"Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank."--Proverbs 22:29(NLT)
Are you a hard worker? Do you have a strong work ethic? Are you trust-worthy, reliable, and dependable? Are you endeavoring to perfect your craft? Do you demonstrate integrity? Does it seem that you work harder than those around you? Are you doing your job and the job of five others? Are you the one your boss, manager, or supervisor can call on in a pinch? Are you good at what you do, yet your skill and efforts seem to go unnoticed, taken for granted, or taken advantage of?
Well, here is a guarantee from God--keep doing what you are doing and in his time, you will be brought before kings. Just as Joseph in Genesis 37-41 moved from being a slave, to a prisoner, to being appointed as the lord and ruler over all of Egypt by Pharaoh! God sees all. He is monitoring our hearts, our attitudes, and our disposition. Even if you feel that you are being underappreciated--let God handle that. Keep doing your thing and watch the promise of God (Proverbs 22:29) be manifested in your life!
Prayer: Father, I thank you have graced me to be skilled in my work. I thank you for the gifts and talents that you have deposited in me. I pray that as people see my work that they would glorify you (Matthew 5:16)! I thank you according for the promise of Proverbs 22:29. In Jesus' name, Amen.
When the promise is fulfilled, please call me or send me an e-mail; I would love to hear about it and rejoice with you!
Would you believe me if I told you that God has chosen you to know Him? It's true!
"You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be."--Isaiah 43:10(NLT)
Some of my fondest memories as a kid growing up in the 1980s, involved riding in the back of my dad's black pick-up truck (before it was against the law!). On Saturdays, my dad would pile the four of us--me, my sister, Sharee', and our two dogs, Sergeant ("Sarge") and Honey-Bee--into the back of the truck for a ride to a lake near our home. Our dogs were boxers--and tons of fun. It would seem as if they knew where we were going because they would beat Sharee' and I out of the house to hop into the truck.
I would always look forward to these trips because I was spending time with Dad. My dad was a Marine who loves the outdoors, so an adventurous outing was a guarantee. It was an opportunity to study him. I would watch him find a good walking stick. I would watch him skip stones on the river. I would observe his hiking skills as we walked through the woods. We would laugh and talk and enjoy each other's company. I was getting to him--as a person, and not just Dad. Relationship was being developed.
As it relates to relationship with God, I often hear people say, "I'm religious" or "I go to church" or "I believe in God" or "I give my tithes". That's not relationship. A relationship with God is personal and intimate. As a good natural father would want his children to know him, so it is with God the Father. God desires relationship with his children. He wants his children to want to have a personal relationship with Him.
Recently, I heard the Lord say, "My children do not know me...They know of me. They know religion. But, they do not know ME."
Do you know God? Are you cultivating a relationship with him? Or, are you religious? There is a difference between religion and relationship. Cultivating a relationship takes time. We live in a fast paced world--we are rushed, we are hurried, we are on a schedule, we have deadlines to meet, we have appointments to keep, we have to get our kids to their activities, we have to prepare dinner, etc... There is so much to do! We are so busy! I say this tongue-in-cheek, but it is a sad, true reality of the pace of life. Where is God in our schedule? He desires that you get to know Him.
The demands of life are temporal, but a relationship with the Father is eternal. Commit to getting to know the Father. There are vast and immeasurable benefits and blessings that can only come through relationship with Him.
"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."--Lamentations 3:22-23(NIV)
Each new day is a day to experience the love, compassion, and great faithfulness of God! Perhaps yesterday was a "hot mess", as my sister, Sabrei, would say--but, because of the LORD's great love, it did not consume you. Today is a new day loaded with blessing and benefits from the God the Father, earmarked with your name on them! Receive the blessings and make the most of the new day.
Prayer Father, I thank you for this day. It is a day that you created in love, with your children in mind. I receive every blessing that you have purposed just for me. Forgive me for taking your faithfulness and love for granted. I receive every blessing that you have purposed just for me. In Jesus' name, amen!
"And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad."--Genesis 40:6(NKJV)
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God."--Ruth 1:16(NLT)
Would you believe the key to overcoming insecurity is rooted in helping others? As we have been studying the lives of Joseph (Genesis 37-41) and Ruth (Ruth 1-2), our pastor revealed something that Joseph and Ruth had in common. They both cared about others and were committed to seeing others succeed, even when they were in a place of personal distress. For Joseph, although he was in prison, he noticed that two of his fellow inmates (the baker and the butler) were sad. Little did he know that his concern for them would be the catalyst to him becoming ruler and lord over Egypt (Genesis 41). For Ruth, her decision not to leave her mother-in-law, Naomi, launched her into her destiny as Boaz' wife (Ruth 4:10) and into the genaelogy of Christ (Matthew 1:5).
Who are you concerned about today? Who can you help along the way? Who can you encourage today? Who can you cheer on--even in the midst of your own personal struggle or hardship? Making a decision to be concerned about someone else will not only impact the person, but will also free you of insecurity as well as unlock your blessings, as in the cases of Joseph and Ruth.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." --Psalm 56:8(NLT)
We cannot outfox God. He knows how hurts have been impacted us, even if we are in denial. Many of us were conditioned early in life to downplay pain and hurt. This is especially true for our boys and young men. Statements like, "You're a big boy", "You're not a baby", "Suck it up", "Stop crying like a little girl" teach us that crying is not acceptable, but suppressing emotions is. Yet, when emotions are suppressed, the pain does not go anywhere. Often, it manifests in a physical malady. Crying is an important release that is necessary, therapeutic, and healing.
We have all cried tears of anguish, sadness, brokenness, hurt, and pain. Some of those tears were shed in private; when we were alone and abandoned, when we thought no one was watching or that no one cared. But, in those moments of distress and angst, the Lord was there bottling every tear as it ran down our face. Why would God do this? Why are our tears important to Him? Tears reveal the state of the heart. They are a visible expression of what is going on in our souls--that is what matters to God. He keeps track of our sorrows. He is mindful of our hurts, pains, and soul wounds. He knows the rejection, abandonment, abuse, trauma, and suffering that has brought us to tears--even if it happened in childhood. God remembers. Even when we want to forget and act as if it did not happen--God remembers. Even when we minimize or downplay the intensity of the hurt--God sees, He knows, and He remembers.
Not only does God bottle every tear, but he gives us a guarantee that weeping is temporary, and joy will surely follow (Psalm 30:5). If you find yourself in a difficult, painful place that has caused you to weep, rest assured that God is aware of your hurt. He is bottling every tear. Sorrow will soon pass. Joy is imminent.
Some of us have made vows at the moment of hurt, that we would never cry or allow ourselves to feel the intensity of the pain. If this is you, it's okay. If you are carrying guilt over something you have done that you are terribly ashamed of, tell God you are sorry. Give your pain and brokenness to him. Receive his peace and his joy.
Prayer Father, I thank you that you care about me. I thank you that you are concerned about what concerns me. I thank you that because you are with me, I am never alone. I thank you for the promise of the joy that is to come, even in the midst of great distress. Thank you for your peace, your grace, and your comfort. In Jesus name, Amen.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."--(Galatians 5:1)
What does freedom mean to you? Are you free emotionally? Relationally? Are you free to love, care, hope, and dream? Or, are you bound by fear, anxiety, worry, stress, guilt, insecurity, pessimism, offense, bitterness, and brokeness? What is holding you in emotional shackles? Whatever is holding you captive--Christ died for that. He paid the ultimate price so that you could be free to live, love, and be happy. The Father takes no delight in us being sad, down-trodden, and broken. Those characteristics do not reflect him. He desires that we let our light shine, so that men can see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). How can the Father be glorified when his children are emotionally imprisoned?
Freedom is the inherited gift of every believer. As a child of the Kingdom, it belongs to you. You do not have to ask for the permission or the approval of others to embrace what you have been entitled to. Freedom belongs to you. Simply receive it and cling to it, in Jesus' name.
Prayer Father, I thank you for freedom today. I thank you that I do not have to be bound spiritually. You have given me freedom to live an abundant, full, and prosperous life. It is my inherited gift because I belong to you. I thank you that you are the Father who gives good gifts (James 1:17). I thank you that you desire that I be full of joy and peace. I stand firm in my inherited freedom. I receive it now in Jesus' name. Amen.
"Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied." --Proverbs 27:20 (NKJV)
Pornography takes one on a mental journey that is routed in fantasy that becomes a stored memory. Further, pornography produces a physical response as specific pleasure hormones are released (testosterone, dopamine, opiates, norepinephrine). The danger of pornography is that the more one engages in it, the more difficult it becomes to achieve and maintain a level of satisfaction. Research in neuroscience suggests that the effects of viewing pornography is similar to the effect of drugs. Because of this, pornography is now referred to as the "new drug". This would serve to explain why one can easily move from one level to the next of more graphic and explicit material to get the same effect of the initial "hit". And this is the whole deception of the kingdom of darkness. As one is pursuing the "ultimate high", that can never come from the pages of a magazine or the images on a screen, the heart that was designed to pursue God and his righteousness becomes more depraved and further and further away from true intimacy as God originally intended. Excerpt of article by Lauri McNair, MS
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"Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying." --Matthew 28:5-6(NLT) It's Resurrection Sunday! Celebrate what the Lord has done--all that He accomplished when He walked the earth among men, died on the cross, and rose from the dead with all power, might, victory, and authority! It is finished! He did a complete work for you and me! There was nothing left undone. There have been no oversights. He finished it all. No matter the need, question, concern, problem, or issue--the solution is found in Jesus Christ. Rejoice in that!
If you do not know who Jesus is or if you have never confessed Him as Lord in your life, simply call on His name, "Jesus, help!"
Perhaps you grew up in church, but for whatever reason, you went astray--today is the perfect day to resurrect your relationship with Him. Simply say, "Forgive me Jesus." No matter what you have done or how far you have veered, Jesus is waiting to receive you with arms of love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
"And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all."--Acts 4:33(NKJV)
Did you know that you have a supernatural gift in your arsenal for life that comes from the throne of God? It is called grace. Grace is God's merciful kindness, bounty, benefits, rewards, good-will, and favor. It is that which affords joy, pleasure, and delight. Acts 4:33 tells us that God gave "great" grace. It is grace in no small measure. It is the Greek word "megas" meaning, "large", "spacious", and "abundant"
For every believer, you are a beneficiary of God's great grace. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again with resurrection power, God's grace was activated. It cannot be earned or merited. It is a gift. And, if you are a believer, you have it! You have great grace to accomplish goals, realize dreams, complete tasks, overcome a habit or addiction, restore a broken relationship, or sever an unhealthy relationship. God's grace is limitless and can be applied to any area of our lives. Simply receive it with a grateful heart in Jesus' name!
Prayer: Father, I thank you for your great grace. I receive this precious gift. I thank you that your grace is working in my life, in my soul, in my relationships, in my goals, in my place of employment. I thank you that you have given me great grace to accomplish great things. You have given me great grace to overcome challenging things. You have given me great grace to interact with difficult people. No matter what I may be facing or experiencing, your supernatural grace empowers me, in Jesus' name. Amen.
I am a wife, mother, and Christian counselor who believes that God can heal and restore our broken hearts and put us on the road to wholeness, purpose, and productivity in our lives when we follow and trust his "GPS".