The restoration of God’s restoration

The mindset that many people have adopted these days is that things can’t get better and that a lot that has been broken can’t be fixed. There is a strong feeling that we can’t get out of the hole that this pandemic has dug in our lives. Hope has left the building and doubt is a permanent resident in many homes. All we can think about is how bad the situation is getting and there seems to be no end to the chaos. “How will this get fixed?” many are wondering. What will it take to get back to a normal life? Is there a way to go back to normal or are we heading toward a new normal that is dismal and discouraging? There is a way. There is hope. There is a truth that will make things right. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the One who can and who will fix this. He knows the way to do it, He holds the truth that will set people free and He has the life that changes everything. What we all need is to restore our faith and our hope in God’s power of restoration. God is still the same. He is the God of miracles and the God of restoration. He will give us what we need and He will fix everything that is broken. Not just some things but everything when we believe. Today I want to encourage you to go back to where your faith once was or to reach the place where your faith sees restoration and reparation.

The word “reparation” usually refers to the making of amends for a wrong one has done by paying money or by helping someone to whom a wrong was done. God is in the business of reparations. When Jesus died and rose again, the biggest reparation was paid to the world. He made amends for the wrong the enemy did to the world and for the wrong sin did to humanity. He made things right with God and He helped every human being that will ever believe in Him. He fixed the biggest problem the world would ever face and His reparation is still true today. Whatever you are facing today can be fixed. It was fixed on the cross and now your faith can make it come to pass. Go back to the cross today. Go back to what Jesus did for you. Spend time in the Word, study it and meditate on it. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. Like many people nowadays what you hear is gloom and doom and your faith has been damaged by the terrible reports. Scary things are happening in the world but they don’t change the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. He came to set the captives free. He came to set you free. This is not the end. Jesus will put an end to this. Build your faith back up. Go up the hill of hope. Get out of the valley of desolation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!

God will restore what was taken from you and give you beauty for ashes, hope for every doubt that has been sown in your heart and peace for every storm of worry that is thundering in your mind. “Restoration” is a powerful process. God will restore your life to where it was before and more. You see, with the Lord there is always an increase. You go from glory to glory. This means that His restoration is better than the world’s restoration. When something is restored in the world, it goes back to the way it was before. With the Lord, the restoration goes to a higher level. Life is restored according to His standards and not according to the world’s standards. I remember that after I spent a time in the wilderness even though I had been saved, God’s encounter or re-encounter took me to another level. He gave me peace that I had never known before. He opened my heart to worshiping Him more than ever and He put a zeal in me that I didn’t know existed. God is going to bless you in ways you never knew were possible. Stay in faith. Get into the habit of declaring that God is restoring your life. Keep on praying and keep on praising. Your Sunday morning is coming. It won’t be Friday night forever. Stay encouraged. God’s restoration is about to impact your life. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: Amos 9:14; Isaiah 61:7; 1 Peter 5:10

Do you know your place of worship?

Many religions have a place of worship. It’s a building or a consecrated space where people gather to perform acts of devotion, adoration or study of their religion. You have probably heard that we Christians are the Church. Our Church is not necessarily a building, it’s the people. It’s up to us to decide what kind of Church we are going to be. Are we going to be a people who gets together to honor God? Are we going to be a God-fearing Church? Are we going to be a Church that puts love of God and of people first? Are we going to be a whining Church? Are we going to be a Church of faith or a Church of fear? We define the Church because we are the Church. As a Church, one of our most important practices should be to worship the Lord. We should be a place of worship or we should have a place of worship in us. How often do you visit your place of worship?

 

Being the Church, do you let worship be a big part of who you are? I am inviting you today to visit your place of worship on a regular basis. Be that place of worship that people like to go to knowing that in you they can find the voice of adoration, the voice of peace, and the voice of joy that the world is longing for. You are the Church and you are the song that glorifies Jesus over the enemy. You are the song that doesn’t give up and that keeps on singing of the mercy of God even when things are going wrong. You are that song that chooses faith over fear and that keeps on going even when the going is tough. Be that place of worship that knows that God will always make a way. Be that place of worship that studies the Word and that meditates on it. Be that place of worship that promotes love over hate and that talks about God’s goodness all the time.

A place of worship is a safe haven where God is the number one focus. Why do I call it safe? It is often known for being a space where God is. God’s presence is in the place of worship. God is in the Church. He is in us. The Holy Spirit came to dwell in us. He has a place in our hearts and He plays a major role in how we connect with the Lord. As the Church, we need to be cognizant of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Being a place of worship implies being a place that hosts the Holy Spirit. As hosts of His presence, we ought to quickly transition to becoming guests of His presence. As guests, we let Him have His way. We let Him be in control. He is a gentleman with a heart of gold bigger than the universe so He will certainly take care of us and be the most amazing host there is. When God’s Spirit is the head of your place of worship, miracles take place. Transformation takes place. We die to self and we allow Him to come alive inside of us. His fruit starts to grow and our fears and doubts start to go. The Holy Spirit will show you how to pray, how to praise and worship and how to love. We can’t be the Church with a house of worship that doesn’t know what love is. Love is not our own definition of who deserves to be loved. Love is Jesus and He loves unconditionally.

A place of worship is also a safe haven because it is a structure where you can feel welcomed and loved. As we worship the Lord, we embrace all that He is. We embrace His character, His grace, His mercy, His death, His resurrection and His sovereignty. God is the ruler of our hearts and when He dominates us, His love becomes our natural reflex. We react with love, we act with love, we speak with love and we think through love. We are the Church and we are the representatives of the Lord of love. Let’s visit that part of our place of worship every day. Let’s dwell in that place so the world sees that there is peace and comfort in the Church. God’s love in us should be a magnet for the lost, a refuge for the broken-hearted, a hospital for the sick and a space for everyone to congregate. As the Church, our words should echo God’s kindness and reflect His majesty. How often do we sing sad songs of complaints and discouragement? When we do, we misrepresent the Lord. We go from being a place of worship to becoming a place of worry. Worry should have no room in the Church. Let’s decide to ban it from entering our doors. Let’s not allow fear to sit on the pews of our lives. Let’s put a “No entry” sign in front of our place of worship so that doubt gets the message every time it tries to come in. You and I are the Church. We can remain in worship mode if we choose to. Let’s choose to be the Church of the One who gives life. Let’s live in the place of worship of Jesus. Let’s be united under one roof; the roof of the Spirit of God wherever we go. We are God’s Church!

Suggested reading: Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 10:24-25; Colossians 3:16

Your covenant with God is still the same today

A covenant is an agreement. It usually refers to the agreement we have with God. It is almost like a contract. It has terms and conditions and it seals a certain deal. Our covenant with God was sealed by the blood of Jesus. His blood was shed for us as the seal on the envelope of a new life. An envelope that contains all the terms and conditions of this amazing agreement. Where can you find a list of those terms? They are listed in the Bible and it is important that we study them so we know what’s in our covenant with God. One of the promises in the covenant is that God goes before us and that He never leaves us nor forsakes us. His love and His righteousness are with us all the time. There is the promise of an eternal inheritance in this covenant. Jesus was the mediator. He was the go-between. He served as the bridge between us and eternal life. How often do we walk back from “the Bridge” and forget about the covenant? During these hard times we can easily forget that God is still with us, that Jesus paid the price for our salvation and that God’s love will see us through anything. It is time we went back to the conditions of our salvation. It is time we studied this great covenant again. It might be that we need our faith in it to be stirred up and to be revived. The only thing that is alive and well in many people these days is fear and confusion. God’s promises put an end to them. God’s love removes them. Our covenant with God has a clause that specifies that we should not be moved by the atrocities of the world but we should be strengthened by the promise of the eternal inheritance. As heirs of the Lord we are entitled to have peace in times of trouble and to have joy instead of sorrow. Let’s go back to the covenant today and build ourselves up. It might be just what most of us need right now. Let’s remind our hearts that nothing has changed in the covenant.

 

A covenant being an agreement implies that both parties have a role to play. Our role is to obey God and to have faith in Him. When we obey and we follow Him, He holds His end of the bargain so to speak. It is much more than a bargain. It is a divine promise to protect us and to bless us. It is wonderful to see that when we abide in Him, we can grow in Him and we can become more like Him. To me that is one of the best aspects of His covenant. It allows us to be more like Jesus. Another one of its conditions is that when we follow Him, great things follow us. When we stick with Him, goodness sticks to us. When we hold on to Him, His kindness holds us close. God is faithful and He keeps His Word. Another beautiful aspect of the conditions of the covenant is that even when we don’t uphold our end, God is faithful and He helps us. His grace and mercy are such powerful terms that no one can beat. We don’t deserve Him. We don’t deserve His love and His assistance and yet He steps in when we have crossed the line. When we walk away from Him on the Bridge that gave us all, He comes and gets us back. He leaves the 99 and comes to our rescue. I have experienced it many times but I have learned not to rely on grace. I want my covenant to be an agreement where both parties are actively loving each other and caring as much as possible. Obedience is caring for God.

 

God brought back Jesus from the dead through the blood that was sacrificed. Jesus is the first One to have come back to life under this new covenant. As believers we have gone from being spiritually dead to being alive in Him. The resurrection process is phenomenal. Now, it doesn’t stop there. God will revive anything you ask Him to resurrect in your life when you pray according to His will. What can you pray about these days that needs to be brought back to life? Start with what’s on the inside. Ask for God to bring back peace, joy, stability, hope and strength. You need that inner balance to be able to enjoy this life to the fullest. When you are stable and strong on the inside, you can approach every situation with more peace and more confidence. God has an amazing covenant with you but until you are centered you might not be able to accept His promises, to embrace them or even to believe them. We too often want things around us to change when God is saying that He needs to do a work inside of us first so we can face what’s outside of us. I encourage you to read more about your covenant with the Lord. It will dissipate your fears and it will make you smile again. Your amazing covenant with God is still the same today. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 103:17-18; Hebrews 9:15

Put it all in God’s hands

A new month has just begun and with it comes the hope of a better season for the world. People are wishing for the best for April. There is a glimmer of hope and many of us are praying for a new page to be turned. Who knows what this month is going to bring? Only God knows. What should we do then? The best thing to do is to put it all in God’s hands. We can’t predict the future but we can let God take care of it. We can trust Him with the month of April. We can refuse to worry about it and not to let fear dictate our thoughts by casting our cares upon the Lord. I have decided that I am going to put every day in God’s hands. I have been doing that for a while but I find it critical for me to do it more aggressively now if you will. I am going to spend time in prayer putting the day in God’s hands. When I pray in the morning, I will not only give up on controlling the day with worry and empty expectations but I will also thank God for what He is going to do during the day. Empty expectations are expectations that are based on feelings, emotions, rumors, what the world says and not based on God’s expectations for us. God has some expectations for all of us. He expects to give us the best that life has to offer. He expects to give us the abundant life that Jesus bought for us. A life full of the riches of His Spirit. It is a life led by the Spirit and a life that embraces the Holy Spirit. What could be more abundant than that? People will say that Jesus came to give us an abundant life filled with material goods. God is Spirit and He is more concerned with our spirits and our hearts than our physical possessions. It doesn’t mean that He won’t provide for us. He does and He will. When you put your trust in the Lord, your cup overflows. There is not only abundance of peace and joy but there is also abundance of all goods things according to His will. Today I am inviting you to put everything in God’s hands. Expect His blessings and expect His love. Expect to get to know the Spirit of Jesus better. Expect this new month to be a month where knowing Jesus like you never have before is going to be a goal and a way of life.

 

When I take my worries and fear and I put them in a bundle that I give to Jesus, peace has room to come in. I am convinced that the Lord’s peace is always around waiting for an access point. It is there in the Spirit of God who is in us but it can’t always surface or get in when there are blocks caused by anxiety and fear. When we react to life with fear, we suppress peace. When we react to life with worry, peace has a red light and it can’t proceed. You will say that it is easy to proclaim, ‘Do not fear” and the reality of it can be complicated. It is not easy when we try to do it all alone and when we don’t believe that it is what we are supposed to be doing. God would not ask us not to fear if it were impossible for us. One thing that has worked for me is to say it out loud. I say “I do not have a spirit of fear. I am not going to fear. The Lord tells me not to fear so He is going to help me and bless me. Fear doesn’t belong here.” Reject fear. Kick it out. Give it the boot. Be harsh with it. Get it out of your mind and of your heart. Stir yourself up. Give it all to God. See yourself handing the bundle of fear to the Lord. Meditate on what it looks like for you in your life. Visit all the areas where fear is prevalent and ditch the daily passport that takes you to those places. Fear has no place in you and you don’t have to visit it all the time. Put it all in God’s hands.

 

When a new day starts, God smiles and tells you that He has new beginnings for you and new riches. You might not hear Him because you might be paying more attention to the news. The good news you should be more interested in is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus came to set the captives free and to bring a new day where hope abounds, joy rules and peace is permanent. Nothing that will happen this month can change that and you will see that it is true when you stay committed to your faith and you keep putting everything in God’s hands. His hands are huge. Wouldn’t you agree? They can hold anything and everything. Big things could take place this month. Things that are not positive but the God with giant hands can handle all of them. Put your hands together, pray, thank the Lord, release the issues and the worries and see what God does for you and what He does in you. Put everything in God’s hands this month and every month after that. God will bring you to a place of peace and victory!

