Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 29, 2014

A Culture of Worry

cb devo july29“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Matthew 6:25 (NKJV)

 

I recently found myself nervous about several situations all at once.  Despite Bible study, prayer, worship, and a little too much talking things over with my husband, I was still worried.  In the end all three of the circumstances worked out for the best.  As they usually do.  Sigh.  Cue the guilt for lack of faith.  Double sigh.  I began to ponder, “Why did I go through this cycle…again?!?”  It came to mind that there are a number of possible reasons:

  1.  We live in a culture of negativity. We have 24/7 access to the news and most of it isn’t so great.  It can easily lead us to fear and worry.  We can’t do something about everything, and we shouldn’t sit around worrying about it all.  Instead, we need to recognize what we can help with and spend more time focusing on our blessings.
  2.  We live our lives too publicly.  Facebook.  Twitter.  Instagram.  Pinterest.  We can’t possibly live up to the expectations we set for ourselves.  So what if someone doesn’t think you look thin enough, if someone doesn’t like your haircut or if someone doesn’t agree with your post?  We worry too much about what others think.
  3.  We actually don’t rely on our faith enough.  While I refuse to feel guilty when I am forgiven, I do believe there are times when I worry because I am not focusing enough on my faith.  I can do all the “right things” such as praying and Bible study, but am I really focusing on the truth of God’s word and His will?

Knowing this information won’t actually stop me from worrying.  Instead, I have to stop focusing on the negative.  I have to stop being concerned about what others think bout me.  And I must trust in God.*

 

“Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times I worry because You have told me there is no need to worry.  Please help me to trust in You more and worry less.”

 

For His Glory

Laurel Shaler (drlaurelshaler.com)
TRBC Coffee Break

 

*Read full blog at http://www.drlaurelshaler.com/a-culture-of-worry

 

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 28, 2014

Soaring To Greater Heights

Bald Eagle Soaring“He was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly.”  Deuteronomy 32:11 (MSG)

 

Looking for a place to nest a mother bird settled for a fern on the front porch.  It wasn’t long before we heard the chirp, chirp of those baby birds as they peeked out of their nest.  The world, I’m sure, appeared frightening and large compared to the comforts of their straw incubator.  But as soon as they were able to fly, the mother bird helped push them out and left the nest.  She never returns; but in the early morning hours, I see our little friends perched on our porch singing their hearts outs. This spot is security for them even though the nest is gone and their mother is no where in sight.

 

As baby Christians, God provides an environment – a nest – where we can be nurtured, protected and grow.  He surrounds us with people who can lead, encourage and propel us toward a deeper walk with Him.  The problem lies when we choose to draw our security from our nest rather than from God.  The world can appear frightening and large compared to our circle of false security, but if we place our hope, faith and trust in God we will find Him singing over us as we soar through the skies.

 

“Father how I long to fly with You to greater heights, to soar beyond the comforts of my world and embrace the sound of Your voice singing over me.”

 

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 25, 2014

God’s Delight

j0441048“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” Psalm 73:25 (ESV)

Woke this morning, turned off the alarm and longed for a few more snoozes. Desired sleep got up instead. Craved a sweet chocolate treat mid-morning got fruit instead. My to do list – so wanted to see it shrink instead ended up adding instead of subtracting. Sound familiar – the elusive desire slipping through our fingers. What we longed for, what we wanted just didn’t add up. What are the desires on your heart? Afraid to even give them a voice? Even for a day? Projecting unfulfillment and settling for less seems appealing versus facing disappointment. But settling leaves us longing and joy fleeing – definitely not the abundant life God desires. While sleeping in and indulging chocolate yumminess are superficial , I’ve exchanged some deep desires because they seemed too huge for me. And you know what – they were. Only when we are infused with God’s power can we see those desires fulfilled that reside in our hearts. Some may be simple, others may be complex. Some may need to be changed, others completely fulfilled. Yet they all require that I desire God more than anything else. By transferring my deepest longings from me to the One who created the universe, I demonstrate my confident trust in His Sovereign plan. Delighting in God will transform and empower the deepest longings of our heart. What we thought was impossible and beyond our reach may suddenly become a reality when our focus moves from us to Him.

“Father, we get so lost and absorbed with what we want – help us to lay our desires at Your feet. Teach us to search out Your heart and listen to Your voice instead of our own.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 24, 2014

Lukewarm

cb devo jul24“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

If I’m drinking water it has to be ice cold. I cannot stand lukewarm water, and if I drink it my stomach will complain. Likewise, God doesn’t want us to be lukewarm Christians. Settling into a comfortable spiritual life, we can find ourselves losing the love and joy of our salvation. It’s very easy to settle into one set routine for our quite time or get settled into one type of Bible study. When we do this, we are in danger of getting bored and not wanting to do anything at all. The other danger is we are missing out on how God wants to grow our spiritual life and how He wants to use us. Rather than be satisfied with the same old same old, we need to seek new excitement each day in our walk with God. The change God has made in our lives was life changing, but it wasn’t just a one time event. It’s a new lifestyle that will constantly change and get even better. We just have to be willing to up our spiritual temperature from lukewarm to hot.
“Dear God, Show us how to increase the temperature of our walk with You. Give us a new desire each day to know You more in a different way.”

For His Glory

Katrina Redman
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 23, 2014

Heavenly Transition

Businesswoman Pulling Suitcase“Instead, they were looking for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16 (NIV)

“Flight 297 now departing for …….” Sound familiar? People in constant transition – some arriving at the airport greeted by family and friends. Others departing – leaving family and friends behind. And then there’s the lone stranger, you know the one that walks in and boards the plane no hugs goodbye. Or maybe it’s the passenger who walks off the plane alone and is greeted by no one. Both are headed towards their destination – they’re just traveling, transitioning alone.

In this amazing journey called life, God reminds us that we too are in transit. This world is not our home; it is a diversion to our final destination. When our time comes to depart will we leave a legacy that propels others to follow our amazing walk of faith? Will we be greeted inside Heaven’s gates by those lives we’ve impacted along the way? We only get one chance to transition this path from earth to glory. Who are we taking with us and who are leaving behind? The saddest arrivers through Heaven’s gates will be those who kept their faith to themselves and traveled this life alone.

“Father: How incredible to know that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever – and the greatest joy we have on this earth is to gather others to join us on this journey.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 22, 2014

A New Creation

june 28“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

I was at a friend’s house when they pulled out a game that I’ve played a dozen times. It is the game when you are given a name of a famous person, you tape it to your forehead, walk around the room and everyone gives you clues of “who you are.” For example you might hear, “You are the queen of soul.” “You married the very first President.” “You asked a mirror, Who is the fairest of them all?” The point of the game is to figure out your identity.

Wonder how many times we determine our identity by what others tell us? For example, “You are so smart.” “You are a loser.” “You are so talented.” “You are ugly because you are different.” After a while, we might allow those messages to determine who we are, whether they are true or false. I love the fact that when we accept Christ as Savior, we receive a new identity in Him. When God touched lives in the Bible, He often changed the person’s name. For example, Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter. Just like these people, we have a new identity. We only need to look as far as the Bible to tell us who we are. We are the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). We are the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). We are “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“Lord, Thank You that I am a new creation in Christ. I admit that sometimes I feel just like the old me, but by faith I know I am brand new. Thank you so much that my identity is based on my identity in Christ.”

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Coffee Break

 

 

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 21, 2014

Total Obedience

devo katria july“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (ESV)

In a world that is saturated with amazing talent, incredible gifts, captivating blogs and trending tweets – there’s still room for one more. Yes, that includes you and me. God has his eye on us girlfriend, and He longs to hear, see and watch us as we shine for Him. You got it – no matter what has already been accomplished, if God has gifted us then there’s always room for the one who walks in total obedience. Laying our gift down, forfeiting the pleasure God desires, or neglecting to step out in faith will guarantee regret. Missed opportunities equal missed blessings. No one is giftless – we have all been given much so that we can give back to others. What’s God been asking you to do? What excuses keep rising to the surface? Perhaps we have a long list of why we can’t. Perhaps we’ve surveyed the “competition” and decided God doesn’t need us. Maybe we’ve hidden our gifts away for another day. Plenty of reasons not to – none of which impress the Almighty. Our God has entrusted you and me with a purpose that is unique to our calling. He has plenty of room in His kingdom for daughters who shine for His glory and not their own. Competition – there is none – we’re all part of the family. When one succeeds; we all win. Now take that song and sing with all your might. Grab a pen and write that book. Volunteer to lead a small group. Reach out and mentor a new believer. Share your story – your testimony – regardless of the audience. Bake some sweets for a shutin. Build a bridge towards your prodigal teen. Got the picture….the list is endless. God has destined us to be His hands and feet.

