About this time last year, I felt a sudden heat wave within me! I was reminded by someone close to me that she was about my age when my dad passed away from cancer! The sudden stillness filled me, as I noticed fear trying to sneak in my day! It made an attempt to steal, rob and destroy! My mind started to go from one place to the next! Before it took me, I found myself in prayer! How can this happen again after it has been so long? I lost to much time worrying about my life, and if I would be there for my kids! God knows the numbers of hair on our head and worrying about my life won’t give us more time! 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” The spirit of fear (timid) doesn’t come from God, it will lead us astray, and blind us if we choose to let it in! It will keep us away from what is true! Then we would be robbed of life that Jesus came to give us and have it to the full (abundantly)! Instead, fear would end up causing us to loose our lives while we lived! John 10:10 NIV, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” We would miss out on the blessings of the day, as we would be living our life like viewing it from a rear view mirror of a car moving forward! The good News is our solid foundation to stand on as we abide is in Jesus! We can choose to continue to trust God with All of our hearts when everything around us is uncertain! We know love come from God who loved us first! He was thinking of you and me, and knew us and loved us already, when He sent His one and only Son to save us from our sins! 1 Corinthians 13 shows us how to love! Love is patient, love is kind but the part I’ve been praying about is love always trusts! What does this mean, always trust? It’s hard to trust when you have been hurt and more! We need to look to what God says about trust because we can easily fall in the patterns of the world! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We are not to conform to the patterns or ways of the world including trust! The patterns of the world is shifting and sifting like sand! It even has a shape like solid Rock but actually it sandstone made of sand! When the storm comes, it will seem solid but soon it will crumble and crack! Hebrews 13:8 NIV, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God never changes and His love never changes! James 1:17-18 NIV, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” Love based on what the world says leads us astray and away from truth! The world’s ways in love is self centered and not dependable by constantly changing like shifting shadows! 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous , rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” We are not to conform to the patterns of the world! We are supposed to love God and love everyone as we love ourselves! Matthew 22:37-40 NIV “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” No one is perfect but we need to trust God who loves us all! Love is not from this world! Love came to this world to saves us, Jesus! Love is trusting God with all of your heart knowing God is there working in us and around us for good! It’s seeking Him during the storms and valley and His righteousness! Filling your mind with His living words! It’s depending on His understanding even when nothing makes since while you step out in faith! Its loving each other the way God love us by looking at who they are, the way God sees us and not the way the world does! Love is choosing to trust God when fear tries to strike you down! Instead, you pick up your cross and run your race in confidence, because you know even in the unknown in your situation, God is doing a good work in you and will finish what He has started! It’s trusting the people he brings in your life. We can’t do this journey alone, we need sisters and brothers in our life too!
We need to fan into flame, meaning we need to put into action by breathing in the breath of God who gave us His words (the Bible)! 1 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” The Bible is God breathed meant to give us life through His one and only Son Jesus! By fixing our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and perfecter of our faith, all day! As I choose to take the thought of my dad captive, the one that circled in my mind for so many years, I felt peace and comfort! I know I lost my dad when he was young, but I don’t have to live in fear of that! I chose to talk to God as I prayed through this struggle! We can take everything to God because He cares for us! It didn’t matter how many times we go to Him for the same thing, He forever cares for us! It surprised me that this tried to happen again after so long! But, just because the thought came in, it didn’t mean it consumed me! Instead, remember God gave us a spirit of self discipline, I chose to allow God to consume me with His peace as He gently reminded me of what is true, that worrying about my life won’t give me anymore time! (Luke 12:25-31 NIV) I was reminded about what, I chose, and will continue to choose to give God each day as His will for my life will be done in me! We don’t know how long we have to live! Each day is a gift from God! Everyday I struggling in pain due to my injury and the unknown with my mom! I’m hoping to get better soon and praying for my mom! However, as I sang out in prayer, God said to me in my heart! My grace is sufficient! 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I’m praising God with all my heart! Words just don’t seem like enough for how thankful I am for His mercy and grace! While I am working? I find myself on my knees more often and in these moments I notice things people hide for me to clean! One time, I found a rolled up burrito with crushed chip stuffed in a corner! Another day, I found clear tape put on the edge of the counter! The one that took me off guard was the carefully placed nuts put neatly under the legs of the table and chairs with ear plugs stuffed in the cracks! Normally I would of swept like normal which is cleaning under the table and moving things, but these few examples are things that might of been missed unless I was at floor level! I never would of seen it, if I didn’t go down to that level! Spiritually, God is doing a good work in us and it take being on our knees, at floor level for God to reveal the unseen in us, as He weeds the garden of our hearts! God is the gardener pruning us so we can bear much fruit for His glory! (John 15) Isaiah 61:11 NIV, “For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” We need to be humble to receive and sometimes it’s in our pain that we can be open to hear God’s small still voice!
My life Is His as I will follow Jesus all the days of my life! I want to do what God wants for me, His purpose and will for my life as I continue to trust Him and hold onto hope with all my heart as I trust Him in everything! We can trust God who starts a good work in us will finish what He started! Philippians 1:6 NIV, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Even if fear creeps in, we can be confident that it did not come from God, we know God is right there and will lovingly hold us! He will not let you be snatched out of His hands! John 10:25-30NIV, “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life,and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” We need to be reminded of this when struggles in life come, God will bring people in your life to encourage you to keep going! Fear has no power!
