Having the faith of a child

Working with kids is captivating, intriguing and rewarding. For the most part the kids I work with want to learn and they show interest in my classes. Some would rather be somewhere else and it shows. Their attitude is not always the best and staying focused is not easy for them. They do all have that childlike demeanor where new things are exciting and they believe almost anything. Their belief system hasn’t completely been corrupted by doubt and they will believe something even when it’s not backed up by evidence. Jesus tells us to be more like children. He also said to let children come to Him. He encouraged us to keep that childlike faith and to not let the world corrupt that faith. As a teenager accepting Christ, I had a childlike faith that some could call gullible faith but I like to think that it was deep faith. I believed everything I read in the Bible. I was so struck by God’s awesomeness that I restricted myself from breathing too loud if I thought it could hinder my faith. I am exaggerating but I believed so much that I didn’t want to do anything that would displease God. Then life took a toll on me and my faith diminished. I started to take things too seriously and I lost that childlike faith. I do remember what it feels like and I am able to go back to it on a regular basis now. Today I want to invite you to regain your childlike faith. I want to encourage you to go to the Father as a His child. A child who believes every word his or her father says. A child who has no doubt that his or her father is a good caring father.

The Lord wants us to go to Him like children would because it establishes the relationship we have with Him. He is our Father and He takes His role very seriously. Think of the best dad in the world and multiply his great attributes by a billion times. It’s hard to fathom isn’t it? Yet that is how our Lord is with us. He is the best dad in the universe who longs for us to see Him as the loving figure that He is. No more distance, no more disconnection with Him. He has a relationship with us that we should maintain and preserve. Kids who have great fathers love to spend time with them and talk to them. Imagine having the most amazing dad ever and not taking the time to be with him. That is unfortunately what many of us do. We are more interested in developing a relationship with strangers than having a love relationship with our creator. We know how it feels to have strong friendships with people but we are not too familiar with having a bond with the One who loves us the most. We keep wanting to be adopted by the wrong people when the Lord is telling us that we belong with Him and we shouldn’t look for a shelter in all the wrong places. Parenthood is something the Lord does with excellence but we need to give Him a chance to prove it.

A childlike faith can move mountains. It’s a faith that accepts everything just because we take our Father’s word for it. A child usually doesn’t question his or her father. There is trust and there is a sense of security and safety when around the father. It’s that trust we should strive to develop. If we could only get rid of our adult blindfolds and let our eyes be open to childlike faith we would start to see mountains move. Take the time to observe children and you will learn a thing or two about their faith almost anything. I pray that we find ways to stop the world from corrupting our faith and we stay grounded in a childlike faith that sees God for whom He is. Not because we are taught what He is like but because we have a firsthand relationship with Him. It’s time to go back to the basics of faith and remove all the additions that have made holes in our belief system. Let’s pray for faith to rise again and to lead us people into the path of love, peace, joy, victory and blessings from above!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 22:6; Matthew 18:3; Luke 18:17


Keeping your eyes on the solution

When I was praying yesterday morning, my mind was trying to scan the day ahead and focus on some of the most trying things to come. I had a few meetings planned that could turn out to be a bit difficult but the Lord told me to keep my eyes on Him all day. It felt as if He was whispering to my spirit “Let Me be the biggest One in the room.” He was telling me that whatever happened during the day I should fix my eyes on Him until He is the biggest One in the room and everything else fades away. That revelation blew my mind and it did wonders for me all day. I am in different rooms throughout the day and there is always something negative I could concentrate on if I let my mind get in the way. Friend, today I want to encourage you to keep allowing God “to be the biggest One in the room.” You might be in a room full of problems, full of negative people, full of fear or full of anxiety but keep your eyes on Jesus until He is the biggest One in the room!

The room I am in most of the day is my classroom. I have about 100 kids every day in 5 different classes. You never know what can happen during class. For the most part it is very positive but negativity has a way of coming in and sitting in the back of the room staring at me with eyes of defiance. Negativity likes to challenge all of us at random times. It would be easy for me to magnify negativity and give it more space in my room than it deserves. Let’s say a kid makes a mean comment about another kid or a kid gets sick or kids start acting up. Those are all examples of negativity at its best. Anything can happen during class but I have learned that despite of it all Jesus is still with me. Things might be going awry but the Lord also has a seat in my classroom and I need to fix my eyes on Him more than on the problem.

God is constantly telling us to look at Him. He wants us to lift our heads and stare at Him instead of putting all of our attention on the trials. When negativity shows up in my classroom I am not going to ignore it and look away, I am going to take a look at it and then stare at the Lord. I am not going to focus on the problem, I won’t ignore the problem but I am going to stare at the solution. To every problem we have there is a solution and it is called Jesus. Jesus is the solution to every tribulation and every dilemma. We need to keep staring at Him until He appears to be bigger than our troubles. There might be an elephant in the room that we are trying to avoid but the Lord is way bigger than the elephant. If you are stuck with a problem today, focus on the Lord until He becomes bigger than your problem. How? Praise Him. Lift Him up. Put Him above all things where He belongs. Keep your eyes on the solution. The Lord is always the solution!

Suggested reading: Psalm 103:19-22; Psalm 104:1; Luke 19:37-38

Giving God first place

I made a new friend recently who is hungry for hope. He longs for the one light of hope that will pierce into the darkness he has been going through. He believes in God but life has been so unfair to him that he is at a loss. He doesn’t know how to make a connection with God because something has gone dry. His zeal has dried up. His desire to worship is almost non-existent and his faith is severely wounded. Church is just a gathering place for him where the social aspect means more than the spiritual aspect. I feel for him and I am sure many of us can relate to him. I have been talking to him about my experience with the Lord little by little, injecting a new take on hope as I go. He doesn’t want to hear lectures but he wants to see firsthand applications of the Gospel. In his eyes, God has gone missing. What I told him about myself is that I was a Christian for many years before I had an encounter that changed my life. There must be an impact. Jesus impacted me more than anyone could. Jesus spoke to me louder than any sermons I had heard. How did it happen? I rededicated myself.

God wants every part of us and not just the small sections that are easy to share
. When I got saved I dedicated my life to the Lord but I only gave him compartments that were easy to open. It’s those deep cabinets that the Lord wants. It’s the double door cabinets that have so much room in the back that He wants. He doesn’t just want the door and the handle of those compartments. He wants the shelves and the backdrop. He wants the core of our existence. He wants to be invited into everything. It is that simple but it’s not easy to achieve. Can you think of areas of your life you are holding on today? Are there compartments that are being saved for later? Time is a compartment that we tend to keep for ourselves or if not for ourselves for things that are not God-related. We live in a world where time is money when the Lord says, “Time should be mine.”

When I let go of pockets of time and dedicated them to the Lord, I saw a change. I put my time in. I devoted the same amount of time through good days and bad days. That’s when I felt closer to God. That’s when hope became more apparent. The more time we spend with God the easier it is to receive joy, peace and love. If we feel like God has moved away, it is often because something is monopolizing our attention. The goal is to identify the distractions that are separating us from God. They might not be all that obvious but there are many distractions that are captivating us so much that God is given a back seat. Worship is amazing and great but it can be a distraction when we “worship worship” instead of worshiping the Lord. We can be so busy in the church running around and devoting our time to logistics and technicalities that our service to the Lord is compromised. God needs to be in the front seat of our journey. There is no secret. Give Him first place and you will always be ahead of the game! Give Him first place and He will bring hope back into your life. Give Him first place and joy will be you companion all the time.

