Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Be Not Afraid (9.19.17)

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your GOD who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6

Faith Believers,
What is the most common command in the Bible, appearing in one form or another, more than 300 times?

It is, “Do not be afraid.”

Why should we not be afraid?
Because, as GOD told Joshua in Deuteronomy, if we are a follower of Christ, GOD is with us. In fact, one of Jesus’ titles is “Immanuel,” meaning “GOD with us” (Isaiah 7:14)

What or who do we often fear the most? People.
But GOD’s Word says we should fear GOD, not people.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
Below are some different kinds of fear, and how GOD’s Word
     can help us to combat them:

- People can and will insult us.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. - Matthew 5:11

Jesus says that we are BLESSED when people insult us for His sake. Why? Because it means we are following Jesus in a way that people actually notice, and that some will react against (see also John 15:18-19; 1 Peter 3:14).

- People can harm us.

In Acts 5, the Apostles were put on trial for preaching the gospel. They were sort of acquitted, but then they were beaten. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name - Acts 5:41.
And what did they do right afterward?  Every day they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus - Acts 5:43.

- People can kill us.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. - Matthew 10:28

These words of Jesus were not just theoretical; most of His disciples wound up being martyred.
Even today, in rare cases, people are being killed because of their Christian faith. But in light of eternity, as long as we are headed for Heaven, even losing our life is not that bad. And dying for Christ’s sake is a high honor.

In Matthew 28:18-20, when Jesus commanded the disciples to take His message to the end of the world, he reassured them by saying, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What are some other fears that can hinder us?

- Fear of imagined circumstances.

The sluggard says, 'There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!' - Proverbs 22:13.

Our fears are often much worse than what actually happens. A “sluggard” is a lazy person; so this verse tells us that yielding to imaginary fears can actually be a way to avoid responsibility.

- Fear of displeasing people.

Galatians 1:10 says, For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of GOD? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I can not be a servant of Christ.
The bottom line is, when we are fearing people, it is because we are insecure about ourselves. Strangely enough, insecurity about ourselves stems from pride and/or being preoccupied with what others think about us. And yet, our issues usually go unnoticed because most people are too busy thinking about themselves. It’s like a teenager who thinks everyone is staring at a flaw on his face, when actually most people don’t even notice or care about the flaw.

When we truly have confidence in our right standing before the Lord, we won’t give much thought to what people think about us. Passages like this should describe us: So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’ - Hebrews 13:6

And finally, one of my favorites. Pray this for your friends and ask them to pray, that the Holy Spirit would make it true in your life as well: The righteous are bold as a lion - Proverbs 28:1b.

  -  Marilyn

~ Prayer ~
Thank You that You are always with me.

Thank You, Jesus, that You are Immanuel,
   and You are always with me.

Help me to live in the confidence that comes from knowing
     that You will never leave me nor forsake me.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Rise & Shine, and give Jesus the Glory, This Day (9.18.17)

Our Father has awakened you to a new day, filled with brand new mercy. 

What will you do with it? 

I say, “Rise and shine for Me.”

Allow My Glory to radiate from your life today.
Greet this day with a smile and be determined
     that nothing will steal your joy. 
With a heart filled with thanksgiving, reach out
     and make someone happy today.

Show the world around you what Jesus looks like in the flesh,
     let them know that I AM real.
Fervently express the glorious joy of living for Jesus Christ.
This day, stand out from the crowd and let My Light shine through,
     in all you do.

Refuse to allow anyone or anything to make you feel that you are not worthy to live life more abundantly. As you go about this day, I want you to believe that I have destroyed the devourer, and that everything you put your hand to do is prospering.

Let people see what a blessing it is to serve the Lord.

It is a brand-new day in your life,
     so set aside all negative thoughts.
Shine for Me this day. 
Live with My fullness of My Love,
     flowing through you all day long.

I want people to see Me when they look at you.

I made this day for you; rejoice, be glad.
Rise and shine, and give Me the glory this day.

God bless you and thank you for keeping us covered in prayer
   before, during and after Hurricane Irma.
God is good and all is well.
  -  Marilyn

Read and Meditate on His Word:
Isaiah 60:1 - Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Lamentations 3:22-23 - It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 

Malachi 3:11-12 - And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. 

Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Psalm 118:23-24 - This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous
 in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Breakthrough has Occurred! Let God Lead You into Your Blessings, Stay in the Spirit (9.17.17)

My Child,
You have a very important matter before you, right now, as we speak.
A breakthrough has occurred!

But you must remember it is Me beside you, bringing all things together for your good.

In your enthusiasm, do not become fleshy.
Stay in the Spirit, and inquire of Me before every decision and action.
Let Me lead you into your blessings.

Do I have your permission, now, to be Lord over this breakthrough?

If so, you can expect your dreams and the vision of your destiny to materialize right before your eyes. Those dreams and visions you thought were dead, will now come alive again.

Can you trust Me? 

You should trust Me, because I have power over all situations and there is nothing too hard for Me. 

Matthew 6:25 (NASB) - For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Faith Believers,
Have a blessed day!

Thank GOD for what you have, Trust GOD for what you need
  -  Marilyn

Friday, September 15, 2017

Do not Fear, Do not Worry, Let Go of the Load - Focus on & Trust in the Lord Our God (9.15.17)

My child,
Do not fear the mountains you see looming ahead.
Do not fear what is to come in the future.
Do not fear what awaits you at the horizon.
Just focus on Me.
Right now, as you look ahead you are thinking, "Oh no, another set of mountains
     to climb.  I wonder what is going to happen."

Child, do not give in to worry. Worry is something designed to get you down, and keep you there. Plus, it really is something you don't have to be concerned with, because I Am with you.  Worry wants you to panic about things that have not manifested yet. Take one step at a time and trust in Me.

Focus on the path that you are on right now.
Look into my eyes and let me direct each of your steps.
The only foresight I want you to have, is the fact that whatever lies ahead
     is part of My Plan for your life!

I want you to stand in hope and trust in Me completely, regardless.
So turn your worries over to Me now, My Child.
Let go of the load.

Do not worry about what is to come, because I have promised you a future of hope and of much blessing. 'Focus on what is important, the right here and the right now, and give your whole heart to Me,' says the Lord.

I Am GOD, all by Myself and there is no other.
I Am the only one who can change your situation,
     so trust in the Words I have spoken to you, this day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cultivating a Pure Heart (9.14.17)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see GOD. - Matthew 5:8
Once a father told his child to sit down. The child refused. Again the father told his child to sit down, and again the child stubbornly refused. Finally, the father said, “If you don’t sit down I’m going to give you a spanking.” The child sat down and said, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but I’m still standing up on the inside!”

This story reminds me of what Jesus said to the Jewish leaders:
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…’ - Matthew 15:7-8
Outwardly they honored GOD. They sang songs and prayed and tithed. But they had no love for GOD. Their hearts – their inner persons – were impure – they acted religious to be noticed by men, not to please GOD.  They were hypocrites. The word hypocrite comes from a word meaning actor. A hypocrite is an actor, a pretender. They professes some value or belief, however their private life does not match what they are portraying. They are not pure in heart. So, to be pure in heart means our words must match our thoughts. It means that our outer life matches our inner life. 

When GOD saves us he gives us a new heart.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:26-27 
GOD will give us a new heart, a heart that wants to follow and obey him as the Holy Spirit motivate us to sincere obedience. A friend once requested I hold him accountable for an issue he was struggling with. He sincerely wanted to please Jesus and did not want to sin when no one else was watching.

To be pure in heart doesn’t mean we never sin. But it means that now, we don’t want to sin, it makes us uncomfortable. We hate when we do it, and are grateful for Jesus’ constant cleansing (1 John 1:9).

A few ways to cultivate a pure heart:
  • Read your Bible regularly for it convicts, warns and encourages us.
  • Ask GOD for inner purity. David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart.” Regularly ask GOD to deliver you from evil and temptation.
  • Be careful what you take in through your eyes and ears. Flee temptation always.
  • Fellowship – confess your struggles and temptations and ask for the prayers of one or a few wise, trustworthy believers. 
The reward for pursuing purity? “They shall see GOD.”
Beloved, we are GOD’s children and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure - 1 John 3:2-3.
Because of our glorious hope to see Jesus, the infinitely pure one, face to face, we should purify ourselves now, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

God is Always at Work in Our Daily Lives (9.13.17)

Faith Believers,
One of the main struggles we face when we pray is, as Proverbs 3:5 describes, “leaning not on our own understanding.” This is key to an effective prayer life.

Our tendency is to try to figure things out ourselves and then, on the basis of that understanding, to take whatever steps we think we need to take. What we’re saying when we do this is “I am much more capable of taking care of this situation than GOD is, I don’t need Him!”

There’s no way we should think we can take control our lives, and at the same time really believe GOD is who He says He is. “I Am the Lord, the GOD of all mankind, says the Lord. Is there anything too hard for me? - Jeremiah 32:27. Of course when things don’t work out, we often turn to him and “allow” or even beg him to intervene. When we fully acknowledge who GOD is, we should have no choice but to trust in Him and surrender whatever situation we’re praying for into His sovereign hands!

Some disbelieve that GOD exists, even in answered prayers. Many times I have seen the obvious hand of GOD working in a particular situation only to have the person involved chalk it up to good fortune or luck? When I see this, I want to scream out “That was GOD! Give Him the glory!”

Unfortunately, this refusal to acknowledge GOD’s Work is not only true for those who don’t know the Lord in a personal way, but also to those who serve and supposedly love Him. Why is it so hard to see GOD's Hand in a situation? Maybe He provided a much-needed job, or spared you from an almost deadly car crash. This is “not believing GOD exists” in its simplest form. If we really believe GOD exists, we will see his hand working in our daily lives.

It’s a relief to surrender my request to a GOD who not only exists, but Who is, as the Bible states, able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine - Ephesians 3:20.
  -  Marilyn

~ Prayer ~
Holy Spirit,
Teach me to pay attention to the activity of GOD in my daily life!

Help me to continually remember that nothing is too hard
for my Father, that He is fully trustworthy to care for
all of my needs and to be involved in all that I do.

Give me a heart of gratefulness for His blessings
and movement around, in and through me;
so that He alone receives the glory!

In the name of Jesus,

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hearers of the Word vs. Doers of the Word (9.12.17)

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. - Matthew 7:24-29

Faith Believers,
The greatest deception we face today is hearing the Word of GOD
     without doing the Word of GOD.

We listen to countless sermons and attend many Bible studies without acting upon what we learn, and the result can be disastrous. Rather than growing more loving and open to the things of GOD (as we progress in faith), instead we become cold and rigid while showing a lack of love for our neighbor.

The author of Hebrews warns of the hardness of hearts that can occur when we hear GOD's voice and fail to act upon it. It is this danger that Jesus addressed when He preached the great “Sermon on the Mount.”  Jesus contrasts the wise vs. the foolish builder. The wise builder who builds his house on a solid foundation of rock is likened to the one who is a doer of the Word. The foolish builder who builds his house on the sand is the one who hears the Word, but does not act on it. His house will collapse in a storm.

No one would choose to build in a way that would invite destruction, yet failing to act on the Word of GOD does exactly that in our lives according to Jesus. Believers should always look for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus, as scripture reveals His truth to us.
  -  Marilyn

~ Prayer ~
Help me, Lord,
To be a doer of Your Word.
I’m so grateful that You communicate to Your people
through Your Word and Your Spirit.

Help me to go beyond the first step of hearing
to the important step of obedience.

Give me the wisdom to build on the Rock of Your Word!
In the name of Jesus I pray.

Monday, September 11, 2017

You are an Overcomer!! (9.11.17)

My Child,
Please listen.  I have not forgotten you.
You cannot even begin to imagine how much I love
     and care for you.
I have chosen you for such a time as this.
I know you're weary because you have been stuck where you are
     for such a long time.

However, just as I was with Joseph in his holding place, so am I with you. You are where I need you to be right now because of the work that must be done for the Kingdom, and My Grace is more than sufficient for you.

I know you’re being physically and emotionally challenged as never before, but I tell you that you are too close to give up now. All that has confronted you, has strengthened your faith and caused you to be more than a survivor. YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER! 

Take a good look at yourself, can’t you see how strong you’ve become? Why would you even think of going back to your old lifestyle just because of what you are going through? Be bold and courageous and trust in My Grace.

Take control of this current situation just as you did in past times, with prayer and faith in Me. Let your prayers shake the very foundation of where you are and watch doors swing wide open for you.

I say unto you, keep praying and trusting in Me.
Do not turn to the right or the left,
     but press on straight ahead.
Do not give up, My grace will see you through.
My grace is more than enough.

Yes, the times and circumstances will try your faith, but be of good cheer.  Stand and believe, and you will pass the test just as you did before. My Grace has always supplied all your 
needs and that has not changed, so never give up. 
Keep your eyes focused on Me and see this situation 
     become a victory in My Name.


Read and Meditate on God's Word:
Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of GOD:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 

Hebrews 10:38 - Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

1 Peter 1:7 - That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

Titus 3:7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fighting Your Way Through the Crowd to Touch the Lord (9.8.17)

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed. Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, Who touched my clothes? You see the people crowding against you, his disciples answered, and yet you ask, Who touched me?  But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering - Mark 5:24-34

Faith Believers,
The woman in this story perfectly describes this principle of prayer.

She was desperate for a touch from the Lord and she knew "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Have you ever thought about how difficult it must have been for this woman, most likely weak from bleeding for so many years, to fight her way through the crowd to touch the Lord?

There were so many people in the crowd that when Jesus asked his disciples who had touched Him, they basically said, “Are you kidding? There are too many people around you to tell you that!" Yet this woman didn’t let anyone or anything stop her because she knew how to receive her much-needed healing!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pictured myself fighting my way
     through a crowd to touch Jesus during a particular time in my life.

I often declare, 'Lord, I am pushing through this crowd of fear, lack of faith, bitterness, or whatever is hindering me from receiving from GOD what I need and I am claiming the victory! I am clinging to you, and no one or nothing will stand in my way!'

When was the last time you fought your way through the crowd to touch the Lord?

~ Prayer ~
Lord Jesus,
I long to get to a place in my life where I am
    so thirsty for you that nothing else matters -
    not my fear, circumstances, pain or even
    the other people that share my life.

When I am filled with joy and peace, may I still long
     for Your holy, grace-filled touch.

May I be so filled with faith that I will always trust
    in Your desire to move powerfully in my life;
    as I place my full trust in You.

Father, please make me desperate for more
    of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth!