Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Things

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

This past week I've have been trying to think of some New Year's resolutions to do to make myself a better person and to just improve my life and that of those around me. Of course my mind wanders to the obvious, weight loss, saving money, recycling, ect... But, I've been there and tried to do that. I've never been successful in keeping my resolutions. However, I still have a need to do something new and different in this new year.

Studying to write my devotion, I came across this verse and decided that this was the Lord telling me to just let Him take the lead. Like for real! Let Him take control and He will lead me into new waters and down new paths! And His way and His new things will be so much better than anything I could ever come up. No weight loss plan, self-help group or anything else could out do the improvements and new directions my God had in store! The verse above says it. I can bring a canteen or a jug full of water to the desert but only my God, the almighty Yahweh can make rivers spring forth from the dry desert sands!

Join me in this new year, in this 2014, to give God control of our lives! And in full expectations of new and great things that only He can make happen! If you do this, I guarantee you will lose that weight, save that money, and make the world a better place in the process!

This devotion was written by Chassidy Hester. If you have any comments, need prayer or just need to talk to someone, feel free to email me at chassidyhester@gmail.com Thank you

I can't handle this.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

"God want give you more than you can handle." All my life when I or someone else was going through a hard time somewhere someone would say this. I remember at times thinking to myself "I wish He didn't think so much of me".

When you first read over this scripture and think about the word temptation most of us think about being tempted into sin. The Greek word that is used here is peirasmos. There are many meanings : trial, testing, enticement to sin, the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy. But the one that leaped out at me is enticed to lapse from the faith and holiness. Honestly, there are times that I have been tempted to let my faith "lapse". I have been tempted to let my faith fall into an inferior state or condition. Times when after years and years of trusting Him to answer a certain prayer that I truly just wanted to give up. When He led me to take a risk and in the natural I can’t see yet where it made a difference at all.  But the truth of this scripture is not about ME handling "it". The truth is that HE makes the way to escape. It’s not about us doing it on our own. Whether it IS a temptation to sin or to let our faith lapse it’s about us trusting Him and recognizing the “escape route” He has provided. 

Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble. BUT to be of good cheer for HE has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

So on those days when you think you just can’t handle one more thing look for His “escape route”. It will be there. And remember what Phil. 4:13 tells us. I can do all (yes ALL) things through Christ who strengthens me!!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear your comments.

Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter & Instagram - beffie221

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year, New Me!


“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NIV)

The holidays are over and a new year is quickly approaching! To me, a new year means a new beginning! A fresh start! A re-do from last year!!! 

This whole year, I feel like I have been slacking in every area if my life!!! I've slacked in my walk with God and as a wife! I've let my weight get out of hand and let my house stay in a mess!! These things are totally out of my character and the only reason I can come up with as to why is simply: LAZINESS!!! Yes, as bad as I hate to admit it, I've let a spirit of laziness come in and take over!!! 

Proverbs chapter 10 talks about laziness and how dangerous it can be!! I don't think I have reached that point yet, but I recognize that it's here and that it's time to change before it gets worse!!! 

Throughout the year, I have felt like I have lost my hunger for more of God! I have gotten complacent and satisfied!! This happened because I haven't spent the time I needed in prayer and fasting and in the Word!! Now that I have noticed it, I can feel my spirit literally starving!!! Pastor Ant says we should treat God's word like food! We should indulge in it as often as we indulge in spiritual food! The Bible shouldn't be treated like a dessert and only eaten every once in a while!!! This spiritual anorexia has been the cause of all of my slacking/laziness this year!!  

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12, 13 NIV)

My sister Jessi takes house work to a whole new level!!! She talks about it in a way that most wouldn't! She is a newly wed and a new mommy to an 8 year old little boy all at the same time! She has new duties that she has never had before!! She has approached them as a way of worship to Jesus!! She knows that cleaning commodes and picking up after two boys can egg old and redundant, but it is her job as a wife and a mother to do those things!! To me, she is the perfect example of a Proverbs 31 wife!!

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:10-12, 15, 17, 23, 25-29 NIV)

 This is something I have strived to be in the past, but have let go this year because of who knows why!!! But THANK GOD for new beginnings!!!! 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

So starting this new year, I plan to be a new girl!!! I am going to fulfill my wifely duties and honor God by keeping my house nice and tidy, I am going to treat my body as a temple of God by eating better and exercising more often and I am going to seek God's face like never before!!! I hope everyone has an amazing 2014!!!

This devo was written from the heart of Maggi Sellers! You can follow me on Insta (maggisellers) and Twitter (maggisellers86) 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We are healed!!!!!

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NIV)


So many of us are held down by sickness and bondage that satan says we can't get rid of. When I was only 12 years old I was diagnosed with depression, which I carried into my early twenties and multiplied to other sickness that had my life crippled. My life revolved around my medication schedule. It wasn't until I started attending AwakeningLife that I realized there was such thing as healing. I knew God was more than capable of healing, but I didn't know He would do it for me. I thought depression and other horrible sickness like that was just something certain people had to deal with. I was reading my bible one night when I came across Isaiah 53:5 and it hit me... He took the punishment so we wouldn't have to. I had the most amazing revelation from God that night. I later prayed with Pastor Anthony and his wife, Mary and God COMPLETELY healed me. It took me only a week to be weaned off all  medications and have been medication free for 3 years now. God is so good!!!


