Daily Devotional – 9/18/11 “Convenient Praise”

It’s Sunday morning, do you know where your praise is? Is it showing or shall i put up a missing poster? For some it hasn’t been seen since you joined church & got baptized and for others, since trouble last showed up.

Doesn’t God deserve more than that? Doesn’t he show up when times are good and when they are bad for you? Didn’t he allow you to make it home safely after your night of partying? Didn’t he keep your lights on when you couldn’t pay your bill? Didn’t he comfort you when friends left, when husband/wife stopped loving, or when folk scandalized your name?

Then why is it that we choose when he gets praise? You’re at church showing out when your boyfriend leaves but quieter than a church mouse when you got money in the bank. You’re out shouting the mother on the mother board when you don’t have food but texting during service when it’s the first of the month. You’re the first one at the altar when you need a job & then rob God of his tithes when you’re blessed with one. You’re sitting at the front of the church when life is treating you bad, but couldn’t see you in the dark with a flashlight when so-call friends show up.

Please know, God is aware. He doesn’t keep score like man does but he knows. He knows when you’re praise is genuine and when it’s not. God said come into my house with praise on your lips and thanksgiving in your heart. The church is not the building you worship in, but it’s you. Most times the closest the sinner man gets to God is you! If you’re a mess then what reason would they have to seek God?

See, God allows the fire(trouble) to come into our life but it won’t consume you, it won’t even burn. When you put your hand in the world’s fire you come out with first, second or third degree burns & smelling like smoke.
Oh, But when you come out of God’s fire, you come out shining like gold and smelling like roses. God’s fire may feel hot to your body but it won’t burn. It might be filled with smoke but it won’t consume you! He knows what you can bear!

Because of this you need to give God the praise, thanks and worship that he deserves. I dare you to do it today cause tomorrow may be to late. Praise him while your mouth, hands & feet work because there maybe a time when they won’t. Praise him now, while YOU can.

Where is your praise? Where is YOUR praise??

Daily Devotional – 9/17/11 “Dear J.O.H.N. Letter”

Dear John, (Jealousy. Obstacles. Hurt. Negativity)

If you’re reading this letter its because I’ve had enough and this is goodbye. To you our time together has been great but to me, not so much. You only come around to destroy and make me unhappy and I can no longer take it. See, I’ve found this Man who has promised me Joy if I trust him. He said he would be my umbrella when you show up with your rain, thunder and lightning. He said he would give me strength on the days you’re in my way. Those days when you mean things for my bad.

This Man has always been there for me to find but I couldn’t see his grace because I was worried about you and your jealousy. I couldn’t see his mercy because of what folk were saying. I was so busy worried about you & folks of this world that I almost missed out on the praise that was hidden in my heart. I was so use to your negativity that I haven’t even used the gifts that I have.

But, I must thank you. I thank you for the times you have showed up because you’ve made me strong enough to handle you. When folk talk about me, this Man gives me prayer to handle it. When your storm starts he has given me faith to praise my way through it. When you place obstacles he has given me strength to climb them. When you speak negativity he has given me a spirit of discernment to know the difference.

So, I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the time together but I appreciate what you’ve taken me through because I’m stronger now. I know now that I’m worthy of being blessed. I know now that trouble don’t last always. I know now that I can do all things through Christ because he strengthens me.

Who is this Man of whom I speak? Who is this Man who gives me joy the world can’t take? Who is this Man that blesses me even when I don’t deserve? Who is this Man who has taken your place? His name is Jesus and it’s the sweetest name I know. He gives me this feeling deep down in my soul that makes me want to run when no one is chasing me. He makes me want to dance when there is no music. He makes me want to shout in the midst of a crowd. This Man has a hold on me that I don’t want to let go of.

He told me to pack your bags. I’ve placed them on the curb by the street. Don’t worry about the keys because the locks have been changed and you’re no longer welcome. You don’t have to go home but you have to get Hell out of here because there’s no room for either of you! If you happen to stop by and see the house rocking, it’s a praise party that you’re cordially invited too. I’m not worried about you causing a scene because he’ll be there to cut you off. So come on by, because when you knock he’ll answer!

Signed yours truly,
God’s child!

Daily Devotional – 9/16/11 “Let me be Spiritual!”

There is a new song by Donald Lawrence called Spiritual.  The chorus says,

“You’re not a natural being
Having a spiritual experience
But you’re a spiritual being
Living this natural experience”

I listened to it on my drive to work this morning and the Lord placed these words in my heart for you. 

He said you’re not a natural being but you’re a spiritual being.  Because if you were a natural being, man of this world could hurt you.  But being a spiritual being, the joy that you have the world didn’t give it nor can the world take it away. 

If you were a natural being, when man speak harsh words in your life, tears fall.  But being a spiritual being, the words roll off like water does on oil.  If you were a natural being, man can cause you heartache. But being a spiritual being, God has your heart and the only way to it is through him, so there is no hurt!  If you were a natural being, when folk walk off you feel like you don’t have anyone.  But being a spiritual being, when folk walk off it’s just God’s way of removing your enemies.  Being a natural being when man says sickness you feel like you have no hope. But being a spiritual being, when sickness comes, you claim healing before it even comes! 

Natural being = Test                 Spiritual being = Testimony

Natural being = Pity                  Spiritual being = Praise

Natural being = Mess                Spiritual being = Mercy

Natural being = Hope                 Spiritual being = Faith

God, I pray today that you allow me to be spiritual! When I have the world on my shoulders, God let me be spiritual.  When folk talk about me, let me be spiritual.  When I can’t see my way, God let me be spiritual.  When I feel like I can’t go on, God let me be spiritual.  When I keep getting pushed down & back, God let me be spiritual.  When the downs outweigh the ups, God let me be spiritual.  When bills outnumber money, God let me be spiritual.  

For the word of God says in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  and 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ and Deuteronomy 5:32–33 “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

God, I want to be; let me be spiritual!

Daily Devotional – 9/15/11 “Trying to get to Heaven with Hell on your back”

You woke up this morning in a good mood, then something happens or someone says something and everything changes.  You make plans to pay your tithes and then the car breaks down.  You plan on going to church and then you over sleep.  You say you’re not going to the club anymore, but your friends make it look so fun, so you try it one more time.  Your marriage is going good but that brother or sister keeps walking by you smelling good & giving you the eye.  You’re trying to get to Heaven, but you got Hell on your back!

You pray before going in your job but as soon as you step in the door folk make you lose your religion before you even get your coffee.  Your negative family member keeps calling or sending text and you said you was going to bite your tongue but fall back into that trap.  You said you were done losing your money at the casino, then your so-call friends say, “Girl, we just going to eat!”  You’re trying to get to Heaven ….  but you got Hell on your back!

Baby, stop trying to please folk!  When you stand before the judgement, God won’t be listening to excuses and them folk that made you “lose your religion” won’t be there either.  Keeping your mouth keeps your blessings.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. “  If you are speaking sickness, it’ll come.  If you speak heartache, it’ll come.  If you speak financial distress, it’ll come.  You’ve got to learn to speak life into your situation or circumstance.

When man says disease, God says healing.  When man says no, God says not yet!  When one door closes, God says knock and it shall be open.  When man says you can’t, God says ask and it shall be given!  (Matthew 7:7) When man walk away, God says I’m here! (Matthew 28:20) When darkness falls, God says I’m your light in dark places (John 8:12)!

You may have Hell on your back right now but don’t let it stop you from reaching your goal.  The devil only comes in when we allow him too.  He doesn’t have legs, so we bring him in or allow him to come in through others.  You have to make the decision to run the devil out.  He only has the power that you give.  If you know the mess you’re in isn’t getting better, MOVE!  If you know the situation you’re in is pulling you father and farther from God, MOVE!  If you the folk around you keeps you from living a Godly life, MOVE! Stop worrying about how folk feel or what they say/think! Nobody lives for you but you.  Like grandma say, I can’t get you to Heaven. 

So, you may have hell on your back now but the only way it stays, you have to keep holding it or you got it strapped on! Unbuckle it, let it go, stand up straight and press on!

Daily Devotional – 9/14/11 “Blind Faith”

Have you ever tried walking with your eyes closed?  Imagining how your life would be if you could no longer see?  Usually you walk into a wall or bump into furniture, right?  Well, living a Christian life is just like this.  But you don’t walk around with your eyes closed but it still doesn’t stop you from walking into walls and bumping into things.   See, on this life’s journey you will encounter all kinds of obstacles (walls) while you walk.  Things like not finding a job when you are over qualified, not being promoted when you trained the person who got the job, studying for a test that you still couldn’t pass or budgeting your money just right but still coming up short.  But the bible, 2 Corinthians 5:7 states, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

We have to walk in the faith that God already has it worked out, because the obstacles that we are facing were allowed.  God already knows the paths that we will walk because he has ordained them.  In Jeremiah 1:5 it says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”  God knows what we can bear & what things we can overcome.  Don’t you know the devil has to get permission from God before he can interfere in your life?  So because of this we have to walk like there is nothing standing in our way.  We have to act like & know that no matter what this world does, it can’t take what God has already promised.  We have to walk like there are no bumps in the road, no curves to the street, no hill to climb and no darkness ahead.   2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

When you work on your job, you work on the unseen promise of a check in 2 weeks.  When you drive your car, you drive with the unseen hope that it will make it to your destination.  When you get up in the morning, you stand without knowing if your legs will hold you up.  When you sit down in a chair, you sit without knowing if it will stand.  Isn’t this the same kind of faith you should have in God who has already promised you he’d be there?  Unlike man, God keeps his promises but it is up to you to receive them.  Step out on faith & stop allowing fear to hold you back.  Even when the world seems cold and it looks like there are no open doors to walk through, press on!  Romans 8:24 says, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?” 

Hebrews 11: 1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”