In order to make a sacrifice it’s going to take a commitment of obedience. The goal cannot be reached without staying the course and doing the work. Jesus came and did the work of his Father. Complete obedience. So, in knowing this I can drown out my worries and shower my thoughts with the sacrifice Jesus made for me, for us. Before his ultimate sacrifice on the cross he has taught me how to live humbly and with compassion, having the fruit of the spirit within me. Jesus thank you for your obedience and sacrifice, because I am a sinner in need of a savior. Now, it’s my turn to make the sacrifice, to deny my flesh in order to be closer to you God, making a vow of obedience to the one who created me in his image. Oh, how I count my blessings!!
I am blessed beyond measure and will not take for granted the love God has given me over the years, months, weeks, days, hours, and seconds. I cannot and will not live any old kind of way. My lifestyle of being more like Christ I will work at daily. I die to my flesh everyday with the help of the Holy Spirit and think on the things of Jesus to keep me focused and strong. God’s outpouring of love, grace, and mercy rejuvenates me and I know that I am not alone – he is with me. There are days where I immediately hit pause in my daily routine to give him the praise he deserves, and my nights belong to him too, when I have awakened to say thank you Lord for all that you do. I’m not perfect, but my heart is fully dedicated to God and being a servant to the best of my ability. Lord I pray that you forever search my heart and know that I love you mind, body, and soul.
I can’t complain because I’m breathing because of him. I can’t complain because things could be worse. I can’t complain because he first loved me. I can’t be sad because joy is running through my veins. I can’t be sad because he is there in my good and bad days. I can’t be sad because he is my God, my Father, my redeemer, my protector, the creator of all the earth. As a disciple of Christ, I am the salt of the earth where my speech will be seasoned with salt, knowing how to answer every person with love. I will keep his commandments because I do love him, John 14:15. My vow is not to stir up evil but to show love in a major way. I have the fullness of peace and will run this race to see what the end will bring, always running towards the mark. I patiently wait to hear a whisper from him in my quiet place to replenish my soul. And what I know for sure is with him I can do all things because he strengthens me. Therefore, in my obedience, I will present my body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is my reasonable service. Dear Heavenly Father this is from my heart with sincere gratitude and love.
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1Peter 1:25
WOW it’s so reassuring that the word of God is for ever and I will accept and receive the tranquility of his word that never changes, because it is the same yesterday, today, and always. I don’t know about you, but that makes me leap for joy on the inside!! I can go to the word of God in everything I do. When I want to spend time learning his ways I can go to the word of God. When I want to share the word of God with others, it is the same word for them as it is for me. It is my source for all I do and I’ll always believe in his word until I stop breathing.
Furthermore, I love that the word stands it doesn’t change or fail. People fail but not the word of God. His word is above his name and his word is true which is inspiration for my soul, it comforts me and feeds my spirit over and over again. When I think back over my life experiences, on things I wished would have lasted forever, I know now that it was for my good that those things didn’t last forever.
The things of this world will not last, but his word is forever and I thank you Lord for the promises in your word. Allow me to give you two scriptures to let you know about his word. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever, Isaiah 40:8. The second one is this, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away, Matthew 29:35. Hope, faith, and love flow throughout the pages, magnifying the beauty of his word. I don’t have to ever wonder and second guess what to do or which way to go, I can go directly to the word of God that has stood the test of time and always will.
We want to do what is right, but what does right look like? It is not simply doing what is right because what we think is right is not what God says is right. He wants righteous living and with every fiber of our being we should seek him and be like what he has called us to be – HOLY. Let’s read 1 Pet. 1:16, Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. I can only imagine your desire to do that, but you struggle to get there, well you don’t have to struggle any more, Jesus said do what you have learned, received, heard and seen. Let’s get to the heart of each of these commands and begin to walk in the ways of the Lord and receive the promise of peace.
We have learned to be obedient and to forgive others (the Lord’s prayer talks about forgiveness.) In his word we have learned we can trust in the Lord. The wisdom and knowledge of God is in his word to teach us those things of God, so as you can see, we have no excuse not to learn his ways. Hebrews 10:7, Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Here are some scriptures to bring back to your remembrance the things you have learned, set aside time to read them. Luke 9:23- deny yourself, Matthew 19:4-6 honor marriage, Galatians 5:13 be a servant, Matthew 22:37-38 love the Lord, Matthew 22:39-40 love your neighbor, John 14:15 keep his commandments, and Matthew 28:19-20 make disciples.
Next are those things you have received. For we can be thankful for we have received his Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), his love, his word, grace and mercy, forgiveness, and spiritual gifts. We have received answered prayers and healing. He strengthens us when we are weak. God has given us refuge in times of trouble. We have received blessings on top of blessings. Amen.
Have you heard his word? Of course, especially if you grew up in the church. The word of the Lord was poured into you in church on Sunday morning and again at the Sunday evening service. Let’s not forget attending Bible Study and Sunday school, evangelizing in the neighborhoods and tent services. You have heard he died for your sins and rose on the third day. You heard he is the Son of God, and our Savior (believe this) with all your heart and soul. Jesus came to save the lost and healed the sick, blind and lame. We have heard he will never leave us or forsake us. Don’t take what you heard lightly, but read and study it all for yourself. In 2Tim. 2:15, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
What we seen in Jesus is what we should emulate daily. Forgiveness in Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots. He showed compassion, Matthew 9:26. Jesus understood people’s needs physically and spiritually. He was a humble servant always willing to serve others. Committed to what he came here to do, pay for the sins of the world. We should have that kind of commitment to God to live holy. Jesus was patient with those who came up against him. Jesus demonstrated self-control when tempted by Satan.
Putting this in perspective, we are his disciples and our actions should mirror that of Jesus. We have learned of him, we have received the Holy Spirit, we have power, we have heard the Good News and seen the miracles he has done in our own lives. Therefore, those things, which ye have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in Jesus DO them and God’s peace will be with you and that is reason to rejoice.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Tim 1:7
God makes it plain. He did not give us the spirit of fear. So, where does fear come from? The enemy and your own thoughts running crazy. Fear stops us from moving forward and hearing what the Lord is saying to you. Ask yourself why are you accepting something God did not present to you? Do not claim fear but rebuke it. Fear makes excuses. Fear stops you from starting that business. Fear keeps you doubting and asking am I good enough? Fear will keep you in a state of mental bondage. Fear keeps you from trusting God. God didn’t give you the spirit of fear, remove the fear that is holding you back. Declare and decree that fear will no longer have a stronghold over your life.
I love this scripture because God didn’t leave us guessing well if he didn’t give us fear what did he give us? God said of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Power – Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. And that power is the Holy Spirit. Love – 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. In Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Sound mind – Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
By doing all things through the power of the Holy Spirit you are walking by faith, showing love, and at peace in your mind, leaving no room for fear. The opposite of FEAR is FAITH. Faith means YES YOU CAN do ALL things through Christ.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:8 NIV
If you truly believe with all your heart that God is for you, then why doubt that he is watching over you and will come through for you? Some things we ask God for may not be the right time to receive it. The delay could be that God has something better for you on the horizon. How many times have you thanked God for not allowing things you wanted to come to pass? For example, you wanted that new car in 2017 but now in 2019 you are glad you didn’t get that new car because your job downsized or your spouse lost their job and the income is not there to support the payment. God is watching over you he sees the beginning and the end. Trust in the creator and trust God’s plan he knows you better than you know yourself. He said in his word, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…Jeremiah 1:5. And Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
If you are still having self-doubt that God has your back, Matthew 6:25-26 should put you at ease. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
God is always with you when you are coming and going. Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. As I’m writing this, I’m feeling victorious and my spirt is over joyed in the fact that God is with me every day and everywhere I go, HALLELUJAH!! Keep the faith, God was with you last year and the years before that. He brought you over the hurdles in your life thus far, big and small. He has fought your battles and has kept you yesterday and he will keep you today. God never sleeps or slumbers, so forget worrying and fear not because God is watching over you forevermore.
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
God told Abram not to fear. I’m going to protect you and reward you. But Abram wondered what good is the blessings when he didn’t have an heir. God reassures him that an heir shall come forth out of thine own bowels and that his descendants will be like the stars too many to count. God already knows what we don’t have and he also knows what we are in need of.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us Ephesians 3:20. And that scripture is forever so true, God tells Abram, For me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee, Genesis 17:4, 6. He is letting Abram know I’m going to do more than give you an heir.
God will always do what he said he is going to do. And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him, Genesis 17:19. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year, Genesis 17:21. Four chapters later, For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac, Genesis 21:2-3.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform, Romans 4:20-21.
We can trust in God’s promises because God keeps his word and Psalm 138:2 says for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name. God is pure, holy, all powerful, all knowing, good, and truth and therefore so is his Word.
Jeremiah 1:12 NIV The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
I pray for all those who have lost loved ones in Dayton, Ohio, El Paso, Texas and every mass shooting across this country. Lord we place every situation into your hands. You are the all knowing God and we ask for your strength mentally, physically, and emotionally for every family member and friends that have lossed love ones and or have love ones injured during this unthinkable act of violence. Heal those who are injured in the name of Jesus. May they rise and walk out of the hospital healed, whole, and complete. Lord thank you for the first responders, doctors, and nurses who are doing what they are called to do – save lives. God watch over them today and everyday and let your justice prevail in Jesus name Amen.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16
Jealousy is very counterproductive and muddles your clarity of thought to the point that your actions begin spiraling out of control. A prime example of this is Saul and his involvement with David. Saul was jealous of David, but not so much in the beginning of their relationship, however jealousy did take root. I must mention that Saul’s problems began before David entered the picture. Here is the story, God anointed Saul and gave very specific commands to destroy everything dealing with the Amalekites.
1Samuel 15:1-3 Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not: but slay both man and woman, and infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Saul had a better plan. 1 Samuel 15:8-9 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Saul thought his plan was better than God’s? Big mistake. As you will see when you read further that God did not look favorably upon Saul’s decision.
1 Samuel 15:10-28 King James Version (KJV)
10 Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people have, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord. 26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. Saul’s disobedience is the beginning of his downfall.
David enters into Saul’s life.
1Samuel 16:1 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him for reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 1Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for a man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:10-23 King James Version (KJV)
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him. 19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
David Kills Goliath in 1Samuel Chapter 17 and a bond forms between Saul, Saul’s’ son Jonathan and David. Praise for David’s defeat over the Philistines occurs in 1 Samuel Chapter 18 and Saul’s jealousy sets in.
1 Samuel 18:5-15 King James Version (KJV)
5 And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. 6 And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. 8 And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. 10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand. 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. 12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from him, and made him his captain over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him. 15 Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.
Throughout 1Samuel 19- 27:4 Saul tries many attempts to kill David. Here are some of the scriptures that reference Saul’s determination to do David harm. 1Sam 19:1, 10 and 11, 1Sam 20:31-33, 1Sam 22:6, 1Sam 23: 7-8, 1Sam 24:1-2, 1Sam 26:2. Saul tried in every way to kill David and David had opportunities to kill Saul however, but David knew not to touch God’s anointed. God always makes a way of escape from your enemies or sees you through it. Glory be to God that everything works out for your good.
1 Samuel 26:7-12 King James Version (KJV)
7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him. 8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time. 9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? 10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. 12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.
Things did not work out so good for Saul, a combination of his jealousy and ungodly acts led to his demise.
Samuel 31:1-6 King James Version (KJV)
31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons. 3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. 4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer,
Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. 5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.
The spirit of jealousy can never have a good outcome because you are dealing with the flesh. But the good news is God can help you overcome all jealousy. Ask God to remove it and allow you to believe and have faith that what he has for you is for you. To help you keep your eyes on him and not what other people have or the praises they may be receiving from others. Saul tried to destroy David over words that other people said about David and not about him – Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
This story can be a valuable lesson. Stop trying to destroy others on social media or in person by your words or with ungodly actions because others are very well liked or praised for something good, they did. Stop writing hurtful things but instead write things that lift people up. Stop being jealous period because of something you are dealing with within yourself. So, what if they have many friends, it could be because they are more approachable or maybe they just attract people. They are an extrovert and you are an introvert. They are making moves and being successful, receiving accolades and congratulatory remarks that in your eyes never seem to end. Is it possible that you see God in them and you want to hate on them because they are trying to live righteously for God? Whatever the case is God is the answer to your issues of jealousy and insecurities. God sees the heart and if your heart is not right you have some work to do. We don’t know everyone’s story and if they are being blessed by God and they have a peace and joy that you don’t get, take it to God. Stop with the hater stuff. God can remove jealousy and whatever else you may be experiencing. God is all you need.
James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.