1) More and more people are losing hope, some who genuinely trust Jesus feel like He has let them down. A child may never fully understand what a parent won’t allow them to do, something they want to do, until they have children of their own. God says no because it’s best but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt!
2) Find ways to encourage daily, tell your spouse you are glad you married them, tell your children you are proud of them, compliment people doing jobs you are glad you don’t have to do. Increase the size of your tips, especially if the service isn’t great. Being a witness for Jesus isn’t always quoting the Bible!
3) Never assume you know what others are going through, they may be the prettiest person in the room, may be smiling and look totally happy but the Holy Spirit wants to show you how to pray for and encourage them. No one lives without pain and discouragement, be an encourager to everyone you see even if it’s just a smile!
4) Wanting what others have is never satisfied, learning to be content with what you have is biblical and makes life much more enjoyable. You don’t know what it took for them to gain what they have, you may not be willing to do what they did to get it!
1) “Nothing is too difficult for the Lord”, remember a 90 year old woman had a baby, dead people came back to life, demons were told to stop tormenting people and miracles followed Jesus everywhere. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, whatever seems impossible to you is not too hard for Him, He is working, don’t give up!
2) Many prayers that went unanswered are clearly your Heavenly Father knowing best. What seems like the Lord isn’t listening now will one day be like the prayers you are glad weren’t answered back then. Remember to ask the Lord for His counsel before you begin sharing your “to do” list for Him!
3) Our world is in turmoil but the Lord is granting His peace to all who keep their mind on Him. If you don’t have peace you are not looking at the right things, His Word never changes, the world’s opinions and culture changes constantly trying to fill the void in life. Jesus is still your answer for every need, there are not substitutes!
4) James 4:2-3 says “you don’t have because you don’t ask or because you ask with wrong motives (give me, give me instead of Lord bless them)”. Make sure you are not missing mighty answers to prayer because you are afraid nothing will change or I prayed last time and nothing happened. Just because you can’t explain something shouldn’t keep you from doing what scripture commands!
1) Just because what you thought was going to happen by now hasn’t, doesn’t mean it won’t; your timing may need adjusting, someone may need to align themselves with God’s plan and maybe you just didn’t understand what you are experiencing is a comma not a period. God is well able to make up lost time, change hearts and accomplish quickly what might normally take years, trust Him!
2) What are you praying about that seems impossible? Stop playing your Christian life safe, trust God to do miracles, save the hard cases and heal the deathly sick. Never substitute the world’s perspective for the Word of God. The Lord is on His throne and all powerful, the best days for believers are just ahead!
3) Stay hungry for more of the Lord, we never should be in the same place for weeks or months unless there is a tragic event we are recovering from; even then you can’t stay in the same place long. Heart transplant patients are sitting up and walking after only a few days. The Lord does not keep you comfortable, He wants you serving daily!
4) Jesus said, “Come to Me if you are weary … I will give you rest for your soul”. Don’t handle life on your own, rely on God’s strength and wisdom daily, you were made for community. If you don’t think you need others, you are deceived, scripture says you are part of a body, do your part by connecting and serving faithfully!
1) Everyone needs encouragement. Scripture says encourage each other daily and do it more often when things are tough. For some reason, it is easier to criticize and complain than encourage but the Holy Spirit will show you what to say at the right time!
2) Stop waiting for a better time to demonstrate God’s love, forgiveness and grace. We are to be light in a dark world, show faith instead of doubt and never give up. Jesus said if we had faith as large as a mustard seed we could see miracles. Don’t get tired of doing the right thing, your breakthrough may come today!
3) This world is not getting closer to God but we better be; relying on opinions and arguments will never cause people to come together. The Holy Spirit strengthens you when you deny your fleshly desires but He will not override your feelings unless you ask Him too. Living for Jesus is not easy but it the only way to find true peace!
4) Don’t take for granted how much your family and friends add value to your life, don’t allow casual relationships to replace the people you are connected to through DNA and the trials of life. Your best friends know you aren’t perfect but choose to focus on the good instead of the bad, make that your practice too!
