​Do you ever feel like your faith and trust in God begins to waiver? Do you feel doubt nibble at your heart and mind? It happens to  many of us at one point or another through life. Frustration and discouragement are usually the result. When that happens you often begin to neglect praying, quietly wondering if it makes any difference after all. Sometimes gathering with other believers begins to slip by as well. God understands how fragile we can be and how our faith can waiver. That’s why He addresses it so specifically in His word, the Bible. 
 “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 
If we want your faith to be strengthened it is clear that you must not neglect God’s Word in your lives. A lukewarm heart toward God’s word and a doubting mind go hand in hand. Don’t let yourself drift away from God’s Word. Don’t let your Bible go unopened for days.
To grow in your faith you must expose yourself to God’s truths in the Bible. You can’t know what God has to say to you if you’re not in His word. When you are in a valley it is especially important to give God opportunity to speak to you.
If doubt in your God is invading your heart and mind these days, do a check. Where is your Bible? Chances are you have allowed your heart and your relationship with God to become lukewarm. Lukewarm-ness and doubting are partners.
Spend time reading God’s Word. Start in the book of John or a Psalm a day along with a Proverb or use a good devotional book based on Scripture. Always ask God’s Spirit to open your heart and mind to receive what He has to show you. Take some time and let God know the discouragements of your heart and ask Him to speak to you. Your faith will grow as you hear and believe the Word of God.
Remember: 

Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Not my will Lord, but Your will be Done!

There are so many times that we don’t know what to do, where we are so perplexed, so troubled, but today we need choose faith, we choose Him. We must never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Yet in all of our prayers we should always remember that God’s will, must always come before our will. The sweetest lesson I have learned in my walk with the Lord is to let the Him choose for me.” 

“He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Not my will Lord, but Your will be done..” Matthew 26:39

Obedience is not the absence of doubt or fear. It is an act of faith and trust. Jesus was a perfect example. He knew that His purpose was to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He also knew that His death would be an excruciating, painful ordeal. In His anguish He came to God His Father and asked if it was possible to let the suffering that He was to face be put off. But in the next breath, He chose to exercise the gut wrenching faith that you and I are called to follow. Against His circumstantial evidence, against His desire to be free from such terrific agony, He submitted Himself to His loving Father. His Father, our Almighty God, almighty in love, in knowledge and in power.

Our Lord Jesus modeled the faith and trust that you and I need in order to live the life God has for us. He prayed, “I want Your will to be done, not mine.” That’s it, isn’t it? That says it all. Faith and obedience come together. Love and trust intersect. What is it you are struggling with? What is it that you can not understand? What difficulties have you at your wits’ end? Come to God. Follow Christ and in faith surrender yourself to your loving Father and pray what Jesus prayed, “Not my will Lord, but Your will be done.”************

Have a wonderful day as you remain in God’s presence praying not my will, but your will be done. Love you all. 

HUMBLE YOURSELVES?

Being humble for most people brings to mind a form of weakness. If someone practices humility, it means they’re not a “go-getter” and don’t care about performance or working hard. It’s the weak one who is humble and is dependent on someone else (hopefully you sense my sarcasm). Why do you suppose the Bible has so much to say about being humble? Maybe we’ve got it all wrong and the one who practices humility is actually the strong one?

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7

God cares for us. He is mighty. He calls us to humble ourselves under Him. Not because He is a controlling God that wants you to bow down to Him because you are nothing, but rather because He wants to exalt us and care for us. As we humble ourselves, that is when we truly worship Him. We’re trusting Him with what’s going on in our lives and believing He is the provider instead of ourselves.

Stop Putting Everything On Your Shoulders

I’ve noticed lately in the majority of my conversations with people that everyone is tired. We’re busy. We’re weary. We’re taking on a lot of responsibilities. We’re working hard for our families. We’re trying to attend as many social events as possible. We’re trying to pay the bills as best as we can. We’re just trying to “get by.”

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus doesn’t seem to be talking about a life that is full of anxiousness and weariness as we follow Him. He makes a point to state the exact opposite on how we can find rest in Him. He is speaking to those that labor and are heavy laden.

I can’t speak for you personally, but I know for a fact that we are all suffering from this. We are working too hard. We are thinking way too much mentally. We are putting things on our shoulders that don’t belong there. We are forgetting what Jesus said and what He has done when we feel that it’s “all on us” to get things to happen. Most of the time, we’re probably putting so much effort into the wrong things all together (I am guilty of this too).

