Daily Devotions


Wisdoms’ Mark

Most people can admit to personal times when the line of mature, thoughtful behavior was crossed and careless or foolish conduct found expression in words that were likewise careless and foolish – not good. Simply put, foolishness is the absence of wisdom.

So, if single occurrences of foolishness stood alone, isolated from the rest of our lifestyle, that might be one thing but actually, the opposite is true. Actions attract and words establish. A stroll on the wrong side of the line sets in motion allegiance(s) we’d never purposefully choose, the fruit of which we’ll experience in a future setting.

The point is this. We should discipline our behavior and not be careless with our words. Always, always remember, words have power: God said, “Light be!” and the whole universe flooded with light. Words create. Those creative words train those around you so, in fact, it will be as you say. Children, for example, watch and listen then imitate what they see . . . and hear.

Words that are full of life are wisdom’s mark. A wiseman builds on rock—not san

Amen.

Matt 7:24-26

Forgot To Remember

Psalm 106 identifies the sin that kept Israel outside the Promised Land—forty years in a desert wilderness, going in circles, so close yet so far from their promise. Israel’s failure was they forgot to remember God and His marvelous works, in their midst and on their behalf.

Israel forgot to remember. 

It’s the same for you and me when our undisciplined thoughts focus on unmet desires, all those “we do not have’s.” When emphasis is placed on what we don’thave rather than what we do, on dreams not yet realized more than those already satisfied, we forget to remember!

Choosing to remember the Lord and his goodness means we specifically call to mind his benefits and think about, emphasize, and meditate on those. When we remember to think this way, our entire being is strengthened. As a man thinks so is he is his heart.

All this is a practical example of our need for journaling—written notes about our thoughts and feelings experienced throughout the day and expressed in our own handwriting make it possible to discern how what we do and think helps or limits us.

As you journal this way your story unfolds, revealing repetitive behavior or habits possibly unnoticed before. With this information—again, written by you, totally private—patterns and trouble spots are easier to recognize and steer clear.

Your journal is “your story.” Like an autobiography journaling discloses common threads of action and decisions made, their impact on successes and failures, your response to those and the ways they marked you. “Telling the story” helps discern beliefs and strongholds of thought for what they really are.

For a heart tempted to doubt, the discipline of journaling says “don’t go that way . . . you know what happened last time . . . this time choose to believe God . . . choose to trust the Lord.”

A journal contains somethings we would never share—never tell, never admit. Writing is a form of confession and private writing is naturally more truthful. As truth flows from pen to paper we discover a more truthful account of regrets, choices, values, hopes and dreams.

Like the Israelites’ journey, a life off track moves in circles. Without landmarks of progress we’re trapped, repeating the same circle. Don’t substitute circles for cycles but instead glean from your past.

Recall at least one Red Sea crossing, at least one life and death deliverance and one revelation that changed you. Recalling gives context to the present and, in context, your focus sharpens to realize it was the strongholds you allowed and not the devil that have been blocking your view.

Write the vision clearly and, also, don’t forget to remember.

Amen.

Psalm 106 | Exodus 17:14 | Joshua 10:13 | Malachi 3:16 | Verses@Once

Self Judge

[You have called me a garden, she said] Oh, I pray that the [cold] north wind and the [soft] south wind may blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out [in abundance for you in whom my soul delights. (Song of Solomon 6:16, AMP)

In Song of Solomon the Shulamite maiden is likened to a garden. Acknowledging the distinction, she invites both harsh and gentle winds to blow upon her—cool, soft breezes for enjoyment and more powerful winds to release her fragrance, the spices of her garden.

In a similar way you are the Lord’s garden. Matters of Kingdom life sometimes seem harsh but, for perspective, consider the concept of judgment: Though seemingly harsh, judgment often is the divine means to a desirable end; judgment brings pressure that magnifies; judgment exposes without discrimination, both good and bad, and in the process, we are free to choose, to discard the bad and strengthen the good. God’s people are His garden, His redeemed people shall be as “a well-watered garden, a people who shall not sorrow any more at all.”

For us judgment is a distinction. Our merciful Lord judges, and we also judge our lives, producing change based on judgment of what is righteous for us, and what is not.

Amen.

Song of Solomon 4:16, NLT| Isaiah 58:11| Jeremiah 31:12| 1 Corinthians 11:31| Verses@Once

Sabbath

The Lord sanctified one day in the week and called it holy, a set-apart day—a Sabbath.

In Jewish communities around the world nightfall Friday begins the Jewish Sabbath. Throughout the day, flower vendors are busy, and the aroma of fresh bread fills the air. The brisk pace ofpreparationis everywhere. By afternoon the pace slows—shops close, customers in market areas gradually disappear and quiet settles in streets and gathering places as the setting sun begins the Sabbath day. It is a very special experience in God’s presence.

Bible mentions of sabbath occur more than one hundred times, half of those in the New Testament including Jesus’ teaching not to judge one another according to the keeping Sabbath in a legalistic or ritualistic way. It is His teaching on the reality and spiritual significance of keepingthe Sabbath. That for six days men pursue ways that seem right to them but on the Sabbath Day, hearts recalibrate and soften to focus on One whose way is perfect.

As a Christian I cherish God’s provision of a day set apart, a day to concentrate on the Lord, a Sabbath day. Some don’t agree and think observing the Sabbath is legalistic carry-over from pre-Christian times. But I believe keeping the Sabbath is obedience to God’s Word of blessing for His people and that the spirit of the Sabbath is eternal, a time to slow the pace and allow time unlike other days in the week to experience His love, and re-focus ours. 

Shabbat Shalom–peace!

Amen.

Genesis 2:2-3Mark 2:27-28Matthew 5:17-18, Verses@Once

Pursuit Of Greatness

To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud. (Psalm 18:25-27)

Zeal to achieve and a desire for greatness are not the same as lust for power or fame but rather an integral character strength found in people who work hard, do their best and go the extra mile even when no one is looking… who personally have the strength of will to endure personally and believe in the same endurance for every individual, believing this aspect of divine calling is available to everyone.    

Without question, longing for greatness accelerates when we are surrounded by great people. Natural leaders setting the example along pathways to the top. Like parents who mentor in the home with godly vision and understand the big picture, who challenge and challenge and challenge again until finally chronological maturity in family members and individual destiny for mission converge in a moment of inspired decision… the next step.

Life on the cutting edge is definitely filled with risk but for those in pursuit of greatnesslife on the cutting edge is stunning. They wouldn’t want it any other way, nor anything less.

Amen.

Psalm 18

Steward The Gift

The Lord remembers your gift and calling, deposits of His Spirit made into your soul. He does not change His mind about those but watches over them faithfully.

Guard the vision He has given you. It is a treasure, a much-needed indispensable part! Facilitating the vision of others is noble but don’t forget the Lord’s word to you. It takes less effort and is less costly to do someone else’s vision though maybe at the expense of your own. Do your best to avoid that.

Be sure to complete the Lord’s word…to you. Don’t put it off.  Remember first of all it is required that a steward be found faithful. Avoid religion’s pull to define you. Focus again. Remain clear. Stay with the words He spoke to you.

Amen.

Romans 11:29 | 2Peter 1:17-19 | 1Corinthians 4:2 | Nehemiah 9:7-8 | Verses@Once

Spirit Wind

Heaven’s response to all you stored up in your heart is coming today—that abundance of His Word is your reservoir of faith, joy, strength, dignity in God, benefits on every side and, most of all, the presence of One whose hand holds it all.

He holds the wind and appoints particular winds held for release at specific times. The wind carries you and you conform to it, increasing with the increase of God. Say to the Lord: You, Lord, I seek. With You is ALL my life and I increase with the increase of Your Presence. Selah!

Amen.

Acts 2:2 | 1Kings 19:11-12 | Job 28:24-28 | Ezekiel 37:9-10 | Matthew 8:26-27 | Matthew 24:31 | Verses@Once

Held Before The Lord

David experienced the full gamut of regret and humiliation, also great joy and heights of worship. As psalmist writing about his life, David penned the importance of taking everything, even wrong things, to the Lord. Habakkuk, too, sought Him this way for divine perspective.

Everything in life carries core influences that move toward an outcome: Every issue has a mixture of motives and every movement has a spirit that drives it, influencing people to do what they do. In the process surface details may be obvious but often less clear is the spirit at the heart of the matter.

It’s why we hold everything before the Lord. He judges and marks some things for removal from our lives. For your part, before lamenting something not right do as David did. Plead your case! Declare things you have done right. In prayer hold those before the Lord—remind Him.

Prayerfully declare: Lord, you have prepared me for exploits. For days and months and years I have shared in great things by your hand. Today, based upon Your excellence within me and Your Lordship over me, I reach from eternity-present into eternity-future and release my faith… for a miracle!

Amen! So be it!

Luke 21:15 ASV | Psalm 51 | Habakkuk 2:1 | Verses@Once

His Direction

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10, AMP)

We pray for direction from the beginning of anything right through to its conclusion. In the process, we learn to trust the Lord, gaining understanding from the experience. He has plans we are yet to know, including huge downloads of His love to move us into those plans, in sync with His leading.

In the process of learning to trust Him, we train our soul to agree with His leading. Humanly speaking, we are triune beings—spirit, soul and body; to successfully follow Him the human spirit must be willing, the soul (mind, will and emotions) must agree with the direction He gives, and the flesh is disciplined to choose His way over its own.

The goal is demonstration of his dominion in our lives. In every place of His dominion, treasures await the one who willingly, purposefully connects to His works. His dominion is like the river Ezekiel was shown, a river teaming with His presence. The river forms around us and we become one with it.

Bless the Lord—everyone! In all places of His dominion, bless Him!

Amen.

Ephesians 2:10 AMP | Matthew 26:41 | Ezekiel 47:3-5 | Psalm 103:22 | Verses@Once

Many Emissaries

Jesus’ ministry was larger than one man. As heaven’s emissary on divine mission, Jesus carried the presence and authority of the Almighty—every step and word generating a solid case for the love of God, on assignment from the Godhead to deliver mankind from evil and bring forth many believers who would do the same.

His ambassadorship of compassion continues today, shaping the worldview of disciples on assignment with Him, His ministry still larger than one man and His path still marked with specific incidences of supernatural intervention.

A man infirmed for thirty-eight years encountered Him at Bethesda—a pool near Jerusalem’s Sheep Gate. Jesus initiated the contact, there was no apparent effort by the man. In brief conversation with Jesus the afflicted one revealed hope that one day His situation would change. It did. That day!

The ambassadorship we carry is patterned identically this way. We are sent to offer what Jesus began, everything from compassion for the broken to firestorms of faith-prayer against roots of brokenness. We are on assignment . . . messengers not only of hope but realities of the Kingdom, a way of life for those who believe.

Wisdom guides us. Joy is our strength. Confidence motivates us and our paths, like His, flood those we are sent to with specific incidences of supernatural intervention. 

Amen.

John 5

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“Thank you my dear Shirley! God speaks to me through your words and devotionals. I send you my love and respect in Jesus!” – M.G. | Buenos Aires, Argentina |  February 1, 2018

“The timing for this is incredibly important.” — L.S. | Pennsylvania | August 14, 2017

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“POWERFUL devotion this morning! Thank you & THANK GOD for those like you!” — R.J. South Carolina | August 15, 2017

How I needed this today. Thank you for sharing what God is saying to you. We need you in the Body. The Lord bless. You. — P.V. | Arizona | August 2, 2017

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