Monday, October 31, 2016

Search While I Can

Amos 7: 11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
    “when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
    but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 People will stagger from sea to sea
    and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
    but they will not find it.


Nervous about “street witnessing” I went out into the neighborhood. “What will I say?”, “Who will listen?” were a couple of questions that came to mind. We came to the door of a man who showed me he was wearing a probation ankle bracelet. He did this in response to my question “Would you like to come to our church?”

Suddenly I was thrust into having to share the message of CHRIST’s salvation to a stranger. We talked for a while and he said “I believe that CHRIST died for my sins. I have a lot of ‘em.” A couple of weeks later I went to check back on him. His neighbors told me he had been shot and killed.

  • Sometimes I think I have all the time in the world.
  • Sometimes I think I can simply point people to church instead of opening my mouth.
  • Sometimes I think GOD is taking HIS time so I do not have to act with a sense of urgency.

When I pass neighbors and strangers on my way to church, I fail to wonder if someone on my route needs to hear a special message about GOD. In fact I have worked in crowded places and talked to hundreds of people in a single day without talking about GOD. What should I be doing?

  • GOD wants me to take some time out to speak about HIM.
  • GOD wants me to tell people about HIS SON’s voluntary sacrifice that saved me eternally.
  • GOD wants me to act with a sense of urgency on a daily basis because I may never see “that” person who I am arguing with again.

There will come a day where the earth will long for the messages of GOD. It is up to me to take the message to those who need to hear it. GOD says to me “The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.” My mind needs to be focused on GOD as much as possible because the days are short.

  • Are you nervous about speaking about GOD?
  • Do you find yourself asking GOD for money, yet have not spoken about HIS SON’s gift to you?
  • Will you act with a sense of urgency and speak to people about CHRIST today?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Anything with Prayer

Amos 7: This is what the Sovereign Lord showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”

So the Lord relented.

“This will not happen,” the Lord said.


When another problem popped up I sprang into action. I had been around some very smart and confident people who seemed to be able to “think” their way out of situations, so I put my brain to the test. When my plans failed horribly I then turned to GOD.

  • Sometimes I think I can outsmart my situation.
  • Sometimes I think I can out-plan my situation.
  • Sometimes I think I can out-finance my situation.

“If I just had a little more money” or “If I just had another lesson” or “If I just had a better car, phone or suit” then, and I would fill in the blank to my desire. I would then start acting on my plan. While this seems quite harmless there is one missing important ingredient, namely GOD.

  • GOD wants me to pray to HIM before I move forward.
  • GOD wants me to believe HE listens to my prayers so I must have faith in HIS decisions.
  • GOD wants me to cry out to HIM in any situation, knowing HE wants what is best for me.

Even the largest situation that could have affected many people was turned back because of prayer. GOD still hears prayer. HE is listening right now waiting on my cry. I love GOD’s patience with me!

“LORD, please bless the reader right now. Let them know YOU care by handling their most difficult situation right now! Forgive! amen.

  • Do you have a large situation you are facing?
  • Do you feel there is no way out?
  • Can you cry to the LORD and ask HIM for forgiveness today?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Seek Peace

Amos 6: Woe to you who are complacent in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria,
you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!


Ah the “good life.” We discussed food, travel, hotels, cars, wine and cigars. Smiles went on all of our faces as we enjoyed the finest of all that was mentioned.

  • There have been times when I have had the finest the world has offered.
  • There have been times when I sought the best the world could give.
  • There have been times when I sought complacency in “my” accomplishments.

Looking back I noticed something missing from our conversation, namely GOD. We never once thanked GOD for all of the fine things we had in our lives, instead we were too busy planning our next move to acquire more or keep what we had. We had become complacent and GOD abhorred it.

GOD wants me to seek HIS kingdom first which means I need to look around for those HE wants to bring into HIS kingdom. This also means I need to seek “peace” with those around me and especially with HIM.

Seeking peace with GOD is a daily quest. HE sees and knows my sins yet forgives them anyway! Instead of conversations about the indoor bowling alley I should be asking GOD “What would YOU like me to do with all the stuff YOU gave me?” GOD wants me to use each item HE has given to me to further HIS kingdom.

What good is it to be out of debt only to use HIS money for yet another expensive vacation? HE does not mind time off at a fancy place as long as my thoughts and actions are centered around HIS kingdom.  Complacency is NOT peace. Following GOD is peace!

  • What are you seeking?
  • Are you trying to pay bills so you can become complacent?
  • Can you seek GOD’s kingdom so HE will guide you with your wealth?
  • Will you ask GOD for purpose so HE will give you peace?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Instructions for Today

Amos 5: 14 Seek good, not evil,
    that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
    just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good;
    maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy
    on the remnant of Joseph.


GOD enabled me to be forgiven through HIS SON, JESUS who is the CHRIST. HE volunteered to become a human so HE would, knowingly, be murdered because of sins I committed. HE was raised from the dead to everlasting life and HE was placed above everything in HIS rightful position.

  • GOD knows I will sin and has forgiven me for future sins.
  • GOD understands I have a sin nature, but wants me to seek good, not evil.
  • GOD sees my sinful heart but wants me to hate evil, love good and maintain justice in the courts.

“Perhaps” the LORD GOD will have mercy on me means HE may or may not, it’s HIS choice. BUT GOD HAS chosen to forgive me, so I am extremely excited to accept HIS instructions for me this day. HE doesn’t expect me to be perfect, not is HE pulling my past sins into today.

GOD simply wants me to acknowledge my need for HIM today. HE desires that my knee bow to HIM and my tongue confess that HE is LORD today.

  • Are you lost?
  • Do you think you have nowhere to turn?
  • Can you turn your face to GOD who is strong enough to forgive you of ALL your sins daily?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Amos 4: 13 He who forms the mountains,
    who creates the wind,
    and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,
who turns dawn to darkness,
    and treads on the heights of the earth—
    the Lord God Almighty is his name.


Perplexed and nervous, I felt I had nowhere to turn. It seemed like my wits were at their end and I could not see how to get out of the snare I was in. I was sick of being of where I was but too tired to climb out or the hole I was in. “Will I ever graduate” was the thought.

  • Sometimes I am sick of where I am in life.
  • Sometimes I am tired of where I am in life.
  • Sometimes I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

One reason for my exhaustion is I had nothing to guide me at the time. I mean people gave me a good reason for going to college but never filled in the blanks specifically for me. I struggled wondering if this trial would ever be done. Since then there have been other trials that went even longer. No matter how much intellect I would throw at my problem, I could not get out. Who can help during these times?

  • GOD says to me “I formed the mountains and created the winds.”
  • GOD says to me “I reveal my thoughts to you.”
  • GOD says to me I turn dawn to darkness and tread on the heights of the earth.”

What GOD is saying to me is HE IS in total control of my life. There nothing too hard or too big for HIM. HE sends difficulties in my life to get my attention. HE wants me to turn totally to HIM, seeking HIM daily. GOD wants total acceptance of where HE has me. HE deserves praise daily with a song on my lips. Instead of bringing HIM down, I raise HIM up to be GOD in my life!

  • Are you going through something?
  • Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you stop looking at your success and start looking at GOD’s mighty power!
  • Will you turn your face to GOD today?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Speak when spoken to

Amos 3: Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared—
    who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken—
    who can but prophesy?


“What will people think of me?” was my thought as I moved up the ladder. I mean I have to show how accepting I am of various beliefs because “my” department was very diverse in culture. I chose not to speak about GOD or my beliefs in HIS ways. When asked to speak about GOD to the masses, I politely refused.

  • There have been times I have hidden my association with GOD.
  • There have been times I have remained silent when I was told to speak.
  • There have been times I have hidden my values so I could “get ahead.”

My choice was to remain neutral while becoming “tough” enough to carry out the orders of leadership. Soon instead of names, the people were “full time equivalents” on a spreadsheet and could be cut if the numbers were not as they should. BUT GOD wants me to act different.

  • GOD wants me to put in a full day’s work as promised to those who hired me.
  • GOD wants me to show HIS grace through my hard work because I am working for HIM.
  • GOD wants me to speak about HIM at a moment’s notice without being ashamed.

Employers do not hire me to spread GOD’s word, but they also should know I am not ashamed of GOD in any way. I will always work hard and produce the best, but if asked, I will not hide my light from anyone. GOD is my beacon and when the Lion roars I must prophesy.

  • Are you hiding your relationship with GOD because of your position?
  • Do you feel ashamed of GOD in front of “those” people?
  • Can you drop your shame of HIM and listen to what HE wants you to say to “those” people?
  • Will you open your mouth when GOD tells you to do so?

Friday, October 21, 2016

Is this how you repay ME?

