When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
Habakkuk 3:17-18 MSG
How you view things in life is very important, especially as a Christian. The world will point out everything that is wrong, but it is up to us to see the good, especially in our own circumstances. I’m going to translate verse 17 of today’s scripture in modern language in terms of how life can try to get us down:
Though my bills keep pouring in and my bank account is in the negative;
Though my workload at my job is overwhelming and people are testing my patience;
Though my enemies are plotting against me and my health is declining; Continue reading
“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get”
Proverbs 21:20 NLT
A lot of people’s stress comes from money problems, which can lead to stress in other areas of their lives. Some of our financial difficulties come from the demands of life, but honestly, most of the problems stem from not budgeting, living beyond our means, and not controlling our fleshly desires. We put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves for these very reasons. It really boils down to not wanting to do what the Bible says regarding money and wanting to spend whatever you want to spend. If you have this mentality you’ll have stress your whole life. Continue reading
Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty. (John 6:35 GW)
Eating is a required part of our daily lives in order to stay alive. People spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they are going to eat so they can feel satisfied, but the real question is do they spend the same amount of time trying to figure out how to satisfy their spirits? Our spirits need the same amount of attention and nutrition, if not more, in order to stay spiritually strong. Jesus said He is the bread of life and whoever comes to Him will never be hungry or thirsty—in Him is complete satisfaction. His Word rejuvenates our bodies, our minds, and our spirits the more we meditate on it. You can’t just eat on Sunday mornings and expect to stay full for the rest of the week, just as you can’t eat one day a week and expect to be functioning at an optimal level. Just as you have to eat physical food daily, you have to eat God’s Word just as much. You’re probably thinking “how can I eat the Word of God?” Eating the Word simply means reading the Word, meditating the Word, listening to the Word, and speaking the Word. The Word should be in front of your eyes, in your ears, and coming out of your mouth more than anything else. When you eat God’s Word you will never be hungry. His Word provides the nutrients you need to grow up healthy and strong in your Christian walk. There is no other way to get spiritual nourishment than from the Nourisher Himself and from His Word. Continue reading
Then the LORD answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly.
Habakkuk 2:2 GW
How many times do you plan to do something and then get sidetracked by life, procrastination, work, kids, other tasks, etc. In reality, no one plans to start something never intending to finish it—that would just be a waste of time and energy. God said to write the vision down and make it plain so anyone can see it—namely you. When something is in front of you, it’s quite hard not to work towards it because it just stares at you day after day, and it will continue to do so until you make steps towards completing that goal or task. Having it in plain view helps to remind you every day that there is always something to do. Continue reading
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
Life is hard, and no one said that it would be easy. We can get so focused on the things that we want and the things that we don’t have, that we lose focus of what we actually do have. If we’re sick, we focus on the ailment instead of the organs that are working properly. We’re self-absorbed, and when that is our way of life, we lose sight of God.
There is always something to be thankful for, no matter what you’re going through, but it takes a mature person to lose sight of themselves and their issues to be able to see it. For the simple fact that you are reading this, yo u should be thankful for your education…the fact that you can read, the air going through your lungs, eyes that see, a brain that is functioning, and current technology that allows you to get the Word. That’s FIVE things right there to open your mouth and thank God for right now! Continue reading
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
We’ve all heard this famous saying, but how many of us put it into practice? How many of us actually do what we know we should do on any given day? It’s so much easier to give into our feelings and put things off until a more convenient time, but is any time really convenient for something that you don’t want to do in the first place? The answer is “no,” but we make ourselves feel better by still committing to complete the task, but just completing it at a later date. There’s a saying, “Procrastination is the thief of time,” and when you find that you don’t have enough time to do what you have to do, frustration and stress begin to take over. Both take away from your peace, and without peace, there is no joy. We actually cause more havoc in our lives by procrastinating, and then we want to pass blame on why we either can’t or won’t complete the task. We need to learn how to press through what we may be feeling in order to get things done. Dreading things won’t make them go away—it only makes doing them much harder. Continue reading
“Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying?
Matthew 6:27 GW
How often do you find yourself worrying about a particular situation? And how often did worrying about it help? Your responses probably fall along the lines, I worry a lot and it doesn’t help the situation—it actually makes it worse. There’s a famous saying “Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. You go back and forth, but never get anywhere.” How true is that! One minute you believe, then the next you’re doubtful. No wonder we don’t get anywhere because God said double minded people shouldn’t expect anything from Him (see James 1:6-7). So the end result is we prevent God from moving in our circumstances, and then we’re just left with ourselves and our mess, which isn’t the best combination. If worrying can’t add a single hour to your life, how will it change your situation? Worrying leads to stress, which gives way to frustration, and the road proceeding frustration only leads to disaster. Continue reading
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
James 1:14-15 NLT
How do we get into the dilemmas that we often find ourselves in? Many people believe, “It just happened…” or they honestly think they don’t have a clue. Well, nothing “just happens.” For example, a woman doesn’t just get “pregnant”; there was a process that had to happen in order for there to be a baby. We are so used to just “doing” things that we don’t even think about how our actions can lead to negative consequences down the line, and inevitably affect our loved ones. If you have a bad habit or an addiction present in your life right now, it didn’t happen overnight. It began with a series of actions and thoughts. For example:
- If you have a gambling problem, it could have started with a couple of seemingly “innocent” trips to the casino or placing bets.
- If you have a problem with pornography, it may be because you set your mind to satisfy your desires by watching some erotic films, looking at erotic pictures, or engaging in erotic conversation.
- If you have a problem with alcohol, it could have started with an “innocent” sip, or curiosity of wanting to know what it tastes like.
- If you have a weight problem (minus legitimate health concerns), it could have started by maybe having one cookie too many, an extra piece of cake, eating every time you look up, being greedy, etc.
- If you’ve committed adultery, it could have started with you wanting something you’re not getting at home, you may have set your eyes on forbidden territory, or you continuously flirt with the idea of having something that doesn’t belong to you.
- If you have a bad habit of sleeping around or you’re a sex addict, it started by disobeying the Word of God and giving into your sinful lust.
- If you’re a culprit of constant criminal activity, it could have started with hanging around bad company, wanting the adrenaline rush of doing something that you weren’t supposed to do, or taking something that didn’t belong to you.
- If you find yourself in debt, it could have started with you being discontent and thinking you had to have “it” right now, even though you didn’t have the money, constantly using a credit card, and overspending.