Nothing to worry about

Every time I pray, I declare that I have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear. Why? Because God says that over and over again in His Word and I believe what He says. He promised to put a shield of protection around me. This shield has multiple purposes. It protects my body, my mind (with my assistance), my soul and my spirit. It requires faith and I trust that it is there. It’s God’s protection that allows me to get up every day and to face the day no matter what comes my way. I have nothing to worry about because things will change for the best. They might be tough for some time but they always get better. I have nothing to worry about because God is right there with me all the time. I can’t change that. It is true and it is true for you as well. You are in God’s presence. You are not alone. Think about that. This week you have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear not because I am saying it but because God declares it over and over again.

Worry is a joy-killer, a love-thief and a peace-destroyer. It is also the opposite of faith so it has some potential to really bring things down and cause damage. I was talking to a parent the other day who called herself a worrier. It is very easy to be a worrier. It happens mostly when we don’t have hope or we don’t believe things will go well. Being a worrier takes practice. We don’t become a worrier overnight most of the time. It takes repetition and in a strange way dedication to the worry thinking patterns. We have to keep giving in to worry to become a worrier and unfortunately it is not a difficult thing to do. Now, think about what God is insisting on. He is insisting on the fact that He will stand by us and that we have nothing to worry about. Problems don’t change that.

Problems will come. We can’t escape them. The other thing we can’t escape is God’s presence. As you are reading this message, God’s presence is there with you whether you feel it or not. This means that the creator of the universe, the One who can do all things is always there with you. You don’t have to feel Him to expect deliverance from your problems. You don’t have to see Him to know that He is protecting you. His shield of protection is in place. Worry and fear will try to blur your mind so you are not aware of the protection but if God says it is there then it is there indeed. Worry and fear have no right to lie to you about God’s protection but they always do. It’s time for you to speak the truth against them and to stand your ground and declare that you have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear. Stay in the truth. Hope is always by your side. You are protected. You are loved by the One who can do all things! Do not worry and do not fear!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:38-39; Philippians 4:6-7


God’s open-heart surgeries

Do you find that you have changed since you have known the Lord? Do you notice a change in people when they get to develop a relationship with God? The example of Saul becoming Paul is an incredible illustration of how God can change someone’s heart. God can transform a person completely. He can change darkness into light. He can change a hardened heart into a soft heart. God never changes but He specializes in changing people. He is more interested in changing our hearts than He is in changing our circumstances at times. The changes He develops in our lives aim at changing our heart. They change our heart’s disposition and they open us up to God’s love. His love changes us. He love softens us. His loves improves us. It’s the love changing process that alters our hearts and turns us into someone new. It is like having open-heart surgery. God operates on our heart and as a result we are more open to Him.

An open-heart surgery is when the chest is cut open and surgery is performed around the heart, on the muscles or on the arteries of the heart. The surgery is done on parts attached to the heart or that “lead to the heart” so to speak. When God starts a process of changing our heart, He starts by working on what leads to our heart. He works on our emotions. He touches areas that are dear to our heart. He works on our sensitive parts. He puts a mirror in front of our heart so we can see the reflection of what’s deep down in our spirit. He shows us our weaknesses and reveals that we need Him. He opens our mind to the idea that we are nothing without Him. That is why we confess Jesus as our Savior since we recognize we have to have Him in our lives. God will work on your heart until you see the light and you accept Him into your life. However, you do have the choice to open the door to Him or to keep it locked and never let Him in.

I am sure that people who knew Saul never thought that he could ever turn into Paul. I am sure that some of us never thought that we would ever accept the Lord as our Savior. Saul’s conversion is a powerful message of hope. It is a message that says that God can change anyone. It is a message that says we should never give up on others because God can do an amazing work in them. God can touch the heart of the most rebellious people you know. Someone could be cursing God today and praising Him tomorrow. God still performs open-heart surgeries like He did on Saul. Don’t give up on your friends and family who don’t know God. All you have to do is keep them in your prayers and let the Surgeon perform His surgeries. Stay in faith for the people you love and God will impact their hearts in more ways than one! There are open-heart surgeries being performed by God d every day so stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Acts 9:1-19; Acts 13:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 12)

Don’t worry about the time that has evaporated. The time that passed really turned into ice to allow you to skate into your destiny. God also turned it into water from Heaven that will shower you with unprecedented blessings. Embrace the time that passes!

