The Power of Your Thoughts

Grace and peace be unto you.

The story is told that David’s son, Amnon lusted after his half-sister Tamar until he was ill. He shared his thoughts with his cousin Jonadab. Jonadab encouraged him to trick Tamar into visiting his quarters under the guise that he was sick, and use the opportunity to sleep with her. Amnon followed the advice but Tamar refused to sleep with him and so he raped her. Afterwards, he hated her and wanted nothing to do with her. Tamar was distraught and confided in her brother Absalom. As the story goes, Absalom killed Amnon two years later (2 Samuel 13).

Amnon meditated on evil thoughts and created the opportunity to fulfill them. It is impossible to think ungodly thoughts frequently without acting on them. Scripture says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7). Amnon had high expectations about sleeping with Tamar while overestimating his privilege as a prince. His expectations were not met since he hated her afterwards and his privilege did not protect him from Absalom’s wrath. Evil thoughts are often accompanied by unrealistic expectations of pleasure, power, money, and the illusion of being untouchable.

What do you often think about? How do your thoughts enhance the quality of your life? The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). Interestingly, our thoughts guide our actions.  

Heavenly Father, we praise you for your greatness, help us to understand the power of our thoughts and practice Philippians 4:8. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Who Is Living Inside You?

Grace and peace be unto you.

The story is told that God did extraordinary miracles through the apostle Paul. Handkerchiefs or aprons that touch Paul were used to heal diseases and drive out demons. Some Jewish exorcists tried to imitate Paul and use Jesus’ name to cast out demons. The seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest were among them. However, the evil spirit said unto Sceva’s sons, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” Then, the man with the evil spirit attacked them and they ran out of the house, naked, and wounded. (Acts 19:11-20).

Demons are subjected to the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17). Paul was a child of God and the demons recognized him as such. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit was in Paul and the demons recognized him. Hence, they fled whenever he invoked the name of Jesus. Demons are submissive to no other authority. Since the sons of Sceva did not have the Holy Spirit, they were powerless to drive out the demons. Thus, their attempt was unsuccessful and embarrassing.   

Does the Holy Spirit live in you? Do demons recognize him? Perhaps you know of a situation where demons need to be cast out. For example, a family member or close friend is demon possessed. You may even have tried in futility to vanquish the demons. Fortunately, they did not beat you up. Despite the failed attempts, God is in control and would be pleased if you do the following:

1. Engage in fasting and prayer.

2. Confess your sins and submit fully to him.

3. Acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.  

4. Ask him if he wants you to cast out the evil spirits.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Help us to follow his directives. In Jesus’ name, amen.   

10 Bible Verses About The Truth

Grace and peace be unto you.

1. Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).  

2. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).

3. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).

4. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14).

5. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).

6. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15).

7. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name (Psalm 86:11).

8. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

9. Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him (Proverbs 30:5).

10. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another (Ephesians 4:25).

Heavenly Father, thank you for your everlasting love. Grant us a desire for your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God Can Cure Your Addiction

Grace and peace be unto you.

Do you have an addiction? If yes, what is the root cause? An addiction is a medical disease that involves interactions among the brain system, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. It is characterized by compulsive harmful behavior or intake of harmful substances, and disregard for consequences. Despite the controlling nature of addictions, nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37).

Recently, I read the story about an adult male, “James” who is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Interestingly, he is very successful in his career, more so than others who have no addiction. “James” stated that he started using drugs and alcohol during his teenage years because of trauma. He mentioned that he feels happy and comfortable whenever he uses them. “James” said his life is miserable without these substances and he finds it very difficult to face reality. 

Many people who are dealing with addictions can identify with “James’s” feelings and beliefs, even though they are not grounded in reality. The Bible says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart” (Psalm 51:6). Excessive use of alcohol and drugs temporarily numb pains and divert the thought process away from the problems. As a result, a false sense of peace and happiness is created. While the problems and causes are not effectively addressed.

Perhaps you have an addiction and accept it as normal. Most addictions result from some type of trauma.  Hence, if the trauma is effectively managed, the addictions will end. Psychotherapy is often used to successfully manage addictions but there is another way. Scripture says, you are to be moderate in all things (1 Corinthians 6:12) and God has given you the Spirit of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Consequently, God does not want you to view your addiction as a way of life. He has empowered you to conquer your addiction. You can overcome through faith in Jesus Christ. Will you give it to him today?

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Word. We give our addictions to you and believe by faith that we are healed. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Power Belongs To The Lord

Grace and peace be unto you.

The story is told that when the Lord was about to take Elijah into heaven, Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him. Elisha requested a double portion of his anointing. Elijah responded that if he saw him ascending, his desire would be granted. As they were walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared, and separated them. Elijah was then taken into heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw him and cried, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” (2 Kings 2:1-12).

Elijah did marvelous works by the power of the Lord, but lacked the authority to give Elisha a double portion of his anointing. He knew that was God’s decision. Scripture says, “God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you” (Psalm 62:11). Elisha desired the anointing to effectively conduct his prophetic duties. God was pleased with his desire and intention, and granted his request. When our desire and intention glorify God, he will give us his power.

Are you asking God for more power? Why do you need it? Do you desire to be highly esteemed by men or draw men unto God? As the story goes, Elisha was informed that Naaman went to the king of Israel seeking healing. Hence, he sent a message to the king advising him to send Naaman to him, so that he would know a prophet of God was in Israel (2 Kings 5:8). Elisha used his anointing to lead Naaman to God. If your intention is to use God’s power and make his name great, he will give you the power you requested (1 John 5:14).

Heavenly Father, we praise you because you are high and lifted up. All power belongs to you and you give it to whoever you desire. Please help us to seek your will. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God Prepares Your Heart And Mind

Grace and peace be unto you.

The story is told that God instructed Elijah to anoint Elisha to take his place. Hence, Elijah went in search of him. Elisha was plowing land and working on the last acre when Elijah arrived. Elijah threw his coat over him. He stopped plowing immediately and requested permission to say goodbye to his relatives. He prepared a meal and ate with the townspeople. Then, he left and went with Elijah, as his assistant (1 Kings 19:15-21).

God chose Elisha as Elijah’s successor and prepared his heart and mind. Consequently, when Elisha received the news, he willingly left his family and work to start learning his prophetic duties. Interestingly, he did not finish plowing the land. Elisha understood the importance and immediacy of his assignment and complied with God’s plan. He was eager to understudy Elijah in order to hone his skills and develop his character. It must be mentioned that Elijah was competent to teach Elisha because he lived an exemplary life. He was wise, reputable, powerful, and obedient to God.   

God has given you the desire for a ministry that you did not expect. But, he does not want you to begin immediately because you are not ready. Instead, he wants you to work with a godly and experienced mentor who will help to equip you for the task. Scripture says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). God provided a mentor for Elisha, he has also provided one for you. If you ask him, he will reveal the person. Even so, the important question is, “Are you willing to exercise the discipline and learn from your mentor?

Heavenly Father, thank you for being organized and teaching us to be the same. Help us to recognize our calling and emulate godly mentors, as we continue to diligently seek your face. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us

Grace and peace be unto you.

The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

He loved us and gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.

He gives us his peace. Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives
do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.

The Lord forgives us of our sins. If we confess our
sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

He meets all our needs. And my God will meet all
your needs according to the riches of his glory in
Christ Jesus.

God strengthens us. He gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-control. His power
is perfect in our weakness.

He gives us his grace. For from his fullness we
have all received, grace upon grace.

(John 3:16, Psalm 126, John 14:27, 1 John 1:9
Philippians 4:19, 2 Timothy 1:7, 2 Corinthians 12:9
John 1:16).

Heavenly Father, thank you for the wonderful things you
have done for us. Indeed, you have filled us with joy. In
Jesus’ name, amen.

The Perfect World

Grace and peace be unto you.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5).

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5).

Heavenly Father, thank you for this imperfect world and the assurance that we will live with you eternally in the perfect one. Glory be to your holy name.

Five Steps To Making The Right Decision

Grace and peace be unto you.

The story is told that after Judas’ death and Jesus’ ascension, the believers decided to replace Judas. One major criterion was a man who was with them during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Hence, Joseph and Matthias were nominated. The believers then prayed and cast lots. The lot fell on Matthias and he was ordained. (Acts 1:12-26).  

How can I be certain that God is pleased with my decision?  

1. Pray and do not be anxious. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).  When we are anxious, we are more likely to make the wrong decision.

2. Explore the options and allow the Holy Spirit to help you choose the one that is pleasing to him. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).        

3. Trust in the Lord, “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10).

4. Do not be coerced into making a decision. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

5. The decision should be supported by biblical principles. For example, if you are job searching, scamming is not an option, “Thou shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).  

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your word and Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions. In Jesus’ name, amen.