John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” ~CSB
Picture this; you are about to go into a situation, and you find yourself ‘rehearsing’ the words you are going to say. You may have ‘practiced’ how you were going to act in response to something or someone negative. For example, a co-worker, a family member or maybe even some church members, you are about to have that confrontational conversation with.
You may be dreading this situation so much that stress and worry come over you. It’s important to know, at this point, that any situation that comes your way, (with Christ in your heart), God will pave the way through, and its results will be a blessing. God knows you may not know the right thing to say or do, therefore He has provided a ‘Teacher’ inside all of us.
This Teacher, Counselor, Advocate, is a gift from the Almighty God to us, that represents the mission of His Son. When we become a new creation in Christ, (2 Corinthians 5:17), we are newly chosen like Peter was when Jesus approached him on his boat. We are called, but we need to be trained. We will enter situations that we have no knowledge of how to handle. But God, our omniscient Father, allows us guidance through the Holy Spirit. How do we get that guidance?
Through ‘daily doses’ of the Word of God. Let me give you an example. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:15-16, “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” ~CSB
In the Word of God, Jesus allows us the promise of a guide through this unstable and unreliable world. To remain dedicated Christians, we cannot survive without this guidance. The way the Holy Spirit works is that He will feed you as you feed your spirit with scriptures. Another great Word from God comes from Luke 12 verses 11 through 12, “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” ~NLT
No matter what situation you may fall into, rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right words and the right actions. This is because at that very moment, God is about to work that miracle in you for somebody. You may know it, you may not, but it is God’s time to shine in you. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and do not get in the way of that blessing.
If your relationship with God is strong, meaning you spend time with Him every day, the Holy Spirit’s voice in guidance will be strong in your heart. Listen to the Counselor. Follow the lead of the Advocate. And pray in thanksgiving, giving God all the praise because we serve a God that loves us enough to always be with us. Allowing the Holy Spirit to, “…teach us all things and remind us of everything Jesus has told us…”
May God bless and keep you in His peace as you journey in Jesus’ name,
Psalm 94:19 “When I am filled with cares, your comfort brings me joy.” ~CSB
I remember a time when TV only had five channels. And on those channels, we would get the news
every now and then. Late night, all the channels would sign off, no more TV until the morning. The local paper would talk about ‘local’ things going on in our area. In other words, we would only know what was going on in our ‘backyard’. Some may say that’s a bad thing, where others may say it may have been a good thing. But what it did do, was limit what got into our heads and caused us worry.
Today’s world is a different story. Let’s face it, today it is hard to wake up and not get mentally stirred up about the things around us. Most of us wake up and the first thing we grab is our smart phones. These phones have ‘global’ coverage. In an instant, we hear about an unjustified death in a city thousands of miles away. We hear gossip on social media that makes us question the state of our ‘own’ home, family, and marriages. We allow the happenings, actions, and end results of tragedy, to creep into our spirits before we have even allowed time to be spent with God.
Whew! What a crazy thought. Spending time with God first. You know, this just might not be a bad idea. The enemy knows scripture. He knows that God’s love is renewed every morning, (Lamentations 3:22-23). It is the morning time that is the best time to spend in God’s word to spiritually regroup.
The enemy knows our spirits are like dry sponges ready to absorb to the fullest. This is why he summons our spirits to grab that smart phone first thing. Know that it’s easy for us to become upset in the morning when we can’t find our keys; our alarms don’t go off; we don’t get our coffee in time; our
children aggravate us before they go to school. Everything becomes ‘too much’ because the enemy
knows that if you get that time with God, you will be able to endure and overcome his influences for
that day. He doesn’t want that.
But God wants you to spend your time with Him. He wants to show you and give you the love you need to spiritually overcome a physically overbearing world. When you think about the world being wicked, just think about the Psalmist recognizing God when he says in verse 16, “Who stands up for me against the wicked? Who takes a stand for me against evil doers?”
How he witnesses to all, in his trust and faith in the Lord, by saying in verse 17, “If the Lord had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of my death.” And how he acknowledges stumbling in life but knows God is there to pick him up when he says in verse 18, “If I say, ‘My foot is slipping, Your faithful love will support me, Lord.”
Dr. Charles Stanley mentions in one of his devotions, “Little faith ‘hopes’ that God will do what He says;
strong faith ‘knows’ that He will; and great faith ‘believes’ that He has already done it.” Little faith can
grow. Strong faith is good. Let us all work that faith muscle out in the mornings in our time with the Lord so that we may have GREAT faith. And in this faith, we can speak God’s word in confidence, “…When I am filled with cares, (and worry), Your comfort (Lord) brings me joy.”
May the Lord continue to bless, comfort, and guide you as you journey in Jesus’ name,
1 Corinthians 13:13 “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.” ~NLT
It is easier to love when love is shown. For example, we receive a gift from a loved one and it is THAT gift we always wanted. Here, our love is easily pulled from inside and shown out. But it becomes harder to love when love is not shown to us. This is an extension in many situations. For family, it leads to communication shut down. Arguments and sometimes fights. Long term, family members go years without talking or communicating.
It is easier to withhold any signs of love when it comes to strangers. Especially if they do not show love first. But Jesus gave us a command, “…love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other…” Take note, he didn’t suggest this. He didn’t ask us. He commanded us to ‘love’ each other. Yet, we do not. We say “…love you…” a lot. But do we really mean it or do it? Especially the way He loves us.
Wait, maybe that’s it. Maybe we don’t know how much Jesus really loves us. This is important because there is a measure of faith in the understanding of love as it pertains to Jesus loving us. You see, there is no way we can have any substantial love for anybody until we understand His love for us. Let’s take a look at it.
We are all sinners, who have fallen short of God’s glory. Yet, the Father loves us so much He wants us to have a chance to enter the kingdom and be with Him. So, he assigns the mission of ‘sacrifice’ to His One and Only Son, so that our ‘sin debt’ can be paid. Jesus takes this mission, walks it, endures it, and has victory in it. His love is shown through the pain and suffering on the cross for a lost people. A lost people that God has claimed as His children. This is the love that needs to be understood by us all before we can even comprehend ‘how’ we are going to love in the type of world we live in today.
Our Savior’s command should be carried out with full intention and passion. And as our relationship with Him grows, that genuine gift of love from us will show God in our hearts. This love can then be used by Him to heal others who cross our paths, whether they show love or now. The command from the savior should be followed in every situation we encounter because that is the will of God. Anything other than that will aid the enemy and his cause.
If you need a guideline, then read a few verses before our text above starting with verse four, “Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” Verse 8 says, “Love never ends…” Everything else may have an expiration date, but love does not. It endures all. So let us listen to our Savior who has sacrificed for our eternity in heaven and invest our time into what is eternal. Love, because He first loved us.
May God keep and bless you as you journey in Jesus’ name,
Matthew 6:9-12 “Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. 10 Your Kingdome come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” ~HCSB
We can go through a lifetime and wonder why God may have not answered some of our prayers. But if you really look at it, it may solely rest on HOW we may have prayed the prayer. For example, our children may ask us for a toy they don’t need. “Dad, I want some fireworks to set off!” We may respond, “Ok son, maybe one day.” With the intention of never giving them the fireworks.
The request was made with no real 'need' described. Why would we buy our children something that explodes? The mere fact that it was possible to send my child to the hospital would be indication enough that they don’t need it. Did the child explain or describe how ‘fireworks’ would be a great addition to the family? You see this may seem a little funny looking at it from viewing a ‘fireworks’ situation, but now think about it when we request from God.
When we pray, do we weigh how our request will be good for the kingdom? Many of us don’t think about that. Most of the time we pray according to our own desires instead of our needs. This takes our focus away from concentrating on God’s intent and purpose for our lives; as it is lived in God’s will for control of this world. I know, it seems a little deep, but it really isn’t. Prayer should be aligned with God’s will. In other words, we should stick to praying for what is needed to live as a Christian in this world, instead of praying for what we want. Why? Because God knows what we want better than we do, and His ‘gift’ of our ‘wants’ is a whole lot better than anything we ‘think’ we want.
So, how do we pray? There is really no set way to pray correctly because it is a prayer between us and God. But when we look at the Word of God and listen to Jesus as he tells us, Matthew 6 is a great blueprint in guidance. First, we want to acknowledge Who we are praying to. Our children come to us and say, “Daddy!” “Mommy!” And then they make their request known. We must do the same and say as verse 9 leads us, “Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy…” Allowing ourselves to show humility in gratefulness and thanksgiving by knowing that we are praying to God who will supply for all our needs.
Next, we acknowledge that our lives are lived in Jesus’ name and in His image. Verse 10 allows us to speak, what is done in heaven will be done on earth by us. Then we ask to supply for our needs in nutrition and life in verse 11. In verse 12, ask that we be forgiven as we accept and forgive those who have wronged us. Living and acting in the image of Christ.
When we take these basic steps in our prayers before we even 'ask' in prayer, as Christians, it becomes hard to be selfish in that prayer. As we grow into the praying Christian we were created to be, this formula of prayer, taught to us by Jesus in this text, will become automatic in our lives. Watch, as the fruit of those prayers produce the promises that God promised Abraham. And as heirs, we will inherit those promises. Practice and grow in your prayers and watch God’s power work in you and through you.
May God continue to cover, guide, and heal you on your journey in Jesus’ name.
Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. 27 So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.” ~CSB
Growing up we all had someone we looked up to and wanted to be like. It could have been a pro football player, gymnastic athlete, or our old high school coach or teacher. Whoever they were, they had the qualities we wanted in ourselves so that others would look, respect, and treat us the same way we did with them.
But little did we know that God already created us with the qualities and traits of Him. We were created by Him in the image of Him. We need not look up to anyone else. We do not become aware of this until we have become a new creature in Christ. This is when our idea of who we look up to changes. As we read the Word of God and build our relationship with Him, we want to walk more in His image and in His name.
When you walk in the image of God you take the ‘physical action’ to show others who He is. With all your heart, you stand and become that image of Christ, and God will do the rest. Understand, God has all the power to heal, and bring peace to others. He can use us if we place ourselves in position to be used by him to do this. Others who cross our paths will benefit from this.
What God wants from us is to believe in Christ’s cause. This belief must be enough for us to make every effort to constantly live in the image of Him. No matter what we come in contact with. In other words, when faced with being insulted, or find ourselves in confrontation, we respond with love, kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness. This is how Christ lives in us.
God will protect you, then send the healing power of peace to them through you. And they will begin the transformation to a new creature in Christ. They will notice this when they begin to question their negative actions. “Why was that person nice to me, when I was so mean to them?” “Why didn’t they want to fight me?” “How did they get to be so peaceful?”
As they continue to see us and other Christians like us, they will begin to understand that they can also have access to the same peace. They would not be able to witness this victory if we did not live in the calm and peace God provides us. This is how and why we live in His image. To show others He exists and is the source in our lives!
When God says, “…Let US make man in our image…”, know that the Trinity, the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit voted at that point to create all of us in their ‘image’ and ‘likeness’. They voted this so that the Trinity may do its work in completion in this world. The cause intended by Christ to bring peace, love, and joy to a people created by God, loved by God and covered by God. Let all God’s people celebrate in praise!
May the Lord continue to bless you on 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.