You Don’t Face Life All Alone

JOHN 14:18 BARCLAY 18 I will not leave you to face life all alone. I am coming to you.

Being alone — with no help — is a horrible feeling. One the devil would love for you to believe is your lot.

You are NOT alone! Jesus promised!

When you feel alone, desolate, and helpless — remember the promises of Jesus.

HEBREWS 13:5 NIV 5 . . . God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Your feelings are not the true test of reality. God cannot lie. He is with you now, whether you feel like it, or whether it looks like it, or not.

Since God is always with you, it would be rude to always ignore Him. So call on Him and discuss things with Him. Let God be your friend. That’s His plan.

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The God Of Peace

2 THESSALONIANS 3:16 NKJ 16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Several times the Bible refers to God as the God of peace. But as English readers we miss the full meaning.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament of the Bible was written in Greek. All English Bibles are translations.

The Greek word translated peace is eirene (i-ray’-nay), which corresponds with the Hebrew word translated peace, shalom (shaw-lome’).

If you study extensively, both in the Hebrew and the Greek, you will find that these words translated peace have a rich meaning — far more than just an absence of conflict.

The primary thought is one of wholeness — lacking nothing. When nothing is missing you have peace. There is no anxiety because all is well.

This is the idea meant to be communicated by the term “God of peace” or the “peace of God.” It includes health and prosperity as well as the normal English meaning of absence of conflict.

ROMANS 15:33 NKJ 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

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You Are God’s Work Of Art

EPHESIANS 2:10 NLT 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Outwardly, you may not appear to be much of a masterpiece. You may look like a piece of junk. But inwardly, and in reality, you are God’s work of art — and God does not make any junk.

All that is outward and seen is only temporary — like the cocoon the butterfly inhabits for only a short time. So, while you should take care of your present body, don’t be overly concerned about it. Most importantly, don’t think of yourself as just the body you are now living in.

You are a child of Almighty God, creator and ruler of the universe. Someone God is “raising” to be His companion for eternity. You are NOT insignificant.

Admittedly, you are a work in progress. God still has more work to do with you — but He is the artist, and He will finish His work. (Hint: as you submit to God, the easier it is for Him to change you into the wonderful image He has in mind.)

Someday, everyone will clearly see what God has done in you: making you a wonderful, unique individual worthy of Himself.

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Giving Is Not The Main Ingredient In Prosperity

JOSHUA 1:8 NLT 8 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.

There are Bible passages (such as 2 Corinthians 9) that connect generous giving with reaping a generous financial harvest.

But prosperity requires more than giving!

Someone may say that “buttermilk makes good pancakes” but we understand there are other ingredients that must also be used to make pancakes. “Buttermilk makes good pancakes” may be a true statement, but it’s not the whole truth.

Being a generous giver, (as opposed to being a selfish, self- centered person) is part of prosperity in God’s kingdom, but it is not the complete picture.

God is a giver, and as His children we should be like Him. Giving is something Christians will do naturally when we are not bound by fear and doubt, for it expresses our true nature.

So I am not against giving. The Bible does teach that our generosity affects our prosperity. But it is not the only ingredient — not even the most important one.

The primary ingredient in prosperity is faith (Romans 4:16, 5:2). Faith is what you believe, and therefore directs how you speak and act.

The second main ingredient in prosperity, and just as important, is obedience to God (Hebrews 5:9). We must follow God’s instructions.

Giving cannot cancel out or make up for disobedience. If God has made it clear to you that you are supposed to do something, yet you refuse to do it, and think that you can just give an offering, and everything will work out great in your life, you are mistaken.

Your mother may love you very much and give you her favorite recipe for some food, along with all the ingredients and utensils needed to make it. But if you refuse to follow her recipe instructions you cannot expect it to turn out well, no matter how much your mother loves you or how much it cost her to provide you with everything you needed to make it.

You can give until you have nothing left to give, but unless you walk in faith and obey what you know God has told you to do — you will not live in the measure of prosperity God intended for you to enjoy.

I am not saying you have to be mature and perfect in all you do in order to prosper. We do not have to earn God’s blessing by our performance under the New Covenant. Instead we receive it as a gift based on what Jesus did for us. But if we refuse to follow God’s instructions we still cannot expect things to turn out good in our life.

We also need to understand that there are different levels of faith we can operate in. As a child of God it is possible for you to walk in faith and receive financial provision without you having to give something in order to receive.

Someone might object and say that nothing happens on earth without a seed being sown. While that may be true, Jesus our Head and joint-heir has already sown His all and we are partakers of His grace. We got credit for what Jesus did!

However, we still can choose to release our faith by an act of giving in order to receive a harvest of provision. But when we do that we still need to speak words of faith over our gift. When you give you must also mix faith with your giving for it to work as it should.

We all desire to be blessed and prosperous. The Good News includes the fact that our great and generous Father God has already blessed us in Christ Jesus.

As joint-heirs with Jesus, we already have been given everything by God (Romans 8:17, Romans 8:32, Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 3:22).

So our giving should really be a response to God’s love — not something we must do in order to get God to bless us.

Many people do need to be instructed and encouraged to give because they are bound by selfishness. Fear has trapped them and prevents them from expressing the love of God in their hearts by generous giving. So the Lord has directed many preachers to talk about giving, because it has been necessary.

But we don’t have to give in order to earn God’s blessing, for we are already blessed in Christ. So we can freely and cheerfully give because we know our Father God is our never- ending source of supply. We can support every good work, as the Lord leads us. (2 Corinthians 9:8, Colossians 1:10).

JOHN 2:5 NKJ 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

John 2:5 actually gives all the instruction you need to prosper (not only in this life, but throughout eternity). Whatever Jesus tells you to do — do it!

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Don’t Grow Weary

GALATIANS 6:9 NIV 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

God has a harvest of blessing in mind for you. Don’t let the devil steal it away from you by discouraging you into giving up. Trust in God. He is able to put you over.

Time has a way of wearing us down — of eroding our hopes and dreams. We must look to God for strength and courage and refuse discouragement. We must, with God’s help, overcome — instead of being overcome by life and circumstances.

Life is not easy. There are obstacles and unexpected turns in the road. But always God is with us, for us, and in us as believers in Jesus Christ. When we grow weary in doing good, it is always because we are losing sight of God and eternity.

As you walk in faith and refuse to give up — you bring glory and pleasure to God. Imagine how it thrills God when someone, like you, continues to trust in Him and thank Him — even when it does not look like it is working out very good. Read the Bible. You are not the first to be tested, or have to wait for the promise to be manifested. But God is always faithful. He will never fail you.

Our faith cannot be in ourselves or our ability — because that can fail. Only God cannot fail, so we must keep our faith in Him and His ability to sustain us and help us.

Remember that as a believer, the Greater One is in you — and He is greater than any problem or difficulty. He will help you. God has the answer for your situation. Look to Him and you will not be disappointed.

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God’s Demonstration

ROMANS 5:8 NKJ 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There is no reason to say, “If God loves me, let Him prove it!” He already has.

God gave a demonstration proving He loves you at Calvary — where Jesus died a cruel death on a cross. He died, in your place, suffering punishment you deserved, to set you free.

By dying for you, God proved He loved you supremely. How could He love you more?

Jesus showed that He loves you more than He loves Himself.

JOHN 15:13 NKJ 13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Jesus gave His life for you. What more could He do?

1 JOHN 3:16a NKJ 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.

Many people have a distorted view of God. The true picture of God’s nature is that He loves all the people of the world so much, He was willing to suffer for their freedom.

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Jesus Is The Friend Of Sinners

MATTHEW 11:19 NKJ 19 “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’. . . .

Jesus had trouble with the religious leaders of His day, because He was a friend of sinners. Jesus is the same today. He never changes. Jesus is your friend.

LUKE 19:7 NKJ 7 But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

Religious people couldn’t understand how Jesus could love a sinner — they certainly did not. But Jesus did, and He still does.

Notice what Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery.

JOHN 8:11 NKJ 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Jesus does not condemn you for your sin. He understands. He came to earth and lived in a human body just as you do.

Jesus knows the pressure you face. He knows the pain. And Jesus cares. He cares enough to help you be free of the sin; because He knows that sin will destroy you.

Sin may give a temporary pleasure, but in the end sin always destroys. Jesus loves you so much, and does not want you to be destroyed.

So Jesus is against sin because He loves you.

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You Can Do What You Cannot Do

Let’s look at two people from the Bible who did the impossible. But they did it anyway, because of God’s involvement.

HEBREWS 11:11 NKJ 11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

Sarah had a child when she was 91 years old. (Genesis 17:17-21) Physically, it was impossible. She had long since lost the ability to bear children.

But she did what she could not do.

Sarah achieved this impossibility because of God’s promise, and because she believed God would keep His promise.

JUDGES 15:14-15 NKJ 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.

Samson killed 1000 of the Lord’s enemies with a bone.

He did what he could not do.

No human being is capable of single-handedly killing 1000 people at one time, with no weapon but a bone. No matter how strong or skilled any man may be, he could easily be overcome by such superior numbers.

But with God’s anointing and help — the situation is different.

With God helping you: you have God’s ability to do God’s will. You can do whatever God’s Word says you should do.

Your sufficiency is of God.

Whatever God wants you to do — He will help you. God does not play favorites. Just as He helped Samson and Sarah to do what they could not do — He will help you to do His will — even if “it is impossible.”

Without the anointing and help of the Lord, you cannot. But with God — all things are possible.

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Do Not Be Afraid

JOSHUA 1:9 NKJ 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Over and over the Bible tells us to not be afraid.

When you stop and think about it — it’s ridiculous to be afraid when God is with you — and for you.

As humans, we tend to forget. Maybe that’s why God said so many times to “Fear not!”

Here are just a couple examples.

LUKE 12:7 NIV 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

ISAIAH 41:13 NIV 13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

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To Become Like Jesus

ROMANS 8:29 NLT 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters.

Don’t despair over your current condition — you have an amazing destiny!

God’s plan is to make you like Jesus Christ. Don’t laugh! Remember that nothing is impossible with God.

You WILL be like Jesus!

Always remember that this tops God’s agenda for you. You may be concentrating on some temporal project or need in your life. But God’s focus is always on transforming you into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

We can’t expect becoming like Jesus to always be painless or without difficulty. After all, most of us have quite a few rough edges. But, if we understand what is going on in life, and we keep our eyes on God’s goal, it will be easier.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:17-18 NLT 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

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