Focus on Jesus

Rejoice Always: Morning Minute Message 5/31/19

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).

Rejoice always? Pray without ceasing? In everything give thanks? What about when…? We can often miss the richness in verses such as this when we are in the midst of a trial and blinded by the circumstance. Sometimes we get upset and mad at God because we are dealing with a situation we never expected. How can we rejoice, or pray effectively, or even give thanks when we don’t want to deal with what we’ve got?

We aren’t told to rejoice because of what we are going through, this is more of a rejoice in spite of; same with giving thanks. Prayer should come naturally, however, I know that sometimes we don’t know what to pray while in the midst, and sometimes we don’t pray because we feel like there’s no reason to; we give up.

First off, joy and rejoicing are internal, they aren’t based on circumstance, but who Papa is to each of us, and who we are in Him. In His presence is fullness of joy, and His joy is our strength. It’s intertwined. Rejoicing always is saying “Hey, this situation thinks it is going to crush me or discourage me, but Papa has my back and I’m just going to lean on Him and before I know it, I’ll be through it.”

Praying without ceasing is simply just talking to Him during the trial, sharing every emotion, every concern, every small victory and knowing that He’s listening and working. It’s thinking about what He is doing on our behalf and within us.

Giving thanks in everything is being grateful for His hand at work. It is thanking Him for working everything out for our good, and for orchestrating our lives to fulfill His purpose and plan. It is thanking Him for the small victories, for the daily blessings and benefits, for the things we so often take for granted.

These three simple, yet profound, steps push us into growth, and growth is what we want. It is often the difficult and trying times that Papa uses to get us to let go of something in order to take us, or give us, something new. Always for our good.

I love ya, have a great day!

Be Gentle: Morning Minute Message 5/30/19

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted (Galatians 6:1 NKJV).

Every single one of us makes mistakes, falls, gives in to temptation, gets off track, or turns in another direction. We are not exempt. How we handle our own mistakes and the mistakes or missteps of others says quite a bit about our relationship with Christ.

Gentleness, I have found, can often be lacking when we address someone who has strayed off the Godly path and given in to temptation. More often, we tend to smack them over the head with Scripture and a heaping helping of condemnation. Ever notice how this has the opposite effect of what we may be going for? Where’s the love in that?

We tend to use our address of the mistake as speaking the truth to the other person “in love”. However, we fail to realize that when we point things out this particular way we come off as being more judgmental and condemning than loving. If someone were to speak to us the same way, we’d be less inclined to listen.

Jesus is a gentleman. He was gentle and kind to every sinner He met. He never continued to point out anyone’s sin or mistake, He simply forgave and told them to sin no more. We can learn a lot from Him. He is the Truth. When we are gentle with others, speaking the truth in love is speaking His Truth about who they are in Him and how He loves them.

Practice gentleness with others and  yourself. Speak the Truth of Jesus, you can never go wrong with that!

I love ya, have a great day!

 

Live Wisely: Morning Minute Message 5/28/19

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone (Colossians 4:5-6 NLT).

We are to live among non believers, not apart from them. We are set apart in this world, not excluded from it. I am deeply saddened by those who will not have anything to do with anyone who is not a Christian, who doesn’t attend the same school of thought, or who even refuses to seek professional services from those of other belief structures. How will they hear the Gospel and see it lived out if we don’t associate with them?

We need unbelievers in our lives, and we need relationship with them. It is not enough to only speak to them during “outreach” programs and then walk away. How does that really bring anyone to the feet of Jesus? Living wisely among them and making the most of every opportunity means we share Jesus with those around us who don’t know Him. It means having coffee with an unsaved neighbor, or being kind to our spouse or grown child who isn’t kind. It means telling of what He’s done in our lives to those who need to hear it. It means laying down our judgments and selves to be there for those who have no hope.

How will non believers know Christ, if we do not share Him?

I love ya, have a great day!

 

Think About Heaven: Morning Minute Message 5/24/19

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth (Colossians 3:1-2 NLT).

Often it is much easier to stay focused on what is going on in front of our eyes, the situation that threatens to conquer us, or our lack of whatever it is we need at that moment. However, we are told to set our eyes on the realities of heaven, to think about the things of heaven and not earth. We’re human, it’s hard sometimes to refocus because life has a way of kicking us where it hurts.

However, let’s think about the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor. I’ve been going through these epistles while putting together a small group bible study, and there is a common theme I have found – united with Christ. We have been united with Christ and we are seated with Him in heavenly places. So, what are the realities of heaven? There is no lack, no sickness, no death, no conflict, no disunity, and so many others.

As we focus on the things of heaven and think about them, we will be more focused on what Papa is doing in our lives than what our lives are smacking us with. We can unequivocally trust Him to meet our every need, to carry us when we cannot go on, to provide what we lack, and to perform miracles that bring Him great glory. We only need to keep our focus on Him and His kingdom.

I love ya, have a great day!

Don’t Be Captured: Morning Minute Message 5/23/19

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ (Colossians 2:8 NLT).

Empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense was alive in Biblical times and is very much alive today. There is nothing new under the sun, it may have simply changed shades or tactics. But it is the same junk people talked about and thought about and created followings with.

Years ago Papa showed me how Satan will mix a little truth in with a lot of lie and how to be very discerning when listening or reading to what others have to say. He showed me how to listen between the lines and to taste and test every word with His word. Looking and listening today requires heavenly filters and the Holy Spirit’s direction and leading.

There are a great many empty philosophies out there which have small truth embedded in their doctrines. Many fall for them because of this small truth and become blinded to the blatant and flamboyant lies directly in front of their face. Distraction is a weapon Satan wields and he knows precisely how to use it.

Be careful and cautious of who you follow, who you allow into your inner circle, who you are transparent with; trust the Holy Spirit and those little knots in your gut. Do not be afraid to question and to test.

I love ya, have a great day!

 

 

Think About the Positive: Morning Minute Message 5/16/19

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8 VOICE).

What we think about and focus on determines our state of mind and the course of our day. It affects the atmosphere around us and how we respond or react to the people and situations we face. It is not a mistake that Scripture tells us to fill our minds with beauty and truth and to focus on what is right, honorable and pure. When we do what Scripture tells us, we will be in the right state of mind to see Papa’s hand at work in every situation, we will be less likely to react and respond inappropriately out of anger or frustration.

Jesus is the the Truth, and the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, so when we are filled with Papa’s word, prayed up, armor on, and reminding ourselves of who Papa says we are, it doesn’t matter what goes on around us in this world. We will be in a better position to pray for other, for we will be praying from a place of love, trust and faith in God, not out of fear of what is going on.

It is too easy to give in to the negative news reports, to dwell on the misfortunes of others, to set our minds on what we are told to be afraid of, and these fears and negative thoughts and emotions will affect our prayer life, they also breed hopelessness and faithlessness.

Change the way you think. If a thought is not beautiful, true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, or praiseworthy – have another thought!

I love ya, have a great day!

Pray in the Spirit: Morning Minute Message 5/8/19

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).

Prayer is a vital part of the Believer’s life. It is our life support system, our battery charger, our necessary food. It is our GPS, our telephone, our battle strategy. There are those who would argue that Scripture is all we need, but Scripture without prayer is simply words on a page. Prayer is how we enter into understanding Scripture, and understanding what the Spirit reveals to us as to how and what to pray.

Praying in the Spirit is prayer that is directed, energized, and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Intercession, if you will. When we speak, sing, or be in the Spirit, it is all Holy Spirit led. The Bible is filled with intercessory prayers, Scripture based prayers, admonitions to pray at all times, unceasingly, and for all men.

Got a problem? Pray. Need direction? Pray. Facing backlash for your beliefs? Pray. No matter the situation, pray. Bring it all to the altar. Not only will you gain peace, you will gain perspective, and sometimes a changed perspective is all we need to see the answer to our prayers.

Pray especially for Believers. There are many who have been misguided, misinformed, who struggle to know Jesus outside the confines of what they’ve been taught, who only know condemnation. Pray for them. Bless them, ask Papa to show you how He sees them, and how He wants you to pray specifically. These are prayers He will gladly answer.

I love ya, have a great day!

Think New Thoughts: Morning Minute Message 5/3/19

“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).

What we think about will, most of the time, affect our actions. If we are hung up on who we used to be, our old self, our old habits, this is where our thoughts will camp. Camping here often invites negative thinking.

Scripture is very clear on the thinking process. Proverbs tells us that what we think, we are (Proverbs 23:7), that we are to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), and to renew our minds (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). One of our largest and most formidable battlegrounds is between our ears and our enemy knows precisely how to attack us there.

Papa does not leave us without a way to defend and attack. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) His word (Matthew 4:4), and we have His armor. (Ephesians 6:11). When we allow the Spirit to renew our minds, and fill ourselves with His word, His promises, what He thinks about us, the right attitude will follow and the mind battlefield will clear and shrink.

When negative thinking begins to overshadow you, think a new thought!

I love ya, have a great day!

A Lot Can Happen In Three Days: Morning Minute Message 4/23/19

The Name Above All: Morning Minute Message 4/8/19

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