Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (Phil 3:13-16)~~ Today I can choose to carry over the upsets and negativities of yesterday, but I woke up early today, excited about all that I get to do before the day is over. Indeed I have responsibilities to fulfill because today, like every day before, I get to choose the kind of day I am going to have. Today, I can choose to complain because the weather may be rainy, or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free. Today, I can choose to grumble about my health, or I can rejoice that I am alive. Today, I can choose to be regretful about missed opportunities from yesterday, or I can seize the moment and take advantage of the new opportunities that today brings. Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like for me is up to me, and I am determined to make the most of it..! Yesterday belongs to history and there’s absolutely nothing you can do with or about it! Today is yours…what will you do with it?
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day (Ps 91:5)~ The world is uncertain even of itself but in God there is certainty and in Him we hide! God has us covered! Our refuge and fortress; He takes care of us. His truth, our shield and buckler; God keeps us under His mighty wing! Regardless of what goes on around us; though it is overwhelming, nothing shall separate us from Him, nor His love nor His salvation! Though the enemy would have us fearful because of the dangers around us, we must remain vigilant in our Faith, believing that we shall see, not only God’s promises fulfilled, but His threatenings. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father’s will is done; and we have no reason to fear. Wisdom shall keep us from being afraid without cause, and faith shall keep us from being unduly afraid. We will not be governed by fear but covered by faith! Amen!
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!
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Ths 5:18)~~ God has given us reasons time and time again to give Him thanks, and this is what we must do. We are living in a time of great anxiety, but He has offered us a way out of anxiety. We may know His loving care. There is no one so good, so high, so holy, and so merciful as God. We are thankful that He has invited us to bring our petitions and our requests to Him. Who else can we go to for wisdom, or for hope, or for guidance? We are thankful for peace that proceeds from His forgiveness, the wholeness that comes from His restorative touch. We are thankful for His creating a world He called “good.” We thank Him that despite the evil that has entered the world and still wages war in our own souls, His goodness is undiminished. We thank Him that we have seen honor that is bolder than shame…mercy that is wider than cruelty…truth that is straighter than deception…faith that is stronger than treachery…hope that is deeper than desperation. We thank Him for the ordinary things: the bread we receive, the breath by which we live. And we thank Him for the extraordinary things: the strength we didn’t know was possible, and the discovery of truths we didn’t know. We thank Him for the immeasurable grace shown to us in the coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world. Be thankful today for each other and the blessings you have… In all things today, give thanks In His Name.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Cor 4:8-9)~~ How can this be??? How can we possibly be stable in such unstable conditions? Well, we’ve got God on our side – and we are like a wise man that builds his house upon a rock (Matt 7:24). See, life sends all sorts of storms and challenges our way, whether it’s health, relationships, jobs or any other kinds of stress. Just because we are believers and followers of Christ doesn’t mean that we’re exempt from trials and tribulations. In fact, the Word reminds us that Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Knowing this himself, the enemy is crafty in sending all sorts of trouble and stress and confusion our way and even making us believe that it’s some sort of task from God, but God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor 14:33). Knowing this, the enemy gets us fearful of things going on around us and causes us to act on that fear, but God did not give us this spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). The enemy also give us false feelings of power and self sufficiency that we can get through trials on our own, enacting our prideful ways, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us (2 Cor 4:7). The enemy with all of his tricks and lies seeks to keep us in confusion and and fear and darkness but we have salvation – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.(2 Cor 4:6). Are you seeing the ‘light’ my friend? Are you seeing the One who provides all of these things? In the world ye SHALL have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have (Jesus has) overcome the world (John 16:33). And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phi 4:7) – yes, it is tough – you don’t know how to even FEEL sometimes and you might not be thinking clearly and probably don’t always know which way you’re going. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33). What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31).
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:36)~ God could, at the simplest of His thoughts, change the direction you’re facing…so why doesn’t He? Why does God allow us to have trouble? As we struggle day in and day out we tend to get a complainer’s mindset and eventually start to believe God has betrayed us because He’s letting us go through a struggle. But rather than taking us ‘out’ of our struggle-and condoning our ‘running’ from it (and likely back into it again later), He instead in His sovereign wisdom, allows the struggle to continue, and brings us through it— teaching us wisdom and perseverance along the way; how to rise above it so that should it (or when it does) come back we will be better next time through it, being faithful and struggling less through it, trusting HIM and with wisdom, making better choices through it. God never promised we would be without struggles; in fact He reminds us that in this world we will have tribulations (Job 14:1); but understand, it’s NOT His will that any should suffer or perish, but that in Him we turn from those things that beset us… And in HIM; through that faith, perseverance, trust and wisdom we’ve developed, we overcome and have peace throughout! When you can go through a trial in your life and your mind is thinking you’re supposed to be stressed but your soul and your whole disposition is at peace… now THAT’S what happens when God gets His hand on you! -To God Be The Glory! Be blessed!
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation (Ps 91:14-16)~ Curious child of God? Wondering if this is what God thinks when He considers you? And then some!!! When God puts His favor on you, whatever happens, nothing shall hurt you; No weapon formed against you shall prosper– though troubles and afflictions may come. They shall come, not for your hurt, but for your good, though at the time it seems more hurtful than helpful. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon Him. They by prayer and faith constantly call upon Him. His promise is, that He will in due time deliver us out of trouble, and in the mean time we will be with Him while in trouble. The Lord will manage all our worldly concerns, and preserve our life on earth, so long as it shall be good for us. He will bless the fruits we bear. He will bless the seeds we sow. He will bless our comings and goings. Friend, God will cause your enemies to come at you in one direction but flee from you in seven directions, because greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world. That’s just a portion of how God will bless you – in Jesus name!