Too Busy for God?
Jan 04 3:04 AM

Too Busy for God?

Jan 04 3:04 AM
Jan 04 3:04 AM

And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.”

2 Chronicles 12:14

What is your heart set on? What occupies the inner thoughts of your soul? The issues, people, and things that frequently come to your mind without active effort are likely what your heart is set on. It is so easy with the busyness of life to devote our attention, time, affection, and resources to things other than God. The real danger is when the stuff that crowds God out of our lives appears to be good, honorable, and pleasurable.

For example, we often excuse our neglect of our relationship with God because we are committed to our families, our work, or even our ministries. Or, we excuse our failure to cultivate our relationship with God because we are working hard and we have to provide for ourselves and others. Of course, God wants you to be a good husband, wife, father, mother, or church member, right? We convince ourselves that we are making the right choice and appropriately placing our priorities.

While it might appear that we are doing a good or even a godly thing, if we allow ourselves to get disconnected from the True Vine, then even our most sincere efforts at ministry, family, and work will be ineffective.  In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Even our most sincere efforts to do the right things fall flat when we are not connected to Christ.

Perhaps even more alarming, when we are disconnected from Christ, we become susceptible to doing evil.  In 2 Chronicles, 2:14 (NIV), the Bible says of King Rehoboam that “he did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.” Notice what the Bible does not say. It does not say that King Rehoboam did evil because his heart was wicked, or because he was on drugs or because of his ungodly upbringing. Instead, the Bible says that King Rehoboam did evil because he did not make his relationship with God a priority in his life.

Now, lets notice what happened because of this neglect. God had established Rehoboam as king of Israel when he was 41 years old. The Bible says, “he had become strong”, which simply means that his kingdom and reign had become securely established. But then Rehoboam and all of Israel “abandoned the law of the Lord” and became “unfaithful to the Lord.” Because of this, God allowed the Egyptian king to attack Israel and capture the fortified city of Judah.

When you allow the busyness of life to crowd God out, you become susceptible to disobedience and ultimately invite hardships and challenges into your life. You must actively fight this temptation and affirmatively set your heart on God daily. You do this by spending time reading and studying God’s word, by talking to God throughout the day, and by committing to fasting on a periodic basis.

Be encouraged to keep your heart focused on God. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and learn to follow Jesus one day at a time. In Psalm 10:4 (NIV), David says: “In his pride, the wicked man does not seek Him, in all his thoughts, there is no room for God.” Never allow the pressures and interests of your life to crowd God out.  Instead, actively and intentionally make room for God in your thoughts, heart, and life by committing to prayer, studying and meditating on God’s word, and to fasting.


Barbara Love

Excellent analogy of the Word of God!

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 5:25 AM CST

Jacquelyn Kimble

Thank you Pastor Harris for enriching my life in the LORD! Sabaneta, Colombia ????.
South America

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:34 AM CST

Gillian Cannon

I am always Blessed and being taught the about God and his son. I am thankful and grateful for pastor Harris and the first lady sister Monica.

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:42 AM CST


Thank You for this devotion and reminder of what we need to do to stay focused !!

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 5:51 PM CST

Redia Billups

May God bless and continue to use you l was truly blessed by your words. To God be the glory

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 6:35 PM CST

Renee Scalzo

Thank you so much for posting the devotionals, I am unable to do the morning prayer at 700 as I have to be at work. My sister sends me the reading for the day and then I come home and watch the broadcast and read the devotion. It is truly a blessing for and to me. Thanks again Minister Dickerson God Bless and Keep you

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 7:01 PM CST

Brenda Madison

I love reading your devotional for today. It's so easy to get caught up with stuff and things that leave no room in our life for God. Day by day I have to make a conscientious effort that nothing is more important than spending time with God. I like to start my day with God and end with God. And through out the day just thank him for his many blessings. Some days I'm faced with many challenges and obstacles that I have to remind myself who's in charge. Thank you for that devotion. Continue to let God use you and be Blessed.

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 @ 9:02 PM CST

Brenda Robinson

Thank you for this message. I will keep my heart set on God’s Word.

