Golden R-ships: “Thankful”

God Gold of the day

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

-Ephesians 6:18

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”

-Philippians 1:3

“Rejoice evermore. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Pray without ceasing.”‘

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I don’t even know where to start with this message but I guess the only place I can is by saying, “THANK YOU!!” Today, I had another birthday, actually my 25th birthday so I’m another year older and a few more grey hairs into this life. The birthday was so awesome in so many ways but there was a few things that stuck out to me above the rest. It was you, and all of the people God has placed in my life. Today, I received so many messages of “Happy Birthday,” along with some extra lines of encouragement throughout different messages. From the shortest to the longest messages, each word sent my way today continued to hit me in ways that seems to be magnified even more with each year of life. To have people reach out to me and speak words of encouragement and thankfulness over me, I’ve been so humbled in each message. Just to know that someone would take the time to show how much they care about me and how much I mean to them, that’s the most humbling experience I’ll ever go through. I don’t feel deserving for any of it at all but the one word to sum up the rush of emotions I feel is, THANKFUL!

I could never explain how genuinely thankful I am for you! But I figured, all I can do is show you how much you mean by speaking these truths over the God Gold with the hopes that this message today will bring you a sense of encouragement and hope to your life that moves you forward in your walk with Christ. I could type all day about how thankful I am but I want you to know that it’s because of your messages that God revealed to me a truth in relationships that is much over looked in our busy everyday lives. I pray this truth will open you up to experience the relationships that God has placed in your lives to the fullest and the ways that God has intended.

I noticed in these letters that Paul and others would write to churches in the New Testament, called the “epistles.” They would always take the time and be intentional in telling the people at the churches they were writing to how genuinely thankful they were for them. That struck me and I also noticed that majority of the times, the reasons that these early church leaders had to write these letters were because of wrong-doing or fixing a problem the church was causing or facing. That made this act of thanks expressed by Paul and others so much bigger to me that despite the hurt and problems caused in these relationships, they spent the time to write letters of encouragement and correction anyways. They showed a beautiful picture of the Gospel right there as they continued to love, encourage and help these people throughout there mistakes. It’s the sense of thankfulness that opened up the door to for these men to treat relationships with others in a way that would never be handled the same according to the world’s standards then or now. This thankfulness starts with Jesus, how even though we made our fair share of mistakes, committed sins, and did and still do so much that rejects Jesus in so many ways, despite all of that Jesus still took the punishment that we deserved on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to. He literally went through hell and back so we didn’t have to make that journey ourselves. Jesus did all that without hesitation, even though we were so undeserving. WOW!!!

I can’t put to words how thankful I am for what Jesus has done for me but I still to this day often overlook and live a life that so easily forgets the price that He paid so that I can have the LIFE that He’s given me. It hit me earlier that it’s the gospel that drives our lives but also in a closer view, it’s the gospel that drives relationships with others also. It blows my mind to see these early disciples spend so much time loving and encouraging people that by all means probably didn’t deserve it but it seems to be how they lived their lives through the lens of the gospel that brought out this awesome example of how to treat others and how to build golden relationships with them. When you get down on someone or don’t feel like giving that extra breath or word of encouragement, just take a few deep breaths and open your hearts back up to the gospel. It’s there that you will see Jesus and all that He has done despite our lack or deserving it, it’s there that you will experience this same sense of thankfulness that will overflow from your heart into the lives of others. And golly bum, I can’t explain what experiencing other’s words of thankfulness has done for me today. I see now a little bit of how these early believers must have felt being told by these big time disciples of Jesus how thankful they are for them. It’s those intentional words that changed their lives and spurred them on in this mission we have with Christ and these words have also brought me to a place of thankfulness and fullness that has lit my fire in so many ways. All because of others took time out of their day to share words of love and encouragement, these words have fueled me and made me thankful to the point that I just want this 25th year of life and this year of sending out God Golds, I just want to show you how thankful I am, serve you in every way possible, constantly think of ways to encourage you and spur you on to living a life for Christ. Because of these words I have received today I want to add value to your life in anyway I can and ultimately make you feel the way I do right now, encouraged, full, and most of all thankful.

