God’s Strength Tuesday, Jun 6 2017 

The verse that comes to mind when I set out to write to you about God’s Strength comes from the book of Philippians: Philippians 4:12-14New International Version (NIV)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Another verse that comes to mind is : John 16:33New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In Philippians 4:13 we are told where our strength comes from; through him. And in John it does not say you might have trouble it says, “you will have trouble.”

Just look about you: everywhere you look….trouble.

Paul reminds us in Philippians that we are not always in trouble every minute as he expounds by saying, “I know what it is to have plenty.” Now, we know that having plenty is not a problem. But as he continues he expounds an alternative situation; ” I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Have you ever been hungry? Unless you have been you may not know just how difficult this verse becomes. How can one be content in the midst of hunger or thirst?

It is because Paul knows the LORD Jesus Christ. He trusts him. He is completely free of worry because he knows that the LORD will provide. He was able to do “all things” through Christ.

Look at the list of what Paul suffered: 2 Corinthians 11: 23 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

We too are going to face “troubles.” It is up to us to be prepared. To study His Word now so that when the times come we will be ready. The time to study the Word is not when we are in the middle of some trial or temptation. No! It is now. We must study to show ourselves approved. God gives us His strength for a purpose. Jesus Christ is our strength.

God’s Light Thursday, Jan 19 2017 

When I graduated from the eighth grade, our neighbor across the street gave me a bible. It had a white cover, a zipper, and it was a red letter addition of the KJV. I remember the excitement of finally having my own bible. Up to that point, I had been using the family bible which was also my mother’s bible.

Right away, I started reading my bible, memorizing verses, so excited about what God had to say. The more I got into it the more I loved it. In a few short years that bible began to fall apart so I made a new cover for it out of a floral print fabric and used the same zipper. It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I finally got a new bible and yes it too is falling apart. I still have the old one on the headboard in my room.

Jesus tells us in the book of John that he is the “light of the world”:

John 8:12 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

The enemy goes about blinding unbelievers to this light.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

God made this light to shine in our hearts.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 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.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

The enemy masquerades as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

We are the children of light.

Ephesians 5:8-9 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)

God’s Mercies Monday, Jan 9 2017 

When I was in high school, I had a bible verse written on the book covers of every text book I used. We use to make covers to protect our textbooks out of inverted paper grocery bags.

The verse I wrote was:  1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I was what they called a “Jesus Freak”.

Back then, there were three groups in our school; the kids involved in sports, the kids involved in drugs, and the Jesus Freaks.

I have to admit, I was more focused on my own part of that verse than I was on God’s part. Oh, I wanted the purity offered in that verse, don’t get me wrong, but how my confession would bring it about, I had no clue.

I didn’t know that His mercy endured forever. Psalm 136King James Version (KJV)

136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

I didn’t know He was merciful and forgiving even though we rebelled against him.

Daniel 9:9King James Version (KJV)

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

I didn’t know I could share his mercy with others. 1 Corinthians 1:3-11    Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

 

God’s Seed Monday, Jan 2 2017 

Have you ever wondered how a little seed becomes a great big tree? Or how deep the roots go down into the soil?

For many years, I grew a garden and even now, I have a few grow boxes in the side yard for tomatoes and herbs. I grow a few flowers including marigolds.  At the end of each season when I pull up the stalks, I harvest the marigold seeds from the dried pods on top. You hold the base of the pod upside down between your thumb and forefinger and twist.  It pops open and gravity brings a shower of seeds out. Each pod contains many seeds.

It always amazes me how many seeds I get from each plant.

That is how God’s word is when you don’t just read it but you dig a little deeper into scripture references, meanings of words, and looking up the Hebrew meaning of names and places; it is amazing how much you can get out of each scripture.

If you take the time to highlight key verses that speak to your heart and memorize verses you can use later as weapons against the attacks of the enemy; then you grow spiritually.  Your harvest becomes peace and joy and love.  The mysteries of God are revealed day by day continually season after season.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

Over, Under, or Through Friday, Aug 26 2016 

Now we all have options when it comes to how we get from place to place, how we accomplish our goals, how we get through this journey called life.

Romans 8:5-9Amplified Bible (AMP)

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God].

If you are “in the flesh” then often times you are either go “over” or “under” something.

Overbearing: to get your way, you keep harping at everybody; yelling, screaming, throwing a fit. It is your way or the highway as they say.

Overeating: you know you are not suppose to eat that but you eat it anyway.

Overspending: you know you are not suppose to charge all those things but you do it anyway.

Overanalyzing: you know what you should be doing but instead of stepping out in faith, you analyze every aspect of it until the devil has you convinced you shouldn’t do it.

Over-talking: This is not talking over everybody, this is  discussing something so much everybody is getting sick of it, and nobody wants to listen anymore. It’s gossiping, complaining, murmuring, whining. Everybody hates a whiner.

Over-catering: You think you are the only one that can do things right so you do things your children should be doing for themselves. Let them pick up their own toys so they can learn how to do things for themselves.

Oversensitive: You get offended by everything everybody says. The slightest hint of something that doesn’t fit just right and you are in a huff about it. Not everything everybody says is about you. People know they can’t talk to you about their problems because you’ll just blow up at them instead of really listening and trying to help the situation.

Under-obedient: You know what you should do in a certain situation but you don’t do it. That still small voice says, “uh-oh”, and you go right on ahead and do it anyway.

Underwhelming: This is apathy, an “I don’t care” attitude. You just don’t give a hoot.

Underinvesting: The reason you are underinvesting is because you are probably also overspending. God wants us to be good stewards. We have a responsibility to make hard choices right now in order to have a benefit later. That’s called “Wisdom”.

Under-standing: That is not knowing something but rather not standing on your convictions and speaking out when you know that something someone else proposes to do is wrong.  Speaking the truth into the situation. “If we do that, we are going to be causing trouble in the future.”

Under-praying: Instead of going to God with your problems, you get on the phone and tell anybody that will listen your woes. This is just another form of complaining. Most people can’t help you the way God can. You have to learn to trust that God is good, that he wants what is good for you too. “You have not, because you ask not.”

Under-diligent: You see something going on that might cause trouble in the future like a leaky faucet, or a child bully, or not locking your car because you are just going in for a minute. There is a cost that will need to be paid when you are not diligent. Procrastination is an example. You know that there is a battle going on in the spirit world but nobody can see it going on so who will even know if I’m not doing my best.

Under-disciplined. You let yourself and others have their own way rather than being consistent in guiding and directing the steps. You are just too tired to deal with it now. ” Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Through the Spirit: A much better choice is to walk in the Spirit. The benefits of going through rather than “over” or “under” are enormous. We have the Spirit of Christ “in” us. That is the hope of glory. Trust His discernment-gut instinct. Trust His leading-step out in faith. Trust the fruit you see that comes from His direction, counsel, and comfort.

 

Ability of God Sunday, Aug 21 2016 

Ephesians 3:20-21Amplified Bible (AMP)

20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Jude 24-25Amplified Bible (AMP)

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

If you can’t think of a reason to glorify God, these few verses ought to give you a pretty good idea that we should glorify Him for His ABILITIES.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Superiority of God Thursday, Aug 18 2016 

Hebrews 1Amplified Bible (AMP)

God’s Final Word in His Son

God, having spoken to the fathers long ago in [the voices and writings of] the prophets in many separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the truth], and in many ways, has in these last days spoken [with finality] to us in [the person of One who is by His character and nature] His Son [namely Jesus], whom He appointed heir and lawful owner of all things, through whom also He created the universe [that is, the universe as a space-time-matter continuum]. The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s [a]Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence, and upholding and maintaining and propelling all things [the entire physical and spiritual universe] by His powerful word [carrying the universe along to its predetermined goal]. When He [Himself and no other] had [by offering Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for sin] accomplished purification from sins and established our freedom from guilt, He sat down [revealing His completed work] at the right hand of the Majesty on high [revealing His Divine authority], having become as much superior to angels, since He has inherited a more excellent and glorious [b]name than they [that is, Son—the name above all names].

For to which of the angels did the Father ever say,

You are My Son,
Today I have begotten (fathered) You [established You as a Son, with kingly dignity]”?

And again [did He ever say to the angels],

I shall be a Father to Him
And He shall be a Son to Me”?

[c]And when He again brings the firstborn [highest-ranking Son] into the world, He says,

And all the angels of God are to worship Him.”

And concerning the angels He says,

Who makes His angels winds,
And His ministering servants flames of fire [to do His bidding].”

But about the Son [the Father says to Him],

Your throne, [d]O God, is forever and ever,
And the [e]scepter of [absolute] righteousness is the scepter of [f]His kingdom.

You have loved righteousness [integrity, virtue, uprightness in purpose] and have hated lawlessness [injustice, sin].
Therefore God, Your God, Has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”

10 And,

[g]You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
11 
They will perish, but You remain [forever and ever];
And they will all wear out like a garment,
12 
And like a robe You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will be changed.
But [h]You are the same [forever],
And Your years will never end.”

13 But to which of the angels has the Father ever said,

Sit at My right hand [together with me in royal dignity],
Until I make your enemies
A footstool for your feet [in triumphant conquest]”?

14 Are not all the angels ministering spirits sent out [by God] to serve (accompany, protect) those who will inherit salvation? [Of course they are!]

Peace of God Thursday, Aug 11 2016 

Philippians 4:

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].

Finally, [b]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.

So then peace is a mindset. We have to think thoughts on purpose. Instead of thinking about our cravings or desires, we should meditate on God’s Word-Jesus Christ until it transforms/renews our mind and we put-on the mind of Christ and gain the peace that God intends us to have. We need to meditate on it day and night.

Joshua 1:

I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and confident and courageous, for you will give this people as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers (ancestors) to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do [everything] in accordance with the entire law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may prosper and be successful wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be [d]successful.

 

Light of God Monday, May 16 2016 

Light is not merely the absence of darkness. No, it is something more than that. John 8: 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

When we are born, we emerge from a place of darkness into the light of the world. When we are “born again”, we emerge from a world “full of spiritual darkness” into the light of life. Jesus said He was the light of the world. He is the light of the world that will not end.

Ephesians 3:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

This is eternal life, that we may know Him. We know that we know Him if we keep his commandments.

John 1:3-5King James Version (KJV)

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Genesis 1King James Version (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

It is the life of Christ that is the light of men. Not the sun, but the Son. When we know the light of God, we know Christ. When Jesus dwells in us then we become the light of life to those who see us.

“Let your light so shine before men that they will glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

This is our call, our heart’s desire, to live for Him, with Him, and in Him. To live in the light of life.

 

Keys Wednesday, Mar 2 2016 

There is really nothing we can do about the things we are taken to or from in this life.

Some of the objects we possess or which may possess us have keys which lock out intruders. In some instances the keys are used to protect the innocent from harm as in a gun safe or medicine cabinet.

There is a purpose in our locking out the children for their own good.

As a mother, I find we tend to do that with the “world” in a way with our kids. We want to protect them from the influence of harmful input from the “world.” Be it movies, or the internet, or magazines, or that neighbor kid that is nothing but “trouble”, we just don’t want them exposed so we try to protect them with restrictions, rules of behavior, and curfews.

But sometimes keys get lost and children wander off.

So when our efforts to control fail, we resort to pleading with the Almighty. “Oh, dear God!”

Recently, my two year old grandson said those exact words with all the emotion of a parent searching for a lost child. His little face showed the agony of needing help from something bigger than himself.

It made me think of how we as Christians are here to come along side one another with love and support like when Peter began to sink when he stepped out of the boat and was walking on the water and he cried out, “Jesus, save me!” Jesus reached out for him to lift him up.

If we don’t  find within ourselves the ability or skill or knowledge to do anything else, we can do this one thing for each other. Be someone’s shelter in the storm. Be a friend to hear their cry. Shine your light to light their way.  Give a word of encouragement when your friend is low today.

Next Page »