Talk to God, Not Just About

This devotional is brought to you by a sermon from John Piper that is necessary to every person on their Christian journey.

Psalm 23 teaches us the importance of communication with our Father, that it is important that we talk about Him to others, but that we also talk to Him.

In verses 1-3 David refers to God as “he”:

“The Lord is my shepherd…
He makes me lie down…
He leads me…
He restores my soul.”

Then in verses 4 and 5 David refers to God as “you”:

“I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me.
You anoint my head with oil.”

Then in verse 6 David uses third person:

“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord.”

What we must learn from David in Psalm 23 and other psalms is that we should not talk about the good news of God without having a personal relationship with the God we talk about. We should frequently interrupt our talking about God with talking to God.

Let us move from the general to the specific with God. Not only should God be someone we speak about, but someone we speak to.

Not far behind the theological sentence, “God is generous,” should come the prayerful sentence, “Thank you, God.”

 

God Is Mindful Of You

Happy Monday friends!

This morning’s music Monday devotional is a reminder many of us need, that God is mindful of YOU.

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
Psalm 8:4

No one care more about your life than God. No man, no woman, not even yourself! That’s why it is important to acknowledge God who acknowledges us. God is always thinking about you and thinking about what is best for you. His intentions will never be unclear, or selfish like man because God loves you perfectly. Some of us can even say we didn’t know he was all we needed until he was all we had.

Whatever concerns you, concerns God. Whatever you’re worried about, whatever you’re afraid of, whatever you’re anxious about, God is there. He feels your pain. He has your best interest at mind because he is mindful of you.

To be mindful is to be alert, focused, attentive. When God is mindful of you he notices everything about your life. Matthew 10:19-30 says not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without God noticing. He even number every hair on your head. That’s how close God pays attention to you. To each and every one of us, not one of us is invisible to him.

How many of us can attest to the fact that when everyone else left us God remained?

Let us show him that we also are mindful of him through prayer, praise and devotion.

Amen ❤

 

This week’s song is Mindful by Brian Courtney Wilson

Lyrics:
All that I hope
Is to be closer, I want to be where you are
My desire
Is to be closer, I need to be where you are
You’re the lover of my soul
I will be mindful to say
That I love you
Because you first loved me
And I thank you
For your Grace

All that I want
Is to be closer, I want to be where you are
My desire
Is to be closer, I need to be where you are
You’re the lover of my soul
And I will be mindful to say

That I love you
Because you first loved me
And I thank you
For your Grace
For your Grace

I love you
Because you first loved me
And I thank you
For your Grace

I didn’t know you were all I needed
Until you were all I had
And now I know all I have in you
Is more than enough
More than enough (repeat)

I love you
Because you first loved me
And I thank you
For your Grace
And I’ll be mindful

7 Day Prayer Series: Day 7

Day 7.

Reveal yourself through me

“Show me a sign of your favour, that those who hate me see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me” (Psalm 86:17)

To be a Christian is not only to have our personal prayers answered, but also to make a statement to the whole world. While prayer begins with us for our situations and circumstances, it should extend to a prayer for God to reveal himself through us so that the world may see and enjoy him. Yes, we must first come to God and pray for his listening ear, joy, strength and all the other good things but move prayer outside of ourselves and into what God desires. We must pray for our light to shine through all the world.

The world is watching us Christians: we should respond by wanting our faith and our whole life to mean something to the watching world. We want unbelievers and sometimes believers to know that our God is the one and only God, to come to him and be saved.

Let us transform our prayers from asking God to do for us into a desire for him to do in us something dramatic that moves the hearts and minds of others. It is important to move beyond our selves and into the world, something that can only be done when God works through us.

Thank you for staying tuned in and praying with me this week. I pray this series stays with each of us for this week, this month, this year, forever.

Blessings ❤

P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.

7 Day Prayer Series: Day 5

Day 5.

Give me your strength

“Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant”  (Psalm 86:16)

The other day I went to the gym and tried deadlifting 150 lbs, it was a sorry mistake to say the least. I was weak and in need of strength. Many of us also need strength and don’t realize it until we try and lift our heavy weights, our heavy burdens and are unable to do so. For some we need strength to wake up ready to tackle our to-do lists and take on the world. Or maybe we need strength to do a seemingly simple task, getting out of bed. Many of us go through life tired, we forget to ask for help – for strength. Our individual efforts may work for a while, but eventually we will run out of gas and be left with small, short-lived strength. We need a refuel.

Along with our prayers for guidance, we need to ask God for strength so that we can walk on the path he wants to lead us on spiritually and physically. Relying on our own strength to go through life is much like the story of “The Three Little Pigs”. Some of us build with straws and others with sticks, but with God we can be like the third little pig who uses bricks and remains strong in the face of his enemy.

It is important to work hard, but never in your strength alone. You cannot do it all on your own. Work in the strength that he supplies. God will lend his own strength to all who ask as long as it is not for selfish or materialistic dreams. He will give you the courage and strength like he did Samson, if you commit to lay down your life for others in the name of Jesus.

Tune in for Day 6 tomorrow with a prayer on unity.

Blessings ❤

P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.

7 Day Prayer Series: Day 4

Day 4.

Teach me your ways.

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth” (Psalm 86:11)

Here I’m focusing on the wonderful request of verse 11 for God to teach us his ways. In any trial, a teachable heart is essential. Ask God what you should be learning about Him and about yourself in the difficult situation because there is truth in his ways. Most of us instinctively pray for quick deliverance, but David prays that he will learn God’s ways so that in his trials he will walk in obedience to God’s truth. He prays that his loyalty will not be scattered or divided, but rather be united or single-minded in God’s truth.

Have you ever heard the saying, “the truth shall set you free”? I’m pretty sure that saying comes from the Bible because walking in God’s truth we see the truth come alive in us — in our priorities, in our relationships, and in our heart’s.

God doesn’t expect us to just figure it out on our own. He wants us to rely on his teaching and ask him for wisdom and guidance. Start with, “God, teach me your way” and then fill in the blanks with whatever it is you need his guidance on.

If we are willing to be taught, the Lord will use various means for our enlightenment.

Tune in for Day 5 tomorrow with a prayer on strength.

Blessings ❤

P.S If anyone has any prayer requests please make them known via comments or email and I’d be pleased to make my requests for you known.

Help Comes First From the WORD Not the World

Happy Music Monday friends ❤

A few days ago I was contact by an ex-friend, someone I thought would be in my life for a while. Before responding to this former friend, I took a moment and asked the Lord why it hadn’t worked in the first place. Instead of responding, a went to the Lord in prayer and he met me in my dreams.

Last night as I closed my eyes preparing for a night of rest I tossed and turned and while I dozed off at 4 in the morning, a sweet slumber did not meet me. The dream, a nightmare at most, I had was a weird one that honed in on one of my real life friendships. In this nightmare I was able to see many real life situations where I compromised my faith, my relationship with God, and my wellbeing for the good of this particular relationship. Throughout this dream I was met with a version of myself and this friend, I was an outsider looking in. I saw the two of us dining, dancing, and laughing, our time consumed with each other like it had been for all my other friendships. It looked as though myself and this friend were having a good time, but as I looked closer I saw something didn’t seem to fit. It was a snake. This friend transformed before my eyes from a human into a serpent. The serpent turned to me, as I observed, and said “you’ve allowed your worldly relationships to replace God. You’ve replaced the Word with the world.” Then, I woke up. I gasped and thanked God it was all just a horrible dream, but I still felt uneasy. It occurred to me that maybe this was a sign. Did God put this dream on me to allow me to see that the reason our relationship ended before was because I used this particular friend as a way of replacing him? Did he use the serpent to reveal that like the enemy, I’ve allowed this friend to stop me from seeing, both literally and spiritually what God was trying to do in my life? So, I received my answer… no , this is a relationship not worth mending. It was a rather dramatic answer, but necessary nonetheless.

