The Christmas Blessing of Believing

The Christmas Blessing of Believing
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/24/2014

“You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭45‬ NLT)

In Luke 1:26-38 Mary receives life changing news from the angel, Gabriel, that she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to God’s son, Jesus. Gabriel explains to her the significance and the magnitude of who Jesus will be. As I read this story I had to put on my imaginary hat and put myself in Mary’s shoes. As I continued to read Mary did exactly what Felicia would have done which is ask questions. The difference is I would have had more than one question. My analytical brain would have switched in high gear and asked, the Angel what, when, where, and how. I probably would have needed a book to read on the subject. I would have been on Google typing in “pregnant by the Holy Spirit” and “virgins becoming pregnant” to make sense and gain a better understanding of the news I received. Fortunately Mary didn’t go through the extremes that I would have. She asked one question in verse 34, “How?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail. ” (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭35-37‬ NLT)

With no hesitation Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭38‬ ESV)

The significance of this Christmas season is that we are celebrating and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. He was placed on this earth to be an example of how we should live. He was God’s son and had God’s DNA which means He was made up of spirit. He was also Mary’s son. He was made up of flesh. He experienced the emotions we experienced. He knows what it’s like to be upset, hurt, betrayed, rejected, disappointed, and struggling to do the difficult things God ask of us sometimes. He also knew to believe the truths of His Heavenly Father which is why He was able to accomplish so many miracles here on earth. The blessing of Jesus believing is that He believed that if He allowed His father’s will to be done that He would save our souls for those of us who believe.

Many times when God tells us something and when God takes us through journeys in life it does not always make since. That’s just a characteristic of God. He does what He wants to do, how He wants to do, it, and when he wants to do it. All we need to do is believe. Like Mary and Jesus the destiny God had for them did not make sense. However, they believed and trusted Him anyway. Ultimately what God said came to pass. Jesus was born, He died, He rose, and now He reigns in Heaven for eternity.

What has God told you about your life? What struggles are you having that you don’t understand? What promises has He given you that seems like everything is happening opposite of the promise? What does God’s word say about your life that you are struggling to understand or trust? I challenge you today to take on the attitude of Mary, “Let it be to me (insert your name) as you have said.”

There is a blessing in believing as you have seen in this portion of the Christmas story today. God always has a way of doing exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ask, think, or believe. Not only did Mary become pregnant but her barren cousin, Elizabeth, became pregnant too! Nothing is impossible with God (verse 37) when you believe God will do what He said He would do!

If you are believing for healing…may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing for provision….may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing for deliverance…may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing for joy, peace, love…may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing in God for a spouse….may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing in God for clarity and direction….may it be unto you as God has said in His word.
If you are believing in God for ______(fill in the blank)_____…..may it be unto you as God has said in His word.

Continue to stand on God’s Holy word and His promises for your life. Verse 37 promises us “God’s word will never fail”.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”(‭Hebrews‬ ‭10‬:‭23‬ ESV)

Stand on the Christmas promise for today and remember “You (insert your name) are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” (‭Luke‬ ‭1‬:‭45‬ NLT)

There is a blessing in believing. Be encouraged and Merry Christmas!

With love and prayer,
Feevotionals a.k.a Felicia McKnight

PRAYER
God our Father, we thank you for the birth of your son, Jesus. We thank you for the examples he left for us on how to live and how to believe in your power and your promises. We thank you that He died on the cross for our sins. We thank you that He rose. We thank you for the Holy Spirit that is with us right now and we thank you that Jesus reigns in Heaven for eternity. Father bless every person reading this right now. We all have Christmas wishes and things we have been believing in you for throughout the year. I pray we all continue to have faith as we stand on your word and promises for our life knowing that you are faithful to perform your word and that you are not a God that would lie. You are faithful and no plans of yours can be thrawted . What ever this person is believing in you for may it be unto them according to your word and your will. Grant them all that they stand in need of and the desires of their heart exceedingly, abundantly, above, all each person could ask for or imagine. In the name of the one who’s life we celebrate this season, Jesus. Amen

