Where Is the Promise?

Where Is the Promise? Devotional Reading and Podcast

“A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” –Proverbs 16:9

We diligently prayed and asked God to let us be accepted into the university, start our business, change jobs, purchase a vehicle or house, get married, or after miscarriages, have children. God gave us a yes answer, but when we do not receive the promise immediately, we become impatient.

Where is the promise? Distracted by the delay causes us to forget that we live by God’s standards and not the prevailing worldviews of completing self-made accomplishments at a certain stage in life.

God has given each of us innate talents, spiritual gifts, and the ability to dream. Why do some people move forward and make achievements while others never see their desires come to fruition? Several reasons prevent us from receiving God’s promises: Doubt, unbelief, impatience, ingratitude, and rushing ahead of God by taking steps to make it happen faster.

One deception that many believers embrace is the comparison game–we begin to measure our lives by comparing ourselves to the success of others. My friends and siblings have achieved their goals. We begin to think wayward thoughts, Why am I last on God’s list? Comparison breeds impatience, disappointment, and disbelief in God’s timing and perfect plan for our lives.

“The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” –Proverbs 20:24 NLT

Biblical history reveals that humanity’s challenges and emotional responses are already documented in the Scriptures. Our wavering faith in God is predictable behavior.

Abraham and Sarah’s Promise

In Genesis chapter 18, Abraham was sitting at the entrance of his tent. When he looked up three men were standing by him, knowing that these men were heavenly visitors, he bowed himself to the ground and offered them food. After eating, the Lord asked, “…Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here in the tent.” (verse 9).

The Promise: “And the LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him.” –Genesis 18:10, the first part

Sarah’s Response: “…Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?'” –Genesis 18:10-12

Jesus’ Response: “And the Lord said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ –Genesis 18:13-14

Sarah’s Attempted Coverup: “But Sarah denied it, saying, ‘I did not laugh,’ for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh!'” –Genesis 18:15

Sarah represents two groups of believers, those who react with unbelief to God’s promise for them because they look at their circumstances instead of believing in the power of God. And the second group of believers wholeheartedly believe that God will give them exactly what He has promised, but their joyful anticipation turns into doubt when they have to wait for an extended time to receive their promise.

God knows the state of our hearts. He knows who will react with doubt and who will lose hope. Did our promise die? If God said it then He will do it. We are the stumbling block. We are the reason that our promise did not come to fruition.

“But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6

What can we do now? Go back to the Promise-maker! In God’s mercy, He waits for us to confess and repent that we have a heart full of doubt and unbelief in His promises and power. Our Heavenly Father is not punitive! He will help us change our unbelief into a faith that grows daily.

Accept God’s timing! We cannot rush the process of spiritual growth and development. For our faith to grow, we will be given obstacles and trials that require us to depend on God. Our goal is not to receive the promise that is on hold. Never forget that faith is the foundation of our relationship with Christ.

Faith keeps us believing in the plan of Salvation. Faith keeps us steadfast when the storms of life appear to overtake us. Faith is required for us to receive the strength from Jesus to endure and persevere when our natural tendency is to give up! Faith empowers us to hold onto every promise that God has made to humanity. And our faith will give us the joyful anticipation to believe that we are on the verge of receiving our promise from God, despite the waiting period.

Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born. Is there anything too hard for God?

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

Prayer: God, we confess and repent for our faithlessness in Your promises and Your power. We desire for our faith to grow and to have a closer relationship with Christ. We commit to waiting until you say that we are ready to receive our promises. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus, Amen.

God’s Promises, Presence, and Power

Sabbath Devotional Reading–God’s Promises, Presence, and Power

In 1963, a TV program starring David Janssen called The Fugitive, a man who was innocent but deemed guilty due to circumstantial evidence. Besides running for his life and hiding from the misguided authorities, his concentration was divided because he was also attempting to prove his innocence.

The show lasted for four seasons. Yet, it is quite interesting that the TV series imitated the story of David, the analogy of an innocent man who becomes a fugitive–running for his life.

First Samuel chapters 18 to 22 give us an in-depth account of David’s struggle to stay alive. How does one transition from a shepherd boy whom God used to kill Goliath to becoming a fugitive running from the same king who celebrated his victory over Goliath?

