Do you make praising God a priority in your life? I confess I didn’t know the importance of praising God until 2020. When we went through the pandemic, and the world seemed to fall apart, there were two things that truly changed me. One was reading the Psalms, and the other was praising God. I learned the truth of the words found in Psalm 89:25, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.”
I bet it is more common to praise God when something good has happened. We rejoice when we accomplish a goal or when we obtain something we had hoped for. We are happy when a blessing comes into our lives or when we see an answer to prayer.
But one thing I have found to be helpful is to praise God before the blessing. If I am…
I’m excited to announce that book 1 of the Tainted Love Saga, Of Love and Deception, is a Gold Award winner in the Global Ebook Awards for 2021! You can find it in the New Adult Fiction category here: 2021 Global Ebook Award Winners. Congratulations to all the other winners too!
This can be one of the hardest things to do, but when God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. Satan will keep throwing your past sins up in your face to bog you down with a false sense of guilt. He wants to steal our joy in Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, but once we ask forgiveness, we’re forgiven, so we don’t have to carry those burdens anymore. Accept God’s grace, and ask Him to remove any false sense of guilt you’re harboring over forgiven sins.
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
MARCH 24, 2021
Is there something from your past that continues to stir up feelings of guilt? Unless you rest in God’s complete forgiveness, you won’t experience the fullness of His divine grace.
If you feel ashamed but don’t know why, the problem could be a false sense of guilt. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin so we can repent and be free. But guilt that persists with no specific cause comes from the devil. Ask the Lord to cleanse of you of any false guilt today.
Another source is legalistic teaching. Many people have been taught a distorted version of the gospel and think, I’ll never measure up. For example, the religious leaders of Jesus’ time followed a code of man-made rules, and they communicated the idea that “unless you do this, God won’t accept you.” Righteous deed by righteous deed, they tried to earn the Lord’s acceptance—and sometimes so do we. But this legalistic view always becomes an enslaving vicious cycle.
Remember, Jesus came to liberate us. The Bible says that when you are set free by Christ, your freedom is complete (John 8:36). It’s time to let His grace cleanse you from any shame. Ask the Lord to help you walk in this truth—and enjoy unhindered fellowship with your Savior.
Sometimes feelings of fear wash over us. Sometimes it’s confusing and doesn’t make sense. We know that God tells us not to have a spirit a fear, that we can trust in Him. But still it grips us anyway. I especially struggle with this when I have panic attacks. As Dr. Charles Stanley says in his devotional below, even seasoned Christians like him who have been walking alongside God all their lives are subject to fear from time to time. When we’re overwhelmed with fear for whatever reason, we need only turn to God. Seek Him more, and He will help you. I know when I have panic attacks, the ONLY thing that eventually calms me down is focusing on God. I read his Word, listen to Holy Spirit-annointed music and pray. He always reaffirms His promises to me, and I eventually calm down and end up feeling even closer to Him than before.
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
Psalm 27:1-3 KJV
MARCH 19, 2021
I’ve walked with the Lord for more than seven decades now. I have read the Bible from cover to cover, preached thousands of sermons, and written pages and pages of study material. But let me tell you: In spite of all that, sometimes I still get scared.
When fear begins to sink in, I pray harder, study longer, and read my Bible more closely. I decided long ago that I would not let apprehension stop me from doing what God calls me to do. However, before I can take a stand against fear, I have to admit it is there. That’s the key to conquering feelings of anxiety.
I imagine you, on occasion, may feel frightened too—whether of failure, ridicule, loneliness, or something else entirely. There is no shame in admitting you’re afraid. In the Psalms, in fact, King David makes this confession several times! (See Psalm 34:4; Psalm 55:4-5.) His confessions are often wrapped in prayer, acknowledging the Lord’s power over his fears and his enemies. And these are examples we can follow.
That same power is available to you today. God wants to cast out the fear and doubt in your life. Are you willing to go before Him today and say, “Lord, I’m afraid of … ”?
Hebrews 13:5 is one of my favorite bible verses. It’s one of the first ones I read after I’d truly been saved, and it’s God’s promise to us. He will never leave us or forsake us, so when we feel like He has, we need to just remember this verse. God doesn’t lie. His Word doesn’t lie. He said this, so we can trust it as truth. We’re to trust Him by faith—not by sight or feelings. Just because we can’t always feel Him there doesn’t mean that He isn’t. What a great comfort!
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
Hebrews 13:5-9 KJV
MARCH 17, 2021
In troubled times we may begin to think that God doesn’t care or has forsaken us, but that’s not true. If we’ve trusted Christ as our Savior, He promises never to desert or abandon us (Heb. 13:5). No matter how we may feel, God is always with us.
As great as this promise is, we have yet another foundational truth on which to rely. We can fully trust whatever our Savior says because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8). He doesn’t save us one day and then abandon us later. Jesus said, “Everything the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). He affirmed this same truth, saying that no one can snatch us out of His or the Father’s hands (John 10:28-29).
If we think that the Lord has suddenly abandoned us, we are walking by sight and not by faith. The reality is that we are the ones wavering, but Jesus and His promises have not changed. He is present, providing for our needs, and working for our good in every situation.