Daily Devotional – 2/13/20 “How are you loving you?”

Here it is, Valentine’s Eve. The stores are filled with teddy bears, candy shaped hearts, chocolates and cards of love. Flower shops and jewelry stores are overflowing. Restaurants have double stocked for the crowds. Yet, the sad reality is, some of you haven’t felt loved in a long time. It’s not that you haven’t tried, but you find yourself on the receiving end of hurt. You’ve fasted and prayed but still feeling fatigued and passed over. You’ve tried the relationship thing, sometimes giving the same person chance after chance and in return, nothing.

Right now, you’re probably looking at a text or inbox from somebody of your past and you’re contemplating answering because you’re longing for love. Well beloved, before you make a rash decision to accept the chocolate, respond to the “Happy Valentine’s Day. You know I’ve never stopped loving you” text, take them up on their offer of dinner or open the door to your past; stop and think. Before you get under the influence of drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, lust and/or plain stupidity and do something you might regret; stop and think. How did the handle you, the last time? If it left you with unhappy tears, weight and the thought of acting out; STOP! You don’t need a warm body, a shabby promise or a generic gift to make you feel loved; love your doggone self.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say when I have a whole husband at home who loves me but baby, I love me too. I didn’t always, though. Y’all know my story. I went through a period of messing up because of me. I didn’t feel worthy of anything because I didn’t love the face I’d see. Child, I had to survive me. Now, baby, you can’t tell me nothing about me. I love me! Every pound, scar, flaw and everything else. I had to love me otherwise I’d keep accepting anything, dishing out anything, falling for the lust disguised as love and I’d never know what true love is; even from God.

Look, I’m not trying to be in your business, I only want you healed. See, truth is, some of you have spouses or in a relationship yet you don’t feel loved. It has nothing to do with said spouse, it’s due to the inward battle with self. Maybe it’s because of past abuse, loss and mistakes. Maybe it’s family issues and you never felt love by your parents. Maybe you don’t feel worthy because of how you used to treat people. Beloved, forgive self and LOVE YOU!

This Valentine’s Day, if you’re not in a relationship; buy your own flowers and chocolates and get dressed and take yourself out on a date. Don’t rush into something because you’re ready for someone to occupy the other side of the bed. Don’t rush because you’re ready for your last name to be changed. And don’t hate love.

Bible shares in Matthew 22, verses 36-39, when the Pharisees asked Jesus; “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

The love you have for self, is the love you’ll give. How are you loving you?

Daily Devotional – 2/12/20 “For I know the plans…”

God has a plan for each of our lives. No, for real, He does but most of us don’t believe it because it isn’t manifesting like WE think. We’re looking at where we are, currently, and don’t believe God can perform miracles there. We’re looking at our condition and believing the enemy when he says, God won’t dwell there. He’s a bold face lie! God dwells everywhere, and He hasn’t forgotten us. But sometimes, we may have to endure a place before we get to the place.

In Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah wrote a letter, from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets, and all the others Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. He tells them, this is the word of God concerning you.

Jeremiah 29:5-9, “Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. Seek the prosperity of the city to which I have sent you as exiles. Pray to the LORD on its behalf, for if it prospers, you too will prosper.” For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Do not be deceived by the prophets and diviners among you, and do not listen to the dreams you elicit from them. For they are falsely prophesying to you in My name; I have not sent them, declares the LORD.”

See, the people of Israel were in Babylon being held captive BY GOD’S DOING. However, the fact they could receive a letter, build, start families and increase; signifies although they were being held captive, they weren’t being treated like prisoners. Some of you, you’re in an unfamiliar place but you still have the ability to produce. You simply need to get out of your own way and head. Stop looking at the place and believe God’s promises. Sure, it may be what you want, you may have planned to be further ahead by now or in a different place in your life; but what if this is God’s doing. For Jeremiah goes on to say in verses 10-14,

“For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’”

You may not hear God but He’s still listening, providing and protecting. Why? Because of the thoughts He has towards you. Yes, your current place may not be familiar, but the ground is still fertile. Your current place may not be Jerusalem, but God’s power is still justified. You need to trust HIS plan. Stop listening to people who don’t even have God’s ear. If you want to know the plans God has for you, ask Him and He’ll show you. David says in Psalm 40:4, “How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, and has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.”