Daily Devotional – 9/25/18 “Check the reins!”

God isn’t upset at the size of your offering but He may be a little taken back by the way you give it. Bible shares in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In other words, give what your heart has already decided but do so gladly, not reluctantly. Can we be honest? Sometimes we think, the more we give the more God will give to us. Truth is, He will give us what we deserve because God does not reward us based on the quantity but He will by the quality. Beloved, God rewards our faithfulness and the pureness of our heart. You don’t have to take me at my word but bible shares in Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” This is the KJV because I need you to get the full understanding of just how much your heart dictates your reward. Sure, you can be the best tither but how’s your heart? You can be the most devoted member but how’s your heart? God searches the heart and He tries the reins.

What are reins? We know them as the straps we hold and use when we ride a horse but it also means the seat of the feelings or passions. Seat = base. To break it down, the base of your feelings or passions, the underlying foundation or simply how you truly feel. Jeremiah 17:11 continues by saying, “As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, So is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly; In the midst of his days it will forsake him, And in the end he will be a fool.” You cannot prosper from something that is not yours and this is why you have to check the foundation of your giving. If you give just to be seen, you need to check the rein. If you sow for privileges, you need to check the rein. If your offering is to outdo others, you need to check the reins because God does not reward us by the size of our giving but He will by the character of our heart.

Dear God,

Forgive me. Forgive me for thinking my unwillingness to give would be overshadowed by the amount I sowed. Forgive me for trying to bribe you with my behavior. Create in me, a new heart rooted firmly in you and remove anything that does not fit because God, I want to be rewarded because you’ve searched my heart and found me to be due the honor. I want to be rewarded because you’ve tried the reins and they are righteous. I want to be rewarded because my ways are aligned to your ways and they are good. I want a reward that shall sustain and maintain, not forsake me. Thank you God for it is in your name I pray. Amen.

Daily Devotional – 2/14/17 “Create in me, oh Lord!”

Love doesn’t hurt people but it is those people who have been hurt who do. Yes, I know it’s cliché to talk about love on Valentine’s Day however, there are a lot of people who have never felt genuine love from anyone. It doesn’t matter how many relationships you’ve been in, if you are harboring an unhealed wound, i.e. hurt, you won’t be able to allow genuine love in. This is why you always lash out, especially on days like today. This is why you start arguments when you don’t know how to respond to the affection he/she is given you. This is why you have trust issues that makes you go through phones and social media accounts. This is why you get upset at small things like him/her liking other people’s photos or them not responding to you right away. Why do you think you act out when they go out with their friends? It’s because you’ve been hurt and your mind takes you there, thinking they’ll hurt you too. So you set out to hurt them before they hurt you.

Beloved, what happened to you? Who hurt you? Who made you feel unloved? What turned your heart to stone? Why is the wall up? Who did it? And why haven’t you forgiven yet? These are all the questions you need to answer in order to get free. Aren’t you tired of carrying around a heavy heart? Are you not tired of crying over the same stuff? Are you not ready to come out of the hurt and dark place? Aren’t you ready to know what good love feels like? Even Anita Baker got it for she says, “Ah, many days it goes unspoken but this desire never seems to go away. It’s gonna take much more than hope to bring you close, I think I’ll pray – I want to know what good love feels like.” What about you? Are you ready?

Dear God,

Help me to forgive those who hurt me so that I may love and be loved again. Remove this heart of stone and create in me a new heart, restore the joy God. Search me and remove everything that keeps me on unsteady ground because I’m tired of carrying this heavy load of a battered heart. I need more of you so that I heal from the inside out. I need more of your love within me that I might love myself, first. Do it for me God!

Amen

matters-of-the-heart