21. November 2017 · Comments Off on WHEN THERE’S NO REASON TO KEEP HOPING · Categories: Faith, God's Plan, Hope, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised… (Romans 4:18 AMP).

Beloved, many years ago, I remember when one of the TV stations in the UK aired the Bible series featuring some of the Bibles main characters. One of such characters was Abraham and it was so interesting to watch him go through all the motions and all the family drama as he waited on the Lord for the promise of a son. The classic for me was him cooling off under a tree after parting ways with his other son, Ishmael. This was after the Lord had told him to listen to his wife to send Ishmael away, only to hear the Lord’s voice again. I couldn’t help but laugh to see his reaction when he heard the Lord’s voice again. It was like hearing His voice seemed dreadful to him; “What are You going to put me through this time? HAVE I NOT SHOWN YOU ENOUGH FAITH AND OBEDIENCE?” and I like that the narrator said Abraham had learnt that to be chosen by God is a blessing and a test. He must continue to prove his faith again and again. Unfortunately, we always like the blessing but we don’t like the process.

Beloved, it was really interesting to watch all the emotions Abraham went through; the confusion, the frustration; the anxiety and even depression as he waited on the Lord but it all ended in laughter.

The reason I am sharing this story is that, for many of us, we are living this out in reality. This is the season when many people start getting depressed because they feel that there’s no hope in sight but let’s remember that like our feature text says, Abraham had no reason to keep hoping. His wife even tried to talk him out of it but he kept hearing the Lord’s voice and so kept on hoping… And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him (Hebrews 6:15 AMP).

Beloved, hope, which is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen, is a crucial step in the process of receiving from God because we have to hope for something in order to apply faith; faith being… the confidence that WHAT WE HOPE FOR WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). For Abraham, he couldn’t see any human reason for hope but he did not give up. He kept on expecting and it was wonderful to see the expression on his face as he finally held that promise in his hands.

Beloved, if the Lord is speaking to you today, don’t dread His voice. ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST. It is my prayer that the Lord will visit you and meet all your expectations and… crown the year with a bountiful harvest (Psalm 65:11 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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20. November 2017 · Comments Off on ALL HOPE ISN’T LOST · Categories: Faith, God's Plan, Hope, Jesus Christ, Promise, Trusting God

“Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “NO, MY LORD!” SHE CRIED. “O MAN OF GOD, DON’T DECEIVE ME AND GET MY HOPES UP LIKE THAT.” (2 Kings 4:16 NLT)

Beloved, if you’ve never been in a situation where you’ve waited and waited for something and nothing happened, then you won’t understand where this lady is coming from but I’m sure the rest of us totally understand.

My brother once told me a story of a grown man who waited for a very long time for a bus out in the cold London winter weather and when the bus eventually came, this man got on it and started to sob. “Why are you crying, sir?” “I waited and waited and waited for the bus to come but it didn’t come”, he said. Aren’t you on the bus now? LOL. But why was this grown man crying? It’s because there’s something about hoping and waiting for long periods of time that just doesn’t sit well with us.

We are told of this wealthy Shunammite woman. In a specific aspect of her life, she had concluded that all hope was lost. But what might have shattered her HOPE?

The bus just wasn’t coming. Over and over again, she had repeatedly failed in the area of childbearing. Each time the pregnancy test results came back with a negative, a little bit of her hope was chipped away until there was nothing left. The Bible says… Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12 NLT). Again, if you haven’t experienced long delays, you won’t understand. For this woman, it reached a point that, instead of morning sickness, she experienced a sickness in the heart as her hope was deferred time after time. So, she decided this is too painful. I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve got to stop this. She gave up because it was way easier to carry on without this expectation than to remain vulnerable and left heartbroken each time.

Also, with her husband being old, their natural conditions were no longer favourable. So naturally speaking, hoping was just a waste of time. What’s the point?

But then she looked to other things to fill the void (2 Kings 4:13). At least, I’m comfortable in other aspects of life. I’m wealthy and influential. Maybe God doesn’t want me to have a child that’s why he has blessed me in the other areas. That’s always our way of anesthetizing the pain. She took her hope of ever having a child, locked it up in a box and threw it into the sea, never to be retrieved and now addresses the prophet as a liar. No! The devil is a liar because… sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year, she had a son, just as Elisha had said (2 Kings 4:17 NLT).

Beloved, THE BUS CAME and that’s because God doesn’t go by our emotions or by natural laws. ALL HOPE WASN’T LOST. Dare to hope again?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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13. November 2017 · Comments Off on RECEIVE STRENGTH FOR YOUR WEARINESS · Categories: Grace, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power. Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary They will walk and not grow tired (Isaiah 40:29-31 AMP).

