Daily Devotional – 11/11/13 “SAVED”

Yea, we all know that when we accept God into our life that He saves us but did you know that being saved means you’re Soaring Above Valleys Every Day? See, each day that you walk for God the enemy’s job is to knock you down and when he shows up, it’s not to make you wobble but it’s to make sure you fall hard enough to stay down. See, the enemy wants to make sure you fall into the lowest valley so that you may not have the strength to pull yourself out of but my bible tells me in Exodus 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him–my father’s God, and I will exalt him!” He wants to make sure you walk through the darkest valley so that you might not be able to see your way through but my bible tells me in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” He even wants you to get comfortable in your valley so that you’ll want to stay but what you need to do is remind that ole enemy that you’re saved which means you’re Soaring Above Valleys Every Day! Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” So why are you afraid of what the enemy pledges to do when you’re saved? Why are you running out of fear of what the enemy is throwing at you when you’re saved? Why are you hiding from the storm when you should be rejoicing in it? I mean, you are saved right? Then you should know that Psalm 91:2-4 says, “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease and He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.”

Stop stumbling and sinking yet stand up straight and strong. Stop scattering and start staying steadfast in your faith. Stop searching for what’s lost and seek those things that can be found. Stop sacrificing yourself and start serving God. Stop settling for anything and speak things as though they are. Stop suffering because you’re saved which simply means you can Soar Above Valleys Every Day because God is your strength and with Him you can defeat the enemy, reach that which was once impossible, be who they said you couldn’t, overcome that which broke someone else, recover from that which claimed someone else’s life, rebuild on the foundation somebody said was cracked, smile when someone tried to snatch your joy, live when somebody said you’d die, rise when they said you’d fall, walk when they said your knees would buckle from the pressure and survive after they stabbed you in the back. So if you’re SAVED then SAY IT and ACT LIKE IT!!

Daily Devotional – 2/27/12 “Monday’s mess is tomorrow’s message!”

Why do you complain about Monday, when it comes around the same time every week? I would think that if you’re walking on top of the dirt you should have something to be thankful for instead of taking it for granted. Yea, I know you had a long weekend and it seems to fly by although the week creeps slowly, but you’re still alive, aren’t you? Then be grateful. I know you didn’t act like you were supposed to act on Saturday, you didn’t go to church on Sunday, didn’t pay your tithes like you are supposed to and you didn’t thank God like you should but he kept you and you’re alive one more day to change, so start now. There isn’t any need to be mad at Monday because you partied all weekend, when you knew you had to be up to get the kids off to school and then off to work. Just be thankful that your kids got up and that you have a job to go to. Yea, it’s Monday which means a new week and the same routine where there are new responsibilities, new issues, new problems and same bills, the same money in the bank that was there the last time you looked, the same food in the refrigerator and you have the same kids with the same set of problems! So what? There will be circumstances that you face, every day, that seem like they are too big for you to handle. There will always be more bills than money, some dark clouds looming overhead, some sleepless nights, tears to be shed, going left when you should go right, being talked about, lied on, being overlooked for a job that should have been yours, being misused by so-called friends, hated on by family who is supposed to love you and sickness in your body. But these are just some of the things that have been promised because the bible says in Job 5:7, “People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.” However, no matter what you face, there is nothing too hard for God. God said he’d be our refuge in the time of trouble (Psalm 9:9). He said when we walk in darkness; he’d be our light & our salvation ( Psalm 27:1). He said when family forsakes you; he’d pick you up ( Psalm 27:10). When you feel like your enemies outweigh your friends, he said “I’ll make your enemies your footstool” Acts 2:35. He said, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” ( Psalm 27:5)

See, Monday comes with mess, Tuesday has Temptations, Wednesday brings weeping, Thursday has troubles, Friday holds failure but then here comes Saturday with strength that allows you to dance into Sunday with Soul Stirring Salvation that allows you to handle the recurring week of Monday mess, Tuesday Temptations and etc. Don’t be too hard on Monday because it’ll come again just as sure as you live. Yet, be thankful. Get up with joy and thanksgiving and then YOU set the tone for your day. If you allow God to direct your path, then you’ll have joy all day long, but if you allow the devil and his folks to steal the joy you got, then they’ve allowed you to push God to the back because God is your joy. If there is no joy in your face, your light of God is off which may mean you need to add some oil to your lamp by praying, fasting and studying God’s word more. Stop blaming the side of the bed you get up on, because it isn’t the problem when you know you sleep on the same side every night. Stop blaming your spouse because if they make you unhappy, leave. Stop blaming the job because if it has you stressed out, find a new one. Stop blaming the car because it wouldn’t start, God gave you legs so walk to the bus stop (you could use the exercise anyway). Stop blaming folk who keep letting you down when you knew they couldn’t keep a promise if it was tied to their arm. God says in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” Which means, even though the world brings you trouble, I’ve already taken over the world, so I got you covered, as long as I’m with you. Jesus says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” Now, the world hated Jesus enough to beat him all night long, drag him from judgment hall to judgment hall, make him wear a crown of thorns, speared in the side, nailed his hands and feet to a cross that he had to bear and afterwards buried him in a borrowed grave when he had done no wrong, so comparing your minor troubles to this, has no comparison. When you’re able to handle all those things, then you can complain but until then, rejoice in knowing that God never brings mess that doesn’t have a message.

So, stop wallowing in self-pity and doubt. Get up out the rut you’ve thrown yourself in and do something. If you don’t like your weight, exercise. If you don’t like your hair, cut it or add some to it. If you don’t understand the things in front of you, study. It’s not because it’s Monday that has you in a bad mood, but it’s you. Just as fast as Monday came this morning, Tuesday is on the way, so get prepared. Use Monday’s mess as a message, Tuesday’s Temptations as a testimony, Wednesday’s weeping as a weapon, Thursday’s trouble as a test and Friday’s failure as a footstool. Whatever you go through is not as a means to take you out but simply a way to prepare you for something greater. So smile, because your face and your attitude look better when you do.

Daily Devotional – 10/18/11 “You don’t know my story”

I met this young lady in class about 2 years ago and we seemed to really connect.  Each semester she would be in one of my classes and even though we didn’t hang out outside of school, there was still a friendship brewing.  When I looked at her I didn’t see that she had been dealing with dialysis and was in the need of a kidney transplant.  When I looked at her I didn’t see the struggles she faced trying to raise a family and attend school.  When I looked at her I didn’t know if she was in pain because it never showed.  All I knew was that God had placed us together for a specific reason and I am thankful that he did.  Why? Because it reminded me, that although you, see someone’s glory, you don’t know their story.  Although you see me smile on the outside, I am crying on the inside.  Although you see me living on the outside I am slowly dying on the inside. 

I got a call from my friend early this morning and she left a voicemail to let me know that she was having the kidney transplant today.  When I heard her say the words, tears welled up in my eyes because I know some of the struggles she has faced to get her.  From having dialysis 5 times per week and still maintaining or having a surgery scheduled only to get to the hospital to find out your insurance company cancelled you.  But that was God’s way of saving, it isn’t your time.  Yet, she held on.  I called her back and left her a message to let her know that God was working this thang out! I prayed for God to guide the hands of the doctors & nurses so that she can have a successful surgery.  I’m not worried because I know that God is in that operating room as we speak and to me that’s good news!

See, you may be facing some trials and tribulations in your life right now but your life isn’t over.  You can be going to work every day with a smile on your face all the while your checking account is in the negative and your rent is due.  You can be smiling at church on Sunday only to go home to an abusive spouse.  You can be the life of the party only to go home contemplating suicide.  You can help everybody that calls only to be one check away from eviction.  I may see your glory but I don’t know your story!   You can volunteer every time somebody calls but never get an answer when you call.  You feed folk that are hungry but don’t have an appetite!  You offer a place to sleep for anyone that ask, but can’t find rest for yourself.  I may not know your story but I know the author!

When the first chapter of your book started, it started off with a promise of storms.  For Job 5:7 says, “But a person is born for trouble as surely as sparks fly up [from a fire].”  But if you read on you’ll find comfort in knowing that even though the rain comes, you’ve been promised an umbrella to cover you while you go through.  2 Samuel 22:3,my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.”  When it feels like you are drowning, God said he’ll be your rock!  When it feels like you can’t face the world, God said he’ll be your hiding place and a protector from trouble (Psalm 32:7).  When it feels like there is darkness everywhere, God said I’ll be your light in dark places (Psalm 27:1). When your body is weak, God said he would be your strength (Exodus 15:2).

So, you have to go through this life’s journey in order to fill the chapters in your book.  You have to face the enemies that have been placed in your path; sickness, death, being lied on, talked about, used, abused and scorned; in order to have testimonies.  There is no way you can have a testimony without a test.  The first 4 letters of testimony is TEST (Taking Every Storm Tastefully)!  Haven’t you realized the devil doesn’t bother you when you already down?  That’s because while you’re down he is counting you out,  [1, 2, 3 …….], because he has already claimed defeat over your life.  But oh, thank God that even though he may knock us down he doesn’t get the KO victory because God steps right in before the 10 count and picks us back up.  See, God doesn’t mind you crying while you’re down because I’ve found that tears are liquid prayers that get through when you can’t say a word and God doesn’t mind the silence while you’re down because then you can hear him more clearly, just as long as you get up victorious.

Get up with your arms high claiming the victory over your circumstance.  Say, I may be temporarily out of funds now but it won’t last.  Say, I may be without a car now but it won’t last.  Say, I may be without a job now but it won’t last.  Say, I may be arguing with my spouse now but it won’t last.  Say, I may be sick now but it won’t last.  Say, I may be grieving now but it won’t last.  2 Corinthians 4:17 states “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Isn’t that worth shouting about?  All the troubles that we face now are just preparing us for what God has already promised!

I may not know your story but I can guarantee that it will be a best seller!  So, go on through the pain and the hardships that life throws at you because you have a shield that’ll protect you each time.  You may come out with a few scars but take a picture of them and put them in your book because they’ll add meaning to your story!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 “