…whatever “It” is!!
31 Reasons To Praise by Melanie can be purchase at www.itsmelanielee.com
I have ALL the Spiritual Blessings
As I read the devotion there was one thing that JUMPED out at me. “EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING” – then I remembered something that I questioned; why is there so much competition in the church? Why is there jealousy in the church, God? And in an instant the answer was clear!!
People are seeking the same “Spiritual Blessing” – but I think there is a lack of WISDOM in knowing that we are all on the same level playing field. None of us is so special to be more worthy than another. Not one of us is “UNWORTHY” of any blessing – but we are given this “GIFT” because of the precious blood that was shed by the Lamb of God who died so that we ALL have the right to “EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING”
If you read further Ephesians 4:11 – 13 MSG
..He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
We each have our own calling. When we each focus on what God has called us to do – which is clearly listed in the above scripture, we will have no need to envy another. Unless we are guilt-ridden because we are not running our own race and desire the race of another. The other rational is a person is comparing “temporal blessings” – which are not guaranteed…and for me, that is were I would say; FAVOR AIN’T FAIR.
Broken Crayons Still Color On Purpose – All of us come to God with a zero. And God comes to us with a ten, and He gives us everything we could ever possibly dream of in His Son Jesus Christ.
Day 3 of 31 Reasons to Praise
Thank you, Melanie N. Lee
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Corinthians 3:17
Imagine this scene: A broken man awakens one morning with no options.
Hopeless, owning nothing but an empty stomach, he stands starkly upon the auctioneer’s block as a slave. Shoulders slumped, pride stripped away, gaunt eyes staring aimlessly into the distance, his ashen face conveys only shame.
Suddenly, a man with gentle eyes appears, and this man sees value and potential in this broken man. “Did I see a spark of something in that man’s eyes?” the slave wonders. It couldn’t be, but his hope rises as the gentle man pays the price, brings him home, clothes him, and feeds him richly. His master does love him!
Do you recognize this picture? I hope so. It’s a picture of your life in Christ. You and I were once slaves on the auction block of sin. We stood broken by sin. Yet our loving and gentle Master—for reasons we may never know, and for reasons not found in us—saw value in us. And He paid for our freedom with His own blood, on a cross.
Through Jesus Christ, we’ve been freed from bondage. But that’s not the end, only the beginning. We must move on and ask the question, “What have we been freed for?” The answer: for Jesus Christ!
We’ve been freed by Christ, for Christ. That is, so we might serve Him, praise Him, and give Him glory.
God’s purpose in redeeming men from sin is not to give them freedom to do as they please but freedom to do as He pleases, which is to live righteously.
– Steve Arterburn
Father God, I thank you that in you I am free, no longer bound by the chains of my sin. I surrender my life to you, Lord and pray your will be done in and through my life. Amen.
Surviving the Storm
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid”. – Matthew 14:26-27
Every day we are confronted by events that strike fear in our hearts. Headlines shout disaster, violence, crime, poverty and depravity—we live in such turbulent times. How do we stay afloat as the waters swirl out of control around us?
The Bible is filled with God’s pledges of divine intervention, but nothing is clearer than the Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1-7 NIV). Christians have the tools to turn back fear!
Rather than using these tools, we often want to live in a world free of fearful situations. When we don’t find this, we give up and exist in hopeless desperation. We may even turn away from God because we expected Him to keep us from harm’s way – something God never told us He would do.
Remember the story of the disciples in the fierce storm in Matthew, chapter 14. They watched him feed five thousand people with a few fish and five loaves of bread. They witnessed Him heal blind men and yet, when it came to facing their first crisis in the midst of the storm, they raised the bar of cowardly behavior to a new level. The bottom line of this story is this, Jesus knew of the pending storm and the struggle they would face, but He allowed them to get into the boat and into turbulent waters.
Here’s what we can learn from this. Sometimes there are valuable lessons that God wants to teach us in our difficult times – before He calms the storm and quiets our fears. God never promised us a trouble free life. He did promise to be there with us in the dark times and the stormy seas, to give us hope in spite of fear. This knowledge becomes the foundation for living free of fear’s chains.
Facing your fear is not based on the abstract idea of simply believing. It is not based on the nebulous commitment to positive thinking. It is based on the concrete promise that He will be there, in the midst of our storm. Whether He carries us through the storm or whether He simply calms it down, we have the guarantee of His word that He will be there. As believers, we cannot simply say no to apprehension. We must say yes to the Master of the storm.
There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love. – Charles Stanley
Lord, I acknowledge that I have the truth of your Word which promises me that You will be with me in the midst of my storm. I stand firm in the truth that You will never leave me or forsake me. No matter how violent my storm might be, You are the Master of my storm. I will not fear. Amen.
