Don’t worry

We know we all catch ourselves worrying here and there. Some more than others. We don’t mean to, but we just let our minds wander sometimes to the cares and concerns that surround us. I was reading a devotional this morning that helped me so much. It was talking about how to cast our cares like the Bible says to. What hit me hard was that we are literally commanded to cast our cares on God. It’s not a suggestion, you think you can, or even a light teaching or instruction. It is a command. God HATES worry! It is a form of fear and fear is the opposite of faith. We need to have faith to please God. As a matter of fact, it is a sin to fear. Here’s what the example was that helped me put it in the perspective of how we are to cast the care on God.

–“Let’s say you were standing about 20 feet away from me and I tossed my car keys to you. If someone else were to come to me and say, “Brother Copeland, I need the keys to your car. I need to use it.” I would say, “I can’t help you. I cast my keys over on him. I don’t have them anymore.”That’s what you need to do with your worries. You need to cast them over on the Lord and not take them back. If Satan brings a worried thought to your mind, saying, “What if this terrible thing happens?” then you can tell him to talk to God about it. It’s in His hands, not yours! Remember, though, God will not take your cares away from you. You have to give them to Him. Then you have to replace those worries with the Word. You are the one who has to keep your thoughts under control. 

I am so thankful for devotional books that help us get sharp & stay sharp. Thanks to Kenneth Copeland’s, “From Faith to Faith” Daily Devotional, Day 15.

Let’s cast our cares on God and make sure we never take them back. Walk with me…

““So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/mat.6.34.nlt

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/1pe.5.7.nlt

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/pro.12.25.nlt

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/php.4.6.nlt

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Pressure

Tired of pressure? All of us are. All of us have pressure after pressure. The question is how do we handle the pressure? Do we give in under it and surrender early? Sometimes. Do we press back and keep fighting? Yes, this is what we should try to do every time. Why? I heard an example recently that I realized is so true. Think of this- we have our garden hose on, and we cover our the opening where the water comes out with our thumb. Does it stop the water from coming out? Nope. Actually, the harder you press down against the water, the further the water shoots out. Pressure, if handled right, can thrust us further than we ever imagined possible. So let’s remember this when we feel pressure again. Let’s keep our own pressure on the situation and we will eventually see ourselves thrust further ahead than we thought. God will help us take it to another level. Stay strong and walk with me…

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/php.3.14.nlt

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.46.1.nlt

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

‭‭James‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/jas.4.7.nlt

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””

‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/jhn.16.33.nlt

Vision

Do you have vision for your future? Do you have dreams that you want to come to pass? Is it something you focus on every day or Is it something you would love to happen but feels like there is no way it ever will? I have been in both places. And right now am kind of in both places to be honest. Some I am stepping out and actively working on and some feel as though, “how will they ever come to pass?” We can’t get weighed down by the question of how? We have to just do what we can and keep the vision before our eyes. I have heard a few quotes that keep ringing in my ears. Someone once asked Helen Keller what was worse than having no sight. She responded with, “Having sight, but having no vision”. Wow! That is so true. Then I heard two quotes today from Corrie Ten Boom who was a survivor of the holocaust. She said two things that really spoke to me recently. She said, “Always live according to your vision, never according to your eyes.” This is such a great reminder of how we are to walk by faith and not by sight. What is going on around us doesn’t mean that is the end result, it is just what is happening at the moment. There is always hope that things will change. Imagine Corrie Ten Boom and what things she had to look past to have hope for even living past the day she was living. She was in a concentration camp and watched many die, even her sister and heard that her other family members had died as well. She also said, “Believe in the dark what God told you in the light”. This means keep the vision that God has given you, no matter what the circumstances look like today. Let’s take the advice of this wise woman who trusted God in overwhelming circumstances. You can see her story in the movie, “The Hiding Place”. There is also a book written titled the same.  Let’s keep holding on to what we know God placed in our hearts, not giving up. Walk with me…

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/psa.56.3.nlt

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jos.1.9.nlt

“Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”
‭‭Habakkuk‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/hab.2.2-3.nlt

“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?””
‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/est.4.14.nlt

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/heb.11.1.nlt

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/php.3.13-14.nlt

Comfort Zone

Are you in a time of comfort? I mean do you feel like anything is really a challenge at all? Are you at a point where you’ve been in for a while and are comfortable and things seem to come pretty easy? Have you been having thoughts of doing something different, but you’re a little afraid or think, “I’ll do it sometime, just not yet”? All of us have had these times. I have had this happen recently, but had to make a fast decision. Do I step out and try this trusting that I believe God is bringing it, or do I shrink back in fear because I don’t think I’m qualified? Well, I was listening to a teaching today that reminded me of that feeling I had. The minister was talking about being in a comfort zone; about not stepping out because of the comfort of where they were. She talked about an eagle leaving its nest and then talked about how eagles like fresh meat. She referred to the fresh meat representing new information in our lives. New books, teachings, or information in many different forms. I thought this was so good. Years ago, I was going through a hard time & I decided to listen to some Bible teachings on my way to work & on the way home. I realized I was feeling stronger inside. Then I branched out to other teachings and then more. I now thirst for new stuff. Not just Bible teachings but books on  anything that might help us grow in any area. Ever since I stretched myself to listen or read more, I have seen growth in myself and my family. Was it always comfortable? No, but I have learned many new things and have realized that whether I felt qualified or not, someone saw something in me with potential. Let’s not let fear hold us back any longer. Let God help push us out of the comfort of the nest. We may discover that we can soar higher than we ever thought possible. Walk with me…

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/2ti.1.7.nlt

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/php.4.6-7.nlt

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/isa.41.10.nlt

Here’s a small example of the material I was talking about. Enjoy…

For the Children

I’ve been thinking lately about how when kids get off of the course of where the parent pictures for them, it can sometimes get the parents down. Many times it sends parents into a tailspin. Many get just plain angry. Others get sad and then depressed. Then, there are those who worry constantly about anything and everything. And some of us, well it’s a blizzard of all of the above. Whether we are the parents, the grandparents, the uncles & aunts, the cousins, or even just the neighbor or friend, we can relate to these emotions. I was thinking about how God thought of this ahead of time. He has scriptures to help us to get perspective. Despite what we see happening regarding the children in our lives, we can remind God of His Word by reading it or quoting it back to Him. The great thing is that most of the scripture said about children in the Bible, is a promise from God. It is like a written contract so we can read it back to Him every time we think of it. We could actually walk in faith by acting like children. You know when you have told a child that you would do something and they bring it up over and over and over again along with the phrase, “You promised”? Well that’s what God wants us to do with His Word. So think of a child you have in your life. They don’t even need to be in a bad place. We can declare God’s Word over them even before they are born. These scriptures are meant to be spoken to bring God’s life and power forth. Speak these over the kids you know. We can see God’s hand at work with our consistency. Let’s be a part of speaking life into their future. Walk with me…

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/php.4.6-7.nlt

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:3-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.127.3-5.nlt

“May the Lord richly bless both you and your children.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭115:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.115.14.nlt

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/pro.22.6.nlt

“The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence.””

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭102:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.102.28.nlt

“But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.103.17.nlt

“Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭13:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/pro.13.24.nlt

“Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/col.3.20.nlt

Grateful

Today is the day the Lord has made- we should rejoice and be glad in it- like He told us to. It may not be the best day or we may be having a rough week. Maybe times are tough or we lost someone recently. It may not feel like a good time to rejoice. Maybe reading that scripture today made you want to roll your eyes and scroll past without reading another word. Very understandable- we’ve all been there. Did you know that is the best time to be thankful anyway? It’s a good thing to rejoice despite the circumstances in our lives. Our attitude can determine so much about our present and our future. How we deal with each situation can decide which direction or path we take. For example, when we go on a walk, we have to decide which route to take. There’s not necessarily right or wrong choice. It’s simply, “Do we go to the right around the block or do we go left? Do we take the residential path or do we go on the bike path?” I sound like I got off of the subject, but think about it. If we have a rough situation going on, we really have two choices- We can get upset, be grumpy and treat everyone around us with a sour attitude. Or we can realize that those around us are not the cause of the rough situation. We could do our best to have a good attitude in hopes of better things to come. Then we treat those around us better and get better results. Somehow when we have a good attitude, things seem to smooth out faster. I’m sure the thought is , “How can I act happy and thankful when I’m really not?” Well, we do it if we don’t want someone to know something- we kinda fake it until they are gone. In this case, we have an enemy, Satan, who is out to kill, steal and destroy every chance he gets. He’s basically waiting for your reaction to know what his next move is. If he thinks that you’re still thankful in the midst of trials, it will confuse him and his plans. It also gives God an open door to move on our behalf. When we are thankful and have a good attitude, it closes the door, so to speak, on the devil which opens it wider for God. Let’s be thankful and rejoice today regardless of the circumstances. Let’s confuse the enemy and shut the door on him. Walk with me…

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭118:24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.118.24.nlt

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/jhn.10.10.nlt

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/rom.12.12.nlt

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/php.4.4.nlt

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/rom.5.3.nlt

What Is That Smell?

Ever walk into an area and smell something so bad that you look to see where it’s coming from so that you can have fresh air again? What about when you keep looking for the problem and you can’t find where the smell is coming from? It just seems like it’s following you or it just stinks everywhere. I heard a story one time that reminds me of this. There was a teacher that told the students each  to bring in a sack of potatoes. The assignment was to carry the potatoes around For a long period of time. Everywhere they went, they had to take the potatoes with them. They had to take them to every class. They had to take them to lunch. They even had to take them into the restroom with them. They had to take them on the bus or in the car and to home or practice or to the store. No matter where it was, they had to take the sack of potatoes. Not such a big deal at the beginning, but by the end of the week, the potatoes were not only heavy, but they were beginning to rot. There was a smell beginning to follow the students around. By the end of the assignment, they were even worse. The teacher told them by the end of it what it was an example of. The sack of potatoes represented the unforgiveness they might be carrying around. Each potato being a different person or thing from the past that caused bitterness in the person carrying it. Not only was it heavy, but the longer they carried it with them, the stinkier it became. How long do we really want to carry that stink anyway? Is it worth it? Forgiving doesn’t mean that we are saying what happened was right, we are simply saying that we will not let it weigh us down any longer. It’s just that we are not letting that thing control us anymore. If we think about it, it really can be like a stinky potato. Let’s forgive and be free from carrying it around. It’s definitely not worth it. Walk with me…

 

““If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.6.14.nlt

“But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.6.15.nlt

“Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/mat.18.21-22.nlt

Just  a little bonus- great message on forgiveness: