Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Packaging


Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.  1 Peter 3:3-4(NIV)
The world we live in is all about appearance. Take for instance the coffee shop I am in as I write. There are displays of new springtime flavors probably to entice winter dwellers to buy and feel spring like. Makeup advertisements for women do this as well. Packaging to capture women into thinking they too will look marvelous if only they use this new expensive product. We continue to fall for it so they continue to market this way. Then there is that "magic pill" for weight loss marketed by a skinny model. Don't forget you need the 'right' clothes too to stand out in this "world". 
As a believer we do not need to go to extreme measures to make people want to be Christlike but instead as the verse for today says, let it be in the hidden man of the heart.  If you display Christlike qualities of love, joy, peace, patience and grace you will be beautiful. It is not just about our outer shell and packaging. 

PRAYER: Thank you that even if  not dressed in the latest styles that you still find me valuable. Help me radiate your goodness to others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Get Connected


Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3(NIV)

A few days ago I was in a remote location with no Internet connection near me. Because of this I was unable to do email, use blogger, or connect to Facebook. At times not being connected can be a blessing but at times when we are used to it frustration can set in.

The good news is that you never had to be disconnected from Jesus. If you are 35,000 feet in the air on a plane and there is no Go Go Wi Fi, He is there. If you are taking an underground cave tour, He is there. If you are in an elevator, He is still there. No matter where you go, He is there. He is in Communist countries where the government does not want Him. No matter where life takes you, Jesus is there.

There may be moments in life where you feel God has left you. He never leaves you. The enemy wants you to feel this way. God is always only a prayer away. Believe in Him. Trust in Him. Read His word. You are always connected no matter where you are.

PRAYER: I am comforted to know you are only a prayer away. I know I am not alone. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Inspiration or Frustration?


Peace I leave you my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27(NIV)

It seems so much easier in the morning to wake up and hit the ground running without God. Even well meaning Christians do it. The world seems to lure us away. Quiet time or a morning show and news, what is it going to be. Hmmm, let me think about that. First of all it takes discipline to make yourself break a habit of watching a talk show if that is what you have been used to but ask yourself how much time you invest in meaningless chitchat of celebrities compared to getting into God's word and feeding your mind on inspiration.

The news typically is not good news except on a rare occasion and can instill fear and worry. You can enter your day in peace or in turmoil.

PRAYER: Sometimes Lord I can easily get caught up in meaningless television and lose track of time without spending any with you Lord. Help me to order my days better that I give you quality time. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Uplifter

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)

Ever had one of those days where you just can't get yourself out of a mood? It can be caused by many factors, but never the less it is one of those times you need a bouquet of flowers, a call from a friend, a hug, or a surprise letter in the mail. Often times when I have had those moments I end up hearing something I needed to hear, such as a Bible verse on the radio, just at the right time or getting an unexpected gift. Once I actually found a palm leaf cross in a puddle outside my car door. Seeing that cross gave me renewed hope and strength. Now tell me that is not God.

If you happen to find yourself in a moment like this get out your Bible and read some Psalms. I find the verses in the 150 chapters in this book very encouraging. Another thing to do is see who else might need help or an encouraging word. Somehow getting out of our own issues and becoming involved with another is a good cure. Say a quick prayer and know God will see you through.

PRAYER: Thanks for another wonderful day you have blessed me with. Show me another that just needs a smile or bit of encouragement today. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ponder


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8(NIV) 
What does it mean to ponder? Perhaps to think on or mull over. When we think a certain way our speech and actions tend to follow. Our thoughts can be positive or they can be negative. They can bring joy or they can bring sorrow. Irrational thinking can often lead to great despair. There have been times in my own life when I started dwelling on things that tended to cause me to put myself down, Satan sure loves to make us feel unworthy or  like a tiny little worthless creature. I have news for you! We are created by God for His purposes. He does not make junk. 
Just as this verse above says, it is very key that a person stay focused on things above and good. This would mean you probably need to start your day with getting into God's word. You can choose to read the newspaper and get all upset about the world situation or you can choose to start the day out with the love  of God and peace He alone can bring. 

