Psalm 5:12 ERV Lord, when you bless good people, you surround them with your love, like a large shield that protects them.
Let's thank God this morning from within the sealed circumference of his unmerited, unmitigated, unmatched favor!!! With great fervor I praise the Lord with a cry of, "Hallelujah!" For God so loved the world that He gave is one begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). This is the reminder you need today that you will LIVE and not die. My encouragement is for you to remember whose you are. As a believer in the body of Christ you have been given an inheritance of an abundant life, in spite of what you see happening around you. Despite everything that is happening to you, your life is redeemed from destruction, bought at a price, and set firm on the promises of God (John 10:10 AMP, Psalm 103:4-6). Our life in Christ insulates and nourishes our lives for the greatness of His promises to be alive in our lives. John 15:7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
You decide today which promise of God's that you will stand on and proclaim His power over your life (Proverbs 18:21). As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15 AMP) standing on the promises of God to Abram in Genesis 12:2-3 AMP and Galatians 3:29: Genesis 12:2-3 AMP And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you [abundantly], And make your name great (exalted, distinguished); And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others]; And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you, And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you. And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.
Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ [if you are in Him], then you are Abraham’s descendants, and [spiritual] heirs according to [God’s] promise.
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I am insulated by the favor I'm afforded by a life in Christ. I declare that the promises of God are active and at work in my my life, for His glory.
1 Samuel 16:7 GW But the Lord told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart.
This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I am thankful this morning because I know that God knows everything. Nothing is a surprise to God. We may fool all of the people some of the time. We may fool some of the people all of the time. But we fool God none of the time. He knows us by our hearts. I often remark internally about the inconsistency between a people's representation of themselves and their true presentation, when I notice it. The infallible word of God that helps me with this is in Matthew 7:15-20: 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 Even so,every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
I notice the tendency of people to create a representation of themselves that they want others to accept and receive as the truth of who they are. But that facade, that narrative, that campaign falls apart when they demonstrate the quality and position of their hearts through words and or actions that completely contradict and deconstruct it all. God knows the hearts of people who harbor unloving qualities in their hearts. Whether we have the opportunity to discern the intentions of people who misrepresent the true character of their hearts is totally up to God (Matthew 9:4). He knows each one of us by heart (1 Samuel 16:7). It is up to us as believers to stay connected to God, so that we may use discernment and see people as God sees them, and govern ourselves accordingly (John 15:1-8). The misrepresentation received by our human eyes may fool us, but the wisdom and discernment from God through the Holy Spirit will free us by showing us the true nature of a person's heart (Genesis 41:39). Stay connected to God in prayer and devotion, and he will show you the hearts of those around you (1 Kings 3:8-10).
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: Through my connection to God, I am able to know others by their hearts. I am thankful for that.
Haggai 1:2-6 2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘These people say, “The time has not come that the Lord’s house (temple) should be rebuilt.”’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to live in your [expensive] paneled houses while this house [of the Lord] lies in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 6 You have planted much, but you harvest little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have enough to be intoxicated; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns wages earns them just to put them in a bag with holes in it [because God has withheld His blessing].”
In the culture, the phrase "secure the bag" most commonly refers to getting money or the things we believe are valuable according to our human desires. When we close a business deal we say, "The bag is secured." When our money is low, we say "My bag is light." When we are in a posture of pursuit of revenue or some goal of ours, we say "I'm chasing the bag". When we want to encourage each other to stay focused on the goal, we remind each other that above all else we need to zero in and "get the bag". With a Kingdom mindset, I am reminded of God's word about truly securing the bag. Instead of spending our lives chasing the bag that we believe is secured by our professional networks, our superior talents, our track records, or our finesse, it's time that we recognize that God is the bag. With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). His word promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires and petitions of our hearts (Psalm 37:4 AMP). What does it mean to delight ourselves in Him? When I consider the word "delight" used as a verb, to mean "to take great pleasure" or "to give keen enjoyment", I understand that when we take pleasure in seeking God as the thing that we are after, He will give us all that we want. It makes perfect sense to me. When God knows that what delights Him, also delights us, He can trust us to give us whatever we ask. His word in Mark 11:24 AMP assures us of this: "For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you."
My encouragement today is for everyone of us who is up and at it today chasing the bag. I'm not saying that you won't see success in your worldly endeavors. I'm not saying that what you are after has no worth. I'm simply saying that at some point, we all have to consider our ways and understand that only what we do to build up and fortify the Kingdom of God is truly secure (Haggai 1:6). It's obvious that we can secure the bag on the world's terms, but that bag has holes in it. Let's set our minds and condition our hearts to take delight in a life of Godly pursuits (Matthew 16:23). This way our bags our eternally secured (Matthew 19:16-30).
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I am delighting myself in Godly purpose and pursuits, so that my bag is eternally secured.
1 Samuel 16:11-12 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”
The Biblical story of David, a shepherd boy who was anointed as the next King of Israel although he was the least likely candidate, is one of my favorites. I love the way David was simply not pressed about trying to be anything more than what he knew himself to be. He didn't wake up every day trying to impress anyone. He was content in his role of shepherd, attending to and caring for sheep in his assigned duty, honoring his father's house. David's family perceived him to be just a shepherd boy. But the Lord had other plans for David. His destiny was not made known by what people could see. God's plan for David's life was based on what God could see, the quality of his heart.
1 Samuel 16:7b "For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Perhaps you are not seen as king or queen material or anything special by the people in your life (1 Sam 16:5-13). You may not be the one that people celebrate or fawn over. Your name may not be the one that comes to mind when they deliberate over who among you should represent the tribe. Perhaps your physical features don't line up with the world's standards of beguiling beauty or stunning stature. Let's just say, according to people you are not the one. I want to encourage you today, with a sense of urgency, to forget what you heard from people and heed the call to be the one that you know God has created and called you into existence to be (Romans 8:29). You have been fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God for a predestined purpose of God's to be made fully known at His appointed time. You are the one (1 Samuel 16:1;12-13). Perhaps every time you step out of your comfort zone in the direction of the high calling on your life your brothers, your sisters, your friends...ask, "What you are doing, and why you aren't managing the ordinary tasks of your assignment (1 Sam 17:28)? They want to know who is going to keep the kids. How are you going to be able to afford this pursuit? What makes you think you have what it takes to take on this thing that your heart is set on? Every question, concern, or unexplained conflict that arises when you step out in the direction of your destiny is laced with how they really feel--like you are not the one. You have been faithful without complaint in your service to the shepherd boy assignment in your life. But it is time to hit the block with your slingshot to do the thing that rings out in your heart to do for God. God has prescribed this thing that is popping off in your life to launch you into your predestined position of prominence on purpose (1 Samuel 17). He is going to use your plain looks, your deep experience and expertise in ordinary mundane work, your willingness to serve and honor others above yourself, but mostly your heart for God to propel you into your destiny, and promote you to a position of prominence (Psalm 75:6-7)
Psalm 131 1 Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. 2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child [resting] with his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me [composed and freed from discontent]. 3 O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.
I thank God today for the power of His word to establish standards in our lives. What a mighty God we serve who has written a living and infallible prescription for every issue of life. This morning I am embracing an appreciation for the standard set in my soul by the word of God in Psalm 131 that reminds me to operate from a position of quiet strength. I thank God for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who counsels me in my times of challenge, and quashes the the desires of my flesh to relish in the strength of my abilities (John 14:26, Philippians 3:3, 1 John 2:16). I rejoice in praise for God who has quieted my soul and relieved me of the self-inflicted obligation to deal with every single matter as it arises (2 Corinthians 4:17). I trust God with a childlike faith. I am willing to let things that I would normally obsess over fixing, to fall all the way apart. I am relieved from the self-assigned duties of fixer and first-responder, and I am at peace with His results. While I may be real good at problem solving at every level, God is the whole solution (Romans 4:6-7, Revelation 1:8, Acts 9:6). Truly knowing this and being completely content with leaving every matter in His hands, is a level of personal strength that nothing in this world can come up against. To truly be able to step back and say and sincerely mean, "Have your way Lord", is truly a blessed way of living (Zechariah 4:6). To wake up every day like a child with parents who give the most excellent care is only a fraction of what it feels like to truly know and live trusting in the constant care of the One who has the whole world in His hands (Matthew 28:18). My prayer for everyone reading this is that you will begin to trust God with a truly childlike trust and live in the state of contentment that it bears.
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I have a childlike trust in God that allows me to live in contentment.
Genesis 3:1-4 NKJV 1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
God is not a God of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). The story of Adam and Eve in the garden comes to mind for some reason (Gen 2&3). I thought about how these two blessed people of God living in the midst of His high favor didn't have any issue understanding God or each other until the serpent--a covetous low life with not much to lose--showed up. When you are living out the harvest of a manifested destiny, low lifers most definitely see and covet the lush fruit they watch you enjoying--the prosperity of it all. The serpent has no reverence at all for the grace of God that positioned you so that you didn't have to work so hard to live in the state of prosperity that you simply know as your life (Deut 6:10-12, Josh 24:11-13). The crafty and covetous serpent does not care about the high things of God. In the words of the music artist Future, he's representing for that Low Life. The serpent wants to see you fall down to his level--of thinking, living, and unbelieving.
I just want to remind you today that because of the destiny plan for our lives we have too much at stake to be chit chatting with and heeding advice from the snakes in our gardens (Ephesians 1:11). People who don't live by your level of reverence for God or operate with fortitude for the plan of God in your life can only advise you from their low life perspective. (i.e. "Mannnnn if I had all that height and some arms to pick it I would eat from every tree in the garden, especially that one God said don't eat from. That must be the good fruit he wants to keep for himself (Genesis 3:1-4).)
You know what God has given you and revealed to you (Deuteronomy 8:3). You know what your destiny is set on. Through your experiences of being blessed you know what God requires of you because of how those blessings came about. Anybody talking against that, causing you to make moves that contradict the fundamentals of your destiny so you will do it their way is going to cause you to fall if you allow their influence to guide your direction. Make it a habit of asking yourself, "What did God say? What has he shown me?" Believe in your heart that God meant what He said.
"So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11 AMP
God did not intend to prosper the serpent with His word in the Garden of Eden. His instructions were intended to prosper humanity. So don't let the low life serpent who doesn't revere God's calling on your life plant a word of counter instruction or pervert your understanding of God's instructions for your life. Be wise and discerning so that you may live the high calling of God for your life (Hosea 14:9)
I invite you to hold Philippians 3:14 in your heart today as you press past voices and vices in your life seeking to cause you to stumble and fall to a level beneath God's desire for your life.
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:14
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
I thank God today for true freedom. In my heart today I simply hold an appreciation for the fact that the Spirit and the truth of God have set me free. Freedom from the bondage of people and the pressures of this life is a beautiful thing to experience while still living. No matter how wonderful the circumstances of our lives seem to be, let's make sure that we know, trust, and depend completely on what truly makes us free. Money doesn't make us free. Slaying our goals doesn't make us free. The dream house doesn't make us free. The dream spouse doesn't make us free. The career of our dreams doesn't make us free. True freedom comes from intimately knowing God for yourself, living our lives in His truth, and relying on the Holy Spirit.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]." 2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP
My encouragement today is for anyone who feels stuck, trapped, stagnant, subdued, set up, ill-situated, stolen from, scared, or simply sunken because of the cares of this world. Seek true freedom in the Spirit and the truth of God. Get connected to the body of Christ so that you can be strengthened in a community of believers (John 15:5-8). Your diminished condition is not a result of the presence of the nuisances and restrictions in your life, but from the absence of God's presence (Matthew 19:26). Be encouraged and determined to seek first the Kingdom of God and allow God to give you everything you need (Matthew 6:25-33). Prioritize the daily reading of God's word. Prioritize your worship. Make it your priority to spend time in the presence of God. You don't have to remain where you are. You can indeed be free--not by earthly power, nor by personal might, but by His Spirit (Zachariah 4:6).
If you are reading this, I am praying for your freedom.
Isaiah 40:5-8 NIV 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
Those of us who believe in God can sometimes take for granted that because we know God's power is at work in us, we are going to always come out on the up side of anything we face. We can take God for granted in so many ways. His mercy, His grace, His unmerited favor on our lives--He is worthy to be praised on an incessant basis (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Psalm 34:1). Beyond our praise, God's presence and the perpetuation of His power in our lives should be protected. Our prayers, our praise, our worship, our obedience, our commitment to the ways of God should be nonnegotiable. There comes a time in our lives when we have to be clear about who we are, whose we are, and what we are about. There comes a time when we have to be resolute in our thinking and being about our Father's business (Luke 2:49). The time for playing like we are about the business of God's Kingdom, but compromising to keep the benefits of the world has expired. We have to decide, declare, and demonstrate where we stand. Our cultural infatuations with mousy mantras that are laced in scriptural allusions, but latent in power to produce the spiritual growth, development, and fruit we need to prevail in the Kingdom purpose for our lives, are not going to stand when there is a shaking in the atmosphere of our faith. A faith built on a wave of what's popular about God among people, but not promulgated from a position of sound Biblical truth will not stand (2 Timothy 4:3-5 AMP) when the wind blows. There comes a time when exactly where you stand will in fact matter. On what ground is your life built? Is your life built on your reliance on what people say, or knowing and declaring the infallible word of God for yourself? (Luke 9:20) Is your life built on the things and the pleasures of this world, or on that which is pleasing to God?
My encouragement for you today is to make sure that your life is built on the Solid Rock. Know God for yourself, and build your life according to His word. The grass withers, and flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).
I invite you to meditate on Matthew 7:24-27 today. “Thereforewhoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I am building my life on the strong and solid foundation of God's word.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness and delight; Come before His presence with joyful singing. Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting, His faithfulness [endures] to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5 AMP
If you are blessed and you know it clap your hands. *clap, clap* If you are blessed and you know it stomp your feet *stomp, stomp*. If you're blessed and you know it wave your hands. If you're blessed and you know it do all three. *clap-clap, stomp-stomp, wave hands* If you're blessed and you know it then your joy will surely show it. If you're blessed and you know it do all three *clap-clap, stomp-stomp, wave hands* :-) My encouragement today is very lighthearted and super simple. When you know that you are living a life blessed by God, joy is your countenance. You cannot be mad, vindictive, spiteful, or desire to perpetuate suffering in others and be blessed at the same time. When you are basking in your blessedness the crazy actions of other people is taken in context. You realize that they need to grow in some areas where you may have already matured, and you take their behavior in stride praying for them with a sincere heart. You remain in peace. You respond with kindness. You go about your merry little way. Remember, if God saved you from your most awful ways He can help them too. When God is in you, His character becomes you. I leave you with two verses of scripture to consider and to pray from, as you seek to increasingly embody the character of God.
Matthew 6:33 AMP But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
Galations 5:22-23 AMP 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, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I am blessed in the Lord, therefore I am joyful.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19
I am simply thankful this morning that God chose to wake me up with breath in my body, clothed and in my right mind, submerged in peace that simply surpasses all understanding (Genesis 2:7, Mark5:15, Philippians 4:7). I want to encourage somebody right now to be still and know that He is God. Your trouble is temporary (2 Corinthians 2:14). Keep your mind set on things above, instead of being inundated with the obsessions, distractions, and troubles of this world (Colossians 3:2). Be present and available for what God is about to do in YOUR life. Do not give any consideration to the merits or the malaise of your past (Isaiah 43:18). That frustrating situation you are currently facing is a well timed ploy of the enemy to cause you to absentmindedly miss the open door to your destiny that God has made available to you (Proverbs 14:7, Revelation 3:8). Do not be deceived. Break from your normal habit of succumbing to the havoc around you. The energy you spend nursing the neurotic is needed to nurture yourself and your circumstances in preparation for the next level (Psalm 75:6-7).
God is ALWAYS blessing you because of your obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Be available to hear the commands that God is giving you right now, and be faithful and obedient (Deuteronomy 28:1, Revelation 2). Your life is a testimony of how God blesses on an exponential and perpetual basis. But you can’t see the accumulation of God’s blessing when you honor and uphold that which steals your peace, inhibits your elevation, and causes you to doubt God’s lavish love and intention for your life (Matthew 6:21, Galatians 6:7). Be still and know that what God is leading you to and urging you to do is the right thing for you, as established before you were planted in your mother’s womb (Psalm 46:10, Jeremiah 1:5). Do what you have to do to stay focused on God's plan for your life, perceiving for yourself in the midst of what could be considered calamity that this is the appointed time for His favor to bring your destiny to fruition (Habakkuk 2:3, Genesis 18:4). I am rejoicing with you on the precipice of your breakthrough!
Be Blessed! ~Nina
Declaration: I am being still and knowing that God is doing that thing that He has allowed me to perceive.