There is no better feeling than this feeling I have right now so that is why today, I want to challenge you to text one person, call someone, write a letter even, in whatever way you feel led, take some time and be intentional in letting someone know how thankful you are for them. Encourage them and share with them in what you appreciate about them, what ways do they add value to your life. Seriously, don’t overlook this anymore, take the time to spend sitting under the truth of gospel and let that thankfulness overflow into the lives around you. You have no idea how much those words may mean to someone or how those words may pick someone up, it’s those words of thankfulness that changes lives forever, and even the lives around those people. You have no idea just how far those words of encouragement and thankfulness will travel in someone’s heart and the lives around them. That’s the challenge today, make somebody feel like it’s their birth day, whether that person deserves it or not, live in that same grace that Jesus lived in for us so that others will get to experience what it feels like to be set free and have LIFE to the fullest breathed into them! There is nothing more powerful than the gospel and what stems from that good news is it’s power and love spread into action among people’s lives.

Truth and Dare

God Gold of the Day

‘Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.’

-Ephesians 6:18

Above here I have placed a TRUTH from God’s Word. God is sharing with us a very special truth here that can easily be overlooked in the lives of believers. I don’t know about you, but at times I really struggle with being selfish. Selfish in what I do, what I say, what I think, and even what I pray about. I have found lately that I have gotten very consumed with my own problems and I have been lifting up myself a lot but it has left little room for anyone else.

God’s Word says here, the truth that will set our prayer lives free, our relationship with God and others and our lives as a whole. Yesterday, God helped me see this area that I’ve been lacking so as I sought out ways to become better at being other centered instead of self-centered, God brought forth an awesome idea. I was sitting there about to do school like I usually do but I just felt the need to make a prayer list at my desk, placed in front on an area that I wouldn’t be able to miss and on that prayer list just have others names and specific needs they need prayer for. Then spend the time intentionally talking to God on their behalf, praying for that provision be provided for them and pain be turned to peace. There was something so POWERFUL in those moments, so much more powerful than all the times I pray for myself. So I have made a note every day that before I do class or any of my work, I will always lift up the people on the prayer list first. I wish I could take credit for this idea but I literally just asked God for help in this area now here we are so you know where the credit goes.

So I’ve given you the TRUTH, now instead of getting to choose one or the other, I’m giving you both whether you like it or not. So without further wait, I will now give you the DARE. I dare you to pray for someone else today. Maybe that’s just one person, maybe that’s twenty people. I dare you to lift up someone besides yourself today, someone that may seriously need some specific prayers, lift them up. You can just pray for someone on your own, but to take it a step farther if your briches are big enough, text or call someone and tell them you’re praying for them. Or you know what, I dare you to ask how they are and is there any thing in particular you can pray for. I double dog dare you to do that!!!! Whatever way you go about doing it is up to you but the biggest thing that I dare you to do and am daring myself also, is to step away from me-centered and lift up another person’s name to God, just pray for someone else!!! I’m so jacked to see how God responds to all of these faithful prayers for each other!!!!!

Renewed

God Gold of the Day

Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:7-10‬ ‭

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭

Spending some time in an old devotion that I left unfinished this morning, like many others before it. I ran across these verses and it brought out a lot of really eye opening truths. I’m praying for you today and pray that these truths will open you up to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

The first simple truth that hit me was, how are we transformed? Our mind must be renewed. How does that happen? Well, it takes patience in this every day process and complete surrender and trust to the Holy Spirit. It’s not something we can figure out or accomplish on our own, but thank God for sending us this helper by His Spirit!

To have our minds “renewed”, how? What? Why? When? Where? The first thing to think about after realizing that everything starts in the mind, transformation comes from the renewing of your mind. It’s the foundation of change in your life, how you get better starts between your ears.

First thing, think about what you put into your mind on the daily? Is it good stuff? Or is is pretty daggum terrible? Are you letting the lies of the enemy and this world run rampant through your head or are you filling your mind with truth, the TRUTH that comes only from God’s Word?

What are you putting in? That’s important because usually that’s what will come out! It’s not like a gum-ball machine where you put a quarter in and a bright pink ball of bubble gum comes out. You put bad in, bad comes out. You put good in, good comes out! It’s simple but hard to do well at times!

And the biggest and last thing I want to leave you with, these verses from Ephesians is talking about not listening to people who are trying to deceive you, tell you lies, and hurt you. In this context it was religious leaders but we still have many like this in our lives today. We face people who will try everything to get us off track, listening and believing their lies over Gods truth, and what stinks majority of the time, it’s all for their benefit. I was in Verizon yesterday getting a new phone, the guy was trying to get me to buy the whole store. I didn’t realize they worked for commission so when I heard that I understood it but what stunk, without my mom with me, I probably would have ate up what this guy was throwing down and ended up with a ton of unnecessary gadgets and money spent. I feel terrible for the people that are gullible like me with nobody there around them to help and keep them making good decisions.

From that example, just learned so much lately how Satan will try everything to get us “conformed to the ways of this world.” He will put people and things all around us with the goal of taking us away from the truth, taking us away from having our minds renewed or being transformed, taking us away from understanding and experiencing what is good, perfect, and pleasing to God, what Gods will is for our lives, and growing in this process of daily renewal with Him.

Lately, in my life, I have had a perfect example with this. I spent a season not surrounding myself with the greatest of people, putting more discouragement and lies around me than good things. I struggled really bad. Unfortunately we are influenced greatly by our surroundings. But then, after that season of so much pain, God placed some people in my life who spoke truth into my life, who constantly pushed me and challenged me, who constantly encouraged me in Gods Word and staying close to Gods truth. Having people around me that are on the same mission in this process of being renewed daily, it’s changes EVERYTHING!!!!

Don’t be conformed by the ways of this word, don’t listen to the liars and deceivers, spend time with good Godly influences, surround yourself with the kind of people that you’re trying to grow to be, surround yourself with champions and you will be a champion. But most of all, surrender yourself to the Lord daily and pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind showing you what is good, pleasing and perfect to the Lord!

Armored-P.5

God Gold of the Day

***The foundation behind the “Armored” series, the main points, scripture and what we’ve talked about so far is at bottom of page.
‘But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
-1 Samuel 17:34-37
Digging back into this visual example of what it looks like to “put on the armor of God” from the story of David and Goliath. We saw in verse 32 how David steps up to the plate confidently to take on the task of fighting the giant, Goliath. Like I’ve mentioned before, David’s confidence wasn’t from what he had or didn’t have, or any of his own strength, David’s confidence sprang from how he stands in the Lord, in who God is and his identity in God. After telling Saul that he will fight Goliath, Saul throws doubt and started naming off reasons why David shouldn’t and can’t do this. This is a perfect example of how the devil is crafty in his schemes against us, how he sometimes uses people and the world to plant lies in our heads of fear, doubt and insecurities. David could have easily fell right into the lie of why he couldn’t do this, and taken the example of all of the armored up Israelite soldiers standing there crippled in fear, too scared to move at all against the giant in front of them. But despite the physical odds, with David standing in the truth of who God is, with his strength and identity firmly planted in the Lord, he responds to the lies, with these verses.
David reminds Saul of all the victories the Lord has won in his life and what God has done against the lion and the bear. What an example that is for us on how to respond to the devil’s lies with the truth of how we’ve experienced the goodness and deliverance of God in our lives. When the devil comes with his lies with the intention of crippling you in fear and doubt, respond with the truth of who God is and what God has done in your life. Remember all the moments God has delivered you, all the moments God has brought you out of a situation that looked impossible and that you even thought was impossible until God stepped in with His powerful, almighty presence! Those moments where you experienced the realness of WHO GOD IS and stood there in awe at what He can do. Those moments are crucial to never forget, because when you are faced with new giants, more attacks from the enemy, in a situation that is way out of your depth, those moments of God delivering you before will give you confidence in this new moment. Confidence in the fact that this same, never-changing, awesome God, can and will deliver you again and give you all you need to stand firm.
What’s cool to look at too is the fact that when we hear, “put on the armor of God”, it seems like it’d be a all at once type thing. That the armor of God goes on you and you’re good to go the rest of your life but that’s simply not true. When you become a Christian you don’t just receive a package in the mail from God that has your new set of His armor to put on. That would be really cool but it doesn’t work that way. The armor of God and standing in this type of confidence David is displaying here doesn’t just happen overnight. You could easily read these Scriptures and leave with the “I need to be more like David” mindset. That you need to put on God’s armor, be confident and expect to never fall to the enemy again and be able to just end any Goliath you face instantly. As we see from what David is saying, it took David going through a lot of battles, falling, being challenged to face new and bigger enemies. David wasn’t just armored up and confident overnight, it took him TIME!!! To get to this level of confidence and armor with God, it doesn’t happen all at once but it’s a PROCESS of learning more and more about God and your identity in God. We have to be patient in this process of armoring up in God.
The truth is, there will be times you fall, there will be times you fall to the enemies schemes and attacks, God doesn’t expect you to be perfect. Putting on, wearing and standing in the armor of God takes time. It’s like riding a bike, when you’re first learning how to do it you fall a lot. Just like when you begin your relationship with the Lord, you fall A LOT, it’s hard, because you’re on God’s team the target on your back from the devil gets bigger and bigger. You will fall but having the resource of God’s armor at hand 24/7 and God being the graceful, forgiving God He is, His armor doesn’t just protect you from the attack but it helps you stand back up, to get on that bike again and keep riding. After you start getting good at riding your bike, the less you fall. It’s the same with God’s armor, the more you learn about who God is and your identity in God, the more armored up you become and the less you fall to the enemies attacks. Even when you are standing firm in God’s armor and more confident in how you stand with God, there will still be times you fall.
It’s a process of going through battles and learning more and more about who God is. As you learn and grow in your relationship with the Lord, the more armored up and battle ready you will be to face the enemies attacks. To grow in this process of armoring up, to get to a level of confidence that David had in God, it just takes riding close with God. Experiencing Him through His Word and in your daily life. The armor doesn’t just show up at your doorstep or come on you all at once, you will take hits and you will fall, but keep chasing God and learn more about who He is. When you start seeing how you stand as a child of the undefeated Champion, the Lord almighty, the more you will see how to stand firm in His armor!!! Trust the process and dig in!!!!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’
-Ephesians 6:11-13
MAIN POINT: Know where you stand with God and you’ll see how to stand firm in God’s armor. 
After setting up the foundation, we saw in verse 10 of Ephesians 6, that Paul gives us this first truth before we even come close to talking about armor. We don’t have what it takes, BUT we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” We see here that we don’t have what it takes but with God, in His strength, in His armor, we have more than enough and can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
This all started by asking the main question; to put on the armor of God, what does that look like in our lives???
That’s the question we are seeking answers to in these “Armored” God Golds. Learning that the armor of God is basically God’s character, we see that we are armored and protected by how we stand in God, in who God is, in our identity in Him as a child of His. It’s all WHO HE IS!!!!
Wanted to give you that recap as we continue digging into this question and looking at the story of “David vs. Goliath” as a visual example for us to learn from. If you have missed the other “Armored” God Golds, I recommend going to check them out for the context on this Gold and the Gold to come just so you can better apply these lessons to your lives and stand armored up in the daily battles you face.

Armored-P.4

God Gold of the Day

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’
-Ephesians 6:11-13
MAIN POINT: Know where you stand with God and you’ll see how to stand firm in God’s armor. 
I don’t know about y’all but this has been a blast digging through the armor of God in these past few Golds. After setting up the foundation, we saw in verse 10 of Ephesians 6, that Paul gives us this first truth before we even come close to talking about armor. We don’t have what it takes, BUT we are told to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” We see here that we don’t have what it takes but with God, in His strength, in His armor, we have more than enough and can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
This all started by asking the main question; to put on the armor of God, what does that look like in our lives???
That’s the question we are seeking answers to in these “Armored” God Golds. Learning that the armor of God is basically God’s character, we see that we are armored and protected by how we stand in God, in who God is, in our identity in Him as a child of His. It’s all WHO HE IS!!!!
Wanted to give you that recap as we continue digging into this question and looking at the story of “David vs. Goliath” as a visual example for us to learn from. If you have missed the other “Armored” God Golds, I recommend going to check them out for the context on this Gold and the Gold to come just so you can better apply these lessons to your lives and stand armored up in the daily battles you face.
“32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
-1 Samuel 17:32-33
We talked about verse 32 last Gold so today we are going to continue in this conversation between David and Saul, digging in to see the truth of how it relates to the “Armor of God.”
All these Israelite soldiers are standing there in physical armor, shaking and crippled in fear to go and face this giant, named Goliath, who is mocking them and the God they serve. David is the only one in the whole camp who is willing and ready to step onto the battlefield against this giant. David??? This little, young shepherd boy, with no war experience and no logical reason that he could ever come close to defeating this giant. But, David’s confidence and willingness to fight isn’t because of all the physical attributes and things he doesn’t have, it’s only because of the fact that he is standing in who God is, His identity rests in the same God who delivered Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land in the first place. With David’s identity in God, not in what he has or the physical armor that he doesn’t have, that’s where David’s confidence comes from, that’s where his strength is, how he is armored up and protected, in God!!!
David goes to King Saul and says, “hey, don’t let anybody go out there and get hurt against this giant, I’ll go fight him myself.”
Saul takes one look at David, in all the “lack” and all the odds stacked against David and immediately tells David he’s crazy. We see here that Saul doubts David and tells him why he can’t go out to fight Goliath, much less beat him.
Everyday in our lives we face similar doubts and discouraging words from the people and world around us. The moment we are going to step out on faith, standing confidently in who God is, we face opposition. Like it says in verse 11, the reason we need to put on the full armor of God in the first place is; “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” 
I don’t know what your experiences are but if you are a follower of Christ, then there is a target on your back and that target is from the devil. The devil is completely against God so any move you make for God, that target gets bigger and bigger. The devil is constant in his attacks and always scheming up new ways to come after you, to stop you from walking in the fullness of life God has given you and the mission God has called you to. One thing about the devil though and the way he attacks is how crafty he is. We see in verse 12 Paul mentions;
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
We don’t fight against flesh and blood, we don’t fight against people. Although at times we are hurt, discouraged or attacked by people, from a lesson my youth pastor taught on verse 12, “People are not your enemy!” Even though at times it may really seem that way, it goes deeper than just people, our fight and the attacks we face is deeper than what we see on the surface. The devil wants nothing more than for us to only see things on surface level because then, we try to fight against people when it’s not even them causing the attacks or being the reason behind it all. It’s in the spiritual, the unseen, from the evil forces of the devil at work.
People are not the enemy but the devil works through this world and people in many different ways to scheme against you and move you from what God has called you to do. Like we see from Saul’s doubt here, the devil works through others and the world to tell you the lies about who you are. He will do literally ANYTHING to plant lies in your head such as; ” you can’t fight Goliath, you’re too small, you’ll never win.” The mind can become the devil’s playground in you fall to his lies that he delivers through people and the many influences of this world around us. These lies can cripple you in fear and hurt you, as you stand stuck in your fears and the worlds doubt like the Israelite soldiers, instead when you stand in the truth of who you are to God, in His power, strength and armor, you are equipped by who God is to move past the lies and into the amazing God has called you to. Don’t focus on or believe the lies of the world telling you why you can’t, focus on and believe the truth of God who gives you more than enough reasons why you can!!!!
No matter what the world says, no matter what lies the devil tries to plant in your head, if you believe the lies of “I can’t do this or that.” Then you can’t. BUT if you believe the TRUTH of your identity in God, that you don’t have what it takes but as a child of God, where you are one with God, where He has called you FREE, VICTORIOUS, FORGIVEN, ACCEPTED, and WORTHY!!!! If you believe the TRUTH of WHO GOD IS, always faithful, constantly loving, always present, ridiculously powerful that He created this whole earth we see around us, and the fact that He is the UNDEFEATED CHAMPION OF ALL!!!! When the devil reminds you of all the times you’ve failed and fallen short, surrounds you with doubts and lies saying all the reasons you can’t, causing all that fear, doubt, and worry, NONE OF THAT MATTERS!!!!! As you stand in the TRUTH of your identity in God and who God is, and the fact that you don’t have to go into battle alone or just with what you have but with a God who has gone before you and is always with you to fight for you!!!!
Don’t listen to the doubt and fall into the schemes and lies of the evil one, there’s a truth about a God who is greater than anything he could ever be. Stand in that truth and don’t let the words of someone else change your focus from the only place that matters and that’s how you stand with God. It’s there you’ll see how to stand firm in His armor!!!