Saturday, November 30, 2013

One Body

    "But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it." 
                                                                                                         - 1Corinthians 12: 20,26


    As I have reflected this week on all the many blessings we enjoy, some things have been continually on my mind. I am so thankful to live in a free nation where I can openly worship God, freely speak the name of Jesus, easily and affordably own a Bible, and go to church without fear of arrest. Christians in the United States take for granted the religious freedoms we enjoy every day. 

    One thing I would like for us to keep in mind, especially during our time of thanksgiving is that we are a part of a large body of Christ. ALL Christians are members of the same body of believers. Some of the members endure great hardships including fear, arrest, imprisonment, torture, abandonment, starvation and/or death to worship the same God we do. These same Christians in communist nations will sometimes share one Bible with an entire community. They will divide one Bible into multiple parts so that they may all have a small portion to study. Then they will trade portions upon meeting again. 

    We Christians in free nations are a part of the same body with the Christians of communist countries. We worship the same God but under very different conditions. We suffer together, and we are honored together. We need to place the persecuted church on our permanent prayer list. We need to thank God EVERYDAY for the freedom and privilege to worship Him in peace. We need to use the advantage of having such religious freedom in this country to support and encourage members of the persecuted church. 

     I pray that in their captivity, the persecuted will embrace the freedom found in Jesus. I pray that the love of Christ become so evident through them that their persecutors have no option but acknowledge and accept Christ. Amen.

Written in service to my first love-Jesus Christ,
Kelli Porter

Twitter - @disciple kp

Friday, November 29, 2013

Integrity

Proverbs 10:9 NKJV 

He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.

Integrity. Integrity is such a huge part of being a Christian. Integrity is defined as having the quality of being honest and strong moral principles; moral uprightness. My fifth grade social studies teacher talked quite a bit about integrity in our class. He emphasized that integrity was doing the right thing even if no one would know either way.

This has stuck with me ever since. I have strived for it my whole life. I have fallen short too many times but as I have become more mature in my Christianity, and since I have children who look to me as an example for how they should live, I tend to take it to a much higher level now. However, recently I have been accused of taking it too far. I realize that this is absurd. But, is hard not to question yourself when you have been ridiculed for something. So I did a Bible study. In my study I found the verse I posted above. How true is this! Any time you lie, or choose to do wrong, it will catch up with you! It's a part of the cycle of reaping what you sew. If you sew bad seeds by doing bad things, you will reap bad in return. I believe this with all my heart. So many times this scenario had played out in my own life both for the good and for the bad.

If you try to justify doing wrong by thinking no one will know; What about Good?! He knows all and sees all! Not only does He see the bad you do in secret but he also sees the good you in secret. The good part about that it's He says that He will reward the good you do that no one else knows about. Would you not rather have Him reward you for doing the right thing than punish you for doing the wrong thing?

Strive to have integrity! Do what is right no matter what! Not only will this please God, but you will feel much better about yourself when you put this into practice.

This devotion was written by Chassidy Hester just for you! If you need prayer or just to talk, please email me atchassidyhester@gmail.com. Thank you and have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oh, Give Thanks!!

Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord!
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a very harsh winter. For many years Thanksgiving was a holiday that was observed by the states. During the Civil War, President Lincoln gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November a day of thanks.

In 1939-1941 President Roosevelt wanted to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, so he proclaimed the 3rd Thursday of November Thanksgiving. In 1941 Congress passed a Resolution decreeing that Thanksgiving should be on the 4th Thursday of November. That is where it remains today.

But the fact is that every day should be Thanksgiving. Every day we should thank God for all the blessings we have. I know that sometimes we don't feel very thankful. Or is that just me?? 

We should thank Him for His goodness, for His grace, for His mercy and most of all for His Son!! 

Our lives are not perfect. We have struggles and hardship. But The Word of God tells us to "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deu. 31:6) He is there through it all!!! Right beside us. For that reason alone, everyday should be a day of Thanksgiving. 

Please check out the following link and read about the 5 Kernels of Thanksgiving. I think it will bless you. 

www.biblestudyplanet.com

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that we will live each day as if it is Thanksgiving. 

I would love to hear from you. You can email me at beffie221@gmail.com 

Follow me on twitter and instagram - beffie221

Find me on FB - Beth Reed


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Content In The Fathers Love

Content In The Fathers Love
 
Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5
 
This is my very favorite verse in the bible, I have written beside it, Never, Never, Ever!!
 
Being content is one of those things that you might sometimes have to fight to be. We have so many new things coming out and you might see your friends getting them, or it might be going places you haven't been. Covetousness can be spiritually dangerous. You spend more time looking at what others have and trying to play with your money to make it possible for you to have those things. This could lead to jealousy, boasting, gossiping and many other things that will get in the way of your relationship with The Father. You can try buying things that you may not need or getting into relationships that end with one or both broken and hurt. He truly is the only one that can make you happy and content. Money, people and things come and go but He said He will never leave you. That's Never, Never, Ever.
 
I believe His word. He has given me more than I thought I could ever get on my own. The only thing I can want is salvation for my family, friends and others who may not know Him.
 
