Daily Devotional – 4/17/18 “A solid foundation!”

Growing up, we were raised in church. We participated in Vacation Bible School, Lock-ins, Angelic Choir, BTU, Sunday school, worship service, mid-week service; you name it. And we didn’t have a choice. To grandma, worship and serving God was sacred and if you were raised in her home, near her home or you were attached to her in any way; you were going to church. Yet, here’s what I know. Being dragged to church didn’t stop us from making mistakes. Read this well; it doesn’t matter how much you make your children go to church, it will not stop them from making mistakes. Heck, if I can be honest, there are a lot of grown folk who show up FAITHFULLY and are still FLAWED. But this is because, being in fellowship is not about making you not flawed but it is about building a foundational relationship with God. See, when people ask me about my upbringing I tell them, my upbringing is what continually brings me up because a foundation was laid and it is solid. Sure, I wandered away. Yes, I did some things I am not proud of. Of course I made (make) mistakes but my foundation is solid. This means, when God has to send a storm to knock away the mess, my foundation is still solid and I can rebuild. Don’t get me wrong, children need to be in relationship with God but no matter how much you drag or make them go to church, it has to be their choice.

However, DO NOT stop dragging and making them go because while they are sitting there acting as if they are not paying attention, the foundation is being laid. When they complain about going to another service, the foundation is being laid. When they want to rebel, the foundation is being laid. While, we are not making them into who we want them to be, we are starting them out on a solid foundation, which is Jesus and when the foundation is strong, it can withstand. It is not about us but it’s about instilling God. Bible shares in 1 Corinthians 3:5-11, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. He who plants and he who waters are one in purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise master builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Give them a solid foundation and they will always find their way back to it.

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Daily Devotional – 4/16/18 “You didn’t win!”

I used to wonder, no; if I can be honest, I used to question God about folk who’ve done me wrong. I mean, how can they be prospering when they owe me? How can they be happy when they know they’ve done me and others wrong? God, how can they be receiving blessings when they know they haven’t acted accordingly? I felt some type of way but then God checked me. He asked me some questions, hard questions that hushed me. He asked, “Have you missed a meal?” “Have you not been happy?” “Have you not been blessed in spite of?” “Have you suffered because of what they didn’t do?” Then He went a little bit deeper. He asked, “How do you know I’m the one blessing them?” “How do you know if they are really prospering?” “How do you really know?” Truth is, I didn’t know but I assumed because people have become great at pretending. See, while I may see their smiles, what I don’t see is their secret suffering. While I may see their “posted” blessings, I don’t see their private pain. Yes, they look prosperous, outwardly but inwardly, they need pills to give them peace.

Understand; their suffering, pain, midnight crying sessions, doubts and etc. is not due to their misuse of me but it’s due to the abuse of God’s commandments. Furthermore, I had to understand something else; their mistreatment of me (and others) is just who they are and this is why you have to take people at face value. Yet, I have come to understand that while you thought you were hurting me; you were in fact teaching me, growing me and giving me room to be blessed. So thank you! Now, instead of questioning God or worrying about them; I thank them for the lessons. Instead of praying for their downfall, I pray for them to find what they need to treat people better. Instead of wishing them hard, I ask God to give them the best of everything because what they took from me, God gave back double. I’m not bragging, I’m simply letting them know, you didn’t win but I thank you for the lesson. For the bible tells me, in Exodus 23:22, “But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”