Category Archives: Gospel

MORE JESUS!

MORE JESUS!

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. Psalm 119:130

 

Back in my B.C. days (before Christ, y’all), I met this very special lady. Subsequently, Ms. Annette and I grew as close as two peas in a pod. Whoever coined the phrase “a little bit of country and a little bit of rock n’ roll” had to have met my friend “Anna” (self-identification of her alter-ego). By day, Ms. Annette was a successful-sophisticated-know-her-stuff-RN. BUT! By nite, that Hattiesburg-Mississippi-Black Water-Country-Ebonic-Talk’n-parta’-down-like it was 1999-Anna would emerge! And guess who would try to hang-out right with her? Exactly!

Evrrrr noticed, that if you spend a lot of time around someone you admire, who happens to have a strangely-peculiar personality, the strangely-peculiar affect they tend to have on you? Startlingly, without consciously realizing when nor how(until my kids so happily pointed out to me) my conversation conspicuously became sporadically seasoned with some of the same words, same dialect and same mannerisms as my friend! Obviously, a little bit of “Anna” had rubbed off on me!

Didjaknow? It works the exact same way when it comes to strengthening your personal relationship with God! #4REAL!

As believers, the Father’s Plan is to mold us into the image of JESUS! The moment you are born again, Holy Spirit begins the process of Supernatural Empowered Transformation of our spirit until it looks just like Him. Spiritually,  when you sincerely ask God to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart, you were instantly changed on the inside; howevvvrrrrr, the progression of outward change depends largely upon us! #Didjaheardat?

Evidently, there’s a significant correlaation between the amount of time spent pursuing the things of the Spirit and the rate of our personal spiritual growth and development. If most of our time is spent satisfying the lustful desires of our  sin-loving flesh, inevitably our spiritual growth will be stunted!  Don’t shout me down nah! #ijs!

However, as you begin to separate yourself apart  from the worldly (carnal and ungodly) things of life (#sanctify) and deligently dedicate more time to studying The Word of God and mounting habitual alone-time with Him (consecrate), The Holy Spirit will ecstatically teach, guide and share Christ-Likeness with you.  Hence, He’s gonna rub off on you until His ways become your ways!

The more readily you yield the more of you to HIM, abiding in His Presence in prayer, meditating in His Word and surrending yourself in worship, you will be absolutely amazed at the miraculous change that will take place on the inside and out! I’m telling you, personally, you’ll hardly recognize that new man in the mirror! Seriously!!!

Truthfully, until you have a real-life personal encounter of The Divine-Kind, you are clueless of Who and Whose You REALLY ARE? Not to mention the worth and purpose that’s yet to be revealed in and through The GOD IN YOU!

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1 #Didjaheardat?

Ohh, by the way, guess who introduced me to Jesus Christ? Yep, Anna!  My friend has since gone HOME to be with The Lord, BUT THANKYA JESUS 4 unexpected Angels, huh?

I “D-DOUBLE-DARE” YA! LET MORE OF JESUS RUB OFF ON YOU!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

I REST MY CASE!

 

I REST MY CASE

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb. 4:11)

 

There is a certain ‘place’ that every human, believer or unbeliever, inevitably seeks  to inhabit. However, you can’t locate it on Map Quest, Google or GPS. Given all of the sophisticated technological advancements of this 2lst Century, amazingly, it can’t be seen by telescope,  detected by satellite nor heard by electronic ultra sonic sound systems. You can’t travel there walking, running, swimming, driving or riding in a bus, train, plane,  cruise liner, submarine, rocket or battle ship!

Nevertheless, many a lifetime is spent meandering through days and nights pursuing it! Unfortunately, few ever get there. Some get closer than others only to be left drenched in disappointment!! For reasons unbeknownst to them, before they’re able to get a firm grasp, some way and some how, ‘it’ escapes to just beyond reach! Many have sought for it at the pinnacle of corporate, academia or entertainment world. Ultimately ascertaining  that despite the success, accolades, notoriety, wealth and privileges of the elite, there yet remains this insatiable unfulfilled inner-quest seated in the pit of their soul!

Where is this place that continues to evade so many a desperately wandering soul?

In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s called ‘REST’! And the reason so many fail to reach it, is because it is not a place but a person; and His Name is JESUS!

