Devotions of the Week: Vol. 3

November 13, 2015

A Seersucker State of MindFeel free to jump up and down and dance your heart out, because it is Friday! The weekend ahead of me holds some great stuff! I am currently at a church retreat and am having the best time ever. We will be having praise sessions, devotions, chapels, and will be volunteering in our community. I am super pumped for this weekend to grow better my friendship with Christ. I cannot wait to share with you all my experience soon.
Isaiah 65-66:
This day, my desk was a mess. I had paint everywhere, sharpies scattered about, and paint brushes on every which end. I call that a good paint day. I studied a lot about forgiveness this week.
While my life might be a mess, my slate with God is completely clean after I asked for forgiveness. Think of how many sins one commits throughout the day. God wipes away all of that from his mind when we repent our sins. He gives us a clean slate. He gives up mercy. God gives us so many gifts, and mercy is one of them. Do I deserve this mercy from an all powerful God? No! Does God still give me it? Yes! If that does not show you how completely holy and humble God is, I do not know what does.
As I am typing up tonight's devotions, I am listening to Lauren Daigle's single 'I Am Yours'. It quotes:  "I am forever covered in Your love". God shows us how much He loves us through that forgiveness. He continually wraps his loving arms around us. In this chapter, God explained a little about the new Heavens and Earth. It states the word 'forever'. Forever we will be in God's presence. Forever we will be glad and rejoice. For forever, there will be no sadness, no death, and always peace. I cannot even fathom that. No sadness, at all! Better than that, it says that God will always be there. He is here with us now, but in the new Heaven and earth we will actually be in His presence. I am just so excited for that day to come when I can bow down on my knees in front of Him.

Mark 11-12:
If you went to Sunday school as a kid, you might have heard of the time when Jesus walked into a temple where merchants were selling for their profit. This angered Jesus. He cleared every merchant's table and boldly stated: "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it 'a den of robbers' (11:17). God's House is the church. The temple is God's House. The church meaning the congregation as well as the building. We should respect each other, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We should respect the church. If we aren't doing that, then we aren't respecting God. 
As I said, I studied forgiveness this week. Mark 11:25 translates to this: IF you ask, you WILL receive. If you ask for forgiveness, God will forgive you. There is no person that God will deny forgiveness to. No one! Yes, even the murderer who was sentenced to life in jail. Yes, even the former atheist. Think of Paul in the Bible --formerly known as Saul. He killed thousands of Christians. He murdered them for believing in God. But when Paul was convicted of His sins and repented them, God forgave him and left him a clean slate. Paul actually writes most of the books in the New Testament. That is a pretty good Transformation Tuesday for you. Never think that God will not forgive you. No matter how little or how big my sins are, God will always forgive me and do the same for you.

A Seersucker State of Mind

Proverbs 1:
When I sat down to do devotions tonight, I recognized that I could recite half of these verses. In middle school, we had to memorize the passages Proverbs 1:8-19. I memorized that whole passage and wrote them all down that day for the final exam. Our Bible teacher decided to play a little trick on us that day and stated for us to write 'Proverbs 1:8-19'. Of course, I was all prepared to write down all of the verses in which I did. Turns out, she only wanted us to write 'Proverbs 1:8-19'. Yeah, just the reference. I still got a '100' for writing down the whole passage, but to find out that I did not even have to was very upsetting. Anyways, that is the end of my story. 
In Proverbs, David really tells us how to attain true wisdom. What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge? Knowledge is attained by works of me. Wisdom is attained from God. God tells us to achieve this wisdom that we must listen. We must be able to take His guidance. I am one of those people who is so independent and likes to learn everything myself. That is where my pride really shines through. Humility is something I am really striving to work for. 
To be wise, listen to not only God's instruction but also your parent's. God gave you your parents. Therefore, if we disrespect our parents, we are disrespecting God. While we may not really think that our mother's lectures will help us presently, they definitely will. To gain wisdom, you have to learn how to say 'no' to temptation. If someone is enticing you to do wrong, run the other way. Be like Joseph with Potiphar's wipe, run away from the situation. Do not be with people are always seeking to do wrong. Your friends impact in a big way. I know that I am very impacted by my friends. Thankfully, I am in a group of friends who loves the Lord. I am not saying automatically drop a friend who does not believe in Christ. I am saying do not follow in their footsteps. Who knows! By your actions, you can actually lead that friend to Christ. Lastly, do not be a follower. Be a leader. Do not conform to this world to fit in. You were made to stand out. Do that! Lead instead of being leaded.

A Seersucker State of Mind

Tonight was a hard night. I could not get into God's Word. I am going to admit that. Sometimes, I have no motivation to get into God's Word. I, honestly, was too distracted to spend 10 minutes in God's Word. I seriously beat myself up when I cannot do that, because I do want to get to know God more. One of the things that can get me to do that is getting into God's Word. Instead of journaling what I learned from my devotions, I wrote down a prayer to God. I asked Him to help me in the areas I am struggling with. I asked Him to help me have the desire to get to know Him more.
God wants that relationship with you. God wants a friendship. How do you get to know your friend more? You talk to them right! You learn about them through stories being told or them telling you. The Bible is a book about God. Prayer is a conversation with Him. To get to know Him, I have to realize that reading His Word and praying to Him continuously will help my relationship. I really do encourage you to sit down and journal about your struggles and send them to God. Especially, if you are having a hard week, sit down and pray to God-- have a conversation with Him. 

A Seersucker State of Mind

Jonah 3-4
I am listening to Lauren Daigle's "Here's My Heart". It says, "Here is my heart, Lord. Here is my life, Lord. Speak what is true." Yes, I am listening to her Lauren Daigle again. I absolutely love her music. Her songs are so powerful and speak so much truth. I thought that that song really related to my devotions. I studied Jonah 3-4. Remember the Sunday school story of Jonah and the big fish? I definitely do thanks to that one episode of Veggie Tales that played over and over. Long story short, God called Jonah to be a servant to Him and minster to the city of Ninevah. Ninevah was a city of the wicked. Jonah refused to follow God's commandments. He fled from God (even though God is everywhere) and hopped on a boat. A storm began forming and the people on the boat began to pray to God and ask what was the cause of this wrath. They soon figured out that the wrath was because of Jonah. They threw Jonah overboard where he was swallowed by a big fish (most people believe it was a whale). Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish.
In those three days and nights, he prayed to God and said he would minister to Ninevah. The fish released Jonah, and Jonah began his journey to Ninevah. He ministered to the people and warned them that if they did not turn themselves around that the city would be destroyed. The people changed the way that they lived and believed in Christ. Jonah's work was finished, and he sat above the city. Instead of being glad that the people had changed their ways, he was waiting for the destruction of the city. He did not have a good attitude about it. He was angered that the city was not destroyed. God's mercy made him angry. 
We are here on this earth for one purpose --to glorify God. We are here to be a servant. Our attitudes determine a lot in our life. It determines how we work, when we work, and how well the work is done. If I have a horrible attitude about a test that I take and keep on saying that I am going to do so horrible on it, am I going to likely ace that test? Probably not. My mental state is not focused on doing well but rather doing bad. If we serve the Lord with a bad attitude, then how are we going to lead others to Christ? People will see that attitude. Bad attitudes are not that attractive. No matter what you are called to do it with a humble and faithful heart. Serve God obediently in everything you do. This weekend at my church retreat we will be doing some community service. My prayer for myself is that I have a servant-like state of mind, and I do everything willingly and with a happy attitude. 

Thank you for reading this week's devotions of the week. Please let me know what you are studying or what you go out of this week's devotions.


Verse of the Week:

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  

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