Today’s episode is based from the reading of Malachi 1:6-14 and Genesis 4:1-15. God is our Heavenly Father and we should be honoring Him by giving only our best in all we do, especially our sacrifices to Him.
Our offering (not necessarily monetary) is a reflection of our attitude toward God.
Giving our bare minimum and offering God anything but our very best shows we care more about ourselves and our fleshly desires than we do about our relationship with God.
Are you living a life all in for Christ or are you living life giving Him the bare minimum and simply checking boxes off of some “how to be religious” list.
Listen to today’s episode to discover what God’s Word says about our offerings and how it speaks about our attitude towards God.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
The Bible makes it clear that our sexuality is built into our original design by God. God created man, woman, and all things and called it all ‘very good’! God invented sex, which is meant to be the glue that holds the relationship between man and woman together.
The Bible is clear that marriage and sex go hand in hand, two becoming one flesh; one cannot thrive and create a healthy relationship without the other. Man and woman, originally Adam and Eve, were created by God as a relationship unit.
God created male and female in His image. He used a rib from Adam to create Eve, neither were meant to be valued above the other. He created each of them with their own purpose that was complimentary to the other. Gender and opposite sexes were what produced the intimate concepts of marriage and family.
Adam and Eve were the first lovers and each were incomplete without the other.
Sex cannot do its work without the vital component of marriage as God intended it for. This is why when we are sexually active outside of God’s design of marriage between a man and a woman, we experience sexual brokenness resulting in a loss of sexual integrity.
Sex is not just about an action or about gender. It is a foundational part of who we are, what our original design was, and how we can relate to God and others intimately.
Sex is a gift from God intended to be experienced between a man and woman after marriage. The sexual union has a very specific intended design to help people express spiritual intimacy, emotional bonding, passionate excitement, and genuine nurturing.
Sex is meant to bond you and help you grow in intimacy, forming a life long ‘soul mate’ partner.
The Bible also spells out what God says about other aspects of marriage. (besides sex)
Genesis 2:24-25 explains we are to leave our other significant relationships and join together becoming one flesh. The process of marriage is designed to result in complete and total disclosure to one another, leaving us feeling ‘naked’ and ‘unashamed’.
Due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden, they are the only two who ever experienced marriage in its original design as God intended. Their disobedience brought in an invasion of sin that complicated every area of life, including marriage and sex.
Society is filled with sexual immorality, temptation, sin, and misinformation on sex, marriage, and God. We need to be aware and set boundaries in our own thoughts and life that will help us to maintain our sexual integrity.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Sexual sin has devastating consequences to our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being; it can also have devastating effects on others involved.
Marriage alone cannot heal sexual brokenness. It is Christ alone who can redeem your sexuality and heal your brokenness. In Him you can have the redemption you need to have disciplined, mature, healthy boundaries and marital faithfulness.
If we commit our lives to God and live as a married couple under God’s guidelines of marriage and His direction, we can expect to experience that marriage and marital sex can be ‘very good’ as God intended it.
In the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, God created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. He laid out clear boundaries and commanded Adam, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17
Then the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18
God took a rib from the man and created woman, and He brought her to Adam. They were both naked and not ashamed. Genesis 2:22
The story goes on and reveals that Eve was deceived by the serpent and ate the fruit from the forbidden tree; then she gave it to Adam to eat as well. Now man and woman were like God and had the knowledge of good and evil. They then knew they were naked and were ashamed– they hid from God and covered their nakedness with fig leaves. Genesis 3
God provided an entire garden for Adam and Eve to eat from and placed ONE– yes, only ONE– tree in the midst and set a clear boundary to Adam. God gave Adam a clear choice when commanding him to not eat from the one forbidden tree.
In order for there to be a loving obedience to God there must be a choice for disobedience.
God gave Adam a clear boundary and a clear choice and told him the clear consequences for disobedience.
We are faced with these same choices on a daily basis. When we choose to obey God and trust in His plan, respecting His clear set boundaries, we show our love for Him.
Call to Action
Are you making choices that are clearly outside the boundaries of God? If so, what are they?
What do you feel God is telling you through the story of Adam and Eve’s disobedience?
What changes if any, do you feel God is telling you to make?
My Prayer for You
Thank you Lord for giving us Your Word to inform us of the boundaries you have set for us, for our own protection. Thank you for Your promises to redeem us and transform us according to Your will.
