Simple Instructions

Simple Instructions
Written by Felicia McKnight
9/17/2014

Psalm 16:7 NIV
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.

Prayer
Lord, today we praise you because you are a God of wise counsel! Lord you see the matters of our heart. You see what concerns us. You see our burdens. You see the setbacks. Lord, you are sovereign and you see all. Today some of us stand in need of clear direction, answers, and a fresh new vision concerning our lives. Guide us as only you know how into the direction you would have us to go. Some of us need a word of encouragement to keep our heads lifted. Some of us need a confirmation from you on a decision that needs to be made, so we ask that you send that sign or confirmation we need. Some of us have lost sleep at night as our minds were lost in deep thought and trying to figure out which way next, but your word says that even at night your heart instructs us. Send the word that we need when the night seems long. Fulfill your promise in our life that you will keep us in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. In Jesus Name Amen.

Simple Instructions
I’m working in a different order today. Prayer first and devotion last. It’s OK to switch things up every now and then. Right? Someone reading this probably woke up from a long night of no sleep or reduced sleep for whatever reason. You’re probably tired, grouchy, complaining, don’t feel like going to work or school, but REJOICE! God woke you up this morning and there is something to sing about. Today’s verse starts off Praising God. “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise: his greatness no one can fathom.” (Psalm 145:1-3) If you woke up from the sound of the alarm then God is worthy of all praises on today! We serve a sovereign God who desires to be Lord of your life. Are you letting Him lead you on today? What is bothering you? What unanswered questions do you have? What direction do you need? God wants to counsel you. Have you sought Him in prayer on today? Have you turned your concerns over to Him? Have you spent quiet time with God this morning reading His word to see what He has to say? The past two Feevotionals were focused on prayer and the word of God. God is always speaking through his word and by way of the Holy Spirit. He speaks to you even at night when you lie awake and sleep seems far from the truth. Take your focus off of the problem and search for God’s truth to what you are facing today. Whatever you face today these are the few simple instructions I have for you: Pray, Read, Seek, and Rejoice!

An affirmation is a statement declaring something to be true. So today we are going to declare truth over our life based on the word of God.

Affirmation
I can rest assure that God gives me the direction and instructions I need to walk the righteous path leading me to His perfect will and destiny for my life. God is always speaking even in the night hours and my soul is always listening for His sheep know His voice. I rejoice knowing that God’s best is in store for my future.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice….knowing God has you in the palm of His hand! Be blessed and encouraged on today!

My Prayer For You (Ephesians 1)

My Prayer For You (Ephesians 1)
Written by Felicia McKnight
9/10/2014

Ephesians 1:15-19 The Message
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

One of my favorite prayers to pray over people is this scripture passage found in Ephesians 1. I know that the word of God is the will of God for our lives. When I am praying this Ephesians 1 prayer I can remain confident that God heard my prayer and that it is His will to answer it for the life of that person. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)

That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks.
It is an honor, a joy, and a delight to meet other believers in our Christian faith. It is a wonderful experience to see others who acknowledge our Heavenly Father as their Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We share in our faith and we trust God with our life. I thank God for each person that I have the pleasure of interacting with and I thank God for the opportunity to pray for my Christian brothers and sisters. It is a joy when God places someone on my heart and He uses me to pray His will for their life. It is a joy to stand in agreement with individuals and bring their needs before the altar knowing that God hears every one of our prayers and He will answer them according to His will.

But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally.
Besides thanking God for that person and thanking God for using me to pray for that person I also am interceding for them. My prayer is that each person knows God by cultivating their relationship with Him daily through prayer and reading His word. As you read God’s word you become more acquainted with His character and His ways. The word of God comes alive. It speaks to you specifically concerning your life. As you read the word you are drawn closer to God in a more intimate way. Think of a new relationship. The more you spend with that person and the more you talk to them you get to know them, their ways, and their behavior. If you like that person, then you want to talk to that person and be around them more. This is my prayer for you. The more you spend time with God and the more you get to know God the hungrier you will become for Him.

Your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do.
I think about Saul in Acts 9. In this story blindness temporarily fell over Saul and he could not see for three days. God appointed Ananias to lay hands on Saul. Immediately scales fell off of his eyes and his sight was restored. In Acts 9:15 God needed the scales removed from Saul’s eyes because He had work for Saul to do. “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.’” (Acts 9:15NIV) God has a purpose and a work for all of us to do in His kingdom, but we so often have trouble seeing what the work is because we are so blinded by the busyness of life and our own agendas. We need to be able to see with our spiritual eyes, because God has so much in store for all of us in what He desires for us to do.

Grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!
There are blessings in operating in our purpose and our spiritual gifts not just for the kingdom but for us personally. This Ephesians 1 prayer is ultimately a prayer for your spiritual growth and enlightenment. Our obedience leads to God’s blessings. God is sovereign and God is powerful and He knows what is best for His children. What a wonderful life we can all live if we just allow God to order our steps in every aspect of our life. Be blessed and encouraged on today!

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, I thank you for each person that takes time out each week to read this devotional. I thank you that they have a heart for you and a hunger for your word. I pray that each person seeks after you daily by spending time with you in prayer and studying your word so that they will become hungrier and thirstier for more of You. I pray that you grow each person in their wisdom and knowledge of who You are and in their knowledge of every promise that You have for their life. Father as they grow more in You I pray that each person is transformed by the renewing of their mind. Touch their spiritual eyes and remove the scales off of their eyes, so that they may see clearer the things that you are showing them. Help them to keep their eyes focused up on you from where their help comes from. May each person be filled with the spirit daily to discern the sound of Your voice. May each person hear from You clearly on all that you are commanding them to do. May they be obedient to the commands of Your voice so that your perfect will can be accomplished in their lives as you lead them to the destiny You have for them. Lord you said no eye has seen and no ear has heard all of the wonderful plans that You have in store for those who love you. May each person surrender to your will and your ways so that they may reap all of those wonderful things You have stored up for them. As each reader keeps their eyes gazed on You may they also trust You. They may not know where you are leading them or how You are going to do certain things, but help them to remember to trust in You knowing whatever You have in store is extravagant and it is more than they could ever think of or imagine. We ask these things in Your precious son Jesus name. Amen.

Book Review: Stepping Up: A Journey Through The Psalms Of Ascent by Beth Moore

Stepping Up_Beth Moore
Book Review: Stepping Up: A Journey Through The Psalms Of Ascent by Beth Moore
Written by Felicia McKnight
9/3/2014

I have been hearing for years about the wonderful Beth Moore studies and this summer I finally had the opportunity to participate in one of her 6 weeks studies, “Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent.” For me personally this has been one of my favorite small group studies since I took a class called Master Life about two years ago.

“Stepping Up” is a six week journey through Psalms 120-134. Each psalm was sung by the pilgrims on their way to various festivals. The book is divided by six chapters:
– Where Will My Help Come From?
– Our Eyes Look to the Lord
– Great Things for us
– A Fruitful Vine
– My Hope is in the Lord
– Blessings from Zion
The study is designed to go through one chapter each week with five lessons to study (one for each day of the week).

I truly enjoyed this study because it allowed me the opportunity to go through each psalm. Beth Moore breaks each Psalm down into a real life relatable topic. I’ve read through many of these Psalms before but I didn’t quite have a revelation of their meaning until I went through this study. This study was transformational for me. It reminded me that even in Biblical days the pilgrims experienced the same high and low emotions that we experience today. One minute they were in a low place and the next they were rejoicing. This study allowed me in some areas to deal with the soul, others my relationship with God, and in others my relationship with my family and my role as a parent.

Studying the pilgrim’s journey also reminds me off our personal life journey that God has called for each one of us. Just like the pilgrims God is leading each one of us somewhere. He is leading us to a destiny that He has purposed and planned for us. The journey can be rough at times. There are times we won’t know where God is leading us. There are times we know God is going to come through and we just don’t know how. There are times we will face opposition. Throughout the entire journey we have to continue to keep our eyes focused on God and obedient to the steps He orders us to take. As we step up in God He calls us to be fruitful throughout the process. He wants us to share Him in our home and in our community. God promised us in Jeremiah 29:11 “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.” We have to keep our hope in God knowing that He has an expected end that is far greater than we can imagine.

Each step that we take with God is a step of faith that allows us to go higher in Him. The more we can trust God and the path that He has us on the higher we can go in Him. Our obedience to Him leads to His best for us. As we continue to grow in Christ we set ourselves and our families up for blessings that will last for generations far beyond what we will be allowed to see.

This study also enhanced my relationship with God. In the introduction of the book Beth Moore recommends a posture of prayer that I personally hadn’t tried before. When I did as she suggested for the first time I was blown away by what I experienced and continued to experience as I worshiped God in this posture of prayer. This study showed me more of His character and His power. It reminded me that it’s OK to talk to God about the good, the bad, and the ugly. He wants us to talk to him about everything and every matter that concerns our heart. The study also reminded me not to be afraid of what the future holds and to trust God every step of the way. This drew me even closer to my Heavenly Father. The closer I got to Him the higher I seemed to climb spiritually.

This study is designed for women, but God’s word is for everyone and there are certainly many lessons to be grasped for all of God’s children in this book. I completed the study in a small group setting. It was a challenge at the time because I was not able to take all the time I wanted to during each daily lesson of the study as I had to have all of the lessons read by class the following week. After I completed my small group class I committed going through the book a second time. I wanted to slowly go through it until my spirit grasped what it wanted to grasp. For me my six week study has turned into a twelve week study and I was even more blessed the second time around. This is an awesome study that can be done in a small group setting or as an individual. The blessing of the group setting is that you are able to receive others perspective of the lessons that may be different from your perspective yet it enhances what you got out of it on your own.

This is one of those studies I highly recommend grabbing some friends, church members, your devotional group, or whoever is willing and partner with one another to Step Up in Christ.

If you have already taken this study then I encourage you to leave a comment on this page so that others can see your testimony and what you were able to get out of reading this book. Remember God called us to be fruitful and multiply. As we share our journey with others they are encouraged to grow as well. Be blessed and encouraged on today!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for this awesome study by Beth Moore that uniquely took me on the journey through the Psalms of Ascent. Father, I lift up every reader today that they may all be led to cultivate their relationship with you in a group study or a personal study. Lead each individual to a bible study class or book that will meet their individual needs and cause them to step up higher in you. In Jesus Name. Amen