You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2021.

As we close out 2021, start a detailed list of all the things God has done. Don’t limit it to 2021. Make a list of all the significant things God has done in times past.

This list does a few things. It helps us appreciate God even more. As we look on this list, we’ll thank, praise, and worship God for all He has done.

Secondly, it gives us a grateful attitude. A lot of times we’re complaining about what we don’t have now when we haven’t truly thanked God for what He just did. This list keeps us grateful and free from complaints.

Finally, this list stirs our faith. We may have current desires that haven’t yet manifested. Periodically reading this list will reignite our faith and let us know if He did it before, He can do it again.

Keep this list going throughout 2022. If we keep our faith in God, we’ll be amazed from all the Lord has done.

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

When we hear the word blessed, some of us think of stuff (house, cars, money, etc.). Someone else may think of having good health, happiness, and having everything we need. Both are correct and one is not better than the other.

For those in Christ (those who made Jesus Lord) we’re blessed. We’re not blessed because we have stuff or all that we need. We’re blessed because of the blessing. Notice, it’s not plural. This blessing was spoken by God to Abraham and his seed.

Galatians 3:16 the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say “and to seeds” as of many but “and to your seed” as of One, who is Christ.

If we’re in Christ, we’re blessed. Not because of the stuff that we have, but because of Jesus and the fact that God said it. The blessings (plural) we have come from the blessing.

Since God spoke it, it has to come to happen for everyone who believes. It’s not going to happen automatically. We must believe in the blessing He spoke over Abraham and His children. We must believe we’re children of Abraham and the blessing is for us.

Don’t get down because your life is not matching up with this blessing. Once we believe, watch all these blessings start pouring in our lives.

Mark 6:3 Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

If they rejected Jesus, they could possibly reject us too.

The people looked at His outward appearance and remembered His past and they rejected Jesus. They may do the same with us. They may say, didn’t she have five husbands, didn’t she get an abortion, or didn’t he go to prison. We may have an entirely new nature and truly living Christ like, but because of our past, they may only see us as we were. We’re trying to tell them about God and how He changed our lives, but because they can only see our past, some may not be willing to receive what we have to say.

Don’t get frustrated or flustered. It can happen. It doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person and we shouldn’t feel guilty about our past. Once again, if they rejected Jesus, they may reject us too. Use your message/testimony as a seed. They may not be willing to give God a shot based on what we said, but hopefully, what we said can be a seed for them to repent in the future.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Some of us feel like you need to be reading the bible 3 hours a day, have perfect church attendance, and be relatively flawless to do something for God. This is a deception. God can and wants to use us where we are.

If we feel like we have to “get ourselves together” in order to be used by God, we’ll always have an excuse because there’s always something to work on.

Sit with God and ask what you can do for Him. It may be as simple as volunteering at a homeless shelter. It may be inviting your friend to church or sending them a link of a good sermon. We may not be at the point of preaching on the corners, but there’s always something we can do.

Don’t always look to the pastors and ministers to do all the work. Let’s do our part assisting in the expansion of the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 103:10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been saved for a day or 20 years, we’re going to miss the mark. It may be as simple as complaining or being critical. Regardless, the mark has been missed.

Instead of feeling bad because we think God is upset with us or thinking we’ve missed our blessings, tap into God’s grace. God’s grace let’s us know no matter what we do and how long we’ve done it, God’s not mad at us and He still desires to shower us with blessings.

We may feel undeserving or feel like we wouldn’t bless a person who has disobeyed us, but that’s not God’s nature. The punishment for all sins was placed on Jesus. And because He took our punishment, we can experience a life where God will never be upset with us. He only wants to prosper us. Receive this amazing gift of grace.

The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
John 4:28‭-‬30 NLT

Major companies pay millions of dollars to advertise their products. They understand its importance to the success of the company. It’s no difference with the Kingdom of God. To increase its success, advertisement is important.

In the verse above, we have one of the first advertisers for Jesus. She went all through town telling people about Him. If she could advertise about Jesus regarding what He said and the not so great things He pointed out in her personal life, we can advertise about Him and the positive things He’s done in our own lives.

We don’t have to yell in the streets about Jesus (although we could). It can be a one on one conversation with a coworker, in a small group setting, or a post on social media. We are advertisers for the Kingdom of God. Let’s do our part in keeping God and Jesus famous.

John 8:15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone.

If anyone had the right to judge someone, it was Jesus. He was innocent and perfect, but even in His perfection, He didn’t judge anyone.

We are not innocent and outside of Christ, we are far from perfect, but some of us still choose to judge others. There are Christians who judge other Christians basically saying, “You’re not holy because you do/don’t do __ and God is not pleased with you.” There are pastors criticizing and judging other pastors from the pulpit. Some of us may not say a word, but we’re judging someone else in our hearts.

All judgement is wrong. If we find ourselves with a mindset of judgement because we read a few books in the Bible, we should recognize that this is an attack from Satan. He’s trying to tear down the Kingdom of God internally by having us tear each other down through judgement. We all need grace and judgement doesn’t strengthen the body of Christ; it makes us weaker.

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
1 Corinthians 3:6‭-‬7 NLT

As believers, we should be sowing seeds of love, encouragement, and the word of God in the lives of others.

As God leads us, we should speak to that cashier and tell her about how much God loves her. She may say to herself, “that was weird.” But this was only a seed. A year later, another believer comes along and says, “Jesus loves you.” She may remember what we said, coupled with what this believer said, which may inspire her to learn more about God/Jesus and receive His love.

What God instructs us to do may not be the sole thing that leads someone to salvation or rededication. So, don’t get discouraged thinking what we said or did was for nothing. Jesus Himself couldn’t convince everyone. It’s only a seed.

We drop the seeds and God works on their hearts to ensure that their life experiences and our seeds will hopefully lead them to surrender to Him.

Criticism is easy. We can always find someone who may be making poor decisions, doing something the wrong way, or not doing something the way we would do it, and then criticize them.

But what do we gain by criticizing someone else? How do we benefit the person we’re criticizing? When we criticize, all we do is deceive ourselves into thinking we’re better, smarter, more fashionable, etc. than that person. It’s a false sense of being worthy.

If you see a person who can improve in a certain area, with a heart of love, present them with a better option. They may accept or reject it, but we’re not being critical.

Let’s work on not being critical of others and choose to love.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In everything, we should give thanks. Not for everything, but in everything we should give thanks. This includes negative events and during difficult times.

During negative events and difficult times, we should give thanks for the alternative. For example, a person may have been in a car accident. They can choose to be upset and complain about their car being totaled or they can thank God for the alternative: they’re still alive. We can focus on not getting the promotion or we can thank God we still have a job. We can complain about things not going our way or we can be grateful for God’s promise of restoration (Joel 2:25).

There’s always an alternative to thank God for. We must be intentional focusing on that alternative and give thanks.

Psalm 34:3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

To magnify means to make something bigger. If we choose to magnify the Lord, we’re saying God is bigger than everything else around us.

God is bigger than what they say about us on social media. God is bigger than cancer and covid. God is bigger than that job we may have lost. God is bigger than what we see in our bank accounts. God is bigger than the difficulties we face in our marriage. God is bigger than the emotional pain from that divorce. God is bigger.

We’re not saying the problem doesn’t exist. We’re simply making God bigger than our problems. By choosing to magnify God over everything, problems won’t take a toll on us; and because we understand God is bigger, everything will work out for our good.

Jesus is slowly being replaced with other names and things. People are calling Him and God the higher power and they’re minimizing what He’s done.

If it wasn’t for Jesus, there would be no connection to the Father. Our works can’t get us there and our righteousness couldn’t get us there. Only Jesus can give us access to Father God. If it wasn’t for Jesus, we all would pay the price for our sins. That price is punishment, poverty, and eternal death. Jesus is our sacrifice. Jesus is our righteousness. Jesus gives us eternal and abundant life. We don’t have to worry about a thing. Jesus is our everything.

So, the next time someone is belittling Jesus, remind them He was the only One who cared enough to die for us and exchange His righteousness for our sins. Jesus is Lord.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Luke 1:37 For the word of God will never fail.”

Most of us are certain about gravity. We know if we stand on a chair and drop a ball, it has to come down. We’re 100% certain of this. The same certainty we have in gravity, is the same certainty we should have in God’s word.

When we say, by His stripes we’re healed, we’re not hoping that it works. There should be 100% certainty that it will come to pass. No if, ands, or buts about it. And just because you didn’t see any changes the first couple of times you said it doesn’t mean it’s not working. It worked the first time you said it. It may (not always) take some time for the pain or sickness to align with the word of God.

So, we continue to confess we’re healed. Not because God didn’t hear us. We continue to confess because our words have power and to remind ourselves of our expectation of our healing through God’s word.

The same thing applies when it comes to our needs, desires, our children, and our future. Trust the word of God and know that it has to happen.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence and not shrink from Him in shame at His coming.

If Jesus came back now, would you be ashamed? Would you look at your life and think about your behavior and feel bad about what you’ve been doing? If so, you need to change your position.

Here’s the thing, we all have something we can feel ashamed about. But it’s a choice to take on that shame. When we position ourselves in Christ and take on His righteousness and not our own, we’ll never be ashamed. We’ll see our forgiveness in Christ, we’ll see our righteousness in Christ, and we’ll see our holiness in Christ.

When we take our position in Christ, we’ll understand that shame can’t stand up against what Christ has done for us.

Allow the Holy Spirit to work on you to change certain behaviors that don’t honor God. At the same time, realize we’ll never be perfect in our own strength. Perfection with no shame comes from positioning ourselves in Christ.

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
1 Peter 5:2 NLT

Some of us will be pastors and ministers with a typical congregation flock, but for the rest of us, will have an atypical flock. Our flock includes our children, relatives, and close friends we can minister to.

It’s important to talk and minister to the people closest to us. We never know what they’re going through. They’re smiling on the outside, but they may be going through hell on the inside.

As God leads, reach out to people. Encourage them and let them know that God loves them. Let them know there is value in the word of God. Be a minister to them and let them know that God cares. Be a vessel for Love.

Philippians‬ ‭2:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

Be the light in a world of darkness. While others complain, recite negative reports, and succumb to the fears and norms of this world, we are called to be filled with the light of Christ.‭‭

When others meditate on the news, we meditate on God’s Word. When others complain, we praise and thank God because He is good to us. When other argue, we live peaceably with others. And they will be attracted to our light as we point them to receiving Jesus as Savior and walking in relationship with God.

Some of us deal with shame when it comes to God. We feel ashamed to pray in public, talk about God with our friends, or worship openly. Satan is the architect of this shame and we shouldn’t let him win.

Here’s a thought. What if our praying in public is the thing that someone sees that encourages them to get in right standing with God? What if our singing of a Christian song at the gym reminds someone to go to church that Sunday? What if our public praise to God after getting that promotion motivates someone else to have a more intimate relationship with God?

Our transparency with our relationship with God could be the tipping point for someone else to get saved and reestablish their relationship with God. Don’t be ashamed. It could be the difference maker for someone else.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Acts 2:21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

People have been deceived into thinking that there’s a lot of time left regarding accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. They know it’s an important thing to do, but for whatever reason, they keep putting it off.

If you look at the signs of the times, there’s not a lot of time left. Jesus is returning soon. I know we’ve heard that for hundreds of years, which leads to the deception of a lot of time, but it’s true. For the unsaved, there’s no guarantee you will live to see tomorrow, so why play with your eternity?

Even if Jesus doesn’t return for another hundred years, accepting Jesus as Lord will improve the quality of our lives and the lives of our children.

Don’t wait. Take this time to make Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. Secure your ticket to be with the Father forever. Don’t squander this moment claiming you need to do more research on the subject. The devil will make sure you stay “too busy” to do research. Don’t wait.

*Please also send this message to everyone, you know, who has not made Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. 

1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 

God’s love is the foundation of every promise in His word and for all of His actions. He could have just left us down here with nothing to look forward to but because of His love, He gave us hope.

God’s love compelled Him to send us a Savior. God’s love is what motivated Him to give us the promise of everlasting life. God’s love made the promise of abundance, healing, peace, and joy available to us.

So, thank God for His love because without it, we would be miserable here on Earth.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
Romans 3:21‭-‬22 NLT

The law was given to show we need a Savior. It was meant to show us that we can’t keep all the law in our own strength. No matter how good we are, we’ll fail in one area which makes us guilty of breaking them all (James 2:10).

Jesus came to keep all the law on our behalf. He was perfect and innocent. Although He was perfect and innocent, He gladly took on the punishment for our sins. That punishment He experienced satisfied the punishment for breaking the law.

Praise God for Jesus. Our belief in Him fulfilling the law, taking the punishment for our sins on our behalf makes us righteous. Give Jesus the praise that is due to Him.

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Scriptures of the Day

December 2021
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