Daily Devotional – 9/21/17 “You are free, now what?”

Now you have to choose. Usually when an inmate is released, they are given conditions. Well, today we change that to choices. See, no one should have to make you change, you should want to choose too. This is why, you was not released on probation where you are threatened into behaving. Neither were you given house arrest, you should not have to be monitored and watched. Ma’am/sir, these are simple choices, you can choose, to ensure you stay free.

  1. Remove the clothes of bondage – You are no longer a prisoner. Remove the clothes, discard the prison number, change your mindset and embrace your freedom. Galatians 5:1, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

  2. Be committed to remain free – According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 47% of prisoners who are released end back up in prison within three years. In my opinion, they have a hard time getting accustomed to not being locked up, especially if they started going to prison during the formative years of their life. This is why you must have a committed mind to be free. Romans 8:5, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”

  3. Cut ties with those of your former – If you are surrounded by folk whose mindset hasn’t changed, you need to sever ties and be okay with it. 1 Peter 1:14, “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.”

  4. Forgive yourself – Yes, you have made mistakes. Yes, you have done wrong. Yes, you knew better but forgive yourself. There is an entire world you have yet to see, come out of the bondage, beloved. Ephesians 4:22, “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.”

  5. Stop allowing folk to call you by mistakes/condition – Sometimes you have to reintroduce yourself to people who only knew you by what you used to do, go through or be. Yes, you may have known me as this but I’m no longer that, allow me to reintroduce myself. Romans 14:16, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.”

  6. Above all else, choose God – Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will have some moments of wanting to give up. Yes, it may look like your past will never leave you alone. Yes, it may seem as if you cannot shake loose who you used to be. But choose God because He has the ability to use us and call us holy and it does not matter what we look like, what we’ve done or who we used to be. Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

You are free and you can stay free because the bible says in Romans 6:16, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” What will you choose today?

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Daily Devotional – 3/6/17 “Are you ready for what you’re grasping for?”

In a meeting this morning, one of the attendees said, sometimes you can reach for more than you can grasp. But is this true? Can we, as children of God, reach for more than we can hold? Can we seek for something bigger than what we can understand? Can we move outside of what we can effectively comprehend? The short and quick of it is, YES. Now, this isn’t because we aren’t entitled to it but it is because we aren’t ready to handle what we’ve gotten a hold of. We can sometimes ask for things, spiritually that our weak flesh can’t handle. It’s like seeking a pastoral position when you can’t even handle having your feelings so easily hurt nor control your own house. It’s like asking for a leadership position in the church but you’ve yet to get a handle on your mouth and attitude. You want to work with the church’s finances, when yours is in disarray. You got the nerve to be counseling folk when you ought to be stretched out on somebody’s couch. You want a husband or wife but you’ve yet to prepare yourself for one. You’re grasping for stuff you aren’t ready for. And when God says no, you get in your feelings and run. Sit down somewhere and be groomed. Get connected to some oil and get cultivated.

I know this because I was in the same position. Three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to handle where I am now because my mindset hadn’t changed which meant, I wasn’t ready. Yea, I thought I was but I wasn’t and that is why my life turned into a constant struggle and fight. Oh but when I changed my mindset, my life changed too. It was then I began to truly understand what Romans 8:5 meant by, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” See, when I allowed flesh to lead, I failed but when Spirit took over, I soared. When flesh was in charge, I miscarried but when Spirit took over, I carried to term and gave birth. When flesh was the captain, I started drowning but when Spirit took control, I could float. When flesh was the coach, I kept losing but when Spirit replaced him, the wins began For it was then Galatians 5:17 started ringing in my ear, saying, “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”