“PEACE IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL!”

 

“Though an host should encamp against me, MY HEART SHALL NOT FEAR: though war should rise against me, IN THIS WILL I BE CONFIDENT,” Psalm 27:3.

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“Persistently Pray!”

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It is so easy to give up when discouragement blows our way, but Jesus encourages us not to. He told the parable of a man who “persistently” came to his friend to ask bread. He knocked and knocked and refused to be turned away. The Bible tells us to, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” Matthew 7:7.
 
In other words, don’t give up and don’t give in. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” – Luke 11:13.
 
Persistently pray and don’t quit now!

Emergency Reminder:

“Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:5-13, NKJV

Keep praying – Never give up!

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“God can do EVERYTHING!”

With a prayerful heart, I know that GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING!

So go ahead and pray for the brokenness you may see in someone’s life.  Pray for healing and restoration to take over others.  Pray for chains to break off of others.  Pray for sicknesses to be cured, pain to be covered and for peace to enter in for some.

Be built up in your faith and assure your heart that “GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING!”  Job declared it when he said, “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee,” (Job 42:2).

Everything we pray for, I know that God can do it.  He can fix the broken and heal the sick.  He can bring deliverance to those bound in chains and restore the shatter pieces of others lives.  GOD CAN DO IT!

No matter what you are facing today believe that GOD CAN DO EVERYTHING!  Whatever it is, give it to Him and believe!  He is our Good Father.  Jesus says, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11).  Be it spiritual, such as the Holy Ghost (Luke 11:11-12), or any other matter, we are encouraged to bring it to Him in prayer and cast it there (1 Peter 5:7).  Nobody can do it like HIM!

“Only Planted People Grow!”

 

Only planted people grow!

If you want to thrive and grow and be all that God called you to be, you have to have deep roots planted in His house, in His service, and in His worship that your soul may be fully nourished in Him.

“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God,” Psalm 92:13.

“Today, I Want to Be Me!”

 

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well,” Psalm 139:14

Oh, the creative power that took place for you to be here today.  From the moment of conception, and from the time cells began to divide within themselves, you were and are a product of beautiful design.  Uniquely you, you are made just the way God intended.  And, since we know that He doesn’t make any mistakes, whatever we view as shortcomings in our lives may be there for a much higher purpose.  Our so-called defaults are part of the plan that God has laid out in your life.

What would happen if every Christian really armed themselves with this beautiful truth?  How would that personally make us feel?  How would it affect the way we live, the way we walk and talk?  More importantly, how would it affect the way we move in our Christian walk?  How much more would we be apt to express our faith knowing the value He places in each and every one of us?

I believe if Christians really got a hold of this truth they would turn the world upside down.  They would step out with a newfound faith knowing that they are something really special before God; knowing that their worth is not in how the world sees them; rather, how God sees them.  What does He think about me?

Let me tell you what He thinks about you. Jesus said in Luke 12:6-7, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”  “Ye are of more value!”  Humanity is the apex of all His creation.  He made sure everything that was created was put in proper place and proper order for us.  We are the only part of creation where God claimed Himself, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . .” (Gen. 1:26).  Not only created, but we created in “His image.”  Not only in “His image,” but we are also created to have “dominion;” authority over all the earth including the thoughts that come to make us feel less than anything He said of me!

Today, I want to be me.  I want to walk like I walk.  Express me like only I can.  I want to relish in the wonderful thought that when no one else is taking notice of me, He is.  Because He designed me this way and I know the care that went into this design, I can rest and enjoy me.  I can love me some me.  Even when it seems no one else does, I can love me because He loves me.

If He says I’m good just like this then all I have to do is learn to work in what He gave me and just be me.  “Marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  Does your soul know that you are a marvelous work of God?  Can you believe that today so that you can just enjoy being you?  You are so incredibly special.  Let no one rob you of the precious way that God sees you.

“Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. . .” (Ps. 100:3).  I’m so glad I didn’t do this myself.  As they would say in social media circles: “LOL (Laugh Out Loud)!”  It is a laughable notion because there is so much that goes into this that we will never figure it out.  Then again, I don’t have to because He already did.  He stepped back and looked at creation and said, “It was very good,” (Gen.1:31).

I am good!  From the time that He has “covered me in my mother’s womb,” (Ps. 139:13), I am just the way He wants me to be.  So, today, I can be me!  Now, that’s something to 🙂 about!

Victory Shall Be Mine!

 

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/Skitterphoto

This not meant to be deep, just encouraging to all who are out there fighting today.  Reading in my Bible, I came across some very inspiring verses (as usual 🙂 ).  I was reading in the book of Joshua where conquests were being made in the name and in the power of the Lord.  Enemies continually came out to fight against God’s people.  At one point Joshua 11:4 says, “So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots,” (NKJV).

By all normal accounts, this should have been the end of God’s people.  According to the standards of human perception they were outnumbered and out powered.  But, God . . .

God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel,” (Joshua 11:6, NKJV).  Not one shall escape, but all would fall under the power of God working through and for His people.  And, if that wasn’t encouraging enough, as I continued reading I came to Joshua 12:7-24 where it lists 31 kings that fell because God was fighting for His people.

That lets me know that no matter what the odds look like that’s stacked against us, they can never out stack God.  God is a victorious God and we are meant to be victorious people in Him.  We are conquerors; we are people of conquest.  It may seem insurmountable to us, but God has already climbed the highest mountains that we face and He has already won the battles against the greatest armies of enemies that try to come against us.

Don’t let the numbers against you phase you.  “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them,” (2 Kings 6:16).  Since we have God on our side – we have more than they!  We outnumber the enemy.  Victory shall be ours. 

“Waiting for the Son” – Biblical Inspiration for that Coming Day

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“And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” 1 Thessalonians 1:10

One of the truest treasures we can experience in our time is the dawning of a new day.  When the sun rises it brings with it the inspiration of hope that today can be different.  There is an automatic separation of what took place in the past, in the yesterdays of life, as opposed to that promise rising in the east that speaks of what now can be.

But, there is a greater day we hold fast to in hopes of seeing.  A time when what our hearts truly are seeking after appears in the clouds (Revelation 1:7) and every eye will see Him.  He that shines more brilliantly than that sphere awakening a new physical day.  We shall see the Son as He is, awakening a spiritual dawning of triumph.  He that is glorified and full of majesty, whose radiant glow cannot be compared, shall come!

Oh, what a day that will be! The chains and the shackles of this world will be permanently loosed and true freedom will come once and for all. God’s people will rise to reign in victory because the Son has come!

For the unrepentant it will be a fearful time: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” (Mt. 24:30, emphasis mine).

Luke 21:25-28 explains it to be a time of “distress of nations, with perplexity” and that “men’s hearts failing them for fear.” That the “powers of heaven shall be shaken,” and then they will see the “Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

Bur, the end of verse 28 encourages us, “Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh!” The Son is coming!

For those in a relationship with Him, the Son is coming to bless His people!  Those who have been restored and made new by the blood of the new testament (Matthew 26:28) are those who accepted Him.  Those who accepted Him are those who will rejoice at His coming because their inheritance is with Him.

The Bible gives us these promises of who we are now and what we have to look forward to:

  • “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name,” (John 1:12, emphasis mine).
  • “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:26, emphasis mine).
  • “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, (Ephesians 2:19, emphasis mine).
  • “Ye are Christ’s!” He has secured membership for you and me. He has redeemed us and set in a place to be called His own. We are now “joint-heirs” with Him, we are connected with Him, (Romans 8:17, emphasis mine).
  • “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!” (Psalm 31:19, NKJV, emphasis mine).
  • “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)
  • “In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8, NASB)
  • “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:4)

Our future ahead looks awesome because of He whom we are waiting for!

God promised a Redeemer and He is the Son, and the Son is coming! We who belong to Him have something to get happy about!

 

“You have been upheld since birth!”

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“By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You,” Psalm 71:6, NKJV

As you look back over your life, is there ever a time when you know you should not have made it?  Is there a time when you recognize that it was only by the grace of God that you are still here today?

Yeah, me too!

Life has a way of throwing us many curve balls.  Sometimes we hit it and sometimes we miss.  Sometimes we are even awesome enough to get a home run, whereas at other times we would just be grateful to still be in the game.  The fact that we are, is a testimony to the love of the Father on us.  It is evident that He still has you and me in His hands and in His plan.

There are times that come that make it extremely hard for us to recognize this great truth.  Crushing times that weigh on us making us believe that we are forgotten or that we are walking this path alone.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God has always been with us.  God has always taken care of us.  God has always been the one holding on to us when our lives seem to be spinning out of control.

I find it utterly amazing that we have been upheld since birth.  Truth be told, Psalm 139:16 shows us that He was paying attention to us even before the time of our birth.  It says, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them,” (NASB).  Even before day 1 of our lives, God had His eye on us.

How awesome is that?  I find great comfort in verses like these because I realize that yes; I have gone through some very difficult and troubling times.  Yes, as I look back through the different stages of life I wish things could have been better or I wish wrong choices could be undone.  But, despite all the “I wish I had…” or the “could have and should have,” these verses remind me that I never walked alone.  There was never a time in my life that God didn’t see me and didn’t see what I was going through.  There was never a time when He was absent.  He was there the whole time reaching out for me and calling me with His love, beckoning me to stay in the safety of His arms and rest there.

God’s hands have always been us!

I don’t know what you may be facing today but the Word of God is sure in all it promises and His Word promises that you are not alone.  Yet, sometimes it does seem that way.  It seems like you cry and cry and cry some more, but I assure you, your tears do not fall on deaf ears.  As you cry, the one who has had His hands on you since birth feels the flow of your tears running over His hands as He holds you.  Stay right there in His loving embrace.

If you have to, turn back to Him and trust Him who has you in His hands today and wants to hold you forever.

“Indulge in Nostalgia!”

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“And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.  And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.” Joshua 4:20-22

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to open up all my windows and to put a fan in my bedroom window.  Why the bedroom particularly?  For some reason or another, no matter where I live, when there is a fan in my bedroom window, it makes the air smell just like my grandma’s house when I was growing up, particularly her upstairs and bedroom.  Sometimes, I long for weather not too hot and not too cold, just so that I can have a fan in the bedroom window that blows out that smell.  And when it does, I look for reasons throughout the day to visit my bedroom, to inhale deeply and to let my mind wander to another time.

Smells have that effect on me, nostalgically letting me remember times past.  While the fan smell is my favorite, another smell is stuff burning.  Not like a house catching fire or anything, but rather a pit-beef joint cooking or a log in the fireplace.  This smell reminds me of my paternal grandparents.  They live in the South and during the summer we would visit.  There I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before.  In the evening, they took their trash to a heap outside and set it on fire.  No trash trucks to pick it up twice a week.  They just light it up and watch it go.

It’s good to indulge in a little bit of nostalgia once in a while, especially when it comes to remembering God’s deliverance.  After a certain amount of time goes by, whether it becomes a time of prosperity or a time of hardship, it’s so easy to forget.  The daily grind and routine schedules tend to overshadow what previously occurred.  That can be a good thing when someone is trying to get over hurtful things, but when one wants to remember a glorious time it can be dangerous.

The danger of forgetfulness can leave us with a warped outlook on life.  “Why does this always happen to me?”  “Things never turn in my favor.”  “It’s useless for me to even try!”  Words such as “always, never and useless” denote negativity when used this way. This negative brow beating overshadows the good.  We use words so lightly, but if I were to really question, what would the true outcome be?  Do things really never ever turn in your favor?  Is it really useless for you to try?  The answer, most likely, would be no.

Through times of hardship and prosperity, our perspective on life can get blurred.  That’s why God mandated for these stones to be set up as a memorial.  These stones would stand as a physical reminder of God’s deliverance; of a time when He altered nature and did the impossible just so that His people could gain their promise.

We may not have physical stones, but I do believe we have “markers” in our memory that can transport us to our time of deliverance.  Things that help us to remember that no matter what state one may find themselves in now, God is still on the throne and He is still working it out on our behalf.  That He is the one that saved me and He is the one that ushed deliverance in my life and yours.

That’s why it’s good to indulge in nostalgia.  It opens the door to the good old days.  The thought of it can instantly put a smile on my face when I think of memories past.  Now, imagine doing that with God’s deliverance.  Sometimes we need to remember, on purpose, where He brought us from and how He brought us through.  Set that up as a “marker” to help you remember His goodness no matter what life may bring.

“Jesus Knows!”

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“We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,” Hebrews 4:15a

Jesus knows what living in the flesh feels like.  Walking up and down the shores of Galilee, He didn’t let His holiness withhold Himself from our infirmities.  He hungered as we did.  He wept when sadness invaded His heart.  He justifiably angered at the thoughtlessness of men.  He knows.

Jesus knows.  He knows suffering.  He knows the temptation of life.  He knows what it is to care when no one else does.

He knows what it is to be chased, used and despised.  His ears have felt the sting of gossip and have heard the song of ridicule.  He’s heard the taunting of the nay-sayers and the tsk- tsk- tsk- of the unapproving.

Aching limbs, sore feet, and a thirsty tongue – He knows.  Jesus knows disappointment at the carelessness of others.  He knows desperation over the plight of the lost soul.  He knows of the crown of thorns His life is leading Him to.

Jesus knows everything because He is divine.  Jesus has experienced everything because of His humanity.

Isn’t it nice to know that not only do we NOT carry our burdens alone, but we have a Savior that knows what those burdens feel like?  Out of the depths of sorrow and pain – He knows.  Through the roads of striving and the paths of hatred – He knows.  During the darkness of nights, He already knows.  Our weaknesses have become His; He knows them, has lived through them and has borne them.  Jesus knows!