Psalm 86:5 NKJV – God is Good

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

God is ready to forgive those that go to Him in repentance. This demonstrates God’s steadfast love; a special love of God toward those He calls His own. All of God’s perfect qualities are made freely available to everyone. But God alone is good. “So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God.” (Mark 10:18 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His actions. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His work in creation. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Timothy 4:4 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His love. “For You, Lord are good and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” (Psalm 86:5 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His gifts. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His promises. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

God demonstrates His goodness in His commands. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7 NKJV)

When we call upon God to act, we are demonstrating our dependence upon Him in our time of need. Calling upon God in prayer is an act of worship by those who depend and proclaim His name. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” (Psalm 105:1 NKJV) God promises to hear and respond to the prayer of His people. We need to pray in confidence that God hears and will answer according to His promises. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Friend, Bold prayers honor God and God honors Bold prayers. David prayed in confidence proclaiming what he believed and what God demonstrated to him. God is good and ready to forgive those who come to Him. It’s not because we deserve anything. It’s all because of God’s grace. Call upon God in confidence and He will demonstrate His goodness through His actions, His work, His love, and His promises.

Gracious God, thank You that we can come to you boldly in confidence that You will hear and answer our prayers. Thank You for Your grace that forgives our sins and makes available all of Your promises. We are not worthy to receive anything, but thanks be to God that by Your mercy and grace all things are made available in Christ Jesus. You alone God are good and we give You all the praise. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV – Unto us a child is born

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

The good news is the birth of Jesus Christ. These names express His divine and human qualities, giving assurance that indeed He is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus Christ mission included many things; most important was His work of salvation. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 NKJV)

Friend, today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Today we rejoice with the angels of heaven. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2: 14 NKJV) God’s work of salvation is accomplished. Jesus Christ, the promised Savior, has come. Jesus Christ has the power to save and protect and through His power He has defeated both sin and death. And this power remains effective today. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NKJV) Jesus’ eternal life and priesthood make possible His eternal intercession for those who draw near to God through Him, leading to their complete and eternal salvation. “Uttermost” refers to comprehensive salvation (meeting our every need) especially as it is grounded in Jesus’ always living to pray for us.

Today, I will pray. Today, I will intercede for those who celebrate this day without the thinking about Jesus; without an expression of thanks and without the knowledge of His name; Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The Holy and exalted Lord came so that we could receive eternal life. God the Father sent His beloved Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish in eternal death, but instead have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Do you know where you will live out eternity? Are you sure you will forever be in the presence of God? I know how you can be sure. His name is Jesus and He is waiting for you to call upon Him.

Lord Jesus. I desire to live eternally with You. Lord, I am a sinner who needs Your mercy and grace. I believe Lord that You came to seek me and to save me. I believe that You suffered and died for me. That when You were on the cross, I was on Your mind. I believe Lord that You defeated my sin and my eternal death when You rose from the grave. I believe that You have salvation waiting for me and it’s my choice. Lord, come into my heart and my life. I submit everything to You. Be my Savior, Jesus, right now. Thank You Jesus. I receive Your grace and celebrate this day. Today is the accepted time; today is the day of salvation. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 11:1 NKJV – A daily encounter with God

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

I’ve written about many aspects of prayer and the power of God in prayer. I’ve written about this particular scripture in the past; how the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. But today, I use this scripture to make another point about prayer. The point is that a daily encounter with God in prayer is vitally important. There is a necessity of connecting with God Almighty on a daily basis.

Jesus set an example with His disciples on the importance of prayer so that they might become more like Him. For us too, this is our goal; to be Christlike in everything we do. It’s called sanctification. We are being set apart or sanctified from the entire world so that we embody in mind, body, and spirit the image of Jesus Christ. And in regards to prayer, we need to be like Jesus.

It was customary that religious leaders of that time were expected to teach their disciples how to pray. Prayer is based on God’s love for believers. Through God’s grace, He provides things we do not deserve, while through His mercy, He shields us from those things we do deserve. Hallelujah! A vital aspect of our prayer is its purpose; to allow the will of God to be accomplished in us for the glory and honor of Him alone. God promises to hear and to respond to the prayers we offer. “O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.” (Psalm 65:2 NKJV)

I believe that if I am to be called a believer in Jesus Christ I must reflect my longing after Him. I must demonstrate that I long to be like Jesus. Scripture accounts for this longing. “Then you will call upon Ne and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13 NKJV) What this verse is saying is our restoration is predicated on our seeking God with our whole heart in prayer.

