change

It was an amazing day. The weather was perfect. People had risen early to get the best place along the streets of Jerusalem. They had brought palm branches to wave and blankets to lay on the ground as the celebrities would walk past them. The disciples had borrowed a colt from a local farmer and there was a nervous excitement in the room while waiting on Jesus. Jesus appeared and said, its time, lets go. The Triumphal entry began. The disciples waved and smiled, crowds cheered and shouted “Hosanna,” as Jesus ambled down the streets of Jerusalem. It was as though Jesus was personally acknowledging every person as he smiled and looked into their eyes as they shouted His name. In this moment who could imagine the events that would take place in the coming days. That this crowd would turn on Jesus. That these smiling disciples would deny they ever knew Him. That His body would be beaten to a nearly unrecognizable state. That He would be hanging on a cross in five short days. That in seven days, He would conqueror death, hell and the grave and life would never be the same again. The Passion Week, a reminder that no matter the circumstances in your life, they can change in a moment, seven short days.

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let go

Have you ever mopped or painted yourself in a corner, got trapped in a car or been locked in a freezer? Odd questions, I know, but our family has experienced all of these scenarios. Painting a floor, I painted myself in, ended up taking my shoes and socks off to get out of the corner.  Our son Gentry had a car where the front passenger door would lock and you couldn’t get out, talk about an uncomfortable feeling. Mary called one day from work and her and a co-worker had got locked in a freezer. Fortunately, someone freed them. Why do I bring up these moments? Because there are those who have painted their life in a corner, locked themselves in a life of bitterness. How? By holding on to unforgiveness. When we choose to hold onto unforgiveness, we build our own jail cell with bars made of bitterness, anger and hurt. When we choose to let bitterness and hatred live in our life, it doesn’t impact those who have hurt us, it hurts us. We become bound to emotions and feelings that steel joy, peace and happiness. There is only one who can free you from this jail cell, you! The moment you let it go, forgive, the door to freedom opens. You get a new lease on life, fresh joy, peace and happiness. Free yourself today, forgive. Let it go!

Monopoly game Go squareLife is more like a game of Monopoly than we realize. We go around a board year by year.  We gain wealth to buy property and build assets. At the end of the game, regardless of who wins, everything goes back in the box. If all that we live for in this life is material possessions than we are basically playing monopoly. Whether we realize it or not all that we obtain in this life is simply leased. We strive to get the social status. We want a certain job. We buy the right home in the right community. We get the dream car. But it’s all just a lease. After whatever allotted time we have on earth, it all goes back in the box. If this is all there is to life then this life is very futile and worthless. Jesus said, “for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul?” On the other hand, if we believe that this life is only down payment on an eternal destination, then this life is much different. Things don’t possess and control us. We live, not for this life, but for life in heaven. It changes everything. It changes perspective. It changes goals. It changes aspirations and values. Life changes from a game of Monopoly to life with purpose. Start living today for the eternal instead of the earthly. Quit playing the game.

It’s important that we know our opposition. The adversary, our enemy, whatever you call Satan. Every Christian must be aware of his tactics, that he never stops trying to destroy. Understand that he is an opportunist and a isolationist. He is someone who questions God’s Word and twist and contradicts truth. He is the author of confusion, and a liar.

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Once he has deceived and destroyed a life, he disappears, leaving a person alone with pain and sorrow. When Satan found Eve in the Garden of Eden, he used nearly every resource he had. As an isolationist and opportunist, he waits until Eve is alone, vulnerable and weak. As someone who twists truth and contradicts God’s Word Satan first words to Eve is, “has God said,” followed up with a direct lie, “you shall not die.” Once he had convinced Eve and she had surrendered to his temptation, his task is completed, he disappears and leaves Eve with her sin. Though the dispensations, environments and temptation are different, his ploys never change. He used the same tactics against Jesus and he plots the same tactics against us today. Know your adversary, stay alert, know his ways, and always be aware he is lurking as a lion trying to destroy your life.

5BreadHave you ever felt like you had so little to offer? Ever felt like you got the short stick when it comes to gifts or talents? Have you ever disqualified yourself? You are not alone. When God called Moses at the burning bush, Moses gave God four reasons for why he was not qualified. When Elijah asked for a cake, the widow said we have enough for my son an myself and then we’re going to perish. When Jesus is teaching a multitude of people when the disciples come to Jesus saying you need send the people away, we’ve searched, and all we have is five loaves and two fish. In each case God said just give thanks for what you have and give it to me. It’s the biblical principle of multiplication. God asked Moses, what do you have? Moses says, all I have is a stick. God said, that will do. The widow says all we have is some meal and oil and the prophet blessed it by the power of God and oil and meal never run out. When the disciples brought the sack lunch to Jesus, He gave thanks for what was provided and then He multiplied it. The principle is simple, focus on what you do have, acknowledge and give thanks for what God has provided, give it to Jesus and let him multiply it.

EternityThe eternal questions are the most important questions of life. Four questions that will determine everything about our destiny. Do I believe in God, not in a god, but the God, the one found in Genesis 1:1, the “in the beginning God?” Answering that question leads to the next. Do I believe in the Word of God; the Bible, that it is the infallible Word of God, that it is true and that it is the final authority? If I believe that there is God, that His Word is true then the next question is, do I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that each of us will arrive at one of those destinations? If I believe there is a heaven and a hell then the next question to ask is, what must I do to secure my eternity? If I truly believe there is an eternity then who do I want to answer the question about getting there? Do I want a religion, a religious institution, a church, a pastor, a friend or an internet source? I suggest you want only God to answer that question. The question answered by Jesus, God in flesh, in John 3 when He said to Nicodemus, “unless one is born of the water and Spirit he cannot enter in.” The real questions of life. Four eternal questions. Answer wisely.

Alone

Posted: February 4, 2018 in Devotions

Have you ever made the statement to a friend or God, “I feel so alone.” Alone, means to be excluded or isolated from others. When I’ve made the statement I’ve meant it from a negative viewpoint. I looked at it as if something was wrong with me but may I suggest that God calls and takes people to a place called alone.

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Lot chooses the plains of Sodom and Abram walks with God alone into an eternal promise. Joesph is excluded from his family but ends up in a palace. Moses makes a mistake that takes him into a wilderness for a season, but it’s there he develops skills that will help in navigate the Hebrew nation to the Promise land. David spends time alone in a pasture and develops skills that will help him defeat Goliath and take him to the king of Israel. Jesus went into the wilderness alone and came out “full of the Holy Spirit.” Sometimes our perspective of alone is distorted or skewed, we see it as a negative or burden. May I suggest to you if you are going through a season of “alone” that you give God thanks for the season, it may be where God wants you. He see’s something amazing in you and knew He could call you to a place called alone.