“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. (Romans 4:7 NIV)

Have you ever went to lunch with a friend and they grab the ticket and say, "No, I have this covered."? In Romans it says Jesus did that with our sins. They are completely covered, forgiven and forgotten, so there is no need to live in any kind of punishment. Our God is SO much bigger than any sickness.


-Ashley Pierce

Friday, December 27, 2013

Set Your Brothers Free

"Every man should let his Hebrew slaves, male and female, go free, so that no one should make a slave of his brother."
Jeremiah 34:9


Slave - a person who is forced to serve another

Captivity - held in a state of confinement

          In modern America, we surely do not have the slaves to whom Jeremiah refers in the verse above. We don't own each other, forcing each other to clean our houses, cook our meals, do our laundry, or tend to our gardens. As a matter of fact, we consider the idea of slavery to be altogether quite appalling. Considering this, it is a shame that so many of us confine our brothers and sisters in our thoughts, making them slaves in our minds to the expectations of which we think they should uphold. While we aren't physically holding each other captive, we are enslaving each other in our own selfish states of mind.

          Some time ago, I met a sweet lady with whom I began to form a friendship. She loved the Lord, was very active in her church, was full of joy, and encouraged those around her. I was drawn to her and was excited to have this budding friendship. One day, I overheard her discussing a delicate situation in her church in which she was caught up. Immediately in my mind, red flags went up. I began questioning her spiritual maturity, wondering if I could trust her, and doubting her seemingly sound relationship with the Lord. In my mind, I bound her with negative thoughts that did not reflect the love and the grace of God. Our friendship stopped growing. For months, I kept her at arms-length, cordial but cool, unwilling to let her drama-filled life influence my own path. Finally, after weeks and weeks of struggling with this situation, God woke me up with these simple words, "Megan, you aren't being fair."

          God's Word commands us to treat others as we would treat ourselves, love others as He loves us, and forgive others as we have been forgiven. In this instance, I was refusing to do all of those things. Instead of releasing my sister from my poisonous thought processes, I made her a slave to my expectations. I stunted the growth of a beautiful relationship because instead of freeing her in my mind, so I could see her as God does, I detained her in my refusal to believe she could be anything other than what I had decided she was. 

          How awful would it be if we remained trapped by what the world says we are? How many times has God released us from the bondage of our own thoughts? Shouldn't we follow the example He sets for us in all things? He has declared that we are not defined by our mistakes; we should give that same liberty to others. Release your brothers and sisters from their captivity. Allow God to show you who they are in Him instead of continuing to believe what your own mind says about them. You will be amazed to find that when you let go of your negative thoughts and expectations, you are not only setting those people free, you are setting yourself free as well. Don't miss out on the blessings God would pour onto you using others just because you refuse to let them be who God says they are. Set your brothers free!

What Did You Say?

WHAT DID YOU SAY?

Psalms 19:14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

It is a wonderful time of the year to reflect on things of the past and things of the future that you would like to change. How much weight I would like to loose and being more organized is always at the very top of my list! This year I am going to add words to my long list of work ons. Although I try my very best, all of us reading this devotion could do better!!!

For a while now in my Christian adulthood I have been slightly criticized about my caution of the words that come out of my mouth. It has been said over and over that they are only words and I am silly in my beliefs. The BIBLE says in Proverbs 18:21 that life and death are in the power of the tongue! That tells it all to me!!! We can speak words of life or we can speak words of death! It's really that simple.

When I was a child the old saying didn't hold much truth and still today I believe it is no where near correct....Sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words will never hurt me!

Words are very hurtful and stay with a person for their entire life. Long after people have died someone will remember the words that came out of their mouth! Whether  they were words of wisdom and love or words of disgrace and devastation.....someone will always be able to recall!!!

Have you ever been told that you are so funny and you tickle a person to death? Or worse than that ...a person loves you to death? Or how about....you scared me to death?

Please don't say these words over me! I want to live a long life and go up in the rapture. I sure don't want to be tickled, loved or scared to death! Lol!!!!

This year I want to work on more encouraging words coming out of my own mouth! Sometimes just by a simple smile or a simple fraise that comes out of our mouth we can change a persons day. Love conquers all!

When I am very, very old and completely grey and I am in Heaven with Jesus I want to be remembered by my kind actions and KIND WORDS!!!!

How will you be remembered?

Pamela Britt Malone

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Immanuel, God with us.

Matthew 1:20-23(NKJV)


20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”  

Have you ever felt like Jesus was far away from you? Like your Heavenly Father was too busy working in the lives of others to answer your prayers? I must confess there have been times in my life when I just didn't feel Him there. Times of heartbreak. Times of sadness. Times of loneliness. But, His very name tells me this is not true!!

When the angel of The Lord came to Joseph in a dream, he was reminded of the words of The Lord spoken through the prophet, "and they shall call His name Immanuel" which is translated, "God with us." Even before Jesus was born as that babe in the manger, it was the plan that His presence would be with those who believed in Him as Saviour and Lord.

No matter what the issues of our life, He is with us. He never leaves us. 

I have often heard it said that The Word of God is His love letter to His people. A wise lady once told me to insert my name into it. So, whenever I feel as if my Heavenly Father is far away, I just remember, Immanuel, God with Beth!! 

So, today let me encourage you. Whenever YOU are feeling down, sad, lonely or forgotten all you have to do is remember four very important words.................. Immanuel, God with _______. 

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear your comments. 
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter & Instagram - beffie221 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Free Gift

Romans 5:15 NKJV 

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Primarily, the free gift in this verse is Jesus. He is the gift to humanity from our one and only, true and merciful God! Through the Gift which is Jesus we are able to receive the Grace of God!

The reason we exchange gifts on Christmas is because of the gift God gave us in His son! It's not because we've been good all year and we deserve a reward. Matter of fact, I don't know anybody who is good enough all the time to deserve a reward. We certainly did nothing and couldn't have done anything to deserve for God to give His only son to us and then to have Jesus take on our sins and die in our place.

The offense it refers to in this verse is Adam's sin in the garden. Through his sin we were cursed in so many ways but the main way is death. But unlike Adam, when Jesus came he lifted the curse that had plagued ALL mankind since Adam. If the curse Adam's disobedience caused was so strong, how much stronger would Jesus' obedience be?! Through Jesus' obedience and sacrifice we may have life and so much more of it!

So this Christmas when you're giving and receiving gifts, keep in mind the FREE gift God gave us in His son Jesus Christ! It is there for any of us to partake in. We simply have to receive it! Open our hearts and mind and let Jesus in! He is the most beautiful, most important, life-changing gift you can ever receive! The price has already been paid and He's just waiting for you to accept Him!

Thanks for reading my devo! I truly enjoyed writing it and I know the Lord gave it to me just for you! If you need to pray or have any questions or just want to talk  please feel free to email me at chassidyhester@gmail.com 

Thanks again and have a Merry, Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Love

I love this time of year. All the hustle and bustle, the crowds, the busyness. I have always just enjoyed that aspect of the holidays. I love to be in crowds. I love to people watch. I know that may seem a little weird to some, but it is enjoyable to me. I love watching people buy gifts for their loved ones. I love hearing people's stories. I love seeing people get together with their loved ones. Make time for people they normaly don't make time for. Shareing love. Not just any love though it's the love of God that is so tangibly present this time of year.

God's love is an interesting thing. It can be felt like no other. It is so present. So tangible. So real. I don't see how everyone can't feel it. Or maybe they can they just lable it as something different. I once heard someone talking about emotions and feelings, and I thought their point of view was interesting. How do you know what happiness feels like? How do you know what anxiety feels like? How do you know what any emotion feels like? We lable our own emotions and feelings. No one does it for us. Think about it? You experienced that emotion at one point in your life and then labeled it in your mind. From that point on every time you experience that feeling you associate it with what you have labeled it. Pretty interesting huh? Think about it. Two people could be having the same feeling but describe it differently because they have labeled it differently. We never want to discredit the love of God, have it labeled wrong, or give someone or something else credit for its all consuming Godly power.

1 John 4: 9-11

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world, so that we may live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Don't ever mistake love for what it truly is. A gift from God. All love is from God. He created it. He sent Jesus. That is when God's love was manifested to us here on this world. All love is God's love. It's a presence that is so special. It should be treasured. Anyone can feel it. Just make sure you have it labeled right. That you know when you feel it it is Him. That He gets all credit for it. Open you heart. It's there. It's all around us.

Merry Christmas :) May God bless you and may you feel His love.

MARY Sellers

I WOULD LOVE TO PRAY WITH YOU!

Catmalonesellers@yahoo.com




Monday, December 23, 2013

The Lord's Servant

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38 NLT)


     Since December the first, I have been reading a Christmas devotion every day on my Bible app. It's called "Joy to Your World: A Countdown to Christmas". It has been an amazing read but the one thing that has stood out to me was the day about Mary. She made a decision that day to be God's servant! She told God that she was ready to do anything that he wanted her to do, even if that included being the mother of God's only son! 

How many times do we ignore God when he is asking us to do something! I am sure we have all done it a time or two!! Mary's obedience to God completely changed the world!!!! When I think about it that way, it makes me never want to ignore God or tell him no!!  

So my challenge for you and for myself is to make Luke 1:38 a prayer to start living every day as God's servant!!! I pray that I will find the same favor with God as Mary did! 

Maggi Sellers

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The God of Another Chance

Have you ever done something that you thought was so terrible that there was NO way God could ever forgive you? Or have you ever felt that you have messed up so many times that there was no way God could forgive you again?

God is not only the God of second chances; He is the God of another chance. This is good news because most of us mess up the second chance fairly quickly. One of the amazing things of God's character is His incredible patience with us. Psalm 86:15 says it well: "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." Micah 7:18 says, "Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love."


