1) “If anyone boasts, I love God, and goes on hating his brother or sister, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see?” (I John 4:20) Christians have no excuse for unloving behavior, crucify it, it will not die easily but it cannot be tolerated. Regardless what others do, love must be the response. You cannot be a mature believer without loving!
2) Because the “world’s eyes are blinded to truth” (II Cor. 4:4) be wise about speaking truth before you pray their eyes be opened. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their heart and give them a hunger for the truth, this is not a quick prayer then preach at them, this may be an assignment that takes decades of love, patience and gentleness, God cares for the lost and He wants your witness to help bring change to them!
3) Billions of people around the world live in this kind of heat without AC, running water or plumbing. They have happy families, successful businesses and don’t complain. Stay thankful for the blessings you have, tell others how good God is to you. Everyone faces adversity. Are people more familiar with your blessings or your struggles, which do you focus more on? It’s God’s will for you to give thanks in everything! I Thess. 5:16-18
4) Encourage someone who has had a failure or disappointment, maybe even a recent public disaster. Look beyond the obvious things you could say, listen for the Lord’s perspective and speak that over them. Many times the ones you are speaking to will not believe the Lord still loves them or wants to use them, aren’t you glad God uses imperfect vessels? Everyone needs building up!
1) Hopefully your Father has been a great model of God’s unconditional love but he likely made mistakes. Don’t compare your Heavenly father’s love solely by what you had from your dad. Most earthly dads would give their lives for their children, they just aren’t able to live perfectly. Most everyone becomes a mom or dad and then you see what a wonderful and difficult job it is!
2) The hot muggy days of summer are here but air conditioning makes life completely comfortable. Only a few decades ago no one had AC, so stay thankful for inventors who had visions of how much better things could be. Don’t overlook the things the Lord is whispering to your spirit, they might be as amazing as AC is on these miserably hot days!
3) Stay thankful daily, don’t complain about inconveniences. The things that annoy you (it’s too cold in here, the music is too loud, I’m always too busy) may be the answer to someone else’s prayer; I wish I had AC, I wish I could hear, I’m so lonely I never have anything to do. A mirror shows a reflection of yourself, make a habit of seeing different sides of life!
4) Keep praying about impossible situations. The woman with the issue of blood had her prayer answered 13 years after she began praying, the crippled man had been by the pool of Siloam for 38 years, an Angel appeared to Daniel 21 days after he began praying and the Angel said “I heard your prayer the first day you prayed, I’ve been fighting to get here.” Don’t give up, your answer may occur today!
1) Your words are seed you are planting, they produce a harvest of trust, confidence and encouragement or fear, anger and insecurity. It’s impossible to get toothpaste back in the tube and you can’t take hurtful, destructive words back either. James 1:19 says “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to get angry”. You will never regret the harsh words you didn’t say or the kind ones you spoke!
2) Every Christian has an important part to play everyday, never believe because you don’t have a position on a church staff that you are not needed. Most believers will never be recognized on earth for their contributions but Heaven is keeping perfect records of your faithfulness to the Lord. Small omissions can cause unnecessary delays in God’s plans being accomplished. Do your part faithfully and consistently and pray others do the same!
3) II Corinthians 4:4 says “the devil has blinded the eyes of those who belong to the world.” In other words, they cannot see or hear the truth until their eyes have been opened. Instead of shouting louder at the lost, pray that the scales on their eyes be removed so they can hear the truth. “It is the kindness of the Lord that leads people to repentance”, (Romans 2:4) not our intellectual arguments. Holy Spirit convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment!
4) Use Scripture to speak to every “issue” you are facing: find verses that speak to them and quote the verses to the issues instead of reminding yourself of the problems. If you constantly battle fear use Isaiah 41:10, anxiety use Philippians 4:6-7. Do you need wisdom use James 1:5-7. The internet can recommend verses about any topic, learn the only thing that never changes, Hebrews 4:12!
1) Pentecost is the day the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they were given power to witness to the whole world. Don’t turn sharing about Jesus, to become act like I act, believe like me. Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners without telling them all the things they needed to change, He loved them. Let’s model Jesus’ love and live like He did!