Amos 2: 10 I brought you up out of Egypt
    and led you forty years in the wilderness
    to give you the land of the Amorites.
11 “I also raised up prophets from among your children
    and Nazirites from among your youths.
Is this not true, people of Israel?”
declares the Lord.
12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine
    and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.


Swish, I went to the ground in front of the bus! The driver had just started to pull off and suddenly stopped in the nick of time. I was not harmed. “Hey!” someone cried out to me to get my attention just before I stepped into traffic. I was not harmed. A car in which I had two total loss accidents was now in its third and final accident. I was not harmed.

  • I have had many close calls in my life.
  • I have had some very narrow escapes in my life.
  • I have had several brushes with death in my life.

During the incident I don’t think I got scared, but afterwards I shuttered with fear. I may have become a little more cautious when standing on a snowy bus stop. Safety became top of mind as I plodded along with new fears. BUT GOD saw I was missing the lesson.

  • GOD does not save me to be safe rather HE wants me to have a relationship with HIM.
  • GOD does not protect me from harm for nothing rather HE wants me to serve HIM.
  • GOD does not answer my prayers just to give me “my” way rather HE wants me to align my desires to HIS in order to grow HIS kingdom.

The one thing I did not do in the incidents mentioned is “Thank GOD” for HIS protection. HE enabled me to be safe in many instances so I can speak about HIM this day. Unfortunately there have been times where I have forgotten that I am HIS creation.

I kept stacking up demands and requests, not serving or praising HIM, meanwhile HE allowed me to keep ignoring HIM until I was in deep trouble. Fortunately for me GOD is slow to anger. HE listens when I truly turn my heart towards HIS. I can actually hear GOD’s pain as HE mentions HIS salvation of when we were brought out of the desert. GOD deserves my praise!

  • Are you demanding GOD to get you out of your situation?
  • Do you feel HE is ignoring you?
  • Will you allow HIM to guide you back to HIM by praising HIM today?
  • Will you take a moment to thank HIM today for all HE has done in your life?
  • Have you ask GOD for your purpose yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Douse the Anger

Amos 1: 11 This is what the Lord says:
“For three sins of Edom,
    even for four, I will not relent.
Because he pursued his brother with a sword
    and slaughtered the women of the land,
because his anger raged continually
    and his fury flamed unchecked,
12 I will send fire on Teman
    that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah.”


Salt chunks kept hitting my windshield as I fruitlessly attempted to pass the salt truck on the icy road. I got angry. When I arrived at work my check stub showed the wrong amount. They had given me too much and I had to give money back. This required extra work on my behalf to correct “their” mistake. I got angrier. When I got back to my desk I noticed my “sneaky” boss looking at some of my stuff. “You know, I really do not like that person!” I thought to myself!

  • Anger starts small and builds to something bigger.
  • Anger turns into negative thoughts and negative thoughts into something else bad.
  • Anger is the beginning of hatred.

Internal rage is very problematic and can leak out at the wrong time towards the wrong people. When I am so full of rage and anger, the day doesn’t seem as bright. I miss out on delightful moments only to replay old tapes of the dog that ate my wax figurine when I was eight. That dog did make me mad!

  • GOD knows I will get angry, but HE does not want it to turn to rage.
  • GOD understands I will be disappointed, but HE does not want me to escalate it to revenge.
  • GOD cares about my worries, but HE does not desire that I exchange my worries into blaming HIM for where I am at.

“Unchecked fury” is a serious problem with GOD. HE sees me brooding over a situation and says to me “Give ME the problem and I will exchange it with peace.” Instead of thinking of ways to “get back” at the person, GOD wants me to think of ways to bring peace to the situation.

He wants me to reflect on HIM being my shepherd and leading me besides still waters and restoring my soul. GOD desires that I have peace. I can trade my anger in for peace daily.

  • Are you bitterly angry at someone?
  • Do you realize you can have peace with “that” person or “those” people if you ask GOD?
  • Will you douse your furious thoughts and ask GOD to lead you to a place of peace?
  • Will you drop your “steering” expectations of GOD and let HIM execute HIS plan HIS way today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Forgiven and Protected

Joel 3: 20 Judah will be inhabited forever
    and Jerusalem through all generations.
21 Shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged?
    No, I will not.”
The Lord dwells in Zion!


Bullies have always made me angry in a strange way. I mean when I feel bullied, I feel a mixture of rage and helplessness. At one point in my life, I could not take bullying any longer. I went to the gym and put on muscles. I later found the bullies getting bigger and stronger. What was I supposed to do?

  • There have been times in my life when bullies have had their way with me.
  • There have been times in my life in which I have been intimidated.
  • There have been times in my life that seemed unfair because bullies walked right up to me, hit me and dared that I get back up.

Intimidation is a method of wielding power and GOD cannot stand when anyone flexes their muscles at someone else. What I am saying is GOD does not like intimidation, nor does HE like when someone bullies me or if I think I can bully anyone else.

  • GOD says to me “Stand still and know the power of the LORD.”
  • GOD says to me “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
  • GOD says to me “Vengeance is MINE, I will repay.”

JESUS gave me a difficult example to follow. HE said “When someone slaps you on the cheek, turn your face so they can slap the other.” This is not an exercise in face slapping and weakness rather it is an exercise in strength. HE wants me to allow HIS wrath to build up against the intimidator while HE gives me strength to stand firm on my beliefs.

Backing down from a fight takes more strength than I realized. It takes strength to hold my tongue from the bully who blasts me with words of intimidation. It takes strength for me to slow down from the road raged driver. It takes strength to allow GOD to show HIS strength while I watch. GOD forgives me and protects me daily!

  • Are you being bullied?
  • Do you have someone who is trying to intimidate you into doing something you do not want to do?
  • Can you stop trying to fight and allow GOD to fight your battle?
  • Will you stand still and know GOD’s power?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bank Account Replenished - Credit Fixed

Joel 2: 25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.


32 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
    whom the Lord calls.


“Where are my tools?” I said to myself as I look in the garage. Then it dawned on me to ask myself “Why is the garage door open?” It finally hit me that some items were missing. We had been robbed! Thieves stole years of tool collection, miter saw and all!

Months later one of the admin, who by the way did not know the incident, asked me “Do you want these left over tools? We are moving our office and have no need for them.” I wound up with double of what I had lost.

  • GOD sees every loss.
  • GOD sees everything that was stolen from me.
  • GOD sees every item that I clung tightly to and sometimes allowed them to be stolen.

It is not the loss of the item, but the reaction GOD wants me to have. “GOD gives and takes as HE pleases” is the attitude I had to learn. I mean, it’s all HIS anyway. I breathed a deep breath and let my tools go. GOD restored them when I wasn’t looking for them.

GOD did the same for my life. When I wasn’t looking for HIM, HE restored me. HE allowed HIS SON to die for my sins so I would not have to live apart from HIM. HE only asks that I call on JESUS name and HE will fulfill a promise that I will be saved. GOD fixed my bank account with HIM and erased my bad credit, replacing it with a new life!

  • Are you in debt?
  • Do you constantly worry about money?
  • Will you call on GOD today?
  • Will you allow GOD to handle financial affairs while you continue to praise HIM?
  • Can you tell someone about how great GOD is for providing for you daily?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Act with Immediacy

Joel 1: 14 Declare a holy fast;
    call a sacred assembly.
Summon the elders
    and all who live in the land
to the house of the Lord your God,
    and cry out to the Lord.


Floating through life, I allowed things to ‘happen” to me. As the final approached, I figured I would pick up the book at the last minute and learn the concepts. Of course I failed the class. I had not reacted fast enough.

  • There were times when I did not react fast enough.
  • There were times when I did not do things in a timely fashion.
  • There were times when I did not grab hold of the rapid pace and things did not go so well.

Speed sometimes gets in the way of my desire to do something. The faster things are going, the more I need to slow down so I can speed up. But sometimes I slowed down too much, maybe to the point of giving up for a while then I realize in a moment of panic this thing is important! Sometimes I realized it too late. The same goes for GOD sometimes.

  • GOD wants me to declare a holy fast while I still can.
  • GOD wants me to call a sacred assembly before it is too late.
  • GOD wants me to summon the elders and all who live in the land while there is still time.
  • GOD wants me to cry out to HIM before time runs out.

Putting GOD on the back burner is a very bad idea. I mean once I “got my life together” I figured I would consult HIM and maybe even serve HIM. The problem is, I can never get “my life together” because “my” life is not “mine”, it’s GOD’s. HE wants me to act with a sense of urgency towards HIS kingdom because HIS return is imminent.

It does not matter what the day or year is, GOD wants me to seek HIS lost people and turn their face towards HIM daily. HE wants me to act like there is a blazing fire burning down the whole town and HE is the only road out. My sense of urgency in the LORD can begin today!

