God’s Will For You Is On-Point

Good Day! Be grateful that God doesn’t want to leave you or me the same as we came into this world! What He has planned is better than we could imagine for ourselves. We simply need to be obedient to His will and His way. Sharing with you this devotional from Minister Dracy Jenkins, our brother-in-Christ who writes for web-based Christian think tank, Freedom Squared.  His devotional and their team member writings can be found on FreedomSquared.org.  -Nicole

“Rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit’s prompting, and take heart that God will accomplish His will.” — John MacArthur

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Romans 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Point 1:  We are to rejoice because God’s Will for us is good, pleasing and perfect!  Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Point 2: We are to be joyful and thankful in and through all things, because that is His Will for us.

Hebrews 10:10 NLT  For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Point 3: We are to live differently than what the world says is acceptable and politically correct.  Because of Christ, we have been made holy and provided the righteousness of Christ. Which also is God’s Will for us. It is in and through the power of Christ that we’ll no longer have to conform and fit into the world’s decaying morals and values.  We can remain above it because we have been called and empowered to. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 10:36 NLT 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Point 4: Because it is God’s Will to deliver to us everything He promised in His Word, we are to patiently wait and endure the test and trials that come our way.  Our reward for following Christ and surrendering all is already reserved for us.  Its ours and cannot be taken away.  We simply need to remain focused on Christ and all that His life and sacrifice on the cross has made available for us.

Father, we thank you that your Will be done.  Nothing can stop it; nothing can change it.  We are yours and you are ours.  We praise your Holy name today and give thanks for Your Son and Your ever-present Spirit.  Thank you for loving us so.  It’s in Jesus name we pray and praise you, Amen.

-Minister Dracy Jenkins
After God’s Own Heart Ministries, and
FreedomSquared

 

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When It Doesn’t Make Sense

Sudden/unexpected death of a loved one. Death of a child. Diagnosed with a serious illness when you’re doing all the right things. Faithfully and promptly going to work each day only to be handed your last paycheck. Missile strikes commercial jet, killing all crew and passengers aboard. Unarmed teen and robbery suspect in Ferguson, Mo., shot six times, fatally by police officer. When it doesn’t make sense.   man with question marks

This week in particular I’ve repeated the words “this doesn’t make sense” when I learned of the sudden passing of a dear friend. A young person, loved by his wife, family, friends and co-workers, his death seems unfair and leaves us wanting to understand the reasoning behind. We’re simply left to deal with the outcome, best handled on our knees in prayer. Prayers amounting in a few words, cries and groans, simply because there are no words. The one-worded question that resurfaces throughout is “Why?”

I’ve learned that such questions cannot be fully answered with an intellectual answer. God exists and operates beyond our human intellect and comprehension (read the Lord’s three-chapter response to Job’s questions in Job 38-41). Trust that nothing God does is random; He has a plan though we may not understand it on this side. What I do know is that God is sovereign—He’s in control of everything. We have to trust God even when life doesn’t make sense.

The following devotional written by brother-in-Christ Minister Dracy Jenkins is right on time. The encouragement offered in his message brought me some solace and I pray it brings you comfort and peace as well.  God bless you and in prayer.   -Nicole

“Anyone can thank God for the light. Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night. He says to us, ‘You’ll get through this!’  And we will.” – Max Lucado

 

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

1 Corinthians 11:23b-24a- On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24- and gave thanks to God for it. (New Living Translation)

For a long time, I focused on the Last Supper as Jesus shared one last meal with His Disciples and encouraged them for the times to come, when He was to leave them and return to Heaven. However, as we have read many times, Jesus’s words often contain much more than we initially hear and realize.

 

To understand the concept that even though Jesus was about to go through a horrendous ordeal at the hands of His enemies, He demonstrated the importance of giving thanks to our Heavenly Father. While we may not fully know what we will face tomorrow, Jesus did.  And regardless, Jesus knew He needed to continue to praise God and thank Him for all that He had.

 

This is a critical lesson I know I must learn and demonstrate.  I believe we all must learn this to truly demonstrate not only our love for Him, but our gratitude and faith in Him.

 

We are all going through something fearful, unpleasant or not what we wanted or expected.  If you are not right now, unfortunately, that time will come.  No matter when that time comes, giving thanks to God, through it all and for it all, is something that we must learn to do and actually do.

 

Jesus did it, I believe not only because it was part of His character, but to continue to teach those that followed Him, what they and subsequently, we, must do.

 

Giving thanks in the midst of our struggles doesn’t necessarily change the situation, but there are those around us watching, whose hearts and thinking may be encouraged and changed by our actions.  We are witnesses of God’s love, power and grace in all that we say and do.

 

Praise God for His light that is illuminating our lives for His glory.

 

Minister Dracy
After God’s Own Heart Ministries
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

 

Christ is More Than Enough

Contentment is not by addition but by subtraction: seeking to add a thing will not bring contentment. Instead, subtracting from your desires until you are satisfied only with Christ brings contentment.Jeremiah Burroughs 

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.- Job 36:11 (New Living Translation)

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Isn’t it interesting that all the things we pursue in life don’t seem to totally satisfy us as when we fully seek the Lord’s Will for our lives? We can fill our homes, garages, and lives with a lot of stuff. We can work our days and nights away to increase our bank accounts. However, we usually find ourselves, looking to get the newest or latest things or the bank account just doesn’t seem to have that right amount that will make us feel secure.

We can work daily to physically and mentally make ourselves stronger and better, only to have that doctor’s report steal our comfort, peace and joy.

Having material things, wealth and knowledge aren’t bad pursuits. The problem is when we believe achieving those things will fill the void in our souls that only Christ can.

Only in Christ will life have true meaning. Only in Christ will we have peace and contentment. Only in Christ will our lives have purpose.

We can continue to live life our way or we can surrender and enjoy life, God’s way.

Thank you Heavenly Father that your way for us is the best way. Help us to see this every day and be content in knowing that your plans for us and what you provide for us is exactly what we need. So we praise you and thank you for right now. For in this moment, we are right where you want us and planned for us.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Minister Dracy

After God’s Own Heart Ministries

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

Faith to Trust God’s Plans

“I don’t see the big picture. I don’t have a clue. But I know God does. I’m going to declare that, even if I don’t feel it right now.” — Steven Curtis Chapman, Christian singer-songwriter

 

Jeremiah 29:11NIV  11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 
Jeremiah 29:11NASB 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope
 
Jeremiah 29:11ASV 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.
 
Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Absolutely one of my favorite scriptures to stand on when I am struggling with making a decision or when my well-laid plans have come up empty.  It’s interesting that no matter how it’s translated, a few things stand out to me:

 
1. God knows!  I don’t, but God does.  I am so thankful that He does.  So what does He know?  His thoughts and His plans for me/us.

 

2. God says/declares!  Hallelujah!  When God speaks, it is so, it is done!  You can take what He says to the bank, to the boardroom, to the doctor, to the courtroom.  You can especially take what God says or declares to the most important place of all…the mirror. (I’ll let that one sink in for a minute.)

 

3. God’s thoughts/plans for me/us is for our good and NOT for our harm.   Let me repeat the last part…NOT FOR OUR HARM.

 

4. So then, what does it mean when bad things happen to us? When our plans don’t turn out the way we wanted them to?  What it simply means is that points 1, 2 and 3 are STILL in effect!  Our circumstances, our plans, our situations does not change the facts that God knows, God has said and declared and that His thoughts and plans are for our good…period!  Now the final point from this scripture:

 

5. Everything God has done and is doing is to give us hope for the future. The future that He has prepared for us.  To be with Him for all eternity.

 

No the journey is not smooth and laid out with roses and a sweet smell.  I have not read in God’s Word where He has said or declared that it would be. But His Word is filled with a hope and a love that tells us that He longs for us to love Him, to trust Him and to depend solely upon Him.
 
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring. I may be told that my job has been eliminated and my services are no longer needed. The doctor may tell me that the pain I have in my body means that I have only a few days left to live. No matter what bad news may come, it will never change the fact that God is bigger and greater than anything we will face in life. It will not change the fact that God is the creator of all and He alone is in Charge! He sits on the throne of glory and Christ is at His right hand.
 
We can make all the plans we want, and believe me I have made many. But if they do not line up with what our Heavenly Father has put into place, we will never achieve the fullness of life that God has prepared for us.  Now here’s the final piece of the puzzle for you this morning. WE must decide if what God has planned for us is satisfactory.  Is it okay that what God thinks is good for us, is acceptable?  Isn’t that absolutely crazy when you think about us deciding if what God wants for us is acceptable? ( Lord, please forgive me for my foolish thinking.)

 

Here’s a thought to consider and maybe for us to declare today: Lord, I want to know your ways and will for my life above all else. And then, to have the faith to walk in the way you desire for me. 
 
I like quoting Jeremiah 29:11.  But if you go down to verse 13, you will understand the key to God’s declaration.
 
Jeremiah 29:13NKJV 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
 
It is easy to place our plans in front of God and beg and/or demand that He approves them.  But if there is one thing I have come to learn in my limited time here is that it’s not about my plans.  It’s not about what I want.  It’s solely about what God has ordained, through His Word and Will for me.
 
