Friday, October 1, 2021

Praying When You Don’t Know What to Pray

“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;

his tongue speaks what is just.

The instruction of his God is in his heart;

his steps do not falter.”

Psalm 37:30-31

Your heart is full and wants to speak to God. Knowing that He hears your groans and prays for you doesn’t feel like enough. Or maybe you have a lot on your mind and can’t sit still to capture any of your thoughts. Who of you hasn’t been there?

I learned a prayer technique from a friend this year that I’ve found transformative. God’s Word is always right, so I can take His Words and pray them back to Him! I don’t have to be perfect, and my prayer will be different from your prayer. But this is a great way to spend more time communing with our Father.

Just to give you an idea, below I’ve written my prayer of the above psalm. I hope this helps you on your own faith and prayer journey. Peace.

Father God,

You are my God and I will ever praise You and You alone!

Please give me a mouth that speaks

words of righteousness and wisdom that brings honor and glory to You.

May the instruction, advice, and encouragement I give to others be from You.

May I be fair and just in my assessments of situation and of others, especially as it relates to my family and my church. OK, especially to everyone, so that glory and honor are Yours.

Father, please lead my steps so that they do not swerve to the right or to the left.

Father, You are good and gracious, and all praise goes to You. Thank You for Your powerful Word that will not return void. Amen🚦

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

“The one who oppresses the poor insults there Maker, but one who is kind to the needy honors Him.”

Proverbs 14:31

God has a heart for the poor, the downtrodden, the hurting, the brokenhearted. The person who cannot seem to make it one more day — financially, emotionally, mentally or physically. All of us are that person at one point or another, in need of being lifted up by another, but there are those who need it for longer periods and more often, trying our patience, or time, and our pocketbooks. God is honored when we show kindness, gentleness, goodness, and generosity to reach a hand down and raise up someone in distress.

Let’s not kid ourselves; it gets messy in the trenches of helping others. But it was a messy, beautiful road Jesus walked carrying our cross, beaten for our trespasses, suffering for our sin. By His wounds we are healed; now let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting.🚦

“For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who would condemn him.“

Psalm 109:31 HCSB

“When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You? ’ “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’”

Matthew 25:38-40 HCSB

Saturday, September 18, 2021

“My goal is that they may be encouraged and heart and united in love, so that they may have a full riches of complete understanding, and order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, and him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:2-3 NIV

God made us for community. A complete understanding of the mystery of Christ comes only when we are in community with other believers. We need to be encouraging and lifting up one another in the body of Christ. God doesn’t want us to just get together to meet for Bible study; he wants us bonded together in love. As we do these things, we grow in the fullness of wisdom and knowledge found only in Christ. May you find a community of believers to share life with today.🚦

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him.

Ecclesiastes 10:12 HCSB

When you and I get caught up in our own anxiety rifts and circle round and round endlessly in the what if’s about something bothering us at work, at home, or elsewhere, we become consumed by our own cycles of fear until we are rendered paralyzed. Grateful thinking, on the other hand, leads to gracious words which are a soothing balm to hurting hearts and bring healing to places of deep sorrow.

Which will you choose today?🚦

Friday, September 10, 2021

The integrity of the upright guides them.

Proverbs 11:3

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, when used as a virtue term, integrity refers to the quality of a person’s character. It is the character trait of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change, per the Cambridge English dictionary. Integrity is strongly tied to an authentic sincerity coming from a pure motivation while aligning your conduct with what you know to be excellent.

We see these people of character and integrity and want to be like them, but how do we get there? What’s the secret? Well-known pastor and author Charles Stanley States it well:

“The time you spend alone with God will transform your character and increase your devotion. Then your integrity and godly behavior in an unbelieving world will make others long to know the Word.”

The reputation of 1000 years may be determined by the conduct of one hour. Japanese proverb🚦

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

“The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.”

John 8:29 HCSB

People often ask, “What would Jesus do?” They may wear T-shirts or wrist bands with the letters WWJD to remind them to think before they do. Instead of asking what Jesus would do, perhaps we should ask what Jesus himself did. Jesus indicates “I always do what pleases Him.” Jesus was all about seeking the Father and bringing glory and honor to Him with his life rather than glorifying his own life. He looked for what the Father was doing and followed His lead so that God would be magnified and others would be drawn to Him.

Be like Jesus. 🚦

Shortcuts. Sunday, Sept 5, 2021

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:6 NASB

Shortcuts. Who doesn’t use GPS or a map in search of the quickest route to their destination? This is exactly what Eve saw in the forbidden fruit: a shortcut to wisdom. As with amassing material wealth, foolish people will try to circumvent the hard work that goes into acquiring wisdom.

“Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.” Proverbs 19:20 NASB

Becoming wise is an intentional commitment and way of life. It will always be a journey of exploration in God’s Word. No shortcuts. 🚦

Sunday, July 4, 2021

““Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Dung Gate of Jerusalem was one of twelve gates of which Nehemiah oversaw the rebuilding. The dung herder would transport waste via caravan of donkeys through the narrow, 1.5 meter wide gate toward the southern border of the city then dump it in the landfill. What was his life like? How was he treated in society?

The life of following Christ is not an easy one that will win one any popularity contests. Over and over again, Jesus tells those who seek to be like Him they will suffer, as He suffered. In fact, the root word for “narrow” is akin to the base word from which “trauma” is derived. Do not expect to be treated any better than the person carrying human feces outside the city gates.

What hope have we who are night and day tormented ruthlessly at the hands of the evil accuser Satan?

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:7-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Yes, in the end, Jesus wins! And we win! The person Nehemiah tasked with repairing the Dung gate was not entrusted to just anyone but to one in the priestly line. Likewise, Jesus cleans away all our filth and grime as we pass through the narrow gate.

True freedom is found only in surrender to the One who has already died and conquered death. Celebrate this freedom today!🚦

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

June 17, 2021

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV

Have you ever cleaned out your closet only to find you’d been holding on to more things you do NOT wear than what you DO actually wear?

God’s Word tells us Jesus came to clean house on the junk in our hearts. Not just the messy stuff we’ve done to hurt others, but also the painful wickedness done against us by others.

You’ve been washed clean!

He removed the the shackles of shame that we’re binding you.

You’ve been set free!

Throw away that heavy, old robe that was weighing you down. A bright coat of royal splendor awaits!

Step into the Light!🚦

#devotionals #stoplightdevotionals #setfree #christianwomen #devotionalsforwomen

New Year’s Day 2021

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14 AMP

As we gladly put 2020 in the rear view mirror and forge ahead eagerly into 2021, we typically resolve to eat better, lose weight, work out more, etc. May we not lose sight of seeking God in the year ahead and setting out on a spiritual journey. Look for ways to measure your spiritual growth—reading through the Bible in a year, consistent quiet times you document, scripture memorization with an accountability partner. At the end of 2021 you will find yourself looking back on an adventure with rewards to last a lifetime. Trek on!🚦