The Void Filler!
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.
What's That Noise?
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!
Hearing God's Voice
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,
Milk Before Meat
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.
Grace In Gratitude
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.
The Importance of Obedience
1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice...” ~NLT
My son is not to play video games or have access to his tablet during the week because of school. On school nights, he devotes his time strictly to studies and later he can watch some TV, but no video games. One week, he did well on a test and got his homework done for the week so I told him he could get his tablet and play on it for two hours. I ran an errand and when I came back, I noticed him playing on his video game. I said, “Didn’t I tell you to play on your ‘tablet’, not your video game?”
He responded, “You told me to play on my tablet, but you didn’t tell me ‘not’ to play on my video game.” My son took the statement I gave him and made it his own excuse to play his video game. In the book of First Samuel, King Saul took God’s words and sort of did the same thing.
God told Saul to go, attack the Amalekites and “completely destroy” everything and everyone, (verse 3). God told him not to spare anyone or any livestock. But King Saul took it upon himself to amend God’s orders. He kept the opposing King alive and spared the best of the livestock, sheep, goats, cattle and choice animals, (verses 8-9). When told that he disobeyed God, His response, in verse 15, was that he spared the best sheep, goats, and cattle so that he can sacrifice them to the Lord.
This is when the prophet Samuel said to him, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your sacrifice or your obedience?” In our lives, do we amend God’s orders? Do we turn God’s Word around to suit our needs instead of following his exact instructions? My son tried to get out of trouble from me by amending the order I gave him. He knew he wasn’t supposed to play his games during the week. He also knew I only gave him permission to play with his tablet. My order of the week still stood for his video game yet, he decided to play on it anyway.
King Saul attempted to make what he did right, but eventually realized that he did go against what God told him to do and paid the price with the throne, (verses 24-35). We must be very aware and see clearly what God is instructing us to do. We must follow our orders from him to the letter. Why? Because there is a miracle in the 'exact' direction given in God’s words.
I’ll use the example of picking up my son from football practice. Now, my son knows my Jeep. But I give him specific instructions to watch for me to roll my windows down so that he can see my face before coming to the vehicle. Those detailed instructions can save his life and prevent him from being abducted.
These rules are the same when it comes to us receiving our blessings and in our blessing to others. Let us stop living our lives dismissing God’s orders because it is so easy to do what we want to do. Let us allow ourselves His direction and begin to see the beauty of His blessings in our lives.
May God continue to cover you in His peace as you journey in Jesus’ name.
Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to rescue each time.” ~NLT
A good running back on a football team disciplines himself to be good at what he does. He trains, he works out and he studies the plays given to him by his coach. As a result, he becomes the best running back in the league.
Other teams begin to study how to keep him from gaining yards or even stopping him from scoring on them. He has proven his strength as a running back. He has become and is known as a threat to the other teams they play. Because of this, the other teams will build strategies on how to stop this running back from accomplishing his mission for his team.
The same situation exists for Christians. God has created you for a purpose and that purpose will be done by walking the same mission of Christ. As we grow as Christians, studying God’s Word and living that Word, we become strong in our faith. This faith is noticed in our walk as followers of Christ.
Have you noticed that the more you go to church, the more you study and live righteously, life seems to be harder at times? That is because the devil has a team together. His mission is to destroy the cause of Christ. When you are that player that sits on the bench, doing nothing for God’s team, Satan doesn’t bother you. As long as you’re not living for Christ, you are actually allowing Satan’s team to benefit from your stagnation.
In other words, God has much power He wants to flow through you. So, when you get off the bench and get into the game, God will surge this power through you and the world will begin to change. But the devil doesn’t want this. This is why things seem to be going wrong in your life. The enemy will come at you with everything he has to prevent you from continuing your journey in Christ.
But know that you serve a God that loves you so much, He will step in and rescue you from all of it. If something occurs in your life because of Satan, God will take those negative results and turn them into something beautiful. You will be given a brand-new testimony about God moving in your life!
Stay the course in being a righteous person. No matter what life throws at you. Your mission, (should you choose to accept it), will go on and flourish like a blade of grass pushing through concrete. God will reveal you as not only His child, but also His purpose for fertilizing the Garden of Eden.
May God allow you peace as you continue your Journey in Jesus’ name.
God Created You Worthy
2 Timothy 2:20-21 “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” ~ CSB
When I was growing up, my grandmother had our ‘everyday’ dishes for our daily meals. But when we had company she would pull out the ‘good dishes’. This would be a great impression on our ‘honorable guests’. Sort of a way to present to others, who would visit, a taste of our best. That is what God does with us. When He has deemed us ‘ready’, He will present us as His best.
Some may look at the text and see, ‘wood and clay’ and automatically say, “That’s me…I’m just regular, nothing special. That is my place in the world.” This is not true. God made us all for a purpose. And in that purpose, we all have a distinct separate value. This value is in place to ‘set us apart’ from what the world may consider valuable.
