Christ summed up the commandments in this – love GOD and love others!  We (believers) have a tendency to get caught up in doing the “Lord’s work” and following all the “rules” that sometimes we forget to simply LOVE.  God loves us, and that love enables us to love Him, then we are able love others.  It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13: The Excellence of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I was reminded of this chapter over the weekend while attending a bridal shower.  Each of the guests were asked to give a bit of advice to the bride-to-be. My advice was to memorize and practice 1 CORINTHIANS 13.  This chapter makes the command of loving so much easier.  For me it made love easier to understand and apply (in my opinion).  It’s so profound, yet so very simple.

At times we can get caught up in our feelings, and as we all know those constantly change.  So it is important to keep these verses at the forefront of our minds at all times. We should keep this chapter hidden in our hearts (as God instructs us to do with all of His word).  This makes loving so much easier, particularly when our feelings are telling us otherwise and it is difficult for us to do.  

This chapter does not only apply to married couples, although I will say that I began truly clinging to these verses after getting married.  It actually applies to all believers, in all circumstances and situations.

I appreciate how Paul breaks it down into three different sections for us:

SECTION 1: It doesn’t matter how many good works and/or powerful acts that you peform – if LOVE isn’t your motive, they are meaningless.  This is a great place to  ask God to examine your heart (<-speaking to myself here too people). Psalm 26:2 ~ Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart

SECTION 2: This section explains what love is and what love is not.  This is what love looks like.  For those of us who may not have been given the best example growing up, God provides us with a very (clear) picture. I love how God does that for us!  Does this section describe you?  Does your love look like this?

SECTION 3:  This section shows us that love is changeless, steadfast, durable and continual.  Love is everlasting. Love will stand the test of time and beyond.  It is something that will outlast everything else in life and never fade away.  Love supersedes all else!  If this is what God says about love, then I definitely want to keep it at the top of my priority list!  Paul also explains that we won’t fully grasp the greatness of love here on Earth, but for those of us who are in Christ, we will know love {true love} completely one day!

I hope you all are encouraged by this little love nugget today!  It is always a good reminder for me and pray that it was for you as well.  When it is difficult for you to love, please remember that it is not done in your own power, but God’s love for us and through us that enables us to love others.  1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.


~ Melissa

We’re Not Out of the Water Yet

My family and I [do our best to] read through the entire Bible each year. In addition to our own personal Bible studies, we try to meet each night after dinner and read a chapter or two together, and then discuss our thoughts with one another. We’ve had a bit of an inconsistent start this year, but are slowly and surely making our way through. We are [still] in Genesis. Last week while reading the 8th chapter, I received a little nugget of encouragement that I’d like to share with you all. Hopefully it will encourage you as it did me.

Verse 1: But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

But God remembered Noah. Let’s stop right here. What simple, yet powerful words! Ever feel like God has forgotten you? Ever feel like the storms and floods of life have consumed you and wonder if God remembers you? I know I’ve been there. I’d like to remind you that God loves you and God does remember you [and what you are going through].

Noah had great faith in God. Noah had enough faith to do what God said even though it didn’t make sense. It had never rained prior to the Great Flood, so Noah had no idea what that meant or what to expect when God told him to build an ark. He was also ridiculed by the people around him when preparing for the flood. People thought that Noah was nuts and made a point to let him know it, yet he continued to build the ark like God told him to.

The rains came and the flood waters grew deep – deep enough to cover the mountain tops.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to hear the violent waves crashing against the sides of the boat, or the sounds of the people screaming as the flood waters came [and overtook them]. It must have been scary to feel the boat rising with the waters, and not having any idea what was going to happen next or when it would end. Talk about trusting God!

“But God remembered Noah” – I believe that God remembered Noah, because Noah remembered God. Noah honored God, therefore he and his family were kept safely inside the ark [along with quite a few other companions].

“But God remembered Noah” – God remembered His great love for Noah, as well as His promise to him and made the rain cease.

This really spoke to me. I thought about How God does that for us. If we’re obedient to God, then we can trust that He will remember us!  He will not forget us in the midst of the floods in our lives. Deuteronomy 31:8 ~ “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Verse 2 & 3: Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.

God remembered Noah, then [immediately] actions followed. We see here that God kept His word – as He always does – and the rain stopped. God closed up the sky and that was the end of the storm. What I found interesting about this verse was that even though God stopped the rain, the water didn’t dry up right away. It says here that the waters “receded steadily” from the Earth. God could have made the flood waters just miraculously disappear. I mean after all – HE is God. Instead, He allowed the waters to dry up slowly. Noah had to wait. There is something very special that takes in our spirits during times of waiting [waiting on the Lord]. Isaiah 40:31 ~ Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Sometimes we experience floods [trials] in our lives and while the rain may stop falling, we continue to see and experience the after effects.  There are times when there is nothing more that we can [or need to] do. It is quite simply time to wait for God to complete His work.  Just as in the case above, it takes time for the waters to subside, the sun to shine, and the mountain peaks to become visible to us once again. It took 150 days for the waters to decrease in this case.

Has God spoken a word to you and you are waiting to see it come to pass?   Are the waters in your situation so deep and you’re wondering if and when they will ever decrease? May I remind you that – THEY WILL!  It may take time [in some cases a long time], but you will see dry land again some day. Just continue to wait on the Lord.  He won’t let you down.

Most of us know the end of this story. The waters completely dry up and Noah and his family come out of the boat and begin a new life. They started repopulating the Earth – and so began the Nations of the World as we see and know them today.

I’ve read this story many times before, but I never quite saw it from this perspective before.

I was reminded that what God says will happen – WILL HAPPEN.  I was also reminded that He remembers me. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Yet, many of us forget these very simple truths.

No matter how high the flood waters of life may rise, God is still God.  The Great Flood was all a part of God’s plan all along and His plans will NOT be thwarted. Job 42:2 ~ “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Just know that He will only allow the flood waters to rise so high, and will protect His people [just as he did with Noah].  Trust the Author and know that the ending is good!


~ Melissa




Breast CancerI can’t believe its October already, can you?!?  I sometimes wish that time would slow down just a bit, however I do love the Fall season; particularly the month of October.  This time of year is full of colorful leaves, cooler weather, football, cozy meals, sweaters and boots…and of course, my favorite – all things pumpkin! October is also known as the month of Halloween, as well as breast cancer awareness month. I am sure that breast cancer is something that most of you are already aware of. It’s hard to miss with all of the (pink) symbols everywhere you go. Pink ribbons adorn stores, products, websites, and NFL players. I even saw a pink fire truck recently – yes, that’s right – a pink fire truck in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Everyone seems to be getting involved with this cause somehow.

The massive attention to breast cancer caused me to ask myself, “What’s the big deal?” So, I decided to do a little research and found out that about 1 in every 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. That means that either you, someone in your immediate family, in your close circle of friends, co-workers and/or acquaintances, will develop this disease. We are ALL affected by this in some way. I personally know women who have won their battle with this disease, and who today, are living healthy, cancer-free lives. On the other hand, I also knew women who are not alive today, because of this incurable disease. There are many treatments for breast cancer, but no official cure. Treatments can be helpful, but those same treatments can also cause the body to further deteriorate; many times leading to death.

As I reflected on breast cancer (and other forms of cancer) and the amount of people who are touched by this issue, I thought how wonderful it would be to find a total cure. Can you imagine?!?!  It would be all over the NEWS – A CURE FOR CANCER HAS BEEN FOUND!  I believe that people would be celebrating, and those with the disease, doing everything in their power to get a hold of the cure.

But what if there was only ONE cure that was only administered by ONE doctor, in ONE location in the country? What if the cure was something that didn’t make sense? Maybe it was so simple that it seemed unbelievable. Would you reject it? I believe that cancer patients everywhere (and their loved ones) would take drastic measures to get to this ONE doctor to get the answer that they so desperately need. I am certain that just the thought of being free from cancer, and chance at living a long, healthy life would drive many to go to the ONE who holds their answer.

As I thought about this, I asked the Lord, “Why don’t people have that same motivation with you?” After all, we are in need of an answer to our problem, which honestly is much bigger than any cancer.

