1 John 4:18-19 “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.” ~CSB
I love my wife. I can stand on everything when I say this because we both have been through so much to be in this love that we have. We’ve been through heartache, deception, dishonesty, (all on my part). Yet, she is still here with me. The pain we have gone through, emotional and physical, was a fire that forged our understanding about each other’s perspectives.
Because we stopped trying to run this marriage ourselves and allowed God’s love in, things changed for us. We both individually learned how much He loves us. Then, in turn, we learned how to love Him back. And the results of that, we learned how to love each other. The fact that I know how much she loves me; and she knows how much I love her, formed that ‘spiritual force field’ around us that keeps the enemy’s tricks and illusions out of our relationship. We are now strong like that!
Now let’s look at all of us as a whole. Many of us are afraid of what the world shows us on a daily basis. What we see on social media, the news and from straight gossip, these things affect us. We become afraid for ourselves and for our children. This fear can cause us to make bad decisions in our lives. It can definitely keep us from hearing the direction God is trying to tell us to go. What if I told you there was a way to get rid of this fear?
Look at fear as a fire. Every day this fire threatens to rage out of control, but before it can, you have to ‘extinguish’ it. Now think of God’s love as that ‘fire extinguisher. His Word is the extinguisher’s trigger. In the book of First John, starting with verse 7, we read how ‘love’ is the foundation of getting rid of fear. It starts with God’s love for us, way before we loved Him. The scriptures continue to talk about how God put this love in us. It talks about how God sent His one and only Son to die for a debt we cannot pay.
This love of God in us has all the ingredients to suppress, destroy, and exterminate the fears we have that come from the devil. We must know how much God loves us by believing without a doubt verse 16, “...And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us…” We must allow this love to take us over so that we can pass this love onto others in this world.
When we have this love, we release all the fear because, “...perfect love drives out fear…” Let’s learn how to use God’s love, (our very own ‘fear’ extinguisher), and extinguish some of that fear in our lives. May God bless and keep you under his protection of healing, direction and love in His Son Jesus’ name.
Micah 7:7 “As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” ~NLT
There were times when I was little, I may have watched something on television or something may have happened during my day that scared me. That night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep because the darkness amplified that fear. I would get so afraid that I would call out to my mama. But it was my daddy’s voice that made me feel better. He would yell, “Boy be quiet in there! We tryin’ to sleep!” After his loud voice sounded off, I felt better. That fear I had, left. I figured if anything was in the house, it would have to deal with my daddy first so I was safe. My daddy made me feel safe during those times.
Today is different. I’m a grown man. But there are still things in this world that can stress or cause us fear. We see it when we turn on the news. As parents we see what’s happening to the young kids on the streets and we fear for our own children. As husbands and wives we fear for our relationships, “Are we gonna make it?” “Is he or she going to leave me?” We can call this stress ‘Grown Folks Fear’.
Though our trials in fear may differ, we all can have the same stress and fear that lead us into making bad decisions and follow our flesh down the wrong paths. In Micah Chapter seven, verses 1-6 speak on chaos that may go on around us. It describes how miserable we can be. How at times we may not be able to eat, or how people around us are not honest. How people of this world have no regard for others. It talks about the evil around us. Basically describing what this world has influenced in situations around us.
But if we stay focused on our Father. When we hear His voice and His promises of abundance and protection, then we can let go of that unwanted stress and fear. When we know that there is nothing bigger than God; no pain, no hurt, no situation and no obstacle! Once we know that God is bigger, stronger and more powerful then what tries to claim us, then we will be just fine.
Let go of that ‘Grown Folks Fear’. And with open arms embrace the Love of God! Understanding God’s love is the first step in the absence of fear. May God continue to bless and keep you under his umbrella of protection in Jesus name.
2 Corinthians 12:7 “...even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” ~NLT
Paul is speaking here about how much God has used him. He is speaking about witnessing God’s power through him in healing and revealing the Good News to people that have crossed his path. Yet, of all the good he is doing, life for him has not been an easy one. Do you share Paul’s position? Do you read the Word? Put the time in with meditation in the Word and feel your relationship with God is strong? Yet it seems that something’s always coming up? This is the way of a Christian’s life, but not as punishment.
There is a realization that must take place in every Christian. We have been delivered. Now we must allow that deliverance to pass on to others. God wants to use us to transform others, (make disciples Matthew 28:19-20). But sometimes, to do that, we must stand still in a place we do not want to be. A place that may stress us and cause us grief because it is a place where we have exhausted every means we have and cannot go any further.
There is good news, so rest easy. There is nothing you can do at this point. Nothing under your power will work. But if you stand in position, God will take over. In you and through you His power and strength will allow that ‘impossible’ situation to open up and fall before God in you. This is what is needed for your faith to grow stronger. This is what is needed for others around you to see God exists!
Paul goes on to say in verses 7, 8 and 9, “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” ~NLT
When people see us weak and at our end, they will see God when we have victory in that position. Because they know, it wasn’t us alone that conquered it. All will see that God did a great work in us. This is the thorn Paul was talking about. We may have that thorn, but God’s grace is all we need. He will do the rest. He will take care of everything, we must be present and patient.
Allow God His time to do His work in you. Endure, persevere and exercise patience. The miracle is just beyond your stopping point. Run to it and let God carry you through! Your deliverance will deliver God's will, healing and strength to others!
May God continue to bless and keep you under the umbrella of his power and protection in Jesus’ name.
Philippians 2:2-4 “…fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” ~HCSB
A husband does his part in a godly marriage by considering his wife’s feelings over his own. This is a skill because the flesh makes it hard for a man who has a trying day at work; followed by a stressful time in traffic, to come home and think about anything else other than his own personal need to sit down for a minute and take a load off.
But when his Christ-like actions prevail, and he puts aside all that burdens him to care for and attend to the needs of his wife, she feels safe and secure in her husband’s attention. Let’s add that this particular couple goes out of their way, in their day to day lives, attempting to 'outdo' each other in their care and love for one another. Their actions result in a godly marriage. This is a victory in the name of the Lord.
Now let us switch this relationship from a married couple to how we as individuals affect others around us. How we are to live with great intention toward others God places in our paths. There is a command given to us that must be followed in order for us to fulfill our purpose in the name of the Kingdom. This command was given to us by Jesus when he gave us the order to ‘love’ in Matthew 22:37-39.
When it comes down to it; it doesn’t matter how we were raised in the church; the style our devotions were taught or the community we may have been raised in; we are all Christians. Christ is who we follow. No matter what differences we may have in knowing Christ, we must stay true to His command of ‘Love’.
This is what Paul’s intention of direction is when he says in Philippians, think the way Jesus would have us think. Have the same love shown by our Lord and Savior. This in turn will allow us to share the same feelings and focus on one goal; the goal of our purpose in Jesus name.
Of everything going on around us in our lives every day we must not let the world cause us to do anything, “…out of rivalry or conceit…” But in the humility shown by Christ, we must consider others as more important than ourselves.
Just as a married couple lives to service each other in actions of love, resulting in a godly marriage; so must we do with others around us to produce a godly community. It starts with us. It is aided in strength by God in us. We were created for this task.
May God give you strength, directions and wisdom in your journey in Jesus name.
1 Samuel 16:12-13 “...Then the Lord said, “Anoint him, for he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward.” ~CSB
If my son wants something, and I know he wants it, I ‘Can Not’ tell him I’m going to get it for him until I actually get it. If I tell him I’m going to do something and it takes me a week or two, he will ask me everyday “when” or ask, “Have you done it yet?” He will ‘worry’ me until he finally gets what I promised him. Now, this is an example of how one may be promised something and lacks the patience to receive it.
David is a great example of, not only having patience, but also in waiting on God’s time, not his own. At a very young age, David was anointed and promised the throne as King of his people, but would not see this promise until much later in his life. The time spent during this time of ‘waiting’ actually prepared him for the throne.
When he finally inherited the promise of God, he was more than qualified to be King. He fought many battles in victory as a soldier and leader under God’s guidance. He endured persecution from the previous king because of jealousy and hate. And even though he had many opportunities to take out his oppressor, he did not. Instead he remained loyal and trusted God to lay out his path to destiny.
This is what we must do. In our strong relationship with God we must know His plans for us. We must be patient and endure our trials. Trusting in the Lord to guide us and keep us on the right track no matter what the enemy tries to put in our face. We must hold in our hearts God’s desire for our lives. In other words, ‘If God is not in it, we don’t want it!’
The next time life drives you to the point of impatience, frustration and anger, think about David. Go back and read the book of Samuel and see the blueprint God set in David’s heart to endure and trust in the Lord. In this great story you will witness and feel the Love God has for David. And you will see that David recognizes and receives this love from God and returns it with everything he has.
This must be our lives as well. May God bless and keep you in his mighty will, power, healing and protection, in Jesus name.
Daniel 3:17-18 “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” ~NLT
Often time in prayer, we have in mind what we want. We ask God and pray that He delivers on our desires as well as our needs. The bible tells us to ask, so we do. But we have to understand that we can’t tell God how to bless us. Especially when He knows what we need better than we do.
