Motivational Monday: Today is a New Day


new day

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Do you ever get caught up in the day-to-day routine of life?

Do you ever get tired of the same old thing day after day?

We tend to take for granted that each day is a new day, a blessing from God. No matter how plain your day may seem, we need to remember to thank God for it. With each new day God has given us another chance, a chance to do things different, a chance to minister for Him, and a chance to make a difference in someone’s life.

What will you do with this new day with which you have been blessed?

I know that Monday can be hard. I understand that we are all trying to recover from busy weekends; we are trying to get back in the swing of things, but we can not let that distract us from the task that God has called us to do.

With every new day we are given the opportunity to minster, encourage, lead, and inspire other. It is up to us whether or not we accomplish these things. God has given us the ability, will we use it?

I simply want to encourage you with this today: Remember that today is a new day. No matter what your past has held, God has blessed you with a chance to do things different. If you find yourself in a slump, if it seems as if you have gotten lost in the business of life, remember that you have been blessed with the chance to change that.

Will you take advantage of the new day?

Life Is Not Always Fair


Rain That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45

Have you ever had something happen and you thought, “That is not fair!” I think we can safely say that, yes, we have all felt that way at some point. I, for one, am guilty of this more than I would like to admit. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These are questions I find myself asking over and over again.

God does not always offer an explanation as to why certain things happen. Sometimes God simply tells us to trust Him. We can not see things as God does. We do not understand the things of this world as God does. We have been granted limited understanding, and limited vision of the lives we live.

What are we to do then? How do we respond when a situation arises that we feel is unfair? What do we do when something happens that we do not understand? We trust God. We focus our attention on doing what God’s word tells us, as Christians, to do and we leave the things we do not understand up to God.

In Matthew 6: 25 Jesus tells us: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Jesus is telling us here not to worry. He is telling us to leave the things we do not understand up to Him. He is whispering to us, “Trust Me.”

I believe there is something else we are told to do. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says:But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

God has called us to trust Him, to put our faith in His plan for our lives, and then to live for Him. God knows that we can not understand everything that happens in this life. We can, however, give those things to Him and seek to glorify God with the lives we live.

Sometimes things happen in this world that we do not understand. The important thing to remember is that God is in control. No matter how crazy life may seem, no matter how unfair a situation may feel, God knows and He has a plan. Let us focus on living our lives as God has commanded us to, and leaving the things we do not understand up to the One who created it all and set it all in motion in the first place.

I pray these words have encouraged you today. I pray that we will remember these verses, and remember to place our faith in God’s plan for our lives. Even if we do not understand it all, we can find comfort in knowing that we serve a God who does.

Facing Your Giants


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 “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:35

Last night before we went to bed, I read the story of David and Goliath to our little girl. I never get tired of hearing or reading this story. What encouragement we can find in the story of one little boy, five smooth stones, and one mighty God. You can read the story for yourself if you would like. It is found here, in 1Samuel 17.

This morning I want us to think about the giants we face. We all have them. No matter what they are, each one of us faces giants every day. We may not be facing a nine-foot tall giant with a sword, but no matter what your giant is, it can be just as scary if we are not equipped with the right defense.

What kind of giant are you facing in your life? What do you call him? Is your giant named fear? Is his name heartache? Maybe you call him illness. I do not know what the name of your giant is, but I do know that the Bible promises help for any giant we may have to face.

I want to offer you some encouragement today. Just as little David took five smooth stones and defeated a giant, I want to offer you some defense for the giants you face in your life.

Are you are facing the giant named fear? Maybe there are things going on in your life that are uncertain to you. Maybe you are facing problems that no one else knows about and you are afraid. There is someone who wants to fight that giant for you. His name is the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) You see, the devil wants to fill us with fear. He knows that he has no real power over us, so he uses our own feelings against us. Fear can be a pretty big giant. The more we focus on him the bigger he gets. I encourage you to let the Prince of Peace fight your giant fear today. The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Do not let fear defeat you. Let the peace that only God can bring flood your heart.

Are you facing the giant named heartache? Has someone or something broken your heart? Maybe a dear friend or family member has passed away. Maybe someone close to your has said something and hurt your feelings. There is someone who will fight the giant heartache for you. His name is the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. We read in Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Let this verse encourage your heart. We are assured that even when we do not know what to say, when we do not even have the words to utter our feelings, the Holy Spirit will go before us and intercede for us. If you are facing the giant heartache, please let the Comforter fight the battle for you. Let the Holy spirit comfort your heart.

Maybe you are facing the giant illness. Do you fear that you will never defeat him? You can not defeat this giant on your own, but the Bible does offer some help. Many times in the Bible we are told about Jesus healing people. Many times we refer to Jesus as The Great Physician. All throughout the New Testament we find stories of Jesus healing the lame, the blind, even raising people from the dead. We read in James 5:14: “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” I can not promise you that Jesus will take away every sickness that you have. We read in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. He says: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We are not always promised healing. We can rest assured, however, that God’s grace will be sufficient if we will only trust in Him, The Great Physician. If you are facing illnesses in your life, find comfort. Whether you are healed as so many were in the Bible, or whether you must endure your thorn in the flesh as did Paul, you can find comfort in knowing that Jesus has a plan for your life. We must simply trust that the God of the universe knows what is best for us.

I do not know what giant you are facing today, yet I can promise you that you do not have to fight him alone. Just as David found the courage to fight the giant, Goliath, you can have the same courage to fight the giant in your life. No matter what you are facing, God is right there beside you, holding your hand, if you will only have faith and trust in Him.

A Lesson From a Bumblebee.


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He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

Have you ever had anyone tell you that you could not do something? When our kids were babies, we would tease them. If we wanted them to do something such as give someone a hug or pick up a toy, we would say to them, “You better not  do that, or you can’t do that.” They would try their best to do whatever it was that we told them they could not do just because we said they could not do it. We jokingly called it reverse psychology.

Almost all of us have at one time or another come across someone who has tried to discourage us from doing something. Or, if they did not discourage us, then they just failed to offer the encouragement we needed or were wishing to find in them.

There are times in our lives when we face seemingly impossible tasks. There are things that we are called by God to do that will seem impossible. I want to encourage you today to do it anyway. If God calls you to do something, no matter what it is, do it. God is never going to call us to do something that we can not accomplish with His help.

Did you know that a bumblebee should not be able to fly? It is true. I did not know this until the evangelist at our revival this week preached on this topic. Due to their body size to wing ratio it should be impossible for a bumblebee to fly, but they obviously do. How is this possible? Brother Lon, our revival evangelist jokingly stated that no one ever told the bumblebee that he could not fly, so he does. It is one of God’s miracles of nature. God said that the bumblebee should fly, so no matter how impossible it may seem to man, it is possible with God.

Are you facing some seemingly impossible situation in your life? Maybe you are facing many seemingly impossible situations. I want to encourage you with this thought today: “What seems impossible with men, is Him-Possible with God.” No matter how steep the hill, no matter how deep the valley, if you place your trust in God, He will give you the strength you need to accomplish the task He has laid before you.

Remember the story of the bumblebee: Someone forgot to tell him that he could not fly, so therefore he does. I believe, however,  even if you did tell him that he could not fly he would do it anyway. Why? Because God has said so. And what God says goes, no matter what man might say.

 

Motivational Monday: Your Past Does Not Define You


wonders

 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:

marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

I do not know if anyone has ever told you this before, but you are special. You are a precious gift from God. You have been created with a purpose and bought with a price. You were put on this earth for a reason. Do not ever let anyone tell you that you are ordinary, or that you are worthless. God created you in His image and that makes you someone special.

Many times in life, things happen that are out of our control. We are mistreated by people, we are used by people, and we are abused by people. This can leave us feeling like we are flawed, like we could never possibly be good for anything.

I am here to tell you, today, that those are lies from the devil. They are lies that Satan tries to get you to believe because he wants you to remain lost and cast down.

How do I know? I have been there, I understand, I struggle just as you do.

When I was a child I was molested by someone whom I trusted and admired a great deal. While ministering as missionaries to the Navajo Indians in New Mexico we befriended someone whom we felt needed some help and whom we felt we could help. There for a while it seemed that progress was being made. My parents helped her overcome a drinking problem and even got her involved in church. She became a regular part of our family and someone I considered a dear friend. Unfortunately she had some demons in her past that she could not overcome.  I had no idea what lay in store for me. I endured many years of abuse before I was able to find the courage to come to my parents and tell them what had happened.

Due to circumstances beyond our control we had to leave the mission field. Our lives were turned up-side-down in a matter of a few weeks. After everything that had happened I felt used, broken, and useless. I often wondered how I was ever going to have a normal life after going through something like that.

God had a plan, however. After we moved back home, I was surrounded by people who loved me. I eventually was able to regain some sense of normalcy, yet there are still times, all these years later, when the devil tries to whisper his lies in my ear. He tries to tell me that I am worthless, that I am unlovable, that I am flawed. I have learned to recognize these lies and I have learned to hand them over to God when I am presented with them.

I want to encourage you today. No matter what you have been through, no matter what kind of abuse you have faced in your past, you are still precious in God’s eyes. You may feel broken, flawed, and worthless, but you are not. You are loved by a God who chose to send His Son to die on the cross for your sins. You are loved by a God who chose to create you long before time even began. I promise that He has always and still does have a plan for your life.

Do not let the devil fill you with his lies. Do not let him tell you that you are worthless now, that you can never have a normal life, or that you are never going to be anything. The devil wants to see you defeated. He wants to steal your joy and your hope because that is all he can do.

I want you to cling to the promise of today’s verse. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You can not change what has happened in your past, but you can cling to the hope of a future. My favorite verse, as I have said many times before, is 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 does not think you are flawed, he does not think you are useless. God loves you, He knows you are precious, and He has a plan for your life.

I pray right now, wherever you are in life, that you will allow God to heal, that you will allow God to mend your broken heart, and that you will allow God to show you the plans He has for you. Do not let the devil steal your joy. Put your faith in God and allow Him to show you what you are really worth.