Being content with my Jesus is where I always want to be. With Him you feel like you are the richest person in the world...... because you are!!  
 
I hope this has blessed you today.
 
Denise Harper

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Don't you know your beautiful?

Song of solomon 4:7
You are altogether beautiful, my love there are is no flaw in you.

When you look into the mirror what do you see? Most of us can easily find some imperfections that we can point out. Some of us are guilty about buying into all the beauty products to help cover wrinkles, freckles and stretch marks etc...while there isn't anything wrong with wanting to make the best of ourselves and our looks, the emphasis that our culture places on fashion and beauty leaves many of us feeling so ordinary and like we will never measure up to what we see in magazines.

God wants you to know that you are a perfect beauty! When God made you he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew every detail of your body inside and out. He molded you exactly how he wanted you to be. You are his masterpiece!

Psalms 139:13
For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mothers womb.

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we look like on the outside that we forget about our inside. When God designed us he took heart in every detail. Our heart, soul, hair, shape and color was apart of his design to make us who we are. 

Proverbs 3:15
She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire can compare her.

Today's society is real quick to point out flaws and pick apart even the prettiest people. There has been a certain standard on what we should look like and what kind of clothing we should wear. But let me remind you that no matter what size you are or what store your clothes are from. God loves you for exactly who you are. He doesn't care about the brand or your body mass index. He created you and he loves everything about you.

In closing I would like to say that we are human and we will always notice things about ourselves a lot quicker than others. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies and critics.  So maybe we should take a step back and look in the mirror and instead of hating what we see learn to love and appreciate one of God's best creations and that is YOU!!

Written by : Summer Hamilton

Monday, November 25, 2013

The End is Here!!!!!

Matthew 24:31-33 
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.


Satan has definitely been on the warpath these past few weeks!!! It seems like every day there is something different!! I know within the past month he has tried to destroy a marriage, cause chaos in a ministry, come in between a long-time friendship, has caused people difficulties at work, and sadly this past week he has lied to a once strong Christian and led them to believe that their is no God, ultimately making them loose their faith!!! He is running rampant among Christians!!!! The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. This can mean only one thing to me...We are in the end times and JESUS IS ABOUT TO TAKE US HOME!!!! 

The Bible says that people will start Now, more than ever, we need to be ready for his return!!! This means we need to clean up our act!!! We need to be a better example to those around us!! We need to stop holding grudges and getting our feeling hurt over nothing and start being more forgiving! We need to stand up for what we believe in even if it means loosing everything!! 

This week was our last life group at AwakeningLife for the fall semester. I was in the group called Expecting to see Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz. I must say it was the most spiritually rewarding group that I have ever been in! The very first week we learned about how we are in the VERY last days!!! If you read Matthew chapter 24 you will learn what Jesus says will happen in the end, and let me tell you: WE ARE THERE!!! I truly believe that we are about to see Jesus's return! There's no doubt in my mind!! So let's get ready!! Let's get our lives in order!!! He's coming back for a pure bride who is READY for Him!!! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Love Is an Action

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13




          People constantly fall in and out of "love" with each other, with things, with places. We base love on personal circumstance and human emotion, but true love is far from circumstantial. True love is an action. True love is knowing everything there is to know, seeing every thing there is to see, and CHOOSING to love anyway. 

          When I study the Old Testament, I am constantly reminded of God's true love. His chosen people caused a lot of trouble for themselves. They were whiny, selfish, unfaithful, and full of disbelief. Despite these unbecoming characteristics, God CHOOSE to love them anyway. He consistently provided the means and the methods for them to escape the sticky situations they found themselves in, and He always kept in mind the covenant He made with them despite the fact that they always seemed to forget. I love to see in the Books of Prophets when He sends warnings to them, reminding them they are out of covenant and practically pleading for them to return, how He always remembers what He promised them. My favorite is in Jeremiah. The whole first part of the book is God instructing Jeremiah to let Israel know He is sending an army to defeat and capture them because they have turned from Him. He says the nation will be destroyed at the enemy's hand, and the people will be taken captive. Finally, though, we see that true love. God said there will come a time when the people would be released from captivity and gather together again in their homeland. When I read those verses, I couldn't help but smile and think, "He just can't help Himself." That, my friends, is true. 

          God can't help but truly love His people, including you and me. He sees everything. He sees every choice we make, all of our bad habits, negative attitudes, and unbecoming characteristics, yet He CHOOSES to love us. Because of that love, He sent Christ, His Son, to die for our sins, to free us from the bondage of our flesh, and to heal our lives. There is nothing greater than true love. 

          One of the most beautiful things about God's CHOOSING to love us is that it gives us the ability to CHOOSE to love others. So often, we make love a circumstantial emotion. If someone treats us the way we want them to or lives up to the expectations we have for them, then we can show them love. Remember that God doesn't do this for us, and this shouldn't be the way we love others. When we are filled with God's love, we are also filled with the desire to pour that love out on others. True love isn't about someone else doing or saying the right things; it's about us CHOOSING to love despite others' actions or abilities and despite our own emotions. 



          

Friday, November 22, 2013

You are a Witness

     And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. The you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 
                                                                                                                               Romans12: 1-2

     YOU ARE A WITNESS! The question is, what kind of witness are you? Are you a witness for Christ, or are you a witness for the world?

     A witness for Christ presents themselves a " a living and holy sacrifice." The needs of others will come before their own. Genuine love will be expressed to the most unlovable people. Faith and truth will shine through even their darkest moments. A witness for Christ is joyful, loving, patient, kind, and compassionate. 

     A witness for the world works against the will of God. A worldly witness has selfish motives. This is the type person that puts not only their needs, but also their wants ahead of others. If there is enough time, money, resources, etc. left when they have had plenty, they MIGHT share.  Even then the sharing is usually only for worldly gain (who will commend them, or see them, or tell others what they have done). Witnesses for the world do not show kindness, love, patience or compassion for others. They are continually negative or discouraged. A worldly witness does not have comfort, truth, or joy.

     Every single action, reaction, or spoken word serves as a witness. Your attitude is a witness.  They are either witnesses for or against Christ. Live you life as a holy sacrifice. Do not leave any question in the minds of those that encounter you as to whether or not you love the Lord. PROVE to the world through your witness that Jesus Christ is alive and living in you. The world has more than enough witnesses. Jesus Christ could use more dedicated witnesses to plead his case, share His love and build His kingdom. 

Written in service to my first love- Jesus Christ,
Kelli Porter

I look forward to your comments.
Twitter- @disciplekp

A Treasure More Valuable Than Gold

James 3:17 NKJV

 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."

Wisdom is a very valuable commodity and one rarely found these days. When we think of Wisdom, we tend to see it as coming from elderly or highly educated people. And in many ways this isn't incorrect.  But the Bible tells us to seek wisdom. To choose wisdom over riches.

 Proverbs 16:16

"How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver." 

But in order to search and choose wisdom we must understand what true wisdom is. When we look at it from our own human understanding, I'm afraid we are far from "getting it".

In James it describes true wisdom, wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. It doesn't say a word about mathematics, literature, or even "street smarts". The wisdom of the Bible is among others, kindness, goodness, gentleness, love, and fearing and trusting the Lord.

Now that we have some kind of understanding what wisdom is, how can we attain it? 

Proverbs 4:5 says, "Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth." This tells me that it comes from listening to and understanding the Word of God. The word of God is the Bible!

So if we read the Bible, and pray for understanding we will achieve true Godly wisdom! How awesome?! Wisdom sent from above!

This devotion was written by Chassidy Hester. If you would like prayer or just to talk, email me at chassidyhester@gmail.com. Thanks so much for reading this devotion!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The End is Here!!!

Matthew 24:31-33 
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.


Satan has definitely been on the warpath these past few weeks!!! It seems like every day there is something different!! I know within the past month he has tried to destroy a marriage, cause chaos in a ministry, come in between a long-time friendship, has caused people difficulties at work, and sadly this past week he has lied to a once strong Christian and led them to believe that their is no God, ultimately making them loose their faith!!! He is running rampant among Christians!!!! The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. This means only one thing to me...We are in the last days and JESUS IS ABOUT TO TAKE US HOME!!!! 

The Bible says that in the last days people will start turning against each other and their families and will think only of themselves!!!  Now, more than ever, we need to be ready for his return!!! This means we need to clean up our act!!! We need to be a better example to those around us!! We need to stop holding grudges and getting our feeling hurt over nothing and start being more forgiving! We need to stand up for what we believe in even if it means loosing everything!! 

This week was our last life group at AwakeningLife for the fall semester. I was in the group called Expecting to see Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz. I must say it was the most spiritually rewarding group that I have ever been in! The very first week we learned about how we are in the VERY last days!!! If you read Matthew chapter 24 you will learn what Jesus says will happen in the end, and let me tell you: WE ARE THERE!!! I truly believe that we are about to see Jesus's return! There's no doubt in my mind!! So let's get ready!! Let's get our lives in order!!! He's coming back for a pure bride who is READY for Him!!! 


Maggi Sellers
Instagram maggisellers
Twitter maggisellers86
Email lauriebaker8698@gmail.com

Are you committed?

Num. 30:1-2 Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the Lord commands: 2 When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.


 The above scripture is all about commitment.

Commitment: loyalty: devotion or dedication; a promise, pledge, vow or obligation: assurance.

Our words are very important to God. If we make a vow to Him or to another person, God says we MUST keep it. No matter how big or small we think the commitment is, His word is clear.  Whether it's a vow to your child to take them to Chuck-E-Cheese, bring food to the church luncheon, teach Sunday School, work the nursery or show up for a church work day, God expects us to keep our word!! But time and time again I see people not fulfilling their obligations. I have myself been guilty of this! Often times we may think we have a good reason. "Oh, there will be enough food there. I just really don't feel like cooking today." Or maybe, "I am not in the mood to deal with those kids in Sunday School today." It's sad to say that sometimes people will not follow through on a commitment because they are mad at someone. "I'm not about to go work at the church after what so-and-so said!!"

