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Weekly Devotions

Being Faithful with the Little Things

 

Luke 16:10 --- “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

In this verse, we are reminded that if you can be faithful in small situations, than you can be faithful in the even larger ones. This is why we should always go about our daily routines in life and small obstacles with even the largest faith. Through these small things, God often starts to reveal the larger plan that He has for our life.This verse is an example of how you can live #limitless if you prioritize your faith in every aspect of your life. 

We must also use this verse as a guide to how we need to be careful in life. We should never underestimate the power that a ‘small’ lie or an unfaithful action can have, because once the Devil is successful in tempting you one time, he has an even greater chance of tempting you successfully the next time. We must recognize if we need to fix something and repent for what we have done that way we can be sure to put our lives back on the path that God has intended us to be on. Never underestimate your strength and always be cautious of the small mishaps that could lead to even greater trouble. 

Using Your Gifts to Serve the Lord

 

Romans 12: 6-8 --- “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”

God gives each of us special gifts and talents that we are to use to glorify His name and to spread His word. Sometimes, we think that unless our gift or talent has to do with a church directly, that we are inadequate to this, however this is the complete opposite. Just as Romans 12:6 says, each person has different gifts, because each person is unique in their own way and if each person had the same way of spreading God’s word, then we would never be able to spread His love to its full capacity. God gives each person their own ‘tools’ in order to carry out their talent, but we must be willing to use these tools in our daily life. We are not to feel inadequate to other people with what talent God has given us, but rather, we are to work together in order to serve Him as one body. God gives us these talents when we are born, however when we are saved, this is when He gives us the spiritual tools and opportunities in order to glorify His name. 

Do not think of your talent as either a small talent or a large one to glorify God, but rather think of it as one whole talent that is doing just as God asked and leading others to Christ. 

Having the Right Perspective

 

Philippians 1: 19-20 --- “for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

When situations come up in our life, often times, our perspective on the situation has a large impact on the outcome of our struggle. This can often be seen a lot in daily life when people are going through a hard medical situation. One person goes through the same medical condition with trust in God and contentment, while another goes through the situation anxious and feeling alone (this devotion is not to overshadow on the obstacles and effects that situations like these can have on people's physical and mental state of mind, it is simply to explain how trusting in God through situations and having a positive perspective can benefit through the journey). Take for example Paul’s arrest. He had committed no crime, however he was still locked up, but he did not let that tear him down. He knew that if he was executed, he would immediately be with Christ, however, if he was not, he would continue to spread the word of God on earth. As a christian, nothing can separate us from Christ and His love. Yes, we face difficult circumstances, but Christ dwells within us and everything that we face, He facing right there with us. Be sure to always fix your eyes on Jesus throughout everything that life brings us. 

Unanswered Prayer Request

 

2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 --- “Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

I am sure that all of us have had a time where we asked God to answer one of our prayer requests, but he did not. Then, later on life, we look back on these prayer request and we are actually thankful that he did not. In the moment of asking for this request however, we typically do not see the good in the no action that God has. There are so many promises of God answering our prayers in scripture, so why is He not answering these? There are actually several reasons. 


God always does what is best for us. Therefore, if your prayer request is being unanswered, you may want to evaluate what you are asking. You need to make sure that your prayer request does not go against God’s word or His will. You may think it will be good for your life, but remember, God always knows what is best for your life. Secondly, it may be for your protection that He is not answering this request. This could be one of those situations where you may not find out until later one that it was for the better, but this is why it is so important to trust God in every aspect of your life. Lastly, the Lord could have something that is better for you that you may not realize. 

There are so many more reasons, however these are just a couple of them. Overall, remember why it is important to trust God through every situation and know that He is ALWAYS listening to you and doing what is best for you. 

Understanding your Uniqueness

 

Matthew 25: 14-15 --- “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.”

Do you ever try to compare what you are doing in life to what someone else is doing in their life? This can apply to career choices, daily choices, etc. … well, I think we all have probably had a thought like this at one point or another. When you connect this to your spiritual life, you may begin to question, “am I doing enough to honor God in my life?” Now yes, there are certain decisions and practices that we do that do not honor God, but I am talking about the basics here. If you have ever thought these things (I know I have), than you have one important thing to remember: God entrusted each of us with a specific talent or talents, according to our individual abilities. Everyone was not meant to have the same abilities, but rather we are all supposed to use our abilities together to honor and glorify God. You might be questioning your talent that makes your career and if you are, then you MUST remember that God gave you that talent for a reason and he entrusted in you to use it to glorify his name. So think to yourself, are you using your talents to honor God? 

Understanding God's Ways

 

Psalm 25: 10 --- “All the paths of the LORD are loving kindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.”

They always say, you never truly know how someone truly is, until you live with them (whether this be good or bad qualities). You start to learn their habits, their outlooks, and the way in which they approach situations. As humans, we can often look at scripture and try to understand God’s ways. When something happens that can alter the path of our life, we try to understand every aspect of it and how God works through that situation and how He is going to help you through it. The thing is, we are not meant to just understand God’s ways in which He works right off the bat. This is why it is so important that we fervently read His word. We must keep a constant longing to grow our knowledge on the Lord and to look at every word with open eyes and an open heart. He is not just going to give us all of the knowledge we need right after we have been saved by Him. He wants us to read His Word, He wants us to pray to Him, and He wants us to always have that want to do so. 

Remember the importance in reading God’s word and always keep an open mindset that He is growing our spiritual understanding everyday. 

Feeling of Guilt

 

Psalm 32: 1-2 ---  “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!” 

Having feelings of guilt is one of those most daunting feelings there is. It can linger on in your mind and constantly makes one question themselves. However, there is also guilt that can come up in our minds about something that is not necessarily the truth. One may think that they did not do enough or what if they did too much… this is a way for the enemy to direct our thoughts away from the Lord. This is why it is important to give these thoughts to the Lord directly in order to not let these thoughts steer us away from the Lord.  If we do not give these to the Lord, it can cause us to go down a path that can lead us to far worse things. If you have done something wrong, ask for forgiveness from the Lord and in both situations, real guilt or false guilt, put all of your emotions in the Lord’s hands and praise Him for who He is. He never wants any of His children to carry an unnecessary burden in their life. 

Turning Your Cheek

 1 Thessalonians 5:15 --- "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else."

Almost everyone always gets mad when somebody does something to you that you do not necessarily like. It is human nature... however, we as Christians are not suppose to follow the normal behavior. We are to set a guideline for others on how to act and in this situation we are told to "do what is good" or in other words "turn your cheek". If you do react in the wrong way,  consequences with God or even the guilt of not acting according to His word, is far worse than just turning the cheek. Sometimes, not reacting can be seen as a sign of weakness, but the key to that, is that it can be seen as a sign of weakness in HUMANS eyes, but in God's eyes, it is a powerful step to take. If you do react, you are putting yourself in a situation to say or do something worse than what was said or done to you.

Ultimately, reacting to someones who wrongs you never leads to a good outcome. It might bring you satisfaction for a short while, but that short lived moment of glory is never worth letting our Lord and Savior down. Learn to start turning the other cheek, learn to #liveBEYOND.

Living in a Changing World

 

Romans 5: 1-5 --- Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Change in our world is happening everyday, all around us. There is constantly something that is not staying the same, whether it be with technology, society, politics, way of living, etc. This can sometimes cause people to feel a state of worry depending on the situation. It can cause an uncertainty in our comfort area, however if we do just one thing, it can bring comfort back into our life as a christian. We must trust God in His will for our lives and throughout our situations. In Isaiah 28:16, God says that we ALWAYS have a foundation to Him and that He who believes, does not have to worry, for he will not be disturbed. 

Remember that your future as a christian does not lie in the everyday practices of the world. The constant changes do not define your outcome. The Lord does not break His promises to us and He has promised that we are secure in this life and our life to come in Heaven. 

Having A Friend in Jesus

Matthew 26:49-50 --- “Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you have come for." Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.”

