Dec 31, 2012

Don't Be Discouraged

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them - to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates - all the Hittite country - to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’” 

Of all the people in the Bible, Joshua might be one of the last we'd expect to need encouragement.

Years earlier, Joshua and Caleb stood their ground against an angry mob that was ready to pummel them to death with rocks. A number of spies had just reported that it would be impossible for the people to conquer the land of Canaan. The giant inhabitants of the land had powerful weapons. But Joshua and Caleb countered, ‘Don’t be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us’ (Numbers 14:9). Although this speech did not convince the frightened Israelites, Joshua and Caleb did not back down.

Given Joshua's courage, why did God need to tell him not to be terrified or discouraged? This was now about 40 years later, and Joshua was no longer facing fellow Israelites. Now he would need to lead an army of Israel against the Canaanites, who would fight to the death to protect their land, possessions, and families. The real battle would begin.

Yesterday's courage can’t be saved for today's challenge. But God's faithfulness is new every morning.

Believe in Jesus and know that the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Don’t be terrified. Don’t be discouraged.

Father, sometimes we’re afraid and discouraged. Thank You that You are our refuge and strength. Help us to remember that You are always with us. In Jesus' name, amen.


Dec 30, 2012

What's at the End of Your Rope?


Moses said to the people,
Don’t be afraid. God’s come
to test you, so that the fear
of God will be with you to
keep you from sinning.
Exodus 20:20

When you're at the end of your rope, you're at the beginning of hope. Grab on to JESUS ... He's our lifeline of hope. Hope in God, He's the only one that will never fail you. He can be trusted.

Our bad circumstances don't negate how good God is. He is good ALL the time.

Maybe 'What's at the end of your rope?' is the wrong question. I'll rephrase it to 'Who's at the end of your rope?'

Praise Him ... and HANG ON!
Father, I pray that You help us not be afraid when we’re being overwhelmed with circumstances. Thank You that You won’t leave us when the going gets tough ... we’ve all been there, done that in other relationships and it’s getting old. Help us to renew our minds to the fact that there IS hope and it's YOU. No matter what happens, YOU’RE our ONLY hope of a LIFELINE. Give us faith to grab on to You and NEVER let go. You sure aren’t. I love You Lord, amen.
see also:  God's Hand
               There's a Reason for That Test, You Know
               Faith Walk
               The Man with the Plan

Dec 27, 2012

Someone Cares

The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ Exodus 3:7,8



‘Nobody cares.’ What a terrible thought. Whether it’s the teenager who feels she has no one to talk to or the widower who feels that everyone is too busy to bother with him, the thought that no one cares is dreadful.

Although the person who feels this way may not be aware of just how much people do care, the most important thing to know is that God cares. He ALWAYS cares. When His people cried out to Him from slavery in Egypt – God cared. He was concerned about their suffering, and He came to their rescue. He used Moses to deliver them from their bondage and bring them to the Promised Land.

God cares about you. He ALWAYS cares about you.

When you cry out to God in your suffering – God cares. When you doubt that He cares, when the circumstances of your life seem to say that He doesn’t care, just look at Jesus suffering on the cross. He went to the cross to free you from your slavery to sin and death. He promises to bring you to heaven one day. The One who cared about you enough to do all of that certainly cares enough to deliver you from whatever other trials you are facing.

When you are tempted to think, ‘Nobody cares,’ look to the cross and be certain that the LORD cares.

Prayer: Thank you Father, for proving Your love for me by sending Jesus to the cross. When I am down, when I doubt Your care and concern, lift my eyes to the cross and comfort me with Your care. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Dec 25, 2012

The Gift within the Gift



Our Savior, Jesus Christ was the gift that our Father God gave to us. There were 7 gifts that Jesus brought us with the gift of Himself.

1) He's our Salvation

    Luke 2:11 - For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

2) He's our Redeemer
    Galations 3:13 - Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for
    us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’).

    Galations 4:4-6 - But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a
    woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might
    receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His
    Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’

3) He’s our Healer

 Psalm 103:3 - Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.

    Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

4) He’s our Deliverer

Romans 11:26 - And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of
    Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob’.

5) He’s our Wisdom

Isaiah 11:1-3 - There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out
    of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and
    understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the
    Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor
    decide by the hearing of His ears.

6) He’s our Counselor and Our Peace

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon
    His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
    Prince of Peace.

7) He’s our Soon Coming King

Acts 1:11 - Who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same
    Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go
    into heaven.’

    Matt 16:27 - For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He
    will reward each according to his works.

    Matt 24:27 - For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the
    coming of the Son of Man be.

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
    voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then
    we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the
    Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Jesus gives peace that the world cannot give. He’s the King of King’s and Lord of Lord’s.

People say that Jesus was born to die. That is true. But He was also born to rise again. He sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us and will soon return and draw those who belong with Him in Heaven.

My Pastor, Rev. Wanda Meadows, preached this sermon this past Sunday and I wanted to share it.

Dec 22, 2012

Sweep Off Your Own

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5

It's really hard to be around family sometimes, especially this time of year. Them still condemning me for the old me. Let it go people, I'm NEW. Family sure can be our worst critics sometimes, makes holidays really rough, but I'm gonna love on 'em anyway. Hmm, most of the stuff I'm being judged for isn't even true. If you don't accept me, don't think I'm gonna run home and cry a river, I'll give the rejection to Jesus and move on. I can live without you ... just fine.

Then there's all the fighting and bickering, people talking over each other, no one really caring to listen to anything but the sound of their own voice. Hurts to see family arguing and disrepecting each other, but I always ask God for grace to be around them and try to see all the family anyway - they are family after all.

Stop the disrepecting. Quit gossiping and judging, YOU don't have it all right, either. We don't need nobody pointing out our sins and judging us.

Sad to say, a lot of church folk criticize and find fault but then try to hid behind the Bible or their own personal so called righteousness. We try to dog others for what they're doing or not doing but then we forget about what we're doing behind closed doors at home.

Let he who's without sin cast the first stone. Baby, you need to sweep off your OWN porch first before trying to make others sweep theirs or you try to do it for them. Take a look at yourself before you criticize or have something to say about others.

It's funny how we so quickly see others faults and judge harshly, but either don't see our own shortcomings or ask others to excuse us like it's ok if we mess up and not them. We're actually usually guilty of the very faults that we try to accuse others of. That's why we recognize it so easily ... it's familiar to us.

We ALL need a heart change. And judging IS NOT going to change someone. If anything, it will cause them to withdraw and separate from the body of Christ even more. People feel bad enough as it is, they need love and support, that's what wins one out ... love.

The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

No matter what you've done, God still loves you and He's there for you even when you can't feel Him. We make things so difficult sometimes, just relax and let the Lord lead. Don't think that you have to do everything right, that you have to please God and everybody, to be loved and accepted. God loves you and accepts you JUST LIKE YOU ARE.

Mother Teresa once said, 'If you judge people, you have no time to love them.'

Keep loving on family members and friends. Treat each other with respect, the way that you would want to be treated. God is the repairer of the breach and will mend the relationships that we give to Him and entrust to Him.

Sweep off your own front porch FIRST .... before you try to sweep around others porch.

Father, help us to quit worrying about what people think. Help us to stop trying to please everybody else when YOU'RE the ONE that we need to please. Help us to just do the best we can. Forgive us for judging our brother instead of loving on them and walking beside them in their time of need. In Jesus’ name, amen.

see also: In Times of Weakness

Dec 12, 2012

God's at Work

God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power
to do what pleases Him. Philippians 2:13

The Lord knows our hearts and knows we want to please Him. That honors Him and He uses our 'want to' as a starting point to help set us free. 

(Jesus said) You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

We need to come to Jesus, and come often, to ask for help to be able to do His will, to do what's right, and to ask for the power and grace to be obedient despite our flesh waring against us. You're 'qualified' to come to your heavenly Father's throne of grace today because 'grace' means 'UNEARNED, UNDESERVED favor'.

Let us come BOLDLY to the throne of our gracious God. There we WILL receive mercy and we WILL find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

God WILL deliver you if you ... simply trust Him.

Father, give us the desire to want to do what’s right. Help us to want to please You. For whatever it is that we’re struggling with, forgive us of our sins and give us grace and mercy so that we may be obedient. Keep our hearts turned towards You. Help us not to beat ourselves up when we don’t meet the high expectations that we’ve set for ourselves. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Dec 11, 2012

You're Surrounded

The Lord your God is going with you.
He will fight for you against your enemies,
and He will give you victory.
Deuteronomy 20:4

Are you overwhelmed by the attacks of the enemy? Feel like you’re all alone? Feeling afraid?
We live in a fallen world. There's evil on every side. There's sickness, temptation and sorrow. Tragedy and loss sometimes strikes. Problems with personal relationships, economic difficulties, personal failures.  
What shall we do? The answer is found in faith.

God is greater than ANY circumstance or emergency we might find ourselves in. He won't be caught off guard by it. He is well able to help you overcome. Because if He's for you, NO ONE can be against you (Romans 8:31). NEVER run from your enemy. It only delays promotion. Know that when an enemy shows up - promotion is being offered.

Fear not that which tries to torment, for those that are with us, to protect us, are more than those that are against us, to destroy us - angels are unspeakably more numerous - God infinitely more powerful. When we are magnifying the causes of our fear we ought to possess ourselves with clear, and great, and high thoughts of God and the invisible world.


'Don't be afraid,' the
prophet answered.
'Those who are with us are
more than
those who are with them.'
2 Kings 6:16
Don't panic. Don't be afraid. Don’t look at the enemies that may be surrounding you, instead focus on Jesus and the help that is yours as a child of God. There's more going on than just what you see. Unseen by the physical senses, God is there to support, protect and encourage. Be unmoved.

God gives peace AND rest.

The Lord gave them peace and rest ALL AROUND, just as He had promised. Not one of their enemies opposed them - He placed all of them under their control. Joshua 21:44


Even seemingly surrounded and overwhelmed, there’s STILL more with us than be with them. Jesus is standing beside you -- you ARE NOT alone today. He’s ALWAYS with you.


God is greater than any enemy. Period.

Father, I pray that You help us to feel Your presence with us instead of fear when seemingly surrounded by the enemy. Give us protection on every side, build and be a protective fortress around us with Your presence. Open our spiritual eyes to see You and the angels of protection You have around us. I bind the attacks of the enemy trying to come against us and our loved ones and cast them to the pits of hell. Lord, give us peace and rest on EVERY side. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.
see also: 2 Kings 6:8-23
             Romans 8:31-38


Dec 10, 2012

Go Forward


We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Yep, I've made a lot of mistakes. Bad decisions. But I CHOOSE not to let guilt and condemnation win. I WILL go forward from here.

God can breathe life into that seemingly dead situation, trust Him for it.

Live forward and trust your Father for better days.

We learn courageous action by going forward despite fears that try to urge us back.

1) Be courageous.
2) Have faith.
3) Go forward.
Father, let what You've invested in me not be in vain. Use what I've been through, use what we've all been through, to somehow bring Your name glory. We pray for better days, help us to believe for them. Turn what the enemy meant for harm and use it for good. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Dec 8, 2012

Worrying Will Never Change the Outcome

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have over come the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:33

The battles rage within, and only You Lord God can quiten the restlessness, fears, anxieties, and questions.

The things we worry about, stress about and busy ourselves with are just distractions for the enemy to deter us from the Lord's cause to win souls and heal hearts.

Worry will not only NEVER change the outcome, it can cloud our mind so that it's hard to hear the Lord's voice and direction as He tries to help us with what we're facing.

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Hold on ... with bull dog faith.

And relax, God's taking care of it - - - don't you worry about a thing.

Prayer: Our hope lies in You Lord God, drive our hurts and fears away with Your presence and love. Help us to trust in You and look to You and not let the distractions of the world pull us away from You and Your will for us. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

see also: God Really Does Come Through