The best life is a God First life

Category: Burdens

Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

While it’s true that we need to prepare and be prepared, it does absolutely no good to worry. Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health).

With or without worry, we will still have to navigate through each day’s trouble on that day. While this seems easier said than done, all things are possible with God. The key is to be “In Christ” and allow the God of all comfort to be with us in every trial.

Include God in everything: Pray

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
  • Matthew 6:34 (worry)
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (turn burdens over)
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:16–18 (response)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Comfort)

In Christ

  • Grace:Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith:Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance:2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess:Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin:Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

God First!

Beauty In The Wake of Storms

There is great beauty in the wake of the storms; the loss of life is horrible, The destruction of property, livelihoods, and displacement of families is heart-wrenching, yet we find great beauty shining through the masses doing all they can to help. It’s in these troubled times that we get to see what’s really at the hearts of most people. They are not concerned with the color of your skin, your beliefs, or how you live your daily lives, no! They come together performing searches, opening their homes, businesses, church buildings, etc. They come to rebuild; they gather and send supplies for storm victims from all over our nation to help out.

In the Wake of Storms, mankind acts with compassion, concern, and love for one another. This is the America of the masses. The America that cares about people, about the well-being of those hurting and in need.

This is where we see America’s greatness and the love we have for one another that’s truly at our very core.

It’s here we see the love of God in and through the people acting in unity.

God First!

It’s “My Life” I’ll live it like, I want!

“It’s “My Life” I’ll live it like, I want!” What teenager hasn’t made a similar statement. What adult has never said a similar statement? Few, I’m sure. Before COVID-19, when entering worship, someone often handed out a list of prayer requests gathered by those working in prison ministry.

Later, when reading the request before praying for them, I noticed a high percentage of those requests from prisoners were for loved ones. Many seemed concerned about how their absence via incarceration had caused hurt, physical stress, pain, and financial burdens, negatively affecting those that love them: their parents, wives, children, grandparents, etc.

While behind bars, the concern for loved ones seems to be at the forefront of their minds. I don’t know what got these people in prison, but I do know; our actions affect those we love, and we should consider that when we start thinking, “it’s my life, I’ll do what I want.

No matter what time of life we’re experiencing at this moment, young, old, or in-between, we are examples to those around us, and when we make bad choices, those choices can easily create unnecessary burdens on our loved ones.

Jesus knew what He was talking about when He commanded us to love others as He loved us. Jesus is the ultimate example for our lives, and when he walked this earth, he lived accordingly. If we follow this command to “love others as Christ loved us,” then “living our life like we want to” will mean: living our lives understanding that what we do affects those we love. Regret is avoidable!

  • John 13:34
  • Matthew 15:16
  • 1 Timothy 4:12
  • Ephesians 5:1-33
  • Romans 12:1-21

God First!

Cherishing moments each day

There are a couple of things I look forward to and cherish at the end of every day.

  1. A Peppermint Kiss

Every night, just before we go to sleep, I brush my teeth, then bid my wife goodnight with a peppermint kiss.

 2. Time with God

The time I take time to pray.

I pray for many who might read this and for many who might not. I pray for my family; and Church family. For those I know are sick or coping with loss. I pray for our leadership and our country and for those who do not know God. I pray for the elders of our congregation that they make good decisions on how to best shepherd the flock and spread the message of Christ. I also pray for the preachers and the teachers in the Lord’s Church to successfully study and share God‘s Word, according to God’s Word. Finally, of course, and not lastly, I pray for my wife and thank God for my life and the blessings therein.

Take time to pray; it’s worth the effort, it’s worth the time!

God First!

What’s depression look like?

It’s not always the person that looks depressed that needs a listening ear; it could very well be the one with the biggest smile.

Scripture tells us to carry each other’s burdens. To encourage one another and build each other up. If you’re dealing with a difficult struggle, you don’t need to carry it alone. In fact, let me encourage you to share it with a trusted brother or sister in Christ. They love you! So, let them share your burdens, listen to you, pray with you, let them be there for you. Jesus Command’s us to love one another as Christ loved us. In this and many other scriptures, Jesus wants us to be there for one another; on the other hand, Satan works to make us feel alone and bring us down. Christ wants us to be prepared with the whole armor of God, That we may fight the internal spiritual fight against the unseen enemy and win.

Scripture tells us,

“humble ourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you,”

“… If God is with us, who can be against us!“

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

James 4:10, Romans 8:31, Ecclesiastes 4:12
  • Galatians 6:2 (Share burdens)
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:11 (encourage/build-up)
  • John 15:12 (Command to love)
  • 1st Peter 5:8 (satan)
  • Ephesians 6:10-20 (armor of God)

God First!

