Justice Will Reign

Psalm 45:6 (WEB)
Your throne, God, is forever and ever.
A scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom.

Promise: My throne will stand forever and justice will reign in My kingdom.

While evidence of injustice is all around us in the world that we live in, justice reigns in the kingdom of our God. We have the assurance that His throne will last forever. This means that the injustice that we see and experience around us is only short term.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to fix our eyes on the unseen, not on that which is seen (2 Corinthians 4:18). He tells us that we need to keep focused on the eternal, not on the things around us that are temporary. In the midst of a fallen world, it is comforting to be reminded of the things that will truly last forever.

Our God and our Father is on the throne. He is a good God and His mercy will endure forever! May we continue to be reminded of what is eternal and be comforted in knowing that justice will reign in the kingdom of our God and Father…forever!



Sanctified Through Jesus Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (WEB)
23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely.
May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.

Promise: I will sanctify you and keep you blameless until Jesus returns.

In today’s promise, we read that it is God Himself who has sanctified us through the free gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. He initiated the beginning of our life in Christ and He will keep us blameless until the day that Jesus returns.

I believe it is important for us to understand that it is God’s faithfulness that will bring the fulfillment of this promise, not our own self-effort. It is His faithfulness that we can rely on because of His goodness towards us.

He is the One who has called us to be in His Son. In Ephesians 1:3-6 we read of our Father’s eternal plan where He chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. He chose us and by His grace and mercy, He will keep us.

We can rest in His goodness to sanctify us and keep us blameless until Jesus returns because He is a good Father who has our best interest at the very core of His heart. My prayer today is that each and every one of us would be comforted with this truth and live a life with the assurance that He will keep us blameless until the day when we see Jesus face to face.

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray for God to reign in our lives and in our world: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

What do we mean when we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? We are praying that something will come about, but which has not yet fully happened. We are praying that God will bring about his heavenly purpose on earth. We are praying that God would use us to do his will. We are making ourselves available to do the will of our heavenly Father, to fulfill his purpose. 

This was the prayer of Mary after the angel Gabriel had revealed to her the will of God in bearing the Incarnate Word, Jesus. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.” Mary prayed that God’s divine will might be done in her life, and the world was transformed because of her “yes” to God’s will. 

Even our Lord Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, when He was in agony in Gethsemane, prayed to His Father, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done.” 

When we pray, “Thy will be done” we are not simply resigning ourselves to whatever happens; rather, we are praying for triumph – that is, the triumph of God’s divine will. That prayer is not an invitation to passively stand by, to acquiescence to prevailing circumstances; rather, it is a means to buttress our resolution to fight for what is right, noble and true, for whatever is pure, lovely and admirable. It is to pray for the spirit of victory, the victory of God’s will, of God’s reign, of God’s kingdom – here on earth, as it already is in heaven.

The Power Of Forgiveness

The Power Of Forgiveness

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD — Psalm 130:1

There is a story from Spain about a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away from home, and his father set out to find him. The father searched for months, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the father took out a full-page ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next Saturday, 800 men named Paco showed up, all looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!

How many people in life are walking around looking for love and forgiveness from their Father in heaven?

If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably messed up once or twice in your life. We all make mistakes! As it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (NLT). However, there is also a danger in thinking that you are only a sinner. Every time we fall, there is the risk that we will be too discouraged to get back up again. The next step after sin is repentance; yet sometimes, we find it hard to move on.

In Psalm 130 King David exclaimed, “Out of the depths I call out to you . . .” The  sages explain that the “depths” David was referring to was the depths of sin. Sometimes when we sin, we feel so low and so far from God. We feel like we are deep in the gutters of life. How can we possibly climb out? How can we face our God again? We feel distant, unlovable, and unworthy.

The sages caution us, “Do not consider yourself wicked in your self-estimation!” If we give in to those feelings of unworthiness, we will never be restored to our true selves. In Psalm 130 David also reminded us that God is forgiving. He implored us to put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (v.7).

God is waiting for us, loving us, and anticipating our return so that He can forgive us. We just need to return to Him.

Imagine that you open the newspaper today and you see an ad with your name on it: “Dear _____. Meet me in church on Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” Believe it — God is sending us this message every day! We just need to turn to God in repentance, and He will do the rest.


The Hidden Gifts Of Adversity

The Gift Of Adversity

Most likely, you do not enjoy your areas of weakness. Most of us tend to be problem solvers; often when we identify a deficiency in our life, we stop at nothing to correct the issue.

Our drive to be the best—or, at the very least, “normal”—generally leads us headlong down the path of self-sufficiency. After all, doesn’t the Lord want us to solve the problems we encounter?

While it is true that through God, dramatic changes can occur in the lives of His children, we ourselves must not take credit for the power to change. Our own strength is weak and faulty. John 15:5 says “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” The strength of God is limitless. (See Phil. 4:13). Paul captures this image perfectly in 2 Corinthians 4:7, when he says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”

We can trust this statement because of the apostle Paul’s credentials in adversity: He had been imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, and persecuted. Moreover, he struggled continually with a personal ailment, which he referred to as his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7).

The Lord used these things in Paul’s life to keep him centered on divine power, not his own. Pride puts us in opposition to God. What weaknesses are present in your life that the Father may be using to keep your eyes on Him? Praise God today for those things that bring you into complete dependence upon Him alone.


Surrender: The First Step!

Surrender: The First Step!

When someone mentions the word “Surrender”, what does that mean to
you? We commonly mistake surrender for giving up. Unfortunately
there is a fine line between obsessive control and determination or
between surrendering and giving up.

Imagine hanging onto a small branch on the side of a cliff. You
would hold on as tightly as possible to keep from falling to the
ground wouldn’t you? You would grit your teeth with a dogged
determination vowing not to give up until help arrives. The last
thing you want to do is surrender to the inevitable fate of falling.

Now, what if I told you the danger is not real and that you are
actually only two feet from the ground? Would you loosen your grip
on the branch? Of course you would! This is Surrender. It is the
ability to relax one’s grip on life in the place of the ILLUSION of danger.

Yes. It is possible your business might fail. Your wife or husband
may divorce you. Your whole city could be wiped out by a natural
disaster or terrorist attack. This doesn’t mean you don’t do what
you can to be prepared. But you are defeating yourself when you
try to control things outside of your direct influence.

Surrender is demonstrated by the willingness to let go of the need
to control things OUTSIDE of your direct influence.

Surrender happens when you do what you can do in the moment, and
let go of the things that are outside of your control.

Here is a way to experience Control versus Surrender. Clench your
fist. Make your hand so tight that nothing can slip through into
your palm. What would you do if I wanted to put $1,000 into the
palm of your hand right now? Would you keep your fist clenched or
would you surrender your clenched hand to accept what I am
offering? Life works the same way. When your mind is clenched
you cannot open yourself to the riches you deserve.

Here is a quote from Lao Tzu – “He who grasps loses.” Remember it!

Today will bring you a new awareness, a lesson or a manifestation
that you are making progress – IF YOU LOOK FOR IT! No matter how
large or small, please record it in your Evidence Journal. It will
only take a few moments and will AUTOMATICALLY put you in the Flow.


Dealing with Temper Tantrums!

Teen Temper Tantrums: 3 Steps to Stop the Screaming

You thought “The Terrible Twos” were bad. Now you’re dealing with “The Terrible Thirteens,” and it’s just as bad, if not worse.When you ask your child to help around the house, inquire about school or say no to something they want to do, your teen explodes. When she was two, she cried, kicked and screamed on the floor. At 13, she’s yelling, slamming doors, storming out of the house and screaming, “You can’t control me!”

Why Don’t Tantrums Go Away?

To understand the “why” behind teenage temper tantrums, it’s important to recognize two of the normal aspects of adolescence: self-centeredness and entitlement. Teens have a strong desire to advocate for themselves because at this age, their world revolves around them and their needs. They also feel entitled to get those needs met. When needing to make a decision, many teens think they don’t need to consult their parents. They want maximum freedom: no parental input and minimal parental supervision. This is a normal part of adolescence.

Then add in the stressors that cause teens to worry daily: the status of their peer relationships and the impact of peer pressure. Research shows that one of the biggest stressors in adolescent life is the quality of peer relationships. The ways in which teens respond to the status of their peer relationships, and to peer pressure, often greatly affect how they regulate their moods.When those relationships are going well, teens are easier to get along with. When they’re going badly, kids get stirred up, doors get slammed, and you get called foul names.

Related: Does your child’s anger make you feel exhausted and out of control?

When teens are being disrespectful and screaming, parents often don’t think about these other stressors. You have to ask yourself, what is this fight or tantrum really about? Is it really about the fact that he doesn’t want to clean his room, or is there some other stressor triggering this behavior?

How to Stop Tantrums: Positive and Negative Influence

If you look at a tantrum in progress, you’ll likely see a teen who looks out of control and who believes you’re so unreasonable you’ll never give him any control over his own life. In reality, you’d probably give him more control if you felt you could trust him to make good decisions.

You can give your teen more control by using these three steps. But before you take the first step, realize that the solution to teen tantrums does not happen when one is in progress. It happens when things are calm and no one is confrontational.

1: Teach your teen the difference between positive and negative influence.

When trust exists in your relationship with your teen, she has plenty of positive influence with you. You have confidence in her; therefore, you’re more confident about pulling back on supervision. Your teenager may not realize how much influence she has with you, and how she erodes it by doing things that destroy trust.

Related: Explosive anger in kids and teens.

For example: You tell your 14-year-old daughter that she can’t go to a party on Friday night because you don’t know if any adults will be present, and you suspect kids will be drinking. If your daughter screams, “You’re an idiot” and locks herself in her room, it does more than make you angry; it erodes trust and her ability to influence you in a positive way because she’s reacting with disproportionate emotion.

When teens are able to accept “no” for an answer and not make a federal case out of it, it builds trust and positive influence with parents. You can role play what that looks like with your teen. Let’s go back to the party scenario. After the blow-up has blown over, you can show her a better way to respond that gives her influence. For example: “Mom, I’m really angry and disappointed that you’re not letting me do this. But I want you to know that even though I’m angry, I’m going to follow the rules. I hope at some point you’ll reconsider.”

When kids manage emotion gracefully and honestly like this, it has huge positive influence with parents. Also, as you teach the difference between positive and negative influence—and manage your own emotions in a calm and reasonable way—you’re modelling the behavior you want to see in your teen.

2: Look for what’s legitimate in what your child wants and coach them on their strategy for getting it.

Often when your teen is acting out, beneath the outburst is something legitimate that he wants. But the way he’s going about it is completely inappropriate.

Related: 4 Things not to do when your young child has a tantrum.

When I work with teens who act out excessively, I ask them questions like this. You can try them with your teenager, again during a calm time:

What is it that you really want? Is it more power to make your own decisions? More freedom?
How are you trying to have influence to get what you want? How well is it working for you?
In most cases, the teen will admit it’s not working very well for him. From there, you can shift the discussion into coaching mode by saying:

I noticed you said that you’ve used the same strategy with me several times, but it isn’t working the way you hoped. I’d be happy to suggest some different strategies that would work really well with me. Are you interested in hearing what I have to say?

You’re simply asking his opinion with genuine curiosity, not ganging up on him. Here’s another way to begin the coaching discussion.

Do you have any ideas on what would work? I have some ideas. Do you want to hear them?

Talking to your teen in this way about his negative influence on you helps him to see the strategy behind behavior. His strategy for influencing you isn’t working. It’s an opportunity to coach him on how to have positive influence to get what he legitimately wants.

3: Reward trust-building behavior.

We catch kids making mistakes all the time. Show your teen what he’s doing—specifically—that builds trust with you. Here’s an example: If your son responds maturely to being told he can’t stay over at a friend’s house, notice the specific actions that worked and reward them with positive praise. It could sound like this:

Even though I know you’re disappointed that you couldn’t stay over because there was no supervision, I appreciate that you showed your disappointment in a respectful way, and you came home on time. That shows maturity and respect.

Here are some other examples of how teens can influence parents in a positive way and earn trust at the same time:

Voluntarily sharing information about their day-to-day activities
Working to their academic potential
Consistently abiding by house rules
Accepting responsibility for their mistakes
Meeting expectations for behavior in the family and community
When your teen talks to you about the details of her day (without you having to pry it out of her), tell her how that influences you. When you see her being compliant with your rules (even if it’s twice), notice it. Noticing the behavior you want to promote helps to build trust.

How to Get Tantrum-Prone Teens to Talk

If your teenager always seems to be having an outburst, you might wonder how on earth you can talk to them at a “calm time.” Try this: Just talk to your kids about non-controversial subjects. It creates a flow of open communication in your home. When communication is generally more open, you may find it gets less heated around controversial topics.

Related: Learn how to stay calm with your child, no matter what.

Although it may be hard to imagine in the heat of an argument, there is a silver lining to teen tantrums. But you have to look at it in the context of normal adolescent development. Your teen is a work in progress, rather than a finished product. To be successful as an adult, she will have to be able to identify and advocate for her own needs and persist in the face of adversity. Realize that when your teen is pushing (albeit inappropriately), she is practicing behaviors that, when refined, are very useful life skills to have as an adult.