God brought you this far

God brought you this far. He is not going to let you down. He is not going to drop you. He is not going to leave you stranded. He will finish the good work He started in you. He will finish the good work in your life. Don’t give up! God is still working with you. God is still working on your situation. Keep the faith! There are some great things coming your way because God is making a way where you thought there was no way. It sounds cliche but it also sounds like Jesus. That is what He will always say. He will always say that He is way, the truth and the life. When you have Him, you always find your way out of trouble. You always have hope of better days. Those better days are not too far. Hold on a little longer. Show your faith longer. I understand that obstacles and hurdles seem to be all over the place and you can’t see good things in your future. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean that they are not ahead of you. Jesus has gone before you and He has laid out everything you need and He will provide for you. Don’t look at what you don’t have. In Him you have all you need. There are blessings today that might be invisible to you but with faith they can be revealed. God is by your side and He is going to take you places you had never thought existed. He brought you this far and He will guide you to a destination that is so peaceful and so good that it will blow your mind and surpass your understanding. God is not done blessing you. He is not done carrying you!

When I look back and see how far I have come I can’t help but thank the Lord. He is the One who has made so many things possible in my life. I have a better awareness of His work in my life and of His plan. Good things in my life have not been coincidences or luck. It’s been Jesus all along and He is here to stay. I know that when things get complicated and difficult, we are under the impression that God is done. We feel like He has left and He has moved on to other people. That is not how God is. In His Word He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. He also said that He was the same yesterday, today and forever. Your future is still in His hands. Your present is blessed by His presence. God doesn’t give up. God doesn’t turn around when He sees difficulties on the way. He destroys what tries to destroy us. God has the ability to do the incredible and to do the less expected. Faith connects us to Him and it gives us the hope and confidence that God is sovereign all the time. Express your faith today. Tell yourself that God is still God and that He has brought you this far and He will get you to the finish line. There is nothing to fear and nothing to be worried about. Worry won’t move you forward. It will always stall you and hurt you.

I have no idea what you are going through today. I am telling you to keep the faith and you might think that it is a tall order. You feel like you have given your best to this thing called faith and you have run out of it. Look to Jesus. He is the author of your faith. Faith is in His power, His truth, His love, His abilities, His sovereignty, and His omnipotence. You are not trying to have faith in your ability to make things happen. Your faith is exalting the One who died for the world and who came back to life. Revive your vision of Jesus. Go back to His Word. Read about Him. Read Him. Revisit Him. Relearn Him. He is the deliverer, the ruler of the universe and the King of kings. He wants you to stay in fellowship with Him and trust that your journey is not over. He is with you on the journey and He created this journey for you. Think about that! He made this plan just for you and He will see it through. You have made it this far thanks to Jesus and He is going to help you finish this amazing adventure. Keep your hopes up. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!


Suggested reading: Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:13, 1 Peter 5:10

God sings over you

I have mentioned before how I sometimes hear songs in my head. Songs that don’t exist. Songs that warm my heart because they come with so much joy and peace. They are songs dedicated to Jesus and sometimes they are just melodies that keep me calm. Melodies that have no lyrics but I know they are about Jesus. The other day I was sitting in my kitchen getting ready to have some one on one time with the Lord when I heard a very beautiful melody. It was just so incredible. I wish I could have recorded it. When I started praying, the Lord told me that He sings over us and that melody was an example of that. He loves each and every one of us and He sings over us and about us. His songs are extremely beautiful. They are a reflection of what He thinks about us. To Him we are the most important person in the world. Each and every one of us matters to Him greatly and He looks at us with oceans of love.

We can’t know the depths of these oceans because if we did, we would drown in His love. At times I wish I could be carried away by God’s love and just float on His mercy and grace. We don’t have to go far to find His love. We don’t have to be special to experience His love. We just have to believe that when He says He loves us, He means it. God is a God of His word and He is faithful. Nothing we can ever do can separate us from His love. He will always sing over us and He will always rejoice over us. Now, if you know you did something wrong or if you feel guilty about a sin in your life, know that God will forgive you. Don’t let guilt and shame keep you away from God. Repent and let go of what is distancing you from God. Repent and trust that God has forgiven you. Repent and ask for help so that sin doesn’t keep causing you to fall and stumble. God loves you and that’s all there is to it!