PRAYER: I want my mind to be pondering on your goodness and not worry about doomsday. I choose Lord to read your word and help me not make excuses why I have no time to do this. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Transforming Lives


Recently while waiting to board a plane to Chicago I see an advertisement for a local university which simply reads "Transforming Lives". What parent would not want to send their child where their life would be transformed? But wait. It did not specify "how" this transformation would take place. Would it be intellectual, situation, emotional, relational? 
As a believer I want my life transformed and that of my children but I want it transformed into the image of Christ. One of my favorite verses after recommitting  my life to Jesus back in 1975 was Romans 12:2(NIV) which says 'Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.'  Transforming your mind requires getting into the word of God on a daily basis and reading it and studying it so your life will "conform" to His. The world's way is not God's way. This is not to say that we become monks and act holier than thou but it is necessary to make a deliberate effort to saturate your mind with the teaching of the Lord so when wrong stuff comes along you will recognize it.
Are you ready for that transformation today? 

PRAYER: My desire Lord is to have more of you in my life. I want your light to shine so others can know that you have transformed me. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO

Where are you at in your journey of life? Do you feel like there is something you are missing? Do you long for more of Jesus in your life? 
Depending on where you live and how busy you are you may have little or no desire for things of God in your life. My asking these questions today is not meant to point the finger at you but to only ask you do you feel okay with God and think all is well in your little corner of the universe? Is Christianity, in your opinion, a bunch of rules to be followed or else someone will get you?
I have news for you dear friend. No matter where you are in life or what you have done God is a god of grace, compassion and mercy. Often times churches bearing his name lack those qualities but instead are all about doctrine, rules, and judgment. I am here today to say "Jesus loves you this I know for my Bible tells me so." Is He a vital part of your life and is He truly number one? 
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20(ESV) Do you want to die to self and live for Him? 

PRAYER: I want more of you in my life. I want to die to being judgmental, mean, unloving, or self righteous. I want your love in my life so I can love others unconditionally. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

THE ARROW


If people looked at you when you were unaware of it would they see Jesus in you? Do your actions point others to the cross or away from it? Your life is sort of like an arrow in the sense of it can lead people one way or another. Those who follow your path will either walk towards God's light or Satan's darkness. Is Jesus' evident in the things you say and do? 
When I am at home I can be myself but once I am out in the world anyone can see me. It is my desire that my life point others to Jesus. I do not want to do this by condemnation and ridicule  but to say as it does in Romans 3:23(NIV) 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' I am not perfect. Are you? 
Even at home you should be bringing glory to God around those you live with be it a roommate or your spouse and children. Don't talk to your family pet better than the one you married in other words. There is a verse in Psalm 101:2(NLT) that says 'I will be careful to live a blameless life--when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.' Are you an arrow pointing your family to Jesus as well? 

PRAYER: I seek to live a life that brings honor and glory to you and leads others closer to you. Set my feet on the right path to do this. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ME FIRST




Who is first in your life? Does your life center around you and your needs or are you able to look outside your little world and see the needs around you?

The world we live in seems to be getting more self centered what with making a newborn baby feeling the world is centered on them and some parents even carrying this on past infancy.Even in childhood children have to be taught they are not always first. This is not meaning to neglect them but in training them teach them to share and reach out. The "get what you want" attitude is prevalent. Facebook makes each of us who use it sort of put ourselves "out there" for the world to see. It can be controlled and can be fun but for many it may be their "me time".It can be fun if controlled.

Cats are a good example of self centeredness. Our cat Moses sure likes to let you know who is in charge. Anyone with a cat can attest to this. I want to be put out. I don't like that cat food. 

Philippians 2:3-4(ESV) reminds us 'Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.'. That sort of sums it up. What are you doing to not be center of attention?