Suggested reading: Hosea 10:12; Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:17

Goodness, love and mercy will follow you

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow you wherever you go*.” What an amazing promise we have in this verse! Some translations of the Bible use the word love instead of mercy for that scripture. In one of his new songs Chris Tomlin sings “Goodness, Love and mercy.” I love that! Friend, surely goodness, love and mercy will follow you wherever you go because of the Lord in your life. It is a promise that is sealed by the blood of Jesus in the greatest covenant of all. You can expect goodness, love and mercy every day of your life in Jesus’ name. Today it might look like you are being followed by evil, hate and trials but remember that God’s goodness is not far behind. His mercy is always following you no matter what else is after you.

Have you ever been followed by someone? I have never had that experience but I bet it can be scary unless you are being followed by someone who is there to protect you. Being followed usually denotes something negative but the Lord puts a different twist on it. He makes sure we are always followed, not by a creepy individual but by what I call His “love agents.” The Lord has agents of goodness following us. They are always right behind us. It doesn’t matter where we are or where we go, His agents are stringing along with us. Once they catch up with us, you can be sure that good things happen. Our devotion, our connection and our faithfulness to God allow His agents to catch up with us. Think about how wonderful it is when God’s love follows you, stands by you and surrounds you!

Goodness, love and mercy are some of the most powerful forces around. Goodness conquers evil. Love conquers hate and mercy covers a multitude of sins. God has made these powerful forces available to us because of His immeasurable love. His love is the umbrella that shelters us. Out of love He gave His Son. Out of love He forgives our sins. Out of love He showers us with blessings. Out of love He turns the impossible into possible. Out of love He gives us more than enough. Out of love He follows us wherever we go and ensures that we are well-taken care of and protected. Friend, stay on God’s page today. Stay on the page that chronicles how His goodness, love and mercy will follow you all of your days. Put your faith in that promise. God is faithful!
Suggested reading: Psalm 23:6*; Psalm 27:4; 2 Corinthians 5:1

The God of unlimited possibilities

I like to think about the best way I can define God. What stands out the most when I write a definition in my mind? To me He is the God of love first and foremost and that’s how I introduce Him to the world. I try my best to let people know that He is Love any way I can. I don’t need to stand on a bucket on a corner of a street and proclaim that He is love. I just have to exemplify it and demonstrate it. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but it is worth giving it a shot every time. I also describe God as the God of infinite possibilities. He is not limited by anything. He is the master of possibilities. He has an unlimited supply of answers, solutions and possibilities. The amazing thing about Him being the God of unlimited possibilities is that He has possibilities and options that we would never think of. Our minds can only see so much but His mind has no boundaries and restraints. Today I want to encourage you to focus on the God of possibilities. Take your current situation and know that God has more possibilities for an outcome than there are grains of sand on all beaches of the world combined!

The God of unlimited possibilities can do all things. He can do what is humanly impossible so it is crucial to always see Him as the source of possibilities and not men. We too often put men of influence on a pedestal relying on them to get us a breakthrough. I have observed how some pastors have been so elevated in churches that you could think they are gods. One time a lady told me “If only I could have five minutes with Pastor So and So and he could pray for me, I would be healed.” I was surprised by her comment but I have to admit I was the same way. I used to look for salvation and deliverance in people and I was always disappointed. The God of unlimited possibilities should be on the top of our list of “go-to resources.”

The God of unlimited possibilities is only limited by our thinking
. If we believe and think that God can rescue us, He will. If we believe that God is not much bigger than the building where we congregate for church, all we will get from Him is a temporary shelter on Sundays or on any days of prayer. God is not confined to the church. God is the head of the Church and as the head He is a leader. He can lead us into deliverance. He can lead us into blessings upon blessings. He can lead us into love, joy and peace. God is above the church itself. He is at the top of the tops. He is above everyone and everything. He knows how to solve problems a billion different ways. You might be limited right now but friend, the God of unlimited possibilities is about to deliver you and bless you so much that today’s pain will be forgotten tomorrow. The possibilities are endless and the Lord owns them all. Stay encouraged!
Suggested reading: Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37

God is preparing your comeback

As hard as it is sometimes it’s good to recognize that God has brought us this far and we have made it up to this point. We might not be all in one piece and there might be things missing in our lives but the Lord specializes in putting us back together. He can make us whole again. He is the best at reconstructing our lives. When Jesus died on the Cross, He was building something when most people thought He was done. He had to be broken. He had to be in pieces in order to be rebuilt. He rebuilt a kingdom that is stronger than ever and that will always be strong. God can rebuild you and patch you up like no one else can. He has the tools, the ability and the desire to put you back together. Let go of the guilt and let go of the shame. Those are inspired by the enemy who would rather see you low and depressed than witness your “resurrection comeback.” I like that expression. Jesus went through a resurrection comeback. It wasn’t just a regular human comeback. He died and rose again. Pieces of you are dead today but the One who gives life is with you to help you. Let the Lord pick up your pieces. Let Him build you again and revive every part of you. Be ready to experience a Jesus comeback!

When something is broken, we have the option to glue it back together or to throw it away. Not everything can be glued back together but sometimes even the parts that look like they can’t be put back together really can be. As you are looking at the areas of your life that are totally broken and you don’t believe they can be rescued, remember how Jesus was broken before you. Remember that He went to a place of no return. He died. It looked finally. There is nothing that can be more final than death but yet He came back to life. He has the power to conquer death. Death is not a problem for God. Your pieces that seem unfixable are not a problem for God. You will never find the perfect glue until you give your pieces to Jesus. He is an expert. He knows how to mend it all!

When my spirit is low and my spiritual backbone is wounded, Jesus is my answer. He fixes me. He mends me and He puts me back together. There is always hope, friend. The Lord can handle any brokenness. He has the power that it takes to make it better and to make it whole. Bring your pieces to the Lord in prayer. Surrender it all to Him. Trust that He will give you the comeback that will make you forget the mishap. He knows how to breathe life back into you. It will often take time but for every nail there is a new freedom, for every tear there is a smile and for every pain there is relief in Jesus’ name. Your life could be in the dead zone today but stand by, God is about to resurrect your life with the power of His Son. Hold on to hope. Hold on to Jesus. Your resurrection comeback is on its way!

Suggested reading: Luke 24:2-3; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 37)

Fix your eyes on the One who walks on water. Stop staring at the water. Stop believing in the water. Believe in the One who is above all waters. Walk with the Lord on the water. Let your faith keep you above the waters.

When Love takes ahold of you, it changes you. Jesus can change you in a second. Allow Him to take over your life. Give Him all of you. His love will mold you, alter you and bless you. When Love takes ahold of you, the enemy really can’t stand you. Stand in Love with the Lord and the enemy will flee!

Your life will bear fruit. Your life will bear the fruit of the Spirit. Your connection and your fellowship with the Holy Spirit will bear fruit. Be a fruit bearer for Jesus by trusting in His Spirit.

Every time your future presents itself as a blank page, remind your future who the author of your story is. God wrote your story a long time ago. It doesn’t matter if the future looks bleak, the Lord already knows what will take place and it will be to His glory!

Don’t dwell on your problems. They can’t make you stronger. Dwell on the Lord and He will make you stronger than your problems!

Run away from negativity. Not out of fear but out of faith!

When the enemy tells you that this is it, tell him that it is it for him. His time making you suffer is up. Tell him that Jesus paid the price so you could enjoy your time in His love. God has the final say.

Angels are constantly praising and adoring the Lord. We need to join the choir of praise that keeps going no matter what. Let’s have unconditional praises that change our temporary conditions!

If we paid more attention to our beams instead of other people’s specks of sawdust, we would find ways to turn our beams into specks and eventually our specks would turn into tiny particles. God can trim prides of all sizes.

Don’t get too comfortable with the temperature of your spiritual thermometer. God wants to increase the heat with His light of blessings in your life. We are not meant to reside in cold winters forever. God’s summers are our destinations.

Suggested reading: Psalm 5:3; Proverbs 23:18; Matthew 7:3-5