Friday, June 25, 2010

Make Sure It's God!~Minister Darrick D. McGhee

It’s a wonderful day to be a child of God. Have you ever had friends pressure you into doing what you knew was not right? They made every attempt to persuade you. Have you ever found yourself in a difficult position on your job? The temptation to lie was trying to overtake you. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by life? Everyday seemed to get harder and harder to handle. Everyone and everything requires your attention. You feel pressured to perform at the highest level man expects each day. Have you ever tried to lock yourself in your bedroom, office or car? You hoped hiding would erase the increasing demand. Have you ever wanted to resign from a committee, a position or an organization? Because of increasing disagreements, you have experienced a strong desire to separate yourself. Can you relate to any of these questions?

Today, I have been commissioned to come and minister to you. Life will often place you in position where sudden decisions must be made. There are times when you are not given ample time to think or meditate on the offers or assignments. A response is requested immediately. Have you been there? Are you there now? My friend, before you open your mouth to speak … Make Sure It’s God! The Bible declares in 1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Make sure your response is from the Lord. Make sure you can hear the Lord speaking to you. The enemy will always try to push you away from the will and plan of God. You will receive offers that appear unreal. Meet people with ulterior motives. Meet wolves in sheep clothing. Make Sure It’s God! Make sure what you do and why you do it brings glory to the Lord. If what you are doing does not offer God glory, why are you doing it?

My brother, my sister, what are you involved in today? Who are you serving? What decision do you feel pressured to make? Make Sure It’s God! Allow me to offer one point of advice: If the decision(s) you make leave you confused, know that it is not of God. The Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Beloved, there are some things God will ask you to do that seem ridiculous. You will question your abilities. While that may be, God will not ask you to do something that causes confusion. The enemy uses this to pollute your mind with his thoughts and plans. The enemy is trying to destroy you and your relationship with God. Make Sure It’s God! Dear friend, before you join yourself to a person, place or thing, make sure it is the Lord’s will for you. Everything that seems good is not God.

Prayer for Today: Father, I have a desire to please You in all I do. Please help me make decisions for Your glory. Lead and guide my steps, in Jesus’ name … Amen!

Scripture Reading for Today: Matthew 6:33

Don't Cry, Fight!~Minister Darrick D. McGhee

It’s a wonderful day to be a child of God. Have you ever endured a storm that seemed to never end? As time went on, and you suffered a little while, you assumed things would begin to change for you. It has been days, weeks, months or even years and it feels as if the storm has not passed. Have you ever felt like giving up in the middle of the battle? For some reason, you no longer had the desire to fight. What you once prayed for, now you do not feel it is worth it. Have you ever asked God to take the pain away? Things were so painful until you could no longer handle it. The dilemma became overwhelming. The responsibility began to consume you. Are you currently experiencing a test? Where you are in your life, are you faced with a challenge?

Today, I have been commissioned to come and minister to you. So often in our lives, we find ourselves in the face of a giant. This giant stands between you and your promise from the Lord. As much as you scream or cry, this giant has no desire to move out of your way. The enemy is trying all he can to keep you from receiving what the Lord has promised. The giant is symbolic for whatever has been designed to stand in the way of your destiny. My friend, Don’t Cry, … Fight! This is not the time for you to cry and complain. It is time for you to go after what the Lord said was yours. The Bible declares in 2 Corinthians 1:20 - For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. The promises of God are assured. If He said it, He will complete it (Philippians 1:6). Knowing this, the enemy will try what he can to hinder the process. Don’t Cry, … Fight! You have to be willingly to fight for what is yours. While it is true, what God has for you is for you, the enemy is still going to attack when he can. Your tears do not move him. Wipe them and fight back.

