John 17:20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.” ~NLT
We wake up in the morning and cannot find our keys. We have just experienced an unsettling evening with our children who won’t listen and refuse to heed our warnings despite our experience and knowledge. Maybe we are in that group where our day has just taken a turn for the worst because of a disagreement with our spouse.
Whatever the case, we must realize that no matter how terrible these circumstances my seem, they are just tactics by the evil influencer. Remember his job is to steal, kill and destroy, (John 10:10). We must understand that as Christians we have been given a task and giving into our personal feelings about any situation can take us off focus.
We should not forget that God fights our battles. The enemy has already lost but he is trying every day to convince us that he hasn’t. How? By attempting to destroy God’s plan through us. John 1:12 said that God has given all who have received the Son the right to be His children. So, we have to believe in our hearts that God is going to protect his children.
Just like a father tends to a cut on his child’s leg after falling and getting hurt. That father will treat and bandage the wound. So, when it heals, the child’s leg will be good as new. And the child can go play again, not fearing falling because they know, their father, will be right there.
We need that same feeling with God when we fall in the circumstances listed above. It doesn’t matter if the dog eats your favorite socks; it doesn’t matter if you can’t find your keys, or you and your spouse are not on the same page. Those situations are like ‘cuts on the leg’ to God. He can treat you, bandage you and send you on your way! Hallelujah! If that doesn’t make you shout, read it again.
God created us so that He can deliver healing, guidance, His peace, and His love through us. We were all created with a unique ability so that our uniqueness can be used by Him to save other unique individuals. This is what Jesus was praying for in John 17. He prayed for Himself, He prayed for His disciples and then He took His time out to pray to the Father for you and me. He knew that the enemy would be on us every day, attempting to knock us off focus in what God is doing in us.
But fear not, there is nothing Satan can do that will keep God from His mission through us. It is up to us, however, to stay in obedience, trust God and endure all circumstances so that no matter what it looks like, we allow God to do that great work through us.
For every ‘one’ thing you think is going wrong in your life, there are ‘ten’ things that have been seeded in the Kingdom, by you in the name of Jesus! Because God’s work will be done in us. We just need to stay obedient and focused.
May God continue to give you the strength, courage, discipline and wisdom you need to walk in Jesus’ name,
Ephesians 4:22-24 “…to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.” ~CSB
Growing up, my dad used to tell me all about his younger days. The most interesting to me were his ‘fight’ stories. I knew the names of all his old friends because of those stories. As I grew up, I wanted to be like my daddy. So, I got into fights. I tried to imitate and do everything he talked about in his early years growing up in North Nashville.
I got into some trouble because of it, but I must tell you, looking back on those years I realize God saved me from a lot of trouble I ‘could’ have been in. The kind of trouble that either follows you for life or ends it. One day God spoke to me through my father and said, “Son, should you ever have a son, don’t tell him about all the things you did. At least not until he’s 25 or 30 years old. Hopefully by then he will be his own man and won’t attempt to do any of the foolishness you tell him you did.” At this point, I began to see that I was living to imitate the wrong ‘father’.
This statement was seeded in me because years after he said that to me, (six years after he passed), my only son was born. As I watched our fourth child come into the world in the hospital that night, my dad’s statement, in a very clear voice in my head, repeated what he had told me. I remember holding my son one night thinking to myself, “I’ve got to get rid of some of these ‘old habits’ and develop some good new ones."
The world had taught me so much on how to give into, “…deceitful desires…”. I knew well how to lean heavily and easily to the things of this world that promoted against God’s will for my life. So, in order to “…put on my new self…”, I had to go to the Word of God for instructions. I went to Galatians 5:22-23 and wrote the list of ‘The Fruits’ on paper. My goal was to go through each ‘Fruit’, (beginning with the one I had the most ‘trouble’ with), and allow the strength of the Spirit God gave me, to build my character according to each ‘Fruit’.
I started with ‘Self-control’. This is the fruit I needed to work on first. And as the Word of God strengthened my spirit in this ‘Fruit’, I continue, to this day, allowing God’s peace and guidance to work within me. And as a result, I gain strength in all the remaining ‘Fruit’.
We must all do this so that we may tap into the spirit God created in us to live and be in His, “…likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.” May God continue to bless, guide, and give strength to you as you journey in Jesus’ name,
1 Peter 2:23 “He did not retaliate when He was insulted, nor threaten revenge when He suffered. He left His case in the hands of God, Who always judges fairly.” ~NLT
When I was little, I loved comic books. My favorite comic of a superhero was ‘Spider-man’. I had no idea why I liked that hero at the time but as I’ve grown, I realized I related to him as a boy growing up in this world. You see, Spider-man was unique. Not just his power, but him as a person.
Spider-man was a kid. He was 16 or 17 years old, in high school. He had to go to school and keep his grades up. His Uncle died so it was just him and his Aunt May. So now he had to get a job and help his aunt pay the bills. And above all else, he was bitten by a radioactive spider that gave him superpowers. So, in addition to school, homework, and a job, he was saving the world as a masked superhero.
Now it’s the mask I want to talk about. He was doing good for all. Saving lives and putting bad guys in jail. But no one knew who he was. He was being bullied at school. Sometimes, because of his superhero job, he was late for work and often fired because of it. If only those who treated him so badly knew who he really was, he may have been treated kinder.
This is what living as a Christian is like. We wear the uniform God has given us every day, but to those who do not know Christ, they don’t see who we are. We tithe, we give our time, talent and money in the service of others, but the world still treats us badly. This treatment causes some Christians to give up. They give in to frustration and anger. As a result, they say things Christians shouldn’t say. They do things Christians should not do.
The bible says in first Peter chapter 3 verse 20, “But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God.” Unlike Spiderman, you are being watched. God is always watching you, when the world treats you kind, and when the world treats you cruel. Be grateful that God will take care of his children and there is nothing the world can do to us that He cannot heal.
Unlike Spider-man, we as Christians don’t wear a mask, it’s just that those who do not know God, do not see Him in us. But as we endure the trials of this world, God begins to show Himself to all around us and reveal His power through us as He reveals Himself to them. This result saves lives. We were called to this as it says in verse 21, “For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” ~CSB
In His own way God called us to be superheroes in His name. But we must endure and follow the same steps as Christ. No matter what happens, we must not “…retaliate…” when insulted. We must not “…threaten revenge when we suffer…” We must be like Jesus and leave our case, “…in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.”
In Jesus’ name, may God always bless and keep you embodied in His peace,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” ~NLT
Last Thursday, June 2nd, marked thirty-six years since I graduated from High School. I bring this up as an example of ‘time’ in our lives. I always hear people say, “You are not promised tomorrow!” My question, on the day of my anniversary, was, “What if I lived those 36 years with 'that' mind-set? What would have been wasted by me living and thinking with even the slightest notion of my life being over that next day?”
Then, I began thinking about what I actually did during that time frame. What I did, and what I didn’t do. How many of those years did I waste, not spending time with my children? Not spending quality time with my wife. With my dad when he was alive? With my mother? Then I began to think about the day I was saved. And all those years before that, when I didn’t dedicate my life to God’s work in this world.
I have always been a God-fearing man. But I learned later in life that I wasn’t living my life according to God’s will for it. And then it hit me…my actions during those years contributed to the mission of the enemy. If I didn’t love my neighbor, If I didn’t maintain self-control, if I lacked patience, and gave into anger, I was contributing to the mission of the enemy.
When I idolized alcohol more than my worship of the Father, the enemy’s mission was being fulfilled. Choosing to give into my fleshly desires kept me from strengthening my spirit. Looking back with the Word, now on my heart, I know that the Lord did not create me to follow ‘me’; He created me to follow ‘Him’.
All those years made it hard to trust the ways of the Lord because I had ‘practiced’ doing things my way under my control. Now I needed to develop good new habits, that would strengthen my spirit and allow my heart to trust in the Lord and His way. I had to learn that we are all created to be like Jesus Christ.
Just as the Bible speaks of Isaiah announcing the coming of Christ as the savior, (Isaiah 9:6); and just as John spoke of how he was preparing others for the coming of the Messiah, (John 1:19-27); trust and know that God created each and every one of us to walk in the image of His Son.
To save lives. To teach others about God through our testimonies of what He has done for us and others in our lives. Let us not get caught up in the notion of, “We are not promised tomorrow”. Let us not waste any more of the time God allows us. Instead, let us always be joyful about Him being in our lives! Let us never stop praying to Him in good times and bad! And let us always be thankful in all circumstances as we know that God works out everything for the good of all who love Him!
Without question, “…this is God’s will…” for us. Let us take a hold of this Word of God, His Promise to us, and never let it go! Cherish the years of life and this day forward make it a point to serve the Lord as you live to serve others. May God keep you safe, strong, and healed as you continue your journey 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.