Defining Moses

The life of Moses is truly one that deserves attention.  It’s remarkable really. He was born during a time when he couldn’t be accepted.  God had blessed His people from the very beginning of their lives and God had taken notice. (Exodus 1: 19-22). So he ordered that all the male children born unto a Hebrew be cast unto the Nile River.  History marks this time as treacherous to say the least. It can’t be known as to how many babies were lost…but we do know of, not only one who survived this oppression, but overcame.

Moses was a beautiful baby. So beautiful in fact that his mother sacrificed her family’s safety for 3 months and hid him so he wouldn’t be killed. After the 3 months, however, she realized that she couldn’t continue to hide him but refused to lose him at the hand of Pharaoh.  The Bible tells of Moses being found by one of Pharaoh’s daughters and in turn his mother was allowed to raise her own son without fear of his death.  He was born a Hebrew but was raised as a Prince of Egypt.  Life soon took its course and Moses fled Egypt only to return with a message from God Himself, “Let my people go”. Certainly the hand of God was on Moses.  Some of the basic fundamental truths of who God is came to us through the circumstances of Moses life.  God revealed Himself to Moses as “I am that I am”.  He brought His people out of bondage through his leadership and literally parted a sea because of His obedience. The written law and the Ten Commandments was established and given to Moses in the very presence of God Himself.  So much can be said of the works that God wrought at the hand of a man who should have died at birth…it’s remarkable.

And then came one act of disobedience.  The children of Israel complained because they had no water.  So, Moses and Aaron prayed.  God answered them and told them to speak to the rock before the children of Israel and it would bring forth water.  Instead, Moses scolded the Israelites, calling the “rebels”, and strum the rock twice with his rod.  This act of disobedience strongly displeased God and because of this he told Moses that he wouldn’t lead the people to the Promised Land.

For forty years he led these people!  These people who constantly complained about everything.  In my way of reasoning, Moses should have been frustrated!  Even if he did disobey God, surely He would understand…the whining of the children of Israel was enough to drive anyone to strike a rock! And yet, even still, look at all that Moses had been involved with.  Certainly his past would atone for his present?…not by Gods standards.

God used this story of Moses to question my own motives concerning situations in my life.  I’ve been guilty of saying, “I did everything right!  I made the right decisions!  If I had not tried to obey God I could understand this!”. I was going through a trial and this trial was leading me to question everything.  I wanted God to look at all of my right decisions in the past and reward my present.

I woke up at 1:30am one morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I began reading the Word. I found myself in Deuteronomy 31:1,2. “And Moses went on speaking these words to all Israel: And he said to them, I am 120 years old this day; I can no more go out and come in. And the Lord has said to me.  You shall not go over this Jordan”.  I read this and almost became mad on behalf of Moses!  There wasn’t a hint of anger or bitterness in his statement.  There wasn’t any remorse or even the sound of times lost…Moses just spoke of this as a matter of fact.  I know I would have been beside myself.  Moses had led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt with the sole purpose of leading them to Canaan, the land of promise.  He was faithful for forty years. He sought God’s provision for the proletariat numerous times only to listen to them complain and lurked over and over again.  One act of disobedience…he struck the rock instead of speaking to it…and God said he wouldn’t see the promise fulfilled.

And so I felt the Spirit asking, “Did you make the right decisions because you desired to serve me wholeheartedly, or because you expected a pay off? A get out of trouble free card?”

Our present…the decisions we make now…define who we are today.  This is where God has been dealing with me.  I could spend my whole life devoted to serving others and be known for my graciousness and yet lose it in a moment of anger and irrational thinking. Our present defines us. Not our past. And it’s our reaction to the present that will define our future.

As every person does, Moses had a decision to make.  He could have pitched a good fit, turned bitter, and lost his soul should he have remained there.  Or, he could have done as he did and just walk on.  Moses continued to be faithful to God…and at 120 years of age he delivered a beautiful message to the children of Israel that truly defined who he was and what he believed. “For I will proclaim the name [and presence] of the Lord. Concede and ascribe greatness to our God. He is the rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are law and justice. A God of faithfulness without breach or duration, just and right is He”.  Deuteronomy 32:3,4.