How awesome it would of been to be there eagerly waiting to hear Jesus read from the scroll of Isaiah! (Isaiah 61) He had been in the desert forty days and forty nights and news about Jesus spread like seeds from a dandelion blowing in the wind! I can feel the anticipation and wonder as everyone fixed their eyes on Jesus who is the Author of everyone’s life even if at that particular moment, they didn’t know it yet! (Hebrews 12:2) They could of handed Jesus any scroll, but we know God has everyone exactly where they are for a specific reasons! They were sitting at Jesus feet who is the bread of life, speaking words of life! As they waited to drink in these living words, anticipation filled the air! They needed to hear the good news from Jesus Himself! There are no random events that takes place in our life or by chance! We have an orderly God who has perfect plans set up before the foundations of the world was set in motion! The author of life was standing right in front of them as they eagerly waited for Him to read like he always did! Jesus who is the word and the word was with God from the beginning! (John 1:1-5 niv)
Isaiah was specifically planned ahead of time to reveal a prophecy fulfilled! How marvelous it must of been to be there and hear what He would say next after reading Isaiah 61. Luke 4:20-21 NIV, “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” I wonder what they could of been feeling in that moment? However, their reaction caught my attention. Yes, they were amazed with everything Jesus said! However, Jesus identity is what they questioned first! Even in the desert the enemy attacked Jesus identity! This really struck me too because as we sit there eagerly waiting to hear from God while reading the Bible, wonder, do we do the same thing to each other? Do we look at at the outward worldly perspective of who someone is or do we look inward the way Jesus does! Do we chose to look at each other’s identity in Christ first or worldly identity? The flesh tries to get in the way of the Spirit as we can see the crowd moved with amazement but struggled to look passed Jesus earthly Identity! Jesus took scripture and showed them how no prophet was accepted in their home town! I wondered why that is? It hit my heart! We need to remember the enemy attacks our identity and causes us to question ourselves and others too! We need to focus on what is true by abiding in truth, Jesus! We need to hold on to hope that God keeps all His promises! We need to remember who we are in Christ and look at our sisters and brothers in the same way! 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 niv “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
Jesus was tested in the desert! (Luke 4) His identity was under attack in a form of, If you are the Son of God and question, who He is (Identity)! Through trials and struggles in our life, the enemy will attack in the same way! We need to follow Jesus example by reading the Bible! He used scripture like a sword to answer with confidence when He was in the desert! We need to put on our full armor of God daily as we stay awake, alert, and sober minded! (Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV) We can have the same confidence as we are lead by the Spirit! We just need to trust God completely with all our hearts!
It seems the crowd was offended after hearing truth caused by Pride. The crowd reacted in the flesh after hearing the heart piercing truth! It’s sad because how often does our flesh get in the way of conviction? Convictions lead to repentance which sets you free so you can soak in Jesus living water! How do we react when we hear truth? How do we react when we have a conviction ? Do we run, hid, or fight or choose to be humble and repent? They could of chose to humble themselves and Rejoice in truth about how the prophecy had been fulfilled! Instead they chose to kill Jesus! Luke 4:28-30 NIV, “All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”
I’m sure the crowd read about David when Samuel came to annoite him as a young boy! (1 Sammuel 16) Jesse had all his older sons in line first but God chose David who was still working in the fields taking care of the sheep! Acts 13:22 NIV, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Jesus brother even said in James 1:22-24 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” We actually have to put into practice everything we have learned! Philippines 4:9 NIV, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” We need to choose to see our sisters and brothers in Christ with a spiritual lense who sees their identity in Christ! Where we focus on Loving God and each other through serving in a relational way! Getting to know each other because God uses our testimony! Our different stories, different abilities and talents are used to bring God glory in the body of Christ as we abide in Jesus!
I love how my children play. They jump right in and play with each other. When someone gets hurt, all of them will come running to help or say its! Through relationships like these, we develop strong relationships knitted together by God! When we go to Church with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we jump right in focusing on God and each other. We all love Jesus who knits us together into one body. “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 NIV
https://www.bible.com/111/1co.12.25-27.nivChildren learn early on about how good friend makes so many things in life better even when they disagree. The question a lot of people ask, how can we make friendships as an adult like children do? How can you develop relationships like David and Jonathan as an adult? In 1 Samuel 18, David and Jonathan were very different on the outside but had the most important thing in common, they love God! They focused on what they had in common, and not their differences. It was their differences that made them strong for God.
Search and know every part of all our lives! Help us to wait patiently on you Lord, as you prepare us for what is next for us! We will continue to glorify your name, while seeking you in everything we do! Fill us with your living words, keep them forever in our hearts! Let us not forget your words filled with life! We are completely yours because of your sacrifice! Your presious blood shed for all! Nothing can separate us from your endless love for all! Let your words fill our lives, let them be our guiding light! Keep us from turning left or right! Keep us on the straight and narrow path to you! Let everyone see you and not us in everything we do! Help us love the way you do, and guide our families to your forever Kingdom come! Let all who sincerely love you, glorify your precious name, as we Unite together in prayer for all to come to know you in a mighty powerful way! Amen!
Praying this morning for Unity as All believers in Jesus, God’s Only Son, focus on God’s living word (the Bible) given to everyone having no favoritism! God’s love endures forever! Let us all unite together and pray for all sisters and brothers to allow God’s endless love to flow in all of us, as He works through us to love everyone the way He does! So, His love will pour into those who don’t know God’s love yet! Praying for hearts to receive His love and eyes to be open to hear His truth! Praying for Unity, the kind you read in God’s living word where we rejoice in the Lord always by worshiping God in our conversations using what He has given to us for His Will! Praying for God’s love to transform our thinking as we live humbly! As we soak in His living words, our old patterns and ways are being washed away and our thinking renewed to be Christ like! The things of the world will look different because it will loose its grip! God’s love will light up your life and will be so bright, that things will no longer affect you in the same way it use to! So, we will see only Jesus working in us and through us for His Kingdom come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven! Let’s truly love the way Jesus loves! You can only do this through God’s only Son Jesus who opened the eyes of the blind and changed hearts of stone to flesh! Amen!
“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
Ephesians 1:15-23 NIV
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Ephesians 4:1-16 NIV
““On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”
Acts 26:12-18 NIV
““Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.””
Ezekiel 11:17-21 NIV
Our love for God and each other will shine on our children and other peoples lives as we worship God in our conversations! We All can stand together in confidence in Jesus as He builds us all up together in Unity to bring Him continual Glory! We worship God in how we love Him and each other while uniting in prayer for one another. We need to sincerely love all people (Romans 12:9-10) the way Jesus loves because we live in a very Pride driven world! Pride divides relationships and God hates Pride! So we must stay away from from Pride as we come together praying for everything because Pride is sneaky! Romans 12:1-4 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.Humble Service in the Body of Christ For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses everywhere we go as we live our race set out before us! Each of us has a special and unique purpose for God’s Will to be done! We are not alone as we continue our race! However, we need to stand up for each other in prayer and confidence in Jesus! Let’s let go all that hinder us like fear and more as we chose to be humble in a prideful world! Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Philippians 2:1-5 NIV, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”
We all need to be humble as God spiritually knits us all together in Unity in the body of Christ! As we go through growing pains, as we go through struggles and trials keep focusing on Jesus and don’t give up on doing good! Galatians 6:9-10 niv, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Struggles are hard but God uses them to grow us stronger for God’s purpose ahead! Our trials and stories will be testimonies meant to bring God Glory! Our stories in life are supposed to be shared and in these unique life stories, God shows Himself through relationship and praying friends! These details seem so small but they are so very important! Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 niv, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
In the story of Daniel, all of the wise men were going to be killed because no one could interpret the kings dream! This part struck me because of what Daniel chose to do next! We all have a choice in how we should react! We can chose not to follow the patterns of the world! We can chose to seek God first while fixing our eyes on Jesus! Daniel 2:12-16 NLT “The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends. When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.”
Daniel knew God could reveal the dream and He made a choice to continue to trust Him even when He hasn’t received the answer yet! He knew nothing is impossible with God! He chose unity under pressure and prayed with His friends because He knew two are better then one, they can help each other in everything they do and three can’t be easily broken! The enemy will flee!! He has no power! Revelation 12:10-12 NIV, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah.For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
Daniel prayed with his friends. He didn’t just lash out in anger saying this is not fair or worse! He used wisdom and discretion knowing this battle can’t be fought alone!Daniel 2:17-18 NLT, “Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.”
With each battle we face through trials and struggles we can stand in confidence in Jesus! We come together as prayer warriors putting on the full armor God to fight the battles that are not against flesh and blood (people)! We need to chose to follow Jesus example ion how to love the way He does! Especially when conflict arises, we tend to look at the hurt we feel and attach it to the person! However, we need to look at each person the way Jesus does and look at their identity in Christ! They are God’s Masterpiece just like you are and me! We need to love them! An example of this is how Jesus loves the Samaritan women at the well! How can people know God’s love if we look and treat them the way the world does! Jesus knows the heart and even if outward change in a person’s life hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean rapid change isn’t happening on the inside! God see’s our heart and we should focus on this too!
We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses and God set up divine appointments for each of us! God knows just what we need and will bring people in your day to help us as we unite together in prayer and worship Him in our conversations! We help each other align our lives up to what scripture says so we can think clearly! 1 Peter 4:7-8 NIV, “The time is near when all things will end. So think clearly and control yourselves so you will be able to pray. Most importantly, love each other deeply, because love will cause many sins to be forgiven.” We need to think clearly so we can pray! We have to be careful what we meditate on with all the distractions and social media! This can cause our emotions to cloud what we see and hear! Fear and anxiety can take hold like a sudden storm in the night! Sadness, confusion, anger can grip you like a lightning strikes! We can get lost in meditating on our situation or problem! Then be consumed by how we feel which will cause us not to see or hear clearly what God wants us to do! We need to go to God first in everything we do! We need to take each thought captive and make it obedient to Christ as we face each challenge! So, instead of fear of death and what human authority could do to all the wise men including Daniel, he brought the problem to God! The problem was in darkness but now it’s in the light! The enemy wants us to keep our problems to ourselves which will keep them in darkness! When we chose to be humble, by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we bring everything in the light by sharing our struggles! By seeking God in all of our circumstances by living in the light, we will be able to think clearly and pray! We will be sober minded! God says to be sober minded because the enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour! When we are full of fear and anxiety mixed with anger, we don’t have a sober mind! When we seek God in all circumstances, we are talking to him about our feeling as he guides us through them! Then you will have Peace from God! Philippians 4:6-9 NIV, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Praying together is so important as we face life challenges everywhere we go! We must stay humble and allow God to search our heart! Psalms 139:23-24 NIV “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will lift us up! 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV, “humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” We need to be humble and allow God to search the secrets of the heart! God is the one who reveals to us what is offensive in us! We can’t do this on our own!
Revelation 22:16-21 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
Raising Children to be after God’s own heart is choosing to put action in loving each other the way God loves us! Choosing to look at the heart! Because of love that comes from God, it overflows into other peoples lives like a never ending waterfall flowing with fresh water! Our children get to experience this overflow of fresh water into their lives by how we love each other in our families, the Body Of Christ and all those who don’t know God’s love yet! We need to remember our children soak up everything we do more than what we say, and they are the future generation! They will see your reactions and expressions when fear sneaks in like a thief in the night who robs you of peace and joy, destroys and kills everything around you including relationships! However, we know the spirit of fear is the enemy and he is a liar! 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Instead, we choose to be led by the Spirit of God who is love and truth! 1 John 4:18 NIV, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” David and Ruth story really touched my heart because it shows how we lead by example even when we make mistakes by persevering in hard times while loving God’s continually in all situations! No one is perfect but when we live out love for God and all people, we will love the way He does! We will seek Him first! In tough circumstances we will fix our eyes on Jesus by trusting Him! We are living out being a person after God’s own heart as we raise our children not to become the world but live in this world loving God and seeking His will for their lives!
I’m sure David heard the special stories about his family Boaz and Ruth! These special stories passed down from each generation show children who God is and even show them what He has done through each generation! We are to teach our children about God and all He has done! Deuteronomy 6:7 NIV, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” I wonder sometimes if the business of this world through things to do, schedules, entertainment keeps us from or distracts us from sharing stories of what God is doing in our lives by searching scripture! However, we need to keep doing this with our children because God has a promise! Proverbs 22:6 NIV, “Start children off on the way they should go,and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” When we keep teaching our children by loving God and each other, they will be drawn to that love even if you don’t see the fruit yet! We are to either plant or water seeds but it’s God who makes it grow! We just can’t give up on doing good! 1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NIV “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
David had many struggles in his life but he always trusted God and completely depended on Him to get him through each struggle! I’m sure the story of Ruth and Boaz influenced David in a good way! David kept His promise to his friend Jonathan after he became King and invited Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, (outsider) to eat at the table with David, as family! (2 Samuel 9:6-11 NIV) We love each other in the same way choosing to honor others above ourselves by doing what we say we would do even if it’s inconvenient or difficult! However, Friends love at all times, not just when things are going well or when it’s convenient! They love continually under pressure and through conflict! Ephesians 4:2 NIV, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
In the story where David invited Methisosheth to eat at his table is love with a sincere heart that comes from God who loves continually! I love this because it’s a picture of how everyone is invited to be apart of the God’s family and be at the king’s table too! Revelation 3:20 NIV, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” We can Love with a sincere heart knowing Jesus is preparing a place for us right now even as I type this out on my cell phone. Ruth didn’t give up and chose to stay with her mother-in-law through difficult challenges! Galatians 6:9 NIV “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Ruth went to a foreign place where she knew no one! She was an outsider and Boaz noticed her working so hard in the field! He showed her kindness! Boaz was Ruth kinsman-redeemer! (Ruth 3:7-9 NIV) He knew there was someone closer in relationship and had to give him a chance first! (Ruth 3:10-13 NIV) Later on, the closer relative didn’t want to marry her, so they made it legal in front of the ten elders! Boaz married Ruth! (Ruth 4:7-16) She had a son named Obed who later got married and had a son named Jesse. Then Jesse had a son named David. (Ruth 4:18-22 NIV) This is so amazing because this shows us how God has everything under control even when the storms in life hit hard! There will be many struggles in life! Through David’s blood line many years later Jesus is born! The kinsman-redeemer of all of us is Jesus who bought all of us back with His Precious blood! This hit my heart because we are like Ruth an outsider because of sin and Methisosheth invited to the kings table! We can be apart of Gods family when you accept Jesus in your life as your Lord and Savior!
It touched my heart because when your family is invited to stay in your sister in Christ home for a season shows my children and others how we can live out the Kingdom Mindset as we love each other! We would be like outsiders, not apart of the family! Why would someone who is not your blood relative allow you to live with them? God has a perfect plan for each person in the whole world! He has surrounded you with people in your life for a specific reason to grow you , challenge you, and encourage you to not give up on doing what is good at the right time your will reap a harvest if you don’t give up! Matthew 25:40-46 NIV, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
God shows us how to love and be the kind of friend who looks to the heart first! He shows us how to be the kind of friend who loves deeply even when people around you say, “don’t” because of this, or ask “why” would be loving with a sincere heart and not a divided heart! Loving each other is choosing to listen to understand instead of listening to be heard! It’s encouraging each other in hard circumstances! In the story where David invited Methisosheth to eat at his table is love with a sincere heart that comes from God who loves continually! It like Boaz making sure Ruth has plenty to drink and food to eat! We can Love with a sincere heart knowing Jesus is preparing a place for all those who believe right now! God keeps all his promises and we can have Joy and peace that can’t be taken away! God made a promise Jesus would come through David’s family line! David family is Ruth and Boaz! The stump of Jesse! Jesse is David’s Father! (Isaiah 11:1-11 NIV)
We can love with a sincere heart because Love first comes from God who loves us first! (1 John 4:7-9 NIV) Through Jesus, we can love each other the way He loves us! We can chose Joy and Peace knowing He loves us even in our brokenness, and we don’t have to work or do anything to be loved! He loves us in our mess because God looks at the heart! Our love must be sincere full of compassion as we chose to look at the heart of all people! Romans 12:9-13 NIV “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Sincere means to be real and genuine! It’s choosing to love people and not changing depending on who your with or saying something kind but at the same time, thinking unkind things about them! We need to love for real and not pretend! We need to have a genuine love for each other by seeing everyone the way Jesus does! When you look through God’s eyes as you read scripture, you can see how God love is patient and kind and no matter what we have done, God will never leave you or forsake you! God looks directly to your heart because He knows you completely, even the numbers of hairs on your head! Every person in the world is God’s masterpiece made in Christ Jesus! (Ephesians 2) Love is the opposite of what the world says! It choses not to conform to the patterns of the world! The world doesn’t look at the heart! The world says Lukewarm is good when God says the opposite! Revelation 3:15-16 NIV, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” In order to love the way God loves is to know the one who loved everyone first by sending His one and only Son (Jesus) for everyone! It’s allow God to transform your mind through reading scripture and be in relationship! As you meditate on God’s words from the Bible you will grow to know more about Gods love! When we talk about Jesus to everyone we will learn more through relationships! Love Clings to what is good by choosing to fix your eyes on Jesus in all situations in life because He is the Author and perfecter of our faith! Revelation 21:5 NIV, “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The book of Daniel is so powerful and every time I read this, God reveals more! Daniel handled this complex situation with not only wisdom but discretion. He chose to continue to live out everything He learned from God and trusted God completely. He chose wisdom and discretion by not letting His feeling lead Him. Daniel asked questions under pressure instead of giving into fear! He was respectful to the commander by remaining humble! He chose to ask questions! Then he respectfully asked the King for more time. Immediately, he went to his friends so they could pray for mercy and ask God to reveal the dream and interpret it! Daniel 2:12-13 ”The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.”
Daniel 2:14 NLT “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.”
Wisdom and Discretion is so important to live out in our own lives as we learn from Daniel! What is biblical discretion? Proverbs 2:11, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Also, Proverbs 4:6, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Wisdom and discretion go hand and hand as we allow God to guide us in our conversation in hard situations! If we are angry, hurt, fearful, we don’t have a sober mind! It’s choosing to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry! James 1:19 NIV, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” Daniel lived this out by being careful with his words and his reactions under pressure! We need to do the same! Respecting each other is love and listening to the guard by respectfully asking questions shows love. Jesus also asked questions! Daniel’s attitude was gentle and kind and wasn’t loud or rude! When we love God and love others (everyone), we need to look at the heart! Psalm 112:4-7 NIV, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. 6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Daniel trust the Lord completely and was confident when he asked the King for more time!
The King was blinded by his emotions and consumed with fear and lashed out! The way we handle conflict like in the story in Daniel reveals to me how our flesh can get into the way on how we react! The King was controlled by his flesh and he wanted answers no matter what it cost! However, Daniel chose to be led by God in how to handle this situation! He didn’t allow fear to consume him when he heard he would be killed! What do we do when you are faced with a conflict with someone in authority or in charge? How should you handle these situations that put so much pressure on you! The pressure can cause you not to be sober minded and want to run, hide or fight? We read and hear what to do and even know, but putting it to action in your life is a whole other experience! Daniel lived out how we can do this with God’s help and with our sisters and brothers in Christ! It’s all centered around having humility and love! The world is watching our reactions as we handle conflict! This is why Daniel story is so amazing to me because He had to live a life not conforming to the patterns of this world! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” He allowed His mind to be transformed by God through spending time with Him in prayer, so he could stand firm in faith! The other wise men were watching too! God loves all people and wants no one to be lost and as we live out what we believe to be true will cause a multitude to search for God too! When they search for Him as the wise men did when they followed the star, they found him! Matthew 2:1-2 NIV, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Those who believe in Jesus are no longer slaves to sin but our sinful nature can still get in the way of the Spirit! Daniel continually trust God under pressure! We need to remember God loves all people and he wants no one to be lost! We need to be sober minded because anger and fear can blind you when conflict happens. We need to continue to persevere in love for one another as you saturate yourself with God’s word and pray with each other and for each other! We need to be quick to listen, slow to be speak, slow to be angry! How we react in love, draws others in to search for God too! Sometimes our flesh can get in the way in how we love one another but because we chose to forgive quickly! Fear and hurt can cause you to not see clearly and loose grip of compassion for each other. Consequently, your reactions won’t be centered around God’s love which is solid and never changing! Instead, it will be centered around fear, hurt, embarrassment, misunderstandings! It could cause you to struggle loving others the way Jesus loves us! Your hurts really do matter and every tear is caught in a bottle! (Psalm 56:8) That’s how much we are loved by God! His thoughts for us out number the grands of sand and even your hairs are numbered! So, we need to seek God and His righteousness in everything including handing over our hurts and fears, so He can led us in how to handle conflict as we pray first! This is what discretion looks like! If we hold onto our feeling and chose to do our own way, it would become selfish love continually changing like sifting/sinking sand! You won’t be standing on the rock! This will lead to judgment based on what you think you know from what you see, instead of looking at the heart the way God does! Love, compassion and discretion go together! We need to constantly be praying because all of us can react when we get hurt, and we need to be led by Holy Spirit in how to handle everything with love and respect by humbling ourselves to listen with compassion!
When conflict arises, it an opportunity to grow stronger in relationship with each other through prayer! It an opportunity for God to reveal to your heart because no one is perfect, and God is growing you to love other people more and more like Him! Struggles and conflicts are ways to grow and love deeper bring God glory in all circumstances! Even the disciples struggled with each other as Jesus strengthens them for work He planned ahead of time! We need relationships to challenge our characters as He grows us! Because we are to love God with All of our heart, All of our soul, All of our Mind, and All of our Strength! We are to love our neighbor as you love yourself! (Mark 12) We love God with everything We are because we are made in Him image, and when we do this, love overflows onto others.
When feelings get hurt, we must remain together in love because love can move mountains as we abide in Jesus! We will unintentionally hurt each other, but we also need to remember that Jesus loves us in our brokenness and mess, and we need to do the same! When we allow God to search our heart, (Psalm 139) Jesus can reveal the hurt hidden within your heart so you can heal! As we are led by the Spirit in prayer for one another, God is at work in the hearts of those who seek Him with all of their hearts and trust Him! We need to hold tight to truth as we read and meditate on God’s word in the Bible! This love with draw others to wants to know Jesus too!
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14 NLT
All through scripture God shows real life struggles and how we love each other through them! It’s like when Moses grew tired and Arron and Hurr not just noticed Moses struggle and hoped he could make it but came to help encourage and support Him to finish what God called Him to do! We are meant to do life together! Remember we need to we awake, alert, and sober minded in everything we do in life! The distractions are loud and can be used to rob and steal precious time that you can’t get back! Arron and Hurr didn’t take the responsibility from Moses, instead they brought a rock to him so he could rest and they helped hold his hands up! Exodus 17:12-13 NIV, “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
When we love each other we go where our sisters and brothers are by praying and doing what we can with what we have been given help them do what God called them to do! We always tell them the truth with love and respect using wisdom and discretion given to us from God! Telling the truth can be hard but love lives out truth! Love come from God who is our foundation that we all stand on!Love depends and trust God’s understanding by choosing to listen to those sisters and brothers who God places in your life to help you stay on course! Love is being completely humble as you accept and listen to correction and allow yourself to be disciplined because God disciplines us for good! We need to align our lives to what the Bible says and we point each other back in the right direction! Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! Love never fails!
Today is 1-22-21 and James 1:22 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” When we live out, truly with our whole heart, loving each other, we are actually being Jesus hands and feet! We are meant to be doers of God’s word not watchers! Also, James 1:23-25 NIV, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” When we listen and do what God asks us to do for each other, you will be blessed! It will be hard because you are sacrificing something for someone else! Also, people who might not know the love of God yet are observing what we do and how we react! They will be drawn into wanting to know Jesus in the same way! This love comes from God and the world doesn’t understand it! God’s love doesn’t line up to what everyone else is doing in the world! When we chose to give up comfort for a sister or brother, when you sit with them to hear their heart while they are struggling in need of comfort from a friend! When you cloth and feed them allowing them to rest! It’s like what the Good Samaritan did! (Luke 10:25-37 NIV) Taking care of each other instead of leaving them where they are! Its choosing to lift them up with encouragement by loving them deeply where they are! All through scripture God shows real life struggles and how we love each other through them! It’s like when Moses grew tired and Arron and Hurr not just noticed Moses struggle and hoped he could make it but came to help encourage and support Him to finish what God called Him to do! We are meant to do life together! Remember we need to we awake, alert, and sober minded in everything we do in life! The distractions are loud and used to rob and steal precious time that you can’t get back! Arron and Hurr didn’t take the responsibility from Moses, instead they brought a rock to him so he could rest and they helped hold his hands up! Exodus 17:12-13 NIV, “When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” When we love each other we go where our sisters and brothers are by praying and doing what we can with what we have been given help them do what God called them to do! We always tell them the truth with love and respect using wisdom and discretion given to us from God! Telling the truth can be hard but love lives out truth! Love come from God who is our foundation that we all stand on!Love depends and trust God’s understanding by choosing to listen to those sisters and brothers who God places in your life to help you stay on course! Love is being completely humble as you accept and listen to correction and allow yourself to be disciplined because God disciplines us for good! We need to align our lives to what the Bible says and we point each other back in the right direction! Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! Love never fails!
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13:6-8 NIV” It’s choosing to ask questions rather than making accusations or guesses based on what you see in your sisters and brothers life. Because love always trust, this mean knowing what they say, is for good as they are led by God! Loving each other so much that if you know your sister or brother needs help, you won’t let them go the wrong way! We love them completely and we need to help each other stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, because there are so many distractions and struggles which can make it hard! Everything is surrounded by being humble in every part of your life, loving unconditionally because this love comes from God first! God loves us all equally and He has no favoritism!
This is how we live the Kingdom Mindset by living out love by staying in relationship even when it’s hard! Jesus says, if you do this for your sisters and brothers, you are doing this for Him! Matthew 25:39 NIV, “When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ I’m thankful for all my sisters and brothers in Christ who love us! We deeply and sincerely love them too! I’m praying for Unity and for relationships to be strengthened as we look for ways each day to live out loving each other! I’m praying we standing firm in faith being Unified in Jesus as we live out what we are called to do for God’s Glory!
1 John 4-8 NIV “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. “
Keep on the course God has set before you even during trials and struggles! Keep your sights on things above as we live out our Kingdom Minded set For “His Kingdim come”, “His Will be done” on earth as it is in heaven! Colossians 3:1-2 NIV “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
We must Continue to purse relationship with a sincere deep love for each other as we spur each other on in love and good deeds! Stay on course by not looking to the right or the left, to continually stay Humble in all circumstances in order to hear God as He searches our heart! (Psalm 139) Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
The refining fire is uncomfortable and it can get messy as the impurity’s come out of our lives, but is very important as God molds us! As I struggle to walk this morning, I search deeper in God’s word! It brought me to this passage in scripture that reveals how we can get tired if we focus on the wrong things and get lost in details! You start to get foggy and look for a different way, instead of looking straight ahead! It reminded me of the intense training in crosses country and track! I felt what it was like for my knees to give out on me and my arms so tired I could hardly hold them up! I had a good support system that encouraged me to keep going, who even ran beside me in the race! I heard my moms voice from miles away yelling my name, “keep going, Michelle!” We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses (Hebrew 12:1) who do the same thing spiritually! It says in Hebrew 12:12-13, that your limb that is feeling lame will not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” We need to be humble by allow God to continually search our hearts, so we can be healed! God is the one who renews my strength each morning even if my leg won’t work! I feel a tingle and sharp pain but I will not give up!! God works in amazing ways through relationships! God places sisters and brothers in Christ in our lives at just the right time and I’m so thankful for their love and support! So, as we grow together in unity, God is working in the inside of our hearts This is so we can have healing through the Holy Spirit as we grow to what we are meant to be for God’s glory! Keep our eyes on the Jesus who is the author and perfecter of your faith!
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
God amazes me everyday of all His wonders! His design is perfect and beautiful! Even in the storms you can see how he works everything together. We are surrounded by God’s glory everywhere we go! All we have to do you search for Him! He makes Himself known everywhere and in everything! Romans 1:20 NIV, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” God shows us Spiritual lessons everywhere! When you search for God, you will find Him in all parts of your day! Jeremiah 28:13 NIV, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Today the trees are swaying back and forth blown by wind! It reminded me in scripture how even the trees will sing for joy! (Psalm 96:9-13)
Early this morning, my son said let’s watch the window TV! During our power outage, we watched the trees bend back and forth! During the wind storm, I could see how the tress supported each other as each powerful gust of wind moved from all directions! The strong and healthy trees seem stronger together as each tree grew toward the light! The trees that stood alone, lost a lot of branches and even went down! We are stronger together abiding In Jesus! This reminded me that Jesus Prayed for Unity in the body of Christ for all who will believe! We are stronger together because it’s God’s design! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
We are joined together (United) all over the world called to one hope, one purpose through the power of the one Spirit to share the good news about Jesus. Jesus prayed not only for them but for us and everyone who will believe in the future! He prayed that we all would be one in Him as He is in the father! Jesus prayed for all believers would be United in Him! John 17:20-23 NIV,”My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” When storms come suddenly in the night, we need to remember God has everything under control and all we need to do is be ready and willing to live out our kingdom mindset! 1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. We all need to remain in Jesus and be humble! We need to love each other with a sincere deep love as God spiritually knits us all together in Unity as He knit us together in our mother’s womb! (Psalm 139)
Unity is very important in the body of Christ and it’s so very important as we face each challenge in our day! There is a lot of concern about the President but we have nothing to fear! It’s hard to believe it’s already 2021! Yes, we will be effected this year by the decisions authorities will make, but we will not be consumed by them! God is at work all around us as we use all the gifts and talents that He has given us for his glory and not our own! Becoming less means everything we do is for “His Kingdom” come, His “Will be Done” on earth as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:10 NIV) We are His hands and feet as we chose to be led by the Holy Spirit! This is a powerful reminder in Daniel 2:20-2:21 NIV “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.” However, we all need to be reminded that God has everything under control and has a plan at work that we do not see! We need to stand firm in faith as we live our what God has called us to do! Philippians 1:27 NIV, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” We need to trust God with all of our heart and not depend on our own understanding! God is the one who gives wisdom and understanding! His wisdom and understanding is a solid foundation built on Jesus who is the cornerstone! Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” As God builds us up together, Let us all hold on to Jesus who is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV) All things have been made through Him and for Him! (John 1:3 NIV) Jesus is King and He reigns! Let’s pray for each other and for those who don’t know that God loves them! We need to be united together in Jesus!
1 Corinthians 3:5-9 NIV, “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
Psalm 96:9-13 NIV, Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
Philippians 1:27 NIV, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,striving together as one for the faith of the gospel”
Being humble can be a challenge in a prideful world! Pride is the patterns we see everywhere we go and in everything we do! However, we are taught in scripture not to conform to the patterns of this world! How do we not conform to the patterns and ways of the world? How do we live in this world but not be consumed by it? The world and it’s influences are getting louder and louder! The only way is through a real relationship with Jesus, as we chose to saturate our mind with God’s living word, the Bible! James 4:6-10 NIV, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
We need to be humble by aligning our lives up with what God says as we pray for God’s will for our lives! Romans 12:2 NIV, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Then we would be able to live out love by sharing about Jesus everywhere we go as we seek Him continually each day! Pride will cause us to sink with the world as it consumes the mind, effects the heart, and finally in your actions! Because out of your mouth, you heart will speak or live out by how you love and react in all situations! When we chose to be humble, you will see the world differently! You will chose the valley instead of the mountain top as you fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of your faith! It’s continually choosing not to give up on doing good when struggles in life come in like a flood! It’s choosing to be quick to listen! Galatians 6-9 NIV, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” It’s trusting all of God’s promises that you will reap a harvest if you don’t give up! As we choose to pick up our cross daily especially when you feel weighed down, remember God cares for you and wants you to give them all to Him! Trust Him that He will never leave you or forsake you! When we are being transformed in our minds through reading the Bible everyday, God is continually changing us! We can’t do this alone! 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Pride blinds us and keeps us from truth as every distraction or influence either pulls you to the left or the right! It keeps us from giving all our troubles to Jesus! It keeps us from relationships and being real with our sisters brothers! It puffs us up, making circumstances or struggles look better than some else’s or worse! Pride keeps people from going in the right direction in their relationships with God and each other! Matthew 7:13-14, NIV ““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” I read Ezekiel 28, and Pride is ugly! It hurt relationships! It important to be humble knowing no one is perfect and Pride can sneaks up on us all when we least expect it! We need God to continually search our hearts! I know for me, I would want someone to let me know I’m going the wrong way, so I won’t continue down the wrong path! However, Pride can get in the way on how we let people know! Pride can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and judgment! I read today that there is a difference between truth and fact from a devotional! Truth comes from God who loves all of us! Facts about a person isn’t their identity in Christ!
We can love each other more when we focus on the truth of who someone is rather than focusing on the facts (worldly identity)! We need to remember Love tells the truth “in love” and respect! If you do nothing is that love? If we don’t go to the person and ask questions, is that love? The enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour, and he is the father of lies and loves Pride! The enemy is an example of pride before the fall when he was kick out of heaven! Luke 10:18 NIV “He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” We need to be on guard because pride will cause us all to be blind and fall! Jesus is the Truth and the Life and we need to focus on truth about everyone not fact! The fact is all of us fall short of the Glory of God! The Truth (Jesus) set us free when He died for all of our past, present and future sins! We need to be awake, alert, and sober minded as we choose to be humble loving God and each other! We need to wear the full armor of God all day long! We need to wear the belt of truth! Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
There are influence out there in the world through social media, gossip, half truth stories based on some fact or guesses, YouTube, tv, movies, talk shows and more that we need to be careful of! These influences your thinking and behaviors as lies sneaks in your thoughts! However, we are not to conform to these ways and need to practice daily guarding our minds and need to focus on what God says! Philippians 4:8-9 NIV, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” The world is confusing and constantly changing! Jesus doesn’t change! Hebrews 13:8 NIV, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
It’s important to keep meeting with each other in prayer as you are washed with God’s living words to lift each other up! To share truth in love! I’m so very thankful for relationships God has brought in my life because it’s through doing life together that God did so much work in my heart! I can see now how the enemy wanted to isolate me from relationships in the body of Christ through many different ways like being busy, work, things happing right on the same day when lifegroup happens and more! We need to fight for relationship! Hebrews 10:22-25 NIV “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” What does spur mean exactly? The Greek meaning of spur is “to provoke,” and “to stir up.” The negative means to dispute, contend, or exasperate. The way we spur each other on to love and good deeds must come from truth given to all of us, not just certain people and not just in fact! We need to get involved in your sisters and brothers lives to get to know them as we entice or motivate them to follow Jesus! When we entice one another towards love, it must come from the source of love, God! Love is our foundation in which we stand without it we will sink! Without love, everything comes from pride! However, If you spur your sisters and brothers causing dispute, contend, or exasperate, then it doesn’t come from God! It comes from the flesh or the patterns of the world! The patterns of this world is unstable and full of pride! The Great Commandment, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [and] ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40, NIV). We need to pray as we listen to the heart of your sisters and brothers in Christ!
We must be humble by choosing to follow Jesus! As we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we need to patiently wait on Him. Isaiah 64:8 NIV, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” God loves us all and His timing is perfect as he molds us! God is the potter and we are clay! The squeezing and pressure in this process is hard and uncomfortable as we live completely dependent on God! We need to allow God to search our heart too! Psalms 139:23-24 NIV “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” This requires humility because we need to allow God to light up all of our heart! This means you need to let people in your lives! This can be uncomfortable and even painful as you choose to allow God to refine you and mold you! 1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV, “humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” God will gently search the secrets of the heart, as he reveals things you were unaware of! God will reveal to us what is offensive! This might not feel gentle because it will be hard! He brings relationships in our lives for very specific reasons! We can’t do this on our own!
When we live out being humble in a prideful world, our children will see and grow to know how God is at work in everything, and see “Him” as we become less so God becomes more in our lives! They will see and experience this unconditional love that comes from God and they will not depart from it! They will know that they are wanted by God no matter what and deeply loved! God has no favoritism! We need to think about what it really means to treat people the way you want to be treated! As we live out loving God and our neighbor! John 3:30-36 NIV, “He must become greater; I must become less.” The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” We need to live this out as we spur each other toward love and good deeds! When we love people the way Jesus loves us, we are loving God!
Let’s all pray together for Unity in the body of Christ! Let’s pray for each other and for those who don’t know God loves them yet! We need to be United together in Jesus!
Today is the last day of 2020! It has been full of surprises with many ups and downs!Through each season, God has been working on the inside and everywhere all at once! Ephesians 2:20 “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone” we stand firm on the rock (cornerstone) “Jesus” We will not be moved or shaken even if our everyday lifestyles and routines have been changed! Through each season, relationships are being refined, challenged, developed and strengthened within our families and in the body of Christ (the Church)! Ephesians 4:11-16 NIV “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
We have an opportunity to fix our eyes on Jesus!! He is the Author and perfector of our faith! In all circumstances we can choose to seek God and His righteousness, as new ways of living slowly creep into our lives! This is why it is so important to be awake and alert and sober minded! Because the enemy looks for someone to devour! When we stick together by not forsaking the gathering or meeting together, we are encouraged to keep going on and not giving up on doing good! We pray for each other and even carry each other’s burdens! Galatians 6:7-10 NIV “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
I’m so thankful for so many things this year as we struggled to move, tear down and build! God has brought our family, as an army, to help us on our journey! I got hurt and struggled to walk! I continued my new job and even there, God brought a sister in Christ to work with me for a short while! There are unseen battles being fought all around us and two are better than one because they help each other in everything we do! Later, my son was hired to work with me! God moves in mighty ways! His ways are higher than ours as we continue at work to bring Him glory!
We are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses encouraging and supporting us through difficult things! It is only through our sisters and brothers in Christ that we could do everything that needed to be done in time with my new job and adjusting to a new schedule! Our Church family literally carried our burdens to the dump and more! My sister-in-law and brother-in-law carried on working in the land, because we learned you can’t build and tear down at the same time! We couldn’t do any of this on our own! We tried to tear down, move and build, God’s grace gave us more time so we could finish! As we prayed not knowing how to get everything done, our church family came in one and two at a time! With God’s mighty hand he moved junk to the dump and tore down our home within two hours! Each step has been one spiritual lesson after another! It’s only through relationships, that we can stand on a strong foundation built on solid rock! Jesus is our foundation where we all stand together! As our relationships are strengthening through our struggles and circumstances, God is building us up together preparing us for something much bigger than we can imagine!! 1 Corinthians 3:9 NIV “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
We need these relationships with each other as we continue to keep the Kingdom Mindset and spur each other on! As we live out what we have learned and heard as each part of the bible comes alive within us through the Holy Spirit, we will see things differently! As we are led by the Spirit of God, it will not make sense to the flesh who rages war against the Spirit! However, When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and trust His ways and His timing, you will experience peace and joy and experience the blessings in the valley! I’m so thankful for the harvest with my children in the garden, food, healing oils “young living” from my sister’s in Christ and more! In the valley, we encourage each other as we experience persecution and even be attacked in ways that could take you to your knees! We bring God glory in every part of our lives no matter where God has you! We continue to be thankful in all circumstances as we praise Him in the storm! There is peace in the storm because Jesus already won!
The peace God gives to everyone transcends all human understanding and it can’t be taken from us! His Peace is like a heated blanket inside you during deep winter as you rest at Jesus feet! God prepared in advance a place of refuge and rest for us! God led our family to still water and green pasture to rest and restore us as we prepare to take the steps to our new home! We are so thankful for all God’s love, Mercy and Grace! The most precious gift of this year has been loving relationships God has given us! This is more valuable to us than anything else the world has! Our children are the future and experiencing how we are supposed to be for each other!
We are the light, Called to share Jesus with others by how we love, how we treat each other, how we react, how we forgive, and how we focus on the good in each other! Focusing on God’s goodness brings Him glory and we radiate light brighter when we are together unified in Jesus! When we do this we are being His hands and feet reaching everyone in all four corners of the world who need to know, Jesus loves them! I’m thankful for the blessings in 2020 and look forward to 2021! Ephesians 2:21 NIV “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”
Hebrews 10:22-25 NIV
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1 Peter 5:6-11 NIV
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 NIV
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:5-6 NIV
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.