Standing Firm On God’s Promises

Psalm 84:11: “No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

Promises

The beauty of being covered by the blood of Christ is that once born of His Spirit, we begin to see the world in a whole new way, we begin to perceive things differently. And with this new set of eyes, our value systems begin to change, and our everyday walk begins to change it’s shape. Suddenly the things that used to be pleasurable and fun, the negative things, just don’t seem to be fun anymore. We value the things that God values. And when we begin to live this way, our lives become truly blessed, for God rewards those who seek after Him.

In the Jewish culture, this weekend marks the beginning of a brand New Year. Let us all put on a brand new attitude, one of faith and confidence in the promises of God! Let us remember that our God is a faithful God, who seeks to reward those who love Him above all things. Let us remember that all things work out for good for those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28).

We are all called to fulfill some purpose while here on earth, and every facet of our lives is part of that kingdom building work! Remember that God always finishes what He started, and be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phillipians 1:6). And let us always remember that when we seek after the things that are of God– when we focus on His plans for us instead of our plans for us; when we allow Him to have control over our lives and our destinies, He promises to fulfill the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.)

My friends, the promises of God are sure and they are true. When we make His Word the foundation of our hope and our happiness, when we are standing securely in His Word, then no downturned economy, criminal background, chemical addiction, bad relationship or any other ghost of our past can take us out of the game! Because God’s promises are sure and strong, and they will sustain you even in the roughest times. When I think back over my life in the past ten years, I am grateful that I finally came to understand who God is and how truly powerful He is, and I see now that had I not been standing on His promises specifically in the past three years of my life, I would surely have given up. But when your source of hope comes from God, then there is always hope. And when God is your source of love, then there is always love. And love never fails. God will never fail you. He will never leave you, nor will He forsake you (Joshua 1:5). Remember that above anything else, He loves you so much , that he sent His Son to die in your place so that you can be free to live the life you have today (John 3:16) Jesus entered this world to take on the burden of our sins and the penalty of our sinfulness so that we could share His perfection.

Today, if our hearts are aligned with God, our walk is considered blameless, for there is no condemnation for us because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. He gave his life so that we might truly live. Go boldly knowing that God rewards those who seek after Him. Declare your faith by speaking positive words over yourself, your loved ones, your situations and circumstances.

An ‘A’ For Effort

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

excellent

Jesus likened the Kingdom of Heaven to what it would be like when a man, going on a long trip, gave his servants amounts of money in trust until he returned. He gave each a differing amount proportionate to their abilities. Upon his return, he assessed what each servant did with the money. There was reproach and shame and loss for the one who did nothing but bury the money in the earth. But the ones who took the risk to invest reaped a profit, and earned the praise of their master.

God gave each and every one of us a specific set of skills and traits that make us unique and qualify us to do the job He put us on this earth to do. We can choose to use those gifts for good, use those gifts negatively, or not use them at all. Think back to the time when you were a child and what others would always say about whom you are and what you were doing. It is true that, even then, you knew who God created you to be.  God expects us to use those gifts, with which we were entrusted, to reap a profit for Him in this lifetime.

All our time on earth is crafted by how best we use our gifts and talents. In your professional life, you will be doing something meaningful for God’s Kingdom with your gifts. It is wise for us to take some time for introspection, to find out what those gifts are, and how best we may use them to bring glory to God’s Kingdom.

If you do not have a job, consider the following:

If your talent is for service and helping people, volunteering at your church or local mission could be a great way of networking and improving your resume by building references and gaining experience.

If your talent is in computer skills, doing online applications (and then following up, of course) may be your best bet, as well as helping others in job search with their online applications.

If your talent is for handiwork or craftsmanship, staying current with your craft by doing odd jobs for others is also a great networking tool and gives you an excellent source for building Quantified Selling Points while helping someone else.

If you’re an artsy type of person, think of a creative way to sell yourself in the interview. Hiring managers are looking for people who stand out. Using your creative flair in a tasteful way makes you memorable and gives them an idea if you are a good fit for their company.

You see, God has put on the inside of you exactly what you need to achieve what you want. The responsibility is ours to use the gifts and talents we already possess to gain what we want. When we do, God recognizes our efforts and blesses us in ways we could never have imagined. He is all too eager to give us an ‘A’ for effort, as long as we are faithful enough to try.

Pray. Then, Practice

prayer

I’m always wary of people who pray “[God], give me (xyz virtue: patience, love, strength, etc.)”. I’m not sure that it is clear that God (or whatever you call Him) is not a magician. That is not to say that He is not capable of granting us anything we truly desire; after all, He is God. He can do whatever He wishes. The thing is, none of us is going to wake up one morning to find ourselves fully perfected. The day that happens is, quite honestly, the day we cease to exist on this plane. We are blessed with days on this earth to practice those things which we sincerely desire for ourselves in order to find that perfection which we seek.

In other words, you’re not going to wake up tomorrow, having prayed “God give me patience”, to find that you are now a completely patient creature (hallelujah, wouldn’t that be awesome?!).

 

Pray for patience.

Then, practice patience.

 

Pray for love.

Then practice love.

 

Pray for understanding.

Then practice understanding.

 

Pray.

Then, practice.

 

Set your thoughts into motion in the direction in which you want yourself to go. Then, set your actions in the same direction. When your thoughts, words and actions are in alignment, miraculous things happen. Once we pray for things like this, the universe opens a way to bring us exactly what we asked for. There will be several opportunities on a daily basis to give us the ability to practice and achieve what we set our minds to. We just need the vision to see it and the strength of will and obedience to follow through.

 

Will we fail sometimes? Yes, and that’s okay!!!

 

Acquiring any new skill is going to take time. Think of it like learning to play the guitar. At first it will be slow, demanding, maybe even a little painful to feel. It will sound awful, dreadful even. But the more you practice, the easier it becomes. and one day you will find that you are the very thing you once wished you were.

Find out what your soul needs. Heed the call. Answer.

Pray, then practice.

Sing A Song Of Praise

praise

 

“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9: 1-2 NIV)

David had a very intimate relationship with God. He felt no reservations in telling God how he felt at any particular time. The psalms capture a range of emotion- happy, joyous, angry, enraged, defeated, depressed, sad, lonely. David knew what it felt like to be admired by and hated by people. He knew what it felt like to have an entire army come against him and have no one but God in whom to seek refuge. He knew what it felt like to have sinned against God and to endure the consequences of his bad decisions. David also knew first hand of God’s mercy and goodness toward him. No matter what happened in his life, David knew for sure that the one place he could turn was to his Heavenly Father. He knew he could count in God’s faithfulness. And God saw David as a man after His own heart.

David wasn’t just praising God that day because everything was going great. On the contrary, things in his life at the time seemed to be falling apart. In the verses immediately following, he describes his enemies and those who seek to destroy him. No doubt he knew no end to trouble and heartache. But David knew something about God that we often seem to forget-he knew that in times of trouble, the most powerful thing to do was to offer God praise. Most of us find it super easy to shout praises to God when life is peachy-keen and everything is okay. But none of us find it easy to praise God when life is hard, and the walls seem to be closing in on us, and when the rain is falling so hard it is difficult for us to see what is ahead. The truth is, this is precisely the time when our faith in God-the same God who has rescued us before and who is willing to do it again-should kick in. It is the exact time when our mouths should be filled with praise because we just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will move on our behalf. And of course, it doesn’t come easy, but as with anything, the more we purpose ourselves to practice praising God in times of trouble, the easier it becomes. We will soon find that our attitude toward life and circumstances begins to change and we become a happier and more successful people; we find that we have become people after God’s own heart.

I’ll praise you in the storm and I will lift my hands, ‘Cause you are Who You Are, no matter where I am And ev’ry tear I cry You hold in Your hand; You’ve never left my side And though my heart is torn, I will praise you in the storm…” (Praise you in the Storm /lyrics, Casting Crowns)