The New Testament has testimonies of the Lord giving second chances to His people. Consider Simon Peter. Peter bragged that he would never fail Jesus. He said no matter what the other disciples did he would always stand by Jesus.But in spite of his bravado Jesus told him that before the rooster crowed that night Peter would deny him three times. And the Scriptures reveal that Peter did just that, even with cursing as Jesus looked at him. Peter was so gripped with guilt that he went out and weeped bitterly.

But the Lord is the Lord of the second chance. Peter was given opportunity to begin again. John 21 records a seaside encounter Peter had with the resurrected Lord. After a timely breakfast Jesus took Peter aside and plainly asked him three times, “Peter do you love me?” Each time Peter responded in the affirmative. Each time Jesus gave Peter an assignment. He said to Peter, Feed my lambs! Feed my sheep! Feed my sheep! Three times Peter denied Jesus and now Jesus was giving his previously failing disciple three tasks to complete for Him. God is the God of the second chance. Peter could start over with God.


God did not make Peter sit on the pew for years before using him again. Once his relationship was restored, he was a vessel that God could flow through.
Regardless of our mistakes, when we return to God, He once again begins to “work all things together” for our good. While we will suffer the consequences of our misdeeds, God continues to mold us into a beautiful vessel He can use.


When we fail, failure need not be final. We can start over. All we need is to humbly confess and repent of our shortcomings and failings. We can seek the Lord and we can start over again. Scripture shows us that over and over. How many of the “heroes” of the Scriptures had black marks of failure dotting the record of their lives. Consider:
Abraham – He was a lair
Jacob – He was a cheater
Moses – was a murderer
David – was an adulterer and murdered
Peter – denied the Lord three times
Paul – arrested Christians and had them thrown in jail.

And yet history records that these men are among the greatest in the History of God’s kingdom. They failed, but failure was not final. They started over with God and became useful to Him again. So it can be with us today.

So when you think you are too far gone in your sin, remember God is a God of second, third, fourth etc.. chances. There is nothing you can do to make him love you any less. Just ask Him for forgiveness and repent!


"This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Powerful Words

Powerful Words

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

                                                                                                Psalm 33:9

The Bible is perfectly clear: When God speaks, it is done! God spoke light into existence.  “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). God speaks healing. “He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave” (Psalm 107:20). God said it, and it was done! That is the power of His word.

Knowing that God speaks and what He says IS done, we need to open our hearts so that God can speak to us.  We need to invite God to speak into our lives.  God speaks faith, hope, love, healing and encouragement.  Therefore, if God speaks those things into our lives, we will experience and exhibit them. God’s word is powerful and alive. His word transforms hearts.  When He speaks love into us, we will love others. When He speaks faith into us, we will love Him more. When He speaks encouragement into us, we will encourage others. What God says, God does!

How does God speak to us? He can speak to us in many ways, but the place I hear Him the most is in the Scriptures. Opening my Bible everyday is my invitation to God to speak to me. I want His still small voice and His commands to penetrate my heart so that my life will reflect and glorify Him.  Take time daily to invite God to speak to you. Pray before you read your Bible that God will open your ears to what He has to say to you.

Have a Blessed Day and a Merry CHRISTmas!



Written in service to my first love –Jesus Christ,

Kelli Porter

Friday, December 20, 2013

Did You Know

HAPPY MORNING! TGIF!!!!

Matthew 1:21 - She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save the people from their sins.

CHRISTmas time is upon us! One of my favorite parts of this blessed season is Christmas music. My favorite song of the season is: MARY DID YOU KNOW; written by Mark Lowry. As I set here in the calm of the night I ponder upon these words and realize that Jesus really did come just to die for you and for me. As I read these lyrics I want to shout for joy and continue to run the race with a servants heart! Christmas is a fun time of the year but let's take time to reflect on what God has done sending HIS only son JUST FOR ME....JUST FOR YOU!

Mary did you know that your baby boy would someday walk on water?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you've delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And we you kiss your little baby you have kissed the face of God.

OH MARY DID YOU KNOW

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy he is the Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?

The sleeping child you're holding is THE GREAT I AM!!!

Merry CHRISTmas from my precious family to your precious family! Looking forward to a brand new year of spreading the GREAT news of Jesus across the world together!!!
Pamela Britt Malone 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pray for those who persecute you!

2 Peter 2:20-22 (NLT) And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb:"A dog returns to it's vomit." And another says, "A washed pig returns to the mud."

Over the last few days I have had conversations with several friends about how others have disappointed them or have let them down. It's always sad and hurtful when someone you love turns their back on you. It's even more difficult when you see them turn their back on their faith in Jesus. They begin to rationalize how it's OK for them to do things that The Word of God teaches us is sin. When once fully sold out and committed Christians start to live for the world. Sometimes these same people start to torture and persecute others for their unashamed stand for Jesus. Peter tells us it's better for them to have never known the way of righteousness then to know it and reject it. They are worse off than before! Their sins have cut them off from God and according to the words of Isaiah 59:2 "Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore." None of us are perfect but to blatantly disregard and disobey God and persecute His people would be a frightening place to be!!

