Life Is Easier With Cookies!

We have a little poodle that hates to get a bath. If she even gets the hint that it’s bath time she runs and hides under the bed. She seems to sense it and we dare not ever say the word BATH in her presence or she will tuck her tail and run. We have started using the word “shampoo” as she hasn’t figured that one out yet. But we have found that

make life so much easier for Abby! So now we have to promise her a “doggie cookie” for all difficult chores, such as baths, hair cuts, and even going out to potty sometimes requires a “cookie”.

So when life is difficult for you to handle, just remember life is so much easier if you take a

I thought I would offer you a little lighter side to my personality today with an inside look at what goes on within when I am stressed, excited, happy or sad! Those emotions incite a rage within me that feels like I have the

living within me!

 

Usually when we have extreme cravings for sweets it is an indication that something within is out of balance.  For women, it could be that “time of the month” when the hormones are raging; or it could be a deeper immune problem where the adrenal glands are stressed and releasing too much cortisol into our systems, but whatever it is if we will eat healthfully both physically and spiritually we will find that life will be easier.  And unfortunately, eating cookies usually just aggravates the problem.

 

Psalm 34:8  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

 

So, with that said I think I’ll go have me a 

Won’t you join me?

Ooooops! 

Father, bless my friends with a good day today! May they walk in the light of Your love and experience the goodness of Your presence. I pray, Father, that we will each seek You for our significance in life and not try to “feed” our emotions when it is really a spiritual hunger that we are experiencing. Even though we’ve looked at a lighter side of things today, I pray that we will always understand that deep within we have a spirit man who needs the nourishment from Your Spirit, Your Word and Your Presence! May we seek You with our whole hearts! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Where Have You Come From and Where Are You Going?

Genesis 16:8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are your going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”

Hagar, Sarai’s maid ran away from her because she mistreated her. She suffered an injustice at the hands of her mistress.

How many of us have suffered injustices at the hand’s of another? We see and hear of it all the time in our world as evil grows more prevalent. The mistreatment of children, women and even the elderly. God sees all the injustices that are taking place in our world and He cares!

The angel of the Lord told Hagar to go back and submit herself to Sarai.

Genesis 16:9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”

I have often wondered why God would ask Hagar to go back into a situation where she was being mistreated. It seems so unjust; so unfair. The heart of compassion that I have for the hurting says, “no, run away, as far away from it as you can get.” And yet, my ways are not God’s ways. He often asks us to do things that seem to us as “over the edge”. But God had a plan to bless Hagar’s life and if she had continued to run away from her uncomfortable situation it would have changed the course of God’s plan for her life.

The angel of the Lord went on to tell Hagar a little bit about that plan:

Genesis 16:11, 12 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

 

The name Ishmael means “God hears”. God heard Hagar’s crying; He saw her distress and He came to her aid. God understands and cares about the injustices in our lives. He is a restorer of those things that have been stolen from us. He blesses us in the midst of the injustices and gives us a glimpse of the good future that He has in store for us. Even though Ishmael would be a man that would constantly be in disagreement with his brothers, Hagar knew that God saw and heard and understood her situation and was there to bless her through it.

Genesis 16:13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “have I also here seen Him who sees me?”

Hagar was in the desert. There was no one around her. She had sat down by a spring of water in the wilderness and yet God saw her there; He came to meet with her in her despair and disappointment. She called His name El Roi, the God who sees.

God sees everything that happens to you. He is aware of the injustices and He often directs us to stand up and confront the wrongs in our lives because until we confront the fears that come along with the injustices we are held in bondage to the lies of the enemy. God asked Hagar to go back and submit herself under Sarai’s hand. There was something that God wanted to do in Hagar’s life that meant that she would have to submit herself unto her mistress. We can’t fully understand God’s ways until we do things His way. Submission is God’s way. He asks us to submit to those in authority over us so He can have an open channel to work through. As long as we are adamantly set on doing things our way in our time we are not open to allowing God to work in His way and timing. It is as we submit to those over us that we prepare an open avenue for God to move in our situations.

I remember a time in my working career when I was employed as an office manager for an insurance agent. He was a former military man, very harsh in his mannerisms and communications with people; definitely not a “people person”. He had me in tears my first day before noon and yet God had given me the job; I knew I was there at His will and every time I prayed about leaving He would not release me. This one particular time I was very upset about a situation that he had asked me to deal with in relation to a person in the community that I felt was not my place to handle. It was regarding something personal and even though I was his office manager I felt that he should have handled his own personal communications. I had prayed about the situation that morning and as a part of my devotions that day I was reading out of a Bible that I had purchased to give to one of the youth in our church. It was a New Century translation and I was reviewing it for accuracy before giving it to the Youth Director. My reading that morning was in Ecclesiastes 10. I began in verse 1 and when I got to verse 4 the Lord spoke to my heart:

Ecclesiastes 10:4 Don’t leave your job just because your boss is angry with you. Remaining calm solves great problems.

I was floored! I had just prayed about leaving my job, one more time. I was miserable in his employment. Such injustices constantly happened. Every new employee we would hire would cry on my shoulder because our employer was so harsh and difficult to work for. They never stayed and yet God wouldn’t let me leave! Why, Lord! I don’t understand why I have to stay and others get to leave. God knew I needed preparation to lead through submission to the authority over me. He continued to speak to my heart through 1 Peter 2:18-23:

 

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps; “Who, committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

Could this really be God’s way? Does He really want us to bear with those who are harsh and hard to get along with? Jesus gave us an example by not reviling in return for the injustices done to Him but instead committing Himself to Him who judges righteously. He turned the injustices over to God for Him to deal with.

