I’m Nothing Without You

(Intentional Prayer)
Pray the Scriptures: Lord, no matter the successes I accomplish during my time here on earth, I am conscious of the fact that I’m nothing without You. As was when You chose to create me in Your likeness, You continuously provide the air that I need to breathe, and permit the steps that I am to take. In Your tireless love for me, You have given me life with the intention of abundance; for You sent Your Son that I may have life and have it to the full. A rich and satisfying life, indeed; I won’t forget. I will ponder this […]

(Intentional Prayer)

Pray the Scriptures – My Prayer:

Lord, no matter the successes I accomplish during my time here on earth, I am conscious of the fact that I’m nothing without You. As was when You chose to create me in Your likeness, You continuously provide the air that I need to breathe, and permit the steps that I am to take. In Your tireless love for me, You have given me life with the intention of abundance; for You sent Your Son that I may have life and have it to the full. A rich and satisfying life, indeed; I won’t forget. I will ponder this.

Lord, I cannot do anything within my own strength. It is not by force (power) nor by strength, but by Your Spirit. Although I cannot accomplish anything in Your name utilizing my own strength; miraculously, by the power of Your Spirit, all things can be so.

I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.

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What He’s Done For Me

(Intentional Prayer)
Pray the Scriptures: Lord, as I draw closer to You and feel Your presence in all that I do, I choose this day to realize how Blessed I am. I will never forget Your grace and mercy that is showered over my life. Like rain drops that pour from the heavens, so Your love is provided to me as nourishment for my soul. The breathtaking beauty and growth that manifests from nothing that I could ever do on my own is absolutely amazing. For you have rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of Your dear Son, my Redeemer, my High Priest, my Savior, my Example and Guide, who purchased my freedom and forgave my sins […]

(Intentional Prayer)

Pray the Scriptures – My Prayer:

Lord, as I draw closer to You and feel Your presence in all that I do, I choose this day to realize how Blessed I am. I will never forget Your grace and mercy that is showered over my life. Like rain drops that pour from the heavens, so Your love is provided to me as nourishment for my soul. The breathtaking beauty and growth that manifests from nothing that I could ever do on my own is absolutely amazing. For you have rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of Your dear Son, my Redeemer, my High Priest, my Savior, my example and guide, who purchased my freedom and forgave my sins.

As I reflect on how Blessed I am, the tear that trickles down my cheek, is but a minor display of my gratitude towards You. Oh, how You love me! You gave Your One and Only Son, so that not only I, but everyone who believes in You will not perish but have eternal life. Irrespective of all my missteps and points of disobedience, You did not send Him to judge me, but to provide salvation for my soul.

Your sovereignty and plan that I may prosper and have hope in You, brought into existence a way to save me and call me to live a holy life, not because I deserved it, but because that was Your plan from before the beginning of time.

Your evidence of grace through Christ Jesus is why I am Blessed.

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Falling Apart

Things are just falling apart! Words we have all uttered, perhaps, or heard spoken by someone close to us. There are many times when parts of our lives should be condemned or demolished because they do not fall within the will and plan of God, but we continue to fight to hold on to what never should have been allowed in our lives in the first place. There are instances where it is possible that we need to stop trying to keep it all together and let the broken pieces fall. After that, we will be in a position to allow God to work through us to rebuild the shattered fragments […]

Things are just falling apart!

Words we have all uttered, perhaps, or heard spoken by someone close to us.

When things appear to be caving in around us, we tend to want to do something, anything to salvage what we deem important and necessary to us. Often, we do not even pray and ask questions like,

“God, are You trying to change something in my life? What are You trying to show me, Lord?”

There are many times when parts of our lives should be condemned or demolished because they do not fall within the will and plan of God, but we continue to fight to hold on to what never should have been allowed in our lives in the first place. There are instances where it is possible that we need to stop trying to keep it all together and let the broken pieces fall. After that, we will be in a position to allow God to work through us to rebuild the shattered fragments.

Let us take an excursion with Nehemiah for a bit.

Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NLT) says,
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” 4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

Nehemiah hears a discouraging report and turns to God in prayer.

Nehemiah learns that the wall of Jerusalem has been torn down and the gates have been destroyed by fire. When he was informed of this, he sat down and wept. In fact, for days, he mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. He did not just go running in to the situation trying to resolve things on his own. He grieved over the chaos that had been allowed because of the sin and eventual exile of God’s people.

Nehemiah did what we should do when things have fallen apart. He sought the direction of God.

That needs to be my first response when I hear discouraging news. I must go to God in prayer.

The reason for the destruction of the wall was because of the Israelites continued disobedience. They were taken captive by the Babylonians and were in exile for 70 years. This happened during the time of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah was to bring God’s words to nations and kingdoms (“to build and to plant”). His work was to warn not only the Jews but all the nations of the world about God’s judgment for sin.

To make a long story short, God’s people would not take heed to the warnings that God spoke through Jeremiah. As a result, there were some things that the people had to go through. When we fail to take heed to the warnings that God sends our way through His Word, the Bible, or through messages or sermons we may hear or read, we are in for some tough times ahead.

But God! He promises restoration when we repent and turn back to Him.

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Heavenly Benefits Package: You are Set Free

I have exciting news for you! When we accepted the offer of salvation that was made to us, we became recipients of a “Heavenly” benefits package. When we said Yes Lord, we received a benefits plan filled with exciting, reliable, and unique advantages to meet our every day needs […]

It’s your first day in your new position. Orientation has just begun. You are so worried about doing a great job and living up to your employers’ expectations that you’re not fully focused on this part. Your immediate goal is to impress everyone and really show them what you have to offer. 

First stop, the Human Resources department. The HR representative is moving pretty fast. You hear words, but you aren’t really as attentive as you should be. You are not quite catching all of the benefits available to you. “Sign here please. Sign there. Here’s your copy.”

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You make a mental note to read it all later; but for now, you’re ready to jump right in to the work of it all; what you feel is most critical.

I have exciting news for you! When we accepted the offer of salvation that was made to us, we became recipients of a “Heavenly” benefits package. However, it’s not our “works” that allow us to receive them, but God’s great love for us simply because we believe.

It may not be our first day in our new position in Christ, but guess what, we will never forget or misplace the benefits that are available to us. We have God’s Word (the Bible) as our handbook to review these rewards and blessings on a daily basis. We aren’t placed here to impress God or to show Him what we have to offer. We, His children, are the intended recipients of all of Christ’s work on the cross; his death, burial, and resurrection. We get to sit back and enjoy all of the benefits upon belief in Him. Once you have received Him as your personal savior and are ready to walk this life with Him as your guide, your benefits package is initiated, and your name is logged as a beneficiary. 

Romans 8:17 (NLT) says,
And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

When we said Yes Lord, we received a benefits plan filled with exciting, reliable, and unique advantages to meet our everyday needs.  

Let’s review our plan received on our first day with Christ.

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Search for God

(Intentional Prayer)
Pray the Scriptures: Lord, I would like to take this moment to first give thanks to You for You alone are the great and mighty God. I want the whole world to know what You have done. You have prepared a way for me to walk worthy in Your sight. Even when I falter and fail, You are always with me to lead and guide me and direct my steps […]

(Intentional Prayer)

Pray the Scriptures – My Prayer:

Lord, I would like to take this moment to first give thanks to You for You alone are the great and mighty God. I want the whole world to know what You have done. You have prepared a way for me to walk worthy in Your sight. Even when I falter and fail, You are always with me to lead and guide me and direct my steps. I am able to proceed forward with a forgiven spirit and a determination in my heart to be more like You. You strengthen me each and every day. When I am weak, You alone make me strong.

I will sing to You; yes, I will sing Your praises. I will tell everyone about Your wonderful deeds.

Lord, as I begin yet another day, I will continue to search for You Lord; for Your strength. I want to find myself continually seeking You. Without You, Lord, I don’t know where I would be. Knowing that Your peace surrounds me helps me to recall Your faithfulness in the details of my life.

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Follow God’s Blueprint

(Intentional Prayer)
Pray the Scriptures: Lord, I will let all that I am praise You. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. Because of Your goodness towards me, You have provided the blueprint for building my relationship with You, through Your Word […]

(Intentional Prayer)

Pray the Scriptures – My Prayer:

Lord, I will let all that I am praise You. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and majesty. Because of Your goodness towards me, You have provided the blueprint for building my relationship with You, through Your Word. You have made provision for every satanic threat that comes against me and a course of action for fighting the tricks of the enemy.

God, Your Word says, that no matter what Satan tries to throw against me, I am to stand my ground putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of Your righteousness. For shoes, I am to put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that I will be fully prepared. I am to hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. I am to put on salvation as my helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I am to pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. I am to stay alert and be persistent in my prayers for all believers everywhere.

Lord, I have been given these instructions to put on all of God’s armor so that I will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For I am not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

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It’s In the Breaking

The process of being broken is utilized by God to mold us into the person that He wants us to be. We find in Isaiah 64:8 that He is the potter and we are the clay. It is by His great hand that we are changed into who He desires us to be, for His greater purpose and His glory.

Isaiah 64:8 (NLT) says,
And yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
   We are the clay, and you are the potter.
   We all are formed by your hand.

This process of being formed by the hand of God can often feel brutal. There is so much that we do not understand. We can feel so lost and confused. It can become unsettling and fear will attempt to sneak in to try to cause us to stop trusting in the process and in the God who is working it all together for good.

God, in his loving manner, works to bring about the good that He has for us. He kneads, breaks, caresses, and remolds to get us to the place that He has for us. You see, this Overwhelming Victory that is ours comes about through growth. Growth is often a painful experience, as when a young person is going through growth spurts. Sometimes their bodies ache. They don’t feel like themselves. There can be some pain involved, but it is so that they can continue to grow and mature into who they are destined to be.

God uses the circumstances that he arranges in our lives, His providential will, as well as our own detours off God’s original plan for us, to break us so that we can be rebuilt for His kingdom.

Jeremiah 18:6 (NLT) says,
“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.

If I am going to continue to grow in the things of God and be able to be that living testimony for Him, then I need to cooperate and let God be God. I need Him to work out in me the things that are necessary to draw me closer to Him.

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The Fight is On

Your Prodigal son/daughter has come back! Hallelujah! BUT, he/she is not quite delivered. What next?

The Parable of the Prodigal or Lost Son, found in Luke chapter 15, verses 11-32, tells us how the son wanted his share of his father’s estate now.

NOW!

That desire of “give it to me NOW” can get us into so much trouble.

The son felt like he was missing out and wasn’t receiving what was due to him. He felt like he would “die” if he had to wait any longer. His father agreed to divide his wealth between his two sons. Unfortunately, the younger son did not stick around to receive the covering that his father provided. Instead, he packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land where he wasted all his money in wild living. While he was away, he went through many hardships; thankfully, at some point, at the end of himself, he finally came to his senses. He was ready to go home, humble himself before his father, and admit his sin against both heaven and his earthly father. He was willing to work among the least of them, just to have a place back under his protective covering. 

When he returned, he was ready, delivered; he had come to himself.

In the lives of our “prodigal”, we, just like the father in this parable are filled with love and compassion for the return of our children. We embrace them. We shower them with love. We don’t hold on to the sins of the past, nor do we pass judgment as we move forward to a brighter future. We want to offer them a different way and a future filled with endless possibilities that had been deferred as they traveled an alternate path.

But what does happen when your Prodigal son/daughter has come back but he/she is not quite delivered? What next?

You Fight On!

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What Now?

Life!

Who knew that things would be this way! We plan or sometimes we don’t. Either way, life still happens, most times without much say from us. We are not in control. God is! Yes, we are fully aware of this.

Now, if you are not aware of this fact, keep living, and as you go through different tests and trials meant to draw you closer to God, you will begin to see who is really in control. We often struggle with this. We orchestrate and manipulate things to align them to our will and desires. But guess what? God’s will, will prevail, whether we cooperate or not.

The answer, the key, the “what now” that we are seeking, is to do just that, COOPERATE WITH GOD!

What does that mean?

That is definitely easier said than done. Because of sin and our fallen nature, we are in a constant battle with the enemy, satan, but also with ourselves. We trust God. We know that He is faithful and that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Yet, we still struggle. We are anxious and we often worry our way through the day. Life can bring about some challenging situations and we simply want it all resolved immediately. I am a true believer of God’s miraculous power and His ability to do things suddenly, in an instant, if He so desires and works to make things happen that way in our lives. However, often, he chooses to make us wait so that His greater purpose will be manifested in our lives. This waiting period produces the struggle between our will and God’s; between our timing and God’s. It can even produce a wavering in our overall trust in God.

time for change, concept of new, life changing and improvementLike at this very moment, and basically through out this entire day, this feeling that I have carried around with me in the pit of my stomach has been overwhelming and almost unbearable. The moving, out of control, pieces of my life have exhausted me. I know God is in control. I know He is there carrying me through. I know my wilderness experience is coming to an end and that my promised land is right over the horizon. I know he has good intentions for my life and that if I continue to wait and continue to focus on Him, He is going to further reveal to me that plan and I will start to see all of the pieces fit together.

Nevertheless, I find myself seemingly not cooperating with God, and I cannot seem to truly shake this feeling that I carry with me when something is troubling me; when my trust is wavering. It’s a constant reminder that true peace, the peace that God offers to me, is eluding me. That is not how God intended for things to be.

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