Affirmation of God: I love the LORD with all I have.

Today’s Scripture: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 ESV

ALL; how can three letters encompass so much? Jesus is telling us the greatest commandment. Love our LORD with ALL of our hearts, ALL of our souls, ALL of our minds and ALL of our strength.

Is that all that is needed? Here in Mark 12 Jesus tells us it is most important to love God and love others. Why do we try to add technicalities to this? Like the Pharisees of years ago, human nature is still trying to add to this with man made rules and traps. Why do we complicate what God has made simple?

Like the widow who gave out her poverty at the end of this chapter may we realize our poverty of love. Let’s give God the little love that we have and see what He does with it. Give Him all we have. Turning away from all the attempts to debate and just love. That’s all.

Do you spend more time trying to understand God’s mysteries or giving Him your all?

Today’s Prayer: Father God, I praise You and love You. I give You all that I am and have. I can love in abundance because of my poverty of love. You are my love and I offer up all of my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength to You.  I have little but know You have all. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Doubt, Gifts, God's Will, God's Word, Heart, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Joy, Love, Peace, Praise God, Purpose and Passion, Recovery, Steps to God, The Way | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Affirmation of God: God strengthens me.

Today’s Scripture: Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Isaiah 35:3 ESV

Have you ever felt weak and feeble? Do you ever have anxiety? In 35:4 Isaiah says: Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

Our God has promised to come and save us; have no fear.

As you steady my knees Father please lead me down the highway of holiness you promise in Isaiah 35:8. You promise that even a fool like me can walk this road and not be led astray. This I hang on to today. Strengthen me LORD, steady me and lead in me in Your way.

Will you trust God and pause at the next onset of worry, anxiety and fear and ask God to strengthen and steady you?

Today’s Prayer: Almighty God, You are my God. I give You my fears and anxieties and trust You to save me. Open my eyes and ears mighty God. Help me to see and hear you clearly and to trust in your power. May I see that all my strength is in You. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Belief, Comfort, Doubt, Faith, Fear, God's Will, God's Word, Guilt, Healing, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Kneeling, Know God, Peace, Power, Prayer, Recovery, Stress, Trust, Weakness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Affirmation of God: I am out of my mind.

Today’s Scripture: And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:21 ESV

If the world and those around us think we are out of our mind we may be where we want to be. Mark 3 tells of how Jesus’ own family thought He was out of His mind.

Out of my mind is EXACTLY where I want to be. My mind can not grasp the Kingdom of God yet my heart can receive it. Four years ago God gave me the ears to hear him in this simple parable of the sower in Mark 4.

I better understand His words today yet I trust them more than I understand them. This parable of the seeds on the path of life proves true.  When the words take root they take time to become fruitful. Our minds and the voices of this world will attempt to kill these fruits.

Jesus’ words will withstand the harsh elements of this path. How is your soil? Are you out of your mind?

Today’s Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your word. Take root and be fruitful in me. Thank you for my brothers and sisters who enrich my soil. LORD do a mighty work in my soul and keep me out of my mind. Please continue to give me ears to hear and give me Your mind and Your Spirit to walk the path You have planned for me. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Belief, Boldness, Comfort, Confidence, Doubt, Encouragement, Faith, God's Path, God's Will, God's Word, Heart, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of Heaven, Know God, Listening to God, Patience, Peace, Praise God, Purity, Purpose and Passion, Soul, Steps to God, The Way, Trust, Understanding, Works | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Affirmation of God: I run to Jesus and throw myself at His feet.

Today’s Scripture: And when he saw Jesus in the distance, he ran and threw himself at His feet, (Mark 5:6 Weymouth)

Do you ever feel like Legion in Mark 5? I do. Do you have things in your life that keep you in bondage? I do.

This Weymouth translation of Mark 5:6 states that Legion “threw himself” at Jesus’ feet. Have you ever been there? Just bowing low, kneeling before Him is magnified in throwing yourself at Jesus’ feet.

The first step of Legion’s run was to see Jesus. Can you see Him; are you looking? Would you recognize Him? Would He recognize you?

Legion asked Jesus not to torment Him. Really?? The previous verse says he always, day and night, cried and cut himself in the agony of these demons. Yet, in his torment he was concerned with Jesus tormenting him. Because of our torment do we also fear the torment of Jesus?

Jesus removed Legion’s demons and He will remove ours if we run to Him and throw ourselves at His feet. Do you see Him?

Today’s Prayer: Jesus I see You. I am running to You and throwing myself at Your feet. Please remove these things that bind me. I know my only hope of complete healing is in You. I am here Lord, cleanse me. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Death, God's Will, God's Word, Grace, Habits, Healing, Heart, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Kneeling, Mercy, Peace, Praise God, Purity, Recovery, Running, Soul, Steps to God, The Way, Weakness, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Affirmation of God: My heart stays with God.

Today’s Scripture: For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Psalm 95:10 ESV

Over an hour, I pressed snooze; I had to stay. After arising and going to my knees I found it difficult to stay with God there too. I had to stay in “that” place.

The word “stay” brought me to this affirmation from Psalm 95:10. These people of David’s generation erred in their ways by going astray in their hearts. I want my heart, my soul and my mind to stay with God, don’t you?

Many of us have gotten our hearts broken by giving them to other things. All of us have been burned by giving our hearts to other people, promises, hopes, desires, dreams and any other trails our hearts may go.

Psalm 95 also states we are God’s people; His flock, ALREADY in His pasture. “Come” this chapter begins. Come; let us sing to the LORD. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.

We are in His presence, may our hearts stay there.

Today’s Prayer:  Father God, I come before You with thanksgiving. I am thankful that You have welcomed me into Your pasture. LORD forgive me for allowing my heart to go astray. I love coming into Your presence and I want and pray to stay there. Help me resist those things that lead my heart astray. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Belief, Faith, God's Path, God's Will, God's Word, Heart, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, Kingdom of Heaven, Kneeling, Know God, Listening to God, Lonliness, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise God, Prayer, Purity, Purpose and Passion, Recovery, Soul, Steps to God, Thanksgiving, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Affirmation of God: I delight myself in abundant peace.

Today’s Scripture: But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. Psalm 37:11 ESV

Psalm 37 is FULL for all times. The word “hard” brought me to this abundant peace.  If you need delights and peace you can read how God responds to our ponderings and to the cries of our hardships in the Psalms.

Today as I went back through these verses of Psalm 37 again and again I realized that although life and faith can be really hard at times we can live in God’s faithfulness.

I am thank-FULL that I can delight in the LORD in hard times and in good. In our delight He gives us our desires and peace. My desire is that you will go and be still with Him as You read Psalm 37. Please read it several times with your heart and write out the promises He speaks into you. Go and experience your future of peace that He offers to you abundantly.

Do you delight in the LORD?

Today’s Prayer: Abba Father, I praise Your name and delight myself in You. Thank You for the desires and the abundant peace You place in my heart. I know this peace is only found in You. This world can quickly rob us of peace if we seek delights there. I delight myself In You LORD and thank You for holding me up and placing Your peace in my heart. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Comfort, Doubt, Encouragement, Gifts, God's Will, God's Word, Grace, Guilt, Heart, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, Know God, Patience, Peace, Praise God, Prayer, Prosperity, Purpose and Passion, Wealth, Witness, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Affirmation of God: I need Christ Jesus.

Today’s Scripture: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5 ESV

When I need encouragement and comfort Jesus shows up. When I truly need the Spirit of God He reveals Himself. I realize not everyone is as needy as I am.

In fact in two different conversations this weekend I realized that not everyone feels the need for Christ Jesus and they don’t really want it. They don’t mind it but they don’t need it.

In my great need I have found a great God. Until He is needed this “Jesus talk” seems unnecessary and a little weird.

In Philippians 2:4 Paul instructed us to humbly look to the interests of others over our own. We can look to their needs. When we are more interested in the needs of others we recognize where Jesus is needed.

When we meet others at their needs we can share how we found Christ Jesus in ours. Until then we are clanging cymbals.

Today’s Prayer: Father God, I need You. Humble me LORD to look for the needs of all others around me. Help me to recognize these needs and then to share the great hope and love I have received in Christ Jesus. I need You LORD to show Your great love. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Comfort, Encouragement, Gifts, God's Will, God's Word, Grace, Healing, Heart, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, Love, Mercy, Peace, Purpose and Passion, Recovery, Steps to God, The Way, Understanding, Weakness, Witness, Works | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Affirmation of God: I judge not.

Today’s Scripture: Judge not, that you be not judged. Matthew 7:1 ESV

This is a great time to remind you that these affirmations are NOT who I AM but who I desire to become.  This is a rare Saturday post for me and way beyond my normal word count (sorry mom) yet I just had to share the way God spoke to me today.

I absolutely love running with God through nearby nature trails. I run with God and He works on my heart. I may have begun running for my heart now I long to run with God for my heart. There are more things in me that are blocked than arteries.

I hadn’t run but a few paces of praising God and looking around at His nature when the words clearly came to me “judge not”. Why? I have no clue as it was out of context with my praise and my mission.

Shortly thereafter I passed another lonely runner who did not return my joyful greeting. I had already made a conscious observation of the lift in his knees before he was close enough to meet eye to eye. The awareness of his gait preceded the awareness of his un-supportive response to me.

I judged. God was speaking loudly. I judged that he wasn’t very nice and also that at this stage of the path he must have been increasing his performance to impress me.  A few paces further a large limb laid across the path. Again, I judged that this person cared not to remove this obstacle for others. Too busy and too angry to care, I thought.

God convicted me. I know not the cares and concerns of this stranger. Just because I have been guilty of running to impress and I find joy and service in removing obstacles along the path why would I judge the paths of others? I trust God and the Holy Spirit to work on my heart as I observe His nature. I trust it. I trust He convicted me of judging.

I also know that He convicted me of serving Him with a joyful heart and not hoping to be judged favorably from others. Just do what He and the Spirit speak into my heart. Let Him work also on the hearts of those we pass along our paths. He is at work, trust that, don’t judge it.

I also found that kicking limbs out of the way as you run along life’s paths looks a lot like skipping. When we are serving God and others without judgment or fear of judgment it looks a lot like joy. My knees were lifting high and I was running at a new pace and it wasn’t to impress others. God was lifting me and may very well have been lifting the stranger as well.

Judge not.

Today’s Prayer: Father God, Creator God, thank You. Thank You for speaking and thank You for revealing my heart. When I commit to run to You and with You I can trust that You and the Holy Spirit are at work. Forgive me for judging others. Thank You for Your grace and Your love. Please write these on my heart, mind and soul. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in God's Path, God's Will, God's Word, Grace, Guilt, Heart, Holy Spirit, Joy, Kingdom of Heaven, Listening to God, Love, Praise God, Recovery, Running, Soul, Steps to God, The Way, Weakness, Witness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Affirmation of God: I have found my resting place.

Today’s Scripture: Judah has gone into exile because of affliction  and hard servitude; she dwells now among the nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress. Lamentations 1:3 ESV

Have you found your resting place? I have traveled thousands of miles and thousands of years this morning and I am not even tired.

Yet, just last night I had a conversation with my wife about being tired. Here in Lamentations I have diagnosed my illness. I am just like the Israelites years ago. I can forget my resting place. Not that I can’t find it, BECAUSE I HAVE. Yet, I can leave this place searching for food only to find the only bread I need is in my resting place.

The Israelites found no resting place among the nations and neither will we. We haven’t changed. We go out searching for food and exhaust ourselves. Like them we find that at the end of our endurance and hope is where we find hope in the LORD.

When I remember the bread of my resting place I am renewed. Where are you seeking rest?

Today’s Prayer: Our Father, thank You for all you have done for Your people. Forgive us LORD for leaving You to seek what the world has to offer. My hope and my rest are  in You LORD.  I have exhausted myself seeking the food from this world that does not satisfy and robs me of rest. Thank You for Your resting place that renews me each morning. Help me to stay in this place and remember You in all that I do in the world. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Comfort, God's Path, God's Will, God's Word, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of Heaven, Know God, Listening to God, New Beginnings, Peace, Power, Praise God, Prayer, Prosperity, Purity, Purpose and Passion, Recovery, Steps to God, The Way, Trust, Weakness, Works | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Affirmation of God: Every morning I remember God’s faithfulness.

Today’s Scripture: they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23 ESV

I am hesitant to say EVERY or NEVER because of my track record. I cannot say I will do anything every time or never. However, here in Lamentations 3 I do believe God’s faithfulness is new EVERY morning.

Now whether I slow down enough to remember it is another story. If God’s word promises that His love and His mercy is new EVERY morning why do we turn to other things? Are we too busy to pause and remember God’s love and mercy for us?

Lamentations 3 is full of affirmation and hope. I have hope, do you? I have hope because I know the LORD loves me FOREVER.

If we wait quietly for the LORD and allow our souls to seek Him we will find our soul speaking of His great love and mercy for us.

When we sit alone in silence with our mouths in the dust we find hope in God; EVERY morning. God is here are we?

Today’s Prayer: Dear LORD, thank You for Your faithfulness. My soul seeks You. Thank You for providing me Your love and mercy new each morning. Forgive me for when my soul seeks hope outside of Your great love. My hope is in You. My soul speaks of You and I thirst for You every morning. Amen

Tom Raines

Christian Affirmations 4 Life

Posted in Anxiety, Belief, Comfort, Doubt, Faith, God's Will, God's Word, Grace, Guilt, Habits, Healing, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus Christ, Joy, Kingdom of Heaven, Kneeling, Know God, Listening to God, Lonliness, Love, Mercy, Patience, Peace, Praise God, Prayer, Purity, Purpose and Passion, Recovery, Soul, Steps to God, Stress, Worship | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments