Life is Amazing! Are You Missing it?


Life is amazing, are you missing it?

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.

— Jonathan Edwards 

Life is extraordinary. We are given such a short time to honestly appreciate life, even though God designed us to live for 120 years.

Life is one of a kind, a unique opportunity that can never happen twice. Life is filled with innumerable amounts of beautiful moments, moments that one can easily miss. I think COVID has helped many of us understand how precious and short life is. I am not ignoring the chaos that COVID has brought; however, I believe COVID has helped people clearly see what is really important to them.

However, it’s essential not to disregard this fact: You can never get a moment back! Please don’t be foolish! When it expires, it permanently expires.

 Of course, you may experience similar moments in the future. Still, that moment – that exact moment is only available to share once. Praise the Lord, our God – the God of the highest – redeems all things to work for good (Romans 8:28)! This is excellent news for believers. Why? Because you will mess up or miss something in life, but God redeems all things to work for the greater good! Therefore we always win!

Think about it this way. Life is forever moving forward – you cannot go backward. It’s one time, permanently moving forward, not stopping for anyone. You are only ever 40 years, four months, and six days once. When that day ends, it is gone forever. 

However, you get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds TO CHOOSE how you will spend your day, and then create that reality. In that same amount of time, you also get to make choices, and those choices will shape your reality and life. If you don’t like your life, then start making NEW, DIFFERENT AND CONSCIOUS DECISIONS!

You will work to create your most dominant thoughts (Proverbs 23:7) – this is how fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your choices, even at a thought level, are responsible for how you respond or react.

Now each day, you have a binary choice. (1)You can either choose to focus and find positive, joyful, life-filled moments, or (2)you can choose to be anxious, worried, angry, and stressed out all the time. In short, you either pick to live in God’s spirit with the mind of Christ or out of the spirit of fear, where only death, suffering, and destruction exists.

Whatever you choose, you will create! 

Either way, life is happening. Life will not stop for you! If you choose to live and think like Christ, something unique happens. When you focus only on positive thoughts, you will find positive stimuli. God designed our brains to work for us. There’s something called the Reticular Activity System (RAS) in your brain. It filters in and out the stimuli you put into it. Your self-talk, what you expose yourself to, and the things buried in your heart directly influence the content your mind brings to your awareness, both consciously and unconsciously.

Again, this is why God tells you so many times to hide His Word in your heart so that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). It is also why Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or worthy of praise. If what you are meditating on does not fit into any of these buckets, then I’d argue you probably need to let that thought go or tell that thought to Be Gone in Jesus’ name!

Let me explain what I am saying here with an example…

Ever gone car shopping? What starts to happen? You begin to feel like everyone in the world has that car you are considering! It’s like everywhere you turn, you see that car! This is your Reticular Activity System working with you. Since you were contemplating that car model, your brain will bring to your attention that car every time you pass it!

When you consciously engage in God’s word and positive thinking, the same will happen. Your brain will alert you of all of the positive and godly things happening. Yes, you will still see negatives, but not to the same extent.

  Have you noticed that negative people usually only focus on and talk about negative things? 

It will feel as if you have rose-colored glasses on, as you will find yourself seeing the optimistic solution-minded side of situations. You will also start to see God working more in your life. Remember, in John 10:27, Jesus says that His sheep know and listen to His voice, and they do follow Him. The more you tell yourself you know and hear God’s voice, the more you will begin! But the opposite will work too.

You start to see just how extraordinary, beautiful, and precious life is. You begin to see how God is for you, so who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? You begin to see all that you have and all that you can be grateful for. God wants you to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). However, that’s really hard to do when you have a negative mindset or outlook on life!

I personally get much comfort from watching animals be. I specifically love to watch squirrels for some reason. I find it fascinating how nature and animals don’t worry, and if they don’t, why are you?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?  (Matthew 6:26 AMP)

You are so important to the Father. You are the apple of His eye  (Psalm 17:8). 

God does not want you to worry or think negatively because of the damage it does to you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Jesus is your Savior. Everything Jesus asks you to do, He knows you are capable of doing, and that it will save you, not destroy you. The Godhead will never ask you to do something without first giving you the power to do it (John 5:8). Some of us are not walking in that power or authority (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 16:25). Your Father in Heaven wants to give you life – He wants to provide you with good, good things (James 1:17)! However, God honors free will.

It’s important to remember that you may need to train (renew) your mind to think differently so you can TAKE what God is offering you instead of passively waiting for Him to move. Some of you are praying for things that God has already given you, and when this happens, it’s an indicator you need to renew your mind.

Sometimes, God is waiting for YOU to move!


If you choose death over life, then I must ask: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life (Matthew 6:27)?

Is worrying bringing you comfort or torment? Remember, things that bring torment are from the devil. There is a real enemy that wants to destroy you (John 10:10). Trust the Father and cast your cares on to Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). 

Life is special. Life needs to be cherished. Life needs to be lived intentionally, not passively. Don’t chase the wind either (Ecc. 2:11). It is hard to relish or be present in the moment if you choose not to be present. Choosing not to be present occurs when you are too busy in your head about the past or the future; when you’re too busy worrying about what if…

God tells us to take no thought for tomorrow because tomorrow will bring its own issues (Matthew 6:34). Now God is a redeemer, but He is not going to bless you so you can keep sinning. Some of you are your worst enemy because you choose to hold on to your pride ( Proverbs 13:10) and victim thinking (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

A victim mentality is when you blame everyone else for what happens in your world). It is when a person thinks that the future only holds terrible things for them. 

But God says:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

When you choose to renew your mind and allow God to transform you (Romans 12:2), you will start to cherish life. You also begin to walk in the mind of Christ. But, YOU have to desire to be like Christ. YOU will have to do the work too. Christ does most of it – remember His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). 

You can also choose the latter, where no matter what is happening around you, you see your life as terrible. You see, the people who love you the most hurting you. You see how people are letting you down. You see how life is awful, and you focus on how unhappy you are. You allow your feelings of unforgiveness, bitterness, depression, worry, and stress to weigh you down where you become their prey. This is precisely what the devil wants. He wants you oppressed by the Spirit of Fear.

Whatever you choose – know your brain will help find it


Of course, one day, you may wake up or see through the fog of darkness. You may start to question some of the lies you have been sold. Once you become calm and no longer focused on yourself, your crappy life, or fears – all darkness – you start to realize some things. Like how many memorable moments you might have missed or taken for granted because your pride, fear, and carnal ways seemed more critical. It’s okay. Repent and start to renew your mind.

I am telling you life is so extraordinary, and you do not get repeats or second chances.


If you choose to have a Christ mindset, you then appreciate and are grateful for every moment. You will start to be overcome with joy. You would not be able to outrun joy even if you tried. Why? The most significant difference between the two scenarios I described is that one person focuses on life as a whole. The other is focusing only on himself or herself. When you focus only on yourself and how life only affects you, you have limited yourself only to see a slither of the world surrounding you.

By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom (proverbs 13:10).


Life is more powerful than just what is going on in your life. The world doesn’t revolve around you. You are to give thanks and the glory to God always (1 Cor. 10:31).

This year, I encourage you to focus on finding joy, positivity, and things you are grateful for in every moment of your life. Start to consciously direct your thoughts to only be on things that are lovely, just, pure, admirable, right, noble, and anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). If you are fighting with someone, lay your pride down, and look for understanding and agreement (Amos 3:3). Or if you are in a conversation, you find it boring to find something about that person you appreciate and are grateful for and focus on it. By doing this, you will find yourself walking out of that negative sensation.

We are all interconnected. We are all going through internal suffering. Kindness, positivity, and gratitude must be spread to reflect God’s light through us – His chosen people.

Life has to be fully lived in the present with an attitude of joy and appreciation. Or the once-in-a-lifetime experience of life will pass you by, and you will not even see it go.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him (Psalm 28:7). 

 

Embrace a Christ-like attitude. Be positive, compassionate, unconditionally loving, joyful, helpful, and emerge yourself in living today!

Lastly, if you mess up, forgive yourself. Give yourself mercy as Jesus would do. Repent and even ask God to redeem it and then move on, trusting that God will do what He knows is best for you and the greater good.

STOP, Do You Know How to Receive God’s Wisdom?


STOP, Do You Know How to Receive God's Wisdom?

By: Austin Creecy

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

— Colossians 3:16

You can gain wisdom! We all could benefit from more wisdom in our lives. God wants to give you His understanding – His knowledge! James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. All you have to do is ask God for wisdom, and He will give it to you! How glorious is that? Another example of how much God loves you! Now, remember you must be willing to do what He says!

 

God shows us through Proverbs how to gain divine knowledge, as well as how to put aside our foolish ways. 

 

The word Proverbs refers to “sayings of the wise.” The Book of Proverbs compares and contrasts what living wisely versus foolishly looks like and will bring. The goal of Proverbs is to clearly show the reader how to live life wisely and skillfully. 

 

It is believed that if one implants into his or her life the moral disciplines commanded in chapters 1-9 and masters the practical application of wisdom expressed in chapters 10-31, he or she will indeed have an abundant and successful life. 

 

Most of Proverbs was written by the wisest man ever to live, Solomon. He was writing to his sons. He hoped to make sure they lived long lives and lived them well for God. In doing this, he walks us through how to live wisely and how to live foolishly. 

 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

 

The word “fool” in Proverbs 1:7 means foolish or silly but can also mean perverse. It views another as behaving like a “fool,” which signifies the individual lacks wisdom and allows the enemy to perverts what they perceive. 

 

Let’s say one is reading his or her Bible to check a box. Let’s assume said individual is not paying attention to the words or meditating on them the way God advises. Essentially, the person commits 30-minutes to God and then does the rest of his or her day without Him. Therefore, this individual would be participating with foolishness. 

 

God wants to be in every part of your life. 

 

God is good! He loves you so much. Yes, maybe the person in the example above is getting some insights, but the real question here is – Is the individual growing godly fruit? Remember, the Father is the vine, and His body of Christ are the branches. Jesus evens says a person can recognize another by their fruits. What fruits are growing on your vine? Godly fruits or fruits of the devil? 

 

Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.” 

 

Please understand that merely reading the Word to check a box is not what God is asking. The Father wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). He wants a relationship with you. He is asking you to grow godly fruit and abide by Him in all things. Reading the Word and believing God will do it all for you is foolish thinking! This kind of thinking makes an individual a fool in that department. 

 

Proverbs 1:7 states, “…fools despise wisdom and instructions.” I can attest to this as it is something I have struggled with in my past. I didn’t see my thoughts as being foolish, let alone even behaving foolishly. Yet, when I would sit down and reflect, I realize I didn’t want instruction or help. I was operating from a self-righteous stance, not a righteous one. I was playing the role of God instead of obeying God. 

 

After all, I was living what I believed at the time was the “right way.” At least that is the lie that the enemy was feeding me, and I chose to agree with it. 

 

Of course, the enemy wants us to stay foolish in our thinking and lean on our own understanding. However, Proverbs 3:5 reminds you: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” That means sometimes you will not understand why God is encouraging you to do it the way He is. That’s okay. Trust Him. He’s wiser than you!

 

I know some Christians struggle with thinking they are doing things the way Jesus would. Yet, when they take a closer look, they realize they are missing those subtle and sometimes not so subtle nudges from the Holy Spirit.

 

If you are anything like I once was, sometimes it’s a pile of nudges! 

 

It’s easy to struggle with pride. I have learned my pride can sometimes sound like this: “Oh no, you’re doing everything right. You are doing everything as close as you can to Christ. You do not see growth in your spiritual life because the Spirit just isn’t feeding you.” 

 

That, my brothers and sisters, are lies from the devil! 

 

The truth is I was struggling to grow in my spiritual life because I was spending more time checking boxes and being double-minded in some areas of my life instead of focusing on the word and keeping my eyes set upon the Lord. I thought my focus was on the Lord. However, when I held the mirror up to myself, I realized I was not. We all stumble at times – that is to be human. That’s okay. Quickly repent and move on. Our Father in Heaven is incredibly loving and forgiving. 

 

What we need to remember is God loves you so much!! If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

He will give you wisdom! All you need to do is ask. A healthy prayer life casts those prayers to Him, entrusting them with Him, and seeking wisdom or discernment when something is not adding up. The Father does not want to hide anything from you, but He also might not tell you everything you want to know. That’s okay. Trust His wisdom. 

 

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6).

 

If you follow the passage above, you will ask the Lord for wisdom, and you will want to spend time in His Word. You must trust that He will show you, but it may be in His perfect timing, not yours. 

 

When I struggle with a lack of wisdom, I ask the Lord to guide me, and then I choose to abide in His prompts. If I feel I am not hearing Him clearly, I remind myself that I know His voice, then I read Proverbs or go to those letters in red. Who is better to learn wisdom from but Jesus Christ Himself! Do I need to remind you that Christ is God in the flesh?!

 

Usually, once I spend some time in His word, wherever that may be, He shows me the area I am struggling with and how to defeat it. Sometimes God guides me through a conversation with my wife or a family member. Sometimes it’s even a short conversation with a stranger. 

 

If you ask, God will show you. We must remember to be still, know that He is God, and listen to Him. Remember, Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

 

I have found myself at times behaving foolishly, yet I still believe I am doing the right thing. Except I start to notice life seems a little harder, and I don’t always clearly hear God. When I see this, I recalibrate and find life is more comfortable, more joyful, and smoother in all ways with Him guiding me. Walking with Christ next to you through life and allowing Him to guide you and fill you up allows for the opportunity for the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to manifest in your life. Living in the fruits of the Spirit is EMPOWERING and FREEING! 

 

I invite you to take a moment today and ask God for wisdom. Perhaps you are searching for divine knowledge on how you live better for Him and His Kingdom. Or maybe you need wisdom regarding a current temptation or sin in your life. Perhaps you are looking for divine knowledge to navigate the normal day-to-day in this hectic, crazy fallen world. Whatever it is – ask God today and entrust that He is or will answer you! 

 

I hope that by gaining wisdom, you will hopefully STOP choosing to live foolishly and continue your growth towards being more like Christ. 

 

Your holy Heavenly Father loves you more than your human mind can even fathom. He yearns for a relationship with you! The Father can grow His relationship with His children to impart His wisdom – His way of thinking and seeing- on to you. 

 

The new year is right around the corner, and I hope you start, if you haven’t already, asking The Father to show you His wisdom and love for you every day so that you can be even closer to Him now!

 

Make gaining God’s wisdom a priority in your life! Don’t be fooled by the biggest fool of all, the devil. 

How You Know You’re Thankful for Christ!

How You Know You're Thankful for Christ!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

— Proverbs 3:7 NIV

Yesterday America celebrated Thanksgiving. Typically, during the festive and traditional dinner, American families go around the table sharing what they are grateful for in their lives. The most common responses are family, parents, friends, clean water, mobility, and other basic needs that are easily taken for granted. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect mindfully on all you have in your life. However, there is one BIGBIG thing some people seem to forget and ignore. It’s as if these individuals don’t even think about their gratitude for it! I will admit, I, too, once fell in this bucket! What am I talking about? 

 

Jesus!

 

In John 4:9, Jesus is asking the Samaritan woman to get Him some water from Jacob’s well. Now, Jews and Samaritans didn’t mingle. The Jews, at this time, were prejudice towards the Samaritans. Therefore, she was stunned that He would ask her for water!

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).”

In other words, if the Samaritan woman knew she was talking to God manifested in the flesh, she would have asked Him for a blessing, and Jesus would have given her living water – eternal life. The woman, however, took everything He said literally. She ultimately failed to recognize the Lord in front of her face and the spiritual components intertwined in all aspects of life. God created both the visible and the invisible (Colossians 1:16).

The water Jesus provides – the living water – quenches your thirst forever.  Science has proven that everyone thinks, wonders, and contemplates the concept of God. Regardless, if you want to admit it or not, everyone is wired to have a relationship with God. The enemy has done a fantastic job confusing people about who God is!

 
As disciples of Christ, we know only Jesus can give the gift that satisfies the soul’s desires. 

 

Sometimes my clients tell me how restless their souls are. They tell me they know something bigger and better is out there for them. They declare they will keep searching for that thing to do. Yet, what I believe they are looking and yearning for is a relationship with Christ. All they need to do is accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The thing they need to do is participate in a relationship with Christ.

These clients are almost always secular beings. Like the Samaritan woman, they only see life in the natural, eliminating the most significant reality that this world is spiritual. They are hoping to fill voids within themselves that only Jesus can satisfy.

They do not realize that whatever they do will only keep them hungry and thirsty when what they want is something that will quench them in all areas of life. They are hungry, wanting to be satisfied at a deep, deep level. They are restless in life, wanting more out of life. They want comfort, security, joy, peace, and unconditional love that lasts. Only Jesus can do this, but we, as His disciples, MUST let everyone know about the hope found in Him. Remember, God uses people to bless and help people.

John 4:13: Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”

Let’s pump the breaks and focus on the first clause, Jesus says in John 4:10: “If you knew about God’s gift…” Do you know about God’s gifts? Has the living water quenched your thirst in life?

If your answer is yes, then it’s time to publicly celebrate your appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness for your Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! Yes, it might be scary to you, but only because the enemy has sold you a lie that mankind will not like you, reject you, or hurt you, also known as the fear of man. Good thing Jesus reminds us that,No man shall take me out of His hand for I have eternal life (John 10:29).”

The Godhead needs to be the number one thing you are thankful for in your life. If you are genuinely grateful, appreciative, and thankful for God, then you would be sharing Him with everyone! You would be INCREDIBLY hungry to share what God is doing in your life.

Think about it. When you come across a time-saving gadget, don’t you tell your family and friends? When you find a material object that simplifies or brings joy to your life, don’t you tell people about it?

Well, if you are going to tell people about material things, which you know will not sustain the fire on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:13), then why would you not tell people about what Jesus’ has and is doing in your life (Psalm 1:1-6)?

I don’t know about you, but the Father has done more for me than anything else. I want to tell the world about what He has done for me! He’s so awesome! When you share your God stories, you help encourage and bring people to Christ.

Yes, perhaps it’s too late this year to go around the table and express your gratitude for the Godhead this Thanksgiving. But, it’s never too late to start speaking up about what Jesus has and is doing in your life.

The Gospel tells us we are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Jesus tells us to go into ALL the world (that means your friends groups, strangers, family, etc.) and preach the Gospel to ALL creation (Mark 16:15). Please notice the word “ALL.” Simply because you feel uncomfortable, or don’t want to, or are unsure how someone might respond doesn’t permit you to not talk about it. Disobedience is a sin! Praise God because once we repent, He forgives us so quickly (1 John 1:9) since we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

What can you start doing? Here are some questions for you to think about, and I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you!

  • Who can you start talking to about Jesus and will be open to the message?
  • How can you introduce Jesus to strangers?
  • What God stories can you share with hopeless people?
  • How would you explain God’s love for you?
  • What brought you to Christ? How could that message benefit someone else?

Sometimes we have to learn how to stand on our disciple-legs since it can take time to normalize the discomfort of being bold for Jesus. I encourage you to start with those people in your life who will be more accepting and open to the message than those who confess they don’t believe in God.

What has God done for you that you can share? 


If you aren’t sure, I encourage you to take a few minutes to write down all that God has done in your life. Take a few minutes to reflect and record all that God has done for you. Once you have a solid list, start identifying which people in your life you could share these things with. Additionally, sometimes it can be helpful to have a strategy to talk to strangers about what God has done in your life. Maybe God will place someone in your life who needs guidance understanding the gift of God and the living water.

As disciples of Christ, we are to help disciple one another. We cannot expect a preacher, minister, or teacher to do all the heavy lifting, even though many of us do. We are all to do our part. Isn’t that why we are called the body of Christ? When one thing in your body isn’t working correctly, doesn’t it begin to affect the rest of your body? We must start working together!

Express your gratitude for God this year. Let everyone know how much He has done for you!

Make the decision today to commit to sharing the Gospel with everyone and anyone!


Prayer Starter:
Father, Forgive me if I have failed to showcase my thanksgiving for all you have, are, and will do in my life. I love you so much, Father, and I want to be more like Christ in everything I do. Help me to stay fixed on You and not on the things of this world. Help me express my gratitude for You with everything You do. Please help me share these moments with everyone I come in contact with. Holy Spirit, allow me to remember my God moments to share with those who may need encouragement, hope, or inspiration. Thank you, Father, for sacrificing Your only Son for me. I love you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!

How to Develop Confidence and Trust in the Almighty

How to Develop Confidence & Trust in the Almighty

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.

— Psalm 33:11 NLT

How well do you trust God? Does your trust in God waver like a boat in a storm? Or does your trust stand firm like a bolder in a tornado?

Trusting God can be tricky – but it doesn’t have to be! I think sometimes people overcomplicate trust by trying to make it something it is not. You first have to understand what godly trust is. The New Oxford American Dictionary (2020) defines trust as: “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something

I don’t know about you, but I now know I can 100% rely on God.  Even if things don’t happen as I would prefer, I know His ways are perfect (Psalm 18:30). I don’t have to understand it. I just want to understand it. Note the difference. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

However, I know that sometimes I do not have the spiritual maturity to understand what God is doing. Other times I know He will not tell me. I choose to be okay with that. Ultimately, I believe that God is love, and therefore He wants to help me prosper as long as I abide in Him. Praise the Lord, our desires are the same (Psalm 37:4). The more you seek Him, the more your desires will be His desires as well! 

I love how the definition above has the word “truth” in it. Why? Because of what John 8:32 says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It’s easier to trust when you know the truth, but who is the truth? Jesus – God’s Word is (John 1:1).

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).

Trusting God is also believing in God to keep you safe (Proverbs 29:25). Faith, truth, and trust go hand in hand! If you have faith in God then you will believe God’s word is truth. Once you know the truth (the Word), then it is easier to trust. If you do not get what I am saying, that is okay. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to trust God. Sometimes we need a revelation to understand.

How do you develop confidence and trust in the Almighty? It’s simpler than you may think. You make the decision to trust Him and do it.

(This is where Nike’s slogan nails it. JUST DO IT. Don’t think – just do it! Trust God today. Make the decision to do it NOW!This is where God needs your willingness. God respects your free will! The first thing you must do is want to fully and sincerely trust God with all your heart, soul, and mind. That’s step #1 – Make the choice to fully trust God.

Now, you might be thinking, “well, how do I trust God even if I want to?” Great question! You have to get into the Word. You must read the Bible! If you do not know what the truth is, it will be challenging to defeat the lies the enemy will try to sell you. Remember, God is good.

The second thing you must start doing is being 100% truthful to yourself and others. Perhaps this is why the Word encourages disciples of Christ so often to be quick to confess their sins either to the Father and/or to one another (Psalm 38:18; 1 John 1:9; James 5:16).

Your relationship with your own trustworthiness will impact your ability to trust others and God. Think about it. If you are dishonest or lie to others, you will always second guess others because of how you have trained your brain. That is why we are to RENEW our minds to the Word of God (Romans 12:2).

Step #3: Action. Trusting God requires action. The psalmist David spoke many times about how he PUT his trust in God regardless of what was happening around him. David typically said, “I put my trust in You, God…” That means he kept doing it. He kept participating with the truth that he can trust God in everything. I am sure there were days when he had to remind himself every nanosecond to trust God.

At the end of the day, trusting God is the only way!

If you have trauma in your past, it can be harder to trust God, but please don’t confuse the power of God’s trust with humans. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), but humans can, and many do. There are plenty of times throughout God’s Word where He reminds you, you can trust Him and that you must! Because trusting God brings mental peace and rest!

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”

-Psalm 37:4-5

-Proverbs 3:5-6

-Isaiah 26:3-4

Think about it this way. If God is love (1 John 4:8) and love is goodness, beauty, peace, joy, the fruit of the Spirit, and so much more, then trusting God will only bring more goodness into your life! It is easy to trust someone you know who loves you and only wants the best for you. God is incredibly merciful, holy, good, and kind.

Whether you realize it or not, some of you are trusting the devil way more than the Almighty. Any thought that contradicts or goes against the Word of God is an antichrist thought, and it is meant to either kill, steal, or destroy (John 10:10) something from, for, or of you. Trusting God is one of the best things you can do. Trusting God is how you “gain” control of your life. When you can trust God to protect you, redeem the evil done to you, and provide for you, you gain so much more time, peace, and freedom!

Step #4: Never forget that God will always make the wrong things right.

Hebrew 10:30 confirms this: For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” But, there is a catch. For the Father to fulfill His promise, you MUST surrender the ENTIRE situation (150% of it) to Him and not take it back! Do you trust God to make wrong things right?

Please note that while you are trusting God, you will need to have patience and faith. I believe the waiting part is the test – if you will. God cares more about your heart than anything else. God wants to develop your character to be Christ-like. I encourage you to be open, thankful, and grateful for these opportunities because these are the moments where you get to grow! The quote below nails it!

"God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy."

– Rick Warren

Step #5: Record the times God has come through for you! Unfortunately, it is easier for humans to remember what people or the Father have not done for them than what they have done for them. Negativity is powerful to the brain because of all the stimulation it creates. It’s so easy to also buy the devil’s lies, who screams, “God doesn’t love you – You cannot trust Him” in moments where you are feeling desperate and praying for God to move.

Yet, when you keep an ongoing list of all that God has done for you, it is easier to trust Him and defeat the enemy. If you are not writing down the dates when God moves in your life, I encourage you to start doing it now. It will help you deepen your trust in God. If you cannot recall any moments of where God has come through for you, I encourage you to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal those moments to you. I promise there are plenty in your life. If you cannot recall them, then fine, take a leap of faith today, create the list and wait patiently for God to move.

Take the step today to choose to trust God in ALL things. Release the lie today that you cannot trust anyone but yourself. Surrender control over to God so you can gain security and control where it counts.

Prayer: Father God, thank you so much for loving me. Thank you for your patience and guidance. I repent for any time I have been dishonest, lied to, or consciously did not trust You or any of your children. I cancel the ground of lying, dishonesty, and having unbelief towards you. I ask you to help renew my mind and heart to trust you in everything. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to always trust you. Thank you for giving me your Spirit and forgiving me. I love you, Father, and I trust you! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Does Your Spirit look Like this….?

Does Your Spirit look Like this….?

Understanding God’s Love Series

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

No one ought to be confident in his own strength when he undergoes temptation. For whenever we endure evils courageously, our long-suffering comes from Christ.

Augustine

The Fruit of the Spirit

Last week, I discussed what the fruit of love is and looks like. The newsletter ended with Galatians 5:22-23, which is the fruit of the Spirit. Today I am going to break down the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I understand that it is easy to read these words, but my goal is to make the fruit of the Spirit come alive in your mind’s eye! I am going to do that by breaking down the fruit of the Spirit.

The first piece of the fruit Paul lists out is love. Now, I have already spoken about what love is, but I will share a quick recap.

Love:

God’s love bears little resemblance to the emotional meaning so often given to the world. God’s love is shown by Jesus. I believe love is the foundation for all of the other components of the fruit of the Spirit to gain its richness.

Love is ultimately saying I am going to treat you well because you are a child of God. Think: If God loves you (and He loves all), I will love you too.

God’s love is a choice, and it takes maturity, wisdom, and discernment to walk in. Jesus showed the perfect example of love. I encourage you to create your own Bible Study, where you study how Jesus operates when interacting with people and his disciples. Ultimately Jesus shows love as self-sacrificing and unchanging. The Father demonstrated this kind of love when He sent His only Son for sinners. Can you imagine sacrificing something you love or want so others can be blessed?

Now hope (trust, confidence) does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5; parenthesis are mine).


This is the kind of love, hope, and desire you will need to practice if you want to participate in God’s love. It’s not ALWAYS doing what is best for you, but what is best for others. Now the Father and Jesus provide plenty of examples where they had healthy boundaries and act on those boundaries. Please do not view love as a place for people to walk all over you. At the end of the day, there will be times when you may not do what is best for another because that other person is a stranger to you. That’s fair enough. However, there are always opportunities to act in love toward strangers. It’s the willingness and sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. How can you make sure people benefit for the better when you are around? What are the things you can do?

For starters, you can hold the door for someone. Or you could allow someone in line behind you who has fewer or more items to go in front of you. Additionally, you could buy someone’s food that is in line behind you. You can always create an opportunity where someone benefits without you gaining any return from them.

Love forms the foundation for all the other fruit identified by Paul. If you do not have love as your foundation, you will misrepresent or misuse the other parts of the fruit of the Spirit.

Joy:

Joy is an inner sensation that abides rejoicing despite your external circumstances. Joy comes from God’s presence!

 

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).

Joy is gladness of the heart. There is always something to be glad about. For instance, God loves you. He chose you. He wants you. God is also good. So be glad about that at the very least!

And as the Bible reminds us: Listen, my son, and be wise, and guide your heart on the right course (Proverbs 23:19 NIV). If you are struggling to create a glad heart, then change your thinking. Remember, as a man thinks, so he is (Proverbs 23:7). There is plenty of things to be joyful over.

Therefore, joy becomes a choice.

Understand joy is not happiness. In fact, happiness is fleeting, but joy is everlasting. Believe it or not, no one wants to be happy all the time, but people do want to feel joy. You can be joyful and unhappy. Joy is not dependent on happiness.

According to Ed Diener (2013), (the world’s leading expert on subjective well-being), happiness contains both an affective (feeling) component and a cognitive (sensation) component. Happiness is more of an experience, you could say. It is best thought of as the total amount of pleasant emotions people feel, plus their cognitive evaluation of how satisfied they are with their life as a whole or with a specific aspect of their life, such as job, marriage, or hobbies (Dean & Biswas-Diener, 2013). Think of happiness as the experience of frequent, mildly to highly pleasant emotions, the relative absence of unpleasant feelings, and a general sense of satisfaction with one’s life.

Joy is having gladness or delighting in the Lord.

….for the joy of the LORD is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).


In Psalms 16:9, David says, “No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety (NLT).” David had found the secret to joy. Regardless of what is going on externally in your life, you can feel real joy (God’s joy). Despite your deepest troubles, David understood that his relationship with God determined his outlook in life. Some people base their happiness and joy on external circumstances. Doing so is stupid, reckless, and dangerous! Why would you allow others, events, and other variables you cannot control to dictate your internal joy, peace, or happiness? That seems scary and like a losing battle! That’s like putting a sign in the front of your house, that says, Come on in, and take whatever you want from me! The result of allowing external stimuli to dictate your internal peace is a rollercoaster from hell that you cannot get off of until you change your mindset.

It’s by celebrating God’s daily presence and what He has done for you! This is how you will find contentment and joy. As you walk with God and He unfolds His plans for you, I promise your joy will increase and grow strong. Remember, disciples, are to base their joy and life on God, not circumstances.

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

 

Peace:

Peace is an inner quietness, trust, and stillness in God’s sovereignty and His promises (Word). The fruit of peace in work in your life is the tranquility of your mind, which in turn frees you from worry or fear. It is holding on to what Romans 8:28 declares:


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Peace is the profound agreement with the Bible’s word and that God remains in charge of the universe. Allow God’s peace to enter your heart (Colossians 3:15). He has you. He loves you. Let Him have your worries and stay focused on today.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).

Longsuffering (Patience):

Simply put, it’s controlling yourself and how you respond or react when you are exposed to annoying, frustrating, and inconvenient things. It’s being comfortable with being uncomfortable. I promise the Holy Spirit will increase your endurance and help you successfully deal with the things that annoy you. You have to want this too! Free will is real!

Please note longsuffering is more of a marathon or lifestyle change than a race. You have to train for it! In short, patience or longsuffering has restraint or calmness with others. It is the opposite of a short temper. It is quietly and calmly handling or processing disposition and or bearing injury.

Kindness (Gentleness):

Kindness is acting charitably or benevolently towards others, as God does towards you. Kindness is responding to other people’s needs. Think – acts of kindness. Or merely being attentive to the needs of those you love and care for, but also strangers. There are some basic needs that we all have in common. Help people meet those needs.

A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself (Proverbs 11:17)

Goodness:

Goodness is responding to do nice and considerate things to others, REGARDLESS if they deserve it or not. Goodness does not react to evil but absorbs the offense and responds with a positive or loving response/action. Goodness is generosity! What are some ways you can be generous to your loved ones and to strangers?

 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also [for the Lord repays the offender].  And whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you (Matthew 5:40-24). 

The last three fruit pieces are more general character traits that need to be valued by Christ’s followers. Values are personally chosen life directions. It’s your moral compass.

Faithfulness:

Faithfulness is having faith in others and God. Seeing the best-case scenario, not the worst. What Paul also means is being dependable. Keeping your word and doing what you say you are going to do. If you asked everyone in your life if you are reliable and trustworthy, what would they say?

Gentleness (meekness):

Think of humility. Think of how John the Baptist was. Gentleness is being considerate of others or mindful. One can still get angry as Jesus did in the temple but remain in control of him or herself and respond with love. Please note Jesus was not angry at the people, but at the sin. And, who is the Father of sin?

Self-control:

Self-control (self-discipline, sound mind, temperance) is having discipline or victory over the lusts of the flesh, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts. I do believe this is why the Father encourages fasting. It takes discipline to not buy into those hunger pains or follow the carnal mind’s cravings.

Self-control means having the restraint not to do something even though your flesh desires it. While self-discipline sucks at the moment, in the long run, it feels great. However, not developing self-discipline can cost a person his or her life. Ironically, it is those sinful desires or lust of the flesh that provide an illusion of fulfillment and power but only lead us to slavery and the fruit of the devil.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16). 

The best way to see where you are with the fruit of the Spirit is to rate yourself on a scale of 1-5.

(1) never true of me; (2) rarely true of me; (3) occasionally true of me; (4) frequently true of me; (5) Always true of me.

  1. I respond from a place of love, regardless of my annoyance or dislike for the individual.
  2. I am joyful.
  3. I do not worry or fear many things. Instead, I have peace (calmness/tranquility) inside of me.
  4. I am a patient person.
  5. I am a charitable and kind person.
  6. I am nice and considerate to everyone, not just those I like.
  7. I am a dependable and trustworthy person.
  8. I am courteous and considerate in my relationship with others.
  9. I am a disciplined person. I harness and control my passions and lusts.

The assessment above provides insight into how well you are operating in the fruit of the Spirit. Remember, you do not need to do this alone. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:13 NLT). Allow God to work through you. Today I encourage you to take a few minutes to pray to God, asking Him which fruit do you need to consciously work to improve in? He will tell you, and when you start to do what God wants, life gets better!

Prayer: Father, I want to grow spiritually and emotionally. I do not want to be enticed by the world’s ways. I do not wish to adopt worldly behavior but Jesus’ behavior. I want to do Your will and not my own. Help me to use Your strength to grow and operate in the fruit of the Spirit. In moments of weakness, please correct me and show me how to respond – how to represent You and Your glory. Father, Thank You for all You have done in my life. Thank You for helping me grow in the fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name Amen.

Reference: Dean, B., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2013). Positive psychology coaching. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

The Fruit of Love

The Fruit of Love

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Enkrateia [self-control] is that great quality which comes to a man when Christ is in his heart, that quality which makes him able to live and to walk in the world, and yet to keep his garments unspotted from the world.

William Barclay

Last week, we talked about what love is. Now, I want to talk to you about what happens to you when you love the way God wants us to love.

Godly love brings light, life, and longevity. Why? Well, love is God (1 John 4:8), and therefore real love has God as the motive! When you become a born-again believer and make God’s love your “why,” something magical begins to unfold inside you. The best part of it all is that the transformation results from you being in a relationship with God. How does this happen? Through the teaching, guidance, and comforter of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27; John 14:26).

The Holy Spirit begins to bless and transform your life with something extraordinary. It is this Spirit who begins to produce the fruit of God’s love inside of you, and when God’s perfect fruit shows up in your life, your life gets better! What is this fruit, you ask?

It’s the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Personally, I appreciate how the Amplified version translates this scripture:

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Have you ever stopped and focused on the word fruit in Paul’s writing of the fruit of the Spirit? He could have used other words like “works of the Spirit” or “the Spirit’s gifts,” but he chose the fruit of the Spirit. It makes sense, too, primarily when you focus on the word “fruit.” Paul was conveying the meaning of a full harvest of virtues by using the word “fruit.” Additionally, the fruit of the Spirit is singular, meaning each believer is to have ALL nine.

Fruit is a byproduct of planting and nurturing a seed. Remember, God’s fruit is perfect, flawless, and satisfying.

The Spirit produces the fruit, but it’s your job to get in touch with the Holy Spirit. It takes time for fruit to grow, so please be patient with yourself and do not ignore this opportunity to produce a great harvest inside of you. It will take your effort, focus, and attention. Christian character is the result of Christ living in you (Galatians 2:20), but you are given free will, so please use that will to nurture that Spirit to grow deeper in Christ.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of God’s presence inside of you! It’s a result of His company, plus your participation in the relationship. Your willingness to have this relationship with God is how the Holy Spirit reshapes your character to be more like Christ. This produces some fantastic fruit inside of you!

That is a powerful statement! You must choose and give God permission to come and dwell inside of you (John 14:23). Still, you must also nurture, protect, and participate in your relationship with Him so His presence will stay and grow. Perhaps that is why Proverbs says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

As disciples of Christ, we want the fruit of the Spirit to always flow from our hearts.

Take a second and envision your body as a Bed and Breakfast for guests to stay in—a very nice, sophisticated, mature, but homey inn. If you do not acknowledge your guests’ presence and tend to his/her needs, they will leave, and most people won’t give you a second chance after the fact. If everyone leaves, you are out of a job!

Thankfully, God is extremely merciful and forgiving, so He is the best kind of guest, but He is a gentleman. He will not stay where He is not welcome because of His love for you, not for His love for Himself. You must take time to tend and care for your guests. Now God is the best kind of guest you could ever have. Why? Because He gives more than He receives. You could say He is the ideal guest.

He asks this of you: To love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), to love others as He (Jesus) has loved you (John 13:34), and to spend time with Him (James 4:8). When you do this and seek first His Kingdom in all things (Matthew 6:33), He will help you renew your mind (Romans 12:2) and remold your character, which will transform you into time with your permission and effort, a better you that is more like Christ.

I promise you will like this version of you so much better. When you begin to see the fruit grow, you will be even more encouraged by this new freedom. You will start to walk out of bondage – into freedom.


Here you have an invitation from a guest who wants to stay with you and help you do ALL of the heavy lifting.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

What is the benefit of having the fruit of the Spirit?

First, let me describe what it is like when we do not have the fruit or Spirit or are not eating it:

  • Sexual immorality, Impurity (Galatians 5:19)
  • Lust (Colossians 3:5)
  • Hatred, Jealousy, Discord, Anger, Selfish Ambition, Dissension, Idolatry, Witchcraft (Galatians 5:20)
  • Arrogance (2 Corinthians 12:20)
  • Envy, Drunkenness, Wild Living (Galatians 5:21)
  • Murder, Lying (Revelations 22:12-16)
  • Cheating (1 Corinthians 6:8)
  • Adultery, Greed, Stealing (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

I don’t know about you, but when I lived outside of God’s fruit and experienced the above, my life was miserable. I wanted to believe it was not, and I thought if I just did more and depended more on myself, I’d be happier, but that was a lie. What I was yearning for only God could give me. His freedom and ways restore me and give me life (Job 10:12).

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my Spirit (Job 10:12)

Doesn’t the above list honor the words Jesus spoke in John 10:10?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am so grateful that God sent His Son to teach us how to live. When you abide in Him, you start to reap the benefits. When you live God’s way, and for God, the following becomes your normal:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience (Longsuffering)
  • Kindness (Gentleness)
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness (Faith)
  • Gentleness (Meekness)
  • Self-control (Self-discipline, sound mind, temperance)

Living for God is what will satisfy your hunger and, by default, give you more joy, love, and everything you may have tried to find by walking the world’s way of life. This transformation that Paul talks about in Galatians just happens by nurturing your relationship with Christ.

One day you will all of a sudden not be irritated by something that once annoyed you. You will start to be made perfect by accepting God’s perfect love. Things will fall off of you, which in turn will help you like yourself more. As you like yourself and see yourself as God sees you, it is easier to love others.

Next week, I will break down the fruit of the Spirit. Until then, ask the Holy Spirit which fruit are you struggling with? Once the Spirit reveals which area you are weak in, ask the Spirit to help you grow. Ask the Spirit what you need to start doing to grow this harvest inside of you. 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for thinking ahead and providing Your children with this amazing fruit. I see I don’t always operate in this fruit, but I want to. Please help me to grow and feed this fruit and not the fruit of the devil. Holy Spirit help me to see when I am failing to operate in the spirit. Thank You, Father, for everything You are doing in my life. I only want to live Your way, help me to do as You would have me do in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

What is Love?

What is Love?

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

The role for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.

— C.S. Lewis

What is Love?

Have you ever asked yourself what love is? It might sound like an obvious answer, but true love may be different than you might expect. 

Is your definition of love one that is worldly or godly? The world defines “love” differently than God does. One is conditional, and the other is unconditional. God’s love is unconditional and perfect (1 John 4:18). Therefore, God wants you to love unconditionally, and as He loves.

When you ask yourself, ‘What is love?’ You have to look to the Father.

We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him (1 John 4:16 AMP)

John tells you that God is love. If God equals love, then love equals God. Does that make sense? 1 John 4:8 says, whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Love is a byproduct of having a deep relationship with God. I believe it is impossible to have a deep and committed relationship with the Father and not know how to love because the Holy Spirit changes you to be more like Christ. When you become more like Christ, you become more capable of love.

We all are capable of love because we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), but to showcase and shine unconditional love intentionally results from knowing (participating in a relationship with) God.

For you to love unconditionally and righteously, you must know God. To know God means you have a relationship with Him. It means you believe and know you belong with Him. It means you have faith in His character.

Since God is love, everything God thinks, speaks, and does are examples of how He shows His love for you. Perhaps that is why James reminds us that everything good comes from above (James 1:17).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 breaks down what love is:

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever ( NLT).

1 Corinthians 13:7 states a mighty truth. God never gives up, loses faith, but He is always hopeful and positive, and He holds on to you in every circumstance. Since God does that for you, you are to do that for others. Please understand God has boundaries, and I am not encouraging you to be walked over, disrespected, or abused. You can love people from afar too in those extreme situations. But, overall, we are to behave as 1 Corinthians so clearly states.

Love is strong. Love can absorb and withstand all loveless behavior. How many times have you operated with fear or a loveless behavior? Yet God still poured out His love for you!

Everyone stumbles. Everyone is struggling with something because problems are a part of this fallen world. Jesus tells you to first get the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s (or sister’s) eye (Matthew 7:5). The reason being is you will have more compassion, kindness, understanding, and grace for your sibling in Christ, who is stumbling. It’s easy to act prideful when one sees another stumble. Still, the only fruit that comes out with pride is self-righteousness – something God detests. At the end of the day, sin is sin. Jesus reminds us that we are not better or more deserving of love than another.

Love is not tit for tat, but self-sacrificing (John 15:13). Love always thinks the best case scenario of someone. Love holds on to the faith or belief that a person’s word is truth and that one will do what he or she says. Love is honest and truthful. Love trusts. Love holds on to optimism and positivity.

Christ commands us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12), then showing love is a choice. If we do not respond in love, we are sinning. Perhaps this shows you the tremendous importance of renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) to always love (Mark 12:30-31).

Always loving might be easier than you think. Neuroscience informs us that we are wired for love, and love is a human’s default mode. Ironically, fear is a learned behavior. Such findings making sense when you think about it. If God is love and you are made in God’s image (His love), then love is your foundation. You are hardwired to love, which is why operating from love feels so good! 🥰 If humans were created to hate and participate with fear, it would feel better than it does. Being mean, cruel, inconsiderate, rude, judgmental, and other forms of fear do not feel good at all. In fact, it increases cortisol in the body, and too much cortisol equates to toxic stress and is damaging.

If fear or hate felt good, it would benefit your body, but it does the opposite. It destroys you. When you operate out of love, you allow yourself to start to unlearn negative and toxic mindsets, and doesn’t God’s light expose the darkness (Ephesians 5:13)?

Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, melts away negative and toxic thoughts. This hormone can help rewire your brain, creating new nontoxic connections—thoughts impact brain chemistry, which influences the body’s 75-100 trillion cells at quantum speed. 

In short, allowing the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to work inside of you can help you erase fear. When we respond in love, endorphins and serotonin are also released, making you feel unstoppable and filled with light. 

When we feel great like this, you know what happens? You start to be more authentic -more in alignment with how God designed you to be- your brain begins to detox, while motivation and wisdom increase.

You are to have the same mindset as Christ (Philippians 2:5). But attitudes reflect the core of how you are choosing to spend your time thinking and feeling. Your attitude gives insight into your spiritual maturity.

In answering the question, what is love?
Love is God. God is love. Love is your default mode. Love is your spirit shining through. Love is renewing your mind and character to be more like Christ. Love is shown by actively listening, helping, encouraging, giving, comforting, creating, sacrificing, and meeting others’ needs. Love allows the light inside of you to shine outwardly to help people feel like they belong and are enough. How God shows you love is how you are to show others love.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

In closing, I cannot talk about God’s love without talking about belonging. Love helps someone feel they belong, and every human craves belonging and connection.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

The verses above remind the reader of the power relationships has in one’s life. God created us to be in relationship with Him and others because love is meant to be shared. It is easy to be short with people you don’t like or be exclusive when you are around new people. However, God wants you to show grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness to all. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it because, quite frankly, you don’t always deserve it either. The next time you are at a social gathering and see someone alone, reach out and talk with them. Connect with them. Help everyone you come in contact with, understand they belong in the body of Christ.

I promise you if you could do a better job at loving as God loves, many of your life’s problems would go away. Love is the answer to everything because God is the answer to everything. So when you don’t know what to do – Love💕.

What can you start doing to show more of God’s love to yourself and others?  

Prayer: Father God, wow, thank You for loving me unconditionally. I want to love as You love. Help me to love the way You love. Show me what is blocking me from loving people the way You ask Your children to love. Daddy, I want to give You all of me and live only for You, but I know I fall short. I know without You I am nothing. I surrender everything to You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for helping me see everyone as You see them. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Wearing God’s Breastplate of Righteousness

God’s Armor: The Belt of Truth

Part 2 of 7

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

“Truth and the breastplate of righteousness—being right with God— strengthen us in all our endeavors. We need the shoes of preparation on any of life’s fields, along with the shield of faith—like football pads— to protect against the enemy’s attacks. The helmet of salvation, like a football helmet, also keeps us safe. Praying each day and putting on the full armor of God will help us gain an automatic first down—a deeper connection in God’s zone— and a sure win on any playing field.”

Jake Byrne

Good day to you! It is going to be a great day! Are you ready to experience all God has in store for you?

We are continuing forward with the psychology and Jesus series. Primarily I am writing about how to live intentionally and proactively with Jesus Christ. Remember, the devil is like a roaring lion waiting to see whom he can devour. Are you going to become the devil’s prey?

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Since the devil couldn’t care less about your prosperity, success, or cultivating a thriving life, he is going to do everything he can to stop you! You know he’s going to attack you! It’s one of life’s guarantees, but Jesus said he came to give you an abundant life (John 10:10). Therefore, the question arises, are you going to focus on the trials or the abundance Jesus brought to you?

Last week we talked about how to put on and apply the Belt of truth successfully. Today we are going to talk about wearing your BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS effectively and courageously.

First, let’s unpack the word “righteousness” concerning the Word and God.

Righteousness means “right standing with God.” Doing things God’s way, not the world’s way! The old English of righteousness is “right” and means wise, way, or manner. When you begin to trust yourself, you may find yourself operating more in your God-given gifts and talents. From there, your ability to discern wisdom will significantly grow, and I encourage you to practice that. The more you do something, the easier it is to build in it. The more you do it, the better you will get!

Now here is where things can get tricky. It would be best if you remember your worth. You must retain your worth concerning God and how God sees you, not how you see yourself. You must remember, in God’s eyes, you are fantastic, excellent, and loved. You must remember that God will never leave you or forsake you and that he is always with you regardless of whether you feel it.

Part of successfully wearing God’s armor is remembering how much God loves you, even if you won’t allow him into your world. God loves you, even if you aren’t living to His standards. The only difference is when you live by His standards, you become right with God; therefore, you are righteous. However, God will always accept you, and that’s powerful whether you realize it or not.

History of the Breastplate of Righteousness:

The Roman soldiers would have fastened the breastplate around their chest. Now there were two types of breastplates back then. The first type was fashioned by joining several broad curved metal bands together using leather thongs. The second kind was a type of chainmail made up of small metal rings linked together until they formed a vest.

The purpose of both types of breastplates was the same – to protect the soldier’s vital organs.

And guess what? That is precisely what God wants to do with you. When you place on the breastplate of righteousness, you are allowing God to protect your vital organs. Successfully wearing this armor comes down to whether you know what is in right standing with God – what God approves – versus what God does not stand for, agree with, believe.

If you choose to sin, then God can’t stop you from doing it per se. He can influence you and encourage you not to through the Holy Spirit, but you have free will. When you sin or do something outside of God’s encouragement, desires, or law, you have taken off the breastplate armor, saying, “Hey, God, I got this! I don’t need your help anymore.” Now, this is dangerous because, without that breastplate, the fiery darts from the enemy can begin to penetrate you.

He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion (Isaiah 59:17).

Application of the Breastplate of Righteousness:

Here’s the thing, God offers His righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5; Philippians 3:9).

If God offers His righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ, then what does it mean to put on and successfully wear the breastplate of righteousness?

Well, first, it’s choosing to believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It’s understanding in your heart, not your mind. It is knowing you cannot be righteous (or in right standing) with God until you see Jesus as your Lord and Savior – as the Son of Our Father in Heaven. It’s learning to stand firm against injustice and corruption (Leviticus 19:15; Hebrews 1:9). Isaiah is a beautiful chapter in the Bible that talks about doing things even if you sense fear. It’s choosing to move forward even with the sensation of fear and trusting God to be your advocate and protector. Lastly, it’s knowing that God promised His protection against evil forces for those who have faith in Jesus (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

The application of wearing the breastplate of righteousness is more about walking in faith, your beliefs, and how much you apply God’s word in your life. If you’re a part-time believer, you’re going to get part-time results.

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8).

In closing, think about how you participate in life. How do you respond to hardships? … to trials? Do you believe God’s promise his protection against the forces of evil for those who have faith in Christ? Do you focus more on your trials or Jesus’s abundance?

Take some time today to figure out how you can wear the breastplate of righteousness better. Do you need to love as God loves? Do you need to forgive as God forgives? Are you thinking with the mind of Christ or the carnal mind? 

Where does your breastplate of righteousness have holes? 

Prayer: Father God, I see how important it is to live righteously and obedient to You. I do not always do a great job of that. Please help me to successfully wear the Breastplate of Righteousness. Help me to do Your will in everything. I ask that You help me glorify You in everything I do.  Father, I thank You for growing me and pruning me to be a great, strong, and courageous Warrior for Christ. Thank You for giving me wisdom and understanding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

God’s Armor: The Belt of Truth

God’s Armor: The Belt of Truth

Part 1 of 7

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

" Keep calm and put on the armor of God"

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We are continuing forward with the psychology and Jesus series. However, it’s important to live intentionally with vigilance and focus. Remember, the devil is like a roaring lion waiting to see whom he can devour.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Since the devil couldn’t care less about your prosperity, success, or cultivating a thriving life, he is going to do everything he can to stop you!

What do you do?

First, remember the devil has already been defeated (1 John 3:8)! However, the enemy has done an excellent job of being a sore loser and perverting things. Think about it – most people pray about their problems when God says to pray for your solutions and desires (Mark 11:23).

Secondly, we must put on the armor of God and USE IT! Merely wearing the armor of God is not enough to defeat the enemy.

Today I am going to discuss how you can successfully apply the first piece of the armor of God to defeat (once again) that stubborn lion! Over the next few weeks, I will explain the history and the application of each piece of God’s armor.

We will be starting with Ephesians 6:10-14 for today, and throughout the next weeks, we will discuss the remaining verses. I am going to copy the Amplified Version as I think the brackets add further understanding.

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. (Ephesians 6:10-12 AMP)

13 Therefore, 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. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. (Ephesians 6:13-14 NLT)

The Belt of Truth is the first thing Paul tells us to put on!

History of the Belt of Truth:
The belt of truth refers back to the leather apron belt that hung in front of the Roman soldier’s lower abdomen and groin. Small brass plates were also strategically placed onto the apron to provide the highest possible protection.

I think the brass plates were added because low blows (if you get what I mean) were expected and included from the devil. He will hurt you where it hurts the most, and when he does it (when you allow him to), he’s going to laugh with pleasure. The devil couldn’t care less about playing fair. He’s out to DESTROY YOU!

Interestingly, the belt of truth would have been the FIRST piece of protective gear the soldiers would have put on themselves. It protected the soldiers’ most vulnerable and sensitive areas.

To me, it makes sense that the belt of truth was called this due to it being the first piece of protective wear the soldiers put upon their bodies. Why? It is hard to protect yourself from anything when you are unable to identify truth from a lie! God’s Word is TRUTH! It’s life. It is the way! If you do not have scripture buried in your heart, you will not be able to stand your ground because you will not know how to discern the truth. Therefore, it is that much easier for the enemy to devour you! If you cannot decipher between a lie and the truth… well, you are in more trouble than you may realize.

Application of the Belt of Truth:

Think of the belt of truth as accurate or correct living, living God’s way. Remember, the devil will fight you with lies. He will twist, manipulate, and pervert God’s truth. Therefore, we must decipher or discern information concerning God’s Word.

The belt of truth prepares one to be ready for action. We are to always be prepared to fight the enemy off (1 Peter 5:8).

How can you prepare yourself in every circumstance? By making sure that you are a person of truth. You must know God’s truth. That means knowing the good news about Jesus, understanding in your heart why you believe in Jesus, and living as a person of integrity as someone honest and trustworthy.

Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world (1 Peter 2:12).

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed (1 Peter 3:15,16).

I am always amazed at how quickly people accept and agree with the words spoken over, at, or to them. You must be careful agreeing with others before you have thought about it or gone to the Word of God. Instead of just foolishly agreeing with people on unfamiliar areas you are unsure about, say the following instead:

“I hear what the person is saying regarding this subject. I don’t know if that is true or simply their truth. Since I seem curious about it, I am going to look into what they are saying before I go any further with participating with their thoughts.”

It is crucial to apply God’s truth to all the enemy’s lies. I encourage you to start adopting a God filter, where you run everything you hear through God and His Word before buying into it.

Prayer: Father God, help me to wear Your belt of truth successfully. I want to be a warrior for Your army. Teach me Your ways and how to fight successfully in Your name. Thank You for teaching me how to discern the real fight and successfully defeat the enemy in Jesus’ name.