 

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm  Comments (2)  

A Man Who Will Take Me to Church

“I want a man who will take me to church.”  I remember telling my “mom” this at possibly one of the lowest points in my life.  I had cried in her arms countless times.  I had shared with her my secret battles and fears.  On that particular day, I had shared with her my hearts desire…”I want a man who will take me to church.”

My mom and I adopted each other a few years ago.  Honestly, I don’t feel we had much of a choice in the matter.  God seemed to had already signed the adoption papers before we knew each other.  Because of some changes in my life, I began visiting the church that she and her family attend.  I had already developed such a great respect for her, but seeing her interact with her family and seeing the respect that she displayed toward them, truly brought a much deeper respect for her as a woman, especially as a wife.

She and her husband have been married for over 20 years, but to hear her talk about him, you would think they are newly weds.  Her face still lights up when he calls to speak with her on the phone…and at the same time, you can hear the sincerity of his love for her in his voice.  She continues to be fiercely protective of him and she guards their relationship.  (In today’s society it is so refreshing to actually know a woman who genuinely respects her husband.)  After several church services with the family it became evident why she respects him though.  He deserves the respect because he is a man of God.  He’s a man who takes his family to church.

I have watched as they worshiped God side by side with their hands raised in surrender to their Savior.  Psalms 96:9 “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; tremble before and reverently fear Him all the earth.”  I longed for that companionship.  I felt the desire being birthed within me.  When asked, I would have always said that I wanted to share my life with a good man…one that would take care of his family and love his wife…but I wanted this.  I began to desire a man who desires God.

Not only did I have the opportunity to see them at church, but in their home.  The respect for each other continues there and it’s apparent that he truly loves her.  “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” – Ephesians 5:25

They have a beautiful family.  Mom often tells me that their children have said they feel they have been strict on them.  But she and her husband have raised them together in the way they feel that God would have them raise them.  “Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.  But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on his law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God),he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.” – Psalms 1: 1,2

He takes care of his family.  There is such security in knowing that the head of your household is providing for your all around wellbeing.  I have sat back and observed as he has called to check on his wife when he knew she was having a bad day.  I’ve overheard him call just to say I love you.  I have listened to my mom tell stories of how she and husband have banded together in prayer concerning certain issues.  I watch as she settles against him in church and on her face is a beautiful picture of pride.  I’ve seen tears of gratefulness run down her face while spending time in the presence of God.  And then I’ve watched her husband get her a tissue….meeting even the small needs.

Their marriage…the love, respect, and sincerity that they have shown toward each other has allowed for a desire for that type of relationship in my life.  But this type of relationship can only be built by the hand of God.

So, I sat broken by circumstances that the world had given me.  I felt weathered by its storms and angry from its unfairness.  I felt forsaken and lost.  Mom held me, as she often did…and I spoke of this desire…”I want a man who will take me to church.”

Many men could offer to take me to many different places.  They could offer me security in their devotion and unfailing love.  They could buy me pricey gifts and write me beautifully letter full of emotions, rhymes, and heartfelt lyrics.  But when the hard times come and a decision has to be made…when it appears that the “worse” outweighs the “better”…I want a man who will lead his family to an altar and seek the face of the one who truly made the provision for this need many years ago.  I want a man who will stand in complete surrender to the will of God.  I want a man who will take me to church.

 

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm  Comments (8)  

I Am

And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your fathers has sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name?  What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. – Exodus 3: 13-14


To say that Moses was consumed by uncertainty would probably be an understatement of the many emotions and questions that filled his mind.  Through reading the word it’s known that Moses was a man that struggled with his own insecurities.  He reminds God of his trouble with speaking and even told God that he didn’t believe the children of Israel would believe he had truly encountered God.  At the end of all of Moses questions stood the same God, and He reminded Moses, “Didn’t  I create you?  Didn’t I create all those that may come against you?  I will be with you Moses.  Go and do what I have planned for you.”  Because of the uncertainty that he had in his own abilities, he had already anticipated how the children of Israel would react to his bold statements.

Isn’t this just real?  As Christians, isn’t this what we often do when God sets a direction for us in our lives?  We remind God, as if he isn’t aware, of our short comings.  We settle in our mind and way of thinking that we will fail and not be accepted by others.  But God reminds us that I AM.  God already knew our uncertainly in our own ability and he already made a way to overcome those doubts and fears.  To every questions and every imperfection in our self that we could call to God’s attention, He answers, “I AM.”  Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know that plan I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.”

…and so for every doubt…”God,I don’t know how to do that….I don’t have the money….God, I can’t teach like others…Father, there are so many others that can do this so much better than I can…God, I don’t see how this is ever going to work out….”  He says, “But, I am that I am.”  I am the provider.  I am the way maker.  I am the solution.  I am the answer to all your questions.

In our own ability we may not be able to do like others.  We could possibly fail several times over.  But, with God, we are able to face all these insecurities straight on knowing that the great God of all has set us in the direction we are traveling.  And if God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Comments (1)  

This Wont Last Forever

This wont last forever, she said to me
and the tears on my face revealed my disbelief
Though this sorrow is great
and this pain so profound
This trial isn’t greater
that God’s love can’t abound
and abound greater still
than all your yesterday’s…
Much deeper and fuller
far beyond your dismay.

This wont last forever
It wont be for always.
One day you will awaken to a much brighter today.
But you must walk through some vallies
and travel some long roads.
You must learn He is still faithful
even when you feel so alone.
You must consider all the blessings
and though this natural eye see’s dim
there is a beautiful picture of grace
if our focus remains on Him

No, this wont last forever
she said as I cried
Her hand held tigher still
and I felt God’s love as He supplied
the answer to my worries
the relief to lingering pain…
His arms of mercy unfolded
and released this calming strain…
of peace felt only by
the surrender to His plan
letting go of my fear and holding
tightly to my Savior’s Hand

 

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 am  Comments (2)  

Defeating My Goliath

And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog that you should come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. – 1 Samuel 17:43

I began battling my Goliath when I was a very little girl.  I remember that I was in children’s church one Sunday morning.  When it was over, my dad wasn’t there to meet me.  That wasn’t like him.  I went looking for him and my mom and couldn’t find them.  I can still remember that overwhelming panic in my chest.  I had never experienced anything like it before.  As a child, I had no concept of fear.  But it was so real to me.  Very real.  My aunt finally found me and explained that my mom had gotten sick and daddy had taken her home.  Just as I had been overwhelmed by fear, I remember the relief that consumed me.  It was almost as if some internal pressure had been released and I could breath again.  That’s the earliest memory I have of the fear of being alone.  My Goliath.  After that Sunday I didn’t return to children’s church.  For a long time I never spent the night with friends.  I was always terrified of being left alone…of not being able to find my family.  This fear consumed me for years.  My Goliath always seemed to keep near me….he always remained close enough that I could hear him taunting me.  Eventually, I was able to move past the fear to a degree.  But then at 18 my mom passed away, and I watched and felt as Goliath moved back into view.  I felt fear.

It was that fear that caused me to hold certain people too close and push others away.  At different times in my life I could see Goliath and that fear defined my choices and reactions to situations.  The fear spawned different insecurities.  After a while…after growing accustomed to living with Goliath, the fear became a part of what defined me as a woman.  I would try to relieve the fear and defeat Goliath through relationships with other people.  Certain friendships allowed a measure of security for me, but I quickly began to notice that Goliath would claim those relationships in my life.  I would fear losing them…fear I would somehow bother them by sharing a friendship.  Goliath stood his ground.

This past year, Goliath had the beautiful opportunity to reign as champion.  I faced challenges in 2010 that I never dreamed of encountering.  Even today, I found myself fighting the same Goliath.  I felt that same fear in my chest.  It’s sad to say but I am very familiar with the fear and I don’t know how to live without Goliath.

…but God has a way of catching the attention of His children.  My oldest daughter is a huge fan of Veggie Tales.  She watches, “God Made You Special” all the time.  Her favorite part of the whole movie is “Dave and the Big Pickle.” (David and Goliath)  I have heard Dave sing, “He’s (Goliath’s) big, but God’s bigger, probably close to a hundred times.  Today, however, God spoke to me.  I have allowed Goliath to be such a huge part of my life that this reality is freeing.  For years upon years I had tried to defeat Goliath, but in the wrong ways and with the wrong weapons.

The truth is that Goliath IS big.  Goliath himself laughed when David came against him using his slingshot.  There are very distinct lessons that can be learned from David’s defeat of Goliath.  The lessons have to be applied for them to be affective however.  And that’s the catch.  The application is a process.

