We fight from a place of defeat when we don’t know our identity and we are then unaware of what is rightfully ours. We must first know who we are, what we possess, and then fight accordingly! 1 John 3:1-2 and Ephesians 1:5 both remind us that we are children of God. As children of God, victory is our inheritance. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” If we walked in that reality, our response to the attack of the enemy would be so different. We would fight from a stance of victory and not one of fear and defeat. We would put down our carnal weapons and instead put on the armor of God and face the battle with confidence. Think about it, what do we have to fear if God is with us in the battle? Reflect on all the battles before you, how have you been approaching them? Be reminded of who you are and fight knowing the victory is already yours!
I am a huge advocate for teaching children scripture and encouraging them to hide the word of God in their hearts so that they do not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Music is great way to accomplish this goal. Select the scripture you want to memorize and sing it to your favorite tune or make up your own beat. You can also create your own “instruments” with household items like my children did in this video. There are so many fun things you can do to help children memorize scripture. Repetition also helps them remember the selected verse. I typically review the scripture at least three times each day when they are first learning it. Once the scripture is memorized, we rehearse it at least once a day in addition to the other scriptures we have memorized. I desire for my children to know the word and also LIVE IT! How do you help your child memorize scripture? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
I love talking to my 91-year-old Jesus loving grandmother. When I share what the Lord is doing in my life or something connected to my pursuit of Him, she begins to rejoice and rehearse a story that I have heard many times. It goes something like this, “Many years ago the Lord told me that He was going to multiply my blessings and I told Him, ‘not natural blessings Lord but spiritual blessings.’ “
The blessings she wanted from the Lord was not a bigger home or more money. Instead, she wanted to see her family members saved. Every time she sees proof, whether big or small, of that promise coming to pass, she praises God and rehearses what He promised. In a recent conversation with her, it finally struck me how powerful this was. Once God answers my prayer and His promise manifest, I rejoice. However, with the passing of time, that excitement and thanksgiving wanes. The answered prayer and promise don’t excite me as much, and I may even forget about what God did. My grandmother has tuned her heart to always sing a song of thanksgiving when she is reminded of what God has done! This fills her heart with confident hope that He is faithful and that He will do all the other things He has promised! I have also observed that she does not often complain because she is too busy thanking God for His many blessings. Her praise and keen awareness of God’s continued faithfulness is contagious and is worth imitating.
Is it easy for you to forget about the promises of God that has been fulfilled? List at least three prayers that God has answered or promises that He has fulfilled. Are you still praising Him for what He did or have you become discontent because you are waiting for Him to do more?
Scripture for meditation
Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Unresolved pain, if given a voice can prove to be destructive. I remember before I got married, I received what was intended to be some well-meaning advice from a woman I barley knew. Her husband had cheated on her multiple times. She told me I should keep my bank account separate from my soon to be husband…just in case. This advice came from a place of unresolved pain. Her lack of forgiveness gave her pain a greater voice. For the record, here I am 17 years later, and I am so glad I did not take heed to her council.
It is so easy to view life and give council from the lenses of past and present pains. We can miss the valuable lessons that are taught by pain if we choose to hold on to how it felt instead of focusing on the beauty it could produce IF GIVEN TO JESUS. When giving counsel about working out, most trainers don’t focus on the pain, they instead tell you about the progress that will come as a result of the pain. They tell you how many pounds you will lose, how your physique will be changed for the better, the increased energy, the quality of sleep, etc. They highlight the positive end results.
I have had to really stop and think about some conversations that I have had recently to make sure that what I share comes from a place of purity instead of a place of unresolved pain. If we stay stuck in our pain, we will speak with a voice of anger, resentment, and fear when counseling others. This is something to pause and consider because our council if heeded, can change the course of someone’s destiny. That’s heavy!
The truth is, we will experience pain in life, but we can’t wallow in it. We must be sure to immediately bring it to the feet of Jesus. Depending on how deep the cut, we may have to bring it to Him more than once as we walk the road to healing. If the pain is given to Jesus, when you open your mouth to council, you will speak with wisdom that is laced with love instead of venom. Food for thought.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Mathew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” It is necessary to explain why peace is needed before one can understand the job of a peacemaker. Sin separated us from a Holy God. However, Romans 5:1 reminds us that the work of Jesus Christ on the cross made reconciliation with God possible. The blood of Jesus allows us to be at peace with God the Father. Since I have been reconciled to the Father and I am at peace with Him, I am now called to bring that same peace to others (2 Corinthians 5:18). Simply put, being a peacemaker means that I bring the good news of salvation to a dying and confused world. Peacemakers are reconcilers. They pray with great fervency for revival to break out in the land and for the hearts of people to be turned to God.
Peacemakers will often offend those who are in sin because they speak the truth of God’s word. That truth is sharp and powerful and goes straight to the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Those who choose to continue in sin will never receive the peacemakers. However, rejected truth is still true!
There is so much chaos going on in the world and the root of it all is sin. Well-meaning individuals employ different strategies to accomplish world peace. However, world peace can NEVER happen through human plans, it can only be accomplished through the blood of Jesus. Good actions and legislations cannot bring lasting peace, only an acceptance of the finished work of Christ on the cross can do that. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting peace. Afterall, He is called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6.
Oh, that the church will arise and embrace the call to be peacemakers!
I love the promise in Mathew 5:8 that the pure in heart will see God. This seeing is not limited to when we see Him face to face for all eternity. This seeing also refers to the connection, the closeness, the sense of intimacy with God that is gained when our hearts are pure. I love how Psalm 24:3-4 puts it, “ Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure.” When you have a pure heart, you see God so clearly. He reveals His truth to you when you are studying His word. Purity of heart opens the door for you to sit at the table as a member of the family and feast on the bread of life. He floods you with His presence and you “see” Him show up on your behalf and shower you with mercy and grace. It’s also worth mentioning that trouble and difficulty are tools that God uses to bring our hearts to a place of purity. The fire of difficulties serves as a spiritual detox. Impurities rise to the surface in the fire, and we are able to be purified. I encourage you not to shun the idea of difficulty because it gives you clearer vision to see God.