Tag Archives: bible verses on

Positive Pressure

Several years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I would fall asleep, but never get rest. I would also stop breathing for up to a minute before popping up gasping for air. The doctor said that having my heart go from a resting rate to the sudden fast beat could kill me, so he put me on a CPAP machine. He explained that I had a negative pressure where the pressure outside my body was greater than the pressure inside my body. The CPAP, which stands for continuous positive air pressure, would force air inside my body to push against the negative pressure and keep me from not breathing. Ever since I’ve been on it, I’ve been able to get rest when I sleep.

In Matthew 4, Jesus had just been baptized and was led into the wilderness for a 40 day fast. While He was hungry and weak, the enemy brought negative pressure in order to tempt Him. He was first tempted to turn stones into bread, but He pushed back by quoting the Word of God. He was then tempted to test God, but again He pushed back with what the Bible says. Finally He was offered earthly kingdoms in exchange for eternal ones. Just like before, He was able to overcome by the Word of God. In doing so, He taught us how to overcome the negative pressures we all face.

Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do” (NLT). Having God’s Word in our heart provides a positive pressure inside us that pushes back against all the negative pressures from people around us. Without having it in our hearts, we can have the life choked out of us spiritually. Reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture and studying it are all ways we create positive pressure inside our spirit in order to overcome.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sharing Is Caring

When most of us were young, we were taught (sometimes forced) to share. As we got older, we began to share less when it became our choice. Sharing is a way to value another person. It sees their situation and says you care enough about them to give them something that is yours. Did you know that sharing is Scriptural? God calls us to look out for the needs of others and to share spiritually, emotionally and financially with what we’ve been given. We’ve all had times when we’ve been in need. We can identify with those who are in need with something we have to share. If you start looking for people to share with, you won’t have to look very far. Be a blessing today.

Here are some Bible verses on sharing.

1. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 NLT

2. For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Romans 1:11-12 AMP

3. Learn to generously share what you have with those who ask for help, and don’t close your heart to the one who comes to borrow from you.

Matthew 5:42 TPT

4. Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Proverbs 22:9 ESV

5. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

2 Corinthians 1:7 NLT

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Assumptions

There’s an exercise I do with people to show how our minds jump to conclusions and we assume. We observe a conversation where a lot of things are left open, and then I ask them questions about it. The group doesn’t know that I’m exposing how their brain works. As I ask the questions, they typically make assumptions. I keep asking questions to get as much detail from them as I can to see how much they’ve made up.

I keep asking questions until someone inevitably says, “I don’t know.” I then go back to what was said and ask, “So what do we really know?” I sometimes have to go through it several times before they get it. Most of the answers they give are based on their assumptions and not on what they know. I then like to ask, “How much of your life is based on what you’re assuming versus what you know?” It’s a heavy question that I usually leave several seconds of silence after while they think.

Job was a righteous man in the Bible. He honored God in all he did and even fell down to worship God when he lost his kids and his wealth. As time went on and he was struck with boils, his friends began to question his integrity. In their conversations back and forth, it’s clear that they make many assumptions about his predicament and how God is doing it to Him. They don’t know that Satan is behind the whole thing and is the one tormenting Job.

In Job 19:25, Job makes a great statement. He says, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives” (NLT). We may not know why we go through certain things or why things happen, but we can know that our redeemer lives. We can live with assurance that He is in control and our lives are in His hands. We need to stop our assumptions that God is behind everything bad that happens in our lives. We know that it’s the enemy who steals, kills and destroys. It’s God who brings life. So they next time things happen, don’t make decisions based on assumptions. Go with what you know.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Small Acts Of Faith

I ok an assessment at work several years ago. One of the things it told me was that I like big risk, big reward scenarios. The down side to that is that I leave a lot of low hanging fruit behind going after those situations. It’s a mentality that many of us have: go big or go home. When we think of doing things, we think of grand gestures like proposing on the Jumbotron at a game, but miss the little things like opening a door. When we think of any endeavor, we think of doing things that get noticed. Slow and steady wins the race can be a foreign concept. Success in our eyes often looks like being famous, being the lead person or being the boss. Being the person who does things behind the scene or garner little attention can feel like we’re failing, but the truth is greater success is found in the little things.

I often identify with Elijah. In 1 Kings 18, he brought all of Israel to Mount Carmel for a big showdown with the prophets of Baal to call down fire from heaven. When it was all over and the prophets were killed, Jezebel threatened his life. After running and meeting with God, he was sent to a small town. He was met at the gate by a widow picking up sticks to build a fire so she could have her last meal. When he said he was hungry and asked for her last meal, she offered it to him. It was her small act of faith that got blessed. Her flour and oil didn’t run out until the crops returned. Big acts of faith are great, but mostly God is looking for small acts that often go unnoticed.

Matthew 25:34-36 says, “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. 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. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me’” (NLT). These small acts of faith went unnoticed even by themselves, but not to God. He loves to see us love others in the little things. It’s time we opened our eyes to what’s in front of us. Does someone need a little help? It could be Jesus in disguise. He gives us daily opportunities to share His love through small acts. Don’t miss them while you’re looking for the big ones.

Photo by Timur Weber:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Guarding Against Deception

In 2021 a series of videos were released on Tik Tok of Tom Cruise that went viral. He flashed his classic smile, walked around and talked with the camera that was recording him. Everything looked like him and sounded like him, but the things he was saying didn’t seem like things he would say. Even though that part felt off, people shared the videos with others believing it was him saying and doing those things. The image, the walk and the voice were all computer generated by artificial intelligence showing how technology can recreate anyone saying and doing things that your brain will believe. It’s called Deep Fake technology and can fool just about anyone. The people it didn’t fool were those who knew Tom Cruise wouldn’t say those things.

In the book of Nehemiah we read about the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem. The Jews were happy to get their security back, but people in the area were against the project. They did whatever they could to thwart the completion of the wall and intimidate the Jews. In chapter 6, one of the prominent workers was visited by Nehemiah in his home. He told Nehemiah that there was a plot to kill him that night and that he should hide out in the Temple. Nehemiah almost fell for it, but he realized that God had not spoken to this man. Nehemiah wasn’t a priest and it would have been a sin for him to go where they were sending him. He would have been tricked and discredited as a leader had he not known what the Law said. Shortly after refusing to go, the wall was finished.

2 Timothy was Paul’s last letter written in the Bible. In chapter 3, he was warning Timothy and us about deception in the last days. He said that evil people will deceive many. Then in verse 14 he said, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you” (NLT). We must know and trust what we have been taught from the Bible. Today’s world is trying to deceive us into thinking that God’s Word is incorrect, out of date or that it means something other than what we’ve been taught. We must remain faithful to what we have been taught though. Unless we know the truth of God’s Word and hide it in our heart, we will fall for the deceptions that will try to cause us to sin. God’s Word doesn’t change. We must stand on it, believe it and be unmovable no matter how convincing others may be.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Standing On The Promises

Recently we were driving along when my son asked, “Dad, can we see if I know the same hymns as you?” I began playing different hymns on my phone and sang along. It had been years since I had heard any hymns. All of a sudden several of these lyrics began resonating with my soul. One in particular was “Standing On The Promises”. Verse two says, “Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.” It was a great reminder to me that we can trust and stand on God’s promises to us no matter what is happening.

In Genesis 12, God promised Abram to give him land and to make him into a great nation. To inherit the promise, he had to go where God was leading without knowing where he was going. When he arrived, there were giants and other people living in the land God promised to him. He continued to stand on God’s promise. While that was going on, he and his wife faced infertility until they were too old to have kids. God came through for them, but later asked him to sacrifice his only son. Even as his son was bound on the altar and the knife was raised, he stood on God’s promise. God provided a ram and knew he could trust Abram with any promise.

2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory” (NLT). God’s promises to you and to me are fulfilled through Jesus. We can trust Him and the promises He’s made to us. When we stand on the promises of God, we’re able to worship no matter what comes our way. When we stand on the promises, we trust what God says over what our situation is telling us. When we stand on the promises, we will prevail. If what God promised hasn’t happened yet, keep standing on it trusting in him. Don’t be swayed by you temporary circumstances when they’re guaranteed by the Eternal One.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Be On Guard

A few days after Hurricane Harvey came through, looters decided to try to come through and do more damage. Our neighborhood put up signs saying looters would be shot. Teams of people in the neighborhood road around armed on patrol, people sat armed in their yards and others in their homes. They were guarding their belongings and against invasion. It’s that kind of vigilance we need in order to protect what God has given us and against an enemy who wants to steal, kill and destroy. We need to be alert and sober minded to be on guard. The word used for “guard” in the Bible has a militaristic idea behind it about being vigilant. God is serious when he tells us to be on guard.

Here are some Bible verses about being on guard.

1. Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith].

2 Peter 3:17 AMP

2. The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; The one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3 AMP

3. Then he (Jesus) said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Luke 12:15 NLT

4. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23 TPT

5. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 1:14 NLT

Photo by Lukas:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No Ice Please

When my son was three, he started noticing that my wife orders her Coke at the restaurant with no ice. He asked her why she didn’t want ice and she said, “When you get ice, over time, it dilutes the drink. Plus, with ice, you get less of a drink because of displacement.” He then asked me, “Are you ‘No ice’ or ‘Yes ice’?” I told him, “‘Yes ice’ because I would rather my drink be cold than to have a lot of it.” That seemed to satisfy him, though I’m sure he didn’t understand.

If we imagine our lives as those cups, ourself as the ice, and Jesus as the drink, we can learn a spiritual concept. The more we have of ourselves inside of us, the less we can have of Jesus. If we want more of Him, we have to empty ourselves of selfish desires. The problem is that we prefer the cold, watered down version of Jesus because it’s comfortable to us. All the while, Jesus is asking us to get rid of the ice of self so we can be more like Him.

John the Baptist is one of the greatest examples in the Bible of a ‘No ice’ person. In John 3, his disciples came to Him and said, “Hey, that guy you baptized the other day, and testified that He was the Messiah, is baptizing people down the river and our people are going to Him!” In verse 30, John replied, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (ESV). He understood that his comfort wasn’t the most important thing. Letting Jesus increase was.

The question to each of us is, “Are you ‘No ice’ or ”Yes ice’?” Do you want to be full of Jesus or of yourself? If you want to be full of Jesus, then you must decrease so He can increase in your life. You’ve got to put His desires above your own. You must daily deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him in order to truly be a ‘No ice’ person. That’s struggle each of us face daily. We could all use a little less ice and a lot more Jesus.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska:

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

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Rekindle Your Fire

One of my favorite things to do is to sit around a campfire and talk. I could do it for hours. People instinctively know to put another log on the fire. No one has to say it. Stories and conversations flow, and aren’t interrupted by putting more logs on it. When it’s time to go to bed, we just let the fire burn down to a bed of coals. In the morning, I’m usually the first one up. I’ll grab a log and a couple of smaller sticks and head over to the ashes. Buried deep beneath the ash, there’s usually a couple of embers left. I put the smaller sticks on top of them, get my face close to the ground, take a deep breath and blow as much air as I can onto those embers. In a matter of moments, the fire is back to going strong and the conversations continue.

We know that David was a man after God’s own heart. He fully trusted in Him and loved His Word. Because of his faith in God he slew a giant, he took on large numbers of the enemy and waited until God was ready for him to be king. His fire for God was unmatched, but at some point he quit putting new logs on the fire. 2 Samuel 11 starts off by telling us that when it was time for the kings to go to war, David stayed home and outsourced his position. He quit doing what he was supposed to. That’s when temptation struck and he sinned with Bathsheba. When God confronted him through the prophet, David chose to rekindle his fire and wrote Psalm 51. He continued to tend his fire after that and it burned bright until he died.

2 Timothy 1:6 says, “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you” (NLT). It’s natural for us to seasons when we’re on fire for God and season where we’re just not feeling. We may go through the motions or just turn a cold shoulder to God. Either way, God is calling us to tend our fire and to return to our first love. We don’t have to go through what David did to return. We simply need to recognize that we need to have the Holy Spirit reignite our heart and passion for God. Those embers are still there and can be reignited. The gifts that have been lying dormant are ready to be rekindled and blaze for God’s glory. Don’t let another day pass. Read Psalm 51 as a prayer to fan the flames of your heart toward God.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop:

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Psychological Warfare

Psychological warfare has been used for thousands of years to help win wars. If you remember the first night of Desert Storm, we used shock and awe to overwhelm the Iraqi army. It was a show of strength to win the battle of the mind. I’ve seen army’s drop pamphlets behind enemy lines to disrupt their belief of what they think the truth is. If they can get the people to believe their own government is lying, they’ll fold. I’ve also seen where they used speakers to blast messages 24 hours a day trying to get into their minds. Psychological warfare is real, and it’s intended to influence emotions, thinking, attitudes and behaviors. If those are manipulated, victory is easier.

In Isaiah 36, Jerusalem was surrounded by Assyria. They were the toughest army of the day and they were undefeated. When they showed up in full force, their psychological ware fare was to make their enemies lose heart. Not only that, they would address the people instead of just the king. They understood psychological warfare. In verse 15, their emperor was talking with Jerusalem’s leaders where all could hear. He tried to undermine King Hezekiah and their faith. He said, “And don’t let him (Hezekiah) persuade you to rely on the Lord. Don’t think that the Lord will save you and that he will stop our Assyrian army from capturing your city” (GNT). He then encouraged them to surrender. Thankfully they continued to trust the Lord and God sent the Assyrian army home.

Our enemy comes against you and I the same way. He speaks lies into our minds to get us to doubt God. He’s done it since the Garden of Eden. James 4:7 says, “So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you.” The key to victory against his mind games and lies that try to get you to quit relying on the Lord begins with submitting to God. Trust that He will not fail you, abandon you or leave you to fight alone. Trust His plan and know that He will work everything out for your good. Then resist the devil’s lies. Combat them with God’s Word the way Jesus did in the desert. When we do that, he has to flee. He has to stop the attack on your life and your mind. Don’t surrender or succumb to the psychological warfare of the devil. God has given you the Helmet of Salvation and the Shield of Faith to resist.

Photo by Monstera:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized