Archives For Devotionals

A daily Bible study for ladies called Chocolate & God.

Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hard times bring you to the point of wanting a closer walk with God usually, and when you are closer to God you will have more joy and peace.  It is sad that it sometimes takes really tough times to bring us to the point of crawling up on His lap to draw close to Him and to have that really close relationship with Him! The really scary thing is that as women we often take our hurt and broken hearts and instead of turning to God we hold on and decide we will never be vulnerable in that area again.  That sounds real
good at the time but when we build that wall we are really shutting ourselves in and then we are not open to the healing or the love and protection we need.  God would love to have that close loving relationship with us on a daily basis, He wants to be our strength and protection.  Why do we wait for tragedy to strike before we have the relationship we could have every day?  It is so much easier to deal with every day life when we are close to Him than it is to do it on our own until it all goes haywire. I like to consider myself a “strong woman” but quite often I take that to an extreme because I somehow think that will prevent me from getting hurt.  All it does is hurt me in the process because everything I am saying and doing is coming from a heart that fears hurting like that again. God never meant for us to do it all on our own, He may have allowed you to come to this place to lean on Him.

It’s time to give all of those broken hearts and walls we have built to God, just hand them over every morning until they fade into the past where they belong and allow Him to make us the “strong Godly women” He has called us to be!  I would encourage you to look for Him in all you do and to really ask Him to give you a desire to be in your Bible.  The easiest way to get that close relationship is to spend the time getting to know who He is!  He really does want to bless you in even the littlest of ways, whether it is a beautiful sunset, great parking space, what ever it might be, He does enjoy spending time with you, so don’t shut Him out, absorb all that He wants to pour into you, then when you have a “time of need” you will have the confidence to go to Him and trust Him, knowing He understands and wants to be there for you!

Funny Quote for the day:
A woman taught the tiny tots in her Sunday school class to sing her favorite hymn, “Oh, the Consecrated Cross I Bear”.  Then came the Sunday
morning when a concerned mother questioned the teacher about the songs she was teaching the children.  Her child told her she’d learned to sing, “Oh,
the constipated, cross-eyed bear.”

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

What are you thinking about? Is your focus on good things or is your mind consumed with the things you are worried about? It’s amazing how much time we waste worrying about things when it does our situation no good whatsoever!

Our thoughts are powerful things and Satan realizes that if he can get you consumed with worry instead of focusing on God he can often hold you back from realizing the answers God has right in front of you. Don’t give him a foothold. Reject the lies he tries to feed you and spend your time in God’s word and praying. Make sure you surround yourself with people who will support you and confirm you instead of adding to your worry. Nothing is more annoying than being around someone who always has to see the negative side of everything instead of being grateful for what is going right or for what they do have that is good in their life!

If you want to increase your faith the first place to start is to guard your thoughts. If you are speaking negative over your situation you are increasing your fear not your faith. Claim God’s promises, promises to give you hope and a future, tell Satan to take a hike. Think on things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praise worthy! How can you worry if you are focused on God and His desire to guide you and help you? Take charge of your thoughts, you have a choice on what you will focus on. If you choose to be miserable and focus on all that you don’t have, can’t do right now or what may go wrong you are wasting days that could be good and a blessing. Choose to think about what is good and what God is doing and what blessings may be coming down the pike for you! Choose to believe that with God at your side and behind all that is coming the best is truly yet to come! Don’t waste another day worrying and fretting over negative garbage, give it to God and allow Him to work in your life on a whole new level!

“When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present…. we experience heaven on earth.” Sarah Breathnack

Isaiah 30:15
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

If you want to know where your strength will come from it is in being still and trusting in God. If you want to find peace in life and fulfillment then you must repent and rest in God’s grace. So often we find ourselves wanting to run or hide either from a situation or our own sin and the answer is in resting in God, repenting and trusting in His love and grace to get us through whatever we may face.

I can remember growing up my parents telling me that if I would go to them with the problem even if I had done something wrong that brought on the situation, and I told them the truth, they would “have my back”. But if they found out another way and I didn’t “fess up” I was in a heap of trouble. Their grace was found in repenting and allowing them to handle things but their discipline came with hiding it and their finding out on their own. Hmmmm…… what a godly idea.

If you haven’t anything to repent of you still need to rest in Him and be still and trust Him. Don’t run off looking for someone else to rescue you or give you strength. The answer is not in running from God but in running to Him. So often those people who seem to have to go, go, go are the ones who are running from something in their lives and they feel if they stop for a moment it will all catch up to them, I hate to break the news to them but you can’t run fast enough for it to not “catch up with you”.

God wants to extend His grace and strength to us. All He is asking is for us to look to Him for both! He loves us and wants to have our backs. I can remember my Dad standing up for me with adults before, saying, “I believe Janet, I know she has told me the truth.” Wow, do you know how much strength even those words filled me with? I knew all I had to do was tell him the truth, no matter how ugly it was and even if it broke his heart, my Dad would stand with me as I faced whatever I had to face. That’s what God wants to do for us! He wants to stand with us whether we have messed up and we need His forgiveness or we are in the right and someone else has done us wrong and we need His strength.  Be still and trust Him and you will find the strength you need.

Ladies, God loves us more than we can comprehend and He wants to be everything to us! He wants to be our refuge and strength no matter what. He is not a God who holds a grudge, He is a God who wants to hold us! He welcomes us with open arms when we repent or just need to rest in Him, He wants us to trust Him with everything in our lives that would include the good, the bad and the ugly stuff.

Whatever you are going through today I would encourage you to give it all to Him. If there are things you need to face that you have done wrong, know that Jesus has your back – He already paid for it. If you are worn out from life and all that has been going on know that you can find rest and strength in just resting in Him and trusting that what He has planned for you is going to be amazing. The best is yet to come!

“When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present… we experience heaven on earth.” Sarah Breathnack

Joshua 24:15
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

We all face many important questions every day but the first question that we must answer is who are we really going to serve? Who is it that comes to mind first when you have to make a decision; do you ask what will make you happy or your wife or children happy or do you seek God? We live in a world where it seems as though the first thought of the day is; “what will make me feel better?”

Anything that comes before God in your life is a god in your life! Your priorities when you are faced with decisions speak volumes about your relationship with God.

Who do you serve in your marriage? Who do you serve at work? Do you serve at all in your church or your community? How do you view and treat the poor? Who do you love the very most? Is the answer to any of those questions for your life God or are you or your spouse, your children or someone else at the top of your list? How much of a role does God really play in your life, heart and mind?

It is your choice today and everyday whom you will serve? Will God be your priority or will you leave Him on the shelf for a day you need Him to rescue you?

In this day that we live in we need God to be our reason for everything we do! We need God to be our focus so our attitudes, behaviors and reason for living is all wrapped up in Him. He wants to guide us on to bigger and better things but He can’t do that if your ways are cluttered with your own “stuff”. Clear your paths of all of your agendas today and allow Him to be your focus and your guide, ‘as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.” Norman Vincent Peale

Joshua 21:44-45
And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Did you just need some encouragement this morning that God hasn’t forgotten you and all that you believe He has promised? I did! There are times that we all get to the point when we feel as though “life” has surrounded us on every side and we aren’t sure which way is up any more, that is when we need to dig in and just continue to do what we know to be right.

God hasn’t forgotten all that He has promised to do for us and He is still working on our behalf. Don’t lose hope, hang onto your faith with all you have. Faith is dead if you are not believing anymore that God is going to do what He has said.

Psalm 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Keep your hope in God and take the time to praise Him today knowing that He will deliver you and He will keep His promises! Reach out and hold onto Him today, don’t let go and expect His promises to come to pass!

These verses in Joshua came after most of the battles for the Promised land, they still had a few more enemies to face but they knew that God had already won those battles for them too before they even faced them and that is the attitude we need to have. God has won all of your battles that you are willing to give to Him. He wants to give you rest on every side but you need to continue to do right until He takes you home. We still need to keep our focus on Him and doing all that we are supposed to be doing, not on what hasn’t happened yet! Even though God told the Israelites that He would go before them and He would win their battles they still had to dress for war and do their part!

Maybe this morning you are like me and you are trying to find the energy to pull yourself up and begin again. It is time; Dig deep and pull yourself up, do not focus on yourself but on the task that God is setting before you! Draw strength from Him and His promises. Look for promises in His word today that you feel you need for your situation and begin praying those promises to God and claiming them as if the reality of them are already in your life! Believe Him and go boldly before His throne to make your petitions and then you will have all the confidence you need to move ahead one day at a time. Bind Satan over your thoughts and do not allow Him to discourage you by telling you lies! Today is the first day of the rest of your life so make it a good one! God has your back and He has a plan, He isn’t going to let you down now! The best is truly yet to come – keep your focus on Him!

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” Mac Anderson