2) Don’t go to church to rehearse your rules to take to the world to live by, gather with others to worship, learn scripture, share burdens and be encouraged to love the lost. Find similarities with those you are trying to reach and build a relationship, God will give you a chance to share your faith if you are listening and they will hear if you have prepared their heart by loving them!
3) Jesus told about a Samaritan caring for an injured person. The Samaritan didn’t know what the stranger’s past was or if he was a Christian, he saw someone needing help and he did what was right, Lord help your children to act the same without expecting a reward or recognition!
4) When someone sees you coming what is their first thought, I know you as a Christian, I know your politics, I feel better after talking with you. Don’t allow yourself to treat people differently because of what they believe or do. Loving others doesn’t mean just those you like, it’s everyone, all the time!
1) As we honor those and their families who have given their lives for our freedom, remember they didn’t die for one political party or the other, though they likely had a preference; they died for our freedom. Jesus did the same thing, He died to give us freedom from sin, it’s completely available to every Christian, yes freedom brings responsibility, so choose well!
2) As summer begins, plan to enjoy every day! Do things you love but get crowded out at other times. You might have to get up a few minutes earlier, spend less time on social media or plan more alone time to refocus but decide to make this your most enjoyable summer, maybe ever. It’s going to be hot, there will still be issues but enjoy life anyway. Don’t let anything rob you of this decision!
3) Christians know there is an enemy that wants to crush you, your family and your destiny; he is ruthless and evil, he uses fear, hatred, jealously, past injustice and maybe worst of all, he attacks your children and grandchildren with lies and deception. You can’t casually win this battle, put your spiritual armor on daily and live victoriously as Christ has given you the tools to!
4) Past mistakes have frozen you from making decisions that are needed now, don’t allow the accuser (the devil, Revelation 12:10) to stop you from confidently asking God for wisdom, receiving it and walking it out daily. Jesus is praying for you, put your past away, never to explain or regret again. The Father is waiting with open arms to celebrate with you here and in Heaven!
1) The world is getting more desperate and Christians must react according to Biblical mandates. There are people called to work in the realm of politics and public policy but most of us are called to pray and declare God’s Word in the environment. If we don’t do our part (praying, interceding and encouraging those called to lead) we will continue to be angry and discouraged! Anyone can complain, it takes discipline to believe and speak the truth!
2) The human eye can see a single candle burning from 30 miles away in total darkness (if they are high enough to see above the obstacles.) God has equipped us with a amazing abilities but if we aren’t looking we miss the voices speaking truth in the chaos. It’s much easier to see the problems than solutions unless you ask the Lord to show you His perspective.
3) Twice King David sparred the life of the man trying to kill him because He trusted God to bring the judgment to his enemy; David forbid his men from killing Saul when they were telling him God has given him the perfect chance to end Saul’s rule and begin his own, David refusing saying, I will not do what only God should, follow his example!
4) More and more the world will face impossible and seemingly preventable crisis, don’t join those who criticize, ask god for wisdom and pray. One of the easiest times to reach out to Jesus is when you Have no hope and no where to find it, He is waiting for you to call for Him. Jonah 2:2 says when Jonah was deep under the sea, he called for the Lord and God heard and delivered him, call for the Lord today!
1) Everyone who asks (and keeps asking) receives, everyone who seeks (and keeps seeking) finds and everyone who knocks (and keeps knocking) the door will be opened to them. (Matt. 7:8) Don’t get discouraged because your prayer wasn’t answered verbatim, that you weren’t heard, your Heavenly Father wants the best for you at the perfect time. Trust until you see!
2) Everyone in the Bible had tremendous problems and asked God why He wasn’t fixing their trouble, never did He give them an explanation that satisfied their curiosity or eliminated the need for them to have faith in Him. He is never wrong or late but it feels that way to us. He is faithful when you are faithless! (II Tim. 2:13)
3) Jesus’ mother lost Him for 3 days, He knows you won’t do everything right with your children but He picked you to love and care are for them, repent for your mistakes but once you have done what you can to repair the mistake give it to the Lord and never let the enemy condemn you again!
4) Everyone around you needs encouragement, don’t assume because someone appears to have it together they don’t need you to bless, inspire and encourage them. Never miss a chance to speak life to those around you and don’t withhold your blessing because they are not perfect. They may be having their worst day and your encouragement may turn everything around for them!
1) I John 4:20 says “how can you say you love God whom you have never seen and hate or mistreat one …” (who lives with you, or votes different than you?) God loves everyone so much He sent His Son to pay for the sins of all humanity! Don’t allow yourself to judge one for whom Christ died, no excuses or justifications about what they deserve. He loves them, you and I are commanded to love them too!
2) Worldly thinking is contrary to God’s thinking, He sees the mess on this Earth and has equipped you to point people to Him regardless how far from Him they seem. Don’t allow yourself to compare your behavior with what you see others doing, you have not been in their shoes and you don’t know the whole story about them. Choose to love them like Christ does!
3) Invite the Lord in to all your hurt, and sinful places, don’t make excuses or feel ashamed, Jesus bore your shame on the cross, He wants to lead you out of all you hate about yourself and others. Trust Him to only go as fast as you are able and to finish the rehabilitation necessary to use you powerfully for His purposes!
4) Your weakest places are where the Lord wants to use you, you know it is His strength that enables you, Apostle Paul said “in My weakness God’s strength is made perfect” or used the best. When others see your imperfections they realize it’s possible for them to be used too. The enemy is constantly accusing you, your Heavenly Father is constantly reminding you through Him all things are possible!
1) All of God’s promises are true, never doubt His Word because you don’t see evidence. Abraham doubted because of the delay of a child being born, Moses doubted because the Red Sea was in front of Him, David doubted he would ever be King. God sees the end and the beginning, His plans involve many in addition to you; His Word gives you encouragement when fulfillment looks impossible!
2) Christians are called to produce fruit but life constantly opposes God’s plan. Unbelief, fear, worry, pride, etc. all are contrary to self denial and faith. Following God is not easy or popular but the promise of His love and gifts flowing through you brings fulfillment like nothing else. Find God’s plan and live everyday depending on His power to enable you!
3) The devil is not going to show himself to you as much as try to keep you from seeing the Lord. If you can be distracted easily from God’s plan; the enemy probably won’t bother you much but if you are committed to the Lord, the enemy will constantly nag and frustrate, stay focused!
4) Easter and weddings have things in common, we celebrate Christ’ resurrection once a year but we are to live our Christian journey daily much like you celebrate your wedding anniversary once a year but live with your spouse daily. Both relationships require daily attention or they get stale. Seek God first daily and cultivate your marriage constantly!
1) Jesus is alive shouted the women running to His frieghtened disciples, they had seen and talked to Him. People are still declaring He is alive in their life and others still doubt. Why resist the love and promise of God’s delivering grace. He promises to remove the guilt of sin and eternity with Him in the future, what do you have to lose!
2) Religion is a terrible example of Christianity. If doing everything you wanted made life better then the privileged would be the happiest people but you know that’s not true. Finding the purpose God made you for and living that daily is the only way to a fulfilled life, sometimes trial and error is the only way to find out, get started today!
3) Regret is like cancer, the longer it is allowed to stay the worse it gets; make restitution where possible and ask forgiveness from the Lord then move on. Living in the past prevents the possibilities of the future, you might regret today’s decisions tomorrow if you don’t move on!
4) This world has many problems but it is not our home. Do what you can to make life better for others and earnestly pray God’s will be done. You can’t do everything but you can do something, small things help especially when every one is doing their part. The Lord is coming soon, do your part now!
1) There are things that seemed dead that are about to come back to life, maybe a passion for teaching or leading a prayer group, praying for the sick, or something unrelated to ministry etc.; don’t discount this because you “blew it before or someone said you were not good enough or too inexperienced”, God has put this desire in you - follow Him!
2) Truth is not subjective but some people can only handle a little at a time, follow the direction of the Holy Spirit, if He tells you to “speak it all at once, do it” but He has been very patient with you, remember to be the same with those listening to you. Just because they don’t change outwardly instantly doesn’t mean they aren’t changing inwardly, trust God’s timing!
3) Spring brings the beauty of trees budding, flowers blooming and grass like carpet but there is also pollen, stuffy noses and runny eyes, life is like this, there is always beauty and pain, expectation and regret, faith and doubt; focus on the good, not the bad. Recognizing the challenges in life shouldn’t blind us to the possibilities!
4) Jesus died to save us from the death sin causes and His resurrection proves even dead things can live again. Keep believing His Word about your marriage, your gifts, your family and dreams, nothing is impossible with the Lord, He gave you the dreams that inspire you and He can instantly bring them to pass, listen carefully for the rolling away of the stones of opposition and unbelief!
1) Don’t let world events discourage you, pray as God directs and trust that many things are being accomplished, things you may not know about until you get to Heaven. I Cor. 13:12 says “we see through a dark glass, we don’t see the full picture”. There are many who are suffering and that breaks the heart of the Lord but He will use this for good in the end!
2) “God’s ways are higher than our ways, as high as the Heavens are above the Earth” (Isaiah 55:8-9), nothing is random with the Lord, nothing surprises Him; He has a plan for every person. Ask Him how you can be a part of His plan to bless and encourage others!
3) I Corinthians 10:31 “Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God”! Life is more than temporary pleasure, don’t make everything about fun, success and happiness, God prunes us at times; which hurts, it’s for our good but it still hurts. Ask Him to strengthen you in weakness and rejoice in blessing!
4) Remind yourself how faithful God has been to you, He didn’t bring you this far to leave you. He doesn’t work on our time frame and He doesn’t explain His delays but He always works for our benefit; sometime that work is discipline, sometimes it’s blessing. Don’t judge progress in the middle of a trial, God is near tell Him what you need!
1) Never throw anyone away, they may not fit in your life again but God knew them before He used them in a prior role. Ex-spouse, boss, friend, business partner, etc. will bless someone, improve someone’s life or impact a generation of people you could never reach. Watch the Lord renew, restore and use them as you believe for and expect their life to be blessed
2) Everyone has regrets, some bigger than others, they eat at you until you hand them to Jesus for forgiveness; don’t let failures define your future. God has used people whose failures have been known to the world to be President, business icons and religious leaders because it did not define their future. Never give up because of your past!
3) One third of the Gospels are devoted to the last 7 days of Jesus life on Earth. Read how Jesus lived and died. He paid for all our sins. As Easter season arrives, think about what you have gained because of Jesus sacrifice. Everything He provided can be stolen, don’t get complacent the enemy is looking for soft targets, stay alert!
4) There are people who say “if it were not for you I would not have made it”, you may not know their name or remember where you met them but everyone has people God has given the grace to impact more than you know. Don’t give up when they don’t tell you, you might treat them different or discount what they say about you but know, unless you had been faithful to what God had gifted you to do, they would not be where they are today!
1) Don’t make this important decision too quickly. Many times in scripture what people were seeing was inaccurate; remember the servant of Elisha (II Kings 6:15-17), seeing enemies all around him but he didn’t see the Lord had chariots of fire between him and the enemy. Another place Jehoshaphat (II Chronicles 20:15) the Lord said, “don’t fear this great enemy, the battle is not yours but the Lord’s! Listen for the Lord’s direction, He sees what you don’t!
2) 365 times Scripture says “fear not”, that’s once for every day of the year. Don’t dwell on possible accidents, problems or illnesses. Phil. 4:8 says to “constantly think on good things, honest things, things that are right, etc;” your Heavenly Father has Angels watching over you night and day!
3) What are your recent answers to prayer? It’s easy to overlook God’s faithfulness because you are focusing on what you are waiting on instead of what you have. Faith allows you to live in God’s peace while waiting for your prayers to be answered. Seek God about your prayers, He knows what you need and when to get it to you!
4) Everyone has made mistakes, let someone important to them down and needs help to get back up. Take a chance, on those who many say are not worth it. Of coarse, be wise, if someone is dangerous don’t risk harm but many just need someone to encourage them life is not over. Things may never be like they once were but they don’t have to stay like they are now either!
1) “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (Matt.7:1-2) Jesus came to save everyone, don’t hinder His love!
2) It’s easy to find reasons to exclude people but Jesus welcomed broken people everywhere He went. Loving them is only possible when we ask Him to fill us, so we can pour the same grace on them that we have received. Be the person who lifts the discouraged and motivates them to do and see good again!
3) It’s almost impossible to praise God and complain at the same time, the more you exalt Him the smaller the world appears. Jesus lived in this imperfect world but spent His days doing good, showing love and forgiveness. Love the imperfect, we all are; and let Him clean them up in His time!
4) It’s time to leave failure, hurt and doubt behind; you can’t change what happened but you can stop it’s affect on you and on those you love. Love others as long as they need to blame you but this is the last day for you to mourn the past, your future is filled with hope and what seems impossible today will become the norm in the near future!
1) Just because you disagree doesn’t mean you have to share your opinion why the other person is wrong. Everyone needs to grow, give God time to show, encourage and inspire them; in the meantime, ask Him to show you areas you need to grow in. If He is willing to be patient with them, you should be too!
2) Bad things happen in this world, it always hurts and most of the time we don’t get a good explanation but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. It’s not easy to endure but if you turn to Him during your pain He will comfort you. It’s ok to question God, scream at Him and tell Him off but He is the only one who gives peace that lasts a life time, ask Him for help!
3) Don’t get stuck on “what if’s” and “whenevers”, enjoy today. Look for the small blessings, stay thankful for things others take for granted. No one has a perfect life, wishing you had what others have is always deceptive because you don’t know what it cost them to get it. Stay thankful for your life!
4) Scripture warns the days are coming when everything that can be shaken will be, make sure you are standing on the solid rock of God and His promises. God walks with you through the valley of the shadow of death, you do not have to fear evil … goodness and mercy are following you every day of your life!
1) You have made assumptions that are not completely accurate, part is correct but an important part is not. Don’t proceed until you get it corrected. Your heart is right but some of the information is not. It’s important, stay on it!
2) Are you speaking God’s plans for the future or are you criticizing and complaining like the world. Prophesy, encourage, comfort and inspire yourself, your family and friends. Believe God’s Word regardless what things look like, His Word never fails!
3) Praying for political leaders is commanded in Scripture, don’t let their actions or failures stop you from believing what God is going to do. Daniel didn’t rejoice when Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of His own judgement, Daniel didn’t want the judgement to come to pass, intercede for those who aren’t walking right with God!
4) It’s impossible to imagine the width, length, depth and height of the love of Christ. Jesus didn’t come to judge the world, He came to save it. You are His reflection, don’t let your humanity taint His reputation; He always want to save, heal and deliver!
1) Don’t wait for things to get better to enjoy life, find things to be grateful for today. God provides for the sparrows, He is blessing you too. Expecting “more” brings disappointment when you realize more is never enough. More can be enjoyed when it comes but stay thankful for small things too!
2) Peace and quiet are blessings you can overlook, a former prisoner said the toughest thing about serving time was there is never any quietness. When is the last time you were thankful for your 5 senses, God knew the pleasure, memories and joy you can have by watching a sunset, smelling a rose or hearing a song, don’t miss them!
3) There is still a way to fix this, you thought it would have been done by now but there are things the Lord had to do before this could be resolved. He has the right people to give you the wisdom and favor to bring about the changes you have been praying for, don’t give up you answer is almost here!
4) People around you may look wonderful and talk like everything is just like they want it but listen carefully, they are saying things you are not hearing because your assumptions are keeping you from helping them. Everyone needs a sounding board, make sure you are not missing chances to help!
1) What are you thankful for? Who have you told? If you are not careful, you can neglect to express you thanks for all the good that has been poured out on you. There will always be negative to complain about but one of the best ways to overcome it is to regularly tell yourself and others all the reasons you are blessed!
2) What impossible situation are you praying about? What scripture have you learned to remind you all things are possible for the Lord. Your best encouragement for overcoming difficulties is reminding yourself how many times the Lord has come through for you. Don’t listen to all the negative, stay focused on the promises of God!
3) We all live on the same planet but you choose who influences you. The Holy Spirit guides, teaches, and walks with you; promising to never leave you but you can ignore Him and live a fearful, defeated life. Peace is always available but you decide whether you walk in it or not!
4) Call on the Lord and He will show you great and mighty things, ignore Him and you live with finite thinking and possibilities. His plans for you are filled with hope, not sickness and calamity. Seek Him daily, listen for His still small once and obey His simplest commands. Being faithful in the small things means bigger things are coming!
1) Never excuse your sinful thoughts and behavior, sin never stays where it begins, it grows and makes way for more compromise. God gives grace to overcome sin but if you choose to continue in sin, eventually it affects every relationship and opportunity. Ask Him for grace to overcome all behavior that is unpleasing to Him, where sin abounds, “grace abounds much more”!
2) Christians are to be a light in darkness, love those who don’t love back and bless those who take advantage of us when we do; that can only be done when we rely on the Lord to give us the desire and wisdom to live this out. Relying on your strength to do this is exhausting and can cause pride when we see success unless we acknowledge, only by the grace of God can we live this way!
3) Keeping score of who is right, who tries harder or who puts more into a relationship never ends well. No one is perfect, everyone has “bad days”, commit 100% to your marriage, children and job, etc. The Lord will reward your faithfulness but trying to “get even” keeps Him from giving you more responsibilities. God gives you grace when you need it to live this daily!
4) Your life is a series of decisions, you can’t make poor choices and end up with a wonderful fulfilled life. Enjoy the small things, waiting for the big things causes you to overlook much of what life is made of, babies napping on your shoulder, a sunset on the beach, a quiet dinner with your spouse, etc. God has promised to provide for you, don’t miss His daily blessings!
1) Direction determines destination, in other words if you are going the wrong direction you can hope, wish, even pray that you don’t end up in the wrong place but you will. Turn around and start going in the right direction, it will take time to undo the things that occurred but if you keep at it you will end up where you want to be!
2) What are you goals or dreams for 2022? Change begins with one action, then another. Many small steps equal significant change, consistency most days equals progress. Take the first step today, don’t fret over how far you have to go, take one step, it’s the beginning of the new life you want!
3) “Jesus said, don’t worry about the speck in your neighbor’s eye, take the log out of your eye” (Matt. 7:4). You will have a much happier life if you let the Lord correct others and you listen for His correction for you. If you are willing to be as patient with them as He is with you, you will be happier than ever!
4) God loves the whole world, those who you are mad at, are offended by and think don’t deserve His forgiveness are just as important to Him as you. When you pray for them, He will show you many things they are good at and how much you need them. Choose to bless the people He loves!
1) Change begins with one step, don’t hesitate because you don’t know how things will work out, take the first step. God has promised to lead us, do what you can to follow; that might mean just stand up, get dressed and walk out the door. Listen for His still small voice, don’t get discouraged because you make a mistake. Start now!
2) We are connected as Christians, what we do affects others. If you quit, it affect us all, if you trust a lie, we are weaker. Seek God about His will for every decision to help us all grow. Encourage others to continue pressing for the prize that is promised in Christ Jesus. Live as if He is returning any moment!
3) Spend a little time erasing the failures and defeats of 2021; you have a new year to grow and bless others. Learn from mistakes and failures but don’t let them drag you down or disqualify you from what God created you to do. God knew your beginning and end and wants you to fully live every day!
4) Scripture says we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. Ask the Lord for a fresh desire to go all in for His plan for your life. The most important commandment is love God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength, anything less leaves you empty and frustrated. Let’s get started today!