Birthed from a quote by Italian sculptor Michelangelo and his story out about a sculptor who was asked about his famous statue carved out of stone; “…The statue was always there, I just chipped away the unnecessary pieces.” This is God’s intent for us as we are going through that period in our lives where we ‘wait’ on Him.
We often fall into grief, depression, sorrow and our patience are tested during our ‘waiting season’. Switch our perspective and use this time to ‘chip’ away all that is in us that is not of God. If we claim to be ‘wood and clay’ then chip away at what is not needed in us so that we will become more valuable than gold and silver.
Chip away at our anger, addictions, sadness, doubt, worry, fear, selfishness, grief, unforgiveness and anything of us that is ‘dishonorable’ and not of the Kingdom. When the time comes, God will present us to the world as the beautiful sculpture we have always been! He will set us apart and reveal us as His “…special instrument…” No longer will we be hidden behind all the unnecessary personal and physical traits that were keeping us falling short. We will be prepared for “…every good work…”
Prepare yourself for the special blessing God has just for you. It’s yours and no one else’s, but God will not give it to you until you are ready. So get ready, chip away, ‘purify’ yourself and become a valuable vessel for God and for the kingdom.
May God continue to allow His peace to surpass your thoughts and guard your heart and mind in Jesus’ name,
Solid as a Rock
Matthew 7:24-25 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a
wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded
the house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock.” ~CSB
Jesus' Words set us up for spiritual success! The Bible shows us that He says, “Love God. Love your
neighbor as yourself. Forgive others who have wronged you. Love your enemies. Ask God for forgiveness of your sins.” Jesus is the Messiah and was given the authority to forgive. This is the foundation for us to stay focused on.
Jesus is telling His believers that our 'house' is our spiritual being. When we believe in the words of Christ, we act on it. We move on it. When we do this, our spiritual being becomes strong. This is
important as we live our lives daily.
With this spiritual strength, we can be prepared for the negative in people, in situations, in trials, and in tragedy, that may come at us in any moment. The words of Christ fuel us with a spirit of the ‘big picture’. Knowing why Christ died for us. Knowing that we now are graphed in as God’s children. Allowing us to be inheritors of all the promises of God.
The belief in this big picture is the ‘rock’ in the text above. With this in our hearts, the “…rain can fall,
the rivers can rise, and the wind can blow…” but we will be able to weather any storm knowing that
Jesus has the power to give us strength and guide us to the point of peace.
So, let’s be the best ‘hearer’ we can be, so that we can be the best ‘doer’ of his Word. In that very action, we will not collapse, because our foundation in God’s word, is solid as a rock!
May God continue to bless and keep you as you continue in Jesus’ name.
Your Blessings are Promised
Sometimes people tell me, “I know I’m supposed to believe, but I see this person that doesn’t go to church, and they have all this money. I see that person who doesn’t believe in God, and they have a big house and several cars.” The scripture in Psalm 37, verse 1 through verse 2, says, “Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.” ~NLT
We may see one version of another’s life, but it is God’s will for ours that we need to stay focused on. First of all, we never know what others are going through. Second, we should never envy others in their blessings. We should know and understand that when God created us, He created us with our purpose, plan and prosperity. All these gifts are ready for us when we were ready to receive them.
The scripture continues in verses 3 and 4 where it says, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” ~NLT
Simply put, we must stay in meditation of God’s Word for our direction, as this will keep our focus on target. This will also help us stay within the fruits of the spirit, (Galatians 5:22-23), walking in godly ways. And when we feel good about working and moving in Jesus’ name, we begin to realize how much God loves us, and knows us as His children. At this point there is nothing we can think of in desire, that God has not already prepared for us. Prosperity more than we could ever imagine.
The bible continues in Psalm verses 5 and 6 saying that we should commit “…everything…” we do to the Lord and trust Him with the outcome of it all. In that commitment, those around us will see Him and His works in us. Why? Because the non-believers and the believers with weak faith will see God’s existence in us! And this just might give them what they need to become aware of God’s purpose in their own lives for the cause of Christ!
Verse 7 says, “Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him…” ~ NLT
Tony Evans says, “Our focus should be on God…We are to wait expectantly for him. Notice that we are not to merely wait but to wait with expectation.” We should not only pray but pray with ‘expectation’. We should not only work in the name of Jesus but work with ‘expectation’. We should not only wait patiently as we endure our trials, but we should wait with ‘expectation’ as we endure through our trials.
Our God is an awesome God and His love for us is powerful and complete! It contains all we need and has our desires, (those desires in the name of His Son), covered. If we feel we have not come into the blessings we have been promised by the Father, look within to see if we have followed past directions from Him. Look within to see if we have stepped into our callings. Look within and recognize the ‘LOVE’ that is only from God that can overtake any adversity in our lives. Once this is recognized, our unique blessings will rain down and be available to pass on to others.
May God bless and keep you covered in his love and peace 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.