Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Being an Example by Learning to Forgive

In review of Matthew 6:14 it says, “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.”

Bottom Line:
Forgive and you will be forgiven.

What this means to me:
God has and will forgive me, therefore I will show the same forgiveness to others.

Today’s verse from Matthew tells me to forgive those who has sinned against me, then my heavenly Father will forgive me. The verse just after this says, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Jesus is giving me a startling warning about forgiveness. If I refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive me. When I don't forgive, I'm denying our common grounds as sinners in need of God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of my forgiving others, but it is based on realizing what forgiveness means. While It is easy to ask God for forgiveness, it is often difficult to grant it to others. Whenever I ask God to forgive me, I should consider if I have forgiven those who have wronged me.

What I’m realizing is that my forgiveness and restoration should be a distinguishing mark of my love for the Lord. The world around me will likely always be bent on punishment and further disgrace when someone fails. However I am called to react differently, to forgive as I have been forgiven, and to seek to serve.

I should consider what I’m doing to show that I belong to Christ. Am I leading by example? Am I turning the other cheek when I’m mistreated or am I throwing a fit because of something done to me. If I’m not living as Christ did, God cannot use me. He only uses servants. I am His salt.  

I’m reminded this morning that my forgiving is setting an example. God wants me to mimic his character and He has forgiven me greatly for my wrong doings. I need to remember this and forgive others.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bringing Joy To God

In review of Psalm 147:5 it says, “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power, his understanding is infinite”
  
Bottom Line:
How great he is! His power is absolute! His understanding is unlimited.

What this means to me:
Great is my God, His power and understanding are unlimited, even beyond comprehension.

Today I’m reminded of the importance of bringing joy to God. So what gives God Joy? Although God created everything, his greatest joy comes from my genuine worship and trust.

Often I feel as if I really don't understand myself; what I want, how I feel, what's wrong with me, or even what I should do about it. But today I’m reminded that God's understanding has no limit, and therefore he understands me fully.

The world will try to tell me what I can and can’t do, what is socially acceptable, what is politically correct. There are rules for what I can say, what I can wear, how I must act in social settings so as not to offend the sensibilities of those around me. There are limitations on the limitations and fine print for the fine print.

But with God there is no limit.. Ever. He is my great supply, faithful to me me right where I am.

When people tell me something cannot be done, I know that they do not set the limits for what I can accomplish by God’s might. Only the Lord sets the parameters for His children, and the Word says no good thing will He withhold from those who diligently seek Him.

Today, I can know that nothing is impossible for me. I can start out today with confidence, and head straight for the finish line, because God will help me trudge through each and every mile if I will hand Him the reins and let Him take control.


Over, when I feel troubled and don't understand, I can keep in mind that God understands me perfectly. My best course of action is to take my mind off of myself and focus it on God. I should strive to become more and more like him. The more I learn about God and his ways, the better I'll understand myself.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Turning It Over To God

In review of Psalm 42:11 it says, “Why am I discouraged? Why am I restless? I trust you! And I will praise you again because you help me, and you are my God.”

Bottom Line:
Don’t be discouraged and uneasy. Instead praise God, he is your savior. Put your trust in Him for your situation.

What does this mean to me:
When I get discouraged or restless, I will turn my focus and trust toward God. I praise him, for he is my God, savior and source of unending kindness.

Today's verse comes from Psalms 42 which includes a prayer for rescue, a call to worship, a confession of sin, and encouragement to trust God.

When I feel myself getting depressed or lonely, I can meditate on God's unlimited kindness and love in my life. I can also meditate on the record of God's goodness to his people as shown in his word. This can help take my mind off my present situation and help provide hope that it will be improved. It will help to focus my thoughts on God's ability to help me rather than on my inability to help myself.

This is a timely verse, as It helps to emphasize my current project at work and decisions I’ve made. There are so many people in different organizations that I'm counting on to deliver, so that we can execute a timely client data center move. Unfortunately as the deadline approaches, there are area’s popping up that seem to be off-track. I had decided a few weeks ago that I would turn this project over to God and ask him to work out the details. I asked him to help me trust him and allow him to work out the details. I asked him to give me the wisdom to know how to handle the decisions I’m presented with, as I can only do the things I have control over. I asked him to allow me to relax and not get uptight. For I trust him to work out the details. In the end, his will will be done.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blessings From Seeking and Following The Lord

In review of Psalm 119:2 it says, “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.

Bottom Line:
Blessings come to those who search for God and always does his will.

What this means to me:
I’m blessed when I keep His testimonies and seek Him with my whole heart.

Today’s verse from the beginning of Psalm 119 is a meditation on the beauty of God's Word and how it helps me stay pure and grow in faith.

I’m reminded this morning that if I begin to think life is defeating me, I can pray and seek the Lord’s face. When I do, He will point me in the direction I need to go. For He has promised to never leave me, or forsake me. And He will work things in my favor as I learn to lean on Him.

One practical step I can take to pray and seek God is to not turn on the radio or make phone calls when I get into the car, but just carefully listen for the voice of the Spirit. If God is trying to gently place you on a path of His choosing, the road less traveled... I have to be willing to listen and be led. In my commute to work I can tune out the distractions and focus on the Source of every blessing that has ever come my way.

God promises to go before me, like a guide on an Alaskan hike. I may want to walk right behind Him, in His immediate footsteps, so I don’t make any fatal errors. I’ll want to go exactly where He’s leading, and to where He says. This is the way to His blessings.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Learning to Ask and Believe That He Answers

In review of James 1:6 it says, “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.”

Bottom Line:
When you ask, don’t be doubtful or unsettled, instead put your faith in God and trust him for the answer.

What this means to me:
When I ask Him, I should be sure that my faith is in Him alone and that I really expect him to tell me. For a doubtful mind on my part with be as unsettled as a wave in the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

In James 1, James tells me about faith and endurance. He tells me that If I need wisdom, I should ask my generous God, and he will give it to me and will never get upset for me asking. But when I do aks I should be sure that my faith is in God alone and not other sources. I should not waver, for if I do, I'll be as unsettled as a wave of sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. If I do, then it shows that my loyalty is divided and that i'm not completely convinced that God's way is best. If I do this, then I shouldn't expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Also, I should never think that my need is so great that someone like me doesn’t deserve to be helped in such a fantastic way. Satan is the author of lies and he will use whatever methods he can to destroy my peace and minimize my faith until I feel like a battered boat tossed around in the sea.

So to stabilize any waverings, I should just commit myself wholeheartedly to God. I should learn to rely on God daily to show me what is best for me. Ask him for wisdom, and trust that he will give it to me. When I do then my decisions will be sure and solid.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Living to Reflect God’s Goodness in My Life

In review of Job 10:12 it says, “You have granted me life and favor, and your care has preserved my spirit.”

Bottom Line:
God gives life and constant love, and he watches over you.

What this means to me:
God, your are the source of my life. No matter what happens to me, You shower me with kindness and unfailing love. My life is preserved by your care.

As I look at the context of Job 10, I see how Job began to wallow in self-pity. It’s certain that we all face baffling afflictions, where our pain lures us toward feeling sorry for ourselves. However, at this point we are only one step from self-righteousness, where we keep track of life's injustices and say, "Look what happened to me; how unfair it is!" We may even feel like blaming God. It’s best to keep in mind that life's trials, whether allowed by God or sent by God, can be the means for development and refinement in our lives. So when I face trials, I should ask, "What can I learn and how can I grow? rather than "Who did this to me and now can I get out of it?"

I also see that In frustration, Job jumped to the false conclusion that God was out to get him. Wrong assumptions will lead to wrong conclusions. I should not take my limited experiences and jump to conclusions about life in general. If I find myself doubting God, remember that I don't have all the facts. God wants only the very best for my life. Many endure great pain, but ultimately they find some greater good came from it. So when I find myself struggling, I should not assume the worst.

It’s easy to live with an insecurity complex, not always seeing myself as blessed and highly favored. I can rise up each morning and say, “By the power of Almighty God, I am a child of the Almighty God, blessed and highly favored.

