An important lesson on what to wear to church

What to wear to church: Is God as worried about our outter attire as we are or is He more concerned with the workings of the inner heart?

Running The Race

*I have been extremely busy with inner city mission work and didn’t have time for anything new so…

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I got this via email this morning and thought it was worth sharing. The intent, I think, is for this to be humorous but there is an important biblical message here.

One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out Bible. The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories. As the cowboy took…

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“God is for the Unloved!”

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People can live without a lot of things in this world but love is not one of them.  True love holds you in the good times and bad.  Love is there for you when the storms of chaotic mess are ravaging your life.  Love shelters when you feel as though your house is being blown in by the big bad wolf.

Love.

The strongest of all of God’s attributes is love.  In fact, the Bible tells us, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8).  With that in mind it is no wonder He is a defender of the unloved.  God knows the inner man needs the nourishment of love to help him through the struggles of this life.  He goes to bat for them filling the gap where man seems to lack.

In Genesis 29:31 we see someone who is struggling with feelings of being unloved.  It seems no matter what she does she can’t get a break or find favor with man.  Her attempts have gone unrewarded.  Her heart lays empty from unfulfilled desire.  “Oh, to be truly loved,” must have been her silent, lamenting plea that soaked her pillow with tears as she lay her head down at night.

Man ignored her and left her feeling hated.  In such a condition, where would her life end up if not for the intervention of the Lord?

But, God . . .

He pays attention to those silent pleas.  God sees the heart that is rend from the lack of human compassion and kindness.  God sees the emptiness and He stands up to fight for her cause.  “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated (other versions use the word “unloved”), he opened her womb . . .,” (Genesis 29:31).

This really gives us a clear view of how much God wants us to be loved.  It shows that no matter what man may or may not be doing to/for you, God is for the unloved and the hated.  God doesn’t like to see people in a hurt condition, and if no one else will alleviate the silent suffering of this woman, then He would.

Powerful!

God’s love is no joke and how He is concerned about people who are lacking love in their lives is no joke.  God is for them.  God is for you.  Man may not always see the hurt that goes on inside, but God does.  People will not always pay attention to your tears, but God has every one of them recorded.  The psalmist said, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8).

God knows it all.  Your hurts, your pain, your silent sufferings has not escaped His eyes of compassion.  If you are feeling unloved, turn to God today.  Unload every burdensome feeling on Him: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).

God loves you and He wants you to feel loved.  He stepped in for Leah and satisfied her need for love and He can do the same for you too.

“God can do EVERYTHING!”

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One morning while I was out running my morning errands I remember a prayerful heart just came over me.  I had already spent time in prayer that morning, but this was extra, inside silent prayers that just wanted to come out.

At that time, while pumping gas I just began to thank God for the simple things in life such as the sun that was beating on me that morning and being able to drive with the windows down (because the weather is so nice) and feel the air whipping through my vehicle, sending in its freshness.  I thanked God for His Word and many others things.

Then, I began to drive and silently pray for the brokenness I see in someone’s life.  I began to pray for healing and restoration to take over others.  I began to pray for chains to broken off of others.  I prayed for sicknesses to be cured, pain to be covered and for peace to enter in for some.

In the middle of praying I remember this thought dropped into my spirit: “GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING!”  Job declared it when he said, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee,” (Job 42:2).

In that, everything I had just prayed for, I know that God can do it.  He can fix the broken and heal the sick.  He can bring deliverance to those bound in chains and restore the shatter pieces of others lives.  GOD CAN DO IT!

No matter what you are facing today go forth with a heart full of assurance that GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING!  Whatever it is, give it to Him and believe!

“It’s a New Day. Believe Today!”

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“Honor God!”

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“For those who honor Me I will honor,” 1 Samuel 2:30

One day my son accompanied me to the grocery store to do some shopping. He was wearing his military uniform at that time and when people saw him they kept stopping him to shake his hand, to talk to him, or to tell him to keep up the good work. They were proud of him. They honored him for his service.

You know, as a mom, how I felt. Are dads the only ones who can stick out their chest and feel like, “That’s my boy?” I’m just kidding. But, I really thought it was something special for people to recognize him and his service to our country in that way. As much as I love the many fields in which one can be honored (military, teachers, firefighters, police officers, etc.), no one deserves our respect and adoration more than God. It is customary to stand to our feet when a judge enters a courtroom and there is a hush in the crowd when they bang that gavel. What about God?

Too many go through their day without ever considering the fact that hey, He is God, and He should be before all others. With that realization in hand, I want my life to reflect that great truth. I want every word, every action and every thought to magnify the greatness of who He is and all of His glory. When I go about my day I want people to see Him in me. Do I make mistakes? Oh, yeah! But, I have a goal. I aspire to do better and to be better every day. God has been so good and wonderful to me, and I feel that as His child the least I can do is showing Him the honor due Him.

“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” (Ps. 29:1-2). These two verses have been among favorites of mine for many years now. When you think of “giving to the Lord” one realizes just how futile our efforts can be because of His vast greatness. But, something that each of us can give is honor. Not only can we gift it to Him, but it is a gift that He in turns honors.

“For those who honor Me I will honor.” Our God is an appreciative God and He believes in rewarding them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). If you don’t like the returns you have been getting in life examine what you have given. And let me make myself really clear at this point. I do not want you to see the above statement as to how you can get something from God. These things will happen because it’s what the Bible promises. Instead, I want you to just focus on God because He is God and not what you can get from Him.

Devotion – Nix the “LIKE” Button of Life

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As I sit back and think sometimes I must admit that it simply amazes me how acclimated we have become as a people to the social media culture. In no way am I one who has come along to bash anyone’s use of social media.  I have accounts and you do, too.  That’s not what this article is about.

This is about how accustomed have we become to the pull of the “LIKE” button that these social media outlets offer. Let’s face it, how often when you post something do you check to see if it has been “liked” by anybody?  How often do you compare the number of likes to that of someone else or something you have posted before?  We have become a society obsessed with approval from people.

We are constantly becoming more and more concerned about what people think about us; about their opinions on our lives, clothes, and activities. It’s as if we can’t make a move without people giving us the green light letting us know that we are okay or we’re driving down a path or in a direction they support.

We must stop and ask ourselves what we are training ourselves to believe about ourselves since we need so much confirmation from people to get on with life? What about our children?  Those coming up exposed to these internet pulls, at such a young age are their lives being conditioned to find value of self in the “LIKE” buttons of life?

More importantly, are we more concerned about impressing the masses than we are living a life that is pleasing to God? If our lives had a “LIKE” button for Him to push would He be able to push it from the things He sees “posted” (from the things He sees lived out before Him)?

We need to learn to nix the “LIKE” button of life and live for an audience of One. We need to be more concerned if our life is pleasing to God or not.  There was a song that came out years ago by Christopher Brinson titled “What If God.”  In that song he asks the following:

“What if God is unhappy with the way we live

 What if He is not pleased with the way we give

 What if He takes away His love

 And His spirit from above

 What if God is unhappy with the way we live?”(Lyrics Source: Lyrics.com)

I don’t know about you but I want to live a life pleasing to God. In the end, this is all that really matters.

Below are verses that will encourage and remind you that God’s opinion is the only opinion that counts. May we be more concerned today about pleasing Him instead of seeking the approval of others.

  • “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10, NASB
  • “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” – John 12:43
  • “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” – Colossians 3:23
  • “Put no more trust in man, who has only the breath in his nostrils. What is he really worth?” – Isaiah 2:22, HCSB
  • “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” – Proverbs 16:7
  • “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” – Proverbs 29:25
  • “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” – John 5:44.

“Again!”

God can do it again!

God can restore again!

God can touch your land again!

God can cause fruit to grow in your life again!

God can turn your captivity into prosperity again!

God can do it for you even when it seems all hope is lost again!

Our God specializes in restoration, healing relationships with Him again!

He majors in turning the ashes of our lives into something beautiful again!

Turn to God because He can do it for you again!

Word For Life Says...

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God can do it again!

God can restore again!

God can touch your land again!

God can cause fruit to grow in your life again!

God can turn your captivity into prosperity again!

God can do it for you even when it seems all hope is lost again!

Our God specializes in restoration, healing relationships with Him again!

He majors in turning the ashes of our lives into something beautiful again!

Turn to God because He can do it for you again!

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“Little Stuff Matters!”

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“I don’t have enough in me.”

“My gift is not as great as theirs.”

“The anointing is me is not as strong as another.”

“I can’t do this.”

“I don’t have enough to work with.”

“I am too small.”

“I don’t have someone supporting me like that.”

Have you ever struggled with the idea of you don’t have enough in you to make a difference or a positive impact? Do you feel God pulling you into an area faith but the fear that your “little bit of stuff” is not enough and it’s holding you back?

Many people struggle with thoughts such as these. If it’s not big, it won’t work. But God never called us into big things. But, what He did do was call us to step out in faith believing in Him, in where He wants to take us.

There is to be no inferiority complex among God’s people. We are not depending on what we bring to the table. Our dependence is upon Him and what He does with what we bring. God is the one that establishes the work of our hands (Psalms 90:17). God is the one who gives the increase off of what we do (1 Corinthians 3:7). Therefore, it doesn’t matter what we think of the size of what we bring because God is the one working behind the scenes; God is the one who works in it to outsize all.

All He asks of us is to step out in faith and work with what He gave you.

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10). Every great tree that stands tall in the forest started from a small thing; from a seed. Your “small thing” is the seed of your gift that God is waiting for you to plant so that He can cause it to grow. An unplanted seed will not flourish and neither will your gift.

Don’t shun it because you think it’s not big enough. Don’t toss it to the side because you think it’s not good enough and doesn’t matter. It’s not about what you bring; it’s all about what He does with what you bring.

Luke 16:10 tells us, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much . . .” God wants to see what you do with the “least” before He turns it into “much.” Won’t you plant your little seed today?

Little stuff matters. If you don’t think so, take encouragement from these little critters:

“There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer,

The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

The locusts have not king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces,” (Proverbs 30:24-28).

You see, it’s not about size or strength, but the wisdom God gives to those who render their little bit of stuff to Him in service. Size doesn’t matter to God because He is the God of increase. What matters most with God is our faithfulness in rendering what we do have to Him and trusting Him to let it grow.

“Little things make big things happen” (John Wooden). 

Especially, when God is in it. So, don’t cast it off. Work it!

Blessings.

“PRAY!”

 

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Have ever turned on the news only to hear of some horrific event that has taken place?  Upon hearing it, have you ever had the urge to run to the scene of said event to try to do something; to want to help some and get the situation back in order?

Me too.

Often among devastation life can make us feel as though we are limited in our options to do something.  But, the fact of the matter is you can do something.   Something that most count as a last option should actually be the first.

PRAY!

Prayer is powerful!  Prayer is authoritative!  And, prayer works!

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7.

NOTHING is out of the scope of God’s reach.  The worse world events can be made tame under the hand of a Sovereign God, if He so wills.

Confident prayer that He hears and is able, makes a difference in life’s circumstances.  “If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” 1 John 5:14.

You can do something.  To some it may seem a trivial thing, but there is real power in prayer.  Who knows what you can change when you approach Him with a heart that wants to intercede on behalf of others.

Be blessed.

“Reminder: You never lose going with GOD!”

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God is our source and our everything. We never lose when we chose to go with Him in every area of our lives.