Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" It's a question that adults have asked children for generations. When we ask a child this question, we assume that as children grow older, they will mature. As they mature, children will get smarter and then will be ready for the job of their dreams. We encourage children of all ages to "grow up" because we think that is what's best for them.
When it comes to matters of faith, "Grow up!" is not the Lord's wish for us. In fact, Jesus advises just the opposite:
I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins
and become like little children,
you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 18:2 NLT
Jesus wasn't encouraging immature behavior. There is a difference between being childlike and being childish. Jesus wasn't recommending that we stay forever dependent on others. What He was encouraging was a simple, childlike faith. This kind of faith trusts the Father without question. This kind of faith rests in peace in the One who knows what's best for us. We believe that He will bring good out of even the worst of circumstances.
Many times we resent it when our plans are interrupted. When bad things happen - like Coronavirus - we may shake our fist at God in anger and frustration. We may even act like a small, spoiled child, stamping our feet at not getting our own way.
When we can't answer the why or don't understand the ways of God, we can always trust His wisdom.
When we attempt to figure out why God does the things He does or why He seemingly refuses to act when we think He should, His Holy Spirit reminds us of the simple truth - God loves us. Always and forever, we are His children.
Today's Prayer: Father, help us trust in You. Especially now, during this pandemic, when we don't know what the future holds. Help us to always remember that You love us more than we can ever imagine. Amen.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
No matter where you go be bold. Be strong. Be courageous. It is not a choice. It is a commandment. We must be bold and courageous. Sports is not for the weak or timid. Neither is life. You are called to be more than a conqueror. It is 4th and goal on the 2 yard line. Courage will determine who will win.
Conquerors are always ready to play the next play. You can’t change the previous play; nor catch the ball that you dropped. Continue to stay focus on the prize and press forward. With this attitude you will win the next play on the field and off the field.
GOD IS GOOD ANYWAY!
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
There is something that we all need to realize...there are just some things that we can't change. Like:
That last one is a good one - God is good anyway! We need to be reminded often that, regardless of our circumstances, God is constantly being good. And, we're not the only ones who forget this. Your best friend does, the person who usually sits in the pew in front of you at church does, and so does the driver waiting in the car next to you at the stoplight.
We are often reluctant to say, "God is good." We think our cup has to be full before we can share the news that God is good with somebody else. That's just not true! And we don't have to have everything just the way we want it to be before we can reach out to someone else.
You don't have to be wealthy to start giving to the poor. You don't have to be perfectly organized to start giving of your time. You don't have to have a beautiful home to invite other people in. You don't have to be especially gifted to start making a difference in the world. If you don't have it all together, join the club. Use what you have. Begin with the things in your hands. Don't wait another minute to give from what you have - begin today.
I know sometimes we feel too low to even take a baby step in order to help someone else. But when our cup is so empty that we wonder where the strength is going to come from...give, and it will be given to you.
For each minute you think you have nothing to give, you lose sixty seconds of giving. For every hour you feel sorry for yourself, you lose sixty minutes to comfort someone. For every day you wait to get going on the task to which God has called you, you lose twenty-four hours to bless the world.
Don't wait to start smiling if you're feeling blue. The Lord has given us a face, but it's up to us to provide the expression. And, guys, once the joy of giving gets in your system, it's bound to break out on your face.
You have a beautiful heart that is loved by the Lord Jesus. That is all you need. So don't wait until your troubles are behind you. Act now! Go to the phone and call some friends. Check on them. Share some joy with them. Tell them that God is good! Even in this pandemic - God is good!!
And, then, if you still have time on your hands...and I'm sure you will, just work on your devotion for our Advent Devotional. Spread the word that GOD IS GOOD!!
Let us pray: Lord, keep us aware that this moment is the most precious moment of our lives. Help us to use it to reach out in Your name. Amen.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are we secure in our hearts that there is nothing that can come between us and the love of God? We are in a time like no other that we have seen, we are tested daily. Are we secure knowing that nothing can separate us from the love God has for us...?
I was asked by a friend a question that I'm quite sure a lot of us have at the back of our minds if not in the front; The question was this, "Do you think God has sent this virus for us to learn from?"
The first thing that came to mind was the first 6 words from John 3:16; "For God so loved the world..."
Isn't this what we want? To be free from worry and to feel safe? God is here in the now and He is giving us His security. Paul's list in this verse are just a few of the fears that we have, knowing that there are many more he chose the most dreadful and for that reason he wants the people to be convinced that there is NOTHING that can separate God's love for us. This is no different than the love we have for our children. We will stop at nothing to protect our children. Please never forget that we are all His children and that He too will stop at nothing to protect us!
It is okay to ask questions, never be afraid to ask as God knows before you think it, just what you are going to ask and He will remind you that you are His and there is nothing that can separate us from His love!!
God loves you so much that he gave His only Son....
Let us Pray:
Ever loving God, thank you so much for never leaving our side. Thank you for the grace that you give us freely for the taking. Never let us forget that nothing will ever separate us from You. Watch over us, give us strength and courage to deal with whatever comes our way. We pray this in Jesus' name.... Amen
As we prepare to start the process of getting back to normalcy, the word Preparedness comes to mind. Preparedness refers to a very concrete research-based set of actions that are taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters.
"Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Ephesians 6:13 - 17
Always be prepared. Stay ready for God’s play and execute it with confidence knowing that you have full protection. The bible says be ready in season and out of season. When your number gets called, take up the whole armor of God, that you may by be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
“The Coronavirus, this too will pass! We must look to the Cross of Jesus!
As coaches and parents, we’re subject to having good days and bad days. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I always like winning better than losing. I am sure that you agree too. Enough losses in a row, and any of us can get a little blue. So how do we maintain a joyful life? The Bible gives us some good answers, as in the text above.
In these verses, there are three directives and one reason that combine to show us the way to a joyful life:
First, rejoice always. More than a command, this is a reassuring encouragement that we can find something to be joyful about in every circumstance. Lead with your conscience (spirit man) will and let your emotions follow along.
Second, pray without ceasing. Keep talking to Jesus. Let Him be the One you Look too. If you took this seriously, you’d never sleep, eat, or study. That’s probably not what Paul meant. Surely he meant that there is never a situation for us in which prayer is not proper and powerful.
Third, in everything give thanks; not for everything, but in everything. In all situations give thanks to the Lord, and you’ll cultivate a joyful, thankful attitude that rises above any circumstances.
This is the will of God in Christ for you. The Lord joins you in your rejoicing, He communes with you when you pray, and He blesses you when you thank Him. He is most desirous of an intimate, personal relationship with you, and He knows that these things serve to deepen that relationship.
As you prepare for today’s agenda, schedule, stay at home, competition, rejoice, pray, and be thankful. In doing so, you are fulfilling God’s will for your life today.
Father, help me find real joy in parenting those in my charge. Help me to pray effectively for their success and development. Thank You for the immense privilege that is mine to serve You. Amen.
Don’t Give Up
When you are up against a tough opponent and defeat is near, don’t give up. God has control of the situation. Keep fighting. He is holding you with His right hand. Imagine God’s hand holding you. With the right attitude, the proper training, commitment and God on your side you can do all things. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. It takes effort and it is not be easy, but you will have the victory if you don’t give up.
Without going into the particular story of Jesus used, it's helpful and important to focus on the lesson Jesus wanted to get across to us. His point was for us to never give up the practice of prayer and to never give up hope for answers to our prayers. Understanding that we would be tempted by what appeared to be lack of progress or answers in response to our prayers, Jesus said, "Keep on praying!"
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. Psalm 18:34-36
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9