How Do You Believe?

God has given us gifts and talents. Only most of us are not using them.

Remember the story in Matthew 25: 14-30 about the talents? A master who intended to travel called together his servants. He gave one man five talents, another two and the last one he gave one.

Verse 15 tells us that he gave each according to his ability. He had great faith in the one who gained five talents and little faith in the man he gave one.

When the master returned, he again gathered the servants together. This time to give account for what they did with what he gave them.

The man with five talents earned five more. The one with two talents gained two more, but the man with one talent buried it.

The man with the five talents and the one with the two pleased the master, but the one who buried the talent angered the master.

Why? The men with the five and two talents put their talents to work for them. The servant who buried it did not.

Even though a talent was a form of money in the Bible, I cannot help but think that this parable is more than about our money. I believe it is about the resources that God has given us.

II Peter 1:3 (NKJV) says, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”

What if the solution to our every problem has already been given to us?

What if we just have not realized that our talents and gifts and what we like to do will not only open doors for us to minister to the lost but would also open doors for financial blessings?

What if the solution to every problem could be found in our own backyard? In that dusty old Bible that rests on our nightstand? What if there were gifts that God has given to us that we have not tapped into yet?

What if it is true that God has already given us everything that pertains to life and godliness? What if it is true that when Jesus died, He already gave us righteousness, His righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21), healing of mind and body (I Peter 2:24) and took the curse for us (Galatians 3:13)?

What is preventing us from believing that? We are looking at the world and not at the Word. We are burying our talents, gifts, resources that God has already given us for what we see going on around us.

What we see is temporal (II Corinthians 4:18). God’s Word is forever (Matthew 24:35). God’s Word is truth (II Timothy 3:16).

Are you going to believe God, or are you going to believe what you see? Life will be for you as you believe (Mark 9:23).

#believe #God #seenorunseen #talents #gifts

The Power Within?

may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, – Ephesians 3:18-20 (NIV).

Most of us that have lived the Christian life for any length of time have heard Ephesians 3:20. We quote it, pray it and hope that God doing exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think will happen in our lives.

What is that power that works within us? For that, we have to go to the previous two verses. What is being discussed? Love. God’s love, to be exact. We go to church and listen to sermons about how we need to love God more, how we need to serve God more, how we have to be constantly on point for God to love us. Only God is not concerned with our love for Him. God is more concerned that we know how much He loved us. How much He still loves us.

That is what Ephesians 3:18-19 is talking about. It is discussing how much God loves us. I submit to you that knowing God loves us is the power that works within us.

Do we truly get how much God loves us? He sent His Son to become sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21), to die for our sins, to be judged once and for all for all our sins–past, present and future (I Peter 3:18). Do we truly understand the depth of God’s love for us that although He gave us free will, although He knew that we would choose to sin, He still made a way of escape to allow us to be reconciled back to Himself? When we get this, when we are rooted and grounded in knowing and believing that God loves us, that is when God is able to do abundantly above all we can ask or think.

Why? Because then we know that God is not out to harm us but to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11). Then we are able to surrender to His plans for our lives. When we put our lives, our plans, our thoughts, our dreams, in God’s Hands, He will return them to us a million times better than we gave them to Him.

Begin every day by telling yourself how much God loves you. In fact, under your breath throughout your day, while you are driving, in the restroom, at lunch, before you go to bed, say under your breath, “God loves me.” Keep doing this until you believe it.

Take scriptures on God’s love for you and speak them under your breath over and over again until you believe them. Then surrender everything to God and watch Him do the miraculous in your life.

 

#Miraculous #AbundantlyAbove  #GodsLove

What Is Your Experience?

I went to a concert on Tuesday.  Four old-school groups in one concert.  I loved being in a room with such high energy.  We were on our feet, singing along and dancing to the music.  Music that we listened to on the radio when we were kids, that played at the roller rink and at our dances.  Music that brought back fond memories of simpler times.

I attended the concert for the last act. I realized quickly that his new music had taken a decidedly darker turn. Songs that are so against what I stand for and what I believe.

I know this man’s music. I have heard his earlier song about talking to God, and now…these anti-God lyrics?

Music gives us a false sense of intimacy with the artist, so when I heard the new music, it disturbed me. The music is still great, but the lyrics…

What causes a person to totally be against God like that? What do they have to be going through? What did they go through to believe God doesn’t care about them?

I get it to some extent. If you look at the world, with people dying all over the globe, people living in poverty and going hungry, it does seem like the cruelest thing God could have done was give human beings free will.

I even have days where I wonder where God is and why He has not intervening in my life, but I quickly get over it because I have experienced God.  I know better. God has save  my life countless times. God has healed me multiple times as well.

But my experience is not others’ experience. Each of our  journeys is unique.  I cannot make people believe as I do. I can only present my testimonies of what God has done for me.  I can only pray, then leave the rest to God.

When we encounter people in our lives, we need to be compassionate, knowing that they are going through something. Instead of doing battle with them, we need to take them before God in our war room. Then let God fight the battle.

#GodsBattle  #GodIsInControl #ExperienceGod

What Do You Tell Yourself?

What do you say to yourself about your current situation?  Maybe you are struggling financially.  Perhaps you are single.  Maybe you see all your friends as successful, and you, in your opinion, are not.  What is it that you tell yourself?

Do you tell yourself that this is it?  That things will never change? That things will always be this way?  Or do you tell yourself that this too shall pass?  That things will get better?  That your best days are ahead?

What we tell ourselves is very important.  It shapes what we think, what we believe and how we live.

If we tell ourselves that we are nobody, that things are never going to change, everything we do–from the way we walk and interact with others to the choices we make–will reflect that belief.

If we believe, however, that we are special, that we are unique, that we were put on this planet to fulfill a purpose, then our mannerisms, our speech and our actions will mirror that belief.

What we believe is going to happen in our lives, so we need to control what we believe.  Are we going to believe that we are beautiful just the way we are, that we have gifts and talents that will bring light to this dark world, that we are enough just the way we are–faults and all?  Or are we going to believe that nothing will ever change, that there is too much wrong with us, that no one would ever want us?

Choose today what you will believe because that is what is going to happen in your life.  Believe good.  Get good.  Believe bad.  Get bad.   The choice is yours.

#BelieveGood #YouAreEnough #WhatDoYouBelieve

Who Is The Focus?

Sometimes I forget that people, even people ministering in the pulpit, do not grasp the core of the Gospel.

Every Monday, while working in my cubicle, I listen to Sunday’s sermon from my old church. This particular week they had a guest speaker. The minister did great until about ten minutes from the end. He made the Gospel and the message of the Cross all about us and not Christ.

Literally I sat in my cubicle praying for him. Under my breath, of course.

No part of the Gospel is about us. Christ died for our sins (II Corinthians 5:21). He is the One who delivers us from our addictions. He is the One who causes everything to work out for us (Romans 8:28). Without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

For the most part, we are taught that we have to sin less. We have to overcome those habits, those addictions. What happens when we focus on sinning? WE sin all the more.

Instead we need to focus our attention on where we want to go. Racecar drivers are told when they are about to crash not to look at the wall but to focus on where they want to go. The car will automatically move in the direction of their focus.

Same goes for us. Whatever we focus on is the direction our lives will take. If we focus on sin, we will sin more. If we focus on Christ and what He has done for us, like saving us (John 3:16), healing us (Romans 8:11), protecting us (Psalm 91) and providing for us (Philippians 4:19), then we will become the people He created us to be.

What are you going to give your attention today?

#attention #focus #Gospel

Are You Settling?

As human beings, we tend to look at what we don’t have rather than what we do. We focus on how much money we don’t have, the spouse we haven’t met yet, the children we haven’t conceived yet, the job we hate.

We make it an all or nothing proposition. We think that if we haven’t received it by now that God just doesn’t want us to have it, that we will never have it.

God is all about timing. Not ours but His. He sees the Beginning from the End. He knows why the men you have been dating are not His best for you. He knows why you didn’t get that job.

Many times we are settling for less than God’s best for us. God wants to send us the best, like He did when He sent His Son to die for our sins (II Corinthians 5:21). Instead we settle. We settle for a mediocre existence. We settle for Ms. Right-Now. We settle for a life far from what God has for us because we don’t want to wait.

We have been waiting, but we can’t wait a minute longer. We decide to help God out like Sarai did when she sent Abram in to lay with her handmaiden Hagar (Genesis 16:2). This is where we run into trouble.

To this day, the descendants of the son conceived by Hagar and the ones of the promised child Isaac are still fighting.

When we try to help God out, we add drama to our lives that would not have been there otherwise.

We need to focus our attention on God, our Provider (Philippians 4:19), God, the Source of all that we need When we do, we find ourselves at the right place at the right time to receive the miracles God has for us.

#miracles #waiting #God’s_Best

Judging Yourself?

Many of us think if only I was pretty enough, if only I was talented enough, if only I was smart enough, if only I was brave enough. We think good things would happen to us if we were enough.

Only we are enough. We are enough just the way we are. We are enough with all our flaws, with all our mistakes, with all our fears. We are enough just as we are.

God accepts as-is. We accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6) not based on our flaws, not based on our past, not based on us at all. He accepts us based on one qualification and one qualification only (Ephesians 2:8)–whether we have accepted what His Son did when He took our sins at the Cross (John 3:16).

God is not judging us. He is not judging our sin because our sin has already been judged. He knew we would sin. He knew that we would mess up and make mistakes, but He also knew that He could not let our sin go.

He sent His Son, His perfect, sinless Son, to live a perfect life as a human, to follow all the laws and regulations without fault (Matthew 5:17). Jesus went to the Cross, and while on that Cross, Jesus became sin for us (II Corinthians 5:21). God took the wrath and punishment for all our sins–past, present and future–out on Jesus.

God is no longer judging us. He already judged us and our sin. Does this mean that we won’t suffer the consequences for our actions? No because for every action there is on this Earth, there are reactions that follow.

We are enough as is. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to be better, to learn more, to be more, but we have to accept ourselves the way we are.

God loves us. God accepts us. God is not judging us. We need to start loving, accepting and stop judging ourselves.
#love #acceptance #Stop_Judging #enough

Staying Silent?

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. – Romans 1:16 (KJV)

I love to tell people about the miracles God has done in my life. I love to give Him the glory, but I find that more and more Believers are staying silent.

The people of other faiths, other beliefs, speak out. They let their voices be heard, but, we, as Believers, don’t. We don’t share the good news of Christ. We instead let the people in our faith speak who are the extremists, the people who make Christians seem dumb or ignorant.

We don’t hear about the Christ who loved us so much to take away the sins of the world, the Christ who heals, saves and delivers, the Christ of hope. We only hear about other faiths’ gods, and when we do hear about our God, it is about how He is in Heaven,  keeping a list of all our wrongs so that He can punish us for them.

We need to speak up about what God has done for us. Maybe not on a public stage but to our friends, family and anyone else in our sphere of influence. We don’t have to force our beliefs down people’s throats. We just need to tell our story. Maybe someone has never been introduced to Christ, the loving Savior who died for our sins and rose from the dead. It is our job to share our experiences with others.

Yes, they might not believe, but we are sowing seeds into their lives. We are giving them the opportunity to meet our Lord and Savior. The difference between an atheist and a Believer is experiencing Christ. Once a person truly experiences Christ and His love, hope and miracles, it is hard for a person to turn away.  The goodness of God leads to repentance (Romans 2:4)

The church, as a whole, is silent. We are not speaking up. We are not introducing this world to the True and Living God. We only had one job. And, we as a whole, have blown  it. Let’s rectify that today. Let’s tell our story, speak the Truth. Let’s change the world one life at a time.

#SpeakUp #Truth #God #ChangeTheWorld

Anxious Much?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).

Anxiety is an epidemic in our world. People miss work because of it. They miss out on things they once enjoyed. They are in a constant state of worry.

I used to be anxious all the time. I couldn’t talk on the phone without break out in panic. I didn’t want to go out of the house for fear I would have a panic attack. I was a prisoner of my life and my own thoughts.

I would love to say I don’t get anxious today, but I do. Not to the same extent. I don’t have full-blown panic attacks anymore. I don’t have my mind stuck on one thought like a broken record. I am able to function through the anxiety.

Why? Because I learned to rely on God as my Source. When I have a problem, when I am anxious about something, I pray, “Lord, the battle with this is not mine but Yours.” Sometimes with chronic problems, it becomes a daily prayer. But I have seen Him come through in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.

I give my problems to God because when we are burdened down, we aren’t doing what God called us to do. We are not helping others because we are focused on ourselves. God doesn’t want us to worry. He wants us to give our burdens, our problems, to Him, and let Him handle them. Then He will show up and show out in ways we didn’t think possible.

Today, give God your problems. Every day, pray, “Lord, this battle is not mine but Yours.” Then watch what He does in that situation.

#anxiety #stress #worry #Godisincontrol

Making The Comparison?

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. – 2 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV).

Everyday we are being compared to others. When we are children, our development is measured in comparison to other children our age. When we are in school, we are compared to the others in our class. Our statistics every week at work are compared to our co-workers. We are constantly being compared to others.

We are not other people. We were not created to be like Sally next door or our co-worker in the next cubicle. We are created to be who God designed us to be.
To be someone other than who God created us to be is to be out of God’s will. It is not His will for us to be anyone other than who God made us.

God created each of us for a Divine purpose. He created us to play a specific role in history. How are we supposed to do that when we are keeping tabs on what everyone else is doing? How are we supposed to do that when we are comparing ourselves to those around us?

Our only concern in life is if fulfilled the purpose God put us on this Earth to do. When God asks us if we fulfilled our destiny, what will our answer be?

We need to look our lives. We must find those areas where we are comparing ourselves to others. Maybe it just when we look at the people on television, in the magazines, and say, “I wish I had her nose.” Perhaps it is because we feel that we should have been further in life by now. Everyone else seems to be. We have to work with the Holy Spirit in those areas to stop making the comparison.

When we compare ourselves to others, we are essentially saying, “God, You are not in control. You do not know what You are doing.”

God is in control. God made us for a purpose. There is a reason we are where we are at this moment in History. No matter how dark things look, God has a plan. No matter what we have done in the past, God still has a plan. Trust Him, and trust the plan.

 

#purpose #plan #makingthecomparison