"Shorty Brown" would have preached this on the streets! LENT is not a time of giving up "something" we like to "sacrifice" for GOD; because our "good" intentions and "good" works do not "earn" GOD'S FAVOR! Are we more HOLY by doing extra "things" and fasting from what we like? Maybe we have this whole LENT thing wrong! Maybe, just maybe, ANYTIME , not just Lent, is the growing more deeply in GOD'S GRACE and discovering new depths to the ultimate relationship with HIM. Why not ADD a Spiritual thought, act or time of devotion and meditation to our lives. Maybe we are deceived into "ENJOYING" the wrong things. Easter, Christmas or any other "religious" event will not bring us a relationship with GOD, unless we feel an unquenched desire for HIM, where "neediness" is at the heart of needing to HAVE HIM! Just a time of quiet wanting to know HIM could mean more than "giving" up something. When we spend time with HIM do we really think about what we are "giving up"? Do we learn that we truly ENJOY something different than the world offers? Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." SO IT MUST BE, NOT GIVING UP WHAT YOU ENJOY; IT'S WHAT YOU ENJOY! PREACH SHORTY PREACH!
Are you thankful that GOD gave us this extra day to experience HIM, to know HIM better than we did yesterday and to be LIKE HIM? Luke 9:29, "And as HE was praying, the appearance of HIS face was altered, and HIS clothing becamce dazzling white." JESUS' prayer was a "Favored Communion" with GOD, so much so, that while HE was still communing and speaking, HIS prayer was heard and answered. JESUS was transformed (HIS transformation) as HE prayed! When we pray from the deepest depths, where our groanings cannot be expressed, we are suddenly transported to Heaven on earth. Prayer lets us know HIS "quickening Grace", and makes our faces shine "whiter than snow". Our prayers fetch down brilliance, majesty, light, strength and HOLY JOY that makes our face shine as we are transfigured and transformed JUST LIKE JESUS!
There was a show on television called Dragnet. The police Sargent (Joe Friday) when questioning a witness would say, "Just the Facts, don't leave anything out, and don't add anything, Just the Facts." 3 John 2, "I wish above all things that you mayest prosper and be in health , even as your soul prospereth." Does this prove GOD desires Christians to be financially prosperous? The word prosper in this verse refers to general well being; in Biblical times the standard greeting was the wish for good health and for things to go well for you. Be careful of false prophets teaching "by leaving out, or adding to" the Scriptures. Today, know GOD'S TRUTH, JUST THE FACTS!
Have you ever done an act of kindness for someone and it gave you great pleasure? Did it even require a great sacrifice on your part? And did that act of kindness go completely unnoticed? Did you not try to bring attention to yourself and JUST SIT BACK AND SMILE? Matthew 25:35, "For I was hungry and you gave ME food..." Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart..." I am sure SOMEONE else noticed, and HE IS SMILING TOO!
Even before you knew anything about GOD, before you knew anything about the "explanations" of the origin of man, you KNEW you were special! In the deepest chambers of your "Sanctuary of Treasures", you had this "Special" undeniable relationship beyond relationships. Just as Van Gogh, Picasso and Da Vinci created different distinguishable "Master Pieces", each still had the creator's undeniable mark of "ownership". But your "special relationship" enters upon a higher scale of being; when GOD said, "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26) HE called attention to the importance of your creation. You are set apart with deliberate purpose, you have the "mark" of your CREATOR; you ascend to the CREATOR HIMSELF! Your Creation in the Image with the ETERNAL UNCREATED HIMSELF! Do you remember those times when you "knew you were" Special? YOU'VE ALWAYS HAD IT, DON'T LOSE IT!
Galatians 5:16, "...Walk in the SPIRIT, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Since Adam and Eve we were born with a sinful nature. We cannot resist the sinful temptations by our own power and we think we may be the one who "doesn't have the HOLY SPIRIT" to guide us. It is because we still depend on our own understanding, upon philosophy, we depend upon our own resolutions and will power, and we depend upon the force of our own education. Do we realize that this verse is not only a command, it is the statement of an important and deeply motivational TRUTH? When we yield our hearts to the influence and guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT, we focus on the revelation and evidence of HIS power in our lives. When we depend on the HOLY SPIRIT, we live in a ways that is pleasing to GOD, and pleasing to ourselves! If you would like others to receive these Daily Devotionals (Petals of Love) please send their cell phone numbers for texting or email addresses for emails. Most of all let us all live (it is a continuing action) dependent upon the HOLY SPIRIT.
Hydrogen or Oxygen by themselves, have good and destructive capabilities. When put together, H2O becomes water. Just like H2O, all of our circumstances are good because Our-GOD is all-powerful, all-loving and VERY CREATIVE! Does GOD really "work ALL things for the good"? Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, and GOD used this to elevate Joseph to the second most influential person in Egypt! The apostle Paul was thrown into prison many times during his preaching and ministry; and each time he wrote GOD inspired books of the Bible! Can we stop fearing and dreading our circumstances and the events of life; and just know abundant GOOD surrounds us? Romans 8:28, "...for those who love GOD, all things work together for good...". I don't know how or why, I just know HE does it! The next time you take a drink of water, maybe it will remind you of H2O and that GOD works ALL THINGS FOR GOOD.
My dad would work from sunrise to past sunset, to provide for us. If he had anything extra he would share it with anyone in need; food, clothes, gloves, wood for the stoves and or a ride to town. Once, I wanted another pair of shoes and knowing he had extra work, I asked him to buy me the shoes. He said, "no because you have shoes and the neighbors don't have any". Whatever happened to Colossians 3:12?, "Put on therefore, holy and beloved bowels of mercies, kindness, meekness and long-suffering". Then he said, "if I don't buy you the 'extra shoes', DO YOU THINK GOD IS MAD AT ME?" He was right, I did not have Spiritual awareness of HOLY THINGS to appreciate the SPIRITUAL THINGS OF CHRIST! I have learned to be careful of where I "cast my pearls".
Are we "Blessed" to be able to pay our bills? Do we even know what we are asking, when we asked to be Blessed? Are Blessings MORE of what we could get for ourselves, or the world could give us? Have we reduced "THE FAVOR" OF GOD to be THE GOSPEL OF CONVENIENCE"? Maybe the "Blessings" we should be crying out for, is the wonderful, unlimited goodness and love that only GOD has the ABILITY TO KNOW; and then BESTOW. Then wouldn't a Blessing be, "to be set aside or imparted for SUPERNATURAL FAVOR"? Luke 24:53, "...continually..praising and Blessing GOD..." Romans 15:29, "...I shall come in the fullness of the Blessing of the gospel of CHRIST." We will not find the word "Blessing" associated in the Bible to land or material possessions; rather we find it meaning "Salvation", "Approval or Love" and "Inheritances". These days leading up to EASTER SONday (seems like that is the way we should spell Sunday) find the REAL BLESSINGS by spending time with GOD, reading, praying and just listening before you start your day. BLESSINGS WILL ABOUND.
We "rush" to Church late, then leave early so we can run our errands. Is Church just another stop on "our list"? Psalm 15:1, "...who shall come temporarily in YOUR tent? Who shall dwell on your Holy Hill?" Do we look at ourselves and prepare ourselves to enter GOD'S presence; whether it be going to Church, prayer or just asking HIM to be with us? Do we seek the fullness of GOD, where we can experience the innocence and purity of the penetration of the HOLY SPIRIT? Do we delve into the inner self to prepare ourselves for the KING OF KINGS? Maybe we do not experience the Presence of GOD, BECAUSE WE ARE NOT PREPARED.
About the Author and writer
The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.