Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 27

We don’t often hear harsh words coming from the pulpit these days. Seldom will a preacher be bold enough to tell the truth without regard for the feelings of the listener, but that wasn’t so with the early church. Paul and Barnabas were preaching on the Sabbath, and people began to gather, but the devout Jews became jealous of the crowd, and spoke against what they were saying. Paul and Barnabas held nothing back, and with no fear of retaliation blasted them, telling them, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” How many times do we want to say something like that to the stiff necked people of this world? “Since you don’t think you deserve eternal life, we will take God’s word elsewhere!” They ended up having to shake the dust off their feet and leave that town, but what a way to go out! We have to be so careful with our words these days, but if the Holy Spirit takes over, let Him have His moment, the way Paul and Barnabas did.

And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. Acts 13:46

Friday, July 26, 2019

July 26

I’ve been commissioned by the Lord to bring healing to the servants of Jesus. There is physical healing, but there is also mental healing, which is my portion. My goal is to help you be so in tune with Jesus that the mental anguish that you deal with daily will diminish because of your relationship with Him. There are some important steps to take to become whole, and they may sound easy, but accomplishing them may be more challenging. The first step is to acknowledge Jesus as your Savior from the consequences of your sin. Though it’s rare, some people only need this step to become completely healed. This happens because of their gratefulness to Him because their sin was much. If you don’t acknowledge that you’re completely healed at salvation, then you have to grow your trust in Him. This happens when you begin to see His hand working things out for you, and seeing answered prayers. Next, you will rebuke the enemy, and take each sin and hurt, one by one and send them to the foot of the cross so they can be buried with the rest of the sins of the world. You are no longer responsible for any of it! Give it to Jesus and be done with it.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 25

How do you deal with the noise and distractions in your life? I get up extra early to avoid being bothered, but it doesn’t always work out for me, someone always manages to call or text early, waking up the house, then I have to try and find a place to hide, just to get this devotional written by my own deadline. You must be willing to submit to doing whatever it takes to open the door for God to use you. If, like me, that means you have to get up early, then that’s what you need to do. Whatever the case, you are most useful to God if you are devoted to studying, and knowing the truths of His Word. A good example is Paul, he knew God’s word inside and out, even though he used it against the Christians in the beginning, but as soon as he realized the scriptures connection to Jesus, he became the most efficient at bringing others into the faith. Not only was Paul a great preacher, but he wrote most of the New Testament. Whatever your excuse is for not being devoted to Jesus and the study of His Word, it’s not good enough. Find time away from the noise to devote yourself to the scriptures.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July 24

It was a rainy beach day. Showers would come and go, but I was antsy and wanted to take in the gulf’s sweeping vista, so I headed out while it was clear. I was enjoying the view when it began to change. The cloud overhead had become dark and dismal. I started to chance it and see if it would pass, but then I let wisdom take over, knowing that lightning could strike at any moment, and I was sitting under an umbrella that was made of metal. I put the umbrella down and folded my chairs so they wouldn’t blow away, and headed back inside. As I’m walking on the path back, it began to drizzle, but the drops were spaced out enough that I didn’t get wet. When I got back, it was like the bottom fell out! I got in just in time. Then I began to think about the people who were still sitting on the beach when I left, and the kids that were still playing in the waves! There was plenty of warning, the clouds were black and the wind was blowing, yet they stayed. How much warning is it going to take before people realize that this world is not a game, and God will not be mocked? The signs of Jesus emanate return are clear, yet the unsaved walk around without a care, as if we lie. Woe to those who do not heed the warnings, and seek the shelter of the most High while it’s still safe. God is loving, but He’s also just. Those who choose Him now will be saved, but those who don’t will wish they had come in before the storm hit.

“And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23

Several years ago I had an encounter. I had broken my leg and was still recovering when I needed to be at a closing in Tampa. I was still in a lot of pain, and walking with crutches was difficult for me. I drove through the parking lot looking for a space that was close to the entrance to no avail. I found my way into the parking garage, and it was nearly empty, but was too far for me to walk. I got out of the car and looked over the wall to try and figure out a way to get closer, and what seemed like out of nowhere, a guard appeared, and gave me instructions to park in the delivery area, which was right by the door. Then, as suddenly as he appeared, he disappeared! My heart began racing because I knew I had just encountered a holy being, and angel sent by God to help me. It took me a minute to get it together and realize what had just happened, but I did as I was told and went and parked near the door.

Peter had been jailed and the disciples were praying fervently for him to be released. God sent an angel to help him, his chains fell off, and he was given instructions to get dressed. Then, the angel led him past the guards and out of the jail. 

Your answered prayer may require your participation.

And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. Acts 12:8-9

Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22

Preparing to go on vacation is a daunting task. You have to remember everything you might need or want while you are away. Can you imagine being sent on a journey where you had to forget everything that you were leaving behind, and take only the clothes on your back, no planning or preparation, just go? As part of their training, Jesus sent the disciples out to do what He had taught them to do, preaching, teaching, and healing, but allowed them to take nothing with them for their journey, they were to rely on the kindness of strangers for their food and lodging. This is how He wants us to be! We are to put our trust in Him, leave everything behind, including regrets, disappointments, hurts, and anything else that might hinder us from following Him fully and unencumbered. Make today the day that you put your past behind you, and turn your whole life over to the One who created you, and trust Him for the rest of your journey.

And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. Luke 9:3

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21

Working in the yard, even though it’s hot and humid, makes me happy. I think it’s the transformation that I like the most. I created these beautiful hedges, and love how they highlight the rest of the plants in the flower bed. They were looking so good, but if I don’t trim them back, they will grow out of control. So, I must put up with them looking choppy for a few weeks, until the new growth fills them in. This pruning process is similar to how God works on us. He keeps us in check, so we don’t grow out of control in a bad way. He prunes off the dead, pulls out the weedy vines that we are entangled in, and cleans around our base so our roots get watered. No one likes pruning, but it is necessary to help you become who God intended you to be. If we don’t allow Him to clean us up, we’ll keep growing in the wrong direction, and not blossoming into the image of Jesus. Submit to God’s grooming, and let Him clean up your sin, and bad habits, so that you become the image of purity that He desires you to be.

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2