“Sometimes tough situations are a sign that it’s time for you to get moving in the direction that God wants you to.”~TB
When you don’t have a relationship with God, it is difficult to understand His plan for your life. When you face trials and tribulations, there is always a lesson or direction attached. Sometimes difficult situations teach you patience or faith. Other times it’s God’s way of telling you to move in a different direction or to move faster towards the task He’s led you to accomplish. Friends, grow close with God so that you may have the discernment to understand His will for you.
If God has given you a vision, a purpose, or a dream, hop to it! Just because you may not understand the end goal does not lessen the need for you to be obedient. We all have a choice to either spend our lives in the wilderness or, answer the call from our Father in Heaven, fulfilling our purpose as He intended. Let’s not be like the Israelites, who took 40 years for an 11-day journey. Contrary to what this sin-fallen world tells you, God did not create you for you to live in misery or enslaved by companies, brands, or whatever holds your heart. Move in the direction that God is leading, so that you may come into the Promiseland.
Are you on the move or are you stuck in fear and disbelief?
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1Praise the LORD ! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!
2The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
4He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
5How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
6The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.
7Sing out your thanks to the LORD ; sing praises to our God with a harp.
8He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.
9He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry.
10He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
11No, the LORD ’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls.
14He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
15He sends his orders to the world— how swiftly his word flies!
16He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
17He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?
18Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.
19He has revealed his words to Jacob, his decrees and regulations to Israel.
20He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. Praise the LORD !
“Wherever God sends you, whatever job He gives you, be sure to follow through.”~TB
In the eyes of man, God’s ways and plans for your future may appear to be foolish to your peers. If He’s given you a purpose or a plan, follow through. Because we are unable to understand the infinite perspective of God, we can talk ourselves out of amazing opportunities. Of course, with these opportunities comes the potential for great setbacks.
The devil will always try and find a way to disrupt the joy and peace in your life. This is especially true when you are operating in an assignment from the Lord. My point in saying this is that obstacles will always happen. It’s why we must arm ourselves with the Word so that when opposition comes, we know to avert our gaze and focus on the task at hand. Friends, life is easy for no one, persevere anyway.
So, no matter how obscure or miraculous your work for God is, follow through and finish well. Avoid the pitfalls and traps laid out by the evil one. The truth is, his distractions cannot harm you, there merely exist to get you to fumble your task. Learn to ignore the noise. When you walk and talk with God regularly, you build up the discernment to finish the job. Develop your relationship with Christ to follow through with the call He’s placed on your life.
Are you following through or full of excuses?
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1O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent,
2those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.
3Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude
4O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked. Protect me from those who are violent, for they are plotting against me.
5The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude
6I said to the LORD, “You are my God!” Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy!
7O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle.
8LORD, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude
9Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me.
10Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.
11Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.
12But I know the LORD will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor.
13Surely righteous people are praising your name; the godly will live in your presence.
“When you dwell on all that God has done for you, staying in a gracious mindset becomes easier.”~TB
In Spite Of
In spite of our flaws, misdeeds, doubt, doublemindedness, and the like, God still loves every single one of us. Think about that for a second. No matter what we do, how good or bad, we will always have a connection to Christ. That type of love is unquantifiable! Friends, be grateful that He is so loving, especially to a population that will never have the greatest track record.
Pass it On
As you know the Truth, live in peace, and practice gratitude amongst one another. Let the offenses pass you by, forgive quickly and freely, and meditate on God’s goodness daily. It is by practicing the grace and mercy of the Lord that changes the hearts and minds of others. There’s no need to be mean or defend yourself. God sees all. So let him see you practice His teachings, sharing the Good News.
Are you being grateful or are you looking for the next best thing?
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1O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD .
5You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
19O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers!
20They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
“Give people the space and grace to grow and develop in Christ”~TB
Don’t compare the development of your relationship with Christ to the relationship He has with others. Everyone grows and develops at their own pace. For this reason, you must give yourself and your brothers and sisters in Christ space and time to till their soil. People are not meant to be ingratiated 24/7 as you need quiet to hear what God has to say. If you’re too busy listening and following others, you’re ignoring the voice of your Heavenly Father. Give yourself space to hear, heal, and grow with God.
Because sin will always be a part of the human experience, grace has to be freely and quickly extended. As we still continually struggle with this concept, believe that God has your back as you walk in that grace by faith. We will undoubtedly cause offense and quarrels amongst one another. It’s ok, we’re human and Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is why walking with God is so important every second of every day. Grace cannot be earned, so forgive as God forgives us.
Are you using and walking in your space and Grace on a daily basis?
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1Praise the LORD ! Praise the name of the LORD ! Praise him, you who serve the LORD,
2you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music.
4For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own special treasure.
5I know the greatness of the LORD — that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6The LORD does whatever pleases him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.
7He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.
8He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home, both people and animals.
9He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his people.
10He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings—
11Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
12He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to his people Israel.
13Your name, O LORD, endures forever; your fame, O LORD, is known to every generation.
14For the LORD will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants.
15The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
16They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
17They have ears but cannot hear, and mouths but cannot breathe.
18And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
19O Israel, praise the LORD ! O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the LORD !
20O Levites, praise the LORD ! All you who fear the LORD, praise the LORD !
21The LORD be praised from Zion, for he lives here in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD !
“Walk with God through the fire and you will surely not burn.”~TB
In this broken world, things will never go according to plan. Trials and tribulations will always occur. Friends, how you handle those tests is of the utmost importance. If you try and fight the fire in your own accord, you will burn. This is because man has a 2-dimensional way of thinking. People judge by what they see, and to the human eye, things are not always what they appear to be. Leaning on your own understanding will cause you to be like a leaf in the wind– unrooted and all over the place. There are protection and guidance, but you must learn to walk with Him.
God is there in the midst of your inferno. The more consistent you are in studying the Word and applying its wisdom, the easier it is to see Him in the midst of your situation. Like a flame-retardant cloak, God’s presence allows you to pass through your suffering unscathed. Enjoy the peace and calm that can be found in His word. When you put your Faith in God and not what is in front of you, watch how the moment changes. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, there is hope and protection. Seek out His grace to successfully walk through the fire.
Is your lack of faith causing you to burn?
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1LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.
2Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3O Israel, put your hope in the LORD — now and always.
“You will live according to whoever has your ear, heart, and mind. Choose wisely.”~TB
You will fail. You will disappoint. You won’t measure up. Every man on this earth is fallible, short-sighted, and operates according to their own fleshly desires and motives. Even the best of us suck! For this reason, you must never place your value or worth against the opinions of your brothers and sisters. They lack the Holy lens to assess you as our Father in Heaven can. According to humans, you will have to change your appearance, your tone, your attitude, before you are accepted. And even still, you can follow the rules right down to the letter and still not be enough! So why bother? If you know the truth– which is written down in the Bible– you will know that according to the One who made you, you are accepted as you already are.
You are redeemed. You are forgiven. You are loved. You are accepted. Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we would be set apart in God’s Holy stable. Friends, take comfort in this Truth. God loves you as you are! No, you are not perfect, and yes, you will make mistakes. However, when you come to Him with your imperfections in honest and humble repentance, He will wipe the slate clean and will lovingly remind you that you are His. God’s opinion is mightier, holier, and infinitely more valuable than any man’s opinion on this earth. Remember this fundamental truth so that when people come against you with their manmade requirements and measurements, you will not bow down to imperfect standards. Don’t let foolish people rob you of your joy. You have been spared, so live in peace.
Who’s will are you living according to?
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1Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
3Children are a gift from the LORD ; they are a reward from him.
4Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
“To experience God’s joyful peace, let go of whatever is weighing you down.”~TB
As humans, we all fall short of the mark. There will be offense, mistreatment, accusations, and unpleasant experience that can erode relationships. Friends, let it go. As brothers and sisters in Christ, the standard has to be forgiveness over condemnation. Look at your neighbor as God looks at you. Using the Holy lens to see others is how you can overlook the small issues and remember the greater objective: We are all God’s children and He loves us the same. Even knowing how stupid we can be, He gives us the opportunity for redemption.
When you are unable to forgive others, you are unable to forgive yourself because you’ve forgotten the redemption that God has freely given you. It is impossible to truly love someone if you are unable to love yourself. As the body of Christ, the relationships you build among one another have to outweigh the hurts and offenses that occur within them. Remember the One who loved you first, so that you can practice the Godly love He gives to you daily.
Are you letting go of the small stuff so you can live in God’s grace?
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1I took my troubles to the LORD ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
2Rescue me, O LORD, from liars and from all deceitful people.
3O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment?
4You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals.
5How I suffer in far-off Meshech. It pains me to live in distant Kedar.
6I am tired of living among people who hate peace.
7I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!
“If God continually invests His resources and time into you and you still don’t get it, who can you blame?”~TB
When you use God’s Holy lens to view your life, you learn not to sweat the small stuff because you understand the greater importance that He has placed on your life. People, situations, problems, and the like are easier to navigate because you see the playing field from a Biblical perspective. Using God’s resources, your trials become less trivial, as you experience peace in even the harshest conditions. Friends, you cannot survive this world successfully without the provisions of God. Step out of your understanding and rely on His.
When you refuse to use the Holy resources that are abundantly available, your sight is useless. Everyone else is at fault for your existence and peace is but a dream because you lack the Biblical vision to pass your Holy eye exam. Step back and look again! God has been with you this whole time. The Bible is available to you in every format possible. Quit licking your superficial wounds and cling to the Truth! If you fail to confer with your Father in Heaven, that is your fault. So step off of your sanctimonious cross and use your Holy resources! Stop using your myopic viewpoint and adopt God’s superior vision to life in the Truth.
Who can you blame if you fail to do your own work?
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1The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”
2The LORD will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem ; you will rule over your enemies.
3When you go to war, your people will serve you willingly. You are arrayed in holy garments, and your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew.
4The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
5The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you. He will strike down many kings when his anger erupts.
6He will punish the nations and fill their lands with corpses; he will shatter heads over the whole earth.
7But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way. He will be victorious.
“Set your mind on God to experience His Truth” ~TB
Your mind is a gift or a curse– depending on how you use it. You can choose to fill it with God’s wisdom, live an obedient life, and be kind to your neighbors. Or, you can fill it with filth, walk around mindlessly, preferring destruction over peace. Sure, those seem drastically different, but the Truth is living in or out of God’s Will Isdrastically different. Do not be fooled by the external lives of others. Only God can truly examine one’s heart. Work on your mind and don’t fall prey to the fake minds around you.
When you set your mind, thoughts, and actions of God you rely on His strength and wisdom and not your own. The impossible becomes possible because you understand that you need Him in everything that you are and everything that you do. Allowing God to steer your mind sets you up for the peace and joy He graciously offers. It is a gift like no other and humans are unable to recreate such things. When you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you welcome confusion, stupor, and chaos. Friends, the human mind is incapable of such a Holy Mindset. Rely on Him.
Is your mind set on God or do you have a fleshly mindset?
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1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !
“When you do things your way, expect chaos. When you do things His way, expect peace”~TB
Trying to live life in accordance with your will is like attempting to build a home in the midst of a hurricane. Your mind, fleshly desires, and fake discipline are the materials of a false foundation that will get ripped up in the storm. This is because you lack the True wisdom that comes from Him. Friends, every single human, myself included, lacks the fundamental knowledge required to live this life in righteousness. God must be at the front, otherwise, you are out of order, desperately trying to build a life in continuous chaos. Drop your will and take up His.
Living in God’s Will invites peace and tranquility in the midst of man-made troubles. Don’t mistake peace for a perfect life, there is no such thing. With God, your struggles don’t seem as unbearable because you know the Truth. The evil one cannot rattle you and his feeble attempts are transformed into a gentle breeze. When you walk with God, He crushes your obstacles, allowing you to move forward. However, you must do this in faith! Though you know the truth, you must walk the walk in order to realize it. Do not fear what has already claimed defeat. Walk in the Order of Truth.
Are you out of order?
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1Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.
2Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
3Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD .
4Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.
5Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
6you children of his servant Abraham, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7He is the LORD our God. His justice is seen throughout the land.
8He always stands by his covenant— the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
9This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac.
10He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
11“I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.”
12He said this when they were few in number, a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
13They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.
14Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf:
15“Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”
16He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply.
17Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them— Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar.
19Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character.
20Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door.
21Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions.
22He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisers.
23Then Israel arrived in Egypt; Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24And the LORD multiplied the people of Israel until they became too mighty for their enemies.
25Then he turned the Egyptians against the Israelites, and they plotted against the LORD ’s servants.
26But the LORD sent his servant Moses, along with Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27They performed miraculous signs among the Egyptians, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28The LORD blanketed Egypt in darkness, for they had defied his commands to let his people go.
29He turned their water into blood, poisoning all the fish.
30Then frogs overran the land and even invaded the king’s bedrooms.
31When the LORD spoke, flies descended on the Egyptians, and gnats swarmed across Egypt.
32He sent them hail instead of rain, and lightning flashed over the land.
33He ruined their grapevines and fig trees and shattered all the trees.
34He spoke, and hordes of locusts came— young locusts beyond number.
35They ate up everything green in the land, destroying all the crops in their fields.
36Then he killed the oldest son in each Egyptian home, the pride and joy of each family.
37The LORD brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold; and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.
38Egypt was glad when they were gone, for they feared them greatly.
39The LORD spread a cloud above them as a covering and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.
40They asked for meat, and he sent them quail; he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.
41He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland.
42For he remembered his sacred promise to his servant Abraham.
43So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy, his chosen ones with rejoicing.
44He gave his people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted.
45All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions. Praise the LORD !