Seek First

 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

 

How many times have we ‘needed’ something but found out later on that we didn’t ‘need’ what we thought we needed. Or better yet a relationship that you knew wouldn’t work out but you tried anyways for the excitement? Or bought a car that you couldn’t afford. Every time we decide to do something on our own such as big decisions like above; we take our plans out of His hands and try to work out our own miracles. Everything in the natural happens in the supernatural.

In the back of your mind your thinking, “why haven’t I got promoted”, “why am I not married yet”. The “why am I’s” are endless. What we think sometimes as a setback is actually going to turn out to be a setup from God. So don’t be anxious for what tomorrow brings, and in all things pray!

 

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Wake Up and Get Up


Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

(Acts 12:6-9 ESV)

 

Peter wasn’t being effective being bound in chains and neither can we. I’m not talking about being locked up in a prison but we sometimes can put ourselves in a prison in our mind. If we are bound by our own emotions, fears, doubt, past failures, etc. we get lazy we want to be passive and just take a rest. The Gospel is to be preached not to be hidden. Let go! Let God walk into that prison of yours and break free and be the light that He has called us to be.

 

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Make His Paths Straight

In the beginning of the book of John we read that “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” – John 1:6-9

If you want God to use you, you must make yourself available for Him to use you. Without Him we have no power in ourselves to speak to lives and for them to be changed. It must be backed with the Holy Spirit. Just as there was a man sent from God. We to, female and male are called to make straight the way of the Lord! To be bear witness of the light and to make His name known by our actions and words.

 

Relationship Application

People need to hear about God more than ever during this time we live in. Even though it may look like a losing battle to win souls keep pressing on, the lives that you have come into contact with by planting that seed and nurturing it by your actions and fruits of the Spirit, God will then do the rest! Don’t beat up on yourself. I too have been praying that lost loved ones would come to Christ. Their just one seed away!

Discussions/Questions

Boldness – it’s what John had and lots of it. It can’t be fabricated, it’s a God given attribute of His Spirit “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

Pray for BOLDNESS

Challenge

From reading, i’m sure you have already challenged yourself but if not I will.

  1. Pray for boldness
  2. Act in boldness
  3. Live in boldness

 

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The Crossing

the crossing

Gods promises are sure, always faithful, never failing.

Do you have an impossible situation?

I don’t know about you but I prejudge a lot of things from small things to big things. I put to much thought sometimes before I do something. We tend to look at situations in the flesh more than the spiritual, I do at least. When God was preparing His people to cross the Jordan River, the people was told to prepare themselves. I believe if we spend enough time in prayer we won’t be surprised when those trials come, we learn the heart of God and the meaning behind the unseen circumstances, not fully but by faith. 

Let’s imagine ourselves at that time. The Jordan River how big it was and not just that but scripture tells us that the river overflowed its banks. As the children of Israel was preparing to cross the Jordan, they must’ve been afraid. Not ever in the history has the river been flooded, Why? How could this have been? God was about to show just how powerful He could be during this time. 

“Then Joshua rose early in the morning and they set out from Shittim. And they came to the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.

I want to stop and add this. Before we have victory over a situation, I believe God sometimes will set a time of rest before we receive the victory. They were there three days before they passed over. Not always will He do this. During this time, God will take the brokeness and mend our hearts, during this time He will speak to us more than ever, if we just listen.

At the end of three days the officers went through the camp. And commanded the people “As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

” And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” – Joshua 4:17

Relationship Application

God has went before us, He knows our lives better than we know ourselves, He knows our thoughts and motives, He knows our desires. One thing we can’t let ourselves do is letting our emotions, our fleshly desire to take control over our lives. If the Bible makes it clear that being controlled by the spirit is so vital, what prevents so many of us from fully surrendering ourselves to the Holy Spirit?

Discussions/Questions

Are there any “jordan rivers” in your life?

Is their an area in your life that you are doubting God?

Challenge:

I challenge you to fully surrender to God this day and this week. We can become so passive minded to the “little” things in our lives but God is just as mindful of those than the big issues in your life. Tell Him whats on your heart, how you feel about the situation and I promise you that His Holy Spirit will guide you as you lean on Him.

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Good Enough?

GOOD ENOUGH

“To know God is to walk with God, not by religious pursuits.”

At the time the Holy Spirit had spoke this to me, I didn’t have any scripture to emphasis on what He had just spoke to me about. On the next day in prayer this morning He had led me to Matthew 19 when the young ruler came to Jesus and said to Him “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I have eternal life?

Let’s go deeper on that one verse. “What good thing shall I do that I have eternal life?”

Many people are trying to live a good life, by doing good works rather than live a faithful life to Christ. Always looking for ways to better themselves with works than to live a holy life before God. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:8 “For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

Religion is what the Pharisees were practicing rather than righteousness.

In Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

There is only one way in which one can be saved, no other way than to call upon the Lord.

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.”
Congratulations! If that was your first time saying that prayer and believing in your heart you have an awesome life ahead of you! Though it may get hard at times, God is faithful and there is nothing to hard for Him. Get to know Him by getting in the Word and having a steady prayer life. You’ll begin to know the Will that He has for your life. Any other questions, feel free to message me or visit my “Know God” page.  

A “try harder to get better” mindset has little to do with real transformation. We don’t need a new set of tips-and-techniques that promises to lead us to a deeper life with Jesus. But we can learn to nudge our life in ways that intentionally draw us more deeply into relationship with Jesus. The simple focus of our life habits shifts from working harder to be a “better Christian” or becoming a “good person,” to knowing Jesus more intimately. And by knowing him much better, we eventually know ourselves much better, that’s what this “progression” reveals: “Get to know Jesus well, because the more you know Him, the more you’ll love him, and the more you love Him, the more you’ll want to follow Him, and the more you follow Him, the more you’ll become like Him, and the more you become like Him, the more you become yourself.”

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What Is Your Source?

The thought of losing my job, my bank account being drained, losing all my friends, my car, my business;  These are all gifts from God that are not promised for tomorrow. Our health can be compromised, a relationship can end and we are left empty. Why? How? They were broken cisterns that could hold no water. Sometimes I believe we can turn our blessings into a curse. 

God tells Jeremiah 2:13 ” For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that could hold no water.”

Let us not forget that our main source, the One true well is not our personal belongings or our own achievements but staying near the well which is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus promises to satisfy our thirst. Are we focusing on Him as the priority relationship in our life? Or have we turned to someone or something else for your satisfaction? 

Living With Intentions

In the book of Habakkuk, which is a book that everyone skips because there are only 3 chapters it can be easily missed. We see Habakkuk’s heart and the complaining that Habakkuk is portraying to God. Habakkuk is seeing all this evil and corruption and is asking God “how much longer are you going to let this go on?”

We will never know God in our lifetime. We can know his attributes of His character, such as His love, grace, mercy, etc. But while us humans are finite (with limits and boundaries) God is infinite (without limitations or boundaries) we can only have faith in Him. But as we read the chapter of Habakkuk, he is having a hard time trusting in God, we see the heart that Habakkuk has. With his intentions we begin to see the true character play out before us. Habakkuk was starting to doubt God.

Every Christian has questions that they are waiting to be answered by God. Will we have those questions answered in our lifetime? Maybe, Maybe not. But does that mean we should give up and walk away, like a child who doesn’t get their way we should have a pity party? If we live a life on intention that is fueled by the Holy Spirit we won’t have those moments where we want to give up. If we begin to set time apart from our own little crazy world and let down our guard for the Holy Spirit to work in every detail of our attitudes, motives, and of course our intentions we will begin to think more clearly and deeply, thus resulting in a strengthened, changed relationship with our Father.

I have a heart for the lost, I cannot empower others, tell others, live a life that shows the character of God if myself is not empowered by the Holy Spirit. If I were not living with intentions it would be impossible. My prayer lately has been “let me have more of you Lord!” As I begin to pray that God answers back with “Let Me have more of you.” As John writes in the third chapter “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

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RELATIONSHIP APPLICATION:

God speaks to us is many ways, through prayer, a Word of knowledge, or just by reading His Word. Just as Jesus was in Capernaum, He had to have some alone time with His Father. While everyone was brought to Him to be healed, He needed to be strengthened. We need not to neglect the one thing. Intimacy.

DISCUSSIONS/QUESTIONS:

The result of living with intentions fueled through spiritual intimacy will change your world and the world around others. It will bring you to new levels of intimacy as you are fueled by the Holy Spirit. And ask yourself

Am I living a life of intentions fueled by the Holy Spirit?

CHALLENGE:

I challenge you to start taking time out of your hectic schedule to get away with God, if its only for an hour.

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A Dedicated Life

When I think of the word worship, I instantly think of me praising God in a service or me being in my prayer time. But it’s not just that. Romans 12:1 explains ” I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

As we walk in His ways everyday by staying humble, obedient and doing His will, that is also a part of our worship to Him.
The apostle Paul has just spent the first eleven chapters of Romans establishing Jesus Christ as the sole basis for our salvation and grace as the means by which every believer lives. In response to such great mercy, Paul writes that the most logical response is worship. He’s not talking about singing songs; he’s talking about the dedication of our entire beings to God’s service.
From this verse, I began a habit of mentally going through a process of offering myself to God. It goes something like this:

God, today I dedicate my mind to you. I want to think on things that are good, right, pure, and excellent. I want to take captive any thoughts that aren’t from you. I want to remember your past faithfulness when I am tempted to doubt.
Today, I dedicate my eyes to you. I want to see others the way you see them. I want to view my circumstances through the lens of hope and faith. I want to look at life as one who is confident that you are with me.
Today, I dedicate my ears to you. I want to hear your voice above all the others clamoring for my attention. I want to listen to you and to honor others by listening well to them.

Today, I dedicate my mouth to you. I want my words to be life-giving. I want to speak honestly and sincerely. I want to think before I speak. I want to let others have the last word.

Today, I dedicate my heart to you. I want my heart to be pure and undivided. I want to master my emotions, not serve them. I want my dreams and desires to please you.

Today, I dedicate my hands to you. I want to work hard at whatever I put my hands to. I want to touch others in love and goodwill. I want my hands to be open for whatever you want to give me and willing to release anything you want me to surrender.

Today, I dedicate my feet to you. I want to go wherever you send me. I want to walk toward the messes, not run from them. I want to stand firmly upon the truth and not stumble.

The most important relationship I have deserves my greatest expression of worship: a dedicated life.

this blog was from a post on Youversion called STAY FIT: Strengthening Your Connection To Jesus a 30 day devotional and this topic was wrote by Elaine Scott @Brownsbridgechurch

Walking Past the Distractions

Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Distractions are obviously from the devil. Anything he can do to pull, wedge, or separate you from God he will try. I have learned to cut out some things that I used to do in order not to be distracted. For an example, I own a small business and for months I was so wrapped up in it. Trying to figure out ways to make more sales and so forth, I was doing my monthly reports from the previous month instead of choosing one day to do it all. Now I have one day to catch up on everything related to the business. I don’t have to worry about how to make more sales, I’m trusting in God to provide for me instead of leaning on my ability, I lean on Him. But I thought I was really doing some good. And then one day I realized my study time and prayer life had diminished quite a bit. Thats when I had to take the Mary approach. 
CHALLENGE:

I challenge you this week to ask God everyday to start showing what distracts you. And when He does, simply surrender that task and have Him to help you surrender it daily.
RELATIONSHIP APPLICATION:

God wants to be your everything but with distractions we may be hurting oursleves by not hearing the Holy Spirit, being pulled back from pursuing God because this certaing task you think couldn’t wait. Time spent with God is time that is never wasted.
DISCUSSION/QUESTIONS

Do you have a Martha or Mary approach?

Do you have an excuse to have a certain distraction?

WISDOM

  I believe a prayer that God will always answer is a prayer to receive wisdom in your life. Just as a father would want his child to walk in wisdom. so does our heavenly father. 

When I think of wisdom, I think of King Solomon. The wisest man that has ever lived none other than Jesus. Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs.
I pray everyday for more of God’s wisdom. But lately I had been praying and asking God in a more urgent manner to give me more of His wisdom in my walk with Him. As I was out driving one day the Lord just spoke to me and said ” I am going to give you wisdom” and the third chapter of Proverbs 3:3:14 flashed in my mind. “For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Wisdom is priceless. It can only be obtained through God by having a holy relevance, a fear of God. 
God will not give this priceless gift to His child without Him first “breaking” you. What do I mean? I mean this, Iv’e had a particular area in my life that I was not obedient to God. I spent many sleepless nights and tear shed moments lamenting over the “pet sin.” But one day I completely surrendered it and started leaning on Him instead of my understanding. That’s when God started to show me wisdom. I always have this verse come to my mind when I think about what God has brought me out of. “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” – Isaiah 66:9 
What is God bringing into your life? Are you ready for it? In what area do you need wisdom? I believe a prayer that God will always answer is a prayer to receive wisdom in your life. Just as a father would want his child to walk in wisdom. so does our heavenly father. 
When I think of wisdom, I think of King Solomon. The wisest man that has ever lived none other than Jesus. Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs.
I pray everyday for more of God’s wisdom. But lately I had been praying and asking God in a more urgent manner to give me more of His wisdom in my walk with Him. As I was out driving one day the Lord just spoke to me and said ” I am going to give you wisdom” and the third chapter of Proverbs 3:3:14 flashed in my mind. “For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Wisdom is priceless. It can only be obtained through God by having a holy relevance, a fear of God. 
God will not give this priceless gift to His child without Him first “breaking” you. What do I mean? I mean this, Iv’e had a particular area in my life that I was not obedient to God. I spent many sleepless nights and tear shed moments lamenting over the “pet sin.” But one day I completely surrendered it and started leaning on Him instead of my understanding. That’s when God started to show me wisdom. I always have this verse come to my mind when I think about what God has brought me out of. “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” – Isaiah 66:9 
What is God bringing into your life? Are you ready for it? In what area do you need wisdom? 

I believe a prayer that God will always answer is a prayer to receive wisdom in your life. Just as a father would want his child to walk in wisdom. so does our heavenly father. 
When I think of wisdom, I think of King Solomon. The wisest man that has ever lived none other than Jesus. Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs.
I pray everyday for more of God’s wisdom. But lately I had been praying and asking God in a more urgent manner to give me more of His wisdom in my walk with Him. As I was out driving one day the Lord just spoke to me and said ” I am going to give you wisdom” and the third chapter of Proverbs 3:3:14 flashed in my mind. “For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Wisdom is priceless. It can only be obtained through God by having a holy relevance, a fear of God. 
God will not give this priceless gift to His child without Him first “breaking” you. What do I mean? I mean this, Iv’e had a particular area in my life that I was not obedient to God. I spent many sleepless nights and tear shed moments lamenting over the “pet sin.” But one day I completely surrendered it and started leaning on Him instead of my understanding. That’s when God started to show me wisdom. I always have this verse come to my mind when I think about what God has brought me out of. “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord.” – Isaiah 66:9 
What is God bringing into your life? Are you ready for it? In what area do you need wisdom? 

Consumed.

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I love this time of the year! watching the leaves change colors, and most of all are the bon fires that I like going to. With evenings dropping down to the mid 50’s it feels good to stay close to a fire. I stayed near the fire as much as I could at the church bon fire, I felt warm and safe. But once everyone started leaving I had to make myself walk away.

God in a way has the characteristics of a fire. If we stay near to Him, we are protected, we feel safe in knowing that His Word never fails, and His Spirit guides us and leads us with discernment. He is able to work on us more since we are near to Him, He consumes us down to the core. As the Psalm of 51:10 describes “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 

But when we don’t pursue going closer to the fire, complacency creeps in and before you know it we start backing up and not realizing the numbness of the cold. We forget that His strength will sustain us through it all.

GFJ

He is Able

If I were to challenge you to get in the Word and write down every miracle, every time that God done something supernatural and i’ll tell you about a God that still performs those miracles to this day. Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man, when He raised the dead He still does, when He calms the storms He still does. When all of your life has changed so much He hasn’t, why? God never changes. And because He is a never changing God, He is able to perform those same miracles in your life.

“For I am the LORD, I change not” – Malachi 3:6

Even though we may change. As the years pass by we will face some hard times. Some mountains, but yet we will survive, we will endure. We will flourish and we will look back and see all that God has done for us. All that He asks is that we abide in His word. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” – John 15:7,8

If we abide in His word and not move with every passing wind and we hold onto the Rock which is Jesus Christ and believe that what we ask in His name it shall be done!

I believe why we don’t see God perform as much as those same miracles is that we don’t let Him, we try and put God in a box. We become content at the place where we are at in God. Even though His spirit is bidding us to come closer, we stay back from the fire, we have lost that burning passion that we once had. But God is able.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”
Ephesians 3:20

As Paul came to this great height (what can there be higher than the fullness of God?), it is logical to ask how this can ever be. How can something so far above us ever become reality? It can only happen because God is able to do far beyond what we ask or think.

Do you have a need that God has not met you with yet? Don’t have doubts, keep trusting! If it is His will for you to have in your life, God will deliver!

GFJ

Feeling Empty?

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Are you longing for something more in life but just can’t put a finger on it? It’s a empty feeling like a missing piece that you don’t have. Maybe you’ve tried other things like alcohol, sex, drugs or anything that made you feel a “high” that lasted for a short time. But it’s getting worse, you keep wanting more but you feel the same, empty. 

I know of a remedy. I know someone who can take residence. Filling in that emptiness in your life. You’ve been trying things trying to imitate the feeling of peace in your life. But truthfully, the only “thing” is not a “thing”. It’s a person who loves you so much he displayed it on a cross so you could have freedom from those “things” and experience a peace that I cannot explain. Am I talking about religion? Not at all. His name is Jesus and He longs to be in a relationship with you! Only He can fill that void. If this emptiness is leading you to questions look no further. He is the answer! 

The Finish Line

the finish line

Can you finish a race by only running half way? I’m afraid not.

What about running without endurance? Nope.

Neither can you live a Christian life and not give all to Jesus.

It was a night that I had prayed for bondage’s to be broken in the church, you know those “pet sins” that we tend to keep a hold of, I know it’s not a prayer that most people pray but that night God had put that on my heart. I prayed and sought the face of God that evening. Later when I was in bed about to fall asleep. The Lord spoke and said,“Many of my people are only going half way in their walk with me. They’ve forgotten what I have done for them and turning to other gods. But those who choose to seek Me shall find their strength in Me.”

In a race we have two options. Run with perseverance or just jog. There is no in-between and living for Jesus there is no in- between.

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Rev. 3:16

It’s impossible to finish a race half way, we’ve got to run and not get weary.

“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” – Gal 5:7

The number 1 tactic that the enemy uses is distractions. There everywhere! You always have something else to do when your doing a work for the Lord. Whether its Bible study or picking your kids up from a game. There is always going to be something that catches our attention.

I used to get so distracted by doing unnecessary jobs that I thought were important. Now I look back and think to myself “why?” The enemy is a master at creating distractions around your environment.

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Are you not running the race well? Something hindering your walk? Maybe it’s the hurdles that keep you from running with endurance. Don’t lose hope! When your struggling, submit to God by asking for His help.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Cor. 12:9

GFJ