Jesus

April 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Donna McCrary –

If Jesus had a Facebook page or Twitter account would you be His friend or follow His tweets?

Absolutely!

Can you imagine Jesus “tweeting”?

• Just healed another one.
• Going for a walk across the lake this evening.
• HMMMM feels like rain.
• Hungry – Got fish?
• I saw that….yes, I am talking to you!

With today’s modern technology it is nothing to accumulate over 500 “friends” via Facebook. It takes two seconds to click the “like” icon on someone’s post. It takes a few more minutes to type a comment. Two clicks and you have sent a happy face to a “friend” who is struggling. We might be “connected” to a lot of “friends” yet these relationships are emotionally void. In other words, we know the status of a lot of “friends” but we are a far cry from BFF’s.

I read this quote by Dr. Greg Fizzel, “No one’s relationship with Christ will ever rise above the level of his or her praying. Put simply, if your prayer life is inconsistent and weak, so will be your relationship with God.” It made me question my own prayer life. Is my relationship with Jesus any stronger than my relationships with my Facebook friends? Am I a fan who just follows His tweets? Do I really spend T-I-M-E with Him?

What I discovered is that I often treat my prayer life with God like my Facebook status. I login and update how I feel periodically from time to time throughout my week. I express my feelings, desires, frustrations, funny experiences, and then log out. I don’t log back in until I have a few extra minutes in my busy day or maybe a struggle that needs posting for some prayer.

I don’t want to be just a person who read the tweets and smiles. I want to be a friend that experiences an intimate relationship with an Amazing-All-Knowing-All-Powerful-God.

Being a friend to Jesus starts with a devoted prayer life where we read His word, give thanks, ask for help, pray for others, and simply enjoy His presence. This type of prayer life requires commitment and time.

What about you do you need to log in and update your prayer status?

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).

Unified

February 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Donna McCrary –

“Get out your Hymnals and turn to page 52 and let’s sing Victory in Jesus,” the man at the front of the crowd announced. His comment was met with a quiet chuckle as everyone in their Sunday best gathered around the side of the river bank for their spring baptism. In unison the crowd’s voices harmonized the lyrics of the song. Without missing a word, I quietly joined the crowd. This song was a favorite in the church that I grew up in. The quaint church I was visiting is very similar to the one from my childhood, wooden pews, hymnals, family oriented, traditional.

As each believer waded into the chilly water proclaiming their new life in Christ I was moved to tears by their heart and passion. From young to old they were sharing their excitement and freedom in Christ. I looked at my husband and whispered, “Unified”. He responded with a smiled and a quiet, “Yes”.

Unified was the name of the band that just rocked the house at our current church. By rocked, I mean flashing lights, thumping drums, smoke machines and a crowd jumping as they raised their hands in praise. The music is not the only difference in the two methods of worship, but one word continued to invade my thoughts – unified.

God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free- and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” We are unified as the body of Christ – the church.

We are united by our faith in Jesus Christ birth, life and death on the cross. We are united by the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. We are united by an eternal destination in heaven. There are so many things that unite us as a body of believers.

Would the world see the church in a different light if we started living as a unified body of Christ followers?

Just asking…

PRAYER: “Thank you God for Your Spirit. May a deep passion and desire begin in me to stand united in the truth of Your Word with other believers so others will know You. ”

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (John 17:20-23 NIV).

A Good Soldier Loves

February 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Donna McCrary –

A good soldier has endured the training, gained vast knowledge and skills for combat on the battlefield. At a moment’s notice he is called on to strike down the enemy with deadly force. A good soldier knows, understands, and respects the power he has been given. He does not use his power and knowledge to harm but to protect. A good soldier must always be true to the objective of his mission. Anytime a soldier becomes prideful, deceitful or corrupt he will destroy the very lives he is charged to protect. A good soldier learns that the greatest knowledge and skill he has to guide him is love. If a good soldier chooses love he will always accomplish his mission.

Timothy’s church in Ephesus was a church full of good soldiers who endured, labored, tested, and tolerated many issues in their time. In the end their works proved their hate of evil things. In other words, they were known as soldiers who engaged the enemy on the battlefield and fought for truth at all cost (Revelation 2:2-3).

The soldiers at Ephesus were hardcore in their beliefs; however, as they endured they forgot the main purpose of their mission. They lost sight of the ultimate goal – to love (Revelation 2:4-5).

As we learn to be always faithful we must never forget the responsibility of a good soldier. Even though we possess vast knowledge and skills, we must always remember that Jesus’ love conquers. So as we enter into the battle, we must first chose love.

AUTHOR QUOTE: “It is a sad to realize that Christians today are known more for what they are against than what they stand for.”

“If I speak the language of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing and if I donated all my goods to feed the poor and if I give my body to be burned but do not have love I gain nothing. Love is patient love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful is not conceited does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth; bears all things; believes all things; hopes all things; Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8 HCSB).

Endurance

January 15, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Donna McCrary –

Endurance is the ability or power to bear prolonged exertion, pain or hardship; toleration of hardship; persistence over time.

Endurance is the soldier’s sleepless nights listening to the bombs exploding.Endurance is the athlete’s relentless pursuit of perfection to master a skill.

Endurance is the farmer who works tirelessly for the sweet taste of an apple or a fresh ear of corn.

Endurance is Paul’s experiences in prison for sharing the gospel.

Endurance is Joseph sitting in prison wrongfully accused of rape for three years.

Endurance is Noah building a giant boat without ever seeing a drop of rain.

Endurance is David waiting for his rightful place as King.

Endurance is staying power.

Endurance is patience.

Endurance is survival.

Endurance is stamina.

Endurance is continued existence.

Endurance is fortitude.

Endurance is a trait of a Christ Follower who has learned where their strength comes from.

As Paul explained to Timothy there will be times in our journey where we don’t feel we can endure any longer; a breaking point where our faith seems to run out. Endure anyway because God is always faithful.

If we could ask a soldier, an athlete, a farmer, Paul, Timothy, Joseph, David, and Noah if it was worth it; worth the pain, the hardship; I believe we would hear a resounding OOOOORAHHHH!

PRAYER: God forgive me for the times when I get lazy, or gripe and complain about my circumstances. You have called me to a life of endurance for Your kingdom’s sake. Father, give me an attitude of thankfulness.”

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints inheritance in the light” (Colossians 1:11 HCSB).

Spiritual Muscle

November 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Donna McCrary –

Stress. Fatigue. Exhaustion. Strenuous. These words are not typically associated with making things stronger; except in the world of muscle building. Look up any blog or “How-to guide” on ways to increase muscle and you will find phrases such as ‘trigger the muscle building process by stressing the muscle;’ ‘fatigue the muscle to breakdown muscle fibers;’ ‘work the muscle to the point of exhaustion;’ or ‘muscle fibers will breakdown after strenuous exercise.’ The process to develop stronger muscle requires exercise designed to rip tiny fibers in the muscle. After a time of rest, the muscle will heal and become stronger.

Is spiritual muscle built in the same manner? In order for us, as Christ Followers, to grow stronger and become more resilient in our faith must we first be stressed, fatigued, and exhausted by strenuous experiences?

A quick journey through the scriptures confirms that spiritually fit people experienced times of stress, fatigue and exhaustion. Think about it. Living inside a great sea creature for three days like Jonah had to be a little stressful. Standing in front of a nine-foot-something warrior must have been stressful for David, the puny red headed baby of the family. Spending the night with hungry lions in a den must have been exhausting for Daniel. The one that makes me laugh is Peter. Image how stressed, frustrated and exhausted Peter had to be to scream at a little girl who simply asked if he knew Jesus. Big Peter versus little girl. Little girl wins. Now that is stress!

God uses stressful, exhausting, strenuous experiences in our life to help us strengthen our spiritual muscle. These times of intense training break down the fibers of who we are. Then after rest and healing, it produces stronger spiritual fibers because we gain a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ. During these strenuous training periods we recognize our strength comes from Christ. We recognize the truth of His Word. We stretch our faith to extents we did not think possible. Each training session requires us to build spiritual muscle.

Every soldier has to go through exhausting training exercises before they reach the battlefield. Every athlete participates in strenuous training before game day. Every farmer labors beyond fatigue before they reap the fruit. Every Christ Follower experiences seasons of stress, exhaustion, and fatigue in order to produce strong spiritual muscle.

Don’t forget – Training is hard but victory is sweet!

PRAYER: Father, help me desire to grow stronger in You even though that could mean struggles and difficult circumstances. Help me embrace the training necessary to fulfill the purpose You have established for me.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4 ESV).

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