Worry changes nothing!

Don't Worry!

Don’t worry! Worry will try to rob you rather than help you. Worry will try to reduce you rather than grow you. Worry changes nothing!

Prayer is the real answer and the real solution as it has the power to change and transform! Seek first the kingdom of God and let God take care of the other stuff.

We read in today’s reading, it put this way:

25“This is why I tell you: do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn’t life worth more than food? And isn’t the body worth more than clothes? 26Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds? 27Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?
28“And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers. 30It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!
31“So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ 32(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. 34So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.
– from Matthew 6

So today let’s try to live a day without fear and worry. Let’s not allow the devil’s lies to rob us of our hope and peace. Let’s encourage one another and lift each other up in prayer so that we can get through whatever comes our way with the joy of the Lord pouring out of us.

When we have a divine encounter with Jesus we are transformed. The old is gone and the new has come! We are new creations that God can use to change the world around us! Don’t be held back by lies, press forward with Jesus and be transformed so that you can help in the transformation of the world around you. God so loves the world that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but would have everlasting, eternal life!

Saul in Jerusalem

26Saul went to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples. But they would not believe that he was a disciple, and they were all afraid of him. 27Then Barnabas came to his help and took him to the apostles. He explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had spoken to him. He also told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28And so Saul stayed with them and went all over Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He also talked and disputed with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30When the believers found out about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31And so it was that the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. Through the help of the Holy Spirit it was strengthened and grew in numbers, as it lived in reverence for the Lord.

Peter in Lydda and Joppa

32Peter traveled everywhere, and on one occasion he went to visit God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to get out of bed for eight years. 34“Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ makes you well. Get up and make your bed.” At once Aeneas got up. 35All the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
36In Joppa there was a woman named Tabitha, who was a believer. (Her name in Greek is Dorcas, meaning “a deer.”) She spent all her time doing good and helping the poor. 37At that time she got sick and died. Her body was washed and laid in a room upstairs. 38Joppa was not very far from Lydda, and when the believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him with the message, “Please hurry and come to us.” 39So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, he was taken to the room upstairs, where all the widows crowded around him, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats that Dorcas had made while she was alive. 40Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41Peter reached over and helped her get up. Then he called all the believers, including the widows, and presented her alive to them. 42The news about this spread all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43Peter stayed on in Joppa for many days with a tanner of leather named Simon.
– from Acts 9

Will you go if you are asked to Go? Will you come if you are asked to Come? Will you stay if you are asked to Stay?

Obedience worth better than offerings and sacrifice!

So are you ready? Do you need more confidence?

1Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety.

2I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
all the good things I have come from you.”
3How excellent are the Lord‘s faithful people!
My greatest pleasure is to be with them.
4Those who rush to other gods
bring many troubles on themselves.
I will not take part in their sacrifices;
I will not worship their gods.
5You, Lord, are all I have,
and you give me all I need;
my future is in your hands.
6How wonderful are your gifts to me;
how good they are!
7I praise the Lord, because he guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me.
8I am always aware of the Lord‘s presence;
he is near, and nothing can shake me.
9And so I am thankful and glad,
and I feel completely secure,
10  because you protect me from the power of death.
I have served you faithfully,
and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.
11 You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever.
– from Psalm 16

My prayer for today…

Lord grant me wisdom today I pray to speak truth, hope, and life into the lives of those around me. Help me Lord to point people to the truth so that just as Saul (aka Paul) was transformed in seeing the light, they will see the light and be transformed and begin following You. This day You have made, help me to not only rejoice in it, but to glorify You in and through it. Today grant me the confidence and the wisdom to go, to stay, to stay, to stand, to speak in ways that will point people to You and glorify You in and through it all in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


 

Let LOVE run supreme. Let true LOVE shine through. Let LOVE transform.

 

How are you aligned?


You can’t have two firsts. You can’t have more than one because eventually you are going to have to decide which will mean that you will get into a conflict and “you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money“. What will you serve? Who will you serve? All of us will get to the point where one day we are going to have to choose, so make sure to choose wisely!