Some people may think that persecute is a strong word. Here in America we may not be persecuted in the horribly violent ways that many around the world are. But often times people must live or work in places that don't allow them to express their faith in Jesus. On a large scale it maybe that an atheist group wants to keep a nativity out of a public area at CHRISTmas time. On a smaller scale it may be that you work with people who say things to you like "don't you be praying for me" or "there's to much Jesus here".

But the truth is we should be praying for these people. Matthew tells us in chapter 5:43-44 "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! This at times may be hard to do. The Lord has commanded us to love and pray for one another. He has not commanded us to let people walk all over us!!! We are to stand up for ourselves but more importantly for HIM!!! We "Owe nothing to anyone - except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law. (Romans 13:8)

I am fortunate enough to work at a place where we can talk about Jesus and no one will complain or be mean to us about it. Unfortunately that is not the case for everyone. If that's you let me leave you with this scripture 1 Sam. 12:23-25 "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the Lord by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve Him. Think of all the wonderful things He has done for you. But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away."

If you are living or working in a place that is not welcoming to Jesus continue to teach those around you what is good and right. You never have to say a word. Just live the way that GOD has commanded not the way others may say you should. Faithfully serve HIM. AND pray for those around you. Even if they tell you not to!!!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that if you are living or working in a place where the name of Jesus is not allowed or you are being targeted because people know your stand on HIM, that you will not be discouraged. HE is with you!!! HE will show you the way and give you the words to say.

I would love to hear from you.
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter & Instagram - beffie221

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Be Strong

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

I have heard this verse before so many times before. But reading it tonight it jumped off the page at me. It became rhema word for me! I guess it has to do with personal trials I am dealing with. However, this verse is so powerful and it brought me a wonderful feeling of comfort that I wanted to share with you!

All too often in life we get so caught up in our situations that we forget what an awesome God we serve! Or at least I do. The devil is too good at distractions, and I have slight ADD tendencies. But, our God is mighty! No matter what we face, when we serve Him, He will go into our battles before us!

The best thing about this verse are the promises with in it! He promises that when we are going through a trial and are becoming weak for it, He will strengthen us! My God says He will reach down when my strength is failing and hold me up with His righteous right hand! What an amazing promise! And if God speaks something it  IS a promise!

This verse comforts me so because I know I am weak. With out God I am nothing. But with Him and through Him I am strong and can do ALL things! He is with us and we don't have to face any thing that this world throws at us alone!

If you are facing adversity right now, please know that God goes before you! Lean on Him and find the only true peace and comfort there is. He only wants good for you. He wants to fight for you. He only needs you to step back, let go,and let Him!

Thank you for reading my devotion today! I know the Lord gave it to me just for you! If you would like to contact me for prayer or any other reason please email me at chassidyhester@gmail.com

May God bless you and thanks again!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Daily Battle



Mark 7:20-22 
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Have you ever noticed how many different thoughts run through our minds all day? Some are good, some bad. Unfortunately,we being human tend to focus naturally on the bad, so accepting and believing them comes very easily. The effort comes when we're determined to cast down the negative thoughts, and take a firm grip of the positive ones.

Minds that are positive and that have faith and hope produce positive lives. Negative minds that focus on thoughts full of fear and doubt produce negative lives, which can lead to a destructive life. Some people have been hurt so many times that they don't think they can face the pain of another letdown. Therefore, they refuse to have hope so they won't be disappointed again and again.

We all face battles in our minds every day. When we begin to feel the battle is just too hard and want to give up, we must choose to resist negative thoughts and be determined to defeat and rise above our problems. We must decide that we're not going to quit. When we are consumes with doubts and fears, we must take a stand and say "I refuse give up! God's right here by my side. He loves me, and He's taking every step I take because he loves me and i know I'm going to make it!" 


So no matter how bad the battle is in your mind, don't give up and don't give in to satan! Step out and take back the territory that satan stolen from you. Even if it's only a step at a time, make sure you're leaning on God and not on your own ability. Galatians 6:9 Don't be a quitter! Don't have that old "give up" spirit. God's looking for people who will find the courage to rise above all the negative and pursue the positive. 

Many of us think we suffer because of our circumstances. We believe that if our circumstances would change, we'd be able to act right. But God wants us to become so mature and stable that we act right even when none of our circumstances are good. There are different levels of faith, and most of the time we want to use our faith to get rid of a problem. But sometimes God's plan is for us to have a higher level of faith that will carry us through life's challenges.  

Many Christians suffer because they are too busy seeking their own knowledge instead of studying the Word of God and getting spiritual knowledge. The Lord Himself said, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge... (Hosea 4:6). For people who are saying, "I'm in a terrible situation right now because I believe it's where God wants me, but I'm miserable, frustrated and unhappy," there's good news. Your circumstances don't have to control you, because you have the power of God's grace in your life. And it's available to you in whatever amount you need, right now!! The same way we receive Christ is the same way we are supposed to live each day of our life with total complete dependence on Him. 

If we love God and really want His will for our life, I think it's safe to say that we can trust Him to bring good from it no matter how bad it seems or what happens to us. Even if we get delayed or take the wrong path because of our own stupid decisons or if someone else gets involved and brings hurt and pain into our life we should trust God to work it out. I know after I have gone through a really hard time, I've looked back and thought that I wouldn't even be half the person I am now if that wouldn't have happened. 

So in closing just remember that know matter how bad the situation may seem don't allow negative thoughts comsume your mind. Stay postive even when its tough. The victory is coiming to you because GOD is on your side and loves you so much!! ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD!!! 

SUMMER HAMILTON

Monday, December 16, 2013

Today is the Day!!!


Matthew 24:36
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Have you been waiting for the right time to get your life right with God?? Or, perhaps you know someone who says they will get it all together one day! People are so insistent that they've got time to live it up and then  give their lives to God after they've had their fun!! Let tell you something, if you are one of these people, today is the day!!!!!!!! 

No one knows when Jesus is coming back!! It could be any minute from now! Do you really want to be left behind because you just weren't  ready for Him?? 

1 Corinthians 15:52 
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

So today I urge you to make a change in your life!! Give yourself fully to God!! He is longing for you! Once you do make this decision, you will be so glad you did, and even wonder why it took you so long!!! Giving your life to follow Jesus is the best thing you could ever do!! 

I know this was a short and sweet devo but it's all The Lord put on my heart this week!!! I hope it touches someone!! 

Maggi Sellers

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dirty Dishes

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:6

          In all of my 25 years on Earth, I have never been a part of a household owning a dish washer. (Gasp!) At the end of most every meal, I stand over the sink watching the water stream out of the faucet, mixing with the slimy dish soap to create the soft, fluffy stacks of bubbles that will cut through the grease of the day. I have dish washing down to a science, all based on which dishes need to be stacked in the drainer first versus which ones will leave the most residue in my water. I always flood the bottom of the sink with silverware, letting the forks and spoons and knives soak in a bubble bath underneath the plates. Despite the extra time the utensils are treated to in their pre-soak, there is always at least one pesky little piece that just won't let go of its stuck-on food. I can wipe and scrub and scratch and dip, but in the end, I have to shove that little fork or spoon back into the soapy water to let it soak even more.

          This past week, I ran into this problem with a spoon spotted with grit residue. Oh, those cheesy, buttery grits had been delicious coming off that spoon at breakfast, but now in the aftermath, they were just an annoying problem, keeping my spoon from being its clean, effective self. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and...well, you get the point...but only bits and pieces broke apart, washing away down the drain. I sent the spoon back into its pool, washed another sink full of dishes, pulled the spoon back out, and tried again. Rinse and repeat. Finally, after almost every other dish was clean, the little spoon and I had one last tug of war, and with the help of my steel wool pad, I won! The spoon was clean!

          Often, our lives are like dirty dishes. We fill ourselves with things we think are delicious, but at the end of the day, all we have is chunks of disgusting leftovers clinging to us. We attempt to clean ourselves off, and sometimes we succeed in removing bits and pieces, but we are still not clean, still not fully restored to our intended state. It isn't until we apply the steel wool of the Lamb of God that we find ourselves without blemish. 

          Through God's gift of Christ, we can be restored fully and completely despite how dirty we appear. Sometimes, like with my spoon, it doesn't happen all at once. Sometimes, it takes several attempts before we can release the leftovers of the past, but one thing is sure: God's Word promises us that we will be made new. He promises that He will complete the work He started. If you find yourself struggling with stuck-on, greasy residue, simply take yourself to The Dishwasher, and remember the spoon: it may take several attempts, but you will come out clean!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Obedience

Obedience
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.             
-          1 Samuel 15:22 (KJV)

Does sacrifice always mean obedience? Absolutely not. Saul’s disobedience in choosing to keep some of the Amalekite livestock for burnt offerings and sparing the life of King Agag had serious repercussions, not only for himself but also for future generations of Israelites. Saul was rejected as king, and Haman, one of the Israelites’ worst enemies, descended from King Agag.
God didn't want Saul’s sacrifice, he wanted obedience!  Saul’s “sacrifice” was actually sinful. What Saul saw as “sacrifice”, God viewed as sin. Disobedience is sin 100% of the time. Saul in his arrogance thought his plan was better than God’s.  God gave Saul a direct command and he did not follow it. The outcome was very costly.
We should be obedient to God no matter what the command. There are times when God tells us to do something and we ignore it because it doesn’t make sense to us or we think it is impossible. Those instances are the true tests of our faith. Doing what God tells us to when we know it is not humanly possible puts God in the driver’s seat where He belongs. It allows the opportunity for things to happen that could only come from God. The command of God doesn’t have to make sense to us. As Christians our only job is to say, “Yes, Lord.”
Sacrifice doesn’t always mean obedience, but obedience will almost always mean sacrifice. The cost of obedience will be far less than the cost of disobedience. Pray and listen to the voice of God. Obey his commands immediately. Allow God to use you to glorify His name.

Written in service to my first love- Jesus Christ,

Kelli Porter

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Taking Care of God's House

Malachi 3:10 NKJV
 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there  will not be  room enough to  receive  it.

