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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.

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July 2018
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