There is No Lucky or Unlucky with GOD

Many people in life who are troubled by a series of bad circumstances will say something like: “Why does this always happen to me?” These people feel they are victims. “I’ve just got bad luck,” they say. Some feel that God doesn’t like them or is even out to get them. But that’s not how God works. Everything God does or allows has purpose. God has a plan for us according to His will.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
– Jeremiah 29:11

While sometimes we blame God for our circumstances, the problem is we have lost our connection with God. Perhaps we aren’t praying. Perhaps we aren’t asking God to intervene. Then again, we may be doing these things, but we aren’t listening to God’s will. We are still trying to do things our way not His way – we may be getting in the way.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36

When things don’t go right

Things don’t go right all the time in life. We may have periods where our cares are few, and other periods where we are continually challenged. But it is in these challenging moments where we often learn the most. God uses these situations to impart wisdom upon us. This is where “blessings in disguise” are born. Sometimes these blessings come slowly over time. Not always because God is slow in giving, but because we are slow to learn!

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
– 2 Peter 3:9

So rather than feel like a victim or abandoned by God in these situations, we should remain faithful, grateful and thankful. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

God is in control

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6

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How To Overcome Jealousy

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. -Galatians 5:19-21

Jealousy is one of the hardest emotions to control in our everyday lives. How do we put an end to envy?

When people think of jealousy, they sometimes get the proverbial of someone’s “new car”, or “new house” picture in their minds. Yet, jealousy can be much more complicated than that. Jealousy can involve any combination of things. We may be jealous of someone’s social/economic status; someone’s talents and abilities, family or loved ones, possessions, expensive new gadget, fame, money, cars, ideas, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband, anatomic features, intelligence, recognition, entire life—anything!

With so many possible ways to become jealous, how can we overcome this? The truth is: It’s not easy.

Why is jealousy spiritually dangerous?

Jealousy can be a form of covetousness. Hebrews 13:5 states, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ “This verse brings up other dangers related to covetousness: discontent and lack of thankfulness. When we turn to Him, God is our provider and He gives us what we need. Jealousy in essence says, “What God has given me is not enough!”

There is nothing wrong with asking God for things we need and want in prayer, but we should ask with the firm belief that God knows exactly what we need and want and will provide for us according to His will. Jealousy can turn life into a competition about who has the best, is the best, and can show off the most. This attitude pleases the god of this world (Satan), not the true God.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:8, “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” , Jealousy continually whispers to us, “God’s gifts are not good enough. You need/deserve/should have whatever you want in this life. “Being content with having our needs met in this life can go a long way in reminding us that this life is temporary and that the Kingdom of God is coming. Therefore, jealousy hinders the fruits of faithfulness and goodness.

So let’s make a change. How can we overcome jealousy?

Ask yourself these questions:

1.)Why am I not happy with my situation?

2.)What makes me think that if I received what I’m jealous about, things would be so much better?

3.)Are there things I see on TV that give me jealous thoughts?

4.)What do my eyes wander over that I may have to avoid in order to stop these thoughts?

Again, remember that God wants to bless us and give us wonderful gifts, but only gifts that won’t be harmful for us. All good gifts come from God (James 1:17), so gifts that are going to be negative to our lives must come from someone else. Jealous thoughts are usually easy to identify, but sometimes they can sneak right past our brain sensors and develop into a feeling of envy without us even knowing what happened.

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Sharper Than Any Two-Edged Sword

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. Hebrews 4:12

Once GOD has spoken, there is nothing and no one else who can speak to counter the Word of GOD. It is impossible for any man, principality, or ruler to try and reverse what GOD has said over anyone’s life. There is no such thing recorded in the Scriptures. Every time GOD spoke, it was final and there was nothing to change it. Whether people were happy with it or not, they could not rise to say anything against GOD that could stand.

This is why, when we think of salvation and all of GOD’s promises, we should jump for joy because we know that GOD meant what HE said and HE has no intention of reversing it. When GOD spoke of salvation, HE meant that it would be eternal and it would be irreversible. Any person who calls upon the name of the LORD and makes GOD his or her refuge is saved, eternally. Whether the world likes it or not, there is nothing they can do to change it because GOD has had the final say.

The Word of GOD also comes in the form of the Bible, every book written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. What was written has been written under the approval of GOD and cannot be reversed. When you ready your Bible and you become exposed to your freedom in CHRIST and your identity as a son of GOD, it should compel you to jump up and live boldly because GOD said what HE said and HE meant what HE said.

The Word of GOD can serve as a mirror in our hearts, exposing our innermost thoughts and revealing to us the things in our lives that we need to discard in order to grow spiritually. The Word of GOD is able to counter every curse, every chain, and every form of bondage. The Word of GOD is alive in us, transforming our lives day in and day out. This is why the Christian life is a life of transformation. There is nothing and no one else who can make us grow spiritually except for GOD and HIS Word.