Posted on Tue, Jan 5, 2021 @ 8:05 AM CST

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Finish Well, Finish Strong
Jan 31 12:38 AM

Finish Well, Finish Strong

Jan 31 12:38 AM
Jan 31 12:38 AM

By Loretta Shelton and Pastor Marlin Harris

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7

The Apostle Paul uses an illustration in 2 Timothy 4:7 reminiscent of competing in the Roman Olympic games in order to demonstrate the Christian believer’s life of faithfulness.  He says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

What is remarkable is that Paul makes these comments while imprisoned in a Roman jail knowing he is at the end of his life, and consequently at the end of his God-given mission.  Throughout Paul’s Christian journey, he remained steadfast and loyal to his calling, despite the unimaginable obstacles and perils that he faced.  Paul remained faithful to his ministry for the sake of Christ by fighting what he called “the good fight of faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). This means he maintained a godly character, lived by Biblical principles, and was unwavering in his faith and trust in God.  This characterized Paul’s life regardless of the unpleasant circumstances that he was often attacked with.  He did not rely on his past service, but he persevered and served God until crossing the finish line at the end of his ministry on earth.

Like the Apostle Paul, we must live this Christian life with the same convictions and fortitude as the athletes who were competing in the Roman games.  Christians must run the race, fight the good fight, and endure hardships valiantly, in order to receive the prize of an incorruptible crown that never fades away. The qualifications required to receive this coveted prize are to run lawfully and diligently until we finish. Running this race means honoring God with our hearts and bodies, developing a character that looks more and more like Christ each day, and living a life that pleases our Father, and is worthy of the great redemption that we have been graced to receive.   We must start, run, and then finish the race.  We will finish, because no believer ever runs the race of his life alone.  The Lord Jesus Christ runs with us, and He will get us to the finish line, if we stay the course and “finish well and finish strong”. 

When you are running the race of life there are a few things you want to be sure to do.  First of all, you must be spiritually prepared for the journey.  This spiritual preparation is impossible without being filled  with the Holy Spirit, for which there is no substitute.  The scripture is clear that we are to be empowered by the Holy Spirit if we hope to accomplish anything in this life that brings glory to God. The Spirit of God empowers us with wisdom, strength, and godliness that causes the blessings of God to rest upon our journey.  He alone conditions our hearts to endure the pain of the race, and to not turn back or give up before we reach the finish line.

Secondly, we must endure the necessary disciplines needed to prepare us for the rigor of the race we are to run.  When runners prepare for lengthy marathons they will often spend months preparing themselves physically for that one race.  They will attempt smaller races and work their legs and test their endurance with exercise regimens.  They do this so that when they are in the ‘big’ race, they will have the strength to finish.  Finishing our Christian race is more about the strength of our spirit than it is about the desire we may have in our hearts.  Many people start out with Christ, and they desire greatly to finish, but they have not developed the spiritual strength to endure the trials and tests that befall them along their journey and they, sadly, fall away. 

Jesus speaks about this reality in Matthew 13:1-9 when He shares the Parable of the Sower, where he outlines four different scenarios of seed-planting.  One of his 4 scenarios involves a farmer who sowed his seeds in soil that was cluttered with rocks. He says that the soil received the seed quickly, but because the ground had not been tilled and prepared, the rocks were too numerous in the soil and made the soil depth shallow.  Soon the seed died in the soil because there was no depth created by tilling.  This is what happens to any of us who set out to run this Christian race, and we have not had the hard, stony rocks in our hearts, minds, and habits broken up and tilled away.  Without the discipline of dedicated study of the Word of God, the daily practice of prayer, and regular worship and thanksgiving to God, we will not be able to break those hard rocks that have settled into our hearts and have made them resistant and impervious to the convictions and truths of the Word of God.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, every sincere believer must have an ardent and passionate desire to finish their race well.  God placed that desire in your heart when you gave your hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The only way to satisfy that aching and longing in your soul to finish well is to daily discipline your life with the Spiritual practices of prayer, worship, and time in the Word.  As you attend to the things of God, He will attend to the cares and desires of your heart.  Let’s lay aside the weights and the many distractions, and run this race with all we have so that when we are finished, we will feel our Master’s embrace and hear him say, “Well done”.


Holy Father, we all have our own individual race to run.  May You grant us the strength and the conviction to run our race well.  Remove the hindrances from our path, and unchain our feet from the heavy weights and burdens that have weighed us down.  Lord, grant us the freedom to run and not get weary, and to walk and not faint.  In Jesus’ Strong Name, I pray.  Amen.


Spend today surveying your life to determine what are those weights and distractions that make it difficult for you to finish your race well.  Consider those challenges, temptations, and tests that you are engaged in daily, and actively name them before the Lord, and make the decision to do whatever is necessary to lay them aside.  Seek the Lord for His strength and lean upon the Holy Spirit for His guidance.