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

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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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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“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
used by permission

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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 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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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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