Back in the days, when I was working as a Software Analyst I used to start my day at work by reading daily devotions followed by a small prayer. I really felt they were my energy boosters for that particular day. After I quit my job, I felt the LORD put this in my heart to start a blog for working professionals, students or stay at home moms like me to help them reflect on GOD's word each day. I hope and pray that GOD will speak to you personally through these blogs and you will be able to live your life for the glory of GOD.
Unbelief is the greatest enemy of believers. It is the opposite of faith. We see so many examples in the Bible of people who didn’t experience miracles because of unbelief.
GOD says it is impossible to please GOD without faith,
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Heb:11:6
Unbelief blinds the eyes of a believer to the reality of who GOD is and what HE can do.
It is one of the main tools of the enemy which he uses against the believer. Whenever we are confronted by evil in our lives, when we encounter problems or impossible situations, 1st thing that comes to us is unbelief. Today lets practise faith instead of unbelief. Faith on our Heavenly Father should be blind, just like a little child trusts her parents.
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Heb:11:1
In the below passage we read about the incident where the people from JESUS’s hometown witness very few miracles because of their unbelief.
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. 2The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” 3Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.
4Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief. Mark:6:1-6
JESUS was amazed at their unbelief.
Unbelief stops the blessing from flowing into our lives. JESUS couldn’t do any miracle because of their unbelief, how sad it is to read.
Here are few examples from the Bible,
1.Joshua and Caleb. GOD blessed them immensely with supernatural strength and blessing. Num:13:30
People of Israel doubted GOD’s ability of leading them to the promised Land. Among the Twelve people sent to spy on the Land only 2 had the faith that GOD expects from us.
2. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego- GOD honoured their faith Dan:3:16-18
3. Abraham- Father of faith- He blindly trusted GOD and stepped out of his comfort zone not knowing where he was going. He trusted GOD and HIS ability to lead him to the right place. He trusted GOD when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac his only son that GOD was able to bring him back to life.Gen:12,22
4.Daniel trusted GOD to reveal the dream, thereby saving his life and others from the king’s wrath and to protect him from lions.Dan:1,6
5. Joseph trusted GOD to fulfil the dreams GOD gave him and endured all suffering with patience.Ps:105:19
Unbelief and doubt go hand in hand and so is faith and trust. Choose the latter because that is what opens the floodgates of Heaven.
When in doubt and times of uncertainty read Hebrews chapter 11
Trust GOD like a little child. Whenever we travel by public transport be it a taxi, bus, train or plane we never ask for the experience of the driver/ pilot, we trust them blindly. How much more should we trust our Creator, the One who created us and formed us in our mother’s womb. The One who gave HIS own life for us and loves us so dearly.
Trust in HIM that He has a special place for you in HIS heart, a mansion in Heaven and eternal life to live with HIM forever.
Choose faith and trust in GOD rather than walking in unbelief and doubt.
Few days ago when I woke up I had this thought drop into my mind as to “What is Heaven doing right now?” Although I have always thought about it especially since my dad went to be with the LORD.
Whenever we praise and worship GOD we join the multitude of Angels, Saints and the host of Heaven in worshipping the King of kings. But this particular day it was quite unusual and as I sat there for a moment of worship and asked the Holy Spirit, I was rather surprised of what the LORD told me.
When you praise and worship you connect with Heaven. Any given time the whole of Heaven is exploding with praises for GOD-24/7.
In Old Testament times people made sacrifice of animals, birds and grains to GOD. GOD gave clear instructions to Moses as to how the sacrifices should be in the Book of Leviticus. One of the common factor is that the sacrifice was to be without defect and spotless. The sacrifice offered to GOD was Holy.
If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. Levi:1:3
We no longer have to do that because JESUS became the Lamb for sacrifice and took away all our punishments on Himself once and for all.
But today GOD expects us to offer a different kind of sacrifice. Today we are going to see some of them. Bottom line the terms remain the same- Is your sacrifice the best? is it defectless? Is it Holy and acceptable in His sight? Is it a sweet smelling aroma to Him?
1.Sacrifice of Praise
15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Heb:13:15
How do we stay connected to GOD while living in this earth? Its by our praises to HIM.
GOD dwells in our praises as it is written in,
But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Ps:22:3
So as soon as we start praising HIM, HE comes down and HE dwells in our praises.
The Word of GOD says that praises and thankfulness are sacrifices we offer to HIM.
Picture this with your eyes closed. GOD is sitting on the throne and when HE hears us praise HIM or in other words offer HIM sacrifices of praise, how does HE feel?
Firstly will it even go through the roof and reach HIM or does it fall off even before hitting the roof? or Is it a sweet smelling aroma in which HE delights Himself?
Is it pleasing to HIM?
The first offering ever made to GOD was by Abel and Cain.When we analyse both their sacrifices we see that Abel gave his best but Cain dint. GOD gives clear explaination to Cain as to why his sacrifice was rejected and also gave a warning. But sadly as we all know Cain didnt heed to GOD .
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”Gen:4:7
When we are not in the right standing with GOD sin always waits to enter us. In the above verse door is the way into our heart.
Revelation:20:3 says Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
So before we offer praise let us analyse our hearts and minds.
Also when you praise GOD, do your thoughts focus on GOD alone or do you focus on other things.
As a mom of 2 kids, this has been my struggle. To focus and get my thoughts to align in worshipping GOD. Constantly our minds wander thinking about the cares of the world. And I personally feel those are the kind of sacrifices that GOD is not pleased.
Our sacrifice of praise should be from the heart and our thoughts aligned towards GOD.
8“‘These people honor mewith their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Mt:15:8,9
In the above verse GOD says that though people honour HIM with their lips yet their hearts are far away from HIM. When we offer praises today lets think about this, is it a lip service or is it from the bottom of our hearts?
GOD doesnt see like man does HE always looks at our hearts.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Sam:16:7
2. Sacrifice of thankfulness
Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” Ps:50:23
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Ps:50:14
A grateful heart is what pleases GOD and puts a smile on His face. Especially when HIS children thank Him for everything even if its bad.
Opposite of thankfulness is complaining. GOD hated it when Israelites complained in the wilderness. An entire generation missed their chance of entering the promised land because of their attitude of complaining.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”Colossians 4:2
Today lets devote ourselves to being thankful to GOD in all circumstance.
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”1 Timothy 4:4-5
Everything GOD created is good and though we might not understand everything thats happening, one day we will see the bigger picture that it was all intended for our good. Its like the grey and dark shades in a beautiful portrait that adds to the beauty of the picture on the whole.
3. Sacrifice of a Broken Spirit:
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.Ps:51:16,17
When we run out of words during our prayer time because of the pain and brokenness, don’t worry HE is even more closer to us.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.Ps:34:18
I remember when I had miscarriage I could hardly say a word during prayer. I used to just sit and cry. But that was the time I felt closer to the LORD, that was when HE spoke to me through visions and dreams encouraging me and pulling me out of my despair.
Always remember the times when you feel so numb as if you are very very far from GOD or you cant hear His voice, thats when HE is the closest to you. As close as hugging you and as close as going through the same pain that you are going through, literally carrying you through it.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar. Ps:51:16-17,19
4. Sacrifice of helping the needy
16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Heb13:16
Helping the needy is the kind of sacrifice that GOD expects from us. Its like one of the prerequisites as seen in the below verse,
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; Mt:25:33-35
On the judgement day GOD will separate the sheep from goats and the reason is that, the sheep are the children of GOD who have been hospitable, they have helped the poor and destitute where as the wicked or the goat are those who didn’t help those in need.
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
For whatever you do to the poor and needy brothers and sisters, GOD says we do to him.
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness[a] will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. Is:58:11
5. Sacrifice of Obedience:
22 But Samuel replied,“What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. I Sam:15:22
Loving GOD is obeying HIM. And we can do that by reading HIS Word and knowing what pleases HIM and what doesn’t.
“If you love me, obey my commandments. Jn:14:15
Lets make it our goal to love GOD and to offer a pleasing sacrifice to HIM.
May our praises be a sweet smelling aroma to our GOD when we praise and lift HIM up.
Lent has begun and people all around the world are looking for ways to please GOD by fasting and going to Church. Even an irregular Church goer wants to be pious during the lent season. While we do all this, lets look at the kind of fast the LORD wants us to keep. It was fascinating for me to find out the answer in Isaiah 58.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!
“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. IS:58:3,4
So what is the kind of fasting that GOD wants us to keep. What kind of fasting could impress our GOD? Lets dive deeper into chapter 58. Starting from verse 6 GOD unveils His heart towards fasting. I have made it easier for us to meditate by turning it into pointers.
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned V6
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.”Lk:4:18-19 & Isaiah 61:1-2
JESUS came to earth to set us free from our oppression. When we as Children of GOD are set free by the blood of JESUS we can begin praying for others who are still bound to sin and are oppressed by their evil way. So many of our family members, friends, collegues and neighbhors are enslaved to sin. Lets take time to pray for them to find freedom during this lent.Lets also pray for their Salvation.
8But you are to be a king who speaks up on behalf of the disenfranchised and pleads for the legal rights of the defenseless and those who are dying. 9 Be a righteous king, judging on behalf of the poor and interceding for those most in need. Prov:31:8,9 (TPT)
I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Mathew:25:36
a) Lighten the burden of those who work for you
Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven. Col:4:1
If you are a person in authority and have people working under you be considerate and treat them fairly.
b) Let the oppressed go free and remove the chains that bind people
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” James 2:15-16
Deliberatly do good to others especially to those in need.Not just materialistic but kindness and encouragment will do wonders as well.
Make a list of names you know who havn’t met JESUS personally yet and start praying for them this season.
c)Remove the heavy yoke of oppression V9
“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.Ps:82:3
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mt:11:29,30
2)Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumours
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Eph:4:29
One of the other things we can do starting this lent season is to start watching the words that come out of our mouth. Let’s watch out if they bring grace to the hearers. Is there truth in our words? Any gossiping? Slandering? Judging others? Bad words?
Whoever slanders his neighbour secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. Ps:101:5
3) Feed the hungry and help those in trouble
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”James 1:27
One of the best ways to please GOD is to help the poor, needy and helpless. When you care for orphans and widows, you truly have a big part of GOD’s heart within you.
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. James:4:11
4) Keep the Sabbath day holy, don’t pursue your own interests on that day
a) Enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day
b) Honour the Sabbath in everything you do on that day
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exo:20:8
Sabath means “Rest”. GOD created Sabath as a day to rest and to worship HIM. We have other days to do our own work and go about our business, but 1 day set aside for GOD – to rest, meditate and worship HIM always will replenish us.
For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”Mt:12:8
Sometimes we only hold on to rest and leave GOD out. So lets make it our priority that we rest in GOD and not away from HIM.
5) Don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.Mt:12:36
Lets fast from gossip, lying and using bad words and all our pleasures.
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. Mt:5:22
Blessings that GOD has promised would follow are:
Your salvation will come like the dawn and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
When you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
Your light will shine out from the darkness and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
You will be known as a rebuilder of wall and a restorer of homes.
The Lord will be your delight.
LORD will give you great honour and satisfy you with the inheritance HE promised to our ancestor Jacob.
Lets take time to mediate on above verses and try to implement them in our day to day lives. I hope and pray this will become a continous habit and our lifestyle in CHRIST and not just during this lent season.
Lets fast truely on the things that GOD desires and glorify HIM even in simple things such as our words, thoughts and actions. Forgive others and pray for them.Spend more with GOD.
Make your lifestyle a worship to HIM in other words let your life be a pleasing aroma to GOD.One of my main goals is to start prioritising GOD intentionally above everything else, seeking to hear HIM more and spending more time in meditating HIS Word.
Make these changes and see them become your habit overtime.
You will be transformed from within and enjoy your daily walk with JESUS!!!
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. Ps:9:1,2
Even as we finish the year 2020 and enter the New Year 2021, lets march on praising GOD ALMIGHTY.
Praising GOD not only for the good things or the blessings we have recieved but for the bad and the tough times in our lives. Choosing to praise GOD in all circumstances is what Bible teaches us, whether you are happy or sad, rich or poor, healthy or sick all that qualifies you is if you have breath in your nostrils.
Praise is a weapon
Praising GOD is like using a weapon in the spiritual world.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand. Ps:149:6
In the Old testament , the worshipers were put in the front when the army went to war. As we see in the below passage,
21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
22 And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 2 Chro:20:21,22
Lets see the different times we can praise GOD in our lives.
Why is praise so powerful?
Bible tells us that GOD dwells in our praises, that’s why its powerful.
Yet I know that you are most holy; it’s indisputable. You are God-Enthroned, surrounded with songs, living among the shouts of praise of your princely people. Ps:22:3
You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise. Come right into his presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to him and affectionately bless his beautiful name!Ps:100:4
Praise GOD when your happy
Moses praises GOD for HIS goodness when GOD saved them from the Egyptians
15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; he has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. 2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him! 3 The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh[a] is his name! 4 Pharaoh’s chariots and army he has hurled into the sea. The finest of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The deep waters gushed over them; they sank to the bottom like a stone.
6 “Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord, smashes the enemy. 7 In the greatness of your majesty, you overthrow those who rise against you. You unleash your blazing fury; it consumes them like straw.Exo:15
This is the most spontaneous response of any believer. We can easily praise GOD when we are happy and when GOD blesses us.
2.Praise GOD when your sad
Example : Job praised GOD even after he lost his 10 children and all his wealth in a single day.
20 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. 21 He said,
“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. Job:1:20-22
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Is:61:3
This is the most toughest, as Children of GOD we are supposed to praise GOD even in our most darkest times as Rom:8:28 says,
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
3.Praise GOD on purpose
Praise GOD for everything even for the air that you breathe, for the eyes that can see, hands that can work, feet that function etc.
Praise GOD for HIS Presence, provision and protection.
4.Praise GOD in the impossible
Example-Jonah praised GOD even in the valley death from the belly of the whale
But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” Jonah:2:9
5.Praise GOD in uncertainty
Example: Mary praised GOD in the most uncertain situation, not knowing anything about her future. She believed nothing was impossible with GOD.
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. 50 He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. 51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. 52 He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. 54 He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. 55 For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.” Lk:1:46-55
6.Praise GOD when persecuted
Paul and Silas praised GOD after being beaten and thrown in prison.
25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Acts:16:25
7.Praise GOD in all circumstances
Paul praise GOD despite all he went through as in the below passage.
21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. 2 Cor:11:21-30
Paul encourages us to praise GOD in all circumstances
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thes:5:16-18
Who is qualified to praise?
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! Ps:150:6
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. I John:3:1
The greatest assurance we need is that we are loved by our Heavenly FATHER unconditionally, what more do we need except to praise HIM every day and in every situation.
17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zeph:3:17
With HIS love our FATHER will calm all your fears, so cheer up!!!
Are you living in fear? Read the below verse by inserting your name instead of Jacob and Israel.
1But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Is:43:1
Yes GOD has promised us again and again throughout the Bible not to fear. If you are shaken by all that’s happening around you today, rise up above it by claiming GOD’s promises.
The GOD himself who created you says, “Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you and called you, you are mine”.
The GOD of the universe calls US HIS very own, what more assurance do we need. Further more HE says that HE is with us in all circumstances and in every place.
6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deu:31:6
8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deu:31:8
Do not be afraid of corona, covid-19, joblessness, death,sickness,lack,lockdown,going out etc. HE is never going to leave you because is with you always.
My dad taught me to claim this verse, whenever I was stressed and scared of my exams. Its been a source of strength to me all these years.
Whenever I am afraid,I will trust in You. Ps:56:3
When you get those scary thoughts of people dying and all the fears about tomorrow, just simply confess to GOD that you trust in HIM.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Phil:4:6,7
In order to experience GOD’s peace, lets first stop worrying and start praying about everything. Let’s begin by thanking and praising HIM for the assurance HE has given us that HE is with us no matter what.
Keep on confessing HIS promises.
Today choose faith over fear!
Please find below a printable version for Isaiah:43:1, where you can insert your name and print it out.
I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. Philippians 3:10,11 MSG
In the above verse we read about partnering with His sufferings. One of the ways to partner with Jesus is by meditating on His Character and implementing it on our day to day lives.
How can we die to ourselves just like Jesus died on the cross?
We die to ourselves when we put an end to our own selfish acts. When we do what the word of God says and listen to the Holy Spirit and do what He says that’s when our flesh starts to die. Jesus teaches us many ways to die to our own-self. Lets determine to die to pride, ego, anger, lies, selfishness, lust, fornication, hatred…etc.
As we are observing Good Friday throughout the world today, lets take time to meditate on humility which is one of the main characteristics Jesus exhibited while He was on the earth as you see in the below verse,
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ;he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 NLT
Jesus, though He is God, He was so humble and gave us an example of what humility is. Matthew 11:29 says,
Take My yoke upon youand learn from Me, for I amgentle andlowly in heart,and you will find rest for your souls.
Jesus is gentle and lowly though He is the most powerful. The bible says everything was created by Him, For Him and Through Him.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:3
In His humility, He never opened His mouth when we was accused falsely by the chief priests. He never opened His mouth when we was slapped and spat by the soldiers. He never opened His mouth when He was stripped, humiliated and beaten badly by the roman soldiers. Even on the cross He did not open His mouth. In fact He prayed for forgiveness for those who nailed Him to the cross.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:7
Like a lamb He never opened His mouth. Today how many of us find it difficult to live like Jesus. Humility is one of the most difficult characters to display even among our own family. People live in their egos and never want to be humble. God hates pride and loves the humble. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us humility.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6
This good Friday, lets make a resolution to be humble just like Jesus. When we humble ourselves, we reflect Jesus and in-turn glorify God.
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Mt:8:23-25
Have you ever felt like you are hit by a storm and you were drowning helplessly? I know everyone has a story to share of their time in the storm.
Last year I got pregnant in February and we were very excited as it was our desire for a second child and just when we thought it was all going well, our boat was shaken up by a storm and this storm was so strong that we felt helpless and about to drown. Just like the disciples in the above passage we felt GOD was silent. Just around 10 weeks we came to know that I was carrying twins and both did not have heart beat. Exactly on 6th April the day after my birthday I lost them.
We as family were completely devastated. I couldn’t understand why would GOD answer my prayer and allow this pain to happen. I felt like a little girl who’s doll was just snatched out of her hands.
I couldn’t pray, but I would just sit and cry my heart out. I knew situations like this could easily drift us away from GOD.I was so numb, spiritually I couldn’t feel anything and I started crying out although I couldn’t say anything. I once heard Ms. Gladis Staines(Wife of the Missionary Graham Staines who was burnt alive along with his 2 sons) say this in an interview. When the reporter asked her, “Did you ever get angry with GOD”, she replies,”Why will I? HE is the only one I can run to”.
The Holy Spirit started ministering to me and started comforting me through HIS Word, through visions and dreams. When I look back that was the time HE brought me closer to HIM. Though the entire period was like walking through fire GOD never left me once. HE was there to comfort, to encourage and always lift us up when we felt down. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. Is:43:2
In just couple of months I got pregnant again. HE kept HIS Word and blessed us with a beautiful baby Girl just as HE promised.
When I look back, I am amazed at GOD’s goodness. He truly brought out beauty from ashes. What seemed impossible for man was possible only through HIM
I dint understand GOD’s ways nor HIS plans at that time.All I knows that HE is with us through whatever troubles we might be facing. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. Rom:8:28
Today you might be facing your own trouble, it could be anything- loss, lack, pain or sickness. I would like to encourage you that GOD is with you and you are never alone. HE is with you in the storm as HE was with the disciples. HE is with you in the fire as HE was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. HE is with you in prison as HE was with Joseph. He is with you in wilderness as HE was with David. HE is with you in the dessert as HE was with Moses. HE is with you when you face challenges as HE was with Joshua.HE with you no matter where you are and what you are going through.HE is with you in hunger, pain, persecution, draught and sickness. HE cares for you . HE knows the pain you go through. Don’t think for one moment that you are alone. HE counts all your tears. Thats how you know that HE cares. You keep track of all my sorrows.You have collected all my tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book.PS:56:8
Just cast all your cares upon HIM. Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Ps:55:22
HE will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deu:31:6
HE knows you inside out and has written down everything about you before HE even formed the earth. Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.Ps:13-16 MSG
I have told you all this so that you may have peacein me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Jn:16:33
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Jn:14:27
When you hear the word Corona or Covid-19 what is your first reaction?Do you feel peaceful or do you panic?
First of its kind in our entire lifetime, we are facing such a serious and high scale pandemic. Every where we turn there is fear and panic. Fear of death, contamination, lack and lock down. Schools are closing down and hospitals are overflowing with patients. It chaos, chaos and more chaos everyday everywhere. People are scared to step out of their houses because of fear of this new virus. But as Children of GOD how do we react to corona?
Are we scared like the people of the world that we or our family or friends might be affected or are we secure in knowing that GOD is our protector?
Are we panicking listening to the news and reading articles of how many died because of this or do we have peace that surpasses all understanding?
Are we worried about our lives and worried about dying or are we praying for healing over others and protection over ourselves and everyone around us?
GOD has not given us a spirit of fear but of Power, of Love and of Sound mind.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2Tim:2:17
As a Child of GOD you are by default under GOD’s protection and you are given authority by the Blood of JESUS to pray for healing and protection over others.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions(corona virus), and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Lk:10:19
There is nothing wrong in listening to the facts about corona but at the same time, remember as a Child of the King you have greater authority over it.
Here are few things you can actually do,
Pray Psalms 91 over you, your family, friends and community.
Pray for healing over those affected.
