Today’s devotional is on Numbers 10:35-36
Make sure to subscribe and listen to this daily devotional with Pastor Rick.
Today’s devotional is on Numbers 10:35-36
Make sure to subscribe and listen to this daily devotional with Pastor Rick.
Today’s devotional is on Exodus 32:11-14
Make sure to subscribe and listen to this daily devotional with Pastor Rick.
Through Him we are made CHAMPIONS! Jesus is a champion, a conqueror. He has victory over sin, He conquered death, hell and the grave. He is a champion for our salvation.
The enemy targets you in the areas you have the most calling! As a champion through Christ you can prevail in these areas and start walking in your destiny. God empowers us everyday to even greater victories because He gave us the heart of a champion. “For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
With the heart of a champion we are called to rise above. Our confidence is born in faith; there is no longer room for fear. We have to confront our fears and seek freedom. By renewing your mind, you are given insight into right and wrong, given a deeper meaning of God’s character and how He operates, and given strength to become more like Him even when faced with great adversity.
It takes great humility to be a champion! You have to die to self daily. We have to take up our cross, deny our former ways, and walk in newness of life through Christ who lives in us. Surrendered to Him with His Champion Heart, we are infused with the strength, discipline, resilience, determination and commitment needed to have victory over the enemy!
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23
Pray this prayer today: Dear Father, I thank You for the sacrifice you made for me and for conquering death, hell, and the grave. Thank you for empowering me by placing Your champion heart and spirit within me. Help me to walk in my full potential in You to have victory over the enemy that wants to steal my destiny. Help me to rise above in confidence born in faith and grant me humility to take up my cross and walk in newness of life surrendered completely to You. Amen.
God has mandated that we walk in the power and authority that He gave us when we became His ambassadors in Christ. Genesis describes how God created man in His image, and tasked him with stewarding the earth realm. Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them and told them, ‘Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.’” When Jesus paid the price for our freedom from sin and death, He charged us to continue His work on the earth. Matthew 10:1 describes this charge. “Jesus called His twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.” Jesus gave believers a mandate to continue to establish His kingdom here on earth, and He gave us His authority to do so.
How do we come into agreement with this mandate? We must become a conduit of the power of God through Holy Spirit. Paul spoke about this in Romans 15. “I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God- all by the power of God’s Spirit.” Paul was able to convince the gentiles of the Good News of Jesus Christ by the signs and wonders that followed him.
Jesus began to speak of this mandate before He went to the cross. He spoke over His disciples, releasing His authority to them. We see this in Luke 9:1. “One day, Jesus called together His twelve apostles and gave them power and authority to cast out demons and to heal all diseases. Then He sent them out to tell everyone about the coming of the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Matthew 10:8 said, “heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received.” It is clear that Jesus’ power did not cease when He returned to heaven, but He gave the command to continue the work that He began and equipped us with His authority and power to do so.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we can access all that He paid for us to walk in. As we extend our faith, we can connect with the power of God to see deliverance, healing and miracles. In Ephesians 1:19, Paul urges us to embrace this truth. “I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” This is resurrection power! As we believe, it will be done according to His word. In Mark 16:20, we see that the disciples believed Jesus and began to fulfill His mandate. “And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.” It is God’s plan that we walk in His power and authority and bring His kingdom to manifest on earth as it is in heaven.
Knowing the will of God for our lives is a huge priority for many of us. We may be able to avoid many pitfalls and struggles if we can walk in God’s will. How are we to know what this is?
Knowing God is key to knowing how He operates. It is vital that we read His word to know His character and His ways. Satan would like us to believe that God is not good and that He is not present, or that He doesn’t notice us. But the truth is, God is a very present Father. Deuteronomy 3:16 tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. His word also tells us in James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change. He is present and He is good.
God also tells us in His word that He has good plans for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that He has good plans for our future, plans to prosper us. He has made a way for us to have a life of hope and not evil. Knowing this can keep us aligned with truth, which defeats the lies of the enemy over us. We must guard our hearts and thoughts so that we will stay in this agreement.
