Through the Fire

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. Zech 13:2

We are truly living in perilous and challenging times. As we stand in the fire of adversity, trials, persecution, and affliction, the Lord stands in the midst of us in the heat of turbulence.

Zech 13:7-9 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.

In the last days, we must continue to build our character to be able to withstand the persecution and adversity coming upon the Body of Christ.

Do not let the current climate environment, condition or circumstances intimidate or scare you. Remember who you are in Christ. Remember what He has brought you through during your wilderness season.

You serve a mighty God who is the creator of Heaven and earth. The Lord will never leave you or forsake you.

Regardless of gossip, slander, jealousy, envy, hatred, anger, shame, embarrassment or ridicule, the Lord has proven himself faithful in the wilderness. Through the wilderness, you learned how to fight the enemy. You were raised up in a boot camp for such a time as this.

Do not allow your focus to become blurred by the confusion of the time. You have an arsenal of admonition which is the Word of God. You can take down every attack of the enemy with the power of prayer, entering the courts with thanksgiving with praise and worship, studying the Bible and by the word of your testimony.

Never underestimate the God you serve. In the midst of the fire, the Father is training you for battle and shielding you from being scorched. You will be able to withstand the heat and pressure of spiritual warfare.

Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

I am reminded of the days when smoking was allowed in public spaces. I would always hate when I came home and smelled like cigarette smoke. The cigarette smoke lingered on my clothes until they were washed.

As a child of God, we stand in the midst of the fire and we are not coming out smelling like smoke. We will not look like what we have been through. The Lord is our sustained hope and protector. He will shield us from the fiery darts of the enemy.


In the Fiery Furnace

fire flame
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them Dan 3:27

Dan 3:17-30

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. 27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.


Confidence in Your Christ-Centered Identity

When you understand your identity in Christ, you realize your supernatural power and authority is a reflection of Jesus Christ. He provides you with the confidence to face opposition and persecution.

You have stability to dwell in uncomfortable environments or deal with difficult people Jesus provides the wisdom to maneuver the plans, schemes and plots of the enemy. His shield of protection covers every dart – whether words or actions from the enemy. You are not concerned about what people think or say but what the Lord has spoken, shown you and delivered you from. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.

The Character of Christ

Jesus was not timid, weak or quiet. He was a man who challenged the Pharisees with only one question that had them puzzled and confused.


Luke 20:1-8

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.


He overthrew the tables and destroyed the temple when he found out they turned the church into a den of thieves instead of a house of prayer. Matt 21:12

Jesus was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isaiah 53:7


There are three words that come to mind when going through adversity.

The Patience in Longevity

When you are going through any trial in life, you need to embrace the patience in longevity. It’s a season of uncomfortable testing of your character that shapes and molds you while you face difficult situations and circumstances.

It is in time to draw close to the Lord in solitude. It’s a time to draw close in communications prayer with the Lord. It’s not the time to manipulate the problem that is blocking your way but to stand in the midst of the fire where the Lord performs His perfect work in you despite how you may feel.

His timing is not our own so you cannot rush the process of growth. You must learn to grasp the power of longevity ad focus on building your faith in God. Whether it be three months, six months or ten or twenty years, you have to keep your eyes focused on the Lord and learn as much as possible about Jesus during the season of testing and throughout your entire life.

The Pressure of Persistence

When you’re in the fire, you must apply the pressure of persistence. There will be resistance but when you constantly complain or murmur it only prolongs the trial.

When you apply the pressure of persistence, you strengthen the core of your inner man. You push forward regardless of your emotions. You may feel like giving up at times but if will fuel yourself with hope, you will find the strength to move forward. Without hope you fall short into despair and discouragement.

When you reflect on how the Lord delivered you from past situations, it provides you with the hope and faith to keep moving forward and you are less likely to focus on your current situation because you have a Godly assurance that God is working everything out for your highest good.

You may not understand why you may be going through it at the time, but in due season it will be revealed and it will all make sense.

The Grit of Endurance

Withstanding the fire of affliction for a long season produces the enormity of endurance. As a child of God, this is a training ground for the persecution coming upon the saints of the Body of Christ. As the temperature rises, you will need to have strength to endure the mocking, ridicule, hatred, judgement and slander. Are you afraid to stand alone? Do you appease men or appease God?


And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. Dan 1:5

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Dan 1:8

15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. Dan 1:15


During any trial, the enemy uses schemes, plots and devices to cause confusion and division. He is a lover of death and destruction. He is very crafty and uses trickery but he is not creative. He will use the same attacks repeatedly to wear out the saints.

The Father is the only creator. The Lord is creative with all-knowing omniscient power. The Lord stands with you in the fiery trial of testing. The strength lies within resting in the Lord. It’s allowing the Lord to work through you and to continue filling your spirit with the Word of God. Praise is a weapon that surrounds your atmosphere with the Power of God. It cleanses the demonic forces of depression, sadness, despair, confusion and fear.

When you wait on the Lord, He is working behind the scenes so continue with prayer which is the ultimate relationship needed to endure the testing of your faith.

Whatever we may face in the coming days or months – disease and pestilence, war and human injustice, spiritual warfare, economic collapse, famine and persecution, we must not lose heart in our trials. We will be strengthened in the Lord if we do not grow weary in the faith.

The breath of the Lord will be the wind that carries the Body of Christ to perform His purposes and plans in the earth until he returns.

Endure. Endure. Endure…until the end.

Prayer for Strength and Power

Father, thank you Lord for being the head of my life. For standing with me in the fiery furnace of life and protecting and shielding me from the evil one who strives against my soul. Lord, be my defender and provide the strength, hope, and faith to endure the attacks of the enemy. You said in your word that you give me the power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing will by any means harm me. You hold all power in your hands. I receive the same power through the Lord Jesus Christ to crush the head of the enemy under my feet with all authority and power. I give you all praises and glory to the King of Kings and the Lords of Lords. I seal this prayer in the precious Blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Bible References

Psalm 91:1-2

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

Eph 3:20

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

I Corth 2:5

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Phil 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Phil 4:13

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Gal 4:29

29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

I Thess 2:4

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

I Thess 5:14

14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

I Thess 1:4-5

Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

2 Corth 4:6-17

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.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Deut 6:17-18

17 Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.

18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.

Deut 9:7

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.

Deut 6:12-15

12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;

15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Deut 6:18

18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers.

Deut 6:21

21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:

Deut 1:30

30 The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

Romans 16:20

20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Exodus 15:3-4

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Exodus 15:8-11

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Exodus 14:14

14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Book of Philemon v. 21

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Eph 1:21-23

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Isaiah 55:11

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Be Still

I hope you are finding peace in the midst of chaos. Just remember, Jesus slept on a boat in the middle of the storm. O ye, of little faith.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

The Healing Garden: How to Find Beauty in a World of Chaos

Often we miss opportunities to capture the reality of the beauty that surrounds us because we are too caught up in our busyness. It takes a conscious effort to take notice of the little miracles and unlimited beauty that unfolds all around us.

Whether you live in a city, suburb or in the country, we are part of a collection of beauty.  Embrace the kaleidoscope of color that is found in a field of flowers or the silent whistle of leaves on a tree. Take notice of the backdrop under the night lite sky or a chiseled, sculpture of an architectural work of art in the heart of the city. Observe the colorful personalities that make up the tapestry of a community or region. Listen to the city rhythms of sirens, horns, or loud conversations. Gaze upon the choreography of weaving traffic.

When we embrace our natural environments and even our own circumstances, we release tension, resistance and stress. We can transform how we see our world. In the midst of chaos, it can be a place of acceptance and harmony.

It’s realizing that although we can’t change every area of annoyance and distraction in our lives, we can learn to perceive the discomfort through a different lens. We might be contained within our boundaries but understanding that things will eventually change because life is constantly evolving and shifting. 

Grounding yourself in peace is a life skill that only comes by a relationship with the Lord.

There is also healing that takes place when we don’t build up a resistance to it. Whether in solitude or a bustling crowd of people, we can find our center which surrounds us in peace and tranquility.  Just by taking a moment to pause, we can capture our lives in motion instead of a selfie.

There is beauty in living in the moment. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Scripture Readings:

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Prov 19:21

I saw a man who had no family, no son or brother. He always worked hard but was never satisfied with what he had. He never asked himself, “For whom am I working so hard? Why don’t I let myself enjoy life?” This also is very sad and useless. Eccl 4:8 (NCV)

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:4-21

For unto us a Child is born

For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

The conception and birth of Jesus is a miraculous event that provided the gift of salvation for all people.

From the time of Christ’s birth, Jesus was sought after to be destroyed by authorities and rulers of nations. King Herod, the ruler of Jerusalem commanded the wise men to find Jesus and tell him where he was born so he could come and worship him. However, King Herod was full of deceit.

The wise men were guided by a star in the east. After the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, where they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they were told by an angel in a dream not to go back to Herod. Perhaps the wise men were called wise because they heard and obeyed the divine voice of God through a dream.  The wise men never returned to Bethlehem but went in a different direction so authorities would not follow them.

Once King Herod found out about Jesus’ birth by the city officials, the king ordered to slaughter all male children under the age of two years. Mary and Joseph had to flee Bethlehem.  It must have been a horrific sight to experience and witness the slaughter of innocent children.

Jesus’ birth was full of uncertainty from where to stay prior to his birth to where to go after his birth. Through the chaos and discord, Mary and Joseph were divinely protected and led to the city called Nazareth. This is where Jesus resided until his ministry began. Throughout his ministry, there were many interruptions of persecution, rejection, rivalry, opposition, and strife.

In a dark world, then and now, Jesus is the everlasting light. Jesus is known as, Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of peace.  In a world of lost hope and despair, Jesus provides all that we need as we walk in obedience to his word. The Son of God was given as a free gift to deliver us from a life of sin and death.

One-touch from God transforms a life. From sickness to healing, chaos to peace, fear to faith, failure to victory, weakness to strength, unbelief to trust and many other opposing afflictions changes course or direction through faith and prayer.

His love is unconditional, despite our faults and failures. Through our trials and tribulations, the Lord is working to manifest His nature within us. We are made in his image and we’re a reflection of his light. Where there is light, no darkness can reside.  We are many members and one body. I Corinth 12:12-26

Let us hold onto hope, joy, peace, and strength.  For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Act 17:28  Emmanuel, God is with us. Matt 1:23

Beginning with his birth and infinite, life never-ending Resurrection: It’s an eternal love that is the greatest gift of them all.

peace-1815714_1280-1_edited

The Lord gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Scripture References

Matthew 1 and 2

Luke 2:8-20

I Corinth 12:12-26

Acts 17:28

John 3:16

 

America is facing an Identity Crisis

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. Matt 12:25

America is on fire and on the brink of eminent change. The gradual breakdown of injustice, inequality, intimidation, fear and unrest is a direct result of consistently sweeping issues under the rug over a period of time. If one does not learn from past lessons, one is destined to repeat the same cycle until the lesson is learned.

Every system and organization is collapsing. It is like throwing water on a grease fire. The political, educational, social, financial, economical, religious structures is facing a definite crisis that we have never experienced before in our lifetime.

When a nation loses its identity, they will fall for anything and stand for nothing. Our country has become complacent in their value and moral systems, they pacify their true identity and characteristics of what it takes to build a strong, healthy and viable society.  Just like a family structure, a family breaks down without unity. The family becomes fragmented resulting in discord, chaos, confusion, disorder and division.

There has been a continuous phase of splintered systems for the past few decades. In 2008, a paradigm shift began.  Lives have been shaken and transformed.

This is a time of great exposure. The Lord is revealing the corruption, greed, bribery and scandals on every level.  Even the use of social media is exposing all levels of chaos and corruption. It is webbing perspectives, viewpoints and communication for a greater understanding and higher purpose. Truth is smacking us in the face in every direction. However, this is not a time to walk in fear.

We must take a hard look at possible solutions to correct the ways of humanity.

When a society continues to live in complacency and ignore or hide behind reality eventually the ultimate issues will surface until they are dealt with.  The act of violence is raging in our communities just like a fire ignites and accelerates.

This shift is inclusive to accepting man’s ways instead of God’s ways. There is an escalation of lawlessness and fraud when good is considered evil and evil is considered good.

When morals, values, justice and integrity starts to breakdown in society, the structure disintegrates as a whole. The moral fabric that knits us together begins to unravel.

Each one of us has a specific function in the Body of Christ and in society. When a body is healthy, it operates in unity. Each part is designed to complete and carry out a specific task or function. One cannot operate without the other to work properly. As a whole, the purpose is manifested.

As an ambassador for Christ, you are called to walk in love and obedience with integrity, respect and honor. We are made in God’s image which is holy and pure.

These occurrences did not happen overnight. It is now midnight in America. As the masses walk in chaos, fear, intimidation, worry and pain, the children of God’s elect must shine His light in the center of darkness. We must speak out for justice. Let us not walk in anger but in love.

Whatever capacity of Godly influence you have, it’s time to occupy that space. It’s long overdue. The Father is unfolding His plans and purposes in our lives. Let us pray for discernment and wisdom to answer the call.

Much like a caterpillar, transformation is an ugly process, however through each stage a beautiful butterfly emerges. Let us focus on the beautiful qualities and characteristics that the Lord possesses which will guide and lead us into our true identity in Christ and let us mirror His image in the world.

Prayer

Lord, I seek your wisdom and discernment to lead others to Christ. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn so deep within me that your flames spark the hearts and transform the minds of men.

Lord, let us discern truth and dismantle lies in all areas of our lives. Help us to appoint humble and noble leadership in the decisions we face in our nation and for our future. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture References

Power

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:29

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Act 1:8

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power Eph 1:17-19

Emotions

13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. Psalm 94:13

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:8

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15

Walking in Love

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Col 3:12-14

Wisdom

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

Prov 2:1-5

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Psalm 111:10

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Prov 1:5

Courage

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deut 31:6

13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. I Corth 16:13

Integrity

26 Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

Psalm 26:1-5

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Prov 11:2-3

Submission to Authority

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Rom 13:1

44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. Psalm 119:44-45

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. I Sam 15:23

Encouragement

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Coth 1:3-4

The Greatest Christmas Presence

During this season, we are busy preparing for the biggest day of the year: Baking cookies, stringing lights on the tree, attending Christmas parties, going shopping, and wrapping presents.

Christmas can also be a very depressing and lonely time of the year for many. While family and friends gather together, many are left alone. Others are left without gifts, food, or shelter. Others may have lost a loved one and Christmas is just not the same anymore.  It can crush someone’s spirit when they don’t feel joy and cannot celebrate as others do.

Jesus cares. It’s through Him that we share His same spirit to help and assist one another in life. A kind word, a hug, a listening ear, a warm touch, or simply a smile can heal unspoken wounds or silent tears.

Jesus is with you in the most desperate of times. His name, “Emmanuel” means God with us. Yes, we may ignore his presence when everything is going great in our lives, but He never leaves us regardless if we acknowledge him or not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him. He is patient and kind and loves us more than we will ever know.

Through all the exciting festivities, I challenge you to take time out during the holiday season to focus on the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ. The Lord sent His Son for our salvation which is the greatest gift in the world. His presence is forever with us. We are part of His heavenly family once we acknowledge Him and accept Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

I-pads, tablets, iPhones, the latest video games, or flat-screen TVs will never compare. Jesus is the greatest Christmas presence ever known.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”  Luke 2:14