Soul H2O Devotions

  • A Healthy Appetite

    “You prepare a feast for me…”
        Psalm 23:5 NLT

    This weekend Canadians got together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, just a little earlier than our neighbors to the South! Today we went to my mom and dad’s farm; and boy did we feast! My mom does it up right! There were two types of meat, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, five vegetable dishes, salad…trays of pickles, olives and hot peppers, not to mention the table of desserts. If you’re going to come to the Fletcher’s for a holiday feast you better have a healthy appetite!

    In Psalm 23 God promises that He will prepare a feast for us, and in Psalm 34:8 He invites us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”! The thanksgiving feast with my family is always delicious and plentiful. I can only imagine how lavish a feast prepared by our Jehovah Jireh would be! Later in Psalm 119:103 David says of God’s banquet, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

    God prepares an abundant feast of sweet words for us. We need to approach reading the Bible with a healthy appetite, hungry to hear from Him!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you that you’re not stingy. You don’t give us just a little snack, but instead you offer us a plentiful banquet to feast on.   Help me not to waste my appetite on things that leave me empty. I will accept your invitation to “taste and see” that you are good! In Jesus Name…Amen

    So, tell me, what is the sweetest word God has shared with you through His Word lately? Write out the Verse or Verses in the Comment Section below:

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  • Write It Down

    “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
    Habakkuk 2:2 NIV

    God is constantly speaking to us. He didn’t just speak to prophets with strange names in the Bible! God desires to speak to us everyday. The hard part is learning to quiet our busy hearts long enough to hear His still, quiet voice.   Relationship requires two-way conversations, so if I want a great relationship with God, I can’t do all the talking. Spending time silently with God used to seem weird but now I love it! Many of the messages I speak, devotions I write or blogs I post are a direct result, followed by me taking time to write it down!

    When you take the time to write it down, you make it plain. It’s explainable. When God encouraged Habakkuk to record the message He gave, He said to put it on tablets. Tablets are permanent. They’re not like paper you can crumple up and throw in the garbage. Tablets are etched on. They are recorded words that can hold you accountable. Tablets can also be shared and keep your message in tact. God desires for you to share what He tells you, so more people can be encouraged, like you were by His Words. In this way, you give God glory and His work is multiplied.

    My encouragement today is that you take the time to listen, and then record what God speaks to you. I love journaling, but there are so many ways to record what God is saying in our day. You can write it on paper, type it on a computer, put a reminder in your phone, make an entry on your calendar to remind you a year from now, paint it, chalk it, sing it, make a video or blog about it! Be creative, like God and the creative you He’s formed you to be! Write it down, make it plain and let it inspire others to run towards Him!

    Prayer

    Father…I’m thankful for Your voice. I thank-you that you don’t give me the silent treatment! Please open my ears, so I can hear. Help me to place the proper value to Your Words in scripture and those You speak to my heart. I will be faithful to record what you’ve spoken to me and share it with others as you direct. May Your words flow through me and bring refreshing to others. In Jesus Name…Amen 

    Willing to share what God is speaking to you or something He’s said to encourage you in the past?

    Write it down in the Comment Section below:

     

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  • Don’t Dine and Dash!

    Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.
                                       Malachi 3:10 NLT

    Lately I’ve been travelling a lot for speaking or book engagements, away from our home church. Today, Todd and I again attended Calvary in Cambridge, Ontario. We were so blessed by the worship and preaching. When it came time for the offering I couldn’t help but give. I felt that if I didn’t, it would be just like walking out of a restaurant without paying the bill. I heard the Holy Spirit encou

    rage me that He doesn’t like when His kids dine and dash!

    Malachi had to prophesy a wake-up call kind of message to the people of God in his time. The verse above is part of his message to the Israelites describing how they hadn’t been paying their tithe or the offerings that God had required of them. All too often we’re like the Israelites and neglect to return the tithe or give offerings as the spirit directs us; we’re fed spiritually and dash out the back doors without paying our share. In Numbers 18:21 God explains how the tithes were to be given to the Levites; the tribe responsible for synagogue work. The pattern was set back then, if we all paid our tithes, there would be more than enough money to pay for the work of the church.

    So the next time you’re at your home church or visiting a new one, don’t dine and dash, pay for your meal so there’s enough food in the house!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you that I’m so blessed to have places of worship that feed my spirit! Help me not to take for granted the work that goes into preparing such a rich meal for me. May I honor You as I give tithes and offerings so Your kingdom can be extended and your servants not go hungry! In Jesus Name…Amen

    Calvary Cambridge, ON  http://www.calvarycambridge.com

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  • The Difference A Year Can Make

    “Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son”…’Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’…Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
                                      Genesis 18:10,13-14 NIV

    A year ago today I was at a hotel in London, Ontario with Todd preparing for his open heart surgery in the morning. The next few days were some of the scariest I’ve had to live. Watching the man you love struggling in pain, fighting for his very life changes you. Keeping fear at bay in those times only happens through a supernatural work of God. Today, Todd and I took time to remember all that as gone on and how God has brought so much healing into our lives. We’re so thankful for all the miracles that He has allowed and the difference a year can make!

