It is a known fact that some foods such as pizza, stews, soups, and curried recipes are more flavorful on the second day. And who doesn’t readily look forward to eating these tasty leftovers?
God also provides us with leftovers. Many of us suffered from substantial loss in 2020, including myself, who am now a family of one. Even so, I am very thankful that I have life, health, mental and physical strength, and the ability to care for myself. God has blessed me with all of my necessities. Without fail, God is always faithful: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33.
The fulfillment of God’s promises always requires active participation or action from us before He does his part. Human Effort is taking the giant leap of faith amid adversity. Human effort is total obedience along with patiently waiting for His answer regardless of our circumstances. Matthew 6:33 admonishes us to seek God and to live holy and acceptable. God’s Divine Intervention provides everything (not table scraps) that God determines is necessary to sustain our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
On this first day of 2021, acknowledge your losses, but reflect on your leftovers. God’s grace and mercies have left us with the ability to start over and recover from all adversities, including tragic events. In Psalm 147:3, King David says, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” I love the Contemporary English Version of this verse, “He renews our hopes and heals our bodies. Psalm 147:3”
Remember, in this new year; we are promising to faithfully trust in God for all things. If we do our part, then God, who can never fail, will fulfill His promises.
God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19 NLT
How do we bridge the gap or fill in the emptiness from our losses? We put forth the effort to develop a spirit of gratitude. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT.
Reflect on your leftovers and pray a prayer of gratitude by thanking God for all that you still have. Taking the baby step of thanking God every day will propel your faith and trust into a growth spurt. Your outlook will begin to change. When we continually praise God with a spirit of thankfulness, we receive the gifts of peace, joy, and happiness. The Apostle Paul tells us how he maintained his gratitude: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12 NLT
In 2021, decide to live with a spirit of gratitude and to enjoy all of your leftovers. God is great, and God is good! Amen.
God, we want to say thank you for your grace and mercy of our leftovers. Only you could have brought us through the adversities of 2020, and we promise not to look back except to thank you for our provisions. Thank you for continually loving and taking care of us. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 18:18 NLT
We fight two enemies in our spiritual lives: Satan and Self. God, our Creator, and Heavenly Father has always been aware of our weaknesses and our need for His Divine Intervention. But are we aware that we need the Spiritual Team of God, the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the angels, our ministering servants to live holy and acceptable lives?
I often wonder why we have so many anxieties and worries when the Word of God is complete with stories of victorious outcomes and God’s promises to take care of humanity.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13
The answer to alleviating doubt, disbelief, despair is to gain knowledge, have unwavering faith, and trust that God will deliver according to His will.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12
Knowledge, Faith, and Trust
Our relationship with God takes daily action on our part. When we do not study the Bible, we lack knowledge of who God is and what He has promised to do for us.
Faith is total belief in God. “God, I believe and trust you to resolve this problem according to your will, and I will faithfully, and patiently wait for your answer.”
The Key to Opening the Door to Victory: Surrender!
This morning, I researched the definition of surrender. Under normal circumstances, surrender indicates defeat. However, in the spiritual realm, surrender to God brings victory.
Our responsibility to surrender and to serve God includes daily:
Bible Study and Prayer
The Bible is the only book that is a perfect and excellent spiritual resource. It is our mirror, revealing our hidden sins, and our guide, instructing us how to live righteously. It is the only book that fully shows God’s character and His promises to always care for us.
Too often, we underrate the effectiveness of prayer. If we truly understood the divine purpose of prayer, we would have no difficulty in following God’s command to “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer allows us to connect with the invisible God who makes himself visible through His answers. Prayer provides comfort even in our darkest moments. Prayer unleashes God’s power upon us, giving us the perseverance to continue despite our circumstances.
Prayers for healing, whether for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ailments, allow God to perform miracles. Through His love, grace, and mercy, God is still giving the human race miracles in the 21st century. If you doubt God’s love, know that the virulence of COVID-19 could easily wipe out the entire human race. But grace and mercy said, “No!”
2020 has brought severe adversities. Still, some choose to make decisions that indicate the desire to “live boldly and without regret.” Enough is enough! It is time for us to surrender, submit, and serve God with a commitment to go all the way. Do not bring the anxiety, depression, and worries of 2020 into 2021. Peace of mind only comes from God. Love, Faith, Trust, and Obedience are the characteristics of those who love God with all of their heart, soul, and mind.
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14
God, we admit that we are not doing our part to serve you. We ask forgiveness and desire to be restored. We desire to surrender and submit ourselves to you. Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
I can recall a significant issue on a previous job in which the manager was not following the company’s policy to address an ongoing problem with a team member. As a team leader, I was responsible for ensuring that we met departmental goals. During the meeting, my manager’s tone of voice and facial expression reflected visible anger. And that is when the stream of words begin to flow as she attempted to justify her failure to correct the situation. As she was speaking, I began writing down her exact words in my journal. When I repeated her statements back as a question, “So you are stating the reasons that you are not following company policy is because of…?”
The manager’s reality of hearing her spoken words resulted in an abrupt change of behavior as she began to focus on the seriousness of the situation, omission of pertinent data. I was then asked, “What do you want me to do about this situation?” to which I replied, “The only expectation that I have is for policy to be carried out. Four months ago, I sent an email that indicated partial audits were being conducted, and the monthly statisical reports did not reflect all of the diagnostic testing data.”
Although my manager admitted that she did not complete the follow-up and suggested that we move forward, I presented the most recent reports indicating that partial audits were still being conducted. It was then that the Vice President initiated a departmental investigation. The findings showed that an additional policy was required to address a grey area or loophole that appeared to hold the client responsibile for conducting internal audits, which led to the discrepancy. Even so, the company breached their contractual agreement with the client due to a misuderstanding by one of our team members. The settlement included a modified agreement that held our department completely accountable for collecting data, identifying deficiencies, and producing a comprehensive statistical report, which resulted in the client achieving 100% compliance.
In serving God, we are unable to modify our agreement with Him. The Bible identifies our sins and shortcomings, and the angels record our daily thoughts, words, and actions. Still, God has given us the Plan of Salvation and His Spiritual team to help us serve Him with faith and obedience. If you had to describe the difference that serving God has made in your life, what would you say? Would you be able to give a before and after description of your morals and values? Would others consider you an honest and reliable individual?
Telling the truth and honesty are core characteristics required of all believers. Without honesty, we can never measure ourselves against God’s standards for righteousness, nor can we admit when we fall short. Confession and repentance have a prerequisite: a broken and contrite (feeling or expressing remorse for sin) heart. Our prayers are based on telling God the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which He already knows about each of us.
Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? Galatians 4:16 ESV
Never compromising and choosing the truth over the lies of false information, or ceasing to practice omission–intentionally leaving out some details or ignoring a situation by pretending that it does not exist may result in others distancing themselves from us. We may end up alone, feeling as if we are the only person on an island. Yes, we will lose friends and family members who may refer to us with condescending remarks, “Oh, he or she is a Christian now.” The whispers and laughter that you hear from the family and social circles that you used to belong to provide evidence of the difference that Jesus Christ has made in your life.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, you Soldiers of the Cross! Yes, we may have to endure exclusion along with many other obstacles when we serve God, but we can have the reassurance that God will never leave us or forsake us. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
God, we thank you for having standards for living righteous and holy lives. We ask for your strength to help us overcome all dishonest thoughts, words, and actions. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
God is calling you to a life of devotion to serve and to fulfill your divine purpose, which can only be accomplished through Him. Love, faith, trust, and obedience to God, His Father are the character traits that Jesus exhibited throughout his life as an earthly being. How much more should we strive to dedicate our lives to God?
Do you think about eternal life, and what your life will be like living in a perfect New Heaven and New Earth? Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1
God, we thank you for our lives. We make the commitment today to fulfill your purpose for us. Please reveal the things that we need to do for your honor and glory. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
What does it mean to be failure to thrive? Failure to thrive (FTT) is a term used to describe inadequate growth or the inability to maintain growth, usually in early childhood. It is a sign of undernutrition. http://www.aafp.org
As believers, we can easily develop Spiritual Failure to Thrive. What does Spiritual Failure to Thrive mean? How do we end up with this fatal, but reversible condition?
Spiritual Failure to Thrive is the inadequate growth of love, faith, and trust in God. It is the inability to successfully bring about or reach a deeper relationship with God due to the lack of faith, the neglect of continuous prayer, and sporadic study of the Bible. The desire to seek the self-gratifying pleasures of life constantly distract, causing disobedience to God’s commands. Spiritual Failure to Thrive is a life-threatening condition from the cessation of human effort to sustain growth in one’s relationship with God.
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…Hosea 4:6 NIV, first part
Pray without ceasing. (Never stop praying.) 1 Thessalonians 5:17
We are living in critical times. For our relationship with God to be dynamic-ever-changing, the continuous activity of prayer, praise, and worship is required every day. Feeling distant from God is a situation that we have complete control over. God never leaves or forsakes us. 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
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12. Serving God requires strict obedience. We cannot deviate from or interpret the commands of God according to our understanding. Without the burning desire to obey, we can never “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37.
As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30.
External and internal factors contribute to an infant’s or child’s Failure to Thrive condition. However, Spiritual Failure to Thrive can only occur from one internal factor. Our hearts are not filled with a genuine love for God. Thankfully, we can quickly correct this condition by making a covenant to serve God with unconditional love. Faith, trust, obedience, prayer, and Bible study are the nutrients that restore, and the undernutrition that produces Spiritual Failure to Thrive is thoroughly eliminated.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 NLT
God, we pray for the desire to do what is right, and to serve you with our whole hearts. We want to be healed from this Failure to Thrive condition, and pray for the strength to be faithful, and obedient. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. Ephesians 6:10
Whatever battles you face in life, God has given you all you need to stand firm.
On the hierarchy of created beings, King David says: What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:4-5. With glory and honor, we are to serve God actively. Our Creator was aware of the struggle we would face against Satan, humanity’s greatest enemy. And that is the reason we have given spiritual armor to fight off Satan’s attacks against us.
Human Effort Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. 1 Peter 5:8-9
What are our weapons? Love, Faith, Trust, Obedience, Prayer, and Studying the Bible.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT
When we diligently study the Bible and pray without ceasing along with unwavering faith, God says, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,” Isaiah 54:17, first part.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18. Rate your prayer life. There is not one individual who can say that they pray too much.
Divine Intervention Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:14 NLT
Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19
We are disciples of Jesus Christ! We must claim the victory! Stop believing that you are helpless against our greatest enemy–Satan is the Master Deceiver and the Father of all lies.
Faith propels us to a spiritual level that we would never achieve without putting on the whole armor of God. Fear, doubt, disbelief, anxieties, and worries should never be a part of our mindset. Those are the characteristics of unbelievers who can never overcome or enjoy peace of mind.
Take your rightful place as a soldier in the Army of God. Declare war against every situation that Satan presents. We know how the story ends:
Satan Is Destroyed Forever 7 When the 1,000 years are finished, Satan will be free to leave his prison. 8 He will go out and fool the nations who are over all the world. They are Gog and Magog. He will gather them all together for war. There will be as many as the sand along the sea-shore. 9 They will spread out over the earth and all around the place where God’s people are and around the city that is loved. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and destroy them. Revelation 20:7-9 NLV
God, we confess that we are not putting on the whole armor, which has left us weak and defenseless, and for this, we ask forgiveness. We desire to be soldiers in your Army. We pray for strength as we prepare for Eternal life to live forever with you. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
There is a pandemic three times greater than the existing Coronavirus pandemic touting numbers of over 79 million victims worldwide:
According to the WHO-World Health Organization: Depression is a common illness worldwide. Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from Depression. Know that this number only reflects the individuals who are diagnosed or seek therapeutic intervention. What is Clinical Depression? Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
Life is tough! Either the trials of life will produce resilience and strength or break you down until you throw in the towel, leaving you hopeless.
When I worked as a therapeutic psychiatric nurse, 99% of the patients admitted to the inpatient unit had a secondary diagnosis of Depression. They reported that the situations in their lives became so unbearable that they stopped trying. They gave up because the dark tunnel appeared not to have a way of escape.
The other statistic was that 99% also had a history of unhealthy, short-lived relationships. And because their relationships ended, the disappointment of being alone overpowered the ability to move forward. Relationships that cease to exist are a significant factor in catapulting individuals into emotional instability, and hopelessness. Although some people choose to be isolated and alone, isolation is an overly used defense mechanism to protect oneself from further emotional injury. Still, it facilitates an unhealthy response to the challenges of life.
Do we necessarily need a support system?
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Family, both biological and the family of believers, and friends can also fulfill the healthy social interaction that God created us to enjoy. But be careful who you include as a support person. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 2 Corinthians 6:17. Can a unbeliever talk to you about increasing your faith in God or offer to pray with you?
The focus of this Devotional is to provide the answers to eliminating emotional instability. It is through our spiritual relationships that we gain strength. The necessity of having an up-close, personal connection with God the Father, Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit makes the difference between living a peaceful, faith-based life, and one that is full of anxiety, worry, and depressed moods.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:26 NLT
In Genesis chapter 1, we are told that our physical bodies’ anatomy and physiology were created in the image of God. And since God created us to rule over every species of life that was made lower than us, we know that humanity has the highest level of intelligence of living things on this earth. Know who you are, and who you belong to. On the hierarchy of created beings, King David says: What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor. Psalm 8:4-5. We were made lower than the angels.
Isn’t believing in God enough? We are admonished to worship God through prayer, praise, and studying the Word. Staying close to God builds our faith and reinforces our dependence on our Heavenly Father.
Yes, we were made lower than the angels, but think on this: You crowned him with glory and honor. Maintain a spiritual connection with God, and He will empower, and enable us to be overcomers! Embrace your glory and honor by establishing your identity as a servant of the Most-High God.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! Psalm 95:6
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! Psalm 96:9
And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said, “Let all of God’s angels worship him.” 14 Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation. Hebrews 1:6, 14
Crowned with glory, and honor; created to worship God, and we have angels who are sent to care for us. Why are we feeling depressed and downcast? Still, we must do our part in staying connected to God, because our adversary is seeking to cause turmoil in our lives.
Although Lucifer is a fallen angel, and His name is now Satan, we must never forget that Satan did not lose his angelic powers. This is why it takes Divine Intervention to give us the strength and victory over the temptations and the disappointments that we face every day. The Omniscient God knew the adversities that each of us would face. He is already aware of what we require from the Trinity to help us gain victory and be Overcomers.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation (trials and sorrows). But take courage; I have overcome the world! John 16:33
Jesus forewarns us that our life will be full of challenges, problems, and adversities. Even so, Jesus also tells us that He has victory over the lifelong struggles that humanity will suffer. Have courage! What is courage? Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courage
How is it that we can serve the Most-High God and not receive healing?
The answer to bridging the gap to receive the miraculous healing power of God for all of our emotional illnesses is to worship God continuously. The Human Effort of love, faith, trust, obedience, diligent study of the Bible, and praying without ceasing imparts spiritual strength and healing.
“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” 37, Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:36-37
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Human Effort + Divine Intervention = The Victorious Outcome of Emotional Healing
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are inhabitants of the land. When we do our part, God will step in and unleash His mighty power in a way that you will know it was God!
“I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27
“I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” Isaiah 65:24
Seek God, and you will find the answer to your challenges. The Bible tells us everything that we need to know about God’s character and His power. We can talk to God at any time of the day or night through our prayers. We are unable to love a stranger with all of our heart, soul, and mind. It is impossible to believe in God and His promises without having unconditional love for God and unwavering faith in God. Are our prayers competing with the doubt in our minds?
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Luke 11:9
I encourage you to try the Creator, the only one who can give you the perfect spiritual prescription to cure your emotional instability.
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:30-31
God, we admit that we have doubt, disbelief, and depression because we do not have a relationship with you, nor do we really believe in your power or your promises. And for this, we ask forgiveness. We desire to love you with all of our hearts, souls, and minds. Please heal our emotional issues. We want to be made whole, and we believe that you will heal us. We thank you for the Sabbath, and we thank you for being our Jehovah Rapha-the God who heals. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The one born to be our Saviour was no ordinary man. Those who have tasted His marvelous salvation gladly and lovingly crown Him Lord of all. He will soon be on His way to our planet for the second time, not as a babe in a manger, but to reign forever as king. That glorious day is the grand focus of Christmas. “If angels sung because the Saviour was born in Bethlehem, shall not our hearts echo the glad strain, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men? Although we do not know the exact day of Christ’s birth, we would honor the sacred event…. Jesus came into the world to bring hope, comfort, peace, and happiness to all.”___ Review and Herald, December 17, 1889.
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Lord, In the fullness of time, You sent a Saviour–Christ the Lord. Help me to be ready when He returns as king. Amen