Thursday, January 31, 2013

Righteousness, Peace, Joy

17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but
righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Here is a description of the Kingdom of God: righteousness and
peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness means everything being right.

God has given us the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17). That
means He has put us in right standing with Himself. He has said
that everything is right between us and Him. Sin no longer
separates us from God, because the precious blood of Jesus has
cleansed us and we are forgiven by God.

Because we have right standing with God (righteousness), we
have peace. There is no more struggle. God is not mad at us.
God is on our side.

Peace means more than the absence of conflict. Peace means
nothing broken and nothing missing. Peace includes the idea of
prosperity -- having everything needful in abundance with no

When you are right with God and have peace -- nothing missing
and nothing broken -- you will have joy.

You can look at this as a progression, righteousness produces
peace, and when you have righteousness and peace, joy will

God's Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. It is a kingdom of
love. It is a kingdom where everything is right. In it there is
no imperfection and no lack. It is a kingdom of peace. There is
never any conflict because there is no selfishness. It is a
kingdom of joy. Everyone rejoices because of the goodness of

God's kingdom includes everywhere God reigns. In the world
there is trouble (John 16:33). But by faith in Jesus, it can be
overcome (1 John 5:5).

SAY THIS: Because of God's gift of righteousness, I have peace
and joy as a member of His Kingdom.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Your Faith Will Be Tested

1 PETER 4:12 ESV
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it
comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were
happening to you.

Don't be surprised when your faith is tested! And don't be
afraid! Jesus -- who promised to never forsake you -- is still
there to help you.

The test of faith is the devil trying to steal your faith. The
devil wants you to believe something other than God's Word.

15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is
sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away
the word that is sown in them.

The devil wants to steal God's Word out of your life, to stop
your faith. So you have to hang on to your faith! You have to
say "NO!" to the devil!

Our enemy could never steal faith in God's Word away from us
unless at some point it seems like God's Word is wrong. This
will happen to you sometime! When it does, trust God and His
faithfulness more than you trust your present circumstances.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered
heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we

No matter what it seems like -- Jesus is faithful. He cannot
lie! Our problem is our limited perspective. We don't know the
future, but God does.

7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith -- more precious
than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire -- may be
found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation
of Jesus Christ.

Genuine faith is very precious to the Lord. When you overcome
tests you grow spiritually, which causes joy in Heaven, and
should encourage you to rejoice, too.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of
various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be
perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

LUKE 22:32 ESV
32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And
when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers."

SAY THIS: When my faith is tested, the Lord will help me pass
the test.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God Is Pleased With Faith

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder
of those who diligently seek Him.

Faith is often preached from the human perspective: believe God
and get your needs met. There's nothing wrong with that, but
it's a one-sided perspective.

So let's also try to look at faith from God's perspective.
Would you get any pleasure out of people who doubted you?
Surely God gets no pleasure out of people doubting His Word,

Does God deserve respect?


To doubt what someone says shows disrespect. While humans can
be wrong, God only speaks absolute truth.

Many people only think of acting on God's Word from their
perspective, without considering God's feelings. Their
motivation is completely self-centered, thinking only of what
it will profit them.

Let's decide not to act this way!

Do you desire to please God? If you don't desire to please God,
you don't know Him. God is so wonderful, so great, and so good,
that if you really know Him you cannot help but desire to
please Him.

But how can a human please God? How can we, in any way, operate
on God's level and impress Him? The Bible reveals that God is
pleased with our faith.

JOHN 6:28-29 NKJ
28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work
the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God,
that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Of course you cannot separate what you believe from your
actions, because you always act on what you really believe. To
illustrate, if someone told you the building you were in was on
fire, if you believe them you will act by leaving. If you do
not try to leave the building, then you do not really believe
what they said.

38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him."

Even if our walking by faith in God has not yet seemingly
produced many results -- is it not worthwhile to continue
simply in order to bring pleasure to God?

What higher accomplishment could a human have than to please

SAY THIS: I will walk by faith in God's Word -- because that
pleases God.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Life Lessons

Our life on earth is a learning process. We are in "school"
whether we realize it or not.

What are the main lessons we are supposed to learn in life?

* God is trustworthy.

8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in

2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised
before time began,

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

* Be loving.

14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."

1 JOHN 4:21 NKJ
21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God
must love his brother also.

1 JOHN 3:23 NKJ
23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the
name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave
us commandment.

* Be thankful.

18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus for you.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also
you were called in one body; and be thankful.

* Respect authority.

2 "Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment
with a promise:

1 PETER 2:17 NLT
17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and
sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.

7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and
government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and
honor to those who are in authority.

SAY THIS: Help me Lord to learn my lessons.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let Jesus Be Boss

36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made
this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

"Boss" is a modern meaning of the word "Lord."

Somebody has to be the boss. Somebody has to make the final

It's not a hard thing to let Jesus be your boss -- it's a
wonderful privilege.

Jesus knows more than you do. And Jesus loves you more than you
love yourself. So He desires the very best for you and knows
how to make it happen. Therefore letting Jesus call the shots
in your life is the smartest thing you could do.

Of course, if you choose, you can go your own way and do your
own thing. You can try to do the best you can on your own --
and see how it works out.