PRAYER: Lord I want more of you in my life. I need to let you have center stage and the things I say and do be centered on you. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MOVING ON




What do you do when things do not go your way? Bad news from work. A family member or friend dies. You are rejected by a friend. You do not get that promotion you expected.
Setbacks are not supposed to make us just shrivel up and quit. In the Olympics there were many who rose to the occasion and made the podium and earned one of the three medals in their sport. Then  there were those who were expected to win Gold and did not even medal. Imagine how they feel after years of training only to be defeated. What can we learn from this in our own life? US Figure Skater Jeremy Abbot fell and hit the boards like a hockey player during his program and just laid there for what seems a couple minutes but then he got up and continued his program almost flawlessly. It was awesome. 
No doubt there has to be someone reading who can identify with what I am talking about. I can so I write for myself. To keep going when you would rather just crawl in a hole and mope is sometimes hard to do. The enemy, satan, is in the business of making us feel defeated,hurt, and useless. Rise up!!

'You are from God little children, and have overcome them. Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.' (1 John 4:4)

PRAYER: Each and every day Lord I need to remember to get up out of bed and say thanks for another day have given me on planet Earth. My life has as reason and purpose and I am here to shine the light of Jesus on a hurting world. Help me not forgot that and run my race to win. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CHARGE ON!!



I have enjoyed watching the Winter Olympic games both the set backs and the glory. It is agonizing to see a defending champion lose their crown and have to eat a bit of humble pie. Snow conditions were not ideal during the Half Pipe competition on 11 February and many stumbled. What a let down for athletes who have trained for this moment and on international television do not rise to the occasion.

Life is like an athletic competition in some ways. We lose or fall and have to get back up and keep on going. Struggles may overwhelm but in Gods word it says to press on, run the race to win, keep looking up. Persevere knowing who is there to help and what the prize is going to be.

Are you weighed down by something right now and sometimes feel like giving up? Keep looking straight ahead as if the finish line was right there and Jesus was waving at you. I guarantee you would run with all your might towards his open arms.

1 Corinthians 9:24 tells us 'Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.'

PRAYER: Lord I look to you Lord as my ultimate prize. Things in life may get me down but I know my hope is in you and not in people or situations. I choose to run to win. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, February 17, 2014

PUT IT DOWN…..PICK IT UP



 Where is most of your time spent? These days it may be on our electronic devices. Seems as though the world is revolving around technology and to the point some may feel they can not escape from it. You need to almost purposely make yourself take a break. On WGN TV news there was a segment about a camp in California where people too saturated by their devices had to make up their minds to get away and unplug. This is a camp where people can learn to do that.
My challenge to everyone reading this today, on a device of course, is to make up your mind after you read this devotion of course, to get away from the world of computers for a while. If you work it is hard to do this but if you have a choice make up your mind you will let your mind take a rest for a while. Look around you and see how many people have their phones in their hands. Sort of similar to a life saving device. Let's see if we can't let the word of God be that device for a while and perhaps all the time.
Put down the phone and pick up the word of God. If it is on your phone then pick up a hard copy of the Bible and go somewhere quiet and open it up and read it. Check out what it says in Isaiah 30:15 (NIV) 'This is what the Sovereign Lord the Holy one of Israel says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'
Start today and take a tech break with your Bible.
PRAYER: I need to be still Lord and let my mind rest from all the data flowing into it from so many sources. Help me Lord as I seek to prioritize my time better to sit and be quiet in your presence. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

WORD POPPER



When you are sick what do you normally do? You take care of yourself and sometimes go to the doctor to get medicine  to help you heal. We get so concerned about our physical health and "pop pills" to get well but what about our spiritual health?

When you have problems, worries, and storms in your life what is your normal reaction? If you are like most people it is to fear and worry. What should be the reaction for a believer?  It should be to pray and read the word of God to strengthen you to get through whatever comes your way. Human nature is good at worry. Aren't we supposed to have God's nature instead? Instead of letting a situation get the best of you why not arm yourself with God's word. Do not wait till all your troubles pile in on you then "pop a Bible verse or two" into your head. Make it a daily habit to spiritually nourish yourself so can face the battles that are sure to come your way in life. 