God always has a “come back” for every “set back” you encounter!

Romans 12:17-21 says: Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now, before you leave saying that I am in favor of women and children staying in abusive situations, please listen to my heart. I believe the key here is found in verse 18: If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. There are some situations where it is just not possible to live in peace. Those would be the situations of extreme abuse, where a person’s life is in danger. I do not believe God wants a woman to stay in a relationship where her life is in danger or the lives of her children are at risk. Put distance between you and the abuser! God is in the delivering business and He will make a way for you to be freed from the abuse. Take it and then let God deal with the abuser!

But in situations such as I have described in my experience with my employer, He had a blessing waiting for me that could only happen if I stayed in that situation. As my employer progressed towards retirement God impressed upon his heart to reward me for the years of service in his employment. He always paid me well; he never wanted me to work if it was snowing outside. He would begin pacing and looking out the windows as it snowed until he would finally say, “I think you need to go home; I don’t want you driving in the snow.” When he sold his agency at retirement he told the new agent that I was a part of the deal; if he didn’t keep me in his employment and honor my salary and benefits he would not sell his agency to him. It wasn’t until three years after his retirement that God released me from working in that agency and gave me a new place of employment in my own town close to my home. I worked for him for eight years and three years longer in the employment of the new agent. During that time I learned the beauty of submission and how God blesses people through their attitude of humility towards those who are in authority over them.

1 Peter 5:5-7 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,

God resists the proud, but gives grace, unmerited favor, the ability to do in and through you what you can’t do for yourself, to the humble. When you submit yourself to the authority over you, you are opening the door for God’s grace to move into your life. And in due time He will exalt you; He will lift you up and bless you as you cast your cares upon Him.
God always has a “come back” for every “set back” in your life.

This morning I ask you these questions: “Where have you come from and where are you going?” What are you running away from? Are you fearful of the injustices that have been done to you? Are you allowing God to be your defender or are you trying to defend yourself? God has a blessing with your name on it! The centurion in Matthew 8:8, 9 told Jesus that he knew the power of authority because he, himself, was a man under authority and he said to his soldiers that were under him ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes. He then told the Lord to only speak the word and his servant would be healed. The power of submission to authority! Jesus responded to him:

Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

Could it be that submission to authority is tied to God’s idea of “great faith”? According to Jesus it is.

Father, I thank You for seeing every injustice done to Your children. I thank You, Father, for protecting the defenseless ones. Thank You for delivering them from harm and protecting them from evil. Father, for those who are struggling with submitting to the authority that You have placed over them, I pray for them to have courage to live at peace with those around them. I pray that You will show them that You are working in their situations. That you are bringing deliverance and freedom as they submit themselves to you and their superiors. Be close to the brokenhearted, Father, and heal their hurts. Strengthen them and give them peace! Thank you, Father! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

God has a “come back” planned for every “set back”!  Will you believe in Him?

Salt and Light?

1 Chronicles 16:25 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved.

As I reflect and think back through the years I can’t help but remember all the good things God has done in my life. He is great and greatly to be praised!

This morning I will go to church and worship the Lord. It is the Lord’s Day! And I will again be honored to be in His presence; to join together with others as we proclaim how great our God is!

Hebrews 10:24, 25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

With that joining together in worship comes more opportunities to see God work in and through my life and the lives of those around me. God has so blessed me with the ones that are around me to encourage me and, likewise, that I can encourage and support in their walk with the Lord. As time draws near to the return of the Lord Jesus we each will have more and more opportunities to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. That may sound arrogant to some of you, but if the Spirit of God lives within you then you are to some the only reflection of the character and nature of Jesus that they might see. There was a song years ago that said, “you may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” This morning I would like to ask you, “of what reflection are you to those around you”? Are you reflecting Jesus to the world or would they be surprised to know that you belong to Jesus?

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Salt and light….Jesus said we are to be salt and light to those around us?

Salt – according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary it is 1) the muriate of soda, a substance used for seasoning certain kinds of food, and for the preservation of meat. 2) In chemistry, it is a body compounded of an acid united to some base, which may be either an alkali, an earth, or a metallic oxyd. 3) Taste; sapor; smack 4) Wit; poignancy;

We are to season people with our speech and our presence. As He changes us we will have the natural ability to perceive and understand the things of the Lord and have a keenness and quickness of perception or discernment. Sometimes we will have a sharp or pungent flavor to those around us. That means that they won’t always agree with us, but if we speak with a saltiness we will whet their appetite for the Lord. Salt always makes people thirsty. We then preserve them by our witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Wit – 1. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence. 2. a. Keenness and quickness of perception or discernment; ingenuity.

Poignancy – sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste keenly affecting the other senses: poignant beauty; sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste .

Our speech, our presence and our witness bring people to want the saving knowledge of Jesus for themselves when we reflect the character and nature of the Lord.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Our speech is to be with grace, which by one definition is unmerited favor. As we talk with people we are to show them favor, undeserved mercy, giving them love and acceptance even though they may not be worthy of it. God extended grace to us in saving us. He gave us His life in place of the death that we deserve. He gave His very own Son to exchange our sin for His forgiveness; our sickness for His health; our poverty for His riches! We are salt to those around us!

Light – Greek word phos – Strong’s #5457 – meaning “to give light”, expressing “light as seen by the eye,” and, metaphorically, as “reaching the mind,” whence phaino, “to make to appear,” phaneros, “evident,”.

