Many people in the world today are not concerned about what other people say about them. They do not live their lives looking for approval. What matters most to them is that they are living a godly life and they are happy. On the other hand, there are people who are affected by what others say and think about them. If they are criticized, it hurts and affects their ability to move forward. They live their lives trying to please others and will change their course of action just because someone convinces them that it is the thing to do. The problem with this group of people is one day they will come to the conclusion that you cannot please everyone and there will always be someone judging you no matter what you do. My advice is to ‘shake it off.’
There is a story in the Bible about the Apostle Paul who, after being ship wrecked on his way to Rome, found himself on the island of Malta. As he put more wood on the fire, a snake jumped onto his hand and clung to him. Without giving it another thought, Paul just shook the snake off into the fire. What was meant to kill him ended up being killed. Everyone around him began to watch him closely because they expected him to die. They began to talk about him, decided that he must be a murderer and this snake was his punishment. Little did they know that Paul had received a promise from God that he would preach the gospel in Rome. Paul clung to that promise and shook off the snake, and that is what every child of God should do. When Satan attacks you, whether it is a snake of criticism, financial hardship, marital problems, rebellion in your children, rejection of sickness,shake off it off and cling to the promises of God. God created you and everything He made, He called it good, so do not let anyone tell you that you are not going to make it. No matter what your circumstances look like today, tomorrow is a new day and it could all change in a moment.
God has a purpose and a plan for your life and you belong to God. Put your trust and hope in the one who created this world. Strive to please Him and not your fellow man. It is better to put your trust in God than in man. God is faithful and He knew you before you were born and He will never leave nor forsake you. Don’t become discouraged by what happens to you; trouble doesn’t last always. Shake it off and believe in your heart that you will succeed. No one – no one but your heavenly Father determines how blessed you will be. All things will work together for your good and that is a promise you can depend on.
Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who has birthed, raised, loved, cared for and sacrificed for a child whether she gave natural birth to that child or the child was placed in her care. Mothers should be honored every day but at least we designate one day a year to say ‘thank you’ to our Mothers. Fathers have their day, but not as much emphasis is put on Father’s Day as we do on Mother’s Day. More phone calls are made to Moms; more flowers are sent to Moms and more cards are given to Moms when you compare these things to Father’s Day.
Have you ever noticed that professional athletes always say ‘hi Mom’ when they are in front of a camera. Why don’t they say ‘hi Dad?’ When you really think about it, Mothers deserve every bit of recognition they receive. There is nothing like a Mother’s love and for those who were blessed to have had a godly Mother take the time to show your appreciation. For those of you whose Mother is among those in that great cloud of witnesses, thank the Lord for the legacy that she left you.
It would be unrealistic to forget that not everyone had a godly Mother and grew up without knowing the unconditional love of their Mother – if she is still with you, pray for her – forgive her and do not let the pain of the past keep you from being the best Mother you can be to your children. If your Mother has passed away, do not hold onto the past. You cannot go back, nor can you change what did happen. Do not let the past define who you are today because in Christ Jesus we are all new ceations and each of us must take responsibility for our own actions.
Mothers, I honor you; I salute you and I want to thank you for your love, your prayers and your commitment. Father’s are the spiritual heads of the home but Mothers are the heart of every home. Thank God for you and all that you do especially for all those things you do that are not seen. May God reward you richly and give you the desires of your heart.
Faith in the life of a Christian is like gasoline in a car, a car can’t move without it. Likewise, a Christian must have faith in God if he or she is going to live successfully. The Bible tells us that we all have been give a measure of faith but it is up to the individual to exercise that faith or not, and it is faith that will cause us to get back up when life knocks us down – giving up is not an option. Satan doesn’t like Believers and he is doing everything he can to discourage and ultimately stop us from believing God, but God has promised never to leave nor forsake us so He is and will always be in the fire with you.
It was faith that caused Paul and SIlas to have a mid-night prayer meeting. They did not let prison nor chains stop them from praising their Lord and Savior. They were in the worst circumstances but their circumstances did not change or remove their faith in God, and it was because of their praise that the prison doors were open and they and all the other prisoner’s chains fell off. No doubt if their faith had waivered, they would have remained chained. Circumstances are temporary and they change from day to day so don’t allow a temporary state cause you to stop believing. God knows what you need and He has promised to supply those needs but first, you must keep your faith alive and active.
Today is a new day and if you are overwhelmed by life, don’t say that it is over and don’t waste your time thinking about how it use to be. Forget the past and do not fear. God has promised to be with you today and He wants to do a new thing in your life, so don’t give up. You must possess the kind of faith that endures everything. Focus on the future. Believe that your best days are yet to come because faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, and it is the things that you cannot see that you need to believe in. God can do everything and there is nothing impossible for God.
Begin every day confessing the Word and believing that there is hope for tomorrow and remember that you are not to grow weary in doing good because you will reap if you do not give up. Giving up should never be an option.
There is a story in the Bible in the 5th chapter of 2 Kings about Naaman. Naaman was a commander in the Syrian army who came down with leprosy. He was told about a prophet, Elijah, whose God could heal him. Naaman, along with a great entourage, goes to Elijah’s house but he is shocked when Elijah sent a messenger out to see him and did not come out to see him personally. Naaman was insulted by this because he felt that a man of his position in society deserved more than this and secondly, he was appalled by what Elijah told him to do. Elijah told him to go and dip seven times in the muddy Jordan River and then he would be clean. Naaman had a serious problem with these instructions because it was not at all what he expected. He had expected Elijah to come out and put his hands on him and then call upon his God for healing – but all he got was instructions to do something he thought was beneath him.
Never let pride get in your way of receiving what God has for you. Naaman thought a lot of himself and assumed that others did as well. This story teaches us that we are not to disregard a word from God because it did not come through a person we expected, nor should we pass up an opportunity to get a miracle because God tells us to do something that we do not want to do. The Bible tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice and that is all God is looking for. It wasn’t the muddy Jordan River that healed Naaman, it was obeying the word of God that healed Naaman. Fortunately for Naaman, the people around him encouraged him to do what he was told, and finally he did so and he was cleansed. It is not our job to judge what God says; it is our job to obey what God says. God’s ways are not our ways and whatever God tells you to do, just do it. It might not make sense to you but it is then that you realize that God has the power to do anything and everything, in His own way and in His own time. God will exalt those who humble themselves and there is no place in His kingdom for pride or selfishness.
If you need a miracle today, learn from Naaman and position yourself to hear from God, and when you do, don’t doubt it, don’t try to figure out why – just submit and obey.
We often forget that Satan is prowling around looking for anyone, and I do mean anyone, whom he can devour. He does not want any child of God to live in victory so he makes sure that Believers are constantly tempted to sin and become powerless. Satan is afraid of the powerful Believer who is living a godly life because the light that they shine dispels his darkness.
The 22nd chapter of Luke tells us how Satan desired to have Simon Peter but Jesus told Simon that he had prayed for him that his fail would not fail. We know that in this life we will have trouble but we have our Lord and Savior sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us. Could we ask for anything more? Many of us spend our prayer time giving God our wish list but realize that Jesus is praying for our faith. We all have been given a measure of faith, but in times of trouble, it is our faith that decides whether we win or lose. If our faith is strong, it will pull us through our trials and tribulations. As long as we are on this earth, we are in a battle – a spiritual battle and somethings we might become weak as Simon Peter did, but when we fail, we must get back up and strengthen our brothers. We all need encouragement and we will learn valuable life lessons that need to be passed along to others so they will know how we overcame and our testimony will give them hope.
We are being sifted to strengthen; we are to move forward and help our fellowman as much as possible. Your pain is not for you alone, but for all those who will come into your life that are also fighting battles of their own. God has a purpose and a plan for your life and His plans do not change because you have to go through hard times. God has everything under control and you are to rest in that. Jesus prayed that your faith would not fail because it is your faith that will propel you to push forward no matter what. So don’t be surprised when trouble comes, just remember that that is the time that you seek the presence of God and rely on your faith to take you to the next level. As you have been strengthen, you are to strengthen others.
Not many people embrace change. They are so use to the way things are that they fail to realize that some changes are good and will only make their lives better. Communication changes have been constant and will continue to change to take us into the future. No longer do we have to go out of town to visit a loved one. Now we can post a note to them on Facebook or see them via Skype, and who knows how we will communicate in the next decade, but it is certain that it will be different than it is right now.
Christians must also change and the word of God is there to direct you. The Bible tells us that a wise man will see danger and avoid it (change) but a foolish man will not change and that man will suffer for it. (Proverbs 27:12). Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Do not fear change because change is the answer to taking you from one undesireable place to the place God has planned for you. You should pray that God gives you the wisdom and courage to not only recognize that a change is needed, but the courage to make that change no matter what it is.
Sometimes changes are made because of brokenness. God will not despise a broken heart or a contrite spirit. He loves it when His children come to him and ask for His help, thus you will become totally dependent upon Him. Change will also cause humility. If you humble yourself before the Lord, He will exalt you. Pride comes before a fall but God gives grace to the humble. Change will come if you are honest with yourself to recognize that what you are doing is no longer working. That might be hard but it will propel you to move forward.
While going through changes in your life, hold on to your faith. Continue to hope; continue to trust Almighty God and believe that He is working everything out for your good. Do not be afraid to let go of the past. Some things are best left in the past so that you do not move into the future carrying old things that will weigh you down. If you trust God, you will find yourself in a position to accept the decisions He makes regardless if you agree with those decisions or not. Finally, be grateful for what you have. God has promised never to leave you, and it is His grace that is keeping you. You might not have everything that you have prayed for but you do have your life. Do not take it for granted. Daily thank the Lord for His goodness and kindness towards you.
Let this be your prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
There are so many ways to get someone’s attention. Babies sometimes cry just to have someone pick them up. Young people may chose to dress a little out of the ordinary just to get attention. Single adults do a number of things to get the attention of the opposite sex. We all have done something at one time or another to get the attention of someone but God also wants to get our attention. God knows each of us better than any one else and He knows exactly what to do to make us stop and really see Him. He knows how to shine a spot light on us. God wants to stop us in our tracts so that He can speak to us; so that He can redirect us and most of all, so we can get to know Him in a more intimate way.
The Bible tells us about Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. God let a light shine from Heaven down upon him and Saul immediately knew that it was the Lord. After God got Saul’s attention, Saul became the Apostle Paul and wrote most of the New Testament. Saul became a changed man for the better. Saul was once a persecutor of the church and then became one of the most profound leaders of the church. No one can have an encounter with God and remain the same. God changes the heart of a person and after that, we are able to fulfill God’s purpose for us. We might think that we are doing ok for ourselves, but it’s possible that God has a different plan for us and the only way to turn us around is to get our attention first. Doing the will of God makes all the difference in our lives.
Has God gotten your attention yet? Are you fulfilling the will of God for your life in the way that God intended? Maybe you are still searching for something to fill the void in your life. If you are in the middle of challenging circumstances, consider the fact that God wants you to draw close to Him so that you can hear Him speak to you. God’s ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. You might even be in a good place right now but be open to the fact that there could be more – much more and the only way you will reach the next level is to pay attention to that still small voice within you. Focus on the light and let the light lead you to your promise land.
The tomb is empty. Hallelujah! Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is alive and because He is alive, Christians around the world have reason to celebrate today. If Jesus were not alive; if the tomb was not empty, nothing else really matters. We would have no hope; we would still be living in our sins and we would leave this earth going into a lost eternity. The fact that Jesus was resurrected three days after being crucified for the forgiveness of our sins, we are assured that those who die in Christ will also rise again when Jesus Christ comes back to get His children. The Bible is true and God has promised us that those who have confessed with their mouths and believed in their hearts that Jesus died and rose again, will spend eternity with Him.
Today is a good day to ask Jesus into your heart and receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of eternal life. What more could you ask for? Jesus Christ went to Calvary so that we all could be saved and the Bible tells us that “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” All you have to do is respond to that still small voice speaking to you, calling you to come near to God and if you do, He will accept you. He will forgive you, and He will put within you the power of His spirit to be more than a conqueror. You can then resist the devil and sin less and become more and more like Christ. Call out to Him and you will never be the same. If you have already answered His call and are walking in the newness of life, make it a point to re-dedicate and commit your time, talents and resources to bring others into the kingdom of God.
God is good. God is faithful. God is and will always be the one who will never leave you or forsake you. His love is unconditional and available to everyone. Don’t let the blood of Jesus go without taking advantage of everything it affords you – love, peace and a life with Almighty God. Happy Easter to every one who has eaten the bread and drank the cup that Jesus is offering as a token of His Father’s love and forgiveness for you!
Gardens by nature are beautiful. They are not only beautiful to look at, but many gardens provide the nutrients necessary to sustain life. There is one garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, that was the place of sorrow and comfort for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus went to the Garden with a heavy heart because He knew that He was going to suffer betrayal that would lead to his death on the cross. The Garden was a lonely place for Him but in the midst of it, He prayed to God asking if ‘this cup could pass from Him.’ Jesus stayed in that Garden until He was able to lay down His will and carry out the will of His Father. Jesus was a weak man when He entered the Garden but He left the Garden totally submitted to God in spite of the fact that it would mean His death. Prayer was the key that transformed Jesus into our Savior, and the price He paid for the forgiveness of our sins was great and we should not take it for granted. Where would we be if it wasn’t for Calvary? We would be lost and would die without any hope of eternal life.
The Garden was crucial to Jesus yielding to God’s will, and it is also crucial to us today. At some point in your life you will have to make a decision as to whether or not you will obey God and your decision will affect the rest of your life. Your journey on earth will contain many trials and tribulations as Jesus told us, so you must be prepared when those times come. You will be successful if you have a transparent relationship with your heavenly Father. The flesh is weak but the spirit is strong, and it is the spirit of God within you that will enable you say ‘not my will but your will be done.’ You might feel alone at times but remember Jesus promised that He would never leave nor forsake you. Believe that. Trust in that.
If you do not already have one, prepare a garden of your own. Let it be the one place that is special to you and God. Open yourself up to God and He will be there to give you exactly what you need when you need it. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them in your garden. I promise you that God will always provide the nourishment and nutrients you need to survive.
Have you received a promise from God that has not yet been fulfilled and you are wondering whether or not God has forgotten His promise? I’m here to tell you that God does not forget. God remembers everything, and He will do what He said He will do in His time and in His way.
You must learn to wait upon the Lord, and you do that by being obedient, by having faith and by being patient. You must do what God has told you to do and until He speaks to you again, you must hold steady and do nothing else. Waiting on the Lord will require that you trust God and believe in His faithfulness. Whatever God has told you, it will come to pass. He is not like man and has no need to lie. Once God makes a promise, the ball is in your court and you must believe in Him and His word.
One of the hardest things we will ever have to do is to be patient. Patience is not easy. We live in a society where we want and expect everything instantly. We are not patient while we drive. We are not patient when we are standing in the check out line, and it’s sad that we are not even patient with our own family and friends. God will make you wait but there is a purpose in the waiting. If you are in a hurry, the longer it will take before you see what God has promised you. God will make sure that you learn that He is in control and not you. When we become anxious, we are telling God that He is taking too long and that will certainly not please Him.
God has not forgotten you. There are many examples in the Bible where we see the faithfulness of Almighty God. He remembered Abraham and Sarah and gave them Isaac. God remembered Joseph after many years and promoted him in the land of Egypt. God remembered Job and gave him twice as much as he had after losing it all. God remembered that He had promised David the role of King but David had to wait until God thought he was ready. God never forgets, nor does He sleep, and you can be confident that what He has promised you, He is faithful and just and will keep His promise as He has done to the saints before you.
God has everything under His control, so while you are waiting begin to offer your thanks to the One who has promised never to leave or forsake you.