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.”


Daily Devotional – 8/14/12 “Obedience is better than …”

Well, everything because wouldn’t you rather be obedient than disobedient? I would think the latter would probably land you in trouble anyway, right? Yea, I know you’ve done some stuff that you thought you’d got away with, but baby the saying is true, “You may not reap where you’ve sown but you’re surely reap what you’ve sown.” It’s like stealing a pack of gum from the convenience store, not when you mistakenly take it while you’re holding it in your hand, but when you purposely walk in with the intentions of taking something without paying for it. Now, 2 days later, you’re looking for your wallet and guess what, someone stole it from you. You sowed the seed of theft, didn’t you? You didn’t get it back when you sowed it because you didn’t get caught but you’re reaping the consequences of your actions now because something has been taken from you. Doesn’t feel good, does it? Being disobedient never does. It’s like being told by your parent to be home at a certain time yet you choose not too and now when you ask to go out again, your disobedience from the last time is called into play and the answer will probably be no; when you should have followed the rules the first time. And it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 81 because if you’re disobedient, you’re just plain disobedient. Take a moment and think back over your life. Now, visit some of the times you’ve been disobedient and decided to do things your way. It probably didn’t work out exactly like you thought, huh? You know how you have this gut feeling to do it the right way yet temptation is whispering in your ear to do the wrong way and now you’re in a bowl of trouble that you can’t get out of. Oh, please don’t say it’s God testing you because James 1:13-14 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” See, God won’t tell you to keep his commandments and then tempt you into breaking them; He just doesn’t work that way. Yes, God sends us through tests but not through temptations. Come on, you know it wasn’t God that told you to steal from Wal-Mart and it surely wasn’t God that told you to sneak off at lunch for an afternoon snack with your coworker, so stop that foolishness. Temptations are fleshly desires that the enemy uses against us. It’s like when you want to stop smoking, he’ll make your urge for nicotine stronger or when you try to stop cursing and he’ll put the one person who knows how to get under your skin close enough to you to make you curse worse than a sailor.

However, being obedient is still a choice because it’s either you’re obedient or you aren’t. It’s like you being in the car heading to a place you know you have no business going and when you get to the red light, God tells you to go left to go home but you want to go right, into sin. You have a choice. Being disobedient isn’t something you slip into because you decide to walk in its direction which is why God is asking in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Don’t you know that God has promised a great reward if we are obedient? Don’t believe me? Isaiah 1:19 says, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Now, eating in this scripture doesn’t necessarily mean food because it can also mean you’ll eat worthiness, wealth, good health, knowledge and wisdom and if you’re obedient, imagine the doors that can be opened for you; just imagine the kind of protection you’ll receive and the gifts that will be placed on your hands. For Deuteronomy 28:1 says, “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth,” and Exodus 23:22, Jesus says, “If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you.” Isn’t that something? If you’re obedient to God’s words, you won’t have to worry about your enemies because God will handle them all, He’ll place you high enough to rule over folks and He’ll feed you real good. What more do you need? Please don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect by far because I still make mistakes but we all have to learn, don’t we? What I am trying to do is teach you and myself why we should be obedient and the reward we’ll get when we are. I am not trying to tell you that I am better than my neighbor or that I keep all of God’s commandments but when we know better, we should do better.

Because Isaiah 1:20 says, “But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken.” This means when I am disobedient I take myself from under the protection of God and the attacks that are cast against me by my enemies succeed. When I’m disobedient, all the mean things folk say about me reaches my ears, all the hurt sent reaches my heart, all the mud they sling reaches my feet, all the knives they throw reaches my back and all the snares/traps set for me, I fall in. All of these things hinder our work, for God, simply because we choose to be disobedient. Again, this doesn’t mean that God isn’t there because Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” but verse 24 picks up and says, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.” See, even though we sin and make mistakes, God is still forgiving but we can’t keep falling into the same pit every time because at some point you should know not to take the same route that has a pot hole in the middle. Being obedient to God’s commandments is better than being disobedient with man. When you’re obedient you gain better opportunities, more open doors and you can overcome obstacles because God rewards those who work righteously for Him. Will you always be obedient, probably not, but it doesn’t mean you continue to be disobedient. Repent for the times you’re disobedient or dishonest but don’t wallow in it. The only way for you to guarantee a ticket to hell is by continuing to be disobedient instead of confessing your sin and then asking for forgiveness. God would rather have an obedient follower who diligently seeks him over a disobedient worker who always offers him a sacrificial praise. Yea, you pay your tithes ever Sunday but you’re lying to God because your heart is harder than concrete. Mark 12:33 says, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” God wants you to keep his commandments because in doing so, you get closer to having your ticket stamped and approved for the journey home. Don’t allow disobedience to send you to a home that filled with the kind of heat you can’t endure nor turn off. You decide, today whether obedience is better than disobedience because it is your choice, after all.