I start each day with; “This is the Day that The LORD has made! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it! O LORD SAVE us; O LORD grant us success. BLESSED is he who comes in the Name of the LORD. From the House of the LORD we BLESS you.The LORD is GOD and HE has made HIS Light to shine upon us.” It is interesting how we can sometimes take it for granted that there will be another day after today! Think about it for a moment! Who but GOD can make a DAY?
As each new year draws near and end I am quite Thankful! There have been many things to take place this year throughout the world! Many who started the year out with us have passed on to the other side! There have been numerous earthquakes and natural disasters that have ravaged the land! The magnitude of the world’s overall dwindling economy has reached catastrophic proportions! Many countries are suffering… Yes some have begun to rebound but the aftermath is residual. The plethora of terrorists attacks are insane… For many things will never be quite the same. The ongoing cycle of wars ending and wars beginning seem endless…
I realize that the holiday season can be a time of great anxiety for many! Memories of loved ones that have passed on and distressing times seek to vigilantly rob you of your joy! But look you are still here! You still have more time! Time is priceless! Try to think about some of the happier moments and times that you shared with them and dwell upon the fond, humorous, tender and warmhearted memories! Build new and cherished memories to hold on to! Honor their memory now as you keep them close to heart! Live live to its fullest. Set new goals and forge ahead seeking ways to accomplish your goals! Look forward to an improving quality of life no matter how long or short… Change is always on the horizon! Anything that does not change is dead. Celebrate life itself as you continue to move forward!
I can personally think of some very unpleasant moments, times of grief, illnesses, deaths, distresses and calamitous disasters that have taken place but I do not want to dwell there! Nor do I desire to camp in denial! I pray that the Lord will continue to open my eyes to TRUTH! Knowing that He will lead you or I as we are willing to submit to His Will & Way! I so want to continuously “Abide in the Shadow of the Almighty…! ” Psalm 91. This verse assures us that His protection is always available… Time waits on no one! Well I must say that The Lord can and did allow time to be turned back for a moment… “
King Hezekiah was a great example! Here we learn that God keeps His promises! With Him even the impossible is possible! “Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of The Lord on the third day from now?” Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what He has promised; shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?” “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.” The prophet Isaiah called upon the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” II Kings 20.
What are you saying; King Hezekiah was faithful to the Lord! He became sick and to the point of death. He turned his face to the wall and humbly and sincerely prayed to the Lord asking the Lord to heal him! As a sign he asked if the shadow could go back ten steps! The stairway of Ahaz is a sundial. The Egyptians made their sundials in the form of miniature staircase. Shadows moved up and down to tell the time! The Lord honored Hezekiah’s request! “On the third day from now you will go up to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life…” II Kings 20. Here we can see that time belongs to GOD! Evidently Hezekiah had not yet fulfilled his purpose on this side of heaven and the Lord extended his time! He granted Hezekiah another fifteen years of life!
My point here is that time is so precious and sometimes we just never know from moment to moment what will be… Even in the face of death we can turn to the Lord! We can begin to relish each moment and seek to have happier moments! To sincerely make an attempt to deal with life responsively even when it becomes unpleasant despite what is going on about us! To live life to its fullest! I believe if you reach deep enough inside, and think broad enough anyone can find something to be thankful for no matter how infinitesimally small it might be! Life itself is a precious gift! Our good days can outweigh the rough times… You may have to take it moment by moment during the difficult days when you can’t see your way through… Just know someone somewhere has more or less yet, no matter how large or small or seemingly insignificant we can express thanks! Memories are priceless! God is bigger and beyond anyone, anything or any situation we may ever encounter! He will see you through!
If you have been depressed for a long time, it’s time for things to change! God really does the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to flourish within all of our lives daily! Know that it is the devil who wants to keep you bogged down in regrets, fear, doubt, shame and hopelessness. To make you feel so bad that the pains of life have you down and overwhelmed! To separate you from the Lord and to get you to focus on your pain! Don’t let your emotions continue to get the best of you. Exercise some self-control! Reach out to the Lord! Cry out to Him He can meet you right where you are! There is light at the end of the tunnel you may feel lonely but you are not alone! God can reach over your abyss of torment and bring you through to start anew! Know that today is a gift from Him!
God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from sin. Sin is anything that separates us from GOD! Jesus came to earth to give us hope for a better life with the Lord! He never sinned and did many marvelous miraculous healings, signs and wonders! He even fed thousands of people with a small lunch of fish and bread shared by a generous young boy! The Book of John even tells us that the world could not contain the books of all the miraculous things that Jesus did WOW! Look at GOD! HE IS AMAZING! Although JESUS helped many, He was still horrendously mistreated! He was beaten, spit upon then nailed to the cross and placed in a borrowed tomb! It was borrowed because He did not plan to stay there! What happened to Him was a part of God’s plan for us! Jesus redeemed us and paid the price for the sins of the world with His life! He arose with all power from the grave declaring power over sin and death! GOD IS AWESOME!
“But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death the KEEP its hold on HIM. David said about Him:
“I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue REJOICES; my body also will live in HOPE, because you will not abandon Me to the grave. Nor will you let your HOLY ONE see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with JOY in Your presence!” Acts 2.
Today is a gift from God! Draw closer to the Lord and shift your focus to Him! He will and can make all the difference in the world in your life! Everyone who is willing to invite Him into their heart can receive His Holy Spirit! He is the Inner Teacher, Guide, Wonderful Counselor and Comforter! Do not let life just pass you by! Ask the Lord to fill your heart and lift you from despair and fill you with His JOY!
No one can be a better you than you! Don’t allow man to take you down the primrose path that leads to destruction… Don’t allow the devil to make you live in regrets… What has happened cannot be undone! But you can always choose to go forward from where you are with the hope of building a better tomorrow! You can live eternally with the Lord! Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of Hope! Seek God for yourself! We can always have Hope in the LORD! Faith is what inspires Hope! Trust GOD! This is why an ongoing intimate personal relationship with The Lord is so very important! God is Love! He is the Great Equalizer! This is why He gave us His Son JESUS CHRIST! To accept Him into our hearts and let Him become our personal SAVIOR & LORD! With Him your age, race, address, bank account, medical condition, state of mind, societal status, IQ, what you have or do not have, does not change His Love for You! In Him you can discover everything that you will ever need! He can help you be the best you! He can fill your inner void and give you His PEACE that surpasses the understanding of man! PRAISE GOD!!!
God has created each of us for a purpose! “And we KNOW that in ALL things GOD works together for the GOOD” Romans 8. In HIS time! Life is about living and discovering whatever that purpose may be. All the signs of the last days are all about us! “ “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:25-28. Knowing this we can be thankful as time draws near! Prepare today! JESUS IS COMING SOON!
In Him we can have blessed assurance! It is “in HIM we live and move and have our being!” Acts 17. Yes be Aware! Yes express your doubts and fears! However make Him your focus! Not in a legalistic religious way! God wants us to enjoy life on this side of heaven! Spend time in His presence, meditating upon His Word! Allow Him to write His Word upon the tables of your heart and trust Him to bring it to your memory when needed! His Word is precious Spiritual Food for our souls! You have as much time as you need with the Lord, because time belongs to Him! Draw closer to the Him regardless of what is happening or not happening about you! Despite what is happening in this world know that He is still in control! His Word is being fulfilled!
Make it a point to spend time in His presence today! Be Thankful today because tomorrow is not promised! We know from His Word that even when your days may be few if it is His will He can extend time! If your Faith is dwindling and your heart troubled ask the Lord to rekindle your FAITH! Surrender your anxiety, depression, sadness,doubt, regrets or sickness to Him and let Him restore your JOY! Recommit or commit to His will and His way! God is our Protector, Healer and Deliverer we must continuously learn to entrust our wellbeing to HIM! Allow Him to be your Refuge and Fortress! God has already given us the Greatest Gift ever which is JESUS CHRIST!! We can Celebrate Christmas, New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving , Anniversaries, Birthdays, Holidays and everyday knowing that “”The earth is the LORD’S and everything in it the world and them that dwell therein!” Psalm 24. Trust God for brighter moments, days and precious memories ahead! He CAN and will supply ALL of your needs in CHRIST JESUS! GOD TRULY IS ABLE!! Prayer and Faith go together! Each day is a day to be Thankful! “This is the Day that The LORD has MADE! Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it!” GOD BLESS YOU!
There is so much turbulence and conflict about us in the world today and within our country as well. Few will readily admit it, but it is a great deal of conflict going on also within the Church. This is, resulting in further conflict surrounding many families, marriages, friendships, on the job and in the schools. Quite often many of the unhealthy dynamics simply go unaddressed. Guilt, blame and shame take the forefront. Therefore anxiety levels, anger, resentment, depression, addictions, numerous stress related illnesses and health concerns are on the rise.
Due to the increasing awareness of the unfortunate declining economic status within our nation, there has been an overwhelming trickle down global effect on the world at large. There have been strings of layoffs, numerous companies closing, rapidly falling stock prices, decreasing values of 401K’s and other retirement accounts, we have been in a “recession” that we are still trying to recover from. It has been said that the United States has been consuming more than it produces for years. It has been quoted that just in the last eight years we lost $40 Trillion of our economy. The Washington Times quotes; “Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to President Obama, told a congressional committee that massive trade-related imbalances in the U.S. economy were the source of the financial crisis that produced the ugly recession.”
There is a growing concern as to the overall quality of life worldwide. Ongoing wars, continued escalating terrorists threats and due to global warming, the threat of more hurricanes, famines, floods, earthquakes and more natural disasters are all becoming of a greater concern as well. Broken families, divorces, suicides and escalating crime, all these and more factor into the overall quality of life as we know it. But should we really be surprised? In spite of it all there is still hope! If you are a believer then you must know that the Truth of God’s Word is being affirmed. Jesus has said, “You will hear, of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed, such things must happen, but the end is still to come, Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” It is so very important to know God’s Word!
God’s timeless Word is so wonderfully amazing! Our attitude and perception have a lot to do with how we cope in any given situation. Conflict is inevitable. The Lord really is, can, and will be a refuge in times like these. Although a growing concern is warranted. God is able! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” God’s people should always look to Him, especially when it seems as though the world is coming apart. On many occasions even within His Church the ways of the world have been embraced. But this is nothing new. Things may even get worst before it gets better. There is much spiritual warfare about us. But don’t blame God. Our security and significance must be in Him alone! His weapons are not carnal. One must seek to not compromise His Word. During adversity with balanced faith, families grow stronger, healthy relationships are fortified when the armor of the Lord is embraced. His Word prevails! Just know God will never lead you to do anything contrary to His Word. Man from the very beginning has quite often chosen to disregard what God has said. What we are experiencing is a direct result of those consequences. But remember, “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, the world and them that dwell therein…”
Begin to consider looking to God and His principles for the solution to whatever you may be going through. In Him there is always hope! When conflict arises it is so very important to consult Him. More often than not when conflict arises He is the last resort. God has given us various illustrated methods to utilize healthy confrontation. But too often pride is at the forefront and carnal methods are employed instead. I would like to share with you a tidbit from the narrative on Joseph. It is one of the many exhilarating examples you can find in the Bible: There was a “famine” or should I say “recession” in the land? Joseph was favored by the Lord and was also his father’s Israel’s favorite . Joseph had many brothers. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”Joseph had several dreams. In one of his dreams, “the sun moon and stars bowed down to him.” His brothers were jealous of Joseph so they plotted together and sold Joseph into slavery, they called him a “dreamer.” They then slaughtered a goat, put the blood on Joseph’s robe, went home, lied and told their father that Joseph had been killed…
While a slave Joseph’s master Potiphar favored him and put him in charge of all that he possessed. His master’s wife tried to seduce him, but Joseph would have no part of it. She in turn lied on him and he was unjustly put into prison. While in prison the Lord’s favor was with Joseph. The warden was so impressed by Joseph, even here he put him in charge of everything! Joseph was able to interpret dreams. While in prison, many things happened to Joseph… One day, Pharaoh the King of Egypt was troubled and had a dream. Joseph was called; he was able to interpret his dream. The Pharaoh realized that Joseph was wise and discerning. “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt…”
A great famine came upon the land. Joseph had planned wisely and because of it there was ample food in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers lived in Canaan were there was no food. They were sent to Egypt by their father to buy grain. Guess what? When they arrived in Egypt they had to bow down to Joseph, he was now the governor. God knew way in advance what was going to take place. In spite of all Joseph’s mistreatment and adversity the Lord was still with Joseph… He finally revealed himself to his brothers. “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry for selling me here, because it was to save the lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been a famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But GOD sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance…” (For the details of this amazing narrative, read Genesis 39-47) Look at God!
This is why it is important to “Be Still and know that He is God.” Knowing God and His Word helps us to discern and recognize when something is not of Him. This is why we must daily ask for the infilling presence of His Holy Spirit. God does not have to manipulate, operate undercover, nor utilize false witnesses. God is aware of everything. He is Omniscient! It is very important to know the Lord’s Word for yourself and develop an ongoing, growing, trusting, personal intimate relationship with Him. It is important to learn to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
We must learn to invite God into all areas of our lives. God has a way in which to resolve conflict and confront issues that is quite different from that of the world. Remember He is a SPIRIT of TRUTH! His Word is full of seemingly impossible situations that resulted in a favorable outcome. Many who claim to be Christians continue to embrace very carnal ways to remediate behavior and seek resolutions. Many subscribe to a dual lifestyle one way at home and another way is present before the Church Community. It is important to keep in mind that God is aware of everything. He knows us from the inside out. Many really do not know nor believe that His Holy Spirit really does have Transformation power! He can and is more than able to bring about a true Metamorphosis in your life. Praise God!
Jesus Christ came so that we might live differently. Throughout His Word you will find all sorts of situations that are profoundly unfathomable. Yet He saw and will see His people through. There is a wealth of wisdom found in the Word of God that is priceless. The Pharisees was the established religious order that sought to discredit Jesus. They were intimidated by Him because He did not adhere to their legalistic practices. Spiritually they were blind. They too wanted to continue to resolve things their own way. Jesus was a living example as to what one can expect when you truly dedicate your life to Him! God knew way back then what would be going on now. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies: nothing you can desire can compare with her…”
Some things just will not be understood on this side of heaven. From the very beginning God had a plan for our lives. God is so gracious, loving, kind and patient. Few know what it truly means to love. God is love. Can you really love without knowing Him? He sent His only begotten Son so we could be redeemed from the power of sin. We have been given an Eternal Comforter an Internal Teacher! Even in the midst of all the turmoil that is about us His plan is still the same. If you are burdened down by the pressures and stresses of life, I have some “Good News” for you. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). God may not remove every burden, every difficult person or situation in your life, but you can find comfort in His Word. It is important to know His Promises! I assure you, He will and does keep all His Promises! Even in your difficult days, His Word will be “A lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path. I have sworn and I will keep your righteous judgments…” To GOD be the GLORY!