Category: <span>thoughts by Mary Pinckney</span>

Ephesians 3:16 Strengthened with Might through His SPiRiT

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:16-17

We often give up on ourselves when we are faced with insurmountable odds. We lose the fight it takes to keep ourselves in the race to our destination. Yet, God has given us the grace and the strength we need to persevere even in hard times.

If you find yourself at the point of giving up today, encourage yourself to get back up again. You are worth the effort it takes to get to your expected end. You are worth the fight that it takes to move from a place of mediocrity and begin living the life you were destined to live. There is hope for you.

Father, I thank you for encouraging the hearts of your people today. Many find themselves at a place of giving up on life. They see no hope for them. They struggle with loneliness, heartache, and pain. I pray that you will begin to heal their wounded hearts. Speak peace to the turmoil they feel at this moment. Help them to see the good things you are doing in their lives. I pray that their eyes will be open to the truth of who they are. I pray that they will begin to see the endless possibilities you have placed around them. Thank you for binding up their broken hearts and leading them to a place of peace and hope as only you can. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


Do you know Jesus in a personal way?  Do you desire that intimate relationship that this author has?  Knowing Him starts with a simple prayer of surrender and it grows from there.  Here is a sample prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

It starts now!


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Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” Matthew 5:13 (MSG)

Can you face a situation that is out of your control without acting out of control? This is a tough question for many to answer. We are so prone to acting out when we are faced with difficult situations much less difficult people.

When we are faced with the choice of reacting or responding to the situation at hand, as a believer, we have a greater responsibility. We must remember that we are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. Our job is to maintain the character of God. When we act out of control rather than responding in wisdom we give others the wrong perspective of what a Christian looks like. No, that does not mean we have to be perfect, but it does mean when we miss it, we should be quick to make amends and get it right.

Emotions are not bad but they must be managed properly. If your buttons are always being pushed then you have handed over your power to other people, it’s time to take your control back. We must actively set boundaries for ourselves to ensure that we are not taken advantage of but we must remember that it is not our place to retaliate or put people in their place. It is God’s job to help change people. It is our place to love and respect others while leading them to Christ. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:14 if at all possible, we should live at peace with all men. This can be a challenge because we are faced with so many different personalities. If we stay in tuned with God He can help teach us how to handle each one.

My challenge to you today is to practice allowing God to fight your battles. How do you put that in action you may ask? Walk away when you are in a situation that you feel you have to yell to get your point across. Take some deep breaths and pray before responding to that irate individual. The point here is to maintain your control.

Father, it is my prayer that You will infuse those that are struggling in this area with inner strength. Your Word declares that You are a perfect help in the time of trouble. May they find the grace needed to keep it together when they want to lash out or act unseemly. May they find the grace needed to maintain their peace in the midst of turmoil. Heal the root issues that keep bringing them back to this response. Open the eyes of their understanding today, In Jesus name Amen.

Thought: What are you afraid of? When did you begin reacting the way you do?
What happened to get you to this place? Take a moment and journal your answers to the questions above.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission

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Hold On a Little While Longer

Just wanted to take a moment to encourage your hearts today. Many of you have been praying.

Many of you have been hearing from God. Many of you have been moving actively on what God’s called you to do but you’re still not seeing anything come to pass yet.
You’re still not seeing the fruit of your labor and I want to encourage your hearts today not to give up.

Don’t faint!

Don’t quit!

Keep pushing!

Keep fighting!

Keep praying!

Keep believing because in the end He will speak. The vision is for an appointed time.
God says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that “He makes all things beautiful and His time.” So today I want to encourage your hearts to keep pushing. Pray until something happens!

That’s right pray until something happens.  It’s almost as if you’re a woman who is in labor. Right now, the doctors are saying that the head is crowning. He can see the head coming but you can’t quit now, that baby won’t push itself out.  You have to be active in pushing that baby out. It’s even the same in our spiritual walk. It’s even the same in our natural lives, we may not see things happen immediately but we have to put some action to it. We have to also put some prayer to it.

Even as Elijah did in 1 Kings 18:41-44, you may have to pray 7 times to see the promise manifest. Again, if you are not seeing anything yet keep pushing don’t give up.

The will of God is not always automatic in our lives. We have to pray and act until we see God bring change.

You are on the verge of a breakthrough. You’re right there!
Don’t stop now. The vision is for an appointed time and it will speak.
All you have to do is hold on just a little while longer.

Father I thank you now for your people. I thank You for what you’re doing in their lives. I thank You Father God for bringing them to a place of breakthrough, to a place of freedom. I thank You for bringing them to a place of answered prayers. Thank You that they will see what you have been saying come to pass in their everyday life Lord. I give you praise for infusing them with inner strength right now God so that they may hold on even through the process. And father thank You for loving your people the way you do. Thank You for always being there; for always showing Yourself faithful on our behalf.  For You never leave us, You never forsake us. Thank You for all that You’re doing right now. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission

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free devotions

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endures forever–forsake not the works of Your own hands.Psalm 138:8 (Amplified Bible )

The story of the Prodigal son weighed on my heart today.  Watching the Father allow his youngest son to leave home and experience life reminds me of the challenges we face as parents to our natural and spiritual children. The process of growing and maturing is not always pleasant to watch.  We cannot raise strong, responsible children or even spiritual sons and daughters by shielding them from all pain and hardships, especially those that come from their own decisions.  Often times it is the pain that leads them to the arms of the Father.

There comes a time, as parents, we must release our control and learn to trust God in the process. Looking back at the Father in the parable, he knew that he had to allow his son to leave.  But he also knew that he could trust the Lord with what was precious to him, the life of his son.   We too must allow our heavenly Father to mature our children and bring them to perfect stature in Him.  Just as the prodigal son came to himself realizing that he had it better with his father, our seed will as well.  It may not be an easy transition but it is a necessary one.

Father, grant us the grace to trust you with the lives of those we love.  Lord, teach us continually how to guide them in wisdom and truth. As we commit them to you, I ask that you reassure us daily that you will complete the work that you have begun in them.

Scriptural References

Luke 15:11-24
Psalm 57:2
Philippians 1:6
2 Timothy 1:12
Isaiah 54:13

By Mary Pinckney
 Used by Permission

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devotional

Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said ‘I am cut off  from your sight”! Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” Psalm 31:21-22 NIV

Today as I sit reflecting on love and grace in my life I realize that You have always been there, even in the times I felt You abandoned me. I realize now that my feelings do not dictate Your actions. My feelings do not tell me the truth about Your love for me. My feelings cannot even begin to fathom the depths of Your love for me. I’m fragile and fail at times, in need of Your strength and Your resilience. You are strong and powerful, yet oh so gentle in Spirit. Your love is too grand to even measure.

It is so overwhelming knowing that I am held even in the times I feel alone. It is so refreshing to know that You are not like man, You are not here just because of what I can give.

You are here because You love me for me.

I so love the way you love me.

I love the way You calm my fears when I am shaken.

I love the way You whisper my name to let me know You are near and I am loved by You.  Oh to sense Your presence in those times of loneliness and feel Your embrace when I am weary and afraid. There is none like You Oh God.

You are my Peace.

You are my Rock.

You are my Hope.

You are the Lover of my soul, in You I find peace.

In You I find rest. In You I find the grace to continue on.

Thank You Lord for reminding me that You are still here. You have not forgotten about me. You have not forsaken me. You are working even when I can’t see it. Even when I don’t believe it. Thank you. My fears were real. They were valid and You heard me. You heard my cry. You answered every complaint showing me that You care. You are concerned about me. You are with me. You got me. Thank you.

By Mary Pinckney
Used by Permission


Do you know this love that is found in God alone, through Jesus?  Would you like to have a relationship with Him?  It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen


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Intimacy with God

Some of the best conversations with God start out as complaints. What I love about God is that He allows us to share our disappointments, our heartaches, our offenses with Him. After all, He already knows.  This is true intimacy.

When you can bring your pain to the person you feel hurt you and be open and honest about it knowing that He has your best interest at heart; that’s love. Most relationships struggle because there is no real intimacy. We tend to hide our true feelings. We fail to be honest about what is really going on inside of us. When you have a relationship that is grounded in trust and a deep love for each other it produces a freedom that can’t be described.

I believed David best described this relationship in Psalm 32:5 when He says, “ I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin.! (Amplified Bible)

David knew He sinned before God. He knew His actions were not in line with what God
had already communicated in His Word to us, but He found no fear in sharing what He did.

Today, your sin before God may have been through mere words, or wrong thoughts, or like me, you threw a temper tantrum like a two year old because you couldn’t have your way.

Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you not to turn away from His love.  We don’t always understand everything God is doing in our lives. We don’t always like the paths He leads us to. We don’t always like the assignments He may have given us but one thing is certain; He loves us with an everlasting love.  God always has our best interest at heart even when we don’t understand.

God, I want to trust You in the seasons of uncertainty in my life but I find it more and more difficult at times. Help me to be reminded of Your track record in my life. Help me to understand You and Your ways even when I don’t trust Your acts. Thank You that I don’t have to be afraid to talk to You about any part of my life, in fact You welcome the fellowship.  Thank You for loving me so much, Daddy.

Thought: Are you offended by what God is doing or not doing in your life? Apply your ear to His heart and listen as He speaks to you.

By Mary Pinckney
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Call to Me (God) and I will answer you.

As I sit and pen my thoughts this morning, I am reminded of Jesus’s experience in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was at that place He had to make one of the toughest decisions in His life. Should He go forward to the cross, knowing that this was what He was destined to do? Or should He just walk away from it all because of the pain He knew was ahead.

Many of you find yourself right here today. You are at a place of transition. You are facing a crossroad and really finding it hard to hear clearly.  There are decisions that must be made but everything seems out of place right now.  You are frustrated and afraid of what is too come. I want to encourage you not to give up.

I challenge you to pause and listen to your life for a moment. Has God ever turned His back on you?  Hasn’t He always provided the direction and the guidance you needed?

I had to come to a place of surrendering my will to God during times like these, just as Jesus did in the garden. I have found that what I want and what God wants are not always the same.  During my walk with God, I have even encountered roadblocks and detours that took me totally in a different direction.  It was a reminder to me that God knows what is best. He sees what I can’t see.

It is at times like these we must not forget that He is just waiting for us to come to Him for instructions. He longs to talk to us, if we would only pause and come to Him as it says here in

Jeremiah 33:3 (Amp) “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”

Be of good courage today knowing that God is not surprised by anything that you are facing right now. In fact, He is with You to strengthen, settle, and establish you in the direction that He has for you to go.

Let me pray for you right now,
Father I thank you for my brothers and sisters reading this post right now. I pray that they will not lose hope in this season of their lives. Teach them to recognize Your voice, Your direction, and most of all the guidance and the instructions. You give to us daily. I pray that You will open the eyes of their understanding. Help them to see what You see Lord. Your Word tells us in Psalm 32:8 that You instruct us with Your eyes upon us. May we learn to trust Your direction and Your plans for our very lives. In Jesus name, Amen

Thought: Take a moment and journal your disappointments to God and ask Him to share His perspective on your situation.

Grace and Peace to you.

By Mary Pinckney
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Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Do you remember this old adage? It would often be heard on a schoolhouse playground as children were teasing each other, pretending not to be bothered by the insults that came their way.

But our pretending doesn’t end with childhood; as adults, we try to convince ourselves that the sting of sharp words does not affect us. The truth is, we are deeply wounded by the verbal abuse we encounter on a daily basis. And we’re not immune to being abusers ourselves. As we interact with others, we must choose daily whether we will use our words to bring hurt or healing.

James summed it up best (James 1:19) by saying that we need to be slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to get angry. As born again believers, the nature of God should help govern our hearts and minds. It is up to us to choose words that are not offensive to God and our neighbors.

My challenge to you today is to begin to focus on what is going on in your heart. The Scriptures tell us (Luke 6:45) that out of the abundance of the heart, our mouth speaks. Have you paid much attention to this connection?  If you are housing bitterness, anger, or resentment, you are sure to spew out poison towards others that cross your path. Our words can either heal or destroy relationships. It is up to us to determine the outcome we desire.

Father, forgive us for not always paying attention to the words we speak. May we allow You to create within us a clean heart and renew within us a right spirit. Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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feature scene devotional

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

We often give up on ourselves when we are faced with insurmountable odds. We lose the fight it takes to keep ourselves in the race to our destination. Yet, God has given us the grace and the strength we need to persevere even in hard times.

If you find yourself at the point of giving up today, encourage yourself to get back up again. You are worth the effort it takes to get to your expected end. You are worth the fight that it takes to move from a place of mediocrity and begin living the life you were destined to live. There is hope for you.

Father, I thank you for encouraging the hearts of your people today. Many find themselves at a place of giving up on life. They see no hope for them. They struggle with loneliness, heartache, and pain. I pray that you will begin to heal their wounded hearts. Speak peace to the turmoil they feel at this moment. Help them to see the good things you are doing in their lives. I pray that their eyes will be open to the truth of who they are. I pray that they will begin to see the endless possibilities you have placed around them. Thank you for binding up their broken hearts and leading them to a place of peace and hope as only you can. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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God has a Plan Devotional

My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.” Matthew 26:39b (AMPC)

It is not always easy to understand the will of our Father, but it is imperative that we choose to follow His lead. I have come to understand that He knows best. We don’t have to know all the details. It is up to us to TRUST His heart concerning us.

So, today, I encourage you not to lose hope in the midst of the pain you may be feeling right now. God has a plan. His plan is not always understood but it will be revealed. You may not know what tomorrow holds, but follow His voice as He leads you step by step to the next place He has for you. He is a God of purpose. He uses the good, the bad and the ugly to work together for our good. Trust Him.

Father, it is so hard for us to understand Your will at times. We know what we desire to happen, but that is not always what You desire. Teach us Father to submit our will to Yours. Teach us to trust Your heart for us. Teach us not only to know Your ways but to know  Your character. Teach us to find our peace and assurance in Your love for us. May we come to understand that Your plans are to give us an expected end and a hope. Let Your will be done in our lives Lord. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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love heart God's love

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.” Joel 2:25 (NLT)

The Lord is in the process of building you right now. Although it seems as if you have been stripped on every side, keep your head up. Restoration is on the way.

He is positioning you for what He has prepared for you. Even as Joseph had to be positioned in the land of Egypt through a series of hardships, He is placing you in the place of your birthing. What He has placed on the inside of you will live and not die.

God will perform that which He has promised you. His plans for you cannot be frustrated by the hands of man. Man can only help facilitate God’s plan for you. Do not be afraid my brother, my sister. The vision will speak soon. Be of good courage, restoration belongs to you.

Father, thank you for the great things you have in store for us as your children. The Bible declares that eyes have not seen, nor ears heard the great things you have in store for us. May we focus not on what we see in the natural but on what You have spoken to us directly through your promises, the scriptures. Thank You for being our God and loving us the way that You do. Thank You for performing with Your  hands what you have promised even with Your words. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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I am Flawed, Now What? Daily devotional

Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT)

God can’t use me. I’m flawed. I have too much baggage. I don’t have enough money. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. I’ve made too many mistakes….

How many times have we told ourselves that we’re not good enough for God? The truth is, God specializes in using broken vessels.

Rehab, a prostitute, saved Israelite spies from the men of Jericho and became a part of Jesus’ lineage. Moses, a murderer, delivered the children of Israel from Egypt. David, an adulterer, was considered a man after God’s own heart. A talking donkey saved the prophet from being killed by the Angel of the Lord. Paul, a persecutor of Christians, went on to write about two-thirds of the New Testament.

So what’s holding you back? I challenge you to go beyond your own limitations today. Give God the broken pieces of your life. The weaknesses you are ashamed of are the perfect message of His grace. He is able to use the mess of your life and turn it into a message of hope for someone else.

You have a unique story of God’s grace to share with those who find themselves in similar situations. When you become transparent about God’s love and acceptance in spite of your flaws, it inspires others to believe. So go beyond your own limitations today and give the gift of hope. Someone is waiting on what you have to offer.

God, we recognize today that You take the foolish things of this world to confound us all. It is so apparent that Your thoughts are not our thoughts and Your ways are not our ways. What we see as hopeless, You see as life-giving. Help us to see as You see. Help us to go beyond our own imperfections and see Your hand of grace in our lives. As we do, help us to use that same grace to impact the lives of others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

As a step of faith, reach out to someone in need today and share a message of hope through a smile or a kind deed. People are looking for the love of God, and it begins with each of us as believers.

By Mary Pinckney

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Devotional BE THANKFUL in ALL Circumstances

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)

Today, instead of looking at what’s going wrong in your life, find the good. Having a  grateful attitude can turn your lives around. What are you grateful for?

Lord, teach us to focus more on the great things you are doing in our lives and not just the things that are going wrong. There is so much that You are doing in our lives that are good. Help us to see the good and be grateful. In Jesus name, Amen

Grace and Peace,

By Mary Pinckney

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#Devotional on God's Plan for your life

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:10 (AMPC)

There are many struggling in the area of knowing your true worth and value right now. You have been fighting to prove yourself to the point of exhaustion. This was never God’s plan for you.

It’s now time to lay aside the superficial things and realize that YOU MATTER. No longer look to people and things to prove your worth. The number of houses you own, the degrees you hold, the money you have in your bank account, nor the people you are connected to will prove you have arrived.

God assigned value to you the day He created you. You are His masterpiece. You have been formed in His image and likeness. The society we live in today should not dictate who you are. You are a child of the Most High God. Remember that!

Father forgive us for losing sight of who You have created us to be. Help us to recognize our worth and value lies in You and You alone. You have fashioned and shaped us fearfully and wonderfully and mighty are the works of Your hands.

By Mary Pinckney

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devotional

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10  (AMP)

Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t you dare throw in the towel when you are challenged and feeling insecure. You are well ABLE to accomplish what you set out to do today! Be firm and dig deeper. There is a gold mine on the inside of you. If you never value who you are and what you have, no one else will.

Keep pushing yourself to be your best. God has already deposited in you everything you need  and the ability to do it with a good attitude. Keep it moving! You will get there if you do not faint.

Jesus, let your strength be our strength when live becomes overwhelming. We need the courage, boldness, the stability You possess to keep moving forward. Thank you for loving us with an everlasting love. Thank you for seeing the best in us when we fail to see our own potential. It is only by Your grace that we can continue moving forward. Refresh us now, refill us now. In Jesus name, Amen.

Grace and Peace,
By Mary Pinckney

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