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

devotional on pulling back

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

You may want to pull back from social media when you become consumed with how many likes you are receiving.

You may want to pull back from the accolades of men when it is determining your self-worth and your value.

You may want to pull back when you realize you have become addicted to the applause of others and life seems meaningless when you are no longer receiving it.

When you start becoming everything to everyone and your opinion matters more than God’s; it is time to pull back. We should always strive to be a vessel for God and not God Himself. We have been blessed with gifts and talents to strengthen and motivate others, but it should not take precedence over their relationship with God.

Maybe it is time for you to take a time out and examine your life. Are you thirsty for approval? Are you hungry for relationship? It may be time to unplug from social media, technology, and get alone with God. He is able to satisfy the longing within you.

Lord, may we always take joy in doing your will. May we long for your instructions and write them upon on my heart. When we step outside of your will nudge us back in the right direction. Lead us to the place of truth within our inner man to help us understand we no longer need approval of men; we already have your approval. We are fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image. Fill us again until we overflow with more of You in Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Mary Pinckney


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devotional on reaping what you sow

“Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.” Matthew 13:24-30 (NLT)

There comes a time on our journey that we must begin to take notice of what is growing in our lives. Much like the parable mentioned above, we must be keen enough to recognize the distractions that come our way to keep us from producing the harvest of discipline we seek.

Jesus tells this story to his disciples in order to paint a picture of the kingdom of God. In the example we find a war between two worlds. On one hand, the sower who represents God planting good seeds. On the other hand, there is Satan, the enemy sowing tares among the wheat.

Take a moment and think about how often you experienced God working in your life. Everything you set out to do was going according to plan, then all of a sudden here comes opposition to set you off course. Because of human nature, we panic and want to let it all go.  However, Jesus shows what an experienced gardener does when faced with unfavorable circumstances.

First of all, He recognizes it is an enemy that did this. He recognizes the attack came because of what He was doing. He recognized that the attack was on the harvest. It was the keenness of the gardener that led to the decision to let the tares grow with the wheat.

He explained to his workers that at the time of the harvest the separation would take place. Instead of destroying the integrity of the future harvest, He paid close attention to it, recognizing what was more important. We should do the same when it comes to our lives. Rather than giving up when we encounter challenges, or reacting too quickly, we need to take inventory of what we are dealing with. We can’t allow what others think we should do to influence our decisions. We need to be led by the Lord.

You must be mindful not to allow the tactics of the enemy to get you so overwhelmed that you lose sight of the progress you have made. This is not the time to get distracted. This is not the time to allow yourself to go off course. Maintain your focus.

The harvest you have been working towards will produce good in your life, but in that time you may have to go back and do some separating. Whatever weeds or distractions, you have allowed to come into your live through relationships, bad habits, character issues, etc. will now have to be addressed.

If you continue to allow these issues to grow they will only take over in your time of harvest. Be like that experienced gardener protect your harvest through wisdom, knowledge and understanding about the situation at hand. In order to do that, it will take much prayer and fellowship with the Father. He knows what is best, trust His guidance.

By Mary Pinckney

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devotional on pondering

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”  Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

It is a well-known fact that whoever speaks into your life determines how you will move forward. Everyone connected to you is not called to travel with you on your road to destiny.

Have you placed people around you that will strengthen you, challenge you, and motivate you? Or have you only “yes-men” in your corner? Make it a point to surround yourself with others that will help keep you moving. Take inventory today of those in your circle; is it time to make  changes?

Lord, teach us how to choose wisely the people we allow close to us. Help us not to judge by sight of our eyes, by hearing of our ears, but with Godly wisdom as we connect with others. You have a set place for us and along that path You have predestined the relationships that are valuable in every area of our lives. Thank you for being concerned about each detail that concerns us in Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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devotional

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit… John 15:16a (NLT)

Why me Lord? Have you ever asked this question? I have. We look for reasons why we need to be excused from our assignments, or daunting trials, only to hear; Why not you? Moses, Gideon, Esther, Mary, Peter, among many others were chosen by God to do great exploits; so have you and I. We have been handpicked, chosen by the hand of the Father for greatness.

God has predestined each of us to change the world around us with the gifts and talents we possess. You may not do it just like everyone else, but you will make an impact if you follow His plan and purposes for your life. God chose you because He knew you had what it took to get the job done. He knew you had the fortitude and the stamina to keep going, even when times were hard.

Yes, the Lord knew you were not perfect. He knew you would falter and make mistakes, but He still chose you. He handpicked you to carry out His will for your life. If He wanted someone else he would have chosen them. On that note, stop trying to get someone else to birth out what God has given your hands to do. Always remember, whatever God starts, He will finish.

Lord, thank you for seeing the best in us, even when we cannot. Amen.

By Mary Pinckney

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devotionalAnd the Lord said to him, What is that in your hand? And he said, A rod.Exodus 4:2 (AMP)

A ball in Michael Jordan’s hands produced 6 championship rings. A paint brush in Michelangelo’s hands produced famous paintings. A rod in Moses’ hands parted the Red Sea. A sling shot and one stone in David’s hands killed a giant. Nails in Jesus hands produced salvation for the world. All of these men impacted the history of the world. What is in your hands? What can you use today to impact the world around you?

It is time to stop sitting on our hands and waiting for time and chance to happen unto us. We already possess everything that we need to reach our destiny. The Lord has already empowered us to prosper. We often miss what the Lord wants to do, because we don’t have everything right before us. Do not despise the little you have right now; what we see as just ordinary, the Lord can make it extraordinary. He will give you the grace and the resources needed to make it work on your behalf. He has already placed on our path, the right people and resources to get the job done. Move out on what you have in your hands now.

It is time to recognize that the Lord will never give you a dream without the proper resources to bring that dream to pass. Step out in faith and begin to maximize what has been placed in your hands and watch that dream turn into reality.

Father, thank you that you have equipped us with everything we need for life and godliness. Thank you for the seeds that you have placed within us to bring forth prosperity in our lives. May we not sit on those gifts and talents, but allow them to come to full maturity and bring glory to your name. In Jesus’ name, amen

By Mary Pinckney

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devotional daily

You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.
Psalm 119:1-8 (MSG )

Father, thank you for guiding us with your eyes upon us; even in the uncertainties of our journey may we stay focused on the path you have already positioned us on. Thank you for helping us to avoid the distractions that calls out to us along the way. May we keep our full attention on you. In Jesus ‘name Amen.
Grace and Peace,

By Mary Pinckney

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daily devotional

Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength.”   Ephesians 6:10 (GW)

Ever had one of those days when you felt as though you had nothing left in you; no motivation, no passion, no desire to move forward?  Feelings of worthlessness begin to surface and it seems as though you are headed backwards instead of forward.  What happened to the fervor and the passion?

If this is you today, I have a word of encouragement for you.  The Lord wants you to know that He is still working.  Sometimes handling life’s challenges can drain us of our power and our drive to keep going.

Some of us are just in need of good refreshment.  I am reminded of the passage in
1 Kings 19 wherein Elijah was on the run from Jezebel after defeating 850 prophets of Baal.   This was a great victory for Elijah and other great feats followed.    What caught my attention in this story however was that Elijah became fearful when Jezebel sent him a note about what she would do to him.  She didn’t come to him face to face, she sent words.   On that note, what has the enemy been speaking to you that has you sidetracked?

Elijah came to rest under a tree and prayed that he might die.  Upon falling asleep, he was visited by the Angel of the Lord.  Elijah was given bread and water and told to eat because the journey ahead of him was great.  That spoke volumes to me.

As Christians, we need to stay connected to our power source.  When our phone dies or our battery looks low, the first thing we do is connect to the power source.  Why not do the same spiritually?  Just like a battery needs to be recharged by being plugged into its power source, so do we as children of God.  Our feelings and emotions begin to get out of control when we are not connected to our source of power.   When I say plug in and recharge, I am referring to our need as believers to fast, pray, and spend time in the presence of the Lord.  Find the time to reconnect today. Be strengthened; you have not lost your fire and passion; you are just running low on spiritual fuel.  Finally my brethren, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength.

Father, I thank you for the power and the strength that you provide us. I pray that we will not take lightly what you have made available to us. May we be recharged daily so that we can accomplish the works you have given us to do.  In Jesus name Amen

By Mary Pinckney
From:  Be Attitudes: A Devotional Journey To a Healthier and Happier You

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daily devotional online

Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples. You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.Romans 2:21-24 (NLT)

As children of God, we are free moral agents. However, this freedom comes with great responsibility. Even though we are free to do what we want to do, we still have a responsibility to behave in a way that does not lead others astray.

Christians are not perfect, we are just forgiven,” is a cliche that is often used to justify our wrong choices. We should in no way take advantage of the grace and the forgiveness we have been extended.  We have been given a responsibility to carry ourselves in a manner that brings God glory. We have been given a responsibility to respect the rights and the choices of others. We have been given a responsibility to use restraint in our behavior and not give ourselves over to every desire. Yes, we must bridle our passions.

Despite popular opinion, God does care when we use our freedom carelessly.  Make certain to consider the consequences that may follow your actions. Will my decision cause others to stumble?  Will my decision bring glory to God?  These are questions we should ask ourselves daily.

 Be responsible and choose wisely. It is much better to exercise the discipline we have to make the right decision the first time. We have a responsibility to carry ourselves not only in a way that will honor our Father but in a way that will also encourage those around us to pursue holiness and right living. What choice will you make today?

Lord, forgive us for taking advantage of your grace in our lives. If anyone that we have encountered has been affected by our wrong decisions, please restore them to truth. Teach us how to honor you in our decisions. Teach us how to set great examples of Holy living by pursuing You and Your way of doing things. May we use your Word as a compass to guide daily along the path of righteousness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thoughts: This is a general rule of thumb to live by: If my behavior is going to be a stumbling block to others maybe I need to reconsider the choices I make. How are your decisions affecting your children, co-workers, or family and friends? Take a few moments and reflect. It is not too late to get it right. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and the grace and strength to move forward.

