Category Archives: Godliness with Contentment

GOT JOY?

Jumping woman at sunset

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  John 15:11

 

If the only evidence that the prosecution had to convict us of being Christian was our countenance or our dispositions, our case would be thrown out and we’d get off scott-free! A lot of  church-folk are claiming salvation, naming the Name of Jesus and on their way to heaven anyhow, but most of them don’t seem to be enjoying the trip. If so, they forget to send an IM from their heart to their face!

One would think that if anybody should have joy, it’s the saints of the Most High God., right? But if the Saints are walking around with our heads hung down, broke, busted and disgusted with everything and everybody, then how can we persuade a lost world that life goes better with Christ? Don’t shout me down , now!

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not jus preaching to the choir, I’m talking to myself too. Since I’ve been saved, sanctified and walking with Jesus some thirty-sumptin years now, I learned that while it makes for a good shout, however, not everyday gets sweeter than the day before!  LIFE HAPPENS 2 the saints and the sinners!

Perhaps, some of us have become wearied on this journey  because we’ve mistakenly equated joy with happiness. While happiness is an emotional response based merely on enjoyable circumstances, joy is a constant internal state embedded in the Love of God, producing serenity and tranquility totally independent of external conditions.

Jesus looking from eternity past and seeing the many souls that would be saved, overwhelmed with joy made a conscious commitment to endure the pain, despise the shame, become obedient, even to death on the Cross of Calvary that His joy, might be poured out upon His people. (Ref. Hebrew 12:20) Guess what, that makes YOU the JOY of Jesus!

There’s more to Joy than goose-bumps. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength”.

Jesus Joy is a weapon of mass destruction in the believer’s arsenal. Hence, Jesus Joy is empowerment to overcome any challenge with courage and confidence!

Just knowing that every promise in The Bible is ours to claim with the assurance that Jesus will never ever leave nor forsake us should make every Born-again, Blood-washed child of God’s heart swell up to the overflow with pure Jesus Joy until we can’t help but HOLLA and THROW UP BOTH OF MY HANDS! JUS REMEMBER, JEHOVAH HAS THE FINAL SAY!

Didjaheardat? JESUS OVER YOU! WOW,  NOW DATZ POWERFUL! C’MON NAH, U GOT JESUS, U GOT JOY!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE SAINTS

SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE SAINTS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:13

 

WOW! With all that’s going on in this world TODAY, aren’t you glad that you’re saved, sanctified, living all you can to serve and please da Lord? I feel ya!

BUT! Before we go slappin’ 5 with our neighbors or yourself on the back, perhaps we need to take a closer look at today’s scripture. SOMETIMESWE—GOD’S-CHOSEN-THE SAINTS—have a way of judging others by their actions BUT judging ourselves by our good intentions, huh?

Whachatalkinbout? It’s easy to make yourself come out smelling like a rose, as long as we’re comparing ourselves to one another! However,  according to The Bible, God never intended to make our own warped flesh the plumb-line for gauging His Righteousness!

Remember the story of the Pharisee who went up to the Temple to pray, stood off by himself, looked across the room and seeing the tax collector, praying “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” (Ref. Luke 18:9-14)

Evrrr noticed how God’s elect often develop a severe case of selective amnesia once they’ve been saved for any length of time? Perhaps that’s why The Apostle Paul left a not-so-friendly reminder to snatch our minds out of the clouds as needed! “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Hence, DON’T GET IT TWISTED! No matter how many right things you manage to do on a daily basis, at the end of your bestest day—every single one of us must acknowledge “That if it had not been for JESUS…I coulda, woulda and shoulda _________” And y’all can fill in the blank! (Ref. Romans 3:23)
HONEST2GOD, there ain’t none good but GOD! That’s why He sent The Perfect role model for us to keep before us. JESUS…Righteousness Personified! (Ref. John 3:16-17)

TRUTHBETOLD, except for the Mercy of God’s Grace, NONE OF US WOULD qualify for Heaven! We’d all be consumed by our own sin!  But God, knowing what He was getting before we were even born, DECIDED TO PUT GODSELF in the midst of our fragile-clay vessels, therefore there’s yet HOPE of Glorraaaa! (Ref. Colossians 1:27)

So the next time, you’re tempted to bask in the glorraa of your own self-righteousness, CHECK YOURSEL! Remember that flicked human proclivity? Beloved, you betta recognize that God really does read hearts! (Ref. 1 Samuel 16:7)

“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20

WOW!  Jesus raised the bar, huh? Question is, of all the folk in your sphere, who’s going to heaven because of your influence, or who’s going to hell? Don’t shout me down nah! #ijs!

Sooooo, the next time you’re tempted to send ANYONE’S po’ soul straight to HELL, because they don’t measure up to your self-discriminating standards, MIGHT I SUGGEST THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT OUR OWN SALT IS SEASONED WELL WITH LOTS OF LOVE and LACED WITH LOADS OF MERCY AND GRACE! #IJS #SEASONED VS. SELECTIVE

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?

HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Philippians 3:10

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

 

One of the most intriguing topical discussions amongst expectant mothers and women who have become mothers (besides swapping labor stories) is the abnormally-intensified cravings that we experience during pregnancy awaiting the birth of their beautiful bouncing bundle of joy!

While, much to my amazement, my eldest is presently encroaching 50 years of age, yet, I can still summon up that daily occurrence of overwhelming ferociousness, provoking me to walk my big-belly-self five city blocks up to MLK Avenue to get my hands around a 6 in., lettuce and tomatoes, fried onions, mayo, ketchup and mustard, salt and pepper, heavily-loaded with pickles steak and cheese sandwich. This became such a ritual that the moment I wobbled through the threshold of the deli, the cashier would holla to the cook “Steak and Cheese Special for the big lady”. And off I’d be to our little one-bedroom apartment on Oakwood Street, five blocks back, just as happy as if I’d discovered a treasure chest filled with diamonds, rubies and gold.

Somehow, the journey back never seemed as difficult or as long, perhaps because I’d be that much closer to relishing the second I’d take my first bite of my bounty! Oh my, what we won’t do for love, huh?

Well guess what? That’s exactly how believers ought to be in our quest for Jesus Christ!

We see this truth evidenced in the life of The Apostle Paul. We can almost feel the earnest urgency with which The Apostle sought after his intentional personal, intimate- knowing and understanding of “The True One” Who had apprehended him on the Damascus Road. (Ref. Acts 9) It was as if Paul was driven by an uncommonly unique passionate desire that set him on a course that remains unchartered territory to even the most astutely-religious 21st Century church-goers today.

Yet, there is that remnant of us whose yearning for more JESUS consumes most of our waking moments and often invading our nights with dreams and images of His Awesomeness. Imagine my surprise at the realization that not everyone in the church shares this delight-filled insatiable lusting for The Living Water and The Bread of Life! #4REAL!

This might very well explain why some who profess Christ, are content with following Him a far off while others are compelled to dig-out the secret treasures hidden in The Word of God, diligently, intentionally searching the Scriptures daily that they might know HIM in ways that may never be actualized by the second-handed-casually-acquainted follower—experientially! (Ref. Acts 17:11)

The Word of God is Alive and gives LIFE to any who have a desire for The God Who Speaks revealing GOD-SELF through His Auto-Biography, inscribed through Genesis into Revelation, that all who seek Him with all of their hearts, minds, spirit, soul and body may know HIM (TRUTH) intimately. Sadly, not everyone who calls Him Savior seek Him as Lord, huh? #ijs Yall!

Therefore, much to their own sorrow, they miss out on the true wealth and reward of a personal, dynamic, GOD-involved relationship that awaits us who lend our hearts and attention to discovering The Father in the face of His First-Begotten Son, Jesus! (Ref. Colossians 1:15-16)

My precious one, seeking God, although often challenging, should never become be a chore! However, may I submit for your momentary consideration, that our response to His drawing is vindictive of the level of love, faith and commitment towards Him!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8)

HENCE, WHATEVER POSITION GOD OCCUPIES IN YOUR HEART DETERMINES HIS PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE! #IJS HOW BAD DO U WANT HIM?  

