Category Archives: determination

No More Excuses

No More Excuses-image


We make excuses for just about everything. We give excuses to why we can’t go back to school. Make excuses for why we can’t forgive. We excuse ourselves for not being able to give, show compassion or serve God and in His kingdom. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I wonder if Jesus gets tired of hearing my excuses.

“One of the men lying there had been sick for 38 years. Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been sick for a very long time. So he asked him, “Do you want to be well?”  The sick man answered, “Sir, there is no one to help me get into the water when it starts moving. I try to be the first one into the water. But when I try, someone else always goes in before I can.”

John 5:5-7, ERV

In today’s passage, a man had been sick for 38 years and had been waiting – in that spot – for 38 years to be healed (v. 5-6, MSG). Now it appeared this man had many opportunities to be healed since he’d been there for such a long time. Surely he could have asked someone for help. Had he asked for help? Did he consider asking for help or did he have his own reservations to why he shouldn’t be healed?

The omniscient Savior, knowing this man’s situation, asked him a reasonable question, “Do you want to be healed?” Basically, do you really, really want to be delivered from your condition? And of course, instead of answering with a “YES”, this man gave more excuses.

My sister, how bad do you want to be delivered from your conditions? How bad do we really want that healing? How bad do we want to change? Are we using fear as an excuse? What about our inexperience? Could doubt be our excuse? Are we holding on to the mentality that we can’t see a way out for ourselves? So we fail to ask for help. We fail to dream. We miss the opportunity to believe in the possibilities.

How long has it been since you’ve taken a chance to pursue your dream? Does it seem like it’s impossible? Are your excuses blocking your view to believe? How long will it take you to realize that your dreams can become a reality, once you stop making excuses? Will it take 10 years? 20 years? 38 years?

It’s time to stop making excuses and start taking chances. Passionately pursue. Boldly believe. Take that first step! No more hesitation. No more apologies. No more explanations. Stop second guessing yourself. Go for it! Trust God and pursue hard after it!

My sister, Jesus is beckoning you to step out of the boat. He’s calling you to walk on the water. Be brave. No more excuses. Don’t allow excuses and fear to be the reason you don’t pursue your dreams. Just do it.
“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

Matt. 14:29, CEV

Ask Jesus to give you that drive, fervor, creativity, and direction to accomplish your goals and pursue your dreams. And guess what? He will.
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

John 5:8-9, NIV

“All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

~Walt Disney


During your quiet time, meditate on today’s scriptures. Be motivated to pursue your dreams and make no excuses about them!

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Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.
No portion of Martha & Mary Ministries, Walking in Freedom!™ Devotionals may be reproduced, stored in any electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission from the author. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.



May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
(Psalm 20:1-4, NKJV)

My family vacation was so worth it! I laughed till my stomach ached, felt the ocean breeze and the warm sun as I relaxed at the beach. I conquered my fears by rubbing a 22ft python and touched the paws and skin of an alligator. Of course, got some shopping in, did a little site seeing, and visited theme parks. I relaxed at a very nice resort, was wowed at Cirque du Soleil, and I ate at my heart’s content (I probably gained a few pounds) oh well, but I still had a great time!

Well, now, I’m back home! My time away was enjoyable, fulfilling, pleasant and much needed. It’s good to take a vacation, take a break from everything, take time away from the norm. And it’s funny how time away can give you a different and new perspective on things in life. It did for me. My time away allowed me time to reflect on my purpose, my ministry, and my life.

I realized that the very thing that God had called me to do, in fear, I was trying so desperately to run away from. God had placed such a huge desire inside of me, and though it continues to rise within me, gnawing and nagging at me, I came up with all kinds of excuses of why I couldn’t, shouldn’t, and can’t. And even now, if I’m not careful, I find myself making excuses why I can’t do what God has called me to do. My excuses, along with my fears, tries to push me away from my destiny. What about you?

Fear has a way of pushing us away from our destiny and our purpose, but thank God for the Holy Spirit. Thank God for His Word! The Holy Spirit gave me an illumination and confirmation. Don’t you love it when that happens? I had an “Aha” moment! As I reflected on my purpose, the Holy Spirit reminded me of Simon Peter.

On several occasions, Simon, the hot head, the quick tempered, quick to speak and quick to react disciple often allowed his emotions to be in charge. Simon’s emotions often dictated his actions. Simon, insubordinatly, reprimanded and scolded God. His aggression forced him to cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, and fear made him deny the very person he confessed to be the Christ (Matt. 16:16). Simon’s emotions fueled him further away from his destiny. Simon Peter — the rock — avoided that which God had called him to be, the fisher of men, returned to normalcy and comfort. Peter ran away from his purpose and returned to fishing. (See John 18:10-27; John 21; Matt. 16:13-23; Mark 8:27-33).

I, too, have been allowing my emotions to dictate my actions. I, too, have tried to returned to what was comfortable, that which pulls me away from my destiny. I found myself doing other things to avoid doing what God had called me to do, but now it’s time. Yes, I’m still afraid, but I’m ready! It’s time for me to follow God’s path for my destiny. It’s time for you to run towards your destiny and follow after your dreams. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but what I am saying is that God is for us more than this world is against us. He believes in us and He is with us. Now, tell me who or what can stand against us!

Let me end today’s devotional with some questions for you to ponder on. Have you allowed things to deter you from your destiny? Have your emotions pushed you off your destiny’s path? Have you settled for doing what seems comfortable, the norm, and easy in order to avoid what God has called you to do? What’s preventing you from following the purpose God has for your life?

During your quiet time MEDITATE on today’s scriptures. Be motivated by today’s VIDEO. Allow all these things to encourage you to walk in freedom!

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.

By Any Means Necessary

There is a picture of Malcolm X standing by a window of his home, peering through the curtains, and holding a weapon. At the top of that picture the words are written big and bold, “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY”. Some people view that picture and statement in a negative connotation, but I don’t. I view them as a man who takes a stand to do whatever it takes to protect the well-being of his family and his home. If it meant staying up late, guarding his home, making sure his wife and children are safe, and being the protector of his family, then it must be done!

“By any means necessary” is a profound statement. I believe it’s an attitude that means going the distance, pushing past oppositions and barriers no matter how difficult they may be in order to meet a goal or objective. It’s means determination!

In today’s passage, we see an example of men who have a “by any means necessary” attitude.

“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, ‘Young man, your sins are forgiven.’”
(Luke 5:18-20,NLT)

These men sought to make their way to Jesus. They were bound by a common goal: to get their friend to Jesus so he can be healed. These friends were bold, courageous, and creative in their efforts to get to Jesus. They didn’t worry about the obstacles, the penalty for damaging another person’s property, or the crowd. Nothing could stand in their way, not the people and not barriers. These men had an agenda. Get to Jesus no matter what!

Jesus was in town and this was the right time for their friend to be healed. They were determined to reach their goal. So, when they couldn’t get pass the crowd, with resourcefulness, they found another way. Without focusing on what others would say, these friends made their way to Jesus and it didn’t matter what or who stood in their way. They had a “by any means necessary” attitude.

They were fearless and daring, and with a lot of courage they made up their mind that their friend would see Jesus and be healed on that day. Their faith in Jesus and their love for their friend made them push, strain, press their way in spite of difficulties. They believed once Jesus saw their friend, He would have compassion on him and heal him. And Jesus did just that!

Sisters, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who would go the distance with us? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who would be bold, daring, and courageous for us? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone who would carry us to our deliverance, to our healing, and to our breakthrough? Wouldn’t it be great to have someone in our corner that has a “by any means necessary” attitude when it comes to making us a better person?

Well, sisters, we do! We do have someone who went the distance to give us eternal life! We have someone who was and is fearless, heroic, and courageous in His love for us! There is someone who carries us when we are weak and weary on this Christian journey! Yes, sisters! We have someone who broke barriers, pushed past oppositions, and ultimately gave His life just to prove His love for us!!

Sisters, we have someone and His name is Jesus! What a sweet name. Jesus is someone who has a “by any means necessary” attitude concerning His love for us. Daily, Jesus goes out of His way to show us that He loves us. Daily, Jesus says, “No matter what, I will display my love for mankind.”

Can we say the same about ourselves? Do we have that same determination in showing our love for the Savior? After all, He proves His love for us time and time again. Isn’t it time for us to do the same? Isn’t time for you and I to courageously lend a helping hand to our fellow brothers and sisters who find themselves weak and without hope?

Sisters, let’s stand up! Take a stand! Go the distance! Have a “by any means necessary” love for the Father and for one another. Let’s hold nothing back as we express our love for God.



*Originally posted 3/08/12.

Rhovonda L. Brown is speaker and author of two bestsellers, Walking in Freedom!: A Thirty-Day Devotional Journey for Women and At Least Say, “Thank You!”: An 8-Day Devotional Plan for a Grateful Heart. 

Copyright ©2010-2016. Rhovonda L. Brown. All Rights Reserved.