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Book Review: Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst

Kingdom Woman
Book Review: Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/17/14

I had been in a plateau in my spiritual life. I felt like I was at a dry place and needed a personal study to help give me a spiritual jump start. I was in a place of feeling like I was pouring more out to others spiritually than I was pouring into me. I had been searching for something and finally decided to pick up the book “Kingdom Woman” by Pastor Tony Evans and his daughter, Chrystal Evans Hurst. The book was very engaging and enlightening. I made it through the first four chapters and felt like I was in information overload and that I read too fast. There was so much spiritual wisdom that I decided to start over and read the book slow as a daily devotional. I was able to take notes and ponder on key points that ministered to my soul.

“Kingdom Woman” was a book specifically designed with me in mind. Reading this book was an enlightening reading experience that gave me biblical principles on being a better woman of God by surrendering to His will and allowing Him to dictate every area of my life. It showed me how to be a better woman, mother, wife (someday), prayer warrior, and disciple. It gave me biblical principles in all of these areas. Some I was able to put a check mark next to and some reminded me of the areas of my life that need improvement. What I appreciated most is each chapter was aligned with a Women in the Bible or an applicable biblical story that applied to the principal being taught.

Who is a Kingdom Woman?
A Kingdom Woman is a woman who positions herself under God’s authority, His Lordship, and allows Him to be master and ruler over every area of her life. She operates according to the rules set forth by God in His Holy Word. The Kingdom Woman is a powerful being and a spiritual force to be reckoned with. She is a highly influential being. She knows who she is according to the word of God and she knows her worth and value. She is a direct reflection of God’s image. The Kingdom Woman was placed on earth with a purpose which is to glorify God in all that she does by promoting the Kingdom of God in her own life and in the life of others. The Kingdom Woman is a woman of value, hope, excellence, and commitment.

A Kingdom Woman is truly a beautiful woman in spirit and everyone in her circle recognizes it. She is valuable to them as a nurturer, advisor, comforter, and encourager. She is inspirational to them. The Kingdom Woman is strong, intelligent, capable, giving, resourceful, efficient, and spiritual minded. She is a woman who operates as she was created to be which is in the image and the likeness of God.

What sets a Kingdom Woman apart from other women is her fear of God. She trusts God completely and surrenders every area of her life to Him. She trusts in God and keeps her eyes gazed on Him regardless of the circumstances. She knows that Jesus already established victory for her life at the cross. She is a woman who allows God to transform her by getting to the root of her issues and changing her completely.

A Kingdom Woman is special and unique. She is called o a higher standard than what the world has set. She choses to live by God’s standards. She doesn’t dwell on the past and knows how to press on and focus on what lies ahead. She keeps her eyes on her destiny and the direction she is headed.

A Kingdom Woman is a woman of faith. She knows that if she stands on God’s word and believes by faith that her prayer can change circumstances in her life, her family life, in the lives of those she impacts. She is a praying woman not just when she needs God, but prayer is a way of life for her.

A Kingdom Woman is a committed woman to her family. She knows the priorities God has set for her marriage and her children. She is a committed woman in her church. She has no problem mentoring younger women and serving in her community. A kingdom woman is a woman who allows God to use her to make an impact in the lives of others. The kingdom Woman is a woman of faith and of purpose.

This book is one I encourage every woman to read regardless of the season of life you are in. Read it so that we can all blossom, shine, and grow to be the Kingdom Woman God created us all to be. As I read this book I realize there are so many phenomenal attributes of a Kingdom Woman. She seems perfect, however, “A Kingdom Woman is not a perfect woman. She is a forgiven woman who has been loved by the Master despite her past, her weaknesses, or her struggles.” (Chrystal Evans Hurst, pg 192) We will never be perfect on this side of heaven and that’s OK. Imperfection is why we need Jesus on a daily basis. The ultimate take away from this book is as long as we live a yielded and surrendered life, then God can mold us and refine us in the areas we need work on, so that we can be all that He created us to be.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!

P.S. Men, I don’t want you to feel left out. Tony Evans has written a book specifically for you called “Kingdom Man”.

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom, knowledge, and the strength to be obedient to You so that we can be the kingdom men and women you have called us to be. Order our steps to your word daily and help us to take time out each day to communicate with you in prayer. Give us the strength to live surrendered lives to you and allow you to completely be our Lord and Master of our lives. Continue to mold us and shape us so that each day we are conforming more into your image and your likeness. In Jesus Name. Amen

You Are Cordially Invited…

You Are Cordially Invited…
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/13/14

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ NIV)

Invitations. The older I get the more I receive. Invitations to bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, graduations, birthday parties, holiday parties and more. The purpose of an invitation is to invite you to an event to celebrate a special occasion with friends and/or family. You typically receive the invitation because you have a relationship with the party host. With celebrations you typically arrive with a gift in hand. Most occasions have some form of entertainment involved along with food. Some allow you to walk away with a small gift or party favor thanking you for your attendance. With most special events you leave with a happy feeling for the person celebrated or just a wonderful feeling of having had a good time.

Today you are receiving a special invitation from Jesus! His invitation in Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to me.” The details of the invite are as follows:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ MSG)

Have you ever had to force yourself to go to a party or special event? Either you were in a bad mood, not feeling sociable, or just did not feel like going, but you went anyway? When you left you were so glad you got out of the house because you ended up having a good time. That is what Jesus wants to accomplish with this invitation. The purpose of this invitation is for you to come to Jesus one way and leave feeling better than you came.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬ AMP)

If you are tired, weary, burdened, worn out, burnt out, overburden, and need a refreshing of your soul then it is time for you to come to Jesus. Even if you don’t feel like it go to Him anyway. It’s time for you to check on the reply card, “Yes, Jesus, I will attend.”

As with most events you need directions. Allow me to be your google maps for today. How do you come to Jesus and leave different than you came?
1. Bring A Gift
2. Enjoy Your Time With Jesus
3. Walk away with a party favor.

BRING A GIFT
Coming to Jesus simply requires that you come to Him in a place of humility and surrender. Whatever is worrying you, whatever you are struggling with simply say how you feel to Him. That’s a form of prayer. In lieu of gifts Jesus wants your burdens and in exchange He will give you peaceful rest.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭2-3‬ NKJV)

ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH JESUS
Jesus inviting you to come to Him indicates that He desires a relationship with you. He wants you to hang out with Him and to learn from Him. You learn more about Jesus by reading another gift we have been given, the Bible. As you spend time with God you cultivate your relationship with our Heavenly Father. You learn more about His ways and His character. You learn of His promises for the matters you lay before Him at the altar of prayer. You learn about our savior. You learn of a God who loves us unconditionally and who loved us so much that He put His only son on a cross to redeem our souls. The more you learn of Him the more you draw closer to Him. There is an amazing feeling after you have been in the presence of good company and great conversation. With Jesus you enjoy the company you are in and it is time well spent.

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭16‬:‭11‬ NKJV)

WALK AWAY WITH A PARTY FAVOR
After you accept the invitation, give God your burdens, and cultivate your relationship with Christ, then there is a blessing for you to keep. God will give you rest for your soul. God will give you peace and joy regardless of the circumstances you are in. I love how Tony Evans described this in his book “Kingdom Woman:”

“Real joy has nothing to do with how things are going. Joy is a question of your state of mind, regardless of how things are going. In fact, joy itself is called a fruit of the Spirit. Joy has to do with a God-given internal ability to cope well. It can produce peace in the midst of panic and calm in the midst of turmoil.”

Just as there are times you don’t always feel like attending a special event but after you attend you are glad you did is the same with accepting Jesus’s invite. It may be a struggle for you to come to Him and surrender, but once you do you will wonder what took you so long and you’ll be glad you did. Be Blessed and Encouraged!

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, thank you for the invitation to come to You and to abide in You. May every person who is tired, burdened, and overwhelmed find the strength to surrender every care and concern to you. Give them peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. Give them rest for their souls. In Jesus name. Amen.

It’s Time For The World To Know Another Name

He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. (‭Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭9-11‬ NLT)

It’s Time For The World To Know Another Name
Written by Felicia McKnight
12/3/14

I along with the majority of the nation sat glued to the television set as I waited to hear if there would be indictment charges against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Mike Brown. As I listened to the prosecutor tarry on in his statement I had an anxious feeling of wanting him to just get to the point. I sat in amazement once the announcement was made that there would be no charges against officer Wilson. I was disappointed wondering how many more young men will have to loose their life to senseless violence. Will there ever be a day where the Trayvon Martin’s and the Mike Browns can get through alleged criminal accusations without it ending in a life lost?

What happened next saddened me even more. Violence, gunfire, looting and not so peaceful protests broke out in our country. I understand everyone handles anger differently, however solving violence with violence does not equal peace or justice. It just equals more unnecessary outcomes of destroyed property and injured lives. Businesses had to suffer for something they had no involvement with and the cycle of destruction continues.

Regardless of whose fault everything is I just sat in heartache at everything that was taking place and I pondered on the question where is God in all of this? Where was the church to help people deal with their emotions differently? If more people knew Christ would the outcome have been different?

That night I began to pray over everything that was going on and over my own thoughts. I was at peace as God reminded me that He is here and He is a sovereign God. For those who are in disagreement with the grand jury’s outcome for this case be reminded today that we serve a God who sees all and knows all. I stand on the same statement I made with George Zimmerman. If Officer Wilson killed Mike Brown with wrong motives then God knows. God is the ultimate judge. “God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?”(‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NLT). If these men truly had wrong motives for killing these individuals, then God sees what the justice system can not see. God said in His word, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’” (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32‬:‭35‬ NLT). I look back at George Zimmerman. Although he was not convicted of killing Trayvon Martin based on what I have seen on the news he is suffering way more consequences outside of the jail system then he probably would have in the jail system.

I am not sovereign like God, so I don’t know why things like this continue to happen. Why did 911 happen? Why do girls keep getting abducted in Nigeria? Why is it everyday I turn on the news there is more bad than good taking place? The only conclusion I can draw is that evil still exists in this world. We may not understand why things keep happening and we may not always understand the outcome. What we need to know is that “Our faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (I Corinthians 2:5 NKJV). I pray the eyes of our nation will look up towards the hills from which cometh our help. Our help comes from the LORD, the covenant keeping God, Yaweh,who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2). This nations help comes from the God who can cause wars and protests to cease, so be still and know that He is God. (Psalms 46:9-10)

It’s now the Christmas season where we focus on love, peace, joy and the one who can give it to us. At the funeral of Mike Brown, Jr his stepmother spoke and mentioned a prophetic dream Mike Brown, Jr had just before he died. He told his step mother, “One day the world will know my name.” That prophecy has certainly come to pass. However, in the midst of all of the anger, disappointments and violence it’s time for the world to know another name. That name is Jesus! The one who’s birth we are celebrating in this season.

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭9-11‬ NLT)

Jesus….the one who died on the cross for us.
Jesus….the one true living God.
Jesus….the healer.
Jesus….the deliver.
Jesus….the one who is compassionate of man kind.
Jesus….the forgiver.
Jesus….the one who sits at the right hand of God interceding for us.
Jesus….at his name demons tremble.
Jesus….at his name circumstances change.
Jesus….the lover of our soul.
Jesus…the King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus….Jesus….Jesus!

Whatever you are going through and whatever your emotions are concerning politics and the justice system…..Jesus….Jesus….Jesus!

Be blessed and encouraged on today!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I rejoice today knowing that we can be still and know that you are God. I pray the eyes of our nation will look up towards the hills from which cometh our help. Our help comes from the LORD, the covenant keeping God, Yaweh,who made heaven and earth. Lord, I pray that you will be a healer to our hurting nation and that you will send forth peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray for souls to know you as their Lord and savior so that they can experience your love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, healing, and peace. May you be all these things to us and this nation. In Jesus name. Amen

Song: “Oh How Precious” by Kathy Taylor http://youtu.be/d8yJHejtPpw