2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
The Bible tells us that fear is a “spirit.” This spirit has a mind that thinks and a voice that speaks, and if you allow it to – it will control you. Today if you’re battling a “spirit of fear,” make this your prayer: “Lord, Your Word says when I seek Your face, You’ll hear me and deliver me from all my fears (See Psalm 34:4). So I cast down every anxious thought that rises up against what I know about You and Your power (See 2 Corinthians 10:5). I stand on the promise that You’ll never leave nor forsake me (See Hebrews 13:5). I rest in the truth that nothing is too hard for You (See Jeremiah 32:17). I rejoice in the assurance that You’ve already given Your angels responsibility for keeping and protecting me in all my ways (See Psalm 91:11). I resist the spirit of fear, and command it to flee in Jesus’ name (See James 4:7). By faith I decree that Your peace, which passes human understanding, will guard my heart and mind (See Philippians 4:7). Therefore, I will not let my heart be troubled or afraid (See John 14:27). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.” Now instead of focusing on the problem, focus on the Problem-Solver – God! That may not immediately resolve your difficulty, but it’ll keep you in a peaceful state of mind while you wait for God to work. Isaiah said, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT). Note the word “fixed.” As you go through this day with your mind “fixed” on God, you’ll have “perfect and constant peace” (AMPC).
Soul food: Neh 11-13; John 19:1-16; Ps 105:8-15; Prov 30:5-9
Psalm 34:10 NLT
Have you lost your job? Are you facing the possibility of losing your home or going bankrupt? Are you in the toughest place you’ve ever been? Paul “suffered the loss of all things” (Philippians 3:8 NAS), but he didn’t stay there. He went on to say, “My God shall supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19 NKJV). And God can do that for you – with or without a paycheck or some other anticipated source of income. The psalmist said, “Those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” One of the things you have to watch out for is Satan’s worst-case-scenario talk. If you allow him, he will paint mental images of you living in a cardboard box, under a bridge. Stand on God’s Word today and declare: “Lord, You said if I’m willing and obedient, I will enjoy the best You have to offer (See Isaiah 1:19). You promise to surround me with favour (See Psalm 5:12). Your Word says that You can do more than anything I could even ask or think, according to Your power that works within me (See Ephesians 3:20). Even though nothing seems to be going right for me just now, give me faith to believe You for good things and better days. Your Word tells me to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to You. That Your peace, which surpasses human understanding, will guard my heart and mind (See Philippians 4:6-7). Lord, honor Your Word today, in the name of Jesus, Amen.”
Soul food: Neh 8-10; John 18:25-40; Ps 105:1-7; Prov 30:1-4
2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV
Did you know that over half of those who enter the ministry quit before retirement? Why? There are lots of reasons – here is one of them: They discover that great revelation comes with a “thorn.” The apostle Paul, who wrote half the New Testament, says: “To keep me from being conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV). Pastor, there are 168 hours in your week. The hour you spend in the pulpit on Sunday morning showcases you in the areas of your gifting and strength. So your challenge will always be to remember that it is God’s Word and God’s power, not yours, that changes lives and gets the job done. Notice what Paul said: “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh.” Paul’s thorn came in the form of “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties.” What’s your thorn? You can only stand strong before people if you discipline yourself to spend time before God in prayer and Bible study. That’s how to stay effective and finish strong in ministry!
Soul food: 2 Chr 19-21; John 12:1-11; Ps 76; Prov 27:4-6
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
God’s peace is a wonderful thing. And some of the people around you today are in need of it. It comes when you commit your life to Christ and live by the principles laid out in Scripture. When you “commit” something to the Lord, you transfer every part of it from you to Him (See Psalm 37:5). Peter writes, “Casting…the whole of your…concerns, once and for all, on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 AMPC). What a privilege. Have you been availing yourself of it lately? “How do I cast all my cares on Him?” you ask. Through prayer! As soon as you become aware that you’re starting to worry and lose your sense of peace, take it to God immediately and leave it with Him. Don’t give the Devil time to work you over. The longer you wait, the greater his hold over you becomes. “But I can’t help thinking about it,” you say. “What can I do?” These two things: (1) Give it to God and then start to focus on other things. It’s a learned response, one you’ll have to practice daily. Paul writes, “Whatever is true…honorable and worthy of respect…whatever is lovely and brings peace…think continually on these things” (Philippians 4:8 AMP). In other words, redirect your thoughts! (2) Find out what God says in His Word about your situation. Then line your thoughts, words, and actions up with it. When you do this, “You will experience God’s peace” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Soul food: 2 Sam 20:1-22:30; John 4:1-12; Ps 100; Prov 23:22-28
Philippians 3:14 NIV
In 1972, Life magazine published a story about the amazing adventures of John Goddard. When he was fifteen, his grandmother said, “If only I had done that when I was young.” Determined not to make that statement at the end of his life, John wrote out 127 goals. He named ten rivers he wanted to explore and seventeen mountains he wanted to climb. He set goals of becoming an Eagle Scout, a world traveler, and a pilot. Also on his list was riding a horse in the Rose Bowl parade, diving in a submarine, retracing the travels of Marco Polo, reading the Bible from cover to cover, and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He also planned to read the entire works of Shakespeare, Plato, Dickens, Socrates, Aristotle, and several other classic authors. He desired to learn to play the flute and violin, marry, have children (he had five), pursue a career in medicine, and serve as a missionary for his church. Sound impossible? At age forty-seven, he had accomplished 103 of his 127 goals! Now, your list of goals may not be as extensive as his, but if you don’t have some goals for your life you’ll have little motivation to get up in the morning and little satisfaction when you put your head on your pillow each night. And unless you try something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you won’t grow. So set your goals in prayer, and with God’s help work toward them each day.
Soul food: 2 Sam 17:14-19:43; John 3:22-36; Ps 89:38-52; Prov 23:19-21