Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” ~NLT
Tony Evans wrote in his Commentary Bible, “Scripture isn’t composed of dead words on a page; it’s alive. It cuts deep and can separate the spiritual from the earthly. The Word can judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It lays us naked and exposed before God. Have you ever had an experience with God’s Word that made you feel ‘exposed’? Have you ever heard it preached and felt like it was directed at you? Have you ever felt your soul sliced open by the Word? Remember we have no private lives. We don’t even have private thoughts. Everything is laid bare before the One to whom we must give an account.”
Powerful Words by Bishop Tony Evans. Let what he said sit with you for a moment while you consider your plans for this year. Think about it, God already knows the desires of our hearts. He already knows our thoughts, so why not give in to His will for our lives. Then say this, “This year, I’m going to have a stronger relationship with God.” It is time for all of us to receive God’s will for our lives.
When we make this decision, the rest will come from God. What do I mean by ‘the rest’? I mean the strength you will need to endure trials, heartache, and temptation. I mean the wisdom to know His voice when given direction. I mean knowing Him as He knows you.
The Word of God is for the people of God. That is why the text says that it is, “…alive and powerful…”. It doesn’t matter what the world taught us, the Word of God is sharp enough to ‘cut out’ what the world set in us, (no matter how deep it’s set in), and make room for the Word of God to seed and nurture our spirit. We need this Word to help us build that stronger relationship with God.
This year, commit to spending everyday with the Lord. Allow me to help you by offering you my book, “Testimonies of Faith and Encouragement”. This book contains devotionals, very much like the ones you receive from us weekly. It will not only give you another devotion to study for the week, but it also contains scriptures in the back of the book relating to each week you read.
This book is set to help you develop the ‘good habit’ of spending time with the Lord. Look at it like this, for a few years now you have been receiving one devotional a week from us. With the book, you now have two. By the time 2022 is over you should be in the habit of reading God’s word every day.
With everything going on in the world today, we need God’s Word every day to be able to stay focused on the path the Father has laid down for us. We need His Word every day to feed our spirits so that it will become stronger than our flesh. Keeping those terrible desires for anger, sadness, lust and unforgiveness at bay.
CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/testimoniesoffaith
And begin your journey to a strong relationship with God this new year, and watch this time next year, how you have become the child of God He created you to be!
May God continue to bless you in the new year,
Billy and Yolanda
Acts 20:35 “In every way I’ve shown you that it is necessary to help the weak by laboring like this and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~CSB
It is that time of year! Family, friends, food, fun, Christmas movies and the exchanging of gifts! I mean how can you beat the feeling of receiving a wrapped present, size and weight teasing your curiosity and opening it without any knowledge of what is inside. The best gifts are those you had absolutely no idea what you were going to receive but when you got it, you were so glad you got it!
This wonderful feeling is responsible for us putting aside the real reason for the season. Jesus being born. The birth of the Messiah who grew to become the Savior resulting from His death on the cross. This is the best gift for all of us who believe. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t give and receive. What I am saying is that there are other gifts that we should be concentrated on giving this year as well.
One gift in particular is hard for some of us to give. Those of us who have been hurt, those of us who have been broken as a result of a betrayed relationship. This is the gift of forgiveness. Some of us will not join family this year because they will not forgive. Something happened where a wound has not closed. For those of us who are at this crossroad, think about how our Father forgave us. John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” ~NLT
“HE GAVE…” His Son took our place in our accountability for the sins we were born in and created for ourselves. His Son, who paid a debt we owed but could never pay. It is this gift that we can never be thankful enough. It is this gift that we can never give to its equivalent. But we can live our lives loving ‘in spite of’. Forgiving regardless of how we feel. And giving our time, our talent and our money. We do this because all those things were given to us by God.
We serve God because He created us to serve others. The text above says that it has been shown to us the necessity, “…to help the weak by laboring…” In other words, others may not forgive us, others may not give to us but we who are stronger in our faith will show others God’s Spirit in us by being the first to do so.
It is God who will reward us in our humility. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you: a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” ~CSB
This season step up and allow others to see what God has done with you and for you this year. Show others how far God has brought you. Because He is bigger than you situation, He has made you stronger than your situation. Allow His love to show and shine through you and bring our families back together. Forgive and allow God’s healing power to take place and finally heal that wound. Jesus said, “…it is better to give than to receive…” This is because the gift has already been given to us. And this gift gives birth to all of God’s promises to us.
May God bless and keep you in this season of His Son’s birth. In Jesus’ name,
Blessings, and Merry Christmas!
Billy and Yolanda
1 Corinthians 1:28 “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” ~NLT
Game day. A local football team is playing a team that has been undefeated. The game is close. There is a wide receiver that is not one of the better players. In fact, they have not thrown to him all night. The opposite team does not feel he is a threat and consider him ‘nothing’ to fear.
Last quarter, and the local team is behind. A touchdown can win the game. The ball is hiked, and the receivers run their patters. The defense covers all the receivers to make sure the quarterback doesn’t connect. All are covered except for one.
Our weaker wide receiver just happens to be open. No one feared any success from him since he hasn’t performed all night. The quarterback sees this and throws the ball in his direction. The wide receiver catches the ball for the first time and runs in for a touchdown. The local team wins and there is victory in the small town.
God works in this way as well. Those times we feel we are in the background and feel we should be in the front so everyone can see us. This is not God’s way. First, God wants us to humble ourselves. Know that it is about Him and His business, not ours. Then, God wants to train us before He reveals us. The training periods are the trials we go through and the pain we endure. This makes us stronger. When we persevere in knowing that we live to serve, this allows us strength in the gift of faith also given to us by the Lord.
While all of this is going on, the world may see you differently. The world will not fear you because it will be unaware of the power God is allowing to grow in you. The power to do and perform the will of God for others that need His miracles. The world will see you as that ‘weak wide receiver’ and when the time of miracle comes, that darkness will not be able to cover you and prevent you from receiving and using the power that God throws your way! What victory that will be!
When we feel the world has labeled us as ‘insignificant’, you can be sure that this is not the way God feels about you. He created you with great intention for you to be a blessing to the world in the name of Jesus Christ. He created all of us to be a tool for the kingdom. The world may tell you, may show you or may label you as ‘insignificant’, but that is a lie.
The truth is that you are a child of God. And any child of God has the makings of royalty. Jesus Christ hung bled and died for us to become inheritors of the kingdom. And that is an inheritance the world cannot take away. The devil does his best to talk you into giving up your inheritance, but all you have to do is say ‘no’.
Like Jesus, the world my beat you, bleed you and try to kill you, but you are a child of the Most High and God will not let you fall. He will take those who think they are, “…counted as nothing at all…” and will use them to bring “…to nothing what the world considers important…”
May God’s peace surpass your thoughts and guard your heart and mind in Jesus’ name,
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” ~NLT
I was watching a TV show where one of the characters was faced with a potentially sad situation because of his past. He said, “I wish I had been a better man coming up.” The character of the wife said to him, “Your past made you the man you are today, and I love you.”
That is how God looks at each and every one of us. It does not matter what color your past is, Jesus died on the cross for us all to become a new creature. Whatever happened in our past, God can take that and use it for the Kingdom. How does He do this? Our past, our memories become spiritual gifts when we begin to live God’s will for our lives.
It is because we have all gone down our unique paths that our gifts are different. But we all share the same source of power in healing, strength, and wisdom from God. When we receive our direction from our Father, we begin to encounter other children of God that will be able to benefit from the healings of our past.
Our transformations allow us to become aware of the purpose God has given us in the life we lead in His Son’s name. We begin to recognize our position in ‘service’ to others God places in our paths. If any one of us thinks that our existence does not count, we would be sadly mistaken. God does not create failure. Our existence has the foundation of purpose. And that purpose is the soil that nourishes the seed God planted in us for Him to do great things through us. Our services in this world may be different but we, “…serve the same Lord…”
God works in different ways and our differences confirmed this. For instance, we are all people yet some of us are men, some of us are women. Ethnicities, how we raise our families may all be different, but it is, “…the same God who does the work in all of us.”
Lastly, we must stay obedient. God’s work in us is powerful and Satan can infiltrate our fleshly desires and attempt to use that power for his will. Remaining obedient will keep us from ever giving in to any of those temptations. Remember, “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
May God continue to bless and keep you healed, empowered, and directed 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.