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Saturday, March 2, 2024 - March 2nd 2024 Contentment

(Philippians 4:11) "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Discontentment is a trap that can ensnare you and rob you of joy and fulfillment.
That’s why the Bible says you must learn to be content “whatever the circumstances.”

The notion that a bigger car or a bigger house or a bigger salary will bring you contentment is a myth.
There will always be something “bigger and better” out there.

There will always be people who have more than you, so you’ll never be able to get off the treadmill.

That’s not to imply you should be satisfied with being enslaved to debt or destructive habits, or settle for complacency and mediocrity and not fulfill the call of God on your life.

Not at all!
You must keep working to improve yourself, while remaining totally dependent on God to bless you, promote you, and meet your needs.

Contentment means not coveting another person’s position, possessions, or personality.
Contentment is found or based through thankfulness and thanksgiving.

Your security and self-worth should be based on who you are in Christ, not what you have in material assets.

What a great way to live!

Paul lived like that.
I like the way the Message Bible interprets this scripture from (Philippians 4:11-13). “I’ve learned…to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.
I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am”

Each day you have a choice to make, regarding your attitude and how you face the day.
(1st Thessalonians 5:18) tells us “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”!
True thankfulness comes from a heart of contentment.

So learn to be content with what you have and where you are at in life.

Then trust God!
Give Him thanks and praise for the things that He has already done in your life and thank him for the future things He has promised to bring to fulfillment in His plan for your life, and then watch as it unfolds around you.

Remember God says "I have a plan for you, plans for good and not for evil" (Jeremiah 29:11)

And never forget that Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly" (John 10:10).

Be content, trust God and walk with Him in obedience.

You'll be amazed at how "it all works out for good to them that love Him" according to (Romans 8:28)

Good Day!
Friday, March 1, 2024 - March 1st 2024 He Has Given Us All His Forgiveness

(1st John 1:9) "If we [freely] admit that we have sinned ………."
In spite of our best intentions and efforts, we all “fall short” of God’s requirements and Holy standard (Romans 3:23).
Humanity today (as it has throughout history) tries to down play those short comings that are called sin, with humanistic terms and philosophies that refer to sin as nothing more than indiscretions or miss guided up bringing or “natural” tendencies.
But the fact of the matter it is sin with a hiss to it, and it separates us from a God, a Heavenly Father, a Creator that created the world the universe and everything in it for His glory and His good pleasure.
The new testament of the Bible tells it like this: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
In love… In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:3-12)
So what’s the answer?
John the Apostle writes to the church saying, (1st John 1:8-9) “If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the truth is not in us.
If we admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
I know I have used a lot of brackets isolating the many thoughts in this scripture that I have just presented, but its because we cannot dare to miss what God is trying to tell each of us in (John 1:8-9)
When it comes to God’s forgiveness, “knowing” is better than “feeling”.
Humanity will not always “feel” forgiven, that’s why we need to understand that God has provided it (forgiveness) as a divine gift of His good pleasure.
You need to understand and accept that you are right with God, made acceptable in His sight not by anything you do, but by an act of His divine nature and will. 
(Ephesians 2:8) says it like this; “For by grace you are saved, (made acceptable and right before God) not of works lest any man should boast but it is the gift of God”
Here’s how God’s forgiveness works: consciousness of sin leads to conviction of sin, and conviction of sin leads to confession of sin, and confession of sin leads to cleansing of sin, and cleansing of sin leads to confidence before God. (1st John 3:21-22)
But a lot of you reading this devotion have been thinking, “I don’t feel worthy of God’s forgiveness” and the truth is, you will never be worthy of it!
God’s forgiveness is not based on your worthiness but on Christ’s!
Did you get that?
It is not your works that make you acceptable in the sight of God; it is the works of Christ, “His work of redemption” thru the shedding of His blood, and His death on the cross so long ago.
Furthermore, God is not like your parents; He doesn’t insist you squirm and be miserable for a few days so that you will “learn your lesson” before He forgives you.
That would mean you play a part in earning His forgiveness.
It’s by grace and grace alone! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Grace means “undeserved favor.”
So as God has forgiven you, so today you need to “honor” Him by forgiving yourself and moving on.
Today, understand that God loves you and wants you to enjoy all of His creation to the max.
Jesus said in (John 10:10) “I am come that you might have life and that more abundantly”
He also said “Him whom the Son has set free is free indeed” (John 8:36)
So today, “Forgive yourself”, accept Gods provision and plan for you and go out and be His ambassador and representative,
 As He planned for each of us to do (Mark 16:15-16) “go ye unto all the world and tell others of His great love for mankind”.
Go out there today and live your freedom and your faith.
Experience all that He has blessed humanity with and give Him thanks for it.
You may not feel worthy of it, but He has every confidence in you!
Good day!

Thursday, February 29, 2024 - February 29th 2024 Guard Your Thought Life

(Proverbs 4:23) Guard your heart...for it determines the course of your life."
When Satan sets out to destroy you, he starts by planting wrong thoughts in your mind.
Jesus illustrated this when He said, “The law of Moses said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say: Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Before you surrender to sin in reality, you entertain it as fantasy.
Evil thoughts aren’t really yours until you allow them to “move in and rearrange the furniture.”
Left unchecked to ramble through your mind, a thought can attach itself to an incident in your past or the present and feed on it until it’s like a tumor growing inside you.
Paul warned, “Take captive every thought…make it obedient to Christ” (2nd Corinthians 10:5).
And Solomon wrote, “Guard your heart…for it determines the course of your life.”
Don’t give wrong thoughts an inch or they will take a mile.
Evict them before they weaken your commitment to Christ and leave you in the place of regret.
Generally speaking, when we clean house we focus on what others can see and inspect.
Imagine how much mental junk we collect because we think nobody sits in our heads examining our thoughts.
But God does! David said, “Lord…you know all about me” (Psalm 139:1).
Knowing that should lead you to pray, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord” (Psalm 19:14).
Paul wrote to the Philippian church these following words, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things”. (Philippians 4:8)
“As a man thinketh so is he”, the writer of Proverbs says: so ask yourself today, where do you want to be in the days ahead.
Victorious in Christ, or living in the valley of regret.
Your thoughts today will determine your tomorrow.
Good day!
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - February 28th 2024 Tearing Down Strongholds

(2nd Corinthians 10:4) "The weapons of our warfare are...mighty unto God for the pulling down of strongholds."
I’ve been talking about dream killers for the last couple of days and the reasons our dreams die or are not fulfilled.
When a pattern of evil passes from one generation to the next, the Bible refers to it as a “stronghold.”
David had a problem with lust, which resulted in an affair with another man’s wife.
That same spirit passed on to David’s son Amnon, and he raped his sister (2nd Samuel 13).
When David heard about it he was angry, but he did nothing, what could he say?
Abraham lied to a heathen king, saying his wife was his sister in order to save his own neck (Genesis 20).
Amazingly, his son Isaac did exactly the same thing a few chapters later (Genesis 26).
Experts report that children of alcoholic parents are four hundred times more likely to become alcoholic, and over 80 percent of child abusers were themselves abused as children.
The Bible tells us that we have an enemy Satan, whom is describe as a thief that comes to steal and to kill and to destroy, but Christ has come to give us an abundant life (John 10:10).
Satan wants us to live in defeat, and one way he does this is through spiritual strongholds, and or generational strongholds.
stronghold is a fortified city.
Therefore spiritual strongholds are incorrect or wrong ‘thinking patterns that have molded itself into our way of thinking, and therefore controls an aspect of our entire life.
These strongholds can affect our moods, feelings, how we respond to various situations in life, and they play a large role in our spiritual freedom.
Where do strongholds come from?
One of the primary weapons the enemy uses is deception; deception is a lie appearing to be truth.
Strongholds are built upon deception.
These deceptions, which form strongholds, can come from a wide variety of sources, including our environment, those around us, our parents, or even demonic spirits.
Many people are living a defeated life because of what they “choose to believe” or hold on to.
For example, people with a crippling “inferiority complex” may have been told as a child that they were unworthy or insignificant or no good or unwanted.
So they live their lives believing they are not important or as significant as others
For us to live in victory, it is very important for us to have the right thinking.
Our thoughts are very powerful as they govern our behavior.
(Proverbs 23:7) tells us “as a man (or woman) thinketh in their heart so is He (or she)”
You believe what’s in your heart!
The thoughts and inclinations of your heart shape the reality of who you are!
Our behavior governs our lives.
Can strongholds exist because of demon activity or oppression?
The simple answer to this question is yes. 
Now to be clear demons cannot possess you or control you if you are a born again believer in Christ with the Holy Spirit living in you; how ever they can influence you or oppress you.
A person who is oppressed by demonic activity may find it nearly impossible to tear down the stronghold that that has them chained or bound unless that demonic influence or oppression is dealt with as Jesus said with fasting and prayer.
When that oppression or influence is dealt with, then the person must learn to think right and fill their minds with other things that arengood and wholesome and lovely and pure.
This is what Paul the Apostle was trying to teach the Philippian Church when He said “whatsoever things are lovely,…good…pure… brethren think on these things” (Philippians 4:8)
This is because the demon will be working hard at rebuilding and holding those strongholds in place.
The demon that is oppressing or influencing the stronghold will be working very hard to prevent the person from being free from its clutches and so will be countering that person’s efforts to tear them down.

