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Devotionals

Joy Over Burden

For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart -Ecclesiastes 5:20 NKJV

This verse represents what many of us want out of our lives. We want a life of fulfillment. We desire to love the work that we do. That’s why we switch majors, jobs, and career paths for a chance to spend our days working on the things that we’re truly passionate about. How great would it be for God to keep us busy with the joys of our hearts? That would be pretty awesome. Right?!

However in life the very things that once brought us joy can bring us burdens. It’s up to us to get the right perspective back. A perspective of JOY. A perspective of GRATEFULNESS. If you go the burden route you’re gonna burn out real quick. And you’re really missing out on seeing all the good that God is doing in your life each and everyday. So make whatever you’re doing fun again. Lighten up. Give the burdens to God while you keep your joy.

Devotional Playlist:

Love Theory – Kirk Franklin

King of My Heart – Stephanie Gretzinger

Let Go – Dewayne Woods

Finding Yourself For Your Delight and Others

One day I was randomly watching an I Love Lucy documentary when one of the women talking about Lucy said, “Much to her delight and ours, she finds herself.” That’s a really powerful thought and it made me think of why it’s so important that we discover who we really are.

We should find out what our gifts are both naturally and spiritually (Romans 12:6-8). We should seek to learn God’s plan and perfect will for our life. Just keep asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7-12). Knowing who you are and your specific calling will bring you so much delight and it will be a delight to others. Sometimes we are reluctant to fully be bold in who our Father has called us to be because we’re afraid of the backlash or disapproval of others. Today I encourage you to be bold and free in your calling for your delight, the delight of others, and most of all God’s glory!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” – Matthew 5:16 NKJV

Clothing Yourself With Humility

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” – 1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV

It’s a new month and a new year is right around the corner. Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope you had a great time with your family and loved ones at the dinner table. I don’t know about you but I think the one thing missing from most of our menus was “humble pie”. Without constant heart checks it’s easy for our humility to go out the window. We start to wonder what happened to the me who was completely dependent on God? The me who made time for the Lord during my day? The me who casted all my cares on Him?

May this devotional serve as a reminder for you to clothe yourself in humility again. It’s that time of year where we start to make our own plans for the next year. Be real with yourself and God and acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. When you humble yourself God will give you grace. When you humble yourself and stop trying to figure out everything on your own, then you give God room to step in and get the glory from your situation. As you humble yourself you will be able to hear the still quiet voice of God prompting you and giving you instructions. Don’t miss what the Lord is doing. Humble yourself today.

Read 1 Peter Chapter 5: 5-11 for a more complete context of scripture.

Devotional Playlist:

Nothing Without You- Jason Nelson

To Worship You I Live – Israel & New Breed

Make Room – Jonathan McReynolds

 

Some Will Say You Failed: Persevering in Every Season

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness” – Psalm 37:3 NKJV

In life everyone has their own perspective on what failure means. Likewise, everyone has their own view of what success truly is. One day I watched an interview with Priscilla Chan (pediatrician, philanthropist, and wife of Mark Zuckerberg). The interviewer questioned Priscilla on an initiative that her and her husband invested a lot into financially. Priscilla spoke positively about the things they have accomplished with the initiative, however the interviewer mentioned that some would say their efforts were a failure.

Today I want to encourage you to keep going. Sometimes what the world sees as a failure, God sees as a success. Don’t feed into the lies that the positive strides you’re making is insignificant or a waste of effort, money, and time. Some may say you failed, but at least everyone will be able to say you tried! The world needs more people who will step up even if it seems foolish to the majority.

In the interview Priscilla also mentioned that their investments would take years and even decades to see the full benefits. So often people call something a failure prematurely. Practice patience. Just because we put a seed in the ground doesn’t mean a tree is going to spring up over night. It’s easier said than done, but trust in the Lord and continue to do good. Do not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). Also know that if ever you do fall or “fail” that God can always take our “failures” and turn them around for our good and the good of others.

Devotional Playlist:

It Ain’t Over- Maurette Brown Clark

You Are For Me – Kari Jobe

Way Maker – Sinach

 

 

 

Renew A Steadfast Spirit Within Me

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” – Psalm 51:10 NKJV

This month the phrase “Steadfast Spirit” has really been standing out to me. Some synonyms for the word steadfast include devoted, dependable, faithful, loyal, and solid. Clearly the word steadfast is so powerful and the thought of having a steadfast spirit is amazing. The key to having a steadfast spirit is intimacy with God and obedience.

So today let’s do a heart check. How devoted are you to God and His will for your life? Are you a dependable servant in the eyes of the Lord? Be transparent with God and ask Him to clean your heart and renew a steadfast spirit within you. When you fall short get back up and try again. The important thing is that we press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14-15 KJV).

Steadfast Spirit

Devotional Playlist:

God’s On Your Side – Mississippi Mass choir

I’m Available – Rev. Milton Brunson

Better – Jonathan McReynolds

 

Return to Me, and I will return to You: Let’s Reset!!!

“Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, Says the Lord of hosts.” – Malachi 3:7 NKJV

Do you remember when you first got saved or when you rededicated your life back to God? You started out with such passion, excitement, and childlike wonder.  As children of God we have to constantly do self evaluation. While living in this world it is easy to go from hot to lukewarm to straight up cold. Malachi 3:6 NKJV says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.” God doesn’t change, but we do. The condition of our hearts change all the time. Sometimes we leave God, His word, and His instructions for our life behind.

The great thing is even when we leave God’s side, He is never far away. Today God is saying, “Return to Me, and I will return to you. (Malachi 3:7NKJV)” Return to Him, your first love. Reset your life today and start doing things differently. Meditate on God’s Word day and night. Be intimate with Him. Then He will tell you secrets. Then He will use you more. Become intimate enough with Him that He can call you His friend. It delights the Lord when you intentionally seek Him. Reset today. Evaluate your schedule and make some adjustments. Quality time spent with God is never a waste!

Psalm 42
As the deer pants for the water, so my soul thirsts for You, O God. – Psalm 42:1

Devotional Playlist:

Draw Me Close to You – Hillsong

First Love – Chris Tomlin and Kim Walker

My Life, My Love, My All – Kirk Franklin

Whatever You Do, Do It With All Your Might

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” – Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV

What have your hands touched lately? Is it a pen or keyboard because you are a writer? As a artist you might have touched a paint brush to create a beautiful masterpiece. A chef might have just touched a skillet to produce a delicious meal. A musician might have picked up his guitar to play a lovely melody. As a preacher you might have just touched the Bible to study and make a sermon. From this verse it is clear that whatever we do, we must do with all our might.

Might as a noun means the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable. It means physical strength, however we know that it takes emotional, mental, and spiritual strength as well to complete a task. When we think of giving something everything we got we recall the phrase “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” Truly that is what it’s going to take to accomplish your dreams and goals. A dream comes through much effort (Ecclesiastes 5:3 AMP).

Everyday God is calling us to do something in the Earth. God desires to work through us to complete His plans. Can God trust you to give all your might? Can He trust you to not take your hands off the plow? Stay faithful and trust God through the blood, sweat, and tears. We are only on Earth for a short time so make this time count.

Do It With Your Might
What will you leave behind ?

 

Devotional Playlist :

To Worship You I Live – Israel & New Breed

We Must Praise – J Moss

Can’t Give Up Now – Mary Mary

Make Yourself At Home

Yay we made it to September 2018! Many of us are ready to see the season change from Summer to Fall. We are ready to get cozy in our sweaters and comfy in out boots. I’m pretty sure there’s a Pumpkin Pecan Waffles candle on stand by ready to burn somewhere. So this weeks word and motivation is to make yourself at home.

This weekend I saw a movie titled The Song. It’s a faith based movie inspired by the Song of Songs and the life of Solomon. The main character was a singer and musician. He had a gig at a fair and when the host greeted him she told him to “Make yourself at home.” To him that meant a stage but what does that mean for you? After much reflection I take it to mean making yourself at home in your purpose and making yourself at home in God’s presence.

As followers of Christ we all are called to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) and be a light in this world (Matthew 5:16). God gives each of us personalized ways to do this effectively. It is time to make yourself at home in your calling. Learn all you can and get comfortable because it is yours to walk in. Like a fish is at home in water and a lion is home of his jungle; so shall you be in your calling. Whether on stage, in a kitchen, at church, behind a camera, etc; make yourself at home.  Stay consistent and push through until it doesn’t feel strange anymore. Most of all make yourself at home with God. Don’t let His presence be a strange thing to you. Whenever you are praying to God, praising him, or reading His word you should feel at home.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek you; My soul thirsts for you; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for you in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” – Psalm 63:1-2 NKJV

Devotional Playlist:

Not Too Late To Dream – Sheri Jones-Moffett

Be Still – Kari Jobe

Your Great Name – Todd Dulaney

Also check out Building A Powerful Prayer Life: You’ve Been Practicing!

 

The Lord Goes Before Me

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” – John 10:18

A couple days ago I heard a new song. The song is titled “Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone)” by People and Songs. I didn’t search for this song but God made sure that this song found me. The lyrics of this song is rich with truth. The song begins with, “The Lord is my shepherd. He goes before me. Defender behind me. I won’t fear.” Wow! It truly is comforting to know that the Lord goes before us. God might be calling you to step into new territory this season. Sometimes the thought of starting something new or leaving some things behind can make us anxious. Through His word and through this song God is confirming that WE ARE NOT ALONE.

God knows your next move and He has been going before you and making provision for you. He is removing the wrong people from your life and setting you up to connect with the right people. He sees the future while you can only see what’s now. The thing that will help you the most this season and life in general is knowing His voice. Do you know his voice well or are you listening to the voice of a stranger?

The Lord is a good shepherd. Jesus is a good shepherd. The Lord and Jesus are one (John 10:30), and they will never let a single sheep be snatched from their hand (John 10:28-29). We need only to do our part to be good sheep. That means being more intimate with the Lord. Reading His word, praying, and seeking His face daily. Then you can know His voice, follow His path, and rest assured knowing that He has gone before you and He has your back as well.

Devotional Playlist:

Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone) – People and Songs

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United

My Life Is In Your Hands – Kirk Franklin

 

Check out the previous devotional Enjoy Today: Having Joy in The Day to Day

 

Enjoy Today: Having Joy in The Day to Day

“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

Last week I wrote ‘Enjoy Today” on my dry-erase board at work. The Holy Spirit dropped it on my heart and it helped me all through the week. You see I actually started my work week off on the wrong foot. My work week started off with an attitude and discontentment. But as children of God we shouldn’t stay that way long.

I realized that I was low on gratefulness and that made me complain about things that I shouldn’t be bothered about. Don’t fall into the trap of complaining. Get your gratefulness tank back on full. You can’t have joy without gratefulness. They go hand in hand. One way to enjoy today is to be grateful that God made today. Each new day holds new opportunities, adventures, and blessings. Start each day off with scripture and prayer so you can have the right perspective. Praise God for a new day and another chance!

Devotional Playlist:

I’m Blessed – Charlie Wilson

Joyfully – Kari Jobe

Jesus, You’re the Center of My Joy – Richard Smallwood

 

Also Checkout:

Joy and Peace  and Thank You Party