Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
~ Philippians 4:8
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5
May your thoughts be centered on Christ, focused on the Heavenly realms and beautifully grounded in God’s peace. Let not the winds carry your thoughts away with it, but instead, take each thought captive and relinquish them into the hands of God. Surely, He designed us to think freely….oh, what a gift to be treasured. Funny, that as I enter a new journey in my life, it is my thoughts that run away with me! Lo, and behold, today’s devotion for me was about letting God control my mind! Alas, I love when He speaks and I pray that you also hear His still, small voice reminding you that he is with you in the storms, trials, and temptations of life. It is His peace that comes when your thoughts are focused on the things above.
All my love ❤
Book of Matthew – Part 1 * The Bible Project
Seek and You Will Find!
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
~ Jeremiah 29:13
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
~ Matthew 6:33-34
If you seek Me, you will find Me
If you ask, I will give to you freely
If you knock, the door will be opened to you
If you desire, I will be in all that you do
If you examine, My truth you will find
If you trust, know that you will be refined
If you follow, my abundant blessings will flow
If you listen, you will hear Me wherever you go
If you challenge, you will rise above
If you pursue, you will feel My love
If you pray, My answer you will receive
If you claim, My freedom I will give
If you serve, in life you will rejoice
If you rest, you will hear My quiet voice
If you praise, a cheerful heart you will possess
If you love, you will find true happiness
If you hope, deep joy you will develop
If you surrender, My peace will envelop
All my love and may you seek God first in all that you do, for when He is the center of your life, all else falls into place. May the God of peace, mercy, and grace hold you in His arms now and always! ❤
Numbers * The Bible Project
Limitless (Colton Dixon)
And looking at them Jesus said to them,
“With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~ Matthew 19:26
“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.
But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him,
“‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”
~ Mark 9:22-23
There are days when we just feel alone midst an all-consuming world! However, we can stand firm in the promise that God is with us always…he will never leave you or forsake you. Yes, there will persecution and suffering (John 16:33, John 15:19-20).
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8
Finding His Faith Midst the World!
Train a child up in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not turn from it.
I have only one child and he is my pride and joy. My life is so full with him in it and I am delighted that he is becoming his own man. He is 15, with 16 approaching quickly, and desiring to assert his independence more so now than ever before.
I have been divorced for over 13 years, and though I have a great relationship with his father and we keep our son as the central focus, I am still a single mom without a dad in the house! My son has been brought up in church with me and has just recently proclaimed that he does not want to go to church anymore. The reasons are varied, and I have been praying greatly about this as there is a delicate balance to encouraging him to go to church, thus continuing to build his foundation in Christ, and to making him go to church, which would cause bitterness and resentment about church and create fights weekly in our home. Yes, I am the mom, and yes, I can “make” him go, but that does not foster his faith and his journey; it merely sets the stage for warfare in our home. After much prayer, God has made it abundantly clear that my son is NOT mine, he is GOD’S! In that one resonating statement, God is asking me to let go, and let him lead my son, which I will admit is hard. This is not hard because of my lack of trust in God, but because I know the journey will be hard, painful, and difficult for me to watch. After all, who wants to see their only child, or any child suffer in order to find a deep and meaningful relationship with God?
With all that said, herein lies my struggle: how do I continue to build on the foundation that has been built thus far without appearing critical and nagging, but at the same time holding true to my convictions and Scripture?
For example, just today, I came home from church and he was watching a show called “The League” which I must say leaves little to be desired and leaves nothing to the imagination. I sat, watched with him and then began a discussion about pornography, as that was blatantly displayed in this episode both visibly and verbally. I reminded him that it was inappropriate to watch this show as it promotes porn. His response, “How is it promoting porn?” My statement back to him was that by showing pornography and making it a normal part of these people’s lives (both married and single), the show was promoting it, saying it is okay for men and women to watch and discuss pornography. He then stated that it was something normal guys do. My response was that in the real world, a normal guy, a gentleman and Godly man would not find pornography normal, but in the show it makes it appear thus, to which he responded that he was done discussing it and going to go work out. So here I sit, wondering how to walk the line of showing him God and reminding him of God’s expectations in scripture to becoming a nagging, hypocritical, holier than thou mom (not that I see myself that way, but that is quickly becoming my son’s perception!)
I am reaching out to you all as brothers and sisters in Christ to find out what has and has not worked for you and your family when it comes to raising a child up in the way he or she should go. I know every child encounters a battle within to find his or her own faith, and I know that battle is different for everyone and can occur at varied times in life for each person. My son is there now, and I want, no, I desire with a great passion for him to grow and blossom in his walk with God and to become the man God created him to be. With the world screaming that what was once wrong (morally and Biblically speaking) is now right, I am finding myself in the midst of his battle, in the middle of the battle for my son’s soul!
I am really curious and would like some thoughts from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! Prayers are also welcomed as I know the power of prayer can availeth much! Encouraging personal testimonies, things that have and haven’t worked when reaching your teen. Anything will help!
Yours sincerely! With love and blessings from a God that I know can work ALL things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose!
Searching for meaning? Seeking more for your life? Have the nagging feeling that there is more to your existence than the day-to-day routine? Guess what? You are right! You are called to so much more than what this world has in store for you. Did you know you were designed by God Himself for a purpose? You were created to fulfill a mission that is of the utmost importance! Yes, you!! You are called to share the word of God, to bring His truth into deceived hearts, to bring hope to those who have lost theirs, to be a light that shines midst the darkness. You were created on purpose for a purpose. As scripture says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God designed you to desire more than the mundane routine of this world! Stand in His strength and live your life to the fullest! Glorify God’s kingdom and bring eternal joy to your heart.
All my love! ❤
He said to them,
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,
but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Why am I here?
What is my purpose?
There is an answer
I do propose
You were created on purpose
To fulfill your destiny
Designed to share God’s love
Even in the midst of scrutiny
You were created for such a time as this
To declare the mystery that is of God
Revealing His truth
Breaking through the world’s facade
You have been called to something higher
A mission from God, the Creator Himself
You were created to shine His light
Not to live for yourself
You are needed to bring salvation to the lost
To shine light were darkness resides
You can be an instrument God uses
Bringing hope to desperate, longing lives
Why are you here?
To reveal God to the lost and dying hearts that be
What is your purpose?
To stand in faith that shines for the entire world to see
Listen to your heart
Heed that still small voice
Know that you were made for so much more
Will you stand on your own or abide in His choice?
As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).
This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.
You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.
John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.
You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.
Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.
Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.
Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.
James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ
Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.
So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.
In Christ’s Love ❤