Monthly Archives: July 2018

Stay in the game

August 1

“Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”  1 Corinthians 9:24,25.

In an era when athletic games were very popular in the stadiums of Rome, Greece, and Corinth, Paul in many of his writings compared life with its challenges and accomplishments to a game or race.  Athletes main goal in life is to win the best prize knowing that it takes sacrifice, determination, and sometimes pain. They know that in the game you might win or lose, but the prize is important enough to keep them focused to stay in the game.

Jessie Owens won four gold medals and broke three world records in less than an hour.  He wrote: “There is something that can happen to every athlete and every human being: the instinct to slack off. To give in to pain, to give less than your best … the instinct to hope you can win through luck, or through your opponent not doing his best, instead of going to the limit, where victory is always found. Defeating those negative instincts that are out to defeat us is the difference between winning and losing – and we face that battle every day of our lives.”

Don’t give up on your dream.  In the race of life remember that you have a Coach, Teacher, Helper, and Savior, Jesus Christ. He says to you: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57). As long as you stay in the game, God promises to give you the victory.

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD is my Strength and Shield, my Source of victory and salvation.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalms 57-59; Romans 4

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord

July 31

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream, it does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:7,8.

If you believe and trust in the Lord, then God declares you blessed.  Your blessing includes:

1) Confidence.  You can be sure that God is with you and that He shall supply all your needs in abundance according to His riches in glory.  Where God guides He provides.  Resources will serve your dream and vision in God’s timing.

2) Fruitfulness.  God in you will cause you to bear fruit and your life will be filled with meaning as others are blessed through you.  It is to your Father’s glory that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be His disciple.

3) Stability.  Life around you might be unstable, but planted in Christ Jesus you are stable and cannot be uprooted by circumstances or by the wicked intentions of others.

4)  Peace.  In the midst of famine or war you know that God is in control of your life, your seasons, and future.  God is for you and therefore nothing or no one can destroy you or your purpose in Him.

Today, don’t worry, just pray.  Trust in the Lord who has already declared you blessed and highly favored.

Kingdom Declaration:

I am blessed by the Lord and my confidence is in Him.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalms 54-56; Romans 3.

God has plans for your future

July 30

“Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a (prosperous) future for the man of peace.”  Psalm 37:37.

You have no choice where your past is concerned, it is gone.  You have no choice about your heritage, you were born without a vote in the decision.  You, however, have a choice about your future.  God has given you a sure plan for a prosperous future.  Your choices daily are the bridge towards your future.

God has a prosperous future for those who put their faith in Him and with three qualifications:

1)  Be blameless. The choice is yours.  It is not possible for you to be blameless by yourself but since it is a requirement, God has provided for you the gift of His righteousness.  “God made him who had no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ and you will be saved, blameless.

2)  Be upright in character. The choice is yours. Each day nurture a good character by the choices that you make until a good character becomes your very nature.  You are made in the image of God and in His likeness.  God’s nature is in you so that you can bear the fruit of His Holy Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

3)  Choose peace. Peace is a gift from Jesus to you, “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. Now choose to live in peace and guard your heart.  “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15.  Avoid strife, fear and anxiety.  Let Christ rule in your heart as you create and rule your world.

You have a prosperous future.  Believe it, declare it and enjoy it.

Kingdom Declaration:

My heart is an altar for Jesus Christ to rule, guard and prosper with His peace.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 51-53; Romans 2.

You are created for a Purpose

July 28

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14.

You were born for a special purpose.  Esther, a Jewish orphan maiden, lived in the city of Shushan.  She was reared by her cousin Mordecai as his own daughter. The King of Persia was looking for a queen and by God’s plan Esther won the heart of the king and she became the Queen of Persia.  She hid her true identity for many years, living in fear that the King would find out that he married a Jew, the despised people of Persia.

The time came for Esther’s true purpose.  She was born not just to be a queen, but to be a savior of her people, the Israelites.  By an evil plot of Haman, the King’s Chief of Staff, an edict was stamped by the King for the destruction of her people.  Esther lived in the Persian Palace, but she was still a Jew and therefore could be destroyed along with the Jews.  Her favor, the open doors, and her training was for ‘such a time as this’.  Her influence with the King would allow her to save her people, and she did.

Jesus lived His whole life with destiny and purpose at the rudder of his ship.  He knew why He was born and His purpose guided His decisions, actions, and priorities in life.  As you follow the Lord, each day He will guide your step into your purpose and eternal destiny.  God needed you on planet Earth NOW, that’s how special you are.  Live each day with Him and day by day He will guide you in the path of righteousness to fulfill your purpose in life.

Kingdom Declaration:

God has crowned me with glory and honor to fulfill my purpose in His Kingdom.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 46-48; Acts 28.

God is in control of your life

July 27

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  James 1:2

Consider how an oyster makes a pearl.  When a grain of sand gets into its shell and irritates it, instead of resisting and resenting it, the oyster wraps it in layer after layer of beauty until a pearl is formed.  The very person that is irritating you and the very thing that disturbs you can either make you bitter or better, the choice is yours.

You can either be fearful or faithful; frustrated or filled with peace, the choice is yours.  You can either be worried or standing on the Word; hateful or pursuing humility, the choice is yours.  You can either be vengeful or victorious; plotting evil or planning for good, the choice is yours.

The truth is this:  if you trust in God He will work out all things for good and prove in your life that satan is still not strong enough against a believing Christian.  Whatever comes your way, God is in control of your life.  He is your Alpha and Omega, your Beginning and the End.  Trust in Him and let His beauty be formed in you as pure joy.

Kingdom Declaration:

God is in control of my life.  I live by faith.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 43-45; Acts 27:27-44.

Fear is afraid of you

July 26

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10.

Do not allow fear to paralyze you and render you inactive.  King Saul and his entire army allowed fear to paralyze them because of the violent threats of a giant called Goliath.  None of his trained soldiers had the guts to step out and let God! A decision to do something, is the antidote to anxiety, depression, and fear.  Fear neutralizes your power within.  Fear negates your power of faith.  Fear exaggerates the power of your enemy.  Fear uses lies and deception to intimidate you, because fear is afraid of you.

David, on the other hand, heard the same words of intimidation from the giant Goliath but reacted with faith instead of fear. You have what it takes to win your battle.  God will take your step of faith and turn it into a miracle.  David conquered the champion Goliath with a stone and a sling: “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” 1 Samuel 17:49-50.

Fear is afraid of you as you read this word of faith.  Have faith in God.  Listen to the clues: you have a sling and a stone, you have an open door, and there are more that is with you than is against you.  Make a decision and take a step of faith into your miracle.  Just a little stone with your step of faith will destroy all obstacles to your manifested glory and victory.

Kingdom Declaration:

The glory of the LORD is strong and mighty within me to give me victory over my enemies.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 40-42; Acts 27:1-26.

Joy comes in the morning

July 25

“Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. 5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:4-5.

Peter and his fishing partners had fished all night and caught no fishes.  In the morning they were discouraged and packing up to go home when Jesus came on the scene.  They were washing their nets and Jesus came to them and asked them to take Him out on the water a little from the shore, where he would teach the people for a while.

When Jesus had finished teaching He told Peter to let down his nets for a catch.  Peter politely said, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:5. They obeyed Jesus, let down their nets in the deep part of the lake and they caught a large number of fish.  Seasons of weeping is not forever, after winter comes the spring.

When you are going through painful experiences, when the challenges seem great, remember that always after the night comes the dawn.  Never lose hope in the night.  God does not sleep in the night; He’s on the midnight shift working on your behalf.  Wait patiently, have hope, and keep listening for His instructions for joy comes in the morning!

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD is my light and salvation.  His joy is my strength for today.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 37-39; Acts 26.

Speak the truth to yourself

July 24

“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” Lamentations 3:24.

In our society when we see people speaking to themselves we wonder about their mental condition but it is good to speak to yourself.  David encouraged himself in the LORD and drowned out the negative voices of fear, deception, discouragement, and intimidation that continually spoke to him while he was a fugitive living in a cave.

What have you been saying to yourself lately?  Avoid lies like: “I can’t make it;”  “Nobody cares;”  “I’m not good enough.”  Negative words are from the voice of your enemy, not God. Start speaking to yourself what God says to you:

“Don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” (Genesis 50:21).

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you” (Genesis 26:24).

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.” (Acts 16:31).

“I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26).

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17).

“Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 111:1).

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1).

Jesus used the written word to conquer satan during His temptation: “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Matthew 4:10-11.  Declare what God says to you and the devil will flee from you.

Kingdom Declaration:

The LORD Jesus is my Savior, LORD, and King of Glory. I am safe and secure in Him.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 35,36; Acts 25.

Work strong to finish strong

July 23

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  2 Timothy 4: 7,8.

It is always easier to give up, give in, and give over to defeat.  It is easy to start off with passion and yet end up in defeat.  Two million Jews had the passion to get out of Egypt, but never had the strength to enter their promised land. Many great privileges turn into great perils and many great dreams turn into nightmares because of lack of perseverance, determination, patience, and undaunted faith.

Paul described the fight of life as a ‘good’ fight because the victory is guaranteed when you put your trust in God, and live a life with intentional purpose.  He later wrote: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57.  When God is with you, all His power, love, and mercy is available to you as you persevere towards your goals.  When God is for you all His encouragement, rescue, intervention, and sponsorship is yours.

Paul kept his mind on his prize, ‘a crown of righteousness’, and it gave him the strength to endure present trials as fleeting moments in light of his prize.  He wrote, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.  Whatever you are facing today, keep fighting the good fight of faith for the LORD your God is with you.  God is your Shepherd, Strength, Helper, and King of Glory. Work strong to finish strong for there is a crown of righteousness that is in store for you.

Kingdom Declaration:

I will work strong to finish strong my race of life, and to receive my crown of righteousness.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 33,34; Acts 24.

Don’t give up

July 22

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”  2 Chronicles 15:7.

It is the last bout of pain of a mother in labor that brings a child into existence.  Oftentimes without pain there is no gain.  Whatever you do, don’t give up.  The greatest temptation for Jesus Christ was to give up on His purpose that included torture, shame, and to be killed for the sins, sickness, and curses of the world. He agonized in the garden of Gethsemane just before His final victory on the cross.  He was strengthened by His Father to finish His assignment and He cried out victoriously on the cross, “It is finished”.

Just before Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt, he was thrown into a prison; just before Jacob became Israel he was almost killed by his brother; just before Gideon became a mighty warrior to save Israel, he almost gave up on God.  Don’t give up!

Florence Chadwick failed in her first attempt to swim the English Channel, because of fog.  She couldn’t see that she was less than half-a-mile from the shore.  When they told her how close she had been to the finish, she broke down and wept.  But she went back again, this time more determined than ever, and broke the world record.  She understood that everything she lived and worked for could be hers, if she could only go a little farther and never give up.

Don’t give up.  Your miracle is just around the corner.  It might seem foggy today but remember that God sees the whole picture.  He sees you at the finish line boasting in the LORD Jesus your Provider and Protector.  Don’t give up!

Kingdom Declaration:

I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me.

Read the Bible in One Year: Psalm 31,32; Acts 23.