Monthly Archives: May 2016

No More Excuses

No More Excuses-image

 

We make excuses for just about everything. We give excuses to why we can’t go back to school. Make excuses for why we can’t forgive. We excuse ourselves for not being able to give, show compassion or serve God and in His kingdom. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I wonder if Jesus gets tired of hearing my excuses.

“One of the men lying there had been sick for 38 years. Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been sick for a very long time. So he asked him, “Do you want to be well?”  The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the water when it starts moving. I try to be the first one into the water. But when I try, someone else always goes in before I can.”

John 5:5-7, ERV

In today’s passage, a man had been sick for 38 years and had been waiting – in that spot – for 38 years to be healed (v. 5-6, MSG). Now it appeared this man had many opportunities to be healed since he’d been there for such a long time. Surely he could have asked someone for help. Had he asked for help? Did he consider asking for help or did he have his own reservations to why he shouldn’t be healed?

The omniscient Savior, knowing this man’s situation, asked him a reasonable question, “Do you want to be healed?” Basically, do you really, really want to be delivered from your condition? And of course, instead of answering with a “YES”, this man gave more excuses.

My sister, how bad do you want to be delivered from your conditions? How bad do we really want that healing? How bad do we want to change? Are we using fear as an excuse? What about our inexperience? Could doubt be our excuse? Are we holding on to the mentality that we can’t see a way out for ourselves? So we fail to ask for help. We fail to dream. We miss the opportunity to believe in the possibilities.

How long has it been since you’ve taken a chance to pursue your dream? Does it seem like it’s impossible? Are your excuses blocking your view to believe? How long will it take you to realize that your dreams can become a reality, once you stop making excuses? Will it take 10 years? 20 years? 38 years?

It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking chances. Passionately pursue. Boldly believe. Take that first step! No more hesitation. No more apologies. No more explanations. Stop second guessing yourself. Go for it! Trust God and pursue hard after it!

My sister, Jesus is beckoning you to step out of the boat. He’s calling you to walk on the water. Be brave. No more excuses. Don’t allow excuses and fear to be the reason you don’t pursue your dreams. Just do it.
“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

Matt. 14:29, CEV

Ask Jesus to give you that drive, fervor, creativity, and direction to accomplish your goals and pursue your dreams. And guess what? He will.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

John 5:8-9, NIV

“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

~Walt Disney

 

QUIET TIME
During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to pursue your dreams and make no excuses about them!

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Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

If I Must Brag-Pt2

 

In chapter 11 and 12 of 2 Corinthians, Paul bravely does what most leaders are too afraid to do and many avoid. He brags about his weaknesses. He could have bragged about being a great theologian who was a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisee. Paul could have boasted about the many churches he had planted and the mass number of souls he had converted into Believers. Paul could have proudly celebrated and bragged about all the great things God had done through him. Instead of boasting about his numerous accomplishments, Paul chose to brag about his weaknesses. Paul shares with the Corinthian church his struggles, his setbacks, his trials, his tribulations, and those things he experienced for the sake of Christ.

 

Paul says, “If I must brag, I will brag about the things that show I am weak” (2 Cor. 11:30, NCV). And why in the world would this great leader do such a crazy thing? Why talk about his weaknesses? Why share with others how flawed you are? Why open our mouths and disclose our imperfections and inadequacies? Here’s why:

 

“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, NLT)

 

When we’re weak, that’s when Christ’s power can be seen. When we acknowledge our limitations, that’s when God can be made BIG. When we rejoice in God and in humility, we share our struggles with others, then the dunamis – the Greek word for power, which means force, miraculous power, ability, abundance, might strength, mighty wonderful work – of Christ can live through us! Now, that’s POWER!! When we realize that apart from God, you and I can’t do anything, that’s when His POWER rests upon us. His miraculous POWER is seen. Our weaknesses remind us that we only exist because of Him. Our weakness displays humility. And humility, my sister, is a sign of submission. Once we submit to God, we surrender our will and power to Him. Then, God is glorified in our weaknesses. He’s made BIG. Wow!!

 

The fact is we’re all weak. Our sin makes us weak. We all fall short; for all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). We cannot live this life without God’s help, without His dunamis. We need rescuing. We need His help and we’re in need of a Savior. We need Jesus! He’s our lifeline, who bore our infirmities and weaknesses on the cross (Isaiah 53). Hallelujah! Therefore, my sisters, we don’t have to be afraid or embarrassed or ashamed to share our weaknesses. We don’t have to keep our mouths closed about our story. Our testimony (the good, the bad, and the ugly) will encourage others to triumph over their situation. Our story will remind someone else that God is faithful. Our struggles will push us to our knees, in humble submission, totally depending on our mighty God.

 

So, go ahead. Brag, if you must! But brag about your weaknesses. Let’s brag about our limitations. Let us boast about how desperately we need Jesus’ help. When Satan comes to condemn us – which he will – let’s resist him by saying, “The weaker I get, the stronger I become because God’s POWER lives in me!”

 

It’s Wednesday, Hump Day! Rejoice in our weaknesses, so Christ’s dunamis power can be seen!

 

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. (2 Cor. 12:10, MSG)

 

During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to be a godly leader for Christ who is not ashamed to show her weaknesses.
Did you know that Walking in Freedom! Devotionals are impacting the world for Christ! Our devotionals are being viewed all over the United States. Not only in this country, but from countries all over the world. It is Christ, through the Holy Spirit and the power of His Word that is reaching the world and encouraging hurting souls. READ TESTIMONIES.

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

If you must brag

 

TODAY’S WALKING IN FREEDOM! DEVOTIONAL
If you must brag (Pt. 1)
Written by Rhovonda L. Brown
(Originally posted: 7/10/13; revised/repost 5/10/16)

Strengths Or Weaknesses Directions On A Signpost


 
 
How often do you brag about your children or another person’s accomplishments? For me, I can’t help but brag about my children. They’re my seed, they came from me, and when they accomplish something small or great, I’m happy for them. Also, their accomplishments mean I’ve accomplished something too. I’m their parent who has nurtured them, guided and encouraged them to be all that they can be. I see the greatness in them; so when they succeed, I succeed! And I’m excited about it!
How often do you boast about yourself? Your salary, your title, your job or your talent? Well, I try not to brag too much, but at times, I can’t help it! It happens. For example, I bragged (not too much) when I lost about 20 lbs from doing boot camp and watching what I ate. I was so proud of myself, since all that hard work had paid off. In the past, when I’d work out in the gym, I didn’t see any results, but this time, I saw big results. So, I confess. I brag. I bragged when both my books made it on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List and when my second book made No. 1. To tell you the truth, I still brag a little about these accomplishments because I know it’s something hard to do, especially for first-time, self-published authors.
Now, ponder on these questions. Ever bragged about your weaknesses or your limitations? Do you celebrate your shortcomings and failures? How often do you rejoice and glory in your flaws? How often do you share your personal struggles with someone else? I’ll be honest with you. I don’t share my weaknesses, my struggles, or my shortcoming as much as I could or should. No one likes displaying any signs of weakness. (Well, I know I don’t!) Why? For fear of being criticized, judged, misunderstood or talked about. I don’t like sharing my limitations or my flaws because I don’t want to be looked at differently. However, sometimes, more times than I want, the Holy Spirit tugs at me to share and to be transparent. My goodness, it’s so hard! Of course, afterwards, Satan beats me up. He says things like, “What were you thinking! You just told all of your business! You shouldn’t have said that! You said too much! Now, what will they think of you?”
After I’ve shared my personal struggles, things that could have very well encouraged another person, the enemy comes to curse what God has blessed. Satan always does that! For opening up my mouth, Satan tries to make me feel ashamed and embarrassed for sharing my weaknesses. This is probably why most of us will not share our testimonies, for fear of the backlash.
In chapter 11 and 12 of 2 Corinthians, Paul bravely does what most leaders are too afraid to do and many avoid. He brags about his weaknesses. He could have bragged about being a great theologian who was a Pharisee and a son of a Pharisee. Paul could have boasted about the many churches he had planted and the mass number of souls he had converted into Believers. Paul could have proudly celebrated and bragged about all the great things God had done through him. Instead of boasting about his numerous accomplishments, Paul chose to brag about his weaknesses. Paul shares with the Corinthian church his struggles, his setbacks, his trials, his tribulations, and those things he experienced for the sake of Christ.
Paul says, “If I must brag, I will brag about the things that show I am weak” (2 Cor. 11:30, NCV). And why in the world would this great leader do such a crazy thing? Why talk about his weaknesses? Why share with others how flawed you are? Why open our mouths and disclose our imperfections and inadequacies? Here’s why:
“So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Cor. 12:9b, NLT)

LET’S WALK IN FREEDOM TOGETHER & IMPACT THE WORLD!

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.
QUIET TIME

During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to be a godly leader for Christ who is not ashamed to show her weaknesses.

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that Walking in Freedom! Devotionals are impacting the world for Christ! Our devotionals are being viewed all over the United States. Not only in this country, but from countries all over the world. It is Christ, through the Holy Spirit and the power of His Word that is reaching the world and encouraging hurting souls.

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Pastor Brown enjoys ministering to the hearts of God’s people, sharing God’s Word and spreading the love of Christ. He leads his congregation into a deeper understanding of the Bible and inspires them to grow deeper in God’s Word and in their relationship with Him.

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