Happy July! Happy Monday! Happy 4th of July!
Look, it’s a new month and a new day. Do you know what that means?
God’s brand new mercies are available to us! Let me tell you how I know.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
- Lamentations 3:22-26 NKJV
Today and the rest of this month, I just want you to remember
Today is kind of a big deal for me. Ok, it is a big deal and here is why.
Earlier this year I started writing yet another book. Through my pain, my low moments, and my frustrations with ministry and life I found myself actively searching for reasons to praise God in the midst. Giving up was an option moving higher up on my list, and that has NEVER been how I rolled. I needed to pull it together! I conquer, so this defeated mindset trying to grow, had to go!
I was tired of offering up generic praises that I was basically doing out of habit to fulfill the charge to bless the Lord at all times (Psalm 34:1). But it was becoming a checkbox on my "stay saved to-do list."
HEAR ME CLEAR: I'm very aware that salvation is free, and I am saved by grace and faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). There are no amounts of work that can change that (Ephesians 2:9). But I found myself just trying to fulfill a praise requirement to show God I was still with Him. Or maybe, to prove to myself I was still with Him.
But I needed more. I needed more sound reasons to go behind my praise. I needed word, which I do believe is truth, to set me free so I could experience and actually receive the joy, peace, revelation, love, and grace that was constantly being poured out by God. I was so stuck in what was going wrong I couldn't receive any of these things in full. So I cried out to God, "Please, just give me reasons to praise. Just give me 30 reasons I have to praise you."
Because I know He is worthy of true worship, I needed to be in a place where I could do so in spirit and truth. Not my carnal mind and vain repetition. And over the next couple of weeks, He poured out way more than 30 reasons, and I received them all.
For every situation, tearful moment, anger-filled interaction, broken moment, grief-filled night I gave to Him, He showed me how to find the praiseworthy moment in it. He taught me to have Philippians 4:8 thoughts in the midst of my greatest lows, and He proved to me where a spirit of praise could take me mentally, spiritually, and in the physical.
And this is what I am finally able to share with the world in my first published book, Thirty-One Reasons to Praise: A 31-Day devotion and journal!
This is why today is a big deal to me! This book is finally ready and is officially on sale for pre-order through my online store right now!!!
I still have moments of struggle, but I now have an arsenal of Scriptures that overflow from the recesses of my heart to give me what I need to press forward in the moment; Scriptures that keep praise in my mouth. Scriptures and passages that still speak to my new situations with the same integrity and authority it did the day God placed those words on the pages. Scriptures that lead me to new Scriptures in the Word and fill me up with God to the point of overflow!
Today, if I can encourage you to do one thing it would be to find your reasons to praise! No matter what you are facing, no matter what you are witnessing, no matter who is around you, there is always a reason to praise!!!
There are always reasons to give God glory and as we keep our minds stayed on Him, He promises to keep us in perfect peace, peace that guards our hearts and minds (Isaiah 26:1; Philippians 4:7). With peace comes clarity and the ability to hear and see God clearly.
Revelation, wisdom, and abundant living await and praise is an avenue you can use to put you on the right path with the right mindset to receive them in full!
Find your reason to praise today child of God! If you want some help, like I said earlier, my book is now available for pre-order in my online store.
It officially releases on www.ItsMelanieLee.com & Amazon on September 23, 2016, but you can claim your copy right here, right now!
In this devotion and journal, you will get transparency, but you will also receive:
The main Scripture appears at the top of your devotion introducing the topic of the day. At the end of your devotion is a list of other Scriptures included in the passage for additional study.
The devotion is the primary subject matter for the day. They are written to inspire you and get you thinking about why you can praise God in the midst of things that might not feel praiseworthy.
Although Thirty-One Reasons to Praise is designed to be read one devotion per day to give you time to meditate and apply what you have learned, that may not be your style. You can read this book in whatever way gives you the greatest sense of help.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving/Praise
At the end of each devotion, you are encouraged to pray and praise!
Prayers of thanksgiving are used to speak God’s Word into our lives. Read them to yourself or read them aloud! Not only does speaking and hearing the word increase our faith, but God hears the prayers of His children and is willing to respond to us (Romans: 10:17, John 14:14)!
One thing I love about the Bible is that when we utilize it, it works! Speaking the word over your life with praise on your lips will have wonderfully positive effects on your mental, emotional, and physical world! I cannot wait for you to see the manifestation.
Journaling can be a helpful tool in solidifying what you have read or learned. Application is the whole point of these sections, so the word comes alive for you. It can be a freeing experience! I pray God will speak to you throughout the entire devotion but especially during your journaling time!
I know it will be a help to all those who open its pages if you allow it to!
God is faithful. Do you trust Him? If so, praise Him in advance for never leaving or forsaking you as He carries you to better in Him!
Have an awesome week!
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
Oftentimes we are completely unaware or avoid the cracks, faults, or empty voids in our life that leave us susceptible to the attacks of the enemy. That’s why there are times we look up and wonder, “How the hell did I get here?” A majority of the time we do not become aware of these places in our hearts, minds, and in our lives until a storm rolls in and changes up everything.
Last week, there were men walking on the roof of my house. A bit random for me I must admit until I realized their purpose. The Homeowners Association sent them to do an inspection and with perfect timing because we got some pretty heavy rains last week! I mean especially for Southern California!
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Psalms 37:23-24 NKJV
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fall into something but when it’s time to climb out it’s like the most hellish experience ever? Like something that literally took you 4 seconds to get into can leave you spending the next 60 years fixing! This can be with anything…loving someone, becoming addicted to something, making a poor business decision, shoot making any poor life decisions.
The Bible does say obedience is better than sacrifice and I thought I learned this lesson lol but I still find myself looking back at my own life thinking, “Jesus, when will I learn to be obedient so I don’t have to deal with the challenge of climbing out of all these painful pits!?” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Family, we have got to learn to watch our steps! We are literally walking straight into pits of addiction, despair, bondage, confusion, depression, anxiety, etc and getting stuck there! The problem most of us are facing is that we are
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:23-24 NKJV
Last night our church hosted the final night worship service of our Summer Nights Worship Series. The entire summer has been a blessing for me watching God manifest Himself in so many different ways. Last night made a lasting impact on me for several reasons but I wanted to share a little of what I shared last night with you all today. I hope it will encourage you a little or a lotta bit =)
What we have learned or been reminded of during this entire series is what worship is. Worship is simply thanking God for who He is. It’s that relational piece that focuses on who we know Him to be to us and to those that we love. We are able to use every moment of our lives to thank God for Him being a healer, protector, provider, keeper, mind regulator, fair judge, shield, and lover of our souls…We worship Him because He is able, reliable, long lasting, consistent, and a miracle worker even in the nastiest of situations. He is Sovereign and in His providential care He can do all things giving us the ability to do all things through Him.
I believe the ultimate act of worship is when we allow God to be who He says He is to us! To be exactly what we need Him to be in the very moment that we are in. The issue that we face as humans is that we think we need something
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV
Our key Scripture tells us that with temptation God will also make a way of escape. In this particular context the word temptation in the Greek means, "attempt, trial, testing, experience, proof; to try, tempt; temptation, trial, testing".
So what the writer is literally saying is that tests and trials are sure to come, not just in your life but in the life of everyone around you but we serve a faithful God that will give us a way out so we are able to deal with each trial we face.
Too many of us are overwhelmed by the things we might encounter each day. A house full of overactive children (or shoot maybe just one), mounting bills with no insight on how to pay them, trouble on your job, inconsiderate professors, unfavorable health diagnoses, hurt from people you love, feeling stuck in unhealthy and unhappy relationships this list could go on forever.
But we only become overwhelmed when we have not allowed ourselves to come and rest in Jesus. We become overwhelmed when we attempt to make our own ways of escape even when the Scripture tells us that He "will also make THE WAY of escape" so we can handle what we're dealing with. There is a way to deal with the struggles of today and that is through the way, the truth, and the life...Jesus Christ. If you are in your word you will get direction specific to your situation. If you are communicating with God through prayer you will get the answers specific to your situation. Go to Him first let Him show you the escape necessary to lighten your load.
The lyrics of one particular song continue to rise in my spirit. It's the Matt Maher's song I Need You, covered by Lauren Daigle. She sings, "Teach my song to rise to you. When temptation comes my way. When I cannot stand I'll fall on you. Cause Jesus you're my hope and stay."
Here's the prayer for today...Lord teach our spirits, souls, every portion of our being to rise to you whenever we face trials that would normally bring us down. When it feels like we cannot stand may we not fall into the trap of the enemy but onto you, the one who saved us, the one who intercedes for us, the one who loves us, the one who is consistent, and who our hope resides in. We release every burden to you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Prayer is one of the mightiest weapons we have in our arsenal. The Scripture tells us that anything we ask in the name of the Son will be done for us (John 14:13-14)! What a mighty promise from our Father! What great authority we've been given in the spirit!
One thing I've learned over the last few years is that individual intercession is awesome and powerful but corporate intercession ramps it up! So why not be in agreement with people that we call friends and watch God work mightily through those partnerships?
Last night around midnight one of my friends called to pray. She said, “I don't normally pray aloud so don't judge” (which I hear tons of people say all the time). I laughed and said, “girl go.”
As she prayed I could feel and see things being broken off her, me, and the other things she called out. Now she's not the first friend I've ever prayed with but it had been a few weeks since I'd gone in with someone else (not at church) and I was reminded of how necessary it is!
Prayer is our gateway of communication with God. When we form covenants with people in the form of friendship it's important that they see the importance of this communication and have an active prayer life as well. These are people that will help hold you accountable in the Spirit, go to God on your behalf, and will touch and agree with you when necessary.
This week my dancers (Visions of Worship-Praise Dancers) prayed with me and I saw the manifestation of those prayers in less than 24 hours. Last night my friend and I prayed for one another and I immediately felt the shift. When we flow in unity God responds mightily! (Acts 2:1-2)
Do not neglect prayer time with your friends! It's refreshing, it brings you closer in the spirit, it's powerful, and it works!
Friends that pray together grow together, get delivered together, can watch God work together, and praise God for what He is doing together! If you're afraid to ask people to pray because you've never done it before pray for courage to press past fear. If you feel there's no one to pray with pray for God to bring you people that you can build a prayer partnership with.
Prayer is a must have in all friendships of the believer so don't let it sit on your negotiable list! I’m not saying get rid of all your friends that don’t pray lol. I am saying continue to pray for them in private but also seek times that you can pray with one another aloud with you leading out. Watch how the relationship grows and thrives as it grows and thrives in Christ!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14 NKJV
Our lack of patience causes us to doubt the very things God promises to perform. Notice the Scripture says, anything we ask in His name. Anything! There is a process that must take place so that manifestation in the physical realm can take place. A toddler lacks the emotional, physical, and mental capacity to take a masters level graduate course and succeed. Our prayer for a child may be that they grow up loving school and graduate with degrees but we understand that this will be a process that spans at least 21 years.
With every request we make known to God we should have this understanding. That we've declared it and asked for it in His son’s name and at the appropriate time it will come to pass. I mean God has a stake in this! He wants the glory and He's gonna get it!
So don't be discouraged when you don't see what you've prayed for right away! I'm just beginning to see prayers from 7 years ago manifest in the present. I believed God, I reminded Him a lot lol, and I continued to praise Him in advance. It took what felt like forever but this moment feels perfect. God is perfect and knows what He's doing. Trust His timing and don't stop believing.
Your prayer has been processed and confirmed in the spirit. You just praise Him until its release day comes.
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 150:6 NKJV
It's Sunday and most of us will be at church today. Many of us will hear this psalm read during our opening devotional period and clap and praise as the minister instructs us through repetition of this verse. Fair enough =)
I woke up with this verse in my Spirit as God reminded me that I always have a reason to praise Him. Not because someone is telling me to praise Him but because every moment of everyday God is ever-present in my life and He proves that with every breath that I take.
Acts 17:28 tells us that it's in Him that we live, move, and have our being. Without God we fail to exist or thrive. So no matter what you've been facing remember you always have a reason to praise.
Acknowledge Him for all He is doing in your life, for the things that are working, and even the lessons you're learning from all the things that aren't! As you do this your attitude will shift. God will be magnified and your problems will decrease in their weight on your heart! Will the problems disappear? Probably not but praising gives room for you to separate yourself from the issue and recognize it's not all bad!
I'm grateful for the breath you have in your body right now! Praise Him and watch the atmosphere around you shift!
Have a blessed day!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.)
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
As I watch all of my family and friend’s children grow up I can’t help but to feel overwhelmingly…grown. I look at my 10 year old babies and I’m still in shock and awe that they can string together complete sentences.
(I do understand that it’s a good thing a 10 year old can speak in complete sentences)
In their first few years of life kids learn a ton! Like every moment is new and they have to figure out just about everything through trial and error. My nephew will be one in a couple weeks and I’ve been amazed at all of the new behaviors he has learned in just the last 3 days. Everyday he is doing something different. Everyday he builds on the knowledge he has already gained and amazes us with his little personality that is growing by the minute.
As I watched him play yesterday I thought, man what a difference a week makes. He looks different, he speaks
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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