Satan is not worried about what I will do for the Kingdom if he can preoccupy me with a seemingly endless parade of problems. Some problems might be large, valid issues. But I should stay focused on the prize. If I focus on the problem, then the problem will consume me. When I stay focused on Jesus, He fills my days with laughter and your bitter midnights with song.

I should not let satan steal my joy and rob me of my peace. Life is simply too short for that? I should set out to enjoy each day as if was my last, and know that God is still on the throne and everything is going to be alright.

Today’s passage also brings to mind my small groups study last night in Revelation 3 and the message to the church in Sardis. The  church in Sardis was dead, they were missing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their lives and the fruit that comes from it. It’s not enough for me to rest on my laurels and just kind of do Christian things. Jesus threatened them that If this didn’t wake up and return to the basics of their faith he would come and they wouldn’t be expecting it.  I need to make sure my life is full of the fruit of having the Holy Spirit within me. It does not good for me to just do busy work and not really make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Trust and Willingness Are Key Ingredients To Faith

In review of Luke 17:6 it says, “The Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.”’

Bottom Line:
The genuineness of your faith, your willingness and loyalty to God plays a big part in what you ask for.

What this means to me:
The genuineness of my faith, and my willingness and loyalty to God plays a big part in my life. Jesus tells me that if I had faith as small as a mustard seed, I could tell tree’s, root and all, to plant themselves in the sea and they would.

In Luke 17 the disciples ask Jesus to show them how to increase their faith to forgive. Jesus tells them if they had faith even as small as a mustard seed, they could tell a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea and it would obey them.

The disciples' request was for the faith needed to forgive as Jesus told them to the needed to. Jesus seemed to indicate that the amount of faith was not as important as its genuineness. Faith is a complete trust in and loyalty to God that results in a willingness to do his will. Faith is not something we use to put on a show for others. It is complete and humble obedience to God's will, readiness to do whatever he calls us to do. The amount of faith isn't as important as the right kind of faith, a faith in our all-powerful God.

A mustard seed is small, but it is alive and growing. Almost invisible at first, the seed will begin to develop, first under the ground and then visibly. Like a tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Although each change will be gradual and imperceptible, soon this faith will have produced major results that will uproot and destroy competing loyalties. We don't need more faith; a tiny seed of faith is enough if it is alive and growing.

Because of the triumph of the Cross, I have been saved by the blood of Christ. Because of this great triumph, demons tremble when I mention Jesus’ name.

So when life knocks me to my knees, I’m in the best position to pray as I’ll be strategically aligned to reach out to the One who even the winds and waves obey. I can ask for a lot by simply asking God the Father to intervene on my behalf.

I shouldn’t be shy, I should just ask. Start talking about the power of the blood and watch as every demon in the country flees. The precious blood of Christ gives life to my prayer to the proclamations I claim based on the promises found in God’s Word. Without exception, the Word of God never returns void.

Today, I will consider what I am asking God for?  What good thing will I proclaim in Jesus’ name? I can know that whatever I ask in faith believing, I can have, because of the precious blood that was shed for me on the Cross.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Learning That Trials Today Help Refine Me

In review of 1 Peter 1:6 it say, "So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while."

Bottom Line:
Trails now will lead to joy

What this means to me:
Even though I may need to endure trials for while here on earth, I can be glad, for there is a wondrous joy that lies ahead of me for my patient endurance,

What I’m learning is that when God places me in the middle of a trial, He has put me there for a little while to burn out my imperfections so that I can become a vessel of honor to Him. If I cannot endure great burdens, I will never survive great successes.

So I might as well smile while I’m walking through the valley, because my attitude in the trial will determine just how long I stay there. I can use the valley as a time for God to restore my soul, to reveal Himself to me in a very real way, and to learn things that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else.

Seems that the most successful people in life are the war-torn and battle-scarred, not the chubby little babies whose parents never disciplined them. They are lean, mean fighting machines who have weathered the storm and lived to tell about it.

I’m also realizing that God will use challenges in my life to develop within me something that will honor Him and bless others. So I can rejoice, and face the challenges of this day head-on, choosing to be made better, not bitter.

So in summary, I must learn to accept trails as part of my refining process that burns away impurities and prepares me to meet Christ. Just as gold is heated and impurities float to the top. My trials, struggles and even persecutions refine and strengthen my faith, thus making me useful to God. Instead of asking, "why me?" I should respond to problems with a new set of responses such as:
1) Confidence that God knows, plans and directs my life for good. God will also provide his love and strength for me and lead me to a better future.
2) Perseverance when facing grief, anger, sorrow, and pain. We express our grief, but we don't give into bitterness and despair.
3) Courage, because with Jesus as my Brother and Savior, I need not be afraid.
He who suffered for me, will not abandon me. Jesus will carry me through everything.

As I reflect on this passage this morning, my current project (data center relocation) comes to mind. It’s one where I having difficulties with some items coming through and being delivered on time. It’s been good for me when I feel frustrated to just turn it back over to God, as he is in control and will help me find solutions or enable those around to tolerate and work with the delay that could happen.  As I let go, God has helped move things along in ways I would have never thought possible.  Thanks Father to helping me keep calm to exercise my faith in you.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Learning that My Troubles Are Opportunities

In review of 2 Corinthians 4:17 it says, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Bottom Line:
The afflictions we face today are only for a short time. Yet they will produce a glory that will vastly outweigh them. A glory that will last forever!.

What this means to me:
Any of my present troubles are small and they won’t last very long. Yet they produce for me a glory that vastly outweighs them. A Glory that will last forever!

As I face great trouble, it's easy to focus on the pain rather than on my ulitmate goal. Like an athlete, I must focus on the reward for my faith and the joy that lasts forever. No what happens to me, I have the assurance of eternal life, when all suffering will and and all sorrow will flee away.

It's easy for me to lose heart and to want to quit. We all face problems that cause us to think about giving up. So rather than quitting, I should concentrate on experiencing the inner strength that comes from the Holy Spirit. I shouldn't let fatigue, pain or criticism force me off the joy. I should renew my commitment to serving Christ, and not forsake my eternal reward because of the intensity of today's pain. My very weakness allows the resurrection power of Christ to strengthen me moment by moment.

I should not let my troubles diminish my faith or disillusion me. There is a purpose in my suffering. The problems and limitations have several benefits:
1) they remind me of Christ's suffering for me
2) they keep me from pride
3) they cause me to look beyond this brief life
4) they give us opportunities to prove our faith to others
5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power
I can learn to see my troubles as opportunities!

The ultimate hope when experiencing terrible illness, persecution, or pain is the realization that this life is not all there is, there is life after death. Knowing that I will live forever with God in a place without sin and suffer can help me live above the pain that I face in this life.

In retrospect, God has given me a dream, a vision for my future. Often it seems my dreams see like distant illusions that will never come to fruition. I can be encouraged in knowing that He can restore me to what the enemy has taken. In one moment, He can return to me a lifetime's worth of heartache and defeat.

The darkest hour is always just before the dawn, and your change will come when it seems most impossible. So I should get ready! I’m about to experience a complete breakthrough that will be as the latter rain, making my future years better than the former.

Today’s verse helps me realize that while I’m experiencing some difficulties in a current project at work (suppliers who may not be coming through in line with the timing needed on the project), it won’t last forever.  My response should be to look to God to handle the areas I don’t have control of and to give the ability see that which I can take action on.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Considering My Heart in Giving

In review of Malachi 3:10 it says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!"

Bottom Line:
Give your tithe, God promises that he will bless you for this. You can test HIm with this.

What this means to me:
God is telling me to give a full tithe, and more. He will pour out blessings so great that I won’t have room enough for them. This is one thing I’m allowed to test him in.

I’m reminded this morning that everything I have is from God; so if I refuse to return to him a part of what he has given, we rob him. Am I willing to give above and beyond my tithe to help advance God's Kingdom?

In Luke 6:38, I'm reminded to "give, and I will receive."  When I give, I must remember that the blessings God promises are not always material and may not be experienced completely here on earth, but we will certainly receive them in our future life with him.

What I need to keep in mind is that God is my Kinsman-Redeemer through Christ Jesus. He does not want me to live a lifestyle of scourging for what is left over. He doesn’t want me to have just enough to meet my needs, rather He wants me to have more than enough, the very best.