If you owned a large important company, who would you rather
run the company for you, a brilliant executive with a perfect
track record of running many other companies successfully, or
someone who has never run a company before?

You have control over something much more important than a
company -- your life. Who do you want to run it for you? Jesus,
with a perfect track record. Jesus, who knows more about the
future than you know about the past. Or, yourself?

Without the wise, loving, experienced, guidance of Jesus, you
will almost certainly crash in life.

Sure, you may get along fine for awhile. But, eventually, it
will all crash around you. Trust in yourself, and you will be
disappointed. Trust in God and obey Him, and you will not
regret it.

SAY THIS: Jesus, I choose You to be my boss.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

God Has Already Given

Most people are asking God to give them things that God says
already belong to them.

Many are still hoping God will forgive them. But Scripture
tells us God has already forgiven us, and He is no longer
holding our sins against us.

19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no
longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this
wonderful message of reconciliation.

Instead of begging God to forgive us, we should be thanking Him
for already forgiving us! And we should tell others they are
also forgiven!

Just as God has already forgiven us, He has also already
blessed us. He has given us every blessing.

3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through
Christ, God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that
heaven has to offer.

God HAS blessed us with everything Heaven has to offer.
Spiritual blessings are the reality behind all physical
blessings. They are what cause the physical manifestations.

God has already given. Now we need to learn how to receive His
blessings, and to keep the devil from stealing them from us and
our families.

Once we truly realize God has already given to us, we will rise
up and stop the enemy stealing from us.

Scripture says God already gave us all things when He gave us
Christ Jesus.

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for
us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all

WITH Jesus He freely gave us ALL things!

Can you imagine God saying, "I will give you my Son, but you
can't have ________." Ridiculous! With Jesus we were given
EVERYTHING God has. Every blessing.

God has not held back on us.

3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain
to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called
us by glory and virtue,

All things that pertain to life and godliness are ours through
the knowledge of Christ. Whatever pertains to you having a
full, satisfying, joy-filled life -- God has already given you.

Jesus is the heir of all things, and we are joint-heirs with
Him (Hebrews 1:2, Galatians 4:7, Romans 8:17).

God has given healing. God has given prosperity. God has given
peace. God has given joy. God has given us all the blessings
Heaven has.

We don't need to convince God to help us. We only need to learn
how to receive what God has already given to us.

SAY THIS: I should receive what God already paid for and
provided for me.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Always Be Thankful

18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is
God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Bad things happen in life sometimes. There are times we don't
understand what is happening or why. But we can always be
thankful for many things:

God loves us.

Jesus died for us.

Our sins our forgiven.

Jesus has promised to never leave us.

God is our Father and He is faithful.

We have an eternal home in Heaven.

What we choose to focus on determines our attitude. While we
may face problems, we don't have to let those problems become
our focus. We can choose to give thanks and praise God for His
goodness and faithfulness.

Imagine how discouraged that will make the devil feel!

Also, think of the pleasure it must bring our Father God when
we stay in faith and focus on Him, instead of being distracted
by the stuff the devil does trying to steal our faith.

If you are always thankful, the bad things that do happen to
you will lose their ability to really harm you. For God will
work in your life.

SAY THIS: I choose to always be thankful to God, no matter what

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rest A While

31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a
desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and
going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

One preacher paraphrased this verse by saying "come apart
before you come apart."

God is our Source, so resting should be a turning to God, not a
turning away from Him. It would be unwise to take a "vacation"
and ignore God.

Our bodies need rest, but our minds also need rest from the
constant barrage of bad news and entertainment the media tries
to sell us.

Many fill their days with noise. The news or some other
broadcast plays constantly in their background. But we need
times of quietness. We need time when we allow God to guide our
thinking, instead of the media.

We need to make room for the thoughts God desires to share with
us. We need times when we shut out all the other voices trying
to speak to us and focus on God.

Everyone wants your attention. Advertisers want to convince you
to buy their product. Broadcasters want your attention so they
can attract advertisers.

But God also wants your attention, not to get something from
you, but to provide you with His wisdom and guidance.

God wants to communicate with you. But when you surround
yourself constantly with other voices, you will miss some of
what God wants to say to you.

Prayer is a way for us to rest. It is a time when we can cast
our load on the Lord, refocus on Him, and quit carrying all the
responsibilities ourselves.

31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and
not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

The Bible also cautions against laziness, so resting should not
be our primary focus in life. But with today's hectic pace of
life, many are neglecting this part of God's instruction given
for our benefit.

Remember, God commanded the children of Israel to rest for one
day each week. Their Sabbath was not a day full of religious
activity either, but a true day of rest.

While we are not under Law requiring us to keep the Sabbath in
order to be right with God, it is still a principle we need to
practice. To be our best, humans need to rest!

Rest should be a time when you do something different than your
normal daily activity.

We cannot ignore God's instruction without it costing us. Many
today are broken in body and burned out needlessly. We must
learn to rest properly, so God can refresh us and strengthen us
in order to finish our course.

SAY THIS: I will obey God and rest in Jesus.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jesus Will Not Forsake You

8 "And the LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be
with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or
be dismayed."

Here is my favorite translation of Hebrews 13:5, done by a
professor of Greek, who indicated that to understand what the
verse says in the Greek, it would have to be translated like

5 Let your manner of life be without love of money, being
satisfied with your present circumstances. For He himself has
said, and the statement is on record, I will not, I will not
cease to sustain and uphold you. I will not, I will not, I will
not let you down.

God's promise is He will never leave us or forsake us. Yet we
may sometimes feel hopeless and helpless -- like we are facing
life all alone. What is the truth?

Regardless of the circumstances, or how you feel, remember that
God cannot lie. He is there to help you -- and He always will

Feelings are fickle. Just because you feel a certain way does
not make it the truth. Yet we are all tempted at times to put
our feelings above what God has said.

Of course the devil will tell you that God has forgotten you,
or that you have committed the unpardonable sin, or anything to
get you to doubt the Word of God, and give up on your faith.
The devil is a liar and deceiver, but God is true to His Word
and will never fail you.

You just need to cooperate with God so He can help you and
bless you as fully as He desires. The key to this is learning
the Word of God, so you will know how to cooperate and receive
from God.

God's track record is perfect. He has never failed anyone. And
He will never fail you.

SAY THIS: Jesus will never, never, never forsake me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Is Your Name?

GENESIS 32:27-28 NKJ
27 So He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob."
28 And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but

God asked Jacob to focus on who he was, on how he saw himself.
Then God told him that was going to change.

What is your identity?

How do you identify yourself?

Who do you consider yourself to be?

Do you identify yourself by your past experiences, or do you
identify yourself by what God -- your Creator -- says about

God created you. He knows what you can do. He knows what you
can be. He has a great plan for you, starting now, but
extending through all eternity.

God wants you to begin seeing yourself according to His plan
for you, in accordance with what He made you -- regardless of
how bad your past may have been.

If you are in the Jones family, you see yourself as a Jones. If
someone asks who you are, you will tell them your name which
includes Jones. You need to begin to see yourself now as a
person in the family of God. You will never be the supreme
ruler of the Universe, but you are in His family.

1 JOHN 3:2 NKJ
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been
revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is
revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

What does it mean to be children of God? Should it not cause us
to identify with Him? Should we not begin to see ourselves as
part of the winning team instead of thinking of ourselves as a

We ARE God's children! That is your new identity. Quit seeing
yourself as you used to be. Quit judging yourself by your past
shortcomings and failures. (I don't deny that we have all
failed -- but that is not God's plan for our future!)

17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden
manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the
stone a new name written which no one knows except him who
receives it."'

God has given you a new name -- a new identity! Believe it!

SAY THIS: My identity is with my new family, the family of God.
That makes me a winner, not a loser!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Be An Encourager

11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,
just as you are doing.
14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the
fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

People accomplish more if someone believes in them and
encourages them.

All of us can grow fainthearted without encouragement.

13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called
Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's

HEBREWS 10:24-25 NLT
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love
and good works.
25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people
do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of
his return is drawing near.

25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a
person up.

Just one encouraging word can make a big difference in
someone's life.

So encourage someone today!

19 It is better to live alone in the desert than with a crabby,
complaining wife.

Whether you are a husband, a wife, or a child, no one enjoys
being with a crabby, complaining person. But everyone loves to
be around someone who encourages them.

SAY THIS: I will aim to encourage others.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Your Marriage Is Your Ministry

33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and
let the wife see that she respects her husband.

God desires to bless your spouse through you!

Jesus has sent us out as members of His spiritual Body, to
minister to those around us. We are supposed to allow His love
to flow through us.

40 "The king will answer them, 'I can guarantee this truth:
Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter
how unimportant they seemed, you did for me.'

God loves your spouse -- enough to die for them. His desire is
to help them and bless them. They are not perfect. They need a
lot of help. That is why God sent you, as His representative,
to minister to them.

To minister means to serve. God put you where you are to serve
-- to be a blessing. It is a mistake to think of "Christian
ministry" only as being a pastor or missionary, etc. Any time a
Christian is serving (helping) people it is "Christian

Your ministry is not limited to your spouse, but it certainly
includes them.

Whatever other ministry God may entrust to you, if you are
married, God has trusted you with the ministry of being a
blessing to your spouse.

God has not left you to struggle in this ministry on your own.
He is with you, and in you, to work through you. God will help
you. But you must allow Him to do so.

Building up and encouraging your spouse will also be doing
yourself a favor. They will be more pleasant to live with when
they are blessed, loved, and encouraged.

SAY THIS: I accept responsibility to minister to my spouse, to
serve them by helping them in any way I can.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jesus Never Fails

13 The temptations in your life are no different from what
others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the
temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted,
he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

There have been times in my life when it looked like Jesus had
failed me, and I certainly felt like He failed me.

But I was wrong!

Jesus has never failed me.

I have failed Him many times. I deeply regret that. (Yet I
rejoice that He has forgiven me.)

I also regret the times I doubted the Lord and thought He was
failing me. Jesus does not deserve to be treated that way.

A lot of it happened when I was very immature spiritually. I
guess I expected the Lord to make my life a bed of roses with
never any challenges or difficulties. I thought I could do
whatever I wanted and God would always bless it.

Well, I had to grow up and realize that going my own way and
doing my own thing was not working very well.

Yet, through all of my immaturity, through all of my failures,
through all of my ignorance, Jesus always took care of me. I
always had my needs met. He always helped me and worked things
out for me, eventually. It just didn't always happen at the
time and in the way I thought it would.

Over time I have learned I don't know much. But Jesus does! He
knows everything. He knows the future, and I can trust Him,
because He loves me. And He loves you just as much as He loves

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

SAY THIS: Jesus Christ will never fail me!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Let The Joy Flow

10 Don't be sad because the joy you have in the LORD is your

As children of God we have joy in our spirit. But we must
choose to let it flow out into our minds, bodies, and

Joy is part of the provision God has given us so we can walk in
strength and victory. Not allowing joy to flow out of our
innermost being allows a weakness that can provide an opening
for the devil.

JOHN 17:13 GWN
13 "But now, Father, I'm coming back to you. I say these things
while I'm still in the world so that they will have the same
joy that I have.

Joy is part of the "fruit" produced by the Holy Spirit through
our human spirits.

22 But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

But we must choose to let the joy out. We must open our mouth
and release words of joy, thanking and praising God. We must
choose to let the joy flow!

But don't expect this to always be easy. It's when things seem
the worst that you need to act on this the most.

JOHN 15:11 NLT
11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with
my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Not only did Jesus tell us we should be filled with His joy,
but it should overflow -- like a river of life flowing from our
innermost being (John 7:38).

One way to keep our focus on the Lord is to rejoice in Him. As
children of God, we have joy and peace in our spirits. But our
minds may be blocking the flow by keeping our focus on
circumstances and our reasoning.

Sometimes it's good for us to just let loose and force
ourselves to really rejoice and praise God. Just go ahead and
make a fool of yourself praising God! God won't mind.

2 SAMUEL 6:14-16,21 NLT
14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing
a priestly garment.
15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of
the LORD with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams' horns.
16 But as the Ark of the LORD entered the City of David,
Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When
she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she was
filled with contempt for him.
21 David retorted to Michal, "I was dancing before the LORD,
who chose me above your father and all his family! He appointed
me as the leader of Israel, the people of the LORD, so I
celebrate before the LORD.

If it was not wrong for King David, it's not wrong for us! It's
okay to shout for joy and to jump for joy! Some people may not
appreciate it, but the Lord does, and it's good for us.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

To rejoice means to re-joy or to have joy again. In the Lord,
we can experience joy again and again and again!

Circumstances in your life may not be perfect, but you can
always rejoice in the Lord, because He is always perfect. God
is perfect in goodness and greatness and love! There is no
fault in Him!

SAY THIS: I will let God's joy flow out of my spirit by
rejoicing in the Lord.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Selfish Love

What many think of as love is really just a form of selfishness
-- not pure love.

It can be identified by thinking like this:
I love you because of the way you make me feel.
I love you because of what you do for me.
I love you because of how you make me look.
I love you because of what I can get from you.

True love is instead marked by thinking like this:
I love you because you are valuable and precious.
I love you because I want the best for you.

I am not saying that "selfish love" is evil, only that it is
not pure love. It is not the highest form of love. It is
immature, like a baby would love his mother. We are supposed to
grow past this kind of love to experience true, pure love --
which is completely unselfish. It seeks the best for the other
person, not because of what they can do for you, but because of
what you can do for them, because they are valuable and
precious to God.

JOHN 15:13 GWN
13 The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your

A human giving their life to the point of death has to be
completely unselfish. It cannot be motivated by any benefit
they would receive. So the more unselfish love is, the greater,
purer, and more mature it is.

8 Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This
demonstrates God's love for us.

SAY THIS: Lord help me to grow past selfish love to show others
pure love, just like You do.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Faithful God

13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot
deny who he is.

I have walked with God for over 40 years. I can tell you, from
experience, that God is faithful!

I have failed Him many times, but He has never failed me!

God has always taken care of me. He has stuck with me through
all kinds of things, always helping me. Even when I was not
trying to follow Him, I can see that He was protecting me and
helping me.

I have not been a perfect person. I have made many mistakes. I
have wasted a lot of time and money. I have done a lot of wrong
things. But God has never failed to be perfect!

Even now as I write this my eyes are filled with tears, because
of the astounding faithfulness of God!

To think that the perfect Almighty God would love me and care
for me so faithfully -- one so unworthy -- is beyond
comprehension. (I must add that the precious blood of Jesus has
made me -- and you -- worthy in God's sight, but it was nothing
we did to deserve God's love and grace. It was a pure gift!)

9 Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God.
He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand
generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love
him and obey his commands.

God is so good!

5 Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your
faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

The wonderful thing is that God loves you just as much as He
does me. Somehow He is big enough and capable enough to care
for all of us who trust in Him. He wants to be more than your
God, to also be your Friend and Helper -- your Heavenly Father.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

I beg you, for your own good, trust in Jesus Christ completely.
Turn your life over to Him. Believe His Word! Walk with Him. It
is the way of true abundant life!

SAY THIS: God is always and forever faithful!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You Are Not A Loser

1 JOHN 5:4 ETR
4 because everyone who is a child of God has the power to win
against the world.

If you have received Jesus Christ then you are a child of God
(John 1:12). The Bible says you are an overcomer -- a winner!

A big problem is that many Christians have a mistaken identity.
They don't understand who they really are because they have not
been told the full truth.