According to these Scriptures: “And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” (Heb. 3:18)

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief” (Heb. 4:6)

Apparently, that which is impossible to man is always possible to God! (Ref. Matthew 19:26)

Didjaheardat? Astonisingly, the very moment anyone places their ABSOLUTE trust in The Saving Grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, they have finally arrived, safe , sound and secure, at their Destination—REST!

What an awesome privilege our Heavenly Father has endowed those who desire and depend solely upon His assistance, (above all else)  presenting their case before  The Majestic Throne of Him Who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything they dare ask or imagine,  confidently releasing their cares, anxiety, fears, doubts and unbelief in The Hands of Unrelenting Loving-Kindness and Unlimited Grace!

Beloved,  He Who has sworn by GODSELF is FAITHFUL AND TRUE! (Rev. 19:11) Hence, when you place your personal trust in HIS WORD,  you cannot be defeated and you will never be denied!  For greater is HE that is in YOU than he that’s in this world! (Ref. 1 John 4:4)

Didjaheardat?

So do what you can! Pray about anything; trust God for everything and LEAVE THE REST TO JESUS! #GOTIT?? Aaawwwwmmmaaaazzzzzin!

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

 

GOD’S CHOICE!

GOD'S CHOICE 2

 

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And he LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst o his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:12b-13

 

In a perfect world one might expect to be valued for their compassion, kindness, integrity, selflessness, caring, thoughtfulness, humility, intestinal fortitude (grit), courage, loyalty and strength to be true to one’s self and others! Might I venture to say given the socially-challenged-spiritually-bankrupt state of humanity in this New Millennial society, a concordant manifestation of any combination of these heavenly attributes would be most welcomed, appreciated, admired and envied! Needless to say, we ain’t there yet! Can I get a strong AMEN 3x and double Hi-5?

TRUTHBTOLD, as far as we know, since that first infraction of our progenitors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, mankind has lost the glorious innocence and sensitivity that once clothed the most precious of God’s creation! Hence, opening up the way for self preservation, shame, guilt, blame, hatred, inconsideration, covetousness, envy, jealousy and irresponsibility to become the new norm of the land! Could that be why God said, ‘don’t eat of the tree of good and evil’? UUUMMMMM?

Fortunately, God always had a plan to redeem and restore humanity back to HIS original intent, to surround Godself with an Eternal Family! He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus, serving as an illustrated sermon, to teach us the perfect, good and acceptable standard of Righteousness Personified!

Unfortunately, to attain such a lofty estate one must be transformed from faith to faith and glory to glory! This transition requires discipline and endurance,  which most of f us refuse to tolerate having little or no time for dat! A closer investigation of David, dubbed a man after God’s Own Heart, reveals that rarely does man and God come to the same conclusion when it comes to choosing candidates for the most likely to achieve success, IN GOD’S EYES! #ijs

Not only was David rejected by his father, he was not even considered remotely eligible to fill the position that Samuel was sent to appoint! Jessie lined his seven sons up before Samuel from the eldest on down; but much to his surprise, the oil refused to flow! And guess what, Samuel didn’t fair much better himself!  Looking at Eliab’s physical statue, he was confident that he had to be the best man for the mission! Until God corrected him!  “For the LORD does not see as man sees, or man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart!? (Ref. 1 Samuel 16:7) Finally, Samuel informed Jessie, “The LORD has not chosen these”! And inquired, “Are all the young men here?” Reluctantly, Jessie was forced to admit, “There remains yet the youngest, and he is, keeping the sheep.” (1 Samuel 16-10-11)

#DIDJACDAT? TALK ABOUT BEING OVERLOOKED, huh? #WOW!

You might think that someone would’ve remembered what happened the last time the people over-ruled God’s leadership preferring SAUL, the people’s CHOICE? And we all know how that turned out, right?

IS IT JUS ME? OR DOES THIS SOUND UNCOMFORTABLY 2 FAMILIAR?  YEP! SOMETIMES, YOU GET WHAT YOU WANTED, BUT LOST WHAT YOU HAD, huh? Sounds like, ‘FATHER REALLY DOES KNOW WHAT’S BEST!’ Don’t shout me down nah!
Beloved, the LORD KNOWS them that are His, and He knows the gifts and callings He’s placed inside of you from your Mother’s womb! Don’t be dismayed or discouraged by those who fail to recognize your hidden treasure but are quick to acknowledge your inadiquacies! Afterall, They can’t see what U C, because GOD DIDN’T SHOW IT 2 THEM! BESIDES THAT…GOD WASN’T TALKING TO THEM…HE WAS TALKING 2 U! Remember, God doesn’t usually call the qualified, BUT HE ALWAYS QUALIFIES THE CALLED!

PRECIOUS ONE, THE OIL IS FLOWING! NOW, THE CHOICE IS YOURS! WHO ARE U TRYING 2 BE, THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE OR GOD’S CHOICE? #ijs!

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

THIS WAY OUT!

 

THIS WAY OUT

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 25:1

I know we don’t like to talk about it much, huh? HOWEVRRR, sometimes, even the most seasoned of saints, find ourselves oscillating by the turbulent waves of adversity and drowning in the depths of desperation and despair. While we all know that trouble doesn’t discriminate, harassing the just as much as the unjust, somehow knowing doesn’t make suffering any less traumatic, especially to those of us who live intentionally striving to walk circumspect fully according to teaching of The Bible.

Perhaps this explains why so many believers prefer to deny rather than acknowledge that occasionally they encounter episodes of depression, shrouded by the wrath of terror, isolation and false humility that causes you to shrink back into a self-imposed exile! But today, allow the WORD OF GOD to emancipate you from the burden of secrecy and shame! Seriously, quiet as it’s kept, U R NOT ALONE!

Remember David, God’s ordained, ‘man after God’s own heart? Well, a closer investigation of many of his most infamous writings reveal several occasions when The Worshiper Psalmist is heard lamenting from the hub of his soul to his True Source of Salvation and Restoration, The Living God!

As we follow God’s Anointed King in The Scriptures, we see David relentlessly bellowing out his distress before his Friend, The LORD Adonai, uninhibited by reputation, shame nor guilt, but fully persuaded that what pleases God the most is genuine Trusting Honesty. David’s intimacy with his Faithful God, was the foundation of his every prayer!

Beloved, instead of running away from God, during those spasmodic seasons (that seem to contradict the prophetic promises to those who’ve placed their personal faith in the redemptive grace of their Heavenly Father), David learned to embrace the value and privilege afforded to him by fastening his hope to God’s Compassionate Heart with the same  ferverent tenacity that he’d so revently clenched during moments of ease!

Hence, like The Psalmist, when we truly understand that earnest-sincere-honest-heart prayer, stirs-up the atmosphere of Heavenreleases favor, guarantees Divine Intervention and opens the door to a way out of no way, prayer will become our first response rather than our last resort. Didjaheardat?

Now, don’t get it twisted by insulting GOD’S OMNISCIENCE with phony, fake emotional repetitions, as if He doesn’t already know your heart. Just follow David’s example, expose the nakedness of your heart, own your emotions and confess “But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?” Psalm 88:13

Whom have I in heaven but You? My flesh and my heart faileth; but GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! Psalm 73:25-26

Don’t waste another moment of precious time, wallowing in the quick-sand of evil foreboding, fear, threatening desolation and impending dread! Instead of murmuring and complaining, take full advantage of the situation, flip the satanic script! After all, remember The Living Word, “Greater is He Who is abiding on the inside of you than any plot that the enemy can come up with!” (Ref. 1 John 4:4)

TRUTHBTOLD, The Good Shepherd can hardly wait to reconnect with you! When you recommit your life afresh, He causes you to lie down in green pastures, leads you beside the still waters and restores your soul, your focus and strength! (Ref. Psalm 23) Beloved, when we rely upon the Foundation of God’s Inseparable Love by entrusting our whole heart to The Faithful Eternal Lord of Glory, GOD so graciously reaffirms HIS PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES! GO ‘HEAD NAH, TERRORIZE HELL! #IJS #PRAY4REAL!!

HONESTLY, God only orchestrates those momentary afflictions to build your faith, setting you up for Triumphant Victory. WHAA? DIDJAHEARDAT? AAAAWWW! SO WALK THIS WAY OUT!

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