Whatever takes root in your spirit that is what will control your life

At times it will feel as if they are hitting a brick wall, and even if they seem to make progress, it seems like their efforts are in vain because it keeps coming back.
How do you tear down strongholds?
We tear down strongholds through truth or the “Word of God”. 
By changing the way we think and that means you need to be influenced by that which is truth, and the only sure truth is the Word of God and the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is very clear that strongholds are built upon falsehood or deception; it is therefore with and through “truth”, that you tear down faulty thinking patterns.
Strongholds are built when we accept and receive error and begin to meditate on them.
Whatever you meditate on, that is what will take root in your spirit.
Like seeds being planted n a garden.
Whatever takes root in your spirit, that is what will control your life.
Yesterday I talked about “imagination” and how the lack of it can cripple your dreams.
But imaginations formed under the influence of darkness can also form strongholds.
Strongholds are formed in our minds by certain imaginations that are a false concept that we believe to be true…… but in reality is not.
The Bible speaks about these imaginations clearly, and shows us how they can be torn down:
(2nd Corinthians 10:4) “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
If you are struggling today with an oppression or stronghold in your life, I implore you, find a spirit filled pastor, friend or Christian that is filled with the spirit of the living God, and share those issue you are dealing with in open honesty.
Get them to pray with you, fast with you and having done all to stand, stand; purposing in your heart to not allow that stronghold to have control over you or your future.
Defeating strongholds is a spiritual battle that is difficult yes, but never –the- less can be won and victory can be yours…. but it takes conscientious effort, discipline and the right strategy.
Strongholds can be broken but they can only be broken and overcome thru the power of prayer, The Word of God and the blood of Christ.
And Jesus will do that for you today if you will come to him in honesty and humbleness.
So today prepare your self to fight, you have been bound up long enough
(John 8:32) “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”
(John 8:36) “If the Son therefor shall make you free you shall be free indeed”
Good Day!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 - February 27th 2024 Dream Killer #5 The Lack of Imagination

(Hebrews 11:26)  "He was looking ahead to his reward."
Moses discovered that when you’re not fulfilling your God-given dream, even a king’s palace won’t make you happy.
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God…because he was looking ahead to his reward…he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:26-27).
When God gives you a dream, you’ll be able to see things that are “invisible” to others.
This brings us to the next dream killer: “Lack of imagination”.
One of the greatest gifts that God has given you is the gift of imagination.
It's the ability to see things, to think and to create with mental pictures in your mind.
The reason you have this gift is because God imagines.
The Bible tells us that God imagined the entire universe and it was created.
Humorist Robert Orben said, “Always remember that there are only two kinds of people in this world—the realists and the dreamers.
The realists know where they’re going. The dreamers have already been there.”
God gave you the gift of memory to “replay” the past and the gift of imagination to “pre-play” the future.
Moses “saw” the Promised Land long before he got there.
It’s what sustained him through forty long years in the wilderness.
God didn’t make a mistake when He gave you “imagination”.
Because of it, you can stand in the middle of your dream and envision it before it comes to pass, even when others doubt it.
So if you’re a dreamer who has already been there in your imagination, trust God and put your dream to the test.
If you come from a discouraging background or don’t think of yourself as an especially imaginative person, don’t lose hope.
You were created for great things. (John 14:17) (Greater things than these shall ye do)
God has a plan especially for you. (Jeremiah 29:11) I know the plans I have for you says the Lord)
And He wants you to dream big (Psalm 37:4) “Delight thy self in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”
You can still discover and develop a dream. (Philippians 1:6) “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
God has put that ability within you! (Hebrews 13:20-21
“Now may the God of peace ….. equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”
Jesus said “unless you become like these little children, you will never see, experience grasp the Kingdom of God”! (Mathew 18:3)
When you watch little children at play one of the great things to see and witness is their imagination,
Imagination fuels your dream, come on dream big and refuse to accept the thought that you are not good enough, not smart enough, not gifted or any of the lies the enemy of your soul has been throwing at you.
God says “all things are possible to them that believe” (or to them that can imagine).
(Mark 9:23) Jesus said, “… If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).
The word “possible” is the Greek word “dunata”, and it expresses the idea of ability, power, one who is able and capable, or one who is competent.
Jesus made it plain if we will believe, all things will be possible to us!
Good Day!
Monday, February 26, 2024 - February 26th 2024 Dream Killer #4 Lack Of Confidence

(Numbers 14:24) "My servant Caleb has a different spirit."
Caleb was truly remarkable.
No retirement plan or rocking chair for this guy!
At eighty-five he dreamed of owning his own mountain in the Promised Land.
And even though there were giants living on it, they didn’t discourage him one bit.
When the people around him saw the giants and wanted to back off, Caleb factored God into the equation and said, “We will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them” (Numbers 14:9).
Note the words, “We will swallow them up.”
As you grow in faith you’ll start to “feed off” stuff the enemy throws at you, and as a result you’ll become stronger.
Bottom line: you can choose to blend in or to stand out!
God said, “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”
Notice, Caleb had “a different spirit,” which brings us to another dream killer you must overcome:
“Lack of confidence”.
Dreams are fragile, and they’re at the greatest risk when they’re new to you, when the people you love and respect don’t approve, and when you have no past record of success to fall back on and give you confidence.

That’s the point at which you must know God for yourself and have a relationship with Him. “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).
The word “exploits”, indicates that God can show you how to exploit, utilize, profit from, and find opportunity in even the worst of circumstances.
Paul says it well when he wrote in (Philippians 4:13) "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
So today, know that God wants you to succeed, God wants you to go above and beyond: He wants you to do greater things, than these (John 14:12-14)
He wants you to do exploits, (new things that you’ve never done before) and be that mighty man (or woman) of valor, that is needed in your home your community and our world today.
Hold fast to “confidence in God” no matter what the world says and dream big.
Good Day!

Sunday, February 25, 2024 - February 25th 2024 Dream Killer #3 Mediocrity

(Romans 4:17) "God...calls things that are not as though they were."
When you dare to dream, God who “calls things that are not, as though they were” is at work within you.
But there’s a third dream killer you must overcome; and that, is “settling for average” or mediocrity!
A God-given dream will stretch you; you can’t reach for it and remain safely “mediocre” at the same time.
The two are incompatible.
When you settle for average, it’s tempting to blame it on others, or on your personal circumstances, or on the system.
But the truth is, “mediocrity” is always a personal choice.
When you don’t have a compelling dream, you are in danger of having your life merely slip away or living simply to exist.
To many seniors reach retirement and because there is no dream, no passion they simply slip into an existing mode, living a life of mediocrity.
Author Kenneth Hildebrand put it this way: “The poorest of all men isn’t the one without a penny to his name.
He’s the fellow without a dream…[he is like] a great ship made for the mighty ocean but trying to navigate in a millpond.
He has no far port to reach, no lifting horizon, no precious cargo to carry.
His hours are absorbed in routine and petty tyrannies.
Small wonder he gets dissatisfied, quarrelsome, and ‘fed up.’
One of life’s greatest tragedies is a person with a ten-by-twelve capacity and a two-by-four soul.”
If you feel that your life is closer to average than you want, you need to do more dreaming.
Nothing will help you break out of your rut like a God-inspired dream.
And if you don’t already have one, ask God to give you one.
He may give it to you in an instant or over a period of time, but He will do it.
Jesus said “greater things than these shall ye do”(John 14:12)
How about you? Have you been doing any of them?
Perhaps your thinking “I could never”.
“Who am I?”
“I’m to old”!
Well start dreaming!
Start imagining that you could be the next Billy Graham, or the next Oscar winning gospel singer whom touches the hearts of millions with a song.
It starts with a dream!
Good Day!

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