Ephesians 6:14-17 reads "Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

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PRAYER: P3

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

God is going to do in us as much as we let Him in. We have to let God into our business. If we don’t let God into our business then how do we expect Him to change our lives. Every second is an opportunity to draw near to God. God gives unlimited resources that know one else can ever give you. His mercy and grace goes on forever.

One of the toughest things for me to do is to let others pray for me. Its not that I hate receiving prayer because I love prayer. Its just my pride gets in the way, and I try to put up a front like I am okay all the time. Sometimes God wants to show us how wide, how long, and how deep His love is through others praying for us.

When you let others pray for you it kind of works like an interception in football. What I mean by this is; Say your playing defense, and your offense isn’t doing so well. The other teams quarter back drops back to throw, and your defense goes up and intercepts the pass. They run it back to the ten yard line, and put the offense in a good position to score. Sometimes prayer works like that as well. There are times when God wants to use someone too intercept words, visions, or even pictures into your life.

There are times when power is waiting to be released, but sometimes it comes when we ask others for prayer. We have to be open to receive prayer from others. God uses others to intercept what He wants to tell us at certain moments in our lives. There is always power ready to be released into your life. You just have to ask for help sometimes.

Question: Are you letting others pray for you? Does your pride ever get in the way?


STOP PRAYING


PRAYER: P2

1 John 5:14-15

“14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Have you ever had a friendship with someone, and you felt very comfortable having a conversation with them. You could tell that person almost anything, and you were confident that they would hear you out. I say almost anything because we all keep things locked up inside of us that we don’t want people to know. The cool thing about God is you can say anything to God, and He will hear what you have to say. God already knows what you have to say before you even say it.

When we pray we have to pray with confidence that God is listening to us, and He hears what we have to say. We have to pray with a great amount of faith and an expectation that God is going to answer. We have to pray like we are speaking to our best friend, and just saying what is on our heart. There is no right, or wrong way to pray God just wants to hear his child’s voice cry out to him.

When we cry out to God we have to know that we send power from earth up into heaven. We might not see every prayer being answered, but we have to pray with the confidence that God can answer any prayer that He wants to. We also have to know when we pray it is on Gods timing not ours. To walk the walk is to know that there is power in prayer, and God hears your voice.

There is an extreme amount of power in prayer. You just have to keep asking. There is power beyond our comprehension being released to the Heavens every time we reach out to God and ask for help. If we don’t knock on Gods door, how do we expect for God to answer. We have to be willing to knock. When you pray you need to pray like the whole world depends on it. Pray boldly and shamelessly.

Question: Are you allowing yourself time and space to speak to God? Do you know that there is power in prayer? Are you praying with confidence?


PRAYER

Ephesians 3:16-18

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”

What is prayer? Prayer is an act of humbling ourselves before God, connecting with Him, and sending out power to the Heavens. Prayer is a time where we demonstrate our selflessness and exercise our dependence on God. Prayer is a time to waste time with God, and to connect with Him in a Spirit filled manner. Prayer is a time to be filled with the Holy Spirit, worship God, build relationship, receive healing, ask for guidance, and the list goes on.

Some would say you have to pray a certain way, but I think as long as your humbling yourself before The Lord. It doesn’t matter how it comes out. God just wants to hear your heart, and you profess your dependence upon Him. Scripture clearly states that God already knows what you are going to ask before you even ask. Then, why should we pray?

We should pray because it brings us in relationship with a living God, and the creator of the universe. God gives us the ability to exercise free will. Meaning we can depend on God, or we can’t. Throughout the gospel we see many people depend on God, and you see this dependence because they built relationship with Him.

When we pray, God doesn’t want our religious baggage. He wants our hearts, and us to build relationship with Him. Relationship with God is us being in constant communication with Him. Through our communication with Him we our able to thank Him, ask for forgiveness, receive His Holy Spirit, ask for His protection, and invite Him into our business. Prayer is a gateway to God, and God loves to hear His children’s voice’s.


Truth Is – P2

1 John 3:19-20

“19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.”

The truth is a lot of us are not real with God. Since, we are not real with God it is hard for God to fix our hearts. For some of us the truth is very hard because we have lived in lies our whole life. It is really easy to put up a front, and honestly that is what Satan wants us to do. The enemy wants us to act  like nothing is wrong, and we don’t need help. The enemy wants us to lie to God, or flat out ignore God because He is scared of the power that can be revealed through you from God.

God wants to reveal so much through you, but you need to be real with others. Not only does God want us to be truthful with Him, but He wants us to be truthful and transparent with others as well. A lot of us develop this mental process of saying it is okay to lie to our parents, family, friends, and outsiders. We have developed this way of thinking because we don’t want people to know the truth about our lives, who we really are, and what we go through. We don’t want our peers to know specific details about us, so we create lies to feel our emptiness. I believe one of the major aspects of growing as an individual is being transparent and opening up to others. It doesn’t mean you have to share you life with everyone, but don’t be afraid to open up with someone that wants to walk along side of you.

