Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ~CSB
Peace. This is a tool that we need in order to stay in direct communication with God. So, why do we lose control of our peace from time to time? The answer lies in the ‘weakness’ of our flesh. I have endured many occasions where weakness kept me from doing God’s work in this world. What is your weakness?
Is it anger? Do you worry about every single thing? Or is it ‘social media’? Does social media snatch your peace every time you turn on the television or pick up your phone? I often hear people say, “I ain’t got time to pray right now, I’m too angry!” You see that weakness is taking away everything, (God created in you), that you need to navigate in this world.
The sinful desires birthed from our weaknesses must be removed. Peace is the tool we have that helps to dilute and discard those tendencies. The text above says, “...the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding...” meaning you may not understand how you will get through this situation, but God will make a way.
The verse continues, “...(Peace) will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Anything that tries to enter your mind, anything that tries to enter your heart that is not of God, will be blocked and you will be protected by the Son who was sacrificed for all the devil tried to curse us with.
Jesus Christ has been where we are now, and conquered what the world tried to do with God’s plan for all of us. It is because of the mighty name of Jesus that we have the gift of peace from God. And it is in Jesus name that we have the ability to use this tool to stay in spiritual sync with God and His will for our lives. So we must protect the gift of peace with all that we have in us that is good.
May God continue to provide you with everything you need to endure and live righteous in Jesus' name.
2 Chronicles 26:5 “Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.” ~NLT
When I was growing up, I did not like listening to my dad’s advice. It wasn’t that he talked too much, or that he liked to hear himself talk. It was because most of what he advised me on was right. He was correct in his advice because of his experience.
But still, I didn’t want to hear it. I would have rather lived my life on the “50/50” chance that my way was the right way. And often enough it wasn’t. This habit rolled right into how I received God’s Word. I remember reading certain scriptures and saying, “God’s not talking to me.” Or “This scripture right here, I’ll have to work on. I’m not ‘that’ Christian yet.”
There is a saying, “If you know better, you do better.” Easy to say and sounds good. So why can’t we put action to these words? It’s because we live our lives, reaping the success of our own actions and effort.
The world gives us these rewards because we pursue them the way the world teaches us too.
But remember, there is nothing the world can give us that God cannot surpass. If we would only live in obedience, we could taste God’s flavor of success and the rewards are more than we could imagine.
For example, as an alcoholic my wife only prayed for me to stop drinking. But because of her obedience, there are so many other changes that have happened to me. I am so much more than what she prayed for, and we both thank God for that! “…Seek Guidance from the Lord…” Try obedience in ‘…doing better…’ and watch what happens in our lives. The success will be more than you can imagine because the victory has already been won!
May God continue to bless and keep you under His umbrella of peace in Jesus’ name.
John 6:44 “For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me…” ~NLT
Growing up during my middle school days, we played games in the neighborhood. Being picked for teams was important. You knew how good you were when you got picked in the top three.
Today, I look at this differently. I switched the word ‘picked’ for ‘chosen’. This day and time, being chosen for anything, first or last, is a blessing. In my Christian walk, I was approached by one of the Deacons at our church and asked to join the Deacon board. I was chosen by them with the consent of our Pastor. They saw the spirit of the Lord in me. To this day I consider that a blessing.
Not only does Jesus make the statement about us being chosen by God in the text above, but Ephesians 1:4-5 says, “Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes…This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” ~NLT
If you love Jesus and are thankful for what He has done for you: know that it is not because of anything you have done. It is because God choose you to be a part of His Son’s eternal work!
We should embrace God’s love in including us in His Son’s journey. Be grateful that we are a part of God’s miracles! Knowing this, we can navigate better in this confused, deceptive, and destructive world.
Our flesh may not like the path of obedience, but the flesh has nothing to do with salvation. Our spirit does. And like Jesus said in John 6:63, “The Spirit alone gives eternal life.” ~NLT Feed the spirit with the Word. Starve the flesh and watch your faith grow strong. You have been chosen. Be grateful.
May God continue to bless and keep you healed, guided, and protected in Jesus’ name,
1 Corinthians 15:53 “For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality.” ~CSB
I have no taste in clothes. So, when my wife surprises me with a new blazer, some slacks, and a new pair of shoes to go with it, I get excited! Before I put on the new outfit, I make sure I shower, shave, and clean myself up well before putting on the new outfit. Then, I am ready to go out on a date night with my wife.
This is what the scripture is talking about above. Since we are all born into sin, our bodies have collected negative desires as we’ve walked in this world. And these desires have developed a corruptible body as a result. This body has made us corruptible in our thinking and our actions.
Thank God we all have the choice of knowing and accepting His Son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ, as a gateway to our salvation. With this gift, God is allowing us a new outfit saturated with ‘incorruptibility’. But before we put on this new spiritual outfit, we need to cleanse ourselves of all the dirt corruption has built on our bodies covering our souls.
We need to shower ourselves with the Word of God so that we can get rid of the dirt of ‘doubt’ in our lives. This doubt keeps us from believing in God and what his promises are. Scrubbing ourselves with scriptures like Isaiah 41:10 where God says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” ~NLT
Shower ourselves so we can get rid of the dirt of unforgiveness. This dirt will withhold the blessing not only for those who need forgiveness from us, but also that blessing that belongs to us because we gave it. This needed ‘body wash’ can be found in Ephesians 4:32, “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” ~NLT
After we have allowed the Word of God to cleanse us, we find that it has also made us stronger spiritually and things aren’t always as bad as they seem. In fact, because we know we live in victory, our situation will only benefit us when we endure. And God, because of His promises to us, will exchange our old clothes of ‘mortality’ with a new outfit of ‘immortality’!
We close this devotional with verse 58, “Therefore...be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” ~CSB
May the Lord bless and keep you in His peace and power in Jesus’ name.
Proverbs 22:4 "True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life." ~NLT
When I was in the hospital after my accident, I was literally 'born again'. I couldn't walk, I couldn't bathe and I could not go to the restroom by myself. I needed help with everything. To be transparent, even down to wiping myself. I remember being embarrassed when the nurse had to help me with that.
Then, when I got used to the nurse and it was time for me to go home, I had to entertain the fact that my wife had to take on those same duties.
My wife! The beautiful woman I married. The beautiful woman who looked to me to take care of her. Now I would need her to take care of me. This was an incredibly embarrassing time for me. But as I learned scripture, God strengthened my spirit. My Spirit began to transform my feeling of embarrassment and I became filled with humility.
You see that was the worst for me. I was literally a baby that had to be taken care of and the Lord put me in the hands of my wife. Any strong man would not want to be in that position. But God put me there to show me that I needed to become used to being in that position. He would allow me to stand again but he wanted me to assume that position of humility with Him so that He could bless me to bless others by Him.
He could not do that from where my mind used to be. He would not do that when all that was accomplished by me, I would only give myself credit for. No, God needed me to be humble, on my knees and to live with my only concern being what He thought about my actions and not man.
Living in my testimony of humility I can stand strong in the validation that God is in control. I can tame my worry and bring to submission my doubt because God has already shown me that He had great intentions for me despite what I went through. Regardless of what I thought I looked like going through it.
As this year comes to a close, let us all hold on to what is important, and that is God’s will in and for our lives. Not what we want, but what He wants for us. Not what we think we look like to others, but what we look like to Him. Our humility is our intention to do God’s will. It is when we let Him know through our actions that no matter what, we will live godly lives in the name of His Son.
May God bless and keep you under His umbrella of protection now and forever.
John 7:37-38 “…If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 The one who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” ~CSB
Today I’m looking out the window and taking in the beautiful sights of waves rolling on top of the ocean. The smell of the salt water, the formations of seagulls in flight and the movement of the clouds as the wind pushes them in a beautiful ballet across the sky.
Nothing like watching the living movement of God’s creations. This is what we are keying in on today, ‘God’s Creations’. The bible says in John Chapter 1 that Jesus was with God and “…All things were created through Him…” That means you and I were created through him. That also means we have been created for a purpose.
Hold on to this, because being created by God, we must know that He did this for a reason. His purpose for the kingdom was created in all of us. This means you must let go of all thoughts and visions that disagree with His purpose. Let go of not feeling worthy; let go of the devil telling you that you have nothing to live for; let go of thinking you are alone!
You see we were created with a ‘void’ inside us. Because our relationship with God is not strong, we try our best to fill that void with what WE like. We try and fill it with bad relationships, material things, money, alcohol, or drugs. And when we don’t get these things, we get depressed and guide ourselves in the wrong directions.
We try and fill it with all these things that will not last, instead of what God intended for us to fill it with, that will last. The bible describes this void as ‘thirst’. We drink our fleshly desires and are soon thirsting for more. When we go to the Word and allow Jesus to fill that void, we will never thirst again.
We won’t seek those bad relationships because we have Jesus! We won’t crave the addictions to alcohol and drugs because we will have Jesus! We won’t feel like we are alone because God is always with us! He will never leave us nor forsake us! He sacrificed His son so that we would all be included as heirs to the kingdom. His Son! Jesus is all we need!
Just come to him, receive Him and he says we will, “…will have streams of living water flow from deep within…” We will never thirst again! To God be the glory! May God continue to bless and keep you in His peace as you journey in Jesus’ name.
1 Peter 2:24 “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” ~CSB
A man hears a noise in the attic. It may be a rodent, or something may have fallen. Nevertheless, he goes up to see what it is. When he gets to his attic, he notices many old belongings. Some in boxes, other memorabilia scattered around. He realizes he has not been up here in a while. Some of the items bring back good memories. But there are others that bring back memories of the past the man has tried to forget.
Now let me propose a change of perspective. Let us allow that man’s attic to represent our minds. And that noise is the devil. Every now and then the enemy will make a noise in our minds that will make us revisit old things. These things bring back memories. Now when the devil is involved these memories will only bring back those that will help him in his mission to take us away from Christ.
Some of these memories will take us places we forgot about and were living confident in being the individuals we are. Some of us were trying to forget these times in our lives. But when the enemy made his noise, it brought those back. This caused an affect in us in a negative way. Why is that?
It is because we have grown in Christ. Our spirits are stronger because our relationship with God is stronger. The enemy’s intention is to make you question your status as an heir to the One True King. Question your status as a child of the One True God. And our flesh begins to eat away at our heart and mind attempting to make us feel guilty about being accountable for our past.
First things first. It is true, we are accountable. And we owe a debt for the many things we have done. But know that it is a debt we can never pay. God knows that. This is why He made it possible for us to still have a chance to be with Him in paradise. In John 3:16 it says that He loves us so much that, “…He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus paid that debt for us. It’s like we are in a spiritual ‘line’ everyday, waiting to pay for something that is beyond our budget. And when we get to the counter, His voice says to the cashier, “Don’t worry, I’ve taken care of it!” How amazing is that!
So, let’s not allow that ‘noise in the attic’ to dictate who we are or aren’t. By Christ’s wounds we have been healed and forgiven. Being children of God, we need to take those old bad memories, dust them off and packaged them into the testimony of how God brought us through those times. Because of those memories in our minds, God will allow testimonies of our troubles of YESTERDAY; help someone who’s going through those same issues TODAY. And our testimony, (mixed with God’s love and Word), may just save their lives!
May God continue to keep and bless you as you journey in the name of Jesus!
Ezekiel 1:28 “The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the likeness of the Lord’s glory. When I saw it, I fell face down and heard a voice speaking.” ~CSB
The Lord’s voice. I was raised on stories in the bible where God talked directly to His messenger. For instance, in Genesis 12:1 “The Lord told Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the Land that I will show you.” ~NLT The Lord spoke directly to Abram and in response Abram listened and followed the orders of God. Because of His obedience, the foundation for all gentiles was set for us to be grafted in as children of God.
Another story I was raised on; when the Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:12-13 “...This is the one; anoint him.” So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive he had brought and anointed David…” Because of this David became a great King whose descendant would be our Savior.
But today, does God talk to us? The answer is yes. But our relationship with him must be strong. We must visit with the Lord every day. Don’t allow yourself set boundaries on how you do this. In other words, don’t say, “I’m going to spend an hour with the Lord every day.” When you do this, you begin looking on your calendars, and gauging your schedules to see when you would ‘have the time.’ Before you know it, you do not, because, you don’t have that ‘hour’ in the day.
Just wake up in the morning with a prayer of thanksgiving. For simply waking you up that morning. For the blessings you have at that moment. Allow yourself five or ten minutes to review a scripture or two. To spiritually chew on as you journey through your day. This will build strength in your spirit. You will need this so that your spirit will become stronger than your flesh. This will help you keep your flesh at bay during those times of temptation.
Before you know it, your relationship with the Father will become very strong and genuine. You will be able to see what you have never seen before. You will be able to hear what you have never heard before. You begin to hear His voice. And because your spirit is stronger, you will be able to receive directions from the same voice that guided Abram. The same voice that gave Samuel direction.
That same voice will then allow you to see, in this dark and rude world, “…The appearance of the brilliant light all around…” God’s glory will be like, “…that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day.” The text continues to say that this appearance will be “…the likeness of the Lord’s glory…” Tony Evans says in his Commentary, “The only appropriate response to the glory of God is worship and obedience. This position opens the door for God to speak to us personally.”
The text continues, “When I saw it, I fell face down and heard a voice speaking.” Give our spiritual selves the chance to hear God by having that strong, determined spiritual relationship with God. This is the only way we will be able to hear from Him and receive the guidance we need to receive His promises here on Earth.
May God bless and keep you in His grace through His Son, Jesus,
1 Corinthians 3:2 “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it…” ~CSB
We know that when a baby is born, it is born with no teeth developed. The digestive system of the infant has not been formed enough to digest solid foods. Therefore, we feed our babies liquid nourishment at the beginning of their lives, nourishment like milk.
In time, our babies’ digestive systems become stronger and when the teeth develop, they can gradually eat solid foods. We start off with strained vegetables and fruits. This gives them a chance to practice chewing with their newly developed teeth. And when they become toddlers, we can then cut up solid foods like meat, small enough, so they don’t have to chew that much. Their digestive system is ready to digest these meats and the child can grow stronger with these foods.
This is how we are as ‘new creations’ in Christ. We all come to that point where we say, “I have had enough of this. I’m going to give my life to God! I am going to do the right thing from here on!” We give ourselves to Christ and now we are ready to start our journey. What we don’t know is that we have lived so long being trained by the world in ‘what not to do’; that we now must be trained in the way of Christ. We must be 'reborn'.
We pick up the Bible, begin to read and our meditations start. But something happens, we lose focus. Our attention spans are not strong enough for us to maintain or even comprehend God’s Word as we read it. One of the reasons we have a hard time receiving God’s Word is because we forget that we are 'babies' in this new walk.
We are in a new phase as ‘new creations’. We have not yet developed the spiritual ‘teeth’ to chew on some of this new ‘meat’. Meat found in books like Revelations, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Just as we wouldn’t give a newborn a piece of ham, as a new Christian we shouldn’t bite off what we can’t chew.
We must start off with ‘Milk’. In my own opinion, the milk that helped me, started in the book of John. For me, the pieces of the other books come together when I know who the Son of God is. When I read the book of John, my relationship with the Father grows strong. This is where we find our forgiveness, our chance for acceptance with the Father and our place in the kingdom. We discover ourselves as heirs to the kingdom and learn the abilities we have, to claim God’s promises.
It is after we have established this relationship with Jesus, that we can have a relationship with the Father. Then we can be taught by the Holy Spirit how to live righteously. So that we may receive the powers, peace, and protection from God, in all the other books in the Bible. When we develop our spiritual ‘teeth’, we will begin to know Christ in a way that God will allow us to receive what He has for us. This will be in His Word through the other books of the Bible, in His time.
Let us receive the ‘Milk’ of the Lamb first, then, when our digestive system is formed and strong enough to receive the ‘meat’ from God, we will be ready.
May God bless and keep you in the power of His peace as you continue your journey in Jesus’ name.
1 Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer.” ~CSB
This week my wife and I took our children to a Memphis Grizzlies basketball game. Our son likes the team and has a favorite player on that team. It was so amazing for us to see our teenager, standing and passionately yelling for his team and player. I have seen him excited before, but not like this. After the game he thanked his mother and I for taking him and asked, “…when are we coming back?”
I could see the joy in my wife’s heart as she loves giving to people and making their lives better. Especially her children. And to see the look on her face at how grateful her son was…priceless. This is how God is when we receive from Him and show Him gratitude in what He has done for us.
In the text above it says that ALL things created by God are ‘good’. Then it says that we are to receive what God gives us in ‘thanksgiving’. No matter what it looks like to us, it is a blessing. No matter when it comes to us in our lives, it is a blessing. And even if it does not look like a gift, if it comes from God, it is good, and the results of it will be His will for our lives.
This is important to know because, the text continues to state that the gift from God is, “…sanctified by the word of God and by prayer…” If we receive God’s gift, with thanksgiving in our hearts, that gift will be sanctified, because the Word and our prayers have fertilized it like a great crop to be harvested at the right time in our lives. This is how much God loves us. Preparing us for the blessings He has already created for us!
We are to be grateful and thankful to God every day of the year. But at this time of year, let us reflect on the things God has done for us, put those reflections in a ‘mental gift bag’ and give it to the Lord in thanksgiving. Let the Joy of the Lord show in our hearts as we show God how much we appreciate and love Him. Knowing we could not have done what we have accomplished without Him. We would not be where we are today without Him. And we would not know how to love without knowing how much He loved us first!
May God continue to bless and keep you under His love and protection as you 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.