Good Insights

June 2018

 

Good Insights:  

But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. Matt: 1:20

 

When I become baffled (like Joseph) with my circumstances, I need to take time to think, and not be to quick to act. God is a part of every area of my life, and He will show up just in time, He is never late. I don’t have to understand everything, I just have to trust Him.

 

Good Insights:

Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart]; Matt 2:8

 

It’s easy to repent, especially if everyone is doing it, as in a public church service. What’s hard is to really change the behavior associated with the sin. Am I really sorry, or just sorry in the moment? Only because of my love for Jesus and obedience to Him can I repent and make permanent changes. The dread of displeasing my Lord has to be stronger than that of pleasing myself. Only God truly knows the heart behind repentance, and He is patient, knowing that for some it may take several times of repenting of the same sin, before the change and fruit finally come. 

 

Good Insights:

Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. Matt 4:1

 

If Jesus had to be tested before starting His ministry, I can assume that I too might have to pass a test or two. God wants to prepare His children for what He’s called them to do, and testing does just that. Life is full of testing and trials, from small to big. The choices I make, along with my attitude and motives throughout my day matters. Only God knows all the tests I’ve failed and all the ones I’ve passed. 

 

Good Insights:

And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. Matt 4:3

 

Just like Jesus, Satan likes to test me to see if I’m secure in my identity. He also likes to test where I’m most vulnerable, just like he did with Jesus (who was very hungry). Knowing my identity as a  precious, loved, child of God is a powerful weapon against the enemy. Unfortunately, it’s something many of us struggle with a lot, and it seems the enemy’s voice can be much louder than the Lord’s. I find the more time I spend with God reading His word, and also just one on one talking with Him, the more secure I am in knowing who I am.

 

Good Insights:

But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Matt 4:4

 

Part of the armor of God is the sword, which is the word of God. When I’m tempted and quote scripture, I’m reminding the enemy and myself of just who my God is. It helps to have an arsenal of verses (or parts of verses) memorized, ready to use at any time. It’s also helpful to know your weak areas (identity, fear, anger, etc.) and have scripture to counter the enemy’s attacks. 

 

Good Insights:

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matt 5:16

 

When people look at me, and how I spend my day, does it cause them to recognize who God is, and praise and glorify Him? It’s not only those who preach, teach, and stand on corners and evangelize that draw people to God, I can do that without saying a word just by the way I live. God gave His children a variety of gifts to use to bring Him glory. He also gave of us His light to shine before others on a daily basis, illuminating God and His love for everyone.

 

Good Insights:

So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift. Matt 5:23-24

 

As soon as I remember, as soon as God brings someone to my mind who I’ve offended, or who’s offended me, I need to take care of it immediately. He doesn’t even want my offering until I get right with others, which of course can be very humbling at times. But obedience is better than sacrifice 1 Sam 15:22. Search my heart Lord, show me where I need to make things right, I don’t want any hindrances in our relationship.

 

Good Insights:

But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5:28

 

God is very serious about what we choose to think on. I remember a saying from when I was young, “I can look, but not touch”. I never really liked that saying, and it appears neither does God. My thoughts may be private from those around me, but not from God. I don’t always have control about what thoughts pop into my head, but I am in control of how long I let them stay there. 

 

Good Insights:

But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you. Matt 6:6

 

Group prayer is great, but nothing compares to one on one time with my Father. That’s when special things happens and intimacy and identity are grown. It’s where Holy Spirit shows up and teaches and shares the heart of God. I could go to prayer/church meetings everyday of the week and yet not receive as much as one on one secret time with God. I guard this special time and rarely allow anything to take its place, it’s my lifeline and without it I feel like I’m just partially living.

 

Good Insights:

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. Matt 6:14-15

 

When I choose not to forgive someone, then God chooses not to forgive me, and our relationship can’t grow with unforgiveness around. Jesus died so I could be forgiven of my sins, cleansed in His blood, and white as snow. When I choose not to forgive, I choose to be separated from God, and our relationship will suffer. I cannot allow what someone else does to me or my loved ones to hinder my relationship with God. Unforgiveness is just not worth it.

 

Good Insights:

“Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matt 6:25

 

In verses 25-34 Jesus tells us 5 times not to worry, basically about anything. Diseases and death are often caused or escalated because of stress and worry, I think Jesus knew this well before medical science proved it. Advertising spends billions every year trying to get us to obsess about eating, drinking and clothing, and to give up our hard earned money. My obsession needs to be seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first (vs 33)  above all else. How would my life be different if I did just that?   

 

Good Insights:

By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Matt 7:16

 

I love the way the Amplified Bible describes the bad fruit of false prophets as “self-focused”. The focus should always be on God the Father, Jesus Christ, or Holy Spirit. Though at times a story about ones self is helpful and necessary, the focus has to lead back to God. Every sermon, every teaching and every prophecy should leave people wanting more of God, wanting to grow closer to Him. We should go away thinking how awesome God is, not how awesome the teaching, the word, or the person is.

 

Good Insights:

And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them, will be like a foolish (stupid) man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods and torrents came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great and complete was its fall.” Matt 7:26-27

 

The Bible is not a book to be picked up once in a while to bring comfort or peace when needed. The Bible is full of God’s commands to help His children so we can be all we were created to be. It’s full of choices that have consequences if not followed and blessings when we make the right choices. Everything we need to know is found in the Bible and through a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. Living in America where Bibles are plentiful and any version one wants is on the internet, there is no excuse for a believer in Jesus not to be reading it on a regular basis. It’s our foundation, and without following it, we have no chance of standing firm.

 

Good Insights:

When Jesus had finished [speaking] these words [on the mountain], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one who had authority [to teach entirely of His own volition], and not as their scribes [who relied on others to confirm their authority]. Matt 7:28-29

 

When God calls someone to teach, He qualifies them. I must not make the mistake of thinking if someone isn’t well known, or educated, or dressed just right, that they don’t have a message for me, directly from God. I also don’t want to make the mistake of thinking I myself am not qualified due to lack of fame, education, or looking the part. Others don’t confirm me or anyone else, God does. He qualifies, empowers and gives authority to what He’s called us to.

 

Good Insights:

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it will be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was restored to health at that very hour. Matt 8:13

 

Every choice I make has consequences. When I choose to believe God’s word and His promises, I am choosing to walk as a child of the King. When I choose to doubt if He will or if He can, I am choosing to walk as a slave. Fortunately, the centurion witnessed the promise right away, many times it doesn’t happen that fast, and it’s during these times when my faith can be tested and doubt can set in. When I’m walking in my identity as a daughter of the King, it doesn’t matter if I don’t experience God’s promises right away, what matters is that I trust my God, His word, and His promises.

 

Good Insights:

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to cast off for the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Matt 8:18

 

Jesus was a God pleaser, not a people pleaser. Even though He was surrounded by people wanting to hear what He had to say or wanted Him to heal them, He needed to get away, rest and allow His Father to guide Him, not the crowd. Too often people in ministry allow the crowds to dictate their decisions, rationalizing that “They need me, I must continue ministering, if I don’t who will?” Just like Jesus, I need to know when to leave the crowds (or the one) and take care of myself, resting in peace in the arms of my Father. I need to remind myself often to be a God pleaser, He has to come first every time.

 

Good Insights:

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was [at once] a great and wonderful calm [a perfect peacefulness]. Matt 8:26

 

Our fears must sadden Jesus, as they reveal our lack of trust in who He is. What was He expecting from His disciples at this time? Did He want them to rebuke the winds; did He want them to trust that they were safe no matter what their circumstances looked like, because they were with Him? Lord, when fear grips me, show me what, if anything you want me to do (or rebuke). Show me if I’m suppose to just trust You, knowing that You are always with me. Lord, I don’t want to sadden You by walking in the sin of fear, I want to please You by choosing to trust You, despite what my circumstances look like.

 

Good Insights:

The demons began begging Him, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” And He said to them, “Go!” So they came out [of the men] and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and died in the water. Matt 8:31-32

 

The demons knew they were in trouble because of the power and authority that Jesus carried. Yet they still had the audacity to ask Him for a favor, AND He did it. At times many of us feel we don’t deserve to ask Jesus for favors, most often because we don’t really believe that we are sons and daughters of Father God. The demons asked, and they received. How much more should I ask, trusting that my Father is good all the time, and wants the best for me.

 

Good Insights:

He told them many things in parables, saying, “Listen carefully: a sower went out to sow [seed in his field]; ….. Other seed fell on good soil and yielded grain, some a hundred times as much [as was sown], some sixty [times as much], and some thirty. Matt 13:3&8

 

Every time I go to church, hear a sermon, or listen to my friends talk about God, I have an opportunity to choose what kind of soil I want to be. When God sends His sowers out, be them pastors, friends, co-workers, stay at home moms, or even children, I need to keep the soil of my heart pure and ready to receive seed that is being sown by God. I need to be so tuned in to Holy Spirit that when He says, “Here’s some good seed”, I’m paying attention and prepare the soil of my heart to receive it.

 

Good Insights:

And after coming to [Nazareth] His hometown, He (Jesus) began teaching them in their synagogue, and they were astonished, and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers [what is the source of His authority]? Matt 13:54

 

Obviously, Jesus didn’t walk in or display His power and authority until His baptism. They missed out on so much because of judging Jesus, thinking they knew who He really was. I need to be careful to not judge people I’ve known for years as just ordinary people, living a good life, but nothing special about them. One encounter with Father God, or when God says, “Now!  You are now anointed with My power and anointing.”, and lives are changed forever. I need to be open to those God chooses to anoint with power and authority to do His will, and not just judge who they were in the past. Discernment is always needed, but judging without it could cost me a healing, a miracle, or a divine message from God. 

 

Good Insights:

When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick. Matt 14:13-14

 

Just like Jesus, there are times to get away and grieve a loss, be alone, or just time to spend with God. Just like Jesus, often these times are interrupted by people just thinking of their own needs. Just like Jesus, I want to be so tuned into Holy Spirit that when needed compassion will consume me, and I will look at the interruption as an opportunity to bring God glory.

 

Good Insights:

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Matt 14:16-17

 

Unfortunately, I probably would of said the same thing as the disciples did. Jesus flat out said that they could feed to crowd, they just didn’t believe it, or understand how. How often do I miss out on opportunities of seeing God’s glory and miracles because my mind can’t comprehend something? I want the first words out of my mouth to be, “Ok God, let’s do it!”, not “I don’t have the money (or time), I just don’t see how this is possible, or yea God but you don’t understand, etc.”. Lord, may I have opportunities to say, “Ok God, let’s do it.” 

 

Good Insights:

It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonors him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonors him.” Matt 15:11

 

Our words honor or dishonor, our words bless or curse, our words give life or death. What comes out of my mouth can defile and dishonor who I am, or they can purify and honor who I am. What if every word that came out of my mouth was posted on me like a sticky note for everyone to see? It doesn’t matter if in public the only words heard are flattering, uplifting, and life giving. What matters more are the words I speak behind closed doors. How do I speak to myself, my spouse, my children, my parents, or anyone else. May I repent often of any filth that has come out of my mouth. May the sticky notes that cover my body be full of encouraging and life giving words, both to my myself and to others. There’s a sign when I walk my dog that says “Even if your dog poops and no one is looking, you still have to pick it up”. Similarly, if poop comes out of my mouth and no one is looking, it still defiles me and I have to clean it up.

 

Good Insights:

An evil and [morally] unfaithful generation craves a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of [the prophet] Jonah.” Then He left them and went away. Matt 16:4

 

I have been guilty of seeking the miracle instead of the Miracle Maker, a healing instead of the Healer, and a word instead of the Word. When I realized this I repented, and still have to be careful to seek God first at all times and in every situation. I’ve been to many gatherings where the miraculous takes place and it’s awesome, but I must never crave being there more than I crave being with God in my secret place.

 

Good Insights:

How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [false] teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matt 16:11-12

 

I too fail at times to understand what Jesus is talking about. Not only is His Word living, having special implications for me when I read it one day, and something completely different the next time I read it. But I also hear Him say something to me and immediately assume I know everything. I’m learning to seek Holy Spirit more often for clarity, and wait patiently for understanding. Not always easy, but I’m realizing when I include Holy Spirit in my thoughts of understanding things in the kingdom, I’m understanding more the heart of God.

 

Good Insights:

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matt 16:16-17

 

We were not created to just have a relationship with and know the Bible, as awesome as it is. We were created to have fellowship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. We were created for intimacy, and we are blessed, happy, spiritually secure, favored by God, and so much more when we take time to nurture it. God wants to reveal things to me, but it’s my choice if I will take the time to sit and listen.

 

Good Insights:

But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man.” Matt 16:23

 

Peter loved Jesus, no doubt about that, but he didn’t have the bigger picture in mind. God had plans that to the natural mind didn’t make sense, and Peter was willing to fight for them to make sense. I wonder how often I fight God’s will because it just doesn’t make sense to me? It continually takes practice for me to keep my mind on the things of God, especially when I don’t see the whole picture.

 

 

Good Insights:

And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (jailers) until he paid all that he owed. My heavenly Father will also do the same to [every one of] you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” Matt 18:34-35

 

God the Father does not tolerate an unforgiving heart, and the consequences are severe. If I feel like I’ve been in jail, unable to get out and be free, unable to make progress, unable to do what needs to be done, unable to get ahead of things, maybe I need to check my heart for any unforgiveness. We’ve all heard children say “Sorry!”, when told to do so by a parent, often with a bit of an attitude, rarely from the heart. As they grow, hopefully they learn the difference, hopefully I do too. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always for the other person, it’s for me. I’m the one who is freed from the prison walls when I choose to forgive from my heart.

 

Good Insights:

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt 19:6

 

Over 50% of all marriages end in divorce, even among Christians. My first marriage (to a Christian) ended in divorce, and as I look back there is no way that God joined us together. We joined ourselves together thinking that if we both were believers that would be enough. Marriage should be between two people that God has joined together for His purposes and His will, no one else’s. Then the two need to continually work at not allowing people, places or things, into their lives that want to separate that which God has joined together.

 

Good Insights:

Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. Matt 19:13

 

What was going on in the minds of the disciples? Did they see the children as a distraction, a waste of Jesus’ time, not worthy? Did they not remember that Jesus taught that the kingdom of God belonged to those who humble themselves as children? Yet, do I do the same thing? Do I assume some people are distractions, that they are wasting my time, that they are not worthy of my time? I can’t assume, as the disciples did that I know what’s best in any given situation. Do I sometimes reprimand others, or myself, due to lack of compassion, insight, or knowing the will of God?

 

Good Insights:

The young man (rich young ruler) said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth] (obeying the 10 commandments); what do I still lack?” Matt 19:20

 

I’ve often wondered why the rich young ruler didn’t just keep his mouth shut? He asked a question and Jesus answered, and he met the qualifications of obtaining eternal life. I guess something inside of him wanted more, knew there was more, just like many of us. We believe in Jesus, we’re going to heaven, but we want the more. So we ask Jesus, “What do I still lack?”, “What must I do to receive the more?” And when we ask, He will tell us. Also, what He tells me may be different from what He tells you. Like the rich young ruler, He may ask of me that which is most precious to me. Am I willing to give what He asks?  

 

Good Insights:

The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David (Messiah) have mercy on us!” Matt 20:31

 

The crowd was trying to shush two blind men wanting healing, how absurd is that? But the two men knew that Jesus was their only hope of ever being able to see, and they were not willing to give up. It doesn’t matter if everyone around me is trying to get me to be quiet, I know where my hope is, and if I’m desperate enough I will not give up. I will keep calling out to Jesus knowing that He s compassionate and He wants me healed, or to have answers, or whatever else I need.  I cannot allow others to keep me from all God has for me.

 

Good Insights:

Jesus said to them (after cleansing the temple of the money changers in vs. 12), “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” Matt 21:13

 

Whenever there’s talk about God’s temple I think of me, my body, which is His temple now. However, I never thought of His temple, my body, as being called a house of prayer. Would God consider me and my body His house of prayer.? I am to glorify and honor God with my body (1 Cor 6:20), may I also be a house of prayer. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple of being violated in His day, I too need to cleanse myself (God’s temple) of defilement of any kind.

 

Good Insights:

While He was still speaking, some people came from the synagogue official’s house, saying [to Jairus], “Your daughter has died; why bother the Teacher any longer?” Overhearing what was being said, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; only keep on believing [in Me and my power].” Mark 5:35-36

 

Jesus was encouraging Jairus to keep believing in Him and His power. Too often we listen to what people are saying (Jairus, your daughter is dead), and forget that Jesus already joined us, and was on the way to answering our plea for help, just like He was with Jairus in verse 24. Only a few versions use the words, “keep on believing”, however, for me that is powerful. In our world of instant everything, I need to be reminded not to give up on the promises of God, but to keep believing.

 

Good Insights:

‘These people honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me ‘They worship Me in vain [their worship is meaningless and worthless, a pretense], Teaching the precepts of men as doctrines [giving their traditions equal weight with the Scriptures].’ You disregard and neglect the commandment of God, and cling [faithfully] to the tradition of men.”

 

I know I have been guilty of holding on to the traditions of men, of churches, and of well meaning friends, assuming that they knew God’s word better than I did, and for most of my life they probably did. If I don’t know God’s word for myself, then I may not know when someone is teaching tradition or false doctrine. I am responsible for what I believe, and even though there is a lot of God’s word that I don’t totally understand, I cannot just accept someone else’s interpretation of it without consulting Holy Spirit, who is my Helper in these areas.

 

Good Insights:

And then Jesus added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” Mark7:20-23

 

I cannot hide the condition of my heart from God, He sees it all. On the outside you may only see smiles, beauty, well dressed, poorly dressed, confident, a servant, humility, a teacher, prophet, evangelist, basically anything I want you to, but that’s all superficial unless my heart matches. We all have a part of us that we like to keep private, and as long as it pleases God, that’s ok. People spend various amounts of time everyday making sure the outside is all put together, may we not neglect though, what’s going on in our hearts.

 

Good Insights:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Mark 13:31

 

I have been very blessed over the past few decades to be able to read many books that have opened my eyes and my heart to who God is. As wonderful as these books are, they must not take the place of God’s word. His word is the only thing that will never pass away. His word deserves more attention that any other book ever written. God’s word (the Bible), and His words that He speaks to me privately are the words that I need to meditate on, to declare, to be a part of my life every day. These words last for eternity, they never fail, never grow old, never die; these words bring life, joy, peace, comfort, love, and so much more, and they are forever. Lord, may I not grow weary in reading Your word, for it is life and health to all who read it (Prov 4:22).

 

Good Insights:

Every day I (Jesus) was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.” Mark 14:49

 

Throughout Jesus’ ministry many things were done to fulfill scripture. I wonder how many things are done, or allowed in my life in order to fulfill what God has written for my life. Maybe things I don’t yet understand, or things to prepare me for my future. I want to grow and be prepared, I want to be equipped to fulfill the plans God has written for me. Though I don’t know all that is written in the “scriptures” of my life, I pray God gives me the strength and courage to fulfill everyone of them.

 

Good Insights:

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 15:4-5

 

It’s human nature to justify accusations spoken against you, but it’s kingdom nature to know when to just be quiet. Too often we speak first, spewing off why we are right and justifying our actions. I know that I’ve been guilty of this and I pray that before speaking, even standing up for myself, or my God, that I would seek Holy Spirit’s counsel first. There is a time to speak up, and a time to be quiet, and Holy Spirit will guide me to know which to choose.

 

Good Insights:

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. Mark 5:15-16

 

Could you imagine the excitement of speaking to thousands (or a few) and healing everyone you touched as a regular way of life? Everyday people wanted Jesus and needed Him, but He knew He needed to take time to rest in His Father’s presence. It doesn’t matter how busy or exciting my life might be, or it doesn’t matter how empty or depressing my life might be, slipping away to a private place to pray on a regular basis is basic life support. No matter what my life looks like or seems to be, if I want to reap the joy and benefits of being a believer in Jesus Christ, I must make spending time with Him a priority.

 

Good Insights:

But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’” Luke 5:38-39

 

It’s so easy to be comfortable with the old wine, the old mindsets, the good old days, the way we’ve always done things, the comfortable religious spirits of decades past. Not everything old is bad, that’s for sure. But I need to be open to the new wine that God may want to give me today. I need to use discernment and not offence when I’m around people drinking the new wine. I need to ask myself if this is something God is doing now, revealing now, is this His new wine for today? Lord, may I not become so comfortable with the old wine, that I won’t even try the new.

 

Good Insights:

This is the one of whom it is written [by the prophet Malachi],  ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ Luke 7:27

 

I wonder how many people today are called to be a “John”, to prepare the way for someone who will come after them? It seems some missionaries have done just that. Some have spent decades and only led a few people to the Lord, then someone comes after them and leads thousands to the Lord. Only God knows who will receive the greater reward. There may also be times in my life when I am called to prepare the way for someone else, and I need to look at that as a privilege and an honor to have been chosen by God for such a special assignment. We all have our assignments, our parts for sharing the gospel and equipping the body of Christ. I may also at times reap the benefits of a person who went before me and prepared the way, how humbling is that?

 

Good Insights:

But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? Yet not one of them has [ever] been forgotten in the presence of God. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are far more valuable than many sparrows. Luke 12:5-7

 

I marvel at the way Jesus described the vastness of God in just a few sentences. With hardly taking a breath he describes God in His ability to hurl us into hell if we disrespect who He really is, and then there is the gentleness and compassion of God for how much He loves and cares for us. God, open my heart and soul to really get to know intimately the vastness of who You are.

 

Good Insights:

Then He said to them, “Watch out and guard yourselves against every form of greed; for not even when one has an overflowing abundance does his life consist of nor is it derived from his possessions.” Luke 12:15

 

Greed springs forth no matter how much or how little money one makes. The quality of one’s life is not determined by how many possessions one has, even though so many people think if they just had more money they would be happy. We are told to watch out for every kind of greed, so it’s not limited to just money or possessions. Many people are greedy when they talk, thinking what they have to say is more important than any one else. Greed can also grow from addictions, arrogance, impatience, self destruction, and so much more. Lord show me any areas of my life where I have a problem with greed.

