Category Archives: Godliness with Contentment

IT’S A MATTER OF THE HEART!

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SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. Genesis 4: 6-8
From the human perspective, favor ain’t always what we expect it to be! #ijs #CANIGETAWITNESS?

 

However, as we acknowledge the Sovereignty of our Heavenly Father, Who does all things well, we can only rightly conclude that Father knows best! While, the frailness of our frame limits our capacity to see, speculate and judge one another by appearances and actions, “the spirit of man is the candle to The Lord.” (Proverbs 20:27) Hence, The Omniscient Creator knows the hearts of each and everyone of us! OMG!!!
God saw crouched within the heart of Cain a spirit of resentment and jealousy which lead to anger and ultimately sin and death! God asked Cain, “Why are you angry?”
Down thru the years, many Biblical Scholars and Theologians have offered many alternative explanations to clarify the disparity between what was an acceptable offering and why one was rejected while the other preferred. Now, I’m not necessarily suggesting that I’ve conclusively determined the answer, k? Nevertheless, may I submit for your momentary consideration that perhaps, it’s not that God despised Cain’s gift per se’, but could it possibly have been the intent that motivated his giving that caused God’s response? UUUMMMM???

God saw the worship-filled sincerity within Abel’s offering to Him! Apparently, Abel knew that everything that He had came from and belonged to God and trusting that whatever he relinquished to God, God was well able and willing to restore unto him exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond anything he’d dared ask or imagine! #Didjaseedat?

On the other hand, it appears that Cain was quite pleased with himself; having tilled the ground, planted seeds and painstakingly kept them watered until it yielded the fruit of his labor. Naturally, he would expect that God would favor his sacrifice over that which his brother had presented, right?

But before we start throwing rocks at Cain, how many times have we seen the favor of God on someone’s life and instead of rejoicing and celebrating The Goodness of God with them, we secretly accused God of being unfair, considering all that we’ve done for the sake of The Kingdom, not to mention how faithfully we’ve strived to follow His teachings, huh? SERIOUSLY? #BOOM #NUFFSAID!

Precious ones, God being a Master Economist, distributes heaven’s treasures according to our personal capacity and potential to produce and to be good stewards over all what He gives us, assuring our highest good and His Greatest Glory!

Don’t get it twisted! None of us like waiting, YET! In the Ingenious Sovereignty of His Own Will, Purpose always trumps pain and disappointments! God has Divinely orchestrated the terrains of our life journey to perfect in us the same Radiant Glory of our Kinsmen Redeemer Jesus Christ!

*For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 Nonetheless, His Ways continue to supersede our severely limited intellectual capacity to comprehend the length, width and depth and wonder of His Omnipotent Omniscient Benevolence!
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4

 

Beloved, God has not forgotten you, a delay is not a denial and GRACE IS UNDESERVED FAVOR! TRUST2KNO, Saints, it’s not about what’s in your hands, but what’s in your hearts that pleases God! Secure your VICTORY with a thankful heart!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann E. Caffee

 

 

HIGHER PRAIZ!

HIGHER PRAIZ 2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Psalm 65:1-2

We have thought, “O God, on Your lovingkindness, in the midst of Your temple.According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. Let Mount Zion rejoice. Let the daughters of Judah be glad, Because of Your judgments. Psalm 48:9-11

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. Psalm 134:2

 

Being Pentecostal, born and bred, means that I am accustomed, and I might add, an extremely willing participant, to exuberant praise and worship. So can you imagine my surprise, to discover that God-Honored Adoration is not necessarily limited to loud singing, hand-clappin’, foot-stomppin, shoutin’ and dancing to drum thumping, key-board tickling, guitar pick’n tunes escalating His Glory!

WHOKNU? There is a high praise in God, where the weary souls, thirsty and hungry for an escape from the chaos and confusion of this world’s clamor, finding rest, peace, security, strength and hope, fall prostrate into HIS PRESENCE!

There’s a secret place, a Cleft hued out in The Impregnable Rock of Salvation, where mere words are no longer necessary, and sighs are welcomed, giving way to hope-filled silence, birthing unspoken-bellows of acceptable obedient prayers and God-Centered Praise and Worship!

There is an epiphany where we all must ascribe to reach in God, where we practice appreciation and respect for HIM by disciplining ourselves, focusing our minds and making a conscious decision that regardless of my circumstances, I’m going to Bless Godnot just for all of His Goodness to me—BUT for WHO HE IS!

In this lofty estate, time spent waiting on The Lord is no longer full of anxious frustration, but quiet peaceful resting in child-like confident anticipation, trusting that you’re being kept safely, far from your conspirators’ reach, hidden in The Glory of His WONDEROUS PRESENCE.

As God’s Chosen, you’re surrounded by a Fortress, whose Builder and Maker is The Creator of The Universe, where we can breathe easily, waiting patiently, for as long as HE says,  fully assured that everything we will ever need and hope for comes from HIM—JESUS!

#DIDJAHEARDAT? The Holy Spirit is calling! Be still, in that ‘Peace-Filled-Knowing’ that all of your Help and Hope of Glory abides in The All-Powerful God,  EL SHADDAI…your FATHER AND your GOD!  NOW THAT’S A HIGHER PRAISE! #WOW #AWEMAAZIN, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

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