The Struggle

For some, the struggle to do what is right is a daily fight. This struggle includes making wise decisions, being considerate of others, standing up for justice, doing what God says to do, and do it well. Why is this struggle so great?

The struggle to do right is greater because it is so much easier to give in to temptation. It is easier to think and act selfishly. It is easier to cuss someone out than to think about how to say what you want to say. It is easier to go along to get along than to stand on principles aligned with God’s Word.

If the struggle to do right was easy, many people would be saved and living abundant lives. But it is so much easier for people to live unsaved, without thinking about the consequences of their action, and how what they do impacts others. Since there are so many people struggling to live–without fear, without concern about finances or what the economy will bring or what the politicians will do, we know the struggle is real, we know there are people who have yet to find peace with Jesus, who are yet unsaved.

Lord Jesus, help us in our struggles to do what is right and help others to do the same. Help us to fight the good fight of faith in You, not self. Help us to resist the devil and watch him flee from us.

Demonstrated Love!

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans5:6-8 NIV

That’s how God demonstrates His love for us, but how do we demonstrate our love for others? Are we to die for them–in an attempt to make ourselves seemingly more spiritual? No, there is no further need for a sacrifice by the death of anyone to demonstrate love to anyone.

We demonstrate our love for God, by living a life that is pleasing to Him.  We know how He wants us to live by reading His Word and when know we have pleased Him because of our relationship with Him.

We demonstrate our love for our children by always providing them with wise instruction, correcting and disciplining them along the way. We make sure that all their physical needs are met–appropriate housing, food and clothing. Buying them whatever they want, whenever they want it, is not a demonstration of love, but a demonstration of not knowing how to love since real love–cannot be purchased.

We demonstrate our love for others in how we treat them–considerate at all times, helpful when needed and living a life before them that demonstrates God’s love for us. When we love others, we know we must warn and admonish them when their actions are unseemly–or ungodly. We don’t allow those we say we love to continue on a dangerous path and say nothing. If we warn them and they ignore us–we have served our purpose, but if they heed the warning, they are saved from tragedy and God is pleased.

We demonstrate our love our spouses, by what we do for them, not just in saying words. Words are good–everyone likes to hear, “I love you,” but words without action fail to adequately represent what love is. I’d rather see love in action than hear words–with nothing behind them. The reality of love between spouses is not a feeling, but a commitment–to stay the course–no matter what. Our feelings are too fickle to rely on since one minute–we’re elated and the next–we’re depressed, oppressed, angry, and all out of shape. Emotional reactions seldom cement relationships of any type and in a marriage–they are prone to ignite other issues–that would not exist, when love is demonstrated because then, we know how to step back from a situation and think before we act.

As long as human beings are capable of emotions that run rampant, we’ll have songs of love and songs of hurt and betrayal, but the most important thing any of us can do is to see the love God has for us, and do as He does.When we love as He does, we’re quick to forgive and keep going, as we are guided by Him.

His Delight!

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes the grass grow on the hills, He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him,, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11 NIV

When we have “reverential” fear of The Lord–having a desire to please and trust in Him alone, He delights in us.

The “fear” referenced in this passage is not about being scared or afraid–but in acknowledging that without Him, we can do nothing and our hope and trust is in Him--not what we can do. This fear–is about pleasing Him and not causing Him to be ashamed of anything we do. And make no mistake about it–we can cause Him to be ashamed of us and He will turn His back on us when we willfully live in opposition to His Word.

Consider the parents of those who kill and maim others for no other reason than their boredom. The parents still love them, but they are ashamed of their children’s poor decision-making and behavior. How many parents have had to turn in their child for doing stupid or illegal things? Some parents will and some won’t.

We have recently seen a situation in which a young man was hiding out in his mother’s home and a child was killed by police when they were searching for him. To allow someone to hide out in our house when we know they have committed a crime is not good parenting–they need to pay for their crimes, otherwise, we invite more stupidity to arrive on our doorsteps–which is what happened to this child who was killed. If the father had never been in the home after committing a crime, the child would still be alive. When we do stupid, there is no need to look for fault in anyone other than ourselves.

