“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mat 24:13 NKJV)
Some days we need to give ourselves a pep talk!
If you have fallen, get back up. If you have taken a detour, get back on the road. If you have taken a step backwards, move forward. If you have lost your way, find it. If you have been disappointed, cheer up. If your have been saddened, choose joy. If you have been dismayed, stand strong. If you have been hurt, pursue healing. If you have been broken, seek restoration. If you have experienced loss, go after the victory.
I enCOURAGE you to endure.
Do not stop. Do not crumble. Do not throw in the towel. Do not give up. Do not back down. Do not cave in. Do not quit. Never surrender! Endure… Endure to the end and be saved!
‘Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3 NKJV)
When I was young, I sang away the days with EP’s, 7” vinyl records. I had a stack of them, Elvis, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Peaches and Herb, Donny and Marie, Sandi Patti, Amy Grant, the Carpenter’s…shall I go on? I desperately wanted to be a famous music star shining across stages in the United States. All I lit up was the concrete floor of our garage in our suburban split- level house. The problem was I did not have the talent to do much more.
What was your dream? Did you want to be a movie star like Farah Fawcett, Did you want to shine on the football or baseball field like Johnny Bench or Franco Harris? Or, did you have the same aspirations as me?
I have heard about heroes of the Bible. However, I had never heard of “stars” in the Bible until I read Daniel 12:3. Of course, stardom was an original God idea and not some fake counterfeit manufactured by Nashville, Hollywood, the NFL, nor the MLB.
Daniel 12:3 rekindled the dreams of stardom from my youth with a shift in focus. I can be like a star. I can be like a star in the kingdom of heaven. As a child of God, we all can! You ask how?
1. GET WISDOM
“Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [Therefore] get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” (Pro 4:5-9 NKJV)
Wisdom is the main thing, the word of God, learned and skillfully applied. Wisdom will promote us. Wisdom will bring us honor. Wisdom will deliver a crown of glory to us. Nothing sparkles like a crown of glory. Wisdom will make us “shine Like the brightness of the firmament”.
2. TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
When we get wisdom and start shining, our mission is to direct others to the Bright Morning star. Knowledge teaches us that the Brightest star, Jesus, is love, light and life. Wisdom helps us pass along His love, light and life and turn others to Him, Jehovah Tsidkenu, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. ((Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16)
Scripture says when we turn many to righteousness, we are “like the stars forever and ever.”
This is not temporal earthly stardom that shines brightly for a blink of time. (Many may not even recognize some of the stars I mentioned earlier in this post—temporal stars.) This is eternal stardom. Stardom that lasts forever and ever.
I enCOURAGE you to grab hold of this scripture. Get wisdom. Shine your love light of life. and turn others to righteousness. Make Jesus famous in the lives of others and shine with Him forever. If your light is a little dim, dive into the Bible and allow Holy Spirit to rekindle your flame. It’s really our purpose. Want to be like a star? Star Goals: Love God! Love people! Turn many to Him! Shine forever with Him through eternity.
“The goodness of God [endures] continually.” (Psalm 52:1 NKJV)
We have all heard that God is good. It is who He is. It is not His character; it is Him. He exudes goodness. It is what He does. He cannot help himself because He loves us that much.
When the Lord does something so incomprehensible that only He can orchestrate, it is hard to put into words. I am going to attempt to tell you of the goodness of God demonstrated in my life this past weekend. My heavenly Bridegroom chose to partner with my earthly husband to bless my socks off, once again, in celebration of our anniversary.
First thing on Saturday morning, during my time with the Lord, I cannot tell you what led me to listen to The Goodness of God by CeCe Winans , but I did. I immediately shared it with my Facebook friends and a few others with wishes of a happy Saturday. Holy Spirit continued by leading me on a journey through devotions and His word where He told me of His goodness. He drew me nearer into His presence with His loving words.
“Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb… but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person. On earth He exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for “He hated putting away.” Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage.”
I know how much my husband Kris’ loves me and it is just hard to fathom how much the Lord loves me and you. He chose to remind me of how precious I was to Him. Words every woman (and man) wants to hear. The Lord filled me with His love, mercy, and goodness.