The problem I am referring to is one that has been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time.  I am talking about the THE SIN PROBLEM. The very first human on Earth made a choice to disobey God, and the result was death. This sin problem (disease) didn’t stop with that one person, but has been transmitted to every human born after that up to this day. We are all born sick, with this sin condition, and in desperate need of a cure.


Moses Staff
The wonderful thing is God – The Great Physician – has provided a cure that is readily available to ALL who ask. There is however, only ONE cure, which comes from ONE God (just like the scenario above). That cure is found in JESUS CHRIST alone.  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me ~ John 14:6
I truly believe that with any terminal illness, people would rejoice at just the thought of a cure, yet this doesn’t seem to be the case with our sin disease. When it comes to being physically sick we are usually open to whatever will work, and wouldn’t argue about having only one cure. Why isn’t this the case with our spiritual condition? People are dying and need a cure! God has provided that cure, yet we reject Him.

I believe that many people are either in denial (afraid to face the truth), choose to reject the answer (rebellious) or prefer to try other pointless methods of remedying the problem (none of which will cure).  Just as with cancer, you may find temporal forms of treatment that hide your sin symptoms, but if the root of the problem is not dealt with, you won’t be completely cured – and it is all in vain.

God has given me the desire to tell people the truth about Him, and while many may disagree with me – the facts don’t change. The fact is we are ALL in need of THE CURE. The fact is there is only ONE CURE. The fact is that without this cure, we will remain sick and will die (eternally). I am not writing these things to judge or condemn anyone. As I said before, we are all born with the same problem. I too was sick at one time, BUT I was introduced to the ONLY ONE who could cure me – JESUS. I am cured, and long to share THE ANSWER with others now.



So, as we bring awareness to breast cancer and finding a cure for it this month, I’d like to also bring awareness to the SIN disease, and the fact that there is already a cure.  I’d like to bring awareness to my Lord – THE CURE!  I’d like to encourage you today, to be real with yourself, and consider your life.  Have you been cured from the sin disease?  Have you ever met  THE ONE who can cure you?  If not, I would invite you to do so today?  He is the only ONE who can heal, save, set free and completely cure you!



Romans 6:23 ~ For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord

Romans 10:9 ~ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved

Psalm 86:5 ~ For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You

Romans 3:23 ~ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God


~ Melissa


Finding Hope Through Daffodils


The other day while driving along in my car, I noticed beautiful yellow daffodils sticking up out of the ground on the side of the road. There were only about four of them and they were surrounded by bare trees, rocks and dirt. The area around them looked drab and lifeless; yet right in the middle were these brightly colored flowers blooming.

I live on the East Coast and we’ve recently experienced (what seems like) one of the longest, coldest and snowiest winters that I can remember. It’s been rough, and at times I’ve wondered if spring would ever arrive. The constant gray skies and temperatures below 20 degrees for days, can definitely take its toll on some of us. I for one am affected by different weather patterns and this winter has definitely affected my mood. When I saw these daffodils however, I got excited. These little yellow flowers filled me with hope – knowing that winter will end soon and spring is right around the corner. It may not have come as fast as I would’ve liked it to, but spring is coming!

God will use the world around us to explain His principles, and He showed me something very simple through these little flowers. He reminded that the seasons WILL come and the seasons WILL go. Each year we can expect four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall). I’m sure each of us would probably admit to having a favorite season, yet all of us go through them all. Although I am not a fan of winter, I do understand that God does something amazing to the ground during the colder months. I know that there would be no spring without a winter. I understand that He has a purpose for each season, so I trust Him. I may not always like the season I am in, but I do trust God!

In the same way, we ALL go through different seasons in our lives. We have periods of time when everything is going well for us, we have little to complain about and feel like we are on top of the world. We have seasons of relaxation, and seasons of business and preparation. We go through seasons of change and seasons of stability. We also have difficult seasons in life; times of mourning, loss, sadness, trials and tribulations. We all have experienced each of these at some point. Did you know that these life seasons are ordered by God? Yes, that’s right. Our (Sovereign) Heavenly Father uses the seasons of our lives to teach us, discipline us, strengthen us, shape us and help us – ultimately for His perfect plan (and for our good). It is no accident that we experience four seasons of weather here on Earth, and it’s also no accident that we experience the different seasons in our lives. God is in control and always doing something wonderful during each season, but specifically during the difficult seasons.  I’ve been going through a bit of a challenging season lately, and while it’s not easy, I see God doing something miraculous in it.  I was reminded of that truth when I saw those beautiful daffodils blooming in the midst of the rocky ground, on that dreary winter day.