We find David already knew who he served.  God wasn’t a name he picked up as needed.  David had established his relationship with God and had proven him faithful. (1 Samuel 17:37)  We also read that David didn’t seek to fight Goliath by using another’s armor.  King Saul offered his bronze helmet, a coat of mail, and his sword.  But when he attempted to move, he couldn’t.  David explained, “I cannot go with them.  I’m not used to them.  I haven’t proven them.” (1 Samuel 17:39)  David did use what gifts and abilities he did have.  He used a sling and stone.  Most importantly, David’s faith never wavered in God’s ability to overcome Goliath.  David stood on the name of God.

I don’t know what Goliath you are facing today.  Like myself, you may battle a Goliath of fear…other’s may struggle with financial problems, alcohol, anger…but this Goliath, this battle is real.  I encourage you to be like David and consistently establish your relationship with God.  Don’t wait until you need Him.  Go ahead and devote yourself to His plans.  Notice that when it came time to fight Goliath in battle David was able to call to mind all the other times that God had moved mightily for him.  With confidence, David explained to King Saul, “The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the paw of this Philistine!” 1 Samuel 17:37.  So, when it does come time for you to face your giant, already have yourself established so that your able to look back on the times God displayed His provision in your life.

Facing your Goliath will be a personal battle.  I am a firm believer in seeking Godly council concerning some situations, but I also believe there are some battles we must fight ourselves.  We must use what God has equipped us with and step out in faith.  I’ve noticed that people, Christian people especially, seem to be very quick to explain how they feel we should handle situations.  Like King Saul, who had very good intentions, they offer you this advice and that advice, and place things on you that just isn’t your right fit.  (Notice that Saul clothed David, 1 Samuel 17:38)  It was well intended, but because King Saul was the man that the armor had been made for, David couldn’t move.  How many times as Christians do we allow others to direct our minds in battle and then become frustrated when we fail in that battle?  It’s because we aren’t made for another’s armor.  God has equipped us with the armor we need to overcome our Goliath.  David knew he couldn’t prevail in battle if he used King Saul’s armor.  So, he took it off and used what he had already proven.  Aren’t you certain that those who watched David step onto the battlefield to fight Goliath with a sling and stones thought he had absolutely lost all common sense?  But David knew how to work his sling.  Another probably wouldn’t have been victorious, but David was because he was comfortable with the ability that God had given him.

I can’t find where David said he felt he could defeat Goliath alone.  He stated at the beginning of his battle who would deliver him.  We don’t read of any uncertainty that David may have had.  But we do read where he spoke of the trust that he had in his God.  David didn’t boast in his own ability, but in the name of God.

I spoke to my Goliath.  I told fear that he had already been defeated.  The battle isn’t ours to fight.  It has already been fought….and won.  Tell your Goliath the same.

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 11:07 am  Comments (1)  

Curveballs

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power: they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]: they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. – Isaiah 40:31

I was speaking with a close friend of mine this week about a certain circumstance that I’ve been struggling with for the past little while.  He was doing his best to encourage me but I was doing my best to not be encouraged.  I told him that every time I felt I had life somewhat under control, I would be thrown a curveball.  I could hear the victory in his voice when he replied, “To hit a curveball you have to sit back and wait on it.  When it breaks, drop your shoulder, step into it, and hit it!”  I stood in my kitchen, knowing that God was speaking to me.  Isn’t it funny that, at times, we as Christians become so passionate in telling others about our problems that when God speaks a word of encouragement we want to argue with Him?!  That comment stopped me though.  “To hit a curveball you have to wait on it until it breaks.”

How many of you can relate to the curveballs of life?  I definitely can.  There have been so many times that have felt I had everything under control only to find another trial around the corner.  A precious woman of God was praying with me and said in her prayer, “God, we believe that you are able to keep that which we commit to you!”  Well, I do believe that, but what happens when I feel as if I have committed and committed and committed the same trial over and over again.  My spirit cries out, “God, are you really keeping this at all?”  And then I cry.  I cry these bitter tears.  I cry tears that I was certain I had shed multiple times before.  I cry and question my Savior.  I broke in my best friends arms and asked her, “When will God show up?  When will I see something good from all of this mess?”  The battle within my Spirit bad begun.  The struggle in my mind was occurring.  During this battle of questions and tears I began to feel the guilt.  Guilt has plagued my mind on several occasions and always asks the same questions, “Why would you doubt a God that has been so good to you?  Look at what all this person is facing and endured and they still trust Him!”  So now I feel unworthy to even ask my Savior for help.  Life threw me a curve ball.  Strike one.

