EQUIPPED FOR MORE
Equipping our spirit, soul, & body
to be all God created us to be
IT IS WRITTEN
Deeper Still was my first time reading through the Bible with a theme in mind. I was desperate for more of God, and I wanted to go deeper into His heart to get to know Him on a deeper and more intimate level.
It is written: “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” Gen 3:3
Therefore: I won’t eat, if I don’t first touch. I won’t speak unkind words, if I don’t first think of them. I won’t take what’s not mine, if I truly believe and trust God to supply my needs. So the proverbial line of sin that I don’t want to cross actually needs to be backed up a bit.
It is written: “He (God) looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.” Ex 2:25
Therefore: I can rest assured that God’s timing is perfect, even when it makes no sense to me. I can relax, let go of all fear, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, and just bask in God’s peace and perfect timing.
It is written: “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!” Ex 14:15
Therefore: There may be times to just “do”. After seeing the hand of God; knowing His plans; knowing His Character; knowing His abilities; knowing His will, just do whatever it takes to do what He’s been telling you to do.
It is written: “I will speak only the message that the LORD puts in my mouth” Num 23:12
Therefore: When I prophesy to others I will not add to it my own thoughts. And I certainly won’t tell them what I think they need to hear, passing it off as a Word from the Lord. I rely fully on Holy Spirit to give me the message, and if He doesn’t, I won’t speak.
It is written: Choose some men, and arm them to fight the LORD’s war of revenge against Median.” Num 31:3
Therefore: Even though the Lord has promised victory, I must arm myself and train myself to fight for that which is rightfully mine. I must cross that line out of safety and into the battlefield if I am to win. Just as the Israelites were “given the land by God” they still had to fight to possess it.
It is written: “ If you do not serve the Lord your God with JOY and ENTHUSIASM for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you. Deut 28:47-48
Therefore: I guess I better take a good look at how thankful I am for what God has given me. I also think Joy and enthusiasm will become a part of my everyday wardrobe.
It is written: “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deut 31:6
Therefore: When I am doing what the Lord has led me to do, it is just a waste of time thinking it can’t be done. It’s just a waste of time fretting about my inabilities. With God on my side, anything He asks of me can be done.
It is written: “So the Israelites examined their (the Hivites) food, but they did not consult the Lord.” (therefore being deceived and making a bad decision) Joshua 9:14
Therefore: Even if everything looks like the truth in the natural, I must continually be in relationship to hear God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit speak the real truth to me. So the old saying “if is looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck” may not always be true.
It is written: “I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. I did this to test Israel—to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did.” That is why the Lord left those nations in place. He did not quickly drive them out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.” Judges 2:21-22
Therefore: Is it possible that the Lord has allowed or even placed, difficult and challenging people or situations in my life to test me. Am I passing those tests? Could it be that I just need to fall on my knees and repent for previous disobedience? Or possibly, just sit in His presence and allow Him to strengthen me as I journey on.
It is written: “But Samson told his father, “Get her (a Philistine girl) for me! She looks good to me.” His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.” Judges 14: 3-4
Therefore: I must remind myself that I rarely see the big picture. Situations that I may be too quick to judge may in fact be, God creating opportunities that He can work through.
It is written: “ And Samuel told him (Saul), “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and …… .”1 Sam 15:17-18
Therefore: I must not think little of myself. I am the leader, teacher, mother, grandmother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, etc. of people that God has anointed, or chosen for me to influence. When He sends me on a mission, I will, I must obey completely. Others lives may be impacted by my obedience, or disobedience to the Lord.
It is written: “Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded.” 1 Sam 15:24
Therefore: I will fear God more than I fear others. I will care more about what God desires of me, than what people might think about me.
It is written: “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies…” 1 Sam 17:45
Therefore: The Name of Jesus is my greatest weapon to fight against those coming against me, whether in the natural or the spiritual realm.
It is written: “All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. BUT God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.” 2 Sam 14:14
Therefore: I am baffled at the thought that the God of the universe would devise a way to bring me back to him if I ever get separated. How awesome is that? How comforting to know that my loved ones who have gone astray are not forgotten by God. Right now He has a plan in place to bring them back. Hallelujah!
It is written: “You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet.” 2 Sam 22:40
Therefore: No matter what my battle is, no matter how long my battle lasts, I can be assured that my Father has armed me with the strength to endure, and the strength to win.
It is written: “The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.” 1 Kings 8:11
Therefore: I ask Lord for Your glorious presence to fill me, Your temple. I ask that it be so thick and glorious that I cannot continue whatever I was doing. I ask for this often as I grow in intimacy with you.
It is written: “I am a prophet, too, just as you (a man of God) are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: … But the old man was lying. 1 Kings 13:18
Therefore: Just because an older, seemingly wiser, prophet tells me something, I will not automatically believe him. I will trust obey what God tell me. I may take the advice of the other person to the Lord for discussion, but I will not automatically assume they hear the Lord’s voice more accurately than I do.
It is written: “They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the LORD their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD their God.” Neh 9:3
Therefore: I will not complain when church goes a little long. I will embrace the times when Holy Spirit shows up, and shakes things up a bit.
It is written: “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true.” Job 3:25
Therefore: At my first glimpse of fear or anguish I will take as long as necessary to surrender it all to the Lord. As I grow in intimacy with Jesus, the ability to trust Him with absolutely everything and everyone, becomes more possible.
It is written: “When Job prayed for his “friends”, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact the LORD gave him twice as much as before!” Job 4210
Therefore: When the Lord asks me to pray for so called “friends” (with friends like Jobs, you don’t need enemies.) When he asked me to pray for, or do something that I might shutter at the thought of, it may just be the prayer that will bring my healing, or my breakthrough.
It is written: “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Ps 5:11
Therefore: When I need protection over what the world throws at me, I will rejoice with singing, praising and worshiping Jesus. I will allow my worship to be my warfare. As I do, the Lord’s protection covers me like a warm, fuzzy blanket, dipped in joy.
It is written: “Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing.” Ps 16:5
Therefore: I will drink from my cup of blessings continuously throughout the day. As it flows down my throat and into my body it brings You Jesus, and Your love, joy, peace, hope, healing, freedom and so much more. As I feel my spirit, soul or body beginning to be parched and dry I will drink again, and again, and again.
It is written: “You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night. You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong. I am determined not to sin in what I say. Ps 17:3
Therefore: Since what comes out of my mouth is birthed in my thoughts and heart, I purpose to meditate on Jesus Christ alone. I will marinate my thoughts in the love of Jesus until they are ready to be spoken aloud.
It is written: “I am praying to You because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.” Ps 17:6
Therefore: I will not allow my situation to bring fear, doubt, worry, frustration, or anxiety. Once God hears me, He will answer. And I can trust that His response and His timing will be perfect.
It is written: “Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.” Ps 25:4&5
Therefore: It’s God’s responsibility to show, to point, to lead, and to teach me the right path. It’s my responsibility to have such an intimate relationship with Him that I hear what He has to say and do it; and it’s my responsibility to put my hope in Him continuously throughout the day 24/7.
It is written: “Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.” Ps 26:2
Therefore: Lord, I give you permission to put me on trial, to cross-examine me, to test my motives and my heart. Lord whatever does not please You, bring to my attention and teach me how to change.
It is written: “My heart has heard You say, “Come and talk with Me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Ps 27:8
Therefore: I will listen with my heart; I will respond with my heart.
It is written: “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” Ps 32:3-4
Therefore: I will quickly confess my sin, I will quickly repent, as often as necessary. I will hold nothing back from the Lord. I will also ask Holy Spirit to show me any un-confessed sin that I may have hidden away, deep down within my soul.
It is written: “Finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide my guilt. And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” Ps 32:5
Therefore: I hold nothing back, I confess my sins. Then I open my arms and receive God’s forgiveness, I receive His beauty and peace that come, as quickly as guilt and shame leave.
It is written: “ The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. For When He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command.” Ps 33:6&9
Therefore: Because I am made in the image of God, my words have power. I speak and blessings, or curses, are being released. I may not see the manifestation of my words see immediately as God did, but nonetheless they are out there, and they have power. So I choose carefully how I speak about myself and others.
It is written: “Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord RESCUES them when they are in trouble. The Lord PROTECTS them and keeps them alive. He gives them PROSPERITY in the land and RESCUES them from their enemies. The Lord NURSES them when they are sick and RESTORES them to HEALTH.” Ps 41:1-3
Therefore: God cares about the poor, and they obviously have so much to offer me. It just makes sense to stop and give them something: love, time, a blessing, a hug, a prayer, a chance to meet Jesus, or whatever God is telling me.
It is written: “But (despite the turmoil, discouragement, grief, oppression, etc.) each day the LORD pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs.” Ps 42:8
Therefore: When life seems unbearable I will start my day the evening before. During the night, while I lay in bed, I will sing praises to my Lord. While I toss and turn throughout the night, my thoughts will go towards Jesus. Then, when morning comes, I will come before my Lord and wait as He pours His unfailing love all over me. I will allow it to penetrate my spirit, soul and body. Then I am ready to start my day.
It is written: “I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Ps 66:17&18
Therefore: As I come before the Lord, broken, and in desperate need of help, I take a moment to ask Him: “Is there any sin I need to confess?” If so, I confess it, right here right now. I do not want to hold on to it for even a minute. And all the while I'm confessing, I’m praising God. And, while I’m waiting and discussing my situation with Him, I never stop praising Him.
It is written: Sing praises to God and to His name! Sing loud praises to Him who rides the clouds. His name is the LORD – rejoice in His presence! Ps 68:4
Therefore: Today I will sing to my Lord, I will sing loudly and not care what anyone thinks. Today as I rest in His presence, I will rejoice. What a great day I will have, singing praises and rejoicing in the presence of my Lord. And since I carry His presence everywhere I go, I will be rejoicing all day long.
It is written: “If you make the LORD your refuge. If you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.” Ps 91:9-12
Therefore: If it’s up to me to make God my refuge, shelter, safe haven, protection; just how do I do this? By building a life of intimacy, trust, and faith. Just as a child feels totally protected in mom or dad’s arms, so I can feel totally protected in Abba’s arms. The enemy may come and give me a good beating from time to time, but he will not conquer me. I surrender daily to the protection of God and His mighty angels.
It is written: “It is good to proclaim Your unfailing love in the morning, Your faithfulness in the evening,” Ps 92:2
Therefore: I'm going to choose to start my mornings off by proclaiming, announcing, declaring God’s love for me, and thanking Him for it. Then before I go to sleep I’m going to proclaim, announce, and declare His faithfulness. I will thank Him for faithfully being with me all day long, for being a part of every situation in my life. I think I’m going to have a really blessed day.
It is written: “You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.” Ps 91:4
Therefore: I will ponder what it must mean to the LORD to have me say to Him “You thrill me”. How would if feel if my kids were to say that to me? Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face. If this becomes difficult to say from time to time, I’ll just ask God to open my eyes and my heart to the many ways He thrills me everyday.
It is written: “I will be careful to live a blameless life – when will You come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. Ps 101:2
Therefore: What I do behind closed doors matters. That is the real me. How do I act when no one is looking? How do I talk to myself, my kids, my parents, my spouse? What do I watch on TV, the computer? I choose to be the same behind closed doors as I am in public.
It is written: “They bruised his (Joseph’s) feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character.” Ps 105:18-19
Therefore: I can pretty much count on the LORD testing my character during the difficult, challenging times, as he did with Joseph. It’s easy for my character to shine when my dreams are fulfilled, but what about the journey along the way. I have to trust and have faith that God’s timing is perfect. And while on my journey, as I allow His love to flow in me and out of me, I will be developing a godly character. I will be ready when His timing, His dreams, and my character, come together to fulfill His purpose.
It is written: “Though the LORD is great, He cares for the humble, but He keeps His distance from the proud.” Psalm138:6s
Therefore: I will constantly be aware of my thoughts, my attitude, and my actions. I continually ask Holy Spirit to show me when pride starts creeping into my life; I want no part of it. Then I repent quickly, and clothe myself with humility.
It is written: “I pour out my complaints before Him and tell Him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, You alone know the way I should turn. Psalm 142:2&3
Therefore: When I am distraught with life I will turn to Jesus first. He knows me better than anyone else, He alone knows what path I should take. Then, if needed, I will ask Him if it’s ok to talk to one or two of my friends, to share my concerns, my complaints. If I sense it’s ok with Him, I will share with my special friends. Not for the purpose of gossip, but for comfort, encouragement and Godly wisdom.
It is written: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23&24
Therefore: I give God permission to inspect every part of my being; my thoughts, attitude, responses, decisions, words, gestures, etc. behind closed doors and in public. I welcome the correction of the Lord without taking offense. I welcome the opportunity to show Him my love and commitment by repenting and choosing to make changes. I choose to walk on the path that He has set before me, with love, joy, peace, faith, freedom and a pure heart.
It is written: “Accept my prayer as incense offered to You, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.” Psalm 141:2
Therefore: I want my prayers, my conversations with God, to be a sweet aroma reaching up to His nostrils. I want Him to look forward to the atmosphere that my prayers bring to Him. I also want to raise my hands often to Him, not caring what anyone might think of me. I am offering Him all of me, total surrendered to all of Him.
It is written: “I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for You as parched lands thirsts for rain.” Psalm 143:6
Therefore: I don’t just pray to God, I pray totally surrendered to Him. Trusting Him with my deepest concerns and needs. I don’t just pray to God and then forget Him. I thirst for Him; I seek Him; I go after Him; I cling to Him as if He were the only one with a bottle of water after running a marathon without water (not that I ever did, but you get the picture). I will thirst for Him as a newborn baby thirsts for his or her needs to be met.
It is written: “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting in you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to You.” Psalm 143:8a
Therefore: I will set aside time in the morning to hear from God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I will not be in a hurry and I will not do all the talking. I will listen; I will listen as They tell me how much They love me. I will listen as They teach me about Their Word. I will listen as They share Their plans for my day. I will listen and trust what I hear, knowing that Their words will line up with Their Word. Then I will be obedient, because I know that They have my best interest in mind.
It is written: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Psalm 143:10
Therefore: I come before you Lord, teachable and willing to learn. I yearn to know and follow Your Word, Your plans for my life. I yearn to walk in the love that You’ve called me to walk in. I keep my eyes, ears and total being focused on Holy Spirit, depending on Him every minute of every day. I may go two steps forward and one step back at times, but forward I will go.
It is written: “Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” Psalm 144:1
Therefore: I will find out what my weapons are, and I will train myself to use them. I will train my hands to worship, to praise, to pray, to dance, to play an instrument, to hug, to love, to serve. I will teach my fingers to hang on tightly to the truth of who I am in Christ. I will hang on tightly to the power and authority that I walk in as a child of the King. I will hang on tightly to the fact that “greater is He who is in me, than He who is in the world” John 4:4
It is written: “Everyone will share the story of Your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about Your righteousness. They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom; they will give examples of Your power. They will tell about Your mighty deeds, and about the majesty and glory of Your reign.” Psalm 145:7, 11,12
Therefore: The next time I get together with friends, family, or co-workers I will resist the urge to gripe, complain, or gossip. I will resist the tendency to take offense, criticize or judge. Instead, I will share about the goodness of God in my life. The joy that I walk in with will radiate the love and righteousness of God. And if I don’t see or experience any of God’s goodness, righteousness, glory, power, mighty deeds, or majesty in my life, I will seek a more intimate relationship with Him. I will pray that my eyes and heart be opened to all that He does and is in my life.
It is written: “Praise the LORD! How good to sing praises to our God. How delightful and how fitting!” Psalm 147:1
Therefore: Today I choose to praise Jesus with my singing. Maybe I will sing in the spirit, which I love and is so easy for me. Maybe, like my husband, I will make up new words of praise to familiar songs. Maybe, God will show me a new way of praising Him in song. No matter how I do it, it brings joy to my heart and to His. It’s hard to be grumpy when I sing praises to my Lord.
It is written: “He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse, or in human might. No, the LORD’s delight in in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.” Psalm 147: 10-11
Therefore: It is a waste of my time and of His to continually try and make things happen in my own strength. God is not impressed or pleased with how much I can get done in one day, one week, or one month. He takes delight when I come to Him, trusting Him, wanting to know Him more intimately, fearing and honoring Him for who He is.
It is written: “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.” Prov 11:24
Therefore: I choose to walk in my rightful place as a daughter (or son) of the King, where there is no limit to my ability to give. I will give my love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, time, money, spiritual gifting, encouragement, compassion, last cup of sugar, or ??? on a daily basis. Whereas a slave, or orphan never knows when he or she will receive more, a child of the King does.
It is written: “ The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Prov 11:25
Therefore: Although it’s easy to be generous and refreshing to others when I’m having a really good day, on those days when I’m feeling down and disheartened it’s hard. So I will chose to walk in the opposite spirit on those down days. I will encourage others, bless others, and love others. Then I will sit on Papa’s lap and He will refresh me.
It is written: “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Prov 12:1
Therefore: Although in my microwave life I tend to want things now, to know things now, to learn things now, to accomplish things now, and to be the best now. It takes discipline to learn new things and habits. I will change my attitude about discipline; I will look at it as a positive thing, and not as a negative. I will look at correction as a possibility of helping me become a better me.
It is written: “The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.” Prov 12:6
Therefore: I will live my life as a godly example to others. I will think before I speak. I will choose words that bring life, encouragement, comfort, peace, and are truthful. Whether anyone can hear me or not, I will not be guilty of allowing my words to bring death to anyone.
It is written: “ A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like a cancer in the bones.” Prov 14:30
Therefore: I will surrender to Jesus all jealousy, fear, stress, offenses, bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, arrogance, and anything else that separates me from His peace. I will not even allow myself to think on these things for even a moment; they are kicked out within the first 2-3 seconds.
It is written: “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Prov 15:1
Therefore: I will think before I speak; I will choose my words wisely. This does not mean that I’m immune to how others speak to me; it does not mean that I stand by and allow someone to verbally (or physically) abuse me. It means that I (with Holy Spirit’s help), choose to answer with a gentle, calm voice. It means that I’ve developed such an intimate relationship with God that His righteousness, peace and joy consume me.
It is written: “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.” Prov 15:30
Therefore: When I have trouble finding my happy face I have a choice to make. I can stay where I’m at, or I can sit and listen to worship music and allow God’s presence of joy to fill me to overflowing. Or, if that option is not available, I can just go to the restroom, my desk, or my car, sit down and breathe Him in. Breathe in His love, peace and joy. Soon my insides are so full of His joy that it starts to leak out of my eyes, my cheeks, and the corners of my mouth. Now my happy face is back, and it’s contagious.
It is written: “People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.” Prov 16:2
Therefore: I will not rely on my own definition of purity. I will continually ask God to examine me and allow me to see my thoughts, words, actions, decisions, and motives through His eyes. I look forward to any correction He brings, and I am quick to repent, restore, and walk in a new level of purity.
It is written: “ The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” Prov 20:24
Therefore: I will resist the need to know all of next year’s plans today. I will resist the need to plan every detail of my day, week, life. I will follow the leading of Holy Spirit even when I don’t see the big picture. I will trust Jesus as bumps, turns, and dentures take their place in my life.
It is written: “The LORD’S light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.” Prov 20:27
Therefore: I set aside time to be alone with Jesus. I ask Him to shine His light in every area of my being. I ask Him to expose any impure thoughts, actions, or motives. Then I confess, repent, and allow Jesus to wash me clean. I determine in my heart to do this often.
It is written: “Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.” Prov 20:28
Therefore: I will rule my kingdom (home, work, kids, area of influence) in love and not fear. My security comes from loving Jesus, loving others, and loving myself.
It is written: “The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.” Prov 20:29
Therefore: I will rejoice in my age, my gray hair, my wrinkles, and my slower moving body. I will embrace the wisdom that I’ve gained in my many years of life, and of sitting with Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit for decades. I will take time to teach the young who are willing to listen.
It is written: “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls. Prov 25:28
Therefore: I will stop waiting for God to supernaturally change things, or undesirable habits that I have control over. I will buckle down, use the God given sense, discipline and strength He gave me, and start making the needed changes in my life.
It is written: “Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.” Prov 26:2
Therefore: I declare that all curses, spells, hexes, or hateful words directed at me or my family will not be allowed to land on us. They will fall to the ground dead, unfulfilled and evaporate there.
It is written: “When she (or he) speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instruction with kindness. Prov 31:26
Therefore: Whether I’m talking to my spouse, parents, kids, the person behind the cash register, or I’m put in that leadership position where I am the one telling people what to do, I will choose my words wisely. I will speak with kindness; I will correct with kindness; and I will help with kindness. When they just don’t seem to understand what I am saying, I will pause and ask God to help me choose the correct words, bathed in kindness, so that they do understand.
It is written: “Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?” Is 2:22
Therefore: My first instinct in every situation needs to be to consult Jesus, trust Jesus, and then obey Jesus. Even though He uses humans many times as a part of my every day life, it’s Him I need to ultimately trust.
It is written: “So My people will go into exile far away because they do not know Me.” Is. 5:13a
Therefore: It means a lot to God that I get to know Him. I do this by spending time in His word, discussing it with Him, I do this by talking to Him throughout the day, as if He were right beside me, because He really is. Sometimes I just sit and ask Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit to tell me something about Themselves, and then I listen and write it down. My greatest desire is to really know God in a deep, personal, and intimate way.
It is written: “ In that day, everyone in the land of Judah will sing this song: Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation.” Is 26:1
Therefore: My salvation; my total surrender; my trust in Jesus and my worship are my security, strength, and weapon against the enemy.
It is written: “you will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Is 26:3
Therefore: Just as when I’m driving my car my eyes are fixed on the road ahead of me, my thoughts will stay fixed on Jesus. And even though I may take my eyes off the road to look at something else, it’s only for a few seconds. And even though I can do multiple things while driving, I’m constantly looking at the road. And as I keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus, it becomes easier to trust Him in all things. And as I trust Him in all things, peace just naturally comes.
It is written: “And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” Is 29:13
Therefore: Through intimacy with Jesus I desire to worship Him in spirit and truth. I will keep my heart in check and not allow religious spirits to creep in. I will not dishonor God by pretending to worship and love Him, while harboring hate, apathy, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, etc. When religious spirits creep in I repent quickly, embrace forgiveness and then worship.
It is written: “What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.” Is 31:1
Therefore: My ultimate trust will be in my LORD, not my job, government, welfare, family, military, insurance, savings, retirement, social security, etc. All of these are part of life, yes, but my security, trust and faith must remain in Jesus.
It is written: “That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers.” Is 37:36
Therefore: I will not fear about the condition of my country. I will do my part and pray, vote, help change the laws, or whatever God tells me to do. But I will not fear! My God is quite capable of wiping out the enemy whenever He chooses, and I choose to trust in Him.
It is written: “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Is 40:29.
Therefore: I am not a victim of my circumstances, there will be no wallowing for me. I will grab hold of that shred of power and that fragment of strength that the Lord offers. As I hold on, that power and strength grow into a mighty fortress. Now I walk in the fullness of God’s power and His strength. I can do anything He calls me to do.
It is written: “I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have equipped you (Cyrus) for battle, though you don’t even know me, Is 45:5. I will rise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose, and I will guide his actions. Is 45:13
Therefore: God’s chosen one for a particular task may not be a Christian, a republican, or someone who I think is best equipped for the job. God can and does use anyone He chooses to fulfill His purposes. My part is to trust, pray, support, bless, and not to criticize, gossip, or curse.
It is written: “But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Is 53:5
Therefore: I can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus wants me whole and healed. Even when I don’t always see the manifestations, the fact is, it’s mine. He died for me (and you) to be whole and healed. I will proclaim it, I will believe it, I will trust in His Word.
It is written: “The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer seek wisdom from the LROD. Therefore, they fall completely, and their flocks are scattered.” Jer 10:21
Therefore: No matter how far I’ve come in life, how many classes I’ve taken, or how many degrees I might have, my number on source of wisdom must come from the Lord. I must never think that I’ve “arrived” and no longer need to seek Him for wisdom, direction, understanding, intimacy, presence, and just pure delight.
It is written: “So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.” Jer 10:24
Therefore: I come before Abba, my Heavenly Father often, asking Him to please correct me when I get off track. I actually look forward to it, knowing He does it out of love. And His goal in doing so is to make me more like Himself, which is my goal also.
It is written: “When I discovered Your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight,” Jer 15:16
Therefore: I will not take my Bible for granted (all 10 of them), or my computer, where I have access to dozens of different translations. I will treat God’s Word as a delicious delicacy, enjoying every bite. I will savor it, delight in it, devour it, and keep coming back for more. I will treat it as my most treasured possession.
It is written: “Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” Jer 17:7
Therefore: I have absolutely no fear of the present or the future. Between all the miracles mentioned in the Bible, to all the personal testimonies I’ve experienced or heard about, my God can do anything. If I’m supposed to be alive, I will be alive, period. If God wants to take me, well hallelujah, that’s ok too. My responsibility is total surrender, trust, hope, and confidence in Jesus.
It is written: “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jer 17:10
Therefore: Nothing is hidden from God. Not my secret thoughts and actions, not my neighbor’s, not my boss’s, not the government. When God examines MY heart, I want Him to find a heart full of love, just like His. Lord, show me when my heart starts to differ from Yours and need a tune-up.
It is written: “As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” Jer 18:5
Therefore: There’s no place I’d rather be then in my Father’s hands. Whether I’m in need of discipline, correction, guidance, protection, healing, wisdom, or whatever. Lord, you have my permission to mold me and remold me whenever You want.
It is written: “Why was I (Jeremiah) ever born? My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame.” Jer 20:18
Therefore: When I’m having those rare moments where I wonder just what am I doing here on planet earth, am I doing any good, because it sure doesn’t look like it? It may seem like everyone is against me, and maybe they are. BUT, if I’m totally surrendered and obedient to God, I can trust Him, He does have a plan and He is using me. I don’t have to see the big picture, I just have to trust Him, and I do.
It is written: “Have any of these prophets been in the LORD’s presence to hear what He is really saying? Has even one of them cared enough to listen?” Jer. 23:18
Therefore: It is God’s desire for me to sit in His presence and listen to what He has to say. Sometimes I become impatient with God because He isn’t speaking quickly enough for me. But then I remind myself that He is worth the wait. Really, can anything be more important than hearing and obeying the voice of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit? I don’t think so!
It is written: “For I know the plan I have for you, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11
Therefore: In spite of what my circumstances look like, God is on my side and He has a plan for me. His plan most likely includes me falling totally in love with Jesus Christ, surrendered, obedient and trusting in His Word. More than likely the sooner I get the whole surrendered, obedient, trusting, repenting, giving and loving myself and others down, the sooner I will see God’s plan for my life unfolding.
It is written: “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.” Jer 29:13
Therefore: Even though God seems like a mystery at times, He wants me to know Him, to have an intimate relationship with Him. But it doesn’t just happen; I have to spend time wholeheartedly seeking to know Him on a deeper level. This takes time and there’s no getting around it. You could say it’s life consuming. He rewards me as I seek to know and understand Him more today than I did yesterday, last week, or last year. Actually, it’s so easy and so worth it.
It is written: “I am the LORD, the God of all the people of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jer 32:27
Therefore: Absolutely nothing is too hard or impossible for God. He is quite aware of my circumstances. He is quite aware of what is going on in the world I live in. Nothing is getting past Him. When I don’t understand why He’s not doing “something” about whatever concerns me, I just rely on trusting Him, period. I do my part; I sit with Him, talk with Him, surrender to be used by Him, and obey anything I hear from Him.
It is written: “Even though I (God) diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey.” Jer 32:33
Therefore: There’s an old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Just as true, “You can make a child go to school, but you can’t make him learn”. It is the desire of God’s heart to teach me what He wants me to learn. It is the desire of my heart to learn and obey. Lord, I desperately desire to learn all that You want to teach me.
It is written: “And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship Me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.” Jer 32:39
Therefore: How exciting that God’s one purpose for “us” is to worship Him. And absolutely no one can keep us from doing that. Worship has to go beyond our Sunday church service and penetrate every aspect of our lives. My life, my destiny, and my purpose depend on, and are affected by my worship. But not only my life, but also my family, children, grandchildren, and all generations to come. What an awesome inheritance I can leave through my worship.
It is written: “ And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship Me, and they will never leave Me.” Jer 32:40
Therefore: Lord, I receive on behalf of myself, and my family, Your desire for covenant with us. Thank you for all the good You do for us. And Lord, I ask that You activate the desire that You put in our hearts to worship You, especially to those who don’t know You yet.
It is written: “Ask Me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. “ Jer 33:3
Therefore: I sit with Jesus, relaxed, and not hurried. I type “Lord, what do you want to say to me today?” I know He looks forward to talking to me, just as I look forward to talking with my kids. Then I write down what He says, and we talk about it. It’s incredible how He always has something to say. Sometimes it’s something funny; sometimes it makes me cry because it’s so personal and passionate. His words are always loving, especially when I need a bit of correction.
It is written: “Ten days later the LORD gave His reply to Jeremiah.” Jer 42:7
Therefore: I may have to wait 10 days, 10 months, or even 10 years to hear God’s particular response to certain prayer request. But I am confident again that His timing is perfect. It doesn’t mean He didn’t hear me, or doesn’t care. It always means He loves me, and He has a plan already set in motion.
It is written: “ I will certainly bring my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, here to Egypt.
Therefore: God can use anyone as His “servant”, to fulfill His purposes. So instead of criticizing the many government officials in office that I don’t care for, I choose to pray for them, and ask God to use them as His servants, to fulfill His purposes.
It is written: “Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill, you will be taken captive.” Jer 48:6
Therefore: I will not allow any thing or anyone other than Jesus to captivate my heart. I will not be in bondage to the things of this world. And even though God has given me gifts, talents, blessings and favor, my trust is in Him alone. I will trust in and worship the creator, not the created.
It is written: “Cursed are those who refuse to do the LORD’s work, who hold back their swords from shedding blood!” Jer 48:10
Therefore: I will do whatever the LORD tells me to do, even if it means getting my hands dirty. Thankfully I am living under the new covenant where the emphasis is love. And thankfully my sword is the Word of God, which is all about loving the hell out of people, not hitting them over the head with it.
It is written: “ So now I (God) wail for Moab; yes, I will mourn for Moab. My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth.” Jer 48:31
Therefore: Even though there are consequences for sin, and judgment will come, it still breaks God’s heart to do it. It’s like when we discipline our kids and say, “this is going to hurt me more than it does you”. No kid ever believes it, until they become a parent themselves. God, I am so sorry for the times I’ve disappointed you; the times I’ve made you cry; and the times I’ve broken your heart. The desire of my heart is total obedience. Thank you Jesus for second and third chances. Thank you for loving me through this journey called life.
It is written: “For the LORD has inspired (stirred up the spirit of) the kings of the Medes to march against Babylon and destroy her.” Jer 51:11
Therefore: I pray that God would inspire my spirit to love Him more the way He desires to be loved, to inspire my family members to do the same. I pray God that you would inspire those in positions of power and authority to make Godly choices.
It is written: “ I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease, Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!”. Lam 3:20-24
Therefore: No matter how awful a season in my life may be, my hope will always be in my God. I will dare to hope in the His love, in His mercies, in His faithfulness and in my inheritance and child of the King.
It is written: “The LORD is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So it is good to wait quietly for the salvation (deliverance, help, victory) from the LORD.” Lam 3: 25-26
Therefore: When things seem to be overwhelming and completely out of control I go to my secret place. I sit and wait quietly before the Lord. I surrender EVERYTHING to Him. I repent of anything He brings to mind that needs to be taken care of. I remind myself that Jesus is for me; He’s on my side. And then I wait, and sometimes I wait some more. And then He shows up and fills me with His amazing love. And then I know I can make it through my day, my week, my season set before me.
It is written: “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ez 16:49
Therefore: I need to redefine my belief of why God destroyed Sodom. Sexual sin, any sexual sin is wrong, yes, absolutely. But is it right up there with pride, overeating, and laziness, apparently so. I am reminded of Matt 7:5 “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Lord forgive me, for I have sinned! Please bring to my attention anytime, ANY sin, starts to entice me. And may I not be so wrapped up in my own life that I forget the needs of others.
It is written: “ They wouldn’t obey My regulations even though obedience would have given them life.” Ez 20:13
Therefore: Obedience brings life. It’s not a punishment, a burden, or inconvenience when you love Jesus. Sometimes it takes more courage, guts, embarrassment, discomfort, etc. to obey than it takes to rebel. But obedience is life, it’s success, it’s love, and it’s so worth it.
It is written: “Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself. Ez 33:7-9
Therefore: I must ask the Lord if He’s made me a watchman. If so, I better take that responsibility very seriously.
It is written: “ And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple.” Ez 43:12
Therefore: I am reminded that now I am the temple. Hmmm. Lord you have permission to bring to my attention anytime your temple, my body, is in need of purification.
It is written: “Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel to rescue His servants who trusted in Him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” Dan 3:28
Therefore: When I trust in my God totally, not knowing what the outcome might be, lives can be changed. Someone can go from wanting me dead to praising my God. My obedience, my total surrender, and trusting God in everything, is how I choose to live my life.
It is written: “He rescues and saves His people; He performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Dan 6:27
Therefore: No matter what my circumstances look like, it God wants me alive, I will live. I don’t need to fear injustice, stupidity, arrogance, or just plain evil. If I die, I go see Jesus, and start the first day of the rest of my eternity with Him. If I live, He still has plans for me, and I will continue to serve Him with total devotion.
It is written: “The moment you began praying, a command was given….” Dan 9:23
Therefore: My prayers are not empty, void of any substance. Even though I may not see with my physical eyes what is going in in the spiritual world; every word, every prayer I speak is full of life. A command is given; angels are given assignments, and God’s perfect timing for my prayers are activated.
It is written: “She doesn’t realize it was I (God) who gave her everything she has – the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; I even gave her silver and gold. But she gave all my gifts to Baal.” Hosea 2:8
Therefore: All that I have that is good, is from God. From the breath that I breathe to the house that I live in, and everything in between. But what do I do with the gifts that God gives me? Do I use them to bring Him glory, someone else, or to satisfy my own fleshly desires? Every minute of every day I have choices to make. I choose to bring Him glory. Do I succeed every minute of every day? Absolutely not! But I repent, He forgives, and next time, hopefully, I make a better choice.
It is written: “But then I will win her back again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” Hosea 2:14
Therefore: I just love reading this verse. God’s desire is to speak to me, to guide me, and to correct me with tender loving words, and I am so thankful for that. It sure beats the guilt, shame, and condemnation from the enemy. But I also do my part by taking His corrections and making the necessary changes.
It is written: “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know Me.” Hosea 4:6
Therefore: It behooves me to get to know God the Father, Jesus His Son, and Holy Spirit. How? The same way I get to know anyone else. I can read about them and learn some things; I can spend quality time with them and learn a whole lot more. And, I can be joined at the hip with them, never leaving their side. And, unlike with human beings, when I’m with Them, I never need my space, or time to just be alone.
It is written: “ Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely a the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3
Therefore: God wants me to know Him; He wants to, and will respond to my love for Him. He is patiently waiting for me to press in to knowing Him on a deeper level. I give my time and my energy to the things and people I love the most. He has to be my first priority; He has to be at the top of my list. I can’t allow myself to bump Him into second or third place, and really, the choice is mine.
It is written: “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6
Therefore: Love trumps everything. Intimacy with The Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit trumps everything. And, as I’ve learned from Heidi Baker “love looks like something”. Love is a verb, not just an emotion. Today I choose to love.
It is written: “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” Joel 1:13
Therefore: Talk is cheap, even outward actions are cheap. It’s my heart that God wants to get a hold of; It’s my heart that reveals the real me. It’s my heart that I give to my God, my Jesus, and my Holy Spirit. Every minute of every day my heart belongs to them.
It is written: “For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals His thoughts to mankind.” Amos 4:13a
Therefore: I just marvel at the idea that God wants to share His thoughts with me. Life must never get to busy that I don’t have time to listen when God, Jesus or Holy Spirit has something on their mind and want to share it with me.
It is written: “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” Amos 5:21-24
Therefore: God doesn’t care about outward appearances, He doesn’t care if I look and act like a Christian. He cares about my heart; He cares about what I do and how I act when no one is looking.
It is written: “But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel’.” Amos 7:14-15
Therefore: It’s God who qualifies me to do what He’s called me to do. I do not depend on my training, education, or lack there of, to say if I’m qualified or not. All I need God’s “go ahead”, mixed with faith and trust, and I'm qualified enough.
It is written: “ People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the LORD’s word.” Amos 8:12-13
Therefore: Once exposed to the voice of God, I am forever changed. Even if I wanted God to just be silent as they did in the day of Amos, and if He really did, life would be miserable. God’s Word, whether written, or verbal is vital to my survival. He created me (and you) with the need to hear Him and for intimacy. It brings life and health to every part of my body.
It is written: The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7
Therefore: No matter what happens, God is good, period! He is my go to person when trouble comes. He loves it when I trust Him no matter what. Trusting God is a choice, it is cultivated from a life of intimacy. As I have journeyed with God He has proven trustworthy in the little things, so when the big things comes, the things that make so sense, the foundation of faith has been built and will not crumble.
It is written: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
Therefore: Even though ______________, yet I will rejoice! Even though ______________, yet I will rejoice! Even though ______________, yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
It is written: “For they go up to their roofs and bow down to the sun, moon, and starts. They claim to follow the LORD, but then they worship Molech, too.” Zephaniah 1:5
Therefore: God does not tolerate sharing His worship with anyone or anything. I can’t worship Allah and Jehovah; I can’t worship money and Jehovah; I can’t worship fame, prestige, TV, sports, religion, or my spouse and Jehovah. I can only worship Jehovah God!
It is written: “And I will destroy those who used to worship Me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the LORD’s guidance or seek My blessings.” Zephaniah 1:6
Therefore: I can go to the Lord confidently, knowing He wants me to ask for guidance, so He can give it to me; knowing He has blessings that He wants me to seek out, just so He can bless me.
It is written: “So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,” Haggai 1:14
Therefore: Oh Lord, spark my enthusiasm; spark the enthusiasm of believers everywhere. I want to be more enthusiastic about You, who You are and what You’re up to than anything else. I want to be enthusiastic about loving and serving you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
It is written: “But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua …. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.” Haggai 2:4-5
Therefore: God wants me strong, He wants my body physically capable of doing anything He calls me to do. I receive that in Jesus name. And I have the extra blessing of having God’s Spirit in me, not just around me. So when He says “do not be afraid”, I will have peace flowing through my body.
It is written: “ Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the LORD’s Temple (before you started to obey Me). I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn….But from this day onward I will bless you.” Haggai 2:35 & 19b
Therefore: God starts blessings as soon as I start obeying. That blessing may not be visible until the end of the harvest when I bring in a bumper crop; it may not be visible when I’m in the midst of laboring in doing what He’s called me to do. But God’s timing for blessings is perfect, and He loves to bless His children.
It is written: “Should we continue to mourn and fast each summer on the anniversary of the Temple’s destruction, as we have done for so many years?” Zec 7:3 “…was it really for Me (God) that you were fasting? “ zec 7:5 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” Zec 7:8-10
Therefore: I must ask myself, what are my motives behind “what I do for the Lord”? It seems that so much of the time He just wants me to love, to show love, to be love. And just be nice.
It is written: “Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.” Zech 9:12
Therefore: Jesus is my safety, He is my hope. How awesome that God wants to give me two blessings for each of my troubles. Lord, I receive Your blessings today. Thank you for being such a generous Savior.
It is written: “Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.” Mal 3:16
Therefore: How exciting to think that when I get together with friends, and we talk about God and how awesome He is, He’s always listening. I wonder if our names get written every time we get together with others and talk about God. How cool would it be to have a scroll with my name splattered everywhere because I love to talk about God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit so much. And to think that every time my name is written, it’s in God’s presence. I can just see Him as a proud Papa saying, “Ah, there’s her name again”.
It is written: "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Mal 4:2
Therefore: I do my part on a daily basis; I love, I fear, and I respect the name of Yahweh. Now I reach up and receive the healing in Your wings, and now I receive Your freedom.
It is written: “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Ez 16:49
Therefore: When I think of why God destroyed Sodom my mind will no longer go to sexual sin alone. Much closer to home is pride, gluttony, and laziness. Lord, please forgive me as I have walked in these areas more often than I’d like to admit. Please get my attention any way necessary when You see me headed towards these sins that you detest.
It is written: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” Matt 3:8
Therefore: Repent is more than a word. It’s like “love”. If I say I love my mother, father, spouse, siblings, children, etc., yet verbally abuse them, mistreat them, lie to them, etc., it’s not love. I can call it love, but it just plain isn’t. So when I “repent” of any sin that creeps into my life, things need to happen, change needs to take place. It’s doesn’t mean I never slip up again, it just means if I do; I repent again and draw even closer to Jesus.
It is written: “Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.” Matt 3:10
Therefore: Sometimes good fruit is quite noticeable, like when evangelists lead thousands of people to Jesus, or hundreds of people are healed at a revival. But I think there’s a lot of good fruit that we may never see; fruit that comes from a blessing, a hug, a prayer, a random act of kindness. I give God permission to prune me so that I will produce abundant fruit, whether I ever see it or not.
It is written: “I (John) baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone (Jesus) is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matt 3:11
Therefore: I just recently got a grasp of what the fire represents here: God’s presence, passion and purity.
It is written: “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matt 3:17
Therefore: What a way for God to introduce Jesus to the world. He had yet to heal the sick, raise the dead, or cast out demons. God doesn’t love me for what I do; He loves me for who I am, His beloved daughter (or son). I love Him back, not because of what He can do for me, but because of who He is. He alone is worthy of all my love, devotion, surrender, praise and worship.
It is written: “But Jesus told him (Satan)! No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” Matt 4:4-5
Therefore: I have to know God’s Word. It’s my arsenal to fight the enemy, and it’s nourishment to my spirit, soul and body. With modern technology it’s easy to look up scripture on my phone or computer, but sometimes there’s just not time. I have to be prepared, I have to know God’s Word, and I have to know His character.
It is written: “ the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” Matt 4:16
Therefore: Just as Jesus’ light went into dark places, so can mine. As I allow God’s love, joy, peace, hope, glory, and light to flow into and out of me, people’s lives can be changed. I’ve been deep down in a cave where it was pitch black, where I could not see my hand in front of my face. All it took was one match to bring light into that cave. And all it takes is one person so full of Jesus to light up a whole room, city, state, nation.
It is written: “Come, follow Me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they (Peter & Andrew) left their nets at once and followed Him” Matt 4:19&20
Therefore: All the qualification I need to be used by Jesus is to come when He calls. To be willing to drop what whatever I’m doing and come to Him.
It is written: “News about him (Jesus) spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all.” Matt 4:24
Therefore: Sickness and disease are not from God. If they were, Jesus would not have spent so much time healing so many people, that would of been working against His Father’s will. He was known for His healing; people sought Him out, and followed after Him. They knew where the answer to their problem was, and went after it.
It is written: “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3
Therefore: No matter how far I’ve come in my relationship with Jesus; no matter how much I love Him and enjoy knowing Him, I always want more. I long to know Him more intimately. I want to know every aspect of Him and His love. I love hearing testimonies of what He’s doing in other people’s lives. He never ceases to amaze me.
It is written: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matt 5:4
Therefore: Since God made me to have feelings, to have emotions, it’s ok to feel sorrow, to be sad. It’s ok to mourn during times of loss, during times where things just don’t go as hoped for. Holy Spirit is the ultimate comforter. When I turn to Him for comfort, I will not be disappointed, I will be blessed.
It is written: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matt 5:5
Therefore: Meek, humble and gentle are good qualities, they describe Jesus. Sometimes these qualities are depicted as weakness, but they are not. I’ve had to work hard at staying humble; not allowing prideful, critical and judgmental thoughts to stay camped out in my thoughts. I can be bold yet nice, assertive yet gentle, confident yet humble.
It Is written: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Matt 5:6
Therefore: I think most people want to be satisfied, happy, fulfilled. The answer is so simple; everyday go after righteousness. Not just once in a while, or maybe on Sunday’s during church. I may not live in righteousness 24/7, but it is the desire of my heart. And I am blessed just for wanting it. Just as I desire to eat and drink everyday, so I will desire righteousness everyday.
It is written: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matt 5:7
Therefore: It’s kind of like, “you reap what you sow”. We all have different personalities and gifts, and showing mercy just seems to come easier to some people, and not so easy to others. Mercy is not my gift, and I have to make a conscious effort at times to be merciful, kindhearted, sympathetic, forgiving, gracious, understanding and just plain nice. But the closer I get to Jesus, the more time I spend with Him, the more of His mercy rubs off on me. And His mercy is amazing.
It is written: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matt 5:8
Therefore: I try to check my motives behind everything I say, do, write, or pray. I want my heart to be pure, with no ulterior or manipulative motives in any way. This has been challenging over the years, but so worth the effort. God so delights in a pure heart. And seriously, who doesn’t want to see more of God.
It is written: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matt 5:9
Therefore: Sometimes it’s hard to keep my mouth shut, especially if I know, or even think I’m right. This is when I (hopefully), shoot that arrow prayer up to God and ask if I’m to speak up, or just be quiet. Then I can always ask God to reveal the truth to both of us. This can be especially challenging when someone says, “God told me …”. God’s idea of a peacemaker is not for me to be a doormat and never speak up, but to be Holy Spirit led, with pure motives and a pure heart.
It is written: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:10
Therefore: I will not fear the consequences of the Godly choices I make. I strive to be 100% surrendered to Jesus Christ and His call on my life. I cannot say that people have persecuted me because of my righteousness in Christ, (just the enemy). It’s not something I really want to seek after, but nor will I fear it. So many believers have been persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and I know they consider it an honor. Obviously, God does too, as He opens up the kingdom of heaven to them.
It is written: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt 5:11&12
Therefore: Being totally sold out for Jesus is not for everyone, it takes more courage than anything else I can imagine. To be able to rejoice and be glad in the midst of insults, persecution and people flat out lying about me, just because I love Jesus. But God rewards those who are totally surrendered, those who can rejoice in the midst of whatever evil surrounds them. I want rejoicing to be a part of my everyday life, I want it seared into my spirit, soul and body. Then, when things get tough, it’s already a habit, a part of who I am.
It is written: “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matt 5:16
Therefore: Love looks like something; it’s tangible. It’s more than “I’ll pray for you”. I need to pray all the time, yes, absolutely! But my action, my good deeds towards others is what Jesus is talking about here. Sometimes I have to ask myself, “why”? Am I doing it for mans approval or to bring glory to God. My motives, my heart must remain pure. Though others may thank me, or praise me for what I’m doing, the ultimate praise and glory belong to God alone. My good deeds must be rooted in love, and not from, “well, if I don’t do it, it just won’t get done”.
It is written: “ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:26
Therefore: Sin starts in my heart, in my thoughts. I may not be able to divert my eyes away from sin all the time, but I can choose if I allow those thoughts to stick around for a while. I can choose whether I mull over if what I’m looking at really is sin. I may not be able to stop ideas, pictures, or words the enemy might bring in to my mind, but I can stop how long they remain.
It is written: “Just say a simple, ‘yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t,’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matt 5:37
Therefore: How awesome it would be if we could trust people at their word. I want to be known for my integrity, I want people to be able to count on me when I say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. And if I cannot commit to a yes or no, I will be honest and say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’ll try’.
It is written: “Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.” Matt 5:42
It has always amazed me how many times, the most giving people, are the poorest financially. Anyone who has been to a foreign country has more than likely experienced this. They will share their soup with you, when it’s all they have. It was a shock to me in Africa to realize that I had a poverty mindset and I’ve worked hard to change that. I take away the opportunity for God to bless me if I never have a need. How can He multiply my oil, if I’m not willing to share the last I have.
It is written: “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matt 5:44
Therefore: Whether I consider my enemy to be a spouse, neighbor, co-worker, rapist, murderer, government official, President of US, or anyone else, I am called to love them. Not love what they are doing, not condoning anything ungodly. I am to pray for them, and love them. These days I just ask God to bless them. If He would bless them with the truth of who He is, and how much He loves them, they would most likely fall on their knees, repent, and worship Jesus.
It is written: “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:48
Therefore: We once were “sinners saved by grace”. Now we’re saved and called to be perfect, wow, that’s a tall order. Only by allowing Jesus to totally consume me with His love can I be perfect. When the old me stays dead, and the new me stays completely one with Jesus, then I am perfect, holy, and righteous in Him. I need to start looking at myself through God’s eyes and not my own.
It is written: “When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matt 6:6
Therefore: We all know the verse “Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them (Matt 18:20). But here I am called to go away by myself, to a quiet place, where no one else is. Some call this their “secret place”. This is where I meet with Jesus everyday. This is where I have grown in intimacy with Him; this is where He transforms me, teaches me, talks to me, and loves all over me. This is where I journal what He says to me; this is where my life totally changed back in 2006, though I accepted Jesus in 1970. To me there is nothing more important than getting away daily, behind closed doors with Jesus. And the rewards are priceless.
It is written: “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” Matt 6:7-8
Therefore: When Jesus healed people, He spoke using only a handful of words. Since He only spoke what His Father said, it seams to me that listening is more important than the amount of words we use to pray. If I can listen to what God wants to do in any given situation, then I’m setting myself up to see my prayers answered. It’s hard at times to do, as I tend t want to avoid that long dreaded silence that sometimes happens. But it’s worth it. I’d rather pray 5 words that I hear from Holy Spirit, than 50 words that just come from me.
It is written: “Therefore, this is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” Matt 6:9
Therefore: My husband and I had to stop watching a weekly drama on TV, because they kept dishonoring God’s name. Many had written in about it, but they just didn’t care. I am held accountable for what I say, and what I listen to in my free time. It’s not just a name to be thrown around, it is a name to be praised, worshiped, and honored. When I come before God to talk, to pray, I come respectfully. Yes, He’s Abba, daddy God, but even then, there is respect and honor.
I is written: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matt 6:10
Therefore: God is telling me to pray His kingdom to earth. His kingdom that has no sickness, no sorrow, no pain; His kingdom that is full of love, joy, peace, truth, freedom, and so many amazing, exciting things. His kingdom where inventions are waiting, discoveries are waiting, and all that He has for me, is waiting for me to take hold of it and bring it down.
It is written: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matt 6:11
Therefore: I will be content with what God gives me today. Sometimes He shows me the bigger picture, sometimes not. I need to trust Him for tomorrow, for the future, as I live today to the fullest. I also need to let go of yesterday, to forgive any mistakes. The bread is stale from yesterday, so I will leave it be. I choose to eat at todays table, with Jesus at my side, trusting Him completely, to know what’s best for me.
It is written: “and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matt 6:12
Therefore: So often we ask God to forgive every little thing we do, expecting Him to forgive, and He does, His Word tells us He does. But what about this verse? What if God really does forgive me to the extent that I forgive others? That puts a lot of the responsibility back on me. I better make sure I am not holding any grudges, any unforgiveness, or any offence against anyone, no matter what. When I forgive, I am not condoning; I am not doing it for the other person. When I forgive, I am doing it for myself; I am doing it to bring healing and freedom to myself. Many physical and emotional illnesses are healed, once a person chooses to forgive. I try to stay offense free, then I don’t have to ask for forgiveness as often.
I is written: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'” Matt 6:13
Therefore: Since Jesus was led into temptation for 40 days by the Holy Spirit, we know it happens. But He came out of it victorious, and His life was never the same. I can definitely pray not be led into temptation, but if I find myself in that situation, I want to come out of it victorious, just like Jesus. I will pray for that quick delivery from the evil one. I will pray that I can learn everything possible from the situation, and then through it all, bring God glory.
It is written: Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matt 6:21
Therefore: If I were tally up where every minute of my time went, and where every dollar I spend goes, that would pretty much sum up where my heart is. Quit a sobering thought. I do think however, that my body can be at work, and my spirit and soul souring in the heavenly realms. If I can learn to live from heaven, where I’m seated with Jesus (Eph 2:6), then I think I can go about my day, with the desire of my heart meshing with the desire of Gods.
It is written: “ Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “ Matt 6:27
Therefore: Joyce Meyers once spoke of a man she knew who wrote all his worries on pieces of paper and put it in a box. Every Wednesday he would open the box of worries to go over them. The majority of times, by the time he got to Wednesday and opened the box, the worries no longer were a problem. I try and live my life by examining the worry, the problem, and if I cant solve it, if it’s out of my ability to do so, I have to release it to Jesus. Worry is extremely dangerous, and quite harmful to anyone’s body. The choice is mine; I can hold onto my worry, or release it and trust Jesus.
It is written “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt 6:33
Therefore: First, first, first!!! First of all I am to seek God’s kingdom, His righteousness, His wisdom, His heart, His love. How? By developing an intimate relationship with Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. How? By taking time daily just to love on Them, and allowing Them to love on me. By reading the Word of God, and meditating on His goodness. By trusting God to be who He says is.
It is written: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt 7:1-2
Therefore: When I got baptized in the Spirit, this was the first area of my life God started working on. I had a very critical, judgmental spirit. Even though I saw this in other believers and hated it, He showed me I had it also. With the help of Holy Spirit, I was able to recognize and repent of this spirit, and started walking in freedom quickly. Today, I rarely judge, if at all. At the first thought of it, I turn it into prayer, asking God to bless them, to see His truth and love for them. I ask God to help them walk out His destiny for them. Walking in love is so much more fulfilling, productive, powerful, worthwhile, and life changing for all involved.
It is written: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matt 7:7-8
Therefore: If I really need something from someone, I will meet with them alone, in a quiet place and talk about my need. Jesus also likes it when I meet alone with Him, discuss things with Him, love on Him, and let Him know what I really need. Seeking – we’ve all lost our keys, or something else we needed, right now, and frantically searched for it until we’ve found it. Or how we search for hours for just the perfect shoes, or dress. Well, I need to seek with the same intensity. Where do I start seeking, in my secret place with Jesus? Knocking – I have to stay present if I am knocking, again, it starts in that secret place. Then I choose to trust Jesus as I receive what He gives me, that what I seek and find is His gift to me, and that the door that is opened is the perfect door, at the perfect time.
It is written: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Matt 7:12
Therefore: Ah, the golden rule. I don’t have to know everything in the Bible; I don’t have to have all the laws or commands memorized so I can follow them. I just have to treat others the way I want to be treated. How do I want to be treated? With love, respect, truth, kindness, patience, acceptance, listen to’d, and corrected in love. But mostly just loved. How I treat others is a choice, my choice.
It is written: “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matt 7:20
Therefore: Actions do speak louder than words. People are always watching, always. They will see if I roll my eyes, let out an almost silent sigh. In the past I had to make an effort to respond in love. But as I allowed the love of Jesus to flow through me, it has become much easier to love others. The more time I spend time with Jesus, the more He rubs off on me. I even amaze myself sometimes at how easy it is to love the less than loveable people in my life. Producing good fruit starts in my thoughts, in my mind. So as I keep my thoughts, motives, and actions pure, so the fruit can flourish.
It is written: “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for He taught with real authority – quite unlike their teachers of religious law.” Matt 7:28-29
Therefore: I need to know that I walk in the same authority that Jesus did. My teachings, praying and life need to reflect that. I need to know God’s Word and His character, so I can speak with that authority. If God said it, it’s truth. If someone doesn’t feel loved, I have to be able to say with authority that they are; that God does love them, because His Word says so. I have to able to say with authority that Jesus does care about every area of my (or your) life; that He wants the best for me, because He loves me so much. I have to know God’s Word, and then live and walk in the power and authority of that Word.
It is written: “Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” Matt 8:13
Therefore: Believing is so powerful. Whether I see an instant manifestation as the Roman officer did, or whether it takes a while, I choose to believe God’s Word and His voice. I choose to believe that when I declare God’s truth, as I do daily, things in the spirit realm are taking place. I choose to believe when I pray as God leads me, things start happening. Believing is powerful, and it’s a choice.
It is written: “But when Jesus touch her (Peter’s mother-in-law) hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for Him.” Matt 8:15
Therefore: Since I have Jesus in me, through His power, my hands can be used to heal. I never know when a touch, or a hug, might just bring healing to someone. I have read testimonies where salvation in Jesus came from being hugged. Places where you can’t mention the name of Jesus or you will be killed. It doesn’t matter if I don’t speak the language, or if I can’t say the name of Jesus. What matters is that I am obedient, that I give that touch, that hug, or that I pray even in silence.
It is written: “ That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. Matt 8:16
Therefore: Wow, a simple command or word, and the demons fled. Sure would save hours of prayer, or years of therapy. Lord, since You have given us the power and authority to do the same, I ask for a manifestation of that to break out all over the world. I declare that believers everywhere would speak a simple command, and freedom and healing would come.
It is written: “This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, ‘He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases’” Matt 8:17
Therefore: Sickness and disease are never from God. Yet, at times it appears as though sickness or disease have found their way to me. Since “He took” my sickness already, maybe I need to give it back to Him, and not own it. Since “He removed” my disease already, maybe I need to make sure I didn’t take it back and put it on. There is an old saying, “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck”. But not so, with sickness and disease. I may look sick or diseased, but it’s not mine, and I’m not going to own it. It’s been bought and paid for at the cross.
It is written: “Then the entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged Him to go away and leave them alone.” Matt 8:34
Therefore: Life with Jesus can get a bit messy at times. Some may be fearful of what Jesus might ask them to do. Seriously, if I can’t trust Jesus to have my best interest in mind, I can’t trust anybody. Several years ago as I stood watching, as so many people were getting totally whacked my God, I told God “anytime, anywhere”! I give Him total permission to show up and turn things upside down in my life. He can totally possess my body anytime and anywhere He wants to. But He still prefers to show up when we meet alone, one on one.
It is written: “You must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matt 12:36-37
Therefore: If I were to live as if this verse is really true, what changes would I have to make? Would I think more before I speak? Would I change the way I speak to my family, co-workers, friends, inconsiderate drivers, the TV. Would I purposely choose words that would encourage and lift up others, and myself? The truth is that this verse really is true. So Lord, I give you permission to get my attention when I forget, or choose to ignore the impact that this verse has on my life.
It is written: “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much a had been planted!” Matt 13:23
Therefore: Many years ago a seed was planted in my life and I know that seed landed on good fertile soil. Lord, I ask that you continue to tend to that seed. I want to be the seed that continues to produce until the day I die. I want to be that seed that is firmly planted in the river of living water that produces fruit year long.
It is written: “For instance, God says, 'Honor your father and mother,' and 'Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.'” Matt 15:4
Therefore: Out of all the commands Jesus could have quoted, He chose this one. How we speaks matters, it can bring life or death, to our ourselves and others. In our country people are not put to death because they speak disrespectfully to their parents. But what if God’s command is still in effect, but in a slightly different way? What if every time someone disrespects their parents with their words, something in that person dies, some good blood cells, the ability to handle stress, etc.? What if problems or diseases could be traced back to words spoken? Just a thought.
It is written: “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Matt 15:11
Therefore: I will think before I speak. I will speak as if my words will be broadcast over a loud speaker for the all world to hear. Or, plastered all over Facebook where “comments” will be written.
It is written: “Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's." Matt 16:23
Therefore: It seems to me that Peter was just trying to be comforting to Jesus, that he was giving Him a pep talk. But, maybe what Jesus, or any of us really need is prayer. We just don’t see the big picture. Or, maybe we should just pray that if God doesn't see fit to take something from us, that he would give us the strength to get through it. Peter was a “dangerous trap” to Jesus, possibly tempting Jesus to take His eyes off of Father God and to be more concerned with himself. Lord, help me to be a friend that at least tries to see things from Your perspective. I want to be a friend that encourages, not sugarcoats things.
It is written: "I (Jesus) also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.” Matt 18:19
Therefore: This is one of the several verses that baffle me. I’ve prayed it so many times, with no apparent results. Praying what I know is more than likely, God’s will. After just reading it again, I look to Jesus and say, “Really, I’m just not seeing this one come to pass much?” Then I have a choice to make, either Jesus is a liar, or I’m missing something. I choose to believe Jesus is who He says He is, and that God does what He says He does, despite what current circumstances look like.
It is written: “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matt 18:21-22
Therefore: I am called to forgive, not necessary for the other person, but for me. It doesn’t mean I condone what they did; it just means that I will not carry around the burden of unforgiveness. In doing so, the love of Jesus can continue to flow through me.
It is written: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matt 22:36-39
Therefore: It’s so simple: Love God with everything I have, love others, love myself. If either of these lose their importance, life will be unbalanced. As much as I enjoy being by myself and spending time with God, I’m called to love others. Ideally, this would be face to face with other people. However, many people are confined to their homes, or beds, and this is quite difficult. But with todays technology it’s easy to love others; it’s easy to be an encourager, to be used by God to accomplish mighty things. Equally important, is taking care of, and loving myself. This is often neglected, but as we grow in knowledge of who we are in Christ, as we learn to walk in our identity, we realize we are worthy of our own love.
It is written: “Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matt 23:28
Therefore: It doesn’t really matter what I look like on the outside, how put together I am. It doesn’t really matter how many Bible verses I have memorized, or how many Sunday school classes I teach. It doesn’t really matter if I feed the homeless everyday or lead hundreds to the Lord every year. What matters most is what I’m really like, behind closed doors. What if someone secretly videotaped me (or you) for a month? How would I feel if they presented it to Jesus, or to others?
It is written: “And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don't panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won't follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. Matt 24:6-7
Therefore: Vs 6: Don't panic, do not be alarmed, be not frightened, be not troubled, be not disturbed (various translations). In other words, what I see going on in the world, is no surprise to God. And I must remember that I am not of this word (John 17:16). I will continue to pray for this country and others, and our president. But I will also pray that believers will not panic, not live in fear, that we all can live in love, joy and peace in the midst of what’s happening. I pray that we can be a light, in a world that is getting darker.
It is written: “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones.” Matt 24:25
Therefore: I will not be so awe stricken by someone performing signs and wonders that I am drawn to them, more than God. Healings should draw me closer to the Healer, miracles should draw me closer to the Miracle Worker, and the Bible should draw me closer to its Author. My pastor, church service and worship leader should draw me closer to Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
It is written: "The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'” Matt 25:21
Therefore: In comparison to eternity in heaven, I have but a brief time here on earth. I want to get it right every time God gives me a job to do. I want to hear Him clearly, and quickly obey. On that glorious day when Jesus returns I want to hear ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant, my friend, by beloved bride’. I enjoy the new responsibilities He gives me as I grow more in love with Him, And I really enjoy when we celebrate together when I get things right.
It is written: “ ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’ Matt 25:32
Therefore: Almost all translations read “least”, not wealthy, powerful, well to do, someone that will notice me, someone who will return the favor, someone who will help me get ahead in life. No, it’s the least of these. Note to self: Always remember the least of these, the rewards are eternal.
It is written: “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me (Jesus). Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Matt 26:39
Therefore: Jesus prayed that the cup of suffering would be taken from Him. So if I am going through a season of suffering, it is quite ok to pray that it be taken from me. I don’t have to assume that it’s God’s will, because if it’s not, I don’t want to be a religious martyr. But if it is God’s will, as it was here, I will pray for all the strength and grace I need to get through it.
It is written: “The time promised by God has come at last!” He announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News.” Mark 1:15
Therefore: I wonder if Jesus ever got frustrated and asked God, “Is it time yet?” I must keep in mind that God’s timing is always perfect, and His promises are just that, promises. While I wait for God’s perfect timing concerning a few things, I will bask in the glory of His Kingdom. I don’t have to wait of it, it’s here right now, and it’s awesome.
It is written: “The people were amazed at His teaching, for He taught with real authority – quite unlike the teacher of religious law.” Mark 1:22
Therefore: Jesus knew His authority as the Son of God. We have the same authority as sons and daughters of God. It’s an everyday challenge to walk in the authority I have as a daughter of the King. Just as in Jesus’ day, people notice if you speak with authority, it makes a difference. It also matters to the enemy, and he knows the difference. Today I choose to walk in my identity, speaking with authority that comes from God.
It is written: “Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” Mark 6:4
Therefore: Perfect as Jesus was, and knowledgeable as He was about His Father, it took an encounter with Holy Spirit to immediately change His life forever. If all of a sudden someone I know starts walking in signs, wonders and miracles, I need to use my discernment, not critical judgment. They may have had an encounter with Holy Spirit that changes them forever. I need to be supportive of others, and myself as we all start to have encounters with Holy Spirit that changes us forever.
It is written: “After telling everyone good-bye (after feeding the 5,000), He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. Mark 6:46
Therefore: After ministry, Jesus needed to get away to pray. He needed to get refreshed by His Father; He needed that intimate alone time with Him. God is my lifeline to everything I do; to all that I am. If I stop spending time with Him because I’m caught up in healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, and feeding the multitudes, I’m in trouble. Soon that lifeline to God will start getting plugged up. The Healer, the Provider, has to remain number one in my life; that happens through intimate time alone.
It is written: “Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.” Mark 6:56
Therefore: I’m looking forward to the day when believers everywhere walk in the power and authority that is ours, as children of the King. What would the world be like today, if people were coming to us, just wanting to touch our cloths, because of the anointing to heal that we carry? I bet they would want to know our Jesus then. Lord, create in us a heart to carry all You have for us.
It is written: “For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Mark 7:8
Therefore: I need to make sure that “tradition” doesn’t hold me back from all that God has for me. Sometimes parents or churches have strong traditions that they hold as gospel. Just because something’s been done for decades or centuries, doesn’t make it truth. I need to personally know what God’s Word says; I need to personally know the voice of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. I’ve had to break agreement with many religious spirits in the past that I thought were gospel. Thank You Jesus, and please continue to show me where man’s traditions are not Yours.
It is written: “The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
Therefore: “I cry out the same thing, “Lord, help me in any area of my life that I have unbelief”. Faith and belief go hand in hand. Faith is believing something I don’t see. The closer I get to Jesus, and the more I learn about His character, the easier it gets to believe.
It is written: “When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him”. Mark 10:47-48
Therefore: Sometimes, when I’m in the presence of someone awesome, someone I just want to gleam everything I can from, I can forget what’s really important, people. Just as these people told Bartimaeus to be quiet, when they could of brought him to Jesus to heal. Holy Spirit, please get my attention if I’m so caught up in the moment that I want to push those in real need away, so I can be closer to where things are happening. And besides, I have direct access to Jesus. One touch from Him, and I have all I need.
It is written: “Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” Mark 12:24
Therefore: I’m sure the Sadducees knew the scripture very well, but did they really know the scripture, with their heart, not just their mind? How sad it is to know about God’s Word and His power, without experiencing either. Lord, I want to experience both on a daily basis.
It is written: “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:29-30
Therefore: I am to love God with every part of me. Some stress knowing God’s word as most important, some stress the emotional feel good part. But I am to experience Him with all of me. I am to know His Word with my mind, but also my heart. I am to experience Holy Spirit with my heart and emotions. I am to embrace His amazing Presence, and not over-think it. Oh Lord, help me in any areas of loving You that I fall short in.
It is written: “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.” Mark 13:9
Therefore: If I ever find myself in this unpleasant situation, I must remember my purpose. I am to tell these people about Jesus, and all the while allowing His amazing peace to cover me.
It is written: “ But Jesus replied, “Leave her ( the women who poured perfume over Jesus’ head) alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.” Mark 14:6-7
Therefore: This somehow reminds me that I will always have housework, laundry, cooking, shopping, work, etc. But I will never have an opportunity tomorrow to spend alone time with Jesus today.
It is written: “So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.” Mark 15:15
Therefore: Oh Lord forgive us all for the things we do the “pacify” the crowds. I never want to do something out of fear, or to just pacify someone or some group. One person, in the hands of the Almighty can take on the whole crowd. One person, in the hands of the Almighty can change the course of history. May we all say, “Lord, I will be Your one”.
It is written: “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
Therefore: I assume Zechariah and Elizabeth had stopped praying for a child, since they were quite old. But God had not forgotten their prayers, and He has not forgotten ours. God’s timing for what He does is always perfect, and if He has promised you something, or if you have been praying for something for years, don’t give up. Also, we can’t assume we know what the answer will look like. God is real good about being outside the box.
It is written: “Instantly Zechariah could speak again (after not being able to speak for nine months, due to unbelief), and he began praising God.” Luke 1:64
Therefore: After being disciplined for nine months by God for unbelief, the first thing Zechariah does when he can speak is praise God. Praising God is always a good thing to do, no matter what we’ve been through.
It is written: “ When they heard this (no prophet is accepted in his hometown vs. 23), the people in the synagogue were furious. Jumping up, they mobbed him (Jesus) and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.” Luke 4:28-30
Therefore: Taking offense, and wanting to kill those who don’t believe like you, hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. It’s so important that I know my identity, and that I do only what my Father’s called me to do. I also don’t need to fear a mob, because it might just be possible that I could walk right through it.
It is written: “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
Therefore: If Jesus needed to get alone with His Father and pray often, I probably do too. Jesus is my best example of what I need to do to walk in the power and authority that is mine as a child of God. No matter what I’ve been called to do, alone time with God is absolutely necessary. And it’s not a burden spending time with the one I love most. It can be challenging at first, but it’s also pure delight.
It is written: “I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.” Luke 6:47-48
Therefore: Basically, if I listen to Jesus’ teachings and follow them, my foundation will be firm and strong. When “stuff” happens, and it does, I will be able to stand firm in my faith in Jesus, I won’t weaver in any unbelief.
It is written: “I am not even worthy to come and meet you (Jesus). Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:7
Therefore: Our words have power. Power to heal, to save, and to change the course of history. God created the universe with His words. Jesus healed with His words. My words can bring life, or they can bring death. And my words start in my thoughts; therefore I need to start thinking Godly thoughts on a regular basis.
It is written: “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.” Luke 8:15
Therefore: Sometimes I feel frustrated, I feel like I’m not producing fruit like I should. Fruit trees take years before they produce fruit, over a decade for some. Patience is a farmer’s best friend, and it needs to be mine too. Unlike a fruit tree, I am responsible for my growth; I need to keep abiding in the Vine. As I abide in the Vine, I am positioning myself to bear fruit at the perfect time.
It is written: “So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.” Luke 9:6
Therefore: They started with love and healing, it sure beats condemnation and fear. People will be much more willing to listen to what I have to say, if I share the amazing things about Jesus and his Kingdom; if I meet a current need with food or healing. I need to start with love, not, “Thou shalt not”.
It is written: “If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” Luke 11:36
Therefore: God, I give you permission to make me aware of when there are dark corners in my life. I want to repent quickly, so your light will fill every area of my life.
It is written: “Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.” Luke 11:40-41
Therefore: There are lots of opportunities this time of year to give to those in need. God open my eyes to see, and my heart to give.
It is written: “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:7
Therefore: No matter what my surrounding circumstances look like, I can have peace. Peace comes as I totally surrender my everyday life to Jesus, knowing He cares about me. Because I am so valuable to Him, I can trust Him, and I can have faith that He has everything under control.
It is written: “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” Luke 12:11-12
Therefore: I believe in being prepared before speaking to any group of people. But even better, is being able to listen to Holy Spirit, and follow His lead.
It is written: “Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15
Therefore: Greed is a big problem everywhere; so many people (and countries) want what they don’t have. At the end of life, no one wishes they had more things. I must not allow things to define, or control me; I must surrender my possessions to God, and be ready at any time to give as He leads. If I have, and give love, I am wealthy beyond measure.
I is written: “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12: 21
Therefore: All the riches in the world can’t buy me a ticket to eternal life, or to happiness. My relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit bring me the most satisfaction, peace and joy, I could ever hope for.
It is written: “Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox (Herod) that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose.” Luke 13:32
Therefore: Whatever God has called me to do, I will continue to do no matter what. Threats of death or imprisonment can’t stop those who know what they are called to do. When I am doing what God has called me to do, I will continue until He chooses to take me home, not man. That way I can live in peace, not fear.
It is written: “One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely.” Luke 14 1
Therefore: Jesus was not threatened by the Pharisees, and what they might do to Him; He was not afraid to have dinner them. He knew His identity, and He knew His purpose. Lord, help me not be threatened, or fearful of those who oppose me, or are different than me. I want to walk fearlessly wherever I am called too, knowing You are with me.
It is written: “ For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
Therefore: If I know my identity in Christ, I won’t need to try and prove my worth, my status, how much I know, or who I know. If someone wants to honor me in some way, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine too, because that’s not where I’m looking for my identity, love, acceptance, or praise.
It is written: “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” Luke 14:33
Therefore: At this time God hasn’t called me to sell everything, and start living completely by faith. Thank You Jesus! But still, once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I became His disciple. There is a cost to being sold out for Jesus. Not only do I surrender my possessions, my house, car, job, etc., but I also surrender my heart. By giving up everything,, could that possibly include: hate, fear, greed, unforgiveness, bitterness, selfishness, etc.
It is written: “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10
Therefore: I will never hesitate to repent when I’ve done wrong. Afterwards, I will rejoice with the angels in heaven.
It is written: “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” Luke 19:26
Therefore: There is always a way to use the gifts and talents God has given me. As long as I can talk, I can bless and encourage with my spoken words. As long as I have use of my hands I can send emails, or cards. As long as I can walk, I can go and be God’s servant. God will always show me a way to use what He’s given me. Even if disaster happens and I can no longer use my gifts the way I have been, He will show me a new way.
It is written: “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not? He saw through their trickery and said, … Luke 20:21-23
Therefore: There are people in the world who try and flatter others with what seems like compliments, and kind words, but all they really want to do is trick you. So I must be listening to Holy Spirit all the time, I must answer with God’s truth, in love.
It is written: “Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.” Luke 22:15
Therefore: Jesus was actually looking forward to His last meal. He knew His suffering and death were coming soon; He knew what He came to earth to do, was coming to an end. I need to be eagerly enjoying every part of my journey, right up to the very end. God put me here for a purpose, I want to eagerly pursue and complete His plans for my life.
It is written: “Then He (Jesus) opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45
Therefore: I’m sure Jesus’ disciples had read or heard these same Scriptures before, but it was at the perfect time that Jesus opened their minds. Many times I read God’s Word and new understanding comes to something I had read many times, God’s perfect timing. So when I come across Scripture that I don’t understand and don’t seem to be getting any revelation, I can count on God to reveal His perfect understanding when I need it.
It is written: “He (Jesus) came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.” John 1:10
Therefore: Jesus got no recognition when He came for all He had done, and all He created form the beginning of time. But that didn’t keep Him from loving me, you and everyone else. That didn’t keep Him for giving His life as a sacrifice for everyone. It doesn’t matter if I get recognized for what I do, or have done in the past, that will not keep me from being and doing what I was created to for. God recognized Jesus when no one else did, and He recognizes me, even if no one else does.
It is written: “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” John 1:16
Therefore: Jesus never runs out of blessings for me. I may harden my heart so that I don’t see or recognize them, but that doesn’t stop Him from blessing me. I need to be thanking Him daily for abundantly blessings me. By faith I receive every one of these blessings, no matter what my current circumstances look like.
It is written: “I (John) did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.” John 1: 33
Therefore: John was doing what he was called to do. He knew greater things were coming; he knew the Messiah was coming. But he couldn’t make it happen; it was all in God’s perfect timing. Then one day the heavens opened, and Holy Spirit descended; the day he had been waiting for had come. I know greater things are in my future, but for now I will continue doing what I’m supposed to do; I trust God for His perfect timing in my life.
It is written: “Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: "Passion for God's house will consume Me." John 2:17
Therefore: Jesus was passionate about God house, His temple. I am now God’s temple, and I need to be passionate that His temple, my body, is clean and undefiled. I need to be consumed with purity of heart.
It is written: “…. Therefore, I am filled with joy at His (Jesus) success.” John 3:29
Therefore: There was no competition in John’s eyes. He was thrilled that people started to go to Jesus for baptism and teachings; he knew the Father’s plan. I too need to know the Father’s plan. I need to be thrilled when others surpass me because they are doing what God has called them to do. I need to be thrilled when those I’ve taught surpass me. No jealousy, no competition, no offence, just pure joy and love that we are all doing what we’ve been called to do.
It is written: “…She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” John 4:9
Therefore: The Samaritan woman could have been intimidated by Jesus, she could have simply given Him some water without saying anything; I can take a lesson from her. It’s ok to ask questions about things I don’t understand, in fact, it could be life changing. No person, or group of people should ever make me feel so low that I can’t ask a question. If they’re self-righteousness, they have the problem, not me.
It is written: “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
Therefore: I have to allow my worship to flow from my spirit, not my intellect. This has been a challenge for me over the years. But as I get to know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit personally, and intimately; as I allow myself to live in the spirit realm on a regular basis, it’s easier.
It is written: “Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” John 4:34
Therefore: Nourishment is what sustains us physically, without it we die. But Jesus is saying He gets His nourishment from doing God’s will. Could doing the will of God actually bring nourishment to my body; could it heal what needs healing? Do I need to get my mind off of myself, and on to doing the will of God? Hmmm, that’s food for thought.
It is written: “…Turning to Philip, he (Jesus) asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.” John 6:5-6
Therefore: I wonder how often Jesus is testing me? When something seems utterly impossible, I need to keep in mind who is asking me to do it. If it’s Jesus, then the impossible becomes the possible.
It is written: “But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum.” John 6:17
Therefore: Where was Jesus? Was He praying, healing the sick, getting to know someone better, or just getting some alone time? We don’t know where He was, but he was probably about His Father’s business. That’s a place I want to learn to live from.
It is written: “The people were surprised when they heard him (Jesus). “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.” John 7:15
Therefore: Just because someone isn’t trained in seminary, or Bible School, doesn’t mean they don’t have a message from God to share. God can use anyone to spread His gospel; all He needs is a willing, teachable heart. All He needs is someone so in love with Him, they can’t keep quiet about it.
It is written: “Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.” John 7:30
Therefore” When I’m in the perfect will of God, there is no need to fear for my life.
It is written: “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:2-3
Therefore: I am not to judge when someone is sick, or in need of healing. Yes, sometimes it’s a result of sin, sometimes not. We all need to do our part when sick or in need of healing: pray, confess, repent, listen, and obey; but not to be too quick to judge.
It is written: “After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4
Therefore: I get frustrated when someone calls me and doesn’t identify who they are, they just expect me to know. People I talk with on a regular basis are no problem, I know their voice. However, people I’ve only talked (or listened) to only few times are not familiar to me yet. Jesus is talking all the time; it’s my responsibility to listen, so I don’t get lost.
It is written: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10
Therefore: It’s so comforting to know that the desire of Jesus’ heart and His purpose is to bring me a rich, satisfying, abundant life. Trials, challenges, illness, misfortunes may come from time to time, but they are not meant to take me down and keep me there. Even if life’s challenges take me down for a while, my attitude can soar in the heavenlies with Jesus. Even when the enemy does steal, kill and destroy things around me, my focus stays on Jesus, and His purpose for me.
It is written: “Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” John 10:32
Therefore: The Father directed everything Jesus did while here on earth. I’m sure there was l lot of “good” that Jesus could have done; people may of wondered why He didn’t sometimes. But Jesus chose the “God” over the “good”, no matter what others might of said, or thought. I need to make sure I do the same.
It is written: “He (Caiaphas) did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.” John 11:49
Therefore: God can use anyone, at any time, to prophesy, and they can be spot on. Fellow believers can prophesy and be wrong; therefore discernment comes into play in either case. I can’t dismiss something someone says because of who they are, God may be using them.
It is written: “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!” John 12: 27
Therefore: At what point in my life does God point and say, “There, right there, that’s why you were created!” Will it be in my teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, I don’t know, only God does. Was I created for multiple purposes, or just one finite moment in time? Lord, give the me strength to get through the difficult times, especially those times I have been specifically created for.
It is written: “And when I (Jesus) am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” John 12:32
Therefore: May those very words of Jesus penetrate into the souls of all my unbelieving family members (or anyone). May they feel that tug on their hearts, and allow themselves to be drawn to Jesus.
It is written: “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:43
Therefore: I need to keep my motives in check; I need to make sure I’m not drawn towards human praise. Pleasing God has to remain my number one concern every day.
It is written: “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it”. John 12:49
Therefore: The world would be a much nicer place to live if everyone who said anything would follow Jesus’ example. Are my choice of words, tone of voice, and facial expression all Spirit led? Not always, not yet; but I will keep striving for it.
It is written: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34
Therefore: I’m not told to approve of someone’s lifestyle, or the choices they make. I am told to love, just like Jesus loves me. It’s easy to love the loveable, but it’s the unloveable that needs my love too. But how do I love the murderer, the pedophile, the abusive person, the cheaters, liars, manipulators, deceivers, etc. The only way I have found to be able to do this is to bless them to be who God created them to be; bless them to have a face-to-face encounter with Jesus. Through the blessings, love can come.
It is written: “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35
Therefore: There’s an old song ‘They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love’. But do they? For some, they see Christians as finger pointing, preachy, holier than Thou, judgmental, and religious. They need to see us united, helping, encouraging, building up, and just plain loving each other. Then, they will be interested in meeting our Jesus.
It is written: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.” John 14:1
Therefore: According to the medical field, over 80% of all illnesses start from stress, anxiety, fear, etc. all the opposite of trusting in God. If I can do something about whatever is bothering me, then I should just do it. If I can’t do anything, because it is out of my control, then I have to release it into God’s hands. Why hold on to worry, anxiety or fear if I can’t do anything about it. The length and health of our lives depend on us trusting God.
It is written: “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Therefore: It’s all about Jesus! Whatever my need, Jesus is the answer. And the only way to access the God of this universe, is through His son, Jesus. There are many gods that people commit their entire lives serving, but the one and only true God can only be accessed through Jesus. Jesus really is my way, my truth, and my life.
It is written: “The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.” John 14:10
Therefore: I wonder how my daily life would change if I were so tuned into God’s heart and voice, that everything I did was a result of Him working through me. Teach me Lord, because that’s the desire of my heart.
It is written: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12
Therefore: Because I believe and have Holy Spirit in me, how can I not at least attempt to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, etc. Even though I have prayed for the sick, the dead, and the demon possessed and at times not seen the magnifications of answered prayer, doesn’t mean that I don’t have the power and authority to do it. I cannot allow the times when it “seems” like nothing is happening to override my faith that God says I can do the same works and even greater works than He did. I believe, therefore I can!
It is written: “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “John 14:13&14
Therefore: How many times have I asked and not received? Hundreds. Were all my requests so that Jesus can bring glory to the Father? Probably not all, but a lot were. This verse remains a bit of a mystery to me, but I will continue praying in Jesus name. I will not allow my lack of understanding the fullness of Scripture to keep me from doing what I know Jesus said to do. I will continue to ask in Jesus name. I will leave the rest to God.
It is written: “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1&2
Therefore: I never realized that Jesus needed pruning, how much more then do I? I may have branches that look green, leafy, and beautiful; however if they are not producing fruit, they need to be cut off. Father God, I beg of You to cut off all of my unproducing branches, and to give me a good pruning whenever needed.
It is written: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
Therefore: If am to remain (continue, endure, persist, stay, linger, wait) in Jesus, then I can’t leave Him. How do I do this ALL the time? It’s like I need to be super glued to Him. Just like when I cut a branch off one of the trees in my yard, it starts to wither within a few days, at what point do I start to wither when I come unglued from Jesus?
It is written: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Therefore: Apart from Jesus I can do nothing? What about all I’ve accomplished in my life, the good things I’ve done, the classes I’ve taught, the sacrifices I’ve made for God? But apart from Jesus, all I have done is nothing. I want my fruit to be the result of God’s pruning and daily concern and care of me; I want my fruit to have God’s stamp of approval all over it. Lord, I want to produce a bumper crop this year.
It is written: “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:7
Therefore: My part is to remain in Jesus and allow His words to remain in me; my part is to ask for what I want; and then my part is to allow God to be God. My part is to trust that His Word is true, even if I don’t understand what’s happening, or seems to not be happening.
It is written: “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.” John 15:8
Therefore: Sometimes I think of fruit as things I’ve done for God. But there’s also the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self- control. The fruit of life: goodness, righteousness and truth; the fruit of holiness, wisdom, or repentance. The desire of my heart is to bear much fruit to bring God glory, not myself, not my ministry, not my church, but God.
It is written: “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” John 15:9
Therefore: I am to love others as Jesus loves me, and as the Father loves Him. To do this I must get to know how each One loves. If I am feeling alone and unloved I must ask myself if I am still remaining in Jesus’ love, chances are, I’ve wiggled away. I like feeling loved by Jesus, Holly Spirit and Father God, so I am going to remain in their love by staying as close as I can at all times.
It is written: “When you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10
Therefore: Jesus now tells me how I can remain in His love, by example. Just as He obeyed His father, I will obey Him. Jesus’ greatest command was for me to love, myself and others. It seems so simple, but it’s not. Love looks like something. What does it look like in my life, in yours? To remain in that kind of love in this day and age takes continued awareness of my thoughts, motives and actions. It takes continued awareness that I am in Christ Jesus and His love, and I never plan on being out of it.
It is written: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11
Therefore: What would life look like if I walked in complete joy 24/7? That is the desire of God’s heart, and available to me as I remain in Christ Jesus. I can endure anything with the complete joy of Jesus inside me. So when I feel like joy is slipping away from me, I will snuggle up with Jesus and allow His joy to pour into me.
It is written: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:12
Therefore: There are 100’s of commands in the Bible, yet they can all be summed up in this: I must love others as Jesus loves me. How does Jesus love me? If I don’t know, then how will I know how to love others? If I only read about how Jesus loves me, I am missing out on His complete love. I must experience it first hand, today. So that today, I can love others. Jesus, make me aware of how You love me, so I can love others.
It is written: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Therefore: “Lay down” does not mean, “to die”. It can include that, but it is so much more. It’s to surrender my selfishness, my desires, my needs. It’s taking time out of my day to help someone, pray for them, or just sit and talk. I was not put on this earth to be consumed with myself, but to love others. Lord, I need a little help in this area.
It is written: “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” John 15:15
Therefore: I am a friend of Jesus, how awesome is that? Even though I am no longer a slave, I am so willing to serve, not my master, but my friend. It seems the disciples became Jesus’ friend as they sat and listened to all He had to say, as He confided in them. As a friend, I must do the same.
It is written: “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16
Therefore: Jesus chose me. He chose me with the purpose of bearing fruit that would last, or remain. That means there should not be dormant months without fruit. Anything I ask in Jesus name for the purpose of bearing lasting fruit I will receive. I don’t have to beg God for it, I just ask and it’s mine. I must keep in mind though that I might not always see the fruit I bear, sometimes I just have to trust God.
It is written: “This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17
Therefore: Such a simple command – love each other. Yet as I look around, even among believers, I don’t see it. I have to ask forgiveness for all the times I didn’t love when I could of. Lord, it is the desire of my heart to love others, please help me see when I’m missing the mark; please fine-tune me in this area.
It is written: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:18-19
Therefore: If I’m not part of this world, what am I a part of? It must be the part where Jesus resides, how cool is that. Yet, as my body is still here in this world, it can be a bit challenging at times. Jesus chose me to come out of this world, and to join Him in His. It comes with a cost (hate, betrayal, etc.), am I willing to pay it? I say yes!
It is written: “They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.” John 15:22
Therefore: Once I know something is true, I have a responsibility to do something; denial is no longer a viable option. Whether it’s sin in my life, my city, my country, or stepping on the scale and seeing that dreaded number, the choice to change is up to me. Acknowledging truth is very powerful and can lead to complete freedom, and God’s Word is always truth.
It is written: “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. This is because they have never known the Father or me.” John 16:1-3
Therefore: Wow, does that sound familiar today? For those who think we all worship the same God, Jesus says differently here. Only a personal, intimate relationship with the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit can keep my faith going strong no matter what is happening around me, or to me.
It is written: “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me (Jesus).” John 16:9
Therefore: Instead of concentrating on the multitude of sin taking place in the world, maybe I should be looking at what the real problem is – people refuse to believe in Jesus. How will this happen in the world we live in? First, by me really believing in Jesus and all that he said and did, and is still doing. Then, by me sharing this with others.
It is written: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” John 16:13
Therefore: Since Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, I have access to Him 24/7. How exciting and comforting to know that I have with me all the time, someone whose job it is, to guide me into all truth. This is someone I really want to get to know and become friends with. How, by spending time in His presence, talking to Him, listening, and obeying? How, by just sitting back and saying, “Holy Spirit, come and consume me”.
It is written: “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.” John 16:22
Therefore: I may have to hold on tight, with both hands, but no one can rob me of my joy. I can however surrender it freely to the enemy, stressful situations, or irritating people. It’s my choice during the sorrowful, difficult times in life, to either surrender my joy to another, or hold on with all I have.
It is written: “You haven’t done this before. Ask (the Father), using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” John 16:24
Therefore: The power of Jesus’ name is beyond measure. It seems like, as I ask (talk to) the Father in Jesus’ name, my joy goes from regular joy to abundant joy. Also, I have access to the Father and He likes for me to talk to Him and ask Him things, how awesome is that? It is my goal to be talking to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all throughout the day, just like they were my best friends, oh yeah, they are.
It is written: “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me” John 16:32
Therefore: It doesn’t matter if every one of my friends and family members turn their backs on me, or just can’t be here when I need them. I am never alone; I am never without someone to talk to, or to cry out to. And actually, sometimes having no one to talk to but the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, is a very beneficial thing. Thank you Jesus, I am NEVER alone.
It is written: “I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4
Therefore: The greatest desire of my heart is to bring God glory, and this verse tells me how. What work has God given me to do? I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve wished many times that God would just give me a blueprint of what He wants me to do, and I will be thrilled to do it. But it doesn’t always work that way. It’s only through intimacy and time spent with God that He will reveals the works he has for me; sometimes is one frame at a time. So I will stay the course, believing in faith that I’m on the right path, and giving Him permission daily to redirect me if necessary.
It is written: “I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23
Therefore: Is Jesus really saying that God loves me in the same way He loves Jesus, that’s sobering? It was Jesus’ prayer that I experience such perfect unity between Father, Son, & Holy Spirit that when others look at me they would see that God loves them this way also. Unity is so important, not just between me and God, but between me and other believers. The world needs to see unity when they look at believers; Lord, may it start with me.
It is written: “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25
Therefore: Not everything that Jesus said or did is in the Bible; He is so much more. I cannot allow myself to believe that the total of who He is and what He can do is limited to His written Word. I must not walk in fear or judgment of how God may choose to do things; this is where knowing the character of God is so important.
It is written: “These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. ….No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:15-17
Therefore: Peter was stating that the “last days” had begun, so apparently we’ve been living in the last days for the past 2,000 years. So prophesying, dreams and visions should be a part of our daily lives. Ok Lord, I’m ready!
It is written: “But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. …...” Acts 2:23
Therefore: God may have some prearranged plans for my life that I don’t know about. So even when it looks like nothing is working out for me, and everything is going wrong, it may all be according to His plans for my life. As I continue in my love relationship with Him, I can continue to trust that He knows what He’s doing.
It is written: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” Acts 3:19
Therefore: No matter what sin I may commit, freedom comes when I repent (ask forgiveness, plan on never doing it again, turning the other way) and turn to God. Then I no longer have to carry the guilt of that sin around, because it’s been wiped away. Of course the choice is mine, I can believe that It’s been wiped away like His Word says, or I can believe the enemy as he taunts me with lies that I'm not forgiven.
It is written: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people,“ Acts 4:8
Therefore: Before speaking with any official or governmental person, I should do as Peter did, make sure I am filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is written: “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13
Therefore: Being with Jesus trumps all other forms of education. Jesus loved being with ordinary people, teaching them who He was and the power of His name. As long as I keep “being with Jesus” my priority, He can use me for anything.
It is written: “But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?” Acts 4:19
Therefore: Sometimes the most daring, courageous thing I can do is to obey Jesus. Obeying His Word is pretty easy to understand; obeying what He tells me, or what I think He’s telling me can be a bit of a challenge at times. I’d rather err on the side of obeying what I think He’s telling me than on the notion that it might, or might not be Him. Of course, if what I think He’s telling me goes against the principles in Scripture, I’m probably not hearing correctly
It is written: “Stretch out your (God) hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:30
Therefore: There may be miraculous signs and wonders just waiting for me to activate. May I walk in humble confidence, knowing and using the powerful name of Jesus.
It is written: “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
Therefore: The believers were already filled with Holy Spirit back in Acts 2, and here they are being filled again. I always have Holy Spirit in me, no question about it. But it’s as if Holy Spirit in me is water filling about ¼ of a glass with water. Yes, I have water in my glass, but there’s a difference between ¼ filled and overflowing. Jesus wants me to be overflowing with Holy Spirit, that’s where the power is.
It is written: The Lord said “…….” “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias…. But the Lord said,…..Acts 9:11, 13, 15
Therefore: God is relational, He’s not offended by my questions or need for clarification. He may not always give it, but I can certainly ask for it without fear. And, sometimes God does change His mind at the request of His loved ones.
It is written: “Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.” Acts 9:34&35
Therefore: Some think miracles are not for today. But since everyone in two cities were saved because of one miracle, I think God had, and still has a very good way of getting people’s attention. More Lord, more!
It is written: “But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” Acts 10:15
Therefore: It doesn’t matter what’s in my past, how filthy it may have been. What matters is that when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I was made clean in an instant. I may need to remind myself of that from time to time. As soon as I start to even think that I'm unclean, unworthy, unforgiven, I need to rebuke that lie and replace it with the truth.
It is wr
itten: “Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.” Acts 12:23
Therefore: God struck Herod dead for receiving worship that belonged to Him alone. I need to be very careful not to worship another human being. Just because someone walks in high prophetic giftings, miracles, signs and wonders, I am not to run after the person. I can go knowing that God uses them for mighty things, but my praise and worship belong to Him alone.
It is written: “So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” Acts 16:24-25
Therefore: I visited some of the dungeons when I was in Israel, they were rooms dug down in the ground, small and dark. Instead of fearful pleading, or fervent prayer, they were singing hymns to God. They were worshiping, and others were listening. What an awesome example of how to react when things aren't going as planned.
It is written: “When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town.” Acts16:40
Therefore: After being beaten and spending the night in a dungeon, they get out and start encouraging others. Wow, what an example. Lord, help me to remember this verse when I'm tired and a bit self-centered.
It is written: “For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'” Acts 17:28
Therefore: If I were to sit in a sauna for a while, my whole body would become hot. With each breath I took I would feel the heat going in me. Well, I live in God. So with each breath I take, in I breathe Him in. If I move around much in a sauna I get to much heat and it’s hard to breath. But as I live and move and exist in God, each breath just gets sweeter and sweeter.
It is written: “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.” Acts 17:30
Therefore: There is no time like the present to repent of any sin in my life, and turn to Jesus. It easy, I just say Lord, I am so sorry for doing ……., I’m going to stop doing that right now. You, and You alone are my Lord and Savior.
It is written: “But one time when they tried it (casting out evil spirits), the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” Acts 19:15
Therefore: I have to know who I am; the enemy has to know that I know who I am. Then, I am equipped to do battle against the enemy. My identity, power and authority need to come from God, not a course I took, or a conference I went to. I'm teaching a class in identity right now, I’m going to a conference in a few weeks, and these are great ways to grow and learn. But ultimately, it’s through intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that true identity comes.
It is written: “When we get together, I (Paul) want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Rom 1:12
Therefore: It’s always fun being around uplifting, encouraging people of faith. However, I must remember that they too need encouragement, just like Paul. Lord, make me aware when I need to be the encourager, and make others aware when I need it.
It is written: “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” Rom 1:25
Therefore: What are some of these created things worshiped today? Celebrities, fame, wealth, prophets, miracles, gold dust, feathers, the Bible, work, beautiful body, youth, sports, TV, spouse, children, etc. God the Father, Jesus His Son, and Holy Spirit alone are worthy of worship and eternal praise.
It is written: “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.” Rom 1:29
Therefore: Of course murder, envy and lying are sin, they are part of the big 10. But what about quarreling, malicious behavior, and gossip, how often are these part of our lives? These too are all considered wicked in God’s eyes.
It is written: “For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.” Rom 2:13
Therefore: Going to church every Sunday doesn’t make me right with God. Listening to sermons on TV doesn’t make me right with God. Obeying God’s Word, and His voice, make me right with Him.
It is written: “No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.” Rom 2:29
Therefore: A true circumcision is a changed heart produced by Holy Spirit, not manipulation, guilt, or anything else. When I truly have a changed heart, I will seek praise from God and not man. It seems this is at times, a work in progress.
It is written: “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” Rom 3:22
Therefore: What a relief that I’m not made right with God by doing good, memorizing scripture, or keeping all His commandments. I am made right by believing, and placing my faith in Jesus Christ. My faith cannot be in anyone else, or my job, education, wealth, status in life, etc. What a doable way to be right with God.
It is written: “….God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” Rom 3:26
Therefore: It doesn’t matter how sinful I was in the past; Even if I were a murderer, molester, gang member, prostitute, abuser, etc. No matter what I did in the past, I am made right when I believe in Jesus and give my life to Him.
It is written: “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.” Rom 4:20
Therefore: Glory was not given to God because of the miracle of conceiving in old age. Glory was given to God during the very long period of waiting without wavering in belief. So I may be waiting for a promise I’ve received from God, while He may be waiting for me to bring Him glory by growing stronger in my faith of believing, during my time of waiting.
It was written: “And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Rom 4:23-24
Therefore: I can stop striving to be righteous, feeling guilty when I'm not perfect. I am righteous because I believe in God, not because of anything else I’ve done, or not done.
It is written: “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Rom 5:11
Therefore: It just doesn’t get much better than being friends with the God of the universe. And what do really good friends do when they get together? Talk, laugh, cry, giggle, smile, share secrets, have fun, relax with no agenda, etc.. Yes, God is my friend, and He’s never to busy, or on the phone; He’s always available to be with me.
It is written: “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Rom 8:35&37
Therefore: It doesn’t matter what I'm going through, God loves me, period! It doesn’t matter if I’m going through a season of trouble, tragedy, persecution, hunger, homelessness, or not being healed, Jesus loves me. The victory is mine despite what my circumstances look like.
It is written: “I was found by people who were not looking for Me. I showed Myself to those who were not asking for Me.” Rom 10:20
Therefore: I can trust God to make Himself known to my loved ones, whether they are searching for Him or not.
It is written: “For I (Paul) want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you Gentiles have, so I might save some of them.” Rom 11:14
Therefore: I have to ask myself, “Do others want what I have?” Are they attracted to my love, joy, peace, freedom, security, salvation, fun, purpose, passion, identity, etc.? If not, I need to make some changes.
It is written: “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!” Rom 11:33
Therefore: I will not allow my lack of understanding to determine my degree of faith. I choose to trust in God’s wisdom, and His timing.
It is written: “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” Rom 11:36
Therefore: I am here for God’s glory, what a sobering thought. Sometimes I can’t imagine how I’m bringing God glory, but by faith I believe I do. By faith, I surrender everything to Him, and by faith I believe He has me on the path He intended from the beginning so I can continue to bring Him glory.
It is written: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Rom 12:10
Therefore: My love will look like something, it’s not just words. I will look for opportunities to encourage and honor others.
It is written: “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.” Rom 12:14
Therefore: I will not retaliate; I will not gossip; I will not justify my actions when others hurt me. I will bless them to be all God created them to be. I will bless them with the love of Jesus. I will bless them to walk in the glory of the Lord.
It is written: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” Rom 13:1-2
Therefore: Interesting coming from Paul, who had bean beaten and put in prison (by the government) many times for preaching about Jesus. I don’t have to agree with the government, and I can do things to change it, in a respectful way. But if I step into rebellion and allow junk to come out of my mouth against any part of the government, I better be ready to accept the punishment that will be coming. These governmental people need my prayers and blessings, not criticism and curses.
It is written: “Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” Rom 13:10
Therefore: Love doesn’t hurt; it doesn’t hit, curse, put down, ignore, ridicule, lie, threaten, etc., even if followed with, “I’m sorry”. I am called to love others. Lord, help me to see when I’m not loving, but actually hurting others. And, help me discern when others say they love me, but really don’t.
It is written: “Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” Rom 13:14
Therefore: If I clothe myself in formal attire, I’d be inconspicuous at a wedding or opera, but I’d stand out at the beach, or a ball game. If I clothe myself in the presence of Jesus, and stay that way, I’d stand out indulging in evil desires. So my desire is to stay clothed in His presence 24/7.
It is written: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom 15:13
Therefore: God is my source of hope; He’s the source of my joy, and He’s the source of my peace. As I trust in Him, and the power of Holy Spirit, I can exchange living in fear with living in confident hope.
It is written: “Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.” Rom 16:16
Therefore: Paul mentioned 15 times in Rom 16:1-16 to greet people. These days that would most likely be a hug, or at least an acknowledgment of existence. So instead of just gathering together with other believers, finding my seat and sitting down, I will make an effort to greet those around me.
It is written: “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 1:7
Therefore: I can no longer say to someone in need, “I can’t help you, that’s not where my gifting is.” I can be at any given moment whatever you are in need of. If you need a prophetic word, let me ask God for one. If you need a healing, I know the Healer. If you need wisdom, let us ask together. Yes, we all have our special giftings, but I can’t allow my lack of understanding or confidence to keep you from your breakthrough.
It is written: “And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.” 1Cor 2:4
Therefore: Whether I am teaching, preaching, sharing, or discussing, if I rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide my words I can’t go wrong. This can take all fear out of speaking in front one person, or thousands.
It is written: “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor 2:9
Therefore: It just doesn’t get much better than this. God is so awesome, and He has awesome things prepared for me, because I choose to love Him. Will I experience all this awesomeness here on earth? Probably not, but it’s coming none the less.
It is written: “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” 1 Cor 3:7
Therefore: I may never know how my words or my actions might be used. This morning I might plant a seed by something I say; this afternoon I might water a seed by a simple, random act of kindness. I may never see the fruit that I helped produce, but I can’t allow that to keep me from doing my part.
It is written: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:11
Therefore: Jesus is the foundation for everything I am and do, it’s all about Him. The foundation is the most important part of any building. Though not seen, without a good foundation the house is in jeopardy of falling during a stormy season. I have to build up my foundation in Jesus through intimacy, trust and faith. Then when the stormy seasons come, I can stand firm without wavering.
It is written: “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” 1 Cor 4:20
Therefore: Every area of my life needs to reflect God’s power. I need to walk, talk, work, play, love, worship, evangelize, minister, raise my children, and use my gifts by God’s power, not my own. Again, love looks like something, it’s not just words.
It is written: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” 1 Cor 6:9-10
Therefore: The word that caught my eye here is “greedy”, it’s thrown in with all the other sin. I best not think to highly of myself for being sexually pure, when I know I fall short in the greedy category. Sin is sin! Thankfully I can repent and be restored.
It is written: “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body (the temple of the Holy Spirit).” 1 Cor 6:18
Therefore: Sex sells, so billions are spent every year enticing us in this area. It’s not an area easily ignored, now, or 2000 years ago. Paul says to “run”, do whatever is necessary to avoid this sin. With Jesus Christ all things are possible, with His help the enemy can be defeated in this area.
It is written: “God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.” 1 Cor 7:23
Therefore: I must have a talk with God and see if I am enslaved by anything. Possibly, fear, unforgiveness, addictions, work, laziness, hobbies, debt, etc. He will tell me, and He will also help me find that freedom that He paid for with His life.
It is written: “Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” 1 Cor 7:31
Therefore: If God were to call me to a part of the world where I didn’t have all my things, my comforts, would it be ok? If God told be to give them away, and live a very modest lifestyle, would it be ok? So far, I’m still called to live right where I’m at, thank you Jesus. But as I surrender everything to Him, I need to be willing at any moment to lay things and comforts down, and follow the leading of my Lord and Savior.
It is written: “….. While knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.” 1 Cor 8:1
Therefore: It doesn’t really matter how many Bible verses I can quote, or how many times I’ve read the Bible all the way through, or what university I graduated from, or if I can debate you on any topic and win. What really matters is, do I love. If we all just loved a little more, the church would be strong and united, and people would be attracted to it.
It is written: “In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.” 1 Cor 8:14
Therefore: I should support speakers and ministries I benefit from. I should also help support the guest speakers who come to my church. And I should definitely help support the guest speaker who stays after for an hour or two praying for everyone, especially if I’m one of them. Yes, they are called by God to preach the Good News, but they still have financial obligations, just like I do.
It is written: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” :7
Therefore: The purpose of my gift(s) is to help others, not to edify myself or anyone else. It doesn’t matter how many gifts God has blessed me with, it is my responsibility to use them as intended, helping others.
It is written: “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.” 1 Cor 12:11
Therefore: How exciting to know that Holy Spirit personally decided which gift He would give me. And since Holy Spirit also gave others their giftings, there is no place for envy or jealously. I need to steward the gift Holy Spirit has given to me; I need to use it to help others and bring God Glory. It doesn’t matter if I have one very small gift, or many. What matters is that I was hand selected by Holy Spirit for mine.
It is written: “But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.” “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.”1 Cor 12:18 & 22
Therefore: I need to honor and celebrate my place in the body of Christ. I may struggle at times to know just where my place is, but as I seek God and grow in intimacy with Him, I can trust Him to position me just where I belong.
It is written: “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Cor 16:13-14
Therefore: As part of my everyday life I am to be on guard, standing firm, being courageous, and being strong. It sounds like a description of the military, yet we are all called to live this way. And to top it off, we are to do it all with love. Can everything really be done with love? I think so, but if in doubt, just ask Abba.
It is written: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:18
Therefore: Since the veil was removed when I turned to Christ many years ago, I can see and should reflect the glory of the Lord. Yearly, if not weekly or daily, I should be changing more and more into the glorious image of Jesus. If I’ve stop changing I must ask myself if I’ve stopped positioning myself to see, to really look and see face to face the glory of God.
It is written: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Cor 4:8
Therefore: How can we be pressed on every side by __________ (whatever) and not be crushed? Because God is like bubble wrap all around us. The outside box may get a bit banged up, but the precious gift inside is protected.
It is written: “We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Cor 4:9
Therefore: How glorious to know that no matter what happens God is with me. He never promised that a life serving Him would be pain free. But He did promise to never leave me. And with God on my side, the battle is already won.
It is written: “Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies.” 2 Cor 4:11
Therefore: Some things never change. There will always be those threatened by my love for Jesus, so I’d better settle in my heart now how I will live, or die for Him.
It is written: “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” “For we live by believing and not by seeing.”2 Cor 4:18& 2 Cor 5:7
Therefore: This is so contrary to the natural world of “If I can’t see it, I don’t believe it”. But that’s what faith is, believing without seeing. Believing that God really is who He says He is; believing that He really is bigger than my present troubles and circumstances. There are so many other ways to see God than with my natural eyes.
It is written: “So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.” 2 Cor 5:9
Therefore: My ultimate goal is to find out what pleases Jesus, and do it. I am finding out what pleases Him most (for me) is our relationship, my making Him part of my everyday life. It would be easier if I could just do, do, do, but He likes it when I just am. I please Him when I try to love like Him and be like Him. It’s a journey, an awesome, amazing journey.
It is written: “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Cor 5:20
Therefore: No matter what I’ve done wrong, I can always “come back to God”. He welcomes me with open arms. Once my granddaughter came crying to me saying “Grandma, I’m sooooo sorry, I was touching something in your room and it came open, I’m sooooo sorry”. I could tell by the smell that she had gotten into, my anointing oil. So I took her in my arms and told her how proud I was that she came to me, forgave her, and then anointed her with the oil, and gave her a good blessing.
It is written: “We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.” 2 Cor 6:6
Therefore: Here’s a case where actions speak louder than words. The world is watching, what do they see?
It is written: “We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.” 2 Cor 6:7
Therefore: What weapons are in my arsenal? A sharp tongue, quick rebuke, scripture quoting, religious attitude, or, righteousness, covered with God’s power and love in me.
It is written: “We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us
or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors.” 2 Cor 6:8
Therefore: it’s easy to serve God around people who love and honor me, who praise me for what I do, or who I am. I cannot allow what other people think about me, or treat me, to influence the way I serve God. My goal is to please God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
It is written: “We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Cor 6:9-10
Therefore: When it appears like everything is falling apart and everyone is against me, I need to keep my focus on Jesus. By keeping my eyes on Him I will be able to see all that I do have, which far outweighs what I don’t have.
It is written: “Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 2 Cor 8:1-2
Therefore: It always amazes me how so many people who are going through troubled times and who are financially poor, are so abundantly filled with joy. And to top it off, they are such givers, giving the little they have to help others. While others, rich by so many standards, have no joy, and no giving heart. How I choose to respond to circumstance in my life is entirely up to me.
It is written: “I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.” Gal 1:12
Therefore: I will position myself to receive direct revelation from Jesus. I will spend time getting to know Him intimately, learning to hear His voice above all others. Teachers, preachers, conferences, books, DVD’s, CD’s are great, but direct revelation from Jesus far surpasses anything else.
It is written: “But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles.” Gal 1:15-16
Therefore: What a beautiful way to look at it, “Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me”. Paul could have been angry or offended that God didn’t reveal Jesus sooner; he could have been angry or offended that God waited so long to position him where he was created and chosen to be. I need to rejoice and enjoy the journey God has me on. As I stay connected to Him, He will keep me on the right path.
It is written: “Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” Gal 2:16
Therefore: Hallelujah, thank you Jesus. I am not made right with God by anything I do or don’t do, and I cannot allow myself to get caught up in that performance trap. It’s not my faith in Jesus and …….., it’s faith in Jesus, period.
It is written: “The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.” Gal 4:23
Therefore: It’s never a good idea to try and hurry up God’s perfect timing on His promises. It may look all right in the beginning, but it will never be God’s best for me. I need to position myself with patience, trust and faith in God’s perfect timing. And in the meantime I remain teachable and surrendered to God.
It is written: “It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.” Gal 6:15
Therefore: It doesn’t really matter how much I know, how educated I am in religious studies, or how many Bible studies I have taught. What matters is, does my life reflect that I am transformed?
It is written: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Eph 1:3
Therefore: I have already been blessed. Not may be, not will be, not if I’m good enough, but already have been. My mind cannot even fathom what “every spiritual blessing” even looks like, but it sure sounds good to me. They are mine, now. Lord, I receive without doubt, every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms that are mine, and my families. May they start manifesting in my life today.
It is written: “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” Eph 1:14
Therefore: Everything I have, everything Jesus did for me, should lead to me praising and glorifying Him. I want that praise and glorifying to be so ingrained in me that no matter the circumstance I find myself in, my natural instinct will be to praise and glorify God.
It is written: “I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.” Eph 1:16-17
Therefore: God wants me to know Him on a personal level, how exciting is that? He is not a hidden god made of wood or stone; He is not a god that has been dead for centuries; He is the living God, creator of the universe, and He wants me to be forever growing closer to Him. Just when I think I know so much about Him, another facet of who He is and what He’s up to is revealed. Getting to know God is not a boring journey, that’s for sure.
It is written: “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Eph 1:19-20
Therefore: It’s mind boggling that I really do posses the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Lord, I pray that the reality of that truth penetrate into every fiber of my being. I pray that I don’t waste or neglect that power, but use it daily to bring You glory.
It is written: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” Eph 3:12
Therefore: How exciting to know that I serve a God who wants me to come boldly into His presence. He welcomes me with open arms every time. He’s never too busy, never looking at His smart phone, never preoccupied. The veil is gone, and it’s just Him, and me . . . . anytime I want.
It is written: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Eph 3:20
Therefore: In my own effort of hard work and long hours I will accomplish much. But as I yield and allow God’s mighty power to work in me, my accomplishments are unlimited.
It is written: And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Eph 4:26-27
Therefore: A mountain climber can conquer a mountain using one tiny foothold after another. If allowed, Satan can conquer me, through tiny footholds of anger. Anger needs to be stopped while still in my thoughts, before it comes out my mouth, and before it reaches my heart. I might think “I’m sorry” fixes it all, but has the foothold already been chiseled out?
It is written: “I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” Eph 6:20
Therefore: Paul could have spent the time he was in chains complaining about injustice, instead he spent his time telling those around him about Jesus. Lord, remind me of this verse when I start to complain about my circumstances.
It is written: “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” Phil 1:9
Therefore: I was not created to reach a place of all knowing and understanding. I was created to grow deeper and deeper in my love for knowing and understanding Jesus. I was created to love, then love some more, then love even more, until it is continuously overflowing from me.
It is written: “And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.” Phil 1:14
Therefore: Paul was in prison for speaking God’s message. But instead of shrinking back in fear, the Philippians spoke of Jesus boldly. What courage that took. It’s just a good reminder that I am not to walk in fear, but boldly as a child of the King.
It is written: “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” Phil 1:29
Therefore: I’ve never liked the verses that talk about suffering for Christ. What I need is a new mindset, one that speaks loud and clear that it’s a privilege to suffer for Him. Not that I want to suffer, but if I find myself in that position I pray that I will think of it as a privilege instead of a hardship.
It is written: “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil 2:13
Therefore: I receive the truth of this verse. I receive the truth that God IS working in me, that He IS giving me the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. I don’t have to strive, searching for what pleases Him; I can just trust God to do His part.
It is written: “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.” Phil 3:1
Therefore: Rejoicing in the Lord safeguards (protect, precaution, defense) my faith, it also safeguards my heart. No matter what is happening around me, my first reaction should be to rejoice in the Lord. Why? Because God is for me, He sees me, He will never leave me, and He’s got my situation handled.
It is written: “… I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Phil 3:13-14
Therefore: If allowed, my past can keep me from being all that God called me to be. If I have un-repented sins, I need to repent and forget; if I have wounds that need healing, let me get them healed. I cannot allow my past to keep me from my present and my future.
It is written: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phil 4:8
Therefore: It all starts with what I choose to think about, and it is a choice. Impure thoughts may come into my mind without my permission, but if they stay around for more than a second or two, it’s because I chose to allow it. The more I choose to think God thoughts the easier it is to believe God, to trust Him, to know God, and that just makes for a better day.
It is written: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Phil 4:11
Therefore: In the western world we have just about every conceived convenience, yet, they don’t bring peace, happiness, or contentment. Only Jesus can bring true contentment, weather we make we make $2.00 a day or $2,000 a day.
It is written: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phil 4:8
Therefore: Whether I am thinking about people I like or dislike, work, government, church, driving, the past, or the future, I will keep my thoughts in check. It’s not good enough for me to just keep my mouth shut, because what I think flashes like a neon sign in the spirit realm. What I am thinking of today will become my reality tomorrow.
It is written: “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Gal 5:1
Therefore: Unfortunately, so many denominations are steeped in religion and rules, and that’s what separates so many believers. That’s also what has turned many people against wanting a personal relationship with Jesus. It’s really quite simple: Love Jesus with every fiber of my being, love myself as a beloved daughter of the King, love others as Jesus did.
It is written: “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:14
Therefore: God has made living the Christian life so simple, live a loving life. How? As I grow in intimacy with God the Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit; as I read the Word on a regular basis, they will show me.
It is written: “But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Gal 5:18
Therefore: I think it’s exciting that Holy Spirit wants to direct me, He wants to lead me, He wants me to succeed, and He’s willing to help. I am not alone, I have someone guiding me every step of the way. My responsibility is to is to grow in my ability to hear correctly and obey.
It is written: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Gal 5:22-23
Therefore: I can always evaluate how my walk with Jesus is going. If I’m allowing Holy Spirit to lead me I will be producing the above fruit. For the first 35 years of my Christian walk my fruit was rather dormant. It wasn’t until I got baptized in Holy Spirit and started my amazing journey of intimacy with God that my fruit started growing. Intimacy is like Miracle Grow for bearing fruit.
It is written: “because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the HOPE stored up for you in heaven…” Col. 1:4-5
Therefore: When I’m in need of more faith or love, I will not hesitate to access the hope stored up for me in heaven. I will ask Jesus to open my account and to deposit in me the measure of hope needed to get me through my current situation.
It is written: “In Him (Jesus) lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col 2:3
Therefore: Since Jesus is in me, I already posses all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge there is. My job is to start pulling these from the Jesus in me, out. As I sit with Jesus each day, just getting to know Him, every once in a while one of these treasures is released, and I grab hold of it. Sometimes the treasures come out quickly; sometimes it’s a process.
It is written: “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” Col 3:2
Therefore: How much time have I spent over the past 60+ years thinking on stuff that just doesn’t matter, stuff I can’t do anything about? What a waste of thinking opportunities. I would rather spend my time thinking about the things of heaven, the things of God, and the vastness of what that has to offer me during my time here on earth.
It is written: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Col 3:12
Therefore: Maybe I need to take another look in the mirror before I start my day, making sure I’m fully dressed. Maybe I need to allow an extra 10-15 minutes each day to make sure I’m covered in mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. After a while, the clothing just becomes a part of me, and never comes off.
It is written: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Col 3:14
Therefore: Unforgiveness is just as deadly as any disease out there. I need to forgive myself as well as others. Forgiving doesn’t mean condoning, it means letting go of the bitterness and hate; it means embracing God’s love and peace to the fullest degree; it means obedience.
It is written: “In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.” 1 Tim 2:8
Therefore: I think this verse has been over looked a bit in our churches today. I encourage anyone who attends a church where no one raises their hands, to ask Holy Spirit when you should break loose, and put this verse into action. There is something so freeing, so surrendered to God, when Hands are raised up.
It is written: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline (sound mind).” 2 Tim 1:7
Therefore: I was created with power, love, and self-discipline (or a sound mind) in my DNA. If I seem to be lacking in any of these, I need to reprogram (or renew) my mind to the way God created me. I need to start believing the truth. I need to start acting like I was created to act. I need to start really believing that I was created for power, love, and a sound mind.
It is written: “That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” 2 Tim 1:12
Therefore: It’s not good enough to just know “about” God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit; the only way I can truly trust them is to “know” them. Even if I had the whole Bible memorized, it doesn’t necessarily mean I really know them. Knowing God and trusting Him comes through relationship, and spending time together.
It is written: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Heb 1:1
Therefore: My faith, my reality, is not defined by my circumstances, but by the words spoken to me in my secret place with Jesus. My faith, my reality, is defined by the promises in God’s Word.
It is written: “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Heb 4:16
Therefore: I don’t have to wait until I die and go to heaven to visit God on His throne. I can go now, in fact Paul tells us all to come boldly to the throne of God. He is there waiting for me to come and receive His mercy, grace and love. If I shy away due to …… whatever, I am the one missing out.
It is written: “Therefore he (Jesus) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” Heb 7:25
Therefore: When circumstances get challenging and it seems hopeless, and no one cares, I need to just stop and sit with Jesus. I need to remind myself that He is the best intercessor around. I need to remind myself that He is interceding on my behalf at the very moment of my darkest times. I could even say to Him, “Jesus, don’t stop interceding, I need You, I trust you, I believe in You. With you interceding for me, I can get through this.”
It is written: “And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.” Heb 10:18
Therefore: When I sin, I go to God and confess, He forgives. My responsibility now is to receive His forgiveness and stop wallowing in what I did wrong. My responsibility now is to make sure I don’t continue to allow that sin to trip me up.
It is written: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” Heb 10:24
Therefore: What would happen if all believers put this verse into action. What if, instead of getting together with friends and gossiping or complaining about life, we motivated each other to love more, and brainstormed how we could do more good works?
It is written: “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.” Heb 10:26
Therefore: Continuing in a known sin is not an option for me. Jesus gave His life so I could live a life free from continued sin. If I cannot break free from a continued sin on my own, I need to ask Holy Spirit to show me what actions need to take place. Or, I need to go to my pastor or Godly people of faith and discuss and put into place an action plan. What I can’t do is give up, and give in to continuous sin.
It is written: “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Heb 11:1
Therefore: I know of people who actually see Jesus, the throne room, angelic beings and heaven on a regular basis. Awesome, I pray someday I will too. But in the mean time, it’s my faith in the unseen, my faith in Jesus that sustains me. As I get to know God intimately; as I bask in His presence (sometimes strong, sometimes not); as I read and understand His Word more, my faith grows. As He shows Himself to me in so many ways, my faith grows.
It is written: “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.” Heb 11:5
Therefore: How very cool it would be just to be taken up to heaven without dying; I wonder if that has happened to anyone else? But it would be equally cool, equally marvelous, equally satisfying when it comes to the end of my life, to have pleased God.
It is written: “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”Heb 11:6
Therefore: If I received everything I asked God for immediately, my faith would never be tested and thus would never grow. Maybe I need to be looking at my challenging situations, my times of seemingly unanswered prayers, as an opportunity to please God, as I grow in my faith and trust Him no matter what.
It is written: “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.” Heb 11:13
Therefore: God is outside of time and space. If He has promised me something, I will receive it by faith. I will call it in and I will pray it in, from a place of peace and rest. I will do everything “HE” is calling me to do, without striving, to fulfill His promise. It doesn’t take faith if I can do it all myself.
It is written: “He (Moses) thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.” Heb 11:26
Therefore: I must not allow the temptations of the now, to keep me from the greater reward. I must learn to hear God, and to know His voice, as I make decisions in my life. I am living in the age where people want instant gratification. I can’t let the good now, keep me from God’s amazing best, a little later down the road.
It is written: “It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.” Heb 11:27
Therefore: How odd it might seem to some, that I keep my eyes on the One who is invisible. Yet, there is nothing more real, than this invisible God. The reality is, that as I get to know this invisible God; as I open my eyes and my heart to this invisible God; now, everywhere I look, I see my invisible God.
It is written: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Heb 12:1
Therefore: I must ask myself what needs to be stripped off; what is slowing me down from being all God has called me to be; what sin keeps tripping me up? How long will I allow myself to be bogged down with unnecessary junk? I am in control of my life, and I am surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses cheering me on. So it’s time I run with endurance the race God has called me to run.
It is written: “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the LORD disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” Heb 12:5-6
Therefore: I will not whine and cry when life doesn’t go my way or when things get unpleasant, because it might just be God is trying to teach me something. I will listen to my Teacher and learn quickly. I am thankful that I have a Father who cares so much about me that He wants me to reach my full potential.
It is written: “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Heb 13:6
Therefore: I will take God at His word. I will depend on Him throughout my day to help me and guide me. When fear starts to creep its ugly head into my mind I tell it to get lost. When people start to turn against me I will stand my ground by rooting myself in love, peace, joy, and the assurance that God is on my side.
It is written: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 2:2
Therefore: I must admit that “ Awesome, here comes some great joy!” is not my first reaction when troubles come. I’m more like “How can I fix this, NOW?” But that’s where faith comes in; that’s where believing that God still has me smack, dab, where He wants me, right here, right now. I have to surrender my need to be in control, to fix things fast; I have to surrender my need for quick answers, for my Father’s need to teach and train me to be all He created me to be.
It is written: “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3-4
Therefore: There is no quick advancement to endurance without having my faith tested. It takes every fiber of my being to “let it grow”, to allow it to be “fully developed”. It’s sort of like trying to make to cake cook faster by turning up the heat. In the end, it’s a mess, and you have to start all over. Lord, help me to endure with wisdom and joy the path that you have me on right now.
It is written: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6
Therefore: My first problem is that I want God’s wisdom for my situation, NOW! My next problem is deciphering His answer. I’m absolutely willing to obey what I hear, without question. However, sometimes I think I need to help God out, that He didn’t speak clear enough, or loud enough for me to hear. If I ask God for wisdom, I need to be willing to wait for the answer. That’s faith in God alone; that’s undivided loyality.
It is written: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James 2:14
Therefore: What does it look like to show my faith by my actions? Faith instead of fear, hope instead of hysteria, trust instead of turmoil, praising instead of pouting, blessings instead of bitterness, doing something instead of depending on others.
It is written: “So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” James 2:24
Therefore: Sometimes my “doing” that goes along with my faith, includes: waiting, watching, soaking, giving, listening, working, helping, teaching, cooking, sewing, babysitting, driving, cleaning, just to name a few.
It is written: “but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.” James 3:8-9
Therefore: If someone secretly recorded everything I said for a whole week, would I be embarrassed if it showed up on Facebook and every form of social media? Or played over the loud speaker at my children’s school, or my work? What if it were played every time I got introduced to someone new?
It is written: “For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.” James 3:15
Therefore: Ouch! I can understand earthly and unspiritual, but demonic? Lord, You may have to remind me of this verse from time to time.
It is written: “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17
Therefore: Next time I ask God for wisdom in a situation, I will filter what I think I’m hearing through this verse. Also, when others give advice “from the Lord”, I will use the same filter.
It is written: “Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:9-10
Therefore: “Sorry God”, might not always be what He’s looking for. True repentance for sin, requires a true apology to God.
It is written: “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17
Therefore: Wow, talk about accountability. Sin is not just about doing something wrong, it’s also about not doing something I know I should. I need to listen and respond to that nudging of Holy Spirit, when He’s whispering in my ear to do something.
It is written: “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.” 2 Pet 2:19
Therefore: I must ask myself “What do I allow to control me”? God gave me a free will to choose, to make choices. I have to choose daily to allow Christlikeness to control me. I have to choose daily not to allow any sin, person, addiction, temptation, compulsion, etc. to start to dictate how I act, or make decisions. God gave me the powerful gift of choice, I must use it wisely.
It is written: “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” 1 John 2:27
Therefore: I need to learn to hear Holy Spirit, to trust Holy Spirit, and to know Holy Spirit. He is the one who is always with me. If I rely solely on others to teach me the truth, I may be led astray. Holy Spirit is my greatest teacher, and He’s always with me. So even if I can’t get the Bible or a computer to search for the truth, it ok, because I have the Truth in me.
It is written: “This is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. “1 John 3:23
Therefore: We are called to love – others and ourselves, so…
When you get Angry – love
When you get Betrayed – love
When you get Cursed at – love
When you get Denied something you want – love
When you get Envious – love
When you get Frustrated – love
When you get gloomy - love
When you get hurt - love
When you get Insulted – love
When you get Jilted – love
When you get Knocked down – love
When you get Laughed at – love
When you get Mad – love
When you get Negative – love
When you get Oppressed – love
When you get Passed over – love
When you get Quenched - love
When you get Rejected - love
When you get Squashed – love
When you get Talked about - love
When you get Used – love
When you get Vicious – love
When you get Wounded – love
When you get eXploited – love
When you get Yelled at - love
When you get Zinged - love
It is written: “Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” 1 John 4:1
Therefore: It’s so easy to believe other people hear Holy Spirit better than I do; It’s so easy to go to others and ask them for a prophetic word from God. What’s hard is for me to practice hearing for myself, to trust that God does want to speak to me. What’s hard is to realize the truth that most others, just like myself don’t hear 100% accurately all the time. I enjoy getting prophetic words from others, God enjoys me learning to hear and trust His words.
It is written: “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” 1 John 5:4
Therefore: It seems that everything in the Christian life is based on faith. My faith grew tremendously when I spent 3 months in Africa hearing testimony after testimony of what God is doing in the lives of His children. Remembering their testimonies and the faithfulness of God has made it so much easier when I face my own challenges, to have total faith in God. Every trial, every test, is an opportunity for me to show my love to God, by putting my faith into action, and not allowing fear and worry to overcome me.
It is written: “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” 1 John 5:11
Therefore: It’s all about Jesus! It’s all about Jesus! It’s just all about Jesus! Most people believe in God, or a god. But that’s not enough; Jesus is the Key to the Kingdom of God; He is the only way to God. He is the Key to living a life full of love, peace, joy, and purpose. If you don’t know this Jesus, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and He will.
It is written: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Rev 3:20
Therefore: I must ask myself if there is a door where Jesus is knocking, that I haven’t opened yet. This verse is often used to bring people to Christ, we open the door and invite Jesus into our heart, and we are saved. But are there other doors? Doors that lead to the deeper part of my heart, to secret areas of my life, to unforgiveness, to intimacy, to the core of who I am. Lord, open my ears to hear Your knock, wherever it may be.
It is written: “And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” Rev 5:8
Therefore: Every prayer I pray is captured and held before God; no prayer goes unnoticed, or unheard. I can just imagine God breathing in the sweet aroma from the incense of my prayers, and it makes me want to pray all the more.
It is written: “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Rev 19:16
Therefore: Well there goes some of the religious spirits regarding tattoos. Jesus is coming with a great big tattoo on His thigh, interesting.