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If someone would grant us the opportunity to have lunch with anyone in the world, some would choose Warren Buffett because of his financial wisdom; some would choose Oprah Winfrey because of her successes, and some may even choose Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil to help us with our physical and mental health.

We look to these people because we think they can provide some wisdom that can make our lives more successful. In actuality, what we’re doing is seeing their success and relying on their wisdom to help us instead of the power of God.

For whatever help we need, God desires that we look to Him. Don’t get me wrong, God uses people to speak a word of wisdom in our lives, but our first step is to come to Him. God’s power and wisdom is custom-made for our lives and it can come from anywhere, therefore, it’s more beneficial for us. Most importantly, He’s glorified when it’s applied.

Don’t allow the success of others make you run to them as your source. Look to God and He will give you all that you need for every success.

1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Outdo yourselves in honoring one another.

In marriage, there’s a temptation to keep tabs on what we do for our spouse compared to what they’ve done for us. If we washed the dishes, folded their clothes, and mopped, we expect a “thank you” and for them to do three or more things for us. We keep tabs because of a fear of appearing foolish. Let’s change our mentality.

If both individuals go into the marriage and keep a mindset of lovingly outdoing one another, we’ll always be satisfied with our spouse’s performance.

Maturity is developed when we don’t immediately see the return from our spouse. That’s when it’s most important to continue doing for our spouse. We may not know what’s going through their minds and we don’t want to allow strife in our house based on a couple of days of lackluster performance. If we continue to honor our spouse, in spite of what they do for us, God will make sure, in some way, we’re rewarded for our efforts (Eph. 6:8; Luke 6:38).

Start today. Lovingly outdo one another and experience a whole new joy in marriage.

2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

We don’t want to be ignorant of the devices and traps Satan has for us. One of those traps is the lack of enthusiasm.

When we’re desperate for a miracle or our needs have needs, we passionately go after the things of God. We’re consistently reading our bibles, listening to the Word, keeping the faith, and constantly in prayer. Then, BOOM! Our breakthrough happens.

After a few years of believing God for other promises, our bank accounts become full; God met all our needs, and we’re prospering in every area of our lives.
Here’s the trap…Because of our prosperity, there’s a temptation to lose motivation to go after the things of God. Satan will tell us we got everything we want so, there’s no reason to read our bibles, go to church, or pray as much as we used to.

We can avoid this trap by changing the dynamic in our relationship with God. Instead of looking at God as a glorified genie, we can develop a real relationship with God. Instead of going after the things of God to get stuff, we’ll go after the things of God because we want to know our Father and our Savior more. We’ll want to spend time with someone Who’s been so good to us.

Don’t fall into the trap. Be zealous for the things of God.

Romans 12:11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.

Bad habits and addictions are not good for us. Too much TV watching, shopping, eating, drinking and drug and alcohol addictions are not good for us. Even too much exercising is not good for us. Some say they can’t help it or that’s who they are. They say this because they don’t know how to stop or they don’t want to stop.

We may not know how to stop these habits and addictions but, God does. When we look to Him, we can tap into the ability of self-control. According to this scripture, He’s already given us the ability to overcome anything. From pornography to the worst drug addiction, we’ve been given the ability of self-control.

Look to God and let Him orchestrate an hourly plan for your life to overcome any bad habit and addiction that may be destroying your life.

2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Faith or belief in Jesus Christ and all that He has for us is only the beginning of our journey. As we can see, we are to add certain things to our faith.

What good are we if we have faith, but we don’t have the boldness to stand for what we believe (virtue)? How impactful can we be if we have faith, but our knowledge is limited and we’re lacking in self-control? How effective can we be if we have faith, but we’re walking in hate?

Does this mean we try to obtain these things overnight using will power? No. We allow the Holy Spirit to show us the areas where we need to grow. Our responsibility is to obey the Holy Spirit when He tasks us with things that go beyond our logic and comfort zone.

Adding these things to our faith can make us better witnesses for Jesus Christ and better people, and positively impact the world. So, add to your faith.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Essentially, the spirit of mammon is the replacement of God with money. Instead of God supplying our needs, mammon tells us money can meet our needs. Instead of God giving us the desires of our hearts, we look to money to get our desires.

We have to be mindful not to be seduced by this spirit. Instead of financially giving to God, the spirit of mammon tells us to hold on to what we have. Instead of being content, the spirit of mammon tells us to get more. A person influenced by mammon says, “Who needs God when I have money?”

Before someone goes too far by saying the rich are possessed by the spirit of mammon. Let’s be clear, money is not the problem. The problem comes when we make money our source. Anyone (poor and rich) can be influenced by the spirit of mammon. The poor believe if they can just get some money, everything will be alright. The rich think if they can get more money they will be happier. In both cases, they should rely on God.

Don’t be influenced by the spirit of mammon. Choose God. When we’re focused on pleasing God, He ensures that we’ll have enough money to build His Kingdom, be a blessing to others, and enhance the quality of our lives all at the same time.

Psalm 34:19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

Drug addiction, self-righteousness, alcohol abuse, judgement, smoking, a critical spirit, fear, pornography, stress, homosexuality, current or previous verbal or physical abuse, depression, unhealthy eating, lust, excessive social media, debt, and more.

We all have things we need to be delivered from. We have a God on our side Who has the ability to deliver us from all our troubles and sinful habits. As hard as it seems for us to be delivered from our troubles, with God, our transition to deliverance becomes possible. There may be a long process to become totally delivered from a thing and our flesh will fight it day and night, but if we stick with God’s process, every day becomes a little easier.

We may revert to our old ways from time to time, but if we receive God’s forgiveness, discipline our flesh, and stick with God’s plan, total deliverance is possible.

Praise God we don’t have to accept harmful or sinful ways. We can be totally delivered.

When we get saved and sold out for Christ, we tend to associate ourselves with like-minded believers. We like talking about the Word and having good clean fun. At some point, we’re tempted to disassociate ourselves with people who don’t think, act, or believe like us and we stay in our “holy huddle.” We become so heavenly minded until we’re no earthly good.

We need to recognize this temptation to disassociate ourselves with people who are not like us. Jesus, our example, made a point to be around not so holy people. He was often criticized for being amongst “worldly people” but, He recognized the need for EVERYONE to have a Savior.

If Jesus associated Himself with people outside His huddle, we should too. Showing the love of God to and associating ourselves with the lustful, the alcoholic, the homosexual, and the ex-convict is our responsibility. How else will these people experience God’s love, forgiveness, and grace if we disassociate ourselves from them?

Get out of your holy huddle and do some earthly good for the glory of God and the good of mankind.

Mark 2:16 When the scribes who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with these people, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

We are a spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in a body (1 Thess. 5:23). Our soul consists of our mind, our will, our imagination, our emotions, and our intellect. Life has a tendency to drain our souls. Our mind may be sound, but our will is weak. We may be highly intellectual, but our emotions are negative. God put the responsibility on Himself to restore every area of our souls, but only if we let Him.

When we humble and submit our souls to God, He makes sure we’re content in every area. If we give our fears to God, which is a part of our imagination, He will ensure that our imagination is encouraged. If we give our negative emotions to God, He will make sure we experience joy. If we need intelligence in a certain area, God will cover that too.

It’s good to know we serve a God who desires to restore our souls so that we can enjoy this life that Jesus purchased. Let Him restore you today.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

We can never praise God enough. We can never boast too much about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If we reflect on where God has brought us and imagine where God is taking us, we’ll continuously be excited and tell of His goodness.

People may not want to hear about it and people may think we’re being too fanatic but, this is our calling. This is our proclamation. This is one of the reasons why we were created.

So, begin to praise Him and tell of His goodness. As the old song says, praise Him in the morning, praise Him in the noonday, and praise Him when the sun goes down.

Mark 14:3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.

Isn’t it funny how people want to tell us what to do with our money? They’ve read a couple of books or experienced certain situations that now qualify them as “financial experts.”

Here we have this woman, who chose to spend a year’s worth of wages on Jesus. Immediately, she was criticized for this action, but Jesus compliments her and tells everyone she’s done a beautiful thing.

There will be times where God prompts us to sacrifice our finances and go above and beyond our 10% tithe. It will be an inward prompting of the Holy Spirit to give above and beyond our normal amount of giving. It’s during those times fear, human logic, and criticism will come. Those are all designed to stop us from giving to the Kingdom.

Although it’s not mentioned, it’s certain this woman received a harvest on the seed she sowed. Ephesians 6:8 says, God’s Word tells us whatever good we do, the same shall we receive of the Lord. God’s not in the habit of being in debt to anyone so, we can expect to receive a harvest from the good things we’ve sown to Him.

Praise God we can give to the Kingdom of God and praise God for our harvest!

1 John 2:1 (ERV) My dear children, I write this letter to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone sins, we have Jesus Christ to help us. He always did what was right, so He is able to defend us before God the Father. 2 Jesus is the way our sins are taken away. And He is the way all people can have their sins taken away too.

Before the world was created, God implemented a plan to send His Son Jesus to take away all the sins of the world.

After Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, all our sins that we’ll ever commit were forgiven. When people reject Jesus, they reject the payment for their sins; therefore, they die in their unpaid sins and can never be in the presence of a pure Holy God.

It’s not people’s sinful behavior that keeps them from going to heaven, because all sin has been dealt with through Jesus. It’s the rejection of the payment for our sins that keeps people out.

Don’t be left out. Receive Jesus and receive the payment of our sins.

Inspired by Pastor C. Dollar

Mark 5:39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying.

It requires faith to obtain our needs and desires from God. Faith is a fight because in spite of what we see and what we’ve experienced, we have to maintain our belief that God has made our desires available through Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 6:12). The devil is already in our heads saying it won’t work. We don’t need anyone else laughing and ridiculing us based on what we are believing God for.

Some of us believe God for big and seemingly impossible desires that everyone won’t understand. It’s during those times we may have to separate ourselves from those who don’t believe and can’t be in agreement with us. This separation may be temporary, but it could also be permanent.

We need to be surrounded by people who genuinely want the best for us and people who can stand in agreement with us. It’s nothing personal to those who can’t believe. We simply need to be surrounded by faith.

1 Kings 17:5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.

1 Kings 17:15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.

God has instructed each and every one of us to do something. He’s told some of us to start a business, let some habits go, let some people go, serve in an area at church, reconcile a relationship with our parents, and He’s told some of us to be still.

In both of these cases, the person obeyed the word or the prophet of the Lord. As a result of their obedience, God performed an awesome miracle in their lives. In our case, God has given us instructions. In order for us to reap the maximum potential blessing, we have to do our part and obey God.

The miracle didn’t happen until they went and did. Whatever God has called you to do, go and do it and watch God bless your life.

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the name above all names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

The name of Jesus has all power. When we believe in the power of that name and give voice to that name, every negative thing in our lives has to change. We may not see it change immediately but, by maintaining our belief in the power of the name of Jesus, that situation has to change.

The name of Jesus has the power to heal our bodies, rekindle strained relationships, deliver us from addictions, and so much more. There’s nothing that name can’t do.

Some of us loosely use that name as a reaction to an unexpected situation…”Jesus Christ”. When we loosely use the name, we diminish its value. Some of us say it so often until we lose the true revelation of its potential.

Build and let’s keep a revelation of the name of Jesus. It has the power to change anything. Use it in your life, over your family’s lives, and for this world and expect to see a change.

1 John 5:10 (NLT) All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

How many of us would walk up to God and tell Him He’s a liar? Not many of us if any at all. We would have to be stupid or crazy to call God a liar but, millions of people do.

Simply put, when we don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we’re saying God is a liar. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, all scripture is inspired by God therefore, if we don’t believe the scriptures that tell us Jesus is the Son God (1 John 4:15), we’re saying God is a liar.

In fact, if we don’t believe certain promises will come to pass in our lives, we’re saying God is a liar. When we don’t believe God’s Word we tell God, “I don’t believe or trust You, You liar.” It’s harsh but, it’s true.

Do yourself a favor, don’t call God a liar. Believe His Word, believe in His Son Jesus, and believe in His promises.

*Pass this message on to those who don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Before Paul became an Apostle of Christ, Paul (who was Saul) was a zealous intelligent man who spoke multiple languages and was well-trained in the law. His passion for following the law gave him the justification to murder followers of Christ while believing he was acting on God’s behalf.

God used Saul’s discipline, passion, intelligence, understanding, and language skills as the experience Saul needed to become Paul. Paul performed awesome miracles and led millions to experience salvation through Jesus Christ.

What does this mean for us? God can take whatever we’ve learned, been through, and experienced and use it for His glory. It may not all be pretty, but God can make miracles out of mess ups. When we apply to a certain job, they provide a list of the experience that’s required. If we have the experience they’re looking for, we most likely will get the job. God does the same thing except, everything we’ve experienced can be used by Him.

Don’t discredit what you’ve learned or been through. Surrender it to God so that He can use it for His glory and so that we can be a blessing to others.

Philippians 3:4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Paul and Silas were in a terrible circumstance. They were beaten, shackled, and jailed for doing the will of God. When one would think they were at their lowest point, they began to sing praises unto God. At that very moment, there was an earthquake and their shackles were released and the jail doors were opened.

Externally, everything changed for the worse in Paul and Silas’ lives, but they maintained their positive attitudes. They still were grateful for what God had done and they were looking forward to spending eternity with their Savior. Based on their joy, they began to sing praises unto God. They didn’t sing hoping to be freed. They sang because they were grateful. Because of their grateful positive attitude, God performed a miracle they didn’t request.

How many miracles have we missed out on because of our negative ungrateful attitude? How many things could we have experienced if we maintained our joy during difficult times? Probably a lot. Just remember to focus on God during tough times. When nothing makes sense and everything seems like it’s getting worse, start giving God the praise for breakthrough and believe God is working out this situation for our good.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Peace is a prized possession. However, peace can’t be bought, it can’t be earned, and it can’t be inherited. Genuine peace can only be received through Jesus Christ.

We can be a billionaire on a private island by ourselves and still be in turmoil. We can have accomplished all our goals and still have no peace. All our friends and family can be around on Christmas day and still be without peace.

Like any other promise from God, peace has to be received by faith. Regardless of how we feel and what we’re going through, we have to believe peace has been made available to us. There’s no need to pray for it because it’s been left with us. We have it. We simply have to pick it up by faith and apply it to our lives.

When we apply this peace though our belief, confession, and demonstration, no matter what’s going on in our lives (good or bad), we can have peace.

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