By reading God's word and trying to memorize key passages to give you strength you will be better able to defeat the enemy when his onslaught comes your way.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

PRAYER: I need you in my life Lord around the clock. Forgive me when I let troubles overwhelm me and do not pray and go to the Word for help. You are my strength Lord. Thank you. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

WRAPPING IT UP.....LOVE



Even though I may be coming to an end of the series about love for now, we should never put love away. Love should be ever present in our lives and willingly given to those around us.
1 Corinthians 13:13 reminds us 'And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.' Love is mentioned over and over in the Bible. It is the key to successful relationships with almost everyone we encounter.
Let me ask you, do people around you respond better to love or to anger and resentment? Obviously the answer would be they would respond better to a display of love. Satan of course hates love and hates us showing it to people so he, in his scheming way, will try to get you to falter and be mean to people. When you start to do this realize this is not of God and ask God to help to you free from this spirt that is causing this.
PRAYER: Love is so very important. I may think I have it but then turn around and treat a friend or co worker poorly. Forgive me Lord. I choose to walk in love and do it on purpose. Show me the things in my life that disappoint you and help me stay on the path of love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, February 14, 2014

DON'T LOSE THAT LOVING FEELING

Valentine’s Day is here but why is it necessary to have a secular holiday in order to show love? Love is something that should be ever present especially if you claim to be a believer. 
This holiday puts expectations on some and pressure on others. Some choose to not celebrate and do their own thing later after all why do you need February 14 to say you love someone? Keep being loving the other 364 days as well. Re read 1 Corinthians 13 especially the verse 7 which says '7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.' Stop for a moment and think what that verse is saying.
Can you truly "turn the other cheek" and move on beyond conflict? Can you show unconditional love even when you may not feel like it?A good section of scripture to read in the Bible on married love would be Ephesians Chapter 5. When you have time later today why not get a cup of coffee or tea and sit down and read what that says,particularly verses 25-33 of Chapter 5. 
It does not have to be Valentines Day to express love. Many often say this day is just a day conjured up to sell flowers or candy. Hey guys reading this, flowers are a great idea anytime. There is not a woman alive that would not like them. So today on this "day of love" why not find a person in your path and shine the love of Jesus' on them?

PRAYER: Your love is perfect. Your love is unconditional. Your love knows no ends. That is the kind of love I want.Help me not lose that "loving feeling". In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LOVE DOES NOT JUDGE


Recently I saw the new Hollywood movie, Gimme Shelter, which has a decidedly pro life and Christian message which I found refreshing. In the movie a down and out pregnant unmarried teen was played by actress Vanessa Hudgens.

This movie made you want to stand up and cheer at the end because of the forgiveness displayed. The way this character looked with tattoos and body piercing she would have been wrongly judged and cast off by many. The compassion of a caring lady turned her life around.

There are "street people" everywhere. We do not know "their story" so it is not up to us to judge. Hebrews 13:2(NIV) says 'Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.' The beggar, the prostitute, the thief, the murderer, the alcoholic, the homeless, the dregs of society all are loved by God. We need to find a way to be kind to all people and show kindness. Not everyone can take a homeless pregnant teen in an change her life but all of us can do something.

PRAYER: Make me your humble servant Lord. I may not go to a faraway mission filed to meet needs but direct my path to people who are hurting here who need your love. Use me to help demonstrate it. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HOLY?



What does it mean to be holy? Webster's defines it as "exalted or worthy of complete devotion, divine, religious or morally good".
Many verses in the Bible deal with holiness and being holy. One of them is 1 Peter 1:16 (NIV) which says 'for it is written, "be holy for I am Holy".  In every area of life we should be seeking to be more Christlike. Whatever we say or do, we as a believer, should want to bring glory to Jesus. Think about your day to day life for a moment. Do you interact with your fellow man in a holy manner? I am not saying to be "holier than thou" but are you an example for the body of Christ?

