2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

During the holidays, we see pictures of a seemingly perfect family having a great time opening gifts. We see marriage proposals, weddings, vacations, and children being born. After seeing all of this, we’re prone to compare our lives with what we’ve seen on social media. Satan uses these moments to attempt to make us feel bad about our lives. He loves to show us what we don’t have and how our lives are not as joyous as what we’ve seen.

It’s unwise to compare ourselves with others. What we’ve seen could be a lie. Things may appear joyous but in actuality, it’s tumultuous. But even if it’s legitimate joy in someone else’s lives, there’s no reason to minimize our own lives.

It’s a choice to be happy about our lives. It’s a choice to be joyous about the simple things like shelter, employment, and safety. Even if there’s something we desire within our lives, it’s a choice not to dwell on what we don’t have and to be grateful about what we do have.

Let’s maintain our joy by not comparing our lives with others and be content.

When it comes to executing the promptings of God, a lot of us are frozen in fear.

-We’ve been in a relationship a long time and we know God told us to propose but because of our past, we’re frozen in fear and continue to stay in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. We could potentially end up losing that person.

-We know we heard God tell us to apply for that supervisor position, but because we’re afraid of looking foolish if we’re denied, we choose to stay where we are.

We want our lives to get better and we want to experience God’s best. However, fear has robbed us from fulfilling our deepest desires.

This fear stems from not knowing or believing God will fulfill His Word. We must take a step of faith when fear is knocking at the door. We don’t know when or how God’s Word will manifest, but we believe that it will come to pass.

Don’t let fear run the show in your life. Thaw out and trust God.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Zodiac signs and horoscopes have been common in society for a long time. Some people swear by them. People go around telling people what their horoscope says, they establish or don’t establish relationships based on zodiac compatibility, and they take it to be the gospel truth.

As believers, we can’t fall into this trap. Just because the sign and our personality have a few things in common doesn’t mean we view it as law. Pharaoh’s magicians had commonality with Moses’ signs but, God’s sign prevailed. The truth about ourselves comes from the Word of God. God’s Word says we’re blessed, we’re victorious, and we prosper. We’re to be led by the Holy Spirit and not make decisions based on a zodiac sign. God should be our One and only.

What will you believe? A simple opinion of another person that could involve demonic forces or the Word of God?

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

As we celebrate the greatest Gift that was ever given (Jesus), let’s honor that Gift by giving Him the gift of spiritual maturity.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop being hypocritical towards those who may not have it all together knowing, how we used to be? Wouldn’t it be great if we could be honest with ourselves and let go of that envious mindset we have towards our “friend”? How awesome would it be if we stop speaking evil (harsh, negative, or critical) altogether?

These are the gifts we can give to God and the gifts we can give to the world. Celebrate the Christmas season by giving your gift of spiritual maturity.

Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

We as a society, celebrate a lot of things. We celebrate when our child graduates school, we celebrate when our team wins a big game, and we celebrate marriage engagements.

With all these things to celebrate, a lot of us overlook the most important thing. That celebration has to do with salvation. When a person commits their lives to God, through Jesus Christ, all the angels in heaven are overjoyed. Meanwhile, on earth, we give them a 15 second hand-clap and go about our day.

The same enthusiasm we have over a team winning a game is the same enthusiasm we should have regarding salvation. Salvation is THE most important thing a person can do with their lives and it deserves more than a simple hand-clap.

Although it may not directly impact our lives, it impacts the family of God. So, pray for the lost, shake their hands when they make a commitment to God, and continue to pray for them as they journey through life. While we’re celebrating Christmas, don’t forget to celebrate salvation.

Luke 14:28 Which of you, wishing to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost to see if he has the resources to complete it? 29 Otherwise, if he lays the foundation and is unable to finish the work, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,

Although Jesus was speaking about the sacrifice of discipleship, He makes a practical point about budgeting.

In life, especially around birthdays and holidays, it’s important to have and keep a budget. If it doesn’t fit the budget, it doesn’t need to be purchased.

God desires that His children prosper in every way, including our finances, but if we’re so determined to overspend our money on “stuff,” He can’t get us to a true place of wealth. Wealth is where money works for us. Wealth is where we can give money away and we won’t miss it. Wealth is where we can truly be a financial blessing to others.

If we continue to spend, spend, spend, how can God entrust us with wealth? We’ll be enslaved to “stuff.”

Let’s continue to be led by the Holy Spirit to stay within a budget.

Look at our great Orchestrator. God caused a woman (Mary), to get pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The woman just so happened to be engaged to a man (Joseph) who is originally from Bethlehem. At the same time, she was pregnant, the Caesar just so happens to decree that everyone return to their own city for registration purposes. Seeing that Joseph was the soon to be head of his family, he and his very pregnant fiancé went back to Bethlehem. While at Bethlehem, Jesus was born. Coincidence? I think not.

Since the Pharisees didn’t do their research on where Jesus was born, they didn’t believe He was the Christ, which ultimately led to His death for the sacrifice for all our sin.

As we see how God orchestrated the life of Jesus, let’s look at our lives. If He orchestrated the life of Jesus to fulfill a prophecy spoken hundreds of years before, He can do the same for us.

God will cause what happened to us (good or bad), where we’re from, and what we experienced to work out for our good (Rom. 8:28). Don’t be concerned with where you are now. It’s just a temporary holding place in a great song. Our song is not over. If we can believe, God can cause this song, which He’s orchestrating, to become a masterpiece.

John 7:41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”

A lot of us think when it comes to spiritual matters, we’re “doing it for God.” That’s not the case. When we pray, read the Word, worship God, fast, etc., we’re not doing it for God. We’re doing it for ourselves. God implemented these things to better our situation. God will still be God regardless if we pray or fast.

If God prompts us to serve for Sunday service, that’s for us. God knows there’s a promise attached that says, whatever good anyone does, the same shall they receive from the Lord (Eph. 6:8). If God tells us to pray for an hour, that’s for us because God has wisdom He wants to download to us through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10). If God desires that we wake up earlier to spend time in His presence, that’s an opportunity for Him to deposit joy and pleasure in our lives (Psalm 16:11).

So, when we’re prompted to do something by God, don’t look at it like we’re sacrificing time and effort for God. View it as an opportunity for God to get something to us.

Matthew 6:3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

6 But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

John 15:11 I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.

Joy and peace is something God desires for all of His children. He doesn’t want us walking around in defeat, worried, carrying cares, and in fear. He personally had Jesus give us these things through His Word.

God healed our bodies (Isaiah 53:5) so that we can enjoy this life.
God provides all our needs (Phil. 4:19) so that we won’t lose our peace trying to figure out how we’re going to make it.
All of God’s promises are “Yes and Amen” (2 Cor. 1:20) so that we can have joy and peace knowing, in this lifetime, with faith, everything God said will come to pass.

Everything God did was so that we can have joy and peace. Shake off the spirit of depression, sadness, and heaviness and receive and maintain God’s joy and peace.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

The believer’s life is all about patience. The promises of God are there (healing, needs, desires) and we want them now but, we often end up waiting on God and His perfect timing.

God often forces us to exercise patience and self-control. We often make our lives harder when we try to force a blessing into existence.

We know God told us to wait another month before buying that car but, we have the money and we must have it now therefore; we buy it now. What we didn’t realize is in another month, that same car may be $5,000 less. We know God to us to wait another year before marring that person however, the invitations have been sent and the timing seems perfect therefore; we marry that person. The year God told us to wait may have exposed something in our potential spouse that we need to consider before marrying them.

Just know when we’re waiting on the manifestation of God’s promises, He’s not withholding it from us but, He has perfect timing and He knows what’s for our good.

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