Boldly Defeat Your Giants

“This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17: 47)

Hi Beloved! I hope you are having a blessed week! We are in the thick of winter and over here we are cold and covered in snow. I have to say, I used to loathe cold weather, but now I actually enjoy it! I don’t know when or how that change occurred, but since I live where it gets quite cold, I’ll take it!

Today, I wanted to write about one of my absolute favorite Bible stories! You might know it well. It is such an incredible story and provides us with such a great example of how to boldly defeat our own giants. You may already know where I’m going with this, it’s the story of David and Goliath! Let’s look at the entire fight scene in 1 Samuel 17.

“He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine. Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 

Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.” (1 Samuel 17: 40-51).

Whoa! Every time I read this story, I get so fired up and filled with faith! I just love how God uses the weak to confound the mighty. Goliath was a tall, strong, and mighty warrior. He was protected by thick armor and had a shield bearer with him. David on the other hand, was a young teen boy, with a bag of stones, sling, and a staff.

Don’t you just love David’s faith? The Bible says, once Goliath moved in to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. He was bold because he knew the battle was the Lord’s and that no matter how big this giant was, he would be victorious.

Today, we don’t face physical giants, but we might face giant health issues, financial issues, and relationship issues. Let’s have faith so great that we have no fear and we boldly run toward our giants armed with the name of the Lord and His promises.

Even when our giants come out yelling and boasting, when they are big, mighty, and covered in armor, even when we’ve seen others fall by their sword, remember that the battle is the Lord’s and you will triumph!

One of my favorite verses in this story is when David tells Goliath that the Lord will conquer him and then all the world will know that there is a God in Israel. Our victories will be a testimony to others that the Lord rescues His people. I pray that we will so bodly face and overcome any attack of the enemy that people will hear about the strength and power of our God and want to know more. We can be a remarkable example to the world in these times of ever-increasing giants.

Beloved, if you are facing a giant that seems impossible to defeat, meditate on this story, meditate on God’s word. The Lord is with you as He was with David. He is still protecting His people! If you want me to pray with you or for you, please reach out! May you be bold and empowered in the coming weeks. May the Lord bless you and keep you and your families! Amen!

Jesus Loves You,

Alexis

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. There are no greater commandments than these.'” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Hi Beloved! I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Now here we go, full steam ahead toward Christmas! During this busy time of year, let’s remember the true reason for the season. I know I get so caught up in Christmas preparations that I hardly take time to reflect on the birth of our precious Savior, but this year, I’m committed to making a conscious effort. And as the year comes to a close, I just want to share a message that has been on my heart.

We can probably all agree that 2020 has been a year of tremendous change. As Christians, we sometimes wonder how to respond to political, social, or economic upheaval. This year, we’ve been confronted with many serious issues and the solutions are not always clear. Disagreements and opposing opinions abound. Whether it’s regarding the pandemic, politics, or other current issues, it’s sometimes difficult to have a civilized conversation with someone that has a different opinion because everyone is so passionate about their position. It can be hard to understand why some people think or feel the way they do and we won’t all agree or understand each other at times. Nevertheless, the Lord wants us to remember His two greatest commandments. Above all, love Him and love others. Our response as followers of Christ should be love.

I want to focus on the second commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself, as that is typically the most difficult of the two. In Matthew 22:36-40, (see above) there are no stipulations. He didn’t say, love your neighbor as yourself, if they agree with you politically. Or love your neighbor as yourself, if they have the same beliefs, hobbies, or interests. Just love your neighbor as yourself. That doesn’t mean we have to love their ideas, words, or actions, but we should love the people.

Now, let’s look at what the bible says about how to love others. Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Though it’s easier said than done, what would the world be like if we all put those principles into practice? Can you imagine? What an amazing place it would be! It may seem far-fetched, but we can do our part. Though we can’t control others, we can control our own actions and honor God by keeping His commandments. It won’t be perfect, we will stumble and make mistakes, but let’s pray for His perfect love to abound in our hearts. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7).

Beloved, as you reflect on the events of 2020 and look ahead to next year, be encouraged and filled with hope, even in these times of uncertainty. Let’s love and care for each other and remember that the Lord is our constant. Love Him and trust Him. He is still on the throne and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jesus Loves You,

Alexis

The Lord Is Our Constant

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Hi Beloved! I hope you and your family are well. What a crazy time it is! It’s quite nerve-racking for the recovering control freak (talking about myself here) because things are changing every day. Right when I think I have a good grasp on the situation, there are new developments. Now, schools are closed even longer, malls have stopped operating, restaurants are shutting down, and daily life keeps changing. This situation is unprecedented, so there is no blueprint for us to follow.

We can all become fearful in times of uncertainty. Whether it’s the fear of financial distress, the fear of inconvenience, or the fear of falling ill, it can be difficult for us to stay cool, calm, and collected. But, during these troubling times, we can look to the one who never fears, the one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never gets nervous, worried, or flustered. He never waivers. Though we may face uncertainty in the world, we can be certain of His promises. We can pray for His peace and strength when we are fearful and weak. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Beloved, we can rest assured that He ALWAYS has a plan. Though we may be shocked and caught off-guard, He knows the past, present, and future. Satan develops these new diseases and strains of viruses to steal, kill, and destroy. But God is always 100 steps ahead. He saw this coming long ago and has been at work orchestrating a plan for your protection, healing, financial difficulty, and restoration. Satan is trying to catch up to God, not the other way around. 2 Chronicles 20:5 says, “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you…‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us’.”

Things have been difficult and there may be more changes ahead. This time of year, life is so full. We were planning vacations, graduations, weddings, baby showers, dance recitals, and it has all come to a screeching halt. Many parents have been scrambling to find childcare and/or keep up with online school assignments. Some have experienced sudden layoffs or a sharp decrease in business. Others have contracted the virus and some have become very ill. Things have changed so drastically in such a short time. It reminds us that nothing in this world is promised and things can change in the blink of an eye. But, our Lord is constant. He is the one we can count on, no matter the circumstances. We can have faith that He will always bring us through the valleys and set us on the mountain top. He is in control, will always deliver, and will never leave us. “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)

What Satan brings for harm and destruction, God can turn around for our good! He will restore what has been lost, 10-fold! Remember that the cross has the final word, so let’s keep our eyes on the Lord and be at peace. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Beloved, will you join me in this prayer?

Dear Lord,

We thank you for the many blessings in our lives. We know you love us so much that you gave up your one and only son, so that we could be joint heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven and be blessed with health, wholeness, and prosperity. Lord, we also know that you see our sufferings and trials in this fallen world. But, you have overcome the world and we know you have a plan for our protection and restoration. We pray that this virus is quickly and completed eradicated and believe for complete healing in those that have contracted this illness. Lord, please be with the parents that have taken time from work or had to make difficult adjustments to care for their children while schools are closed. Give them your wisdom, grace, and peace. Speak your reassurance to those that have lost jobs or have businesses suffering in this time of change. We know that you have a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. For those that have had to change special celebrations, we pray that you comfort them and easily make a way for them to restore what has been postponed or canceled. Lord, we stand on your promises as a constant in our lives. We know that you are in complete control and have already given us the victory over Satan’s plans for chaos and destruction. You will turn this situation around for our good and prosper us more than we can imagine!

All these things we believe and receive in Jesus’ name,

Amen!

Jesus Loves You,

Alexis