Monthly Archives: August 2018

Walk In Victory

One of the things that is worrisome to me is how many Christians I see walking around living a defeated life. It’s like they live under this dark cloud that’s always following them. I understand how going through difficult times takes its toll on you. It’s stressful to go through seasons of hardships, but there are some of us who seem to never break through those times. If that’s you, I want to remind you that you are more than a conqueror through Christ and that as a Christian, God has already given you victory.

I believe one of the ways our enemy keeps us from reaching our potential is to make us constantly feel defeated. If we’re beat down, why would we try to advance or grow? We have to look through those lies and stand on God’s Word that tells us the victory in our life has already been won. We have to start telling our problems how Big our God is. Remember, greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. What’s inside of you is stronger than whatever can come against you. It’s time we quit living a defeated life and started walking in the victory that God has already won.

Here are some Bible verses on God giving you victory.

1. For everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world–our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God].

1 JOHN 5:4 AMP

2. But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Corinthians 15:57 TPT

3. I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers—such vitality and strength! God’s word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.

1 John 2:12-13 MSG

4. No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!

Romans 8:37 GNT

5. But we thank God for giving us the victory as conquerors through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One.

1 Corinthians 15:57 TPT

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Loving People

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

At a Toby Mac concert, his drummer shared a story of a man who had three kids with three different women. He wasn’t a present father in their lives and was a mess of a human. The Diverse City band loved him when he was broken and didn’t deserve it. They showed him the love of Christ through their actions and led him to the Lord. He then revealed he was that man. It reminded me of a quote from Mark Batterson’s book “If” that has hit home with me. He wrote, “Love people when they least expect it and least deserve it. That’s how you change someone’s life forever.”

When I think of that quote, I think of what God has done for each of us. At our worst, He still loved us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (NLT). God didn’t wait for you and I to clean ourselves up and to start living right before He demonstrated His love for us. He did it while we were covered in the filth of sin. He did it when we were living in rebellion to His way of life.

He expects us to demonstrate that kind of love to others. He expects us to love those who least deserve it. 1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]” (AMP). The more we love others when they least deserve it (the way God loves us), the more we get to know who He is.

After the Toby Mac concert, I went to find the drummer. He was taking photos with fans and signing autographs. He looked each person in the eye and said, “I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it!” I smiled when I heard him say it and thought, “That’s exactly what God says to each of us.” We’ve got to get to the point where we love others no matter who they are, how they live, or what they do. If we’re truly interested in changing lives and winning souls, it starts with loving people where they are.

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Giving Up Guilt

When I was younger I did a lot more things that were unwise. In one particular instance, my friend and I decided to build a campfire in the woods. It wasn’t long before it was bigger than we could handle. We didn’t want to tell our parents what we had done so we avoided them and tried to get help from my friend’s brother. The water hose wouldn’t reach and we eventually had to tell my friend’s mom who called the fire department. That night, I felt bad and was afraid of my dad finding out. Because of my guilty conscience, I avoided being around him. I don’t even remember what he did when he found out. I just remember trying to not cross paths with him because of what i had done.

That same guilty conscience has a way of showing up in my spiritual life too. When I sin or mess up, i act like Adam and Eve. I try to hide from God. I avoid my prayer time because I’m embarrassed. Even though I’ve asked for forgiveness, there’s a period of time where I allow my shame to keep myself out of His presence. I know I’m not the only one who does this. We all do to some extent. We somehow think our failures and sins disqualify us from being children of God, even after we’ve repented. Even though God has forgiven them and forgotten them, somehow we can’t.

I find hope in 1 John 3:20. It says, “Whenever our hearts make us feel guilty and remind us of our failures, we know that God is much greater and more merciful than our conscience, and he knows everything there is to know about us” (TPT). God knows everything about us including our thoughts…and He still loves us and calls us His children. If you struggle with this like i do, it’s time to forgive yourself because God already has. You are still His child and worthy of being in His presence. Don’t diminish the work Jesus did on the cross by thinking your sin is somehow stronger than the blood He shed. It’s time to Forgive yourself. God isn’t looking for perfection from you. He understands your human condition and loves you no matter what you’ve done. Find your freedom today and get back in His presence.

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Fresh Faith

This life can get to be repetitive, and to be honest, so can our Christian life. It’s easy to settle into a groove and put ourselves on autopilot. We can then fall into danger by allowing our faith the be about rituals more than relationship. Even the disciples were susceptible to this, and they physically walked with Jesus daily. Can you imagine what that must have been like? They heard the greatest teaching daily and were witnesses to countless miracles, yet they were susceptible to letting even that become old hat and ordinary. That’s when someone came up to Jesus and told Him Lazarus was gravely ill and needed healing immediately.

