You Are Beautiful In God’s Sight

Grace and peace be unto you.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Are you God-fearing? Do you look at yourself from God’s perspective? The story is told that after Moses’ birth, his mother looked at him and saw that he was beautiful (Exodus 2:2). Interestingly, God knew that Moses was beautiful before his mother formed those thoughts. The apostle Luke wrote, “At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight (Acts 7:20). Moses’s mother was God-fearing, hence God enabled her to see Moses from his perspective.

Many years ago, when you were born, God was present although invisible to everyone. He looked at you, smiled and said, “You are beautiful.” God’s definition of beauty comprises your physical attributes, abilities, and personality. If your parents were God-fearing when you were born, they would have shared God’s thoughts and marveled at your beauty. On the other hand, if they were not God-fearing, your beauty might have gone unnoticed. Nonetheless, God has documented his thoughts about you in the Bible. He desires that you read and meditate on them frequently. By so doing, you will always remember how beautiful you are and give him thanks.

4 Bible Verses

1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  

2. “Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear. But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

3. “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7).  

4. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).  

God Bless You.

I Will Praise The Lord With My Whole Heart

Grace and peace be unto you.

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:1-2).

Have you ever been criticized for praising the Lord? How did you respond? The Bible encourages us to praise the Lord with songs, dance, psalms, and instruments (Psalm 147:1; Psalm 149:3). We have the autonomy to be as creative as possible, while following the leading of the Holy Spirit. But sometimes we allow our religious beliefs or culture to restrict our praise.    

The prophet Samuel wrote that David and the Israelites were returning the ark to Jerusalem. David was happy and danced before the Lord with all his might. As they entered Jerusalem, Michal, his wife looked through the window and saw him dancing. She was displeased and later commented to him that he danced half-naked before the slave girls and his behavior was vulgar. David informed her that he was dancing before the Lord who chose him. He further said that he would continue to celebrate before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14-23). David was so intent on praising God wholeheartedly that not even his wife could convince him to do otherwise.

Michal looked at David’s behavior from the human perspective. He was king and expected to behave in a dignified manner. From the cultural perspective, his dance moves were usually done by slave girls and considered to be undignified, as a result, Michal was upset. Hence, she made her thoughts known to him. David understood her misperception and gently explained to her that he was praising the Lord by dancing before him and would continue. He took the time to ignore Michal’s unkind remark and teach her the invaluable lesson that culture and religion do not determine how he praised God (2 Timothy 2:24).

God accepted David’s praise but was angry with Michal. Consequently, she was unable to have children. We are chosen by God to declare his praises (1 Peter 2:9). He engineered all the activities in our life for us to praise him. As such, he is pleased when we praise him with our entire being, and are not influenced by people’s perceptions. The Bible says, “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field” (Psalm 103:15). We should not be concerned about the views of mortals because they do not live forever. God is eternal and we will give an account of ourselves to him on Judgement Day. Therefore, I encourage you to reflect on his greatness and goodness, and praise him wholeheartedly and unapologetically.  

When your method of praising God is misinterpreted and you are criticized, do not be offended, or yield to your critics’ desires. God will discipline them in his time. Instead, explain in a loving manner that you were praising God, the Lord of lords and King of kings. You can also share some of the reasons why you praise him. Perhaps your explanation will inspire them to praise him or accept salvation.

God Shields You From Danger; Believe In Him

Grace and peace be unto you.

As you journey through life and diligently do your divine assignments, Satan will try to harm you. But you need not worry because he is attacking Jesus who is in you, the undefeated champion. As such, do not exert your energy and fight him, instead, concentrate on the task at hand, and trust Jesus to take care of him. The Bible says, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…” (Psalm 91:4).

The story is told that the prophet Elijah informed King Ahab that there would be no rain in the land for a few years. After Elijah prophesied, God told him to go and hide in the Kerith Ravine (1 Kings 17:1-3). While he was in hiding, Ahab sent out his armies to find him but they were unsuccessful (1 Kings 18:10). When God protects us, our enemies cannot harm us. They cannot infiltrate the protective barrier that God placed around us. According to Job 1:10, God had a conversation with Satan regarding Job. Unsurprisingly, Satan admitted that he could not hurt Job because of the protection that God placed around him and his household.  

Sometimes, I hear believers complain about how Satan is attacking them. Interestingly, they make no mention of God’s power in their lives. Despite the fact that Scripture says, “…he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). God is displeased with the complaints because they indicate a lack of faith in his power and authority. Furthermore, he allows afflictions in our lives and desires that we continue to praise him. When believers talk more about Satan’s attacks than God’s goodness, they are glorifying Satan. The prophet Isaiah wrote that God is jealous and will not give his glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). Even amidst our afflictions he protects us, the psalmist says, “For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:3).

Elijah was oblivious to the danger that was triggered by his prophecy. As far as he knew, he was carrying out God’s command. His mission did not involve weighing possible consequences of his actions. Rightfully so, that was God’s responsibility. He knew that Elijah would need protection and made the necessary preparations. Therefore, as soon as Elijah completed the assignment, God revealed the “protective” strategy. Similar to Elijah, our responsibility is to do our assignments according to God’s instructions. We should not be concerned about the repercussions because God will protect us. The Bible says, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

Bless Yourself In The Lord And Experience Victory

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues.

So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth” (Isaiah 65:16).

When was the last time you blessed yourself in the Lord? How did you feel? Oftentimes, we are encouraged to bless the Lord and others, but rarely motivated to bless ourselves. Scripture says, “From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good” (Proverbs 13:2). When we believe and speak encouraging words to ourselves that are supported by Scripture, God is glorified, and blesses us. For example, I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) or I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

God honors his Word, therefore when we speak in faith according to his plan, we receive his blessings. The story is told that King Abijah of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel went to war against each other. Jeroboam’s army was twice the size of Abijah’s but Abijah was not intimidated. He said, “We have not forsaken the Lord, He is with us, He is our leader.” Jeroboam’s army attacked Abijah’s and Abijah cried out to the Lord. God intervened and Abijah was victorious (2 Chronicles 13:1-20). Abijah invoked God’s blessings and came out the victor. Likewise, when we speak God’s blessings over our activities, we will be successful.  

When we speak the Word of God, the devil trembles and flees. For he knows God’s power and is no match for him. As such, he will do anything to keep us from speaking God’s Word which includes the many distractions we face daily. If he can keep us focus on our trials, he is happy, because we become discouraged and have no desire to declare God’s Words. Nonetheless, the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing and offer to God a sacrifice of praise continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 13:15). By so doing, we will remain focused on Christ and garner the strength to bless ourselves in the Lord.

The Bible says that when David went to fight the champion Goliath, he said to him, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands…” As the story goes, David reached into his bag, took out a stone, slung it and struck Goliath on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead and he fell facedown (1 Samuel 17:1-50). God blessed the words David spoke and he defeated Goliath. As you go throughout today, I pray that you will speak God’s Word over every aspect your life, while believing that he does everything according to his plan (1 John 5:14).            

Jesus Reveals His Power And Authority In The Storm

Grace and peace be unto you.

Have you ever experienced a level of Jesus’ power and authority that left you in awe? How has it impacted your life? The Bible says, “And Jesus came and said to them, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Although we will not experience all of Jesus’ power and authority in our lifetime, he reveals enough so that we know him. It is good to know him intellectually, but when we experience his power and authority, our faith, respect, and understanding increase. Furthermore, our relationship with him improves.    

The story is told that Jesus instructed his disciples to get on a boat with him and go to the other side. While they were on their journey, a windstorm arose, and water started filling the boat. The disciples were concerned that they would drown and woke up Jesus who was asleep. He got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and there was calm. The disciples were in awe and said to each other, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41). 

Jesus is all-knowing, hence he knew about the storm beforehand. He deliberately led the disciples into it so that they would witness another level of his power and authority. They were familiar with him performing miracles such as raising the dead, healing the sick, feeding the multitude, and turning water into wine, but they had never seen him calm a storm. Thus, they learned the scope of his authority and marveled that even the winds and waves obey him.

Jesus modus operandi has not changed, as such, he will lead us into storms. But most importantly, he will reveal his power and authority. Scripture says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). Through the storms, we learn to trust Jesus and become more effective witnesses for him.  

Embrace The Doctrine Of Jesus Christ And Reject Doctrines Of Devils

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues…

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

Recently, I read the sad story about a woman who was led astray by a false prophet. Reportedly, she committed fraud among other crimes under the misguided belief that her actions were pleasing to God. Regrettably, there are many similar stories worldwide. Thousands of years ago, the apostle Paul wrote that some believers would leave the faith and follow doctrines of devils, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

It is normal for us to desire more of Christ. And so, we want more of his power, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Some of us want to have visions, see angels, and experience everything that is possible. Therefore, if our desires are not met within our timeframe, we might be tempted to have it fulfilled outside of Christ. For example, if we do not have visions or see angels and a professed disciple preaches a doctrine that reportedly helps us to achieve these, we may believe his doctrine and start following him.

The Bible says that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Then, how do we identify false prophets and teachers, considering that some of them say that they believe in Jesus Christ? We know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). They disobey God’s commands and encourage others to do the same. The greatest commandment is not evident in their lifestyle, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). False prophets and teachers talk a lot about their frequent communication with God and visions that they receive. Furthermore, they are overly concerned with heavenly mysteries and angels.  

God wants us to be satisfied with our spiritual blessings and revelations. When he wants to increase them, he will do so. Many of us will die without ever having visions or seeing angels because it is not his will. The truth is that some of us will become conceited and dishonor God if he reveals heavenly secrets to us, therefore he withholds them. We must trust him because he knows best (Proverbs 3:5-6). When he withholds something from you, you do not need it to fulfil your purpose. Hence, give thanks and serve him wholeheartedly.         

The story is told that Cornelius was a Gentile who feared God. He prayed regularly and was generous to those in need. However, he was not familiar with Jesus Christ. And so, one day, he had a vision in which God told him to send for Simon Peter. He obeyed and Peter shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, his family, and close friends (Acts 10:1-48). When we serve the Lord to the best of our ability, he reveals everything that he wants us to know. The psalmist says, “…he leads us in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).  

God Makes All Things Beautiful In His Time

Grace and peace be unto you.

“…His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet” (Nahum 1:3).

God is with you in your troubles. He gives you the
strength to go through and sometimes he carries
you. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving
for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all
(2 Corinthians 4:17).

Praise God and trust the process. He makes all
things beautiful in his time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Have a Blessed Week!

God Cares About Your Intentions; Examine Them

Grace and peace be unto you.

Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21).

Have you ever risked your life to impress someone? Have you ever asked one of your devotees to risk their life for you? The Bible 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). When we interact with others, we ought to examine the motives for our thoughts before we speak or act on them. If our motives are selfish, we must reject them. 

The story is told that David was hiding in the cave of Adullam, when three of his chief warriors visited him. Being a fugitive, he longed for water from his hometown of Bethlehem. Consequently, he said, ‘Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!’ As soon as he was finished speaking, the three warriors left his presence, broke through the Philistines lines, got the water from Bethlehem, and brought it to him. However, he was conscience-stricken and did not drink it. He said, ‘Far be it from me, Lord, to do this!’ ‘Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?’ (2 Samuel 23:13-17).   

David exploited the devotion of his chief warriors. He knew that they were loyal to him and would do anything he desired. And so, he uttered his desire and they did everything in their power to fulfil it. David’s intention was displeasing to the Lord, as a result, the water was repulsive and he could not drink it. His mind was enlightened and he recognized his mistake. Similarly, when our actions are driven by impure motives, we will not enjoy the aftermath. The Bible says, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).

The truth is that everyone is responsible for their action. As such, it was indeed foolish of the warriors to put their lives in harm’s way to obtain the water. That being said, it is interesting to note that David was not willing to risk his life to get his own water but he allowed his men to risk theirs. The Bible says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

God wants us to be loyal to him and do what he desires (Micah 6:8). When we do, our intentions will be pleasing to him. As a result, we will not encourage anyone to meet our selfish desires. Neither will we allow anyone to exploit us to meet their needs. As you journey through life, a good rule of thumb is to ask this question, Does God want me to do this action or make this comment?

God Will Make A Way For You

Grace and peace be unto you.

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

How often have you wondered if you are in God’s plan or you have taken a detour? You are not alone, sometimes when life takes a sudden and unexpected turn and we find ourselves in unfamiliar situations we ask this question. For example, the death of an only child or the loss of a business? It is okay to have a conversation with God and ask him the question; he will respond. Even so, we are assured that whatever our situation, God will always make a way for us.

The story is told that Elijah prophesied to Ahab, King of Israel that there would be drought in the land for a few years because of the idolaters. The Lord then instructed Elijah to go to the Kerith Ravine East of Jordan, drink from the brook, and he would direct ravens to give him food. He obeyed the Lord and ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening (1 Kings 17: 1-5).

God promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). He used an unusual method to provide for Elijah. Similarly, he caused manna to rain from heaven for the Israelites to eat (Exodus 16:1-16). If it takes a miracle for God to meet your needs, he will do it. He keeps his promises and so you can depend on him.

Our circumstances change but God does not; he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Occasionally, we make the mistake and focus on our unpleasant circumstances. In such instances, we lose sight of God’s power and become sad, anxious, or depressed. Nonetheless, he called us to focus on his word and not our circumstances. He said, “…meditate on my word day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8).

Elijah was fed during the drought because he knew God’s voice, and obeyed his instructions. When we meditate on God’s Word and spend time in his presence, we become familiar with his voice and are more willing to obey his instructions. Interestingly, the way that God will make for you can be found when you obey his word. Are you doing what he told you to do?  

Show Mercy When It Is In Your Power To Act

Grace and peace be unto you.

The journey continues.

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).

Have you ever been in the position to show mercy to your enemy or offender? What did you do? If you have experienced unfair treatment, then you are familiar with emotions such as shock, embarrassment, and pain. Furthermore, you might have had a desire for revenge. In that moment, nothing would give you greater satisfaction than to see your oppressor publicly humiliated and in excruciating pain. Fortunately, God lives by a higher standard and encouraged us to do the same, Scripture says, “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).    

The story is told that King Saul hated David and wanted to kill him. Hence, he pursued him for many years but to no avail. It so happened that David had an opportunity to kill Saul. One of his followers also encouraged him to go through with the idea. But he refused, and instead said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ ‘the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish’ (1 Samuel 26:1-10). David’s decision was driven by his reverential fear of God. He knew that God had appointed Saul as King and would remove him in his time. Hence, he showed respect for God’s sovereignty and was merciful to Saul.

The Bible tells us that God has a plan for everyone including our oppressors. Although we are not privy to the details of his plan, we know that he wants us to show them mercy. When we do, we are helping to accomplish his purpose in their lives. The Bible says that God does not want anyone to perish but everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9). We do not know how many lives will be saved when we extend mercy, as such, let us do so at every opportunity.  

Interestingly, our character is on display when we deal with our offenders. God desires that our character reflects the Image of his Son. Therefore, one of the reasons he allowed us to be offended is for us to learn mercy. When we extend mercy, God sees that we are merciful, likewise our critics. As a result, our Christlike Image will not be in disrepute regarding this attribute.

There is a popular saying, “Talk is cheap.” It is easy to talk about showing mercy but when you have been severely hurt, how do you show mercy to your offender when the opportunity presents? How do you change your perspective from one of revenge to mercy?

David’s perspective is quite realistic and one that we can adapt. Our offenders will die one day. In addition, God will give us justice and reward them for their unkind behavior. For these two reasons, we can show mercy, pray for them, do good to them, and keep on enjoying our lives. Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). God will give you the strength to change your perspective, forgive and show mercy. Trust him, he is faithful.