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Luke 2:26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation

God promised Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Christ. The Holy Spirit led Simeon into the temple. When it was revealed to Simeon that Jesus was the Christ, Simeon was overjoyed because God fulfilled His promise.

It’s important to be led by the Spirit. If Simeon wasn’t sensitive to the Holy Spirit, Simeon could have missed out on His promise. The Holy Spirit positions us in the will of God. As we’re in the will of God, the Holy Spirit can lead us to be a blessing to someone else or God can compel someone else to be a blessing to us.

For instance, the Holy Spirit can tell us to go to a specific restaurant. At that restaurant, the Holy Spirit may tell us to pay for a person’s meal or the Holy Spirit may prompt someone else to pay for our meal. Regardless of the scenario, we could miss out on being blessed or being a blessing if we’re not sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s allow ourselves to be positioned by the Spirit.

John 3:16 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.

We don’t need a Ph.D to understand the way to receive everlasting life is to believe in Him (Jesus).

It’s not believe in Him and go to church every week.
It’s not believe in Him and give our tithes.
It’s not believe in Him and live a perfect life.

It only says to believe in Him. Romans 10:9 give specifics of what we should do to believe in Him. It says if we confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. So, believing God raised our Lord and His Son Jesus from the dead will give us everlasting life.

When we have a full understanding of what Jesus did for us, we’ll want to go to His church, we’ll want to give 10% of our increase to God out of gratitude, and we’ll want to honor God with our lives. That’s what grateful people do.

Don’t let anyone make salvation complicated. Believe God raised our Lord Jesus from the dead and you will be saved.

Luke 2:20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

In Luke 2:10-14, an angel told shepherds in a field that Christ our Savior was born. When the shepherds heard what the angel told them, they rejoiced and gave glory to God.

Let’s look at this naturally: nothing in the shepherds’ lives had changed. They weren’t saved from their sins, they didn’t become prosperous, and they didn’t become healed from all their ailments. However, they gave glory to God based on what they heard.

When we hear or read a promise in the Bible, we too can rejoice over the thing we heard or read. Nothing may have changed in the natural, but based on God’s Word, we can give glory to God. We can give glory to God that we are rich (2 Cor. 8:9), we’re healed (Isaiah 53:5), and we’re victorious in everything we do (1 Cor. 15:57).

Give glory to God for His Word because if He said it, it will come to pass.

Too often we wait on external situations to change before we change internally. For instance, we may desire new employment for a better financial situation, better living conditions, peace in our marriages, etc. Because of this desire for external change, internally, we may be moody, sad, anxious, or depressed.

Our internal change should be based on the One Who is always present in our lives. That’s God. With God, there should be an understanding that we have everything we need and desire and it’s a matter of time before our desires manifest. In the meantime, by faith, we can receive the joy, peace, and contentment He provides us in spite of not having our desires. Daily, we can confess we have joy, peace, and we’re content. It’s an ongoing process because Satan will dangle our desires in front of us making us feel like we can’t be happy unless our desires manifest. Eventually, we’ll get to a place where nothing may have externally changed, but internally, we’re joyful and at peace.

Don’t wait on things to change prior to receiving joy. Know that God is with us and He can provide joy in the meantime and He promised to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Proverbs 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.

There’s nothing wrong with being good at something, looking great, or being successful in a certain field. The problem occurs when we boast about our successes without mentioning God.

In the age of social media, some of us have the tendency to boast about how much weight we lost, the cars we have, and/or the house we purchased. We may not say anything about how great we are in our posts, but internally we’re looking to boast about our accomplishments.

Once again, there’s nothing wrong with being pleased with our accomplishments, but give God glory for all that He’s done and let another person praise us and not we ourselves.

1 Corinthians 1:31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Look at the demand on these scriptures. These scriptures can make even the most mature Christian want to look the other way. These scriptures command us to imitate God and walk in Christ-like love.

Imitating God means to use our God-given authority, be holy, and show unconditional love to all. If we look through the scriptures, Christ-like love opposes the flesh in every area of life. Jesus was a blessing to those who didn’t believe in Him. Jesus forgave those who abused Him. Jesus loved those who hated Him. All of this is expected of us.

God is not expecting us to do this using will power. He sent the Holy Spirit to assist us along the way. It’s a process. We may not be walking in unconditional love yet but, we can start off by being nice to people. We may not have forgiven everyone who has wronged us but, we can start off by forgiving one person at a time. Just say, “Holy Spirit, help me to _______.”

Instead of not doing any of what God said because it’s seemingly too difficult, allow the Holy Spirit to help and let’s start working our way towards this holy lifestyle.

Genesis 22:12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.

There are some people who don’t mind change and there are some who hate change. When it comes to God directing our lives, we need to be ready for change.

Abraham had it set in his mind that he was going to sacrifice Isaac unto God. Gratefully, at the last moment, God changed the type of sacrifice and put the ram in the bush. Look at Moses in Exodus 2. After Moses fled from Egypt, Moses went to Midian, got married and had a son, but God changed his course of life and had Moses go back to Egypt to set His people free. This change may have initially been uncomfortable, but it caused Moses to save the lives of millions.

We may have had it set in our minds to be in one profession or to marry a certain person, but God had other plans for our lives. Realize this, just like Abraham and Moses, the change God has for us will always work out for our good and for the good of others (Rom. 8:28). Also, Psalm 84:11 says, no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly which means, the change God is pushing us towards will be better than the status quo we’re trying to hold on to. So, don’t be resistant. Be ready for change.

Matthew 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

During this time of year, some people declare this “cold and flu season”. Because of this proclamation, people tend to get flu shots and double up on the hand sanitizer to avoid getting sick. Did God say it’s “cold and flu season”? Is that in the Word? I don’t think so.

Some of us have more faith in the contagiousness of the sickness than the healing power of God. Here’s a thought. Instead of avoiding contact with people who are sick or be worried about getting sick, let’s release our faith to heal every person who crosses our paths. Instead of being worried about being infected with sickness, let’s operate in our God-given authority and infect someone with divine health. Let’s proclaim every person who shakes our hand doesn’t get us sick, but we get them well. Let’s believe nothing shall hurt us (Luke 10:19). All of this IS POSSIBLE.

No matter how many people who are sick around us, it doesn’t have to infect us. We can change our environment by laying our hands on the sick and they shall recover.

When we have children and look into their innocent eyes and create a bond with them, we make a vow within ourselves to do everything we can to make sure their lives are wonderful. There’s only one problem with that vow. Our children’s well-being, happiness, and safety are not our responsibility. At the end of the day, our children belong to God and that responsibility belongs to God.

Isaiah 54:13 “All your sons will be taught of the LORD; And the well-being of your sons will be great.

Our responsibility as earthly parents is to point our children to Father God. We’ll let them know God is our provider, God is our peace, God is our help, and God is our everything.

As new parents, we need to trust God to do His job, through us, with our children. This means being led by the Spirit in parenting. Sometimes we see our children in certain predicaments and fear attempts to creep in. Our response to fear has us worrying, not sleeping, and attempting to handle the situation without asking for God’s guidance. This shows a lack of trust in God.

We should trust God in every area of our lives including, raising our children through us.

Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves.

A lot of us spend our nights planning the next day, wondering how we’re going to make it, how we’re going to get our business to excel, or how we can better manage our workload. This is pointless. When we do this, we limit the amount of sleep we need and more importantly, we eliminate God.

God grants and desires for us to get sweet sleep. He doesn’t want us up all night worrying about tomorrow (Matt. 6:34). That’s why He ensures us that He’ll perfect everything that concerns us (Psalm 138:3). When we’re worrying and planning our future without God’s guidance, we’re pushing God to the side and saying, “I love You, but I don’t trust You.”

Let’s be believers who truly place all our trust in God. Let’s give our cares to God (Psalm 55:22) and release our faith for sweet sleep every night.

Genesis 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

We’re commanded to be a blessing to others. We can be a blessing by doing what we can with what we have now.

It may be our ultimate goal to pay off someone’s mortgage or car note, but we may not be at that place financially yet. If we can’t pay off someone’s mortgage, help them pay their electricity bill. If that’s outside of the budget, help clean their house. We all have the ability to do something.

Also, we don’t have to know a person to be a blessing to a person. Another list to bless someone we don’t know includes, paying for a person’s gas, paying for a meal, picking up trash out of our neighbors’ yards, etc.

They may not thank us and some may look at us strangely, but we’re being a blessing and shining our lights in a darkened world and our acts of kindness may be the seed that turns a person’s life around for the better.

Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Have you ever been moody, anxious, facing bouts of depression, or felt emotionally unstable? That’s spiritual warfare. It’s an attack by Satan where he throws negative thoughts into our minds to make us feel some kind of way. Those thoughts could be related to where we are not in life, the issues at our jobs, or the negative things we’ve experienced in our marriage. If we’re not mindful, we’ll take out our sadness, anger, and frustration on someone else and the cycle will continue.

When those negative thoughts enter our minds, this is not the time to keep quiet and let those thoughts beat us up. We counter those thoughts with God-based speech. We declare we’re prosperous, we’re declare we’re healed, we declare our marriage is made whole, and we declare all our needs are met. Whatever negative thoughts enter our minds, we counter them by speaking the Word of God.

Ephesians 6:8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

When we do good for others or for the Kingdom of God, we can expect good to come to us if we let it.

When we’ve sown good in our lives, the time will come when good will be offered back to us. Like anything else in this world, we have the choice to receive or reject something. If we’re too proud, we’ll reject the good God is trying to offer us.

