Have You Asked For It?

Do you know that God has given us over 3000 promises in His Word? Do you also know that God wants to make these promises a reality in your life?  Why, then, don’t we have those things that God has promised?  The answer is simple; we don’t ask. Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” It is our responsibility to ask and that is why many of us are missing out on our blessings because we have failed to ask. James 4:2 warns us “that we have not because we ask not.”

Asking God is the solution to all of our problems.  Asking God acknowledges that we have a problem and we believe that God is the solution.  You must ask.  If we want something from God, we must ask.  If we ask, we receive.  If we do not ask, we do not receive. Knowing this, I wonder how many of us apply it consistently in our lives.  Many of us have a wish list when we need to have a ‘ask list.’ We wish for that a situation to get better, or that we might be able to do this or that, but too often we fail to turn our wish into a prayer. Jesus wants us to receive the desires of our hearts but the only way to receive from the Father is to ask.

Don’t let your mind jump to the “what if’s” and try to figure out whether or not you will receive what you have asked for.  Just take a moment to believe God and take Him at His word.  He will amaze you at His goodness.  Whatever you desire, ask God for it.  You will never have what you never ask for.

What Are You Dreaming About?

Do you have a dream that is so big that you have convinced yourself that it could never happen in your lifetime? The bigness of it even scares you when you think about it, yet you can’t stop thinking about it. I’m talking about a dream that is beyond normal, beyond everyone’s expectations. That dream is a seed that God has planted within you and it is His plan for your life. Acts 2:17 says “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.”

If you are dreaming a dream that only the favor of God will bring to pass, guard your dream in your heart until it is time for you to put your faith to work. Be prepared for opposition – it comes with the territory but faith is seeing every situation and circumstance as God sees it regardless how challenging or hopeless it might seem. God is greater than any obstacle that the enemy of your soul will throw at you. Moses faced the Red Sea but kept moving forward and saw God do the impossible. David saw that no giant of a problem is too big for God if you only believe. Joshua saw his enemies occupying his promised land, but God showed him that the battle belonged to the Lord. You are more than a conqueror. If you stay focused and committed, you too will come to know that God can do exceedingly more than you can ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20).

What has God enabled you to see that does not exist yet? Don’t be afraid to do what no one has ever done. Don’t focus on what you are up against; focus on your goal.  Walt Disney said “it’s fun to do the impossible.”  Never think that anything is impossible because God might just be waiting for someone with enough faith to do that very thing.  Could that be you?

It’s Never Too Late To Start Over

Great things can be accomplished at any age. It’s never too late to be who you want to be. If you are not where you want to be, don’t be afraid to start over. Start over and build something better than you had. We fail only when we fail to try again. Failure is the path of least persistence. Have faith and keep trying. Have the courage to take a risk. That’s what brings success in life. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is. If at first you don’t succeed, you’re normal. Try again. Many times success is right around the corner. You are never a failure until you quit. The fact is everyone experiences failure in life.  We all have setbacks and losses but what matters most is what you do when things don’t work out the way you had planned. God is more interested in your future than He is in your past. Could it be that God’s plan for you is bigger than you had thought? Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Our attitude toward life will determine life’s attitude toward us.  If you think you can’t, chances are you won’t.  On the other hand, if you think you can, wonderful things will begin to happen.  Life will give back to you a reward for your perseverance.  If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.  Don’t expect others to see gold where you can only see dust.  If you don’t believe that you are capable then you are doomed.  Focus on your vision and not your current circumstances.  Renew your mind so that it aligns itself with the kingdom of God.  If you can believe that all things are possible, then all things are possible.  What’s possible for you is not based on what others think but on what you think.  Proverbs 23:7 says “as a man thinks in his heart so is he.”  Think positive, act positive and you will get positive results.

It’s never too late to start over.  Your past is gone.  Shape your future and make the most of the present.  You are not perfect but neither is anyone else.  You’ve made mistakes but so has everyone else.  So relax.  God has given you everything you need to become the person He created you to be but it is up to you to pursue that dream in your heart.  You deserve the best and when you have achieved all that you have set out to do, give God the glory and remember that you are blessed to be a blessing.

What’s Motivating You?

Every successful person will tell you that he/she had someone or something that kept them motivated during their climb to success. That motivating factor influenced them during the difficult times when they thought about giving up. You can find motivation everywhere and not all motivation comes from something positive. It’s easy to take a positive comment and use it as motivation but it is also possible to take negative comments and use it as fuel to press on. Turn the tables on negativism. Feed on it. Don’t let it defeat you or cause you to give up. Instead let negativism challenge you, view it as an opportunity to show what you are really made of.

If a person is correctly motivated, there is nothing that can stop them from accomplishing their goals. That is why you should surround yourself with people who support and encourage you and avoid people who put up barriers to what you want to accomplish and achieve in life. If someone tells you that you can’t do something it only means that you can’t accomplish your goal with them. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Feed on positivity and let that propel you into positive action.

God is our final say in who and what’s negative and who and what’s positive in our lives. With God all things are possible. Therefore, you’re absolutely capable of doing anything. You can because of who you are. You are a child of God. Let the thought of pleasing God motivate you to do more, be more and make a difference in this world.

 

Keep Moving

There is only one way to move in the kingdom of God and that is forward! Believers should always be growing and moving forward because if we are not going forward we are either standing still or falling behind. Time continues to move.  Nothing stays the same. Move on to what is next and embrace all that God has for you.  Moving forward will require a higher level of faith but your past victories are there to uplift and encourage you. Don’t fear the future and know that there will also be new battles to fight. Your past victories are to encourage you to keep moving. When we get to a place when the way forward looks difficult, we often tend to take a glance back over our shoulder to see what it is we’ve left behind. We are tempted to think that it’s just easier to turn around and go back or remain where we are than it is to continue to move forward.  We already know what is behind us and the fear of the unknown is real. We are comfortable with what is familiar. We’ve been there and done that and besides, there’s no faith required to go back to where you once were. However, if we always do what we have always done, then we will only receive more of what we already have.

Don’t ever become stuck at where you are right now. If you do, you are settling for less. Want more – you deserve more and the tests you will face will show God how badly you want everything that He has for you. Hold onto your promises and let the tests strengthen you.  There is only one way to pass your tests and that is to keep moving forward. There can never be a time or place in our lives that we stop moving forward! You are not finished yet! The future is full of all kinds of possibilities. We must never accept as permanent what is supposed to only be temporary. Your present stage is meant to be temporary; you have many more steps to climb so never give what is temporary permission to become permanent. Don’t become complacent and stop moving. Standing still won’t get you where you want to go! Turning back leaves you powerless to move forward and remember that other people have a vested interest in you and they want to see that you are determined to keep moving forward no matter what. Always look towards the future with hope and know that every step you take is one step closer to fulfilling God’s plan for your life.

 

Love God. Love People.

Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is to “the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second commandment is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I think the focus on loving people has been lost. It starts by each person loving people. We need to help people feel loved and respected because that’s what Jesus did and God wants us to model what Jesus did. We are to see the good that is inside other people, build a relationship with them and demonstrate a love that is a reflection of God’s love.

I think somewhere along the journey we forget about loving our neighbor as ourselves. We think that going to church week after week and worshiping God is all we need to do. However, showing God how much we love Him goes much further and deeper than that. One of the ways for us to love God first is to love what He loves – the people He has made. Put action to your words. Influence your world. Make a difference in someone’s life. Demonstrate your love for God by giving. Giving a little bit of your time is the most precious thing you can do. Make a phone call, bake a cake, send a card are just a few things we can do to let someone know that we are thinking about them. In loving others, you are loving God. When you do something for someone, you show God that what is important to Him is also important to you.

Love God. Love people. Do something with the life that you have been blessed with. Take pleasure in putting a smile on someone’s face. Demonstrating your love for others shows God that you truly love Him with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your mind because you are honoring the first and greatest commandment.

Jesus Is The Answer

In Ecclesiastes, the 3rd chapter, the Bible tells us “there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to up root, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build . . .” I do not believe we can build the kingdom of God in a way that is pleasing to Him until we realize that now is the time to tear down the walls that are dividing us. Then and only then can the kingdom of God reign upon the earth. Galatians 3: 26–28 says “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  God wants us all to understand that race, culture, ethnicity, skin color, rich, poor, educated, uneducated – these things should not divide us. Martin Luther King, Jr had a dream that one day his four little children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Unfortunately, that dream has yet to be realized because some people feel that they are valued less than others based solely upon who they are.

In John 4th chapter Jesus is leaving Jerusalem on his way to Galilee. On the way to Galilee, Jesus and his disciples take a route that leads them through Samaria. There was a deep hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans and the Jews avoided Samaritans at all costs, but Jesus showed us that the love of God extends to all people. In Samaria Jesus sat down by a well and when a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Just speaking to this woman addressed a racial and a cultural problem. Jews would never drink from a vessel that had been used by a Samaritan but Jesus purposely came to that particular well to offer that woman living water which is eternal life. Jesus is teaching us a valuable lesson. The kingdom of God does not recognize social, racial or cultural differences. How could it? God created man in His own image and the cross justifies and redeems everyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Eternal life is available to all and judging people based on their differences is not how God wants it to be.

The answer to all things that divide us is Jesus. Jesus wants us to find unity in Him. This means breaking with any prejudices that we might have. Believers must be like Jesus. The only Jesus some people might see is you, so don’t hold back, be involved and make a difference. Offer the living water to all in the same way that Jesus did. Colossians 3 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Now is the time to step outside our comfort zones and not be content with the way things presently are. Let’s reach out to all people of all nationalities and enjoy the diversity that God has created.

Need A Faith-Lift?

Whether we like to think about it or not, we all are getting older day by day. Some people even try to stop the aging process by paying for a tuck here or a lift there to make themselves look ten years younger. Regardless, time marches on and no one will ever be able to beat the clock and stop the aging process. The good news is that II Cor. 4:16 says “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Even though we can’t stop the aging process, we do have a way to grow and mature spiritually. A faith-lift is free and available to anyone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Since our faith is or should be centered in the Lord, it should come from the Lord. Our faith cannot be lifted by an outside source. I think we all need to focus more on the Lord and knowing Him personally. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” It’s easy to lose heart in life if you pay attention to the events going on in our world today. Focusing on terrorism, racial tensions, the economy or politics won’t work. They won’t satisfy. They won’t result in fulfillment. You will never really begin the process of being renewed day by day until you begin the process of drawing nearer to God. Knowing God is vital to life and once we begin to know God better our faith will be lifted higher and higher and our attitude to the otherwise alarming world events will be one of courage, hope and an assuring confidence that God is still in control.

Christ asked a question in Luke 18:8: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” The fact that He even had to ask is a good indication that faith will be scarce at the time of His return. Hebrews 10:38 states that “the just shall live by faith.” Do you need a faith-lift? If fear knocked on your door today will faith answer? Believers who undergo a faith-lift have a reality of God’s sustaining and intervening presence in their lives. Be certain that you live with that same reality.  Seek God daily and watch your faith lift you where you have never gone before.

The Goodness Of God

All of my life God has been good to me and I’m sure that if you look back over your life, you have the same testimony. I’m reminded of what David said in Psalms 37 “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.” In other words, God never changes! He took care of the generations before you and will do so even after you are gone all because He’s the same yesterday, today and forever!

God’s reason for blessing you down through the years is not just for you alone, but that you might be a blessing to others. He gives us favor when we don’t deserve it and He withholds from us what we really do deserve because of our sin nature. He protects us from dangers, both seen and unseen. He works out for our good the situations that we put ourselves in due to disobedience. The goodness of God is everlasting and it is immeasurable.

If you are young you have so much to look forward to. If you have been walking with the Lord for a long time you know without a shadow of a doubt that God is faithful. You know how important it is to wait on the Lord because God might not come when we want Him to but He’s always right on time. Over and over again you have seen how God takes our setbacks and miraculously turns them into set ups that propel us into our destiny. You have seen God open doors  that no man could have opened on their own. God is known for making a way out of no way. He is the one keeping us alive. He did it for that great cloud of witnesses and He is still doing it for you and for me. That is why David could speak of the goodness of God in the past and present tense. God has been God for a very long time and that is why it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, every child of God will have a personal testimony to share about the love and grace of God.

The righteous will never be forsaken. That will never change. Therefore, when the enemy of your soul throws fiery darts at you don’t give up – don’t quit. “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!” (1 John 4:4). I believe as David did that goodness and mercy will follow those who believe in God all the days of their lives. This promise covered not only those who came before us, but it is true for this present generation and every generation to come. Stop and give thanks to God today for what He has already done in your life and for what He has promised to do for those who will come after you. Remember the words of 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Eye has not seen nor ear heard neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love him.”

Are You Empty or Full?

There is the story of two buckets. One bucket was an optimist and the other bucket was a pessimist. One day the two buckets were walking to the well and the pessimistic bucket said “There has never been a life as disappointing as mine. Even though I always come away from the well full, I always return empty.” The optimistic bucket said “There has never been a life as happy as mine. Even though I come to the well empty, I always go away full again.”

As we look back over the days of our lives, we can look at life as being something positive or as something negative. We can look back with regret or with rejoicing. It all depends on what we focus on. There are those who see the glass half full and others who see it half empty. There are some people who look at their life and see only the negative, while there are others that choose to see the positive. You can look back and see all the trials you experienced and become bitter that your life’s path was so difficult, or you can look back at the trials and be blessed by how the trials strengthened and matured you and were used of God to bring you closer to Him.

Satan likes to make the most of our misery and cause us to doubt God. Our questions of “why” may lead us to distrust the love of God and wonder whether God cares about us at all.   In this state you are seeing life as half empty.  We will never know all the answers to our questions, but there should be no doubt about God’s love, mercy and compassion for us. In the middle of a tough time you might not always see it or appreciate it, but be assured that God will never leave nor forsake you. There are some things and some situation in life where you are just going to have to trust God. It doesn’t matter how good you are, bad things happen to good people sometimes to enable us to understand that God can make a way out of no way for you.  This revelation will cause you to see life as full.

Is your faith in God pessimistic or optimistic? Would you describe your life as disappointing or happy? Do you see only the troubles or the blessings? Have your encounters with God left you empty or is your spirit so full that you can’t help but share the good news of Jesus Christ wherever you go? I pray that you are optimistic, happy, blessed and full of the spirit of God. The world needs your light to shine like never before. Share your testimony. Lift up the name of Jesus and God will do the rest.