The Blessings of the Lord are so, so sweet.

Blessing of the Lord

We miss experiencing the blessings of the Lord because we are caught up in just trying to keep our heads above water.  I’m just being real with you.  There are times when we take living for granted.  We believe that each day is simply given to us because we deserve it.  That is so wrong.  I’m not trying to criticize anyone.  But the world grabs us and takes us captive.  Our lives are so incredibly busy that we begin to believe that being busy translates to being successful; to having our act together.

But this is the real truth.  You can decide to believe it or not.  It’s God that gives us each breath we take.  He causes the sun to rise each morning.  He causes the sun to set at night.  The leaves of the trees are birthed because He said so.  It’s the spring showers that He gives us that provides life to what was asleep in the winter.  And often times we don’t take the necessary time to look up and look around.  Often times we just don’t appreciate creation as He created it.

The Bible says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”  Translated it means, “Oh, taste and see, “Consume and Recognize” that the Lord is good.  Blessed, “being divinely favored” is the man who trusts “has confident expectation” in Him!”  It’s when we begin to trust in our Creator, God Himself, that our eyes begin to open, our ears begin to hear, and our hearts begin to receive all that God desires to give us.

God desires to bless us as we believe.  It’s pretty simple.  Yet the world is very complicated. The world is filled with rules and expectations and we are not able to meet them.  It’s impossible for us to please the world.  But with God it’s simple. Believe and receive!  Hebrews 11:6 says.But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  The verse simply says that it’s impossible to please Him without faith in Him. Our faith is founded on our belief that God is.  We must first believe that God exists. Believing not in a story, but believe that God is alive.  It is then that He rewards or blesses those who diligently “constant in effort” seek Him.

Friend, All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3)  Our blessings surround us.  Can we see them?  Can we open all of our senses to see that the blessings of the Lord are so, so sweet.  I challenge you to believe and receive.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

 

 

 

He will supply

And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. (Luke 12:29-31 NKJV)

In the times we are living right now, with the world being such a volatile and changing place, people place their faith on the things of survival. Food, shelter, clothing, water, etc. That is what we have been taught since childhood. We were taught that someday we would be old enough to care for ourselves. That we would get a job and use that income to buy those things that would help keep us alive. I learned the same lesson. What I found out when I got older, is that it got more difficult to meet all of my needs and that often times, those that I trusted to provide, let me down. That’s my testimony. It may not be yours, but there is only so much we ourselves can do.

But here Jesus is teaching us to not place our faith on the things of the world or our own efforts to survive, but rather on His Kingdom. Our Heavenly Father, the God of all Creation, sees all that we face and knows all that we desire. He is our provider. God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19 NKJV)

Friend, there is so much to worry about now in our world. We need that place where we can release that worry and come into the presence and promises of God. I know that I cannot change the world by any effort of my own, but I also know that God hears my prayers when I seek Him. When I pray to God about my needs, He always blesses me when the answer comes and I realize that I have been overly blessed. It may not be able to be counted by the world’s standards, but God’s standards exceed anything the world can give me.

Dear God, thank You that You care for us. That when we seek You, You hear and know and supply all of our needs. This is a promise in Your Word. We can believe that regardless of what we are facing, You know, You care, You provide. Help us Lord, to trust in You and take the time to seek You. In Your precious Name Jesus. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

To the mountain to pray

But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor. (Luke 6:11-16 NKJV)

We see hear in the book of Luke that this Scripture places the choosing of the twelve apostles immediately after the remark about the beginnings of a plot against Jesus. You see, Jesus had just healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. There were folks that were not happy about that. They were watching Jesus closely to see if they could find something to accuse Him of.

What I want to key in on is it says “He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” There is no other New Testament passage that speaks of all-night prayer. Jesus knew His ministry here on earth and the choosing of His apostles required prayer. He was building His ministry and knew that prayer would be necessary.

We often find ourselves praying for what seems to be a very long time for our family, our friends, our home, our desires, even our ministries, to quickly find out we have only prayed for a few minutes. Jesus knew what was ahead of Him. There was a revolution brewing. He knew His apostles had much to understand. And He also knew that His answers would come from His Father. He went away to pray all night. What should we do? How many minutes/hours are long enough? I don’t have that answer. But I know this. That every moment of time we spend praying to our Heavenly Father is not wasted time. Our Father wants a relationship with us that keeps Him on our mind and on our lips. The choice is ours. How much time will you spend?

Friend, today I challenge you to spend time with God in prayer and remain in prayer a little longer than what you are accustomed. Let your conversation with God permeate His throne room. Let the ministering response from God wash over you. Prayer is relational. The more you pray to God the more you begin to know and understand the everlasting love and grace He desires to impart to you.

