Strength to recover all

“So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” 1 Samuel 30:8.

David had just gone through one of the worst crisis of his life that resulted in the loss of all his possessions; his friends turned against him and his family was captured into a slavery camp. Sometimes relationships that you invest in can leave you feeling like you have been robbed, wounded, and left for dead.

You invest love and loyalty and in return you get betrayal.  You invest in friendships and when you need them, they are never there.  You invest in a company and you get laid off.  Life is not fair.  Desertion can come through a divorce, loss of a loved one or lost opportunity.  You feel like you are left ‘half dead’ with no power to recover.

Good news!  As long as there is life, there is hope.  There is a friend that will stick to you closer than a brother. There is One who will never leave you nor forsake you.  There is a Father you can depend on; a Savior who will provide for you, and a Comforter that will heal your heart and make you strong again.  His name is Jesus and with His help you will have the strength to recover all.

Don’t give up, give in, or give over to the enemy.  Stand up and receive strength from God to recover all.

Kingdom Declaration:

My God shall give me the strength that I need to accomplish His will today.

Read the Bible in One Year: Job 8-10; Acts 8:26-40

Live with a positive attitude

“Here I am today, eighty-five years old:  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.  Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day.”  Joshua 14:10-12.

Caleb was a man of faith who understood a principle that we all need to learn.  “As long as there is life there is hope.”  At 85 years old he still had a mind-set to succeed and the heart of a champion.  He saw his mountain as an opportunity to conquer new territory and he was ready to rise to the challenge with undaunted faith.

I read about a lady who at 94 had a winning attitude about life. She lived alone until 92, leading a very active cultural and social life. She never complains and changes the subject when somebody else does. Extremely bright, well-read (philosophy, mysticism, and contemporary literature), she gets impassioned discussing latest political events and heroes. At 70, she registered in the Art School and became a much sought after watercolor and Chinese calligraphy artist. At 75, she traveled alone to India, slept on the trains and loved every minute of it. At 80, she learned how to snorkel in Cuba; a habit she maintained for many years.

Our attitude will determine our quality of life regardless of our age.  We can be young and grumpy or old and grumpy.  Caleb at 85 was ready to fight a battle for his legacy, his family inheritance.  He had undaunted faith and a positive attitude.  Choose today to live with a positive attitude and create new life of hope and achievements every day.

Kingdom Declaration:

By faith I step into a new day for new possibilities and to conquer new opportunities.

Read the Bible in One Year: Job 5-7; Acts 8:1-25

God is our Champion Coach

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4.

In sports, a coach is a person involved in the guidance, instruction, help and training of a sports team or of an individual.  A coach is usually experienced in the sports that he coaches in and sometimes because of an injury or age he can no longer play in the game.  His experience and training ability gives him the opportunity to stay close to the game and coach his team into victory.

A good coach finds the balance of encouragement, correction, punishment, and care for his team.  He knows when to ‘bench’ them and when to give them another chance.  A team’s victory depends on a good coach.  The LORD our God is our Champion Coach.  He is not retired nor injured.

Here are 9 things about our COACH:

1) He remains the UNDEFEATED CHAMPION.

2) He conquered the Prince of Evil of this world by His death and resurrection.

Not even a grave could keep Him down.  He rose from the grave just as He promised.

3) He conquered our enemy single handily.  Satan was defeated by Jesus Christ on the cross.

4) He triumphed over all the works of evil that will try to ruin us.

5) He brought down help and strength from above and filled us with the power of the Holy Spirit.

6) He enables us to have friendship with God and to be in His Royal Family as kings and lords.

7) He has given us spiritual weapons to fight victorious spiritual warfare, and His armor to protect us.

8) He has given us everything to overcome temptation and all the works of the evil one.

9) He is fighting for you against your enemies to give you victory.

Yes your Coach is EL CHAYIL, LORD of Armies King of Glory, LORD Jesus Christ.  He never sleeps or slumbers.  His eyes of love and protection are always on you and His voice of encouragement is always with you. You are His Champion, born to win.

Kingdom Declaration:

Jesus remains the Undefeated Champion over all.  In Him I am safe, secure, and victorious.

Read the Bible in One Year: Job 3-4; Acts 7:44-60

Our inner navigation system

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16.

This is a metaphor that describes someone traveling to a new city for an important appointment and he was anxious to be on time.  He comes to a four way stop and was not sure which way to turn.  He had an address but no exclusive navigation system to talk him through the journey.  He sees a person coming towards him that seems like a resident of that city.  He stopped him and asked for directions and gratefully he had found the right person who knew the path, the directions and even the timing for him to reach his appointment.  The stranger even familiarized him with the culture of the city and gave him some pointers on how to have a successful appointment.  He was relieved and at peace as not only was he no longer lost, but he felt more confident about his appointment.  He was not just at the mercy of luck or chance.  He would obey the instructions, walk on the right roads, and make the right turns and he would succeed.

Now we have a satellite navigation system that uses a GPS navigation device to guide us, talk to us, and lead us to our destination.  God has given us, however, a built-in navigation system to guide us on the path of righteousness – our conscience inspired by the Holy Spirit.  As you listen, obey and walk, God’s guidance will be with you leading you to His rest which is peaceful confidence that God is in control of your life. “There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God.”

God’s promise to you: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8.  Turn on your inner navigation system by prayer and continued listening.

Kingdom Declaration:

The Lord is my Shepherd who leads and guides me into the path of righteousness for His Name sake.

Read the Bible in One Year: Job 1-2; Acts 7:22-43

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