Suggested reading: Psalm 73:23; Isaiah 41:13; Luke 4:18

Stay inside the house of the Lord

God is our refuge, our fortress, our stronghold, our place of peace, our place of hope. We can dwell in His house and be safe. We can dwell In His house and be blessed. We can stay in His house and receive all we need. His house is our protection. It is our dwelling place where peace, love, joy, faith and wisdom abound. God’s house is a gift that we have to appreciate, love and embrace. I find myself at peace in His house all the time. When negative thoughts start storming my head, I know that I have stepped outside of the house and it is time for me to come home. When doubt is pulling me into many directions, I know that I must head home and shake off the doubt once I am there. When worry is clinging on to me, I know that I have entered a zone that is shutting me out of the Lord’s house. Worry tends to keep us outside the house of the Lord and to make us think that we need to spend time outside and think, overthink about our lives outside His house. There are no benefits to being in the worry zone. It can feel comfortable but that feeling is deceiving. Nothing good has ever come out of worrying. Worrying makes us come out of the house of peace and that is not a way to live. We should stay in the house of the Lord and enjoy every room He has provided for us.

The other morning during prayer time the Lord showed me a few things about His house. He spoke to my heart about the beauty of His dwelling place. He encouraged me to stay indoors and to take advantage of all His amenities. You see, peace is one of those amenities that grounds us in His house. The peace of the Lord is very central. It inhabits every room and it keeps us close to God. We can’t be close to God and not feel His peace. Sometimes His peace seems less to me and I realize that I am either hanging out on a balcony thinking about the outside or I have left the house altogether. The Spirit of God brings me back in. He tells me to keep my eyes on Jesus and to seek His face until I find peace again, until I find myself in the middle of the living room of serenity. God is peace and His peace is available to all of us when we stay in His dwelling place.

How do you envision God’s place? How do you picture His fortress? To me it is huge. It is beyond beautiful because it was built on love. Love is the cornerstone of His house. The Lord’s dwelling place was built on the foundation of His Son. Jesus is the owner of the house and the creator of His house. He has invited you and me to stay there with Him. His Spirit is the host and His Father is the overseer. Why do we run out of His house then? I think that lack of knowledge might be what gets in the way. We don’t know enough about God our refuge. We might need to spend more time meditating on His Word and learning about our amazing fortress. God’s house is not just a place; it is a lifestyle. We ought to have a lifestyle where God is our life and His love gives us style. What I mean by that is that our lives should totally rely on the Lord and His love should be what fashions our lives, what gives meaning to our lives.

These days we can’t be outside much. We need to isolate and stay indoors. There is no better place to be than to be in the dwelling place of the Lord. When we remain in His habitation we stay where all good things abound. The Lord has so much to offer. We can never be bored with Him. His Spirit, the host, can impart knowledge and wisdom. He is the best counselor around and we can have deep and meaningful counseling sessions with Him. God has set a table before us and it is right there in His house. Eat from His table. Grab a plate of peace. Drink a glass of hope. Devour a cake of joy. Munch on snacks of goodness. Have mustard seeds of faith and delight in God’s kindness. Times are hard but the house the Lord is still the same. Stay indoors. Stay in the house of the Lord. It is your fortress, your refuge and your place of hope!

Suggested reading: 1 Kings 8:13; Psalm 26:8; John 14:2

Sending hope to every corner of every street

Have you ever seen people preaching outside? Have you seen preachers on a corner of a street proclaiming the Gospel? Some sound like they are only talking about doom and condemnation. Some sound like all they want is for people to know Jesus. I have always wondered if I would be bold enough to do that or if I would even need to do it. I have never had the urge or the inclination to do it until I received a message about it. A lot of the street preachers are on the corner of a street. They are at the intersection of two streets. They are where two streets come together. It is also as if they were placed there to intervene and intercede. They are located where the street of despair and the street of doubt congregate.  This is all metaphorical but there is a deep meaning there. We need to position ourselves on the corner of two streets that need God’s love and God’s healing desperately. We need to stand on the corner of every street and give hope. We need to hand out pamphlets of comfort and flyers of faith. We need to stop people on the street and pray for them. Now, I am not saying we should be doing that physically. Our prayers can travel anywhere so we should be spending more time in our prayer closets these days. Those closets will put us where we need to be on the map. God is looking for believers who would spend time seeking His face and who would bridge the gap for the nations. With our prayers we can turn things around. Let’s be the hope that stands on the corner of every street in the world as we stand firm in prayer for the world.

 

You can feel the air is filled with a lot of negativity. This virus has spread a lot of fear and a lot of doubt. The future seems so uncertain for many people. Hope that used to be in some people’s toolbox is now nowhere to be found. That toolbox has a hole in it and hope escaped people’s hearts through the hole that fear made in the box. People have had empty pockets. Their pockets used to have coins of peace and joy but that spiritual currency has been spent. It is time we replaced the missing part of people’s tool kits. It is time we replenished the pockets of those who are craving for hope. Where can we find hope and peace these days? They are still in the Lord. The Lord is way bigger than everything that is taking place but that truth has been hidden from our minds and it can’t touch our hearts. We have guarded our hearts from the truth because the truth appears to be in a major conflict with the reality we see. However, hope is emerging. It has started showing its happy face and it can spread through people like you and me. We can help hope make a comeback. We have the power to make a difference in this negative environment. What it takes is dedication to stand for the truth of the Gospel, the truth that Jesus came to heal, that He still heals today and that there is a lot of hope in Him. He is the hope of the world. We are the messengers of that hope.

 

Prayer is vital and it needs to be everywhere especially these days. When people get in agreement in prayer, things start to change. Get in your prayer closet and pray not only against this pandemic but also pray for peace. Peace of mind is crucial. It enables us to handle life better. I talked about the street preachers earlier. I love hearing the messengers of hope on the street. When we pray, we give hope a chance to go places where fear and doubt have settled. We allow hope to kick fear and doubt out of the neighborhoods where peace should be residing. It is our prayers that are going to move the hand of God and bring freedom. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and that is still true today. Let’s stand on the corner of every street as we pray for the world to heal. We won’t be there in person but we will be there in spirit. God can move mountains and He will move the corona mountain so that people can see the beautiful hills of joy again. Let’s stand for peace no matter what is going on around us. Let’s pray more. Let’s hope more. Let’s be agents of faith and spokespeople of the Lord. The Lord says, “Do not fear and do not be afraid.” That is the message we should be giving the world through our words and our actions. Let’s send hope to every corner of every street today as we pray in Jesus’ name!

Suggested reading: Romans 10:1; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 2:1

Pray for the world, one country at a time

When you look at the scope of this pandemic, you can see that it has crossed borders and it is spreading all over the world. I heard that it has even made its way into some countries in Africa. It goes wherever it wants to go. It shows you that the enemy and its negativity are everywhere. There is nothing that holds him from entering any place he likes. However, this also indicates that God’s love, God’s power that are way stronger than the enemy, can also go anywhere. God is not limited by space and by time. In a nano second, He can spread His goodness in places we didn’t think He could go. Our prayers carry His love and His power and they reach far. I have read some amazing prayers online. People are praying against this plague. I have seen prayers for communities and for our country. I think it is beautiful but I do believe we should be praying for the world as well. We have a tendency to pray for our nation. “God bless America” is a great declaration but we are part of the world. “God bless the world” is something we need to hear more. We are to love our neighbors. If we are going to apply the oxygen mask technique, taking care of ourselves before we help others, we must consider others first. When we take care of ourselves it’s so we can be better stewards and help others. Our prayers should echo this approach but they should reflect that God’s love is about others first.

As believers we can be mobilized in prayer. We can make sure we stay strong spiritually so we can withstand whatever comes our way and still be able to pray. Our faith needs some major muscles these days and we should be visiting our spiritual gym every day so we develop spiritual stamina and endurance. Faith is also something we cherish not only because it pleases God but because some people are going to rely on our faith when they are weak. Faith will also help us fight against the negativity we will see. If you go to groceries stores these days, it’s easy to be shocked by what you see or don’t see for that matter. Walking by faith and not by sight is a strong message we ought to remember when going into our local grocery stores in times like these. Your faith is for the world, dear friend! Your prayers are meant for the world.


When I was in prayer the other day, the Lord showed me that it takes participation plus isolation to get to liberation from this universal problem.
Participation means mobilization in prayer. We need to actively participate in the spiritual warfare that is taking place. Praying is participating. We can’t be passive. We have to be praying every day and not just for our nation but for the world. Many layers of our society are being affected and we should present them to the Lord in prayer. Isolation means keeping to ourselves so the virus doesn’t spread. It sounds drastic but it will work. If we pray and isolate, we will see liberation. Now here is what I suggest. I am a visual guy so I like to have a picture of what I am praying for. You could print a list of all the countries in the Lord. Hold that list every time you pray. Pray for all the nations of the world. Pray for the power of God to spread everywhere. Pray for everyone. Don’t just pray for your community. Prayers are highly needed. The weight of our prayers matters. We are stronger together. If we all join in this movement, there will be a change. We can block this. We can prevail. Let’s pray for the world, one country at a time. Use that list as a symbol. Our prayers are being heard. Let’s persevere and let’s stand strong even if we hear bad scenarios. God will rewrite history as we give Him our story. Let’s stand in the name of Jesus. The world needs your prayers and mine!

Suggested reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 1 Peter 3:8; Ephesians 6:18