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Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.‭‭
Rest is having so much confidence in God’s Word until we are not worried or concerned about anything. We are at rest because we know everything has been handled through the finished works of Jesus.

We have one bill after the next and it seems like we can’t keep up. The people of God are at rest because we have confidence that God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Violence and chaos has increased around us. The people of God are at rest because we know God is our Protector (Psalms 121:7).

God placed a big dream inside of us, but we don’t have a clue on how to obtain that dream. The people of God are at rest because we have confidence that God will give us the wisdom, finances, and/or favor to obtain our dreams (James 1:5).

There remains a rest for the people of God, but our rest is dependent upon our belief and confidence in the Word of God. Believe, and rest people of God.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God…

There’s a quick lesson we can obtain from the first verse in the Bible. Based on this verse and John 1:1, in the beginning, there was God.

If the beginning of creation began with God, surely the beginning of anything in our lives should begin with God. We should acknowledge God at the beginning of our day. We should invite God into the relationship before the beginning of marriage. We should seek God before the beginning of a business deal. It should all begin with God.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

When we begin with God and invite Him into all our affairs, we give Him license to become creative in our lives. Things that we couldn’t make happen on our own, God’s creative abilities have the power to make happen. Ideas we couldn’t produce ourselves, God’s creative abilities can provide wisdom. Doors that seem to be locked suddenly become open.

Start the beginning of everything with God and watch God do spectacular things in your lives.

 

We have everything we want. We’re living the dream. We have our families, a house, dependable vehicles, a good job, and we’re financially stable. Life is good.

*It’s Sunday, but it’s raining. – We’ll go to church next week.
*This will be a good time to pray and read the Bible. – Our TV show is on, we’ll do it later.
*Don’t do that. Honor God with your life. – This won’t hurt. I’m only human.

When life is good and we’re satisfied with where we are, keeping our enthusiasm for the things of God seems burdensome. We get so content with life until we tell ourselves we don’t have to do the things above to be comfortable. God understands. We make our hard work, education, and experience the reasons for our success; meanwhile, we minimize God and the part He played. These thoughts and excuses are planted in our heads by Satan.

Every good thing we have is because of God. God gave us the intelligence to finish school. He was the One who gave us the job for experience. He was the One who gave us the body for hard work. The least we can do is maintain and eventually build on our commitment to God.

It’s not until we have a big desire or face a difficult situation that we want to get back to the things of God. And true to His nature, God willingly takes us back.

Resist the urge to forget God based on how comfortable we are in life. Maintain that enthusiasm for God and watch Him do more for you than you could have even imagined.

Romans 12:11 (NIV) Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

The Bible tells us, through Paul, to learn to be content (Philippians 4:11). This keeps us from continuously going after “stuff” to be happy. Although the Bible tells us to be content, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to the “American Dream.” The American Dream is essentially having a family, a house, dependable vehicles, a good job, and financially comfortable to splurge from time to time. The problem with the American Dream is it only focuses on us. What about others?

God wants to work through us to be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2). We may be comfortable in our three bedroom home, but what about people who don’t have a home? We may enjoy our family on a Saturday afternoon, but what about people’s families that are being torn apart? Just because we’re content and satisfied doesn’t mean everyone else is.

That same passion we had or have to obtain the American Dream for ourselves, should be the same passion we have to get that dream to others. Don’t limit your prayers, your finances, and your time because you’re content. Continue to seek God for more, to obtain those things for someone else.

John 13:11 For He knew who would betray Him. That is why He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

In John 13:2, the devil put it in the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. However, we also see that Jesus was not surprised by his betrayal. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him. It wasn’t like the disciples came back and told Jesus that Judas would betray Him or He had a spy within the Pharisees. Judas’ betrayal was revealed to Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

As a child of God being led by the Holy Spirit, there are certain benefits we have. One of those benefits is discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14). As we operate in the plan of God, God will reveal certain things to us on a need to know basis. This discernment will reveal the plans of the devil. Like Jesus with Judas, this discernment will reveal if our spouse is cheating on us, if our friends are really not our friends, and if our supervisor is attempting to hold us back from a promotion. This revelation is not given to start a fight or an argument. This revelation is given to mentally prepare us to face life’s challenges. It’s given to know who and what we need to pray for. It’s given to prepare us to make some changes.

Instead of being blind-sided by the demonically influenced actions of people closest to us, get into a position where God can be clearly heard to reveal some information to us about our family and friends.

John 13:2 “And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,”

Most of us know Judas betrayed Jesus, but a lot of us overlook the fact that the devil put it in the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. If Judas could be influenced by the devil to betray the Son of God, surely people can be influenced by the devil to do horrific things we see today. 

A popular idea today says, Satan doesn’t exist and the evil actions we see are a direct result of a person’s will. That’s partially true. Satan does exist and although he can’t willingly take over a person’s mind or body without their consent, he can influence a person to a degree where they believe their evil actions are justified (Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, etc.).

These senseless killings, the hoarding of resources while other people starve, and extremists groups whose tactical advantage is fear, are all a direct result of the devil entering the hearts of people. 

Don’t be so quick to judge that person based on their behavior or dismiss people when they say, “the devil made me do it” after committing an evil act. To a certain point, they’re being honest. Pray for them. Pray that the demonic influences leave their hearts and they live a holy life. 

Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Our flesh opposes God. Everything God’s Word says not to do, our flesh wants to do. From the beginning with Adam and Eve, their flesh wanted to eat of the forbidden fruit. Now, our flesh wants to do whatever it can imagine.

We are to clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ. What does that mean? It means to tame our flesh with the Word of God. Jesus overcame His flesh and He didn’t allow it to govern His life. He forced His flesh to do the will of God. Example: Jesus’ flesh didn’t want to suffer, die, and be separated from the Father.  Nevertheless, He forced His flesh to comply with the will of God (Luke 22:42).

That same overcoming power Jesus had to overcome His flesh resides inside of us. So, put down that donut, tame that lustful desire, control that temper, and stop being so moody. Don’t do it by will power. Allow the Spirit of God to help you overcome the desires of the flesh.

John 9:11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

Our breakthrough is on the other side of our belief and obedience. This man believed in the power working through Jesus, therefore, he obeyed His instructions. What would have happened if this man didn’t take Jesus seriously or didn’t follow His instructions? He would have been blind for the remainder of his life.

A lot of us want the blessings, but we won’t believe and/or we won’t obey. For instance, some of us have a dream so big inside of us until we can’t see how it’s going to come to pass, therefore, we won’t go after that dream because we don’t believe with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). Or, we want a great relationship, but we won’t believe they can exist or obey God by forgiving an ex and choose instead to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness towards that ex.

For the manifestation of God’s promises, belief and obedience go hand in hand. Like a respectful young child who is willing to believe and obey anything, believe the Word of God and do what it says.

 

 

 

John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

Luke 15:4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

From food to sheep, Jesus is adamant that nothing is lost. Jesus making sure that nothing is lost and everything is accounted for includes us.

Jesus sacrificed Himself so that all will be saved, therefore, He doesn’t want anyone to be lost. Unfortunately, as we know, all won’t receive salvation, but He desires as many of us that can be saved to get saved.

Jesus is now in Heaven, but He commanded us (the believers) to retrieve the lost (Matt. 28:19). If the lost were important to Jesus, the lost should be important to us. From your circle of friends, to the people you see on a daily basis, contact them and confirm that no one is lost.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law.

From drugs, to pornography, to over-eating, to excessive television watching, there are so many addictions that will attempt to overtake our lives.

For those who really want to please God, we don’t want to be bound by those addictions all our lives. We want to overcome them. Part of overcoming any addiction is operating in the fruit of the spirit known as, self-control.

Self-control is exactly how it sounds. We take control of ourselves. We have to make an intentional decision to not give in to that temptation. Once we feel tempted to satisfy our flesh, we must:
1. Recognize this is an attack from the enemy to compel us to not honor God.
2. Believe with every temptation, God provides a way to escape (1 Cor. 10:13).
3. Consult the Holy Spirit on our escape route from that temptation.

As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we’ll avoid the traps of the enemy. But, just know, he’ll return again. Overcoming addictions begins with us. We must make the initial decision to have self-control rather than allowing outside factors to control us.

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