I love this verse! Tithing. I don't know of any other subject in the Bible that God says "Try Me" on! That's how important tithing is. He says for us to make sure there is food in His house, to make sure His house's needs are taken care of and He will bless you immeasurably!

Some preachers preach too much on this subject, others don't peach enough of it. I know some preachers don't even touch the subject to avoid being thought of as "in it for the money" or being greedy. It's sad, but that the way it goes sometimes. However, I'm not a preacher and I don't have a congregation I have to be concerned with offending. And if it offends you to be told what the Bible says and what God intends about tithes, then maybe you need to pray about it because that spirit of offense wasn't given to you by God!

People may think that the Lord can make other ways for the church to pay the bills and salaries, Right? I mean, He is God. But the fact is, we are the way! It is our responsibility to make sure that our church's needs are met! If we, the Christians and church members, override our spirit and conviction to give to God what is already His, who else will do it? The nonbelievers? The people who don't go to our church? No! It is on us alone.

The other mistake we make is assuming that if we don't pay our 10%, that every body else will. This is the wrong way to go about this. We should assume that we are the only ones who will. Not in a prideful way. But just look at it as, if they pay their tithes, that's wonderful, but I'm paying mine not only because God told me to, and it's the right thing to do, but because I may be the only one who does! If we all do our part, then God's house will always been open, His pantry will always be full, and the "least of these" will always have a place to go when in need!

If we do test God in this, He will prove His faithfulness! As the verse says above, He will open the very windows of heaven and put out a blessing for you that you will not have room enough to receive! If paying tithes simply because it is the right thing to do isn't enough incentive for you, surely this promise from God is more than enough for any one!

Thank you for reading my devotion! This was from God just for you! If you need prayer or simply want to talk, please e-mail me atchassidyhester@gmail.com

Is Jesus in your Boat??

Luke 22-25
22Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

Jesus instructed His disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake. Once they obeyed Him a storm arose. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt like The Lord was instructing you to do something and when you did a storm broke out in your life? Sometimes it seems like when we have really decided that we are going to live our life for Jesus trouble will come at us from every direction! Satan can and will use anyone and anything to try and distract us from the plan that God has for our life. Sometimes I think we, and satan have forgotten that he has already been defeated!! 

The disciples boat was being filled with water and the wind was swirling all around them. They were certain they could not make it through this storm. But right there with them was all they needed! Just look how powerful His words were in that situation! All He had to do was speak to the storm and it was calm.

 I think that right now most every person reading this devotion has a storm of some kind going on in their life. My storm my be different from yours but just like the disciples, with Jesus in our boat we have all we need to calm the storms. We have the gift of His written word to show us just how we should speak to our storms. We have the power by HIS word to speak peace and calm to our storms. Jesus left us peace. John 14:27 tells us this “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (NLT) 

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that as the storms of life come we will remember the words of Jesus. That we will not be troubled or afraid because HE has given us peace!!!

I would love to hear your comments. 
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Twitter & Instagram - beffie221





Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dont Be Denied

Dont Be Denied
 
 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 10:33
 
When I think about the first disciples I wonder how strong their faith must have been to believe Jesus was the Son of God. They didnt have the Bible to read like we do. Peter, who was afraid for his own life, denied Jesus 3 times. The Bible says that Peter "wept bitterly" because he remembered jesus said he would deny Him and how many times.  
 
Being a christian and loving Jesus is not popular, but the reward is far better than any one thing this world could ever offer. John 15:19 says If ye were of the world the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefor the world hateth you.
 
Christians are called many things, Jesus freaks, strange, holy rollers, holier than thou, goodie two shoes,  hypocrites, and the list goes on. I am far from perfect and sometimes I fall short of what I should be. But because He loves me and He shows great mercy and forgiveness, just like Jesus chose me, I choose Him. When you walk close to Him you dont want to be the way you were or like the world. I would rather be called those silly names than to hear....depart from me, I never knew you....(Matthew 7:23).

We live in a country where we are free to worship God and so many of us take that for granted. One day we are sold out for Jesus and the next day we are living like the world. When you fall and there is no one there to pick you up, there is one who will. His name is Jesus. I'm so glad I know Him and He knows me.  

I hope this has blessed you today. 

Denise Harper

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TRAIN UP YOUR CHILD IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO

TRAIN UP YOUR CHILD IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO

Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it

Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV 
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise

When I was born on June 10th 1987 my parents was over joyed to be welcoming their baby girl into the world. They already had two healthy boys and now our family was complete. When you learn that you are expecting a child you think of bottles, diapers, formula, sleepless nights etc... Because expecting a baby can be so exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time we tend to over look some of our other duties that comes with being a parent.

When a child is born you are still their life support. They need you to take care of them. You feed them and take care of their every need. I was extremly blessed that I have a wonderful mother that went above and beyond for my bothers and me and to this very day she still does. My mom fulfilled every duty of a parent. I remember growing up and being in church every sunday morning, sunday night and wednesday nights too. Everytime we had revival you better believe we would be there. Not only did she take us to church she planted a seed in each of us.

Even as a small child my mom began to teach me things about Jesus and being a christain. From learning bible verses to singing Jesus loves me she was planting seeds in my heart and my mind. I am so thankful that my mom cared enough for my soul and my brothers souls to teach us about the love of Jesus. It is a parents job to not only raise a child and clothe and feed them but to also instill values and teach them about God. You are what molds your children. They watch at a very early age and they will copy you and try to be just like you. You are their role model.

When I became a mom in 2011 this all became very real for me. I realized that i not only was responsible for my salvation but i also became responsible for Reese's to. When i became pregnant God trusted me enough to be sure i would teach her about him and his ways. The day i had her i took a vow to not only love her and take care of her but also teach her about the bible and about Jesus and him dying for you and me. I took a vow to take her to church and teach her Jesus loves me and to teach her to be kind to others and be a giver not a taker. 

I am so glad that GOD chose me to be Reese's mommy!! This is a job that i take very serious in every aspect. It melts my heart to see her raise her hands and clap to praise and worship music. I smile everytime she sings Jesus loves me. When we pull up to church she screams Jesus!!! This makes me so happy and warms my heart to know that she is listening and watching me and she knows about Jesus and that he is our Lord and Savior.

As i close i want you to ask yourself Am I really training up my child the way i should be? Am i the one taking my child to church? If you don't have children, you may know a child that doesnt know much about Jesus or isnt able to attend church because their parents doesnt go. They are your responsibility too. Someone has to plant seeds in their so that they will know the ways of our father. I pray that each person who reads this weather or not they are parents they will begin the plant a seed into a childs heart so that they will know more about GOD. Lord began to move in the hearts of those who doesnt take their children to church. Let them know how important it is to mold their kids young. Thank you Jesus AMEN!!

WRITTEN BY: SUMMER HAMILTON

Monday, December 9, 2013

What are You Celebrating??

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! (Isaiah 9:6, 7 NLT)

     It's FINALLY Christmas time!!!! It's everyone's favorite time of the year!! People are busy shopping and decorating and cooking and going to different Christmas parties!! All around town you can hear bells ringing and people saying Merry Christmas!! But in all of the hustle and bustle, many people seem to forget the true meaning of Christmas!! 

Most people go through the holidays only thinking of themselves and don't even give the birth of Jesus a second thought! They are worried about what they will get and what all they have to buy!! Christmas should be solely about Jesus!!! Yes, Santa and reindeer and elves on our shelves are fun but what do they really have to do with Christmas?? They are only about getting gifts!

We sing the song at church called Born to Die. Jesus was born on Christmas to die for our sins! He came here to take away every wrong thing we have ever done! He became our sin when he was hanging on the cross!! 

So this year lets all try to do better and celebrate Christmas for the right reason! Try reading the Christmas story for the Bible with your family on Christmas Eve instead of reading The Night Before Christmas!! Teach your children that it's all about Jesus and what He came to do, instead of teaching them about Santa Claus!! 

This weekend is our annual Christmas play at AwakeningLIFE!! It tells the story about some know-it-all city slickers who get lost in the boonies on Christmas Eve and learn the true meaning of Christmas!! Our church is known for our hilarious but very meaningful plays that we do every year! We hope everyone will try to come out and see!!! We will have one performance on Saturday, December 14 at 7:00 pm and one on Sunday, the 15th at 6:00 pm!! 

This devo was written by Maggi Sellers!! I hope everyone has a very blessed and merry Christmas!!! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Safety In the Storms

God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths. Psalm 41:1-2


          Sometimes, we just need a place to rest. Our lives are busy. The world is harsh. The enemy is relentless. We are tired. We are stressed. We are exhausted. As humans, we are not invincible; the effects of our surroundings and our choices take a toll on us. God calls us to places of rest and comfort in Him, and we should openly embrace the shelter He has for us.

          We often hear the bit about people wanting to praise God in the good but blame Him in the bad. While this is true for some, there is another side to that I want to shed light on: We rejoice with others and praise Him when things are good, but when they are bad, we attempt to take care of them on our own. God is God in all circumstances, and if our friends and loved ones follow His lead, they will be there for us in the bad, too. When we find ourselves overwhelmed, we should look to God and to each other for support and strength. There is no need to fear or to let ourselves be overcome when God is on our side.

          My favorite song reminds us of the simple beauty of our relationship with our Lord: Sweet Jesus, my Shelter/You are my faithful Friend/The Refuge that I run to/When my world comes closing in/Why should I be afraid/When I know I am saved/By these arms that take me in/Sweet Jesus, My Shelter/You are my faithful Friend.

          There is nothing more beautiful to me than knowing that Jesus didn't die just for my sins but for my whole life including the part where I need protection, shelter, and support to weather the storms I encounter. It was never God's plan for us to handle the weight of the world on our own, to walk through the darkness without a hand to cling to, or to be caught in a raging storm without protection. We are not alone and should not try to handle hardships on our own. God has made the way and clearly shows us in His Word that we need only turn to Him to find shelter. There is no use standing in the pouring rain when our Father is offering His umbrella.