Brandishing Your Sword

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. – Joshua 1:8 (NLT)

Ever struggle to read the bible effectively? Ever picture studying the bible as a massive Goliath in your life that you somehow couldn’t defeat? Ever lose your desire to read the bible or just not have a desire to read it all? Join the club! So many people struggle or have struggled with meditating on the word of God effectively, including myself. So here are some tips and insight that can help you sharpen your “sword” and increase your ability to study and gain insight from the scriptures.

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The Power in Patience

And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it. – Genesis 40:14-15 (NLT)

I’ve made quite a few posts on patience and waiting on God, not just on here but my social media pages as well. If you follow me on those pages then I’m sure you’ve come across quite a few of those posts. Can I just be real? The main reason why I write so many of these posts is because this is one of my major struggles! (I’m encouraging myself while uplifting others at the same time. What a great 2 for 1?) When it comes to planning and waiting I just can’t seem to grasp the concept. Not to say that I haven’t done well (I’ve grown so much) but I do find myself at this same road block every now and then.

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Encouragement of the Day

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. – Luke 22:31 (NLT)

If the enemy has to ask for permission to sift us as wheat (whether spiritual or natural attacks) we should know that when we’re going through various trials it’s because God has allowed it. When God has allowed a test to come our way, although it may seem like we’re at the end of the end, our current tests are only working for our good. (James 1:2, Romans 8:28)

So consider following Job’s example in Job 1 and praise the name of the Lord in spite of your current circumstances. Don’t complain, push pass the pain!!

Peace and love.

Even WHEN I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me…. – Psalm 23:4 (NLT)

Let God Fight Your Battles

When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal (fool, senseless) was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. In the morning Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died. – 1 Samuel 25:36-38

We have all been there! Someone has said or done something to us that makes us want to give them a piece of our mind and sometimes our fists if we can be honest about it. Even if our flesh may tell us we’re justified in flying off the handle, does that mean we should? How do we handle situations like these? It takes a strong level of maturity to walk away from a fight, especially when provoked, but stepping aside and allowing God to avenge us is the best decision we can ever make. (Romans 12:19) Here’s why…

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What’s On Your Mantel?

 All right then, Joshua said, destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel. – Joshua 24:23 (NLT)

Most times, people place treasured items or special trophies onto their mantle,  (a shelf or outside covering of a fireplace) symbolizing an accomplishment, value or a source of pride. Now I’m usually not much of a fireplace person and most times I’d rather opt out of having a fireplace in a home or apartment. But depending on the layout, if I had the choice of having the fireplace with the symmetrical built-ins, then hey you’ve got yourself a deal! I mean the fireplace, is the heart of the home, so why not go for the whole nine, right? But just like the mantel is the heart of most homes and showcase our most prized possessions in the natural realm, so are our hearts and minds in the spiritual realm. So I dare to ask you, what’s on your mantel?

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Thank God for Closed Doors

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

Thank God for closed doors! Thank God for preventing us from walking into something that would have meant us no good. I’m so thankful that God shut the door on what are now expired desires before they had a chance to produce lasting offspring in my life. Frustration, regret and life-long consequences prevented because I stepped aside and allowed God to close doors and sever relationships. I thank God for taking control of the wheel no matter how hard I wanted to follow my own path. There’s protection in closed doors. There’s a certain safety that comes from missing out on a supposed opportunity.

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It’s Time to Make a Choice

 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. – John 15:16 (NLT)

***Take the time to read this, it just might save lives (including yours.)*** Last week during backed up traffic due to an oil spill, God used that event to symbolize how it can relate to the choices we make in life. Imagine a fork in the road. Our choices are our routes and those choices will lead us to a particular destination. We only have two options: we can either go one way or the other. And because of the awesome God we serve He will allow road blocks to come across our path to get our attention and many times to keep us from making the wrong choice. But the sad thing is, many of us don’t have a “light-bulb” moment when incidents like this happen. Once the road block is removed and God’s grace and mercy we confuse as “luck” or “making it in just the nick of time” spare us of our demise, we continue to go about our daily lives in the same manner.

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The Gift of Now

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. – Proverbs 27:1 (NLT)

I can’t allow myself to miss out. For the past few years I have struggled greatly with living in the present. Not so much because I’m stuck in the past but because I long, plan, daydream and become anxious for the future. I know that I cannot live a truly fulfilling life this way but it seems so difficult to not get caught up in my goals and aspirations. But that’s the thing, I’m getting caught up in my goals, my dreams, my plans and my will. What about God’s plan?

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Food for Thought: Grace & Forgiveness

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Things are bound to happen in life. Mistakes will be made, tears will be shed and feelings will be hurt. There’s nothing that we can do to prevent offenses but we can control how we handle the offense. Jesus was gracious enough to die for our sins even though most of us turn our backs on Him daily, even if it may not be intentional. One thing we all know is that even though we don’t deserve it God still shows us grace. He still forgives us and welcomes us back into fellowship with Him. But too many times we don’t extend the same grace to others. We hold on to our offenses thinking that we’re hurting the other person when really we’re hurting ourselves and delaying our own spiritual growth. I can’t speak for you but no one can get in the way of my purpose. I can’t walk around with a bag full of grudges on my shoulder because I have greater waiting on me. I’m not going to step outside of my divine season, place or character for another person because greater is waiting on me. I won’t stoop to someone else’s level because greater is waiting on me. Jesus will fight my battles so why put myself in a position for unnecessary hurt and defeat when the battle is already won? Getting to this place doesn’t happen overnight, there’s levels to this ;), and with God’s grace I will continue to grow, mature, elevate, prosper and extend His grace. Cause how can I withhold something from someone else that I don’t even deserve?

Peace and love.

Thank Him in the Midst

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I’ve always struggled with staying motivated and trusting God through all circumstances. But as of recently I’ve noticed that I’m really getting to a place of focusing on doing ME. I’m no longer distracted by what’s going on around me but am focused on continuing to grow in God and building my empire. It’s a wonderful feeling to finally be able to get to this place and I know that God will really be able to mature me and use me all the more because my priority is truly Him. So what has taken control of your heart and mind? What are you focused on? Are you focused on the cares of this world and the opinions of others or are you tuned in to the one that really matters the most? If your focus isn’t where it’s supposed to be you may want to re-prioritize and get your focus back in order. There’s nothing better than being in a place of gratitude because you’ve let go of all the cares that were holding you down. So release what has you bound and thank God in advance for where He’s taking you. You  may be in the midst of difficult times but God is always near and He hasn’t forgotten about you. Just make sure you haven’t forgotten about Him. As always….

Peace and love.

***P.S. Happy September all! We’re 9 months into this year and although you may not see what God has promised you, this year still isn’t over yet. I’m excited to see what God is going to do and cannot wait to share it with you all! Be on the look-out because it is coming soon, God is already turning things around!! :)***

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. – Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)