Daily Devotional – 11/22/19 “Same grace!”

In Acts 27, when Paul was on a boat headed to Italy to stand trial, the winds began to pick up. No matter what course they took or boat they were put on, they were faced with wind that hindered travel. Paul advised in verse 10, “Men, I can see that our voyage will be filled with disaster and great loss, not only to ship and cargo, but to our own lives as well,” but they wouldn’t listen and kept traveling. Then the wind softened and those in charge thought they were good to keep going, instead they got caught up in a cyclone, a wind that most sailors feared because of the destruction it could cause.

They took measures to survive. They used cables to undergird the ship, to keep it from breaking apart. They sailed into the wind and gave up trying to sail the boat, to keep from crashing. They even tried to lighten the load by throwing the cargo and equipment overboard. It didn’t stop the storm. In fact, for days they didn’t see sun nor stars and hopelessness set in. Paul tells them, number one, you should have listened to me and number two, take courage because there will be no loss to life only to the ship but … but we must run aground on some island.

Run aground means shipwreck.

Paul knew he had the authority to declare these things because God had given Him the power just the night before. What does this mean for you? Two things.

1. You’re going to have to face the storm
2. You’re going to have to take a hit

BUT YOU WILL SURVIVE.

I don’t know what you’re facing, how strong the winds are, the many nights you haven’t seen the stars or the days you haven’t seen the sun. I don’t know why your storm has to be this hard or why you have to lose some stuff, but you will not lose your life. Yes, I know when the winds began to ease, you thought the storm was over but then they picked up again and this time it was worse.

Sister, brother; you will survive but you must take the hit.

How do I know you’ll survive? Because the same grace God gave Paul, sustained those around him. And I’m believing that this same grace is attached to my life and because you’re reading this, He’s giving it to you too. Yeah, God has given me the authority to declare to you that you will survive, so take courage. He has given me the authority to declare that this same grace is going to spare your life, but you can’t abandon the ship. The same grace is going to get you to dry land, but you can’t give up now.

You got grace covering you but you must weather the storm. Like Paul says in Acts 27:25, “So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.”

Daily Devotional – 11/21/19 “No doubt, belief!”

About a week ago I started experiencing blurry vision while at my computer. Now, you know a computer is something I frequent every day. From writing sermons, devotionals, books and working my 8 to 5; I’m always looking at some type of screen. I had my glasses replaced about six months ago and the doctor then told me it was time for bifocals because I was getting older, you know yada-yada. (I’ve also had an astigmatism for as long as I can remember.) The new glasses were hard to get used to so I alternated between them and an old pair I keep at work but nothing was helping, lately. It also doesn’t help that I have had vertigo. I believe God for total healing.

So, I prayed. I laid hands on myself and I prayed believing God can do it. “God, even when doctors can’t help, you can heal. God, I may not understand but you created the plan for my life, have your way. God, I trust you.”

This wasn’t the full prayer but along those lines. Anyway, I made an appointment with Eye Specialty Group and because it could be pressure they wanted me to come in, right away because some years ago, I had an issue with pressure behind my eyes. I get to the appointment and they do the usual vision test, dilate my eyes, test the pressure, look at the optic nerves and all that. I get to the doctor and he does his thing. Y’all, this man removes the machine thingy from in front of me and I’m bracing myself. He says, “your eyes are perfect. No swelling, no diabetes, no cataracts, no glaucoma and no pressure. Your distant vision is 20/20 and all you need is some readers for up close reading when your eyes get tired.”

Me, I’m like … say what now? I got glasses in my purse with bifocal lens.

He slides over to the table, gives me a sheet of paper and tells me to pull it close until its blurry. I tell him it’s blurry anyway because my eyes are dilated. He then puts a pair of readers, he uses over my eyes and it was like the sky opened and the angels were singing, ahhhh. Then he says, his readers were too strong for what I need and he’d write down the strength I could go by any store and pick up (see picture).

I know this isn’t the usual devotional but I need to tell somebody, this day, God can still do it! That’s it. I don’t know what you’re praying for, I don’t know what you’re waiting on, I don’t know what you’ve given up on but God can still do it. I’m sitting at my computer, right now, typing this with NO glasses and NO blurriness, NO dizziness … God can still do it!

When Peter was amazed that the fig tree Jesus cursed was actually withered, Jesus told him in Mark 11:22-24, “”Have faith in God,” Jesus said to them. “Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.””

No doubt, belief!