An Encouraging Word



 

 

Greater!

 

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"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them:  because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."  1 John 4:4

 

What are you facing today?  Whatever it is, God is Greater!  When we face situations we many times attempt to depend on resources, connections and ourselves; however, we fall short of our goal. Are you operating to your full potential today?

 

Scripture tells us that we can only do ALL things through Christ, who gives us the ability. Without Christ our efforts are useless and the result is frustration. However, with Him we are more than a conqueror.

Today, release your full potential by not focusing on who is against you, but who is for you, with you and in you. Because God is in you, those or those situations that accuse or harass you have no power over you. He waits for you to draw from His vast storage to enable you to accomplish your full potential which is based on God's potential.

 

I'm reminded of a song by Chris Tomlin, "Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other, Our God is healer, awesome in power, Our God, Our God..."

 

".... In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

 


 

Living in God's "NOW"

 


"Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

 

Life's daily struggles challenges us to remember God's faithfulness and His love towards us, which causes us to sometimes fall into a place of complacency, doubt, and even take things into our own hands. I read today's scripture and there was a freshness on the word "NOW".

 

We often spend our time worrying about what happened or what is going to happen and we don't live in the NOW. This passage gives us a glimpse into our future and puts an eternal perspective on it. Right now, we are the children of God! Can you sense the power of NOW?

 

The enemy's job is to distract you from Living in the NOW. God is in the now and He is with you right NOW. God's word gives me an Eternal perspective. Listen to His word:

 

1. "NOW we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." 1 Corinthians 2:12

 

2."I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I NOW live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

 

3. "NOW the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:38

 

4. "NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

 

Today! What will you do with your NOW? I challenge you to LIVE IN GOD'S NOW! God is eternal and He is with you. HE NEVER FAILS!  

 

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

 


 

You Still Have Time

 


“But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided.” Luke 12:20

Our passage today is a parable about a man who seemed to be “blessed” based on today’s standards. He has everything and he is so prosperous that he has to tear down and build bigger barns. It would appear he is living the “dream.”

However, Jesus says the man has misplaced priorities.  His success has caused him to focus on his things vs. the Lord.  Warren Wiersbe says, “Wealth can be a window through which we see God (1 Tim. 6:17) or a mirror in which we see only ourselves.”

The man in our parable made three mistakes; providing for himself, not others; providing for his body, not his spirit; and providing for this life, not the one to come. 

Satan’s plot for us is to get us so busy seeking things vs. Him, that we get caught up in a life that Jesus Christ is not our first priority or priority at all.  
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36 (KJV)

We are faced with many opportunities in life, but the greatest is right before us today.  Perhaps you have gotten off the path of seeking Christ and all of your decisions are about you, your pleasure, and now.  You still have time to turn it around.  

Our scripture verse shows us that Jesus uses some powerful words: “fool, thy soul, required of thee, “ Although time ran out for this man in today’s scripture,  this parable is screaming out to us, “YOU STILL HAVE TIME!”  What will you do?  

“And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11 (KJV) 

 

 


 

Expect It

 


“I'll make a great nation of your descendants, I'll bless you, and I'll make your reputation great, so that you will be a blessing” (ISV) Genesis 12:2

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

 

What do you expect from God in 2018? In our text Abram is called by God out of his past to his future; however, God does not tell Abram where he is going, how he will get there, or why He was calling Him.  Abram simply had to believe that God was a keeper of His word; however, Abram had to expect God to perform what He said.

  

In his calling, God tells Abram four things, I will:

 

a. Make thee a great nation (descendants) – blessing will come through you… I’ve put the capacity for the blessing to flow through you… YOU ARE BLESSED!

b. Bless thee – The true BLESSING ONLY COMES FROM GOD.

c. Make thy name Great! - You shall have a reputation of being “blessed”. 

d. Cause you to Be a blessing – When you receive the blessing of the Lord, PASS IT ALONG.  It’s not just for you.  

 

God’s last promise was that Abram would be a blessing.  This is God’s ultimate goal for you. Believe It and EXPECT IT! 

 

Expectations drives our: 

 

a. Action – We begin to operate by faith.

b. Reaction – We stop being negative and we become positive.  We react differently to our situations and circumstances.

c. Direction – We begin to pursue our expectations, which provides clarity in our direction. 

 

God’s promise was not just for Abram, but it is also to you.  We are Abram’s descendants.  Ask God to allow you to be a true blessing vessel.  Our theme for 2018 is the “Year of Blessing”.  Don’t just believe it, EXPECT IT!

 

“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” 
Galatians 3:7

 


 

The Greatest Joy

 


"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4

Many read, hear, and even understand the truth, but it cannot be applicable to our lives, until we Walk in Truth. What does it mean to Walk in truth? It means to walk consistently with God's word. Also, it means to walk in a way that is real, genuine, and without any phoniness or concealment. If you believe that Christ has saved and delivered you, walk like it. It will bring GREAT JOY!

 

Perhaps you are searching for your deliverance, purpose, or destiny… walk out His word. Scripture empowers us to know that our "steps" are ordered by the Lord. That means that they are established, set-up, or fixed by the Lord. Truth in scripture is defined as God's Word. “…Thy word is truth” John 17:17…

 

How do we allow our steps to be ordered by God's word?

 

1. BELIEVE His Word – How we believe will determine how we fulfill His word.

2. SURRENDER To His Word - Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain, but it must be for only Him.

3. WALK In His Word – Our walk must be in alignment with His word.

 

These three actions will cause us to reach our deliverance, purpose, and destiny in Christ. I call it the PROMISE MODEL…   B X S X W = Fulfillment

 

The Apostle John talked about joy in each of his books:

 

"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:4

 

"I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 2 John 1:4

 

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.” 3 John 1:3  

 

All three of these verses point to the theme of God's children walking out God's truth in their lives which will increase our capacity to accomplish greater in His Kingdom, fulfill His purpose for our lives, and experience His Greatest Joy!

 

"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk…" 1 John 2:6  

 


 

Rejoice

 


"Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Many only rejoice when something good happens; when life provides a great surprise; when what we've been dreaming of happens.  What do you do when things aren't going your way?    

Paul shouts it from the mountaintop. "REJOICE, always...  and again I say REJOICE."  He provides emphasis..  This is Paul, who is sitting in a jail cell, not sure of his life's fate, but yet he writes, REJOICE!  The original meaning of this word is to joyfully REJOICE, be glad or be grateful.  Why,  because Joy is dependent upon what is the truth about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. 

REJOICE ALWAYS IN:
1. Christ's righteous character
2. Christ's redeeming love
3. God is working all things out for your good
4. Your past answered prayers
5. The gift of God's Word
6. God is with you
7. God is going to be glorified in every circumstance that you're in.

In the same chapter of Philippians 4 Paul states, "In whatever state I am in, I have learned to be content (independent of my circumstances)". (Vs. 11) What is Paul saying?   While being content... REJOICE.  He speaks of rejoicing first (vs. 4), because rejoicing is based on our eternal perspective... it is based on our spiritual man.  Contentment is based on our natural man.  If our spiritual man is in order, it will cause our natural man to be in order. We must put our lives in spiritual order!   Many can't rejoice because they are out of order.  Trust Christ today with your whole heart and by faith, REJOICE!

"In everything, give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18” 

 


 

Stop It!

 


“Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done."
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

 

I woke up this morning and God gave me those two words.  I didn't quite understand; however, when I got in the car and began to listen to the minister on the radio, I heard his first two words.  Yep, you guessed it, "Stop It!"
 

Stop worrying!  Our scripture text, written by Paul, uses two key words, "nothing and everything".  Between these two words is where our problem is, but Paul gives us the answer.  We are told to worry about nothing and to pray about everything. Your answer is with God but, God says you must seek me and when you seek me you will find the answer so today stop it.
 

Stop putting things and problems ahead of seeking Christ.  He gives us the key to our problems/worries; prayer.  Prayer allows us to stop focusing on our problem and focus on Jesus Christ, who is our solution.  When we pray we must begin to pray what His word says:
 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28  - "God's purpose prevails"


Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. - God has not forgotten about you!  1 Peter 5:7 

 

Psalm 62:11 - God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.  - My Confidence is in God!

 

Today... Stop operating outside of God's will by worrying.  Stop It!  When we worry, we're saying God, I don't believe you can handle it.

 

"But My God shall supply ALL your need, according to His riches in glory."  Philippians 4:19

 


 

Slow Down!

 


One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. Psalms 27:1

 

We live in a world that is so fast paced and we have so many things pulling at us, I wonder if we know if we are coming or going.  This fast pace causes us to feel as if we see no other option but to run to just keep up.

 
In Psalms 27 David is running because of fear from being chased by King Saul.  I would even imagine that he is wondering what will happen in his future.  Even though he is feeling like this he declares he is confident (vs 3), courageous (vs 14), and unafraid (vs1).  David had an eternal perspective.


David's secret to his confidence was his private obedience.  Obedience to the Lord was his underlying bridge to allow him to cross from his circumstances to his victory.  David consistently stayed in God's presence and sought Him.

 
David declares, "one thing have I desired and that will I seek after... that I may dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  It is said that when a person was invited into a person's tent as a guest he not only received food and rest, but he also received protection.  God is inviting us to seek:

 

- His light (vs. 1)

- His strength (vs. 1)

- His protection (vs. 1)

- His presence (vs. 4)

 

No matter where you find yourself today: running, walking, or standing, He's waiting on you to slow down and seek Him.

  
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:"  Isaiah 55:6

 


 

Give Me My Mountain

 


"Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [were] there, and [that] the cities [were] great [and] fenced: if so be the LORD [will be] with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said."  Joshua 14:12-13


What mountain are you facing today?  Many times we say we have faith, but how do we claim (secure) our mountain?
 
Caleb is well known in the Bible for believing God for his mountain, because he claimed his mountain according to the promise of the Lord.  When God promises you something... you have to secure His promise.  Caleb declared that he desired the hill country where the giants had been.  What do you desire?  Tell God!  Caleb was not just confident in his faith, but he was confident in his God. With God's strength you will overcome any mountain.  God is a mountain mover.

We learn from Caleb's life:

1. He verbally claimed his mountain. "Let your request made known to God."  Jesus told us to ASK (Pray).  Matthew 7:7

2. God provided Caleb with strength to take his mountain. Only he and Joshua made into the promise land, because they had a good report.  At 45 Caleb saw the mountain; however, it was not until 85 that he received the mountain.  His faith never wavered or ceased.  Caleb was consistent in his commitment and faithfulness to God, He wasn't physically strong as he was at 45; however, he was spiritually strong.
 
3. He spoke by faith that God kept him alive to take his mountain.  - Properly placed confidence is always placed in what God says.  Listen to Joshua's testimony:  "And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while [the children of] Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I [am] this day fourscore and five years old." Joshua 14:10 (KJV)

4. He physically took his mountain.- God had built him for the claiming of his mountain and he took it.  
When facing our mountains we get discouraged when we don't take it right away; our faith gets temporarily misplaced.   Many times we shut down because we feel we have failed, but we must remember, God does not require us to do it on our own strength alone, but we MUST rely on His strength.  "It's in him that we live, move, and have our being."  Acts 17:28

"If ye have faith, and doubt not,..... ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." Matthew 21:21

 


 

Take It Off!

 


"….let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 11 (Heroes of faith) is one of my favorite chapters; however, chapter 12 verses 1-3 brings it home for me. Have you ever been so weighted down with the cares of life that you ask the question, "What am I going to do?" I've got the answer. Take it off. A runner that runs a race understands that if they are going to be victorious they must take off everything that impedes them from winning their race. Many times we get inspiration from things, people, movies, etc. We live our lives through others; however, today I want to challenge you to take courage and live the life Jesus Christ has secured for you. Everything that's holding you back, Take it off!

Paul writes to the Hebrews and tells them that faith is not just believing, but it is taking God's word and walking it out. How do we do this? Three things: Lay aside every weight, look to Jesus and don't get weary in the process. What's holding you down? Anxiety, unforgiveness, doubt of God's ability to meet your needs? Whatever it is, let it go and give it to Him. Lay aside simply means to take it off. We as believers take it off through prayer. Prayer is our greatest weapon, but instead we tend to think about things, fill our lives with busyness and not deal with our weights/sins, or we hash them out and talk to everyone but Jesus. 1 Peter 5:7 says,“Casting ALL your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” He really does.

What is our motivation when we are faced with life's challenges? Paul tells us, Jesus! We must keep our eyes consistently on Him, who is our author and finisher of our faith. The same motivation that He had, we must have. He endured because the promise of God's Joy was at the end of His challenge. We must, by faith, lay aside that which hinders us and pick up our victory that is only through Him. Satan wants you to waiver and not believe God's promises that Jesus has already obtained. My dad said something the other day that has stuck with me. "It's easier to obtain something than to maintain it." Satan doesn’t' mind you becoming a "Christian"; however, he doesn't want you to walk in TOTAL VICTORY.

Notice the last part of verse 3, it says, "Consider Him (Christ)….lest ye be wearied in your mind". Consider means to ponder, to think it over and over and over again. Stop thinking about your weights and sins and think about what He has already done for you and take those things, issues, and problems off and exchange them for His victory. Because He has the victory, we have the victory.Take it off


 


 

Trust God

 


"Then God remembered Rachel's plight and answered her prayers by giving her a child. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. God has removed my shame, she said."
Genesis 30:22-23


TRUST is the hardest struggle we face as believers. Can I trust God? Can I trust His promises? As Pastor Hess Sr. has shared on many occasions… God has a Plan, Promise, and Purpose for you and your life. In our daily struggles we learn to believe that God knows what He is doing, what He is talking about, and that our waiting is for our good. We must operate on that basis despite what friends and others tell us.

Today's passage deals with trusting God through patience. Many believe and Trust God, but is our trust to the degree that we are willing to wait on God? Rachel struggled with God not giving her a child. Through this experience she sought God. Perhaps this is one of God's tools to prod us to trust Him. It is through our questions, tests, trials, and tribulations that we remember to seek Him, which in turn leads us to Trust Him. Many trust in other things, and it is not until all of our options are taken away that we seek Him with all of our heart and trust Him. Rachel waited on God God provided her timely answer. What are you waiting on? Trust God!

Trusting God is difficult when nothing seems to happen. But it is harder still to live with the consequences of taking matters into our own hands. While waiting you must:

a. Resist the temptation to think God has forgotten you.
b. Have patience and courage to wait for God to act.

God says, "TRUST", and we say, "But God…" God says, "Have faith," and we say, "Yes, God", but…" God says, "Wait," and we say, "But how long?" Today let us take that next step in our trusting God and allow our faith, which is based on His word, to rise to meet his faithfulness.

 

"And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you." Psalms 9:10

 


 

Consider Now

 


"Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." Haggai 1:5

Self-examination is never easy because it requires that we deal with our failures. The Israelites had been authorized to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem; however, after 18 years the only progress made was the foundation. The Israelites had totally forgotten what God had called them to do. As a result, Haggai had to speak truth to their lives and challenge them.

 

In chapter 1, Haggai uses three key words, "Consider your ways". They had forgotten their God given purpose, plan, and promise. Haggai reminded them:

 

1. They were the RIGHT PEOPLE – God had allowed "the remnant" to come back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Who God calls, He equips!

2. They were in the RIGHT PLACE to affect change and rebuilding of the temple.

3. It was the RIGHT TIME – Opportunity was all around them; however, they couldn't see it. What are you ignoring that is right in front of you? Now is the time to not just do something, but do He has called you to do.

 

What has He told you to do, but you have delayed doing it, or greater, you have given up trying to do it? Perhaps you've ignored God's call, and you have made excuses, and you simply avoid discussing it. Haggai gives us the solution to gaining our victory.

 

1.Consider your ways - Take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming others.

2. Make the Lord Jesus Christ priority #1 – What relationship, job, position, title, … have you put in front of your relationship with Him?

3. Do what He told you to do – God's word is still in effect, He's simply waiting on you.

 

Consider means to mull something over, to examine, and to analyze. In other words, examine the path you have taken and are currently on. Consider NOW! Now is such a powerful word because it implies the importance of the action. If you will do it NOW the Lord promises His presence and revival (spiritual resurrection) in your life.

 

God's presence is the #1 need in our daily lives and with His presence He also promises to revive that which is dead. Wow! God wants to stir up that which has died and that which appears to be hopeless, simply by you obeying His original instruction. Today, we need LIFE. Life in our lives, homes, families, and churches. CONSIDER NOW! 

 


 

Potential

 


"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

I remember one of my greatest trips was when my family visited Washington D.C.. Our kids were young and we spent the whole week going to places of history. We went to the National cemetery, several of the Smithsonian Museums, and the White House. I can't tell you all that I saw, because time has passed; however, I can tell you what I felt. I felt potential. What do I mean by that? When we were in the cemetery you could see white markers for miles. The question that came to mind was did these people know Jesus Christ and did they fulfill their purpose in life? In other words, did they fulfill their potential? Man is first created to worship the Lord and receive what He has done for them and to reach their God given potential.

It's amazing because I also asked that same question when I went to the museums. Did these people that these artifacts represented reach their full potential? There were so many things that inspired me, but it also challenged me. What has God put in you and I that we still must discover?    

In our scripture text, Paul is informing us that nothing is hidden from God. He sees all and He knows if we are pursuing our potential and greater, when we die, did we reach our full potential? I ask you today, are you reaching your full potential? Are you reaching it in your daily walk with Christ; in your home; in your marriage; in raising your children; in serving others? We can go on and on.... Only you and I can answer this question.

Dr. Myles Monroe said that, "we must accept the responsibility for activating our abilities so that those who come after us will not notice a vacant space in earth's display," whether the cemetery or life's museum.

 


 

Mismatched Socks

 


The other day I sorted my socks in my sock drawer, an exciting task!

 

I'll start off by saying sometimes I get my blacks and blues mixed up, because, I can be color blind with these colors.  It would appear from a distance that I didn't have any socks that matched, so I took them out and turned on the bright light so I could see the colors and patterns of the socks.  

 

I first put the blacks, blues, browns, and pattern socks in orderly piles and then from there sorted for matches.  It came to me that:

 

1. It's easier to see what you have when you put it under the light

2. When I put the socks in color order I can match them easier 

3. My matches outnumbered my mismatches 

4. I had more to work with than I originally thought.

 

From this little exercise I learned:  

 

1. Many times our lives are out of order, like my sock drawer.  

2. It would seem that we don't have any matches in our lives.  

3. The devil wants us to dwell on the negative, whether it's in our home, finances, relationships, health, job, etc.  

4. We must give our mismatched areas of our life to Jesus and allow Him to sort out our issues and expose the matches in our life.  

5. Stop allowing the enemy to magnify issues that are really not that big

 

This exercise helped me realize my situation wasn't as bad as I thought.  Subsequently, it inspired me to search my son's drawer and find more matches.  Some of the socks were not mismatches, they were just out of place.  What's out of place in your life, home, relationships, finances, emotions?

 

I heard something the other day that blessed me. Your thoughts determine your actions and your actions determine your destiny.  God has a Destiny for your life and it begins with a simple examination of your heart and thoughts.  Give Him your mismatches!  

 

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts" Psalm 139:23 (KJV)

 


 

Are You Unbroken?

 


"Do you do well to be angry?" Jonah 4:9a

 

It is said that before a horse can be useful to its owner, it has to be broken. An unbroken stallion is proud and strong. It will paw and snort and let no one ride it. But then a bit goes in its mouth, a saddle goes on its back, and someone climbs up and hangs on. The stallion immediately starts to buck, because it doesn’t want to be broken—but eventually it stops fighting and surrenders to the will of its master.

Sometimes we have that same stubborn, rebellious, self-sufficient spirit within us, and God often breaks those attitudes because they keep us from experiencing true intimacy with Him.

In Jonah 4, Jonah is angry with God, because he had not yielded totally to God. His mind knew God’s truth, and his will obeyed God’s orders, but he did not do the will of God from the heart. Jonah still had issues that needed to be broken.

Jonah obeyed only because he was afraid of what God might do to him. His was not a ministry of love.

 

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” Ephesians 6:6

 

When we are angry with God:

 

• Everything in life gets out of perspective,
• We say and do selfish things.
• Things become more important than people
• Comfort becomes more important than ministry.
• We quit
• We separate ourselves from others
• We become a spectator

 

Jonah was not an acceptable representative until his attitude mirrored God's attitude. The overriding question in Jonah 4 is, “How do we get rid of our anger? We must release our stubbornness, if we do not, our anger will turn into bitterness, which will eventually turn into hatred.

 

Many times we want to hold on to our anger because we feel it is within our right to do so. I say to you, "LET IT GO!" God wants to break our anger so that he can use us.


“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17, ESV)

 


 

Give It To Him!

 


"There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?.... And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples … and likewise of the fishes as much as they would." John 6:9,11

 

Have you ever felt as if you did not have enough and you didn't know what to do? Jesus and His disciples faced a dilemma. There was a large crowd following Jesus and His disciples; however, there was no food to feed them. Three people in our scripture deal with the situation differently:

 

• Philip – He basically said the dilemma is “TOO GREAT”… (vs. 7)
• Andrew – He identified the boy with the 2 fish & 5 loaves of bread; however, he said it was "NOT ENOUGH." He is basically saying, "We need a miracle." (vs9)
• Jesus – He took the 2 fish and 5 barley loaves, blessed it, broke it, and showed us that it was “MORE THAN ENOUGH.”(vs.11)

 

How can there be three answers to the same problem? All three looked at the situation differently. Philip looked at the problem and Andrew looked at what they had, but didn't know it was the solution. Jesus looked at the 2 fish and 5 loaves and knew that when it was put in his hands, it would become the solution.

 

There is a principle that my Father often shares. “If what you have is not enough, it can never be your harvest, it must be your seed.” We see three points in our lesson:

 

• Jesus is waiting for us to give Him what we have. You cannot solve your situation by yourself.

• Jesus has power over that which seems dead. Bread comes from grain, which has the power of multiplication and reproduction within itself. But when it is made into bread, the grain is crushed, making it "dead" - no one ever multiplied wheat by planting flour. Jesus can bring life from death.

• Jesus wants it All. The miracle could only take place when the 2 fish and 5 loaves were put into the hands of Jesus. We can never receive what He has for us, until we give Him all that we have. Jesus always knows what to do.

 

When what you have is not enough, you must give it to Him. In His hands, it is always “MORE THAN ENOUGH”

 


 

How's Your Passion?

 


Why do we call it Passion Week? This was the time Jesus Christ truly revealed His passion for us in the suffering He willingly went through on our behalf. Many simply just don't get it. Why would we celebrate the passion of Jesus Christ? 1 Corinthians 2:14 gives us a clue, 

 

“The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

 

As we meditate on Christ's passion for us and seek His presence, let us examine our own passion for Him. It is said that, “Passion breeds engagement.”  Life's trials, tests, and circumstances can affect us by diminishing our passion for the things of Christ and perhaps even Christ, Himself.

 

During this Holy Week, I pray your spirit awakens with a fresh joy of what Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, did for us.   Allow your attitude to be passionate in your worship of Jesus and in your proclamation of His Gospel. As He suffered for us, let us be willing to:

1. Suffer for the cause of following Him,

2. Proclaim the message of His death and resurrection

3. Search for Him with a greater passion.

 

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall seek for me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

 


 

Spring Forward

 


"And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:" Exodus 14:15 (KJV)

Spring time is a time for new beginnings, a time to move forward and to refocus. This word also means to move or jump suddenly or rapidly upward or forward.

Our scripture text finds the Israelites in a place of decision. They were escaping from the Egyptians and they were in the valley that led to the Red Sea; however, the Egyptians were now pursuing them to capture the Israelites and bring them back into bondage again.  The Lord speaks to Moses and tells him to tell the people... "Go Forward" or "Spring Forward".

This is our theme for April - It is time to "Spring Forward". When we find ourselves in times of "decision" or what would seem as a trap, that is the time to remember that God has led you to this place.  


a. "God is faithful" to do what He has said. "Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it]." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

b. "Look to Jesus" - He is our greatest example of moving forward.  "Who for the joy that was set before Him, He endured." Hebrews 12:2

c. "Move in Obedience to His call" - "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

What are you waiting for? Stop talking about it and be about it. God's purpose, plans and destiny for your life are ahead of you. Are you going to wallow in your past and present or move out towards your God given destiny. God says, "Spring Forward".


"I must work the works of Him that sent me whilst it is day for night cometh." John 9:24

 


 

Hallelujah Anyhow!

 

 

"I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalms 34:1

 

We, so many times, look for encouragement from others, but today, let's turn it around and bless the Lord. You have power through your praise to the Lord to turn your worries into worship and your problems into praise. Whatever you're going through, God is giving you grace to go through to get to what He has promised for you.

 

Today's passage admonishes us that no matter our situation praise to our Lord is in order and is an action based on your will. "God expects to hear from you, before you can hear from Him." David in this psalm states, “I sought the LORD (self-revealing, covenant keeping God), and he heard me.” David was in a critical time in his life; he was running for his life and found himself in the hands of the enemy, but his greatest weapon was his praise to His Lord.

 

Throughout your life there will be critical times where you will not have anyone to encourage you, but you always have a "Hallelujah Anyhow" in you.

 

“Hallelujah Anyhow, don't let the devil get you down, No matter what comes your way, Hallelujah Anyhow.”

 

God wants to give you peace in your panic and peace in the midst of your storm; today give Him your best praise. Others are watching you, but greater than that, your God is watching to see what you will do. My proclamation today is: Hallelujah Anyhow!

 

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them." Acts 16:25

 


 

The Answer Is...

 

 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

I remember in my "younger days", when solving math problems, to get the answer, it first required that I find the common denominator. In solving the problem I had to use all of the information I was given to find the correct answer. In life there are so many problems, but if we break it down like a math problem we will see that the common denominator or factor that we need is Jesus Christ.

The answer to all our problems is Jesus Christ; we must NEVER forget this. Jesus is:

a. The Way – He is our way through and out of every situation.
b. The Truth – He is God revealed in the flesh – The revealer and sustainer of God's truth.
c. The Life – He is our life; no matter how dead it may appear.

Scripture reminds us that "when you search for God with all your heart you will find Him." Jeremiah 29:13. Today are you giving God all of your heart or are you giving Him the leftovers? If we pursue Him with all our heart, it will cause us to prioritize our life, walk in obedience to His will, and provide the pathway to live in His will.

Jesus says in John 14:1, "let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me." Our problems, situations, and issues begin with and end with our heart. What we desire, want, and need can only be found in what we treasure. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21 Jesus Christ alone is your answer.

Perhaps you know someone who is yet searching for "the answer" and they don't know what they're searching for. We must remember that the key is not what you're searching for, but, who are you searching for?
The answer is Jesus Christ; He alone is the ANSWER!

 


 

Trust God!

 

 

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." Psalms 42:5;11; 43:5

 

The psalmist poses a powerful question. He asks the the same question three times in Psalms 42-43; however, each time differently. In the first five verses of Psalms 42 he is LONGING for God. We find the psalmist discouraged and depressed. He's longing for the presence of the Lord, he is at a low point, he is depressed. Have you ever felt depressed? This psalm speaks to us today.  


In addition to being at a low point, those around him are questioning his faith and asking, "Where is your God". His turning point is in Psalms 42:8, he REMEMBERS the LORD God. This word for LORD is Jehovah or Yahweh, the self-revealing covenant keeping God. He remembers who God is and what He has said.  


In chapter 43 his words change. He realizes that his solution to his depression cannot come from separating himself from God, He turns to the Lord... the enemy doesn't want you to turn to the LORD. He prays that God's light and truth would lead him to the altar; the place of alteration and the place of death. In God's presence we surrender our problems, feelings, and situations to Him and find His Peace, Love, and Joy.  


Finally, the psalmist quotes our verse for the last time in chapter 43 verse 5, but it is now from a place of victory. He is now TRUSTING GOD. Whatever you're facing today... LONG for His presence, REMEMBER who God is and what He has said, and finally TRUST God.  


"In God have I put my trust..."  Psalms 56:11

 


 

Be Confident!


 

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"
1 John 5:14

 

Have you ever been been in doubt if you should pray about something? Or, lost for words on what you should pray? Circumstances and situations can shake our confidence at times; however, we must be confident not in ourselves but in our God who is in control, no matter what we see.

 

The purpose of prayer is to get God’s will done. . . . The greatest prayer any one can offer is “Thy will be done.”

 

God knows what’s best from beginning to end. He sees the outcomes of every chain reaction in life. We don’t always know the outcome. So we pray earnestly and ask God for our needs, our wants, our wishes, and our desires. But we always pray with the attitude, “thy will be done". In that, we can have total confidence.

 

Our scripture passage gives us a great picture of prayer. Prayer is:

 

• Coming before Him.
• Coming before Him with confidence.
• Coming before Him with confidence and asking.
• Coming before Him with confidence and asking according to His will.
• Coming before Him with confidence and asking according to His will, knowing that He hears us.

 

Be Confident and Pray!

 


 

Are You Inspired?


 
 

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Our daily lives are filled with many ups and downs, which can leave us drained and simply not inspired. How do you become inspired? The passage for today provides a biblical answer..."the word of God."

 

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto good works." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

This scripture provides a road map regarding the power of the word of God; however, I want to dwell on the inspiration that the word of God provides. Notice the inspiration is not just for times when we are down or going through tests, but at all times. In this scripture text inspiration means "Divinely breathed or God breathed". In other words, Scripture comes from God and it is reliable and we can rely on it for every part of our lives so that we live life God's way.

 

God's word is necessary to our existence and victory. My prayer today is God inspire me. Breath into my life, my situations, and my decisions through Your word.

 

 
 

CHANGING LIVES FOR THE BETTER THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD

 

 

 


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