EQUIPPED FOR MORE

Equipped For More Dec 2019

 

Equipped For More:

And Joseph her [promised] husband, being a just and righteous man and not wanting to expose her publicly to shame, planned to send her away and divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Mathew 1:19-20

 

It was after Joseph spent time considering how he was going to handle this very delicate situation without bringing shame to Mary, that the angel of the Lord appeared to him. We should never be too quick to respond to seemingly bad news. Our first response should be to seek the truth, and not to gossip or shame anyone. In doing so, God just may open our eyes to see His greater plans for the situation.

 

 

Equipped For More:

In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea [along the western side of the Dead Sea] and saying, Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mathew 3:1-2

 

Unfortunately repentance isn’t a one-time experience, it’s a way of life. We may fool others with an outside appearance of a repentant life, but true repentance touches our inner self. We can’t always choose the thoughts that pop into our minds, but we can choose to repent quickly when ungodly thoughts try to stay around too long. It takes humility to repent of the seemingly little things in life that no one sees or knows about, like our thoughts and our attitude throughout the day. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]; Matthew 3:8

 

True repentance isn’t just words, falling to your knees during worship, crying out to God with tears, or coming forward during an alter call. True repentance produces fruit of a changed heart. True repentance produces fruit that is only seen behind closed doors, when no one sees you but yourself, your family, close friends, and of course God.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Then Jesus was led by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1

 

Temptations come in all shapes and sizes, and one thing is for sure, as long as we are here on earth we will be tempted. God never does the tempting, but as we see here, He allows it, and at times leads us right into it. Why? Being able to overcome temptation equips us to be used By God, and to be trusted by Him. If we look at temptation as an opportunity to ace a test for the sake of the kingdom and our love for Jesus , it just might help us get through it with a good attitude. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:3-4

 

Jesus is our example of how to fight against temptation and win. Knowing the Word and words of God is our greatest weapon. “It is written …….” is a powerful way to fight the enemy, and that’s why we need to know what the Bible says. We also can use prophecies given to us and also what God says to us personally as weapons. The enemy fights with lies, we fight with God’s truth, and our identity as His sons and daughters. The enemy fights from a place of doom, we a place of victory. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Immediately they (James and John) left the boat and their father, and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. Matthew 4:22

 

Sometimes we are asked to leave everything and follow Jesus. Sometimes our children are asked to leave us and follow Jesus. If we resist changing the comfort of our immediate circumstances, we might also be resisting God’s plans for our lives. What happened to James and John’s father, now left without sons to help him? We don’t know. I like to imagine that his life was forever changed by the decisions his sons made to follow Jesus. Maybe he followed Jesus too, maybe his fishing business flourished, being blessed by God. Trusting God with our loved ones brings peace.

 

 

Equipped For More

“Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. Matthew 5:3

 

Many times we don’t even notice those who are poor in spirit, we tend to overlook them as we are possibly drawn to those more vocal. Imagine getting to know someone who is devoid of all spiritual arrogance, yet so hungry for more of God. It will be a sad day if we come to a place in life where we feel we are so spiritually rich that there’s no need for more. There are times when I marvel at how I’ve grown spiritually, how much He’s taught me, and my awesome relationship with Jesus. And then, thank You Jesus, the moment comes when I feel so poor in spirt, and my hunger for more in intensified. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied. Matthew 5:6

 

Just as our body needs food and water every day, so does our spirit. If we don’t feed our spirit on a regular basis, our soul and body will be affected also. Total peace and satisfaction can only come from being nourished by God’s goodness. It’s very unfortunate when we come to a place where we think we know God and His word fully, and no longer need to actively seek Him and His righteousness. There’s a saying, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’. We have to choose to be hungry for more of God, we have to choose to make time to seek Him every day. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

 

Only God knows what’s really going on in our heart. It’s easy to deceive others and even ourselves, but not God. Some people are highly allergic to various foods, and go to great lengths to keep their body clean, and void of all such foods. Our heart needs to be kept clean also, void of all defilement and anything that displeases God. Lord, we give You permission to examine our heart 24/7. Bring to our attention when we have allowed access to our heart something that doesn’t belong there, something that brings us harm. Seeing God depends on our heart being clean, pure, and void of sin, just as a person with a peanut allergy depends on their body being void of peanuts. 

 

 

````

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

 

What if after accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we were given a light beaming from our body that everyone could see day or night. Would we behave differently if everyone, all the time, knew we had chosen to be set apart as God’s beloved? Would we behave differently driving a car, going to movies, going out for some fun, girls night out, boys night out, on the computer, at work, or at home. We are God’s light, let us live in a way that will attract others to the Light of the world.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and WHOEVER SPEAKS [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, ‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and WHOEVER SAYS, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fiery hell. Matthew 5:22

 

What we say matters! Whether we are speaking to people we know, people we don’t know, or even to ourselves, our words have powerful consequences. Our words have the power to bring upon us blessings or curses. Our words determine if God can use us to bring Him glory, and to fulfill the plans He has for us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

 

Verses 1-47 talk about how to live a Christian life, and here Jesus is saying if we do we will be perfect, just like Him. I like how the Amplified version explains how it’s a process of growing spiritually. I think “being perfect”, is not necessary never sinning, but repenting quickly when we do, and continuing our walk of spiritual growth, seeking God, and obedience. God calls us to be perfect, holy, and righteous, and in Him we are. Every day we have choices to make, to grow spiritually mature both in mind and character, bringing glory to God and His kingdom, or choosing to live for self.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

 

It is vital in our relationship with God that we not harbor unforgiveness in our heart. We cannot be used by God the way He wants us to, and our growth as His child is stunted. It’s hard at times to forgive willful abusive sin against us, but we must, our spiritual relationship with God depends on it. Only by God’s love flowing through us can we forgive some of the wrongs we’ve encountered, it doesn’t mean we or God condones it, it just means we’ve surrendered it to God. Then we know, we can be forgiven too.

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

 

As we look around at everything we’ve ever bought, all our little treasures that we just had to have, what do we see? Does it compare to the treasures we have in heaven? The bigger the house, the more things we possess. Maybe too, the bigger our spiritual house, God’s temple, our heart and love for Him, the more treasures in heaven we possess.

 

 

Equipped For More:

“DO NOT WORRY” appears 5 times in Matthew 6:25-34

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. Matthew 6:33

 

Worry and anxiety crush faith, and invites stress and disease to take up residence in our body. The only way to fight worry is to stop and turn all our energy and focus on seeking God, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. Then trusting Him to show us the way, trusting Hm to provide for us as our Father; trusting Him to know our needs and have a plan. When we seek God first it’s like putting water on a fire, stopping our worries in their track. Easy? Not always! Beneficial? Yes!

 

 

Equipped For More:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

 

Whether we are the President or King of a country, CEO of a billion dollar company, penniless wandering the streets, or anywhere in between, this verse is the way we should live. We are all created in the image of God and deserve respect for that, if nothing else. How we treat others matters to God, and it would be to our benefit to remember that every day.  We are all guilty of mistreating others, sometimes knowingly and sometimes not. Lord, help us be aware of how we treat others, and help us to see our actions through their eyes, and Yours. 

 

Equipped For More:

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. ….  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 12:34b & 37

 

Many of us can look so put together in public, and many might marvel at how godly we appear. Affairs often happen because people are attracted to what comes out of a flattery mouth. But sooner or later what’s in our heart comes out our mouth. You never know what’s in someone’s heart (or your own), until a crises, or something very stressful happens. Even if we manage to hold back words or actions when all we want to do is explode, it makes us aware that our heart is still a work in progress, and something still needs to be surrender to God. Lord, may our desire for a pure heart be a way of life, and may our words always bring glory to You.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; Matthew 12:38-29

 

The scribes and Pharisees had seen plenty of miracles, but it was never enough, they kept seeking more miracles, instead of the miracle maker. Jesus is the healer, miracle worker, strength giver, joy giver, peace giver, etc.  We need to seek Him for who He is and not just for what He can do for us. Likewise, we never want anyone seeking us for their healing or miracle, we want them seeking God. He uses people, but the glory is all His.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Matthew 12:12

 

All too often we are focused on what we don’t have, instead of what we do have. We have access to kingdom principles, where at times things don’t make human sense. When we focus on what we do have, every gift and talent God’s given to us, and add in a thankful and willing heart, more will be given. When we surrender what we do have, whether it’s thankfulness, a great attitude, love for others, lots of money, very little money, friendship, worship, etc. more will be given. Lord, open our eyes and ears to what we have, show us how to best use what we have, to bring You glory.

 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23

 

What an example Jesus is to us, wanting and needing to be alone with His Father. I wonder what they talked about, was it the events that took place that day, or was it the events to come? Did They just enjoy each other’s company, did Jesus need to be strengthened by His Father’s presence? Did He complain a bit about the attitude of His disciples, their lack of faith, their arguing? Maybe all of the above, or none, it doesn’t say. There’s no perfect agenda for spending alone time with God, what matters is that we do it. But since Jesus only did what His Father did, and said what He said, I imagine that He did a lot of listening. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:22-23

 

We don’t know all that went on in Peter’s mind, but I’m sure Jesus’ words hurt badly. He could have taken offense and just left, like many of us do on a regular basis. Sometimes when we open our mouth and speak our mind, we might get put in our place very quickly and sternly, just like Peter. Peter made a lot of mistakes while being a disciple of Jesus, but he didn’t allow those mistakes to keep him from his destiny. He learned from them, repented I’m sure, and kept going. Lord, may we do the same.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

 

Most of us want to do great things for God, to be used by Him to accomplish His will on earth. But are we willing to do what it takes?  The more we do, and the more we’re known for what we do, the greater the temptation for pride. And when pride takes over where humility should be, we hinder our relationship with God, and His ability to use us. In the natural realm it’s usually the most productive, hardest working, goal achieving, getting ahead at any cost person, who becomes the greatest at something. But in the kingdom realm, it’s the one who humbles himself who becomes the greatest, and the most useful to God.

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  Matthew 22:36-37

 

What would it look like to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind? How would our day to day life be different? Are we really capable of doing this 24/7? Will the way I love God look different than the way others love Him? Does God really desire perfection in this area, or relationship, which is rarely perfect all the time? Lord, teach us how You desire us to love You with every part of our being. Teach us how to allow You to heal the wounded areas, and anything else that would keep us from loving You the way You want us to. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

The second (command) is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39

 

We humans by nature can become quite self-centered, concerned mostly for our own needs and daily life. Yet we are asked here to be concerned about and love others, all the time. I think sometimes we get too caught up in the circumstances around us, and behaviors displayed, that we forget to see the people for who they really are, beloved children made in the image of God. Too often we focus on, and attack our neighbor for being different, thinking differently, acting differently, and sometimes because their behavior is pure evil. Ultimately, we usually want them to believe and behave more like us. First we have to love ourselves the way God does, than we can learn to love others, the way He does.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. Matthew 23:1-3

 

The scribes and Pharisees knew Scripture, they could quote it very well, but that wasn’t good enough. We should never be too in awe of those who can quote chapter and verse, yet lack the ability to do what it says. What we do speaks much louder than what we say. And in this day and age of cell phone cameras, you never know when your actions will be recorded and uploaded for all to see. It’s more important to be able to live the Word of God, than to be able to quote it. Lord, help us do both.

 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40

 

It’s easy to give our time, attention, and money to help someone that we hope will help us in the future, it’s done all the time. But what brings a smile to Jesus, and glory to God, is when we do it knowing that we will never be repaid. I think what brings even a bigger smile, is when the thought of repayment never even crosses our mind. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” Matthew 26:12-13

 

We don’t know much about the woman who anointed Jesus with perfumed oil. There has been much speculation as to who she really was, which doesn’t really matter that much. She was doing what her heart was compelling her to do. It didn’t matter that people were talking about her, criticizing her, putting her down, or calling her names. What matters is that she didn’t allow others to dictate her actions, and her love for her Lord. She didn’t do it to be famous, or to be written about in books, she did it out of love. Lord, may our love for You be the driving force behind everything we do.

 

 

Equipped For More:

 “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  Matthew 27:40

 

“If you”, can be a very manipulative way to start a sentence, and has ruined many relationships. If you really loved me ……., If you really are my friend ……., If you really are a Christian ….. Jesus knew who He was, and didn’t have to prove it to anyone. We need to be cautious about doing something we know is not right, just because someone challenges us with, “If you….”.  We also should be cautious about saying that to others in a manipulative way.  However, when Jesus says to us, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15), it’s not said out of manipulation, but out of truth, and there’s a difference.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” Mark 1:36-38

 

There may be times when others are seeking after us, or wanting us to go where the crowds are, or where they think we should go. There can be a great temptation to go to the mases instead of to the few. However, just like Jesus we need to know where,  who, or what we’re called to do. Lord, may we be quick to obey Your nudgings, as You guide us each day.

 

 

Equipped For More:

He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They (the Pharisees) were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. Mark 3:1-2

 

As we journey towards listening to God’s voice and obeying immediately, we may encounter those in life who would like to see us fail, or those who would love to spread gossip about how off track we are in our Christian walk. Jesus never backed down due to opposition, in fact He embraced it. Lord, I never want to shrink back from what You’ve called me to, due to opposition or what others think about me. May I always be about my Fathers business, listening and obeying, seeing and doing. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:34-35

 

I don’t think Jesus was disrespecting His mother or siblings, I think He was encouraging the body of Christ to become more like real families. I tend to get wrapped up in my own world, enjoying being alone with myself and Jesus. Yet I have brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers who need me to be a part of their lives, and even more importantly, I need them to be a part of my life. Lord, help us all to embrace, love and help the body of Christ that is all around us, imperfect as they are at times. Let us encourage and help others to be all God created them to be.

 

 

Equipped For More:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. Mark 6:30-32

 

Ministering to others can be both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. God didn’t create us to go, go, go, all the time. Our spirit, soul and body depend on us setting aside time to replenish what has been depleted through ministry. A very big mistake is to think that if we don’t keep going and doing, things won’t get done, and it will be our fault. But just like a car needs oil and gas to keep going, we need alone time with God, or we eventually will be stopped due to burnout. Don’t underestimate the power and anointing of alone time with God on a regular basis.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For he who is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward. Mark 9:40-41

 

Most of us would do anything for a family member in need, if it was within our ability to do so. We wouldn’t think twice, that’s what family does. But do we do the same for our church family, the body of Christ? Within every church there are opportunities for blessings and rewards from Jesus, just by treating others as we would family. Not that we do it for the reward, but that we do it out of love for Jesus, and to be more like Him. Lord, when You open my eyes and ears to a need, open my heart too.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. Mark 10:15-16

 

I wonder what became of the children that Jesus personally touched and blessed? The disciples thought it was a waste of time for Jesus give His attention to the children, obviously His Father thought differently. We may not be around to see the ramifications of our actions, especially to those much younger than we are. However, when we carry the glory of God in our hands, the power of our touch and words have the potential to change the course of someone’s life. Lord, may we never be too busy, or feel to important not to spend time with the people You bring into our lives.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45

 

This is an example of the job description for being a mighty man or woman of God. What does our resume say about us? Man/woman of God responsible for bringing millions into the kingdom of God, heals the sick, raises the dead, built orphanages, fed the hungry? Or, Man/woman of God comes to serve, willing to get hands dirty in doing so. Doesn’t need recognition from others for identity, knows Who’s I am so no need to boast. Humbly I come to serve my Lord and others in any way that pleases Him?

 

 

Equipped For More:

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. Mark 11:24-25

 

Asking, believing, receiving! Yes God, we love this verse, more please. However, forgiveness is also mentioned, and we can’t overlook the consequences of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness has kept many people bound and powerless in their Christian walk. If we want our prayers answered, we must forgive. Lord, give us the strength, courage, and heart to forgive anyone You bring to our minds. We do not want unforgiveness keeping us captive any longer. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12:17

 

Ever wonder what “things” Jesus was talking about? Tithe, offerings, time, obedience, surrendered lifestyle, etc.? Lord, open our eyes, ears, and heart to anything we need to render to You that we’ve kept back, knowingly, or unknowingly.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

In His teaching He was saying: “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.” Mark 12:38-40

 

Greater condemnation is given to those who think more highly of themselves than they should, and it all boils down to pride, which God hates. How do we react when things don’t go as planned or expected? Anytime we feel offended we come very close to crossing that line into pride, and “greater condemnation”. May we be quick to repent whenever we think of ourselves as better than others, and when pride trumps humility in the way we act, think or feel.

 

 

Equipped For More:

While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. Mark 14:3

 

While this woman was doing what her heart compelled her to do, others were talking about her, rebuking her, saying that what she was doing was a waste of good money. When we do for Jesus what our heart compels us to do, when we give up everything because our precious Lord is whispering something to us, it’s not always received well by others. But like this woman, we must not let the words of others stop us from totally surrendering are hearts, actions, and words to worship our Lord the way our heart compels us to.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. Mark 14:72

 

Peter was sure that he would never betray Jesus, but he did, just like all the others. But probably because he was more vocal about it, it got written down for all the world to read about. But what an example he shows us about true repentance. When he became aware of his betrayal to Jesus he began to weep, he was full of remorse, repented and continued his life as a mighty man of God. He didn’t allow his mistake to keep him held captive. He repented, received forgiveness, and moved forward as a beloved son of God. Lord, may we do the same.

 

 

Equipped For More:

The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, “Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!” But Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:3-5

 

There’s a time to speak up and there’s a time to be quiet. Too often we think that what we have to say will change the lives of others, change the course of history, or is of paramount importance, and sometimes that’s true. But sometimes when we don’t speak, it’s most life changing and powerful. Pilate was amazed when Jesus didn’t speak, didn’t defend Himself. May we always be listening to the nudging of Holy Spirit to know when to speak and when not to.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Mark 15:43

 

Joseph “gathered up courage” and went before Pilate. When we look at mighty men and women of God and what they’re doing in life, sometimes we don’t realize that they also have to, “gather up courage”, to do the things they do. We look at the outside of  people and see courage, boldness, born leaders, and we marvel. What we don’t see many times is that inside they are scared and fearful, yet they don’t let that stop them from gathering up courage, and doing what God’s called them to do, or even what they know it the right thing to do. Lord help us when it’s our time, to gather up courage. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:15-16

 

I wonder what Jesus did, what He said, when He slipped away to be alone with His Father. There was probably no formula He followed, no rote prayers He repeated every time. But get away He did, and often. He knew that if He was going to accomplish all His Father had for Him to do, He needed alone time with Him. How much more so then, do we? Lord, teach us to yield to the desires of Your heart during our alone time together. May it not be a ritual, but a sweet time of intimacy. May every time be special, unique, and unrushed, even if it’s just for a short time.   

 

 

Equipped For More:

One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. Luke 5:17

 

We just assume that, “the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform Healing” was always present for Jesus, but maybe it wasn’t. Maybe He had to be tuned into the plans of His Father, just like we do. The Bible tells us that we walk in power and authority as children of God, to do the miracles that Jesus did. But we still have to be tuned into our Father’s plans and timing. Lord, help us to be so tuned into the desires of Your heart that we know when Your power is present in our lives, and what it’s to be used for.

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?  Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:46-28

 

When we seek God AND obey, we are setting ourselves up to be unshakable, and unstoppable in the kingdom of God, and in everyday living. I don’t want to be in a house made of cardboard when the rain and wind comes. I want my house and foundation to be strong, I want my obedience to be quick, and I want my heart to remain faithful, trusting in my God. Everything I do either builds or tears down my foundation.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

 

I always need a reminder that it’s not about me, life is not about me. It’s all about Jesus, life is all about Jesus. So often we get concerned with the little things, and we allow them to consume us, to take up our time and energy. But if we keep focused on Jesus, if we allow Him to be our everything, the things that really need to be done, will be done. When life is all about Jesus, we can do the things that need to be done, and at the same time be immersed in Him, in His glory, in His love, and missing out on nothing that really matters.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Luke 12:29-31

 

Basically don’t seek things, seek God and His kingdom. Since Jesus is saying that as we seek His kingdom our basic needs will be met, thankfulness should be flowing from our heart. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about our needs, our focus should be on Jesus. Lord, teach us how to seek You and Your kingdom the way You want us to

 

 

Equipped For More:

For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said. Luke 18:32-34

 

The disciples, Jesus’ closest friends were kept from understanding this very important event that was about to take place. How often in our lives do we just not understand something? Could this be God’s plan, just like with the disciples? The disciples were not stupid, and they did nothing wrong. It just wasn’t the right time for them to understand. Lord, help us to trust in you in the times when we just don’t understand what’s going on.

 

 

Equipped For More:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded (obtained by asking) permission to sift you like wheat;  but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

 

It seems like some people get sifted like wheat more than others. Would Peter have become the mighty man of God that he did, if he had not denied Jesus and afterwards wept with repentance (vs 62)? We need to remember that no matter what is going on in our lives that Jesus is praying for us, for our faith not to fail. He is praying that when we get through the darkness of this trial, that we will come out stronger, more committed, and an encouragement to others. 

 

Equipped For More:

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

 

Some worship Father God theologically, they know the Bible, believe it, and obey it the best they can. Some worship Him in the spirit, they feel Him, experience Him, they know that they’ve encountered Him. But God seeks those who worship both ways, spirit and truth. We can know about Him through His Word, and we can experience Him intimately through His Spirit. Unfortunately many worship Him in the way they first loved Him, believed in Him, and became born-again. Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to worship You the way You desire, in spirit and truth.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

And they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:42

 

Many of us believed and gave our heart to Jesus because someone told us about Him. But just like the Samaritans, we need to experience Him and know Him personally ourselves. We could spend 5 hours a day seeking and getting to God, and yes, really, really knowing Him. But there’s more, there is always more of Him to know, to understand, to worship. There are the miracles we can hear and read about, or there are miracles we can be a part of. Lord, may we not become comfortable about hearing about You from others, we want to experience more personally.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. John 7:1

 

Some people think that they can do anything and that God will protect them, and sometimes He does. Jesus knew there was danger in Judea, He knew He could be killed before His time to die, therefore choosing to avoid it (at first). He wasn’t arrogant, assuming His Father would protect Him until His appointed time to die. Sometimes we hear God calling us to a place that is known to be dangerous, that’s when we’re willing to go and die for Him if it comes to that. But let’s not be arrogant and defy danger just for the sake of doing so. Lord, help us to know when it’s You drawing us to danger and when it’s not.

 

 

Equipped For More:

The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. John 7:15-16

 

I love this verse, it speaks of me and how I want to live. How would the world be different if every pastor, preacher, reverend, priest, teacher, Sunday school teacher, preacher of the word, evangelist, etc. taught not on what they desired, but what God desired. Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are our best teachers. If we listen and learn from God Himself, our teachings too may not be ours, but His, who chose us and sent us to speak.

Equipped For More:

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” …….. And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:3-5,&11

 

Jesus was always more concerned with hurting people than with the laws of the Old Testament, imagine that! He always had time for those in need, and I for one need to remember that more often. I like to live by the rules, I have less stress that way. I like to always be on time, I have less stress that way. But as I’ve said often, “It’s not about me, it’s all about Jesus”, and what does He want me to do in any given situation? Lord, may we not be so rigid in our ways that we miss the opportunities You put right in front of us. And may we give grace to those who follow Your leading to love and minister to others, even when it inconveniences us. 

 

Equipped For More:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

 

Do others really know that we are disciples of Jesus by our love for one another? Do they know it when we’re busy, running late, inconvenienced, disappointed, angry, offended, etc.? Do they know it by the way they see us treating our spouse, children, pets, students, teachers, employees, employer, etc.? Lord, open our eyes and heart to really learn how to love one another.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ John 15:25

 

Some things never change. Jesus was hated without cause, and today that also happens to many of us. Christian are hated and murdered every day, just for being a Christian. It doesn’t matter how much we love God, love others, help others, give our lives for a cause, a nation, a people group, etc. there will be people who hate us. They don’t really know us, they just hate us because we love Jesus. We need to keep our focus on living for Jesus, and not allow ourselves to be consumed by those who don’t like us or even hate us. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

 

Many of us think of eternal life as living forever in heaven, being with God, living in home built especially for us. But here Jesus is saying that eternal life is also knowing God, and Christ Himself. Eternal life starts now and never ends for us who believe. Again, we are reminded of how much God wants us to know Him. He wants an amazing, wonderful, one on One personal relationship with each of His children. This kind of knowing God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit doesn’t just happen, it’s intentional, it’s sought after, and it’s never-ending. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” John 19:36-37 

 

We see many times in the New Testament the words, “ This was to fulfill the Scripture: ……..   In the Old Testament God’s promises were many times fulfilled through manipulation and lies, like Abraham being the father of many, Jacob receiving the blessings of the first born, Joseph’s family bowing down to him. We will never know how God would have accomplished all He promised if His people would have just trusted Him from the beginning. Sometime we try and make God’s promises happen before His perfect timing, because we see no other way. But then we miss out on seeing how God can miraculously perform His promise without our interference. 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

 

Jesus did and said way more than is written in our Bible, yet it’s easy to try to box Him in to only what’s written about Him. We know the Bible was written with Holy Spirit’s leading, so it contains what God intended it to, but we must not limit God to only what’s in the Bible. It’s easy for religious spirits to get into our mind and try to get us to only see and know about the Jesus in the Bible. But there’s so much more about Him. When we spend time with Jesus, listening to Him, He may reveal things to us that He said 2000 years ago that just aren’t in the Bible, things that might bring us peace, freedom, encouragement, identity, etc. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

 

Jesus breathed on His disciples in John 20:22 and they received the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:5 He says they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit very soon. Why did they need to be baptized with Holy Spirit after already receiving Him, because that’s where the power is. Only with the power of Holy Spirit in us and on us will we be able to do all God is calling us to do. We can struggle in our own power and our own effort, or we can surrender, be baptized with Holy Spirit and walk in His power.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:4

 

Speaking in tongues have divided many churches and many Christians. I was one who use to think speaking in tongues was not necessary. Then I met people who were doing what Jesus said we were to do, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons. Then I wanted this baptism of Holy Spirit talked about in Acts 1:5, so I sought it and received it. Then Holy Spirit became more real to me than ever before. The more I spoke in tongues in my private life the more I experienced the power talked about in Acts 1:8. Lord open our mind, and our heart to receive all You have for us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

 

Can you imagine being recognized as someone who has been with Jesus? It doesn’t take a degree in theology or a masters in Bible knowledge to be powerfully used by God (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it takes knowing who we are in Christ and who Jesus is. The more time we spend with Jesus the more we get to know Him, the more we get to know Him the more confident we are as a child of God, and the more He can use us. People will be attracted and amazed at the Jesus in us, more than our knowledge about Him. Lord, let us all be recognized as having been with You. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30

 

Lord, equip us today as You did to others in the past. Equip us to speak Your word in confidence, confident that we are speaking Your words. Equip us to receive Your extended hand to heal everywhere we go. Equip us to experience more signs and wonders as we proclaim the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Equip us Lord to walk, talk, act, do, be, see, hear, and pray the way You desire us to. Equip us Lord for the more You have for us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31

 

Lord, teach us how to pray the desires of Your heart. When we gather together with other believers, teach us to pray so that the place where we are gathered is shaken, and everyone is filled to the fullest with the Holy Spirit. Then impart to us what we each need, whether it’s boldness to speak, act, make decisions, lead, love, whatever. Teach us to pray Lord, so You show up in a mighty way, and things happen. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. Acts 14:2

 

How often have we said the words, “I don’t believe that”, or “I just find that really hard to believe”? When Holy Spirit fell on thousands of people in the 1990’s and they were on the floor laughing, barking, roaring and just acting crazy, many who call themselves Christians said, “That can’t be God, I just don’t believe it, He wouldn’t do that.” And many who disbelieved that this was of God spread rumors, and led many away from experiencing it for themselves. Lord, may we all grow in our discernment of what is of You, and what isn’t. And, may we not be too quick to disbelieve, just because our mind can’t comprehend it. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. Romans 2:29

 

It’s only human nature to delight in the praise of others, but if we’re not careful it can become addictive, like a drug. Kingdom nature/living says it’s more delightful to be praised by God. There’s nothings sweeter, more fulfilling, or more humbling than to sit with Jesus and have Him praise you for something you did, or who you’re becoming. That’s what we need to become addictive to. Lord, remind us when we desire praise from others over praise from You.

 

 

Equipped For More:

(as it is written, “A father (Abraham) of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. Romans 4:17

 

Many have misused this verse as a “Name it and claim it” verse. Yes our words have power, as we are made in the image our Father. But to really believe, to really have the faith that what we call into being will actually exist, we need to know it’s in the heart of God to do so. Abraham could trust God because he knew Him. When God promises us somethings that does not yet exist, when we know Him then we can trust Him. Then when we declare what He promised, our words are anointed and powerful and can actually call into being that which does not exist. 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:19-21

 

If God’s promise had come when Abraham was 40 it wouldn’t have taken much faith to believe God for a son, but at 100 it was a different story. It’s not faith if we can see it, or it’s reasonably expected that it will happen. I’m currently trusting God for over a million dollars to do the things He’s calling me to do. I do however waver in unbelief at times, but as I grow in my relationship with Him, my faith also grows. Lord, grow us to be Your children who do not waver in unbelief, but continue to grow strong in faith, giving You all the glory.

 

 

Equipped For More:

knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7

 

After reading this verse I had a picture in my mind of a prison cell with someone inside, the door was open, yet they did not walk out. Christ died to set us free, but sometimes we stay in the prison cell anyway. We have to own our freedom, we have to claim it, we have to trust it, and walk in it. Sometimes the enemy tells us we belong in the prison cell and we just walk back in. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that no matter what we’ve done or do, Christ died to set us free. Once we’ve repented of sin God forgives, and freedom is restored. We are not slaves to sin, we are children of God!

 

 

Equipped For More:

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:13-14

 

There’s a lot of talk about identity and mindset, and for good reason. Our mind, what we think about, many times dictates what we do and how we act. We need to consider, to purposely think that we are dead to sin, that sin does not and cannot control us. We need to consider and purposely think this way until it becomes who we are. We were a sinner saved by grace, but we aren’t any more, and that’s not how we should think. Even though we may still sin from time to time, the truth is we are dead to sin, and we are alive and reside in Christ Jesus.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14

 

How does sin master over us? When we think we are powerless to change. But we have God’s grace, His power, His anointing, His self-control, and His word that we are no longer a slave to sin. We have a choice to make, do we believe His words or not? Again, it’s a matter of how we think and what we say to ourselves, about ourselves. We may need to declare a hundred times a day, “Sin is not master over me!”. We need to say it until we believe it. With God’s grace we can break the sins that try to control us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

 

We have to purposely feed our mind with the things of the Spirit, so at any given time we have access to weapons to fight against fleshly thoughts that come into our minds on a regular basis. If we don’t have those weapons ready we may allow those thoughts to consume us and lead us into sinful thinking. That’s why it’s important to memorize God’s word, to make up short declarations and songs and memorize them, and to know our identity in Christ. We have the power to choose how long we allow sinful thoughts to occupy our mind, and we have the power to choose to think on the things of the spirit. I have thousands of declarations on my website:  https://www.equippedformore.org

 

 

Equipped For More:

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14

 

I was a Christian for many decades before I became really familiar with being led by the Spirit of God. It’s hard to imagine at times that the creator of the universe wants to be our guide, our leader, all we have to do is be aware of this and position ourselves to be led. As we train our spirit to be entuned with Holy Spirit it becomes easier. It doesn’t mean life will be always be easy, He may lead us through challenges, valleys of darkness, pain, etc. But when we follow Him wherever He leads, we are in the safest place possible, and we truly are His sons and daughters. 

 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:31

 

What a powerful verse that shouldn’t be overlook, but seared into our mind. Would we think or act differently if we really believed that God is always for us, on our side, with His Spirit always interceding for us (vs 27) . When chaos is all around us, or nothing is going as planned, or when life just doesn’t make sense and we want to scream, that’s when we really need to stop and remind ourselves, God is for me. That’s when we have to choose to believe His truth, instead of our circumstances. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

 

What would it really look like to OVERWHELMINGLY conquer all fear, stress, injustice, persecution, distress, failure, lack, etc. in our lives? How do we position ourselves to receive this kind of love and protection from our Heavenly Father? I wish I had a 3 point formula we could follow that would guarantee victory. But that’s not how God’s kingdom works. Only through God do we have the victory, through being in Him, surrendered to Him, trusting Him, obeying Him. We may be all banged up on the outside, but we can still be overwhelmingly victorious on the inside.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

How can we be convinced that nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God? By knowing Him and His son Jesus. It’s only through an intimate relationship with God the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit that we can learn to trust this love that they have for us. Paul was convinced of this love because he experienced it every day, it didn’t depend on his circumstances, it depended on the truth of who God is. May we all live our lives convinced that we are never, ever, separated from God’s love for us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? Romans 9:20-21

 

What I get out of this verse (probably out of content) is that there are vessels of honor and of common use. There were times in my life that I knew I was a common use vessel, and that was ok. But when you think about it, what do you use most around your house, vessels of common use, or those saved for honor and special occasions? I like being a common use vessel, not afraid of getting dirty, peed on and stepping in pig poop. I want to be used by God for anything and everything. And I’m sure He can shine me up for honorable use if He needs to. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

 

God was speaking to me about freedom, and how it ties in with this verse. So many of us want freedom in a particular area of our lives, and it starts with renewing our mind. Right now fear is everywhere due to the coronavirus, and many people are held captive due to fear of the unknown. When our minds are truly renewed to Kingdome thinking, and our trust is fully in God, we don’t have to be conformed to earthly thinking and fear. Yes, we wash our hands and take precautions, but we live in freedom through the renewing of our minds, and because we know who we are in Christ.

 

 

Equipped For More:

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12

 

When will we give this account of ourselves to God? For most of us, probably not for many, many years. How often do we think about what we will say when the times comes to give an account? Probably not often. But what if we met with God every day, and had a time of reflection on our day, a time of asking God to hold us accountable, and to share with us what He thought of our day. God is such a personal and loving God, and He enjoys teaching us now how to live to bring Him glory. His desire on the day we stand before Him to give an account, is for it to be a day of celebration. Lord, let us start now to meet with You daily and discuss our day, our motives, our thoughts, our beliefs, and how we can live our life to love You more, and to bring You more glory.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

 

Trusting, believing, and hoping for God’s promises to manifest is not always easy, but God wants it to be. Through the power of Holy Spirit we can be full of joy and peace, we can be abounding in hope while we believe that what God promises, He will also deliver. So instead of stressing over “if” or “when” these promises will manifest, we can rest in the joy and peace of believing that our God’s timing is always perfect, just like His love.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. Romans 15:17 

 

Some people shy away from boasting about how God is using them, for fear that people will think they are being prideful. However, Paul boasted all the time. He was quiet aware that is was God doing the work through him (vs 18), just like we are aware of that also. When we hear about all that God is doing through someone else, judgement of the person speaking shouldn’t be our first thought, encouragement should be. If God is using another person to change the world, to raise the dead and heal the sick, than why not me? If others dare to go and do as God leads, why not me? We should all get encouraged when we hear what God is doing through other people.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For in Him you have been enriched in every way, in all speech and all knowledge, because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 1:5-7

 

When we are in Christ, being enriched in every way, every day, we have access to every spiritual gift given. Certain people have a greater anointing of the various gifts, but the ability to tap into that anointing is within all of us. We don’t have to wait until the prophet, healer, deliverer, teacher, or miracle worker comes to town. If someone we know, or even ourselves need access to certain giftings, we can go to God as ask for access to the spiritual gifs that are already in us through Jesus Christ. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. 1 Cor 1:17

 

There’s a phrase I love, “Just because I can doesn’t mean I should”. I have to apply that to my live often, especially as I get older. Paul was a very educated man, and could have preached many eloquent sermons, yet he chose to speak plainly so as not to bring attention to himself, but so those he spoke to could understand the gospel. And even though Paul wasn’t called to baptize, he did so at times (vs 14&16). The only way to know the will of God at any given time, is to continuously in communication with Him. Our journey with God is not set in stone, it’s supposed to be living, to be flowing with the desires of His will and His heart, at any given moment. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 1 Cor 2:4-5

 

Some may think that they can’t preach or teach fellow believers due to lack of education or training. Yet, it’s not what we learned in school, it’s not really about us at all. It’s about our relationship with God, yielding to Him, allowing Him to demonstrate His power through us, and allowing Him to speak through us the desires of His heart. We may persuade someone with our words that we are right, if that is our agenda. But if our agenda is to bring God glory, we need to yield to Him. All He needs is a yielded vessel, He will do the rest. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 1 Cor 2:12-13

 

Holy Spirit wants to teach us about things God wants to freely give us, how awesome is that? How do we acquire these gifts God so freely wants to give us? Well we, our spirit, soul, and body, have to spend time with His Spirit, that’s how. Again, it’s all about relationship. For me, the more I speak in tongues, the more revelation I receive from Holy Spirit, the more He teaches me things, reveals things I’ve never thought of. Holy Spirit teach us to know how You, personally want to teach us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.   1 Cor 2:16

 

When a baby is born they have an amazing mind, an amazing brain. We don’t know the potential of that mind/brain for many years though. Through training that mind/brain can learn to hate or to love, to be raciest or not. When we became born-again we were given the mind of Christ. But just like a baby has to develop their mind, so do we. We don’t just instantly know everything there is to know about God and His kingdom, but we have the potential to know so much more than we do. As our lives change, and we choose to seek God first, as we choose to spend time being trained by Holy Spirit, and become more and more like Jesus, the mind of Christ in us grows and manifests. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 1 Cor 3:6-7

 

We plant, we water, and God’s glory causes the growth. As we know from the parable of the four soils, seeds that are planted, watered, and come up too quick, often die. Hardy growth takes time. As we journey in God’s kingdom with Him we are planting and watering, sometimes without knowing it, just by the way we live and love. Many of us will never know this side of heaven the amount of growth produced by God, through our planting and watering. Sometimes we get anxious about the planting, watering, and growth, when really the growth is in God’s hands. When we do our part, He does His.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what (who) you are. 1 Cor 3:16-17

 

It’s hard to grasp the full reality that the Spirit of God lives in me, and because of that, I am holy. We don’t always feel holy or act holy, but we are. And the more we grasp the truth of that, the more we can walk in our true identity as sons and daughters of King Jesus.

 

 

Equipped For More:

So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God. 1 Cor 3:21-23

 

It boggles my mind the extent that God goes to show His love to us. How can it be that everything that belongs to Him is available to us through Jesus Christ? We are heirs of God, everything that belongs to Him is our inheritance. Inheritance isn’t dispersed to infants or even children, but it’s dispersed when we they mature enough to use it wisely. Lord, mature us, equip us, teach us until we are ready to receive our inheritance of the “all things” that You are patiently wanting to give us. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 1 Cor 4:20

 

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Do not grumble (or complain), as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Cor 10:10

 

Paul was talking about the Israelites here. They personally couldn’t do anything about their circumstances, just like we many times can’t do anything about ours. But we all can do something about how we react, about our attitude, and about the words that come out our mouth. Sometimes we can get so fearful and stressful over our circumstances that we forget who we are, God’s beloved children. Our trust has to be in Him, and our attitude and words need to reflect that.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. ….. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Cor 12:7&11

 

These gifts include wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (vs 8-10), and God in His infinite wisdom decided which gifts to give each one of us. There are so many different facets of Holy Spirit, and these are just a few. But He has put within each of us special manifestations of who He is, and who we are in Him. We need to embrace the gifts God gives us, and encourage and celebrate the gifts He’s given to others. There’s no room in the kingdom for jealously over someone else’s gift. As we seek God first every day He will reveal and develop the gifts He’s chosen just for us.

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. ….. But earnestly desire the greater gifts. 1 Cor 12:28&31

 

Here’s another list of how God equips the body of Christ. As His beloved children, we are amazingly gifted in so many various areas. We each have such a special, hand picked by God, purpose in our life. Too often we spend most of our lives trying to fit in and be like everyone else, yet we were not created to be like everyone else. We were created to be set apart, and to walk in our special giftings, and in a way that pleases our beloved Father. God likes it when we develop the gifts He’s given us. Walking in miracles, signs and wonders is awesome, but God desires we seek the greater gift – love.

 

 

Equipped For More:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Cor 13:1

 

I speak in tongues a lot, usually at least an hour a day, and it’s been life changing in my relationship with God. But if don’t live my life loving, is there really any benefit, maybe not? Love is such a powerful representation of who God really is, and who we are. Without love, sweet sounding words fall to the ground, void of any meaning. We’ve all heard of men who apologize after beating the woman they claim to love, and unfortunately too many women believe the words that are not backed up by actions. Lord, help us all to understand and walk in the true meaning of Your kind of love.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Cor 1:2

 

I have said many times, “It’s what goes on behind closed doors that really counts. It’s what we do when no one is looking that sheds a light on who we really are.” It doesn’t matter if we lead a crusade and millions come to the Lord. And it doesn’t matter if thousands come to our meetings because we have the gift of healing, or prophecy, or anything else. If we don’t love when I get home to our family, or if I don’t love when ministering to just one person, we are nothing. Love is the absolute greatest gift. Lord, remind us when we need to love more, remind us of when we try to put anything else above it.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, 1 Cor 13:4-5a

 

Some people think the opposite of love is hate. I like Heidi Baker’s definition that the opposite of love, is not love. Paul states 2 things love is, patient & kind. Then he lists some things that love is not. Love comes from the heart, and manifests in our thoughts and actions. The same is true with not love. Living a life of love is a journey, it takes practice, it takes effort, and it takes becoming more like Jesus every day. Lord, remind us when our heart starts to embrace jealousy, bragging, arrogance, selfishness, or when we start acting or talking unbecomingly. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But (love) rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 6b-7

 

God wants His love in us, and flowing from us. When His love is in us we have faith in His word, and in His promises. In this time when all of our lives have been impacted by the coronavirus, we need to stand firm in God’s love. This is our time to walk the walk of being a true believer in Jesus Christ, and not just talk the talk. We need to rejoice every day in the truth of who our God is, and just what He is capable of doing through us as we walk in His love. In Christ Jesus we CAN bear all things, we CAN believe God’s word and all of His promises, we CAN hope, and we CAN endure, because we ARE God’s beloved, and we walk in His love.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor 1:3-4

 

A few days ago I was very frustrated due to my lack of being able to understand technology, and why something worked one time, but didn’t the next. I sat down to have a talk with God about my frustration, because I definitely needed some comfort. I asked Hm to examine my heart, and then speak to me. He said I wasn’t letting Him into my frustration, so then I welcomed Him in. God wants to comfort us anytime and every time we need it, but sometimes we don’t invite Him in to our discomfort, pain, sin, or whatever. If we want His comfort, we might just need to let Him in.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18

 

Being transformed doesn’t just happen, we have to position ourselves into the very heart of God on a regular basis to experience this amazing life, of going from glory to glory. And the glory that we bask in today, hopefully isn’t the same glory we bask in next week or next month. There’s no end to the glory that is ours through continually being transformed by God, through our ever growing intimacy with Him. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2 Cor 4:8-9

 

I love the way Paul counters every affliction with a positive response, a positive choice, a positive action and way of thinking. This is probably not a verse you want to use when leading people to the Lord, but many a Christian life has experienced great affliction from time to time. Easy to do? I doubt it was easy to do, especially in the moment of experiencing it. But just like Jesus, for the joy set before Him He endured the Cross (Heb 12:2), we too can choose to rise again after affliction, because the joy of the Lord is our strength. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2 Cor 4:16

 

For those of us over 50 or 60, we can look at ourselves and see that our outer body is decaying, and many days we feel it too. People of any age who have various diseases, disabilities, or been abused may experience this also. However, nothing can keep our inner man from being renewed every day. Nothing can keep our inner man from jumping for joy at the thought of Jesus Christ, at the thought of His presence, and His love for us. Oh Lord, we give You permission to help us renew our inner man every day. 

 

 

Equipped For More: 

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4:18

 

Many of us can spend hours every day focusing (or worrying) on what’s happening in our lives, in our country, or in the world, even though so much of what is going on we have no control over any way. Yet we as believers have access to the unseen world, to God’s eternal realm. When we keep our focus on Him and His kingdom, we are tapping into the eternal. It’s there where we can grab hold of what’s really important in life, His love, His truth, His faithfulness, His joy, His peace, etc.. Lord, remind us when we take our eyes off of You and Your eternal kingdom.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  2 Cor 5:10

 

As I write this, most of the world is confined to their homes due to the coronavirus, in one way or another, and most of us are not use to this for weeks on end. How are we behaving to others in our homes? How are we behaving in the supermarkets (for those of us who still have the privilege of shopping for our basic needs)? How are we behaving when we don’t get to do what we want to do? How are we behaving when others around us are tired and cranky and don’t understand? How are we behaving when we don’t know how to feed our family, because we lost our income? We must remember that we will be held accountable one day for the deeds we’ve done or not done during this particular time of our lives. But we are blessed who believe, we have Holy Spirit in us, we have Jesus interceding for us, and a Father who loves us, and will provide. Oh Lord, may our deeds and our behavior during this time not bring You sadness, but joy.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:16-17

 

Oh how I wish I could live out this verse. There’s a couple of ways of looking at this, first, I could be the one who doesn’t recognize you or anyone else according to your flesh, but only recognize the new creature that you are in Christ. Or secondly, that I as a new creature in Christ no longer see you through my fleshly eyes, but now only see you through His eyes. Lord, may we all see ourselves and others according to who we are in You, and who others are in You.

 

 

Equipped For More:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21

 

We are the righteousness of Christ! We may have to repeat that 100 times a day before we start to believe it, but it’s true. And when we truly believe it, our actions will follow. We are not sinners saved by grace, we WERE sinners saved by grace, now we are the righteousness of God. We are not: nothing, less than, worthless, worms, stupid, good for nothing, or anything else demeaning. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Lord help us all to walk in our true identity.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. 2 Cor 6:11-12

 

We are not restrained by any person, any circumstance, any virus, any disaster, any anything, but we are restrained by our own heart, and our own way of thinking. But we have the power in Christ Jesus to change the way we look at things. We have the power to rejoice no matter what is happening around us. No one has the power over how we choose to respond to life’s happenings. We have the power to be our best encourager, or the one who robs us of all God has for us. I pray we can all stop taking offence, stop blaming others or our circumstance, no matter how difficult it might be. I pray we can all experience God’s love for us, His joy, His peace, His provision. I pray that we can all trust that He really is who He says He is, and rejoice in Him always.

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6

 

The words bountifully or generously are more accurately defined in the Greek language as praise or blessings. I love the thought that the more praise and blessings I sow, the more I reap. It doesn’t cost any money to sow praise or blessings, it just needs to come from the heart, and not just the mouth. The more we encourage and support others, the more we bless them to be all God created them to be, the more we give form our heart, whether it’s money or blessings, the more we receive. Lord, remind us often of the opportunities we have to sow bountifully, to sow generously, to sow praises, and to sow blessings.

 

 

Equipped For More:

But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. Gal 4:23

 

So often we want to make God’s promises, our dreams, prophetic words spoken over us, to be born according to the flesh. We want them to happen now, so we go about making them happen out of our own will. It’s very hard at times to wait on God’s perfect timing, to release His promises, answers to prayers, direction for our lives, doors to open, opportunities to present themselves, or finances to come in to accomplish what He’s called us to do. Waiting and trusting on God’s timings gives birth to lasting fruit and eternal blessings, while stepping out in the flesh gives birth to disaster. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16

 

Picture a young woman carrying her new born baby. She’s walking through brush, rocks, and mountainous terrain. She’s on a mission to get somewhere, she has to keep going, yet her mind is never off the safety of her baby. With every step she takes, there’s a split second of thinking about the baby’s safety. She may trip and fall at times, yet the safety of the baby is always in the front of her mind. In the midst of the falling, her baby is cradled close to her in such a way that no harm comes. What if with every step we take in life, every decision, every word spoken, every thought we allow to linger, we took a split second to run by Holy Spirit first ? What if we held onto walking in the Spirit, like the woman walking held onto her baby?  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Gal 6:9

 

Choosing to do good, to be kind, to show patience, to watch what we say, to encourage ourselves and others is never a waste of time. During this coronavirus season of our lives we have to choose to not lose heart and keep doing good. Let us not grow weary of our situation, which for some is very challenging. This is our time to press into God, to seek Him more, and to allow His goodness and glory to refresh our heart on a minute by minutes basis if necessary. There will be a time we reap what we’ve sown during this time. May our reaping for this season of sowing be beyond what we ever thought possible. Lord, give us strength not to lose heart in doing good.

Equipped For More:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Eph 2:10

 

It’s hard for me to fully imagine that before I was even conceived God had a plan for my life. Was it a plan for every day of every year, or was it a plan for a specific “You were created for such as time as this” plan during my life, or somewhere in between the two? God desires that we know the plans He prepared for us before we were born, and desires that we walk them out. He didn’t write each of us a specific description of His plans for our life, or did He? I believe that as we read His word and apply it to our lives, the plans He prepared just for us start to unfold. I believe as we seek Him, believe Him, read His word, get to know Him intimately, willing to get off our rear ends and go or just stay put, He will lead us to fulfill His plans for our lives. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. Eph 3:16 (TPT)

 

I love the Passion Translation of this verse. It’s hard to even fathom that I could be so full of God’s glory and favor that His supernatural strength, full of explosive power, would flood my spirit, soul, and body. What would our lives look like with His explosive power flowing through us every day? Yet this is His desire, He wants to unveil within each of us the unlimited riches of His glory and favor. Lord, we say “YES!”, position us to receive this from You. May our lives be forever changed as we walk in His explosive power flowing in us and through us. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers. And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. Eph 4:11-12 (TPT)

 

I love Joyce Meyer’s definition of grace – empowered favor. Why are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers empowered to do what God’s called them to? They are empowered so the rest of us will be prepared to do what we’re called to do. Some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers want to keep their followers following them, serving them, and contributing to their ministry, when the real goal should be to equip them and release them to enlarge and build up the body of Christ, as God leads them.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them. Eph 4:29 (TPT)

 

I have never thought of my words, as being beautiful gifts, or ugly gifts, and our words cost us nothing to share. With so many people being out of work right now, some might start to think that they have nothing to offer their family, friends, neighbors, or even themselves. But we all have our voice, our words, whether spoken or written. We all can give gifts of encouraging words to someone in need. So many people right now are in isolation, and they would embrace and treasure such a priceless, beautiful gift. Lord, remind us often of the opportunities we have of giving such a precious, beautiful gift, to others and to ourselves.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force (weapons) of his explosive power flowing in and through you. Eph 6:10 (TPT)

 

I just started reading The Passion Translation, and love the way it reads. As I sit and meditate on this verse, the words come to life. I feel supernaturally infused with the truth of who Jesus is in me. I can imagine myself standing victoriously because God’s explosive power is flowing through me. The truth of His mightiness in me is magnetized. And isn’t that what God wants for us, for His words of truth to connect with our soul to the point that we really do get Holy Spirit’s inspired intentions, and we really do get who we are in Him? I encourage you to give The Passion Translation a try. You can find it on Biblegateway.com, along with dozens of other translations, all free.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ! Phil 1:6 (TPT)

 

It doesn’t matter how old we are in the Lord, we still have room for growth, for maturing. We must never make the mistake of thinking we no longer need to read the Bible because we’ve read it dozens of times, and know what it says. We must never make the mistake of thinking that everything we think God is saying to us is 100% correct all the time. We must never make the mistake of thinking that we have arrived at full maturity in Christ Jesus. If we are alive, God isn’t finished maturing us. Lord, I pray we all look forward to meeting with You daily, presenting ourselves before You, willing, waiting, and looking forward to the more You have for us. And may we never make the mistake of thinking that we can’t mature in You through the words of a child, a homeless person, the neighbor we don’t really like, our parents, our children, the clerk at the store. Lord, we give You permission to mature us any way You want. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

I want you to know, dear ones, what has happened to me has not hindered, but helped my ministry of preaching the gospel, causing it to expand and spread to many people. Phil 1:12 (TPT)

 

Paul knew what He was called to do and was doing it. He didn’t allow his circumstance to hinder him, or his attitude, but kept doing what his Father was doing. When circumstance accrue in life that seem to put a stop to everything we thought we were called to do, we need to adjust our thinking. We need to keep our eyes on our Father and do what He’s doing, and say what He’s saying. As we surrender our circumstance of what seems like roadblocks, hindrances, closed doors; as we surrender our attitude of that this can’t possibly be God’s plan for my life; and as we surrender our thoughts and agenda, God can cause His plans for our lives to expand beyond what we ever thought possible, despite our circumstances.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Look at how much encouragement you’ve found in your relationship with the Anointed One! You are filled to overflowing with his comforting love. You have experienced a deepening friendship with the Holy Spirit and have felt his tender affection and mercy (The Aramaic can be translated “your heart flutters with his compassion.”) Phil 2:1

 

We all enjoy receiving encouragement from others, it’s just human nature. Unfortunately, many of us have grown up with very little of it our lives. However, as God’s beloved children we have the opportunity to be encouraged by the greatest encourager Himself. It doesn’t just happen though, it’s found in our relationship with the Anointed One. It’s found in the secret place where we meet, just the two of us. It’s found when we listen to the anointed One, when we stop talking, asking, or even praying, and just listen. When we sit and listen to what He wants to say to us, our friendship will deepen, and He will bless us with words of love, peace, affection, compassion, mercy, and encouragement. I encourage you to write down God’s words of encouragement to you.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For it seems as though everyone else is busy seeking what is best for themselves instead of the things that are most important to our Lord Jesus Christ. Phil 2:21

 

It’s so easy to focus on ourselves, and actually others too. However, we might be focusing on others more than we should. Our focus always needs to be on Jesus first, we need to find out what’s most important to Him today, right now, and do that. We are told to do good deeds, to love others as our self, and we enjoy helping others, and actually it makes us feel good and productive. But we must not settle for doing good at the expense of doing the best. It doesn’t get any better than seeking what is most important to Jesus, and making that our agenda.

 

 

 

Equipped For More:

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. Phil 4:12-13 (TPT)

 

As many of us all over the world are on some kind of lockdown, and loss of income, many are not experiencing overwhelming abundance but that of lack. Not only lack financially but lack of the norm, of freedom to move about, of ministering or being ministered to, and so many more areas of lack in our lives right now. But as we sit with our arms lifted up to God, we can receive Christ’s explosive power infusing us and empowering us to conquer every difficult situation that faces us. We will get through this and future times of lack in the same way. Jesus is the answer, He is always the answer.

 

 

Equipped For More:

I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ! Phil 4:19 (TPT)

 

As I sit here I can think of so many needs that I have. Healing for family members, money for so many projects in Africa, just to name a few. I know some of my friends are in need of food, shelter, and healings too. It takes faith to be convinced that God is quite aware of all our needs, and will satisfy every one of them. It takes faith to believe His timing for such needs is better than our timing. It takes faith to believe that He alone really knows the difference between our needs and our wants. It takes faith to be totally convinced that God is all He says He is, and does what He says He will do.

 

 

Equipped For More:

He’s informed us of the many wonderful ways love is being demonstrated through your lives by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Col 1:8 (TPT)

 

I have to ask myself, how many ways is love being demonstrated by the empowerment of Holy Spirit through me? Am I living an empowered life of loving? During our days of lockdown and quarantine, are we still tapping into that empowerment to love? Holy Spirit, fill us to overflowing with Your empowerment to love others and ourselves. And when we start running dry due to life’s challenges, take us in Your arms and fills us once again.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. Col 3:2 (TPT)

 

It’s easy to be distracted with what’s going on in the natural realm right now. It takes continued effort for most of us to keep our thoughts on the heavenly realities. Oh Lord forgive me, as I struggle in the area. I once wore something on my wrist that buzzed every 20 minutes during my waking hours, just to remind me to turn my thoughts to God. It worked (but I’ve lost it). Lord, I give you permission to buzz me throughout the day, reminding me to turn my attention, my praise, my love to You, and Your heavenly realities.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Let every activity of your lives and every word that comes from your lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. And bring your constant praise to God the Father because of what Christ has done for you! Col 3:17 (TPT)

 

Wow, what would our lives look like if we were continuously drenched with the beauty of Jesus, drenched with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, just to name a few?  If we stay drenched we will never dry out, we will never get moldy or musty. Lord, I give You permission to teach me to remain drenched with the beauty of who You are.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And please pray for me, that God will open a door of opportunity for us to preach the revelation of the mystery of Christ, for whose sake I am imprisoned. Pray that I would unfold and reveal fully this mystery, for that is my delightful assignment. Col 4:3-4 (TPT)

 

Imagine being in prison, or any awful situation, and your heart’s greatest desire is to unfold and reveal the mystery, glory and truth of Christ, no matter the hardship it might cause you, or wherever you might be. Is it possible for that to be our greatest prayer at that time, at this time? Not release me Lord so I can do what I I’m called to do, but just open a door, any door, for an opportunity for me to continue my delightful assignment from You. Lord, may we consider any assignment You give us, at any time or circumstance in our lives, to a delightful assignment. May our attitude always be, “Here I am Lord, use me, send me, I say yes”! 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now finally, I, Paul, write this with my own handwriting, and I send my loving greetings to you! Remember me in my imprisonment. May the blessings of God’s grace overwhelm you! Col 4:18

 

Paul wrote many of his letters from prison, yet didn’t allow his circumstances to keep him from doing what God had called him to do. We tend to forget at times that the mighty men and woman of God need to be remembered, need to be prayed for. Human nature at times wants to take from those who are doing amazing things with God, we want a touch of their anointing, we want to tap into their connection with God, we want what they have. Yet we forget that most of them are going through challenges of their own and need to be remembered in our prayers. Lord, remind us not to just take but to give.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Let joy be your continual feast. 1 Thes 5:16 (TPT)

 

What are we feasting on? Are we continually feasting on God’s amazing, spectacular, life altering joy, or are we feasting on negativity, or our current frustrating circumstances? Joy is a free gift from God, it’s a choice, and it’s ours. There have been times I’ve just lifted my arms up to heaven, and just said, “God, I need Your joy, release You joy , I receive Your joy”, and just positioned myself to receive, and it comes. Lord, help us to position ourselves, to continually feast on Your amazing gift of joy.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Make your life a prayer. 1 Thes 5:17

 

How would our life be different if it were one continuous prayer? Prayer is two way communication with God, talking and listening, and too often it tends to be lop-sided. There’s something called listening prayer, and it’s where we listen to God, we ask Him what He wants us to pray for and how He wants us to pray. If we pray what He wants us to pray, we can be assured our prayers are going to be answered. Jesus only did, said, and prayed according to His Father’s will, and so can we. Easy, not always? Effective, always? Lord teach us to live a life of prayer where we listen more than we talk.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:16-18 (TPT)

 

The desires of God’s heart, His plan for our lives is for us to give thanks in the midst of any circumstance. For instance, we’re not called to give thanks for the coronavirus, but we are called to give thanks to our Heavenly Father in the midst of it. Many people at this time are keeping a diary of “Thankfulness”, or “Gratitude”, as it’s easy to slip into depression, or negativity. When we keep our thoughts and our focus on our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit is much easier to be able to give thinks in the midst of anything and everything.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For we reach the goal of fulfilling all the commandments when we love others deeply with a pure heart, a clean conscience, and sincere faith. 1 Tim. 1:5

 

Imagine fulfilling all the commandments by just loving others. It seems so simple, yet is it really? I love pizza, my dog, my home, my car, and of course my family and others. But do I really love others with a pure heart? A pure heart has no room for manipulation, ulterior motives, self-gain, fairness, keeping score, or conditional love. I know I probably love my husband and children that way, but do I love others that way? Do I love everyone at my church that way, my neighbors? Forgive me Lord, but no I don’t. Teach me Lord to love others with a truly pure heart, the way You love me. Teach me to love others with a clean conscience, undefiled by anything that is not of You.

 

 

Equipped For More:

So Timothy, my son, I am entrusting you with this responsibility, in keeping with the very first prophecies that were spoken over your life, and are now in the process of fulfillment in this great work of ministry, in keeping with the prophecies spoken over you. With this encouragement use your prophecies as weapons as you wage spiritual warfare by faith and with a clean conscience. For there are many who reject these virtues and are now destitute of the true faith, 1 Tim 1:18-19 (TPT)

 

I love the encouragement of using our prophecies as weapons of warfare against the enemy, and even our own doubtful thinking at times. I remember being encouraged by Bill Johnson to keep track of prophecies and to pray into them. At the time I remember thinking, I don’t have any prophecies. That’s when I started hosting prophecy parties, and seeking prophetic words from God. That’s when I started keeping a journal of God’s prophetic words to me, and those from others. God desires that we all walk in the prophetic, and to give words of encouragement, but it does involve the discipline of listening to Him, seeking His voice, His words. Lord give us the desire and courage to prophecy more to others and ourselves, building up our arsenal of weapons.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. 1 Tim 2:2 (TPT)

 

Are we praying for our political leaders to make decisions so that our lives will be peaceful, calm, and undisturbed? Or are we praying for our political leaders with a pure heart, asking God to show them His heart, His ways, and His truth, as we worship Him with pure hearts? And as a result of our pure-hearted prayers and worship, we blessed with lives of peace. Probably 

 

Equipped For More:

Be quick to abstain from senseless traditions and legends, but instead be engaged in the training of truth that brings righteousness.1 Tim 4:7

 

Traditions can be a wonderful part of our lives, but there are some traditions and superstitions that might also have become a part of our lives that actually hinder us and our relationship with God. We may need to ask ourselves from time to time, what is the truth behind why we do what we do. Is it out of fear that something bad might happen if we don’t do it? Does it bring Glory to God? God, reveal the truth behind some of our traditions and legends that we may need to abstain from. Our desire is to know the truth that brings You glory and our righteousness.

 

 

Equipped For More:

For athletic training only benefits you for a short season, but righteousness brings lasting benefit in everything; for righteousness contains the promise of life, for time and eternity. 1 Tim 4:8

 

As one who has taught exercise fitness for over 35 years, I know very well that when you stop training or exercising, the benefits gained start to atrophy. To some, physical strength and training have become their god, and for many years it was my identity (but not anymore). I’m all for physical training, the benefits are undeniable, but righteousness, that’s where the real prize is. We are spirit, soul and body and all three need to be fed and nurtured. Lord, may Your righteousness reign in our spirit, soul, and body in every area of our lives. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

So until I come, be diligent in devouring the Word of God, be faithful in prayer, and in teaching the believers. 1 Tim 4:13 (TPT)

 

How many of us could say that we are diligent in devouring the Word of God? We only have to go to a family gathering where good food is served, to see what devouring something could look like. It takes me about a year or a little more to devour the whole Bible, I like to stop as Holy Spirit leads and just meditate on the verses He highlights, and we discuss them. It takes diligence to devour a part of God’s Word every day; it takes diligence to not rush the devouring of it, but to savor, meditate, and allow it to come to life, to bring life, His life into our being. Oh Lord, may we enjoy devouring Your word more than we enjoy devouring a good meal.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Give careful attention to your spiritual life and every cherished truth you teach, for living what you preach will then release even more abundant life inside you and to all those who listen to you.  1 Tim 4:16

 

God holds those of us who preach the gospel to a higher standard (James 3:1), we are called to practice what we preach (imagine that).  We have within our sphere of influence the opportunity to release abundant life to those around us and to ourselves. We have the responsibility of paying attention to our own spiritual life and walk with God, and we also have the responsibility of seeking out His truth before we teach to others. However, we can only release God’s amazing abundance when we are living what we preach, and what we teach. Lord, I give You permission to bring to my attention when I stray from practicing what I preach. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

The pastors who lead the church well should be paid well. They should receive double honor for faithfully preaching and teaching the revelation of the Word of God. For the Scriptures have taught us: “Do not muzzle an ox or forbid it to eat while it grinds the grain.” And also, “The one who labors deserves his wages.” 1 Tim 5:17-18

 

There are part time pastors (those who have another paying job), and full time pastors (those who depend on tithe and offerings to support them). Full time pastors do more than just preach on Sunday, and their days are filled (hopefully) with seeking God, giving wise counsel, and so many other things. As believers we are called to tithe and give offerings, so the one who has been teaching us and helping us mature as children of God can continue to do so. Those who are called by God to preach the gospel, and do so as unto the Lord, deserve to be taken care of by those of us who benefit. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But make Jesus, the Anointed One, your focus in life and ministry. For he came to earth as the descendant of David and rose from the dead, according to the revelation of the gospel that God has given me. 2 Tim 2:8

 

It’s easy at times to take our focus off of Jesus, and place it on our ministry. Even though for many of us our ministry is sharing about Jesus and the Gospel, if we’re not careful the ministry gets more of our time and attention than Jesus. Our ministry is a tool, a way to share what God’s called us to share, and do what He’s called us to do. However, Jesus, the Anointed One, He is to be our main focus. It’s not about you, it’s not about me, It’s all (my life, ministry, job, being) about Jesus. Lord, remind us when our focus starts to shift from You, to anything else. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Run as fast as you can from all the ambitions and lusts of youth; and chase after all that is pure. Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit. And live in peace with all those who worship our Lord Jesus with pure hearts. 2 Time 2:22

 

When we live our lives pursuing the things that build up our faith in Christ Jesus, and deepens our love for Him and others, then the lusts of the world loses its grip on us. It sounds so easy, yet we all know it’s not. Without staying 100% focused on running our race to win, it’s easy to get pulled into the things of the flesh. But we have a God that loves us so much, He alone knows our heart and our desires. He blesses us with grace and forgiveness when we stray, so we don’t stay off course for too long. Lord, strengthen every fiber of my being, as I pursue undivided devotion to You.

 

 

Equipped For More:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, you are now made holy, and each of you is invited to the feast of your heavenly calling. So fasten your thoughts fully onto Jesus, whom we embrace as our Apostle and King-Priest. Heb. 3:1

 

Imagine being invited to a feast of our heavenly calling, with Jesus as the guest of honor. We come together with Jesus, knowing our identity is holy in Him, knowing that as we feast with Him, our calling is attainable. Too often we feast on negative thoughts that come into our mind, or on what others tell us, or on our current situation. Instead we are invited to feast on who we are in Christ and what He’s calling us to, and we need to accept that invitation. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

They (the Israelites) grieved God for forty years by sinning in their unbelief, until they dropped dead in the desert…….It is clear that they could not enter into their inheritance because they wrapped their hearts in unbelief. Heb 3:17&19

 

How often have we grieved God with our unbelief? I dread even the thought of it, yet it’s quite possible that most of us have. Are there areas in our life where we still doubt that God is who He says He is, and really is capable of doing what He promises? Will He really provide for us? Can I really trust Him, and fear not? Am I really His beloved child? And the list could go on and on. Lord, it would break my heart if I thought I was grieving you in any way. Please bring to my attention any areas of unbelief that are in my life, so I can repent and start embracing Your truth as mine. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But even though he was a wonderful Son, he learned to listen and obey through all his sufferings. Heb 5:8 (TPT)

 

Many have chosen to suffer for Jesus on purpose, but I’m not one of them. I’m willing to, but it’s not my first choice. But Jesus learned to listen and to obey through all His sufferings, this implies that some of His sufferings were before the cross. We don’t know all the sufferings that Christ went through, though we know He was tempted in all the ways that we are. When we can look at the temptations, hardships and sufferings that we go through in life as opportunities to perfect our obedience to God, it might lessen the sting. During this whole coronavirus season many of us have experienced temptations, hardships and sufferings, and some still are. Lord, we want to learn everything possible about hearing You, trusting You, and obeying You during this season of our lives. Open our hearts, that we may grow more and more like Jesus.

 

 

Equipped For More:

So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise and his vow will never change! And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! Heb 6:18

 

How often do we run into God’s heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness? What if we did it on a regular basis, just to bask in all He has for us? What if we stayed there until we knew His strength was imparted into our body; what if we stayed until His comfort filled every cell of our body; what if we stayed there until He empowered us to believe His promises were true; what if we stayed there until we were filled with unshakeable hope in who He is, and who we are in Him? Let us run daily and hide ourselves in God’s heart, and stay there until, until we are overflowing with His strength, comfort, empowerment, and unshakeable hope. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him. Heb 11:6

 

What pleases God most is our faith, not our works, sacrifices, worship, good deeds, Bible reading, or anything else. He rewards our faith for passionately seeking Him, more than the act itself. I struggle to hold onto that faith at times as doubt tries to overtake faith. Did I really hear God correctly, is He really saying this to me, is this really His plans for my life, do I really make a difference, am I really pleasing Him with my life, am I really bearing fruit, or is this all in my imagination, and my thoughts? It takes faith to believe that as we passionately seek Him every day, with a pure heart and pure motives, that He really is rewarding us by allowing us to know Him, to hear Him, and to trust Him. Faith, the invisible priceless treasure, that can change our lives forever.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith. Heb 11:8

 

Faith to leave the familiar, to discover and walk in our destiny, WOW! How many of us have chosen instead to stay in the familiar, the comfortable, the predictable? Yes we might fail, yes we might be embarrassed, yes we might go the wrong way, yes, we might have people disappointed or mad at us, yes we might encounter temptations, hardships, and sufferings. But also, we might just have the most amazing life possible, knowing God intimately, trusting Him, trusting His promises, growing in faith to the extent of really believing that absolutely nothing is impossible with Him. Lord, dare I want that kind of faith?

 

 

Equipped For More:

Our parents corrected us for the short time of our childhood as it seemed good to them. But God corrects us throughout our lives for our own good, giving us an invitation to share his holiness. Heb 12:10

 

Some have had the privilege of being discipled and taught by natural or spiritual mothers, fathers, pastors, churches, or groups, yet many have not. However, we all have the opportunity of being discipled and taught by our Heavenly Father. When we humble ourselves, and discipline ourselves to sit and meet with Him daily, He will train us up in the way we should go, and He is the ultimate teacher and equipper for all areas of our lives.  

 

 

Equipped For More:

Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it. Heb 12:11

 

We all need to humble ourselves and receive discipline from time to time, and it’s especially hard the older we get. But a true son or daughter of King Jesus knows the benefit of discipline. When we receive discipline from God it’s always done in love, and we never feel shamed, rejected, or unloved. And as we mature and need to discipline others, hopefully we will do it the same way. However when someone disciplines us in an ungodly way, and we do feel shame, rejected, and unloved, it doesn’t necessary mean the discipline wasn’t warranted, just that is wasn’t done the right way. That’s when we need to go to our Heavenly Father and discuss the discipline given. He will give us the strength if necessary to reject the shame, rejection, and unloving way it was presented, yet learn the valuable lesson in the discipline, and reap a harvest of righteousness and peace. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! Heb 12:25 (NLT)

 

God is always speaking, but are we listening? He speaks through the Bible, other books, nature, plants, animals, insects, others, our thoughts, impressions, and so many other ways. We cannot limit God to just the time we set aside to read the Bible and pray. Lord, open our hearts to hear the variety ways that You like to speak to us. May we not get trapped in a religious mindset by putting You in a box. Teach us to discern between Your voice, ours, others, and the enemies. Lord, we don’t want to miss anything that’s coming from You, so please heighten our awareness when it’s You speaking to us. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

May He work perfection into every part of you giving you all that you need to fulfill your destiny. And may He express through you all that is excellent and pleasing to Him through your life-union with Jesus the Anointed One who is to receive all glory forever! Amen! Heb 13:21

 

Are we willing to let God work His perfection into every part of our being, no matter how long it takes, so we will be equipped for our destiny? Are we willing to let Him express through us all that is pleasing to Him? Are we willing to surrender our agenda for His? Are we willing to embrace and trust His timing? Are we willing to trust Him completely, in every area of our lives? Are we willing to walk humbly and give Him all the glory, as He molds us into glorious vessels that bring Him great joy?

 

 

Equipped For More:

My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. James 1:2-4(TPT)

 

No one looks forward to difficulties, and no one looks forward to their faith being tested, yet we all want to mature to the place of lacking nothing in Christ Jesus. There’s no doubt about it, some people have a lot more difficulties in life than others. Out of compassion we might feel tempted to help them out of their difficult times. But maybe we should pray first and find out what God’s plan is. Maybe we should be praying for strength and power for their faith in God to endure and pass the test before them. Or maybe we should be loving them, encouraging them, as they walk through and pass the test before them.  And maybe we should do the same, when it’s our own difficulties. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. James 1:5-6a (TPT)

 

When we ask God for wisdom He gives it, yet when we can’t grasp hold of His wisdom right away, we start to doubt. God wants His children, just like any parent wants their children to walk in wisdom. I’ve learned from experience that God’s wisdom comes in many forms, and where as I always want the instant version, God many times as other plans, and that’s where trusting comes in. Trusting that as I continue in my intimate relationship with Him, that He may very well drop nuggets of wisdom into my thoughts, just when I need them. This has happened many times. Lord, open our heart, our eyes, and out mind to grasp hold of Your wisdom in any way You choose to give it to us. May we not grow weary and doubt, but rejoice in Your promise with expectation.

 

 

Equipped For More:

True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values. James 1:27

 

This verse really jumped out at me after my first trip to Africa, where I realized I had literally become a part of some beautiful orphans and widows lives. What an honor to be given that opportunity. We all can make a difference in the lives of orphans and widows, possibly without even knowing it. As we live our lives surrendered and led by Holy Spirit, He will lead us to orphans and widows, both litterly and spiritually who need a touch of the Father’s love. As we live a life of integrity, refusing to be corrupted by the world’s values, we are making a difference in the lives of those around us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this Scripture: “You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself! James 2:8

 

So many people want to know their destiny, what God’s called them to do in their lives. Yet we all have a calling that may need to happen first, before God gives further direction, and that is to loves others as we also love ourselves. Sounds so easy, yet as we know, there are many hard to love people in the world. People that we can’t seem to love on our own, people that we can only love with God’s love flowing through us. There’s a few people in my life that have hurt my loved ones deeply, and still do, and it would be easy to dislike them, or even hate them. But somehow when I’m around them I truly do love them. I marvel at how God can allow His love to flow through me to others. Many times I have asked Him to allow me to see others the way He does, so I can try to love them. We don’t have to like some people, or condone what they are doing, we don’t have to be around them, or allow our children or family members to be around them, but we are called to love them. Lord, help us to love the hard to love.

 

 

Equipped For More:

We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be! James 3:9-10

 

We may not have a lot of control over what happens in our lives, but one thing we have the choice to control every minute of every day, is what comes out of our mouth. No one forces us to say anything, it’s always our choice. However, what we speak comes from what’s in our heart, as do the thoughts we allow to linger. As we mature as sons and daughters of King Jesus, our thoughts and words will naturally start to align with His, and then we can take that split second to choose not speak what’s in our heart when we know it’s not pleasing to God. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form James 3:17

 

We pray for wisdom and ideas or thoughts come into our mind and we wonder if that’s God speaking to us, or is it the enemy, or ourselves? But here we see that anything from God is always pure. God’s words and wisdom never bring shame, fear, chaos, or doubt about who we are in Christ, and it never leaves us feeling unworthy or unloved. So whether we are seeking wisdom ourselves, or listening to someone preach or teach, we need to examine where this so called wisdom is coming from. Wisdom from God may challenge us, even rebuke us at times, but it will always done in love, leaving us knowing we are loved, yet empowered to grow more in the likeness of our Heavenly Father. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

For during the time of Noah God patiently waited while the ark was being prepared, but only a few were brought safely through the floodwaters: a total of eight souls. 1 Peter 3:20b

 

I find it interesting that God waited patiently for Noah to do what He’d called him to do. I wonder if Noah ever prayed for a miracle, that part of the ark would just be done by God Himself during the night? How often are we tempted to ask for a miracle to speed things along? However, God was in no hurry then, and He’s probably not now. He doesn’t mind waiting patiently while we do what He’s called us to do. Sometimes we just want to get this assignment or project that God’s given us done, so we can get on to the next one. But He’s in no hurry, He wants it done right, there’s lessons for us to learn, things we might miss out on if we hurry too fast. Lord, may we not be too quick to finish the assignment we are currently on, before learning all the things You want to teach us.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

 

When we gives our lives to Jesus, He deposits into us Holy Spirit, not a part of Holy Spirit, but the fulness. We have everything we need at that time to be all He created us to be, we are children of God with access to all of His blessings and promises. However, we start off as babies. As we grow in our knowledge of God, seeking the fulness of who He is, the more of Him is revealed to us. He and His fulness is in us, yet we still have to uncover all the treasures of who He is, through our lifetime relationship with Him.

 

 

Equipped For More:

So you must be sure to keep the message burning in your hearts; that is, the message of life you heard from the beginning. If you do, you will always be living in close fellowship with the Son and with the Father. 1 John 2:24

 

Many have recited the sinner’s prayer, many are excited to welcome Jesus into their hearts, and many stay head over heels in love with God, for a while. But every relationship takes some effort, some attention, and It can’t be all one sided, or it dies. The same is true with our relationship with God, it takes communication and fellowship on a regular basis. It can be a bit more challenging when our relationship is with the invisible God of the universe. But as we pursue it, and nurture it through close, intimate fellowship, it will become even more real that our relationships with other humans. Oh Lord, may our love for You, and our desire to draw closer to You, never cease to burn deep within our hearts. 

 

 

Equipped For More:

I’ve written these things about those who are attempting to lead you astray. But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2:26-27

 

God has gifted many to teach and preach the Gospel, yet there will always be people teaching false doctrine, either knowingly or possibly unknowingly. All who preach the Gospel are just human and may misinterpret the Word of God at times. That’s the importance of knowing God’s word for ourselves, and allowing Holy Spirit to teach us all things. When we hear teachings that don’t resonate in our spirit, we can always go to Holy Spirit for discernment. We don’t want to just accept everything someone teaches as God’s truth. We have discernment, we have Holy Spirit.

 

 

Equipped For More:

Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

 

If only our mind could grasp the full concept of this verse, if only we could live confident that every second of every day the creator of the universe lives in us. The strongest, most powerful miracle working Jesus is in us, working and interceding on our behalf. Why would we ever even consider giving any thought to what the enemy, or anyone else could do to us?

 

 

Equipped For More:

But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning. Think about how far you have fallen! Repent and do the works of love you did at first. I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place of influence if you do not repent. Rev 2:4-5

 

The church of Ephesus had done so many things right, yet God rebuked them because they had lost their passionate love towards Him. In most marriages, the passion that was there in the beginning starts to fade, usually into a deeper commitment of love. But God wants our passion for Him to keep burning and never fade away. He doesn’t want us becoming so comfortable that our passion dies out. Passionate love for another is hard enough when you can see them, feel them and communicate with them because they are human. It take effort, it takes choosing, it takes passionate pursuing on a daily basis to keep the fire burning of our love for Jesus strong.