Ecc. 5:5 tells us "It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it." Broken promises lead to broken trust. If we constantly go back on our word other people will not trust us. Could it also be possible that God will not trust us? Here's what Luke 16:10 says about that; "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." What if we miss out on an awesome opportunity simply because we have proven to God that we can not or will not keep our commitments?

The truth is we should do everything as if we are doing it unto The Lord!!! Above everyone else we should strive to please God. If our commitment to God is strong then our commitment to everything will be strong. The opposite is also true. If our commitment to God is half hearted then our commitment to everything else is halfhearted.

This devotions was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that we will remember what Psalm 37:5 tells us, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."

I would love to hear from you. Email - beffie221@gmail.com
Twitter and Instagram - beffie221



 








Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Is Well

It  Is Well
 
I like worship music, but I love the good ole hymns.You hear the testimonies of some of the songs that have been written. The hymn written by Horatio Spafford in November 1873 is heartbreaking.
 
Horatio was a prominent Lawyer, senior partner with a large law firm. He and his wife Anna had 4 daughters and 1 son. In 1870 their son died at age 4 with pneumonia. Spafford had invested in property in Chicago which burned in 1871, the year of The Great Chicago Fire. In 1873 He and his wife Anna planned a trip to Europe to visit with traveling friend and evangelist D.L. Moody. At last minute he had business concerning the fire and sent his wife and daughters ahead. In the early morning hours of November 22, 1873. The ship Ville du Havre collided with an iron sailing ship. All four of their daughters were lost. His wife sent him a telegraphsaying "saved alone". As soon as he got her telegram he sailed across the Atlantic to bring her home. The captain of the ship called him to the bridge to let him know they were passing the place where the two ships collided. That night in his cabin he wrote the words to It Is Well.
 
The Spafford's later had three more children, 2 daughters and a son. The son died in 1880 at age 4 of scarletfever. In 1881 they set sail for Israel. They moved to Jerusalem and helped found a group called the American Colony; its mission was to serve the poor. The colony later became the subject of the Nobel Prize.  
 
This is a touching song to me anyway but knowing the story behind it makes it more moving. To know what he lost He still loved God and kept his faith.  
 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Everything??? Yes everything!!! Sometimes I don't feel so thankful. But I have found in thanking Him at the beginning and all the way through whatever situation it doesn't control my mind and is much easier to get behind me. 
 
Psalms 30:5 says ...weeping my endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. There are many things we will have to endure, we are not alone. He will see us through.
 
2 Timothy 4:7 Paul tells Timothy, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. We are no different we have to stay the course and hold tight to Gods love and keep our faith.
 
The last verse is as exciting to me as one of the worship songs we sing today.
 
And the Lord haste the day,
when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound,
and the Lord shall descend
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
 
One day I will see this!!!!
 
Hope this devotion will bless you today.
 
Denise Harper

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bullied Proof

Luke 6:22-23
What blessings awaits you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy yes leap for joy for a great reward awaits you in heaven.

In the last few years the topic of bullies have grown more and more. From people being picked on to even from taking their lives because of others bullying them. Memories of bad experiences stay very close to our brains. Sometimes they actually will suck the life right out of you even if it happened years ago.

Most people that are called "bullies" usually have difficulties in their own life or was bullied themselves at some point. People with real or perceived disappointments feel much better if they inflict damage on others. The disappointment will turn into anger which turns into them being a bully.

Lucifer is the biggest bully in the universe. He was cast out of heaven because of his pride. He had no right to be disappionted because his actions and choices brought the punishment of God.  So now he is the biggest bully there is. If you are taking a stand for Jesus Christ you are a known target for him.

Jesus knew we would face these issues so he gives us support in John 16:33.
In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world.

When you are bullied it may seem that the root cause is a mean spirited person. But remember that it might be that the bully behind the curtain is Satan. In these times hold on to God's promises in claim them. Remember He indeed conquered the world and that there is a great reward for those who endure suffering for his sake.

The disciples experienced bullying at the worst extent possible. They was beaten and told never to speak of Jesus again. But Acts 5:40-43 says the apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.  And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued to preach this message " Jesus is Messiah".

Finally,  over come evil with good. The power of bullying is taken away when we respond exactly opposite of the way the world expects. That's why Jesus told his followers: You have heard the law that says love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as the children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:43-45

In closing I pray that God will give us strength and courage to face the attacks of the enemy and help us use our struggles to reach others. Jesus we stand in awe at how you endured such suffering at the hands of people. We thank you Lord that we can face another day with you holding your hand.

John 4:4 you, dear children,  are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Written by: Summer Hamilton

Monday, November 18, 2013

Change can be Good!



Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...

     As I have said before in my devotions, I am a routine kind of girl!! I hate hate hate change of any kind!!!! But, God is showing me day by day, that sometimes change can be good!!! In order for the body of Christ to grow, there has to sometimes be change. He is reminding me that he is the only thing that is constant!! People change, circumstances change and relationships change!! Some people drift apart while others are becoming closer than they ever thought they would be. And this isn't a bad thing!! 

     And all in all, no matter how uncomfortable change makes me, I'm starting to realize that this is okay!!! We need to allow certain changes in our lives in order for God to move!! 

This devo was written by Maggi Sellers!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Don't Despair

Says the Lord: If you return and give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair, then I will give you again a settled place of quiet and safety, and you will be My minister; and if you separate the precious from the vile, cleansing your own heart from unworthy and unwarranted suspicions concerning God's faithfulness, you shall be My mouthpiece. The world will fight, but it will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save and deliver you, says the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.
Jeremiah 15:19-21 AMP



          Don't we all know someone who is in constant despair? "I'm too tired;" "My day was horrible;" "I'm broke;" "There's nothing here I want to eat;" "I hate going to work;" "I don't want to get out of bed." Perhaps you have been the guilty one, boiling over with all your "I wish," "I can't," and "I don't want to." I know I have been there on more than one occasion. Actually, just this past week, God and my husband have really been trying to get me to see the light. I am the world's worst at proclaiming I'm broke. It's my way of saying, "We shouldn't really spend money frivolously," but it translates to those I say it to and then eventually to myself as "Life is horrible; I can't buy things." What a ridiculous ruler by which to measure life! The sad thing is we all have things we go into despair over. We act like damsels in stone towers waiting on a horse-riding hero when we have already been saved and released from our despair.

          In the book of Jeremiah, we learn about a man who had much more to deal with than buying things, choosing what to eat, and getting to work on time. Jeremiah had an assignment from the Lord that was much more difficult than what many of us have ever faced. His job was to look an entire nation in the face and say (my paraphrase, of course,) "God is really, and I mean really, mad at you. He is sending an army to defeat, capture, and scatter you, and it's your own fault." God was fed up with Israel's unfaithfulness, and He sent Jeremiah to be His mouthpiece. He told Jeremiah not to pray for the people of Israel, simply to warn them of the coming consequences to their actions. Jeremiah was terrified. There were many false profits in the land proclaiming the exact opposite of the message he had; he wasn't sure if the people would listen to him or what their reactions would be. Would they attempt to take his life? And when the opposing army came in, would he, too, be killed or captured? Those ideas were more than enough for Jeremiah to second guess the assignment. God looked Jeremiah square in the heart and said to him, "Give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair." When I read this, it hit me so hard I literally felt it in my stomach. Read it again:

Give up this mistaken tone of distrust and despair.

          Jeremiah was mistaken. I am mistaken. You are mistaken. We are not in despair. To say that we are is to say we do not trust God with our lives. Jeremiah didn't trust God to work it out. He didn't trust that God would protect him even though it was God who sent him to that exact place. We are the same way. We do not trust God to protect us, provide for us, heal us, comfort us, or make the way. Instead, we live in constant dramatic agony wondering what horrible thing will befall us next, waiting to pinpoint all the disadvantages and unfair circumstances that plague our lives. God told Jeremiah, and He is telling us, too: Cleanse your heart of the unwarranted suspicions of My faithfulness. He has never given us a reason to believe He is unfaithful. We should not let despair overtake our minds and hearts and shadow our confidence in our God Almighty. When you find yourself in a place of distress, remember God's word: You are mistaken. You are not in despair. Give it up. When we do that, we open the doors of our lives for light to shine through and scatter the shadows. It is then that we will see the truth: Nothing can prevail over us because He is with us to save and deliver us.




This devotional was written by Megan Forsyth Bolton. If you need prayer or just someone to talk with, feel free to email me at boltonmeganf@gmail.com or find me on Facebook. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Whatever the Father does the Son also does

   Jesus said to themMy Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working." Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
                                                                                              John 5:17, 19 (NIV)

 Scenario:
 A man returns home from war only to find that his land and home have been taken by the bank. A local church decides to build the man a small home on the corner acre of their property. A team of 8 men begin work on the project. Within a month they have the house completely framed up.  A local businessman is informed about the man’s story and wants to help. The businessman immediately calls a construction company and has them start building a small home for the man on a piece of property he had bought from a friend.
This makes no sense, right? Would it not have made more sense for the businessman to have done a little research and then communicated with the local church and offered to help with the project that was already underway?
In the above scenario both the church and the businessman had good intentions in helping the man. The desired result was for the man to have a home. It works this way with Christianity as well. God wants people to have a home in the kingdom. Christians want people to have a home in the kingdom. But sometimes we are like the businessman. We fail to notice that God is already working. We fail to communicate through prayers and reading His Word. And we often try to work things out on our own.
            We need to take Jesus’s approach. We should do NOTHING by ourselves. We should do ONLY what we see the Father doing. If you can’t see what God is doing around you, it doesn’t mean He is not working. God is ALWAYS working! It may just mean you have to look a little harder. Pray and ask Him to show you and use you where He is already working. Seeking God’s presence and communicating through prayer and scripture should preceded any action taken by man.

Written in service to my first love – Jesus Christ,
Kelli Porter
I look forward to your comments. Have a blessed, God filled, Jesus loving, Hallelujah shouting kind of day!

Twitter - @disciplekp

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kindness

Hebrews 13:2 ESV  
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.

