Give thanks to God

One of the main reminders I get from the Holy Spirit is to thank God. He is a big advocate for gratitude to the Father. He constantly talks about thanking God and He does it no matter what is happening in my life. I find it normal and necessary to thank the Lord for His goodness, for His love and for His blessings. Thanking Him when all is well is extremely easy. Now, thanking Him when I am facing hardships is a different story. The Holy Spirit still tells me to thank the Lord when I am going through a tough patch. To Him, my circumstances should never matter because Jesus remains the same. I shouldn’t take a break from thanking God just because I am having a bad day. I shouldn’t stop thanking God just because someone close is struggling or because I am having financial difficulties. Thanking God should be a way of life. It is a way of living a better life. It is a way of incorporating the Lord beautifully in our lives. It is the way! As this new week begins I want to invite you to thank God more. Double or triple your thanksgiving to the Lord. Turn up the volume of your gratitude and you will see how it changes your attitude.

“Thank you” are two powerful words. They show that we appreciate others and that we see what they do for us. They are a declaration of gratitude that can go a long way. I thank people all the time for different reasons and I am working on thanking the Lord all the time for different reasons but I am learning that there should not be a specific reason why I thank Him. I can just thank Him for being God and He is God all the time so my thanksgiving should never stop. God will always give you many reasons to say thank You but you should develop the habit of thanking Him at all times. Just say “Thank You, Lord” throughout the day. Add a smile to it. Make it a heartfelt declaration. Thank God for being God. Do it a few days in a row and you will see how you start changing on the inside. You will have a more positive outlook on life. You will approach every situation with a thankful heart. Before you know it you will thank the Lord before taking an exam, before starting work and before having to deal with difficult people. Your thanksgiving will flow naturally and it will overtake negative feelings and bad emotions. You can’t thank God and be mad at the same time. When your thanksgiving is from the heart, it defies all negativity.

It is God’s will for you to give thanks in all circumstances. Think about it! You can do God’s will every day by thanking Him. If you have no idea what God’s will is for you, just know that thanksgiving is a big part of His will for you. He knows that thanksgiving opens doors of blessings and it transforms the atmosphere. When you feel bitter, when you feel sad, when you are tired, thank God for being God. Recalibrate and focus on the Lord instead of focusing on your feelings and your doubt and fear. Thanksgiving accompanied by faith can crush the head of fear and doubt and keep you at peace. Thanksgiving gives you joy. It is a celebration. A celebration of the Lord and the Spirit of God loves to celebrate the Lord. When you thank God, you allow the Spirit to come into your circumstances in a bigger way. You set the tone for victory and you pave the way for triumph. Give thanks to God for He is good. Give thanks to God for He is with you all the time. Give thanks to God for He will always make a way. Give thanks to God for nothing is impossible to Him. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Hebrews 12:28; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Walking with the Holy Spirit

Being friends with the Holy Spirit sounds outrageous to some people even in the church. However, Jesus sent us His Spirit so He would be with us. The Spirit of God is our comforter and our counselor and He is closer than a brother. He is in us. He is with us. He doesn’t leave our side and yet we don’t always welcome Him or pay attention to Him. I believe that the more we ignore the Spirit of God and the less active He is in our lives. Ignoring Him shows that we don’t have faith in Him. The Bible says that without faith we can’t please God. Anyone who wants to come to Him has to believe that He exists. The Amplified Bible says that without faith it is impossible to walk with God. I like that explanation because it underlines the need to walk with God and the best way we can do it is by walking with His Spirit. His Spirit is the best representative of Jesus. The Holy Spirit always points in the direction of the Lord. He is His promoter and His advocate. You can’t know the Father unless you go through the Son and you can’t understand the Son unless you walk with His Spirit. Walking with the Holy Spirit is vital and yet it is not a well-known need in the church. We tend to build ourselves up before we build a strong relationship with the Spirit of Jesus. Today I want to encourage you to walk with the Holy Spirit. Get to know Him. Embrace Him and be closer to Him.