This is why we are called new creations (2 Corinthians 5:7), because the Word of GOD transforms us from being people of sin to being sons of GOD, ever- righteous and ever glorious.

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The Light to Our Way

“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”-Psalm 119:104-105

GOD, through HIS WORD, has established the ways in which we should live as HIS children. As children of GOD, we have chosen to surrender to the will of GOD for our lives. In order to understand the will of GOD for our lives, we have to have an understanding of HIS WORD. In GOD’s WORD, HE has set up the way in which HE expects us to live and represent HIM as HIS children. It is through the WORD of GOD, we understand what it means to be led by the SPIRIT of GOD.

Being led by the SPIRIT of GOD does not mean that we get up and wander around aimlessly until we hear a voice or see a sign. That is a spiritually immature way to live. The more we study the WORD of GOD, the more we understand how GOD functions. We also come to understand the way GOD desires for us to function.

GOD loves us so much. HE made sure that we never have to guess what HE is thinking. In the Bible, HIS WORD, we are able to determine the ways of GOD versus the ways of the world. There will be instances in our life where the devil will come disguised as a source of light and he will try to influence us to do things that “seem” to be right.

When we remain rooted in the ways of GOD, we will be able to discern GOD’s way from the ways of the enemy that may “appear” to be right. The enemy never throws blatant evil at us and expects us to take the bait. No, that would be too simple. The devil disguises his trickery in things that we may think are harmless. Once we become ensnared, it becomes very hard for us to try and let go of the enemy’s hold over our lives.

This is why GOD presses it upon our hearts to follow HIS way of life. In the way of GOD, we become free from the wiles of the enemy. There is only freedom in obeying GOD’s decrees-freedom and joy. GOD’s laws serve as a lamp in our lives, saving us from the grasps of darkness and leading us into HIS glorious light. 

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“Take Up Your Cross”

“And he said to them all. if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me”-Luke 9:23

We have heard the phrase, “We all have our cross to bear”. Although, it is a nice quote, JESUS is the one that bore a cross for our sins. None of us can imagine what that was like for HIM and to take it lightly does a great disservice to the sacrifice that GOD and HIS Son made so that our sins could be forgiven. Think about the most difficult thing that you have ever done. Now think about the greatest pain that you ever endured. Now think about the greatest sacrifice that you have ever made on behalf of other people. Now imagine doing the exact same thing for everyone that has and will ever lived.

This is the sacrifice that CHRIST made so that we may live. What does GOD ask in exchange for this sacrifice? That we take up the cross daily and follow HIM. What do you do every single day that you are alive? Can you honestly say that you take up the cross every day?

We all have doubts and anxieties, worries and regrets. The LORD asks that we put these aside and follow HIM. Given the hectic schedules and hassles that all of us must endure, this can be a very difficult task. It is hard to keep our mind on one thing when we have so many things to distract us. But we must try. We must make all of our efforts to take up the cross and go after JESUS.

I find it remarkable how wise and how selfless JESUS was in HIS last moments. HE does not think of HIMSELF, HE is teaching until HIS last breath, and HE shows how much HE cares through HIS actions and WORDS. We must hope that we can be a little bit more like HIM. How can you take up your cross and follow HIM? Ask yourself this question, but more importantly, ask HIM. How can we take up our cross and follow JESUS CHRIST? Ask ourselves this question, but more importantly, ask the LORD.

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Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:1-11


Given the obvious presence of metaphors in the above Scripture text, it is easy for us simply to focus on the analogies being drawn by the LORD. But JESUS is doing more than comparing Himself to either the door of a sheepfold or to a shepherd. He is teaching HIS followers about HIS legitimate claim to lead, provide, and protect. As we study the LORD’s WORD’s, we will find comfort in both HIS knowledge of HIS people and HIS willingness to sacrifice Himself for those who follow HIM. If anything, this should motivate us to faithfulness.  

Stressing HIS legitimate right to lead and protect HIS people, JESUS declared, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1) Here, JESUS referenced the sheepfold- a place designed to provide safety to the sheep, but HE does so with the intent of contrasting Himself with those who seek to do harm to the flock. Unlike the thieves or robbers, the shepherd is able to enter the sheepfold properly-through the door. When he approaches, the doorkeeper will allow the legitimate shepherd to enter, and that individual will gather his sheep and lead them to the fields.

JESUS is a good SHPEHERD; faithful disciples will hear (understand and heed) his voice; they will not listen to strangers (false teachers) who would lead them astray. People, thus, indicate whose sheep they are by whose voice they follow! The voice of JESUS is heard through HIS WORD which has been revealed to us by inspired men.

The Door of the Sheep

To declare JESUS to be the door of the sheep is to say HE is the only portal to safety. Those who looked for safety from any other religious leader looked in vain. To emphasize HIS concern for HIS followers, JESUS contrasted what HE offered with what others sought to take. He declared: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have it more abundantly”(John 10:10). With these words, JESUS was not simply issuing a proverb. Instead, HE was developing the contrast between those who would harm the sheep and the One who provided care and protection.

Unlike the hirelings who would flee when danger approached (John 10:12), JESUS- the Good SHEPHERD- would willingly sacrifice “HIS life for the sheep”. This could certainly be done if a shepherd willingly stood between his flock and a wild beast (1 Samuel 17:34-36).  But JESUS was willing to do much, much more. Far from being accidental, JESUS death is precisely what qualifies HIM to be the good SHEPHERD-a point presupposed in Hebrews 13:20, which acknowledges JESUS to be ‘that Great SHEPHERD of the sheep” . JESUS is clearly more concerned for HIS flock than any hireling could be (John 10:13). HE did not flee from danger; HE willingly faced death.

The Knowledge of the Sheep

JESUS legitimacy, unlike that of the religious leaders of HIS day, is perhaps best seen in HIS knowledge of HIS followers. Just as the shepherd knows the animals under his care, so JESUS knows and is known by HIS disciples. Stressing this point, HE stated, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14). This knowledge is neither shallow or overstated. There is a communion existing between the disciples of the LORD and the LORD himself of understanding, love, fellowship, and regard that may properly be compared, in degree, at least, wit that existing between the FATHER and the SON”.

Because of this knowledge, JESUS was motivated to “lay down HIS life for the sheep”. Lest anyone think JESUS died for only one race of people, HE made clear HIS death was for many. He noted, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). HIS death makes it possible for all men-both Jews and Gentiles-to be saved.

Let’s TALK it OVER

What does Jesus call the one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door (John 10:1)?

Who enters the sheepfold by the door (John 10:2)?

Why do the sheep follow the shepherd (John 10:4)?

Why will sheep not follow a stranger (John 10:5)? 

Why does the thief come (John 10:10)?

What does the good shepherd do for the sheep (John 10:11)?

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Prayer Is The Answer

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.-James 5:13

Whether one is facing a physical crisis or a spiritual one, prayer is the answer. Those who pray diligently declare how desperately they need GOD’s help. Through prayer, we acknowledge we cannot make it on our own; through prayer we turn our struggles over to GOD. Prayer is depicted and discussed throughout Scripture.

In the Old Testament, we read about men like Manoah, the father of Samson, who prayed and asked GOD for guidance: “O my LORD, please let the Man of GOD whom YOU sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born” (Judges 13:8). Others like Jabez, prayed to GOD for personal blessings and protection. He asked, “Oh, that YOU would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, and that YOUR hand would be with me, and that YOU would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”(1 Chronicles 4:10).

Another individual who prayed was the prophet Elijah. Although, he was involved in several miraculous events, including calling fire down from heaven ( 1Kings 18:36-38). In this verse, James described him as “a man with a nature like ours” (5:17) and used him to illustrate the power of prayer. The New Testament also contains numerous examples of individuals who relied upon prayer.  Prayer is necessary if one wishes to rely upon GOD, and when it is done properly, it can be very powerful.

Reasons to Pray

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to GOD” (Philippians 4:6). No matter the circumstances we face, GOD cares. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of GOD, that HE may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon HIM, for HE cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7) Whether one is suffering or rejoicing, GOD must not be far from that person’s mind. We pray because GOD in HIS providence can provide the relief we desperately seek; we sing because GOD is to be praised for the good things we enjoy in this life.

GOD continues to care for HIS people and answer their prayers through HIS providence. The result of faithful and trusting prayer is presented in James 5:15-16: “And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the LORD will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Prayer is powerful and an effective tool! This does not mean that all prayers are answered in the way we desire. (Matthew 26:39; Hebrews 5:7-9). Nevertheless, GOD is listening and willing to act in accordance wit HIS will (1 John 5:14-15).


Saving a SOUL

As Christians, we have to reach out to those who have fallen away. “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins“(James 5:19-20).

When one is lost, others should be concerned enough to search and attempt to rescue their brother or sister (Luke 15: 4-10). I was taught that we are to seek and save the lost. Not only should we be concerned about the saving of our soul, but others as well. It feels good  to know when someone you have encountered become to the knowledge of truth and their soul is saved!!! All glory to GOD!

“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 The sinner who is restored will be saved from death and forgiven. Prayer is certainly more than a meaningless ritual. I’ve learned that when waiting for GOD’s answer as you face difficulties, you develop patience.

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