One of the best decisions I have ever made was dropping out of PEOPLE-PLEASING UNIVERSITY and enrolling in GOD-PLEASING UNIVERSITY. I didn’t fit in at PEOPLE-PLEASING UNIVERSITY! Whatever I did seemed to be wrong. I didn’t talk right. I acted weird. I was too weak. I have heard it all! I literally broke myself down trying to get attention and please others. In the mess I had put myself in, Jesus came along and filled out my drop slip from PEOPLE-PLEASING UNIVERSITY. I then enrolled in GOD-PLEASING UNIVERSITY where I am assured that I am loved no matter what. I am enough. I am not too this or too that. I am blessed. I am assured that God created me to stand out and not fit in. I can’t bring God glory by looking and acting like the world. I must stand out so that others are inspired by it. Is it time for your drop slip to be filled out? “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Sometimes, we talk entirely TOO much. A lot of us lack disciplining our tongues. Too much talking can lead to sin, gossip, not listening, boasting, flattery, idle talk, profanity, and DESTRUCTION. Disciplining our tongues is not an easy task but it is possible. Dedicate your heart, mind and tongue to the Lord on a daily basis. Ask God to give you awareness of your words. Give up your right to complain or whine. Ask for forgiveness for any unloving words. Practice speaking words that encourage, comfort, enlighten and inspire. Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” -Psalm 141:3
How many are familiar with the “holier than thou” attitude? The “holier than thou” attitude means placing yourself on a pedestal as if you can’t fall off at any time. It means passing judgment on everything and everybody else.. It is wearing convictions like a crown and condemning others who don’t share the same thoughts and ideas as you do. It means demanding respect but hardly ever giving it. It means twisting Bible verses to support your own opinions and behavior. It means driving people away. I have come across many who say that they don’t go to church because too many Christians act like they don’t have faults and are always doing and saying overbearing things. As Christians, let’s pay close attention to how we interact with others. We shouldn’t be judging or offending others. We must practice humility and not pride. HOLY and HOLIER THOU ART are two different roads. Being HOLY produces humility, gentleness, kindness and self-control. Being HOLIER THAN THOU produces arrogance, pride and self-righteousness. Which road are you on? “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13).
Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” What does this verse tell you about the Lord’s joy? Read it again. God’s joy stems from the close relationship He has with us and the love He has for us. His love for righteousness and His hatred for wickedness. So what is our strength? It is the revelation of who Our Father is. It is rejoicing in Him. Once you discover this, transformation takes place within you and the circumstances of life will never have a negative impact on you again. The Lord’s joy will help walk you through anything.
One day, while going through a deep depression stage in my life, I recall my mom coming to my home to see about me. It was so dark in the house that she was literally running into stuff. She finally made her way to the windows opening up all of the curtains and blinds so that the light would shine in. She told me, “Stop laying up here in the dark and get you some sunshine! Darkness is the devil! Get up from here!” Then along came a lady that I call, “Momma D” who told me something similar. Now that I look back on what they said, I can honestly admit that I am happy I followed their advice. I did need sunshine. I did need light. And I found HIM. It was Christ! And now that I have let His Light in, I have no intentions on letting anyone or anything dim His Light that shines within me! Some say my light is too bright. Some say my joy is too much or not real. Some mustake my joy for flirtation. But I am so glad that God did not say that! When others don’t know your story they won’t really understand your joy. But let it shine! God doesn’t hide us so why hide Him? Christ says, “You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).
For some, Resurrection Sunday means wearing new attire such as a dress or suit. For some, it means showing up at church for the first time in a while. For some, it means preparing a family dinner and spending time with family and friends. For some, it means just lounging on the couch. All of that is good but what does the Resurrection of Jesus Christ really mean? it means believing that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. It means knowing that God is for us and not against us. It means believing in all of God’s promises. It means being confident of God’s Power. It means all of this, not just on a Sunday, but each and every day. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Flooding. Earthquakes. Fires. Tornadoes. Death. Disasters are happening all around us nearly every day. Before the fall of Man, the world was perfect. Sin, however, ruined that. The world we live in is broken, so disasters will take place. Some may wonder is God punishing us. Others wonder if this is God’s way of getting our attention in this broken world. But I wonder if this is God’s way of getting us to come together. To pray for one another. To encourage one another. To support one another. To point each other towards Christ. Wasting time complaining about the broken world doesn’t glorify God; but a unity of praising Him does. Take time to pray for togetherness on today. Pray for togetherness that allows the Light of Christ to shine in the darkness of disaster. Pray for togetherness that sticks close to God. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:25).
Some days, I literally want a plane to fly down, swoop me up, fly me to a beautiful place and drop me off for a day or two. A place where no one knows my name and no demands await me. A place where I can exhale and rejuvenate. I wasn’t going to write a devotion today but God had to remind me of “my resting place” and that is, IN HIM. That is WRITING ABOUT HIM. God also reminded me that I don’t need to go to some beautiful place and find rest because REST IS WITH ME ALWAYS and that is HIM. So today, I detached being overwhelmed from demands to deliver this devotion to you. You may be stretched beyond your ability right now. You may have demands screaming at you from every way. Take time to STOP and let God lead you into A RESTING PLACE IN HIM. Breathe. Know that you are only one person with two hands and two feet. You can’t do everything. You can’t please everybody. But do perform the best that you can. God is good with that and you should be, too. Knowing this helps you to find rest and rejuvenation. Father, thank You, for providing a resting place in You where I can silence the screams of demands. Thank You for Your Peace that calms the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Have you ever seen a house setting up with the doors tore down, windows knocked out, pain peeling terribly, and the entire house leaning? These houses look like they can collapse at any time. That house symbolizes us when we get out of control. When we let others get to us. When we harbor unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts. When we allow situations to dictate our moods and emotions. We fail to realize that when we allow others to do this, we give them power to destroy us. And we look like the house I just mentioned. Get in God’s Word and know who He is. When you learn who He is, you will know who you are. Christ teaches us to make God’s Word the foundation of our lives so that we can withstand it all! “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock” (Matthew 7:24).
I am no science expert but something sparked my attention this morning in my news feed. The international Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) captured the image of a black hole. Astronomers are all worked up and stunned by this (photos can be seen online). Black holes are massive objects that produce a strong gravitational pull that not even light can escape. When I think of this, I think of the black hole of sin that attempts to keep us bound. Sin is almost like a gravitational pull that constantly weighs us down. The devil never rests. Never! But neither does God! His grace is free for all who will accept it. God sent His Only Son to pay for our sinful ways because He doesn’t want us to fall into the black hole of sin. David (in the Bible) had fallen into sin but was delivered. He reminds us that, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).