Jesus said we are to be “light” to the world; we are to make Him appear, or make Him evident to those around us. We are to be “Jesus with skin on”, set on a high hill shining for all to see that Jesus lives in us and wants to live in them. We are to express God to the world!

Food for thought: How salty are you today? Who are you reflecting? How bright is your light? Are you a preserving witness of the Lord Jesus Christ?

You know what? God doesn’t expect us to do these things on our own. It is only as God changes us that we can offer the reflection of the Lord that changes those around us. You may feel, as I do, that my reflection at times is dim, that my speech isn’t always seasoned with grace and that I reflect my own fleshly desires more than His. It is then that I have to go back to the word of God that says:

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

 

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

 

Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed ot the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

You see, it is as we see that God is the One doing the changing that we are in awe of His greatness! We come back full circle to the reason why we worship the Lord; because of His greatness! I can’t change myself and you can’t change yourself, but we can yield to God’s working within us. We can pray that He will show us the things within that He wants to change and allow Him to have the freedom to do that.

I think that the New Living Translation really gives me a greater understanding of what is taking place within me when God is working:

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.

You see, it is God giving us the desire to obey Him and then also giving us the power to do it! That takes the responsibility totally off of us and places it on Him. He is responsible for making the changes even to the point of giving us the desire to be changed!

Now, can you join me in saying “How GREAT IS OUR GOD”!!!!?

Father, I thank You for Who You are to me, in me and through me. You are great and greatly to be praised! I am in awe of Your greatness! Thank You for working in me giving me the desire to obey You and the power to do it! Thank You, Father, for this day that I can gather together with other believers in corporate worship of You! May You be blessed by our praise! Father, as we live each day, I pray that You will cause us to be mindful of the words that we speak and how they should be seasoned with grace. I pray that You will show us how to reflect You in all that we say and do; that You will change us so that our light will shine brightly and we will reflect You as You draw all men unto Yourself as we lift You up. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it in the name of Jesus! Amen.

Going And Growing!

Okay, folks, we’ve had a couple of inspirational blogs so now it’s time to pull up to the table and share a meal of the meat of God’s word. There’s an old song we used to sing years ago entitled “Come and Dine”. Here’s the chorus:

‘Come and dine’, the Master calleth,’Come and dine’
You can eat at Jesus’ table anytime.
He who fed the multitude,
Changed the water into wine
To the hungry calleth now, ‘Come and dine’.

So, this morning I invite you to come and dine with me at the table of God’s word!

Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

 

When we are babes in Christ we need constant milk whereby we grow just as babies begin their lives. But as we are fed the milk of God’s word and begin to put our roots down in Him we find the necessity of going forward and growing in the things of God so we can be nourished by the solid meat of the word and not just the simple, feel good scriptures that give us the warm, fuzzy feelings. There is a place for inspirational messages and a different place for those that challenge us and cause us to grow up and become the over-comers that God intends for us to be. It is only as we exercise what we learn that we will grow. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

What happens when we go through a crucifixion? It is the dying of our fleshly motivations in living life so that Christ can live through us to His honor and glory. We see from the crucifixion of Jesus that He had to lay aside His will in order to fulfill the will of the Father. It takes faith to do that. Paul said that once he had crucified his flesh, in order to continue to live the life that God wanted, he had to do it by faith.

Faith makes things possible, but not always easy! Walking by faith means that instead of reacting to something that happens in my life, I will respond according to God’s word regarding that situation. Faith is believing what God says before I see the reality of it. We often make the statement that “seeing is believing”, but faith says that “believing is seeing”.

Abraham is listed in God’s word as being the “father of faith”. As we look at the example of how he lived his life by faith we can see a pattern to follow in living our lives.

Romans 4:17-21 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

God gave Abram a promise: that He had already made him the father of may nations. Abram could then either react in disbelief because it had not yet been manifested in the natural, or he could respond in faith by choosing to believe what God said over what he saw in his situation. He saw the deadness of his body and that of Sarah, his wife. He heard the negative voices that came into his mind saying “this is not possible. You both are too old. It’s never going to happen. Look at how long you’ve been waiting for this promised child to arrive.” All those things came against him, just like they come against you. But Abram didn’t waver in believing what God had said, but he made the choice to stand with God and resist the enemy that tried to come to destroy the covenant promise that God had made to him.

God promised a child to Abram and Sarai and when He made the promise He sealed it with the sacrifice of a blood covenant.

Genesis 15:8-11 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Child of God, He has made promises to us throughout His word, sealed by the blood of Jesus that are covenant promises. It’s time that we shoo the vultures away from our covenant and begin to take a stand on His word that paves the way for the manifestation of His promises. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy our lives, God’s promises to us, and we are the ones that have to enforce the protection of those promises through faith until we see the reality of them. Faith looks out into the future and grasps what God has promised as if it already exists.

Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

What are you thinking about? Do you have your mind set on the things of God or what you see going on around you? Abram had to lay aside the negative thoughts and pictures of his situation in order to embrace the truth of God’s promise. He had to die to self and live in God. We have been born again, given a new life, and that life is the life of faith that God lives within us; we are in Christ Jesus, a new person, created in His likeness and image and given the ability to function by faith through His strength and power.

We are to put off the old man and “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge, according to the image of Him who created him,” (Colossians 3:9,10)

God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did! (Romans 4:17) Are you calling things that don’t yet exist as though they did or are you reacting to the situation by speaking about the reality of life as it is now?

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things now seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand the the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith sees things that are not real in the natural, but understands that the spiritual viewpoint over-rides the natural. The spiritual is real, the natural is a manifestation of what we have already seen in the spirit realm. If your focus is on the negative aspects of life, you will find that those negative things which you have meditated on will become a reality in your life. The elders obtained a good testimony through believing that what God said was the reality and then walking it out. God framed His world by what He said. He brought the spiritual into the natural through His words.

Paul said that even though he went through persecutions and difficulties that he realized that God was working in his life and the situations he encountered were so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in him. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:13: And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. You see, faith takes God’s promise, believes it first and then speaks out of the mouth what is believed in the heart. Speaking gives faith the avenue to bring into your natural world what God promises in His word!

Jesus said it this way in Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

What we put into our hearts and meditate on will eventually come out of our mouths! If we believe that God lives in us and is the greater One within then we will begin to speak that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13) If we believe that the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us and has seated us far above the principalities and powers that are arrayed against us, then we will speak that and act on it! (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Jesus encountered a “faith issue” with His disciples in Luke 8:24, 25. They encountered a terrific storm in their lives as they were crossing the sea and Jesus was asleep in the boat. As the storm raged the disciples became more and more fearful of what was going to happen. They awoke Jesus and this is what He said to them:

Luke 8:25 NIV He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked His disciples.

This morning I ask you, “where is your faith”? Are you believing the lies of the devil that your life will never be any different than what it is today; that the bad things that he has brought into your life are what exist in your future? Or will you stand up and say, “no, I choose to believe that God has a good plan for my life and that is what exists in my future”!

Father, I thank You that You have equipped us with the God-kind of faith; faith that believes Your word and acts on what You have said. Father, I pray that as we are challenged to walk in faith that we will not be offended by what we read in Your word, or by the messengers that you send into our lives to share that word with us, but that we will be encouraged knowing that You have already made the way possible to for us to live as over-comers; soaring above the storms of life, rather than chickens who always are looking here and there for a morsel of food, hoping that the bareness of the ground around them is not an indication of the future. May we be not only hearers of the word, but doers! Thank You, Father, for the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Don’t Worry!

Sometimes my husband points out to me that I am worrying. I’m thankful that God brought him into my life and for him helping me to keep a proper perspective on casting my cares on the Lord and not allowing worry to steal my peace!

So, God tells us in this scripture that we are not to worry about anything. Wow, how hard is that? Have you ever caught yourself fretting over something? I think we women especially have a tendency to do that. But God actually gives us a “pattern” to follow for success in this portion of scripture.

  1. Don’t worry – instead pray!
  2. Tell God your needs – and don’t forget to be thankful for what He does for you!
  3. Result – God’s peace will encompass your mind and your heart!
  4. Rest – will come as you trust in Christ!

Now, how simple can that be? It all boils down to our willingness to place our trust in God and allow Him to handle our problems instead of us trying to do it on our own. He’s a BIG God; the only true GOD! He created the universe and all that’s within it! Who are we to think we can help Him out by worrying? Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 that when we worry we actually borrow from tomorrow’s trouble. Wow, who would want to bring tomorrow’s troubles into today? Instead He says that when we seek His kingdom and His righteousness, or His right way of doing things, that everything that we have need of that we’ve worried about will be added unto us. What a great exchange…..trading our needs for His provision! I think I’ll concentrate a little more on doing that. How about you?

Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Father, I thank You for always meeting my every need according to Your riches in Christ Jesus. Thank You for handling the things that I tend to worry about. You are so much better at dealing with life’s issues than me. I thank You that when I present my requests before You that You hear me and set my heart at peace. Thank You for always being there for me! And now Lord, I bring my friends before You. So many of them are struggling with their own problems right now and need encouragement and provision for what they are experiencing. Father, You’ve said that You would provide for their needs according to, or in the same measure as, Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I pray that they will receive that provision today, Father. And that You will give them an assurance in their hearts that it’s been taken care of and that You are working in each situation bringing the resolution that they have need of. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Never Give Up!

Matthew 14:28-33 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

So often we hear the story about Peter walking on the water and we focus on the fact that he sank! But, HEY, he walked on the water before he began to sink. It was only as he looked around him and saw the great waves of the sea and felt the blustery winds that he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. Fear over-whelmed him and affected his ability to walk in faith.  How many of us have walked on the water? I can’t think of a single time when I was in the ocean or the lake or even a swimming pool when I walked on the water. So why do we condemn Peter for stepping out in faith, after hearing God’s voice, to do the impossible? Why do we focus on the fact that he sank rather than the fact that he walked on the water?  We often experience the same difficulty in life’s battles when we take our eyes off Jesus and look at the enormity of life’s difficulties and begin to sink. Our immediate cry is just like Peter’s “Lord, save me!” The water that we are walking on are the “seemingly impossible” situations that we face in our own lives. The answer is found in keeping our eyes on Jesus!

Isaiah 26:3, 4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

You want strength and peace of mind, the ability to walk on the cares of this life? Trust in the LORD!

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

You want to be able to endure the difficulties of life? Look unto Jesus; He is the author and finisher of your faith. He will give you the strength, peace of mind and the faith to win every battle!

I realize that very often my blogs have been long and “meaty”. I do not want to overload you with teaching so just as I sometimes have a “snacky” meal instead of a full-blown, 3 or 5 course meal, I think you need to have a “snack” instead of a full-blown teaching. I will at times, then, be posting a short devotional to encourage you or give you something to think about. This is the first of those types of posts!

Be encouraged in knowing that God never leaves you or forsakes you. He is always there to encourage you to stand strong in your faith and resist the enemy who wants to discourage you and cause you to sink! Never give up; never quit and never cave in!

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

“Little faith” — Greek word oligopistos – Strong’s 3640  Small, faith, describing a faith that lacks confidence or trusts too little.  Another way to term it is “under-developed faith” as opposed to outright unbelief or distrust.

Food for thought: Where are you in your faith walk? Are there different levels of faith? Does doubt keep us from experiencing God’s best?

Your comments are important to me. Let me hear what you think about these questions.

Father, I thank You for being there for us to help us “walk on the water” of life. Thank You for lifting us up when we fall down; for strengthening us so we can grow in our spiritual lives and for giving us the victory over the battles of life. You are God! There is none above You or beside You. You are the One who brings us through to victory! Thank You, Father, for Your peace in the midst of the storms. And thank You for giving us the ability to focus our eyes on You and win over the enemy’s fiery darts that try to bring us down and defeat us! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

One Lovely Blog Award

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I am very honored to have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Cindy French.  You can view Cindy’s blog at http://cindyhfrench.com/.  Cindy is a lovely, new friend of mine who offers stories that are “stranger than fiction” about facing life with hope and confidence no matter what the diagnosis.  Thank you, Cindy, for honoring me with this award!

Now, I’m supposed to tell you ten things about myself, so here goes:

1)  I am married to the love of my life.

2)  I have 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

3)  The greatest joy of my life is ministering God’s word and healing to those who are hurting.

4)  I am the youngest of five children.

5)  I enjoy reading, writing, crocheting, and traveling.

6)  I am retired.

7)  My day begins with a special time in worship and prayer with my Lord Jesus!

8)  For health and fitness I am walking 7-8 miles daily.

9)  I’m not used to having to think of so much to say about myself!

10)  I would rather talk about Jesus and what He is doing in the lives of people than anything else!

Since I am relatively new to the Word Press blogging family I have not had much time to get acquainted with other bloggers so my ability to nominate others is very limited.  I’m supposed to nominate 10, but I don’t have that many so here are the ones that I think deserve the special recognition of the “One Lovely Blog Award”.

1)  http://franticbelieving.wordpress.com/

2)  http://mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com/

I want to thank all my readers for visiting my blogs and leaving such encouraging “likes” and “comments”.  You all are the best!  Those of you who have subscribed to following my blogs have encouraged me to seek the Lord for daily inspiration to offer encouragement and spiritual nourishment to my readers!  God Bless you all!

If You Can Believe!

 

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

 

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe……”

 

Jesus was talking to the father of the little boy that was demon-possessed. His disciples had tried to cast out the demon with no success and the father’s faith was evidently shaken and needed a little bolstering from the Lord.

 

Sometimes our faith is shaken. We get a negative report from the doctor and go for prayer and nothing seems to be any different. Our faith is then shaken and we lose heart in believing that God still heals today. But doesn’t He? Doesn’t the word proclaim in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”? Yes, it does! If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then wouldn’t we be able to look at His walk on earth and see that if He healed then, that He is still healing today? What happens, then, when our faith is challenged?

 

Jesus said “If you can….”, leaving me to think that the burden of responsibility for our receiving from God is on us. If we can believe, or exercise our faith for the promise to become a reality then it will happen. Wow, that stretches me, how about you?

 

We know that it is within God’s power to heal; it often comes down to us believing that it is His will to heal us! Many times we add the phrase, “if it be Your will”, to the end of our prayer. But can’t we know God’s will? I believe we can, by studying God’s word, understand that certain things are clearly shown as being His will in His word.

 

Hebrews 1:1-4 GOD, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

 

Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person. Jesus said it this way to His disciples in John 14:9-11: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. “Believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

 

Jesus said that when they looked at Him, they were looking at the Father because He and the Father were One. He asked them to believe either based on what He said or what they saw, knowing that it was the Father speaking and doing His works through Him! Today He is still challenging us to believe that He is who He said He is and that He still does what He did over 2,000 years ago. He is still the same healing Jesus today as He was when He walked on the shores of Galilee!

 

John writes in John 1:18 AMP: No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has reveled Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

 

Jesus, Himself, has made God known! He has revealed Him, or brought Him out where He can be seen. He has interpreted God for us by showing us examples of how God feels about people and the needs that they have; that He wants to deliver them from the bondage of sickness and disease. He has the compassionate heart of a Father who longs to free His children from the grip of the spirit of infirmity. His heart is to set them free! We see example after example of that through the ministry of Jesus. God’s heart is demonstrated through the actions of Jesus as He walked on this earth.

 

Luke 4:18, 19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

 

Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

 

God, Himself, proclaimed that He is the LORD who heals you in Exodus 15:26:

 

and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statues, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

 

This was written under the Old Covenant. God proclaimed Himself as the “LORD who heals you.” It is written of Jesus in the book of Hebrews that He is the Mediator of a better covenant.

 

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of t a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

 

If God proclaimed Himself as our Healer under the Old Covenant and Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant then the New Covenant must include healing as well. The Old Covenant was made obsolete and the New was established on better promises. Promises that secured salvation for the total man: spirit, soul and body. Jesus died that we might have a covenant of healing spiritually, emotionally and physically. In order to understand that we must look back at the original Hebrew definition of the words describing the crucifixion of Jesus in Isaiah 53.

 

Isaiah 53:4, 5-6 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

 

Let’s look at a few specific words here in these two verses:

 

Griefs – choliy – Strong’s 2483 comes from the root word chalah which means to be weak, sick afflicted, diseased. So choliy means malady, disease, grief, sickness.

 

Jesus bore our sicknesses and diseases. He was made sick so we could be healed.

 

Sorrows – makob or makowb, or makobah; Strong’s 4341 – means anguish, affliction, grief, pain, sorrow.

 

Jesus carried our pains, our anguish, affliction and sorrow. He bore on His back the stripes that were needed to bring healing for our bodies.

 

He was wounded for our transgressions.

 

Wounded – challah – Strong’s 2471 deriving from Strong’s 2490 meaning to puncture or pierce through, to slay.

 

He was pierced through, His body punctured, slain for our transgressions.

 

Transgressions – pesha – Strong’s #6588 – meaning rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass.

 

Jesus was slain for our rebellion, sin and transgression.

 

Bruised – daka – Strong’s 1792 –meaning to crumble, beat to pieces, break in pieces, crush, destroy, smite.

 

Jesus was beat to pieces, crushed for our iniquities.

 

Iniquities – ‘avon – Strong’s 5771 – meaning evil; fault, iniquity, mischief, sin.

 

He was beat to pieces and crushed for our evil sin.

 

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.

 

Chastisement – muwcar – Strong’s 4148 – bond, chastening, check, correction, discipline, rebuke.

 

Jesus was disciplined, corrected, rebuked, chastened for our peace.

 

Peace – shalowm or shalom – Strong’s 7965 – welfare, health, prosperity, peace, wholeness, well-being.

 

Jesus was chastized or rebuked, punished for our welfare, health, prosperity, peace, wholeness and well-being. This comprises every area of man: spirit, soul and body. Peace, prosperity and wholeness; well-being for the total man.

 

And by His stripes we are healed.

 

Stripes – chabbuwrah – Strong’s 2250 – blows that cut in; black and blue marks; bruised, hurt, stripe, wound.

 

Jesus was beaten with blows that cut into His body to secure our healing!

 

As we have taken a closer look at these particular words describing the crucifixion of Jesus I don’t see how we could deny the work of His sacrifice on the cross for man’s total redemption: spirit, soul and body.

 

But to further confirm, let’s look at some scriptures in the New Testament:

 

Matthew 8:16, 17 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

 

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

 

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

 

Jesus carried our sins, sicknesses and diseases on His back when He was nailed to the cross, redeeming us from the kingdom of darkness and translating us into the Kingdom of God. Physical healing is just as much a part of redemption as forgiveness of sin. We were forgiven of our sin over 2,000 years ago when Jesus hung on that cross. Likewise, we were healed of our sicknesses and diseases when He hung on that cross. Our wholeness was secured for us spirit, soul and body when Jesus was beaten and crucified. But it is not made ours until we receive it.

 

If I brought a gift to you and said that it was yours, that I had brought it for you, when would it be yours? As far as I’m concerned it was yours the minute I bought it and laid it down before you. But you can turn and walk out of that room and that gift will not be yours because you didn’t pick it up and take it with you. So it is with salvation, whether it is forgiveness of sin or healing for your spirit, soul or body. If you don’t receive it; it will do you no good. It has to be made personal. That is done through God’s grace, by your faith.

Saved — Sozo — Strong’s #4982  To save, heal, cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, deliver.  Sozo saves from physical death by healing, and from spiritual death by forgiving sin and its effects.

 

Salvation is a free gift, given by God’s grace and received as we exercise faith for it. The way that we exercise faith is by believing it in our hearts and speaking it out with our mouths.

 

Romans 10:8-10; 13 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach); that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

You must align the confession of your mouth with the belief in your heart! Salvation is a free gift, but we have to believe it in our hearts and confess Jesus as Lord with our mouths.

 

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

 

Have you called on the Lord for your sins to be forgiven? Have you asked for His healing power to flow through your body bringing healing and wholeness? Have you confessed that Jesus is your Lord and Savior; that He is your Healer? What do you believe in your heart?

 

Yes, Jesus forgives; He heals and He delivers from oppression. He died for you to be saved, healed, delivered, and set free. The question is this: Will you now receive it?

 

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord this is the place of beginnings for you. If you would like to do that just pray along with me and mean this with sincerity in your heart:

 

Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I confess that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I believe that You gave Your Son, Jesus Christ, to purchase my redemption from sin. I ask You to forgive me and save me. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying for me and I confess you as my Savior and Lord. Please come into my heart and live through me. I commit myself to you and choose to live for you the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

If you are sick and in need of the Healer, just reach out and receive your healing today! It is yours, Jesus purchased it for you. Exercise your faith to believe for His healing power to flow through your body right now.

 

Father, I ask You to flow Your healing power throughout my friends’ physical bodies right now. I speak life to their bodies, in the Name of Jesus! I declare that sickness and disease has no right to exist in their bodies, for they are children of God and their bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Sickness and disease must go right now, in Jesus Name. Father, I thank You for touching them and making them whole! Thank You for healing them! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

If you prayed with me this morning to receive the Lord Jesus as Your Savior and Lord, I would like to hear from you. You may privately email me if you so desire or leave a comment on this blog. Either way, I want to pray for you and rejoice with you in your decision to follow Jesus.

 

If you have prayed for healing for your body, I would like to stand with you in faith believing for the manifestation of that healing. You may contact me and I will be happy to offer further assistance in standing in faith believing for the manifestation of your healing. God bless you all!

 

If God Had A Regrigerator Your Picture Would Be On It!

Isaiah 49:16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

One day at work I was really down about something and I went to the restroom where I was praying and confiding in the Lord about the situation. I told Him that I really would like to have some kind of reminder that He was working in the situation and that He really cared about what I was going through. I went back to my desk and someone had sent me an email with the quote “If God had a refrigerator your picture would be on it!” I was reminded of His great love for me and thankful that He had heard my prayer and sent a special word of encouragement through another individual.

God cares about you! He has you engraved on the palms of His hands and His thoughts are ever of you!

Psalm 139:17, 18 NLT How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!

God thinks about you all the time! He is always there with you! He will not leave you to deal with life on your own, under your own power and ability. He is always working on your behalf!

Zephaniah 3:16, 17 “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak, The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The Lord your God is in your midst. He is the Mighty One, the One who comes to save, heal, deliver and set free! He rejoices over you with gladness and quiets you with His love, rejoicing over you with singing. You know, I’ve found that when I focus on the love that God has for me and how He is working in my life, the pressures of life grow less and the problems that I experience become smaller. Anytime I magnify God in my life I see His greatness and the difficulties that I am experiencing then have to bow their knee to the King of kings and the Lord of lords! Things just look better to me when I think about how great my God is!

In Luke chapter 1 we find the story of Mary, the soon to be mother of Jesus, as the angel tells her about the magnificent transformation that will take place in her body.  Mary was about to experience what seemed like an impossible situation to her limited perspective when the angel of the Lord reminded her that “….with God nothing will be impossible.”  (Luke 1:37)

The word tells us in Proverbs 21:1:

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”

We see things going on around us in the world and are inclined to see them as impossible situations, but God holds the king’s heart in His hand. He is able to change people and situations to bring them around for our good. There is nothing too hard for our God!

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

God hears and is able to save us. The problem is not in God’s ability to do what we ask of Him. We are the ones who limit God. Many times we do not see Him as being able to save us out of the mess in which we find ourselves.

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Is God’s word true or do we allow our situations to over-ride the truth of God’s word? Many times we don’t see God moving bringing deliverance into our lives because we don’t believe He is able or that He will do it for us. We put limitations on God based upon our own human perspective. Our vision and mindsets need to be renewed to the truth of God’s word.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

God’s word is what renews our minds. We are transformed into agreement with God’s will for our lives as we ingest the word of God into our spirits. It is at that time that we can understand what is His good, acceptable and perfect will for our lives. But as long as we continue to look at the enormity of what is happening in our lives, instead of God’s ability to deliver, we will remain in bondage to the impossibility of deliverance from our problems. Faith must arise in our hearts for us to believe that God is able and willing to bring healing and deliverance into our lives.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Our thoughts of what we are experiencing are not dependent upon our own ability to save ourselves. But God has given each one of us a measure of faith to use in believing Him to save and deliver. It is as we exercise our faith in Him that we will see a change in our situations.

Jesus told the man who had a demon-possessed son that the disciples had been unable to set free from the demonic influence that constantly threw the boy down and put him in seizures that “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believers”. (Mark 9:23)

 

We have a part to play in our own deliverance. It is to believe that God is able and willing to set us free! If we will do our part we can be assured that God will do His.

 

Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin said of Mary in Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Mary told the Lord in Luke 1:38 “….Let it be to me according to your word.” She readily received the word the angel brought her of God’s plan for her life and exercised her faith to believe for it to happen.

 

We see the story of a man of great faith in the Roman Centurion that Jesus talked about in Matthew 8:5-11; 13:

 

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Jesus said to the centurion, “as you have believed, so let it be done for you”.

The Roman Centurion knew that Jesus had the authority to just speak the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus said he had “great faith”! It is as we believe that we see God moving in our lives. Sometimes we see the negative and as a result it becomes a self- fulfilled prophecy in our lives when we would really like to see the hand of God moving in the direction of our salvation, healing or deliverance. But because we have “seen” the negative with our eyes of faith, that is what has transpired. Job said it this way:

Job 3:25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.

Fear is a hindrance to our faith. Fear, in essence, is saying that I have more faith in the devil’s ability to harm me that I have in God’s ability to save me. Joyce Meyer often says that fear is “False Evidence Appearing Real”. The devil always wants us to think the worst of our situations. If he can get you into fear then he has your faith that he will bring the worst into manifestation. Fear is one of the first weapons that Satan uses to bring discouragement and defeat into the lives of believers.

Romans 15:13 has brought hope and comfort to my heart so many times as I was standing in faith believing God for the manifestation of His promises in my life. He is the God of hope who fills us with joy and peace while we are believing so that we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The biblical definition of the word “hope” is:

Hope – Greek word elpis—Strongs #1680 – Hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confident expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God’s promises.

Biblical hope rests on God’s promises. We find the promises of God in His word. Faith arises as we hear the word of God according to Romans 10:17:

 

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, we’ve come full circle back to Romans 12:3 where we see that God has given us a measure of faith and now we see that it is through hearing the word of God that our faith grows with hope, or the confident expectation based on the solid certainty of God’s word, that brings the fulfillment of the promises! How awesome is that! God has given us the key to victory! It is as He has provided faith that we start out and then we exercise our faith as it grows from hearing God’s word, and He gives the hope that is needed to confidently expect what we’ve seen in His word to come into manifestation in our lives! He has given us the victory! We just need to develop our faith to believe that He will do what He has said in His word!

