Monday, June 26, 2023

Nothing Is Ever Useless

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“Nothing Is Ever Useless”

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.


I’ve had so many instances through my years of life where I have tried to work hard at something, but then many times gotten very discouraged and threw my hands up and said, “This is useless!”


We have all had these situations in life in various ways.  We try hard to get through to someone and we find ourselves wanting to give up because we feel we’re not getting anywhere.  We start a project at home and spend possibly years on it only to find ourselves wanting to toss in the towel and give up.  Maybe we want to take up a hobby or play an instrument.  We try and try and try and try….and then try again.  All the while we sometimes just want to give up and say, “This is useless!” 


We often feel like this when we think we are getting nowhere with someone or something.  It’s often easy to feel like nothing is going to come of what we are doing and we’re just beating a dead horse.  However, I have heard many stories of people who have spent years or decades working toward something and, finally, after so long something happens from their efforts. 


We never know when or how, but we must always remember that God will ALWAYS use our efforts in some way.  We don’t know how, but He will.  The next time we take on a new hobby, project, or trying to talk to someone about our faith, we need to give it time and allow God to use us.  At times, we need to step away, take a deep breath, come back and try again in another way.


It is so easy for us to throw up our hands and yell, “I’ve had it!  This is useless and going nowhere!”  When we feel like doing that, we need to take a deep breath, count to 10 (My mother used this tactic on me many times!), and regroup. 


No matter what we are doing, we must always do it for the Lord and remember that nothing we do will go unnoticed.  It might be days, months, years or decades, but God is working and we must trust that He will reward and reveal at the proper times.  Nothing is ever useless when it comes to the work of the Kingdom.  We may think it’s useless, but it never will be if we are striving to serve Him and make a difference in people’s lives. 


Nothing is ever useless, so don’t give up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

What Do We Seek?

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“What Do We Seek?"

Matthew 6:33

NIV- But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

NLT- Seek the Kingdom above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.


I’ve often found that when I seek something in my life and focus on it for any certain amount of time, I catch myself tending to focus a little too much on whatever it is and expecting fulfillment.  There’s nothing at all wrong with searching for certain things and looking forward to having experiences and possessions, but far too often, these things become and end in themselves.  Instead of us enjoying what God has given to us, we often make these things idols.


I have to constantly remind myself why I chase after the things I do.  I often find myself trying to chase after things because I think they will fulfill my needs.  If I just have this, I’ll be happy.  If I just achieve this, I’ll be content.  If I just get that job that pays a little better, then I’ll have what I need.  The list can go on and on.  I’m never satisfied.  It’s never enough if I constantly keep chasing after things. 


A week ago Sunday, our pastor preached on contentment and I was reminded again of Paul’s experience of how he learned how to be content, no matter what.  He finally learned to seek after God and be content, no matter what. 


What do we seek in our lives?  What are we chasing after?  What’s next?  What more do we need?  When will enough be enough?  We often seem to be like dogs chasing their tails around and around and around chasing after the next great thing the world offers. 


Friends, it’s okay to long for certain things and want to have them.  What we have to be careful of is letting those things be the end fulfillment instead of enjoying what God has given to us.  He tells us to seek His Kingdom above all else.  Do we really do that?  Are we really seeking Him?  He has promised to give us everything we need, but we still find ourselves chasing after what the world offers, somehow becoming convinced these offers are the answer to our problems.


We must never forget that seeking after God ONLY is the answer to our problems.  He will supply every need.  He will provide.  The world only leaves us with a constant hunger and thirst that will drive us into despair.  The hunger and thirst we have when we seek God just drives us to wanting more and more of Him and that will keep us totally alive! 


What do we seek?  Him or the world?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Give Me A Clean & Pure Heart

 YouTube Channel Video Devo

“Give Me A Clean & Pure Heart”

Psalm 51:10

NIV- Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

NLT- Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart each new day so that I can live fully for You and not for the world.  Just like the song I grew up with says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”.  Lord, I still remember singing this at camp, youth group and in church services.  It brings back so many fond memories.  Father, I want these words to be more than just songs I remember from a song I used to sing so often.  I want these words to echo in my heart each day as I strive to live with a clean and pure heart.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart toward my wife each day that I may be fully faithful in my marriage relationship.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart as I strive to turn away from any impure things that pull my attention to lust.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart as I strive to love on my kids each day and be a Godly example to them.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart when I am tempted to join in any gossip at my work place that I should not be part of.


Father, give me a clean and pure heart that is completely undivided as I strive to walk with You. 


Father, give me a clean and pure heart as I consider how I should live each day of my future totally devoted to You.


Father, not only do I want a clean and pure heart, but I also ask that You give me a loyal spirit as well.  I want to be loyal in my walk with You.  I want to be faithful and loyal to You no matter what the cost.  It’s so easy at times to go with the crowd because I don’t want to stand out and look foolish.  But Lord You have called to a life that looks foolish to the world. 


Help me to be strong for You, Lord.  Please revive and renew a steadfast and loyal spirit within me.