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We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.
James 3:3‭-‬5 NLT

Our tongue is a small member, but it controls the direction of our lives. The things we say will impact our lives.

If we keep saying we’re broke, tired, or hurting, that’s what we’re going to be. If we keep calling our marriages hard or rocky, that’s what it will be. If we keep saying our children are bad, that’s what they will be.

We must always be mindful of what we say. Our speech may seem insignificant, but it’s creating our future. So, speak what you want to experience.

Acts 16:6‭ Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.

Wait a minute. Aren’t we commanded by Jesus in Mark 16:15 to go and preach the gospel to the world? But here we have the Holy Spirit preventing them from preaching.

This let’s us know there may be a general command in the word of God, but the Holy Spirit will give us the details on when, where, and how to fulfill that command. Paul and Silas defying the promptings of the Holy Spirit, even to do a good thing like preach the gospel, could have put them in harm’s way.

We’ll read where we should give to the poor, but the Holy Spirit will tell us when to give and who to give to. Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to neglect meeting together as believers, but the Holy Spirit will tell us what body of believers (church) we should belong to. We’re instructed to forgive. The Holy Spirit will tell us how to forgive.

Whatever God instructs us to do in His word, the details on how to accomplish it will be given by the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

If God’s word applauds people who are slow to get angry, He must have given us the ability to control of our anger and other emotions.

We don’t always have to fight back, verbalize how we feel, or do something stupid because someone has said or done something to us. We can exercise self-control which makes us mighty.

People have died and prisons are filled with people who couldn’t control their emotions. Because of a lack of self-control, people have lost their jobs and marriages have ended. Due to anger, people have said things they wish they could take back.

Let’s do ourselves a favor. Let’s take control of our lives by controlling our emotions. Don’t give people the power to control your emotions. Maintain self-control.

Everyday we have an opportunity to prioritize God, go deeper in our relationship with God, and set up our lives for continual success. We do this by spending time with God in prayer, reading His word, speaking in tongues, and meditating on His promises.

At the same time, there are other things demanding our time and energy. There’s work, going through social media, watching TV, doing mindless activities on the internet, and socializing with our friends.

We must decide what’s more important. Is it spending hours doing randomness or developing intimacy with our Father?

I’m not saying we can’t do things, outside of God, that are enjoyable. I’m saying we need to prioritize Him. He’ll tell us when we can stop praying and watch a movie. He’ll tell us when we need to get off social media and work on our business plan. He’ll tell us when we can enjoy a night with our friends. As long as He’s included in our decisions, we’ll never go wrong.

Don’t spend all your time doing everything else but spending time with God, because you’ll miss His guidance and fellowship. At the same time, don’t spend all your time in the word, praying, and not enjoying yourself trying to please Him. We can increase our intimacy with God and enjoy this abundant life He gave us through Jesus by allowing Him to direct our lives.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

JOHN 8:16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me.

As born-again believers, we have the same rights and privileges as Jesus (1 John 4:17). Jesus had confidence in everything He did because He was not alone. Our Father was with Jesus wherever He went.

God will send us on assignments. It may be presenting to management at our current jobs, expanding our business, buying a home, or raising children. Some of those assignments may be too big for our natural minds, but there’s good news. Wherever our Father sends us and whatever assignment we have, we can be confident in knowing our Father is with us. And if He’s with us, we’ll be successful wherever He sends us.

Trust and believe you’re not alone. Wherever God sends us, we’ll have success.

And the one who sent me is with me—He has not deserted me. For I always do what pleases Him.”
John 8:29 NLT

Don’t Be a Pharisee

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. John 8:3 NLT

How did the Pharisees know she was in the act of adultery? It’s not like she had a sign on the door saying, “Committing Adultery.” No. Someone must have watched her go into a house with someone who wasn’t her husband. Or, she was known to the Pharisees to commit adultery, but they didn’t say anything until now.

Either way, the Pharisees didn’t help her, counsel her, or confront her in love. They lived by the law and had every right to see her stoned.

We don’t live by the law (Romans 6:14). If you see your brother or sister going down the wrong path, don’t condemn them. Don’t be like the Pharisees and verbally stone them. Don’t tell them how ashamed they should be. Be like Jesus. In love, confront the person, address the sin, and provide instructions on how to keep them from sinning.

Don’t be like a harsh Pharisee. Be like gracious Jesus and address sins with love.

One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.
Acts 16:16-‬18

That boss who’s being mean or unfair, that spouse who’s starting arguments for no reason, children who are misbehaving, and a friend who is living in fear. These are all examples of people who are demonically influenced. They may not know it, but we should.

Demonic influences are behaviors and attitudes in someone that don’t align with the word of God. According to Luke 10:19, we have authority over these influences.

Paul demonstrated his authority in Acts. He spoke to the spirit (not the person), confidently used the name of Jesus, and expected the spirit to leave. We can do that too. We can speak to that demonic spirit in that person, confidently use the name of Jesus, and tell it where to go.

We must believe and be confident that in the name of Jesus, that influence must obey.

Spirit-led Corresponding Actions

James 2:22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.

A dream will always remain a dream unless there are Spirit-led corresponding actions associated with it.

A person can desire to move to a specific location, but if they don’t have corresponding actions associated with moving, they’ll remain where they are. Corresponding actions in this case include, believe you’ve received a home in that area (Mark 11:24), researching the area, applying for jobs in that city, continuously confess to live in that area (Mark 11:23), and drive in that area periodically.

There are corresponding actions and there are Spirit-led corresponding actions. Using the same scenario, a person can desire to move to a location one week and put their house up for sale the next week. That’s impulsive. They probably didn’t consult the Holy Spirit on what corresponding actions were appropriate. They acted from their emotions. For the first 6 months, the Holy Spirit may simply want them to confess they believe they receive a house in that area. Then again, He may want them to immediately sell their house. It’s all about letting Him lead us.

If we don’t act or if we’re too impulsive, we may regret our decisions. But if we’re led by the Holy Spirit in our actions, our desires will manifest themselves beautifully.

Thinking on What’s True

Philippians 4:8 CEV Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

The first thing listed on things we should think on is thinking on things that are true. Everyone’s truth is different. Let’s go to the word of God to define the truth.

In John 17:17, Jesus says God’s word is truth. So, it’s not my truth or your truth we should be thinking on. The only truth is the word of God.

As we keep our thoughts on God’s word, unwavering faith and belief will come to handle anything that comes our way. Fix and keep your mind on the word of God in order to be successful in every area of your life.

The World’s Sin

John 16:9 NLT The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me.

The world’s sin is not hate, unforgiveness, lust, or pride. The world’s sin is it refuses to believe in Jesus. It refuses to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead so that we can be made righteous.

The sin of the world is what’s sending people to hell. It’s not sex, greed, or hate. It’s the refusal to believe in a risen Savior.

To be made righteous, God’s not asking us to feed 10,000 people or stop enjoying ourselves. He simply asks us to believe.

So, be free from and encourage others to be free from the world’s sin by believing in our Lord and Savior Jesus.

The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise. So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy. -Proverbs 23:24‭-‬25 NLT

Cards, flowers, candy, and clothes are nice gifts for Mother’s day and Father’s day, but the greatest gift we can give our parents is joy. When we honor God with our lives, we give our parents the gift of joy.

When our parents see us prioritizing God, renewing our minds with the word of God, and teaching our children to keep God first, they can experience joy whenever they think of us. This gift keeps on giving and it’s a gift they can receive daily.

Continue to give your parents joy by establishing and deepening your relationship with God.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
Acts 16:25-26 NLT

At the beginning of a lot of church services, there’s prayer and praise and worship songs. People may view this as the intro music to the message preached. It’s not.

Prayer and praise are designed for us to connect with God and worship Him for Who He is, what He’s done, and be in expectation of what He’s about to do. It’s not meant for us to look around and find our friends. Even if it’s not our favorite song, we must be intentional about focusing our attention on praying to and praising God.

Like Paul and Silas, our prayer and praise can not only set us free, but it can set free those closest to us. We may suffer from depression, but our praise can cause the spirit of depression to go. We may be consumed with thoughts about our children, but as we pray, our children will be free from whatever they’re facing. We may be dealing with a health issue and our prayer and praise can cause us to experience deliverance. If we need wisdom or an answer in an area, prayer and praise can be the key.

If you’re at home, in the car, or at church, take the opportunity to pray and praise God. It can definitely benefit us.

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
Hebrews 5:12 NLT

As believers, when it comes to the word of God, we should be teaching others or being taught. If we’re really focused, we should be learning and teaching the word of God.

At first glance, it looks like a put down for those who still need to be taught, but it’s not. If we still need to be taught the word of God in certain areas, that’s fine. That means our faith and knowledge in those areas are getting stronger.

Eventually, we should transition to teaching others. Don’t hold all of this good information to yourself. Be a vessel for God and teach others what you know. Teaching is not limited to a congregation. We can teach our best friend forgiveness, faith, or unconditional love over the phone.

If we’re being taught it’s a win. If we’re teaching others it’s a win. Let’s be sure we’re not in a position where we’re not being taught or teaching others.

Hebrews 11:1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

Faith is acting on what you believe. Whatever God says about us in His word, we need to act like it’s so.

You may not have all the money for the house in the natural, but in the spirit, we’re extremely rich. Jesus became poor so that we can be rich according to 2 Corinthians 8:9, so act like you have all the money. Go talk to realtors, builders, and tour houses with the mindset of “I can buy this right now” versus the “I don’t have the money” mindset.

You may not feel well, but act like it because God says we’re healed (1 Peter 2:24). We don’t deny the pain. We ignore it. As God leads and only as God leads, do something to rebel against the pain. If you have to walk with a limp, attempt to walk without a limp while declaring “I am healed.”

If your marriage is rocky, act like it’s wonderful because God says He’ll give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). How do we do that? Instead of telling everyone how bad it is, start declaring that it’s wonderful.

As we use our faith, obey God’s instructions in that area, and act like it’s so, things somehow will begin to position themselves so that it can be naturally obtained. Actual finances will begin to come in our lives so that we can obtain that house. Pain and symptoms will eventually leave us. Our marriage will actually become wonderful.

You won’t know how it will happen, but somehow it will. Let’s use our faith to manifest the things we desire.

Matthew 27:50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart,

The first thing God did when Jesus fulfilled the payment for all sin was tear the veil from top to bottom. God tearing the veil of the Holy of Holies is significant in that it symbolizes that God’s presence was now open to all people and not just the High Priest. It was that important for God to reconnect with all of mankind until He prioritized tearing the veil first.

Still to this day, there are people who feel uncomfortable with talking to God for themselves. They feel like God hears a priest or a popular Christian more than them. Having this mentality is disrespectful to the sacrifice of Jesus. He went through hell so that we all can personally talk to God for ourselves.

If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, you have just as much access to God as the Pope, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, or any other pastor with a large following. Even if you’re fresh off of sinning, you still have total access to approach God and bathe in His grace and mercy and request your needs and desires. It’s not our sacrifice or righteousness He sees. It’s the sacrifice or the righteousness of Jesus.

Psalm 91:14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.

When people think about God’s protection, most people have a one dimensional approach to it. They think God not allowing any negative event happening to them ever again. That sounds nice, but that’s not scriptural. There are 4 types of protection.

Protection 1
Protection from danger. God stopping things before they happen. We see this in Daniel 6:22 when God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. This is the protection we like and expect from God, but that’s not His only way of protection.

Protection 2
Protection from the effects of danger. We see this in Daniel 3:26-27 where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went in the fire (danger), but the fire didn’t hurt them. We hear about this when a car flips over 5 times and the person comes out without a scratch.

Protection 3
Deliverance. Psalm 34:19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Although we go through negative circumstances, God provides protection through deliverance.

Protection 4
Life-preserving protection. No weapon formed against you shall prosper…Isaiah 54:17. Negative events such as car accidents or sicknesses may come, but ultimately, they’re not going to kill us.

We must believe and have faith in all the forms of God’s protection. If we don’t understand that there are more than one type of protection from God, we’ll get mad at Him when we face difficulties and we’ll doubt His abilities. That doubt will poison our faith in God. And without faith, we cannot please God or obtain His promises.

Don’t envy sinners, but always continue to fear the Lord. -Proverbs 23:17

When we see sinners having the money, cars, houses, and family, it can be a little bit of a let down. We’re doing our part by disciplining our flesh, but it seems like the sinner has what we want.

During these times, we can’t be consumed with getting things. If our goal is to get things, it will be more of a temptation to envy and act like the world. If our goal is to have a relationship with and please God, He’ll show us how to get those things without compromising our integrity or extreme effort. He’ll show us how to enjoy life, maintain peace, and be a blessing to others.

The unrighteous may have all of this excess, but its been proven a lot of them are unhappy. Keep focused on God instead of what the next man has. He’ll show us how to obtain our desires and remain holy.

Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. -2 Peter 1:12 NLT

There are a lot of things we know in the bible, but we often should be reminded of certain things in order to enjoy this life Jesus died for. We also should remind someone else.

Here are some things we should be reminded of…

  1. Our words have power (Proverbs 18:21). We sometimes can forget that our words have power. They have the power to create or destroy things in our life. So, speak life to create the life you want to experience.
  2. Forgive (Mark 11:25). Forgiveness doesn’t benefit someone else. It helps us. It gets rid of all the clutter we have so we can focus on what God called us to do.
  3. Be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14). It’s not our logic, our feelings, or the opinion of another. It’s the Holy Spirit Who should be leading our lives and making the first and final decision in every aspect of our lives.

These are just a few things that can help us along the way. Continue to read God’s word to remind yourself and others on how to live an abundant life.

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” -Genesis 22:2 NKJV

Abraham was asked to sacrifice something he loved and waited a long time to receive. We may be asked to give up something we love or truly desire. God may ask us to sow a financial offering from money we were saving for a new car. He may tell us to quit a comfortable job. He may tell us to move from everyone we know and love. The question is, do you trust Him?

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” -Genesis 22:12

Although Abraham didn’t physically sacrifice his son, he already made up in his mind he was going to obey God and sacrifice. Whatever God requests of us, we need to move beyond our logic and feelings and mentally prepare ourselves to make that sacrifice.

and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” -Genesis 22:16‭-‬18

Because Abraham was prepared to sacrifice a precious offering to the Lord, he positioned himself to receive blessings from God. As we trust God to the point where we make a sacrifice, we position ourselves to receive His promises. When God asks us to do a hard thing, He’s not trying to take something from us. He’s trying to get something to us. When we truly understand the heart of God and that everything works for our advantage, we’ll take a deep breath and obey God. So, how much do you trust God?

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. -Jeremiah 17:7‭-‬8 NLT

When we place and keep our trust, hope, and confidence in the Lord, the blessing is able to operate in our lives.

Part of that blessing operating in our lives is being like an unmovable ever-producing tree. When situations get tense, we’re not fazed. The outcome may be uncertain, but we’re not worried. And regardless of what’s going on in the world, we’re able to prosper.

Deep down in our hearts, we know God is able to better our situation. We just have to place and keep our trust, hope and confidence in the Lord.

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