Bind the virus along with its stings of death and fear.
Claim the blood of JESUS.
Pray for unity among Christians to unite and pray during these tough times.
Pray for revival and Salvation of everyone in this world.
Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel of CHRIST.
Finally remember these are the last days and JESUS is coming sooner than we could ever imagine.
Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will befamines,pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. Mt:24:7
So you also, when you see all these things, knowthatit is near—at the doors! Mt:24:33
I would say this with more assurance because just last week I had this dream, where I was standing in a place where it was dark and dirty and suddenly I saw JESUS coming so fast, riding on a horse. HE was dressed like a King and was riding in all HIS Glory. First thing that came to mind was we are living in a dark and ugly world and HIS return is imminent.
My friends be prepared and prepare others.
Live life to your fullest according to GOD’s will. Be assured that HE is holding you in the palms of HIS Hand.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Is:41:10
In the start of this New Year let us gear up to Run. To run the GOD ordained race without taking our eye off the prize set for us. In this Year let us learn 3 types of running.
1. Run to JESUS
Most of the time when we are confronted with a problem or crisis in life we always tend to run away from GOD. Stop praying and reading the Bible, get angry on God and make ourselves numb to HIS Presence. But the key to all this is running to HIM, just like a little Child no matter how much you correct them they will always run back to you not away from you.
For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Heb:12:6
My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.Prov:3:11
Lets resolve to be a Child this year and run back to our Heavenly FATHER no matter what happens in life.
2. Run away from evil
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Tim:2:22
Just like Joseph lets learn to run away and not into temptation. Its fascinating to know that humans always tend to be attracted to trouble/wrong. The most toughest part being to walk away from what is pulling us down, whether be it a lust or sin.
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. James:1:13
Let us resolve to shake ourselves from anything and everything that doesnt please GOD and is deviating us from running our race. And above all let us discipline ourselves by practising doing the right things as it says in below verse.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil:4:8
3. Run your race
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. I Cor:9:24-27
And finally lets resolve to discipline ourselves to run this race and focus on JESUS completely.
For GOD promises us an imperishable crown.
Whether you have made resolutions for the New year or not, today try to make time to meditate on things you can change in your life and resolve to live a disciplined life.
This is the perfect time to look back at the Year 2019 and thank GOD for all HIS blessings showered upon our lives.
I love this old hymn ‘Count your blessings’,
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Its always best to end the year with an attitude of gratitude and sail into the New Year with the same thankful attitude.
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. Ps:7:17
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Ps: 9:1
I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. Ps: 35:18
2019 could have been a great year for some and for the rest of us with a lot of bumps and hardships. For some of us it could have been a year of plenty and rest, while for rest of us a year of lack and hard work. For some good health but for the rest of us sickness.
Personally our family has gone through loss and I have seen others go through the loss of beloved family members. But through it all remains a sense of gratefulness and thankfulness for GOD’s faithfulness. HE sees us through it all and HE is faithful to carry us through.
Its just not the good things that happen in life but also the bad that brings us a step closer to HIM. Its thankfulness that magnifies GOD’s power and glory than an attitude of complaining and ungratefulness. I have found out that, when you are in your most desperate situation you think of GOD’s goodness and start praising HIM for what HE has already done in your life, that brings the hope and joy for an imminent miracle in your life. I could testify so many things that has happened in my life where an attitude of thankfulness has brought about great change to my current miserable situation.
Joblessness, sickness, loneliness, failure, poverty are some of the millstones that can drag you into your deepest sea of depression but an attitude of gratefulness can be a life saving boat that will lead you to GOD’s goodness and to HIS eternal joy.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. Ps: 100:4-5
Praise the Lord.Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever. Ps: 106:1
Here are some tips to end the Year 2019,
Take your journal and jot down all the good things happened to you each month starting from January to December.
Spend some quite time in the LORD’s Presence thanking HIM for HIS goodness.
If you cant remember anything to be thankful for, start with “Thank YOU LORD that I’m still alive”
Thank HIM for good health, family, children, friends and HIS Provision.
Thank GOD for HIS love, HIS SON, HIS HOLY SPIRIT, Salvation & eternal life
Thank HIM in advance for HIS mercies for 2020.
Thank HIM that you have food on your table, a roof over your head and clothes to keep you warm.
Thank HIM for HIS promises and faithfulness, that no matter what HE will never leave us nor forsake us.
Thank HIM that you are not alone and that HE is always carrying you.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.