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1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.

When believers go through tough times, the first thing some of us want to do is question if we’ve done something wrong. We’ll question if we’re being punished because we were unkind to someone. We’ll question if we spoke something negative over our lives that caused this chaos. We’ll question if it’s because we didn’t pray long enough. On top of that, you’ll have other believers co-signing with these thoughts.
Stop the questions!!!  

Sometimes we can create negative events in our lives with our mouths or reap what we sow, but other times it’s just life. It’s not strange or abnormal for believers to face difficulties. In fact, Jesus said in this life we’ll have tribulation (John 16:33). Trials are associated with life.

If we handle these trials correctly, meaning, we remain in faith, meditate on God’s word, and maintain our thoughts to agree with God’s will, we’ll come out stronger than ever. Go through trials knowing victory is guaranteed.

Jonah 2:9 but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the Lord.

In our lowest moments, we may be tired, angry, hurt, stressed, or confused. The last thing our flesh wants to do is praise and thank God. Our flesh wants to sit and sulk. But our flesh shouldn’t be running our lives. Our spirits, which are connected to God (for those who are born-again), should be governing our lives. And as we can see from Jonah’s life, we should offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

In Jonah’s lowest moments, he offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving. He didn’t want to give thanks, but he sacrificed how he felt and did it anyway. He didn’t know how his life would turn out, but even facing death, he praised and thanked God. Through his praise and repentance, God gave him a second chance.

When we’re feeling down, begin to praise God. Our praise will remind us Who we’re relying on.

Jonah 2:1 (CEV) From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God: 2 When I was in trouble, Lord, I prayed to you, and you listened to me. From deep in the world of the dead, I begged for your help, and you answered my prayer.

In our lowest moments, when we’re down and out after days, months, or years of disobedience, we can pray to God and He’ll hear us. We don’t have to wait for an invitation or an alter call. We can come to God where we are (jail, homeless, in divorce court, etc.).

The devil is quick to tell us that God wants nothing to do with us, but he’s a liar. God is always available. He’ll accept us back with all our baggage, hang-ups, and unholy ways. He just wants us to return to Him.

If you ever find yourself in a bad spot, don’t forget to call on the Lord. Next, listen to His voice and do what He says. He’s there and waiting on you.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Regardless of what’s going on in our lives, we must make an intentional decision to have a good day. We may have to focus on commonly overlooked things like breath in our lungs, employment, or a beautiful sunset to be excited, but if that’s what’s going to cause us to have a good day, let’s do it.

In the morning, there are two reasons to be excited about another day.

1. We can be excited about what we can do for God.
When our focus is to please God, we can get excited every morning to see what we can do to make Him happy. He may tell us to compliment someone, call someone we haven’t talked to in a long time or give to a ministry or charity. When we obey His instructions, we can pat ourselves on the back because we pleased God.

2. We can be excited about what God’s going to do for us.
Throughout the day, we should be in expectation of God doing something for us. We may finally get that call for that job we’ve been wanting, get a promotion, or finally find that perfect house. Again, it may not always be major, but getting to work without getting into an accident or our children coming home without colds or viruses are reasons to glorify God.

Let’s change our mindset and perspective and have a good day.       

James 2:8 You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. 9 But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned.

The man on the corner begging for money should be treated no differently than the richest man in the world. The star quarterback of your favorite team is no better than the janitor who cleans the stadium. The drug addict should be respected just like the police officer.

As believers, we’re called to love and treat everyone equally. Just because one person has more money or fame than another doesn’t mean we should treat them differently. Each person deservers honor.

There’s a temptation to show favoritism because we think about what they can do for us. We think about how it makes us look to be seen with that person or what we can gain by being with the “in crowd.” If we’re not mindful, we’ll have an attitude of if someone can’t do anything for us, they’re beneath us.

Don’t let the wealth or notoriety of another person go to your head. Everyone deserves to be equally loved and respected.

Jonah 1:3 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

God has called everyone to do something. That something God called us to do may not be popular or financially lucrative on the surface. That something may take a lot of effort or seem burdensome. Because that something may not seem amazing in our minds, we run.

Some of us run to something that’s going to make us popular or rich. Others run to something that seems secure (job security). We can run and ignore His calling, but there may be consequences. Running from God’s calling may make our lives more complicated. We may experience multiple layoffs, unfulfillment, demotions, or stress.

Don’t add unwarranted trouble in your life.
1. Seek God on what He’s called you to do.
2. Look past the effort, finances, and popularity and obey God.
3. As you obey, trust that He’ll provide fulfillment and give you everything you desire.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If a person spends a lot of time and money buying and listening to music, anyone can see that their heart is focused on music. If a person spends a lot of time and money searching for and buying expensive sneakers, we can determine their heart is geared towards fashion or appearances. If a person has a bar stocked with a variety of alcohol choices, we can see that person is into drinking.

On the other hand, if a person doesn’t spend their time and money on music, shoes, and alcohol, we can conclude that person is not interested in those things.  

The same is true with God. With God, a person can say how much they love and appreciate Him, but they or anyone else can see how true that is by how much time and money they spend on Him. A lot of time and money means a great deal of appreciation towards God. A little time and money mean you appreciate other things above God.  

Our time and money expose our hearts. If you say you really love and appreciate God, then give Him quality time and the money He requested (tithes and offering).

A green elephant. A Green elephant. A GREEN Elephant A green Elephant. A Green Elephant. A GREEN ELEPHANT.  

As you read the sentences above, you probably imagined a green elephant. Thinking about a green elephant is harmless, but the devil continuously throws harmful thoughts in our minds throughout the day. His thoughts are harmful because his goal is to get us to worry, stress, and not trust God. It may be thoughts about the same subject or a variety of subjects. He’ll throw one thought after another.

The Devil: Your child is sick. What if it’s something severe? What if it never gets better? What if the sickness spreads to a sibling?

When the devil bombards our minds thoughts of worry, we need to capture those thoughts and declare the truth of God’s word.

Us: My child is healed. I decree divine health over my child. I cast my cares about my child’s health on God. My child is healed.

Don’t allow the devil’s seeds of worry to grow in your mind. Uproot his thoughts and replace them with the word of God.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Luke 4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. 14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

After we’ve fasted, we shouldn’t have a sigh of relief and go back to our normal way of living. Like Jesus, we should be empowered by the Holy Ghost.

If you read the entire chapter of Luke 4, you’ll see after Jesus fasted, He taught with authority, He avoided being killed prematurely, He cleansed people of demons, and He healed the sick.

We have this same power too (John 14:12). After we’ve fasted, we should have better clarity and revelation on God’s word and what God wants us to do. We should be healing the sick and we should be speaking over situations and events in our lives with faith-filled authority.

Our flesh may be craving to go back to our normal routine, but our spirits should be ready to take over the world for the glory of God.

and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
I Thessalonians 5:13 NKJV

With so much division in the world, believers should stand out. We should be at peace with everyone even though we may have different political beliefs, different skin color, different lifestyle choices, and different ideas.

Unfortunately, everyone who calls themselves believers are not at peace with others. Why? Like everyone else in the world, believers too must grow up and mature.

It takes God to be at peace with everyone. We can’t have this kind of peace in our own strength. We obtain this peace by receiving it by faith. If God said we can be at peace with everyone, receive it. Secondly, we must feed on the word of God instead of feeding on the news, social media opinions, etc. Finally, we must activate the God kind of love. When we make the decision to love someone else, peace has to follow.

Let’s be the difference makers in society by being at peace with everyone. We may not agree with everything someone else is doing, but we can still be at peace with them.

Luke 5:4 When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we have worked hard all night without catching anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear. 

They’re tired, they’re disappointed, and they’re hungry. Now, the Son of God wants them to put out their nets one more time.

Putting the net out again goes against all logic because it’s more advantageous to fish at night and it goes against how they felt because they were tired. But as we can see, when they moved past their logic and feelings and were obedient, they experienced an overwhelming harvest.

Don’t allow logic or feelings to take over. Trust and obey God. Our obedience could lead us to the biggest breakthrough we’ve seen in our lives.

Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

When Peter took His eyes off Jesus and started looking at the circumstances around him, he started to sink. The same is true with us, when we take our eyes off of God, our circumstances will begin to swallow us up.

We don’t have a physical Jesus to focus on like Peter, but we can focus on something just as powerful. We can focus on God’s word. John 1:1 lets us know that God and His word are one. When we focus on the word, we focus on God.

When sickness invades our bodies, we don’t focus on the sickness, we focus on the word which says, by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah53:5). When we don’t know how a promise will come to pass, we don’t focus on how impossible it seems, we focus God’s word saying, with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).

Magnify and focus on God. As we focus on Him, supernatural things will begin to occur in our lives.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

We will be kept in perfect peace if we keep our minds on God. Does that mean we’ll be kept in peace if we imagine our own version of God as some large being dressed in white with a beard sitting on a throne? No. We’re kept in perfect peace when we keep our minds on God’s word.

John 1:1 lets us know God and His word are one. When we focus on His word, we’ll be kept in peace. If we’re tempted to be worried about something, we should keep our minds focused on Psalm 138:8 which says He’ll perfect everything that concerns us. If we’re tempted to be afraid, we should keep our minds on Deuteronomy 3:22 that tells us not to fear. Anything that attempts to disrupt our peace can be canceled when we keep our minds on God’s word.

Let’s focus on God’s word and maintain perfect peace.

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

Satan attacks us in our thoughts. His goal is to drive us to the point of unbelief by bombarding our minds, with statistics, facts, logic, and thoughts of impossibilities.

Today, we’re going to look at a few examples of Satan’s attacks.
-If it’s really God’s will for you to have it, why is it taking so long?
-You can’t have a baby at that age.
-You’re not qualified for that job.
-You’ll never have the money to do or have that.
-You’ll always be dealing with that pain or sickness.
-It’s too late for them.
-That will never work out.

We can’t stop Satan’s thoughts from coming, but we can combat and drown out these thoughts by confessing the word of God. Keep feeding on the word of God daily and consistently verbalize your beliefs and you’ll experience victory over his attacks.

When people mess up, they’ll say, “I’m only human.” And that’s understandable because we have flaws, but let’s look at the other side of humans. Psalm 8:4-5 lets us know our authority and dominion given to us by God.

Psalm 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

We are a little lower than God, we’ve been crowned with glory and honor, made to have dominion over the works of God’s hands, and all things have been put under our feet.

When we truly understand who we are as humans, we’ll have a whole new outlook on life. We’ll understand no demonic power can touch us without our consent. We’ll realize we’re destined for success and nothing can stop us. We’ll have an attitude of taking over instead of being traumatized. And by studying God’s word and truly embracing our identity, we’ll gain authority over those temptations that keep tripping us up.

You’re only human. Now, embrace the entirety of who you are.  

Mark 1:35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray.

Spending time with God consists of praying, studying God’s word, meditating, worship, etc. There are some who think the best and only time to spend with God is in the morning. Some try to make others feel ashamed for not spending time with God first thing in the morning. There’s nothing wrong with spending time with God in the morning but the fact is, everyone’s not a morning person.

If God desires our best, our best may not be in the morning. It makes no sense to come to God in the morning if we’re sluggish, unenthused, and falling asleep. Our best may be in the evening or night.

Look at Jesus in Matthew 26:37. Jesus says to His disciples “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Jesus spent time with God at night (Matthew 26:31).

Nothing in the bible mentions when we should spend time with God. It simply instructs us to spend time with God. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning or night, we simply need to have quality time with God.

Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,  

That “no” we experience from one situation to the next can be difficult to swallow. Although it may not seem like it at the time, that “no” can’t harm us.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

When we trust in the plan of God, we have hope. Our hope is that in spite of all the things that come against us and all the rejection we face, God’s plan hasn’t changed. God still plans to prosper us.

When we get a negative health report telling us that the disease hasn’t left, God still plans to prosper our health. When we get a rejection letter telling us we didn’t get the job, God still plans to prosper our career. When the pregnancy test still shows we’re not pregnant, God still plans to prosper our family.

Demonic forces may attempt to harm us, but when our faith, hope, and trust is in God, they can’t stop His plans for our lives. We can never lose.

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. 31 I cling to your laws. LORD, don’t let me be put to shame! 32 I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. 33 Teach me your decrees, O LORD; I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. 35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

God has our best interests at heart. He doesn’t instruct us to do or not do certain things to control our lives. He, being the Creator of us, knows what’s best for us. He knows what our bodies can handle. He knows what’s best for our lives. He knows what we need to do to overcome any opposition that comes our way.

If He knows all and He’s our Creator, wouldn’t it be wise for us to follow His instructions? If we had mentors that could help us out with our family, our business, or how to handle stress, we would follow their advice. So, let’s do the same with God.

We have free will. Let’s use our free will to follow God’s instructions because He unconditionally loves us and truly wants the best for us.

Proverbs 18:20 (AMP) A man’s moral self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied whether good or evil.

Our words have the power to create whatever we say whether good or evil.

If we speak negatively and say what we can’t do or what we’ll never have, we’ll experience the consequences of what we say. On the other hand, if we speak positively and cause our speech to agree with the word of God, we experience the consequences of what we say. It’s just that simple.

Unfortunately, a lot of us have been deceived into thinking our words have no power and they’re only used to express how we’re feeling. That’s not true. Our words are used to shape and create our world. If you don’t like the way your life is looking, discipline your mouth and change your speech. You’ll be satisfied with the results of your effort.

If we’re going to stand in faith for what God has promised in our lives, there are 3 things that must change.

1. Our Belief
Our belief must change. We must believe, without doubt, that God’s word is true and it will come to pass. Statistically it may look like it’s not going to happen or it may not have happened before, but if God said it, we must believe it.

2. Our Speech
If we believe God’s word, our speech must change to agree with God’s word. We can’t say we believe God’s word and our speech totally contradicts what we say we believe. We must say we’re healed, all our needs are met, or we expect promotion in spite of how it looks.

3. Our Attitude
Our attitude must change. Our attitude should be joyous and positive because we know it’s only a matter of time before God’s promise will come to pass. We’ve asked for it and God’s word says He heard us (1 John 5:15), we continued to believe, and we’ve maintained our confession, therefore, our attitude should reflect what we believe is about to come to pass. We shouldn’t be nervous, sulking, or short tempered if we say we believe God.

As we apply these 3 things in our lives, we can confirm we’re truly walking by faith.

Hebrews 4:14 (NLT) So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.

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Scriptures of the Day

July 2021
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