What a scripture?! I have heard this saying my whole life. I've only recently found that it is actually scripture. I love the fact that it is though. Imagine the thought that at anytime you could be sharing company with an angel! Doesn't that make you want to do something for a random stranger?

When you go throughout your day with this scripture in the front of your mind it would make it much easier to go a few extra miles for a stranger. Whether that stranger is in need or not. But even if it's not an angel just being nice and kind to a stranger is rewarding enough in it's self.

In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says "And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" So this scripture along with its context before and after it says anything we do for anyone who is in need when we do for them we are actually doing it for our Jesus! 

With these two scriptures alone (and trust me, or look for yourself, there are many more on the subject) the Lord has given us plenty of incentive for doing good, nice, kind, and charitable things not only to people whom we know but more so for people whom we don't. Do it knowing that just the act of love it's self  is all the reward you need. Just the feeling of knowing that you have shown love to someone in the name of Jesus is all you need to know.

So in summation, be kind to every person you meet. You never know if you're being kind to an angel but you always know you're doing it for Jesus!  

This devotion is written just for you by Chassidy Hester! If you need prayer or just want to talk e-mail me at chassidyhester@gmail.com. Thank you!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nineveh or Tarshish? Which will you choose?

Jonah 1:1-3 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

The story of Jonah has come up a couple of times over the last week. First in my LifeGroup Bible Study and again in a conversation with a friend. This started me thinking...........

Scripture tells us that "the Word of The Lord came to Jonah." The Lord instructed him to go to Ninevah and tell them of His judgment against their wickedness. Instead of obeying The Lord Jonah hopped on the first boat going the opposite way!! He was running as fast as he could from what The Lord was calling him to do. He was doing his best to flee from the presence of The Lord.

Once on board, Jonah went to the lowest part of the ship and went fast asleep. The Lord caused a great storm that tossed the ship around and almost broke it apart! The other passengers feared for their lives! After casting lots and discovering the storm was Jonah's fault they tossed him overboard. Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish and spent 3 days and 3 nights in its belly. After crying out to The Lord, He caused the fish to vomit Jonah up on dry land. The Lord then instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh for the second time. This time Jonah obeyed the voice of The Lord.

The story of Jonah can teach us so much. Even though The Lord gave Jonah a second chance, not obeying His word immediately cost Jonah a great deal. Jonah's disobedience not only cost him but it brought fear and trouble to those around him. Often times when we know The Lord is calling us to do something we are only thinking about what that means to our life. The story of Jonah shows us that our disobedience can be extremely dangerous to others as well. Whatever The Lord is calling us to do, we can be sure that it's for more than just us. Think about it!!

Whether we are being called to preach, sing on the Praise and Worship Team, teach Sunday School or Children's Church, feed the hungry, lead a LifeGroup or even write a devotion for your church's blog, there is someone out there in need of the calling God has placed on our life. How sad it would be if our saying no to The Lord caused someone to never hear the good news of Jesus Christ!!

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that each of us will just say YES LORD the first time He calls on us!!

I would love to hear your comments. You can email me at beffie221@gmail.com. Find me on Twitter and Instagram at beffie221.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

He is an on Time God

I want to start my first devotion with a huge Thank You to everyone who has obeyed The Lord and took time to write here. I start my day reading them and have been blessed and encouraged by every one of them. It has also given me and others the chance to know the heart of the ones who write them.

They have made me think gave me hope and yes made me cry. They also have touched me so deeply that I desire a closer walk with my Jesus!!


I love southern gospel music, there is an old song titled "He's an on time God" do you know how true this really is? One day, we will say it was a day I never want to have ever again!! I really needed to hear from God, for a moment in my stinkin thinkin I thought, He won't care. I was so stupid. I got myself into this I will have to work through it myself. I opened up the the Awakening Life app to read the days devotion. I just had to read the title and my eyes welled up with tears and right then He said to me, "I'm here, I care, I hear you, I love you." Who but God would know what I needed that day at that very hour. The awesome person that wrote it sure didn't. And you know He didn't stop that day. He is still showing me everywhere I turn that He is right here with me and He loves me. You just don't get a better feeling than that.


He is our provider. He supplies all of our needs and knows them before we do. In Genesis 22:13 He provided a ram, in Exodus 16:13,14 He provided quail and mana for the children of Israel. All through the Bible I see time after time how He provided for His children. We are His children too. He can and will do the same for us today. 

I am so thankful for everything He has provided for me. These devotions are also provided by Him for us all. Thanks again to everyone that has written one. You never know who will be touched with the words given to you by the Holy Spirit. 


This devotion was written by Denise Harper. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

KNOWING GOD'S WILL FOR YOU

JOHN 15:7
IF YE ABIDE IN ME,AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU,YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL,AND IT SHALL BE UNTO YOU.

I often hear and say myself "I want God's will for my life" or "What is Gods will for my life?".So today we will be focusing on God's will for his children. There are five important keys that makes up Gods will for us.