Holy and glorious Lord. Thank you for hearing our prayers no matter how long they last. Sometimes a quick prayer is what is needed when we encounter something suddenly. But many times Lord we choose the amount of time we spend with You. Help us understand that every instant of time with You is blessed time. Where we can capture Your attention and we can share our hearts together. Let us set aside those things of the world that keep us from prayer and help us to redeem that time in a conversation with You. We love You Lord and desire a relationship with You. Let’s spend some time together. In Your Name Jesus. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Amazing God You’re still amazing me

Psalm 147:1 – Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

Do you want to know something? God resides in every new day He gives us. He never quits on us. God never thinks He’s given us enough. He never leaves us and ravishingly pours out His blessings on us each and every day. How do I know that? Well, God’s Word tells us so.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)

So why today do I write about an amazing God? My story begins with sickness in my body and great physical pain as a result. Doctors have told me that there are things going on in my body that are causing the pain. I’ve had my kidney healed by a touch of God. I’ve been told that one particular organ was dead and no longer working. How did I react? Not well, at first. I’m human. I’ll confess my faith was weak at that point. But God quickly moved and I found rest and peace in His Word. I sit here today to tell you that the so called “dead” organ is alive and producing as God has intended it.

Many who know me have prayed for me. Many have laid hands upon me in prayer; anointed me with oil and prayed the prayer of faith. My health is improving every day. I exercise more now than I have ever before. The cane I used to have to use is no longer in hand.

I’ve seen miracles of God’s great grace and healing in others. I witnessed a man who needed oxygen to breathe be completely healed and his lungs restored. I’ve heard about cancer leaving a woman’s body after 7 years. I’ve seen financial miracles take place that have literally taken my breath away. So above what could have been expected that I simply thank God for His great grace. He poured out exceedingly.

Friend, God is able and willing to touch your life as He has touched mine and others. If you are in a place where you need healing. Maybe the pain has brought you to tears. I’m here to tell you that God still is mending hearts and drying tears. God has never changed. In the book of Matthew, God’s Word says this, “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14 NKJV) Jesus today continues to be moved with compassion. Our world is ever changing. New things are brought to life and old things are pushed aside. We’re attacked from every angle. But God still cares for us and He still hears when we cry out to Him. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. If you need life today from pain, suffering, financial burden, heartache, depression, a loss of a loved one, or just the thought that you don’t matter anymore, believe this. “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV) Will you pray with me today?

Holy and precious God, thank You for Your love and faithfulness. Thank You that each and every day begins with new mercies for us. Thank You that You love us with an everlasting love. Help me today Lord with my unbelief. Help me to draw You close through Your Holy Word. Lord, I hurt and struggle and don’t know how I can continue to go on. I’m told that You are in my tomorrows. Give me peace and an assurance today that You have my hand and that I can walk with you. Pull me to the path that You have ordered. Take me by the hand and guide and direct me. Thank You for this day and every breath You give me. I place my trust in You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Nehemiah 1:8-10 NKJV – A place which I have chosen

Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.

If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you. But if you return to Me, I will gather you from there and bring you to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling place for My name. A conditional statement, but yet one of great love and desire from God. If you do not obey I will cause you to scatter but if you return to Me, you will be where I am. That’s really what this scripture is saying. God is our sole redeemer. Redeeming us from difficult personal circumstances, deliverance from our enemies, and Jesus is central to God’s redemptive purpose. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV)

And why would we not want to be where God resides? Jesus prepares the place in heaven for His own, and the Holy Spirit prepares the redeemed on earth for their place in heaven. That is God’s desired location of your eternal dwelling. He tells us that He desires to bring us to His place. But let me share something with you. Until the day when we stand before Jesus; when our life on this earth ends, we can still be where God is. All we need to do is desire it and ask God to lead us there.

To reside in the place where God dwells is to desire an intimate relationship with Him. It means to access God in His throne room. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV) Let us then with confidence draw near to where God is. Coming to God honors Him because it demonstrates our dependence upon Him. Coming to God brings us to the place where He resides. Where there is only Him and us. No one else. And God responds in mercy to those who call to Him. “Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today” (1 Kings 8:28 NKJV) And the path to the throne room; the path to meeting with God is prayer. Prayerfulness is an attitude by which a constant relationship between God and believers is developed. And prayerfulness is a way of life and a way to life. “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17 NKJV) What better way “of life” and “to life” than a daily time of prayer and conversation with God.

Friend, God promises that if we return to Him and obey His commands, He will gather us and bring us to His place; where He dwells. The blessings and favor of the Lord await those who come to God and seek an obedient, intimate relationship with Him. “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV)

Dear Lord, thank You for Your promises. Thank You that You have prepared a place for us. Thank You that we can come into Your throne room to meet with You, to worship You and to pray to You. Lord, Your Word is the gift of life. Forgive us Lord when we do not obey Your commands and try to live a life outside of You. But thank You Lord that if we return to You and obey Your commands, You will gather us up and take us to the place You have chosen n matter how far we might have drifted. We love You and praise You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

Lamentations 3:22-24 – In the morning

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!

I’ve written about this Scripture a few times in the past talking about God’s amazing faithfulness. Today it struck me again. This morning, while sitting in the dining room, I noticed some things. The bright shining of the sun, the flowers of a blooming Magnolia tree, the residents out and about with their pets, young folk taking the time to get in their daily jog, and the movement of God’s creatures. There’s a lot going on.

For me, I see the Lord’s mercies. I see the freshness and newness of the day. Great is our God. But what struck me the most was that everyone and everything went about their business or what they were created to do. The people with their pets and the joggers doing what they do most of the time. The shining of the sun across a southern coastal marsh and touching the well-manicured lawns of a South Carolina development. The blooming flowers of a Magnolia tree opening up at exactly the correct time of day. And God’s creatures both big and small gathering fruit and food for their nests or to store away for later use. I particularly liked the squirrels and birds doing what they had to do in the same tree but appearing that they didn’t even notice each other.

What does this all say to me? The hand of the Lord upon all things. It didn’t matter who I was watching whether human or not. God’s hand was upon everything they did. The creatures moving about doing what God created them to do. The people using the God given time in a bright spring morning to walk their pets and get in a little exercise as well. I guess a more important question is who noticed or should I say who encountered God in the process?

The animals were obedient to what God created them to be and to do. The squirrels gathering the nuts from a tree and carrying them away told me that their instinctive response each morning was to care and feed their families and even take care of a future need. The birds eating the berries in another tree told me the same. The calling of the birds indicated me that they had something to say. But did the humans even notice the new day given to them by the mercy and grace of God? I can’t answer that. But what I can say is that this brief picture of a morning in South Carolina, painted and created by God, was a great gift to me. He gave me a portion of His great love. In His lovingkindness, God took this morning, wrapped it up and gave it to me a His present for today. For that I will praise Him. Yesterday the day was not bright and sunny because in God’s infinite wisdom and knowledge He brought the rains that were so desperately needed. The rains that brought life again to the landscape and I think to the people as well.

Friend, sometimes life goes by and we are so busy we allow it to pass. His mercies are new every morning. This is a promise we can take a hold of. The beauty of this promise lies in whether or not we’ll take the time to see it and encounter its beauty. Great is the faithfulness of the Lord. No matter what is going on, no matter what you are facing, God’s mercies, His love, and His grace are new for us each day that He decides we are to live. Let us praise Him. Today, I challenge you. I challenge you to spend some time in prayer and conversation with the Lord thanking Him for every new day He gives you. Just take time to praise Him for caring for you and for His great faithfulness. I challenge you to set aside your needs and the wants in your life and just thank Him. Don’t ask for anything, just worship God Almighty who spoke life into another day for you.

Precious and loving Lord. Today I thank You for Your great love for me and for Your faithfulness. Thank You for showing me Your hand upon all things; big or small. Thank You for pointing out to me the freshness and newness of the day. You are a glorious God. Lord, cause my mind and heart to slow down to notice You. Teach me O Lord, to see You in all things so that I would praise You and give You thanks. Great is Your Faithfulness over all things. I love You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV – God is able. Really able.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

God is able.  Our Heavenly Father is truly able.  He spoke and all things became.  That’s pretty awe inspiring.  Now suppose we understood this truth in the deepest areas of our hearts.  Not just our mind, but in our heart.  How much more would we believe for God to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”?

Exceedingly and abundantly; words I like.  Above ALL that we ask or think. This means beyond our understanding or human capabilities to comprehend.  How?  By the power that works in us, the Holy Spirit.  For whose glory?  God’s glory.  How long?  Forever and ever and ever and ever.  Eternally.  Really, Forever?  Yes.  For all eternity, God makes this promise to us.

Now let me ask you again.  Suppose we understood the truth of our foundational verse in the deepest areas of our hearts.  What would hold us back from praying to the God of the universe, Creator of all things?  I mean really taking hold of the power of the Holy Spirit in our prayers and allowing Him to work in us.  Then believing God hears us and will answer our prayers.  How much more would we see and experience the magnitude, the glory, and the miracles of God.  I believe that we are only seeing a small fraction of what God wants to accomplish for His glory in His Church.

Scripture says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV) Here the psalmist describes his personal experience of God’s goodness. God is alive. Knowledge that God is alive comes from personal encounter of the goodness of God. You might ask, “When have I had any personal encounter with God?” If you have been saved and renewed by the Holy Spirit, you have had a personal encounter. In me, that encounter was exceedingly, abundantly above all that I could ask or think.

Friend, you and I are only one defining decision away from a totally different life. One decision. Will we choose to believe in the power of God to answer prayer or not? The size of our prayers should be relative to the size of our God. And if God knows no limits, then neither should our prayers. God is able to do more, provide more, heal more, equip more, restore more, renew more, and to save more than ALL that we can ask or think.  Let’s just believe.  Hallelujah!

Great and mighty God.  You are above all things and You desire to answer our prayers beyond our ability to understand or comprehend.  May we, Lord, fully take hold of this promise and allow Your Holy Spirit to work in us so that we can experience the magnitude of You.  Help us with our unbelief, God, that You are truly able to do the impossible.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!