 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD

THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

For you have trusted in your wickedness; You have said, ‘No one sees me’; Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; And you have said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one else besides me.’ Isaiah 47:10

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved; it is the power of God…for after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God; it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 20

 

Granted, in this new Millennium Church Age,  some challenge the relevancy and even the validity of ‘The preaching of the Cross’!  After all, we have so much going on, so much information available to us right at the tips of our fingers! And of course there’s always so much to accomplish and so little time, huh? 

Well, guess what? Contrary to Millennial pop culture, God knew before we knew how long and how far mankind would go to avoid accountability!

According to 2 Timothy 4:3, ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers in accordance with their own lusts.’

In other words, the focus would no longer be how to live a holy and sanctified life, in this present world, but folk would religiously come to church to scratch an itch, you know, to satisfy their hunger for more and some more of the WORLD’S creature comforts.  Of course they’d use a more palatable vernacular, such as, “Give me a ‘word’ that will tell me how I can supersize my life!” Or perhaps, “I’ll give you a part of my ‘free day’ if you can make it worth my while; you know, cheer me up, make me feel good (bring on the hype)! “A’int nobody got time for foolishness!” And we’d certainly be remiss to ignore this one—“You can’t judge me, God knows My Heart!” 

TRUST2KNO, you’re absolutely right! But the fact that that alone doesn’t terrify you is in itself “self-incrimidating’! Think about it, GOD is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent! Thus, He’s everywhere at the same time, knows everything about everything and is able to do anything at anytime! Hence, wherever you go, whatever you think and whatever you do, never takes GOD BY SURPRISE! #WOW! #ijs! 
I know we shouldn’t be shocked—but C’mon! This prevailing attitude of  ‘entitlement’  amongst the household of faith? Yeah, I mean, we’re not talking about ‘worldly sinners’ we’re talking–Church Folks! Don’t shout me down, nah!

But to those of us who yet believe in the Testimony of Jesus Christ and the Gospel message of that ol’ rugged cross, the preaching of the cross is not foolishness, but it is the Power of God to save the sinner man who will dare to believe that The Word of God is True!

Frankly, it’s easy to understand exactly why the Deceitful Destroyer works so diligently to keep humanity blinded from The Truth.  If we were in his position, we wouldn’t want this Good News on blast in mainstream media, either!  Obviously!!  The Bible says, if they only knew ‘They never would’ve crucified Christ’ in the first place. (1 Corinthians 2:8) Well guess what, devil, You’re over 2000 years too late!
 
To the weary wanderer, The Cross is the Place of Refuge! To the lost, The Cross is the Center of the Universe, where Eternity collided with Time and Mercy and Grace unashamedly kissed each other! To the unlovable faint of heart, The Cross is The Power and Love of God openly revealed and freely offered in exchange for our rebellion against God! To the spiritually bankrupt, The Cross the Place of Welcomed Surrender– where, you give Him your all, He Gives You His All!

To those who’re trapped in darkness, The Cross is where the Light of GOD’S Amazing Grace is still shining—beckoning us before the day of gross darkness overtakes you—COME!

DIDJAHEARDAT? THE WISDOM OF GOD HELPS US 2 SAFELY NAVIGATE  LIFE, AVOIDING SATANIC SNARES AND TRAPS DESIGNED TO DEPOSE OUR ETERNAL DESTINY! BUT, THANK GOD 4 THE  FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING! So who’s the real fool?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann CaffeeI

 

PROMISE KEEPER!

PROMISE KEEPER

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

So He said, “I will certainly be with you….” Exodus 3:12a
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! Psalm 30:11-12

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24

 

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we vow to live our lives according to the testimony God reveals in The Holy Bible. As our knowledge of God’s Word increases, we discover how God has ordained certain rights, privileges and promises to us and for us. Yet, even as confessing Believers, sometimes we fall short when it comes to experiencing the fulfillment of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises. Don’t shout me down now, yall!

Consequently, our churches are filled with frustrated, anxious, angry and unsatisfied folk who’re secretly disappointed with God. AMEN Anyhow! For the record, let’s concede this, GOD IS NOT THE PROBLEM! Therefore, His Faithfulness is not on trial! God’s Word is Eternally Immutable, Faithful and True.

So what’s up? We go to church and hear the gospel—well most of the time—anyway, preached with power and conviction. We enjoy the sermon, buy the CD’s and the DVD’s. We’ll leave the sanctuary talking about “Man, we had CHUURCH today”. But, the question is, where’s the evidence that what we’ve heard has profited our lives? For real, where’s the change in our personal situations?

It may behoove us to interrogate the Word more closely. The Scripture declares, ‘Faith comes by Hearing and Hearing By The Word’, right?  Obviously, the breakdown does not exist in the effectiveness of THE WORD! Hence, that leaves the higher probability that our inability to see the manifestation of the PROMISE lies in our personal cognition to believe and accept the Integrity of GOD’S WORD!

Moses was called by GOD to do a task that was so completely outside of his comfort zone causing him to offer up a plethora of excuses why successfully completing the assignment was impossible! GOD told Moses that He’d heard the desperate cry of the children of Israel, I’ve see how the Egyptians have oppressed; now I am sending you to Pharaoh that you may bring MY people out of Egypt! I will certainly be with you…When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve GOD on this mountain.” (Ref. Exodus 3:9-10; 12)

Now, stop looking at me with that tone of voice! U know there’s been plenty of times God presented a situation in your face, that even with the aid of 66 Books of Holy Writ, you were so overwhelmed with the challenge that you immediately started questioning God’s reasoning not to mention His decision that you were remotely qualified and equipped to go thru what you would have to go thru, not to mention come out! #ijs

However, GOD never asks us to do anything that He’s not willing to get personally involved! When GOD promised Moses, ‘I WILL CERTAINLY BE WITH YOU’ that was the game changer! The value of a promise solely depends upon the Authority, Ability and the Involvement of the One who’s making the promise! SINCE GOD ALONE IS THE SELF-PROCLAIMED I AM WHO I AM…THE ALPHA & THE OMEGA, WHO SPOKE TO NOTHING AND CREATED EVERYTHING…we might jus wanna put our trust and confidence in whatever HE SAYS, HE CAN AND WILL DO!

After all, WHO CAN STAY HIS HAND! Remember Pharaoh and his horses all drowned in the Red Sea! (Ref. Exodus 14:21-23)

Beloved, it matters not how high the mountain you must overcome, how wide valley you must go thru, nor how deep the river you must cross over, hold on the The Master’s Hand, lean not to your own understanding, but trust in His Promises with all of your heart, committing your whole being to His Keeping Power and you shall see The Saving Grace of our God! TRUST2KNO! Every Promise that God’s left on record is still as good as it was the day He Spoke it into Being! Hence, don’t wait ’til the battle is over, SHOUT NOW!

#BELIEVE 2 C THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING! HE IS THE PROMISE KEEPER!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

IS JESUS A DISTANT LOVER?

IS JESUS A DISTANT LOVER

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, …let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-20, 22

 

To mimic my granddaughter, ‘back in da olden days’, R&B artist, Marvin Gaye, recorded a song entitled, “Distant Lover”OMG, did we EEVVVRRR parta on that one!

Sadly, this title typifies the relationship between many Christians and Jesus. Too often those who proclaim Jesus as their personal Savior, The Hope of Eternity yet remains a  DISTANT Lover!

When The Holy Book clearly tells us that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ–once for all! ( Hebrews 10:10)  Hence, when we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, every obstacle that stood between us and His Presence is rolled away. It seems kinda foolish to settle for religion when we could have a relationship! I mean, right?

We must understand the essence of the ETERNAL TRUTH ! 

God promised and accepted Jesus’ Sacrificial death as atonement for our unrighteousness!#Didjaheardat?  In  other words, the debt we owed and could not payJesus paid in full, therefore, releasing us from the curse of the law! (Galations 3:13)  Now unless you think your good deeds have somehow merited God’s forgiveness and earned you a seat at Heaven’s Banquet Table, knowing this should just bless your sin-worn soul!  #ijs WOW!  That’s Grace! 

That means, we’re now free to enter into a Divine Intimacy with the Lover of our soul—the Creator and Sustainer of Heaven and Earth without fear of rejection or retribution! Sounds pretty good to me, huh?

