Archives For Devotionals

A daily Bible study for ladies called Chocolate & God.

Welcome Home!

August 3, 2015 — 1 Comment

Luke 15:21-24
And the son said to him, “Father I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
I know this is such a familiar story to most, but it is a very important parable! Have any of you had a time or times in your life when you lived in rebellion? I know I have. I can look back and wonder what I was thinking when I was younger and if I allow him to Satan just lives to beat me up or every little detail.

Jesus told this parable for that very reason! Satan wants to keep you from being all you can be by making you feel like you aren’t worthy to be anything for God. If you have something from your past that you have repented of and have asked for God’s forgiveness, recognize His response; “bring quickly the best robe and put it on her and put a ring on her hand and shoes on her feet (in other words, clothe her from head to toe as my child, not as the least of my children but with the best of my attire!) and bring out the best calf and kill it so we can have a celebration that she is back!” He doesn’t expect you to “pay” for it for a while….. there are always natural consequences to sin, but He will carry you through those too…. Jesus already paid for your sin! God loves you so much He is just glad to have you back and now He wants to use you to be all He created you to be if you will just allow Him to! Celebrate with Him for the future He has and don’t allow Satan to imprison you with your past!

Now I know that there are many of you who haven’t wasted days, or months or years living in rebellion and that is absolutely fantastic and believe me God rejoices over you and your unfailing commitment to Him! You have been a true blessing to His heart! I would encourage you to rejoice with Him and join in the celebration when you see someone who turns their life around. Don’t be like this man’s in this parable, other son who had a fit. Verses 28-31, But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him but he answered his father, “Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends,. But when this son of yours came who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” And he said to him, “son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.” Don’t snub those that God has brought back to Him. Don’t allow Satan to tell you that they shouldn’t be allowed in your “elite” group! Be a mentor, help them get back on their feet so they can better serve God! God wants to use you to help get them back on the right track. Our goal here ladies is to all reach a place of serving Him better and it takes all of us helping each other! You may be surprised as you mentor how much you will learn from their experience!

Wherever you are today in these two scenarios, allow God to help you to be all you can be! Our time to serve Him here on earth gets shorter every day, don’t waste another minute!

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you would lift me up you must be on higher ground.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do You Care Enough

August 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

We aren’t burdened enough about the lost! God cared enough to give His son. What are we doing about it. So many of us live in America and it is really sad that there are so many people who have grown up and even more who are now growing up and have no idea about the one and only true and living God!

Bill and I went to a concert last night and I have to say the talent of the musicians on that stage was amazing! They are all from a time before the age of computerizing everything so they really truly are gifted people. I couldn’t help though thinking that probably most of them also grew up in America and don’t know God. I took a look around at all the people there and wondered………. how many either have never heard or have just pushed Him away and it broke my heart. There were so many people who obviously have had a tremendous amount of heartache in their lives and they don’t know the One who could heal and mend those hearts of theirs. Walking back to the car there were homeless people, people honking horns because they were irritated and impatient with people crossing the streets, and just multitudes of other signs of how many people there were in just that little area that probably don’t know Him.

How many people are there around you every day that don’t know God? There are probably many you actually know and then many you don’t, but regardless they are missing out on the most important thing!

People have been overloaded with people “throwing” Jesus at them, but it takes more than that these days! People want to see Christians who are genuine in their faith and living a life that screams out what they believe, they don’t want all talk and no show! More than ever ladies we need to live lives that just ooze Jesus in all that we do! We need to be praying first thing in the morning that God will give us the attitudes that we need to reach others for Him. We need to care enough about their souls that we walk, talk and dress in a way that will draw Him to Jesus! We need to pray for them. We need to find more ways to be His hands and feet!

Ask God to show you today any changes you need to make that will help you reach others for Him. Ask Him if there’s anyone that maybe you do need to talk to. I am not sure why we cringe when we think of talking to others about God, other than all the lies that Satan fills our minds with, but if you found a new place to shop that you just loved you wouldn’t hesitate to share that good news with those around you so if God prompts you to speak to someone about Him know that He is more than likely already working on their hearts. Just stop and think for a moment of where they will end up if they don’t know! God loves them and is not willing that anyone should perish but we also need to be doing and living out our part to reach them!

“Do what you can with what you have, where you are.” Theodore RooseveltD

Psalm 120:1
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.

Are you stressed out, frustrated, tired of waiting, feeling as though you are drowning, wondering where God is and on the verge of just throwing in the towel and giving up? Maybe you are just one of those things and haven’t quite gotten to all the rest. Wherever you are, God is there! He does care and He will hear your cries for help and He will deliver you!

This verse is for you today: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 Tell Him about it today! Tell Him how frustrated you are! Pour your heart out to Him and expect Him to answer you and deliver you!

No matter what it is you are facing, your hope will always be found in Him, so don’t give up! Psalm 42:11 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Know that “this too shall pass”! It didn’t come to stay ~ it came to pass! This situation you are facing will not last forever as hard as that may seem to grasp right now in the heat of it all! God loves you and He will carry you through.

I know some of you face dangerous situations as well as frustrating, please let me encourage you to listen for His quiet voice and allow Him to move and guide you. As you do that, keep this verse close Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” He is always right there with you!

My prayer today is that whatever you may be facing, that God will show Himself mighty in your life! I am also praying that you will seek Him with your whole heart and that you will have the strength to hold on! One last verse to close with, Isaiah 40:31, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” The best is yet to come!

“Faith believes in spite of the circumstances and acts in spite of the consequences.” Adrian Rogers

Psalm 138: 7-8
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

The Lord will deliver you from all of your struggles and your enemies! No matter where you are today, He loves you and you have a purpose to fulfill and He has promised to see you fulfill it! God will open the doors that need to be opened and close what needs to be closed if you will just follow Him and trust Him to deliver you and to show you what you need to do. Don’t underestimate what God can and will do to deliver you!

Do you feel as though maybe you missed God’s purpose? Maybe you are in that same old mundane job feeling unused by God, or maybe you have jumped in with both feet to do what you think you are called to do and the chaos there is overwhelming! No matter where you are or what you are doing, trust Him if you are truly following Him that He is going to fulfill His purpose for your life! Ask God today to breathe new life into you for what you are doing, to teach you whatever it is you may need to learn and to push you forward in all that He has called you to do! When you begin to get frustrated remember He is at your side, He will see you through.

Maybe you need to be open to the idea that what you are supposed to do is different than what you have been doing! Pray about it! I have a niece and nephew that were missionaries to another country and God brought them home – it was nothing they did, they were still in the will of God, they were fully trusting Him and God pushed them back to the U.S. I am sure there were times they were wondering, “why” and “what” for what was going on, but God was finished with that season of their lives and I am sure they learned what they needed to learn and became stronger for the next season of their lives! There are no mistakes with God! Sometimes we get so locked into what we have done, or are doing that we are not open to the idea that God may be done with that lesson or season and He has something bigger and better for us to do! God is always moving us forward in life if we are following Him so you can trust that if He is moving you out of something you feel He called you to then you can know that He hasn’t decided to not use you, He has decided you can be better used somewhere else so this is PROMOTION TIME! Don’t hold on to what you are doing now and miss something new He has for you! He wants to fulfill all of His purpose for your life, trust Him!

When Bill and I were working Xtreme Youth Alliance I would never have dreamed in a million years that God would have me do any type of ladies ministry instead of working with teens. God loves you and knows what is best! Trust Him! If you aren’t looking for what He has for you and you aren’t open to the fact there are different seasons, how will you know? Be open to recognizing Him. In John chapter 20 when Mary Magdalene was at the tomb, she had gone there to care for the body of Jesus and she was so consumed with her grief she didn’t realize that Jesus was talking to her until He said quietly, “Mary”, and she recognized His voice. She was ready to care for His dead body and He was ready to reveal His life and to give her a new purpose!

Is He calling you to do something today? Does it seem out of reach to fulfill your purpose? Trust Him! Take some time today to shut out all of the other noise in your life and focus on Him so you can hear His voice, ask Him to show you what He has for you to do. Ask Him to lead you through the struggles that you face today and that are ahead, He will fulfill His purpose for you, He will keep you safe to get to the other side! The best is yet to come if you will just trust Him and follow Him!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”T

Make Good Choices!

July 30, 2015 — Leave a comment

Matthew 7:13-14
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.

So often we act as though life just happens to us but we have a lot of choices we make every day that play a huge part in what happens next. In these verses for example, we have the choice to follow God or follow the crowd. Obviously there are many that just go along with the crowd, not making any waves and not really believing in anything but we are called to follow Him and that is the first real choice we need to make. These verses are not just speaking of salvation we have the choice every day to choose whether or not we will do what is right no matter how difficult or choose to do what seems convenient at the time.

Choices, choices, choices ~ we are faced with them every day and sometimes doing the right thing and making the right choice is much more difficult than we thought it was going to be. Maybe you have a friend that is dragging you down and you need to cut the ties for a while at least the close ones and step back in order to save yourself from the inevitable destruction coming. Maybe you feel as though your spouse is just not there for you and not meeting your emotional needs and low and behold there is this guy…….. says the right things, listens to you, has time for you, he just seems perfect for what you need right now. Stop! Doing what is right is not something that we are called to do when it fits what we want, we are called to do right all the time especially when it is difficult!

God wants us to always choose the good because as He says in these verses, any other path than His will lead us to destruction. That is where broken hearts come from and wounded spirits – someone has chosen the wrong path!

I encourage you today, you know what God is speaking to your heart about, make the right choice! If you have chosen poorly in the past, make it right; in Matthew 5: 23 it talks about leaving your gifts at the alter of God and making things right with those you have wronged or have wronged you. In other words keep things right with others, if you have done something and need to confess it in order to be heard by God, get it over with and move forward. You are not responsible for their reaction but you will have a tough time getting life to work right if you don’t. If you need to make a decision and you aren’t really sure what to do stop and pray about it before you move forward, God will always show you what path to take. Don’t allow Satan to have a foothold in your life by enticing you to go your own way. When my kids were teenagers and my youngest was 13 and my son was 18 and he was going out the door for the evening she would call after him, “make good choices!” That is what God is asking you to do today – “make good choices!”

“The longer we follow the right path the easier it becomes!” Anonymous