The Spotlight

Spotlight

It shines upon you every day –
The spotlight of His love and grace.
Do you see it? Don’t you know
That it surrounds you everywhere you go?
The Lord Most High – He is your light
Repelling the pitch black darkness of night.
His loving favor is your strong shield
To which the darkness always must yield.

Against you the darkness cannot advance,
And it’s due to more than happenstance,
For against the light, it can’t contend.
When light shines forth brightly, darkness must end.
It’s reign is over, it simply cannot go on
In the radiance of His affection that’s sure and strong.
His spotlight protects you from all harm.
At nothing need you be alarmed.

His spotlight upon you draws the ones
Who need to hear of His marvelous Son.
They see His reflection whenever they turn towards
You, His child, made in the image of the Lord.
They want what makes you who you are,
What makes you shine brighter than all the stars.
You’re the one that they’re drawn to,
Because of His spotlight shining on you.

It makes you different, it sets you apart
From those who are lost within the dark.
You’re a child of light, a child of day,
Attracting others, lighting the way.
His unmerited favor is your defense
Against the snares of the darkness.
His spotlight shines on you every day –
His spotlight of love, His spotlight of grace.

How Do You Approach Your Relationship with God?

approach relationship god

How do you approach your relationship with God? Do you view Him as your Heavenly Father who loves you more than you can imagine, is pleased with you because of Jesus’ perfection accredited to your account, and whose grace towards you far exceeds even your worst mistakes? Or do you view Him more as a taskmaster who has a whole list of demands that you must live up to if you want gain His approval and favor?

Does it really even matter? Yes, it does! It matters very much, in fact, because how you view God and approach your relationship with Him directly affects every other area of your life!

If you are demand-focused, thinking that God requires you keep a bunch of rules perfectly if you want to be right with Him, you will probably be demanding in your relationships with others. If you have this kind of a mindset, you will likely be stressed from trying to do everything perfectly, and walk around with a constant sense of condemnation for all the ways you fall short. If, however, you realize that your relationship with God is based on what Jesus did for you rather than what you do, you will begin to experience the peace and joy that comes with this knowledge. You will find it more easy to show grace to others as you open yourself up to God’s grace. You will feel at rest and stable as you build your life upon the solid foundation of Christ’s finished work!

Check out these scriptures that share the good news of God’s amazing grace, and allow them to impact how you view God, and how approach your relationship with Him!

  • God no longer even remembers the wrong things you’ve done (Heb 8:12).
  • He has promised to never rebuke or punish you (Is 54:9).
  • He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love (Ps 103:8).
  • He saved us because of His mercy, not because of the good things we’ve done to try to be made right with Him (Titus 3:5).
  • We are freely justified by His grace (Rom 3:24).
  • We have been made right with God because Jesus took our sin upon Himself (2 Cor 5:21).
  • Our Heavenly Father does not treat us as our wrongdoings deserve (Ps 103:10).

Make Spending Time with God a Priority

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Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

At one point in the latest Kendrick Brothers movie, War Room, Miss Clara asks Elizabeth about her prayer life. Elizabeth, who is having problems in her marriage, says that she’s busy. Miss Clara comments on the fact that in spite of her busyness and lack of time for prayer, she seems to still have time to fight losing battles with her husband.

How often do we do this – get so caught up in the busyness of our lives that we neglect spending time with God? We have so much going on that we aren’t sure how to get it all done, and praying and reading the Bible are often two of the first things we let slide. Maybe you’re wondering what you’re supposed to do about it – after all, you have certain things you need to get done, and there isn’t much time left over.

The truth of the matter, however, is that we will end up finding time for whatever we consider a priority. If we prioritize spending time with God, chances are we will be able to find time to do it. The cool thing is that instead of taking time away from us, spending time with God can actually help us out in areas in which we’re struggling, including giving us the strength and energy to handle everything else well, and wisdom in how to balance it all!

Still aren’t sure why spending time with God is such a big deal? Here are some more reasons why it’s important to do so.

  • The more you spend time with Him, the more you’ll become like Him. Hang out with someone long enough, and they’ll rub off on you. Spend enough time with God, and you’ll become more like Him!
  • He knows you better than anyone else. Spending time with God is amazing, because no matter what kind of a day you’re having, He knows what you need, and how to help you!
  • You’ll find encouragement in what He has to say to you. There are days when we are in need of encouragement, and His Word is filled with uplifting, encouraging news!
  • God can give you wisdom, and tell you things you need to know, but you need to take time to listen to what He has to say.

How much importance do you place on spending time with God? Begin to make it a priority. Take the time to read God’s Word and talk to Him, and see the difference it will make in your life!

Receive Grace, and Show It Towards Others

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Photo Credit – David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

In War Room, Miss Clara asked Elizabeth, who was struggling in her marriage, if God still loved her husband after all he’d done, and if she still loved him. Elizabeth has to admit that God still loved him, and she said that she had love for him, but that it was buried under tons of frustration. Miss Clara said that in that case, what was needed was for her to show grace towards her husband. Elizabeth wasn’t so sure she wanted to show grace to him – after all, he didn’t deserve it! Miss Clara pointed out how we all desire grace and forgiveness, yet at the same time, we don’t always want them extended to others. She told Elizabeth that God not only gives us grace, but will also help us to give it to others.

When others treat you wrongly, what is your response? Is it difficult for you to forgive them? Do you feel like they aren’t deserving of grace, and a second chance?

Do you know what the amazing thing about grace is? We DON’T deserve it, yet God gives it to us anyways! That’s what grace is – being given the blessings you don’t deserve (if you deserved it, it would be payment you’ve earned, not grace). Grace is what God’s given us, and it is what He desires for us to give to others.

How can you give grace to others – particularly when it is the last thing you want to do? Usually, when we have a hard time showing grace to others, it’s because we don’t really understand or haven’t received it ourselves. You see, God offers grace (undeserved forgiveness, relationship with Him, and blessings) to each one of us, but not everyone accepts it. There are even many believers who are trying to earn God’s love and acceptance instead of just receiving His grace. You can’t give grace to others if you haven’t received it yourself!

The answer? Understand this – you don’t need to try to be good enough to please God. He isn’t counting your mistakes against you! He wants to give you His forgiveness, love, acceptance, goodness, and blessings as free gifts, regardless of anything good or bad that you’ve done. Embrace His grace! The more you begin to do so, the easier it will become to give grace to others!

God Wants You to Rest and Let Him Go to Work

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Photo credit: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films

In War Room, the latest Kendrick Brothers film that’s currently showing in theaters, Miss Clara tells Elizabeth that it isn’t her job to fix her husband, and to let God fight for her, accomplishing what only He can. Elizabeth learns that the best thing she can do is to pray for Him, and trust God with the situation. When she does this, she sees things begin to change for the better in her marriage and family life, without her even having to struggle with trying to turn them around herself!

When things aren’t going the way that we would like them to, oftentimes we will become determined to fix them on our own. We’ll do everything we can to get them back on track, yet no matter how hard we try, a great deal of the time it just isn’t enough. What else could we do that would be more effective? How about putting our trust in God and allowing Him to do what we can’t?

Do you know what God wants us to do when things aren’t going right? Instead of going to work, He wants us to rest, and let Him work on our behalf! He knows exactly what the problem is and how to solve it, but how can He do anything about what we’re facing if we’re determined to fix it on our own, and refuse to accept His help? Sometimes, the best thing that we can do is to trust in Him, rest in knowing that He’s got our back, and then when we do act, do so with His guidance.

Ironically, resting in the knowledge that God is taking care of things can sometimes be the hardest thing for us to do. It requires us to fight the urge to just take matters into our own hands. You may actually have to work at resting (Hebrews 4:11)! Though it may feel like you’re being lazy, finding rest in God doesn’t mean that you never do anything, but rather that you’re relying on Him, not yourself, and that you’re acting under His direction instead of just doing what you think would be best.

Whatever your situation may be, God wants you to rest in Him. Trust Him to take care of it for you, and let Him accomplish amazing things in your life that you never thought possible!

10 Verses to Speak Over Your Life Every Day

10 Scriptures

In a previous post, we discussed how what we believe and are constantly speaking about ourselves and our lives is what we will often see happen, and how God wants us to believe what His Word says, speak words that agree with it, and see His promises to us come to pass. How can we do this?

First of all, before you can believe God’s Word, you need to take time to find out what it says. Secondly, once you’re spending time in God’s Word, one way to speak words that agree with it is to actually take promises from it and speak them over your life. Take a verse with a promise from God that you love, and declare what it says about you on a daily basis!

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 scriptures to speak over your life every day!

Standing Before God – “Because Jesus took my sin upon Himself, I am the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Favor – “God’s favor surrounds me like a shield!” (Psalm 5:12)

Wisdom – “I ask God for wisdom, and He gives me an abundant supply of it.” (James 1:7)

Health – “Because of the stripes that Jesus received when He was whipped, I am healed.” (Psalm 53:5)

Protection – “God keeps me from every kind of harm, and watches over me.” (Psalm 121:7)

Success – “Everything I put my hand to is blessed.” (Deuteronomy 28:8)

Finances – “God blesses me abundantly, so that I have all that I need, and can be generous to others at all times.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Peace – “I am not anxious, worried, or stressed because I keep my focus on God, and He keeps me in perfect peace.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Joy – “I am not depressed or downcast because sorrow and sighing flee from me, and gladness and everlasting joy are mine.” (Isaiah 52:22)

Forgiveness – “God has forgiven me for all of my sins – so completely that He no longer even remembers them!” (Hebrews 8:12)

 

The Words We Say

The Words We Say

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that in the power of our tongue is both death and life. How can that be true? Do the words we say really make that big of a difference?

Our words can affect people more deeply than we sometimes think. They can cause great pain and harm, or they can bring healing and encouragement, all depending on what we choose to say. Ephesians 4:29 says to speak words that will build others up, not tear them down. How often do the words we speak follow those guidelines?

In a similar way, the words we choose to listen to and believe about ourselves have a great impact on our lives as well.  How often do we let the negative things that others say about and to us affect how we see ourselves – words that go directly against what God says about us, such as “You’re not good enough,”  “You’ll never measure up,” or “You don’t matter?” The devil loves it when we believe these lies. They tear us down, and make it difficult for us to experience the amazing, abundant life God has for us. Instead of listening to the negative words of others, begin to focus your attention on what God has to say about you – that you’re His cherished, treasured child, whom He loves dearly. Allow Him to build you up with words of His love and grace!

The words that we speak over ourselves impact our lives as well. God created this world with His words, and we are made in His image (Gen 1:27), so in a similar way, the words that we speak change and affect our own little world. In Mark 11:23, Jesus goes so far as to say that if anyone tells a mountain to be removed and cast into the sea, they will have what they say if they believe and do not doubt in their heart. God wants us to use this principle of believing, speaking, and seeing what we spoke come to pass to see His promises manifest in our lives. However, if we are constantly believing in and speaking a bunch of negative things, what do you think we are going to see come to pass in our lives instead?

Death and life truly are in the power of the tongue! Our words really do matter – what we say to others, whose words we choose to listen to, and what we speak over ourselves. Begin to listen to what God says about you, speak that over your life, and use your words to encourage others!

Experience Restoration

Experience Restoration

Are you going through a difficult season? Have you been facing some tough circumstances? Does it seem like nothing’s going right?

Guess what?!? There is good news! Check out what God has to say to you in His Word!

