Troubled

Psalm 3:1-5

O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.”

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.

I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.”

In this text we read of a story of Absalom, David’s son who has rebelled against God and his own father to overthrow David on his throne in Jerusalem. Terrified as David was, David knew who to call in this troubled time. Even those of David’s closest friends would too forsake him and join the ranks of his son. Many thought that David was to far gone for God’s salvation but little do they know that the presence of trouble doesn’t prove the absence of God.

The presence of trouble doesn’t prove the absence of God.

God is the lifter of not only our heads but everything that involves life. He wants to lift our attitude, our hope, our hearts, our minds, our burdens, our feeble hands and most of all our burdens.

When you feel troubled, who do you call? Your spouse? Your pastor? Maybe a close friend? But remember who the lifter of our souls are and that is the Lord.

He is waiting for you, to call out to Him. He will always answer.

Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Who Shall Ascend?

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 

Psalm 24:3-5ESV

— We don’t approach God with good works so that no man can boast. 

We approach Him with clean hands (innocent: – blameless, clean, clear, innocent, free, guiltless)

We approach Him with a Pure heart

Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

In the Old Testament before the high priests were able to walk in the Holy place God required consecration. And He still requires it! A setting apart, lets face it, we are not of this World! We are to be salt and light to this generation.

This is living the Christian way; keeping a pure heart.

But thank God that through Jesus we are clothed in His Righteousness!

2 cor 5:21

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

How to Have Success

Many people strive for success, but are we striving in the right direction?

For some it’s all about selfish ambition, doing anything to reach the top, being the most famous, getting the most sales, having the fanciest car, having the biggest house in the subdivision, most followers on social media, etc. These are the ways of those who are striving in a different direction to get to the top. The challenges they face will be fought in their own power and will.

  • HOW TO HAVE SUCCESS

There is a God who knows our every need and wants to bless us. He sees our weaknesses and struggles and offers help everyday. Whether it be with our job, our family, our business. In Him there is no striving but resting in His Grace, knowing that whatever challenges you may face, He has already gone before you and by faith we will overcome.

In Joshua 1, God tells Joshua, who is now leading the people after Moses’ death, to “Be strong and courageous” and then He says ” Being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

God gives us two ways to have success

#1 – OBEDIENCE

Actions speak louder than words, are we who we say we are? Our obedience to God says all.

#2 – READ/MEDITATE ON THE WORD

The Word of God is our roadmap our instructions on how to live a life of success.

SEASONS OF adversity

When was the last time you had a season of adversity? Of hardship, of pain, of loss, of loneliness, the list goes on. What do you do in that particular season? It’s difficult for what I’m about to say but we need to not just go through them we are to grow through them.

2 Corinthians 12:10

10 “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

In our own lives we to go through seasons. Seasons of fear, loneliness, doubt, heartache, despair, pain, depression. ALL OF THESE ARE Seasons of hardships. In these times we want to hide and run from those problems. 

Here are just a few examples who had seasons of adversity:

Saul chased David for some time, David hid in caves where he wrote most of the Psalms. 

Moses who wandered in the wilderness forty years

Joseph who was sold in slavery

Ruth lost her husband

Nehemiah had to fight off naysayers

Daniel was thrown into a lions den

Paul who while in prison wrote most of the New Testament

Each of these had adversity, but had the choice to let fear and doubt and depression hinder them.

What season are you going through? If you’re on the mountain top soaring high, then awesome. But remember that it’s in the valley of adversity where vegetation grows and where the flowers bloom. There is no growth on top of the mountain but only find rocks and boulders there. On top of the mountain is no place to put down roots, that happens in the valley below. Don’t rush the season you are in child, learn to rest in Him.

SEASONS WILL COME AND GO BUT HIS LOVE FOR US WILL NEVER CHANGE, HIS PROVISION, HIS PROTECTION, HIS CHARACTER OF WHO HE IS WILL NEVER CHANGE. AND HE MEETS US RIGHT WHERE WE ARE AT.