1) God never tempts anyone, and He always makes a way of escape. If you are constantly facing the same temptation, it comes to your soul, feelings, thoughts and desires. Jesus was crucified, His flesh was destroyed so we can live overcoming temptation. The way of escape feels terrible to your flesh at the moment but later your spirit rejoices!
2) “The steps of a person who loves the Lord are directed by Him; even if he stumbles he will not fall because the Lord holds him up.” Ps. 37:23-24 Many times we can’t explain why we are in a specific place but the Lord makes sure we are where we belong. Trust His plan especially when you can’t explain it!
3) Anger, bitterness and criticism are the devil’s playground, you are not following the Lord if those are your actions. Turn those feelings into intercession for those you are upset with. The world needs believers who live the Gospel daily, make certain you are filled with God’s Spirit all through then day!
4) Stay connected to the Body of Christ, meet regularly in church with those God has called you to influence and be led by. Everyone needs accountability, Proverbs says “every man’s way is right in his own eyes”. Don’t be naive, God regularly calls you to serve, sacrifice and give, if you have not been challenged to go deeper in your faith with other believers you are in a dangerous place!
1) Never forget, our mission field is sinners far from God, just like we all once were. If we try to decide who deserves God’s love and forgiveness, we are acting just like the Pharisees Jesus rebuked. Never give up on anyone, Jesus saved a man seconds before he died on the cross next to Him!
2) When is the last time you were accused of being too happy because of your faith? How long has it been since someone asked you to pray for them? Do people ask about your beliefs and receive encouragement or feel like there is no way they could ever believe and act like you? God’s love gives us the ability to reach people as long as we don’t get in the way!
3) Instead of being angry, judgmental and critical, turn your passion to intercession for those you disagree with; pray for God to bless and protect them, pray for their family and business, desire for them to be as blessed as you want to be. If you believe in prayer, use it to bless others!
4) Obviously times are very troubled but it is also a wonderful time for God to demonstrate His goodness, show His kindness. Some are convinced things can never be as good as they once were, others believe we are in a perfect position for the greatest days ever known. God’s patience is for those who have not trusted Him yet!
1) God has already given everything you need, you are not waiting on anything from Him. He has provided His word to teach, direct, encourage and correct you, His Spirit lives in you and speaks constantly, keep living by faith and acknowledge His goodness!
2) Unsaved people usually don’t read the Bible, your words and actions are the closest thing to Jesus they see. They don’t need bossy, angry, hateful people telling them all they do wrong; they need the love of God demonstrated. Living like Jesus in front of them requires you to stay close to Him, obey His directions and trust the results to Him!
3) Problems show up in everyone’s life, don’t think that they are punishment from God. He may use them to show His power and glory as you walk through them with his strength but never think someone’s problems are God making them pay for their stubbornness. How many times has God given you grace you didn’t deserve and been patient with you in your rebelliousness!
4) When Jesus ascended to Heaven there was as much turmoil on earth as there seems to be now, He didn’t “fix things” like people assumed He would. He may not “fix them” now like you think He should but you have His Spirit living in you, rely on him for wisdom, power and peace. It’s available in Him!
1) Focus on how much God loves you, how patient His is and less on how much you need to improve everything. Of coarse I’m not saying to sin all you want and not experience consequences but never forget God saved you while you were at your worst, He will never leave or forsake you!
2) What are you praying for? Do you believe it’s God’s will for you to have it? How long are you willing to trust Him until you see it? Is your prayer backed up by scripture? If your prayer is not answered will you still trust God’s goodness and believe He wants the best for you? He knows the beginning and the end, His faithfulness endures forever!
3) Quickly list 10 good things going on in our world, list the names of faithful leaders and encouragers in your life. Don’t allow the negative to overshadow the positive happening all around you daily. Don’t grow weary doing good, seeing good, acknowledge the good or else you will get weary and give up. Miracles are happening, prayers are working and many are being saved, healed and delivered by God’s grace!
4) Rejoice in the Lord as if your child got saved from addiction, your baby was healed of a deadly disease or your lost spouse came home asking for forgiveness and reconciliation because it happens every minute, every hour, every day. Rejoice that it happened for someone who believed it was possible and saw it happen!
1) "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can't keep God's love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).
2) God loves the whole world, every person, ask Him for grace to love them too; doesn’t mean be friends or agree with them but loving them is not optional. What seems impossible for us is the perfect chance to ask for grace to do what He commands. Flesh never likes to be denied but depending on Him to provide what you don’t have is what He gives to you!
3) What are your dreams in a few sentences? What has the Lord told you to do to achieve them? How long are you willing to trust Him until you see them come to fruition? God will do everything He has promised, don’t give up just because you are tired of waiting!
4) The parable of the seed and the sower has 4 different types of soil, 3 were unproductive. Being a Christian who lives a fruitful life doesn’t happen by accident or part time. The most frustrating place a believer can be is living in compromise and timidity. You are called to be a light in a dark world, shine on!
1) You are in charge of your growth. If you allow what someone did to you or is doing to you to keep you from growing you are giving them too much influence. Ask the Lord, what He wants for you and from you, what you need to do today (not someday). There will be good days, bad days and mostly ordinary days, begin now!
2) “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles wings, run and not get weary, they will walk and not faint.” (Is 40:31) Waiting does not mean doing nothing; soaring, running and walking are all action words but God is working while they hope in Him!
3) Confusion, anxiety, fear and hopelessness all drain you. The Holy Spirit replaces all these with life and blessing. Make sure you are not allowing your old nature to run your life, feed on the Word of God to give you everything you need to thrive!
4) You are focusing more on the bad than the good, both exist but remember what looked terrible to Elisha’s servant wasn’t accurate, God had Angels in between him and the enemy (II Kings 6). If you are willing to obey the Lord and not demand your own way, God can give you sweet sleep in the presence of your enemies! (Ps. 3:5)
1) God has given you gifts to use for His glory, He knows you aren’t perfect, yet He gave them to you anyway. If you stop allowing Him to use you because you are ashamed or broken; you not only prevent others being blessed by your gift, you prevent Him from reminding you He loves you in spite of your weakness!
2) The Bible is becoming more offensive to the world. We won’t convince them our Jesus is loving and compassionate by getting angry at them. Until people ask Jesus to become Lord of their life they will never understand why we trust a God we cannot see. Having a God we are equal to will never satisfy. “By our love not words” the world will know Jesus is real!
3) Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you all through the day, He lives in you. Draw near to Him, resist the temptation to do life your way. The wisest, richest man who ever lived, Solomon, was miserable more than not. The richest men in today’s world are getting divorced after lengthily marriages, nothing will fill the void Jesus is designed to fill!
4) Don’t neglect church, Hebrews says we are to get together regularly to encourage each other. Fewer people attend church now than in the last 50 years and division, strife, hatred and suffering are getting worse daily. You don’t have to attend church to find Jesus but when people know it’s important to you, it reminds them a church family helps life go easier!
1) There is a harvest field waiting for workers. When believers begin to do what the Lord says when and how he says there will be a revival in our Nation. Only Jesus can heal the divisions, hurts and strife that festers today. He did not wait for us to become perfect before He reached out to us, don’t expect the world to get better before you show them His love!
2) The Lord doesn’t check voter preferences to decide if He loves them, nor should you. Listening to their story takes time but it shows you care about them not just what they stand for. The world is starving for people to demonstrate God’s grace and forgiveness, Jesus denied Himself to love, we should too!
3) It’s easy to find things you disagree about but division is splitting our Nation and ruining our witness. A family, house, church or Nation cannot stand if it’s divided, reach across what divides you, it won’t feel good but it will please the Lord. You may not have to give up your opinions but sharing them may prevent your testimony from being heard!
4) Proverbs 29:2 “When righteous rule, people rejoice but when wicked rule the people mourn.” It doesn’t matter who sits in the White House, leads the senate or House, it doesn’t matter if their are more conservatives or liberals on the Supreme Court, if leaders are willing to usurp the Word of God with popular opinion or even the majority’s opinion, if it denies the Scripture it cannot prosper!
1) Things look bad in the natural but God’s perspective is different than yours. Seek Him for wisdom and follow His instructions even if they seem contrary to what you think is best. He doesn’t always use a straight line to get you from point A to point B. This may take longer than you thought, it will turn our much better than it looks now!
2) Don’t waste time regretting what you did or didn’t do; make appropriate changes and don’t look back. If you can’t redo past decisions move forward trying not to repeat mistakes; God knew where you would be now and has plans to use you for His glory, don’t exclude yourself or this may be one of the things you regret in your future!
3) The Lord is waiting for us to become fully yielded so He can fill us with wisdom, power, and revelation. He wants a body that isn’t afraid to trust and follow Him. You can be the person He uses by putting excuses aside and doing what he says. Results are His doing, obedience and faithfulness are yours!
4) Being a half hearted Christian will never satisfy you, if you only play it safe in your walk you will be frustrated and critical. Doers seldom have time to talk about others; the harshest critics are usually the least productive and least happy!
1) Happy Father’s Day dads, some are not biological dads but you are fathering better than many who have multiple children and families. Staying faithful and consistent is not easy or exciting but those who need and depend on you wouldn’t replace you with the most famous person on earth. No father is perfect but being present is extremely important!
2) Life has good and difficult days, some are a result of our actions, many are not; don’t let the hard ones steal the joy of the ones you will remember forever. Ask the Lord for grace today, you can inspire, encourage and motivate, complainers seldom impact positively. God has given you the ability to see things differently but it requires faith and persistence!
3) Matthew 7:7-8 says “Ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking, everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds and everyone who knocks the doors will open.” Don’t give up, your answer may be minutes away!
4) There is life and death in your tongue, don’t allow harsh words to damage days and weeks of gentleness and growth to be erased because you speak too quickly. Saying the right thing the wrong way seldom produces the same as speaking thoughtfully and gently. What takes seconds to say may take years to forget!
1) “Every mans way is right in his own eyes but the Lord weighs and examines the motives of peoples heart.” Pro. 21:2 The world will never accept that God who designed and created us knows what is best for us. People can choose to ignore the word of God but they exempt themselves from His peace if they do!
2) Being full of the Holy Spirit means we are directed and empowered to obey His Word and do greater works than Jesus did on the Earth (Jesus was one person on Earth could only do so much but billions of His followers take His love and power all over the world). Jesus listened to His Father’s directions and followed them without changing them to His ideas!
3) “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans 12:1
4) “And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.” Joshua 1:8
1) You have been angry long enough, things will not change until you ask God for wisdom and follow His direction. Don’t excuse your disobedience because of someone else’s actions, turn this over to the Lord today, things have been delayed because you have not trusted but as soon as you give your anger to the Lord the answer will start heading your way!
2) God can use our peace or lack of it to guide us, some of the frustration you are having and see in the world is because people are trying to do things their own way, even if they accomplish their goal they are still frustrated. The Lord loves you too much to leave you the way you are but He will not force His ways on you, trust His methods!
3) “Don’t become so well adjusted that you fit in without even thinking”, you cannot live on social media and have the mind of Christ. We have lived through Covid, political chaos and more but God has done miracles, answered millions of prayers and is still not acknowledged by the world. One day your faith will become sight, don’t give up!
4) Keep asking God to fill you with His Spirit, this doesn’t mean you will get everything you want or have an easy life, it means you will have the wisdom and power to walk through everything life throws at you. Jesus obeyed His Father, He didn’t tell His Father what to do. Listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and obey Him completely!
1) “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” Ep. 4:1-3
2) Pray before you leave home asking the Lord to use you for His glory, that means being loving to those who need it, praying for someone hurting and forgiving those who don’t deserve it. The world needs hope and we have it living in us, don’t hold it back because people don’t deserve it, you didn’t either but the Lord gave it to you!
3) What have you been telling others lately, how good God has been to you, how thankful you are for His love and how much you have enjoyed spending time reading His Word or how bad things are, how frustrated life has you? You say what is on your heart and you determine what affects you. Ask the Lord for discipline to talk, think and live in a manner worthy of Him!
4) Don’t wait for things to change before you change your attitude. Faith gives you the courage to see it before it happens, problems occur to keep you doubting. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can tell mountains to move, believe that before you see them budge!
1) The Holy Spirit is your comforter, teacher, guide and more. Jesus said it was better if He returned to Heaven so He could send the Holy Spirit to guide you in to all truth. He also gives us power to witness and wisdom to know what to do and when. Don’t neglect this relationship with Him by doing life on your own. He can be grieved by ignoring Him, ask Him to fill you again and again!
2) Your spirit and your flesh are at war with each other, trying to appease both only produces frustration and defeat. Submit your thoughts, actions, dreams and fears to Him, denying yourself is not fun or easy. You will only be full of joy when you follow the Lord with all of your heart, all of your mind and strength!
3) Failure doesn’t disqualify you from being useable, almost everyone in scripture was a public failure but God who is rich in mercy knew you would fail before you were born and called you in spite of it. Repent as publicly as you failed and ask God to redeem you future for His glory!
4) Put fun things on your calendar, don’t let anything interrupt them, you need things to look forward to. Ask friends for a good book to read and do it in the next month. It’s time to shake things up, establish some new habits. Don’t put this off, the Lord has blessings in the new things but you have to do them to receive all He has planned!
1) Pray for people you are having a hard time loving, ask God to bless them like you want to be blessed. Do this for 30 days asking God for His best for them, they may not change but you will. Everyone has issues, theirs may be different than yours but praying for them will allow God to speak through you for their benefit!
2) Stop worrying about tomorrow, don’t excuse worry even when things look bad. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord, He has raised dead people, healed terrible diseases and provided for 1,000’s with almost no food to begin with. He has erased poison from snake bites, water and food; He provided water from rocks and miracles to people never named in scripture. Your Heavenly Father cares for you and has promised to meet all your needs!
3) You can’t fill up with the world and expect peace in your heart, God’s ways are different from the world’s ways. He requires love to those you disagree with, it’s never ok to be mean and loud. When you get tired of anger and fear the Lord offers peace and security but it requires trust in Him especially when you don’t understand what’s happening!
4) Everyone has unique gifts. Ducks don’t run well and rabbits don’t swim well. Eagles aren’t good at climbing and squirrels don’t fly good. Discover your gifts and use them often but don’t compare how good others are unless you know their calling!
1) “Heaven and earth will pass away but God’s Word will never change. Don’t turn the Bible into a rule book but don’t think our intellect is comparable to it either. God placed every star in its place and gave it a name. Just because culture changes in the name of love or progress doesn’t mean the Bible is obsolete!
2) Even on grey cloudy days the sun is shining above the clouds; don’t let circumstances discourage you, what does the Bible say about them. Everything is subject to change except the Word of God. If God’s Word instructs you to do a certain thing don’t give up because things get difficult, miracles only occur when things seem impossible!
3) Stop trying to put a square peg in a round hole, regardless of how many different ways you try it doesn’t fit. Ask God for new strategy to accomplish His will and realize if God has said no to a thing, even if you get it, you won’t be satisfied. Trusting God may seem difficult but being out of His will feels worse, accept His plan, He never makes mistakes!
4) Jesus only did what His Father told Him; when we start doing things just to get them done instead of trusting the Lord to lead us we hinder His purpose. You would have gone to heal Lazarus if you could have instead of waiting for him to die. Only do what the Father leads you to do!
1) People all arou nd you are hurting, discouraged and lonely. You don’t need money or talent to speak kindly and show compassion. Some of the people you admire on TV and movie screens are just as sad as people who are never recognized or applauded. Show God’s love to everyone, you don’t have to know Bible verses or have extra money to be effective!
2) Anxiety is annoying and can be deadly, the Bible gives exact instructions about fighting it; “pray about the things you can’t control or understand, give them to your Heavenly Father all through the day; before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Phil. 4:6-7
3) Flee temptation, don’t play with it, excuse or ignore it. As soon as you realize it’s near the Bible says God gives you a way of escape but you have to choose it. The sooner you resist and flee, the easier it is to defeat but the longer you entertain it, the more likely you are to fall. Everyone faces some kind of temptation even Jesus did, but God’s Word promises there is always a way out!
4) Stop fretting because you don’t have details about tomorrow, faith requires us to trust the Lord today, knowing He will guide us and do the same every day. Your fear will decrease if you will obey His Word and stop looking for signs and guidance for the future. God does give plans for your future at times but much of your Christian walk is one day at a time!
1) Enjoy today, don’t wait until you get all you are hoping for, look the way you want too or accomplish every goal, celebrate every victory, savor every hug and friendship. If you aren’t careful you will miss 1,000 blessings waiting for one “miracle”. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never end, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.” Lam.3;22-23!
2) What are your best traits? God gave you the exact talent you need to accomplish His purpose for you life. You can spend time getting better at what you are gifted at or waste time wishing you had someone’s else’s talents. They may have what you want but remember they are wishing they had some of what you take for granted. Rejoice in the Lord and again Paul says rejoice!
3) “Love is patient, kind, gentle, does not envy or boast, not arrogant or rude and never quits”. Even if you understand all mysteries and knowledge, have prophetic powers and have faith enough to move mountains; if you don’t have love you gain nothing. (I Cor. 13:1-7). You can’t love someone while screaming or criticizing them, choose God’s way, it never fails!
4) Work daily at renewing your mind, conform you thoughts to the Word of God and prepare to constantly war with your flesh and logic. The spiritual Kingdom we belong to gives no place for flesh to be satisfied; if you aren’t constantly denying your flesh you are likely allowing it to rule areas of your life. Spirit and flesh cannot dwell together and both be happy!
1) “Ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking and your prayers will be answered” (Luke 11:9). Ask God for wisdom, seek His will and keep knocking until you have His direction, His will brings joy, ours brings frustration and emptiness. Timing belongs to the Lord, do your part, don’t give up!
2) Seasons change whether we want them to or not, wishing for a different season keeps you from growing, pruning and preparing for the next season. Make sure you are open to all the Lord is doing in you now, so you don’t miss what He has planned in the seasons ahead!
3) Galatians 2:20 says “Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Receive His amazing forgiveness and pass it along to those who deserve it as little as you do!
4) Complacency is not an asset to your walk with the Lord. He does not constantly drive us but He doesn’t tell us to coast as long as we want to either. Unless you have been through a recent trauma (death of a loved one, job loss, illness etc.) its time to get back to serving the Lord with all your heart!
1) “Give thanks in all things for this is God’s will” (I Thess. 5:18). God has promised to walk with you through valleys, even death. God provides wisdom and strength during hard times and will never leave you alone. Keep your mind on Him, not feelings, circumstances or what others say!
2) Paul said “when I am weak, God gives me strength to go on so I will focus on His grace more than my weakness” (II Cor.12:8-9). Don’t think if I could do better I wouldn’t have so much trouble, some trouble can be avoided but some can’t. Even if you brought the trouble on yourself, the Lord will deliver you through it if you stay close to Him!
3) Stop comparing your life to others, God has given you unique gifts where you are needed. God provides all our needs, sometimes we think we should have more but His promises are never broken. Trust His Word especially when you do not see His hand!
4) God has people hidden to accomplish His will, remember He had Obadiah in the house of Jezebel to protect His prophets (I Kings 18:4). You see through a dark glass, you don’t know how He is working behind the scenes; believe Him. Stop criticizing and complaining, thank Him for being faithful even when you are faithless!
1) “If anyone wants to follow Jesus, they must deny themself and take up their cross daily” (Matt. 16:24-26). Your cross may be strong opinions that need to stay silent, a spouse who needs patience, rebellious children, etc. A cross means dying to your desires. The Lord gives us strength but it never feels good crucifying our flesh!
2) The weeks leading to Easter are a great time to ask the Holy Spirit to show areas He wants to change in you. He saves instantly but He grows us until we see Him face to face. Our love for our Heavenly Father inspires us to deny our flesh, like Jesus denied His and treat others with respect especially when they don’t reciprocate. You will never be happier than when you are obeying His word!
3) Gratitude and joy should not be missing in life, they are a lifestyle. Don’t allow circumstances to steal or cause you to be unhappy and don’t strive for happiness above obedience and discipline. This world is a temporary home, make sure you store treasures when they will never be lost or stolen!
4) Jesus gives grace to forgive as many times as necessary. Trust God for grace as often as you need to. He has never reminded you how many times you have been forgiven from the same thing, do for others what He has done for you!
1) Much frustration occurs because we try to live life on our terms. Being a disciple of Christ requires dying to our ways and walking by faith instead of feelings. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire to follow Him with all your heart and prepare to be challenged!
2) Nothing is too difficult for the Lord. Magnify Him instead of your problem. Scripture teaches no giant, disease or army can defeat Him, trust Him with all your tomorrows, His plans are good!
3) God is working on the person you are praying for, He is being patient, kind and gentle; don’t interrupt His work with your harshness, anger and judgement. You can’t see a seed changing under ground but it is morphing into the plant it will become. Pray for them, encourage them and watch as God’s plans come to fruition at exactly the right time!
4) “The Word of God is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.” (Ps. 119:105) Walking by faith works best when you feed on scripture regularly. You feed your physical body daily, make sure you give your spirit enough nourishment to keep standing when things get tough!
1) Stay focused on your future and less concerned about your past. Almost every person in the Bible used by the Lord had their flaws exposed. Some were murderers, adulterers thieves, addicts and liars but God chose them to be His representatives. You have not gone too far away from the Lord, like the prodigal son, it’s time to go home!
2) Don’t underestimate your part in the Body of Christ. God designed you specifically for this time and place and gave you the gifts necessary to succeed. Don’t let failures, delays and redirection cause you to give up or doubt your worth. What seems like a disaster or disqualifier will become a stepping stone to God’s plan for you!
3) “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28) is not a suggestion or a good idea: it’s the Word of God, it cannot be ignored because the other person is bad, wrong or foolish. Don’t excuse what is hard or seems unfair, if God said it, He means it even now!
4) More believers are choosing to live the way they want instead of searching scripture to see what the Lord has instructed. Some choose this, others that, everybody do your own thing, your own way, no big deal. Proverbs 21:2 says “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes but the Lord examines the heart.” Life is more complicated with others but another proverb says “iron sharpens iron just like one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)!
1) Our world is so fragile 4 inches of snow and a 40 degree below “normal temperature” and everything comes to a stop. Covid, hurricanes, floods, lack of electricity, water shortages show how much we need God’s grace and protection. Thank Him often for His mercy!
2) Your gratitude instead of complaining shines your light to a hopeless world, stay aware people are watching and listening to you, give them hope and encouragement!
3) You seem stuck without direction or motivation, take the first step of obedience and then another, we still see through a dark glass but the Lord draws near to those who draw near to Him. It’s time to proceed, one step at a time!
4) You are not being punished for a bad decision but bad decisions do have consequences. Make right what you can and ask God for grace to endure this season. You will learn much and even be grateful for the lessons you learn!
1) The Lord says, “I will keep you in perfect peace IF you keep your mind on Me.” If frustration is your state of mind, it’s because you are focusing on this world more than the Kingdom of God. Nothing has taken Him by surprise, He will hide you under the shadow of His wings but you must choose to stay there!
2) Listening for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit means blocking out the noise of criticism and complaining. Heaven may have many residents that allowed the “world” to be their focus but your witness is best when in spite of what happens around you, you meditate on God’s promises. Renewing your mind is not optional if you want to point people to Jesus!
3) Every one needs encouragement! Make a habit of saying positive things to people especially when they may be expecting to be criticized. Make sure they feel better when they leave than when they arrived. God will give you positive things to say that don’t have anything to do with their talent or beauty, focus on building them up every time you see them!
4) Life is just for a moment, we don’t know how long we are here, so live like this is your last day on earth. Forgive even when you don’t think you should, reach out again to family and trust God to guide you to the right people at the right time. Living without regret isn’t easy but when life is over, its too late to do anything about it!
1) Isaiah 54:2 says “enlarge your tent, make sure it’s tied down good because you are going to grow.” What if that means you are going to grow because you reach out to those you don’t have anything in common or agree with. Maybe that means you put other’s feelings first, allow them to disagree with you without being judgmental or critical!
2) Most people have someone in their life who is a complete opposite but they are married, best friends or family. God has special friendships waiting on those who are wiling to look beyond what is obvious to how the person can expand your thinking and living. Trust God enough to see beyond what bothers you to how they can bless you!
3) Apostle Paul was willing to teach for years giving time for his audience to come to the conclusions he had reached. Too many initial conversations end with strong opinions that are hard to change unless you are willing to let God change hearts on His time table. He is able to bring change to you and them, don’t hinder His work by being stubborn or harsh!
4) Proverbs 15:1 says “harsh words provoke anger but gentle words bring calm to conversations.” Almost never do our strong opinions convince others we are right but being patient and kind keeps the door open for further discussion. Avoid expressing strong opinions until your trust is established and your words can be heard!
1) Never give up on someone! They may seem further from God, you, victory or living BUT GOD! He can turn them around at the last second and use them for His glory. Remember the thief on the cross, seconds before his death He trusted Jesus, the one you are praying for can too!
2) Jesus reached people we would never think deserving of His love. Matthew the tax collector was worse than any one you can imagine but Jesus saved him and his life was dramatically different. Ask God to show you people to pray and believe for after you put your judgment aside. He will!
3) You may think things are worse than they have ever been, they’re not. America had survived a civil war with more lives lost and wounded than all of her other wars combined. World wars, depressions, plagues and rebellious people but God brought repentance and revival, ask Him to bring it again!
4) Ask a few close friends to join you in praying for grace to love those you disagree with, especially the ones you don’t even like to look at. God sent His Son to save them, they are no worse than you were. All have sinned and fallen short of His glory but His grace is rich enough to love them into His Kingdom and He may use you to help bring them!
1) “Are you striving to promote your perspective, demand your way be accepted, or your voice be heard above others? Are you in the middle of a conflict with someone you love that, unless one of you stands down and defers to the other, is only going to intensify and cause lasting damage? Listen to Jesus. It's time to turn from selfishness and strife as you embrace the way of the Cross. Lay down your rights. And leave the striving to Him.” (C. Swindoll)
2) John the Baptist said “Jesus must increase and I must decrease”. The world does not need to “see you or hear your opinions” they need Jesus. They may see you reflect Him but much of what Christians demonstrate doesn’t accurately show Him. “The Lord is more patient, forgiving and loving than we show Him to be. Remember Jesus has not returned hoping for more to repent and come to Him”. (II Peter 3:9)
3) James 3:10 says “it is not right that blessings and cursing comes out of the same mouth, with our mouth we bless our Father and curse out brother”. People need to see Jesus especially when they are behaving poorly. Remember how patient God was with you, your family and friends were too. Ask God for grace to pour on those you don’t understand!
4) Judgmental Christians aren’t easy to follow or trust. Strive to be one who gives grace when others are not expecting it, forgiving again when the offender doesn’t deserve it and encouraging to those who should be further along than they are. What the world needs now is the love of Jesus!
1) What’s important now? You are where you are, you may not want to be there but what do you need to do to go forward? You can stay angry over unfair treatment, illness you have or watched someone endure but what is important now? Ask God for wisdom about how to proceed, God supplies to everyone who seeks!
2) As you begin this new year determine to make progress in areas you know the Lord is nudging you. Don’t make resolutions unless you are sure He has stirred you to and then follow His directions. Remember His ways are higher than our ways so He may choose to lead you to work on something different than you believe should be first, He knows best what needs work first!
3) Don’t talk about how bad 2020 was, you made it through it and you are stronger, wiser and hopefully thankful God gave you grace to endure. No one on earth saw this coming but the Lord has known since before time began, there will be more shocking news in the days ahead but the Lord will guide you step by step.
4) The world seems to be rejecting Jesus more and more but every time a computer prints a document or your phone opens the first thing you see is a date. That date represents the day the world changed forever, time is marked by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!