“Forget, and Be Fruitful!”

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While every day we have is a gift, admittedly some days are harder to move past than others.  Hurts, disappointments, pain, and confusion can work against you trying to hold you back.  All the negatives of yesterday’s can seem like an insurmountable mountain you are struggling to climb.  I pray today’s devotion would help to lighten your path today and encourage your heart to keep moving forward in faith:

One Bible character who can really teach us on how to overcome unfair treatment and affliction is Joseph.  He suffered much at the hands of his brothers: ridicule, not believing in his dreams and supporting him, and treating him as if he didn’t matter; if they got rid of him then all of their problems will be solved (the enemy fails to realize that  you are not the one who is the problem).

Eventually, their hatred caused them to do the unthinkable and cast him away as if he wasn’t a member of the family by selling him into slavery.  Have you ever been unsupported and tossed aside as if you didn’t matter?  The sting of their betrayal was with Joseph as his new life began as a slave in Egypt.  Torn from all that he knew, he was ushered into a world of unknowing.  What would life be like for him now?

Though in his land of affliction he found favor, he also was lied on and mistreated, adding salt to the open wounds he already suffered at the hand of his own family.  How much more was one man to put up with?

In prison, alone and yet willing to still help others, he was once again forgotten and left to deal with life on his own.  The awesome thing about his story, as many of us know, Joseph was not alone.  God had a great plan for his life.  Many of us are familiar with how God elevated Joseph out of his affliction and blessed him with a position of great honor in the palace.  Eventually, becoming governor over all Egypt where everyone bowed to him except Pharaoh.  What a change of position!

Joseph, after coming to power married and had two sons: “And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.  And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction,” Genesis 41:51-52. 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes stepping into a new day there are other things I want to forget about; things I want to leave behind.  I am ready to move on.  No longer do I want to dwell on what was.  I want to be fruitful in the here and now. 

Every day God has opened up a world of opportunity for us to forget the past and move on into something greater.  We may not be governor of Egypt, but I don’t believe God has allowed us to see this new day for naught.  I believe that we were designed to be fruitful!

Fruitfulness is a desire of God for His people: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper,” Psalm 1:3, KJV.  Therefore, I am declaring today as the time for us to move forward in faith and be fruitful.  I want us to produce a great harvest of good things in this brand new day we have been given!  I want us to be abundant right where God has us planted!

Don’t carry the negatives of yesterday; they don’t belong here. They’re in the past for a reason.   We have been afforded this great gift of a new start so let’s take advantage of it and work what God has given us to “Forget, and Be Fruitful!”  Joseph taught us a simple, yet powerful lesson.  Let’s grab hold of it and step into what God has for us.

Be blessed!!!!

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“The Truth about Self-Doubt”

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One of our most famous struggles in life is with doubt.  We have faith in and for others.  We believe God to the fullest.  Yet, doubt seeks to rob us in another area.  It’s when we allow thoughts of inferiority to enter our space.  It’s when we let the insecurity we experience on the inside come to the surface and convince us we are not enough.

We know that God is good.  And,  we know He is awesome in everything He does.  But, when it comes to convincing ourselves of what He can do in and through us we have a hard time accepting that truth in our lives because something or someone has caused us to believe we don’t measure up; we don’t have what it takes to adequately pursue what God has placed on the inside of us.

One Bible verse that has helped me overcome that line of thinking; thinking that keeps your hopes and dreams submerged in the sea of doubt is this: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:6).  Meaning God will finish what He started in you and He will keep on working on you until that day of Jesus Christ.

A lot of people feel some type of way about where they are in life right now.  They are viewing their lives through the lens of the journey rather than the destination.  All that God wants to do through us and for us will always be a continuing and evolving work.  We, as long as we are on the face of this earth, can never say that we have arrived.  We will never fully meet our destination point until we are face to face with Jesus.

But, already knowing where our destination finishes should give us hope for the journey.  Rather, we tend to let the journey disappoint us; we let the journey decide for us what our future will turn out to be like, telling us what we are and what we’re worth.

Our journey shouldn’t be a measure of stress or discouragement causing seeds of doubt to be planted about what God has placed in you.  Your journey is the process that’s taking you in the direction of your destination.  And, I don’t care who’s doing this or that over there or here – God still has His hands on us.  God is still working on behalf of His children.  God is still perfecting and performing stuff in our lives.  God still has a glorious future up ahead for each one of us if we will just believe, hold on, and wait through the process of His performance in us.

So, the truth about self-doubt is this: God is not finished with you yet.  Your journey is still moving.  Your story is not over.  You are not in a race to live in comparison with others.  You are a follower of His lead until you become everything He has designed you to be.  As long as you are alive and kicking, His purpose in you is alive and kicking.  Don’t count yourself out.

Another truth about self-doubt is this: it’s not about whether we think we are good enough.  It’s about the good He is able to do in us (another God-inspired thought).  You are more than what your journey appears to be.  You are measured by your destination.  You are measured by Jesus Christ inside of you leading to your destination; drawing you to trust Him in everything He is calling you to be.  If He has placed something wonderful in you, He will bring it to pass.  Just believe and hope in Him.  For in Him is where your real self-worth is found.  Therefore, since your worth is in Him and He is the one perfecting and performing your process, don’t doubt yourself and what God is able to do in you and through you.  You are so much more!

“Power Belongs to God!”

ARE YOU FEELING DEFLATED AS THIS NEW WEEK STARTS? ARE YOU FEELING LIKE IT’S OFF TO A BAD START? LET IT GO!!! Right now, make it up in your mind that you ARE NOT going to try to do this on your own! That you ARE NOT going to operate in your own power! Rather, you are going to put it all in the hands of God and allow Him to take control of it all because “POWER BELONGS TO GOD!”
 
Father God, in your hands we commit every worry, every fear and every trouble. Father God, we lean and depend on Your grace and mercy to bring us through. We thank You for all that You have already done and continue to do in each and every one of our lives. We know that You see all and know all. Help us to rest in You. Give us that peace which surpasses all understanding as we hold on to You and Your word and Your hope for this day and this week. Thank You that You love us enough to hear our prayers and it’s in Your hands we leave them. Thank You for being our all in all. In Jesus’ name we pray – AMEN!!!

“This is the CHRIST!”

“Other’s said, This is the Christ.  But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? ” John 7:41

When it comes to Jesus everyone will experience one of three responses: you believe, you don’t believe or you don’t know what to believe.  Jesus had that effect on people.  He would do things (miracles) that utterly dumbfounded people.  He would say things like, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” (John 7:37), that would take people totally off guard and they couldn’t help but be amazed by the words that came from His mouth.  Yet, there are those who deride who He says He is and they say, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?” (John 7:41).  These types look for reasons not to believe.

It is an awesome thing to be fully persuaded in one’s own heart that “This is the Christ!”  Many in the crowd that Jesus was speaking to on that day were divided.  They were not only divided with one another, but they were perplexed within themselves about the man who stood before them teaching with such authority.  They heard and saw but still wrestled in their heart to believe.  Yet, in the division, there were some who knew, who felt the truth within them that “This is the Christ!”

Commotions, dissensions and disagreements, they will always exist as long as this world does.  But, for those whose hearts are grounded in the truth, they can boldly declare, “This is the Christ!”

How often has someone come against your faith?  How many times have you been ridiculed for what you believe in?  If not verbally, but in the way others treat you because of your hope in Him?  One’s faith is at the core of the declaration of Christ for oneself.  If the faith is real, it will keep him/her rested in their Savior despite the contentions around.  Yet, if it is but a surface faith when the hardness of life approaches it will wither under the pressure of adversity.

“This is the Christ!”  The soul that can still declare that is a soul happy before his/her Lord.  The soul that cleaves to the truth of these words is the soul that won’t soon be moved.  The soul that rests in that wonderful truth is the soul that will find peace eternal no matter the failing of others who don’t recognize Him for who He is.

“This is the Christ!”  That’s who He was then and that’s who He remains to be today.  Keep your hope anchored in that truth and no matter what else may be going on in your life, your faith in who He is will see you through.  Be blessed in this wonderful truth today!

“Hard times do not have the final say!”

HARD TIMES DO NOT HAVE THE FINAL SAY! Hard times may leave one feeling helpless, with the wondering thought of how long? How long is this going to go on? How long do we have to endure this mess? How long will this struggle last? Rest assured, dear friends, you are not forgotten in the midst of the struggle. God knows when His people are facing difficult days and hard nights. But even in those dark hours, His people can be reassured there is a reason to rejoice. It might not always be clear at that moment, but we are promised that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning,” (Ps. 30:5). God is the one that can work a new work that will blow people’s minds away. Keep your hope steadfastly planted in Him. He is our deliverer! He is our miracle worker yesterday, today, and forevermore!

“Give Me This Mountain!”

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“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified.  It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said,” Joshua 14:12

At the age of 85, Caleb was more than ready to take what the Lord had promised to him.  You see, when Joshua and Caleb were sent as spies into the land of Canaan there was a promise left for their belief in God.  “Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God,” Joshua 14:9.  As of yet, Caleb had not gotten his promise.  But, now he was ready to take what the Lord had promised.

Only there was this one thing, the Anakim were there.  The Anakim were giants, nonetheless, their stature brought no fear in the heart of Caleb.  He was ready to “drive them out,” (Joshua 14:12).  In fact, when the rest of Israel was ready to run scared when God first brought them to the Promised Land, he and Joshua were ready then to take care of business.  Years later, this aged gentleman, as some would consider him, was still just as ready to take what God had promised to him.

A lot of times God gives us promises but in our eyes, it may look insurmountable.  Obstacles are in the midst of the promise that makes it appear as though one can never possess it.  I like that Caleb was 85 years old.  I like that it was over 40 years before he had the opportunity to go for his promise.  I like that there were giants in the land that made it look impossible.  I like these three points because they are some of the most popular reasons people give up on waiting for the promises of God.

1.  Caleb was 85 years old, this implies limitations.  Instead of looking to God for their source too many people focus on their own limitations, their own inabilities to get the job done.  Not Caleb!  He didn’t care about his age, God promised it and he was ready for it.  It is as the British Evangelist John Flavel stated, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”  The Bible says that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20.  Take the limits off of yourself, and more importantly, take the limits off of God.

2.  Over 40 years implies waiting.  This is something that is very hard for most people.  Many times over in the Bible people waited quite a bit of time before they laid hold of what God said He would do in their lives.  If God said it then He will do it, but our job is to wait.  Here are some encouraging reminders about waiting on God:

  • “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him,” (Lamentations 3:25).
  • “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me,” (Micah 7:7).

3.  There being giants in the land implies obstacles.  Many people look at their dreams, their hopes and the promises of God and can believe them for everyone else except themselves.  To them, it looks as if they can never possess it.  This is a hopelessness that God does not desire to see in His people.  The Bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is a key verse in Scripture and God made sure it was put in there four times (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11 and Heb. 10:38).  We are to have more faith in the God we serve as Caleb did when he said, “It may be that the Lord will be with me,” (Joshua 14:12), then in the obstacles before us.

Don’t be afraid to take your mountain today!  Don’t be afraid to go after what God has already promised you.  Don’t look at your limitations, the waiting or the obstacles.  God can and will overcome it all to fulfill what He promised to you!  God bless.

“He knows my name!”

It doesn’t matter how anybody has treated you today or even if they have made you feel like a complete nothing: Jesus knows your name! To Him, you are a somebody. To Him, you are valued. To Him you are important. To Him, you are not invisible. He knows you. He knows your name. How wonderful is that? We serve a personal God! Hallelujah! ” . . . the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, . . .” John 10:3.

“The voice of the LORD is powerful…”

Let His voice speak to your heart today, comforting you with His words. Let His voice drown out everything that is contrary in your life. Father God, we pray that You would speak Lord, for your servant hears and we are listening for a word from you. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous…”

God is paying attention to your needs, your cares and concerns. He is watching and listening just for you; for your voice to call out to Him. We have this confidence for His word says, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry,” Psalms. 34:15.

“God Loves Your Uniqueness. Be You!”

 

Ok, so let’s start this week off right. You may not be perfect in some people’s eyes, but God loves you just like you are. He should know, He’s the one who designed you to be you. So what if your hair (like mine) is a little frizzy and curly (before I attack it with a straightening iron  ). So what if people don’t like the way your voice may sound. So what to what people think period. God has a purpose for your life and He designed you to be you to carry out that purpose. So, go ahead, strut what God gave you today and BE YOU!

Now, smile!