Daily Devotional – 11/17/17 “What are you willing to sacrifice?”

I sometimes wonder why it has to be so hard, serving God. Yes, I understood I would have to sacrifice some time, some relationships, some invitations, some tears, some hurt and some moments of woes but what I didn’t realize was the ‘what else’. What do I mean? Well, there is something else that comes with saying yes to God. It’s called brokenness. David said to God in Psalm 51:16-17, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” See, when we come before God, willingly offering Him our broken spirit, it is then we are truly ready to be restored. Because having a broken spirit makes us as useless as a broken jug however coming before God makes me useful again. Not only that but a broken and contrite, that’s repentant, heart. A heart that is repentant is one that is willing to apologize, even if you did nothing wrong. These are the things God will not despise.

Sure, it’s good if I am willing to sacrifice my Saturday nights to study the bible but it’s even better to sacrifice my broken spirit nobody sees. It’s great for me to sacrifice food while I’m fasting but it’s greater to bring before God my broken and remorseful heart you think is whole and happy. Beloved, God isn’t looking at what we can physically offer Him, those things can be made in bulk, over and over again. What He desires are those things man cannot recreate. For God shares in Isaiah 66:2, “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Don’t misunderstand me, brokenness hurts but it’s not until death, only to deliverance. So, are you willing to give God your broken spirit and contrite heart even if it hurts? Are you willing to give God the parts of you that desire mercy even if you never get the miracle? Are you willing to withstand the brokenness even if blesses someone else? God desires all of us, even if that means Him breaking that which He created. And if God blesses us only to then break us; can you not imagine what the restoration will look like afterwards? I can it looks mighty good to me.

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Daily Devotional – 11/16/17 “Where is your attention fixed?”

I was watching an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy and a young man was bought in who’d been in an accident with his girlfriend. It was Valentine’s Day and the couple was arguing over the gift the boyfriend had given. It was a necklace. To the girlfriend, it was “another old necklace” and she’d expected an engagement ring. He kept saying to her, “you never even opened it,” but that didn’t matter to her because she was expecting the small, velvet box and that’s not what she got. His situation turned critical and when he slipped into a coma, she cried for him to wake up because now he was more important than a ring but it was too late, he died. While the intern was placing his personal items in a bag, she found the necklace, a locket and when she opened it; the inside said “will you marry me.” The girlfriend never opened the necklace because it didn’t look like what she was expecting. How many times have you missed out on blessings because it doesn’t look like what you’ve pictured in your head, pinned to your vision board or sketched in your journal? What have you thrown away, pushed out or walked away from that was actually meant for you simply because it doesn’t match your expectations?

Yes, I know you’ve been dreaming about your husband since college, pictured the house you’d live in and the car you’d drive, the business you’d start or the career you’d have but what if those expectations don’t measure up to what God has for you? What if your expectations weren’t high or big enough? Just what if, what you expected didn’t fit with your destiny? You have to know by now the plans God has for us may not fit within the vision we’ve dreamed, right? This is why His words say in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Beloved, His plans for us might not look like our plans. How do you see God’s plans? By focusing your attention on God. When Peter and John healed the lame man, they said to him, “Look at us.” The bible then says in Acts 3:5, “And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them.” Where is your attention fixed that could cause you to miss what God has for you? What you need may not look like what you expect. Don’t miss it!