Because God said so…

I want to share with you a little secret. You have to promise not to tell anyone. From time to time I talk to myself. Yup. I try not to be too conspicuous. But sometimes people see and hear me. It’s not because I’m “a fry short of a happy meal.” It’s something that I was taught. Really. You see, I endeavor to speak positive things into my life every day to keep the negative things from taking residence in my mind. Some days I’m better at it than other days.

There was a time in my walk with the Lord that I felt bogged down and maybe even burned out. It seemed that nothing could restore the joy of the Lord in me. I thought I had tried everything. I prayed a lot. I shared what I was facing with my wife. I talked with people. But then God intervened and he sent to me a man who lived at the time in Florida. He called me on the phone and told me God had placed me on his heart. We talked for a while and I shared with him about how I was feeling. He immediately said to me, “I’m giving your phone number to a friend. He, too, lives in Florida. He helped me when I was facing the same thing as you.”   Well long story, now made shorter, his name is James and he is my life coach. He is a Spirit filled, gifted man of God and took me on a journey of “Self-Talk” or speaking the promises of God into my life. Sounds better than, “Talking to yourself.”

Over the next six months, we talked to each other and shared God’s Word and slowly I began to proclaim the promises of God. Each morning before work. And it worked. The more I spoke God’s promises into my life, my situations, my every day troubles, the more joy returned.

God promises many things in His Word. Below I have given you a few promises that I cling to. I hope it helps you.

John 3:16 NKJV

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

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.

Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:37-39 NKJV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Proverbs 1:33 NKJV

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.

John 14:27 NKJV

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Romans 10:9 NKJV

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 8:31 NKJV

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

Dear Lord, help me to speak into my life the promises of Your Word. We have a choice Lord to speak blessings or curses into our life and those around us. Let us always choose blessings. Your Word says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” May You be always glorified in what we speak. In Your Name Jesus. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV – God is our rewarder

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.

This verse speaks to me in a couple of ways. First, I look at the time I spend in prayer as a way of defining “those who diligently seek Him.” It says to me that as a man of prayer, that my petitions to God, offered in faith to the Creator of all things, will be pleasing to God because He promises to reward me as I diligently seek Him. What better way is there to establish and nurture a relationship with God but by prayer. A conversation with God. I love my time in prayer.

Secondly, it means that as my faith increases the more I spend time with God in prayer and in His Word, His rewards are poured out upon me as I trust in everything His Word promises. It’s a submission kind of thing. As I grow in my relationship with God, my trust also grows. There were things in my past that I struggled with since early adulthood. But when I began to understand what submission to the Lord really meant, those things of the past, the suitcases of heartache and pain, became more and more unimportant. I’m finding that I go back to look for that luggage less and less. Praise the Lord!

Friend, the promise here is really simple yet so profound. God is our rewarder. Believe it. The God of all creation will reward you as you seek Him. God is and He will reward. Hallelujah! Put this promise in your daily “Self-talk” to encourage you in the Lord.

Heavenly God, thank You that our belief begins with “God is” and You reward us as we seek You. Lord, help us understand submission in accordance with Your Word so that Your Word becomes a lamp unto our feet and Your promises become a reality in our lives. Lead us, Lord to times of intimate prayer with You so that we clearly hear Your voice and direction. May our prayer give honor and glory to You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 10:40-42 NKJV – Someone cares

But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Have you ever had one of those days when you felt you were so bogged down with giving, and serving, and providing, that if someone would just see or give notice to what you faced and helped or encouraged you….Oh the frustration. The enemy uses this against us all the time. He comes in to persuade us that we are the only one who gives anything to the Lord and that no one even cares. Well that’s not true. I don’t believe that at all.

The enemy is a liar and a deceiver. He wants to attack us exactly where we serve. He wants to make us ineffective as servants for the Lord. If the enemy can cause us to take our eyes away from Jesus, he can cause our pride to rise up and to make us believe his lies. That is what happened to Martha. She only saw what was before her, with a flawed viewpoint. Martha’s preparation became elaborate and maybe even burdensome. But Mary had a different viewpoint. She knew that being at the feet of Jesus was an incredible and wonderful opportunity that took precedence over every other thing.

Our eyes need to remain on Jesus. He is our Hope. He is where our strength comes from. The Psalmist said, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” (Psalm 3:3 KJV). We give, we serve, we provide as God directs because we love Him and “We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 KJV)   The scripture passage ends with, “and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” You see, there is someone who notices and someone who cares.

Lord God, thank You for being our hope, our strength, our joy and the lifter of our heads. Give us strength when we feel burdened with serving you and protect us from the enemy when his lies try to defeat us. Help us, Lord, to lean on Your strength and to keep our eyes fixed on You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 14:16 KJV – The Comforter

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

What an incredible promise of the Lord. Jesus was giving final instructions to His disciples on what was next. What would lie ahead for them. This was Jesus reassurance to them. That God would send “another” Comforter. The true meaning here in the word “another” is from the Greek word “allos” which means “another of the same sort”. Jesus was telling His disciples that the Comforter would be just like Him, an exact representation of Himself. The disciples were hearing that even though Jesus was leaving, God cared enough for them to send His Holy Spirit who would live and abide with them forever.

Wow! I remember hearing this passage as a new believer and it impacted me a great deal. It gave me a feeling of great security in Christ; that the Holy Spirit would live and reside in me to guide me along the way of serving Jesus. I realized I wasn’t going to have to follow Jesus alone and be a servant of Him all by myself. That God had sent “another”, just like Jesus to walk with me, to guide me, to teach me, to comfort me. In my prayers in the morning, I try to remember to pray that the Holy Spirit direct my path so that everything that I say and do would bring honor and glory to God. What great love God has for us that since the beginning of time, God’s plan was to be with us at all times. Thank You, God!!!

Heavenly God, thank You that You sent Your Holy Spirit to be with us and live in us. To guide us as we live our lives. Help me, God, to seek Your Holy Spirit in time of need, in time of trouble, when I need direction, or when the world overcomes me and I need a Comforter. Help me to not try to figure it out all by myself but seek You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Luke 12:29-31 NKJV – 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.

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 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 how much more I have received. It may not be able to be counted by the world’s standard, but I truly realize the blessing.

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!

Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV – Really? Love my enemies?

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

There was a time when this passage of scripture was very hard for me to grasp. I would tell you that even today; I am challenged at times to understand how or why I should do this. Jesus wants us to know the He loves and cherishes everyone and He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”. (2 Peter 3:9) He went to the cross and died for all of us. To be Christian means to be Christlike. In everything. That means to love your enemies and bless those who talk bad about you, who hate you, who find ways to use you and oppress and torment you.

I remember when my life was a great big mess, filled with anger and the constant thought that life was not fair and I would let the world know about it. My love for people was shallow and my motives were very wrong. Jesus came into my life and changed that. It’s been a process and He’s not done with me yet. But when I look at people now, it’s with a different viewpoint. Jesus taught me to love unconditionally. He taught me to love like He does. To love you for who you are; His creation. And if by doing that, God moves in that person’s life or a change is made, then I say, “Glory to God”. It’s not about me; it’s all about what Jesus did in me.

Dear Jesus. Thank You for changing me and enabling me to love Your creation as You command me. Thank You that You are patient with me when I fail sometimes and my own issues and pride get in the way. You have always loved us from the beginning of time and You died for all of us so that a bridge could be built from us to You. Help us love as You love. Help us be Your lighthouse. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 11:29-30 NKJV – Find His rest

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

The yoke is a piece of rigging with which a team of oxen or horses are tied together and come under the control of the one driving them. It is a cross bar which rides on the shoulders and then is linked around the head of the animal with a ‘U’ shaped piece. For humans, there are two kinds of yokes in life. The yoke of the world is filled with things that create burdens and cause weariness in people. The other yoke of life is the spiritual yoke which Christ invites all of us to take upon ourselves. This yoke is a symbol of partnership. Partnership in Jesus Christ’s service. This yoke again binds us together with Christ, but we must give up the yoke of the world, in order to take on the yoke of Christ. Did you get that? First, we must give up, take off, throw down, the yoke of the world, in order for us to take on, put on, and wear with joy the yoke of Christ.

When we learn and experience Jesus, we find the very Lord of the universe to be humble. Yes, Jesus is humble. He also desires for us to be like Him. He desires for us to come to Him with a humble heart, promising then to lift us up. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10 NKJV) In this humbleness, we will find rest for our souls. I remember times when in the quietness of prayer, in the stillness of the room, God manifested His rest upon me. There were times where I felt being lifted up and I hovered above where I was. This isn’t something mystical. This is the presence of God and His hands were lifting me. When we set aside all that engulfs us, all that the world throws at us, all that distracts us, and simply quiet ourselves before Him, I suspect or rather I believe that kind of humble submission beckons God to encounter us. He has with me. There we find God’s rest. His yoke is then easy because He bears the load. Hallelujah!!!

Dear Lord. Thank You for inviting us to take Your yoke upon us. Help us so that the heaviness of the world’s yoke doesn’t break us down. In Your lovingkindness, You bring us to the point of humbleness where we can encounter Your rest. Bind us together, Lord, and lift us up. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!