 

Good Insights:

But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 5:31-32

 

As I seek God’s kingdom and cease from being afraid or anxious, I position myself to receive my basic needs of food, water, clothing and shelter. I must admit I’ve never had to rely totally on God for such needs. I’ve heard many stories where God did come through with basic needs as people were seeking and trusting in Him. God I ask that You would strengthen the faith in Your children seeking such basic needs, may they not give up, but seek You even more. The desire of Your heart God is to provide for Your children, because You are such a good, and loving God.

 

Good Insights:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded 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

 

Satan demanded permission from God to test Peter and got it. That’s hard for me to understand, yet it happens. Also interesting is that Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith not fail to the point of no return. He didn’t pray that Peter wouldn’t deny Him, just that He’d return after He did. Peter had gotten a heads up that he was gong to be sifted by Satan and still failed the test. How often are we sifted and fail the test? If we do, let us like Peter repent and turn to God strengthened in His power to move forward, and change the world.

 

Good Insights:

 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:45-46

 

Good Insights:

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. John 1:16

 

I receive many letters addressed to me that I never open. I look at the return address or markings on the envelope and conclude I’m not interested. However many I do open out of the desire to see what’s inside. Jesus Christ is sending me His grace, an abundance of His blessings, favor and gifts. But if I never open them, acknowledge them, see them, touch them, believe they really are mine, it’s like leaving a letter unopened. It’s like someone sending me a million dollar check in the mail, and I never open it. If I never open the envelope and deposit the check, I will never benefit from it, and I can never be thankful for it.

 

Good Insights:

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work. John 4:34

 

Without food to nourish your body, after a while you would die. Food is what keeps us alive. Jesus’ food, the very thing that gave Him life and strength was to do the will of His Father, to totally obey Him. We put so much emphasis on eating healthy food to nourish our body’s, when in fact we should be deriving our true nourishment and strength from obedience to God. Some people have to be reminded to eat food, when they forget and become faint, weak and tired, then they remember they haven’t eaten for a while, that has never been my problem. But I have experienced spiritual weakness and fatigue, when I’ve failed to partake of my spiritual food of obedience to God’s will.

 

Good Insights:

Many more believed in Him [with a deep, abiding trust] because of His word [His personal message to them]; and they told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; for [now] we have heard Him for ourselves and know [with confident assurance] that this One is truly the Savior of [all] the world.” John 4:41-42

 

When we first get saved, many of us learn about Jesus through other people, this is how we get to “know about” Him. But there comes a time when we need to really know Him personally, not just about Him through others, and that only comes about by spending time with Him personally. I have to learn to hear His voice for myself, I have to spend time with Him on a regular basis. You can never really know someone without spending time together, and it’s when you go through the tough times together that you really learn about their character and their committed friendship or love. Lord, I don’t just want to just know about you, I want to really know you. 

 

Good Insights:

We know [for certain] that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this Man, we do not know where He is from.” John 9:29

 

Sometimes it’s easier to believe what you’ve been told all your life, than to believe what’s right in front of you. Too often people can miss out on what God is doing now, because they are stuck with yesterday’s mindset. I’ve been guilty of that in the past, and I pray that never happens again. I don’t want to miss out on anything God is doing now, or anyone He sends to spread His glory and His teachings.

 

Good Insights:

They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins [from head to foot], and you [presume to] teach us?” Then they threw him out [of the synagogue]. John 9:34

 

Jesus healed this blind man, and he basically preached a mini sermon to the Pharisees which they did not like. How could this man who was born blind (which the Pharisees presumed was from sin) know anything? Becausse, one encounter with Jesus can change everything. The power of being in His presence can make the impossible possible. Oh Lord, may I never tire of being in Your presence, reaping the benefits of Your love for me.

 

Good Insights:

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. John 14:10

 

How awesome is it that God not only lives in me, but does His work through me? All I have to do is be a willing vessel, totally surrendered to Him and He will speak through me and do His work through me. It doesn’t matter my qualifications, because with God in me I become qualified for anything He wants to say or do. Unfortunately, at times I just sort of wave Him to the side and choose to take center stage of my life. Sometimes I’m not even aware of this, it just sort of happens. That’s why I have to purposely surrender daily, sometimes hourly, to allow God full access and control of my spirit, soul and body.

 

Good Insights:

And I will do whatever you ask in My name [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name [as My representative], I will do it. John 14:13-14

 

What a powerful promise that we like to quote many times. Yet sometimes we forget that our motives must be pure, they must be to glorify God. Sometimes what we ask for what will make our lives easier, but not necessarily glorify God. We may say we will give God the glory, but He knows our heart, He knows our motives. Everything I do, and every prayer I pray should be to glorify God and celebrate Jesus. Holy Spirit, please be my teacher in this area.

 

Good Insights:

“If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. John 14:15

 

It’s easy to say, “I love pizza, I love my dog, I love my husband, or I love Jesus.” But my love for each of these is not the same, or shouldn’t be. It’s easy during worship to tell Jesus how much I love Him, not so easy at times to love Him the way He wants to be loved. Words are cheap and easy to say, actions from those words are much harder at times to live out. No human deserves total obedience, that is reserved for Jesus. Lord, search my heart and my motives, and reveal to me whenever my actions don’t line up with loving You the way You want me to.

 

Good Insights:

“I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. John 14:25-26

 

God convicted me a while back that I was under utilizing the Holy Spirit. After all, God gave Him to m to help me, and I realized I didn’t ask for help in so many areas where I needed it. So I made a list of some of His attributes, and have started declaring them more regularly. Here’s the list I made for me personally, I pray God will lead you to make your own.

 

Good Insights:

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] John 14:27

 

There’s a famous song, ‘Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me’. If I could market a pill that would bring immediate and lasting peace, I would be a millionaire. However, as a follower of Jesus, I have access to such peace, and it doesn’t cost a cent. But in order to receive this free gift I have to surrender everything that tries to steel my peace to God, and trust in Him. So every thought that comes to me that’s not of peace, I must quickly take to the Lord to see if I’m to do something about it. If there’s nothing I can do, it’s my choice to surrender it to God and receive His peace, or choose not to have peace and allow the consequences.

 

Good Insights:

This [is what] I command you: that you love and unselfishly seek the best for one another. John 15:17

 

What would the world look like if everyone did this, or if just believers did this, or if I just did it? Jesus already said in John 14:15 if we loved Him, we would obey Him. Do I really love Jesus by unselfishly loving and seeking the best for others? I must admit and repent, because I don’t many times. Lord forgive me, and Holy Spirit please bring this to my attention when I’m not loving and seeking the best for others, when I should be.

 

Good Insights:

But [this is so] that the word which has been written in their Law would be fulfilled, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ John 15:25

 

As we go deeper into relationship with Jesus, and as we seek to be more like Him, there may be people in our lives who hate us without cause. There may be people who gossip, tell lies, curse, or whatever, without cause. And our natural instinct is to explain how they are just plain wrong in their thinking, or we try to find out why. Lord, when this happens, remind me to come and discuss it with You, and seek Your comfort and Your will during this time.

 

Good Insights:

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

 

Jesus was declaring His future, before it ever happened. He had not yet been crucified, so He had not yet “overcome the world”, but He was declaring it. I too need to declare my future into my present. I can declare His promises, His Word, His words to me personally, prophecy from others, the desires of my heart, the desires of His heart, and so much more.

 

Good Insights:

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword [back] in its sheath! Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” John 18:11

 

Peter took offence at what was happening to Jesus, his beloved friend. We too take offence sometimes at what happens to our friends, or even people we don’t know. But maybe I should first check with God to find out what His will is, before trying to interfere. Maybe they are needing to be drinking from the cup that Father God has given them, for whatever reason, and I might be interfering.

 

Good Insights:

Mary Magdalene came, reporting to the disciples that she had seen the Lord (after His resurrection) and that He had said these things to her. John 20:8

 

Peter and John had just been in the empty tomb, but Jesus didn’t show Himself to them. He waited for Mary to return, as she was weeping He revealed who He was. Why Mary, a woman, and not one of His disciples, only Jesus knows. What we do know is that Mary wasn’t in a hurry, she went to inform Peter and John, but then she went back to ponder, weep and just be where her Lord had been put to rest. She was being herself, doing what she loved to do, worship Jesus, and He just showed up. Sometimes Jesus just shows up when we least expect Him, just because He can.

 

Good Insights:

Jesus said to him (Peter), “If I want him (John) to stay alive until I come [again], what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22

 

It’s so easy to compare ourselves with others, and get concerned with what they are doing, and what’s happening to them. We want everything to be fair. I totally understand that, as that is one of the areas I have to surrender to God. My only concern should be to make sure I’m following Jesus the way He wants me to, and then allow Him to guide me after that.

 

Good Insights:

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were recorded one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25

 

All of the Bible is God’s word, but not all of God’s words are contained in the Bible. At times people close their minds to the fact that God may be doing things today which cannot be seen in the Scriptures. It’s easy to get a religious mindset just like the Pharisees, and judge everything that doesn’t make sense. It’s hard at time to walk in humility, pray and ask God to reveal Himself, and His truth. I don’t understand why God put certain things in the Bible, and others things got left out. But I can trust that the most important parts made it into the Bible, and my discernment and relationship with Him will help in any other areas.

 

Good Insights:

Now Stephen, full of grace (divine blessing, favor) and power, was doing great wonders and signs (attesting miracles) among the people. Acts 6:8

 

Stephen was basically in charge of feeding the widows, and keeping the peace. Would he have preferred to be out preaching to the masses, going from village to village talking about Jesus? Maybe, but God used him in a mighty way right where he was asked to serve. Only God knows the fruit of Stephen, and only God knows how many peoples lives were changed through his submission to Christ. Lord, may Your grace and power be at work through me right where I’m at today.

 

Good Insights:

“This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the very one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer, with the [protecting and helping] hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. Acts 6:35

 

God often uses the pain and mistakes of our past for His purposes. The very words used to ridicule Moses as a young man became his destiny years later. No matter what our past was comprised of, God can turn it around for His glory. Who I was years ago is not who I am now, and who I am now is not who I will be in the future. As I daily surrender to God, He molds and remolds me into the person He created me to be. I don’t want to remain as I am today, Lord continue remolding me to bring You glory.

 

Good Insights:

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] John 14:27

 

There’s a famous song, ‘Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me’. If I could market a pill that would bring immediate and lasting peace, I would be a millionaire. However, as a follower of Jesus, I have access to such peace, and it doesn’t cost a cent. But in order to receive this free gift I have to surrender everything that tries to steel my peace to God, and trust in Him. So every thought that comes to me that’s not of peace, I must quickly take to the Lord to see if I’m to do something about it. If there’s nothing I can do, it’s my choice to surrender it to God and receive His peace, or choose not to have peace and allow the consequences.

Good Insights:

But the Lord said to him (Ananias), “Go, for he (Saul) is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:15

 

Good Insights:

In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. Acts 14:1

 

They spoke in such a manner, they spoke so effectively, they preached with such power, they spoke so well, they spoke in such a way. Different versions of the Bible say this phrase differently, but what an awesome phrase. God, this is what I want, this is the desire of my heart. Teach me Lord that when I open my mouth I will speak, teach, or preach in such a manner that people believe in You.

 

Good Insights:

Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. Acts 14:3

 

For many people it’s hard to speak boldly about anything, let alone something that can cause controversy and anger to arise. I’m one that likes to keep things peaceful, when I teach/preach it’s peaceful. But there may be times when God calls me to speak boldly, and it may be something that some people don’t really want to hear. If I choose to obey (and it is a choice), I can rely on Holy Spirit to give me the courage to boldly speak out what God is asking me to say. And with Holy Spirit’s help, I can speak boldly and still be filled with love in my heart. Will I suffer consequences from speaking boldly? Possibly, but I also suffer consequences from disobedience to God.

 

Good Insights:

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11

 

I too must search the Scriptures day after day to know the truth for myself. But I must search with an open heart and Holy Spirit’s guidance. Without knowing the truth for myself it’s easy to accept the teaching of others as if it were truth, when in fact it may not be. Every time I read through the Bible more truth is revealed to me through Holy Spirit. It’s not like any other book that I may read once, or even twice, it needs to be read daily for the rest of my life, because it is in fact, life.

 

Good Insights:

For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Rom 1:11-12

 

Good Insights:

Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Rom 8:35

 

If nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, why are there times when we just don’t feel His love. I have a picture of someone building a brick house around themselves, completely boxed in. If I’m not feeling His love, and I’m feeling so far away from anything resembling Christ, I need to start breaking down some of the bricks, and allow His love to start penetrating my heart. Lord, help me break down anything in my heart keeping Your love from coming in.

 

Good Insights:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Romans 12:14

 

Blessing others, especially those who have hurt you is a powerful weapon against the enemy. Our first response may be to curse, justify, gossip about, deny, or get angry. But with practice, our first response can be to bless. My go to blessings in these areas is, “God, bless them to be who You created them to be.” Because if they were living and acting the way God created them to be, they would be walking in their identity as a precious child of God.  

 

Good Insights:

God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor 1:9

 

Friends, spouses, children, parents and others may disappoint and fail us at times, but God can be counted on to always have our best interest in mind. Too often we put our hope and trust in others, above God. Sometimes we forget that we have the most dependable, trustworthy, and awesome friend of all time in Jesus. Only He can be counted on at all times to never fail us.

 

Good Insights:

For Christ did not send me [as an apostle] to baptize, but [commissioned and empowered me] to preach the good news [of salvation]—not with clever and eloquent speech [as an orator], so that the cross of Christ would not be made ineffective [deprived of its saving power]. 1 Cor 1:17

 

God has a purpose for each of us. Some will preach with clever and eloquent words, others will not. Some will be dressed in business suits, some in jeans. Some will go to distant lands, some will stay home. Some find their purpose early in life, and some latter in life. The important thing is for me to be me, who God created me to be, and not try to be like someone else.

 

Good Insights:

And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. 1 Cor 13:2

 

If we’re not careful we can tend to emphasize well known speakers, pastors, teachers, and anyone else by their accomplishments. How many got healed, came to the Lord, were slain in the spirit, how many church members, etc. When what really matters is did they love. I too need to be careful that I don’t emphasize anything I do, or plan to do, that comes before loving others the way God wants me to.

 

Good Insights:

For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God]. 1 Cor 13:14

 

God is the only one who fully knows me, what’s best for me, and loves me completely. I cannot live for today only, I must live for eternity. I must put my trust into God’s perfect plan and timing for my life. I must grow in intimacy so that I hear and respond to His heart’s desire. I must trust completely in God, and not my own understanding of life.

 

Good Insights:

And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love. 

 

When I stand before God one day, I don’t believe He will ask about all I accomplished for Him, or if I believed in Him, trusted Him, or read my Bible a hundred times through. I believe He will ask, if I loved. I must admit I’m just starting to love as I believe I’m called to do. It’s not always easy, and I know I fall short at times, but that is the greatest desire of my heart, because I know it’s Gods too.

 

Good Insights:

I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in public worship I would rather say five understandable words in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue [which others cannot understand]. 1 Cor 14:18-19

 

Why did Paul speak and sing in tongues more than anyone else? Possibly because he new he needed to be edified, built up, and encouraged in the faith. Possibly because he wanted to speak mysteries and prayers that only God could hear. Possibly he knew the benefits that many believers don’t know or believe in. Holy Spirit, baptize me, and bless me with everything Christ died to give me.

 

Good Insights:

Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the sentence of death [and were convinced that we would die, but this happened] so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead. 2 Cor 1:9

 

I have never felt sentenced to death because of my circumstances, but I know many have. What happens during those moments though are crucial in our relationship with God. He allows challenging circumstances to test our faith, not for His sake but for ours. God wants us to trust Him in absolutely every situation that comes up. He says He’s with us and will never leave us, that He will prepare a way for us. Lord, may I grow in my faith in Your faithfulness in the little things, so when the big ones come, my faith stands firm.

 

Good Insights:

Therefore we do not become discouraged [spiritless, disappointed, or afraid]. Though our outer self is [progressively] wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day by day. 2 Cor 4:16

 

Since I’ve been teaching exercise for adults for the past 30+ years the conversation among students have changed drastically. From family, kids, and vacations to all the things happening to our physical bodies. It’s so true that our outer self is declining, but are we renewing our inner self? We spend so much money and time on our outer self, but many times neglect our inner self, our spiritual self. I’m all for keeping my outer self healthy and strong to the best of my ability. But the real joy in life comes from having a renewed inner self every day. Lord, remind me of this when I tend to forget.

 

Good Insights:

Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth] or away from home [and with Him], it is our [constant] ambition to be pleasing to Him. 2 Cor 5:9

 

My greatest desire is to live my life in a way that pleases God. It doesn’t come from a place of fear or striving, but of pure passion and love. This grows more intense the more time I spend with Him, and it makes for an adventurous and exciting life. When my greatest desire is to please my Father, I can feel safe, knowing that I’m right where He wants me to be. Lord, continue to show me when I do things that don’t please You, so I can quickly repent and get back on course.

 

Good Insights:

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not rush to consult with flesh and blood, Gal 1:15-16

 

Paul was called before He was born to be the man who would write most of the New Testament. He lived a great deal of His life giving God glory and making Jesus known. How many people do we know who are extreme sinners, working hard to make Christian’s lives miserable, or even murdering them? How many may of be set apart from their mother’s womb to be one of God’s great warriors, waiting for God to reveal His Son to them? Instead of cursing, gossiping about, or criticizing these people, maybe I should be blessing them to be the people God created them to be, declaring their destiny from God to manifest, or asking God to reveal Himself to them.

 

Good Insights:

Are you so foolish? After starting in the Spirit, are you now finishing in the flesh? Gal 3:3

 

For some of us, we need a constant reminder to stay in the Spirit, to be led by Him, to hear His voice, and to wait on Him.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the flesh, to start making my own plans, to start thinking I know what’s best. Many churches are this way. They have their agenda, and even if Holy Spirit wanted to change things up, they are not even aware of His nudging to do so. I am guilty of this myself and have to continually choose to stay in the Spirit. I have to choose to listen, I have to choose to dare and change my agenda, I have to choose to take a chance that others might be offended. I have to choose to walk in the Spirit and not in my flesh everyday. I’m not always successful, but when I am life is much sweeter.

 

Good Insights:

And it is clear that no one is justified before God by the Law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The Law, however, is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The one who does these things will live by them.” Gal 3:11-12

 

My entire life I have obeyed the rules in life. I like rules, they keep the peace and I like peace. However, the righteous live by faith, and it takes no faith to obey man made rules. It takes faith to please God; it takes faith to trust in His promises of help, provision, guidance, peace, salvation, purpose, and so much more. It takes faith to go against every logical fiber of your being to obey God’s leading into uncharted areas of your life. It takes real courage and real faith to go against other’s opinions, and follow your heart into the greatest adventure of your life, trust and faith in God.

 

Good Insights:

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

 

All I have to do is read these verses to realize that I am still a work in progress, as are most believers. It’s easy to be fully immersed in His presence during Sunday morning worship when it’s just me and Him. But when that’s over and I have to interact with other human beings it takes more effort to remain completely immersed in Holy Spirit’s presence and producing the fruit of being so. Lord, make me aware immediately when I’ve slipped out of His fullness and my fruit is starting to drop or rot.

 

Good Insights:

So I, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to you to live a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called [that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation], with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another in [unselfish] love. Eph 4:1-2

 

“What is the calling on my life?”. Many of us have asked that for years without a specific word from the Lord. But maybe if I was living my life worthy of my calling I’d step into it sooner. If I’m living a lukewarm Christian life I’m not yet living worthy of my calling. We all have a unique, individual, handpicked by God, calling on our lives. As I live my life totally surrendered and obedient to Jesus, I start walking in my calling.

 

Good Insights:

Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak]. Eph 4:29

 

I don’t curse or use vulgar words ever! However unwholesome words, and words that don’t bring a blessing are a different story. Oh Lord, may the words that come out of my mouth be a sweet aroma to You, may they bring You glory, and be a blessings to those who hear. Holy Spirit, I give You permission to remind me when ANY unwholesome word comes out of my mouth, and when I just need to keep my mouth shut.

 

Good Insights:

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you. Eph 4:31-32

 

Right here Paul gives us a recipe for a healthy, stress free life. Many of the illnesses that put us in the hospital or make us unhealthy, were conceived in the words above. We dare not take lightly the consequences of bitterness, wrath, anger, resentment, fault-finding, slander, malice, verbal abuse, and unforgiveness, just to name a few. What we think and say, and how we act can seriously affect how healthy we are.

 

Good Insights:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, Eph 6:14

 

God has not left us defenseless against the enemy. He prepared for us to stand firm and not cower. At the first sign of an attack I need to tighten my belt of truth. I need to know who God is and what His promises are, and start declaring them. And I can’t fully know the truth if I don’t know the Word. As I spend time with God the Father, Jesus His Son, and Holy Spirit (my amazing Helper) I grow in my knowledge of truth about who God is, and then I can stand firm and fight from a place of victory when needed.

 

Good Insights:

Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Eph 6:16

 

The shield of faith was meant to protect the whole body. Without faith we are completely defenseless, we don’t stand a chance against the enemy. Too often we can give up our faith and try to work things out for ourselves. But if we keep doing this, then we never grow in our faith. It seems some of the poorest people in the world have the greatest amount of faith in God’s provision and protection in all areas of their lives. They can experience daily His faithfulness for food, shelter, clothing, healing, education, and some of the most basic of needs, because there is no other option. Lord, remind me when I start to trust in myself, when I need to be trusting in You.    

 

Good Insights:

It is my own eager expectation and hope, that [looking toward the future] I will not disgrace myself nor be ashamed in anything, but that with courage and the utmost freedom of speech, even now as always, Christ will be magnified and exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Phill 1:20

 

It doesn’t matter what my body looks like; whether I’m bed ridden, in pain, no longer walking by myself, deformed in some way, 400 pounds or 100 pounds, my eager expectation and hope is that Christ will be magnified and exalted in my body. I should never allow the way I look on the outside to keep me from sharing about the love of Jesus. God reminds my often that it’s just not about me, it’s all about Jesus.

 

Good Insights: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, Phil 3:13

 

It’s easy to get stuck in the past. We’ve all done things we wished we hadn’t, and the enemy would like to keep us stuck there, that way we can’t move forward. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the pain, anger, stupidness, sin, sorrow, or mistakes of our past, but Jesus came to give us a hope and a future. In order for me to step into the future that God has planned for me, I need to release the hold that the past has on me. Easy? Not always. Doable? YES! Lord, help me to release my past to You, show me what needs to be done, so I can step forward to what lies ahead, to what You have planned for me. 

 

Good Insights:

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Phil 4:4

 

After Paul accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior he suffered many hardships. Yet even in the midst of these hardships he always rejoiced in the Lord, maybe not in his circumstances, but in the Lord. We believers are called to rejoice, and are called to do so over 200 times in the Bible. There are times I need to separate my circumstance from my God. I must not allow my circumstance to change how I see and know God, but I must choose to allow God to change the way I see and react in my circumstances. Lord, help me to know you so deeply and completely that rejoicing in You always, is as natural as breathing.

 

Good Insights:

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. Phil 4:6

 

How can I get to a place where I can actually walk in this verse on a daily basis? I believe it comes through knowing God (not just knowing about Him) in such a way that you know that you know that you know, He is trustworthy. And this doesn’t just happen. The relationship between me and my Father has to develop over time, where I learn to trust and have faith that He really does love me and have my best interests in mind. Only through this kind of relationship can I release my worries, and trust God in absolutely every situation.

 

Good Insights:

And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Phil 4:7

 

This peace comes through walking out verse 6. No matter my circumstance, if I pray with thanksgiving, letting God know my needs, then surrendering my anxiety and worries to Him, then and only then can I receive this amazing peace. I can’t will myself to have peace, and I can’t buy it. Only through surrender and trusting in God, can this kind of peace be a part of my life.

 

Good Insights:

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

 

If I want to be all God created me to be, I have to change the way I think. I don’t want to waste time thinking garbage thoughts, that keep me stuck, I want to renew my mind so it manifests the mind of Christ that is mine (1 Cor 2:16). I personally fill my mind with declarations of God’s word and will for my life, I have to choose to do this daily. When garbage thoughts come (and they do), I have to choose to not dwell on them, by changing my thinking.

 

Good Insights:

The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you. Phil 4:9

 

Being who God created me to be doesn’t just happen; obedience doesn’t just happen, faith and trust don’t just happen; and living a godly life doesn’t just happen. I need to practice the things God teaches me. I read somewhere that, “practice makes progress”, I like that better than “practice makes perfect”. I’m so glad I have a Father that doesn’t shame, condemn, scold, or turn His back on me, but who loves me and helps me practice living a godly life and becoming all He created me to be.

 

Good Insights:

Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. Phil 4:11

 

I marvel at this verse. It’s so easy at times for my circumstances to define my day and how I feel. Only by living my life so completely surrendered to God can I even hope of being satisfied in any circumstance I find myself in. There are millionaires that are depressed and living a life void of love, purpose, passion and joy. There are people who make $2.00 a day who walk in the love and joy of knowing God and they are completely content in their circumstances. Lord, remind me when I start to whine or complain about my circumstances, then help me surrender my attitude to you.

 

Good Insights:

I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. Phil 4:12

 

What was Paul’s secret to being able to live humbly or in abundance with a positive, joyful attitude. I think he was so completely in love with Jesus, and wanted to tell the world about Him that nothing else mattered in comparison to that. I can only speculate what my attitude would be like if I went through even a fraction of what Paul did. In this journey called life, Lord please remind me that my circumstances take a back seat to my relationship with You. That being immersed in Your will, Your glory, and Your presence is what really matters.

 

Good Insights:

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Phil 4:13

 

What equipped Paul to be able to do all things through Christ? I think it was his practice of being content no matter what the circumstances. His practice of trusting God in the hard times and seeing how he was strengthened in the process of that. It’s not through God making things easy that we get strengthened to be able to do all things. It’s trusting Him in the midst of the pain to be strengthened.

 

Good Insights:

Not that I seek the gift itself, but I do seek the profit which increases to your [heavenly] account [the blessing which is accumulating for you]. Phil 4:17

 

Just before Paul wrote this verse He was praising the Philippians for giving support to his ministry, saying that their gifts were a fragrant aroma of an offering. When I give with joy and out of love, my offerings are a fragrant aroma to the Lord. The more I sow into other ministries, the more I can count on God to supply all of my needs. The church I attend (Cloud 9 Worship Center) has numerous speakers, therefore numerous opportunities to sow into people’s ministries. It’s not the amount that counts as much as the attitude behind it. I think that’s what makes it a sweet, fragrant aroma to the Lord.

 

 

Good Insights:

And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

 

What more could a person want than to know that God is liberally supplying your every need according to HIS riches in glory in Jesus. Sometimes it’s money, provision, strength, empowerment, health, and so much more. We must keep in mind and trust that God knows our needs even more than we do. We might assume that money is what we need most for our need, and get frustrated and start to doubt the promises of God when it doesn’t come. God, You alone know what my true needs are, and as I surrender my entire life to You on a daily basis, I trust in You to supply those needs.

 

Good Insights:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Col 3:1

 

It’s sad when believers stop seeking God and the things above. It’s when we stop seeking that we stop receiving His amazing glory, and when we stop seeking complacency sets in, and we start receiving the things of the world. Seeking takes effort on a daily basis, but every time we seek, we encounter different facets of who God is. Oh Lord, give us all a hunger to seek You more.

 

Good Insights:

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Col 3:2

 

It’s like when Peter walked on water towards Jesus, everything was fine until his mind went from focusing on Jesus to focusing the things of the earth. When I start thinking on the things of the earth, then I start sinking (just like Peter). I have to choose to set my mind and my thoughts on the things above, it doesn’t just happen. When my everyday journey of life gets overwhelming, then I know I need to refocus where my mind and thoughts are at. I need to take them from the earth into the heavenlies. That’s where my Father is waiting for me to release my overwhelming life to Him, and receive His peace.  

 

Good Insights:

Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be conceited and not to put their hope in the uncertainty of wealth, but in God, who richly provides all things for us to enjoy. 1 Tim 6:17

 

God is not against us having money, what He is against is us putting our hope and trust in it, instead of Him. Most people would agree that having more money would solve a lot of problems and stress in life. But many times we put our hope for joy, happiness, peace, and stress free living in money instead of God. Lord, may I never become prideful or dependent on money to meet the needs that only You can meet. Lord, help me to recognize the things You richly provide for me to enjoy. Remind me when I focus on money to provide for my needs, when I should be focusing on You.

 

Good Insights:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. 2 Tim 1:7

 

Power, love, sound judgment and personal discipline, that’s the spirit that God desires to be running through my veins, and it’s mine without measure. So when fear, shyness, or lack of confidence starts to rise up in me, I need to remember what my DNA carries.

 

Good Insights:

Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 22

 

Living to please God doesn’t just happen. If I do nothing, my faith starts to deteriorate. I have to purposely choose to run from temptations; I have to purposely choose to pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace and the things of God. I have to purposely choose to associate with others who also choose to seek the things of God. I have to purposely choose to put living for God as a priority in my live.

 

Good Insights:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17

 

No wonder the Bible is the best selling book of all time. Within the pages lie the very heart of God, and everything we need to know to live life to the fullest for Him. It was never meant to be a book we read occasionally, but a book that we feed on daily. Oh Lord, may I desire to read Your Word , and may it not always take second place to the other desires of my heart.

 

 

Good Insights:

So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest—the promised land] because of unbelief and an unwillingness to trust in God. Heb 3:19

 

Is there a promised land which God has promised you, that you’ve been unable to enter? Is there a rest for your spirit, soul, or body that you’ve been unable to enter? Could it be you are still walking in unbelief; could it be you are unwilling to trust God 100%? The Israelites could never call God Father, therefore they could never really trust Him. When I truly believe and walk in my identity as a daughter/son of my Father, then I can trust God 100% and enter my rest, and my promised land.

 

Good Insights:

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him. Heb 11:6

 

Without faith, I can’t please God. Without faith, I can’t come near to God. Without faith, I can’t believe that God wants to reward me for seeking Him. Without faith, I can’t walk in my identity. Without faith, I don’t have a future and hope. Without faith, I can’t walk in freedom of fear, peace, confidence, being loved by God, being worthy of His goodness, or trusting fully in God. Lord, get my attention when I start to step out of faith and into flesh.

 

Good Insights:

Hebrews 11

By faith I trust God: With future events I can’t see (Noah vs 7). To go where He tells me to go, without knowing the outcome (Abraham vs 8). That my age can never keep me from accomplishing God’s will (Sarah vs 11).

 

By faith I trust God: To not fear man (vs 23/27), to not fear hardships (vs 24), warn me of His wrath (vs 28), make the impossible possible (vs 29), when He asks me to do something that doesn’t make sense (vs 38), to welcome those God sends my way that are different than me (vs31),

 

By faith I trust God: To subdue kingdoms and countries, administer justice when needed, obtain promised blessings, close the mouths of lions or enemies, extinguish the power of fire or water, escape death when needed, in weakness be made strong, and become mighty and unbeatable when necessary (vs 33-34).

 

Good Insights:

See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; Heb 12:15

 

Resentment, bitterness, and offence are deadly to the body of Christ and to me personally. At the first sign of this attitude I have to take action. Otherwise before I know it, resentment has taken root and starts to spring up and flourish. Then I am producing it’s fruit, which can lead to all kinds of defilement and trouble, for myself and others. So I will continue to seek God grace, His empowered favor, His righteousness. I will choose to forgive immediately when offended, and then I will choose not to gossip about what happened.

 

Good Insights:

Through Him, therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Heb 13:15

 

God delights in our sacrifice of praise. Not just some of the time, but all the time. When things aren't going as well as I’d like them to, that’s the time to do a self check. Am I offering praises to God, am I giving Him thanks, and glorifying His name? Or, am I whining and complaining?

 

Good Insights:

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. James 1:2-3

 

Strong’s definition of trials: an experiment, temptation, testing, being tired, calamity, affliction. It seems that everyday we have opportunities that can produce endurance that leads to spiritual maturity. Can’t I just worship God and read my Bible? I guess not. I’m sure God and the great cloud of witnesses are cheering us on when these trials come, knowing that they will produce maturity. Lord remind me when I find myself in the midst of a trial, how much growth can come from it if I keep my eyes on You.

 

Good Insights:

If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

 

God wants to give us wisdom when we ask. But He also wants us to ask in faith, and without doubting (vs 6). He also wants us to listen to His advice that we’re asking for. He wants us to trust that He will come through with an answer, if we just wait patiently and not give up on Him. When we start doubting that He will answer us in time we become double-minded, and shouldn’t expect to receive anything (vs 7). If I truly seek God’s wisdom, and wait on Him, and trust in Him and His timing, I will receive it.

 

 

Good Insights:

Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

 

Lord, remind me of this verse when I’m going through trials with a bad attitude. Remind me that Your blessings are waiting for me to hang in there, to persevere and hold steadfast. Remind me that I CAN count it ALL joy (vs 1) with Your help. Remind me that the desire of my heart really is to pass the tests, showing You that I love You enough to trust You in the midst of trials and testing.

 

Good Insights:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. James 1:13

 

God does not tempt us, but He does allow it at times. Why would He allow this? Possibly because of our own worldly desires (vs 14), possibly to mature us spiritually (vs 3), possibly so we can learn the enemies tactics so we can resist them. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know we can never blame God. He is wanting to turn all our trials and testing into victory for us.

 

Good Insights:

But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death. James 1:14-15

 

We are only tempted when we kind of , sort of, desire something. Put coffee in front of me and there is absolutely no temptation to drink it, a chocolate chip cookie is a different matter. What God wants for us is to not allow the desire of the flesh to overpower our will for victory. At the first though of temptation, we have to go to battle against the enemy. This is where having God’s promises at hand really can help. Declaring His word, just like Jesus did when tempted is a valuable weapon in our arsenal.

 

Good Insights:

For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3

 

God wants us to know Him, really know Him in a true and personal way. I’ve always said that you don’t really know someone until you’ve lived with them behind closed doors. We can know a lot about God through His word and going to church, just like I can know a lot about an author by reading his autobiography. But only through relationship can you really know someone, and intimate, behind closed doors at that. We all know people that look so put together on the outside, but their bruises are hidden under clothes and in their hearts. Only by seeking to really know God intimately, behind closed doors in the secret place, can we reap the full benefits of being His child.

 

Good Insights:

For as these qualities are yours and are increasing (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (vs 5-6-7) [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet 1:8

 

Really knowing and understanding God doesn’t just happen. Even if I spent all day worshiping God and reading my Bible, really knowing Him requires me to interact with other human beings. How else will I grow in the above qualities, and not be deemed useless and unproductive in knowing God. If tested in the above qualities that lead to spiritual maturity, what grade would I get? God, I want to really know You, so show me areas where I am still lacking qualities that You desire of me. 

 

Good Insights:

Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by doing these things [actively developing these virtues] (moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (vs 5-6-7), you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you. 2 Pet 1:10-11

 

Godly character matters, it has benefits, and it’s necessary if I want to know God the way He wants to be known. So instead of dwelling on behaviors that I have to give up, or that I am struggling with, I can choose to concentrate on developing the behaviors listed here to start changing my life, and in the process I will start manifesting behaviors of the One whose image I was created in.  

 

            

Good Insights:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1 John 1:9

 

One of the most powerful verses in the Bible, and yet so hard at times to really believe. Once God forgives my sins, they are gone and He doesn’t remember them any more. However, the enemy will keep bringing them up, reminding me of my past mistakes. I have to purposely choose to take God at His word, and believe that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness, and then stop thinking about it. He forgives me, and I need to forgive myself, and then choose not to make the mistake of returning to that sin.

 

 

Good Insights:

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should also [unselfishly] love his brother and seek the best for him. 1 John 4:21

 

Just as I would never be jealous of one of my children making more money than me, seeing more in the spirit realm, walking in signs and wonders beyond my experiences, being gifted millions of dollars, or having extreme favor from God, neither should I be jealous of a friend who God chooses to bless in these ways, or others.  Sometimes I have to ask God to help me see others as He sees them, to love them the way He loves them, and to want what’s best for them regardless if I think they deserve it. I am reminded often, it’s not about me, it’s all about Jesus. If He says I can love, and should, than that is my goal.

 

Good Insights:

For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world—our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God]. 1 John 5:4

 

Whether I feel victorious, or feel like an overcomer doesn’t matter. What matters is that in Jesus Christ I am victorious. I can’t allow my circumstances to dictate God’s truth. By faith, I can stand on the promises of God, all of His promises.

 

 

Good Insights:

And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb (Christ), each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of fragrant incense, which are the prayers of the saints (God’s people). Rev 5:8

 

How awesome to think that my prayers are being collected in a golden bowl and are a sweet aroma to God. None of our prayers are wasted, and every prayer matters to God. I think when we pray, especially for something that is promised in His word, and is the desire of His heart that it’s especially pleasing to the Lord.