Yes, I/we have been allowed to choose which plans to go after.  Ours or God’s.  Think about it and choose wisely.
 
Thank you Lord. You have been there for us, even when we have not realized it. You know our coming and our going and you have prepared the perfect path for us to travel. We thank you that when we get off this path, the Holy Spirit guides us back to it. We desire, want and need so much. Help us to realize that all we need is You. Let the light of your love shine in and through us today. We sing praises of your goodness and mercy today. Thank you Lord for everything. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

Have a very blessed day and weekend, knowing that God will always be there when you call.

 

Minister Dracy
After God’s Own Heart Ministries
Luke 4:18-19 …to bring Good News…

God Prunes Us to Produce Fruit

“The vine dresser is never nearer the vine than when He is pruning it.” — Anonymous

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

John 15:1-8 NLT 1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

There is a main reason that vines are pruned; so that they can grow stronger and produce more fruit.

Jesus tells us; no encourages us, to have faith, that our hardships and trials are for a purpose.  At least for those who belong to Him.

What amazes me at times, is that we still go through many hardships and trials in life, without Christ. And without Him, those same trials and hardships only bring despair, fear, frustration and hopelessness.

Why not allow God to do the pruning instead of the world?  Think about it.  It should be an easy decision.  Maybe this will help: while God simply prunes, the world uproots, destroys and wipes away all signs of life.

Trust God. Believe God.  Allow God to give you purpose and hope.

Minister Dracy

After God’s Own Heart Ministries

Luke 4:18-19 …to bring Good News…

 

Why You Can’t Figure Out God

“No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God.” — Charles H. Spurgeon

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Isaiah 55:8-9 (New Living Translation) 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

No matter how hard we try or desire to, we will never be able to figure God out. Oh, we can come to know Him better and better each day, but trying to figure out what He’s going to do and how He’s going to do it, is an enormous waste of time and energy. At least in my humble opinion.

It’s just as simple as you create the best work of art that you can imagine. You love it and so do many people who see it. But one day, you decide to put it in a security vault to protect it. Or you decide to donate it to a museum or auction it off for charity.

My point is, it is YOU who are deciding what to do with your work of art, not the art itself. To ask or expect the art to determine its fate sounds ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as it is for us to figure out God or try to tell Him what He can or cannot do with us.

Yes, we are God’s work of art and He has given us the ability to choose. Even so, it’s useless or futile to believe that we can figure God out or control His actions. The things that He has revealed to us about Himself, are the things we need to hold on to. He loves us. He wants us with Him for all eternity. He provides and has provided for us to be free from the evil one and sin. He has revealed what He cares to reveal to us about Himself and our future, according to His Will, not ours. He is our Heavenly Father and our God, if we so choose.

Today, I encourage us all to simply know that the Creator of All, has our lives securely in His hands. Even when we try to pull away, He holds on tighter and tighter. He places us where He needs us, according to His Will for our lives and for our created purpose.

Rest assured that if you have chosen His Son as your personal Lord and Savior, then, there is no need to figure out what God is doing. For what He is doing is making you and I ready to be clothed in His righteousness, to take our place in His eternal presence.

Heavenly Father we thank you today for creating us, loving us and fulfilling our created purpose in your kingdom. Forgive us for those times of fear and doubt and endless questioning of “why this” and “how comes.” Please continue to help us simply say, “yes Lord” and “thank you.” Be with us today as always and open our eyes even more to see all of who you are to us. This we pray and ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Minister Dracy
After God’s Own Heart Ministries
Luke 4:18-19 …to bring Good News…

Called to Model a Better Hope

Good day, people. When I read the following devotional written by my fellow brother-in-Christ, Minister Dracy Jenkins, I was led in my spirit to share his message with you. People desperately seeking answers, relief from their troubles, or hope for a better tomorrow may look to any and every source except God. In a society that doesn’t automatically run to God, we as Christians have a prime opportunity and captive audience in which to model the hope, the better living we have in Christ Jesus.  Read below. Thank you Minister Dracy for allowing us to share your message with others.

“The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.” — Philip Yancey
Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Ephesians 4:1-6 (New Living Translation)- Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

As Believers we are indeed called by God to present a different picture, a different way of living, a different hope, to those around us.  For we have the hope of a better, greater future.  We have the promise that all the evils of this world will one day be eradicated for all time.  And it is this hope, that we should be willing to share at all times.
I thank God for the hope of ultimate freedom from sin.  The hope of heaven and the hope of eternal rest with our Lord and Savior.
I pray that you too have this hope of better things to come.  May God enrich your lives today and may we never forget His promises to us.
Minister Dracy