Category Archives: Faith

Start/Finish

Know it all…


He was there in the beginning! He will be there in the in end! He knows everything about us and loves us! His love is so great that knowing the end He intervened by sending Jesus to be the one to help reconcile us back to Him! He knows the beginning and the end! He is the alpha(Alpha) and the omega(Image result for upper case omega symbol)!

God know the beginning and the end! God shares with us through His Word the how and the who! It gives us insight into Jesus’ return! It is not for us to know the time but it is for us to be prepared! We don’t want to be like the 10 bridesmaids or virgins as they are referenced in Matthew 25 in different translations, we want to be prepared…

Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

25 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’

“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’

“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’

12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’

13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

–from Matthew 25

We don’t want to be like the person who were given responsibility and wasn’t a good steward…

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

–from Matthew 25

Let’s be prepared! Let’s be good stewards of the gifts God has given us! He is coming back! We need to be prepared and we need to be investing and pouring out our lives into the world around us as we overflow from all that God pours into us!

The Final Judgment

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nationswill be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

–from Matthew 25

To be considered righteous we need to receive Jesus! We are told in the Bible that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father except thru Him! So we need to turn back to God and receive the give of Jesus Christ into our lives and then to prepare and pursue Him being a good steward of every good and perfect gift that comes from God so that on that day when He does return that we will be prepared and finish the race of our life strong hearing, well done my good and faithful servant! So accept Jesus today into your heart as your Lord and Savior! Start the transformation of being born again! And pursue after Him each day for the rest of your life!


The Beginning and the End — Day 365: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Begin and end with worship … Psalm 150
    • Today’s reading shows us this pattern. Did you realize that the Lord’s prayer does too? We start by praising God and lifting Him up! We close lifting up Him and His power and His kingdom while giving Him the glory!
    • The Lord's Prayer

    • So let’s worship God – living out our lives as living sacrifices …
      • The book of Psalms ends with ‘Hallelujah’, translated here ‘Praise the Lord’ (Psalm 150:6b). Psalm 150 itself begins and ends with ‘Hallelujah’ (‘Praise the Lord’, vv.1,6). All of us are called to worship: ‘Let every living, breathing creature praise God!’ (v.6, MSG).

        Worship everywhere

        The worship of God should fill the universe: ‘Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies’ (v.1b, MSG).

        Worship him for everything

        Praise God for who he is (‘his surpassing greatness’) and what he has done (‘his acts of power’, v.2).

        Worship in every way

        Praise God with everything you have, including every type of music and dancing (vv.3–5).

        –from Day 365: Bible In One Year 2018

  2. Begin and end with Jesus … Revelation 22
    • Jesus will be there in the end and He was there in the beginning!
    • It will be all about Jesus in the end!
    • The Bible is a love letter from God! It’s an invitation to Jesus! Will you receive it? Will you accept it? Will you participate in it? The choice is yours!
  3. Begin and end with love … Nehemiah 13
    • The Bible being a love letter from God begins and ends with love! As does today’s reading from Nehemiah.
    • So let’s receive it! Let’s overflow with it! Let’s share it with the world around us!

Revelation 22: Take hold of the closing from God’s Word…

1Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
6Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”

Jesus Is Coming

7“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”

8I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. 9But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”
10Then he instructed me, “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near. 11Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.”

12“Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

14Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.

16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne.”

17The 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. 18And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.
20He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
21May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.

–Revelation 22

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Will you choose to share the hope that is within you?


Will you share the truth and the good news of Jesus? Will you share the hope of eternity thanks to a relationship with Jesus? Will you speak life into the tough situation that you are observing, experiencing, involved in? Will you allow the voice of truth to tell the different story and speak hope filled words into the very situation? This is the day that the Lord has made so let’s speak life into it! Let’s take hold of the promises and ready to do good and speak life when we step into the situation God has prepared in advance for us to do good!

Today’s speaks of a specific situation and of many situations we need to take hold of and be the salt and the light in when we are brought into them! Let’s life and hope into these tough situations! Let’s be who God has called us to be in order that He will be glorified and praised as we walk into and through these times!

The introduction leading into the reading from God’s Word today concluded with this for us to meditate on…

‘We steward the only message on planet earth that can give people what their hearts need most, which is hopeHope that sins can be forgiven. Hope that prayers can be answered. Hope that doors of opportunity, that seemed locked, can be opened. Hope that broken relationships can be reconciled. Hope that diseased bodies can be healed. Hope that damaged trust can be restored. Hope that dead churches can be resurrected… Of all people, we must claim that hope and live in it and radiate it to others. And we must proclaim that message of hope to everyone God gives us the opportunity to influence.’

–from Day 357: Bible In One Year 2018

So don’t hold back the hope that is within you when others so dearly need to hear it! Don’t give up or give into the lies of the enemy who is wanting everything to think and feel like it is doom and gloom! Let’s pray for this world around us that the reality of Jesus will become known to them all! Let’s pray for this world and take hold of God’s Word and be able to help them realize that this isn’t the end but can be the beginning if they are willing to start a new life journey with Jesus! Let’s be prepared to share the hope that is within us even when it is in the midst of death where we know that it isn’t easy on us and that because the other person was also a believer they are in the presence of Jesus and one day we will be with them and get to spend eternity together!

So whether we are supporting or speaking to the oppressed (v.7a), hungry (v.7b), prisoners (v.7c), blind (v.8a), marginalised (v.9a) and bereaved (v.9b) let’s point them to the one in whom we trust and believe so that they can find and put their hope in God! No matter the situation we are in right now, let’s not forget to keep our eyes on the future hope we have thanks to Jesus! Let’s be living hope into the world around us! Let’s be sharing hope to the people around us! Let’s allow hope to make a difference into the world around us because of our faith in Jesus and that God’s Word that we read in the Bible is true! Let’s share the love of Jesus and help others come into that same relationship with Him!

Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Are you looking for hope? Then today is your day! First take hold of the fact that God is desiring and waiting for you to turn back to Him just like the Father in the story of the lost son found in Luke 15 and so why not decided today to ask Jesus into your heart and to forgive you so that you can walk into God’s presence as the angels are celebrating that you have returned home.

Now we can look to Jesus’ return and our lives being spent in heaven with Him where there is no more sorrow and no more pain! So don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! Put your trust in God!


Hope-Filled Words — Day 357: Bible In One Year 2018

Facing fear? Why not overcome fear?


Life is full of challenges! Life is full of troubles! The devil wants to keep you come becoming all that God has planned for you! His primary tools are fear and doubt!

Belief is the antidote for fear! Ever heard the saying “fear not, just believe“?

Ever seen the acronym for fear? F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real!

Ever noticed how many times in the Bible it says “fear not” or “don’t be afraid”? Ever noticed how many times angels say that to people right before they scream? God’s plan is not for us to be walking around in fear! His desire is that through a relationship with Him we will walk out our lives in faith believing and trusting in Him through an intimate relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord! The key to overcoming fear is to believe that God is bigger than whatever it is we are facing! Hence why we have the verse “be anxious for nothing but through prayer and petition bring your request before God“! Angels know our first response to seeing something that we don’t understand is to be afraid and so they try to calm us down with something like what Gabriel said to Mary “don’t be afraid, you have found favor with God” or the shepherds “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Or even at Jesus’ tomb “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.” God’s plan is that we have hope and a future! God’s plan in King James speaks to His plan is that we have “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“.

