1 Corinthians 11:31-32 “If we were properly judging ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined, so that we may not be condemned with the world.” CSB
When I was younger, my friends used to comment me on how I walked, “That Billy Jack has the coolest walk!” But it wasn’t until I saw myself walking on a video that I realized that most of them were being sarcastic.
My meaning is that I really didn’t know I walked the way I walked. Here I was thinking my ‘stroll’ was so cool when It actually looked goofy to me. I never really ‘saw’ myself and because I did not, I couldn’t ‘correct’ myself. Now, what does this say about other aspects of my being?
When I went through my spiritual transformation, I began to look at myself in all ways. Asking myself, “How do I treat people?” “What are my true inner thoughts about God’s other children in my life, family friend or stranger?”
You see I had to judge myself spiritually and be accountable for how I am living now. Just like my walk, I had to look at myself the way others saw me. This would help me understand how my actions affect others.
I bring my ‘walk’ up because for years I tried to develop a better walk. But the walk I had was so natural to me that I could not break from that stride. The life I was living was so natural to me that my flesh was so much stronger than my will to do right. But in my case, God stepped in and took that worry of how I walked away from me. And after the accident I got my new walk!
I take pride in my walk because it not only takes me where I’m going, it also reminds me of where I’ve been and who I was. My walk is me. It's not perfect, it is flawed in the form of a limp but I can stand, I can walk and if I need to move a little faster, I have my own version of a run.
All of this comes because my walk holds me accountable. My walk allows me to judge myself on a daily basis. We must find the blessing in our transition. When we do, we hold on to it and allow it to hold us accountable for “…properly judging ourselves…” Knowing what God has brought us from. How did God heal us in our time of need? Who did God heal because of us being servants to His people?
The answer to these questions is your ‘walk’ in the name of Jesus. Find that and allow that to guide you in the proper judgment of yourself. When we do this, we are disciplined so that when the Lord judges us, “…we may not be condemned with the world.”
May the Lord keep you and allow you strength, wisdom, and courage to continue His work in you in Jesus’ name.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
What if an airline pilot came to work one day with issues? Let’s take an issue in a relationship he or she is in. They would constantly be on their cell attempting to feel better about the situation. This is a terrible and potentially costly distraction.
That pilot is in control of a huge aircraft not to mention the lives of several hundred people, including their own, at 30,000 feet in the air. It is this distraction from their personal, physical desires and emotions focused on the cell phone as a result of their relationship, that can could cost everyone their lives.
Ok, let’s take a surgeon. The same issues in this situation cannot be good for the patient he or she is about to perform surgery on. The results can be devastating.
Now, let us look at ourselves as Christians. God created us to be vessels for Him to use. Our very lives are lived to affect others. We are a conduit for God’s touch, power, and healing to be seeded from us to those He places in our paths. If we allow our ‘issues’ to take control of how we live, we would be a damaged conduit and God will not use us. We not only miss our blessing, but we will not be able to pass God’s blessing on to others. Like the pilot and the surgeon, we have lives we are responsible for. God created that responsibility in us. So, what is the root these ‘issues’?
These issues bring temptations that distract us from our Christlike mission. 1 Timothy chapter 6 speaks on temptation being a trap that holds “…many foolish and harmful desires which plunge people into ruin and destruction…” (6:9) The bible says in verse 11 that we must, “…flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” How do we pursue?
We must fight every day to know who we are in Christ. We must fight every morning when we wake up and pledge to the Father that we will be our best on this day to follow God’s lead in our lives. We do this one day at a time. No matter how tired we are, no matter how battle worn we have become, we must wake for the battle of fighting the fight to keep the faith!
Strengthen our spirit by knowing God’s promises. Living our life expecting God’s protection, grace mercy and healing power! Remembering that His Son came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Remembering what God has done for us before and what He will do for us tomorrow. When our relationship with God is that strong, we can hold on to knowing that God is always with us. We know that He did not create us to fail, fall short or suffer without reward.
We know this because we, “…Take hold of eternal life to which you were called…” And we are able to tell others about God’s existence in our lives because we will speak to them on what He has done for us. By doing this we have made, “…good confession in the presences of many witnesses.” As a result, we allow God’s power to seed others so that they can also have a strong relationship with the Lord.
May God continue to keep you close to Him and His love on your journey in Jesus’ name.
1 Corinthians 2:8-9 “None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, because if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived—God has prepared these things for those who love him.” ~CSB
This devotion is dedicated to all of us who are concerned with what we look like in the eyes of others. There are those of us who cannot forgive because we cannot shake what has been done to us. There are those of us who cannot trust again because the last time we trusted we were hurt really bad.
I’m here to tell you to let go of those feelings. Our God is an amazing God and when we submit to His will and ways, we are covered. In other words, it is time to stop worrying about how we look in the eyes of our peers. It is time to be more concerned about how we carry ourselves and look in the eyes of God. When we do that, God will take every weapon formed against us and use it for His good. And because we love and trust in the Lord, it will be for our good as well.
“I don’t know if I can love again because I was so hurt last time.” Let go of that mentality. This time you are under protection. God commands us to love. Do not hold back. You put God first in your life, falling in love will prosper more that you can imagine. He will not let you fall.
“I cannot forgive this person because I can’t forget what they did to me.” Here is another mental position to release. We must remember that out of everything we have done in history that constitutes sin, God forgave us. He did that because He loves us. So much so that he sent His one and only Son to die for our sins. God forgave us even before we existed, so we must forgive.
“Ok, Billy, that all sounds good, but I’m still not convinced. I still feel the way I feel.” Then look closely at the scripture. God gives wisdom to all who seek it. But those who do not have a strong relationship with God, won’t see it. 2 Corinthians 3:16 says, “But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” In the text, the rulers had a veil covering them so that they could not see. If they could see, they would not have “…crucified the Lord…”
When we submit to the Lord our veil is lifted, we begin to see what, “…God has prepared…” for those of us who love Him. Anything else anyone would do to us will be used by Him to fulfill His plans for us. Nothing can take away God’s promises from us! So go ahead and forgive! Go ahead and love again! God created you to have all of that in your life. His Son said that even though the, “…thief comes to steal kill and destroy…I have come so that you may have life and have it more abundantly…” (John 10:10)
God took the crucifixion and turned it into our salvation! He did that for us. Leave all your worries, fear and doubt at the cross. Pick up the gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Use these gifts to get through the toughest barrier the enemy may put up. God has given you the power, and that power is fueled by love.
May God keep you under His protection as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” ~CSB
Last Saturday, (April 3rd) was the day after Good Friday. I couldn’t help but wonder, “On this day many years ago, what were the believers thinking?” Think about it and compare it with today. The news would be spreading on TV, internet, social media, “Jesus Christ has been crucified!” Believers everywhere listening and reading the news at the details of how Jesus died. The pain of what the Messiah went through alone is too much to bear.
But the real test here is faith. Last Saturday being the ‘day-after’ I wonder what was the mood? Because it is the mood that can take faith away or make it stronger. Knowing the scriptures, believers had the Word seeded in them that ‘yesterday’ happened because the Messiah would rise from the dead, (John 20:9). During the period of grief, did they give up hope? Did they doubt the teachings, or did they just not understand at the time?
Jesus knew everything He was about to go through. He also knew that most would not understand until after everything was fulfilled. Saturday was the ‘crunch’ time! This day between death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb. Here is where faith is tested in its believers.
We will encounter many ‘crunch’ times in our lives. How will we respond to it? Will we allow our moods to hinder or strengthen us? Times like a death of a loved one as the result of non-natural causes. Will we question our father about our pain, or will we allow our faith that ‘He is in control’ to strengthen us?
We may have financial problems that may cause us to lose sleep, worry, stress and shorten our life span. What will our mood be then? Will we fall to our knees and give up our homes, our investments, all that has come from above, or will we ‘stick and stay’, continuing to walk in the name of Jesus believing that we are here for a reason.
All in all, believers must remember our history, God has always come through for us, no matter the situation. He has blessed us by using us, by providing for us and healing us. We must trust that he will do the same today as He did yesterday and will do tomorrow.
Just like that Saturday long ago, we must keep the faith. They may have wanted to question God when believers witnessed the arrest and beatings that Jesus took. Witnesses did not know it at the time that He did it for our transgressions. It may have been painful for believers to watch our Savior being crucified but it was in the plan to pay a debt we owe but could never pay.
But like the birth of a newborn baby after a woman has been in labor, that pain is surpassed by something greater, because on that third day, early Sunday morning, He got up! With all power in His hands! You see Jesus prepared us for this. Believers just had to keep the faith in His mission. We must do the same in our everyday trails and frustrations. We must keep strong faith despite our mood about what’s going on around us daily.
I will always pray for the Lord to keep you safe, protected and in continuous healing as you walk in Jesus’ name.
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.