Category Archives: Christian Character
We have the most adorable little lady who works as our office cleaning lady. She is so peppy and happy all the time. Maria has a great spirit and always tells me Vaya Con Dios when I leave the office. As I left last night, I realized that she was right. Living in a world where the enemy if constantly trying to destroy the people of God, we need to ensure that we are Go with God everywhere we go.
When I think about the number of times God had to block a bullet from going through my window or a car from running me over or a mugger from attacking me, I just cant help but to praise God for his faithfulness. If God were to open our eyes to see what the enemy has been throwing our way, WE’D ALL BE IN THE PSYCH WARD. The enemy has designated legions of demonic angels to attack us. He wants us dead or hell-bound (which to me is a dead-man walking).
We must always be in prayer for ourselves, our children, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, EVERYONE. The Bible tells us to Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour – 1 Peter 5:8 When challenges come into your life, you need to recognize that there are demons in action. It’s not your husband that’s getting on your last nerve, it’s the enemy using him to get to you. That child isn’t a demon, there is a demonic angel trying to get into your family. It is time for us to call upon Jesus and invite the Spirit of God to walk with us and to place a hedge of protection around our families.
We cannot protect ourselves. Leave it up to us, we’d all be six-feet under. It is only through God that our families can be saved from the plots of the enemy. This devotion isn’t written to scare anyone, but my sincere hope is that we would wake-up and realize that we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places – Ephesians 6:12 (NLT).
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:11-18 (NIV)
Thank you for placing a hedge of protection around my family, my loved ones and me. Teach me to put on your whole armor in order to defeat the enemy’s plots against me. I place my trust in you and I thank you in advance for my victories.
One Saturday morning as we were headed to a Women’s Day of Prayer program @ Hebron, we passed a brownstone that had enough signs to draw anyone’s attention. “Keep Off!”, “No Solicitation!”, “Curb your dog!”, “No Trespassing!” and it ended with a handwritten note posted to the gate. I remember telling hubby, Could this house have anymore signs on it?
As we walked towards the church, I thought about how much care this owner put into protecting their property. (Yes, I know..it looks more like paranoia, but for this devotion we will chuck it up to care.) They wanted to ensure no one would desecrate what they held so dear. The day went on and I noticed the amount of “No Trespassing” signs that were hanging on properties around the city.
One Sunday Morning, a particular sign that I see all the time caught my attention. “Private Property“. A piece of barren land was barricaded with that sign all around it. Immediately I started to think, why aren’t we as protective about our temples? I am not talking about the four walls of the church. I am talking about our bodies. When we invite Jesus to come into our lives, he resides within our hearts. He lives within our body. This body that we have is God’s temple. Yet, we desecrate it on a daily basis.
We wear things we have no business wearing, we eat what we know we should not be eating and we drink things that should not even touch our lips. We are God’s chosen generation, a royal priesthood, but we do not care for ourselves as we ought to. As Christians, we too need to put a sign on our temples that say No Trespassing, Private Property. Our temples should belong to God alone and we ought to be walking billboards of God’s love. When others see us, “Christian” should be their first sign that they see.
With so may fashion designers and music artists inticing us to be free billboards of their brands, we need to pay even closer attention to what we are putting on God’s temple. We can’t praise him and wear “skulls” all over our bodies (Can you tell I dislike that style?). The only thing we should “rep” (as my youngsters would say) is Jesus. So the next time you walk into a store whether for you or your children, remember whose you are and who gave those little bundles to you. Now, choose accordingly.
Remember, God paid a hefty price for you. So, who are you “reppin”?
Do you not know that byour body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that cyou are not your own? For ayou have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in byour body. – 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Thank you for reminding me that I am your private property. Teach me to represent you well in all things.
Easter is coming and as churches prepare for the big day and Christians around the world partake in lent, I find myself a wee bit frustrated. Though I am suppose to be reflecting on the great sacrifice Jesus made for me, I AM MAD @ God. GASP, did she just say that? Isn’t that a sin? Yes, I am not too pleased with God this morning. It happens whenever I am faced with so many trials that I almost feel like I can no longer breathe. (can you relate?)
As I write this devotional, I have so many matters and issues to deal with that my mind feels like it is on a merry go round. In the midst of my storm, I ask God Why? Where are you? and When will you deliver me? It’s extremely difficult to stay positive sometimes when life keeps hitting you with a ton of bricks. But as I reflect on my situation, I am taken to the Garden of Gethsemane. Here I witness the agony felt by Jesus. He pleads with God for deliverance but then says something that hits home for me.
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. – Luke 22:42
Our lives should always revolve around the will of God. No matter how rough the situations may appear. No matter how burdensome they may feel, we must remain in line with the will of God. He sees the bigger picture and is guiding us accordingly. Sometimes his will for us at the moment just won’t make any human sense. We must remember that our human sense is common sense and we serve a God who is not common. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. There is nothing common about him. Therefore, his ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. We can not even begin to understand the things God is protecting us from or preparing us for.
Because we do not know what our future holds, we must develop a level of faith that will follow his will even when it feels like we are headed the wrong way. He knows where he is leading us and when we get there we will understand the journey. Jesus went through the agony. Jesus was led to Calvary. Jesus was hung on a tree. BUT, today Jesus is seated on the right hand of God in honor and glory.
We too can make it but we must first decide to follow the plan he has laid out for us. It feels crazy but it is for our good. It seems backward but it will take us forward. So, yes I was mad @ God this morning but Jesus reminded me that he too suffered even worse hardships but God was faithful. Now, my anger has been replaced with worship because I know God is faithful and that where I am now is but for a minute. He will answer my prayers when the appointed time has come. In the meantime, I will praise him in advance.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name – 1 Peter 4:12-14, 16
Forgive me for my human faults. Help me to understand that you know what is best for me and have a plan for my life. Teach me how to be patient in tribulation knowing that you will never steer me wrong..
Time for some more things I am grateful for. Feel free to join our gratitude community! We’d love to have you over @ Ann Voskamp’s site.
#26 – It’s been 30 days since my 30th Birthday
#27 – I survived by first semester of theology school
#28 – My Hot water heater was fixed last week (we can stop boiling water now)
#29 – A great dinner date with some cool friends and family
#30 – Daily Inspiration from the Word of God
What are you grateful for? Do share!
Saturday morning I had an interesting talk with one of my best girlfriends, Stephanie, about the Praise factor. We are living in an age where Praise is no longer a sacrifice offering but an art. It almost appears that there are the dos and donts of Praise. You will lift up your hands (though you don’t know why), you will say Hallelujah (though you are texting while saying it), you will recite the same “talk” that every one else says (because it shows that you have the gift of tongues when you actually don’t ). Praise has become an art show and not a personal gift to God for his goodness.
I have had the privilege to attend services at numerous churches across many denominations. I have seen Praise in all formats. Yet, there is one thing that I realize that we, the people of God, have not yet perfected or even understand. WORSHIP. As a special breed of people set aside by God, we have failed to give Him the worship He deserves.
Our fast-paced, I-need-everything-to-happen-now attitude has filtered into our Worship. Everything else gets our very close attention, but God gets what’s left over. Some of us may set time apart in the morning as we should, but how rushed is it? When we meet someone that we truly want to befriend, we take the time to get to know everything about them (well, as much as we can..). Why is this not the same with God?
As our Father and friend, we should devote the time necessary to get to know Him. We CAN’T truly WORSHIP God if we don’t KNOW who he is. We all have an idea who he is but KNOWING him is a whole other ball game. It is when we know Him that we will be able to worship him. It is when we worship him in spirit and in truth that we will be able to offer him a true sacrifice of praise.
True worship doesn’t wait till Sunday/Saturday, it goes on all week. If you worship him daily, the praise team won’t have to coax you into worshipping him in service. If you have set apart time for him on a daily basis, you won’t have to be ramped up to bring forth your praise. As children of God who have been created in his image and redeemed from sin through Jesus Christ, we have a lot to worship him for. When I think about where I would have been if not for God’s grace, I can’t help but to bow down and worship him.
God is a good God. As a matter of fact, he is the ONLY God and he knows every grain of hair on your head. He watches over you and gives us the air we breathe. Let us worship him! Not only for what He has done, is doing or will do, but because of WHO HE IS. Remember, anyone can praise, but can you WORSHIP?
Think about it!
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his [a] ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. -Psalm 100
Thank you for being who you are which is everything to me. I apologize for my form of Godliness. Teach me to worship you in spirit and in truth….
I received a prayer request once from a mother whose son-in-law just got a new job after being laid off a year ago. Her request was that God provide a car for her daughter’s family so that he can keep the job. I for one thought that this was a very noble request and submitted it to our prayer warrior team.
However, one thing in this request caught me off guard.
She stated “I know it’s wrong to ask God for material things but they really need it.” Can someone tell me where did people get the idea that making a request for something you need is wrong? Who is preaching this madness? God never specified what we can ask Him for. All we need to do is make our requests known with a sincere heart, right motive and mustard seed faith.
It is because many have this erroneous belief stuck in their heads that they lose out on blessings. God wants us to make our requests known to him through Prayer and Supplication not doubt and hesitation. What’s the worst that can happen? He’ll say NO. I’d rather ask God and get a NO than not ask him and pass on a YES.
God is not just some deity up there that dictates orders. He is a loving and compassionate God. He cares about every aspect of our lives. He is not just our God, He’s our FRIEND. Israel Houghton has it right when he sings:
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me FRIEND.
God desires a personal relationship with us. One where we can come boldly before him and tell him our hurts, concerns, desires and dreams. He wants a personal and intimate relationship. There is nothing too menial to ask God. If he could care for the itty bitty spider, how in the world can you not have faith that he’ll take care of you?
Whatever your petition may be, come BOLDLY before the throne of your Heavenly Father and tell him all about it. Do you have a petition that you thought God would punish you for asking for? Is it sincere? Is your motive in line with the Word of God? Do you have the mustard seed faith that he can and will answer? If you answered yes to all of these questions, THEN ASK HIM ALREADY!
I pray that this devotion will inspire you to come boldly before the Lord and get your prayers answered.
Remember we would love to pray for you. Submit your prayer requests HERE.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?- Romans 8:32
Thank you for reminding me that I can come to you t anytime and make ALL of my requests known. Thank you for not only being my God but also my FRIEND. Teach me how to come boldly before your throne at all times and help me to develop that mustard seen faith that will move the mountains in my life..
This morning I feel like I have been hit by tractor trailer. Every joint in my body is hurting and I can barely get out of bed. My parents kept calling out for me thinking that I had overslept but I couldn’t muster the strength to let them know. When I finally did, my mom came over and started to cry and worry like any mom would.
What are we going to do? You’re killing yourself working full-time and going to school full-time. God can’t let anything happen to you, what would we do?
I calmed her down by just passing my pain off as fatigue. Obviously, this was far from the truth. (As I am writing this devotional, my shoulder joints are killing me)
I admit that things are a bit rough for my family this season and we can’t afford any calamities, disasters, or deaths to come even close. However, I refuse to live life worrying about what I can’t handle. Worrying does nothing but dwindle our faith. When things get rough that’s when my God is my shelter. I run to Him and hide under the shadow of His wings.
Many times the enemy will play our current situation on repeat just to rattle us and cause us to renounce our faith. When he does this, I remind him of Job and how his end rewards were greater than his suffering. I remind him of how faithful God has been in the past. I remind him that he tried this with me before and look where God has brought me.
We need to learn how to speak back to the enemy. Rebuke him with the Word of God and keep trusting God. Yes you may not be where you want to be, but thanks be to God that you are NOT where you use to be. I have learned to see beyond my current circumstances. I know God is faithful and just. If my mom can cry out of concern, what about my heavenly Father who made me with his bare hands?
You may be going in circles in life and wondering is God even there, I am writing today layed in bed and in pain to tell you that YES GOD IS FAITHFUL and STILL ABLE. Do not lose hope or let go of His unchanging hand. Let him bring you through and praise Him along the way.
Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly – Job 8:7 (NKJV)
I am grateful for your faithfulness. Help me through my journey and keep me under the shadow of your wings. Teach me to see beyond my circumstances and to trust your will for my life…