God’s Checking Brings Holy Correction

Sin recovery is not returning to the sins that comforted us during difficult times in the past.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Today’s Scripture Focus: Jonah 4:4-8

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number six of 12: “We are now ready for God to give us new characters that reflect that of His Son’s.”

Under what pretense do you shelter when the going gets tough?

Every one of us has suffered, to a greater or lesser degree, from addictions. Some may be addicted to the usual suspects – alcohol or drugs, while others are addicted to food, swearing, questionable entertainments, gossip, money loving or believing the hype about self. And the catchall category of addictions lest we become proud and say we’ve never had a problem with anything on my list, is sin. All have had to struggle against sin, even the noblest among us.

When Sin is Your Coping Mechanism

Think about God’s prophet, Jonah. The Lord gave him one simple set of instructions, and he lost his mind. God instructed him to go to one place, to teach one message, to one group of people, for one particular purpose. Like the rest of us with a bent towards sinning, Jonah did the exact opposite. Jonah went to another place, did not deliver the message to the people, and ignored God’s purpose during the whole ordeal. And when God checked him on it (understatement of the year), Jonah reluctantly obeyed but threw a hissy fit.

Do you get upset when God starts tugging at your addictions? When people post messages on social media that challenge your commitment to God, how do you receive it? When trials come that could have been avoided if you simply did what God said, how do you respond? When you realize you have been driving your spiritual bus the wrong direction on the road of life, do you press the brakes or keep barreling down the road? When you face challenges, do you search feverishly for a way to engage in the thing that displeases God, but makes you feel relaxed when you’re stressed?

God’s Checking Brings Holy Correction

Jonah demonstrates what not to do in this situation! He hides and bellyaches about how he figured God embarrassed him. He sheltered beneath the pretense of knowing how God would have handled his situation as justification for disobeying God.

I am going to give some free advice today, which I pray I receive too: never allow yourself to fall back on your sinful vice or indict God when the going gets tough. Recognize the situation for what it is—a wake-up call to help you reroute into the right direction. God is too loving and wise to let us go about our business unchecked. If we respond favorably to the momentary crises, God will show mercy and supply the need for which we had aimlessly sought when we rushed back into the arms of sin for comfort.

Happy in Jesus, and Jesus Alone

Sin recovery is learning to be satisfied in the person of Jesus Christ instead of the people and things of this world.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, August 5, 2019

Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 51:16-19

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number six of 12: “We are now ready for God to give us new characters that reflect that of His Son’s.”

God wants to change your life forever! That is the truth as it is in Jesus.

I think we are satisfied far too easily. Some of us would be good to go if we could finally earn that six or seven figure income. Some of us would be as delighted as can be if we could finally have that spouse we have been waiting for. Some of us would think we have arrived if we earned that doctoral degree. Now, I don’t want you to be confused by what I’m trying to say here. Paul said that if we have food and clothing, we should be content and the few things I mentioned here are above and beyond that. What is wrong with being content with those? Nothing is wrong if we first find our satisfaction in the Lord regardless of anything else.

Looking for Satisfaction in All the Wrong Places

Let me try this again without confusing you with my fanciful rhetoric. I think we are satisfied far too easily (here we go again). Some of us would be good to go if we could finally say that we have been clean and sober from our pornography addiction for X number of days. Some of us would be as delighted as can be if we could finally say that we returned tithe and offering for two weeks in a row. Some of us would think we have arrived if we earned the church nominated position of [you fill in the blank].

What I failed to mention is that some are satisfied with certain earthly attainments and spiritual accomplishments regardless of whether we have true hearts toward God. Some of us have not prayed a sincere prayer (if at all) in a long time. Some of us are too busy to ask God what He thinks about our next ministry pursuit. Some of us are satisfied as long as we feel good regardless of whether there is honor in what we are doing.

Learning True Satisfaction

I think I need to be clearer now; no more riddles. God is quite fine when we aspire and achieve. Our Heavenly Father is pleased when we offer service and learn to behave well. Yet, He is even more delighted when we surrender all that we are to Him before we achieve. He throws a party in heaven when we cherish a repentant spirit that seeks after God before it seeks after sterile behaviors. There is a fine line between tidy little lives that look great on the outside from which we derive satisfaction, and asking God for purity of heart. Most of us need to learn satisfaction in surrendering our wills to God first and then reveling in the outward manifestations of that relationship. It is far more satisfying to become one with God than simply keeping up appearances.

Overcoming Generational Sin

Sin recovery is acknowledging your family’s struggles and how they impact you today so that you can overcome them now and keep your children from having to overcome them tomorrow.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Today’s Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 9:34-38

We are focusing on sin recovery principle number four of 12: “We are submitting to an honest self-inventory as the Holy Spirit makes us more aware.”

I know from experience what it’s like to suffer internal struggles due to heredity. Every person born of a woman, whether you know her or not, has to face the reality of your ancestors. This reality is that they struggled with pride, rage, hatred, pessimism, over ambitiousness, promiscuity, alcoholism, drug abuse, greed, envy, doubt, and much more. The sooner you admit this to yourself the sooner you will be in a position to experience victory.

Family Feud

If your dad was an angry man, acknowledge that his anger may have had a negative impact on you. Maybe your mother was a crack addict. Acknowledge that her addiction had some negative impact on you. If your grandmother couldn’t see a handsome man go by without soliciting him, acknowledge that this may have had some negative impact on your life. Or maybe your grandfather abandoned his family. Accept that his decision has had a negative impact on your life.

I say all this not to give you a multitude of excuses or a list of individuals to blame for all of your problems or maladaptive, yea sinful, behaviors. I say this so that you can take an honest self-inventory and begin to identify some of what makes you tick. There are a number of sins and behaviors that many of us struggle with that are directly linked to the struggles and decisions of our foreparents.

What’s Next?

What do you do once you recognize the impact of your ancestors on your life? Do you wallow in it? Do you blame someone else for your poor choices? Do you throw up your hands in despair because you feel like you got the short end of the stick in life? Let me share an idea with you.

You should talk to God about it. I know it sounds too simple to be true. But honestly. Ask God to show you how the decisions and habits of your foreparents is having and impact on your lifestyle choices today. Ask him to nullify the effects of heredity to the point that it drives you to do evil. Ask God to teach you new ways of dealing with issues; teach you new ways of viewing yourself and others; teach you new behaviors to replace the broken and sinful ones of your past. Ask God to manifest His love so powerfully in your life that you learn to make the right choices as matter of consistent habit so you can bring Him glory. And finally, ask God to adopt you in His family. His bloodline wasn’t perfect. It’s also filled with everything from liars to prostitutes to murderers. And yet, Christ was able to rise above the sin in His family’s past and live a perfect life.

God’s not asking you to condemn your family. He’s simply asking you to acknowledge their brokenness and ask for His help so that you can recover from the sins of your family. He wants to give you victory over the sins they couldn’t seem to overcome. God will not disappoint. He longs to help you recover from the sins of your past so that they don’t get passed on to the next generation.

God Still Delivers

Sin Recovery is submitting our wills and lives wholeheartedly to God.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 61

I can attest to the fact that God’s ears are attentive to the prayers of those who love Him. He is ready, willing and available to answer us when we call. The problem is that too many of us neglect to call Him. Too many of us put God last on our call list.

Let me tell you a story.

A Different King of Healing

This past Saturday I was in a meeting with various church leaders. After several minutes, there was a knock at the door. It was one of our elders. In my faith tradition, an elder is a servant leader who supports the pastor in facilitating relationships and spiritual growth among the membership. This particular elder said two people down in the sanctuary appeared to need emergency medical attention. Once we got to them it was evident that they were oppressed and possessed by demonic spirits as seen in Mark 5.

A Psalm 61 Anointing

Immediately, a group of us armored up, prayed, and confessed our sins to God. We did this so that no sin within us could stop the Holy Spirit from delivering these two people. We needed to intervene on their behalf under the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus Christ. And so, we asked God to forgive us of the sins inside of us. To make an incredibly long story short, these two people were in fact under the direct oppression of evil angels. I will not share all that happened that night, but as we prayed, read Scripture, and sang hymns we chose to read Psalm 61 over them while anointing them with oil.

I asked God to hear my cry. My heart was overwhelmed as I called on His name for assistance. I asked Him to be jealous over His honor and to get glory in the situation by breaking the yoke and setting these captives free. Praying fervently, I asked the Lord to forgive them of whatever they had done. I pleaded with the Lord to loose them from whatever foothold they created within their lives. In the spirit of verse seven, I asked God to protect and reign over them. And I had full faith and assurance that God wanted to and would deliver these two souls.

Deliverance is Sweet

I am delighted to report to you that God came through! I watched Him deliver those two souls with my own eyes. He manifested His love for them by using us to pray over them. What a beautiful thing to see God free people from the Devil’s binding grip; from his efforts to force them to do his evil bidding.

What is crucial about this story is that the key to their deliverance is the divine authority of Jesus Christ. These two people are able to experience spiritual freedom today because of the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. We were simply servant leaders fully submitted to Him, ready and willing to step on that battlefield and be used to deliver His children.

But guess what else I asked God to do? In the spirit of verse eight, I asked Him to teach these folks to praise Him for His goodness to them, and for them to dedicate their lives in service to Him. Whenever God is so gracious to descend in the Spirit and free us in such a way, we must be certain to thank and praise Him!

Victory Comes Through Submission

We may not be spiritually oppressed to the extent that these two people were. But many of us find ourselves addicted to all sorts of sins. For some of us, pornography is our demon; lying is our demon; pride is our demon; gossip is our demon; violence is our demon; drugs and alcohol are our demons. There are so many sins and vices that oppress us on a day to day basis. And what this experience has taught me is that victory comes through submission. If I want to partner with God to participate in the freedom of another my life must be wholly submitted to Him. And if I find myself in need of victory and salvation then I simply need to surrender and confess to God my desire to be wholly submitted to Him.

Victory is is truly ours! Like the song says I want you to know that you can say with confidence “Satan, get thee behind! Victory today is mine!” I want you to ask God to teach you whole life submission, and encourage you to make this verse your life’s motto:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9

If God could deliver those dear children from the chains of Satan’s angels, then what in your life is too difficult for Him? Absolutely nothing.

Purified in the Fire

Sin Recovery is admitting that we are powerless against sin and thus we cannot manage our lives without God’s miraculous intervention.

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, July 5, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Today’s Scripture Focus: Job 6:2-13

When trials come after you’ve committed to doing whatever God says, how do you cope? See, it’s one thing to experience the consequences of our sins (like going to prison for carjacking someone), but it’s another thing altogether when we have trials for reasons that have nothing to do with our mistakes. It is a bitter pill to swallow when we are afflicted after choosing to live for God.

Job did just that. He was a truehearted follower of God. In fact, the book named after him begins with the writer declaring Job “blameless and upright…one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1 NKJV). That is an amazing testimony when God is the one vouching for you. Yet, as we see Job’s story unfold, he proceeds to lose everything that matters to him. He loses his children, property, wealth, and his health. This causes him to also lose a level of peacefulness because he can’t figure out why his life has taken such a sudden downturn. He even begins to wonder if he has any unconfessed sins that he needs to repent of. Day after day Job experienced the worst trials any of us could ever imagine. And the Bible says in spite of all of this he held on to his faith wishing only for death.

Depression is Common with Discipleship

Have you ever been so low that you wanted to die? Did becoming a believer bring more trials than you bargained for? Can you feel Job’s lament? “Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? And is wisdom driven quite from me?” (Job 6:12-13 NKJV).

Well I have good news, and I have great news. The good news is that trials don’t last forever. The great news is that trials don’t last forever! We will, and must, encounter our fiercest troubles the closer we get to God. Yet, in our helplessness, He promises to send divine aid. The Spirit comes near at just the right times to tell us how much God loves us. He encourages us to stay faithful even when we feel like giving up. And the Bible promises us that He will refresh our mindset. So even when we’re tempted to return to our old way of life we will resist.

The Refiner’s Fire

Today’s emphasis is not so much about the times we’ve done wrong and made a mess of our lives. It’s about realizing that even when we do what God says we are powerless against the sin that lurks around us. Distress comes because sin exists. Trials come because sin exists. Depression, pain, privation, loss, we are susceptible to all kinds of suffering in this world because sin exists. We don’t get a free pass to luxurious spiritual living when we choose to follow God by faith. However, we do receive the blessing of heavenly help through all of life’s difficulties. Indeed, we are powerless against sin in this world. But our God will continue to intervene in our lives as long as we put Him first.

Job learned some valuable lessons in the midst of his storm. Although God already considered him righteous, Job said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear: But now my eyes see You” (Job 42:5 NKJV). Job’s experience with God was enriched after going through trials. His faith was strengthened and his faith purified because of suffering. It’s a hard message. But are you ready and willing to be purified through trials? Don’t answer now. Just fall on your knees and ask the Lord to make you battle ready. Ask Him to harden you against sin so that no matter what life throws your way, you will keep trusting in God.

If you get tired of your job, keep trusting in God. If your spouse leaves you for no fault of your own, keep trusting in God. If, God forbid, your child suddenly falls deathly ill, keep trusting in God. If you are tempted to go back to your old ways, just keep trusting in God. And as you do so, you will come through any trial like pure gold.

Fear Not! We Can’t Be Silenced!

This is the Faith I live by: God’s message can never be silenced

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Matthew 10:28

Reprisals. Retribution. Revenge. Censorship. Fear-mongering. Alarm. Those who hate love, whether they are individuals or institutions, use all sorts of tactics to manipulate people. They use these tactics in an attempt to silence or cause people to alter their message. However, if your message is worthy, nothing will silence it. Is your message worthy?

Misinterpreting the Message

Jesus’ disciples had a small problem. They were aligned with someone many people loved, but who some people hated. Jesus came here on a miraculous mission of mercy. He came at a time when the Roman government was in power, and the people of God were on a very short leash. Unfortunately, the people of God lost sight of their mission. Instead of forwarding the message God had given them through Jesus the Messiah, they worked against Him. Because Jesus’ identity, message, and mission did not coincide with their understanding of God’s plan for salvation, the religious leaders became rabble rousers. They became enemies of the One person who came to deliver them from the yoke of Roman rule forever.

While Jesus never intended to subvert Caesar’s government, He fully intended to break the status quo. Christ had every intention of being the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream where God replaces all human rule with His kingdom of glory.

More Enemies Than Friends

In other words, the Roman government and the Jewish leaders and teachers were enemies to the disciples. Rome was hostile and paranoid because God’s message was so powerful and persuasive. But they did not understand that Christ’s message included instruction to do all you can to cause your civil society to prosper for the good of all. Then you had the Jewish leaders and teachers. Really, they were pseudo-religious. I call them pseudo-religious because Scripture tells us that there is a religion that is good for all of us. One that does not malign, disenfranchise, forget, or disrespect the needy. God says that is a true and undefiled religion that makes a difference in this world, but never becomes tainted by it (James 1:27). Both of these enemies would become unlikely cohorts against Christ and His followers. But the second was more insidious. They used the discrimination and marginalization to destroy God’s people and His message.

