God is in the Details of Our Lives

What an Amazing God!
I am involved in a Bible study where we are studying the book of Daniel. I remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the furnace from Sunday school but studying it in depth I have gained so much already. King Nebuchadnezzar was furious that the three Israelis would not bow down and worship the image that he had made. He was so enraged that he had the furnace heated 7 times and ordered mighty men to bind the men and throw them in immediately. The furnace was so hot that it killed the mighty men instantly. Yet, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown they were joined by fourth man. The King saw this and was astounded for he saw four men unbound and unhurt.
It is what others observed of the men when the King called them out that strikes me. Verse 27 reads,
And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” 
There was no evidence on them that they were even near a fire for not even the smell of fire had come upon them. God rescued them down to the last detail. If King Nebuchadnezzar had told anyone that he had thrown them in the fire, the people would have called him a liar for there was no evidence on the men. 
You see God is more than able to just rescue for He is in the details as well. He knows my life down to the last detail and watches over me. My God is so great; there is nothing my God cannot do when I call on Him. 


My Prayer: Dear God in heaven, You are mighty to save and You are great and worthy of all my praise. All glory and honor be Yours. Amen.
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Set Your Mind on the Spirit;

You Will Find Life and Peace
 Let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up-building. This is only possible when I set my mind on the things of the Spirit of God through reading and meditating on His word. The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. I have this through Jesus who has reconciled me to God and therefore, I have peace with God. It is no longer my place to bring others down, I am called to live at peace with others and to do my best to build others up. To set my mind on the flesh (my sinful nature) is death therefore, I choose to set my mind on Christ which leads to life and peace. Having peace with God I am equipped to love others as myself and do as He would have me do.
This is a major paradigm shift from the world’s point of view. The world wants me to believe that it is all about me and my wants and desires. I know that if I delight myself in the Lord He will give me the desires of my heart. There are needs that I have that if I do not tend to them I will not be at my best to live at peace. They are basic needs and I know how to get them filled without taking advantage of others. God knows my needs and helps me to get them met. He does have my best interest at heart for He created me and loves me unconditionally. I cannot nor will not believe any different.
Romans 12:18 tells me that it is my responsibility to live at peace as far as it depends on me, not if it feels right or if others treat me right. I am responsible for my side of any relationship not for the other side. Sure it would be nice if it worked both ways and it does for some but not all people. I am to love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with my God. Again this contradictory to the world’s way of thinking. Yet, I have a peace that passes all understanding and I can sleep at night.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. This, indeed, holds true.
Peace to you from God our Father!


My Prayer: Thank You Jesus for reconciling me to God through Your death and resurrection. Help me to be a messenger of peace and hope. Amen.
 
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Be Glad in the Lord and Rejoice!

Rejoice in the Lord Always!
Psalm 32:10-11; Philippians 4:4-9
The word rejoice is found 202 times in the Bible. In Philippians, we are called to rejoice and let our reasonableness be known to everyone for the Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be known to God. When you look up rejoice in the Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, you will find that it gives you several reasons for rejoicing; His presence in our lives, our salvation in Jesus, the gospel just to name a few. Rejoicing makes one cheerful. A glad heart makes a cheerful face (Proverbs 15:13) and the cheerful of heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15). James 5:13 reads, “Is anyone among suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” I have found that when I am struggling that if I offer praises to God, my heart is glad and I receive His strength to carry on. 
One can make a decision to rejoice in the Lord despite the circumstances because God is in control and will see you through. Remembering what Jesus went through to bring us reconciliation to God, I would hope, would give anyone cause to rejoice. I rejoice in the Lord because of His steadfast love.
 Psalm 40
16 But may all who seek You
    rejoice and be glad in You;
may those who love Your salvation
    say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
    but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    do not delay, O my God!
What reason do you have for rejoicing in the Lord? Rejoice and be glad!
My Prayer: Dear God, I rejoice in You for You are my salvation and my deliverer. There is no one like You in all the earth. Amen. 
 
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Christ Jesus Came to Set Us Free!

Free

Yes, There is Freedom In Christ Jesus!

As a believer in Christ, I have been freed from the slavery to sin. In Stasi Eldredge’s book, Becoming Myself Embracing God’s Dream of You, she lists the things that we have been freed from and to those that we have been freed to do. We can be free from:
Bondage, sin, the fear of man, shame, regret, rage, disappointment, addiction, fear, You name it.
We are free to:
Be happy, be glorious, succeed, love, live, forgive, not be bound by chains. She goes on to say that we are free to fail! Because we are free from the cages of other people’s expectations, demands, yokes and judgements– even our own.
Therefore, I will rejoice. Hallelujah!! How amazing is that?! I no longer have to be “perfect” in the eyes of others or my own. I can admit my mistakes and seek forgiveness, therefore, I am free from guilt and shame. Yes, I will fail but I know that if I confess my sins to God, who is faithful and just, He will forgive all my sins.

The Law of the Spirit of Life has Set You Free!

In addition, if I allow someone’s inability to forgive me to keep me captive in shame and guilt, I am giving that person to much power. And what is that saying about God’s forgiveness? It is saying that I am not accepting of it.
However, this is no longer to be the case for the law of the Spirit of life has set me free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  Thus, I can stand firm and no longer submit to a yoke of slavery to sin. The word free is found 56 times in the New Testament.
Furthermore, I have a new lease on life for I have been made new. God created me and I will choose to live in the freedom that He has given me. I know live for Him and for His glory.

Live in the Freedom God Has Given You!

