When life gives you lemons

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” they say. When life gives you lemons, use the fruit of the Spirit and turn a sour situation into something sweet. The fruit of the Spirit is what we should use every day and what we should focus on. There are so many bitter and tough situations that can make us feel bad and resentful. I know that it is easy to resent life when things are not good. We tend to swallow the sour grapes and we can’t digest them. We overthink and we try to figure out how we can get out of a bad situation but we are left with a negative taste and we can’t think straight. The Holy Spirit comes to our rescue. Not only does He come to save us but He also has a whole setup that allows us to deal with every situation in life. Life might give us lemons but the Spirit gives us fruit for every occasion, peace in every circumstance, and joy in every setting. We are blessed to have the fruit of the Spirit and we ought to let it grow and use it every day.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is a powerful fruit we are given when we accept the Lord into our lives. The Holy Spirit comes and dwells in our spirit and He gives us all we need. Now, it doesn’t mean that we access all He gives us. The fruit of the Spirit is a spiritual element of our lives in Christ and we have to let our spirit tap into the fruit. Every day can be a struggle when it comes to accessing the fruit of the Spirit because we have to contend with the flesh. The flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. Being kind, being patient, and showing love are not something our flesh wants to display. Our flesh will fight us every chance it gets. This is why it is important we surrender to the Lord and we give in to His Spirit. When we do, we can flow with the Spirit and the fruit can be uncovered. I love fruit and I eat it every day. I love the Spirit of Jesus and I interact with Him every day. It is crucial that I spend time in communion with the Lord through His Spirit. It gives me a chance to express the fruit of the Lord.

When life gives you lemons, remember that you have fruit from God and His fruit is pleasant and sweet. For every bad thought, there is a great positive thought from the Lord. For every bad fruit and bad seed that life throws at us, there is a fruit that is good all the time. Love, joy, peace, and the rest of the fruit are amazing gifts that are free of charge. It doesn’t take much to express the good fruit. It takes a willing heart and a surrendered mind. We ought to think in line with the Word and think that we have the fruit of the Spirit. That is where it all starts. It starts in our thinking. If we think that we don’t have what it takes to make it in this Christian walk, we won’t tap into the power of love. Let’s keep in mind that we are children of the living God and that love is a fruit that dominates our lives. Peace, joy, forbearance, and the rest are how we can face anything in life. The sour lemons of life might be abundant but the power of the fruit of the Spirit is much greater and much better than the bitterness and the sourness in this world. When life gives you lemons, give back the fruit that changes everything. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 26:40-43; Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:12-17

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God the facilitator

A facilitator is a person that makes an action or process easy or easier. When I think about the Lord, I often think about what a great facilitator He is. Looking back I can see how He has made things easy or easier in my life. I see that the Holy Spirit has facilitated so many moments in my life. He has stood by me and made things happen. This great phenomenon takes place when I let Him be in control. I do the praying, I stay in faith and He facilitates my life. It gives meaning to everything and He blesses me in ways I could never imagine. One thing I have learned is that His timing is always perfect but it can be very different from my timing. He has facilitated some life events at a time when I had almost lost hope. In those desperate times, He reminds me that He is the facilitator and nothing is lost. He reminds me that He knows what He is doing and he is in charge of the process. Today I want to encourage you to trust God’s ability to facilitate your life. He can make things easy or easier. Give Him control of the process through faith and you will experience amazing breakthroughs and great moments of joy!

I have been to professional development workshops where a facilitator was hosting the event. The facilitator is there to guide and make things happen but he or she expects us to do our part. The facilitator makes sure that things go as planned but we need to be engaged in the process to some degree. The same is true with God. He wants to see your faith and He will guide and lead us. He will make sure that things happen for the best. He won’t give us all the answers we want along the way but He will share His promises with us and He will keep them all. You might be going through a life event right now that requires a lot of faith. Your faith is not in vain. The facilitator is preparing everything and He is pulling strings for you. He knows the best opportunities, the best breaks, the best people, and the best times for your breakthrough. The Spirit of God is orchestrating your life now so put your trust in the Lord. You are blessed to have Him and you have exactly what you need. God, the facilitator is doing something great behind the scenes. Let your faith bring you to the point where you see it all come together.

