God Has Empowered You To Encourage Yourself

Grace and peace be unto you.

How do you deal with discouragement? The Bible says, “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). David was determined that he would not remain discouraged despite his circumstances and so, he looked to the only true source of encouragement. The source that is real, faithful, all-powerful, harmless, and loving. The source is God, the I Am That I Am, the Alpha and the Omega.   

Discouragement is one of the many blessings we will encounter during our life’s journey. In fact, we will face numerous instances. Nonetheless, in those moments, the effectiveness of sources such as drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, and overeating pales in comparison to that of our Lord. He knows the root of our discouragement, hence when we talk with him, he gives us the perfect remedy. Sometimes prayer or praise is effective while other times meditating on his Word is the solution. Still yet, there are other options such as exercising, doing a good deed, listening to music, reading, and fasting.

Despite the various strategies that exist, there is no specific one that works for all of us. As a result, the Holy Spirit caters to our uniqueness. Scripture says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). When our human capabilities are not resilient enough to provide the necessary encouragement, the Holy Spirit intervenes and empowers us.    

The Holy Spirit tells us what to do and gives us the strength we need to encourage ourselves. But we must believe that he lives in us and is more than willing to help when we are discouraged. The Bible says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Accordingly, I will praise the Lord when I am discouraged. I will praise him all my life. I will sing praise to him as long as I live (Psalm 146:2).

18 Bible Verses About Sexual Immorality

Grace and peace be unto you.

God desires that our lives are free from sexual immorality. To help us achieve this goal, he has given us his principles and Holy Spirit.

Verses: Adultery

1. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

2. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

3. “Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished” (Proverbs 6:28-29).

4. “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32).

5. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4

Homosexuality

6. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27

7. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

8. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (1 Corinthians 6:9).

Fornication

9. “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

10. “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9).

11. “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

Bestiality

12. “And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion” (Leviticus 18:23).

Dealing with sexual immorality

13. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

14.“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray” (James 5:13).

15. “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:15).

16. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).

17. “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2).

18. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

God Has A Time And Place For Everything

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues…

As a Christian, I believe that God allows everything to happen for a reason. Furthermore, he has a time and season for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1). When we believe these truths, we are less likely to become anxious or perplexed about situations, and more likely to trust him.  

The tragic case of Brian Laundrie and Gabriel Petito has garnered international attention. Two families are now grieving the death of their children. I closely followed the search for Brian Laundrie, eagerly awaiting the outcome. Nonetheless, just when I decided that the wait might last a few months or years, his partial remains were discovered in the Carlton Reserve. I was taken aback with the timing, place, and circumstance of the discovery. Interestingly, many people expressed similar sentiments. Even so, God was not surprised, he knew all along what would have happened.  

Prior to the discovery, the area was searched for almost five weeks by law enforcement officials but to no avail. They used resources which included drones, cadaver dogs, divers, and boats. After the search did not yield the intended results, the Reserve was opened to the public. It so happened that on the first day after the Reserve was opened, two police officers along with Brian Laundrie’s parents searched it and found Brian’s partial remains and items. Strange things do happen occasionally!

The explanation given for the “delayed” discovery is that the area was flooded when law enforcement officials conducted the original search, and so the partial remains and items were not detected. However, the water had receded when the police officers and Brian’s parents did their search, hence, the skeletal remains and items were visible. Is this the real reason or did God choose that specific time and circumstance to reveal the information?  

The Bible says, “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), hence if he wanted the discovery to be made during the original search, it would have been done. The flood water would not have been an impediment. Scripture says, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). God has the power and authority to control events. Why did he choose that time, place, and circumstance? We do not know and will never know.

We are encouraged to trust God with all our heart and not depend on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Despite the advances made in knowledge and technology over the years, our understanding is still limited, as a result, we will be baffled by situations from time to time. On the other hand, God knows and understands everything. He allows events to happen at his appointed time and place. Along this vein, we can trust him; He is Sovereign.

12 Bible Verses That Can Help You Deal With Stress

Grace and peace be unto you.

Stress may be defined as psychological, physical, or emotional strain associated with your circumstances. The Bible tells us that on one occasion, Moses was stressed by the burdens of the Israelites, and so he spoke with God. God recognized that his concern was genuine and told him to select 70 elders to help with his duties. He obeyed and was no longer stressed (Numbers 11:10-17).

Sometimes, we will encounter situations that are beyond our control, as a result, we may become stressed. These situations provide the perfect opportunity for us to experience God’s love and wisdom. Hence, he does not want us to panic or throw in the towel, instead he desires that we talk with him, and meditate on his Word.

Bible Verses

1. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

2. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

3. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

4. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

5. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

6. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness” (Psalm 37:3).

7. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

8. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

9. “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (Psalm 119:15).

10. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).

11. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Palm 46:1).

12. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

God’s Recipe For Success

Grace and peace be unto you.

God desires that we prosper in everything (3 John 1:2), accordingly, he has given us guidelines to be successful.

Plan/Vision

1. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

2. Write down your vision or plan (Habakkuk 2:2).

3. “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, this man began to build and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30).

4. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).

Character: Invest time in developing your character.  

5. “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25).

6. “Then David said to Solomon his son, be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

7. “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners
take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law, day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).

Timing: Wait on His timing.

8. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

9. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).

10. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).

11. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law (Galatians 4:4).

12. “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end, it will not lie,
if it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).

10 Bible Verses About How To Be Healed

Grace and peace be unto you.

Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual healing are available through Jesus Christ.

The story is told that there was a woman with an issue of blood who went to many physicians without success. One day, she saw Jesus and thought to herself, “If I could touch his cloak, I would be healed.” Acting on her thought, she touched his garment and immediately, Jesus turned and said to her, “Take heart, your faith has healed you.” She was healed at that moment (Matthew 9:20-22). This woman exercised her faith and was healed. Likewise, you can choose to believe in Jesus and receive healing for your condition.

Bible Verses

1. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

2. “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

3. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).   

4. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do” (Joshua 1:8).

5. “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

6. “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

7. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

8. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). 

9. “But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).

10. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Removing The Price And Living In Love  

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

What is your price for sinning against God? Many years ago, one of my colleagues commented that everybody has a price. She then asked the question, what is your price? I told her that my price was already paid and it is the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Since then, I have come to realize that although Jesus paid the ultimate price, we continue to sin (1 Corinthians 6:20), and we have a price for disobeying God.

Our price may include the temporary pleasure derived from the sin, love of money or possessions, or a desire to be famous. The Bible says that Achan disobeyed God by stealing silver and gold (Joshua 7:19-21). His price was the silver and gold; he valued them more than his relationship with God. Even so, God gave him the opportunity to repent but he refused. The reality is that we all have unmet desires. When they are not submitted to Christ, we may yield to the first opportunity to have them fulfilled. Regrettably, sometimes the first opportunity is not approved by God.

Recently, I listened to the testimony of a woman who escaped from a religious cult. She informed that the initial attraction to the cult was the welcoming environment, characterized by the friendliness of members, and relatability of the leader. This woman had a desire to be loved and accepted and was searching for the ideal environment, and the “cult environment” seemed like the perfect opportunity to have her needs met.

Embracing God’s love and loving him.

Scripture says, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jeremiah 31:3). When we meditate on this Scripture frequently, we gradually learn to love and accept ourselves with all our weaknesses. Hence, we exude love, acceptance, and confidence, thereby creating the environment that we desire. Also, we are more secure with our identity as God’s children. God will always love us and he desires that we accept his love. We do not have to understand the depth of his love or the reason.

As his precious children, God wants us to love him completely, “Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When we obey this command, we trust him with every aspect of our life and will not go outside his plan to fulfill our desires. Thus, we can confidently declare that by God’s grace no price will entice us to sin.

10 Bible Verses About Dealing With Fear

Jesus conquered fear when he died on the cross, and so we are confident that we can live a victorious life, even in the midst of adverse circumstances.   

Bible Verses

1. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid” (Psalm 56: 3-4).

2. “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).

3. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me, Says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

4. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

5.  The battle is not yours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).

6. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39).

7. “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13).

8. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

9. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

10. “As Scripture says, Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11).

God Is More Interested In What You Do Than Your Precious Name

Grace and peace be unto you.

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).  

Do you have a desire to be renowned? Are you concerned that your gifts and talents may not put you in the spotlight? We are living in an age where many of us are enamored with the idea of being famous. Hence, we display our attributes, gifts, talents, and possessions on social media or other forums to gain the attention and admiration of the public. Nonetheless, Scripture says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

The story is told that Jesus was at a feast in a Pharisees’ home and a woman came to him with an alabaster box of ointment. She washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Then, she kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment (Luke 7:36:38). This woman genuinely worshipped Jesus and her name is not known. Although her name was not written, her noble act of love and gratitude was recorded and has impacted many lives. Your name might never be popular but your kind deeds will change the lives of many people.

God desires that we invest our time in doing the things that please him. This includes resisting the temptation to make a name for ourselves, and instead, do good deeds and use kind words that glorify him. Scripture says that Jesus anointed 70 disciples and sent them out to spread the gospel. Their ministry was a success, consequently they returned and told him that demons submitted to them in his name (Luke 10:1-17). Once again, the names of the disciples were withheld but their actions documented. Their experiences help us to better understand the power of Jesus’ name.

God longs for believers who are passionate about winning souls for him (Matthew 9:37), and have no desire to become famous. As a result, he is more interested in what you do with your allotted time, than your popular or unpopular name. The Bible says, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3).

God’s Purpose Will Stand; He Does Whatever Pleases Him

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues…

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10).

How would you describe God’s purpose for your life? Did you know that he put measures in place to protect his purpose? Scripture says, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment…” (Isaiah 54:17). God invested time in your creation for you to carry out a specific role on the earth. This role will save many lives and bring glory to his name. As a result, he has been protecting you and will continue to do so, until he calls you home.  

The story is told that Moses was born during the period in which Pharaoh gave instructions that all the boy babies born to Hebrew women should be killed. Nonetheless, after Moses’s birth, his mother hid him for three months. When she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and placed him among the reeds by the river bank while his sister, Miriam, watched from a distance.

It so happened that Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe at the river. She saw the basket and the baby crying, and had pity on him. Miriam, gladly offered to get one of the Hebrew women to nurse him. She went for her mother who agreed to nurse him. As per agreement, she nursed him and after he was weaned, gave him to Pharaoh’s daughter who raised him as her son (Exodus 2:1-10).

God had chosen Moses to be the deliverer of Israel, therefore Pharaoh’s order could not prematurely end his life and interrupt God’s purpose. Instead, God used Pharaoh’s edict to accomplish his purpose. Likewise, God has chosen you to carry out his purpose and no obstacle will stand in his way. He will use the impediments in your life to accomplish his purpose. If he has not yet revealed his purpose for your life, trust him and joyfully do the daily tasks that he gives you. In his time, he will reveal your purpose. Moses knew his purpose when he was 80 years old (Exodus 3:1-10), while Jeremiah’s purpose was revealed when he was 17 years old (Jeremiah 1:4-5).