One Name

One Name

David C. McCasland

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10

Philippians 2:5–11

Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!

Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.

I am adding a special prayer to the end of this article:

Father God I thank you for everything you do in my life. I thank you for the blood of Jesus that washed away my sins and saved me from damnation. God I thank you for the love and protection you offer my family and loved ones. The world may know the names of Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé for their achievements and advancements in their fields of expertise, but your name will be righteous and superior above all names. Thank you father.- Amen

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Darkest before Dawn

The night is far gone, and the day is near. Let’s therefore throw off the works of darkness, and let’s put on the armor of light.
– Romans 13:12
This saying just means that things will get worse before they get better
Our world can be a very, very dark place. As the years pass, as social norms changes, as political views change, as people become more tolerant or accepting to certain things, as time passes it appears to be getting darker.
We are living in a culture that is less moral than in previous years. Violence and Hatred is increasing. Racism and discrimination are being shed in to the light at a more rapid pace than ever before thanks to social media (I do not blame social media, I am just stating that due to access of social media, there are more means to share, display and cause awareness to what is going on).
No matter what we do, right now it seems very, very dark. What is morally and ethically wrong, it seems is right. Religion and the principals of good is seems to be wrong.
Looking back at the saying: “It is always darkest before the dawn!” If any of this is remotely true, then knowing that we are currently living in a dark world, which appears to be getting darker by the day, then we should find hope that after the days get darker, the dawn will shine bright among us.
As the world gets darker, we should seek comfort and get closer to Christ. Each passing day our goal should be to get even that much closer to God than we were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, an hour ago, a minute ago even a second ago.
The light from God is coming closer. With each unethical, immoral act, with each biblical principal ignored, we know that we are just one day closer to the demise of the enemy.
So what do we do until the beacon of Christ’s light fully shines upon the earth again? We are to pray without ceasing. We are to live with hope, we should rise before the dawn praying, preparing each new day to be ready to compete with the darkness around us. We are to remaing trusting, loving, faithful, diligent, we should be beacons of light here on earth setting an example until Christ’s time comes.
Even in our personal lives, when we are suffering through trials and tribulations, though those moments feel dark, murky and frustrating, our faith and hope in Christ liberates us from our trials. Our faith, patience, diligence and prayers are our solutions to get us out of our darkness. In our Personal circumstances we also see the that it is darkest before the dawn. Whether you want to admit it or not, there is hope in knowing that though things are getting darker, we shall rise up at the coming of dawn.
Father God help me to continue to stay centered and focused in you. Help me to stay grounded in you despite what challenges we may face. Despite the changes of society. Help me dear lord stay as a pillar of light, an example of your grace, so when the dawn arises i to shall rise with you. Lord, help me to continue to find comfort that though things are getting darker, there is hope at the end of this long road ahead of us. I put my faith and trust in you my lord. Amen.
ray: Lord, help me embrace the hope of Your return and spread Your light amid the world’s darkness.

My heart, my reward

http://bible.com/116/jer.17.10.nlt

God knows your thoughts before you can utter one word. He knows your intended actions before you move an ounce. He knows your heart, better than you do.

When it’s our turn to stand before our creator, we will be judged thoroughly for everything we did.

We will be held accountable for everything we were not held accountable here on earth. You will be judged for your thoughts, your actions, your heart and intentions. Though here in the flesh we may have perceived or led others to believe a certain thing about ourselves, in front of God it’s a whole other story. He can read you like a book. He wrote it after all. Here is a friendly reminder that we will be rewarded based on our own merit, not anyone else’s. Your salvation is based on you, your deeds, your actions and your intentions. Your salvation is not based out of any other individual.

Father God thank you for this reminder. That you are the keeper of all that I do. That I will be held accountable for all my actions and my hearts nature. If I have sinned dear lord I ask you for forgiveness once again. I ask that you help me not only be a better person than I am today, but to grow even more closer to you than I am today. Amen.

Happiness

The world is looking for happiness, yet they are looking for happiness in all the wrong places (wealth fame etc).

This was from a peice of a recent sermon by Pastor Hagee.

I was listening to his servie in my living room and this struck out.

He referenced Luke 12;15 [15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”]

We can easily get carried away with our possessions and our quest to happiness in life.

Trust me I know.

I tend to get so fixated on my “projects” that sometimes even though for those brief moments of joy, I get carried away and end up with a surplus of items.

I like to craft with my kids.

My kids have found an affinity to making things.

So what do I do, I buy a cricut.

I turn everything in to a project.

I want to make them everything.

home made cards, home made banners, home made party decors, home made holiday decor.

(I have spent and saved uniquivocally the same amount lol).

My kids have found an affinity in painting.

So what do I do, I order canvases galor, paint, stencils and paint brushes

So what do I have? An Art gallery in their bedroom preserving those few minutes of happiness in self reflection and creativity.

I like to read.

I like to read themetaically.

So what do i Have? a mountain pile of books to read, and a kindle/nook devices filled with books at my disposal to read.

I get lost in my books, I get transfixed in my books, I get happy reading.

Yet I have enough books to donate to a few libraries.

We are always looking for happiness… even in all the wrong places.

Our happiness should come from reading the word. Our happiness should come from our faith trust and love in God. Our happiness should come from praising God. Our happiness should come in praying. Our happiness should come from when our prayers our answered. Our happiness should come from the good deeds we do. Our happiness should come from God not the other places we use as temporary moments of happiness.

Father God I thank you for the sermon you had purposely allowed me to listen to. I know I to use books and other means to find temporary happiness. They are just that, temporary happiness. Nothing can bring me joy and happiness the way you do my lord. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for the never ending joy you give me. Amen.

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Giving credit to whom credit is due

Giving Credit To Whom Credit Is Due By Darla Noble from Daily Bible Inspirations

Two men claimed to have developed a particular variety of apples. One of them was being untruthful, but which one? It wasn’t until the judge asked the men to explain the process they used to develop this new fruit that he knew who was telling the truth…and who wasn’t. The man who deserved credit for his ingenuity and hard work spoke passionately and in great detail. The other man’s explanation was vague, lacked important details, and he misused terminology even a novice botanist would know.

We never have to have a single doubt as to the Giver of life and all that we have. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who the Creator and Master of the universe is. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who cares for us, protects us, comforts us, and showers us with His amazing love and immeasurable blessings. It is God.

Give thanks to God always for these amazing gifts!

Pray: Thank you, God for who You are, for Your mighty power, and Your amazing love. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Questions for reflections from the article and my feedback:

◦ Today’s verse tells us to honor God with thanksgiving when he delivers us from our trouble. What trouble has God delivered you from?

Recently (two days before thanksgiving) our car broke down. Perfect timing too right?(sarcasm). Yet that experience though financially painful (not only did we need to replace the engine but we needed a car to get around so had to get a rental), but it was stressful around the holidays when one is trying to get gifts for loved ones. The week before Christmas, 3 weeks after our car broke down, our prayers were answered and God delivered us from this trouble. We were humbled, we were thankful, we were grateful. Our beloved pastor, not knowing the extent of our financial burden, but suspected, was moved to give us a monetary Christmas gift when we needed it the most. We didn’t tell anyone how much was needed to last the week, we didn’t tell anyone we had nothing, no food, no gas money to refuel, we were trying to keep faith and knew it would work itself out. Correction God would help us work it out.

◦ How did you express your thanks to him for doing so?

In our car fiasco we thanked God first, then in an emotional breakdown my husband thanked the Pastor with tears of gratitude for the help he provided us with. Aside from the Pastor my family who knew to an extent what we were dealing with as far as car rentals and cost of repair helped tremendously. We thanked each and everyone one of them, starting with praising God, for moving these hearts.

◦ What are you thankful for?

Make a list and then take the time to say thank you to God for each specific thing.

What I usually do is have a mental checklist of what I am thankful for. In my prayers I tell God specifically what I am thankful for. Father thank you for waking me today, thank you for the fresh of breath air that I breathe, thank you for my spouse, thank you for my children, thank you for my parents, thank you for my siblings, thank you for my in-laws, thank you for my nieces and nephews, thank you for my church, thank you for……

Father you know my struggles, you know my pain, you know my triumphs- because they are your triumphs as well. I thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for my family and I. We will forever glorify your name dear lord. Amen.

From Struggles to Hope.

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Below is a devotional associated with this verse from Daily bible app.
One of the things my great-grandma and I had in common was our tremendous love for flowers and plants.
So when she passed away a few months before my husband and I were married, I took some cuttings from a few of her plants so I could start my own to remember her by. The most special one of all was her heirloom tea rosebush. I took the cuttings home to my Granny so we could plant and tend to them until they took root…if they took root.
They did and by the time John and I said “I do”, the tiny bushes were ready to plant. Over the span of thirty-seven years those bushes have been moved four times and numerous cuttings have been taken from them to be shared with others. But on this last move the bushes had to remain in buckets for several months…something they don’t tolerate very well.
When I was finally able to get them in the ground I was nearly certain they wouldn’t make it. I was heart-broken. I know it sounds silly, but I prayed for those roses to survive. They seemed to be just sitting there doing nothing, but when I returned home after teaching in a Bible camp for a couple of weeks, I ran out to check them and…they were getting new leaves!!! They were growing!
Those rosebushes remind me of many things: My sweet great-grandma, my enormous and loving family, and the fact that even when things seem dead or hopeless, God knows better. With Him there is always hope and always joy if we will let Him cultivate it in us and trust in His timing.
Pray: God, let me see the good in all things in my life. Give me the courage to trust You to always know what is best. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Journal
What hurt do you need God to heal you from?
How has God used a difficult or painful situation in your life to bring about good and hope?
These Journal questions were at the end of this devotion. Now I read this devotional a few weeks back but i saved it and I kept going back to it because I can relate so much not just to the story, but these questions.
I have been hurt, we have all been hurt. At first I didn’t channel my hurt appropriately.
I didn’t go to God to heal me from my pain and anguish. I ran.
I have spoken about it in previous posts.
Yet after some time, after My kids, I used my pain to openly talk to others complaining about the same pain I once had.
4 years ago a friend of mine and I were discussing infertility.
At that point my oldest son was 2 and half.
During her venting she said to me, you don’t understand my struggle, you have a cute, doting toddler at your whim, I have nothing.
She was right, I did have my 2 year old. What she didn’t know was the years of suffering, miscarriages, pain, loss in hope, depression, medical procedures and tests that I have endured to get where I got.
I had decided to make lifestyle choices prior to getting my son.
I had to recenter myself and focus back in Christ.
I made dietary changes.
I made life changes.
I made spiritual changes.
I did the ultimate prioritizing in my life and eliminated toxicity from it.
I shared my struggle.
I shared my burdens.
I shared my stories of miscarriages.
She was shocked.
I may have said it in previous posts, but I rarely open up to people and share my stories and my struggles.
So I got outside my comfort zone and she was inspired.
She went ahead and decided to make some changes.
She decided to loose weight.
She decided to change her diet.
She made life style changes.
She also made spiritual changes.
She omitted toxic people in her life.
She got pregnant a few months after.
Ironically around the same time I did.
Though she found out about her pregnancy before I even suspected about mine.
Our kids are two weeks apart.
She needed that pep talk.
She needed to recenter herself with Christ.
She needed to make some changes in her life.
She needed to do her part like I did, for God to do his.
This is an example of how my hurt, my pain, my trials brought good, joy and hope, not just in my life but in hers.
Father God I want to thank you for your love. I want to thank you for my trials and my tribulations. Everything that I have been through in life has only brought me closer to you. Everything that i have been through has only made me stronger. Every form of suffering which you have healed me from have brought joy, good and hope to others. Sharing stories, sharing our difficult moments, can be of a blessing and inspire hope to others. Our trials and our life experiences are not merely our own, but for others so that they too can learn from them and be inspired to grow closer to you. Father you are an amazing teacher and healer, I thank you so much for all you do. Amen.

​ Who is your master?

Who is your master?

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve
God and mammon.” – (Matthew 6:24)
When you walk your walk with Christ, you need to know one thing for sure, that is, you cannot walk in the ways of the past.
We cannot be lukewarm.
We cannot serve God yet still run back to the old worldly ways which are not christian like.
Jesus emphasizes faith in God rather than in possessions.
Have you been there?
The other day we were invited to a Baby Shower.
The invited guests to this venue were people, whom in another lifetime, we would have enjoyed our time with.
Instead, my husband and I felt out of place, awkward and not wanting to be there.
We felt bad beause this celebration was to celebrate the new life to come.
The problem though was that with this celebration came a crowd whom were focused more on drinking, smoking and not necessarily on the reason for the venue.
We were with our children at this venue.
The invited guests were focused on getting high, getting drunk and dancing the night away.
We were focused on our children.
The day of the shower we had just gotten out of church to then go to this venue.
Our focus our priorities were different.
We were focused on building relationships with family.
That did not happen at all.
We left before any of our relatives and the mama to be even showed up.
I decided to do what was in the best interest of our children and what they see.
We did not want them to actively engage in a lifestyle that we no longer participate in.
Had we known this was going to be the scene, we would have declined to go partake to begin with.
I cannot serve God yest subject my children to the atmosphere we were in.
That is living a double life, catering to two masters, when the only one I serve is Jesus.
I know the enemy thought he had us for a bit.
We showed victory when we walked out.
I confided in a friend about the chain of events.
Despite my inner frustrations, I did not let it show. I was thankful of the eye opener.
I was thankful of knowing this is not our place.
I was thankful for knowing we do not belong here.
I was even more thankful when my husband said lets go, our kids shouldn’t be here, we shouldn’t be here.
This isn’t us, this is not my life, this isn’t our lives. We need to go.
Thank you Jesus, my silent prayers were answered.
I do feel bad, we did not get to see the mother to be.
Two hours at this venue waiting, observing, and we didn’t even see not one relative.
Yet I was thankful.
My husband’s eyes were opened.
This is not us.
We do not have two masters.
I am sure that you have all been in similar circumstance of whether the place we are in is where we really need to be.
Sometimes our experiences are eye openers.
Sometimes its a learning experience.
Sometimes its when you have to choose your path towards your destiny.
Remember,
Father I thank you, despite the circumstances, I thank you. Despite being uncomfortable, I thank you. Despite being in a place where I did not belong. I thanked you. I thank you even more so when my husband decided that enough was enough. The call had to come from him for this was his family’s venue. I would have made the call sooner, I was tempted to. I am glad at the growth he has taken since he has began his walk with you. I am glad that he knew our children did not need to be there. Father I ask that you continue to guide my husband in his walk with you. Amen.