This good can come in the form of rest from our labors, a gift card, or a free meal. Pride will try to convince us we can’t accept the gift card or free meal, and there’s too much work that needs to be done to rest. If we’re not mindful of this pride-pitfall, we’ll eventually end up burnt out or feeling unappreciated in the long run, not realizing we’ve rejected our own rewards.

Don’t fall for these proud moments. Receive the good God has offered.

Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Reading the Bible is not something we do to earn brownie points with God. Studying, not reading, the Word of God is meant for our understanding. The Word of God gives us better understanding of Who Christ is for us. It gives us understanding of Who we are in Christ, and God’s purpose for our lives.

Since God is His Word according to John 1 and there’s no end to God, there’s infinite revelation in the Word of God. We can get new revelation from scriptures we’ve read since we were children. There’s no end to our understanding. The Word helps us in our daily lives. There’s nothing new under the sun and the Word gives us answers to all our problems.

Even if it’s one verse a day, start studying the Word and receive God’s wisdom, revelation, and His solutions.

Jeremiah 17:5 “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.

As we can see, there’s no profit in trusting man. This includes political figures, religious leaders, our spouses, and even ourselves. If we’re trusting in flesh of any kind, we’ll never be truly satisfied.

We can’t look to a president as our hope, we can’t look to a minister to be our savior, and we shouldn’t trust ourselves to overcome any situation. Placing our trust in man, will leave us disappointed.

There’s a degree of trust we give to man in order to function in this world, but all our trust, hope, and confidence should be given to God. Give God your trust.

James 3:14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

When most people view marriage, they enter it with the mindset of what they can get out of the deal. They think about what their spouse can do for them and their happiness versus what they can do for their spouse and their spouse’s happiness.

This is a self-seeking mindset and according to this scripture it’s a demonic mindset. We’ll never be fulfilled if we go in any relationship thinking about what this relationship can do for us.

As believers, we should operate from the principle of sowing and reaping. Whatever we want out of our marriage or relationship is what we should be sowing into that relationship. If we want to be unconditionally loved, respected, and surprised with gifts, we should sow that into our spouse. When we sow positive things, we have a guarantee from God to reap a positive harvest (Galatians 6:7).

Let’s remove the demonic self-seeking thoughts from our minds and focus on being a blessing to our spouses.

In boxing, there is a champion and a challenger. The champion’s goal is to defend their title against the challenger. The challenger’s goal is to do whatever they can to dethrone the champion.

Regardless of what the champion goes through in the fight, they’re still the defending champions. They could get punched in the face, get knocked down, and have black eyes, but they’re still the champion. Even though they experience difficulties in the ring, they’re still the champions until they’re defeated.

What does this mean for us? God declared through the stripes of Jesus Christ, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). In life, we may experience difficulties that attempt to threaten our health, but we’re healed. We may get a cold, break a bone, or be diagnosed with something, but we’re still healed. Even though our health is attacked, like the champion boxer, we’re still healed until we declare our defeat. We’re not oblivious or ignoring the attack on our health, but if God called us healed, who are we to declare otherwise? Whatever you’re facing, declare you’re healed.

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Job 8:7 Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.

If we’re submitted to the will of God and we’re being led by His Spirit, God promised that our lives would move from one success to another. Everything in our lives may not be perfect, but we shouldn’t be in the same place we were a year ago.

Something should be better. We should have a better relationship with God, an increase in our finances, a more enjoyable career, a house, a spouse, a child, etc. Our lives should be more enjoyable as we get older.

If we’re not experiencing continuous successes, we need to evaluate our lives to determine if we’re truly submitted to God. Tap into God’s promises and experience a life that gets better with time.

Romans 13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

This scripture includes God.
We must acknowledge and give honor to God for everything He’s done.

How many of us acknowledge Him when we have a great idea? How many of us let our co-workers know God gave us that idea? How many of us inform our co-workers to seek God for a specific answer? It may not be a lot of us.

God desires glory, honor, and credit. It’s ungrateful and selfish to keep His praise to ourselves. So, for every point of understanding, every open door, give God credit. Because He’s God, give Him extra credit.

Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses gave God all sorts of excuses as to why he couldn’t fulfill his purpose God had for him. Some of us give God excuses as to why we can’t fulfill His call in our lives. The root to every excuse is fear.

We’ll say it’s too difficult, it takes too much time, it requires too much effort, we don’t have the education or experience, or it’s impossible. What we’re really saying is we don’t want to spend all this time and effort on something for a chance it may fail. Is anything too hard for us when God is on our side? Nothing is impossible with God.

We’re told not to throw all our eggs in one basket but, that’s not true when it comes to God. When we throw all our trust, belief, and confidence into God’s basket, we’re guaranteed success.

As we begin this journey of 2018, don’t give God excuses. Let’s give Him our trust.

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Scriptures of the Day

January 2018
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