When you stay in faith, God manages your situation and He paves the way for success. It might not look like it at first but faith doesn’t depend on how things look. Faith knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that things are going to get better. Your facilitator has a great goal for you and He will make sure that the goal is achieved. Sometimes He will do it despite you because He understands that you might want something that can harm you. He is a good, good Father. He loves you and He loves taking care of you. As a facilitator, His Spirit will help you make decisions and He will steer you in the right direction. You don’t need to understand it all. All you need is faith in the One who can make anything (good) happen. If you want to see a presentation of what the Lord has in store for you as a facilitator, spend time in the Bible. You will discover a powerful presentation of God’s love and His blessings for you. Let God facilitate your current circumstances. Don’t panic. Let Him handle it all. He adores you. Keep trusting Him. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 73:26; 1 Peter 5:6-7

God is the encouragement

You have probably heard a lot of encouragement based on the Bible. You have probably read verses that have given you a boost when you needed it. Now, think about all this encouragement coming from God. He is the author of the best encouragement there is. He wouldn’t encourage you to keep going and to continue if there wasn’t a good reason. The reason is Him. God is the reason for the encouragement. Why keep going? Because of God. Because the reason why you are going to make it and things are going to get better is God Himself. He is alive and well. He is the reason why tomorrow is going to be better. He is the reason why you can stay in the present and enjoy life even when things are tough. The reason for the encouragement today is God. That is the best reason you can get. Let Him encourage you. Let Him make your life a place where you win and where you have peace. God is the reason. Not your pastor and not the preacher. They are delivering messages but remember that God is the message. God is why you are blessed and that will never change.

Are you blessed? Yes, if Jesus is your Savior, you are highly blessed and favored. Why is it then that you go through troubled times and you feel like bad luck is following you? First of all, the enemy is the one who is trying to make you believe those lies. Bad luck and misfortune are not what is happening to you. If you believe the lies of the enemy long enough, you will accept his fate easily. Bad things happen to everyone including believers. You are still blessed. You are still favored. You still have the Lord. God is still the best encouragement. Take Him at face value and reverse your thinking. You have all it takes because you have the Lord. When things are not going well, you need the best encouragement you can get. God is the best encouragement. What you need right now is a hug from Heaven and Jesus gives the best hug. Don’t dwell on the problems. Don’t spend time imagining how bad it’s going to get. Shake yourself off and turn to Jesus. Turn to the best encouragement. A few minutes with the Lord can change a whole day of headaches into moments of bliss. You need to hold on to the encouragement that never disappoints.

How is God going to be your encouragement? Make a choice. Choose Him over the aggravation. Choose Him over the lies of the enemy. Choose Him over the stress and the anxiety. It’s not easy but you can surely do it. Take some time to turn to God. Say a simple prayer. Pray and surrender. Accept His encouraging words. Find scriptures that give you hope. Know that Jesus is hope and that with Him nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible. Have a face-to-face with God. Whatever that looks like for you. Develop face-to-face times with the Lord. Times when you can get inspired and encouraged. The One who can encourage you more than anyone else will have something to tell you and He will change your perspective. He will bring you along and take you on a path of hope and peace. God is the encouragement you need today so turn to Him now. Enjoy what He is going to do for you. He is going to change everything around and leave you with incredible peace. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 20:4; Isaiah 12:2; John 16:33

Disconnect so you can connect

Sometimes you need to disconnect so you can connect. Let me explain. We are a very connected society. More than ever. Our phones have become a link factor that connects us and that keeps us informed of what’s going on in the world all the time. We can use them for many reasons but the main function of a phone is to connect us and to keep us in the know. We are extremely connected to the world and for that reason we are often disconnected from the Lord. When I bought my current phone, I prayed over it. I thanked God for it and I asked Him to help me use my phone to His glory. I do a lot of my daily writing and daily devotion on my phone. However, I find that I need to disconnect from my phone so I can better connect with the Lord. There is a great benefit from turning the phone off and turning communion time with God on. God is a one-on-one God. He doesn’t need any media and any buffer to connect with us. We don’t need any in-between to get in touch with Him. He is a personable God who adores talking to us and listening to us. I have a hard time hearing Him when I am so involved with my phone. Today I want to encourage you to disconnect so you can better connect with God.