From Shepherd Boy to a Fugitive

After the slaying of Goliath, King Saul kept David with him, and would not permit him to return to his father’s house. The king was aware that God had a divine purpose for David. He possessed courage, strong warrior traits, and leadership qualities unusual for a young man his age. After God gave David and the soldiers victory over the Philistines, all was well until Saul heard the Israelite women’s song honoring David.

“As the troops were returning home after David had killed the Philistines, the women came out of all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs, and with tambourines and other instruments. And as the women danced, they sang out: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.’ And Saul was furious and resented this song. ‘They have ascribed tens of thousands to David,’ he said, ‘but only thousands to me. What more can he have but the kingdom?…'” –1 Samuel 18:6-8

The demon of jealousy entered the heart of the king. He was angry because David was exalted above himself in the song of the women of Israel. Patriarchs and Prophets

Because of Saul’s unrepentant and disobedient spirit, God told Samuel that He had rejected the self-exalting king. The prophet Samuel loved Saul like a son, which led to an emotional response to God’s decision. He petitioned God through prayer to reconsider removing Saul as king.

God’s answer: “The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.'” –1 Samuel 16:1

God’s Promise: God chose David to be King Saul’s replacement as king of Israel. “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David…” (1 Samuel 16:13).

God’s Presence: Although we do not know the exact number of years that David ran from King Saul, scholars estimate between 8 to 13 years. From a human perspective, it is difficult to understand the reason for David’s extreme hardship of living in caves and constantly on the run. Yet, God was aware of David’s strengths and weaknesses and the adversity required to shape his character and prepare him to lead the nation of Israel as their king. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears (Psalm 34:4).

God’s Power: Every moment of every day, God was with David. Saul tried with all of his might to kill the giant slayer and the next king of Israel, but he failed. Read 1 Samuel chapter 24 to learn how God’s Divine Intervention adds an unexpected twist to King Saul’s relentless pursuit of David.

David did not avoid Saul using strategic maneuvers or relying on his knowledge and skills. David was more than a victorious warrior of battles, he was a prayer warrior who communicated with God about every tribulation he faced. Not only did he praise God in hard times, but David also wrote an entire book of songs [the book of Psalms] that demonstrate his love and appreciation for God.

As children of God, we face spiritual warfare every day that comes in many forms. Psalm chapter 34 is a song of praise proclaiming “The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God.” David was captured and taken before King Abimelech. He pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

Psalm 34 contains thirteen of God’s promises to the righteous. Study the Scriptures and pray diligently for the anointing of the Holy Spirit in your life. Each of us will face time as a fugitive. At some point, we will have a hardship in our lives where family or friends cannot help us.

Spiritual Insight and Wisdom are Received From Divine Revelation

Although we may feel abandoned while in the wilderness of overwhelming hardships, from David’s life as a young shepherd boy to a fugitive, and finally becoming the King of Israel, we gain spiritual insight into who God is and the victory that comes from facing adversity when we pray for help. Despite life’s tough challenges, our faith should remain steadfast. Never forget that we serve a loving God who says, I change not!

Remain teachable by studying the Bible and praying. The human effort of maintaining our relationship with Jesus allows us to have steadfast faith in the most challenging times. Like David, although pursued by the enemy, our confidence and courage should never waver. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).

Yes, we know who will deliver us from all of our troubles–our Dependable God who fulfills all of His promises, whose presence can be felt by whoever asks for Divine help, and who has the power to prevent, reverse, and remove all warfare against our lives.

Prayer: God, we thank you for Your promises, presence, and power. In faith, we surrender our hearts and commit to serving You as obedient disciples. Thank you for giving us the Sabbath– a time to rest our minds and bodies by shutting out the secular noise. We pray for spiritual insight, wisdom, and a blessing as we commune with You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Seeing Jesus Through the Eyes of Love

We love because he first loved us. –1 John 4:19

In John 16:33, Jesus warns us that our spiritual journey will be our hardest journey. But we can succeed with His help because Jesus overcame the world and all its tribulations.

Asking ourselves, Why have I excluded Jesus as my Divine Helper? will redirect our focus. God has perfect plans for each of us. Sadly, many Christians reject God’s purpose and spiritual assignment for their lives to pursue their own desires.

It took me too long to surrender to God’s will and plans for my life. But I finally did it. Just in Psalm chapter 34, there are 13 promises for the righteous. And God continually demonstrates His love and safekeeping in the peaceful times as well as the stormy seasons.

The righteous receive many benefits from dedicating themselves to Christ. Receiving the gift of peace changes our outlook and allows us to view Jesus through eyes of love. Be blessed 🙌

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Trust In YAH

Trust In YAH Devotional Reading

The minds of young children represent one of the pure and lovely things that still exist in life. Yes, the little ones are concrete thinkers. Concrete thinkers usually take information at face value without thinking beyond or generalizing the information to other meanings or situations.

Telling a child, “If you pick up your toys and put them in your toy box every day then you will go to the animal petting farm,” simply means, if I pick up my toys then I am going to the animal farm. Their understanding of the conditional promise is not filled with doubts or complexities. Young children have genuine faith and trust in their parents. They can only think one way–my parents said it and I believe in their promise.

To trust in YAH, in humility, we must become like little children. Our faith and trust in God are evidence of a converted heart.

The Condition: “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.'” –Matthew 18:2-5.

Faith is pure and simple: “And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.'” Acts 16:31

Not faithfully believing in God’s promises reveals a problem deeper than we realize–an unconverted heart. You may ask, But how can that be the truth when I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Our belief in God must extend beyond the fact that He exists. When a Christian fails to have the mindset of little children who simply believe and fully trust in their parent’s promises, they possess the same disbelief as those who say there is no God.

The roadblock to trusting in YAH originates from our hearts [our minds]. We may attempt to hide our faithlessness, but God knows the true condition of our hearts. Some believe that their careful strategic planning produced victorious outcomes that happened in their lives.

Trusting in our knowledge and life experiences not only builds false confidence in our limited abilities, but eventually, we will reach the crossroads of No Options Available leaving us with a mind filled with doubt, anxiety, worries, and frustrations. Instead of acknowledging that our disbelief brought unforeseen consequences to our lives, we tend to blame God.

God’s Design for Our Lives: “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

Converted hearts acknowledge daily that we cannot live without the consistent Divine Intervention of the Heavenly Father who sustains our very existence. Having the knowledge, faith, and trust in God and His promises in the peaceful times of our lives fortifies and gives us the strength to remain steadfast when our faith is severely tested.

“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).

Jesus’ answer to eliminating our distrust in YAH is that true conversion requires us to become like young children who simply believe in the spoken promises. Our faith pleases God! No doubts or questions, just believing that if God said it then His promises are Yes to which we say, Amen.

Bible Study: In Psalm chapter 34, David gives us 13 promises from God for the righteous.

Prayer: God, we desire to faithfully trust in You and Your promises. We ask for forgiveness for not trusting in YAH. We believe in and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.

No Condemnation in Christ

No Condemnation in Christ Devotional Reading

What are the most profound statements you have heard or read in your lifetime? To qualify, it should be words that you will never forget because they initiated a shift in your outlook on life and caused you to redefine your values.

I will share two that initiated a deeper love relationship within me for Jesus Christ. 1. “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). 2. “Why would you want to die for your sins when Jesus already died for them?”

I had to do some deep soul-searching and confront myself for having a spirit of ingratitude toward Christ. Am I the only one facing this vicarious predicament of not loving Jesus as I should?

We know that Jesus died and rose again to complete the plan of Redemption. Still, our thoughts of Jesus’ sacrifice are usually fleeting and superficial. In our carnal thinking, we cannot appreciate the greatest miracle humanity has received–the gift of Spiritual Transformation.

Our love gift from God, the Father is one of forethought and commitment. He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice to save our souls even before humanity was created. Jesus ransomed us from the second and final death by giving His life for all–the people who once lived, those who are living presently on this earth, and all future births.

Yes from Adam and Eve to everyone born up until His Second Coming, Jesus has promised us, “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). Hallelujah! The righteous will receive more than this earthly life that is full of trials and sorrows.

Jesus’ Offer is Salvation Not Condemnation

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. –John 3:17-19

Yet, as with all of God’s promises, they are conditional. We must do our part. There is no guessing or confusion, the Scriptures tell us exactly what God will do for us if we surrender and faithfully obey His commands. The greatest problem that we face is the condition of obedience always causes ambivalence–we must decide between God’s will and our desires. If we choose to live according to our desires, then we choose to place ourselves in the darkness of self-condemnation.

The Invitation: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.” –Revelation 3:20

It’s Time to Look Back: When Jesus knocked at the door of our hearts and we accepted His invitation to wholeheartedly follow Him, we were in love with the Savior. As time passed, we begin to waiver in our desire to live righteously. Nor did we understand the conditions required to sustain the love relationship between ourselves and Christ. Discipleship is a life of servitude that requires us to obey God.

Initially, we were excited by our spiritual rebirth, but we failed to realize that Sanctification, to be transformed into the likeness of Christ takes a lifetime of humility and self-denial. We became weary from the continuous internal conflict of obeying God versus giving in to our plans and goals. We failed to remember that our lives are ordered by God for His purpose and glory. Gradually, a change of heart happened and we started living for ourselves.

The Missing Element: Love

“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law? Jesus declared, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.…'” Matthew 22:36-38

The Bible is a Love letter from God to us. As we study the Scriptures, we come to know God as a loving, Heavenly Father who desires the best for His children. Yet, love must be reciprocal. Keeping Jesus’ loving sacrifice in the forefront of our minds results in spiritual growth, understanding, and wisdom. Love for God keeps us in alignment with Him. The Holy Spirit empowers us to understand and accept that God’s thoughts and plans are perfect and always end in victory.

As our love relationship with Christ grows it is with a cheerful heart that we seek God’s will through prayer and study of the Scriptures. Our daily prayer of surrender to God is fueled by love, faith, and obedience. Abiding in Christ gives us the strength to remain steadfast. We no longer veer to the right or the left, leading us wayward into the pit of self-condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” –Romans 8:1

Godly love ensures that we look straight ahead. Love keeps us focused on Jesus, our Lord, and Savior who promises to keep us on the Path of Righteousness when we put forth the human effort to follow Him. Yes, through surrender to Christ, we are freed from the indwelling sin which condemns us to death, and we receive His promise of life eternal. Amen!

Prayer: God, we pray for Your help to return to our first love, Jesus Christ. We ask for forgiveness of self-seeking behaviors that have separated us from You and Your purpose in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Praying for Opportunities

Praying for Opportunities Devotional Reading

The process of progressive discipline by employers did not always exist. Many employees with tenure and excellent job performance were terminated because of personal dislike from their supervisors. Before 1991, we worked under a dark cloud of fear, never knowing if we would have a job from one day to the next.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1991 made major changes in the federal laws against employment discrimination enforced by EEOC.”

Yet, we had those who recognized the opportunity to take a stand. No matter the cost they worked tirelessly for federal laws that protected employees against discrimination and unfair treatment. These forgotten heroes demanded from the government enforced laws that prohibited the practice of immediate termination without progressive discipline [exceptions were extreme infractions against company policy].

Seeking opportunities to help others is God’s expectation of all Christian believers.

To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others. https://law.utk.edu/2016/05/10/to-whom-much-is-given-much-will-be-required/

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” –Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8 is a clear, crisp, and simple summary of what God expects from you and me. These three things that matter so much to God are the three things God wants to see in us: justice, kindness, and humility. To act justly is to treat people fairly and respectfully. http://www.bible.com

Although it is against our naturally selfish hearts to seek opportunities that benefit others, we are committed to being like Christ. Every day we should pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal opportunities to witness and alleviate the suffering of those who need our help. Random acts of kindness do not fulfill our duty to God and humanity.

Our love for God ensures that we maintain our spiritual connection with our Heavenly Father through prayer and study of the Bible. We form a bonding relationship with Christ that produces a never-ending river of love that flows from His heart to our hearts. Pray for guidance and the humility to willingly accept your assignment to show the love and mercy that Christ gave to others throughout His life on earth.

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

Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness for having a mindset to seek after our desires. We pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the opportunities that fulfill our daily requirement of discipleship. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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.

His Strength, Our Weakness

His Strength, Our Weakness

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” –2 Corinthians 12:9

Focusing on ourselves or our circumstances produces fear and cancels our faith and dependency on the power of Christ. Pride is the seed from which the sin of self-reliance grows. Self-reliance rapidly infiltrates the heart producing the thorns of anxiety, worries, and mental and spiritual instability. Our spiritual outlook changes as we become weaker from the weeds of insecurity and hopelessness that ultimately destroy our faith in God. Although the answer to our dilemma is simple, we are functioning on emotions that leave us feeling overwhelmed. As we try to figure things out, nonexistent faith makes us forget that we have a Savior waiting to help us.

Jesus Christ is Our Foundation–Jesus forewarned us of self-reliance’s consequences: “You can do nothing without me!” Surrendering ourselves to the Vine prevents keeps us nourished with strength, empowers us to face opposition, and binds us closer to Christ. We remain confident as His strength permeates our hearts and soul. Every day, pray to receive strength from our only Source, Jesus Christ.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness Devotional Reading

When I greeted the cashier, we immediately started chatting about the joy of retirement which led me to believe that she was only working part-time and happily enjoying a life of bliss. But then she expressed the agony of working six more years to reach full retirement age. The atmosphere created by her words of hopelessness threatened to produce a doom-and-gloom conversation.

Looking at her prematurely aged face, I thought about having a job in mid-life that required eight hours of constant standing, never-ending customer interaction, and produced mental and physical exhaustion by the end of the day. I knew this would be my only opportunity to provide uplifting words of hope to combat her heavy burden of despair.

I eagerly expressed the benefits of taking early retirement at 62 with the ability to work if the monthly income did not exceed $1700. As we chatted, God’s divine intervention kept other customers from choosing her checkout line. As she placed my items in the bags, a bright smile and the words, Thank you, now, I have something to look forward to in life produced happiness in two women who would probably never see each other again. Leaving the store, I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity to alleviate her mental suffering. Yes, as I walked away, I felt happy.

Happiness is an emotional response to things going well. Yet, we have rapidly progressed to a time where most people are unhappy even though their lives are productive. “Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years, The poll finds, Just 14% of U.S. adults say they’re very happy.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/americans-are-unhappiest-they-ve-been-50-years-poll-finds-n1231153

Where do you stand? Are you included in the 14% of the population who is very happy? Sadly, many believers are very unhappy with their present circumstances. How did we progress from thanking God for His abundant blessings to an internal state of dissatisfaction? We have embraced the worldview that produces unhappiness–to always be discontent.

Many have offered little resistance to society’s prevailing drive for the pursuit of happiness. The competitive edge is to always strive for more–we agree that enough is never enough!

God’s Standard: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

For the faithful, God always gives us the necessary provisions to sustain our well-being. Despite the satanic warfare of natural disasters and humanity’s continuous destruction of the planet earth, God has allowed the abundant beauty in nature to remain steadfast. Truthfully, our Heavenly Father always provides for the righteous. Most believers are well-fed and have financial stability.

Why do we constantly desire more things for ourselves? Our discontent reveals our perception of God. Instead of focusing on the blessings received from the open windows of heaven, we begin to view God as a restrictive God who controls humanity. When will God give us a successful career, a new home, a luxury vehicle, or a husband or wife? With a driving passion, we take the necessary steps to satisfy our heart’s desires.

Our feelings place us in a heightened mental and emotional state of living for the pursuit of happiness. We become fixated and strategize to obtain our desires by any means necessary. There are repercussions, the loss of peace, joy, and contentment. Even more devastating, our disobedience completely severs our relationship with God. Eventually, we obtain our desires, but the giver is not God.

Why would God withhold from us what others so easily obtained? God’s thoughts will never be our thoughts. We were created to worship Him in our earthly lives and have immortality forever.

  1. “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory;
    I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7). God’s purpose for humanity is to worship Him.
  2. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12). The New Heaven and New Earth will be the forever home of faithful, righteous, and obedient believers.

Still, does God select only certain people whom He blesses with the things that produce happiness? “…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

In studying The Creation, it is evident that God withheld no good thing from Adam and Eve. The problem is that we cannot think beyond our present state of existence. The home or vehicle that we desire requires long-term financial stability, and the prospective husband or wife with whom we desire to make a lifelong covenant does not love God first and foremost nor do they desire to live eternally.

Would God bless us with tangible items or a marriage partner just to make us happy? In His Omnipotence–knowing the beginning to the end, place all of your faith and trust in God’s answer of no. If we do not receive the things that we think will make us happy then be confident that God’s objective is to save our souls.

Our pursuit of happiness will always overshadow the reason that we made a covenant vow with Jesus, to do the Father’s will. Never forget that we are servants of the Most-High God who are promised peace and joy in this life and the life to come. The fleeting happiness of this earthly life is on the verge of ending. Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming to give us an eternal life of happiness.

Desire happiness? “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

Prayer: God, we have lost our way. We need Your help to get us back on the Path of Righteousness. In Jesus’ Worthy name, we pray. 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.