Friend, access to God is a privilege. We have access to God through Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9 NJHV) The disciples wanted to know how to pray because they witnessed Jesus’ access to His Father and wanted that. The disciples wanted the connection that Jesus had. Believing in and declaring Jesus Christ as Savior, draws us to be in His presence and to have a relationship with Him continually. To know God is not merely to know things about Him. That’s head knowledge. But to know God is also to experience His presence and power. To know God is to be transformed by Him. Prayer brings us this knowledge. The more we have conversation and intimacy with God in prayer, the more God reveals Himself to us. Prayer along with the study of God’s Word equips us for what He has called us to do. God gives knowledge of His greatness and grace through the experience of Him, submission to Him and in answer to prayer.

Precious Lord, thank You that we have access to You through Your grace and that when we call upon You in prayer You listen. Open up more time in our lives to spend time with You. Forgive us Lord when we set You aside to accomplish other things that could wait. You alone are our only hope. May we search for You with all of our heart. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 6:35 NKJV – Where does my nourishment come from?

“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.””

I like this verse because it always causes me to think about where I receive my nourishment. I’m not talking about actual food and drink. That’s for my physical body. But where do I go to receive nourishment for my mind and soul.

Bread was a basic staple in the diets of those living in biblical times. To this day, there are places of business where you can buy fresh baked breads of various kinds. There are bread makers that you can purchase if you are inclined to make fresh baked bread right at home. I admit that fresh baked bread is very good and I enjoy it from time to time.  It’s also said that a person can live longer without food than without water to drink. Some experts say that a person cannot live longer than 3 days without water. But this verse directs our focus to the true “Bread of Life” and the “Living Water” that keep us spiritually alive.

What Jesus is saying here is that if you come after Me, you shall never feel hungry. If you believe in Me, you will never thirst. If we pursue Jesus as if He would fulfill our emptiness from natural nourishment, He would fill us with His spiritual nourishment which lasts for eternity. “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14 NKJV)

Everything on this earth is temporary. “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV) The visible world is passing away. The unseen world is what is most important and most real. If we put our trust and faith in the things of this world, the things will eventually all die away. Then what do we have left? We are left with emptiness and a need to look for something else to fill the void. And if we continue to fill the void with things of this world, the cycle of emptiness is not broken.

But if we place our trust and faith on the things that are eternal (the unseen world), these things will never die away. If we hunger and thirst for truth and hope and the answers we are looking for, and we eat and drink from the truth and hope and answers of the Lord, we are given eternal nourishment. And God promises we will never go hungry or thirst again. Where will you place your trust and faith?

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing or where your struggles lie, but if you are seeking after the world for a solution, know that the solution grounded in the world has a life span and will die someday.   But Jesus Christ offers you an eternal solution and that is grounded in His grace, His mercy, His love, and His salvation for you. I’m asking you. What choice will you make? If you choose Jesus, it all starts with a prayer. A prayer that believes that Jesus died for your sins and that You desire to have a personal relationship with Him. His love, His Mercy, and His grace await you. Jesus loves you with an everlasting love and desires to spend eternity with you.

Dear Jesus, I need some answers and the world is not able to give me those answers. I feel lost without any help. I’m told You love me and that I can find the hope I’m looking for in You. Please help me, Jesus. I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe You died for me and You defeated my sin when You rose from the grave. Come into my life Jesus and be my Savior. I give You my life. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV – Do you believe?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Oh Lord, thank You. Jesus charged his disciples to reach the world in the name of Jesus. What an incredible charge; blessed with a promise that He would never leave them. I’d like to share what a dear sister in the Lord. Jennifer, shared with me when I posted Matthew 28:18-20 on social media. Her reply and understanding of this scripture was a great blessing to me.

“I love this verse. If most people are like me we have always read and focused on the first part of this verse – making disciples, baptizing them, but less focus on what it says “teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you;” This part is sooooo important. So what does that mean for us? We are the beneficiaries – one of the disciples who have come from this commandment to our time today. I am one of the disciples that Jesus told his disciples to make, baptize and teach…. What did He teach His disciples to do? I’ll leave that up to the reader to look and see for him or herself. I want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them!”

This scripture verse is all about obedience to what the Lord commands. I have called Jesus my Lord and Savior for 15 years. His Word has taught me a lot about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. God’s Word has taught me that I can walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit. That I don’t have to worry about my own strength and power because the Holy Spirit lives and resides in me. When told His disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJV), He was talking about the Power of His Holy Spirit living inside of His disciples and equipping them to do even greater things. What was the requirement to bring this to pass? “I say to you, he who believes in Me”.

That’s you and I when we believe in Jesus and call Him our Savior. Do you suppose that there would be a great change in believers if the true message of this verse would reside deep in our hearts? Not our minds, but our hearts. Do you suppose that we would have a much greater impact in serving God and His Kingdom if we only believed and were obedient? I mean, really believed and really obeyed. Do you suppose that our prayers would change to be prayers of faith spoken and declared in the Name of Jesus? Do you suppose that God would manifest His promise of greater things if we only believed? I do, on all counts.

Thanks Jennifer so much. I too, want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them. Friend, join me in believing and then being obedient to the commands of Jesus in His Word. Join me in praying like we’ve never prayed before, expecting and anticipating a miracle. Remember, revival starts in us. And remember this too, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Precious Lord, thank You for the promise that You will be with us always. Thank You for instructing us in Your Word so that as one of Your disciples we too, can make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that You have commanded. Help us Lord to discern those opportunities You give us and may we be obedient to Your call. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t’ believe me, believe God!

James 4:7 NKJV – Choose Wisely

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Submission requires a willing act of accepting the authority of God over all things. We must remember that we are under God’s authority whether we submit to it or not. The word “submit” means “to obey”. God is in control of all things. All things. The world may lead people to believe that they have the power to “change the world”. But that’s just not something I believe.

Now don’t get me wrong. We live in the world and have certain responsibilities to do certain things. Like obey the laws of the land. We have freedom of choice. God gives us that choice. We can choose wisely or not so wisely. Either way with every choicce there will be consequences. The Bible is clear about choosing – The Blessing or The Curse.

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19 NKJV)

I’ll get right to the point. The day begins with choices. Do I choose to pray or not to pray? I choose to pray because I want to start the day in conversation with God. In the morning, when I wake up, I pray and ask God to guide me to make the right choices. That everything I do or say gives honor and glory to Him. I’m looking to God to help me to “choose wisely”. The choices we make can affect our lives eternally. The choices we make can and will affect those around us. A good friend once told me, “We don’t have time for God because we choose not to. There are plenty of opportunities during our day to give God the time He deserves. Make a change!” I say, “AMEN!”

The world would want you to choose the world’s ways. The world would want you to live your own life. You’re in control. Just do it!!! The enemy would want you to believe that. The enemy would want you to make the wrong choices. But if we submit to the things of God and resist the enemy, he will flee from us. Read James 4:7.

Dear Lord. You have given us a free will to choose. Help us to make the choices that honor You. Help us to discern the schemes of the enemy and of this world which lead us to destruction. Pour out Your protection over us when the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Lead us back to Your Word and the Power that resides in it to resist the enemy. Thank You, O Lord for Your mighty hand of protection. May we take the time to pray and seek Your presence. Open up our lives to the blessing of having an intimate relationship to You, Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 100:1-3 NKJV – Make a joyful shout!

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

This Psalm is literally a song of praise for the Lord’s faithfulness to His people. Some people have written about this song in other publications and blogs and have called it “The Shouting Psalm”. Praise the Lord. I agree with that! Have I shouted? You bet!!!

When I think about what the Lord has done in my life, joyful shouting sometimes seems to be not enough. Really. God raised me up in spite of myself and set me upon a new life in Him. He took me from the ashes and the deepest of all pits and placed me on a path of joy, peace, service, and favor. My past is my past, but it’s close enough to remember when I wasn’t so happy; when I wasn’t so full of joy; when I wasn’t so blessed.

I’ve said before in previous blogs that, “Life is hard. It’s harder without God.” It’s true. Life in this world is very hard. Without God, I had no hope. With God, I have hope and an understanding that God loves me with an everlasting love and His plan has always been to live with Him in eternity.

Some of you reading this might say, “Well, I just don’t believe that.” It’s your right to have that opinion. I thought the same thing when I was trusting the world to care for me and finding that my options were running out. I thought the same thing when I would find myself hung over or ill because of the abuses on my body. I thought the same thing when I thought I could take my own life and all would be well.

But God had a different plan. He was not finished with me. His ways were not my ways. (Isaiah 55:9) You might be thinking, “Is the God you write about a God who could love me?” The answer is Yes and He does and always will. (Jeremiah 31:3) Or you might think, “Could the God you write about give me the same joy that would cause me to shout?” The answer is Yes and He’s waiting to rejoice with you. (Zephaniah 3:17) God is our shepherd and he cares for each one of His sheep. He will go out searching for the one that is lost and leave the others. (Luke 15:3-5) God is out searching right now.

Friend, what I’ve come to know now is that in Jesus Christ I have life; even abundant life. I can place my full trust in the Lord. God is faithful. I can be content in that understanding no matter what is in front of me or what I am facing.

Dear Lord, Hallelujah and Praise be to God that You are faithful. Thank You for picking me up when I was lost and bringing me into Your family to love me, to care for me, to heal me, to save me. Glory to Your Name. Lord, forgive me when I forget what You’ve done and dwell on my past. Help me Lord to always fix my eyes and heart on You. You are my Lord and I am Your child. I hear Your voice and follow You. Help my friends who might be reading this to turn towards You for their joy. May they understand that You love them with an everlasting love and that You are now searching for them. May they call upon Your Name, Lord, and hear Your voice. Deliver them Lord and give them joy. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!