Meditate for a moment on the majesty, awesomeness, and Holiness of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Stop and lift your hands in the air and praise Him. He alone is mighty, powerful, loving and forgiving. He is mighty to save and He does.  In 1 Samuel 2:2 in the Old Testament it says ' There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.'

PRAYER: I want to act in a holy manner as I go about my daily life Lord. I do not want to act self righteous and better than others but I want to seek to be holy as you are Holy. In Jesus' name. Amen. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

JOYFUL, JOYFUL


Recently I accidentally got ahead of someone who had been waiting at a local eating establishment. This individual gave me a really angry look. I apologized and said I was sorry but she still said nothing and just had this smirk on her face. People like this need prayer. My accidentally cutting in line should not have been reason to warrant  such a response,  so apparently this young woman had other issues on her mind.  Most the time I try to get people to smile but this girl was beyond smiling. 
Are there people in your life that tend to be complainers, grouches, and find negative in everything? Maybe it is even you? Joy is something that comes from deep within. God can give you that true joy. Do not allow those in your life who do not experience this rob you of your joy. Only God can transform a person and deliver them from a bad spirit. 
You can't expect to be joyful if you harbor resentment, wrong thinking, or a bad attitude. God can set you free! 'The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.' (Proverbs 10:28)

PRAYER: I want your joy Lord constant and ever present in my life. I know I can only have that by reading and living the word of God. Guide my steps each day to walk a life filled with joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

DREAM BIG!

Do you have a half full or half empty approach to life? Do you look at every problem coming your way and get overwhelmed? Does your attitude need an adjustment? Do you look at a task and think it is impossible?

In a nearby community in Tennessee I was thrilled to see a new coffee shop open where another one had apparently not succeeded. I told the owner I was very happy and hope they did well. I said I loved seeing small businesses start up and be successful. He responded to me, "I do not plan to be small for long". What a tremendous positive outlook!. He did not respond "I hope we make it but I fear this economy" but instead was positive. That is the attitude all of us need to develop.

Now I do not know where this owner stands with Christ or even if he was a believer but he sure had a can do attitude and was full of hope and a good outlook on things. All of us could learn a lesson in that. For me as a writer wanting to have a book someday I need to know I can and will do it and not doubt. entertaining wrong thinking only brings a person down and makes the enemy happy because he has you paralyzed that you are incapable.

Let me leave you with Philippians 4:13(NIV) which says 'I can do all this through him who gives me strength.'

PRAYER: I thank you for hopes and dreams you have placed in my heart Lord. I thank you that with your help I can succeed. I thank you Lord that I have the mind of Christ and choose to stop doubting and look to you as my strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

IS JESUS FIRST?



Do you love the Lord with all your heart, your soul, and your might like it says in Luke 10:27? Really? Are you on the throne of your life or is Christ? Really? Do you choose other activities over Small group, Bible study, or church? Why? Too busy. Prayer doesn't work. You would rather do other things.

Have you lost your "first love" that being Jesus Christ? If you are a new parent are you raising your newborn infant in the ways of the Lord already or the ways of the "world"? These are just a few things to think about.

Maybe you never asked Jesus to be Lord of your life. Perhaps you are a better Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Methodist, to name a few, than a follower of Christ. The enemy can trick you into thinking being a "church member" is the key to heaven. It is not. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:18(NIV) that 'The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.'

Pray and ask God to give you a "burning desire" for Him or pray for those loved ones who are drifting away to get a hunger for you again.