Lord I pray for each person who reads this devotional. I lift each one up to You in the name of Jesus. I pray You would give them discernment over their life choices, expose to them the areas in their lives in which they are being disobedient. Open their hearts and minds to Your truth; give them wisdom through Your Word and courage and strength to commit to the changes You are showing them to make. Use the example of Adam and Eve to show each of us that there are clear choices, clear boundaries, and clear consequences. Guide us, redeem us, and transform us from the inside out.
We thank you for Your many blessings and claim Your will be done in each of our lives; it is in Jesus mighty name I pray.
Imagination is define as the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. There are three classifications of imagination– things we should not imagine– things we can not imagine– and things we should imagine.
Luke 1:51 NKJV He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Things we SHOULD NOT imagine:
Things evil in nature
Lustful or perverted thoughts
Did you know?
Worry is a misuse of our imagination and it also activates fear.
Somethings we CANNOT imagine:
Plans God has in store for us
Did you know?
Some people do not believe in Heaven, because they can not imagine it.
To possess and exercise a healthy imagination makes the impossible things–possible.
Imagination is essential to living by faith. Hebrews 11:1 tell us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Great lives are built around great imagination God’s dreams are bigger than my dreams. Ephesians 3:20
Don’t plan your life and set goals around what you see or your circumstances. Let the size of your God, determine the size of your goals. Remember, God can make the impossible- possible. Let God’s spirit and His word guide you and fuel your imagination.
Satan comes to put doubt in our mind.
Mark 9:23-24 NKJV 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Doubt is meant to be doubted and beliefs are meant to be believed.
– Pastor Phil Willingham Sermon 2017
As believers we have a helper in life– someone who is trustworthy and loyal– someone the world does not have because they do now know Him, and cannot imagine His existence.
John 14:16-17 NKJV 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The key to a stronger and healthier imagination is spending daily quiet time with God. Read His word– listen for His voice– study in your areas of weakness– and trust in His promises.
Thank you Lord for being our helping hand and guiding as through Your word. Lord, forgive us for our times of doubt and for our misuse of our imagination. Open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful ways of Your law. Help us to understand so that we can meditate on Your works. I pray that you will stir up our spirits so that we will want to seek You more. I pray You will help us as we seek to have a stronger and healthier imagination. Guide our quiet time in Jesus name I pray.
The gospel teaches us how to get right with God. It starts with faith and ends with faith. Those that study God’s word and seek to be right in His eyes- live their life by trusting in Him and His ways.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Those who do not have a relationship with Jesus- live their life by making decisions based off their circumstances and feelings. Which tends to lead to more issues. We can not please God without having faith.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is seeing the world through God’s point of view. Faith has nothing to do with feelings and is believing in what you can not see. Faith gives us confidence and assurance in what we know will happen because God’s word tells us what to expect and He promises good for those who love Him.
How do you live your life? Do you see with eyes of fear or eyes of faith?
We exaggerate our difficulties- negative attitudes are contagious
We underestimate our own abilities- when we live in fear we project our fears on to those around us.
We become discouraged.
We start to gripe and complain about all of our lives.
We eventually give up and ultimately blame God
Highly critical people are usually insecure within themselves. Each person we come in contact with through-out life will either increase us or decrease us. We must be careful who we allow to influence our life- some people want us to crawl when God created us to soar.
Faith opens the door for a miracle. (Mark 11:22-24) The law of faith- trumps the law of nature. We do not have miracles because we do not believe they can happen. This is because our lack of faith.
Faith moves God to act on our behalf. God is not moved by us complaining and seeking to accomplish something in our own power and will. The Bible is clear that God is moved by our faith. (Matthew 9:29)
Faith gives us the power and strength to hold on during tough times. – Faith does not always remove the problem but the Bible promises that faith will help us through it. Just like faith does not take away the pain you experience in life but it does give you the ability to handle the pain.
Thank you Lord for your goodness and faithfulness to those who love and seek You. I confess that I often catch myself seeing through the eyes of fear. I pray that you would help me to keep my focus on you. Help me to set my eyes on You and live by faith in Your promises. I trust in You Lord and pray that Your will be done in my life. In Jesus mighty name I pray.
There is a fine line between the balance of confidence and being prideful of oneself. Confidence is on the positive side- you need confidence to be successful. However, on the other hand, pride falls on the negative side- often leading to self-destruction.
We want to be confident in what God tells us to do and who He says we are- we should have a healthy and positive self-image. But we have to be careful not to get a ‘big head’ about it and become prideful.
Pride motivates people to do what is best for themselves- even at the expense of others. Pride tells people they deserve to be rewarded, promoted, or acknowledged in some way. Pride stops people from admitting their weakness and reaching out for help. Pride is the greatest factor that stops one from seeking counseling, because they do not think that they need anyone else’s help to fix their problem.
Some people are so prideful they refuse to consult God with anything in their lives- instead they prefer to trust their own abilities and instincts.
Some people will have a healthy balance of confidence that leads them to success and then become prideful. They begin behaving in a way as to say that no one else could ever do what they do- giving themselves an exaggerated sense of importance and becoming prideful.
Pride is the root expression of our sinful nature. Pride is so full of itself that it can not listen to any other voice that is contrary to its’ opinion.
Pride is used in a negative sense in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Pride was the reason Adam and Eve violated God’s command- and choose to eat from the tree of knowledge. (Genesis 3:4-6) It was also the cause that motivated Lucifer to rebel against God- known as the fall of Satan. (Isaiah 14:12-15) Pride is what motivated Lucifer- a powerful angel of God- to set his will against God’s- he is said to be the culprit of sin. (Ezekiel 28:11-19)
In the New Testament Paul warns against several different expressions of pride. Pride can be dangerous to non-Christians and new Christians alike- when seeking salvation. Salvation must be a work of God and can not be earned through our own works. Reliance on our self to accomplish salvation distorts the message all together.
Salvation is a gift from God. It is because of His works alone- through faith in Jesus Christ- that we can be saved. There is no room for self-achievement within it- so that no one can take pride or boast.
Paul said it like this in Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Humility overcomes Pride
Pride tells people that you do not need anyone’s help. Humility tells people that they can not do anything without God. Humility is always looking for someone to help and listen to, not for someone to talk to. Humility is near to those who are hurting, focusing on the need.
Humility reminds people that God is the source of all gifts and abilities- that God can equip those that He calls. Pride is the arrogant refusal to allow God to be God. Pride tells people I am something without God- Humility says I am something because of God and nothing without Him.
How do you trade your pride in for humility?
Most importantly you will need a healthy view of God. Understanding who He is and who we are with and without Him. Spending time in His word- praying- and worshipping Him through all seasons of life.
Stop focusing so much on your own needs and wants and start praying and asking God how you can serve someone else’s needs. Be on guard- keep your eyes and ears open to situations around you through-out the day- purposely SEEK to bless and lift up others.
Give God thanks in ALL things- big or small- He has blessed you with them all!
Thank you Lord for your many gifts and blessings. Thank you for being a patient Father who is quick to forgive. Forgive us for having prideful attitudes and for relying on our own ways and our own abilities. God I pray You fill us up with Your Holy Spirit- we want to be confident in You and not prideful in our own ways. I pray that You would help each of us to be humble and look to help others. I pray You use us to lead others to Your love. God I pray for each person that does not know you personally- that they would seek You and find You. I pray for our nation as a whole remove the pride in us all and replace it with humility and confidence in You. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.
In the first part of beginnings through settlement we discussed how we could get to know God’s character by reading stories through-out the Bible. We read and broke down what we could learn about God from the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis.
Today we are looking at how we can see ourselves in the first 5 books of the Old Testament and Job. Grab your Bible if you don’t already have it and lets dig in.
Open your Bible and read each scripture to discover how we can see ourselves in the following scripture.
Cain was jealous of Abel and the offering he was offered up to the Lord.
In Cain’s jealousy we can see our own sense of competition and desire to be “better” than someone else.
God was sorry he created man and beast as the world was full of wickedness. God said He would destroy the Earth with the flood. Noah found grace from God and was instructed by God to build an ark to be saved from the flood.
In Noah’s need for the ark for salvation- we can see our own need to be rescued from God’s judgement. It also demonstrates if we obey God and follow His lead, He will save us from complete destruction.
Abraham had great faith in God. He was obedient when God told him to do something.
In Abrahams faith in following God- we can see our own potential for belief.
Genesis 25 & 27
In both of these scriptures Jacob is lying and scheming- following his own desires and relying on himself to get what he wants. Manipulating situations to take what was for his brother Esau. (In Genesis 25 his birthright, in Genesis 27 his blessing.)
