Daily Devotional – 1/20/16 “Offer them a seat!”

I’ve learned on this journey that you’ll have more folk in the audience of your life who can’t stand you than those who say they support you. Yea, you’ll have folk mixed into the crowd who actually came to see if this will be the time you fail. There will be folks who say they are happy for you, downing you behind your back. Those who claim they will be there will never buy what you’re selling yet they’ll show up to eat and then have the nerve to want something free. Well beloved, it comes with the territory of your gift. You don’t have to believe these printed words, just keep living. There are people who show up on Sunday mornings, not for the preached word but to see if this will be the day you mess up. Folk on the job are waiting for you to say something wrong in the meeting. So called friends are waiting to get some juicy gossip on you. And here you are still trying to figure out how they got in. It’s simple; God allowed them access to you. Turn to your bible and read where it clearly states in Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me, even in the presence of my enemies.” See, God has given your enemies access because He needs them to see His word being manifested in you. Why? Eventually they’ll stop hating and really start congratulating and maybe they’ll want to get to know the God you serve.

Give them a seat

What do you do? Keep walking in God’s way and using your gift. Stop worrying about what folk say because there’s only fifteen dedicated folk in your congregation, your book doesn’t have as many reviews as theirs, your car is over ten years old, you haven’t upgraded your house yet, you’re still unmarried, your children didn’t go to college, your spouse isn’t like theirs and your event didn’t sell out. Stop focusing on why you keep bumping into naysayers or folk with the look of ‘I told you so’ in their eyes. Don’t put too much stock into those who make it their mission to knock you off your mission because God has granted them front row access but they can’t harm you, all they can do is look. For my bible tells me in Psalm 138:7, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.” So be nice to those who wants to see harm come your way, be kind to those trying to make you stumble and smile at those who only say mean things about you because the bible says in Proverbs 25:22, “In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.” Beloved, when you don’t entertain the enemies, it makes them burning mad they didn’t get you. And when your anointing allows you to offer them a seat at your table, it makes them hot with anger they didn’t win this time either. Let them sit, they have no authority!

Daily Devotional – 7/23/14 “Change comes!”

It only takes a moment for your life to change. For some, change comes by force and for some by choice. For some, change comes with the birth of new life and for some, the death of someone you’ve loved. For some, change comes with a promise that is broken and for some promises kept. For some, change comes with the word approved and for some it comes with the word denied. For some, change comes with time and for others change comes because of time given. No matter what the reason, change comes. Sometimes change can be mind-boggling and hard to understand yet it happens anyway. You can go from working 25 years on your job to being unemployed by the time a 15 minute meeting is over. You can go from well to sick after leaving the doctor’s office for your annual physical. You can go from sick to well after a two hour surgery. You can go from walking and depending on folks to riding with the approval of your loan. Your home can go from happy to hell with one mistake you can’t take back. Isn’t that something? This is why you have to stay prayed up. It doesn’t matter that you have your plans made, schedule laid out and goals set because it can all change in an instant. No one ever plans to be in a wreck, get sick or have a flat tire but it happens. No one ever plans to be late paying bills but it can happen just ask the person whose car quit unexpectedly.

Yes, sometimes change is good even when we don’t see the good then. You don’t see the good, now, in momma no longer suffering on this side when her death date was declared but you will. You don’t see the good, now, when that door is shut in your face but you will. You don’t see the good, now, in the suffering you have to go through but you will. How do I know? Well, it’s because everything you go through in your Christian life is ordained by God. Don’t take my word for it but God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” so we have to press on. Then the bible tells us in Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble,” so we have to walk on. 1 Peter 2:9 tell us, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,” so we have to get up and go on! Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” so we cannot stop now! And then Psalm 138:7 tells us, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me,” so we have no choice but to fight on! Yes change happens, it shows up unexpectedly sometimes, it may have tears with it, sometimes even hurt but then sometimes it shows up with the smile we’ve needed and the happiness we’ve missed yet however it comes, it comes!

With change comes a charge that God has sent forth and it’s not to chain us to our circumstance but it’s simply to convert us from our current condition, clothe us in our commitment, to comprehend God’s commandments and to consecrate our calling. Change isn’t always good but it comes whether we want it to or not.