Tag Archives: flesh

UNREASONABLE HOPE?

UNREASONABLE HOPE

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15

 

Daily, the end-time prophetic utterances are being actualized in real-time-illustrated- sermons. You don’t have to be a Biblical Scholar or Seminar Theologian to recognize that we’re living in troubling times and that the end is nearer now than its ever been. The world is spirialing towards Eternity at the speed of life and there’s absolutely nothing man can do to effectively change the course of destiny! Except humble himself and surrender his life to His Creator! The problem is, far too many are yet unwilling to accept Truth even as it’s glaring at us right between our eyes. What’s up with dat?  Perhaps we might glean some insight from The Bible.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19.

Honestly, The Bible never tells us that after we make the decision to live holy, as unto The Lord, that we can just relax stretched out on a flowery bed of ease. Yet, it does promise rewards of a better life than those who refuse to accept The Savior’s Amazing Grace. Nevertheless, far too many still opt to take the pathway of least resistance. Falling prey to the assumption that rejection liberates them from that pesty notion called ‘accountability’, they prefer the more popular alleyway of “I’m the master of my own destiny; therefore I’ll do whatever seems right in my own mind for as long as I feel like it! And IF there is a GOD, then I expect Him to calculate my good and evil deeds and compassionately determine that since I’m not like so and so, He’ll let me come thru The Pearly Gates.”

Unfortunately, sometimes the-saints don’t fare much better! When challenged by unfavorable situations, fear and doubt will slither in, causing us to erroneously accuse and attack the Faithfulness of Jehovah Jireh with a “Where are you GOD? Why is this happening to me? I am born-again, I’ve been baptized. I’m not perfect, but I deserve better than this. Besides, I thought we’re no longer under the Law but under The Dispensation of Grace. So EVEN if I still walk in unfaithful disobedience, God, you know my heart, right?”

Ironically, the more holy your lifestyle, the more of a target of unsavory rejection and reproof you become to those who choose not to live Godly. Evidently, your Godliness testifies against their Godlessness! (Ref. 2 Timothy 3:12) Is there any wonder that our (those of us who actually believe that The Holy Bible is The Word of God) attempts to share TRUTH are often ‘buked and scorned, castoff with disgust, as if we’re such an annoying nuisance? That is until The Adversary rips into their comfortable lives threatening to destroy their self-orchestrated world! Can I get a good Amen?

Oftimes, these frantic inquirers have no clue that trouble does not discriminate between the just and the unjust. In fact, it’s almost as if Satan gets a double-kick out of terrorizing the saints even more than those rebellious unbelievers. Kinda makes you wonder if demons are rewarded with trophies for bringing down God’s Elect!

Nonetheless, God allows tests and trials to strike our lives, knowing full well that there’s a group of haters watching and waiting for you to faith, fail and fall! Remember, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Psalm 23:4-5

Hence, the greater the darkness, the brighter Light shines! It’s almost unfair, considering the supernatural advantage that we, who no longer rely on fate-based-circumstantial-evidence, have over the unregenerated souls. But, then again; favor ain’t fair!  #ijs

When the world sees you still standing, having endured the ravaging assault of hell’s fiery darts, surviving the very same pitfalls, hardships and struggles, yet determined to sanctify our hearts, trusting God regardless of what the circumstances look like! Talk about a REAL living testimony, huh?

Can you imagine the devastating gut-ravishing rage that your commitment to Christ causes in the Kingdom of Darkness? More importantly, can you imagine the joy, applauds, shouting and dancing erupting from Heaven’s angelic hosts, not to mention the cloud of witnesses cheering us on? (Ref. Hebrews 12:1) NOW AIN’T DAT AMAZING!

Come what may…whatever we go through, we have The Blessed Assurance that our Victory is inevitable! Okay, now that’s just too good to keep to yourself!

That’s exactly why we gotta keep telling everybody that what we have reaches far beyond this world and RESTS SOLELY IN THE ETERNAL HOPE PERSONIFIED, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO REIGNS FOREVER! #SOUNDREASONABLE? #WOW!!!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

MEMORIES, huh?

MEMORIES, HUH

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yeah, many a time turned He his anger away and did not stir up all His wrath. For He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind passeth away, and cometh not again. Psalm 78:34-39

 

A few years back, (but who’s counting, huh?) Barbara Strissand recorded a hit song entitled ‘Memories’. This song pricked the hearts of all of us! Hence, we all have memories of days gone by that lure us back to the way we were. For some of us, when certain ticker-tapes of past personal experiences cross our minds, immediately we smile. Other flash-backs cause our hearts to flutter, skipping a beat… or two, remembering when. And then there are those special ones that yet…still prompt silent tears to crease our cheeks. Memories, huh? Some are fading and some, we only wish we could forget.

Like all of us, I indeed cling to God’s promises to keep my mind focused, sharp and sound. That being my faith stance, I must confess that—every now and then—I have to cash in what my kids call, one of my ‘senior moments’ vouchers. Now don’t look at me in that tone of voice. Can we be for real? I believe we all suffer a bout of ‘Spiritual Alzheimer’s’—every now and then.

Today’s scripture text recalls how the Israelites’ sporadic attacks of ‘forgetfulness’ provoked God’s wrath as He carried them through the wilderness. Now don’t be so hard on them. Truth be told, any one of us, drapped in this fickle-frail-flesh-frame, are just as prone to spiritual amnesia when it comes to recollecting the Wondrous works of God!

Time and time again, God has proven Himself a Faithful Provider, A Way-Out- of -No-Way, our Rock-in-A-Weary-Land, A Shelter-in our-Storm, A Strong Protector, Committed Redeemer and Eternal Hope of our Salvation.  HOWEVERRRR, in spite of our own personal memories of all that God has already done, the moment we’re faced with a new challenge, does our response reflect a confident trust in our Compassionate Merciful God of All Grace? Or do we suddenly forget to remember that if He Did It Before, He’ll Do It Again? Probably not, huh?  #ijs…

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

BUT! THANKS BE 2 GOD! EVEN WHEN WE 4GET…GOD ALWAYS REMEMBERS…PRECIOUS MEMORIES, huh?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

TRUSTING SILENCE

TRUSTING SILENCE

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matthew 27:46

 

I would never presume to speak for every believer, this is just me, okay? One of the most difficult challenges for me to master is trusting God when Heaven goes mute! Not only does this create anxiety, stress and discouragement, but the doubt, confusion and sense of abandonment becomes a personal virtual hell. And no, I am not a babe-in-Christ, but I’d consider myself to be a reasonably seasoned-saint! #ijs

Our spirit man knows quite well that God answers all of our prayers in one of three ways. Yes, No or Not Now, right? Nevertheless the carnal mind could care less! Can I get a witness? Flesh  wants immediate gratification. ‘I did what You told me, I asked, seeked and knocked; but I guess the answer must’ve got lost in the mail or  perhaps You’re too busy managing the world to be concerned about what’s concerning me, huh?’ Now don’t look at me with that tone of voice, surely I’m not the only one to concede to the Tempter’s situational analysis!

In all of scripture, these feelings of abandonment is never more profound than at the words uttered from the mouth of our Savior hanging on The Cross… and God is silent! And while there is no record of God’s answer in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, the Passion story does not end with our Lord’s despairing cry. In Psalm 22, God’s affirming Love and Grace encourages us to trust Him to resurrect Greater Greaterness out of our greatest messes! “In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.”

While some folk would have you believe that faith means unwavering trust in God’s power and ability to do anything, and that’s absolutely Truth. Nevertheless, there’s that other part of faith that commands trusting God’s silence as well as His actions, that has proven to be, at the least, extremely unsettling!

The Word of God tells us that the promises of God are Yeah and Amen, however we tend to forget that spiritual things are governed by spiritual laws. Case in point, seed, time and harvest! God is more concerned about developing christian core values and attributes than providing our fleshly creature comforts!

The Prophet Isaiah encourages believers to persevere through the trials expecting your deliverance is soon to come. ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:31) And James 1:4 admonishes us to ‘let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Honestly, while both texts have been tremendously resourceful, strengthening and comforting, sometimes they ring hollow when the circumstantial eveidence against you is screaming hopelessness, rejection and it appears as if Heaven’s doors are closed and locked you out!

As you walk with Jesus, experience will teach you that these feelings are just a trick of the enemy to get you to doubt the validity and Faithfulness of God’s Word. If He ain’t saying nothing else, then keep doing the last thing He told you because evidently He ain’t changed His mind!

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10

Beloved, when you can’t see God’s Hand, feel His touch or hear His Voice, trust His Heart! REMEMBER THE TEACHER NEVER TALKS DURING THE TEST! DON’T TAP OUT ON HOPE, KEEP TRUSTING GOD’S SILENCE!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

RISKY BUSINESS

RISKY BUSINESS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Hebrew 11:1

 

At the hazard of being sacrilegious or sounding debasing, may I submit for your consideration that today’s scripture text may very well be the Preamble to God’s Covenant between every born-again, blood-washed believer and The Almighty Creator and Sustainer of Life! Truthfully, no one enters into a personal relationship with God without faith and without it, it’s impossible to please Him. (Ref. Hebrew 11:6) Yet, quiet as it’s kept, one of the hardest things for a Christian to do is to live by faith and not by sight.

The difficulty may stem from its decisive departure from the profound proclamation of this world’s culture, i.e., “seeing is believing”. Whereas, when we come into The Kingdom of God, we are taught “believe to see the invisible achieve the impossible”! (Ref. Psalm 27:13) Perhaps that’s why Christianity tends to defy the logic of the more mentally astute intellectuals. Expressly, if I can’t see it, touch it, smell it, taste it…it can’t possibly be real. Undeniably, faith demands risks that not everyone is willing to take!

Biblical Faith commands a conscious decision based solely on our willingness to trust in An Invisible Maker’s ability and commitment to fulfill yet unrealized promises. Specifically, we must first believe that there is A Holy God; Who before the foundation of the world, Sovereignly made immutable promises to His Chosen people which history has established GOD’s absolute commitment to fulfill every last one of them forever!

Coming out from a world where integrity is at an all time low, sometimes “trusting” can be an almost insurmountable challenge to even the most sincere hearted saints. However, as you continue to walk with Jesus, you discover that He is indeed Trustworthy and Forever Faithful! As you spend time in fellowship with HIM through prayer and studying The Word of God, you’ll unearth a perfecting of your faith and a level of trust mounting just like yeast in fresh dough.

A Living Faith is trusting the Promises of God, despite all of the circumstantial evidence that testifies to the pointlessness of expecting these things to somehow work together for our good and His Greatest Glory!  Just when everything within incites us to abandon all hope, suddenly out of  the depts of our inner-most being, a supernatural unction swells up igniting a Divine Impartation of Hope against hope! (Ref. Romans 4:18)

Can you imagine where we would be if Jesus had looked at us and decided, ‘What’s the point? Dad, scratch that! Let’s just start over again with a new batch”?  In Hell, probably, huh? But Thank God! Our Heavenly Father refused to leave so Great a Task up to the fickleness of our flawed flesh! The Bible says, Jesus looked beyond all our faults, seeing our needs, faithfully submitted Himself to do His Father’s Will and humbly came down to secure Eternal Salvation for any who would trust and accept His Divine Provision, GRACE!

WOW! KNOWING WHAT SOME OF US WERE B.C. (BEFORE CHRIST)…NOW THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL, TAKING A RISK…SERIOUSLY!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Pastor Ann Caffee

 

 

IS GOD FAIR???

is-god-fair

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: Romans 1:21-26a

 

Okay! Don’t be looking at me with that tone of voice! Even if we were too sccaarred to speak it out loud, chances are, we’ve all thought about it at some point in our lives, huh?

Particularly, when circumstances didn’t flow in the natural order of progression according to our personal logic! That’s when we tend to get all philosophical and put God on the witness stand! “Why would a Loving God send people to Hell? Why do innocent babies die? Why do bad things happen to good people?” Unfortunately, as Bro. Job can attest to, except thru Holy Spirits’ impartation of revelation, we’re fundamentally incapable of assessing the Ways and Means of our Sovereign Lord’s Infinite Wisdom and Knowledge. (Ref. Job 42:3-5) Am I right about it?

Amazingly, The Sustainer of everything, knowing the hopelessness of relying on the innate frailty of our flawed, fickled, self-centered frame, so graciously restrains Godself with compassionate patience, suffering with us through The Divine Maturation Process, until we arrive at the unity of faith implied by trusting in The Son of God! (Ref. Ephesians 4:13)

Howeverrrrr, Truth be told, this type of interrogation is generally  a direct result of a deliberate, self-induced distortion, rebellion and ultimate rejection of God’s Perfect Morality in order to justify our unmoral proclivity to satisfy the our own fleshy lust for wickedness and evil-doing! WELL? #Didjaheardat? Like the ol’ skool preacha said, “I jus lost 1/2 my church!”

According to Scriptures, Creation declares the reality of God. Barring some rare genetic malfunction, every human being born into the earth has an inner GPS (God’s Protection System) directly plugged into The Creator of The Universe, commonly called a conscience. This inner sensory perception allows us to discern good from evil. Therefore, there’s no excuse for anyone to claim that they don’t know whether God exists or if He does exists, what He requires of their lives. Now, given that we are not robots, we all have the freedom and ability to suppress God’s moral standards in favor of our own or the world’s! And…such were all of us! (Ref. 1 Corinthians 6:11) Yet, the consequences of our erroneous decisions are completely out of our hands! And we all know how well that plays out, huh?

Beloved, there’s no denying how much God loves us! I mean, He was willing to sacrifice His Righteous Son to save us who so deserved the punishment for our unrighteousness! NEVERTHELESS HE CANNOT DENY HIS LOVE!

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. John 3:16

Yet to deny the other part of his Holy Nature, is down-right foolish! Hence, stop trying to PLAY God! HE IS NOT THE ONE! Trust 2 know…the last thing you ever wanna DO is make God angry! Seriously! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! (Hebrew 10:31)

Beloved, God’s mercy awaits us every morning as He awakens us to embrace one more day! Unfortunately, we have no clue how long before Grace is frustrated. While it is yet today, Precious Ones, exercise your choice, accept Jesus as Savior and Lord! When it comes to your eternal destination…FAIRNESS IS OVER-RATED…CHOOSE LIFE!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

INSIDER ADVANTAGE!

INSIDER ADVANTAGE 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

 
“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!” Ever heard that ol’ addage? I was thinking about the Wall Street moguls, sitting in penthouse corner offices, puffing on expensive cigars, bellowing out orders to their subordinates, (who’re most likely in some crowded rooms filled with discarded ticket tapes with the I-Phones glued to their faces) ‘Buy low; sell high’! ‘Buy now; sell it now’! We’ve seen Hollywood’s behind the scenes depictions of the ‘the powers that be’ conducting transactions that keep the big ballers on top and the rest of us clamoring to make ends meet!

Down thru the years, we’ve watched the rising and collapse of major financial institutions, heard stories of CEO’s jumping out of windows at the threat of bankrupty, the accusations and a few convictions of corporate corruption as a means to topple their competitors to gain or maintain ‘top dog’ recognition and witnessed the slander of whistle-blowers who dared to expose the tyranny of boardroom shenanigans all in the name of capitalism!

As you’ve probably determined, having no personal knowledge, experience nor a financial portfolio, I can only assume that there’s a whole lot of insider information involved that the rest of us are generally not privy to.

However, I do know a thing or two about Kingdom Economics! I know that God can do big things in tight places! How do I know, I’ve seen Him do it! I’ve seen Grand-Ma take a pound of chicken livers, mix it with a couple cups of rice, bake a pan of biscuits and turn it into feast to feed a family of fourteen! I’ve seen Mama mete out the equivolent of a two week paycheck over a month of expenses! I experienced the Hand of God drawing a spiritually drought, emotionally-hopelessly distraught, physically battered, single Mom into the Fountain of Life-giving Love, transforming her entire being in unimaginable ways from the inside out!
Oh don’t get it twisted! This was (is) not a one-and-done fix! But by the ever-increasing empowering Grace, we learn to lean and depend on the in-dwelling Presence of Holy Spirit. Who knu?

God is so determined to confound the wisdom of this world that He chooses those least likelys to be reflectors of His Glory! The greatest thing about the process, is that God is the One who begins and completes the work! Talk about guaranteed success, huh?

Ain’tdatamazing? Our Heavenly Father, already knew the frail-fickled-flaws of our flesh, yet before the foundation of the world, stragetically implemented His Plan to reconcile and restore those created in His image back unto God-Self through The Sacraficial Atoning Blood of His Son, Jesus! Now, God’s Spirit living on the inside of us enables us to live everyday shining His Light in the midst of the gross darkness of this world! That’s the Gospel of Salvation! WOW!

Sometimes, looking at ourselves and the surmounting circumstantial evidence, it’s easy to believe that your spiritual maturity is in the red and become discouraged, huh? BUT don’t give up! Remember, ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ 1 John 4:4) Hence, God will never give up on you until He sees Jesus’ image in you!

Jus knowing that God loves you ‘despite of-just-because’ should make u grab hold to the Hope of His Divine Help and His Healing Presence, in confident humility and grateful obedience—until He completes His Work in you! #ijs #INSIDE ADVANTAGE!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

SPIRITUAL SUCCESS

SPIRITUAL SUCCESS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:8-9

 

Whaa Da?  I get itIn the midst of the myriad of prominent prolific pastors, poised preachas, pulpit pounding prosperity phophets, packed out padded pews, dazzling mood lighting and symphonic sound systems and praiz and worship leaders (auditioning for Stella Awards), its kinda easy to lose sight of what qualifies as true spiritual success! Can the courageous church say, Amen 3x!

 

Didjakno? Spiritual success is not measured according to perfection, fear, fainting, failures nor even wanting to give up.

It’s not measured according to how many scriptures you memorize or quote, your church affiliation, the number of zero’s on your tithe check, your designer labels, your zip code, what you drive, your last name or how many titles/degrees you have in front or behind your name!

Believe it or not, it’s not indigenous to your melodious prayers, swarming soul-stirring testimonies, how high you jump, or how fast you run around the church!

Spiritual success is the culmination of maneuvering your way thru the mine-fields of this life, maturing while mastering and maintaining the knowledge and power of being saved, sane and survival at the same time!

WOW! THAT’S SPIRITUAL SUCCESS–GOD’S WAY!  Now, WHO OR WHAT’S BLOCKING U?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee