Flourish

The Heart of the Church (07.19.17)

Paul now an apostle of Jesus Christ lived his life with the sole purpose of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelizing with the good news of the gospel that produces life change when it's believed.

In Colossians 4:2-4, Paul reminds the church that prayer and being thankful is essential when doing God's work, that it would sustain them for the unexpected, and to depend only on God's grace for spiritual strength. Hebrews 13:9. Paul although in prison chains, reminds us not to abandon our faith in Christ or loose hope.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul's writings encourages us to pray, especially for those that continue to share the gospel today, so that the truth of the gospel will be made clear to everyone  that hears it. He also encourages us to be wise and kind in the way we present it to non-believers, to love and use our time productively, and to make time to study the Word of God so that in our conversation we may give the proper answers that are found in the Bible.

Part of Hebrews 10:22-23 tells us "...so come near to God with sincere hearts, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ. Hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God our Father through Jesus the Son, and the power of Holy Spirit to bring about what has been promised."

Families, neighbors, co-workers, friends and communities can also have their hearts and mind transformed when they receive Christ and can even become a great tool for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Read: Hebrews 10:17 and 1 John 1:8-10 Jesus said, " I will forget their sins and never again remember the evil they have done." 

Let's pray: "For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 (NAS)

The readings are from the Easy to Read Bible (ERV), English Standard Bible (ESV),  New American Standard (NAS): 

Hebrews 13:18-22

John 10:7-10

Proverbs 18:10

and 1 John 1:8-10 Jesus said, " I will forget their sins and never again remember the evil they have done." 

Let's pray: "For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13 (NAS)

Serving With Purpose (.07.10.17)

Being called by God is not just to be a missionary, church leader, or pastor, but also to be a humble servant to others in our daily lives. Mathew 25:35-40 (ESV) Matthew 23:11-12 (NET) "The greatest among you will be your servant..."

The Bible is where we get God's instructions, it says everyone is called to serve God through the means of serving others.  1 Peter 4:9-11 (NET) "Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards...."

Mark 10:45 (ESV) speaks of Jesus as the true example of serving others, it says, "For even The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

It is so important to serve with the right heart. In Philippians 2:3-5 (ESV) it says we are to "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the Interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus."

True serving requires sacrifice of time and our talents; to invest in others not for our own benefit but for the benefit of others. Serve not for a favor in return or for personal recognition, "For the Lord loves a cheerful giver". All rewards come from Him. Serving requires for us to roll up sleeves and dirty our finger nails, to be doers for the sake of The Kingdom of God.

The readings are from the English Standard Version Bible (ESV) and the New International Version Bible (NIV):

Ephesians 2:8-10

Mark 9:35

Mark 10:43-44

A Chosen Generation (07.03.17)

God calls his church a chosen people, Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV), a royal priesthood descendants of King Jesus; Revelation 17:4, a holy nation set apart and established, a society serving and subjected to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and chosen to impact the world. 

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV) states it this way; "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

 The church can be hope, encouragement and healing for many in our communities. Read: Acts 16:5,16-21 (NIV)

 "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14 (NIV)

 The scriptures below can encourage us and help us to continue to be the church, the people God has called us to be.

Readings are from the New International Version Bible (NIV);

Hebrews 12:1-2,14-15

Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Acts 20:20-24, 28

Opportunities (06.26.17)

Something to think about!

What opportunities has God given you to make your faith known to others who need a relationship with God? What courage and faith do you need? Write down a prayer today asking God to give you the courage and grace to share the love of Jesus with others.

Acts 13:47-49 (ESV)

"I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth" ...and the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region." 

Readings are from the English Standard Version Bible (ESV): Acts 13

God's Power and Wisdom (06.19.17)

Let's talk today about the work of God's power and the power of His wisdom described in Jeremiah 10:12-1351:15-16 (NIV & MSG).

It says that by His power He made the earth, and His wisdom gave shape to the world.  He crafted the cosmos.  He thunders and rain pours down.  He sends the clouds souring.  He embellishes the storm with lightnings, launches the wind from His warehouse."

Signs of His wisdom:

John 1:14-17; When speaking wisdom concerning John the Baptist.

Romans 11:33-36 concerning the generous wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24-25  "Christ is God's ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped in one."

God's effectiveness of power and wisdom.

2 Corinthians 2:4-5

The effectiveness of Paul's message, which stands the same for those that bring God's message today. Paul writes to the church; "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power."

In Colossians 2:1-5; we come to understand the purpose of His power and wisdom given to us His believers, is that we may be encouraged and unite in love, and have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that we may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge...

That we may discipline ourselves to stand firm assured of our faith in Christ. 

Readings are from the New International Reader's Version (NIV) and the Message Bible  (MSG): 

Revelation 5:12

Proverbs 4:1,5,7

Proverbs 19:8

James 1:1-8

Finding True Joy (06.12.17)

Joy is an emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.

An expression or display of glad feelings, a source or cause of festive, pleasure or delight; a state of happiness, eager, interested enthusiastic expression shown to something or someone greatly valued or appreciated, to feel glad to rejoice.

In 1 Peter 1:8-9 the Christian joy is described this way; "Though you have not seen Jesus, you love Him; and even though you do not see him now you trust him, as you believe in him and rejoice and are filled with a glorious and expressible joy. The reward of trusting him will be the salvation of your soul."

We find in the scriptures many reasons why we have joy, I will name a few:

A) Because of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

B) Because our God is great, and he delights in the welfare of his servants.

C) For His majesty and for providing us with strength.

D) For provision and success.

E) For His presence, for victories, blessings and goodness.

Readings are from the English Standard Version Bible (ESV), the New Living Translation Bible (NLT),  and the Amplified Bible (AMP):

Psalm 20:5

Psalm 27:6

Isaiah 24:14

Deuteronomy 16:15

Nehemiah 8:10

Psalm 27:6

Ezra 6:22

Our Awesome God (06.05.17)

The most important thing about God is that He loves us."

The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that He has made. His Kingdom is an ever-lasting kingdom, and His dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. The Lord preserves all who love him."

King David in Psalm 145:1-3,7, says, "I will extol you, my God," (which means to praise highly, enthusiastically. He (lauded), praised and admired his God. He (eulogize) spoke and wrote about his God. Verse 7; "They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness." David was moved by these truths, in verses 8-9 of Psalm 145. King David must have spent a fair amount of time studying and thinking about God's truths.

We also must take the time to regularly meditate on God's word and His mighty works.

"My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His name forever."

Readings are from the English Standard Version Bible (ESV)

Psalm 145

True and Faithful (05.29.17)

"Lord God who rules over all, who is like You? Lord you are mighty. You are faithful in everything you do." ~ Psalm 89:8 (NIRV)

Psalm 89 begins with these words "Lord, I will sing about your love forever. For all time to come, I will tell how faithful you are." Let us remain faithful with God's help to what we have learned from His word, which is our guide for a better life and the blessed promise of eternal life through salvation in Jesus Christ.

Believe the word of God which turns our weaknesses into strength and renews our mind to believe, have faith, trust that He is for you and can cause you to become a powerful overcomer to face the battles of life, as it states in James 1:12 (NIRV) "Blessed is the person who keeps on going when times are hard…" 

Believing in God's existence is the key, Hebrews 11:6 "…Those who come to God must believe that he exists..." And in James 1:6 "Those who come to God must believe that He rewards those who look for Him."

"Because of what Christ has done, you believe in God..."  1Peter 1:21  

Readings are from the New International Reader’s Version Bible (NIRV)

James 1:5-7, 22

James 2:23-24

Impact (05.22.17)

Jesus and early believers understood the principle of community.  He desires our eyes and our hearts to be open to those around us, that we may never be so busy to let someone know that they matter.

For the scriptures in Matthew 9:37 (NIV) point out: "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." In Matthew 9:9-10 we read that Jesus and his disciples sat and dined with the outcast tax collectors and others that had not yet accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of salvation. 

I'm convinced that Jesus's purpose was to give them an opportunity to what He had to offer, which would change their lives forever. Read: Matthew 9:11-13 (ESV)

The Church in Jesus’ time understood that community and relationships mattered, they received Christ’s instructions and ran with it. Acts 1:8,14

The salvation which they received and experienced was not just for themselves or to be lived out in isolation, but to share it, to speak it and pass it on to others, so that they too could receive eternal life through salvation. Acts 2:14, 36-39, 42-47 (NIV).

This is the message for every believer and follower of Jesus then and still today for our community. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12 (ESV), and that name is the name of Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus open the eyes of my heart. Open my eyes to those around me, for salvation matters.

Readings are from the New International Version Bible (NIV) and the English Standard Version Bible (ESV):

Matthew 9:35-38

Acts 5:12-16

The Cure (05.15.17)

Faith is the perfect cure for anxiety. With faith you are able to believe and by His grace you are able to accomplish and experience peace.

You are able to remain confident, to have hope and remain stable in the waiting for the good that one believes is going to come. You become unshakable in your stand of trust and belief in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4 (ICB)

You allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you and guide you. You seek for Him to show you the way to handle yourself under pressure, as the Holy Spirit reminds you of God's word for hope and comfort. Read: John 16:13-15

Remember this, we are not exempt from trouble, problems or situations as Jesus states in John 16:32-33 ".... I told you these things so you can have peace in me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world." 

As you become anxious for nothing, read Philippians 4:6 you become stronger and continue to believe that God is the one who created heaven and earth and everything in it. He is the Lord of the land and the sky. The God who gives life, breath and everything else to the people. Read: Acts 17:24-25


A testimony of faith and being anxious for nothing is found in Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV) and it reads "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."

"His praise shall continually be in my mouth."

Readings are from the International Children's Bible (ICB):

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Psalm 34:1

Darkness Now Light (05.08.17)


Today, let's look at some descriptions of walking in darkness and of walking in light as found in the Bible. We will be looking at different Bible versions; NET, TLB, NASB, ESV, and NLT

Walking in darkness  is described in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NET) as a false prophet, a false teacher, one who denies Jesus and the sacrifice that He paid for the whole world.

It says, "many will follow sensuality and because of them the way of the truth will be slandered and many will not believe or come to the truth (who is Jesus) exploiting many with deceptive words, (v10) one who despises authority, (v19) enslaved to immorality.

By walking in the light we are glorifying God the Father and His Son Jesus  Acts 26:9-18 (ESV)

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) reveals the fact that we have been brought out of darkness. We have received His unfailing grace. Galatians 5:16 tells us how to maintain walking in the light. "But I say, walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." For grace is the spirit of Christ, of God's strength to Christian believers, keeping us daily from falling. 

Walking in the Light;

1 John 1:7 (ESV) is describes like this; "If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, we have the light of life" (which is Jesus Christ). John 8:12, 1 John 1:5 One recognizes that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:9 "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleans us from all unrighteous acts."

The contrary of walking in the light is described in 1 John 1:6 (ESV) "If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 

1 John 1:1-10 His light is reflected through us as we fellowship with one another, fellowship indeed with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 

"For at one time you (and I) were darkness, but now you (we) are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 

"Therefore be imitators of God." Ephesians 5:1 (ESV)

Readings are from the English Standard Version Bible (ESV)

2 Corinthians 4:6

Ephesians 5:3,9

Colossians 2:6

Philippians 2:15

2 Corinthians 6:14

Today's Prayer (04.24.17)

Father we hold on to nothing, except the hem of your garment. Heal every area in our lives that needs healing.

Your word declares that you are God, our healer. We desire nothing else but your touch on us. The world can't save us, heal us or transform us. But in You we can be transformed through Your will and power as the word reveals. Your power can manifest through your disciples and through receiving Jesus, that's who we have become.

Acts 19:7-12 (AMPC) "There were about twelve of them in all. And he (Paul) went into the Synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the Kingdom of God ...taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o'clock till three. This continued on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of (the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks heard the word of the Lord (concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal Salvation in the Kingdom of God)." 

You have given us an assignment Lord, stated in Mark 16:15-18 (AMPC) you say to us today… "Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel to every creature of the whole (human race). For "He who believes... and these attesting signs will accompany those who believe in my name (in Jesus) ...they will drive out demons, they will speak in new languages .... they will lay their hands on the sick and they will get well...."

Acts 19:6 "And as Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke in a (foreign, unknown) tongues (languages) and prophesied."

May your desire become our desire. May your will become our will for the spiritually lost and dying world. We invoke your name throughout our days, heal and save, we pray, in Christ Jesus’ name.

"Jesus, you are our rescue."

Readings are form the Amplified Bible, Classic edition, AMPC

Acts 19:1-5

Acts 19:13-41

A New Way (04.17.17)

It is so easy to get lost in today's world and find ourselves agreeing with its philosophy, we easily conform to today's society's thoughts and ideals and at times give up our own identity. God reminds us not to conform to the world's standards and its way of thinking.

Here is what the word of God declares; "Don't live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what He wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NIRV)

We are to keep in mind the faith God has given to each one of us. "That the word spoken to those that have grown in the faith are wise…”, as written in 1 Corinthians 2:6 and in 2 Corinthians 4:4, we are also reminded; "That the god of this world has blinded the minds of those that don't believe."

We are to read the word to renew our minds, live with hope, believe always in the word of God, rely only on His promises, hold tightly to all that God has, grow in the knowledge of what God wants, and not on what the world has to offer. Be completely assured that God is for you. "Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Be watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2

Readings are from the New International Reader's Version Bible (NIRV)

Romans 12:1

Romans 12:9-21

Romans 13:1-7

Romans 13: 8-14

Jesus The Solid Rock (04.10.17)

I share today the words of a song; 

In Times Like These

1-"In times like these you need a Savior, 
In times like these you need an anchor,
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

(chorus)

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He's the One, 
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure, 
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

2-In times like these you need the Bible, 
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure, 
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

(chorus)


3-In times like these I have a Savior, 
In times like these I have an Anchor; 
I'm very sure, I'm very sure, 
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!"

(chorus)


This song was sung often by George Beverly Shea at the Bill Graham Crusades, and was written by Ruth Caye Jones, wife of a minister and mother of five children.  During the dark time of World War ll, this mother began to reflect on the word of God in 2 Timothy 3:1 which says, "You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times." As she read the verse, in a small pad she began to write down the words and music to "In Times Like These", a song still being sung 50 years later throughout the world.

I encourage you, don't be dismayed, through uncertain times God is able to show up on the scene, and cause you to experience His presence, His strength, His love and guidance through His word. 


Allow all that He is to become your anchor.


Readings are from the New International Reader’s Version Bible (NIRV) and the English Standard Version Bible (ESV)


2 Timothy 3:1-5
James 1:12
Psalm 112:6-7 NIV

Life and Heart Desires (04.03.17)

There are things that only God can teach us and show us, for they are profound and deep within our being and within our hearts, only God has the answer. 

Some of us live a frustrated life because we still have not discovered that God is the one that we can truly rely on and trust.  He says to come, to Him and He will sustain, guide and help us, strengthen us and give us wisdom, guidance, and peace, and also show us what to do to bear those hard blows that life presents to you and me from time to time. He is the anchor that holds us together through life situations.  

Can I assure you that when you feel like you are slipping away, you can be sure that He anchors you to solid rock. Acts 27:29 (NIRV) Yes... things might be hard and impossible for you to resolve but not impossible for God, to help you through it.

"When God made His promise, He gave His word. He did this so that we would have good reason not to give up...His word, our hope is certain, it is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure..."  Hebrews 6:18-19 (NIRV)

God is our strength and a very present help in times of trouble, let's confide in Him, rely on Him. He compels us to believe in Him, and He shall direct us in the right path if we ask Him to, let's put our hope and our trust in Him. Know that He will never steer us in the wrong direction, that's the secret to our success, it's found in Him.

Have a great day, have a great tomorrow and have a great week....as you rely on all his truths. We can, because He is the one that has created you and me, by Him the heavens, the earth and every living thing was created, He knows the beginning from the end of our lives. Genesis 2:4-10,12,19,22 (NIRV)

A relationship without God, brings life no purpose. Seek Him today.

I end with this prayer for you today, May He give you what your heart wishes (desires) for, may He make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 (NIRV)

We hope this devotional has been a blessing to you.  Please let us know!

 

Every Heart Has a Cry (3.13.17)

Deep within us there's a cry that flows out of our hearts for more. Have you ever asked yourself, what am I longing for?  Is it wealth, love, fame, acceptance or wanting to fit in ?

Jesus said "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives." Matthew 11:28-29 (NCV) God is also longing for our hearts to turn to Him. Jeremiah 29:13

Psalm 57:2,7 "My heart is steady, God, my heart is steady. I will sing and praise you. I cry out to God Most High, to the God who does everything for me."

Readings are from the New Century Version Bible (NCV)  

Matthew 7:7-8

Mark 4:19,33

2 Chronicles 16:9

Psalm 37:4-5,7,25

His Grace (3.6.17)

The Word of God is full of guidelines and instructions to assist us as we serve the Lord. God’s grace enables us to receive His strength to do the work that's ahead of us, for His glory. 2 Peter 1:2; 3:18 (NLT)

I bring to your attention the words that the apostle Paul used to describe what a Christian must do for spiritual growth, and to grow in grace, 2 Peter 3:18, as we read Colossians 3:1-17: 

A) We are to aim at what is in heaven, an eternal home, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

B) To think about things in heaven, streets of gold, not the things on earth.

C) Encourage yourself to put all evil things out of your life... put on tenderness and mercies.

D) Not to lie to one another but, put on love and bear with one another.

E) Allow the peace of God to rule and be thankful, allowing the words of Christ to dwell in us, and to do all things as a representative of our Lord Jesus.

As Christians, we must be active participants in order to grow, God wants us to increase in His attributes, the qualities that will conform us to the image of Jesus, His Son.

So, you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. James 2:24 (NCV)

Thank you, Jesus, for amazing grace.

Readings are from the New Living Translation (NLT) and the New Century Version (NCV)

Ephesians 4:16

Titus 2:11-14

In love, 

Candida 

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Miracles Do Happen (2.27.17)

Once we have allowed Christ to enter into our lives, we have become Christ's disciples. 

Today as we read from these Bible chapters may we experience the miracles and wonders that Jesus performed after His death through the life of Peter, who was his disciple as many others did and have. Acts 9:36-43 (NIV)

After Jesus resurrected, before He left the earth again, He told His disciples, "...as the Father has sent me, I am sending you." He breathed on them and said "Receive the Holy Spirit." He placed his miraculous power of the Holy Spirit on His disciples, to do miracles, just as He did, while He was on earth.  John 20:21-23

The power of Jesus' Spirit continues to manifest through His disciples today. Mark 16:14-15,17,19-20

Miracles do happen. Acts 4:1-2,4; Acts 5:12-16

Readings are from the New International Version (NIV):

John 20:30-31

Acts 1:4-5

Acts 3:1-10

Lifestyle (2.20.17)

This week I would like to focus on prayer, may it become a lifestyle.

Prayer: The communication line from earth to the heavens between mankind and God.

Prayer is simple, talking to God. It's an act of obedience, specially for the believer.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT) 'I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity...'

We can learn from the scriptures how to talk, what to say, what to ask God for everyone, and for ourselves. Today's readings highlight prayers and desires found in the Bible. 

Prayer and reading the Bible is absolutely necessary in order to develop a healthy Christian life. I encourage you to get a notebook and write down prayers that you recognize, as you read the posted readings. 

May you be blessed and encouraged to pray.

Readings are from the New Living Translation Bible (NLT):

Ephesians 1:15-22

Matthew 19:13-14; 11:25-26; 26:36-43

Mark 1:35-39; 9:28-30

Luke 3:21-22; 6:11-13; 9:28-29; 11:1-11

Romans 15:29-31

Philippians 1:3-4,9

Acts 1:14; 7:14

Genesis 20:17

2 Samuel 15:31

Jesus' Teachings (2.13.17)

Jesus Christ transforms us through His teachings through the power of God's Holy Spirit, as we read, as we pray, as we seek from God. Matthew 5:1-2 (NLT), "One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up to the mountainside and sat down, his disciples gathered around him and he began to teach them."

Jesus was known to the Jews, Pharisees and Sadducees as a teacher. They looked to Him for life answers, they seemed to have tapped in to the gift that was in Him, many accepted what He said.  Matthew 7:28-29

Not only did Jesus' teachings reveal that He was the light of the world, but that we also, are His light and salt of the world, and it also reveals whose Son He is;  John 8:12, Mathew 5:13 and Hebrews 1:1-4 "Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. This shows that the Son is far greater than angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names."

"Jesus said to the people who believed in him, you are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings."

Readings are from the New Living Translation Bible: 

Hebrews 1:3

Hebrews 1:4-14

John 8:31

I Will Choose (2.6.17)

As we find ourselves living in trying times and of much turmoil and controversy, we can choose to fear or to believe, get angry or be dismayed at what we hear and see.

God's desires for us is to always believe in Him when facing turmoil. He reminds us in his word that not one sparrow falls to the ground outside of The Father's care. Matthew 10:29,31 (NLT)

In the midst of it all I can hear the words of Jesus "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me." John 14:1, and in 1 Peter 5:7 it says to, "give all your worries and care (concerns) to God, for He cares about you." He loves you.

His Word sends us out with instructions, Luke 10:3 "as lambs among wolves",  to spread the Gospel of The Kingdom of God. The main thing to remember are Jesus' powerful words in the midst of so many voices, "Do not be afraid", Matthew 10:26  and also John 14:1 says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God and also trust in me".

"As lambs among wolves", He sends us out, just like He sent the twelve with instructions to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Readings are from the New Living Translation (NLT):

Matthew 10 

Hearts to Seek (1.30.17)

As we read the Word, which is God’s voice from heaven to earth, it points us to focus our hearts to seek after Him.

It tells us in 2 Chronicles 19:3 (NIV) "Set our hearts in seeking God…” and Psalm 62:10 though your riches increase do not set your hearts on them."  Note, that it does not say not to have riches, but that we set our hearts to seek, trust and hope in our God. 

1 Chronicles 22:19 - Through David, God speaks; "Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.",  and Psalm 119:2  says, "Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart." We are compelled to choose the way of faithfulness and to set our hearts on His laws as a beginning to seeking God. Psalm 14:2 "The Lord looks down from Heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."

Psalm 119:30,33-34 - God wants us to know his decrees, to gain understanding, and to set our hearts on his decrees to the very end. Psalm 119:112

Colossians 3:1 - Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. "…Today, if you hear his voice do not harden your heart" from Hebrews 4:7

"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

Additional Readings:

Luke 12:29,30; Psalm 53:2

An Open Mind (1.23.17)

The secret to healing comes through forgiveness. An open mind is a mind that is assured of what forgiveness produces. Healing and forgiveness work together, Jesus forgave us and made us whole. Psalm 103:3 (ERV) 

God wants us to broaden our horizons, to have open minds. There's more to Him than we can imagine, it can only be known when you fully trust as you find yourself doubting. 

We all face questions at times that have no logic, but God does not want us to think logically in Spiritual matters, He wants us to believe, to have faith, and trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-8: "Trust the Lord completely, and don't depend on your own knowledge, with every step you take, think about what He wants, and He will help you go the right way. Don't trust in your own wisdom, but fear and respect the Lord and stay away from evil. If you do this, it will be like a refreshing drink and medicine for your body." 

Our trust is based on His Word, that says, it is healing to our bones, it is life, it washes... (John 15:3 NIV), it guides us to everything that is the truth, it identifies God's Spirit, His nature and character, as Jesus transforms us and the word renews our minds and builds up our character.  (John 15:1-3) 

Open the door of your heart, let Him in… When you are His you become different in your way of thinking, talking, and walking. (John 15:8) 

Readings are from the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Romans 12:2

Romans 16

Psalm 103:1-13

Hope for Today (1.16.17)

Believing God for the impossible is the KEY to receiving and seeing that which God already has for you. 

The obstacles and the disappointments you will face are real and discouragement might set in. But what we must recognize is that God is Love, Strength and Peace, and it is found in Jesus Christ.

Live with hope and faith in your heart…  put your faith and trust in Jesus… trust in God. 

Above His name there is no other name, He remains eternally the same, He never changes.

Hebrews 11:6 (ERV) "Without faith no one can please God. Whoever comes to God, must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who sincerely try to find Him." 

Begin to believe and trust in Him today… 

That is my prayer.

Readings: 

Isaiah 9:6-7 (ERV)

Seek Him Continually (1.9.17)

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His presence continually!  1 Chronicles 16:11 (ESV)

Look at the new year as a fresh start, where we can use it to seek God, in those areas that we might have fallen short in seeking Him.

God has given us the vehicle for us to seek Him continually, through the reading of His word. If you seek someone's help or advice, you contact them to ask for it. That's who God is to us, that ever-present help that we need. We can run to Him, call on Him, and seek His presence and strength continually.

First we must admit that we all fall short in this area of seeking God's presence and strength. Can we agree that there are many times when we neglect Him and give no thought or trust in Him for help, we lose sight of His beauty, His power and His value to us in our hearts. 

It's of most importance to understand that just like a plant needs nourishment, we too need spiritual nourishment, which is found in Him, as He reveals Himself through His word. Psalm 34:8; Amos 5:4

1 Chronicles 22:19 tells us, "Now set your minds to seek the Lord your God.".... and Colossians 3:1-2 says, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." 

This is one of the most difficult challenges that we face, and it cannot be accomplished on our own. Humility is essential in seeking God. Psalm 105:4 - "It's to seek Him continually."

Paul prays this for the church… "May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness (firm purpose) of Christ." 2 Thessalonians 3:5

It is a conscious choice to direct the heart to God. God reveals Himself through His word, prayer and Christ Jesus. These are the vehicles He has provided for us to seek Him.

Seek Him continually...

Readings:

  1. Isaiah 55:6
  2. Job 8:5
  3. 1 Chronicles 28:9
  4. Hebrews 11:6

Goals and Resolutions (1.2.17)

As we approach a new year, many of us make new year resolutions and some make goals with the intent and desire to succeed in the thing that we want to accomplish.

It could be to budget better, to get a new car, to buy a home, to become a better neighbor, family member or friend. It could be to be a better witness and a servant of Christ or even to pray and read more of His word. Whatever it may be, we feel the need and are driven to experience success.

The difference between resolutions and goals:

A New Year’s resolution is nothing more than a verbalized ambition, which if you were asked, "What was your last year’s resolution?" You might not remember and most likely did not accomplish it. The reason we don't remember our resolutions is because they are not goals, they are just wishful thoughts and desires. 

A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or desired result, an end of a race, something that you hope to achieve.

Goal setting takes work, planning, willingness and training in order to achieve them. 

Goals are essential to the success of a Christian in the area of spiritual character development of strong faith, having knowledge of the word of God and serving.

A goal must be something to which you are willing to commit and once it is set, it can be reached through prayer. Using reminders can be helpful; picture, charts, Bible reading, etc. Visualize yourself accomplishing your goals.

The setting of goals is a biblical concept; God set a goal to provide salvation for man from their sins. The sacrifice of Jesus for our sins was preplanned. 

Acts 2:23 - This man Jesus, delivered over by predetermined plan…

1 Peter 1:20 - predetermined before creation. "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world."

Luke 13:32-33 - Jesus set goals during his earthly ministry. "…and the third day I reach My goal."

Philippians 3:14 - The Lord's Apostles set goals. "I press towards the goal for the prize of…"; also read 2 Timothy 2:7-8

1 Timothy 1:5 - "But the goal of our instruction is to love from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith." 

The Holy Spirit and the Apostles had a goal. Christians must also have goals in order to grow in Christ. Setting spiritual goals is a process that never ends…

Philippians 3:12,17

Thoughts for Today (12.26.16)

What is the purpose of ministry?

Who benefits from ministry?

How do we define the gospel?

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 provides us with answers to all of these questions and more.

The gospel of Jesus is the power of God that brings salvation. It has no limitations, it can reach and save whether one is Jew or Gentile, rich or poor. Romans 1:16

The gospel is the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ preached; it's the only true way of salvation. We must receive it and pass it on to others just as Paul did, so that others may be saved. 

The gospel of Jesus was promised beforehand through the prophets in the holy scriptures. Romans 1:1-2 

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been passed down to us; it is the vehicle that God uses to take people from death to life.

"God sent his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perished but will have eternal life. He sent Him not to condemn the world but that through Him the world may be saved." John 3:16-17

Readings: 

Romans 1:1-6

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 9:6

John 1:1,14-23

Titus 2:13

Hebrews 1:8

1 John 5:9,11,20

"For unto us a Son is given"

The Soul (12.19.16)

The Scriptures say, "He who wins souls is wise."  Proverbs 11:30 (NIV); 1 Corinthians 9:22

The soul is something that we know we have, but something that we don't often think about. Jesus referred to as the heartbeat of life eternal. Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Luke 9:25 says, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self." 

The Bible declares that God is the Divine owner of the soul, as stated in Ezekiel 18:4, "For every living soul belongs  to Me."  

Ecclesiastes 12:9, “…and the dust returns to the ground where it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it."

The Scriptures speak about the soul in Matthew 10:28. Jesus said to His disciples, "Do not be afraid of those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell." 

Read more about what Jesus says about the soul: Mathew 23:33; Revelations 20:4

We find that the soul can be restored so that we can have the joy of our salvation, and we again desire to have a willing spirit to sustain us” so we can continue to do God's will.

Psalm 51:12-13
Luke 15:6-7
Psalm 23:3-4
Psalm 119:28

The soul is able to boast, (to speak with exertion and execute pride especially about oneself, exam: to be proud of ones possessions, or family's health.)  

Psalm 34:1-3 - "I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips."

"My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together."

3 John 1:2 - “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

The soul thirsts for God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1-2
Isaiah 26:9
1 Peter 2:2
Luke 6:21

The soul gets downcast and disturbed within us: Psalm 42:11 "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?"

God will redeem our soul: “But God will redeem my soul from the grave; he will surely take me to himself." Psalm 49:15
Psalm 71:20
Hosea 13:14

Our soul finds rest:  Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you  and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
Psalm 62:5
Jeremiah 6:16

The soul within us can experience great anxiety, yet find consolation and receive joy. "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."  Psalm 94:19

Psalm 119:28 "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word."

Our soul can praise the Lord. "Praise the Lord O my soul; all my innermost being, praise his holy name". Praise the Lord O my soul, and forget not his benefits." Psalm 103:1-2; Psalm 42:11

The best gift we can give this Christmas is to win souls for Jesus. Give the message of salvation; of the Gospel that gives new life, forgiveness of all our sins, and resurrection power.

Proverbs 13:3: "He who guards his lips guards his soul. But he who speaks harshly will come to ruin."

Readings:
Hebrews 4:12
Romans 10:14
John 4:35
Romans 14:8

Amazing Love (12.12.16)

I want to encourage you today as I'm reminded about the love of God, and how God's love is seen and translated through us by our loving one another. There is no greater love than the love of God. When we experience that love, it's as a wave of water that flows through every fiber of our soul, body and spirit. God's love overtakes us with a fueling and satisfying state of complete wholeness. (1 John 3:18 GNT)

The God-given love in our hearts is what brings us to reconciliation with God and one another. (1 John 3:23-24)

This love is experienced if He dwells in us; only then will we understand the magnitude of the love of God which is found in Jesus Christ our Savior. Have you received Jesus Christ and His love which was proven to you when He was nailed on the cross to die in your place? (Ephesians 3:17) and (today) I pray that Christ will make His home in your heart through faith and that you may have roots and a foundation in love.

The deepest need of a human is to be loved and to have a sense of value and self worth,  but in our society many base their sense of worth/value, and self-esteem through friendships, relationships or group membership associations. True love and self worth can only be found through Jesus Christ and God, "who has fulfilled His plan through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ephesians 3:11)

God's love is rich, pure, gentle, secure and forever endures, it is everlasting, His love is amazing. (Ephesians 3:18-20 NIRV)

Readings:
Isaiah 49:16-15 (NLT)
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

God Is Love (12.5.16)

How do we define God’s love as people? We find that God’s love is not conditional but unconditional. 
In the dictionary, love is defined as an intense affection for another, based on familiar or personal ties.
We love others when they make us feel good or when we are attracted to them. 

As people we love conditionally, we love based on fulfillment, because they are cute or they care for us, or because they are fun to be with. We love based on feelings and emotions, but those emotions and feelings can change from time to time, therefore we are let down, disappointed by the very ones that we love or the other way around.

Now let’s look at how God's love is defined. We find that according to what the scriptures say in 1 John 4:8, "God is love." 

We find many scriptures in the Bible that describe God's love. The most common known by Christians is John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world..." and Romans 5:6-8 says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Jesus Christ died for us."

God never defines His love based on conditions. He doesn't say “When you get cleaned up, I'll love you”. He didn’t sacrifice His Son if we promised to love Him. He says that His love for us is unconditional and says to us, "while we were still sinners he sent His son to die for us."

His love is everlasting and has no end. He doesn't love us because we are good but loves us because He is love.

"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him"

Reading:

Romans 5:1-21
1 John 4:7-21

About Our God (11.28.16)

Some things we can say about our God:

We'll start by saying that He is...

"I Am Who I Am", the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and the God of Jacob; The God of the Hebrews, the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel.

Here are Biblical verses confirming these statements.

Exodus 3:13-15, 18; Exodus 34:23

Here are some biblical statements about our powerful God: 

The Word says that wealth and honor come from Him, that He is the ruler of all things and in His hands is the strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. He has the power to help or overthrow. 

1 Chronicles 29:12; 2 Chronicles 25:28

He is also infinite: Our God is in heaven, He does whatever pleases Him. He states, "Yes, from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"

Jesus looked up at them and said..."but with God all things are possible.

Psalm 115:3; Isaiah 43:13; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37

God has the divine ability...

To deliver (Daniel 3:17), raise up (Luke 3:8), fulfill promises (Romans 4:21). To make grace abound (2 Corinthians 9:8), to do immeasurably more than we ask (Ephesians 3:20).

God has divine ability to subdue all things. To guard the soul's treasure, to save completely and to keep us from falling.

Philippians 3:21; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; Jude 24

Now our God, we give you thanks, praise your glorious name. 

1 Chronicles 29:13

Our Faith (11.21.16)

True Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the believe that He is the Son of God. (2 Peter 1:16-18)

As Christians we are to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us about the hope that we have. Read 1 Peter 3:15.

As Christians we are to gain  knowledge of our faith so we can explain it to others. Reading our Bible daily is the most productive way for us to gain knowledge and understanding of our Christian faith. (1 Timothy 4:11-16)

For us to understand well, we need to apply ourselves to more serious studying. This can happen by regular church attendance and Bible preaching, Sunday School, joining a Bible study, listening to Bible messages, and Bible teaching. Taking Bible classes which introduces one to important points of Christianity and what faith is all about. The internet also has great Bible study sites; purchasing a good study Bible is also very helpful.

If ever you are having difficulties in studying the Bible, then I would encourage you to speak to your pastor or leaders who can help you and guide you in this area. Be confident to ask for help.

Praying is very essential for your spiritual growth and relationship with God, ask for wisdom and guidance. Believe in God's promise of the Holy Spirit to teach all things, and bring all things to your remembrance of what you've read in God's Word. (John 14:26)

Allow God to guide your words as you speak of your faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit will guide you to be a true witness of your Christian faith. (2 Timothy 2:15)

"Take hold of my word with all your heart." (Proverbs 4:4)

Readings:

James 1:5; Luke 3:21-23; 1 Timothy 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 3: 1-17; Proverbs 4:5

Look Ahead (11.14.16)

To “look ahead” is to think about what is likely to happen or to plan what you are going to do in the future; to make the right plans or arrangements to live a better life; to organize and prepare, to map out in detail, to think ahead so one can be prepared.

In order to look ahead, the Word of God says to, "Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path." Proverbs 4:24-26 (NLT)

We also need make our faith known according to what God's Word says; which is to motivate, be confident, persevere and not shrink back. Here are verses that confirm these statements.

"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works."

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere it so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised. For we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” Hebrews 10:24, 35, 36, 39 (NIV)

Readings:

Philippians 3:13
Isaiah 42:16
James 1:12
2 Peter 3:13

Our New Life  (11.07.16)

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, from that very day, your past has been washed away; erased according to God's Word and a new life has begun. The Bible says in John 3:3 that you have been born again, not of a natural mother and father but by the Spirit of the living God. John 1:13 says, "Children not born of a natural decent (mother or father) nor of human decision or a human will, but born of the Spirit of God." Christ has made God known.

John 1:17-18 says, "the Law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God but God's only Son, Who is at the Father's side, and has made him known."

Through this Spiritual birth because Christ lives, you and I live also. John 3:36 says whoever believes in the Son is given eternal life.

Through Jesus Christ we have salvation, we begin a new life; we have a new start. We can come boldly to the throne of grace. Our sins are washed away.  We are made clean because Christ gave His own body as a gift to God. He did this once for all time. Hebrews 10:10,14,17-18 (NLV)

We can go to God without fear, through Christ.

Ways to maintain our new life in Christ:

a) Through God's promise which is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit given through Jesus. (Joel 2:28-32; John 1:33)

b) By allowing ourselves to become a student of His word. (Luke 24:27 NIV) 1 Samuel 9:27: "As they were going down to the edge of town, Samuel said to Saul 'Tell the servant to go on ahead of us'- and the servant did so-'but you stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God." 

This is what the Word does, it speaks to your heart. This is why it is important to free your time to learn. Philip began to tell the eunuch the good news about Jesus with that very passage of Scripture. (Acts 8:34-35; Matthew 5:2)

c) Prepare your day through prayer and the Word--our weapons of warfare. (Matthew 18:19; Acts 1:14; Acts 12:12; Acts 21:5)
"Therefore if, anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Readings:

Psalm 71:17; Jeremiah 32:33;

John 6:45; Ephesians 4:21 

Equipped To Win The Battle (10.31.16)

“The Lord is my light and salvation--whom shall I fear? the Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

The Bible states that perfect love casts out all fear.   In today's world there are many situations that might cause us to fear. Fear and temptation are things that suddenly creep up inside of us very unexpectedly; without warning. 

Jesus sets the perfect example of how to cast out fear. In the desert, Satan approached Jesus while He was fasting and praying and tried to tempt Him.  Jesus was able to fight off every temptation with the very word of God. He said immediately to Satan, "It is written, man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

Jesus' response to Satan shows us how we need to respond to the opposition and temptation that Satan presents to us.  His purpose is to defeat us by robbing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is so great that He has not kept this knowledge for Himself. He is willing to share it with believers throughout the whole Earth. Today, we can find it in His Word. In the Word it says that everything God the Father has given Him has been shared with us, so that just as He overcame Satan we can also overcome by using God's Word. (John 17:6-8)

Revelation 12:10-11 declares, “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;”. That continues to stand today for every believer in Christ. It also states that God's Word is eternal. (Psalm 119:89,152)

The Word is the weapon that attacks Satan, who is the accuser of the Body of Christ.  God has equipped us with everything we need to stand up and win against the enemy of our soul, who tries to rob us of our victories in Christ. (Ephesians 6:17) Remember, it is written "Submit your ways to the Lord and resist the devil and He will flee, for with every temptation, accusation, disappointment, speak the Word back to Satan and he has to flee." (James 4:7; 1 Peter 8-9)

In order for us to have victory over temptations and deceptions, we need to read, get to know, and submit to the Word of the living God. 

I write with the intention that you will be drawn to read for yourselves, get understanding and use the Word which is your spiritual weapon against the schemes of Satan. 

“Put on the things God gives you to fight with.  Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Readings: Psalm 27:11; Ephesians 6:10-19

The Body of Christ (10.24.16)

This week we will be reading about an active church, the Body of Christ, laboring with purpose, faith, and hope in their mission. I pray this would be a motivation for us today to continue to labor for God's kingdom. That we would be willing to be used to spread the Good News about Christ and bring salvation to many just as the early church did. (Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV); Mark 16:15)

As we have learned, the church is not a physical building but a people that have the Spirit of the God living within them. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have receive from God?" He set a seal of ownership...(2 Corinthians 2:22)

The Church is composed of believers who have put their faith, belief and trust in their Lord Jesus Christ and have received salvation. (Ephesians 2:22; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 1:23; Acts 26:28-29)

Christ is the Head of the Body, called the Church; "He is the beginning and the first born from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy." (Colossians 1:17-20)

The Body of Christ's purpose and mission is to:

Preserve through many ways:

We are the salt of the earth according to the Word of God.  

Luke 15:3-5-7; Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; Acts 11:21

Preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, the good news to all creation:  Mark 16:15,19 - "He said to them," Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."; John 20:20-22; Matthew 10:16; Acts 2:41

Demonstrate signs and wonders, and healing for the purpose that men might know the power of the Lord God: Matthew 9:22; Mark 4:37-39; Mark 8:7-9 - Bread multiplied; Acts 8:6; Acts 3:7; Acts 5:15-16; When the crowds heard Philip and saw the the miraculous signs He did, they all paid close attention to what He said.

Witness:  Mark 5:18-20...but, Jesus said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you."; Acts 8:5 - Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there.; Acts 8:25 - When they testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.; James 5:20

Worship, Pray, Fast:  Acts 13:2-3 - While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have call them." So they fasted and prayed, they place their hands on them and sent them off.; Luke 22:32; Acts 8:14-15 - When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might received the Holy Spirit.

For this is what the Lord has commanded us:

"I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."; Acts 13:47-48; Acts 14:22-23

The House of God (10.17.16)

The House of God or Temple, is a designated place where the Body of Christ and people of all creed, color or race gather to pray, worship, and praise the Living God. It is a place where God's word is taught; a house of blessing for all nations.

We find in the Bible that the House of God is:

A Divine Command: Deuteronomy 12:5 - "But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put His name...."; Psalm 122:1; 1 Chronicles 17:9,10,12

Where Blessings Are Pronounced: "Blessed are those who dwell in His house; they are ever praising you." Psalm 84:4

A Refuge: At all times, especially in times of trouble.; Isaiah 37:1, 14-15; Psalm 138:6-8 "Though I walk in the midst of trouble you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands."

A Place of Instruction: "To teach you His ways so that you may walk in His path."; Micah 4:2; John 7:14, "Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to preach."

A Comfort In Old Age: Luke 2:36, highlights prophetess Anna "...She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage.";  Luke 2:7, "and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying."

The Example Of Christ:  "And on the Sabbath day He went into the Synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read."
Luke 4:16

The Example of the Apostles: Luke 24:52 "Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy."; Luke 24:53 " And they stayed continually at the Temple praising God."; Acts 2:46 "Every day they continue to meet together in the Temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and eat together with glad and sincere hearts."

I pray blessings as you read today: 
Isaiah 56: 7-8
Psalm 138: 1-3
Psalm 84:10-12

Psalm 27:4 "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek ; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His Temple."

Dealing with Anxiety (10.10.16)

First, let us look at the definition of anxiety. 

To be anxious is to be full of mental distress or unsureness because of fear or danger or misfortune; greatly worried. King James is the only version where the words "anxious" or "anxiety" don't appear. Instead, the words “trouble,” “heaviness,” “nothing,” “distress” and “cares” are used in it's place. 

I believe God wants us to define the problem so we can seek Him for a solution when we find ourselves in states of anxiety. Through His Word He says, that He does not wants us to be unaware, that in everything He wants us to get understanding.
(Proverbs 4:7; Proverbs 19:8 (NIV))

In the Bible we can read about situations that produce stress and anxiety. I'd like to share some of them with you.

In Genesis 32:6-8, Jacob became gripped with anxiety, fear, fear for his life and safety of his family because he finally had to face his brother Esau, after being a broken family for so long.  In Genesis 27 we find out that Jacob, through trickery, stole his brother Esau's birth right and blessing by deceiving his father Issac. 

First Samuel 1:7-10, brings us to Hannah. Her anxiety produced great sorrow, she was greatly distressed because of that, she could not conceive. Her womb was barren.  Hannah's distress or anxiety was caused by unfulfilled desires and harassment from a rival. Her husband's other wife Peninnah and all her children kept taunting her of her barrenness. Hannah was downhearted and her soul was grieved.

In Esther 4:1, we read about Mordecai. His anxiety caused him to tear his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes and wail loud and bitterly. For there was a plot to kill the Jews. (Esther 3; 4:3,15,17)

Here are some things to help us remain in faith, even though we may find ourselves in a state of anxiety fear, worry or despair. 

In Jacob’s case, He sought God, humbled himself and prayed (Genesis 32: 9-32 and 33: 1-4).

Hannah, with all the anxiety she experienced, while still being barren, she remained in The House of the Lord. She humbled herself and prayed and when God answered her cry, she kept her promise to give her son fully to the Lord. (1 Samuel 1:11-20)

With Esther and Mordecai, while in a state of anxiety they chose to seek God by means of fasting and praying. They believed God for favor from the King, for protection of their own lives and the lives of all Jews. For the king had ordered to destroy, kill and annihilate all Jews. Young and old, women and children on a single day. (Esther 3:13,14, 4:3,15-17)

For many, fear of death and worries of the unknown become a key element for anxiety; but putting all our trust in God will begin the healing process.

Cast all your cares on Him.

Philippians 4:6-9

Jesus the Living Fountain (10.03.16)

As we read the scriptures today we come to a passage in John 7:37-39 that speaks  about drinking living water.  Revelation 21:6, also speaks about drinking freely from the fountain of the water of life. A fountain is a spring of water issuing from the earth.  It's a source from which something precedes or is supplied; a reservoir containing a liquid that can be drawn off as needed.

The Bible draws us to understand Jesus, as the fountain of life and the Holy Spirit as living water, water that satisfies. This living water is available to everyone that thirsts. 

It says in John 7:38 (AMP), ”He who believes in Me (who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on me), as the scriptures has said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."

Psalm 36:8-10 "They drink their fill of the abundance of your house, and you allow them to drink from the river of delights. For with you is a fountain of life (the fountain of life-giving water); in your light we see light. O continue your loving kindness to those who know you, and your righteousness (salvation) to the upright in heart."

Receive Jesus to be in your life, let Him enter through the door of your heart today.

As I share these scriptures I pray that they would lead you to want more from His word day by day.

For further study:
Proverbs 14:27
John 4:10
Revelation 21:6
John 4:14

In Troubled Times (09.26.16)

I thank God that He has made His word available to us to help us stay steady and focused and hopeful though we might be going through times of troubles. 

As you read today, I pray it will help you to know that He is mindful of you and willing to help you.

The first important thing is to:

1. Remember your Creator while you're still young, before the days of trouble come..." Ecclesiastes 12:1-3 (NCV), Psalm 1

2. Praise Him: It says to shout with joy to God!Sing about His glory. He protects our lives and does not let us be defeated. 

Psalm 66:1-3, 8-9

3. Pray: speak to Him, confess, tell Him all your troubles, whatever they are. Be sincere about what your facing. He's able to handle anything you say to Him, He doesn't mind, He is your Spiritual Heavenly Father that loves you at all times. Psalm 50:15 - "Call to me in times of trouble. And you will honor me."

4. Don't fear: Especially when you have economic needs, and you are experiencing insecurities, don't lose hope. Don't lose faith when you find yourself short; He will make a way. It's import to trust in God; don't doubt. Your need will be met. Understand, He will make a way to sustain you through His word. Psalm 49:1-5

5. Allow Him: To be your strength. He is your God in whom you can rely. Psalm 59: 9,10 (NIV) - "You are my strength, I watch for you, you God are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.....

6. Testify: Tell others what He has done for you, giving Him the glory.  Psalm 66:16-17; Psalm 50:23

Restoration (09.19.16)

God, in His Word, through Christ Jesus, presents to us life-changing options. They’re based on the “ifs” and “therefores” in His Word and what they produce or represent.

The Lord God gives us His formula for restoration through His written Word. He is the God that makes all things new; the God of the second chance. He is the Potter and we are clay. He breaks us only to make us new… when we humble ourselves to Him.

Jeremiah 18:4 (NIV) says, ”But the pot He was shaping from the clay was marred in His hands, so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to Him.” This can relate to the many times we have said to God "Conform, transform, restore me to do, to walk in your will." We want to be restored from the inside out.

This is how the restoration process begins as found in Jeremiah 15:19:

"If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them, do not let them influence you.” 

As the Lord spoke to His people in the past, He still speaks.  He speaks to us today for He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Further reading:
Romans 9:21
Isaiah 64:8

On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Comfort, Encouragement and Strength (09.12.16)

To comfort is to soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer to -- to make physically comfortable -- to aid; support or encourage. To comfort is to bring relief in affliction or sorrow. It can be a person or thing that gives consolation. Psalm 90:1 (NIV) says, "Lord you have been the place of comfort for all time." In God our Father, we find that true comfort.

Today, many may find themselves broken and in need of comfort and encouragement. In these times, faith, trust and belief in His word becomes the comfort and consolation in our time of need. Second Corinthians 1:3 (ISV) says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, The Messiah! He is our merciful Father and the God of all comfort."

Listed below are scriptures that will help to encourage, comfort and strengthen you in times of need:

Proverbs 6:5-6; 18:10

Psalm 16:8; 46:1-3; 55:22

Psalm 118:14-16; 119:114-115

John 14:27; 16:33

1 Peter 5:7

Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand."

A Promise - 09.05.16

A promise is a word of honor, an assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. It assures to someone that one will definitely do, give, undertake or declare that something will happen. 

Many times as we read the Word of God we come across many of His promises. In Genesis 18:10,15 (NLT) we find a God-given promise to Abraham and Sarah, through His sent messengers, "Then one of them said, "I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Genesis 21:1-2 says, "The Lord kept His word and did exactly what He promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would." It took almost a year in order for Abraham and Sarah's promise to appear.

Romans 4:19, 21 describes how we as believers of God's Word should respond or maintain ourselves while waiting on His promise through any situation that we may be facing, whether good or bad. As believers we should: 

1. Remain strong in faith, just as Abraham did, and not weaken no matter how long it takes to experience the promise.

2. Never doubt; never say that it won't happen. "And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead and so was Sarah's womb." I say even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping and believing he would become father of many nations. That same faith concerning God's promises which Abraham had, God our Father continues to encourage us today to have that faith about His promises to us, in our day, as we read His word each day. Romans 15:4 says, "Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled."

Romans 4:20, "Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God."

Reading: 2 Peter 3:9

Faithful / Faithfulness - 08.30.16

Job 8:20; 14:5, 25 and Proverbs 15:9 describe the character of one that is faithful. 

It describes a faithful person as honest, tells the truth, saves lives. 

A faithful person will have many good things.

Walks on a right path.

Matthew 25:43 says, "A faithful person can be trusted with many things.”

For the believer, to be faithful is not an option. We are to be faithful to God our Father; to one another and to the work of our Lord.

Our faithfulness to God is for us to carry out His will.

The greatest example of faithfulness is found in Jesus. 

He never was about doing His own will, but the will of The Father.

Example: Jesus praying in the garden. “Not my will but, your will be done.” Matthew 26:39 (NLV)

Our faithfulness to God is shown through our obedience to His Word.

Luke 11:27-28 says, ”Yes but, those that hear the word of God and obey it are happy."

Of God's faithfulness it says in Psalm 119:90, "Your faithfulness endures throughout every generation. You set the earth in place, and it continues to stand."

1 Corinthians 1:9 says, "God is faithful. 

He chose you to be joined together with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

As I'm ending, I  eave you with these two definitions.

The first describes God's faithfulness.

Faithfulness - true to one's word, promises, vows. Steady in allegiance or affection; loyal, constant; faithful friend, reliable, trusted, believed.

Faithful - Anyone who is faithful to a person, organization, idea or activity, and remains firm in their believe or support for them.

To remain faithful one needs to:

Be on guard. Stand firm.

Be courageous. Be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

Reading: 

Hebrews 3:6
Psalm 89:8
1 Corinthians 10:13

Not my will.

Called Into Existence - 08.22.16

You and l have been called by God into existence.

Psalm 139:14 declares, "You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb."

God the Father in Jeremiah 28:11 (NLT) says, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

As He spoke to Jeremiah, He speaks to you and me today.

Great assurance is found in this declaration for those that believe in the truth of His word. Believe and put all your trust in Him.

You and I and those that are a part of us, are God's choice before we were born. He thought it fit to give us all life. 

He has put purpose inside each one of us.

Today, accept His choice in choosing you.

You are His prize possession.

You are His heart's desire.

You are a chosen generation; be the very best you can be for Him. 

In 1 Peter 2:9 it says "As a result you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light."

Here are some more scriptures to read and reflect on:

1 Peter 2:5

Psalm 139:13-16

Psalm 71:5-6

Jeremiah 10:23

We are part of His plan.

Sustaining Power - 08.15.16

The Bible’s pages are full of the promises of God. We can believe in what He says because God is True and Faithful.

His promises have sustaining power to keep us spiritually healthy and assure us in our faith in God the Father and His Son Jesus,  Creator of the universe and Giver of all life.

John 5:21 (HCBS) says,  "And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone He wants to."

One of His promises is found in John 16:22: “Jesus said, ‘I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.’”

There are times when our thoughts wonder off in the wrong direction, but as we pick up the Bible and begin to read and pray, His word begins to work, and allows us to focus on who God is, what Christ has done for us and who we are in Him. So, when there are setbacks, we can move forward again.

One of God's many desires for us is found in:

Romans 12:2 tells us, "Do not be conformed to this age (world) but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so  that you may discern what is good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."  As we follow Jesus our life may experience a vibrant spiritual touch based on His spoken word. 

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them."
 
There are declarations and promises available to be found as we read His Word, such as:

Hebrews 13:5 - Jesus says, "I will never leave you or forsake you." 

Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

Happiness can be temporary based on what's happening in life and what happens in life is certainly not always happy.

Other scriptures to read:
2 Corinthians 6:4
Acts14:22

Some examples of lasting promises are joy and peace found in John 16:20-21 and John 16:33.

The purpose of daily reading with prayer is to strengthen the believer to carry out His will.

Go Tell Others - 08.08.16

No matter who we are today in the Kingdom of God, whether young or old, male or female, we are encouraged to make Him known to others; to speak of His marvelous works.

As I share today, I pray it will encourage you to speak to others about what Christ has done and continues to do in your daily life, as the woman at the well did. She found herself speaking to the one and only Son Of God, the Savior of the world who impacted her life as He spoke to her, and caused her to run to her village and talk about Jesus to others.

I’d like to share some Bible verses from John 4:26, 28, 29, 30,39-42 (NLT):

26 “Jesus told her "I am the Messiah!"

28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Take some time to read the following passage and meditate on it: 

Mark 5:15-20 (NLT)

The Importance of Reading God's Word - 08.01.16

Last week's devotional was based on prayer. Today I'm going to share about the importance of reading His word.

God's Word and prayer are intimately connected, and intimately one.

Read:
Psalm 119:89 (NLT)
Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

When praying, we speak to God our Heavenly Father, and our desire is to seek, ask, according to His will that's found in His Word.

Psalm 119:130 (NET) says, "Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines. They give insight to the untrained."

Today's world conditions are chaotic and highly sensitive but, we can obtain peace, rest, and assurance through reading His word.

One can't go wrong in spite of opposition when we uphold and believe the word of God.

1 Peter 1:25 (NLT) "But the word of the Lord remains for ever "And that word is the Good News that was preached to you."

Our Heavenly Father wants His people to reinforce the Word which He has spoken, and continues to speak to today's believers (disciples of Jesus Christ).

The Bible's pages are covered with His words which express His great love, grace, truth, mercy; they describe His desires, direction, instruction for success for every area and situation in the life of the believer and so much more. 

May His word richly bless you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT): "All Scripture is God-breathed, inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true--to rebuke and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives."

It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

I encourage you to read, to know His word.

Read:
Psalm 33:4
Psalm 119:105
Psalm 33:1-20
1 Peter 1:17-25

Prayer Components - 07.25.16 

Prayer is an important ingredient; a part of an electrical, spiritual power system that penetrates into the highest heaven.

It has been commanded to us by God our Father, provided through Jesus Christ, by the power of God's Holy Spirit to those
that believe. Prayer provides guidance, comfort, hope, faith, strength, instruction, direction, and clarity. It also begins strength in the area of obedience. 
(Example: Jesus' last night praying in the garden)

Prayer is an act of thanksgiving, worship, praise and adoration to God the Father and His Son Jesus.

It is the force of power on earth that connects us to God's throne in the highest heavens; a communication that reaches and releases His heart for us.

Jeremiah 29:11,12,13 (NRSVA) says, “Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me I will hear you.”

Prayer is our unique land-line system which God has authorized us to act on, on behalf of others and ourselves for all needs throughout life.

His word commands us in Matthew 22:39 (NRSVA) to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Prayer is the vehicle that He has provided.  It allows us to bring our cries and concerns straight to His throne of grace.

John 4:38 (NIV) says, ….”for others have done the hard work and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

In Psalm 103:2 (NIV), it says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—“

Worship Him, worship Jesus for His resurrection power. He made a way.

Matthew 28:8, 9 (NIV) “…Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings" He said. They came to Him, clasped His feet and worshiped Him.”

Prayer is act of worship and praise. 

Jesus became the way.

Today I leave you with these scriptures. I pray that as you open His Word not only will you receive but also hear God's voice speaking back to you.

Pray: When you find yourself in trouble:
James 5:13
Psalm 138:3,6-8
Psalm 34:19 (NIV)

In Need of Wisdom: 
James 1:5 says…”he should ask God who gives generously.”

When you are sick call:
James 5:14
He sustains and restores -  Psalm 41:3
Jesus sends us to heal - Matthew 10:1-8

Believe: James 5:16; 3:5 must believe and not doubt..
Don't give up - James 5:17
Again Don't Stop Praying: May we believe like Jesus, like Elijah - James 5:18 (NIV)

Decree: Mouth confession
Mark 11:20, 23-25
v. 24 - Jesus says" Therefore I tell you, what ever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 

v. 25 - And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

Prayer has rewards.

Job 42:10 (NIV)
“After Job prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

Strive - 07.18.16

Today, we are going to look into the word  strive.

God in His Word presents  life change.

Definition: Strive-To make strenuous efforts towards any goal - to strive for success.

In these scriptures we see areas where we are Instructed to strive.

I pray that as you read, it will provide encouragement in your spiritual growth.

1 Corinthians 14:1 says, “It is love, then, that you should strive for. Set your heart on spiritual gifts, specially  the gift of (Holy Spirit) proclaiming God's message.” (GNT)

I encourage you today to look into the scriptures on what the Holy Spirit's power is all about.

1 Timothy 6:11 says, “But…strive for righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.”

2 Timothy 2:22 instructs us to “Avoid the passions of youth, and strive for righteousness, faith, love, and peace, together with those who, with a pure heart, call out to the Lord for help.”

The Lord our God helps us, and it is our God that makes all things possible.

Let us,  from day to day know that all the encouragement we desire and need is found in His Word.

2 Corinthians 13:11 says, “Finally my Brothers and Sisters rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (NIV)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

In Times of Trouble - 07.11.16

As you know so much is going on all over the world.  We are often bombarded with much bad news. 

At times these reports cause turmoil, insecurity, disappointment, discouragement, hopelessness and even causes us to lose our peace. 

God wants to remind us that in the midst of it all, He offers us His peace. We can obtain that peace when we need it because we trust Him.

In John 16:33 (NIV) Jesus says, “In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

When you trust Him, not only will you have His peace upon you, you will also obtain His comfort and strength.

Did you know that His comfort has purpose? Not only for you, but also for others. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) says, “All praise be to God, The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

God is our merciful, compassionate Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. 

Psalm 22:24 (NIV) says, “For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy, He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cry for help.” 

Proverbs 3:27 (NLT) instructs us,  “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them.”
 
As brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord commands us to stand firm in His grace, peace and in the Holy Spirit who has filled our hearts with God's love. 

See:  Romans 5:3-5 (NLT); 2 Corinthians 1:2

“The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (NLT)

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Psalm 4: (NLT)

His Benefits - 07.04.16

It's so important that we read and study God's Word; in it you find the most remarkable hidden treasures.

I’d like to share with you today several of the amazing benefits that we receive from our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, on a daily basis as we read His Word:

Proverbs 2:6 - "He gives Wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." 

Proverbs 2:-8 - "He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.  He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.  He guards the path of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him."

Psalm 103:3 - "He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. He gives righteousness and justice to all that are treated unfairly."

Psalm 103:8-13 - "He is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal with us, as we deserve. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.  The Lord our God is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him."

Proverbs 8:17-18 - "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity."

I’d like to also share these scriptures with you this week.

Proverbs 2:1-8
Psalm 103

Do You Need Water? - 06.27.16

Water is needed to sustain our natural lives, and it's the same for our spiritual soul.

As we continue to share the scriptures, we will see how Jesus shares with us how He meets our spiritual thirst, and how because of Him, our spiritual thirst can be quenched so that we spiritually thirst no more.

My friends, there is living water available today. 

God, the Father, has made available living water through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Is your faith low or your hope almost gone, or have you given up on your God given dreams?  Does it seem like you’re not making spiritual progress? Are you tired, are you thirsty and in need of spiritual water?

In John 7:37-38 Jesus says,  "If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him where later to receive (The Holy Spirit) in order for the well to spring up."

Speaking to the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-15, Jesus said "Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 

Through the Holy Spirit, longings are met. He blesses us and we read in the Scriptures that He feeds our soul, calms our fears, and satisfies till you want nothing less than Him. He regenerates and drives out the impurities and heals us of that thirst. 

We will desire more of God’s best.  Make no mistake about it. Jesus will quench your thirst. You will thirst no more.

How great is our God.

Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the thirsty and feeds the hungry with good things.”

Unconditional Love - 06.20.16

As we learn more and more from the Word of God, the Christian believer becomes more equipped to be an effective, powerful witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In our daily lives, we yearn to have unconditional love for one another, as the Body of Christ, and those around us.  Our goal is to be obedient and faithful to God and appreciate deeply who He and Jesus, His Son are.

As we read today's Bible verse we will see demonstrations of Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's unconditional love. 

John 8:2-11 says,  “At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people where gathered around him, and sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman, now what do you say?”

They where using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. 

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. 

When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."  Again, He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman standing there.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one sir, " she said. 
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.”

As she continued waking in obedience, that transformation caused a change in her and her lifestyle didn't remain the same. 
Jesus, at no time pointed out this woman's fault; all He saw was her need.  He is still the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

My prayer today is that if you find yourself in a broken state, you would allow His grace, His love, His miraculous power to touch you and that you experience His unconditional love.

He loves you.

Be blessed as you read:
2 Corinthians 13
Romans 10:9-11

Thankful - 06.13.16

Thank You Lord. I thank You that Your Word is alive and well; that I'm held in the palm of your hands.  Let Your praise continually flow out of my mouth--professing, confessing, proclaiming that You are good and merciful, gracious and kind.

May I always look to You for help for You are my Rock and Fortress. It is You that sustains me.

Thank you for Your grace.

His Word says that it's a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  Jesus' light shatters darkness. His light makes a way, a path we can walk through. 

John 8:12 says, “Jesus spoke to the crowd once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow Me you won't walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

We are thankful to Jesus that we don't remain bound, shackled, or the same. He has set us free and sustains us to witness and live for Him through His Holy Spirit power.

Mark 13:11 says, “…Holy Spirit helps us to speak.”

John 8:31-32 says, “…And you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free."

As Christians, we are called beyond simple thanks for the good that God does with our lives and for who He is. Let us give thanks with a grateful heart.

Genesis 28:16-17 says, “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, " Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn't aware of it."

Encourage me, God to see the value in what I have.

Faith our Victory - 06.06.16

At times we feel that we have come to the end of the road and there's no where to turn.

In that moment we can become frantic, frightened and completely hopeless. While those emotions are true and do rise up within us; in crucial moments of despair, we need to remember what our faith in God reveals.

In 2 Chronicles 14:1-11 (NIV), there was a king named Asa.  

In his day, the country was at peace for ten years.  Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.

He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.  He commanded Judah to seek the Lord.  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.

Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah, equipped with large shields and spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and bows. All these were brave fighting men.

Verse 9-11 (NLT) says, “Once an Ethiopian named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots. They advanced to the town of Mareshah, so Asa deployed his armies to battle in the valley north of Mareshah. Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God "O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us (me), O Lord our (my) God, for we (I) trust in you alone. It is in your name we have come against this vast horde (obstacle) you are our (my) God; do not let mere men prevail against you!"

God reminds us that we are not alone in times of need or times of trouble.

Our help comes from the Lord our God.

While we don't fully understand how He will help us physically, by faith we can be assured that He does provide the help we need when we are in serious situations.

By faith we can fully trust Him and proclaim who He faithfully is like Asa did. Even in situations that seem totally out of control.

"Lord, You are my strength and help."

Lamentations 3:25 (NLT) says, “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those that search for Him.”

The Perfect Gift - 05.30.16

Ladies, at times we go searching for that perfect gift to please the ones we love and care for. 

It's like when we go to a store to purchase a gift for someone special, we look to see what's available. When we see it, we immediately recognize this is what we've been looking for! 

Whether it's for a friend, father, child, mother, husband, wife or someone dear to us, we don't mind the cost because it’s just what we desire in order to show our affection and love to the ones that have our heart. 

In the same way is the love of God our Father towards us.

James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from Him to us.”
 
Also James 1:18 says, ”And we, out of all creation, became His prize possession. He chose to give birth to us, by giving us His true word."

In Him there is never ending power, never ending love, never ending wisdom, and never ending peace. 

I tell you that Christ Jesus is the very one through whom the power, love, wisdom, peace and other gifts can be found, and these can only be obtained through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Proverbs 8:17-21 says, “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice.  My gifts are better than sterling silver! I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice. Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.”

Proverbs 20:12 says, “Ears to hear and eyes to see--both are gifts from the Lord.”

Jesus, the perfect gift. 

Forgetting What’s Behind - 05.23.16

God gives us new opportunities as we wake up each day. 

I may have failed in something yesterday but it doesn’t determine that I will fail again today. 

His Word says in Romans 8:1, "So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus."
Yes, this is a fact. 

What are you going through today?  What did you fail in yesterday?

Jesus said " There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus".

If you are not yet in Christ you can come to Him today. 

When you let Him take over your life, His Word says in Romans 8:9, "For since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation."

He will not reject you nor keep you from coming to Him.

Psalm 94:19 says "When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." 

God loves you; Jesus loves you... He is our hope.

Psalm 37:24 says “Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

Reach out for His hand and experience Him holding your hand.

Don't Be Dismayed - 05.16.16

Matthew 6:27 (NLT)
 "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

Don't be discouraged; don't be dismayed. 

Looking at your situation can discourage you when you're going through difficulties in life, (which may be related to people, places or things).

God's desire is that we take our mind off the problem and fix our thoughts on Him. The Lord speaks prophetically to your situation.

Deuteronomy 5:33
“Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow.  Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land that you are about to enter and occupy.”

So how about looking ahead, making some plans, desiring to push ahead, and forgetting what's behind? 

Press towards the goal. 

There is much ahead of what you see right now. 
God has a plan and future in store for you and He wants you to obtain it.

How about allowing Him to guide you, trusting Him for what's ahead? Talk to Him and tell Him what you want and then receive what His Word says to you. 

Proverbs 3:6
"Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."

Ask Him to show you the way. He'll always respond;
"Trust in me."

You Are A Beautiful Garden - 05.09.16

Romans 3:22 (NLT)
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  This is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.”

Have you ever thought of yourself as part of a beautiful garden?  Well if you haven't, guess what, God does.  As women and young ladies, no matter who you are, He wants you to know that you are part of the make-up of the scenery that makes up the beautiful colors.

1 Peter 4:10
"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another."

Psalm 97:6
"The heavens proclaim his righteousness; every nation sees his glory."

As women, no matter what age, we are part of His beautiful garden. I want to encourage you today to magnify the Lord because of his excellent greatness. He made you great, and He gives you his power to go through the difficulties of life.

Know that if you ask for His help, it's always available at your asking. You might feel at times like you’re drowning, but when you call out to Jesus he becomes your anchor to pull you to the safe zone.

It says in His word that He is our hope for restoration; and the restoration that He gives us is attached to purpose.  Here it is in His word:  Let Jesus be a lifting arm to you today as you read his Word.

Isaiah 35:1-3
“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.  There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.  With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees.”

Seek him daily.

God says about us that we are useful for the kingdom, for his works of righteousness.

God Wants To Impact Our Lives - 05.02.16

Psalm 34:1-2, 8 (NLT)  “I will praise the Lord at all times, I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.” 

God has so much to offer us that we can't even imagine. He encourages us and says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
In my own life I've found this to be true.

My husband of 46 years suffered from alcohol addiction, and remained in this bondage for many years. Although it was hard to remain, God gave me the strength and faith to believe for what seemed impossible to change; to believe that it would not always be this way.

Today I thank God that I was able to trust Him, knowing that all things are possible for those who believe in Jesus Christ.
It's so important and beneficial to believe that God is the sustaining power in us when we are facing hard situations.

"Come, let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

He is faithful. He loves me.

Father, I'm holding on to your hand.

Ever Feel Abandoned or Alone? - 04.25.16

Psalm 119:156  says "Lord how great is your mercy; let me be revived by following your regulations."

Have you ever felt abandoned or all alone?

Yes, there have been times when I've experience loneliness and felt forgotten and I've said, "God, why do I feel this way?" 

I confess to Him I don't like how I feel right now, then suddenly I realize; I come to my senses. Like a light bulb that turns on, I start realizing the Word of God says,  "I will never leave you or forsake you. I am your comfort and strength" and I get revived and I start to thank him for reminding me of his Word.

You see my friend, that's the key, to remember who He is. That He is True and Faithful and He always keeps His word. The life that I live must be based on who He is. My very being is to live in Him; knowing that He is the one who sustains me and that He keeps me, and loves me always.

Today, start thanking Him for who you are in Him. Know that if you call upon His name, the name of Jesus, He will pick you up again.

Yes Lord, Your mercies are new every morning and I will run to you and praise you. Help me to worship you.