My brother, my sister, what has the Lord promised you? What has the Lord spoken in your spirit? Do you still believe? Don’t Cry, … Fight! The Bible declares in 1 John 4:4 - Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Beloved, the Lord is on your side. He is a very present help in the time of trouble (Psalms 46:1). You have to been determined. You must not roll over and die. Dear friend, do you realize the enemy is trying to steal your promise, kill your dreams and destroy your destiny (John 10:10)? Now is not the time to be passive and shy. The Bible declares in Matthew 11:12 - And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. When the enemy attacks on your job, in your home, at the church, in your finances, within your marriage, Don’t Cry, … Fight! Fight for what the Lord has promised you. Remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for.

Prayer for Today: Father, for too long I have allowed the enemy to attack me and I never fought back. Today, I walk in the boldness and authority You gave me. In Jesus’ name … Amen!

Scripture Reading for Today: Romans 8:31

Can't Hide

"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23:24

The verse above lets us know that even if we deliberately tried to hide ourselves from God and remove ourselves completely from His view, it would be impossible. He is everywhere- including the place where you would be hiding.

Nothing is hid from Him. Nothing can be hid from Him. Not your problems, not your pain, not your tribulation-- nothing. Not your sin, not your weaknesses, not your evil doings. Not your good works and deeds, not your obedience to His commands. There is nothing and no one who can hide from Him- whatever you do, good or bad, He sees it all. That should be comforting to those who are going through hardships and difficulties- your situation is not hid from Him. But for those who are not living the way they should be, this should compel you to make some changes.

If you are among those who are wondering if God sees what you are going through. If you are wondering if He sees the problems you are facing- take heart, He does-- neither you nor the situation is hid from Him.

Have a great day. God sees everything and everyone- nothing can hide from His all seeing eyes.

For further reading:
Hebrews 4:13
Psalm 139
Proverbs 15:3

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Doing My Part

"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple." Psalm 27:4

The Psalmist said that there was one thing that he desired-- to dwell in the house of the Lord. For him this was not just a mere profession, some cliché or empty words, but a deep yearning. He sincerely wanted to dwell in God's presence. Therefore, he did his part to make that happen. David sought after the presence of God. He brought the Ark of the Covenant- the dwelling place of God- into his own courtyard. Then he appointed worshippers, priests and ministers around the Ark twenty-four hours a day.

It's one thing to have a desire for God and the things of God, it's another to do your part in order to have that desire fulfilled. Often we say we want it but never make a move in that direction. We sit back and wait for God to just "drop" it on us. There comes a time when we have to "pursue" what we desire- including the presence of God. The scriptures tell us, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". Moses would have missed His destiny if he had not drawn near to the bush when he saw it burning- the place where God's presence was manifesting. Those in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost would have missed the glorious baptism in the Holy Spirit if they had not done their part- tarry until His presence came.

Do you desire to dwell in the presence of God? Do you desire intimate fellowship and a close relationship with Him? Then what are you doing to make it happen? It won't happen through slothfulness. It won't happen by sitting back just hoping and waiting for it to happen. It is God's desire for you to dwell in His presence. But you have to "make room", "draw near", "seek after" for it to happen.

Have a great day. Are you doing your part in order to dwell in His presence?

For further reading:
James 4:8
1 Chronicles 16
Luke 24:49
Acts 2:1-3

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

Rejoicing Faith

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Did you notice that in this verse there is no provision made to do anything other than rejoice each day? There isn't a footnote tagged on it, there wasn't a "with the exception of" clause added to it, there wasn't allowance or room made to do otherwise. The verse doesn't tell us to rejoice as long as everything is going well; or as long as things are going the way we planned or hoped; as long as nothing bad happens today; as long as no problems arise. It just says, "I will rejoice and be glad".

Is the verse telling us that we won't experience bad things, difficulties, pain or grief? Does it mean that we won't get bad reports, or find ourselves in battles under the attack of the enemy? No, it doesn't. Because the scriptures teach us otherwise. They teach that bad things and tribulations come to the just and unjust and the righteous face afflictions. Why then didn't the verse make allowances to be sad, downcast and complaining during the bad times? Simply because-- the just shall live by faith.