Think about the best songs and the best melodies you have ever heard. Combine them and multiply them by a thousand and you still won’t be able to duplicate the joyful songs that the Lord sings over you. I think that if we had more faith in how much God loves us, we would have a stronger walk with Him and we would be able to face life more easily. There is no power greater than God’s love. The most sophisticated weapons are not stronger than God’s love. The most desperate situations are not bigger than God’s love. The most debilitating circumstances are not stronger than God’s love. God’s song about you is an expression of a love that has no end and that can’t fail. Learn to embrace God’s love for you. Accept the work that Jesus did on the cross. Accept the resurrection power of the Lord. That power lives in you and it has been placed in you by God’s love. His song about you echoes what He did for you and it depicts the greatest sacrifice that has ever taken place. That sacrifice was because of you. Jesus had you in mind. Jesus did it all for you. Thank Him for His outstanding love. Thank Him for not ever changing His love for you. Thank Him for the songs He sings about you. Thank Him for rejoicing over you.

If you could hear the lyrics of the songs the Lord sings about you, you would be amazed. You would be in awe. You would be in tears. The extreme beauty of His love for you would pierce you and enter the depth of your being. It would be such a wonderful experience that you would never be able to see yourself in a dark light. You are a ray of sunshine according to the Lord. Think about it! He rejoices over you! The Lord Almighty is excited about you. He gets to spend every day with you and your company makes Him joyful. Sing back to Him. Sing over Him. Rejoice over Him. Show Him that you love Him and you appreciate Him. Use the best words your heart can come up with and direct them to the Lord. Let Him hear how delighted you are to be in His presence. Be confident that His love is permanent and keep that truth in the middle of your heart. The Lord is singing about you as we speak. Smile and enjoy His singing. God so loved you that He gave His only Son for you. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 18:19; John 10:10

Faith gets you closer to God

I often talk about the peace of the Lord because it is something that has made me feel closer to God. It is so powerful and so out of this world that I see it as a footprint from the Lord on my life. He leaves footprints on my life from time to time to remind me that He is there. They are also like winks from Heaven. Winks that tell me, “Don’t worry, the Lord is always with you.” You see, I used to look for signs and for feelings that demonstrated that the Lord was around. I relied on how I felt to know that God was present. The truth is that He is always there and He never leaves us even when we don’t feel anything or we don’t have any signs. Looking for signs all the time can be very deceiving because most of the time we “don’t feel” God. How do we know that He is there then? By faith. Faith is the assurance that God is present and that He is active in our lives. Faith is a form a vision. We see beyond the natural and we see into the supernatural or the impossible. Faith gives us a new eye sight. A new and better way of looking at life. Faith doesn’t rest on what we see with our eyes or what we feel with our bodies. We know God is there when we have faith and we don’t need anything tangible or visual to be sure of His existence. Faith is extremely powerful. Faith creates great things into our lives. When we have faith, we have access to the miraculous, the impossible and the supernatural. Faith is what we should pursue and grow in our lives.

“Now faith is confidence in hat we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”* What do you hope for? We all hope for many different things. As Christians, I would say that one of the things we should hope for is a closer relationship with the Lord. We can attain this intimate relationship by faith. Two people get closer when they spend time together. Let’s spend more time with God by faith. Let’s set time aside knowing that God is with us during those times. We don’t have to feel Him or to hear Him right away. We just have to trust that He is with us and that He is listening to us. He is very talkative and by faith we can hear Him. How? God doesn’t contradict His Word so what we hear on the inside that is connected to the Word of God is God talking to us. We need to have faith in what He says and in what we hear. We should live by faith and not by sight so our lives should reflect our belief that God is with us and that He is interested in a relationship with us. With faith we can please God. Faith shows us that God is real, that He loves us and that we ought to follow His lead. Faith gets us closer to the Lord. Faith is a connector, a bridge between God and us.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him use believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”** Faith connects you to God like I said earlier and it shows you that your God exists and He is with you all the time. When we rely on our feelings and our moods as indicators that God exists, we focus on the wrong source. Our knowing that God exists should be faith-based because our emotions and moods will change all the time. A characteristic of faith is that it doesn’t waver no matter how we feel. Faith is in the heart and it influences our minds. Let your faith be stronger than your feelings. Develop faith by spending time in the Word of God. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. You can’t have more faith if you have little of the Word of God in you. My prayer is that your faith is so strong that you know without a doubt that God is with you, for you and in you. Faith gets you closer to God, friend. Believe He is there. Trust He will never leave you. Do it by faith. His peace and His joy are bonuses that are reminders of His presence but faith should be your main point of contact with the Lord. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Hebrews 11:1*; Hebrews 11:6**; 2 Corinthians 5:7