In other words, what we ask for on our behalf may satisfy us for the season, but what God has for us is not only for the good of the kingdom, but will work for the eternal good of all who love Him. When we know this, then we can have faith in the prayer we pray that it will go in the direction of good; and we don’t necessarily have to know the end result of the blessing. This is why Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said, “…But even if He doesn’t…”
They were pledging their faith in God, that whatever He decides, they know it will be for the good of the kingdom and that He loves them enough to deliver them in His way and His time. We must embrace that type of faith as we go through our trials.
Yes we may go into that furnace, with the coals at their hottest, but God will not let the enemy’s weapon prevail. Make no mistake about it, as it says in Isaiah 54, the weapon may be formed against you, it may even be executed, but it will not succeed in its mission against you! Look at the three believers in the furnace. The furnace was formed against them; fire so hot it killed the men heating it up; and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were sent in to burn alive. But they stood strong in faith! And because of that, God did not allow any harm to come to them.
Wherever you go, and whatever you may think you are going through, you are not alone. Just like in the furnace, Jesus is with you on your journey. These three servants’ faith allowed us to learn the lesson of God’s power through undisputed faith! We must make this type of faith a lifestyle! Believe in Him and what He sacrificed for us to have eternal life. This is a blessing the enemy cannot take away. No matter what weapon he forms. We have to believe this and allow the lesson to teach us. So that we will be strong in our faith and love.
May God continue to bless you on your journey in Jesus name.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” ~NLT
We can understand the strength in a relationship when we merely listen to the conversation in it. For example; a surgeon may tell a joke to other surgeons using ‘surgeon verbiage’ and it will be funny to them. It may not be funny to me because I am not a surgeon and do not understand the terminology in their conversations.
Another example; I grew up in the 80’s. I may have a conversation with another of my 80’s friends but a person born in the 2000’s may not be able to understand the terminology. The relationship of the surgeons is opposed to non-surgeons. The relationship to those of the 80’s era is opposed to others that didn’t grow up at that time. This opposition sets these two groups apart. Their relationships are tight because of what they have experienced under the same circumstances. Now let’s look at this in relation to our relationship with God.
Have you ever told someone about what God has done for you and that person dismisses you? They say, “Man go on with that. I’m not trying to hear that.” This is their response because their relationship with God has no strength. The relationship exists because God knows all his children. But the person doesn’t know it exists.
You see, let’s not worry if what we say about God’s existence in our lives is not received by who we talk to. It is not in our power to transform anyone. It is, however, our duty to spread the gospel by continuing to tell others what God has done and is doing for us in the name of Jesus. Allow God to transform those He puts us in front of, through us and our testimony.
When we walk and live with a clear visual of our love in relationship with God showing in how we talk, walk, touch and live, others can’t help but notice God in us. As the text says “Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things…” Let us continue to live godly so that others around us can learn this evaluation and strengthen their relationship with God as well!
May God bless and keep you in His will in Jesus name.
Psalm 143:8-11 “Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in you. Reveal to me the way I should go because I appeal to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I come to you for protection. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, Lord, let me live. In your righteousness deliver me from trouble…” ~CSB
There are some things we do in the morning time that allow us to have a better day. Now, we do not have to do these things, but when we do, our day tends to run a lot smoother. For instance, brushing our teeth! We do not have to brush our teeth in the morning. But when we do, our day goes a lot smoother, especially in conversation.
Now let’s look at it according to our relationship with God. The morning time is the best time to meditate and communicate with God. This is the time our spirits are renewed. This is the time we have just awakened from a peaceful rest. Quiet from the noise of the world. We should seize this opportunity to communicate with the Lord while it is only Him in our hearts and minds.
But we say, “I don’t have time in the morning. I’ve got to go to work. I’ve got kids to get off to school. I always say I’ll do it later, but something comes up.” Think about it, the reason you are blessed with your children; the reason you are blessed with a good job; the reason why you have the finances you have is because of God. Why not check in with Him at the beginning of the day to find out how to maintain and work these blessings He has placed in your hands.
Again, we do not have to do it, but try ‘brushing’ your spirit with a conversation with God in the morning and see what happens during your day. And if this is new to you, do not stress or lose sleep on how you will meditate. The scripture in Psalm is a great start! Just read from the Word in the text above and ask God from your heart:
“Lord let me experience your faithful love!” Ask to feel how He feels! Ask to love how He loves! “Reveal to me the way I should go!” I know I have tried to live this life on my own. But when I asked God to lead me on the right path, my life has been incredible! “Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I come to you for protection!” Ask Him for protection! Allow God to fight the battles with the enemy, so that you can focus on living righteous.
And finally, ask him to, “Teach me Your will, for you are my God! May your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground!” Ask Him to keep you from stumbling as you walk your journey in Christ. When you do this you are thanking Him for allowing you the chance at eternal life! Delivering you from trouble. After you have learned the good habit of ‘brushing your spirit’ with God’s Word in the mornings, you will see that your days will go a lot smoother with the fresh scent of God’s image all over you. Like the fresh breath of ‘brushed teeth’, your testimony about God in your life will allow others to receive Him from you! Amen and God bless!
Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose.” ~CSB
When I was growing up and my daddy asked me to do something, it would never enter my mind to ask him, ‘why’. No sir! Not in my time and not my daddy. I know I am not the only one so understand, I may have not wanted to take the trash out, or go to bed, or wash the dishes, but I did it anyway and did not question him.
As parents we claim we don’t understand when our children ask us ‘why’, when given a direction from us. With today’s child, we can’t sound off like our parents did. In fact, we get better results from them when we give them the reason they are looking for. It’s funny how we give our kids the ‘You must be out of your mind’ look when they ask ‘why’, but don’t even notice when we do it to God.
That’s right, we question God all the time. In the little things like when we can’t find our keys, we talk to ourselves, “Not today. Why is this happening today?” To the big things like funerals, “Why did you take my loved one Lord?” “Why would you do that?” Big things like loss of jobs, homes and or cars, “Lord you know I need that car for transportation!” “Why?”
First of all, just like we tell our children, God allows us to know that some of the trials we go through are the results of the choices we’ve made. God tells his children, “I didn’t tell you to take that path. I told you to take this path. But you chose not to.” In our spiritual walks, we may come to certain paths that look impossible. We don’t want to walk those paths because it takes us out of our comfort zone. But it is in those paths where miracles happen.
Think about it, if you were to travel a path of ‘possibility’, that would be you talking about what ‘you’ did. But it is in that path of ‘impossibility’, that path of uncomfortableness, where you will talk about what God did for you! This is how healing is passed on and where miracles of blessings are born.
Let’s not be concerned with the world telling us to question God about whether we are up for the task. It is not about our abilities. It is about God’s power in us that will birth the success in the path we walk. The path God directs us. When God gives us direction, let us not question Him on ‘why’. Instead, be in position. Walk the path with our heads held high. We do this, “...For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose.” To God be the glory.
Deuteronomy 30:16 “For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” ~CSB
We have been blessed by healing! Now what? Now comes the hard part, walking in righteousness! The devil is a tricky one because if it was up to him, he would not allow it. September 21st 2013, I was healed and the chains were broken from my alcohol addiction. God laid His hand on me by removing the craving from my body! It’s like I’ve never had a drink before in my life. Understand, God took it, but He did not give it to me.
You see, the devil knows what kind of blessing we will be in this world. He knows that God created us to do His work, with His power in this world. The devil doesn’t want that. So the devil gives people, (like myself), vices that they cannot get out of, in order to keep them from being proper servants to the Lord. When the devil got me hooked on that addiction of alcohol, that was his mission of stopping me from being what God intended for me to be. So when I confessed to the Lord and cried out for help, God healed me. Now I’m back on the job of making disciples for the kingdom.
What did the devil do after that? He tried to sneak another addiction on me. For some, the devil’s second try may be lust, anger, or selfish ambitions. But for me, it was Cookies! Now I know the consumption of cookies is not as bad as alcohol abuse, but it can be an addiction just as well. I realized that I was conducting the same routine and developing the same habit with cookies as I was when I was drinking alcohol. The same pattern existed. When God healed me, I made a promise that I would not let anything take control of me again. Thinking about those cookies, I came to the conclusion that I did not walk away from the bondage of alcohol just to walk into the destruction of diabetes.
I thank God for loving me so much to give me a third chance at this life. The first was Him creating me. The second was the sacrifice of His Son for my sins. And His forgiveness, healing and restoring me as the man I am today, that is the third. I will not throw this blessing away. “No devil, you cannot have my life!” Let’s tell the devil that we are no longer on His mission.
Tell him we are loyal to God and will wake every morning determined to walk in God’s ways! Tell him that God will deliver us from any temptation he is trying to offer! And that we will keep the commands, ordinances and statues of His Holy Word.
Say this with me: “Thank you Lord for allowing us to live and multiply! Allow us to tell others what you have done in our lives! And thank you God for blessing us on the path that you have created for us! This path that leads to the kingdom you have prepared for us! For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever…Amen!
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.