In these two examples we can see our own inclination to trust in ourselves to provide our needs and wants.
In Josephs kindness and forgiveness for his brothers who sold him into Egypt- we see our own responsibility to forgive and overcome evil with good.
Israel struggles to keep faith when the Egyptians began to march after them. Israel feels they are trapped in the wilderness to die. God instructs Moses to lift his rod and stretch out his hand and part the sea so that Israel may cross on dry land.
In Israel’s struggle to keep faith- we see our own struggles and weakness of faith.
In this scripture it’s expressing Job’s feelings in response to him suffering. In Job’s response we can see our own feelings and disappointment when things work against us.
These are only a few examples of how we can see ourselves throughout the Old Testament of the Bible. I encourage you to read deeper into each of the beginning books in the Old Testament and make notes on how you relate to the scripture you are reading.
This will help you to develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with Jesus as you discover the powerful truths packed within the books of the Bible.
Thank you Lord for providing us with the tools we need to discover who You really are and who we are created to be in You. Lord, I thank you for each person who reads this post. I pray that you would give us all understanding and discernment as we study Your word. I pray each person would desire a deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationship with You. I pray You open the hearts of each person that they would see Your hand at work in their life. I pray that you will guide each of us and cover us with Your peace, love, and protection in Jesus mighty name I pray.
The last two lessons we discussed the Old Testament overview. Discovering new levels of knowledge and understanding of God and His word. We further broke down 4 major phases of the Old Testament: Beginnings- Settlement- Kings- Exile.
In this lesson we are going to specifically look at the time period from beginnings through the settlement period a little more in depth.
Look up the scripture and read Genesis chapter 6 through chapter 8. Take note of what can be learned about God throughout this story.
God is able to create and destroy
God is to be feared (in a healthy, loving way)
God has complete control over His creation
God is patient with sinners, but patience has a limit
God is concerned about what is happening in His world/our lives.
He is loving, kind God of righteousness, justice, and anger.
God has the power to interrupt history
He is a God of new beginnings
He is a promise maker and keeper
God rescues those who trust in Him
Thank you Lord for this message that teaches us more about who You are. Lord, we are thankful for Your word- the Bible. For the opportunity to discover who you are on a deeper level and learn about your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Lord I pray that You draw near to each of us. Let us feel Your presence surrounding us. Lord I pray that those who choose to read and complete this study will be given understanding and clarity. I pray You would lead the way for each person who reads this. I pray for safety, good health, and that Your protection would surround us- no attack of the enemy will prosper against us in Jesus mighty name.
This Bible story comes from Genesis 18:1-15 and Genesis 21:1-7.
Abram and Sarai were now known as Abraham and Sarah. God had told them to change their names. They were living in a tent and just as Abraham had before, he sat outside the tent wishing that he and Sarah could have a child. Abraham remembered what God had promised, “I am going to give you children, Abraham.”
This was so long ago Abraham thought. Is God going to keep His promise? Abraham really was hoping so, since this was what he and Sarah both wanted badly.
When Abraham lifted his eyes, he saw three men next to him. He ran to them immediately, and bowed. He asked the men to allow him to get them water to wash their feet and prepare them a meal and drink, while they rest under a tree nearby.
The men agreed and told him to do as he has said.
Abraham hurried back into the tent and told Sarah to prepare three fine meals. He then hurried to the herd and got a calf; the meal was prepared and set before the men under the tree.
It’s obvious these three men are not just any men, since they just appeared. The Bible later explains that two are angels and one a manifestation of God.
The men asked Abraham where his wife Sarah was at and he told them she was there, in the tent.
The men then told Abraham that his wife Sarah would bear a child within a year.
Sarah was listening nearby and knew she had passed the age of child bearing. So, she laughed to herself, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”
The Lord asked Abraham why did Sarah laugh and say she was too old to bear a child. Is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return to you in a year, and Sarah shall have a child. You can always trust in what God says.
God fulfills His promise.
One year later the Lord visited Sarah and He had done what He had promised. Sarah and Abraham had a child, his name was Isaac.
Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100 years old. Sarah was so happy, she laughed. Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.”
This story shows that God always fulfills His promises. It may not be when or how we think He should do it but God’s Word can ALWAYS be trusted. He is in control and it’s never too late for God to fulfill His purpose and promises in You.
Good Morning Friends and Family! I wanted to take the time to share with you what has been going on “behind the scenes” in my life and the ministry. Since the covid-19 pandemic began, I have read many posts on Facebook about elderly, disabled, high-risk, homeless, truckers and more unable to get a meal or essentials due to circumstances out of their control.
This shook me to the core.
Every person has a story and likely can tell you about a time that they have been in need. I can honestly say, I have been on both sides of the fence. I have seen times of struggle and I have been in the position to not “want” for anything. I just simply can’t fathom someone in my community going hungry if I am able to give anything to help.
I began to brainstorm ways to help the community, yet still honor the law and social distancing. That is when God laid it on my heart to cook meals to feed a crowd and I created NWI Meal Relief-FaithAnchored.
Admittedly at first I thought to myself, “Lord, you know my health isn’t great and I do not have the strength and energy to do this- not without Your help.”
Many of you do not know but I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which is a chronic wide spread pain disorder, that robs me of the ability to “get up and go” like I use to. Prior to being diagnosed I worked a full time job, cared for family, took care of myself and my children, and felt like the energizer bunny who could just go and go.
All of a sudden I began feeling weak, always exhausted, in so much pain that many days it’s hard to be mobile or even wear clothes due to the pain.
So, when God laid on my heart to cook meals for a crowd and to deliver them to those in need, my mind said there is no way I can do this. However, I truly felt God was telling me this was my way to help the community and spread God’s love.
With a lot of prayer and without any further hesitation, I went to Facebook, and posted in a local quarantine community support group that I would be preparing a hot meal and small blessing bags to help the elderly, disabled, high-risk, homeless, and anyone in the community in need. I went on to explain, to contact me privately if they, or someone they know, was in need of a hot meal and to include an address and how many people live in the home.
The first two times I made deliveries there was just a handful or two of families to deliver to across 4 local cities. In fact, the first time I prepared and delivered meals, I had extras; which I then took to local truck stops and passed out to the truckers. They are working long hours, not seeing their families, and deserve a nice homemade hot meal.
The following week it exploded!
It went from about 5-10 meals to deliver in a day, to a whopping 73 meals delivered in one day!
My fear of failure and letting down all these families kicked into high gear! I worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or that half way through my body would just “be done”. I also made it known to God that my own family is “barely making it” and I wasn’t sure how I could afford the supplies needed to feed so many in the community.
By the grace of God I have had the health and energy needed to continue to complete the mission that He has set before me. God reminded me of the story where Jesus fed 5000 with just two fish and five loaves of bread. When resources got low and it looked like I would have to stop serving, God provided exactly what I needed through others in the community.
In this time of uncertainty, I am so humbled and proud of my community, for coming together and donating what they can to help the less fortunate. Some have donated food, daily necessities- others have donated money, time, services, and more- all to help our fellow neighbors in need.
God is using this time to bring His people together! What the enemy meant for harm God will use for the good of His people.
Genesis 50:20 NKJV 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Before, I took this bold step in faith to follow God’s lead, I spent most of my days on the couch or in bed, in pain that prevented me from doing much of anything. Getting up and taking a shower was exhausting enough for me and I considered that a “win” for the day.
Now, I can humbly say to all of you that with God’s help, I have successfully shopped, prepped, cooked, and delivered over 200 meals and approximately 50 blessing bags in two and a half weeks!
God is good!
I am exhausted, but God continues to remain faithful in renewing my strength, giving me the energy to push on, squashing my fear and anxiety, and providing me with the resources needed to continue to help those in our community.
What’s the point of me telling you all of this?
Do NOT let fear of failure stop you from following God’s lead!
If God sends you on a mission for Him- He will provide you with everything that is needed to complete what He has called you to do.
God has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind!
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Prayer over fear
Heavenly Father, Thank you Lord for the message on fear of failure. Thank you for giving me the power and love to conqueror the fears the enemy tried to hold me in bondage with. Lord, thank you for renewing my strength, energy, and joy each morning. Thank you for being a promise keeper and providing all I need to serve you as I have been called to. Lord, I pray for blessings of each person who reads this message I pray you speak to them through Your Holy Spirit. God, continue to lead our paths and make them straight, open our hearts to Your word and direction. Show each of us how we can serve You in our community. Lord, I pray for safety protection and good health over every family in our nation in Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen