Putting God to the Test

And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (Judges 6:36-40) 
Gideon put God to the test. Gideon, by placing a fleece on the floor, took matters into his own hands and showed that he did not fully trust God. God had already told him that he would fight on the behalf of his people. Gideon’s practice, however, confirmed that he was reluctant to simply take God at his word. The tangible symbol of the wet fleece was a secondary sign of God’s faithfulness to confirm his word to the leader he had chosen. Faced with a far more daunting challenge, Jesus, at the beginning of his earthly ministry, was placed in a situation in which his trust in God’s word was challenged (Mt 4:1 – 11). Satan tempted Jesus to circumvent God’s plan and take matters into his own hands. First, after fasting for forty days, Jesus was challenged to turn stones into bread. Jesus, who would soon multiply a meager amount of fish and bread to feed the multitudes, surely had the ability to turn a stone into a piece of bread. But this action would have amounted to a failure to trust that God the Father, in his time and ways, would supply Jesus’ needs. Second, Satan tempted Jesus to throw himself off the highest point of the temple, citing that angels would protect him. This temptation would have bypassed the God-ordained path for his life, death and victorious resurrection. Third, the King of the universe was tempted to doubt God’s word and procure his own path to power and glory. 
At each juncture, Jesus refused to test God’s word and faithfulness. Instead, relying on the power of God’s promises, he rejected Satan and continued to walk in confidence that God would provide. Throughout Jesus’ earthly ministry, religious leaders continued to place tests before Jesus in an effort to discount his claims to being the Son of God (Mt 16:1; Mk 10:2). Jesus refused to cater to their demands, while indicating that his public words and deeds were more than enough to show them who he was. 
God’s Word and his proven faithfulness are a strong foundation for the faith of his people today. Met with the challenges of life in a fallen world, the church need not test God with trivial exercises like Gideon did here. God’s people, following the pattern set by Jesus, can stand securely on his Word and his character even in an uncertain future. 
Jesus, I don’t want to doubt you like Gideon did. Help me to always take you at your word, because I know that your word never fails. Thank you for your miraculous power and your perfect timing. Amen. 
This blessed me so much when I read it and I pray it also uplifts, encourages and blesses someone else today. Stand securely in His Word and trust Him completely. 
Have a beautiful day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 51:1-2

Little by Little

By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. (Exodus 23:30)

In Chapter 23, God grants the Israelites various promises, including utterly overthrowing and completely cutting off their enemies. The Lord further states that He will bless their bread and water and take their sicknesses away. With the Lord on their side, the Israelites cannot lose.  But in verse 30, the Lord says that He will fulfill His promises by driving out their enemies little by little. Why? Why doesn’t God just wipe their enemies out like He did the Egyptians as they entered the Red Sea? What benefit is there to do it little by little?

Exodus 23:29 says “I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.” In other words, a place of instant abundance and blessings would be harmful for the Israelites. Blessings are not true blessings unless they come when we are able to handle them. Think of areas in your life that you would love to see the Lord work in you today. Maybe you need deliverance from sin that seems to have trapped you or maybe it is your finances. The list can go on and on. God wants to deliver you and bless you, but He will only give you what you can handle. God knows what is best for us. Even the blessings can become curses if we do not have the wisdom, maturity and honesty to handle them.

The Lord’s timing is never too late nor too slow. He is patient and kind, assessing the whole situation, so that when He fulfills His promises in you, you will be able to receive them in peace. We want the quick fix or the instant gratification. We want the immediate and the miraculous. However, God’s ways are not our ways and He desires to give us a future life in His promises. Little by little, complete victory will be yours by having faith and patience day by day.

This devotion blessed me in so many ways, one part that jumped out at me was when it said “blessings are not true blessings unless they come when we are able to handle them”. So many times we are guilty of forcing things to happen and then saying it was God’s blessing when in reality it wasn’t part of His plan for your life and eventually we realize that wasn’t the best choice to have been made or forced. It’s so important we wait patiently on Him, His plan for our lives is far better and far more productive than anything we could ever imagine. What’s also so incredible about God is even when we force our plan He is able to come along and steer us back in the direction He had planned if we are willing to let go and let God. Little by little makes a huge impact. He has a perfect plan for your life, trust Him! The Lords timing is never too late nor too slow, Amen, what truth! Not my will, but thine, be done. What an example to follow after, that should be our heart’s cry every single day.

Have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Matthew 20:1-16

What on Earth?

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

When Andrew Cheatle lost his cell phone at the beach, he thought it was gone forever. About a week later, however, fisherman Glen Kerley called him. He had pulled Cheatle’s phone, still functional after it dried, out of a 25-pound cod.

Life is full of odd stories, and we find more than a few of them in the Bible. One day tax collectors came to Peter demanding to know, “Doth not your master pay tribute?” (Matt. 17:24). Jesus turned the situation into a teaching moment. He wanted Peter to understand His role as king. Taxes weren’t collected from the children of the king, and the Lord made it clear that neither He nor His children owed any temple tax (vv. 25–26).

Yet Jesus wanted to be careful not to “cause offense” (v. 27), so He told Peter to go fishing. (This is the odd part of the story.) Peter found a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught.

What on earth is Jesus doing here? A better question is, “What in God’s kingdom is Jesus doing?” He is the rightful King—even when many do not recognize Him as such. When we accept His role as Lord in our lives, we become His children.

Life will still throw its various demands at us, but Jesus will provide for us. As former pastor David Pompo put it, “When we’re fishing for our Father, we can depend on Him for all we need.”

Lord, teach us to bask in the wonderful realization that You provide everything we need. Amen.

When I read this I couldn’t help but think, what a mighty God we serve. He’s always looking out for us and providing for us just in time. Don’t loose faith, be faithful and He will see you through. We are children of The King! In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).

Have a beautiful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Matthew 17:24-27

God’s Favor

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. (Daniel 1:9)

I love the Old Testament stories that illustrate how God brought someone into favor in an unfavorable situation. Daniel was given favor in the king’s palace, even though he was a captive and taken prisoner. Joseph was given favor with the guards as a prisoner in Egypt. And even David, before he was king, was given favor when he sought refuge in enemy territory with the Philistines. Why such favor with these people in these situations? Was it because of what they had done to earn it? No. It was because of who God is.

Even today, we see God’s favor upon us. There are many times that I ask God to give me favor in certain situations or with certain people. Sometimes we hold back from asking for such things because we feel unworthy or undeserving. But the Lord wants us to ask because He loves to answer. I have been given favor in situations where I felt I didn’t deserve it. When we truly embrace God’s grace, then we can begin to understand a snippet of how much He loves us.

God is so good! He always has a way of showing His grace in so many different ways and it’s through devotions like this that I read when I am reminded of just how good God is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He brought favor to Daniel, Joseph and David in the most unfavorable situations then He can and will do the very same for you and I. If our lives are in line with God’s word and what He has called us to do, you can guarantee He will find you favor, even in the most uncertain situations. Be merciful, loving and kind, no matter your situation and watch what God will do. Be reading your word, praying, fasting and faithful in your tithes. He is faithful that promised.

Make today beautiful!

Today’s Reading is Proverbs 3


We’re Never Too Far Gone

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

When it comes to trusting God, we all have a choice. God’s ultimate heart for each and every person is to embrace His love and forgiveness. That was the entire purpose behind Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection three days later. No matter what we have done or what regrets we carry, when we repent from our sins and cry out for God’s love and forgiveness – we receive it.

That’s what happened when the people of Nineveh turned from their sins and cried out for God’s mercy; the most wicked city at the time was radically redeemed. It’s a story of hope that reflects God’s heart for each and every person. No matter your past, no matter the regrets and shame you carry – God can forgive you. In fact, God is eager to overwhelm you with His grace and mercy if only you’ll acknowledge that you’ve messed up. 1st John chapter 1 says that if we confess our sins and recognize our need for Jesus, we will experience God’s complete purifying forgiveness (My Paraphrase).  Nobody is too far from God that they cannot be redeemed and forgiven.

Hey – if the Ninevites could be forgiven, so can that estranged family member, that ex-spouse, or even our nation. All it takes is coming to God with repentant faith and saying, “God, forgive me. I’ve tried doing life my own way, but now I want to walk with you.” If God can forgive Nineveh, He can forgive an ISIS terrorist, a hardened atheist, or simply the person who believes in God but has been living life their own way. Most of all, God can even forgive YOU and me! It’s never too late; you’re never too far gone. Claim God’s love and forgiveness today!

He is faithful! As I’ve read over the past devotions and recalled what God has placed in front of me from day to day, I can’t help but know, He is faithful that promised. You may feel your prayers are not being heard but remember, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55:9-12). He is faithful!

Make today beautiful!

Today’s Reading is 1 John 1

Perfect in Suffering

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10)

I recently read. The word “suffer” is not a word that brings comfort or peace. When we hear someone is suffering, we feel concern, sympathy and even sadness for that person. The definition for suffering means “to experiencea sensation or impression (usually painful).” The other fact that we as Christians must deal with is that God allows suffering. Nothing on this planet or in the universe happens without God’s approval.

Why does this loving, gracious God allow tragedies that bring such suffering? Why does evil persist, even in homes and families who seek the Lord the most? These and many more questions are asked when we try to make sense of God’s ways. Satan has taken full advantage of these events in our lives; at least he has tried to. Have you ever had thoughts like: “Why should I believe that doing things God’s way brings me any assurance of protection or blessings?” Or, “If God loves me then why is He letting this happen to me?” The same logic applies when we turn those same thoughts to others. People hurt us, so let’s not trust people anymore. Circumstances hurt us, so let’s control everything we possibly can to prevent being hurt (Hurt, by the way, is just another description for suffering.).

The bottom-line answer is that we will never fully understand why God does what He does. We must live as He has told us to live–by faith. We must believe and trust that the Lord has a reason for everything that happens to us. When we dig into His Word and study His teachings, then we will have more peace in those times of confusion and pain. Today’s verse is an example of how we can find peace and hope in times of suffering. We should pray this verse and meditate on it as we are going through those times of suffering. If we can look beyond our pain for the moment and pray to see the bigger picture that God has for us, then we can find hope and even peace in what we are going through. Even in the midst of great tragedies that tempt us to ask God “why,” we can trust that He has a much greater plan than what we see in the short term. The question for us is whether or not we will trust Him or turn from Him.

Take time today to really meditate on the verse above. Take comfort and trust the Lord to “perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you” after you have suffered a while. Only God knows the timing of such things. Pray for the perseverance to endure.

We all need to be reminded of this from time to time. With all the hurt and suffering going on in the world around us and maybe even in our own lives we can’t become discouraged and allow it to over take our hope and joy but we must lift up our heads and remember this scripture. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Trust Him!

Make today beautiful!

Today’s Reading is 1 Peter 5:6-11

He is Faithful

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised). (Hebrews 10:23)

At times it is so easy to quote this scripture with faith until your faith is put to the test but it’s in those moments of testing when you realize how faithful He truly is. We can’t have a testimony without first being tested. It is important that in those times of testing that we declare our faith, steadfast without wavering.

I don’t know what your going through but He does. He sees all things great and small. If I can leave you with this one simple, yet powerful truth, it is, He is indeed faithful that promised and it doesn’t matter what the enemy tries throwing at me or in my path, I will raise my hands, I will raise my voice, I will sing a new song and I will trust Him. I encourage you to do the same. Stop looking at what’s going on around you and look up, don’t look down and around but up. He’s still God!!

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 146

New every Morning

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

When we wake up in the morning, what are our first thoughts? Are they ‘Here’s a new measure of God’s compassion, mercy and love. I wonder if there’s something special about this day. It’s the first day of the rest of my life. It’s new – and I’m alive. I can breathe the air and feel the wind on my face. Today’s a gift from the Lord’?

We could see it as another ordinary day, or one of those grey days, with the same jobs to do, and the same journeys to make. But what if the Queen was coming to tea at our house today? We would have been making preparations for a long time. And what if the King of kings was to call on us and perform a miracle (which He does from time to time when we belong to Him).

A new day can hold many surprises and could even be the best day of our lives. When we’re living for Jesus we know that His mercies are new every morning and we can expect great things of this day. The people we meet, the news we hear and everything that happens to us is significant. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:8-9).

As we are believers, this day has been recorded in His Book. Who knows? Perhaps God has a specific purpose for us today, ‘for such a time as this’, as He did in the story of Esther.

May our first thought be of praise! Yesterday may have held some downfall or failure, but, like a spiritual bath or shower of His mercy and forgiveness, we’re able to start anew with a clean heart, for yesterday has gone. “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Psalm 59:16).

Thank You, Lord, for this new morning. I place it in Your hands and praise You for the new mercies that You will shower down on me today, in Jesus’ name. Amen

When I read this it challenged me to stop and reflect on what my first thoughts were when I woke up. At times we tend to start our days focusing on the things that truly don’t matter. Even if you have to write it on a sticky note and place it on your phone or your bathroom mirror, I challenge each and every one of us to wake each morning with this on our mind, Today is a gift from the Lord!! Watch and see how that one simple thought will change your day. I also challenge you to then fall on your knees before Him, read your word and pray. When we make time for Him, He will open doors no man can shut. Revelation 3:8 says, I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. He is faithful.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Lamentations 3:22-23

Conceived in Crisis

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. (Psalm 57:1)

Marc recalls a moment from his childhood when his father called the family together. Their car had broken down, and the family would run out of money by the end of the month. Marc’s dad paused and prayed. Then he asked the family to expect God’s answer.

Today Marc recalls how God’s help arrived in surprising ways. A friend repaired their car; unexpected checks arrived; food showed up at the door. Praising God came easily. But the family’s gratitude had been forged in a crisis.

Psalm 57 has long provided rich inspiration for worship songs. When David declared, “Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth” (v. 11), we might imagine him gazing up at a magnificent Middle Eastern night sky or perhaps singing in a tabernacle worship service. But in reality David, fearful for his life, was hiding in a cave.

“My soul is among lions” David said in the psalm, and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword” (v. 4). David’s praise was conceived in crisis. Although he was cornered by enemies who wanted him dead, David could write these amazing words: “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (v. 7).

Whatever crisis we face today, we can run to God for help. Then, we can praise Him as we wait expectantly, confident in His infinitely creative care for us.

This devotion uplifted me today. It caused me to reflect back on times past and even present when God has proven Himself faithful. Even in the darkest of times when all hope had seemed lost, I learned something valuable during those times, my hope is in Him. Greater is He that is within me than he that’s in this world. Remember, Your next crisis is your next opportunity to trust our unfailing God.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Psalm 57

Clothes for the Climate

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:14)

While removing the price tag from an item of winter clothing I had purchased, I smiled at these words on the back: “WARNING: This innovative product will make you want to go outdoors and stay there.”  When properly clothed for the climate, a person can survive and even thrive in harsh and changing weather conditions.

The same principle is true in our spiritual lives. As followers of Jesus, our all-weather spiritual wardrobe has been prescribed by the Lord in His Word, the Bible. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:12–13).

These garments that God provides—such as kindness, humility, and gentleness—allow us to meet hostility and criticism with patience, forgiveness, and love. They give us staying power in the storms of life.

When we face adverse conditions at home, school, or work, the “clothing” God tells us to wear protects us and enables us to make a positive difference. “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (v. 14).

Dressing according to God’s guidelines doesn’t change the weather—it equips the wearer.

Heavenly Father, help me to put on Your garment of love so that I am prepared for whatever life brings me today. Amen.

May each and every one of us have staying power in the storms of this life, knowing that in due season we shall reap if we faint not. Equip us this day Lord to weather the storm. We would never remove our jacket during a storm, let us not remove our spiritual wardrobe when the storm is at it’s worse but be equipped and ready to face whatever life’s storms throw at us with love and strength. He is our strength! This devotion blessed me so much today. Dressing according to God’s guidelines doesn’t change the weather—it equips the wearer. Amen!! Remember this today.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Colossians 3:8-17