“Hole” and “Whole”

April 20, 2020

Word of the day: 7 I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. Joshua 14:7-8 NIV

A hole is a hollow place in a solid body or surface. The whole is in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece. Take a moment and think of the difference between hole and whole. Holeheartly is not living to God’s standards. Your soul has a hole that needs fixing. Thinking of yourself and making sure your motives are intact.

Meanwhile, wholeheartedly you are living in God’s standards. You are unselfish, willing to go out the way for others to help. The hole ruins you and your ability to love others. The whole makes you complete. You may not have a lot to give to others; you may feel useless. The important thing is to follow God, and you will be useful to others and love wholeheartedly, instead of holeheartly.

Father, thank you for today. I pray for these two words as it makes a difference. Holeheartly may not be a word in the dictionary, but it can describe a selfish person. Wholeheartedly shows unselfishness. I pray today that people that choose between the two words choose wisely. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Overwhelmed

April 19, 2020

Word of the day: 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as he promised them. Joshua 13:33 NIV

There is something a little deeper than what this verse is sharing. Moses has no inheritance, but God has given Israel as their inheritance. Moses had nothing to gain with his heritage as he does not have any. Moses is in his dying days, so you can understand why he felt that his legacy is not worth anything. But God told him that your inheritance is Israel. Moses led them out of Israel into the promised land. Here is something more important about this verse. The biggest thing is not having time with God. But God made sure they had other tribes to help in donations. When we feel like there is so much going on, God can make your time worthwhile if you are willing to let him have your time regardless of how busy you may be. Of course, this is a time of social distancing; some states are not on a stay at home orders. Today, I challenge you to find time with God. It is so easy to get sidetracked with other things in mind. God can make your time worthwhile.
Father, thanks for today. I pray for our time. There is a lot of it now since we are in quarantine. I pray that we can use our time wisely for you. Other things still need to be done around the house, but I pray we can dedicate time to you. Thank you for our fellowship. We love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

One of a Kind

April 18, 2020

Word of the day: 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Joshua 10:14 NIV

I currently sit here, trying to figure out how to share this correctly. I am anxious; I honestly do not have a reason to be worried. Well, maybe I do when I think about it. I am having a hard time figuring this out, what to say and how to be encouraging saying it. Satan is in my ear, telling me not to do this. So, let’s do this. What one word or phrase that stands out to you in today’s verse? What is this verse saying? The sun stood still, didn’t move. The Bible says this is one of a kind day for Joshua. There may be plenty of people that believe differently based on the miracles in the Bible. There is a specific event for you that is one of a kind day for you. When miracles happen to us, it is God’s intervention. Today, take what God may have with you for your one of a kind day. Think back to what he did for you that was his intervention to allow things to happen, or for you to grow. Give him praise because God is not thinking about impressing leaders of the free world; God is thinking about you and how to get you into his intervention. He is fighting for your heart, your love, and your attention.
Father, thank you for today. I pray today for one of a kind day. Nobody is better than the person you gave that one of a kind day. I pray that people can think back or will recognize the day that your intervention came in for them. Let that day be unique to them. Your response is robust. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, even though we do not deserve your attention. We love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Discontentment

July 2, 2019

Word of the day: Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:6-9 -NLT

What brings you happiness? Do you idolize other things to bring happiness? What are the other things that bring you happiness? What brought me happiness that I idolize is the love of video games. Saturday mornings after I am done with my devotions or the days before I even thought about devotions, I call my Saturdays, “Strategy Saturdays.” I would spend a lot of times playing football and basketball games and strategize most of the day until it is time for me to leave to serve. Before I started doing devotions and fasting, I idolize doing that every Saturday. It’s my go-to activity. During the 10 years, I was out of the church I would idolize other activities and not even think of God. The end result is, I was not filled with happiness. My soul was not full. After ten years, it was time to make a change. I started going back to church, realizing and learning that God brings more happiness than money. The next verse in 1 Timothy 6:10, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. I spend money on games, the gaming console, the subscription, etc., and dealt with more evil people in the online world of gaming than ever. I make sure I spend time with God and not make video games a priority over God.

