“Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.
The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.
These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-14, MSG)
“Therefore, I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one [l]hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-30 & 31, AMP)
The world tells you to plan out every detail of your life. But the word of God tells you to pray and ask God to give you daily bread. (Matthew 6:11). Furthermore, the Word of God tells you to depend upon God like children. A child does not worry about each day and how they are going to do anything. No, a child has complete trust in the parent to provide their day to day needs. In the Old Testament God gave the children of Israel daily bread (manna). God specifically instructed them not to worry about storing up food for the next day because He was going to give them enough food for each day. Of course, there were many who did not trust God’s word and they attempted to get more food than the daily limit God had set.
They did not believe that God would provide always so they wanted to store food for the day when God would not supply their needs. Yet, for those that took more food in an effort to save it they found the food to be full of worms and unusable like God said.
The lesson here is that God provides every day. There is not ever a need to worry about tomorrow because it is not promised. God determines if we shall live to see each day and God shall supply your daily needs. Whatever issues you may have, you don’t have to worry. Just trust God to give you enough grace to deal with the issues of each day.
Lord, thank you for being the best provider. Thank you for having a great plan for my life. Help me to trust you for everything always. Give me the strength to live by Faith and not by sight.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” (Romans 12:2, TPT)
As a teenager, I struggled to be obedient to the word of God. This continued through my early twenties. But, not until my early thirties did I begin to not only understand the word of God but have a desire to be transformed by it. I did not realize that my desire to be more like God meant that I would have to experience more discomfort in order to “become the change I want to see in others.” To be more like God is to become less of yourself. No longer justifying thoughts and actions like getting angry, frustrated or yelling. Instead recognizing that if I want to be more like God then I must look to God for everything. I must do all that I can do and trust God with the rest.
Today I not only attend church, but I spend time with God all day every day. I wake up with praise. I worship through music, prayer and scripture reading. The more time I spend with God the more transformed I become. For instance, now I not only see when I fall short, but I am convicted and prompted to ask God, myself and any other for forgiveness. I am now able to own my stuff and appreciate correction I use to be full of pride and stubbornness now I have more humility and compassion. The more you surrender to God’s will and way the more different, Godlike you will become.
The best part about spiritual transformation is that it shows itself. As you become less like the old you, you will become more compassionate, courageous and committed to serving God’s purpose for your life.
“The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” (1 Peter 1:1-4, MSG)
Everyday you are bombarded with overt and covert messages that work to define your character. Through a variety of mediums such as the internet, music and television a message is communicated to the general public that places value on people, places and things. For instance, women are girls are constantly told through media ads that they need make-up, hair, nails and stylish clothes to feel great about themselves. Then try doing everything to live up to the beauty standards made by people. As a result, they begin to experience anxiety and depression from pretending to be someone they are not.
Be encouraged today as you are reminded of what real beauty is and how to identify it. Beauty comes primarily from the values that lie deep in your heart. Your heart is filled with what you believe, which gives you vision and determines how you perceive yourself and others. Moreover, your heart holds the knowledge you keep that informs your decisions. Your heart is the center of your character. No matter what age or stage in life that you find yourself, know that you are beautiful because of the goodness that dwells within your heart.
Build up your character by spending time daily with God through reading scriptures, studying, fellowshipping with others, meditating on God’s word and praying without ceasing. For this will ensure that you know who you are and where your real beauty comes from.
“Jesus stood up and gave a command to the wind and the water. He said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm. He said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”” (Mark 4:39-40, ERV)
We all go through tough times in life. For some of us those times come far more frequent than we would like. Often as a result of such difficulties we tend to lose faith. We begin to doubt God by speaking negatively about ourselves, and the situation at hand. While such feelings may be normal, they do not have to control the way you think and act. For instance, if you are single and want to be married. Yet, after several years and many dates you are no closer to marriage. Do not fret and begin to speak death over your dreams by saying things like, I am not pretty, I am not good enough, I am to fat or it will never happen for me.
Instead, remind yourself that you are a child of God who has been fearfully and wonderfully made. With boldness and confidence tell any thought that contradicts the word of God to get behind you. Remember God's promises are received by Faith. Do like Jesus did and speak back to those negative thoughts. If you are feeling distressed say, thank you Lord for peace, thank you for using the difficulties to make me more like you. Thank you for not allowing me to get into the wrong relationship. Amid trouble thank God for joy
Finally, when the going gets tough be obedient to God’s word:
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” (Philippians 4:4-7, AMP)
“Shout in celebration of praise to the Lord! Everyone who loves the Lord and delights in him will cherish his words and be blessed beyond expectation.” (Psalms 112:1-2, TPT)
I read a Gallup Poll on happiness and was amazed to learn that some of the unhappiest people in America live in bible belt states like Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. According to the study, there were strong correlations between happiness and income, education, poverty, race and politics. I was a bit shocked especially because many of these unhappy people include bible toting Christians.
As Christians, our Faith tells us that we are in this world but not of this world. We are not to seek happiness and joy in things, people and situations. While we do have feelings like everyone else, we do not respond to life circumstances as such. Instead we get great pleasure from knowing that our thoughts and actions honor God. For instance, a person who fears the Lord will not let the undeniable pain of job loss to make them unhappy. Why? Because true believers know that:
“Even if darkness overtakes them, sunrise-brilliance will come bursting through because they are gracious to others, so tender and true. Life is good for the one who is generous and charitable, conducting affairs with honesty and truth. Their circumstances will never shake them, and others will never forget their example. They will not live in fear or dread of what may come, for their hearts are firm, ever secure in their faith. Steady and strong, they will not be afraid, but will calmly face their every foe until they all go down in defeat. Never stingy and always generous to those in need, their lives of influence and honor will never be forgotten, for they were full of good deeds.” (Psalms 112:4-9, TPT)
Lord we thank you for being merciful, kind and just. Thank you for giving us your Holy Spirit and Holy word to guide us on earth. Help us to delight in you so that we may always remain secure and steady.
“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” (John 14:27, AMP)
There is always something to contend with. Hanging around every corner is a threat to your peace and tranquility. Why can’t life just cooperate and allow you to live in harmony? Because the things of this world are temporal. For instance, it used to be that you could graduate from high school and get a job that would be secure until retirement. This is not the case today. Moreover, any security or happiness you find in the world will not last always, but the things of God are everlasting.
Whatever challenges you may be facing today no matter how difficult they may be do not fret. Stand firm on the word of God knowing full well that God is with you wherever you are and will give you grace to get through and peace to comfort you. “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.” (John 14:1, AMP)
“Now, those who are mature in their faith can easily be recognized, for they don’t live to please themselves but have learned to patiently embrace others in their immaturity. Our goal must be to empower others to do what is right and good for them, and to bring them into spiritual maturity. For not even the most powerful one of all, the Anointed One, lived to please himself.” (Romans 15:1-3, TPT)
Love is both a noun and a verb. Love is who you are and what you do. Love is the spirit that reflects the God in you. And,
“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, MSG)
“We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.” (Hebrews 12:1-3, ERV)
The faith walk can be tough. The fact that it is often lonely and painful especially when you are constantly looking at things in the natural. For instance, when you are serving God with all your heart and soul and then you are hit with an unexpected setback, like your children being disobedient, a spouse cheating, a job loss or even GIRLFRIENDS talking bad behind your back. It is natural to become discouraged. Furthermore, it may seem normal when dealing with such discomforts that holding on to your faith is futile.
God knowing that we may have such feelings left you both the Holy Spirit and the word to comfort you. You simply must do your part and stay focused on Jesus who provides you with the love and strength to endure until the end of your race. When life brings anger, agitation, disappointment, frustration and any other negative emotion, do not hold onto these feelings. Instead, let them go and know this: “no instrument forged against you will be allowed to hurt you, and no voice raised to condemn you will successfully prosecute you. It’s that simple; this is how it will be for the servants of the Eternal; I will vindicate them.” (Isaiah 54:17, The Voice)
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” (1 John 4:17-21, AMP)
For most of my adult life I lived in contradiction to my spiritual professions. And, I am not alone. The issue of hypocrisy in the world today is massive and it is not relegated to the Faith community. People from all walks of life seem to be struggling with their identity, whether they know it or not. The reason for this is the false doctrine that is inculcated into everyone through community, education, family, government policies, media and religion. This identity crisis has led to the rise of false prophets and the encouraging of love things, not God and; to seek God for things and not His identity. This is contrary to the fact that God created us to glorify Him and to love like Him. False leaders are teaching that you do not have to change your identity just your circumstances to glorify God.
We glorify God not merely because we make it from a low-income or single-parent household to become the first millionaire in our family and even community. No, we glorify God when we become born-again, transformed with of the love of God living in our hearts. We glorify God when our natural hatred is changed.
For instance, take a white woman who grew up in all white American town. She was taught that black people are inferior and should not be considered GIRLFRIENDS. In fact, let’s say that she was not taught to think and behave this way directly, but she gleaned this insight from her environment. Without direct intention, but subconsciously she did not love black people. Though she professed to be a God-fearing woman when given the opportunity to forge genuine friendships with black women she would not allow herself. However, she was always cordial and helpful to a degree. But she was educated, married, stayed home with her children, paid her bills on time, helped friends in need whenever she could and volunteered at her church.
Surely, this woman is glorifying God with her life, right? How could this otherwise good Samaritan be displeasing to God? After all, she was not hurting anyone with her unconscious bias, condemnation and judgment she held towards black people. The truth is because she did harbor some negative thoughts and feelings about black women and people in general. Such acts are not loving and do not glorify God. The scripture tells us plainly that if we do not love our fellow neighbor that we cannot love God. Furthermore, the scripture informs us that if we profess to love God, but indulge in bias, bigotry, or hate, that we are a liar who does not love God and cannot glorify Him.
To glorify God, we must:
1. Live by Faith and let it be the foundation for our identity;
2. Have Faith lodged deeply in our heart;
3. Acknowledge our Faith and love for God with our mouths and;
4. Demonstrate Faith, Hope and Love in every way towards everyone
“But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” (Mark 9:22-23, AMP)
This scripture is part of a story where a father who had a son that was demon possessed since childhood. Apparently, the man did not know what to do to aid his son, nor did he know that it was possible for him to be healed. Therefore, the father accepted the awful condition as being just the way things are and nothing could be done to change it.
I imagine that there are many Americans feeling this way today regarding the longest government shutdown in American history. Today, the United States government under control of the President has 800,000 employees out of work and very dependent on the shutdown to end so that they may resume living. In fact, I read a story about an elderly worker who works for the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. She talked about how much she likes her low-paying job that also causes her some physical pain because of the long hours standing on concrete floors. To keep her sanity, she tells herself that life will get better, albeit she has no idea as to when.
Based upon the last statement it appears that the woman has faith. However, the fact that she said she finds herself not sleeping well and constantly wondering when the nightmare will end suggest that she is struggling to believe that with God all things are possible.
It is normal to have feelings of fear. God understands that we will have such emotions. But, the word of God tells you that fears, doubts and worry do not have to control those who believe. Furthermore, when the unbelief seems to overtake you all you must do is cry out to God and say: “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24, AMP)
Lord, I am humbled before you, giving you my whole heart, mind and spirit. Help me to pray about everything and worry about nothing. Help me to trust you even when the situation has been ongoing for a long-time or it is completely out of my control. Lord, help me to read and meditate on your word daily so that my thoughts and actions will be pleasing to you.
The struggle with sin can be tough especially when you think that it is natural or normal. Thank God for being merciful and all-knowing. He knew that we would need assistance to honor Him with our lives. Therefore, He left the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. The more we read and mediate on the word of God the stronger our spirits become. As a result, we are better able to operate in our God identity and resist the flesh. However, we must know that we cannot overcome sin by going to church, tithing and joining small groups of people that do not challenge you to grow spiritually. We must first have a true desire to serve God.
If we truly desire to walk with God and demonstrate His unconditional love, then we must be willing to do the things necessary to build our spirit, such as mediating and praying. When the desire to please God is lackluster then we will likely struggle more with sin. However, when we develop a deep desire to serve God, we will be become free from the chains of sin. It is from our desire that we will seek and find God. Then through mediation and prayer we will renew sour minds and take pleasure in the things of God, which will result in us being able to overcome our sinful nature.
Paul did and so can we. Here is what he said about his struggle with sin:
“I’m a mystery to myself, for I want to do what is right, but end up doing what my moral instincts condemn. And if my behavior is not in line with my desire, my conscience still confirms the excellence of the law. And now I realize that it is no longer my true self doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin in my humanity. For I know that nothing good lives within the flesh of my fallen humanity. The longings to do what is right are within me, but will-power is not enough to accomplish it. My lofty desires to do what is good are dashed when I do the things I want to avoid. 20 So if my behavior contradicts my desires to do good, I must conclude that it’s not my true identity doing it, but the unwelcome intruder of sin hindering me from being who I really am.
Through my experience of this principle, I discover that even when I want to do good, evil is ready to sabotage me. Truly, deep within my true identity, I love to do what pleases God. 2But I discern another power operating in my humanity, waging a war against the moral principles of my conscience and bringing me into captivity as a prisoner to the “law” of sin—this unwelcome intruder in my humanity. What an agonizing situation I am in! So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death? I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! So if left to myself, the flesh is aligned with the law of sin, but now my renewed mind is fixed on and submitted to God’s righteous principles.” (Romans 7:18-25 TPT)
Lord, we thank you for this word and may it encourage our hearts to completely submit mind, body and spirt to you.
“Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” (Philippians 4:4-7, AMP)
This scripture excites me because I personally know of its truth. First, it tells you to rejoice in the Lord always. For me this means that we should thank God daily for just simply being alive. To delight in God is to be thankful for the opportunity to be used by God to bless others. When you rejoice you demonstrate your Godly character by serving others with a spirit that is compassionate, forgiving, patient and selfless.
The next part of the scripture is the one that we all have or do struggle with. Here we are told to not be anxious about anything regardless of the circumstances. This is hard particularly because it is so natural to become anxious about the results of a job interview when you are unemployed; or whether you are going to get the score needed to enter law or medical school; or what is going to happen to your brothers and sisters now that your parents have died unexpectedly. These are but a few of examples of the kind of situations that can lead a person to become anxious. Yet, God tells us to pray and then be thankful that His will shall be done. Unfortunately, when we choose to talk for hours to GIRLFRIENDS about why we think things will not work, we find ourselves filled with anxiety and fear.
But, when we obey God and trust His promises to bring us through anything, including painfully uncertain conditions, we can have peace that seems impossible to those who do not believe.
Do not be anxious, doubtful, fearful or worried about anything ever because God Got You!
“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, MSG)
There is so much going on in the world today that many people find it hard to be happy despite the circumstances. Today, let me encourage you to cleave to the word of God and live carefree. I have personally had to learn how to be happy even though my life conditions were not necessarily conducive to this mindset. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and at the same time, I was dealing with other major life changes, like starting a new job, looking for a new place to live and planning on moving to another state entirely.
Of course, the diagnosis can be a tough thing cope with by itself. Yet, I was able to be content with all that I had to contend with because I chose to look to God for direction, guidance and strength. In Psalms 55 we are told to: “Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall or fail).” (Psalms 55:22, AMP). After reading this and other scriptures I was given peace that passes all understanding. I did not have to pretend to be happy. I was able to lift my head high and live untroubled knowing that regardless of whatever I had to face, God would carry me through it all.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing me and all my GIRLFRIENDS. Help us to put our trust in you and whatever issues we may have, help us to be content, rejoice and count it all joy.
“So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.” (Colossians 3:1-8, MSG)
I was one of those believer’s still connected with death. Oftentimes, I did whatever I felt like and made excuse for my sins. For instance, if someone did not share my same views; or they did something that I was not accustomed to, I would unconsciously, yet instantly and without thinking form a negative judgment about them. Not to mention the road rage. If someone cut me off, I was sure to blow, not always to prevent them from hitting my car, but to scold them for driving poorly according to God Renée (smile). Then I would justify my bad acts with statements like, I am only human, I am not perfect and I was born a sinner (smile more,,,lol).
The truth is that God wants us to be free from the bondage that sin puts us in. We must have faith to resist the devil. To have faith we must know the word of God through read and study; we must pray without ceasing, which is allows the Holy Spirit to lead your every thought and action. As a people who are Christlike, we must rise and stand firm on our faith. We must know that we do not take vengeance against others, nor do we take pleasure in the pain of another no matter who they are. We are people of a different character -“Chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ – the Message – have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Colossians 3:12-17, MSG)
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” (Proverbs 31:25-27, NLT)
A woman who fears God is not dressed in anxiety, despair or depression. She does not live according to the whims of the world. When the dark spirit trying to scare her with reports of future problems, she politely rejects his offering and holds tightly to the promises of God. A woman who fears God is intelligent and has Godly wisdom. She speaks not from feelings, attitudes and emotions that should be resisted (FEAR). Instead, she is slow to speak and quick to listen (Proverbs 16:32). A God-fearing woman provides calm, compassionate, kind and wise teaching.
A woman who fears God is responsible and reliable. She does not partake in gossip, idleness and is rarely engaged in self-indulgence. She maintains her home with diligence and enthusiasm.A God-fearing woman is not only a hearer of God’s word but a doer. She is a great example of what it means to present your life as a living sacrifice. The God-fearing woman is the woman to be praised.
Heavenly Father, I love you. I thank you for giving me the desire to honor you with my life. I know that you are good and faithful. I know that all things work together for the good of those who love you. I trust you to use every opportunity this day to make me more like you. Amen!
“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” (Isaiah 40:31, AMP)
It is hard to trust God when everything by sight says it is over, you will never bounce back from this. But, please take it from me God is faithful and is always on time. I remember once when I was in undergraduate school and I was like every other student at that time determined to make it big in entertainment marketing. I had my sights on the big league, I was going to New York City (NYC). I prayed about it of course and I received an answer and instructions from God. When looking at my situation from the naked eye it seemed a little suspect because I did not have the money, a place to live and most of all the desired job. All I had was God’s promises. I went to NYC with a few jobs in hand, but the one at the number one network, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) I had yet to interview for. Nonetheless, I was confident that I was going to get the internship. First, I would have to deal with some set backs that made my dreams look impossible to come true.
When I arrived in NYC, my housing plans fell through and I was left homeless with no immediate solution. Naturally, I was scared and subsequently I began to doubt God. Of course, my family and friends who were doubtful to begin with were of no support. I knew that I was not crazy, and I believed that God led me to travel to NYC. I begin to pray and talk to God. I said, God, now I know you told me to come here, but if I do not get a place to live within two days, I will be forced to return home. As I prayed and waited don’t you know that God showed up and put all the doubters to rest.
GIRLFRIENDS, God placed me in a position to meet an elderly couple while I was standing outside of Trump Tower in Columbus Circle. The wife, Elizabeth was so moved by the Holy Spirit that she told her husband God is with this girl and she is going places. She said, honey, we must help her. She said that I had to stay with them until I could do better. Is this real? Did God really send a stranger to meet me on the streets of NYC? Yes, GIRLFRIENDS He did! God renewed my strength, restored my hope and refreshed my spirit.
Won’t He do? Yes, He will! Trust God ladies, He is the only way!
“Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, AMP)
God-fearing is a trait I thought was automatic upon confession. However, not until I was prompted to define G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D.S I really believed that I was a God-fearing woman. Upon study though, I discovered that while I wanted to be what I was professing, I simply was not. Instead, I was a woman severely battling fear in my natural strength. It would take many years and lots of pain before I would learn to truly trust the word of God and surrender totally to the Holy Spirit.
A God-fearing woman is one who is committed to honoring, obeying and serving God with her life. She is firm in her faith and fearless in through adversity. She knows how to adapt and adjust in difficult circumstances yet remain pleasing to God. A God-fearing woman looks only to God for approval. When there is an obstacle of any kind she does not fret, but remembers what God said:
“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough – always available – regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself in [your] weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, AMP)
Thank God today for your struggles because without them you would not discover your true character.
“Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-6, AMP)
I was raised to love God. I was taught that by Faith all things are possible. I was encouraged by the stories of the ancestors who had the audacity to stand for God, and thereby paved the way to the freedoms we enjoy today.
As a child, I dreamed of making significant contributions to the advancement of people. I was always very inquisitive and challenged the status quo, albeit this often landed me into trouble. Yet, when my beloved grandmother told me that my dreams would not come true, I refused to accept her words. Instead, I held tightly to my faith, and the biblical teachings that encouraged me to trust that God and not give up on the vision God had given me.
As a result, I learned early to lean more on God and less on people.
My dependency and trust in God gave me Hope. While it was not always easy to stand on my faith and not lose hope, I have held on. More importantly, I have continued to love those that didn't believe in me. I have learned that I can do nothing properly without God.
And according to the word of God,
"Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life."
Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing.
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end. Paying attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God and anyone completely absorbed in self and ignores God, ends up lonely and broken. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored." (Romans 8:5-8, MSG)
Honor God and choose to live by Faith, Hope and Love.
“Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past. “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, AMP)
Today is the first day of the New Year and I know that many of you have made goals, plans and resolutions to improve upon yourself. As you all know sometimes our plans do not always work as smoothly as we would like. As such, you may be inclined to start doubting and worrying about the past and the unseen future. When you find yourself becoming fearful, take heart in the word of God and know that you have nothing to fear. God is Faithful! God and has promised to be with you always and to make provisions to bring you through even the toughest terrain.
In times of trouble – “Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done; He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.” (Psalms 37:5-6, MSG);
And “Trust God from the bottom of your heart and don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice on everything you do, everywhere you go.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, MSG).
Lastly, know this, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you; “Do not fear, for I am with you; (Isaiah 43:2&5, AMP).
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