“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22
“You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.” Song of Songs 4:12
“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.” Song of Songs 4:9
It's Wifey Wednesday and this is my love, my wife of 21 years. She is my treasure, and that treasure grows more valuable and beautiful everyday. When you invest money in the bank or stock market, it grows over time if the economy or what you invested in does well. When we invest in people and help the treasures within them grow, that investment that's poured out overflows onto others and eventually creates more treasures.
There might be things we see in others that are flaws we don't like or could do without. Are you focusing on all that, or is your focus on what makes them a treasure to God? More than likely, what makes them a treasure to God is what makes them a treasure to you also. God has created them, and you, to show His true beauty of Love and Faithfulness to the world. It's like God literally painted a picture to show the world what He looks like. Treasure the people and moments around you, and pretty soon you will see your treasure Grow!
If you're wondering about the title, or if not, let me tell you what it means. This week we are going to break irresponsibility. There is a word I get this meaning from. It's a word that if you look around the world today, a lot of us have missed. A word, that if we grab ahold of it, can change our families, thus change the world around us. That word is COMMITMENT.
As a communicator, teacher, team builder and motivator I get to travel and see some of the irresponsibility that has plagued our communities, not just today, but for years. Now, I'm going to say something that you might disagree with, but give it a chance. I believe it's not what you have, it's who you have. It is through your Family that we will begin to heal this world. God created Family, your Family, for a purpose!
You might be saying "my family is so messed up, how are we going to begin to heal our communities and eventually the world". Believe me, my family has issues too, from extended family drama to my own faults in sometimes not stepping up as the spiritual leader and protector of my own house. Hopefully you agree with me when I say, "He's still working on me". I hope that applies to you too.
The breakdown of the family is the single greatest cultural crisis that we face and probably the single greatest institutional breakdown because everything in society is counting on it. From the economy, to crime, to other social elements, they are all impacted when the family breaks down and is redefined. I believe that As The Family Goes, So Goes The Nation!
There are 5 areas of COMMITMENT we need to know and grow in. Please, take this and discuss them with your spouse and your children. If it's just you, grow in these so when the time comes, you can spread them to a world desperate for answers.
1. COMMITMENT is about Conviction not feelings!
2. COMMITMENT is not passive, but Active! Be COMMITTED with what's in your hand.
3. COMMITMENT needs to be Spoken!
4. COMMITMENT Swallows up the options!
5. COMMITMENT always bears Fruit! Build on COMMITMENT!
“Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road.” Proverbs 21:8 MSG
“We justify our actions by appearances; GOD examines our motives.” Proverbs 21:2 MSG
“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 4:2,3
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” James 4:7-8
Some of you probably thought I forgot to use the whole word "Motivation" in the title. But today I just want to use Motive. The Word Motive means "something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, an incentive to do something". It also means "the goal or object of a person's actions". I've watched enough crime drama's to know that if your going to prove a person guilty, you must have a Motive. What is Your Motive today? Believe me, I've been there when it comes to being unmotivated to face the beginning of the week. So if you do not have the Motivation to move today and start this week off with a bang, than lets shorten the word. Lets deal with your Motive.
Is there anything out there that causes you to act, to go after your goals? A person, a thing, a place that you picture in your mind that helps you strive or go further today. If you’re having a hard time being motivated today, find a Motive that pushes you past your situation. Find your Passion and use that to push you today. Always remember, “Real Passion Defeats Completely!” Let your Passion defeat your non-motivation. Let your Passion be your Motive! Than you can see Motivation take over!
I don't have cable TV. So, to watch local channels I have an antenna. Some people call them rabbit ears. I know some of you might say, "What is that?". If the channel is not clear or I'm not catching the certain channel I want, I have to adjust the (usually) two metal sticks that sit atop my TV.
At the beginning of this week we started off by Tackling negativity and fear. We found out that negativity has power but no authority. You have the authority to say I will be great today. Later this week we learned that normal is an illusion. You were made with Purpose! You were called to be Unique! Live that Calling! (If you need to go back and read the past blogs for encouragement, please do)
As you go forth this week I have one thing to say to you. If you're not getting the message, Adjust Your Antenna! Start realizing today you have the authority to overcome negativity, fear, and doubt in your life. Speak and live the Purpose and Uniqueness you have inside you! And in the process, other people will fall in line. Family, friends, and even strangers will see your greatness and be encouraged. Adjust Your Antenna and start winning in life! #knowthetruth
This Devo is transcribed from the Ready Set Go Podcast.
Encouragement for Single Parents
Welcome to the Family Second Program
My family welcomes you Divina, Isabella, Everette, Eva, and Dallas
Thanks for listening today or whenever you turn this on. So grateful.
It’s our desire to create a culture of strong biblical families, to see them blessed and flourish in the things that God has for them. The breakdown of the family is the single greatest cultural crisis that we face and probably the single greatest institutional breakdown because everything in society is counting on it. From the economy, to crime, to other social elements, they are all impacted when the family breaks down and is redefined. Through this program, we want to encourage and strengthen families one individual at a time. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
Today I want to bring encouragement to single parents. Sometimes we forget about those individuals that are serving in both the mother and father roles. I talk a lot on this program about the two together in the family unit. But we can never forget those that are raising children on their own. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, God still has a plan for you and your children. He still sees you, He knows you, and He cares. I’m truly amazed to see single mothers rise above their circumstances and do all they can do for their children. I personally know of 3 single Moms right now as I just reflect on what God can do, that through different circumstances of maybe the dad not standing up or leaving and not taking responsibility, these Moms just purchased a house on their own so the children can have their own place to live. And it’s that determination that God can give you to say to whatever mountain that stands in the way, MOVE!
There is a story in the Bible that has some real-life lessons for single parents, and that is the story of Hagar. We first meet Hagar in Genesis 16. Here she is a servant of Sarai who has a husband named Abram, and Sarai is unable to have children.
Now the custom of their day was that barren women in this situation would bring in another woman who would have the child and act as a surrogate. Hagar became a surrogate for Sarai. The story gets crazy here because when Hagar got pregnant, Sarai became jealous and drove Hagar out of the house. Now, Hagar was pregnant and alone. She had no Abram, no other male to support and protect her, and she found herself wandering in the wilderness. I hope that speaks to someone today. You might be wandering in the wilderness so to speak because he or she left or is no longer here. And Hagar was about to become a single parent all because she got caught up in someone else’s plan. Let that just marinate in your mind for a second.
But the Bible says that an Angel went out to the wilderness for the benefit of this single mother-to-be, which in other words, God showed up. And that was good news for Hagar. If you are a single parent, this is good news for you too, because when you have been rejected, when a spouse or help mate is nowhere to be found, God knows the situation you are in, and He knows where to find you. He has compassion for you and Loves you so much. He knows your stigma, loneliness, and pain. When you hurt, He feels it, because He experienced the fullness of all three on the cross.
The story goes on and God told Hagar to name the boy Ishmael which means “God hears and God knows”. Every time she used that name, she remembered something about God. That’s the beauty of grace for a single parent. Hagar is out on her own with no help, but God says, “I Know”. We also see that Hagar gave God the name El Roi which declares “Thou art a God who sees”. Do you know that God sees you? That He sees the circumstances you are in, out in the desert all alone with no one to provide for you, give you spiritual or emotional covering and protection. No matter what you are going through, God says, “I see. I hear. I know.”
The Saga of Hagar didn’t end there. It picks up again in chapter 21 of Genesis and we see Hagar went back as the Lord instructed. Now Sarah has Isaac, which is the son God had promised her and Abraham. One day, Ishmael was making fun of Isaac and Sarah had Abraham send them away. Hagar and her son were homeless. She is now a bona fide single mother. This is a classic single-parent scenario that could be easily repeated today. Hagar lost her home, she had a teenage son, and she was on the streets with no money. She was thirsty and probably hungry. She had fear her boy would die, so in her despair she sat down and cried. Here is where God showed up again and asked Hagar “What is a matter with you?” What He was saying was “Hagar, have you forgotten what I did for you earlier? How I found you in the wilderness. Do you think I am going to remember you one minute and forget you the next? You yourself said I am the God who sees. Do you think that now I have gone blind?”