Instead of just giving a few drops from a pitcher of water, God wants to fill my glass beyond the brim to overflowing. It’s the kind of abundance and blessing that he want me to receive on a daily basis.

The Lord is my provider. Today He is telling me to lay my needs at the foot of the Cross, knowing that I am covered with the mantel of Christ in every area of my life.

With Him as my Kinsman-Redeemer, I am completely set free from every form of bondage! I can get ready for the fullness of the Lord to drench my life completely, and to refresh me anew, and to bring me blessings that I never thought would be possible.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

God Judges by Faith and Character, not Appearance

In review of 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Bottom Line:
The Lord doesn’t see things the way we do, People judge by appearance, but the Lord look at the heart.

What this means to me:
I shouldn’t think that outward appearance is what really makes me or anyone else right. For the Lord does not see people this way, rather he looks intently at the heart.

In this verse God warned Saul against judging by appearance alone. For when we judge by outward appearance, we overlook quality individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. Appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like or what their true value is. God judges by faith and character, not appearance. And because God can see on the inside, only he can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner characters.  While everyone can see your face, only you and God know what your heart really looks like.

What I’m learning is that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.  Don’t worry about what things look like on the outside; God is still in control. He sees your heart and knows your every thought. While others might reject me for my outward appearance, God says, “you're the exact person for this mission. Get ready, because it’s going to be epic!”

This reminds me of the story of David and the giant. Many strapping men were present, but were afraid. God however had an assignment for David, so he equipped him for the fight.

So I should keep my heart right with God, and never fear the harsh words spoken by those around me. David’s brothers mocked him as he declared he would go out there and take on the giant alone. And as I think about Noah, he built an ark when no one on the face of the early had ever seen one drop of rain. Despite the taunts coming from his neighbors, Noah just kept on building, one board at a time. And then the rains came.

God see my heart and hears my cries. I can trust that He is working all things together for my good, and I can listen for the still, small voice that will lead me to my appointed destiny. And then... get ready for the victory!  Today I should consider what steps I'm taking to improve my heart's attitude.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Realizing That God is Excited About My Future

In review of Zephaniah 3:17 it says, "The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you"

Bottom Line:
God is with you; it is his power that brings victory. He will delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will always rejoice over you.

What this means to me:
I can know that the Lord my God is with me; his power gives me victory. The Lord delights in me, and in his love gives me new life. He will sing and be joyful over me

I discovered that the essence of the word joy (“gladness” in this verse) literally means “dancing” in Hebrew. This is saying that when God looks on the destiny He has for me, He gets so excited about my tomorrow that He begins to dance.

That’s incredible to imagine. The God who created heaven and earth is so excited about the things coming my way that He is celebrating in my honor. He is ecstatic about my future. And if God is that excited, it’s time for me to join the party. To start focusing on the positive.  

I should count my blessings one by one and never let the devil take that away from me. And don’t minimize my blessings! Many people thank God for the great things He has done but then conclude with, “but what have you done for me lately? What great thing happened to me in the past 30 minutes?”

I believe that God is not looking for whiners! He’s looking for winners! If I'm just sitting around recounting the bad things of the past and anticipating the worst, I won’t enjoy the blessings when they come. They will pass me right by because I was too busy focusing on the wrong things. My focus should be on the Lord, and know that He will turn my mourning into dancing.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Receiving God’s Mercy and Favor

In review of Psalm 119:58 it says, “With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised.”

Bottom Line:
With all my heart I seek your blessings. Please be merciful as you promised.

What this means to me:
When I truly seek your presence, you will be gracious and merciful to me, just as you promised.

Today’s verse from Psalm 119 reminds me that God's word is true and wonderful. My goal should be to stay true to God and his word no matter how bad things get.  It also reminds me that obedience to God's laws is the only way to achieve real happiness.

Goodness gives me what I don’t deserve. Mercy spares me from what I do.

What I’m learning is that God’s favor is for life; it’s not simply a temporary fix to a bad day. The goodness of the Lord is never going to end. Given this I can stop worrying about something that will never happen.

Most of the things I worry about don’t happen anyway? Worry is much like a rocking chair. You can rock back and forth until you work yourself into a frenzy, but it will never take you anywhere.

I can sit back and relax; God has it all under control. I can rejoice with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, God will cause His blessing to overflow me, just as He promised.

If today turns out to be a bad day, I shouldn’t think that I have lost His favor. I can know He’s favor is always with me and no matter what I can live life to the fullest in Jesus’ name!

Friday, May 5, 2017

It is By Grace and Not By My Efforts

In review of Ephesians 2:9 it says, “It is not of works, lest anyone should boast”

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."

Bottom Line:
Faith and trust in Christ is what saves you. It is his gifts to us. There is nothing on our part we could possible do to earn it.

What this means to me:
Because of his kindness, I have been saved through my trusting in Christ.  Even this trust is not of myself, but also a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for anything I have done on my own or earned, so I cannot brag about myself.

It’s hard to really comprehend the atomic power of the blood of Jesus Christ. His blood gives me the ability as a mere mortal to do far above and beyond what I could ever think or imagine on my own, both in the personal and in the spiritual realms.

His blood is like kryptonite to Satan. The Bible tells me that I can ask for healing by the stripes that were on Jesus’ back; that the shed blood of Calvary’s Cross completely redeemed me from sickness and disease.

So for any of the battles I am undergoing today, I can call on the name of the Lord and pray for the shed blood of Christ to cover my family. While I may not where they are or what they are doing, God does. And in their greatest hour of need, He can wrap His mighty hand of protection around them and save them from the worst evil imaginable. Our God is that powerful.

I am not saved by the good works I do, or through my church membership. I am not saved by religion or ritual. I am saved simply by the holy blood of Jesus Christ and given the opportunity to now enter the pearly gates and walk on streets of gold forevermore. Buddha or Mohammed offer that. Only Jesus Christ can grant eternal life.

I’m assured today that If I’m ever in doubt about what to pray, I can plead the blood of Jesus Christ over myself, my family, my friends, for all those who need to find the Lord. When I do I understand that all of Hell trembles. Demons must flee. Yokes are broken. Captives are set free. All of heaven rejoices.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trusting In The Right Things

In review of Proverbs 11:28 it says, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.”

Bottom Line:
Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish like a healthy plant.

What this means to me:
I need to learn to place my trust in God for my needs and not rely solely on my riches.

Toward the end of Proverbs 11 we see some of God's advice about money. The writer tells us to give freely and become more wealthy. If we are stingy we will lose everything. A generous person will prosper. Someone who refreshes others will themselves be refreshed. If we trust in our money we will fail, however a godly person will flourish like leaves in spring.

There a a paradox presented here, I am told that I become richer by being generous, whereas the world says to hold on to as much as possible. But what I learn is that God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time and energy. When I give, God supplies me with more so that I can give more. In addition, giving helps me gain a right perspective on my possessions. Especially when I come to realize that they were never really mine to begin with; they were given to me by God to be used to help others. By giving, I gain freedom from enslavement to our possessions, the joy of helping others, and God's approval.

God’s favor can make me the envy of the nations. When I have the favor of God, I can do with great ease what others cannot. You can climb to the divine destiny God has created just for me because I can believe in things others cannot see.

When favored of God, there is no limitations for me. The Word promises me that He will take the wreath of the wicked and place it in the hands of the righteous, that I am the head and not the tail. He wishes above all things that I prosper, even as my soul prospers.

This means, I shouldn’t envy a new car the neighbor has or the perfectly tailored suit. What I have is far more valuable than earthly riches. The favor of God is upon me. If I got out of bed this morning then I have something to shout about! It means I still have time on this earth to give glory and praise to my heavenly Father!

I’m learning that I should never wish to be someone else. God didn’t make a mistake with me. Those who look really good on the outside have their own battles to fight; so don’t covet them. My favor was tailor-made just for me. Wear it like a suite of armor as I face every day, a fearless warrior ready to do battle in the name of the Lord.

Choosing to Accept God’s Grace

In review of Romans 6:23 it tells me that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lor...