God takes no delight in our foolishness, but He does delight in our willingness to obey and please Him. We demonstrate our willingness to obey and please Him by honoring His Word on a daily basis and not just on Sunday. For the Lord knows those who are His and though we may attempt to fool others or ourselves about a right relationship with Him, He is never fooled.

Instead of plotting to deceive Him or others, we should utilize the time in praising Him for His goodness and mercy. It is because of His love that we are yet able to do all the things we do. But we must remember that it is because of what He has poured into us that we are able to do anything, well.

Realizing His greatness and the place He has in our hearts and the role He plays in our lives--is cause to sing a new song of praise unto Him. When we know that everything we have or are capable of doing–the gifts He has given–deserve our praise to Him.

Some people think that blessings are only material possessions, but I declare the blessings of the Lord are His mercy, grace and love, and wisdom from above. I know I’m blessed because of His love and I will praise Him with every breath I take! For in my praise, He takes great delight!

Which Path Are We Travelling?

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flow from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:18,19; 24-27 NIV

Many of us are travelling different paths to get to the same destination. As long as we are mindful of where we are and where we’re going, the destination should not change, even if we run into detours along the way.

As a Believer–our final destination is heaven, but our destiny is designed and planned by God and we will fulfill it as long as we stay on the path He has established for us–on this side of heaven. Though the road gets weary and the obstacles keep coming–we must face forward, knowing what is ahead of us and forgetting those things behind us for we cannot turn back the hand of time and restart or do over.

However, when we realize we have taken a wrong turn–the turn that takes us off the path where God would have us, we must immediately, seek His path again. We seek His path on a continuous basis by staying in His Word, focusing on doing things the way He would have us do them, not the way we would do them.

Our hearts–the spiritual inner person–must always be attuned to Holy Spirit so we do the right thing at all times. This is why we are warned to guard our hearts–we must not allow evil thoughts or thoughts of opposing God to enter into our hearts, for when we do, we place ourselves on the path of the wicked and the darkness in our hearts is visible for all to see.

Let us continue to travel the path on this journey in life that God has set before us–so that all may see our good works and glorify God–as the light from the Son, shines brightly in our hearts and we become beacons in the middle of darkness, for those searching for the right path–the path of righteous–so they, too will reach the destination God desires for us all at the appointed time. Our destiny is the fulfillment of all God has poured in us to do here on earth, but our destination–is to live with Him–forevermore.

Praying For Others!

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

And all the people of God will stand firm on His Word, mindful of the results of the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous, praying  at all times for those who are walking in the Spirit and for those who are not that they, too will come into the knowledge of Christ, submit their hearts to Him, and live to please Him, until all is fulfilled according to The Word and Jesus returns!

And this is how we pray for others that we may all live in peace, praising Him and glorifying Him with every word and deed.If we are walking in faith, ready to receive all of His many benefits, I declare by the power working in me and the authority given me that all who are willing to receive healing in their body, mind, and spirit–are healed. I further declare that poverty is stricken from the minds and lives of all who are willing to live by faith and work to accomplish all that God has put into their hearts to do and all will live in the fullness of His great riches  to His glory. I stand on God’s Word that His Love–will flow out of all those who know Him onto those who don’t and that love, will become greater as it is demonstrated as He is.

And all who agreed with this prayer–so that the unity of the spirit will work mightily in all to accomplish the word–the power of two or three in agreement–said Amen and it is done.

Be Still and Rest!

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:7-11 NIV

At some point in our lives, we sometimes think we have to be busiest when challenges arise. We get upset, angry, defiant, rebellious and simply want to bulldoze everyone and everything–we think gets in our way. That’s the carnal mind that influences those types of thoughts.

The spiritual person–the one who allows Holy Spirit to speak to them and they listen–can rest in the middle of the storms of life. They know the battle is not theirs, but the Lords. They also know that no matter what happens, if they just stay focused on the One who has already made us victorious, right versus might will win every time. The Word tells us to “be still and know that He is God.”

It’s time to rest–physically, naturally, and spiritually–time to stop trying to determine where the enemy will attack us next. It doesn’t matter–the enemy is already defeated and we simply have to bide our time, patiently waiting to see how God works things out in our lives. God doesn’t need our help–we need Him.

So, if we need Him, why do we wear ourselves out trying to figure out–what happens next? God knows and when we truly belong to Him–totally submitted to His guidance, we have no need to worry, fret or get angry–we simply rest in Him, knowing that the battle–whether in the natural or spiritual, is already won.

Rest in Him today–physically and spiritually and keep your heart open to Him and watch what He does. I’m smiling already, knowing that He has me glad and it is the joy of The Lord that is my strength. I can rest–totally at peace–knowing that He holds all things in His hands and since I am belong to Him–no weapon–not jealousy, envy, poverty, sickness–nothing formed and fashioned to harm me, will succeed.

It’s hallelujah time! Praising Him while I get still and rest in Him!

Give Thanks!

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night,

On an instrument of ten strings,
On the lute,
And on the harp,
With harmonious sound.

For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.

O LORD, how great are Your works!
Your thoughts are very deep. Psalm 92:1-5 NKJV

“O Give Thanks” appears 19 times in the King James Version and a reminder to us of thanksgiving–giving thanks 28 times.

If we are yet alive, breathing and able to see, hear, and move; have family that love us and friends who care, we have something we can give thanks to God for and if we have received His Son–the work on the cross–our means of salvation, then we can truly shout–Thank You, Lord!

Every day should be a day of giving thanks for if it had not been for The Lord on our side, where would we be?

I start each day, thanking God for life, health, strength, ability to move, see and talk. I thank Him for the wisdom He is constantly pouring into me and for loving me enough to use me to promote Him. It is His mercy and grace that have kept me thus far and it will be His mercy and grace that keeps me until He desires me to be with Him, for all eternity.

Thank You, Lord! If I had 10,000 tongues, I couldn’t praise You enough and there are no words to express my gratitude for all You’ve done for me. But when we all get together, seated at Your feet, my love for You will radiate through the heavens, just as my love for You is now demonstrated in my desire to please You and You alone. For You and You alone are worthy of all praise!

Those are my thoughts about giving thanks! I pray that everyone who reads this today or whenever, will have just as much or more to be thankful for. He deserves our praise and thanks giving just because of who He is!

What The Wise Get!

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you. If you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:8-12 NIV

The wise person will always seek one is wiser than they are to instruct and guide them–not only in spiritual matters, but in everyday matters. For it would be foolishness to seek understanding from one who has not demonstrated understanding of how God works and His plan for all.

In every area of business–no matter how big or small–the successful person or business does not gain success simply because of who they are or what they know on their own, but because of wise guidance–by those who have traveled the path before and know the way.

If we do not know where we’re going, we cannot lead others anywhere. This is true in business and in the church. If there is no plan to succeed, failure is the only option.

A business plan includes anticipatory results–a budget and a timeline to implement all activities. A good business plan will also include the possibility of not meeting goals and will always provide a contingency plan.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier for many if we just had a contingency plan? That is not to say we should anticipate failure, but that we should consider other options to ensure success. In order to get from one destination to another–we have to be prepared for the detours so we don’t get stuck in one place.

Knowing there will be detours in our lives--the unexpected challenge or obstacle–we should always have a back-up plan and a back-up plan for our back-up. This is what we need to do to move forward in the natural.

On the spiritual level–we need Holy Spirit to direct us at all times. If we truly relied upon Him, He would warn us of those obstacles and we would know that a plan of escape has already been planted in our spirits, so we will not fail–but succeed.

Now, the measure of success is a matter of perception and perspective. I learned a long time ago to see my success as having accomplished all that I set out to do. And all of my success–is because of who He is, not who I am. Going back to school as an older adult and getting on the Dean’s list–was all because of Him. Even when I was tired and couldn’t see straight–studying–He gave me strength and courage to keep going. As a result, not only did I complete a BA, but continued to an MA and now, have completed all coursework for a Ph.D–considered by academia–an ABD.

It is because of Him–that new dreams are becoming a reality and He is paving the way for things I had not even considered–because I am always seeking Him for direction; I know all will be well.

The same God–the only wise God–is ready to pour out His wisdom upon all who seek Him. The wise indeed get wiser when they are willing to learn. When we learn of Him and from Him, we know true success in all areas of our lives.