Jesus is Depending on You…

Word of Encouragement…

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God… (Deuteronomy 10:17).

“But Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell (Frederick M. Lehman)

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

God bless you!

The Joy of the Lord is your Strength

Word of Encouragement…

This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). Our lives are not perfect, but God has been good to us and there are many things for which to be grateful, such as, food, friends, family, and being a child of the King. Therefore, we thank Him for His many blessings, and with our hearts filled with praise, we worship His holy name.

When we develop a habit of gratitude, we shift our focus from life’s problems to God’s blessings and opportunities for personal and professional development. The change of focus releases the joy of the Lord which empowers us to achieve our goals. Furthermore, you will obtain greater satisfaction from completing tasks when you are joyful.

The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15). This command does not direct us to spend most of our life partying; it is prudent to be moderate in all things. The apostle Paul says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Hence, we should eat, drink, do good, and be joyful to the glory of God. 

I pray that you will experience the joy of the Lord and share it with others.

Your Clean Slate

Word of Encouragement…

The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The wonderful news is that when you confess your sins, Jesus forgives you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Your slate is wiped clean, and you are restored to a place of wholeness as if you did not sin. Such is God’s great love for you.

A Prayer for You

Word of Encouragement…

“Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Today, I pray that you will acknowledge God’s presence in your life and the world.

You will spend quality time in His presence and experience his power.

You will not fall prey to the plans of your enemies, but you will outwit them,

And they will know that God is with you.

You will pray without ceasing and testify of God’s goodness and greatness.

You will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all your activities, and treat

everyone including your enemies with kindness.

You will understand the power of meditating on God’s Word,

And speak His Word to situations in your life,

You will believe that all things are possible through Christ,

And experience His hope, joy, and success.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The Gift of Peace

Word of Encouragement

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

While I was reflecting on the above scripture, the song, “It is well with my soul” came to my mind. Hence, I will share one verse with you.

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, It is well with my soul” (Horatio Spafford). Horatio Spafford wrote this song after his four daughters died in an accident at sea. Despite his great loss, he accepted the peace of Jesus, and was empowered to continue living.

Jesus has given us His gift of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6). It is internal, stable and not affected by external circumstances. On the other hand, the world offers us its peace that is temporary and dependent on external circumstances, for example, a house, luxury vacation, dream job, etc. The psalmist says, “…if your riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). When we trust in wealth and there is financial loss, our peace is disrupted, and the end result could be unpleasant. Will you accept the peace of Jesus or that which the world offers?

Similar to Horatio, you will encounter trials, but when you embrace the peace of Jesus, you will be motivated to continue living, and accomplish your purpose. I encourage you to reflect on Jesus’s gift of peace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and your divine purpose.

Have a blessed Thursday!

I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The journey continues…

I struggled with the idea of being “righteous in Christ” for a while. I was familiar with the teaching that we are made righteous by faith and not works (Romans 3:28). But still, I had difficulty accepting the doctrine. I just could not believe that God had declared me righteous. And so, like some of my fellow believers, I focused on doing good works to be acceptable to God.

Nonetheless, when we genuinely seek God’s face, He will help us to understand His truth; it might take a while, but the revelation will come. According to Acts 8:26-39, the Ethiopian eunuch was reading the Bible and did not understand, as a result, God sent Phillip to help him. Phillip obeyed and explained the Scripture to him and he received salvation.

Not so long ago, I was watching a sermon by Joseph Prince about the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and I received the insight that I have been made righteous through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Hence, my good deeds do not make me righteous, I am already righteous. It is my responsibility to go forth by faith and dwell on godly thoughts and do good deeds. This revelation has changed my perspective to the extent that, when I look at myself nowadays, I see the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.       

Jesus was made a sacrifice for our sins so that in Him we might become righteous. The moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become righteous. Therefore, when God looks at us, He sees no sin, but righteousness. Since we are in a state of righteousness, we have the power to choose godly thoughts and actions. The Bible says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6). We can speak kind words to encourage our listeners instead of hurtful words that will offend or discourage them. Moreover, we have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of self-control to help us manage our thoughts and emotions so that we can use them to glorify God.

As believers in Christ, God expects us to do good deeds, the apostle Paul says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Furthermore, the Bible says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Although God has equipped us to do good deeds, does that mean we will never sin? Of course not! The reality is that we will sin, however, when we do, Jesus expects us to confess our sins and he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Great Love

Word of Encouragement…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Jesus will take care of you,

Worry not about today, tomorrow, or the future.

He goes before you, and lights your path,

He removes some of the obstacles,

And gives you the wisdom, courage, and patience

to manage the rest.

******

Jesus listens to your problems,

And shows you possible solutions,

He whispers words of peace and hope.

And holds you in his loving arms until your heart,

becomes one with His.

                                                              Nadine Anderson

Cherish the day of small beginnings.

Doing good deeds will lead you into your divine purpose and keep you in it.

The journey continues…

Mother Teresa spent most of her life helping the poor and vulnerable. In the process, she formed the Missionaries of the Poor which opened houses and foundations worldwide. Oftentimes, when we think about our purpose, we consider grand ideas such as, becoming the CEO of a worldwide ministry or developing a unique technological device. There is nothing wrong with having good aspirations, in fact, one of the emphasis these days is to dream big, and excel. However, God did not create everyone to be the CEO of an organization, hence, our dreams should be aligned with God’s plan for us. The apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Interestingly, doing good deeds is at the heart of our purpose.

The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). He looked at illnesses, sadness, hunger, and death as opportunities to connect with people and improve their lives. Most importantly, He showed them what the Kingdom of Heaven is about; love, grace, and mercy. One of God’s plans for us is to do good to everyone. Therefore, if you are searching for your purpose, or feeling stuck, I am suggesting that you focus on speaking kind words to yourself and others, and doing good deeds. The Bible says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

The World Bank has predicted that 150 million people will be living in poverty at the end of 2021. This social issue will increase psychological illnesses such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Irrespective of the country that you are residing, there is an urgent need for your assistance in doing good regularly. You will be amazed at the power of a genuine smile and how are you today? or may I pay for your groceries? If you are having difficulty identifying the areas in which you can assist, the Holy Spirit is willing to help you, ask Him, and listen for a response.     

Five (5) Bible verses about Jesus doing good.

1. Matthew 9:6-8

“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, he then said to the paralytic, ‘Rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.”

2. John 2: 1-9

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’  ‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine…”

3. Mark 8:22-26

“And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see men, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

4. Matthew 8:5-13

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’ The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’ Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that moment.

5. Matthew 14:15-20

“As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered. ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”

Jesus used His gifts and abilities to help and empower people, and glorify His Father. What are your gifts and abilities? How are you using them to help people?

Commitment to Doing Good

If you have a desire to emulate Jesus and do good, ask Him to give you the discipline to translate the desire into action. You may complete the Commitment statement below and keep it with you as a reminder.

I ___________________commit to do at least one good deed per day with the help of the Holy Spirit effective ________________.

The good deeds may involve:

  1. Praying for someone

2. Speaking encouraging words.

3. Listening to someone’s problem.

4. Holding the door open for a stranger.

5. Donating groceries to a food pantry or homeless person.

I pray that our Heavenly Father will give you a heart for the poor and vulnerable, and you will use your gifts to help them, and glorify His name. Amen! 

References

1. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa

What is in your house? What is in your hand?

God is your provider, fear not what tomorrow will bring, instead hope in Him (Psalm 39:7).

Word of Encouragement…

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4:1-7)

The story is told in 2 Kings 4:1-7 about Elisha and the Widow’s Oil. Accordingly, the widow went to Elisha and told him that her husband was one of his servants, and she had no money to pay her creditor who was coming to take away her two sons to be his slaves. Elisha asked her what she had in her house. She told him nothing except a jar of oil. He told her to borrow many vessels from her neighbors, then go in her house with her sons, shut the door behind her, and pour the oil. She obeyed and when the vessels were full, she told her son to bring another one. However, he told her that none was left, at that moment the oil stopped flowing. She went out and told Elijah and he instructed her to sell the oil, pay her debt and live on the rest. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in job losses, financial challenges, and increased debts for many people. Some people are wondering if they will have their house or car at the end of 2021. While others are trying to find creative ways to earn an income to purchase groceries. Irrespective of your circumstances, God has seen your tears and heard your concerns. He is looking at you right now and asking the questions, “What do you have in your house? What do you have in your hand?” I implore you to search your mind, look around your house, ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight, then answer the questions.