Friends, don’t allow the enemy to use you nor should you give him the key to use any of those around you to craft his plan of separation from you and God. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy and sometimes we make his job easier when we hold on to the world and not the Word. Anything that you are holding onto right now, or idolizing over God, the enemy is there. May you learn to open your eyes to the areas God is calling on you to return to, like he did me. My prayer is that you call on God and rebuke the enemy’s plans to separate you from God. Don’t make the mistake I did and look to your worldly relationship as your help and strength, when all of your help comes first from God. Put God at the centre of your life, your job, your school, and your friendships. While I ended the friendship with this person several years ago, I almost lost my footing and started what was proven to be a bad relationship – I almost gave the enemy the keys to separate me from the Lord like I had done before.

All of our help comes from God, whether it’s conscious or subconscious! Allow Him FULL access to your life, your situation, to YOU.

Father, we believe you are granting us your perfect peace as we keep our mind stayed on you and put you first. We will not allow the enemy in or allow him to believe our help comes for the world instead of the WORD.

This week’s song is All Of My Help by Geoffrey Golden

Lyrics:
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
My saviour
All of my help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you
It comes from you
All of my help comes from you
You are the one that my heart is drawn to
In time of weaknes, my strength is renewed
My help, all of my help
All of my help comes from you

So father, we believe that you are
Renewing our strength as we wait on you
Father, we believe that you are granting us
Your perfect peace as we keep our minds stayed on you
You are our hope, you are our strength
You are our life, father. And so we are gonna lift this together

You are my refuge and strength
My present help in times of trouble
I look to the hills from whence cometh my help
My help comes from you

It comes from you (it comes from you)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
And all of my joy, (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)

You are my life (yes)
You are my light (it comes from you)
Can’t make it without you (yes)
Don’t wanna do it without you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)
Father, we need you (yes)
Father, we need you (it comes from you)

All of my help (it comes from you)
All of my peace (yes)
It comes from you (it comes from you)
For you are (yes)
The source of my strength (it comes from you)
And you are (yes)
You’re the strength of my life (it comes from you)

I love you, lord (yes)
You paid my price (it comes from you)
And pitied (yes)
Pitied every throne (it comes from you)
Long as I live, (yes)
As troubles rise, (it comes from you)
I’m gonna race, (yes)
To your throne (it comes from you)
You are my refuge and strength

Brokenness Aside

I want to warn you all from sitting at the table of brokenness.

By brokenness I am not talking about being shattered because there’s a differences between being shattered and being broken. Divorce will shatter you but you can get married again. Loosing your job can shatter you but you can be employed again. Being shattered means you can be fixed but to be broken means God’s got to humble you.

I got on my knees last night and asked God for strength. Strength over the complicated living situations I am in. I asked God to keep my body strong and to give me what I need in this effort. I asked God to put his hands on me that I might lead his people without distractions. Instead, God put more on me today. I didn’t ask for that. I asked for grace. I asked for strength. I asked God to give me more power than he had last year. Instead, he gave me pain.

Through the abundance of things God has already done for me to keep my feet on the ground, to draw me closer to him he gave me something that I’ve got to depend on him more than I ever had. He says “If I let you do all that you planned to do without me you are going to take glory that does not belong to you. So to keep you humble, to break you, to mold you, to shape you I’ve got to make you dependant on me. Because Mother’s not there, Dad’s not there, sister’s are not there. Late in the midnight hour you need somebody who’s grace is sufficient.”

Paul shares the depth of the dilemma he’s in because he uses the word ‘thorn.’ It’s not a light prick but it is a wooden stick that impales you.

I want to speak to someone who has every had a thorn, or you’re currently feeling this throne. Sweet little church sayings or antidotes won’t get rid of that thorn.

Your pain may have been carried to you by Satan, but it was conceived by God. God won’t let anything happen to his child that catches him off guard. If you haven’t been through anything skip this post. But, if you’ve been through your own storm. If you’ve had a thorn jug you every time you thought you were about to turn the corner or every time you thought you were feeling better it jugs you again then there’s help. Whatever your thorn is there’s good news. Paul said “I went to the Lord and asked him to remove it.”

I went to the Lord and I asked him to remove my thorn, but like Paul I heard him say “my grace is sufficient.”

His grace is sufficient friends. Believe it.

His grace woke you up this morning. His grace started you on your way. His grace is standing you up right now. His grace will keep you all the year long.

So, when brokenness gives you an invite to sit at its table, decline. For brokenness allows God to mold you and change you but if you are content with dwelling in a state of brokenness a change won’t ever come. Set brokenness aside and keep God in mind.

This week’s song is Brokenness Aside by All Sons and Daughters

Lyrics:
Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

Will You call me child
When I tell you lies
‘Cause all I know
Is how to cry

‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
Beautiful

You make it beautiful
You make it beautiful
[x2]

The Amazing God That We Serve

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

  • God’s amazing grace is sufficient to save us from our sins

Paul is a prime example of God’s amazing grace. He was gloriously saved by God’s grace and he did not wish to keep it to himself. Paul wrote more about grace than any other person in the Bible.

The Free Gift of Grace
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Paul spreads the good news that we serve an amazing God who gives the gift of grace, freely to all who call on him.

We Don’t Earn Grace
Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight…”

Paul had to learn that he couldn’t earn his way to heaven. It was only by God’s amazing grace could he be justified and declared righteous in the sight of God.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

All of us have sinned. All of us have had things in our lives that were sinful and displeasing to God. Yet through God’s amazing grace, there is a way for us to be forgiven.

Steps to Receiving God’s Amazing Grace
Romans 10:13 “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13)

Receiving Jesus Christ as your saviour today or for his grace is as easy as ABC
(A) – Admit that you are sinful and in need of forgiveness
(B) – Believe that Jesus died for your sins
(C) – Call upon His name and ask Him for His forgiveness

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.

This week’s song is Amazing Grace by John Newton

 

Lyrics:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I’m found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’twas Grace that taught,
my heart to fear.
And grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear,
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
’tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
than when we first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Love God with Your Everything

There are few things so universal and yet so challenging. Love. Most importantly, love for God. Jesus says in Mark 12:29–30, that to love is the most important commandment as it is necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favour.

There are many substantial examples of God’s sustained favour in the face of great love. Moses asserted, “[Yahweh] keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” but he “repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them”(Deuteronomy 7:9–10). Similarly, Paul declared that “All things work together for good” only for “those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

There is no room here for divided affections or allegiance. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). God demands total loyalty from you. A loyalty that starts with the heart.

Being loyal is defined as “Being faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. Being faithful to one’s allegiance to a government or state or to a person conceived as imposing obligation”. Loyalty comes out of love, devotion, dedication and commitment to the well being of another. As lovers of Christ we are to prove ourselves loyal in regular devotionals, dedicated time and a commitment to stay faithful through the course of the relationship, choosing God over the world.

We are not to simply reserve God to the weekend or worse, a single day of the week – often Sunday’s and occupy the rest of our time with the pleasure of the world. As important as loyalty is in this day and age in our relationships it serves the same importance to our Maker who reminds us not to let “steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you” but to “bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Loving God with all our Heart
From the heart “flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23), and without one’s will, desires, passions, affections, perceptions, and thoughts rightly aligned, the life of love is impossible. As a result disloyalty beings and God no longer becomes the source of our love as we go out giving out our love to others.

Loving God with all our Soul
Along with our hearts, we are called to love God with all our soul. In the first five books of the Old Testament the “soul” refers to one’s whole being as a living person, which while it includes one’s heart, it includes so much more. It is not only the heart that we live and have our being but also our souls that has a closer meaning to “living being”. For example,   in Genesis 2:7 we are told that “Yahweh God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living [soul] creature.

So we are to love God with our everything, beyond our heart. We are to love him with how we talk, and what we do with our hands, and how we utilize our talents, and how we react to trials. Our entire being is to display that we love God.

Loving God with all our Might
What it means to love God with all our might not only points towards the strength a person has, but also what he has at his disposal. This means that the call to love God is not only with our physical muscle or the strength we have in the moment, but with everything we have available for honouring God. Our might is not reserved to what we possess but all that we have around us – which includes our house, our jobs, our time, our family.

Therefore, we must love God with our everything because He is our everything. To love God with our everything includes our heart, soul and might. We are to let the love we feel expand to the love we show. Whether we’re eating or singing, jogging or blogging, texting or drawing – our love for God is to be in felt and seen.

Let us not reserve God to a “side thing” in a time of disloyalty, instead let us remain faithful to God.

This week’s song is You are Everything by Todd Dulaney

Lyrics:
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)

You are alpha and omega
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You are everything to me (you are everything to me)
You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything
(You’re my healer, you’re my Saviour
You are everything, you are everything)

You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)
You are more than life to me (you are more than life to me)

Set Me Ablaze

My prayer for everyone is that we will be on fire for the Lord. That we will continuously burn, that we will continuously be in love and pursue the presence of God and all that He has for us. That we will never grow cold, our hearts will never harden nor will we get tired of the things of God and His Kingdom.

There is a constant reminder in Scripture to stay alert, stay awake, and stay on fire for God. He tell us us to stay prayed up, fasted up, filled up, read up, and lit up. Not only must we stay in His written Word, we must always stay close to Him, we must keep our lamps filled with oil.

 

Have you ever cooked a dish and used old oil? Notice with the old and spare oil the item your cooking takes a little longer to cook. Often, the quality of the food is less than. When believers let their lamps go out it is because they are living today on yesterday’s oil. Doing things the way we did it yesterday does not necessarily work in the here and now. It never lasts in the future. It is always sad to see so many Christians living in the past and refusing to allow themselves the refreshing renewing and change for the better that comes with truly following God, instead they choose to reuse their oil over a fresh supply. As a result, they have little life. Their oil has long since run out. Their life serves no purpose. They give off no light.

Does the journey of the ten virgins mean anything at all?

  “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 

   Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 

  And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)

The oil represents the presence of God in our life. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s the oil that keeps the fire burning. It is mentioned in the parable that the oil is to be purchased. Which means that a price is to be paid to obtain the oil. To have a continual presence of God in our life, we are to pay a price, by spending time at the feet of Jesus. Only the presence of God in our life can keep the fire burning through the dark knights. It was the lack of an adequate supply of oil which caused these foolish maidens to be met with the words, “I do not know you”. They did, of course, have some oil when they began but it was not enough. Oil, in the Old Testament, is frequently used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The oil symbolizes the Spirit of God by which light of testimony could be maintained in the hour of darkness.

Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Many have a lamp in their hands, but no oil to keep the fire for the lamp. They were all virgins, meaning they were all “acceptable” for the Lord’s Return, and initially all lamps were lit. But the Lord delayed His return – over 2000 years. And they all fell asleep. The point the Lord was making wasn’t “don’t fall asleep,” but “be ready for my return”. When the shout came, they all awoke. But then came the separation; 5 virgins thought it ‘wise’ to keep a measure of oil-the Holy Spirit, for His Return, and 5 virgins didn’t. While the 5 foolish virgins went looking for ‘oil sellers’, the Master came and closed the doors – leaving them outside. The sad truth came when they reminded Him of their invitation, He says, “I knew you not” (Matt. 25:12).

Are you equip with the Holy Spirit and ready to meet the Lord?Are you still on fire for Him? After all, God likes the fire: it heats you up, makes you move, burns sin, burns sickness, burns diseases, and purifications takes place in the fire. It’s the Holy Spirit and Fire that keeps us alive.

This week’s song is Set Me Ablaze by Jesus Culture ft. Katie Torwalt

Lyrics:
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
Till it’s all that I know
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
So I’ll never grow cold [x2]

[Chorus:]
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart
Keep me burning
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Come and breathe
On the coals of my heart oh

Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
With a single obsession
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
With an endless passion [x2]

[Chorus x2:]
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart
Keep me burning
Breathe, come and breathe
On the coals of my heart,
May Your fire start
Come and breathe
On the coals of my heart oh

Your fire, burn brighter
Deep inside my heart
Consume me, reach through me
I want all You are
Your fire, burn brighter
Deep inside my heart
Consume me, reach through me [x2]

Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
Till it’s all that I know
Set me ablaze, set me ablaze
So I’ll never grow cold