Philippians 4:8

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Picture Source: Youversion

Growing up we had the cassette for the audio adventure of Psalty and the Secret of How to Grow in the Lord. One of the songs said, “I capture my thoughts before they capture me, and drag me to depths of depression. I think about things that are lovely and true, thought after thought in succession.” At that age, little did I know that it came from Philippians 4: 8. It is easy to get carried away by the worries, cares, and concerns of this world. It’s easy to watch the news or scroll through Facebook, notice the devastation happening around us, and let it cause us to fear.

God’s key? Go to that happy place. Think on the good, the things worthy of giving God praise. The Amplified version of this scripture tells us to “think continually on these things, center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart”. Why continually? It leaves no room for the seeds of doubt, pessimism, and darkness the world is constantly trying to plant. Think on all He has done for you or simply who He is. That should be enough to make even the worst of situations not so big anymore.

#GodlyPositiveThinking #SetApartSaturday

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Philippians 4:8 (AMP) Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

John 1: 5

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With all He’s done for you, what have you been doing to share His Light? Don’t feel embarrassed. I know I haven’t been doing near enough to share His Word to others. The thing is as Believers we sometimes get caught up in complaining about the downward spiral of our world OR we may just pray. There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying and trusting that God’s Spirit will move; however, James 2: 26 tells us that “faith without works is dead”.

Our job as Christians isn’t simply saying, “Hi. I’m a Christian.” Our job is to spread His Light through our actions. You may wonder, “Well, what can I really do? I’m just one person.” My response: Look at the “just one person” examples found in our Bible. One person can do much through God.

Instead of fussing at a coworker, what if you addressed them by saying, “Yeah, I know you lied on me to the boss, but let me tell you how my God is bigger.” Instead of just walking by the person who looks like the offspring of Oscar the Grouch and Grumpy the dwarf, what if we walk up and talk to them about the goodness of God? Instead of waiting impatiently on the customer in front of us trying to decide which grocery items to put back because they don’t have enough money, what if we offered to pay and tell them about how our God has provided in even the most seemingly impossible situations?

I’m not naïve. I know some may look at you crazy or may not even acknowledge you or what you did. It’s alright. You never know …that could be a seed planted. Or, you could be the person that dispels a piece of the darkness and shows them the Light, the “something different” that they’d been looking for.

Be the light that overpowers darkness. Be who God has called you to be.

#BeTheLight #ForgivenFriday

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John 1:5 (AMP) The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].

John 1:5 (TLB) His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

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Picture Source: Youversion

The world can bombard us with many different cares and concerns. Sometimes even being involved in church can create busyness in life. Yes, we have responsibilities in our lives – going to work, paying bills, taking care of kids. Yes, we have duties and activities within the church. The thing is, we have to remember not to lose focus. We can’t get so caught up in the “things” of life and the status that the things and doing can bring. We must remember our sole purpose.

When all else fades away and all is said and done, when we stand before our God, our Lord, our Creator, what will matter most is not how many scriptures you memorized or how much money you gave in the offering tray. What will matter is whether you feared God, worshipping Him in your actions, and whether you kept His law. Don’t lose focus. Put Him first and all else will follow.

#FearGod #KeepHisCommands #ThankHimThursday

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Ecclesiastes 12:13 (AMP) When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (MSG) The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.

1 John 3:16

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As Believers, we hear about and experience the love of Jesus. The Amplified version of 1 John 3:16 says that He willingly laid down His life. He wasn’t bullied, forced, or manipulated. He didn’t ask for anything in return. He sacrificed out of love.

The Scriptures remind Believers that everything we do should be done in love. 1 John (TLB) tells us that “we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves”. Living sacrificially means that we live a life where we continually give for others, which shouldn’t be a difficult task. Christ’s followers shouldn’t have hearts of judgement, resentment, bitterness, pride, or stinginess. We should have hearts of love and sacrifice. Now more than ever, the Body of Believers needs to be strengthened and built up. But how can this happen if we do not demonstrate the love that He so willingly gave to all? How can we be the light of the earth if we’re not reflecting the source of this light?

We can try to understand but there is something about God’s love for us that we’ll never comprehend. We are an unworthy people made worthy by His love. He loved and gave so that we can love and give.

#HisLifeForMine #TrustingHimTuesday

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1 John 3:16 (AMP) By this we know [and have come to understand the depth and essence of His precious] love: that He [willingly] laid down His life for us [because He loved us]. And we ought to lay down our lives for the believers.

1 John 3:16 (MSG) This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.

Hebrews 10:23

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Have you taken a look at the world? Without something to hold onto, without something to keep you steadfast, it could be easy to feel as if all hope is lost. It’s easy to wonder what’s the point of trying? It could be easy to get caught in the thought process of the world and never be content, never see the bright side, never understand the purpose of the struggle.

In a previous BAIYS devotion, it was written how God has a plan. He’s allowing certain things to take place to build us; and if we walk in faith, He will get the glory. Hebrews 10:23 (AMP) tells us that we must “seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering”. Looking at the world will most definitely cause our confidence to be shaken. That’s why we must fix our eyes on Him, knowing “He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]”.

The route we walk, the path we’re on – it isn’t easy. It surely isn’t the path of least resistance. Though it’s the road less traveled, it’s a road for those who believe He can strengthen and is God enough to do all He’s promised.

#HoldFast #HoldUnswervingly #MeditateOnHimMonday

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Hebrews 10:23 (AMP) Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]

Hebrews 10:23 (TLB) Now we can look forward to the salvation God has promised us. There is no longer any room for doubt, and we can tell others that salvation is ours, for there is no question that he will do what he says.

Jeremiah 29:11

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Picture Source: Youversion

Ever find yourself in a place where you can’t figure out the situation or how to handle the problem? You can’t even figure out how you got there? It doesn’t even look like you can handle it?

First, remember that God is only giving us what we can handle. Then keep in mind His words in Jeremiah 29: 11 (MSG): “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Though things may seem dark, it is your job to continue walking in the light. It is not your place to try to determine where God is leading or why He’s doing what He’s doing. Your intended job is to remain steadfast and reflect Him in whatever He’s allowing you to go through.

Trying to figure God out would take more than a lifetime. He created all there is and all there ever will be. All we see and ponder, that’s Him. He made it. Our minds couldn’t possibly understand His ways. Our hearts and minds must simply trust Him. Ephesians 3: 20-21 (MSG) tells the reader that “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us”.

We must allow His Spirit to work through us and to guide us. Following, and not trying to lead, will bring us to the place God has already destined and prepared for us. It’s up to us whether we want to obediently follow or second guess and take the scenic route of U-turns. He’s God. He knows what He’s doing.

#GodsPlan #SetApartSaturday

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Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP) For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

James 1:13-14

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If someone says that they are never tempted, I’ll just say they aren’t quite admitting the truth. We all are tempted. As we walk this path of righteousness, we may rejoice that we’ve overcome a habit, a taste, or a desire. God knows we’re not perfect, so He’ll allow another temptation to come around to show us that we still need work.

Based on our past, God is well within His rights to leave us in the hole we’re in to accept whatever judgement or fate we deserve. Yet, He doesn’t. God allows us to be tempted in order to purge and purify us. Temptation helps us see where our faults and flaws still lie. See, God is not trying to bombard us or make us feel inadequate. I Corinthians 10:13 (MSG) tells the reader that God will “never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it”.

He’s that parent that lovingly pushes His children toward a level of excellence. What kind of parent would want their child to walk around being sub-par or, at best, mediocre? What kind of master wouldn’t want his servants to reflect who he is? What kind of king wouldn’t want his heirs and his kingdom to share in his splendor and magnificence?

God does not tempt us. James tells us that “we have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust” (James 1: 14 MSG). Fortunately, through these temptations, God gives us the tools and guidance to overcome victoriously with a testimony to share with others. All we need to do is seek Him and He’s there. He’ll never let us down.

#CheckYouFlesh #TemptedToMakePerfect #ForgivenFriday

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James 1:13-14 (AMP) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion).

James 1:13-14 (MSG) Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.

1 Chronicles 29:11

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Picture Source: Youversion

Life can throw so much our way. Temptation, heartbreak, illness, financial difficulties, family discord. You name it; life throws it. Life can be stressful and frustrating, and there can be moments when we may feel utterly hopeless. However, if we take a second of that moment and think on the greatness, power, and glory of our God, those overwhelming feelings will melt away. What’s bigger than our God? What can’t our God handle?

In Isaiah 40, Isaiah reminds the people of the magnitude and might of God. He tells them that “the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become tired or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding” (v. 28-29 AMP). Our God is the one who “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens with a span [of the hand], … and weighed the mountains in a balance” (v. 12). To Him “the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales” (v. 15) and “the grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it” (v. 7).

The God we serve “gives strength to the weary, and to him who has no might He increases power” (v. 29). Nothing should seem too hard or impossible to those who love, trust, and serve Him. He is Lord of all! Praise Him for who He is and know that He is in control.

#HeadAboveAll #OverAllThings #ThankHimThursday

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1 Chronicles 29:11 (KJV) Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

1 Chronicles 29:11 (TLB) Yours is the mighty power and glory and victory and majesty. Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything.

1 Peter 1:8-9

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Picture Source: Youversion

When people ask why you believe in God, why you believe in someone, something you can’t see, what’s your response? Does their question excite you to tell your testimony? Do you gratefully recall all He’s done and boast of who He is in your life? Or, does their questions make you wonder why you trust Him?

God’s children have faith in His existence and love Him though we’ve never physically laid eyes on Him. We continue to love and trust Him because we see evidence of Him in our lives and in the world around us. We understand the lives we could be living. We know the punishment we should be facing because of some decisions we’ve made. We realize how close we came to some dangers that could have adversely altered our lives. We are confident in Him because we see Him as our Merciful Shield, our Gracious Father. Thinking of who He is and how He chose us brings a smile to our face and sometimes tears to our eyes.

Because of this affection and reliance upon Him, the scripture assures us that we will be rewarded with the salvation of our souls. We’ve been pardoned and our dirt excused because we cleave to Him. Greatest plea bargain ever.

#MySoulsSalvation #WitnessingWednesday

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1 Peter 1:8-9 (AMP) Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy, receiving as the result [the outcome, the consummation] of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9 (MSG) You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.