Telling the truth to others is a huge must in every individuals life. If we continue to lie to ourselves and others the hurt will only continue to deepen. When we allow ourselves to open up with God and others healing takes place that we never could have imagined. God wants to do so much healing in our lives, but we have to be real with Him and others. If your heart feels like it needs to open up and be truthful, don’t be scared to do it because it could be the most affective healing that God wants to do in you.

Question: Are you creating the space for God to heal you from not telling the truth? Do you have someone that you can talk to about anything pertaining to your life? Do you need to be real with God?


TRUTH IS

1 John 3:19-20

“19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.”

The truth is a lot of us are not real with God. Since, we are not real with God it is hard for God to fix our hearts. For some of us the truth is very hard because we have lived in lies our whole life. It is really easy to put up a front, and honestly that is what Satan wants us to do. The enemy wants us to act like nothing is wrong, and we don’t need help. The enemy wants us to lie to God, or flat out ignore God because He is scared of the power that can be revealed through you from God.

I have had many moments in my life where I have said “God will forgive me later, Gods not watching me right now, I don’t care what God thinks, or I will just change later.” Moments like these have pushed me away from God and the truth. Truth is I needed God in these moments in my life, but I pushed myself so far away from God by lying and putting up a front. When I started to be real with God, myself, and others I began to see myself grow as a follower of God.

Sometimes all we have to do is tell the truth to God, and He will help us grow. God is not going to judge you for being the way you are. He is going to help you out continues, and show you what grace is all about. God is in the field of medicating a sinners heart, and purifying you with holiness. He is in the profession of helping his sons and daughters become who they were created to be. The truth is you need to tell God the truth.

Question: Are you being straight up with God? Has this ever been a weak point in your life?


THROUGH THE STORM: P3

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given our death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”

I think a lot of us underestimate the power of God. Not only do we underestimate the power of God, but we underestimate the power that God wants to work through us. A lot of the times when we are walking through the storm God wants display himself through us. Do I think God answers every single prayer? My answer would be no because I think God allows things to happen, so we can become stronger as individuals. I do think that God has the capability to answer every prayer, but I also think everything happens for a reason and God has a plan behind it.

Life hurts at times, especially during those times when things didn’t quite go your way. Can you relate to this? Times when you didn’t see God answer your prayers, when really He is doing so much inside of you that you cannot see. I guarantee when you hurt the way you do God is hurting for you 10 times the amount that you are hurting at that moment. God wants to reveal His power, but we have to allow him to do so.

We have to let God into our business. When we let God into our business He controls the storm that we are walking in. He displays power that no one can display. He heals the sick, the broken hearted, the abandoned, the emotionally wrecked, and even the people that feel their life is meaningless. Having faith is a huge aspect of believing that God is all powerful. You have to believe that God can workout any situation or circumstance that you throw at Him. You have to believe that there is power in the name of Jesus.

This storm of life is tough at times, but God wants to walk through the storm with you. He wants to control the storm that you are in, so you can become the person that you were created to be. Put your trust in Him and He will show you how real He really is. It starts by believing that He is God and you are not. He sent His son to die for you, so there would be hope at the end of the storm.

Question: Do you have trouble believing that God is all powerful? Have you asked God to show you His power?


THEOUGH THE STORM: P2

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given our death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”

Everybody walks through the storm. Everybody is going to have crucial moments in there lives where things aren’t going to go your way. Your even going to have to make decisions that you do not want to make. Life is not always easy. Even though it might seem like it is poring down on you. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. When the storm gets tough God wants to be our anchor.

I think it is amazing that the God of this universe wants to walk with us through our storm of life. He wants to carry our burdens, and He wants to help us make life altering decisions. I mean think about it there is over a billion people on the face of this planet, and God wants to help each and every one of us. Wow!

We all have a decision to make in life, and that is to allow God to walk with us through the storm, or to walk alone. Gods magnitude can handle anything that you throw at Him. The storm might feel a little tough at times, but God will not fail you. Even though it might feel like you aren’t getting anywhere through the storm, there is great victory being done in the heavens. You might not see what you want to see here, but this life is short and eternity is waiting for those who pick up their cross and walk with Jesus through the storm.

Question: Are you trying to walk through the storm of life by yourself? What do you have to do to allow God to walk with you?


THROUGH THE STORM

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given our death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”

The storm of life is tough at times, but it is so much easier with God in the center of it. I know for me I have been through a rough storm during my walk with God. Things happen like death, disease, emotions, and other hardships. I know for me when I wasn’t walking with God those things were a lot harder for me to deal with, and to try to get through. I carried around emotions like anger, guilt, depression, pride, bitterness, and grudges. I’m not going to say it is always easy now, but I have the living God to help me through the storm. Now I carry around peace, hope, happiness, grace, and freedom.

You don’t realize how powerful God is until you start walking with Him through your storm of life. I guarantee He will show you things that will blow up your world. God is all powerful, and I know from experience that He will help you through anything that you throw at Him. Jesus is always ready to reveal himself to us and through us, but we have to give Him the opportunity to do so.

The Christian walk is so much more than just some religious belief. It is actually being in a personal relationship with a savior who loves us more then we can comprehend. Being a Christian is knowing the creator of this universe and walking with the spirit of a living God every step of the way. Being a Christian is not always the easiest because the Bible states to uphold your cross daily. Being a Christian is tough, but God offers a light that no one in this world offers. He is a living God and wants to live in us. Let the spirit of a living God permeate in you today.

Question: Do you believe that God is all powerful? Are there times where you try to walk through the storm of life all by yourself? Do you know that being a Christian is something so much more then some religious practice?


STORMS

Mark 4:35-41

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

One of my biggest storms growing up that I needed God to heal me from was anger. Anger followed me everywhere. It followed me in my relationships with loved ones, relationships with my friends, with people I didn’t know, and even in the sports I played. Anger was something that got the best of me at times.

I always new that Jesus was faithful, and He could heal me from anything. “Anger kept telling me no your storm doesn’t need to be calmed.” I would be lying to say that anger doesn’t try to creep its way back into my life, but I always no who to call on when it comes. The day I said “Jesus calm my storm” was the day the Spirit of the living God came and took over my life and took anger away.

There are storms in each of our lives that God wants to control. The question is what storms need to be controlled and are you letting Him? You may have use to had that type of faith where you knew God could control any storm that you were in, but you lost it. God wants to show you that faith again. Or maybe you have never experienced Gods power, and you need several storms to be calmed. He is waiting for your call. Call for Him and He will answer.

Question: What storms do you need to calm?


Distant From God

Hebrews 13:5

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””
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Just imagine Jesus is standing infront of you, and he is saying “I will never leave you, or forsake you.” For some of us that is very hard to take in. Maybe you constantly feel like God is apart from you. You feel like he is no where near.  Your searching and searching, but God is no where to be found.

Sometimes God becomes distant to stretch and grow us in deeper relationship with Him. Throughout scripture God becomes distant from certain people. He doesn’t become distant because he wants to see them fail. He becomes distant at times because he wants to see us push deeper into him and trust in Him more.

Where ever you are right now in your walk with God, push yourself to that next level with Him. Trust in Him and be patient. God truly desires the best for you and wants to see you succeed in all that you do. Just trust and believe that He will never leave you, or forsake you.

Question: Where in life do you need to believe that God will never leave you or forsake you? How do respond to Him being distant from you, whether it’s on the athletic field, or in your walk of life?


Invite and Seek

Jeremiah 29:11-13

“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

In the book “Leadership As An Identity” Crawford Lorittis makes this statement “We need to pray that God will use the pressures that we face to give us an insatiable hunger and thirst for Him. This is a marvelous place to be. The more you hunger for Him, the closer he is to you. When you cry, “God, I need You,” He answers, “I am right here, you have Me.”

Many of us face challenges within our lives, and we try to handle them all on our own. We go about our business saying “I have it all under control God.” When really we are in desperate need of some help and guidance. We play the part like everything is okay, we aren’t worrying about our struggles, and the constant thought of reasoning isn’t taking over our thoughts. When we take off the mask that is holding us back from seeing that we are in desperate need of help, God begins to relinquish his love down on us and our eyes become wide open.

Our eyes only become wide open if we allow God to open them for us. God doesn’t want us to have to carry our burdens, He wants to carry them for us. That’s why we see the greatest love story take place by Jesus dying on the cross for you. He died on the cross for you, so you can see again by handing your sins and struggles over to him. You do not have to do it alone. God is right here ready to help you. He is just waiting for that open invitation for you to seek Him because He is a gentleman.

Question: Are you giving an open invitation to let God into your life? Or are there sins, struggles, worries, and concerns that are holding you back from doing so?


CHILD OF GOD: WOMEN

Isaiah 43:1-2

43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.


CHILD OF GOD: Men

Isaiah 43:1-2

43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.

You are a son of the living God. This world might have messed up your view of who God is, but God loves you infinitely and will always love you infinitely. You are a child of God the most high, and you have a purpose to your life.


CHILD OF GOD: Steadfast Love

Lamentations 3:22-26

“22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.”

It absolutely amazes me how steadfast the love of the Lord is for us every single day. We do not deserve the love that the Lord pours out on us, but He still does. A lot of us live selfish lives, or have done things in the past that make us undeserving of the Fathers love. We have said things, done things, or even watched things that hurt others. Even though we are unlovable, God still wants to show us mercy and grace. Like the scripture above says “His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”

His mercies do not come to end, today is a new day, and God wants you to start over. You may have messed up yesterday, but the Lord forgives and wants you to move on. He wants you to forgive, so you can start over. When we hand our worries over to God, we open the door for God to come into our hearts. In John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” God wants us to come quietly into His presence, so he can fix what needs to be fixed. When we allow his loving kindness to cover us, we begin to show that same kindness to others.

God shows us his loving kindness because we are his children and He doesn’t want to see any of us fall away. Even though we are so bad, God see us as good. We must forgive and love the inexcusable because He has forgiven us. Loving kindness comes from the depths of one’s heart to forgive and forget like God has forgiven us. As God’s children, we must seek Him with all hearts in every area of our lives, so we can recognize the goodness he wants to show us and do through us to others.

Question: Are you letting the Lord show His steadfast love to you? Do you realize that you are a child of God? What areas of your life do you need to hand over to God?