A few years ago, I started a gratitude jar on New Year’s Day. It was similar to a gratitude journal. I had written one thing I was grateful for each day and penned my experience on a small piece of paper. Then, I dropped it in the jar.
Well, each day whether it was morning or night, I would add something to the jar I was grateful for. I didn’t exactly collect 365 pieces of paper by the end of the year but I did manage to fill up the jar at least three quarters of the way.
On New Year’s Eve, I dumped the jar and all the folded pieces of paper scattered across my bed. I began to read all the things that I did or went through the whole year. I had a flood of emotions of how faithful the Lord has been to me. I acknowledged the richness that life has to offer despite the challenges and difficulties. I even forgot some of the events and activities that took place such as the funny moments as well as the unexpected surprises. it gave me a fresh perspective on how to approach life and how to appreciate every moment given to us.
When you shift your perspective, it can transform your attitude. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things as much as the bigger things in my life. When you change your perspective on how you look at your life, you change your world. As the saying goes, “Gratitude is all about your attitude.”
I’m sure we all have something to be grateful for as we finish off the last quarter of this year. Hold onto your faith and keep trusting the Lord for whatever you need in this season. He is faithful.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesare a Phillipi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do you say that I the son of man am? And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus said unto him, “Blessed art thou Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.”
The Lord desires for us to know Him by His Spirit and by faith. He wants us to learn his true nature, character and identity. We can only learn of him through reading the scriptures and developing a relationship with Him through prayer and worship. We cannot afford to be misled by false doctrines.
The Body of Christ is positioned to be a witness for Christ and to build, edify, and lead others to Christ. We have no more time to waste. This world is moving fast and things are rapidly changing and shifting.
The Lord will administer and appoint the servants who truly know and understand Kingdom principles and walk according to His commandments and laws. If you are walking in His authority, He will release divine instructions, blueprints, and visions of His plans and purposes.
The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 1 Corth 3:20
We can rest assured that no plot, scheme or plan of the devil will stop or block the power of God.
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The access to the Kingdom will be given to the faithful servants with additional responsibilities and position with due diligence, discernment and wisdom.
Power and authority comes from the Lord and not from the works of our hands. Within each day, we should reference the Lord with Thanksgiving and praise.
Intercession of the Saints
In the Book of Nehemiah, the remnant were greatly afflicted and the walls of Jerusalem was broken down and was on fire. Neh 1:3 It was similar to the world we live in today.
Nehemiah’s position, as a cup bearer, served the King. Nehemiah was very sorrowful after he heard what had happened in Jerusalem. He prayed for the children of Israel thy servants, repented and interceded for their sins.
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I praybefore thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Neh 1:6-7
He submitted a request to the King to go into Judah to build the city. Nehemiah received favor and the King granted his request.
9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. 10 Now power, and these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great by thy strong hand.
The Kingdom Mandate
All the tools and resources lie within you. The Kingdom mindset operates according to the Spirit. You can’t fake it till you make it. You will not be able to copy or duplicate it. It is divine. It is Holy. It is sacred. It is consecrated unto the Lord. There is no competition, jealousy, envy or striving. There is no such thing as a hustle mindset in the Kingdom.
Having clean hands and a pure heart grants access to dominion and authority in the Kingdom of God.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Eph 5:3-5
20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
Kingdom Over Culture
In the last days, false prophets and doctrines will be prevalent. We should be selective of what we choose to watch or listen to. We should choose Kingdom over culture. The church is emulating the world and there’s a fine line between the two. People are compromising to fit into the world to be accepted instead of shining the light of Christ. If Christ wasn’t accepted, you know that you won’t be either. It will take a tough skin, a surrendered heart and a made-up mind to follow Christ throughout life’s high’s and low’s.
There are some Biblical movies and TV shows that are altering or changing the story line of the scriptures all for the sake of entertainment and revenue.
This type of entertainment is only leading people into confusion and false doctrine, especially if they are new to the faith or possibly interested in learning more about the Bible. It’s best to go directly to the source, “The Bible” and also find a spirit-filled church where you can fellowship with other believers.
When you are led by the Spirit, you have the ability to discern the environment. Unfortunately, not every church is teaching sound doctrine. If the teachings are watered-down gospel or half-truth, it’s not the real deal. A half-truth is a lie, so don’t be deceived.
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you will continue to grow in understanding. The more you learn of Jesus and develop in the faith you will gain strength and endurance so don’t be discouraged. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and comforter and will lead, protect and guide you into all truth. God’s love and infinite wisdom is everlasting.
2 Corth 4:4-7
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
“10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10
17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.
15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
In the last days, there will be more confusion, chaos, deception, distraction, and corruption in the world because Satan knows his time is up.
The only thing left to be able to stand on will be the Bible to light our path. In fact, it should not be the last resort but the first thing we run towards for safety, protection, and security.
The Bible is our daily manual for life. It is the living word that sustains us. We simply cannot navigate through life without a spiritual compass. We need guidance and reassurance that there is one higher and greater that is leading, providing, and protecting us. Sure, many will believe that they are the product of their own success or failure. However, it’s the Lord’s will for your life that ultimately guides your path.
Just like water can be transformed into ice, steam, or liquid so can the one and only living God whose spiritual nature consists of the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit (Ghost).
It is within the divine plan of God that lights our path, however, He gives us the option to choose whether to believe and follow Him. Every man or woman must pick up their cross daily and follow him freely. (Mark 10:21) No man can come to the Father but through Jesus Christ. (John 3:5)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth Him shall not perish have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
You cannot mix half-truth with the whole truth. You simply cannot water down the truth.
As the birth pangs continue to increase and grow and the sorrow, pain, heartache, and destruction magnifies, your soul will continue to cry out for truth, protection, hope, and security.
You may already be searching for truth and clinging to hope. The only true hope comes from the encouragement of the Word of God who is the Creator of Heaven and earth, the only true God who created and designed you in the womb. He knows everything you’ve been through and exactly what you’re going through right at this present moment in time.
God loves you and desires for you to have a relationship with Him. You may even have a relationship with Him but He desires a deeper intimacy with you. God is a jealous God. He requires your full attention. He does not want to compete with Facebook, Instagram, text messages, corporate meetings, or the latest sports event.
If you put God first in your life and make Him priority daily, He will not disappoint. The raw truth is in the scriptures. It is healing for the spirit. Start by picking up the Bible and ask Him to give you the wisdom to understand the words on the page.
The Bible is life to the bones so it cannot be read like a novel or a textbook but by meditating on small chunks of scriptures at a time. It’s like eating a really delicious meal slowly so you can enjoy each bite and savor the flavor and by allowing it time to digest.
Life is a process as well as growing with Christ. The Spirit of God will guide and teach you along the way but you must remain open to His calling. He has a divine plan for your life. You also can’t escape a life without struggle, pain, discomfort, rejection, and opposition. Jesus’s had the same types of challenges also.
In fact, those were the same exact issues Jesus faced in life and on the cross where he sacrificed His life for our sins. He paid the penalty for our sins. We no longer carry the same burden of sin on our backs. This is the good news of Christ. He arose from the grave and Jesus is alive!
As you draw closer to the Lord, your Spirit will also come alive. Your old man (old nature) will pass away and you will become a new creature in Christ. You will begin to desire what pleases the Lord. (2 Corinth 5:17)
Temptation will always lurk at your doorstep but the Lord can and will give you the strength to supersede the devil’s request. It’s a matter of will.
With the Lord’s power, you can fight and win! So, be not entangled with false doctrines or false prophets and mixed truths which equal untruths and no truth.
The one thing you hunger and thirst for is the God of the Most High. You may satisfy yourself by striving for status, fame, material objects, success, and money, however, all those things are temporary and fickle. They’re not stable nor secure.
You will continue to search and strive for something that quenches but never fully satisfies. As soon as you gain, you desire more and more leading to an unfulfilled life.
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink, He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive. John 7:37-39
When you fail, you grow deeper into despair, anxiety, and frustration. It’s a cycle of emptiness. It’s a process where you grow weary, tired, and discouraged and it eventually leads to depression and hopelessness.
There is another way to this thing called life. Will you continue to be parched and dry or will you begin to drink from the well of everlasting life?
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures
17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
2 Tim 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
Let God be true, but every man a liar.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.