“IT HURTS SO MUCH!” Wednesday Minute

“News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them”  Matthew 4:24 NIV

 

Read:  Matthew 4:23-25

 

Injuries can bring on immediate and horrible pain.   Illnesses can also wreck havoc with our bodies.   People across our nation have grown dependent upon pain killers once taken for pain.  Now, the pain is the addiction to the pain killers.

 

These are real pains, but the emotional pain is more than many feel they can deal with.  Our mind is sometimes weaker than our bodies.   Mental illness and depression are common place brought on by divorce, financial problems and illnesses.

 

While physical and emotional pains are real destroyers, the greatest pain is spiritual pain.   The pain of separation from your Creator is the destroyer of eternal life.   Knowing GOD is always there is an undeniable fact.  Yet, so many turn to worldly false solutions and struggle to find their SAVIOUR when the physical and emotional pains set in.

 

Spiritual pain has to be offset with understanding all our spiritual blessings.   Yes, even in the worst of times we can find times of joy.   When we need GOD the most, HE is there for us.   GOD is right where HE has always been; keeping HIS promise to us.

 

Get rid of the pain.   Get GOD.

 

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, GOD, for always being there for me in all my times of pain.  Help me to come to YOU rather than suffer in the pains of this world.  Amen.”

 

“I AM SO, SO SORRY!” Sunday Sermonette

 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  2Corinthians 7:9 NIV

 

Read:  2Corinthians 7:8-12

 

“I am so, so sorry!”  These words are seldom said often enough or sincerely enough.  When was the last time someone told you they were sorry for hurting you?  Are you still waiting?

 

We can also look at the times we failed to tell someone we were sorry for our actions, our failure to act or of our hurtful words that hurt them.   Who do you need to ask for forgiveness?

 

The dictionary defines being sorry as regretful or mournful.  In order to be regretful or mournful you first have to have remorse in your heart for your actions.  Any act of hurting another is a sinful situation and needs to be addressed.  Treating your wrongs flippantly is wrong in itself.

 

There are times we need to stand up to ourselves.  We need to be aware of our own shortcomings.  We are not perfect, but we are to do all as perfectly as possible.  That includes being fair and just with everyone.  And it means when we fail, we stand up responsibly and tell others we are sorry…so very sorry for our failure to be kind to them.

 

Being sorry also means we must restore the ones we have done or said things against.   Restoration may be as simple as telling them humbly that you are truly very sorry.  Other times, it may mean you restore them materially for their loss.   It is your responsibility.

 

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD for forgiving me all the times I have failed YOU.   I am so sorry for my wrong thoughts, words and actions.   Help me show my sincerity to

“FEAST ON SILVER . . . OR SCRAPS?” Wednesday Minute

“When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 14: 15 NIV

 

Read:  Luke 14: 12-27

 

There is an old story of a king traveling through his city.   The king saw his poorest subjects digging through trash bins for food.   Not wanting anyone to feed themselves from the garbage, he planned a feast for those people.

 

The king had his cooks prepare an enormous amount of the very best food to be served on silver platters.   He sent his staff to gather his poor subjects.  As they arrived, he told each they could eat all they wanted from the delicacies served on silver platters.

 

Then, he noticed one man not eating but sneaking into the kitchen. The king questioned the man as he pulled scrap food from the garbage.   The man told the king he did not deserve the best food prepared for the banquet. He was more comfortable searching for scraps.

 

Are you like the poor, hungry man?   JESUS paid with HIS life to take on all your sins, so you can have the feast of GOD’S love. Are you still going through the garbage of your old life when you could have all GOD has prepared for you on HIS silver platters?

 

Our LORD wants the best for you.   There is no need to keep going back to the garbage of your life before you accepted JESUS as your SAVIOUR.

 

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, MY LORD, Thank YOU for taking on the sins of my past life.  I want to forget the garbage that was part of my life and accept all the wonderful things YOU have prepared for me.  Amen.”

“IT IS NOT MY FAULT!” Sunday Sermonette

“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!'”  Matthew 27:24 NIV

 

Read:  Matthew 27:11-26

 

Refusing to take responsibility is becoming the norm in our society by many.   It seems if all is going well, many want to take credit for the success.   But, if something goes wrong, the finger pointing begins.

 

Remember, when you point one finger at another you have three fingers pointing back at you.   We need to take responsibility for our own failures and for the failures of others whom we are responsible.   For everything that goes wrong, there is a person or persons who are responsible.

 

In all situations, we need to do to others as we would want others to do for us.   We need to be fair and honest with all; taking great care to be responsible for our actions and accepting responsibility for the actions of others under our leadership.

 

In our reading, we see Pilate actually washing his hands with water as he claimed he was not responsible for the coming beatings and crucifixion of JESUS.   He was responsible since he did nothing to stop the murder.   In fact, every person there who did nothing was responsible for the death of JESUS.

 

Being held responsible for your actions is something we can easily understand.   We need to realize we are equally responsible for our lack of actions.   What have you ignored and not taken corrective action?   It will not go away.  In time you will face your guilt.

 

You cannot wash your hands of doing wrong or ignoring a wrong.  Do the right thing today.

 

Today’s prayer:  “LORD GOD, Thank YOU for forgiving my wrongs.   Thank YOU for forgiving my wrongful actions against others and the times I did not take the actions I should have.   I want to be responsible and do YOUR will.  Amen.”

 

 

“DO YOU WORRY? WHY?” Wednesday Minute

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6 NIV

Read:   Matthew 6:25-34

My mother was a very sweet lady.  But, she worried.   She worried about everything.  I honestly believe, if she couldn’t think of something to worry about, she would worry about not worrying.   Growing up in her shadow, I learned to worry as she did.   Thankfully, after many years, I learned not to worry and to give my concerns over to my LORD.

 

Do you worry?   What do you worry about?  Have you considered why you worry?  Have you considered that perhaps you worry because you are not trusting GOD?   If you trust GOD with your problems, then what do you have to worry about?

 

Our reading today in Matthew, JESUS, HIMSELF, explains to us what we should not worry about.  Verse 27 tells us: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Of course, we cannot add days, hours or even minutes to our lives by any worrying.  But, we can have productive days, hours and minutes by not worrying.

 

The first thing you can do to stop worrying is to start praying.  All those thoughts, doubts and insecurities can be laid at JESUS’ feet.    Satan will tell you differently.    He will pile guilt on top of your thoughts, doubts and insecurities.   JESUS will take away all your false guilt.

 

Pay particular attention and heed JESUS’ words in verse 34:  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, Thank YOU for taking on all my worries.   Thank YOU for the peace I will have when I stop worrying.  I will give all my worries to YOU.  Amen.”

 

 

 

“IF THE DEVIL DANCED . . .” Sunday Sermonette

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  Hebrews 6:10  NIV

 

Read:   Hebrews 6:1-10

 

If you have been a reader of these devotionals very long, you might have come to realize I love old country sayings.   I remember hearing when I was a kid: “If the devil danced in empty pockets, he would have a ball in mine.”   Decades ago, a song was recorded with this as its tag line.

 

It described having nothing.   My young preteen years were hard having nothing.   I believe no one knows how someone who is poor really feels unless they had a time in their life when they were poor also.    There were times ‘the devil danced in my empty pockets.’  Has the devil ever danced in your empty pockets?

 

Sure, there are plenty who refuse to work and prefer living off the funds the government allows.  There are incentives to discourage working so some can qualify for financial assistance.   But, don’t judge all who are in need of help.

 

There are people…lots of people who need a little helping hand.   We can read about those who begged at the city gates in scripture.   Just as those who were in need, there are those in need today.   It is not always about throwing money at a problem.   Money, alone, seldom solves any problem.  But, funds along with encouragement, teaching, counseling or training can bring dramatic results.

 

Did anyone ever help you?   Isn’t it time you helped someone else.  Waiting for someone to ask you to help probably will not happen.   So, look around.   Maybe, it is that teenager next door or the divorced lady down the street doing her best to raise three kids alone.   Maybe, it is a co-worker who needs help in knowing JESUS.  His pockets may be empty of faith and the devil is having a ball dancing in his empty pockets.

 

Help someone today.  JESUS wants us to help others, just as HE did.

 

Today’s prayer:  “LORD JESUS,   Thank YOU for helping me.   YOUR help has given me more than I deserve.   Show me how I should give to others as YOU would have me.  Help me not to be selfish with my money or time.  Amen.”

 

 

 

“NOT EVEN A THANK YOU!” Wednesday Minute

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;  make music to our God on the harp.” 

Psalm 147:7 NIV

 

Read:  Psalm 147

 

You did all you were supposed to do.  In fact, you went well beyond what anyone would ever expect.  You gave more and more and more.   Others were happy to take all you gave; your time, talents and even your money, but they never showed any appreciation.   You were generous and never expected anything in return.  But, did they even say “Thank you!”?

 

Most of us have been in that situation.   We also might have been the one who took and took and took and never humbled ourselves to utter a simple “Thank you!”.   We cannot be critical of others for not thanking us for our efforts while we don’t apply the same standard to ourselves.

 

What about all the times GOD has given to you more than you deserved?  Have you ever made a list of all you have that came from GOD?   You can sum up your entire list in one word.   Everything.    Everything you have, had or will ever have comes from GOD.  Everything.   Your family, your job, the food on your table, your car, even the clothes on your back all came from GOD.

 

Have you taken and taken and taken from GOD and never given back to HIM a humble “THANK YOU, LORD!”?    We go to GOD in prayer, never hesitating to ask HIM for more and more.   We ask HIM for things we want and don’t necessarily need.   We ask HIM to help us in times of distress.  We ask HIM to heal us and others when illnesses attack.

 

If we can ask and ask, why don’t we say “Thank YOU, LORD!”  each and every time we go to HIM with a request.  Shouldn’t we acknowledge all HE has given to us before we ask for more?

 

What about the greatest gift GOD has given you?   HE gave HIS SON to die on that cross.   HE gave HIS SON to take away all your sins so you can spend eternity in Heaven with HIM.

 

Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU, LORD for allowing me to bow my head and say ‘Thank YOU for all YOU have done for me.’   Help me in my failing ways to praise YOU in all my words and actions.   Thank YOU for listening to all my prayers. Amen.”

 

“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” Sunday Sermonette

“Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.”  Psalm 71:3 NIV

 

Read:   Psalm 71

 

Are there times you would like to scream:  “Enough is enough!”?   There are times in all of our lives when things seem to be going against us.   Sometimes the pressures are more than we can seem to bear.

 

But, it is exactly that…’seem’ is the operative word.  We can bear up to more than we can imagine when we depend upon our LORD.  Our strength against the evils of this world is insufficient on its own.   Satan uses situations and people to wear us down, to question our faith or to give in to those who do not have our best interest at heart.

 

But, as a believer, you have the HOLY SPIRIT alive and well in you.  GOD’S SPIRIT is not just a thought.  GOD sent HIS SPIRIT to guide you, to support you and to protect you.

 

As we read the writings of David and others, we hear the pain in their words.   We also read of their faith in all situations.  When you are facing that impossible person to deal with or a situation that seemingly has no answer; scream out “Enough is enough!”.

 

Tell GOD that ‘enough is enough’ and you are ready for HIS help.   Admit you cannot handle the pressure on your own and you need GOD’S strength to help you.

 

Today’s prayer:   “MY SAVING GOD, Thank YOU for always being there for me in my times of distress and weakness.   Thank YOU for taking on all those people and situations I cannot deal with on my own.  Amen.”