By Mary Pinckney

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devotionals online

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10

Often times, feelings of inadequacy flood our souls and cause us to compete with others. We struggle to measure up. We struggle with the feeling of not being good enough. We work so hard to become notable and significant that it becomes a gruesome task to be better than the next person.

When in ministry, it is very important to overcome this mindset. Otherwise, we allow ministry to become a battle ground. This was never the Lord’s intent. He desires that we celebrate with those who celebrate; that we applaud our brothers and our sisters for their accomplishments. He even desires that we come alongside them and help them to reach their full potential.

In doing this, we find that He is not a respecter of persons. What we make happen for others, He will help make happen for us. The scripture text tells us that we are all His workmanship. He has an appointed task and assignment for each of us. We must find our purpose in Him and allow that purpose to be fulfilled. If we focus on another person’s assignment, our task remains undone and the people we could reach remain lost.

My prayer for you is that you recognize the greatness that is on the inside of you. Every one of us has been created with specific intent. Seek the Lord this year concerning your assignment in the Kingdom.

Are you aware of your purpose?

Father, I pray that the eyes of our understanding will be enlightened to see the truth of your love for us as you guide us with your eyes upon us and lead us to that place of purpose that you have created for us. Help us to run the race that you have set before us, knowing that the prize is not given to the swift or the strong, but to the one that endures until the end.  

By Mary Pinckney

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devotional

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”  Proverbs 12:25 (NLT)

We live in a world that has become filled with mayhem.  Every side we turn there is a school shooting, a kidnapping, a family on the brink of falling apart or even a suicide as we have witnessed recently.

In the midst of all these challenges we have a tendency to become so consumed with our own lives and fail to see those crying out for help right around us.  That is why it is essential for us, as the children of God to hear the voice of our Father.

Every day we should position ourselves to hear what He desires to share with those around us. I love this scripture found in Isaiah 50:4; it reads, “The Almighty Lord will teach me what to say, so I will know how to encourage weary people. Morning after morning he will wake me   to listen like a student.” (GW)  We must become sensitive to His Holy Spirit.

Too many people are walking around not knowing what to do or where to turn and we hold the answers within us.  No, our lives may not be perfect, but we do serve a perfect God. He knows the plans and the purposes He has set for us. Along the course of our journey we should be willing to make ourselves available when He needs to interrupt our plans.  The challenge we are in right now, may hold the key to someone’s victory. That is, if we would take the time to stop murmuring and complaining and learn the lessons.

The Lord would often send others to help encourage and strengthen our hearts in hopes that we would begin to do the same for those that cross our path. Take the time today and pay close attention to that still small voice within.  Begin to share a smile, a hug, or just a few kind words with a stranger or a friend and watch their life blossom. You never know whose live you may be saving. That is the power of encouragement.

Nothing in our lives is wasted. Everything that we have encountered has purpose.  It helps to remember that we were not created to serve ourselves but to serve those around us. You are the answer to someone else’s dilemma.You are their miracle.

By Mary Pinckney

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So now anyone who is in Christ Jesus is not judged guilty.”  Romans 8:1 (ERV)

I believe condemnation and guilt has been a great discouragement for many in the Body of Christ.  Too many have left the church and their relationship with the Lord, feeling they are no longer worthy of His love.

The Bible is filled with many stories of those that failed greatly.  Let’s take a look at David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).  David stayed home from war. He saw Bathsheba on the roof bathing and sent for her.  To make a long story short, she became pregnant and he had her husband killed after he refused to lay with his wife.   When you read Psalm 51 and many of David’s Psalms you will find that David knew how to get back into God’s good graces. I believe this is why God referred to him as a man after his own heart. If David can pray and ask for God’s forgiveness after doing what he did, why can’t we?

In Psalm 32:5 David said God instantly forgave him of his guilt. He did not continue carrying it. It did not keep him out of fellowship with the Father.  Many of us, however, feel as though we have no right in His presence. Hebrews 4:16 says we should come boldly before the throne of grace to receive the help we need in our failures. The Lord is the only one that can help us get back on track. David believed God would be gracious to him. If he can believe that and Jesus had not died yet, how much more can we?  His blood shed on the cross left us with NO CHARGES!! We, as born again believers, are NOT GUILTY in the eyes of our Father. Our penalties have been PAID IN FULL by the blood of the Lamb!!! Now that is good news!

My prayer for you today is that you will no longer believe the lies of the enemies. No longer walk in condemnation or guilt. The past is the past.  You are a child of the King and He wants to be in fellowship with you. He loves you dearly. It is time to freely receive His grace in your life and begin to move forward. Forgive yourself, He already has.

By Mary Pinckney

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