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

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

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

Winning the battle of the mind

What we listen to ends up creating a framework in our minds. The more we listen to the same things, the more of a hold they have on our thinking. If we listen to negative banter all the time, we will develop a negative mindset. Negative banter comes in the form of what we actually hear out loud and in the form of the thoughts that pop into our heads. This is why we have to guard our minds and be careful what we let in. I learned that I had been too passive when it came to my thinking and it ultimately affected my belief system. I believed in God but my mind had holes in it. Holes that allowed negative thinking to seep in and to plug in the missing parts with negative parts. We have to be a lot more active in our heads. Thank God, the Lord gives us weapons to use against negative thinking. He knows the importance of what we hear and what we let grow in our minds. He clearly says in His Word that we should renew our minds. I know His encouragement is extremely crucial. God loves our faith. If our faith is tampered with and it is lacking substance, it is not solid and it is not the kind of faith that is pleasing to God. He wants us to have blind faith or total faith in Him. That kind of faith comes from hearing the message of the Bible over and over again and trusting it. We ought to make it a part of our thinking and it has to be engrained in us. The number one tool against negative thinking is positive listening. Positive listening based in the Lord. When we listen to the Word of God and we meditate on it, we go through the process of positive listening. It is active listening. Listening here is not just hearing and forgetting about what we hear. Positive active listening is listening to the Word of God, dwelling on it and giving it a chance to become a part of us. Then the Word invades our belief system and it stays inside of us.

Today I want to encourage you to watch what you listen to and make sure that the Word of God is a priority in your life. Friend, it will help you fight the negative thoughts the enemy wants you to dive into. He desires for you to drown in his oven of mental confusion. He is the king of overthinking and he uses that technique to weaken our faith and to isolate us from God. Overthinking doesn’t find constructive solutions and it keeps us in a mental jail that has no way out. Overthinking creates horrible realities that did not exist in the first place. Overthinking gives us faith in the negative and it sows deep seeds of doubt in us. It takes advantage of the fragile state of mind it promotes and uses that fertile soil of doubt for more doubt to grow. If you are battling overthinking now, distract yourself. Get out of that mindset by imposing another mindset on top of it. That mindset should be the mindset of the Lord. Get into the Word. Read encouraging passages that you have highlighted. Tear down the obsessive thinking by injecting the light of the Lord. God’s Word is a powerful light that can remove negativity. Be resilient. Keep going into the Word. Dig deep and find the strength you need. It is there for you. God will give you the power to overcome what is eating you inside. Trust Him. He will do that for you. He has what it takes. It is in His Word and it can destroy the strongholds of the enemy. The Word of God is so amazing and so strong. Stick with it and you will see a big change in your thinking. It will happen for you.

The Holy Spirit is a great ally. He will assist you in your fight against negative thinking. He will remind you of the love of the Lord and how much He takes care of you. This battle is already won. Now, you can get over the bad thinking. Get into partnership with the Spirit of God and arm yourself with His Word. Ask Him to guide you on this journey to a more positive way of thinking. The Holy Spirit always magnifies Jesus and that is a great way to conquer negative thinking. Stay focused on Jesus. Let your adoration of His majesty be a daily occurrence. Worship and praise Him more. Friend, it does work! It makes a huge difference in your mind. Praises are the gates of Heaven showing up at the threshold of your mind willing to come in and to transform you. I love getting lost in praise and worship. I come out of those beautiful sessions altered. My mind is more positive and my faith is intensified. However, I have to keep doing it. One praise session a week is not enough. Negativity doesn’t take a break so we shouldn’t take a break either. Let’s be active worshippers who listen to the Word of God as much as possible. Let’s work with the Spirit of God. Let’s be receptive to His guidance and let’s stay close to Jesus. We will win the battle of the mind when we fill our minds with the Lord. We can do this! We can win the battle of the mind in the name of Jesus! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 1 Peter 1:13

Don’t give up

When God encourages us and He tells us not to give up, He truly means it. I hear that encouragement a lot in the depth of my spirit. Sometimes it sounds louder than other times but it always comes from the heart of the Lord and I love hearing it. When I am told not to give up, I meditate on those words and scan my life using the filter of the words “Don’t give up.” Where in my life should I not give up? Everywhere! I should not give up anywhere in my life. Giving up is what the enemy wants us to do. He is the king of discouragement and he doesn’t want to see any of us reach our full potential in the Lord. God has put great things in us. He has given us talents and gifts and the greatest gifts of all is the gift of Jesus. With Jesus in our lives, we have no reason to give up. Yet we lose hope very easily because the enemy convinces us and tells us that we might as well give up. He talks about God as a small god who can’t do much for us. Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought about how the devil talks about God to us and we buy into the lies? What we get in our heads is not always from God. I would say it is often from the enemy or from our own minds. God sits in there somewhere and we have to unearth Him and let Him dominate out thoughts. In the middle of words of despair and discouragement, the Lord tells us, “Don’t give up, child. You are going to make it. You have Me. You have nothing to worry about.” Those powerful words will always be true and today I want to remind you that you don’t have to give up because you have the One who can make anything happen. Stand the course. God is your ally.

God being our ally is such a great encouragement. The enemy and his friends are many but our One God can squash them all. I like to remind myself that the Creator of the universe, the One who was raised from the dead and who conquered death is my ally. He is my Father, my friend and my number one companion. I am never alone because God is with me. I am never alone and I am always surrounded by the best of the best, Jesus Himself. Your best friend is on your side telling you not to give up. He is not just suggesting it. He is telling you that you can’t give up. You have all the power from Heaven backing you up so you can’t give up. You could choose to give up but you would do yourself a major disservice by ignoring God’s encouragement. Like I said His encouragement is not void and it is not in vain. He knows that your potential is extraordinary and if you hold on tight and you keep going, something very good is going to come out of your effort. You are going to be able to accomplish whatever you are endeavoring to do now and more. There is no limit to what you can do in the name of Jesus. Don’t give up! The name above all names is giving you license to win. God is on the throne as we speak and He is on the throne when you are doing well and when you want to give up. He is unchangeable but He can change you!

When you are ready to give up, give your concerns and your worries to the Lord. He will assist you and He will transform you. He is an expert at creating faith warriors who go to battle and who stand strong. You are one of those faith warriors. That is how God sees you. He wants you to see His reflection in you. Him being in you allows you to do the impossible. You are going to make it without a doubt. You just might need a reminder from time to time but the song is still the same. The Lord is still singing over you saying how much He loves you and how much you can do through Him. Giving up is not in His vocabulary. When Jesus faced the grave, He kept going until He did what needed to be done so that you and I could conquer life every time problems might arise. Your idea of giving up is certainly a problem but you can defeat it. Rest assured that God will see you through it all. If you want to give up because you don’t see the end in sight, refocus your vision and position your mind on Jesus. He is the end in sight. He is the solution to every problem. He is the peace for every turmoil and the joy for every sorrow. Great days are coming ahead. Don’t give up. You will see that God has been faithful the whole time and you don’t have to worry about a thing. Stay encouraged! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24; James 1:12 2 Timothy 4:7

God’s light

When I got eye surgery, my life completely changed. I went from having to wear contacts or glasses all the time to be being able to see all the time without any assistance. It was like night and day. I never thought that I could ever see that clearly without glasses. It was as if I had stepped into a new dimension. Everything looked so real and so true. It is hard to explain but what I can say is that it was one of the best moments of my life in terms of transformation. However, the best moment of my life, hands down, was when I got saved. It was a similar experience but on a much higher level. I went from being spiritually blind to being able to see the light. I had lived in darkness for a while. I had had glimpses of hope and glimpses of who the Lord was all about but those glimpses didn’t compare to the real thing. They were nice previews that gave me a reason to pursue Jesus. Those insights into who the Lord was were like contacts and lenses that allowed me to see the truth for a short time. When I got saved, the light became permanent and I was able to see what I had been missing my whole life. The light of the Lord is such a powerful tool in our lives and we should never underestimate it. We should cherish God’s light and His truth and keep walking in it with our spiritual eyes wide open.

The Word of God is a lamp into our feet. His Word is the lamp that can guide us into all things. We can never stay in the dark when we follow the lamp of the Lord. We should actually spend a lot of time in His Word so we can be enlightened and filled with wisdom. The amount of darkness that is in the world is huge and we need to work against so many principalities and powers. The power to counteract those evil forces is only found in the Lord and His Word gives us instructions on how to stay in His light and how to avoid the traps of darkness. When I read the Word of God, it is like a light is turned on and I can see into some of the mysteries of God. This happens when I read and study the Word prayerfully. When I get in sync with the Spirit of God, His Word comes alive and I dive into the wonderful world of our Savior. I love spending time in the Word especially when the world is so chaotic. I find peace and I find joy when I am in the Word. I strongly encourage you to make it a habit to turn on the light of the Lord and to stay under the rays of His great love. His light will refresh you and invigorate you. It will open your eyes and it will close the doors to the darkness that tries to mislead you. God’s light is the truth that you need to be set free so embrace His light, embrace His Word.

When someone turns on a light, darkness scatters. Some people would say that darkness disappears and I love that idea as well. God, the light, can make your darkness disappear when you turn on His light. Your enemies, your fears and your doubts will scatter when you turn on the light of the Lord. How do you turn it on? Like I mentioned earlier, the Word of God is the light you need and being familiar with it is crucial. Making sure that the Word of God has an important part in your life is extremely helpful. Jesus brings light and He is the light so daily communion with Him also allows you to turn on the light that will always set you free. Jesus will not only give you insights into who He is and how He made you but He will teach you how to live a fulfilling life in Him. He is the light that keeps on giving more light so don’t expect Him to ever be extinguished in your life. He is always on. You might have to adjust how you connect with Him but He is always on and always ready to shine in your life. He is like that permanent contact lens that enables you to see clearly at all times. Jesus will help you deal with all forms of spiritual blindness so stick to Him and stay close to Him. He is the best light you will ever find. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading:Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19

Pray about it

How many times have we said “I will pray about it” but we actually didn’t? How many times have we said “I am praying for you” and we are actually not? That empty promise was a pet peeve of mine. I disliked saying I was going to pray without being true to my word. I rectified that behavior a few years ago. I made up my mind and decided that I would always mean it when I said it. If I didn’t mean it, I wouldn’t say it. That change was great. It improved my prayer life and it got me closer to the Lord. He wants us to mean what we say especially when it comes to Him and to spiritual matters. Our words have power and they should be used wisely. Saying that we are going to pray and we don’t know it is not spiritually uplifting and it doesn’t take us anywhere far in our prayer life. It is like making empty promises.

Saying we will pray sounds great. It sounds holy. It comforts people. It comforts us but it hurts us at the same time. Why? Because we believe in it. We sometimes believe that saying it is good enough but that is not what the Lords expects from us. He wants us to speak and use our words with honor and boldness. Imagine all the prayers we would say if we actually prayed every time we said we would! It is not too late. You and I can talk about praying and actually do it. We can pray about anything and everything. The Bible tells us to pray all the time. We should be praying without ceasing. Are you going through a tough time right now? Do you have financial needs? Are you at a loss about what to do with your life? Pray about it. Tell yourself you will and do it. Pray!

About 8 years ago, I was talking to a friend who strongly encouraged me to pray. She told me that prayer is everything because sustained prayer is an established relationship with Jesus and there is nothing better in our lives than having that relationship. It is more vital than we know. Prayer is more vital than we know. When I first read in the Bible about praying without ceasing, I felt a lot of pressure. I used to find prayer burdensome and the idea of people being prayer warriors was intimidating to me. I thought I could never become a prayer warrior. Prayer was a short recitation that was very robotic and that didn’t carry any weight. Then I set time aside to praise the Lord. Those praise sessions would always lead to prayer.

Prayer quickly became my favorite thing. It was a lot more colorful than the grey skies that it used to protect in my mind. Prayer was a great conversation with God that made me feel closer to Him and that made me feel better in general. One of the messages I kept getting during prayer was to pray about anything. The Holy Spirit always invites us to pray. He doesn’t desire for us to be passive. He wants us to take action and to be bold in prayer. No matter what happens to us, we should pray about it. We should go past the stage where we are mesmerized by our bad circumstances. It is normal to contemplate our trials and tribulations but we shouldn’t give them the power to prevent us from praying.

My message to you today is a loud and clear “Pray about it.” Whatever you have going on, don’t despair. Pray. You can’t give up before you pray about it and give it to the Lord. When you do, He will take over and help you through it all. Pray about your needs and pray about other people’s needs. Mean your “I will pray for you.” Don’t make a spectacle about it but let people know you are genuinely praying for them. Fill your prayers with people’s requests. Just pray for people to be blessed. If you don’t know what to pray about, pray for blessings.

Pray for your family and friends to experience breakthroughs. Pray for people to know Jesus. Pray about big things and about small things. As long as you pray, you are doing God’s will. Mean what you say and say what you mean and pray. Your prayers are heard. Your prayers sound beautiful to the Lord. Your prayers can be great conversations with the Lord. Someone out there needs your prayers. Your prayers can change your world. Pray, friend and don’t get tired of praying. Great things can happen when you actually pray. May God love you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 26:40-41; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Hope in the Lord

The hope that is in God is out of this world. Our Lord and Savior Jesus is out of this world so when we turn to Him and we trust Him we should expect to have experiences out of this world. I don’t believe that Jesus is only found in such experiences but we should be open to them. Hope! God’s hope like I said is out of this world. When we connect with it and we engage with it, our hope is exponentially bigger than the hope of the world. We don’t hope in the things of the world, things that will disappear and that are fickle. We hope in the Lord who will never die and never disappear. We hope in the creator of the universe, the One who can do all things. Hope in the Lord is hope is the impossible made possible. It’s hope in what people don’t believe can happen. When things are not going well and we see no way out, hope in the Lord sees many ways out. It shows you that there are multiple  opportunities for blessings and for joy. Hope in the Lord takes our problems and transform them into experiences where we get to know the glory of God a little more. Every problem gets us inches closer to the glory of God. We get to see God in action. Hope in the Lord brings God into the scene and gives Him control over what seemed to be an issue. Hope in the Lord deals with every issue that arises and puts it down. Hope in the Lord is hope in the very best life has to offer and more specifically the very best the Lord has to offer in this life.

Today you are invited to hold on to hope in the Lord. Today you are encouraged to find the courage that comes from hope in the Lord. Today you are shown that there is always hope in Jesus and His hope is unparalleled. Hope in the Lord will get you through anything so hope in Him. Give up on the things of the world you have been putting your hope in. Stare at Jesus and expect Him to get you to your destination. Every journey with Him is phenomenal and it doesn’t ignore obstacles but it is not bothered by them. When you have hope in the Lord it doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems and that the enemy will leave you alone. Hope in the Lord rises above the attacks of the enemy and it gives you power to face trials and tribulations. Hope is more than a wish. It is a foundation in the Almighty God and you can’t be shaken when you stand on Him. His hope is more powerful than any doubt, any fear and anything negative you might feel. Hope in the Lord is not a feeling and it not an emotion. It is real and strong and it changes your thinking and your state of being. His hope removes the emotions that try to bring you down. His hope crushes the feelings that try to drag you down.

Hope in the Lord is hope in His Word. It is trusting that His Word is supreme and that it has authority over your life. You have hope in the Gospel and you believe that Jesus came to give good news, to save the lost and to mend the broken-hearted. Hope in the Word of God is hope in miracles, in love, in joy, in faith, in patience and in all the great attributes of the Holy Spirit. Hope in the Lord is hope in the Holy Spirit. It is having a relationship with the Holy Spirit and letting Him show you Jesus and give you a heart of praise for Jesus. Hope in the Lord will lead you to praise and worship Him even in the worst situations. Hope in the Lord doesn’t care about your circumstances. It cares about Jesus and how amazing and good He is. We all need hope. We all need Jesus and having hope in Jesus is having the best solutions, the best outlook on life and the best assurance in the world. The world will make you waver and fear but the Lord will make you hope and stand strong. God will fill you with hope and joy when you rely on Him in everything so rely on His hope. Rest in Him and let Him take care of everything. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Romans 12:12; Romans 15:4; 2 Corinthians 4:18

No complaints

There are a lot of challenges on social media. Some of them I don’t really understand. I guess they are really entertaining for some people who get a kick out of them. Some challenges are quite interesting and they bring a lot to the people who take them. I like to challenge myself. I don’t do it in a competition against others but I challenge myself against myself. I have started praying for direction about some challenges that I should take for my spiritual growth. The one the Holy Spirit suggested recently was the “no complaint” challenge. The Lord inspired me to spend a week without complaining about anything. He put it in my heart to be complaint-free for a whole week in my actions and in my words. The goal is for that week to eventually turn into a month and to turn this whole thing into a lifestyle. A life with no complaints is a life well-lived to the glory of God. We complain so much. Complaining is part of our DNA and it comes naturally to a lot of us. Complaints take on different forms and they are hard to perceive at times. We don’t call complaining by its right name when it is so ingrained in us. God wants us to be honest with ourselves and to call a spade a spade. Today I want to invite you to take the “no complaint” challenge with me. Decide that from now on you will pay attention to your complaining and you will work on eliminating it from your life. It is a process and it takes work and effort but it produces great fruit. Jesus calls us not to complain but to rejoice in all things and to keep a grateful heart.

The other day after my morning prayer, I went over the things I needed to take care of that day. I had quite a few errands to run and a meeting to attend. Then the invigorating thought that I had nothing to complain about came to mind. I had a lot to do but in reality none of it was bad. None of it made my life difficult. None of it made me miserable unless I chose to be miserable. None of if was negative in itself. It might have been tedious but a lot of people would love to have the tedious tasks I had. I needed to see them as blessings and not as annoyances. I was blessed to be so busy. I was blessed to have a full schedule. The Lord was whispering to my heart that I had nothing to complain about. I could choose to complain but if I did I would be choosing to do something that the Lord doesn’t want me to do. I would be going against His will and I would be magnifying my flesh instead of letting my spirit take over. My spirit wants to embrace the fruit of the Spirit because I am saved. Your spirit, friend, wants to feed on the fruit of the Spirit and express those wonderful nine traits. Love is at the top of the (spiritual) fruit pyramid. Love doesn’t complain. Love doesn’t focus on what’s wrong. Love sees the good and rejoices over the goodness of the Lord even when things are not going well. Love rejects complaining and that is what I need to adopt in my life. The love attitude is everything!

The “no complaint” challenge consists in simply not complaining about anything. Complaints can be verbal or physical. Our bodies know how to express complaints very well. Look around and observe people and you will notice how body language speaks negatively very easily. The “no complaint” challenge encourages us to not speak about anything negatively and to no complain about anything including small little things. We can do it. We can make sure we don’t say anything that puts the Lord down. Complaining is actually undermining the Lord. When we complain we tell Him what He gives us is not good enough. We tell Him the people in our lives are not good enough. The Bible tells us to watch what we say and to not give way to negative talk. Complaining is negative talk. You might feel better when you complain but it hurts you more than you know spiritually. It creates holes in the fruit of the Spirit that are trying to grow in your life. You end up with half of the apple of love and half of the strawberry of patience so to speak. Our fruit in the Lord should be complete and negativity causes things to decay and fall apart in no time. Complaining is a sport for some of us and we ought to give it up and take on more positive challenges. Love is the best challenge we can take on and when we walk in love we definitely walk in God’s will. Spend the next week focusing on what you say and banish complaints from your life. You will see some very positive changes every day. Stay positive. Stay with Jesus. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 2:1-18; James 5:9