Don’t Listen to the Crowd – Word of the Week

Edition #31

Week 31

Exodus 23:2
“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give a testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.”

When it comes to doing something that’s never been done before, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t listen to the crowd.

In the Bible, the crowd was usually willing to accept the lowest common denominator, no matter how negative the situation was. Think of the people of Israel in slavery in Egypt. Was the crowd willing to stand up and fight for freedom? No, the majority didn’t want to rock the boat, so they needed someone like Moses to rally the troops. When the Israelites were wandering around in the wilderness, was the crowd willing to take on the giants in Canaan? No, they needed someone like Joshua to bring them into their Promised Land.

God has a next level goal in mind for you, but you can’t get there by listening to the crowd.

Never settle. Don’t think you can only have the level of success your parents had. If they were successful in their finances but their marriage fell apart, you are not destined for the same.

God has called you to succeed. You can live the kind of life that people will be envious of, because as a believer, you’re blessed…which means happy, fortunate and to be envied. This is the direction for your life.

So, if you want to go to the next level in an area and people are telling you it can’t be done, think of Moses and Joshua. Think of Jesus too, whose Spirit is in you, empowering you to go higher and reach farther than ever before.

This Word of the Week was brought to you from Devoted with Leon.

Get Ready For Increase – Word of the Week

Edition #30

Week 30

Isaiah 54:2–3 (NKJV)
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.”

Through today’s verse, God has a message for you. Enlarge the place of your tent, lengthen the cords and strengthen your stakes. It’s time to expand.

When this passage was written, God’s people lived in tents. If they wanted to expand to a bigger tent, they had to lengthen the cords to hold more canvas and strengthen the stakes to hold more weight. But this message still holds true today.

If we want to expand in our finances, careers and relationships, we need to think about stabilising and strengthening so we can hold more of what God has provided for us.

God is saying that if you want to hold more in your tent, then make it bigger. Lengthen the cords; strengthen the stakes. This means different things to different people, but what it comes down to is this: if you want to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that are going to come your way (and they always will), you need to get prepared now.

When it comes to the favour of God, it’s not about working harder, longer or more frantically. It’s about believing, recognising and grabbing hold of the opportunities that come our way. As you meditate on today’s verse, what comes to mind?

What do you need to do to expand, stabilise or strengthen now so you can be prepared for the increase that’s coming your way?

This Word of the Week was brought to you from Devoted with Leon.

You are never alone – Word of the Week

Edition #29

Week 29

Deuteronomy 1:12 (MSG)
“How can I bear alone the weakness and pressure and burden of you and your strife.”

Needing others does not make you weak.

We’ve been cultured to think that to be strong, you need to be completely independent, emulating heroes like John Wayne who save the day single-handedly and then ride off into the sunset alone. As a result, many people resist help when they need it. They think it makes them less of a person if they need others.

Meanwhile, if we try to do everything alone, we’ll never fulfil all the great plans God has for us. We need each other, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Moses learned this lesson when he was leading the Israelites out of Egypt. In today’s verse he admitted that he couldn’t do it all by himself. Although Moses had been trained by the best of the best in the most powerful country of the world at the time, he couldn’t do what he needed to do alone. And neither can you.

That being said, you’ll only create more pressure and stress in your life if you rely on the wrong people. Moses asked for help in choosing “wise, understanding, experienced, and respected” leaders to help him lead (Deuteronomy 1:13, AMPC), so make sure you take a good look at people’s track records so you can choose people who are prepared to handle what you’re asking them to help you with.

When you’re under pressure, don’t be afraid to ask others to help you. God can do incredible things through us when we work together as a team.

This Word of the Week was brought to you from Devoted with Leon.

Be Willing To Pay The Price – Word of the Week

Edition #27

Week 27

Nehemiah 6:3 (KJV)
“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”

Success usually comes at the end of struggle; if it came easily, everybody would be experiencing it. When it comes to success, there are no shortcuts, reduced prices, or ‘special deals’. The value of anything is determined by the price you’re willing to pay for it. And when you truly value something, you won’t easily jeopardise it because you remember what it cost you.

What are you afraid of today? Failing? Your concern should be the opposite—regret that you didn’t try. Are you afraid of criticism? Face it, as you move upward in life certain people will resent your success; that’s true whether you’re arrogant or not. We all want to be liked, but at some point you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘How much am I willing to forfeit in order to be liked and accepted?’ Nehemiah, the builder of Jerusalem’s walls, said, ‘I am doing a great work, so…I cannot come down.’ Any time you defer to the opinion of people instead of the will of God, you are ‘coming down’. Stay up on the wall! Keep laying bricks—or whatever God has called you to do. Advancement often brings isolation and criticism, and God may be grooming you right now for a new level of blessing by exposing you to both. Can you handle it? Not everybody can. But if you’re the kind of person who can’t sit on the sidelines and watch while others play the game—go for it! God will reward every step of faith you take and every sacrifice you make.

This Word of the Week was brought to you from ‘The Word for Today”

Give Your Love Away – Word of the Week

Edition #26

Week 26

1 John 4:7 (NKJV)
“Let us love one another, for love is of God.”

One evening before Mary Martin, the great Broadway musical star, was to go on stage in South Pacific, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein. He had written it to her from his deathbed: ‘Dear Mary, a bell’s not a bell till you ring it. A song’s not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.’ After her performance a number of people rushed backstage, exclaiming, ‘Mary, what happened to you out there tonight? We have never heard anything like that performance! You sang with more power than you’ve ever sung!’ Blinking back tears, Mary read them the note from Hammerstein and added, ‘Tonight, I gave my love away!’

The poorest person in the world has something to give others if he or she has love in their heart. Love’s gifts take many forms—a smile, a hug, a gift, a note of thanks, a hand up, and just being there in tough times. Love is the one gift that always fits, is always appropriate, and always in season. Jesus said, ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:35 NKJV) Paul wrote, ‘May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all.’ (1 Thessalonians 3:12 NKJV) John writes, ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.’ So the word for you today is: give your love away.

This Word of the Week was brought to you from Ps. Leon Fontaine.

Handling Pressure – Word of the Week

Edition #25

Week 25

2 Corinthians 1:8–9
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself…. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.”

Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from experiencing pressure.

In today’s verse, Paul talked about experiencing such incredible pressure that he “despaired of life itself.” But he also shared the key to handling this pressure: relying on God.

The best way to handle pressure is by trusting in God.

God knows you can’t handle everything on your own. In fact, he doesn’t want you to. He wants you to spend time in worship, praying in Spirit and enjoying his presence to gain the strength you need to counteract the pressure you’re under. And when it comes down to it, he’s always there to come to our aid, and he doesn’t mind “rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing” (2 Corinthians 1:9–11, MSG).

The truth is you can overcome whatever pressure you’re facing today, because the strength that you can access from spending time with God is much greater than anything that could ever push at you.

When your response to stress and pressure is to turn to God for strength, you’re never disappointed. Romans 5:3–5 says that your troubles produce perseverance, which produces character and ultimately results in hope. And whenever we put our hope in God, we are “never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (MSG).

If you’re feeling pressure today, spend some time with your Father God. His strength in you is far greater than anything.

This devotional was brought to you from Ps. Leon Fontaine.