“Lay it all down!”

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

Lay those burdens down!  Give yourself permission to release it, and let it all go.  Grab hold of the confidence of His Word, and cling to it for dear life.

This world is raging.  Things we’ve never seen before are unfolding at a frightening rate.  Hurts are dissimulating families.  Distresses are speaking despair into lives.  Lay it all down!

Refuse to pick it up today!  That fear; that feeling – refuse it space in your world today.

Who does God say I am?  What does His Word speak over my life?  That’s what I choose to pick up today.  That’s what I am choosing to carry with me.  Not these burdens.  Not these worries.  They are hindrances to my progress.  They’re deflating my steps.

I want to run!  I want to run for You, Jesus!  I want to run my race well and effectively.  But, in order to run, I have to release some things that’s been holding me down.  I must cast disappointment aside.  I have to get rid of any sin that’s stopping me from running full speed ahead for the Lord.  I have to throw away everything that’s not working for my heavenly good and trust in God the Father who is.

Lay it all down, dear friend, lay it down.  The heaviness it holds it’s not worth it.  Don’t coddle it.  Don’t get comfortable with it.  Don’t declare this is how it is now.

No, get rid of it.  By faith, be determined.  By faith, walk in the confidence of the God who has spoken beautiful things over your life.  By faith, don’t just claim His peace – live it, because it’s already yours!

The weight is not yours to carry, but His peace is.  Run your race with Him and be blessed.

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“Who have you been glorifying?”

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50:15, NKJV

Who gets your praise when you get a reprieve from the madness all around?  Who receives your honor when troubles dissipate and deliverance has been brought forth?

Have you attributed your successes to your own wisdom?  Has your ingenuity received the credit for plans coming to pass?  Have you praised yourself, thinking, “Look what I have done?”

Who have you been glorifying?  Don’t pat yourself on the back for a job well done when you know if it had not been for the Lord on your side, you would not have what you have, do what you do, and be in the position you are in.

God is not only our Heavenly Father, He is also our mighty defender and our deliverer.  He invites us to seek Him in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1), and He will be our present help.  When we come to Him, and call upon Him, and He delivers us, please do not give His glory to another, or take it for yourself.

Recognize what God has done in your life and honor Him alone.

“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:1-8

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“Study Him!”

“The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them,” Psalm 111:2, NKJV

Why such doubt?  Why such confusion?  Have you studied Him?  Have you studied the works of our God?

Open your understanding to the truth of who He is.  Open, and expand your knowledge of our Heavenly Father.  Seek Him, and search Him out.  As the greatest treasure that is to be found, don’t stop digging till you have unearthed His glorious truths.

“His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever,” (Psalm 111:3, NKJV).  So, dig deep, my friends, and find Him for yourself.

Look through His holy pages and see Him.  See what He has done.  See the testimonies of the lives that have walked in those written lines.  See the things He performed in them and through them.  See what He continues to do even in this day.  See, and believe.

For where the truth of this treasure is, it leaves no room for doubt and confusion.  Truth eats up the empty spaces that make room for lies.

Therefore, study Him.  Let not your appetite be quenched by the false junk and ideologies of this age.  Take your fill of God, our Father.  Learn of Him.  Explore Him, and you will not only be satisfied with that which nourishes for all eternity, but you will enter an abundant adventure of a lifetime today (John 10:10).

It’s there, in those pages of the Bible.  Seek Him.  He’s not hiding from you.  Study Him, and enrich your own life further and deeper than you could have ever imagined.

“He has made His wonderful works to be remembered . . .” Psalm 111:4, NKJV

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Limited and Locked In?

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Could it be that this verse is explaining the anxiousness and trouble many are feeling?  Could it be that what we are constantly seeing, the thoughts and images of this world, have infiltrated us so, that they hover as a dark cloud over us obstructing our view of what matters most?

Some days it is hard to look past the here and now.  Our senses are constantly blasted with the reality before us.  Our eyes see it.  Our ears hear it, and every other sense within us picks it up.  The world around us is infiltrated with the world around us (and yes, that was said on purpose).

When we fail to look up beyond this world we keep ourselves limited and locked within the sphere of all of what this mess is.  If all we see is what our physical eyes behold, and if all we hear is the noise of the negativity all around, then we are bound to be bound by the cares of this world (Mark 4:19).

Throughout Scripture, we are constantly encouraged to raise our sights higher.  When we “set our affection on things above, not on the things on the earth,” our perspective and outlook on life will shift.  Having our view freed from the constraints of the current tide of events releases us to not only see more, but to see better all God has for His people.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

“O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

“Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.” Psalm 123:1

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A Man and His Maker

“At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.” – Isaiah 17:7

Father God, I pray today for that man, woman, or child who would look to You and recognize You as their Maker.

I pray today, that people would have respect for the Holy One of Israel.

I pray today, that people everywhere would honor You as God over all.

I pray today, that not only eyes but hearts would look to You and be saved.

I pray today, that they would see You as Creator of all.

I pray today, for scales to fall from blind eyes and they would recognize that You are the God who loves them, cherishes them, and wants them to dwell eternally in heaven with You.

I pray today, that hearts would be softened to Your will and Your ways.  That many souls would repent and seek a restored relationship with You.

I pray today, for confusion and rebellion to dissipate so that people would see with clarity that You are the true God who reigns from everlasting to everlasting.

I pray today, for people to join Your holy family.  For a man and his Maker to come into sweet fellowship and holy communion as was intended from the time of Creation.

Thank You, for sending Jesus Christ, who makes this reconciling possible through His shed blood.  And I pray today, that men everywhere would grab ahold of that sweet and precious gift for themselves and be saved.  In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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Before Your Throne, I Come!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Before Your throne, O God, I come. With praise in my heart and supplications on my lips, I come.

  • “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” – Hebrews 13:15
  • “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” – Ephesians 6:18

I come and lay at Your feet every burden that is held in this heart.

  • “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
  • “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

I come and pray for my family (Click here for 8 Ways to Speak God’s Blessings Over Your Children)

  • “. . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
  • “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style,” – Psalm 144:12, NKJV.
  • “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” – 3 John 1:4

I come and pray for my nation.

  • “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12
  • “He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.” – Job 12:23

I come and pray for the souls of this world.

  • “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” – 1 Timothy 2:1
  • “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
  • “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” – Acts 26:18

Father God, You hear the cries of our hearts. Our prayers are not far from Your ears. They are open and attentive to the needs and the pleas of Your children.

So, before the throne, I come, with a heart resting in the full assurance of who You are in my life and all of Your glory.

  • “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” – Psalm 8:1
  • “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1
  • “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

I come, knowing the tears I shed and the words uttered are taken into account by You.

  • “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” – Psalm 18:6
  • “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” – Psalm 56:8
  • “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” – Psalm 139:17

I come, committing everything into Your faithful hands knowing that You are “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20.

  • “Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.” – Psalm 89:13
  • “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” – Isaiah 41:13
  • “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23

I come, thanking You, Father God, that You always hear me and I am believing in Your just grace and mercy to see me through another day.

Thank You, for working in my life. Thank You, for holding my hand every step of the way. Thank You, for hearing me when I call.

In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, AMEN!

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Despair will try to rob you…

Despair will try to rob you of everything God has for you. Don’t give up. Rather, place your hope in God who is able to turn any situation around and give you peace in the midst of the storm. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 43:5, NIV

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At Peace in His Presence

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”  Psalm 23:1-2

David saw that in our relationship with God there is a peace that cannot be found in any other place.  The phrases “lie down” and “still waters” show the sheep, in the very famous psalm exalting the LORD as our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1), being unafraid due to the wonderful care of the Shepherd.

Sheep, who are naturally fearful animals, are at peace in His presence, regardless of what the world may be experiencing.

The Bible gives us many references to the peace that we find in our relationship with God.  Some of my favorites are:

  • Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
  • John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
  • John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

All of these solidify the type of relationship the sheep have with the shepherd; the type of relationship we experience in Jesus Christ our ultimate Shepherd (John 10:11).  Many are grasping at various things and pursuits to fill their life with peace.  This peace and serenity can only be found under the protection of the Shepherd.

If you cannot find peace today, simply look to Jesus, and there you will find peace in His presence.

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God’s Omniscient View

In dealing with any adverse condition, circumstance, or trouble one thing’s for sure: God knows all about it and He has the final say! This was proven at the beginning of the book of Job when He limited what Satan could do (see Job 1:12 and Job 2:6) and at the end when God commanded a double blessing over Job’s life (see 42:10) and we see that “The LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning . . .” (Job 42:12a).

But what about the in-between?  That’s the hard thing about trying to hold on while going through the trials of this life isn’t it?  We don’t know the outcome as we are traveling through those difficult times. How awesome would it be to see the beginning from the end; yet, that would not allow our faith to be exercised and stretched, for the Bible says, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

While we may not be able to see or even understand everything we are dealing with or going through; while we may not have an omniscient overview of our life, God does.  He is omniscient meaning He is all-knowing.  The Bible lets us know, “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5).  There are no limits to what He knows, sees, or understands.

Isaiah 46:10 also reassures us that God is, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”  In other words, to reiterate my previous statement: “God has the final say” and His purposes for our lives will stand because He is the only one who knows all about it!

Be encouraged today, my friend, knowing that God’s got this no matter how chaotic, difficult, hurtful, or wrong it seems right now.  He, in His divine sovereignty, sees it all and has it all under control.  His view of our life is so much better than our own.  Hold on and trust the God who is infinitely all-knowing.

Have a very blessed day!

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In Christ, we are the possessors of the promise!

In Christ, we are the possessors of the promise! If God promised it, it is yours!  “. . . So whatever the LORD our God takes possession of before us, we will possess.” Judges 10:24

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