April 21, 2017

Genesis 15:5-6 ~ NKJV
“Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.”

As I was reading this morning, I really stopped and thought about how much faith Abraham had to have. God said that Abraham’s descendants would be just as innumerable as the stars in the sky. Abraham was already old, and he didn’t have any kids yet, so that’s one level of faith right there. But the thing that I really thought about this morning was how many children Abraham had. It wasn’t like Fifteen Kids and Counting he had two. That’s less than my family has! But that’s where this amazing faith comes in, Abraham believed God even when he only had two kids because he understood what the promise meant.
When we receive a promise from God, it is not always meant just for us. Often, – like Abraham’s promise – the promise will impact our children and our children’s children. From generation to generation, God is still working and moving through a promise He made however long ago. That’s the thing, God’s promises never expire. If He says something, it’s true. The goodness and faithfulness of God have no limits, they have no expiration dates, and they have no restrictions.
So, when God promises you something or you pray for something, and it seems to be taking a long time, have faith. God is still good! The time of heaven and the time of earth a completely different and you can’t expect God to work according to a time zone that isn’t His own. Everything will work according to the promise, there is no stopping it. So take courage, have faith, and don’t give up.

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April 20, 2017

Genesis 12:1-2 ~ ESV
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Wow, can you imagine how terrifying that was? I’m sure you’ve heard it before but just think about it for a minute. Abram is doing life, maybe washing the dishes, shearing sheep… whatever he was doing and out of nowhere God shows up with a mission. And it isn’t something small, there was no ”warm up” it’s this whole big thing. Everything you have known and everywhere you’ve been, I want you to let go of all of that and move somewhere that I am going to show you. I’m not going to tell you where that is, just trust me, you’ll love it when you get there. Does that seem a little scary to you?
When it comes to God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we don’t have much control. Of course, at any moment we can say, “You know, God, I don’t really like this, so I’m not gonna do it.” We have that choice, but the plan doesn’t change because you don’t like it. It’s like google maps (or whatever GPS system you may use) the destination, the goal – if you will – doesn’t change because you made a right turn instead of going straight. God just reroutes you. If you decide to go your own way, God doesn’t leave you, He follows after you until you are willing to get back on His route.
If things feel like they are completely out of control, trust God. God doesn’t let us down, ever… His plan and His purpose are perfect. If we trust God even when it seems like He doesn’t know where He is going, He will steer us well. I want to encourage you today that (just like Siri or whoever says at the beginning of your google map journey) you ARE on the fastest route, and your route – while it may not be clear – is completely thought out and taken care of by our Father. You can rest in that knowledge and trust that eventually, you WILL arrive at your goal and God will be standing right there, waiting for you. So today’s challenge, just trust Him to take care of today, tomorrow has enough trouble for itself.

April 18, 2017

1 Peter 4:10 ~ NKJV
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Every person in the entire world was created differently. At some point in our lives, we are all going to have a situation that we simply can’t handle by ourselves. We are going to find ourselves with a front row seat into someone else’s struggle that they need someone to help with. In these moments, it can be hard to know what to do. Fortunately, God has prepared us for these moments since before we were born. God has given each person a unique gift, He specifically designed us for the life He had planned for us.
Eventually, our lives are going to intersect with someone’s at just the right time for us to use our gifts that He has given us to help someone else. Maybe it will happen when we are expecting it, and maybe it won’t. The main thing is, we have to be ready and willing to release what God has given us for that situation. It can be scary to step out in faith during these times, but the peace that comes with obedience is far greater than any discomfort sharing can give us.
God has blessed us with so many good things. We could tell story after story about God’s goodness and still never reach the end of it. Each and every person has a specially unique gift to share with the world. What’s your gift? How are you using that gift to glorify God? How can you use what you have been given, even today? If you don’t know, ask God the answer to any of these questions, I am sure He will be willing to answer them for you.
Today’s challenge is to be bold and confident in whatever God calls you to do. He is always talking to us, we just have to be open and willing to do what He says.

April 17, 2017

Hebrews 4:12 ~ ESV
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thought and intentions of the heart.”

Sometimes, I think we make the Bible far more complicated than it is. Even with these devotionals I occasionally feel the pressure to make them ”perfect” to make sure SOMEBODY will get something out of them. But that isn’t the goal of our faith. We don’t need to MAKE the Bible applicable, it already is. There is always something to be gained from Scripture, we just have to look for it.
Today I was reading in one of my devotional books that we need to be spending time in the Word every day, they gave the example of someone who was really hungry. For that person, it wouldn’t do any good to remember what food tasted like, that might make them feel more hungry. The same is true of Scripture. If we have the entire Bible memorized backwards, frontwards, and upside-down, but we never read it, we miss out on one of God’s greatest gifts to us. I think it’s important to memorize Scripture, don’t get me wrong, but I think a big part of God’s plan for the Bible was for the connection we have with Him when we read the Bible.
I think today’s challenge is, don’t make it complicated. That is more for me than anyone else most likely, but I will share my challenge with you because sharing is nice.