It was time to find out how Kris and I were going to celebrate our anniversary. I had no clue; truthfully, I had one… my daughter-in-law had let it slip that we were going to a concert. The clue didn’t help. I patiently awaited as we drove towards Nashville. We ended up at the Grand Ole Opry which was celebrating Barbara Mandrell’s 50th year of induction. Excitedly, Kris told me Carrie Underwood, who we both love, would be singing and he listed a few others.
Let me back up and tell you, we were supposed to celebrate by making a trip to Athens, Georgia where we were married. I backed out for various reasons earlier in the week. I had no idea how he had pulled this ticket off in such a short time frame. (Many thanks to the unnamed “blessing” who helped make this happen!)
We arrived at will-call to a surprise! We had center stage tickets a few rows back from the stage (Perspective…Barbara Mandrell sat two rows ahead of us.) And, we were given tickets for the Circle Room, a place where a “star” talks before the show, and one is treated with food and beverages. WOW. Our heavenly Father had favored us both.
Bear with me, I am not short on words now…
What Kris knew and kept to himself until I heard it from the Opry announcer, CeCe WINANS was part of the line-up! Talk about Holy Spirit ordering steps! Blown away by His goodness was an understatement to how I felt.
The show was very good. I had loved listening to Barbara growing up. Every star honored her with one of her songs and then one or two of theirs. When it was CeCe’s turn, she opened with Mandrell’s song, “He set my life to music. He gave me words to sing. He set my life to music. Now it’s a symphony.” After she gave a short testimony of her relationship with the Mandrell’s and how open Barbara was with her faith. Then…CeCe simply stood before the mike and began singing her song, you know, THE ONE I had listened to and posted about earlier in the day. YES! That song… “The Goodness of God.” Needless to say, I was in tears, consumed by His goodness, and how he had planned this very moment with husband. I do not believe that I could have received any gift that was more precious to me. That’s my husband. That’s my God. A dangerous duo for good.
“For the LORD [is] good; His mercy [is] everlasting, And His truth [endures] to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5 NKJV)
I enCOURAGE you to develop your relationship with the Lord! Is my God your Lord? He is and can be your God, too, if you accept His son Jesus. Do you abide in Him? Are you obedient to His word? I am neither of the two all the time and that is why we all need Jesus. I am so thankful for His goodness, mercy, lovingkindness, patience, and forgiveness…the list goes on and on.
Heavenly Father wants to have the same kind of encounters with you. He is a good, good Father. It is who He is. He is a loving Groom awaiting His perfected Bride, that is me and you. I am not there yet, but together, He and I, are working on it. How about you?
“The LORD [is] good to all, And His tender mercies [are] over all His works.” (Psalm 145:9 NKJV)
Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Kris, for a great weekend!
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, theLord appeared to him and said, “I amGod Almighty; Walk [habitually] before Me [with integrity, knowing that you are always in My presence], and be blameless and complete [in obedience to Me].“I will establish My covenant (everlasting promise) between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly [through your descendants].” (Genesis 17:1-2)
In chapter 17 of Genesis, the Lord introduced Himself for the first time as God Almighty, El Shaddai, God the Most Powerful, the God who is more than enough – more than sufficient.
God essentially told Abraham what he needed to hear at the time to build up his faith, “ I am Almighty God, God who has the power to complete every promise. I am more than enough. I am able to do immeasurably more and exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.”
Abraham needed to know this God because Almighty had told Abraham at age 99 that he would be the father of many nations. He also told 99-year-old Abraham at the right time, he would return to 90-year-old Sarah and that she would produce a son. Impossible? Not for El Shaddai.
Abraham and Sarah were imperfect, yet they remained faithful to God. El Shaddai did exactly what he promised. He was more than enough.
Last week at prayer as we were going over our “Hit List” with the Lord, I heard Him say for every prayer point on the list, “I am God of More than Enough! My promises are enough. My word is enough. If I said it, IT IS ENOUGH! I AM More than Enough!”
