Category Archives: SHORT DEVOTIONALS

Keep The Flame Burning – Protect Your Relationship With God

Keep The Flame Burning – Protect Your Relationship With God

We often hear people that are getting a divorce say that they don’t love their spouse any more – that they have drifted apart. Their drifting apart, in many cases, was not caused by something that was done, but by doing nothing to keep their relationship alive. The same can be true in our relationship with God. Sometimes the flame goes out because we do nothing to keep it burning.
Each believer must protect their intimate relationship with God and make it a priority. In the natural realm a couple must guard their marriage from outside influences and distractions. The same is true for us spiritually. We must not allow outside influences and distractions into our relationship with God. As we keep our First Love in mind we will strive to live a holy and consecrated life. A life set apart for God.
Spending time with God is NOT the same thing as spending time at church, with other believers or doing ministry work. We must have time alone with God. He desires an intimate relationship with you and that only comes as you spend time with Him – talking to Him, listening to Him, reading and studying His Word. Relationships demand time and attention – they just don’t happen. It is said that we become like the people we are around. As we spend more and more time with God, we will become more and more like Him – we will begin to take on His thoughts, standards, dreams, attitudes, behavior, and burdens. The more we seek Him, the more we will find Him. The more we will find Him, the more we will seek Him.
Your relationship, and intimacy, with God will deepen as you spend time in His Word and commune with Him in prayer. You must make a conscious decision to guard what you hear, see and do. In other words, we must choose for ourselves to protect our relationship with God by filtering out negative and unholy influences.

Psalm 101:3 NKJV
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”




You must use live coals when rekindling a fire.

Isaiah 6:5-7 NKJV
“So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.”

The coal from the altar symbolized purification (forgiveness) and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Like Isaiah, we must confess our uncleanness to God and allow Him to forgive us and to refill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
If you want to kindle a fading fire, you must bring the live coals close together. If you want to rekindle the flame in your life you must draw close to God.

James 4:8 NKJV
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”



Leviticus 6:8-10 NKJV
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.”
The priests were to keep the fire on the alter burning at all times and to remove the ashes from the altar each morning. The purpose, or function, of the altar was for sacrifice and worship. To many ashes in a fire can cause the coals (fire) to go out or they could block the flame from burning brightly.
We must be diligent in removing our ashes of yesterday because, they can put the fire of God within us out. Some ashes of yesterday can be emotional baggage, unforgiveness, unrepeated sin, unfulfilled expectations, or longing for things of the past. There are times that people, and churches, are blinded by longing for things from the past (living in the past) so much that they cannot see God moving in their lives and churches.
Psalm 77:11-14 NKJV
“ I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.”
We are to remember the great works of God because that builds our faith however, we must remember that God has greater things in store for us and that He works and moves in many different and new ways (Do not put God in a box). You cannot live in the past and have a fresh fire of God burning in your life at the same time. As believers we must get rid of ashes that accumulate each day. We can choose to remove those ashes, start each day fresh, ready to begin anew, or we can choose to hold on to them.

Tu B’ Shvat – One Christian’s Perspective


Tu B’ Shvat is the Jewish New Year for trees, for the purpose of calculating the age of the tree for tithing. It is usually in January or February. One custom associated with this celebration is to consume those fruits which grow in the land of Israel. Before any food is eaten a blessing is said.

When we look at a tree in the winter it looks like nothing is happening inside it, but that is far from the truth. Trees (as well as us) have suffered through cold, dark days and nights. The sap is beginning to rise deep in the heart of trees. New life is starting to emerge. Many things are going on where the eyes cannot see. What looks dead and frozen over will blossom out with buds before long. All looks bleak, cold and lifeless, but there is a promise of rejuvenation.

Tu B’ Shvat is the point at which the trees stop being nourished by the waters of the previous year, and begin to be nourished by the new years waters.

In our lives many things are going on that we can’t see with our natural eyes. At times there are situations in our lives that look dead or hopeless. However, when all looks bleak, cold and lifeless we must remember that there is a promise of rejuvenation. We serve a God of restoration. There is nothing that He cannot restore.

Like the trees on Tu B’ Shvat, last years water supply is not enough. We too need fresh rain (fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit / fresh moves of the Holy Spirit).

Tu B’ Shvat has more to do with the tree’s fruit rather than the tree itself. Just like a fruit tree our lives should produce.

Galatians 5:22,23 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

As we look back over the past year, how was our fruit bearing? Did we bear fruit? There will be (or have been) times in our lives when everything looks bleak and there seems to be no sign of life (growth). During these times we must remember that many things are going on where the eyes can not see.




There are too many believers with a defeated sprit, mindset or attitude.

A defeated sprit, mindset or attitude can…
* hinder God’s blessing.
* lead to anxiety and insecurity.
* cause unbelief.

Defeated Spirit
Oppression is often the source of worry, stress, or anxiety. Demon oppression involves a demon attacking a person spiritually. Demons will try to cause a person to worry or fear. The Bible is very clear about where worry and fear come from – they do not come from God. A defeated spirit is often characterized by a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness.

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

Psalm 42:5 NKJV
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.”

Psalm 42:11 NKJV
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

Psalm 43:4-5 NKJV
“Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

Don’t allow Satan or the other fallen angels (demons) to gain access into your life through worry or fear.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Psalm 55:22 NKJV
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be

God has told us in His Word, not to worry and that worrying does not help.

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”

Oppression over a long period of time can lead to depression. Depression can come from several things: a physical reason/disorder, a demonic attack, or by opening the door to demonic influences through sin. Not all depression comes from a physical or mental disorder, and not all depression come from a demonic influence. However, it does not matter where it comes from because Jesus paid the price for freedom from all oppression and depression.

Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Instead of worrying about something, a believers needs to immediately give the problem or situation to the Lord. Not only can He work things out, He sympathizes with us. In Him we will always find the exact help we need, mixed with mercy and grace.

Defeated Attitude
A believers attitude has an effect on them, both physical, psychological and spiritually. We are instructed to have the same attitude as Christ.

Philippians 2:5
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

People with a defeated mindset or attitude…
* are unable, or unwilling, to forgive themselves.
* desire to blame others
* dwell on the past.
* engage in self-defeating talk
* fear failure.
* fear making mistakes.
* make negative assumptions – about themselves and/or others.
* make negative comparison with others.
* tend to have a victim mentality.

Your attitude will determine your victory, or lack of it. The twelve spies are a good example of this.

Numbers 13:1-3 NKJV
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” So Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel.”

Numbers 13: 27-33 NKJV
“Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers 14:1-34 NKJV
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord– because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.”

Moses choose twelve men and sent them to spy on the land of Canaan. The twelve men found that the land is rich and fertile, that giants lived in the land, and that the cities were large and fortified. Upon their return Caleb and Joshua had a good report concerning the land and a winning attitude, however the other ten gave a negative report and they had a defeated attitude. The people chose to go with the defeated attitude and it cost them the promised land. For forty years they wandered around in the desert. Like them, there are believers that seem to always be wandering around, never getting anywhere. God has many promises for them, but they are hindered because of their negative attitude.

Inability to overcome temptation and sin.
A believer should not be under the power of sin. God, through Jesus, has given us the victory over sin. Sin in the life of a believer dishonors the name of the Jesus, cause you to not experience true joy and power, and it destroying your testimony.

James 4:7 NKJV
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

It is possible to resist the devil or God would not have instructed us to. Resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in some manner. If a believer wants the devil to flee from them, they must first submit to God and they must resist the devil. Resisting the devil must be accompanied by submitting to God. The devil will not flee from a disobedient or unsubmissive believer – they will not see victory over temptation.

There will always be temptations that come our way. When they do come, don’t play with them. It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to act upon that temptation.

Submit To God’s Authority
Submit means to place oneself under the authority of another. When we submit to God, we surrender our lives to His authority and control. All areas of our lives are to be submitted to God and placed under His authority. Sometimes believers do not walk in total victory is because they haven’t totally submitted to God and His authority. Instead of giving God every area of their lives they try to hold back a certain part of it to control themselves. With God it is all or nothing – He will not be a partial ruler or a co-ruler.

Commit To The Lord
When a believer truly commits to God they can live in victory. They can calmly and fearlessly confront, and overcome any situation that may arise. If you want to walk in victory commit yourself to God.

* Commit your sprit, mind and attitude to God
* Commit your past, your present, and your future.
* Give God control of your life and the lives of your family.
* Don’t hold anything back from God.
* Give God your sins and your failures.
* Give God your hopes, dreams and plans.



True joy only comes from God. Too many times people are looking for things or other people to give them joy. When that does not materialize they keep looking somewhere else. Often times these people are continually discouraged. Up one day and down the next.

Things or people will not give a person true joy. Knowing that all is right between you and God and that He is always with you, no matter what you are going through, and that He has a plan for your life brings true joy. Instead of wallowing in self-pity when things are not going the way you want them to, we must try to find the good in the circumstance. Something beautiful can be found in whatever season you are in. – good times and bad times. However, you must purposely look for it.

Just like the Israelites in captivity, many have allowed their circumstances to rule how they feel. They have ceased looking to God for joy.

Psalm 137:1- 4 NKJV
“By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land?

After going into captivity, the once joyful people stopped singing songs of praise and adoration to God. They allowed their grief to rule over their lives rather than remembering that God was with them and that He had a plan.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 NKJV
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Romans 12:12 NKJV
“…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…”



The dictionary describes discouragement as the act of being deprived of courage or confidence, being disheartened, or to hinder by disfavoring. Encountering discouragements and disappointments are normal emotions we all experience, even believers. However, we must guard against allowing them to negatively effect us. Psalm 137 is an example of what happens when discouragement and disappointment creep in.

Psalm 137:1-9 NKJV
“By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth– If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, “Raze it, raze it, To its very foundation!” O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed, Happy the one who repays you as you have served us! Happy the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock!”

The Israelites were taken into captivity and while there they became discouraged over their situation. They longed for the way things used to be and for what had been taken from them. They allowed the memories of the past to consume them so much that they stopped praising God. God is worthy of praise no matter what our situation or circumstance. Believers must praise God even in difficult ties.

Today there are believers that long for the past to such a degree that they have become discouraged in their spirit. They mourn for the past and in so doing they no longer praise of worship God the way He deserves to be worshipped. Basically they allow their circumstance to determine if God is worthy to be worshipped and praised or not. Discouragement with circumstances, family, friends, God, and with yourself are all a part of life. However, God can turn that discouragement into something positive if we allow Him to.

Psalm 30:11-12 NKJV
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Things To Remember
* Be truthful concerning your disappointment.
* Take a time out – sometimes being physically tired or weak can lead to discouragement.
* Take negative thoughts captive.
* Use Philippians 4:8 as a guide to your thoughts.
* Don’t replay the past over and over in your mind.
* Don’t dwell on your situation.
* Don’t place unrealistic expectations on others, or yourself.
* Remember that the disappoints and discouragements of this life are temporary.
* Don’t try to understand why things happen the way they do.
* Have a thankful heart.
* See things through God’s eyes.
* Draw closer to God (through prayer and reading His Word) – allow God to refresh you and encourage you.