God builds walls around us. They are not meant to keep us captive. They are meant to set us free. His walls of freedom protect us from the attacks of the enemy. Stay inside these walls and you will experience daily freedom.

If you can’t find a song to sing to the Lord, let your heart sing. The words don’t have to be perfect. The lyrics don’t have to rhyme. The refrain doesn’t have to be harmonious as long as you sing from the heart.

There is a love movement that is taking the streets by storm with the humble demeanor of a saint and the fearless roar of the Lion of Judah. Join the movement of love. Streets everywhere need your fierce and tender love.

If your words had a smell, would it be the sweet perfume of the Spirit or the foul odor of negativity? If your words had a taste, would they taste like the fruit of the Spirit or the grapes of wrath? If your words had a color, would they be shiny and vibrant colors or dull and obscure shades of sadness?

The rivers of joy of the Lord lead to deep oceans of blessings that can’t be fathomed.

Keep your prayer closet closed so intruders don’t get in and steal your peace. Worry is the number one intruder who tries to get through cracks. Keep your day worry free with praise before you enter into prayer.

Take pride in the Lord every day and you will die to self. Take pride in the Lord every day and you will shine in the rain. Take pride in the Lord every day and your heart will be in the right place. Take pride in the Lord every day and you will be rewarded day after day.

Let the Holy Spirit be the gatekeeper to your heart. Let Him protect you, guide you, lead you and comfort you.

Whatever you learn from the Lord today, make sure you apply it tomorrow. Whatever you learn from the Lord today, make sure you are ready to give it away to whoever needs it tomorrow.

Suggested reading: Proverbs 2:6; Psalm 19:2; Psalm 119:66

Who is ruling your life?

I think about my life as a territory, my territory. I like to think that it has become more God’s territory than mine actually. I like to believe that I have given God control of my territory and that He reigns in my life. When I pray, when I worship it’s easy to see God as the Sovereign One who is in charge of my life. Then something bad happens and fear and anxiety come in and try to reign over my life. Praise God that it doesn’t happen as much as it used to. Why? Because I am giving up control.

The reality of “Our God reigns” as sung in that popular song, has become my reality. God is almighty, all-powerful and all-present in my life. He is the King. He is the Governor, the Mayor of the towns in my heart and the Ruler of my entire territory. Now, a battle does take place in my mind where I sometimes give ownership of my territory to rulers of negativity. My goal is to stick to the One who saved my life and to let Him guide me and provide for me. Does God reign over your life or do you let other rulers share the throne with Him?

What you think about the most is what’s going to dominate your life. If you entertain fearful thoughts, fear will dominate your life. If you keep thinking of one person all the time, you are giving him or her the power to dominate over your life. What you think about the most will dictate your moves and your words. If you are full of love, love will direct your next moves. If you are full of bitterness, bitterness will give you sour boots that will lead you down the path of negativity. Let the dominator in your life be God. Let Him be the One who has dominion over your thoughts. Let God occupy your mind. Let Him settle in your head and take possession of your thinking patterns and of your mentality. How do you get there? How do you get to the point where God becomes your “sweet obsession”? It comes with diligence.

Be diligent in seeking God. Make it your priority to grow in the knowledge of His love. Be a fan. Become a hardcore fan. Love God. Breathe God. Inhale His instructions and exhale His compassion. Let God breathe life through you. Make God the reason you get up in the morning. Give God first place. Take a backseat and let Him drive you around. The enemy will drive you crazy with his negative thoughts but God will drive you to love Him even more if you keep giving Him a chance.

Be fervent and desire the things of God above the things of the world. God is on a throne and He should be on the throne of your life. He should be adored as the King He is and He should be idolized. We unconsciously accumulate a number of idols that we pay more attention to than we pay attention to God. God being the ruler of our lives means that we will have to stop certain habits, detach ourselves from negative agents and cut ties with old thought patterns that kept us captive. God is a loving King who rules with kindness all the time. Examine your life and see what you focus on the most. Examine your life and see who is on the throne in your heart. Keep rebuking the disturbing elements that try to share the throne with the real King. God will take good care of your life. Give Him first place. Anyone else should come second. Give the supreme Commander-in-chief His right place. Let God rule your life!

Suggested reading: Psalm 47:8; Psalm 93:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:17

How you can set the record straight for God

You can be the reason why someone starts believing in God. You can be the reason why someone starts knowing how good God is. You can set the record straight for God. You can go against the masses that depict a wrong portrait of God. You can go against the grain and reveal the good seed of our loving God. You are the bearer of a seed. You have a seed that can be sowed in many hearts. There are people out there that need your seed of kindness so they can learn about true love and so they can know that the love of the Father can heal and it can rebuild lives. Hold on to the seed the Lord placed in you and be ready to sow. The harvest will be plenty. The harvest will be bountiful for the Lord. You are needed. You have an important role to play. Don’t get intimidated. The Lord will direct you. Play your part and He will play His. Get excited about the seed you were given. Get excited about the impact you are going to have. Someone you don’t know yet needs to meet you. It’s time you got ready to help advance the wonderful mission of touching lives in the name of Love. Set the record straight for the Lord as you keep sowing the good seed. You never know how much can grow out of the tiniest seed.

God gives good things. His gifts are perfect. One of the gifts to you from God is the seed that He placed in you. That seed can be very small but it packs a lot. What does the seed look like? God’s seed is a unit of reproduction capable of developing into something bigger. It is a small unit that can turn into a big plant of blessing. Your seed can touch the heart of people who have been hungry for the truth. People who have been hungry for true love. When you plant that seed of kindness, anything good can happen. Your seed can be a few pleasing words. It can be a nice action. It can be a good gesture. Whatever good the Lord has put in you is a seed. You ought to cultivate it and water it daily so it keeps all the good nutrients that are necessary for it to grow. Isn’t the seed of the love what this world needs more than anything?

I consider the seed of love to be the supreme seed. It is of a superior quality. It is strong, solid and yet it has a gentle texture. Jesus is the seed of love to the world. He gets planted in your heart so you can share Him and others can receive Him. Jesus is love. No matter what derogatory comments the world makes about Him, it doesn’t change the fact that He is the incarnation of Love. The world has a tendency to misrepresent the Lord. I have seen different versions of Him in the Church. There is no need to “upgrade” Him to a level that fits 2018 but that deprives Him of His truth. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. You have a chance to demonstrate that and to exhibit His loving character through the seed in your heart. Be the bearer of the seed you were meant to be. Be the bearer of good news the Lord wants you to be. Set the record straight for God and sow love like there is no tomorrow. Someone needs you. Today is the best day to make great use of your seed. Thanks for the work of love you are going to do! Thanks for setting the record straight!

Suggested reading: Hosea 10:12; Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 3:6-9

The importance of cultivating our secret garden

When I was in Spain last week I noticed how spring was definitely present in the towns I visited. There were beautiful flowers and trees had leaves unlike the trees here at home. I saw a few gorgeous gardens that looked like spring had been around for months. One of the gardens made me think about how much effort and energy the people had put in it. It was obvious that they paid attention to details and they loved spending time making everything look nice and beautiful. I have always thought that we all have a secret garden. Our secret garden is where we keep our most valued possessions, spiritual, mental and emotional. It’s a place we can visit to find what we need in terms of spiritual and emotional support.

