Daily Devotional “3/18/16 – Stop!”

Stop keeping score of those who have hurt you. If you keep focusing on how many people have hurt you, you’ll never be able to count those who don’t. Stop trying to hurt people before they hurt you because then you’ll end up bitter and alone. Everyone isn’t that one, two or maybe more who’ve hurt you. Quit treating them as such. Break the habit of being the one to win every argument! Do you know that it doesn’t matter who wins as long as you resolve the issue? If you focus on who started it, you’ll never get over it. Deal with the situation, apologize and don’t bring it up again. This is why we have so many families who are being cursed by the generation of hurt, bitterness and anger that has been passed down generation after generation. Folk leave the church mad because they didn’t get the position they wanted and now everybody in the family hates that church. Bitter mothers teach their daughters how to be bitter instead of teaching them to be better. Deadbeat dads teach sons have to grow up being deadbeat instead of showing them how to be a better dad. A family will teach hostility instead of holiness. Parents are passing down the mentality of get them before they get you instead of teaching to love your neighbors.

What is going on? When will we stop the generation of being a ‘welfare family’? When will we break the chain of abuser that’s going from man to man in the family? When will we destroy the yoke of being abused that has held on to every daughter in the family? When will we knock the hell out of the enemy instead of allowing him to live in our homes? When will we break the tradition of having bad credit and no job? When will we stop holding on to the things that hurt momma and daddy that are now defeating us? When will we let go of the stuff and people we’re allowing to hold us hostage. When will we walk out of the personal prison of pain we’ve allowed ourselves to be housed in? When will be let go of the rope that has us bound? I don’t know if you recognize this or not but today is the day for you to do it. All you have to do is let go, get up, get out and try! Yes, it’s going to hurt because it’s what you’re used to but you may just find you like it the new norm. Yea, it may be uncomfortable at first but give yourself time to get used to it. Stop making excuses, stop trying to find ways to stay in your hurt and stop looking for any reason to go back there. If it hasn’t worked in all this time, it won’t start now! Do better because you want better. Forgive yourself, forgive them and move on! I promise that you’ll feel much better when you do.

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Daily Devotional – 3/22/12 “God’s puzzle!”

Have you ever purchased a puzzle with a lot of pieces with the thought of putting it together? If the answer is yes, then you know in order to get it to look like the picture on the front of the box, you have to first dump all the pieces out, scatter them around and if you’re like me you put all of the edge pieces together in a pile, right? Well, this is only to make it easier on you when you start to fit the pieces together. Now, have you ever thought that is how your life looks to God? If Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,” then he knew how he wanted you to look (the picture on the box). Now after he has the image of how he wants you to look and in order for him to put you together as the final masterpiece he has to pour all the pieces out, scatter them around and move all of the edge pieces together in one pile in order for him to start his work. Yea, when everything starts to fall apart around you and you don’t know what to do or what direction to take, that’s simply God pouring out the pieces. When it seems like all hell is breaking loose in your home, that’s simply God pouring out the pieces. When it seems like you take 2 steps forward only to be pushed 4 steps back, that’s simply God pouring out the pieces. See, he has to shake up the stuff that has been going on in your life and the only way for him to do it he has to pour out the pieces. Then when it seems like things can’t get any worse but they do, that’s just God scattering the pieces. When it feels like you can’t take any more weight on your shoulders because you might fall, that’s just God scattering the pieces. When it seems like your knees are worn out from praying but nothing is getting better, that’s simply God scattering the pieces. See he has to look through all the pieces of this and that in order for him to see what has to be used, what has to be removed and to be sure there are no extra pieces of stuff hanging on that can potentially through him off when he’s putting you back together. Now, you’re wondering why you seem so all alone, where your family and friends are when you need them and if you’re in this thang by yourself; but that’s simply God putting all the end pieces together in a pile. See, the end pieces surround you in order to shield you from the attacks of the world, they put up a barrier against evil things and evil folk to hinder them from coming through so God has to make sure they will all be there when he needs them.

Now as you start to see a little light peeking through the darkness that’s simply God starting to put the pieces together. When it seems like you’re starting to breathe better because now your head is rising above the water, that’s simply God putting the pieces together. When you feel the weight starting to lift from your shoulders, it’s simply God putting the pieces together. I told you before that God is creating you in his image and he knows what he wants the final piece to look like so it doesn’t take him long to put the pieces back together. He just simply needed to remove a few extra pieces that were distorting his image of you. Those friends that are no longer there after the crap hit the fan, they were the extra pieces. When your spouse ran because the heat became more than they could bear, they were the extra pieces. When your job fired you because they couldn’t understand why you needed time off, they were the extra pieces. When your church home didn’t do it for any more so you had to find a new one, they were the extra pieces. All of the things that caused you to not look like God’s final masterpiece was thrown in that pile and guess what, you look better even greater without them.

Stop trying to add pieces to the image that God has created. 1 Timothy 4:4 says, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” Stop trying to be something that you know you’re not. If you know that you can’t handle more than one drink, stop at one instead of trying to hang with the “big girls” because they won’t be around when you get that DUI. If you know you don’t steal from department stores then don’t do it just to be with the in crowd because I can guarantee you, they’ll leave you holding the bag when security shows up. If you know you love your spouse and take your vows seriously, don’t cheat just because your friend is doing it and egging you on to meet the friend of the person they are cheating with because when it’s judgment day, you’ll have to give an account of your actions and not theirs. Stop trying to make those things that don’t belong fit into your life because they only make your image look bad. Baby, you’d better watch the company you keep because most times you’re guilty by association even when you aren’t doing anything. You are God’s masterpiece and he made you strong. He put you together on a firm foundation so that when worldly folk and things try to move you, you don’t lose any of your pieces. When you accepted God into your life, he glued you to him just like folk sometime glue puzzles to their foundation in order for them to be framed or for others to see the work that they’ve done. 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil.” Show all the work that God has put into creating you by loving, caring, sharing, giving, praying and staying in his word. Show others the masterpiece that God created when he worked on you by letting your light of God shine. Don’t allow folks to peel your pieces off by stealing your joy and don’t allow holes in your artwork by filling your heart with hate for folks who have hurt you. Be the work of art, the masterpiece that God created so that when he looks at you he says, “That’s my work and it is good!”