The Duality of Humanity

The Duality of Humanity Devotional Reading

The high calling of living righteously every day and preparing for eternal life appears to be a source of conflict in our lives. With the demands of daily living, how can we look beyond our day and also prepare for life in the New Heaven and New Earth? Is it possible to achieve both simultaneously?

Has God set unachievable standards for those created in His image? Most worldviews are in opposition to God’s truth except one, Work Smarter, Not Harder. Let’s expand the concept from Work Smarter to “Live Smarter, Not Harder.”

When studying Creation, we learn that God has a systematic approach that ends in completion. His goal was to create the world. God did not multi-task when creating the world. No unfinished tasks had to be pushed to the next day. Humanity has been given a Divine Blueprint for how we are to live.

Divine Intervention: God’s ultimate goal is for us to receive the reward of eternal life. Human Effort: Our daily lives reflect the spiritual steps we are taking to live in harmony with God’s plan for us.

Sanctification is the lifelong journey of daily spiritual growth and development into the likeness of Christ. Our spiritual journey is a continuous struggle because our transformation requires the continuous acquisition of knowledge and wisdom through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and study of the Scriptures. Still, many Christians reject God’s perfect plan for their lives to Live Smarter, Not Harder as reflected by their lifestyle.

Can you imagine having a friend who says to you, “I really hate technology and all the changes in this world because of it?” I would remain silent and with a giant wave of sorrow, accept that the relationship with my friend has just ended.

We look at others in disbelief who do not embrace advancements to make one’s life function at an optimal level of wellness. Life is dynamic–Change must and will happen whether we willingly accept progression or not.

God Requires Spiritual Progression: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Sadly, many Christian believers fall into the statistics of having a resistant mindset. We also choose to live harder. Exclusion of God and His divine plan for our lives places us in the same predicament as the transgressor [God says their way is hard]. The acceptance of a worldview of doing it our way not only proclaims that we do not need God, but we also develop a spirit of pride that deceives us into believing that we have the strength, knowledge, and power to plan, achieve our goals, and to resolve any adverse event that will happen in our lives.

Self-reliance always produces the loss of the spiritual benefits we receive from having a relationship with God. Instead of enjoying the peace and contentment that comes from the Triune God [God, the Father, God, Jesus the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit [who has an angel army to serve humanity], we transition into the dark side of life where worry, insecurity, anxiety, and discouragement reside. 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Opposition to God results in spiritual blindness–we cease to see the purpose of serving and obeying God. Nor is it a priority for us to have a relationship with Jesus and to have the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit. Abiding in Christ and producing fruit that prepares us for the transition from this earthly life to one of immortality in the New Heaven and New Earth are no longer our desires.

Created in the image of God with a dependency on His Divine Intervention throughout our lives is God’s unchangeable plan. Dualism arises when our views are in opposition to God’s righteous standards. The spiritual conflict caused by doing things our way creates a growing chasm between us and God.

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” –Jeremiah 10:23

The time will come when our plans or solutions fail. When our lives begin to fall apart, we usually resort to the emotional responses of anger, disappointment, and despair. Why is it so easy for us to blame God for the negative outcomes that come from our decisions? Have you ever thought that it’s just too hard to serve God? Do not give in to your emotions, with God, we are never alone!

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33

Without God, the rapid progression of life easily places us into the spiritual dilemma of mismanaging our daily lives and the loss of our reward for eternal life. We need Divine help every day! The dependency of humanity on God was designed to bring us through the vicissitudes of life and ensure that we receive the strength and power from the Holy Spirit to live for today and to prepare for eternal life simultaneously.

““And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” –Revelation 22:12

Live every day with the joyful expectation that Jesus’ promise of Revelation 22:12 will be fulfilled. The challenge is to overcome the spiritual warfare of self-seeking desires that prevent us from total reliance on Divine Intervention. Still, how do we bridge the gap that exists between accomplishing the tasks of living for today and preparing for eternal life?

Humanity requires help! We were created to have a forever relationship with God. Jesus knows that our journey is filled with struggle. The reality is that life with Jesus is meaningful and filled with accomplishments. Let God sustain your life! Go ahead and give every burden to Christ. The practical way to do that is by praying for Divine help and guidance in the routine activities of your life as well as the challenges.

Peace and joy are the gifts we receive when we willingly surrender to His will and plans which are custom-made for every person.

How deep is your level of commitment to God? Are you willing to surrender Your will in obedience to God? Each morning, take at least 15 minutes or more to have meaningful worship with our Heavenly Father. Approach God with a spirit of gratitude and confess your need for Him. Ask for the anointing, wisdom, and discernment from the Holy Spirit upon your life.