1. GODS WILL IS NEW BIRTH
2. GODS WILL IS THE HOLY SPIRIT
3. GODS WILL IS HIS WORD
4. GODS WILL IS HEALING
5. GODS WILL IS LOVE

To begin to understand his will for us we must break this list down one by one. Other than just saying the words "Gods will" we actally need the know the defintion of it.

NEW BIRTH / RENEWAL

1ST TIMOTHY 2:3-4
FOR THIS IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE IN THE SIGHT OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR, WHO WILL HAVE ALL MEN BE SAVED,AND COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.

In order for us to be transformed we must be renewed. Renewing our minds brings "our will" into agreement with the "Fathers will". Then we begin to think as he thinks and his ways become our ways. God desires all his children to be free and to live victorius and abunduntly over all evil caused by satan. Not only does God want you saved his desire is for us to be free!

ROMANS 12;2 BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.

HOLY SPIRIT

JOHN 16;7,12:15
NEVERTHELESS I TELL YOU THE TRUTH; IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY.FOR IF GO NOT AWAY,THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU. BUT IF I DEPART, I WILL SEND HIM UNTO YOU....I HAVE YET MANY THINGS TO SAY UNTO YOU, BUT YOU CAN NOT BEAR THEM NOW. HOW BE IT WHEN HE,THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH IS COME HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH. FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF, BUT WHO SO EVER HE SHALL HEAR,HE SHALL SPEAK AND HE WILL SHOW YOU THINGS TO COME. HE SHALL GLORIFY ME FOR HE SHALL RECIEVE OF MINE AND SHALL SHOW IT UNTO YOU. ALL THINGS THAT THE FATHER HATH ARE MINE; THERFORE SAID I THAT HE SHALT TAKE OF MINE AND SHOW UNTO YOU.

In JOHN 14:16 Jesus called the Holy Spirit comforter. The Meaning of comforter is counselor,helper,intercessor,advocate and streghthner.When you make Jesus your Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you. Jesus told the disciples if ye love me keep my commandments and i will pray to the Father and he shall give you another comforter that he may abide with you forever; even the spirit of truth whom the world can not recieve because it seeth him not,neither known him for he dwelleth with you and should be in you. The Holy Spirit will guide you to all truth and he will come to our aid when we are weak. When we are uncertin what to pray the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

HIS WORD

COLOSSIANS 1:9
THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING.

GODS word is HIS WILL!!!! It's supernatural amd alive. The Holy Spirit was sent to reveal this word to you. So we must read the BIBLE and meditate on his word. The BIBLE is filled with knowledge and was written for our benefit. The word of God speaks to us and teaches us how to live a sucessful life. The words we read will affect how you believe. The only way faith comes into your heart is by hearing the word of GOD. (romans 10:17) The BIBLE is what feeds our spirit. To be sucessful and know his will for our life we must not starve our spirit. We need fuel to survive and stay in his word and meditate and pray.

HEALING

GODS WILL IS TO HEAL YOU!!!!!! UNTIL THIS FACT IS SETTLED IN YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT, YOU CAN NOT APPROACH HEALING WITH OUT BEING DOUBLE MINDED AND WAVERING.


JAMES 1:6-8
DOUBLE MINDED MAN WILL RECIEVE NOTHING FROM THE LORD

Every christain has a covenant with GOD that iuncludes DEVINE HEALTH! But most christains don't know healing belongs to them. HOSEA 4:6 say MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR THEIR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

Christains have allowed sickness and diesease to destroy their bodies when GODS word plainly says BY HIS STRIPS WE ARE HEALED 1ST PETER 2:24. We must allow the faith seed to be planted in us before we can sucessfully reap our healing harvest. Believing in healing is not enough. You must know that it is GODS will for you to be healed. From the beginning GOD desired freedom for his people. Adam had been a free man and ruler of the earth and by act of his own will he made satan lord and father over him. Adams sin was not GODS will neither are the results of that sin GODS WILL. Sin is manifested in the spirit and sickness is manifest in the body BOTH are of satan BOTH are works of evil. Neither are from the hand of GOD. So to get results you must believe that you recieve healing when you pray NOT after you are well.

HEBREWS 10:35-36
DO NOT , THEREFORE, FLING AWAY YOUR FEARLESS CONFIDENCE, FOR IT CARRIES A GREAT AND GLORIOUS COMPENSATION OF REWARD. FOR YOU HAVE A STEADFAST PATIENCE AND ENDURANCE, SO THAT YOU MAY PERFORM AND FULLY ACCOMPLISH THE WILL OF GOD, AND THUS RECIEVE AND CARRY AWAY AND ENJOY TO THE FULL WHAT IS PROMISED.

LOVE

JOHN 13:34
A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE TO YOU, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU AND YOU SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

The natural character of man is to selfish. But when we are born again, that selfishness is replaced with LOVE. GOD defines his love as keeping his commandments and living and walking by his teachings. GOD has given us a manual on how to love it is HIS WORD!! By obeying GODs word we are walking in HIS LOVE. Without love your prophecy and teachings will not work, giving will not work,your faith will fail and your knowledge will be unfruitful. All the truths you learn about in GODS word work by LOVE. You can give everything you have to the poor even you own life but if you don't have love you gain NOTHING.