If you could transform your secret garden into a physical garden what would it look like? Would it be mostly roses and tulips or would there be a good number of weeds and damaged plants? I think it is safe to say that most gardens would be a mixture of everything. I want to encourage you today to let the perfect gardener help you cultivate your secret garden. The Holy Spirit can make all things beautiful. He is so pure and perfect that anything He touches grows in amazing ways. Open up your secret garden to the Lord and watch Him turn your barren soil until a fertile garden full of vibrant plants and flowers.

Our secret garden is not a secret to the Lord. He knows and sees everything. He sees what we expose to the world and what we like to hide. Some things will be exposed no matter what. Why? What is kept from the light will see the light someday. What we keep hidden often shows up in one shape or form. It might not be explicitly presented to the world but we all carry part of our secret garden and offer a glimpse of it to the world. Let’s say you cultivate bitterness and anger in your garden. Bitterness and anger will manifest in your life somehow. They will get channeled in a negative way. This is why we need to pay attention to what we cultivate in secret. We need the help of the perfect Gardener who can rearrange all the elements of the garden by weeding out the bad herbs and pruning the trees and the shrubs.

What does the good Gardener do for our secret garden? Like I said, He prunes things and removes anything negative. The more time you spend with Him, the less negativity you will experience. He will absorb all the confusion, the desperation, the weaknesses and the opposition. Think of Him as a sponge that sucks up all the dirty water from the bad rain and that leaves you clear and clean with a good soil. Then He plants goodness in your soil. He shows you how to cultivate your good soil and how to keep it healthy and beautiful. The Lord has seeds of goodness, of kindness, and of love for you and me to sow. I aspire to cultivate love and gratitude above anything else. What do you want to keep in your secret garden? What seeds are you going to grow? Take good care of the garden the Lord has given you. Don’t corrupt the good soil. Magnify the richness of the garden He has entrusted you. Stay connected to the Holy Spirit!

Suggested reading: Mark 4:8; Luke 8:15; Matthew 13:8

What God will do to your life

When I look back over the years and see how grandiose God is and how wonderful He has been in my life I can’t stop smiling. My life bears testament to His love and kindness. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Him. I owe Him everything. I am not ashamed of His gospel and I am happy He made me the way I am. Saying that I am nothing without Him is simply the truth. I remember 15 years ago how He transformed my life. I am talking about a total change that opened my eyes to a new reality. The reality of God being interested in me and in my life just altered my vision of life. I had known Jesus inside the church but then I started to be familiar with Him outside the church. Every day became a Sunday. Every day became a better day. I knew what joy meant. I found out the meaning of love and I tasted the sweet savor of His peace.

I used to be so lost. I used to be so confused. I used to live in darkness when I thought I was living in the light. What happened was more than a decision to confess the Lord as my Savior. I surrendered and I gave Him control. Confessing the Lord as our Savior one day and living like we don’t know Him the rest of the week does little for our spiritual growth. Friend, there is more to this Christian life than we know. Jesus is not a Sunday Lord. He is the everyday King who should be reigning in our hearts Monday through Sunday.

I wish I could give myself credit for the change that took place in me but I would be lying if I did. They say that we find the Lord but I believe He found me. He pursued me. He never gave up on me. He took care of me. What the Lord did for me cannot be translated into words. I wouldn’t know how to describe how much He has impacted my life. His presence is permanent. His smile is radiant even when the clouds are dampening my spirits. His love is real and His majesty is supreme.

What the Lord will do for you can be compared to an earthquake that puts everything back in its place. His transformation power is earth-shattering and it will give your life a new direction. You might have a great life or a tough life now. It doesn’t matter where you are because there is always more. Your desperation today doesn’t compare to the hope that He can bring into the next few days. You are a living testimony to His glory and the season you are in now is preparing you to be the great witness you are meant to be. Your life is a book that is being written with exciting chapters coming up. What the Lord is going to do for you is going to change you, to mold you and to bless you more than you know. Brace yourself for more. You have seen nothing yet!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 20:4; Proverbs 4:20