God has already provided the solution to your financial problems. Nonetheless, sometimes it is revealed through prayer or prayer and fasting. And so, I encourage you to seek the Lord through these mediums so that you will have a clear sense of direction. He is loving and faithful, and will always meet your needs (Philippians 4:19).  

I pray that you will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as you use your abilities and resources to meet your needs.  

Peace be unto you.

The Importance of Christian Fellowship

Photo by Andru00e9 Cook on Pexels.com

The journey continues…

Definition of Fellowship

Fellowship is defined as socializing with people who share common interests, for example, attending prayer meeting or your friend’s birthday party. However, the common belief in Christianity is that fellowship among believers is different from that among unbelievers and is named, Christian fellowship. Christian fellowship focuses on Jesus Christ, as such, when most believers meet, they oftentimes engage in activities that glorify Christ. These activities contribute to a renewed mind and Christlike Image.    

Fellowship with God

God set the standards for fellowship and implemented them when He created Adam and Eve. As a result, He met and communicated with them frequently. The interactions strengthened their relationship. After Adam and Eve sinned, they no longer fulfilled the criteria for meeting with God. Hence, they hid from Him when He visited them in the garden (Genesis 3:8). Sin interrupts our fellowship with God.

Jesus adhered to the standards during his earthly ministry. Thus, he fellowshipped with his Father, disciples, and other people (Luke 6:12, Matthew 26:17, John 2:1-11). Similarly, we are expected to fellowship with our Heavenly Father, brothers and sisters in Christ, and unbelievers.

How do we fellowship with God?

A few months ago, I was driving on the highway. As I passed rows of cane fields with the sugar cane leaves gently swaying in the wind, I started thinking about my thoughts and realized that I was worried about meeting a few upcoming deadlines. Therefore, I decided right there and then that I was going to praise God instead of worrying, and so I asked the Holy Spirit to help me achieve this goal. In the twinkling of an eye, my thoughts changed from worrying to praising God. We fellowship with God when we praise him, pray, study and obey His Word. He loves when we acknowledge his presence and enjoy his fellowship. On that account, the Holy Spirit is available to guide and encourage us. Do you have a difficulty fellowshipping with God? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you (John 14:26).

How do Christians fellowship?

The Bible says that:

1. Each person should have an encouraging word (1 Corinthians 14:26). This includes a hymn, scripture, or testimony of God’s goodness.

2. We should meet consistently, the apostle Paul says, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

3. We should do good to each other (Galatians 6:10).

Advantages of Christian Fellowship

1. The bond among believers is strengthened. Regular Christian fellowship builds trust, a sense of belonging, confidence, and increases love.        

2. Spiritual development is enhanced. Christian Fellowship encourages prayer, praise, studying and obeying God’s Word, which contribute to spiritual development.

3. Intimacy with Christ is increased. An enhanced spiritual development strengthens our relationship with Christ.

4. We are encouraged to continue in the faith. We face trials frequently, whether it is an illness, financial challenges, or work problem. Sometimes, our faith is strong and we can stand on God’s Word. Nonetheless, other times, we are discouraged and need encouragement to go through a particular day or week. In these low moments, fellowship with other believers provides the motivation that we need.

Reflection

I invite you to do this 2 minutes reflection.

Find a quiet place, close your eyes, take 5 deep breaths. Open your eyes and answer the questions below.

1. How often do you fellowship with Christ, believers, unbelievers?

2. How can you increase your fellowship with God, believers, and unbelievers?

My prayer for you today is that your fellowship with God, believers, and unbelievers will increase.

Peace be unto you.