guy was going to hit me. I saw the headlights coming right for me and his hands beating the steering wheel. I thought, “This is it. I’m going to get killed by a punk after all this.” At the last second he swerved and hit his brakes. The car came to a screeching halt. He jumped out and ran over to me. “Are you ok, dude?” I could barely talk. He picked me up, put me in his car and drove me to a local doctor’s house.

The doctor took care of me, and nursed me back to health over a few weeks. When I was finally able to leave, I asked what did I owe him. He politely said, “Nothing. The guy that brought you in gave me his credit card and told me to charge it all to him.” I protested, but he wouldn’t let me pay. I asked about overages too. He said the guy told me that when he came back through here, he’d pay anything else that the card didn’t cover. I was shocked. Of all the people I thought should help me that day, it was the one I least expected.

Hopefully, by now you recognize my story as the parable of the Good Samaritan told through the eyes of the victim. How many hurting people do we drive by each day? They may not be physically beat up and laying in the road, but they are mentally and spiritually beat up and laying in our path. They call to us for help, but we look away or worse, see them and then ignore them. This world is full of broken people who need a neighbor, who need someone to show mercy and need help getting back up. It’s our responsibility as Christians to be the ones who extend grace and mercy even to the ones we don’t like or have nothing in common with. That’s what being a Christian should be about. Today, let’s get free of religiosity and pride. Let’s get our hands dirty helping others.

If you would like to win “Hurt Healer” by Tony Nolan, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (May 3, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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Choosing Words Of Life

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It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot” by Kurt Bubna. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

My friend, who is a missionary in Haiti, was talking to me about the orphans he’s helped rescue. He was telling me about one of the new children who was abandoned along with her siblings and left in their home to fend for themselves. She is paralyzed and was lying in her own filth naked when they rescued her. When they got her to the orphanage, the ladies and children referred to her as the crippled girl. They would ask, “Can you bring the cripple over here so we can feed her?” They would say, “Take the cripple outside so she can watch the other kids play.”

He told them, “Her name is Cassandra. Call her by her name, not her disability.” He was met with some resistance because it’s their culture to call people by their disability. Before you get all upset, it’s in our culture too. When we look in the mirror, we don’t always see a child of God. We see someone who is too fat, not good enough or a failure. When we look at our reflection, our mind says, “You need to lose weight. You won’t get the job. You will never amount to anything.” We sit in judgement of ourselves and affect our own attitude about life and God.

We also label other people. “He’s such a liar. Why is she such a drama queen?” We talk about them to other people and tear them down. It’s not just our culture, it’s our sinful nature. It’s bred into us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” There is great power in the words we speak towards ourselves or towards others. We don’t always think of them as bringing life or death, but that’s what this proverb tells us. It concludes with, “You choose.” We have the power to speak life into the person in the mirror and to others.

One day, Jesus was teaching in the temple and a group of Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus. “Adulterer!”, they screamed out. They looked at Jesus and said, “Moses and the law give us the right to stone this woman to death. What do you say?” Jesus looked down and began to draw in the dirt. They insisted on an answer from Him. After all, she was labeled as an adulterer. Jesus looked past her failure and up at them. He said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” With that, He began to draw in the dirt again. When He looked back up, it was just the woman standing there. He asked where the people who had labeled her were. Jesus smiled and said, “Didn’t even one of them condemn you? Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

We don’t know what Jesus was drawing on the ground. Was He drawing out the sins of the men wanting to stone her? Was He writing out the positive things about this woman where only she could read them? What we do know is that He didn’t let sin, failure or labels to define this woman. He didn’t let others define her that way either. We need to follow that example. When you see that person staring at you in the mirror, speak positive things about them. “There stand a princess of the King of Kings. There is someone who is the temple of God. There is someone who is just the way God made them.” Change the words you use about yourself and others and you will change everything. You can choose to speak life.

You set yourselves up to judge according to the flesh by what you see. You condemn by external, human standards. I do not set Myself up to judge or condemn or sentence anyone. (John 8:15 AMP)

If you would like to win “Epic Grace” by Kurt Bubna, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (April 5, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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Free To Pray Boldly

It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

There’s a video that has gone viral of a toddler trying to convince his mom to give him a cupcake. He’s not shy about what he wants and is very determined to get it. A few years down the road, he’ll change his tune and try to butter up his mother for what he wants. A few years after that, he’ll begin to feel like he’s bothering her if he wants something. Not long after that, he will be embarrassed to ask anything of her because he’ll think he shouldn’t need her help anymore. That’s how life goes. The older we get, the less likely we are to ask for something we need.

I’m taken back to Jesus’ words when He encouraged us to have the faith of a child. When you watch the video of that child arguing with his mother, he has no doubt he’s going to get the cupcakes. The doubt I do have is that the mother can hold out and not give him what he wants. His persistence and determination are what we need when we go to God in prayer. He wasn’t willing to take no for an answer. He knew what he wanted and he wasn’t going to stop until he got it. If you have kids, you know this is true!

Jesus told a parable in Luke 11:5-13 about prayer. He used the example of a neighbor who had a friend show up in the middle of the night unexpectedly. He wasn’t prepared to feed his friend so he went to his neighbor’s house. The neighbor told him to go away because they were sleeping. Finally, because of his persistence, the neighbor got up and gave him food. Verse 10 really hits home. It says, “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” Instead of hinting around to God at what you need, be direct. Instead of being embarrassed that you need something, be bold.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.” We need to be like that kid with our prayers. We need to be like that neighbor who won’t give up when praying. Just because you don’t see an immediate answer, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t working on it (see Daniel 10:12-13). We can’t give up on our prayers when we don’t see an immediate answer. We can’t quit knocking just because the door hasn’t opened yet. We can quit seeking because we haven’t found it yet. James 5:16 says, “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available.”

Today, I want each of us to have the faith of a child again. I want us to be free to shed the things that hold back boldness in our prayers. I want us to be like that neighbor and never give up on our requests to God. He hears each prayer and begins to work on our behalf the moment your prayers enter the Throne Room. Be earnest in your prayers. Keep them heartfelt and continue to bring them to His attention. I am confident that when we do, He’ll have no choice but to answer us. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Your answer is on its way.

If you would like to win “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (March 15, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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