This is where our focus lies today. Not in ourselves. Not in our abilities. Not in other people. God is my strength, my source, my healer, my redeemer. Go forth in His power today!
What people witness in your life resounds more than the words that are coming out of your mouth. Evidence of belief; proof of faith is the visual representation that most want. Many mistake others as not wanting what we have or not wanting the faith, yet they haven’t seen enough of it in action to provoke them to seek after what we say we have.
So, the old phrase still rings true today: “Seeing is believing.” To a world lost, who have not hope, they look for a ring of hope they can grab onto to prevent them from drowning in the deep abyss of the darkness of this world. They want a way out. Many don’t want to sink deeper into despair, deeper into the unknown where there is no light to guide the way. They want to see what you say you see. They want to feel what you say you feel. They want what you say you have but do they see it currently active in you to propel them from wanting it to seeking it?
Your faith speaks louder than your words. Paul told the church at Thessalonica, “Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything,” 1 Thessalonians 1:8b, NKJV. If necessary I believe Paul would have testified on their behalf, he would have spoken up for them to assure others of their faith. But, their faith was so active, their faith was so alive and in operation that he didn’t feel a need to speak at all. Their faith did the talking for them. Their faith is what people noticed, not the words they spoke from their mouth.
A lot of people do a lot of talking these days and sometimes it’s hard to decipher truth from fiction. Jesus gave us a key that lines right up with what Paul wrote in his letter. Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Matthew 7:16. If one comes upon a tree that has apples growing upon it then they are to assume it is an apple tree. The same is true with a life of faith. What they see coming out of you, or as Paul referred to as “gone out” is what matters the most. You can say that you are an orange tree but if I see apples then I will classify you as an apple tree. If you say that you have great faith but all I see is the opposite than I will not view you as having great faith. I will mark you by what I see.
Your faith matters in this world. More importantly, your faith on display matters to those around you so much that one should not have to speak up or testify for you, all they should be able to do is look at your faith in action and mark you as a person of faith.
Text Free Photo: Pixabay/StockSnap
The day before Sunday is like no other. It’s the day that comes at the end of the work week and comes before the day of worship. There are so many possibilities with this day. Sleep in or go out? Veg out in front the TV or seek adventure? Clean or do you say forget it, “I clean every day and today I’m taking a break!” How will you spend your time?
Time. That’s a four little word with great impact. Time is something we can never get back. Time is something that will keep moving forward whether you are ready to go with it or not. Time is precious. Time is valuable. How one spends their time can either add to their life or take away from it.
Time. Extra time is not promised. We can’t buy more time. Rather, we must lay hold of with an iron grip the time that has been allotted to us and make the best use of it for our lives, our families, and our ministries.
Time. What will you do with it? We deserve rest because we worked hard. Take the time. We deserve adventure, something that will heighten our senses because we have stayed the course of the mundane all week. Take the time. Clean? . . . well, we’ll just leave that one alone for now.
Time. As crazy as it seems to us, it goes by in a flash when you don’t want it to and it drags when you wish it would speed up. That’s why every moment counts. Every opportunity should be seized. Every second savored.
Time. We don’t have as much of it as we would like, and yet God blessed us with the amount we need. How we choose to use it is up to us.
What will you do with your time today? There is no right or wrong answer. If you worked hard and want to sit in front of the tv because your brain needs a few hours vacation, then do so. If your body has been stuck in the office all week and you feel a need to stretch and exercise to get it moving, then do so. If you chose to let the house go one day so that you can have time for yourself, then do so. It’s Saturday! It’s your time! Make the most of it for you!
Keep in mind, once this Saturday goes by, it will not come again. Oh, yes, there will be other Saturdays, but not this Saturday. There will be other chances and opportunities, but not like today. Today is for you – it’s your Saturday, what will you do?
Ephesians 5:16 encourages us to redeem the time. Grab hold of today and make the most of it! It’s only here today. So, what will you do with today?
Whatever you do, make today count! It’s Saturday, enjoy “you” on this day!
God bless you and enjoy your Saturday 🙂
Photo credit: Pixabay
Races can take you through many terrains. Running uphill, it’s hard. The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets. Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief. Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy. And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more. On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race. They want to help you make it.
The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We run it. We press for it. But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.
As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race. Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.
In this world the struggle is real. May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs. May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it. May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.
We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race. We need each other to do it. As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails. Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another. We need to be there for one another. We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
More encouraging verses and quotes:
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The God who touches me is the God who loves me.
Saved, my sins He has thrown into the deep sea.
He carries my soul in His hand day by day.
He wraps His strength around me; my fortress, my stay.
He covers me in light that shields from the dark.
He is the armor that protects from all fiery darts.
He’s my Shepherd and the Lamb, who leads and sacrifice.
My safety; my salvation came at His high price.
The God who touches me cares beyond what we know.
His love on display is the grandest show.
In it we see eternity play out.
His best became our rest; no reason to doubt.
On His throne He sits in heaven where we bow at the knee.
Never forsaking us, in His presence, till we are there home free.
The God who touches me, I reach out for Him too.
As the woman grabs His hem and is healed through and through.
To feel His virtue; His power; His love – it’s so real.
His Spirit overwhelms; on my heart is His seal.
Taking me to heights in heaven to know,
where for eternity I bask in His unimaginable glow.
Photo Credit: Pixabay/Screamenteagle
There is always something about the stories where the underdog comes out on top, where the least of all becomes the greatest that sends chills of inspiration up the spine.
The story of David and Goliath has long evoked a sense awe at the victory won and the hope of possibility in the soul still in the fight facing his/her own giants. The fact of the matter is that many things in this life which we face day to day can at times seem too much to bear. Our worries don’t necessarily have to be against the biggest guy around. Just the struggle of making it one more day, another try at giving it your best shot, can make it really hard for some people.
That’s why this article is not going to focus on the beast Goliath was or how David brought him down with just a stone and slingshot.
Nope. I want us to focus on the confidence that David had in God.
To me, it doesn’t matter if what you face is big or small. Sometimes the hardest stuff is the routine, small stuff that gets on your nerves every single day and makes you want to throw in the towel and quit.
Yes, David did the impossible in the name of the Lord. But, what I have found out in my own life is when we evoke that same confidence in God in every area of our lives, big or small, God tends to step in and work it out for us. And, you know it was Him because that very area in life that used to be a source of hardship and frustration now becomes a place of peace and productivity.
David, before confronting Goliath, declared, “The LORD delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine,” (1 Samuel 17:37, NKJV. emphasis mine). I want us to focus on “He will” of that statement. David expressed in those two little words the amount of confidence he had in the God he served.
Confidence in God the key no matter what. Many of times we misplace our confidences in the things and the people we see around us, allowing them to become our focus and control, when God should be at the forefront of the battle with us. Over and over again we are told in His Word, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man,” (Psalm 118:8, NKJV); yet, man seems to always get more of our attention and we wonder why we falter in the battle and don’t end up standing as victor over the giants and circumstances we face.
We have to rely more on God than anything else in this world. He truly is the only one who can get in there and fight with us and for us and bring us to a victorious end on the other side.
Below are some reminders to trust God and have confidence in Him no matter the size of anything we face. Knowing this will improve our day to day struggles in life and turn them into day to day victories.
- “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
- “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” – Isaiah 26:4
- “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” – Psalm 37:3
- “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17
- “Never be afraid to trust in unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie Ten Boom
- “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
- “So many of us limit our praying because we are not reckless in our confidence in God. In the eyes of those who do not know God, it is madness to trust Him, but when we pray in the Holy Spirit we begin to realize the resources of God, that He is our perfect heavenly Father, and we are His children.” – Oswald Chambers
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying Lord, save me,” Matthew 14:30
There was a point in Matthew 14 where the disciples were not sure if the image they were seeing was actually the Lord. Finding out that it was Him, in a move of boldness, Peter requested, “Bid me come unto thee on the water,” (vs. 28). Jesus’ response – “Come!” (vs.29).
How difficult, had we not known this familiar story, would it have been for us to get out of that boat and venture to do the impossible? I mean – really?! People are not known for walking on water, which is one of the reasons, they originally thought Jesus was a spirit (vs. 26). Watching Jesus take command over what normally cannot be subdued, moved something inside of Peter to do what Jesus did.
What would that have been like? Awesome, indeed! I love to swim so the idea of being able to physically walk on water would make me downright giddy. Another thing that appeals to me about this story is the courage to at least try. To see what it was like to break away from the normal and to do something extraordinary.
Extraordinary living! Isn’t that what being in Christ is all about? It’s a whole lot of faith mixed with a whole lot of stepping out that produces the results of one who has chosen to see and do life differently than those around him. The rest stayed in the boat. They were content with the status quo. But, Peter felt a special draw to see what it was like to step out of the boat – to see what it was like to stand where Jesus stood.
As Peter found out, the road to extraordinary living can get rough. A lot of stuff can and will rise up against us as those waves did, and seek to toss about our faith. What Peter “saw” side-tracked him from getting to where Jesus was. The truth of Peter’s experience in this story unfolds the same way for many of us. If only the sea would be calm then we would be alright. If only the waves of adversity would stop trying to slam you, then would you be able to walk on water, too.
Jesus never promised calm seas all the time. But, what He did promise was, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” (Matthew 28:20). It is hard to try to live an extraordinary life when one takes their eyes off of Jesus and what He promised. It’s one thing to recognize Jesus, but then we have the individual responsibility to stay focused on Him. No matter what the seas are doing in our life, He promised to be there with us. Always!
“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31). In essence, He was stating that He was right there with Peter, so why did Peter take his eyes off of Jesus?
Sinking in life doesn’t always happen that fast. Little by little one begins to predominantly focus on the problems of life instead of the Life Preserver, who promised to be there for you. God wants us to step out into extraordinary living. By keeping our eyes on Jesus we can do the impossible. We can walk on water, too! He is with you, always!
“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him,” Habakkuk 2:20
Through the many tragedies that unfold in this life and experiencing the unrest of wars and what appears to be the advancement of evil, we are left with the assurance that God is still in control. Not only is He still in control, but He remains in His proper seat of authority, ruling in His holy temple.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this concept when all we see is the terrible and the detestable happening in the land. When our eyes witness children being torn and broken; and mothers left without any hope, it’s hard to view the world through another possibility. When we see fathers in despair, feeling helpless to lead and feed his family. When we see evil trying to claw its way to the top, we are reminded, He is there, never to be moved or usurped; never to be replaced or shaken from His seat of power and supremacy.
Oh, we watch the world as men set the idols of their hearts up. We watch as we see they deepen their dependency on the things that will never satisfy the hungering soul. Through it all, we look to His Majesty. The King is on the throne. O earth, be still before Him and honor His presence.
This is a comfort to the soul who can’t find comfort anywhere else. Is this not a blessed place to be? For if one found comfort among the false and depraved then would they not also think as other men? Take comfort, O soul, in your God who is always present. The head of all principality and power still bears the crown obtained for the salvation and deliverance of mankind. He that holds that holy scepter, and Himself is the Scepter that rises out of Israel (Num. 24:17), remains in control, worthy of your trust and honor.
O earth, “Be silence before Him.” O false ways, your arrogance will one day bow before Him and you’ll not be able to utter a word against His rule. “The LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment,” (Ps. 9:7).
Therefore, be at peace, he that trusts in the rule of his sovereign King. Allow your soul this holy rest, “The LORD is King forever and ever…,” (Ps. 10:16a). And for all the rest, hush and quiet your ways before Him before it’s too late, for “the heathen are perished out of his land,” (Ps. 10:16b). But, “the LORD is in His holy temple,” forever to reign.
“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all,” Psalm 103:19