Single parent, God has not gone blind. He sees, He hears, and He knows. You may be in a far-from-ideal situation, but you have an ideal God. Single mother, the greatest thing you can do is have a passion for God. When you have a passion for God, you have Someone who will be a Father to your child and a Husband and protector to you. Single father, when you know God, you have Someone to lean on who understands a father’s heart and desires for his children. As He was with Hagar, He is also with you. The God who sees and knows and cares.
1. Make sure your first passion is for Christ. It’s easy for make your first passion your kids, but truly make Jesus your first passion.
2. Surround yourself with a family that supports you with love and encouragement.
3. Wake up every day knowing you have a purpose. You might not be in an ideal situation, but remember God sees you, and you and your children have purpose.
Thank you so much for listening. It is a true privilege to speak into your life and elevate people with the hope that Christ gives. It’s because of Him I can sit here today. Always know that You are Loved.
If you have loved ones that need to hear this please share it with them.
This has been a pshells, Diva Divine, 4Shells production, and remember that God sees you, hears you, and knows you. Peace.
Negativity and fear is like a gun that is not loaded. They can't hurt you once you've realized the authority you have over them. But a lot of us haven't realized it yet, so we walk around wallowing in self doubt and the pain someone else has placed on us. I am here today to announce, you no longer have to walk this way. You have the Authority over negativity, fear, and doubt.
One of the ways we allow these to overcome us in life is we receive them as normal. They have plagued us for so long we see it as the norm. You were made with a Purpose! Normal should be an illusion! You were called to be Unique! Live that Calling!
It's kind of like hitting the snooze button in the morning. You either think you have time, or it's just something you've always done. It's normal. Every time you allow negativity and fear to rule, you are hitting the snooze button in your life. Stop hitting the snooze button. Let Joy be your alarm clock and wake up knowing you can change things.
Walk in Authority! Walk in Joy! Learn to even skip in them! Stop believing the illusion! Live Your Calling!
John 13:34 says “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
We are called to Love as we are Loved. I don’t know about you, but I believe Jesus is using this moment to call us to Unity. The issue of Unity is love—Christ’s love for us and our willingness to love others as the Lord loved us. Jesus uses this as a New Commandment, and it presses us beyond our natural, human tendencies to the need for Christ’s inspiration. Christ’s love for us is not dependent on any quality you and I have that makes us lovable. He Loves because He is love. Regardless of our strengths or weaknesses, He still loves us.
That thought might be humbling to some of us. The some of us who want to be chosen, called, and cherished because of our talent, or our personality, or our achievements. Christ’s love is not motivated by any of these human qualities. But, it is motivated by Grace.
If we are to love in His way, we have to take seriously what He says in John 14:14 and ask for it. Then, do what it says in 14:16 and allow the Holy Spirit to give us power to do it. In a world of distractions of love, people’s manipulations of love, and a false love that many can interpret as lust, Unity is not possible without His commandment. Also, it isn’t possible without me and you being willing to receive His love for others. Let us remember that the servant like, selfless love that Christians (need to) display toward one another witnesses to the world that they are His true disciples.
Listen to my Podcast on the Podcast page episode "Commit to Love" to learn more.
I loved playing football. I even cried the last game I ever played in high school. Yes, this big football player was there just crying my eyes out knowing it was the end. Even though it was the end, there were some valuable lessons I took with me into this journey of life.
Practice was never the best part of playing football, especially in the Texas heat. But it did have its moments. One of those moments was the tackling drills. When you hear the word drill, it usually meant you did it over and over again. It was where one person would stand still while the other person ran toward him, burying the helmet into his chest and taking him to the ground. Sounds fun, right?!
There were some things you had to remember while tackling though. One, you had to take the right angle so you could put your helmet into the opponents chest. Then, you had to make sure you rapped your arms around him so you could take him to the ground. One without the other would not accomplish much. If you just used the helmet and didn't rap your arms around him, most likely he would bounce off and keep going. If you just used your arms (which we called arm tackling), the opponent would easily escape your grasp. You had to use both, together, to tackle him and effectively stop his progress.
This week I want you to effectively tackle the fear and negativity in your life. Negativity can keep you looking back, which keeps you from moving forward. "But how do you get them to the ground? Negativity has power", you might say. "And I always lose the battle over my fear of failing." I want you to remember this. "Negativity has power, but no authority. Don't let the negativity overpower the authority you have to say I can and will be great today." It's an everyday battle that you face.
Jesus Christ has given you authority through Him. Use what He has given you to shift your thinking into the positive. Also, find people that will speak the positive into you. Together, you can effectively tackle the negative. And Together, you will stop the progress of your opponent (fear & negativity), to win in life. Once you get this opponent to the ground, you can stand over them with you hands raised in victory.
John 14:12-14 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same work I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Being available is a Vital Key to walking in the pathway (living in His Spirit) of God’s Miracles.
When God blesses you, in your work, service, ministry, Etc, it is tempting to accept that this is all God has for you. And it's an easy cop out to not do anything else for God. It’s easy to stop and rest, instead of, like the Bible puts it, “keep your hands to the plow”.
Luke 9:62 says “But Jesus told Him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Some think this is saying you may lose your salvation, but salvation is a gift freely giving by God.
"Is not fit for the Kingdom of God" means if you're going at your discipleship to God halfheartedly, meaning your not putting Him first in all you do to obey Him, serve Him, Etc, it eliminates you from God’s Maximum use. If you're giving God your Minimum, He can't give you His Maximum! This may be what Paul warns against.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 says, “Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials— gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgement day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”
Here you have 3 durable materials (gold, silver, and jewels), and 3 perishable materials (wood, hay, and straw). My question to you is, “Which ones are you building your family with?”
If your building with materials that will last, than you”re building your family up in the Truth of God's Word. And the Bible says the Truth will set you free.
Here is what I want you to do no matter what stage you are in the family structure. Refuse to allow the blessings of God’s grace on you and your family lead you to think that He may not be ready to do even more in your life. He does not call you to attempt to produce more, but to ask and believe Him for more— for greater works He has in store for us to receive, and, by His grace, achieve for His Kingdom’s purpose and Glory. Expect Great things in your family and keep your hearts set and ready for the next advance for His Kingdom. The Best is yet to come for you and your family!!
Listen to my Podcast on the Podcast page, Episode "Expect Great Things", to hear and learn more.
I want to ask you one question. What keeps you from your primary (first) love for Christ and for the people He’s given you to love? I like how one author puts it when he says that it's often a “seduction of the secondary” that keeps us from our primary (first) love for Christ and for those He has given us to love. Now, some examples of the “secondary" can consist of many things this life on earth has to offer. I can get into a lot of distractions that keep us from true intimacy with Christ, but, there are a few things that we don't think about that truly become first in our lives. They pull us away from what should be our first love and Unity with Christ and others. The "Secondary" can consist of a few things like commitment to a certain leader, our denomination (group), or the customs of our religion, whatever brand you associate yourself with. I know that might ruffle some feathers, but truly think about that.
Unity is difficult to grasp when we consider these secondary things, and they become the basis for judging or staying away from others. We can add on to this, things such as racial, cultural, or social differences. And sometimes education, position, financial status, or even political beliefs can stand between Christians, keeping them from loving one another and experiencing the unity that Christ wills for us. When we “major in the minors”, we end up separated from people who do not look, act, or talk like we do.
But there is a way to overcome this. By putting God first in everything, you will put every other thing in its Dynamic place. For example, we've heard the term "Family First", but I believe we have forgotten the greatest ingredient; God. If you're putting God first, I believe you’re putting your family first. It can never be the other way around. The only way to overcome the secondary is to make sure Christ is first and foremost in our lives, and to set aside the secondary things that have little ultimate value.
I’m going to leave you with this, and please allow it to penetrate your heart today. True righteousness and Godliness results from Jesus Christ living through you by the Holy Spirit. It is never achieved by observing some external code. Any attempt to achieve righteousness through a list of external do's and don'ts is fruitless. God calls us to love others and serve others just as Jesus did, by the power of the same Holy Spirit and in the same gracious freedom. The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
From today on, we need to be Living on the 9!
Live today producing this kind of Fruit!!
Copyright 2018 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.