As we pray and declare in alignment with these truths, we begin to have the heart of God for our lives. In Daniel 9, we see that Daniel was praying God’s will for his life and for the people. First, Daniel approached God by acknowledging God’s character. In verse 4 Daniel declares, “Oh Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and extends lovingkindness toward those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Daniel knew the power and character of God. Daniel then repents for the sins of the people, who had been rebellious and wicked. This is an important key. If we are in sin, it hinders are ability to hear God clearly. Daniel knew it was important to be in right standing with God when asking for Him to move. Once Daniel repented on their behalf, he began to petition (request) God for favor and help. He appealed to God’s great mercy and love, and asked God for what was on his heart.
As we read the word of God, we can use it as a plumb line to determine if our desires align with His will and character. Once we do this, we can pray that not our will be done, but God’s will be done. Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:10. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We must pray and believe that we are aligned with His Kingdom and His will, and then stand in faith to see it come to pass. As we align with Him, God will partner with us to accomplish His will in us and in the earth realm.
Discipline is a topic that concerns every parent and it’s an area in which parents are least sure. Providing discipline is important for your child’s overall development and helps to guide him/her in making the right decisions. Because of its importance, the task of shaping your child’s will requires your daily commitment.
In order to shape your child’s behavior, you need to first establish the boundaries in your home. What behaviors are acceptable and which are not? Boundaries provide a feeling of safety and security. When your child understands that the boundaries do not change, he/she feels secure. Without a feeling of safety, your child can experience anxiety and stress, causing him/her to behave in ways that are reckless, manipulative, and aggressive. It is normal for your child to test boundaries; therefore, you must be diligent and consistent in enforcing the limits in the home. When your child learns to obey the rules in the home, he/she is better equipped to live within the rules of society.
Aside from providing security, boundaries:
• Define acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
•Help your child understand that there are consequences to behavior.
•Provide opportunities for teaching correct behaviors. It gives your child the chance to correct a wrong behavior by practicing the right behavior.
•Provide predictability and consistency in the home.
•Create trust between you and your child.
•Assure your child that he/she is loved.
When you set boundaries for your child, you are able to provide the discipline your child needs. Discipline, in the past, usually meant physical or harsh punishment. The word, discipline, however, refers to instruction or teaching. The purpose of discipline is to teach your child how to make good choices and develop internal discipline.
Your goal is not to “control” your child’s behavior, but to shape behavior. You might be able to “control” the behavior of your young child, but as your child gets older, it will not be possible. As a parent, you are to provide the leadership and authority in your home. It is your responsibility to set clear guidelines, teach your child acceptable behaviors and attitudes, and correct those that are not. Your task as a parent is to begin very early to teach your child basic principles of life: how to love others, show kindness and be truthful and trustworthy. By your example, you encourage your child to love and be devoted to God. It will require the sacrifice of your time to do what’s best for your child, but your efforts will have lasting benefits for him/her.
Think of the boundaries in your home. What behaviors are acceptable? Unacceptable?
What Children and Parents Both Need
When you discipline or correct your child, you and your child have similar needs. You both need:
• To be heard and understood.
• To be loved unconditionally.
• To be treated with dignity and respect.
• To understand that mistakes will be made.
• To feel a sense of power.
• To recognize alternate choices for behaviors.
• To be forgiven.
• To stay connected.
Since your needs and those of your child are similar, there are discipline strategies that are best to meet those needs. Let’s look at some ineffective and effective discipline strategies.
Ineffective Discipline Strategies
• Nagging, lecturing, or talking too much. Your child stops listening and becomes irritated. As humans, we hear only 7% of what someone tells us. Fewer words are better.
• Debating or arguing. This method draws you into an argument with your child. You lower yourself to that of your child and give him/her equal status. As the parent, you have the greater authority. You are the person in charge of your home.
• Bribing. Bribing discourages motivation in your child and makes your child feel that he/she is entitled to a reward for the smallest accomplishments.
• Comparing your child to others. Resentment is created between siblings when you compare children. God has made every child unique and his/her uniqueness should be celebrated.
• Threatening. When you threaten your child with a consequence, but don’t act on it, your child learns that your words mean very little. As a result, he/she will continue the wrong behavior. Think before you speak. You must do what you say, even if it is inconvenient for you. By being consistent, your child learns that the rules and consequences remain the same in any circumstance.
• Whining or complaining. When you whine to your child about his/her lack of obedience, he/she considers you a weak parent who can be easily manipulated.