When Jesus didn’t immediately go, I’m sure the disciples started to get shook out of their routine. They thought it was odd that He didn’t immediately go. Instead, He waited two days before beginning the 2 day journey to Him. The disciples objected to Jesus going there because the religious leaders were ready to kill Him. Then, in John 11:14-15 Jesus said, “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him” (MSG).

Jesus knew the disciples needed new grounds for believing. If they needed it, how much more do we? I believe when there are things in our lives that don’t make sense to us, it could be God trying to give us new grounds for believing. Notice how urgently we start seeking Him when things happen out of the ordinary. Notice how much more we rely on Him. I believe God allows things to happen to us so we will break out of our rut and find fresh faith. Relationships on autopilot usually struggle. It’s the ones that keep things fresh and new that survive. God wants to have a fresh relationship with us. Don’t let whatever is going on in your life push you away from God. Let it give you fresh grounds for believing.

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Living A Full Life

If you Google, “How to have a better life,” you’ll find several articles with 10 things to do or 3 steps to a better life. There’s no shortage of ideas on how you can improve your life. There are also countless pages of Life Coaches out there who want to help you as well. All of that tells me that people aren’t happy with their lives and they’re looking for ways to get a more fulfilling life. You get one shot at this life, so why not make the most of it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to improve your life or situation, but I think we must be careful where we look for it.

In John 10, jesus is explaining that He is our shepherd and that He leads us. He says we follow a His voice and not a stranger’s because we know Him. Then in verse 9 He says, “I am the Gateway. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction” (TPT). Not only is He our shepherd, but He’s also the gateway to the life we’re looking for. Who knows more about life than the creator of life? The freedom and satisfaction so many of us are looking for is found only in Him.

In verse 10 He goes on to say, “I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow!” Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re to live a boring life. It means you’ll live life to its fullest. We’ve got to stop going to Google for how to get a better life and go to God who wants to give it to you. Nothing is more satisfying than living the life you were created to live. The only way you find that is through Jesus. We must submit to Him and His will as a sheep submits to a shepherd, and then ask Him to lead us to an abundant life that’s more than we could ever expect. That’s how we have a full, satisfying life.

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God Given Tasks

Recently I was flown to another city for work. When I arrived, they took me and several others who had flown in into a room. We were given the task of solving a problem for the business. As they were describing what they were expecting from us, they said, “To get your ticket home, you must complete these objectives. We don’t care how long you work, how many breaks you take or how long your lunches are. Just make sure you complete these tasks by the end of the week.” We posted the problem on a wall, then we posted our objectives right beside it and got to work.

I believe that God has tasks for each of us to do. We don’t usually get a PowerPoint presentation from Him with clearly defined goals though. He does, however, expect us to do the things He’s called us to do. Since each one of us are uni, that means there are tasks that we are uniquely qualified for. There are certain tasks that only you can do. It’s important for each of us to be sensitive to God’s Spirit so we can know what He wants us to do. When you feel a certain impression to do something for someone, that’s usually Him. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more we obey, the more He gives us to do.

Here are some verses on doing tasks God gives us.

1. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

John 9:4 NLT

2. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

3. Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.

COLOSSIANS 3:23 AMP

4. Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 GNT

5. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.

1 Timothy 4:15 NLT

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Encourage And Build Up

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

If your spirit has ever been broken, you know how hard it is to get through the day. It’s hard to even wake up, let alone face people. Worry consumes your mind. You question everyone’s intentions, and your energy gets depleted. It’s tough to be stuck in that phase. If you’ve ever been through it, then you can empathize with others who are going through it. They need your support and encouragement more than your advice in those times.

Proverbs 15:13 says, “A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day” (MSG). When you see someone whose spirit has been crushed and they’re struggling to make it through the day, offer words that will encourage them to continue going. Chances are that it was words that put them in that state and its our words that can bring them out of it. If only we had the courage to speak them.

If you’ve ever watched an action movie, there is usually a scene where one person is hanging off a cliff or the side of a building and another person grabs them with one arm. They then use all their strength to pull that person back to safety. That’s what our words have the power to do. They can pull back someone who has been pushed over the edge and is barely hanging on. We have the power and strength to save someone’s life simply by encouraging them.

I Thessalonians 5:11 says, “So encourage each other and build each other up” (NLT). Paul’s words are a reminder to us as Christians that we are to constantly be encouraging, strengthening, edifying, and building each other up. We are to find a way to a cheerful heart. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing” (AMP). You can help heal someone’s brokenness today if only you will open your mouth to offer encouragement instead of correction or direction. You have the power, use it.

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