We walk by faith not by sight. What we see, what we hear and what we feel isn't the "final authority". I may lose my job, for example, but am I going to stop rejoicing and get worried, sad, depressed and fearful? No. Why? Because that wasn't a bad thing that happened to me? No, but because the just live by faith. Faith in God who is my provider. Faith that He will meet and supply all my need. Faith that if God feeds the sparrows and clothes the lilies daily, He will certainly take care of me because I am of much more value to Him than a sparrow. I live by faith, which means that I know that somehow, some way, the Lord will work all things together for my good. I live by faith which means I have the confident assurance that He will never leave me nor forsake me but will be with me always- He is not a "fair weather" friend who leaves me when the going gets tough.

There was no provision made in the verse above because there has already been a provision made that will keep your head up and joy in your heart when things aren't always "well". That provision is faith. Absolute trust, confidence and dependency on God. The situations that we face don't change God. He is still the same loving, caring Heavenly Father and provider that He has always been. Therefore, I can rejoice in that unchanging knowledge even in changing situations.

Have a great day. There is no provision made for us to be cast down when bad times come because we live by faith all the time.

For further reading:
Psalm 34:19
Matthew 5:45; 6:25-29
Habakkuk 2:4
Romans 1:17; 8:28
Galatians 3:11
Hebrews 10:38; 13:5
Philippians 4:19

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

Missing Altars

"And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne." Revelation 8:3

Altars have always been important structures/places in all religions throughout history. They were used as places to offer sacrifices. I don't know how many religions still set up altars and actually offer real sacrifices upon them, but perhaps some still do. In Christianity altars aren't used for offering animal sacrifices but they are used as places where prayers are made offering our lives as living sacrifices to God.

This morning I want to ask a question, "Where are the altars?" Over the last several years there has been an alarming rate at the number of missing altars- missing in our churches, missing from our homes, missing from our personal lives. I can remember having time at the altars during every church service. It didn't matter if you had a "need" that you needed to pray about or not, you still went to the altar- the whole church would often make their way to the altars. At the altar lives were changed, prayers were answered, people were touched by the power of God, cleansing of heart, soul and mind took place, joy was restored, bodies were healed, burdens were undone.

Today altars in the church have been removed and replaced. Replaced with "walking the aisle". Replaced with "repeat a prayer pews". Replaced with prayer lines mostly wanting and waiting for someone to do your praying for you. I submit to you that this is one of the reasons why the church appears to be so weak, confused and compromising. You may disagree, but there has to be times of contrition and sacrifice; there have to be times of pouring out your heart and soul to God. And the altar is the place to do just that. Sure one could do their praying at home (and should pray there as well), but sadly, few homes have an altar- and why would they when it is evident in the church that altars aren't important. But there is something powerful about praying at the altar with other believers in God's house.

Revivals are birthed around the altar. Every great movement of God started around an altar. Our salvation was paid for at an altar- the cross. There are some things that can only occur at an altar. In the Book of Revelation we are told that there is even an altar in heaven. So there must be something special and significant about an altar that we have seemed to miss.

Altars are not just physical structures that sit in the front of the church. But the missing physical structure is just symbolic that the true altar of prayer and sacrifice is missing. Is it missing in your life? Do you have an altar- a place where you meet with God on a regular basis and present yourself to Him as a living sacrifice? If not, then you need to restore the missing altar.

Have a great day. If the altar is missing in your life, it needs to be restored.

For further reading:
Revelation 6:9
Romans 12:1

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

It Doesn't Fit

"And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him." 1 Samuel 17:39

(I believe that there is a particular word for someone in this morning's devotional.) Like Saul tried to dress David with his own armor, many in the body of Christ are also being "dressed" by someone else. They are trying to change you into "their image". They are trying to make you like themselves or into what they think you should be. They are trying to lead you in the direction that they think you should go.

