devotional

  • To The Least Of These

    DSC_1186
    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
                                                                                               Matthew 25:40 NIV
    My daughter Shelby is going away to College. Since the school she chose doesn’t have dorms we had to rent a condo for her and a friend. There are just so many things to get that we’ve had to find a few pieces used so we don’t break the budget! Shelby was given a shelf from Todd’s cousin. She wanted to get it, paint and distress it, but didn’t know how to. Todd surprised her for her birthday this week by refinishing and distressing the old shelf into a beautiful, new looking shelf that matched her bed. When I saw it I knew she would be so happy and, as you can see in the picture, she was! I told Todd that when he did things nice for my daughter he was doing something nice for me! As soon as it came out of my mouth I thought of Matthew 25:40 “whatever you do for the least of these…you do for me”

    WE SHARE–WE CARE

    I heard this scripture often growing up as my grandparents ran a ministry at my home church, Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton called “WE SHARE, WE CARE”.   It started out with just a box at the back of our church to donate food for Christmas hampers and grew into a large FREE store-like portable at the back of our church property. It was open year round to provide for refugees, new immigrants, single parents, families or anyone in need. The building was filled with groceries; clothes and furniture to meet whatever need arose. She did for so many of “the least of these”. At 86 Gram passed away and the funeral home said they had never seen such an immense attendance for someone of her age. There were about 800 people at her actual funeral. People from many nations came and told how Gram blessed their lives and led them to Christ. Gram reminded us often how we needed to help others with her words, but more loudly, by her actions. I remember as a teenager meeting a stranger at church. She had come to meet with my grandma and thank her for the impact Gram had made as her foster mother and let her know that she had given her life to Christ. She didn’t know where my grandma lived these 40 odd years later, but assumed correctly that she could find gram at church! I will never forget the stories Gram told of bringing groceries to people’s houses and watching them break down crying, thanking God as they checked off a list they could not afford, but God had provided for. This verse was the mandate of my grandmother’s life and she lived it out well!
    So, may I ask, what have you done for The King lately?
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for all that you have blessed me with. Help me to look beyond myself and search out those that I could bless for you. May I be your hands extended. In Jesus Name…Amen!
    Bethel Gospel Tabernacle-Caring Ministry Webpage

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  • God Doesn't Make Junk

    God Doesn't Make Junk-www.Soul-H2O.com“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
                           Ephesians 2:10 NIV
    Tonight Shelby was watching a show on Plastic Surgeries gone wrong. So many people who struggle with their self-esteem choosing to go “under the knife” to make them feel better about themselves. I know that there is nothing wrong with people choosing to have plastic surgery, but too often it starts and ends with an unhealthy mindset that you aren’t made well, leaving the person with an even more diminished self-worth. I guess no one has ever read them this verse and explained to them that God doesn’t make junk!
    You are God’s handiwork. You are created by God and fashioned by His hand. Think about that. God, who is perfect, made YOU! God doesn’t make junk. We know from the creation story that everything God creates He thinks is good but, when He creates people, He says they are VERY good! You are made VERY good, no matter what anyone says, or how you feel.
    When we have an unhealthy view of ourselves it affects every area of our lives. If the enemy can get us believing that we weren’t made that well, then he can get us sidetracked from our purpose in life. We’ll be focused on fixing ourselves instead of fulfilling the good works that God has prepared for us to do. Believe who God says you are and you will fulfill the destiny He has prepared for you!
    PRAYER
    Father…Help me to see myself the way that you see me. I thank-you for creating me the way you did. Help me to see the greatness you have placed inside of me so that I may live to do all you have prepared in advance for me to accomplish. In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Rainbows and Lightning