Today’s devotional starts of with this truth for us to grab a hold of:

God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Are you struggling with something and feeling that God won’t approve of you because of that? Are you considering that God is looking at you through the prism of Jesus? Today’s devotional speaks to such a situation and conversation and shares this with us:

When he finished his talk he came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe that God approves of you?’ I said, ‘Actually, I really struggle with that because I know things about myself that mean I find it difficult to believe that God approves of me.’ He replied, ‘We all struggle with that. But God wants you to know that he approves of you. He wants you to know he loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

If I were asked to summarise what I thought the Bible was all about in one word – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – I would choose the word ‘love’. Twice in today’s New Testament passage John writes, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8,16). The word ‘love’ is used widely in our society. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Love is God’. In other words, it is God who defines what love is rather than the other way around. God is love.

–from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

Do you remember what love is? Do you realize that when we read that God is love that means we can replace the word love with the word God? So imagine now reading from 1 Corinthians 13 and replacing love with God or even Jesus! Now imagine if we could look to live our lives with such love that we could replace love with our name?

Remember that love never fails

God is Love! So He is everything just listed above!

People are looking for love! People are trying to find love! They will go to any length to try and find real love! The reality is that to find true love they need to receive God! God so loves the world that He sent Jesus! He didn’t send Jesus to condemn the world but rather through Him the world could be saved! What people need to realize is that for them to find love their first step needs to be to turn back to God! Not walking away thinking it is out there somewhere! God is with us and waiting for us to turn back to Him! Let’s not be like the lost son who left his father and it wasn’t till he hit rock bottom that he realized what he had lost before turning around and going home to his loving father! Let’s turn around before it gets that bad, that far, that rough, that scary and ask Jesus into our heart! Let’s turn to real love! Let’s turn to God! He is the only thing that can fill that hole in our hearts!

Love is the key to overcoming unhealthy fear! 1 John 4:18 says it this way:

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

–from 1 John 4:18

So want to get rid of those unhealthy fears that are affecting your health, your relationships, your thoughts, your life? LOVE is the key! GOD is LOVE! So ask Jesus into your heart today and start the journey that will last through eternity spending time with God and allowing Him into every area of your life, leading and guiding, comforting and encouraging, speaking life and truth in Jesus’ name!


Four Keys to Overcoming Fear

Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Thank God for his love … Psalms 138
  2. Live in the love of God … 1 John 4:7-21
    • We see in this passage four keys to overcome unhealthy fear in your life.

      1) Understand God’s Love

      ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (vv.10,17–18).

      Unhealthy fear entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid from God. When God asked, ‘Where are you?’ Adam replied, ‘I was afraid… so I hid’ (Genesis 3:10). Adam was afraid that God would punish him.

      The deepest root of fear is condemnation – the feeling that God is cross with you. But God ‘sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Jesus took your condemnation. God wants you to have confidence before him.

      2) Experience God’s Love

      ‘We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit… we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (vv.13,16).

      You truly start living when you know you are unconditionally loved by God. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us. When Pippa was a little girl, whenever she was frightened, her father would pick her up in his arms and sing, ‘Daddy’s got you now’. This is the work of the Holy Spirit – God picks us up in his arms and reassures us of his love for us.

      3) Believe God’s Love

      ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us’ (v.16). The Greek word used for ‘rely’ is the same word as for believe. Even when we know and have experienced God’s love, we need to keep on believing.

      Object permanence is an expression used by psychologists of a child’s ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible.

      Up to about four months old, babies don’t have the capacity to believe something exists if they can’t see it. If you hide a toy it no longer exists as far as they are concerned. They reach a stage where if you hide a toy, they will keep on looking for it. They realise that objects exist even when you don’t see them.

      This is a sign of Christian maturity: when we continue to believe in God’s love even when we don’t see it or feel it. We remember and recall. As we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love.

      4) Perfect God’s Love

      ‘No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (v.12). ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’ (v.18).

      The more you love him and demonstrate that reality by loving one another – the less you are prey to fear. Develop a culture of love – giving and receiving love. This is the opposite of competition and gossip. The more love you give to others – the more fear disappears.

