Sweet Moments

Within four days, very recently, our family laid two very special aunts to rest. All of my many aunts were like second mothers to me growing up. Each one was unique and strong and poured their very best into my young life. And each one inspired me to do the same.

As my large, extended family came together for these homegoing services, I was reminded to look for God’s beauty in everything: the tears, the memories, the flowers, the love through so many hearts and the legacy through these two aunts, who are also mothers, grandmothers, sisters, wives and daughters.

In this, death’s bitter moments were made sweet by God.

“Sweet” can mean “good” (NAS Exhaustive Concordance #2896a).

As in His invitation to “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him” (Ps 34:8 NLT)!

The Word “good” in this verse means “pleasant” and “agreeable” (Strong’s 2896a).

Psalm 34:10 NKJV reminds us that “…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

Here, the Word “good” means “benefit” and “welfare” (Strong’s 2896b) as well as “happiness” and “prosperity” (NAS Exhaustive Concordance).

So, when we seek God, agree with His truth and ways and take refuge in Him, we will experience sweet moments of life that include His good benefits, no matter what our hearts’ desperation.

“Moment” is defined by Dictionary.com as “a particular time or period of success” It can mean a “stage” of a “course of events.” And It factors in importance and effects, such as consequences or rewards.

Proverbs 14:14 TPT assures us that “a good person receives a sweet reward.”

“Moment” can mean “day” in relation to “point of time” So, as we call out to Him and receive His moment-by-moment provision for victory, He can shift us from darkness to light instantly (Ps 138:3 TPT).

In this way, sweet moments magnify God and His Name. Sweet moments are victory in action.

As we release our pain to Christ and agree with His sweetness or goodness every moment, we align with His victory above darkness progressively to the point of completion, knowing He’ll use our circumstances for the good of His Kingdom. (Ga 5:22).

At my aunts’ homegoing services, God aligned my family on a new level of reconnection. He touched our hearts to override any absences or differences with His outpouring of what’s most important: Love.

To be more aligned with the heart of God is what my aunts would want.

God’s way above it all.

His truth.

His prevailing Presence and presentation of victory over death.

Psalm 34:7 NKJV tells us that “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.”

So, we never have to fear death or unpleasantries when we remain close to sweet Jesus. His Spirit of truth and grace is stronger and empowers us in any situation, even when loved ones cross over into eternity.

In Psalm 138:7 TPT, King David says, “By your mighty power I can walk through any devastation and you will keep me alive reviving me.” In verse three, he says, “At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me! You strengthened me deep within my soul and breathed fresh courage into me.”

Friends, we can face any difficulty when we are filled afresh with God’s Spirit above being full of ourselves.

We can rejoice and come up higher, according to Psalm 24:7 TPT, which says, “So wake up, you living gateways! Lift up your heads, you doorways of eternity! Welcome the King of Glory, for he is about to come through you.”

Friends, we can rise and remain living in the ascended life Jesus died to give us by trusting and obeying Him to make our moments sweet.

So, let’s look to His every rainbow promise that bridges us to His fulfillment, as we abide with Him for every sweet moment.

Pray with me, if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for Your heart of love that brings Your people together. Help me to remain in Your truth, to abide in You in all things. Please “Give me revelation about the meaning of your ways so I can enjoy the reward of following them fully” (Ps 119:33 TPT). Help me to choose Your righteousness over my own ways and reap the benefits of Your rewards. Thank You for Your sweet and fruitful moments in my life. I pray that You will multiply them.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

And now, I declare that “The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him” (Ps 28:7 AMPC).

To God be the glory.

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Peace Understanding – Part 1

We’ve heard of the peace that surpasses understanding in Philippians 4:7, where we experience the Presence of The God of Peace while going through a difficult time. 

But there’s also a holy peace, a kind of confidence that comes when we live in a reality of knowing God, understanding His ways and applying His wisdom as He reveals Himself and His will in everyday life (Is 26:3).

Proverbs 4:7 tells us to “get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation).”

A kind of wisdom.

Yet, Job 26:14 AMPC asks, who can understand “His full, magnificent power?” 

So, why would God instruct us to get understanding if He is too unfathomable to comprehend?

I believe the answer is that our Lord releases new levels of knowledge with understanding as we come to know Him from glory to glory. I believe it’s part of our growth journey to know Him more and to co-operate with Him by faith. I believe we need levels of understanding to accomplish progressively greater assignments with Him after we’ve passed faith tests.

Proverbs 3:13, 16-17 NIV say, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.”

The Lord’s offering of understanding to us comes with peace in knowing God’s final Word, His good and purposed outcome for us and our divinely-assigned projects and His how-to—all by His authority and our heart to receive and obey His heart (Ps 23:4 TPT).

As a righteous man (and the only one at the time), Noah experienced this.

God was very specific with His instructions to him, even down to the measurements of the ark as well as who and what to load on it when the time came.

God articulated.

He left nothing to mess up by man’s ignorance.

Likewise, there’s no time to waste in this modern-day, accelerated and fitting time, where pieces of our lives (and the greater remnant) converge for higher purposes.

There is efficiency in working from a diligent attitude of peaceful knowing. Work processes can flow when we know what to do and how to do them in advance. 

When we know God is in it from the beginning.

It makes a difference.

Yes, we also learn as we go; but we need some initial instruction and/or strategy.

Have you ever started a project and wondered whether it was of The Lord?

If so, maybe you kept going, hoping you would hear something from Him along the way.

Or maybe you gave up early on, because you didn’t hear anything. 

In the end, the door closed and you didn’t see much, if any, fruit. 

So, if that’s you, what did you learn?

Friends, when our hearts are aligned with God’s truth, meaning nothing is withheld from Him, we’re more inclined to do it His way.

To submit to Him and finish projects with Him.

This is true efficiency. 

Psalm 37:11 AMPC tells us, “But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. [Ps. 37:29; Matt. 5:5.]”

This kind of peace is God’s shalom, which means nothing missing, nothing broken, blessed, content, well, prosperous, whole and complete (Strong’s #7965).

So, we can receive the greater blessings of God when we do it His way, according to His instruction and timing.

Isaiah 30:18 says, “…blessed are those who wait for His help.”

Proverbs 10:22 AMPC says, “The blessing of the Lord–it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].”

One meaning of “blessing” in this verse is “peace” (Strong’s #1293).

So, you could read it as “The peace of the Lord–it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].”

Friends, peace is a powerful clarifier and confirmation that comes directly from the Spirit of God.

The Author and Promotor (God) of peace will be with us when we live in peace (2 Co 13:11 AMPC).

So, if all we’re feeling is anxiety because we don’t have enough of God’s clear instruction, we need to wait until we hear more from Him before we take the next step. 

Let’s choose to honor God in the only way that works well.

Philippians 4:9 NIV says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

So, friends, let’s step into what God has assigned to us, according to His instruction and timing to work it His way so that we don’t waste our resources, and our projects will result in pure gold. 

Let’s remember the important role of peace:

The God of peace equips us with “every good thing to do His will” (He 13:20-21 NASB).

The Gospel is peace (Ep 6:15).

Jesus is our peace (Ep 2:14).

Jesus is The Prince of Peace (Is 9:6).

Jesus is the way of peace (Ro 5:1).

Peace is a path that is to be followed (Pr 3:17, He 12:14, 2 Ti 2:22). 

Reconciliation peace came by the blood of Jesus (Co 1:20 AMPC).

Our God of peace crushed Satan under our feet (Ro 16:20).

Peace is a gift Jesus left with us (Jn 14:27).

Our Lord multiplies peace (1 Pe 1:2).

The peace of Jesus is to rule in our hearts (Co 3:15).

Peace is continual for those who please God (Ro 2:10).

Peacemakers reap a harvest of divine approval (righteousness) (Ja 3:18).

The mind of Holy Spirit is peace (Ro 8:6).

Peace is power that can be felt and binds us to harmony with Holy Spirit (Ep 4:3).

We are to pursue peace and maintain it with God and man (1 Pe 3:11).

Holding peace is a war strategy that requires understanding (Ex 14:14, Pr 11:12).

The Kingdom of God is filled with peace, and God lives for us to live in peace (Ro 14:17, He 12:14).

So, friends, are you ready to co-operate with God in more peace understanding?

If so…

“…May God’s delightful grace and peace rest upon you” (1 Th 1:1). 

May Holy Spirit work His peace within you (Ga 5:22 AMPC).

“…May the Lord himself, the Lord of peace, pour into you his peace in every circumstance and in every possible way. The Lord’s tangible presence be with you all” (2 Th 3:16 TPT). 

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]” (Co 3:15 AMPC). 

May God increase your peace (and grace) as you grow to know Him firsthand as your Lord (2 Pe 1:2 NLT).

May God’s “peace be yours in the fullest measure” (1 Pe 1:2).

“…may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely” (1 Th 5:23 NKJV);

“…Yes, Lord, so let it be” (Ro 15:33)!

In Jesus’ Mighty Name. 

Amen.

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Abundant Riches & Life – Part 2

Colossians 3:16 NLT says, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives…”

Richness in this verse refers to “much in quantity” (HELPS Word-studies). 

Abundance.

This verse goes on to advise teaching and counseling with the wisdom of God and praise unto The Lord with thankful hearts.

So, friends, as we remain close to The Lord, we must step into His assignments and walk with Him in submission to His ways, knowing He will guide us into His best fulfillment; because we cannot be full of ourselves and the fullness of God. 

The fullness of The Lord requires our surrender to Him.

Remember this key: The way to abundant life is to fear The Lord. 

Proverbs 14:27 NIV says, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.”

Fear, in this scripture, means deep reverence (Strong’s #3374). Reverence that would cause us to bow to Him (Ps 45:11).

Proverbs 19:23 TPT says, “When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction!”

Remember this key: The way to maintain this abundance is by His true kindness of character and demeanor—our yield to His life-giving Fruit of The Spirit (Ga 5:22, Is 26:3).

Romans 11:22 NIV says, “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.”

This kindness (Strong’s #5544 and #5543) is a type of strength that makes us properly useful for His good service, well-fit for what is needed, upright, morally excellent, gentle, cruelty-free and profitable.

An example of this would be Esther, who was made ready and kindly approached the king. Her wise and fruitful demeanor of kindness influenced the king to make decisions that would take out her enemy and save a nation (Es 5:2).

Esther understood that her enthronement was linked with the kindness and peace of God. This submission to God was the stance from which she served and ruled victoriously (Is 26:3).

As we yield to this Fruit of the Spirit, we will remain in a place of blessing and trust God to do that which only He is fit to do. 

This is of particular importance as we continue into this fitting time, where darkness shakes off and Spirit-produced goodness prevails. Where God reorders parts of our lives into a convergence that hits the target of destiny and reaches far. 

Our Lord has some big inheritances for us to step into.

Are you ready?

Very recently, He highlighted Psalm 47:4 TPT to me, which says, “He’s marked out our inheritance ahead of time, putting us in the front of the line, honoring Jacob, the one he loves…”

Holy Spirit gave me the understanding that those who have been delivered from the false pride of Jacob will continue into their greater God-ordained inheritance.

Interestingly, the Promised Land is also called “’The Excellency of Jacob,’ which literally means ‘the loftiness of Jacob’” (Ellicott’s Commentary) “on account of its beauty and the excellence and variety of its productions” (Pulpit Commentary).

So, what beautiful high place is God bringing authentic you into right now?

What excellent fruit will He produce and establish through you (Amos 9:14-15)?

Holy Spirit desires to reveal His destiny-plan, because we cannot live out divine destiny based on our own knowledge.

Proverbs 15:33 TPT reminds us that “The source of revelation-knowledge is found as you fall down in surrender before the Lord. Don’t expect to see Shekinah glory until the Lord sees your sincere humility.”

Psalm 50:23 NLT assures us that “…If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

We know this is done by God’s Spirit of Grace, “along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (1 Ti 1:14 NIV). 

I love the Words of Jesus in John 17:13, 15, 17-18 NKJV, which say, “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

Friends, as His sent ones, let’s put our hand to the plow and not look back. Let’s stay the course of Holy Spirit’s kind actions for His glory (Philippians 3:13, Is 48:3 AMP).

Remember these Words in Psalm 72:6-7 TPT, which say, “Your favor will fall like rain upon our surrendered lives, like showers reviving the earth. In the days of his reign the righteous will spring forth with the abundance of peace and prosperity forevermore.”

So, we declare The Lord’s Words in Isaiah 45:8 AMPC, which say, “Let fall in showers, you heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness [the pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities that have their foundation in the holy being of God]; let the earth open, and let them [skies and earth] sprout forth salvation, and let righteousness germinate and spring up [as plants do] together; I the Lord have created it.”

And as we contend to do what The Lord instructs, let’s remember Psalm 20:4 NKJV, which says, ” May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.”

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Victory Strategy: Be Ready – Part 2

The Lord’s renewed eagles, His transformed ones are to be ready—which means to arise with a disposition of willingness and eagerness—for long-awaited promises to be fulfilled.

God is opening our eyes to see more life in our commitment of faith as He moves us forward in greater peace.

Luke 7:50 TPT tells us that “…Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith in me has given you life. Now you may leave and walk in the ways of peace.”

The Lord has impressed my heart that, because of breakthroughs in our commitment of faith, blessings that were once locked and bound will now be unlocked and loosed.

Those who were once bound in chains can now abound in hope, made stronger in their commitment of faith forward (Ro 15:13).

It’s time to see our holy fire re-ignite from a place of resting in The God of peace during this Isaiah 61 time, which is “The Year of The Lord’s Favor.”

Romans 16:24 TPT says, “May the grace and favor of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, continually rest upon you all.”

Especially for those who have been through character-building, it’s time to yield to “a harvest of righteousness and peace” (He 12:11 TPT).

God’s harvest blessings will come into maturity through us as a result of devoting dedicated time with Him, receiving His revelations, then working from a place of peaceful assurance—with no hindrance of anxiety—because we will know God more as trustworthy (Ga 5:22, 1 Jn 4:18). 

In this place of resting in God, He reveals more of Himself, releasing divine purpose and deeply moving us with His wisdom, understanding, strategy, knowledge and reverence (Is 11:2 ESV).

Revelation and peace work together for us to also know His ways more, to establish confidence in our walk and to bring heaven to earth. They offer us understanding of Him as what was, what is and what is to come. 

Have you experienced the sweet Presence of God like this lately?

Like Ruth laying at the feet of Boaz, after laboring, before her divine purpose was fulfilled?

Resting with God is where we see His perspective clearly. It’s where our lives make sense in regards to how He has brought and is bringing all the pieces of our journey together for His glory. It’s where we find significance. God will enable us to experience this deeper turning point, where His revelatory truths alleviate our fears and bring new life of peace and passion. A place of sweet restoration, where we feel more secure at home and “well provided for” (Ru 3:1; De 33:12).

It’s where God breaks through for us, for Kingdom’s sake (Ro 14:17).

For destiny (fulfilled promises).

Keeping our minds stayed upon The Lord, by His grace, is how we find peace.

Romans 8:6 TPT tells us, “For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.”

While resting at the feet of Jesus, our minds sync with His, so our feet can put changes in motion alongside Him. When we know Him at His feet, we experience Him fitting our feet with His peace as He reveals His plan to prosper us to bless others.

Resting in peace at Love’s (God’s) feet makes us ready.

Ephesians 6:15 ESV says, “and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.”

Being established in His peace is how we get to courageous.

In John 14:27 TPT, Jesus says, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!”

Constantly using our faith is how we live, rest and remain rooted in our faith (of His love). 

Ephesians 3:17 TPT tells us that “…by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.”

It’s time to be ready to go the distance and influence the earth anew, by His Spirit.

So, friends, pray with me if you will…

Lord, “illuminate the path that leads to the way of peace” (Lk 1:79). “…I’ll listen carefully for your voice and wait to hear whatever you say. Let me hear your promise of peace—the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear. Don’t let us in our ignorance turn back from following you” (Ps 85:8 TPT).

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him…” (Ro 15:13 TPT)! “Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful” (Co 3:15 TPT).

“Finally, beloved friends…Live continually in peace, and God, the source of love and peace, will mingle with you” (2 Co 13:11 TPT).

Even in your long-awaited opportunities.

To God be the glory.

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Joy: Our Commanded Blessing

1 Thessalonians 5:16 TPT says, “Let joy be your continual feast.”

1 Peter 1:8-9 TPT say, “…through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory. For you are reaping the harvest of your faith—the full salvation promised you—your souls’ victory!”

According to the Tyndale Bible Dictionary, there are two distinct types of joy: One is a feeling, which is not commanded. The other is an action, which is commanded.

In regards to joy being a feeling, this dictionary says, “Joy is a feeling called forth by well-being, success, or good fortune. A person automatically experiences it because of certain favorable circumstances. It cannot be commanded” (Ps 137:1-6).

In regards to joy being an action, this same dictionary says, “There is a joy that Scripture commands. That joy is action that can be engaged in regardless of how the person feels. Joy in adverse circumstances is possible only as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, who is present in every Christian” (Mt 5:11-12, Phil 4:4, 1 Thes 5:16, Jas 1:2).

Galatians 5:22 TPT affirms this by saying, “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”

Limitless, overflowing joy, like all the fruit of the Spirit, is an expression of the love and victory we have in Christ (Ps 21:1).

Romans 5:11 TPT says, “…we overflow with triumphant joy in our new relationship of living reconciled to God—all because of Jesus Christ!”

So this divine victory, expressed as joy, is what we have inside of us—sealed in our spirit as believers. And, it can overflow as we rejoice in The Lord, regardless of circumstance.

God greatly honors our intentional choice to rejoice in Him, despite enemy resistance.

Romans 5:2 says, “…as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory,” “incredible joy bursts forth within us.”

Proverbs 28:12 TPT tells us, “The triumphant joy of God’s lovers releases great glory…”

Rejoicing in The Lord honors God, which invites Him to pour out His Spirit, not only through us like a fountain, but also upon us from Heaven above.

I have experienced this many times during praise and worship sessions, especially when my heart’s cry has been desperate.

There’s nothing more overwhelmingly satisfying, joyful and powerful than the tangible, glorious Presence of Almighty God, where all of His fruit is expressed as love.

Psalm 84:10 TPT says, “For just one day of intimacy with you is like a thousand days of joy rolled into one!…”

If you’ve never experienced this level of intimate joy, I invite you to try:

Get alone.

Play some worship music.

Worship God for an hour, focusing entirely on Him.

Then, see what happens.

A breaking through of enemy resistance into a heavenly realm occurs.

In God’s Glory-Presence, even more breakthrough occurs (Ps 35:9, 51:12, 145:7)!

Peace, revelation and healing occurs as the power of God is released.

So, if you need a lift from whatever is weighing you down, rejoice in The Lord.

Joy is our strength.

We know this from Nehemiah 8:10 AMPC, which commands us to, “…be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.”

Friends, we have a decision to make to remain on the side of victory by intentionally choosing to rejoice in The Lord with gladness, no matter what our circumstances or how we feel.

Romans 12:12 TPT encourages us to let our “hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.”

Joy is a mighty weapon—as an escape from enemy traps (Pr 29:6 TPT) and a protective covering that the enemy cannot enter into (Ps 5:11-12 TPT)!

Friends, we have so much to be joyful for, beginning with our salvation. God has seated us in powerful victory. He has the final Word over our circumstances when we trust and obey Him (Ps 28:7, 119:2, 14; Pr 8:32).

Psalm 119:56 TPT reveals, “All this joy is mine as I follow your ways!”

Friends, my prayer for you is this…

Lord, Thank You for revealing to us “the pathways to life” and for filling us with “euphoria” (Acts 2:28 TPT)!

“…Let them all be glad, those who turn aside to hide themselves in you. May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in your presence as they sing and rejoice. Then every lover of your name will burst forth with endless joy. Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy” (Ps 5:11-12 TPT)

Lord, May Your strength be our “song of joy. At each and every sunrise,” may the “lyrics of” Your “love fill the air!” May You become our “glory-fortress, a stronghold in” our “day of distress” (Ps 59:16 TPT).

Lord, May Your victory heap blessing after blessing upon us as we rejoice before Your face (Ps 21:6). And, may Your Words of wisdom bring us joy…for Kingdom purposes (Pr 8:34).

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

“Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!” (Ro 15:13 TPT)!

“Go ahead–sing your brand-new song to the Lord! He is famous for his miracles and marvels, for he is victorious through his mighty power and holy strength” (Ps 98:1 TPT).

To God be the glory!

This video-devo was graciously re-posted by Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.