Monday, September 15, 2014

WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL: Don't Shoot The Messenger!

The truth is...many of us live in darkness, many of us call ourselves Christians yet we're the furthest things from being Christ-like, many of us are held in bondage by our fears, many of us have forgotten that hell exists, many of us only pray when we need something from God, many of us spew hatred about our neighbor, many of us cannot tell you when was the last time we opened the Bible, and many of us hate to be corrected when we're clearly wrong. I know all of this because I'm human just like you! 

I'm not judging, I'm just being obedient and delivering a word that God prepared in my heart. If you feel convicted after reading this, then GOOD! Conviction is a chance for correction. We all need those spiritual checks every now and again -- it symbolizes growth and recognizes how far removed from God we've have become. 
Make Use Of Your “Grace Period”
When was the last time you thought about hell? When was the last time (other than Sunday) that you did something that would prepare you for eternity? So many times we become so removed from God that we don't even notice it until we need something and we're faced with constant strife. You see the problem is that as children of God we become so accustomed to our "automatic" grace that God gives us. I am a firm believer that this "automatic" or most basic level of grace is accessible to everyone. The murderer has access to it (he's still living), the atheist has it (he's still standing firm in his false belief that God doesn't exist), and the liar on the corner still has it (he's still lying left and right). God gives it to us because he loves us that much!!! Most of us can't even look at someone we don't even love, yet God gives it freely to all of us! Let's not forget that, "But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it" (Ephesians 4:7). You see God apportions grace to each and everyone of us; he appoints us with the amount of grace that he wants us to have. Thank him for that grace because we never know when our "grace period is over," and make the most out of it -- be a light for his glory despite your shortcomings (For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” Romans 6:14).

Be Mindful of Distractions
There are so many things that serve as distractions in today's society. We are distracted
from praying over our food because we're too busy taking a picture of our food to post on Instagram. We are too busy being distracted by reality television shows that we choose to stay up past midnight to catch up, but can't even wake up early for prayer. We are too distracted by lust, that we refuse to accept the greatest love of all. Don't fall victim to distraction. The bible reminds us that, "The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but that God comes so that we may have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10). We all want abundant lives, yet we can't even sit at the table of God to become full. Have you ever become full at dinner? In order to become full you have to be hungry and actually eat. ("Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6)). And when someone is really hungry and it's time to eat they will not be on their iPad or their iPhone at the dinner table. Someone who is truly hungry has the sole purpose and intention of eating to satisfy that hunger. What are you full of? What do you hunger and thirst after? How can you truly thirst and hunger after God when you're life is full of distractions? For instance, we have become so accustomed to scary movies that promote satanic values, that some of us have become so immune to the fear of hell. Hollywood glorifies it to the point where people are intrigued by the idea of it that they no longer fear it. Distractions are real and they're just another trick of the enemy. It's time to wake up and face your distractions and we do so through prayer! Get to KNOW God, by giving him your undivided attention  as you go before him in prayer (as Jael said last week) so that he will open your eyes up to your distractions. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Colossians 4:2). Be mindful of what you entertain...true believers don't straddle the fence between living for God and living for the world.

It’s Not About You
As a society we have also become so consumed with “SELF!  We take way too many SELFies, we’re SELFish, we’re SELF-absored, we lack SELF-control, we SELF-promote, we have a false sense of SELF-esteem, we lack SELF-respect, and we’re Self-righteous (just to name a few). This life isn’t about us! Our purpose isn’t centered on our own lives. If you truly believe that we are all full of purpose, then you would understand that our purpose isn’t to bring glory to ourselves. Fulfilling your purpose is equivalent to fulfilling the glory of God. We must be reminded that, LORD, I know that people's lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).  We are designed to go out and bring our brothers and sisters to Christ. There are people who are living in darkness because we are too consumed in our own SELF-praise to tell them about Jesus. We have forgotten that, “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  Never stop short of what God has called you to do because your "SELF" wasn’t ready. Don’t let the opportunity for someone to come to know Christ because you couldn’t take yourSELF out of the situation. When the day of judgment comes, you will be held accountable ("When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself" Ezekiel 3:18-19). Develop that heart of a servant! We please God by serving others so that they may be exposed to HIS glory through our obedience.

You Weren't Called To Be "Liked"
In today's generation so many of us yearn to be "liked". We want people to like our personalities, the way we dress, the way we talk, the way we do our hair, our views, our choice in music, and so forth. The minute we aren't liked we will change ourselves/conform to the masses. Have you ever met someone who changed who they were depending on who they were around? I'm not talking about censoring the way that they talk or what they wear, I'm talking about becoming a completely different person when certain people are around? I'm sure you know someone like that. Those people kind of make you wonder that if they can change who they are depending on the crowd, then who are they really??? Quick question, are you a completely different person at work on Monday than you are in church on Sunday? More importantly, do your co-workers, classmates, family, and friends even know you're a Christian? The bible tells us, "Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God - what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect" (Romans 12:2). We were called to stand out, to be set apart a world full of sin. We were called to be the light. You can't shine when you're conforming to a world that knows nothing other than the dark. 

Well since we're talking about truth..."likes" don't get you into Heaven. I'd rather be loved by God than "liked" by individuals who are just as flawed as me. Additionally, speaking truth doesn't get "liked" either but it does make you closer to walking in your purpose. For all of us who are so consumed by being "liked" we forget that the one who was without sin who walked this Earth was hated and crucified for speaking the truth. If God was hated for spreading the gospel, then what makes us think that the same thing will not happen to us? Oh and all of us, unlike him, live in sin. Our job is to expose the truth not hide from it. In a recent conversation with a friend, they revealed, "There used to be some things that I wouldn't pray about because it made my thoughts really true to me." Many of us are so focused on how we will be received by others that we will refuse to confront the things that bother us--things that we know aren't right. We weren't placed here to be "liked"...if that were the case then everyone would come to know God as their Lord and Savior and repent for their sins. Just remember that when you're speaking truth, "truth is hate to those who hate the truth!

Hell Is Real
When was the last time you thought about hell? Do you believe that it exists? Many of us claim that we believe that hell exists; yet we live as if we have eternity to get our acts together. We can turn on the news to see how quickly life is taken from us. We can even look around us to be reminded of our short our days are -- they truly are numbered. With all of these constant reminders you would think that many of us would mirror our lives as if hell is near.  The bible states, I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books… And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelations 20:12 & 15). No matter how many people may want to sugarcoat this, Hell is real and death is inevitable. What you do today affects your tomorrow. It’s time to start living like hell exists, thus living a life that is pleasing to Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father,
My heart aches for those who do not know you. My heart aches for us who do know you yet fall short due to our own SELFish reasons. I ask that your glory run rampant in the lives of everyone who comes across. I pray that in due time your glory will be revealed. Teach us to remove ourselves from situations and replace our doubts with YOUR power. Lord I pray that you make it so everyone can taste your goodness. Lord I ask that you will equip your children with the strength and the wisdom to spread truth, the valor to combat darkness, and the gallantry to bind fear. Lord lastly I ask that you will forgive us all and fill us with your mercy and extend our “grace period” to another day so that we can accomplish your will. We love you and if you choose to do nothing more for us from this point on, we thank you anyway because your grace has been more than sufficient.  

-With Love, Jamera


  1. AWESOME Jamera!!!! Definitely a reminder to stay on the path and also love the part about accepting being different from the rest of the world.

  2. Taking it all in, great sermon!! Thanks Jmirror

  3. <3 AMEN & AMEN & AMEN <3

    Broken, Bruised, Abandoned +SAVED+ Grateful, Humble & Humiliated>
    I Join-in, Claim & Lift-up *THIS* Prayer, Too> While I Continually Seek & Pray For~...+GOD'S WILL TO BE DONE+...In The Mighty Precious Holy Name & Spirit Of Jesus Christ - Our Lord, Shepherd & Savior <3 AMEN & AMEN+

    +God's Word + God's Will + God's Way + God's Time+
    In The Name Of The Father & Of The Son & Of The Holy Spirit
    ~<3~...Amen & AMEN & Amen...~<3~

    +AGAPE+ <3 *ALOHA* <3 +SHALOM+