PRAYER: I love you Jesus. Forgive me if I have ever let the ways of the world the precedence over the things of God. Forgive me when I have turned my back on you. Bring back(fill in a name)to you in a mighty way. In Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

REPRESENTATIVE MILLER



No I am not running for state or national office. Do you realize all who claim to be Christians are supposed to be Jesus' "representatives" here on Earth?
I heard once that we should all ask of ourselves "if I were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict me"? Think that over for just a moment. How would you answer that? Don't say a church member or because you are baptized. Deep down have you asked Jesus to come into our heart and has there been a change? Do you get to know Him better by getting into His word daily?
We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:20(NIV) 'We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.' An ambassador is a representative. He or she is to set an example for whom they represent and not bring shame upon them.
So how do you represent Christ? Is there something you need to turn away from or give up to represent Christ better?
PRAYER: Lord indeed I am grateful to get to represent you each day. My prayer is I do it in a manner that brings you glory as I represent the King of kings and Lord of lords. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, February 7, 2014

THE CHAMPIONS



Today marks the beginning of the Winter Olympics. I always look forward to these games. I love to downhill ski and ice skate and am pretty much a winter girl at heart. It thrills me to see the tremendous skill of all the athletes in both the winter and the summer games. They all are hoping for an opportunity to stand on the podium and medal for their country. In the eyes of millions this makes them a true champion.
A true champion can be an athlete who wins a medal but there are many types of champions. In my opinion a real champion is one who allows Jesus to be Lord of their life and lives for Him in every area of life. There are athletes that have indeed given the glory to God in front of millions of TV viewers and this always warms my heart. Athletes in Action has a prayer ministry during the Olympics to pray for the athletes. Go to link below for more on this ministry.
In the meantime are you a champion for Jesus? 1 Corinthians 15:58(NIV) reminds us 'But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus.'

PRAYER: I know I am a true champion and have victory when I follow steadfastly after you and not the ways of the world. Help me to remember true champions live for Christ. In Jesus' name. Amen.

http://olympics.athletesinaction.org/prayer-strategy/

Thursday, February 6, 2014

WRONG THINKING


Do you struggle with wrong thoughts? By this I do not mean are you thinking of perverted things but do you allow patterns of wrong thinking to come into your head to the point you can convince yourself they are true?

The enemy is good at messing with a believers mind. You may think you have it all together, so to speak, but then a thought creeps in such as "I do not think so and so likes me" and then you begin to dwell on this. It is absurd to think we know what another is thinking anyway. It is necessary you fill your mind with God's word and then you will be less likely to fixate on irrational thinking.

A helpful scripture to commit to memory is 2 Corinthians 5:10(NIV) which says 'We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.' The action verb there is to "take captive". Just as a police or soldier may take a prisoner captive and lock them up, we too need to capture wrong thoughts and make them come in line with the teachings of God's Holy word. Start each day with prayer and a good dose of scripture and tell Satan he has to flee.

PRAYER: I choose this day and every day to not allow wrong thoughts into my head. I am aware of the enemies schemes to cripple me and make me less effective for Christ and messing ith my thinking is of them I choose right thoughts. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LOVE DOES NOT ENVY OTHERS


When you love someone you are happy for them and rejoice with them when good things happen in their life. You are not jealous of them if they get ahead, are honored, lose lots of weight , publish a book, get promoted, are voted queen, or win a race. It is tempting to feel envious of people who are succeeding when you may not be. God has a plan and purpose for everyone's life. Are you able to praise a friend who has had something good happen to them or do you get jealous?

Lately in the US government there is a move afoot to make people "without" envy those who “have“. They are calling it "income inequality". All this attempts to do is divide the classes of people and create envy. The more people hear this they start wanting other peoples things and their money, even if they did not work to earn it.

The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:17(NIV) that 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." That is simply put and easily understood. Be glad for what you have and thank the Lord for it. If you are reading this in the United States of America, no matter what your income level, you are rich compared to the rest of the world. It is time to rejoice and be glad and not glorify Satan by complaining and being jealous of others.

PRAYER: I am indeed grateful for the material blessings I have in my life Lord. Every time I start to want more or feel envy help me stop and thank you for the blessings you have heaped upon me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LOVE, LAUGH, LIVE!!


The three L's in my title are very important. You see them turned around the other way in stores selling merchandise proclaiming this. I would like to depart from this order and declare that Love should always come first. As I write this I am listening to a lady laughing with her friend. It delights my soul.

To love is to be kind, forgiving, generous, gracious, and peaceful among other things. Love should be your ultimate goal. Not in the sense of necessarily romantic love, but instead, being a "loving" person. In the past few devotions love has been the theme. Take a moment and read the thirteen verses of 1 Corinthians 13 again. If each person practiced those characteristics we would have a much more loving world. Once you work on love it is easier to laugh and to live! Love will help you live!

This year why not make love your aim? Proverbs 10:12(NIV) is a good guide for loving others. 'Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.'


PRAYER: I choose to practice love Lord. The enemy will attempt to get me to stir up strife by my actions and words but with your help Lord I will conquer Satan's attempts to get me to be ugly to people. In Jesus' name. Amen.See More

Monday, February 3, 2014

ARE YOU HIS HANDS AND FEET?



What have you done for Jesus today? Think about that for a moment. When you accept Christ as your savior you are His hands and feet in the lost and hurting world around you. An ambassador of sorts. Have you only done things for your own pleasure or have you made a difference in someone's life? The Bible does not use the words hands and feet but it tells us to go and share his love and make disciples in Matthew 28:19. 'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. When a person loves Jesus they should want to share that love with those around them even with something as simple as a smile.

The theme of love has been discussed the past few devotions. Certainly being the "hands and feet" of Jesus to a hurting world is a love gift. Jesus certainly always put people before himself. We are to emulate that when we go about our day as well. It is not normal for a person to think of other people first. Self centeredness is the norm most the time. Going beyond the call of duty and truly being a disciple of Jesus is something the world is not used to encountering.

PRAYER: As I go about my day Lord help me be aware of those around me who need a touch of God's love in their life. Guide me when to speak and give me the words to say. Help me to be a good loving representative of you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

WELCOME! NO TRESPASSING!!

 
February is considered the "love month' by many so I have been writing on the subject of love. Recently I saw a yard nearby displaying two distinct signs. The first was a little garden flag that read "Welcome" and just beyond that tacked to the side of the home was a sign that read "No Trespassing". It made me smile because the two are nothing alike.
First of all saying "welcome" shows love and hospitality and usually indicates you have a friendly personality. But to also have a sign telling folks to keep off your property is a contradiction of sorts. This does not show love at all.
What does it really mean to love and be kind anyway? Do we say we have love but then no action follows it? Romans 13:8 reminds us ' Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.' There may be well meaning Christians who have a church magnet on their car or a Jesus Loves Me bumper sticker but their actions behind the wheel are anything but loving.
Do you really display the love of Jesus? Just something to think about.
PRAYER: Love is a word often thrown around flippantly. I want to have the kind of love in my live where others can tell something is different and maybe be able to tell about Jesus as a result. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

BIND US TOGETHER IN LOVE

Are you a lover or a hater? Do you often find yourself judging others, talking behind someone's back, giving hand gestures driving, or talking bad about politicians?
How can we say we are "lovers" when we act hateful towards people? We may not agree with someone but our job is to pray for them. Being a "lover" is also being a light in the darkness and salt and light to the unsaved world around us. The mouth sometimes is a great indicator or our love walk. What things have spewed forth from your mouth lately?
If you have a problem in this area God can strengthen you, heal you, and set you free. Do you think Jesus ran around hating all those who disagreed with Him or hated Him? Of course not. He mainly said things like "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" in Luke 23:34.
Challenge yourself today to take an inventory of your thoughts and speech and see what is reflected in them. If there is hatred or ill will why not ask God to deliver you. Above all keep praying!
Colossians 3:13-14(NIV) reminds us 'Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.'
PRAYER: Jesus I know things make you sad in this world when people go against your word and hurt others. Also when man tries to change your Holy word to justify sin that breaks your heart. But still you do not hate. Help me to continue to pray and to be delivered from the desire to want to be ugly. Help me walk with a Christian attitude towards the vile and unlovely. In Jesus' name. Amen.