Chapter 2

I Knew It Was Wrong

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Chapter 2, Pages 30-36

John 14:27

I was at a car dealership last year where I was immediately confronted by an energetic, fast-talking salesperson. I was just there to look and I had no real intention of buying anything, but remember feeling soo pressured. He asked question after question with the real goal of trying to get me into a car for a test drive, which I’ve learned, dramatically increases the chances of a looker like me becoming a buyer. He would not take NO for an answer and I eventually had to just walked away.

Reading through parts of chapter two of Unshackled, I’m reminded how I disregarded many warning signs. Even at 17, I knew it was wrong to be at a bar drinking and that stealing from another was harmful and criminal. Yet I did it. Making decisions apart from God’s Word will always result in harm at some level. The Holy Spirit was given to us to guide us through right and wrong decisions. He will give you a sense of PEACE when right and conviction when wrong. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you and my peace I give you.” Jesus indicated a lack of peace brings trouble and confusion to our hearts. Where Jesus is not, there’s a lack of peace. Jesus never meant for us to live apart from Him and since He is the Prince of Peace, allowing Him to lead us in making decisions is always good.

If you know someone who might benefit from this devotion please share. Pray with me, Father God, fill us with this peace through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen

Why is There So Much Pain?

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Chapter 2, Pages 26-30

1 John 4:8; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 10:10

Recently I was asked, “Why does God allow so much pain to occur in our lives?” I paused before responding sensing she was struggling with pain in her own life. I told her I didn’t have an answer but did have some personal convictions which helps me process pain in a positive way. I shared, I believe pain allows us the chance to express His love to others. God IS LOVE (1 John 4:8) So when I chose to Love others, I become more like God. Second, God can use pain. He used it as His only Son died on a cross to bring about this greatest gift of all time, SALVATION. God’s not the author of pain but He can make sense out of it. In fact, Jesus was never exempt from pain but chose to express love and mercy toward those who inflicted it on him.

As I shared in my book Unshackled, my family life was filled with painful memories. While God was not honored in our home, I never heard anyone blame him. So often our own selfish decisions cause enough pain, and of course some is just a part of this sinful world we live in. God is NEVER THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION. The Bible reminds us, “Satan come to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus comes to give Life and Life more abundant.” (John 10:10)

I noticed when I began honoring God I began experiencing His Goodness and Mercies that flowed new every morning. Spending time each day in the Bible convinced me God has awesome plans for those He calls his children. Plans to prosper and not to harm us and give us hope for the future. God is LOVE and He desires the Abundant Life for all who trust Him.

No matter the difficulty in your life or the pain you are feeling, I’d like to encourage you to trust in the LORD with me? Can you say out loud,”GOD IS LOVE. GOD IS FAITHFUL. GOD IS IN CONTROL.” God can redeem the worst of circumstances. Pray this short prayer with me: “Heavenly Father, help me to trust and understand your divine purpose as I walk through this difficult and painful time. That in the end, you will be glorified by me and allow my pain to strengthen and encourage others who are witnessing my faith in action. In Jesus Name. Amen!”

Tell the Truth

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Chapter 2, Pages 23-26

John 8:31-32

Have you ever told an innocent lie? Is that even possible? I was recently visiting a local church, when a wildly dressed gentleman asked my opinion of his outfit. Colors didn’t match, way too loud for even the most eccentric of dressers, and he asks “so what do you think?” Without skipping a beat, I began to gloat over how great his clothing choice was. I even asked where he shopped as though I’d planned on heading right over to pick up the same outfit for myself. I chose a compliment over robbing him of his confidence. This conversation stuck with me as I pondered the question of truth.

In chapter two of Unshackled, I vividly recall my mother telling me to “be honest” as I was about to be interrogated by police detectives. “Just tell them the truth,” she said. I remember feeling so horrible about the crime and deeply ashamed that I was in that situation. So, when question by detective, I did just as she’d told me. I told the truth. It was like a huge weight being lifted off me and I felt free. In the worst time of my life and in the most serious situation I had ever been in, I felt FREE.

While in prison, I repented, told God the TRUTH and accepted Jesus Christ into my life. I admitted to Him that I was a sinner and unable to live a good life without Him in my heart, (Ephesians 2:8) and in need of a Savior. (Romans 10:9-10) I held nothing back! The results were unbelievable! I gained a clean conscience and a pure heart to serve God and others. Jesus taught us that His Words are the very source of truth. (John 17:17) Holding to them is key to our freedom. (John 8:31-32) His Words are the source of creation (John 1:3).

Pray with me that there is an increase of God’s Word in our lives. Reading the Bible creates the atmosphere to know God and is the plumb line that aligns us to His will. God’s Word is accurate and true for all circumstances especially in this ever-changing world we live.