I used to worship God using a boom box. I didn’t start playing worship music on a phone. I used a separate device. Sometimes it was a CD in my car. Then I learned to worship and adore the Lord with my own words. I created my own music if you will. That new concept revolutionized my praise time. The words came from my heart and went straight to the heart of God. I have kept that practice going. It is one of the best practices that I will never change. Worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth. I speak to the Lord when I first get up and my praise and worship time doesn’t require a phone or a device of any type. I am the device. I am the worship machine. I am the vessel of praise. I can do that when I disconnect from the world and I connect to the Lord directly with no interference. 

Another way of disconnecting from the world is isolating myself and sitting there with the Lord. I love those meditative times. I close my eyes and I listen. I close my eyes and I thank the Lord. I close my eyes and I focus on Jesus. I close my eyes and I run verses through my head. I close my eyes and I embrace the smile and the love of the Lord. I close my eyes and I shut down the world. I close my eyes and I open my heart to the Lord. I close my eyes and I give myself a chance to learn from the One who knows all things. I close my eyes and I open the door to wisdom, peace and encouragement. When I am too connected to the world, I have a hard time getting into prayer mode and my mind is filled with distractions that eat at my faith. Disconnect from the world on a daily basis, friend and you will get the right connection.

God has a lot to say. God has a lot He wants you to experience and to understand. God wants you to see Him for who He is and not to see Him for who other people say He is. God loves spending time with you and He is looking for your undivided attention. Give Him the time of day every day. Give Him your undivided attention on a regular basis. Get the right connection and you will grow in the things of the Lord. You are in this world but not of this world. Spend time with family. God is family. If you connect with Him a lot, you will love Him more and more and you will become a greater blessing to others. Disconnect from the world every day and connect with the creator of the world every day. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 4:23-24; Philippians 4:6; Romans 10:17

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 221)

God rejoices over you. He celebrates you every day. He loves who you are and He enjoys spending every minute with you. Spend time with the One whose love never fails!

There is always a way out with God and there is always a way into something better. Let Him show you the door to your next breakthrough, to your next blessing. He will lead the way when you rely on Him!

God has a path for you that is very unique. Don’t look at other people’s journeys and wish they were yours. Your journey is amazing. Remember that!

The Lord will put you in an uncomfortable position so you can find comfort in what is meant to grow you and help you.

Because you are sick doesn’t mean that God is not at your bedside. He is nursing you and bringing you back to help. Reach out and hold His hand. He is with you during the pain!

The enemy makes you go around in circles but God can turn things around. He can point you in a better direction where blessings flow and restoration is evident. Don’t lose hope!

God is knocking on the door of your heart. He wants you to open up and know that He has your answer and your solution. He is waiting for you with good news!

There is always hope in the Lord. Your situation is not the way it looks. Look at it with faith and you will see that God can bless you and He can do the impossible for you!

God is after your after your heart. He is interested in who you are more than what you have. Give Him your heart. Give Him your true self.

Hold on to hope. With God a miracle could happen today. With God a breakthrough is on the way. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Psalm 47:1; James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:8-9

God will be your strength

I have been told a few times that God would give me strength. I have been told a few times that I wouldn’t have to fend for myself because God would give me the strength I need to face anything. I have been told a few times that the strength God gives will allow me to rise above anything. Then I was once told that God was my strength and that declaration was a game changer. The Lord gives me strength but He is the strength Himself. God will give Himself to help me and to defend me. He is not just supplying what I need, He is the supply Himself. God will always be my strength now that I know that it is what He does. I want to encourage you today and remind you that the Lord is your strength. God Almighty, the creator of the universe is your strength. He is the power behind your next success. He is the power behind your next breakthrough. He is the power behind the faith that you have. All you need is God. When He is all you have, He is more than enough.