Although the seasons of life will change, God remains the same – always good and always faithful! This truth is what helps me through the difficult times of life.

I don‘t know what season of life you are in right now, but just remember that it won’t last forever. I’d like to encourage you today to have hope in God, and what’s to come!  Rejoice in the Lord always!  Winter won’t last forever – there are daffodils in your future!

Genesis 8:22 ~ “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night shall not cease.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ~ There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven

Psalm 30:5 ~ … may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning

Hebrews 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

~ Melissa

Encouragement for Day 5

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. ~ Psalm 5:3

There is nothing better than spending time with the Lord in the morning! This morning while reading God’s word and praying, I noticed the verse above. I love the fact that God says, “He hears my voice.”  That’s always reassuring to know, wouldn’t you agree?  The part of this verse that really caught my attention however, are the last three words – and eagerly watch.  Are you eagerly watching? 

Many of us pray. Some of us pray more than others.  Some of us have designated times to pray, and some of us pray continually every day. I believe God is less concerned with when we pray, and how much we pray and more concerned with our attitude towards prayer.  I think He is looking at how much faith we have in Him when we pray. 

Do you pray, believing that God is going to answer? Or do you pray, because you feel it’s your duty or for some other reason? 

I love this verse, because not only is it a reminder to us that God hears our prayer(s), but that He honors the one who prays with the expectation of seeing a result. 

The word eagerly means to show keen interest, and intense desire or an impatient expectancy.  Are you praying with this sort of attitude? 

I also love how David says that “he orders his prayer.”  He put his prayer to work for him.  He instructed his prayer, and expected a return.

I don’t know about you, but this encouraged me to not only lift my voice before the Lord every day, but to then to wait anxiously for the restult. It reminded me to not pray in vain, but to keep my eyes wide open each day, looking for the answer that God will provide! 

I hope this verse will encourage you to eagerly watch as well!



Storm Driven Salvation

The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep. So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.” Jonah 1:4-6

Are you familiar with Jonah’s story?  A story about a prophet of God who was disobedient?  Who went through some turbulent times (to say the least), then found himself right where God predestined him to be?  I found myself reading this story again recently, only this time my focus wasn’t on Jonah so much as it was on the people around him. I’ve never really paid attention to the men on the ship before, but for some reason these men caught my attention this time.

The verses above take place after Jonah’s decision to disregard God’s instruction. Instead of obeying God, Jonah got on a ship that was going in the complete opposite direction of where God told him to go.  After that we learn that God created a storm in the sea which greatly affected the ship and “the ship was about to break up.”  This storm was so bad that the men on the ship thought they were going to die.

Have you ever gone through something so horrible in life that it felt as if you were going to die?

These men were afraid for their lives. They were panicked and doing everything in their power to save themselves, yet nothing worked.  The next thing we learn is that each man began calling on his “god.”

Apparently, these were men of different faiths.  They all worshiped different gods, but none of them knew or worshiped THE GOD.

Next, the captain of the ship approaches Jonah, who is sleeping (soundly) and instructs him to call on “his God.”  I guess the captain figured if everyone called on their own ‘god’ it would increase their chances of survival.

When people are in desperate situations, they are (usually) open to whatever will help them. They just want an immediate answer to their need or prayer. 

*Side Note: I find it interesting (and almost humorous) that Jonah was able to sleep (and soundly at that) during this horrific storm.  I can’t help, but wonder why.  Do you think it’s because he trusted God so much that he wasn’t the least bit worried about the outcome?  God does promise to give us peace during the storms of life.

Jumping ahead…

Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him (Jonah), “How could you do this?” The men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?”—for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy. He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you.” However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them. THEN they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.” Jonah 1:10-14

So here we have the other men on the ship seeking Jonah’s advice; asking him what they can do to stop the storm (to be saved). At this point it seems they realized that Jonah’s God was THE GOD and understood His power. They remembered the words of Jonah, and while they may not have called out to God right away, when they found themselves in hopeless situation, they did. The Bible doesn’t suggest that Jonah was running around the ship evangelizing to everyone.  He was simply present.  He was actually sleeping, remember?