The word from the Lord this morning is "stop trying to fit in". Stop trying to fit in-- to someone else's ministry, anointing, calling or vision. Stop trying to fit in-- to what I have not called you to. Stop trying to fit in-- to roles that I have not ordained you to be in. Stop trying to fit in-- to places that I have not sent you to.

Too often we will allow someone else to place their own ideas and opinions on us and we will then try to conform to that. We will try to "make it work or fit" when there is no way it can. David could not wear Saul's armor because it was not designed for him. God has not designed someone else's "armor" to fit you. He has designed a plan and purpose that is "well suited" to you.

Allow God to direct your life. Allow Him to do with you what He desires. Find and fulfill His plan not what everyone else or even you think it should be. Don't worry that it doesn't look like you think it should. The norm when going out to battle was to be dressed in armor. David went out to the battlefield with only a sling shot and some stones. But he was victorious where the king and army had not been. Why? Because he let God do the "dressing".

Have a great day. Stop trying to fit in to what others are trying to put on it. Only what God places on you will fit.

For further reading:
1 Samuel 17

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

Strength In Weakness

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Are you feeling weak? Do you feel faint? Do you feel as if you just aren't going to make it? Do you feel like you are too weak to stand when you need to be strong and stand? Do you feel like you are ready to cave in to the pressures that are surrounding you? Don't give up, don't give in, don't despair you can be strong and rise above the weakness.

The answer is found in the verse above- "wait upon the Lord". Your strength is found in the Lord, not in your own resources or abilities. Weakness is not a sign of defeat, it just reveals the fact that we are utterly dependent upon the Lord and not on self. In our own strength we will always be weak. But when we draw from His strength, we will be refreshed, renewed, get that "second wind", soar higher, run further and keep on going even when the going gets tough.

If you are experiencing weakness today- regardless of what area it is in- go to the Lord, press into His presence and stay there until you receive the strength that you need to rise up and keep on going. He gave us His promise in the verse above that if we will "wait upon Him" we SHALL... not perhaps, not maybe, not hopefully... renew our strength.

Have a great day. The presence of the Lord is energizing, so wait in His presence until your strength is renewed.

For further reading:
Hebrews 11:11
2 Corinthians 12:9
1 Corinthians 1:25
Ephesians 6:10

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell

Be Still

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

As I was studying this verse a little closer, I discovered one of the literal meanings was- "leave off (your own attempts) and know". There are some things about God- His power, character and nature- that we cannot know unless we are "still". Another meaning for the word still was "relax, withdraw, let alone".

There are times we have to step back and move out of the way- be still- in order to "know that I am God". There are times when we have no choice but to be still because there is nothing that we can do about the situation and we know it. Like Moses at the Red Sea. He had no choice but to be still- there was nothing that he could do in his own strength and ability to make the sea move out of the way. But then in the times when there is something that we can do about the situation we have to be willing to step back and take ourselves out of the picture. David spent several years running from King Saul, who was out to destroy him. One day David was in a cave and Saul came into the cave unaware that David was there. While in the cave David crept around and without Saul's detection of him cut off the corner of his robe. David had the opportunity to avenge himself. He had the means and ability to kill his enemy. But he didn't. Instead he "stepped back" and left it to the Lord to take care of Saul.

There are many situations that we cannot handle ourselves. Then there are some that we can, as was the case when God said to Moses, "What is in your hand?" But then there come times when, even though we are able to do something about the situation, God says, "Be still, withdraw yourself and let me handle this one." It's in those times where God "shines" and we see His glory revealed in ways we may have never seen otherwise. It's in those times where He alone can get the credit. It's in those times where we discover a little more about who He is and our faith is increased in the process.

Have a great day. Sometimes the real answer that you need is, "Be still"... and when you do, you will... "know that I am God."

For further reading:
1 Samuel 24
Exodus 4:2; 14:13-16
Hebrews 10:30

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell