Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up. But when trouble strikes the wicked, that’s the end of them.
Proverbs 24:16 CEV
As you begin and continue your walk with Christ, there will be times when you will miss the mark, also known as sin. Romans 3:23 states that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Missing God’s lead will happen and it’s best not to be condemned when it does. You’ll stumble at times and you may even fall flat on your face, but God is good and He is faithful to His children. He won’t let you stay down; He’ll pick you up and place you on the right path. Yes, conviction may come with it, but conviction brings growth whereas condemnation brings guilt. Conviction is from God and condemnation is from the devil. The devil will make you feel like you’re the worst Christian in the world because you can’t seem to stay on course. He’ll make you feel like God is mad at you and He won’t forgive you because you’re such a disappointment to Him. Luckily, God’s Word is true (see 1 John 1:9) and the devil is a liar (see John 8:44). When you know what the Word says about how God feels about you, it becomes easy to block out the lies of the devil.
God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. (Acts 17:30 MSG)
Every person inherently has a childish nature no matter their age. When we don’t get what we want we can revert to childish ways. Before you knew the behavior was wrong, it was acceptable, so to speak, but when you accepted Jesus as your Lord, and the Bible became your foundation for everything that you do, your behavior must change. No longer is it acceptable to tell everyone off who doesn’t do what you want them to, or harbor bitterness and resentment to show your disapproval and the like. Pity parties, pouting, shutting everyone out is no longer acceptable. It’s time to grow up and put away childish ways. You cannot change on your own so you will need the Holy Spirit’s help to convict you of all childish behavior. Continue reading
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT
How many times do you pray for something for somebody else that you could easily take care of yourself? I believe we get so wrapped up in the assumption that God is supposed to do everything, that we neglect to see how we could easily be a blessing to that person. We can get so consumed with thinking about what we would be losing on our end instead of doing what Acts 20:35 says, “it is better to give than to receive.” The devil keeps our minds occupied with fear and doubt regarding helping others because if we actually do our Christian duties, people will be blessed and God will get the glory—two things the devil absolutely hates. Sometimes before we pray about certain things for other people, we need to see if we can answer the prayer ourselves. God will always provide for us when we take care of each other as today’s scripture states. 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
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NLT (emphasis added)
This may come as a surprise to you, but one sure fire way to eliminate stress in your life is to simply mind your own business. Have the mindset the less you know the better. The more you know the more you want to help, and the more you will end up being stressed over the situation. We always want to be in the know, but it’s really so we can be nosy or stay in the loop that we have no business in in the first place. If you think about it, how many people do you know who find out what they want to know actually do something productive with the information? Oftentimes people’s motives are not pure to begin with, so once the information is received, it can be used as a source of gossip or manipulation. You need to be selective with the information that you let resonate with in spirit. I’m not saying to not help people who genuinely need help—even though that can still be stressful in and of itself—but what I am saying is if you don’t need to know certain information, be content without knowing. You will find that you will have so much more peace in your life if you just worry about your own affairs rather than adding the stress and pressure of someone else’s. To operate like this will not happen overnight, especially if you are the type that always has to know what’s going on. It will take the help of the Holy Spirit to constrain you, and discernment to know what to get involved in and what to leave alone. Continue reading
God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 CEV emphasis added)
Proverbs 16:4 tells us “The Lord has a reason
for everything he does…” (CEV). We never know what God is going to do and when He is going to do it. Because we are to live in expectancy, we need to just release our faith and go on about our day knowing that He will take care of our every need. Jesus said don’t be anxious about anything (see Philippians 4:6). Anxiety causes so many problems and zaps our joy. Jesus also said don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow holds its own troubles (see Matthew 6:34). Most people live in anxiety and worry, which does not change anything and it doesn’t please or move God. Continue reading
I planted, and Apollos watered, but God made it grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6 GW
Everything has a time and place (see Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), and we are just living out our parts in God’s script for humanity. You’re on your job for a reason, you have the friends and family in your life for a reason, each relationship was for a reason, every circumstance is for a reason etc. Nothing is by accident, but it’s all by God’s design and purpose. 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
We say so many things that are displeasing to God (complaining, grumbling, gossiping, etc.), that it’s time we change our lip service to align it with God’s Word. When we sing words of praise, show our gratitude, and worship God, it makes Him smile. Voicing how thankful we are is music to God’s ears. Usually when we pray, our prayers include a long laundry list of things we want and need, and sometimes we forget to acknowledge God for who He is, instead of what He can do for us. Let’s switch up how we pray and enter into God’s presence. Instead of “I need” and “I want,” let’s strip off our selfish nature and invite God into our lives for who He is. This allows you to lose sight of yourself and let God indwell your inner most being. This lets God know you actually want and need Him in your life. Changing your confessions will help you to spiritually grow in God. Make God smile by sending music to His ears. This confession list is not all-inclusive, but it’s a great starting point. As you grow, mature, and fall in love with God, your list will grow and become more personal and intimate. Continue reading
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Galatians 6:1-3 MSG
We all need each other in the body of Christ. We are called to love one another and to help each other. Those of us who are strong in faith have an obligation to help those who are not as strong as we are. When someone falls into sin or has burdens that seem too heavy for them to carry by themselves, we as believers are to step in and edify them. No one needs to hear harsh criticism or have people turn their backs on them. In hard times, people need to hear and feel the love of Christ. If you were down and out you would want someone to be there for you, so extend that same courtesy and be there for your fellow brother or sister in Christ in their time of need. Continue reading