Time with God allows the Holy Spirit to give you the spiritual blessing of the Divine strength to endure, persevere and overcome for today and eagerly look forward to your reward of eternal life.

Prayer: God, we need You. We ask for the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Distractions–The Enemy that Always Wins

Distractions—The Enemy that Always Wins Devotional Reading

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. –Psalm 90:12

Think of your plans and goals for yesterday, how well did you do? Did you accomplish the tasks according to their priority on your to-do list? What did you do with the leftover time? And did you fall asleep with peaceful thoughts from the joy of your accomplishments?

The War of Distractions

The questions are pertinent because we are involved in an intense battle of strategic spiritual warfare intended to make us lose everything God has planned to bless us with now and eternally. As one contemplates the busyness of life, we have grown accustomed to accepting distractions as a natural element that rightfully belongs in our lives.

Distractions are often hidden from plain sight. Always have a million things on the to-do lists or make promises to help because you can’t say no without feeling guilty? Distractions make us waste valuable time from our lives that we can never retrieve.

Distractions make us lose the ability to dream, and prevent us from developing our spiritual gifts and natural talents. Nor can we receive the blessings from using our God-given spiritual assignment to tell others of the love of Jesus Christ because Distractions rob us of the life-giving sustaining power of God.

Distraction Alert!!! The Covert Strategy of Multitasking is a Manmade Concept!

Biblical references prove that God is Completion. Let us look at the story of Creation. In six days God used a systematic approach for the completion of His work for that day. The affirmation “And God saw that it was good.” is repeated four times. There were no thoughts about manipulating tomorrow’s schedule to squeeze in the things that were not completed in the day’s 24-hour cycle of time.

“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5

Our concept of time is out of sync with God’s time. Sunset is the beginning of a new day. In the evening, say a prayer, and ask God to give you the wisdom to change your present routine. Develop one or two realistic goals before you go to bed. Be specific by placing a one or two-hour-time parameter that you will complete during your daytime hours.

Eliminating distractions requires courage and discipline! Stand your ground against all distractors. Perform an honest self-evaluation. Are you embracing distractions? If yes, then admit that you are working against yourself and take aggressive steps to remedy the situation.

The Restorative Benefits of Completion–“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 13:19

When our lives are out of sync with their natural order, we will never enjoy the blessings of peace and joy that come from making accomplishments. King Solomon says that accomplishments are sweet to the soul, indicating the spiritual aspect of completion. We do not find peace in tranquil locations nor achieve optimal mental, emotional, and physical health without following God’s plan for the human beings He created in His image.

The Journey to Complete Spiritual Restoration includes the Challenge of Overcoming Distractions

“Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.” Psalm 27:11

We have a choice to make. Eliminate the struggle caused by oneness—we have Divine Intervention available. God’s promise to never leave us or forsake us is lifelong. Yes. God is a God of Completion. When Jesus created us in their image, He knew the forever dependency that was required to sustain humanity.

Stopping the repetitious cycle is possible! Do not live in misery because of Satan’s spiritual warfare of distractions. Let go of your learned thought processes from the influencers who can do nothing but give misconstrued advice. Let go of habits and people who constantly introduce suffering into your life. Satan uses the familiar to keep us overwhelmed.

Embrace God’s Righteous Standard of Completion to overcome the Enemy of Distractions. God Always Produces Victorious Overcomers!

“I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said, ‘You are My servant.’ I have chosen and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

God created us to live on this earth in the peace and prosperity that comes from receiving His abundant blessings. Our willingness to have a heartfelt relationship with Christ not only gives us joy, contentment, peace, and happiness, but we also receive knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to live productive and structured lives. Created in His image, we receive the power to achieve completion of the tasks to maintain a life of spiritual equilibrium.

Prayer: God, we desperately need Your help. Please reveal the distractions that prevent us from making accomplishments and having the daily joy that comes from completion. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

2023: Totally Doing His Will

The mighty rushing wind of the Holy Spirit is moving fervently through this earth anointing the hearts of the faithful. Through answered prayers and the diligent study of the Scriptures, many hearts are accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Yes, we believe that God has selected, appointed, and anointed us to carry the torch. And in humble obedience, we are witnessing of Jesus’ love, grace, and mercy to everyone who will listen.

But, Wait! Salvation is for all. And God shows no favoritism. Exactly! The difference is that we acknowledge that God is enough in our lives. We give ourselves daily to the saving power of Christ. With intentional commitment we stay connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ. We fully understand that we are saved by grace. And because of our faith, the Holy Spirit has filled us like cups overflowing with an overwhelming love for an Awesome God. Our response is to continually seek God through prayer and to renew our covenant vow every day to totally do His will.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” –2 Corinthians 12:9

Sonya Darcell Johnson, 2023

The Misconception of Spiritual Defeat

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV

Faith allows us to have a deep dependency on God. We abide in Christ to receive His fortifying protection from the continuous spiritual warfare that many believe will produce the destitution of Defeat.

Satan can only be successful in his ploys to defeat us when we help him. Sounds crazy? Distractions are his proven strategies to bait and switch our focus from Christ to our circumstances.

Loving and Trusting Jesus allows us to receive His never-ending power. Jesus is our only Hope. Human Effort plus Divine Intervention equals Victory!

Ending Our Struggle with Sin

The story was told about a well-known pastor conducting a revival in a small town. After the service ended, he was approached by a young man who said, “I don’t like your religion, you can’t party, drink, smoke, gamble when playing cards, or have girlfriends.” The pastor responded, “Oh, I can do those things and more, but I no longer desire to do those things because I gave my heart to Jesus Christ.”

Question: Do you believe that Jesus ends our struggle with sin?

Answer: When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He ascended back to heaven. His death and resurrection completed the Plan of Salvation–to redeem humanity from their sins when we confess and ask for forgiveness. Surrendering our hearts to Jesus requires that we love Jesus. We love Him because He loved us first. He paid for our redemption with His life. And Jesus has promised us in John 14:1-3 that He will come again and take us to heaven to live forever with Him in a perfect world without sin, sorrow, crying, and death.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3

We were spiritually dead in sin before our transformation. Ruled by the carnal desires of our flesh, we gave ourselves to Satan, the prince of the power of the air. The desires, habits, people, places, and things that we used to do have been cleansed away by the precious blood of Jesus. We are so grateful for a Savior who rescued us that we walk away from a prior life like it never existed.

How is spiritual transformation possible?

Remember that God created us in His image, and He created us with a soul that is connected to Him for the duration of our lives. The emptiness of sin overshadows our connection to Christ, but it is impossible for us to ever be totally disconnected. The Plan of Salvation was in place before humanity was created. God knew that we would have a sinful nature. Yes, we have a continuous inner conflict between right and wrong, but in staying connected to Jesus, He gives us the strength to overcome our passionate desires.

Christ has the power to make us alive!

“What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12

Wait Quietly On the Lord

In a tumultuous world, we are living in perilous times of discontent and confusion. Still, this is our Father’s world. Everything that we are and everything we will become depends on our relationship of love, faith, meekness, and obedience to God.

Remaining steadfast despite the circumstances is possible when we believe God’s promises. Jesus says be of good cheer [be courageous], I have overcome the world and the problems that you face. Remaining in God’s Righteous Right Hand gives us steadfast hope and allows us to live with joyful expectation. Wait quietly on the Lord.

2023: Invest in Your Health

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

Today I researched holistic health strategies as related to achieving the wellness of optimal health. Did you know that home cooking your food is the number one preventative against poor health?

For many, cooking involves the use of air fryers and microwaves. Yet, cooking on a stove and using a conventional oven allows one to receive the highest level of nutrients for digestion and assimilation on a cellular level in the human body.

What are the guidelines for choosing healthy foods? Moderate in calories, low salt, low fat, and no processed sugars. 2,000 calories per day should provide necessary nutrients for the average adult.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the building blocks for maintaining a Be Ready Stay Ready Immune System. The colors green, orange, red, yellow, and purple should be consumed daily. Complex carbohydrates along with adequate protein from legumes, fish, and poultry will leave you energetic and change your perception of life in general.

Be creative. Personally, I do not care for one pot meals. Who says our plate has to be limited to only three varieties of food?

Healthy eating is part of having a healthy lifestyle. It is not a diet. Your mind and tastebuds require retraining to achieve optimal health.

Change is intentional. A healthy lifestyle requires an alteration in our thought processes along with strategic planning. Because our choice of food is from learned behaviors, we require Divine Intervention to change from eating foods that supply little nutrients.

Our health is of the utmost concern to God. Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He healed many who had mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. When we consume foods based on taste or habits our bodies will fail us by succumbing to chronic diseases. We were created in God’s image to live long, productive, joyous lives.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Involve God in your desire to take care of your temple. Pray for help! Develop your goals. Purchase a journal. Eliminate time-consuming distractions. Learn your body’s rhythm. When are you hungry? Consider taking a mid-afternoon snack to work to prevent raging hunger that results in ordering fast food on the way home.

Be intentional with your food choices. Purchase your food weaknesses in smaller sizes–one pint of ice cream instead of a half gallon. Consider making your own ice cream with fruit. Shop for food on a full stomach–the junk stuff will be less appealing.

The most exciting part of pursuing optimal health is the body’s response–high energy, weight loss, mood stability, increase in mental acuity, and the overall feeling that comes from your accomplishment of loving you.

The only way for us to achieve optimal health is to lovingly care for the fearfully and wonderfully made minds and bodies gifted by our Heavenly Father.

I have achieved and maintained optimal health for two years. Go ahead! It’s a great way to live!

Christian Characteristics Necessary for Life In Heaven

During every passenger plane landing, the instructions are given to prepare for landing. Because this directive may be perceived in many various ways the flight attendants give specific directions for preparation to land. They perform a final walk through to complete the pre-landing regulations before taking their seats.

Jesus has given us precepts and commands to guide us to our final destination in the New Heaven and New Earth.

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” –Revelation 22:20

With urgency, in Revelation chapter 22, Jesus gives us a promise that is also a warning. Three times He says, I am coming quickly. We are given a preview of heaven, we are told that the time is near, and we receive information on how to prepare by keeping His Commandments. The chapter ends with the repetitive and third promise/warning from Jesus that His coming is timely and definite.

Note: In studying the Scriptures, Jesus rarely repeated His words while ministering to others. We become aware that “I am coming quickly” is a life or death warning for us to do our part [daily preparation] if we expect to receive eternal life.

Most of us possess the skills of preparing ahead. We have our mental to-do lists and are accustomed to preparing the night before or early morning to identify and achieve daily repetitive tasks. Yet, when preparing for vacations or an intentional getaway, we use focused planning strategies. If you need some quiet time, you would not book an Airbnb in a city with never-ending noises.

How many Christians are excitedly preparing day-to-day to live eternally?

Preparation for eternal life is intentional. Every aspect of our earthly activities of daily living require heightened awareness and intentional planning. Without complete knowledge of how we use our time, distractions will prevent us from preparing for eternal life. We never fully comprehend the meaning of Jesus coming quickly because we are unaware of the shortage of time we have to get ready.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12).

Jesus also clarifies that we have spiritual assignments for which we will receive the reward of living with Him forever and ever. Our Heavenly reward is not given because we were dedicated employees working 40-hour work weeks that provided the necessary income to sustain our lifestyles.

The question, What did you do with your spiritual gifts that I gave you? Did you strive to live a righteous life? The conviction to remain faithful and obedient by overcoming temptations, the courage to say no to sin, [even if it means losing family and friends], and the commitment to love and put God first are righteous standards mandated by the law of God.

Use your spiritual gifts and the resources of time, effort, and money for discipleship–service to God and to others which is the work that Jesus Christ rewards. Read The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20.

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the changes in your lifestyle that you need to make to be ready for Jesus’ Second Coming. Live everyday with the mindset that Jesus is coming quickly! We have wasted too much time watching, listening, and doing things that do not count toward preparation for eternal life.

The Journey of Sanctification

We can only take one thing to heaven and that is our character. The Holy Spirit breathed the words of God to the apostles, Paul, James, Peter, and John of the necessary characteristics that we must have in our lives now to be holy and acceptable for life in heaven.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. –Galatians 5:22-23

Most are familiar with the righteous traits of the Fruit of the Spirit. Still, “1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 6, Hebrews 11, James 1-2, and 1 Peter 1” also give us a foundation for possessing a Christ-like character. Sanctification, the lifelong spiritual journey of spiritual growth and development requires human effort plus Divine Intervention through Jesus Christ.

Secretly, some Christians think that striving for righteousness is overwhelming and that God has placed a burden on us to be holy.

Consider your employer who has greater demands than our Heavenly Father. You are expected to have almost 100% competency in performing your job duties, reach productivity standards, possess time management skills, complete ongoing educational trainings, and have an acceptable attendance record. Nor will you receive continuous help from management staff.

We have the Divine Intervention of the Spiritual Team of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the angels to help us every day. Doing our part requires putting God first and praying for help. Pray and Study the Bible every day. We determine our destiny!

Why is it taking so long for Jesus to come? “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9

Thankfully, we have a merciful Father who patiently loves us. Even so, our lifespan remains a mystery Tomorrow is not promised to us. Prepare everyday and stay ready.

Prayer: God, we pray for ourselves today because we realize that we are not preparing for Jesus to come. Holy Spirit please reveal the obstacles in our lives that are causing roadblocks in our spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Wait! That Decision Has Negative Consequences

Devotional Reading–Wait! That Decision Has Negative Consequences

Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! –Psalm 27:14

God is so good! In our moments of weakness, He provides and protects us from the negative consequences of decisions that we think are the best option. We can live without regrets by listening to God’s voice telling us, No or Not Now.

Surrender is not a trait we are born with, nor is surrender valued as a must-have character trait. If you are a parent or had younger siblings, you have first-hand knowledge of the developmental stage affectionately known as the terrible twos. And most remember going through the teenage stages of a raging rebellion against their parent’s morals, values, and rules. But suppose the child’s behavior was modified by initiating boundaries and disciplinary measures during these two defiant stages. In that case, they will develop into adults that not only accept and respect the answer of no, but also possess the character trait of self-control.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Despite our diverse backgrounds, a change of heart happens when we commit ourselves to God. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, and a new life has begun! As steadfast believers in Christ, we cease the natural inclinations to follow our selfish desires or maintain a spirit of disobedience. Nor do we develop little schemes to go outside God’s will to attempt to manipulate His answer of no.

When God created humanity, He gave us everything we needed to serve Him: Free will of choice, biblical instructions, prayer, a seed of faith, a sound mind, self-control, and the desire to stay connected to Him. But then we discovered that we could use our free will to chase after our desires. Yes, we still believe in God, but we have developed a spirit of independence–the same condition that Cain possessed. We place our disobedient desires over God’s requirement for our sacrificial offering–total obedience.

There are two types of Believers, those who almost always obey God and those who make it a habit to disobey and frequently misuse repentance and forgiveness.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? –Luke 6:46

For the usually obedient group, God disciplines by shaking us. In His mercy, God may shield us from the extreme consequences of our disobedience. Recognizing that we went against the will of God, we readily repent and pray for forgiveness. We know repentance means never repeating the transgression against God for doing it our way. Because we love God with all of our hearts, after the shaking, we thank God for His mercy in not letting us suffer the full consequences of our disobedience.

“…but the way of transgressors is hard.” –Proverbs 13:15

The second group also loves God, but they suffer inner turmoil because they have developed a pattern of disobeying God. They live by the false prosperity message–name it and claim it. Their greatest pursuit in life is to be happy. Yes, all appears to be well–they are reaping a harvest of blessings. And they readily share with others, “God has abundantly blessed me.” Sadly, that is their critical mistake of bringing God’s name into their acts of disobedience.

God will protect His name and reputation!

Then the unthinkable happens, God allows the impact of their disobedience to come to fruition, and the life-changing consequences happen. All because they half-heartedly served God by continuous disobedience. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” –James 4:17

“The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in loving devotion, forgiving wrongdoing, and rebellion. But He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished; He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children to the third and fourth generation.” (Numbers 14:18)

Satan is using the same old tactic that he used with Eve, “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die'” (Genesis 3:4). He uses false teachers to tell us that we do not understand the true meaning of what God said, and they give their reinterpretation of the Scriptures. Many believers have been deceived by accepting the false belief of Middle Ground Christianity. There is no middle ground! We cannot fulfill our desires and remain in the right standing with God. Either we completely obey God or we are living outside of His will by walking on the path of disobedience.

“If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15).

In the evening, reflect on your day. How many blessings have you received? The big blessings are probably very obvious. Even so, remember to include the little things that worked out in your favor. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

We have a loving God who sustains our lives. The breath in our bodies is from God. Seeking God’s will is the foundation for serving Him. Obedience is such a small sacrifice compared to the incredible love and undeserved grace and mercies we receive. With all that we are given by our Heavenly Father, God is justified in His requirement for us to faithfully trust and obey Him. We must use our sound minds and self-control to stay within the will of God.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, Amplified Bible)

Stop living the hard-knock life full of problems and consequences that belong to the lives of unbelievers!

We can never protect or provide for ourselves as God does. Do we thank God for His protection from the dangers of spiritual warfare [seen and unseen] that the angels, God’s messengers, defend us from every day? God’s protection also extends to shielding us from the terrible consequences of our wayward decisions.

When God says, “No, my child,” trust and believe that He knows the future consequences that would devastate our lives. Today, begin to let praises of thanksgiving and gratitude openly flow from your mouth. Surrender and commit your free will to always trust and obey God. We are truly blessed beyond measure!

Bible Reading: Psalm 34

Prayer: God, we want to say thank you for all that you have lovingly and freely blessed us with day after day. We love You and surrender our will to You. Let Your will be done in our lives. In Jesus’ Worthy Name, we pray. Amen.