I went through a difficult time recently and at the start of that rough season, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God was my strength. He reminded me that I was backed up by more power than I actually needed. He underlined the fact that God was more than sufficient and because He is more than we need, there is always an overflow with Him. There is an overflow of goodness, of peace, of love, of joy, of blessings. There is always an overflow of miracle power when we have the Lord as our Savior. It doesn’t matter what comes our way, the Lord will get in the way of what’s in the way. He makes a way where there is a dead end. He showers the desert of bad luck with blessings from Heaven. He fills our cup and it overflows. He gives us more than enough and more than we can expect. He is the strength that is invincible and that never stops. Friend, you have an unlimited supply of strength to face anything because your God is more than enough and He is the ultimate strength.

What is it like to have more strength than we need? It is comforting and it gives us boldness. It warms us up and it gives us the joy and the peace that we need in all circumstances. Tell yourself every morning that God is your strength. Meditate on that truth. Meditate on the truth that the strength that is available to you is an ability to do all things and to make it through any situation. When I was sick, I held on to the strength that stays with me all day. God, my strength, stood by me and filled me with joy in the middle of that stormy event. I got up and I rejoiced. I got up and I praised the Lord. I got up and I thanked my strength for not giving up on me and for not abandoning me. Friend, you have all the strength you need and more so don’t be afraid. You are going to make it and you are going to succeed. God is your strength when you are weak. You have nothing to worry about. Stay in the Lord. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Exodus 15:2; Psalm 121:1-2; Philippians 4:13

Protect the flame

A few weeks ago I wrote about the light of the Lord that we have in us. The light comes from the Spirit of God who dwells in us. It is the light of the Lord that shines through us so we can brighten the world. Many people need the light that is in you, friend. Many people live in a dark world where there is no hope and no light to be found. Many people have never seen the light. Many people do not know who the Lord is and what His love, His joy and His peace are like. Many people are waiting for the light in you to find them and revive them. Many people are waiting for that flame of hope and you can give it to them. Now, it is important that you protect the flame. Protect the flame of the light that God has put A few weeks ago I wrote about the light of the Lord that we have in us. The light comes from the Spirit of God who dwells in us. It is the light of the Lord that shines through us so we can brighten the world. Many people need the light that is in you, friend. Many people live in a dark world where there is no hope and no light to be found. Many people have never seen the light. Many people do not know who the Lord is and what His love, His joy and His peace are like. Many people are waiting for the light in you to find them and revive them. Many people are waiting for that flame of hope and you can give it to them. Now, it is important that you protect the flame. Protect the flame of the light that God has put in you. Don’t let it dwindle. Keep the flame going. Keep the light shining. There are negative opportunities for that flame to be blown away. Every bad circumstance and every bad break come with the power to reduce your flame and to hide your light. Keep the flame burning. Don’t let your situation dictate how much light and love you are going to give to the world. Let me light in you show you how much love you need to bring into this world. Jesus is the light of your light as I like to say. Let the Light of your light shine all the time.

When I get frustrated, I open the door to emotions that make me focus on anything but the Lord. When I get sad, I have a hard time reaching down on the inside and letting the light of the Lord warm up my heart. However, when the flame of the light of the Lord is high, frustration and sadness have no power over me. When the light of the Lord is vibrant and in full display, negativity can’t get the best out of me. How do I protect that flame? I do it by pumping myself up in the Lord. I pump it up by being excited about the Lord and by lifting Him up. I place Him about everything. When something bad happens, I pump up the joy of the Lord by shouting His name and making Him bigger than my trials. It takes effort but it is a crucial step when we want to protect the flame. That flame can change someone’s day for the better. That flame is hope. That flame is pure joy from Heaven. That flame is the difference that someone might be needing today. Let the flame speaks for itself by expressing the love of God and expressing Jesus.

Our daily prayers and our daily interaction with the Lord allow us to protect the flame He has placed in our spirit. That flame looks different from everyone but it is that unique thing, that special element that warms up an entire room when it is on. We have to keep the flame on. We have to remain positive. We have to walk in the truth of the Lord. That will give the flame a chance to shine. That precious flame in you is that one thing that refuses to give up and that believes in the best all the time. It is the stubborn goodness that won’t go away. Fan the flame every day, friend. Start the day in communion with Jesus and the flame will be on. Pray throughout the day. Be thankful throughout the day and above all let Jesus show love to others through your flame. Protect the flame by constantly giving it a chance to burn for others. The flame of the Lord in you will ignite beautiful moments, brighten up faces that only new frowns and make broken hearts feel at home. Protect the flame all the time. Stay in the Lord and you will shine for His glory. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12; Romans 12:10

Finding God in your broken place

Sometimes it is during the bad times and the broken times that we find God. Sometimes it is when we spend time in those broken places that we find God. Sometimes it is a broken heart to find God. It is in our weakness that the Lord is our strength. It is in the places where hope is gone, that we can unearth the truth of God. Why? Because His truth is the only thing that still stands and that can fix us. When something is broken, we have to find what it takes to put it back together. In the natural, it can mean glue, scotch tape or something else that will hold every piece together. When you are in your broken place, you need the Lord to put you back together. You need His glue, His scotch tape and whatever else He chooses to mend you. God is there in the broken places of life. Those places can feel very lonely but God is everywhere. Nothing can ever separate you from God. Next time you are in a broken place, remember that nothing is going to prevent God from being with you and because He is with you, you can expect restoration and some major fixing.

The broken places of life can look different for everyone. One thing they have in common is that they signify a rupture, a break and a disconnection. Being sick is a broken place that can isolate us and make us feel alone. The broken place of illness is not only a lonely place that at times we believe we can never leave. Jesus is still a healer. He is the ultimate healer. When you are in that broken place, call on Him. Call on Him and confess that by His stripes you were healed. Accept His healing. Embrace the fact that He can still heal today. Develop your faith in His ability to heal today. If we believe in parts of the Bible, we should believe in all parts of them. Why believe in the resurrection and not believe in healing? I think that if we preached more about healing and people heard the truth about it, people would have more faith in it and we would experience more healing. Believe that in your broken place of sickness, the Lord is present and He is waiting for you to express your faith.

If you are in a broken place today, whether it is financial, emotional, spiritual or physical, know that there is hope for you. The Lord God Almighty is ready to mend your heart and to fix the place where you have been. He doesn’t want you to dwell in a place of misery. He doesn’t want you to stay broken and to miss out on what He has for you. He is smiling at you and calling you. He wants you to hold His hand, trust in His Word and believe that He can fix everything. Your broken place is a temporary location. It is not where you belong and it is not where you will live forever. Say a prayer. Tell Jesus how much you love Him and how much you need Him today. Ask Him to fix your situation and thank Him for intervening. Stay positive during the process of restoration by speaking the Word of God over your situation. When you are broken, God is strong and He is whole and He will make you whole. Don’t lose hope. The Lord is putting back all the pieces one by one and He is creating something better than what you had. Stay in faith. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Mark 9:23; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:8-9

A blessed life

What is a blessed life? It is a life with no problems and no worries? If that is the case, it is impossible to have a blessed life. However, the Bible mentioned “blessed people.” Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” said Jesus. If you look at all the passages that talk about what being blessed is like, you can draw a portrait of a blessed life. A blessed life is essentially a life of faith that is centered around Jesus. If Jesus is your Savior and you believe in Him in all circumstances, you have a blessed life. Sometimes it is necessary for bad things to happen in order to realize that we have a blessed life. A blessed life is not bothered by what happens. It is still a great life even when the storms of life are raging. Today I want to encourage you to embrace the blessed life you have in Jesus. Don’t magnify the life the enemy wants you to have. Zero in on the blessed life in Christ!