God is more than enough to give purpose and a child to a 99-year-old man and 90-year-old woman.
God is more than enough to heal our broken hearts from hurt, betrayal and any loss.
God is more than enough to give us all the strength we need to face any situation.
God is more than enough to make us resilient when the enemy has knocked us for a loop.
God is more than enough to make us courageous in the face of any and every fear.
God is more than enough to provide for our every need.
God is more than enough to forgive our every sin.
God is more than enough to restore crushed dreams.
God is more than enough to give us new dreams and desires.
God is more than enough to rebuild marriages that are falling apart.
God is more than enough to deal with us laughing in His face when He tells He will do the impossible.
God is more than enough to do the impossible.
God is more than enough to protect us from the tentacles of any virus.
God is more than enough to heal dementia.
God is more than enough to heal any sickness, disease, or cancer.
God is more than enough to send a girl who has had cancer all her life into remission at 12 years old.
God is more than enough to take us to the land of begin again.
God is more than enough to give us a brand-new start.
God is more than enough to double our salary in a recession.
God is more than enough to give us our dream house when all signs say, “not today!”
God is more than enough to overcome any obstacles.
I enCOURAGE you to take God out of your quantitative box of “I am not enough. I am not good enough. I have to do more.” He is on your side. You will never be good enough nor do anything bad enough that our God of more than enough cannot overcome. In fact, He already did at the cross. Jesus paid it all. He was and is MORE THAN ENOUGH. His resources are infinite. His power is limitless. He is MORE THAN ENOUGH
“And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him] and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20, ESV).
I love the passion with which Jesus lived His life on earth. His heart was always to seek and save those who were lost. It was so important to Him that after His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection, He took a detour on His way to Heaven to, in effect, say in Matthew 28,
“Let me remind you why you’re here on this earth. I’m going to be seated at the right hand of the Father, and I’m going to come back and get you. But, in the meantime, this is what I need you to do. Here’s your job profile: There is a lost and broken world, and I am anointing you with the same Spirit that raised Me from the dead so you can be salt and light in the midst of it. You’re not supposed to run from the lost; you’re supposed to run to the lost. You’re not supposed to judge the lost; you’re supposed to love the lost. You’re not supposed to condemn the lost but go, reach, and help the lost.”
Friend, we are God’s search and rescue team for a lost and broken world! But if you look at people through the lens of your prejudices, fears, biases, or even the lens of social media, you’re going to run from the very people God has called you to go and reach.
Today, let’s be the people God has called us to be, ready to see others and reach out to them with His love, grace, and truth!
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mat 6:19-21 CSB)
Bros of Decay is a YouTube channel that I happened on. The “Brothers of Decay,” Lesley and Jordy are urban explorers that document abandoned historical structures around the world. I have watched two episodes where they walk the viewer through massive, abandoned castles. It looks like the owners just walked out the door and left everything…art, guns, silver, dishes, libraires full of books, jewelry, the most beautiful crafted antique furnishings, phot albums and even business documents.
I was astounded that these young men could quit their full times jobs and make a living from exploring what others had amassed and left behind. I know my husband is tired of me talking about this show, but the documentaries really moved me. I was made to question wealth and “things.” I wanted to go save all the beautiful things that had been left behind and then I came to the realization. The things really do not matter. They all just fly away into decay because you cannot take them with you. It brought Matthew 6:19-21 to life for me.
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy…”
I like nice things, but I was challenged with how much is enough? How much it too much? How many articles of clothing do we need? How many shoes? Purses? Pieces of jewelry, furniture, or art? I had the impulsive need to purge my life of earthen treasures! And I will soon.
I encourage you to stop! “Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; because you know better, stop! As soon as your eyes fly to it, it disappears, for it makes wings for itself and flies like an eagle to the sky.” (Pro 23:4-5 CSB). Focus and refocus on what is eternal and not temporal. The things are just things. They will fly away with the dust. We cannot take “things “with us, so we need to make our stores in eternal heaven. Invest in eternity not the now.
“For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1 CSB)
We throw the word freedom around like a used paper towel. We take freedom for granted. We don’t appreciate the price that men and women paid so that we can be the United States of America. As Christian’s we do not treasure the freedom that Jesus bought us on the cross.
When freedom is taken away is when it is prized the most.
Seriously, STOP and think about our freedom.
What are we free to do today?
Read our Bible
Gather openly most anywhere.
Go to the grocery.
Turn on the air.
Go to work.
Drive a car.
Do just about anything.
Our freedom is and was not free. It was bought by the sacrificial blood of Jesus. In the United States freedom was and is expensive, individuals before and after us gave their lives so that we could become and remain free.
I enCOURAGE you In all the festivities of today, please stop, and be thankful for your every freedom. Do not think about what you do not have, but about what you do. “Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” From the great city of Clarksville, Tennessee, USA, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
Recently, I have been challenged, and asked some hard questions that I could not answer about the promises of God. Of course, when you ask the Lord, He promises to answer.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)
“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.” (Psalm 91:15 NKJV)
The Lord does not promise that we will like the answer. I received a reply to my questions to the Lord from one pastor. “The world is broken and we want God to be sovereign in a broken world.” I didn’t ask the question anymore but unsolicited from a second pastor and a devotion I read , I heard the same, “the world is broken.”
Things break in a broken world. (It’s not a comforting word, but it is the truth.) The Lord God had a plan to send Jesus into the brokenness and darkness to save us. He accomplished His plan through Jesus and that is our eternal hope. He saved us. He is saving us, and He will save us. It is a progressive plan towards eternity. It is why we have to keep walking by faith.
Satan hates God. He hates us, as children of God. He has other ideas. He wants to dismay us. He wants to steal from us. He wants to kill us. He wants to destroy us. It is his schemes! He wants to throw seemingly insurmountable obstacles in our path. He wants us to be dismayed and turn our eyes from God. God has the better design, life eternal with Him. We cannot lose focus on God nor His eternal perspective. We have to keep walking by faith. Sometimes, it’s all we can do.
There are many things that happen this side of heaven that we will never understand. I don’t know If we will understand when we are in the very face of Jesus. (Will it even matter then?) It is at this point where we must choose to step in faith. We must choose to trust the word of God and turn off the lies of the devil.
Isaiah 41:10 is one of my favorite promises from the word of God, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Pictured above is a coaster from artist, David Arms with Is. 41:10 printed on it. I thought it was the sweetest little art piece until I dropped in on the floor and broke it to pieces. I thought it was destroyed. However, I loved it so that I picked up the fragments and glued it back together. This is what God does with our lives. The little square will never be the same, but it is saved and beautiful in its brokenness.
He knows we live in this broken world. However, He gives us hope in His word and tells us:
Do not fear.
I am with you even though you may not see nor feel Me.
Do not be dismayed or look away from Me.
Do not be amazed by the destruction of the enemy.
He is God.
He will give you the strength to breathe and step each day because His mercies are new every morning.
He will help you.
He will hold you up when it is hard to stand on your own two feet.
I enCOURAGE you to stay and stand in faith. Do not turn away from Jesus and gaze on the brokenness. Stay focused on Him. I heard the Lord clearly say, “CELEBRATE LIFE! Do not glorify the broken works of the enemy. Do not be amazed by the evil in this world. Do not be amazed by the works of our enemy like theft, destruction, sickness, cancer, nor death. Jesus has overcome these things and as His children we have eternal hope and life in Him. Celebrate every breath of life.
PS…Big thanks to Pastor Scott Sheppard who answered my call to the Lord without hesitation. Pastor Freddy T. Wyatt and Lysa TerKeurst spoke the same words into my life as confirmation and they didn’t even know it.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. (Psalm 37:23 NKJV)
Take one step at a time. I know on this journey you may not see the way clearly but take one step at a time. God will be your Newel Post, the anchor of the stairway, a support that helps bear the weight of the rest of the way. A newel is always found at the foot of a flight of stairs and at the top of the stairway. A newel is placed at every juncture where the stairway changes directions. God is your Newel post providing support and bearing the way at the beginning, the end and at every turn along the stairway.
As you begin to climb, God will bring you to a landing that will provide you time for healing, rest, and restoration. He will bring you to a landing place to guide you around the obstacles of life. The landing will provide you direction and next steps. Trust Him. He says in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8 NKJV) He will help you rise and tread. Rise and tread. Before you know it, you will have risen and completed a run to the next landing.
I enCOURAGE you to keep taking one step at a time. God will be with you every step of the way. Take time to heal in your own way. Grieve in your own way. Healing is a journey and a climb. Take one day at a time. Take one breathe at a time. Take one step at a time.
by Tammy Phillips (with a little week from last year) May 30, 2021
REMEMBER the former things of old, For I [am] God, and [there is] no other; [I am] God, and [there is] none like Me. REMEMBER the days of old, consider the years of many generations. (Isaiah 46:9NKJV and Deuteronomy 32:7 NKJV)
To REMEMBER is defined as to recall, recollect, remind, rehearse, record, call to mind, make a memorial; to mark; to exercise the memory.
Today, werememberthe brave and courageous American soldiers who gave their lives for our great country. We remember those who died for us in every war. Werememberthose who continue to serve and die for our country. Over 600,000 died in the Civil War alone and more than a million Americans have given their life for our liberty.
Today, werememberthe military who safeguarded our Nation. We say, “THANK YOU” to the courageous men and women warriors who served and made the sacrifice of their lives to protect our freedom. Freedom that was ultimately purchased for us on the cross by Jesus.
Today and every day, we also thank God andrememberHis sacrifice. He sent His only son, Jesus, to fight, die, and win the battle for our eternal freedom in every area of our lives. Look at the freedoms the prophet prophesied about in the coming Messiah in Isaiah 61:1-2…
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me…
To preach good tidings to the poor To bring cheerful news to the meek To announce great news to the depressed mind To show and tell tidings to the afflicted To message the miserable To be freshness to the failing To publish possible to the impossible
To heal the brokenhearted To bind up the broken in pieces To wrap up firmly the destroyed To bandage the burst To compress the crushed To gird the wrecked
To proclaim liberty to the captives To call out freedom to the carried away To cry out free, abundant flow, to the prisoners To address swift flight to the caged
To open the prison to the bound To deliver from jail the yoked To open wide eyes and ears of the captive To liberate by opening, anyone who is fastened To redouble to the taken in war and tied up
To proclaim the acceptable, favorable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; (Isa 61:1-2 NKJV)
Jesus anointed by Holy Spirit, opened the scrolls in Luke 4, read Isaiah 61:1 and then said,“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”Jesus in essence said, “I AM is here. Who you have been waiting for, it is me. I am the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. This is the ‘acceptable year of the Lord.’”
Remember,this is the age of God’s grace, redemption, and deliverance. It is now. All are invited to come to Christ in repentance and, by faith, receive the gift of eternal life and eternal freedom. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”(John 3:17)
However, there is going to be time where God says enough is enough. The “day of vengeance of God” will come. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:18-19 NKJV)
This was the message of the Lord. This was the message of Jesus. This is our promise. This is THE GOOD NEWS. This is our message. Holy Spirit anoints and empowers us, His disciples, His people, to pass on the same message of Jesus.
I enCOURAGE you to REMEMBER the great things God has done. REMEMBER, Jesus. REMEMBER what He gave up so you could have that life. I enCOURAGE you to REMEMBER the life God has given and the life He has promised you. I enCOURAGE you to open your ears! Hear the entire message of Jesus, our Savior. Accept the freedom and every benefit that He paid for with His life. Then like Jesus and our brothers and sisters in the military who so freely gave, sign up and become a freedom fighter. It is a much easier road. Simply, our mission, if accepted , stand and publish the good news of Jesus to everybody you know. THERE IS FREEDOM IN HIM!
Do not forget to stop andrememberas you celebrate today, Jesus died for our freedom and our fellow countrymen have died to help us maintain those freedoms. (If you do not know, each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.) Be free! Remember what you received and heard, and hold fast, and repent (Revelation 3:3 KJV)