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Wednesday Devotional: He’s a BIG God

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I love this verse, so let’s just jump right in! Today, we are talking about praying to a BIG God.

Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

I want to encourage you today to pray BIG prayers. Trust in a big God, and know He is able to do far more than we can ever even imagine!

Let’s talk about this big God we can trust in for a minute. I am talking about the God that spoke the universe into existence. He spoke, and everything came into existence. Friends, nothing is too difficult or too big for Him, who created it all!

Not only did He speak everything into existence, He also raised Christ from the dead. Who else has ever raised someone from the dead to never die again?

The point of prayer is to ask God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God places us in situations we cannot handle ourselves, so we must trust in Him to accomplish the task through us, so it is impossible to ask God for too much.

It is also important to point out God can do immeasurably more than even the biggest prayers we pray.

So pray to our big God and have faith that He is going to come through. He will come through and bring glory to Himself.

God, thank you for being such a BIG God! Forgive me for lacking faith to pray BIG prayers. Reveal your power to me through my prayers in order that You may be glorified. Be glorified through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Wednesday Devotional: He's a BIG God
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Wednesday Devotional: Prayers for You

Hi! I am so glad you are joining me for this Wednesday’s Devotional! I am excited about this one because I am doing something a little different today! I hope you enjoy!

Colossians 1:3-8 says, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing -as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.”

In Colossians, Paul is writing to fellow believers encouraging them to continue to grow in their faith, thanking God for the growth they have and praying growth will continue to happen among them.

 

So today, I am going to do something a little different, instead of sharing something with you, I am going to share how I am praying in light of reading these verses.

Today, I am praying for you, who is reading this right now, thanking God for you. I am praying that you will understand God has a plan and a purpose for your life.

I am praying for you if you are not a Christian, that you will come to understand who God is, and He will change your life! I am praying you will begin to search for information about this God and Jesus that I am writing about.

I thank God for those of you reading this who already know Him. I thank Him for saving you. I thank Him for your faithfulness to Him. I thank God you are sharing your faith with others. I thank God you are searching out answers to the questions you have about your faith in order to grow stronger in Him.

I thank God that He protects us from false Christianity, and He gives us guidance on Biblical truths.

Thank You God for the people You have placed in each of our lives, who told us about You! Thank You for the people You send all over the world to share Your love with people who would otherwise have no chance of hearing it. Thank You for growing your kingdom because of the bold soles who are faithful to going where You send them.

God, I pray for the many people in Thailand, where I live, that they would be able to hear the Word of God and believe it!

I thank God for heaven! Thank You, God, that we will be able to live with you in heaven for eternity, and we are not forever thrown into an unimaginable, heart wrenching hell that we so deserve! Thank You for Jesus and Your gift of grace.

God, thank you for the many people you have placed in my life. Thank you for those who taught me about the Gospel and those who continue to teach me. Thank you for those you entrust me with to teach the Gospel. Forgive me for not always being intentional in teaching the Gospel to the people You place in my path. You deserve all the credit and thanksgiving for everyone who believe in You. Use me as a tool to share Your love to those You place in my path. Give me the eyes to see the people you put in my path. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Now I want to ask you to join me in praying for those God is laying on your heart right now? Maybe it is a friend? Maybe it is a group of people? Thank God for the people He has placed in your life and for giving you eternity with Him.

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Wednesday Devotional: Love Your Enemies

This scripture is a tough one, so let’s dive right into it! There is also so much packed into this short passage, so read Luke 6:27-31 below. 

But I say to you who hear, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from the one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

These verses start out with a BANG! It starts by saying, I should do good to those who hate me! Wait a minute…I have to be nice to those who HATE me? He is not just saying that I don’t have to hate them back, refuse to retaliate and just ignore them; He is calling us to do GOOD things toward them. Seriously? Yes, seriously, but He doesn’t just stop there…

After He tells us to “do good to those who hate” us, then He tells us to “bless those who curse” us. A blessing is giving God’s favor to another person. But doesn’t it really feel much better for us to ask for God to bless or have favor on a person, rather than heap burning coals on their head? If we really think about it, I think our answer would almost always be “Yes.”

But wait…He is still not done yet…He asks us to pray for those who mistreat us. Pray for them that their attitude would change and they would repent from their sin. Okay, that might be a little easier.

Still He keeps going…if someone slaps you in the face, you should turn to them the other one! Okay, that might be one of the most radical things I have ever been asked to do. If someone slaps me in the face, the last thing I would want to do is turn to the other side and let them do it again! However, Jesus isn’t necessarily talking about a true slap in the face, but in Biblical days, a slap in the face was an act of insulting another person. This illustration is used to tell us if someone insults us, we should not retaliate or insult them back. It is basically saying, if someone insults you, just do not respond. Okay, now that it is broken down in that way, I think I can handle it a little better. Bite my tongue. Got it! 

There is still more…He says if someone takes your clothes, give them more. We must give to others even if they are mistreating us. It is hard to give to people who mistreat us, but Jesus is telling us not only to give, but to give even more than what they take from you.

Then, He says give to everyone who asks, and if they take something from you, don’t ask for it back. How do I give to everyone who asks? This scriptures seems to  say this, but when we cross reference it with other scriptures, we see that we are to give to those who ask, but not those who do not work for themselves. This passage also shows us to live above worldly standards, so when someone asks for something from you, we should not turn around and ask for something just because we have given something. We should place less value on possessions, so if someone asks for something from us, we would not be so concerned with getting them back. 

One final thing these scriptures tell us is to do to others as you would want them to do to you. It’s much more than not doing something if we don’t want someone to do to us. We have to go beyond this thought and do nice things for others as opposed to simply refraining from doing negative things to them. You want to be treated nicely, right? Lovingly? You wouldn’t just settle for someone not treating you negatively, would you? You would want them to care for you and love you instead of just existing in your space not giving any niceness and love back to you. To take it a step further, we are called to make the first move. We cannot just sit back passively waiting for people to “do unto us”. We have to be proactive in doing to others.

This is what Jesus calls us to do-Love God & Love Others. So let’s get busy loving others by doing good to them, praying for others, biting our tongues, giving generously and showing an unmistakable Christ-like love. 

God, thank you for loving me. Forgive me for not loving others the way I should. Pour out your love for others through me. Help me to give my love generously to others. Help me to pray for others even when I don’t want to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

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Wednesday Devotional: Brotherly Love

Welcome to this week’s Wednesday Devotional! I’m glad your here! Today, we will look at Romans 12:9-10. 

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

What does brotherly affection mean? Let’s take a closer look at it. Affection means to

  • It is attaching oneself like family
  • It is the emotion of giving one’s love to another above all else
  • It is an intentional act of serving others
  • It is emotionally giving to others spiritually
  • It is having hope and faith in others
  • It is fervently praying for others 
  • And it is sharing what you have with those who need it

We are to love one another like we are family and pour out our emotions both mentally and spiritually all over each other. We are to serve others and hope the best for them. We are to be praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing what we have with them when they are in need. 

Think about how you love your family. Do you love them based on conditions? No, you love them because you are family. When a family member messes up, you still love them. You aren’t surprised when they disappoint you, so you keep on loving. We realize our family will likely let us down now and again, but we love them through those times. However, we tend not to view our Christian brothers and sisters as we view our biological brothers and sisters. We get all caught up in our emotions and write off our spiritual brothers and sisters as quick as we can turn around after they hurt or disappoint us forgetting we are all a part of the family of Christ. We all have our weak spots, and we will all stumble from time to time because we are not perfect, but we have to turn the other cheek like we do when our family member falls short of the expectations we place on them. 

In these moments, when we are let down, we need to pick up our brothers and sisters instead of cutting them out. We need to serve them and show them a Christlike and brotherly attitude as opposed to writing them off as unworthy and not worth the fight. We are a family, and we should be building each other up spiritually as opposed to running in the other direction abandoning our relationships with one another. 

This world is tough enough to live in with the non-Christians and nominal Christians tearing down our faith. We as a church, worldwide, need to be standing together and having hope and faith in one another. We need to pray for our Christian friends around the world to stand firm to care for each other with an unimaginable brotherly love. 

