Daily Devotional – 3/23/16 “Does God fit in your religion?”

“I’m so glad I got good religion,” but baby do you have God? Yes, I know you got religion but where does God fit in? I mean religion is people’s beliefs and opinions but God is your choice so again I ask where does God fit. See, our religion keeps us tied to old traditions that don’t have a scriptural backing but God keeps us tied to Him which allows us to save those lost even if it means changing what you’re used to. Religion pumps us up to think we’re in charge but having God lets us know we’re not. Religion places discord in the church, God deals in deliverance. Religion lets junk move about the church, God causes joy to abound. Religion will have you gossiping whereas God will have you girding your mouth. With religion you pick and choose your worship days but having God, worship is continually on your lips. Religion makes you feel authorized, God makes you feel anointed. Religion makes you think you have your own pew but God lets you know you have purpose. Having religion gives you the audacity to put your mouth on the man or woman of God but having God, you have the knowledge to know when to shut up. Yea, I know you have religion but where is God?

Many times as Saints of God, we get caught up in seeking religion that we forget about serving God when Matthew 6:1 says, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Chile, we get so overwhelmed by titles that we forget the teaching. We get so caught up in ‘tradition’ that we lose the real purpose of our calling. For the bible tells us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” We cannot do this being stuck in our religious practices. What may have worked for grandma may not reach the unsaved today. Please understand, it has nothing to do with the word of God because it never changes but it has everything to do with rethinking your traditions. Singing those hymns means nothing to the youth & young adults if you’ve yet to teach them the hymn. Doing responsive reading is fine if you let them know the reason behind it. You cannot continue to let Betty who is 82 run the youth department; she’s out of her league and era the same way Bro. Deacon who is 77 is out of his. Everything has a season including people in positions in the church. This is why we’ve got to get back to God and throw out some of this “religious” stuff. Yes ma’am, yes sir; your religion fits you well but where does God fit?

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Daily Devotional – 3/18/14 “Fasting and Praying!”

I know this is Lent Season and I’ve yet to touch on the subject of fasting and praying but that’s because fasting and praying is something I consider to be personal between you and God. See, I’ve always said, if you don’t broadcast what you’re doing then you minimize your chances of being talked about when you don’t do it right. Yea, I know it’s no one else’s business but if I put on Facebook every day for 30 days that I plan on getting back into my skinny jeans yet after the 30 days are up and I can’t fit in the skinny jeans nor any other pair then I can’t be mad when someone talks about my business because after all I am the one that put them in it, right? The bible says in Matthew 6:16-18, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Yea, as it was stated by Pastor last night in Bible Study, it’s alright to dialogue about your fasting when you’re asked but don’t boast about it so that people can notice you because it is then that you’ve received your reward for Matthew 6:1 says, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

When Jesus fasted He did so in the wilderness by himself as He prepared to begin His ministry because He wanted to have His mind free and clear in order to hear what His Father would have Him to hear. And it’s the same with us. No, we don’t have to go into the wilderness but before we make decisions that ultimately affects our entire life, we should consult with the Father and this should be done by fasting. And for the record, fasting isn’t only with food but it’s denying yourself anything that you love and when you want that particular thing you pray to God to sustain you, such fasting AND praying. No, you don’t have to wait until Lent to fast and pray because it can be done at any time however Lent is set aside to reflect on Jesus’ life, His sacrifice, His death, burial and resurrection until Easter Sunday. Fasting should give you time to repent for whatever you done that has taken you out of God’s way and it should give you time to meditate on God’s goodness. Fasting should also give you clarity in your mind to be able to hear from God without the clutter and messiness of day to day living. You don’t have to fast for 40 days and 40 nights, fast for 40 minutes and the next time increase your time just as long as you fast. Try it and you may just get the understanding you’ve been looking for. Try it and you may get that answer you’re seeking.