“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen
you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, nothing ever goes right for you?  You are not alone.  We all feel overwhelmed with burdens throughout our lives.  Sadly, many Believers think that being in Jesus Christ means no hardship, no illness, no suffering, no pain.  A relationship with God does not mean that we will not endure difficulties.  As a matter of fact, Scripture declares that we will suffer trials and tribulations of many kinds.  Our suffering can happen for many reasons; sometimes we make poor choices, sometimes it’s others’ poor choices that drag us down, but mostly we are burdened because we live in a sinful and fallen age.  When sin entered the world shortly after creation, it was imputed on all of us (thank you Adam & Eve!).  Scripture tells us we were conceived and born in sin and that sin is our nature.  Our pain and suffering doesn’t seem right and even seems counterintuitive to who God is, but really it is not.  God wants us to see ourselves and everything about ourselves in Him first and not in our circumstances.  He gives us great promises of deep care and concern for us and even tells us that He cares about what happens to us.  He offers assurance that He will be with us and He will strengthen us and help us and even hold us up when it feels as though our legs are going to give out.  Too many times to count throughout the Word, God tells us He is there for us and is our everlasting help in times of trouble.  Are you trusting Him to help you, strengthen you and hold you up?  When it seems that you can’t go on, our Father will make it so that not only can you go on, but He will see to it that you rise above and flourish even during the hardest times.

“But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and
all these things will be added unto you.” ~ Matthew 6:33
As children of God, we have a Father who will supply all of our needs. He tell us so!  He will give us exactly what we need when we need it.  Our role is to be faithful and obedient to God, seeking Him in all things and allowing His work in us through the Holy Spirit.  As we put God first in everything, we can rely on Him to provide for us in everything.  Whatever it is that we need, we only have to look to the Lord for fulfilment.  Our God has promised us that He will meet all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus and we must take Him at His word.  Remember, He is not a God who breaks His promises.  God has counseled us not to worry for the things that we think we need, but to trust Him that His provision is perfect!  He is enough for us and as Christians, we are to believe that His ways are better than our ways thus, we should not focus on what we think we need but be grateful for those things that God gives us because He actually knows what we need.  Take heart, God’s thoughts about us are far superior to our thoughts about ourselves, so he knows better what each one of us needs!  Consider this, to God the most important part of this life is our spiritual welfare and if we are right with Christ, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, then all of the things God has for us will be added unto us, perfecting our spiritual life in Jesus Christ and providing for us as we journey along in this life!

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about
three thousand were added to their number that day.” ~ Acts 2:41
Who should be baptized?  Anyone who has professed faith in Jesus Christ.  All people who have confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord, and who believe in their hearts that Jesus is God and He was raised from the dead; all those should be baptized as soon as possible after they have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives.  Baptism is an outward expression of a person’s identification with Jesus Christ.  It is the declaration of one’s faith in Jesus for all the world to see.  Baptism is symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it also symbolizes our new life in Christ.  The lowering of one into the water symbolizes one’s identification with Christ in His death and burial and the raising from the water symbolizes one’s identification with Christ in His resurrection and new life.  Once we choose Christ, we are new, the old has gone and the new has come.  Being washed in the water is also symbolic of being washed clean by the blood of Jesus.   Remember, baptism does not save, it is a true heart belief in Jesus Christ that saves, but baptism is our expression before the nations that we belong to Jesus Christ and that He belongs to us! 

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.~ Romans 10:17
There is nothing more gratifying to a Bible teacher than when a life is saved by Jesus Christ.  Praise God!  Did you know that every soul is precious to the Lord, so much so that there is rejoicing by the angels in Heaven when one single soul is saved!  Hallelujah!  The second most joyful experience a leader has is watching the saved person grow in the grace and mercy of the Lord.  Often times after one has chosen Jesus Christ to be the Lord over their lives, they think they’ve “arrived” and there is nothing more to attain in Christ.  This is false!  God has plans for each one beyond anything we could imagine.  How do we realize the plans God has  for us?  For starters, we don’t rest at salvation, but we continue to grow the measure of faith that God has given each Believer and as we grow in faith, a miraculous transformation happens within us which manifests itself from the inside out!  This wonderful change comes to us by the power the Holy Spirit through our faith.  The Holy Spirit grows our faith as we follow the Word of Jesus Christ.  If we are not reading the Bible and studying and meditating on Scripture, we will not grow in Christ and, consequently, we will live defeated and joyless lives.  God’s word is alive and as we take it in, we become alive too!  I challenge you to spend time with God and then watch what He does in your life!  Remember that “faith comes by hearing the Word of God!”

“Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working
for the Lord rather than for people.  Remember that the Lord will
reward each one of us for the good we do . . . .” ~ Ephesians 6:7-8
This instruction encourages responsibility and integrity.  No matter what our job is, a Christian’s performance should include God at the forefront.  As with all things in our spiritual journey, if God is first, everything else is as it should be.    When we are working as for the Lord rather than for people, those we work for are assured of our best possible performance.  When we can place God at the head of our jobs, then He ensures our favor, if not here in this world, then more importantly, in the next world.  So how do we give our best work no matter what our job is? The Bible says we are to take “pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of man,” and that we are to do our “best to present” ourselves “to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” God expects us to “do all things without grumbling or complaining.”  Listen, is any of this possible?  Yes, it is but only by the the Holy Spirit who provides us the power to overcome in all circumstances.  He is our Helper who will help us work with the enthusiasm and integrity God desires from all His children!

“Where this is no guidance the people fail; but in the abundance
of counselors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14
Have you ever tried to solve a problem and the answer just would not come no matter what you did?  And then, worse, you finally found the courage to make a decision and it turned out to be the wrong one!  I’m sure this has happened to all of us at one time or another in our lives.  The Bible speaks about the importance of wise advisors.  A person’s perspective can be hampered by many different influences, so making a clear decision sometimes doesn’t come easily.  God has given us the ultimate Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to offer us the guidance and direction we need, but sometimes, we have a hard time discerning His advice.  This is when we need to call on others.  When making an important decision, seek God’s guidance and direction first, and then seek the counsel of  GODLY friends and family.  It is important to seek Godly counsel because we want always that the choices in our lives align with the will of God and it’s hard to stay in His will when we are influenced by those who’s lives are not centered on God.  Godly people have character strengths produced by the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. Their character strengths emulate the fruits of the Spirit and these are the wise people through whom you should seek your counsel.  A Godly brother or sister will have YOUR best interests at the forefront, not their own, nor that of anyone else, and every word of guidance they offer will align with the Spirit of God!  Utilizing Godly counsel will help all of us stay in the will of God!


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins

 and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.~ 1 John 1:9

Did you know that a walk with Jesus Christ requires us to be in continual and perpetual confession to God?  To maintain a pure heart before God there must be no sin, which separates us from Him, in our lives.  That’s right!  Here is how it works:  From the day  we choose Jesus we are forgiven for all PAST sins, that is all transgressions that occurred BEFORE that day of our salvation.  Once Jesus becomes our God, He asks us to live His way and that includes living according to His precepts and commands.  I once had a person ask me “what commandments in the Bible do we have to follow and which do we not have to follow?”  The answer is we must follow and obey all of God’s instructions in the Bible, from the Ten Commandments to every other directive He has given. There is not one of God’s laws, commands, instructions or directives that we should disobey.  So why are all people disobedient?  The problem is our sin nature, which is part of who we are.  As we walk with and grow closer to God through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, our hearts change and we begin to have less of a sin nature.  As our hearts grow in God, there becomes fewer and fewer stumbling blocks in front of us.  Confession (speaking admission of our sin out to God) and repentance (turning away from the behavior(s) that lead to sin and turning to God) opens our hearts to change through the Holy Spirit.  Praying and confessing your sins every day to God and then making a earnest effort to turn away from those sins and to live for God is how we maintain the righteousness we received on the day we were saved by Jesus Christ.  This is important if we want to stay in close connection with God.  Sin separates us from God and sin in our lives makes it impossible for Him to look upon us because He is a God of righteousness!

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said.
  In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who
feared  him and loved to think about him.  They will be my people . . . . my own special treasure.~ Malachai 3:16-17
What does it mean to fear the Lord?  it means to revere Him.  It means that you hold Him in the deepest place in your heart; that you are putting Him above all else in your life.  God’s Word says that when we give God the number one spot in our lives and when we love Him the way He calls us to love Him, that He loves us back with an even greater love, declaring us to be “His own special treasure.”  If you walk closely with the Lord, you have surely experienced this wonderful truth!  To be so loved by another, that we are considered ‘special treasure’ is an overwhelming thought for us.  The word ‘treasure’ produces images of fabulous things like diamonds and rubies and emeralds and sapphires and even precious metals and gold coins spilling over infinitely.  To be compared to such finery is a hard sell simply because we don’t value ourselves in that way and if we don’t value ourselves richly, how could anyone else value us like that?  Well our Father sure does.  He is glorious and since He is our creator, that means we are glorious too and He knows our value!  We are “His special treasure,” so special, in fact, that He has a written record of our names, the names of those who fear Him and love to think about Him!
“For this reason I kneel before the Father . . . and  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may
strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith.  And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with
the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”~ Ephesians 3:14-19
My heart’s desire for each one of God’s Followers is that you would overflow with the very best blessings of God, so today I pray over you all Paul’s reverent prayer, from these verses in Ephesians, asking God to strengthen you with His power through the Holy Spirit, that He will encourage you in all ways and grow your faith, and that the Holy Spirit will quicken within each one of you, that you each will feel that quickening in your hearts, like a flutter down deep in your hearts, and know that it is the limitless love of Jesus Christ within you.  I pray that each of your hearts are so full with Christ that you realize just how deep and broad God’s love is for each of you and that you will be filled to overflowing with everything that is God! I pray that all of you Saints will join me in this prayer for Believers everywhere!

“Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me,
“Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”~ Jeremiah 1:9
Isn’t the image of this verse beautiful?!  Our Father reaching out and touching our mouths with his hand and putting His very words in our mouths!  Before He said these words to Jeremiah, the Lord told him “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  God’s words to Jeremiah ring true for each and every one of us.  We are all commanded to go out and use our mouths to tear down that which does not come from God and to build up and plant that which does come from God.  The cultural normalization of keeping our faith to ourselves instead of making disciples of all nations, as Jesus commanded us, has hurt God’s kingdom.  Consider all the people in your sphere of influence, your family, your friends, your coworkers, and think about how you can share Jesus with them.  By sharing you would be doing them justice and certainly doing God justice.  We owe it to our loved ones to share the Truth and we definitely owe it to God, considering all Jesus did for us!  All we have to do is look around at the chaos of today to realize that we all  need more of God’s words, and less of our own words, coming out of our mouths!  I pray that more of God’s words will come out our mouths everyday as we share the glorious work He has done in our lives with those around us.  

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through
the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”~ Isaiah 43:2
God is with us, he will never leave or forsake us.  He holds onto us with His righteous right hand and He will lead us, guide us, direct us and protect us.  What wonderful testimony from our Savior! Yet, why is it so hard for us to believe these words and words like this week’s Scripture verse from Isaiah 43:2?  It may be because we have been let down by this world, and the people of this world, so many times that we find it hard to really believe there is someone who will not let us down, someone who we matter to more than we could ever matter to anyone else.  I remember each of the first moments I held my babies in my arms, my life changed in those very moments.  I knew that it was no longer about me, but it was about them,  from that first moment, I wanted to protect them, guide and direct them.  God feels the same way for us.  He is our Daddy, He created us in His image.  We are a part of Him and He is a part of us and He wants the very best for us.  He wants to help us in anyway He can, but we  must let Him.  When I was teaching my children to tie their shoes, they wanted so much to be able to do it themselves, and in the learning process, would become so frustrated that sometimes it was a struggle to get them to let me help, but when they finally did let me help, they discovered success . . . tied shoes!  What kind of success will we discover if we will just let our Father help us?  

“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work,
saving everyone who believes–Jews first and also Gentiles.  This Good News tells us how God makes
us right in His sight.  This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  As the Scriptures say,
‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'”  
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  We must put ourselves in a place where we can hear about Jesus Christ and learn about Him so that we can choose Him.  You see, we are all born with the knowledge of God in our hearts because we are His creation.  Because of this, there is a natural instinct to seek something to fill that emptiness in our hearts.  It is much like a child of adoption; there is a part of that person which feels empty and in seeking out and finding their natural parents, they experience a wholeness within.  It is the same with our hearts.  We are all created in the image of God, every single one of us, and God placed a desire in our hearts for Him, a place in our hearts that only He can fill.  Our problem is that we look to everyone and everything else to fill that place, instead of Jesus Christ.  How many of us have longed for something, really longed for it and waited for it, thinking it would be the thing that would give us permanent contentment only to discover that after we attain that “whatever,” we still feel an emptiness inside.  Without Christ in our hearts, we will always feel that emptiness and longing.  You can’t put a square peg in a round hole; trying to fill that space in our hearts with anything other than God is futile.  That place in our hearts belongs to God.  Once we have put our faith in Christ, a peace and joy which surpasses all understanding takes hold in our hearts and reigns in our lives.  This is the grace of God, through Jesus Christ!

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him.  They are detestable,
disobedient and  unfit for anything good.” ~ Titus 1:16
Believer’s must exercise caution using discernment and Biblical understanding to realize truth.  When making important life decisions, such as voting for example, the claim that “I’m a Christian,” must be measured against Scripture.  The Bible says that many will come in the name of Jesus and many of those will be wolves in sheep’s clothing.  A Christian’s beliefs must align with God’s Word.  Simply put, a Believer cannot believe that anything other than God’s Word is truth.  If a person’s actions disagree with Scripture,  then one should apply  Biblical discernment with that person.  God says that Believers are known by the fruit they produce, a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  The fruit God is talking about is fruit in and for the Kingdom of God, not fruit as the world determines.  Anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ and who does not embrace the truth of the Word, but promotes behaviors against Scripture, is denying God by their actions.  Spiritual discernment is wisdom which God gives Believers and He expects us to use it!

Jesus Messiah Ministries, Inc.                                              
PO Box 18453                                              775-771-2529                    jesusmessiahministries@yahoo.com
Reno, NV  89511