My point is, we should not be assuming the worst in people. We should grant them the same grace we grant our biological brothers and sisters when they mess up. Let’s begin to give others the benefit of the doubt because wouldn’t we want the same in return?

What would it look like if we began to look at the best in people rather than the worst?

What would it look like if we began to praise others face to face rather than tearing them down behind their back?

What would it look like if we begin to go to others for clarification in a misunderstanding rather than assuming a false (often negative) judgment about them?

What would it look like if we began to bite our tongue instead of letting harsh words come out of our mouths?

What would it look like if we began to think about others feelings and not just our own?

We, as Christians, need to take seriously honor, respect and value for others. If we begin to take this seriously, we will only glorify the beauty of the cross even more. 

God, thank you for the families you have placed us in. Forgive me for taking advantage of my family and the friendships you have provided me with. Pour out your love through me on every relationship in my life. Help me to treat others in the same way I want to be treated. Help me to love others in the same way you love me. Help me to learn to serve others before serving myself. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

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Wednesday Devotional: Petitioning God

In light of all the heavy things going on in the world right now, especially the “Black Lives Matter” vs. “All Lives Matter” vs “Police Lives Matter” vs “{Insert whatever you like} Lives Matter” (which I am not weighing in on), I thought this would be a good verse to look at this week. 

1 Timothy 2:1-2 are great verses to teach us about prayer. Let’s take a look at them before we start. 

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intersessions and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” ~1 Timothy 1:1-2

I think we should start by looking at some of the keywords in this verse.

Supplication means to ask for something or a petition for something.  

Prayer is being in communication with God.

Intercession refers to making requests on behalf of others. 

Thanksgiving is a way to give gratitude and be grateful to God.

The verses say we should be in communication with asking for our needs, asking for others needs, but not forgetting to be grateful for the things God has already given us. The Bible tells us we should do this for ALL PEOPLE and on behalf of ALL PEOPLE! This is whom we should pray for-all people! It is easy to pray for ourselves, for our family and for our friends, but the Bible is telling us to pray for everyone! This way of prayer includes the people we are in conflict with, people who are different than us and those who are leading us that we wish would just outright go away! We need to be praying for that annoying coworker and that girl that just won’t let go of the situation that happened last year when you accidentally said something you shouldn’t have said, even though you have apologized for it, and she still won’t let it go. 

Yes, it is easy to pray to God to continue to grow up your Christian friends, but what about your non-Christian friends? Are you praying for them? Are you praying fervently for your pastors to lead the church and flee from impure actions that we repeatedly shake our heads about? Are you spending all your time complaining about who the next President of the United States will be or are you praying for the state of our country and praying for whoever comes into office to lead well? Are you praying for the leaders of your country to make moral decisions that benefit the entire country instead of themselves or the elite few?

Let’s not forget to thank God for the people he has placed in our lives also! Take it a step further and thank God for those in our lives that make it difficult. God is sovereign, right? Give thanks for our leaders, even when we don’t agree with them. Thank God for specifically putting them in the position they are in. God knows what He is doing, even when we cannot grasp it. Thank God for the peaceful states our nations are in currently. 

Maybe it is time we step down off of our Christian high horses and do what God has called us to do, myself included. If we change our prayer life to a Biblical praying perspective, it could potentially save lives, churches, communities, our countries and our world. Prayer is powerful because God listens, and He answers our prayers when we believe He will. 

So, I ask you what changes do you need to make in your prayer life?

God, thank you for allowing us to have open communication with you. Forgive me for not using it in the way you have instructed me to do so. Pour out your love to those I pray for. Help me to remember to not only pray for those who are close to me, but to pray for those I often don’t want to pray for. God, I believe You will answer my prayers when I ask you. Thank you for loving me that much. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Tips for Spicing Up Your Bible Study

A Bible Study reality is sometimes we get in a rut and a routine. We get in a perpetual habit and sometimes it becomes boring. No one wants a boring Bible Study, so here are some tips on how to spice up your Bible Study routine.  

Start by making a comfortable place for you to read your Bible. Make a serene place to study the Bible. Find a nice chair with a table beside it to make it more comfy. Grab a beanbag to sit on. Make a pallet in the floor or closet. Sit in a chair on the front porch with a warm cup of coffee. Wherever you feel comfortable to spend time with God, make it happen.

Maybe it could help to sing a worship song to get you focused. Correlate your worship song to what you are studying if possible. It does not have to be out loud; it can be in your head just between you and God.

Create something to correlate with what you are studying to help your Bible Study come to life. Take pictures on your phone of what you think the scripture is trying to tell you. Make a meme and share it with your friends. Paint a picture of what you believe God is trying to tell you. You don not have to be an artist to do this, because it is the intent and learning method that matters.

I think it is a great idea to choose a verse to memorize from the scriptures you are reading. Write it on a sticky note and post it where you will see it every day. Make it a screensaver on your phone. Choose a way you can memorize scripture and write it on your heart.

It is even great to listen to other sermons or watch videos related to the scriptures you are studying. This is a good way to look at scriptures from others points of view and dig deeper into the message of scriptures.

It can also be beneficial to relate your Bible Study to current events. Does what you are reading pertain to anything going on in the world? How can you see God working currently through the scriptures you are reading?

Pray. Use different postures of prayer. It is fine if you are sitting in your chair or beanbag or wherever you choose to pray, but sometimes the Spirit may lead us to pray differently to God-to take a different posture of prayer before God. Kneel before God if you need to do so. Stand with your hands outstretched to God if you feel lead to do so. Bow down before God if the Spirit leads you in that way. There are many different ways that prayer can take place, but be sure to listen to the Spirit’s guidance on how he wants you to pray.

There are so many ways to increase your Bible Study to keep it from getting stale and boring. Make sure you are giving your full attention to God when you are studying the Bible. When you need to spice up your Bible Study, try some of the tips listed above!
I hope you enjoyed these quick tips! What other ones would you add?

Captivated in Prayer

After watching The War Room and being apart of a church, who is currently and, in fact, has always devoted themselves to prayer, I have began to explore what prayer means to me. As I sit to write, I struggle to find the words to explain what prayer means to me. The only thing I can come up with is that it is our intimate connection to God. Prayer is intimate because it is simply between the person and God. We can stand amongst a million people and pray out loud, but the prayer should be between the person praying and God himself. It allows us to connect with God and focus on Him exclusively.

Our connection with God, our prayer, is a gift He has given us that opens us up to an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus’ death sealed the deal for us to have an intimate friendship with Him. Think about your closest friendship. Someone you tell everything to. You go to them if you ever need anything. You want them to experience your joy, and you want them to be proud of you. This relationship is exactly what kind of relationship God wants to have with us.

We should be praying our deepest secrets to Him. Confessing them. After all, He already knows them. Ask Him to provide your needs. He knows them. If you pray in belief that you will receive what you are asking for, He will provide them. Albeit, it may not be exactly the way you want them, but He will provide!

Our God is a loving Father. If you are like me, and did not grow up with a loving father, this is hard to even imagine. However, I, personally, can think of examples from my friendships that had the most loving father’s I could ever think of. And even though I can see their example, I know my God loves me even more than the idea of human love I have created in my head!

We learn from a young age to honor our fathers (well most of us! HA!). We honor them because we love them and respect them. We want them to be proud of us.  And we should do the same for God as well. He is even more holy than our earthly fathers. Our father expects us to love him and love others as he teaches us to do, and our Heavenly Father is no different; He expects these things from us too! But I would say He calls us to an even higher level than our earthly father expects. God calls us to love even when it hurts and even when we do not want to. I know people out there who struggle with their relationship with God because their relationship with their father was not good. They do not understand a father’s love, so it is hard to trust God. But God calls us to trust Him even when it is hard. He calls us to love other people when we would rather hate them because they have hurt us or whatever other reason we may have.

The Bible constantly tells us to pray, but we need to learn how to be captivated by prayer. We need to be attracted to it. We need to see the beauty in prayer. We need to delight in the relationship prayer allows us to have with God. I challenge you to discover what prayer means to you and challenge that idea against what the Bible tells us prayer should be like. Always have God on the forefront of your brain and pray without ceasing. Pray radically. Pray as if you know every prayer you ever mutter will be answered in the fullest of God’s glory. Pray.