Father, thank you for this time together, you are good to us always and faithful. Thank you for allowing us to think of our faith and share it willingly. Thank you for this time together. We spend a lot of time in prayer wanting and needing things knowing you have a plan for our lives. I’m praying today just to say thank you. Thank you for the breath of life, thank you for creating the world. That’s enough happiness in itself. Thank you for all you do for us and we give you all the honor and praise, in Jesus name, Amen!

Being Real During Difficult Times

April 17, 2020

Word of the day: 1 Do not be afraid or discouraged. Joshua 8:1 NLT

Let’s start with a word of prayer. Father, you are always good for us. I pray this morning, afternoon, or evening as we read that this will be encouraging instead of depressing. It is hard to talk difficult topics and trying to drive in the significant point behind it. I pray this will lead correctly with love, compassion, and sincerity. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

I pray this for a reason. Today’s verse may say, “not be afraid or discouraged,” but the talking points can be so tricky. Joshua was discouraged after his battle. God reminds him of this verse. Joshua took this advice wholeheartedly and went out to the field of battle and fought like no other. Here is my tricky talking point. We all have discouraging times. With this pandemic, it is impossible to think about how many people can be so discouraged. The epidemic took me back to the Spanish flu in 1918. It was similar to what we are going through right now. This flu attacked everyone, but mainly the age group 15-34 and had the highest death rate. There were no vaccines, no antibodies to attack. Those times were no different than what we are going through now. They had to stay at home, quarantine, social distance themselves. They went through this for two years. It eventually calmed down in December of 1920, according to the CDC website.

Just like Joshua, we do not know the discouragement people faced during those times. God is telling us all, not to be afraid or discouraged. During these times, God wants us to learn something. Confess your sins when God reveals them to you. Refocus on God when you fail and deal with that problem and then move on! These cycle of sin, repentance, and forgiveness is meant to strengthen us, and not make us weak. Use this pandemic to build your strength. Use this time of social distance to practice surrendering to God when you are most vulnerable. God protect us for a reason. Let’s not be bitter at what is going on.

Father, thank you for our fellowship. It can be hard to talk encouragement but throw in hard times to help get this through these difficult times. This pandemic set back a lot of people, and it’s not regular times. We are finding new ways to make a new normal until things get back to normal, and that is if it ever gets back to normal. I pray this can reach everyone with a sincere heart. Thank you for your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Unnecessary Worrying

July 1, 2019

Word of the Day: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25 -NIV

Here is something to think about. One, worrying damages your health. Two, worry can disrupt the thought process. Three, worrying can cause you to be counterproductive. As we all face problems, it is a fact knowing that these three things happen when you worry. Matthew 6:25 reminds us of why we should not bother. Verse 25 should be something to memorize because I worry a lot when I shouldn’t.

Take a moment to think about what drives you to contentment. Most people of the world will say treat yourself as part of pleasure when worrying. For example, treat yourself knowing you can’t have that dessert or unhealthy food you want. People may say do something meaningful that will allow you not to worry about the things ahead of you. Think about what you do to relieve worry. What we do here is spending time with God. Doing this is the perfect solution. During this fast, feeding my soul did me better than eating. It’s good to eat, but it is also the best to dig in God’s word and learn all about him as he gives you the best answers to life. Something your enemy can’t grasp or will not perceive. As you think about this verse today, always remember this; one cross + three nails = four (for) giveness.

Father, you are good. Thank you for this time together. Father, as we come together to start this day, help us to turn to you when our worries get as big as a mountain. I struggle with it every day, but practice not to worry. It is hard a lot of times, but you always come through in the process. We are thankful for you blessing us every day regardless of our issues, our life problems. We give you all the praise, in Jesus name, Amen!

Unfaithfulness

April 16, 2020

Word of the day: 1 But the people of Israel broke faith regarding the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the loving things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel. Joshua 7:1 ESV

Ok, what is one word that stands out to you? I have to say the word “broke.” Let’s learn what the dictionary says about this word. An act of separating oneself from a state of affairs (described as a noun.) God is a jealous God. When you do not follow him, you will be disappointed with what you missed out on, and you will be more upset with yourself with how depressed you are. I say this next statement with a sincere heart, but I want to make sure you understand. There is a reason why COVID19 is happening. There is no blame to God at all, but I do want you to think about some things. There is sin out in the world today, most people broke out of their faith, or don’t have any faith at all. What is the consequence? Everything got snatch from under us. Social distancing, quarantine, essential driving only, in most states. Job loss, unemployment, fear, hoarding, and more.

When Israel stopped sinning, things started to improve. God encouraged more, and God showed up. God used guidance and promise of victory. God managed to keep plunder and livestock from the battle for Israel. What do you think can happen when we eliminate sin? God can give us blessings and more encouragement and probably more than what he gave Israel. Let’s be wise and let’s surrender everything we have to God with our sins and let him take over your situations.

Father, thank you for today. I pray for wisdom. We studied out of this verse today to remind us about sin and the results of what sin can do and what we can do to try to eliminate wickedness the best way we can. I pray we can continue to come to you and work on giving everything to you. Thank you for your love. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

June 30, 2019

Word of the Day: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 -NIV

Take a moment to read the scripture. What does this scripture tell you? Keep your eyes on the prize. Who is the prize? Jesus! When Jesus went through struggling times traveling through bad storms, he kept his eyes on the lighthouse and not the things that would cause him to be distracted. High winds and thunderstorms.

Now take a moment to think about what situation you are currently in that causes you to keep your eyes off the prize. What is distracting you today? What can you do to help yourself to keep focused on the prize? Being consistent can help you keep peace in your life. Stay steadfast in him.

Father, you are good. We need your help today learning the prize and not get distracted at the things that can distract us. We learned that Jesus kept his eyes on the prize at the times he wanted to be distracted. Help us to focus our thoughts on you and not the situation because it seems bigger than what it really is. I thank you for your many blessings and this time together. I give you all the honor and praise, in Jesus name, Amen!

Anxious and Legacy

April 15, 2020

Word of the day: 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 24 He did this, so the peoples of the earth might know the hand of the Lord is influential so that you always fear the Lord your God.” Joshua 4: 21-22, 24 NIV

Anything stands out to you in today’s verses? These verses represent families. I am talking husband, wife, and children. If you have a legacy that you want your children to know, you will make sure you tell them. Well, what about God’s heritage? Sharing your legacy, sharing what God has done for you is what we should educate our kids about today. How can they be taught if they don’t know anything about him? How can you inform your kids and others if you are not speaking about him and his legacy? The children in the Bible are learning about stones. Take some time today and think about what you can share with your children and pass on an inheritance. What can you share about God’s legacy and what he has done for you? The most important thing is not to be anxious to share that. Be courageous and share it boldly and proudly. When you are faithful to God, nothing can make you worried if you put your faith in him.

Father, you are good to us. Thank you for today. I pray for anxiousness. I pray for us to share legacies and what is important you have done for us. Let us realize how essential this is for us. Thank you for our fellowship. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Difficult Seasons in your Life

June 29, 2019

Word of the Day: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Everybody will have difficult seasons in their life. Maybe one, two or more. We go through difficult seasons to not live a comfortable life but living to depend on God’s word, his advice. Take a moment and think about how you confront a project you want to do. You research it, find good factual information, ask questions, seek advice, organize your thoughts and then tackle it. If the project fails to satisfy you, you will try again and research something different. This is what God would like for us to do. Research (Bible), ask questions (the wise such as Pastors or trusted Christian friends), seek advice (the wise), organize your thoughts (prayer), and then go for it when God tells you to. Remember our answers do not come in minutes, it comes in miles. Some situations you can get answers in minutes. Seeking advice from our heavenly father takes time and patience as he walks you step by step. I didn’t get to writing devotionals by forcing myself. After putting my undivided attention to God, I believe he was telling me to start a prayer group. As I listened more, he was telling me to do devotionals. It’s been an honor and blessing to get up every morning to learn more about him and share the good news of God!

Father, you are good. Thank you for this time together. As we enjoy our weekend of relaxation and time off work, I pray you will help us recognize & utilize our gifts. I pray that we can be the best for you. You are beautiful in so many amazing ways and I give you all the praise! In Jesus name, Amen!