Why is it that we have to go through those tough times in life? If we always experienced the good times we would never be able to know what it means to say “… For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Choosing freedom instead of religion

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

-Galatians 5:1

The Galatians began to forget the freedom they received when they accepted Christ. Paul is writing to them to challenge them to walk in freedom once again.

In the letters to the Galatians, Paul has to remind the people that circumcision is no longer needed. Jesus had introduced the new concept of Salvation by grace through faith alone. Paul was reminding them that there is no other replacement that would take place of salvation, other than faith in Jesus.

Prior to the arrival of Jesus, every Jewish man had to be circumcised as a symbol of the covenant between God and the people of Israel.


Much like today, some try to achieve good works and kind gestures of earning favor and approval and salvation from God but don’t be deceived. “It was for freedom Christ has set us free”. There is nothing more that we can do to earn more of God’s love or do less to not earn His love. His love was this, He sent His only Son to die a horrible death, “he was led like a lamb to the slaughter…” to bear our sins, past present and future, but He rose on the third day, declaring victory over death, Hell and the grave so that you and I could have eternal life. For this we must choose Him, everyday.

————–Question to ask ourselves

Are there any kind of religious ritual, rule or practice that you engage in as a means of earning approval or favor from God?

————–Reflect

Just as Paul was reminding the Galatians, that it is through a relationship that we have this freedom. Have you invited Jesus into your life?

Romans 10:9 “ If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

From the time that we were knitted in the womb (psalm 139:13-16) to when our life is over, God will have orchestrated every move, every challenge, every part that we had faced. But the most assuring part is that He has a plan for everyone. Not just for salvation (2 Peter 3:9) but He has given us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

He knows the plans for us, plans for welfare not of evil, to give us a future and a hope.

Solomon tells us that there is a time for everything. No matter what season that we are in, God has also given us provision for that time.

Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

WE ALL KNOW WHICH SEASONS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE IN. 

EVERYONE DESIRES TO BE IN THE GOOD AND COMFORTABLE SEASONS, PREFERRING LAUGHING TO MOURNING, LOVING TO HATING, GETTING TO LOSING; BUT WHATEVER SEASON GOD HAS PLACED US IN, WE MUST ALSO RESOLVE TO FAITHFULLY SERVE HIM THERE.

ARE YOU IN A SEASON OF FRUITFULNESS? A SEASON OF TRAGEDY OR GRIEF? KNOW THAT THE LORD IS WITH YOU TO GIVE YOU STRENGTH!

Growing in Christ Part 3 of All Things New Series

All Things New Series Part 3

God all made us for His Glory, we are His creation and He has made us with intricate intent. We may think at times and question God concerning the situation we are in. You may feel like you are at a dead end but God sometimes has to bring us to the end of ourselves for us to acknowledge the only One who can get us out of the mess that we have made ourselves to be at times. We were wired and designed to grow in Christ. But this World is constantly trying to persuade us to give, to grow not in God but in our passions, our own desires that are not of God.

Galatians 5:24 " Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" 

So what does it take to “Grow in Christ” Paul says it in Galatians 5:24 “Crucify the flesh” The only way that we can grow in Christ is when we are dead! Not physically speaking but to put off the flesh, Ephesians 4:22-24 says it better…

22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

To “put off our old self” meaning to not live that life anymore. 

To throw it out!

God is saying be Holy!

To be set apart from sin and evil.

The Road to Growth is Holiness

We have to make intentional choices in order to grow. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss without pain. If we are going to grow, you will have to change, and change means you let go of some old things and grab hold of some new things.

“Put off your old self”

24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

LET IT GO

> Old habits

>Old hurts

>Old patterns

>Old sins

Throw them off and trust that God is working in you because without holiness we are unable to see God. We are made holy through the finished work of Christ. 

Holiness has to be continuously followed, put on and lived out in our daily lives. It is a work of God in us through the Holy Spirit that enables us to demonstrate holiness outwardly.


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