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Psalm 115:14 May the Lord give you increase more and more, You and your children.

Increase is God’s plan for our lives. For some, they don’t want to talk about increase. They think it’s wrong to mention God and increase in the same sentence. But as we can see, increase is God’s will for our lives. He not only wants us to increase, but our children too.

God’s increase is not limited to possessions. We can increase in the word, increase in our knowledge of Him, and increase in our influence.

Don’t let anyone talk you out of increase. Increase in your finances, increase in love, increase in the time you spend with God. Increase! INCRease! INCREASE!

Psalm 84:5 (AMP) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

When we’re trying to do things in our own strength, certain tasks can be stressful, burdensome, or impossible. That’s because we are not designed to do anything in our own strength. We were made to rely on God.

By relying on God’s strength, we can do anything. Nothing’s too hard for us because we’re strengthened by Him. With God’s strength, we can forgive those who mistreated us, we can start a business, we can quit smoking, and we can end toxic relationships.

No matter how big the task is, we’re happy to take it on because it allows us to see the strength of God at work. Let’s rely on God’s strength and not our own.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

After receiving a revelation on the road to Damascus, Saul grew in his understanding of who Christ really was. Because of his growth, he was able to powerfully preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As we seek to know more about God, we too should grow in understanding. Doctrines and beliefs we thought 10 years ago, may be different than what we think now and that’s okay.

We might have thought we should pray to Jesus a few years ago, but as we can see in John 16:23, we should pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. We may have thought fasting expedites our prayers. It doesn’t. Fasting increases our sensitivity to hear the voice of God.

We should always continue to grow in the knowledge of God. If we purposefully stop growing in the things of God, we limit what God can do for us and through us.

Some of us embrace the instructions, advice, and views from the leaders of our local church without considering the Holy Spirit.

For instance, at the beginning of the year, most churches fast for a certain amount of days. Instead of just going with the flow and fasting the amount of days the church has planned, we should consult the Holy Spirit and see what He personally wants us to do. He may tell us to fast longer or abstain from different things.

Our church may ask us to give $20 above our tithes and offering. Some of us just give it. Take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit. He may have us giving $40 above our tithes and offering.

During elections, our church may endorse a candidate or have them make a speech. That doesn’t mean we should vote for them. It all comes back to the Holy Spirit. If He tells us to vote for that person, then we’ll vote for them. If not, we’ll vote for someone else.

The local church is great and it gives us an opportunity to sow into the Kingdom of God, but the instructions, advice, and views from the leaders of our local church should never supersede the instructions, advice, and views of God, through the Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

When we’re in tune with God, He’ll give us dreams, desires, and visions that are big. Sometimes, they’re so big until it’s best to keep it to ourselves.

If we tell certain people about the plans God has downloaded inside of us, they’ll laugh and tell us how crazy we sound. They’ll tell us it’s impossible, illogical, or farfetched. They’ll tell us to be humble and content with where we are.

This negative feedback could cause us to doubt. It may have us minimizing the desire or plan of God to something that makes sense or something we can do in our own strength. Telling the wrong person could be detrimental to our faith and hinder God from doing some amazing things in our lives.

We can’t tell everyone about the plans God has for us. Be mindful to tell only like-minded believers. If they’re not around, just keep it to yourself.

Genesis 37:9 Then Joseph had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream that you have had? Will your mother and brothers and I actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”

We all have desires we want from God or an assignment from God. Both require faith. Faith is moving beyond our natural senses and trusting in the written or audible word of God. The key word is “moving.” Unfortunately, some of us have been sitting on our faith. Another way of putting it is, we’ve procrastinated in using our faith.

For instance, we know we heard God telling us to apply for that supervisor position. We haven’t applied yet because it requires undoubting faith to believe for a position we’re not qualified for. Instead of applying and trusting in God, we’re sitting on our faith because we don’t want to experience the possibility of rejection. 

We heard God telling us to open a business, but we haven’t because we don’t have all our affairs in order. We sit on our faith instead of obeying God because we don’t want our business to fail.

God may have told some of us to go look at the car we desire. However, we’ve sat on our faith because we don’t want to look foolish in the dealership, knowing we don’t have the money or the credit to get the car.

During the time we’re tempted to sit on our faith is the time we must realize God’s favor is on our lives. God wouldn’t tell us to do something if it’s not going to be beneficial. We may run into challenges along the way, but ultimately it will succeed. Don’t sit on your faith. Listen to the voice of God and apply your faith where it’s needed.

Psalm 119:60 I hurried without hesitating to keep Your commandments.

Proverbs 18:1 (BSB) He who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound judgment.

There are people who are perfectly content being by themselves. They’re not bothering anyone, and no one’s bothering them. They can go to work, do their job, have minimal to no conversations with their coworkers, and go home. They have a few friends and they’re not trying to make anymore.