Anyone who wants to approach God needs to believe He exists and believe that He cares.* The Holy Spirit exists. He is more real than the chair I am sitting on. He is more real than the trees and the valleys that I see. All these things are real but the Spirit of the Lord is even more real because He has always been around and He will always be around. The chair I am sitting on will disappear one day but the Spirit of God will never go away. He is here to stay and He decided to dwell in the hearts of the believers. He is in your heart, friend. He dwells in you and you are His temple. Host Him well. Take care of Him. Talk to Him. Invite Him into everything you do. Listen to Him. Open your Bible and read what He has to tell you. Meditate on what you read and you will hear Him talk to Him beautifully and clearly. He is alive. He is alive and well. Add that truth to your bank of wisdom and be sure to withdraw from it every single day. Get into prayer mode first thing in the morning. Stand in front of your bank of wisdom and knowledge. When you pray, spend time listening to the Lord and you will get great dividends that are more precious than gold. The ATM of the Lord is full of gems and nuggets of wisdom that will make you spiritually rich. You will be made aware of the presence of the Spirit of the Lord in your life. Do it daily and the Spirit will be real to you.

The Holy Spirit cares about you. He does. He cares about you and He wants the best for you. When you walk hand in hand with you, you learn how to lead a great life in the name of Jesus. All the wisdom you receive from Him should be cherished and kept. The Spirit of the Lord will open your eyes to His love and you will always find comfort in Him. Walking with the Holy Spirit implies walking in peace and joy. It implies that you are accepting His love and you are walking in faith knowing that you are cared for and you have nothing to worry about. Don’t walk with the Spirit one day a week. Church on Sunday is great but your walk should continue every day of the week. You will develop more intimacy with the Lord on your daily walk than you do during a few hours at church. I know some amazing people of the Lord who don’t have a church to go to on Sunday but they have the sweetest and the strongest relationship with Jesus that I know. Their secret is that they acknowledge the Holy Spirit and they interact with Him every single day. Be friends with the Holy Spirit. Make room for Him. Thank Jesus for Him. Live your life with Him. Great things happen when we walk with the Spirit. Hold on to Him and make Him a priority in your life. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:13-14; Luke 12:31; Hebrews 11:6 (Amp)*

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 176)

Trusting the Lord shouldn’t be conditional or optional. It should condition our thinking and it should be our number one option all the time. Let’s put God first. Let’s trust God first!

You are never too far from your next blessing. Wait patiently and celebrate Jesus daily. He is going to bless you in ways that you never thought were possible!

The rain will stop. God will make it stop and He will shower you with blessings that will change your day for the better. Stay strong in the rain and expect the sun to come out again because the Son of God is always shining!

Sometimes God puts you in a situation where all you can do is pray. He wants to hear from you and He wants you to listen to Him. Pray every day so you know what to say and what to listen for when you are in a desperate situation!

You can’t get a bigger God. You need a bigger faith! God is big enough to take care of your biggest problems. Let your faith see Him for the God that He is.

Give God full custody of your life. Let Him make decisions for you, care for you and protect you!

Jesus is the key so open the doors of opportunities and blessings with Him in mind.

Don’t mind the thoughts that say that you won’t amount to anything. They are not from God. They are from the enemy who is trying to rob you of the truth of the Lord. The Lord loves you and He knows your worth. You were worth dying for. That is what Jesus thinks of you!

God did it before and He will do it again. Expect miracles. Expect blessings. Expect changes. Expect God to be God. He will deliver!

Thanks to God you will discover that there is always hope. There is always something better coming. There is always a solution and there is always love for everyone.

Suggested reading: Lamentations 3:22-23; John 15:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Nothing without God

I am nothing without God. I wouldn’t be here without Him. I am not the center of my universe. I can’t be. I used to be and things didn’t work out well. I didn’t know what I was doing. When Jesus first became my savior, I had no idea that putting Him first meant living a better life. It sounded too much like a sacrifice I wasn’t willing to make. My whole being was telling me that God was there for me and I wasn’t there for Him. I let my flesh dominate me. My spirit didn’t agree but my body and my mind were strongly convinced that God was more like a genie that was there to fulfill my wishes. I have heard similar ideas  in the church. People believe that God loves us so much that He would do anything for us. It is true. He sent His Son for us but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t serve Him. It is quite the contrary. As believers we should have a God-centered mentality where God means everything, God is who we need and He is more important than us. It is the idea of dying to self and decreasing so He can increase.

