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Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Upon reading the definition of faith which states: strong or unshakable belief in something even without proof, I realized that there is so much proof that Christ exists.  The Bible and the facts it contains are among the most disputed and most proven documents.  Sure if you want to find flaws you can find them, if you want to reject what is written, you have that right.  If you want to believe, you have that right as well.  No one, except you,  can make the choice to believe in Chirst and the sacrifices He made for you.

The more time you spend in His presence the stronger and wiser you become.  He is waiting for each of us to open our hearts and minds to all that He has to offer.  I have never seen a thousand dollar bill yet, I believe it exists because I have seen evidence of it.  I see evidence of Christ working in my life and the lives of those around me everyday.  There are truths all around you yet if you are not seeking them you will not find them.  There is a sunset everyday yet, if I don’t look at the sky I will never see it.  If I never seek God with my whole heart I can miss Him as well.  Don’t miss what God has instore of you, seek, find, and believe.

Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me as much as you do.  I know that I often put you in a box and limit what you are able to do in and through me.  I often give in to fear and anxiety as I walk through my day.  I know that this is not what you want for me.  Throughout your word you promise to be with me as I go through the fire.  Your word does not say that I will go around the fire but through it.  You also promise to never leave me or forsake me so, I as wolk forward in faith, I trust you and choose to believe in your promises.  Help me in my unbelief.  In Jesus Precious, Holy Name, Amen

Trust Him

1 Peter 2:7-8 (MSG) “To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him, The stone the workmen threw out is now the chief foundation stone.  For the untrusting it’s …a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way.”

Our lives are a series of obstacles to over come.  We walk this life facing challenges one at a time; although sometimes we seem to face many challenges at once.  Each obstacle  has a solution.  We have a choice to walk with Christ leading the way, which brings peace during the storms of life, or we can walk the path our way, which often leaves us feeling lost and alone.  Either way we go, there is an end.

For me, I want to build my life on The Stone to be proud of and I want to trust Him with everything I have.  I know that there are times I become the boulder blocking the way.  I am the stumbling block that stops God from moving in my life.

As we walk through life we can either trust him and be proud of our journey, hardships included, or we can be ashamed and be crushed under the pressures of life.  God is our strength,  in times of trouble, a refuge, a place to seek shelter, and He is our cornerstone.

Father, thank you for being my rock, my shield, my protector, and my guide.  I walk through this life holding on to you and your promises.  I know that I will stumble and even fall, but because I have you I have faith and strength to make it through.  Lord, you are a loving and merciful God; in you I find my strength.  Be with me today and protect me with you mighty hand.  I sit in awe of all you have done and continue to do in my life, be my guide and the rock on witch I stand.  In Jesus Name, Amen

First Love

Matthew 22:39 “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

What if I don’t love myself?  Why that thought went through my head I really don’t know, but I do know there are time in my life when I really don’t love myself.  So, how do I show others love when I don’t love myself?  Well, God has an answer to that as well, He is so very good to us.

If you notice it says “a second”.  So, what is the first?  To find the answer we only need to look back a few verses to Matthew 22:37-38 “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.”

You see to love ourselves is to first love our creator God.  When we love God first then and only then can we let love flow through us.  We on our own are not capable of showing continual love to anyone unless we are connected to Christ first.  We would not even know what love is if we didn’t have Christ.  We are only able to love because He first loved us.

Father, thank you for love.  Even when love hurts it is better than never knowing or having lovein our lives.  Without your ou we would never know what joy, peace, love or contentment feels like.  You alone are these things and they are a gift from you.  Help me today remember that being able to love and show love is a gift that I should not take for granted.  You are love and thank y Ou for loving me enough to send you Son to die so that I may live.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Filled with Joy

1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an expressive and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Ever notice how quickly your attitude can change around certain people? The old saying comes to mind, “negativity breeds negativity.” When I am around someone who is always saying negative or doing negative things it takes the joy from me. I want to be surrounded by people who are happy and joyful, but even when that is not possible I want to bring joy to the situation. I have Christ so, I want to bring His joy where ever I go and not allow the devil or his demons to steal my joy.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized being sad or happy is a choice. If I am alive, no matter my circumstance I can have joy because I have Chirst. He is my joy not my situation or my friends, not even my family is responsible for my happiness, or state of mind. My joy comes from the Lord.

No matter what situation you are facing find peace and joy knowing that you have a Father who loves you, died for you, and will give you peace.

Father, when I am facing uncertain situations I know that you alone know the beginning and the end. I know that I can trust you with everything and today I recommit to following you with a joy filled heart. You are my joy and my guide. Nothing is impossible when I walk this life with you. Fill me with a joy that can only be explained because of you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rest

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Come sit with Me, find peace and rest in My presence.

There is such freedom in sitting with Jesus.  Not matter what your day bring Christ is ready and waiting for you to spend just a moment with Him.  He will bring peace the moment you utter his name.  Find rest for our soul.

We always seem to be in a hurry.  We rush to get ready for work, get the kids up and dressed for school, clean our home because someone is coming over, the list is endless.  It seems as thought we have lost sight of what it means to spend in time with God and release our worries and anxieties. “Come and rest” he calls to our souls.  We make excuses why we cannot spend just a moment of our time in His presence.   I find it amazing that on days I choose to spend with my Father things just seem to go smoother,  Not that I don’t have troubles or challenges, but when I look to Jesus there is a peace that covers my day and I don’t feel as rushed.  Trust Him, sit with Him, and He will bring rest to your weary soul.

Father, thank you for bringing peace and strength into my daily life.  I gave you my heart and I want to live each day for You and in Your presence.  Remind me as I go through my day that you are there.  When I forget or get anxious may Your Spirit rise up and call to me reminding me that You are ready to bring peace to a challenging situation or just give me rest.  I want to be a blessing to those whom I encounter today and everyday.  Help me to rest in You.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Overwhelmed with life

Nahum 1:7-8(MSG) “God is good, a hiding place in tough times.  He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking or help.  No matter how desperate the trouble.  But cozy islands of escape He wipes right off the map.  No one gets away from God.”

Do you ever feel that life is just out to get you?  Nothing you do seems to go your way or you just feel beat up?  You are not alone.  We all go through seasons in our lives where we are fearful, worried, anxious and overwhelmed.  It is what we do in those times that allow God’s strength and glory to shine through, if we allow Him to.

When life seems to come out of nowhere to swallow you up like a categoric 5 hurricane, what is your first response?  Is it to run to Jesus or is it to run away from Jesus?  It seems that when life gets hard and storms come our way often times we want to blame God.  If you remember any of God’s promises they are full of love, joy, peace and hope.  God does not want our lives to be overcome with heartache, disappointment, or trouble, His plans are perfect and loving.

God is not responsible for the pain in this world; He sent His son, Jeusus, to save us not to condemn us.  When the storms of life come your way, and they will come, turn to Jesus for strength and peace don’t run away, it often times leads to more heartache.  God is there to hold you and comfort you when you need it most.  Follow Jesus to freedom.

Abba, Father, thank you for coming to save me. You are the rock on which I stand.  I am strong because of you.  You alone are my strength and my refuge in times of trouble.  You bring what I need when I need it even thought I don’t always acknowledge You when I am hurting, lost, afraid, and alone.  You have put people in my life that encourage me, you have given me gifts to use for your glory, and you give me strength to go on when the storm clouds seem to block out any hope or joy.  I am Yours and I release all my worries, fears, and anxieties to You and You alone.  Free me from the chains that bind me Lord.  In Jesus precious, holy name, Amen

Live by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7-8 “We live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Faith is having complete trust or confidence.

“It is what we trust in yet do not see that keeps us going.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 Msg) God is calling us to complete trust in him.  He created everything we see yet somehow we still think we are in control.  Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that we do not have the ability to truly understand this kind of love.

Are you tired of trying to please the world?  Find peace and strength in your faith.  You can have confidence that God is in control.  Stop trying to please the world, instead find peace in walking with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.  We don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven to to be with the Lord.  We have been given the Holy Spirit to live in us and gently lead us to peace, joy, and love.   Walk by faith, having complete confidence, because what you see can and will change IF you walk confidently with the one who loves you.

Father, I come as a faithful servant wanting to grow ever closer to You.  I cannot see You like I can see things in the world like friends and family, yet I have faith, complete trust, You are with me.  Help me see all you have given me, for You are my strength and comforter. You promise that Your plans are to prosper me and not to harm me so, I place my life, will, and all that I am into your loving arms with complete faith in You.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Hope or Wish?

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Notice how faith and hope go hand in hand.  If we have faith then we have hope.  Could you imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have hope?  There are so many people that live without any hope.  They are your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family members.  We, as believers in Christ, are asked to walk out our faith in the everyday life.  This is not easy because we too are human and we make mistakes.  We wish instead of hope and pray.

How are hoping and wishing different?  When we wish something to be or happen we know that it is unlikely or impossible.  I don’t want to waste my life wishing for things to happen or change.  Instead I want to have hope because when I hope I know that change is possible.  This is why scripture uses the word hope and not wish.   In Christ all things are possible.  So, have faith so you can be sure, hope because it brings possibility, and pray because God wants to hear from you.

Father, thank you for reminding me that in You I have hope.  I don’t have to wish for things to happen or change.  I have hope and with hope comes faith, with faith comes possibility.  Help me remember that in You I have hope and all I have to do is come to You, even though I cannot see You You are with me every moment of everyday.  Lord, my hope is in You.  Cover me this day as I go forth in Your name, change what needs to be changed and give me the wisdom to accept what I cannot change but to find Your joy in my day to day life.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Flowers or Weeds?

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

We all, as humans, want to be accepted and loved. We have a need to feel special. How often do you stop and think about how special you are to God? We all want attention negative or postiive, it does not seem to matter. We want to be seen and valued.

I want to encourage you today by telling you, your hard work, your mundane tasks, your quiet prayers are all seen by the One who created you. Nothing you do, say, or think goes unnoticed by Him. He knew you before you were born. He created you.

I remember when my children were small they would go out into the yard and pick “flower” and bring them to me. They were so proud and had the biggest smiles on their faces as they would present me with this bouquet of “flowers”. As a loving parent I would never tell them that they have just handed me a pile of weeds. I would treat the flowers as a gift, because that is exactly what it is a gift. This is how your Heavenly Father sees you. No matter what you do, say, or think he is always there to smile and give you his grace. You don’t have to earn God’s love, you don’t have to look to man for approval, you just need to go to Jesus as a child and He will shower you with His love.

To be a servant of Christ is to know love and acceptance. God does not give as the world gives but we often think we have to please God like we have to please our fellow men. Sit for awhile and see God’s love smiling on you as a child handing “flowers” to a parent.

Father in Heaven, thank you for your grace, mercy and love. I want to live my life serving you. Help me to look to you and not to men for acceptance, joy, peace, and love. For humankind falls short of these gifts because we are selfish. I want to seek Your approval and live a life worthy to be called Your servant. In Jesus Name, AMEN

Christ took my place

Colossians 2:15 “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he (Christ) made a public spectacle of them (Satan and demons) triumphing over the by the cross.”

Have you ever thought about how truly selfish we can be?  I have been thinking about how much Christ loves me and the fact that He took my place in Hell.

We have all experienced pain both physical and emotional.  Some of us more than others, but none the less this pain does not compare to the continual pain of Hell.  Here on Earth the pain comes and goes from what scripture describes of Hell the pain is never ending.  I cannot imagine the pain Jesus must have gone through to take on the punishment of all human kind.  In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says, “They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  I don’t know about you but this image is not something I want to live with for all eternity.  Christ died so that we can live with him in heaven.  Yet how often do we put limits on what we are willing to give to another person.  “______________ hurt me so I am going to _____________ (ignore, divorce, be rude) to them.”  Although we may not say these words our actions speak loud and clear.  Imagine if Christ would have done these things, where would we be today?

Sure we get hurt and no one wants to live a life filled with pain and heartache, but if Christ is our example and he endured rejection, sin, and heartache, aren’t we asked to  share in His suffering to bring His glory to a hurting world?  Evil exists and we cannot ignore that, but if we believe in evil we also believe in peace, forgiveness, acceptance and the love of God?

Today when you feel hurt or mistreated think about the love that Christ wants us to show to those around us.  You may be the only one that in someone’s life that shows love and acceptance.  You may be the one that is suppose to share what it means to be Christ’s hands and feet to a hurling soul.  Don’t miss the opportunity to share the love of Christ, it is life changing.  Don’t hold others to a different standard.  Remember the “golden rule” treat others the way you want to be treated, not treat others the way they treat you.

Father, thank you for loving me first and being an example that I can look to when I am hurt.  Help me to share the love that you have given to me to others that I encounter today and everyday.  I know that there are days when I am weak, but on those days I want to rely on you and your love for me.  Help me to focus on you when my flesh wants to lash out and hurt those who have hurt me.  Father in Heaven, I want to follow you and your plan for my life, give me the strength to follow after you.  In Jesus Precious Name, AMEN