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Friday, March 31, 2017

When Troubles Come, Seek Him

In review of Psalm 23:3 it says, “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Bottom Line:
The Lord promises to give strength and guide us along the right path,

What this means to me:
God renews my strength. His guidance will always lead me along the right path, a path that will ultimately bring honor to Him.

What this means to me:
Today’s verse comes from the first half of Psalm 23. David is telling us how the Lord is our shepherd, in him we have all we need. For the Lord will lead us to rest in a safe green meadows with peaceful streams. It is the Lord who will renew our strength. His guidance will lead us along the right path, a path that will bring honor to his name.

I’m told that when our country’s founding fathers were writing the Declaration of Independence, they had reached an impasse. Benjamin Franklin asked them to pray together so that they might, as a group, reach a mutually beneficial decision. After that prayer, the Declaration was written and America was born.

Regardless of what people say, America is still one nation under God. He holds the stars in His hands and the hills in balance. He is Jehovah God, the Great I AM.

So when things look bleak and I’m at a point where giving up looks like the best alternative, I should be still. Then I should pray and ask God for His direction. For He will lead me along paths of righteousness.

As a child of God, I am never alone. At the mere mention of Jesus’ name, demons will tremble and angles are put to flight. If I’m searching for an answer to a big problem today, look no further!. I serve a big God who is ready to help me move heaven and earth at a moment’s notice. All I need to do is ask Him for assistance and guidance!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Power Of Prayer

In review of Mark 11:24 it says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them.”

Bottom Line:
You can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.

What this means to me:
When I earnestly pray and ask for something, I should pray with believing that I have already received it, and God will provide me what what I request.

Today's verse comes from the latter part of Mark 11. In it Jesus is telling his disciples about faith and prayer. The day before this, Jesus had cursed a fig tree because it provided no fruit. This day as they walked by the same tree and noticed it had withered and died. Jesus then said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

This verse reminds me that I can talk to God, and ask Him for anything at all, in faith and believing, and He will give me what I need. Prayer is the greatest adventure I could ever have, and is among my most powerful weapons I can use.

In ancient Israel, before Christ, a high priest would petition the Lord on behalf of the people. But the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom as Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is finished”. With those three powerful words, I was given the opportunity to approach God the Father directly without a mediator. I can speak directly to the Creator of all things.

So as I walk through the highways and byways of life, I can keep in mind that that God is ready, willing, and able to meet my every need. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, and an ever-present help in times of trouble. I can call on His holy name at anytime.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Confidence To Face Opposition

In review of 1 John 4:4 it says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Bottom Line:
You are of God, therefore the Spirit that lives within you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

What this means to me:
Because I’m God’s child, I have a Spirit within me who is greater than the spirit and false prophets who live in this world.

Today's verse comes from the first part of 1 John 4. In it John is telling us about discerning false prophets. He tells us that we are not to believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. We must test them to see if the spirit they have really comes from God. For there are many false prophets around us.

We can test if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet but does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist.

John reminds us that we belong to God, as His children. As such we have already won a victory over the false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in us is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those false prophets belong to the world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them. We belong to God, and those who know God listen to his apostles. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

What I’m reminded of this morning is that life with Christ is full of divine health: mentally, physically, and spiritually. In this place my giants are instantly defeated at the mere mention of Jesus’ name.

Biblically speaking, anyone who attacks me for no reason is my enemy. However, I am more than a victor through Christ Jesus!, I have the ability to defeat the giant in my life just by calling on my Father in my time of need.

After all, I don’t think God wants me to only win halfway; I believe he would want me to gain victory, to have the absolute power. Only God and my choices will ultimately determine my future, not someone else. My future can be saturated with the favor of God as I give up those things that are holding me back and rise to the destiny that He has in mind for me, a destiny of a champion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Running the Race With Endurance

In review of Hebrews 12:1 it says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance that race that is set before us.”

Bottom Line:
Get rid of everything that weighs or slows you down, especially sin. Instead be determined to run the race God has marked out for you.

What this means to me:
I must get rid of everything that slows me down, especially the sin which easily trips me up. Then I should run with endurance and perseverance the race God has set out befor me.