Adapted from Fearless for Life by Stephen Arterburn, Paul Meier and Robert L.Wise
How do you make the better choice of living with one handful? You let go of what doesn’t matter. Consider downsizing, throwing out, turning off, and unplugging. Be content with what you do have.
1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;my eyes are not raised too high;I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,like a weaned child with its mother;like a weaned child is my soul within me.3 O Israel, hope in the Lordfrom this time forth and forevermore.
As you strive to live with an ongoing, unending awareness of God’s presence, instill a desire for His presence just in the way that David desires to dwell in God’s presence in Psalms 62 and 27.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life;of whom shall I be afraid?2When evildoers assail meto eat up my flesh,my adversaries and foes,it is they who stumble and fall.3 Though an army encamp against me,my heart shall not fear;though war arise against me,yet I will be confident.4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,that will I seek after:that I may dwell in the house of the Lordall the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the Lordand to inquire in his temple.5 For he will hide me in his shelterin the day of trouble;he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;he will lift me high upon a rock.6 And now my head shall be lifted upabove my enemies all around me,and I will offer in his tentsacrifices with shouts of joy;I will sing and make melody to the Lord.7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;be gracious to me and answer me!8 You have said, “Seek my face.”My heart says to you,“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”9 Hide not your face from me.Turn not your servant away in anger,O you who have been my help.Cast me not off; forsake me not,O God of my salvation!10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,but the Lord will take me in.11 Teach me your way, O Lord,and lead me on a level pathbecause of my enemies.12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;for false witnesses have risen against me,and they breathe out violence.13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lordin the land of the living!14 Wait for the Lord;be strong, and let your heart take courage;wait for the Lord!
How do you begin to live with an ongoing, unending awareness of God’s presence? You begin by developing the habit of constant communication with God through prayer.
1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
IM A SOLDIER IN THE ARMY OF THE LORD!
(Ephesians 6:12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We can work-out. We can train in the gym all we want, we can even take self defense classes, all to no avail.
The battle a Christian fights requires a lot more to conquer.
It is spiritual war.
And the absolute spiritual truth in His Word is all we have to attack with, but to defend and protect ourselves we must put on the whole armour of God (read 6:11-17).
It is so reassuring to know that the fight we fight, we do not fight alone. By following His precepts and calling on His Name, Jesus, we must stand.
The One who fights for us, won the fight way before it even started.
Are you ready for battle today?
Philippians 2:13 ~ For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
“Who, me, Lord?” He answers, “Yes, you. I’m calling you.”
“But what you’re asking of me is too difficult. I don’t have the skills or the training. I can’t possibly succeed at this!”
In The Purpose Driven Life, author Rick Warren responds to those who make excuses concerning why they cannot serve the Lord: “Abraham was old, Jacob was insecure, Leah was unattractive, Joseph was abused, Moses stuttered, Gideon was poor, Samson was codependent, Rahab was immoral, David had an affair and all kinds of family problems, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was depressed, Jonah was reluctant, Naomi was a widow, John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least, Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered, Martha worried a lot, the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages, Zacchaeus was unpopular, Thomas had doubts, Paul had poor health, and Timothy was timid.”
When Jesus calls us to follow him, he’s not looking for the smartest or the strongest or the most brave. He doesn’t check our resume or call our list of references. Scripture is full of stories of women and men who were used powerfully by God despite their lack of experience or expertise. How about you? Is God asking you to accept an assignment that seems far beyond your comfort zone? Are you afraid that you might fail? Are you afraid that you might succeed?
John 13:7 ~ Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter.
24 years ago – my husband asked me for a divorce – I was giving birth to our son. If you do not know God and His marvelous Omnipresence – I would love to introduce you. 24 years later – the child that was born of that union changed my life.
When my son was in the 4th grade – he told me – “mommy, that is not very nice what you said about my teacher,” he added, “I am going to ask Jesus to forgive you.” ~ out of the mouth of my baby…I celebrate Jesus today for bringing me through with Grace, Courage, Beauty, Power, Authority, and Lord knows – I don’t look anything like what I have been through.
There is NOTHING in this world or any other world that God can’t work with.
July 15th my son turned 24 – smart, talented, handsome, strong, positive and delivered!!
My heart, mind, body and soul are in agreement with the love I have for my Savior and my son.
If you think you are in a mess, invite Jesus in – He will clean it us with the quickness!
I can introduce you if you need me to…<3
First written 2013 by Michale’s mom (Michelle) now known as the “Butterfly”
Here is a prayer you can pray:
Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.
I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.
You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.
Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.
Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.
Written By: The “Butterfly” & “King Kale”