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December 05, 2019
God has many names, but I’m going to talk about God being our Shepherd. God, as our Shepherd, takes on the form of a protector, comforter and healer. Psalms 23:4 ESV version says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” David says to God, “Your rod and Your staff comfort me.” Shepherds carried a rod to protect the sheep from large animals. The Shepherd was always watching for lions, bears, robbers, and enemies. The staff was used to guide the sheep. It could pull wandering sheep back in line. The sheep knew the shepherd loved them when he corrected them! When we get corrected by God, it’s not out of anger but out of love.
My oldest son is named Shepherd, and we named him that because he is the oldest and the protector of his siblings. As I father, I, too have learned about correcting my son. It is not out of anger but love. Tonight as we sat outside beside a bonfire, Shepherd wanted to keep adding logs to the fire, but I had to step in and correct him because his little brothers we following right behind him. They were unaware of the dangers of playing with fire. The correction was for protection because, just like sheep, little brothers also follow their Shepherd. If we are not corrected and corrected with love, we can be hurt. If we are hurt, we can hurt others. With that hurt, we need healing. When the Lord is our shepherd, He is our Healer. He’s got us covered, and He will lead us to better and better places in His kingdom! When we feel lost, Jesus will help us find our way through His word and through prayer. When we are afraid, we can trust that God is with us! When we trust in God, we can be sure that He is our Healer!
Have you been hurt by correction or even lack of correction? Has your hurt caused you to hurt others? Take a moment to listen to the Lord, your Shepherd to protect and lead you. When the Lord is our Shepherd, He can also be our Healer.
November 29, 2019
Did you know that God is called Yahweh-Jireh which means Provider and Yahweh-Shalom which means peace in the Bible? God is my provider and my peace. If you can understand this and believe it, it will destroy the works of the devil. The devil comes against the truth and your knowledge of the truth. He will try to keep you distracted at all times. I want to tell you that you can live in the provision and peace of God.
Many years ago my husband walked out on me and left me with a four-year-old daughter. I was terrified and devastated. To be honest, I just wanted to die. I was scared to live alone and raise a child by myself. I called out to the Lord and He met me right where I was. I was instantly filled with His peace. I didn't know how I was going to survive, but I knew He was with me and would provide for me. In the lowest place in my life, the Lord came to me, He comforted me, He confirmed my identity and He challenged me.
I look back on that time now and I can see how the Lord took care of me. He provided for me many times when there was no way I could have humanly made it. It took a crisis for me to learn to lean on Him and trust that He would provide. Today, I tell you don't wait for the battle to believe He is the provider. He himself is the Provision.
I challenge you today to ask yourself some questions? Do you trust the Lord to provide for you? Are you are giving beyond your tithe. Are you generous with your time? Does your walk reflect that you believe He is the provider? If so, thank Him. If not, start today to pursue Yahweh-Jireh.
November 21, 2019
Written and Recorded by Carlos Renfore | Translated by Edwin Cruz
The wonderful thing about life in Christ is that we are assured that God is on our side. Hebrews 13:5 promises that God will never leave or forsake us. This means that God is far more than an impersonal being that is simply present. It means that through Christ, we have everything that we need in order to live, move, and thrive in His will for our lives. In the book of John, Jesus unfolds this truth through 7 “I AM” statements:
I Am the Bread of Life - John 6:28-35
I Am the Light of the World - John 8:12
I Am the Door AND - I Am the Good Shepherd - John 10:7-18
I Am the Resurrection, and the Life - John 11:25-26
I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - John 14:6
I Am the True Vine - John 15:1-6
Within all these statements, Jesus displays that, In Him, we are provided every benefit and resource that we will ever need. Furthermore, Jesus reveals that these attributes are much more than what He provides to His followers, but that are synonymous with who He actually is! We receive these benefits as believers because they are inseparable from the very nature of the Lord we are serving.
Take time to read through each of these passages and allow the Holy Spirit to show you how Jesus has provided each one of these in your walk with Him.
November 07, 2019
Written by Dallas Mora | Translated by Edwin Cruz | Recorded by Carlos Renfroe
When I was a kid, I lived out in the country on a 5-acre plot of land. My sister and I used to sit in the large front yard during sunset when the fireflies would begin their evening dance. Sitting there in the cool of the evening, I’d close my eyes and take a moment to breathe in. For a few minutes, I’d swear that I could feel the rotation of this blue marble we call Earth as it spun wildly through the vastness that is space. This, of course, is impossible. Our earth spins at a rate of 1037 miles an hour (1670 kilometers per hour) at its axis, and we are traveling along with it. This means that we can’t feel the motion of our trek through space. Even so, for a brief moment, I would be very aware of the majesty of creation. I don’t believe those moments would have happened if I’d not stopped for just a moment to take it all in.
I’ve found that taking moments like that are extremely beneficial to those who follow Christ. As Christians, we believe that all of creation was made through Christ. Thus taking time to be aware of creation and appreciate it, even for a few moments, create a unique act of worship. This week we want to challenge you to take a few moments and appreciate what is before you. Sit on your back porch one evening and just listen. Stroll through your neighborhood in the early moments of the day and view the beauty of the sunrise. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate things that God has masterfully created.
October 31, 2019
Written by Corey van Noppen | Translated by Edwin Cruz | Recorded by Carlos Renfroe
Personally, I don’t like parades. I think there are too many people, so clearly, people like parades. Maybe people like the marching bands, the elaborate floats, or the exciting throws from each float. Most of the time, there’s a flag that represents the celebration and sometimes even an American flag. A flag is used as the symbol or emblem of a country or institution or as a decoration during public festivities. A flag is a reminder.
God’s people, Israel, also had a reminder. The Ark of the Covenant was a reminder that God had given them their land and that He had promised to bless them if they obeyed Him. God gave the people of Israel guidelines on how to carry the ark of the covenant. This is because God’s presence rested on the ark of the covenant. The Israelites were the carriers of God’s presence. Just like God told the Israelites how to carry the Ark, God gave us guidelines for worship. We worship God because God loves us and created us. WE are the carriers of God’s presence.
God’s presence now rests in each of us. Just like the Israelites, God gives us instructions on how to carry His Presence. Now, we can meet with God whenever and wherever we are! We can lead others to God’s presence whenever and wherever we are!
How we carry God’s presence matters! Just like the Israelites carried the ark on their shoulders, sometimes, we feel the weight of carrying God’s presence. Sometimes we feel sad when others are sad or hurt when others are hurt. When we feel for others, we can pray with them, whenever and wherever we are!
Today we can ask ourselves a few important questions from Exodus 24:7. Will we do everything the LORD has told us to do? Will we obey the LORD and carry His Presence everywhere we go?
October 24, 2019
Written by Shelli Pierce | Translated by Becky Cruz | Recorded by Carlos Renfroe
When I think about healing, my first memory is always from when I was a child. My grandmother had rheumatoid arthritis, and one day, she was hurting badly. We had plans for the day that were going to be canceled if she didn't get to feeling better. My Granny told me that we need to pray to Jesus that she would quit hurting. She told me to lay my hands on her leg that was hurting her and pray. I told her that I didn't know what to say. I will never forget what she said to me. She said, "I will tell you what to say, and you can repeat it. The most important thing is that you believe." I prayed precisely what she told me, and I believed with all my heart that Jesus was going to heal her, and He did. This created a movement of healing within me that has lasted all my life.
Jesus created a movement of healing when He came to earth. In Matthew 4:23, it says, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people." When Jesus healed someone, many things happened. In some stories, it drew a crowd, sometimes people were saved, but always a life was changed.
He gives the same power to His followers. Luke 9:1-2 says, "Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." What this means to me is that any follower of Jesus can pray for the sick to be healed. He wants to heal the sick today just as like He did when He walked the earth.
Why does He want to heal the sick? Simply put, because He is compassionate, and He loves us. Just like you would not want your own child to suffer physically or emotionally, the Lord does not want you to either. When you hurt, He hurts. When you grieve, He grieves. He wants to heal you so that you can become more like Him.
Today, I challenge you to search your heart and see where God needs to heal you. You may need physical healing in your body. Your heart may be wounded, and you need God to mend a situation through forgiveness. Whatever the Lord is showing you, I encourage you to move toward Him so He can heal you. And remember that the most important thing that you can do is believe Him!
October 17, 2019
It’s well known that the essential needs for human survival are air, food, and water. However, in order to thrive spiritually and emotionally, we all need hope. Hope gives an earnest expectation that there are good things ahead of us. It is the fuel to keep pressing on. In a world full of bad news and bad intentions, recognizing our source of hope is vital.
Our path to hope is given to us in the scriptures. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the face of our hopeless because of sin, the King came from Heaven to Earth to give us hope! And when the King moves, the Kingdom moves! Once we receive hope through salvation, God passes the baton to us. We then become living treasure chests of His hope to the world (Colossians 1:27). Additionally, 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.” God, through His Spirit, pour hope into us, and in return, we carry it into the world. Be encouraged. Be filled with hope. The carry that hope everywhere you go. A Romans 5:5 says, “Hope never disappoints!”