Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. (Prov 12:25)~ Care, fear, and sorrow upon our spirits deprive us of the drive and vigor in what is to be done, or courage in what is to be born of us. When we are facing challenges and negativity around us and those around us are speaking in negative context, it’s easy to stay discouraged and depressed and without any desire to progress. A trial in someone’s life can cause them to focus on fear and walk away from the blessings the Lord intends for them. When a person is seeing nothing but negative, they will even start to believe that they don’t have what it takes to be successful or happy. Now more than ever, we need to automatically let the encouragement flow. We need to tell others how much we love them, how we value them, and tell them that they are talented and creative. Our words can be what keeps a person going; our compliments can put a spring back into their step. Always remember, with your words you carry life-giving water. A good word from God, applied by faith, makes the heart glad. You carry hope, healing, encouragement and new beginnings, and you can pour it out everywhere you go. The Word says death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21) and it is so. Today, choose to speak encouragement. Choose to speak victory and faith. Instead of telling people what they’re doing wrong, instead of pointing out all their faults, find what they are doing right. Focus on the good. There are already enough critical, judgmental people in the world. Let’s be people who lift up others and restore them. Let’s be the light of Jesus in the world.
You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask amiss (James 4:2); Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it (John 14:13-14)~~ Imagine a small boy reaching for something that he really needs, but it sits in a place that is too high for him to reach. The child, tries standing on chairs and climbing on boxes and things but just falls down. Determined, he continues to try on his own but it’s just too high up and he can’t get it. So out of frustration he plops down on the floor, and begins to pout. After a few minutes or so, his father comes along and sees the child sitting there, arms folded and a scowl plastered on his face. “What’s wrong with you boy?” the father asks. Rather than speaking, the child points to an object he needs. His father shakes his head, and says, “All you had to do was call my name, ask me, and I would have given it to you, it is just that simple son.” — When we are trying on our own only to constant failure…going about things the wrong way to get what we want, it’s easy to become frustrated with the trials of life. Soon we just stop trying altogether and start giving up. We become totally disgusted and just decide to sit there in our frustrated situation. But our silence is to our detriment! Jesus tells us that there is power in our speaking….this is why the enemy is adept at getting us to be silent when we are going through trials. If we can’t speak it, then our needs will go unmet. Rather than trying to avoid going through God; trying to be independent; trying to do it our own way like we don’t need anything other than our own faulty ingenuity and then suffering in silence when we fail, Ask IN HIS NAME…then PRAISE, PRAY and PREPARE to receive your blessing!
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, “Seek ye my face”; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. (Psa 27:7-10)~ There comes a situation in everyone’s life where our “Godly Wisdom” speaks out the same answer, regardless of any other convictions…even those that are closest to us, and love us the most; even our parents have that point of telling us.. “Pray” because even they can’t be there for us. God’s best time to help those that trust in Him, is when all other means of help fails. He is a surer and better Friend than even our parents are, or could be. He knew before He even created us (Jer 1:5) that specific point in time where our “moment in life” would come where HE would be the only answer for us, so God planted a “homing” signal within us…”Seek my face!”. We all have within each of us a presence just waiting to be called on but we instead make the mistake because of the desire of our flesh to walk in the flesh, to rely on those things or people… which can’t help us and in many cases, may even purposely hurt us. Some people love you enough but can’t do anything for you. Other people will hurt you, mock you, humiliate you and judge you. But God will heal you, magnify you and justify you. He knows the sound of our prayer and He sustains us through come what may. There is no problem, situation nor circumstance that exceeds His ability and desire to meet your need. When Jesus was here, He not only gave us prayer to use but He demonstrated its use and its effectiveness. Friend, whatever it is, you can pray about it!! Use the “homing signal” because all else won’t sustain you but in prayer you will find God’s hand to cover you, protect you and guide you! And know that in and through it all, whatever you may need – He IS; and He will NEVER leave or forsake you!
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chr 7:14)
The Roman government tried to intimidate Him. False religion tried to silence Him. The devil tried to kill Him. All failed. Even “death was no match for Him”. Jesus, whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it (Acts 2:24), has unimpeachable authority. He was not kidding when He declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus is the command center of the universe. He occupies the Heavenly “ Office” and His Word is done as He speaks and intends, without negotiation, debate or vote. He called a coin out of the mouth of a fish (Matt 17:27). He stopped the waves with a word (Matt 8:26-27). He spoke, and a tree withered (Matt 21:19). He spoke again, and a basket became a banquet (Matt 14:15-21). Economy. Meteorology. Botany. Food supply. “All things have been handed over to Him by His Father” (Matthew 11:27). That includes Satan. The devil was soundly and infinitely defeated by Christ on the cross. Jesus outranks him in every situation. He must obey Jesus, and he knows it. Prayers offered in the name of Jesus have “divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4). Demolish! Not damage or hinder but demolish! The weight (power and authority) of all is on His shoulders!
And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen 4:9)~~ What does it mean to be the keeper of my brother? Is it as simple as looking out for each other? The Lord commands us to be our brother’s keeper. This means, to me, that despite our own situations, despite our own feelings, despite how much we want to pour it all into ourselves, we are not the only ones here; we are not the only ones with something going on. It’s easy to look out from ourselves and see other things going on and say ‘Well, what about me? I’m dealing with this or with that!’ When we are in a position to do so, God wants us to take care of each other. Yes, we have to take care of ourselves – but WHEN WE ARE IN A POSITION TO DO SO, our love for one another has to run much deeper than it currently does. More often than not, we do a whole lot better for someone with intangible care than anything we can put in their hands. Helping someone is not always about giving money or something they can physically possess. It’s not always about taking them in or doing tasks for them. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to a heart that hurts or offering encouragement and inspiration to someone that needs it. Sometimes it just means looking outside of yourself for a minute and just offering ‘care’ to another soul. If our brother stumbles, we must give him a hand. For to love one another, this is what God commands. One thing we must also remember is who we must love first. First being God, for it’s Him for whom we hunger and thirst; and it’s in Him that we live, move and have our being. Loving others seems simple, but it’s sometimes harder than it appears. To love one another we must step out from behind our fears. What do we have to fear is the question at hand? But, all we have to remember is that God first loved man in order that man would love one another. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Rom 12:10). A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35). When we do this my friends, it all comes back – you have to learn to look aside of yourSELF. It can’t always be about you! These are things God has purposed us to do – being our brothers’ keepers! Watch out for each other; be good to each other; and as far as your own situation, God will watch out for you- He will be good to you! This is HIS purpose! And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God; for those who are called according to HIS purpose (Rom 8:28).
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:3); But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Cor 15:10) ~ Independence; Self-sufficiency; that popular idea that implies we can become whatever we want to become—without help from anyone. Unfortunately these days that means even without God. This speaks to the essence of what we long for: to be a self-made people. But this desire for self-sufficiency isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact it helped pave the way for sin to enter the world. The lure of knowing all God knows drew Eve into wrong thinking. Dependence on her Creator seemed limiting, not freeing. We all follow in her footsteps when we seek knowledge that will empower and give us ‘independence’ apart from God. We like to relegate Him to certain times and spaces in our lives, insisting on handling the rest by ourselves. We fail to realize that building a life apart from God would mean, well, an eternity apart from God. There is a common saying that “God helps those who help themselves”. It sounds rational and seems like it would even be a good stance that God would take; After all: if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will surely get behind us in our attempts to change. When we’re feeling motivated to make something happen, we assume God will help us because we’re putting forth the energy to make a change. Besides, He’s not going to waste his time putting more effort into us than we are putting into ourselves. Right? So we qualify ourselves based on the hard work we do. We evaluate our character based on how often we go to church, attend Bible studies, volunteer, or check other items off the standard religious resumé. We regulate ourselves by making things laws that we believe in our eyes as a people… are for the good of the people. We like to do it ourselves and we make the decision of how it gets done! We are the ultimate factor in our destiny. But when you do all these things and yet little transformation takes place, what then? Work harder? Do better? Make another law? Promise to do this or swear not to do that? We “up” our effort and willpower – we impart more discipline. Discipline is a great word. But it’s all too easy to assume discipline is the sole solution to our problems. Here’s the thing… If we could be so sufficient on our own, why did Jesus have to die? We couldn’t save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. God did that FOR us. Do we think we can now live without sin without His help? Are we trying to finish what He started? Do we think we can perfect ourselves BY ourselves? Will more effort and more willpower to make ourselves do more works and obey more rules more consistently actually make us better? It is God that has given us His Spirit and this—combined with our faith, not our strenuous moral striving—is what will perfect us! God doesn’t help those who help themselves. God helps those who walk with Him in faith! Our efforts were never the impetus for God’s transforming grace. They won’t be the impetus for our changed hearts either. We don’t need will power or self-effort or another rule or regulation. We need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do for ourselves and what we CAN do, He will see us to doing it in greatness. It’s not about self-sufficiency and independence; contrary to what you start to believe when you rely on your own efforts. God is the only one that can exist independent of any external efforts and sustain Himself BY Himself. We actually DO need Him! He is the source of what we long for and need. Don’t let the pride of independence and free will fool you! Although we are created in His image, God does not give us the power to imitate Him; He gives us Himself! And contrary to popularity, we can’t do it without Him! But we CAN do ALL THINGS through Christ, that strengthens us!
I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images (Isa 42:8)~ We pledge allegiance to (cloth) flags and commemorate (material) statues to respect the memories of those (created things) long past. What used to be an extreme has now become the norm: we idolize people and live our lives in the examples of popular culture and lifestyle. But where is the glory to Him (the Creator of ALL things) that spoke life into existence with His very words? How do we honor the One that by His desire set the balance of the universe? Where is the allegiance to the God of eternity with an uncompromising promise? Let us give to God those honors, praises and glories which are His, taking heed that we do not serve the creature more than the Creator.