This isolated mentality is devastating to the Kingdom of God. God made us uniquely special. He’s placed abilities in us that only we can do. He’s given each of us wisdom and a perspective that needs to be voiced. As believers, how can we share the gospel, encourage others, and be a light in the world if we isolate ourselves? We don’t have to become the life of the party, but as God leads us, we should step out of our comfort zone, and socialize with others with a positive attitude.

At the end of the day, we must remember, it’s not about us. It’s about giving God glory, being a blessing to others, and not hoarding the gifts and talents God put inside of us.   

Psalm 84:5 (AMP) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

When we’re trying to do things in our own strength, certain tasks can be stressful, burdensome, or impossible. That’s because we are not designed to do anything in our own strength. We were made to rely on God’s strength.

By relying on God’s strength, we can do anything. Nothing’s too hard for us because we’re strengthened by God.

With God’s strength, we can forgive those who mistreated us, we can start a business, we can quit smoking, and we can end toxic relationships. No matter how big the task is, we’re happy to take it on because it allows us to see the strength of God at work. Let’s rely on God’s strength and not our own.

Mark 6:1-6 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

They didn’t respect the anointing of Jesus because they knew His past. They knew He was a carpenter and couldn’t believe He was the Messiah. Because of their unbelief, they missed out and Jesus couldn’t do mighty miracles in His home town.

Be sure not to miss out on the power of God by disqualifying someone just because you’ve known them all their lives. They could be sent from God to help, but we disqualify them because they failed in their business, they got divorced, or they went to jail. Their lives could’ve been changed and God is sending them our way to help, but if we’re not sensitive to the voice of God or we’re only looking at the person, we’ll miss out on the miracle God is trying to perform in our lives.

Because of our not so glamorous past, some people won’t value our thoughts. They’ll dismiss us, but that’s their loss.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Ephesians 1:7‭-‬10 NKJV

Through Jesus Christ, we have everything. Let’s look at just a few things He’s made available to us.

Reconciliation with God, forgiveness forever, authority over demonic influences, the ability to release and stop things in our world, power, wisdom, faith, divine health, riches, and favor.

These things have been made available to us for free. Jesus paid the price for everything. We didn’t have to work for it, we didn’t have to earn it, and we didn’t buy it. It was given to us for free.

Take this opportunity to truly thank God for Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us. God wanted to make our lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. And this ease only comes through Jesus.

Jesus, we love You and thank you for all that You’ve done.

“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” – Isaiah 32:18.

As we can see, peace is God’s will for us. Anything less than peace shouldn’t be accepted. There should be peace in our minds, our marriages, with our children, and other relationships.

Like all of God’s promises, our peace has to be received by faith. It’s not going to happen automatically because we’re saved. We apply our faith to receive and maintain this peace.

So, anything that doesn’t look like peace in our lives, our homes, or our marriages can be changed by placing a demand on God’s word for peace.

Confession: According to Isaiah 32:18, there should be peace in every area of my life. So, I declare peace right now, in the name of Jesus.

-Continue to confess until your life looks like God’s word.

There are two ways of living, naturally and spiritually. The natural way of living requires hard work, logic, networking, and luck. The spiritual way of living requires resting in the finished works of Jesus and relying on the word of God.

If we’re living naturally and want something, we have to work hard, save money, and hope we can get it without going into debt or missing any other bill payments. If we’re living spiritually and want something, we ask God, confirm the desire is in God’s word and believe we’ve received it until it manifests. There’s no debt or missing payments. It’s God materializing our desires without toil (Prov. 10:22).

If we’re living naturally and get diagnosed with something, we’ll possibly stress over the situation, take the prescribed medication and hope it cures the disease. If we’re living spiritually and get diagnosed, we can rejoice because Jesus has healed us from that disease and look to the Holy Spirit to lead us in our next steps. No stress necessary.

Some of us combine the two by living spiritually in some areas, but natural in other areas. God will let us live however we want to live, but He prefers if we totally rely on Him.

Stop looking at your bank account every day and stop stressing over things. Make the effort to live spiritually and totally rely on God.

Romans 8:6 (Weymouth Translation) Because for the mind to be given up to earthly things means death; but for it to be given up to spiritual things means Life and peace.

When we’re believing God for something, we usually believe God for something big or a pressing desire. We tend to forget we can release our faith for minor things.

We can release our faith for our water pipes to stop making that annoying sound. We can release our faith for a certain gas price. We can release our faith for that pain in our back to go away. We can release our faith for new shoes we may not need. We can release our faith to find our keys.

These things may not be life threatening or super serious, but we can either put up with it or use our faith to change it.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

James 1:6 (NLT) But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Faith is what we use to obtain the promises of God. We see a promise, we believe God has already made that promise available through Jesus, we receive it the moment we pray, and we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit to position us to physically receive that promise.

As we’re patiently waiting, we’re living in expectation. We’re expecting that promise to come. We may not know how or when, but we’re expecting. It may take a week, a month, a year, or more, but we’re expecting. The downfall of our faith is when it takes too long and we stop expecting. That’s called doubt. And doubt will withhold God’s promises every single time.

Get those desires back out, dust them off, and expect to receive them. Don’t be anxious about them, but expect to receive them by faith.

Imagine yourself as a king or queen 2000 years ago. You have an amazing kingdom of 10,000 people. There’s an abundance of food and water. The people in your kingdom are strong and happy. The walls around your kingdom are heavily fortified and heavily guarded with 3000 of the most strongest warriors. Now, imagine seeing a small army of 100 soldiers attempt to take over your kingdom. Would you freak out? Would you begin to complain or worry? Probably not.
Why? You realize this army won’t stand a chance against your kingdom.

That’s what trouble is. Trouble is a small army attacking our large heavily protected kingdom. We don’t just have any old protection. We have the best defense and weapons ever assembled. We have God Himself backing up His word (Isa. 55:11). We have angels protecting us and waiting to obey the voice of God’s word (Ps. 91:11-12; Ps. 103:20). We have the blood of Jesus keeping us free from guilt and shame (Rom. 8:1). We have faith attached to our mouths to release anything we desire or don’t desire in our world (Matt. 18:18).

So, we don’t need to worry when we experience sickness. We don’t need to freak out if we lose our jobs. We can keep our cool when negative situations occur. They’re minor in comparison to what we have at our disposal. As kings and queens of God, we can totally rely on Him.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

If you’re truly wanting to do the will of God and experience all that He has promised, there will be some assignments from God that may feel foolish.

For instance, God may have us look at a house we desire, knowing we can’t afford it (yet). God may have us telling people about Jesus in a Walmart parking lot. He may have us look at some property for a business, knowing you don’t have a business plan in place.

That feeling of foolishness comes directly from Satan in order to dissuade us from obeying God. Satan knows if we obey God, God’s will is being accomplished through us, God gets the glory, lives around us are changed, and we reap a harvest of blessings. It’s a win for everyone, but him.

Let’s overcome that feeling of foolishness and do what God says. It may feel foolish at first, but if we obey in faith, we’ll experience a fantastic outcome.

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

II Samuel 2:5‭-‬6 NKJV So David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and said to them, “You are blessed of the Lord , for you have shown this kindness to your Lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may the Lord show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing.

The men of Jabesh Gilead were blessed by God because they showed kindness to Saul.

Showing kindness is something we can always control. At any point in our lives, we can show kindness. We can send a text to check up on someone. We can open the door for someone else. We can compliment someone’s clothes or shoes. We can pay for someone’s meal or groceries.

Our kindness activates a principle of God. When we’re kind to others, God is kind to us (Ephesians 6:8).

Acts 19:11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

The same miraculous power that flowed through Paul, flows through every born-again believer. If Paul was anointed enough to touch materials that were used to heal the sick, we can touch materials that will heal the sick or prevent sickness from occurring.

A material that everyone seems to have nowadays is a mask. If we’re dealing with or know someone who is dealing with symptoms of COVID, cancer, or any other disease, we can use God’s power residing in us to anoint that mask. Once that mask is anointed, we can stand back and expect an extraordinary miracle. An anointed mask will be a great gift for anyone.

Some may have doubts based on the antics of some televangelists, but this is scriptural. Because of Jesus, we have God’s power inside of us and that power can heal the sick (Rom. 8:11; Mark 16:18).

If God is leading you to anoint a mask or material for yourself or for another, do it. He will get the glory for extraordinary miracles.

We value teaching our children the importance of getting their education in school. We also value teaching our children the importance of exercising and eating healthy. That same enthusiasm we have for education and exercising also needs to be applied to the things of God.

It’s important to teach our children about the stories in the bible, but don’t stop there. Teach them about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Teach them about prayer and applying their faith to get the things they desire. Teach them about the importance of giving and being a blessing. Teach them about the importance of communion.

Our children are a blank slate. By constantly teaching them the things of God, they’ll value it and consistently apply it to their lives.

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Mathew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may be seen of men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward.

Around this time of year, a lot of us are fasting. We usually dedicate the first part of the year to God by putting away enjoyable foods and seeking Him.

Just a reminder…

  1. Fasting doesn’t move God. God has already moved with all of our blessings through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20).
  2. Fasting increases the volume of God. Although our flesh may be craving sweets, our spirits are sensitive to hear God’s voice.
  3. Be ready. As we dedicate our time, body, and energy to seeking God during our fast, it’s important that we stay ready. God may give us an idea, tell us to do a certain task, or tell us to give. Whatever He’s telling us to do, be ready to do it.

These are just some quick reminders to think about during a fast. Enjoy being more intimate with God.

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Scriptures of the Day

January 2021
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