As a young Christian I used to think that I was doing well on my own. I used to think that I could manage on my own and I didn’t need God. God could give me a lot but most of what I had or I was able to do was because I was a strong independent individual. I was so wrong. I was so flawed. I was so imperfect. Self-righteousness is extremely dangerous and it was something that I adhered to without completely understanding it. I had the wrong approach. I used the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” but I kept Christ out of the equation. In my mind, I could do all things. When I was in high school, I believed that I was a very good student because of my abilities and I never thanked God for giving me the wisdom and the knowledge I had. I came to the conclusion that I was very smart and I developed a slight (intellectual) complex. According to God, no one is better than anyone. According to God, we are nothing without Him and we need Him desperately all the time and not just when we are desperate.

It was when I realized that I was nothing without God that my life changed. That realization set some great things into motion. It taught me that I had to be more devoted to God. It showed me that I had to honor God and revere Him. It led me to make the sacrifice of praise and worship the Lord from the bottom of my heart. It stressed the importance of giving my whole heart to the Lord. God is everything and with Him I become something. God is everything and with Him my life is short of being perfect. God is everything and with Him I am on a journey where my worth is in Him. God is everything and without Him I am not the salt of the earth, I have no flavor and my life fades away easily. God is everything and with Him I find peace and freedom and I can grow spiritually.

We are nothing without God but we find meaning in Him. God should be at the center of everything we do and especially at the center of our hearts and minds. I have to redirect my thoughts and my intentions often to make sure they have the stamp of approval of the Lord because He is the One who is in control. I give Him control. I give Him first place. I have found that when I make Him the most important person in my life, He demonstrates that I matter to Him greatly. I make Him my priority and I understand that I mean the world to Him. I don’t want to put myself first anymore. I strive to follow the Lord and to exalt Him. My life is a daily praise to the King. I am not the most perfect worshipper but I do my best to please Him and to lift Him up. Friend, you are nothing without the Lord but with Him you are everything. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 14:6; John 15:5; Ephesians 2:8-9

Consider it pure joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so you can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4). Who would think that it is a good idea to consider it pure joy when we face trials? I think we tend to consider it pure torture when we face trials but the Lord doesn’t see it that way. His recommendation is to maintain joy in the midst of trials. He says we should hold on to joy even when things are rocky and chaotic. His joy is our strength and if we remain joyful in the hard times, we will have the power we need to stay strong. Nothing is better than having what it takes to face anything that comes our way. With Jesus we always have what it takes and He has put joy in our hearts so that we can stand tall when the enemy wants us to be small and diminished. Joy increases our potential to face the day. Fear and doubt decrease our ability to deal with life. When they are high, life seems impossible to bear. When we adhere to negative thoughts, we turn up the volume of defeat and failure. When we tap into the joy of the Lord, we turn up the volume of victory and triumph. Today I want to reiterate what the Lord says and encourage you to count it all joy. Don’t get excited because you are suffering. Get excited that you are going to make it through the trials and you are going to get some nice faith muscles.

Trials can be debilitating. A trial is a test, a problem or a difficulty. Problems make us wonder and they make us doubt. Difficulties stall us and make us wonder how we are going to make it. Tests just make us anxious and they hurt our faith. Now, we are not supposed to see trials as the end all be all. We have to think about what we have to deal with the trials and more specifically who we have on our side. The Lord is the solver of all trials. He is the deal breaker. Life deals us a bad hand sometimes and the Lord breaks that deal. He makes things right. He restores and repairs. We can choose to keep our eyes on the deal breaker or we can choose to let the deal break us. We all get dealt some bad cards but the Lord holds us in the palm of His hand and He holds the cards that give us access to a better life, to a better situation and to a better tomorrow. Don’t let the trials of life control your emotions and your feelings. You are going to make it through them thanks to the Lord. Keep thinking about it. Keep thinking of victory and not failure. Keep thinking triumph and not defeat. Keep thinking that it is going to get better and not that it is going to get worse. It could get worse before it gets better but with the Lord, it will get better. Your goal, friend, is to hang in there and keep persevering in faith. The more you do it, the stronger your faith will be. The rewards that come from having a strong faith are endless. You will be able to handle anything the enemy throws at you. Nothing will be impossible to you because of the greater One who lives in you!