When you received Jesus Christ, more happened than just getting
your sins forgiven. You became a new person, a child of God (1
John 3:2). And not one of God's children are losers!

17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a
new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

If you are a Christian, then you are what God says you are. You
may not be acting like it yet, but whatever God says you are --
you are. For whatever God speaks comes to pass. If God were to
say you are a monkey -- you would become a monkey.

God has said many things about you. He says you are an
overcomer. That means you are a winner, not a loser.

1 JOHN 4:4 ESV
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for
he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

1 JOHN 5:5 ESV
5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who
believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Who can overcome whatever the world throws at us? WHOEVER
believes in Jesus! That includes you!

1 JOHN 5:4 ESV
4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our

What we believe is the key to overcoming. For truth, we must
get our beliefs from the Bible.

If you have received Jesus you are born of God and God is your
Father. You ARE a world overcomer. You are not a big mess-up.
You are not a loser.

That may have been your past, but now things have changed.
Clearly understanding who God has made you will change your
actions, and your future.

You are a victor -- an overcomer! With God on your side helping
you, you can overcome any obstacle or problem.

SAY THIS: God made me what I am: a winner not a loser!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Wages Of Sin

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sin will kill you. If you practice sin, it will pay you by
destroying you.

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it:
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"....

Jesus came to save, or deliver, those caught in the trap of
sin. He freely offers to all -- regardless of their sins -- the
gift of forgiveness and life. Not just living, or even living
forever. But the life of the Eternal One, life as God has it
and enjoys it. Real life. Life that changes you inwardly. Life
that will last. Life as God intended it to be.

23 For the wages paid by Sin are death; but God's free gift is
the Life of the Ages bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is not just because God hates sin, that sinners need to be
saved. It is because sin is a killer. Sin destroys. Sin hurts
people. God is against sin because He loves people. But God did
not stop at being against sin without giving us an answer -- a
way of escaping sin's clutches.

8 But God has made clear his love to us, in that, when we were
still sinners, Christ gave his life for us.

Jesus died for sinners because we needed help. We were trapped
in a very bad situation. Sin is deadly and destroys all that is
good. Sinners desperately need deliverance -- even if they
don't realize it.

Just because sinners don't realize they are in bondage does not
change reality. You could be driving at top speed down a
highway and not realize the bridge ahead had been destroyed,
but that would not change the outcome just because you didn't
know the bridge was out. To fully realize the ramifications of
sin, we need a bigger, more experienced viewpoint than the one
we have.

God realized our need and His great love compelled Him to offer
us a solution. That solution is found in accepting the Lord
Jesus Christ. Jesus is God's solution to mankind's sin problem.
Jesus is the Savior (Deliverer). Jesus is the One who sets us
free from both the penalty and the bondage of sin, and all its

No matter who you are, if you have a problem with sin, look to
Jesus for deliverance.

SAY THIS: Sin pays death, but Jesus gives life. I choose Jesus.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Whatever You Allow

18 I promise you that God in heaven will allow whatever you
allow on earth, but he will not allow anything you don't allow.

Many think whatever happens is God's will. But the Bible
reveals God's will and lets us know we have a part to play in
cooperating with God to see His will come to pass in our lives.

According to Jesus, God's will is that things be on earth as
they are in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).

God gave us a free will. We must choose God's will, for God
does not force it on us.

Sickness is not of God. There is no sickness in Heaven. Acts
10:38 reveals that sickness is an oppression of the devil. So
we should resist sickness.

Poverty is not of God. There is no lack in Heaven.

Selfishness, strife, unforgiveness, and hatred are not of God.
None of those are in Heaven. These are all things we should not
allow in our lives.

The devil cannot do anything in your life unless you allow it.
Scripture says that if you will resist the devil he will flee
from you.

7 ...submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1 PETER 5:8-9 NKJ
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks
about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith,....

Too many people resist only for a short time then quit
resisting. If something is not God's will then we should
maintain the attitude that it is not acceptable. If something
bad is in your life it is only because you allow it to remain.
You can decide to refuse and resist.

Whatever you will put up with is what you will have. But if you
decide something is unacceptable then it can change.

"But I tried to resist and it would not leave."

Resisting does not mean trying for awhile. Resisting evil
should never stop. Resist to death. Never quit. Never give up.
Never give in. Fight the good fight of faith until victory is

27 nor give place to the devil.

SAY THIS: I refuse to allow any of the works of the devil in my

Saturday, January 12, 2013

God Loves A Cheerful Giver

7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And
don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God
loves a person who gives cheerfully."

We all tend to like those similar to us. God is a giver, so it
is only natural for Him to especially appreciate people who are

16 "For God loved the world so much that he gave . . . .

17 Their trust should be in God, who richly gives . . . .

Cheerful givers are not the only people God loves -- God loves
the whole world. So the verse probably means God loves for
people to give cheerfully.

Let's think about what kind of a person is a cheerful giver.

It takes both faith and love to be a cheerful giver.

If you don't care for others, at best, you might occasionally
give reluctantly when it benefits you in some way. So cheerful
and continued giving is a sign of love and evidence you care
for others.

Faith is also necessary to be a giver. Without confidence that
you will have enough in the future, it is unlikely you will
give cheerfully.

Faith pleases God. God always encourages faith and tells people
not to fear.

God also loves to see people blessed. And according to God's
Word, the person who gives has blessings headed their
direction. For God says that if we give, it will be given unto
us again.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in
full -- pressed down, shaken together to make room for more,
running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give
will determine the amount you get back."

Because God desires abundance for us all, He is pleased when we
give because He knows giving is a key to receiving. It is the
law of God: in the measure we sow, we shall also reap.

Giving is love in action. Giving is proof of love. Love is not
something we can see. But we can see what love produces:

SAY THIS: Lord, please help me to be a cheerful giver.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Enjoy The Lord

4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the
desires of your heart.

You should enjoy the Lord -- not just serve Him out of

If you have a friend you enjoy being with, it is something you
look forward to, not a burden or obligation.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

God is the most unselfish being in the universe. His
instruction and concern is not for Himself, but for others. So
He does not try to get you to draw near to Him so He can feel
important, but for your benefit.

2 Worship the LORD with joy! Enter his presence with joyful

The reason you need to worship God is because you will be
blessed. I usually have a daily time when I shut out other
things and pray because I enjoy it and it benefits me. (It is
also true that God is worthy, but I do not do it for that
reason alone.)

God gave Himself to us so we could enjoy Him and choose to love

It is a mistake to view prayer as a legalistic obligation.
Prayer is a privilege. Time with God is a privilege. It should
never be looked at as a duty. We are not doing it for God's
sake, but for our sake.

Would you like it if your friend or spouse only spent time with
you as an obligation, instead of enjoying it?

God wants you to do right. God wants you to draw near to Him.
But He does not want you to do it because you were forced, but
because you chose to do so. This is why God gave us a New
Covenant, based not on law, but on His grace and our trust in

SAY THIS: I will enjoy the Lord for He is good!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


16 "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and
you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,

If there was no danger of believers being deceived, the Bible
would not warn us about deception.

8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many
will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has
drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them.

33 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man
sows, that he will also reap.

The devil is a deceiver. That is his only real weapon against a
believer in Jesus Christ: to deceive them, so they will not
accurately act on God's Word.

14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an
angel of light.

9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called
the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast
to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The thing to remember about deception is that the person being
deceived does not know it. No one who is being deceived
realizes it. Otherwise, by definition, they would not be

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving

This verse is very sobering. When we don't act on God's Word,
we open ourselves up to deception.

We should never be so proud as to think we could not be
deceived. Yet, as we walk closely with the Lord, depending on
Him, we need not fear. But we should live soberly, realizing we
need to love Truth and diligently press in for understanding of
God's Word.

SAY THIS: The only defense against deception is understanding
and acting on God's Word.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

When You Hurt, You Are Not Alone

5 . . . he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Jesus understands. He knows how it feels to be betrayed,
abandoned, hated. Jesus knows what it feels like to hurt.

He lived in a body just like you have. He was just as human as
you are.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been
tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Some people hurt so badly that they feel it might give them
some relief if others felt what they felt. Probably many people
hurt others in an unconscious attempt to at least have someone
understand the pain they are feeling.

But you are NEVER alone when you are feeling hurt. Jesus
promised He would NEVER leave you or forsake you. He is there
with you, and He understands. He is not there to condemn you,
but to help you as much as you will allow Him to help you.

Too often when people are hurt they mistakenly blame God
instead of realizing He did not cause their pain but is there
to help them and heal their hurt. Just like a good parent is
there to comfort and take care of their child, so God is with

Some might say, "If God really is with me, then why did this
bad thing happen to me in the first place?" or "If God is with
me, then why does He not just automatically fix everything and
make every bad thing go away?"

We may not know all the answers to those questions, but we know
there are answers. And we know that God loves us more than we
can even understand because He proved it at Calvary on the

So you can trust God. He loves you. He is with you now, and He
will be with you tomorrow.

SAY THIS: No matter what I face, I will never have to face it
alone, for Jesus is with me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

If God Loves Me...?

All of us have probably wondered, "If God loves me . . . then
why did this bad thing happen to me?"

But for this question to have any real meaning, we must assume
God controls everything -- every single detail of life.

To help you get the right perspective, consider this question,
"If my mother loves me, then why did this bad thing happen to
me?" If you are an adult not living under your mother's
control, you will instantly see the folly of such a question.

We don't believe our mother controls everything happening in
the world. We understand that other people are making

To determine whether our mother loves us, or not, we mainly
consider what she has done for us. We should do the same in
evaluating God. Has God done anything which demonstrates He
loves you?


16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have
eternal life.

Would a soldier on the battlefield ever say "If my parents love
me why am I being shot at?" No! The soldier realizes it is an
enemy trying to kill him. So it is with us. The devil is the
one who is shooting at us, trying to kill, steal, and destroy.

Everything good we enjoy in life is because of God. The devil,
and people motivated by the devil's ideas, have messed up a lot
of things. But God has never done us evil. God is not to blame!

ACTS 17:25 ESV
25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed
anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath
and everything.

Some teach that God controls every decision made by every
person. But anyone who stops to think about what they can do
should realize it is not true. To illustrate, right now you
could choose to rob someone, or even kill someone. You have the
freedom to do that. And if you did, it would not be God's
fault, it would be your fault.

Understanding this, you should be able to see that, just
because some bad thing happens in your life, does not offer any
real evidence that God does not love you.

Scripture does not teach that God controls every decision
people make. But it does teach that God will eventually make
everything right. So don't make the mistake of judging

1 JOHN 4:16 ESV
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has
for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him.

SAY THIS: God loves me regardless of what my circumstances may
be now.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Jesus Came To Save Sinners

15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it:
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" -- and I am
the worst of them all.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners: not to leave us as
sinners, but to deliver us from being sinners. (The word save
means to deliver.)

21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for
he will save his people from their sins."

Sin is our problem. Sin has been destroying us and we did not
even realize it. Jesus came to save us from our sins, not to
save us from God. God is not our problem -- sin is. God is our

JOHN 8:34,36 NLT
34 Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a
slave of sin.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

God's ways are good and benefit us. Rebelling against God and
choosing to sin (which is doing selfish acts that harm someone)
is always (eventually) harmful.

God's grace does not mean "just allowing us to do wrong without
any consequences." Grace is something freely given without
regard to whether we deserve it, but it should change us,
making us better than we were before.

God gives us the gift of righteousness and imparts His life
into us. God's life, when yielded to, gives us ability to walk
in light, life, and love. In other words, God's grace gives us
the ability and the desire to overcome sin and satan instead of
being imprisoned by them and forced to obey them.

The Old Covenant gave laws against sin, but did not change
people's hearts. With the New Covenant comes a new birth of the
inner person changing our desires. That enables us to be able
to walk free from sin's bondage, as we choose to live from our

Fortunately our Father is merciful and patient, so even when
you do sin, you are not rejected and thrown out. You can always
receive forgiveness and start over with a clean slate from God
(although natural consequences may still be there).

1 JOHN 1:9 NLT
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

God will never quit loving you. He loves you right now -- just
the way you are. But God loves you too much to leave you the
way you are. His plan is not to leave you in sin's bondage but
to make you free.

SAY THIS: Jesus is able to set me free from the bondage of sin.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Letters To Christians

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker
who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of

All of God's Word is truth, but we must rightly divide the
Bible, or we will be confused and misled.

ALL Scripture is written FOR us, but it is not all written TO
us, nor is it all ABOUT us.

Every verse in the Bible is a message of truth we can learn
from. But every verse is not specific directions for us. For
example, instructions to offer daily animal sacrifices show us
a truth of the need for a payment for sin, but those verses are
not written directly to us. After Jesus' final sacrifice we are
no longer instructed to offer daily animal sacrifices.

The whole Bible is the inspired Word of God, but only the
letters in the New Testament are specifically and directly
written to us.

While we can learn many things from reading a letter written to
someone else, reading one written directly to us is much more

The letters to Christians (epistle is another word for letter)
are found in the New Testament starting with Romans. Therefore
we should (and must if we are to be accurate), base the bulk of
our teachings on what we find in the Bible specifically written
to us, the New Testament Epistles.

The book of Acts is not a letter, but it is a history of the
beginning of the church as they began to understand and walk in
the New Covenant.

While the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are
included in the section of our Bibles we call the New
Testament, they actually record the life and ministry of Jesus
which took place under the Old Covenant with Israel. (For the
New Covenant could not start until the blood of Jesus was shed
for the remission of our sins.)

Now we live under a new and better covenant. This New Covenant
started at the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one
could be included in the New Covenant until after Jesus
finished His work and was raised from the dead.

The ministry of Jesus on earth, recorded in the Gospels, was to
the people of Israel. So much of what is said in the Four
Gospels is written to backslidden Jews under the Law who had
essentially rejected God.

Surely you realize that God would talk differently to His
family than to a group that has rejected Him.

We should rejoice in our New Covenant and all its blessings.
And while we can learn many things from the whole of the Bible,
our primary focus should be on the part written to us.

SAY THIS: Because I am in Christ, I am part of His body on
earth, the church. So the letters in the Bible written to the
church are written to me.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

You Are Born To Win

1 JOHN 5:4 NIV
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the
victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

God does not expect any of His children to be failures.

There is nothing wrong with failing. It's part of learning. No
child learns to walk without falling down multiple times. But
they do not stay down, they get back up.

No one is a failure until they accept and believe they are a

Growth is a process. We learn and then make adjustments. No one
is born mature.

So don't be discouraged by your present state. Don't give up
just because you have fallen over and over. Get up and go

You are a child of God if Jesus is your Lord, and God placed
within you everything you need to be a winner -- an overcomer.
As you trust in Him, and keep on keeping on, you can walk in

SAY THIS: Because of Jesus, I am born again to win!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Mustard Seed Faith

20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for
assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and
it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Unfortunately many modern English translations talk about faith
"the size of a mustard seed," but the Bible actually says that
God's kingdom and faith are "like a mustard seed," or "as a
mustard seed."

The size of a mustard seed is only one of its characteristics,
and not necessarily the most important one.

The mustard plant is a fast-growing annual herb, growing up to
10-12 feet tall in only a few months. It was the smallest seed
the Jewish people planted in their gardens, so it was called
the smallest of seeds. Yet it became the largest plant in their
gardens when it was grown.

The mustard seed is a striking example of the potential of a
seed. Although it starts out small and insignificant, it
quickly grows into something that blesses others.

Now let's consider some things about seeds other than how small
they are.

A seed does nothing until it is planted. Jesus seems to
indicate that our faith is planted by speaking. "If you have
faith as a mustard seed, you will say..."

So to have mustard seed faith, we have to say something. Saying
what God says in His Word is our best choice.

A seed can even push aside rocks or other obstacles, but it
does not do so instantaneously. A seed does not move hindrances
by an explosive burst, but by a relentless expansion of growth
continually pushing outward and upward.

As a seed becomes a plant, it continues to draw nutrients from
its source, and thus continues to grow bigger and stronger,
forcing hindrances out of its way.

No seed is ever affected by what other seeds do. Even if other
seeds die, it keeps on.

A seed is persistent, never giving up. Only death will stop it
from growing and working to produce fruit. This may be the most
important characteristic of a mustard seed: it never gives up!

SAY THIS: Let's have faith as a mustard seed! Jesus said we can.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Always Put God First

3 "You shall have no other gods before Me.

People can lose perspective and put other things before God,
such as wealth, success, pleasure, or even family.

But a wise person will always put God first.

6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you
and crown your efforts with success.

Why should you put God first in your life?

First, because God is worthy. He deserves first place. God is
perfect! (And nothing else is.)

Never forget that God knows more than you, and can do more than
you can.

Second, because it puts into motion God's law of sowing and
reaping in your life. God says He will honor those who honor
Him (1 Samuel 2:30). When you put God first you will be

2 "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake
you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

So it's in your best interest to put God first in every way you
can. Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Before you make a decision, look to God for direction.

Don't ask anyone else for advice before you ask God.

When you have a need, talk to God before you mention it to
anyone else.

When something good happens to you, let God be the first one
you talk to about it, offering Him thanks.

When you receive income, let giving to God come first before
anything else.

Before you eat, first thank God for the food. You don't need to
pray for all the missionaries, or even have to pray out loud.
Just look to your Source and thank Him before you eat.

When you wake up, talk to God before you talk to anyone else.
That doesn't mean you have to spend hours praying. It may just
be saying, "Good morning, Lord!" but always keep God first.

Every day before you listen to the world's news, go to the
Bible and listen to some of God's good news.

33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.

SAY THIS: God deserves first place in my life.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Rich Man's Problem

JOHN 21:16a NLT
16 Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love

Every one desires to be loved.

We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are. We all
want to be wanted.

Possibly the greatest human desire is to have a suitable
companion who thinks you are wonderful.

The rich man's problem is determining whether someone loves him
as a person, or whether they only pretend to love him in order
to receive the benefits he can provide.

I once knew a wealthy man who discovered in his wife's diary
her whole plan to deceive him into thinking she loved him, so
she could marry him just for the purpose of getting his money.
What a blow!

The rich man has a huge problem. How can he know that someone
loves him instead of his money? How can he be certain that he
is not just being used for what he can provide because of his
wealth and power?

God faces the same difficulty as the rich man.

If God were to openly reveal Himself in all His power, riches,
and splendor -- the owner of the entire universe -- how could
anyone resist?

Yet, by hiding or concealing Himself, even to the point that
some people think God does not even exist, God is able to
determine who really wants to know Him -- not just for what
they can get out of it, but because they love Him.

Yes, God is our provider and source. Without Him we can do
nothing, and we would have nothing. But, on some level, God
desires to be pursued and loved for who He is, not just what He
does for us.

23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true
worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the
Father is seeking such people to worship him.

God is on a mission to redeem the world and make everything
right. But He is also on a hunt for those who love Him. For
those who will worship Him in truth. Worship has to do with our
idea of someone's worth -- how valuable we think they are. It
can be thought of as worth-ship.

JOHN 14:23 ESV
23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my
word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and
make our home with him.

SAY THIS: I think God is wonderful (as well as great)!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Bad News

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things
are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy --
meditate on these things.

The devil wants us to feed on bad news. God wants us to feed on
good news. Which will you choose?

Bad news promotes fear. Good news promotes faith.

We live in a society addicted to news. What we get is mostly
entertainment packaged as news, designed mostly to keep you
watching, not to actually inform you of truth. Through it the
world offers its views designed to manipulate your thinking and

Our news program's most glaring fault is that they leave God
out. God is at work around the world. But when do you ever see
a report on the good things God is doing?

Commercial news programs, of necessity, focus on sensational
and bad news items, simply to keep people's attention, so they
can sell products through advertising, and stay in business.

What is the result of feeding in all this bad news? Does it
make you feel better? Does it encourage you? Does it make you a
better person?

As a citizen you do have a responsibility to be informed on
some issues. But most people can do so without spending
significant amounts of time each day.

Many people spend hours each day listening to the "news" yet
find no time to read the Bible, or listen to teaching that will
build their faith and improve their life.

We are in a fight of faith. The devil is out to diminish, or
even steal our faith in God. How smart is it for a Christian
believer to spend time allowing the enemy to fill their ears,
eyes, and thoughts?

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to
which you were also called and have confessed the good
confession in the presence of many witnesses.

SAY THIS: I will invest my time in God's good news.