Are you doing it because you want to or for show? Are you doing it out of obedience or are you just wanting to put on a show? Are you doing it in a way where others won’t know? Are you doing it to get noticed or applause of people? Are you doing it for the right reason?

Where is your goal? Where are you stockpiling? What are you preparing for? Where do you hope to end up? Is it temporary? Is it eternal? Are you saving up or paying forward? Is there really any safe place for you to put it?

19 “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. 20 Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. 21For your heart will always be where your riches are.

– from Matthew 6

What are you letting in? What is getting into your eyes? What is getting into your mind? What is getting into your heart? Are you being filled that you can shine?

22“The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; 23but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!

– from Matthew 6

How much of event or shock or tragedy or fear or challenge would it take for you to have a divine encounter? Are you seeking and wanting? Are you running away and trying to hide? Are you fighting it and trying to get away? God’s got great plans that He wants to be able to accomplish through you because of the gifts and callings He has given you. How will you respond?

1In the meantime Saul kept up his violent threats of murder against the followers of the Lord. He went to the High Priest 2and asked for letters of introduction to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way of the Lord, he would be able to arrest them, both men and women, and bring them back to Jerusalem.

3As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” he asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. 6“But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”
7The men who were traveling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they heard the voice but could not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but could not see a thing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9For three days he was not able to see, and during that time he did not eat or drink anything.
10There was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. He had a vision, in which the Lord said to him, “Ananias!”
“Here I am, Lord,” he answered.
11The Lord said to him, “Get ready and go to Straight Street, and at the house of Judas ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying, 12and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he might see again.”
13Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and about all the terrible things he has done to your people in Jerusalem. 14And he has come to Damascus with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who worship you.”
15The Lord said to him, “Go, because I have chosen him to serve me, to make my name known to Gentiles and kings and to the people of Israel. 16And I myself will show him all that he must suffer for my sake.”
17So Ananias went, entered the house where Saul was, and placed his hands on him. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord has sent me—Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 At once something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again. He stood up and was baptized; 19and after he had eaten, his strength came back.
– from Acts 9

He’s call you! Do you know what God requires?

1Lord, who may enter your Temple?
Who may worship on Zion, your sacred hill?
2Those who obey God in everything
and always do what is right,
whose words are true and sincere,
3and who do not slander others.
They do no wrong to their friends
nor spread rumors about their neighbors.
4They despise those whom God rejects,
but honor those who obey the Lord.
They always do what they promise,
no matter how much it may cost.
5They make loans without charging interest
and cannot be bribed to testify against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will always be secure.
– from Psalm 15

Will you stand up for what you believe in or will you fall for anything?

Will you go where you are called to go?

Will you do what you are asked to do?

Will you make a difference for this generation?

Will you setup a legacy for others around you?

In whom shall you put your trust?

Whom shall you fear?

Fear Not, Just Believe!

What are you doing? Does anybody know? Does it really matter?


It’s an interesting thing to consider when you look at what you are doing for others. When you are doing it, is it to glorify God or is it to pump yourself up? When you do something good for someone else, do you need to tell others about it or are you ok with it just being between the two of you? (you and God) Do you need to let others know what you are up to? Do you need to have others in the know? Are you able to do great things and not tell anyone or let anyone really know? Are you able to do things that leave the only way to point for such a blessing to God? Are you ok if nobody knows it was you? Are you ok if nobody knows the giving you do, the people you serve, the sacrifices you make? Will you allow God to reward you rather than needing fan fare?

Today’s reading comes from:

  • Matthew 6:1-15
  • Acts 8:26-40
  • Psalm 14
  • Genesis 32
  • Genesis 33

Do you have private time with God? Do you spend quality time with Him so that you can build a relationship with Him? Are you building up your trust in Him? Are you building up your character with Him? Are you transforming because of your relationship with Him? Do you have quiet time away from everyone so that you can focus on the main thing, keeping first things first? Intimacy isn’t something you go and do out in public, so to have an intimate relationship with God, we need to make time alone with Him. Praying isn’t a routine, it’s conversation with God. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out event. God knows what we need even before we ask. He gives us a simple pattern that we can use for our prayer:

9… ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored;
10may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today the food we need.
12Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

13Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.’

– from Matthew 6 (GNT)

It’s always interesting for me to read God’s Word through the different translations as it puts an angle on it that is different from other versions, it has a filter that gives me a slightly different perspective and deepens the understanding and grows my hope, trust, and faith.

Forgiveness is the key! Forgiveness is the power! Forgiveness is the plan!

14 “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.

– from Matthew 6 (GNT)

Forgiveness is what Jesus bought on the cross! Forgiveness is what prevents a bitter root from grabbing a foothold in your life. Forgiveness opens the door to true freedom! Forgiveness opens the door to fullness of joy! Forgiveness keeps us from bottling up a bunch of poising and junk inside that will eat us up from the inside out! We need to be obedient to God’s will and forgive and allow God to do the work in them. We need to be obedient to God and not limit the number of times. (7×70) So today make sure to get rid of that stuff so that you can live to the fullness God has planned for you.

When we are ready and in a place where God can use us at any moment, the doors of opportunity to speak, truth, hope, and love into the lives around is will appear. The opportunity to share the love of God with others will materialize. Just as we see when we find Philip…

Philip and the Ethiopian Official

26An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This road is not used nowadays.)27-28So Philip got ready and went. Now an Ethiopian eunuch, who was an important official in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was going back home in his carriage. As he rode along, he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. 29The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to that carriage and stay close to it.” 30Philip ran over and heard him reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31The official replied, “How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to climb up and sit in the carriage with him. 32 The passage of scripture which he was reading was this:
“He was like a sheep that is taken to be slaughtered,
like a lamb that makes no sound when its wool is cut off.
He did not say a word.
33He was humiliated, and justice was denied him.
No one will be able to tell about his descendants,
because his life on earth has come to an end.”

34The official asked Philip, “Tell me, of whom is the prophet saying this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak; starting from this passage of scripture, he told him the Good News about Jesus. 36As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water, and the official said, “Here is some water. What is to keep me from being baptized?”#

8.36: Some manuscripts add verse 37: Philip said to him, “You may be baptized if you believe with all your heart.” “I do,” he answered; “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38The official ordered the carriage to stop, and both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away. The official did not see him again, but continued on his way, full of joy. 40Philip found himself in Azotus; he went on to Caesarea, and on the way he preached the Good News in every town.
– from Acts 8

Are you ready? Are you prepared? Are you yielded to what God would have you do today? Get rid of anything that will keep you from accomplishing God’s will. Get ready to be used by God. Be obedient to the prompting of God’s Spirit and see how He will use you for the glory of His kingdom!

There is so much evil taking place around the world. There truly is good and evil. Today’s Psalm says:

1 Fools say to themselves,“There is no God!” They are all corrupt, and they have done terrible things; there is no one who does what is right.

2The Lord looks down from heaven at us humans to see if there are any who are wise, any who worship him.

3But they have all gone wrong; they are all equally bad. Not one of them does what is right, not a single one. 

4“Don’t they know?” asks the Lord. “Are all these evildoers ignorant? They live by robbing my people, and they never pray to me.” 

5But then they will be terrified, for God is with those who obey him.

6Evildoers frustrate the plans of the humble, but the Lord is their protection.

7How I pray that victory will come to Israel from Zion. How happy the people of Israel will be when the Lord makes them prosperous again!

– from Psalm 14

It’s not easy to be received after some of the things we have done to others. It’s not easy to receive someone who has manipulated you. It is only by the grace of God that we can and will get to it and get through it. We read about Jacob and Esau’s experience today.

Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau

1As Jacob went on his way, some angels met him. 2When he saw them, he said, “This is God’s camp”; so he named the place Mahanaim. 3Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the country of Edom. 4He instructed them to say: “I, Jacob, your obedient servant, report to my master Esau that I have been staying with Laban and that I have delayed my return until now. 5I own cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and slaves. I am sending you word, sir, in the hope of gaining your favor.”
6When the messengers came back to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and he is already on his way to meet you. He has four hundred men with him.” 7Jacob was frightened and worried. He divided into two groups the people who were with him, and also his sheep, goats, cattle, and camels. 8He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks the first group, the other may be able to escape.”
9Then Jacob prayed, “God of my grandfather Abraham and God of my father Isaac, hear me! You told me, Lord, to go back to my land and to my relatives, and you would make everything go well for me. 10I am not worth all the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown me, your servant. I crossed the Jordan with nothing but a walking stick, and now I have come back with these two groups. 11Save me, I pray, from my brother Esau. I am afraid—afraid that he is coming to attack us and destroy us all, even the women and children. 12 Remember that you promised to make everything go well for me and to give me more descendants than anyone could count, as many as the grains of sand along the seashore.”
13-15After spending the night there, Jacob chose from his livestock as a present for his brother Esau: 200 female goats and 20 males, 200 female sheep and 20 males, 30 milk camels with their young, 40 cows and 10 bulls, 20 female donkeys and 10 males. 16He divided them into herds and put one of his servants in charge of each herd. He said to them, “Go ahead of me, and leave a space between each herd and the one behind it.” 17He ordered the first servant, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who is your master? Where are you going? Who owns these animals in front of you?’ 18you must answer, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. He sends them as a present to his master Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 19He gave the same order to the second, the third, and to all the others who were in charge of the herds: “This is what you must say to Esau when you meet him. 20You must say, ‘Yes, your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” Jacob was thinking, “I will win him over with the gifts, and when I meet him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 21He sent the gifts on ahead of him and spent that night in camp.

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

22That same night Jacob got up, took his two wives, his two concubines, and his eleven children, and crossed the Jabbok River. 23 After he had sent them across, he also sent across all that he owned, 24 but he stayed behind, alone.
Then a man came and wrestled with him until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint. 26The man said, “Let me go; daylight is coming.”
“I won’t, unless you bless me,” Jacob answered.
27“What is your name?” the man asked.
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”#

32.28: Israel: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “he struggles with God” or “God struggles.”
29 Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”
But he answered, “Why do you want to know my name?” Then he blessed Jacob.
30Jacob said, “I have seen God face-to-face, and I am still alive”; so he named the place Peniel. 31The sun rose as Jacob was leaving Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32Even today the descendants of Israel do not eat the muscle which is on the hip joint, because it was on this muscle that Jacob was hit.
– from Genesis 32
Jacob Meets Esau
1Jacob saw Esau coming with his four hundred men, so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two concubines. 2He put the concubines and their children first, then Leah and her children, and finally Rachel and Joseph at the rear. 3Jacob went ahead of them and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4But Esau ran to meet him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. They were both crying. 5When Esau looked around and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?”
“These, sir, are the children whom God has been good enough to give me,” Jacob answered. 6Then the concubines came up with their children and bowed down; 7then Leah and her children came, and last of all Joseph and Rachel came and bowed down.
8Esau asked, “What about that other group I met? What did that mean?”
Jacob answered, “It was to gain your favor.”
9But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have.”
10Jacob said, “No, please, if I have gained your favor, accept my gift. To see your face is for me like seeing the face of God, now that you have been so friendly to me. 11Please accept this gift which I have brought for you; God has been kind to me and given me everything I need.” Jacob kept on urging him until he accepted.
12Esau said, “Let’s get ready and leave. I will go ahead of you.”
13Jacob answered, “You know that the children are weak, and I must think of the sheep and livestock with their young. If they are driven hard for even one day, the whole herd will die. 14Please go on ahead of me, and I will follow slowly, going as fast as I can with the livestock and the children until I catch up with you in Edom.”
15Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.”
But Jacob answered, “There is no need for that for I only want to gain your favor.” 16So that day Esau started on his way back to Edom. 17But Jacob went to Sukkoth, where he built a house for himself and shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was named Sukkoth. 18On his return from Mesopotamia Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan and set up his camp in a field near the city. 19 He bought that part of the field from the descendants of Hamor father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. 20He put up an altar there and named it for El, the God of Israel.
– from Genesis 33