The best life is a God First life

Category: Prayer (Page 1 of 2)

It helped me overcome stress; Maybe it could help you.

I once found myself extremely stressed as multiple concerns snuck up, combined, and weighed me down. I remember feeling so distraught and so overwhelmed I knew not what to do. Then, I decided to write down my thoughts. Not for the purpose of sharing them with others but rather to take those muddy thoughts in my mind, organize them, and put them somewhere else. (like on paper) For some reason, doing this helped me considerably to think clearer in the following days. It helped me prioritize my thoughts and clear away the mud in my mind.

I still do this from time to time. In fact; If you’re reading this, you see I share some thoughts on my website and other social media platforms but certainly, not all.

I also have found that just as important as writing down those thoughts, to begin with, Is to read them back later, even if I find that what I wrote to be nothing more than incoherent Babel, which is embarrassing if I have shared it publicly (but that doesn’t matter).

What does matter is the point: writing down my thoughts and rereading them helped me clear my mind and get the garbage out. It helped me discern the issues and separate what I could control from those out of my control.

If you’re struggling in some way, maybe writing can help you also. So, take a little time and write for yourself, even if no one but you ever reads it.

Don’t discount prayer! I highly suggest pray, then write. Maybe even write out your prayer telling God what’s on your mind. This helps you recognize those anxieties you can’t control so you can turn them over to the one who can; Jesus.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

I extend these thoughts in the hope that what’s helped me through some difficult times may help others.

God First!

Covid19 and Preparation

I’ve been enjoying life for almost 62 years, and while this may seem long to a 20-year-old, It’s very short in my mind. From time to time, I’ve seen and experienced many different Illnesses. I’ve either suffered or seen others suffer from diseases like flu, pneumonia, colds, diabetes, mono, dementia, mobility loss, hearing, eye issues, etc. I’ve lost loved ones to accidents, cancer, heart failure, liver problems. I’ve experienced a friend being murdered and know others who have lost loved ones to crime. Life is difficult at times.

Today we have the threat of Covid19, a manufactured virus that brings death and extreme anxiety as we fear the horrible pain, suffering, and loss it causes. Covid’s existence spurs division among family, friends, and countries. Many feel the need to isolate themselves and fear being around others. Hugs and closeness fade from reality into memories as fears of catching or spreading COVID reign and are adopted as the new norm.

Today, a scratchy throat, the slightest sniffle, sneeze, cough, or faintest fever insights worry and fear.

So, What do we do?

We take precautions, use hand sanitizers, wash hands, pay attention to distancing, some wear masks, and some fight over mask effectiveness. I think most who refuse mask mandates object most to the idea of governments’ abuse of power. (I’m not debating this here, just pointing it out)

All this said: I personally refuse to let fear control my life! Instead, I trust in God!

My Trust in God does not mean I will not die of this virus someday. It does not mean I will not lose loved ones to it.

One ICU nurse stated: “lt takes who it takes,” Since this is true of every ailment, it adds perspective.

I contracted Covid a few months ago, and it hit me hard. In 2019 I found myself close to death with blood clots in my lungs, and I’ve had other close calls with accidents. The fact is; We are going to die of something someday, and none of us know when.

So, what actions should we be taking? And what do I mean by “Trust in God”?

Some dare blame God for this evil virus, but no evil comes from God; evil is Satan’s territory. Some blame God for the death of loved ones. However, death is certain, and as stated earlier, “none of us know when,” so; rather than blame, why not prepare? How? By learning, sharing, and teaching others about Jesus. Jesus is the pathway to an eternal life where death, sickness, and pain have no existence. None!

This life is not the end; it’s the beginning!

When we are “In Christ,” We take advantage of the grace God has extended, our sins have been forgiven, and our forever home is with God. If we are in Christ and pursue a Christ-like life, we can live without fear of death. So why worry? In Christ, we can count it all joy; in James 5:16, God points out the prayers of the righteous avails much so let us live fully using our time to pursue righteousness and have our prayers well heard. There is great comfort in the confidence that our loved ones went on to paradise from this earth.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Always be prepared

  • Matthew 24:36-51 (No one Knows the Day or Hour)
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (Fight the good fight)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (God of all Comfort)
  • Philippians 4:4-7 (The Peace of God)

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
  • Confession: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!

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!

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

Painful Anniversaries

Some anniversaries are heartwrenching as we recall moments in time that shattered our hearts, such as; terrible life-changing accidents or the passing of loved ones. August was once a month of celebrated births for our family but now includes the dates of painful loss that tears at our very being. One August, I found myself praying for emotional strength and comfort that only God can provide for my loved ones in the coming days. As I prayed, I found myself stating, ”Father, please help all my family and us in these coming days as I don’t know what to do” as I spoke these words, it dawned on me, I was doing it!

Nothing is more powerful than God’s help, whether He provides comfort to our hearts and minds beyond our understanding and/or places projects and people in our lives to help us through.

Praying is so simple one might diminish its value in their minds and forget just how powerful communicating with our creator truly is. Scripture tells us the prayers of the righteous are the most powerful.  This tells me If I want my prayers well heard, I will pursue righteousness with all I have to give. Scripture also tells and demonstrates that the closer we draw to God, the closer God draws to us. 

Let us Pray often with righteous prayers from loving hearts then, trust God!

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Zachariah 1:3

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24 ESV

“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 ESV

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 ESV

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”. –John 15-7

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!

Include God; He offers so much!

We know from Scripture we are made in the image of God; we also know from God’s Word that God has feelings. For example, that God hates sin, God loves, God is righteously jealous, etc. so; I have a few questions for us to ponder:

How do we feel when the only time someone thinks of us is when they need or want something?

How do you think God feels when we treat him that way?

Why treat him this way?

It’s obvious from Scripture; God wants to be included in our lives; He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This said, Why would we not want to include God in all that we do?. After all, Jesus told us to: ask, seek, and knock.

Our very breath is dependent on our creator! By embracing God’s love and keeping his commandments, we secure God’s promise of eternal life. Thus, we can obtain the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If we are truly In Christ, our hearts are filled with joy and the comfort of God. Therefore, it seems kind of stupid to me to exclude God when he offers so much life both in this world and for eternity.

  • Ephesians 6:18 – pray often
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – God of all comfort
  • James 5 – prayers of the righteous
  • Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask, Seek, Knock
  • Philippians 4:7 – Peace beyond understanding
  • John 15:1-16 – Joy

In Christ, we have access to the power of God

God: Unseen by the human eye, yet His power and love is evident in all of creation. Through Jesus, we are encouraged to tap into God’s power. Scripture tells us If we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us that we should work toward righteousness and demonstrate our love by keeping the commandments of Jesus. Although we live in the world, we should not be of the world, that so far as it depends on us, we are to live peaceably with all.

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

  • IN Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes with our prayers.
  • IN Christ and through Christ, we can petition God in faithful fervent prayer.
  • IN Christ, we have God’s ear; we can turn those burdens ”out of our control” over to Him and trust in Him.
  • IN Christ, the God of all comfort, helps us in times of suffering.
  • IN Christ, we can have peace that surpasses understanding.

Scripture tells us how to be ”IN Christ,”

  • The Holy Spirit helps with our prayers. (In Romans 8:26)
  • The prayer of the righteous is well heard! (In James 5:16)
  • The closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us (in James 4:8)
  • If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (In John 14:15)
  • God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  • Christ disciples are Not of the world (in John 17:14-23)
  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
  • “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:24)
  • To be In Christ (Galatians 3:25-29)
  • They were cut to the heart, and they asked, What do we do? (Acts 2:38-41)
  • Live peaceably (Romans 12:18)

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!

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