Affirmation: I must share this joy.

Today’s Scripture:  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. Luke 2:10 NKJ

I can not contain this great joy. I do not understand what God is doing with me through this second chapter of Luke but like Anna in verse 37, I can not depart.

I am filled with joy that I hope to share with those who are seeking. In trying to explain this passion, this joy, yesterday with a co-worker I can see in this chapter so many things I am trying to say.

The more I seek to be who He created the more I find joy.

Like the angel to the shepherds, I have great news for all people. This joy found in God is like no other. I can not contain it and I must share it. His light is caressing and His joy is full.

Can you share what brings you joy to those who seek? Are you struggling to find joy? I will be glad to share what He has given me.

Today’s Prayer: God of joy, I praise You and thank You. Help me to share with those who seek salvation. Help me to share Your joy. LORD, continue to strengthen my spirit and fill me with Your wisdom so I become who You intended. I want to fulfill Your promise faithfully. Amen

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Affirmation of God: I am God’s plan.

Today’s Scripture: Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courtyard. Mary and Joseph were bringing the child Jesus into the courtyard at the same time. They brought him so that they could do for him what Moses’ Teachings required. Luke 2:27 GWT

Although the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died, do you think Simeon understood he would confirm for millions that this really was the Messiah? That he would be mentioned in the Holy scriptures remembered for all time?

In this moment he was God’s plan. What if he had hit the snooze button or found something else to do that day? The 41st day after Jesus’ birth only came once. This was Simeon’s moment and he showed up.

We are God’s plan too. Do we realize what our faithfulness can do for others? Are we moved by the Holy Spirit to be where we are supposed to be? Are we preparing ourselves to show up?

We are God’s plan and I pray we go where the Holy Spirit leads us. We too can change the world for all time.

Today’s Prayer: Yahweh, thank You for Your Spirit. Reveal Yourself and Your plan for me. Speak clearly LORD. Continue to prepare my heart, my soul and my mind for what You have already planned for me to give the world for You. Please give me full nourishment of Your daily bread that will prepare me for that day, for that hour You intend for me to serve Your purpose. Amen.

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: I see God.

Today’s Scripture: Job 42:5 ESV; I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;

Life can be painful and hard. As I reflected on God’s people of old this morning I felt their struggles of life. Our ancestors in the faith did not live in ease and comfort. They lived the battles of life; yet in all they came to know and see God.

God pulled me through Job’s story this morning to remind me how much I do not understand. Did we hang the heavens? Do we have a hand in ways of nature? No. There is a God beyond our understanding and in our afflictions and in our lack of control we come to see Him.

Have you had anything in your life where God has taken you from just hearing about Him to now seeing Him and who He is?

We witness everyday the ugliness and evilness of man and I pray we look toward the light and majesty of God.

Today’s Prayer: Almighty God, You created all things and I thank You for the stories of old that teach us. In the harshness of life we find life in You. Thank You for loving us and proving Yourself. Please keep my eye on You for it is here I find meaning and purpose. LORD may our world see You. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: I am going where God has shown me.

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 143:8 ESV; Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

“I should go.” These words jumped off the page as I praised God for His steadfast love in the morning. If I have already experienced His love in a past and present sense, could I already know the way I should go?

We have a tendency to cry out and lift up our soul to God asking where we should go. Do you think God has already shown you the way and you haven’t even gone to what you know?

Just this weekend I was called on the carpet by my wife. From a place of love she let me know I haven’t gone anywhere. I didn’t like it. But I am doing something I rationalized, I am writing this blog right here in my comfort zone. Did God call me to comfort? No, He promised to comfort me as I go to where He has made known.

Has God already shown you where to go? You should go.

Today’s Prayer: LORD, thank You for Your steadfast love. Thank You for showing me where I should go. Forgive me for seeking my own understanding of how. I know You show me Your love and Your way. I am going LORD and trusting You to continue to make known to me Your way. I lift my soul and my trust to You. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

 

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Affirmation of God: I arise and call out to the LORD.

Today’s Scripture: Jonah 1:6 ESV; So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us that we may not perish.”

Do you need a wake up call? How could Jonah be asleep during such a storm as this? How can we?

My good friend Julian sent me an obscure text early one Sunday morning with three scripture references, in each instance these scriptures assured me that if I call out to the LORD He will answer me.

Later, my wife challenged me to act on what God has called me to. Am I like Jonah? Am I staying in my comfort zone? Will I go and do what God has called me to do or will I sleep?

What has God called you to? Arise and call out to the LORD and He will answer you! Run to His presence and His calling for you.

Through Jonah, the men of the ship went from calling out to their gods to calling out to the LORD. The LORD our God will do the same with us. Arise!

Today’s Prayer: LORD God, thank You for calling me. Forgive me for my lack of trust. Thank You for bringing me this far and thank You for those you send to challenge my procrastination and who awaken me to call out to You. LORD I am going where You have called me. I am calling out to You for help. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: I sow my seed in the morning and trust God.

Today’s Scripture: Ecclesiastes 11:6 NIV; Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.

You are holding the seeds God intends for you to sow; what are you going to do with them? Here in Ecclesiastes 11:6 we are instructed to cast them out and trust God for the results.

Verse four speaks loudly to me and tells me to stop trying to look for the perfect time to sow. How many times have I not cast any seeds because I was looking for the right time or could not see the results that would happen?

Verse 5 reminds me I do not understand the actions of God in the process. Just as in the forming of the baby in the womb I have to trust God for the birth of the seeds I plant.

We do not know which of our seeds will succeed so let’s just cast them each morning and work all day knowing God will grow what He desires.

What seeds do you have to cast?

Today’s Prayer: Father God, thank You for the seeds You have given me. Thank You for Your Word that encourages me to sow what I have. I trust You and Your ways to grow these seeds as You intend. Grant me the energy and faithfulness to continue to sow and work diligently. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: Lord, increase my faith.

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Today’s Scripture: Luke 17:5 ESV; The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

The apostles living and walking with Jesus knew they didn’t have the faith He required. We don’t either. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that He is the author and finisher of our faith and He will increase our faith if we ask.

Jesus says we just need to have the tiniest bit of faith as small as a mustard seed and HE will turn it into a BIG, HUGE, illogical faith.

Let us keep going to Him like the woman to the judge in the following chapter. We must remain humble and realize, like the apostles, we need the Lord to increase our faith. We are unworthy servants called to do our duty. It takes Lord size faith to complete our duty and He will provide it if we will ask.

Have you asked the LORD to increase your faith?

Today’s Prayer: LORD, increase my faith. I thank You for the faith and healing You have already given me. LORD, increase my faith and forgive me for when I cling to my understanding or look back and consider things of this world. Prepare me, fill me to do Your will and keep my eyes towards You. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: I am filled with the fullness of God.

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 3:19 ESV: and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Paul was attempting to explain this mystery to the Ephesians over two thousand years ago and this is mostly still a mystery today. Do we really grasp what being filled with the fullness of God is all about?

In Ephesians 3:9 we are reminded that God created ALL things. All includes you and me. Paul tells us that Jesus took us with Him to heavenly places in Ephesians 2:6. “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (ESV)

He did not say he will raise us but that He DID. Do we understand this mystery?

With God now; filled with His fullness now. We are alive in Christ and He is alive in us. The Spirit of God lives in us now.

Will you accept the fullness of God and the power and strength of the Spirit that is in you today?

Today’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being in me now. Help me to understand and grasp Your fullness. I believe Jesus has brought me into Your Heavenly places and I want to live Your fullness now. Guide me with Your Holy Spirit to fully know You and be used by You fully. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: I am confident in God.

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Today’s Scripture: Philippians 1:6 NASB; For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

God has placed His work in each of us and His mind and His Spirit have been placed in us for the good of all.

Just as Paul knew speaking from prison, God will be our witness and will complete through us the progress of love and joy in the faith of others. Each of us has been given this work of the progress and joy of others in the faith.

To show this faith God gave us one mind and one Spirit to show His love. This world blinds and steals from those who follow it. Yet we who know this joy are confident to share His love and help others come to know it.

Not me but Christ in me. The one mind, the one Spirit through me with His love, I am confident of that!

Are you confident in the work God has begun in you? I AM.

Today’s Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for the example of Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your love and the joy in our faith in You. Thank You for revealing my work in You and I am confident You will complete it. Work through me LORD to give Your progress and Your joy to others who will come to believe in Your love. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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Affirmation of God: The LORD hears my voice in the morning.

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 5:3 KJV; My voice shall you hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto you, and will look up.

No matter what may or may not transpire today the LORD has heard my voice and knows I have looked to Him. It is here I have found my refuge and left my worries with Him.

Do you recognize the direction of your eyes when you pray? Are you are looking inwardly towards the pressing issues in your life or are your eyes directed towards God? I catch myself at times, even in my morning prayers, of looking upon the worries or cares of this day.

I am thankful for the Holy Spirit for redirecting my eyes towards the light of God in His heavenly realm. When I gaze upon God’s light and seek His revelation it is there that I find refuge and all of its glory.

Does the LORD hear your voice and know the gaze of your heart in the morning?

Today’s Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for welcoming me into your heavenly home. I love the warmth of Your light and I trust Your will. I look to You in expectation of communion with You whether it is my groaning or the groaning of the Holy Spirit. You know my desire to live today for you. Amen

Tom Raines Jr

Affirmations of God

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