God Never Leaves You

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2 Samuel 22:2-3

This devotional has a quote written by Victor Hugo.

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Day 128:

Maciena, the person, has been raised in the church.  There was never a time that I didn’t attend church. But the Maciena, the believer, has always been there, but she wasn’t always wise.  In fact, one of my few childhood memories is how I visualized being saved. Because as kids we are told to let Jesus into our hearts.   So I somehow saw the human body as having two hearts. One that did the body good, one that did the spirit well.  I was an imaginative kid.

As a grown-up I know it’s talking more metaphorical than physical, but I have been brought back to that image of having two hearts by today’s devotional. God never leaves you, he’s a constant in your life, like your heartbeat.  He’s strong and steady.  He’s prepared to do what ever is necessary to keep you alive.

Fear is very real and in today’s political and economic climate it’s very easy to fall into the flesh trap of fear.  But we should all remember the innocent thought of my youth, that you have two hearts, and Jesus resides in one of them.  Then you can be comforted knowing that God is with you.  He’s never going to leave you.

No matter what you are feeling (fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, worry) you can take it to God and know that he’s big enough to carry it. That you don’t have to carry those burdens yourself.  He’s there for you and he’ll never leave you.  Never.

Do you trust God enough to hand those burdens to him?  Are you allowing God in your heart so that your spirit is whole? closing header

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Critics Beware

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Luke 6:37

This devotional has a quote written by C.H. Spurgeon.

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Day 127:

Today’s devotional topic is one that we all need to work on:  Negative attitudes and words.  Let’s be frank, no one likes to be negative.  But it seems to be the default setting of these flesh bags.  It’s far easier to speak down to someone rather than life others up with our words.

The devotional says negativity is contagious, and I can highly agree with this.  It’s so easy to spew out hate, negativity and discouraging words, especially after they were given to you.  It’s like this person hurt me, I need to hurt another.

I have always tried to be a positive person, which isn’t easy.  But when I’m out and about I tried to say one positive thing to another person. It could be their shoes are awesome or to have a great day. I feel it’s important to be a child of the king, who shows that I’m happy.  Because I don’t want someone to look at me and be like that person is so negative, but says they are a Christian.  I want God’s love to shine through me.

Being critical of others has to be done out of love and with an easy touch.  It can’t be done out of hate or disappointment.  We have to break the cycle of negativity in the world.

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The Power of Faith

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2 Chronicles 20:20

This devotional has no quote.

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Day 126:

Faith.  It’s a part of this devotional blog’s title.  It’s a theme, phrase, the subject of many Bible entries.  Faith can move mountains.  Faith is important.  The devotional today is called the power of faith.  Because the power that faith has is only compared to the power that doubt has.

As hard as it might be every Christian, must have a complete faith in God.  Giving yourself over to God, completely There really is no other way.  Having complete trust that God has your and your life in his hand.  Knowing that your Heavenly Father only wants you to have good gifts and he’ll bring you through anything.

Life is full of ups and downs.  Successes and failures, and God is there.  He’s with you in it all.  You just have to have faith in him.  He will never leave you.  He’ll be by your side or even carrying you as he strengths you.

Faith is maybe the hardest part of the Christian life.  But it’s because it’s so important.  Fear and worry are very much of the flesh, and it’s so easy to succumb to them. But the faith and trust in God are what gets you through.  Worry and fear will destroy you if you let it.

If you are unsure about faith, hit the word, find out about it.  God’s holy word is where you study, and then understanding comes.  Have faith.

 

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Discovering God’s Plan

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Philippians 2:13

This devotional has a quote written by C. H. Spurgeon.

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Day 125:

Happy Labor Day!

The devotional today is focused on discovering God’s plan. I think all Christians want to live in God’s will.  I’ve never met a Christian who states they will do as they please and hope for the best.  Now I’ve met a few non-Christians who feel that way, but that’s a whole other devotional entry.  Sometimes I think we try to overcomplicate the whole living in God’s will thing.  Or we try to micromanage it.  All I really know is living in God’s will means we listen, we put God first, we read and study.

God will use us for his purposes if we are open to him. God will have a plan for us always, we just have to choose to listen and follow it.

That’s all I really got to say on this.  It’s simple.  Have nothing between you and God and follow instructions.  Then you’ll know what God’s plan for you is.

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Neighbors in Need

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Romans 15: 2-3

This devotional has a quote written by John Maxwell.

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Day 124:

Living a Christian life is not for the weak.  But the good news is if you are weak, God will support you and give you strength.  Each child of God has a long list of things that we need to do:

  • pray daily
  • read the bible daily
  • humble yourself
  • encourage others
  • praise God
  • be thankful
  • prioritize God to first in your life

And the list goes on and on.  It’s hard to manage everything in your Christian life, and still maintain other relationships, work, cleaning, childcare.  I get it.  I’m living it.  I’m constantly torn of what needs to be done first. How do I get quite in my prayer closet, when the closet needs organized?  It’s a problem in my life.  How do I encourage my neighbor ( the subject of this devotional ) when I can barely lift my own spirit?

Here is my take on all of it.  God has to be such the focus of your life, that as you do the other things his love is shining through you.  If this is what is going on when you see your neighbor, friend, the stranger that is just struggling you’ll be able to say just the thing they need to hear.

Today’s devotional is focused on encouraging and helping your neighbors in need.  And yes, until it’s habit, it must be a constant entry on the to do list. Seek out those who need help, give help.  Don’t get so wrapped up in you, that you forget others.  Find the opportunities every day to be encouraging, kind, helpful.  Search for the ways that you can help.

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Our Children, Our Hope

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Mark 10:14

This devotional has a quote written by Andrew Murray.

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Day 123:

As a Mom, I’ll complain about my kids.  Say no more times than I might need to.  I will talk about how sassy, aggravating, annoying, dramatic, frustrating my three kids are.  I do it all the time.  It’s a way of venting in the moment of bad impulses.  However, you touch one of my children in any negative way.  I become a roaring momma bear and you best flee.  Simple truth.  I will always choose my children over any other thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I take time for me, Momma Bear needs that.  Nothing wrong with that either.   But if it comes down to it, the children win every coin toss, every pro, and con list.  I’m never going to choose a situation that hurts my kids in any way.  I think I’m a normal, responsible parent in that aspect.  Many parents are the exact same.  (This is not a mommy blog where I’m dissing other styles of parenting or any of that hogwash.)

Now you must be asking, what does this have to do with a daily devotional blog, well, here’s how. The devotional today is based on the scripture where Jesus rebukes those who are shooing children away from him,  telling the adults around that the children are welcomed to come unto them.  He even says that the kingdom of God belongs to the children.

Children are always described as the future.  Our next leaders.  Our path to tomorrow.  Children are in fact the next generation.  We all know this fact, but somewhere down the line, we, as a whole, stopped teaching the children what is needed to better the world.  We’ve allowed our future to become self-indulgent, self-gratifying, selfish.  There is no one who is ready to lead, truly lead us into the next generations.  I know this is an unpopular opinion, but our children are suffering.  There aren’t enough caring adult to care for them.

As a grown up, it’s our God-given responsibility to care for the children.  We need to pray for them.  We need to guide them.  We need to push them to the next level.  I’m doing my utter best for my three children, I want them to grow into wise, responsible, capable adults who don’t depend on a government check or someone else’s tab to care for their needs.

Pray for your children.  Pray for other children.  Pray for the children in your church, neighborhood, your school, your county, you state, your country, your hemisphere, your world.  Pray for the children.  They need it.  They are carrying the weight of the world on their tiny shoulders.

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Enthusiastic Service

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Ephesians 6:7

This devotional has a quote written by Lottie Moon.

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Day 122:

*Storytime*

In the 2016 holiday season, I worked at a major retailer as a cashier.  I hadn’t worked a job in a decade. Holidays are no easy time in any one’s life.  On top of that, I was balancing my work schedule, with my husbands and making sure my children were cared for by someone I trusted.  It was a hard balancing act.  I was stressed out and constantly tired.  But at work, I didn’t want to complain.  I was lucky to have the job to provide my family with the extra income we needed to manage the holidays.  So every day on the way to work, I prayed myself up.  I walked into the door with a song in my heart (Typically Lauren Daigle-Dry Bones) and a smile on my face.  By the time I was let go at the end of the season, I had made one of my coworkers crazy because I was happy all the time.  She’d constantly remark about how happy I was.  Could I tone my happiness down?  I didn’t think I was going over the top or anything either.  I was just polite and kind.

**

Now I told you that story because:  A. I’m proud of that behavior (And believe me when I tell you that I have a thousand stories that paint me in a bad light) B. Because it fits with the devotional today.

In Ephesians, we are told to do good will doing service to the Lord, not to men.  We have to do everything with do with a joyful heart.  Which, I know is one of the hardest things to do sometimes.  But we have to maintain God’s love in us. Having God’s love rooted deeply and flowing in our heart will help us show his joy in our lives.  Life sucks.  Work is hard.  People are frustrating.  But God’s love is bigger and better than all of it.  Having his joy in your heart and life makes it easier to live.

Are you letting Christ love flow in your life?

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Saying Yes To God

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Psalm 55:22

This devotional has no quote.

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Day 121:

Each and every time I steady myself and say, that’s it, it’s time to really get serious and get closer to God. I mean every time I am determined to get closer.  Something happens.  It’s sickness, its financial woes, fighting with someone, health issues–like the thyroid of death, or some other crap that I just let knock me further from where I want to be.

I could attempt to be poetic here and say it’s just the way of life.  But the simple and unfiltered truth is it’s Satan. Satan knows that my heart seeks a deeper, closer relationship with my creator and he’ll do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening and somehow I let him.  Ninety percent of the time, whatever happens, I react and it’s not always that pretty.

But the thing is, what we all need to know, remember and act upon. Is that every day we have opportunities to say Yes to God, but instead a lot of us–including me–say No.  And it’s in the simplest of ways.  No, I am not going to trust you when it comes to my finances.  I’m going to do this. No, I’m not going to go to church tonight, I’m tired.  No, I’m not going to believe you have this situation, I’m going to go yell at the person.  It’s stuff like that which furthers us from God, his path and his will for us.

As you go about your day today, find the places where you can say yes to God.  Find the places where you normally doubt, have faith.  Find ways to depend on God today instead of pushing him away.

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The Remedy for Uncertainty

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Matthew 8:36

This devotional has no quote.

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Day 120:

This devotional was supposed to be written Friday. But instead I ran out of time before my daddy showed up and we had an awesome Daddy/Daughter date. Then the weekend came and went.  And now it’s Monday morning and the great state of Texas has been brutalized by the hurricane.

I finally read the devotional and it talks about the storms of life.  How even when you feel far from God and facing a storm that God is here. That even when it feels like he’s distant, he’s not.  That he is always willing to be near you, even during the storm.

I feel like the timing of this devotional is on point.  Storms of life will come, both figurative and literal.  The hurricane and flooding happening now, I’m sure there are people in complete despair.  There are people who are literally stuck in their homes while water creeps in. They have to be wondering why God abandoned them.  But the thing is, God didn’t leave them.  God is right there, feeling their fear with them.  He’s right there quite literally in the middle of the storm.

No matter what you are going through God will never leave you.  He’ll bring you through no matter how bad it is, how scary it gets.  He’ll never abandon you.  EVER. End of story.

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Dream Big

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Ephesians 3:20

This devotional has a quote written by Dennis Swanberg.

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Day 119:

I was maybe 8 or 9 when I decided I was going to be a photojournalist.  It was decided.  And I stuck to my guns.  It changed and adapted.  Finally, I settled on journalism.  I wanted to be a writer.  When it came to my junior year of high school I knew that journalism is what I wanted. Middles school I had worked on the school paper.  On the high school level, I worked on the yearbook.  I applied for college at the best journalism school in the state.  I had all these plans. I had dreams bigger than I can describe.  In my head I had it all planned out.  It was perfect and I was ready to do it.

Then life happened.  Plans became memories of what I once wanted.  Now I did still pursue a job in journalism.  Graduated college with a baby on my hip, a little girl in school and a bachelor of arts in journalism from WKU. I started to look for a job, but life changed.  We moved home and here I am.  A stay at home mom of three.  It’s not that perfect dream I had when in high school.

But everything I just told you really doesn’t mean a hill of beans.  Because God has this plan for me.  It’s huge.  I’m one of his writers.  My gift is God-given.  I had that retold to me a few days ago.  A fact I know.  A fact that is quite scary at times.  I don’t have the confidence in my writing, that I want to have.  But God gave me this gift (which is why I do my best to do this daily devotion, to write the things that uplift my fellow Christians, encourage them, and help them through the struggles of life.  Also to maybe introduce Christ to those who haven’t met him yet.)

God has plans for all his children.  He can and will give us more than we have even thought about, (read today’s scripture).  We should have no fear in dreaming big, no fear in going after it. Because God has made some pretty big promises.  And God has never broken his word.  NEVER.  So for me, its writing.  I’ve got to pursue it.  Submit to publications, reach down in my soul and write what God wants me to write.  (PS, check out my latest column on Sherman Full Gospel’s Facebook page: A Christians Strength.)

For you, it might be singing, Go sing.  Try to be discovered.  Find someone who takes demos.  Go for it.  It might be dance, dance your heart out for God.  It might be charity work.  Purse it.  It might be traveling to some other land and evangelizing.  It might be nursing.  Show God in your daily work. I literally could list anything right now.  God had a plan for you in what your thing is.  Pursue it.  Dream Big.

 

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