Category Archives: spiritual development

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

UNDER THE INFLUENCE 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to god must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6

 

The other day I heard someone say something that I thought was quite profound, at least thought provoking. It was said that “we are swirling towards eternity at the speed of life!” History is being written every day. Memories are being made, every day. Lessons are being taught and learned, every day. Attitudes are being formed and developed, every day.

As I began to think about this, several questions flooded my mind. First, does God’s Presence influence your life? If so, then howWhat impact has God’s Presence in you made in your circle of influence?

We love to sing the song, “Jesus You’re the center of my joy, all that’s good and perfect comes from You; You’re the Heart of my contentment, Hope for all I do….” But when the music stops and your feet hit the ground, how’s your walk? In other words, does your video authenticate your audio? #ijs!!!

The Bible does not merely ask us to have faith to believe that God does exist. Lucifer and his hord of demons believe that God exists, however they don’t follow Him! As bona fide, Blood-washed, Born-Again Children of The Most High God, our lifestyle should attest to fact that not only do we believe that He exits, but we  also believe that God is who He says He is, that God is with us, that God is for us and that God will perform every promise that He’s sworn by GOD-self towards us! (Ref. Hebrew 11:6)  Hence, if we desire to please The Lord we must walk out our lives under the influence of His Presence, adhering to HIS instructions and exemplifying our beliefs throughout the course of daily living! #Didjaheardat? #SERIOUSLY!!!

Does your character reflect the Presence of God in your life? Does the influence of God’sPresence affect the choices that you make? Does your life style reflect the influence of God’s Presence? Who’s chances of ending up in Heaven have increased because of the impact that you’ve made upon their life? Who’s chances of ending up in Hell increased because you are in their life? Now, since our response and our responsbility carry eternal consequences, may I suggest that you carefully and consciencously ponder the depth of your soul before answering the aforementioned questions? 

We are living epistles (letters) and folk are reading our mail, every day! How is the Presence of God in you influencing your readers? Just a thought! #ijs (Ref. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

The Bible says, we are the salt of the earth. I believe that means that we ought to make someone who doesn’t know God, thirsty for a drink of The Living Waters(Ref. Matthew 5:13-14)

As Christians, our greatest desire should be to allow the influence of God’s Presence to be reflected on those around us so much so that it provokes them to envy  and thirst for The God that we worship and  ultimately seek to claim Him as their personal Savior and Lord! 

Looking back, perhaps there where many times when we almost, and unfortunately, even more times where we flat-out missed opportunities to Glorify God! Thanks Be To God!  IT MATTERS NOT WHERE WE START, BUT HOW WE END!  The ground around The Cross of Calvary is level to all!  With each new day, GOD SO GRACIOUSLY GIVES US ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN, AGAIN! #WOW! 

As this year slips into eternity past, instead of lingering in the land of pouting and doubting remember that BUT…by God’s Grace!  KEEP IT MOVIN’! SPEND TODAY WISELY! LIVE EACH DAY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE! 

BELOVED, MAY YOU EMBRACE A PRODUCTIVE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

SELAH! 

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

GOD DID IT!

 

GOD DID IT.1

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And thinkest thou this O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forebearance and long-suffering; not kowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:3-4

 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25

 

A while ago, I heard a preacher confessing that at one time he was an avid believer and willing partaker of one of the greatest lies that Satan has perpetrated. As he went on to talk about his early perception of God, I began reflecting back on the  B.C. (Before Christ) in my own personal life, I humbly concluded, “You ain’t by yourself preacha!” If we would be honest, for real, a whole lot of us would have to raise both our hands and say “Amen 3X, Preacha!”

How many of you once believed that somewhere, way out there, there was a Great Big Ol’ Angry God, watching and recording every single thing you did? And when you had accumulated that mystical, unknown number of sins, His Hand of Wrath would suddenly appear from heaven, striking you down with a big sledge hammer, crush you and fling your po’ soul straight into the devil’s hell! Oh, C’mon nah; don’t play me like you never…

Perhaps you were with that other group—the self-righteous, who ascribe to the lie that when they get themselves together, they fully intend to start going to church but they’re not going to be no hypocrite, like all them other folk. They’re gonna be real about serving God! And we all know how that’s gonna turn out, huh?

Truth be told, this  sin-thing started way before any of us were born! Because of our original progenitor’s high treason against the Righteous instructions given by The Creator of Life, we are all born naughty by nature! Thus, every human born into the earth since our fore-parents’ willful rebellion is corrupted by an innate disorder called iniquity! Now, don’t look at me with that self-righteous attitude! (Ref. Ps. 51:5) 

But, it goes deeper! The Glory of Innocence that once covered Adam and us had now been disrupted by sin, exposing us to evil, guilt, shame and fear! That precious intimacy with God that man once enjoyed in Paradise was violently yanked from him plunging all of creation into gross darkness and utter chaos! And as they say, the rest is history, huh?

Now, just think about all those times GOD could’ve, should’ve, BUT didn’t serve you your just desserts! Remember all those unfulfilled promises you made (lies) just before GOD delivered you, againEvvrrr wonder, how many times God chose to withhold justice prefering to dispense Grace and Mercy towards us? WOW! Haven’t got a clue, huh? Neither do I! #ijs

Can we be for real? You and I will never, ever be good enough to remotely qualify as ‘acceptable’ to a HOLY GOD—SO….get over you! God already knew that we’d fall short numerous times, BEFORE AND AFTER WE RECEIVED JESUS!  That’s why, before we were even formed in our mother’s womb, God’s plan of Salvation was already established!

Ephesians 2:8 declares, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”! Didjaheardat? God never left it up to us! Salvation is God’s free gift.

That’s the GOSPEL! It’s called GRACE, YALL! And guess what?  This offer is still available to WHOSOEVER will humble themselves before God, acknowledge themselves as sinners who have no other Hope for Salvation but JESUS and accept His Amazingly-Gracious-Merciful GIFT OF FORGIVENESS!

NOW, don’t get it twisted! There is such a thing as frustrating the GRACE OF GOD! Hence, it behooves each of us to make a sincere concerted effort to daily live our lives doing those things that are pleasing to GOD! Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Ref. Romans 6:1-2)

I KNOW THIS SOUNDS 2 good 2 be true!  YET, IT IS! GOD ALREADY DID EVERYTHING NEEDED 2 SAVE ANY ONE OF US! THAT’S JUS HOW GOOD GOD IS! NOW??? WHAT’S UR EXCUSE, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

WHAT! NO MERCY?

WHAA, NO MERCY

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour… Exodus 32:25-27

 

Does anybody remember the movie ‘The Ten Commandments’ staring Charleston Heston as Moses? It’s been dubbed “Hollywood’s version” of God’s miraculous deliverance of the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, through the wilderness and into the Promised Land of Canaan. From the Biblical perspective, once again we see God extending awemazingly unmerited Lovingkindness and Grace to His rebellious disobedient people.

Now! Here’s where the TRUE story becomes a bit disconcerting! The Very Same God who brought them up out from under the cruelty of their Egyptian task masters, giving them a binding Covenant from His Own Hand, laying out in explicit details how His people were to be a holy, distinct, separated people envied by all other nations because of their unique relationship with The One True God, apparently flips the script; turning on the very same people that He’d personally chosen for Himself! But as you delve a little deeper, you see that other side of God’s Righteousness that we tend to close our eyes to—Justice! The Nerve of GOD, huh?

Evidently, there’s an inherent proclivity of our provocable flesh to profoundly resist accountability! IF it seems right and feels right, then just do it! But that type of logic fails to take into account the Sovereignty of our CREATOR GOD! Therefore, HE alone has the Power and Authority to establish the ways of man’s life. (Ref. Psalm 100:3) WE got some nerve!

Unfortunately, like our progenitors, The Israelites, we too have discovered that while, God allows us freedom of choice, when it comes to consequences of our decisions, we have no say so! The otherwise Loving, Caring, Benevolent Father of All Grace and Comfort has subjected GODSELF to His Word! In essence, sooner or later, all sinfulness must be reckoned with Justly , without partiality! HENCE, there is such a thing as frustrating GRACE!

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

The lines are being drawn daily, WHO’S ON THE LORD’S SIDE?

I know it’s extremely uncomfortable to speak of such things for many and sociably inappropriate for others, huh? Nevertheless, it’s TRUTH! GOD HAS ORDERED A DAY OF RECKONING for all mankind! DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR WORK UNDONE!

Make your reservations for Eternal Life before the expiration date!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Precious one, believe it or not, that Ol’ Ship of Zion is movin’ closer and closer! R U ready to board?

IF YOU ARE STILL ALIVE, THAT’S CONFIRMATION THAT THE OFFER IS STILL AVAILABLE…MERCY!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

Can You Hear Me Now???

CAN U HEAR ME NOW2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Galatians 1:15-16

 

In today’s scripture text, we hear the testimonial of The Apostle Paul in response to The Lord’s prompting to go spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. And we all know how that turned out, huh? GGGGLLLLORRRRRAAA 2 GOD! However, what stands out to me, is what Paul didn’t do!

The Apostle didn’t wait to get an Executive Order from The White House nor a congregational consensus before stepping out in faith. Instead of asking anybody what they thought about it, relying solely on his personal relationship with His Savior, feeling no need for further validation, The Apostle Paul immediately obeyed God’s instructions!

How about you? When you’ve heard from God, what’s your initial response? Before you move, do you have to survey the opinions of your family and friends? Does the fear of failure, embarrassment, humiliation or retaliation cause you to stagger at God’s Word? Are you willing to take a leap of faith and just do what you believe God is asking of you?

As believers, we’re sometimes reluctant to move out on a WORD FROM GOD. Not so much because we’re not trusting God, but more often than not, it’s because of a spirit of difiance deeply rooted in the lack of self-confidence in our own ability. Ooops…#noshedidn’t! Yall kno she did!

In an attempt to re-assure ourselves that we’re in God’s will, like Gideon, we’ll ask God for a sign and come up with some kinda obtuse fleece as further proof that it is actually God speaking. (Ref.Judges 6) Particularly, when it’s something that causes us to move beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone! And while God so graciously granted Gideon’s request, twice, as believers, we must recognize that God often tests our trust and confidence by commissioning us to do what seems impossible!

Precious ones, that’s what our life in Christ is about. God doesn’t require us to walk by signs, but by hope-filled trust that whatever He asks us to do, by His Grace, we are well able to perform.

The Bible says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27. As we entreat His Presence daily in prayer, seeking Divine assistance, inquiring direction thru diligent study and meditation of His Word, we learn to distinguish His Voice from the chatter emanating from the world! That’s how HE teaches you what He wants of you!

That’s why it’s so important to build an intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father and not just show up at The Throne Room for emergency visits! God really cares about you! He is not a dead-beat Dad nor is He willing to settle for weekend visitations! God wants to be actively involved in every aspect of your life, every day!

The closer you get to JESUS the clearer He speaks and the sweeter His Voice becomes! #Didjaheardat?

WHEN YOU KNOW HIM, YOU WILL KNOW HIS WILL! WHEN YOU KNOW HIS WILL, YOU DON’T NEED TO CONFER WITH ANYBODY…BUT U GOTTA KNOW GOD’S VOICE4urself! #canuhearMEnow!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

ROCK STEADY, BABY!

ROCK STEADY 4

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.

I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:1-8

Unless you were born late last night or just landed on Planet Earth early this morning, you’ve probably already recognized that real-life comes at you hard and fast! It matters not whether you’ve been walking with Jesus for a long time or just recently made a decision to follow Christ! Truthfully, none of us are excluded from life’s faith-stresses aka test and trials! In fact, The Holy Writ is ladened with numerous accountings to alert even the most sincerest of faith-talking-faith-walking-Christians among us, to expect trying times to pop-up when you least expect them!

The Apostle Paul describes life as a race, and we soon discover that it’s not a sprint, but a marathon! However, unlike The Boston Marathon, God doesn’t usually let us in on the specifics that we’ll encounter along the way that could potentially hinder, even derail our progress, ultimately keeping us from finishing our course.

Perhaps, it’s because the Omniscient One knows that if we had foreknowledge, most of us would re-calculate our journey to suit own will, or worst yet, start looking to external resources, other than GOD, to be our help!

Yes! We all experience those seasons when it feels like, while our lives are being torpedoed by Satan’s inferno darts, coupled with the tolls of living in this fallen world, even to the point where our own flesh turns against us and we ‘re almost persuaded that GOD has obviously just abandoned us in the valley of the shadows of death, hopelessly desperate to fend for ourselves, huh?

But, The Psalmist, David, having personally triumphantly trampled through turbulent terrains many times, extends to us this olive-branch of hope-filled-encouragement, don’t give up! Despite of what it looks like, never stop trusting God!

Why? Because David knew what Satan never wants us to know, that no matter what the enemy throws at you, we have a Forever Faithful Refuge on our side and HIS NAME IS JESUS!

The next time (and there will be a next time), the enemy tries to convince you that it’s over, defeat is imminent, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, everything you once stood on has now turned to sinking sand, TRUST2KNO, God Alone is your Impregnable Mountain of Righteousness!

Beloved, when darkness surrounds you, hiding HIS Face, press on, trusting His Heart to do whatever is necessary to keep you safely tucked in His Providential Care every minute of every day! Didjaheardat?

Don’t be afraid, little children! Remember, if Jehovah allows you to go to it, it means that He’s already gone before you, preparing Divinely designated rest areas along the road to comfort, renew and energize our spirit and soul!

GOD’S LOVE REMAINS—ROCK STEADY, BABY!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

EXPERIENCING HIM!

EXPERIENCING HIM

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this, I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.” 1 Kings 17:24

 

We’ve all heard it, probably said it ourselves! ‘We found Jesus’, as if He was lost, huh? Truthfully, no man can know GOD except GOD reveals GODSELF.  In fact, it is God who initiates the search and orchestrates the circumstances for the encounter! SERIOUSLY!

The Creator God has so wondrously fashioned man so that the ultimate fulfillment of life can only be consummated through his pursuit of intimacy with his Creator! Yet few are driven to forsake the lure of this world’s glitz and glamour to tread the least traveled remote pathways of The Kingdom. But every once in a while, a isolated sojourner will catch a glimpse of The Hope that placing ones personal trust in Jesus makes available to every man!

The Holy Writ is packed with stories of  The Heavenly Father’s compelling compassion to make Himself known!  For example, God sent The Prophet Elijah to an uncircumcised widow in the midst of a distressing situation! Nevertheless, this pagan woman dared to dismiss the visible and grab hold to the invisible (unseen to the natural eye)! Trusting that the Prophet’s instructions were actually The Words of God, her obedience proved a measure of her faith!

However, her faith took a quantum leap, when she experienced the miraculous power of God (the resurrection of her son from the claws of death) for herself! It’s one thing to hear others testify of God’s Supernatural Power; but when you witness His Glory personally, you enter into an exclusively different dimension of faith! #Didjaheardat?

As believers in Christ, our earnest heart cry ought to be that everyone come to know who Jesus really is! But the reality is, that it’s incumbent upon each individual to pursue their own intimate personal relationship with the Creator. This relationship is only accessible through seeking to know The God Who knows you!

Unless you were born late last night or arrived on planet earth early this morning, you probably already know that the gods of this world work relentlessly to distract us with troubles, in an attempt to discourage us from seeking after the heart of our Loving Father. Overwhelmed with fear and doubt, some stray further and further away from The True Source of comfort and peace! Yet, The Good Shepherd sovereignly uses these challenges to guide us safely through the fires, floods and the storms of this life to a face-to-face encounter with The Redeemer of our Soul!

In the midst of test, trials and tragedy, as you behold His Glory, you will gain unphantomable insight into the length, dept and width of His Loving Kindness and the Sufficiency of His Grace erupting into unspeakable joy and unparalled satisfaction!

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

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 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 1:2-5

Beloved, even in the midst of a dark fallen world, there’s no need for you to shrink back in fear! God has equipped our hearts with the Victorious Hope of Eternity! No matter what the challenge, we march on, confident that we are not alone! Faith in The Greater One, empowers believers to become agents of His Glory, touching and transforming as many lives as possible, while passing through this life on our way to our Heavenly Home!

TRUST2KNO HIM EXPERIENTIALLY! 

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

GOD’S HELP!

GOD'S HELP B

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Ephesians 4:7

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

 

OMG! Did we ever get dat twisted? GRACE that is!

Guilty! I remember it, just like Mama and probably her Mama and undoubtedly my own kids to theirs, asking, “DidjasayyourGrace?” God knows, we didn’t know! But now, knowing the true meaning and eternal value of GRACE, (God’s unmerited, unearned favor towards us) makes it even more Awemazzzin, huh?

 When Jesus conquered death, He ascended into Heaven and sent back to us the Precious Gift of Holy Spirit emboldening the Body of Christ (The Church), with everything we’d evrrr need to fulfill, not only our individual God-ordained purpose, but GOD’s Eternal Purpose in the earth—To colonize a God-Centered society giving Light and Life to a dark sin-filled world!

Howeverrr, didjakno that even today, some believers act as if Grace is simply a free pass to continue in sin?  SERIOUSLY! 

In essence, not only does such erroneous thinking usually lead to continuous rebellion, it completely misrepresents and dishonors Christ Jesus’ Sacrifice on The Altar at Calvary! Grace is more aptly recognized as God’s Divine Enabling Power Gifts, which He has Sovereignly equipped, measuring out to each believer, according to their specific tasks in The Kingdom of God!

While there are a variety of spiritual giftings, every gift is vital to the health of The Body! Hence, jealousy, envy, covetous and certainly competitiveness between our brothers and sister’s gifts is uncharacteristically absurd for a Christian, considering the Source is the same for each gift, The Holy Spirit! (Ref. 1 Corinthians 12) After all, these gifts are not given to boast in ourselves, but to boost up and to glorify The Kingdom of Heaven in the earth! That’s why the scriptures warn us that The BookKeeper is keeping track of every deed that is done in our bodies and one day we will all be judged for how we used our gifts to promote the advancement of The Kingdom of God to a lost and dying world! (Ref. 2 Corinthians 5:10)

Sounds to me like it’s a total abuse of time bickering and complaining about what somebody else has or doesn’t and even more foolish, wishin’ and hopin’ you had, huh? Hence, time might be more wisely appropriated by diligently seeking to discover our own ultimate “WHY and WHACHA COME HERE FOR!”

IN OTHER WORDS, WHATEVER GOD’S PUT ON YOUR HEART 2 DO 4 HIS GLORY, RECOGNIZE THAT HE’S FAVORED U TO WORK DAT THANG!  OH, AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE NAYSAYERS, WITH GOD’S HELP, FAILURE AIN’T EVEN AN OPTION!  #datzGRACE!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee