~ Word ~
"Divine Servant" by Max Greiner Jr.
February 28, 2023
“Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, being in the form of God,
did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
but made Himself of no reputation,
taking the form of a bondservant,
and coming in the likeness of men.”
as we anxiously look around to see who might be judging our actions or watching for our mistakes, we can realize through this scripture that those cares are pointless. we can find ourselves caught wasting time worrying about what others think and fretting over our ‘image', our reputation. but the truth is that our time is better spent building up a reputation for heaven, not for the world (who really doesn’t care about us anyway). Jesus didn't care about His reputation on earth, and He never let anything, any insults, ever get to Him. if anyone has a right to exalt himself and demonstrate superior reputation, then it would be Jesus, our Lord. He is God, He is Almighty. we often think that with enough money and power, adoring fans and beautiful bodies, our troubles could just go away. to not worry about paying the bills, or to have people bending over backwards to appease us, could sound like a life free of stress and full of pleasure. but Jesus demonstrated in His life on earth that you can literally raise a person from the dead, with witnesses to boot, and people could still not see your worth or value. and that’s what we’re seeking, right? we’re looking for recognition. that’s what a reputation is- how we are seen and known by others. we can work tirelessly to keep a squeaky clean resume for ourselves, but at the end of the day who cares? the pharisees are great examples of the same type of ‘reputation-conscious’ people and they ultimately only ever cared about their own selves and their statuses. the morals they claimed to live by and ‘represent’ became so nullified by their self-focus, completely devaluing everything they ever worked for. and they seemed pretty darn miserable during the whole journey anyway. they couldn’t see the most valuable treasure, free for the taking, right in front of them... no, don’t be like the pharisees…
when we are climbing that corporate ladder or putting our bodies through impossible diet and exercise, we gotta stop to ask: who are we fighting for? ourselves? something to fill the void? do we not feel secure in our present self? “if i just have enough, if i just am enough…” it doesn’t work like that. who cares about your actions and achievements: Jesus. who are we working for: Jesus. He is our model and His Words are instructions, guiding us how to live here on this crazy earth. like He set an example for us: we must become less, we must become servants to our brethren. the world is kind of like a fun house filled with all those distorted mirrors. nothing is true. and in this world, we are made to think that those ‘puffed up’ and prideful are the ones to admire. but Jesus tells us that the humble will be exalted. so basically what the world tells us, we should do the opposite. they tell us to climb up that corporate ladder, we should be climbing down. they say to store up your money, then we should give it away. let’s not waste anymore of our precious time here - let’s just seek our Lord Jesus and aim to be more like Him in everything we do.
"A Beautiful Life" by Chuck Black
February 24, 2023
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.”
it’s so common for us to become ridden with anxiety and fear in this life. it’s a habit we’ve created too. before we were saved, during periods of prideful independence, or in times when we rejected God, the world was pretty dark for us. this made our outlook very grim and overwhelming. we became defensive and felt it necessary to try to predict the future, create strategies, and prepare for battle in anticipated challenges. that time of life without a close relationship with the Lord was a tough memory filled with blood, sweat and tears.
now today, in our walk with God, we still stumble over our old thought patterns from time to time. we might have a problem facing us and feel the need to strategize. the problem is that when we envision the future, it’s very dark and covered with crooked places. God is here in our present moment, He is not there in our future forecast. this is because, as this verse explains, He is shining a light into the darkness on our path while we’re walking. this happens in real time. imagine a flashlight beaming from your heart pointing straightforward and illuminating the way. that is God. He makes the crooked places straight. He’s actively molding our landscape as we are walking. how neat?! and thus, how can we ever be able to predict outcomes? we can’t. it’s not what He calls us to do. that’s why Jesus really meant it when he said, “and which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? if you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?” we are incapable without the Lord. rest easy knowing that He completes us, guides us, and unconditionally loves us.
so when we were forecasting in our minds, we saw darkness and crooked paths, but we can know now, by reading His Word, that strategy is not much use any more. we are blind and we must walk in faith- it is the only way. this is really what faith is all about. knowing that God will keep a light on our path, realizing that most forecasting and anxiety is pointless, and truly believing that He will not leave us and He will never take away that light. the things we prepare for the trip are usually nullified by His power. we didn’t need to bring our compass and our canteen. our God is a God who provides. so as joyce meyer put it, “enjoy today while embracing tomorrow by faith”.
"Sword Of The Spirit" by Tamer and Cindy Elsharouni
February 22, 2023
“For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
wow. can you hear the power in this verse?! i pray that as we study God’s Word together, through the course of time, you can agree with me that there is so much power in the Word. we become stronger and wiser and better in every way, as we are renewed by this amazing blessing of the Word. the Word is literally alive. the Word is God.
the Word works through each of His readers, His believers, to cut down right to the point that matters uniquely to the individual. that’s why is so important to meditate on the Word as often as possible. more than daily. as often as possible. to let it work through every inch of our body, soul and spirit. the Word is our lifeline. our life truly depends on this living Word.
this is also why an argument of Bible translations being unreliable is just farfetched. God works through His Word, and God is all-powerful. He works through thousands of languages, dialects, and mediums that we aren’t even aware of, to speak to His children. so while others are debating over the use of thee and we, God is working wonders in a way we just can’t even begin to grasp. of course, when believers are thirsting for more of the good Word, it’s only natural for God to grant those wishes and to steer them to new material and new findings, whether it be through ancient Bible versions, scrolls and other artifacts. it can also be through nature, animals and human interactions. God provides for each as they need.
as we meditate on His Word, we hold it deep in our hearts and allow it to reinforce our sense of the Holy Spirit residing within us. in our times of need, Holy Spirit speaks through us and gives us the right words in certain situations. isn’t it crazy to this that this all-powerful, living Word is coming from my mouth?! God is so great, honestly, words just can’t describe…
when we bring God’s Word into interactions with others, we don’t realize how deeply it can affect someone. it can pierce to their soul and spirit. the Truth can set them free. the Word, sharper than any two-edged sword, can cut through your friend’s (or enemy’s) chains. praise Jesus - how amazing a gift He is!
may we meditate on God’s living Word as often as possible, wield it when we are called to, and carry it close to our hearts everyday. rejoice in this amazing Truth.
"Lazy Daisy Day" by Lila Blakeslee
February 18, 2023
“You ran well.
Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
I have confidence in you,
in the Lord,
that you will have no other mind;
but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment,
whoever he is.”
often in our walk, we become hindered from obeying the Truth. the Truth can only come from God, His Word and His Spirit. why do we become hindered? or as paul puts it, ‘who hindered you'? the enemy will take any opportunity to invade and tempt us away from our walk in the Spirit and convince us to walk in the flesh, to fall for worldly ways, tricks and lies. Jesus was tempted by satan for 40 days. He was hungry and he was in the wilderness. could you imagine how strong of a will you’d have to have to not fall for a piece of bread? but Jesus’ will is stronger than we can ever imagine. our Lord is solid rock foundation and He is completely reliable. and as His Spirit lives within us, we have the power to resist satan’s temptations too. we have the power to overcome more than we know in our mind. His Word reminds us that this persuasion, this temptation that hindered us, does not come from the Lord. we know it comes from the enemy. and it only takes a tiny, tiny amount of yeast to blow up the whole loaf of bread- you know what i mean? we get just the tiniest whisper of temptation and it can escalate quickly if we allow it to be added to our dough mixture. that’s why its so important to slow down, especially before acting, to hear the right direction from the Holy Spirit. He will tell us what to add to the mixture and when to add it. and most often, things do not have to move at such a rapid pace as we are used to. its easier to trip fast feet than slow feet! regardless, the Lord will take our troubles and continue refining us through challenges. challenges will not go away in this lifetime, but with the gift of power that the Lord has bestowed in us through the Holy Spirit, we will succeed in His Will. we are His Children and we are destined for greatness in His Glory. just like a child to a parent, the child just can’t avoid growing up to realize that they absorbed these characteristics of their father and mother. it is inherent. have confidence like paul has confidence that the children of God will have no other mind and the true one at fault is the enemy. Jesus paid the ultimate price to cleanse us from our debt, our sins, our guilt. feelings may still surface that feel like guilt or shame or failure, but remember that those are feelings. there is a big difference between truth and feelings. the truth is that we are not guilty. the charges have been removed. case closed. if we feel guilty, it is just a feeling, it is not a fact nor a sentence. just as we can feel like we’re not enough- that doesn’t matter because God says we are. so let’s not be lead by our unreliable feelings that often conflict with the Truth. let us be lead by the Truth and feel freedom, peace and love, every chance we can get.
"The Power of Truth" by William George Jordan
February 14, 2023
“For many bore false witness against Him,
but their testimonies did not agree.
Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
“We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands,
and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”
But not even then did their testimony agree."
there is only one Way, one Truth, one Life, and that is Jesus. in today’s world we are surrounded by lies. evil is at work to tear down foundations of truth and replace them with lies. we are confronted with concepts of ‘moral relativism’, where each person has their own definition of what morality is. and each person’s truth can ‘justifiably’ be different from another’s. what is a lie to one is not a lie to another, what is murder to one is not murder to another. schools are choosing a curriculum that has less and less basis in truth and more ambiguity than ever before. things are flipped on their head, and what was fluid and malleable, like science that was once allowed to change upon new facts and discoveries, now has become static, inflexible ‘truths’ that cannot even be argued with. satan is having a field day flipping everything upside down and watching the blind follow a new, ever-changing suit. and admittedly, past generations have struggled with the same familiar evil works where confusion and distraction seemed to rule over so many. same works, different costume. but as we stand today, no matter how muddy, backwards, and illogical things become, God’s Goodness will always work for the good of those who love Him.
whether people out there want to believe it or not, truth is absolute. it is not relative and never will be. that means if my beliefs differ from another person’s beliefs, one of us has to be wrong. and well, i will bet my life and my soul that i am not wrong in confessing and knowing that Jesus is the one and only Savior and Son of God. there is so much grace in truth because it always surfaces to clarify and reassure itself. as stated in the book of Mark, the false testimonies did not agree with each other - and they could never agree. they were lies. this scripture shows the nature of lies and their inevitable outcome. why choose this path? out of anger or pride or any excuse someone can come up with, why settle with such an embarrassing defeat? to be exposed as what it is, and to let it be known that you settled for a weak lie when you had a choice?
no matter what happens today or in the days ahead, we can rest easy on Jesus. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. resting in Truth is resting with peace. and the opposite is just that: stressful, heavy burdened and very difficult. the admission and realization that truth is absolute may take some humility- but it is possible. “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
"God Is So Emotional" by Benjavisa Ruangvaree
February 9, 2023
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him,
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
in many of the teachings of Jesus in reading through the gospels, He uses parables and cryptic language that prompt a heart to ponder. His messages speak to us uniquely, some immediately and some over time. there are so many beautiful stories that we can take with us through our daily lives and meditate on as we relate to the characters that Jesus described. but this answer that Jesus gave to questioning pharisees was unlike His other responses.
Jesus was very clear here, and He leaves no question lingering: the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. and the second is like it as we are commanded to love our neighbor as our self.
since we are born again in Christ, and showered with blessings of truth, joy, and love, we yearn to please our Father, as would a child. although He will love us no more or less than He does right now, we should still strive to obey Him and put all of our efforts into doing so. so the one thing we shall focus on most is loving the Lord. praise Him, thank Him, talk to Him, cry to Him, feel and accept His love in every single moment. seek Him and His Words and learn more and more about Him through those Words each day.
and what goes right along with that is the second commandment, loving our neighbor as ourselves. what do we do with all this goodness that we are filled with as we practice loving the Lord? we share it. His cup never runs dry. we cycle that good love through ourselves and lace it between our friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. we let His light shine through us, and we honor Him by taking these actions in love. Love, love, love, should always be our top priority.
ask yourself in the midst of any troubling thoughts or stressful situations - what is my number 1 objective? answer: to love the Lord. reset yourself and remember the bigger picture. He is our eternal resource for everything we need. let us draw on His love as we take the next step in our path...
you are special, unique and so deeply loved. know this and let love emanate from everything you do. in turn, you can know that you are obeying God and learning that ‘obeying’ doesn’t quite mean what you had ever thought it meant. many of us think of obeying like dog training, or complete submission. and yes, there is submission involved, but isn’t it also involved in your daily job, an assigned mission, or playing a game or sport? games and sports are fun and there are usually rewards along the way and at the end. so think of obedience to the Lord in a similar way, except this is the most real and rewarding journey you will ever be on. the rules are very simple when it comes down to it. we will reap rewards along the way, of joy and peace, and at the end, we will receive a final reward: eternal life in the glorious presence of the Lord.
"Man and Girl Using Telescope" by Mark Garlick
February 6, 2023
“For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
That I may declare all Your works.”
i have been thinking a lot lately about the gift of vision, the ability to see physically, visually. it something so easily taken for granted. there is so much beauty to see and so much we are enabled to do because we can visually navigate our environment.
i didn’t expect such a miraculous gift to be bestowed on me when i surrendered to Christ. i gained a gift of spiritual vision- on top of the already amazing gift of physical vision. this gift that enabled me to see 100 times more beauty in the world, as well as seeing the truth, which includes pain and suffering. as sensitive as i feel when i ‘look’ around and see the world for what it is, i would not have it any other way. so this thought led to an analogy…
faith is our lens. God stays true to His promises and works all things for the good of those who love Him. but when our faith diminishes, our trust lessens, and we grip to worry and fear. our lens on reality shrinks and our perception is skewed. picture yourself looking through a tiny pinhole. uncomfortable, isn’t it? we can see less and less of what is real, we can only see a few objects in our sight and become hyper-focused on them. so, the lies we hear seem true because we only have this limited perception. satan enjoys playing in this field of vision- easier to perform tricks. and then sin is our distance from God. think of it as the scope’s extension. we might have unresolved quarrels between our fellow man that we need to address before getting closer to God. or we might be practicing and living sin and not repenting, leaving us at a cold distance from Him. everything looks tiny and difficult to distinguish.
so think of this scope that we are looking through. maybe as unbelievers we had this scope but we couldn’t adjust it, we didn’t ask how, and we didn’t surrender to Help. it was on a fixed setting. now that we can adjust it, we fumble with the settings. our faith waxes and wanes and sometimes we are not seeing the whole picture that God wants us to see (if only we could let go of fears). the extension of the scope gives us near- or farsightedness. its hard to see the big picture when things are blurry, or everything is super tiny, or there are obstacles blocking the path of vision.
in conclusion, i pray that we do not live life with a tiny, distorted scope. read this Psalm and see how important it is to be near to God. the worry and strife is just not necessary when the scope can be adjusted- the gift He has given us is in our hands. by increasing faith, we can live more freely and understand the true perspective. by removing sin’s obstacles and getting closer to God, He will show us a clear, true picture, and much to be optimistic about. let us live life everyday knowing that God is working good, God is good, the Holy Spirit is in us (as close as can be), and everyday there is much to be thankful for. use this spiritual vision to it’s fullest and never take it for granted. how sad a tool that is gifted but never put to use. the Lord loves us and wants, not to do these things for us, but to give us the tools to learn on our own. how much more rewarding is it? if you need to, adjust your scope today!
"Sarayu" by Cecilia Bright
February 1, 2023
1 John 3:1
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,
that we should be called children of God!
Therefore the world does not know us,
because it did not know Him.”
have you ever wished you had magic powers? i know many of us have watched some type of tv show or movie that is about ‘supernatural’ abilities, whether that be superhero movies or even something like harry potter and hocus pocus. there is a draw and a desire to rise above the mortal boundaries and express power that makes dramatic changes in our world. whether we want to believe this or not, there is in fact a spiritual world that exists all around us where powers exceed mortal understanding. but this is where it gets tricky. evil powers of darkness and satan’s playground also exist in this realm, and they are ever so tempting us to give our souls over to the controls of darkness. many people have fallen victim to this very scenario and have been compromised and taken advantage of in their own bodies. but there is also the greater, good side of these spiritual powers, and they all root in our Wondrous God.
many of us stumble through life before Christ seeking control in our own lives. and we find there is much that we can manipulate and control to our desires. but as our worldly desires have no foundation in the Lord, they fall fruitless. we wonder why things just don’t go our way, or why things just feel unfulfilling. why is there always one thing after the next? we can fight past exhaustion trying to find peace, without realizing that peace only comes from belief in our Great Creator and acceptance of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we accept the blessing of the Holy Spirit. this is the magic that we have always deeply desired. this is a bestowing of love, and the power of love, from our Father. with the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us, we have the ability to ask and receive. we have the ability to make a positive difference in our lives and the lives of those around us. the love that we received from Him is in us, and we can give to others what is available in us. when we are walking with the Lord, we are listening to His word that speaks to us all day and all night. we can’t help but to live under His glorious influence, and we can’t help but to do His good bidding. the strength and joy that comes from his Love, is the power that we hold within us. it enables us to make leaps further than we have ever imagined, and to speak words to others that come out more wise and inspiring than we could have ever formed on our own. the Words that God spoke to create the entire universe reside inside of us and are allowed to flow out of our mouths. we have the power of creation and manifestation.
let us realize how great a gift that our Father has given us just by simply having faith in Him. let us realize that we have an amazing power within us just waiting to be used. the world does not understand us, children of God. we do not entertain with flashy shows or disappearing card tricks. we work in synchronization with our Creator and we play a vital part in His Kingdom. we bring more believers to the Kingdom that reigns eternally. we can enjoy our life in the flesh because we have a source of internal peace and abounding love. when we trust our Father, there is nothing so bad that can happen that can keep Him from us, and there is nothing so bad that He can not mold back into good.