I have been trying to drive this point home to my boys lately. My youngest can be very hard on his older brother. I am teaching them to help each other shine rather than diminish their flame. This week’s verse is Luke 6:45.
Luke 6:45, A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
It can be hard in the heat of an angry moment, but It’s important to remember to speak positively and encourage others. It’s so easy to slip and let your anger flow, but we need to pray that God would change our heart and make it more like his so we won’t get angry and have slip-ups. I want my heart and mouth only to flow good things, full of love.
This week let’s meditate on this verse and make a point to encourage those around us, even if it’s a difficult interaction. You never know how much a kind word is needed!
This week I want to start on a positive note. I want to focus on the goodness that blooms from within when we live God’s way. So our verse this week is Galatians 5:22.
Galatians 5:22 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."
I saw a sign that said, “In the morning, give me coffee and Jesus” I think I need a double portion of both! I am not always the most loving, joyful, patient person, especially if I haven’t had coffee yet. But since we house the Holy Spirit, he will help us be better. Like coffee, He warms our souls!
I like the way this verse is written in The Message bible.
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
I do not think I could explain it better. If you are struggling in any of these areas, it may be a sign you need a dose of vitamin GOD. I prescribe you open up your bible, put on some worship music, and spend some time basking in his glory! And maybe have a cup of joe.
I read this week’s scripture the other day, and I thought it was beautiful. So I have been working on memorizing it. The bible tells us the Lord delights in us, but do we take the time to delight in him? So this week, our scripture is Psalms 27:4.
Psalms 27:4, The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his Temple.
When I was little, I had a very skewed view of God. I feared God would send me to hell if I did wrong. I remember thinking it would be impossible for me to be good enough living in the world. So I wanted to be a nun because I thought it would be easier if I lived a life devoted to God without distraction. I didn’t have much Godly instruction growing up, but I did have one thing right. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own.
I know now that my salvation is not based on my actions but on the work of Christ on the cross. My life is far from a quiet, distraction-free existence of servitude, but it is still essential for me to find quiet time to delight in my Lord. I need to be in His presence. It’s home to me.
This week let’s seek most to be in the presence of God, meditating in his word, and delighting in his perfections!
Satan attacks us on three different fronts. He knows our weak spots, and his tactics haven’t changed. He used the same scheme on Eve and Adam in the garden in Genesis 3 and on Jesus in Matthew 4. Satan attacks the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
If you read in Genesis 3, Eve is convinced to question God’s trust and love for her. She sees the fruit is good for food, pleasing to the eye, and suitable for obtaining knowledge. Here you can see Satan’s three-part attack. As we all know, Eve and Adam fail miserably.
In Matthew 4, we read about The Holy Spirit leading Jesus out to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Again, we can see the three-part attack. First, Satan tells Jesus, who is hungry from fasting, to make bread out of a rock. But, Jesus does something that Eve and Adam did not do. He refutes Satan with scripture and tells him, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
We continue to see that Satan now takes Jesus to the top of the highest temple in Jerusalem and tells him to prove he is the son of God by jumping off the top. Satan tries to use God’s word against Jesus and quotes Psalm 91:11-12, for the scriptures say, He will order his angels to protect you, and they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. Jesus is not impressed, and he tells Satan, “The scriptures also say, you must not test the Lord your God.”
Finally, we see the culmination of Jesus’ triumphant denial of Satan’s attacks. Satan takes him to the peak of a very high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He offers this all to Jesus if only he bows down to worship him. Now side note, I have always had an issue with this because I thought, who does Satan think he is offering Jesus the world? He is offering Jesus to take what is rightfully his without the cross. My Jesus prevails. He says, “Get out of here, Satan! The scriptures say you must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”
After that, we read that Satan left and that is exactly what will happen when you resist him. He will go away. James 4:7 confirms, “Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
In honor of our Lord and Savior and the resurrection holiday we all just celebrated this week, I want to focus on Matthew 28:6. I usually use the New Living Translation, but I am using the New International Version this week. I think the wording is more profound in this case.
Matthew 28:6, "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."
First of all, the good news was that our Lord was not there. He had risen. Our whole faith is rooted in these words, in the belief that Jesus conquered death on that cross. And the following words, “Just as he said he would.” So faithful, so trustworthy. Our Lord said he would, and he did. Jesus is a promise keeper. Let’s meditate on that this week.
This week, my encouragement is from Matthew 19:26. “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
In this chapter of Matthew, we can read about how Jesus was telling the disciples how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. He tells them it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The scriptures say the disciples were astounded and asked who in the world could be saved? Jesus replies with our verse. With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
With God all things are possible. Isn’t that incredible? We need to remember it is not by what we do that we are saved but by what Jesus did. We will struggle, but even when we fall short, Jesus is there. Jesus loves us, he already paid our debt, He will never leave us. Jesus picks us up and makes it possible for us to move forward. Jesus makes it possible for us to find joy and contentment so we can do better. He redeems us, and He makes all things possible.
I hope this scripture brings you encouragement this week!
Hi. How are you? Or, more importantly, how are you doing in your faith? When was the last time you had a check-in? I know all too well that life comes at us 100 miles an hour, and if you are anything like me, you get distracted or complacent. But, even if you don’t, it is still essential to evaluate yourself every so often. So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure you are running at top performance in the spiritual department and making the most of every opportunity in these evil days!
Am I seeking the Lord first in all my decisions and praying for wisdom and discernment?
Am I spending quiet time listening for God’s still small voice?
Am I acting out of my emotions or taking my burdens to the Lord?
Am I following God’s rules that are clear in the bible?
When conflict arises, am I listening carefully and thinking through my response?
Am I prioritizing my time with God?
What do my answers to the questions above suggest to me?
Where do I need to grow and what is my first step?
When I was teaching girl’s bible class, we had self-evaluations every so often, and I can see how much they help us see problem areas and places where we are doing well. So, I will ask you again, How are you doing?
When my anxious mind is reeling, I usually count on Psalms to give me peace in the chaos. I love how the psalmist perfectly captures the hopelessness found in our human experience and the remedy found in God’s love and support. This week we get our encouragement from Psalm 94:18-19.
Psalm 94:18-19. It says, I cried out, "I am slipping!" but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer."
I love this verse because we do slip. I have anxiety, and I tend to catastrophize situations in my mind. I can convince myself quite effortlessly that the problems in my life are too big, too overwhelming. But, when I am slipping, He is there to remind me that He is greater. I love how in this crazy, messed-up world, Jesus is my rock, my only constant. When doubts fill my mind, only He can set me at ease. How lost I was without Him. My mind reeled with doubt, anger, confusion, but Jesus calmed the storm inside. He brings me to His perfect peace.
When I first started as a Christian, I resonated with Peter. He is stubborn and stands up for what he thinks is right. Notice how I said what he thinks is right. Yea, Peter grew spiritually, and I am too. Now I admire Paul. His books give me so much encouragement. So this week, I started with a small verse from the extended one you see below. It is Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
The whole piece is too good not to share it in its entirety, so please read it below.
Colossians 4:2-6 , "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone."
So, this week let’s devote ourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. First, let’s pray for each other so that God will give us many opportunities to speak his good news. Pray that we, as the body of Christ, would live wisely among nonbelievers. Remember that we need to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Next, we can pray God gives us pure hearts so our words will be gracious and lovely. Finally, we can pray for our brothers and sisters in chains, bondage, and war. Pray the Lord is working in the circumstances they are in and that they can get the message out to those who need to hear it.
This week, I remind myself to keep my thoughts fixed on Jesus and good things. I am repeating Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Isn’t it amazing to think that we can please the Lord just by having good thoughts? Our thoughts can determine the course of our day. But, we also have the power to bring life or death with our words, not only for ourselves but to everyone we meet. Our thoughts and words have so much power, so we have to direct them towards Jesus actively. I also really love saying, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. It makes me feel close to Him, like a term of endearment. I find my rest in Him. He is my rock.
Keep your thoughts fixed on Him this week, and see the fruit you will bear!