Permanent Jesus

“Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” is one of the scriptures I rely on the most. It makes me look at Him as the eternal Savior that He is and He has never changed and will never change. This has some major implications for my faith. My faith has to be in a Jesus who He is love, who performs miracles, who is the King of Peace and who saved the world. He is bigger than what my little mind can fathom. He is a huge Savior. He is not on a human level. I feel like my life goal is to know Him as much as I can and to be aware of the fact that He never changes. I call Him “Permanent Jesus” because He also never leaves me. He is a permanent fixture in my life. His presence is permanent and His traits are permanent. If you were to paint a picture of my life, Jesus would be in the background. I hope He would be noticed the most in the depiction of my life. His love is permanent and His power is permanent. Life changes. Circumstances change but Jesus will never ever change. Please let that sink in. Meditate on that truth. Permanent Jesus is the One you need and He is the true Lord. When you turn to Him, you turn to the Lord of the Bible. The God of miracles. The Lord of the impossible. The One who incarnates love and the One who never abandons His people. Your God is here to stay. The evil in this world might be rampant since the devil is the king of this world but Jesus is bigger than the devil and His goodness will always triumph over evil. His permanent victory should be added to what you can expect in your life. Expect the best and expect victory all the time!

My life used to be a series of failures, tests and trials. Trouble and suffering were pretty permanent. I couldn’t erase them and I didn’t know anything better. “Permanent evil” was a daily visitor in my life. The evil of this world was a natural occurrence in my life. Once you get saved and you are on the other side, you can’t help but feel bad for those who know evil as the permanent fixture in their lives. We are to show the world that there is more to this life than oppression and disappointment. There is a permanent love that transforms everything and that gives a new meaning to life. That love is Jesus and He is unmovable. Once you understand that He doesn’t change and He doesn’t leave, you are equipped with a truth that keeps you strong and that keeps you going even when things are tough. You are backed by the Creator of the universe. You are surrounded by His presence. You are filled with His Spirit. You are protected by His angels. You were saved by His blood. Your life is defined by Him. What a wonderful thing it is! Declare that your life is defined by Him and that you are blessed by the permanent Savior who never fails and who never lets you down. Jesus will add good days to your life. He will take all the bad days you had before Him and replace them with blessed days that will exceed your expectations. 

Jesus is permanent. What does this mean for you? It means that you have access to a fountain of love and hope that never runs dry. It means that even when the world seems to have won, God is still in control. It means that you have an advantage over evil. You have goodness on your side and God’s goodness always wins. Today I want you to remember that no matter what you are going through, the Lord is not leaving you. I know that circumstances can look impossible. I know that things can get very bad but even when they are, Jesus is still very good. His goodness is going to crush your bad situations and bring peace and joy again. Hold on to the One who stays and celebrate that He loves you and nothing and no one can separate you from His love. “Permanent Jesus’ ‘ is rejoicing over you and that won’t change. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:5 Hebrews 13:8

Change your world one prayer at time

When I found out that Jesus prayed, I was taken aback at first. I had never thought that the Lord needed to pray. He prayed all the time. He isolated Himself and talked to the Father. Did He talk about Himself? Being the Lord you can be sure that He prayed for others. He prayed for the world. When I look in the Word at what the Lord did by dying on the cross and coming back to life, I see a prayer. His ultimate sacrifice was a prayer to the Father for us. He interceded for humanity. He spoke through His actions. His actions were extremely loud. He did what no one had dared to do. He did what no one had been able to do. He said what no one had said before. His declaration through His powerful action wass unparalleled. To this day no one has said a prayer as amazing as His. He prayed by dying and conquering death and His prayer has had lasting effects. Because of His prayer, whoever believes in Him can have everlasting life. His prayer changes the world of those who embrace Him every day. His prayer is a prayer of hope for the world. He saved the world and as we pray in His name, we can touch the world around us for His glory.

Do you pray for your family and friends? Do you pray for the ones in your world? Just like the Lord we are all invited to pray for others. God’s commandment to love others as ourselves is a commandment that implies that we should pray for others and not just for ourselves. God has a message He wants us to share with the world and that is the message of love. Praying for others is evidence that we love others. We ought to be praying for the people around us all the time. I have learned that my prayers should be about listening to the Lord and praying for others more than requests to receive personal blessings. The blessings will come. We are told to seek the kingdom first and all things will be added into us. Praying for others is seeking the kingdom. It’s doing the will of God and spreading His love. The prayers of a fervent believer are powerful. They can do the impossible. They can move mountains. Your prayers, dear friend, can change the world around you. The people you know, the people you see, the people you meet, all need your prayers. You might be the only person that prays for them. You might be the only one who intercedes for them. You might be the only one who cares enough for them to be blessed and to be saved. Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers spoken in the name of Jesus.

What does your community need? What do your friends and family need? They all need Jesus or more of Jesus. They need to meet the Father and to become familiar with the Holy Spirit. You are the key. You are the key the Lord can use to open doors to the broken hearted and to the lost. Pray for them. Pray for anyone you know. Pray for those you barely know. Pray for those who need a miracle today. Pray for those who need their hearts to be healed. Pray for those who need healing. Pray for those who are lost and can’t find their way home because home is a foreign term to them. Pray for restoration. Pray for liberation. Pray for peace. Pray for love. Pray for joy. Pray for people to encounter the Lord and to be on fire for Him. Pray for your world to change for the better. Pray for the needs of your people to be met. Pray for the blind eyes to see. Pray for improvement. Pray for change and God will work on it. Stay steadfast. Don’t give up. Keep on praying. Keep on believing. Your world needs your prayers. Your world needs the Jesus that you are close to. Serve as a liaison between God and the people that desperately want to meet Him. Your prayers have the power and the ability to bring change so keep on interceding and on hoping. You are not doing any of it in vain. May God bless you and protect you and remember that Jesus will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:33; Matthew 26:39; John 15:12

How to get a strong spirit

How do you get a strong spirit? Feed your spirit. Feed your spirit first thing in the morning. Feed your spirit throughout the day. Your spirit needs as much nourishment as your body does if nothing more. Why more? Because you ought to let your spirit dominate your body. Your spirit, the new creation in Christ should prevail over your flesh. You have the potential to be a firecracker for God and that potential is found in how much you feed your spirit. The Lord has given us tools, feeding tools we should be using all day. Some of those major tools are the Word of God, prayer, praise and worship, gratitude, love, acts of service and joy. You might have a customized set of tools but the ones I mentioned will all do the job and they are very powerful. 

Every day you should check and see how many feedings you give your spirit. Check and see if you are using some tools more than others. Learn how you interact with them and be sure to indulge in them. First thing first. Morning feeding is crucial. What do you give your spirit when you first wake up? Do you feed it social media? Do you give it a portion of overthinking? Do you let negative thoughts drop down into your spirit? Your first feeding should be aggressive. It should be solid food. Solid food that is going to sustain you for a while. Hit your spirit with power first thing in the morning. Fill up with the good stuff. Fill up with power. I suggest entering the day with praise. Start the day praising and worshiping the Lord. Start the day on a very positive note. Start the day with Jesus. Make Him your focus.

 

Jesus should always come first and when you make Him your meditation first thing in the morning, you are giving your spirit what it truly needs. Your spirit needs Jesus all the time. Your spirit needs to maintain its relationship with the Holy Spirit and when you adore and worship, you are tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God will also point at Jesus. The Spirit of God will always give you solid food from Heaven when you praise the Lord. Let the praises take you into prayer mode. Prayer is a great way to feed your spirit. During prayer, you can hear the Lord and you can talk to the Lord. Jesus prayed to the Father all the time so we should pray to God all the time. Prayer builds up your spiritual muscles and it helps your spirit grow. Your spirit can learn so much during prayer time. 

Feed your spirit words. Speak up. Say what the Lord says about you and about your life. Let your spirit hear words of encouragement and words of faith. It is very important that you feed your spirit positivity. You need a big helping of positivity for the day. Stay positivity throughout the day. You can accomplish that by speaking. Don’t let negative thoughts control your actions. Control your actions by speaking words of peace, love, faith, victory in Jesus and joy. The Lord says that His joy is your strength. Get the joy of the Lord activated in your life. It can come from praise, from fellowship with the Holy Spirit and from the Word of God. 

Feed the Word of God to your spirit. This feeding process will help you grow and get stronger in the Lord. The Word is the manna from Heaven that will allow you to have a strong foundation for your faith. The Word will enlighten your spirit and give you the chance to walk in the truth. The Word will fill you up with all the goodness from Heaven. It will bless you over and over again. A good session in the Word will make you full. Get full! Enjoy the Word every day. Enjoy the feeding tools every day. Start your day with them and give your spirit spiritual meals all day long. Stay full. Feed your spirit power! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 4:24; John 16:13; Galatians 5:16

Embrace God’s love

God loves you. God adores you. God cares about you. God watches over you. God wants you to know Him. God wants you to know His love. God wants you to get closer to Him. God wants you. God wants you to be the person He has called you to be. That person is someone who knows God. Someone who adores God and someone who has an intimate relationship with Him. God loves you so much that He has plans for you that are way better than any plans you could have for your life. God loves you so much that He gave Jesus for you so there would be a bridge between Him and you. He desires for you to know the bridge and to take that bridge every day. Walk on the promise of a better life. Walk on the path that takes you to the kingdom every day. Walk in the power of the kingdom of God. Learn who you are in the kingdom of God. Learn that you belong in the kingdom and you are blessed. Learn that all this is for now and not for later. Jesus is your Savior today. He won’t be your Savior just in Heaven. He is your God and He can make Heaven collide with earth every day of your life. You can have daily encounters with the kingdom in this life. That is what happens when you are aware of your relationship with the Lord. The impossible is always possible. Blessings run after you. You walk with the Lord side by side. Joy, love, peace, faith, patience and strength are part of your daily bread. You eat them every day and they give your spiritual spine the power to stand in the truth of the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus is with you today and you are meant to grow in the knowledge of His love every single day. I want to encourage you today to push forward and learn that God loves you and your life in Him is so much better than the life you imagined for yourself. Embrace God’s love and your life will never be the same.

It’s hard to open up to love when you are not used to being loved. Love speaks. Love acts. Love manifests itself. Love protects. Love heals. Love sets you free. Love gives you wings. Love helps. Love covers you. Love protects you. Love encourages you. Love transforms you. Love empowers you. Love sees you through. Love blesses you. Love shields you. Love listens to you. Love talks to you. Love smiles at you. Love nourishes you. Love makes everything possible. Love doesn’t give up and it doesn’t give up on you. Love has faith. Love fuels the power of faith. Love stays. Love remains. Love doesn’t change. Love doesn’t leave. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t discriminate. Love doesn’t laugh at you. Love doesn’t abandon you. Love doesn’t hold back. Love doesn’t hide. Love doesn’t lie. Love just loves you. No questions asked. Love touches you and it modifies you as it grows you. Love will never leave you the way it found you. God’s love does all the things I have just mentioned. His love is powerful. It is the most powerful force in the universe and it is directed to you. God’s love is for you. It is not for the chosen few. It is not selective and restrictive. God’s love is part of your heritage. Just because you are human you deserve God’s love. You don’t need a special ticket to be admitted into the arena of God’s love. You have always been in His arena. You need to take the next step and embrace this love that will change your life for the better.

You might be well acquainted with God’s love but remember that God is always extending His arm of love to you and His arm is very long. You can’t know how big His love is, so there will always be room to learn more and to embrace more. Don’t let the lies of the enemy stop you from welcoming more of God’s love. God forgives you. God knows you. God understands you. Let Him show you how much He values you and adores you. Reach out and grab His love. Declare every day that you are loved. When I was driving yesterday, I kept repeating “Thank You Lord that You love me. Thank You Lord that You adore me.” The power of those words make the whole experience so real to me. I encourage myself by using words that the Lord uses in His Word. I remind myself that He died for me. He died for my sins. That is huge!. There is no greater love and that love is for me. It is for you as well. Embrace His love by making those strong declarations about His love that is so unique and so true. You will never be able to find God’s love among people. His love can manifest through people but His perfect and holy love is only found in Him. You might have never known the special love that comes from parents. There might be a void in your life. However, God’s love can fill that void and give you a lot more. If you have never known love until now, there is hope. God’s love is for you today no matter what you have been through. His love heals so it will heal your heart, your mind and your soul. Accept His love. You might need to tell Him when you pray that you accept His love. It is a great thing to say. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 54:10; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-11

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 173)

The mind gets full. The heart gets heavy and the spirit suffers. Jesus can make us light again. Let’s cast our cares upon Him and we will be free from life’s heaviness!

Before Christ you had no life. After Christ you became a new person. Before Christ you were dead inside. The Lord’s resurrection is now your success story. You live through Christ and in Christ. Celebrate Jesus, the life of the party.

When you keep walking in faith despite your circumstances, the enemy will attack your thoughts and try to build negative strongholds in your head. Turn your thoughts over to the Lord. Find refuge in Him and let Him be your fortress of positivity.

Whatever tries to be bigger than you is never bigger than God. God can destroy what is trying to destroy you. Trust Him in all circumstances!

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His ability to heal you and to bless you hasn’t changed. Keep hoping for a breakthrough in His name!

Where you came from is not necessarily where you are now. You are not in the past anymore. With God all things are new. You are a new creature in Christ. You are not your “old you” anymore. Remember that!

There is a change of plans happening in your life today. What the enemy had meant for evil, Jesus is changing for good. Hold on to God’s plans for your life. They are amazing and they are true blessings. Stay encouraged!

Your hotline to Heaven is found in your prayer life. Make sure you stay in touch with God every day. He will always pick up when you call. He will always listen when you are on the line. He is never too busy to answer your call and He will never hang up on you!

Focus on what you know you see in Jesus’ name. Focus on what faith is showing you and not on what doubt is flashing in your face. Don’t worry about the blind spots and keep driving in faith. Believe that God will show you what the human eye can’t see through the power of faith.

God is always faithful and He will show you that despite the adversity He is standing by you. Trust Him and rely on Him even when the world is falling apart around you. God will restore everything and give you more than before!

Suggested reading: Psalm 33:20-22; Psalm 56:3-4; Romans 8:28

Keep your eyes on Jesus

As I was getting ready to write my message, the Lord impressed upon me the idea that I had to look up Psalm 16 verse 8. I looked it up on my phone. It says “I keep my eyes on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” I had been getting the message that I needed to keep my eyes on the Lord. When I take my eyes off Him for too long, I get in trouble. My faith shrinks and all sorts of emotions and feelings rise up inside of me. None of them are from God and none of them are good. I am shaken a lot when I don’t focus on the Lord. The enemy spends his time finding ways to distract us so we don’t keep our eyes on the Lord. From the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed and even during the night, he is working hard at separating us from God. He knows that with God on our side and the awareness of God’s presence, we can’t be defeated. It is impossible to lose the battle of faith when we are aware of who God is and we have all eyes on Him. That means our natural eyes and our eyes of faith. We should be reading His Word. Looking at His heart in His Word and keeping our hopes in Him. Today I am inviting you to keep your eyes on the Lord and to stare at Him even when danger is staring you in the face. You will not be shaken. That is what the Word of God says. Keep focusing on Jesus and nothing will shake you.

I am always looking around. I am very aware of my surroundings and I notice a lot of different details even from a distance. My eyes can go in many directions it seems. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it creates problems. When I look too closely at what is around me and I lose my focus on the Lord, things get complicated. If I look at what I don’t have more than I look at the One I have, I can get disappointed for no good reason. Have you ever been disappointed just because your mind was showing you things that you don’t have even though you know you don’t need them? When I start comparing myself to others that are in their own lane, I can get disappointed. Why waste time looking at what others have and see it as a lack in my life? I asked myself that question a lot. I don’t need to look at others to find my worth. My worth is in the Lord. I should keep my eyes on Him and my value and my worth are revealed. When I spend time contemplating the Lord, what He says and what He means, my life gets a fresh coat of paint and I am filled with joy. When you keep your eyes on the Lord, you get filled with joy. There is a renewed sense of hope and triumph. The One who conquered death gives a lot of comfort when we keep our eyes on Him. He should be who we see the most when we look at the world. Jesus first and the world should be second.

Some people say “Keep your eyes on the prize” and I say “Keep your eyes on the King of kings.” Is there a prize when we keep our eyes on Jesus? The prize is the joy of developing a relationship with the Prince of Peace and the King of love. When you stare at someone you almost get the feeling that you can see inside of their soul and the more you observe them, the better you know them. You find out how they react, how they act and how they live. You can discover all these things about the Lord when you focus on Him. Reading and studying His Word is like taking a long look at Him and learning more about His ways. Our goal as Christians is to be more like Jesus. The more we stare and the more we will learn. The Word of God speaks to us in great and amazing ways. The Word tells us about Jesus and gets inside our hearts with the truth that sets us free. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will be set free. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will get valuable lessons on love. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will become intimate with hope, faith, love and more. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will grow in your Christian walk. Keep your eyes on Jesus and fear will have no hold on you. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will spread a word that will encourage and change people. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will always win. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will never see the world the same way again. Keep your eyes on Jesus and hope will never leave you. Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will walk on water with no fear and move mountains with no effort. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 16:8; Acts 2:25-28; Hebrews 13:5

Great is His faithfulness

Another week and another chance to see how faithful our Lord is. I love that God is always faithful. It is something that I celebrate every day but at times there is some resistance in my head. Sometimes I go down the wrong path of thinking and my mind tries to tell me that God is going to fail me and He won’t be faithful. I have been in situations where I couldn’t see God’s faithfulness. The problem was that I was trying to see it with my eyes and I was looking for it around me. God is faithful no matter what. He stands on His throne in His glory and nothing can change that His faithfulness sits on His throne with Him. He promised to bless us and to never leave us. His love is faithful and it stays with us. If Jesus is your Savior, His faithfulness will accompany you all the days of your life. Because it is such a powerful truth, you can expect the enemy to do his best to demonstrate that God’s faithfulness is overrated. The devil is the king of lies and deceit. He will never hold the truth. Remember that. Even when things look bad and hopeless, God’s faithfulness is intact. The enemy will play up the bad things that are happening to you so you can believe that God can’t get you out of your problems.

God’s faithfulness is a guarantee and when we stay in faith and we keep standing despite the adversity, we will see the glory of God shine and His faithfulness will be evident. God said that He will protect us and that is always true. His protection is all around you, friend. Keep that in mind and keep saying that to yourself. You might be in some type of danger now but God’s protection is greater and stronger than anything you are facing. His protection will get you through anything. Not just a few circumstances but all of them. Praise Him for His faithful protection. Declare His protection over your life. Declare that God cares and that He watches over you faithfully. God promised He would send a Savior. He said He would send Someone who would cover all our sins and save us from eternal death. He kept His promise. He sent His Son. His Son came to earth and fulfilled the promise even though there were many attempts to end His life prematurely. When He was on the cross, it looked like death had won but God had not changed His promise. He had not altered what He was going to accomplish and Jesus conquered death. The promise stood strong and it is still alive today. God’s promises are all still alive and your trials and tribulations can’t control them. Tell the Lord you are ready to see His promises fulfilled in your life today.

One of God’s biggest promises is that He loves us. He is faithful with that promise and He keeps on loving us even when we keep on messing up. His faithful love is packaged in His mercy and grace. Think about how merciful the Lord has been and how His grace has carried you. I can quote many instances when God’s grace has saved my life. My whole life is a testimony to God’s grace and faithfulness. I am thankful for His faithfulness. I am inviting you today to expect God to be faithful and to add that truth to your daily declarations of faith. Remind yourself and your circumstances that God is always faithful. Start the week with that promise on your lips and in your mind. Let your heart be filled with the promise and stay strong no matter what comes your way. You will experience God’s faithfulness. Don’t get discouraged. God is always good and always faithful. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 33:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:3

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 172)

When you’ve got God’s mind on your mind and you can’t be shaken, His peace has settled in your heart.

God helps you be more like Him. God helps you be more like the you He designed. God helps you love yourself more. God helps you love your neighbor more. God helps you be more like love!

Don’t run against the stream of your destiny. Don’t run in the lane of someone else’s destiny. Don’t run in the wrong direction. Don’t run against God. Don’t run against hope. With God hope runs after you. With God love runs after you. With God your destiny runs with you!

God is as active behind the scenes as He is on center stage. Ask Him to show what He is actively doing in every part of your life. He will give you the lens of faith so that you can see His hand actively working for you.

Let God deal with the Goliaths of your life. He will give you the exact slingshot you need. It could be His Word, faith, love, hope, peace, joy or anything that He sees fit. God can handle all the giants that come your way. Pray and He will take care of them.

Sometimes you don’t receive from God because you are not ready for His blessings. Sometimes you have to wait a very long time for God’s answer and for His blessings but it doesn’t mean you won’t be blessed. Pray for patience. Your blessings will come.

Pray for everyone. Pray for those you know. Pray for those you barely know. Pray for those you don’t know. Speak blessings into their lives. Speak peace, joy, love and healing into their lives. Many people are not “spoken for.” Speak for everyone in the name of Jesus!

Worrying is giving the devil a continued audience where he can wreak havoc by building strongholds in our minds. When worry comes, turn to Jesus the Prince of Peace. Listen to His voice through His Word and the devil will get quiet.

There are no storms too big for the Lord. Remember that He is your anchor and He is with you in the boat. You are not going to drown. You will walk on water with Him!

Your cry for help has been heard. It was heard before you knew you needed help. The Lord will always listen to your cry and send help. Don’t get discouraged. God heard you! God will save you!

Suggested reading: Job 14:7-9; Romans 15:4; 1 John 3:3

You can do all things through Christ

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I think I used to read this verse and stop at the part that says that I can do all things. I tried to do all things without Christ. I tried to do all things in my own strength and in my own power and all things did not go well. I got frustrated over and over again. It made me doubt God. It made me doubt the Word. I was just reading it the wrong way and I was interpreting it with the wrong mindset. There is a movement that you can find in the Church where everything is about you and you can do all things because you were made in the image of God but the movement doesn’t focus on God. It focuses too much on the creation and it exalts the creation over the creator. What are we without God? What can we do without God? In my case I know what I can do without Him is limited. God is my strength and my everything. I am learning to live through Him and to live in Him. If you remove Him from the equation, you will find 0. I am 0 without God. I am nothing without Him. I can be seen as amounting to something according to the world’s standards but I don’t want to find my meaning through the eyes of the world. I don’t want to be defined by the world. The Lord designed me and He has the definition of who I am. He owns that definition and He makes it work and He gives it meaning. God is the reason why I live and the reason why I do everything I do. He is behind me 100% and He is generating all the things that I do because He lives in me. At least that is my goal. It is my goal to always be aware of Christ in me and what He can do through me.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can’t do anything without Christ. Today I want to encourage you to see that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and He is the biggest part of that statement. I like to read it as “Christ in you and anything is possible.” You believe in Christ. He is in you. He can do all things. He has the power. He has the ability. Start thinking more about what that means for you than you think about how limited you are. Your mind and your thoughts are your only limitations when you have the Lord. Get rid of those limitations. Let the Lord expand in you. Let Him be who He is in you. He is not limited and He is not restricted. I like to meditate on God’s incredible capabilities. They are endless and they are mighty. Spend time in prayer with the One who can do all things. Jesus deserves all of your attention. Think of Him more. Concentrate on His love and who He is. He loves you so much that He gives you the power to do all things. Next time you are discouraged and you don’t think you can make it, think about Christ in you, the One who makes all things possible. 

Christ in you, the hope of glory. You are so blessed to have Christ in you and until you have a continued awareness of what it means, you need to try to understand it. It is crucial in our Christian walk. We can’t be the center of that walk. Christ is. We can’t be the ones who get all the glory for what we accomplish. Christ should get all the glory. Once we praise God more and we give Him credit for all the good things that happen to us, we will see even more. We will go from glory to glory when we give God all the glory. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Read this verse as the indication that Christ is in you. He gives you strength and He is the One you need to do all things. Do everything for Him and through Him. Do your job remembering that Christ gives you the strength to do your job. Interact with people with the power of the Lord. He gives you the strength to interact with people. Learn in school through the strength the Lord gives you. Name everything you do and declare that the name above all names is helping you do all things. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Exodus 15:2; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:27

Before and after

I was looking at a before and an after picture online the other day. The person in the pictures had lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t believe how fit and happy he looked in his after picture. It truly looked like two different people. It made me think of the before and after me. Not the physical before and after me, but the spiritual and emotional me. I thought about my life before Christ. Going down memory lane and revisiting our past can be tricky if we do it all the time and we live in the past. Going back to the past momentarily to see how much progress we have made is a great exercise. Do you ever compare the old you with the current you? If you have never done it, I suggest you spend some time making the comparison. What were you like before you got saved? What are you like now? What has the Lord done for you? The person you were before Christ will surprise you in many ways. You will see how much you needed Christ and how you barely made it without Him. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your spirit became new and your heart changed. Your mind remains the same and it still needs to be worked on but your spirit is born again. You were dead inside before Christ. His resurrection is your success story and the new you was made in His image. Celebrate the Lord who lives in you. He is the fire behind every miracle and every blessing. You have His power inside you and you are a new creature. Take a quick look at your old self and keep your eyes on the One who makes you who you are today.

What was I like before Christ? I was lost. I was distraught. I had no hope. I was helpless. I thought I knew life but I was flirting with death every day. I thought I had the world figured out but I was buying into lies that made my life a nightmare. I lived in a very bad dream. That awful dream was my reality and I couldn’t get out of it. Imagine living in a nightmare and not being able to wake up to peace and joy. I was sleeping all the time. My spirit was asleep all the time. My inner light was off and I needed someone to turn it on. I need an ignition, a new start, a new beginning. I couldn’t imagine life could get any better. Today I feel bad for those who are where I used to be. I know how it is. I know how it crushes their spirit. I know how weak and feeble they can become. Christ gave me a new spirit and He taught me that life in Him and through Him was the best way to live. Jesus gave me the light. He went into my spirit and turned on the flame. He took my dead spirit and breathed life into it. His love, His words and His peace invaded me and changed me. I can remember life before Him but I don’t like life before Him. Life before Him had no rhyme or reason. There was no joyful song and no beautiful music. The Holy Spirit gave me a new song that has not stopped playing in the chamber of my spirit. Jesus’ melody is bouncing up and down in my heart and I know that I have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear.

The old me was crippled by fear. Hope was something I was not familiar with but today hope is alive in me and I am well aware of it. Jesus can take all fear and put faith in you. He can give you a life where His presence is like a river that never runs dry. Thank Him for the new you and Thank Him for being in you. He is part of your life and if you let Him be your whole life, there is no limit to what He can do through you, for you and in you. When Christ is the center of your life, the “after you” is a version of you that glorifies the Lord. Like I said before, it is ok to take a glimpse at the old you but it is important to focus on the One who is responsible for the new you. Notice the changes in you. Notice the new birth in your spirit. Notice Christ in you. Notice the love, the peace, the joy and the faith in you. It’s not about you but it’s about Christ in you and what He is accomplishing. Stay close to His Spirit. Embrace His Spirit. Imitate Christ and spread love, spread joy. Spread Christ around you. The new you will emanate Him and shine His light around you. You will exude His presence and give the world a chance to know Him through you. The new you is all about Jesus and that is what counts the most. You were meant to worship the Lord. Worship and praise Him with your life. Your before and after you are two different people. Stay in the present with the Lord that is working in you. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 43:18; Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17