Thursday, June 30, 2016

Be Not Discouraged or Fearful

Wait on the Lord

"Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"
Psalm 27:14

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do.

We want to be people of action.

We feel better if we are doing something to address our need, but waiting forces us to rely on God.

David learned what it meant to wait.

He was chosen by God to be the next king of Israel, then spent years waiting for the day God's Word would come to pass in his life.

As he waited, a paranoid, egocentric king occupied the throne that had been promised to him.

David spent his time hiding in caves and living among his enemies.

As he waited, he saw good friends murdered and his family and possessions taken.

He saw Israel's enemies wreak havoc on his nation.

Perhaps no one ever faced greater adversity while waiting upon God's promise than David did.

He certainly understood what it meant to become discouraged and fearful.

But David also enjoyed the reward for waiting upon the Lord.

He became the greatest king in Israel's history, and, more importantly, through his trials he became a man after God's own heart.

The psalms David wrote during his days as a fugitive have been cherished words of encouragement for millions of people through the ages.

Through David's descendants came the Messiah.

David's willingness to wait has blessed us all.

Times of waiting on the Lord can be some of the most precious moments in your life (John 11:1–6).

If you are waiting on God for something, read Isaiah 40:31 and find encouragement as you wait for Him to fulfill His promises to you."

From "Experiencing God Day by Day " by Richard Blackaby

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Live in Hope and Confidence

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
   - Hebrews 10:23

Hope in the believer in Christ's life is not wishful thinking.

It is confident expectation.

Those without Christ may wish things were different and wish they knew someone who could change their situations.

The Christian is personally related to the Lord of the universe, who is sovereign not only over all creation but also over every circumstance we experience.

We can live with confidence because our hope is in One who is faithful.

When God speaks, He stands by His word to see that it comes to pass (Isa. 55:11).

When God speaks a word to you, trust Him completely, for God never deceives His children.

If God has indicated to you that He is going to do something, you can be absolutely confident that He will do it.

Do you wonder why unrighteous people seem to prosper while righteous people suffer?

Jesus promised that each would eventually receive a just reward.
(Luke 16:19–31).

Do you wonder if all the effort you have put into training your children in God's ways will bear fruit when they become adults?

God promised it would.
(Prov. 22:6).

Do you wonder if the things you renounced because you follow Jesus will be replaced by God's blessings?

Jesus assured us we would receive a hundred times as much.
(Mark 10:29–30).

Do you doubt that Jesus will return and join us with those who have already died?

Scripture indicates this certainty.
(1 Thess. 4:13–18).

Our hope is not mere speculation in what God might do.

God has given His word on many areas of life regarding things He will do.

We can have confident hope in everything that He has promised."

- From " Experiencing God Day by Day " by Richard Blackaby

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

It's Not Working. ...

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
James 5:16b

God promises all believers that if we live righteously and pray fervently, our prayers will be effective and produce significant results.

How do we treat a promise like this?

We might argue, "But I do pray, and nothing happens!"

Our problem is that we do not hold ourselves accountable to the Scripture.

God's Word says that prayer ought to accomplish much.

If our prayer life is not accomplishing much, what should we do?

If we are praying but seeing no results, should we conclude that this promise is untrue?

Should we excuse this Scripture as impractical and unrealistic?

Or should we examine ourselves to see if we meet its conditions?

James says that fervent prayer avails much.

Could it be that we are not as fervent in our praying as we should be?

Fervent prayer means we do not quit easily.

Fervent prayer means we purposefully spend sufficient time in intercession.

Fervent prayer means we cry out to the Father, sometimes in tears, with our heart and soul.

Fervent prayer comes as the Holy Spirit assists us in praying with groanings too deep for words (Rom. 8:26).

According to James, our righteousness will ensure effective prayer.

God's standard of righteousness is different from ours, for He looks beyond our actions, even beyond our thoughts, directly to our hearts.

How then should we hold ourselves accountable if our prayers are accomplishing little?

If nothing happens when we pray, the problem is not with God.

The problem is with us, for God's Word is absolutely reliable.

If we adhere to what God requires, He will lead us to pray for things that align with His purposes, and God WILL answer our prayers - and in a mighty way."

From "Experiencing God Day by Day" by Richard Blackaby

Stay Strong!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fear Not - Courage and Hope

"A Fear Not Prayer

The Psalmist often leads us in a "Fear not" prayer.

The Psalms are the Bible's great soul book, meant to train us to respond to all life situations and difficulties through prayer and trust in the Lord.

One example is Psalm 56.

David has been seized by the Philistines and he starts to become afraid, but instead he sets his vision on his Lord and Savior in his midst.

He praises God and his word to him:

"Fear not!"

He puts his trust in the Lord…

"When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?"
(Psalm 56:3-4)

What fear is trying to take a hold of you right now?

What threat or trouble are you facing?

Watch and pray with David,

"When I am afraid of _________, I will trust in you, O Lord."



I want you to face adversity with Confidence and firm Determination.

Because I am with you and the Holy Spirit lives in you, you have everything you need to be bold.

Cowardliness is not of My kingdom.

When you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, remember who you are—a child of the eternal King!

Invite Me into the very circumstances that are intimidating you, and let the Light of My powerful Presence strengthen you.

When you choose to live courageously, I am pleased.

And I respond by strengthening your heart, thus increasing your valor.

Expect to encounter hardships as you journey toward heaven, because you live in a very broken world.

This is why Bravery is desperately needed among My followers.

You also need Hope.

My promise to Strengthen your heart is for those who Hope in Me.

Courage and Hope are closely connected in My kingdom.

So I urge you to hold on to your Courage and your Hope.

They are more precious than gold!

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD."
—Psalm 31: 24 NKJV

"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
—Romans 8: 15–17 NKJV

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever."
—1 Timothy 1: 17

"Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast."
—Hebrews 3: 6

From " Jesus Lives " by Sarah Young

Stay Strong! !

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Let Not Your Hearts be Troubled

You, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
PSALM 116: 8

In John 14: 1 –4, Jesus tells His disciples,

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; …I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

In heaven God Himself will wipe the tears from your face.

There'll be no more suffering.

Everything will be new.

No scars on your memories or your heart.

God can take the ugly stains in our lives, those scars that run deep, and transform them into masterpieces of His grace and mercy that will bless others.

It's time for a makeover.

Even now God can turn the ugliness of sin into beauty marks.

Just come to Him and Ask.

Surrender your scars to His gentle touch.

From "Fixing My Eyes on Jesus " by Anne Graham Lotz

Stay Strong!

Friday, June 17, 2016

On That We Can Depend

Let God be enough.

Jesus concludes his call to calmness with this challenge:

"Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need"(Matt. 6: 32–33 NLT).

Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you'll worry over every dollar.

Seek first the kingdom of health, and you'll sweat every blemish and bump.

Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you'll relive every conflict.

Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you'll jump at every crack of the twig.

But seek first His kingdom, and you will find it.

On that, we can depend and never worry."

- Max Lucado

Today's Scripture
"Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, 'Come!' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus."
(Matthew 14:28–29, AMP)

Step Out of the Boat

Why do you think Peter wanted to get out of the boat?

Why did he all of the sudden think he could walk on water when Jesus called him?

Well, you might say, "Because he saw Jesus open the blind eyes and cleanse the lepers."

Yes, that's true.

But the other disciples in the boat saw the same things.

Why didn't they want to get out?

I believe it was because Peter understood that it was his time.

He stirred up his faith.

He believed at that moment that he could do what God placed in his heart.

Jesus said, "Peter, do you want to get out of that boat?"

He said, "Yes, I do."

Jesus replied, "Well, come on out."

Notice that Jesus didn't say, "Peter, stay in that boat. Don't you know I'm the Son of God?"

No. He said, "Peter, I like your attitude of faith. I like the fact that you believe you can do great things."

I encourage you today to have that same kind of boldness.

Start believing that YOUR TIME IS HERE!

All the dreams that you've buried, those desires that you thought would never work out, it's time to start believing again.

It's your time, and it's time to step out of the boat!

A Prayer for Today
"Dear Father, today I choose to believe Your Word. I believe You are faithful to complete the good work You've started in my life. I choose to follow Your voice and step out of the boat. Thank You for bringing to pass the dreams in my heart in Jesus' name.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Burdens and Blessings

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2

"When God places people in your life who are in need, He is aware of what they lack, and He knows He has given you the resources to meet those needs.

You know God does nothing by accident.

When a need surfaces around you, immediately go to the Father and say, "You put me here for a reason. You knew this was going to happen. What did You intend to do through me that would help this person become closer to You?"

Recognizing a need in someone's life can be one of the greatest invitations from God you will ever experience.

It's easy to become frustrated by the problems of others.

They can overwhelm you as you become aware of need after need.

Rather than looking at each new problem as one more drain on your time, energy, or finances, ask God why He placed you in this situation.

Allow God to help you see beyond the obvious needs of others to the things He wants to accomplish in their lives.

Don't miss God's activity because you're reluctant to carry the load of others.

Is God blessing you materially?

It may be He is developing a "supply depot"in your life through which He can provide for others.

Has God granted you a strong, healthy family life?

It may be that He requires such a home to minister to the hurting families all around you.

Has God released you from sinful habits?

Has God's peace comforted you in a time of great sorrow?

Has God miraculously provided for your needs?

It may be that He has been purposefully building things into your life so that you can now be the kind of person who will carry the burdens of others."