If you have ever had a friend wrong you and break your trust, then you most likely had resentment towards them and there is a chance you might not be friends anymore. This is how the situations can sometimes turn out for us as humans, however with God, it is the complete opposite. 

When Judas betrayed Jesus, Jesus still referred to him as “friend”. It did not matter how bad the circumstance was, Jesus still provided a friendship to the man who could not be trusted and led him to brutal circumstances. When people are in a bad area in their life, they can have the thought that they are alone or that God could not possibly love them, because of the wrong they have done, however God is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). He does not have a certain standard one must meet and he does not count wrongs against us. Rather, He welcomes us with every wrong and every right with open arms.

Rejoicing Each Day

Psalm 118:24 --- "This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."
It can be hard some days to rejoice and be glad if you have a hard situation around you. It's not easy finding out that you have failed at something or when you see a close friend struggling in their own life and it is not necessarily that you should rejoice these bad situations, but it is that you should rejoice that God is almighty and even though you may be struggling at the time, He still made the sun rise and air for you breathe in.
During hard situations it may be difficult to see the good, but you must remember that every cloud has a silver lining. Remember that God is in charge and there are so many more blessings than there are disappointments. He will never endure us more than we cannot handle.
So, when you hear this verse, do not think that it means to rejoice the bad, but rather count all of your blessings that are still around you. That alone will help you in your own situation. Learn to trust God and learn to #liveBEYOND the fear of the unknown.

Having Perseverance

James 1: 2-4 --- "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Trials in our life can be some of the most testing moments of not only our faith, but our perseverance to make it through those trials. However, God allows these trials in our life that way he can test our faith, but he also knows that we are capable of making it through these times if we trust in Him. He wants to reveal our strengths and teach us a process of trusting without knowing in order to mature our faith and relationship with Him. When we make it through these trials, we will be a conqueror through Christ's strength.

When you're in the middle of trial, remember that you are not alone. God is guiding you every step of the way, but He is also giving you what you need to persevere, probably without you even realizing it. Trust in God through your highest highs and your lowest lows and #liveBEYOND the voices telling you to quit, because you WILL persevere. 

Faith Over Fear

Mark 4:41 --- "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him?

In Mark 4, Christ lets His disciples experience the big gust of wind of the ocean and they all become afraid. In a panic, they wake Jesus wondering how He was going to let them all suffer. However, when they woke Jesus, He told the wind and waves to be calm and asked His disciples why they had little faith in Him. If the wind would have never been rough, the disciples would have never asked "Who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41).

Now, apply this story to your life. If you lived in a perfect world, how strong would your faith be? I hear people ask "why would Christ let this happen to me?" Well, the answer is in the story of the disciples. If our faith was not tested, then how could we truly discover how strong it really is. Christ wants us to show Him that even in the scariest moments, that we will still have faith in Him. Anytime Christ puts fear into your life, pray that your faith will dominate over your fear.

What is, Not What if

 1 Thessalonians 4:13 --- "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope."

When there is a death in a family, members of the family often find themselves in the grievance of "what if". "What if" they could have done something to prevent the death or "what if" they could have done something that they now regret not doing. This is a common challenge that people find themselves in when something bad happens, however this is also not a place that anyone should be in. It is a place full of sorrow, regret, and hopelessness. It is okay to be sad and mourn, but we must learn to live with the attitude of "what is", rather than the attitude of "what if". With the "what is" attitude, one can find comfort and assurance through the Lord.

We cannot stop sadness from happening in our lives, but we can stop how we react to the sadness. If death is the case, celebrate the person for who they are and the life that God gave them and know that they are in a better place. When the sadness does affect you, look to God and put your hope in him with the attitude of "what is". Is it harder to put this into action than it is to say? of course, but with the Lord's comfort, it is possible. 

Healing

 

John 5: 1-3; 5-9 --- "Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. "

In John, chapter 5, we are told the story of the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda who Jesus miraculously healed by simply telling him to  “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk" (V. 8). Originally, the man began to make excuses when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed. Often times, this is where we go wrong in the healing process without even realizing it. We can spend too much time dwelling on what is wrong with us, that we are blinded to the fact that Jesus wants to heal us. Jesus wants you to walk; to pick up you mat and only move forward. It might hurt at first, but moving forward is what is going to make it better. We may not even do this on purpose, but this is why it is so important to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, not only at all times, but especially when we need him the most. This could be for the biggest battle in your life or even the smallest. It is time to pick up your mat and walk with faith, trusting God. #liveBEYOND the idea of just waiting for change to happen. Pray to God, take his hand, and follow him on the journey. 

Your Story isn't Over

Jeremiah 18:4 ---  "But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over."

Have you ever had a time in your life where you feel like you just cannot make it anymore? You feel completely defeated and loose almost all hope. I feel like we have all probably had this feeling a time or two. BUT... read that verse again. The potter did not get the end result he wanted, so he crushed his mistake and started over without letting it define him or his talent.

This is how we all should be in life. When a situation defeats us we should not just simply give up and 'throw in the towel', but rather, we should let that defeat be a lesson on what not do and let it be step in series of meeting our goals. 

That mistake does NOT define you. That mistake does NOT ruin it for you. Fix your mentality into a follower role and know that every situation can be turned around, as long as you have the attitude that it will. #liveBEYOND the idea of giving up and pursue goals endlessly. 

Having the Last Word

 

Ecclesiastes 5:2 --- "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart."
Often times, when you see, for example, younger siblings arguing, there is always one thing that each sibling tries to do: have the last word. Each child always tries to add in that little last bit to make their argument seem more valid. We might not realize it, but sometimes we can get caught up in trying to have the last word with God. A situation can happen in our life that we might not like the outcome of, and instead of closing our mouth and taking a step forward, we can often question God on how He is leading our life. We try and try again, hoping for a different outcome when we should we really just be trusting his judgement and his timing.
In order to fix this problem, we need to learn to listen, rather than speak. Let the one who created our life and our path, have the last word. Do not have attitude in your questions about life situations, but rather have gratitude and wisdom. We will never gain anything if we are over-talking the works that are going on in our life, because we will be too distracted trying to fix them our-self.  Learn to pray and listen, learn to #liveBEYOND and trust our heavenly father.

Your Contribution

1 Corinthians 12: 14; 18-21 --- "Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many." ; "But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”

Every single day, you go through normal motions, like getting out of bed, going to work, preparing dinner, etc. but the one thing that is typically overlooked through these task, is how many aspects go into completing them. It is amazing when you actually sit down and think about these things, how useful each body part actually is. However, sometimes people can overlook how significant their task as Christians can be in their church and in  this world. 

Just as a head cannot say to the feet that it does not need them, we should not look at ourselves and think that we are not necessary to spread the word of God. Every person is different in their talent, but God has made us that way, because there are so many things that go into spreading the word, just as there is in our daily life. 

Begin to think of ways that you can contribute to spreading the word of God and #goBEYOND just thinking those things... put those thoughts into actions. These things are all contributing to our Heavenly Father. 

Judging Others

Matthew 7:1 --- "Don't judge other people and God will not judge you."

It can be hard to admit at times, but ultimately, a majority of humans get satisfaction from judging others. It could be about something they're doing or they're not doing or maybe something they're wearing or not wearing. Almost everyone is guilty of it and it is one of the things that we should want to change most about ourselves. See, when we judge others, we are judging someone who was created by the same hands as you were.

Even though judging someone can come as a result of jealousy, envy, or anger, one of the biggest things that it derives from, is trying to cover up our own sins with it. For example, you commit a sin, but you than later hear about someone committing a "worse" sin (in your eyes), so you start to not feel as bad about you sin. This can be one of the most toxic things for a christian. We are told we must take our sins to Christ and ask for forgiveness, but if we are to busy judging others for their sins and trying to cover ours up, than we could miss our opportunity to just solely focus on our own problems with the Lord.

So, be sure your living YOUR life and not judging others for theirs. Be sure your living your life BEYOND.