Daily Devotional – 12/11/18 “But what do you believe?”

I saw an episode of #Blackish where Dre (the dad) was serving on a jury that had to decide the fate of a young man, I believe for stealing. While in the jury room, Dre was adamant the young man was innocent but all the others were convinced he was guilty. In fact, they had their mind made up before the door was even closed. Yet Dre fought, every day, being the only not guilty vote. Yet as days went on, he started to believe what the others in the room were saying and on the last day, when they voted, he was the only one who voted guilty. The others finally started to believe what Dre was saying, even if it took it being restated by someone else, however they’d already worn Dre down. Due to this, he’d convinced himself that he had to be wrong. But what do you believe? It doesn’t matter about who’s in the room, what do you believe. When no one else is on your side, what do you believe? If it means losing, what do you believe? In Mark 8, Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do men say I am?” They replied verse 28, “And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.” In which Jesus replies, “But who do you say I am?”

Jesus knew what man thought but He needed to know what those who were with Him daily believed. See, it’s one thing to have those in the world believe something about you but it’s entirely different when it’s those you live with, eat with, sleep with and etc. I can take folk, over there, believing one thing but what do you believe, the one who I see every day. I can accept folk, who may not know me, to believe lies and rumors but you, the one who is with me all the time; you should know my character. I can halfway accept folk talking about me, who only know me through social media but you, the one who really knows me; what do you believe. After you weighed everything, what do you believe? After you’ve viewed the evidence, what do you believe? I know the opinion of pastor, sister, cousin and friend nem but what do you believe and will you stick to your beliefs. I know it may mean you won’t fit in out but what do you believe. You may even be talked about but what do you believe? Will you uphold your beliefs even in a room of unbelievers? Will you stand strong in your faith even if nobody at the table does? Bible shares in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

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Daily Devotional – 2/1/12 “Are you about the Father’s business?”

So many times we put our focus into negative things that takes us away from being about kingdom business when 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” But we spend more time gossiping on the phone with folks who spread lies faster than wildfire instead of inviting them to church with us on Sunday. We are quick to pass on an email containing mess than one that tells what the Pastor spoke about during morning worship. We are quick to forward a chain text of Talking Tom but we won’t forward a scripture. Why? Because we are worried about what folks think. Yes, I post statuses and devotionals, every day, about God and I could care less about what negative folks think. Why, because God has been too good to me not share with others. I have 511 Facebook friends and I can guarantee not all are saved, so the closest they may get to the goodness of God is through me, so why should I hide from it? I pray daily for the one whom maybe a doubter to become a believer, a sinner to be converted and a backslider brought back home and if it’s through this devotional then my work is not in vain. The bible states in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” See, if we work for God on our bad days, we’ll reap the benefits on our good days. If we work for God even when we don’t feel like it, he’ll give us the strength to carry on. If we work for God in the midst of our enemies, he’ll make them a footstool for us to stand on that lifts us up above them. I know that sometimes it feels like giving up/letting go is easier than holding on, but if you just believe and take God at his word he’ll bring you through, so that means you have to reach beyond the break in your rope and hold on! His word says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” See, even when it feels like you’re walking alone, you’re not. When it seems like you’re toiling alone, you’re not. When it seems like you going through all by yourself, you’re not. Genesis 28:15 says, “What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

Yes, God promised us trouble (Job 5:7) but he gives us strength to endure it. Job 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Yea, I know that death has snuck into your home but Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die and a time to plant and a time to harvest.” But even in your sorrow, God promises joy when the sun shines for Psalm 30:5 says, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Yea, I know that cancer has attacked your body, taken your hair, strength, courage and even a part of your body but God sent his Son so that we would be healed by the stripes he endured at the hands of his enemies. God didn’t have to send his only Son into the world so that we could be free, but he did. Jesus didn’t have to endure the Hell he went through for us but he did. He didn’t have to heal the blind, putting walking into the legs of the lame man, save the people by parting the Red Sea, heal the woman who bled for 12 years, cover the 3 Hebrew boys that were thrown into the fire, protect Daniel in the lion’s den or restore Job’s health and wealth, but he did.

Isaiah 53:4-12 says, “He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering. People would not even look at him. He was hated, and we didn’t even notice him. 4 But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. We saw his suffering and thought God was punishing him. 5 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds. 6 We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the LORD has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done. 7 He was beaten down and punished, but he didn’t say a word. He was like a lamb being led to be killed. He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet while its wool is being cut; he never opened his mouth. 8 Men took him away roughly and unfairly. He died without children to continue his family. He was put to death; he was punished for the sins of my people.9 He was buried with wicked men, and he died with the rich. He had done nothing wrong, and he had never lied. 10 But it was the Lord who decided to crush him and make him suffer. The Lord made his life a penalty offering, but he will still see his descendants and live a long life. He will complete the things the Lord wants him to do. 11 “After his soul suffers many things, he will see life and be satisfied. My good servant will make many people right with God; he will carry away their sins.12 For this reason I will make him a great man among people, and he will share in all things with those who are strong. He willingly gave his life and was treated like a criminal. But he carried away the sins of many people and asked forgiveness for those who sinned.”

Jesus endured it all just so that we could be free to sin and all he asks us to do is repent and we can’t do that. He went through so that we could have all we need and all we have to do is ask him but we’d rather steal. He suffered for 3 days and all he asked us to do was love one another but we’d rather hate. All he said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments (John 14:15),” and we can’t even do that. We sleep with folks who don’t belong to us, we lie on our neighbors because it makes us look good, we kill because someone looked at us wrong, we don’t honor our mother and fathers because we think they owe us what they give, we idolize cars and material things like they are our God, we take the Lord’s name in vain every chance we get and we surely don’t treat the Sabbath day as a holy day, when this is all God has asked. No one knows when their time will come to die, but wouldn’t you rather be sure of your destination before you leave? I would imagine that you wouldn’t get on a bus with a ticket that says destination unknown so why would you send your soul to an unknown place? God has already given you everything you need to have your ticket stamped and approved with the destination of your choice but it’s up to you to decide which one it’ll finally be. The good thing is, you’re still here today and you can still make the decision by asking God to forgive you of your sins and to clean your heart. Don’t keep putting it off because you might not get the opportunity too.