Tag Archives: Christianity
We are in a race and we must run this race to win and not give up. That is why we must do our best not to get distracted and pace ourselves to win the race. The prize is far greater than we can comprehend with our human minds. Eternity awaits us!
King of More
(#150 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
I met a man, a humble man. He was humbled by patterns of affliction. His wife, taken from him in a foreign country and jailed for reasons unknown to him. His four children, missing for months and only recently discovered scattered among friends and relatives. Yes, he himself imprisoned with no way of communicating with any of them. He says to me, “What can I do but trust? Every day I pray and wait, and that somehow I would hear some news. I pray that my wife is ok, and that she is soon reunited with the children. I pray that one day we will all be together again. Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope. (Psalm 119:116)” He looked me in the eyes; I could see the depths of his soul. The word “surrendered” came to my mind. Like Job, everything was taken from him.
It is “natural” to consider such suffering and be grateful for what we have. It is the way we have programmed our minds, almost like “being content with settling.” We have these thoughts; “Well if he can be hopeful and he has it that bad, I feel ‘guilty’ for feeling bad. I should be more grateful, even though I desire more. Yes Father, I need to be content with what I have.”
Is this what Yahweh has for us? Is this more than we can ask for, think or imagine? (Ephesians 3:20) I declare that I would be amiss if I did not proclaim the contrary.
“You are the Father of more. You are the great I Am. You are the infinite One. I know this because You planted it in the heart You gave me. You have shown Yourself to be this way. For these reasons, I cannot settle. I want fullness of life, not just getting by. I need to believe in the abundant more Father. You are the King of more, and I come to You in obedience.”
Yes, my soul screams out “Abundance!” and with that Father, I leave it with You.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
How strong is your faith? Do you ever doubt God? See this video…
(#149 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Abba, how I long for my love for You to become natural. I yearn for my obedience in praise and worship to become like breath to me, to be as oxygen. I hunger for my love to be unceasing, to become that which I need to never consciously consider. While awake or asleep, it is there. Is it because we cannot see You that this love we seek requires so much effort? Is it because we desire our own path more than Yours? Is it that Your Son’s death is not tangible to us in our hearts and soul? Are you keeping Yourself from us purposely? Though Your Son’s shed blood gives life to all who believe, do we treat this reality casually?
This I know Father; this I must confess: I am saddened by the amount of time I need to dedicate to simply believe that every word You speak is true, and that it applies to my life! And, that Your word will really take me to the higher places. I desire to cross over to this level of faith Father. I desire obedience that leads to healthy fear, admiration, trust, and love. My prayer is that I would attain all of these attributes towards You Father, and that they would be as natural as breathing.
I have another confession Abba. After so much seeking and so much effort to find You, I wonder; have I looked right past You? Am I making too much effort and not resting enough? Do I know how to receive Your love Father? Am I unwilling, for reasons beyond a conscious level, to accept Your love? My confession is this; I don’t know the answer to these questions Father. I don’t know why I cannot fill up my existence with You.
I wonder, at times, if You are hiding from me. Not in a way that a thief would hide, but like a Father who can’t wait to jump out and scream, “Here I Am. I’m real. I’m really here for you.” I desire that Father. If I am in error, correct me so I can find You. You know me; You know why I cry out to You. If I am anxious, it is for You. If I lose sleep, it is because I think of You. Perhaps, if I may ask this of You; could we have our own special language, one in which I could hear and communicate with You. I know Your word says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27) Help me believe that this means I can communicate with You with no doubting, with all second-guessing gone forever? May it be something intimate, powerful, and secure? May it be like my breath? I would like that Father. I leave this request at Your feet. So be it.
He who does not love does not know the Mighty One, for the Mighty One is love. (1 John 4:8)
Do you really understand what tenderhearted really means? Please see this video…
The Way of Man II
(#147 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
A man and his wife enter the church. After the worship, the pastor begins to preach. The wife is fully engaged while the husband dozes off. He tries his best to stay awake. She nudges him when the service is over. They rise up and leave. For many weeks, this same pattern continues. The pastor notices the husband’s tendency and labels the man as disinterested in spiritual matters. He wonders why the man even comes. Others in the congregation have noticed and wonder the same.
Several weeks pass since the last time the man and his wife attend when she appears alone at a service. Afterwards, she finds the pastor and asks him if she could speak with him. The pastor willingly agrees and quickly discerns the meeting will be about her “disinterested” husband. He is ready to minister to her heart as needed.
As the meeting begins the pastor says, “I have not seen you in church for quite some time. How have you been?”
The lady, with tears streaming down her eyes says, “It’s my husband.”
“Yes, I figured that,” the pastor replies.
She continues, “You see. He has cancer. He is dying. He takes his medication and it makes him very tired and sleepy. He was embarrassed about coming and falling asleep so we’ve just stopped coming. He does not seem to have much time left and he wanted me to tell you something. He said that it made him so happy to be able to come and see you, to listen to you preach. You are his favorite teacher. He asked me to thank you.”
Never judge loved one. Never think you know what’s going on within someone, just by the external appearance of things. Caring takes time, and if you are willing to ask yourself the tough question, do you struggle with caring for others? Healing comes from a mind, spiritually redeemed, that can admit, “I don’t really care about other people as much as I should; help me Yahshua. Give me a heart (mind) that cares for others more than it cares for myself.”
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)
The Way of Man
(#146 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Scene: Two men stranded on an uninhabited island.
One man says to the other, “We are never going to get rescued from this island.”
The other man replies, “Don’t worry, I tithe.”
“What?” says the first man. “What does tithing have to do with us getting off this island?”
The tither then explains; “I make a hundred thousand dollars a month.”
Perplexed, the first man says, “So since you make a hundred thousand dollars a month, Yahweh is going to rescue us?”
The tither, looking amused, says, “No, my pastor will.”
Think about what perceptions this gives you. What, if anything, is healthy in any of the mindsets portrayed in the above conversation? Pray and seek wisdom about the true way of the Father.
For the word of Yahweh is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Break it Down
(#143 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Note from the editors: take a breath; clear your mind; and enjoy the ride!
Blessed [favored] are those [the ones who follow the pattern] whose strength [power, provision, purpose] is in You [Abba], who have [without guessing, moving forward] set [like in concrete, steadfast] their hearts [minds] on a pilgrimage [advancing, moving, no rust, no moths]. As they pass [yes, they leave and move on] the Valley [low places] of Baca [weeping], they [the ones operating in Abba’s power] make it [create a new thing] a place of springs [life, abundance, real reality]; the autumn [falling] rains [Spirit outpouring] also [as well as, doubly] cover [sustain] it [the mind in the valley] with pools [abundant blessing, overflow]. They [the blessed ones] go [keep moving] from strength [trust in Yahweh] to strength [more trust in Yahweh, closer to perfection] till each appears [kneels] before the Mighty One [Yahweh] in Zion [un-obstruction, perfection, a pure mind].
Here is a powerful paraphrase for your edification:
Favored are the ones who follow the pattern, whose provision and purpose are in the Father, who move forward without guessing and with steadfast minds advance. They leave the lower place of weeping by operating in Abba’s power and create something new, a place of abundance; the Holy Spirit pouring out in double portion is what sustains their new thinking with abundant overflow and blessings. These blessed children of Yahweh continue to move from trusting in Yahweh to even more trust in Yahweh as they approach perfection, until each kneels before the Mighty One with a perfect, un-obstructed, pure mind.
(#140 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
One option! That is all you have. Freedom is having no other options. Is this not the true freedom I have for you? You have one choice, and that is to obey My commands! How quickly you test Me. I can hear your thoughts. “If I choose not to do Your will, then I can simply make my own choices, right?” It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But, you would never think like that, would you? Yes, My child, every day; every day you say this to Me. Your disobedience says it all. The death of My Son says it. What do you think the shed blood was for?
Fill in the blanks in the scripture I have given you. Are you ready?
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient [____________], you are [____________] of the one you obey—whether you are [____________] to sin, which leads to death, or [____________] to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
Yes, slaves, slaves, slaves, and slaves! Read it aloud to Me. Fill in the blanks and read it over and over.
Because I know you and because I created you, I offer this consolation. My slaves are free! My slaves love! My slaves hope! My slaves grow! My slaves learn to adore their Master with all of their being! My slaves learn what freedom truly is! Won’t you come and learn from Me? Won’t you be My slave?
Choose This Day, or I Will
(#139 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Please read Deuteronomy 28:1-12 before you continue:
If you fully obey Yahweh your Mighty One and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, Yahweh your Mighty One will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey Yahweh your Mighty One:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
Yahweh will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
Yahweh will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. Yahweh your Mighty One will bless you in the land He is giving you. Yahweh will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of Yahweh your Mighty One and walk in obedience to Him.
Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of Yahweh, and they will fear you.
Yahweh will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land He swore to your ancestors to give you.
Yahweh will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
If you fully obey…
Blessed above all nations.
Blessed in the city.
Blessed in the country.
Blessed in your womb.
Blessed with your crops.
Blessed with your flocks.
Blessed in your basket.
Blessed in your coming and going.
Blessed in victory over your enemies; they will flee from you, in seven ways.
Blessed in your barns.
Blessed with your hands.
Blessed in the land.
Blessed in holiness.
Blessed with prosperity.
Blessed from the heavens.
Blessed in lending.
Blessed as the head.
The key phrase among all these blessings is, “If you fully obey!” Do you see the beauty of it, the “it” being your obedience? Doesn’t it sound abundant? Yahweh says, “I have a special plan for you, a plan to bless you. I only want goodness for you.
Doesn’t My Son’s death prove that to you? I desire and I will have your obedience.
If you would you like to see how adamant I Am about blessing you, read about My curses for disobedience in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
Yes, I will make sure you get your blessings. Soon My child, pleasing Me will be your only desire.
I Cry Out For the Little Ones
(#138 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” All men are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of Yahweh blows on them. Surely people are like grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the words of the Mighty One endure forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)
Your Word shall endure forever Father. Yes, You have said to me, “Those who hope in Me will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
I listen to Your whisper Abba; You say, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths; I will guide them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)
My soul clings to these words, these words of life, these words of redemption. I too am a dad. I need Your atonement so that I might return to my young ones. As I need You, they need me. As You are teaching me to need only You, I too will teach them that they need only You. So many things You need to teach my soul. So many things I need to teach theirs. As I finally come to You in a truly authentic way, a way like never before, bring me back to them to show them how to also be authentic before You. I know that You know what it means to be a Father who gives the only kind of love possible, the love that never fails. How will the little ones know what it looks like lest their dad teaches them? Because Your love never fails, I know that You will allow me to teach my children what that looks like. I rest in that.
Inner Peace, Acting Out
(#136 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Am I not He who guides and protects you? Did I not appoint Malakim (mind messengers) to minister to your going out and your coming in? (Hebrews 1:14) Let Me be perfectly clear with you. I will work on everything on the outside, while you work on the inside. “Seek first”, My Spirit has spoken to you (Matthew 6:33). Am I not your Almighty Father? Is My strong arm not sufficient to cast away all of your foes? Am I not adequate to orchestrate the outcome of every situation on your behalf?
Listen to Me child! Your decisions; your acting out; and all the things you do to influence outcomes on your own; are evidence of a lack of faith. You attempt to control relationships, dreams, business deals, and the results in all situations and circumstances of your life, shouts so loudly that you cannot hear Me saying, “Be still and know that I am the Mighty One.” (Psalm 46:10) How quickly you act and react. “Please let this (whatever ‘this’ is) fall into place”, you beg of Me, before you even seek My will. All the hopes, all the efforts, “all the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.” (Ecclesiastes 6:7)
Here is another unchangeable pattern for you. Listen closely! I will work on outside circumstances; you work on the inside. Synchronicity is what I desire. If you believe that I have all things in My control, then you have but one duty. Find out where I Am leading you and follow. I Am talking about inner peace, peace in all your decisions. Will I not tell you all things to come (John 16:13)? Am I a man that I should lie? Let inner peace be the language between us. How quickly you’ve run off without Me in the past. When you get ahead of yourself you are really only wandering away from Me. I Am the source for all good things in your life. I have the answers for all of your desires.
When We Lift Our Hands
(#134 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
When we lift our hands to You Abba, what do we really intend? Are we worshipping? Do we really mean it? Is it possible to be filled with fears and doubt, and yet worship? Do You receive the worship of doubting people? How can we say we worship and adore You, but not trust You?
So very few of Your children live a life filled with power and grace. Is this why they hold up hands to You? Are they trying to pull something down from You, something deeply lacking in themselves? I ask again Abba; how can we worship You, but not truly trust You? Find me the man who says he does. Yes, Your Son is our comparison. How many raise their hands begging for mercy? This seems an appropriate reason to hold up holy hands. Is that worship Father? It seems like desperation. Is desperation power Father? Do we really believe Yahshua died for us? At times, it ironically seems more tangible to believe it was for Abraham, Moses or even Paul. Is it really for us?
Where are the ones who are anointed by Your touch Father, the ones who have lost their lives and found You? There are so few. Why Abba? Why? Your promises are for all of us who say we believe, correct? Forgive us for the mixed message we send, as we raise hands with doubt in our hearts. Help us believe, to believe in Your promises through Your Son and Your Ruach (Spirit). Grant us the faith of a mustard seed Abba (Matthew 13:31-32, 17:20). Birth belief in us Father, true belief. Make it real to us so we can move mountains (Mark 11:23). Prepare our hearts (minds) to suffer well for it. Help us to die to “self” so that we might offer genuine worship, for worship’s sake, and also for those who wonder about the faith of all who claim to believe what they so passionately preach, and seemingly, so strongly affirm.