  • Are you treating GOD like HE will never return?
  • Do you think you have to “get your life together” before you serve HIM?
  • Will you stop putting GOD on a lower priority and place HIM above everything?
  • Can you act with a sense of urgency and cry out to the LORD today?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ask to come home

Hosea 14: Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
    Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
    and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
    “Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
    that we may offer the fruit of our lips.


“I will heal their waywardness
    and love them freely,
    for my anger has turned away from them.


Demanding that I be set free from the trial did not seem to work. I mean the more I squirmed, the more I seemed to stay right where I was. “Haven’t I been good?” was my weak question. “I mean years ago I served YOU that one time, remember?”

  • GOD is not impressed by my filthy righteousness.
  • GOD is not impressed with service to manipulate HIM to do my bidding.
  • GOD is not impressed by my negotiation tactics.

Proving to GOD that I am deserving of more is like proving to water that it is not wet. HE sees through my attempts to be good and sees a heart of corruption. What can I do when GOD sees through my plan?

  • GOD says to me “Return to ME, I AM the LORD your GOD.”
  • GOD says to me “Take words with you and return to ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Say ‘forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.’”

After a while I had to take a humble approach to speaking to GOD. Nothing had worked at this point. I had to humble myself and say to HIM “I have sinned” rather than telling HIM how wrong HE was for not fixing the problem of the day. “Please receive us graciously” are more appropriate words that say “I don’t deserve grace but please give it anyway.”

GOD responds by turning away HIS anger, healing me of my waywardness and loving me freely. I humbly approach GOD and HE pours out HIS blessings on me.

  • Have you turned your back on GOD?
  • Do you feel you deserve to be out of the trial?
  • Can you humbly approach GOD and ask HIM to forgive you and to receive you graciously?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Looking for Satisfaction

Hosea 13: “But I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
    no Savior except me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,
    in the land of burning heat.
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;
    then they forgot me.


Struggling to pay bills I cringed when the phone rang knowing it was a credit collector calling. “LORD please help me!” I finally cried out as I began my journey back to following HIM. Eventually I made enough to pay off all my debt and soon I had a decent amount in the bank and investments. “Will you help serve the poor?” was the question posed to me at church. “Not this time, I have to prepare for work, I don’t have time.”

  • Once I struggled and cried out to GOD.
  • Once I asked GOD if HE even cared.
  • Once I begged HIM to take me out of a miserable situation only to be satisfied and forget HIM.

Satisfaction is a problem with me. I mean when I get comfortable in a situation it seems like my prayer goes out the window. In fact complaints crept in where there was once praise. “You mean I have to hear the elevator next to my king suite in this five star hotel?” My mindset had forgotten my MAKER. What should I do?

  • GOD says to me “Acknowledge no GOD but ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Acknowledge no savior except ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Remember ME as long as you live.”

Thankfulness and gratitude should pour from my lips constantly. I should thank GOD for every moment HE allows me to breathe on this planet. Each day HE gives me an opportunity to serve HIM, some days I do and some days I don’t. HE forgives me and I should offer HIM praise instead of complaints. GOD is my satisfaction!

  • Are you searching for comfort?
  • Do you want satisfaction?
  • Can you keep praise on your lips instead of complaints?
  • Will you add thankfulness and gratitude to your heart for where GOD has you right now?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fighting the Struggle

Hosea 12: In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
    as a man he struggled with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
    he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel
    and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
    the Lord is his name!
But you must return to your God;
    maintain love and justice,
    and wait for your God always.


“Why do I have to know who signed some document hundreds of years ago?” was my question as I struggled with the subject. I gave up on History. “Why do I have to pull myself up only to drop and do it again?” was my question as I struggled to do pullups in gym. I gave up on being strong. “Why do I have to read the Bible and go to church?” was my question as I struggled to balance time. I stepped away from GOD.

  • In the past when something was a struggle I would give up.
  • In the past when something was difficult I would cave in.
  • In the past when something was hard to overcome I would let it get the best of me and quit.

It seemed like even following GOD was too difficult. I mean I tried to be perfect and found I could not, so I walked away. BUT GOD wanted me to see HIM differently.

  • GOD wanted me to return to HIM so HE could open my eyes.
  • GOD wanted me to maintain love and justice so HE could use the talents HE placed in me.
  • GOD wanted me to wait on HIM so I could see the marvelous work HE had in store for me.

When I returned to GOD I found I had more time for HIM than I thought. In fact, the older I get, the more I realize I need HIM daily. I went back to attempting doing a pullup. I could only do one at first then two then many. I started to read the history of GOD’s people gaining understanding of where humans made mistakes. GOD was patient enough to take my struggles and turn them into victories!

  • What are you struggling with?
  • Do you find yourself on your own?
  • Can you stop fighting GOD and turn your face to HIM?
  • Will you allow HIM to help you with your battle today by focusing on HIM rather than the struggle?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Painstaking Care

Hosea 11: It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
    a little child to the cheek,
    and I bent down to feed them.


Sadness mixed with hope seems to come from these words. I mean I could actually hear GOD crying over humanity and over me. Why cry? I mean HE is GOD and can do anything right? This is something to ponder.

  • GOD seems to feel pain when I sin.
  • GOD seems to be hurt when I turn my back on HIM.
  • GOD seems to feel abandoned when I try to walk away from HIS statutes.

Like a hurt parent when the child runs away, GOD sees me run as if HE is the problem. HE feels my darts of blame towards HIM and groans in pain when I consult other humans over HIS wisdom.

  • GOD wants me to see HE taught me everything.
  • GOD wants me to recognize HE healed my body, not the surgeon.
  • GOD wants me to understand HE led me with kindness and ties of love.

Sometimes I am so busy trying to get my way that I cannot see GOD and HIS awesome protection. HE walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way. GOD does incredible things each day and it is up to me to see HIM.

  • Are you mad at GOD right now?
  • Are you worried about something?
  • Can you stop your anger or doubt and accept GOD’s path for you?
  • Will you allow GOD to heal you today?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Independence Quandary

Hosea 10: 12 Sow righteousness for yourselves,
    reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
    for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
    and showers his righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
    you have reaped evil,
    you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
    and on your many warriors


“I cannot wait to get away from here” I thought to myself when my parents were trying to tell me yet another thing to do. As I left home, I embarked on my journey of “independence” and immediately ran into trouble. My car broke down. Not having many numbers to call, I choked it up and phoned them.

  • Sometimes I wanted to be independent.
  • Sometimes I wanted to be on my own.
  • Sometimes I wanted to not have to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

I looked at GOD the same way. I mean HE was always trying to tell me to do stuff that did not seem “fun” and yell at me for the stuff I was doing wrong. I wondered if I could be independent of HIM for a while too.

  • GOD said to me “I love you, I will be right here when you return to ME.”
  • GOD said to me “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
  • GOD said to me “Put your trust solely in ME and your paths will be made straight.”

Storming out from GOD was similar to how I stormed out from my parents. I only wanted to contact them when there was trouble, but otherwise do my thing and never let them know if I had fallen. I wanted to do my thing without having GOD looking at me as well. BUT GOD wanted me to see HIM differently.

GOD wants me to see HIM as the only one who could save me from this degrading world. HE wants me to see just how far I had fallen and to say “I need YOU LORD” as a show of my quest to be with HIM. HE is NOT trying to harm me or control me. GOD wants to protect me but as long as my stubbornness to allow HIM to protect me the way HE wants to exists, I will fail at my own plans. I’d rather depend totally on GOD than on me.

  • Are you independent?
  • Do you find yourself spinning your wheels when things are not going your way?
  • Can you stop trying to be independent and look to GOD to fulfill your needs?

Friday, October 7, 2016

It is not easy

Hosea 9: The prophet, along with my God,
    is the watchman over Ephraim,
yet snares await him on all his paths,
    and hostility in the house of his God.


“I’ll teach Sunday School” was my noble decision. Read a little and guide people through a few Bible verses was my concept, but I had no idea what I signed up for. The more I taught, the more I had to study. Then I hit a verse that made me want to jump out of this “teacher” job. GOD said “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” I noticed GOD was treating me differently than others.

  • While others could get away with things GOD held me to a higher standard.
  • When other people could do what they wanted to do, GOD held me to a more strict code.
  • While others could say what they wanted to say GOD treated me with less tolerance.

Teaching and prophesying for GOD can be a tough road. Humans and even GOD looks at me differently. The desire to have people change their lives over to following GOD can be met with ridicule and at times, persecution. Temptation to simply say what people want to hear pops up regularly. BUT GOD wants me to say what HE says.

  • GOD says to me “I did not spare my one and only SON to save all who believe.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not speak MY name in vain or make light of MY power.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not be proud that you are in MY family rather be thankful enough to teach others.”

Nervousness mixed with confidence is the best way to describe being a teacher of CHRIST. I may “know” something, yet my sinful doubt keeps me from executing GOD’s word flawlessly. Fortunately for me, even though I am held at a higher standard, GOD said “No man will pluck you out of MY hand.” This is comforting and the snares mixed with hostility become bearable.

  • Are you in a ministry and still facing persecution?
  • Do you find following GOD to be difficult at times?
  • Can you rest assured that HE loves what you are doing and asks that you press on?
  • Will you allow HIM to protect you in HIS way and keep going anyway?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

True Acknowledgement

Hosea 8: Israel cries out to me,
    ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    an enemy will pursue him.
They set up kings without my consent;
    they choose princes without my approval.
With their silver and gold
    they make idols for themselves
    to their own destruction.


“Are you saved?” was the strange question posed to me. I was in a crowd and did not know what to say. “Yes I go to church” was my reply, as if to say “Shut up, I’m around my friends, I believe in CHRIST but I’m undercover right now.”

  • There have been times when I was ashamed of my relationship with GOD.
  • There have been times when I wanted to fit into the crowd rather than standing firm on my faith.
  • There have been times when I acknowledged there is a GOD without saying I belong to HIM.

When the crowd wanted to say lust filled jokes I put away my relationship with HIM and joined in on the “fun.” That same crowd would disappear and I would run back to the box I stuffed GOD in and beg HIM to come out, but just for a moment. GOD had to tell me something.

  • GOD said to me “If you are ashamed of ME I will be ashamed of you.”
  • GOD said to me “There will be many who will say LORD, LORD did we not prophesy in your name? BUT I will say depart from ME, I never knew you.”
  • GOD said to me “You cannot serve money and ME at the same time.”

As harsh as those words were, I understood where GOD was coming from. HE wanted me to acknowledge HIM in “all my ways”, not just some. HE wants me to boldly tell others about my relationship with HIS SON JESUS, who is the CHRIST. GOD desires that HIS name tops all others, even my job or bank account. HE wants me to praise HIM rather than pout that I do not have enough. GOD I am yours and YOU are my GOD!

  • Are you acknowledging GOD on the surface?
  • Do you attend church regularly without meeting someone new and telling them about the great news about JESUS?
  • Can you start to acknowledge GOD with your heart today rather than trying to look good in front of humans?

Longing to Redeem

Hosea 6: 13 Woe to them,
    because they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them,
    because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
    but they speak about me falsely.
14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts
    but wail on their beds.
They slash themselves, appealing to their gods
    for grain and new wine,
    but they turn away from me.


“GOD won’t mind” was my thought as I knowingly did what I did. I mean it’s not like I’m killing anyone. “GOD helps those who help themselves” was my thought as I sought “self-help” leadership training. I had aspirations to climb the ladder. “The Devil made me do it” was my thought, immediately passing my blame.

  • There were some false thoughts I had about GOD.
  • There have been times when I thought GOD was over there and I was on my own.
  • There were some false beliefs I had about GOD that made HIM look like the problem.

When I thought as a child, I believed GOD could not rescue me because the Devil was too strong or the situation was too messed up or I sinned once too many times. I would then spread fear about GOD saying “You better stop sinning before you come to GOD.” This was a travesty because it diminished HIS wonderful gift.

  • GOD wants me to speak about HIM in a redemptive way.
  • GOD wants me to see HIM as the MOST HIGH with all supremacy to solve any situation.
  • GOD wants me to hear HIS message of salvation through HIS one and only SON, JESUS.

Making up beliefs about GOD is quite dangerous. I went down some paths that led me to be suspicious about HIM or angry at HIM for being who HE is. “Why can’t I have my way” I would pout instead of praising HIM for what HE is doing in my life.

Crying out from my heart is important to GOD. HE wants me to desire HIM from a much deeper place than on the surface. HE wants me to turn my face to HIM daily, leaving yesterday’s sin in the past. JESUS is my redeemer, the FATHER has forgiven me and the HOLY SPIRIT now lives inside me guiding me daily.

  • What false thoughts do you have about GOD?
  • Do you think HE is trying to destroy you or cannot help you out of “this” situation?
  • Will you stop believing the lies you are thinking about GOD and turn your face back to HIM?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Healed from the Wounds

Hosea 6: “Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth.”


“You stink” were the hurtful words that came from a friend’s mouth. He meant I literally stank, so I switched deodorants and it worked. “That effort was pitiful, try again” were the pushy words from my coach. He observed my lackluster attitude that day and made me focus to do better.

  • There were some harsh words that tore me to pieces.
  • There have been things that have been said to me that ripped me up.
  • There were some harmful words said to me that, quite honestly, did not feel good at all.

Truth can hurt, but if it is delivered in a helpful way I can hear it. Some people have simply thrown darts at me, not expecting me to recover. Those are words to ignore. BUT GOD may hit me with a message to “straighten up” simply because HE wants to restore me.

  • GOD says to me “Acknowledge ME when you drift and I will restore you.”
  • GOD says to me “Confess your sins to ME and I will be faithful and just to forgive you of those sins and to cleanse you of ALL unrighteousness.”
  • GOD says to me “Repent. I stand at the door of your heart and knock, if you open that door I will come in and sup with you.”

GOD may say “You know what you said to that person was wrong, go and apologize” especially when I don’t feel like it. HE knows “restoration” is far more important than being right or winning the fight. HE treats me with grace and expects me to do the same to others. HE heals my wounds that HE inflicted on me in order to restore me.

  • Are you being wounded by GOD?
  • Is HE trying to change your attitude and you are resisting?
  • Will you allow GOD to change your heart so HE can restore you?
  • Can you accept HIS wounds so you will grow stronger?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Earnestly Seeking

Hosea 5: 15 Then I will return to my lair
    until they have borne their guilt
    and seek my face—
in their misery
    they will earnestly seek me.”


“LORD PLEASE HELP!” were the only words out my mouth as I clutched my chest in pain. After being on the fence about this “GOD” thing, I pleaded for my life because I had never felt such intense pain at the time.

  • There were times I did not pay much attention to GOD.
  • There were times I did not seek GOD, only pleasure.
  • There were times I did not pay much attention to what I was doing, not thinking whether I offended GOD or not.

When times were “good”, I forgot GOD. I mean I knew HE existed and I knew about salvation, its just that I didn’t really need HIM at that moment. I would call HIM when I needed HIM and I am sure HE would be right there when I called HIM right? Maybe,

  • GOD said to me “I AM a jealous GOD.”
  • GOD said to me “I AM the first” meaning I should always place HIM first.
  • GOD said to me “Seek first the kingdom of GOD” meaning “Seek first the kingdom of GOD.”

GOD wants me to place HIM first in my life in every way. Unfortunately I don’t always do that. In fact sometimes I go so far away from HIM that HE has to place trials in my life to bring me back to seeking HIS face. Usually the trials are so large that only GOD can fix them.

HE rips through my feeble plan like a hot knife through butter and makes me realize I need HIM. It doesn’t have to be this way. GOD wants me to seek HIM daily and “All will be well.” HE promises protection to those who seek HIS face and HE has never let me down.

  • Are you going through a trial?
  • Do you feel exhausted trying to get yourself out of the trial?
  • Can you seek GOD’s face first today without expectations?

How to Get Back on Top

Hosea 4: Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
    because the Lord has a charge to bring
    against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
    no acknowledgment of God in the land.


10 “They will eat but not have enough;
    they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
    to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
    take away their understanding.


Wandering around the desert is not fun. It seemed like everything was going wrong all at once, meanwhile the people I met there did not seem fulfilling. I mean we would go out, drink and laugh only to return to a place of loneliness. “Is this it?” I thought to myself.

  • There were times when I was in a crowd and felt lonely.
  • There were times when I was around laughter and was crying inside.
  • There were times when I wanted to fly only to have my wings ripped off by life’s challenges.

“We’re going out drinking, you want to come?” was the statement that I finally had to say “No” to. It wasn’t the people or the drinking; it was the emptiness of the action that I found less fulfilling. We would sit drink, complain, joke, and jab each other, only to go back to our empty lives. Something had to change.

  • GOD said to me “Increase your measure of faith in ME daily.”
  • GOD said to me “Increase your love for ME and others daily.”
  • GOD said to me “Increase your acknowledgement that you need ME daily.”

When I dropped to my knees and prayed I was amazed. My heart was opened and my mind was cleared up. I went from complaining about my situation to being thankful for where I was. No longer did the sordid jokes have the same effect on me. Helping thieves become wealthier just did not have the same taste.

GOD wants me to flourish but on HIS terms. HE desires to give me sober understanding to follow HIS ways and to lead others to do the same. I acknowledge I need HIM more than anyone.

  • Are you lonely?
  • Do you find yourself headed down the wrong path but cannot stop yourself?
  • Will you stop for a moment to acknowledge GOD in your life?
  • Will you reach out to HIM and ask HIM for direction?