Beloved, ever watched the movie “The Life of Pi”? It’s a story of a young boy who was travelling with his parents from India to Canada by sea but unfortunately experienced a shipwreck. With parents dead, he survives 227 days after the shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a tiger.

He struggled to make it to the end after devising a strategy to ensure the tiger didn’t have him for dinner while he himself was starving. However, with the end in sight, he made this profound statement… “By the time we reached the Mexican shore, I was afraid to let go of the boat. My strength was gone. I was so weak. I was afraid that in two feet of water, so close to deliverance, I would drown…”

Beloved, the water was shallow. Only two feet; that was the safest part of his journey but his strength almost failed him and most times, the toughest times in life are not at the beginning of the fight. Then you’ve still got energy. However, when you’ve been in an intense battle for too long, your strength starts to fail you.

After been hit one blow after another, if not careful, you begin to give in to the little things. The great prophet Elijah ran away from a lady after the great battles he had won… Elijah was afraid and ran for his life… He came to a broom bush, sat down under it AND PRAYED THAT HE MIGHT DIE. “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, LORD,” HE SAID. “TAKE MY LIFE; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:3-4 NIV)

Same thing with Samson. After many battles, he too said Lord… “LET ME DIE with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived (Judges 16:30 NIV).

Beloved, unrelenting battles have a way of draining you but that’s why you are to… put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm (Ephesians 6:13 NLT).‎ The end of the year and even your battle is in sight. Don’t give up now. Why not pray for the Lord’s strength and grace to keep standing? Jesus says… “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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09. November 2017 · Comments Off on LET GO OF THE PAST AND MOVE ON INTO YOUR FUTURE · Categories: Action, Decision making, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

Beloved, the Lord says in our feature text that He has plans to give you a future and a hope. This talks about our future but the fact is that many of us have a past and for some, it’s a struggle to let go of that past. However, in order to transition and move forward, it is very important that you leave some things behind else you would be stuck between two seasons and can’t really move forward. You need to understand that God is a moving God so please don’t get stuck in the past. He knows the things that have happened to you and would want you to know that it’s not the end. People come and go but His plan continues.

He said to Joshua… “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them (Joshua 1:2 NLT). He said to Samuel… “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king” (1 Samuel 16:1 NLT).

Beloved, why do we tend to cry over who or what the Lord has rejected for us? If God didn’t want you to have it, then you definitely don’t want it/him/her. If He says NO, then don’t get stuck behind that closed door. Move on and see what He has planned. After David’s adultery, He prayed and fasted for the child to stay alive but it didn’t work. However, David was quick to let go and… then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child (2 Samuel 12:24 NLT). That child happened to be King Solomon.

As Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples didn’t know what to do without Him in their midst, so they stood there staring into empty space… As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!” (Acts 1:10-11 NLT)

Beloved, it’s not the end. The Lord’s plan continues but some of us are bent on standing behind a closed door. However, God wants you to let go and move on to see the door that is open in front of you. Stop being bitter and angry over what has happened. Move on and see what’s ahead. As you do so, I pray you run into the exceedingly, abundantly above all that you can ever ask or think.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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After going a little farther, He fell to the ground [distressed by the weight of His spiritual burden] and began to pray that if it were possible [in the Father’s will], the hour [of suffering and death for the sins of mankind] might pass from Him. He was saying, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You; take this cup [of judgment] away from Me; but not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:35-36 AMP)

Beloved, using yesterday’s message as backdrop, I remember when someone was telling me that they were truly tired of praying for a situation they were facing and the question is what do you do when you’ve prayed, you’ve fasted, you’ve done everything you know how to do but the mountain is not moving? Like Jesus said to the Father in our feature text, “all things are possible for You” so, why is this situation not changing?

Yes, all things are possible for the Lord but there are some crosses you may have to carry for a while to achieve a greater purpose. This was exactly what I told this person and someone else confirmed it. Not easy to hear but God surely is working out a greater testimony.

Beloved, when you find yourself in such situations, does that mean God has left you to your own devise? Absolutely not! In the case of Jesus, we read that while He was wrestling with the reality that He had to carry His cross… there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him in spirit (Luke 22:43 AMP). I like the way the Message translation put it… “Father, remove this cup from Me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” AT ONCE AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN WAS AT HIS SIDE, STRENGTHENING HIM.

Strength was what was needed. So, as you submit to the will of God; “Father, give me the strength to carry this cross” is the prayer that is needed.

We also see the same sort of thing happening to Apostle Paul. When going through his own trial, he said… Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV).

Beloved, Grace was what was needed. “Father, give me the grace to go through this and come out stronger and wiser” is the prayer that is needed because… we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Beloved, this is one of those messages or Scriptures that we don’t like to hear about but unfortunately, we can’t erase it from the Bible, so whatever it is that the Lord may be asking you to endure for a season… let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing (James 1:4 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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01. November 2017 · Comments Off on NOT MY WILL BUT YOU WILL · Categories: Choices, Decision making, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Trusting God

Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:35-36 NIV)

Beloved, yesterday I had the opportunity of visiting the garden of Gethsemane, the place in our feature text where after struggling with His flesh, Jesus had to surrender His will to His Father’s will. We were asked to spend some time in prayer in this garden and for me, it was a moment where I had to give the Lord a fresh ‘Yes’. I had the opportunity to ask for whatever I needed but, it was a moment where I knew I had to say; Lord, not what I will, but what You will and there’s just this peace that comes with knowing that you have reached or are getting to a place in your spiritual journey where you are open to the will of the Lord, trusting that… though He slay me, yet will I wait for and trust Him (Job 13:15 AMPC). Yes, it’s not always easy but the keyword is ‘trusting’ that all things would always work out for your good (Romans 8:28).

Beloved, I did my MA dissertation on the Fatherhood of God and I remember reading as part of my research where someone said one of the characteristics of mature sons of God is that they are all about the Fathers will. This is what we read about Jesus when He says… Then I said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God—[to fulfill] what is written of Me in the volume of the Book (Hebrews 10:7 AMPC). We also see that Jesus teaches us to pray in this manner. He says… Pray, therefore, like this: OUR FATHER Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Your kingdom come, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (Matthew 6:9-10 AMPC).

YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN…

Beloved, those of us that call Him Father ought to know that our mandate here on earth is to carry out the will of our Father as it is in heaven and this is one of the most common verses quoted by many of us but like someone once said, in many cases, when we say Lord, let Your will be done, what we mean is let Your will be done as far as it is according to my will.

Beloved, Jesus said… My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work (John 4:34 AMPC) and I wonder whether we are at that place where our motivation is about doing the Fathers will. I’ve come across quite a few tour guides in Israel who have said they are working for their Father and you can just see the passion with which they do what they do and they are proud to tell you all about this family business. So, the question is what about you?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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30. October 2017 · Comments Off on THE LORD HAS ONLY THE BEST IN MIND FOR YOU‏ · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Thoughts, Trusting God

On that day I lifted up My hand and swore to them to bring them out of the land of Egypt to a land that I had SEARCHED OUT for them, flowing with milk and honey, [a land] which is an ornament and a glory to all lands (Ezekiel 20:6 AMPC).

Beloved, as I was reading‎ this verse, the phrase that stood out to me was ‘SEARCHED OUT’. This means the Lord took His precious time to search out the best of the land for His children. Isn’t that amazing? The New Living Translation says… a land I had DISCOVERED AND EXPLORED for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere.

DISCOVERED AND EXPLORED… Isn’t that amazing? It just goes to show you the Lord’s desires for us.

I remember someone who just became a born-again Christian being so afraid to pursue her dreams and when I asked her why, she said it was because she didn’t want the Lord to be angry with her. She said it and I was left thinking; “What are you on about? What impression have you really got about the Lord?”

The Bible says… Beloved, I pray that in every way YOU MAY SUCCEED AND PROSPER and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually] (3 John 2 AMP)?

This means the Lord wants you to prosper. However, what He doesn’t want is for you to make idols of things. We read in the Bible where concerning the Israelites, the Lord said… Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’ (Ezekiel 20:7 NLT). This is where your desires have to be in alignment with His. Hence the reason He says… Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart (Psalm 37:4 AMP). This means the Lord will plant His desires for you in your heart.

‎I remember listening to someone saying what the things they have now is working for them but the day they start working for those things, then those things would have to go. In order words, don’t let the things that you possess possess you.

Beloved, it is only a religious spirit that would make you think that the Lord doesn’t want you to prosper but you must break that religious spirit. Don’t limit yourself… For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).

Please know today that the Lord has only the best in mind for you… For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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27. October 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T ALLOW YOUR HEART TO BE SICK · Categories: Healing, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Thoughts, Trusting God

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12 AMP).

Beloved, I am currently posting this from Israel and just before I left the UK, I asked a friend for her prayer request which she sent. However, as I read through it, I realised that she had left out a particular item that we had been praying about. So, I sent her a message saying “what about so, so, so?” and this is what she sent me;

“Sis I will not ask God again. I realise I have always prayed for it but even the things I prayed and begged God not to let happen, all happened. What more can I do? It has caused me too much pain, shame and all. Maybe I should just let go”.

