Happy Good Friday!
Today was a day, thousands of years of ago that Jesus died on the cross. He was strong, focused and resilient! He took the beatings from the Roman soldiers, thorns were placed on his head and was nailed to a cross, he was pierced in his side! Jesus was focused on the will of the Father for his life. He kept on going and didn’t quit when the going got tough. We are called to be imitators of Christ. Now we may not be called to suffer on the cross, but as believers we all are or will be walking through time of pain and suffering in one way or another. We need the Spirit of God to help us walk through things daily to not become hardened to life! So be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS might! Lean into Jesus today and grab hold of his resilient power! For greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world!
God bless you!
God, I want more of You.
Too often, I choose to pursue momentary things and push You aside. Please forgive me, and change me. I don’t want to live a life that isn’t focused on You.
As I prepare for Resurrection Sunday, help me to silence the noise in my life. Show me what steps I need to take to refocus my heart, mind, and will on You alone.
Search my heart, and know me. Clean out my life, point out anything that offends You, and make me more like You. Show me the paths that lead to life, and fill me with joy in Your presence.
I love You, and I want to fix my eyes on You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Imagine a classic summertime backyard barbecue. Can you smell the burgers, brats and baby back ribs on the grill? Maybe you’ll cap the night with a classic marshmallow roast over an open fire.
Now imagine you have just one minor problem…you don’t have any teeth! You’ll miss out on the char-grilled delicacies because you haven’t matured to a place where you have what’s necessary to enjoy them.
Our spiritual lives can be just like this! We can stagnate and miss out on opportunities because we haven’t matured.
You see, God not only showers us with a Father’s blessing, He invites us to grow up by modeling our lives after Him. With our new identity and spiritual DNA, we’re called to grow up to be like our Heavenly Dad. As Ephesians 5:1 puts it: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.”
We’re invited and called to be like our Father. We look up to Him and notice how He does things – the way He talks, moves, and answers. We put our feet in His footsteps.
What’s incredible is that God hasn’t left us on our own to figure out what to do; He gives us His Holy Spirit’s power to lead and guide us. As a perfect Father, God participates in our lives. He’s saying to you and me, “Here, let Me show you how to do that.”
Here are three markers to think about, to aim for, as we imitate Him and grow into spiritual maturity.
1. Awaken: to who we are and whose we are. As the popular worship anthem says, we’re no longer slaves….to abandonment, fear, unworthiness, insecurity, abuse, addiction, dread, comparison, or loneliness…we are children of God!
2. Accept: the implications of our new genetic makeup. We throw off the sin and old ways of life and run toward the new and good things God is calling us to do.
3. Adopt: the behavior and character of God. Study how God moves and works. Devour his Word. Talk with him. Emulate the pattern of his ways.
You have been adopted by a perfect, loving Father—now go be like Dad!
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 100 - A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
'O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me, Lest they tear me like a lion, Rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O Lord my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands, If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, Or have plundered my enemy without cause, Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, And lay my honor in the dust. Selah Arise, O Lord , in Your anger; Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies; Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded! So the congregation of the peoples shall surround You; For their sakes, therefore, return on high. The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord , according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me. Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart. God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown. I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.' Psalms 7:1-17
A NAME is a word, by which a person, animal, place or thing is known, addressed, or referred to. (Dictionary)
You see, in biblical times a NAME was what you were called and it’s significance was important to the parents. Your destiny was linked to your name.
A name is important, especially the NAME of Jesus. His NAME is above ALL NAMES and one day every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.
The NAME Jesus is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshua/Y'shua, which is based on the Semitic root y-š-ʕ (Hebrew: ישע), meaning "to deliver; to rescue."
A good NAME is to be chosen, rather than great riches and favor is better than silver of gold.
Proverbs 22:1 ESV
Abram was given a NEW NAME Abraham. A Father to the nations. He looked upon the stars and was shown how he would have many descendants more than the stars.
Many times God gives a person a new NAME and that person may manifest what the meaning is years later. We must walk by faith and believe who God called us to be. His promises are yes and amen and he is a God that doesn’t lie.
Circumstances may happen in ones life and one may even NAME themself and change their own NAME.
Naomi (you can read the story in the Book Of Ruth) was a woman that endured hardships of death of her husband and sons. She became bitter and she renamed herself “Mara” which meant bitter. A NAME can have an encouraging meaning behind it it or a negative one. So it’s important to really pray for a name that would bring life to that person when naming your brand new baby. If your NAME doesn’t bring life to you, pray and ask the Lord for a NEW NAME that would uplift you and draw near to God.
The ark of the covenant was carried from place to place. The ark represented the glory of God.
Phinena’s wife was pregnant and near the time of delivery, when she heard the news about the ark had been captured. Her husband and father in law had died and she was in much grief and went into labor. She birthed a son and her midwife told her not despair. She was unable to talk except to say “Ichabod” was his NAME. The NAME meant “the glory has departed.”
God’s name is SO important that the 3rd commandment was given in Exodus 20:9 “ Do not take the name of the Lord God in vain”
His NAME is to be revered and holy. Jesus prayed the “Lord’s prayer and taught the disciples how to honor the Father and “hallow be your name”
The one who has ears to hear from the Spirit of God has their NAME changed to “One who is Victorious”
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new NAME written in it, known only to the one who receives it.
Revelation 2:17 NIV
For all the mothers who have lost a baby through miscarriage or abortion, I want to encourage you that your baby is in heaven in the arms of Jesus. I encourage you to NAME your baby whether you know the gender or not. One day you will be reunited in heaven if you know the Lord.
I invite you to pray and agree with me this prayer as you speak it out loud and believe it in you heart!
Prayer: Jesus I call upon your NAME today to save me, heal me and deliver me from my past mistakes. Forgive me for cursing your name and not blessing your name. Your NAME is holy and I let go of all my sin and give them to you for you died on the cross for my sin. I forgive others as you forgave me and I ask you to come into my heart now and help me to live for you. I ask for a NEW name and for my baby that is in heaven.
I receive LIFE from you Jesus and hope of a new tomorrow.
Jesus your NAME is above all names and I praise your name forever. Amen.
I was reminded of one of the movies my kids watched in their youth “Aladdin” and how the princess was pondering in her heart about a new world. What would it be like? She dreamed of what kind of life she would have and then a prince showed up to sing to her.
These are the lyrics from the song.
(I don’t own the rights to these lyrics)
I can show you the world. Shining, Shimmering splendid.Tell me princess, When did you last let your heart decide?
I can open your eyes, Take you wonder by wonder over sideways and under on a manic carpet ride.
A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no or where to go or say we’re only dreaming.
A whole new world, a dazzling place, I never knew, But when I’m way up here. It’s crystal clear, that now I’m in a whole new world with you. Unbelievable sights, indescribable feeling, soaring, trembling, free wheeling. Through an endless diamond sky.
A whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes) A hundred thousand things to see.
I’m like a shooting star, I’ve come so far, I can’t go back to where I used to be. A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no or where to go or say we’re only dreaming. A whole new world, every turn a surprise. With new horizons to pursue. Every moment red letter. I’ll chase them anywhere there’s a time to spare and then we’re home. Let me share the whole new world with you. A whole new world, that’s where will be. A thrilling chase for you and me.
Of course we all know this is a fairytale of a story of a princess wanting a new life, looking for happiness and love by living outside the palace walls. She feels trapped and alone that there is no hope until Aladdin rescues her.
As a believer in Jesus, the Bible says that he will rescue you as you call upon the name of Jesus. You never have to feel alone for he will never leave you or forsake you. When you come to Christ, your home is forever with Jesus in heaven.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives and we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our savior.
Philippians 3:20 NLT
So when you place your life in the Lord’s hands your citizenship is in a whole new world that is above for eternity.
Your life is like a “mist” appearing on this earth for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14
When anyone is in Christ it is a whole new world. The old thing is gone, suddenly everything is new. 2Corinthians 5:27 ERV
Our perspective changes and we begin to see things with our spiritual eyes. By placing our trust and hope in the Lord. The earth is a temporary home. Despite the trials and tribulations, one must face knowing that the end result is heaven, where I will abide for eternity. The trials of this life and the sufferings can make us stronger if we turn to the Lord. He will help us through the pain and knowing that he will work all things out for the good.
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Philippians 1:29-30 NIV
The thing with the world’s ways is that it offers a wrong sense of security, hope and disappointments.
The pleasures of the world are temporary but the gift of God is eternal life.
Nothing last forever EXCEPT
The flowers fade and the grass withers but the Word of God is forever. Isaiah 40:8
Prayer: God deliver me from being attached to the world and it’s ways. I surrender to you and I want to live for you all the days of my life. I want to know a whole new world in you and to live and breathe and have my being in you alone! Help me to set my affections on the things that are above and to hold the things of this world loosely in my hands!
I pray this in Jesus name. Amen
I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand, I will not be moved.
What does it mean to set something?
Set means to put, lay, or stand (something) in a specified place or position.
A jeweler sets a diamond inside of a setting of a ring. A woman is having a fancy dinner and sets her table with her fine china.
So how would one “Set the Lord”
Before me? I believe this is a saying that I am purposing in my heart to have the Lord take place in my life, that he has priority.
Th e next portion of the psalm states “my right hand” . What is it about the right hand? Many people are right hand dominant, does that mean people that write right handed are more important?
I don’t think so, but it is a metaphor as the omnipotence of God. In the Bible there are many scriptures about “right hand”.
I believe it’s a symbol of a special place of honor.
In the Book Divinity code to understanding your dreams and visions, the Right means strength, faith, spirit, blessed, or righteous direction, mouth, preferred, preeminence, above, before, double portion, authority.
There are many scriptures that state the right hand being more dominant.
Psalm 20:6 Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed, he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
John 21:6 He said to them” Throw the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some”
Hebrews 12:2 We know that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
Matthew 26:33 He will set the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
Judges 7:20 They held the shofar in the right hand.
Proverbs 27:15-16 oil is grasped in the right hand.
Ecclesiastes 10:2 the heart of the wise inclines to the right.
The last part of the Psalm “will not be moved” .
If we are walking closely with the Lord we only want to be moved by him. His ways, His thoughts, His actions etc..
His ways are higher than our ways so by seeking the Lord and setting our hearts before him, we will be moved by his ways alone. To be moved means to go forward, to progress. So when we are moved by the Lord we can move forward In his timing and way.
When we have assurance in HIM say in a situation where we are praying for healing for someone and we are standing on the word that says, we are healed. We Weill not be moved by what it may look like but stand fast upon the word that was received in faith and not be moved by circumstances!
Prayer: Father God, I set my affections on things that are above and I say you are on the throne and I will not be moved by my situation or circumstances. I draw near to you today to guide me and lead me. Jesus you are at the right hand of the Father always praying for me and I thank you that you do not slumber or sleep. I praise you and thank you for loving me and that you always have my best interest at heart!
In Jesus name, Amen
When I think of courage, the word confidence comes to mind. These words coincide with one another.
This definition of courage says it all, “Strength in the face of pain or grief”. One thinks of a woman in childbirth that is in tremendous pain,but has the courage to keep passing through the birthing process. A woman may face the death of her husband and be greatly grieved, but know she must have courage to keep going to care for her children.
The word “Courageous” is used six times in the KJV Bible.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid,neither be dismayed,for the Lord they God is with us wherever I go”
Joshua knew that if the Lord was with him he would be strong and courageous. He had to have confidence in his words and trust him.
David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished”
Pretty similar encouragements were given. The men needed to be encouraged to be courageous to go places they haven’t gone before. Many of us will go places that we haven’t gone before and it takes courage to take that next step.
Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust in him and he shall bring it to pass.
Having God confidence equals confidence is within him and you are placing your trust and courage in him. To arise in the absolute assurance in knowing God has your back!
I am confident of this. He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion.
One particular person in history was Rosa Parks who had the confidence in God to stand up for what she believed in. She knew she was created for such a time as this to believe she was worthy no matter what her skin color dictated. She had courage!
Standing up for righteousness in today’s society may be difficult.
You may be persecuted for believing in truth. For believing in the Word of God! BUT Blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness sake, for they will see the kingdom of God.
So stand up, believe and be strong and courageous and speak what God says in his word! For greater is he that is in you,than he that is in the world!
Prayer: Father God
I admit I am weak and you are strong! I need your courage each day to face the challenges and the things I need to do! Give me the strength to rise up and place my trust and confidence in you alone to help me. I am an overcomer as I walk in the light and not the dark. I am your son/daughter and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Holy Spirit instruct me and guide me each moment of the day. In Jesus name Amen!