Expect God every day

I love the start of a new week. I love new beginnings. I love new days, new weeks, new months and new years. However, I don’t wait for a new start to challenge myself or to trust that God can do something different in my life. Yes, He is the God of new beginnings and His mercies are new every day. I am so thankful for that and I praise the Lord for His new mercies. I do believe that God can act at any point in my life and I don’t have to wait for a new day or a new year to have great expectations. I expect God all the time. I expect Him to act on my behalf any time. I expect His blessings to follow me wherever I go and whenever. I don’t have to wait around for something new to happen. God is here now. His love is here now. His power is here now. His blessings are here now. You and I have the creator of the universe on our sides and He loves to bless us. I know that if we have faith in His blessings, they will flood our lives. God loves us more than we know and He wants rivers of blessings to be present in our lives. We need to learn how to flow with that truth so that we embark on the boat of joy and peace that floats on His rivers of blessings. Today could be a new beginning for you. Today could be the day you begin to trust that God wants you to be blessed all the time. I encourage you to expect God any time of the day and any day of the week.

I remember loving Sundays as a teenager because I could go to church. I used to go far to attend a church where I found what I needed at the time spiritually. I basically lived for Sundays. I knew I would encounter God on that day and I loved how my Sundays gave me the strength to face the new week. I had the wrong approach. I put God in the “Sunday box.” He was limited in my mind because He could only show up in my life on Sunday. I had a vision of a limited God that I could truly only interact with on Sunday. My Sundays with God helped me deal with Monday. At least with part of Monday because by the end of Monday I was usually back to my old defeated self. Did I pray during the week? I did but my prayers were rot and they sounded rehearsed. I didn’t know how to connect with God outside of Sundays. I didn’t except God during the week other than some ripple effects from my Sunday worship and prayer time. We should expect God all the time, friend. Sundays are great days to praise the Lord but so are all the other days of the week. We can expect God’s peace every day. We can expect God’s joy every day. We can expect God’s blessings all the time. We should expect God at all times.

I saw a big shift in my spiritual life when I decided to praise the Lord on a daily basis. I remember actually starting doing that on a Monday. I held my own private praise and prayer sessions in the morning and at night. I brought church home so to speak and within a few days, I had encounters with the presence of the Lord. He visited me every day and I was open to His love and His direction. The Holy Spirit opened the eyes of my spirit and I was all about Jesus. I expected the Lord to inhabit my praises all the time. I read my Bible every day. I prayed a lot more and I established a beautiful relationship with the Lord. I expected Him to be the God of the Bible 24/7 and that is what happened. I had dreams, visions, bouts of joy and peace and I was addicted to Jesus. I expected Him to bless me every day and to help me deal with every single day. I knew that problems would still arise but I expected God to give me the victory. Today I still expect God every day. I still pray and worship all the time and it makes my life so much better. God is not just here on Sunday. Expect Him every day, dear friend. It will change your life for the better. Expect God’s blessings all the time. Ride the waves of His peace every single day. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: John 8:32; John 14:6; Ephesians 3:20

When you decide to follow God

When you decide to follow God, you are always right. It might feel like you made a choice that you will regret but you are always right. Following God is following love, peace, joy and truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and when you are behind Him, you are in front of blessings that will follow you wherever you go. Following God doesn’t mean that trouble will not stalk you. Trouble will pursue you but God’s hand will be on you. You will be protected and shielded. At times you will want to throw in the towel but the Lord will always have your back and He will hold you in the palm of His hand. Following God is following the best. God is never wrong. God is never late. God is never unfair. God is always the best ally. Follow God, friend and you will be on the right path. Don’t let the enemy talk you into getting on a different road. The road ahead will be paved with joy and peace and trials and tribulations but nothing will get in the way of your success. When you follow God, you are on the winning team. Follow God. You will never walk alone.

