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Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “”You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Matthew 4:8-11 ESV)

Notice that when Jesus says be gone and proclaims God as his Lord; that he serves and only worships Him the devil leaves. We must proclaim this with our lives everyday, in every struggle. The devil is around each corner looking to attack but we must proclaim the power of God through Jesus Christ whom defeated death and the devil in his resurrection and Jesus gave that to all of us who proclaim and believe. Just as it says in Genesis 4…

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7 ESV)

We now have the incredible power in Jesus to rule over our sin. The devil has no chance. So let us proclaim Jesus with our lives, with our relationships, that we serve the God that saves, loves, and overcomes. Thus letting the devil know no matter what he tries that in Jesus we have victory over his schemes!!

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So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, “Wash, and be clean”?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (2 Kings 5:9-14 ESV)

How many times do I look like Naaman expecting Gods voice, provision, or presence to show up how I would like it and then when it doesnt I go my own way thinking God never really spoke?
And here with out the help of good counsel Naaman would have missed the healing of a lifetime. Let us not close our mind to how God can answer our prayers and also be open to counsel when we first have doubt.

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And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord .” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord , but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13 ESV)

The Lord was in the whisper. I’m reminded of many times asking for God to show me the way through some powerful miracle or movement but here in this story of the prophet Elijah, God speaks in a whisper; in a way that calls to Elijah’s attention by drawing Him near to Himself rather than through fear. The Lord is gentle in speaking to Elijah in this moment of turmoil, so let us take time out in our trouble to hear the whisper of God, to be quiet and draw near.

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Ho Hey Harry Caray

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Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 ESV)

We have to find joy with where we are in life. Maybe we are in a tough time and wish we were somewhere else but if we constantly wake up everyday hating the toil we currently have it will make the journey that much longer and tiresome. Lets find joy with our circumstance because God has us where we are for a reason and the plans of the creator of the universe are much more profitable than something we can ever dream up. Seek joy in building character during the toil and the end will be much sweeter.

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"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? (Luke 16:10, 11 ESV)

We must be faithful in the small things and then God will entrust us with much more, taking every day and every moment in honor and glory for The Lord. Let us focus on being honorable in the little today in preparation for the big things God has planned for us ahead.

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By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 ESV)

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And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:10, 11 ESV)

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The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (1 Peter 4:7-10 ESV)

Love is always the answer covering a multitude of sins as it is put here in first Peter. Let our spirit be convicted to love first even when we are persecuted. To love those who don’t love us back is to glorify God choosing his ways over our flesh-full get even desires. Let our faith be tested in this to love one another always.

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And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:22-34 ESV)

Jesus throws it down about our tendency to worry as humans but he points out that if God can take care of nature how much more will He cherish and provide for us who are made in His image. Let us seek the kingdom of God faithfully knowing all we need will be given to us. And let our treasure be that of heaven and not earth for all of that will pass away but the glory of God lasts forever.