Staying joyful when things are bad is ground for more joy. The Lord sees us and He gives us more joy. His joy can multiply and it can bring on even more strength. I remember a time when I had no idea how I was going to make it. I was about to embark on a new journey with a new job and I moved to a new place. I didn’t have much money. I was still a student. It didn’t look like it was wise to look for a place to live and to make a move to another part of the state. I did it all in faith. I didn’t give up on the dream the Lord had put in my heart. He had told me I would be an educator and I would have a choice of where I would like to work. I had tried years before and failed miserably. However, the dream came back stronger and I couldn’t ignore it. I went with it. I applied for two jobs and I was offered both jobs. It was up to me to decide which one I wanted. I prayed about it. The Lord pointed out which one I should choose. I trusted Him. I walked in faith. I turned down one of the jobs and the one I chose actually paid $10,000 more than the other one. I have been working there for over ten years now and I have enjoyed every single day. This job has been a blessing. Everything came together. The Lord provided amazingly when I had nothing. I stayed joyful even when I had little money. He took care of it. His joy gave me the strength to make it. That difficult experience allowed me to grow in my faith and to always expect that the Lord would come through for me. Consider it pure joy, friend even when it makes no sense and when you feel like crying. You are building faith muscles. Stay strong! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Romans 1:17; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:6-8

Dealing with anger

We experience negative feelings and bad emotions. We all face bouts of anger and times when we are just negative. It is part of human nature and it is something we can expect at some point. Now, we are invited not to go to bed angry. The Bible clearly states that we shouldn’t go to bed upset. As a kid I didn’t really understand that statement but as I grew older I could see why it is a problem and I have discovered that it is bad in general to let negative feelings and emotions rule our lives. We have to react to them. We can’t be passive and let them be daily visitors. Anger is not our friend. Anger doesn’t help. Anger doesn’t give us anything positive. Sometimes we think that a little anger is good for the soul. I have heard people talk about holy anger or a holy wrath. That type of anger or wrath is for the Lord and taken out of context it can create a doctrine that accepts anger as a welcome part of our lives. Anger should have no room in us. Being upset doesn’t get us any closer to God. God never said we should imitate His wrath. He said we should follow His love and walk in His love. Being mad at someone or being angry in general is detrimental to our spiritual being. Anger is not a spiritual fruit. It is the opposite. It is a bad apple that needs to be taken out of our spiritual basket as soon as it gets there.

Ephesians 4:26 declares, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” We are encouraged not to give anger free reign in our lives. When anger is fed, it leads us to sin. Anger, like I said before, is not our friend. It is a trait of the enemy that he wishes everyone would have. He is angry all the time. He knows he was defeated by Jesus and people like you and me are very much aware of his defeat and that makes him angry. He is not a joyful foe. He is a bitter conquered enemy and when he rubs his anger on our hearts, we have to put a stop to that bad injection before it contaminates our spirits and leads us to do the wrong things. Anger is not from God. It separates us from God. It isolates us from the Lord. It makes us take steps away from love. Love is not angry. Love doesn’t get upset. Love doesn’t rebuke people. Love is not annoyed and it is never hostile. Hostility is a characteristic of anger. Anger pushes people to be hostile in their words and in their actions. Anger gives us all the wrong words to say free of charge and all the wrong thoughts and ideas. Spend a night in the arms of anger and you will wake up with such negativity that you will not be drawn to talking to the Lord first thing in the morning. You will want to overthink and ruminate over negative thoughts. If the sun goes down and you are angry, chances are the sun will find you angry in the morning when it rises. Put a stop to anger before it runs your night and it ruins your life.

Some people live with anger all the time. There are many reasons why that anger is so anchored in their lives and those reasons are never good. When I find myself angry, I first repent and give it over to the Lord. I do not like being angry. Anger robs me of joy and peace. We can’t be in the joy of the Lord and be angry at the same time. Anger is such a strong feeling that it wins over joy and peace if we don’t have a way to deal with it. I deal with anger through prayer. I pray myself back to peace. The Lord calms me down. The Lord removes anger when I give Him the time of day. I pray against anger in the name of Jesus. I recognize that it is bad and I reject it. I meditate every day on the Word and I find that those moments of silence help me deal with anger. The Lord empowers me when I seek His face and He gives me the power to push anger away. Anger will always show up at our doorstep but it is up to us to react against anger with love. I often speak against anger and thank the Lord for His love that is in me. His love is in all believers. Sometimes we have to unearth it and let it come to life especially when anger is raging and trying to dominate us. Do not give in to anger. Speak against it with authority in the name of Jesus. Remember that anger never leads to anything good and it alienates you from God. Take a stand against anger every day. Walk in peace and let love dominate you. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 14:29; Ecclesiastes 7:9

Finding rest in the Lord

I was very tired the other day but I couldn’t relax properly. My mind was racing. When we are tired, we are more susceptible to negative thoughts and their power over us. I had to do something. Then I heard deep down inside “Rest in Me. I am your power.” I love it when the Holy Spirit gives me encouragement when I least expect it. It happens at the most random times. One time I heard Him say something very powerful as I got off the couch. His encouragement ushered me into a long praise session. Sometimes it only takes a few words from the Lord to set our heart ablaze. I needed His fire. I needed something that would consume the fatigue and the negativity that was trying to take over me. “Rest in Me” was just what I had been waiting for. My mind longed for words from the Lord that would put to sleep the bad thoughts and the discouragement that was escalating inside. I said a prayer. Prayer is my point of contact with God. When I join my hands, something amazing happens. I flow with the Holy Spirit and I am very quickly reminded of the presence of the Lord. It is interesting how we can be feeling down one moment and then we get overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord and His joy hits us like a jolt. I prayed for rest. I prayed so I could unwind and find peace in His arms.

The Lord listens to our prayers and if we believe that what we ask in His name we receive, there is no way we won’t receive it. I asked for rest and I received a blessing. Peace settled in my heart and the Lord’s serenity invaded the room I was in. I think sometimes we perceive things as being on the outside when they are really taking place on the inside. God gave me His peace. That peace that surpasses all understanding. He said He was my power. He is our power. He is the power that can quiet the thoughts of the enemy and that can burn all the negativity we face. Finding peace when my mind was all over the place was such a strong encouragement that it led me to think about all the times the Lord had intervened in my life in a powerful way. Going down Merry lane like I like to call it, can give us rest. Going down the road of memories of God’s interventions in our lives can give us peace and help us stay in faith and have hope. Unrest often comes when hope seems gone. Unrest is a fruit of the enemy. There is the fruit of the Spirit and there is the bad fruit of the enemy. The enemy’s fruit is dark and filled with doom and chaos. The fruit of the Spirit is ripe, bright and filled with hope. I took a bite at the fruit of the Spirit and rest came rushing in.

When you find rest in the Lord, you could be in the middle of a crisis but the Lord is all you know. God can transform your mood and make you joyful even when you have reasons to cry. When you find rest in the Lord, your circumstances don’t mean anything. The Lord is your everything. When you find rest in the Lord, you feel like you could walk on water and no storm can stop you from walking. When you find rest in the Lord, you don’t overthink but you are overjoyed. You have joy that puts an end to anguish and agony. When you find rest in the Lord, you let Him take over and you sit in the passenger seat. When you find rest in the Lord, you find a treasure that you share with others and that keeps on giving. When you find rest in the Lord, tomorrow is nothing to worry about and today is a great day. When you find rest in the Lord, the enemy is upset but your heart is at peace. Find rest in the Lord today. Say a prayer. Ask for help. Talk to the Lord of lords. Go down Merry lane. Embrace His restful arms and stand in peace. Stand tall in the assurance that you can rest and you have nothing to worry about. Find rest in the Lord and not in the world. The Lord will give you peace so you can be strong again. May God bless you and protect you and remember that the Lord will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 62:1;  Matthew 11:28; Mark 6:31

Be ready for anything

Be ready for anything. Be ready for the good. Be ready for the bad. The bad often prevails in our lives by seeping into every area of our lives in a big or small way. However, Jesus said that despite the tribulations we would have in this world, we should not worry. Why? Because He said He had conquered the world. Anything can happen at any time but Jesus is King anytime and all the time. No matter what comes your way, Jesus can get in the way. He can get in the way of what will try to destroy you, to rob you and to make you fail. Jesus is the reason why you can face anything. He is the reason why you can be ready for anything. He also tells us in His Word that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. The Amplified version of that verse reads, “ I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who ]infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”* You truly can be ready for anything because Jesus is your strength. Anything that comes your way will find Jesus there with you. Any problem and any trial will have to contend with the Lord. Remember that and you will rise above any problem that you might encounter. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever so the strength to face every day is the same today as it was when Jesus walked the earth. The Holy Spirit will give you the power to deal with anything. When God says anything, He means it!

This week could be a week of many “anything’s’. You could be taken aback by some of the things that take place. Take a deep breath and before you react with fear, react with Jesus. Keep in mind that He is on your side and He is your strength. Say it out loud. Talk about how powerful He is and declare that nothing is impossible with Him. Nothing can stop Him from blessing you and nothing can derail you because He is with you. Some of the things that might take place are going to look like a series of bad episodes that present themselves as an obstacle course. It might look really bad and impossible to traverse but it shouldn’t frighten you. Getting through difficulties at times is a long process and you might feel like you are very far from a destination where peace resides. Jesus is your passport to that destination. He has all the visas you need to go through trials and come out unscorched. You will go through hot lands and deserts but He is going with you and He has all the immunization you need. He will give you rain when you are too hot and warmth when things get cold. It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in. What matters is the One who is your defender and your protector. Face the day with Him. He has conquered the world including every single problem you will ever have to handle. He can heal any situation and restore anything that the enemy has stolen. He will restore your joy and your peace. He will help you stay strong at all times. It is up to you to decide not to give up.

You have strength for all things. You have strength 24/7. You have Jesus 24/7 and He is your strength. One thing that works for me very well is to tap into the Lord’s joy. The Bible says that His joy is our strength. When a problem arises, I get into joy mode. The best way for me to get there is through a praise and worship session. I lift up my hands and the fear and doubt come down. I lift up my hands and boldness and confidence rise up. Jesus empowers me and He gives me hope. It is amazing and it is all thanks to Him. Give Him the glory for He gives you the power to make it every single day. Today the Lord wants to empower you through this message. He wants to remind you that anything can happen but He is more powerful than anything. He also wants you to be ready for anything that is good. Expect good things. Have faith for miracles, blessings and breakthroughs. Don’t be afraid of the bad things but be thankful for the good things that are coming your way. He is a waymaker and His way is the best way. Be in sync with His way by trusting that He has great plans for your life. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 41:10; Philippians 4:13*; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Being a doer of the Word

When I was praying the other day, I was encouraged to look up James 1:22. That verse says “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” I had read this verse before but I knew the Lord wanted me to pay close attention to it for a reason. I listen to the Word every day. I listen to it and take notes, mental notes and physical notes. I ponder on the Word. I meditate on what I listen to. I pray over what I listen to. I take the Word in and I let it marinate in my spirit. It always swirls around my mind and lands in spots that need to be reinforced in my thinking. I found the Word to be a very powerful tool when it comes to renewing my thinking. I love to use the Word to my advantage and the best way I use it is by giving it a chance to change me on the inside. That change is reflected in the outside but there is one area where I can miss it easily; when it comes to being a “doer of the Word” I need more practice. I do what the Word says in my areas of my life. I am a prayer warrior, a faith soldier and a praise giver. Now, what am I lacking? A lot. There is a lot in the Word of God that I can put into action and getting that reminder through James 1:22 was just what I needed.

After I read the verse, I asked the Lord for more direction and more information. What He sweetly whispered to me on the inside, is that being a doer of the Word is something that should be natural, habitual and not optional. As believers we are called to being doers of the Word every single day. When we are in public and in our private lives. We can’t follow the Lord only when everyone is looking. We should also follow Him in our thinking and in our hearts. A doer of the Word puts God first in everything he or she does. A doer of the Word listens to the Word more than they listen to the world and they always apply what they hear in the Word of God whether they feel like it or not. A doer of the Word zeroes in on the spirit and puts his/her flesh under. A doer of the Word is moved by the heart of God and always sees opportunities to love others. We can all be doers of the Word on a regular basis. It takes dedication, discipline and determination but the Lord would never tell us to do something impossible.

If we only listen to the Word and don’t apply what we learn, the Bible says that we are like a man who looks in the mirror and immediately forgets what he looks like. The Word is our mirror and it shows us who we are in Christ and what we should look like on the inside. The reflection of the Lord should always be seen in our actions, our words and our thoughts. A doer of the Word is not afraid to shine the Lord’s light and to be more like Him any chance they get. A doer of the Word is in sync with the Lord by communicating with Him all the time. A doer of the Word welcomes the Holy Spirit and adores Jesus. I believe that is very important. Jesus is the center and we ought to reverence Him and honor Him. As we do what the Word inspires us to do, we lift up Jesus. We lift Him up when we interact with others, when we go about our daily routine, when we think about life and when we are alone. Jesus is a 24/7 motivation. He is the goal. He is the goal of what we should aspire to be like.

We can’t be doers of the Word without the love of Jesus. Focusing on everything that the Bible says and ignoring love is being a mistaken and a misled doer of the Word. It’s having the wrong priorities and misunderstanding Jesus. As long as we strive to love like Jesus and we are in communion with His Spirit, we will be doers of the Word that can sustain their ability to do as the Word says. The good news is that the Lord is assisting us and helping us become good doers of the Word. All He is looking for is a willing heart. Open yourself to being the doer of the Word the Lord wants you to be. Take one step at a time with His help. It will get easier. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 13:17; Romans 2:13; James 1:22-25

Dealing with anger

We experience negative feelings and bad emotions. We all face bouts of anger and times when we are just negative. It is part of human nature and it is something we can expect at some point. Now, we are invited not to go to bed angry. The Bible clearly states that we shouldn’t go to bed upset. As a kid I didn’t really understand that statement but as I grew older I could see why it is a problem and I have discovered that it is bad in general to let negative feelings and emotions rule our lives. We have to react to them. We can’t be passive and let them be daily visitors. Anger is not our friend. Anger doesn’t help. Anger doesn’t give us anything positive. Sometimes we think that a little anger is good for the soul. I have heard people talk about holy anger or a holy wrath. That type of anger or wrath is for the Lord and taken out of context it can create a doctrine that accepts anger as a welcome part of our lives. Anger should have no room in us. Being upset doesn’t get us any closer to God. God never said we should imitate His wrath. He said we should follow His love and walk in His love. Being mad at someone or being angry in general is detrimental to our spiritual being. Anger is not a spiritual fruit. It is the opposite. It is a bad apple that needs to be taken out of our spiritual basket as soon as it gets there.

Ephesians 4:26 declares, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” We are encouraged not to give anger free reign in our lives. When anger is fed, it leads us to sin. Anger, like I said before, is not our friend. It is a trait of the enemy that he wishes everyone would have. He is angry all the time. He knows he was defeated by Jesus and people like you and me are very much aware of his defeat and that makes him angry. He is not a joyful foe. He is a bitter conquered enemy and when he rubs his anger on our hearts, we have to put a stop to that bad injection before it contaminates our spirits and leads us to do the wrong things. Anger is not from God. It separates us from God. It isolates us from the Lord. It makes us take steps away from love. Love is not angry. Love doesn’t get upset. Love doesn’t rebuke people. Love is not annoyed and it is never hostile. Hostility is a characteristic of anger. Anger pushes people to be hostile in their words and in their actions. Anger gives us all the wrong words to say free of charge and all the wrong thoughts and ideas. Spend a night in the arms of anger and you will wake up with such negativity that you will not be drawn to talking to the Lord first thing in the morning. You will want to overthink and ruminate over negative thoughts. If the sun goes down and you are angry, chances are the sun will find you angry in the morning when it rises. Put a stop to anger before it runs your night and it ruins your life.

Some people live with anger all the time. There are many reasons why that anger is so anchored in their lives and those reasons are never good. When I find myself angry, I first repent and give it over to the Lord. I do not like being angry. Anger robs me of joy and peace. We can’t be in the joy of the Lord and be angry at the same time. Anger is such a strong feeling that it wins over joy and peace if we don’t have a way to deal with it. I deal with anger through prayer. I pray myself back to peace. The Lord calms me down. The Lord removes anger when I give Him the time of day. I pray against anger in the name of Jesus. I recognize that it is bad and I reject it. I meditate every day on the Word and I find that those moments of silence help me deal with anger. The Lord empowers me when I seek His face and He gives me the power to push anger away. Anger will always show up at our doorstep but it is up to us to react against anger with love. I often speak against anger and thank the Lord for His love that is in me. His love is in all believers. Sometimes we have to unearth it and let it come to life especially when anger is raging and trying to dominate us. Do not give in to anger. Speak against it with authority in the name of Jesus. Remember that anger never leads to anything good and it alienates you from God. Take a stand against anger every day. Walk in peace and let love dominate you. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 14:29; Ecclesiastes 7:9