      –from Day 338: Bible In One Year 2018

  3. Stand firm in the love of God … Daniel 11:2-35

 

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

Do you have confidence in what you hope for and assurance about what you do not see?


If you answered yes then you know the definition of faith! Now the big question is faith in what or faith in who? Faith can be a positive thing when it is in the right thing! Similarly being confident can be a positive thing when it is in the right thing!

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. –from Hebrews 11:1

So are you putting your faith and your confidence in God or yourself? We need to put first things first which means we need to put God first! We need to seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, putting our faith and our confidence in Him! We need to lean into God, putting all of our hope and trust in Him, rather than trying to do it in our own strength and thinking that we can go it alone!

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

–from Proverbs 3

So go beyond selfish and prideful confidence and move into God trust, dependence, and reliance! Put your confidence and hope in God!

Turn to God and call out to Him! Humble yourself and seek Him!

We all need Jesus! He is the answer through it all!

If your confidence is in the world or in your self then turn around and back to God!

Have you lost confidence? Turn to God and invite Him into your very situation!

Allow Him into your life and to lead you and guide you!

Do you need some confidence? Turn to God and invite Him into your very situation! He knows what you need before you ask, so don’t be afraid to ask, humble yourself and ask Him for what you have need of!

Need wisdom?

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. –from James 1:5

Need something?

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

–from Matthew 7


How to Be Confident

Day 337: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. Confidence lost … Psalms 137
  2. Confidence restored …1 John 3:11-24, 1 John 4:1-6
  3. Confidence given …Daniel 9:20-27, Daniel 10, Daniel 11:1

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

 

 

What are you going to do?


What motivates you? What inspires you? What encourages you? What directs you? What instructs you? What corrects you? Where are you at today? Where are you heading? Have you set goals for this year? Will you set goals for next year?

Do you believe in something that motivates you to keep going?

Do you have faith that is big enough to inspire you beyond your situation?

Do you know something that keeps you from giving up or giving in and pressing in and moving forward instead?

As we get closer to 2017 and reflect back what is going through your mind? Did you accomplish everything you wanted this year? Did you accomplish all that God put on or into your heart this year? Are there things you want to change? Are there things you need to change? Are you motivated enough to get it done? Are you needing motivation to get 2018 kicked off on the right foot? What’s it going to take?

As I typed this things from my past came to mind which have motivated and inspired me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do without my faith in Jesus!

  1. Step up into the position of president for a homeowners association
  2. Prioritized my life to make sure the way I live aligns to the priorities of my life
  3. Stepped out from an almost 20 year career to do something else without knowing what that would be when the journey started
  4. We need to forgive first! Forgiveness isn’t about us but about breaking the chains that are holding us!

So do you have a foundation like Jesus which helps you to be inspired? Do you have a cornerstone that helps you stay aligned when things get tough? Did you have tough times in 2017 that you need Jesus to step in and inspire and motivate you as you prepare for 2018?

Thank You God for Your Word that inspires me daily! The Bible speaks into my every day!

Thank You for people of faith who are in my life and who will pray with me, will celebrate with me, and will mourn with me through the various seasons of life!


Heavenly Father,
I thank You for who you are and for all that You have done so far. I thank You Lord that I know that I am never alone and never need to go through anything alone because You are with me. I thank You Lord that no matter what comes my way that Your plans for me are good and because You are for me who can be against me. I thank You Lord that as 2017 is coming to a close that You are helping me to consider and think forward towards setting goals for 2018 not only at work but also in life.  Help me Lord to choose wisely and to live this coming year inspired and motivated to complete the work that You are preparing in advance for me to do. I ask all this and lift it up to You in hopes that it will bring You all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


How to be Inspired

Day 332: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Inspirational champions of justice … Proverbs 29:1-9
  2. Inspirational godly lives … 2 Peter 2
  3. Inspirational faith and courage … Daniel 3:13-30, Daniel 4:1-18