You are blessed, friend! Not because great things are happening to you but because of the One who is in your life. You are blessed because of Jesus. He is the reason for the blessed life you have. Now, it’s easy to forget about the blessed life when problems pile up. At times it only takes one problem for us to detach from the blessed life in Jesus. Jesus said that blessed are those who believe before seeing. Blessed are those who still trust in the Lord when things are bad. Blessed are those who believe in a great outcome when things don’t look like they will improve. Blessed are those whose joy is in the Lord even when mourning is all they can see. A blessed life is a life that welcomes peace, joy and love at all times. It is a life that has Jesus as its Master and the Holy Spirit as its Director. It is a life through the Lord and we only get good things from the Lord. A blessed life will always see the good in all things.

I found out I had covid on the morning of my birthday. When I saw the diagnosis, I didn’t feel like I had a blessed life. The positive test was going to ruin my day. The Lord stopped me. He stopped me from going down the wrong path. I was heading on the path of self-pity and fear. The Spirit of the Lord reminded me of the blessed life I had in Christ. The Lord had a great setup for me where I was surrounded by friends and I didn’t lack anything. I couldn’t see my friends face to face but I knew they were there. I thanked the Lord for my blessings. I thanked Him for the blessed life I have. He turned the disaster into a great day. I was in pain but I was in peace. The Lord can do that for you and He will when you lean on Him. A blessed life is a life lived for the Lord and through the Lord. We are highly blessed, friend. No matter what happens, we have to remember that we have a blessed life and that with God nothing is impossible. It is the Lord that carried me through the sickness and that blessed me when the enemy was trying to bring me down. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17;7; Matthew 5:6; John 20:29

THE STORY OF YOUR SALVATION

Do you believe that God is the author of your story? Or do you think that you are writing it every day? God is the author of of a beautiful story and it is your life. Your story didn’t start when you were born. The Lord knew you before you were in the womb. Your story is marked by the most important event that could ever happen. It is marked by the salvation you received thanks to Jesus. In other words your story was pinned on that cross. It was among the stories of those who died with Christ and came back to life. Your old life is gone. It is dead. Jesus took it away and He replaced it with His salvation. Today as we celebrate Easter. We can’t forget what happened at Calvary. It is a good day to focus on it but every day is a page of your story that was made possible thanks to Calvary.

Jesus died for your sins and He died so you could have life more abundantly. Today you are living out the story that was written just for you. Jesus is the main protagonist of your story or at least He should be. Today I want to encourage to make it a habit to acknowledge what happened on the cross and the life that was given to you through the power of the story. Let God write your story. Don’t mess it up in my mind by imagining bad endings and complicated stories that are not meant to take place. Jesus paid the price and your story is amazing. It won’t be void of trouble and problems but it will always be full of Jesus. He came back to life so He could do life with you. He didn’t die and come back from the dead so He could hang out far from you. He is on every page of your story and the cross is the bookmark that reminds you of the sacrifice that saved your life.

The resurrection was a miracle. The greatest miracles of all and its radiance is in your life today. Expect the power of the cross to manifest in your life as you walk hand in hand with the Savior. Easter is not about eggs and bunnies. It is a symbol of salvation, of the cross and of God’s eternal love for you. Honor Jesus today and every day for the cross. Exalt Him for the beauty of His love and what it created on the cross. Praise Him for saving your life. Your salvation is the biggest part of your story and it should be taken into consideration every day. You are not hear your suffer and to barely make it until you go to be with the Lord Your salvation is here today and you can celebrate Jesus all day every day. Praise God for the cross. Praise God for the resurrection. Praise God for His salvation. You are blessed, friend and you are loved more than you will ever know. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Acts 2:38; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10