The men on the ship, who each worshiped their own god at one point, now decided to call on The One True God!  I don’t know about you, but I was so encouraged when I read these few verses.  It reminded me of several things, but most importantly – that God is sovereign!

Jonah fleeing from God and this deadly storm was not an accident or a coincidence.  It was actually a part of God’s master plan all along. God wasn’t surprised by Jonah’s choice to disobey. He didn’t have to pull a last-minute trick out of His hat in order to prevent Jonah from fleeing.  He knew Jonah and He knew exactly what Jonah was going to do. He also knew these other men, and He knew what it would take to draw these men to Himself.  If God was only concerned with Jonah, He would have calmed the storm once the men threw him overboard, but that’s not what happened.  The storm continued to rage. I believe more than getting Jonah’s attention, God was looking to get the attention of these other men.

It was God’s sovereign plan to redeem the people around Jonah!

This blew my mind when I read it. Through this storm, Jonah’s God became their God!

There were two types of people on this ship: saved and unsaved. Jonah represents those of us who are saved, and the other men represent those who are not saved.  Even though Jonah was being a bit of a pickle, God was still able to use him in a mighty way. Whether through his actions or his words, Jonah was able to convey that his God was real, and the men on the ship believed it before it was too late.  They were saved!

This made me think about people who I know aren’t walking with the Lord, nor do they have any interest in knowing Him. Can you think of anyone like this in your life?

God’s love for us is so strong that He will use all types of circumstances to cause us to cry out to Him. Only God knows what it will take for each of us to come to Him, and sometimes that means a near-death experience, just like the men on the ship.

Are you a Jonah or are you like the other men on the ship?

If you are a Jonah, I’d like to remind you that there are people around you who need to know The Lord.  There are people around you who are watching you and listening to you .  God may cause a storm to arise in your life in order to get the attention of the people around you. Don’t be discouraged. He may use you in a mighty, unexpected, and sometimes scary way to fulfill His purpose for not only you, but others as well. I’d like to encourage you to look at the storms of life differently.  Know that God is doing the miraculous and has a plan bigger than we could ever imagine. Trust God in the midst of storms. And like Jonah, REST, knowing that the Lord will take care of you!

If you are like the other men on the ship, I’d like to urge you to cry out to God!  The only reason God spared the lives of these men is because they repented before it was too late.  You may be striving to save yourself just like the men on the ship.  You may have created a ‘god’ of your own or come up with your own plan of salvation, but those things will never work.  The wonderful and mysterious thing about God is He doesn’t require you to save yourself, and no matter how hard you try – you can’t do it! God just wants you to trust Him. He wants you to believe in His Son, Jesus who died to take away your sin, and give you life! You never know when you will take your last breath. All you have is this moment. Don’t waste it and call on the name of The Lord!

My inspiration for writing this post is my cousin and her recent brush with death.  Last week, she survived several heart attacks and I thank God for sparing her life!  It was nothing less than a miracle! She is a Jonah, because she knows the Lord.  I believe this experience has caused her to love the Lord even more, and have a new appreciation for the life that God has given her. Just like Jonah, I trust that God is working in the lives of those around her as well. I believe that many will be drawn to God through her life and her testimony!



The Great Coach


So, I’m not the biggest sports fan.  Although I can appreciate a good football or basketball game here and there, I tend to focus on many non-sports-related things while watching a game (which drives my husband crazy). I look at things such as an athlete’s hair style, tattoos or their outfit, uuummm….I mean uniform. I also look at a crowd’s reaction to the game, a player’s attitude or the many looks on a coach’s face. Because I enjoy watching people and their behavior(s), I like observing the way a coach speaks to his players either before, during or after a game. I actually really enjoy watching pre-game and post-game team discussions. 

Typically before a game, a coach tends to be very motivating; giving tips on how to win the game and reminding the players of past victories.  Many times a coach will stand right in the middle of the players, symbolizing that he is a part of them; reminding the team that he is on their side, and believes in them. I also notice how hyped up a team gets before the game. Usually a team leader will recite certain prayers or chants loudly, getting the rest of the team to join in.  Their adrenalin is pumping, everyone seems very hopeful, their confidence is up and they are ready for the game!

A post-game talk is a little different however; a coach will usually do one of the following: If the team won the game, he usually congratulates the team.  The coach, as well as the players, are in a very celebratory mood.  A lot of good and positive words are being shared, but at the same time, the coach may express the fact that the team shouldn’t get too comfortable, because they need to be prepared for the next game.  He may share tips about what small things can be improved upon so they can be even better. Everything tends to be very upbeat.

On the other hand, if the team loses a game.  There is usually a sense of somberness in the room.  No one, except for the coach says much of anything.  In this instance, the coach typically shares advice on how the team can improve.  Many times, the coach will get specific about what plays and tactics to change in preparation for next game.  There are also encouraging words shared, things like “don’t feel defeated” and “we will do better next time”, etc.

I was thinking about this recently while leaving church.  I thought to myself, God is such a picture of a good coach.  When I attend a worship service, I receive one of the following things from God: either a pre-game talk, preparing me for what is going to take place ahead (much of the time during that same week) OR a post-game talk, reminding me of a time where I messed up in the past; instructing me on how to do better for the next ‘game.’

I can remember one particular instance not very long ago where I was sitting in a church service asking myself, “why does the pastor keep on talking about this same issue?”  I’ve heard it all before.  I get it. Well, not very long after that, I realized that apparently I didn’t get it. I found out later that week that what was being discussed was something that I needed to be reminded of, because I had not begun to put it into practice.  Although I heard these instructions from God over and over, when the opportunity to apply these things to my life arose, I failed to do so. 

Like a caring coach who is concerned about his team’s success, God cares whether or not we succeed.  God isn’t some mean old man (as He is portrayed many times) who is just waiting for us to fail, so he can beat us and throw us away. Instead, He is an abundantly loving God who is full of patience, forgiving and is there for us when we fall.  He is there to pick us up, wipe the dirt off of our knees, to give us a word of encouragement and tell us to “get back in the game.”

Do you notice how a  football coach speaks in a microphone to his players (specifically the quarterback)?  Or what about the amount of timeouts taken during a basketball game, so the players can speak to the coach, regain their focus and be reminded of what it takes to win?  The players must always been connected to their leader; their source of wisdom and instruction – the coach.  We need to be the same way with God.  Checking in with Him when we are unsure.  Keeping the line of communication open at all times!

Ever arrive to church feeling a little defeated and unmotivated?  Then by the time you leave, you feel like you can conquer the world?  Just like players of a game, when God, Our Coach, provides us with a pre-game talk, we become filled with hope, and confidence.  I also think that spending time with other believers (teammates) worshiping and celebrating is extremely encouraging. It lets us know that we are not in this ‘game’ alone, but we have teammates to support and help us as well.

Our life is one big season of games. God is our coach and He is there to instruct and prepare us for what is coming up next.  Many times we hear a good sermon and think, ‘that was nice’ and leave feeling all warm and fuzzy inside and think that’s it.  I think we forget however, that what we just heard is either pre-game preparation or a post-game review.  When we hear from God we should trust that the words He gives us are CUSTOM DESIGNED JUST FOR US.  His words are there to teach us how to be better and improve as believers.  His words are there to encourage, inspire and strengthen us.  His words are there to show us how to WIN! Just like a sports player, if we’ve messed up, the answer isn’t to sit out of the next game, but to allow God’s Spirit to show us where we went wrong, and change our actions for the next game.

I’d like to encourage you today to pay attention to what the Lord is saying to you. Is He giving you a post-game talk, lovingly reminding you of mistakes you’ve made, and showing you how to improve next time?  Or is He giving you something new, something to be applied in the future?  Whatever it is, let’s make sure that we hold on to it, allow it to sink deep into our spirits, and become a part of who we are, and the way that we play the game!  Keep your eyes THE GREAT COACH!

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Psalm 48:14

For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

 Psalm 103:8

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

Proverbs 4:2

For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.

Proverbs 7:2

Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye.

Isaiah 30:21

Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left

John 16:13

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Ephesians 6:10-11

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.



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