Your Word for This Day: “The Key is to Forgive”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22

The third key to becoming a BETTER and not BITTER person when we encounter difficult times, is Forgiveness. If we are to respond accurately to the challenges of lie, we must be quick to forgive those who have hurt us along the way.

3. FORGIVE.

This is one of the most difficult steps to make as you determine in your heart to make the most of your difficult times. Many times, the person or persons who may be responsible for what you are experiencing are those closest to you and this makes it even more challenging. You can’t forgive them because in your mind you did not deserve to be treated like this.

But, when we measure what we are experiencing to what Jesus endured on Calvary, we see that no real comparison can be made. Yet He looked at those who nailed Him to the cross and prayed for their forgiveness, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This must be our response also. Is it an easy thing to do? Not at all. Forgiveness takes Grace. The enabling power of His Holy Spirit. This Grace is available if we make the choice to forgive those who have caused us great pain.

As we forgive, we make room for the blessings of God. God literally opens the windows of heaven and showers us with blessings for our act of obedience. He sees that we are willing to obey so He allows us to eat the good of the land. Forgive those who hurt you and watch God turn your situation around. He will make you stand out and shine like you never did before. He will prepare a table for you in the presence of those who caused you pain. Forgiveness allows goodness and mercy to follow you constantly so that you can walk in the continuous flow of the Lord.

Adapted from an Excerpt from “Stuff Happens” by Diann J. Wilson

Your Word for This Day: “I Choose Better”

Thursday, June 22, 2017

“Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

You and I have grace for today. God gives us GRACE that we need to navigate every season of our lives. Knowing this must help us to respond in a way that pleases God so that we would become all that He has designed us to be.  As we journey through life, God desires that we become better and not bitter.

Better and Bitter. The difference between the two words, is simply one letter. There is an ‘e’ in the word better and an ‘i’ in the word bitter, yet this letter exchange is significant. To become better amidst pain and the trial we need that ‘e’ that represents the eternal, everlasting and ever-present God. We need the ‘e’ to:

  • Encourage ourselves.
  • Engage in deep prayer and intercession.
  • Enlarge our perception of who God is.
  • Enquire of the Lord concerning His will in this time.
  • Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.
  • Experience His majesty and power.

If we were to replace the ‘e’ in better with the ‘i’, this is what we would experience:

  • I do don’t deserve this.”
  • I cannot go on.”
  • I am too weak to fight.”
  • “Why am I going through this?”

As we focus on the I, we become bitter and when we are bitter, all we can see and hear about is ourselves—what we need, what we deserve and what we can or cannot do.

That same letter ‘i’ is in the middle of the word pride. When we allow ourselves to become bitter, we are operating in pride -we are judging God and blaming Him for the things that we are experiencing instead of blessing Him as Job did although he did not understand his misfortunes.

Today, let us ask ourselves these questions: Will I become better or bitter? Will I focus on the ‘i’ position and the ‘poor me’ condition  or on the ‘e’ position and worship the eternal ever-wise God who is in complete control of my life? What will be the decision that I make today?

 

Your Word for This Day: ” It CAN be DONE!”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37

The Philistine champion, Goliath, came up against the people of God and in their eyes defeating him and the Philistine army seemed an impossible task…

But, not for David, the shepherd boy who was sent to the battlefield on an errand. He knew that He could take down the giant. David was able to have faith in God to do the impossible because God had empowered him to kill a bear and a lion when they interfered with his sheep.  When David came up against Goliath, he reminded himself of God’s delivering power and this strengthened David’s resolve.

David was able to build upon his faith as a result of his past experiences, so too, our faith can be great as we go through dark, challenging times.  Every time we endure something negative, we learn something about God that we did not know before.  We learn that He is able to do more than we can imagine possible.  We also learn something about ourselves.  We realize that we are stronger than we thought we were.  All in all, dark times are supposed to make us stronger and wiser and better than we were before.

One of the myths that surrounds Christianity is that if a man is faithful to God, he will not go through adversity and persecution, but the Bible does not teach that believers would be free from trouble, pain, and suffering in their lives.  In fact the Bible is clear in its message that the righteous would be persecuted.  The world will hate us because it first hated our Master Jesus Christ. But we can hold on to the promises of God in his Word that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear (See 1 Corinthians 10:13).

God has promised to deliver those who love and obey Him out of their suffering. We can rest assured that God will stand by us in our pain and bad times.   David declared, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). We can trust in our God!

An Excerpt from “Stuff Happens” by Diann J. Wilson

Your Word for This Day: “God Always has a Plan!”

Friday, June 16, 2017

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

Joseph encountered difficult times. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was thrown into prison on an attempted rape charge by his boss’ wife. Those he helped while he was in prison forgot him when they were released, although they promised him that they would help him. He endured almost fourteen years of bad things happening one after another.

Yet, in the midst of it all, Joseph remained focus. He was focused because God had given him a dream of greatness before everything happened and nothing was going to take that dream away.

Has God given you a dream or a vision and you are beginning to lose hope?  Stay focused. When bad things happen, focus on the dream in your heart. Keep the dream alive; please do not let it die. You cannot control what has happened or may be happening even now, but you can control how you react to what is happening.

Joseph fulfilled his dream and his destiny. Later on, he chose to help those who tried to destroy him because he understood that they meant it for evil but God meant it for God.  God always has a plan. God is always up to something when we are down to nothing. Remember His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not like ours. He knows what is happening and He has the plan.

Joseph’s accurate response prepared him to rule and reign in his position of power when it came.  Your correct response in the midst of your adversity would also be preparation for your elevation when all is said and done.  Do you want to be elevated? Then learn from Joseph and go through your hard times focused and trusting God and He who has promised to bless you is faithful and He will give you double for your trouble if you will only endure to the end with the right attitude and spiritual position. Of this you can be sure.

An Excerpt from “Stuff Happens” by Diann J. Wilson

Your Word for This Day: “God’s got you!”

Monday, June 5, 2017

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? “ Matthew 6: 26 

On this beautiful Monday, at the start of a new week, we have a great opportunity to remind ourselves what God says to us in His word: Don’t worry!

Yes, you may be facing challenges in your work place, in your family, in your health, in your finances, and in your relationships, but you are not comfortless today. Here the heart of the Father to you: Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (v 27)

The answer is no! The truth is that worry and stress can actually decrease the quality of your life and shorten your lifespan. It brings mental slowness, general negative attitudes or thoughts, a sense of helplessness and loneliness and leads you to poor health habits, and decreased contact with family and friends.

But, this is not what God wants for us. He desires that we live the ABUNDANT LIFE in Christ Jesus, a life of overflowing joy and love, purpose, clarity, strength, passion, power and connection.

We can trust God to take care of us. He knows what we need and He knows how to get it to us. Today, take time to refocus in the areas that are causing you to worry. Focus not on the bigness of your challenge, but on the bigness of your God. As we focus on our FOCUS, He will take care of all that concerns us. Let us use our energy to seek Him, love Him, obey Him, serve Him, and enjoy His presence with everything we’ve got! 

The word continues…

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? (v28-30)

God will certainly care for you! You belong to Him. He is interested in you. God’s on the job and He maintains His character as a good Father. Be encouraged today, and choose to trust Him, especially when you don’t understand or even feel Him near. God is with you and He is faithful!

Your Word for This Day: “Wisdom for Living: Prayer”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

“The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 15:14

As a good Father, God gives us what we need to be able to experience the abundant life that He has made available to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Part of this amazing package is the gift of wisdom, which comes in the presence of His Holy Spirit.

We must desire to operate with wisdom in every aspect of our lives… in prayer, in finances, in relationships, in giving, in health, in business and the like. This week, we will look at some of these areas and how we can apply more godly wisdom in each specific area so that we can access and steward well the abundance that God has prepared for us.

WISDOM FOR PRAYER

Simply put, prayer is the medium that we use to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Through prayer we talk to our Father and let Him know what is on our hearts, and in return, He shares His heart with us. There is a power that comes from talking to God that cannot be found except through the medium of prayer.  God established it like that and that is why He himself advised that “men ought always to pray…” (Luke 18:1).

To pray effectively  – to see the answers to our petitions – we need wisdom. We don’t want to just speak many words or go through a religious exercise, we need to see results. And, to see results we mus pray wisely. That means we must:

  • Have the right motives: God is not interested in catering to our selfish ambitions nor encouraging jealousy, envy, hatred and the like. The foundation of everything that we do must be love because God is love.
  • Have pure hearts and clean minds: If we keep evil in our hearts and meditate on things of darkness, God will not hear us. God desires truth in our inward parts.
  • Be in alignment with God’s will: Our desire must first be that God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on the earth, just as it is in heaven. That, my friend, is the purpose of it all.

As we ask God for wisdom in our prayer lives, not only will what we pray change, but also how we pray will change. As we connect more deeply to Spirit of Wisdom who has been given to us, we will experience more greatly the joy and freedom that His presence brings!

Your Word for This Day: “Benefits of Wisdom: Long Life”

Friday, May 19, 2017

“If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5

It really is amazing, isn’t it? When we think about the great benefits that wisdom brings to our lives, we can see why in God’s Word we are instructed to go after wisdom, to search for her as for a hidden treasure. A life filled with the wisdom of God is a life that is filled with the knowledge of God. Wise people know how to access and walk in His abundance.

Wisdom protects, guards, promotes, and honors all who seek after it and crowns them with grace and glory. Today, we look at the fifth benefit: Wisdom can cause you to live long!

5. Wisdom Offers you Long Life.

Proverbs 3: 16, 18 says: “She [Wisdom] offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.”

Who doesn’t want to live a long and satisfying life? I mean, everyone in their own way is looking for a way to extend their days on earth and to improve their quality of life as they do so. Whether it’s through exercise, eating right, taking supplements, or even undergoing cosmetic procedures… it is safe to assume that the majority of people do not want to die now.

Well, the Word of God tells us that through wisdom we can learn to live a long life on the earth and walk in delightful paths that are satisfying. Wisdom helps us to be able to discern between right and wrong and to take the right course of action in any given situation. Wisdom teaches us how to look at the bigger picture and to live in accordance with godly principles which are more focused on the long term impact, rather than just on a momentary satisfaction. I believe that wisdom helps us to look beyond the “here and now” so that we can make decisions that will bring us in and keep us on right paths.

Wisdom is interested in our future – not just in living it, but how we will be living it. We are encouraged today to pursue and ask for the Wisdom of God so that we will be prepared and equipped to fulfill all of our days on the earth – in purpose and in rich fulfillment.

Moment of Reflection: What are the areas in your life where you may need more wisdom? What changes could you make to ensure that you are living and will continue to live your best life?