The Message is Greater Than Your Fears

If you are a voice for the message God has given His people be encouraged! You have no need to fear those who seek your demise. Some of them will be like the second enemy believing they are doing God’s will by oppressing you. But when God positions you in the spotlight and the cameras are rolling open your mouth and speak! Reporters will report. Social media content creators will quote. The world is watching. Speak the truth. Speak it to power. Stand up. Do not be afraid of their faces. Stand up! Speak the words that our Heavenly Father has put in your mouth for such a time as this.

Humanity is flawed. It uses all sorts of tactics to quiet godly voices. But if we maintain our composure and allow God to speak through us; if we hold fast until our work is done, then His message surely will always come through.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.


Too Many Of Us Are Talking Pots

This is the Faith I Live By: trust requires surrender

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 17, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14

Have you ever attempted to give God instructions? Maybe you’ve tried to inform Him of something as though He doesn’t see and know all things? It may seem far fetched when put into those terms, but the fact is anytime we move contrary to the will of God we are showing Him that we think we know best. In effect, we are saying that we realize that He has a view of how things should go, but our way is better. Can you imagine a clay pot chiding the pottery making for making it a certain way? Well that’s what we do to God.

Trust Requires Surrender

The pinnacle of honor and respect for God is to recognize His infinite knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. It is to yield our perspectives, and to accept His perfect plans even when they seem undesirable at the moment.

He knows our secret thoughts, motives, and intentions. His plans take all of these and more into consideration. This is because His will comprehensive. Therefore, we must surrender all of our plans, outcomes, trials, and triumphs to God. Only He can weigh and assess their true impact on our lives. And once He determines we handle something we need to accept His instructions as sovereign and for our best interest.

The One who judges all is singularly qualified to guide us on to the path of righteousness. It is He who rewards us if we remain on this path by His grace.

The truth is, God is trustworthy. He stands ready, willing, and available to make us holy, and then reward us for being so. Judgment belongs to God. Therefore, let us put our trust in Him!

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.

The Affections Test

This is the Faith I live by: My affections affect my attitude

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 13, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth.”

Colossians 3:2

Affection is a strong word! What has your affection? Cars, people, wealth, or gossip? Maybe peace, love, and God have your affection? Perhaps you have an affection for a combination of all these things. But the fact of the matter is, God says that whatever has captivated your affection must be from the world above.

The Affections Test

In our theme passage, the phrase “set your affection on” literally means to “continually think of or continually give keen attention to.” Check this scenario. What if you continually think of or continually give keen attention to your beautiful home in a gated community? Let’s say you need renovations done that cost more than $50,000. You come into some cash and find a highly recommended contractor that you share your dreams for your home with. After paying the contractor to begin, you find his work to be poor. As you walk in you see that your beautiful home retreat is now flooded, the additions are falling apart around you, and to make matters worse the contractor has no intention of making things right. Now what?

This is a true story. Fortunately, while he is extremely disappointed, his “affection” is not for his home. He is able to calmly, and yet courageously stick up for himself without becoming emotionally overwhelmed about the matter. He has a miraculous grasp of the God who sees all and who has his best interests at heart. His respectful reaction to this shows that his faith is strong. He continues to exhibit a godly demeanor, and remains hopeful that God will settle the matter in his favor.

Seek First…

Many times, our affairs to no not go as smoothly as we hope. But scripture promises us that if we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, then He will add peace, power, victory, and eternal life to our spiritual investment accounts. When our affections are set on things above, we can rest assured that these temporary and light afflictions will pass away. We can trust in this because our God who gives love, joy, and peace will soon return to give us our reward. And when He comes He will give us new bodies, and we will live in a new heaven and a new Earth. It’s when we think of or continually give keen attention to these things that are hearts are purified and our minds are renewed.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.

God Wants Me to Make an Impact

This is the Faith I Live by: In Christ I can make an impact

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Audio Link: http://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV

Death is not morbid. The Bible teaches us that we are here today, and sometimes gone today because tomorrow is not promised. Instead, I believe death can bring hope. Given the right perspective, we can see death as showing us that we have a certain amount of time to make a lasting impact on the world around us. We can make an impact on our families, through our faith, or even civically within our communities. There are a number of spaces that we can influence. No matter where we are, we can always make an impact.

What Will Your Legacy Be?

The question is: in the limited time we have, what kind of changes will you leave behind? What will your legacy be? When you die will people remember you for your love? Will they remember you for your undying dedication to the causes of the maligned? Maybe people will remember you for your zeal for the kingdom? Or will people remember you for your selfishness? Maybe they’ll remember you for your foolish arrogance? And what if they remember you for your disregard for the common good?

In our theme passage, the wiseman gives us a royal charge to live like our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. When He encountered people He completely altered their current situation. For example, when Jesus met blind people He gave them new vision. Many times while traveling and preaching He encountered hungry people and always fed them both physically and spiritually. Or how about when He encountered proud people and humbly gave them a glimpse to His sovereignty as the mighty King of the universe. Or even when He encountered injustice and rebuked the oppressors with a whip He hand made. Jesus made an indelible impact on everything and everyone He touched. And He only had thirty-three years on this Earth. But the three and a half years of His ministry changed the world forever.

It’s not about how much time you have, it’s about what you do with the time you’re given.

Make Every Moment Count

It’s important as we think about our everyday decisions to determine that we will do our best to make each moment God gives us count for something. And when we gather together all the fragments of lasting, positive impact, they will comprise a respectable legacy that can be passed on for generations to come. This life is but a fleeting moment, but our impact must continue long after we are gone.

By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by, let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.

Where My Strength Lies

This is the Faith I live by: Faith is my strength

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 6, 2019

Audio Linkhttp://bit.ly/ThoughtsinWorship

Theme Text

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Hebrews 11:1-10

Life is Laborious

I must admit. This life is no cakewalk. There are so many obstacles that litter our paths everyday. We encounter unreasonable people, difficult assignments at work, bill collectors, flat tires, road rage, and so much more. We have internal struggles with low self-esteem, overwhelming guilt, feelings of anxiety or depression, sometimes we feel unappreciated by loved ones, and sometimes it’s just hard to get through the day. And to top it all off, we have to deal with our sin problems. Some of us are addicted to food. Others of us are addicted to questionable entertainment. Some of us have questionable relationships. And others of us have pride and other dysfunctions to process. Honestly, if left to our own devices our lives would be a mess.

Are God’s Expectations Unrealistic?

It doesn’t help that God has lofty expectations of us. He said that we should be holy because He is holy. Then He added that we should have the mind of Christ. Not to leave out the part about not esteeming others higher than ourselves. Oh yeah! And don’t forget, never lean on your own understanding, and make sure to seek Him first and everything you need will be added to your life.

How? How in the world can we have such odds stacked against us. From the moment we begin developing in our mother’s womb God has these desires for us. How in the world can we ever measure up?
Faith. The answer is faith. I admit this may sound like a cliche answer. It may even seem like it’s missing something. But it’s the truth. If the Bible says that it is impossible to please God without faith, it stands to reason that with faith, we can overcome all of our human inadequacies and ultimately please our heavenly father.

Faith Makes Up For Our Inadequacies

But what is faith? The Bible defines faith in our theme text cited above. I’d like to rephrase it in this way: Faith is the conduit through which God’s power to live according to His will comes into our lives. Remember I introduced us to this concept yesterday. Whatever is impossible in our own strength, God makes possible through faith. When our faith lays hold of God’s power we can overcome every evil tendency, doubt, weakness, and poor thinking pattern.

So my encouragement to you today is this: ask God to increase your faith. Ask Him to reward your tiny, mustard seed faith with His limitless power from Heaven. Take some time this morning to ask God to originate, nurture, and blossom the kind of faith that pleases Him. The kind of faith that can remove any mountain that stands between you and God’s ideal for your life.
By God’s grace, this is the faith I live by. Let this be the same for you, in Jesus’ name.