“Sweet Jesus, You have equipped us with every good work – help us to walk in total obedience.”
For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

 

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 18, 2014

Shaping Your World

Protect the Earth

“He (Ahaziah) walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother (Athaliah) gave
him evil advice.” 2 Chronicles 22:3 (HCSB)
“Many women are capable, but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:29 (HCSB)

Athaliah – not the woman we’ve heard dozens of sermons on – right? To be honest, until I was working on a writing assignment, I didn’t have a clue who she was. But nestled into the heart of scripture, we find a woman who chose to use her influence in a destructive way. Quick summary – Athaliah led her son to do evil in the sight of the Lord. Wrong choices + wrong worship = wrong influence. Selfish ambition + personal agenda = death of son and ultimately Athaliah’s own life.

Fast forward to Proverbs 31 and we find the king’s mother draped in wisdom. Her influence is undeniably righteous, confident, disciplined and courageous. She lives her life in a way that impacts those who rise up and call her blessed. She’s the model Mother’s Day sermon – one we’ve heard a dozen times. Far too perfect – we could never aspire to be like her – or could we? Can we use our influence to bring out the best in others? Could we pursue excellence, compassion, honor and strength? Satan entices us to be Athaliahs losing out, throwing away the potential of impacting those who sit around our tables, share our office space or hold our hands in the dark. But God’s truth challenges us to be priceless women who calculate good and not evil. Priceless women who make right choices and worship Him alone – that’s real influence. Humbleness + surrender = amazing. Isn’t that what we long to be?

“Sweet Jesus, how we long to be women who use our influence to draw others closer to You.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 17, 2014

Sweetness of His Grace

Young Woman Holding a Tray of Freshly Baked Muffins“If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” Proverbs 1:23 (NIV)

Reaching inside the oven, I intended to touch the top of a delicious muffin to see if it was done. Instead, my finger hit the side of the pan. Ouch! Ouch! Instantly, I drew that finger back, but the redness was already appearing. When my husband heard my scream, he ran into the kitchen and made me put my finger on an ice cube for twenty minutes. I didn’t enjoy it at the time, but today I am thankful because I don’t have a blister and the pain is very minimal.

Ever find yourself reaching in or testing a hot, fiery oven of sin? Ouch! Ouch! We were looking for pleasure, but instead we met the sting and throbbing pain of sin. Sometimes, we ignore the pain and keep trudging on. Other times, we draw back and hover in the corner wallowing in the guilt and shame. However, the best reaction is to cry out to God and respond to His correction. We may not enjoy it at the time, but if we respond to His rebuke, He promises to pour out His heart to us. God’s desire is always relationship, revealing Himself to us even when we mess up. His rebuke doesn’t come without His love attached, and rejecting His rebuke is ultimately rejecting His heart. If we seek forgiveness for the sake of “feeling better” then we miss the whole point. Forgiveness cleanses us so our sin is not wasted but rather purified to receive God’s knowledge at a deeper level.

“Father, thank You for melting away the shame of my sin with your grace and lovingly sharing Your heart with me.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Coffee Break

Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 16, 2014

Genuine Friends

Women Window Shopping“Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the firs. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.” Jeremiah 36:32 (NKJV)

I love my friends! I love hanging out with them, laughing with them, and sometimes crying with them. All my friends are different. Not all of them enjoy shopping or sitting around to people watch. But I have a friend who I can always count on to support me as I seek to obey God! Whenever I’m ready to give up or throw in the towel, my friend reminds me of God’s love and His provisions. Not all of my friends are like this. With some of them, if the cost is too high, their advice is to give up. While reading my devotions (Jeremiah 36:32), I learned about Jeremiah and his friends. Jeremiah was a prophet who had to tell the King he would be defeated and his family would be killed – not a fun message to deliver. But Jeremiah had one friend, Baruch, who encouraged him to do what God commanded. Baruch wrote down God’s message to the people of Judah as Jeremiah dictated it. When the king had Baruch’s work destroyed, a lesser of a friend would have given up and encouraged him to give up too, but not Baruch. Jeremiah dictated the letter again, and Baruch wrote it all over again even though he knew his life was at risk for helping Jeremiah.

Do you have a friend like Baruch? Do we appreciate the friend who encourages us to do the right thing? Are we that type of friend?

“Lord, thank You for the friend that You have provided to encourage me and help me when I need it. But more importantly, Lord, thank YOU for being that friend that is closer than a brother.”

For His Glory

Melissa Tucker
TRBC Coffee Break

 

 

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 384 other followers