Daily Devotional – 7/3/18 “Overstaying your welcome!”

You cannot blame folk for the conditions you find yourself in, when you are the one overstaying your welcome. In Matthew 10, when Jesus sends the 12 apostles out, He did so giving them authority over unclean spirits AND with instructions. He told them don’t travel the road of the Gentiles or enter the Samaritan towns but seek the lost sheep of Israel. He told them what to preach, what to carry and not carry, what house(s) to stay in and those to leave. Bible shares in Matthew 10:11-14, “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy and stay at his house until you move on. As you enter the house, greet its occupants. If the home is worthy, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not welcome you or heed your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” Had they overstayed, they would have been outside of Jesus’ instructions. Some of you are finding yourself in unbearable conditions because you didn’t follow the instructions. You know God told you not to go but you did anyway. However, you didn’t just go and visit but your silly self moved in and now you’re crying, acting like you don’t know why you can’t sleep. You weren’t supposed to be there. God showed you the signs and you still went. God answered your questions and you still haven’t packed up and left. Stop staying in placing you are not welcome.

How do you know you’ve overstayed your welcome? You’re uncomfortable. Think about it. How well do you sleep in an uncomfortable place? Can you truly get peace in a place that is painful? Can you let your guard down in a place you don’t feel safe? I can answer it. NO! Some years ago, when I first accepted my calling, God told me it was time for us to move from the apartment we were living in. Our lease was up and although we had signed a new lease, it couldn’t be found. We didn’t realize it but it was God working. He was forcing us out of our uncomfortable place. And because we were obedient, our life changed suddenly. I have shared this before but we’d overstayed our welcome and I knew it but I was being stubborn. Yet, He told us to move. No lie, one weekend we packed our entire apartment without having a place to stay and it was the best decision we could have ever made. When we stopped overstaying our welcome, our life changed. Who are you that has overstayed your welcome? Who are you that is ignoring God’s command to move? Keep staying, if you want but you cannot blame folk for the conditions you find yourself in when you are the one who will not follow instructions and overstaying your welcome. Proverbs 25:17, “Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.”

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Daily Devotional – 6/25/18 “From religion to relationship”

I had the opportunity to preach a message on yesterday, “from religion to relationship,” and it made me realize the many of us who have yet to form a relationship with God. Oh, we got the look down but not the link. We talk religion but we are terrible at relationship and I think its fear of commitment. I know because it took me getting older to see all I really had was the pattern of church but no purpose. I would get up on Sundays and dress to look like church folk. Join in worship pretending as if I belonged but then I’d leave still full of hell but I had religion. I’d sing in the choir and turn around and cuss folk out but I had religion. I’d be involved in programs but I’d walk by somebody I didn’t like without speaking but I had religion. I’d gossip about the same folk I just worshiped with but I had religion. But having religion wasn’t getting me anywhere because I was being used by the enemy and I knew it. In the world, I was smiling and going home to my sunken place but I could play the part of religion well. I would sometimes cry myself to sleep because I was drowning in debt but I wore religion well. I got good at playing religion yet had I died, I probably couldn’t have even recognized Jesus. Here I was, faithful to religion but failing at having a relationship with God.

And if I can be honest you are the same. You got religion down but no relationship. This is why you can easily give up when suffering starts to hurt, why you don’t trust God like you should and the reason you can easily cheat with the enemy. There is no commitment because there is no relationship. If there was, you wouldn’t run when times get hard. Yesterday, I used the analogy of religion being like dating and relationship like marriage. When you are dating, it is easier for you break up because when you’re married, there is a piece of paper that binds you that usually takes a judge to dissolve and with dating, there isn’t. Sure, you believe in God but that’s just religion because if you were in a relationship, your belief would show. Why do you think there are exchanging of vows, rings and the last name in a marriage? You are now letting folks know you are in a committed relationship. Can folk tell you are in a relationship God? Is it evident by your walk, talk and living or are you still in the dating phase? At some point, you’ve got to commit and take this thang from just dating (religion) to marriage (relationship.) When you do, you reap the benefits of having your name changed to favor and a partner to be there when you need Him.