The Power Of If

Matthew 4:3 “And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 

Until recently I never thought about the power of word, “if”.  Out pastor brought to our attentions what this little word does to our thinking and how Satan uses it to cast doubt.  In the verse above the tempter tries to get Jesus to doubt His relationship with the Father.  Jesus had just been baptised and completed fasting for 40 days when the evil one began his attack.  There are a few things wrong with Satan’s attack on Jesus, 1) Jesus had just hear God say to him, “This is my son..” 2) Jesus had just spent 40 days praying and growing close to God.  3) Fasting, for the purpose of prayer and relationship with God will make you stronger not weaker.

The tempter had lost before he ever began.  Another fascinating fact, it was The Spirit that lead Jesus to be tempted.  Now, we all know that when the spirit leads you to do something you are under God’s authority and protection.

Papa, forgive me for doubting You and Your powers.  I come to Your thrown of grace seeking guidance as I face my day.  Father, I know that the tempter is stronger than me and can lead me wayward.  I also know that You are stronger than my tempter.  Give me strength to do the hard things and to live according to Your will.  Open my eyes to areas where I doubt Your strength and guidance.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Tempted and alone?

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

It’s easy to believe the lie that we struggle alone.  When we walk through the valleys of life, these are often the darkest times in our lives, we often feel lost, alone, directionless, and sometimes even feel as if there is no point to life.  These are the lies Satan would have us believe.  There is no struggle that we face when God is absent.  Feelings are anything but static.  How can we trust and rely on something that seems to change with the wind?

I want to encourage and remind you that in the midst of our failure, hurt, brokenness, and heartache, we can draw closer to our Father.  In reality, He wants us to curl up in His lap and snuggle with Him.  He is not a distant, standoffish, or waiting for you at the end of your struggles cheering for you.  He is walking with you so, lean into Him and you will come out on the other side able to look back at your time in the valley as a time of growth and redefining.  God is shaping and preparing you trust Him.

Abba Father, thank You for Your strength to walk through this life.  You tell us in Your word that we will have troubles in this life but, you also assure us that we are never alone.  Help me to recognize the lies Satan is telling me, especially the one that I am alone in my struggles.  When I am tempted to believe the lies open my eyes to Your way out.  Strengthen me as I move forward today and give me the strength to be the change You want me to be in this world.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

To have hope is to trust

Romans 8:24-25 “For in the hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have we wait for it patiently.”

Hope is a word I hear and use often, but I don’t think I have ever taken the time to look it up and what I found is that to hope also means to trust.  So, we hope for something we are also trusting that it will come true.    This give me a different perspective when I think about hope.  When I hope for something I am also trusting my Heavenly Father.

As I was reading I came across this sentence, “hope not is measured by the lack of trials, but by what learn about Jesus when we walk through the trials.”  This makes so much sense to me because when we are in the midst of trials we tend to hope more.  We hope for the situation to change.  When we go through trials we are trusting God to walk with us and bring healing, comfort, peace, and hope for a better tomorrow.  God promises to never leave us or forsake us so, put your trust in Him and hope for a better future.

Father, Thak you for loving me and being my hope.  I know that no matter what I face today or in the future You will be with me guiding me and comforting me.  I can have HOPE becauseI have You.  Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me and for being my hope when I walk through trials.  Be with me today and bring Me hope because with that comes peace.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Let Me Love You

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and hep you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Let me love you, I hear the Lord say.  Come to me in your weakness and I will give you strength.  You are broken and I will heal you.   Be still and know that I am your God, your strength, and your shelter when the storms of life come.  Come rest to me and rest in my arms for I am your comforter and healer.

Do you ever just feel overwhelmed by life?  God tells us to come to him in our brokenness, pain, worry, and our hurting.  He is our strength in times of trouble.  He has come to seek and save the lost.  So, do you feel lost today?  Do not fret, he is waiting to hold you.   His arms are open ready to hold and comfort you.  He is the healer of broken relationships, broken hearts, and a mender of souls. No matter what you face today He has a plan and not just any plan, a perfect plan.  So, run into your Father’s arms and find comfort, healing, and best of all love.

Papa, I am so grateful to know that I am never alone.  In the midst of the storms of life you are right there with open arms.  In your arms I can find comfort and healing.  Allow me to sit with you today.  Speak to me and draw me closer to you.  Change me Lord and make me more like you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Specks and Planks

Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

It is often difficult to look under the hood of our hearts to see what is really going on in our lives. It seems so easy to look at someone else and find their shortcomings or faults, especially those we are with everyday. When we find fault in others we, according to scripture, we have a criticism problem. This means that we are quick to find fault in others.

When criticism lives in our hearts we cannot walk in freedom with The Spirit. This is how the evil begins to devour and control out lives.  A critical spirit comes to kill and destroy anything that is good and pleasing to the Lord.  This spirit takes a kind act and turns into an irritation, destroying the goodness behind it.  It is amazing how a driver on the road, that you don’t even known, can make this critical spirit rise us within.  As you become aware of this spirit begin to pray that God would replace it with His fruits of joy, peace, love, and self-control.

Gracious and Loving Father, I praise you for what you are doing in my life.  Father, open my eyes to the critical places in my heart.  Do not allow the evil one to invade my relationships.  Where he already has a foothold break those chains and free me to see You and Your love.  Replace any critical spirit with Your Spirits of “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)  In Jesus Name, Amen

Kind Words

Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety weights down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

Our world seems to be falling apart.  Everywhere we look there is a new threat.  People shot while driving their cars or worshiping in their church, it is hard not to become worried or anxious.

Throughout scripture God tells us not to be anxious or worried.  In a world that is being “given over to itself” we need to come together and breathe life into the world as Christ followers. Allow Christ to shine through you into this broken world by using kind words.  Our words can bring healing, joy, love, and peace:; be aware because our words can also bring fear, anxiety, and pain.

When you don’t know what to say, pray.  God will give you the words that are needed for whatever situation you find yourself.  Allow God to use you.  Ask yourself, “Jesus, what are you doing in this situation, I want to join you.”  Remember that you are joining Jesus on His mission not the other way around.

Father, thank you for always being my guide.  Forgive me for the times I don’t listen to you and go off on my own.  Help me to find strength in knowing that you are with me guiding me.  Father, take away any fear and anxiety that I have.  I want to walk in peace with you.  Papa, guide me today and give me words that bring kindness and healing to those around me.  In Jesus Name, Amen

When You Feel Dumb

Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”

We have all met them, people who think they are alway right and will do anything to make you feel dumb or inferior.  These are the people who always feel the need to be right.  People who refuse to see the truth even when it is starring them in the face.  The ones who refuse to accept another point of view.

We often refer to this type of person as a narcissist.  The personality qualities, of a narcissist include: thinking very highly of oneself, needing admiration, believing others are inferior, and lacking empathy for others (Mayo clinic definition). When we encounter someone with these qualities we need to remind ourselves whose we are.  God is clear in His Word on how we are to act as Christians.  The problem with Christians today is that they are not studying the Word.  More and more people seem to be finding scripture that supports their belief instead of studying it and listened to God.

I want to encourage you today, make time to study God’s Word.  Listen to what He is telling you through the written word.  Gain wisdom from your Father don’t manipulate The Word to fit what you want it to say.  Don’t become a person who has to be right even when faced with the TRUTH.

Father, Thank You for Your precious word.  Come Holy Spirit and help me to understand what your Word says so that I can live a life pleasing to You.  I don’t what to be a person that twists The Word to suit me and not understand its true meaninng.  Open my ears to hear Your still small voice, speak to me.  Help me to gain wisdom and understanding about how to live a life pleasing to you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Open My Eyes

Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’  And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”

We go through life and we get so focused on our own issues that we don’t often take the time to look up and learn someone else’s story.  This could be true in any area of your life, including your closest relationships.

When we become comfortable with our life, we also stop striving for better and settle for good enough.  I don’t know about you but, I don’t what to settle because if I do, I become like those that cast lots for Jesus’ clothing and I miss wonderful.  These men didn’t see the person infront of them they saw an opportunity.

Don’t be so complacent with life that you fail to look up and miss an opportunity. .

Father, thank you for forgiveness and for looking out for me even when I don’t see it.  Today People will cross my path, I ask that you remind me to look up and see them.  Help me to engage and not miss what you have for me today.  Thank You for accepting death so that I can be free.   Open my eyes so that I may truely see, I don’t want to miss an opportunity.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Swept Clean

Isaiah 44:22 “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

When our homes get dirty we clean them.  How often are we examining our hearts to make sure they are clean?

Life is full of oppertunities to become offended and hurt.  God does not desire us to live hurt and offended.  As a matter of fact, offense is a door to the evil one.  When we become offended the evil one enters our heart and mind causing all kinds of heartache and strife.  Allow God to come into your heart, mind, body, and soul to sweep away not only your offenses but the offenses of others.  God calls us to return to HIm and be reminded that we are delivered from sin and set free from captivity.  Nothing can hold you in bondage except what you allow.  Let God free you from the pain you hold and walk in peace with your Father.

PaPa, Thank you a love that has the power to take away my sins.  Come into my heart like a morning mist that cleanses and restores.  Draw me closer to You and set me free from anger, strife, and offense.  You and You alone have the power to restore me.  Wash over me with a love that can only be found in You.  Free me from the bonds that hold me captive.  Bring freedom and peace.  Strengthen Your love within me so I can show that love to others.  Help me recognize when I am becoming offended or angry and encourage me to pray for peace that is only found in You.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God’s Strength

Philippians 2:12-13 “Threfore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

It is not our job to decide how to live our life, it is our job to choose to follow Jesus.  The Holy Spirit dwells in us directing our step, we need to be willing and able to hear His voice.  Often times we go through our day and feel is it up to us to determine what needs to be done, truth be told it is God working in you that allows you to do the things you do.  Ever wonder how people do the jobs they do: doctors, paramedics, teahers, nurses, construction, creative design, the list is endless?  Who do you think gives the gifts and the desire for people to learn and study those specific skills needed that allow those jobs to be done?  When we follow God we allow him to direct our path and give us a strength we will never truely understand to will and act according to his good purpose. Allow God to work through you today, listen for that still small voice because He loves and cares for you.

Father, thank you for giving me the knowledge and skills to do my job.  Thank you for the schooling that you have allowed and the passion to be the person You created me to be.  Father, as I face the challenges of theirs world I need Your guidance and clarity to know that I am in your will.  Strengthen me as I continue to do Your will.  Help me to learn and grow according to Your will for my life.  In Jesus Name, Amen