Take time to learn GODS will by digging and meditating in his word. You will be able to recognize the voice of your spirit guided by the HOLY SPIRIT!!! REMEMBER GOD'S WILL IS HIS WORD.

WRITTEN BY: SUMMER HAMILTON

Monday, November 11, 2013

Work like You're Working for Jesus!

Colossians 3:23 ESV

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

So, how many people just love getting up and going to work?? The same routine day in and day out of getting up early, getting home late, having to deal with ornery people, and unappreciative bosses can get old and very redundant. It can be hard to keep a good attitude!! Up until 2 weeks ago (when God blessed me with a new job),  this is how I felt every single day!!!! I was completely miserable! But then one day, my husband who has a very good but very stressful job came home and said something that totally changed my outlook on work! 

It's something I wish I would have thought about weeks ago!!!!! He said that there's no use in going to work and being miserable, just because everyone else there is! He said he was going to start going in and having a better attitude despite how he felt about being there! He said he wasn't going to let his coworkers bad attitudes affect his attitude anymore!! This really made me think!!  We are supposed to work everyday as if we are working for The Lord!! We should go in with a good attitude that is pleasing to God and would make him proud!! We may be the only light of Jesus that the people at our jobs see!!! 

I know that the different kinds of work environments can make this a little different, because some people are just mean and they try to make your life miserable! I've been there too!!! But God has you where you are for a reason!! He is not going to lead you in to a place and just abandon you there to fend for yourself!! He is there with you!!! Think of it as a mission field!!! Let your light shine and win souls for Jesus!!! 

Maggi Sellers
maggisellers (Insta) 
maggisellers86 (Twitter)
lauriebaker8698@gmail.com

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Friend Jesus

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

          When I think of friends, three special ladies automatically come to mind. I have known these girls since we were in elementary school. They loved me through my awkward middle school years, laughed with me at what we now realize were incredibly stupid inside jokes. They were the girls whose families and homes became mine, whose tears I dried when they were feeling insecure, whose shoulders I cried on when I experienced my first heartbreak. When I took a path that was not mine to travel, they stood beside me without judgement, and when I returned home to my true identity, they readily accepted me because they knew all along who I truly am. These girls are the ladies who stood beside me when I married the love of my life, a man I had prayed for, and whom they knew was my God-send. They have walked through life with me, holding my hand, whispering words of life instead of death into my soul every step of the way. They are true friends.

          When I survey this friendship I have built over a lifetime, I see in it the same characteristics of my relationship with Jesus Christ. My whole life, He has known who I truly am. He was there even before I was formed; He knew my purpose long before my parents knew my name, and He died for me before I ever took my first breath. When I have been awkward, insecure, hurt, broken, confused, and lost, He has been by my side. When I have chosen to listen to my own mind rather than the heart of God, Christ never stopped loving me; He never stopped pursuing me; He never stopped wanting me. When I came home, battered and bruised from the torment of the world (a beating I led myself into,) He welcomed me back joyously and nursed me until I was whole again. He has been there in every moment - in every joy, in every sorrow - of every day. He is a true friend. 

          A true friend is someone who cares without hesitation, someone we can trust without limitation, and someone who loves us even without communication.

          Christ is all of this. 

          He cares without hesitation. It does not matter to Him where we are or what we are doing, He cares for our well-being. He cares for our health, our homes, our families. He cares for our needs and even our desires. We matter to Him, and He wants to do more than care for us; He wants to take care of us. 

          We can trust Him without limitation. There is nothing we need that He doesn't have. There is nothing about our lives, our emotions, our thoughts, that He doesn't already know. He is the One with the plan - your plan, your destiny, and He only wants the best for you. 

          He loves us even without communication. If we never praise Him, if we never express our love to Him, He loves us anyway. If we shut Him out, reject His invitation, or even refuse to acknowledge His existence, He loves us anyway. If our hearts remain shut to Him for eternity, He loves us just as much as He did the day His body was ripped to shreds on a cross for our salvation.

          Jesus Christ is a true friend. He is the One who knows it all, who has watched us make all the wrong decisions, counted every tear, heard every word, and experienced every emotion. He is the One who knows who we truly are, who God created us to be. When we come to Him dirty and weary, He doesn't pay attention to the mess we've made; He simply focuses on the fact that we've come home. 

     Lord, We have no greater Friend than You. When we think about Your sacrifice for us, Your death, so that we could experience true intimacy with You, we are humbled. To be able to say that the King of Kings is our Friend is truly an awe-inspiring concept. Sometimes it is hard for us to understand that You care for us so truly and so deeply, but in our moments of doubt, spark our hearts to remember that no one loves us like You. For those who have never experienced Your friendship, we pray they will come to know the beauty of a relationship with You. While friendships on Earth are blessings we cherish, we know nothing compares to trusting You and being cared for and loved by You. Thank You for choosing to be our Friend, sticking to us closer than a brother. Amen.
        
This devotional was written by Megan Forsyth Bolton. boltonmeganf@gmail.com