According to Thessalonians 5:17, we are to “Pray Continually” If we think about it, praying continually would mean we always include God in our decisions. Praying “prior” to making decisions (big or small), seeking “God’s will” be done rather than just doing “our will” and then praying God’s ok with it.”

When we make decisions, Do we pray for wisdom, help, and discernment before we make them? or only after we made them when we realize we need help with the results of our decision.

Is God’s will, Our will? Or, do we treat our will as if it should be, God’s will, and pray that he will help us with the repercussions of our decision?

For example, we buy a new car without praying that God helps us find the best car for our needs, then, after the fact, we find ourselves going to God praying for help on payments or repair. Of course, this is hypothetical, but maybe including God beforehand would put us into a vehicle we could afford without repairs we can’t afford.

God wants to hear from us, Pray often and pray for those things that would align with the heart of God.

( James 4:15)

God First!

Save yourself with honesty.

When good minds and hearts succumb to telling lies and being deceitful, it produces guilt, and guilt is heavy on the heart. When we choose to hide the truth rather than correct the issue with honesty, we carry unnecessary burdens. These burdens of sin allow Satan to set up residence and dwell in our minds. For example, if we lie or deceive someone (like a spouse) regarding an important matter, we carry that unresolved lie with us daily?

Sometimes, rather than confess, we tell ourselves things like ”no real harm done,” it’s better if they don’t know.” ”Why hurt them with the truth?” however, by doing so, we seal that burden of guilt in our hearts and minds, maybe for years or till death when honesty sets us free.

Our cover-up then gives Satan permanent residence in that part of our mind, and guess what? It’s not hidden from God. God knows the truth and has told us to always speak with the truth.

God hates lies!

When we fess up, confess, ask forgiveness and repent, we simultaneously kick Satan to the curb, kicking him out of that permanent dwelling we’ve furnished him in our mind. Don’t let Satan settle in, save yourself with honesty, pray, tell the truth, face the consequence and stop Satan from building a mansion in your mind as one lie leads to two, then three, then four, and many more…

The above thoughts bring to my mind the parable of unclean spirits and following scriptures.

  • John 8:34 – slave to sin
  • James 5:16 – confess
  • Matthew 12:43-45 unclean spirits
  • Philippians 4:8-9 rethink
  • Romans 1:28-32
  • John 8:32 – truth
  • Matthew 5:23-24 – Reconcile

God First!

When the pangs of life seem overwhelming

The pangs of life can seem overwhelming at times, if only for a few minutes. Our hearts may hurt and feel squeezed and empty, leaving us emotionally consumed and gasping for breath. Our shield of faith may grow heavy in our arms and, during our human weakness, be carelessly lowered, allowing the darts of evil to strike and drift us into shadows of bleak despair; however, Even in these darkest of moments, with Christ; we can overcome. We must reach out! Reach out in prayer,  reach out to our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, spend time in God’s Word and reflect on all the countless reasons we trust in the lord. Scripture tells us the closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us. If we keep God First in our lives, we have what we need to overcome even in our weakest moments.

  • Ephesians 6:16 (shield of faith)
  • 1st Peter 5:7 (cast your burden on the Lord)
  • Galatians 6:2 (share with one another)
  • James 4:8 (as we draw closer to God, he draws closer to us)
  • Matthew 11:28-30 (I will give you rest)
  • Matthew 6:33 (Seek First)

God First!

Lies are Heavy Weights that limit Happiness and Joy.

When we carry the weight of sin in our minds, are we not allowing Satan to dwell there? For example, We lie or deceive a loved one over an important matter (maybe a spouse).

We then carry the burden of that lie with us, and it haunts us from time to time. Conversations arise that remind us of our lie or cause us to repeat or expand the lie to avoid revealing the truth. Yet still, rather than confess, we tell ourselves things like ”no real harm done,” “it’s better if they don’t know.” ”Why hurt them with the truth”?

As a result, we may carry the unnecessary weight of that guilt (that God knows) in our hearts and minds for years, maybe even, to our death. 

By doing so, are we not offering Satan permanent residence in that part of our mind?
Are we not limiting our relationship with that person from being all it can be?

However, if we fess up to God, that person, ask forgiveness, and repent, are we not simultaneously kicking Satan to the curb? Kicking him out of that permanent home that we’ve furnished him in our mind. Are we not mending our hearts and minds by removing that permanent dwelling of sin?

The above thoughts bring to my mind the following scripture.

1. James 5:16 – confess

2. Matthew 12:43-45  unclean spirits

3. Philippians 4:8-9 rethink

4. Romans 1:28-32

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