“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
This scripture reminds us that no matter the temptation – there are others who have journeyed through the same thing. It’s easy to sometimes feel that we are alone in our journey, but that’s not true!
The Lord uses others to support and help us as we are going through challenging circumstances. As they have journeyed through – so can we!
And even more powerful is God’s promise that He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear. AND He will provide a way out. Hallelujah!!
[Prayer]. Lord, You are FAITHFUL!! You are trustworthy! You are more than able to see us through anything that tries to stop us in our journey with You. You go before us and provide a solution, an answer, a way out of our temptations. And You are with us providing all the strength and wisdom we need. LORD, YOU ARE FAITHFUL!!
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;”. Philippians 2:12 NASB
Paul is recognizing that the Philippians followed his teachings not only while he was there among them, but even when he was absent.
Do we follow the teachings of Jesus not only when we are among our fellow Christians, but when we are out in the world?
We are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” We are not working FOR our salvation. There is nothing we can do to earn it. We have been saved by God’s Grace through faith. We are able to receive salvation by what JESUS has done. Hallelujah!!
As a result of our salvation, we begin to “work out” or do the good works of God that He has prepared us to do.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
LORD, as we go forward from our position of being saved by grace, may we never take it for granted! May we never take YOU for granted! You are Almighty, Creator, King of kings and Lord of lords! May everything we do and say in Your name be in recognition of Who You are. You are WORTHY of our deepest reverence and our highest praise!! Amen!
A living sacrifice…are we willing to sacrifice our plans, our schedule, our desires, our lives…and put them in the hands of Almighty God?
This is worship that costs something. This is truly believing that the God of the universe has a better plan for us than we have for ourselves.
Do we trust Him that much? It is a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day choice.
I choose YOU to be the Master of my destiny, LORD! Your way is the best way! Your plan is the best plan! I offer myself as a living sacrifice. I am Your vessel… may You live in and through me! May You be glorified!!
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”. (2 Corinthians 10:5 )
I want to be transparent with you about my weak moments. I know this scripture in 2 Corinthians and have even taught it. But, just because we know God’s truth does not mean it is easy to walk it out in our lives.
I have to admit that the isolation and social distancing during COVID-19 has been hard for me. There are some days that I wake up and I can feel the heavy blanket of depression trying to take over my thoughts. And that is not a good place to be! Not only does it affect me but it affects those closest to me.
Brothers and Sisters! We all have times when we may feel despair, doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and hopelessness. But, we need to make sure that we have the right response when and if it happens.
We are told in God’s word that we are to TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus! We are to DESTROY speculations and every lofty thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.
In other words, are our thoughts in alignment with our knowledge of who God is and in alignment with who God says we are?
We don’t have to act upon every thought! We don’t have to allow our thoughts to dictate how we feel about ourselves or others. We don’t have to allow our thoughts to be the “rudder” of our lives!
WE are in control of what thoughts we allow to take hold in our lives! If the thoughts we are having are causing us to fear, to hate, to be judgmental, or to feel depressed and unworthy —then we are to TAKE AUTHORITY over our thoughts and replace them with GOD’S TRUTH!!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
LORD, thank You for being the Giver of Truth! Thank You for empowering us through Your Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and to not be ruled by them. We bring our thoughts into obedience to YOU!! Thank You, Jesus, for being the way, and the truth, and the life! It is in Your Name that we pray. AMEN!!
I don’t know if you are like me – but there are times looking back when I realize that I missed an opportunity to do a kind act. I might have thought, “It would be nice if I …” but, then somehow the moment passed and I didn’t follow through. Can anyone relate?
I have found that if I allow time to pass between the thought and follow through – there’s a good chance it won’t happen.
So! I am challenging myself and you to be quick in doing that kindness, in speaking an encouraging word, and in giving a helping hand.
“…do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 NIV
“As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV
“Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 40 days after Easter. Some Christian denominations consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such. Originally, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday held 50 days after Passover.”
