God’s Protection is with you always

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered.  “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  2 Kings 6:16.

Even if you feel like the whole world is against you, hear God’s word to you today.  “Don’t be afraid because those who are with you are more than those who are against you.”  You have protection and support in two ways:

1)  God is with you.  This promise is eternal and so powerful that not even death can separate you from His Presence and His love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

2)  God has assigned angels as your personal body guards and servants. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11.  “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrew 1:14.

Your Almighty God is protecting and guarding you.  In the midst of mixed feelings, feel His Presence and be secure in His love.  Hear His voice saying to you: “Do not be afraid, I am with you.  My angels have surrounded you and those who are with you are more than those who are against you.”

Kingdom Declaration:

Nothing can separate me from the love of God.

Read the Bible in One Year: Esther 9-10; Acts 7:1-21

It came to pass

“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.  When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert.  He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.  ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said.  ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.  Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.”  I Kings 19:3-5.

Discouragement can become a destroyer of a person’s life.  Elijah had just finished some of the greatest accomplishments of his life.  He was a powerful leader and won many tremendous battles.  Yet he could not win this new battle called, ‘Discouragement’.  Disappointments can lead to discouragement.  Discouragement can lead to depression.

The story is told of a Sunday class that had been asked the question: “In your time of discouragement, what is your favorite Scripture?” A young man said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1. A middle age woman said, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. Psalm 46:1. Another woman said, “In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world”. John 16:33-35.

Then old Mr. John who was 80 years old, with head of white hair and dark black skin, stood up and said with as much strength as he could muster, “And it came to pass.” found 85 times in the bible. The class started to laugh a little thinking that old Mr. John’s lack of memory was getting the best of him. When the snickering stopped, he said, “At 30 I lost my job with six hungry mouths and a wife to feed. I didn’t know how I would make it. At 40 my eldest son was killed overseas in the war. It knocked me down. At 50 my house burned to the ground. Nothing was saved out of the house. At 60 my wife of 40 years got cancer. It slowly ate away at her.”  On and on this old man shared all the pain and discouragement that life served him.  The key, “And it came to pass.”

Our trials are not our destination but a journey.  Be encouraged for whatever you may face, our God is greater.  He will see you through beyond the present into a greater future.

Kingdom Declaration:

My God is greater than whatever I may face today and He is in my tomorrow before I get there.

Read the Bible in One Year: Esther 6-8; Acts 6

The LORD is Peace

“But the Lord said to him, “Peace!  Do not be afraid.  You are not going to die. So Gideon built and altar to the Lord there and called it The LORD is Peace.”  Judges 6:23,24.

Gideon was a man who was discouraged.  He and his family had suffered incredible losses at the hand of oppressive ravaging warriors called the Midianites.  Gideon and his family were fighting for survival. He was frustrated, angry and confused about God, the enemy, and himself. God appeared to him at the height of his anger and lovingly gave him a solution for victory.

God gave Gideon four things:

1) Hope.  It is never too late for God to intervene regardless of how long or how hard the circumstance is or even how frustrated and angry you are.  God is not intimidated by your anger.  He loves you.  As your Prince of Peace, He calms raging storms and He is able to also calm the storms of the heart.

2) Strength.  God will give you His strength to get out of poverty, oppression, and depression.  Gideon would have to work hard and fight for his new life, but God would help him all the way.

3) Peace.  The antidote for a heart filled with strife, torment, and self-condemnation is peace.  As a father and husband Gideon blamed himself as he watched his family suffer, but The LORD became his Peace.

4) Faith.  God restored his faith to drive out his fears and build confidence again in the Almighty God who was able to save him, deliver him, and turn things around for His greater glory.

As Gideon listened to the words of encouragement from God, faith filled his heart.  His heart was changed from depression to determination; from passiveness to passion.  He refused to lose.  He determined to succeed and he did, with the help of the LORD who became his Peace.

Kingdom Declaration:

My God is my LORD of Peace who guards and rule my heart.

Read the Bible in One Year: Esther 3-5; Acts 5:22-42

God ‘sets’ us in His family cluster

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.”  Psalm 68: 5,6.

The fatherless, widows, and the lonely are those who experienced loss of significant people in their lives.  God who created you, cares about every detail in your life.  He is sensitive to your needs.  He understands pain, rejection, family challenges, and even separation.  Jesus was separated from His Heavenly Father while He was on the cross.

When Jesus was about to die on the cross He looked at His mother Mary weeping in emotional agony and He cared even through His pain.  “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”  John 19:26-27.  He gave Mary, His mother, a new son – John.  He knew she would be loved, cared for, and supported. God sets us in His family.

God is still ‘setting’ us in His Family for love, support, and care.  “God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing.” Psalm 68:6.  The Church is the family of God.  As you go to Worship Services, don’t just visit, but become committed so that God can ‘set’ you in the family cluster that He has already chosen for you.  As a member of His Royal Family, He ‘sets’ us in earthly clusters for relationship, interaction, teaching, help, encouragement, and human involvement.

As in the case of families, issues will arise but forgiveness and wisdom will preserve and keep us in the Royal family of God, with God as our Heavenly Father.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am a part of the Royal family of God on earth and in heaven

Read the Bible in One Year: Esther 1-2; Acts 5:1-21

Your Heavenly Father loves you

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” Luke 11:1-2.

God, many times in the Bible refers to us as ‘children’; ‘sons and daughters’; His family.  The disciples so admired the prayer life of Jesus, that they asked Him to teach them how to pray.  He gave them the opportunity to address God as ‘Father’.  In a world of absent fathers and nurturing parents God is looking to father and parent all His human family.

We read the story of a man who had to make a selfless sacrifice to save his little daughter.  He gave her half of his liver previously and was now ready to also give her one of his kidneys to save his eight month old baby.  As he and his wife prepares mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for another surgery with all its risk, pain and concerns, their thought: “We see the kidney transplant operation as the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Your Heavenly Father did not just give you His organs but He gave you His Son to die a cruel death on the cross for your freedom.  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. God gave you life. Be secure in the love of your Heavenly Father.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am loved by my Heavenly Father, the Sovereign God and Ruler of the universe.

Read the Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 12-13; Acts 4:23-37

God’s Kingdom of priests

“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.  Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Exodus 19:5,6.

God is looking for people who will honor Him so that He can honor them and a people that will treasure Him to become His treasured possession.  The heart of God is family.  God created Adam and Eve with a plan that all people would be a part of His royal family.

We all love a romantic story when a “commoner” is married into a royal family.  The story of Kate Middleton who once hung posters of Prince William in his polo gear on her wall and is now his wife – “Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge” is fascinating and romantic.  Little girls dream of marrying a prince in the fairy tale world of Cinderella.  God has offered us the opportunity to be a part of His Kingdom and Royal Family.  His title as “KING of kings and LORD of lords,” gives us the title, not just of a prince or princess, but as kings and lords in His Royal Family.

The title ‘king’ or ‘lord’ means leader of influence, an ambassador to represent Him on earth in all that we do in our kingdoms of influence.  He also calls us His priests as our relationship with Him comes with priestly duties such as: prayer, serving, giving, helping the poor, and showing kindness to others.

As you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and King, you receive the honor of Royalty and a new life in Him.  You are His treasured possession.   As proud parents display “their” children and grandchildren, so God proudly displays you as His family in this world.  You are His royal treasure and this makes you very special.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am a Royal Priest in the Kingdom of God. I belong to His royal family.

Read the Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 10-11; Acts 4:1-22

World Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27.

In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, the superpowers such as the United Nations, NATO, World Bank, and powerful nations have failed to keep peace or to give peace.  The great thinkers of the world meet at different summits without solutions to terrorism, environmental decay, struggling economies, food shortage, and increasing poverty.

God calls himself the “Prince of Peace”.   He owns peace and He gives it to humble hearts.  World peace can only come when one by one we choose the Prince of Peace as our Source of peace.  God’s peace is not circumstantial.  It is a peace that flows from His heart to ours, a peace that becomes our anchor, and our hope.

God’s peace is silent trust, determined patience. and quiet love.  It is described as: “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding” and with the power to: “Guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7.

Today receive the peace of Jesus Christ and as His peace floods your soul, share it with someone else so that one by one we can create world peace.

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus Christ is the King of peace and Savior of the world.

Read the Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3

The Perfectionist

“Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41,42.

Here we have the contrast of two sisters.  Martha was Miss Hospitality, cooking, cleaning and making sure that her guest, who happened to be Jesus, would have the best meals in the best plates and the best service.  Everything had to be perfect and organized. She was a perfectionist.

A perfectionist is described as one who has the disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable or failure.  It is a ‘driven’ personality that sometimes misses opportunities for rest, self-praise, encouragement, and happiness.  Because no one is perfect, a perfectionist is usually their own worst critic.  This can sometimes lead to “self-condemnation” or “impatience” with others.

Martha’s sister Mary, on the other hand, knew how to “enjoy the moment” and she seized the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus to receive His words of life.  Martha was stressed out, tired out, and frustrated because everyone else around her was not stressed out, tired out, and frustrated.

Are you a perfectionist who is constantly driving yourself into frustrations because the work is unending and others are not seeing your effort and plans to save the world?  If so, rest today and learn to let some things go.  Do not be hard on yourself.  Be patient with others.  Love yourself because Jesus loves you.  You are accepted and powerful enough to accept and celebrate the power in others. Take care of yourself and love YOU.  Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Kingdom Declaration:

I love God and I shall love myself so that I can truly love others

Read the Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 4-6; Acts 2:22-47

God’s power is greater than your storms

“They all saw him and were terrified.  Immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”  Then he climbed into the boat with them and the wind died down.  They were completely amazed.”  Mark 6:50,51.

The disciples of Jesus were out fishing in a boat.  The wind was against them so they were straining at the oars in desperation to prevent the boat from capsizing. Have you ever felt that you are trying to do your work but you are ‘straining at the oars’?  It is an uphill climb all the way.  The circumstances are not cooperating – the wind is too strong.  People are not cooperating – you lack encouragement.

God’s words to you:

1) “Take courage!”  Don’t lose hope.  Invite Jesus into your circumstances.  Do not face the storms alone.

2) “It is I.”  God is with you and will never leave you.  Believe in the power of God regardless of what you see and hear.

3) “Don’t be afraid!”  When God is with you, you cannot drown.  His Presence brings Power.  His Power brings Peace.  When He is with you, you have all that you need to overcome all obstacles, endure all challenges, and succeed nevertheless.

Let your response in your trial be: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31.  Today, invite Jesus to climb into the boat of your circumstance and be assured that His power is greater than your storms.  God is the Creator of the Earth and will be in control of whatever you want Him to.

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD is with me, I will not be afraid.

Read the Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2: 1-21

Nurture a heart for greatness

“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”  1 Thessalonians 3:13.

Everything that we do and say comes from the heart.  Out of your heart comes everything that creates your life.  Whether it is good or evil, faith or fear, success or failure, the fruit of your life comes from the seeds of your heart.  Whatever you think on releases creative power and life to your focus. God cannot take you further than your heart allows Him to.

Over two million people had the heart to come out of slavery in Egypt, but some never had the heart to possess their promises.  Every reality starts with a dream and from the heart comes the qualities that will make that dream a reality.  Qualities of the heart to develop and nurture include: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. (2 Peter 1:5-7).

The Bible shares about two children who grew and nurtured their hearts for greatness, Samuel and Jesus:  “And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.” 1 Samuel 2:26; “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52.  A heart in pursuit of godliness for greatness will receive favor and the manifested glory of God.  CHAYIL Pillars are worship, wisdom, power, honor, favor, wealth, and influence to intentionally grow like Jesus with a heart to glorify Him in all that we do.

Kingdom Declaration:

I nurture a heart of greatness by choosing to grow like Jesus to glorify Him in all that I do.

Read the Bible in One Year: Ezra 9-10; Acts 1