In today’s culture, we’re told if you labor and are heavy laden then you are doing the right thing. You are sacrificing for your family and friends. You are pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and working hard to hopefully one day achieve paradise (retirement) where you get to do nothing as you live out the rest of your days. This is wrong. Don’t let culture tell you that putting everything on your shoulders is wisdom. Trust Jesus when He tells you that His burden is light.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7

Trust In God’s Character

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

Most of the time when we don’t humble ourselves, we are really saying we don’t trust God. There are times as a follower of Christ when we forget God’s character or doubt Him. We’re told in Scripture to think on the things of God. To meditate on anything worthy of praise.

These things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, or excellent are all praiseworthy because God is all these things. You’ll never find an area of the Bible that contradicts God’s character at the end of the day and that should encourage us in those moments of doubt.

Most of all, when God gave His one and only Son for us (John 3:16), it tells us a lot about His character. That sure doesn’t seem to come across to me like a God who is a tyrant and just demands power all the time. It doesn’t seem to match up to a God that doesn’t care about us. He knew that we could only come to Him through His Son who had to suffer and die before rising again. With that perfect knowledge that only God can have, He followed through and sacrificed His Son for us. Not only does that tell us everything we need to know about God’s character, that shows us just how much He loves us.

Look At The Humility Of Jesus

Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Out of obedience to His Father, He humbled Himself all the way to the point of death on the cross. The Bible says because of this that God exalted Him just like how it says He will exalt us (1 Peter 5:6-7).

“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:8-11

If Jesus practiced humility Himself, then why would we think we don’t need to? Why would we consider this weakness? Even He was dependent on His Father and this was a good thing, in fact, the best thing. It was a God glorifying thing in every way. We couldn’t even have a relationship with God if it wasn’t for what Jesus did for us in the first place (John 14:6). We had to humble ourselves to trust that Jesus is King and to ask Him to be our Lord and Savior. This is no different today whether you’ve been a believer for a week or 50 years.

We still need Him in everything we do. We still need the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom in all matters. We still need help to practice things that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, or anything praiseworthy. We are still not capable of doing anything on our own and will never be. As soon as we begin to live in a way where we are no longer dependent on God to do everything for us, we are forgetting our first love and proclaiming what Christ did for us was not enough.

As you’re reading this, take a deep breath and let it out. It’s going to be ok. As a follower of Christ, no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, I promise that you can give it to Him. This is because God’s Word is true. What Jesus did was enough. And you have the Holy Spirit and can trust Him to lead and guide you. Humble yourself and pray to God truly casting your anxieties to Him and trust that He does indeed care for you.

Questions: Are you trusting yourself in the midst of your trials? What anxieties do you need to confess to the Lord? Do you have a hard time being humble? Please comment below.

Committing Everything Into His Hands!

A life lived by fully trusting God begins with a simple faith in the forgiveness offered through Jesus. But this simple faith will grow as we apply it to the varied and difficult circumstances, which inevitably come our way. Not many of us begin with the faith of Peter; “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28). Rather, we cautiously test the water by trusting God in small areas of our life. But as we see His promises hold true and witness the blessings of walking in obedience, we ought to begin to step with greater confidence and trust Him more and more.


“Into Your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.” Psalm 31:5

Fully trusting God is difficult! Every day we are bombarded with things which attempt to pull us away from God and steal our joy. Though He is walking right beside us, and absolutely nothing catches Him by surprise, we seldom even think of Him during our day. This should not be! If we are truly His child, we are being called to trust Him with ALL and allow Him to live in and through us – this is the life He desires for us to live.

We must continually believe the truth of His Word and allow our faith to mature by taking steps, which lead us, closer to God – even if our steps of faith seem small. With each new step, we will more clearly see the truth of God’s promises. We will begin to see past the visible garbage of this world and begin to gaze with wonder on “Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). The life of contentment and peace is the life of total commitment and surrender.

What part of your life are you holding back from God? If you really believe He created the Universe and sent His Son to die for the forgiveness of your sins and mine so we can spend eternity with Him, isn’t it foolish for us to think we can do a better job of controlling ANYTHING? If you trust Him for our eternal destiny, shouldn’t you trust Him for the much more common matters of your daily life? Our God is VERY capable and He CAN be trusted!

We are being called to believe and trust with all our heart. Let’s not allow another day to go by without fully committing our body, soul, mind and spirit, our absolute all and EVERY area of our life, into His hands.

***********

Have a wonderful day as you continue to trust God and commit everything into His hands. Love you all. 

What to Do In Difficult Times!

I can guarantee you in this fallen world we are living in we all will go through difficult times. So when you are in a struggle, when dark clouds hover, when disappointment or betrayal meet you unexpectedly, what is the best way to respond? Let me encourage with these three things to always remember when you’re going through a difficult time. 

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Don’t give in. We are not to give in to the things the enemy wants to use to bring us into defeat. His scheme is to have us focus the eyes of our faith upon the darkness of the cloud that has appeared over us, rather than focusing upon the glory of His light that shines over us and above it all.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up on life. There is hope. It is not all over. What has happened is a chapter in your story, but it is not the final chapter. If people are directly involved in the problem, don’t give up on them. Forgive. Pray for everyone involved. Speak blessings over their lives (it is a good thing to desire God’s best for every life). 

Do give the matter to the Lord. He knows what has happened, He knows your heart, and He knows exactly what to do. God can make a way, open a door, build a bridge, restore a loss, heal a wound, or renew a relationship. Let Him work. Wait. God still changes hearts.

Who are battling?

​’For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
My dear friends let me encourage you like I do myself to not be surprised by the fiery attacks daily on your mind. The Bible teaches us about a war that is raging 24/7. A spiritual war. The Bible also teaches us how to be victorious in the battle. Everyday we are to “put on the armor of God” to protect ourselves from the evil of this world. Behind every heartache, sorrow, suffering, wrong-doing, set-back is an evil spirit or spiritual force in the heavenly realms seeking to hinder God’s plans for your life.
God himself is fully aware of these attacks and has already mapped out our victory. Yes sometimes the damage takes place anyway, but God still brings us out victorious. This is why prayer and intimate time with God is important to the Christian life. It is where we find comfort in times of trouble, strength in times of weakness, and healing in times of pain. My prayer for you today is that when you find yourself in the thick of the battle, call upon the Lord and say “help me Jesus”, and at that instant the battle becomes His, and you have to do is to simple trust Him as He fights this battle for you.

You matter 

​It’s amazing how many times people are un-thanked, un-appreciated, and unacknowledged.
 When I think of people who made the biggest impact in my life, it was not their expertise or accomplishments that provided me with the direction, guidance and reassurance I needed to accomplish my goals. It was their sincere belief in me. They let me know through their words and actions that I mattered. The people in your life want that same validation. In fact, every single person you will ever meet shares this common desire. They want to know they matter.
“The measure of a life is not what that life accomplishes but rather the impact that life has on others.” -Jackie Robinson
The ultimate present you can give another is your PRESENCE. How many times have you been in a conversation with someone, and you know their mind is in another place? How many times have you felt “un-noticed” when someone was looking right at you? You do not have to be available for everyone in every moment … but when you have someone’s time and attention; honor it with your presence. Really make that person the center of your attention and experience, even if only for a few minutes. It does wonders in the mattering department! Today I heard from a friend. It was a simple text message asking how I was doing and It mattered.
It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. It could be a smile, wink, or tweet. It could be an email or a pat on the back for encouragement. Or, a call to say, “hi – how ya doin’, you were on my mind. Almost always, it’s something small that makes a big difference. So, do sweat the small stuff.
 Mattering is a choice. Give yourself that option every day. It doesn’t matter how you do it- it only matters that you do it. You can say it, write it, tweet it, or deliver the message in person. Make the choice every day to tell, offer, thank, encourage, inspire, and let others know you notice and believe in them. It could be and often will be the most powerful thing you do all day. Is mattering on your TO DO list? I’ll leave you with this final thought and challenge. Can you imagine what kind of world we can create by each of us knowing we matter, believing in ourselves and supporting one another? Can you imagine how actions you take today could make a difference in some one’s life tomorrow? And that ripple would last for generations? I can, and I know this simple, clear message of “YOU MATTER” has the power to change lives and change the world.

Be strong and courageous!

We can let fear dominate our life or we can choose to be strong and courageous. I say we can “choose” but have you noticed in today’s verse it is a command? Why would God do that? Why would He command us to be strong and courageous? Because we NEED it and He is WORTHY of it! However, we do have options. We can let fear grip our heart and influence our decisions. We can rationalize why we can’t be strong or courageous. We can justify why we should be discouraged and drown in self-pity and yet what does God command? “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Today, decide to obey the Lord. Be strong and courageous in all you face today. Have a wonderfully blessed day in the presence of the Lord. Love you all. 

 

 “This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Like Joshua we have to be strong and courageous, and remember that God will never leave us or forsake us. We know in our heads that God will never leave us or forsake us, but when a crisis hits, we often feel like He already has.

In moments of confusion or pain, we can get really disoriented The God who seemed like He was on our side yesterday suddenly seems like He doesn’t even know our names. In those times of confusion, we need to insist to ourselves what we know to be true: that He hasn’t left and He isn’t going to. He is still on our side.

Like Joshua, we face big moments of decision, times when we have to put our faith on the line and be strong and courageous. We may fear the outcome, but we don’t have to. Even if the outcome isn’t what we expected, God will be with us in the surprise or disappointment. But He will also be with us in many victories. Whatever we have to walk through, He is there.

Stake everything on that, no matter how present or absent He seems to be. Trust Him even when you can’t sense Him. He made a binding promise to be with you. And He never breaks a promise.

Do you desire to have an attitude like Christ? 

Do you desire to have an attitude like Christ? What does your current attitude reflect? Keep a close eye on your attitude. Ask yourself if your attitude is the same as that of Jesus throughout the day. If it’s not, pray about it and decide to change it! Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. Love you all. 


“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

 

The Bible tells us that our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus. I think we all fall short of that every single day. Jesus’ attitude was amazing. He always loved, always forgave, and He always put others first. We on the other hand at times tend to be selfish, putting ourselves first, and while we try to love, at times it is a selfish love. We sometimes get angry when things don’t go our way. Or when we don’t get to do what we want, we sometimes get a bad attitude. When people put us down we don’t always remember to pray for them as Jesus did for His betrayers as He was hanging on the cross.

 

While we always seem to fall short, we can take heart in the fact that God has promised to continue to work in us until the end (Philippians 1:6). We are not perfect today nor will we be perfect tomorrow, but as believers we have the Holy Spirit working in us and each day we are drawing closer to being more like Jesus. Our attitude will be transformed by reading God’s Word, and having the desire to be more like Christ. We will learn that our attitude reflects either our own sinful nature or it can reflect the Holy Spirit living in us. I pray that it is the latter more than the first, but even if it isn’t, we have God’s promise that He isn’t done with us yet.

 

Father God, thank you for sending Jesus Christ as our perfect example how to live. Thank you for forgiving us when we fall short, and thank you for the reminder that You will continue to work in us until You bring us home. Please forgive me for being so selfish. Help me to be more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Help my attitude be transformed into the likeness of His. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen and Amen.

The Joy of His Presence!

Joy comes from being in God’s presence. David’s heart was  glad–he had found the secret to joy. True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God’s presence within us. As we contemplate his daily presence, we will find contentment. As we understand the future he has for us, we will experience joy. Don’t base your life on circumstances, but on God. Have a wonderful day as you allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength. In His love and service. 


“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalm 16:11

 

Spending time with God gives us the opportunity to experience God’s love permeating through every cell in our bodies. When we sit or walk alone with Him, away from distractions, He ministers to us. Our hearts can, and do, respond in return, with love for Him. If we don’t take time to allow God to minister to us, our Christianity becomes legalistic and shallow. Our ministry becomes a drag, a duty we come to resent.

 

God desperately wishes for us to know his presence He wishes constantly to be our abiding heavenly Father and to guide us through every aspect of our lives. Just as an earthly father cares and worries for his children, so God wants only the best for us and worries that we may stray from the path he would choose. But, unlike our earthly fathers who sin and err and do not know what is best for us, God knows exactly what circumstance we need to bring us to the “fullness of joy.”

 

Many times in life we run from God’s presence. In times of distress, we cling to what we think we need and have hope in false idols. We have faith in our comforts and we believe our friends and family to be enough to see us through our dark days.

 

The truth is that only in God is there hope. Only in God is there faith. Only in God may we believe and have confidence in the promise of everlasting life, eternally in his presence. If we would but accept that “apart from [him we] can do nothing,” we would find the never ending joy that is in God’s presence alone. (John 15:5)