“God has planted greatness in everybody: LET IT GROW!”

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There is a special seed inside of you. In it holds potential, talent, and a beautiful gift that is ready to sprout and bring forth fruit in its season. Don’t stop the process. Don’t get in the way of the gift God wants to work through you. Let it grow!

“When I think on the goodness of Jesus…”

It only takes a moment of reflection to appreciate where God has brought us from. All it takes is a little looking back for a praise of wonder to spring up from the innermost of our being. All it takes is one moment of gratitude to say, “Thank God, for saving me!”

 

“Encourage Yourself!”

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There are going to be times when people won’t have your back.  There will be moments when you feel like you are going alone.  Rest assured, God knows where you are in life.  Encourage yourself in the Lord even if no one else is supporting you! “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David ENCOURAGED HIMSELF IN THE LORD HIS GOD.” 1 Samuel 30:6

“Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone”

One thing I have reluctantly had to admit is that I don’t always have Abraham faith.  When one really delves into his story, his story was laden with change.  Change, often times, is something I have been pretty resistant to.

Let’s face it, leaving your own home is no small feat (Genesis 12:1), especially during the Bible era.  In our day we have options to hop back on a plane and usually, there are provisions and backup plans that are available if that adventurous leap of faith didn’t work out.  And, this could all be done in a matter of hours.

I imagine it wasn’t quite that easy back then.  But, then again, maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe not having easy access to falling back into one’s comfort zone is a blessing in disguise for it forces that venture forward.  It forces us to take on new terrain and enter new callings as we try to acclimate and navigate our new surroundings and circumstances.

Often I feel the ease of looking back hinders our progress.  Unchartered territories can be scary, uncomfortable, and demanding of our time, talent, and emotions.  But what if it leads to something greater?  What if that step of faith allows you to do something miraculous that you could never see yourself doing?  What if it opened new doors of opportunity that you never could have imagined being able to walk through?

I guess that’s why it’s called faith.  Almost blindly, without full perception and without knowing where every piece of the puzzle already fits, we are asked to play along anyway.  Engage in the unknown no matter what the current reality says.  After all, according to the Bible, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Hebrews 11:1).

Comfort zones, though they appear safe, are in fact very dangerous.  Walking in the land of familiarity may seem like a sure bet but in them lays unexpected traps.  Traps where dreams lose their freshness.  Traps where ideas lose their strength to be propelled forward.  Traps where talents get wasted in this pit of unseen snares.

God has always wanted the best for all His people.  But, when He calls, it is up to them to make the move.  He may not be asking you to leave your homeland, but where or what do you feel Him pulling you toward?  What area of your comfort zone has become so stale that now it too is very uncomfortable, yet, you’re still too afraid to make a move?

If Abraham had not put action behind his calling, he would have never been dubbed the father of faith, and so many things in our biblical history would not be traced back to his stepping out moment.

I wonder if we boldly step out today, what miraculous future events will point back to our time when we chose to leave the safety of our comfort zones?

One thing is for sure if we stay where we are, and if we keeping doing the same thing over and over again, nothing will ever change.  Don’t substitute comfort and reluctance to change for what can be.  Who knows what God wants to write in your future story?  Step out of your comfort zone and let Him write something amazing!

 

“God is in Control. It’s all about Him!”

“Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I,” Isaiah 52:6, KJV

The taunting of the enemy was too much to bear at times.  Captivity kept them bound and ridicule and defeat kept them shackled in despair.  God’s people have suffered under bondage due to their own spiritual neglect, but God in His grace and mercy, showed them a compassionate heart and sought for their redemption.  He was going to bring them back.  All hope was not lost, He will redeem.

Reading this, I know there are times when we seemed locked in my life.  If things are going okay and we are dwelling in peace, well then, that’s okay, lock me in!  But when we feel defeated by burdens and enemies, it’s hard to believe deliverance is on the horizon.

In Isaiah 52:6 God displayed His personal investment in His people’s redemption.  When He brought them out there was going to be no doubt in their mind that He is the one that fought for them, loved then and redeemed them.

Doubt is the enemy of our faith.  We often try to walk by faith and not by sight but end up walking by sight and not by faith even though it is the very things we see that make us question.  How is this going to turn out?  Will I ever see the light of day?  Doubt is a killer of dreams.  Doubt already erases the possibility of something better because it doesn’t see it.  Doubt is a robber of paradise and a hinderer of what can be.

But God is looking to change the focus of His people from their circumstances to their God.  Four times He refers to Himself in this verse as the One who orchestrates and fulfills all for them.  “My people . . . My name . . . I am He . . . It is I,” and He wants His people to know it.

  • My people:  “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture,” (Ps. 100:3, KJV).  A shepherd’s job is to care for, lead and guide, and supply for the sheep.  Isn’t it wonderful that despite their disobedience God was not ready to relinquish ownership of His own?  Israel may have gotten themselves into captivity but they were still His people and because of that God was still willing to take a leading role in their care and in ours.  Being identified as God’s people is a special privilege but it only comes to those who are under a covenant with God.  Galatians 3:29 says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then ye are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” (KJV).  Abraham was under a covenant with God (Gen. 15:18-21).  Those that come under Christ now receive the same benefits as His “people,” (see also Rom. 8:17; 1 Cor. 3:23).  You are God’s people, therefore, He wants you to know that He wants to take care of you and love you as His own!
  • My name:  “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into, and is safe,” (Pr. 18:10, KJV).  There’s something about applying God’s name to deliverance.  When someone puts their name on something it signifies ownership.  People also sign their names to documents to state that they will perform a deed stated therein.  His people shall “know my name.”  His name will be glorified and remembered for their deliverance.  He signed it and He declared it!
  • I am He that doth speak:  God is the author of all.  In the beginning “I am He” spoke things into existence and it obeyed.  That which He called forth manifested itself into reality.  It went from a holy thought to a physical appearance because “I am He” spoke.  When God speaks people better pay attention.  Especially when He is speaking of your deliverance, as He was with His people.  “For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I speak shall come to pass …,” (Ezekiel 12:25, KJV).  His word is infallible and “I am He’s” word will be fulfilled in your life and you better know it!
  • It is I:  This takes me back to the time when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and commanded Moses to go to Egypt.  Moses asked, “What shall I say unto them?” (Ex. 3:13, KJV).  God’s response, “I AM THAT I AM . . . I AM hath sent me unto you,” (Ex. 3:14, KJV).  When one is waiting on deliverance they have to realize it’s all about God!  His mark of sovereignty is over His whole plan.  God referred to Himself as the total of all they needed to know!

Difficult times are never pleasant but when we know who it is that is on our side, we have nothing to fear in waiting for our deliverance.  “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31, KJV).  Isaiah 52:6 claims He is there with you; He’s the one fighting for you; He’s the one planning your deliverance; He’s the one speaking it over your life; He’s the one that owns all of this and will redeem His people out of it.  It’s all about Him!  In the midst of it all, He’s got you covered!  It’s all about Him, in the midst of it all, He will be glorified!  It’s all about Him and God is in control!

“God Has the Power to Help!”

 

We quote it, sing songs about it, outwardly rejoice in it; but, how much do you really believe it or apply it to our lives, circumstances, and troubles?

If we were to review some of the marvels of God as we know it, we would see out of nothing a world being brought into existence.  We would see where there is no life, the dead have been raised to life.  We would see on the strength of nothing but His command, stars and planets being suspended in midair, hanging on absolutely nothing, as if an invisible hook were holding them in place.

All of these events testify to His power and strength to do what we readily admit is the impossible.  But, God’s power goes beyond Creation, performing miracles, and shocking us with the impossible that becomes very possible in His hands.  God’s power is also alive and very available to help each and every one of us in our lives today, as well.

And, here is the beauty in that.

His power to help is not contingent on anything we bring to the table.  It does not matter our skills or abilities, our wealth or the lack thereof.  It doesn’t even matter the number of this or that that we try to bring into the mix of everything He wants to do in our lives.

In 2 Chronicles 14:11, we see where it says, “And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee,” (emphasis mine).  This Scripture prayer has often been my own that I have personally prayed and incorporated in my requests to God when I felt totally overwhelmed.  For many of times I know I had nothing to offer.  I know I had no power to personally make a change in a certain circumstance.  I didn’t have the numbers that would chalk up to win on my behalf.  There were times when I know I didn’t have the experience that says I was qualified to do this or that.  I had absolutely nothing to add to the mix to benefit me for a positive outcome.  Yet, it is nothing for God to still step in and help and to show His power strong in my life and yours.

If you are struggling with the same feelings or dealing with a daunting situation, know that God’s power can and will still work for you today.  What we have is not as important as what God has, and what He can do in our lives today.  He is the one who has the power to help!

The Reason for Thanks

In your celebrating don’t leave out the main reason for celebrating: God; for this isn’t just a normal day. It’s a day of giving thanks to the One who only truly deserves it. No matter the history behind the day or the traditions that follow, God is our ultimate reason for thanks!

Word For Life Says...

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Yes, I know.  Trust me, I know.  It is too easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget to stay focused on the real meaning behind them.

After all, I am expected to have an immaculate house, be able to put a five-star feast on the table, look happy even though I have been up half the night, and on, and on, and on.  I FEEL YOU!  In this area, we all do our very best to make the holidays most enjoyable for everyone involved.  We primp, we cook, and we do what we have to do to pull it all off.

Can I tell you, Thanksgiving is a day not like another?  Its whole focus rests on a God who keeps His promises.  God has promised that every need we have will be supplied.  He declares in His Word that…

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“Say, YES!”

“Behold… be it unto me according to thy word,” (Luke 1:38) are the words Mary spoke when she willingly accepted God’s plan for her life.  She said yes to a future unknown.  She got into agreement with God and allowed His mission to become her mission, and her life was changed forever.

I believe that God wants to move mightily in many lives, but many are not willing to say yes.  It’s not because they don’t want God to do a fantastic thing in them and through them, but when they preview all the ideas that could happen, the balance of all the what-ifs seem too much to bear.  Yet, it is most often in those extremely unbearable moments where God works the most wonderful of wonderfuls.

Yes, comes with sacrifice.  Yes, refutes the idea of the impossible.  Yes says, “I don’t know where this journey is leading me, but Lord, I accept the challenge.  I choose Your cause and I choose this day to order my life according to that cause.”

Mary’s yes could’ve ended in her death.  Surely there must’ve been shame and ridicule hurled at her.  Never once, not even when her eldest Son, Jesus Christ, hung on the cross to redeem man, did we ever hear of her recoiling from that original yes.  There had to have been troubling times and days of confusion – yet, her yes remained yes, and to Him, she surrendered all.

Yes, can be glorious and lead one on the wildest journey they could ever experience.  But, yes can also be the hardest and most selfless decisive act one can take on.  Nevertheless, God’s invitation has gone out to many.  How will you respond today?  Will you recoil in fear, or through faith, say, “All aboard!”  I choose to ride with God through this journey by saying yes today!

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