“‘The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy . . . He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy . . . I will turn their shame into praise and renown in all the earth . . . I will give you renown and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes . . .'”
Zephaniah 3:17, 18-19, NASB

No matter what you may be going through, God is with you. He is a victorious warrior, come to save you, and NOTHING’s impossible for Him! No matter what your situation, He can and will come to your rescue, if you’ll let Him. You are special to Him – valued, loved, and treasured – so much so that He rejoices over you with singing, and He desires to do a miracle in your life!

More good news? There’s nothing that’s been taken from you that God can’t restore! If you’ll trust Him, He will restore your fortunes before your very eyes!  He can replace sickness with perfect health, addiction with freedom, pain and heartache with peace, depression with joy, condemnation with His amazing grace, and shame with praise and renown. In fact, other versions of Zephaniah 3:18 say that in the very places where you’ve experienced shame, God will give you glory and praise! He will give you far more than you even began with, saving, delivering, and blessing you in a way you never even thought possible, if you’ll have faith in His willingness and ability to do so!.

If you’ve been dealing with something difficult, don’t just give up, lose hope, or think that nothing will every change. Instead, find your hope in God. Have confidence in His promises. Trust that He will turn things around, do amazing things in your life, and experience His restoration!

 

 

Receive Your Miracle

receive your miracle

Do you ever feel like you’re facing whatever it is you’re going through all alone? Does it ever seem like the situation you’re dealing with is too big even for God to handle? Do you ever wonder if He even sees what you’re struggling with, or if He does, if He is actually willing to do anything about it?

No matter what your situation, know that it definitely is NOT beyond God’s ability to take care of! How can you know this for sure? Because His Word says that NOTHING is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37), and that in fact ALL THINGS are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26)! He is more than able to handle anything that we could ever face. Your situation is not hopeless! With God, you can see any miracle which you might be in need of take place!

God is also very willing to accomplish great things on your behalf. If you’re facing a difficult situation, you are not alone. He is right there with you, ready and waiting to come to your rescue when you turn to Him. It is His desire to see you living the awesome, terrific, incredibly blessed life that His Son came to give you (John 10:10), and He wants to free you from anything that might be getting in the way of that. He is for you, not against you!

God is both willing and able to do amazing miracles in any and every area of your life, but if you want Him to do so, you need to ask Him in faith! Matthew 17:20 says that through faith, nothing will be impossible for you, and Matthew 7:8 says that if you ask, you will receive. Dare to present your requests to God, both the big and the small, with full confidence that you will see what you are asking for come to pass in your life!

Whatever you’re going through, know that you aren’t facing it on your own. God is there beside you. He will never leave you, and He both can deliver you, and desires to do so. Place your trust in Him, and receive your miracle today!

God, Your Heavenly Father

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Did you know that you have a father who is in every way the perfect parent? He loves you more than you can ever imagine, will never get angry with you (Is 54:9), and delights in giving you good things!

Regardless of your family situation, whether wonderful or not as you wish it was, I’m not talking about your earthly father. After all, even the best of earthly parents make mistakes. I’m talking about your Father in heaven!

God isn’t a stern judge, waiting to condemn you every time you fail. He isn’t just out there somewhere, totally unconcerned about and uninvolved in your everyday life. If you believe in Jesus, then God is your Heavenly Father!

As your Heavenly Father, God cares about you far more than you know, and desires what’s best for you. He wants to take care of you, if you will let Him, and use His wisdom to lead and guide you down the right path. And just like parents give good things to their children, God has many good gifts that He will give you, if you will ask (Mtt 7:11).

You don’t have to be afraid to come to God, thinking that He is going to turn you away because of the mistakes you have made. Because  Jesus gave His life for you at the cross, God has forgiven you for all the things you have done wrong, and made you able to stand before Him. As His child, you have the right to come to Him freely at any time. He actually WANTS to spend time with you! And He also deeply desires for you to get to know Him better.

Know that God is your caring Heavenly Father, who wants you to enter into a close relationship with Him. Ask Him to show you just how much He loves you. Spend time enjoying His presence!