“To hit a curve ball you have to wait….”  Wait.  As a child my uncle has a picture of an eagle in his office with Isaiah 40:31 quoted on it.  I loved that verse because I related to it the picture of the eagle soaring.  “Those who wait on the Lord…”  I began to focus on the word wait.  The Amplified Bible explains those who wait as those who are expecting, those who are looking for, and those who are hoping in Him.  These are they that God says He will renew in strength and power.  These that wait on God – they will have strength to mount up close to God.  They can run through life and passed all its hardships and not even get weary.  They can walk and keep walking and they wont faint.  They can do all this because they sat back and waited on God.  In that time of waiting while they were expecting their Savior, He was renewing them and causing strength to rise up.  So, the curveball is thrown and we wait on it…until it breaks…

…and it will break.  I was fussing at Trish and told her that the reason the Word says “it came to pass” 457 times was because there was always a trial that someone had to deal with.  I was right but so was she (she loves it when I admit that)…the trial still came to pass….they break.  If we as Christians could learn to wait on God then we can be renewed and strengthened.  We can draw closer to God so when it does break and the trial does pass….we can run.  We can hit the curveball that life throws, and hit it out of the park even, because we are strengthened….because we waited….

I am still facing a trial but the difference today is that I’m waiting for my break…I’m expecting my Savior to show up.  He always has.  I’ve committed this trial to Him, so He always will…..Grand Slam.

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm  Comments (4)  

Out of the Whirlwind

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge. – Job 38: 1,2

Job was discouraged…frustrated…hurt…  He was tired and confused.  As the reader, we have the whole story.  We have the privilege of knowing that Job was facing these hardships because God was allowing Satan to come against him.  We know that the only reason the devils focus was on Job was because God Himself had brought Job to his attention.  “Have you considered my servant Job?”, God asked Satan.  At that moment, the devil, who ultimately seeks to oppose God in any situation, sought to destroy Job.  He adversely affected every area of Jobs life.  Job lost everything he possessed.  His present life, the life that Job knew, was completely destroyed and nothing would nor could it ever be the same.

Jobs friends looked into this present situation and decided that there must be some horrible sin that caused God to do this to him.  But Job knew this wasn’t the case.  Job knew he had lived his life in complete obedience to God.  Job knew that there wasn’t anything that would cause God to do this to him.  Just as his friends, Job didn’t understand why these multiple hardships had fallen upon him.  Because of this lack of understanding Job questioned himself.  He became so consumed by his present circumstance that he even cursed the day his mother birthed him.  Job questioned God.

When we as Christians face hardships, it’s natural to question God.  Human nature tends to always questions a negative outcome….especially when we are expecting to receive positive results.  In not understanding why we are facing such difficult times it’s almost typical to feel as if God has forsaken us in ways.  We may not come directly out and say, “God has lost His mind! Why is he doing this to me?” But we certainly feel this way.  And in conversations with friends about our struggles, we surely don’t feel like defending a God that is doing this to us.

Job sincerely battled this confusion.  He was a good man – perfect, God stated.  From Job’s viewpoint and reasoning he couldn’t satisfy his nor his friends questions of why he was facing such trouble.  God asks Job a question.  “Who is this that darkeneth the counsel by words without knowledge?”  It’s as if God was saying to Job, “You have said a lot about your feelings concerning this situation, but why are you talking about what you don’t know?  Who are you Job?”

It’s easy to talk about our problems.  When we don’t see reason why the troubles have come our way we feel that the need to try and justify their purpose.  Even as friends to someone facing hard times we try and give them answers  for the hurt, when ultimately, at the end of our attempts to understand what is happening….God allowed it to happen.  All our conversations, questions, and bitter feelings will not change the fact that you are facing trouble.

There will be times when we face hardships that we will not have the answer as to why they happen….and yet they happen.  “For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just, and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:45  Talking about the problems and dwelling on your present situation will not change a thing.  Right now – in the present – things are hard to handle – but we are promised a brighter future.  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

We may not understand, but God does.  Just as God asked Job, “Who are you?”  We can answer with assurance, “I am God’s child and He has this situation under control.  And if God be for us, who can be against us?”

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved


Published in: on January 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

And it Came to Pass…

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.  Genesis 8:13

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has had a horrible year, and I do mean horrible.  If it could go wrong for her, it did in 2010.  She said she couldn’t wait to see 1-1-11.  I told her that two days couldn’t make that much of a difference, but she said she was just ready to put 2010 behind her.  If I had been through all she’s been through I’d probably feel the same way.  I’ve told her a million times, “You’re going to be okay.  It’s not always going to be like this.  You will be fine, you will be happy again one day.”  Yesterday I told her that this had come to pass.  It’s not going to stay.

The scriptures use this phrase 457 times.  “And it came to pass.”  I can’t find where it says, “It came to stay.”  Things change, that’s just what happens.  Nothing ever stays the same.  Our babies grow up, our bodies grow old, our friendships change, even sometimes the things you think will always be there change, and it’s just not the same.  The only thing that stays the same is that everything changes.

Our family had a huge change with the loss of one of our own at only 23 years old.  That has changed a lot of things for us.  Of all the things that have come to pass, we never would have dreamed it would be a young man with a wife, a small baby, and his whole life ahead of him.  It makes you really stop and take stock of what you are doing with your life.  It makes you love deeper, pray harder and more aware that each day is a gift not to be squandered.  His mom—a dear friend, mentor, and hero of mine—is facing each day with a pain I cannot comprehend.  I pray daily for God to heal her broken heart and give her true joy in place of the pain.  She’s an amazing woman, and has not faltered to be there for everyone else even when I know she’d much rather be alone in a dark room instead of smiling and caring for those around her like nothing ever happened.

What kind of changes have you experienced this year?  You’ve probably had some that brought you great joy, and you’ve probably had some that you despised having to deal with.  Regardless of the circumstances, they still came to pass and there was nothing you could do about it.  All we can do is take each day and make the best of it.

“It came to pass.”  I seem to be stuck on this phrase.  That usually means God wants me to dig a little deeper.  Today is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2010.  I find the scripture interesting because it is referencing the first day of the first month of a new year.  The things that had come to pass in Noah’s life are extraordinary.  One day he’s just Noah, going about his business, the next day he’s building a big boat.  Who would’ve thought it?  One day he’s building a big boat, and the next day animals are coming from far and wide to ride his boat.  One day he’s listening to animals growling and howling and the rain beating down, and the next day the sun is shining for the first time in 40 days.  My how things do change!

On this particular day, however, he has a new life ahead of him.  He leaves the Ark to find dry land, and a whole new world!  On the first day of the first month of a new year he has the whole world at his feet, literally!  He may have been overwhelmed at all that lay ahead of him, but he had a life to live and a family to care for, so I believe he made the choice to make the best of it.  He offered sacrifices and praise offerings to the Lord.  The Lord blessed him and helped him through what must have been challenging times of rebuilding.  He had a fresh start.

Tomorrow may just be another day, but it’s also the start of a New Year.  It will be what you make of it!  You will face things that are beyond your control, but you can control your attitude and your actions.  Many things will come to pass in this upcoming year, but you have a new opportunity to make the best of it.  Like Noah, you have a whole year of new experiences ahead of you.  Make a sacrifice of praise and a determination to walk through this year fully committed to following God’s plan.

This year you will be challenged.  You may feel defeated at times, things may look hopeless, and you may feel alone.  But remember that the One Who promised to never leave or forsake you is right by your side.  If you allow Him to, He’ll carry you through whatever you face.  He will make you victorious.  You will also experience jubilation, excitement, love and pure joy.  Jesus will be sharing in all of that with you as well.  What will you make of each day?  Will you be effective this year?  If you haven’t given your heart to the Lord, this is the year to do it—this is the DAY to do it!

Many things have and will come to pass, but Jesus came to stay!  Have a wonderful 2011!!