• Yelling or screaming. Your child focuses on your yelling and screaming and not on the lesson to be learned.
• Harsh physical punishment. Since this form of discipline is usually carried out when a parent is out of control, a child learns to lash out at others when he/she is angry or upset. Harsh discipline destroys self-esteem, stops the learning process, and creates a lack of trust in the relationship between the parent and child. Feelings of fear, hostility, and resentment develop. If you discipline when you are angry, your child focuses on your anger and not on the inappropriate behavior.
Effective Discipline Strategies
• Correct your child’s behavior immediately. If too much time is allowed to pass, your child doesn’t remember what he/she did.
• Be loving, but firm.
• Stay calm. Don’t overreact.
• Follow-through with the consequences. Be consistent each time. If you say it, do it!
• Involve children in making the rules and consequences. This is especially effective as your child gets older or is strong-willed. He/she will be less likely to break the rules, if allowed to contribute to the discussion.
•Set clear, reasonable expectations that are appropriate for the age and ability of your child.
•Use natural consequences whenever possible.
Between parents: You must agree on the rules so that your child cannot use one parent against another. You may deliver the discipline differently, but the boundaries remain the same.
Between children: Even though you allow for differences in ages and abilities, rules should be the same within the family. Example: Showing respect.
Between parent and child. You are the model for what you expect from your child. Your child cannot be expected to do what you are not willing to do yourself.
•Understand the root cause of the behavior. Sometimes, your child can’t express his/her needs, so acts out, manipulates, and becomes aggressive. Encourage your child to respectfully tell you what he/she needs.
• Be decisive and firm when your child shows disrespect. It’s never acceptable for a child to show disrespect for his/her parents.
•Say “yes” as much as possible on things that are not critical, so that when you have to say “no,” your child is more willing to accept it.
You often discipline the way your parents disciplined you. Your style of discipline is probably a combination of, or reaction to, the ways in which your parents disciplined you.
Make a list the effective strategies you are already using.
Make a list the ineffective strategies you are using. How can you change them?
When you must correct your child often, you need to balance correction with nurture. This is best accomplished by spending time together. By having fun with your child, you build trust in the relationship. When you set rules and give consequences without relationship, you risk rebellion and resentment in your child. When you give rewards without a relationship, your child feels bribed.
Try Something New: Choose one effective discipline strategy and practice it consistently with your child.
Verses for Encouragement: In the Bible, we are instructed, as parents, to discipline our children.
“If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24
“Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.” Proverbs 29:17
As parents, we frequently feel that we need to press the “help button.” I believe all of us understand the importance of our role in the lives of our children. Because of that awareness, parental responsibilities can be overwhelming and we need help. Although we would like to be perfect parents, it’s not possible. There are no perfect parents, because we are human. In a sense, it’s a relief to know that successes and failures are normal in the life of a parent. Our child needs us to bean attentive parent, not a perfect one. In fact, through mistakes, we can learn to make needed changes. Scientists tell us from brain research, that we learn more from our mistakes, than by doing things perfectly every time. At this point, we may feel as though we have made so many mistakes that we have created a huge mess! Be encouraged! It is never too late to begin doing the right thing and making positive changes for the benefit of our child. Did you know that much of what we learned about parenting comes from the daily interactions we had with our own parents? Hundreds of early childhood experiences between our parents and us have influenced the way we parent our own children. The ways in which we were picked up, rocked, comforted, disciplined, encouraged to try new things—everything—was absorbed through these early childhood experiences.
Agree or Disagree? Much of what we learned about parenting comes from the way we were parented.
To understand where we are going, it’s important to reflect on where we’ve been. So, let’s look back on our childhood families. It’s important to understand why we do some of the things we do as parents. Frequently, our children’s behavior can “trigger” our response based on our childhood experiences. Let’s begin by looking at the four basic parenting styles and their characteristics. I like to represent each one with a visual. Every family has an atmosphere influenced by the parenting style. As we continue, be thinking about two questions:
1.Which parenting style was most dominant in my home as a child?
2.Which parenting style am I using with my children?
The Authoritarian Parent: The Rock
•Makes most of the decisions for the child
•Uses anger to control and intimidate
•Sets rigid rules and unreasonable expectations
•Demands obedience without giving choices
•Is punishment oriented
•Lacks demonstration of love
•Does not listen to the child’s ideas or feelings
•Creates power struggles and conflict—with child
The Permissive Parent: The Pillow
•Has trouble setting limits and guidelines
•Feels bad and apologetic when correcting child
•Gets easily frustrated and gives into the child
•Is easily manipulated by the child
•Pampers the child
•Sets low expectations for responsible behavior
•Provides little structure or guidance
The Uninvolved Parent: The Bubble
•Absent physically and emotionally
•Is sometimes unavailable, due to addictions•Is inconsistent
•Unwilling to establish rules and guidelines
•Unable to provide guidance, forcing the child to make own decisions
•Sets few expectations
•Provides little structure or guidance
Questions to think about: What behaviors and attitudes might you see in children who come from homes with these parenting styles?
Children who grow up in homes where parents use the above three styles are more likely to:
•Feel insecure and unloved
•Experience less emotional connection and trust
•Struggle with following rules
•Demonstrate little confidence
•Have difficulty making responsible decisions
These are just a few of the possible outcomes for children raised in these home atmospheres.
Let’s look at the fourth type of parenting and the one that will help us be the most successful. This style of parenting has the best outcome for both parent and child.
The Authoritative Parent: Road Map
•Teaches and guides
•Is reliable and available
•Sets limits and guidelines
•Allows child freedom to make choices
•Respects child’s ideas and thoughts
•Uses child’s mistakes to teach him/her better ways to behave
•Shows unconditional love
•Builds connection between parent and child
•Follows through consistently
•Makes decisions based on child’s needs
•Is firm and loving•Is clearly in charge
•Provides structure and guidance
Describe, in your own words, the relationship between parent and child using the Authoritative model of parenting.
Helpful Hint: Each parent can have a different style, but usually one is the strongest in the home. Occasionally, parents have a different style, and both are equally represented.
Do I parent my child the same way as I was raised? List some ways.
When we can look closely at our childhood home, we can recognize its strengths and weaknesses. We are free to hold onto the things of value and let go of the rest. We do not have to make the mistakes of our parents. Sometimes, this is a difficult process, because of the pain associated with our childhoods. We have to ask ourselves if we love our child enough to look at the past and make the changes needed for the benefit of our child. I think most of us are willing to do that. So, let’s dig a little deeper.
List some areas of strength in your childhood family that you would like to continue in your own family. Examples might include: a strong work ethic, loyalty, high moral character, honesty, or ways of showing love.
List some things you would like to change. Remember….It’s okay to do things differently.You do NOT have to repeat the mistakes of your parents.
Once we begin thinking back to our childhoods, we may find that it is necessary to forgive our parents for their lack of good parenting. The Bible teaches us that we need to forgive, because Christ forgave us. Forgiveness is the key to moving forward with our own families in positive ways. Take as much time as you need to forgive your parents for what they did, or did not do. Please use the prayer below as a guide if you need help getting started.
I feel a lot of pain and anger from my childhood. You say I need to forgive because you forgave me. Today, I choose to forgive my parents for (…not loving me, …for abandoning me, …for abusing me, …for not protecting me….whatever fits your situation).I know my parents did the best they could. Give me courage and strength to raise my children differently, and in a way that pleases you. I pray this in the name of Jesus.
A True Story: In one of our classes last year, Charles commented that he couldn’t recall one, single strength in his childhood family. “My childhood was horrible! My father was an alcoholic and beat my mother and all of us kids when he came home drunk. Whenever we heard Dad coming up onto the porch, my mother locked herself in her bedroom and all of us kids locked ourselves in our bedroom. We were scared!! No, I can’t think of a thing!” He thought for awhile and his eyes suddenly brightened. To his own amazement, he exclaimed, “I can think of something! Loyalty! I learned loyalty from my brothers and sisters, because we watched out for one another. That’s something I can bring into my own family.”
Like Charles, it’s possible for us to find something positive on which to build. Charles had found something to appreciate in his childhood family, although difficult, and healing was beginning to take place within him and his family. Go back and review the parenting styles. Our TARGET is the Authoritative Parenting Style, because this style builds a foundation of trust between our children and us. As you review the qualities of this style of parenting, you will notice that it is God’s model for parenting us, as His children. Our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally, consistently guides and teaches us according to what’s best for us, and wants to have relationship with us. God is our model for successful parenting.
Try Something New: In the space below, write one of the Authoritative parenting qualities that you will try this week. We can’t do everything at once, but we can start small by developing one quality and build on that one.
This week, with God’s Help, decide which Authoritative Parenting quality you will practice.
Verses for Encouragement:
Forgiveness is The Key to Moving Forward:
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
We Can Be Successful Parents with His Strength:
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
It’s Never Too Late to Make Changes:
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26
Storms are part of life. Everyone faces storms, there is no escaping that fact. Some storms can feel overwhelming and we may wonder how we make it. Storms can make us wonder if we will survive.
The disciples faced a storm that made them wonder if they would survive. Luke 8:22 describes the storm’s intensity that rocked their faith, despite the fact that Jesus was in the boat with them. As they began to cross the lake, the storm began to rage and the boat began to fill up with water. The disciples feared for their lives. Jesus had been sleeping, but the disciples woke Him up. They cried out, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and raging water. The storm ceased, and the weather began to calm. Jesus then turned to the disciples and asked, “where is your faith?” The disciples were amazed. How could this man command the wind and waves?
A storm can be a literal storm, or it can be a difficulty in life. It can be a sickness, trauma, abuse, or even an attack from those we love. As the storm begins to rage around us, it may feel like we are losing hope. As we begin to focus on the waves and the wind, we forget that Jesus is in the boat with us. But maintaining our focus is key.
The secret to peace in the midst of a storm is preparing our lives before the storm arrives. Just as the disciples did, we too can walk with Jesus, learning about His nature and His character. We can cultivate such a relationship with Him that we learn to trust Him fully. As we surrender ourselves to His Lordship, we can rest in Him, knowing that He is for us and not against us. He is a good and loving God. He already paid a high price for us, why would He not help us navigate the storms of life?
It’s true, storms will come in life. It may try to rock our foundation. But it is possible to have peace in the middle of the storm. Jesus is our peace. He is our strong tower. As we abide in Him, we can abide in peace.
My Muslim family trained me well. They trained me to tell little white lies. I was a lying machine. Lies were normal for me. I used to live with masks. No one knew the real me. But after I met Jesus, I had to break the habit of lying. Those lies got me into trouble. It is a good thing that my mouth got me in trouble, because every time, I had to go back to God in confession. He did an amazing job in my life to break that cycle.
To break old habits, there needs to be repentance, confession and asking for forgiveness. These are the steps I took and you must, as well. You must repent to, confess to and ask God for forgiveness. No More Hiding. Take off the masks and be real.
Can you believe that 70% of people who get out of prison return to prison? They can’t seem to break the cycle which sent them there. Those 70% say that they don’t know how to live out of prison. How sad it that?! However, many people outside of prisons are living in prisons of their minds. That was me. I was a Christian and also an inmate. God wants to set you free today. Jesus Christ died on the cross for your freedom.
Change can be difficult. I have seen people in their 50s, 60s and even 70s who have wasted their lives. They are in a prison of their own. What about you? Do you prefer your prison/your chains? Do you want to break that cycle and change? Are you teachable? You might be 80 years old but still, it is not too late to break free if you are teachable. It is never too late to do the right thing.
If you want to break the cycle and you are stuck in your circumstances and if you are un-teachable, you must surrender to Jesus Christ and tell The Lord, “Lord, I don’t want to be a stiff-necked, hard-hearted person any longer.” Surrendering is in the mind. Church people, we can crucify the old self and become completely new creatures. “I am crucified in Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
When the devil has your mind, he has control of you. He will manage you. He will manage your eating, your sleep. He will manage every area of your life. He will tell you, “You need comfort food right now.” He will get you into depression if you allow him to continue. We need to be concerned about the small stuff. And break his power to control our minds.
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). As Christians, we have the mind of Christ. This is what we need to pray; “Lord give me your mind. I have the mind of Christ, like it says in your word.” When we memorize scriptures we can recall and proclaim those scriptures. And when we proclaim scriptures, this helps to memorize them, as well. This is the main scripture to learn today, 1 Corinthians 2:16. Claim that you have the mind of Christ. As you do this, you are breaking the cycle which has you locked in chains and you are breaking the devil’s power to control.
Repentance means changing the mind. Repentance is evidence of your salvation. The two hardest things to change are your communication and eating habits. You may be saying, “I can’t change.” You are right. You cannot do this by yourself, but with Jesus, change is possible.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” If you have Jesus and say that you cannot, then you are lying. You may say, “I am praying and praying, and it’s not happening.” Or you say, “I proclaim the word of God and it’s not working.” Again, you are lying. That negative speech needs to stop. You are accusing God for not answering your prayers.
Break your agreement with lies and deception. People told you lies about yourself when you were young and you accepted those lies as truth. You were deceived about your worth. Now that you are in Christ, you are free to not believe those lies any longer. You are a new creation. Break off that agreement that you grew up with. Rip that agreement to shreds and throw it into the garbage. That is a decision you must make and act upon. If it helps, you may want to write those lies on paper and actually rip it up.
Leave the past in the past and Break the generational curses. No matter what our family of origin was like, we don’t have to continue those old ways. Galatians 3:13 tells us that, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…”, so we take God at His word by faith and repent of the old beliefs that held us back. In God’s word, Isaiah gives us more hope that we can change, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! (Isaiah 43:18-19) Christ redeemed us and He is doing a new thing! That is so wonderful!
Remember that we have the mind of Christ. So we need to pray, “Lord, give me your mind. I have the mind of Christ. Instruct me about the new thing that you are doing in my life.”
Maybe the lies have kept you from completing important milestones in your life. There was a man working for me who was very talented with his hands. I called him and asked if he had a high school diploma. He said, “No. Nobody in my family for generations has a high school diploma.” See, he thought that he wouldn’t be able to accomplish more because no one in his family ever did. I told him that he must get his diploma or he will be fired in six months. Maybe, yes it was manipulation but I was a manager and I wanted to do good for this man. He was upset because he couldn’t read or write. I already knew that he couldn’t because he had not been filling out his forms.
He did learn how to read and write in six months. And he became the first person in his family to get a GED. Then I gave him a promotion with more money. And I told him that if he would take college courses that I would pay for it. He took advantage of this and afterward his whole family had a big celebration in his honor. Today he has a higher position in a different company. He broke the cycle of his generational curse. And you too, can break any cycle that you are in. It is possible through Jesus Christ.
We learn from Luke 18 in the story of the Persistent Widow that God will bring about justice, “And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly. However, when the son of man comes, will he find faith in the earth?’” (Luke 18:6-8). You need to have persistent faith like this widow from Luke 18. Go to God with your troubles believing He wants to help you. And don’t stop believing. Be persistent. You will get justice.
Also, you should Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Repent of them and move on. Think on scripture and remind yourself that you are forgiven. Keep coming against the negative thoughts with the word of God. You have the power of the cross of Christ.
What does the Bible tell us about the blood of Jesus? What is its significance?
When Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, His blood was shed for us. There was no other way that we could be saved, except that Jesus become a perfect sacrifice for us. He bought and paid for our eternal salvation with His blood. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Jesus was perfect, blameless, and without sin. He became the sacrifice needed to set us free from the curse of sin and death.
The blood of Jesus cleanses from the effects of sin. Hebrews 9:14 tells us, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Being free from guilt gives us confidence before God, knowing that we are no longer condemned but we are qualified to inherit the kingdom and the promises of God.
Because of the blood of Jesus, we can enter into God’s presence. Hebrews 10:19 says, “Therefore brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.” The holy place is a place of intimacy where we can meet with God. God sees us as the righteousness of Jesus when we come to Him. We no longer need to be conscious of sin, once we have taken on the righteousness of Jesus because of salvation.
The blood of Jesus is full of the power of God. There is protection because of the blood of Jesus. The life of God is in the blood of Jesus. The cleansing power of God is in the blood of Jesus. The blood is everything we need to walk in freedom. Because of the blood of Jesus, we are no longer slaves to sin, but we have become overcomers in life. We owe everything to Jesus, who gave His blood for us, so that in every way, we can be free.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Simply tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Only then will you experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
If you feel overwhelmed or confused about a decision that you’re trying to make, you’re probably caught up in your own thoughts and not God’s voice. We tend to choose lies over truth, that’s just our fallen nature. The Bible says, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is not the author of confusion. So if you’re feeling confused, guess what? It’s not God’s voice speaking in your life.
Last week I wrote on choices and most of the choices we have to make as believers. One and probably the most important choice we have to make in our walk is the choice of obedience towards God. There’s always peace when you say “yes” to what God’s asking you to do. If you are saying “no” to the things God has called and asked you to do for His glory, try taking a step back and ask if you have true peace in your life.
Satan wants to drive you compulsively, but God wants to draw you compassionately. Satan wants to take advantage of your compulsions and use them to drive your life into deep sin. But God is your Good Shepherd. He wants to draw you in toward Himself and give you complete true peace.
What does the Bible say about Fear & Anxiety? Read HERE and BE FREE!
Just like how it takes signals to operate a television network, we also get “spiritual” signals. And like a TV, we have a choice to pick a certain channel. The question is “What channel are you on?” “What voice are you listening to?” If all you ever hear from God is negative messages, then something’s wrong. The signals have been crossed.
You can’t pay full attention to two shows at the same time on one TV screen, and you can’t listen to God and the enemy at the same time. You must choose who to listen to. If you feel like God’s told you to do something but you have increasing anxiety because of it, something’s not right. I encourage you to pray and ask God to speak to you and into that specific situation.
If you are overwhelmed and maybe even controlled by anxiety today, and things aren’t working out the way you would like, you have a choice to make. You can either worry and wonder if it’s all going to fall apart, or you can choose to have faith and trust God.
We all struggle with and anxiety and worry in different ways. Some people sweat, some people yell, some people get really quiet. Do you tend to dwell on problems? Do you feel insecure about the future? Do you feel out of touch with God? Do you have physical symptoms of headaches, biting your nails, backaches, or a nervous stomach? Do you find it hard to accept defeat or failure? Do you feel burned out? Do you find loose ends difficult? Do you constantly replay events in your mind? These are all signs of worry and anxiety.
We like to think that worry works for us. It reminds us what needs to get done or it motivates us to get to the next step. But the truth of the matter is this; worry works on us, it doesn’t work for us. It will steal life and create relational difficulties. Until we get something that works better than worry, we are going to keep worrying.
How do you let go of anxiety? This week I want you to look at the story in Matthew 8 where Jesus addresses the issue of anxiety and how to deal with it. And you will see how to address reality with faith.
“Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ” – Ro. 8: 39
Creation itself is waiting to see and experience the glory of the children of God. It’s almost like creation is our audience just waiting at the edge of its seat. Creation is found immersed in the crux of the story line’s plot, patiently waiting for the hero of the show to gain the victory like any good story.
Creation itself is awaiting for the children of God to take their rightful place in His kingdom. As the prolific writer on Sabbath living stresses:
“Even the earth is bubbling with the presence of God. It teems, swims, gurgles, and cries out ‘holy, holy, holy’ — without speaking a word” – Dan Allender, Sabbath.
To think that creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time in its desperate cry for redemption, reconciliation, and restoration of all things, how much more us, the children of God who carry the Spirit of God? We are called to take steps of faith with the inspiration we draw from covenant love for the sake of our families, our communities, and for the healing of the nations through the power of Christ living in us. God has already paved the way for us that we may draw from the well of everlasting life and attest that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Covenant love affirms to us daily– that even in the midst of heartbreak, disillusionment, and in the waiting for breakthrough in our marriages, families, ministries, and careers, God is fully committed to us. He is the true lover of our souls and our faithful husband. God has justified the course of our lives– past, present, and future. We can rest in the way of peace because of the love we continually discover in our union with God. Covenant love is a “divine alliance” forged by the bond of eternal love. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who loveGod all things work together for the good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Be faithful to God, love Him back, and believe Him to be true to His Word.
God is all in with us. He is the hero of our life story. He is faithful to the end because Jesus already won the war for us and for all eternity. Step into the joy of His covenant love. His ways are be better than our ways and His thoughts of us higher than our own.
I encourage you to ask God to open the eyes of your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and intercede for you as you pray. He will reveal the purpose of His covenant love that speaks to the things pertinent to your life, to your goals, and to your dreams. His Spirit will draw you ever closer to the One who loves you with an unfailing love. His promise is to be faithful to you, to never leave you, nor forsake you as you trust him with your life. This is covenant love.