My Precious saints, this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

You know those times when you become overwhelmed by the cares of this world and it appears as if God is so beyond your reach, well guess what? It’s just feels like that! But the truth is, even when we can’t trace Him, God is never far from anyone who seeks Him with a sincere heart.  Our Compassionate Father knows when we can’t quite make it up to touch Him, so His Love so graciously reaches down to lift us up to Him. (Hebrews 4:15)

This is the essence and the joy of our salvation!

Today, Beloved, God is inviting you to call upon Him with confident assurance that when you cry out to Him with a humbled, repentant heart, He will hear you and He will come close to you. Remember, The Word is nigh thee, even in your mouth!  (Romans 10:8) Didjaheardat?  TRUST2KNO, He’s always just one prayer away!  If you need Him now; call Him now! Didjaheardat?  JESUS IS CALLING! 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

He doesn’t have to be a Distant Lover!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

ABLAZED WITH GLORY!

ABLAZED WITH GLORY 2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the Knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain To life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which Have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be Partakers of the divine nature, having escaped The corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:1-4

Didjakno? Today’s scripture text is penned by The Apostle Simon Peter! You know Peter, right? He’s the same cussin’ Peter who rejected Jesus three times, cut off the soldier’s ear, stepped out of the boat on the stormy sea and walked on the water to Jesus. Well, now Peter is a self-proclaimed bond-servant, Divinely ordained and authorized to speak on behalf of Jesus Christ! Now this really excites me! Why? Because it assures me of the unfathomable Mercies of our Loving Savior and that nothing in your past has the power to keep you from fulfilling your Destiny! Now to me that’s a good place to praise God, huh? Hold my mule…Halleleujahhhh!

We, having no right to such loving kindness, yet our Heavenly Father has  so graciously endowed us with His Divine Power, giving us everything that we need to escape the corruption of this world and to live a holy and godly life, not in heaven, but in this present world! Didjaheardat? Unbelievable, I know; but it’s True!

God has equipped every true Believers with His Presence in the indwelling Power of  Holy Spirit, transforming us into His Chariots of Fire in this earth!

We love to sing Donnie McKlurkin’s song, “We fall down, but we get up, we fall down, but we get up…because a saint is just a sinner who fell down, and got up”! Don’t get me wrong, I like that song too. However,  we can get a little twisted in our mindset, because of the craftiness of the devil, and without knowing it, we can actually be masking a spirit of rebellion behind the cloak of faith!  #ijs

Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound…GOD FORBID!” Romans 6:1-2

As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, every one of us has been commissioned by God to reflect His Glory to this lost, dark and dying world.  Howeverrr, if we keep falling into the same old temptations over and over, flippantly counting on the favor of God to show up in our pit to rescue you out of the same old mess, how’s God’s Glory being manifested?

According to The Holy Ghost, True Glory is manifested when a believer demonstrates righteousness thru faithful obedience. When you make a genuine commitment to deny the ungodly appetites of your flesh, rather than to bring reproach to the Name of His Lord and Savior, not only are you relying upon God’s Power to deliver you, you’re also proving your love and gratitude for all that Jesus did to redeem you back to your Heavenly Father! Seriously!

Our journey to Heaven is plagued with unexpected, trouble, chaos and tragedy, however knowing that The Promise Keeper is able to open up pathways that you know not of, make ways out of no way, open doors that have been shut and carries us triumphantly thru every valley to the mountaintops, fortifies our spirit with HOPE! As we experience His miraculous deliverances, it develops our confidence so much so that when our faith is challenged by difficulties, we don’t give up, we look up!

As true carrier of God’s Glory, we plant our faith in the Eternal Word of God’s Grace!

Having done all to stand, we yet stand, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding, continuously expanding, exceeding all natural expectations, daring to taunt and frustrate the evil plans of the wicked, with holy boldness, testifying ‘Satan, every now and then, I might have to bend, BUT KNOW THIS, I REFUSE 2 BOW”!

NOW, IN TIMES LIKE THIS, YOU’RE JUS WHAT THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR! GO AHEAD, BURN BABY BURN! LIGHT UP THE WORLD PROCLAIMING, ‘TO GOD BE THE GLORY! KEEP THE FIYA BURNING!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee