Welcome to the official Fly Times Boutique Blog. Located in Mobile, AL, we offer exclusive gear that can only be found here. No one can make you Fly. You have to be born with it. Fly Times can be the outlet to your inner Flyness. We offer an exclusive blend of clothes and accessories, producing one unique individual. Come Fly with us!!!! Fly Times Boutique
But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. —Luke 6:32 NKJV
The Bible teaches us that love is the most important thing to be concerned with. It is “the main thing,” and we should let the main thing be the main thing in our lives.
Are you majoring in things that really don't matter and paying very little attention to walking in love? For many years that was exactly what I did, and the result was an unfulfilled, dissatisfied feeling that I couldn’t get rid of no matter how I tried. I had a relationship with God; I even had a ministry to others! But I was not happy and couldn’t understand why. It seemed that I had most of what I wanted in life, but joy evaded me. As I cried out to God to help me, He showed me that I had my priorities out of line. I was more concerned with how I was being treated than with how I treated others.
I believe love can be seen or not seen in how we treat people, especially people we come in contact with who don't particularly interest us or have any ability to do anything for us. According to Jesus, our love should include everybody, not just those who can pay us back. He said if you merely love those who love you, what credit do you get? Even a sinner can do that!
We don't have the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us do easy things, but to do things that are hard and sacrificial. Loving some people is very hard. They don't act lovable or even seem to want to be loved. They certainly don't reciprocate any affection shown to them. But when we begin to treat others as we would like to be treated and not as they are already treating us, we are obeying a principle that releases multitudes of blessings into our lives and pleases God.
Love Others Today: Help me, Lord, to love everyone – even those who are difficult to love.
For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. —HEBREWS 4:15
As human beings, we have a deep need to be understood. When we don't receive it, we feel lonely. In listening to people share their hurt and pain, I find that the words "I understand" have a very soothing effect. I have told my husband, "Even if you don't have a clue about what I am talking about, just tell me you understand, and it will make me feel a lot better." A man could not possibly understand PMS, but it is better for him if he appears to have understanding of his wife's plight. She needs to be understood. She does not want to feel alone in her pain and struggle.
One day my husband came in from trying to play golf. He had not had a good experience because his leg was hurting and swollen. He was not too happy about it. His golf game is really important to him, so I said, "I understand how you feel." I offered him whatever help I could give physically, but my understanding seemed to help more than anything.
There have been times in the past when my attitude has been, "What's the big deal? It's only one round of golf. After all, you play all the time." That attitude has started arguments and driven a wedge between us. He wants me to understand his needs, and I want him to understand mine.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Hebrews 4:15, which teaches that Jesus is a High Priest who understands our weaknesses and infirmities because He has been tempted in every respect just as we have, yet He never sinned. Just knowing that Jesus understands makes me feel closer to Him. It helps me be vulnerable and trust Him. It helps me feel connected rather than lonely.
The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body. —Proverbs 16:23–24
Our thoughts can either get us into trouble or elevate us above our problems. Too often, however, we allow our minds to linger over and ponder the wrong kind of thoughts. In the verse above, it says the mind (or the heart) of the wise teaches his mouth. This proverb means that the thoughts on which we dwell will eventually come out in our words. If our words are good and uplifting, they encourage others and us.
Those thoughts aren’t just about others—they are also about how we reflect on ourselves, as well. One of the smartest friends I had in school confessed one day that she felt intellectually inferior. Her words shocked me, and I told her so. I learned that her father used to call her stupid when she didn’t grasp something the first time he explained it to her. Eventually, her own thoughts said to her, “You aren’t intelligent enough to understand this.”
That’s a good example of how our words can tear down others. But we can also uplift others with our words. When we focus on the good, we see in people and tell them, we may well be God’s messenger to them.
For example, I’ve stood in front of a crowd and spoken many times. Because I have victory, they assume I’m always in victory, and that I never have to struggle the way they do. Sometimes a person will come to me and say, “Joyce, God really used you tonight. I came here discouraged and kept asking God what I should do. Right in the middle of your teaching, I heard God speak through you.”
Those are pleasant words—as sweet as a honeycomb. Those people who speak to me are often unaware of how hard I’ve fought the enemy and struggled to free my mind from his influence. When they tell me what a blessing I’ve been to them, they often don’t sense how much their words mean to me.
Everyone needs to hear pleasant and healing words. It’s too easy to assume certain people don’t have the same struggles or severe battles that we experience. All of us struggle, and for some, it’s worse than for others. I believe that the more God wants to use us, the more forcefully Satan exerts his power against us.
We can help each other. When we sincerely speak pleasant words, healing words, we are not only diffusing our enemy’s power, but we are building up one another. We need to build up others as much as we need others to encourage us.
I can remember times when I’ve wanted to say a kind word to someone, and I would think, “Oh, she knows that. She’s heard that before.” Then I would say to myself, “Yes, maybe she knows, and perhaps she’s heard it before, but she hasn’t heard it from me.” It’s not that my words are better than anyone else’s, but it is the Holy Spirit who takes our words, anoints them, and brings healing and help to others.
What if each of us decided, I am God’s servant to bring healing words to wounded and hurting hearts? What if God chose us to strengthen and build up people by speaking soothing, kind, and thoughtful words to them? Not only do we put the devil to flight, but our friends’ joy soars, and ours does, too—¬because we’ve been used as God’s instruments of healing. I learned long ago that it takes so little to do so much good. Often it’s only a word of encouragement, a hug, or just saying the words, “I care.”
Holy Spirit of God, please remind me of the words that dwell inside me. Remind me to hold on to the good, the kind, and the uplifting thoughts, and empower me to push away those that can hurt and tear down others—and myself. I ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. —1 John 4:18 KJV
Have you ever started to step out in faith and, even at the thought of it, felt fear rising up in you? It happens to everyone, but it is important to realize that the source of fear is Satan.
Satan doesn’t want you to do what God wants you to do and receive all God has for you, so he sends fear to try to torment you into being doubtful and miserable. Fear is an evil spirit that hinders progress.
But you can live without fear by building your faith on what God has said in His Word. There is great power in confessing the Word of God. So when Satan attempts to torment you with fear, confess what the Word says—that the Lord is with you and “will not fail you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Take steps of faith even if you have to “do it afraid.”
Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. —Hebrews 13:15
Moses rose early in the morning, built an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. Then he prayed and read the Book of the Covenant (See Exodus 24:1–7). Thankfully, God no longer asks us to build an altar out of rocks, slaughter a bull, drain its blood, and build a fire in order to honor Him with a burnt sacrifice.
God doesn’t want a dead sacrifice anymore. He wants us, living sacrifices, full of zeal to serve Him each day. All we have to do is wake up and say, “Thank You, Lord. I give You the sacrifice of praise. I give You myself, a living sacrifice, ready to live for You today.”
And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me. —Matthew 25:40
When we look at the needs in the world today they are staggering. You may be thinking, Joyce, what I can do won’t even make a dent in the problems we have in the world. I know how you feel, because I once felt the same way. But if we all think that way, nobody will do anything and nothing will change. Although our individual efforts may not solve the problems, together we can make a major difference. God won’t hold us accountable for what we could not do, but He will hold us accountable for the things we could have done.
I had recently returned from a trip to India and was at the gym when a woman I often see there asked me if I really believed that all the effort required for these trips was solving anything since millions would still be starving, no matter how many we fed. I shared with her what God placed in my heart—something that forever settled the issue for me. If you or I were hungry because we hadn’t eaten in three days and someone offered us one meal that would alleviate the pain in our stomachs for a day, would we take it and be glad to have it? Of course we would.
And so are the people we help. We are able to set up ongoing programs for many of them, but there will always be those we can help only once or twice. Still, I know these outreaches are worth doing.
If we can give one hungry child one meal, it is worth doing. If we can help one person go without pain for one day, it is worth doing. I have resolved to always do what I can do and to remember what God said to me: “If you can only relieve someone’s pain one time for one hour, it is still worth doing.”
Trust in Him Has God planted an idea or a desire in your heart to help others in a specific way? Trust that whatever you can do is worth doing. Don’t let the magnitude of the problem overwhelm you. God will show you what you can do—trust Him when He says it makes a difference.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him. Did I mess any —2 Chronicles 16:9
Anyone who loves God wants to please Him. Just having the desire to please Him pleases Him. A desire to please God is necessary— it motivates us to seek His will in all things. People who have a deep desire to please God may not perform perfectly all the time, but they keep pressing forward and always have the attitude of wanting to improve.
In 2 Chronicles 16:9, we see God is searching to and fro for someone whose heart is perfect toward Him. The Scripture does not say He is looking for someone with a perfect performance, but rather someone with a perfect heart—a heart desiring to please Him.
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] —John 16:33
Look at each word Jesus spoke and meditate on it so that you get the full meaning of what Jesus is saying. He is telling us that during our lives we will have hard times, trials, and things that frustrate us, but we don’t have to let worry or depression be part of it, because He has given us courage (if we will take it), confidence, and assurance. No matter what comes against us, if we have confidence that we can make it through, it won’t bother us that much. It isn’t really our problems that make us unhappy; it is how we respond to them.
Jesus said to “be confident.” He did not say to “feel confident.” Start today choosing to be confident in every situation and you will begin driving fear back to Hades where it came from. When Satan tries to give you fear, give it back to him. You wouldn’t drink poison if someone offered it to you, would you? Then stop taking fear and start choosing courage.
Lord, thank You that You have overcome the world. I will be confident today because I follow You and walk in the victory You have already won. Amen.
It was told Jehoshaphat, A great multitude has come against you … Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah. —2 Chronicles 20:2–3
When King Jehoshaphat needed to hear from God, he proclaimed a fast throughout his entire kingdom of Judah. All the people gathered to seek the Lord for help, longing for Him with all their hearts.
Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast to demonstrate his sincerity to God and his need for God. If you need to hear from God, consider missing a few meals and taking that time to seek God. Turning the television off and spending time with God instead of watching it is not a bad idea either, nor is spending a few evenings at home seeking God instead of going out with friends asking for their advice and opinions. These disciplines and others prove that you understand the importance of hearing from God.
Some people seek God earnestly only when they are in trouble, but we need to seek Him intensely all the time. God once impressed upon me that the reason so many people have so many problems is that the only time they seek Him is when they are in trouble. He showed me that if He removed some people’s problems, they would not seek Him at all. He said, “Seek Me as if you were desperate all the time and then you won’t find yourself desperate so often in reality.” I think this is good advice and I encourage you to follow it every day.
God’s word for you today: Don’t wait until you are in trouble to seek God; seek Him all the time.
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded and stricken within me. —Psalm 109:22
Is it wrong to have a wounded heart? No, a wounded heart is not wrong, but you need to get it healed and go on. In Old Testament days, if a priest had a wound or a bleeding sore, he could not minister. I think today we have a lot of wounded healers. By that I mean that there are a lot of people in the body of Christ today who are trying to minister to other people but who themselves still have unhealed wounds from the past. These people are still bleeding and hurting themselves.
Am I saying that such people cannot minister? No, but I am saying that they need to get healed. Jesus said that the blind cannot lead the blind; because if they do, they will both fall into a ditch. There is a message in that statement. What is the use of my trying to minister victory to others if I have no victory in my own life? How can I minister emotional healing to others if I still have unresolved emotional problems from my past?
In order to minister properly, we need to go to God and let Him heal us first. I think we need to wake up and realize that God is not looking for wounded healers. He wants people with wounds that He can heal who will then go and bring healing to others. God loves to use people who have been hurt and wounded because nobody can minister to someone else better than one who has had the same problem or been in the same situation as that person.
I am not saying that we have to have everybody's problem in order to minister to them. My point is that if we are still bleeding and hurting from our own wounds, we are not going to be able to come against other people's problems with the same kind of aggressive faith we would have if we had already worked through that problem ourselves.
The bottom line is that we need to let God heal us so He can use us to bring healing to other people.
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. —Hebrews 13:5
I recently heard an interesting story about the difference ¬between real and imagined problems—something that all of us have probably faced at one time or another. This story ¬involved a man who was in his second year of Bible college. He was faced with financial challenges and couldn’t figure out how to pay his bills, support his family, and remain in school. He and his wife were expecting their second child, and because of health problems, she required total bed rest. He finally made an appointment with the financial aid office.
He nervously walked in and sat down. Then the man across the desk asked him an interesting question, “Do you need money, or do you have real problems?” That question changed his life. Why? Because he had seen money as his biggest and most difficult-to-solve problem. His bills and financial needs were constantly on his mind. It was as if his need for money had become the most important thing in his life.
Before this young student could say anything more, the financial counselor smiled and said, “Most of the students come in because they need money. Money becomes the center of their lives, and it steals their victory and peace.”
The student felt as if this man had been reading his mail. Until that moment, he had been one of those students the man had described. In his quest to figure out how to make ends meet, victory and peace had completely eluded him.
The wise financial counselor made some very interesting observations that day. He said, “The problem isn’t money, son, the problem is trust. We have a few financial loans we can make, but that won’t solve your problem. You see, your problem is inside your head and your heart. If you can get those things in the right order, money will no longer be the focus of your life.”
No one had ever spoken to him like that before. “Not only did the loan counselor force me to rethink my life and my ¬priorities,” the student said, “but he pointed me in the right direction.”
The loan counselor pulled out his Bible, and asked the ¬student to read three verses that had been underlined in red and highlighted in yellow. “The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:23–25).
“So look at yourself, son,” the man said. “Are you a good man? Are you a righteous person? If you are, what does that say about you and your relationship with God?” The student read those verses aloud twice, and recognized that those words were a picture of himself. He had fallen—he had allowed himself to become discouraged—and he had been ready to give up. But he knew he was in Bible college because that’s where God wanted him to be.
As he left the financial aid office, he had received no money and no offer for aid, but he left with a lighter heart and an assurance that he would not have to leave school. He was a little slow in paying some of his bills—and a few times, he had to get an extension on paying his tuition—but he was able to stay and complete his education. Today he is in full-time pastoral ministry.
God takes great care of His own, and He will take care of you. Hebrews 13:5 offers you assurance that you don’t have to set your mind on money, wondering and worrying how you can take care of yourself. God has promised to take care of you, so what more is there to say?
God of all precious promises, I’m ashamed that I’ve allowed money or other problems to become so important that I’ve lost my perspective. My problem isn’t money; my problem is my lack of trust in You. As I meditate on Your promises, help me to truly believe that You will perform Your Word in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. —Romans 5:8
When you read the title on this page— Are You Lovable?—you may have immediately thought, “No, I’m not!”
I would have probably responded the same way before I came to understand the true nature of God’s love and His reason for loving me.
How can God love you as imperfect as you are? He loves you because He wants to. It pleases Him. God loves you because that is His nature. God is love (see 1 John 4:8). If He were otherwise, He wouldn’t be who He is.
God may not always love everything you do, but He does love you. His love is unconditional—it is based on Him, not you.
For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! —Isaiah 41:13
The Lord says to you this morning the same thing He told Jacob in a dream: “I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go, and I will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you.” (Genesis 28:15). Keep your mind on this promise in spite of any news you may hear that tempts you to be afraid today.
God promises to be with you, watch over you with care, take notice of you wherever you may go, and bring you back again. He says He will not leave you, and He will complete all the promises He has made to you. This means that no weapon formed against you will prosper (See Isaiah 54:17).
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. —Philippians 1:27 NIV
I know people who have been sick for an extended period of time and have the most beautiful attitudes. They never complain, are not grouchy, don’t act as if the world owes them something, and they don’t blame God or even feel sorry for themselves. But I also know people with the same circumstances who talk only about their illnesses, medical appointments, and how hard it all is for them. They are easily offended, bitter, and resentful. Every situation in life requires making a decision about how we are going to respond, and if we respond the way God would, then our trials will be much easier to handle.
Perhaps you have never thought about how important it is to manage your emotions during times of crisis. Most of us think, I can’t help how I act right now; I am having a hard time, and that is all there is to it. That is a normal human reaction, but with God on our side helping us, we don’t have to behave the way a “normal” person would. Satan is our enemy, and his goal is to get us so emotionally rattled that we say things that will provide him with an opening into our lives. Or he hopes we will make unwise decisions during painful times and create messes that we will have to deal with for a long, long time afterward.
I have believed for years that if I can hold my tongue and remain emotionally stable during times of difficulty, then I am honoring God and letting the devil know he is not going to control me. I’m not always successful, but I’m certainly a lot better than I once was. As I often say, “I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.” I am still growing, but at least I’ve learned the importance of managing my emotions. There is no doubt it is more difficult to manage your emotions when you’re sick or going through a crisis, but hopefully you are learning it is possible.
Trust in Him; Don’t let circumstances defeat you before you even try to conquer them. Decide now that you will manage your emotions during times of crisis. Trust that God is on your side, and His grace is sufficient to meet your every need.
Pray that the LORD your God will show us what to do and where to go . . . Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us. —Jeremiah 42:3, 6 NLT
According to the Scripture above, when the Israelites asked Jeremiah to speak to God on their behalf, they had already decided they were going to learn what to do, and, no matter what it was, they were going to do it.
I wonder what would happen if people today had this same attitude every single time they sat anywhere the Word was being preached. What would your life be like if every time you went to church or listened to a teaching CD or read the Bible you had the mind-set, Whatever I learn today, I’m going to do it!
James 4:17 says if we know what to do and don’t do it, that is sin. The wrong things we commit are sin, but the right things we omit are also sin. Make a decision to be a “doer” of God’s Word, and not merely a “hearer.”
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. —Psalm 9:1 NKJV
Throughout the Bible we see people celebrating progress and victory in a variety of ways. One way was to specifically take the time to give an offering to God and to thank Him.
Noah had been in the ark one year and ten days when God told him it was time to go forth and begin a new life. I cannot even imagine how happy he and his family (and the animals) were to see dry ground. The first thing Noah did was to build an altar to the Lord and sacrifice various animals to Him. In Noah’s day this was the acceptable method of giving to God and showing appreciation for what He had done. God was pleased when He smelled the pleasant odor and He pronounced a blessing on Noah and his sons (see Genesis 9:1).
Abram (later renamed Abraham) regularly built altars to God and sacrificed, giving praise and thanks to God for his progress as he journeyed through the land (see Genesis 12:7, 8; 13:4). God was leading him, taking care of him and keeping him safe. Surely at the end of each day we should take time to celebrate that God has kept us safe and enabled us to do whatever needed to be done.
We would quickly add a lot of celebration to our lives if we would take time to give thanks and perhaps some other type of offering when God does amazing things for us. An attitude of gratitude shows a lot about the character of a person. We should never have an attitude of entitlement, but we should have one that says, “I know I don’t deserve God’s goodness, but I am sure grateful for it.”
Love God Today: God, help me be the most thankful person in the world. I never want to take your goodness for granted, so please help me celebrate all you have done are doing and will do in my life.
[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. —Hebrews 11:8
If you are doing nothing with your life because you are not sure what to do, then I recommend that you pray and begin trying some things. It won’t take long before you will feel comfortable with something. It will be a perfect fit for you. Think of it this way: When you go out to buy a new outfit, you probably try on several things until you find what fits right, is comfortable, and looks good on you.
Why not try the same thing with discovering your destiny? Obviously there are some things you cannot just “try”—such as being an astronaut or the president of the United States—but one thing is for sure: You cannot drive a parked car. Get your life out of “park,” and get moving in some direction. I don’t suggest going deep in debt to find out if you should own a business, but you could begin in some small way, and, if it works, take it to the next level. As we take steps of faith, our destinies unfold. A confident woman is not afraid to make mistakes, and if she does, she recovers and presses on.
Lord, I want to be moving in the right direction with my life. I trust You to guide my steps as You did Abraham. Amen.
A great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice. —1 Kings 19:11–12
I was fascinated when I learned several years ago that some horses have what their trainers call a “reining ear.” While most horses need to be led by a strap fastened to the bit in their mouth, some horses keep one ear tuned to their master’s voice. One ear is open for natural warnings; the other is sensitive to the trusted trainer.
The prophet Elijah had a reining ear. When natural circumstances gave him every reason to be frightened and he desperately needed to hear from God, he was able to do so, even with the noise and confusion around him. You see, he had just defeated 450 false prophets in a duel of power between their silent Baal and the one true God. Now the wicked Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him within a day. He needed to know what to do!
He stood on a mountain before God. A strong wind tore through the mountains; a terrible earthquake took place; and fire broke out all around him. After the fire came “a still, small voice.” God’s voice to Elijah wasn’t in the power of the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the whisper. Elijah had a reining ear, one that was trained and sensitive toward his Master, so he did what God said to do, which saved his life.
God still speaks softly and in whispers deep in our hearts today. Ask Him to give you a hearing ear so you can hear His still, small voice.
God’s word for you today: Listen for God with a “reining” ear.
For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it! —Zechariah 4:7
The Samaritans who came against the Israelites as they were building the temple of the Lord had become like a mountain of human obstacles, frustrating them and preventing them from doing what God had commanded them to do. That may be the situation in which you find yourself right now as you read these words. You may feel that the Lord has told you to do something but that the enemy has thrown up a mountain in your path to frustrate you and prevent you from carrying out the Lord's will. If so, I know just how you feel because that is exactly the way I used to feel. The problem is one of perspective.
In this passage the Lord tells Zechariah that the problem facing the Israelites, although it may appear to be a mountain, is actually a molehill. How would you like for all your mountains to become molehills? They can, if you will do what God is saying here and look not at the problems but at the Lord and His power. If God has told you to do something, it is certainly His will not only that you begin it but also that you finish it.
I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! —Psalm 57:2
Great worship leaders know to come into the presence of God with their entire being, prepared to give thanks and praise (See Deuteronomy 10:12). They don’t just roll out of bed, throw water on their face, and run a comb through their hair before church. They know that the anointing comes from a sincere pursuit of loving God with their whole heart.
Likewise, as you approach God in the morning, come to Him with a heart full of worship, expressing your awe of Him for His faithfulness toward you. He promises that He will never forsake you, but will be with you all day long (See Joshua 1:5).
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. —Psalm 32:5
We must learn the difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation presses us down and manifests as a heavy burden that requires us to pay for our errors. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, showing us that we have sinned and inviting us to confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness and God’s help to improve our behavior in the future. Condemnation makes the problem worse; conviction is intended to lift us out of it.
When you feel guilty, the first thing to do is ask yourself if you are guilty according to God’s Word. Perhaps you are. If so, confess your sin to God; turn away from that sin and don’t repeat it. If you need to apologize to someone you have wronged, do it. Then . . . forgive yourself and let go of it! God already forgave you, and if you refuse to do the same, then you’ll miss out on the joy of redemption that God wants us all to experience.
Sometimes you may well find that you are not guilty according to God’s Word. For example, I can recall feeling guilty when I tried to rest. For years I drove myself incessantly to work, work, work because I felt good when I was accomplishing something and felt guilty if I was enjoying myself. That thinking is totally wrong according to God’s Word. Even He rested from His work of creation, and He has invited us to enter His rest. The guilt I felt when I tried to rest was unscriptural, irrational, and downright ridiculous. When I stopped believing my feelings alone and started truly examining them in the light of God’s Word, I stopped feeling guilty.
Trust God and His Word to reveal to you when your guilt is false and your thinking is wrong.
Trust in Him What makes you feel guilty? What does God’s Word say about the situation? Stop believing your feelings that condemn you, and put your trust in His Word that convicts.
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. —Philippians 3:13
Paul knew the one thing that would help him more than anything was to forget the past.
How do we forget what lies behind us—the situations in our pasts, especially those things causing us to feel guilty? We stop thinking and talking about them, and keep pressing forward. We all have a past, but we also all have a future! Stop living in the past mentally and emotionally, and believe by faith that good things are ahead.
Don’t focus on things you can no longer do anything about, and don’t waste time in regret. Even though we make mistakes in life, we can recover and still enjoy an amazing life through Christ. Get excited! Good things are coming!
Power Thought: My past is the past; God has a good plan for what lies ahead.
In Jesus’ day, many leaders who were believers in Jesus would not confess their faith to others. They feared they would be expelled from the synagogue if they went public with their belief in Him (see John 12:42, 43). They were hindered from a relationship with Jesus because they cared too much about other people’s approval. Although they wanted a relationship with the Lord, they wanted the approval of their peers more. That is sad, but it happens all the time.
Joshua, on the other hand, was bold about his belief in God, declaring that, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). Be like Joshua, and determine that you and your household will serve the Lord. Whether other people agree or not, serving and following God is the only way to live a fulfilling, victorious life.
The leaders of Jesus’ day knew He was real. The believed in Him, but their love of people’s approval would not permit them to have a true relationship with Him. I wonder how their lives turned out. What did they miss because they said yes to people and no to God? I wonder how many of them were never mentioned in the Bible again. I wonder if they faded into oblivion and never fulfilled their destinies because they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God. How many of them spent their lives disrespecting themselves because they were people-pleasers?
We need to realize that not everyone is going to like us. If we live our lives worrying about what other people think, we will never take risks or stretch ourselves into new realms.
Jesus died to give you the freedom to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for you as an individual. As you follow Him, I guarantee that He will lead you into a rewarding life.
Love God Today: Like Joshua, make a deliberate, personal decision to serve the Lord and boldly declare: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him. —1 John 3:1
Many people fail at marriage because they don’t love themselves, and therefore they have nothing to give in the relationship. They spend most of their time trying to get from their spouses what only God can give them, which is a sense of their own worth and value. I was afraid no one would ever want me so the pattern of pain in my life continued. Receiving the free gift of God’s unconditional love is the beginning of our healing, and the foundation for our new life in Christ. We cannot love ourselves unless we realize how much God loves us, and if we don’t love ourselves, we cannot love other people. We cannot maintain good, healthy relationships without this foundation of love in our lives.
Lord, I am amazed that You love me and desire me to be Your child. I receive Your love today and choose to love myself. Amen.
Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again]. —Luke 5:5
God has blessings and new opportunities in store for us. To receive them we must hear His voice so we can perceive them and then take steps of faith toward them. This often means doing things we don’t feel like doing, may not think will work, or may not feel are important. But our trust and reverence toward God must be greater than what we personally want, think, or feel.
We see a perfect example of this in Luke 5. Peter and some of the other disciples had been fishing all night; they had caught nothing. They were tired; in fact, they were exhausted. They needed a good night’s sleep and probably wanted a good meal. They had just finished washing and storing their nets, which was a big job.
Then Jesus appeared on the shore of the lake and told them that if they wanted to catch a haul of fish, they should cast their nets again, this time in deeper water. Peter explained that they had worked hard all night and had caught nothing, and that now they were tired. But he also agreed to try again because Jesus had told them to do so.
This is the kind of attitude the Lord wants us to have. We may not feel like doing something; we may not want to do it; we may not think it is a good idea; we may be afraid it will not work, but we need to be willing to hear and obey God when He speaks to us.
God’s word for you today: Be willing to obey God even if you don’t feel up to it. He has great things in store for you!