    rainbows and lightning
     
    Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”
                                                                               Matthew 8:24 NIV
    Yesterday Shelby showed me this picture of double rainbows beside a lightning bolt. The imagery spoke to me about life with God. We can be in the middle of a storm, but God has a rainbow for us! In Genesis 9:13 God said, “I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth.” (GOD’S WORD ® Translation). In life we can have at the same time; Promises and Storms, Rainbows and Lightning.
    I’ve always loved the story of Jesus in the boat with his disciples. These guys were following God’s direction for the lives when “SUDDENLY” a storm came out of nowhere.   It was such a crazy storm that the waves were crashing over the boat. The Bible says “BUT Jesus was sleeping”. What? Sleeping in a storm like that? Jesus was experiencing rainbows and lightning. In a panic, the disciples wake up Jesus and beg him to save them. Did they really think Jesus was going to let them drown? When Jesus got up, He rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. He rebuked the wind and the waves to bring everyone onboard the peace He had. The Bible records how the disciples were amazed and seemed shocked that Jesus had the power to calm the storm. Too often we’re like them and forget to stand on the promises He’s given.
    Today, ask God to show you His rainbow in the midst of your lightning.  Speak the truth of His promises to your storm and watch the clouds part.
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for peace. Help me to understand your promises and speak them out when storms arise. May I walk in faith, no matter the weather! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Fearful Timidity vs. Godly Confidence

    god has not give us a spirit of fear “For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, love and of self-discipline.” NLT
    “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV
    “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” HCSV
                             2 Timothy 1:7
    When my children were young they struggled with fears as all children do. When these episodes would occur I often quoted this verse to them and had them memorize it. Many a nightmare were stopped and ended in a good night’s sleep with the comfort of this scripture. As they grew older I saw the dangers of allowing them to stay fearful and timid. Timidity stopped them from enjoying all that God had for them. Living with the confidence that God has given them power, love, a sound mind and the ability to be self-disciplined is the message I wanted them to lay hold of.
    As I looked up the dictionary meaning of timidity I was fixated on studying the list of Synonyms and Antonyms of the word. The Synonyms (words that mean the same as timidity) are: fainthearted, fearful, fearsome, mousy, scary, skittish, shy, timorous, and tremulous. Who wants to be all that??? No wonder God said He did NOT give us the spirit of all those pathetic characteristics. No one grows up saying “I want to be the mousy, skittish kind of person that is afraid of everything.” No one wants that and God doesn’t want that for us either. So how do we break free of this timidity and gain Godly confidence? If I lived a life of Godly Confidence in His spirit, what would it look like?
    The Antonyms (words that mean the opposite of timidity) will help us better understand the spirit that God is offering to us. Here they are: adventuresome, adventurous, audacious, bold, daring, dashing, gutsy, hardy, venturesome, and venturous. Now these are words that I want to be used to describe me, my children, and my children’s children, should the Lord tarry! As believers you have the spirit of God living inside of you! Today, access the spirit of God and walk in the Godly Confidence you’ve been given!
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for the truth of your word! I thank-you that it is true no matter if I feel it or not. Help me to live free of fear and timidity. Help me to access your spirit for power and love so that I may use self-discipline to walk in sound-mind, using sound-judgment! May I walk in Godly Confidence! In Jesus Name…Amen!
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/timid

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  • Catch Me

    “Like an eagle that stirs up it’s nest and hovers over it’s young, that spreads it’s wings to catch them and carries them on it’s pinions”
    Deuteronomy 32:11
    As you can tell, I’m on a bit of an “eagle” theme these past few weeks. Life has thrown us some pretty big challenges these days and I find so much comfort in the promise this verse holds. Last week I talked about the beginning of this verse and how our heavenly father is a “hovering” parent who knows when to push us forward. Today I want to talk to you about the last part of this verse. It reminds me that no matter how far or how fast I’m falling that God will catch me!catch me
    The visual of an eagle spreading its wings to fly under and catch a young eaglet is an incredible picture. All to often we’re like the little eagle. Minding our own business when suddenly, the floor drops out from under us and we’re in a free fall. Just when we think we’re going to hit the ground and be obliterated, God swoops down and catches us bringing us to safety! Psalm 37:24-25 confirms, “When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.” “I have never seen the godly abandoned.” (NASB & NLT)
    Despite strong winds, free falls, and times where you question why you are getting pushed out of your nest, understand that God is in fact hovering over you and He will swoop down when He knows you need a lift!

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank-you for how you catch me when I’m falling! Help me to trust you when the carpet gets pulled out and I’ve lost my way. May I rest on your wings as you fly me to safely back to the nest. In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Hovering

    I’m a mom.

    I’ve given birth to two amazing people (not really kids anymore), but there are many who call me “mom”. A bunch affectionately call me their “other mom” and some their “camp mom”. Wherever I am, I tend to mother those around me. No matter their age, there’s something in me that wants to make sure everyone is OK and to help people reach their God-given potential.

    eagle in nest with eaglets

     

    “Like an eagle that stirs up it’s nest and hovers over it’s young, that spreads it’s wings to catch them and carries them on it’s pinions”                                                                                                     Deuteronomy 32:11

     

    God, The Ultimate Hovering Parent!

    I love how this Bible verse explains that God is a “hovering” parent but maybe not in the present day understanding of a hovering parent!

    As the perfect parent, God can make perfect decisions knowing when to hover, when to stir up, when to push out, and when to catch His kids.

    Eagles The Perfect Example of Hovering

    eagle feeding babyAs my children have gotten older it’s been a real learning process in knowing when to back off that “hovering” gifting!

    Eagles are a perfect example of how to parent people of all ages. When Eagles have young they provide for every need the eaglet has.When the eaglets get a little older, but before they’re ready to leave the nest, before they can fly, the mother, in love pushes them out of the nest!

    Push Them Out of Their Nest

    Now what kind of parenting is that?

    Actually, it’s great parenting! Great leadership!  

    young eagle flying by momThe eagle then spreads its wings to catch the learner and carries them on their pinions. Pinions are the wings that an eagle uses to fly. They are teaching the eaglet how to fly by example.

    Pushing people out of the nest when they’re not ready accomplishes so many things. It causes them to place their trust in the one who pushed them out to catch them before they crash. After a few pushes, confidence begins to grow till one day the eaglet starts to soar!

    Learn To Fly

    So, is God pushing you out of the nest or encouraging you to let someone else in your care learn to fly? Take that leap of faith and trust that Your father is a hovering parent that never lets anyone hit the bottom when you trust in Him!

    PRAYER

    Father…I thank-you for believing in me! Help me to not fear, but jump out of the nest and learn to soar. May I fly in your strength accomplishing all that you have for me to do. May I lead those you have paced in my care to even higher heights than I can go! In Jesus Name…Amen!

    Todd’s Art

    Learn To Fly With Watermark

     

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  • Desensitized

    Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
                                                                            Ephesians 4:17
    “Did you hear about Jen? Did you hear what John did? Can you believe them? And to think she used to sing in the choir and he used to teach Sunday School!”  It’s always shocking when strong Christians fall away from their faith and into sin so scandalous that even unbelievers are appalled. gossiping couple
    When you read Ephesians 4:17 on its own you think it must be about people who don’t know Christ, but it is a verse talking about Christians losing the spiritual sensitivity they used to have until they end up totally desensitized.
    It’s something you think could never happen to you, but I want to warn you that it can happen to anyone who leaves their spiritual thirst unquenched. I feel that God has allowed me to live out a life example of this. In the past week I’ve been to the hospital twice, for of all things—dehydration!
    A nasty virus left my body depleted, in need of rehydration through an IV. On the first trip to the hospital I knew I was dehydrated. The second time I was shocked to find out that not only was I dehydrated, but my potassium was also low. They had to run an EKG to check that it had not affected my heart. I was shocked! At one point I had almost left the hospital when it was taking so long, thinking I wasn’t as bad as the time before, when actually I was worse.
    When people are spiritually dehydrated they notice it at first. They can sense the Holy Spirit nudging them to go to church, read their Bible, pray, listen to Christian music, call a Christian friend or to stay away from something. But, after a while of being dehydrated you become desensitized to your spiritual thirst and that’s what leads to all sorts of ungodly living. The way to keep spiritually sensitive is to do what you’re doing! Stay spiritually hydrated!IV IN DESERT
    PRAYER
    Father…I thank-you for the water of Your Word! May Your Word Hydrate me to overflowing that I would stay forever sensitive to Your leading and Your love! In Jesus Name…Amen!

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  • Uncertainty

    “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:”
    1 Corinthians 9:26 (KJV)
    Yesterday, we celebrated Father’s Day and 5 kids in the family graduating from high school, College and University. So much of the conversation was answers to “What are you going to do…”. uncertainty-person direction arrows all waysSome had clear set paths that were ideally matched to their giftings, while others didn’t know and shared the concerns of their uncertainties.UNCERTAINTY-Many roadsigns
    Sometimes we feel like we’re just “shadowboxing” or fighting as one that “beateth the air” as they say in Shakespearean English! ☺ Seemingly, running this race of life aimlessly. It can be frustrating when we are uncertain of what the future holds and others around us have such clarity.
    The uncertainties of life can be draining, until you recognize as Christians that our future is certain. Paul encourages the Ephesian believers that he was praying God would give them the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” so they would know “the hope” to which he had called them (Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV). Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has hope and a good plan for our lives. So, if we put these two verses together with our faith, we can know that there are truly no uncertainties. We can let the frustration and stress leave, as we relax in the knowing that He has it all figured out and, we’re not just aimlessly running the race. Our Father who is all knowing, has a good plan for our life and, He will reveal it to us!
    Prayer
    Father…I thank-you for your plan for my life. I ask that you would continue to bring revelation to the details, as I need to know them. Help me to trust you in this journey of faith. In Jesus Name…Amen.

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  • Whose Authority?

    “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure.”

    Ezra 5:3 (NIV)

    whose authorityThe Israelites had started rebuilding the temple and then stopped for 16 years. As soon as they started rebuilding again the Governor of their area halted operations and questioned their authority to do the job. I love the Israelites answer to the Governor’s question. “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple”. They go on to explain how they were working under the authority of King Cyrus’ decree. They knew who they were and whose authority they were working under!

    Too many Christians don’t know who they are and the authority that has been given to them.  If you don’t know this you need to familiarize yourself with scriptures that teach on it. The enemy will always use people to make you question if you are a real Christian and if you are called by God to do what you’re doing.

    Matthew 28:18 says: “Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” In Luke 10:19 Jesus says: “I have given you authority”. Romans 8:11 says “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you…”. You have been given authority through Christ to accomplish all that He’s called you to do.  So, when people question, make sure you know the answer!

    Prayer

    Father…I thank-you for adopting me into your family and making me a child of The King! Help me to grow in understanding of my position and authority as your child. May I walk in the confidence, boldness and authority of a King’s Kid! In Jesus Name…Amen.

    So glad we’re not under the authority of a king like this!
    We are under the authority of the King of Kings and He Has Delegated His Authority to us!

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  • The RESET Button

    “Now then, governor, stay away from there. Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let (them) rebuild this house of God. The expenses of these men are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury…Whatever is needed—must be given them daily without fail.”
    Ezra 6:6-9 (NIV)
    A little while ago we bought new electronic door locks. We could not get the code to work and tried everything in the troubleshooting section of the instructions. There was only one option left and that was to press the reset button. I held that button down and heard the mechanism reset. I was then able to start over and set the code properly.
    reset
    God allowed the Israelites to hit the reset button in life. At the end of their 70 year Babylonian captivity, God called them to rebuild the Temple that was destroyed. God had Cyrus the King of Babylon decree them to rebuild the Temple and committed the government of Babylon to paying for it! With excitement they began and laid down the foundation. Then they got sidetracked on their stuff and set aside completing what God called them to do. Almost 20 years passed and God reminded them of this call to rebuild the Temple through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. The people repented and began to rebuild the Temple with their own money. The local governor saw what they were doing and stopped them. The Governor sent a letter telling the new King, Darius about their work hoping to have them blocked from ever rebuilding again. Instead, King Darius sent a letter reinstating the decree King Cyrus had issued commissioning them to rebuild the Temple and committing to pay for the work from government funds! God gave them a second chance to do what He had called them to do. This time, they completed it!
    A few years ago I went back to my former Bible College for a reunion. It was great to reconnect with people that I hadn’t seen for decades. Previously, leadership moved the school out of the campus where I had attended and this was the first year that they were back in the old buildings. A former classmate, Craig Burton was speaking at the reunion. In his sermon he talked about how he felt that God had hit the reset button for the Bible College. He said that he felt the Lord saying He was hitting the reset button on the lives of some of the people attending. I knew the Lord was speaking to me. God has hit the reset button on my life. This time, I will complete it!
    Prayer
    Father…Thank-you for second chances. Please forgive me for the decisions I made in the past that veered from your plan. Help me to complete all that You’ve called me to do! In Jesus Name…Amen.
     

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