What Are Your Motives?

boxers-1293784_640

By Cortney Strayhorn

“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:1-3 NLT

What is your motive today?  What are your motives in general?  How often do we get jealous of other’s gifts? We sometimes get caught up seeing others highly praised more than we think they should be so we start to envy that person because we want what they have. Our motives are to get what they have without thinking or considering the consequence.  So what was it that made you that upset to do anything to someone that probably deserved their opportunity? We become so jealous that we look to bury anyone in our way that we see as less qualified than we are. What type of mindset is this? It is not of God. God shows us his grace even in the times we are most dangerous and kind of forget who we should be faithful to. Why is it that when we become so greedy and have those bitter and jealous moments Christ still loves us?

So what is the fight that you’re most struggling with? Stop looking to point out who is to blame when you don’t even consider looking at yourself. Look at what Luke 6:42says, “How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Pray and seek God’s face for your innermost struggle. He will reveal it to you to get over it. Remember to ask God to help you look past other people’s struggle to help and deliver you from your own. Own your struggle today to allow God to enter your life and fix it to heal you. Have a good day and pass this on.

God’s Love is For All

IMG_7190_p

Photo of a crown of thorns and shadow reflecting a hear From morguefile.com

By Cortney Strayhorn

Scripture Reference: Romans 8:31-39

Nothing can separate God’s love for us all. Who can be against us if God is for us? There have been a lot of major current events going on in the world lately, worrying some people. They are more concerned about their security and protecting themselves instead of having concern for others as if love has no place or space in the world. The book of Romans teaches us that God didn’t even spare his own son but sent him to save our lives. So the question is why wouldn’t he continue to do so now? We must continue to pray for the multiple families and friends that are losing people daily and also encourage them. We can do this by being loving and praying with them despite what they do. We should also be teaching them and helping them grow and mature in the word of God. Then they can minister, teach, and also help others to grow and learn about God. Building a hope and showing the love of Christ to a hopeless world is our mission. Show someone love today. See how God can move in you.
#showlove

Harvest Season

_DSC2819

Photo from GaborfromHungary via http://www.morguefile.com

By Cortney Strayhorn

“Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” – Galatians 6:8

What are you planting? I’ve been part of teaching youth how to garden for the past couple of years. What I learned in gardening is knowing what to plant, when to plant and which season your crop grows best in. This is important to know in order to manage the produce and maintain them throughout each season. We have to be careful about what seeds we are planting in and out of our lives. Galatians 6:8 teaches us to not live by our sinful nature which leads to decay and death, but to live by Christ which gives us everlasting life. How do we start? By beginning to acknowledge whatever sins you are struggling with and finding a prayer partner who will help you avoid what your flesh desires. By this we are beginning a life of learning how to please God and getting away from what our sinful nature desires to do. Our selfish needs become selfless as we take small steps in learning how to please God. Each day may still be a struggle because those selfish desires will continue pull at you trying to get you to go back to pleasing those needs.  But thank God he sent his one and only Son to shed his blood for our sins. God gives us mercy and grace which gives us another opportunity to live our lives for him. Thank God today for something special he has done for you now and in your past. Pass this to anyone that is in a dark time and need a hand out.
#startnew

Last Days

Image-1 (1)

By Cortney Strayhorn

Times today are similar to when Paul was talking to Timothy about the last days. How are you acting now? It’s seems to me that if we are acting in any kind of way that isn’t pleasing to God we need to check ourselves. Paul describes how people will act in the last days, only caring about themselves. They will be unloving, reckless, concerned with money betray friends, become cruel and hate what is good. They will also become disobedient to their parents. These are same things that are happening now in this evil world. We are seeing a lot of people turn away from God fulfilling their own personal needs. Anything that is pleasurable to their eyes they are considering their God. What type of mindset is this? We have to be mindful that now in these times prayer can be our most powerful weapon against this type of warfare. As my pastor would say we need to “suit up” and prepare for this warfare. The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy. Don’t let him destroy you today for what God has planned for tomorrow. Pass this to anyone that is struggling with worldly views and pleasure. Pray for healing. #betterdays

Wipe Me Clean

Image-1

By Cortney Strayhorn

David wrote Psalm 51 because he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Nathan the prophet came to David after he committed adultery to ask him to repent. How many of us have sins we refuse to let go of?  Will God have mercy on us? David pleaded to God to wash him cleanse him of his guilt. David committed the ultimate no no of sins which is adultery. Maybe you haven’t committed this type of sin but maybe it’s a sin you refuse to get rid of. You know God isn’t pleased. How would you react if God decided not to you show mercy because of your refusal to be obedient? This can be a tough part for a lot of us. God can really be pulling at you to get your attention and you keep rejecting him. Nathan was the messenger for David. Who is your messenger? God wants all of his children to be wiped clean from sins. It’s up to you to decide when and whether you’re ready to commit your life to him. Remember God so loved the world that he gave his only Son to die for our sins (John 3:16).  When it’s your turn, what will you give up to Christ?
#wipemeclean

Stubborness

Image-1

By Cortney Strayhorn

“Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises, even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. Long ago I told you what was going to happen. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true. For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze.”
Isaiah 48:1-4 NLT

What if God was tired of us being stubborn? What if God called us out? Let’s take a little time to think about if we were ever called out by God. How would we react or respond?

We are called by God to shed light on the dark world. At times, we make too many promises with God that we cannot keep. Instead, we should trust his promise and his word to keep us from the enemy. Most times we are impatient with God’s timing and find ourselves making irrational decisions which often can lead to a path of destruction.

God mentions in Isaiah 48 that he knows how stubborn his people of Israel are and how they have been rebels from birth. So it’s by grace that God decided to not wipe them out and destroy them. He instead created a way for them to have freedom from Babylon. Where is your battle with stubbornness? Just like the Israelites then, we can be stubborn in our ways with God. We have to recommit ourselves to God and ask him for forgiveness of ours sins, thanking him for his grace which we are all saved and not held in contempt.

Who will God send to help you get out of your struggle? Today can be your victory over stubbornness by reading this devotion and letting go of whatever you keep letting hold you down.
#stubborn #letgo