Today’s verse reminds me that there is no sense in mounting a pity party for myself or to become bitter. I should not allow myself to drown in a sewer of despair and desperation. So, I should wash the mud off of my face and get back into the race!

I should get over the things the Satan has put me through or done to me in the past. I can lift my head and proclaim Jesus love for me. I should turn loose my resentment and anger for as long a I hang onto these, I’ll be imprisoning myself and giving the enemy the key.

Today’s verse also reminds me to get rid of the things that bind me in Jesus’ name and claim total victory.

So whatever I’m lacking, I can give it to God and watch how He will reach down and meet my needs. Afterall, He is in complete control! He has promised a place of freedom from the past, a place unencumbered by fear of the future, a place full of love, joy and peace.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Change that Leads to Peace

In review of Romans 12:2 it says, “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.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t let the world shape you into it’s mold, rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will learn God’s will for you.

What this means to me:
I should not adopt or copy the behavior and customs of this world, instead I should let God change the way I think. Then I’ll know how to do the things that are good and pleasing to Him.

It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Unfortunately at times, I do this, expecting progress only if I can do it without having to change. What I have learned is that the only thing I can control is myself. It doesn’t make sense for me to talk about changing the world, until I look in the mirror and change the person I see in it.  

What I find is that most people chose to change, not because they see the light, but because they feel the heat. So I shouldn’t wait until I’m neck-deep in hot water to make the necessary adjustments in my life. I know that God is there and is always reaching His hand toward me, just waiting for me to make the smallest effort of faith.

For He is a God who never fails. No matter how long my storm has been raging. I can trust Him today to bring me into His perfect will and grant me total peace.. Not a peace that the world gives, but one that can only come from Him!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Focus On The Future

In review of 2 Corinthians 4:16 it says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Bottom Line:
No matter what happens, do not lose heart. You may be outwardly wasting away, but inside you are being renewed.

What this means to me:
I can be assured that no matter what happens to me or to what is oppressing me or is deteriorating me, I can have the confidence that I’m being renewed each day.

Today’s passage comes from the last part of 2 Corinthians 4, where Paul is telling us how we are treasures in Fragile Clay Jars. Paul tells us that “since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We now have this light shining in our hearts, however we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We may be pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We may get perplexed, but not driven to despair. We may even be hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. This is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever”

As I reflect on this today, I know that God wants my very best. He wants to liberate and completely set me free from all that hinders me. Therefore I must not revert back to my former way of life and things.

Also, I shouldn’t spend time romanticizing about the past. Whether good or bad, just forget it. For looking back will not help me at all. It will only prevent me from making the most of a future that should be filled with unspeakable joy and glory to the King of Kings. It would be hard to have all the future has to offer, if I’m busy lamenting over what was.

Looking in my rear-view mirror will never help me go forward. Neither will staying in stuck in park, worried about the things of this earth. I should just put my car into drive and start heading in the direction the Lord is leading me.

Today, I ask God to shut the door to any bad habits of mine that will subject me to a form of captivity. May he use my life as a testimony of what someone living in a divine favor acts, talks and walks like.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Being Ready And Prepared

In review of Luke 12:48 it says, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

Bottom Line:
Those who have been given much, much will be expected in return.

What this means to me:
God has been very generous with me as I have walked with HIm for many years. In this time I have had the opportunity to know a lot about Him, His Kingdom and what he wants from me. He has gifted me and wants me to use my gifts to serve. With what I know, he expects more from me in return. Ready to go and serve.

Today's verse comes from the latter part of Luke chapter 12. In it Jesus is explaining how to be ready for the Lord's coming. He gives us the example of being dressed for service and keeping our lamps burning, as if we are waiting for our master to return. If we do, then this way will be ready to open the door and let him in when he arrives. Those who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. The Master can come at anytime, so be ready. For if you know you were going to be robbed at a certain time, you would have taken precautions. Since we don’t know, we must be ready all the time; for the Son of Man will come when it is least expected.

A faithful servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing and taking care of his household. A servant who know what the master wants, but isn't prepared and doesn't carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

As I reflect on this today, I realize that I have been given much. Jesus laid down His life on the Cross, and as a result myself and every believer was granted a full pardon, in which we traded our filthy rags for robes of His righteousness.

While my past few weeks may have had their share of trials and challenges, there is still good news. At the cross, Jesus overcame the world, the flesh, and the devil. He holds the keys to death, hell, and the grave; and He has the last word. When I start feeling deflated, I can focus on the cross. It is an endless supply of hope and the promise of life everlasting.

Until I found Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was a slave to Satan by the choices I was making. Jesus has freed me from ultimate death and from the clutches of hell itself. As a child of God, whom the Son sets free is absolutely free. The good news of deliverance is possible for everyone.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blessings From Patience

In review of John 11:40 it says, “Jesus said.., ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God!’”

Bottom Line:
If we believe, God will reveal his glory.

What this means to me:
Jesus tells me in his Word that if I have faith and believe, I would be able to see the glory of God.

Today’s verse comes from John 11 where John is telling the story about the raising of Lazarus. Jesus tells them to roll the stone aside that covered the tomb. But Martha, Lazarus’ sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Then Jesus responded with, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

I have to admit there are times in my life when I feel down. Things just don’t seem to go the way I had planned. When this happens, I need to keep in mind that comebacks happen when I am reduced to nothing. God can reveal and receive the glory when He makes something spectacular out of nothing at all.

John explains that Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, asked Jesus to come and heal their brother. He was gravely ill and passed away before Jesus arrived. It wasn’t an accident that He didn’t come immediately. Jesus knew just how sick Lazarus was. However, I’m sure the sisters felt reduced to nothing, and felt totally abandoned by their Friend Jesus.

In my own life I feel like there had been times when God may have forgotten me. Lazarus’ condition looked hopeless, but God made something wonderful out of seemingly impossible situation.. And He received the glory.

So as I look at my own life today, I’ve experienced some disappointment as I have been considering and wanting a different work environment (I have been doing the same work with the same client for a really long time.) I have been thinking about a change, to bring some freshness and newness. It seems that even though I’ve put out some feelers I’m not getting any real bites. This has been combined with seeing into the technology future, where myself and my team may not be needed in our clients future plans. Our client seems to be moving forward and not including us in their plans.  

What I reminded of this morning is that God’s delays are not God’s denials; they are blessings disguised for those who will wait in faith. I am to just keep praying until the answer comes. God has some things he is doing or building up in me. I just need to keep doing the best job I can and to put my trust in Him. I also need to consider that what I have today is a tremendous blessing and in no way is hurting me. I need to keep my focus on the right things and not allow the enemy to side track me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Not Allowing Setbacks To Take Control

In review of Genesis 37:19-20 it says, “Then they said to one another, ‘Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, “Some wild beast has devoured him.” We shall see what will become of his dreams!”

Bottom Line:
Joseph's brothers were jealous of him because of his father's favor and because of his dreams. So they plotted to kill him and throw him into a dry well so that his dreams could not come true.

What this means to me:
Things can happen to me that seem terrible, like Joseph and his brothers throwing him into a dry well because of their jealousy of him. However, I know that God doesn’t waste anything. He has a purpose in everything. He will use the events of my life to build my faith and my character.

So when things go wrong, I often drift toward a gamut of emotions, just as Joseph did: rejection, betrayal, false accusations, bitterness, depression, and desire for revenge, hatred for those who have betrayed me, the agony of being forgotten by those I've helped.  Satan tries to tell me things like, “if I was truly a child of God, my life couldn’t possibly get this messed up.” I need not listen to this, for results of problems will be broken as I walk from this life to be present in his palace.

For now, I need to just get beyond any of my heartbreaking setbacks to achieve my divine destiny. I need to get from any bitterness to blessing, from tragedy to triumph, from devastation to re-creation in the hands of the master.

Therefore, I should not let my emotions blind me and/or steal my love, joy, and peace. When I allow things (or people other than Christ) to become my obsession, they will end up owning me. And I will never find a true sense of completion until I live out the dream that Christ has placed in my heart.

This is good reminder of some of the feelings and concerns I have over myself and my team longer term as it relates to an on-going contract. Seems our client is making plans that may limit the services we offer (device hosting), and thus reduce the need for us. I just need to keep doing my best and allow Christ to work out the details and trust in Him for my future. As I dwell on this issue (which is beyond my control) it just ends up owning me. Today I will do my best to let this go and follow His lead.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Faith and Favor

In review of Romans 10:17 it says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Bottom Line:
Faith comes from hearing the word of God

What this means to me:
I could have never had faith without hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Good News about Christ

Today’s verse comes from Romans chapter 10, where Paul is helping believers in Rome truly understand the Good News of Jesus Christ and what this means against the backdrop of the law that they so closely held to. The Good News is the very message about faith that we preach: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Paul then says, but how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

In my own life, doing God’s will has brought me to a fork in the road that demanded that I make a decision. It is a decision that launched me into the next level with God.  Since I have encountered him deeply in my life, my life hasn’t been like it was. This is because I have come to a more meaningful relationship with my Lord and Savior.

I’m reminded of Noah and his life. Noah couldn’t live the same after building the ark. Neither can I stay where I am and go with God at the same time. I cannot sit on the bank and simultaneously launch out into the deep. I must choose to travel down one path, mine or God’s. I have to obey God’s voice and move forward, or else I am choosing spiritual stagnation.

What I’m realizing is that I will miss out on the favor of God in my life unless I choose to pay the price to follow Him. Gaining his favor requires action on my part. Faith is believing that He is who He said He is, and the He will do what He said He will do. Walking in divine favor will always lead me to a surprise ending in a truly fantastic way!.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Obedience Leads To Blessings And The Very Best For Me

In review of Acts 5:29, it says, “Obey God rather than men.”

Bottom Line:
But they replied, we must obey God rather than men.

What this means to me:
My obedience should not be with men but rather with God as my ultimate source of authority.

Today's verse comes from Acts chapter 5. The apostles were teaching and performing many miraculous signs/wonders among the people. As a result crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem becoming followers of Jesus and being healed. Then the apostles meet opposition by the high priest and his officials, as they were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in a secured jail. But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail and brought them out. He told them to, "God to the temple and give the people this message of life!"

So at daybreak they did as they were told. The high priest discovered this and had them arrested again and brought to the council where they were confronted. The high priest told them that they were given strict instructions to not teach about Jesus. Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him. Then God put him in the place of honor at His right hand. He did this so that the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him."

After some discussion and debate, a decision was made and the apostles were flogged, released and told not to speak in the name of Jesus. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: "Jesus is the Messiah."

Things happen in my life that I don’t always understand. I’m reminded this morning again of the story of Joseph and the things he experienced. His response and devotion to God lead him to increasing levels of responsibility and ultimately in a position where he was able to greatly aid the people at the time of a famine.  

Satan knows that myself, like Joseph who survived the well (pit) and ended up heading for the palace, can shake the world for God. Satan cannot afford for me to shape the destiny of the world around me, so he will try what he can to crush me before I am able to make a Kingdom difference. In his tactics, satan will find the part of my life that is most vulnerable and attack there. He knows how to pinpoint my weakness and use my fears against me, especially If I’m not surrounding myself daily with God’s promises and putting on the full armor of God.

Yet, just as the Lord did for Joseph, He can take what the enemy meant for evil and use His very best for my very best. Satan manipulated the hatred and jealousy that Joseph’s brothers harbored against him to push Joseph into the well; however God brought Joseph out of the well and into the next level of spiritual revelation and growth. His brothers unknowingly revolutionized Joseph’s relationship with God wand gave him more power and favor than ever before.

It is the same with me today. God is using my enemies and obstacles to move me to a higher level of ministry. I shouldn’t worry about my circumstances. Good things are about to explode because God is my Father, and favor is born in the womb of obedience. I need to continue to seek Him first and all of these things will be added unto me.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Handling Persecution

In review of Matthew 5:10 it says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Bottom Line:
Blessing will come from you being persecuted for doing right, for you’ll receive the kingdom of Heaven.

What this means to me:
God will bless me when I’m treated badly and persecuted for doing right, for I’ll receive the Kingdom of Heaven.

Today's verse comes from the first part of Matthew 5 in a section referred to as the "Beatitudes". In it Matthew quotes Jesus from his sermon on the mount. Jesus is telling the crowds the type of attitudes that God want us to take on. He tells us that there are blessings for those who are poor and realize their need for him, who mourn, who are humble, who hunger for justice, who are merciful, whose hearts are pure, who work for peace, and who are persecuted for doing right. Jesus tells us that God will bless you when people mock and persecute you, lie about you, and say all sorts of evil things against you because we follow him. When this persecution happens, we can be happy, for a great reward awaits us in heaven.

This verse reminds me that God will compensate me when people oppose me for doing right. He can bless me so that the situation that is used to intimidate me, I now master. I should not allow other’s opinions or cruelties to define me. Instead I should allow God’s promises to show me exactly who I am through His eyes.

The question is, am I ready for all this goodness? God won’t give me something great until I am desperate to have His very best. Can God trust me with His favor? Am I trying to do everything on my own, keeping God on a shelf for a special occasion?

Other people may often envy the demonstration of God’s favor in my life, so I shouldn’t be deterred by their criticism. Instead I can lift my head and square my shoulders. I can smile. This in of itself will make those who oppose me crazy.

I can clap my hands and shout for joy. I am favored by the living God, and the Kingdom of heaven is mine.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Remedy For Pity Parties

In review of Psalm 30:5 it says, “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Bottom Line:
His anger lasts a moment; but his favor lasts for life! Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy.

What this means to me:
God’s anger only lasts a very small amount of time, but the favor he bestows will last a lifetime. At night I may cry and weep, however his Joy comes to me in the morning.

Today’s verse comes from Psalm 30. In summary, the psalmist tells us of how he exalts you, Lord, for you had rescued him. He cried for your help, and you provided it. You kept him from falling into the the pit of death. So he says, sing to the Lord, Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! He has found that weeping may only last through the night, but true joy comes in the morning. Furthermore he gives us this warning of when he had become prosperous, He had became too proud of himself and as a result lost his humility. So he tells us of how had God turned away and his life became shattered. So the psalmist reconsidered his ways and cried out for God. God then turned his mourning into joyful dancing. God had taken away his clothes of mourning and clothed him once again with joy, that he might sing praises to God and not be silent. For this O Lord, he will his thanks forever!

What I’m learning is that the favor of God is a powerful, supernatural force that can move mountains of impossibility and make the sun not only stand still but reverse in its tracks. Jesus’ name causes demons to tremble and the gates of heaven to swing open wide. So I should not let anyone or any situation convince me that I’m worthless nobody!  I am blessed and highly favored of God, royalty in the kingdom of heaven. The favor of God is my destiny, a destiny shared by every believer who follows Christ (the path of righteousness.)

When I fully understand the favor of God, I can kiss any insecurities goodbye. So I should never look at and focus on the circumstances.  God tells me that I’m favored, it doesn’t matter what the outward appearance is.

I’m reminded this morning of the life of Joseph. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers, made a slave, and eventually ended up in a prison. But the Word records that the favor of God was always upon him.

So, I shouldn’t look at the pit, rather I should start looking at the palace. It’s not what I’m going through; it’s Who I’m running to. I am blessed and highly favored of God. I have much to celebrate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Let God Avenge

In review of Romans 12:19 it says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will replay,’ says the Lord”

Bottom Line:
Do not take revenge, leave room for God’s wrath. He will avenge.

What this means to me:
I am to not avenge myself, rather give God the place to administer His wrath, for ‘Vengeance is His”.

Today's verse comes from the tail end of Romans 12. In this section Paul provides us with guidance how we should live now that we follow Christ.  First, let our lives be an open and continuous offering for all he has done for us. We should never think of ourselves as being greater than we really are. We all make up the body of Christ needed to serve one another. We should not just pretend to love others, but really love them. We should take delight in honoring each other.

Paul also says, we should rejoice in our confident hope, being patient in our troubles. We are to keep on praying. When we see others in need, we are to be eager and ready to practice hospitality toward them. Instead of cursing those who oppose us, we are to bless them.

Paul closes this part of his letter with, how are are to be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each others. We are to never be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people and think you know it all. Also, we are to never take revenge. We are to leave this to the righteous anger of God. Our response should be to bless those who oppose us. We should not let evil conquer us, but rather conquer evil by doing good.

As I reflect this morning, one that that is for certain, is that I will encounter rejection and betrayal by those around me. I will also encounter bitterness and temptation and very likely a deep desire for revenge. If I’m not careful I can find myself embroiled in a hatred that is all-consuming. I may even find myself feeling the agony of being forgotten by those who have helped me the most.

There is good news. Through the power of Almighty God, it is possible to move beyond my personal tragedies to reach my divine destiny. It is possible to recover from heart-breaking setbacks, to move beyond pain and devastation and to be re-created by the Lord. He can make old things new again and restore that which the enemy has taken.

When I find a need for a new start or new inspiration, all I need to do is to look to Him who sticks closer than any brother, knowing that the battle belongs to Him. Begin to sing a song in my heart, because good things are on the way!.

Monday, March 13, 2017

True Hope is Found In The Lord

In review of Romans 8:25 it says, “If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Bottom Line:
We hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

What this means to me:
I can look forward and trust God for something I do not yet have, with perseverance, I wait eagerly for it.

Today’s verse comes from Romans chapter eight. In this chapter, Paul tells us that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because we belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed us from the power of sin that leads to death. He explains that Christ lives within us, so even though our bodies will die because of sin, the Spirit gives us life because we have been made right with God. We were given a hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) We should be aware and know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

So what I’m reminded of this morning is that there is a difference between hope and optimism. Optimism hopes for the best without a guarantee. In Christ I have a hope that is guaranteed by the past performances of God. My provision is found within His promises. And what God has done in the past He can and will do again.

The bible reminds me that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If God has helped me in the past, He will help me again. If God was with me yesterday, in my greatest hours of desperation, why shouldn’t I believe that He will meet my needs again.

Everyone has problems that are beyond our control and might seem hopeless form a human perspective. But God sees us and He hears our prayers. He is simply waiting for me to call upon His holy name. The biggest tragedy in life is not falling down but staying down. I should not take ownership of my problem so that it ends up consuming and defining me. Persevere, and put my hope in God.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Hope is in God

In review of Proverbs 28:25 it says, “An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper”

Bottom Line:
Selfishness only causes trouble. It’s much better to just trust the Lord.

What this means to me:
Selfishness and arrogance on my part will only cause trouble. It’s better for me to trust in the Lord. When I do, overall I’ll be better off, and I will experience a life that prospers.

Hope is faith reaching out in the darkness, with the assurance that I will feel the hand of God reaching back on the other side.  As a follower of Jesus Christ I can rejoice in the hope and the glory of God the Father. Without hope, joy gets suffocated. With God, there is hope for a brighter tommorow. It is the anchor of my soul.

As David said in Psalm 37, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread.” God plants me by streams of living water, and whatever I do He helps me prosper in. My hope is in God!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Following Wisdom’s Call Brings Blessings

In review of Proverbs 8:32 it says, “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.”

Bottom Line:
Listen and follow wisdoms advice. If you do so, things will go well.

What this means to me:
Wisdom calls out and wants me to listen and follow her advice. If I do so, I will live a happy and prosperous life.

Today’s verse comes from Proverbs 8. This chapter is all about listening as Wisdom calls out. I am to hear and understanding it. She only raises her voice as I listen. She cries aloud, “You simple people, use good judgment, show some understanding. Listen for I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception. There is nothing devious or crooked with my advice. Choose my instruction rather than silver and knowledge rather than pure Gold. Wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.” Therefor nothing I desire can ever compare with her. So I am told to listen to it and to follow wisdom's way, for it is joyful.

This morning I realize that I qualify for the favor of God, by my obedience to His Word. The Bible is filled with propositional revelations, meaning that if I do this, God will do that. There is no limit to what I can do with God on my side. As long I I’m walking in His plan for my life, God will grant me favor.

However, I’m reminded that regardless of my failures (past, present and future), I can still receive divine blessings when I follow the commands God has clearly given me in His Word. It is just that simple!