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Acts 28:3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.

Ouch! Paul was bitten by a snake. I’m sure the fangs of the snake going through his skin hurt, but by God’s grace and mercy, it didn’t kill him.

We’re going to experience things in life that will physically and emotionally hurt. These things were sent by the devil to steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives. It could be sickness, divorce, death of a loved one, or a loss of a job. Although these things hurt, when we rely on God’s grace and mercy, they won’t kill us. That’s encouraging news.

Certain things in life will hurt, but as we rely on God to see us through these difficult times, it will hurt, but it won’t kill.

Isaiah 43:7 Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

The reason we’re here is not some deep complicated thing. We were created to give God glory.

Don’t let religion confuse you about glory. It simply means to honor and give Him credit through praise and worship.

When we praise and worship God for all the wonderful things He’s done, God is glorified. A form of praise and worship is giving. Yes, giving. When we give an offering (financially), we’re tangibly giving God glory (1 Chron. 16:29).

We glorify God through our obedience. Jesus says in John 17:4, “I have glorified You on earth by accomplishing the work You gave Me to do.” By fulfilling our God-given assignments (small or great), God is glorified. Some of our God-given assignments are to believe in the finished works of Jesus, love, be blessings, etc.

Glorifying God is not optional. It’s something God is due according to 1 Chronicles 16:29. So, in every situation (pleasant and unpleasant), give God glory.

1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Every person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins is spiritually alive. Every person who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for our sins is spiritually dead. It’s that simple.

When people believe, they become spiritually alive, but until then, they’re the walking dead. It doesn’t matter how nice or sweet a person is or how many good acts they do. Without belief, they’re spiritually dead. They may be millionaires and have the appearance of being blessed, but they’re dead to God.

Unfortunately, based on their decision to not believe, the spiritually dead’s final destination is hell. God doesn’t send people to hell; people’s unbelief sends them there. Don’t walk around spiritually dead just to end up in hell and don’t let people walk around spiritually dead. Make Jesus Lord and let’s encourage others to make Him Lord so we all can be alive forevermore.

1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present world, instruct them not to be conceited and arrogant, nor to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

For so many years, a lot of Christians were the image of “no fun.” They didn’t smile, they had hundreds of rules, and they couldn’t do anything without it being called a sin. What outsider would want to be associated with people like that? Why would any person want to give up fun for that type of Christianity?

Christianity is not meant to be some somber experience where everyone is serious and in deep thought all the time. God’s design is that we enjoy ourselves in every aspect of life. We can enjoy ourselves at church, reading God’s Word, and in prayer. We can have fun with our children and relatives. We can watch a movie, play games, go on vacations, or just lounge around the house.

Let’s change the perception of Christianity by enjoying ourselves as we follow Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NLT) So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Satan is on the attack. He’s attempting to steal, kill, or destroy something in our lives (John 10:10). He takes no days off.

Understanding that Satan’s attack will never end, it’s important that we put on the whole armor of God. It didn’t say put on part of the armor of God, but the entire armor. We put on the armor of God to protect ourselves from Satan’s onslaught.

God’s armor consists of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. To sum it up, the armor of God is knowledge and application of the Word of God. When we properly apply the Word of God, we effectively combat Satan’s attacks.

When the armor of God is in full effect, we’ll no longer be influenced to do the wrong thing, we won’t overthink ourselves into depression, and we won’t react based on how we feel.

If it hasn’t been done already, be sure to put on the armor of God and never take it off.

Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Offense is optional. It’s our choice to be offended or not. One way to not be offended is to never take it.

It’s up to us to be offended if our boss belittles us in front of coworkers. It’s up to us to be offended by the looks of others. It’s up to us to be offended by the comments of others.

Part of not taking offense is knowing who we are in Christ. If we know that we’re wonderfully made, intelligent, successful, and righteous, we’ll never be in bondage to someone’s approval of us. Therefore, we’ll never be offended.

The option to be offended will always be present. We can either pick it up or leave it there. It’s in our best interest to leave it there. Don’t take it!

1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name.

Our sins are not going to be forgiven. They already are forgiven. Everything that we have done wrong and will do wrong has been forgiven. It doesn’t matter how minor or major the fault was, it’s all forgiven.

Our sins are not forgiven because of the good things that we do. There is no amount of works we can do to be forgiven by God. Our sins are forgiven because of the sacrifice of Jesus. He took on our sins and took the punishment for our sins (1 Peter 2:24).

For God or anyone else to hold our sins against us is an insult to the sacrifice of Jesus. We have been forgiven. Receive this forgiveness and know that through Christ, we are in right standing with God.

Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

Without Jesus, we’re nothing. With every wrong thing we’ve done in our lives, we would die from guilt standing in the presence of God if it wasn’t for Jesus.

Jesus taught us how to live. He’s given us abundant life. He was whipped so that we can be healed. He sacrificed His life so that our past, present, and future sins can be forgiven. He put us in right standing with God. He gives us 24-hour access to God.

With all that He’s done, He’s still presently working on our behalf. Our Savior keeps us from sin and error. You may say, “I still sin periodically.” Yes, we all sin, but through Christ, He spiritually holds us up. And although we have shortcomings, His blood keeps us clean in the sight of God. When God sees us, He doesn’t see our mistakes, faults, and shortcomings. Thanks to Jesus, He sees us faultless.

If we don’t feel like we have anything to thank God about (although we do), let’s remember and thank God for Jesus.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

We put on a hat to protect us from the sun, we put on a coat to protect us from the cold, and we put on a rain jacket to protect us from the rain. We understand the concept of protection in the natural. It’s even more important to be protected spiritually. That’s why we’re instructed to put on the Lord Jesus.

How do we put on the Lord Jesus? By looking in God’s Word to see how He behaves, His thoughts, how He treats others, how He responds to negativity, and how He deals with pressure.

Notice, the scripture tells us to put the Lord Jesus on, but it never tells us to take Him off. So, put and keep these spiritual clothes on to be protected from the vices in the world.

There are some who are deceived into thinking God’s ways are archaic, unnecessary, or burdensome. With this mentality, those people search for another option. Instead of praying, they choose to mediate. Instead of reading the bible, they choose to read self-help books. Instead of treating everyone with love and respect, they only love and respect those who love and respect them.

Turning from God’s ways leaves us hollow. It may look like we have it altogether, but when life gets at its most difficult, we’ll crack under the pressure. We’ll start having nervous breakdowns, easily give into temptation, and start doing things we never thought we’ll do. We’ll settle for things below God’s best, we’ll get jealous of those who prosper, and we’ll find faults with elements of Christianity.

Meanwhile, God is there, waiting for anyone to turn and submit themselves to Him. The moment we turn to Him, He’s not holding anything against us (Rom. 4:8). He’s excited about enhancing the rest of our lives (Psalm 35:17). Stop searching for fulfillment in other things. Only God can bring true fulfillment in life.

Isaiah 55:2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. 3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

1 Corinthians 2:9 Rather, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

13 And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

We know all things. We don’t know all things based on how much we’ve studied. We know all things because the Creator of the universe anointed us and lives inside every born-again believer. And since He knows all things, we know all things.

This knowledge is not automatic. It must be revealed. We tap into this knowledge by spending time with God, reading His instruction manual for life (the bible), receiving the knowledge by faith, and obeying His voice.

With this knowledge, God can provide the wisdom we need to solve problems that so-called experts can’t solve at our jobs. We can provide solutions to our friend’s martial problems. We can come up with the next invention that can change the world. We can find a cure for “incurable” diseases. We have the potential to solve any of the world’s problems. With God, there’s nothing we can’t do.

There’s nothing we can’t know and there’s nothing we can’t do. Let’s tap into this knowledge and change the world.

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

From the poor to someone God placed on our hearts, it’s important that we use our faith and resources to help people. It was never the government’s job to be the financial aid for the people. It’s the believer’s responsibility to help.

Not only should we help people financially, we should help people emotionally too. If someone we know is going through a difficult time, we should be the people to give them a God-inspired encouraging word. Spiritually speaking, we can sincerely pray for a person and their situation.

We can even help people with the simplest task like, helping a struggling person with groceries or helping someone who’s lost.

Whatever the need, it’s important that we seek God to determine how we should help.

1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

No, Jesus’ commandments were not the Ten Commandments and it’s not the Law of Moses.
The following are Jesus’ commandments:

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Based on these verses, we can conclude the commandments of Jesus are to love God and love people. That’s it. It’s that simple.

Some of us may be wondering about following the Law or the Ten Commandments. First, we’re not under the requirements of the Law (Rom. 6:14). Secondly, when we truly love God and love people, we won’t steal, kill, bear false witness, etc. By default, our love for God and for people will fulfill all the commandments of God (Gal. 5:14; Matt. 22:39).

Don’t go crazy attempting to fulfill the Law. Just love God and love people and we’ll fulfill our responsibilities.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

A continuous renewing of the mind is probably the most important thing we can do as born-again believers. It’s the catapult for our transformation.

We can go from thinking the bible is just a book to believing the bible is the true Word of God. We can go from thinking there may be a God somewhere to knowing God is our loving Father. We can go from being in a state of anxiousness and depression to contentment and comfort.

Circumstances may not have changed, and we could still be in the middle of chaos, but by renewing our minds to the Word, we’ll have joy, hope, peace, and a positive perspective in the midst of trials.

Psalm 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not hide my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the guilt of my sin.

Admission to wrongdoing is not the most popular thing nowadays. A lot of like the image of being flawless and above mistakes. The truth is, we’re all going to miss the mark. By being in this earthly body, we have the potential to sin.

David acknowledged his faults and received forgiveness of sin. There was no guarantee that David’s sin would be forgiven because Jesus had not sacrificed His life for the forgiveness of sins yet. If David received forgiveness without a guarantee, how much more will we be forgiven? For every born-again believer, we have a certainty our sins are forgiven. It’s not “will be forgiven.” All our past, present, and future sins have been forgiven (Rom. 6:10).

When we acknowledgment our sins to God, we let go of the feeling of guilt associated with sin. At the same time of our acknowledgment, we thank God for the blood of Jesus that wipes away all our mistakes (1 John 1:7). Since we know that God has forgiven us, we can let it go and move on with our lives.
Praise God for His forgiveness.

Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

When we choose to disobey God or when we see others disobey God, that’s a demonic spirit at work. The spirit is not making them or us disobey God, but it’s a highly influential spirit at work telling us to do things contrary to the Word of God. It’s ultimately up to us whether we follow the influences of the spirit or not.

Since Jesus disarmed the power of the devil according to Colossians 2:15, the only power Satan has is the power of influence. In Luke 10:19, Jesus gave us authority over all the power of the enemy. So, we have authority over the influences of every demonic spirit.

As he’s talking to us or we see him at work in someone else, we can use our authority and the power of our words, and command him to go. Whatever he’s telling us or someone else to do or however he’s telling us to feel, we can counter that thought by opening our mouths to declare what God’s Word says.

Don’t be or let someone else by a vessel of disobedience through demonic influence. Use your authority over demonic spirits.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Business decisions, the person to marry, the job to take, how to parent a particular child, the church to attend, and people to give to. God will instruct us in the way we should go. He’ll teach us how to problem solve and improve on a thing. It may not be easy or seem logical all the time, but with God, we’ll get the best results.

This is only based on our submission to His instructions. If we choose to do our own thing and not submit to God’s instructions, we may get good results, but there’s a chance we’ll have horrible results.

Don’t gamble with life’s decisions. Allow God to instruct and teach you in every way you should go.

Mark 5:28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Luke 17:14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

Matthew 8:8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.

We see three methods of healing. The woman believed she needed to touch Jesus to be healed. The lepers followed instructions to be cleansed. The centurion believed Jesus only needed to speak healing from afar for his servant to be healed.

In all these cases, their healing didn’t manifest until they applied their faith. Notice, Jesus didn’t ridicule their faith. He didn’t tell the woman, “If you really had faith, you would have been healed just by looking at me.” Jesus was happy they all relied on Him.

The point is, we all have different methods in our faith. Some believe they need to be touched by a person of God, in the name of Jesus. Others feel like they can receive breakthrough by following Spirit-inspired instructions. Some others feel like they can speak healing over themselves. All are acceptable according to scripture. God is happy that we’re relying on Him.

No one should ridicule another person’s method of faith and we shouldn’t feel bad because we’re not using a “higher” method of faith. Whatever method we’re comfortable with, God is simply happy that we’re relying on Him. Apply your faith today.

As God’s promises start to come to pass in our lives, it’s important we don’t let these promises consume our lives. Don’t let the blessing get bigger than the One Who blesses.

If God blesses us with a new car, let’s be mindful not to spend all our time keeping it clean or looking up ideas to improve its appearance. Some of that time should be spent with God. If God blesses us with a free moment, after being so busy for so long, we shouldn’t only use that time to do “randomness.” Spend some time with God.

It’s easy to forget God after we’ve received what we’ve prayed for. Let’s make the effort to continue to spend time with God even after the blessing. Not because we want something from Him, but just because we want to be with Him.

Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

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Scriptures of the Day

February 2020
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