Friday, February 28, 2014

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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Who Will Govern?

7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule
with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of
Heaven's Armies will make this happen!

This is the question we must face, both as individuals and as
nations. Who, or what, will be our "king?" Who will be our
"supreme court?" (By "supreme court" I do not mean a group of
people who meet in a building, but the final authority that we
base our ideas, principles, and actions upon.)

We have a choice. We can choose Jesus Christ and His Kingdom of
Love, Light, and Life. Or we can choose selfishness and
darkness and death.

Whenever we reject Jesus and His Word from ruling over us,
whether as individuals or as a nation, we choose darkness.

I do not advocate any religious control over government. What
we need instead is people in government who know the truth and
will speak and act in truth and not out of self interest. We
need people in secular government who are submitted to Jesus as
their Lord and are willing to live and govern with His love for
mankind, instead of acting in self interest.

10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.

SAY THIS: Jesus, and those who have died with Him to self
interest, are qualified, and should be selected to govern.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

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.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

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.

Friday, February 21, 2014

God Does Not Play Favorites

11 God does not play favorites.

God does not show favoritism. Several other translations say
"there is no partiality with God."

God does not practice discrimination with people, favoring one
above another. All of us have equal opportunity to receive
God's help and blessing. God loves everyone, but allows us to
choose whether to seek Him, or not.

Six times the Bible tells us that God does not show partiality
or favoritism.

7 Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God
does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking
of bribes."

ACTS 10:34 NLT
34 Then Peter replied, "I see very clearly that God shows no

11 For God does not show favoritism.

9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten
them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he
has no favorites.

25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the
wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

1 PETER 1:17 NLT
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has
no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you
do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time
as "foreigners in the land."

God does not favor one person over another. Everyone has an
equal opportunity to receive God's blessing. No one is
excluded. The choice is ours. What God has done for others, He
will also do for you.

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is
the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes -- the
Jew first and also the Gentile.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let anyone who hears
this say, "Come." Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone
who desires drink freely from the water of life.

SAY THIS: God loves me just as much as He loves anyone.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Happy God

11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which
was committed to my trust.

I knew that one meaning of "blessed" was happy. The Greek word
is "makarios" (Strong's #3107) and 5 times the KJV translates
it as "happy."

But I had never thought about how this word is used in First
Timothy 1:11 to describe God.

A few translations even call Him "the Happy God."

(Concordant Literal Version) in accord with the evangel of the
glory of the happy God, with which I was entrusted."

(Rotherham) According to the glad-message of the glory of the
happy God, with which entrusted am, I.

I had usually thought of God being serious and somber, not
being happy and laughing.

After all, there are a lot of problems in the world. It seemed
reasonable for a God who knows every problem -- even when a
sparrow falls, or a hair is lost from a head -- to be quite

So I have not pictured God as someone who would have much joy
or laugh much.

Certainly God is not uncaring, or not touched by our problems.
Yet it seems that He walks in faith and rejoices because He
knows He will eventually solve every problem and make
everything right. Therefore He is not burdened down with
sadness and woe, but instead is able to laugh and rejoice.

I don't think God would tell us to do what He does not do
Himself. And Scripture repeatedly tells us to rejoice.

Romans 14:17 says God's Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and
joy. For joy to describe God's Kingdom, it must be a happy

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is
fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

If there is fullness of joy in God's presence, it must be a
happy place. If being in God's presence is a happy place, then
He must be a happy God.

We are His people and we are to become more and more like Him.
It is God's plan that we be conformed to the exact image of
Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). So we should become more happy as
we grow spiritually. God's people should be happy people!

Circumstances will not always be favorable. But we can walk by
faith and laugh and rejoice with God, knowing He is working
things out.

We do find a glimpse of the Happy God in the Psalms where three
times it mentions Him laughing.

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold
them in derision.

13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.

8 But You, O LORD, shall laugh at them; You shall have all the
nations in derision.

17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with
His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Zephaniah tells us God rejoices over His people with joy and
gladness, even rejoicing with singing!

SAY THIS: I serve a happy God so I should be a happy person.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

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.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

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!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

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.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

God Allows What 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 translations use the words "bind" and "loose" in this
verse. Binding and loosing is a Hebrew idiom for exercising
authority. It means to prohibit and permit.)

When God created mankind He gave us authority to rule on earth.

26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to
Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the
earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

That means we have the right and the responsibility to make

Our choices are expressed through the words we speak. So
through our words we express our will and exercise our

It is important to understand that God has given us choices. We
MUST choose.

19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you,
that I have set before you life and death, blessing and
cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your
descendants may live;

So instead of blaming God for our situations, we should wake up
and realize God has given us a part to play. We cannot just sit
around and expect God to do what He has told us to do.

For example, the New Testament tells us we are to resist the
devil (James 4:7). So if the devil has any place in our life
the fault is ours -- not Gods. Remember that whatever steals,
kills, or destroys is from the devil, not God (John 10:10). So
you have authority to resist anything and everything that would
try to steal, kill, or destroy what is yours. That also means
you have the responsibility to do so.

You must speak to storms, just as Jesus did. If you don't speak
to the storms of life, then don't blame God when they wreck
your life.

SAY THIS: I will not allow the devil to take what belongs to

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

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 written in the Four
Gospels was said 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.

Monday, February 10, 2014

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!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

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.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

What Is Bible Meditation?

8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but
you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.

The Hebrew word (hagah) translated as "meditate" in the above
verse is translated in the KJV by many words, including
meditate, speak, imagine, study, mutter, utter, roaring, and

Here are some verses where hagah is translated as speak. It is
obviously not just an inner thought, because lips, tongue, and
mouth are the subject of hagah in these verses.

JOB 27:4 KJV
4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter

28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy
praise all the day long.

7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an
abomination to my lips.

Isaiah has an interesting verse where hagah is translated as

4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and
the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of
shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of
their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall
the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for
the hill thereof.

This verse does not picture a lion chasing his prey, but
already possessing his catch, unmoved by any attempts to get
him to turn loose.

Instead of translating hagah as "roaring" here, it could make
sense to translate it as ingesting, or obtaining nutrients.
This is what we do when we meditate on God's Word.

A roar can also be thought of as bold speech. When we find
God's Word, we should be bold as a lion, confidently speaking
God's Word, refusing to let go regardless of opposition.

The Good News Bible says "No matter how shepherds yell and
shout, they can't scare away a lion from an animal that it has

We should have the same bold commitment to keeping and
devouring our spiritual food, the Word of God.

Here is a verse where hagah is translated as imagine.

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The only way a human can see the past or the future unaided, is
through their imagination. Memory uses the imagination. Much of
our thinking, whether planning or "jumping to conclusions,"
involves our imagination. Both fear and faith operate in the
realm of imagination.

Imagination is part of Bible meditation. But what are we to

God's Words are meant to paint a new picture in your thinking
-- the picture of reality as God sees it.

Bible meditation is not emptying your mind, but filling your
mind -- and your mouth -- with God's Word. It is focusing on
God's thoughts, until they also become your thoughts.

So meditation is to help us see things the way God sees them.

SAY THIS: I will meditate on God's Word.

Friday, February 07, 2014

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)!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

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.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Enjoy Life

PSALM 118:24 GWN
24 This is the day the LORD has made. Let's rejoice and be glad

God does not want us to be sad and depressed. God intends for
us to enjoy life.

Of course, this life is not the end. Eternity with God is most
important. And there is nothing wrong with sacrificing
something in this life for the purpose of obtaining something
better in the next phase of our life with God in Heaven. But
that should not stop us from enjoying this life.

You may be in prison. But you can still rejoice in God's
goodness. You can study and learn. You may even be able to see
more clearly mankind's need for a Savior, and so appreciate
God's plan of salvation even more.

Learn to rejoice in and enjoy what many would call the small
things in life. Smell the flowers. Enjoy the colors God
created. Marvel at the complexity of God's creation and His
great ability.

17 . . . God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Enjoy the diversity of people God created. He made us all
different, yet all the same in many ways, such as our desire
for love and acceptance.

You may be in a wheelchair. But you can still appreciate all
the beauty that God created. You can pray for others. No matter
where you are, or what your circumstances may be, you can still
enjoy the presence of the Lord and fellowship with Him.

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is
fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

So live in the awareness of God's presence and His great love
for you. Be thankful for every blessing, and enjoy life.

SAY THIS: God's will is for me to enjoy life with Him,
regardless of my circumstances.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Jesus Is The Resurrection

JOHN 11:25 NKJ
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

What did Jesus mean by saying He is the resurrection?

Resurrection is not just an event, but a person: the Lord Jesus
Christ. He is our resurrection. Those who are united with Jesus
Christ through their belief in Him experience His resurrection
life, even now.

1 JOHN 5:12 NKJ
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of
God does not have life.

It also means that because of our union with Christ Jesus,
death cannot hold us captive. Even though we may pass through
death, it cannot hold us.

Because Jesus lives in us, death cannot hold us any more than
death was able to hold Jesus.

In Jesus Christ we have the guarantee of resurrection and
eternal life.

SAY THIS: Jesus Christ is alive! Because He lives in me, I
shall continue to live, also. Death is defeated!

Monday, February 03, 2014


7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the
marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself
8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean
and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the

These verses hold an answer to the question often asked by
humans facing difficulties and troubles: "Why?"

Since Jesus has already defeated the devil and gained for us
all the blessings the Bible tells us about, why is the devil
allowed to continue to attack us and steal those blessings?

Does any bridegroom desire to marry a bride he cannot
communicate with? Certainly not!

Surely, no highly educated person would prefer marrying a
spouse who cannot even read or write. No one would prefer
marrying someone unable to speak their language.

Jesus is no different in this regard. His desire is also to
have companionship with those who understand Him.

So you are being prepared to be a fit companion for the Lord
Jesus Christ for eternity. This means you need to have
opportunity to overcome and to walk in love in the midst of
difficulty. Otherwise, you would never be able to truly
appreciate all Jesus has done.

Does this mean Jesus will throw out those who do not perfectly
overcome in this life? Absolutely not! Jesus promised that
anyone who came to Him would never be rejected or cast out
(John 6:37). But the richest fellowship will be enjoyed with
those who overcome as He overcame.

Jesus does not play favorites. He freely loves us all. But we
are the ones who choose how close to the Lord we desire to be.

Revelation 19:8 says the fine linen adorning the Lamb's
companion is righteous acts. What makes her so beautiful to
Jesus is not that she is clothed in His righteousness, which
was a gift, but in her own righteousness.

No, we are not saved by our righteous acts, but when we allow
Jesus to live and love through us, our acts of loving sacrifice
are very beautiful to the Lord.

Verse 7 says His wife has made herself ready. She was not born
ready. She was born righteous, but not ready. She had to grow
up and learn to walk as Jesus walked in order to become ready
to be His most intimate companion. She received right standing
with God as a free gift. But the righteous acts she is wearing
are her own.

This is why the devil has not been incarcerated yet. God
believes every one of His children can overcome, so we are
being allowed the opportunity to do so.

The wife of the Lamb is meant to have the opportunity to
overcome evil with good -- just as Jesus did -- so she can
fellowship with Him on a level of understanding that would not
be possible otherwise.

Our wonderful Lord Jesus is worthy of companions who understand
(at least somewhat) the difficulties He suffered, because of
His love for us.

So let us ask Him to continue His work in us, making us what He
desires us to be -- similar to Him. And let us persevere in
faith, even when we face things we don't fully understand.

Then we will be ready for that wonderful, privileged position
of intimate fellowship with Jesus.

SAY THIS: It is a great privilege to know Jesus Christ, and to
become like Him.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Words Steer Your Life

2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in
what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body
in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey
us, we can turn the whole animal.
4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and
are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small
rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes
great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a
small spark.

Your tongue steers your life. Words spoken by your tongue
determine the direction of your life, just like the rudder of a
ship determines the direction a ship will go. Words may not
cause you to arrive at the destination immediately, but they
head you in that direction, and eventually, if you continue in
that direction, you will arrive there.

MARK 11:23 NKJ
23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in
his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done,
he will have whatever he says.

Jesus said you will have what you say, if you believe it. But
He never said you will immediately have what you say. He is
telling us that the words we say set the course of our life.

What you say determines what you get in life. It did for the
people of Israel. And the Bible says the things which happened
to them are lessons for us (1 Corinthians 10:11).

10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Salvation (meaning deliverance) results from what our heart
believes and our mouth says.

The more strongly you believe and express your words, the more
power is behind them propelling you to that destination more

But even words you don't fully believe, but only express in
jest, may still steer your life in that direction. Because the
devil is like a crooked lawyer watching your words, looking for
any legal loophole giving him the right to bring stealing,
killing, and destruction into your life.

Words spoken by your tongue express your beliefs and release
authority in your life. This works for everyone, whether they
realize it or not. The words you speak steer the course of your

Now that you know this truth, act on it. Ask the Lord to help
you always speak the right words to steer your life to victory.

SAY THIS: My tongue steers my life in the direction I will go.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Change Your Name

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. I will also give him a white stone with a new name
written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, which means a rock.

God changed Abram's name to Abraham, which means father of a

Jacob's name was changed to Israel.

God's messenger called Gideon a "mighty man of valor" when he
saw himself as a fearful loser.

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the
old has gone, the new has come!

As a Christian believer, you are a new creation in Christ, and
you are no longer a loser.

So quit calling yourself a loser -- or any negative name. Now
that you are in Christ, those negative names do not fit. Accept
the new name God gave you: "Winner." (This is what overcomer

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.

Is it that easy? It involves more than just calling yourself a
new name, but if you fail to change the way you talk about
yourself, and the way you think about yourself, you will
continue in the same old patterns of defeat.

You must begin to see yourself as God sees you, to see yourself
as you can become.

Consider calling yourself some of the following names which
reflect what the New Testament reveals about your new identity
in Christ.

Child Of God

SAY THIS: I am a new person in Christ, and God has given me
some new names.