 

 

Author: Trish Brannon

Copyright © 2010-2011  Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm  Comments (3)  

Because He Said It

I began writing when I was a teenager and God began a work in me.  Through my writing, I was able to see God’s grace in the simple, everyday routines of life.  Certain statements made in a conversation would quicken my spirit and God would allow me the opportunity to write different things.  But, as life tends to do at times, my circumstances changed.  I didn’t make a decision to quit writing, but I did.  For years I ignored a piece of my life that God used in a such a sweet and edifying way.  Looking back, I can see that I stopped noticing God’s grace in the small areas life…and then in the bigger areas.

God has a way of getting the attention of His children though.  2010 proved to be a year of challenges in my life.  But it also proved to be a year of great restoration.  I began to hear God speaking to me again….I felt that desire to write and share what He has allowed me the privilege of writing.  A dear friend of mine brought to my attention the possibility of writing a blog as an outlet for my writings.  The more I thought and prayed, the more excited I became.  I bounced the idea of writing a blog together with my best friend and she became excited as well…. thus you are now reading the result…Devotions of Grace.

My prayer is that God will reveal His self to you through these writings.  I pray that we all become more aware of God’s presence in every area of our life.  Certainly it’s His grace that has brought His children through every trial and difficult circumstance we have faced…and certainly His grace will continue to carry His children through.  My first post, first devotion, came to me nine years after I had stopped writing.  I’m sharing it here for the first time.  (Thank you Jalyn.)

______________________________________________

I had the opportunity to spend the last couple of days with an eight year old.  She is a beautiful little girl with such a sweet spirit.  To say the least she has become a quick friend of mine.  There wasn’t anything especially engaging about our conversation to anyone who thought it might have been interesting to listen in….just the usual sharing of stories and talking about different things that we have in common.  No huge discussions regarding the spiritual aspect of the Christians life were specifically mentioned, but then again, as the lyricist wrote, “Little is much when God is in it.”

She and I were returning some of my work to its proper home when we began arguing over who loved who the most.  She had a response to everything that I tried to aggravate her with.  I was having the best time trying to make her stumble over what she was saying.  She never stumbled once…though I admit that I may have.  Finally she turned her eyes on me and said, “I just love you more.”  I laughed at her and told her that I didn’t know if I believed her or not.  She stopped and thought about her response, and said, “I believe it, because I said it.”  God took that simple, matter of fact statement, and began to speak to areas of my heart that I hadn’t paid attention to in years.  I hugged her and we continued the rest of our day together…and thankfully God continued to speak to me.

Through the last couple of months God has begun dealing with me concerning my relationship with Him.  Specifically, knowing Him.  2 Timothy 1:12 reads, “…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”  There is something so comforting in that statement to me.  “I know whom I have believed.”  I’ve spent my life giving myself the title of “Christian.”  If anyone would ask me who I believed I would have been very quick to give them the response of Jesus Christ.  But God was speaking to my spirit and asking, “Do you KNOW whom you believe?”  The answer was humbling.  I had an awesome idea of who Jesus is.  I’ve sang about Him and taught about Him….but the reality was that I didn’t know Jesus.  If I had truly known the Savior I serve, than I doubt that I would have spent so much time defeated.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t have struggled concerning some situations, but not defeated.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we as Christians operated in the fullness of God’s love and grace?  What works could be wrought at the hands of His children if we took time to know who Jesus is and then make Him known to others?  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we as Christians took the struggles we face and accepted them as opportunities for God to reveal His glory?

I believe that this world does want to know Jesus.  But I also believe that maybe they don’t want to know the Jesus that we present to them.  Who wants to serve a Jesus whose followers are barely making it through life?  Who wants to walk with a God whose followers testimony consist of, “I’m struggling, but I’ll struggle all the way home as long as Jesus walks with me.”  God has began to show me the realness of John 10:10.  “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” ABUNDANCE! On overflow of life! An overflow of happiness!

Satan deceives God’s children by telling them they are being humble and gracious and should be satisfied with just enough in this life to get by.  BUT GOD HAS PROMISED AN ABUNDANCE!  I spent years being satisfied but God has stirred my spirit in such a way that now I want all that God has given me.  I want an abundance of life…the life that only comes at the hand of God. I can have an abundance of peace.  I can have an abundance of happiness.  I can have an abundance of love. I believe it because God said it.  I’m going to tell someone else about it, because I know whom I believe.  Let’s begin to seek the abundance that comes from a God who gave it all that we may have an abundant life!

 

 

Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm  Comments (1)