    Sometimes you feel like your situation will never change, the problem has been there too long or it’s just too much of a mess. Sarah felt the exact same way. She heard God’s promise spoken years before that she and Abraham would have a child and now that she was ‘old’; which is another way of saying ‘past menopause’, God was reminding her of the promise. It even seemed cruel to Sarah for God to tease her with an impossible dream, but as our God is true to His word, a year later Sarah had a son! Oh, the difference a year can make!

    You may be in a situation, ready to give up, but God is speaking to you today and encouraging you not lose hope. With God, you never know the difference a year can make!

    Prayer

    Father… I thank-you that your promises don’t have expiry dates. Your Word is Your Word and I can take You at Your Word! Please help me to Stand when I’m waiting to see what You’ll do and how You’re going to fulfill Your promises. In Jesus Name…Amen

    Have you had any ‘what a difference a year makes’ moments?
    Willing to share your story?
    Comment below:

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  • Go On The Offense!

    “I appeal to Caesar!…”You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
                                                 Acts 25:11-12 NIV

    I was brought up watching the Hamilton Ti-Cats football. My grandparents were crazy fans who held season’s tickets. They would even go so far as to get all dressed up in Black and Yellow for the games! Have you ever watched a football game when the team gave up on winning and got stuck in the defensive? From the stands you hear people cheer: “Go on the offense!

    I’m encouraged by the example Paul gave us to go on the offense! Acts 21-28 is a crazy story in the life of Paul. It starts off with a guy named Agabus having a prophetic word warning that Paul was going to be bound in Jerusalem and handed over to the Gentiles. Paul rightly discerns that it is God’s will for him to face this trial in order to reach the Gentiles for Christ. When Paul is thrown in jail he doesn’t crumble and act the victim. Paul speaks up before they mistreat him and demands fair treatment as a Roman born citizen. When brought to yet another court, Paul again goes on the offense. He demands his rights and declares, “I appeal to Caesar!” Paul was protected and brought to Rome as he knew God had called him.

    Sometimes we feel as Christians that we need to ALWAYS “turn the other cheek”, but Paul’s example here, and others in scripture, show us that there is a season for everything. Discern what season you are in, and if God is speaking to you to go on the offense then, move forward as a born-again citizen of heaven and go on the offense!

    Prayer

    Father… Help me to walk confidently where you lead. I ask for a holy boldness to move forward in all that you have called me to do. May I stop living defensively and go on the offense as you direct. Let nothing hold me back from moving forward in You! In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • New Clothes

    “You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised…but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
                                             Luke 24:48-49 NLT…NIV

    I love getting new clothes and who doesn’t? I remember when my son was a teen and got a new shirt before camp. I literally had to wash it every other day so people could stand to be near him! Getting a new job often requires buying new clothes to prepare you for the new position; like that first suit, the company uniform, coveralls with your name on them or the tool belt for your trade.

    At the end of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, he explains to his followers about their new position as witnesses for Christ to the world. Jesus warns them not to start the job without getting some new clothes on! We read in Acts 2 how the Holy Spirit fell on all those who followed Jesus direction by waiting and praying together in the upper room. Immediately, these men and women were turned into powerhouse witnesses for Christ! 3000 people were reached that day!

    Our mission hasn’t changed and Jesus direction applies now more than ever. If we are to reach this world for Christ we need to be clothed in the power of the Holy Spirit!

    Prayer

    Father…It’s my desire to let my friends…my family…those in my sphere of influence and people all around this world know about You! I can’t do it in my own strength. Holy Spirit, please clothe me in Your power, like you did for the disciples, so I can be an effective witness for Christ! I need some new clothes! In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Great Golf Tip

    “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”
    Daniel 6:10   NLT

    The other day, Todd and I went out on the motorcycle, to a car show and then he taught me how to hit a golf ball at the driving range.  It was so much fun and I didn’t do so bad either!  Todd taught me the tricks of how to hit the ball far and then how to direct my drive.  Todd explained how aiming my feet towards the direction I want my golf ball to go in would help me reach my goal.  Todd’s Great Golf Tip made me think of Daniel’s position for prayer.

    The Bible records that when the Israelites were held in Captivity, Daniel prayed to God directing his view towards Jerusalem.  Not even a law forbidding anyone from praying to their god could stop Daniel’s focused prayers.  Daniel knew that the only way to get out of captivity would be to follow Solomon’s instructions in 2 Chronicles 6:38-39 that were recorded over 400 years before Israel even went into captivity!  Solomon instructed that if the Israelites were ever to find themselves in captivity, that they should pray towards the temple in Jerusalem and God would bring them back into their land.

    Apply Todd’s Great Golf Tip to your spiritual life and pray like Daniel.  Direct your view towards the promise God has for your life and keep giving God thanks until you see the promise become a reality!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for your promises.  Help me to direct my view towards all that you have for me.  Grow in me the tenacity like Daniel to pray consistent, focused prayers and give you thanks for bringing your promises to fulfillment.  In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Repeat Offenders–Jesus’ Teachings on Offence #4

    “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”
                                                          Mathew 18:21-22   The Message

    Repeat offenders use your welcome mat way too many times to wipe off their dirty boots! We all have people in our lives that seem to use a revolving door to our welcome mat and leave us feeling trampled on. Peter asks Jesus for His wisdom on how to deal with these people and it’s not what our human hearts want to hear.

    Jesus is encouraging unlimited forgiveness.

    Jesus’ teaching was counter-culture to people in His day and nothing has changed in our modern culture thinking. People don’t like to forgive. People want others to forgive them for what they do, but it’s rare to find someone who wants to extend forgiveness when they’re offended.

    Natural instinct is to protect ourselves and put up a fence, blocking the person from ever causing us pain again.

    Right after Jesus teaches the principle of forgiveness, he explains further with a story called The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Jesus condemns the man in the story that doesn’t release forgiveness to his debtor when the debtor pleaded for it.

    Jesus reminds us through the parable that we are all debtors to God. Some of us may have larger debts than others, but we all owe a debt we cannot pay.

    If Jesus so willingly releases forgiveness to us each time we truly repent, we need to extend that same forgiveness to others when they ask for our forgiveness.

    Open your heart today and release anyone that you may be holding unforgiveness towards. You’ll be setting both of you free!

    Prayer

    Father… Thank-you for forgiving me when I offend You. I should really be out of chances, but Your grace keeps taking me back. Soften my heart. Melt it so that I can forgive others like you forgive me. In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Dream

    “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you”
                                                                 Ephesians 1:18 NIV

    This week I dropped my daughter off at Southeastern University in Florida. Getting there was nothing short of a miracle! So many things came against Shelby attending school this year, but she was determined God had called her to go and she was going to believe for a miracle. Through prayer and fasting—Miracles she received! Shelby had a dream and she pressed on to believe until that dream became a reality!

    The older you get, the more difficulty you have to allow the “eyes of your heart” to be enlightened…to dream! Dreaming comes easier for the young. I think it’s part because they’re closer to childhood and still in the practice of imagining. Youth are often better able to “see” their dream and go after it. Adulthood really frowns upon imagining. You get out of practice and tend to close down the “eyes of your heart” and that hinders you from knowing “the hope to which he has called you”.

    Today, I’m praying Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers over you, no matter how old you are! I’m asking our Father to open your spiritual eyes so that you will dream His BIG dreams for your life and have the courage to pursue them!

    Prayer

    Father…Help me to have the faith of a child so that I can look at my life through your eyes. Please open the eyes of my heart to clearly see what you have called me to so I can chase after the dreams you desire me to fulfill. In Jesus Name…Amen

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  • Work It Out—Jesus’ Teachings on Offence #2

    “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend.”
                                             Mathew 18:15

    I find this verse hard to live out. I would rather just ignore when someone hurts me and pretend it didn’t bother me. I cringe when I know that I need to discuss an issue with someone. Recently our pastor had the Core Leadership Team go through a teaching on the need for crucial conversations. The training was invaluable in learning how to work it out in relationships when you’ve been offended.

    Jesus’ teachings were given to help us learn how to restore relationship whenever possible. Jesus doesn’t teach us to lash back, get back or stuff it. Jesus tells us to confront the person who hurt us. Confront; not in a hurtful way, but in a way that conveys the offense and still gives the message that you are trying to work it out. I read a great book years ago, called The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The basis of this book is in line with this verse in Matthew. The book was written for dealing with conflict in the workplace but applies to all relationships. It teaches that when you have conflict with someone, you should not ignore it but immediately confront the person for one minute explaining the issue. The premise is that if you don’t quickly confront, the tendency is to let offences pile up and then it is often too much work to work it out.

    Follow Jesus teaching and learn to gently, but honestly, in private work it out with those around you.

    Prayer

    Father…help me to live out your teachings, even when I find them difficult. Help me to be able to tell people when they hurt me in a way that treats them as your child, while not skirting the issues. Help me to be able to speak in ways that will work it out with those who have hurt me. May your blessing be over my relationships. In Jesus Name…Amen

     

    http://www.kenblanchard.com
    http://www.spencerjohnson.com

     

     

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