The Scriptures describing the day of Pentecost can be found in Acts 2:1-4.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 NASB
LORD! We beseech You to move once again in POWER upon and in Your people! Empower us through Your Holy Spirit to be Your body upon this earth! May the FLAME of YOUR LOVE burn brightly within us!! RISE UP, most HOLY ONE, and show Yourself in all Your glory!! AMEN!!
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV
As I was seeking the Lord about what my devotional would be for today, I felt that He was nudging me to not focus on what has happened and is happening in this time of COVID-19, but to look FORWARD to what He is calling us to.
I know you have probably heard, as I have, people saying that they can’t wait for things to get “back to normal.” Well, I don’t think that as we transition through this season, God is calling us BACK to where we were before. I don’t believe He wants us to just pick-up where we left off.
Brothers & Sisters! The Lord wants us to go FORWARD into a new season, a new reality, and a new “normal.” It can be a little scary and a little unsettling not to know what to expect as we journey into the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
BUT! We are reminded by the Lord in Jeremiah that we have a FUTURE WITH HOPE! The Lord has plans for us – and they are plans for our welfare. When I looked up welfare in the dictionary I was given the meanings: health, happiness, and well-being.
WELL-BEING! I am encouraged to know that the Lord desires for my being – my body, my mind, my soul, and my spirit to be well. His plans are not to harm us! When life throws us an unexpected “curve ball” the Lord still can use use it to work for our good!! HALLELUJAH!!
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NRSV
LORD, we are so thankful that You have plans for us – plans that are in no way abolished because of what is happening around us. We put our whole trust in YOU, knowing that You desire our health, happiness, and well-being. We continue to journey forward knowing that You have already gone ahead of us preparing the way. We are ready to embrace the “new normal” and we know that YOU are moving in and through it all manifesting Your good and perfect will! ALL GLORY AND HONOR AND PRAISE IS YOURS NOW AND FOREVERMORE!! AMEN!
I wasn’t really planning on doing a written post today. To be honest, I woke up a little depressed. If it were a “normal” day, I would be getting dressed in a beautiful, colorful outfit and looking forward to joining my friends at church to celebrate this special day. Of course, I know this day isn’t about me…I know that it is a day of focusing on our precious Jesus…I know this and yet I still find my thoughts drifting towards my isolation. Am I the only one?
So! At this point, I CHOOSE to refocus my thoughts…I CHOOSE to trade in my depression for the oil of gladness! I CHOOSE to celebrate the awesome resurrection of our precious Lord!
As I said, I really wasn’t planning on writing a post this morning – but the Lord had other plans. Thoughts of resurrection have been floating around in my mind and spirit. And I know I am to put it to “paper.”
When we receive God’s Truth we are expected to react to it. We know that the resurrection of Jesus is true! So what should our reaction be? Hopefully, foremost our reaction should be to accept the NEW LIFE that Jesus offers to us through His death and resurrection. If anyone who reads this has not made that salvation step – I would encourage you to stop…seek the Lord…and CHOOSE to accept what Jesus did for you.
Again, what do we do with this Truth of the Resurrection of Jesus? We must DO something! I am reminded that “Faithwithout works is dead.” (James 2:26). We have faith that Jesus was indeed resurrected from the dead. What are we going to do with this knowledge? How will our lives be changed with this knowledge? How do we “walk out” this Truth?
Resurrection Power is within us! Through the Holy Spirit living within us, we walk in the same power that Jesus walked in on this earth. Sometimes it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that Truth. But, Jesus confirms this Himself!
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12 NASB
CHURCH! Are we walking this out in our ministries and lives? Jesus is our example. Are we seeing the works that Jesus did being manifested in our families, in our church, in our communities?
I believe that on this Resurrection Sunday, as we celebrate our risen Lord, He is calling us to be the expression of His Life on earth!! BE the hands, feet, eyes, ears, and mouth of Jesus! HE IS ALIVE and HE LIVES IN AND THROUGH US!!
Oh Jesus! We thank You for dying on the cross for us. We thank You for the resurrected life we have in You. When we accepted You as our Lord and Savior – You brought us from death in our sins to eternal life in You!! We celebrate Your resurrection on this most high and holy day! WE CELEBRATE YOU!! Amen!