Devotionals don’t have to be boring … we make them fun, applicable and powerful each and every day. Pamela will get you fired up for life and lather the love of Jesus on you … and make you giggle. Download a new episode of the Big Life Devotional podcast each weekday.
693 Abundance Starts Here
Today we reveal the secret of taking what is not enough and making it more than enough. Magnifying what you have to become all you need. Recognize God wants to help you take any area of lack in your life and create an abundance.
There’s a story in the bible you’ve likely read dozens of times, which holds the secret of creating an abundance where there is lack. Within this story are personalized instructions for you today. Answers for what to do with what you have which seems not enough, and magnifying to the point it is more than enough.
Our story is found in the book of John chapter 6. Jesus was (and is) awesome. And what do awesome people do? They do awesome things. That was Jesus, just walking around doing awesome things. As a result he had drawn a large crowd of people who wanted to see and hear him, a crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children. These people had come from a long distance and now they were hungry.
His disciples were kinda stressed out about it. And although Jesus already had a plan, he asked them, “where are we going to get enough money to buy all these people some food?” There wasn’t a Chic-fil-A or Taco Bell on the corner, and even if there were, they didn’t have the money to buy food for this huge crowd. And here’s Jesus who had been raising the dead, healing the sick, giving the blind their sight again, and he’s saying “yo guys, we have a problem here, we don’t have enough food to feed these people.” The disciples were freaking out realizing it would take more than 6 months wages to buy enough food to feed everyone this one meal.
Yes Jesus let them sit in this reality for a moment. He let them see the lack.
And he’ll let you see your lack too.
God in all his power will allow you to come face to face with your “not enough”. He allows for those moments of reality. Maybe you’re in one of them right now. You have more month than you have paycheck. You have more things to do than you have time to do them. You’re stressed and you’re stretched. You have needs that outweigh your ability. The demand is more than your supply.
What is your area of lack? Where are you unable to measure up?
Let me assure you, Jesus already has a plan here, but first he’s allowing you to see your need. We miss the miracle when we fail to recognize the inadequacy first.
The disciples pointed out all they didn’t have and all they couldn’t do … and nothing happened. But when one disciple spoke up and said “we have this boy over here who has 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish” then Jesus started working.
The simple recognition of what you DO HAVE is the beginning of your miracle! It seemed almost ludicrous to consider this boy’s lunch as the starting point for feeding a crowd of 5,000 men plus all the women and children, but God always starts with what there is. Remember he created man out of what there was … dust. Then he created woman out of what there was, the rib of the man.
Our God takes what there is, as little as it may be, and creates an abundance. His question to you today is WHAT DO YOU ALREADY HAVE?
After you recognize what you do have, as lacking as it may be, you are to do 2 things with it to create your abundance.
First, give thanks.
Jesus took the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and told this huge crowd of thousands of people to sit down. Yes, sit down and prepare to receive from that which still appeared to be so severely inadequate. Picking up in John 6, verse 11 it says “Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.”
You see Jesus didn’t touch the bread and make it magically multiply so the crowd would go wild.
692 The Worried Woman
In a study called the Legacy Project, 1,200 senior citizens were interviewed and asked about the meaning of life. And get this, the overall theme from people who have lived longer than me are saying as they near the end of their lives they share the same regret. They wish they hadn’t spend much of their lifetime worrying. Wasted time on worry was their biggest regret.
Can’t you and I who have life and breath and purpose today learn from their regrets? Their advice was simple and direct: Worry is an enormous waste of your precious and limited lifetime.
That’s true for all of us, but especially for a girl who loves and trusts Jesus. For someone who is told time and time again in scripture of their value and worth. We look at the birds in the sky who aren’t freaking out because their heavenly father feeds them, and aren’t we much more valuable than the birds? Don’t you think God will take care of you too? Look at how God cares for the wildflowers in the fields dressing them in such beauty, don’t you know he will do the same and more for you?
Matthew 6: 34 MSG “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
A person who went through much more in life than I have said, “Think of the beauty still left around you and be happy.” Who said that? That was Anne Frank. A young girl who’s family lived during the holocaust under the most extreme conditions. if Anne Frank could think of the beauty still left around her and be happy, don’t you believe you can take a look at your world today and see what you have left and choose to be happy too?
But instead, what we often do is we look at what we have left and we worry. We worry when that too will fall apart. We worry if it will come to an end. We worry if something will go wrong. And ultimately we miss the beauty still left all around us and instead of being happy, we are worried.
Are you spending the precious days of your beautiful life worried?
You have a God who loves you wildly. His care for you is unlimited and his power is unfathomable. He has the ability to take care of any situation you are worried about today and he has the care for you personally to actually show up and do it. What are you worried about? Why are you wasting your precious lifetime worrying about these things? Are they guaranteed to happen anyway? Will it even matter in 5 years? Is your worrying making it any better at all?
Here’s what God is doing today. He’s showing up right in the middle of your mess, in the middle of your worry and he is saying, HEY GIVE YOUR ATTENTION TO ME TODAY. Look at me. Look at the beauty still left around you, I put it there. I’m doing something in the middle of this mess. I’m working. Won’t you watch me work instead of getting worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. I’ve already gone before you.
In Deuteronomy 31:8 we are given a promise, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
You don’t know what may or may not happen tomorrow, but you don’t have to worry about it, God has already gone before you. And he will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. But today God says, look at me, I want your attention. Stop worrying, it’s a waste of the very breath he gave you.
Not everyone received this gift of Thursday, September 24th, but you did, now don’t waste it. Trust God. Trust what he is doing. Trust he sees it all and he cares about you.
The God who has numbered the hairs on your head because of his wild love for you is making a way for you now. He’s paving the way.
691 Forgiven and Redeemed
Do you carry a regret from the past? A burden from a choice you made, a wrong turn you took, a sin you pursued? You’ve asked for forgiveness, in fact you’ve prayed that prayer a hundred times. Yet you are still ashamed. Your dirty hands still feel unworthy to be lifted to the holy one.
Is that you? Hey, isn’t that most of us? Our past is stained. Maybe your shame is a public one others clearly see. When they look at you, you feel little. It’s as if all they see is your shortcoming. Your story is highlighted with this shame. Or at least that’s the story you tell yourself. What if that story is wrong? What if it is being re-written?
Or maybe this is a private hell only you carry within. Others don’t know of your guilt and regret. You’ve kept it hidden, begging God to take it away, yet it’s still there. It still eats at you. You’ll never overcome this stain of your past. It will be there to haunt you as an old woman. Or at least that’s the story you’ve been telling yourself for years. Again, what if the story is wrong? What if it too is being re-written?
Sin creates a distance. It drives a wedge that splits and divides. Even a forgiven sin does it’s nasty harm because this is where the enemy plays. He hides out in the darkness of guilt and shame and he picks at scabs. You see, if he can’t keep you in your sin, he will at least remind you of it and make you feel worthless. So it’s time for some truth to be unleashed into this darkness.
Psalm 103:12 says “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
God has separated you from your sin. Your wrongdoing is not attached to you. The enemy tries to hang every single thing you’ve ever done around your neck like a noose, but may I remind you of your truth … God has removed it from you. Don’t go looking to pick it back up again.
Our human minds can’t conceive this. We struggle with imagining a God who sees it all and knows it all, and still loves us endlessly because we can’t even forgive ourselves. But remember, condemnation does not come from God. Romans 8: 1 tells us “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, meaning the thoughts and feelings that tell you what you’ve done will always mark your life ARE NOT YOURS TO CARRY. That is not your truth.
Recognize feelings of unworthiness and shame for what they are … they are desperate pleas of darkness from a defeated enemy who wants company. Don’t give him yours.
Every time your past is brought up, it’s an invitation from your defeated enemy to come play little in life. You don’t have time for that!
You have been separated from your transgressions. Every offense, every sin, every wrongdoing, every failure and misstep has been removed from you. Climb a mountain and stand on the top with a greater perspective of the vastness of this world. Look to the east, over there are your sins. Now look to the west, you’re all the way over here. You’re not even in the same view. Separated as far as possible from that which has held you back. If your sin was a black stain, understand Jesus has made you white as snow.
He gave his life, so I could have mine. My life was bought with his. Your life was bought with his. All your wrongs were made right in this transaction. An exchange that covers you in grace every day of your existence.
Don’t fight this exchange. The transaction is complete, why would you keep going back to the store to see if there was a recall? Why keep checking the receipt? You are fully forgiven. Understand every time you bring up this same offense to God, layered with years of guilt and shame, God aches for you. He hurts wondering why his daughter whom he paid the ultimate price to set free is still playing with chains.
690 Crippled Potential
We all have tremendous potential within us, and we all have something threatening to cripple that potential. I wonder what your potential is. You know, you are world class at something. Your unique design is for the purpose of being absolutely phenomenal in some way. The thing is, you may not have even discovered it yet, but the potential is still inside of you. Your creator is using every detail of your life to release that potential.
Now recolonize, sometimes the releasing of potential only comes in the form of pressure. You have no idea just how strong you are until your only option is to be strong. You don’t know what’s inside of you until your pride is ripped wide open and your plans are ripped apart.
Ahhhh, that’s what it is sister. You’re in the unveiling process. The unveiling of your potential. You’re about to see what your creator placed inside of you. It’s beautiful and it’s powerful and all this time it has been hidden.
But this potential has the threat of being crippled. Yes, being held back and unable to perform it’s full intended function. What has crippled your potential?
I know about being crippled. There was a time in my life when I COULDN’T get out of bed. My legs no longer worked. I couldn’t feed myself. My arms no longer worked. I couldn’t speak. My mouth drooped and words could not be found. My brain had suffered injury in a stroke and I was crippled. All that I had once done with ease was gone in an instant.
There, laying in that hospital bed, I appeared crippled, but I was still FULL OF POTENTIAL.
You want to know why I’m jarringly excited about a new day of life every darn day, THIS IS WHY! (It’s still my favorite review on iTunes, a slightly irritated listener who couldn’t handle my morning pep referred to me as jarring. I’m not hating, I appreciate her honesty and it still makes me giggle. I am jarring, but dang I can’t be boring after what I experienced!)
Want to know why I have crazy energy the moment my feet hit the floor every morning, THIS IS WHY! By God’s grace and divine touch, I’ve overcome the thing that threatened to cripple me and I’m getting to experience my potential.
I get to see these once crippled legs can run marathons. I get to see this body that once couldn’t get out of bed can now climb mountains. These eyes that once went blind and couldn’t focus get to see the beauty of the horizon as I jump out of an airplane at 14,000 feet. These hands that couldn’t hold a spoon to feed myself can hold a paddle while whitewater rafting. And this mouth that couldn’t form words can now speak to thousands as they each greet their new day of life.
That was always my potential, but you couldn’t see it when I was crippled. I couldn’t even imagine it at the time, but it was there.
Now, let’s talk about your potential. Oh girl, there is a world of potential inside of you. How do I know? Because I know your creator. As a follower of Christ, I know the spirit who now lives within you. There’s no question of the potential in you. No stronghold could hold you back. No chain can bind you. No darkness can put out your light … unless you let it!
Remember the story of the crippled man laying at the pool of Bethesda? He had been crippled for 38 years. He was laying by this pool of water because every day when the pool was stirred, the first person to get in the water would be healed. Day after day he lay there, hoping for a healing. Hoping to overcome that which had crippled him. But he couldn’t pull himself into the water before the others, so years passed as nothing changed.
That is, until Jesus showed up.
John 5: 6-9 “When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?
689 Nahhhh Bigger
You’re thinking from a human perspective, but God is working on something bigger than you can see here. You’re putting limitations on this situation, while God in his unlimited power is at work in something bigger than you can fathom. You’re ready to settle in, surrender to resistance, give up the fight, while God is ready to push you on towards bigger places than you are right now.
God has been speaking 2 words to me: Nahhhhh, bigger.
This is bigger than you think and I’m bigger than you’ve allowed me to be.
What we imagine as our purpose is a row boat in comparison to the ark we were created for. But the truth is, when you’re without a boat and you know you need to get upstream, a row boat sounds pretty darn good. And we start praying for a row boat. We start trying to negotiate our way into getting it right now. And dang do we ever get disappointed when it doesn’t work.
Why isn’t this working? I’m talking about your specific situation. WHY ISN’T THIS WORKING FOR YOU? Why is it everything you try is met with resistance? Why is every door closed? Why is every answer no?
Could it be because this is bigger than you think? Could it be because God is directing you to something bigger than you’re about to settle for? Could it be that you are being protected in this time of disappointment?
We ask for God’s will in our life, but we sure don’t like it when that results in a series of no’s. Why can’t this just work? Why can’t I just get a break? Why can’t this little thing just come together?
Oh yeah, because God is working on something BIGGER.
Honey, if that little thing comes together you’ll just settle right there and miss what God ultimately has for you. Hear him today … “nahhhhh, bigger!” This is row boat stuff you’re begging me for, but I made you for ark stuff.
Imagine being Noah. This is the man God choose to save his creation through. Only the people and the animals Noah was able to fit on the boat he built would survive the flood. So for 120 years, Noah worked on the same project, building this one boat … during a drought none the less.
That’s like my worst nightmare. A 120 year long project. I like 1 hour projects. I like starting and finishing something within the same day. I lose interest fast. I start chasing squirrels and forget why I am where I am. So I will often settle for little projects I can whip out fast while avoiding the bigger projects God designed me for.
What big project are you avoiding? What bigger plan have you been delaying by chasing squirrels? You’ve been busying yourself with little things as a distraction from the big thing God is calling you to. And today you hear it loud and clear, “nahhhhhhhh, bigger.” Dig in girl, what you’re being called to is going to take some time. Are you willing to stick with it?
Genesis 6: 15 & 16 God said: “Make the ark like this: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Make a roof for the ark, and finish the walls to within 1 cubit from the top. Place the entrance in the side of the ark, and build a lower, a middle and an upper deck.”
I find this genuinely interesting, do you know what the name Noah means? It means REST. So, God chooses the man named for rest to build the largest boat that had ever been built, and he knew it would take him 120 years of non-stop work.
Did you know you can be at rest while working? Did you know it’s possible to do what needs to be done without being completely stressed out? This is the way God works. If you’re stressed in your work and always exhausted, perhaps you should ask him to help you work in his way. God has some BIG work for you to do, work that’s going to take a long time, so it’s important for you to discover the peace ...
688 A Chat with Papa God
What are you saying when you continually delay doing what you said you would do? What are you saying when you settle for less than you know you could do?
God hears exactly what you are saying, and he wants to have a talk with you about it right now.
Yip, sit down sister, Daddy has called his girls in for a family gathering to get some things straight. Not to condemn or punish us, but instead to help us see the root of why we do what we do and empower us to change anything that needs to be changed.
If you’ve been on Facebook this week, you’ve likely seen it … this little screen shot image that went viral. A black background, white words with the profile name of Ovyee. Have you seen it?
“Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God owes you another opportunity to do what you had time to do.”
Well, that hits different doesn’t it? Procrastination is the arrogant assumption that God OWES you ANOTHER opportunity to do what you HAD TIME to do. This is a misuse of time we’re talking about here. An entitlement that says we’ll have time later.
Honey, stop right now and think about this … what have you been putting off that would cause great regret if you never got another opportunity to do it? You think “I should reach out … I should make that phone call … I should mend that relationship … I should get up and get started … I should … I should …” You’re should’ing all over yourself.
You know you should, but you’ve been waiting until tomorrow for so dang long and tomorrow never seems to show up. But we never see the urgency in doing it today because we arrogantly assume God will supply another opportunity. And we also arrogantly assume the next opportunity will be better timed and feel a little more comfortable than the one we just passed up.
WRONG. This stuff never gets easier, it only gets harder.
Proverbs 6:4 “Don’t put it off, do it now. Don’t rest until you do.”
Well dang, that’s clear isn’t it? Where have you been opting for REST over ACTION? What if you made a commitment right here today, that you would not rest again until you’ve taken action?
I’m talking about really practical things like that nasty butt kitchen that’s been piling up all week. I’m talking about the laundry that’s taking over your entire bedroom. I’m talking about the pile of mail that covers your kitchen table.
You say “ahhhh, Pamela, God doesn’t really care about the state of my house and petty little chores.”
You’re right, I don’t think that will make an ounce of difference at the end of your life. Not a single person will be consumed with thoughts of dirty dishes, laundry or bills in their final breath. BUT, here’s why this little stuff is important … it sets a precedence for how you handle everything.
If it’s not your house, maybe it’s your relationships. It’s your health. It’s your finances.
If you procrastinate on little things, you will procrastinate doing bigger things that God calls you to do. This is not only proving your faithfulness, but this is creating a work ethic for your life.
Maybe that’s what we need … we need an improved work ethic for our lives. We’ve gotten lazy. We’ve gotten used to delaying the things we could so easily do today. THAT CHANGES TODAY. WE DON’T GO TO BED UNTIL WE DO THOSE THINGS WE KNOW WE NEED TO DO.
Let’s break this arrogant assumption that somehow God owes us more time to do what we should have already done. If you’ve been given the opportunity to do what you know you need to do today, then get to doing it.
With this perspective, our nasty little habit of procrastination is no longer just so...
Pamela is amazing. The podcast is never boring and it motivates you to live your best life with God on your team. I’m so happy I found it!