Don’t let faulty thinking rob you of the freedom that there is in Christ. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Here’s your challenge: to embrace the freedom that is in Christ Jesus. Ask Him to show you how.
My Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You for setting me free in Christ Jesus, Your Son. Help me to choose to live in that freedom daily. All to Your glory. May others embrace it as well. Amen. 
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Great is the Lord!

Psalm 145
They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare Your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of Your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
Continuing on a theme, God is great no matter what I am going through. I heard it said that when God wants you to grow He makes you uncomfortable. Therefore, I will praise Him for the times in my life that He has made me uncomfortable. Often it is personal conflicts that make me the most uncomfortable. My biggest hang up was having to make someone else uncomfortable with a decision or choice that I made. I have come to realize that it is not wise to make myself uncomfortable for the other person’s sake. If I am honest and speak in truth and love both parties are far better off.
Without growth, one becomes stagnate and therefore makes no progress in becoming all that God has created that person to be. Growth does not come easy or cheap. There is some discomfort and cost but the outcome far exceeds it all. For me, I like what God is doing in my life and I enjoy life and I can fully love others as Christ would have me to do. With God’s help, I am learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable in my life knowing that He is wanting me to grow.

How has God made you uncomfortable? Give Him thanks and praise for He is good!
My Prayer: Dear Father God, thank You for making me uncomfortable and forgive me when I grumble about it. Help me to see where You want me to grow. Amen.
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God is Good; All the Time!

Psalm 145
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    His greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends Your works to another;
    they tell of Your mighty acts.
I know that it is the easiest to say this when all is going well but it holds true even when times get tough. Looking back on this year so far I have had some tough times. 
I have had to go to the emergency room on New Years day and two surgeries in the same month; God is good! 
I have had another surgery in May; yet, God is good!
There have been three deaths in my family thus far, one was my biological father; God is good! 
There have been changes in key relationships for the better; God is good!
There has been an addition to our family, the birth of my niece, Yeah, God! God is good! 
Though my life may be buffeted by good times and turmoil, God has remained faithful and unchanging. I have seen amazing answers to my prayers. Though there are those who would refute my belief in God, I will continue to put my trust in Him for He has proved Himself time and time again. His greatness, indeed, no one can fathom! I will tell of His mighty deeds!
I encourage you to look back and see what God has done in your life since the start of this year. Remember and treasure His mercies.
My Prayer: Dear God, You are, indeed, a good and just God. Thank You for Your tender mercies. May others be inspired to look back and see Your greatness. Amen 
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(I will) Praise God Like Daniel Did

He Is Worthy to Receive All Glory & Honor
Daniel 2:20-22 ESV
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belongs wisdom and might. He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him.
This is only part of the praise that Daniel said after God revealed to him the nature and interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. I love it because it puts many of God’s attributes in a nutshell. God is responsible for the changes in seasons and He establishes kings or takes them down. God is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Yet, I really like that the fact that it is God who reveals deep and hidden things, therefore, He knows all things. God knows what is in the darkness, therefore, nothing is hidden from Him. Light dwells with Him. What a comfort it is to know that in Him I can find wisdom and knowledge and that He has everything under His control. I cannot hide anything from Him for He knows what is in the dark.
I rejoice in God, my Savior, for He has made a way to reconcile with someone dear to me when I did not see a way. He knows my heart and He gives me the desire of my heart because I delight in Him and His word. Indeed, He has become my everything and my all. I can say, with conviction, that I am satisfied in Him. With this satisfaction comes the quiet acceptance of the way things are. I can embrace the fact that life is what it is and let go of what I wish it were. Sure I grieve a little because somethings did not turn out the way I thought that it should but God has helped me to see thing in a different light. Much like the Big Daddy Weave’s song, Different Light, there is no after without before. Without what has happened in my life, I would not be where I am today. He is enough and everything He says He is and more. I know that whatever comes my way, I will be okay for I know who holds my future and my life in the palm of His hand.
Great and mighty is the Lord, my God!
My Prayer: Dear God, may I be Your instrument of hope to people who need to know You. Thank You, Lord, for revealing to me the deep and hidden things and for Your wisdom and knowledge. Help me to impart it to others. Amen
Disclaimer: I apologize for being out of pocket and with God’s help I hope to continue in His good grace to bless you with the comfort that He has given me.

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Be A Willing Participant

In the Changes God 
Wants to Make in Your Life!
God can and will affect positive changes in one’s life if one willingly becomes a participant. He will not force it but offers it with great hope and expectation. Paradigm is a framework containing basic assumptions, ways of thinking and methodology in the way one looks at life. Romans 12:2 tells one how to make a change in paradigm. It is through God’s word that one can be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Renew in the Greek means replace thought process in error. This is exactly what a shift in paradigm is. By meditating on and putting God’s word to memory one can start to the process of bringing about the changes God wants to make in our lives.
Once the paradigm shift begins it leads to the new creation that is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5:17. God has made each person unique and one of a kind. He has a purpose and future for everyone though some do not believe in Him. He is sovereign and in control. He will impart His wisdom to those who ask for it. He does not find fault in those who ask. He is the author and finisher of our faith. What a great and mighty God I serve. God can make all things new especially, our hearts.
 
So I invite you to become a willing participant in what God wants to do in your life. Ask God where He would like to show you change is needed. Allow Him to change your paradigm. He will not fail nor disappoint.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for the changes that You have already made in my life and for the changes yet to come. Have Your way n me so that others can see Jesus in me. Amen.
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