For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,
Romans 3:25 NLT

People are not right with God because they help people, behave correctly, or do good things. People are right because of Jesus. Isaiah 64:6 says, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in God’s eyes.

We’re ONLY made righteousness through our BELIEF in the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST. That’s it!!!! There’s nothing we can do to be made right besides that. That’s why we should thank Jesus daily.

We didn’t have to do anything, but believe. How awesome is that deal? We get the benefits of heaven, healing, and holiness based on our belief in what Jesus has done.

Glory to God for Jesus. He is and forever will be our Savior.

Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
Psalms 89:18 NLT

You can buy 20 guns, but our protection comes from the Lord. You can pay $300 for a security system, but our protection comes from the Lord. You can learn all the martial arts created, but our protection comes from the Lord.

Emotionally, you can have all your guards up in order to not get hurt again, but our protection comes from the Lord. You can sabotage the relationship, but our protection comes from the Lord. You can never be in a relationship again, but our protection comes from the Lord.

All of this protection God provides is on the table, but it’s up to us to pick it up and rely on it. He’s not going to force His protection on us. If we feel guns and security systems are a better form of protection than He provides, He’ll allow us to put those things over Him. If we feel like our guards are better than His guard, He’ll let us go through life emotionally incarcerated.

Let God do His job. Let Him protect you however He sees fit. He may tell us to buy a gun or be mindful of another person’s actions, but that’s God being our ultimate protector. Don’t be your own protection. Let God protect you.

1 John 3:9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.

If God’s life is truly in us, we won’t continue to deliberately practice sin.

Practicing sin means, we know what God’s word says about the behavior, mindset, or action, but we intentionally do it anyway. We would rather satisfy our flesh than please God. Some of us developed a hardened heart in that area. We don’t care what God says about that subject, we want to satisfy our lustful desires. Some of us tried to justify the bible and say, “the bible doesn’t really mean…”.

Don’t make excuses about why you can’t obey God’s word. It may be a struggle at times and the temptation may be great, but make the effort to please God. If you miss the mark, receive God’s grace and forgiveness, but the next time you’re tempted, make the effort to please God.

But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’
Amos 7:14‭-‬15 NLT

If we really are living to be a vessel for God, we’ll do what He says. That includes getting out of our comfort zone, taking time away from our normal course of business, and going on a detour.

That detour could include taking off of work for a week and getting spiritually fed at a conference. It could include going on a missions trip to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead of going on that vacation. It could be as simple as inviting a friend over to encourage them.

Whatever GOD has for you to do, do it. These detours may not be exciting to our flesh, but they’re beneficial to the Kingdom of God and they’re developing our character.
Happy Thanksgiving!

The Holy Spirit gives us balance. For instance, when parenting our children, we usually revert back to how we were raised. Some of us were spanked all the time so, we either overly spank our children or go to the other extreme and not spank them at all. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we can obtain a balance of discipline that’s best for our children. 

The same goes in business. We may have known others who took a lot of risks. Based on seeing their actions and our education, we’ll either be a risk taker or not risk anything at all. The Holy Spirit will give us balance on what opportunities to advance on to further our business.

This balance can be achieved in our relationships, our purchases, in the medication we take, and so much more. The point is to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Don’t rely on your upbringing, education, logic, or emotions to help you navigate through life. The Holy Spirit will give us the balance we need to be successful in every area of our lives.

John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever–

The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
Proverbs 20:7 NLT

The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. As believers, our moral principles are found in the word of God.

When we have integrity, it not only makes us a better person, but it invokes a blessing on our children. Integrity is how we behave when no one else is around. It’s not okay to be nice to someone to their face, but talk about them behind their backs.

Integrity is a word not often used in society. It may not be used as much, but let’s follow the word of God and display integrity everywhere we go.

Proverbs 20:24 The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?

We want to know everything. We want to know who we’ll marry, the type of job we’ll have, how many children we’ll have, and when we’ll obtain all thise things.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting knowledge however, when we allow God to direct our steps we’ll remain in good hands. Allowing God to direct our steps requires trusting God and knowing the heart of God. We gain trust through experiences. At some point, we have to give certain issues to God. When He proves Himself faithful in that area, we’ll trust Him in other areas.

Knowing the heart of God comes from reading His word. When we see God’s intent in every situation is love, we’ll be more comfortable to let Him lead us.

We don’t have to know everything. We just have to be affiliated with the One who knows everything and put our lives in His hands. Over time, He’ll reveal what we need to know and when we need to know it. Trust God.

We all have desires we want from God. God’s word gives us clear instructions on how to receive those desires.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
John 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

The instructions are to ask during prayer, believe that you received it, in the name of Jesus. Example: God, I ask for a raise at my job. Now, I believe that I’ve received that raise in the name of Jesus.

That’s the easy part. The more challenging thing is to maintain our belief. Once we’ve prayed, the devil will do everything he can to get us to doubt God’s word. He’ll highlight the delay, he’ll tell us how unworthy we are to receive it, or he’ll let us know how unlikely it is to happen.

To maintain our belief until manifestation, we must renew our minds with the word of God (Rom. 12:2) and consistently confess God’s word over our desires (Heb 10:23). Satan will come with thoughts of doubt, but we combat him with God’s word. We read God’s word in order to know the heart of God and to know what God’s word says about our situation. We’ll have to do this multiple times throughout the day for multiple days.

Consistently studying God’s word and confessing it daily is the key. Don’t get lazy or be deceived into thinking it doesn’t take all of that. Until that manifestation happens, stay consistent in your belief of God’s word regarding your desires.

1 John 3:20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

When we miss the mark, it can leave us feeling guilty and shameful. That guilt and shame didn’t come from God. That’s coming from the devil who’s attempting to make us feel like God turned His back on us because of our behavior and is angry with us.

These are lies. God knew what we were going to do before we did it. That’s why He sent Jesus to die on the cross for all of our sins (1 John 2:2). Through Him (Jesus), we have forgiveness of sins. So, there’s no need to feel guilty for what we’ve done wrong. Forgiveness has already been put into place. Receive it and don’t let guilt and shame hold you down any longer.

2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

Here we have a promise from God. When we live in truth and love, we can expect grace, mercy, and peace in our lives.

Grace is obtaining something from God we didn’t earn or deserve. Mercy is God stopping certain negative events from occurring even though we deserve it. Peace is a cool, calm, collected state of mind despite the circumstances surrounding us.

Living in the truth means living by God’s word because John 17:17 says, “thy word is truth.” Living in love means we’re loving people the way God would love them because God is love (1 John 4:8).

So, if your life is not aligning with this promise and you’re living in truth and love, remind God of His promise and expect things to change for the better.

Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
Proverbs 20:22 NLT

Revenge is so logical until it seems natural. It makes so much sense to get even with the person who mistreated us. It’s logical, but revenge is 100% associated with our flesh (our sinful nature). And nothing good comes from our flesh (Rom. 7:18 KJV).

God’s word is telling us to go against our urges that seem so natural. His word is telling us to let Him handle it. That can be difficult because He may not handle it like we want Him to handle it. We may want them to suffer, but God Who is love and full of compassion, mercy, and grace will handle it differently.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve mistreated people too. Although we’ve mistreated people, God extended His mercy toward us and we didn’t suffer. So why do we think people should suffer because they’ve mistreated us?

We must forgive them and believe God will do whatever He feels is necessary to fight on our behalf, but at the same time, extend love, grace, and mercy towards them in order for them to change their ways.

In prayers, songs and sermons, some of us may have heard someone say, “I failed You” or “We’ve failed You” regarding our actions and God. That sounds humbling and contrite, but that’s not scriptural. No where in the bible, especially in the new covenant, does it say we’ve failed God.

When we say we’ve failed God, we’re calling ourselves failures. That’s negatively affecting our identity. Why would anyone want to serve or feel worthy to receive anything from a God if we think He thinks of us as failures?

God knew we couldn’t live up to His glorious standard (Rom. 3:23). That’s why He sent His Son Jesus. Jesus lived up to that standard and our belief in Him and what He’s done on our behalf makes us righteous and victorious.

If we miss the mark, let’s not beat ourselves up about it and call ourselves failures. Receive His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and righteousness that all came through Jesus. God doesn’t see us as failures, He sees us as overcomers.

1 John 5:4-5 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
Proverbs 20:18 NLT

There’s been a push in society where people are being applauded for making decisions independently of anyone else. Major decisions such as, marriage/divorce, moving for a job, and major investments should be linked to good counsel. If God says good counsel is important, who are we to say otherwise?

Good counsel should begin with God. He’s the best Counselor we’ll ever have. Go to Him with any and all plans and decisions. Allow Him to tell you what’s best and obey.

Although God is the beginning of good counsel, He may not be the only counsel. As we seek God, He may tell us to talk to this person, read a certain book, or listen to a podcast for further education in an area. As we follow God’s instructions, all our plans will succeed.

Romans 2:4 (NLT) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

God’s not using car accidents, sicknesses, premature deaths, or a loss of a job to get us to repent. He’s using His goodness.

God wants us to repent by overwhelming us with His goodness. When we avoid accidents, get the job, and recover from that sickness in spite of our behavior and our unholy living, that’s God trying to get our attention to let us know He still loves us and cares.

God’s ultimate goal is for us to look back over our lives and realize how good He’s been to us and choose to honor Him. Think about where God has brought you. If you need to repent, do it and keep it moving.

Mark 4:18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

It’s easy for us to place our faith in God. We get inspired and we place our faith in God for a new house, a new job, divine healing, or help in a situation. As time goes on, it gets a lot more difficult for us to keep our faith in God. It becomes more difficult when it’s taking too long, we’re not seeing any changes, or the situation gets worse. That’s when a lot of us quit and we try to reason in our own mind how we (by ourselves) can make it happen and/or why our faith didn’t bring our desires to pass.

When our minds start to go down this negative path, that’s when we need to realize the devil is at work. He’s trying to get us away from trusting and believing God and His word. Would the devil be any kind of devil if he sat back and watched us trust in God wholeheartedly?

No matter how long it takes or what the situation looks like, keep your faith in God. Consistent faith in God will change your life.

That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I Am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
John 8:24 NLT

Proverbs 16:18 says, pride goes before destruction. The biggest form of pride we can have is unbelief.

Some of us are too prideful to believe in a resurrected Savior. It’s illogical. It doesn’t make sense. Why would anyone believe that? If we’re not mindful, that pride will have us die in our sins.

The world says we’re uneducated if we believe in this “Jesus”. The world says we have a sense of morality to do right and wrong. The world says there’s no heaven or hell.

Don’t die in your sins by holding onto pride through unbelief. I, you, we need a Savior. His name is Jesus. He is the Son of God and He died for our sins. Our belief in what He accomplished allows us to have everlasting life. Don’t die in your sins. Believe in Jesus.

As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it,
1 Thessalonians 1:7‭-‬8 NLT

We never know who’s watching us. It may be a younger sibling or it may be an older coworker. That’s why it’s important to be a good example of being a Christian.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It means we rely on the grace and mercy of God that came through Jesus. It means we rely on Him when we don’t know what to do. It means we operate in our authority to overcome demonic forces in the world.

When people see the results of our lives by relying on God, they’ll hopefully want to follow us as we follow Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).

We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.
1 Thessalonians 1:4 NLT

Sometimes people need to hear, “God loves you”. Situations in life can be so difficult until they question God’s love for them. Especially when it comes to death or a series of negative events. People need to know that God loves them.

That’s why we must be sensitive to the Spirit of God to determine who needs to be uplifted. God may put our family members or co-workers on our minds. Say whatever God tells you to say. This will break the demonic hold on their minds.

Let’s continue to be vessels for God and let others know God loves them, He cares, and He wants to better their future.

We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 NLT

When we pray, we should be thinking about others besides ourselves. We can pray for people extremely close to us and we can pray for people who we’ve never spoken to. Prayer is that powerful.

Constant prayer for others keeps demonic forces from being successful. Could you imagine if everyone sincerely prayed for at least 3 people? That alone would stop a lot of the chaos and drama we see.

They don’t have to know we’re praying for them. We just have to have a selfless heart and take a couple of minutes to pray for others.

It makes no sense for a farmer to go into his field and expect to have vegetables without planting seeds. If he wants tomatoes, he’ll have to plant tomatoes seeds. If he wants cabbage, he has to plant cabbage seeds. If it makes no sense for a farmer, why do some of us still expect to have financial increase without planting financial seed into the Kingdom?

When we give, we’re giving to God and telling Him thank you. When we give, we’re also investing in our future. God promised that He’ll give it back to us in an overflowing manner (Luke 6:38). He promised all our needs are met (Philippians 4:18-19). He promised protection when we give (Malachi 3:10-12).

So, don’t get deceived into thinking that giving is for the foolish. We know what we’re doing. We’re setting up ourselves for a prosperous future.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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January 2022
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