Saturday, May 1, 2010

Good-bye Yesterday, Hello Tomorrow

"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before". Philippians 3:13

How do we face the future when the past plays over and over again in our mind, creating a motion picture of constant rewind, pause and play, fast forwarding through the bad parts we would rather forget? How do we get past feeling like the victim and shine victoriously, facing the bright future full of the promises of God that are waiting for us?

When the pains of the past, piles of disappointment and stacks of failure start collecting, we must realize this type of inventory is only going to produce regret, fear, depression and future failure unless we stop entertaining it. When we allow the enemy to remind us of the bad, we have the option to keep thinking about it or stop, tell the devil to leave and start renewing our mind with what God says. When we base our thoughts on the past, we fail. When we place our thoughts on what lies ahead, believing God's Word, accepting His healing and provision, we win. When we step out in faith and receive what God has in front of us and forget the former things (Phil 3:13), we will no longer harbor the negative and we will finally see ourselves the way God sees us and we will embrace the new. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." II Corinthians 5:17

Even the most broken life can be used for God's glory. God has a plan. Dream big!

Friday, April 23, 2010


"He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:9

What are you hungry for? What satisfies your soul to a point where you are completely full, lacking nothing and no longer carrying around an empty heart? Is it an unhealthy, emotional hunger; one that drives you to unhealthy snacks when you feel sad, lonely, deprived, depressed, or mad? How long does that full feeling last before you are craving something else?

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6

Are you carrying around burdens no one should have to bear? Do you feel like giving up? Do you think there is no one who understands your hurts, regrets, your longings? Someone does care. His name is Jesus. He knows your heart and wants only the best for you. Only He can satisfy your every need and desire. He can fill the empty place in your heart. He can heal your wounds of the past and give you a bright future. Only He can give you an abundance of lasting, true joy. Are you hungry for Him? Do you long to spend time alone in His presence and seek after Him? Does your soul long to worship Him and do you struggle and feel empty when you haven't spent time with Him?

"He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103:5

He is the only way to peace. Whatever your struggle is, He is the answer. Victory through Jesus Christ is yours as a child of God. Ask Him for help. He is waiting for you. Trust Him, believe Him.
Thank Him for the answer. Praise Him always. He truly is all you need.

"Heavenly Father, thank you for being the one to fill the emptiness I feel. I trust you and believe you care about me and love me more than anyone else is capable of loving me. Thank you for satisfying my soul. I am hungry to learn more about you and to live life according to your will. Thank you for continuing to walk with me as I would never want to be without you. I love you, Father. In Jesus' loving name, Amen

Friday, April 9, 2010

Do You Know Jesus?

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21

God knows everything about us. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. He knows our thoughts, hopes, dreams, struggles and sorrows. He will never leave us, no matter what. He loves us so much that He sent His own son, Jesus, who willingly died on the cross for us.

“All my longings lie open before you, O, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.” Psalm 38:9

The Bible says that when we confess that we have sinned and ask Jesus into our hearts, we are saved.

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Although no one is expected to be perfect, we are all instructed to live our lives led by God and receive His love, mercy and forgiveness. God's desire is that we live an abundant, satisfied life. He has so many amazing promises for us in His Word.  
Psalm 119:105 says that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God’s desire is for us to read His Word daily, walk in a relationship with Him and become part of a Bible teaching church so that we may fellowship with other believers. Jesus is our connection to God. We can trust Him and invite Him into our hearts and lives, and we can look forward to spending eternity with Him!

“By grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

If you would like to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, please pray this prayer and receive the joy of your salvation:

"Dear Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that you sent your son, Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I ask that you would come into my heart and be Lord of my life. Thank you for loving me so much and for sending your only son to pay the ultimate price for me so that I may know you. Thank you for making me new, in Jesus' precious name, Amen."

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” II Corinthians 5:17

If you have prayed this prayer of salvation, I rejoice with you. Jesus rejoices with you as well. Oh how He loves you!

Romans 8:38 promises that nothing can separate us from the love God has for us.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Standing Firm

Do you feel like you are always fighting the same battle? Are you in a situation that has caused you great discouragement, fear or frustration? If so, there is a solution. Don't give up your fight. Don't lose the battle because you chose to give up. Be tenacious and don't give into the lies of the enemy and the discouragement trying to tear you down. The Bible says that our battle is not with flesh and blood, but with powers of darkness. Yes, satan is the root of every feeling of defeat, every voice of negativity and every lie. He wants us to lose the battle, but God wants to give us victory!

Ephesians 6:11-17 reminds us to put on the full armour of God daily so that we may "take our stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

To be a strong and victorious soldier in God's army, we need the Word of God to be hidden in our hearts. If we take the time to study the scriptures we will always find verses pertaining to our situation, whatever it might be. As we ask God for wisdom and speak those promises, He will show us the right path to take, give us His peace, and lead into the victory He has for us. The Bible is brimming with these victorious promises God has given us to carry in our hearts, reminding us daily of our inheritance as a child of God, now and forever.

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us victory in the situations we are now facing and for reminding us that your Word is full of answers, instruction and encouragement. We put on the full armour of God so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the enemy. We no longer have to give in to discouragement, fear or doubt, but we can boldly, with all confidence in You, stand, knowing that when we are weak, you are strong. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Knowing His Voice

"My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread." Job 23:11-12

Amazing, isn't it? Job, a man so blessed in all he did, a man so blameless and upright who, in losing everything, in all his horrific sufferings didn't curse God but rather fell to the ground and worshipped Him upon hearing the news of his family's death.

"He fell to the ground in worship and said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked
I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:20

Job immediately made his choice not to turn away from or blame God, but to follow and trust his heavenly Father through it all; through the pain, heartbreak, tragedy, disappointment and torment. Though it had to be beyond difficult for Job, he depended on God, believing He would help him. He praised and did not curse God. That is vital. He made the right choice; a decision that would prove victorious for him in the end. Job fixed his eyes on God. He didn't look to the left or right. He didn't look at the past. He didn't listen to the voices all around him, telling him to give up on God, to curse God and just die. He gazed his eyes on God, pressed forward and followed God. What tenacity that took.

Job depended on God's word more than food or drink. He abandoned what would have been the norm and went after the blessings God had for Him, not even knowing what the outcome would be. That is faith and that faith allowed Job to go through the fire and not come out smelling like smoke. He later received all God had for him, which was beyond his wildest dreams.

Would we be able to suffer like Job and praise God through it all? Could we ever encounter pain, loss, and suffering and still focus on the fact that God has a plan, that He will give back what was taken from us and then some? Could we look past our trials and tragedies and grab hold of the outstretched hands and open arms that say, "Come, follow Me?" Would we be able to mute the voices around us pulling us in every direction but the one we need to take? Will we know His voice; the right voice to follow? Will we be too busy, too afraid, or will we forsake all and follow the Great Shepherd and be the sheep He longs to care for?

"When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow him because they know His voice." John 10:4

Monday, March 15, 2010

Praise Power

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6
God inhabits the praises of His people. When we worship, He is right there in our midst. He knows what we need and is the answer. He longs for our worship because He loves us. Worship is about praising God for who He is, not for what He does or what He can provide for us. It is about communicating to Him how AWESOME He is, how powerful and great He is and how much we appreciate and love Him. Like countless men and women of the Bible, we can worship our way through any storm, any captivity and any enemy we encounter. God moves when we worship through our circumstances, no matter what the end result might seem to be. Sometimes we don't feel like worshipping, but that is exactly when we should.

Recall with me the real life events of Paul and Silas found in Acts 16:22; The men were harshly beaten and thrown into prison. Midnight fell upon them and wow was it dark, like the dark times we face (our "midnights!"). The jailer was ordered to shackle their feet and keep them bound in the inner prison. During their captivity and at their darkest hour, Paul and Silas began to worship and sing praises to God! Rather than trembling with fear, complaining or wondering how on earth they would get out of that terrible place, they lifted high the God of all creation, the God so strong and mighty, the God they adore.
As the other prisoners listened, (imagine what was going through their minds), suddenly, a strong earthquake came, the prison foundation was destroyed and the doors opened and the prisoners were free from their chains and shackles! Was it a coincidence that the earthquake came when it did? Not a chance. Praise moves God. He used that earthquake to free Paul and Silas, who believed in God and His mighty power. They didn't have a specific prayer. They didn't ask God for anything. They simply worshipped Him.

Let's pray:
"Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for real life Bible truths that we can refer back to for encouragement, and for answers to life's tough questions. Help us to realize whether we are in bondage, captive or imprisoned, worshipping you is the key to setting us free. Whether it is relationships, fears, frustrations or discouragements keeping us bound, we choose to worship you today. We simply go to your throne of grace and mercy and shower you with the praise you so deserve. Blessed be your holy name. In Jesus' name, Amen".

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Juniper in the Desert

God is omnipotent. The first time I ever heard those words, I learned that He was everything I would ever need; everything. God encompasses all things; there is nothing left out. The dictionary defines omnipotent as all-powerful, possessing complete, unlimited, or universal power and authority. God has the final word. The world can be falling apart around me, but God is in control. He always has been. He always will be. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere; continuously and simultaneously throughout all creation! He is present all the time, in all places. Why do I worry if God is omnipotent and omnipresent? Fear and doubt accomplish nothing but good toward the enemy and anything but good for me. What if I surrender completely to God and His omnipotence?

Would it be possible for me to trust Him completely and remain still, resting in His care, no matter what? Would I truly believe that He would tread down my enemies and allow me to live valiantly as Psalm 60:12 so encourages? There is a place; a secret place where I can go to find refuge and safety in the One who protects me with the strength of a fearless lion, yet is as gentle as a lamb, providing me with serenity and peace, even in a storm.

Like the strong and tenacious juniper tree, I want to thrive in the desert. Like the rare tree that grows through rock, without water, twisted and without direction, living and blooming in barren landscape, I want to flourish where God plants me. Even if I am tired, afraid and burdened, even when there seems to be no way, I want to push through the rock and reach for all God has for me. The unique juniper tree had purpose. In all its' imperfections, God used it. He created it to be different from the other trees for a reason; He used it as a place of refuge, "He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him." 1 Kings 19:5. God, in His omnipotent power, is the source of my strength, joy, peace, hope and love. When I seek Him, praise Him, trust Him and take refuge in Him, I will find ways in which He will use me and become like a juniper in the desert.

Bloom and be blessed!