From "Experiencing God Day by Day" by Richard Blackaby

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hope in Times of Trial and Suffering

"But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel."
Philippians 1:12

There are two ways to look at every situation:

How it will affect you, and how it will affect God's kingdom.

The apostle Paul was always concerned with how his circumstances might aid the spreading of the gospel.

When he was unjustly imprisoned, he immediately looked to see how his imprisonment might provide God's salvation to others (Phil. 1:13; Acts 16:19–34).

When he was assailed by an angry mob, he used the opportunity to preach the gospel (Acts 22:1–21).

When Paul's criminal proceedings took him before the king, his thoughts were on sharing his faith with the king (Acts 26:1–32)!

Even when Paul was shipwrecked on an island, he used that opportunity to share the gospel there.

Regardless of his circumstance, Paul's concern was how he could use his current situation to tell others of God's good news of salvation.

Often when we encounter a new situation, our first thoughts are not about God's kingdom.

When we face a crisis, we can become angry or fearful for our own well-being, rather than looking to see WHAT GOD INTENDS TO DO through our circumstances.

If we remain self-centered we will miss so much of what God could do through our experiences, both for us and for those around us.

Ask God to make you aware of how He could use your present circumstances to bless others.

Perhaps someone around you needs to see the difference Christ's presence makes in your life.

Are you willing for God to use your circumstances to demonstrate His saving power to those around you?

Stay Strong! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Faith Not Fear


"A righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have No Fear."
PSALM 112: 6 –8

Who of us hasn't spent nights tossing and turning?

Nights when we look at the clock, and it barely moves. We lie there mulling over situations and issues, most of which we can do nothing about —but fearful of the outcome.

In John 14: 1, Jesus says, "Trust in God; trust also in me."

The answer to fear —is FAITH!

When I'm fearful for a loved one or something that's coming up in my life, I'm comforted and calmed as I meditate on who God is.

It helps me plant my faith in someone bigger than my fears.

The next time fear overwhelms you, think about who God is.

Look for a Scripture verse that underscores God's characteristics.

Then consider your situation in light of who He is.

Trust in God.

He will NEVER fail you, leave you, or forsake you.

You can count on Him!

From "Fixing My Eyes on Jesus" by Anne Graham Lotz

Stay Strong!

In Memory of D.L...
Lord, may eternal rest be granted to him and perpetual light shine upon him. Through your mercy Lord may he rest in peace in the love and promise of your holy Kingdom for all of eternity.

Friday, June 10, 2016



"He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."
PSALM 22: 24

"We're often our own worst enemy when it comes to suffering.

Headaches and stress can be made worse by bitterness or anger.

We can be injured in a car accident by choosing to disobey a signal or a law of the road.

So it's a legitimate response to examine ourselves before God to determine if we're suffering because of personal sin.

Or because of someone else's sin.

Yet your suffering may be no one's fault.

John 9: 1–3 describes a situation when Jesus'disciples were sure the man's handicap was someone's fault.

Jesus said, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, …but this happened so the work of God might be displayed in his life"(v. 3).

God's grace and power seem to reach their peak when we're at our weakest.

You can glory in your weakness and rejoice in your suffering because it gives God an opportunity to display His work in your life."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dirt on Our Hands

He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples'feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
JOHN 13: 5

In the midst of the suffocating nightmare of losing a child, a friend of mine desired that God would be glorified.

She asked me to pray for her loving patience and thoughtful sensitivity.

She was asking me to pray for more of Jesus' dirt on her hands!

Just what is His dirt on our hands?

It's serving others when you need to be served.

Praying for others when you need to be prayed for.

Getting our hands "dirty"with more of Jesus in your life is illustrated wonderfully by Jesus'example on the night He was betrayed, just before His crucifixion.

Jesus took His disciples to an upstairs room, where the Bible says He served them!

Their "dirt" was on His hands.

When you're overwhelmed with problems and pain, get involved in the needs of others.

Drop to your knees and cry out to God:

"Give me more of Your dirt on my hands!"

From " Fixing My Eyes on Jesus " by Anne Graham Lotz

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ask; and You Will Receive

I have always taken great comfort in this passage taken from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount which we are in this week.

It is a Promise and a Gift to all of us who choose to believe and to accept it.

It never fails.

And most importantly it is given ONLY IF we Ask.

Stay Strong!  :)

"I tell you, therefore: do not fret about what to eat, or what to drink, to sustain your life, or about what to wear on your bodies.

Is not life more precious than food, and the body more precious than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, or reap, or store up provisions in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are not you more precious than they?

And which of you can by fretting add one minute to his span of life?

And as for clothing, why do you fret?

Observe the lilies of the field!

How they grow!

They do not toil or spin; and yet, I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not dress like one of these.

Now if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is there today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more readily clothe you?"

Jesus shook his head from side to side, slowly.

"What little faith you have!"

"Therefore, have done with fretting, and do not constantly be asking: 'What are we going to eat?' or, 'What are we going to drink?' or, 'What are we going to wear?'

Why, the heathen make all these things an object of eager search; besides, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

No, let your first concern be the kingdom of God and what he requires of you; then you will have all these things thrown in for good measure.

In short, have done with fretting about the morrow.

The morrow, surely, can do its own fretting.

One evil a day is burden enough."

"Ask, and you will receive;

Seek, and you will find;

Knock, and you will gain admission.

In fact, only he who asks receives; only he who seeks finds; only he who knocks will gain admission.

Really, will anyone among you give a stone to his son that asks him for bread? or a snake, when he asks for a fish?

Well, then, if you, bad as you are, choose to give useful gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give what is good to those that ask him!"

- Matthew 5:5

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.

He will bring forth your vindication as the light, and your right as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!

Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."
    - PSALM 37

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

In Any Need or Circumstance

The Keys of the Kingdom

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven."
   --Matthew 16:19a

The keys of the kingdom represent the access you have to the Father through your relationship to Jesus Christ.

With this relationship you have access to everything that is accessible to Christ.

However, this access is not given indiscriminately; Jesus gave the keys to His disciples only after they recognized that He was the Christ.

Only then did they enter into a unique and personal relationship with Him.

Likewise, your relationship with Christ opens the door of heaven for you and gives you direct access to the Father.

Peter discovered that once he had keys to the kingdom, he could go to the Father in every situation.

When he stood to preach before thousands on the day of Pentecost, this simple fisherman opened the door to the kingdom for three thousand people in one day (Acts 2:41).

When he encountered a lame man, he used his access to God and His healing power, and the man was healed (Acts 3:6).

When he was imprisoned, Peter discovered that the keys of the kingdom could open even the most secure prison door (Acts 12:6–10).

If you are a believer in Christ you, too, have keys to the kingdom of heaven.

You do not need an intermediary, for you have an unobstructed access to God.

With that access come all the resources you need to face any circumstance.

When you are afraid, you have access to God's peace that surpasses comprehension (Phil. 4:6)

When you have a broken relationship, you have access to the God of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18–21).

When you meet someone in need, you have access to God's provision for that person.

What an incredible privilege to be entrusted with keys to the kingdom of heaven!

From "Experiencing God Day by Day" by Richard Blacksburg

Stay Strong

Friday, June 3, 2016

Do Not Settle - Do Not Give Up

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
(Galatians 6:9, ESV)

Don't Allow Yourself to Settle

Everyone has God-given dreams and desires.

We all have goals we want to accomplish and situations we are believing will be turned around.

Sometimes, it seems to take longer than we originally thought.

Sometimes, things don't work out the way we planned, and it's easy to lose enthusiasm.

If we're not careful, we'll get discouraged and end up just settling where we are.

But God doesn't want us to settle, He wants to take us higher.

Many times, people miss out on God's best simply because they give up too soon.

They don't realize how close they are to their victory.

Don't let that be you today.

Don't give up just because things seem hard.

You've invested so much, and you never know, just a few more days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, another few months of staying in faith, and you could see that situation turn around.

Remember, God is on your side!

Keep standing and keep believing because you are closer than you think to fulfilling every desire He's placed inside of you!

A Prayer for Today
"Father, today I come to You believing that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength to keep moving forward into the place of victory You have for me in Jesus' name. Amen."

- Joel O

Stay Strong!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lip Service?

Trusting God First

"Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord."
- Jeremiah 17:5

The Israelites of Jeremiah's day believed they could trust in their army, the diplomacy of their king, and their foreign alliances to protect them from the powerful Babylonian empire.

They gave lip service to their trust in God, but their actions showed where their faith really was: in their military and financial might.

God spoke through Jeremiah to warn them that He would not bless those who trusted in anyone or anything instead of Him.

Placing your ultimate trust in anything other than God is idolatry.

How can you know if your faith is not truly in God?

Ask yourself these questions:

Where do I turn when I experience a crisis?

When I am hurting or afraid, to whom do I go?

When I have a financial problem, whom do I want to tell first?

Where do I seek comfort when I am under stress or discouraged?

God often uses other people as His method of providing for you.

But be careful lest you inadvertently misdirect your faith toward His provision instead of toward the Provider.

God may meet your need through your friends, but ultimately your trust must be in God.

The Israelites were so stubbornly committed to trusting in human strength instead of God that, even as the Babylonian army approached Jerusalem, they continued to desperately seek for a person, or a nation, or an army that could rescue them.

They realized too late that they had neglected to trust in the only One who could deliver them.

Don't make the same mistake as the Israelites.

Go straight to the Lord when you have a need.

He is the only One who can provide for you!

From "Experiencing God Day by Day" by Richard Blackaby

Stay Strong!