Following God is more than just reading the Bible on a regular basis. Reading the Word is important and it is necessary but there are different ways to read the Word. You can read the Word and intellectualize the whole experience. You won’t get much out of it that way. You can read with your mind and with your reasoning and turn the process into something cerebral that is not spiritual. God is Spirit and we need to have a spiritual connection with Him. We need to have a spiritual connection with His Word. Following God means reading His Word and letting it become a part of us. It means giving room to the Word so it can grow in our lives and so it can change us. Following God is interacting with His Word and applying it. Praying is part of following God. It is also filling our hearts with His love and holding on to faith at all times. Following God is a spiritual experience that impacts our lives and the lives of people around us.

Following God is following love like I said earlier. Love is the most important thing and when we follow God, we decide to walk in love and we make love a priority. Following God is not just following rituals and doctrines. The one doctrine we should abide by is the doctrine of love. It is not a regular doctrine. It is a commandment from the Lord. Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbors as yourself. God is love and we, His followers, should seek love wherever we go and spread love. If today you are trying to follow God, remember that love is what will keep you on the right path. Love should always be in front of you, guiding you. Enjoy the walk of love with God. Follow Him and you will follow the biggest blessing in the world. Jesus is the most amazing blessing and when you follow Him, you are always right. He will never mislead you. Keep following God even when you seem lost. Trust that He is showing you the right way. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 5:33; Matthew 10:38; John 14:6

God always has a better plan

Where will God take you next? Who knows? God knows. Keep trusting Him even if you don’t understand which way you are going. Keep trusting Him even if you think His plan is not the right plan. Have you ever thought that your plan might work better than God’s plan? You might not realize it but every time you take matters in your own hands and you act without God’s consent or approval, you show that you believe your plan is better than His. Sometimes we think of God’s plan as plan B when His plan should always be plan A. It sounds simple but it is easier to go with our plans when things are all over the place. We need to change that attitude and let God be God all the time.

The other day, I was supposed to go to a Greek restaurant with my family. When we got to the restaurant, we found out that it was closed. My nephew was very disappointed because that restaurant was his favorite place to eat. I could see that he was bummed. We suggested we look up restaurants in the area and try to find something else. He agreed but I know he was not excited about finding another option. His plan was the best in his mind. We found an African fusion restaurant. He was open to trying it. That new restaurant was delicious and my nephew loved it so much that he even ordered take-out. My sister said that it was God’s plan for us to find that new place. God had a better plan. At first it didn’t sound too appealing but once we gave it a chance, it turned out to be way better than we thought.

The restaurant illustration is just a tiny example of what God can do in our lives. He knows best and He can take us to new places where we will be greatly blessed. What we have to do is be receptive to His plan and be ready to follow Him even when we don’t know where we are going. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the way, friend. He leads us into all truths and He leads us to the best places. If you are in a place today where you always count on what you know and you are not willing to explore God’s options, I am here to encourage you to let God lead the way. What you have been doing for years might still work but it might also need to be changed.

We get into routines that are comfortable when God wants us to sometimes step out of our comfort zone and adhere to His plan. It can be scary. It can be intimidating because we don’t know exactly where we are going but His plan is always a great plan. God can take you to a mountain top that you didn’t know existed because you have be so used to going to the top of a hill. His mountain is higher than your hill. His plan is bigger than your plan. Go up the mountain with God. Take one step after another holding His hand. The mountain He wants you to climb is not insurmontable. He understands that getting to the top is the best thing for you so widen your vision. Broaden your horizon of faith and go with God’s plan.

It takes faith to trust in God’s plan and our faith in His great plans can always grow. Think about the steps you have to take when you walk in faith. If you keep going, you will start taking bigger strides because you will be trusting more. Go one step at a time but keep going. The plan might be bigger than you imagine so your steps will need to be bigger as well. Don’t rush it but don’t stop walking. When God sent His Son to earth, He had a plan. The enemy try to meddle with the plan but nothing he did succeeded. At one point it looked like all was lost but God had the final say.

Now, you could be in a situation where you don’t believe God’s plan for your life is going to come to pass. You might have had hurdles and difficulties that have disheartened you but God will have the final say. When all seems lost, God is still working. His plan won’t fail. His plan will prevail. You will get to a new place. You are not going to stay where you are now. God’s plan for your life is amazing. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep walking. Stay strong. God’s plan will blow your mind. You are not walking in faith in vain. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!


Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11; Esther 4:14; Romans 8:28

You deserve God

I have mentioned a few times that I had felt like I didn’t deserve God’s love for a while. I used to think that God excluded some people and only the chosen few could approach Him. There had to be someone between God and me otherwise I couldn’t communicate with God. I was wrong. I didn’t know what God was all about. God is love first and foremost. I should have started with love. I should have looked at God using the love filter. When we study God and we try to know Him better and we are reminded that He is all about love, we have the right approach. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish.

That verse, John 3:16, is the starting point. It is the essence of God’s vision of humanity and it defines what God thinks of every person that will ever walk the earth. If you are a person, no matter what your gender is, your background, your location and anything else about you, you are loved by God. If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved. It doesn’t matter what you have done or said or how far you have been from God. He loves you so much that He gave Jesus for you. You deserve His love and His salvation. You deserve God. Think about that. You deserve God, friend. If you were made to believe that you are not worthy, I am here to remind you that you deserve God’s love and blessings. You belong with God.

Deserving God sounds like a big statement and it is a reality. I know that life can break you and hurt you and people can make you feel like you are less than. God doesn’t see it that way. He sees everyone as wonderful people who can have a relationship with Him. You and I can be in an intimate relationship with God. This reality should be part of what we meditate on and what we believe. If we don’t think we are deserving of God, it will hinder our connection with Him. God tells you Himself that a life with Him is what He wants for you. He doesn’t want you to live in isolation or to be disconnected from Him.

Eternal life, salvation is what Jesus bought for us and you dear friend deserve it because you believe in Jesus. You believe in the One who gives eternal life. Enjoy your life in Christ. Live it up! Know that it is yours and embrace it. His salvation is not meant for later on. It is for the here and now. What else is part of salvation? The Bible describes our lives in Christ and the promises of God are real and they are for you and me. We deserve every one of them. Spend time in the Word and learn about the Lord’s salvation and what it entails for you.

When I found out that I deserved God’s love, it made my connection with Him stronger. I saw a different side of God that is the right side. I saw that His love is so powerful that I should always remember that I am protected, saved and covered by the hand of the Almighty. Blessings were out of reach for me before my perspective changed. I believed that blessings were reserved for other people. Something was missing in my life. At least that is what I thought. I was under the impression that I lacked the “lovable gene” that other people seemed to have. It was more than a gene. It was a blessing that I longed to have. All of that was not true. I had Jesus and I needed to focus on who He was and dig a little deeper.

God’s love transformed me and it kept me going. His love told me that I deserved the best and His mercy and grace were enough for me. His mercy was wonderful and it was always there. God’s grace was sufficient and I was blessed. Friend, you are blessed in the name of Jesus. You are highly favored and God adores you. Don’t let the lies stop you from receiving God’s best. A wonderful relationship with Him is what you can expect. Enjoy Jesus. Enjoy your connection with Him. You deserve God’s love every single day no matter what you have done or what you do. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Luke 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Hebrews 4:16

Hope in Jesus

I talk about hope a lot because God is a God of hope. I didn’t know that when the God I was familiar with was a God of religion and restrictions. I was always under the impression that hope was limited to a few privileged believers in God. Isn’t that sad? Some of the doctrines I subscribed to were very dismissive and void of hope. They focused on being pious and on getting rewards from God based on what I did right. Every time I made a mistake, I felt guilty and unworthy. There was no real hope for redemption or for salvation to tell you the truth. I completely misunderstood what God was all about and I had no hope. I didn’t believe that things could get better in my life. I did my best to please God but hope was never something I experienced. This all changed once I got in touch with the real God.

I got in touch with God by entering into His gates through Jesus. Jesus became my doorway to God, my doorway to Heaven and my doorway to the truth. One of the first things that stood out about Jesus was how much hope He gave me. The more I got to know Him, the more I was filled with hope. First, there was hope for salvation. I became aware of His salvation and of His role in the whole process. He had died on the cross for my sins and I could receive salvation through Him. He was the guardian of all good things and hope was part of them. When you encounter Jesus, you can’t help but become hopeful. Life takes on a new meaning. You are in the presence of hope and it changes your perspective and your outlook on life.

If you are looking for hope today, remember that it is still alive and well and you can always find hope in Jesus. Don’t look at your hopeless circumstances. Change your focus and look at Jesus. Spend time reading about Him and talking to Him. He will give you hope. You will discover that He is the hope of the world and that with Him everything is possible. With Him, life is not a series of failures and defeats. With Him, life is a series of challenges that get resolved and defeats that get defeated. Yes, Jesus will defeat your defeats. Isn’t that amazing? He will turn your worst situations into blessings and rivers of hope will flow through your life.

There is nothing that the Lord can’t change and nothing He can’t fix. When you have Jesus, you have the best chance to make it. He is a situation changer. He is a hope giver and His hope is never in vain. He doesn’t fake His hope and His promises. He keeps His promises and one of them is to give you hope to get through anything in life. You have the Savior of the world in you and with you and hope is never going to leave you. You might lose sight of it. You might forget about it. You might not believe in it but it doesn’t mean that hope is not there. It is always there and it always fulfills its purpose. Hope’s purpose is to confirm God’s goodness and it is a great witness to His faithfulness.

When you hope in Jesus, you hope in love, life-changing power and endless possibilities. You never know what God can do in your life when you have His hope in you. He can stretch possibilities and multiply blessings. He can reverse the course of your life and put you on a path where peace and joy will be strewn all over the place. God’s path for your life is paved with hope. Every step of the way you should believe there is hope. Every step of the way you should keep in mind that things are not the way they look but they are the way the Lord says they are. Faith will help you walk through the worst valleys and climb the highest mountains. The King of hope will carry you through everything and you will be able to overcome the most difficult circumstances.

Jesus is the hope you need today and you will never be disappointed when you fix your eyes on Him and you refuse to succumb to the world’s problems. Problems will never go away but neither will Jesus and if you have Jesus, you have all you need. If you have Jesus, you have all you need. Keep your hopes up. Keep your hopes in Jesus. Keep walking and trusting and you will never go astray. Hope is a blessing that will always walk by your side. Stay strong. Stay encouraged and stay hopeful. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Psalm 16:9; Jeremiah 17:7; Romans 5:5

Stand against fear and worry

Fear and worry are two things that most of us experience on a fairly regular basis. With everything that is going on in the world, it’s easy to worry and to dread the future. When we don’t have control, we panic and worry. When we think of what’s coming and we don’t know how we are going to deal with the future, we panic and we worry. Worry is one of those things that slides into our minds and our hearts without a problem. We don’t have to work hard at being worried. It’s in our DNA. I came into contact with a lot more fear before I had an encounter with the Lord. I had been saved but I didn’t have a connection with Jesus. I was always worried about everything. I could find the tiniest thing and worry about it. I had a very active mind where overthinking was alive and well.

I am a quiet person by nature and I don’t like noise. However, there was a constant party going on on the inside and it was never a good party. Worry and fear celebrated each other a lot and they fed off of each other. The chaos and the commotion on the inside were out of control at times and yet I was saved and believed in Jesus. Then I found out that the Lord had a lot to say about fear and He has a recurring message that notifies us not to be afraid and not to fear. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. It makes sense. Worry and fear are the opposite of faith and without faith we can’t please God. Without faith we can’t reach God and we can’t live the life that He bought for us on the cross. Every time we worry, we put holes in our faith and we hurt our spiritual makeup.

I worry a lot less now. I still have inner conflicts where my faith battles the fears but faith wins a lot more now. One of the best things that has happened to me has been the personalized encouraging messages I have been receiving mostly during morning prayers. The Lord tells me almost every single day not to worry. He knows me well and He always knows what’s coming ahead and His encouragement is to not lose hope and not lose faith because there is no reason to worry. It doesn’t matter how bad things look, worry is not something we should adhere to and embrace. When worry gets a hold of us, we need to get a hold of the truth and push it against worry.

God’s truth is much more powerful than the lies of the enemy and worry and fear are lies of the enemy that we buy into. They have been normalized and they even give us some comfort at times because after all it is only human to be afraid. Our God is above all human feelings and experiences and Jesus died so that we could live free from fear and worry among other things. He didn’t “just” die for our sins and trespasses. He conquered death and all of its allies. You can be sure that fear and worry are death’s allies and so they were defeated. Today I want to encourage you to take a stand against fear and worry. Don’t let them win against your faith. You can do this in Jesus’ name!

When you read passages of the Bible that deal with fear and worry, you get an impartation of hope. I find all these passages to be very inspiring and very helpful. I have memorized a few of them and they give me the boost I need when worry comes into my life. I refuse to see worry and fear as parts of my life. I don’t have fear and I don’t have worry. I have Jesus and the enemy will try his best to remove that connection from my life so he sends worry and fear. I don’t welcome them. I face them with the power of Jesus and I rebuke them. Don’t believe that you have fear and worry. Don’t think that they are a natural part of you that you should acknowledge. They don’t belong in you. They need to be confronted with boldness.

Next time fear and worry come and sit on your lap, don’t let them settle in. Speak against them. Declare that you have faith in Jesus. Declare that you have Jesus. You have no reason to worry and fear. You have the solution to all fears, worries and doubts. You are well-equipped and armed. Use the Word of God. Pray against fear and worry. Stay in praise mode as often as you can. Praise eradicates fear because it focuses on Jesus. Remember that Jesus took care of fear and worry on the cross. Receive His freedom and His deliverance. Stand against fear and worry. God will assist you and He will get you through those negative feelings. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Psalm 34:4-5; Isaiah 41:13; Luke 14:27

The power of self-control

Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube about a young entrepreneur who has had his own restaurant for 5 years. In his video, he talks about his struggles and his achievements and he says that the one thing that has helped him was finding out the power of self-control. He described how he had to deal with difficult customers when he first started and he lost his cool a few times. One he realized that self-control was a must, he was able to deal with many situations and overcome the emotions that had basically ruined his day so many times. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not something I usually talk about but I know it is something I need to focus on more and develop in my life. I don’t lose control often but just like anyone else I go through phases.

The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives if we let Him. He produces love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Self-control is last on the list but it doesn’t mean it is not important. Self-control is defined as the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, usually in difficult situations. God wants us to have self-control because He wants our emotions to be kept in check and our desires to align with His. Do you lack self-control? God has the power of self-control at His disposal and He wants you to tap into it. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let the desires that are against God’s will dominate you. The Holy Spirit will produce good fruit in Him. Leave it to God to do something great in you.

The fruit of the Spirit has to do with what is inside of us. It touches parts of us that are unseen at first. It affects our emotions, our feelings and even our thinking. The fruit of the Spirit is powerful. It starts with love. With God, everything starts with love. Love is the foundation and the base we should always operate from. We should also think of God as the God of love and know that all He does is out of love. When we have that mindset, we can get to know God better and we are definitely on the right track. God has love for every single one of us and because of His love, we are worthy of having a relationship with Him and of receiving from Him. You and I are entitled to receiving the fruit of the Spirit.

First we have to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and embrace His Spirit and the fruit He can grow in us. Submission is key. Submit to the Spirit of God and the fruit will grow. There is no way you can yield to the Holy Spirit and not experience the power of His traits in your life. He will always rub off on you when you seek Him and accept Him. A yielded spirit is a spirit that can receive from God and that can have the wonderful fruit of His Spirit on the inside and on display. People will notice the fruit of the Spirit in your life and it will be a blessing to them as well. Self-control is a great blessing that promotes peace and serenity. It will give you the power to conquer anger and frustration among other emotions.

I remember a time when I was getting very upset with my students. I can’t recall exactly what they did or what they said but I know I felt anger rising inside of me. I was going to let them have it. I am not the kind of person who loses his temper easily but that day I was getting very mad. All of a sudden I felt something pressing down the anger and repressing it. It wasn’t so much that it was getting repressed. It appeared that something was pushing it down and destroying it inside of me. There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was doing something in me. I had been praying a lot and spending a lot of time in communion with the Spirit of God. His fruit was ripening in my life and that experience showed me how self-control can take over when we are yielded to the Spirit. It was as if my mind were getting mad but my spirit was telling my mind to calm down and the Spirit of God won that battle easily.

It takes submission like I said and continued engagement with God and with His Spirit. This manifestation of the Spirit of God happens a lot when we are in constant touch with God and we let Him be our priority. We need to be filled with His Spirit and get lots of refills along the way. One dose of the Spirit of God can only last for so long. You can have self-control, friend. Be in communion with the Lord on a regular basis and don’t resist His Spirit. Give Him free rein in your heart and in your mind. He will give you amazing fruit. The power of self-control will help you every day and you will be able to overcome strong emotions. Resist the devil and he will flee. Self-control from God is how you can resist the enemy. Stay strong in the Lord! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 25:27-28; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 3:2-3