Seek and Live

Matthew 6:33“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (NLT).

People in general spend the bulk of their time living for and working toward achieving whatever it is they think they want or need. That pursuit, though, often takes us off the path of God’s perfect will, exhausting our time and energy in the process. In the above verse, Jesus gives two keys to unlocking God’s blessing in our lives.

First, seek the Kingdom of God above everything else. In other words, we waste valuable time and effort if our first priority is not chasing after God. Trust me, it’s much easier to find God than it is to find whatever else you might be looking for.

Next, live righteously. Jesus gave Himself as a sacrifice so you and I might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). When you receive Christ as Lord and Savior, He makes you righteous. Live in His righteousness by faith and walk in obedience to His word.

It’s as simple as that. Seek God and live for Him. Then He makes it His priority to give you whatever you need.

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No Worries

Matthew 6:26“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” (NLT)

God is faithful; He looks after you, and He has more than enough to meet your needs. Consider birds. They don’t do anything to merit God’s provision, yet He always takes care of them.

You likely have needs that are very real and weigh on you today. I encourage you not to worry or complain. Worrying and complaining don’t change anything. They only alter your emotional state of being and rob you of God’s promises.

God has come through time and time again. He may not always do what we’d like when we’d like, but He always does the right thing. He’s never early or late, but He’s always on time. Start rejoicing right now!

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.

Got Self-Control?

Proverbs 25:28A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls (NLT).

I believe this verse paints a great picture of what a person with, or without, self-control looks like. Self-control is a form of protection for us. Our lives are like a city. When we practice self-control, we fortify the walls that surround and protect us. We are safe, secure, and at peace.

On the other hand, if we don’t control ourselves, those walls crumble around us and open the door for danger, insecurity, and chaos. Many people indulge in destructive behaviors because they lack self-control. The walls have crumbled around them, and they put themselves in compromising situations. Good people wind up doing bad things because they lack self-control.

Use wisdom. Think before you speak. Don’t give into temptation. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you develop the fruit of self-control in your life. If you’ve lived without it for a while, today is a great time to start over.

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.

Receive God’s Love for You

Romans 5:5For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love (NLT).

Open up your heart today and receive God’s love for you. I think we sometimes have a tendency to label His love as unconditional for others and conditional for us. We’ll say things like, “God’s love is enough for that person, but the mistakes I’ve made and the problems I have are just too great or unique.” This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many people have only known rejection in this life. They are outcasts, misfits, problematic, and so on. Perhaps you feel this way. If so, listen to me carefully: Others have and may continue to reject and withhold their love from you, but don’t believe the lie that God has rejected you too. He loves you with an everlasting love.

All you have to do is set everything that hinders you aside and receive His love for you by faith. Doing so will free you from the burden of unworthiness and give you a glimpse at just how valuable you are in the sight of God. After all, you are His child.

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.

God Must be Crazy

Philippians 2:14Do everything without complaining (NLT).

To me, this seems like one of those biblical commands that’s impossible. I could understand and obey something more like: “Do most things, or more things than usual, without complaining.” But everything? God must be crazy. Perhaps auto correct changed one of Paul’s words without him realizing it.

The truth is we can make all kinds of excuses to justify complaining, but none of them are valid. More times than not, a complaint is birthed from discontent or some fickle emotion. Paul was an authority on not complaining. Besides being shipwrecked and beaten multiple times, he was falsely accused, bit by a snake, and much more. On top of all that, he wrote the words from Philippians 2:14 while imprisoned!

The key to never complain again is to learn to be content whatever your circumstance (Philippians 4:11-13). Focus on what’s right with God, not on what’s wrong with your life. If you and I will do that, we will be grateful instead of grumbling.

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.

Stay Amazed

Luke 4:32 — There, too, the people were amazed at His teaching, for He spoke with authority (NLT).

I want to encourage you this morning to stay amazed at the things God does in your life, even the small things. Have the mindset that nothing is trivial or coincidental. The longer I’ve been a believer the more I realize my own need to live this way.

Like in any relationship, it’s easy to start taking God for granted because He’s reliable, timely, and present. I try to discipline myself daily to praise Him for His faithfulness and thank Him for everything He does. If you will purpose to do the same, I believe you will value and appreciate those things you’ve been taking for granted.

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.

The Gift of Peace

John 14:27“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (NLT).

I love how this translation of the Bible describes peace as a gift, and like any gift, we have to open it up in order to have it in our lives. Like anything else we receive from God, we open peace by faith. Living in His peace requires us to trust Him wholeheartedly.

Many people, including Christians, have a peace that is fleeting. Their peace of mind, or the lack thereof, fluctuates based on the state of their affairs. When things are going well, they’re at peace. When things aren’t going so well, they’re in chaos.

The peace Jesus gave to us cannot be received by someone who trusts in his or her senses. Your life will never be “just right enough” to live in God’s peace. As long as we live on earth, troubling things are going to continue to happen. But do not be afraid! Be encouraged today. Put your faith in Him and open the gift of peace He left to you.

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*Contact us at JMI, P. O. Box 135, Forest Hill, LA 71430.