Thank You, Father, for the faith that You have placed within each one of us. May we not ever again see our situations as being hopeless, but may we see You as bigger than any problem we might encounter. Thank You, Lord, for bringing deliverance and salvation into our lives as we believe what You have said. Thank You, for establishing us in hope while we are believing for the promise to come! You have equipped us to win! Thank You, Lord, for the battle is yours but the victory is ours! All praise, glory and honor be unto You, Lord Jesus, for You are worthy to receive it! Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer offered up to You in the name of Jesus! Amen.

God Help Me! There Are Giants In My Promised Land!

Deuteronomy 9:1-3 “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, “a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’ “Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.

 

Israel in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the New Testament believer and the Church of Jesus Christ. The battles that Israel fought in the Old Testament are representative of the battles that the New Testament believer fights spiritually, not physically. People often look at the Old Testament as being a book of stories that happened to people long, long ago, but with no significance to their lives. When, in actuality, the Old Testament is filled with examples that God tells us in the New Testament were written for our admonition, or instruction.

 

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

 

Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 

God intends for us to look at the stories of the Old Testament and understand that He is telling us these things so we can learn from them and have hope. He doesn’t want us to go through the same types of difficulties that His people in the Old Testament experienced, but instead that we might learn from their mistakes and battles and be strengthened and encouraged in our spiritual battles.

 

In the passage in Deuteronomy 9, God is speaking to His people about crossing over the Jordan to go into the Promised Land. There were giants in the land and He knew His people would be frightened as they saw the size of the giants and encountered the battles that were ahead of them. He wanted to assure them that they could fight and win the battles and that He would be going before them to assure them of the victories. That is the way that He is with us, His people today. He wants us to know that in our spiritual walk there will be battles, but He has equipped us to win. He is the God who goes before us and who walks with us through the difficult times. He has said in Hebrews 13:5, 6 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?”

 

God walks with us through the battles of life. He is there to strengthen us and help us; to give us the assurance that there is nothing to fear. We can win if we will allow Him to lead us into the victory.

 

Romans 8:31-35 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

God is on our side. Many times we credit God with the bad things that happen to us in life, when we should be looking at it as a battle that is brought against us by the enemy of our souls, Satan, that old deceiver, who is still trying to condemn and defeat God’s people today. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Just as the Israelites entered the battle with God going before them and walking with them through it, so He goes before us into the battles that we fight spiritually and is making intercession for us, helping us to fight and win the battles that we encounter today. There is nothing that can separate us from His love! His love enables us to fight and win in our spiritual walk through life.

 

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

 

We are more than conquerors! There is nothing that the devil can throw against you today, Child of God, that God hasn’t equipped you to win.

 

Romans 8:38, 39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

There is nothing that you will encounter in life that will be able to separate you from God’s love. The devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), but Jesus said He came to give you life and that more abundantly. When we come to understand that we are in a spiritual battle, but that God intends for us to win, we will be more well equipped to fight to the end knowing that the victory is ours in Christ Jesus.

 

Why does God want us to win these battles? Well, we find a key to that in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17:

 

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

 

God always leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus. He does that so that those around us will experience the fragrance of the Lord. He works through His people to show others that those who are perishing are experiencing death spiritually, so they will turn to the Lord and be saved. Those who are saved we are the aroma of life leading to life; a sweet smelling fragrance of how God is working through us to bring life to them. I have noticed that when I pray for people at the altar time at church that a certain fragrance comes upon my hands. I used to think it was from someone that I had prayed for, a certain fragrance from a ladies cologne, but I’ve realized lately that it comes when I lay hands on the people and pray for them, not from anything that they are carrying on their bodies, but from me. I sense the presence of the Lord during these times as He ministers through me to bring healing and wholeness to those in need. To me it is a reminder that He is there bringing the fragrance of Jesus into their lives, showing the world that He is real, that He is to be feared, revered and respected. He is God, working to bring the victory to His people.

 

What battle are you facing today? Have you seen it as an insurmountable obstacle, an impossible situation? God is with you; He is going before you into the battle. He will not leave you to fight alone. He told the Israelites that there would be giants in their Promised Land but that they should not fear them but go in an conquer them because He would be going before them to drive them out in preparation for the Israelites to win the battles. He is going before you into whatever situation you face today. Do not fear the battle, for God is with you, strengthening you to win.

 

God told the young preacher, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:12 to “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

 

We are called to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. Eternal life is our Promised Land. It begins the moment you come into the saving knowledge of Jesus. Jesus said in John 17:3 that eternal life is knowing God, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. We have an enemy who fights us all the way into our Promised Land. His name is Satan, the devil. But we can win in our fights against him. A good fight is a fight that you win. God has equipped us to win, if we will be faithful to fight and not give up. Lay hold on eternal life! Don’t let the devil steal from you what God has said is yours. Don’t give up; don’t quit and don’t cave in! The battle is there, but with God you are mightier than anything the devil can throw at you!

 

Father, I thank You for equipping Your people to win in the battles of life. Thank You, Lord, for going before us and making our way successful and prosperous in all that we face. You are our God. There is none above You or beside You and if You are for us who could possibly be against us? Thank You, Father, for the victories that You make possible as we fight through our relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray for my friends this morning who may be facing a battle. Lord, I ask You to show them that You are right there with them, enabling them to fight and win. Don’t let them give in to the plans of the enemy for their lives, Father. Give them a vision, Lord, of the good plan that You have for their lives. Show them that winning is possible, Father! Help them to draw their strength from You so they don’t try to fight through their own abilities. Show them how to win spiritually! Thank You, Father. I believe I receive the answers to my prayer as You have instructed me to pray in faith believing that whatsoever I ask in faith I will receive. Thank You, Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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