I read what she sent and replied back saying; “your heart has gone cold”. Our feature text says… our heart becomes sick when our hope has been deferred; when it seems like the Lord isn’t even hearing you. And then, that thing becomes too painful to even think about, so we bury it away.

We chatted some more and ended the conversation in the typical “it is well” Christianese fashion but then, realising how emotional our conversation must have left her, I sent her a message saying “Don’t you dare cry” but I knew it was almost impossible and even insensitive to ask that of her.

She replied back saying “Every time I talk about it, I cry. How can I keep asking God for what makes me cry all the time?”

Hmmm… Beloved, is this how you are feeling right now? I don’t always claim to have the answers. I also have my own “what is God up?” questions and yes, I know there are times things can get very overwhelming but even as I type this message, two songs dropped in my spirit;

The first is; “Praise Him in Advance” by Marvin Sapp with lyrics that say… “I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around, God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy… I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing, they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away”.

The second is “He’s Able” by Deitrick Haddon with lyrics that say… “God is able to do just what He said He would do… He’s gonna fulfill every promise to you… Don’t give up on God, cause He won’t give up on you… He’s able”.

Beloved, don’t allow your heart to be sick… whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart] (Philippians 4:8 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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26. October 2017 · Comments Off on I NEED TO OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF‏‏ · Categories: Faith, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘IF YOU CAN’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I DO BELIEVE; HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF!” (Mark 9:21-24 NIV)

I DO BELIEVE; HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF…

Beloved, still on the issue of unbelief, this is one of those stories where one has to laugh when you read it and know that the Lord is speaking to you. This is a man that could have decided to be very religious or spiritual and just say, yes, I believe but I like that he was honest and I believe what he was saying was… Yes, I generally do believe and in this case, I want to believe but I am struggling so please help me overcome my unbelief because I seriously don’t know. Kind of similar to when Ezekiel said the Lord asked him… “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.” (Ezekiel 37:3 NLT)

Beloved, there are things you don’t argue about. Who are you fooling? Rather, than pretend, just go before the Lord and say… I know that I am meant to believe you concerning this situation and in theory, I do believe that everything is possible for the one who believes but to be honest, in this case, I am struggling to see how things could possibly turn out well, so please help me overcome my unbelief.

Simple honesty… that’s what this is. If we believed 100%, there would be no worry in us. Surely, we would know that there’s nothing to worry about. We would just spend every minute praising and thanking God but there are times when the situation takes the better of us. That’s when we become overwhelmingly anxious, but we are told repeatedly to… Rejoice in the Lord always… Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV).

Beloved, are you struggling to believe the Lord for something? I like the portion of the Bible where Jesus told Peter… I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail… (Luke 22:32 NIV). Isn’t it reassuring that Jesus is there to help us? Do you need to be honest with Him and ask for help to overcome your unbelief? Why not make it your prayer then?

Oh Lord… Help me overcome my unbelief‏.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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25. October 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T BE DOUBLE-MINDED · Categories: Choices, Decision making, Faith, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8 NKJV).

Beloved, if I’m honest, our feature text was one of those verses in the Bible I didn’t really like very much. It was a verse that when I read it, it made me want to try and find a way to freeze my thoughts when they were positive and full of faith so that I’m always able to present it as what stands as my evidence of faith for what I was believing the Lord for. It was more like saying, “Lord, this is the state of mind ‎I’m in agreement with so, please disregard everything else that comes from this feeble mind of mine.

Beloved, I’m thinking of the father who brought his son to Jesus saying, “help us, if You can.” But… Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do BELIEVE; help [me overcome] my UNBELIEF.” (Mark 9:23-24 AMPC)

How can BELIEVE and UNBELIEF be going on in one person’s mind all at the same time? However, many of us are like Peter who said… “Lord, if it’s really You, tell me to come to You, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the STRONG WIND AND THE WAVES, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:28-31 NLT)

Peter stepped out full of faith because His focus was on Jesus. However, when He took His focus off Jesus and started looking at the things happening around him, faith turned into fear; belief turned into unbelief. He began to doubt and like James tells us about a double-minded person, he became like a wave in the sea, blown up and down [driven and tossed] by the wind.

Beloved, I started by saying there was a time I wished I could find a way to freeze my positive thoughts. Do you know there’s a way to do that? The Bible says… looking away from all that will distract us and focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity]… (Hebrews 12:2 AMPC). The NIV Translations say… fixing our eyes on Jesus.

That’s the way to avoid being double-minded… FIXING our eyes on Jesus at all times.

Shalom!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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